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.


1 comment:

  1. You know, seeing MF DOOM, Kylesa, Vallenfyre and 소녀시대 together in one post gives me a much needed warm and fuzzy feeling inside during this unforgiving, windy winter.

    I definitely agree on Kylesa being more hardcore than metal and MF being a bit hard to get used to as I didn't start out with "Operation: Doomsday", but his second album under the MFD moniker, "MM.. Food" which is full of weird rap-less tracks, featuring heaps of voice-samples from the classic Fantastic 4 cartoon. Eerie, almost psychedelic stuff right there.

    Also, Riot looks like something I'll have to check out.