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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 4130
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:17 am 
 

I use quotation marks for song titles and italics for album titles.
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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:56 pm 
 

Again; does my review looks decent enough to get accepted?

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:43 pm 
 

It's pretty good, man, I don't see anything too wrong with it. Just a basic review of an album. I think you're fine.
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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:31 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
It's pretty good, man, I don't see anything too wrong with it. Just a basic review of an album. I think you're fine.


Great to hear that. Thanks Empyreal! :thumbsup:

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eyes_of_apocalypse
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 3
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:22 pm 
 

Hello all. My review for Omnium Gatherum's New World Shadows was rejected for the following reason:

"Kind of on the edge here, but I would like to know why everything so great, excellent and brilliant."

This is the review:

------------------------------------------------------------
I feel I must start by pointing out that I've never been a big fan of Omnium Gatherum. I have each of their records aside from <i>Stuck Here on Snakes Way</i>, and none of them really impressed me. While <i>The Redshift</i> had some shining moments (the new vocalist largely being responsible for this), it was far from being a fantastic record. So when I saw everyone claiming how awesome this record is, I had my doubts.

Fortunately for myself, these doubts were incredibly unjustified. It is with this record that Omnium Gatherum have proven that the pure melodic death metal sound can still be relevant, and have produced one of the finest melodic death metal records in years - perhaps one of the best ever.

While there have been some fantastic melodeath releases in recent years, most of them are by bands who have strongly deviated away from the prime melodeath formula (Scar Symmetry being the best example of this). Omnium Gatherum succeeded with this record by releasing a fantastic album that sticks with the base formula, and triumphantly expands upon it in a way that sounds somewhat like a mix of Insomnium and Dark Tranquillity. They succeeded by taking their core sound and uniting it with some heavy progressive elements, while building upon the atmospheric side of their music.

<i>New World Shadows</i> features some of the best melodies I've heard in this style of melodic death metal. This melody exists in every song on the album, but it is perhaps best done on the opener "Everfields," the title track "New World Shadows," and the closer "Deep Cold." These three songs are the greatest on the album, and show off the expanded melodeath formula the best it possibly could be done. These songs wander into progressive territory with their complex song structures, and hail the most amazing melodies this band has ever done. These melodies are predominantly carried by the guitar, but the keyboard comes in as well to build an atmosphere that is pure pleasure to the ears.
While the three aforementioned tracks carry this sound the best on the album, there is no denying that every track on here features this sound, and does it well. Every song features at least one riff of excellent quality, bringing me back to the song if even for that riff alone. Examples of this include the chorus of "Ego" and "Soul Journeys." "Nova Flame," on the other hand, pulls me back again and again not only for its incredibly catchy chorus, but also for the verses, which contain some of the best instrumentation on the album. The closest thing to a filler track is "An Infinite Mind," which seems to borrow a few ideas from other songs on the album. Even it, however, carries a few more powerful riffs and a progressive vibe, which keep it interesting. Those tired of the progressive elements will find more straight-forward aggression in "Ego," "The Distance," and, to a lesser extent, "Nova Flame."

The sheer brilliance of the guitar and keyboards are enough to overwhelm the listener, but the vocals are worth note too. Jukka Pelkonen has an excellent, gutteral growl which contrasts with the melody of the music perfectly. Furthermore, renowned metal musician Dan Swanö shows up during "New World Shadows" and "Deep Cold" to, for brief moments, deliver harmonious clean vocals. I found it shameful that he only shows up for such brief periods of time, as his vocal delivery is pure excellence.

In the end, <i>New World Shadows</i> shows up in a genre that has been stagnating for a long time to give it the life it once had. Judging by my opinion of Omnium Gatherum's past records, I'm not sure they'll be able to do it again, but here's to hoping they can. I'd recommend this record to anybody with a remote interest in metal, and this is a must listen for all fans of melodic death metal.
------------------------------------------------------------

(Put in the lines of hyphens to separate the review text from the rest, so it doesn't blend in too well. That isn't actually part of the submitted review lol.)

Looking it over, it seems blatant to me that the reason I love this album is because of the plethora of really good riffs, top notch songwriting, and the fact that they finally decided to put emphasis on the "melodic" of melodic death metal, rather than the "death." Apparently, that's not very blatant, so could someone tell me how to put this up to acceptable quality?

I'm really not very experienced in writing music reviews - this is like my third I believe. So I'm not exactly looking for top notch writing, just acceptable. :P

Thanks!

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androdion
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:30 pm 
 

How high have you rated the album? Because if you rated it over 90% then I'd agree it need some more than just "this is the best of its type" affirmations. You do go around a bit about how good this and that bit are, but you never go in-depth on why you think they stand out.

I don't know, it's almost 4AM here, but I'd say you keep repeating the same type of sentences without adding much. Maybe shorten it a bit but say why you think that riff or that melody are actually top notch within the scene? Just a thought but others might give a better worded opinion.
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:23 am 
 

androdion wrote:
You do go around a bit about how good this and that bit are, but you never go in-depth on why you think they stand out.

Pretty much this. It's great to know that it's a good album, but bring it to life for us. How are the vocals--are they cut-and-paste low growls, or are they cavernous? What about the riffs--are they just okay, or do they slay with the concussive force of machine gun fire?
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eyes_of_apocalypse
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:35 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:57 am 
 

88%... and ok, I think I got it. When I find the time to edit the review, I'll edit this post with an update asking if it's better. Thanks.

Edit: Bah, here:

------------------------------------------------------------
I feel I must start by pointing out that I've never been a big fan of Omnium Gatherum. I have each of their records aside from <i>Stuck Here on Snakes Way</i>, and none of them really impressed me. While <i>The Redshift</i> had some shining moments (the new vocalist largely being responsible for this), it was far from being a fantastic record. So when I saw everyone claiming how awesome this record is, I had my doubts.

Fortunately for myself, these doubts were incredibly unjustified. It is with this record that Omnium Gatherum have proven that the pure melodic death metal sound can still be relevant, and have produced one of the finest melodic death metal records in years - perhaps one of the best ever.

While there have been some fantastic melodeath releases in recent years, most of them are by bands who have strongly deviated away from the prime melodeath formula (Scar Symmetry being the best example of this). Omnium Gatherum succeeded with this record by releasing a fantastic album that sticks with the base formula, and triumphantly expands upon it in a way that sounds somewhat like a mix of Insomnium and Dark Tranquillity. They succeeded by taking their core sound and uniting it with some heavy progressive elements, while building upon the atmospheric side of their music. The melodies are carried predominately by the guitar (most of the time), but there is constantly a keyboard looming around, lacing the entire album with a thick, moody atmosphere that really is strongly reminiscent of Insomnium.

<i>New World Shadows</i> features some of the best melodies I've heard in this style of melodic death metal. This melody exists in every song on the album, but it is perhaps best done on the opener "Everfields," the title track "New World Shadows," and the closer "Deep Cold." These three songs are the greatest on the album, and show off the expanded melodeath formula the best it possibly could be done. These songs wander into progressive territory with their complex song structures, and hail the most amazing melodies this band has ever done.

While the three aforementioned tracks are the best of the album, all of the others do a similar thing, and to good effect. "Ego," "Soul Journeys," "Nova Flame," and "The Distance" all play around with the same melody-driven sound. Rather, though, than the progressive, complex songwriting of songs such as the title track, they lean much more towards straightforward melodic death metal. That does take away from their attraction, however - each song is cluttered with excellent riffs that really calls back to the days of <i>Colony</i>-era In Flames, while still keeping that thick Insomnium style atmosphere. A lot of the melody of the album also reminds of European power metal - some of it would even feel right at home from a band such as Sonata Arctica.

The guitar and keyboard are definitely the most interesting parts of the album, but the vocals are worth note as well. Jukka Pelkonen has a powerful, gutteral growl which contrasts with the melody of the music perfectly; while the music is almost constantly full of poppy melodies, his heavy growl establishes a certain aggressiveness over the poppiness that creates a rather unique sound. Furthermore, renowned metal musician Dan Swanö shows up during "New World Shadows" and "Deep Cold" to, for brief moments, deliver harmonious clean vocals. I found it shameful that he only shows up for such brief periods of time, as his vocal delivery is pure excellence.

In the end, <i>New World Shadows</i> shows up in a genre that has been stagnating for a long time to give it the life it once had. Judging by my opinion of Omnium Gatherum's past records, I'm not sure they'll be able to do it again, but here's to hoping they can. I'd recommend this record to anybody with a remote interest in metal, and this is a must listen for all fans of melodic death metal.
------------------------------------------------------------

Is this any better? I shortened one of the paragraphs and kind of summed up the entire sound better I guess. I don't really know how to expand on why I think, for example, the melody of "Deep Cold" is so damn good compared to the rest of the album. Cause honestly, it isn't, it's just that everything works better on there. The songwriting is epic on the entire album, and I really have no idea how to make that more clear without just repeating myself more. D:

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:50 am 
 

No need for ridiculous purple prose in describing the album (what the hell, Zelkiiro). As it now is, your review is quite fine in my opinion.

What kind of vocals are cavernous anyway, Zelkiiro?
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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:32 am 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
No need for ridiculous purple prose in describing the album (what the hell, Zelkiiro).

There's a difference between "lively description" and "fakey medieval poetic dialogue." :V

Quote:
What kind of vocals are cavernous anyway, Zelkiiro?

I'm not much of a death metal buff, so I probably couldn't give any good examples. I've seen the adjective thrown around a few times, so I figured someone would get my meaning. Probably something really dark, gritty, dirty, and hauntingly terrifying.
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androdion
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:24 am 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Ilwhyan wrote:
What kind of vocals are cavernous anyway, Zelkiiro?

I'm not much of a death metal buff, so I probably couldn't give any good examples. I've seen the adjective thrown around a few times, so I figured someone would get my meaning. Probably something really dark, gritty, dirty, and hauntingly terrifying.

Craig Pillard's type? ;)
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:04 pm 
 

Zelkiiro wrote:
Quote:
What kind of vocals are cavernous anyway, Zelkiiro?

I'm not much of a death metal buff, so I probably couldn't give any good examples. I've seen the adjective thrown around a few times, so I figured someone would get my meaning. Probably something really dark, gritty, dirty, and hauntingly terrifying.

I've listened to all kinds of death metal vocals ranging from shrill screams to frog grunts in an empty well to Half-Life 2 zombie sounds, and I've never thought I'd describe any as cavernous. I suppose some vocals could meet that description, if they're really reverb-ridden and shit.
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eyes_of_apocalypse
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:35 pm
Posts: 3
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:17 am 
 

Rofl, well my edited review got accepted (decided to submit it after Ilwhyan said it's fine), so thanks guys.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5622
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:22 pm 
 

Just posted my first review on this site:
http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/C ... /123/Xlxlx
What do you guys think about it? Remember that I'm still learning how to speak English, so if there are any grammar or structure problems, please feel free to tear my work apart.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:59 pm 
 

Looks fine to me. The postscript is unnecessary, though.
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colin040
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:00 pm
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:44 pm 
 

For Anathema's The Silent Enigma:

Here we have Anathema's second album named <i>The Silent Enigma</i> which I believe is considered to be the band's masterpiece. (Perhaps not on this site, but in general speaking) It’s also the band’s last metal release. Fortunately the band got quite better after this, but lets start the review already.

<i>The Silent Enigma</i> is like a meal prepared by people who don't really know how to cook. Just because you use the right ingredients doesn't mean your meal will guaranteed taste good. You get this messed up songwriting which kills it. It's a sad thing cause none of the musicians involved are the annoying factor here.Vincent Cavanagh's harsh vocals are the best the album has to offer; his vicious, agonizing, almost <i>sharp</i> sounding screams carry much convince and remind me more of <i>Dance of December Souls<i/> era Katatonia, rather than early Paradise Lost which surprises me a bit. On the other hand, his clean vocals are totally unnecessary. More early doom/death bands featured clean vocals but on this release they're just annoying the crap out of me. Mentioned before they sound similar to Tom G Warrior's moaning on some of the late 80's era CF which isn't really pleasant. Instrumentally this album sounds alright. You have the typical heavy, huge sounding riffs mixed with slower leads. While nothing out of this world and quite common, they do the job well. Occasionally there's some keyboard lines here and there which definitely lightens the music up. Nothing to worry about.

But the biggest flaw is the songwriting. Which without a doubt has to be one of the most annoying I’ve ever heard. This album has its moments for sure, but most of the time it just goes nowhere. ''Shroud of Frost'' for example starts of gloomy, eventually turns into a decent doom/death tune before the four (!) minute nonsense section which features some lame guitarwork and spoken word passage. ''Alone'' follows next which is more of an useless interlude (see <i>Dance of December Souls</I> for a good interlude). The titled track features Cavanagh at his shittiest; almost like he's trying his best to annoy the crap out of you while ''Nocturnal Emisson'' is even worse. Do I really need to hear someone gasp?

Still, the album has its moments of greatness. The openings track is one of the best songs here. It takes a while before it gets it going (also, yelling <i>Come on!</I> would have fit better on a thrash than doom metal album) but I love how hypnotising the leads sound here. ''A Dying Wish'' is another great song. This one sounds the most well-written: a little somber acoustic intro going on before hitting you with a catchy riff. I could do without the lame clean vocal sections but I can't complain much about this track. Cavanagh screams like his life depends on it. The other songs have their moments, such as ‘’Shroud of Frost’’ first couple of minutes, but there’s just too much bullshit around here.

I've listened to this album several times and actually wanted to like it. In the end the flaws just kill it for me. Anathema fortunately decided to turn into an atmospheric rock which they're much better at. Get some other doom/death metal albums or try some of the band's later works.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5622
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:16 pm 
 

John_Sunlight about my review wrote:
Looks fine to me. The postscript is unnecessary, though.

Won't use it the next time then, but I won't edit it and send it again. I don't wanna be annoying.

Edit: Changed my mind and decided to be instead an obnoxious prick by changing a couple minor details (including the postcript) and sending the review again. Hope I'm not testing the moderators' patience.
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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4748
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:45 pm 
 

Nah, they don't care. It's their job.

Don't worry about your grammar, btw. You say you are still learning, but your writing is as good as a native. Even the semicolon is used properly.
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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5622
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:09 pm 
 

John_Sunlight wrote:
Nah, they don't care. It's their job.

Don't worry about your grammar, btw. You say you are still learning, but your writing is as good as a native. Even the semicolon is used properly.

Okay, no need to worry in that case.

And thanks a lot for the compliment John! :-D
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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:23 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
John_Sunlight about my review wrote:
Looks fine to me. The postscript is unnecessary, though.

Won't use it the next time then, but I won't edit it and send it again. I don't wanna be annoying.

Edit: Changed my mind and decided to be instead an obnoxious prick by changing a couple minor details (including the postcript) and sending the review again. Hope I'm not testing the moderators' patience.


I'll let you in on a little secret: We don't notice. Unless you start submitting small edits every other day, we barely notice that you're doing an edit of your recently submitted review.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5622
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:19 pm 
 

MacMoney wrote:
Me about my review wrote:
(...) Changed my mind and decided to be instead an obnoxious prick by changing a couple minor details (including the postcript) and sending the review again. Hope I'm not testing the moderators' patience.


I'll let you in on a little secret: We don't notice. Unless you start submitting small edits every other day, we barely notice that you're doing an edit of your recently submitted review.

Good to know that, because the last thing I want is to be a pain in the ass to whoever has to proof read my reviews.
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DemonHellSpawn
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:06 am
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:30 pm 
 

I would just like to know how long it typically takes for a review to get read/accepted? I haven't heard anything back from one I submitted a few days ago.
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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:12 pm 
 

DemonHellSpawn wrote:
I would just like to know how long it typically takes for a review to get read/accepted? I haven't heard anything back from one I submitted a few days ago.

My recent Candlemass review took only a day to be accepted. I sent it again though, so I don't know how long it's gonna take to be re-accepted.
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DemonHellSpawn
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:47 pm 
 

Fuck, I just realized it wasn't even pending. And yet I swear I hit the submit button. :durr:
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:03 pm 
 

Gunther told me to post this here, so sorry for the double post.

"Hey guys, three of my four reviews for Dawn have already been accepted. I've reviewed the content of the Slaughtersun compilation; both albums, their EP and the Apparition demo. The only one that wasn't accepted just yet was the one for their debut. If anyone is willing to read them and give me some feedback it would be cool."

As of now all four reviews have been accepted.
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PhantomMullet
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:56 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:48 pm 
 

Quote:
In an age of evolving music, newer artists are constantly facing bigger obstacles in terms of creating high quality and creative music. After all, generic bands are easily forgotten and never really stand out with the exception of smaller fanbases. There are so many different black metal bands out there today that many of them are suffering from a lack of creativity. If they want a lesson in it, I would suggest they take a look at Woods of Infinity's first full length, Förintelse & Libido.

Förintelse & Libido (F&L) is the offensive, depraved, and chaotic black metal you've been looking for. I'll take that back - black usually symbolizes death, evil, and darkness - F&L is all over the place, featuring many different colours of the spectrum. There's something new for each track and even if the sound doesn't vary all the time, the mood sure does.

What a mess this album is! The production is all over the place, such that you could get a headache after listening to this for a while. Each instrumental element tends to do whatever the hell it wants at the most random times. At first there is no sense of chemistry between anything going on. Random media samples are interjected in places you wouldn't expect. The lyrics are mostly in Swedish, so good luck trying to guess what the songs are about if you don't speak Swedish. Actually, even if you did, you would still have no idea what the hell Ravenlord is singing about.

So...why bother listening to this? I find that the music pays a strong tribute to how the black metal scene got started. There's something hideous, impure, and decrepit within most of these songs. The end result gives off a dense vibe of misanthropy and anti-social/society themes, much different from so many other groups. Take the track "Tribut Till Självmördare"...it starts out with a sample from that familiar Sinatra hit "New York, New York" only to go into an ugly barrage of metal with some truly disgusting vocals. The band even tricks you in the middle by providing an excerpt from Moonlight Sonata, but you could always tell that there's something completely horrible in the air. "Missfostret Tellus" redefines misanthropy and destruction. Whenever I hear of this song, I picture society collapsing in a humorous way as the cretin population runs around like chickens with their heads cut off . Ravenlord's vocals sound almost angry, but also sadistic. Hateful and bitter would be another good way to put it. "Raping the Hexagram" is another good tune...the riffs and the drumming make for a really depraved sounding track. Melkor really knows how to add that emotion to otherwise simple riffs. Of course, the song is a complete mess...it sounds like they practiced only a few times and went with the best version! But I think that was the point and with the crappy production, I can easily see that being the case. The drumming as a whole really stands out - it's simple as well but is able to have that abrasive sound that fits great with the music. I don't know whatever happened to Bruthor, but the drumming really adds a lot of flavor here.

Some tracks are a bit more normal...examples are "Framtid" and "Dystopia." They still do well to convey that misanthropy and rejection of the "norm", The verses are a bit catchy and the guitar tunes don't seem as abrasive as in other tracks. Don't let that fool you, tough: these songs are still out there! If I had to take a guess, these might be considered gateway songs that one might listened to before getting into the more repulsive sounds of this album. Many of the samples they use are still amusing anyway!

The band had a demo before this which contained the same tracks as this album. I guess spacing issues made them omit the tracks that weren't included here. It's a shame because those tracks were great too. Nevertheless, Woods of Infinity have crafted something extremely repulsive and hideous. Förintelse & Libido IS the bacteria that kills everything the air, the salt on the soil, a kick in the groin to all those pretentious black metal bands, and the bull in the china shop. It is offensive, evil, and completely miserable...and that's what makes it most enjoyable. I suspect something like this will be considered very esoteric, but it's worth listening to no matter where your tastes lie. You'd be amazed at how something so ugly can sound so great!


Can anyone provide feedback on my Woods of Infinity - Forintelse and Libido review? I had a fun time writing it and am wondering if it's a good read for others.

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Diamhea
Eats and Spits Corpses

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:57 am 
 

I just reviewed Skyfire's "Esoteric". I haven't been reviewing much lately because I wasn't confident with my ability and I tend to over-embellish. Thoughts?

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/S ... 84/Diamhea
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:04 pm 
 

Diamhea wrote:
I just reviewed Skyfire's "Esoteric". I haven't been reviewing much lately because I wasn't confident with my ability and I tend to over-embellish. Thoughts?

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/S ... 84/Diamhea

I think it's good to the point of being a mostly enjoyable reading, but to be frank I kept thinking to myself "what type of music do these guys play?" while reading it. You give some descriptions but never go too much in depth in comparing it to other bands/genres. But don't let that detract you from writing mate! ;)
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HeySharpshooter
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:36 pm 
 

Hey guys. I have been re-posting reviews from my blog here for a while now, and would like to get some feedback from the rest of you. Not looking for anything specific, just opinions on them. Nice, harsh, whatever.

http://www.metal-archives.com/users/HeySharpshooter

Just go to my reviews and check them out. As an aside, the bottom three reviews(Anata, Suffocation, Cattle Decapitation) are very old, from my High School days. So ignore those. Thanks.

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:26 pm 
 

Submitted my second review already, this time for Toxik's Think This. Would be glad to get some feedback on it:

When perfection is NOT a utopia - 100%

Toxik, the ultimate technical thrash metal outfit, if you ask me. What can I say about Josh Christian's band that hasn't been said before? Not much really, but I'll still try to add my two cents; as it's already known, Toxik is (and I say "is" because they're apparently active again) a speed/thrash metal band that, with time, has achieved cult status in the underground, even if deserving of much more. They are known mostly for three special traits; being highly melodic, highly technical and highly INSANE, and this album is where they took all of those characteristics to their logical conclusion, that conclusion being a peak in metal's convoluted history.

The thing with Think This is that, while certainly a thrash record, it evolves more like a prog rock one as it jumps from one track to the other, and even if that has to do with the fact that Think This is somewhat of a concept album, it's not all it has going for it in that aspect. Why do I say "somewhat of a concept album", you ask? That's because, while there's undoubtedly a unifying theme keeping the album together, the lyrics read more like an overview of society's problems at the time than an actual story. No, the album's coherency is purely carried by the fantastic music contained within. Now, this little observation out of the way, let us dive into the record's world. A world of corruption, deception and social crisis. A world circus, if you pardon the lame reference.

The first thing that should be point out is the guitar playing and songwriting of mad genius Josh Christian. This guy is definitive when it comes to metal guitarists, as the only people I can imagine can measure up to his level of skill are absolute virtuosos like Ron Jarzombek or John Petrucci. His ability to craft riffs that can be ridiculously technical while retaining tons of catchiness and melody is unparalleled, AND THERE ARE JUST SO FUCKING MANY OF THEM HERE. His riffing is also recognizable, having a bouncy, sort of "happy go lucky" sound, with the particularity that it's played at warp speed. And speaking of warp speed; fuck, can this man shred or what? His solos are some of the most precise, tasteful shredding you'll hear this side of Michael Angelo Batio, complete with lots of different techniques that'll leave the guitar aficionado in you drooling like an idiot. The songwriting is also, well, masterful, with almost every song having lots of tempo and rhythm changes (except for the short, soothing acoustic closer, Think That and the touching There Stood the Fence) without sacrificing an ounce of memorability in favor of self indulgent wankery, and a very detailed nature that adds to the album's mass, not to mention that Think This is much more varied than it's predecessor, World Circus. Keyboards have also been implented to the mix, but they aren't really prominent and their only function is to add textures to the compositions, a task that they do flawlessly.

With Josh already given the praise he deserves, it's time to talk about the rest of the band. Let's begin with the replacement for Mike Sanders, the previous vocalist. Yes, I'm talking about the terrific Charles Sabin, and to discuss him, let's get comparisons with Sanders out of the way first; while Sanders was an overall more high pitched (as in, REALLY high pitched) and batshit crazy vocalist than Sabin, the latter one offers a more varied and, let's say, "professional" performance. So, even though Sabin doesn't scream his lungs out at a pitch that only some especially trained dogs can hear, he's in the end a more enjoyable choice, if not by much (I still love Sanders in all his shrieking, banshee wailing glory). Now, when it comes to his actual voice and ability, I'd say that Sabin is somewhat of a Joey Belladonna 2.0. I say this because his timbre and overall style are very reminicent of Anthrax's classic frontman, but with an improved range, vocal melodies, control and much less cartoony mannerisms.

The rest of the players are all stellar, with John Donelly acting as a rythm guitar player so Christian can focus more on his leads. The mere fact that Donelly can keep up with Christian already earns him a lot of points as a guitarist, but he's the least individually impressive participant by a long shot (although this is by no means a diss against the guy). Then comes the fantastic rhythm section made up of bassist Brian Bonini and drummer Tad Leger. The first doesn't just follow the guitars, instead opting for playing very technical (duh), kind of funky bass lines that just freaking rock and manage to give the album another dimension all by themselves, while the second has this sort of jazzy, all over the place style that fits the set's "controlled chaos" atmosphere like a glove. Really, the rhythm section is very awesome, and not nearly as discussed as it should be when it comes to this masterpiece. In the end, you can say that this as much of a listener's album as a musician's, as all the performances are outstanding in their own way.

After dissecting the album in it's entirety (except for the aesthetical choices like the artwork or the lyrics, but that's because I prefer to leave those to the listener's interpretation), I can safely say or, more appropiately, repeat, that Think This is one of metal's zeniths, never to be dethroned. Worhip it on a fucking altar, and worship Toxik too, for they deserve no less.

What do you guys think?
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:29 pm 
 

Can I get any feedback on my review of Redemption's The Fullness of Time? It's the first really negative review I've written.

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/R ... 002/Oblarg
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Xlxlx
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:39 pm 
 

Oblarg wrote:
Can I get any feedback on my review of Redemption's The Fullness of Time? It's the first really negative review I've written.

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/R ... 002/Oblarg

I haven't heard the album, but from the way you paint it, I don't want to, which is good. Excellent review Oblarg.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:41 pm 
 

I thought a lot of it came off as way too over-zealously angry and serious. I used to do that a lot in my old reviews and really, it just comes off as immature. Your actual criticisms are fine, you just get way too self righteous and over the top about them. But hey, if that's your style...
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:02 pm 
 

Your review justifies the criticism fairly well, but some passages are not good, and I did not like the overall tone. Even when the album is a complete aberration, I prefer a more neutral, stoical attitude.
Quote:
I don't know what I missed, but last time I checked this album lacks essentially all of the staples of a good heavy metal album.

This kind of attitude is annoying.
Quote:
Do I really need to go on?

This kind of metatext-esque lines suck.
Quote:
I could spend the rest of this review on a track-by-track deconstruction of the album, but why bother?

You can state that kind of stuff in your review, but why bother?
Quote:
but if you listened to this without vomiting

Reviews are primarily for those who have not heard the album.
Quote:
Sorry, no album containing this song could get above a 20% from me, regardless of the rest of the content.

What kind of sense does this make?
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:28 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
What kind of sense does this make?


Perfect sense. If you listened to the song, you'd probably feel the same way.
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manowar are literally five times the band that fates warning are: each member is as good as fates warning alone, then joey's bass solos are like an entire extra fates warning

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Metal_Detector
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:12 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
Submitted my second review already, this time for Toxik's Think This.


I loved the review, but I may be biased because I fucking worship the album also. Is it just me, or has Think This become a total cult classic almost overnight? Over half its reviews have come in the past year, and a 98 average from 8 reviews is pretty remarkable. I know it's always seemed to be viewed in a universally positive light, but I often see World Circus praised more elsewhere on the internet.

The review pretty much reminded me of how much I wanted to hear that record again without even knowing it, so it gets points for that, too. Still great the millionith time.

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:53 pm 
 

Metal_Detector wrote:
Xlxlx wrote:
Submitted my second review already, this time for Toxik's Think This.


I loved the review, but I may be biased because I fucking worship the album also. Is it just me, or has Think This become a total cult classic almost overnight? Over half its reviews have come in the past year, and a 98 average from 8 reviews is pretty remarkable. I know it's always seemed to be viewed in a universally positive light, but I often see World Circus praised more elsewhere on the internet.

The review pretty much reminded me of how much I wanted to hear that record again without even knowing it, so it gets points for that, too. Still great the millionith time.

Thanks a lot for the positive feedback, comrade! And about your question; no matter if the worship started yesterday or twenty years ago, it's completely deserved! Also, while World Circus it's a great record (and I actually used to favor it over Think This) I'd say that it has two important flaws; 1) it's too raw and immature for it's own good and 2) it's much less varied. It still gets a solid 85% from me, but the perfect score goes to Think This without a shadow of a doubt.
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Metal_Detector
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:21 pm 
 

Agree completely, I'd give that 80-85. The vocals and songwriting are quite as good either, even if they are both well above par.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:25 pm 
 

Metal_Detector wrote:
Agree completely, I'd give that 80-85. The vocals and songwriting aren't quite as good either, even if they are both well above par.

I BARELY prefer Sabin over Sanders. The second one, even if grating for some people, is so batshit crazy and over the top I can't help but love him. Sabin is the best vocalist overall though, that's for sure.
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Metal_Detector
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:30 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
Metal_Detector wrote:
Agree completely, I'd give that 80-85. The vocals and songwriting aren't quite as good either, even if they are both well above par.

I BARELY prefer Sabin over Sanders. The second one, even if grating for some people, is so batshit crazy and over the top I can't help but love him. Sabin is the best vocalist overall though, that's for sure.


Haha, whoops. I've been making that mistake too much recently. Too little sleep, I guess. Whatever, you see what I meant :)

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