Home Set Lists Forums The Permanent Record Asshole Opinion

Electric Light Orchestra -- London, England -- September 14th, 2014
Skeletonwitch -- West Springfield, VA -- September 12th, 2014
KISS -- Lake Oswego, OR -- September 14th, 2014
Richie Kotzen -- London, England -- September 16th, 2014
King Crimson -- Boston, MA -- September 15th, 2014


Go Back   WWW.METALSETLISTS.COM > Community Forums > Album Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 12-30-2011, 06:17 AM
brutal_descent's Avatar
brutal_descent brutal_descent is offline
Happy birthday, darling. We love you very very very very very very much
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Russia
Posts: 5,846
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapguitarer View Post
So in other words Nat and I have some ass kicking to do.
__________________
11/22 Iceage
12/3 Peter Murphy
12/6 Cut Copy
3/15 Gogol Bordello
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-03-2012, 12:29 PM
idrinkwine732's Avatar
idrinkwine732 idrinkwine732 is offline
Pursue happiness with diligence
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 4,413


40. Necros Christos - Doom of the Occult


I was immediately taken aback by the 23 song tracklist on Doom of the Occult, thinking that this album was going to be very convoluted in structure, as I can't name an album that I've enjoyed with so many tracks. However, Necros Christos create an odd atmosphere with the instrumental series, Temple and Gates. With this being my first exposure to Necros Christos after a glowing review from Illuminatus, I wasn't a huge fan. The death metal that I loved in it was so cut back by the changes in mood and unnecessary warps to other influences and genre types that I couldn't see this album finishing out the year on my list. But like so many other albums this year, it just clicked. The lyrics are musings upon various pagan gods, etc, and I had a ball reading through all of them. I began to notice the little connections in lyrical content and similarities in the instrumentals that made the whole album seem so cohesive and fun for such an occult release.



39. Braveyoung - We are Lonely Animals

I began the year trying out the daunting task of rating every release that was posted on the excellent post-rock site postrockxchange.com. Although I didn't complete it, because they have now posted well over 150 albums on that site this year, I did find myself with a dozen of excellent gems, such as the aforementioned 417.3. One of the more impressive ones I found was Braveyoung and their release We Are Lonely Animals. There wasn't an album released this year that combined the post-rock experience with so much melancholy. Similar to another metal release this year, I felt like I had to have a really fucking good day before I listened to this album, because it winds its way around such an emotional ambiance that it can really affect you after listening. This album has a lot more in common with ambient post-rock bands than your more straightforward post-rock, but it connected to me in a way no other album did this year.



38. Woods of Desolation - Torn Beyond Reason

As bans like Alcest gain more and more traction in the growing black metal landscape, there are a myriad of bands that just can't keep the excellence going. Woods of Desolation is an album a lot more in the Écailles de Lune vein than many of its fans would like to admit, but it still differentiates itself by not fucking around with its song structure. The title track immediately begins with a riff echoing the second part of Écailles De Lune's title track, and it keeps going in a similar vein the whole way through. Torn Beyond Reason however is much more of a black metal album than any of Alcest's two, with a noticeable lack of clean vocals and slower despondent parts. For willingly being included in a new genre that is gaining detractors as quickly as it is fans, Torn Beyond Reason isn't an album that is easily discarded.



37. Novembers Doom - Aphotic

For an album that I saw catch a lot of flak before I heard it, I was amazed about how much I enjoyed Aphotic. Novembers Doom has been one of those bands that always shows up on my last.fm and despite their insistence that I would love the hell out of them, I never quite got it. But much like Evangelion and Wavering Radiant before it, Aphotic really sent me the memo. I was really drawn by the heavy as balls production that shined its way through on the Dark Host and Of Age and Origin. What kept this album from flying higher, however, was that I couldn't help but feel that this band had too many shades of later Katatonia in it and it gave me a slightly ill feeling, although my love for Forsaker should be documented. Still, Aphotic really opened my eyes to what I was missing with Novembers Doom



36. Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination

"I'm only about two minutes into the new Skeletonwitch and it's already insane." Was my reaction on first listen to listening to the Ohio thrasher's third album, and with it, they established themselves as a bastion of consistency in the metal landscape. I'm starting to wonder if these guys ever run out of riffs to play, because their tendency to just pull another riff out of nowhere is out of this world. Although Chance Garnette didn't deliver his most crushing vocal performance like on Beyond the Permafrost, his performance still cuts through your vocal cords like a hot knife through butter. With a little bit of death metal thrown into their previous two concoctions of black and thrash metal, Skeletonwitch really continued their trend of releasing killer metal for the masses to enjoy.



35. Light Bearer - Lapsus

I want to like this album so much more than I do. That's the truth. This British atmospheric sludge act came heavily recommended to me by a certain Santa Rosa area Mexican whose immigration status is still in the air. For a band that draws influences from bands like Isis and meandering post-rock bands, this album should be an album of the year contender, but it's not. Its songs like Primum Movens entice the listener with a siren like clean riff call, before dropping into the Scylla and Charybdis (know your Odysseus before you read my shit) of sludge riffs and Aaron Turner esque barks for the next ten minutes. However, its riffing becomes very noticeably similar throughout, which is so frustrating because everything else is just on point. The instruments are mixed perfectly for a sludge album, with its vocals sitting buoyantly above the guitars and cymbals, sounding absolutely perfect. However it begins to hear like the Aeolian era The Ocean album that Staps and co. decided not to make by the time Prelapsus hits you. Still, another Aeolian era The Ocean album is always welcomed in my book, but this album is not as good as it could have been.



34. Rotten Sound - Cursed

Wow, what an experience. After being tossed around by Rotten Sound at the Finntroll and Ensiferum show I went to earlier in the year, I realized that I really fucked up by not making sure I knew all there was to know about this act before I went. Their 27 minute beast Cursed is a death metal hole punched type of grindcore that goes and never stops going, with no time to catch your breath or think about what you're listening to. The production is a little out of left field for a grindcore album, with its guitars and drums rather clear in the mix, but what it allows for is a much more accessible release than a lot of purists would like. Still, its an album that reminds of Anaal Nathrakh's intensity that by the time the third track hits, the album is an unstoppable force traveling through your ears.



33. Vader - Welcome to the Morbid Reich

As a pretty big Vader fan, I was a little disappointed with the Polish dudes' 2009 release Necropolis, and I really wanted their 2011 release to pick it up. I really didn't want one of the more consistent death metal acts since the 90's to drop off like I thought they were. However, where Necropolis was afraid to change pace in fear of being called soft, Welcome to the Morbid Reich diversified the Vader sound that was starting to sound stagnant. With Piotr busting out his usual throaty yelling sort of vocals, Vader created an album that displays their old sound of De Profundis with a refreshed and smoother feel than I thought you could get out of Vader this late into their career.



32. Russian Circles - Empros

Probably the album that took me out to a nice seafood dinner the most in 2009 was Russian Circles' Geneva, and after a long love affair with Geneva and its title track, I decided it was time to move on. However, that was luckily only a few months ago, and Russian Circles were just about to release their fourth album, Empros. Nat made the very appropriate comment that I think should be restated here with an addition. Enter = Station = Geneva = Empros. This band just doesn't give up on making cool album after cool album. The opening track 309 has a quicker tempo than most Russian Circles albums display, and Mládek displays a lighter side to the band than I thought was there while still dipping into the sort of heaviness that you expect from the band. The whole album seems to slope into a more ethereal ambient kind of sound, that takes you down from the high created by 309 and Mládek, ending the album in style with the classy Praise be Man. This is a band that will always give you what you need every two years, and I'm counting on them doing it again in 2013.



31. Krallice - Diotima

Similarly to Torn Beyond Reason, Krallice are one of the bands that are growing the black metal sound to encompass a much more progressive side to the genre's landscape. Although the sound catches a lot of hate, I think it adds depth to the black metal brand. In contrast to their previous self titled effort, Diotima displays a lot more of a Weakling sort of sound and a collection of better riffs that wasn't their on their earlier attempts at progressing the black metal sound. Krallice are often mentioned in the same breath as Liturgy, and their lyrics were pointed out to me as a little snobby and pretentious, however it seems to me that Diotima features a lot more of attempts at cool stanzas than pretentious lyrics. Still, Diotima is an album that's not easily breathed in all at once, and is one that even the most taken aback listener should give a few tries before discarding it as easily as an album such as Aesthetica.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-03-2012, 04:45 PM
slapguitarer's Avatar
slapguitarer slapguitarer is offline
Buahahahahaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Jose
Posts: 5,343
Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinkwine732;430883[IMG
http://www.metalkingdom.net/album/cover/d91/30483_woods_of_desolation_torn_beyond_reason.jpg[/IMG]
Nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinkwine732 View Post
This British atmospheric sludge act came heavily recommended to me by a certain Santa Rosa area Mexican whose immigration status is still in the air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinkwine732 View Post



35. Light Bearer - Lapsus

I want to like this album so much more than I do. That's the truth. This British atmospheric sludge act came heavily recommended to me by a certain Santa Rosa area Mexican whose immigration status is still in the air. For a band that draws influences from bands like Isis and meandering post-rock bands, this album should be an album of the year contender, but it's not. Its songs like Primum Movens entice the listener with a siren like clean riff call, before dropping into the Scylla and Charybdis (know your Odysseus before you read my shit) of sludge riffs and Aaron Turner esque barks for the next ten minutes. However, its riffing becomes very noticeably similar throughout, which is so frustrating because everything else is just on point. The instruments are mixed perfectly for a sludge album, with its vocals sitting buoyantly above the guitars and cymbals, sounding absolutely perfect. However it begins to hear like the Aeolian era The Ocean album that Staps and co. decided not to make by the time Prelapsus hits you. Still, another Aeolian era The Ocean album is always welcomed in my book, but this album is not as good as it could have been.
While I disagree, I can catch your drift. Some of the riffs in different songs do sound similar, but I like it when albums return to previous ideas sometimes. It works in cases like Lapsus and Descent.
__________________
9/19 Punch (?)
9/27 Dispirit
10/17 Childish Gambino
10/30 KING DIAMOND
11/06 Intronaut
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:43 PM
idrinkwine732's Avatar
idrinkwine732 idrinkwine732 is offline
Pursue happiness with diligence
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 4,413
Since EP's can't make it on my list because I think it's unfair to judge them based on a compilation of longer material, I thought I'd make an EP list. However, there weren't more than maybe five or six EP's that I really enjoyed this year, so I thought I'd single out the best Extended Play of 2011.



Best EP: Industries of the Blind - Chapter 1: Had We Known Better

I know I'm breaking the Giant Squid blood brothers bond by now naming their fantastic release, Cenotes, the second best EP of 2011, but hear me out. This is one of the best post-rock releases I have ever heard. This little known group out of Brooklyn released their first work completely free on their website earlier this year and I haven't been able to keep it out of my head since. They take the sad feeling of another pro-bono artist, Colour For A Rebel and add in a Sophie Trudeau (of GY!BE and A Silver Mt. Zion fame) sort of instrumentation and plop in the crescendo and decrescendos that make post-rock what it is. There are only three songs that comprise this EP, but it totals out to 31 mins of a violin making your heart ache. By the time "I just wanted to make you something beautiful" expanded, I couldn't help but physically begin to feel it all. Truly an EP that has had no one talk about it, and I can't think of a release that deserves it more. I think I will freak out if I don't hear this band expand on what it's done with Had We Known Better in the future.

Check it out for free here: http://www.industriesoftheblindmusic.com/
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-03-2012, 07:37 PM
slapguitarer's Avatar
slapguitarer slapguitarer is offline
Buahahahahaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Jose
Posts: 5,343
That is a great EP, I didn't realize it was from 2011.
__________________
9/19 Punch (?)
9/27 Dispirit
10/17 Childish Gambino
10/30 KING DIAMOND
11/06 Intronaut
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:04 PM
illuminatus917's Avatar
illuminatus917 illuminatus917 is offline
Hagbard Celine, H.M., S.H.
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: the mountains, NC
Posts: 3,041
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapguitarer View Post
While I disagree, I can catch your drift. Some of the riffs in different songs do sound similar, but I like it when albums return to previous ideas sometimes. It works in cases like Lapsus and Descent.
I think it's more effective when it's more obvious, and intentional (reprises). Like what The Beatles did on Abbey Road or what Arcade Fire did on The Suburbs. It's different when the riffs sound similar but aren't necessarily intended to. That's an interesting comparison between those two albums, though. I never thought of it that way. I will say, though, there seemed to be a circular motion in the way Bloodiest wrote their record, which kind of binded it together. Somehow it was very effective... I don't know how else to explain it. I didn't think there was anything circular about Lapsus.

And great choice on the EP. If I'd liked all three of those tracks as much as the first one it would've been way the hell further up on my list.
__________________
Never whistle while you're pissing.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:12 PM
slapguitarer's Avatar
slapguitarer slapguitarer is offline
Buahahahahaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Jose
Posts: 5,343
Yeah, Descent was definitely more circular than Lapsus. With Lapsus, it's really only the chord progression at the beginning of Primum Movens that sounds like the chord progression that ends Lapsus.
__________________
9/19 Punch (?)
9/27 Dispirit
10/17 Childish Gambino
10/30 KING DIAMOND
11/06 Intronaut
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:52 AM
idrinkwine732's Avatar
idrinkwine732 idrinkwine732 is offline
Pursue happiness with diligence
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 4,413


30. Fen - Epoch

In the post-Agalloch love time that I had at the beginning of the year, I was afraid that the atmospheric metal like my favorite Oregon black metallers would die out for a year. However, I knew there was a lot of hope after I saw that Fen were releasing their follow up to 2009's excellent The Malediction Fields. With Agalloch making the pain in brilliant albums like Ashes Against the Grain sound emotional, Fen make the pain in their music sound physically tortuous. In the 8 minute epic that kicks off the first climax of the album, vocalist "The Watcher" kicks his vocals into a gear sounding akin to a medieval torture chamber.



29. Red Fang - Murder the Mountains

Listening to Red Fang is pretty much what I think would happen if a band had a jar of various riffs labeled Sleep, Isis, Crowbar and Electric Wizard and just grabbed a collection from each and wrote an album with those riffs. The chunky and fun Murder the Mountains puts a lot of Pikean riffs on display, that makes you want to just grow a beard and sing a long. This is an album that I'd had fluttering around the mid fifties for a while, but after seeing this quarted live with Mastodon, it deserved a revisit. I was reminded of the days of truly entertaining stoner metal, and Red Fang brought it to me on a silver platter.



28. The Black Dahlia Murder - Ritual

Probably the only album on here that will make me blush a little bit. Yeah, I fucking love this band, and their brand of death metal is one that isn't brought together without some interesting elements. For every person that will call this band deathcore or metalcore, they could be right, but if they are, they aren't the same as everyone else. With Ritual, the band take another evolutionary step by fooling around with some symphonic elements in Blood in the Ink and A Shrine to Madness, while they open their arms to a more blackened sound on songs like Stirring Seas... and Carbonized in Cruciform. Basically, this is an album that I would love to hate on, but it's too heavy, the riffs are too good and Strnad sounds too awesome for me to place this any lower than it is on this list.



27. Falloch - Where Distant Spirits Remain

Probably the first of a few 2011 crushes that I just couldn't take my hands off of all year. Falloch are one of the myriad of Agalloch impersonators, but with this album, they strike closer to The Mantle than any band ever has. With a majority of the album clean sung and the acoustic guitar sticking around the whole album, listening to this album reminded me of being a young'un and listening to the first notes of A Celebration for the Death of Man. They fool around with some really cool guitar distortion around the end of the album and fly towards an ambient influenced sound while still bringing in a sad tone with the acoustic guitar. Definitely a surprise this year.



26. Deafheaven - Roads to Judah

I first saw Deafheaven in my favorite dive bar in SF opening for Marduk with Bosse de Nage, and I fell in love with their ferocity, intensity and strangely enough, their clean cut look. I zoomed back home and checked out their self titled demo and found out they expected to release a new album just that next year. Around came April and I had Roads to Judah in my hand, and it blew me away. I was used to the Deafheaven that was releasing Libertine Dissolves, a gritty black metal track that was then followed by the flowery and acoustic Bedrooms, but Roads to Judah fit the self titled demo package into a tighter and more interesting release. Vocalist George Clark's live intensity doesn't quite shine through on the album, but his sound at the end of Language Games is stellar. The aforementioned track and Tunnel of Trees are both brittle black metal tracks that have the organized discord of a band like Anaal Nathrakh and the perpetual motion sound of early Immortal. This is an album that we'll be talking about for a while, and with any luck, the band should have the same success with their second album.



25. Amorphis - The Beginning of Times

There aren't very many metal bands who are doing what Amorphis are doing right now. Along with Primordial, they are releasing some of their best material very late in their career. Although Amorphis have undergone a big change in sound since Tales from the Thousand Lakes, they still maintain enough of their death/doom elements to keep the old folks around. By the time the end of the year rolled around, I was surprised to not see this on many year end lists or even in honorable mentions, but this band still has it. With the Adrian Smith esque leads in Mermaid and the catchy You I Need, I couldn't help but have this album wind up beginning my top 25.



24. Loss - Despond

Holy shit. What a downer. This album began making a lot of buzz and once I saw Aesop Dekker call it one of the best albums he'd heard in years, I knew I had to sit down with it. But man, I didn't know I'd be running into shit with lyrics like this

"You sat alone
You sat so long
Your words make very private scars
You suffered down low
And you saw no light
Made knots of your fingers
While weathering the blight"

The lyrics of the album became a focal point for me after reading these lyrics to the album opener, Weathering the Blight. I had to have a really nice day before I started Despond, because otherwise I knew I'd just read the lyrics and sit in bed with some Cookie Dough ice cream and just waste the day away. Despond, musically, is just as ambitious as its lyrical content is, with its meaty death/doom riffs tearing away with more melodic and melancholic leads making the album seem as if its a soundtrack to a funeral. Definitely a heart-wrencher of an album, and if I had sat listening to it much more, it would have been in my top ten. However, I probably wouldn't have lived to post it.



23. Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling

I got this album from postrockxchange as well, and it was one of the first ones that I listened to. I noticed the last song had a cameo from John Bush of Anthrax, and this album's intrigue only grew. I knew of its predecessor, Avoid the Light, but I hadn't heard it and I didn't care to hear another of the same post-rock band, because that's what it seemed like to me. But then, I heard the sample of The Day the Earth Stood Still that hailed in Into the Black Wide Open and I knew this band and I should be friends. The whole album consists of slow and melodic noodling riffs, but not that tech death sort of noodle. Invisible Giants ends on a twisting and incredibly catchy series of scales and a heavy post-metal sort of chord progression that you don't hear a ton in post-rock. The Figrin D'an Boogie is a song that demands an Elvis vocal part in the middle, but then jumps into an Area-51 sort of sounding riff that made me shiver with delight. It's cool that bands are still making music that appeals to a sci-fi sort of listener like me, with no lyrics sung the entire time.



22. Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage

There are a few albums that came out after I was in college that really got a little shafted, now that I think about it. Celestial Lineage is one of those albums, and considering that the three previous to it are some of my favorite metal records of the last decade, it shouldn't have been that way. The Weaver duet combine some shoegazey kind of elements with their atmospheric black metal that I hadn't really noticed before, and toy around with some female guest vocals in the opening track, as well as Woodland Cathedral. As always, they bring a varied set of instrumentals to the screamed-from-hell black metal vocals that Nathan offers, with an organ making its voice heard in Woodland Cathedral. Although it's the least "out there" track on the album, Astral Blood stood out the most to me, with its galloping pace and steamrolling effect that isn't present in Wolves in the Throne Room's other albums. This is a band that has come a long way since Diadem of 12 Stars, and Celestial Lineage could go down as their best, with Two Hunters right at its heels.



21. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal

It's really not fair what Autopsy did these last few years. They release undisputed classics at the beginning of their career, and subsequently the not up to par of their predecessors Acts of the Unspeakable and Shitfun, leave the metal landscape for 15 years and jump right back into it with their best since Mental Funeral. I don't know how I didn't see this album coming, since The Tomb Within was awesome as well, but Macabre Eternal is a surgically recreation of the good ol' days of Autopsy, with each track reminding of a Mental Funeral or Severed Survival. Perhaps my only gripe with the album is its length, which makes a tired listener by the time the 11 minute and a half minute epic, Sadistic Gratification, starts. Still, you'll be hard pressed to find another band who have achieved as much as Autopsy have in their career, and if this album is any indication, they aren't done yet.

-----------------------------
Alright, it's time for an In N Out break then I'm gonna get writing the rest of this. I'll finish this up by Wednesday.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-09-2012, 01:55 PM
illuminatus917's Avatar
illuminatus917 illuminatus917 is offline
Hagbard Celine, H.M., S.H.
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: the mountains, NC
Posts: 3,041
Blog Entries: 2
It took about four or five listens for me to really fall in love with Despond. I think what Dekker said about it is totally accurate.

I just saw it was his #1 album of the year.
__________________
Never whistle while you're pissing.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:17 PM
slapguitarer's Avatar
slapguitarer slapguitarer is offline
Buahahahahaha
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Jose
Posts: 5,343
Quote:
Originally Posted by idrinkwine732 View Post


30. Fen - Epoch


29. Red Fang - Murder the Mountains

26. Deafheaven - Roads to Judah

24. Loss - Despond

23. Long Distance Calling - Long Distance Calling

21. Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
Nice
__________________
9/19 Punch (?)
9/27 Dispirit
10/17 Childish Gambino
10/30 KING DIAMOND
11/06 Intronaut
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:48 PM.


Blah Blah Blah Copyright WWW.METALSETLISTS.COM 2008