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Cynical
Lead Us into Temptation...

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:16 am
Posts: 887
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:53 pm 
 

In general, I like it. Three things to mention content-wise before moving on to stylistic criticism- I'm not certain that I'd consider the riffing style to be "80s style". There are definitely hints of Massacra scattered about, but it largely (not entirely) lacks the epmphatic percussiveness that "80s style" brings to mind, where a few notes in the riff are really "slammed home". The riffs really remind me more of what some of the more progressive Eurpoean death metal bands were doing, such as Atrocity's "Toddensehnsucht", Cadaver's "In Pains", or perhaps even Darkthrone's "Soulside Journey" (although that comparison was probably more on the mark on "Psychostasia"). Also, your review IMO over-emphasises the militaristic nature of it. Yes, it's more that way than Demigod is, but it's still got the element of the mystical, and both musically and lyrically, the connection between the mystical and physical warfare seems a major theme. From your review, you'd almost think it's Angelcorpse. Finally, I'd go into greater detail in exactly how the structures are constructed- in this case, with two or three riffs established as a "main cycle" to the song, which set the scene for a more intricately constructed narrative which builds off of those themes.

Now, for stylistic stuff:
Quote:
Death Metal for the thinking and the feeling - 85%

"the thinking and the feeling" sounds a bit awkward. Perhaps "for the heart and the mind" would work better? I'd also add a few points to the score, but that's just me :P
Quote:
Adramelech's main clame to fame is perhaps the sharing of several members with Demigod, which has lead some people to view Adramelech as the poor man's Demigod. Yet, that is only the half truth - while there are similarities, Adramelech are quite their own beast if not exactly being as unique as Demigod.

Claim is misspelled. Also, "Adramelech are their own beast, if not as unique as Demigod" would be a better wording than what you've currently got.
Quote:
The album "Pure Blood Doom" roughly belongs in the same niche of the Death Metal genre where the likes of Massacra and The Chasm also dwell - in other words, the riffs are in the style of 1980s proto-Death Metal, but the song structures (the music's "skeletons", so to speak) are far more complex than those of the genre's progenitors.

This is what I mentioned above comes into play. This paragraph could stand to be beefed up a bit- it sounds almost like a summary of a paragraph.

Quote:
In the case of "Pure Blood Doom", the structures are epic - the focus is not as much upon aggression and chaos as upon an epic forwards-moving direction which acts like a scaffold for the furious, aggressive riffing.

Again, expand on this one.

Quote:
This combination of a dynamic wholeness and in-your-face expressions is perhaps where the main similarity with Demigod is, but where Demigod is esoteric and mystical, Adramelech is militaristic, complete with Slayer-esque use of Nazi imagery. The tone of the album is aggressive and destructive, if so in a disciplined rather than feral way, rather than introspective and metaphysical.

"Pure Blood Doom" is more than just epic militaristic Death Metal, it is also clearly Blackened Death Metal as it incorporated many elements which are commonly considered hallmarks of BM rather than DM.

First, "Pure Blood Doom" has a rather mythic dimension coming from both the lyrics, o the production which manages to create a degree of dark ambience, eg. with the "fuzzy" guitar tone which most frequently is deliberately deployed by atmospheric Black Metal bands in order to give a soothing, immersing feel to the music.

A more easily explainable mark of the Black Metal influence upon "Pure Blood Doom" is how the mind instinctively listens to it - whereas most Death Metal is to be listened to analytically due to its conjuration of chaos through complexity, Black Metal is usually to be approached from an emotionally dominated point of view (at least in the personal experience of this reviewer).

Combine these four paragraphs, and they'll flow better, IMO.

Quote:
"Pure Blood Doom", interestingly enough, is to be listened to as emotionally as analytically - the ambient, mythic trappings of the album's style and the catchy riffs allow the listener to let himself/herself fall into its currents and directed away into its world, but the structure and discipline directing the album also engages the analytical mind. From a psychological point of view, this fact speaks VERY highly in the favour of "Pure Blood Doom" since it stimulates both halves of the brain equally.


What all this adds together to is a listening experience which is quite the artistic achievement - at once, it expresses, appeals to the baser, unrefined and ultimately uncontrollable emotional/instinctual side of the human psyche while proceeding to engage the logical part of the mind. It unites sides of the psyche which are frequently considered polar opposites, and that is no easy task.

Nice conclusion.

I know the above may sound harsh, but it's really got the makings of a good review.
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:00 am 
 

Here is take 2½...

Quote:
Death Metal for the heart AND the brain - 85%


Adramelech's main claim to fame is perhaps the sharing of several members with Demigod, which has lead some people to view Adramelech as the poor man's Demigod. Yet, that is only the half truth - while there are similarities, Adramelech are their own beast, if not exactly as unique as Demigod.

Comparisons have been drawn to a range of other bands from Massacra to Atrocity - though recorded in 1999, the album sounds more like it is from the first half of the 1990s. Basically, the riffs are in a style equally reminiscent of 1980s proto-Death Metal (albeit with less focus upon rhythm) and the more prog-rock influenced early-1990s European Death Metal, but the song structures (the music's "skeletons", so to speak) are far more complex than those of the genre's progenitors. In the case of "Pure Blood Doom", the structures are epic - the focus is not as much upon aggression and chaos as upon an epic forwards-moving direction which acts like a scaffold for the furious, aggressive riffing; each song establishes two or three different riffs as leitmotifs which are used as the foundation for a narrative structure.

This combination of a dynamic wholeness and in-your-face expressions is perhaps where the main similarity with Demigod is, but where Demigod is primarily esoteric and mystical, Adramelech adds militarism to this, complete with Slayer-esque use of Nazi imagery. The tone of the album is more aggressive and destructive, if so in a disciplined rather than feral way than introspective and metaphysical. "Pure Blood Doom" is more than just epic militaristic Death Metal, it is also clearly Blackened Death Metal as it incorporated many elements which are commonly considered hallmarks of BM rather than DM. First, "Pure Blood Doom" has a rather mythic dimension coming from both the lyrics, o the production which manages to create a degree of dark ambience, eg. with the "fuzzy" guitar tone which most frequently is deliberately deployed by atmospheric Black Metal bands in order to give a soothing, immersing feel to the music. A more easily explainable mark of the Black Metal influence upon "Pure Blood Doom" is how the mind instinctively listens to it - whereas most Death Metal is to be listened to analytically due to its conjuration of chaos through complexity, Black Metal is usually to be approached from an emotionally dominated point of view (at least in the personal experience of this reviewer).

"Pure Blood Doom", interestingly enough, is to be listened to as emotionally as analytically - the ambient, mythic trappings of the album's style and the catchy riffs allow the listener to let himself/herself fall into its currents and directed away into its world, but the structure and discipline directing the album also engages the analytical mind. From a psychological point of view, this fact speaks VERY highly in the favour of "Pure Blood Doom" since it stimulates both halves of the brain equally.


What all this adds together to is a listening experience which is quite the artistic achievement - at once, it expresses, appeals to the baser, unrefined and ultimately uncontrollable emotional/instinctual side of the human psyche while proceeding to engage the logical part of the mind. It unites sides of the psyche which are frequently considered polar opposites, and that is no easy task.


Special thanks go to Exkretor (for recommending this album) and Cynical. (for helping me with the review)
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Cynical
Lead Us into Temptation...

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:16 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:26 pm 
 

You misspelled "to" in the middle of the thrid paragraph. Also, "thanks" in reviews are tacky IMO- I'd rather go uncredited than to see the conclusion of the review screwed up like that.

Aside from that, looks good. Out of curiosity, have you heard their earlier material?
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:30 pm 
 

Cynical wrote:
Aside from that, looks good. Out of curiosity, have you heard their earlier material?


Pure Blood Doom is the only Adramelech album I've been able to find on Soulseek.
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Cynical
Lead Us into Temptation...

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:16 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:42 pm 
 

I'll have to upload some of their earlier material; look in the free metal downloads thread at some point in the near future (i.e., today or tomorrow).
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:52 pm 
 

I have submitted my review for Pure Blood Doom right now after making the amendments you suggested. Expect that one also up in the near future.
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Cynical
Lead Us into Temptation...

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:16 am
Posts: 887
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:02 pm 
 

"The Fall" and "Spring of Recovery" have been posted.
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subjugator
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:18 pm
Posts: 34
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:01 am 
 

Here's some stuff I've added to the original review.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
However there are also positive feelings on this album. As the members look for ways to change their drug addictions like for example, from the song “Dying Inside.” I believe the members just want the world to change for the better and think that current society is pretty messed up. They seem to contradict themselves though with how they write their music. Maybe their music was created to show what civilization will be like if we tread down this current path, which brings me to my next point.

Feeling like you’ve been left in a desolate barren land with nothing around for miles, St. Vitus crushes you with the bareness of desert landscapes and flowing down a never ending psychedelic river of the conscience when they are noodling around on their guitars without any real riffs, and just dissonant melodies.
--------------------------------------------

Actually I just added the first paragraph, but I'd like to know how it flows into the next one and if it describes the previous one better.

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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 5242
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:43 am 
 

Gallhammer - Gloomy Lights - Title: "State of Gloom" - Rating: 95%

Quote:
So, don't we all remember Astarte? The first all female extreme Metal band to really reach any fame internationally, and we all were very curious about how it would sound like, them being female and all. And sure the singer could screech no less than many male counterparts, but was the music really all that worth it? Besides being all female the band was really nothing more but generic and dull as hell. And then there were Sacralis from Germany, not known as well, all female again, playing Death Metal, and again replacable and not really worth anything besides perhaps the looks of the band photos inspiring the pubertarian male imagination. Then there were Derkéta from the United States, never all female but for the major part, and due to the "band leader" being a woman always female-based, and yes, they are great, but only the band leader being female doesn't really count for the gimmick to have any effect, especially due to the fact that said band leader is not dressing slutty, and isn't full of make-up. And now we have Gallhammer from Japan, a band that is all female, and that is more often than not dressing in a slutty manner, and which screams gimmick, and like its something only worth paying attention to for the looks...

And here comes the catch, as astonishing as it sounds: The gimmick doesn't live up to the music. Even far from that, as simply the first few seconds of this album already make clear. This album sums up self-destruction and personal decay in a way that so called "suicidal Black Metal" bands - not even mentioning Gothic Metal - can only dream of, because while said bands scratch surfaces with their superficial cliché "I hate myself so much" type of lyrics (through various more or less pseudo-intellectual variations) Gallhammer dive deep into the ugly decay of a human psyche balancing on the edge of the abyss of the infinite end. The every day routine of drug-induced hallucinations of near death experiences living through panic attacks, feeling as if every second could be your last, every minute, every hour and every day, and the helplessness of being exposed to the neverending gloom of your life at aforementioned edge, all this is brought up by the sheer intensity of this album, and with simple means at that. Crusty, and with a crunchy distortion, the music shifts back and forth between stomping, bass-driven Hellhammer rhythms and fragile, pitch-black and hypnotizing Amebix-ish maelstroms of depression, overlain with hints of abrasive, dissonant Norwegian Black Metal bitterness and malice most well-known from its most well-executed form on the second Burzum album. Almost like Doom Metal it drags itself through variations between slow and midtempo parts, but it replaces the common nocturnal feel of Doom Metal with the bitter and evil gloom of Black Metal, and kicks it up with the apocalyptic negativity of old dark Crustcore. The vocal performance varies between a guttural growl and a raging mid-frequency scream, spiced up during the slow and depressing parts with a siren-like hypnotizing wail that drags you through the endless bottoms of where your psyche can end up if drugged, neglected, spat upon and mistreated and all the more ways possible. Now, naturally, as you can imagine after the description above, being through the bottoms of what life has to offer is a bit of a prerequisite of fully appreciating this album, but I will be as bold as to say that even the most spoiled and pampered, even the person having lived through the easiest of lives possible on this world can recognize the sheer darkness and desolation of this album and thus discover its quality as a representative of that gloomy cornerstone our psyche requires to be truly aware of what it really is.

In conclusion, all female or not, the quality of this album is undeniable. The "gimmick" there might just be a means of getting attention, or simply a way for the band to make it easier for them to get along between each other, I wouldn't know, and I guess no one else besides themselves would really know.


EDIT: Just to clarify, its the last third of the review I have issues with, the first two thirds are fine to me.

EDIT#2: I've added another paragraph, starting from "Crusty...", and I've added the concluding sentence "Ignore this fact for a while and give this album a spin, and you will discover that, as I said, the gimmick doesn't live up to the music, and that this is an album as intense as its all too rare these days."
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:20 pm 
 

Well, Droney, you could start by splitting up the huge second paragraph of that review into several smaller for readability's sake.


Anyway, here is my first draft for a review of Bal-Sagoth's The Chthonic Chronicles. I am currently rather dissatisfied with this review due to its lack of description of the music and lack of depth in both praise and criticism. (I mean, just compare it with my vaunted Demigod review, which I however edited and resubmitted recently in order to fix a few lexical and grammatical errors)

Quote:
The Uneven Chronicles - 82%


Ah yes, Bal-Sagoth's sixth album, possibly the most eagerly awaited album of the 21st century, not the least due to an almost "Duke Nukem Forever"-like cavalcade of delays. When it finally arrived, it soon divided Bal-Sagoth's fans. Some were eager to denounce it as utter trash and unintelligible noise, out of a combination of setting their expectations impossibly high and sheer shock at the album being so different from previous Bal-Sagoth output. Other fans immediately nominated "The Chthonic Chronicles" as one of the best things since sliced bread, or something like that.

The truth is more ambiguous than that - ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is nothing less than Bal-Sagoth's best and worst moments on the same disc.

Bal-Sagoth were, ever since "The Power Cosmic", frequently criticized for doing the same thing over and over again, and it appears on "The Chthonic Chronicles" that they have either listened to those critics or decided to one-up their songwriting. They have not had this much obvious Death Metal influence since "A Black Moon Broods over Lemuria", yet there is no way their debut can be mistaken for this.

This time, the guitars (not the synths) carry the songs and the mix reflects this. The compositions are far more complex, with many songs abandoning traditional verse-chorus structure completely.

This sudden jump in compositional complexity explains not only the rather mixed response from fans, but probably also why it took to long to create. Yet, the occassional lapse of incoherence caused by this creative decision is not among the greater flaws of this album. In fact, the replacement of soothing synths and mellow melodies by vicious Death-Thrash Metal riffs harnessed into progressive structures (has somebody been listening to The Chasm?) comes across as refreshing due to being for the most part well-executed, accessibility be damned.

The best example of this is "The Obsidian Crown Unbound" which definitely is in the running for being one of Bal-Sagoth's best songs ever. Despite a little bit of synth early on which does not work as well as it could, this song is as epic as you can get at its length. When it suddenly goes all Death-Thrash around 3 minutes in and becomes progressively faster and more aggressive in order to depict the siege Gul-Kothoth intensifying, it is simply a thing of beauty to listen to, even if the cliffhanger ending feels like a bit of a cheat.

Yet, even after this, the first signs of actual weakness show up in the form of the instrumental "The Fallen Kingdoms of the Abyssal Plains". Now, this track is by no means bad, in fact it does to a point succeed in capturing the feel it should. However, it only really works if you listen to it while reading the lyrics booklet's backstory to it - not sure if this really is a drawback. Around 03:50, though, this one actually starts to reach a level of creepiness worthy of Brian Eno's "Ambient 4: On Land".

Then comes the perhaps-a-bit-too-brutal-for-its-own-sake "Shackled to the Trilithon of Kutulu" which personally grew on me after I initially was dissatisfied. The "chunking" riff which opens this song and becomes its leitmotif is a bit of a double-edged sword - on one hand, it is absolutely crushing and furious etc., but on the other hand - sometimes it feels almost coreish and out-of-place. This is probably the least consistent song on the album and... hey, wait a second, this song is a good metaphor for the entire album: When it works, it really works, but some parts of it are obviously not what they should have been.

What misfires there were on "Shackled..." are however made up for by "The Hammer of the Emperor", the least Death Metal-inspired song on this album. However, the placement of the brutal and relentless "Shackled to the Trilithon of Kutulu" before the subtle and majestic "The Hammer of the Emperor" is actually a good decision because it keeps it from becoming too monotonous. "Shackled..." is rather un-'Sagoth-like, whereas "The Hammer..." is in vibe the song here which is the closest to classic Bal-Sagoth with its Speed Metal riffs and abundance of spoken word narration.

Yet this one also deviates from the 'Sagothic norm by NOT using any vocals besides the spoken word narration, having a linear rather than cyclical song structure and very few lyrics.

This song is not perfect either, though, since it drags for a short while due to being a bit too long for its own good, but it is still better than the song preceding it... or the one following it.

"Unfettering the Hoary Sentinels of Karnak" is perhaps the biggest disappointment here. Though it has some effective parts, as a whole it actually feels as haphazard and inconsistent as some have accused the whole album as being. I am unable to exactly point my finger on why its progressions seem meandering and the whole affair comes across as standing out in its metaphorical anæmia, but as they say it is the end result which counts. This weakest link of the album definitely has "so much more could have been done with this" written all over it.

Fortunately, "The Chthonic Chronicles" does get better after the nadir that is its eighth track. However, at this points the non-instrumental songs become more simple, if still slightly proggish Speed/Thrash compositions which, while being good at what they are, mostly pale in comparison to the album's high water marks. "Beneath the Crimson Vaults of Cydonia", though... while no "Obsidian Crown Unbound", it is just plain delightfully evil.

The closing instrumental, "Return to Hatheg-Kla", is the single weirdest thing Bal-Sagoth has ever done... and as a matter of fact, with its bizarre creepy science-fiction noises and Industrial influence, in terms of conjuration of a sense of sublime cosmic dread it is on level with Brian Eno's creepiest.

Oh, add the (over)production to the list of things which do not work as well as they should. While not crippling, it is too thin-sounding and compressed for its own good - a slightly thicker, more balanced and less overtly loud sound would have improved.
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Bash
Talking Meat

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:06 am
Posts: 1054
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:27 am 
 

Finally got around writing my first review. I went for something easy and reviewless. It was accepted. Will probably write another. Yay.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=70961#31895

Criticize, bash, praise, nuke; the works.

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8542
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:02 pm 
 

Bash wrote:
Finally got around writing my first review. I went for something easy and reviewless. It was accepted. Will probably write another. Yay.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=70961#31895

Criticize, bash, praise, nuke; the works.


Knowing Stam1na's music only from the singles "Kadonneet Kolme Sanaa" and "Paha Arkkitehti", I'd say this is a pretty accurate description of the music; Stam1na is indeed alternative and a concoction of sorts, difficult to describe and certainly not traditional. I think the comparison to SOAD connected to thrash is a frighteningly good approximation of "Kadonneet Kolme Sanaa", at least. Fortunately, the rest of what I've heard so far is not more of the same. I liked the "Thrash purists stay away" part, it sums up my feelings (as a thrash purist) pretty well.

The length is good, there's a dash of humor, and overall I like the flow. And it certainly isn't a track-by-track; those suck. Doesn't get tedious, which of course might have something to do with the fact that I already know Stam1na; someone who doesn't know them might complain about the lack of description, but I'd like to see someone actually describing it. It's very, very difficult. A quite enjoyable read. Please do Mokoma's new one next, if you have it.

Someone without any prior knowledge of Stam1na's works, please share your thoughts; I am biased, after all.

Niin, ja olishan tuosta voinut tietty enemmänkin pisteitä antaa... kirjoittajalle siis... ;)
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Bash
Talking Meat

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:06 am
Posts: 1054
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:51 pm 
 

Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably be looking into some Stone or Tarot or something along those lines next. It pains me to see these bands getting so little attention. Mokoma has plenty of reviews and the one written for their newest is pretty accurate, possibly save the inflated score.

Ja pisteitä jaetaan ihan riittävästi, satasen arviot jätetään fanipojille ;).

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8542
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:49 pm 
 

Stone and Tarot both need more reviews. Especially Stone, the most important finnish thrash/speed band ever. Go, Bash, go!

Today on the Mokoma gig I finally realized what the problem with the new album "Kuoleman Laulukunnaat" really is. I must review it when I have the time.

Sorry for the following interruption in Finnish, folks, it will end after this. :)

Eikun tarkoitin että mun olis pitäny antaa siitä arvostelusta enemmän pisteitä herra Bashille, teksti oli oikeasti poikkeuksellisen hyvää, siis nyt kun olen nähnyt jonon normaalin keskitason. Minä kun nimittäin hyväksyin sen melkein ensimmäisenä tekonani uudessa asemassani. Älkää mainitko lontoonkielisille kavereille, katotaan kuka hiffaa ekana että Napero on ylennetty. Itte olisin antanu korkeintaan 65% sille levylle, jos siis nuo sinkut yhtään vastaa pitkäsoiton sisältöä, kiva kun joku tykkää. Kirjoita nyt ihmeessä lisää, tuo on oikeasti hyvä.
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Evenfiel
Heavy Metal Hunter

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 9:50 am
Posts: 6144
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:58 am 
 

Napero, you should review your country's first metal band, Sarcofagus!

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Napero
GedankenPanzer

Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:16 pm
Posts: 8542
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:59 am 
 

Evenfiel wrote:
Napero, you should review your country's first metal band, Sarcofagus!


Not a bad idea. I've heard a few songs from them, and they are surprisingly good, real heavy metal with attitude. They also had a hilarious interview on radio about 6 years ago, telling things about their distant past and the difficulties of being the first metal band in a still semi-agrarian country. I'll do that if I find the album, using the downloads they had at some point on their homepage is not the same with my fist-sized computer speakers.
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creepingdoom
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:16 pm 
 

heres my first

DEATHSPELL OMEGA / CLANDESTINE BLAZE SPLIT

This is one of the best splits I have. Both bands are amazing. They come from the same man, Mikko Aspa. This was released after Infernal Battles which was a very good black metal album. But this is more of the whole era when Deathspell Omega was the new raw black metal band around. Now there just even more amazing and have an amazing concept to build off. I dont really follow Clandestine Blaze's discography but from what I hear, it is a very good band.

Clandestine has four amazing raw black metal tracks. There heavy, raw, and black fucking metal! CB is on par with any other black metal band before them, but like rip off bands CB takes influences of old school stuff but dont sound like duplicates. There stuff is more heavy definitely. Mid-paced songs like Genocide Operation to fast-paced songs like Raping The Innocent, really show off CB's colours. This split in my opinion would be a great way to get into these bands. Sometimes I dont think very much about splits, but this was different. Maybe because DsO was in it. CB do an awesome job on this split. I would prefer CB over a lot of black metal bands these days. I really think CB is that good. There was nothing really that stood out to me, its just the music overall stood out in a way. I didn't really have to pick out minor parts I disliked or liked. In general CB do a spectacular job on the split.

HOLY SHIT! DsO enter this split like mad men. Pure raw stripped down black metal. No need for slow-riffing on this song, it just comes at you. Unlike CB, DsO have a different production quality. On the first song, Bestial Orgies, its kind of a mix of Infernal Battles from tracks 1-4 and 5-8. Its actually enjoyable. The suicide curse, is an excellent. More emotion sounds like it was put into this song. Starts with slow riffing, nothing too extreme. After 3 minutes they change the pace and the song is faster. Not as fast as the first song. This song though, in my opinion, is better than the first song. Not only that its longer but there is more variety. Not saying that some fast raging black metal cant beat an emotion filled song, its that this song is more enjoyable. The first like I said before, has some production flaws. The third song of DsO and last song of the split is Seal of Perversion. This song is fast, its kind of mid-paced. The production has changed so its not sounding like Bestial Orgies. Its not as fast though, for 7 minutes I find that there is not enough variety put into it. This song works as an excellent outro though. Just how they came in, is how they leave.

Overall, this split is awesome. If you're in a black metal mood, get this. If you havn't heard of CB nor DsO, this is a good way to hear both of them at it. Even though DsO has gone on to a different music styling of black metal, there old stuff is still just as amazing as the recent albums. To sum it up: get this if you're interested in these bands, get this if you like black metal, get this if you're smart Wink.

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Nightgaunt
I'll Swallow Your Soul

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:50 pm
Posts: 6240
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:34 pm 
 

Your review contains suitable content (which is the most important thing), but it also screams for an upgrade in the polish/presentation department. You consistently use the wrong there/their/they're and leave out punctuation (ex: dont), and the discourse is sometimes a bit choppy, as in this excerpt:

Quote:
This split in my opinion would be a great way to get into these bands. Sometimes I dont think very much about splits, but this was different. Maybe because DsO was in it. CB do an awesome job on this split. I would prefer CB over a lot of black metal bands these days. I really think CB is that good.


In all, the paragraph about DSO's half of the split is the strongest. You have a solid grasp of presenting content, but you'll need to improve on more technical considerations in the future, especially if you plan to review releases that have been reviewed before. Rest assured, it can be done without too much sweat.
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creepingdoom
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:34 pm
Posts: 46
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:38 pm 
 

Yeah I really need to stop doing that. I usually only use there and sometime on occasion they're.

Thanks for the feedback and advice.

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ImaNotOkay
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:49 pm
Posts: 41
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:02 pm 
 

This is my first review, which was accepted. I was just hoping to get a little bit of feedback before I continue writing reviews for the site. Is there anything I should do differently, anything I should leave out, etc. Also, is the song by song coverage TMI? A lot of times I feel it probably goes in one ear and out the other. Then again, if someone wants it, the information is there I suppose. Anyway, thanks a lot.



Winterheart's Guild - 95%

My first review is of my favorite album by Sonata Arctica. I love pretty much everything about it – the lyrics, vocals, instrumentation, and production. Overall the music is energetic and uplifting. The songwriting, courtesy of Tony Kakko is well done; there are lots of great melodies and memorable moments. The vocals and instrumentation are flawless I daresay. Tony has a great voice and with a good range, and the rest of the guys are solid at their instruments. I would like to salute Jani Liimatainen, the guitarist, especially. m/ He is just as talented as a lot of the other players who get more notice than he does. Jens, who’s not technically in the band, does the lead keys on this one. The drumming is solid, though not exceptional; Tommy Portimo does exactly what the music calls for, as does Marko on bass. The production is bright and clean, everything can be heard. It’s a refreshing sound, like that of a lot of power metal. The lyrical themes/emotions are varied, but even the angrier songs such as ‘Champagne Bath’ still leave me feeling happy. I suppose that’s the nature of power metal, and the reason some people do not like it - it’s not “metal” enough, or it’s too cheesy. That being said, it’s not for everyone I suppose.

The album kicks off with ‘Abandoned, Pleased, Brainwashed, Exploited.’ Musically it’s pretty intense. It has a brisk tempo with a lively double-bass beat (a similar beat to what will be played on most of the other songs) and palm-muted guitar chugging. We get solid vocal work from Tony, and keys help in creating a frosty atmosphere. It’s a good introduction to the album.

Next up is the excellent ‘Gravenimage’. It starts out with keys creating some nice atmosphere before the vocals come in over a delicate piano. It’s quite lovely! Soon enough the rest of the band explodes in and the song continues at a moderate pace. After wonderful guitar solo from Jani, the tempo is doubled. There is a lot of emotion in the both the lyrics and the instrumentation in this song. It ends in an epic manner.

A vigorous keyboard solo introduces the next song, ‘The Cage.’ This song is about a wolf that is imprisoned and wants to be free. I quite like this theme! More importantly, this song is written very well. It is upbeat, and has one of the best choruses of the album. The guitar/keyboard solos are also nice as usual. However, I must say the chorus highlight of the song. It is quite memorable and has a great melody. The key change at the end makes all the difference.

Next up is Silver Tongue. This is another upbeat song. Not quite as memorable as the previous track, but enjoyable nonetheless. In my opinion in contains the best solos on the album. I love the guitar solo – it’s perfect! It’s tasteful, technical, and fits the music very well. Once it finishes the keys and guitar play parallel to each other, and it’s equally excellent.

The first ballad of the album, ‘The Misery,’ follows. As with most ballads, it’s a sad song, in addition to being quite beautiful. Tony’s vocals on it are great as usual, and he sings with a lot of emotion. The backing vocals make for a lush feel and create some nice harmonies (as usual). I like this one a lot, the lyrics are nice, and the chorus is memorable.

‘Victoria’s Secret’ is next. Great title, awesome song. As one of my friends put it, the chorus/intro has almost a Native American feel to it. I had never thought of it like that, but I think it’s true. This is one of the best songs on the album. It has an awesome chorus as well as great solos by the keys and guitar. “Life is waiting for the one who loves to live, and it’s not a secret.” – how inspirational. As in ‘The Cage’ there is a nice key change at the end. As the final epic chorus concludes, drums are left playing alone, which lead directly into the next song –

‘Champagne Bathe.’ Some nice guitar work is featured in the intro. This is a good song, though not quite as outstanding as the previous. The highlight of this song for me is the keyboard, though mostly in the background, it adds a lot. Also the “you keep” at about 2:53 is one of my favorite parts of the whole album, for no particular reason. The song ends the same way it began, which is cool.

Next is ‘Broken.’ This song has a moderate pace, but still rocks. It’s a nice change from the hastened feel of the last two songs. Nice vocals/lyrics. I’m sorry if I keep saying that, but Tony is great. The song gets more intense with the great line, “Burning feathers, not an Angel. Heaven’s closed, Hell’s sold out” before concluding with another chorus.

After a about a minute of ambience, the fast paced “The Ruins Of My Life” starts up. This is another solid song, featuring some very hot solos at about three minutes in. These are the second best solos on the album I daresay, followed by a short breakdown with some creepy vocals after which things go back to normal.

The album ends with another ballad, ‘Draw Me.’ Not particularly memorable in my opinion. But as usually it has nice vocals a la Tony. I usually skip this one. It ends at about 4:00 after which there is some amusing chatter by the band and then about 5:00 of silence. Why do bands do that? Oh well, I’ll let it go.

So basically, this is a very solid album – great song after great song. The band gives a quality performance and the production let’s you hear every note of it. The music leaves me feeling energized, refreshed, and inspired. Any Sonata Arctica fan must own this. Any power metal fan will probably enjoy this. And plenty of people who don’t usually listen to power metal (me) may find something to like here.

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cruceno
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:16 pm
Posts: 17
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 1:43 am 
 

93%- Keepers of the Seven Key Prt.1 - Helloween

(it's very disorganized with in the paragraph structure at the moment, but that's only because i copied and pasted it wierd)

Helloween have been vets for a while, bit it's always very nice to look back at the start of this legendary band. For "Keeper of the Seven Keys- Prt. 1" the line up is the best helloween line up ever containing ex- vocalist Michael Kirske and ex- guitarist- Kai Hansen, possibly the two best members ever to pass through Helloween.
One reason it's so legendary (other than the great music on the album) is it can be considered the first power metal album ever. Containing all the aspects of power that we have grown to love (or hate) such as the chronic falstettos and the fantasy theme.
This music contained this album is also very wonderful. Though to me it's funny that everytime a listen to any of the Keeper's cd's I'm overcome by happiness. It's the groove they place in their music. The drum pattern is a constant 4/4 time with a low audible douple bass pounding. The bass on this album is a very odd listen for it pops out at you out a random times then just dissapears. This definative sound is well represented by "Twilight of the Gods". Following this is also a song that could be connected to every 80's power balad. Starting out with an acoustic riff that continues untill the the end of the chorus then pow the crunching power chords shape the background of Michael's high pitched vibrato consistent voice. Following by a lightly distorted solo which is braced with a slow tempo whole note - quarter note that is all in the pitch shifts from the whammy bar. The drums are only noticeable every 4 beats with a "passionate" pounding with no variation through the song. On "Judas" the guitarists Kai Hansen take the vocal duties and does a hell of a job. Same basic organization as every song album, but the "crowd" chanting out Judas is sure to be a hit with the crowd tossing metal horns and headbanging to it. The next song is really the climax of the album. "Future World" is so damn catchy it hurts. Starting with a chugging palm mute riff then bam right into the norm with the insturments, but the vocal Micheal allows for him to create a melody to burn in your brain for a while. "Halloween" I think is the ultimate example of power metal ever. It's so cheesy i feel french listening to it. I mean come on singing about a childrens holiday, sure there is a devalish motive, but it's still over the top. Next it shows that obbsession of being "epic" in power metal. The breif use of keyboards starts a seemingling climatic feel, and well it's 12:09 that makes it a journy. AND a journy is epic.

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MaleficDevilry
Anointer of the Sick

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:23 am
Posts: 334
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 2:54 am 
 

Man, I didn't think anything could be worse than your threads/posts, but this review does it.

You fucking suck.

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cruceno
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:16 pm
Posts: 17
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 1:41 pm 
 

dude way to have no explanation for your hatred... faget

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 6:39 pm 
 

ImaNotOkay wrote:
This is my first review, which was accepted. I was just hoping to get a little bit of feedback before I continue writing reviews for the site. Is there anything I should do differently, anything I should leave out, etc. Also, is the song by song coverage TMI? A lot of times I feel it probably goes in one ear and out the other. Then again, if someone wants it, the information is there I suppose. Anyway, thanks a lot.


Please avoid track-by-track reviews unless you've either developed such mad skillz that you can make it a worthwhile read (few do) or it's such an eclectic album that it isn't possible to cover the record any other way.

Quote:
My first review is of my favorite album by Sonata Arctica. I love pretty much everything about it – the lyrics, vocals, instrumentation, and production. Overall the music is energetic and uplifting. The songwriting, courtesy of Tony Kakko is well done; there are lots of great melodies and memorable moments. The vocals and instrumentation are flawless I daresay. Tony has a great voice and with a good range, and the rest of the guys are solid at their instruments. I would like to salute Jani Liimatainen, the guitarist, especially. m/ He is just as talented as a lot of the other players who get more notice than he does. Jens, who’s not technically in the band, does the lead keys on this one. The drumming is solid, though not exceptional; Tommy Portimo does exactly what the music calls for, as does Marko on bass. The production is bright and clean, everything can be heard. It’s a refreshing sound, like that of a lot of power metal. The lyrical themes/emotions are varied, but even the angrier songs such as ‘Champagne Bath’ still leave me feeling happy. I suppose that’s the nature of power metal, and the reason some people do not like it - it’s not “metal” enough, or it’s too cheesy. That being said, it’s not for everyone I suppose.


This, to me, reads like a summary of a review. This should be the basis of your review, with paragraphs devoted to each of the thoughts here. As it stands, it's a lot of complements without any justification. Also, don't use the \m/ sign, because for some reason the site doesn't register one of the slashes and you get m/ for whatever reason.

Anyway, the rest was quite boring and repetitive. Next up, next up, etc. etc. It isn't that it's badly written it's just... I haven't heard the album and 'nice solo' isn't gonna sell it to me.

Your review is acceptable and if you write more for albums with small review counts you'lll keep getting accepted, but I think you can do better. Write about the album, not the songs and you'll see a big improvement in your own work. Grammatically, no big problems but you're also not really showing off any language skills. Stretch out a bit dude!
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ThrashGordon
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:15 am
Posts: 1023
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 7:26 am 
 

I was surprised to discover there was not a single review for the film This Is Spinal Tap. Anyway here's my attempt. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

Quote:
"You can't really dust for vomit"

-99%

Legendary English rockers Spinal Tap have fallen on hard times. Over time their audience has become 'more selective' and their more recent albums have hardly been critical successes. Shark Sandwich inspired the now infamous two-word review 'Shit Sandwich' and Rock 'N Roll Creation was certainly no Intravenus de Milo. Worse still Polymer Records are flat out refusing to release their latest effort Smell The Glove because of some rather controversial cover art, though as Nigel Tufnel points out "What's wrong with being sexy?".

Their recent American tour has been equally disasterous. Hotel mix-ups accompany cancelled gigs due to a lack of advertising funds, luckily Boston is not a big college town. Bad timing is to blame for a particularly demoralising in-store appearance that generates a surprising lack of fan support and a particularly disturbing habit of Derek Small's is revealed during an embarrassing trip through airport security. The band discover that finding the entry to the stage is not as easy as it once was and even the re-introduction of the classic Stonehenge set piece fails to go off without a hitch, though it's suggested that the problem can be solved with some new choreography.

Even throughout this remarkable run of bad luck the band's professionalism is never in question. Their ability to rise above adversity and give their all for their fans, whether it be malfunctioning stage props or the disturbing ineptness of backstage caterers is nothing short of inspiring. Their status as one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time is also without question as they were the innovators of the amps that go to 11 and there is little doubt that they were among the first metal bands to adopt the philosophy 'Love your brother'. A class act on and off the stage, they even manage to find time to entertain the troops at Lindberg Air Force Base with a rousing rendition of Sex Farm.

In his mission to capture the ups and downs and sights, sounds and smells of a legendary heavy rock band on the road director Marty Di Bergi has created one of truly classic rock 'n' roll films. Chronicalling the evolution of the band from flower power psychadelia to arena shattering heavy metal and providing remarkable insight to a band that optimise sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (though in fairness if atleast one member still had the sex and drugs, he could live without the rock 'n' roll) this is the definition of must see. Let's boogie.


I had a bit of trouble figuring out my closing paragraph, and the fact that I havent slept in nearly 40 hours hasn't helped.

After just re-reading it if it gets accepted I might add another paragraph or two to it this week. I could seriously go on about that movie for days on end and now I'm not sure if I have done it justice.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:12 am 
 

I was very pleased to see a review of that flick. If you're interested in adding more to it, be sure to add more in the way of emotion at the 'great' band's plight in places. ;)
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Largos
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:50 pm 
 

I would like to have this review checked, since it has been recently rejected.

---------------

This album is like the Holy Bible of Power Metal: sacred. This is the Paranoid of Cheese Metal: classic. Hearing this and not understanding the importance of this release makes you:

a) not a metalhead
b) a Power Metal hater
c) deaf

...so if you are something of that, please, stop reading this review, because you don’t like this album. If you are still there, go on.

ALL the songs of the album are instant classics. The amazing vocalist Kiske does an amazing performance, and the guitar duet Hansen & Weikath is the best that Power Metal will ever seen (even others like the Blind Guardian ones are still incredible). What you will find here are catchy melodies, funny lyrics and lots of rhymes, which make the songs even catchier. The power of the choruses (EVERY chorus is catchy and memorable) is what really defines Power Metal, and here every chorus is catchy as hell.

An important fact, which has identified Helloween from the very first beginning is the high sense of humor. The positiveness of this album (and Helloween in general) is something future Power Metal bands will adapt (because, of course, when talking about mighty knight that fight the Dark Lord, the former always wins). And maybe the excess of silliness is a minor flaw. “Rise And Fall” and “Dr. Stein” are the two silly tunes of the album. They aren’t that bad musically (the beginning of “Rise And Fall” and the solo section of “Dr. Stein” are quite amazing), but they can be pretty annoying if you aren’t used to these, so better ignore these the first time, until you forget those Grim Black metal tunes and imagine the funny creatures of “Dr. Stein”.

The most noticeable tracks are "We Got The Right", "Dr. Stein", "Save Us" and "March Of Time"

If we stopped here, we would have one of the best power metal albums, but what would be a Power Metal album without it’s epic song? Let it be, “Keeper Of The Seven Keys”! This song it’s just amazing. You didn’t really like it at first listen, but then you will see the BEST FUCKING POWER METAL SONG (or would it be “Halloween”? I can’t decide!). The last solo is the best of the album.

Here it ends one of the best musical journeys ever. Every fan of metal, specially those who like melodic metal. Heck, even if you are that black necro dude that hates cheese, you make like it here. It is THAT good. Minors flaws like silly effect and (in my opinion) an opener that could be better (*coughSaveUscough*). Even then, this album, without being the best Power Metal album, is THE CLASSIC, and should be revered like that. Buy it, and decide fast because...

“Time... marches...”

NOTE: I have the 2006 remix version of the album, so the next section of the review may not interest those who only have the original release.

The remixed version has 5 bonus tracks. 3 of them are new (they were released only on both singles. “Savage” on the “Dr. Stein” one, the others on the “I Want Out” one.) and the other two are just remixes.

“Savage”. WOW. Why wasn’t this song on the original release? This is in my top 5 Helloween songs. This song destroys anything that it’s in its way. The only songs that could face it are “March Of Time” and “Keeper...”. It’s also the shortest, clocking at about 3 minutes and a half, but it’s just a fast tune, catchy as hell (and you know how catchy the hell is...). It also has the best vocal performance of the Kiske-era, in my opinion. Just amazing.

“Livin’ Ain’t No Crime” is another silly tune. A bit worse than “Rise and Fall”, maybe. The weakest song of the album. Don’t misunderstand me. This is a very good song (if I rated it, it would deserve something like an 8-8.5/10), but doesn’t reach the FUCKING classic level of the others songs.

“Don’t Run For Cover” is the last of the bonus tracks. Worse than “Savage” (yeah, like it is so easy to be better than “Savage”) but better than the previous track. Above average chorus, but not so memorable. But guitar work is quite good. Good song.

The remixes are for “Dr. Stein” and the title track. I didn’t notice a big difference on the former track, but “Keeper...” has improved (specially on the “Disease, disease...” section.). Good as a bonus, but don’t pay just for these songs if you have the originals.

Best Tracks: We Got The Right, Dr. Stein, Save Us, March Of Time, Keeper Of The Seven Keys, Savage.

----
Rating 98%

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MushroomStamp
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:07 pm
Posts: 681
Location: Helsinki, Finland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:22 am 
 

Largos wrote:
I would like to have this review checked, since it has been recently rejected.


Run a quick count of how many times you used the words "catchy" and "amazing".

Think how much there is any actual musical description besides "catchy" and "amazing".

$0.02
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Visionary
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:57 pm
Posts: 2635
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:40 pm 
 

Largos wrote:
I would like to have this review checked, since it has been recently rejected.


Track by tracks ae generally a no no unless really good. Since it is A Helloween review then if there more than a couple reviews for the release then you better offer a new opinion or be a very good writer to get it accepted.
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They influenced MOST of the metal bands of our days, and they are not part of this site? This is unacceptable!!!
I would like to know why is that???
Because they are not considered metal? This is not fare!!!

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Largos
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:23 pm 
 

It's not a track by track review, but I explained the bonus tracks of the remixed version. Just help me to correct the review, or tell me if it's better to write a new one.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:44 pm 
 

The problem is that you don't say anything in particular about the album proper. You need more detail about how the music sounds (particularly guitar-wise), specific examples to support your points, comparisons to other music... make it clear why this album is great beyond simply saying how awesome it is.
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Largos
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:30 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
The problem is that you don't say anything in particular about the album proper. You need more detail about how the music sounds (particularly guitar-wise), specific examples to support your points, comparisons to other music... make it clear why this album is great beyond simply saying how awesome it is.


Thanks. I get it. I shall make a new review from scratch. Delete those lasts posts if you wanna. Now I know what to do. Hope my next review is a lot better :P

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RickJames
Future Drone Librarian

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:59 am
Posts: 1531
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:46 pm 
 

I'd like to see what some of you think about some of my latest work, a review of Leviathan's The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide:

Quote:
Kill Yourself! You Belong With US!
Written by RickJames on June 5th, 2006


Among the head of the Californian black metal horde, Leviathan surely is a strange breed stirring a strange brew, with Leviathan’s one man ghoul Wrest combining his own special hybrid of black metal, dark ambient, and post-rock riffs, furthermore among truly alienating atmospheres (which is added by keyboards; quite tastefully used in most respects), both grotesque and majestic, sometimes simultaneously.

Now this is where things become fairly difficult; The Tenth Level of Suicide works well in some areas and struggles in others just the same. To have a proper analysis in order, I’ll be dissecting areas to subject them to the most effective examination.

Songwriting

The blueprints of all of these songs are structured with good intentions, but some of the songwriting works much more in favor for some songs than others. Many Leviathan fans might know well that Wrest doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to changing up the songs to prevent stagnation; this album is chock-full of riffs. Many times however, I notice some passages of songs to be tedious; there is no sufficient buildup or climax in some tracks. That’s a part of the formula that seems to be missing, and many times there are just successful bridges into other parts of the songs. The entire contents however don’t lack all intensity. There are all sorts of noises, textures, and atmospheres present that give the songs a degree of intensity as well as interest. I might say that my personal favorite would be “Scenic Solitude and Leprosy,” the albums fifth track, for the great succession of riffs and smoother transitions. For example, “The Bitter Emblem of Dissolve” gives off this feeling of being in a decrepit cathedral in a night raging with storm, before giving away to this desolation of emptiness, one of the successful ambient backdrops that Wrest uses to good advantage. In other displays, “Submersed” gives that eerie and dark, yet ethereal use of his keyboards. I personally would’ve thought that the album track of nearly the same name (the last track) would be extremely morose, but there is much more energy there than I would’ve expected. There are parts in the song where I notice some real drive and emotion, but not much of a great deal of sorrow; the track is much more bitter and grim. Many of the songs as well perform their share of emotion and drive, and yet, the emotion isn’t really what’s lacking. There are some improvements where I think marks have been missed, but I noticed a good deal of thought went into the structures of the song and a great deal of effort would make me say that it would be enough for this to be a successful album in this area.

Lyrical Content

As the album title suggests, most of this album is about just what it says, suicide. I find most of it to be something not to overlook, as I prefer to digest it, as I find it worthy of being noted, as well as it being thoughtful poetry. One person I know in particular on M-A might say that he hated the song titles, due to their verbose quality and extravagance. “Sardoniscorn” has a passage that recalls Wrest and his supposed encounters with otherworldly figures: “come with us, you belong to us, kill yourself, you deserve this.” Now whether he might believe in whatever he’s talking about, or whether it might be figurative is of no concern to me. “Mine Molten Armor” gives off the vibe of a zealot: “bitter taste of ash, your whimpers feed the flame, the scent of fear, and searing flesh, I will meet you with war.” Wrest even recalls an account of the sun going out in “The Idiot Sun,” in all of its exaggerated notions. I noted myself, that “Mine Molten Armor” and “Fucking Your Ghost in Chains of Ice” might very much be outside of anyone else’s comprehension, but I happen to like Wrest’s writing style.

Production

Production isn’t exactly the same for any Leviathan song, and on this album, it’s just the same. On one hand, you could have “Sardoniscorn,” having a much cleaner sound, with bass and treble levels fairly low, and vocals taking prominence in the foreground of the song. On the other hand, something like “He Whom Shadows Move Towards,” the bass is very audible, and the guitar is a bit scratchier, treble turned up. I suppose that this where Wrest gains and at the same time, loses some efficacy. Usually on the album, the guitars are fairly thin, but the bass can usually be heard, and the programmed drums (it’s not at all a negative in my book; Wrest uses them well with the analog drum kit) are sporadically fascinating, but for the most part, are exceptionally precise, both in sound, volume, and for their propelling force in most songs. The sound is a bit irregular, and I can’t explain it without bias as I’ve listened to Leviathan so many times. I can’t say at times that the production works for all songs, but at times it tends to fit here and there.


For all of the criticism I’ve created for this album, I didn’t think it would do any good if I didn’t point out what I thought what was wrong with it. But for it being Wrest’s first release, I must say that The Tenth Sub Level of Suicide has some real potential for growing on someone after a few listens, despite the ups and downs it may create at first. I also believe that this album does show that glimmer to some of the brilliance that Wrest does have, and I think it’s a stable groundwork for his next full-length.
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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:23 pm 
 

Looks good to me.
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:34 am 
 

I am not yet satisfied with this review of Brutality's When the Sky Turns Black.

Quote:

Interesting Death Metal apocrypha - 81%

In a fit of irony, Brutality is best known for standing in the shadow of their neighbour bands Morbid Angel and Obituary, which has endowed this band with a bit of "apocrypha interest" factor.

The style played by Brutality on this album makes heavy use of tremolo riffs in the often rather epically complex compositions and moderately guttural, growly vocals which are very typical of the genre but very well performed. Acoustic interludes are used very often to perhaps form a bit of equilibrium to be broken by the heavier full-blown Death Metal songs. The guitar techniques call to mind At the Gates' second album, but what is actually done is a very different thing. The tempo is almost uniformly slow-to-midpaced, with a few fast sections.

The overall tone of the album can best be described as "apocalyptic". On the album's early songs, the tremolo riffs are used to subtly implying a sense of something dreadful and cataclysmic - sometimes approaching from far away, sometimes hanging over. This is achieved by the delivery, where the tremolo riffs often avoid going straight at the listener's throat but instead are used to build up atmosphere. The solos are uniformly melancholic, though with a remarkable absence of angsty pathos.

In fact, for a thematically apocalyptic album at least as much time is spent upon the build-up to the cataclysmic destruction (or, well, the sounds producing mental imagery of such) as on the climactic stuff itself. The ways the songs progress often come across as decaying rather than advancing.

However, when it finally takes a tone for full-on destructiveness (curiously enough reserved for the later half of the album, for the most part) "When the Sky Turns Black" does indeed live up to the band's name. On songs like "Artistic Butchery", the tremolo riffs (by no means the only sort of riffing found here, but still) are dominantly heavy and crushing, immediate rather than impending. I am not sure if Brutality were going for a concept album, but with some good will the whole "When the Sky Turns Black" can be interpreted as the story of some cataclysmic war beginning. In this case, the acoustic instrumentals would be the scattered moments of tranquility where the survivors gather among the ruins.

Special mention must be given to the cover of Black Sabbath's "Electric Funeral". It is positively surprising how well this song lends itself to a Death Metal interpretation, though it would be even more awesome to hear Autopsy's take on it. I even dare say that this is one of those covers which transcend the original.

All in all, this is a very recommendable album. Be warned, though, this is not an instantly accessible album and may take some time to finally click.
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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
Posts: 2624
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:04 pm 
 

Here is my recently accepted review for Thine Eyes Bleed's "In Wake Of Separation."


"Many bands have fallen into the world of melodic death, but few remain as talented and memorable as Thine Eyes Bleed. Hailing from Canada, Thine Eyes Bleed issue a great debut that expands the limits of melodic death metal.

The guitar work is the typical style of melodic death. The riffs are filled with strong amounts of melody, but are incredibly fast, especially when being compared to the usual melodic death band. Every now and then, there are strong elements of thrash, but these thrashy riffs don't last for very long or aren't very memorable. Unlike several other melodic bands, there are solos, lots of them. The solos are probably the highlight of the album, mainly because they aren't boring and they are always technical and last for a decent amount of time. Guitarists Jeff Phillps and Derek Ward issue a relentless guitar attack that doesn't stop for the entire album. The drumming stands out on this album as well. Drummer Darryl Stephens displays fantastic drumming as he constantly double basses and makes fantastic changes in his drum patterns. The best example of his drumming is on "Cold Victim," were he is pulling off insane hits on his drum set while double bassing at incredible speed.

At first sight, vocalist Justin Wolfe is just another bland singer of the melodic death field, but he proves he isn't. His screams are loud and furious, and so are his growls. The main thing that separates Wolfe from a remainder of the singers in the melodic death area is his ability to narrate during songs. During the final minutes of "Live To Die," Justin narrates the lyrics in haunting way, its like he's telling a story!

I didn't expect much from this band, but Thine Eyes Bleed proved me wrong. "In The Wake Of Separation" is a great debut and I can't wait to hear some of their future material. Thine Eyes Bleed are just a young band, and this album shows they can already make incredible music at such a young age where most bands fail to do. Give this a chance, you won't regret it."

I'm pretty new to writing reviews. This is my first review that isn't a track by track and I'm just wondering for some constructive pointers to make a whole album review better.

Thanks.

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electric27
hurr hurr i post whiel drunk

Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 6:03 pm
Posts: 975
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:25 pm 
 

Hey, I was hoping to get some feedback for a non-metal review I recently did for my blog (yes, I'm a trendy fuck).
PS: That first paragraph looks a lot better on the actual site.
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Whew, first album review I’ve done for a while. Hell, this the first non-metal album review I’ve ever done.

Faubourg de Boignard - La Ravine 1995

I have exactly one French band in my music collection, and they are Faubourg de Boignard, and no, I have no idea how to pronounce their name either. Faubourg de Boignard are hard to classify. The album starts off with songs that could best be described as folk/traditional with hints of jazz. The songs use traditional instruments like accordions and bagpipes, as well as bass guitar and drums, as well as the occasional guitar or fiddle. As the album progresses, however, the jazz begins to move towards the foreground and what you have by the middle of the album is a laid back sort of funk/fusion-meets folk. Slap bass and grooving drums lay a solid foundation over which the bagpipe, organ and synthesiser weave a harmonious song to the sky. Then comes the title track, a somber ballad that features some beautiful interplay with the bagpipe and strings. Then things resume as before, this time with an uptempo soft rock feel. By the end of the album we see a reemergence of the folk, including a song that is apparently about tomato sauce, at least that’s what the title suggests. The very last song, “Valse Duo”, kind of reminds me of a Frenchified “Stairway to Heaven”. I like how this album has a definite flow from folk to fusion and back again. Listen to this as a whole album, you’ll enjoy it more.

The songwriting is superb. The band plays around with a lot of different feelings and moods throughout the album, even within the songs themselves. Although each song keeps its own constant tempo, their relatively short lengths keep them from getting dull, as does the rather progressive feel each one possesses. Faubourg de Boignard have a very good ear for dynamics. Songs don’t just build to a crescendo as you see in a lot of modern rock. The band knows how to build suspense by cooling things off in the middle of a song. This sense of dynamics also keeps things from getting tedious.

All in all, I’d say this is a fine and unique album. I have no complaints about it. I don’t have anything else like it in my collection, and I’d recommend it to fans of folk, fusion or world music, as well as any one with an open mind. 97/100
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Minotaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:00 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Mongolia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:36 am 
 

I'd consider that a standard 'segmented' review. The description is fine but it seems a little souless to me. You could use more subjetive comparisions as I would use for a Bolt Thrower album: "This resembles a bloody futuristic battle on a deserted place where a side displays its omnipotence against the other with much bloodshed." I just invented that, hence why it sounds kind of shitty, but you get my point.
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MazeofTorment
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:06 pm
Posts: 2039
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:19 pm 
 

ok, someone tell me why my review for the new Gorgoroth isnt being accepted. Here it is...

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After three years of wait. Black Metal fans finally get a new album from the infamous Black Metal act from Norway who are more well known for their Crimes and on stage antics than they are for their music. A band that in my eyes has always created solid, well done Black Metal for the most part but never quite reached the peak of the mountain like such other famous Norwegian acts such as Immortal, Emperor, and Burzum.

After their last two releases it looked as if Gorgoroth was in a downward spiral for the end after two straight lack luster albums and their vocalist Gaahl being charged with ritualistic crimes. But "Ad Majorem Satanhas Gloriam" was most certainly a surprise. As always, nothing special, nothing too original but Gorgoroth have bounced back and created a solid album. It starts off with "Wound upon Wound", one of the catchier tracks on the albums with riffs that will keep you head banging throughout. The album continues along a similar, steady path with flashes of atmospheric brilliance on tracks such as "God Seed", "Sign of an Open Eye", and the closing track "Prosperity and Beauty". "Sign of an Open Eye" does somewhat stray from the usual Gorgoroth style as it is a very slow atmospheric song with hardly any vocals on it at all, just a few spoken sections but it works well here and is one of the better tracks on the entire album. And as the album closes, Gorgoroth again touches back into abit more of the same kind of melodies that were present on the opening track. "Exit" and the closer "Prosperity and Beauty" are 2 of the catchier Gorgoroth songs I have ever heard and they are also 2 of the more memorable tracks on the entire album.

The production on this album is flawless but not overdone at all. The riffing is very clear and with Frost back in the mix; the drumming is nothing short of outstanding as would be expected. A big step up from the drumming on their last release "Twilight of the Idols". The vocals are much better this time around as well. I felt that the vocals were alittle overproduced on 2003's Twilight and sounded very fake but Gaahl puts forth a very good effort on Ad Majorem Satanhas Gloriam.

In conclusion, this is the best thing Gorgoroth has done since Under The Sign of Hell. But make no mistake about it; there is nothing particularly special or ground breaking about this release. As I stated at the beginning, it’s just a solid, straight forward Black Metal album that is somewhat of a return back to Gorgoroths better days. For long time Gorgoroth fans, this is a must buy and should not disappoint.

Standout songs: Wound Upon Wound, Sign of an Open Eye, God Seed (Twilight of the Idols), Prosperity and Beauty.

Cover Art: Alittle homo, 0/10
Musicianship: 8
Originality: 7
Replay Value: 9

Overall 8/10
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Nightgaunt
I'll Swallow Your Soul

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:50 pm
Posts: 6240
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:47 am 
 

Today is the 8th. That was accepted (by me) on the 6th. Been a little out of touch, have we?
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