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.