Home Set Lists Forums The Permanent Record Asshole Opinion

Slipknot -- El Paso, TX -- October 29th, 2014
Saint Vitus -- London, England -- October 29th, 2014
King Diamond -- Seattle, WA -- October 28th, 2014
King Diamond -- Salt Lake City, UT -- October 26th, 2014
Raven -- San Francisco, CA -- October 27th, 2014


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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 01-05-2014, 11:42 AM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
28. Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance



The legendary Norwegian duo has never, in over two decades, released a single bad album; The Underground Resistance is no exception. They started by taking a bite at Swedish death metal, then denied the whole genre and kinda invented raw black metal. After that, they changed and elaborated their sound a bit, to later settle on blackened crust punk for a few releases, excelling in all these genres. On their latest, they switched direction once again, choosing to play what is probably Fenriz's primary passion: speed metal/NWOBHM. Don't get me wrong, this is no clean, flashy stuff; this record is dirty, ugly, and Celtic Frost-influenced as it should be. The sound feels almost like a live performance, with all its delicious imperfections, and tremendously heavy. Nocturno Culto's guitar sound is perfectly raw, while being very audible (not raw like their early works). The riffing on this is also legendary: it ranges from vintage and fast heavy metal riffs to d-beat punk madness to gloriously mournful doom metal riffs. The bended chords in "Dead Early" and "Leave No Cross Unturned" always make my guts tingle. Because of the quality of these riffs, the every song on The Underground Resistance is very catchy and pleasant to listen to. Another interesting factor of this album is the diversity of the vocals. Nocturno Culto's gutural grunts are punctuated with Fenriz's falsettos (which are not perfect, but it just adds to the filthy feeling that the record reeks of), and sometimes replaced by epic, higher ones (in "Valkyrie") and doomsday preaching doomy ones (on "Come Warfare..."). My favourite songs are probably the kick-in-the-face opener "Dead Early" and the majestic heavy/doom metal crusher "Come Warfare, the Entire Doom". The only real flaws I can find to this record are, first, the closing track that is a bit too lengthy, and, second, the lyrics that are a bit generic. But hey, this is a heavy metal album and it's Norwegian... Would anyone expect anything but cheesy lyrics?

Come Warfare, the Entire Doom
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-05-2014, 07:57 PM
GutturalNinja GutturalNinja is offline
N00B
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4
Lightbulb

gn
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-07-2014, 02:26 PM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
27. Rosetta - The Anaesthete



Okay, there's one thing you guys should know before you get into this review. Rosetta has been my favourite post-metal band since I first heard 2007's Wake/Lift. Their unique sound and style of playing have an overall intrinsic feeling that is incredibly satisfactory upon listen; no other band of the genre does the same to me. Their new album, The Anaesthete, was released very quietly, under the radar, in an almost total DIY way. Because of that, it took me a few months before I realized that they had a new record out. I have to admit that when I saw the cover art, I was a little turned off: it looked a bit too cheesy - with the central character, the flames and all - for a Rosetta album (that was before I saw the incredible art inside the gatefold). Then, I listened to the album. All my fears were automatically lifted by the first spacey/dreamy melodic riff backed with one of their signature odd, primal yet complex, drum beats. Everything was still there: the timeless heartbreaking melodies, the leads that sound like a pure flow of sonic energy (it's hard to explain but, for example, take the ones in "Hara / The Center"), the hypnotic repetition, the heavy, monolithic moments and the subtle ambient sounds that give the final touch to it all. The vocals were still distant, while being raging and desperate at the same time; Michael Armine still sounds like he's screaming his soul, guts and throat out. Also, like on their previous full-length, A Determinism of Morality, they had a guest clean vocalist on one song (the singer of City of Ships appeared in "Hodoku / Compassion") that just enhanced the beauty and diversity of the album.

However, The Anaesthete is not like the other Rosetta records. First, it's their most aggressive one. Two, it's their most contrasted. The song flow is weird, deconstructed: the tunes don't fit into each other like one long song. As the band stated themselves: "The album is arranged like a hurricane: semi-symmetrically but disintegrating". It goes through waves of calm, introspection and crushing heaviness, becoming very dark and hopeless towards the last songs. The album closer, "Shugyo / Austerity", is the pinnacle of the aforementioned phenomenon: it is actually an ambient apocalyptic instrumental with a very worrying feeling (could it be a subtle critic towards the economical policies of our countries?). At first, I was a bit confused by the way the songs were arranged, but after a few listens, I realized that it helps keeping the listener's attention and making the whole experience more memorable. In a way, this album gives an impression closer to a post-hardcore album than to an ordinary post-metal album. The last thing that differed from the other Rosetta albums is obvious in half-Japanese the song titles: the lyrics are conceptual, based on a book (Sword and Brush by Dave Lowry).

Overall, The Anaesthete is not easy on the first listen, but it is a mandatory listen for any lover of powerful, melodic music.

Hara / The Center
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame

Last edited by VoidFlame; 01-09-2014 at 06:36 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-08-2014, 06:26 PM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
26. M.I.A. - Matangi



So, this is where it gets controversial. Contain you hatred, kids! Has it ever happened to any of you guys to really love a certain artist or genre without being fully able to pinpoint and express in words why? No? Well, anyway, that's the case with me and English/Sri Lankan singer and visual artist M.I.A.. I had a bit too much fun listening to her latest album not to put it on my list. The content of the album is also pretty difficult to put into a word: it is a mix of hip-hop, electronic/dance, different kinds of world music (including folkloric music from her country of origin, obviously), different subgenres of reggae, and psychedelia. Some songs ("Exodus", "Lights"...) sound like a modern version of the dream pop genre, perhaps with a bigger emphasis on the "pop" side than what the original definition meant. The beats are original and unconventional, often made with an impressive array of percussions and a few traditional melodic instruments. Even if M.I.A. is widely accepted in the mainstream, her music is a bit like her iconoclastic artwork, it's not that pretty and easy to appreciate: you have to give it time and dig deeper to get the real quality and meaning. Her songs are often noisy and and aggressive ("MATANGI", "Bring the Noize"). I guess this is partly why I got hooked when I heard "Born Free" from her previous album. Her vocals are also an acquired taste, I guess, but in my opinion, she has the most fun voice in the whole modern pop scene, because of its versatility. It ranges from reggae/dancehall relax stuff, to violent, fast, low rap, to her charming signature higher voice. The lyrics on Matangi are also pretty appreciable; she comes up with impressive word play, but to get the real brilliance (just as for her artwork) you have to read between. For example, "Bad Girls" can be understood as an ordinary pop/rap song, a display of feminine attitude, but the song was actually a reaction to the female driving ban in Saudi Arabia. The lyrics cryptically speak of the horrific consequences that must face the women of developing countries, notably in the Middle-East, if they decide to live their life according to their own ideals. However, Matangi is not as political as 2007's Kala, because it revolves around a concept based on a Hindu deity with who M.I.A. shares her first name. I didn't really understand the concept so far, but so what? A fun album is a fun album.

This said, you'll probably hate it.

Bring the Noize
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-08-2014, 08:01 PM
XDoomsayerX's Avatar
XDoomsayerX XDoomsayerX is offline
And now it’s time to pull through. Something I must do with or without you.
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidFlame View Post
26. M.I.A. - Matangi



So, this is where it gets controversial. Contain you hatred, kids! Has it ever happened to any of you guys to really love a certain artist or genre without being fully able to pinpoint and express in words why? No? Well, anyway, that's the case with me and English/Sri Lankan singer and visual artist M.I.A.. I had a bit too much fun listening to her latest album not to put it on my list. The content of the album is also pretty difficult to put into a word: it is a mix of hip-hop, electronic/dance, different kinds of world music (including folkloric music from her country of origin, obviously), different subgenres of reggae, and psychedelia. Some songs ("Exodus", "Lights"...) sound like a modern version of the dream pop genre, perhaps with a bigger emphasis on the "pop" side than what the original definition meant. The beats are original and unconventional, often made with an impressive array of percussions and a few traditional melodic instruments. Even if M.I.A. is widely accepted in the mainstream, her music is a bit like her iconoclastic artwork, it's not that pretty and easy to appreciate: you have to give it time and dig deeper to get the real quality and meaning. Her songs are often noisy and and aggressive ("MATANGI", "Bring the Noize"). I guess this is partly why I got hooked when I heard "Born Free" from her previous album. Her vocals are also an acquired taste, I guess, but in my opinion, she has the most fun voice in the whole modern pop scene, because of its versatility. It ranges from reggae/dancehall relax stuff, to violent, fast, low rap, to her charming signature higher voice. The lyrics on Matangi are also pretty appreciable; she comes up with impressive word play, but to get the real brilliance (just as for her artwork) you have to read between. For example, "Bad Girls" can be understood as an ordinary pop/rap song, a display of feminine attitude, but the song was actually a reaction to the female driving ban in Saudi Arabia. The lyrics cryptically speak of the horrific consequences that must face the women of developing countries, notably in the Middle-East, if they decide to live their life according to their own ideals. However, Matangi is not as political as 2007's Kala, because it revolves around a concept based on a Hindu deity with who M.I.A. shares her first name. I didn't really understand the concept so far, but so what? A fun album is a fun album.

This said, you'll probably hate it.

Bring the Noize
Always wanted to check out her music.
__________________
TGI/ETID-11/15
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-12-2014, 08:01 AM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
25. David Bowie - The Next Day



About a year ago, you would have asked a random Bowie fan and he would have told you that their idol's career was over. It had been almost a decade since the release of his latest album, Reality, but then from one day to the other, we get a new single and the announcement of a 24th record coming out soon. David Bowie has always been part of my family's values (my mother used to be a die hard fan), so the news got me excited immediately. Apparently, the whole new album had been recorded in tight secrecy. The new song was called "Where Are We Now?": a beautiful introspective ballad led by Bowie's piano. Upon hearing it, I wasn't so sure about The Next Day. Was it going to be softer and less daring, since the artist was approaching his 70's?

Then I saw the cover and I was reassured. It wasn't pretty: the cover of his cult album "Heroes" was scorned, the title scratched off and the picture covered by a big white square and the new title - some kind of hymn to erasing and disregarding the past. Okay, he sure hadn't lost his taste for provocation.

Not long after that, I heard the second single on the radio; "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)". It turned out to be my favourite song off the record: it was so beautifully haunting and emotional! At this point, I couldn't wait to hear the whole thing, and when I did, I wasn't disappointed at all.

The Next Day starts off very strongly with a heavy, solid groove and dark lyrics, which both smell like nothing but classic David Bowie. It set the mood for what is following: it's simply an album that rocks. Then follows one of the best tracks. "Dirty Boys" is a monster of saxophone driven dissonant post-punk enhanced by one of the main highlights of the album: the razor sharp guitar sound, that is often complemented by cleaner aerial melodies. The other striking songs are the also rocking "How Does the Grass Grow" and "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" and the three most sentimental ones: "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", "Love Is Lost" and "Valentine's Day". The latter ending with goosebumps-inducing guitar leads and shouts. Except for the introspective lead single, the lyrics of each song tell the tale of a character dealing with his or her personal problems in a different part of history. For example, "I'd Rather Be High" is about a soldier in World War II.

In short, David Bowie brilliantly defied my expectations, showing that he wasn't tired at all; his voice is a bit lower than it used to be, but it still sounds great, and most of all, the songs, the riffs and the lyrics are, with no exception, memorable. This is definitely going to be one of the albums that the future generations are going to get into when starting to discover the artistic genius that is David Bowie.

The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-12-2014, 02:54 PM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
24. Dark Tranquillity - Construct



Dark Tranquillity is, with In Flames, one of the first "real" metal bands I got into when I was in high school. They were a very good gateway, since they kept releasing albums of a constant catchiness and pure quality (except for the previous one, We Are the Void, which felt a bit more bland). The formula pretty much stayed the same since 2000's Haven, but each new album felt fresh, fun and destructive. Construct doesn't really stray from this glorious path, but there still is a slight change of sound. For one, it is more atmospheric than the previous ones: it integrates a lot of post-rock (a darker version of Mogwai or This Will Destroy You, for example) influences in songs like "For Broken Words", "Uniformity" and "What Only You Know" by adding tremolo-picked and pedal-blurred leads. The electronica element is also much more present on Construct, in the form of short, but masterfully crafted interludes and transitions. I really wish that Martin Brändström would someday make a fully electronic album!

Another great point to this record is that it emits some kind of dystopian ambiance, that is created by the synthetic, almost futuristic guitar sound and electronic programming, the dramatic keyboards, the dark anthemic melodies and the mechanically precise hammering drums. This ambiance reaches its climax in the overwhelming album closer "None Becoming".

While being dark and apocalyptic, Construct stays a pop album, with all the hooks, great riffs and memorable choruses, which is why it is so fun to listen to. My personal favourite tunes are the sorrowful "What Only You Know" and the simply beautiful "State of Trust". The riffs and arrangements in those two are outstanding, and I have to admit that I have a weak spot for Mikael Stanne's clean vocals.

The only flaw I can find in this album is called "Apathetic". It is a generic melodic death/thrash song, with the solo and everything. Still, it has some great moments. If you forget this one, Dark Tranquillity's
latest effort was nearly perfect. I can't wait to see them live for the first time in February! It's going to be a child's dream come true.

What Only You Know
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-14-2014, 02:26 PM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
23. Nails - Abandon All Life



In 2010, a small band called Nails released their debut short album, called Unsilent Death, and quickly began to achieve underground cult recognition within the hardcore scene and even converted a few metalheads with their own brand of fast, skull-bashing, pissed off hardcore. Three years later, after many gigs and a few tours, they've come back. With Abandon All Life, they firmly planted their foothold into the doorway of the metal community, venturing further into the territories of grindcore and death metal.

In order to achieve this feat, they started with an improvement of their sound. Everything on the new record sounds larger and more imposing: in addition to being faster in the blasted parts, the drums sound fatter and more massive. Also, they adopted the classic Entombed mind-lacerating "buzzsaw" guitar sound that is specific to the Boss HM-2 pedal. The vocals also blend in better with the music than on their previous effort. They are also closer to a scream than to a shout, with occasional backing growls, making the whole thing more violent and more metal. Abandon All Life sounds like an enormous and organic mass of pure sonic fury crashing upon the listener.

It is also one of the most efficient brutal releases I have ever heard. Clocking under 20 minutes, with simple, but great and catchy riffs constantly ensuing right after the previous one and not a whole second of relief to be found, it is the perfect quick fix of face punching metal or punk (whichever you're looking for).

I especially have a crush for the songs "Wide Open Wound", which is heavier than a lot of the most brutal death metal songs I have heard, and the two last ones. "Cry Wolf" is simply 24 seconds of sheer aggression and "Suum Cuique" is a delirious mastodon of bone shattering doomy heaviness. For any brutal music enthusiast, Nails' Abandon All Life is inevitably one of the most fun album of the year.

Wide Open Wound
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-14-2014, 03:29 PM
mastodon421's Avatar
mastodon421 mastodon421 is offline
Not popular in Buffalo
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Swampscott,Massachusetts
Posts: 6,780
Quote:
Originally Posted by VoidFlame View Post
26. M.I.A. - Matangi



So, this is where it gets controversial. Contain you hatred, kids! Has it ever happened to any of you guys to really love a certain artist or genre without being fully able to pinpoint and express in words why? No? Well, anyway, that's the case with me and English/Sri Lankan singer and visual artist M.I.A.. I had a bit too much fun listening to her latest album not to put it on my list. The content of the album is also pretty difficult to put into a word: it is a mix of hip-hop, electronic/dance, different kinds of world music (including folkloric music from her country of origin, obviously), different subgenres of reggae, and psychedelia. Some songs ("Exodus", "Lights"...) sound like a modern version of the dream pop genre, perhaps with a bigger emphasis on the "pop" side than what the original definition meant. The beats are original and unconventional, often made with an impressive array of percussions and a few traditional melodic instruments. Even if M.I.A. is widely accepted in the mainstream, her music is a bit like her iconoclastic artwork, it's not that pretty and easy to appreciate: you have to give it time and dig deeper to get the real quality and meaning. Her songs are often noisy and and aggressive ("MATANGI", "Bring the Noize"). I guess this is partly why I got hooked when I heard "Born Free" from her previous album. Her vocals are also an acquired taste, I guess, but in my opinion, she has the most fun voice in the whole modern pop scene, because of its versatility. It ranges from reggae/dancehall relax stuff, to violent, fast, low rap, to her charming signature higher voice. The lyrics on Matangi are also pretty appreciable; she comes up with impressive word play, but to get the real brilliance (just as for her artwork) you have to read between. For example, "Bad Girls" can be understood as an ordinary pop/rap song, a display of feminine attitude, but the song was actually a reaction to the female driving ban in Saudi Arabia. The lyrics cryptically speak of the horrific consequences that must face the women of developing countries, notably in the Middle-East, if they decide to live their life according to their own ideals. However, Matangi is not as political as 2007's Kala, because it revolves around a concept based on a Hindu deity with who M.I.A. shares her first name. I didn't really understand the concept so far, but so what? A fun album is a fun album.

This said, you'll probably hate it.

Bring the Noize
Paper Planes is honestly one of my favorite songs of all-time. Of the limited number of other songs I've heard from M.I.A., I haven't really liked any of them. That being said, I'm curious to check out this record because I've heard a lot of good things about it. Good shit so far man, excited to see the rest of the list.
__________________
11/28 Run the Jewels
12/21 The Red Chord/Despised Icon

http://maitlandsmadness.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-15-2014, 05:49 PM
VoidFlame's Avatar
VoidFlame VoidFlame is offline
Remember - today is the first day of the end of your life
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 1,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastodon421 View Post
Paper Planes is honestly one of my favorite songs of all-time. Of the limited number of other songs I've heard from M.I.A., I haven't really liked any of them. That being said, I'm curious to check out this record because I've heard a lot of good things about it. Good shit so far man, excited to see the rest of the list.


22. Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu



Oranssi Pazuzu... what kind of a name is that? The Finns' psychedelic space-black metal is as odd as their appellation. They're not the first to do this kind of music, but their twist of the "genre" is really far from what Nachtmystium or Darkspace do. Their latest release, Valonielu is also very different from its two predecessors. You can sense this at the very first riff of "Vino Verso", which is, basically, a barrage of hypnotizing and hammering mechanical drum beats, repeated industrial grooves and mind bending synths (it's difficult to decide if they sound retro or futuristic). Then, the vocals kick in: furious black metal screams processed into sounding metallic, inhuman and unsettling. This gives the start to a synthesizer-driven nightmarish voyage.

"Tyhjä Tempelli" then starts with a tribal drum beat, that is soon joined by angular keyboard chords and dark, hazy country/southern guitars, leading to a magnificent climatic chorus. The structure on this album is a bit more stripped down and uses more repetition than Oranssi Pazuzu's other albums (while still being proggy at some points), but the music itself is a lot thicker and more layered, thus creating a much richer experience. The psychedelic aspect of the record is particularly effective: some of the guitar or synth parts make you feel like your brain is slowly melting, while the vocalist leaves you no solace with his raging screams. Valonielu is in fact pretty scary, even distressing. The ear-scraping and/or menacing and bizarre keyboard ambiances (see "Uraanisula") and dissonant guitars do nothing to make you comfortable. This said, what is captivating about the album is that, like I said before, it is a voyage; it takes you through a wide range of emotions and atmospheres. "Reikä Maisemassa" starts off as a quiet ceremonial song, but then, a load of psychedelic ooze is dropped upon it, leaving the listener's every member feeling worryingly flabby. "Olen Aukaissut Uuden Silmän" then gets your hopes up again with extremely catchy, yet dense, spacey black 'n roll sprinkled with a few hints of depression. The Finns then leave you floating in outer space, by the means of "Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa", that continues into a dramatic psychedelic post-rock climax sustained by an enormous industrial riff similar to the one on the opening track, then takes you through heavy psychotic distress and leaves you wanting more with its mysterious and mesmerizing finale.

In sum, Valonielu brings a pretty arid listening experience if you're not used to the genre, due to its denseness, its repetition and its Finnish lyrics, but it is extremely rewarding in terms of various, strong feelings tasted throughout the listening. This is Oranssi Pazuzu's culminating and triumphal masterpiece.

Ympyrä On Viiva Tomussa
__________________
8/6 - SubRosa

http://www.last.fm/user/voidflame
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 08:00 AM.


Blah Blah Blah Copyright WWW.METALSETLISTS.COM 2008