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  #31  
Old 01-14-2008, 12:09 PM
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Maiden33 Maiden33 is offline
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Yeah. I calculate I owe you one absolte shitstorm at this point.
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  #32  
Old 01-14-2008, 01:07 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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80-71

80. Rush - Snakes & Arrows



I really didn’t enjoy this album, but I’m no die-hard Rush fan so I suppose that’s to be expected. It had a few decent songs, but the rest ranged from mostly unexciting to downright terrible. I’ll be sticking with the 70s and early 80s material.

79. Saxon - The Inner Sanctum



“State of Grace” is a pretty good opener for the album, seemingly trying to recall the greatness of “Killing Ground”, and “Red Star Falling” is an okay “epic” track, but overall this album is just really average heavy metal. I give props to Saxon for still chugging on after all these years and occasionally striking gold (see Killing Ground), but besides being relatively solid in its own right, this album just doesn’t have much to offer.

78. Dekapitator - The Storm Before the Calm



I thought this was really rather average, boring thrash that just wants to grab a piece of the “thrash revival” action without really offering anything special. Granted Dekapitator have been around since 1996 (formed by members of halfway decent goregrind act/Carcass imitators Exhumed), but why am I not surprised that they hadn’t put out an album for 8 years, and their new one is on—yes, you guessed it—Relapse?

77. Behemoth - The Apostasy



Not really sure what to say about this album. Behemoth were at their best before they started trying to be Nile and put out Demigod. The Apostasy doesn’t sound quite so much like Nile as that album did, but the influence is still heavy. Overall this album just isn’t very exciting. The riffs are nothing special, the atmosphere leaves something to be desired… it just sounds like status-quo modern death metal. The only song I really found interesting was “Christgrinding Avenue”. Oh, and that track with Warrel Dane on vocals is just stupid. If I’m gonna listen to Behemoth at all I’ll stick to the pre-Demigod albums.

76. Watain - Sworn to the Dark



Egh. This is just the kind of black metal that makes the genre seem tired and generic. Overproduced. No especially interesting riffs, just typical tremolo-picking and contrived “evilness”. Too many plastic blastbeats. The vocals are nothing special, either. I’ll admit though, besides its stylistic issues, Sworn to the Dark isn’t horrible. The Dissection influence is felt strongly, and some have said this could be the rightful last Dissection album instead of the abortion that was Reinkaos. I don’t really agree with that, but it’s not an outrageous thing to say. This album is simply too generic, too plastic, too predictable. Skip.

75. Shining - V: Halmstad



Shining have always been sort of hit-and-miss, but on their older albums, they usually had a great sense of dark, hopeless atmosphere that fit their style of “suicidal” black metal very well. On Halmstad however, they almost opt for a more black ‘n roll approach, which only works to a limited degree. The over-the-top vocals and rocking thrash/heavy riffs give this album somewhat of a unique sound (“weird” might be a better word), but it really just doesn’t seem to communicate what they’re going for. Also, the numerous acoustic passages aren’t bad, but almost all of them overstay their welcome. The samples of that girl crying and talking about being depressed, hating herself, etc. seem like a cheap way to get across the suicidal theme, and that basically sums up this album's problem, I guess—it’s missing that convincing atmosphere of despair that made the older Shining albums good… in a frightening kind of way.

74. Baroness - Red Album



Maybe I missed something when I heard (and enjoyed) the First and Second EPs, but I was not expecting this to be fucking Blood Mountain 2. It’s an ugly truth that there’s a new American sound emerging in metal which is, as far as I can tell, based on Mastodon, and the Red Album is a prime example of it. Just more "nowadays" metal that I simply cannot get into.

73. Skeletonwitch - Beyond the Permafrost



Hearing this touted as some kind of wonderful new black/thrash, I was naturally excited to see Skeletonwitch on the bill with Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste back in September, but when the show came, they really delivered less than what I expected. Months later I got my hands on this, hoping that maybe the studio recording was more exciting than their live performance. Once again I was disappointed. This album is excruciatingly average, mindless metal-by-numbers with more in common with melodeath than blackened thrash. Thumbs down.

72. Malevolent Creation - Doomsday X



Fairly average death/thrash, chock-full of signature MC breakdowns and decent but basically unexciting riffs. Not much more to say about this one.

71. Akercocke - Antichrist



I’ve never really understood the hype surrounding Akercocke. My main beef with them is their dynamics—instead of seeming progressive, they just seem kind of disjointed, in that Opeth kind of way (though I won’t insult them by suggesting that’s where their influence lies). Antichrist suffers from this same problem, and it cuts down on the enjoyability considerably for me. I’ve always respected their image and themes—that kind of intellectual Satanism that only a handful of bands approach—and so I give them credit for what they’re doing. But I just don’t enjoy this stuff very much.
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  #33  
Old 01-14-2008, 01:56 PM
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Any credit your list might have had ended around #93.
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  #34  
Old 01-14-2008, 01:59 PM
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Any credit your list might have had ended around #93.
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  #35  
Old 01-14-2008, 03:52 PM
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Only Baroness and Saxon would make mine from those. And Saxon was shit by their recent standards.
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  #36  
Old 01-14-2008, 05:17 PM
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Maiden33 Maiden33 is offline
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The Saxon album wasn't shitty. It was mostly predictable and and fairly boring. There's a difference.
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  #37  
Old 01-14-2008, 05:25 PM
overkiller overkiller is offline
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Originally Posted by Maiden33 View Post
The Saxon album wasn't shitty. It was mostly predictable and and fairly boring. There's a difference.
Yeah, I agree with that.
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  #38  
Old 01-14-2008, 05:57 PM
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You accurately described the Red Album, but that's basically why it rules
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  #39  
Old 01-14-2008, 11:39 PM
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70-61

70. Lunar Aurora - Andacht



Lunar Aurora seem to be a good example of that kind of black metal that focuses so much on atmosphere that they lose sight of what kind of music they’re making, and everything ends up falling flat. Granted, they do get the atmosphere right about half the time and create some really haunting ambiances, but at nearly an hour long, this quickly becomes rather boring music. I doubt I’ll be listening to this one again.

69. Vehementer Nos - Vehementer Nos



This is not really the kind of black metal I enjoy so much. Very slick production, not too many great riffs, instrumental performances that are so tight as to sound bored, and mildly irritating use of violins, flutes, and other such “progressive” elements. This style can be done well, but often it’s not, and Vehementer Nos is an example of the latter. It's a sincere effort, but it's not for me.

68. Helcaraxë - Triumph and Revenge



First full-length by this band, ½ of which is a Public Safety officer at my school, heh. He gave me a copy of this early in the year (last winter, practically a year ago already! ), and I’ve only listened to it once or twice since then, plus once more just recently to refresh my memory. I want to give this album more credit than maybe I should, since I’ve kind of become friends with the guy, but I’m gonna be objective. What we have on Triumph and Revenge is basically a relatively unique style of death metal with Viking themes and tinged with melody. Both of these guys are in a melodic hardcore band, and it shows on this release, manifesting in lots of chugging riffs and noodling melodic licks. The melody here brings them close to melodeath, but it’s not really a Gothenburg type of sound—it’s closer to an Amon Amarth kind of thing. Unfortunately a lot of the riffs don’t really work together too well or are simply too strange to work at all, but there is a good deal of quality material to be found. Minus the melodic leanings, this album has a lot in common stylistically with old Amorphis (Karelian Isthmus-era) and Unleashed, both of which Traynor (vocals) has told me they’re heavily influenced by. Overall it ain’t bad for a “local” band’s debut, even though both guys have been involved in multiple other projects for a number of years.

67. Sigh - Hangman's Hymn



Is it just me, or does this album sound like being inside a videogame? Anyway, Sigh is hailed as one of the most unique extreme metal bands out there, and this album has been getting some really high praise, but I’m not too into it. This is the only Sigh album I’ve heard, and from what I gather, it’s a sort of return to aggression for them, whereas their previous couple of albums were more “unique”. Honestly, this doesn’t sound terribly unique to my ears; in fact, it reminds me heavily of Cradle of Filth at times—the dark orchestration, the sense of melody, it’s all there. There are also elements of more epic bands like Bal-Sagoth, or even Devil Doll, who were basically the original symphonic metal band. They do deserve recognition, though, for the general influence of classical music on what they’re doing. The completed whole just doesn’t end up being that interesting to me. I think what I liked the most on this album were a couple repeated sound effects and peculiar vocal parts. That’s about it.

66. Die Verbannten Kinder Evas - Dusk and Void Became Alive



Being a side-project of Richard Ledered AKA “Protector”, of Summoning, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas have always sounded to me somewhat like a synth-only version of his primary band. However, as its own project, DVKE can be described as a sort of neoclassical darkwave, and on each of his albums Protector has managed to create at least a few songs of striking gothic beauty. Dusk and Void Became Alive continues that trend, most closely resembling the 1997 effort Come Heavy Sleep. The biggest problems with this release (as with other DVKE albums) are its sameness and weakness of Protector’s vocals. The female singer is wonderful here, whereas on previous releases the female vocals had been awkward and sometimes off-key, but Protector’s own voice has not improved much, unfortunately. I suppose it could be argued that his slightly flat singing gives DVKE’s music a unique, mournful kind of character, but to me it just sounds awkward. The formulas here work for a few tracks, but after an hour the boredom factor begins to rise. If you’re a fan of Summoning you’ve probably already heard this, but otherwise I’d suggest checking out other bands that do this style before DVKE.

65. Eight Bit Alien - Photosensitive Epilepsy



A neat little electronica album made by a friend of my roommate. Uses a good deal of “chiptunes” kind of stuff—think NES music. You know, square wave, triangle wave, sawtooth, that kind of thing. Also definitely some Aphex Twin influence going on here. Not sure what else to say, heh. It’s fun.

64. Candlemass - King of the Grey Islands



King of the Grey Islands doesn't explore any new territory for Candlemass, but it does see the entrance of new vocalist Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeternus. While he does a decent job and fits the style well, without Messiah Marcolin it just doesn’t quite feel like Candlemass anymore—it almost feels like a tribute band. As for the music… like I said, it’s pretty standard fare for the band, but it ain’t bad. Almost every track is enjoyably heavy doom/traditional metal that’s worth listening to once or twice.

63. Impaled Nazarene - Manifest



Man, pretty much every Impaled Nazarene album after Suomi Finland Perkele (1994) is hit-or-miss for me, and Manifest doesn’t change that. The cover art got my attention right away, looking like a bonafide crust punk album, but the music contained within is basically just a continuation of Imp Naz’s current sound. It’s still basically black metal with a healthy dose of (old) hardcore and heavy metal riffs blended in, to mixed results. There are a couple tracks that fucking rule hard, but a lot of them are just kind of status quo for the band, which is to say they aren’t bad, but simply don’t do too much for me. The lyrics are still comically awful and intentionally offensive. If you like Imp Naz, give this a listen, it’s got some good shit on it. Otherwise, go with the early stuff, especially Suomi Finland Perkele.

62. Swallow the Sun - Hope



While this album is fairly guilty of being a generic Katatonia/My Dying Bride clone, it possesses an energy, sincerity, and enjoyability that not every effort in this style of gothic death/doom can achieve. At over an hour long the formulas begin to wear a bit thin, but if you’re a fan of the style, this might be worth checking out.

61. Odious Mortem - Cryptic Implosion



This is a solid brutal/technical death metal album that is worth a listen, but not being a die-hard fan of the genre, I’d sooner listen to staples like Suffocation or Necrophagist. This album just isn’t very original.

Last edited by overkiller; 01-15-2008 at 08:15 AM.
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  #40  
Old 01-15-2008, 12:18 AM
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ravenheart ravenheart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overkiller View Post
Yeah, I agree with that.
Only in places. "State of Grace" and even "Red Star Rising" were Saxon by numbers, but stuff like "I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)" were just shit.

Just Candlemass from that last lot in mine.
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13/10 The Skull
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Last edited by ravenheart; 01-15-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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