Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Musical Roundup

Bought a bunch of music over the last month, and I probably ought to at least say a few words about it, particularly since I don't keep a 'what I'm listening to' box in my sidebar. My 'current' music choices just change too rapidly. These'll just be quick, though some might merit a bit more detail in a later posting. Not all of these are NEW new. They are just new for me, but I've gone through a pretty serious drought in music buying for like a year now:

November's Doom- Into Night's Requiem Infernal. Doom/death metal. Circles around the same musical camp as Opeth, but less progressive and fewer clean vocals. They actually picked up the pace on more songs with Novella Reservoir and everything after and this is along the same lines. Just about any metal fan would like this musically, and the lyrics are more personal (typical of Doom Metal like My Dying Bride), but if you can't get around death vocals steer clear.

Children of Bodom- Relentless, Reckless Forever. Symphonic power thrash. A stunning return to form for Children of Bodom, who've played with simpler, more accessible songs over the previous two (non-cover) albums. But if you'd missed the old symphonically-inspired CoB, here's your tonic. I'd never have said Laiho and band had descended to Nu-Metal or anything, but some fans were just that put off. I was just kinda bored. I mean I own the last two, but I hardly ever listen to them. This one goes into rotation with Hatebreeder and Follow The Reaper! Fucking-A.

Evergrey- Glorious Collision. Progressive Metal. I love Evergrey. Especially Tom Englund's vocals. The guy has a somewhat smoky voice like Bob Seger or Joe Cocker but far more musical and soulful. Hell, when I met Tom, the conversation I had led me to start buying New Rock Boots! But. Evergrey is one of those bands whose style is so distinct and unvarying that they start to sound same-y. Which is weird to say about a so-called progressive band since the hallmark of the genre is variety. A lot of people dissed past a album Monday Morning Apocalypse because it had more power chord melodies and less Evergrey-style staccato galloping, but I found it really refreshing. Then when they followed that up with Torn, it was back to the rut. They're like Katatonia, whom I wrote about in a previous entry. I love 'em but I can't listen to a lot of the material in one stretch because it is just so similar. Thankfully Glorious Collision mixes in some shit similar to MMApocalypse with the typical Evergrey to vary things. The album isn't disjointed either. Whew. Thanks Tom.

Eisbrecher- Eiszeit. Industrial metal (or the German-identified genre, Dance metal). This is a weird one. Eisbrecher is firmly in the same genre as Rammstein. So much so that they are frequently called a clone of the more famous band. In this record, they branch out and have a lot of tracks that don't sound much like Rammstein... or at least 'typical' Rammstein since those guys can go pretty left field too. But Eisbrecher's choices are pretty odd. It makes for interesting listening, but it'd be really difficult for me to say I like it all. Might be a grower. I'm not going to bitch about it because trying to move out from under Rammstein's shadow is commendable. Maybe different choices are needed.

Rotersand- 10 23. Industrial/EBM. Rotersand may be my new favorite amongst the EBM and Futurepop style of outfits. More varied and unpredictable than The Covenant or VNV Nation. Heavily influenced by Pink Floyd if you can believe it. That makes it sound like they wouldn't work up any dance floor music, but Rotersand is incredibly good for that, though they have some slower stuff... and almost always open with a track that sounds literally like Floyd. I can't really say this album is 'more this' or 'more that' than any other because they are all over the tempo and mood maps on each record... except perhaps Truth Is Fanatic, an early album that is probably more 'typical EBM' than anything since. Highly recommended if you like Industrial club music but don't need to stay in that mode the whole listen.

Funker Vogt-Blutzoll. Industrial/EBM. If you've heard Funker Vogt you know what to expect. The album is typical of the group. It has a decent variety and is high quality but nothing grabs me by the boo-boo like the track Paralyzed from Aviator.

The Devin Townshend Project- Addicted. Heavy Metal. That tag doesn't really describe Devin's work all that well, but I'm loathe to try to circulate a new genre term that attempts to describe his wall-of-sound style. Devin, the mad scientist of metal, is currently working on a four-album series of which this is the second. I skipped the first, Ki, because I was a bit put off by it. Each of the four albums is to have a signature theme-style and I didn't dig what I sampled from Ki. Now I think I have to go back and get it. Addicted is amazing. This would be more like what I'd call typical of Devin's 'other' projects... the ones that aren't Strapping Young Lad. So if you like Ocean Machine or Synchestra, here you go. In addition, he drafted Anneke von Giersbergen (formerly of The Gathering) and she sounds fucking awesome. Her own current work is in a pop band, but she has not lost any of her ability to power right the hell over big instrumental sounds. Like organised crime families, once you're in metal I guess you can never really get out. Devin himself is no slouch. Capable of very melodic soft singing, reaching pretty high notes, or screaming fit to make your spine curl up into a coil. Everyone should want to have Devin's baby.

Okay. That's all for now.

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