Thursday, October 30, 2014

Who'd a Thought it: Looks Can be Misleading

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Prime example of a metal album cover, isn't it?
Don't let their appearance fool you: Destrose is as heavy metal as can be and perhaps even more true to their roots than bands known for shouting their "metalness" from the rooftops. These days, metal artists emerging from Japan--Destrose's home country--are admittedly funny creatures and better described as anomalies when placed within a worldwide context. Many are comprised entirely of women who look nothing like what their chosen style of music suggests and are downright feminine in presentation, which is a bit misleading with a roster of songs titled "Headless Goddess," "Sword of Avenger," and "Skykiller."

Consider, though, the widespread influence Japanese pop has had on popular culture. The adorable, bouncy aesthetic that goes along with the music has created crossover between genres and traveled as far as metal, just as Destrose, Aldious, Cyntia, and others demonstrate on a daily basis. Consider, too, that metal is recognized as a style of music where looks are largely irrelevant. Why, then, are sub-genres like black metal first and foremost known for corpse paint and traditional heavy metal for leather jackets and motorcycles?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MindMaze - "Dreamwalker"

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My backlog is growing at a pace I cannot keep up with, but one record I'm specifically making time for in the next week is MindMaze's Back from the Edge. I want to keep things brief, though, so I'll tell you that the music is incredibly memorable, with the kind of chorus that burrows its way into your mind for days on end. The song, "Dreamwalker," was the track the band had lead the charge prior to the album's release, and it was an excellent choice.

Feel free to leave some thoughts below. Or, you know, enjoy the music and forget the rest.

-TMA

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wolf Blood - Wolf Blood (2014)

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One of the sharpest doom-stoner combos to hit The Metal Advisor's inbox this year is Wolf Blood's self-titled full-length, a catchy, bombastic affair with all the right ingredients to make it something great. Contrary to their peers, Wolf Blood takes the path seldom traveled and, instead, ditches the plodding, substance-less music popular across metal as of late. They're a better band for it, too, because there's no dreariness or stagnation to be found--tempos only slow when necessary, and most of the tracks hover around mid-paced and measured grooves that feel wonderfully organic and natural, just as well-crafted songwriting should.

Strictly speaking, feeling (re: originality) is an essential aspect of Wolf Blood's music because, without it, their album risks being lumped in with other doom metal artists who do little to distinguish their work. As of now, fewer and fewer bands endeavor to stand out from the pack, only to ride the coattails of others in hopes of getting a sliver-sized taste of success; which is very much like the artists who rode the glam rock trend in the 1980s. B-grade bands and worse became so similar sounding to one another that they essentially were disposable after their 10-minutes of fame, which is, in a way, exactly what we're seeing with doom metal today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Liv Kristine - "Love Decay"

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Photo taken from Liv's facebook fan page.
Some of you may know Liv Kristine. Some of you may also know that her last album with her main band, Leaves' Eyes, was pretty shitty, too.

Seeing as that album was released last year--November 15, 2013, in fact--it's about time that Liv put out new music. Titled Vervain, her latest solo effort hits shelves in a few days, but we have this tidbit to bite down on in the meantime as we try to hold back the anticipation (By we, I mean fans of her project. I have no opinion of her solo work--as a whole--one way or another.). And, boy, is it a weird one because the man stares emotionlessly into empty space, while Liv seems unfazed by the general oddity of the situation.

I assume the video was meant to appear this way and, if so, that's fine and dandy. But, goddamn, make the actual content interesting and worth watching. The only saving grace here is music's main melody, which is, all things considered, above average (despite being generic).

Props for being filmed in a graveyard, though.

-TMA

Friday, October 17, 2014

Aldious - Dazed and Delight (2014)

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It's hard to believe Aldious is four full-lengths into their career--their first two records were absolute monsters in terms of crunchy heaviness and creativity, while the most recent two are somewhat middling in quality, largely due to vocalist Re:No (formerly of pop duo Suitei Shoujo) being ill-suited for the band. But, to be honest, it's hard to place all the blame on her because Aldious has struggled with adhering to their roots since original vocalist Rami's departure and continues to straddle a fine line between metal and rock-pop. Yes, the band's identity has been compromised for two albums now, which results in a roller coaster of ups and downs. Quality falls as quickly as it rises, and that doesn't bode well for the majority of Aldious' latest record. Let's take a closer look.

With the release of Dazed and Delight, Aldious returns to some semblance of what made their first two albums magical, but those stylistic traits are often mixed with a heavy preference for pop music. Indeed, while a handful of tracks are quality power metal rockers--"Butterfly Effect," "シャンデリア," "Imagination," "Dominator," and oddball "The Breeze at Dawn"--Aldious generally favors accessibility and simplistic chord progressions over the relative complexity of their first two records. Suffice to say, it's not inspiring to see the band take a step back for more mainstream sounds when their career looked so promising early on.