Author Topic: Album reviews:  (Read 6606 times)

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Offline Layson Juravis

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Album reviews:
« on: December 19, 2004, 02:01:33 am »
This is just an idea I had after making a thread about Ayreon's most recent album. How about we make a thread about the albums we like/hate. Let us share our musical tastes.

Basically each post would contain the review of a different album, either good or bad, we could therefore have a better idea about the tastes of the users, and also maybe discover new bands.

It'd also be nice if we could manage to keep this thread on topic.

My first review:

Band: Dream Theater
Album: Train of Thought
Sub-genre: Progressive Metal

Dream theather have been at the front of Progressive Metal for over a decade now. Led by the rich voice of James Labrie, their songs have always captured by the richness of movemont. Unusual rythym and strong melodic movements have always been at the basis of Dream Theater sound.

However, for this album, it the whole album that has shifted in a new direction. The average sound of the album as definitely become heavier, and some of the guitar riffs and lyrical passages are actually closer to  nu-metal ideas rather than the usual Dream Theater sound. For this, the band was criticized at the release of the album.

However, I have a different opinion, I think that Dream Theater has in fact possibly enriched their sound with this album. It is heavier, yes, but the basis of Dream Theater is always there. The approach has changed, but the result is the same, powerful melodies carry you through a unique accoustic expecience.

The highlights of the album are in my opinion, Honour Thy Father and In The Name of God.

The first is an explosive song expressive rage against ones father. The song draws a portrait of well controlled rage that simply explodes once the fully instrumental part kicks on at my song.

The second is a long epic 14 minute song with passages of international influence expressing questions about religious wars. Like many Dream Theater songs, the song does not directly criticize, it provokes the listener to think. Even the last notes of the album seem to ask an unworded question.

All in all, I find this album to be one of Dream Theaters best products, along with Six Inner Degrees of Turbulence. Some may be turned off my the step towards a more modern song the band has undertaken. I think it was a well calculated step, and in the end it works to provide the listener a rich listening experience, in it's harshness, both in its harsh passages or the tranquil Cello moments from Vacant.

Layson's score: 9.1/10
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Smeagol

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2004, 02:38:14 am »
* Smeagol raises hand  tentativly

can it be any album no matter how old? just out of interest...

Offline Layson Juravis

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2004, 02:58:06 am »
Oh heck yeah!... my next review is going to be an album the early 80's... and then I might even go classical on your asses.
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Offline Outboundlight

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2004, 04:06:24 am »


Band: Therapy?
Album: Never apologise, never explain
Sub-genre: Angsty punk metal type stuff


Therapy? have been around for quite some time now, a good four years or so before the release of their definitive album "Troublegum" in 1994. The new album, released ten years later, marks a return to form for the Larne trio. Thats right, trio. Therapy? have recently dropped their second guitarist and returned to their three peice roots. This album too delivers more hard hitting simplistic songs with memorable lyircs, not unlike their groundbreaking "troublegum". Despite this, the songs just aren't as catchy as the unforgettable hits of the last decade or even the some of the better tracks off the quirky "church of noise" album. Perhaps therapy? are simply getting used to returning to three peice song writing and if this is the case "never apologise" is still an admirable record. Also, in its defence, the songs that were played live at the recent Belfast gig (the first since the albums release) were all fantastic and definetly  helped maintain their reputation as a definitive live act. Overall, the album does not display the polish and inspiration of the bands better known material but is still very enjoyable with memorable tunes.
Overall:
8/10

Offline Vortex

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2004, 07:19:41 am »
cool thread, but wouldn't it be more apropriate in the general thread. Isnt "The Music" section supposed to be about Machinae only?

Offline Turin

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2004, 07:46:01 am »
Images and Words blew Train of Thought out of the water.
:D

Offline ПФББЧ

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2004, 12:38:26 pm »
pfft, scenes from a memory > *
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Offline shiva

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2004, 01:00:57 am »
stream of consciousness owns my soul

Offline Layson Juravis

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2005, 10:50:17 pm »
Pre-review comments:

I'm very hot and cold with Scenes of a Memory, at times I feel like it's the second best thing there is. And then it completely falls in a bit of forgetfulness. The first CD of Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought and Spaced Dye Vest are the only Dream Theater that make me want to scream : "This is righteously awesome!" every single time.

Album Review:

Band: Hanker
Album: Snakes & Ladders
Sub-genre: Power Metal

Hanker is an underground Power Metal band from Quebec City. It was a rather anonymous group of musicians until this album, their third, was released. The band then started making waves and has become praised on the local scene.

The Hanker musicians are very talented. The drumming charges the songs in a more diverse fashion than most power metal bands bother with. There's no dulling *Tuppa Tuppa Tuppa* going around here.

The bassist is relagated to a very primitive support role most of the album. However, he does a very adequate job when called upon. Where this album really shines however is in the guitars. Both of the guitarists are quite talented and are as much at ease shredding through power chord, duelling in sharp solos, or softly playing accoustic melodies.

However, the album does have it's downsides. Due to a low budget, and perhaps a lack of expertise, the mixing of the songs is quite off at times. Sometimes the drums are drowned. Other times, all of the instruments are moshed indistinguishibly togheter. The sound often comes out as dirty, gritty... In both the good and bad ways.

Also, the vocalist has a voice that takes some getting used to. He does have a trace of French Canadian accent as he sings in English, and at times, the vocals are quite flat.

Nonetheless the band has gathered to produce a very solid effort here. The album opens up with a very solid grinding track in Ad Patres. This track alone should be in the collection of any power metal fan. Also high spots in the album are Hail to You, which is an anthemic simple song which works awesome live,  and the Eternal Struggle, which is a lengthy epic track that leaps from passage to passage intertwined with some of the best duelling guitar solos this side of the Atlantic.

The only track that I find rather dull and plain is Confidence Man. Which to me is just plain filler, and a waste of my time.

All in all, this album is a great little gem that is worth being uncovered and is also better than their more recent release, Web of Faith. These musicians have talent, and poor mixing should not deter you from enjoying this solid piece of music.
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Offline SomethingApt

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2005, 11:43:15 pm »
I love your reviews Layson, they're really great to read. It's thanks to you that I got into Dream Theater. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence is a fantastic album, although I haven't listened to Train of Thought enough yet to have a proper opinion on it. I will make sure to post some album reviews of my own at a later date.

Keep up the good work!  ;D
« Last Edit: January 23, 2005, 11:44:07 pm by Jammin »

Smeagol

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2005, 07:12:51 pm »
Band- His Infernal Majesty (AKA: HIM)
Album- Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights
Genre- technically.... Love Metal


DSABH is probably the best of HIM's albums around(excluding the Greatest Hits one, obviously :)). It starts with Salt in our Wounds, which is a fairly solid song, nothing that really stands out, it's a steady song, not the best on the album, not the worst. Then comes Heartache Every Moment. It comes out of nowhere. It's such a great song, the piano build up is just awesome. Then of course one will eventually come to Pretending, I heard this once (on the video) and was humming it all day, genius!  Before that, the listener is treated to In Joy and Sorrow, same situation as with Pretending, those two tracks right next to each other, a HIM fan can't really ask for much more.

Even if you're not too fond of them, just try downloading Heartache, and/or Pretending, IMO, they are the two main tracks that stand out on the album, although a few of the later tracks do push them close, like the balladic Close to the Flame, or Don't Let it Go, which is one  very fine song

Offline Xeero

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2005, 03:44:12 am »
ARTIST: Against Me!
ALBUM: Reinventing Axl Rose
GENRE: Punk/folk-ish?

AM! is a band originating out of Florida a few years ago, I believe around '00.  For a long time it was just the singer and his guitar, but then he mustered up a whole band and away they went.  This is their first full album.

The first time I heard Against Me!'s "Pints Of Guiness Make You Strong" (Track 01!) I was floored.  Soon after I got the whole album and it's full of great songs.  A thing that draws me to them is the emotion in Tom's voice...  I don't know how to describe it too well, but I can say that Machinae Supremacy (Though a completely different genre) gives me the same vibe.

The music is some sort of mix-mashed acoustic-punk-folk stuff - there's not a lot of electric guitar going on, but don't confuse it with traditional folk...  It's just influenced by it.  The CD is quite diverse in style, with some fast and slow stuff, as well as some screamy and not-so-screamy tunes.

I suggest a few downloads worth getting off this CD for sure:
I Still Love You Julie
Pints Of Guiness Make You Strong
Walking Is Still Honest

Song:
http://the-exclaimers.divine-illusions.net/Songs/Against_Me!_-_Pints_Of_Guiness_Make_You_Strong.mp3

I give it a 8/10 if you care about sound quality and a 9.5/10 if you don't.

Offline L'homme magique

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2005, 11:28:22 pm »
I suppose I should review what I got hooked up with couple nights ago :P

Band: Disque 9
Album: Des Incurables
Sub-Genre: Noise, I guess

liek holy shit wow. It's like the Residents meets Fantomas! There's not much else to say, except this album rocks face hardcore to the center of the earth. Give it a listen. if you can't find it i'm on msn a lot :P

Band: Fantomas
Album: Delirium Cordia: Surgical Sound Specimens from the Museum of Skin
Sub-Genre: Progressive Noise :P

This... is insane. Very avant-garde. It's like a madcap hospital where the nurses are Edward Scissorhands, and I like it that way. It's very hard to listen to (one massive track over an hour long); INSERT INTO yabbse_messages (ID_MSG, ID_TOPIC, ID_MEMBER, subject, posterName, posterEmail, posterTime, posterIP, smiliesEnabled, modifiedTime, modifiedName, body, icon, attachmentSize, attachmentFilename) VALUES but definitely worth everyone's attention.
again, i'm on msn a bunch >_>

These reviews aren't very good, because... I am tired >_>
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Offline Jack Lupino

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2005, 11:40:50 pm »
Band : CKY
Description : You know jackass right ?
well these idiots started it.
the same but WAY more sick and shit but therefore supercool :D more skateboard action...
any way they have a band too , called CKY (Camp Kill Yourself) :D Bam magera's brother is the drummer there


The music is sort of Rock/Metal, i think its really cool.

And Smeag, HIM is in those movies too, because Bam magera's plays in those movies, well movies ... home footage. :D

« Last Edit: February 06, 2005, 11:44:47 pm by Radicz0r »

Lexx

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Re:Album reviews:
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2005, 09:07:52 am »
Band: Sikth
Album: The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild
Genre: Um, good question. :P

Sikth are unique. It's hard to lump them in any particular genre although some have described them as "weirdcore". First time I listened though the album I didn't know what to think, I wasn't sure what I was listening to, but after listening a few more times I realised something.. this is fucking amazing. There's quite a range on the album, such as "Peep Show", which is one of the tamer songs on the album, it's very melodic and enjoyable to listen to. Then there're slower songs like "Tupelo" (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds cover).

But mainly there's Sikth's trademark songs, they're a little hard to describe, on first listen they seem mostly confusion but after a while you begin to see that they're so much more, it's a brilliant mix to different vocal styles, guitars and drums. With two (lead) vocalists they manage to make their own style where they compliment each other.

Honourable mention to the track "When Will the Forest Speak", it's a spoken word track and the different voices make this song almost spectacular.

I'll stop here because I'm terrible at writing reviews, but seriously check out Sikth, you'll either love them or hate them, but don't miss out. :P

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