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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:11 pm 
 

Is there any way to get Photobucket to propagate changes? I just made some corrections to a couple of the logos and re-uploaded the corresponding images, but for some reason, they're still appearing as before and it's kind of annoying. Photobucket has had this problem for years and I don't know how to fix it.

EDIT: Fixed it by moving the images in question to another album, but I shouldn't have to do that every time.
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Gatherum
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:23 am 
 

IanThrash wrote:
Imperanon, Wintersun

Quite the black metal rasp on these vocalists. Cue similarities to Arsis vocally. Interesting, considering that they're also incorporating power metal. Competent background soloing. The recording almost sounds retro somehow. It's okay overall. Really not much of a power metal guy.

Hammer Horde

As above, but having more to do with black metal than power metal. I appreciate the amusingly epic operatics. Definite high fantasy story material. Pretty good overall. Nothing really to complain about. Add? Dunno. We'll see. \m/

Nordic Wolf

Synthesised orchestral elements are always a positive... when they're not drowning out everything else. There's some promise here, but it's mired by weak guitars and drums. For that reason, it's actually stronger when the music slows down and goes into a melancholy interlude. Points for having a female vocalist as competent as the male one. But yeah... that production...


Responses in italics.

An update on my progress through listening to the sixteen listed bands

  • Amon Amarth 0%
  • Arsis 26%
  • Before the Dawn 40%
  • Blood Stain Child 100%
  • Dark Tranquillity 1%
  • DevilDriver 15%
  • Disarmonia Mundi 100%
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow 15%
  • In Flames 72%
  • In Vain 56%
  • Insomnium 100%
  • Ne Obliviscaris 0%
  • Neaera 42%
  • Omnium Gatherum 30%
  • Swallow the Sun 20%
  • Words of Farewell 100%

Almost done with In Flames. Just got done with their single, The Quiet Place. I'll get through Soundtrack to Your Escape tomorrow, I think.

While I don't hold the animosity for it that a lot of others do, I can see why Reroute to Remain is so often panned, but at the same time, I can see why In Flames did what they did. I'll explain:

When I listened to Whoracle, Colony, and Clayman, I listened to some good music. I won't say that they necessarily stuck with me since, again, I came into their work late, and with Come Clarity, at that. I feel like I finally understand their impact on both melodeath and melodic metalcore, and how their sound, not so much Dark Tranquillity's, became the archetypal template to reference for these genres, where the latter was, and is, the more enigmatic and esoteric of the two surviving Kings in a sense. It's easier to follow In Flames' example.

Be that as it may, I would theorise that In Flames was facing a crisis in that all three of those albums, and even, to some extent, The Jester Race, were altogether very similar. Little changed between them. While I will not claim that this was In Flames' express intention, the unfortunate reality is that Reroute to Remain needed to happen, lest they find themselves going through an endless cycle of repeated albums, where the only real difference is the production quality. Dark Tranquillity did this too with Projector (which I've yet to hear, admittedly, and that will be rectified soon), except that they chose to experiment with less mainstream ideas.

I liked some of the material on Reroute, but I will agree that some of the things they drew from to create it were disturbing: hints of metalcore breakdowns and nu-metal structure, an unnecessarily large reliance on synthesisers and electronic breaks, Fridén's crooning cleans that sounded like a cross between that of King Diamond and Jonathan Davis of Korn, and a lot of other odd elements. In short, they took a bit too much from the American mainstream, and it's a bit jarring after listening to their albums from the previous decade, and even after listening to their later offerings which, while still controversial, were nonetheless far more modest. Thankfully, what they took from most was straight and simple alternative metal, which is sacrilege to purists, but I, for one, am glad that they shed most of the rest by the time they released Come Clarity than vice-versa.

Interesting evolution, I suppose.
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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Blizk
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 145
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:17 am 
 

Not a single comment on Be'lakor yet? Talk about missing out :D

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Gatherum
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Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:01 am 
 

Blizk wrote:
Be'lakor

Mmm, tasty, delicious keyboards at the beginning, that I will give them, but they really sort of seem like they're just taking Insomnium's general sound and making longer overall compositions with it, which doesn't mean much since Insomnium have already proven that they can break the eight- and nine-minute marks. The similarities go right down to the vocal delivery. The only real difference is that I can hear traces of Amon Amarth in the guitar work sometimes.

All of that said, it's pretty good because Insomnium and Amon Amarth are two of a narrow few who best represent the most logical evolution of melodeath without going into progressive territory or incorporating other genres. If you're going to draw from anyone, you can't lose with them. Unfortunately, I'm less inclined toward clones. Perhaps Be'lakor's other songs have more to offer. I might consider adding them if they were just a bit more distinct from Insomnium, but as it is...



Response in italics.
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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OneSizeFitzpatrick
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:56 pm
Posts: 657
Location: A smoldering ruin with wi-fi, Chechnya
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:13 pm 
 

If you got room for one more, might be worth checking out In Dread Response. I haven't read every single comment in this thread so if I'm reiterating, that's my bad. They've got a bit of a Gothenburg style but they throw in some ambient and really somber passages in their music too (i.e. the song Last Avenues).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nErWVt5K64E - I paint the World in Solitude
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Blizk
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:30 am
Posts: 145
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:15 pm 
 

Gatherum wrote:
Blizk wrote:
Be'lakor

Mmm, tasty, delicious keyboards at the beginning, that I will give them, but they really sort of seem like they're just taking Insomnium's general sound and making longer overall compositions with it, which doesn't mean much since Insomnium have already proven that they can break the eight- and nine-minute marks. The similarities go right down to the vocal delivery. The only real difference is that I can hear traces of Amon Amarth in the guitar work sometimes.

All of that said, it's pretty good because Insomnium and Amon Amarth are two of a narrow few who best represent the most logical evolution of melodeath without going into progressive territory or incorporating other genres. If you're going to draw from anyone, you can't lose with them. Unfortunately, I'm less inclined toward clones. Perhaps Be'lakor's other songs have more to offer. I might consider adding them if they were just a bit more distinct from Insomnium, but as it is...



Response in italics.

They actually draw nothing from Insomnium directly, a fact stated by the band several times. What these two bands have in common is influence of early material from bands such as Dark Tranquillity and Opeth (also stated by the band). The rest is overall fondness to melancholy and somewhat similar guitar melodies. I bet you'll dig Stone's Reach eventually, them completely blowing your mind is another matter :P

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Gatherum
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:54 pm 
 

Is that so? If such is the truth, then I retract my previous statements that suggest that they drew directly from those bands.

Be that as it may, it would still be redundant to have them. They don't seem to bring anything to the table that Insomnium haven't already, apart from consistently long compositions. Keep in mind that it's not like I don't like them, because I like them a lot. However, I could say that about the majority of the suggestions given in this thread. It is only those that I consider to be the most outstanding or classic that I take away from this. Otherwise, more than half of my library would be melodeath bands, and I'd get bored with all of the clones pretty quick. :P

OneSizeFitzpatrick wrote:
In Dread Response

Excellently ferocious. Other than that though, I don't have much to say.


Response in italics.
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ThePoop wrote:
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:17 am 
 

Just got through Soundtrack to Your Escape.

Yeah, mmmuuuuuch better. Retained a lot more of their actual melodeath than Reroute to Remain, which was just... ridiculous.

EDIT: Also, did Before the Dawn just say, "Fuck this," after 2006, go straight back into the studio after The Ghost, increase the competency of their gothic tendencies tenfold, and seamlessly add melodeath into the mix? Because Deadlight basically exists in another plane of existence in terms of quality and songwriting compared to everything they released previously... and I rather liked their previous material too. o.o
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Illuminati322
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:55 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Grand Chute, WI, USA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:41 pm 
 

I've always found the concept of melodic death metal strangely abstract and inconsistent.....Death's last two albums were fairly melodic, but they're never referred to with the title.

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drawntoblack
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:18 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:56 am 
 

I'll tell you this, you have some pretty weird associations when it comes to certain bands. :D Still, I will try to give you couple of recommendations. I did read through the whole thread, but I might recommend something that was already posted so I apologize in advance.

Dominia. Russian melodeath, keyboards, violins. Nuff said.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t5uq9arQvs

Skyfire. Sympho (but don't let that deceive you) melodeath. Awesome melodies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgaqYKPz ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDko9C25WnA

In Mourning. Imagine rawer hybrid of Insomnium and Opeth, with a bit of Be'lakor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ4ioEQ7okM

Anoreksi. Turkish melodeath band, fairly new. Very Insomnium/Before the Dawn-ish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlxm3jh9R3Q

Neptune. Italian modern melodeath, think Disarmonia Mundi.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0I1ZxNBkkI

Scar Symmetry. Obvious recommendation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5aB9bW5B00

Solution .45. Same as above.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq9Sh2qZNj4

Zero Degree. Fairly new band, three guitarists, heavy 90s In Flames worship.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9deHxk9 ... re=related

Deadlock. Decent melodeath with some awesome clean female vox. A very hit and miss kind of band with somewhat inconsistent songwriting, but when they actually get it right it's quite magnificent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1ZB9wef5g8

Degradead. Modern melodeath, think modern In Flames with a bit of original touch. Great vocalist and really nice guitar work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLzwW_4gs_0

Mercenary. Very unique vibe, you might dig it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDGbHt3Wzws
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ov5SSVobm0

Divine Souls. In Flames "clone", think Colony album. They have two albums and both are excellent.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC502WKo ... re=related

Meridian. Newcomer band, they released an EP recently. It starts a bit cheesy with guitars, but believe me it's worth it, so listen through the whole song. Great keyboard interlude in the latter half of the song.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BQFN4DLThI

I would also strongly urge you to give another listen to Noumena and Mors Principium Est. For MPE go with The Unborn record. I know that it feels very "mechanic" at first, but every song on that album has great melodies and hooks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkOwMeUtJJY

Also check out other projects by Before the Dawn vocalist (Dawn of Solace, Black Sun Aeon).

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IX Leviathan
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:09 pm
Posts: 765
Location: Trailer Park Land
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:31 pm 
 

Going out a limb here and reccing later era God Dethroned, more specifically Passiondale. Blackened DM that draws a rather prominent Gothenburg influence. Their 90's era stuff, excluding The Christhunt, has a pretty melodic edge to it as well, albeit it's more or less in the same vein as the likes of Unanimated, Dissection, etc. but more aggressive if you ask me. I'll link both eras.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klnma7-ZPQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA7g2K9PlYw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8HFY24YoxM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTt1wkpvegc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Il3v8vtCsM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfluH7Ga1ZU

If Disillusion hasn't been recced yet, I suggest you look into them. Back to Times of Splendor is a progressive/melodeath masterpiece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNrJAPNwQe0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBf2eNZ ... re=related

Lastly, I'll throw in Belarussian outfit, Lost Regrets. I always found them to be quite catchy, while at the same time I've heard people just refer to them as run of the mill melodeath. It's up to you, I suppose. :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV3x2-yr9b8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKe74-x5AK0
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Gatherum
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:03 am 
 

drawntoblack wrote:
Dominia

Amazing keyboard introduction. Decidedly doomy and gothic, but it brings instant reminders of Eternal Tears of Sorrow and may be too similar despite the doom influence. Worth consideration.

Skyfire

I've heard this name thrown around before. Not bad. It, too, reminds me of Eternal Tears of Sorrow a bit, but only in the introduction and keyboard segments. The symphonic elements make it quite dramatic, and these remind me of Dimmu Borgir some. Otherwise, I'm not sure how I feel about this.

In Mourning

I love bands that build and build to crescendos! :D Post-metal happens to be a genre I very much appreciate as well, so these guys are really rocking my socks right now. I really like the melancholy death/doom atmosphere. This band's chances are looking high right now. \m/

Anoreksi

You're right, very Insomnium-ish, but they feel different somehow. Can't put my finger on why. In any case, these guys have quite a bit of potential, but I may require more listens to be convinced.

Neptune

Meh. Not too much like Disarmonia Mundi as suggested, but then, I don't have much else to say. Vocal delivery makes me think of early Threat Signal.

Scar Symmetry

Ahh, Scar Symmetry. Definitely a household name.

Well now, this guy has a beautiful singing voice. It remind me of a more capable variant of whichever vocalist is most prominent in Disarmonia Mundi, with some hints of Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth. Musically, it reminds me a little bit of what little I remember of Arch Enemy (and that is
little), but mostly, once again, of Disarmonia. The music, however, feels altogether ambitious, perhaps more controlled and focused. I like it, but I will need to hear more.

Solution .45

This guy has Åkerfeldt's scream. :o Generally competent. The prominent clean singing gives it a power metal edge without the corny optimism. I'll consider it.

Zero Degree

Delectably thick and vocally vicious. It's all right.

Deadlock

Aww, I remember these guys, and even this song in particular. Good times. As harsh as Neaera until the female vocals kick in for some softer sections. I always felt that said vocals were more or less average, but I can give credit for them being high enough in the mix to understand. Scant electronic influence, showing their status as a modern melodeath band. They don't necessarily do it any better than their contemporaries though.

Degradead

More or less the same idea as some of the other suggests on this list, especially those with power metal-esque clean vocalling. MA claims thrash influence, but I don't buy it. If they made that more prominent, it might be more unique. Eh.

Mercenary

I feel like I've heard this somewhere before. It might bear resemblance to an act I used to listen to long ago that I can't remember. It seems they really like to dynamically shift without necessarily losing the flow of the song. The vocalist really should sing more often because he's really good at those power metal operatics. Otherwise, it seems like usual modern melodeath fare to me, albeit much longer.

Divine Souls

Indeed, a musical clone of In Flames, albeit a bit more atmospheric, considering the minimal keyboard usage, and with a vocalist that sounds a lot like Ryo from Blood Stain Child instead. Not bad, but you know how I feel about straight clones.

Meridian

Competent background soloing, as well as accompanying synths and keyboards. Actually, their greatest strengths are in their non-melodeath elements, which are pretty generic.

Mors Principium Est

So I see that the machine gun strumming and chugga that I mentioned before aren't constant with this band, but without them, I am not all that WOWed (not that I was before, but I'm just sayin'). The music really tends to drown out the vocalist, which I don't mind too much, but it sort of defeat the purpose of having one. Nevertheless, it's like a harder variant of Eternal Tears of Sorrow, what with the scant symphonic elements and general drama. It's all right.


Responses in italics.

An update on my progress through listening to the sixteen listed bands

  • Amon Amarth 0%
  • Arsis 26%
  • Before the Dawn 65%
  • Blood Stain Child 100%
  • Dark Tranquillity 1%
  • DevilDriver 15%
  • Disarmonia Mundi 100%
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow 15%
  • In Flames 100%
  • In Vain 56%
  • Insomnium 100%
  • Ne Obliviscaris 0%
  • Neaera 42%
  • Omnium Gatherum 30%
  • Swallow the Sun 20%
  • Words of Farewell 100%

Finally got all the way through In Flames! Though it may be very uncool for me to say so, I think that Come Clarity is definitely my favourite outing by them because it hearkened back to their actual melodeath tendencies while retaining that modern influence without most of the awkward fluff, like the the nu, the metalcore, and what have you, of Reroute to Remain. Hell, it even lacked most of the synth and, apart from the title track, just rocked most of the way through (though I will admit that the 'melodeath tendencies' I mentioned might not necessarily be all that reminiscent of their pre-Reroute recordings). Even so, I still consider said title track to be the most powerful of their alternative metal numbers. Maybe some of that favouritism comes from nostalgia, but I definitely think that it is an improvement over Soundtrack to Your Escape in pretty much every way.

A Sense of Purpose didn't feel like it had much going for it, and brought back more of the metalcore while losing some of its aggression. Here, a more prominent synth might have done them some good so that it could stand up against all of the rest of the modern melodeath of today, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. What it did have, though, was "The Chosen Pessimist," which was a straight post-metal song, and a damned good one at that. From this, I can tell that In Flames definitely have something to offer to the progressive underground, and I'd love to hear them do more of it, but I doubt that they'll tread on those grounds again.

However, Sounds of a Playground Fading shows some promise of its own, and at the very least, it stands to reason that In Flames could become one hell of a competent alternative metal outfit, with or without melodeath influence. Nevertheless, this feels like a transitional album by a band that still doesn't feel all that safe with all the synth, the strings, or the mainstream ballading. "Jester's Door" suggests that they're juggling the possibilities of electro-industrial and how it could change their sound (seriously, the end of this track could have been on one of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtracks), but as of right now, I suppose they'd rather keep it to intermissions. "A New Dawn" adds a violin to the mix, and thus, this track is a favourite off of this album for me. I think their next album could very well signal their next great change. I, for one, am watching closely.

Before the Dawn's Soundscape of Silence is like an extension of Deadlight: nothing new here, but that's okay because Deadlight was fucking awesome and so is its successor. Not quite as good, but still enough to make me happy. :)

Now, on to Dark Tranquillity! \m/

Aside from all of that, sorry for my absence lately; kinda got caught up playing Resistance: Fall of Man over the past week. Excuse me for being about six years late to that party, but let's just say that I liked it enough to order he Collector's Edition of its sequel before I even got all the way through the campaign. :3

IX Leviathan, I'll get to your recs soon. :)

As always, thanks a bunch! \m/
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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Scourge441
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am
Posts: 815
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:04 am 
 

Has anyone mentioned Deathevokation - The Chalice of Ages yet? It's more traditional death metal but with tons of melody in it.

A few sample tracks. They might be too death metal for what you're seeking, but they're worth a listen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GglR77abjr8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmLxEtwJ ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqfBKqtq ... ure=relmfu

What might be more up your alley is Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor. They're proggy with their songwriting but the sound is more or less straight melodeath. The earlier EPs/demos lack the progginess of the full-length. Avoid Gloria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNrJAPNwQe0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBf2eNZpKA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnPYYotRqYM

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IX Leviathan
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:09 pm
Posts: 765
Location: Trailer Park Land
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:54 am 
 

Scourge441 wrote:
What might be more up your alley is Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor. They're proggy with their songwriting but the sound is more or less straight melodeath. The earlier EPs/demos lack the progginess of the full-length. Avoid Gloria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNrJAPNwQe0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reBf2eNZpKA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnPYYotRqYM


3 posts up man, I already mentioned them. Then again, I'm already guilty of mentioning an aforementioned band in this thread so I'm not in much of a position to call anyone out on it, lol.
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Goatfangs
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:02 pm
Posts: 2177
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:55 pm 
 

I've got a band that hasn't been mentioned by anyone yet!

Loch Vostok

It's progressive melodic death metal. Very politically oriented, but Dystopium is one catchy album!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLM10zNzVUs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1m2Kms4NDI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uorf3HqiBA
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shouvince
Veteran

Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 2698
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:49 am 
 

Pretty neat first post. Thanks.

Not sure if you've checked these guys out but you could try 'The Absence', US based melo-death metal. I used to listen to them alot about 7-8 years back.

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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:54 am 
 

By the way, once again, if MA wants to use any of these logos on the actual archive, please notify me. They're in compilation images in the OP right now, but I'll provide each one standalone so that we can avoid having to go through the process of separating each logo. I'd update the archives myself, but I don't have Veteran status yet.

I just updated three of them.
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:03 am 
 

IX Leviathan wrote:
God Dethroned

Hmm... Their early material sounds like a less polished and focused variant of Amon Amarth's material, favouring sheer extremity (not that it's bad, mind you). However, their later material more than makes up for it, actually sounding like a much blacker, thicker form of Arsis, especially in the vocals, though I was rather surprised to hear cleans in a band with such a blackened death influence, something I didn't actually expect to hear from anyone but Akercocke. The melody, low growls, and the overarching epicness of each song sets it apart from both. This may very well be worth looking in to. \m/

Disillusion

Eh. Actually similar to God Dethroned, but longer and including some impressive interludes. The clean vocals remind me somewhat of The Foreshadowing. Is it the kind of progressive melodeath that I tend to prefer? Debatable, but this is... this is pretty good. Consideration will be taken. \m/

Lost Regrets

Oooh, nice bagpipe intro. :D There's something about the riffs these guys produce that I really like. They sound familiar, but I can't pinpoint exactly who they relate to. Which is good. It means that they're probably different enough from my other stuff. I liked their first track. Was less impressed with the second. Nevertheless, this is yet another band that you have caused me to consider. Three for three, good on you, mate. :)


Scourge441 wrote:
Deathevokation

Indeed, this appears to be some very competent death metal. I like that they can start off slow and perform several different dynamic shifts over the course of a long composition. Actually sounds like Amon Amarth during their most extreme passages. They do have a very prominent pure death metal edge, but this is good, melodic stuff all the same. They're surprisingly competent during the slow sections, which hearken to death/doom, but the melancholy that's here doesn't put forth the same overbearing sorrowful impression. Which is fine, since that doesn't seem to be their overall modus operandi anyway. I like it. I like it lot. \m/


Goatfangs wrote:
Loch Vostok

Now this is... wow. It sounds vaguely like a weird, extreme mix of Opeth's grandiose song progressions, Disarmonia Mundi's modernity, Neaera's brutality (on occasion, not constantly), Novembre's atmospheres, some of Meshuggah's frantic desperation, and, weirdest of all, Seether's choruses. But even all of that doesn't seem to adequately describe them since I'm hearing death metal, alternative metal, progressive metal, occasional synth, and vague power metal elements. The clean vocals, which are amazing by the way, for some reason, remind me of my naïve days perusing through the mainstream rock and metal of the day and for that reason, carry a sort of nostalgia factor for me. Of course, this is far from mainstream material. I'm actually having trouble deciding on whether or not this qualifies as melodeath, but then, it might not even matter. I think that this is just a straight winner, no matter what it actually is. Sweet Jesus... \m/


Responses in italics.

I must apologise for how long this has taken. I've been busy. No listening update this time, I'm afraid. But I'm glad that I came back for these awesome recs. :)
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henkkjelle
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:54 pm
Posts: 3083
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:22 am 
 

I don't know if this band has been mentioned yet, but check out Uninvited

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pY0W0uI ... ure=g-hist
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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:40 pm 
 

henkkjelle wrote:
Uninvited

Eh. It's good melodeath. Only good though. Didn't like the vocals.


Response in italics.
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FantomLord17
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Posts: 88
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:47 am 
 

Veiled In Scarlet released their debut album this year. It's very good melodeath with a strong neoclassical edge. They are related to another japanese band, Serpent, who have already released a few albums.

Desire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWrio6Kri5E

Eventide could be likened to Mercenary or Scar Symmetry in that clean vocals are very prominent, making them sound like a power metal band at times. They remind me quite a bit of Evergrey.

The Beast And The Machine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&featu ... Pa6UZX2Z3o
Mr Death (more power metal than melodeath to be honest)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO58LX1I ... ure=relmfu

My compatriots Darkemist make some cool gothenburg-esque melodeath with atmospheric keyboards.
Failing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htLP-p91jaA

I hope you like these reccomendations man. You really made a good effort with this thread!

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Gatherum
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:04 am 
 

FantomLord17 wrote:
Veiled In Scarlet

This is... worthy, as straight-up melodeath with little or no forays into other genres. Probably not an add for me since, since, as you could probably tell by now, I'm not much of a purist beyond listening to the older, most experienced practitioners or the new ones best carrying on the legacy. But I have no problem with this, no.

Eventide

Brings instant reminders of Disarmonia Mundi rather than power metal, in all aspects save for small differences in guitar tone and vocal delivery, though I'll give them credit for sounding a bit 'cleaner' and sometimes add a dash of modern In Flames to the mix. As usual, if it's like Disarmonia, it's good, but...

Darkemist

A bit of Amon Amarth, quite a bit more of Insomnium in this mix. I certainly can't argue with it.



Responses in italics.

Listening progress for the seventeen listed bands

  • Amon Amarth 0%
  • Arsis 26%
  • Before the Dawn 87%
  • Blood Stain Child 100%
  • Dark Tranquillity 8%
  • Disarmonia Mundi 100%
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow 15%
  • In Flames 100%
  • In Mourning 19%
  • In Vain 56%
  • Insomnium 100%
  • Loch Vostok 26%
  • Ne Obliviscaris 0%
  • Neaera 42%
  • Omnium Gatherum 30%
  • Swallow the Sun 20%
  • Words of Farewell 100%

Gatherum wrote:
DevilDriver subsequently removed because, while The Last Kind Words is a relatively good album, I don't much appreciate the rest of their material and have found myself entirely unmotivated to explore them further.


This is quite late in coming, since I listened to Dark Tranquillity's Skydancer weeks before, but I have to say that it was a far more enjoyable listening experience than I expected an album of its age to be for someone as young as I am. I still feel that I've yet to traverse DT's greatest works, but this was a treat, especially for its epic "Shadow Duet." I felt that it definitely outclassed In Flames' Lunar Strain in all aspects.

Before the Dawn continue to impress me, though I felt that Deathstar Rising was much more of a gothic metal album than its two direct predecessors, and was a tad less spectacular for it. It did improve the closer it got to the end, though. Despite this, "Winter Within" is definitely the highlight off this album for me. With that, I am finally on the brink of Rise of the Phoenix, from which only a small portion of its content was needed to convince me to delve into this band completely. This act has evolved quite respectably. \m/

I also went through the most recent albums of both Loch Vostok and In Mourning over the past two days, and I am sold on both. Loch Vostok wasn't quite as eargasm-inducing overall as I speculated them to be before hearing the whole album, but it is still nonetheless one of the highest-rated works in my library as of right now. I came in to In Mourning with more modest expectations, but I was certainly not disappointed with their progressive, melodic, slightly post-metal-influenced form of death/doom that still manages to carry doom's melancholic tendencies. I look forward to hearing more. \m/

I suppose that as long as I keep this thread alive, I'll never be done considering melodeath recs, despite saying so upon my total acquisition of thirteen bands. Now, I have seventeen. :P

Whatever, music is music. Let them come!

A further note on the logos

Gatherum wrote:
For each band, I used the most recent logo that has appeared on at least two of their full-length albums. If none of a given band's full-lengths have a common logo, then I factored in EP's, demo's, and/or other, less major releases (as is the case with In Mourning, whose cursive logo has not appeared since their debut, but which also appeared on some of their demos, whereas subsequent logos have appeared only once). Some logos may have been superseded on the latest release (such as the case of Loch Vostok), but have not appeared yet on another full-length release (logos appearing on the latest full-length, and then on a succeeding EP/demo/single/etc or vice versa will take less precedence than a logo that has appeared on two or more full-lengths), and thus are not featured (yet). Line breaks in a given logo are not regarded as important (Amon Amarth's logo has the word "Amon" on top of "Amarth," when they are usually seen side-by-side on a single line and In Flames's current logo has more often been seen the opposite way: "In" on top of "Flames"), being considered as minor variations that don't make it a whole new logo. However, for the sake of correctness, logos may be replaced based on this issue if worthy replacements of similar resolution and quality can be found. Be advised that some of these logos have been touched up during the process of separating them from whatever backgrounds they came from through various means. Some logos were simple jobs (Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, Swallow the Sun) due either to their simplicity or because they are taken from a very high-quality source. Others required more work due either to the source being an album (Before the Dawn, Words of Farewell) or other image of difficult (but workable) contrast levels (Disarmonia Mundi), or the logo simply being particularly complex or busy (Ne Obliviscaris, Words of Farewell). These logos as they appear here are only as perfect as I am (three guesses how much), and are not necessarily preferable over any official source. However, the goal was simply to create flat, black-and-white representations of said logos for use on databases such as this one, as well as for personal use (barring copyright infringement, of course). Any submission of logo(s) at qualities and/or resolutions superior to these are, of course, welcome. Please note that none of these were created from scratch, nor do I own any of them. It's just a small hobby of sorts. These logos are always subject to change, either because the band in question made an update, or because I got a wild hair up my ass to tweak them again.


Speaking on tweaks, a lot of said logos have been updated and/or fixed. Some of the larger ones are also in the highest resolutions that Photobucket will allow. Before, I was arbitrarily scaling them down in order to minimise the amount of image compilations, but then, I thought, "Why, oh why, would I do this?" I think they look better now.

  • Most images not already displayed at maximum possible size that Photobucket allows before are now doing so. All images that were scaled down for some reason are also a bit larger.
  • Added In Mourning and Loch Vostok.
  • In Vain, Swallow the Sun, and Words of Farewell have been tweaked, replaced, and updated respectively (though Words of Farewell may still require some work).
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henkkjelle
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:35 am 
 

I have only known this band for 24 hours, (thanks again to Empyreal), but you should check out Vehemence. http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Veh ... 48#Reviews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NNCoif_6FQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULFjFKiTJXM
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Goatfangs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:40 pm 
 

Anterior is a British band with two albums out. I remember putting Dead Divine on a CD I burned and then had no idea what song or who it was by... for some reason I kept looking at Light This City. The sound and even vocals are quite similar, even though Anterior's vocalist is a male and LTC's is a female.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RZRaVWy45Y

Speaking of Light This City, these guys are also quite good. Even though the MA pages lists them as 'metalcore', I think the -core elements are much less noticeable. Oh and, female vocalist who sounds better than Angela Gossow.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yA7f5VwZFAI

Can you hear why I thought Anterior was Light This City?

I'm glad you liked Loch Vostok. Dystopium was an album I came across by accident and it was one of those happy accidents. I really can't think of any band that sounds like them. Mercenary is close, with the clean vocals and melodic death elements. They also reminded me of Ewigkeit even though that band is more on the black (or 'dark') metal side of things - however I did get into these guys strangely enough by asking about similar bands to Sybreed.

Sybreed is a very modern sounding industrial/groove band but they have lots of melodic death metal elements. I think they are a bit reduced on recent albums though...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZUh_Q3YJaU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBKZ5bsMwpw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AseSEwT3Ys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUN7ZdsRAGQ

If you happen to like these guys, I did find a band that's pretty much Sybreed worship. Neurotech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD5HaTthpaI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7P9yqQdj10 (this has a link to download the album for free from the band)

And now for a recommendation that may be quite difficult to track down ... it certainly was for me! Aftershock, this band is basically Killswitch Engage's predecessor and Adam Dutkiewicz' first band. They have two albums out and an EP, and it's excellent melodic death metal/metalcore.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MVtlQYdOgQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AOjt9tsRZY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AVSR4kA6yI
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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:54 am 
 

henkkjelle wrote:
Vehemence

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I can hear traces of Amon Amarth and even a little bit of Opeth and/or Akercocke (in the vocal delivery), albeit with much more of a pure death metal bombast that still retains the melodic touch in spades, with comparable keyboarding to Dark Tranquillity added for good measure. Very well-placed quiet interludes. Great find, brother! \m/


Goatfangs wrote:
Anterior

I'm okay with some -core influence, but I'm less inclined to it with these guys because their melodeath elements aren't all that remarkable. Not bad, mind you. Well-produced and executed, and I really did appreciate the slow solo around the middle, as well as the epically solemn one at the end. These guys have some drama to them. I think they'd be worth additional listens.

Light This City

Instantly sounds exactly like a thinner version of Neaera, though actually lacking the -core elements, despite MA's claims, especially compared to Anterior. Neaera does this better and with more seething anger, so I'm not sold on this one.

Ewigkeit

I guess that certain superficial comparisons can be made to Sybreed, but this is definitely not melodeath (not that I'm being all that stingy about that, mind you) and less interesting, having far more to do with industrial rock. Actually, it reminds me of Violent Work of Art quite a bit. I've heard better from all the influences present here, from the aforementioned industrial rock, to the electronic elements, to the 'dark metal.' Didn't like the vocal delivery much either.

Sybreed

Ahh yes, the progressive melodic groovey industrial (death?) metal of Sybreed. I used to have these guys, they're pretty competent despite perhaps trying a bit too hard to be different by incorporating as many existing styles as possible. I'm surprised they're even here on MA, considering that some can (justifiably) associate them with djent (which is, for whatever reason, an OMG BIG NO-NO here). Thing is, while certainly interesting, they don't really excel in any of the elements they incorporate except the industrial metal, which is where I think they build their sound around; I actually hear very little melodeath here, which is a shame because I think a small and simple increase in focus toward that direction might just make them something more without getting them lost in an endless sea of generic bands of similar taste, as they intend to try to avoid.

Apart from that, I suppose I'll mention that I can hear small traces of Disarmonia Mundi in their sound, at least when Disarmonia are slowing it down and not driving with it. Apart from that, to Sybreed's credit, they really do avoid sounding much like anyone else associated with the various genres that they play. For the reasons mentioned above, they will not be an addition again unless I happen to get back into the industrial metal craze that I went through a few years back, but I do tip my hat to them for succeeding at their goals.


Neurotech

Not so much Sybreed worship as it is pretty much your standard industrial metal fare. Very meh.

Just to note right now before anyone gets the wrong idea: I'm not necessarily dismissive of industrial metal by any means, but I will say that I'm less inclined toward it when it's the primary focus these days. I do have several bands within the industrial rock/metal spectrum, such as Jesu, Nine Inch Nails, Tyrant of Death, and Zaraza, but in all of these cases, such elements are either secondary and used to enhance a prominent element, or a very small piece of a much larger whole. You can tell when you think about how distinct all four of those acts are, even from each other. If you recall, I did mention early on when someone recommended Disarmonia Mundi that they had an industrial "feel" to them, especially in some places on
The Isolation Game, which was a positive for me. With that said, don't be discouraged from recommending something that incorporates industrial rock/metal; I just wanted to clarify this for your information.

Aftershock

I can hear Dutkiewicz' later work from Killswitch Engage in spades here. He's actually not a bad vocalist himself, I'm a little surprised. But it's pretty much the same as Killswitch Engage, whom I actually have in my library as an irreplaceable classic for me already. It's a little bit rawer though, and I could see some people jizzing over this if KsE are too much of a high-profile guilty pleasure.


Responses in italics.

Listening update to come soon.
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Deucalion
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:29 pm
Posts: 1235
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:54 pm 
 

Solerrain maybe? Might be too power metal for you, though.

Here's a track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjaxo_fdKF0

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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:02 am 
 

Deucalion wrote:
Solerrain

I can hear the power metal here, but it is not intrusive in the overall composition. It still feels like a melodeath song. The downside? It feels like a melodeath song. As in, standard In Flames worship (power metal aside). Eh.


Response in italics.

Listening progress for the seventeen listed bands

  • Amon Amarth 0%
  • Arsis 26%
  • Before the Dawn 100%
  • Blood Stain Child 100%
  • Dark Tranquillity 15%
  • Disarmonia Mundi 100%
  • Eternal Tears of Sorrow 15%
  • In Flames 100%
  • In Mourning 19%
  • In Vain 100%
  • Insomnium 100%
  • Loch Vostok 26%
  • Ne Obliviscaris 0%
  • Neaera 42%
  • Omnium Gatherum 30%
  • Swallow the Sun 20%
  • Words of Farewell 100%

Dark Tranquillity continue to impress me with their first true opus, The Gallery. While still not entirely in line with my tastes simply due to the fact that I come from a completely different generation, it is one of a couple of records that prove that DT's older material is agreeable even to young ones such as I. I can see why this is considered one of melodeath's archetypal documents.

Meanwhile, Before the Dawn blow me away by proving that they can outclass all that they had released previously even as they eschew one of their long-standing musical influences (or perhaps because of it). Rise of the Phoenix was a straight melodeath record with little or no gothic metal influence in anything but its lyrical content. It is a masterpiece from beginning to end and for this, I am excited to hear more from them in the coming years.

In Vain's The Latter Rain was one of the highest-rated, if not the highest-rated, albums in my library for damned good reason. I am not sure that they exceeded this with Mantra, but they definitely matched its predecessor in quality while simultaneously becoming slightly more varied. Their wild western sensibilities seem to have increased here, this still throwing me for a loop since I would have never expected this from Scandinavians. Now, both of them are the highest-rated albums in my library. True masterpieces, these.

DT will be a long journey, but I am finally making ground, I think.
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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
Posts: 338
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:47 am 
 

Listening progress for the seventeen listed bands

Most bands with no progress have been reset in order to better my listening experience and to assign fairer ratings. This basically applied to all acts to which I had not listened to in their entirety except Dark Tranquillity, since they are where I left off.
In the case of Blood Stain Child and Disarmonia Mundi, I listened to all of their main catalogues, but they are not at 100% because of the album, Princess Ghibli by the Imaginary Flying Machines collaborative project.

I must apologise first for the gravedig and second for letting this go as I did. Life just got super busy, is all. Such is Army life for you.

But I never intended to let it die forever, at least until I had listened to and rated my entire melodeath catalogue. That said, I'm still taking recs. Thank you all once again. :)
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."


Last edited by Gatherum on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 4692
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:12 pm 
 

I haven't read the whole thread but assuming you're into melodeath from Sweden and that Sacrilege has been mentioned before, and given that you've liked them, you may want to try Nocturnal Winds' debut album. Also Path Of Debris' sophomore album if you want something similar to Amon Amarth's debut album.
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Gatherum
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:51 am 
 

Got any particular songs to recommend?

  • Dark Tranquillity | 51% | TBD (so far: 4.2)

You could say that I'm focusing on DT quite vehemently: I made it through Enter Suicidal Angels, The Mind's I, Projector, Haven, Damage Done, and the first disc of Exposures - In Retrospect and Denial.

Enter Suicidal Angels isn't much to talk about. It serves as a suitable companion to The Mind's I though and offered the first of a couple of surprises for me: "Archetype." Who knew that DT ever actually created a breakcore number? It isn't as archetypal as its name would suggest, but it threw me for a loop, I'll give it that. :P

The Mind's I itself was riddled with an alarming amount of short, sub-three-minute songs, which was a shame because most of them were pretty damned good for miniature offerings. But then, the true appeal came in the form of its longer songs. One can always rest assured that when DT decide to break the six-minute mark (or approach it), it's going to be something special. "Hedon" and "Insanity's Crescendo" were easily the highlights on this album, especially the latter for its female vocal track, quiet introduction, and epic solemnity. Ultimately, I coloured at as appealing as The Gallery.

And then we come to Projector, and the second surprise...

I had no idea before today that Dark Tranquillity had ever, at any point, been an accomplished gothic metal band. This was perhaps their greatest departure from the genre they helped to pioneer, and was only barely a melodeath record, shedding much of the associated bombast in favour of more modest gothic metal structures and Stanne's previously unused and delightfully competent operatic vocal abilities. For a third surprise, "Auctioned" demonstrated to me that there was once a Dark Tranquillity that created a non-instrumental song completely devoid of Stanne's rasp (something that would later be true in a bonus track called "In Sight" from their Haven era), and also served as the greatest among many demonstrations of the keyboards that would pretty much make their sound from then on. They weren't bad for a gothic metal outfit, but honestly, I was happy when they showed signs of returning to melodeath on Haven.

Now, Haven was also quite gothic, but there was a bit more of that driving melodeath force coming back to balance it out, a mixture resulting in what I feel is their best record during their mid-years. The songs shrunk and became more concise, most failing to break the four-minute mark, but that's okay because that just meant that the songwriting naturally tightened up, and everything seemed to just fall neatly into place. "The Wonders at Your Feet" is a goddamned classic and the album really couldn't have been kicked off better. It became the first part of a "one-two-three" collection of nigh-perfect songs along with "Not Built to Last" and "Indifferent Suns." The best part is that, that initial sense of fulfilment doesn't die there, only becoming more emotive throughout the title track, the lengthier "Ego Drama," and the excitingly more monolithic "At Loss for Words," for which my previous statements about DT's six-minute mark easily apply. Stanne's rasp is noticeably lower in pitch throughout. I'm not sure why he took that route on this and Damage Done, but it's not like it detracts from the experience by any means.

Damage Done is where we eschew much of the gothic influence and go back to good ol' pounding melodeath. It is here that we begin to hear scant traces of the progressive, contemplative, spacey, ambient-driven sound that DT would come to perfect on subsequent albums. But for now, the focus is a more on drama--the good kind. The kind that you don't feel pleasurably guilty for running with, just pleasurable. I'd say that "Hours Passed in Exile" was the song most of note here, though its follower, "Monochromatic Stains," stood pretty damned tall as well. I felt the same about "Format C: for Cortex," as well as everything from "Cathode Ray Sunshine" onward. I rated Haven just slightly higher, but I'd call this record irreplaceable regardless.

I don't usually tend to take to bonus tracks as well because there's typically a reason why they're bonus tracks and b-sides rather than actual album tracks. But that's not the case here since everything on Exposures - In Retrospect and Denial struck my fancy in some way or another. Even the old demo tracks, with their lower production values and looser instrumentation. I'm starting to think that there was never a time when DT were anything but some of the most accomplished lyricists I've ever known.

Anxiously looking forward to Character. \m/
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 4692
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:43 am 
 

Gatherum wrote:
Got any particular songs to recommend?

Sure! :)

First three songs of the album in order should give you a proper idea of what it sounds like, plus the first half of the album is its best:

Nocturnal Winds - Maid From the Abyss
Nocturnal Winds - Touch Me
Nocturnal Winds - Son of the Winterstorm

Probably the best songs of the album:

Path of Debris - The Eyes of the Basilisk
Path of Debris - Flight Of The Valkyries
Path of Debris - Destiny
Path of Debris - Stormrider

Let me know what you think of them.
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Gatherum
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:59 am 
 

androdion wrote:
Nocturnal Winds

Pure, uncompromising, and classic. Reminds me of Dark Tranquillity's early work, though incorporating less in the way of jarring dynamic shifts, where a song is more direct and consistent. It lacks in distortion and layering for my taste, but it seems to make up for it in the bass kicks. Ultimately, I can't say anything bad about this, but it's just one of those things that doesn't really stay with me, I suppose.

I would have liked to see them evolve through the new millennium. Alas.


Path of Debris

Mmm, much meatier. Could have just as easily chosen to walk the path of pure death metal. Retains that classic feel, but doesn't differentiate much. Nevertheless, there is something altogether enticing about this. I'll think about it.

Once again, the new millennium might have done well by these men.



Responses in italics.

  • Dark Tranquillity | 59.35% | TBD (4.3)
  • Loch Vostok | 52.38% | TBD (4.4)

I listened to Loch Vostok's Dark Logic today. Per song, it was a good piece of work, beginning in a rather average, unrefined manner and getting better as I neared the end. However, the songs didn't feel as if they meshed together well, ultimately only comprising an album because they are included on a common disc with a name. Still, for a first outing, it is an impressive piece of work and worthy entry into the progressive fold, if not so much the melodeath fold.

I only got through Dark Tranquillity's Lost to Apathy today. Its namesake song, I feel, was by no means their most remarkable, but the experimentations going on in its other studio tracks provided more to interest me. The EP is less remarkable for what makes it up as it is for what it serves as: a nice little prelude to Character.

I would have listened to Character today and got set to doing so, but early on, I noticed that all of the tracks that I had for it were several seconds shorter than they were supposed to be. I guess that happens sometimes. I set about replacing them, but in the meantime, I decided to move on to Loch Vostok's Destruction Time Again! instead.

This one was a bit more tolerable, and I imagine that, that had something to do with the increased prevalence of driving melodeath elements here. Not until its fourth track does it slow down a bit to catch its breath and go back to the band's preference for progressive metal. Throughout, I heard more varied influences, from melodic metalcore to alternative metal, but neither were prevalent enough to really label the work as such. Despite that, unless Reveal No Secrets outclasses it, this is likely their most power metal-influenced record (stylistically speaking--much of the lyrical content here is hardly empowering). Unfortunately, what was true for Dark Logic does not apply here; in fact, it is the opposite: the album starts strong, but loses momentum later. It reaches its highlight in "Symbiosis" and then seems to go uninspired through the motions until it kicks back up again somewhat during "Gestalt" in order to close respectably. There was a higher concentration of noteworthy tracks on this one than its predecessor, so it is thus rated somewhat higher. I am hoping that their next album manages to finally mesh better.
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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androdion
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:29 am 
 

I agree with your reasoning, they're both clearly second tier bands but I do think they have one pretty solid album each that warrants some attention. Nocturnal Winds is actually old school melodeath that doesn't suck, which says a lot, and Path Of Debris is a quirky middle of the road band in death metal that is overly melodic but still has a decent gritty feel. I like very much and own both albums, but then again I am a big (!) death metal fan and I like a lot of stuff within that realm, even though some are indeed not top tier.

I'd say give both albums half a dozen spins, they might entice you more after a bit. ;)
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Gatherum
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:59 am 
 

  • Arsis | 22.37% | TBD (4.8)
  • Dark Tranquillity | 76.64% | TBD (4.3)
  • Loch Vostok | 73.81% | TBD (4.4)

For Dark Tranquillity, I finally managed my way through Character, Fiction, and Yesterworlds, the latter being halfway comprised of tracks previously released on Exposures - In Retrospect and Denial. That said, very competent material. I was again impressed by the quality of even the older recordings.

But Character was truly an album of magnificence. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't much more progressive than its predecessor, and still comes across more or less as a pure melodeath album with the very scant synth break. Quite simply, it was an album that just rocked all the way through, being an improvement in every regard over said predecessor, already magnificent in its own right. One hears the Fiction era to come in "The Endless Feed," possibly the highlight for it, though facing heavy competition from "Out of Nothing" and "My Negation."

And then, finally, we arrive at Fiction itself, regarded for good reason as their ultimate outing among their more modern records. It was a new experience to listen to it after preceding it with all of their previous work, but it only made it all the more delectable because now, I feel as if I understand what it must have been like to be following DT (and melodeath in general) for years and suddenly have them release something so different, yet containing so much of the same all at once. It is indisputable as a melodeath record, yet sounds like it exists light years away from everything else in the genre. Such can be heard in tracks like "Terminus (Where Death Is Most Alive)," its penultimate track with its synthy backdrop that supports driving melodeath riffs moving frantically, but in a strange way that fools the listener into thinking that it's only a mid-tempo song while taking them away to strange, spacey worlds every time. "Icipher" demonstrates that they can incorporate the keyboard that they built their music on during their gothic years while leaving out the gothic entirely. But the true climax comes "Inside the Particle Storm," in all likelihood DT's most atmospheric and apocalyptic track, pulling off such a world-destroying sense of doom with nothing but one or two simple ambient background tracks and a relatively simple melody. I find it breathtaking every time I hear it and it's another one of those mysteries that make this album so damned awesome. Between those and the fact that this is quite simply the most varied collection of songs DT has yet produced, this album has more than earned its place as my favourite melodeath album and stands in itself as justification for DT's place as my favourite out of the seventeen bands listed at the very least, even if the numbers suggest otherwise.

After I finished up with Fiction, I took a break to go to work this week. I took the opportunity today to move on to Loch Vostok's Reveal No Secrets, which I rated just a hair lower than its predecessor because it basically exhibited similar problems that their debut had: a weak beginning, followed by a stronger ending. With the exception of its best track, "Energy Taboo," its first half seemed lacking, even if each song, individually, was of more than amiable quality. It was written such that it feels more concise, despite being of comparable length to the rest of their works, and yet, it still seems a bit loose as a collection of tracks. There was something off about the production too: the vocals sound low in the mix and the guitars sounded distant, but all-pervasive at the same time. Perhaps I have some low-quality files? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Still, this was more of a melodic death metal record through and through, still showing subtle, yet even less obvious hints of a metalcore edge while losing entirely the barbarity of the pure death metal elements that used to dot their soundscapes. One can just barely hear some alternative metal here, and it's not an unwelcome territory to tread. I will be licking my chops at Dystopium, followed by its newly-released successor.

I had just enough time to spin another record and, deciding that I wanted something more abrasive and technical, I chose Arsis' debut, A Celebration of Guilt. This... was an impressive piece of work, especially for a debut, quite possibly because Arsis meld the technical and melodic so well that it falls into both territories equally. But no, it's more likely just because it's all metal, no bullshit, melting your face off from the beginning and keeping it up all the way to the end, leaving cracks in your very skull. Though "The Face of My Innocence" calls to me because it was the very first Arsis track I ever had the pleasure of experiencing years ago, there aren't necessarily any individual highlights here because, while there are no segues, each track nevertheless feels like it is part of a much greater whole, and there are no odd or out-of-place specimens. I truly appreciated this, and rated it much higher than I anticipated myself doing.

Maybe tomorrow, I'll get through the last of DT (so far). Eagerly looking forward to it. \m/
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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Gatherum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:14 am
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:54 am 
 

Listening progress for the seventeen listed bands

(It's a link now, click if interested.)

I continued through Arsis with their exquisite EP, A Diamond for Disease, followed by United in Regret. Both were astonishing works, though I've little to say of the latter save that the general production was a tad cleaner in the guitars and the vocals. It is just as good as their début, exhibiting much of the same technical proficiency and general awesomeness. It was also very concise, being Arsis' shortest full-length. The only real standout track is their cover of Depeche Mode's "The Things You Said." Having not heard the original, I cannot definitively say exactly how much justice (or lack thereof) this cover does to it, suffice to say that it is a slight change of pace and atmospherics for Arsis on a record that is played mostly at a face-melting pace. I found it welcome.

But "A Diamond for Disease" is the true winner here. One can always appreciate fruitful ambition such as this, especially when it is so impossibly well-done. It took the band a few years to finally play this live in its entirety, and for damned good reason: this is a tech-death behemoth that raises the bar insanely high and remains my favourite tech-death song in general. That said, I doubt that Arsis themselves could ever top this again. Phenomenal.

I finally made it through Dark Tranquillity. It took a minute to get to We Are the Void because I had to move through their live album, Where Death Is Most Alive and vintage live compilation The Dying Fragments first, the former being a surprising treat that let me experience some of their older works played with all of the experience they had gained since the decade or so since they last touched them, and the latter being difficult to appreciate due to the extremely muffled quality of the recordings. But it was worth the wait, for We Are the Void, I feel, was damned solid as an album, more ambitious than Fiction, if not quite as remarkable.

Here, they take another baby step into that progressive sound they've found themselves in lately while throwing in some grandiosity and almost-orchestral ambience more prominent in symphonic black metal. The album is filled with echoic room effects, most apparent in the keys. It also represents a noticeable lapse back into their gothic metal tendencies from a decade ago (especially when you hit the middle tracks, such as "At the Point of Ignition," "Her Silent Language," and "Arkhangelsk," the latter being a textbook exercise in metallic ominousness), such passages being as prominent here as their melodeath ones. Per DT's characteristic finesse, no element seems overblown or detrimental to the other, though it could be said that they chose grandiosity over the contradictingly chaotic, brooding spaciness that made Fiction so special. Which is not to say that this should have been another Fiction. It's just not as good, even if it is still goddamn amazing.

One does see great promise in DT's future if the Tour Edition/Zero Distance EP bonus tracks are any indication thereof. It's like everything DT was on We Are the Void, except that the keyboarding is really fleshed out, the melodeath/gothic/progressive/scant electronic tidbits are more perfectly melded than they ever have been, and they even seem to be playing a little with passages that seem structurally folkish with "Out of Gravity," but they, like any element that they employ, are cautious, being just prominent enough to be noticeable and welcome without detracting from the rest. "Star of Nothingness" is also a much more effective space intermission than Fiction's "Winter Triangle" was, leading admirably "To Where Fires Cannot Feed."

Overall, I am glad that I took the time to finally run through all of DT's material. It took a damned long time, but it was more than worth it. I am literally frothing at the mouth for the next, sorely overdue, full-length album. \m/

Meanwhile, I spun Loch Vostok's Dystopium for the second time and my impression is this: MUCH better! This was an album that flowed satisfactorily from the beginning, all the way to the end, incorporating some pretty obvious mainstream elements, such as melodic metalcore and alternative metal, to create something accessible and palatable at the same time, allowing them to tread into new territories while simultaneously bringing back more of their straight death metal abrasiveness and losing none of their melodeath prowess. The power metal grandiosity is also gone, Möller leaving behind those awkwardly-placed high notes. The album stands, in my opinion, as proof that accessibility does not mean selling out, and indicates to me that Loch Vostok have finally figured out their own sound, so to speak. I hope they continue down this path on V: the Doctrine Decoded, of which Dystopium convinced me as a wise and worthwhile digital investment. \m/

In other news, I reset In Flames when I happened to listen to some of their songs recently, only to find that perhaps I had not rated them fairly. At first, their lower score compared to the rest made some sense, but more recently, I am thinking differently. I will go through their discography again, and though I don't expect an experience as mind-blowing as DT, I imagine that it will click with me in ways that it didn't the first time. Being that I already ran through them once, however, it's not going to be something that I place my primary focus on.
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I believe it was Confucius who said "Life is merely a series of intervals in which one waits for the next Agalloch album."

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