Saturday, April 28, 2018

Dir en grey - 人間を被る (2018)

Dir en grey has always been one of the very few bands I can listen to at any time, in any kind of mood, without getting bored...


01. 人間を被る
02. Ash
03. 詩踏み (live)

...and that still isn't happening. This single is really basic compared to most of what they've done in years, but it's not a bad song by any means; albeit fairly generic in its melodies and rhythms, it's catchy. Since the previous single, 詩踏み, was an awe-inspiring, mindbending journey through hell and heaven and everything in between, it's only standard rock etiquette to make the next single more accessible.

It would be wrong to call 人間を被る "midlife crisis rock", but in all honesty it really does incorporate certain elements of midlife crisis rock: an all-out arena-blowing chorus and riffs reminiscent of early 2000's metalcore. Those two things are midlife crisis rock essentials. Why, you ask? Because dad rock bands think mainstream metalcore is the heaviest shit out there and they've spent half their lives on the stage.

Alright, that may have sounded like blasphemy, but I'm not suggesting that these guys would be going through a midlife crisis for two reasons: A) Dir en grey is not a dad rock band and B) they're not old enough to be having a midlife crisis. Even if they were, the results wouldn't be like those of dad rock bands because their music has never come close to anything that could be called dad rock.

Now, to actually review this. On first listen, I was certain something was wrong. Had my headphones broken? I kept listening. My headphones work just fine; I listen until the end and, although by the halfway point of the track I'm nodding my head in some kind of enthusiasm, I can't shake the first impression.

It's not the midlife crisis rock vibes that are off-putting. Those are fine; I mean, this is the same band that did the song Я to the Core, after all, and that was when they were in their twenties or something. What's off-putting is the overall sound.

There's so much wrong with how this song is mixed, it's baffling. That's not the band's fault, but still; why did no one at any point in the process of recording, mixing and mastering point out that everything sounds kinda like it's being filtered through a cheap megaphone? Or is that intentional?

...and that noise, which I presume is a synth but could be bass with some effect, in the intro and outro? What's that all about? I love electronic elements in rock and metal, as long as they're done in a way that fits, but this just feels tacked on due to how loud it is, almost like it was added at the last moment by someone in an attempt to keep the song from being enjoyable. A failure, thankfully; the song is still enjoyable.

Speaking of bass: usually Toshiya's awesome playing can be heard clearly and that's one of the things that make this band so heavy. On this track, it's really hard to hear the bass. It's definitely there, evident from a steady low end, but actually making out any notes is really difficult. There are a few bits where it's very audible, particularly in the chorus and during some really groovy stuff, so that's a plus. With each listen, I can hear it better as I pay more attention, but I wonder if it's just the tone or how it's mixed; there's a lot of low end on this so it can't be that the bass is low in the mix, but it somehow still manages to disappear at times.

Shinya's drumming is solid as always. However, I feel like the cymbals are way too low in the mix. The snare is just right, though, unlike in the otherwise near-perfect 鱗 on the 2014 album Arche and certain other songs where it's too loud (or in rare cases too quiet). Here, while the drums overall are fairly low in the mix, the snare is at least proportional. There are nice fills even during the otherwise very basic chorus, which is a nice touch, exactly something Shinya has demonstrated his ability to do in the past.

Both guitarists seem to have rushed this. Sorry, I can't put it any other way. The riffs are heavy and catchy and all, but where's the extra spice that we've all grown to love about Kaoru and Die? Their ability to create intricate melodies and fill out gaps in each other's playing in beautiful, haunting and/or crushingly brutal ways is something that at least I've come to expect, so the fact that that's missing from this track is kind of disappointing. If there was a guitar solo, that'd make up for it, but... there isn't one. Not even interesting licks here and there. It's all so straightforward. And the tones are somewhat bland, reinforcing the early 2000's metalcore feel.

As always, Kyo demonstrates his vocal prowess without coming across as showy. The first sound that comes out of his mouth in this song is a squeak followed by the kind of half-screaming/half-rapping that's either hit-or-miss; it hits the mark this time, as it usually does when it comes to him. In the chorus, there's some very beautiful and emotional singing, and throughout the song there are aggressive barks and distorted screams. Right up my alley. Nothing to complain about, nothing to critique.


The second track is a new version of the B-side from the 脈 single, which for a brief while used to be one of my favourite songs by them back in like 2007 because of the cool riffs and vocal layering and effects. I used to listen to that song when I walked to school and when I walked home from school. Well, I listened to others songs too, by a lot of bands, but that was one of the songs that I found perfect for walking. Not sure why, but probably something to do with the rhythm being fast but not too fast, just right for walking at a rapid pace, but slowing down enough at times to not turn into running music? I don't know.

...anyway, the new version of the song has arguably less weird stuff going on. On the other hand, it has more. It does have all that stuff with layered vocals and cool riffs, and the way it escalates at the end is really nice; definitely better than the climax of the old version. Everything sounds more professional, but what it lacks, partially because of that, is that feeling of "fuck everything" that the old version has. That's the kind of feeling I got from that song, anyway.

The guitar solo starts out with a clean sound, which is a really fun little addition. The vocals get kinda funny at times (in an interesting way that sounds good), reminiscent of the old version, and the bass is always clearly audible. There's that strange little electronic break, too, but only once midway rather than in the intro as well like it used to be; that's also an imporvement, I think. I wish it was a little bit more experimental, but overall it's an improvement. It fits perfectly as the B-side to 人間を被る, too.

What I'm waiting for is for them to record a new version of Mazohyst of Decadence. If they did, that would one of the happiest moments of my life. Might have to wait a long time... maybe forever.


There's also a live recording of 詩踏み. What can I say? It's pretty epic.


All in all, this is the kind of single that one would expect these guys to put out after the previous one. So, even though the single track itself is somewhat weaker than quite a lot of their previous singles, it's still a solid song that straddles the border between rock and metal in a unique way; it's not quite metalcore, but it gets close to that at parts; it's also not quite standard rock, but somewhere in between. Like some of their other songs, only more stripped-down. I wonder if that means there'll be less or more experimentation on their next full-length album; it could mean either. Well, whatever comes next, I'm looking forward to it!

I'll rate this 86/100. If it was mixed a little better, I'd give it a higher score. Hopefully on the album (assuming 人間を被る will be on an album), they'll get that fixed and maybe throw in a guitar solo or something. That'd make the track so much better.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dir en grey - 詩踏み (2016)


01. 詩踏み
02. 空谷の跫音 (feat. Sugizo)
03. Revelation of Mankind (remix by Yusuke Suga)

If there's one band that never disappoints, it's these guys. This single is absolutely perfect, and words can't express how high my hopes are getting pumped for whatever they do next. I hope they will release a new album sometime soon, but even if it will be a thousand years from now, I'd wait, because FUCK YEAH. 96/100.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Liturgy - The Ark Work (2015)

01. Fanfare
02. Follow
03. Kel Valhaal
04. Follow II
05. Quetzalcoatl
06. Father Vorizen
07. Haelegen
08. Reign Array
09. Vitriol
10. Total War

Well, that was weird. I like it... mostly. The horns are way too loud, and the drums are way too quiet, but other than that this is a pretty nice album. Definitely has literally next to nothing to do with black metal anymore, but that doesn't really bother me; it's not like Liturgy ever was really a black metal band by the strict definition of the genre. My personal favourite songs are "Reign Array" and "Vitriol", while "Kel Valhaal" wasn't really all that enjoyable.

If only the drums were louder and the horns quieter, I'd give this a much higher score, but as it is, overall, I'm gonna give this 67/100. Could be much better, but it's alright for what it is. You definitely have to be in a certain kind of a mood to sit through the entire album.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dir en grey - Arche (2014)

Words can't explain how excited I was for this. I literally shook all over and giggled with a ridiculous smile on my face because of anticipation.

01. Un Deux
02. 咀嚼
03. 鱗

04. Phenomenon
05. Cause of Fickleness
06. 濤声
07. 輪郭
08. Chain Repulsion
09. Midwife
10. 禍夜想
11. 懐春
12. Behind a Vacant Image
13. Sustain the Untruth
14. 空谷の跫音
15. The Inferno
16. Revelation of Mankind

This album took a bunch of listens before it grew on me, but when it did... well, I fucking love it. That's all. Best album of 2014. 95/100.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Abraxas Countdown - Abraxas Countdown (2014)

Oh yes.
01. Requiem for Entertainment
02. Israel (Azrael is Real)
03. The Cradle of Grace

This is how mountains form, and how they crumble... how species evolve, and how they go extinct. Monumental, crushing, and fucking epic with bone-churning guitars, gut-wrenching bass, pounding drums and vocals that could tame a pack of bears, all bred together to create an earthshattering manifestation of Biblical proportions. Just like an earthquake, the havoc that this band wreaks gives way to a flood; that flood is made of molten gold and ylemic flames.

In the first song, the bass plunges forth with enough force to pulverise continents and the guitars hammer in a state of hypnosis, the vocals vary from a strangely soothing, mantric murmur and palaeolithic yells to fiendish mastication that slithers around like a bouquet of serpents. Each time the ceremonial cymbal rings in the background, the fabric of space and time ruptures further and gives birth to otherworldly incarnations.

The second track (which is a re-recording of the first song I heard by them once upon a time) is absolutely massive; the sheer mass of this glorious piece outweighs the universe itself. A primitive rhythm that storms throughout burns oceans and floods the centre of the earth, and aeons of death echo in the mournful wails and fierce screams. Primordial might oozes from the vast, majestic vortical wall that the guitars and bass conjure.

Ending this poslunctious sermon, "The Cradle of Grace" demolishes any doubt that any living being could have had left over this band's unearthly highness. They're not here just to trump every other sentient entity or to transcend the world beyond all voids and heavens, but to smash the fuck out of anything and everything that may be within their omnipresence.

There isn't much, if anything, that could make this better; maybe if it was a little louder and thicker, but that's begging for total sonic obliteration. Its only drawback is that it's only three songs, but then again, a full album of Abraxas Countdown would be lethal to any lifeform, mortal or immortal. 100/100.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Skrillex - Recess (2014)

Oh boy, Skrillex... what have you done?
01. All is Fair in Love and Brostep
02. Recess
03. Stranger
04. Try It Out
05. Coast is Clear
06. Dirty Vibe
07. Ragga Bomb
08. Doompy Poomp
09. Fuck That
10. Ease My Mind
11. Fire Away

When I found out that Skrillex had finally released a full-length album, my first thought was something along the lines of "fuck yeah". Then I started listening, and I was struck immediately by the disappointing lack of bass. I mean, yeah, it's never really been his thing to pump the low-end, but c'mon. There has to be something down there, or it's about as much fun as I imagine it would be for the Devil to go to church with a bunch of angels and expect to get laid. Thankfully, that was just the first impression, as there are some deep bassy shits popping up occasionally.

The first two songs were mostly boring and mediocre, but then comes the third one. Is it sufficient to say that I wanted to stop listening? Sure. I wouldn't overreact over music, but those high synths? I mean, seriously? That is a joke, right? It hurts like hell to listen at some parts, and the vocals (which would sound amazing by themselves, I imagine) are processed in the most annoying ways possibly achievable.

Thankfully, the next track is pretty good, and, and... well... umm, SKRILLEX, DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING OBSESSION WITH PAINFUL HIGH-END?!!??! "Dirty Vibe" would be the best song on the album, but those hats/other high-pitched percussion are literally the absolutely worst-sounding I've ever heard. Why? WHY?!!?!

Actually, I can explain why. Or, at least, why I think there's a constant increase in the high-end on Skrillex's stuff. The reason is as simple as him losing his hearing and having nobody fix out the various mixing flaws that his shitting ears lead to. Is that true? I have no idea, but it would make sense.

Now, as for "Doompy Poomp", I'm not going to take it at all seriously. Why would anyone? It sounds like a joke, and as a joke song, it's okay. A little bit long if that's all it is, but maybe that's part of the point. I don't know. Either way, it's the least annoying song on the album, and that's saying something.

By the way, maybe now would be a good time to point out that I absolutely loved pretty much everything that Skrillex did previously. This album, on the other hand, I just can't see (well, hear) any of the things that consistently make up the Skrillexicon we've all grown to love/hate/expect. It's like he threw everything out the window and started off a clean slate; abandoned everything he'd learnt over the years, messing around like a first-time EDM producer looking to get some attention because he lives by the mantra of "there's no such thing as bad publicity". I mean, I may not be the most professional Skrillexicologist out there, but it's almost like he thought it'd be cool to take the musical morphemes of what he's been doing and rehash them in ways that sound as unfitting as he could imagine; experimentation is (almost) always good, but that doesn't mean it always works.

And, while that has been known to have led to amazing results for some artists, it just doesn't work out for Skrillex; he's too big. He's made an impact with what he did, and this simply isn't a logical (or even illogical) continuation of that.

One last thing that I must point out is that on "Ease My Mind", that lead melody is so beautiful that it makes me reconsider whether this album is really as bad as I seem to think, even though the vocals are irritating beyond belief (because of the repetitive ass lyrics). I don't know if it's a coincidence that one of the best and one the worst songs are one and the same, or if it's a conscious decision he made to fuck with people's heads even further (at least those people's who have a certain taste, such as myself and I'd guess at least a third of his fanbase), but regardless, I can't help but feel like there could be much more to this...

Overall, this isn't a good album. It's not something that could be expected from the great Skrillex, and I'm pretty sure it's going to bury him; he's going to drown under the masses of younger producers, ones who'll celebrate his memory as if he had literally died. There'll be a funeral, someone will compose a Requiem for Skrillex and everyone will mourn (until the Westbrostep Scatpiss Church scuttles along and vandalises his glorious phallic monument with graffiti reading "burn in hell fag" and other unpleasant things).

With all that said, 40/100. Please, dear, Skrillex, if you're reading this review (a man can dream, eh?), do whatever it is you want to do, but don't forget that you're on the top of the world when it comes to electronic music. Do a short EP of heavy ass fucking dubstep or something, and everyone will move past the negative criticism and enthrone you as the king of brostep once more. That's my humble opinion, anyway.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Babymetal - Babymetal (2014)


02. メギツネ
03. ギミチョコ!!
04. いいね!
05. 紅月-アカツキ-
06. ド・キ・ド・キ☆モーニング
07. おねだり大作戦
08. 4の歌
09. ウ・キ・ウ・キ★ミッドナイト
10. Catch Me if You Can
11. 悪夢の輪舞曲
12. ヘドバンギャー!!
13.  イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ

One of the most amazing (and confusing) moments of my life was when I first heard Babymetal. I mean, any band that combines metal and electronic stuff is obviously damn great, but it's so much more than that; the way the genres blend together is so smooth, it's really cool!

The confusion, of course, stems from the fact that this is more pop than anything else... yet they manage to be heavier than most metal bands out there. How is that even possible?

Although, I have to admit that at times, the vocals do get a little bit annoying, it's not something that I should complain about, since pop vocals in general are much more annoying, so it's all cool. There are some dubsteppy parts, which are also a nice addition.

All things considered, this is definitely one of the greatest albums ever that fit under the synthcore umbrella, right up there with stuff by I See Stars and The Browning; in a way, this is beyond that in terms of excess, as it spans several subgenres of metal and various kinds of electronic music all at once. While that doesn't necessarily mean a superiority over the aforementioned two and others, it does mean equality.



Seriously? Babyfucking? Couldn't I think of a worse pun?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Behemoth - The Satanist (2014)

It's obviously been confirmed that Behemoth is one of those bands that, no matter what comes in their way, will put out masterpiece after masterpiece. Nothing can stop them. And yeah, this album is fucking awesome.
01. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
02. Furor Divinus
03. Messe Noire
04. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
05. Amen
06. The Satanist
07. Ben Sahar
08. In the Absence ov Light
09. O Father O Satan O Sun!

As much as I'd love to say that this is perfect, I can't; there are parts where, for my taste at least, the vocals are a little bit too loud and the guitars drown each other out... but that doesn't really do any harm at all. The songs run along like a swarm of obese wasps, crushing everything, regardless of the fact that the bass gets lost quite often during the faster parts. Thankfully, whenever they slow down, it bursts forth at the loudness of perfection.

Up to part with everything else, the drumming is frantic, precise and heavy as all hell with enough fills to ensure satisfaction. Every one of the guitar solos is epic and the majority of the riffs sound incredibly evil, almost unparalleledly so. As for the vocals, well... everyone knows Nergal is an amazing vocalist. I have to note that I couldn't help mishearing some of the lyrics in hilarious ways, but that's just something that happens with everything I listen.

I don't see the point in dragging this review on for longer than necessary, so I'll just settle and give this album 98/100. It's so close to perfection that I'm sure their next album will achieve that, whenever that will be; hopefully it will.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Korn - The Paradigm Shift (2013)

Korn has always been a great band, and it's hardly possible for anyone to doubt that. Well, unless they don't like them, but that type of people can be ignored like shredded tomatoes in a salad. And yeah, I'm a bit late with everything, including this. I assumed it hadn't even been released yet, but... well... turned out it was released almost one fourth of a year ago. Like, what!?

01. Prey for Me
02. Love & Meth
03. What We Do
04. Spike in My Veins
05. Mass Hysteria
06. Paranoid and Aroused
07. Never Never
08. Punishment Time
09. Lullaby for a Sadist
10. Victimized
11. It's All Wrong

But wait. What could they possibly have done after an album like "The Path of Totality", that lots of people hated and lots of people loved? I mean, obviously, I loved the shit out of it, and that's why this album feels a bit korny. I'm so clever and totally the first person to make that joke. Not. No, but really, they could've gone so many ways, and yet they went the way that seems like the least effort... which could be a good thing (and in fact may be for a lot of people), but I just don't get it; what was the point of that whole dubsteppy album if they just go back to straight-up nu metal? Well, a nuer strain of industrial metal.

Thankfully, there's pseudo-dubsteppy stuff on this, too, just not as much, which is why it all feels a lot more natural. Without that, this whole album would fall apart in an unpleasant way. I mean, let's face it. Nu metal has been exhausted to death, so I get that they want to try new things, which is pretty much the point (or at least apparently was at some point in time), but... I don't know. There's just something missing on this album. I can't really point out what, since it's not heaviness, clarity or precision, or anything like that. It's just... something.

Everything is great. There's not one second on this album that doesn't sound like Korn at their finest. I still can't help but feel like it could've been so much better, that I'll have to give it an 85/100.

PS: Oh, hey, I gave two albums 85/100 in a row. How's that for your daily share of 85s?

An Cafe - 非可逆 ZiprocK (2013)

I used to love this band so much, around 2006-2008 or so. But then, I couldn't listen to their stuff anymore because I found out that a girl I had a crush on was a lesbian. I was devastated into a shockwave of hating everything she liked, which wasn't easy because our tastes in music were really similar. My reaction may sound a bit homophobic, but it wasn't; I just realised that all my dreams for the future were shattered in the blink of an eye. Enough about that, though.

01. 重力スキャンダラス
02. 狼MAN ~Let’s make precious love~
03. ハチミツ+レモン=?
04. 鬱くしい人
05. 現代ソルジャーなう。
06. Oの先が言えない
07. 賞味期限2010.01.04
09. イナズマの旋律
10. Bee myself Bee yourself ~自分らしく君らしく生まれたストーリーは始まってんだ
11. キミノマチ ~五人合唱ver.~
12. らぶみー♡てんだー

The one problem I always had with An Cafe is that the vocalist sounds like he's trying to eat rubber ducks at the same time while singing. I mean, it was never an issue, considering everything else was great and even the vocals were amazing most of the time, but it was just a thing that kept everything from being perfect and crowning them as the undoubtable kings of pop rock.

And guess what? That's in the past. That means everything's awesome as fuck for what it is. Even the synths are practically all the time on every song and they're blended into the mix rather than popping up at weird times louder than the rest of everything, and it never sounds intrusive, which it has sometimes on some earlier albums... but they do get borderline annoying occasionally because of just how high-pitched they are, the second track being the perfect example.

The guitars sound crispy and thick at the right times, all the riffs are catchier than AIDS in an orgy of blood, there are plenty of cool solos and stuff as well. Although the bass gets lost between them, it still comes through enough to make sure it's never forgotten.

The drums... I couldn't say enough positive things. And yeah, sure, there's nothing mindblowing, but it's not like that's a bad thing, especially since the genre is what it is, but there are a lot of fun little things thrown around. Also, they sound really tight, which is always a plus.

So, what's my overall opinion on this album? I'd have to say... uh... 85/100. Some of the songs are absolute perfection, but then there are a few, like "現代ソルジャーなう。", which are just boring. Far from ruining anything, but still enough to drag the score down a little bit, although I feel like it's more to do with the order of the songs than the songs themselves; the first four tracks are the best, in my opinion, and that obviously affects the rest of the album.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Keoma - Otvot's Orbit (2012)

Yesterday evening, there was a festival thingy here in Roihuvuori, pretty much right outside my house, and suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a wave of epicly amazing music. At first I was like "woah what", and discovered that it was this band, Keoma. I'd never heard of them before, and had a massive urge to go there, but being the socially awkward person I am, I didn't, because there were a lot of people there. Like, a lot. So, I hated myself for that, and still do.

02. BKD
03. TWOL

Before anything else, I have to say that they reminded me of Dir en grey. Like, a lot. And if any other band comes close to being as epic as Dir en grey, it should be obvious that a swarm of megaboners builds up in my ears. So, now that that's off the way, I have to point out one little thing: even with a bunch of trees and stuff in the way, they sounded a shitload better and heavier live. This EP is mixed/mastered so loosely and quietly that everything sounds lacking, especially the guitars and bass. The drums sound extremely dry and snappy, and the vocals sound like they're shoved through a tin can.

All that together makes this mesmerising epicness lose over half of its strength. I can't even begin to comprehend what they were thinking, suppressing the shit out of a band that could easily crush mountains with their talent. Of course, I can't say it's shit, because it sounds fucking awesome either way. Still, it's almost like they got some iskelmä-people to mix/master it.

That said, the band itself... I'm trying to think of the proper words, but I really have no idea what to describe them as. Well, I do, but it'll involve men who have sex with men and a bunch of impossible pregnancies, just as always. it comes...

Imagine if the members of Dir en grey went in a sauna together with Abraxas Countdown. While there, they decided that only one of the two bands could leave, and came up with a contest. The ones to impregnate the others first would win and get their freedom. Thus an epic battle of misconceptions began, and in the end all of them were pregnant, because they couldn't compete with one another due to their epicness levels constantly rising; Thus a bunch of hairy, sweaty men emerged from the little wooden cottage and showed off their swollen enfetused bellies... and then they gave birth.

The children shared the massive testicles of their parents, but because the actual process of birthing happened on Finnish soil, the language barrier grew too large between them and half of their parents, so they were driven to exile. Still, their genes had twice as much epicness as either of their parentses (double plural, motherfuckers! XD), but on their way to the school of poslunction, they were kidnapped by Poets of the Fall, who saw that they had potential. This was an unfortunate turn of events in a number of ways, mostly since they were taught how to leave people gasping for air in an asphyxiative musical orgasm instead of forcefully shoving their balls down listeners' ears with a mystical aura of golden gases.

So, yes, this is a band that could be poslunctious, but are not because their stuff isn't produced in a way that would properly allow the members' inner poslunction to convey itself properly. Considering that, I'll have to give this 80/100, entirely because of things that are barely related to the music itself; if it was a little bit spacier and chunkier, I'd give it 90/100. If it was a little bit heavier on top of that, I'd give it 95/100. If it had just a little bit more epicness, I'd give it 99/100. How's that for me being a dick?

No, but seriously, I can't really state any flaws, since everything about this is perfect for what it is, and the production thing comes down to nothing more than preference. If I was an objective person, I'd give it 100/100, but I'm not objective, so... to make a compromise and not let my expectations get inthe way, 85/100.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Attila - About That Life (2013)

I'm not big on reviewing albums I don't like, but I'll make an exception for this, not because I hate it so much that I want the whole world to see what a dick I can be about my personal tastes. No, it's because it's actually not all that bad despite how much I hate to admit that. I mean, usually I don't care if I like something that everyone else hates, but since this is one of those bands that pretty much do suck, it's a bit of a shock.

01. Middle Fingers Up
02. Hellraiser
03. Rageaholics
04. Backtalk
05. Leave a Message...
06. About That Life
07. Thug Life
08. Break Shit
09. Gimmicks and Lie$
10. Callout
11. Unforgiveable
12. Shots for the Boys
13. Party with the Devil
14. The New Kings

The thing about Attila is that while they're obviously not the most technically proficient musicians out there, and the vocalist seems to lack the mental capability to do anything more than party, fuck and talk shit. Of course, Sturgeon's law applies to people too. Anyway, I've never liked Attila. I've never hated them, like a lot of people do, but I've just ignored them for the most part. They've done some good songs, but the vocals always drove me off and even worse, the lyrics were immature as all fuck. Has that changed? Well... a word, no. It seems that the band has evolved in the songwriting repertoire in heaps, or maybe they've just chosen to not restrict themselves. Either way, the guitar solos, while not really complex, are beautiful. Yes, I just said that. Take a moment if you want, but it's true, at least if you use the same definition of beautiful as I do. Anyway, Fronz still sounds stupid and the lyrics are as immature as ever, if not more. If there was an instrumental version of this album, then I'd actually enjoy it, or if the lyrics were better; I have no problem with the weird flat screams or the drunkard growls, but the rapping sucks. Not because of his voice or even the lyrics, mind you, but they don't fit where they are at all.

The drums are generally fun, although there are some parts where the snare sounds a little annoyingly thin and it seems like the drummer is trying too hard to play heavy shit. Yeah, it's heavy, alright, but it's kinda distracting when there's a happy snappy snare between the sexy chugs. Obviously, since this is another album produced by Joey Sturgis, the guitars and bass (the few times it can be heard) sound thick, chunky and hot, as do the drums. It's like the instruments are about to catch fire and fuck the band members hard in the ass until they're nothing but charred shreds on the ground.

But honestly, I just can't understand how it's possible to write lyrics as shitty as on this album. They're about the same shit that people say on Omegle when you tell them you're a guy and straight-edge combined with a thirteen-year-old who wants to sound edgy and someone from one of those reality shows on TV.

To be fair and not let the vocals ruin the rest of the album, I'll give this 60/100. An improvement over their earlier stuff, and if the lyrics weren't as stupid, I'd already give it 70/100.

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! - Pardon My French (2013)

Let's just pretend that this isn't the first review of 2013, okay? I mean, what's half a ye- what, it's been a whole year since the last review? Alright, I'd better explain myself, but I'll politely refrain from that for now. Now, on to review this album, but beware; lame puns, facepalm-inducing comparisons and chunky neologisms ensue.

01. Restart
02. Taking Chances
03. Bipolar Mind
04. Haters Gonna Hate
05. The Progression of Regression
06. Pardon My French
07. Between Your Lines
08. I Am Nothing Like You
09. Reasons to Turn Back
10. So Close Yet So Far
11. Miles and Decibels
12.  The Best is Yet to Come

As much as I'd love to say that this is a groundbreaking album, that'd be a lie of equal proportions as calling Emmure the most talented and interesting band in the world. In fact, there's a lot in common with this and Emmure. Don't make that into an insult at these guys, though, because I love Emmure. There's a perfeclty valid reason for that similarity, as the album is produced by Joey Sturgis, the same guy who's produced Emmure's latest two albums. Of course, that doesn't explain why the vocalist's growls sound almost identical to Frankie's, but that doesn't bother me because I like that type of scrotal bro-yell. The clean vocals, on the other hand, sound a little funny at times. Not that it'd be a flaw, but I can't help but smile and giggle a bit every time I hear the 'Sooo' in "Biploar Mind". I don't know why, really, I suppose it's because the vocalist never goes as high as many others, while still avoiding manly tones (excluding the aforementioned bro-yells, obviously; those are so masculine that they lower testicles deep into the earth everywhere they appear).

So, if you're one of those people who hate Emmure, don't think you'd hate this as well. About half of the album is really melodic, catchy and upbeat, which, quite ironically, is what I expected the whole thing to be; people often consider CNCC a pop punk band, so it was a surprise when the album took a turn for the heavier mere seconds into the first track. Yes, there are a lot of pop punk clichés being deployed in just about every song like mah treeguys were once upon a time in We-I can't seem to think of a fitting metaphor, but even so, there's not enough of the "pop" to justify that label, at least that's how I see (or hear) it. Anyway, there's enough to keep them from being just metalcore, which is cool.

So, if you want something to headbang to, but are worried about breaking your neck doing so, this album is tailor-made for you. That's probably the appeal I find in this, since it's a nice break from the ubiquitous chug-chug-chug-chug while still having enough of that to keep said chuggadunners interested. 

So, are you seeing a pattern yet?

The guitarists seem to be quite talented, but refrain from showing off, and the tones are always warm and soft, even during the chuggatory bits. That's another thing I love about this album. Too many bands go for a harsh tone to beheaven their breakdowns, while it actually does the exact opposite; besides, nobody wants to have their eardrums torn apart unless they have a deaf wish, so even if it did work, it wouldn't be pleasant. It's heavy by being muffled, thick and above all well-structured, not by forcefeeding listeners ridiculously slow derptonation out of the blue*.

*Not that I'd have anything against that, if I'm in the right mood.

The bass disappears into the mix a lot of the time, but it's still evident even then from a solid fuzzy mass under the guitars, and it's really smooth and chunky, just perfect. Of course, personally, I'd enjoy occasional slippery dicksandwiches, as I'm sure everyone expected me to say, but this isn't death metal, so it's a fat chance. Get it? Fat, because the bass... *awkward silence*, but seriously, it'd be nice if there were some clicky/twangy soloish bass fills. Never heard a metalcore band do those, and it's disappointing. Probably because the bassists aren't necessarily involved in the songwriting process as much, or it could be their understandable wanting for accessibility.

The drums are what one would expect, punky rhythms and typical metal fills with some happy bouncing from time to time, including dat horse beat. He's clearly an awesomely skilled drummer, and that's not really a surprise.

Overall, I love this album. I'd give it a much higher score if it had just a little bit of more variation, maybe one deathcoreish chug-go-round somewhere in there or a couple of guitar solos. So, while it doesn't get boring and I've listened it at least a dozen times already, but there just isn't all that much originality. I mean, if Emmure had kids with All Time Low, they'd probably throw in something unique because of their mixed genetic pool. This, on the other hand, is like if Emmure and All Time Low got drunk, travelled a couple of decades back in time and decided to adopt five babies from France and taught them all they know. So yes, it sounds really great and I can imagine this band getting very, very far (even farther than they've already gotten), but I don't hear that special spark that all the greatest bands have.

All that said, I'll give this 85/100.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Abominable Putridity - The Anomalies of Artificial Origin (2012)

Every fan of slam death metal loved Abominable Putridity's debut full-length. Will those people love their newer slab of brutality? Probably not.


01. Remnants of the Tortured
02. A Massacre in the North
03. Letting Them Fall...
04. A Burial for the Abandoned
05. Lack of Oxygen
06. Wormhole Inversion
07. The Anomalies of Artificial Origin
08. The Last Communion

When albums start with something that sounds like it could be from some kind of a monster movie, you know it'll be brutal. That's exactly how this is. It's brutal, heavy, and here's the shocker: technical. Well, okay, everyone listened this album already long ago. I'm just a bit late, okay? I didn't even realize this had actually been released until last week, but well. So, yeah, it's brutal, technical, epic. There's everything that was on their debut, but it's done in a whole another way, the way of man-eating beasts. What, that sounded weird? Okay, just do the best thing and listen the album, this review would be a complete failure if I just tried insisting on doing it.

I'll just say it gets 90/100 and that's it, if it was longer, it'd be something higher but since it's pretty short, well...

Dysphoria - To the Perfect Form of Modern Species (2012)

So, Dysphoria released a full-length album... which, well, is amazing.

01. To the Perfect Form of Modern Species
02. Aftereffect
03. War Precursor
04. Tentacles of the Control
05. The Fatal Instinct of Goran Zlatkovich

06. Ideological Prison
07. Stillbirth
08. Judge for Condemned
09. Genetic Origin of Sin
10. Such a Beautiful Failure

First of all, I want to say that this album is so impressive that I'm fairly certain that it'll be on many metalheads' "best of 2012" lists. That's how amazing it is. They really outdid their own earlier overwhelming brutality and technicality, and those of us who have been waiting for Viraemia to put out a full-length album, well, I'm pretty sure this will do until they hopefully one day will. Now, I'm obviously not saying that all this band and album is good for would be a Viraemia substitute; it's not like they'd be that similar, such as there being relatively many melodic guitar things on this album, etc. Almost every second of this album is so complex that it outwipes some of the famed tech death bands. For some, the ear-raping sweeps and pinch harmonics and stuff are probably irritating, but seriously, it's amazing how much of that can be squeezed into every single song, which would make it sound great even if that was the case. But that's not the case. It's awesome, great, epic, [insert a thousand more compliments here].

Now for the drums. Okay, everyone remembers the song "Caligula Bows Down" from their debut EP, right? Well, I might be wrong, but I don't think there's anything as fast on this album, which is a slight disappointment. Although it could just be that the drums aren't loud enough... and that's a serious flaw in my opinon. The drumming is amazingly precise, fast and complex, but it's hard to hear any of it because everything else is so much louder... but well, it's still great.

Sadly, it's impossible to hear bass for 99% of the time. When it can, though, it also seems cool.

Vocals range from high screams to low growls, although there isn't much of the latter, for the most part of the album there are high screams and mid-range yells that sound quite typically deathcoreish... all the überlow, beastly grunts from the debut are gone. Did they go through a change of vocalist? Because that's what it sounds like. I'm not complaining, really, just feeling slightly disappointed at that.

Another disappointment is the lack of even one 100% straight-down brutal track that would mow the lawn like an enormous ancient monster from the depths of the forgotten caves. I mean, the aforementioned track from their debut was so, so brutal that it's literally the most brutal deathcore song ever, but there's not even a trace of such on this album. Oh well, I guess it's alright since this album gets...

...99.9/100, even with these "flaws", because they're not really flaws, just a stylistic change. So, if the drums had been a tad louder, there would have been a few megalow growls and a crushing mammoth-eating track, this would get that one 0.1 of perfection.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Finding good music through dreams? Fuck yeah. + 30 000 views of this blog

Last night, I had a dream where I was listening to a song, an awesome song, a song I had never heard before by a band I had never heard of before. Well, this is that song:

Pretty awesome. I had had dreams of listening music before, but I never succeeded at finding them before (at least that I can remember of).

...and WTF 30 000 views, in this blog!?!?! That's like... spiderman having sex with batman and filming it as a birthday present to the Joker and dr. Octopus, who just married each other. It's really unexpected and awesome. Maybe it's not useless to review albums after all... but you know, one thing that's weird: I stopped getting emails from bands that asked me to review/promote their stuff a while ago. Maybe it's because I didn't post anything of them, but... it's not their fault, or my fault, really, it's just that I have certain... uh, standards? Like, I personally didn't like them. And I won't start writing negative reviews, unless it's a band I used to like and they somehow failed at a new album, etc. Of course, I could have posted about them in a strictly promotional post, but that just wouldn't feel right.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Forgotten Archetype - The Diaries of Lord Xenu (2008)

Why had I never heard of this band before?

01. Introduction: Chode in A Major - Prestissimo
02. Get This Dance
03. A Christmas Story
04. Like Times Two
05. Cheerio
06. Back Of The Club
07. 12th Root of 2
08. An Open End
09. Keep the Sun Away

 There are so many genres, it's like, well, awesome. It could be just put together as "synthcore", but it's not exactly like that since... well, it's... yeah, uh. Words can't be used to describe a lot of what this is. But well, the guitars are always good, drums (which seem to be programmed but I'm not sure) are cool, and well, I can't hear bass, but synths and the elctronic stuff is cool as well. Nothing is perfect, but that doesn't really matter. The vocals, though, are a bit annoying at a few parts, although not 99% of the time. I mean, it's like, the growls... they're not growls, they're half-growls, half-yells, which reminds me of a redneck wearing a Pantera shirt. That kinda vocals. Somewhat similar to King Stench, except that they're more on the retard-yell side, which, well, I know is a grindcore thing... but I still can't shake off the impression of a redneck in a Pantera shirt every time I hear vocals like that. There are some actual growls as well, but not too often. Oh, and autotuned clean vocals, rapping, screaming, and every other kind of imaginable type of vocals. I'm jealous. Anyway, overall, the whole album is so varied, I think it'd be fair to say it's awesome even just because of that, even if it has its flaws.

So, 85/100. Could be better, but it doesn't matter. Reminds me of what would be the result of I Set My Friends On Fire, Attack Attack!, iwrestledabearonce and Cannibal Corpse hiking and camping in a forest full of trve kvlt black metal people who try to ambush them from the bushes, and sometimes succeed and that's when there are some flaws, because they're startled by the amount of spikes and leather pants the corpse paint-dudes have. Think whatever you want of that, but I think it's awesome.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Electro Quarterstaff - Aykroyd (2011)

What? I hadn't reviewed this before? That's... weird. But not as weird as the album art and the song titles, which are just made of weirdness.

01. The Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon
02. McNutty
03. Waltz of the Swedish Meatballs
04. Unholy Gravy
05. Descent by Annihilation Operator
06. The Blacksmith
07. Stroganoff
08. Japanese Upside Down Cake

This is one of the best albums of 2011, that's a fact. [Read the last sentence aloud impersonating George W. Bush] It has almost everything that makes prog metal one of the best genres if not the best; the only thing lacking are vocals. Obviously, that's not a flaw or anything like that, instrumental stuff is just as awesome as stuff with vocals. In all honesty, I couldn't imagine this stuff with vocals, so it's great that it's instrumental. Anyway... there are so many things on this album going on, wankety wankety wank, sweepety sweepety sweep, chuggety chuggety chug, twirly twirly treep and so on. Everything is always perfectly clear, including the bass, and the mixing is perfect, there's no way it could sound better produced. It's heavy as an enormous statue of Buddha made from lead, almost as complex as Stephen Hawking's brain, more details in the songs than in M.C. Escher's paintings, and it's overall pure epicness. The third track in particular is amazing in my opinion, it just has that vibe of poslunction, as do the others as well, but it just stands out, even though I'm not exactly sure why. The drums are damn fillerious, leaving no spaces between anything, there's pretty much always something going on, be it a crash cymbal or blasting faster than the speed of light, epic snare rolls and banging the toms like a deranged gorilla. The guitars and bass are always going all over the place, nice melodic riffs, etc. and seriously, something epic fills in the non-existant gaps, and that's poslunction.

Time to give the score that there can't be anything higher from, the poslunctious 100/100.

Friday, July 13, 2012

MAXD - 【悪魔の幻覚剤】天国と強姦女神の愛器〜桜は出血中眼 (2012)

My reaction to this album in a nutshell: \(ᴼᴗᴼ)/ ---> \m/(ò_ó)\m/ ---> \(o.O)\ ---> \(ᴼᴗᴼ)/ ---> ,(O_____O),

01. 臓痙攣生じる細胞の毒:伝染性核壊死密集の起源、注射する異常物質中醜い放浪者の静脈
02. Lèvres de Monde, Dépouilles et Sperme ~ Déchaîner le Organe Inversé
03. ✩【裸の少女】痴漢の天国と強姦女神の愛器〜食うその陰門形運命果物
04. Dålig Narkotika och Oren Samlag, När Plågorna blir Älskliga Begären
05. 狂しい覚醒者の没落に超次元深潭「悪魔の幻覚剤」強姦したけど幸せで麻薬の影響
06. 脊切り君死迄愛するで術無∴今死ぬ君〜肉世界残す、と跳ぶへきみの新生存に片輪い脳の悲鳴居る廊下
07. 【輪入道、加虐者から地獄】人食い子宮形蛾以内塔の虚無主義の収穫権その墓地殻
08. Svälja den vätska av den Gravväxt ~ Våldtäkt och Missfall om en Snedtripp
09. 死体フェラ 「自殺で性交〜天使女いった」叫ば▲ちゃん、桜は出血中眼
10. 盲幽霊の極端潮吹き儀式に墓の皮膚を剥離した勝利者〜歯娼婦の性的変容と悪夢製抽象的生物
11. 最後の恍惚前常憂鬱で素敵人肉彫刻園、唯一無二の真な帝神【稲妻胎児の創造神話】
12. Köttslig Människaförorening Äten i en Blodig Helgedom

Well, I'm not sure what to say. This is more black metal/grindcore/whatever, so it's like their older stuff, which is nice. The guitars sound weird, blurry and thick, sometimes there's wanky stuff, sometimes chuggery, etc. and a few almost unnoticeably short solos. The drums sound disturbingly happy for almost the whole album, which is, well, a bit disturbing. Bass... uh, what bass? Yeah, this is one of those times when... um, it's heard once or twice. In the second track, I think at a few parts there's something not as distorted besides the guitars, which I assume is bass, and also in the second last track, where it can be heard for almost the whole song, which is nice. I can't say much about vocals, since all I can hear is the occasional almost ear-raping scream and at a few parts clean(?) vocals can be heard, but besides that it's mostly just something that I can't be sure is growling or the mysteriously disappearing bass. Probably both, but it's a bit messy. Or maybe I'm just once again being a quality fag. Oh, and the intro of the tenth track is just fucking creepy.

So, to give this a fair rating, I'd have to say... 85/100. If only the lower stuff was easier to hear... like the bass and vocals, and if the drums weren't so happy, it'd get a lot more. I'm probably gonna be listening this a lot, but those things aren't gonna stop bothering.

And since it's legally free to download, I'll link it here:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell (1994)

Everyone loves Pink Floyd, but everyone hates this album. Why?


01. Cluster One
02. What Do You Want from Me
03. Poles Apart
04. Marooned
05. A Great Day for Freedom
06. Wearing the Inside Out
07. Take it Back
08. Coming Back to Life
09. Keep Talking
10. Lost for Words
11. High Hopes

This is Pink Floyd's best album, not because it's the last, but because it's the best, okay? Now, I really don't know why everyone seems to hate it, since to my ears, it's clearly the most atmospheric-sounding one; in the way I like, at least. Some of the songs are clearly highlits (What Do You Want from Me, Wearing the Inside Out, Keep Talking) but the others are also awesome. I mean, maybe it's just me being a qualityfag, but the production/mixing seems a lot clearer/softer while being more bassy and "washed" or whatever the correct word is. That's probably the main reason people don't like it, but it's what makes it perfect in my opinion. If it had the same kind of sparkly dryness that most of the other albums have (yeah, I call it "sparkly dryness". Problem? No but seriously, I don't know what else to call it... "crackly sparkliness"? That'd sound like some drug thing...), it'd be a bit hard to decide which is better, but I'd still think it'd be this one.

Now to dissect why I think this is so perfect and underrated, other than just the way it's produced/mixed. The guitar solos are absolutely amazing, as they are on all other albums, but here's the thing: the effects that are used are the kind that I myself like. I mean, the talk box stuff in "Keep Talking" is cool, because talk box stuff is always cool. Still waiting for a black metal band that had guitar solos with a talk box. Might have to wait a long time... The keyboards are a lot smoother-sounding, which also is a plus. Also, this album flows a lot better, all the tracks just go by and it's one landscape of perfection. I mean, it might be a bit weird, but the whole album makes me imagine something like being in a mountain range filled with forest, lots of lakes and rivers, and when the first song begins, it's the sunrise, and when the album ends in the bell sound, it's like sunset and arriving to whatever the destination of the journey through the forest was. The vocals are always great all the time, especially Wright's on "Wearing the Inside Out". He definitely should've sang more. R.I.P. The bass riffs/melodies are also great, even if it could be a bit louder. Sometimes it's hard to hear, but not because of the guitars, but the keyboards, which is quite unusual and that's why it isn't as annoying as it would be if it was the guitars that caused it. The drums are just as great as on other albums, so I don't know how anyone could complain about that. Although it is true at least partially that on "The Final Cut" for example, there are more fills and stuff like that (or it might just be easier to hear them, because the drums are louder on it...) but that doesn't matter. I mean, the whole album is a perfect whole, even if not all the individual pieces aren't when taken apart.

So, it shouldn't be a surprise that I'll give this 99/100. You know, the only flaws are that it was their last, and as I said before, the bass is a bit hard to hear from time to time, and I have to admit that it's a bit too continuous if really thinking in a critical way. So, no flaws but things that could be more to my liking, but they're not and I'm not complaining.

Black Math Horseman - Wyllt (2009)

I've listened this album like 500 times, but I still haven't reviewed it, during all this time. Why? Because I... um, I don't really know. I somehow didn't think about reviewing it, although it's partially because, you know, it's gonna be something like "OMFGAWZUM!1!!", but well.

01. Tyrant
02. Deerslayer
03. A Barren Cause
04. Origin of Savagery
05. Torment of the Metals
06. Bird of All Faiths and None/ Bell From Madrone

Like I said before, this review is gonna be something along the lines of "OMFGAWZUM!!!!1111!!!11", and it's for a good reason. This whole album is perfect, it's just... so beautiful and dark. There are some very memorable riffs, it's all greatly melodic and feels like a... I don't know. There aren't any metaphors that would be suitable for what it's like. One amazing thing about this is that the bass is just perfectly hearable, it's never buried under the guitars too much, not even in the loudest parts. The drumming is nice and heavy, and everything is mixed perfectly; everything is clear and facemelting, but obviously not in the "OMFG BR00TAL" way, more in a "woah, this is so smooth I'm gonna slide into my grave and drown" way; it's heavy and dark while being elegant and atmospheric. I'd like to make some comparisons, but it's pretty hard to do that in a way that'd be at all justifying or go anywhere near the epicness that this is... but imagine a combination of Dolorian, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Augury, Acid Bath, and Colosseum. Okay, I know, I know, none of those bands resemble this in any way, but that's the only comparison I can make so don't complain; somehow the drumming and bass remind me of Acid Bath and Augury, guitars of Tangled Thoughts of Leaving and Dolorian, and atmosphericness of Colosseum... or the other way around. Oh, and the vocals? Yeah, the vocals... oh all Gods that anyone believes in. So epic that it's almost unbelievable! You know what I'm gonna say, right? Poslunction. This album is an embodiment of it, just as much as Dir en grey's "Dum Spiro Spero". That's how epic it is. So if you don't know this band, you have to listen to this album right now and you won't regret.

The score I'm giving this album, unsurprisingly, is 99.9/100. Not 100/100 because there'd be room for more. :P If the album was twice as long as it is, and keeping as epic as it is, I'd give it 100/100, but you know... it's not, so I'm gonna have to leave it without that one perfectitizing 0.1.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Haemic - Fields of Sanguine (2012)

Hell yeah, a full album by Haemic! Finally.

01. Eyes of Evil
02. Awaken the Colossus
03. Cold Within
04. Exhaust
05. Hellgate
06. A Machine Self Aware
07. Arch Nemesis
08. Stellar Meltdown
09. Graveyard
10. Break Away
11. Intro (demo)
12. Eyes of Evil (instrumental)
13. Cold Within (instrumental)
14. Exhaust (instrumental)
15. Hellgate (instrumental)
16. A Machine Self Aware (instrumental)

First, I'm gonna say that I had listened the songs that were on Youtube like 100 times. Well, maybe not 100, but you know what I mean. And there had been the announcement and supposed release dates changing for a full length album for a while, and I obviously wasn't the only one who was disappointed when it seemingly was never gonna be released. But then it did, and at least I'm more than satisfied, and if other people aren't, I don't know, then they aren't, I guess. But anyway, now to review this epicness.

The intro is pretty nice and builds the atmosphere for what's coming, even though it's quite happy; kinda reminds me of Cradle of Filth, in a good way. Guitars are extremely melodic but at times chuggy. Some of those kinds of riffs reminds me of Decapitated, being 'crippled' in a way, which is great. What, you don't understand what I mean by "crippled" in this context? It's when a typical palm muted chug chug riff and a typical 'djenty' riff are combined and the result is what sounds like a cube-shaped boulder rolling down a hill. Wait, that made no sense? Ok, you probably have no fucking idea what I meant by that, so I'll just say: it particularly reminds me of Decapitated's newest album. But yeah, most of the time there are catchy tremolo picked melodies backed with strings and Satan knows what else. I mean, the synth(?) that is in more than one song sounds really creepy, it reminds me of children's TV shows' music. And it manages to sound good. More about the guitars: there are some nice quasi-solos, short wankings at times, especially in the fourth track, which is one of the best ones on the whole album if you ask me. The composition reminds me of some classical composers, Bach comes to mind first, and that's fucking awesome. However, there are chuggy, slightly deathcoreish parts and some Meshuggah-like djentery. Oh, and I hear a weird glitchy thing at one part, which reminds me of Igorrr or Whourkr, and that just manages to make it even better! It's like a medley of epicness, that one track, in nearly all definitions of that term.

The strings and piano, synths, etc. are epic and far from being overdone or taking the spotlight from guitars... but drums, that's another story. It's a really rare phenomenon for it to happen, but here is a prime example of it. You can hear guitars and sometimes even bass better than drums. Not always, of course, but it's on more than one song. Especially in "A Machine Self Aware", where they basically drown under the solid mass of everything else. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining; it's a nice change from all the drum-drowned blasting that's almost every symphonic black metal band. Well, you know, halfway through the song, that scenario is slapped right in your face, but that's okay; it sounds like it's explictly meant as that intentionally instead of just happening naturally. I'm pretty sure the drums are programmed, but I'm not 100% sure. There are a few parts on the album that I could swear are too damn epicualitious to be that, but maybe it's just a sign of great programming skills.

For the most part, vocals are also great; however, while usually I'm obsessing over clean vocals, I'm not a fan of how they're done here. There are the same kind of cleans that Dimmu Borgir have in some songs (low mumbling-like) and then some... something that sounds like someone with a sore throat trying to sing like Marilyn Manson. I like Marilyn Manson, and I like vocals that sound like someone with a sore throat, but a combination... no thanks. But it's a good thing there's only very few bits with clean singing, and is dominated by the nice raspy screams.

One thing I have to baffle about is the experimental weirdness that is kind of reminiscent of Le Grand Guignol and Unexpect, but never taken to that level of mindfuck, even if there are a few close calls. That's just awesome, and it makes me wonder... is it possible to classify this as "symphonic black metal", or should it be labeled "avant-garde black metal"? It's right at the border. Exactly at the line, that is just... impossible to define which side it's on. I mean, when I reviewed Nailed God's "Glorification of the Unborn" before starting this blog over, I had to make elaborate images describing how it's on the onset of crossing the line to be melodic death metal instead of black metal, and concluded that it'd be best described as "blackened melodic blackened death metal" or something ridiculous like that. Now it's the same case but with different genres. And why do I care about this? I don't, it's a joke. I just have to obsess over stuff like this to annoy the trve kvlt metalheads who can't understand sarcasm. Anyway, yeah, it's difficult to define, which is good. It's bound to rise some eyebrows when 100% symphonic black metal people listen it, and these guys know how to mindfuck those kinds of people, because they manage to mindfuck me. And I have a pretty open mind when it comes to music. So, yes, this is one of those bands that kick ass in their wide variety of apparent experimentation.

Now, what did I not mention about this? I honestly am starting to feel that I forgot something... some important aspect was left without the praise it'd deserve. Oh well. You've had this coming, 97/100. Room for improvement, but it's very darn close to being perfect. And keep in mind that this is a debut... now think about what these guys are bound to accomplish in the future. Shivers in the spine, anyone?

And since it's legally on Bandcamp where you can download it for free (or buy it), I'll link it here:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dir en grey - Uroboros [Remastered & Expanded] (2012)

Poslunction, then some more poslunction, and to finish it off, just a bit of even more poslunction.

01. Sa Bir
02. Vinushka
03. Red Soil
04. 慟哭と去りぬ
05. 蜷局
06. Glass Skin
07. Stuck Man
08. 冷血なりせば
09. 我、闇とて・・・
10. Hydra 666
11. Bugaboo Respira
12. Bugaboo
13. 凱歌、沈黙が眠る頃
14. Dozing Green
15. Inconvenient Ideal

Well, this is another album by another band that can be described as "poslucntious". I mean, when Dir en grey first released "Uroboros" in 2008, I couldn't believe my ears when I heard it. It was just perfect in every way. Then they released "Dum Spiro Spero" last year, and my ears were already at their limit of going insane from pure epicness. Now they released a remastered version of "Uroboros". My ears are... they're experiencing poslunction. You know, it's not just music anymore, it's poslunction in a musical form, the same way Lykathea Aflame's "Elvenefris", but of course sounds very different (although there are some similarities as well). Very few bands manage to channel poslunction, but this is a prime example of that. If anyone wants to know what "poslunction" as a word means, listen this album and you'll know. Seriously, I'm typing so much about a random word, but fuck. I can't do anything else, this can't be described in words that are understandable by humans. I have no goddamn idea about what the hell poslunction means, and neither do you, but since it's the pure form of epicness, that means that it'd be too much for us to understands anyway. We'd just go insane if we knew it...

So, that means... this album is the best. This album is poslunction. So, I've now just reviewed two albums in row that get the same unbelievably high rating: 100/100.

Lykathea Aflame - Elvenefris (2000)

I realized I hadn't reviewed this yet (I had before, but not after the deleting of old posts)... so, now I'm gonna review it and annoy you some more with 99.9/100 reviews.

 MYSPACE (fan page)

01. Land Where Sympathy is Air
02. To Become Shelter and Salvation
03. Bringer of Elvenefris Flame
04. Flowering Entities
05. To Give
06. On the Way Home
07. Shine of Consolation
08. Sadness and Strength
09. A Step Closer
10. An Old Man and a Child
11. Walking in the Garden of Ma'at

"Posluntion" is the only word that can be rightfully used to describe stuff like this. It's just so epic, that it's beyond epicness! There's loads of stuff to compare this to, but nothing comes close to being as poslunctious. Every slightest detail on this album is perfect... almost. Oh, wait. Did I say almost? I meant everything. 100/100.

Nebukadnezar - Dawn Pervades the Twilight (2009)

I'm so depressed I hadn't heard of this band before... but I'm so glad that now I finally did!


01. Shiva's Orison
02. Philosophia Dualis
03. Seal of Blood
04. Horncrown
05. Nada Kamra
06. Negoliate the Gate of Ishtar
07. Nine Concentric Circles
08. Dark Ages (bonus track)

This band is epic as hell, and the comparison that "Behemoth had kids with Nile" would be perfectly accurate! Although they're not exactly original-sounding, or really unique in any way, when compared to all the death metal bands that have influences from oriental music, but that's not a bad thing. You know, combining folk/classical/etc and death metal is one of the best things bands can do, at least in my opinion. So these guys are obviously really great! I really love the guitar tone, it's really thick but sharp; I can't exactly put my ear on what differentiates it from the typical death metal sound, but something for sure does. As usual, the bass gets buried from time to time, but when that doesn't happen, it sounds cool as well.

I'll give this EP a 87/100, mainly for the fact that it lacks originality; Nile, Lykathea Aflame and Calm Hatchery are very similar to this, but if those bands wouldn't exist, then this would get 97/100.