Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Less Thrash, More Hash: Megadeth's Th1rt3en is Skippable (2011)

Not wanting to be one-upped by my buddy Gogs, who reviewed the album months ago, it's my turn to put in a word or two about Megadeth's latest. Surprisingly enough, when I went to purchase Th1rt3en shortly after it came out, I had a tough time finding it at Best Buy. BEST BUY. The most mainstream electronics store in the United States hardly stocked any copies of new material from one of the best known metal bands in the world. Is this signaling the death of the CD? In some ways, yes, but to not carry Megadeth's newest record in the compact disk section, no matter how small, is ridiculous to me. Certain music still sells, especially because Megadave got his cash in and recognition with Guitar Hero. Nevertheless, I grabbed one of the last copies. Was it worth it? Not really.

First thoughts: the new record sounds positively stale. Admittedly, Megadeth hasn't been great since 1992's Youthanasia, which pioneered a more heavy metal-based direction for the band, and though Countdown to Extinction signaled the beginning of the shift, year '92 perfected it. That was the last truly enjoyable thing Dave and his ever changing crew put out, but I digress. Th1rt3en comes across as compilation of left over rejects (Wait... "New World Order" and "Millennium of the Blind" didn't make a certain record...) Dave didn't deem suitable for one of the albums from the '90s, specifically Youthanasia. In short, uninspired is an excellent word for Th1rt3en's plight. At least a few great tracks call Endgame home, despite being largely forgettable; likewise, the new album has a few fun tracks, but I'd be fully content with never hearing it again in my life. So let's see here: Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth recently released bland, nondescript albums. At the moment, Anthrax is the guiding light. What the @#$%?

As much as it pains me to say it, Dave is probably too comfortable with his fanbase, who gobble up everything he releases, proclaiming it god's gift to man. We, the hardcore fans who appreciate good music, suffer. I can't say I blame him because his rocket to the top in recent years has been pure genius. While Megadeth without a doubt isn't the biggest name in metal today, the moniker is up there with the best of 'em.

Performance-wise, the band is tight enough, but the drive, charisma, and creativity, everything essential for a metal band, are missing. Dave's vocals are tired and weak. His riffs are bland. The only thing that reminds me of a healthy Megadeth are the suitably-placed political lyrics that I'd much rather have left out of my music. Nonetheless, they're there, and while they don't break anything, they don't make anything either. Although the band is in-sync, and I don't hear any obvious flaws floating around in Mustaine's little dream world, Megadeth seems to be playing it safe with toned down drumming and guitar sections. More accessible for the nonmetal audience, I suppose. Of course, this could totally be fault of the left over tracks from other writing sessions that just weren't good enough, but it comes across as a slap in the face, and I don't like it.


Well, Mr. Mustaine, what have you got to say for yourself? You haven't made me and a lot of other fans happy. It genuinely feels as if you rushed the album just to fit the record company's wishes. And if those rumors are true, I'm even more disgusted. Megadeth will have to come back with something utterly mind blowing to pull me back into the fold. Rust in Peace, Youthanasia, and Peace Sells... are calling my name. At least they won't let me down.

Tracks you should take away from Th1rt3en are few, far, and between, but "Sudden Death," "Public Enemy No. 1," and "Black Swan" are decent enough.

-TMA

Sneak Preview of New Demetori Material!

I don't know about you guys, but I've been waiting for this announcement ever since I got into Demetori over the summer. Masaru is such a fantastic guitarist and has a great knack for writing memorable riffs that once I put a Demetori album on, I can't stop listening to it. As per some people on Last.fm, I discovered a mash up clip of sneak previews from the upcoming record. I'm excited for it, even if it doesn't have much variation in sound from past material. As long as Masaru stays consistent in his adaptations of the music he chooses to base his compositions on, I'm entirely fine with that.

If you already liked Demetori, you'll be satisfied. If you're a newcomer, I don't think you'll be disappointed either.

-TMA

Anyone Remember Spectre General?

Alright, so these guys aren't exactly metal in this particular guise, but does anyone remember the heavy metal band Kick Axe? If you're cool enough to dig into the depths of the internet like I am, you'll likely know the band changed their name due to legal troubles when they recorded two tracks for 1986's The Transformers: The Movie. I mean, seriously, was any little kid really going to put the pieces together and realize Kick Axe might mean Kick Ass? Absolutely not. Suggestive my ass.

Spectre General - "Nothin's Gonna Stand in Our Way"


Despite modern age society being overprotective over a word choice, not to mention other inconceivably small things parents threw fits about in the eighties (specifically W.A.S.P. or Judas Priest lyrics causing suicide: what a joke...), Spectre General are actually pretty decent; the music isn't too far removed from that of Kick Axe, though I've only heard one of their records, and it's great fun to rock out to, maybe air guitar a part or six. From the bands the producers could have potentially chosen from for the soundtrack, I'm not exactly sure how Canadians Kick Axe made the cut, but they definitely brought the goods and were certainly in line with what was popular in the mid eighties..

Hope I dug up memories for some of you with these tracks.

-TMA

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recent Hauls Part Six

Both share eerily similar cover art.
I stopped by one of my favorite record stores called Twist & Shout (located in Denver, CO), only to be overwhelmed with the amount of people browsing the selection of metal. Normally, I can waltz right into the back of the store and freely roam the few rows of metal CDs, but today there happened to be quite few metalheads sifting through the section, even a few ogling at the vinyl.

I managed to walk out with Agalloch's Marrow of the Spirit double LP (clear vinyl to boot!) and Gallowbraid's Ashen Eidolon, which I picked up used for tidy sum of $7.99. Gallowbraid's EP has been on my list for quite some time now, but I never knew just where to purchase it; I'm thankful some generous soul decided to let it go.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Recent Hauls Part 5

1. As of late, there has been an influx of bands playing in the vein of the fathers of death metal (old school death metal [OSDM]). Vallenfyre is riding the wave just like the rest of 'em, but there's one thing that sets them apart - enlisted are members of Paradise Lost, At the Gates, and My Dying Bride. First impressions lead to visions of nothing more than a metal super group, but the vibe quickly fades when the quality of the material is taken into consideration. Songs are composed in such a way that they don't come across as amateurish - wouldn't that be an embarrassment for highly experienced musicians such as these? In any case, A Fragile King merely feels like an attempt to bring back an old school sound laden with doom metal influences, all while having a good bit of fun. Highly recommended if you want something crushing with a razor blade guitar sound.

2. Sometimes music comes to me by chance. In the case of Kylesa, I received a free tour poster in the mail and decided it wasn't "right" to have a piece of memorabilia without owning any music. While it hasn't completely sunk in, Static Tensions is a very good slab of hardcore and sludge with a dash of metal sprinkled in a few places. Sometimes people will tag Kylesa as sludge metal, but I fail to hear enough of a metal influence over hardcore to call the band metallic. In the end though, music is music, and this album is very good, certainly an excellent introduction the band. Maybe now I can proudly display the poster on my wall and not feel guilty about it.


3. Yeah, yeah. I know I already submitted a post on Riot's Immortal Soul earlier today, but this is definitely one of the best albums released all year. Check out my blurb here.

4. I'm a closet k-pop fan. Actually, no. I'm openly a k-pop fanatic. I can't get enough of it. I finally got around to picking up a physical copy of 소녀시대's (Girls' Generation) latest record after having digital files since its release. The Boys is an excellent and entertaining record, definitely their most consistent, but not for the music connoisseur on a search for deep music. I wouldn't call it mindless, but I can throw The Boys on whenever I want something fun to chill out with and not feel obligated to analyze what I'm listening to. I don't recommend this unless you want to add something sugary and sweet to your musical diet, but if you're feeling open minded, go for it. Not your normal metalhead's cup of tea, but it checks all the right boxes for me.

5. Before I nabbed Wishbone Ash, my exposure to the band was limited to a song here and there. I always enjoyed what I heard, but I never got the "man, I gotta have this" feeling. Too bad for me beacuse I was missing out on some positively excellent '70s rock. Isn't this always the predicament? THERE'S TOO MUCH MUSIC OUT THERE! Two of the six tracks are over 10 minutes, so I suppose you might file this under progressive rock, but none of the record is fit for easy listening because the normal listener would call one of the six minute tracks "long beyond belief" (as serious music listeners, we know this is not the case). Nonetheless, I wouldn't have the group's debut any other way. "Errors of My Way" is an absolute monster, and probably my favorite from the record.

6. About midway through 2011, I fell in love with hip hop, most notably jazz hop; artists like bugseed, Haiiro de Rossi, and Funky DL are among my favorites, and I eventually decided I needed to make the jump over to regular ol' hip hop. After the suggestion from a buddy, I grabbed MF Doom's Operation: Doomsday. Musically, it provides an array of nice beats, but I never could get used to MF Doom's awkward sense of rhythm and tone of voice. This record is labeled as a classic by the hip hop community, so I found myself determined to get into it, and with enough persistence I made it grow on me, but, to be honest, it was tiring. I can't recommend it right off the bat, but only after you've explored what hip hop has to offer (check out jazz hop, hint hint!). Your perception of the album might be different than mine, however.

7. Much like Operation: Doomsday, Katatonia's Viva Emptiness is proclaimed a staple in the band's discography. As this is my only experience with the band and from what I understand after reading fan opinions, this is one the best albums Katatonia released after they switched from a doomy death metal style to a depressive rock/metal sound. I absolutely love the album musically, but some of the lyrics just make me cringe, especially the usage of cursing on a few of the tracks. I don't find profanity necessary at all. The bleak depression comes across sufficiently, and the cursing only makes me take it less seriously. Aside from that, I love the record and can indeed recommend it to those of you that haven't heard these Swedish metallers.

-TMA

Riot - Immortal Soul (2011)

Maiden and Priest: start taking notes. This is how you do heavy metal, instead of overly boring and drawn out pretentious "creativity" you both committed to recording for your last albums.

It's been five years since Riot's last release. Despite not giving that record a listen, I was still very excited to see what the band had in store for 2011, and I wasn't let down even in the slightest. But I did have my doubts because, since reuniting in 2006, Riot went through a period of ups and downs, most notably losing Tony Moore once. Thankfully, he decided to return. 

Although Riot aren't exactly known outside of cult circles within the metal community, their importance can't be argued, and Immortal Soul carries on the tradition that began with Thundersteel, a culmination of heavy, speed, and power metal the band took up after they decided to move away from their heavy metal and bluesy hard rock roots. For Immortal Soul, this perfect Riot line-up is together once again, and the results could not have been more grand.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vader - Welcome to the Morbid Reich (2011)

Let's preface this by saying this might well darned be album of the year. Prior to this record's release, I had very little exposure to Vader, but I was always intrigued by something about them, particularly their reputation as death metal veterans alongside Morbid Angel, Obituary, Death, and others. Vader had the "it" factor if you will, but I never got around to checking them out, which only hurt me because I missed out on some bloody exciting music. And not only that, I assume Welcome to the Morbid Reich's cover art pushed me over the edge with its positively old school vibe that oozes originality in an age filled with sterile computer-generated images. From an artistic standpoint, even the album cover is a plus to the experience.

But first thing's first: Welcome to the Morbid Reich is a fantastic introduction to death metal and Vader in general--its brutality kicks you in the face and keeps you down, but for some reason you still come back for more. The first day I had the album, I must have spun it, at the very least, five times because with each listen it grew better and better. The last metal record I remember having such an attachment to showed its face over two years ago, and that's saying something because I typically don't get overly addicted to music. Songs, yes. An entire album? Less frequently. Really, only once in a blue moon does such a thing happen.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Message to France...

Dear Paris,

You're not very metal so far. The only trace of your love for our sacred music has been a stout devotee in an Iron Maiden shirt. Consider stepping up your game.

Yours truly,
The Metal Advisor

In all seriousness, though, the search for metal hasn't been successful thus far. I'll be stepping into a jazz club in the next couple of nights - there's certainly no drought of music. Just metal. Cross your fingers, and pray along with me that some will appear!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Best Part of the Day is when the Mail Comes

I finally gave up on searching for the new Skeletonwitch album in stores, so I ended up nabbing it off Amazon. I couldn't resist grabbing a few other albums with it --let's see what I got.

The first record, Vader's Welcome to Morbid Reich, has been on my list since I heard a cut from the track list a few months ago. No, scratch that; these Polish death metallers have been on my radar for a few years now because they're one of the old school bands everyone tells you to check out. It just took me a little longer to get around to doing it.

You know how it is: there's an endless sea of great music to get sidetracked with. And, boy, does this record slay because the cover art fits the theme, but the Nazi-inspired theme gives me the creeps. Vader aren't Neo-Nazi in any way, however. Purchase success!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

King Diamond/Mercyful Fate

Man, oh, man. I leave for France soon. Guess I better get another post or two in, huh?

To be honest with you, I'm not quite sure what I want to write about tonight. After I included Abigail in my "five heavy metal albums to hear before you die" post, King Diamond and Mercyful Fate's music really hit home. For whatever reason, I'm having a weird flashback to a core group of heavy metal albums that helped establish my taste in music; King Diamond's Them was there, along with Meryful Fate's Don't Break the Oath. It almost seems like it was a dream. How time flies.

In any case, Mercyful Fate was King's base before he went on to establish his highly-successful and influential solo project. He would have other flings with Mercyful fate, and though they are usually very good, they didn't match the first two records the band released, and they don't entirely showcase the best they had to offer. I'm not exactly sure which of the two I favor, either, but they both hold excellent track rosters, unmatched by many other bands.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Five Heavy Metal Albums You Should Hear Before You Die

This one has been a long time in the making because heavy metal is one of my favorite subgenres. This ain't no big thing for me to do, either, because this type of music was my intro to the metal world and will forever hold a special place in my heart.

1. Rest assured, you were going to see Powerslave as the only representation of Maiden here, but since I've already blabbered about it everywhere else, another classic will suffice. While Iron Maiden certainly have a surplus of excellent albums under their name, Somewhere in Time is a particularly flawless release from the band, in regards to songwriting. 1986 saw the integration of guitar synths, which you either really love or really hate; they gave a unique feel to the music with their flangey textures and add a layer absent on previous records--see "Sea of Madness" as an example. Somewhere in Time is home to a number of Maiden classics, but the best tracks are the ones that don't always get the top spotlight. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" and "Deja Vu" are must hears before you pass your soul to the metal gods.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Music Video: Iron Maiden's "Aces High"

As you know, school can be killer. It was last week. And this week. Hopefully it's kinder in the coming days.

For now, give this classic metal anthem a listen. You can't go wrong with it.

-TMA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Music Video: Immolation's "Illumination"

I actually have a few minutes to take a little study respite, so I'll pass along the newest Immolation video for "Illumination" off their newest EP, Providence. Check it out. It ain't too bad despite being somewhat cheesy.

-TMA

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I (1987)

I love the cover art.
Despite positive reviews all around the net for Helloween's Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I, I can't say I've ever found any fondness for the album, especially when the band's earlier and later works are much more aggressive. That's not to say the record doesn't have its fair share of great tracks because it does; it's just that my main beef lies with the lack of memorability, which keeps me coming back to albums for years on end. When I'm listening to Keeper, I can find something to enjoy about it, but once the songs come and go, I can't remember what I've heard.

Keeper, in turn, fails to scratch my power metal itch, so I tend to look elsewhere to fulfill my needs. I realize this was a groundbreaking and influential album, but it leaves something to be desired, especially when other power metal bands brought galloping riffs and gruff vocals to the table. But that's just it: Helloween were developing the Euro power metal sound, which was much different than the USPM movement in the United States.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Free Music: Fierce Band!'s "Blue Liquid Lips (Pts 1-2)"

Currently, I'm giving Fierce Band!'s new track "Blue Liquid Lips (Pts 1-2)" my first listen through. A friend, who happens to be a big advocator of the local music scene in Texas, passed the track off to me and, without him, I likely would have never heard of a group as small as Fierce Band!. I'm not quite sure I understand their name, but there must be some sort of inside joke behind it, though that's the least of my worries when checking out new tunes. The music matters, not the name.

Fierce Band! mesh progressive metal with death metal, with the death metal emphasis in the vocals, and I'd say it works out pretty well. Like anything of the progressive nature, it takes repeated listens to truly understand. Jammy and loose, the track reminds me of one of those practice sessions I had with my buddies back in high school. Those were the days--shooting the breeze; talking with your instruments without a worry in the world.

Download the track here and enjoy. It's a bit lengthy, but what did you expect from something labeled as progressive?

-TMA

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nodding Sky - "For Those Left Behind"

Mark my words, these guys have the potential to get big. Nodding Sky recently struck gold, and I'm really enjoying what I'm hearing. Give 'em a listen--you might be surprised.

-TMA

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One Weird Video: Skeletonwitch's "Bringers of Death"

I remember when blackened thrashers Skeletonwitch had no music videos whatsoever, but when I took a look a few months ago, they magically had a few. One of them happened to be an unreleased track, so I eagerly checked it out, only to find it's a bit lackluster. That's fine, though, because it's been tagged as unreleased. Even more dissatisfying is how crude the music video is. Zombies fighting enlarged stuffed animals with a hint of raunchiness thrown in? No thanks. That's just tasteless.

-TMA

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Iron Maiden - Dance of Death (2003)

It's not an easy task to review an Iron Maiden album, especially when I find myself heavily biased toward their work made in the "Golden Years," rather than their recent releases like A Matter of Life and Death and The Final Frontier. From the albums offered post 2000, the first two, Brave New World and Dance of Death, are modern Maiden at their best and showcase compositions filled to the brim with creativity. My pick for best album after 2000 is, without question, Dance of Death because it models itself after what made Brave New World so great, yet adds more to the musical melting pot. The record has it all; short, fun rockers like "Wildest Dreams," melancholic pieces like "Paschendale," the abrasive "Montségur," and the somehow calming "Journeyman" with its smooth and serene acoustic lines.

The Metal Advisor Now has its Own Domain Name

Exciting, isn't it? Now you'll be able to find The Metal Advisor more quickly and efficiently - and you can easily share it with your friends and family too.

www.themetaladvisor.com

See? It just rolls of the keyboard! Just click it. You know you want to.

Thanks for the continued support,
The Metal Advisor

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony (2011)

Interesting cover art, to say the least.
The modern death metal scene is filled with wannabes and cookie-cutter bands alike, but with the release of their newest record, Fleshgod Apocalypse manage to distance themselves from the so called "generic standard." Their previous release, an EP called Mafia, was a fantastic blend of classically-tinged technical death metal that really spoke to the majority of community with a balance between  string instruments and distorted guitars. Agony bases itself on Mafia's formula, yet introduces a number of new elements, but tends to alienate  or gain new fans, depending on personal tastes. Was this the band's intention?

While the record builds upon familiar ideas, Agony still manages to sound fundamentally different from its predecessor. Taking a page from classical's rulebook, and using Mafia's strong base, the twist comes in the form of an overbearing orchestra, where guitar riffs are brutally slaughtered one-by-one under a wall of sound. The real meat of the music is rather distant feeling when compared to Fleshgod Apocalypse's previous releases, and not entirely desirable for something that claims to be death metal.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Various Maildays Combined

Immolation's Providence isn't easiest EP to get a hold of because the band intended for it to be given out to show-goers only. If you didn't have time to see Immolation live, you were probably out of luck if you really wanted a copy--or so I thought. Thanks to Gogmagogical, I now have a copy of Providence sitting right beside me, and the feeling is oh-so-sweet. I'm still jealous he saw Immolation live, but the EP is a sweet little souvenir (for something I didn't even attend!). I suppose there's always next time.

The majority of these maildays were an effort to fill in gaps in my collection, and often albums I should have picked up a long time ago. There are a few records that aren't metal, too, (maybe a curveball or two if you aren't familiar with my musical taste), but you can always expect that when I decide to purchase music. Shoot, I need to do a "Recent Hauls" post to gather brief thoughts on these records.

-TMA

Photo #1: Immolation's Providence complete with mini tour flyer (Thanks again gogmagogical!)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heathen - The Evolution of Chaos (2009)

Indicative of man's downfall?

I may not have been introduced to Heathen with their "classic" records, but The Evolution of Chaos does a damn good job of capturing the thrash attitude, both in spirit and aggressiveness. Eras be damned; this record is fine addition to any band's discography, easily standing up to material deemed essential by long time followers. The fans agree, too, because the album effectively has the seal of approval from nearly every metalhead who gave it a listen at its release date.

All joking aside, The Evolution of Chaos is what both modern and veteran thrash metal bands should aspire to be. Many acts releasing music in this day and age, however, won't ever touch this record, let alone top it. But that's fine because we have this album to lose ourselves in, immersing ourselves in the world of a reunited and rekindled Heathen. The guitars are vicious, thanks to an absolutely massive production and push the drums to the forefront, creating a wall of relentless sound. While the production certainly sounds the part, it is not without compression and clipping--perhaps the only letdown here.

As cliché as it might seem, Heathen have made a convincing formula for modern and veteran thrash metal acts to follow. They obviously fall into the veteran camp because they formed in 1984, but music should not be judged by age or year of creation--meaning both newer and older groups are capable of making great tunes. The formula Heathen have in hand is simple: to create fresh music, rather than blatantly rip-off what's been done before, while holding themselves to a high standard.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In the News: Immolation's Providence

So begins further forays into Immolation's discography; this time with their latest EP called Providence. Available physically (CD or vinyl) free of charge at shows, this extended play is a bit of a let down to hardcore fans who can't make it out to the events, and I'm positive hoarders will have multiples copies up on eBay once it has been released. Luckily, if you're a more casual fan as I am, you won't mind having it digitally. I'm ahead of the pack on this one, as well, because I've had a chance to hear it despite its release date being two days from now.

Since I've had time to let their latest album Majesty and Decay grow on me, I found it easy to jump right into Providence thanks to a seemingly natural progression. It wouldn't be absurd to assume most songs on the EP could have made the last album.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kvelertak - Kvelertak (2010)

Artsy album cover is artsy.
You've already seen it mentioned in a "Recent Hauls" post, but Kvelertak's self-titled debut is one of the best albums I've come across this year. Some might call it party metal/hardcore, but there's no denying how entertaining the band's blend of rock 'n' roll is, and how addicting it can become after the first listen. People who dislike fun music are generally buzzkills, anyway.

Kvelertak's approach to making music isn't shrouded in mystery, so you won't be calling Scooby Doo to help you out with this one. The formula is simple: take a few power chords, some harmonized lead parts, a big dosage of "rawk," a bit of black metal, and hardcore influence, and the amalgam will be these nice Norwegian chaps. The black metal influence is typically limited to a few passages here and there, so it's much easier to call Kvelertak a melodic hardcore band or, more simply put, a rock 'n' roll band.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chthonic - Takasago Army (2011)

From my first listen through Takasago Army, I wondered how it could be categorized as straight black metal because, in the general sense of the style, most of the music on the record has little, if any, resemblance to the subgenre. Most of songs would fit well under the melodic metal umbrella, if not the melodic death metal subgenre. Some tracks might be filed under melodic black metal with symphonic bits and occasional tremolo picking, but I find the music too chuggy to be included there. As I've seen the band say before, they cannot be categorized, and I wholeheartedly agree because Takasago Army is essentially whatever it wants to be, unhindered by boundaries created by subgenres. Further forays into Chthonic's earlier work should prove to be interesting beacuse I'll get to see if there is a pure black metal side to the band.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mail Day: One Double LP and Two CDs

I came back from class this morning to find a haul I ordered less than a day ago sitting on my bed. YES! Amazon is definitely something, eh?

After discovering Chthonic earlier this year and being further intrigued by Gogmagogical's postings about the band, I purchased their newest record, Takasago Army, as well as the one that came before titled Mirror of Retribution. The jewel of the haul was Opeth's Heritage on double LP, however. I've been excitedly awaiting this album since I heard "The Devil's Orchard" and doubt I'll be disappointed with the full product because of the heavy progressive rock influence. Too bad my turntable isn't at college with me, so it may be some time before I get to hear the record in its entirety.

-TMA

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Look at Scar Symmetry's Full-Length Discography

Now that I think about it, I've been a Scar Symmetry fan for five years. In 2006, I felt compelled enough to give the band a closer look, in part due to Per Nillson's virtuoso guitar skills and Christian Älvestam's wonderful smooth crooning. At first, I wasn't smitten with his "what-I-thought-to-be" metalcore-style clean vocals, but I've since changed my mind, making Christian one of my favorite vocalists. Three long years have passed since his departure from the band, and the road to recovery for Scar Symmetry has been never ending with no light at the end of the tunnel. And that makes little sense because Christian wrote very little, if any, material.

With that being said, let's dig in.

Symmetric in Design (2005)
Scar Symmetry's debut album, Symmetric in Design, is decent, but the band suffer from a lack of experience. While each member is certainly skilled at their respective instruments, issues pop up as one weaves through the track listing--specifically with the clean vocals.

I'm very forgiving toward this, however, because they would significantly improve the next time Scar Symmetry came back with a record. Production-wise, Symmetric in Design sounds a tad dated, though perhaps not as much as other metal records. It's really a minor complaint, but for an album released only six years ago, it's quite tragic.

Still, good music will be good music--no matter the sound--and this album doesn't disappoint. Don't run out to get Symmetric in Design, but pick it up if you happen to stumble across it or spot it in the used bin.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Recent Hauls Part Four

I have quite a few albums here, a surprising influx of black metal, as well as a few records that aren't metal.

1. The best way to describe Deathspell Omega's Si Monumentum Requires, Circumpsice is a far off world wrapped in blissful dissonance. While not the same level of disparity as the follow up Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum, this record is one you can easily scare your family and friends with, and, with that in mind, I've played the record quite a few times in my room, only to have my fraternity brothers tell me it isn't music, but rather the sound of people dying slow, painful deaths.

What listeners will find with this album is extremely well-written black metal infused with choral parts, both creepy and beautiful. The record primarily deals with Satanism through a religious, theological, and philosophical outlook. It may take a you more than a few listens to understand its brilliance, but once you do, you'll be hooked.

2. Side-by-side with their EP Mafia, Fleshgod Apocalypse's new record falls flat because the members have taken their music in a new direction. That's not to say I hate Agony, but it's too much of a departure from the sound I was hoping for. And according to fan reports, I'm not the only one that feels this way.

I love the orchestral and neoclassical bits incorporated into Mafia, but, with Agony, they've gone a bit overboard and pushed the guitar to the back, under both keyboards and drums. They're still audible, but to a lesser extent, thanks to a less-than-stellar production. More listens may prove to raise the album in the ranks, but I don't have my hopes up. Highlight tracks include "The Betrayal" and "The Forsaking."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Made My First Visit to a Pawn Shop Today...

Sorry for the sideways photo. Click on it to see more detail.
My first visit to a pawn shop was filled with treasures galore, all CDs for a measly $3.00 each. I was super stoked to find a small collection of metal, especially Vicious Rumor's Welcome to the Ball, as I've been meaning to get into them for a very long time.

The rest of the albums were icing on the cake because all five have little to no scratches and play perfectly. There are a couple Alice Cooper albums that I may decide to grab come Monday, but, for now, I'll be rocking out to these five, especially Vicious Rumors. I wasn't really sure about getting Winger's debut because I don't find them that great of a band, but for three bones, why the heck not?

-TMA

Monday, September 12, 2011

Favorite Metal Riffage Part Four: Morbid Angel's "Pain Divine"

I apologize for the overload of Morbid Angel, but just last week I received Domination in the mail, and it had me blasting the Floridian death metallers even more than I usually do. The record's arrival brings my Morbid Angel collection to a somewhat pathetic three records, but, sadly, I'm underwhelmed with it because half is pretty good, while the other pales in comparison. I suppose should pay attention to the reviews on Metal Archives, but I've encountered quite a few albums the community seems to dislike that I've really loved. Meh.

Since Domination is mediocre, especially for band who brought Altars of Madness to the masses, I've been revisiting that very record and Covenant often in the past few days. I can put on either of those records, regardless of mood, and enjoy them because they're my feel good music that never gets stale. These records ain't Illud Divinum Insanus, which is a rather fetid attempt on Morbid Angel's part that permanently stained their name. If f you're considering buying one of them, just purchase both and kill two birds with one stone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Discoveries of the Week Part 10

As of late, I've been on a bit of a kick with music in different languages because it's fascinating and makes music fresh again. It's not that English was getting stale, but that a totally new sound gives me something else to explore.

Today, I decided to give a professor at my college a visit because I wanted to hand off Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness in an effort to have him give "good" death metal a listen. I can't think of a better way to get into the subgenre than with one of the establishing albums, either!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

K.A.S.K. - Brutal Abstraction (2011)

I love being contacted by bands that ask me to listen to their material and hope for me include it on The Metal Advisor. The feeling of getting personal with the music is fantastic and talking to the musicians themselves is certainly the best way to do it. I genuinely appreciate artists that inquire about being included, even if their tracks aren't exactly my cup of tea.

That being said, Marcin Kwiecinsk, of K.A.S.K., recently reached out to me from Poland. Smaller bands like K.A.S.K. are usually my specialty because they enable me to express myself on a personal level that I might not be able to achieve with bigger acts like Judas Priest. I can chat with the members, ask them questions about their music, and even interview them--everything a blogger ever wanted.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Mighty Iron Maiden

Thinking back on it, all those years ago, Iron Maiden was the band that got me into metal. The album Powerslave was apparently the one that did it because, according to my parents, I used to sit in the back seat of their car, headbanging and begging for Iron Maiden to be put on over and over again. To this day, that Egyptian-themed piece of distortion-heavy goodness is my favorite album and likely to never be dethroned. My mother didn't exactly approve of a two or three year old looking at album covers adorned with Eddie, either, so she hid the cassette covers from me, eventually--and much to my dismay--discarding them in the trash. Luckily, I still have the cassettes laying around the house. I don't ever play them because I have the albums on vinyl or CD, but they hold a special place in my heart.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vinyl Fun: Velvet Caccoon's Genevieve

Velvet Cacoon's Genevieve has quite possibly the most extravagant case on the planet, thanks to a luxurious velvet outer cover, and a grandiose silver lining that outlines the logo. If you remember, I wanted to snag a copy of it on record when I first reviewed the album. The only pressing ever made was released back in 2007, 1,000 copies being black, the other 500 marble purple. I was fortunate enough to find the black version. Brand new, too. I guess it was my lucky day!

Apologies for the iPhone photo quality, but you get the idea. This really is a work of art.

-TMA

The velvet is very a nice touch. Same for the sliver foil.
Gotta love Southern Lord for releasing Genevieve on vinyl.
It's a double LP, in case you were wondering.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Crank it Up: Loudness

Based on what I've heard, both the semi-"famous" Thunder in the East and the recent King of Pain, the Loudness crew know how to write catchy and hard-hitting metal songs that will stick with a listener for ages. I find it hard to believe that Loudness was overlooked back in the '80s and criminally underrated in the process, especially today where they're relatively unknown. I'm not sure how big they are in their home country (Japan), but in USA I'd be hard pressed to find a soul outside the internet that's familiar with them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Modern vs. Older Material

One thing I've tried to find a regular balance between in my blog is modern metal and material predated it. Presently, I haven't done a very good job of staying true to that, as I've posted far more recent music rather than older landmark releases that we all know and love. In fact, I have a great deal of hidden gems from the older era that I'd like to include in my blog in the future. It's just a matter of which gets posted first.

What I'd like to do with this post is show the parallel between newer and older music. Whichever you favor is up to you, and no one else can make that decision for you because it's a matter of personal taste. However, it would be nice to get the older crowd to appreciate modern bands, instead of the mindset that says no decent music has been released since the mid-nineties. I'm not saying every metalhead is like that, but I've seen a fair number who refuse to listen to anything released after 1995. Alternatively, there's the contemporary metal listener who refuses to listen to the older material that indeed influenced modern day music.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Chthonic Album Takasago Army Streaming


Just as a heads up, Chthonic's new album Takasago Army is available for streaming over on AOL music. I'm new to these Tawainese metallers and am giving it a full listen right now. Should be interesting.

Hear it here. Scroll over on the list to find it.

-TMA


The Few Against Many - Sot (2009)

Flashing back to my freshman year in college, I remember shooting the breeze with a few fraternity brothers with my guitar in hand, and a newly arrived package from Amazon. At that point, I only had one idea on my mind: to put my guitar down (gently, of course), and viciously rip open the package in order to retrieve my copy of Sot, The Few Against Many's debut record.

Saddened by Christian Älvestam's departure from Scar Symmetry, I was hoping the vocal genius would pop up somewhere else and pronto. As I popped the Sot disk out of the case and into my stereo, doubts flew out the window because Christian was in prime form--his growls were and are my favorite in all of metal, a rich, deep, aggressive roar that completely blows away the competition. Sadly, you won't find any of his trademark cleans on this disk because vocals are exclusively guttural.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Few Words About the Obscure Demetori...

Prior to my summer vacation, I was blissfully unaware of the music phenomenon going on in Asian countries, specifically Japan and South Korea. Regardless of language, the bands coming from these nations are addicting and relatively innovative--well, to my ears. While not every single artist I've come across has been strictly metal, I will say the more metallic acts are among the best.

Turning the page leads me to Demetori. You may remember that I blogged about the two-man project when I first discovered them, which left me extremely impressed. Demetori are actually very interesting because they don't write their own music, but instead base their craft off compositions from a Japanese video game series called Touhou. The results are astonishing instrumental metal covers that make me want to spin the music over and over and over.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just What is Metal to the Average Person?

One thing that's recently struck a chord with me is how the general public views metal. Ask any "normal" listener to describe genre, and they'll likely give you a bunch bologna saying it's all noise and screaming.

As such, I find myself wondering where that stereotype originated. Back in the eighties (and, for that matter, the seventies), the most mainstream of mainstream metal had clean vocals or something similar to it. Harsh vocals were, for the most part, something that only appeared with the more extreme thrash metal acts and the death metal bands that started to surface in the mid to late eighties. I've even had people tell me something isn't metal because it has clean vocals. Just when did this nonsense start? Plenty of metal has clean vocals.

Mind you, I'm not throwing a tizzy fit about this, and I don't care what people think of our holy music. But sometimes I feel the need to go out of my way and preach where necessary. The general public views death metal as noise and screaming, but, contrary to the popular belief, there's very little screaming in death metal. Most vocals are done gutturally, or with the diaphragm, creating a vocal technique called "growling." Naturally, there's screaming here and there, but what subgenre of metal doesn't have a bit of screaming? Rob Halford has been at it for 30+ years (even if he can't do it anymore...). Sheesh.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Throwing Together a Playlist...

Hey, metalheads,

I'm currently in the process of throwing together a playlist to jam to as I head back to school for another loooong year. I figure I'll be blogging quite a bit more once I'm at school, so expect the pace to pick up. Unfortunately, preparation has taken up a good portion of my time, so I haven't gotten to blog as much as I would have liked to lately. However, you should expect to see stuff on the playlist that I've discovered this summer, bands like Carpathian Forest, Kvelertak, and the tried and true stuff I've always dabbled around with. Maybe I'll throw various electronic music and electropop into the pot as well... Who knows?

I'll post up the playlist with some commentary in the coming days. Actually, I hope I get a chance to sit down and give it a good "think" tomorrow. For now, I'll toss random songs your way and you can jam out to them.

Carpathian Forest - "The Pale Mist Hovers Toward the Nightly Shores"


Agalloch - "Falling Snow"
(probably the band's most well known song)


Iron Maiden - "Deja Vu"
(Gotta get some Maiden in here)


Communic - "My Bleeding Victim"


Snakebyte - "She's a Witch"


Vader -"Come and See My Sacrifice"
(Track from the upcoming album. Album art looks old school, but very Nazi inspired. Odd because the band isn't Nazi in any way [that I know of].)


That ought to do it.

-TMA

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Track: Man Must Die's "Hiding in the Plain Sight"

I'm a bit late to the party blogging about this because it's been out since the beginning of August, but I can assure you I made it a priority to give it a listen right when the band released it. Really, the dudes in Man Must Die are as strong as ever, though I think the new album will have huge a hurdle to jump to top No Tolerance for Imperfection, which totally fits into my category of most crushing albums of all time. That album is stellar, stellar slab of hardcore-influenced technical death metal and should be on anyone's listening list.

The new track called "Hiding in Plain Sight" looks to continue the typical Man Must Die sound, but it has more melodic hooks ala "Reflections (From Within)." I'm a-okay with that, too, because that track is one of my favorites from the previous album. However, it should be noted that the new track isn't ashamed to be openly political. Normally, I don't care for any type of political lyrics in my metal (and I suppose music in general), but, in this case, I'm willing to make an exception because the track is so good. Man Must Die is just one of those bands that isn't afraid to be blatantly open about their viewpoints. I wouldn't want it any other way because they probably wouldn't be the same band without that characteristic.

If you like the previous record, you're sure to like this track. It's a demo/preproduction, so try to listen without expectations. I'm sure the final product will be even sweeter.

-TMA

Man Must Die - "Hiding in Plain Sight"


Friday, August 12, 2011

Discoveries of the Week Part Nine

To think I almost let Moonshine pass me by... While browsing through a list of countless metal bands, I spotted Moonshine, who really didn't look too much different from anyone else, but I randomly chose them as a candidate for new music. I'm extremely happy I did because they blend melodious black metal and symphonic elements, which makes for an engaging listen.

Hailing from South Korea, the band is an oddity because the primary music scene is composed of pop, electropop, and anything catchy that will get your spirits up and moving. As a general rule of thumb, anything harder is shunned and pushed to the back of society's collective mind. I suppose that isn't any different than metal in the USA, but in South Korea it seems to get even less of a chance to shine, which is a shame, really.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve (2004)

You wanna go into that foggy woodland alone? I didn't think so.
By utilizing an atmospheric production, Genevieve achieves its dark aesthetic with particularly sloppy instrumentation intertwined with hissed vocals. It creates a certain level of dissonance that's as scary as it is addictive, making this the perfect album to play on a dreary, overcast day. It laughs in the face of modern death metal and makes it look tame. It's hideous.

Since I'm stuck at home because I can't find my wallet, it's the perfect time for me to blabber on this infamous Velvet Cacoon album. I say infamous because, from what I can gather, Velvet Cacoon stirred up strong controversy within the metal community. As Genevieve was hitting shelves in 2004, many people criticized the band for being unoriginal and described them as hoax because a number of their releases were apparently stolen from another band or didn't exist. On top of that, the two-man project's history is probably fake and, if real, extremely fishy.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Discoveries of the Week Part Eight

I typically do this write-up every Friday, but I decided to postpone it in favor of an album that was supposed to arrive, hoping it would be prime material for this post. Luckily for me, my order got canceled TODAY five or six days after I placed it. Grand. In addition to that, I had another album coming that I would have liked to include, but the seller sent me a DVD by mistake. He did, however, take all responsibility and refunded my money. Seems there are still decent people in this world after all.

Unfortunate series of events aside, I have come across quite a few interesting bands lately, mostly due to the help of Last.fm. I am extremely well-versed in just about every metal subgenre, but I will totally admit to being somewhat lacking in the area of black metal. I've certainly been exposed to it throughout the years from a high school friend and by the handful of bands that I like, but there are countless groups in the subgenre that oddly were off my radar.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Random Rant: The "Big Four"

Ever thought about the term "big four" which is supposed to encompass the American thrash bands Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer? No? Okay. Let me break it down for you and give you my thoughts on the label.

I don't know where or why the the term originated (Did it happen after the eighties?), but I think it's quite (for lack of a better word) stupid. It feels as if an unknown at an incompetent magazine coined the label and it caught on with both metalheads and the mainstream. If I could, I'd throw it out a proverbial window. When you think about it, all four bands have absolutely had influential music and at least a couple albums that have been incredible, but at some point they fell into a state of stagnancy and decline. If I were to coin the term, I would include consistently quality bands under the label, even thrashers that aren't American.

Don't get me wrong; all four of these bands have a string of albums I really love, but they all have a number of stains in their discography that I just can't ignore. Slayer after 1996's Undisputed Attitude can be put under a car and ran over multiple times. Mustaine has recently redeemed Megadeth with Endgame, so I suppose I can cut the band some slack, but stuff like the oddball Risk and god awful United Abominations (among others) I can't ignore. Metallica, well, I don't like anything after Master of Puppets. Anthrax? A total joke after 1990.

Personal thoughts are welcome and, please, don't be afraid to challenge me. This a completely open can of worms straight from the head of Mr. Cynical a.k.a. The Metal Advisor.

-TMA

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rant: Queensrÿche - Dedicated to Chaos

How did Queensrÿche replay their new "masterpiece" and believe it was fit for public consumption? I didn't think the band could get any worse after their last record, but they've done the seemingly impossible. I've just finished listening to the group's newest album, Dedicated to Chaos, and it effectively seals the deal that the band have slid into an even deeper hole they are never going to be able climb out of. The record has absolutely no drive; it sounds tired with a complete lack of inspiration and, truth be told, there are some really odd influences floating around that just aren't typical Queensrÿche.

True, the band hasn't been "typical" for a very, very long time. They've been in a downward spiral for nearly 20 years. It's a darn shame because at one point they were metal innovators in the concept album realm, crafting one of the finest ever: Operation: Mindrime. I can't even say the band is parodying their former selves, either. This is that bad. The good name they built their golden age material on is soiled to the point of no return. Clearly they need to hang it up or get Chris DeGarmo rejoin, but I'm doubtful anything good would come out of his return.

-TMA

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Albums that Prompt Memories

Vibes' new location isn't particularly good looking.
More often than not, when I purchase an album, there's always a story that goes along with it. I can remember when I bought it, where I bought it, and why I bought it. These days, with the digital file age, I can't make the same connection or form any sort of memory that makes the listening more enjoyable.

The album that prompted this post is Acid Bath's Paegan Terrorism Tactics. I will admit the record never sunk in with me aside from a few tracks, but I can remember all the specifics of where, when, and why I bought it. It's interesting because those events are irrelevant and typically unimportant for the listening experience, but I like the record even more because of those details.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Physical Copies or Digital Files? The Modern Day Music Dilemma

Is the guy who owns these records nuts or just really passionate about his music? You decide.
Modern day is interesting. The local records stores we all know and love are rapidly disappearing due to lack of profit or they are being subsidized by bigger corporations that stock nothing but the typical shelf fodder. All that remains are chain stores that I would rather not step into to look for music. Thank god for Amazon and online distros.

You would have to be living under a rock for the past decade to not understand why this is happening. The fact of the matter is records don't sell like they used to. People don't want a hard copy of their favorite music anymore. They would rather obtain it illegally, or pay for a digital file. Pay for a digital file, you say? Yes. Personally, I would never think about paying for a digital file as A) I like to have something tangible. It makes little sense to pay for music I can't touch, especially when a hard drive crash could potentially happen, wiping out my music collection. B) I want the best quality possible. I won't touch a MP3 with a 10 foot stick unless it's correctly encoded to a verified 320kbps. Go ahead, call me picky. With a CD, I can rip the albums to my computer in FLAC or Lossless and have CD quality audio at one click. Then I can take those files and convert them to 320kbps MP3s for my digital audio player. iTunes and similar places should be ashamed that they swindle people out of money for a lower quality recording. I suppose I'm not the poor sap paying for a digital file, though.

It's true. I like having a massive album collection, whether it's composed of compact disks, vinyl, or cassettes. Heck, I'll even include 8-track. The feeling of standing in a room surrounded by music is a sensation unlike any other. I can't explain it, but when I walk into a room full of music, I get very excited. It isn't the same scrolling through a screen deciding what to listen to. It's sterile and it doesn't evoke any emotion from me. I like browsing shelves of music.

Yes, I primarily listen to music off of my computer and digital audio player. Am I a hypocrite? Absolutely not. 99% of the music stored on my hard drive I own a physical copy of. The rest I got from a friend. I can certainly say that my experience isn't the same as putting a record on the turntable or popping a compact disk into a hi-fi CD player, but I have enhanced my computer-based setup quite a bit. I use audiophile grade headphones plugged into a tube amp which is routed to a great DAC plugged into my laptop. It's sterile picking the music, not listening to it. I tend to listen to music this way because it's convenient.

In the end, I guess I have nostalgia for something I barely experienced. The digital file era has been upon us for quite a few years now and it isn't going anywhere. For the most part, I've lived in the age of internet where people feel entitled to have everything right at their finger tips.  

"Hey man, have you heard the new Iron Maiden album?" 
"Nope. Let me go download it really quickly."

Screw that.

-TMA

Friday, July 22, 2011

Discoveries of the Week Part Seven


I posted about Immolation yesterday. Majesty and Decay is starting to sink in, and it's actually pretty darn good. Like I already said, I never had a strong interest in Immolation before I purchased this album. They aren't exactly a new discovery either because I already knew about them and had even heard a handful of tracks from this very record, but they are new in a sense that I actually own an album.

I want to take this post as an opportunity to introduce you to material from Majesty and Decay. I really am enjoying it, and it's just one of those things where I need to post about it. The best way I can describe the album's sound is dry--dryer than a desert. The production is pretty standard fare in that it's overly polished, but it has its own distinct character (due to the dryness) that I can appreciate. The riffs create a nice dissonant atmosphere, but because of the production, they are easy to follow and break down into smaller pieces. Vocals are typical death metal style, but extremely easy to understand. This album doesn't do anything wrong.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recent Hauls Part Three

Stopped by the mall today with a friend just for kicks. I decided to drop by FYE and was met with the usual overpriced compact disks, but I was able to find a few albums that were within reasonable price range. That isn't saying much, however, as a portion of FYE's stock is the typical trash that gets lumped into the metal section and clearly isn't.

As a big fan of Havok's first effort Burn, I find it astonishing that it took me this long to purchase their newest album. Based on first listens, Time is Up takes the same basic formula of bombastic thrash metal, but ups the heaviness as well as the riffiness. I haven't heard this many awesome riffs crammed into an album since, well, forever.

If you like riffs, this album will wet your taste-buds nicely because it combines elements of thrash and death metal in such a way that's catchy, yet somehow refined. The guys sound a little more mature on this record, possibly due to the more polished production, but no worries as they've avoided down spiraling with their sophomore effort. Currently I deem this a must buy for metal fans and as proof that Colorado knows how to thrash.

Oh, yes, Immolation. I never really had a strong interest in the death metal band until I saw the cover to Majesty and Decay. Whether we like it or not, at some point we're attracted to a band based on artwork. Neat illustrations are certainly a big part of the experience, but the music is still the core. Luckily, Immolation deliver with a dissonant sounding brand of death metal that's somehow addicting. I can't quite explain it at the moment, but for what this album lacks in memorability, it makes up for in addictabillity (Yes, I made that word up. Remember, you saw it here first!). Relying on first listens, I can't really recall what I heard, but it has something that makes me want to go back to it. It might be the overly dry production with a boosted drum sound, or it might be the interesting riff structures. Whatever it is, I like it.

That's it for now. I have another haul of records to group into a "Recent Hauls" post, but I'm still digesting them.

-TMA

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Often Debated Topic: Music Productions

An unfortunate victim to the sterile and computerized-sounding productions of modern day.
I'll admit I'm only 20 years old, but I long for the crisp and clear productions that quite a bit of metal used to have. Nowadays anything even remotely mainstream tends to have an overpolished, computerized sounding production that, to be honest, really irks me because it's so superficial. It's like plastic surgery, a fake kind of "beautiful" that isn't great to begin with.

Okay, okay, I know I'm making a generalization, but these fake sounding productions have become so common that some of my favorite bands are succumbing to them. Take NWoBHM band Hell for example. The dudes started in the early '80s and got their first record deal at the end of the '00s after they reunited in 2008. Their music was supposed to be raw, unadulterated heavy metal that scared the living %@^% out of people. Instead, Andy Sneap worked his "magic" with the band and made them sound, for all intents and purposes, lifeless. I know people like Sneap's work because it makes bands sound heavy, but it just comes off as excruciatingly dull and there's no dynamic range to any of it. Think back to ancient Greek mythology's succubus (a demon that takes form as a woman) that sucked all life out unsuspecting victims. Sneap and others like him are effectively a succubus toward music. We must eradicate them. *Sigh* Sure, I like a few of Sneap's productions, namely Kreator's Enemy of God and Accept's Blood of the Nations, but otherwise I'm not a fan. I do give him props for helping Hell release their music though.

Tired of listening to me complain? I thought so. I've gotten my point across, and you're either going to agree or disagree with me. Which ever side you chose is perfectly fine as we have our own preferences and such. I just wish there was a little more diversity productionwise these days.

-TMA

New Guys on the Block: Driller


Between the time I go to sleep and when I rise in the morning, quite a bit can happen in the world of metal and hard rock. Last.fm is my global hub for all musical activity as it keeps track of what I listen to on my digital audio player and on my computer. Of course, that excludes my CD player, turntable, etc.

Via Last.fm, I came into contact with UK-based rockers Driller who let me know that three of their songs were available for free download. You know me--I'm all for checking out some new tunes. Driller reminds of a better Whitesnake when Coverdale and the boys actually want to rock. I'm not much a fan of Whitesnake as most of the band's music is really very cheesy and lacks some "oomph," but Driller reminds me of the good side of the band, similar to tracks like "Sweet Lady Luck." I particularly enjoy the more funky side to their music exemplified by songs like "Angels without Wings." However, of the three tracks I was able to sample, "Alchemy of Love" is easily the best because of its strong and memorable guitar riffs.

-TMA