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MPF 02-04-2014 12:15 PM

MPF's 2014 Music In Review
Hey guys

I figured I would try to do what I tried to do last year. Review music all year round rather than wait till the end of the year. I am already up to 8Gbs of music for 2014 already and i am feeling up to reviewing these albums as i get them.

Keep in mind, I get promos from bands, I am fortuneate for that, so that said, not all albums are available as i review them, if they are not out yet for the general public wait to get them, pre-order them. I don't advocate illegally downloading, there are so many other ways to hear the albums instead of stealing.

The reviews will be much like previous years. Reviews out of 10 and reviewed as their own merit. These reviews and opinions are mine and mine alone, feel free to agree or disagree.

The first several are based in absolutely no particular order as I have a fuck ton of albums this year already, once I get caught up, then they will be based on when I get them.

So here we go...

1.) Structural Disorder- The Edge Of Sanity

This is definitely an album for fans of Haken. It's a bit Darker, yet even lighter than Haken, without so many quirky moments, but filled with folk instruments and accordion in several moments. There is some shorter songs, a couple interludes, and a couple epics including the title track. Again if you love the Prog band, Haken, these guys will absolutely be up your alley, they are phenomenal and barely anyone knows of them...yet


2.) Woods Of Desolation- As The Stars

This is is how Atmospheric Black Metal should be made. Dark, Eerie, almost scary, but hauntingly uplifting at the same time. The music is melodic in it's evilness The production is very Black Metalish, but not unbearable like most Black Metal. I am in love with this album and I think it could be considered a Blackgaze classic in the years to come. It's done right in every aspect. For Blackgaze fans everywhere, if you don't know of Woods Of Desolation, you are missing out on the best band in the genre as Alcest is pure Post Rock/Shoegaze now.


3.) Adrenaline Mob- Men Of Honor

I am so damn torn on this band. I hated the first EP, but I liked Omerta to an extent, Coverta was awesome, but this....this is Grade A 'Merica Disturbed/Five Finger Donkey Punch Hard Rock/Metal. The lyrics, which i do my best to pay the least amount of time on, make the music unbearable to me. Russell Allen why have you forsaken me? This album is just Tough Guy Rock and I can't stand it, some can, I can't. It makes me sad because I love Russell Allen, then this makes me realize there has been 4 Adrenaline Mob releases since a Symphony X album, let that sink in for a minute...


4.) Seamless- Reflective

Spacey Djent. After The Burial meets Periphery's first album. The clean vocals are the very whiny to my ears. If you hate Spencer from Periphery's vocals (which I happen to love) you will despise the cleans hears. The growls here are definitely good and it;'s too bad they aren't the only vocals. The music is nothing special if you know your Djent music. More of the same of a genre that will be gone away within the next year or two.


5.) Chrome Division- Infernal Rock Eternal

A Supergroup of Black Metal musicians doing sleazy Hard Rock. it is actually done right. It doesn't feel contrived, all natural, just guys in a tr00 genre breaking away and having fun. Pick this one up for a fun album of sleazy and Death inspired Hard Rock, it's done right, and rightfully so.


6.) Red Dragon Cartel- S/T

Jake E. Lee is back in full force with his new band. The music is pure Jake E. Lee, the only problem here is the vocals are bit overbearing at times, but it's pure 80's Hard Rock, a little Rob Zombie-ish Hard Rock at times, and Jake's personal spin on Hard Rock. While not a perfect album by any means, it is a fun listen for what it's worth.


7.) Hail Spirit Noir- Oi Magoi

Avant Garde Black Metal. It's messed up music. Psychedelic, Black metal, overall.....what is this? Metal. Some of it is perfect, some is not quite there, but they have been doing this for so long, they get away with it. If you need to experiment, check this one out.


gmatts 02-09-2014 10:44 AM

You have convinced me to actually go out and purchase music at full price for the first time in a long time based on your review of Woods of Desolation

slapguitarer 02-09-2014 10:52 AM

[QUOTE=gmatts;558240]You have convinced me to actually go out and purchase music at full price for the first time in a long time based on your review of Woods of Desolation[/QUOTE]

Hopefully you mean going out to a record store and buying it, or at least getting it from the official Woods of Desolation bandcamp, because if you got it from iTunes, those mp3s were fraudulently put up there and iTunes still hasn't removed it, so you'd be giving your iTunes $$$ to a thief.

gmatts 02-09-2014 11:16 AM

Well, in my opinion if you gave anything to Apple, you would be giving it to a thief. Not that it matters, but I did go to their website and do the bandcamp download.

slapguitarer 02-09-2014 12:03 PM

[QUOTE=gmatts;558244]Well, in my opinion if you gave anything to Apple, you would be giving it to a thief. Not that it matters, but I did go to their website and do the bandcamp download.[/QUOTE]


MPF 02-09-2014 12:33 PM

I will be adding more to this soon, probably tonight. It's been a long week of recovery.

MPF 02-09-2014 06:01 PM

8.) Anomalie- Between The Light

We got some more Blackgaze here. There is some hints of Prog at times on here, but otherwise it contains all the Blackgaze/Atmospheric Black Metal elements that comes with the territory. The songs are quite short for the genre, the longest coming in at under eight and a half minutes. Its really cool melodic stuff. The production needs some work, but considering it is Black Metal, its polished as hell. A really cool listen.


9.) Within Temptation- Hydra

I will never understand why WT thought it was a good idea to work with Xzibit, but they did on one track. It's actually one of the better songs on the album. I haven't really been up to snuff on Within Temptation over the years, but I really do like this album. Really cool Female Fronted Symphonic Hard Rock. I'd love to see them live sometime. I know many will say their back catalog is much better, but if you've never gotten into the band before, this is an excellent starter album.


10.) Behemoth- The Satanist

While I still feel that Woods Of Desolation but out the Black Metal Album Of The Year, this is definitely the silver Metal. This is honestly the first Behemoth album that I can listen to straight through and not get bored. The Death Metal elements are pushed back to make room for the Raw Black Metal that made up their earlier sound. The album is still damn brutal as well. A great combination of songwriting and musicianship. I really think Nergal kicking cancer's ass has really light a fire under his own ass to write arguably the best Behemoth album to date.


11.) Persuader- The Fiction Maze

The best way i can describe these guys is Dream Theater doing Power Metal and Hansi from Blind Guardian kicked out James LaBrie. This is fantastic stuff, especially as a side project for Sonata Arctica (Who really need to impress me with their next album for me to be a fan again). This is absolutely stellar Power Metal with hints of Prog that just kicks ass from starts to finish. If you are a Dream theater, Blind Guardian, or Sonata Arctica fan, you NEED to check this out.


12.) Caliban- Ghost Empire

Germany's other great Metalcore band (along with the far superior Heaven Shall Burn). Caliban loves to focus on the more simplistic approach to Metalcore, but adding the right amount of orchestration and musicianship to make it stand out from other Metalcore bands. While not a perfect album, it does drag on a bit, in small doses it kicks your ass, and a good job of it, it does.


13.) Bong Breaker- Mountain

Just like the name suggest, this is Stoner Metal, although this is more in the Doom side of Stoner Metal. These guys are obviously very huge fans of Sleep and weed and both inspirations come through heavily on this album. Its definitely cool stuff if you are into the genre.


14.) Descend- Wither

Very Melodic and Atmospheric Death Metal. These guys don't focus on writing the most brutal riffs, but rather writing Death Metal soundscapes and songwriting, and to me that is always more appealing. That's not to say there isn't brutality on this album, but its just more in the background. Definitely be on the lookout for these guys, they could very well explode as one of the top Death metal bands this year.


15.) Lvcifyre- Svn Eater

This year's Portal. Absolutely brutal Death Metal mixed with Black Metal. This is one of the most overall pieces of brutality I've heard in quite some time. From start to finish it will kick your ass and take you to hell and leave you there. Absolutely killer brutal stuff.


16.) Exmortus- Slaves To The Sword

Death Metal, Thrash Metal, some Manowarish lyrics and simply badass music makes up Exmortus. Almost as if Revocation just stuck to Thrash and Death Metal instead of venturing off to far off lands. If you are not familiar with these guys, you should be. This kind of talent displayed here deserves some recognition.


17.) Cynic- Kindly Bent To Free Us

This is the album that will throw off more Cynic fans than possibly any other in their career. It is a very different vibe than they have ever had before. It's almost more Hard Rock in style than anything they've done before. The Death Metal elements are completely gone, and more of the Prog Rock and hard Rock remains, so a lot of hardcore fans could consider this album their Opeth's Heritage. It will definitely make you absolutely love it, or hate it. This is the kind of album that is polarizing like that, there is no inbetween. I happen to love it and feel they are on the right track. Why? because if they went back to tread water they already have done before, it wouldn't be real, and this is a real album....real damn good.


18.) Indian- From All Purity

Unless Triptykon and Sleep (if they put out an album this year) knock it out of the way, this is the Doom Metal Album of the Year. It's a lot noisier than their last album, Guiltless, but the Doom is far more heavier and brooding. The songwriting and musicianship from these guys is top notch for the genre. Indian is so damn underrated and they deserve to be regarded as one of the best. if you want some of the best Doom you'll ever hear, check out Indian, and more specifically, this album.


19.) Iskald- Nedom Og Nord

Very fine Melodic Black Metal from Norway. Not every band that plays Black Metal from Norway has to sound like Mayhem and Darkthrone. These guys, like I love in music, focus on writing fantastic, flowing, intriguing Black Metal. Not Atmospheric like it could be mistaken for. This is Black Metal with Melody, and done so very well. The album never gets boring and keeps up the pace with great dynamics, musicianship and songwriting. Definitely check this one out if the other forms of Black Metal are getting to be too much for you.


20.) Lorelei- Lore Of Lies

Symphonic Deathcore.......what? Yeah it sounds just like what I said. Deathcore with a symphonic edge. It actually makes Deathcore tolerable to hear some dynamics and symphonic behind the chugging. It doesn't feel like an album I would enjoy all the time, but if it pops up for a song or two on Random, I can dig it. If you wanna venture down this road, check these guys out. I can't imagine anyone else doing Symphonic Deathcore better...mainly because I can't imagine Deathcore with a symphonic edge to be any good besides this.


kalfitegrdan 02-09-2014 09:53 PM

I haven't listened to Lorelei, but if you can't imagine good symphonic deathcore, then you haven't heard [URL="http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iAJyrBb7LFY"]Make Them Suffer[/URL]. One of the best deathcore bands by far.

MPF 02-21-2014 05:06 PM

Time for round 3...

21.) Dead By April- Let the World Know

I figure I should Let The World Know (yes pun intended) that Raunchy really got screwed over. there are so many bands in the last couple years or so who have taken what Raunchy was known for (Synth driven, Modern Melodic Death Metal) and have really capitalized on it. And in Europe, Dead By April is a shining example of that. It's really hard to hear this type of music and not think that Raunchy could and would do so much better at it. All of that said, Dead By April is a very Poppy Modern Metal band and they are not afraid to show it. it's good fun stuff, but not very original especially if you grew up in the early to mid 2000s Metal scene and enjoyed Raunchy like I do.


22.) Gridlink- Longhena

Over the top Technical Grindcore. It's almost like Progressive Grindcore if you can imagine such a thing. This band and Wormrot are the two bands I like to showcase to people to show that Grindcore is more than just what some consider noise. There is actually structure, melodicness and beauty behind what is being performed here, and you can definitely hear it in the Instrumental version of this album. This is absolutely killer stuff and it is such a shame that this is their last album. But that said, this is a hell of a swansong.


23.) The Kennedy Veil- Trinity Of Falsehood

Another very technical Death Metal, but I do say that this band steers clear of the typical Tech Death that's out there. it's not just about being as brutal as possible (spoiler alert, it's still brutal), but it showcases what all the musicians of the band are capable of and very reminiscent of the first album from The Faceless, so if you dig that, you'll dig this a lot.


24.) Periphery- Clear

Again proving on this 29 minute experiment (I will be gracious to the band and not call this an EP or mini-album, it's an experiment), that Periphery, while being the forefront band of "Djent", that they actually killed off the genre of Djent with their last album Periphery II. This is a prog album in every since of the word. It goes from what some call the stereotypical djent sound (which again the last album proves is a Misha thing) to Pop Rock to Black Metal. Overall it is a Prog album, not Djent. every song on here really does showcase what every member of the band is capable of since each member of the band wrote a song. This is only going to lead to bigger and better things with their next album. This is how Modern Prog Metal should be showcased and damn it is done right.


25.) Vanishing Point- Distant Is the Sun

How in the Hell have I never given Vanishing Point a chance before? This is exactly what I love about Prog Metal in one album. it's Melodic, technical, well written, catchy, and overall just a fantastic music listening experience. The best comparison I can give this band is to Pagan's Mind (who are my favorite Progressive Power Metal band). Vanishing Point have waited 7 years since their last album, but I gotta say, they didn't lose a thing, this is Prog Perfection!


26.) Primal Fear- Delivering The Black

Ah yes, the Judas Priest of Power Metal. Their last album didn't actually do too much for me, but this time around it feels like they got it right, while I can see why some consider this album disappointing, Primal Fear does what they are best at, rocking out, and honestly that's all i ask of a band like this. It's just a fun Power Metal experience.


27.) Mendel- Shaking Hands With The Devil/Subliminal Colors (Double Album)

This is a solo project of the guitarist of Aborted and System Divide. It is pure instrumental Progressive Metal with a symphonic edge to it. This is best showcased on the final 25 minute track, Absolution. The entire album is so very damn cool. You can tell that a Death Metal guitarist really wanted to let his Prog side out and it is done right here. Yes it can get a bit samey after a while since there is no vocals, but if you appreciate damn good Instrumental music like I do, this will be right up your alley. By the way for the next 5 days this album is available for free via bandcamp, so jump on this album while you can, or donate to a worthy cause.


28.) Freedom Call- Beyond

This is straight up Power Metal from Germany. There is nothing really groundbreaking about this album, but it really is well done. Any Power Metal fan can appreciate Freedom Call, they got what you want in the genre. I can definitely dig it.


29.) Mechina- Xenon

One of my favorite discoveries of the year released this masterpiece on January 1st. There is so many ways you can describe this band, Symphonic, Industrial, Death Metal. Any way you wanna go about it, they are definitely an ever growing epic of a band. Every album done so far is a part of a grand sci-fi story (much like Coheed and Cambria) but done on a much grander scheme. I thought their last album was their best work to date, but Xenon is proving to me that each album gets better and better, grander and grander, and more and more epic. Mechina hit it out of the park once again, I really hope they can get the recognition they deserve this year. Xenon proves they deserve it.


30.) Transatlantic- Kaleidoscope

The Supergroup of Progressive Rock is back with their 4th album. Surprisingly to me not a lot of people dug the last album, The Whirlwind, I happen to really love all their previous work. Kaleidoscope to me is continuing their winning pattern, while there is only two epics on this album, all the other tracks, and their bonus disc of covers is spectacular, even their take on one of my least favorite songs ever, Knights in White Satin, is magnificently well done and make the song a bit less crappy in my eyes. Overall, this is the 4th epic from the monster supergroup of Prog and it is so very well done, I hope down the road people will agree with me on this one, I know it's a bit mixed right now, but just let it grow on you, it's worth it.


31.) Benighted- Carnivore Sublime

One of the most brutal bands to come from France (of course Gojira being the other brutal band of French men). Benighted is very reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh (although I enjoy the vocal styling of Anaal much, MUCH more) music wise its just as varied and badass. the vocals are a bit hard to get into for me as I am not big on Pig Squeals, but when the pig squeals aren't happening, it sounds like perfect Deathgrind.


32.) Macbeth- Neo-Gothic Propaganda

Much like the band name and the album title suggests, Macbeth is a very macabre dark band. A very symphonic Gothic Metal band. Both male and female vocals make this a very enjoyable album. While not groundbreaking by any means, it's just something you can kick back, light some black candles, and enjoy. Sometimes that's all you need.


33.) Iced Earth- Plagues Of Babylon

This is another album from Iced Earth that doesn't fall in the mediocre side. You either hate it or love it. Being an IE fanboy, I do love it. And I actually dig it a lot more than I do Dystopia, which I still feel was an album on the right track after the tragedy of an album The Crucible of Man. Plagues feels like an album that got Jon Schaffer the spark under his ass he needed to write another classic IE album which really hasn't been done since Framing Armageddon. Having Hansi from Blind Guardian doing backup vocals on the album definitely didn't hurt. While I don't think this will go down as a favorite amongst many IE fans, it will go down as a very solid album, and hey, that's good enough for me.


34.) Crosses ()- (Crosses)

This definitely isn't a standard album that I would listen to. Even with Chino from Deftones in this band, it doesn't feel like Deftones, or Team Sleep, or anything he has done before. It's a more electronic based Alternarock. Its not as subdued as Team Sleep, but nowhere near heavy like Deftones, it's it's own entity. I need more listens to properly digest this album, but I actually do like what I hear, which is strange for me.


35.) Vital Science- Imaginations On the Subject Of Infinity

Heavy, Heavy, HEAVY Symphony X influence coming from this band, almost to ripoff levels (that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it) To me if I wanna hear SX, I'll play SX. It's not to say this band isn't talented, but I just hope down the road, like Circus Maximus when it came to ripping off Dream Theater, that they eventually find their own sound and embrace it.


36.) Narcotic Wasteland- S/T

To those who like Nile, but wish they weren't as Brutal and more groove orientated Death Metal....and sings about being on drugs, well Karl Sander's side project is exactly that. To me it is actually more enjoyable than some Nile albums because it isn't so over the top technical. Not to say this isn't technical, just not like Nile in any way. This album is a good break for Karl before gearing up to do more Nile tours because it showcases the other side of his playing, and it is damn good when it's not at 280BPM and Gravity Blasts all over the place. Overall it is a fun listen, although the lyrics are depressing if you have ever had to deal with addiction.


37.) Fate Control- Random Survival

Pretty damn heavy Progressive Metal. Very Synth driven and Melodic as well. the vocals range from raspy thrash to clean to gutteral growls, so you can hear Opeth, Symphony X and latter day Fates Warning all rolled into one with a side order of Pantera for good measure. I hope these guys catch on because this is damn good stuff and covers the ground on everything Progressive Metal.


38.) Twilight- III: Beneath Trident's Tomb

No this has nothing to do with the glittery vampire saga. Twilight has been around for years and on their third and swansong album, the Black Metal supergroup goes even more experimental. From nearly Industrial Gothic Metal to Atmospheric Black Metal to class raw Black Metal, they cover the ground quite nicely in a very experimental way, while I wouldn't recommend this so much of a starter album for the band, it is the perfect swansong for the band, they will be missed....and not just missed because you tried looking them up and all you could find was tween stuff.


39.) Amoral- Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows

Before I gush I must say that the vocals will not be for everyone, but DAMN the music is nearly too good to be true for a guy like me. Progressive Power Metal with a nice Melodic catchy side that suckers you in and makes you wanna hear the whole album. The reason for my preface to this review is because I can tell not everyone will like the vocal approach at least at times, but it fits perfectly for the music being displayed, this is definitely going to go down as one of the top albums of the year. Fantastic Progressive Power Metal


40.) Ethereal Logic- Opus Machina

Even though i do review a lot of Death Metal on here, it is hardly my favorite style of Metal, but when it is done right as Ethereal Logic have done, it quickly becomes a huge obsession of mine that I will always love. The style is a bit hard to explain so I will try my best. Try combining Gojira (especially the vocals), Opeth, Periphery (not vocally), and Scar Symmetry. It has the brutalness and vocal stylings of Gojira, the melodicness of Scar Symmetry, The Prog Death metal and track length of Opeth, and the breakdowns of Periphery. It's amazing these guys aren't really heard of before now. and I really hope they do catch on. This 4 track album catches on. It's well worth it.


Addicted2metal 02-21-2014 11:58 PM


21.) Dead By April- Let the World Know

I figure I should Let The World Know (yes pun intended) that Raunchy really got screwed over. there are so many bands in the last couple years or so who have taken what Raunchy was known for (Synth driven, Modern Melodic Death Metal) and have really capitalized on it. And in Europe, Dead By April is a shining example of that. It's really hard to hear this type of music and not think that Raunchy could and would do so much better at it. All of that said, Dead By April is a very Poppy Modern Metal band and they are not afraid to show it. it's good fun stuff, but not very original especially if you grew up in the early to mid 2000s Metal scene and enjoyed Raunchy like I do.

6/10 [/QUOTE] Have you listened to their other Cds?

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