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  #4821  
Old 12-06-2012, 10:55 PM
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Tapeworm, Roy Clark IMO is the most underated guitar player, ever! He's one of the best I've heard, bar none.
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  #4822  
Old 12-07-2012, 04:53 PM
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  #4823  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:34 PM
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Riot - Immortal Soul - 2011



Been wanting to get this since it came out, especially due to the nearly universal stellar reviews, some even going so far as saying this matches up with some iconic metal history. I'm not close to being there yet. So far it's a really good, maybe great album with some more listens. It's the Thundersteel/Privilege of Power lineup reunited, and I think that's what everyone's excited about. Unfortunately it's Mark Reale's/Riot's last effort (RIP), unless they have something in the can like a B-sides/Japanese bonus track collection. I was hoping for at least one more Westworld disc too.
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  #4824  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:35 PM
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Within Temptation - Black Symphony - 2011



Saw the overwhelmingly positive reviews for this and didn't look deeply enough. This one, and the comments that follow nail it. I love the band, the musical execution was nearly flawless, the female duet was nearly worth the price of admission alone, but this is as unwatchable as the visual trainwreck of the Nightwish blu-ray.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3NYJ7V...=&nodeID=&tag=
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  #4825  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:35 PM
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Kamelot - Silverthorn - 2012 - Limited Edition



First effort with replacement singer Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder). I've listened to this a couple of times with a listen to 7th Wonder's Great Escape in the middle. It's obvious TK modded his style to fit the Kamelot sound quite a bit, and it works. This disc is much more straight music and less cluttered with extraneous sounds than Poetry for the Poisoned. I'm really loving this despite Roy Khan's absence (still miss him though). The bonus track on the instrumental cd Grace is one of the best if not the best song on the CD. There's a weird ~1:45 silent break on CD 1.

Packaging note: There is nothing in this package that remotely resembles jewel case dimensions, so it's destined for the oddball/misfit shelf. Looks like some cool stuff, but I haven't worked through it.
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  #4826  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:01 AM
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  #4827  
Old 12-10-2012, 09:27 AM
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  #4828  
Old 12-10-2012, 04:38 PM
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  #4829  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:21 AM
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  #4830  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:27 AM
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  #4831  
Old 12-12-2012, 11:45 AM
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  #4832  
Old 12-13-2012, 11:25 AM
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  #4833  
Old 12-14-2012, 02:41 PM
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Cloudscape - New Era - 2012



New Era is a fitting name as only two members remain from the previous effort Global Drama. I've run both through my head a couple of times this week, and I just can't seem to get into New Era anywhere near as much as Global Drama, or 2009's Silent Memorial - Retrospective (Another Mike Andersson effort).
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  #4834  
Old 12-14-2012, 02:42 PM
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Hibria - Blinded By Tokyo - 2012



Live CD/DVD set from the Brazilian metallers. This is a fairly low budget (understandably) affair, where most people have added a 2nd CD to capture the whole show, three songs are dropped out. The video is not particularly good (4x3!), which seems pretty odd, being in Japan. But despite the limitations, the sound's pretty good and the band is firing on all cylinders, making this still pretty enjoyable.
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  #4835  
Old 12-14-2012, 02:43 PM
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Bang Your Head!!! 2007 - 2008



Double disc from the festival. Fairly good video, and mostly good sound (except for some of the club scenes). Highlights are Thunder, Edguy, Evergrey & Brainstorm. Interestingly enough it says on the back that "As usual we filmed as much of the stage action as we could and were allowed to".

I always wondered why there was only a couple songs from each band on these type of things, instead of just letting cameras roll through the whole damn thing.
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  #4836  
Old 12-15-2012, 12:05 AM
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One of the most original and beautiful rock songs I've ever heard:

Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers.

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  #4837  
Old 12-18-2012, 04:03 PM
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  #4838  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:13 AM
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  #4839  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
review[-]by John Serba
Opeth's debut, Orchid, was quite an audacious release, a far-beyond-epic prog/death monstrosity exuding equal parts beauty and brutality -- an album so brilliant, so navel-gazingly pretentious that, in retrospect, Opeth's future greatness was a foregone conclusion.

Fact is, these Swedes -- with the opening cut, "In Mist She Was Standing," exceeding the 14-minute mark -- laid their cards on the table at the beginning of the hand and still took the pot, so ambitious and convincing is the band's artistic vision. And while the record finds the group searching for the razor-sharp focus and prominent emotional hook put forth on the later, classic releases My Arms, Your Hearse, Still Life, and Blackwater Park, Orchid is still an exhilarating listen, with the band meshing double-time death tempos with bleak, frostbitten riffs and moodily expansive, jazz-influenced, melodic instrumental passages sporting an abundance of delicate acoustic guitars and pianos.

Mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt's guttural growls puncture the nearly interminable arrangements with the kind of brutality that stops die-hard death and black metal fans from giving up on the lengthy arrangements completely, although with five exorbitant cuts clocking in at ten-plus minutes (three of them over 13 minutes), some fat-trimming would have kept things even remotely manageable. Still, one has to admire Opeth's unwavering adherence to the album's astoundingly depressive tone, Orchid being a near-brilliant ode to misery that would kick the door down for Akerfeldt and his cohorts to claim sole ownership of a well-conceived and, at the time, startlingly unique sound.

[Note: Orchid was originally released in 1995 and reissued in 2000 by London-based label Candlelight with a bonus track, "Into the Frost of Winter," a considerably gritty, unproduced rehearsal recording from 1992; not surprisingly, the bandmembers vastly improved their songwriting and instrumental skills prior to Orchid's release. Parts of the track would eventually morph into the song "Advent" on Opeth's 1996 album Morningrise.]
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  #4840  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:55 PM
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Seems fitting given the date.....



Quote:
review[-]by Sean Westergaard

More than a decade into their career, Medeski, Martin & Wood continue to expand their sound. This time out, they've enlisted John King (Dust Brothers, Beck, Beastie Boys) as producer and engineer, and he brings a left-field pop sensibility to the table without ever sacrificing the personality and energy of the band. OK, it's not really "pop," but the songs themselves are less overtly "out" than the last couple records despite some wicked, nasty, wonderful tones.

The new sound is a thick one, with lots of different layers and perhaps the largest keyboard arsenal ever assembled. On the first track alone, "Anonymous Skulls," you can hear just about every keyboard sound known to man, but it never gets too busy or claustrophobic. In fact, it's almost like the overdubbing process made them more aware of the tunes themselves rather than just the playing, making the songs particularly focused. It's easy to tell this is MMW, with Chris Wood's rich basslines, John Medeski's often percussive virtuosity, and Billy Martin's easily identifiable beats, but all the different layers and bits of ear-candy details really add a new element to the sound.

There's also the fairly prominent use of Mellotron, which adds great texture, especially in the sometimes abusive hands of Medeski, who really demonstrates knowledge and mastery of every different keyboard and keyboard style. Forsaking the plethora of guest stars of the last two albums, the only guests are Marc Ribot (on four tracks) with the Sex Mob horns (Steven Bernstein and Briggan Krauss) joining on one of those. Ribot plays with perhaps his thickest, most distorted tone on record on "New Planet," and really lets it rip on "Queen Bee."

End of the World Party (Just in Case) is probably the most intricately assembled of the MMW records, but the grooves are still unshakable and the bottom line is that they're still a great band. The fact that they continue to push their sound, even enlisting an almost mainstream "rock" producer to spice things up, is almost a victory in itself in the generally too-safe world of jazz, but the real success is that they keep putting out great records. This is no exception.
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