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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5095
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:48 am 
 

HeySharpshooter wrote:
I can guarentee his hate for this album is merely because everyone loves it and he wants to be different and "controversial"


I would love to know how you can accurately guarantee such a baseless assumption. Please, do enlighten me as to how you are so sure of this, because I, ya know, kind of explain why I hate the album in the review itself. If you can accurately extrapolate an ulterior motive from nothing, then more power to you. You should be a lawyer.

androdion wrote:
Bunch of stuff


My point for taking on well liked albums recently (or for the JTC series, rather) is to give a different perspective. You can read hundreds of positive Death and Gorguts reviews across the internet, but a comparatively few negative ones. My point isn't to rile up fans (though it's a common side effect), but merely to shed a different light on an album from a different direction. I do my best to never descend into pure juvenile Borisisms and senseless mockery (though jokes and hyperbole are obviously a part of what I do), I try to keep it musical and entertaining at the same time. I also didn't enter this with expectations to not like it. I'm obviously a huge death metal fan and have been surrounded by fans for nearly a decade, I just can not get into it and can not understand the rampant enthusiasm for it.

The 0% score is not hyperbolic, just as an aside. There really isn't one single thing I like about the album, why on earth should it not get the minimum score then? Just something I feel I should throw out there before that gets thrown at me too.
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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:58 am 
 

I like Obscura (although I prefer From Wisdom to Hate), but I can very clearly see how somebody would absolutely despise it on the level BH does, and I'm sure he's not the only one out there that hates the record. There's probably at least a few people that want to make their negative feelings about the record known but won't because of the potential backlash they'll receive since Obscura is so revered.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 3:16 am 
 

Eh, Gorguts are technically solidand obviously very skilled and educated musicians, but their music is forgettable and boring. I can't count how many times I have listened to then over the years and it never appealed, never stuck with me. In the same vein, Martyr are exceptional at writing catchy, memorable hooks in obtuse death metal riffing.

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HeySharpshooter
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:12 am
Posts: 360
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 5:09 am 
 

Your supposed "reasons" for hating Obscura are incredibly generic stuff I've been hearing about Tech Death for years. It's always the same thing: "not memorable, wank, masturbation, tech for the sake of tech, soulless, too chaotic, progression for the sake of progression, no song-writing skill, etc." These are not new opinions and your review brings no new perspective on the album that I would have found in a Ross Bay Cult thread on the Nuclear War Now! forums.

Note that I am not a massive Gorguts fan. I vastly prefer From Wisdom to Hate to Obscura, and I think it's an album filled with flaws. But just going through the same generic criticisms of Tech Death and targeting them at a Sacred Cow just seems like a big reach to me.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 6:18 am 
 

He put forth a shit load more than just "wank for the sake of wank", he talked extensively about how he hated the dissonant, angular sound. I do have some issues with the title of the series, kinda does have an aura of "Look at me! Look at me!" about it, but claiming he only put forth generic tech death compaints about is obviously wrong.
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 7:48 am 
 

If anything BH's reviews have given us something to talk about :-D while I thoroughly disagree with his views on Individual Thought Patterns and to a lesser extent Obscura I think it's always good to challenge well percieved opinions on albums. If we all praise each other's taste in music we create a highly elitist circle "oh you like that album well done to you so do I, it's amazing blah blah blah let me wank you off because we're both so great" when I read his review for Individual thought Patterns what was the first thing I did? listened again and try and listen to what he was talking about and see was I wrong about this album, of course I wasn't ;) it's still brilliant and BH clearly has terrible taste ;) but at least his negative opinion gave me a chance to reaffirm my opinion of the album. Just because Individual Thought Patterns is one of the lower rated Death albums on this site doesn't bother me because to me it's their best and one of my favourite albums of all time.

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zeingard
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 539
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 9:29 am 
 

Sorry BastardHead but this is easily the weakest review you've written in a long time. I love reading reviews that are the polar opposite to my opinion but at no point during my reading did I feel compelled to consider your side of the argument.

I can certainly understand why people may not like 'Obscura' but you barely made a coherent argument beyond "being weird for weird's sake" and "inept musicianship". I feel like if you're going to trash a sacred cow you've got to put some real effort into the writing otherwise you look kind of foolish; a child yelling into the aether for attention. I'm listening to the album right now and there are plenty of moments where the music is not dissonant and acts as a competent juxtaposition to the insanity and noise of the rest of the music.

I can tell you really wanted to write this review but it feels rushed, like you wanted to get it out the door so that it could be a part of this series. You may want to revisit this review sometime far later in the future and give it another shot because the rest of your writing has been pretty on the ball other wise. Not saying you'll suddenly see the light and write a positive review, just a more convincing and entertaining argument.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:33 am 
 

HeySharpshooter wrote:
Your supposed "reasons" for hating Obscura are incredibly generic stuff I've been hearing about Tech Death for years. It's always the same thing: "not memorable, wank, masturbation, tech for the sake of tech, soulless, too chaotic, progression for the sake of progression, no song-writing skill, etc." These are not new opinions and your review brings no new perspective on the album that I would have found in a Ross Bay Cult thread on the Nuclear War Now! forums.


Did you actually read or did you just skim until you saw the words "not memorable" and then just filled in the blanks yourself? I hope you're not implying that I use these criticisms for all tech death, because if so I'll have to point you to positive reviews of Origin, Decrepit Birth, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, numerous namedrops of other tech death bands and albums I enjoy, and my year-end lists where Neuraxis has placed and Hour of Penance has placed in the top 5 twice. Obviously I really like tech death, obviously absurdly wanky and blasty over-the-top technicality can appeal to me. Obscura just sounds like shit. Absolute, cacophonous, grating shit. A fiercely negative view on a generally well adored album is definitely a new perspective, even if it's just a new spin on the qualities that so many others seem to love about it.

Also there's no need to consistently throw in how you don't think the album is perfect either, that's not the point, and just makes you look overly defensive.

lord_ghengis wrote:
I do have some issues with the title of the series, kinda does have an aura of "Look at me! Look at me!" about it


True story, the initial point of Jerking the Circle was to be a week long endeavor, with seven reviews, one posted each day. It sat with about two and a half reviews finished for about a month before I decided to just publish what I had finished. Every review series is pretty much an attempt to draw attention to yourself, that's why writers write. I'm sure none of us just want to wallow in obscurity. Is it the most tasteful thing I could have done? Probably not, but what can ya do?

zeingard wrote:
Sorry BastardHead but this is easily the weakest review you've written in a long time. I love reading reviews that are the polar opposite to my opinion but at no point during my reading did I feel compelled to consider your side of the argument.


Aw man, Zein usually has my back :(. For real though, I do get it, I pretty much harp on one or two aspects of why I can't stand the album so much, but those one or two aspects are such a roadblock for me that anything else that may be there is just utterly inaccessible to me. The part where I mentioned it took a month to get that far is 100% true, the review sat collecting dust at that sentence for slightly over a month before I was able to find a way to finish the second half of the review. I kind of make the same point over and over again and that's a totally valid criticism, maybe some time in the future I will be able to speechify everything else that makes the album so unbearable to me, but for the past eightish years, it's just been so impossible to listen to that I just can't explain further than what I already have. I wouldn't call it "rushed" per se (though it was intended to end the series when it was still a week long idea as opposed to this "just slap the title on when it fits the theme" thing), because I did spend a lot of time listening to the album and trying to arrange my thoughts properly, but I guess it didn't come out quite as well as I'd hoped. Sorry you didn't think it was effective, but I appreciate you not making baseless assumptions about my true feelings.

Kids, that is one of the reasons why Zein is one of the writers and critics I respect the most. Take note.
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Metantoine
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Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:42 am 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
If anything BH's reviews have given us something to talk about :-D.

I always try to make the thread alive and I know BH's review would led to a discussion, sorry if I sacrificed you Bastard!
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:46 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
androdion wrote:
Bunch of stuff


My point for taking on well liked albums recently (or for the JTC series, rather) is to give a different perspective. You can read hundreds of positive Death and Gorguts reviews across the internet, but a comparatively few negative ones. My point isn't to rile up fans (though it's a common side effect), but merely to shed a different light on an album from a different direction. I do my best to never descend into pure juvenile Borisisms and senseless mockery (though jokes and hyperbole are obviously a part of what I do), I try to keep it musical and entertaining at the same time. I also didn't enter this with expectations to not like it. I'm obviously a huge death metal fan and have been surrounded by fans for nearly a decade, I just can not get into it and can not understand the rampant enthusiasm for it.

The 0% score is not hyperbolic, just as an aside. There really isn't one single thing I like about the album, why on earth should it not get the minimum score then? Just something I feel I should throw out there before that gets thrown at me too.

Yes I realize that, and by all means the world is definitely a better place when people can have blatantly different opinions and grow stronger out of discussing them between themselves. With that being said I'm somewhere sitting by the fence watching you wreck good to great albums by the sake of offering a different opinion, or a negative one to contrast with all the blazing glory and laurels put upon them. It feels kind of forced you know?! Like lord_ghengis says, it's almost as if you're trying deliberately to be different! And that's where I stop being enticed by the writing, honestly speaking.

Like I said before during the great The Aura shitstorm, it seems that nowadays people are far more interested in gratuitously bashing stuff rather than trying to find something they actually appreciate. I know this is not the case with you, and as in my last post I make the distinctive statement that this is no attack but rather a commentary, and one that probably outgrows the scope of the actual review, but it seems to be a recurrent behaviour nowadays. I just find it socially weird that people revel so much in negativity that they don't get the time to actually enjoy things they like, or better, find the actual things that they like. Maybe it's just due to me being an optimistic person by nature, or maybe it's just a new trend. I guess we'll never know for sure.

My conspiracy finger tells me that someone may attempt to give a highly negative note to Elvenefris in a near future, being that it's so highly revered and all. That would certainly give further evidence to my theory. :D
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enigmatech
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:57 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 11:56 am 
 

I don't really listen to Gorguts after "Considered Dead" but I always thought that the point of "Obscura" was to get a polarizing reaction, with some people loving it, and other people hating it, both for basically the same reasons. I can't defend the review because I didn't read it, but I did read the guy's "Individual Thought Patterns" review and I must say, even as a devoted Death fanatic (I literally love every single second of music the band ever released), the only reason anyone would have a problem with that would just be on the principle of it being a negative review for Death. The content of the review is pretty well-phrased I think...of course, I disagree, but I guess I see where he's coming from and if there's going to be a negative review for my favorite band, I would rather it be something like that or even Kruel's review for "Sound of Perseverance", than something childish like the stuff RageW wrote recently.

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:01 pm 
 

It's not like I'm looking for good albums just to shit on them, if anything the whole JTC series is mostly albums I've been listening to for ages but never liked and just hadn't reviewed until now. I'm not "out to get" anything really, nor am I deliberately trying to be different or stir up shit. Basically I just put a snappy title on a few negative reviews. I know you're not accusing me, but some people are and I know some people who don't post feel it to, so I'm just addressing it. This part on the other hand:

Quote:
With that being said I'm somewhere sitting by the fence watching you wreck good to great albums by the sake of offering a different opinion, or a negative one to contrast with all the blazing glory and laurels put upon them. It feels kind of forced you know?


It's totally your call if you think it's forced, neither of us can really prove whether or not it is, but until I see you or somebody else take up arms against the fiftieth positive review for Powerslave and say "Oh come on, was it really necessary to add another lump of praise on to the pile?", I'll never take that whole "just for the sake of negativity" criticism seriously. Sometimes people just try to be dicks, but it's not something you can ever really prove, and it's not as if the negative reviews aren't their real opinions.

This is one of the reasons that Zodi's Illud review is so fascinating to me, because it's one of the only times I can think of where the inverse situation actually happened :lol:

EDIT: It also probably seems like I'm being rude to andro, I promise I'm not meaning to! :p
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:13 pm 
 

@enigmatech - And Kruel's review isn't childish?! Seriously though, that first paragraph alone... :puke:

BastardHead wrote:
EDIT: It also probably seems like I'm being rude to andro, I promise I'm not meaning to! :p

I know you're not being rude, it's all good. ;)

The second part of your post is something that can't be controlled by any of us though, and I mean the perception others have of our own personal opinion/writing/whatever. We can only try to convey our message as openly as possible as to avert being misinterpreted, and in this specific case having such a subtitle as you do ends up inferring that you're actually on a hunt for wanky meat (damn, that sounds... yuk...). I know you're not, since you've said it yourself already, but given this recurrent type of behaviour I see, not just here but in many other places where suddenly people have discovered that there are no boundaries in the Internet, it's hard not to feel like it is a bit of a similar stance sometimes. I know you're getting where I'm aiming, which isn't you per se, and it's something that just feels weird to me. Like on RYM where all the indie fans bash metal albums and vice-versa, just for the sake of dropping average rates! It's such a stupid thing really, and it simply eludes me how people can be so mischievous so gratuitously, you know?!

But enough is enough on the social commentary, I reckon. Now, as a punishment for hitting a sacred cow you'll have to endure the entirety of DSO's Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (it wasn't Fas...) on repeat... for a week! :ah-ha:
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
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Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:27 pm 
 

I honestly don't think BH is being negative for the sake of a reaction, he wouldn't have gotten to mod status otherwise if his reviews weren't well informed and well written. I personally will not review an album I know will be bad, so you'll never see me writing a review for lets say Waking the Cadaver or Whitechapel due in part to me not caring about the music. The only time I broke this was when I wrote a review for Abiotic's album Symbiosis due in part because I was suckered into buying it so I felt obliged to review it thats all. But there are instances where I will do a bad review if it's from a band a I love but the album fucking stinks and I think this is where BH is coming from, I have no doubt he's listened to Death as extensively as most of us and the same goes for Gorguts. He wanted to review something that personally he felt didn't deserve the status it had gotten. Ironically though his negative review is only making me want to listen to that album(never have shocker I know!!) whereas if he had given it a 90% slapped praise on it and went on I would still be ignoring it. But still BH fuck you, how dare you criticise Individual Thought Patterns :P I'm still so butthurt from that :lol:

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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:29 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
It's not like I'm looking for good albums just to shit on them.

:lol: I'm sorry but that's a load. Why else would you call your review series Jerking The Circle if you weren't intentionally trying to troll/piss off people by dumping on records that are acclaimed and enjoyed for the most part? Not to mention you have a little history stirring the pot (your review on Manilla Road fans that caused pages of shit-flinging on the FFA.) I have minimal history with that Gorguts record, but come on, dude. Admit you're trying just a little bit to get a rise out of people.
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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: Sun May 26, 2013 12:31 pm 
 

GuntherTheUndying wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
It's not like I'm looking for good albums just to shit on them.

:lol: I'm sorry but that's a load. Why else would you call your review series Jerking The Circle if you weren't intentionally trying to troll/piss off people by dumping on records that are acclaimed and enjoyed for the most part? Not to mention you have a little history stirring the pot (your review on Manilla Road fans that caused pages of shit-flinging.)


Basically this. Nothing wrong with having a contradicting opinion, and I believe BH's opinions to be genuinely what he feels. But you can't tell me you don't get some joy out of 'stirring the pot,' as Gunther puts it. There's always been an element of that in your reviews, man.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:35 pm 
 

Definitely and that's funny that you try to deny that. I always seen that as an important part of your reviewer identity for the better or the worst. Just like Noktorn's identity is/was to be a pretentious asshat.
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:45 pm 
 

Man, did BH revive this thread or what. I even want to back him up because I do think Obscura stinks and I did understand his opinion, but the approach is asking for this shitstorm.

BastardHead wrote:
I do my best to never descend into pure juvenile Borisisms and senseless mockery (though jokes and hyperbole are obviously a part of what I do),

I also would say you don't do your best to never descend because that's a huge part of the attraction of your reviews in the first place. Then again, I believe the mockery is called for.

BH is a fan of metal, and a fan of death metal so I know he's not like these smaller-name MA reviewers who bash the shit out of something without any clue as to what they're hearing (like that Depersonalizationilosophy guy).
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:47 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
GuntherTheUndying wrote:
:lol: I'm sorry but that's a load. Why else would you call your review series Jerking The Circle if you weren't intentionally trying to troll/piss off people by dumping on records that are acclaimed and enjoyed for the most part? Not to mention you have a little history stirring the pot (your review on Manilla Road fans that caused pages of shit-flinging.)


Basically this. Nothing wrong with having a contradicting opinion, and I believe BH's opinions to be genuinely what he feels. But you can't tell me you don't get some joy out of 'stirring the pot,' as Gunther puts it. There's always been an element of that in your reviews, man.


Of course I can have fun with it but it isn't my endgame, so to speak. I would never consider myself a troll or somebody who goes around simply to piss people off, but yeah, I can't really deny that I've never shied away from little jabs like that. There's a difference between setting out to piss people off and pissing people off while you do something else, I'd like to think I normally do the latter, whereas somebody like Kruel or Falconsbane would go out for the former. Is it purely a side effect? No, of course not, little jabs happen, but they're little jabs and nothing more. I'd like to think I don't normally base reviews around the fact that fans of the record in question are crazy (though that may have inspired my Manilla Road review, a lot of people seem to forget that like 93% of it is totally musical. God forbid I make a few relevant jabs about fans handwaving away what seem like blatant problems to me).
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:51 pm 
 

OzzyApu wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
I do my best to never descend into pure juvenile Borisisms and senseless mockery (though jokes and hyperbole are obviously a part of what I do),

I also would say you don't do your best to never descend because that's a huge part of the attraction of your reviews in the first place. Then again, I believe the mockery is called for.


My point is that I try to keep it descriptive and still a "review" overall, though the jokes and mockery do exist. If I spend more time trying to be a comedian than a reviewer, I don't even post it here (see my Brute Forcz review). I try not to make that the entire focus. The focus is always the music, I just like to have fun with it and won't deny that I go overboard at times, that's what I'm trying to say.
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:54 pm 
 

An interesting concept would be to review albums that you like that are universally hated. Like Zods review of Illud blah blah

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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:59 pm 
 

I don't really get why there's such a stigma among the writers here against the type of absurd, pot-stirring type reviews. There are of course limits and I'd prefer if the writers aren't just trying to be edgy trolls, and Kruel-type stuff and go bite a dick, but you guys can't possibly be so soft-skinned over something as inconsequential as that MR review, or the Slayer review which was later deleted ( :???: ). As far as the website's concerned, I would take emotionally-charged opinions which prompt me to throw my own thoughts into the fray over "objective" voices of pure musical description anyday. There is nothing to discuss about a review - or a reviewer - which talks about music and avoids doing anything else whatsoever.


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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 12:59 pm 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
An interesting concept would be to review albums that you like that are universally hated. Like Zods review of Illud blah blah

Hey, that's basically my entire reviewing career! :P

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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 1:14 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really get why there's such a stigma among the writers here against the type of absurd, pot-stirring type reviews. There are of course limits and I'd prefer if the writers aren't just trying to be edgy trolls, and Kruel-type stuff and go bite a dick, but you guys can't possibly be so soft-skinned over something as inconsequential as that MR review, or the Slayer review which was later deleted ( :???: ).

There's no difference between Kruel-type reviews and pot-stirring reviews; they are meant to troll, piss people off, look edgy and tough because it's s0 fUNNy big cocks in my ass GOtz u!! XD XD XD U MAD>! (Yes I know the word-filter got me.)

This is getting old. I purpose we move on instead of continuing Bastardhead's circus. I'm certainly done with it.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:50 pm 
 

GuntherTheUndying wrote:
MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really get why there's such a stigma among the writers here against the type of absurd, pot-stirring type reviews. There are of course limits and I'd prefer if the writers aren't just trying to be edgy trolls, and Kruel-type stuff and go bite a dick, but you guys can't possibly be so soft-skinned over something as inconsequential as that MR review, or the Slayer review which was later deleted ( :???: ).

There's no difference between Kruel-type reviews and pot-stirring reviews; they are meant to troll, piss people off, look edgy and tough because it's s0 fUNNy big cocks in my ass GOtz u!! XD XD XD U MAD>! (Yes I know the word-filter got me.)

This is getting old. I purpose we move on instead of continuing Bastardhead's circus. I'm certainly done with it.

You're always so cynical about these things, Gunther. :( What's the matter with having a bit of drama in here every now and then?

Let's face it - this section of the forum is more-or-less dead unless someone's writing a review that people disagree with, and I'd rather have artificially-inspired drama than silence. If it gets people talking about something, I'm all for it. But besides that, I feel like the drama in this case was mostly unintentional. I find that sometimes my reviews inspire drama when I don't even intend to; there was a bunch of discussion about the content of my review for RIITIIR when I really hadn't intended any sort of special attention while writing it. I disagree with BastardHead on Obscura, and personally for a 0% review it didn't feel as particularly vehement or damning as I expect such low scores to be, but I don't really see anything in that review that would inspire any amount of butthurt or debate besides maybe "I disagree with your thoughts on the album itself and maybe you could have made your points hit a bit more forcefully considering how strongly you feel about them". Again, I have to say the general atmosphere around here feels somewhat soft-skinned to me.

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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 7:45 pm 
 

Yeah just to clarify, I'm not saying BH exaggerated his opinions or flat out lied, I'm certain the actual content is 100% genuine, I just don't like the "I am fully aware that this going to be an unpopular opinion and I going to draw attention to the unpopularity so I can revel in the backlash" persona that he's adopted in the past few months, and to me it does sully the worth of the review. I myself think its a steaming turd of an album, although for slightly different reasons, and I got a lot of laughs, so I want to agree with the review whole heartedly, but the attitude does irk me.
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Zodijackyl
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 9:03 pm 
 

"It sounds like cacophonous shit on purpose"

That sums up that album to me. That review completely resounds with me, I listened to the album today and it sounds awful. Sure, it has lots of highly positive reviews and a lot of people love it - are any of you going to complain the same way if someone trashes a LLN release that's been highly reviewed? I often disagree with BastardHead and criticize his reviews, but there's no reason he shouldn't be reviewing it like that because it's honest and I agree that it's a valid opinion and feel the same way.

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SortaShooter
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2013 11:47 pm 
 

I can definitely see what BastardHead is getting at. There'll always be records people insist there's something in that you just can't find; I mean, Orthrelm's OV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2EGKt8yONI) has some rabid fans, and I find it almost literally unlistenable. The important thing, I think, is that you try to get a sense of what that thing is other people are hearing, and then listen for that thing; if you keep banging your head against a record without seeking direction, you'll just end up with a bruised head. One of the things I like about exploring music is finding out how you can contort your brain in ways that feel uncomfortable at first, but slowly yield new pleasures. Maybe a better metaphor would be slowly inserting objects into your anus, which is a comparison I think BH would find painfully familiar given how virulently he hated Obscura. I guess, the reviews and thoughts of others as to why its good would be the lube in this metaphor. In any case, there's no law saying he has to find that spark in the record others have.

As I mention in my Obscura review (I'm OlympicSharpshooter, for those who don't know), I found that listening to Obscura in a traditional metal way is just too brutal an experience for my ears. One typically listens for riffs, melodies, grooves... even in most brutal death, you have these simple structures that the crazier technical stuff builds off of. It's still designed for headbanging. I'd argue that Gorguts eschew these structures because they want to distance the listener from that easy access, make the volume and dissonance that are so commonplace in extreme metal unfamiliar again. Early death metal was heavy and violent because those bands wanted to a) scare normal people b) be more extreme than other bands and c) in some way represent the power of evil musically; your first death metal experience, I think, is always going to be one that affects you more viscerally than any other because it's new to you. Nothing else sounds like it. On Obscura, Gorguts take those basic building blocks of death metal that became so commonplace and really consider them as though they were new, and build something completely different out of them; the result, I think, is scary, surprising and even transcendent in a unique way. I don't look for structures in it, though they present themselves sometimes; I usually just listen to it in the dark, on headphones at a comfortable volume and let it engulf me. When I'm inside it, it eventually makes sense, usually by the time I'm through the first two tracks. The fact that moments in it, like the jagged heights of "Sweet Silence" still feel shockingly intense, or the way my body seems to jerk around almost of its own accord during "Subtle Body" is testament to me that what they're doing is unique and worthwhile. It does have qualities of an endurance test, but the fraying of your nerves is part of what puts you in the state where it can really affect you. I listen to it very rarely, but it's a record I'm glad to have.

But all that said, again, even trying to put across how I hear it to a skeptical audience, I descend into abstractions, which I think shows how hard it is to communicate why it (is/might be) good. So I have no problem with BH's review. It doesn't surprise me that a guy who has, I think, generally good taste might have literally the opposite reaction to me upon hearing the same record. Although, I'm surprised he didn't hear ANY structure anywhere in the thing; to my mind, "Nostalgia" at least is only a half-step or so from more recognizable breeds of "technical" death.
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Pale_Pilgrim
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 5:10 am 
 

I was just perusing some reviews and spotted Zodijackyl's Meshuggah review (for Koloss). Fucking awesome review, that. Very colourful, detailed and humorous. I love this line:

Quote:
Dime-a-dozen, though they would prefer to play in loose change over sixteen time.


Classic.
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:02 am 
 

Obscura might have novelty value (in metal, I guess...) but it's completely incoherent. What I don't get is the people praising that album and bashing stuff like Brain Drill. At least Brain Drill and Beyond Creation's songs are harmonically logical.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:46 am 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
Obscura might have novelty value (in metal, I guess...) but it's completely incoherent. What I don't get is the people praising that album and bashing stuff like Brain Drill. At least Brain Drill and Beyond Creation's songs are harmonically logical.

I've witnessed a fan of Cannibal Corpse bash Immolation as "noisy nonsense". :roll:

It's a matter of perspective really, and it varies with each different person listening to it. Brain Drill for me is incredibly bad because of how much stuff goes on without anything really happening. BC I like very much and I think it's on par with Necrophagist, even in the instilling of love/hate reactions.

Now saying Obscura is completely incoherent is just... I mean... :nono: Why is it incoherent really? Wasn't it written like that on purpose, to sound as removed from harmony and melody as possible? To be some kind of "anti-Western contemporary music" statement (this is my personal theory of it)? To prove that it could be done or just to bring Luc's love for Prokofiev (I think that's the guy) into metal? Bad, noisy, tiring, ugly, worthless, and all that I could understand. But incoherent?!
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:28 am 
 

When I hear Obscura I hear very unmemorable songs with lack of harmonic coherence. I mean, japanese and arabic music use different tones, scales and stuff but they sound cohesive and coherent within the style and sound. This sounds pretty random to my ears and it's not like I'm not used to listen weird stuff (I was raised listening all forms of jazz and progressive stuff, I also like composers like Rachmaminov and Bartok for naming some).

I also think (and this is a very personal thought) that many people that praise Obscura don't even listen to it regularly, some people never do it. From people I've known that defend the album, no one heard the album recently; even so, a couple of guys said that some years passed since the last time they heard it, but they say it's one of their fav albums. I listen at least once per month to my fav albums.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:39 am 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
I listen at least once per month to my fav albums.

How many do you have? :p

I don't think that's in any way impeditive of still being a personal favourite. Neurosis is by far one of my favourite bands, but I just don't listen to them every week, or month for that matter. But then again I have around 900 different albums to listen to, so that's easily understandable. Can't speak for other people, but I wouldn't be surprised if the case with them was similar.

I once witnessed a discussion about Spiral Architect's one and only album and how it is so intricate and technical that it looses its sense of phrasing and repetition, making it almost unlistenable in that it's purely progressive, as in going forward, but without ever returning to the initial riff or idea. And you know what? That album is perfectly understandable and listenable, and you don't need a musical degree to listen to it. Obscura is more or less the same to me. It's radically different from most music I know, but it still has enough aspects that make it comprehensible and identifiable, and even coherent! But if you're seeking a "regular" structure or musical sense of melodic/harmonized construction, then forget about it because you won't find it. But as far as I'm aware this was highly intentional! And that's why I can't understand your complaint about it being incoherent. If anything it's extremely coherent within its songwriting scrolls. ;)
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 11:50 am 
 

I'm writing a longish review for Flagellant's debut. Another great black metal album that autothrall completely missed the point of. It's no Vitsaus, but definitely one of the best black metal albums as of late. 2010 was a great year for black metal.
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:00 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
Kveldulfr wrote:
I listen at least once per month to my fav albums.

How many do you have? :p

I don't think that's in any way impeditive of still being a personal favourite. Neurosis is by far one of my favourite bands, but I just don't listen to them every week, or month for that matter. But then again I have around 900 different albums to listen to, so that's easily understandable. Can't speak for other people, but I wouldn't be surprised if the case with them was similar.

I once witnessed a discussion about Spiral Architect's one and only album and how it is so intricate and technical that it looses its sense of phrasing and repetition, making it almost unlistenable in that it's purely progressive, as in going forward, but without ever returning to the initial riff or idea. And you know what? That album is perfectly understandable and listenable, and you don't need a musical degree to listen to it. Obscura is more or less the same to me. It's radically different from most music I know, but it still has enough aspects that make it comprehensible and identifiable, and even coherent! But if you're seeking a "regular" structure or musical sense of melodic/harmonized construction, then forget about it because you won't find it. But as far as I'm aware this was highly intentional! And that's why I can't understand your complaint about it being incoherent. If anything it's extremely coherent within its songwriting scrolls. ;)


Favs? the top of the top, the best of the best? like 50-70. I listen music all day long anyway and I have around 700 cds and +2500 tapes, so it's not like I listen to the same albums over and over.

I'm a big fan of SA's debut. That one makes way more sense to me than Obscura... maybe it's cause, even if there's a lot of key changes and weird progressions, I can see the general idea of the songwriter, the intention and how tension is built and released in every section, but hell, it's my opinion. I won't crucify you for liking Obscura.

(Btw, somewhere in my music sheets I have some original transcriptions of some SA songs made by Steinar. It's a marvel to read how they wrote them).
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SortaShooter
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 7:11 am
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:15 pm 
 

Not every album I love, I love in the same way, y'know? I listen to some of my favourites pretty regularly, like Don't Break the Oath, or 16 Lovers Lane (The Go-Betweens), in part because I can do other things while they're on; when I'm listening to Obscura say, or Ricardo Villalobos or Steve Reich or whomever, I'm not really capable of doing anything else. I take pleasure in them for different reasons, and so I consume them in different ways.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:36 pm 
 

Like Shooter said, different days different moods and hence different tunes. My playlist varies a lot, and it depends on many different factors, so it's not like I'm always listening to a small number of albums amidst my entire collection. I like to vary a bit. ;) And by the way, I also love A Spectic's Universe. It was just an example, but it shows how perception of a piece of art is everything.

I really don't mind BH giving a 0% to Obscura, and if it were to happen again tomorrow, by another user obviously, I could very well live with that. Like with Subrick's The Aura review, which I bitched about being somewhat inconsistent and poorly written, a matter of fact later on acknowledged and corrected, what happened here had more to do with my perception of a recurrent tendency I've been witnessing with people approaching music mainly from a negative perspective. I really don't give a crap about average rates because I know very well what I like and don't like, and I surely don't need any reassurance for that. With that being said, and much like Tony did to spark a conversation, I may have inadvertently "sacrificed" BH with my whole "sociological" commentary. I love Obscura but someone giving it a 0% doesn't erode the foundations of my conscious self. :p
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OzzyApu
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 1:54 pm 
 

androdion wrote:
I've witnessed a fan of Cannibal Corpse bash Immolation as "noisy nonsense". :roll:

I witnessed this last Sunday when, right after Immolation got off set and Ross Dolan was done thanking people / shaking hands with people in the front row, the CC fanboy next to me asked, "Who was that?" *I answered* and then says, "You actually like them?" So yeah, different tastes but the similarities are also quite abundant to cross over.

To box Obscura into that same concept of music, like Shooter mentioned, may not be the best approach.
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androdion
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:21 pm 
 

It was just yet another example of people's perception towards different kinds of music, that's all.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 2:22 pm 
 

Pale_Pilgrim wrote:
I was just perusing some reviews and spotted Zodijackyl's Meshuggah review (for Koloss). Fucking awesome review, that. Very colourful, detailed and humorous. I love this line:

Quote:
Dime-a-dozen, though they would prefer to play in loose change over sixteen time.


Classic.


Thanks! I think that's one of my best reviews, mostly because I have gotten nothing but positive feedback about it, despite much of that coming from people who liked the album. Interesting, considering that I completely trashed an album with a ~90% average and 9/10 reviews 87% or higher, but it was well received as a 0% review. I guess this broken clock was right that day :lol:

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