Archive for February, 2015

February 15, 2015

Album 0464: Serj Tankian – Elect The Dead

SerjTankian-ElectTheDead

Release Date: 2007
Genre: Progressive Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Empty Walls (03:49)
2. The Unthinking Majority (03:47)
3. Money (03:54)
4. Feed Us (04:31)
5. Saving Us (04:41)
6. Sky Is Over (02:57)
7. Baby (03:31)
8. Honking Antelope (03:51)
9. Lie Lie Lie (03:33)
10. Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition (04:23)
11. Beethoven’s Cunt (03:13)
12. Elect The Dead (02:55)
13. The Reverend King (02:50)
14. Blue (02:45)
15. Empty Walls (acoustic) (03:47)
16. Feed Us (acoustic) (04:21)
17. Falling Stars (03:05)

Total Length: 01:01:53

Empty Walls has a decent intro and some ironic lyrics, but is overall a well-done song and the chorus makes the intro riff sound more fun. The Unthinking Majority is was more interesting, with a constantly changing pace and feel, and it’s got this avant-garde feel that is just fun to sing along to. Some of it almost sounds overdone, but it works. Money has the same crazy feeling, going nuts at times and calm at others. It’s disorienting the first time, but after that I loved the song every time.

Feed Us is more of a standard track, offering nothing really new to my ears but simply doing what it does well. Not my favorite here, but nice to hear. Saving Us has this really dream-like quality to it at the beginning, and this song is where I think Serj Tankian’s voice works the best. It feels very heartfelt and once the heaviness kicks in it all just clicks together. Sky Is Over goes for the more bombastic side, especially for the entire second half which is just silly in a good way.

Baby has a great chorus but the rest of the song around it isn’t as good as a couple songs before it. Honking Antelope gives me this off-key, creepy feeling which is both good and bad. It works sometimes, but other times feels like that grunge sound I hate. I love the vocals for the chorus in Lie Lie Lie but the rest of the song doesn’t quite live up to it. Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition is the craziest song on here. While I’d consider it a good song, it treads the line before going too far very carefully. In the end it stays on the better side.

Beethoven’s Cunt has some nonsensical lyrics and from what I’ve tried to interpret the song title doesn’t even have anything to do with them. Still a fairly fun song, but why? Elect The Dead is a sad little track. Not sad because it’s bad, but because it has this somber atmosphere that closes out the standard album very well. The Reverend King seems to be going for this semi-musical type idea, but I don’t really like the end result.

Blue is an acoustic bonus track, and it’s a decent little piece. It really doesn’t stand out in any way. The acoustic version of Empty Walls has some of the same power in the chorus, but it’s not all there. Idealistically, songs should work with minimal instrumentation and crazy amounts of it too, but it doesn’t here. Feed Us in acoustic fashion has the same issue. It’s just lacking. Falling Stars closes this whole thing off in a very ‘hmph’ way. It just leaves no impression. The main album itself though is solid pretty much the whole way through. Some dips in it, and I don’t think the album is worth clamoring over, but it’s a good effort.

Final Rating: 7/10

February 9, 2015

Album 0463: Sepultura – Arise

Sepultura - Arise

Release Date: 1991
Genre: Thrash Metal

Tracklisting:

1. Arise (03:20)
2. Dead Embryonic Cells (04:54)
3. Desperate Cry (06:41)
4. Murder (03:29)
5. Subtraction (04:48)
6. Altered State (06:35)
7. Under Siege (04:54)
8. Meaningless Movements (04:42)
9. Infected Voice (03:20)
10. Orgasmatron (04:14)
11. Intro (01:33)
12. C.I.U. (Criminals In Uniform) (04:17)
13. Desperate Cry (06:43) (Scott Burns mix)

Total Length: 59:30

After a short intro to pacify us, Arise comes screaming through with some really good riffs and an overall charged feeling. The only thing I mind is that these types of squealy guitar solos don’t really appeal to me. Dead Embryonic Cells has a slower intro and remains solid, but doesn’t leave near as much of an impression as the first track does. Desperate Cry has the same issue. I’m just not that into it. Everything sounds like it has some heart put into it, but not enough. There’s no emotion here that I can connect to.

Murder is a bit better in that regard, but still I find myself just not digging what these guys are doing. Subtraction has some fine riffs to it at least. Altered State changes things up with an almost tribal-like intro, followed by some of the best riffs so far. The song goes on a bit too long for my taste though. Under Siege changes the pace back and forth and works pretty well with that set up. Solid track.

Meaningless Movements actually has a pretty good guitar solo and is about the only thing that sticks out. Infected Voice is standard fare. Good riffs, but nothing behind that. Orgasmatron is a Motörhead cover and while I enjoy it, I can admit that it is one-note. Intro was a track not originally on the release, and they seem to have taken and expanded it into a previous track, which is why they cut it out I guess.

C.I.U. (Criminals In Uniform) is also a newer track and it really does nothing for me. I say that with even more gumption than the other times I said it. Desperate Cry is an alternate mix, and while it’s noticeably different, I can’t say for sure that it’s better. The song itself is no different and that’s what stands out here, a different sound doesn’t change or fix that. The whole album feels fun at random moments, but I always get bored at some point and I can never remember any of this afterwards, even after listening to it multiple times.

Final Rating: 6/10

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