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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.09.04 (08:42)

Aidiera says that the next round is delayed until outstanding people submit their outstanding reviews.
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Postby otters~1 » 2012.09.05 (00:41)

oughts wrote:Aidiera says that the next round is delayed until outstanding people submit their outstanding reviews.

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Postby Corky Romano » 2012.09.05 (22:35)

Purple Video by Tearist -[via gloomp]

Purple Video is a dream. It begins with a crash and ends with a bang. It sounded totally candid, if you know what I mean. At times, the singer expressed a type of sincerity I've seen only in well made rom-coms. For these reasons, I must say this: Purple Video is good. The title's oddly fitting nature and descriptive entity, while presumptive, is quite possibly the album's most unassuming feature. Relax to this music, and you will find yourself asleep in no time. This, I can assure you, as it happened to me. No lie.

Anyways, this album was great. It's good for people to relax to too, despite its abrasive sound.

Again, thanks for the rec. It made my day. -kuri out.
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Postby xwd » 2012.09.06 (14:21)

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son by Iron Maiden [via Rose]

As you probably could’ve guessed, this is Iron Maiden’s seventh studio album. What’s the significance of the title? The bassist was reading these books, and he thought it sounded cool, so he talked to the lead singer, and he thought it was cool too. What’s the significance of the album art? They asked their usual guy to make something really weird. Basically, I understand this isn’t too different from your usual Iron Maiden album, beyond the synths and the fact that the songs are not just about good and evil, but also about like, the crazy stuff the seventh son of a seventh son has and the number seven and stuff. I don’t know. This isn’t something I really know about.

But enough about the fascinating backstory of this album, let’s talk about the music itself. As I’m sure you’re well aware by now, I don’t really know a lot about metal, but I guess I could get into this stuff. It’s synth-heavy late ‘80’s stuff, it’s not abrasive, and every song has a guitar solo! I found most of the songs to be too slow to get my blood flowing, but I generally felt kind of badass once I got over myself. The riffs were pretty good, and the vocals were enjoyable and relatively easy to understand. I would’ve liked this to be harder and faster, but I suppose I should be glad that I got a pre-loudness war mastering. The sound was nice, if a bit heavy on the reverb. That’s the 80’s for you. Also it seems that Iron Maiden doesn’t really do transitions from one part of their song to another, it’s just “BAM! We’re gonna play this part now hold onto your socks!” which does make you jump.

It’s a pretty short album, but I think my favorite tracks were Moonchild, Infinite Dreams, and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son for the very fun way that’s pronounced. Seriously, listen to it and tell me it wouldn’t be fun to say that.

Man, where’d I put my copy of SSX on Tour?

>> xwd

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Postby Rose » 2012.09.06 (21:24)

Eclipse by Veil of Maya (via mediate)

I had no idea what to expect from this album before I got it. I had heard mixed reviews from friends, and the genre tags were a combination of stuff I typically love and stuff that's harder for me to like. I basically had no expectations either way. And it is with that fairly neutral starting perspective that I can confidently say that I did not like this much. I appreciate all the rhythmic complexities and time signatures that they utilize, but the songs seem to have little structure and all but one are under four minutes in length, so they never really go anywhere. That low level of structure along with the short song lengths and growled vocals make for an album that's much more grindcore-esque than I anticipated. The problem with grindcore (and similar genres) is that it's easy to cross the line between calculated insanity and chaotic randomness, and this feels like the latter to me. I can see the appeal, but I don't like it.

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Postby aids » 2012.09.07 (03:29)

round xv

Aidiera >> xwd >> kuri >> Tunc >> gloomp >> mediate >> Aidiera
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Postby unoriginal name » 2012.09.09 (01:47)

VHS Head - Trademark Ribbons of Gold [via xwd]

So I did basically no research on this thing but RYM indicated it was a big deal back in 2010 and I remember hearing about this guy in Wire, so that's cool or whatever. Never really gotten much into IDM. Generally prefer what dance music I do listen to to be more direct and vicious. But this is a neat album I guess. My understanding is it's compiled entirely from samples off old VHS tapes, and I certainly dig that aesthetic. Most of the tracks have got a good velocity to them, like some sort of garish sports car bouncing down a dirt road. The big problem is it's far too long. I think I would've really liked it at 40-some minutes, but at 70 it gets waaay old, unfortunately. Not a bad listen, overall, but ultimately the gimmick can't sustain it for me. Someone more into the form might love it, I'm left fairly nonplussed.
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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.09.10 (14:46)

Dune (OST) by Toto [via TommyWiseau]

This album consists of background music from the 1984 film Dune.

[Editor's note: "That's actually a great review. I won't accept it though."]

This album consists of background music from the 1984 film Dune, and with all due respect, people should stop giving me fucking soundtracks to review unless they are capable of standing on their own as an artistic work. Toto's Dune soundtrack doesn't necessarily suck massive dromedary balls, but there is nothing of any note on it (except the Brian Eno piece Prophecy Theme, which is a kind of neat spacey Brian Eno ambient thing). I'd recommend you just watch the film instead of listening to this, but apparently it sucked and David Lynch disowned it, so maybe just listen to something else--lately I've been digging Autechre's hyper-abstruse Confield/Gantz Graf/Draft 7.30 period (I'll be controversial and say I much prefer it to their nineties output). Or maybe you could just re-watch the Gangnam Style MV, except this time with a new-found appreciation for its subtle social commentary? The world is your oyster.
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Postby xwd » 2012.09.10 (18:26)

Four More Years by Teen Daze [via Aidiera]

Oh man, I love this stuff. I'm a sucker for chilled out synthy stuff, especially if there are breakbeats or interesting textures involved. Well, this is too chill for the breaks, so it compensates with lots of filtered stuff floating in the background, and sparkling synths in the foreground, and drum machines thumping around you somewhere. And you can't understand any of the lyrics or vocal samples at all, which is fine because they're just there for effect anyway.

But what I really need to talk about is that melody line on the first track, the title track, Four More Years, is goddamn sick. I don't know what it is exactly, it's just the right kind of slightly squelchy, hitting that perfect point between relaxed and badass for me. The rest of the tracks aren't quite as ridiculously awesome as that, but they're still pretty solid, keeping up that chill but with a bit of an edge feeling to it. Neon is a faster track than the rest, with some hi-hat drum programming action to mix things up. Shine On, You Crazy White Cap is probably one of the better ones of the rest, but they're all good. I like the closer Spin Around, Go Ahead quite a bit too, it's got some bongos in the background and a nice bassline, and eventually develops a nice melody.

Overall, I enjoyed this EP quite a bit more than I anticipated. My main regret is that I didn't get it in time to blast it during most of the summer, and I have to enjoy it in the late-summer pre-autumn season. It's still good. Play it at sunset.

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Postby mediate » 2012.09.13 (17:17)

Poems for the Aching, Swords for the Infuriated by Animus [via gloom]

Let's begin this review with a bit of info about the Artist. Animus is a one-man (yes, I checked, the person is a guy) black metal project, aiming to be very atmospheric and dark. The guy started in Israel and sings mostly about ... actually, what the fuck does he sing about? I get a sort of depressed vibe from most of the songs, lots of suffering but that's about it. There's an interview I read where he is asked this question; doesn't give any sort of concrete answer. ALL of his songs are untitled so you can't get any sort of idea from that, so what? The most I got from that interview is that he realizes religion exists and he believes in it. That's it. So, this man is either a troll or a really serious musician.

That doesn't answer the question: is the music good and/or worth listening to? Well ... it's a complicated answer. For one, although he aims to be atmospheric, dark and ambient (basically, think Agalloch or Alcest) he instead goes to a different genre called ... "Bedroom Black Metal." I've personally never heard of that before, so I can't comment on whether that's a real thing, or if he is doing things properly according to that (most reviews say it's great for that genre, so what the fuck do I know) however, I do know that this sounds very lazy. We'll leave the drums for the end, first the singing.

All of the vocal parts to any song (where there are vocals, that is) are whispered. To me, this sounds dumb. They're hard to make out, hard to care about, and very easy to ignore. I didn't even notice he was singing in II, III, IV, V, and VI. So, IMO, vocals are shit. The guitar work ... very basic and very fuzzy. Most of the time, you can't even tell what he's doing because of all the fuzz. For instance, I and II are basic fast-picked power chords/intervals throughout the song, with the annoying vocal stylings ruining it all. V is just a sludge-fest. It's too slow to get interesting, too basic to pay attention, and the vocals have to make it worse. III, however, works really surprisingly well with the fuzz. It gives it an atmospheric feeling and does what he aimed it to do. IV also works well once you get past the intro part. It is simple, but it works. VI is probably my favorite song on the album, clocking in at 13+ minutes. It, also, is very basic, however this is the only song where they got the Agalloch sound right. It's very fuzzy, only 2 riffs in the song, slow, but it very much sounds like something that would be (better) written by Agalloch (still nothing for soloing though). Surprisingly, it's also the only song where the vocals don't ruin it! There's barely any vocals in that song!

What ruins the album for me (and sends it into the trash can) is the drumming. I'm pretty sure he used FL studio. If not, he needs to go get some practise programming drum machines, because this is abysmal. If you've ever heard a blast beat, get ready for 23 fucking agonizing minutes of the same beat, over and over and over and over and over and over and over ... the only variation is the amount of cymbal they employ (so, no variation at all). III is mercifully without drumming, whereas V and VI use a much slower beat (V is shit, don't bother) which distinguishes them. IV has, probably, the most amazing drumming feat on this album: a fill. All in all, drums are a train wreck. I could do a better job than that, and I can't even drum or program drum machines (but I can program in Guitar Pro, and even those sound better than this shit). So, final thoughts? If you're gonna listen to this album (I'm told he gets better next album, don't know for sure, not really looking to find out) listen to only III, IV, and VI. I is forgettable, II is bland, and V ... well, look up a few lines. Final rating, 1.5/10. I think I understand how gloomp felt when he listened to Ifram a while back; to me, this sounds lazy as fuck with no shits or fucks given. Not listening to this ever again. If you want good atmospheric black metal, go listen to Agalloch. At least you won't die of boredom.

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Postby TommyWiseau24 » 2012.09.14 (05:07)

'n Crugu Bradului - Negura Bunget [via mediate]

I enjoy listening to music from genres and locales that I have little to probably no experience in, and I knew that I'd have an interesting experience with this at-least-darker-than-death-metal album from not-America-England-Scandanasian group Negura Bunget. What I can say is that my Wikipedia once-over lead me to great surprise - while I rolled my eyes at "progressive black metal/folk metal", I found myself quite enjoying it. Granted, that may be because of the fact that 'n Crugu Bradului has more of a post-metal tinge than real progression, and real dark post-metal always makes me feel warm inside. (To digress on progressive music a bit, I believe that there's a small area a band has to hit to make a memorable progressive song, one that lies between dull redundancy and near-parodic obnoxiousness. The opening track here, "I", fails in my opinion because it opts for the redundant side of the scale - which is better than the other field, but still fails nonetheless.) The best track is "II", which drew me in once those deep guitar noises popped in. Negura Bunget deserves credit for being able to perfect some aspects of their noise, especially in the atmosphere department, on what sounds like a very-small-to-infinitesimal budget. The final two tracks weren't as exciting, except for "IV"'s unexpected cut to the satisfying Badalamenti-Ligeti hybrid ambient noise that started the track.

There's not much else to say - this is perhaps an epitomal example of how the whole is better than the sum of its parts, in most cases. Not once did any instrument really catch my attention (except for the aformentioned guitar noises). In fact, that's maybe a strength of the album, especially considering how gimmicky the fringier types of metal can be. Negura Bunget wants to create a symphony of noises, not a symphony of instruments, and it's a commendable, recommended effort.
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Postby aids » 2012.09.14 (11:15)

http://albumswapping.tumblr.com/post/31517424529

Power metal, progressive metal, sheet metal. It’s all the same to me. This is now the second metal album I’ve listened to. Well, it’s a little bit of metal, a little bit of classical piano, a little bit of rock opera (spoiler alert: I don’t know what rock opera is). “Carved In Stone” is a longish album, and a majority of the time is just spent on power chords and lyrics I didn’t bother to make out. It’s not that it’s a waste of time; it’s actually a pleasant album. Better than the Baroness one I got earlier. But there’s still a lot of it that I don’t really enjoy. The keyboard (Piano? I can’t tell.) solos are fun, the drum… parts are good. It’s an all-around good album. Nothing that sucked too much, besides it being long and repetitive at parts. It’s just not my type of genre. :/

Songs I Liked: Crystalline Dream, Celtic Princess, Ghostship, c) Dead Calm, Ghostship, f) Enchantment
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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.09.16 (08:33)

also i'm in for the next one right
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Postby aids » 2012.09.16 (12:32)

oughts wrote:also i'm in for the next one right


Of course! You can sit next to me. :3
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Postby aids » 2012.09.18 (15:48)

I'm talking a round off.

round xvi

gloomp >> Rose >> mediate >> xwd >> Sen >> ortsz >> TommyWiseau >> gloomp
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Postby unoriginal name » 2012.09.20 (19:17)

Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga by Wardruna [via Tunc]

Disappointed. Tunc usually has a pretty good idea of what I'll like, but I dunno, don't really feel this. Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga is the sole album by Norweign band Wardruna. The members have been in a whole bunch of other projects, none that I recognize, but I'm not up on the scene so that's fairly meaningless. Warduna play a very richly textured brand of extremely Nordic Neofolk. There's a lot of unconventional percussive sounds and instruments made from animal skin. I might like it more once I get a good snowfall, because it is, atmospherically, a very, very wintry album. A lot of it sounds like some sort of creepy, although not necessarily sinister, ritual on some great, snow-covered hilltop in the dead of night. Which you'd think would be fucking awesome, right? I would, at least. But it's not, weirdly enough. The thing's 50 minutes, which is usually a fair length for this sorta stuff, but I was getting very bored of it by like halfway through. I dunno. All of the tracks start to blend together into some sort of viscous slush of hymnal vocalizations and bowed strings. So, yeah, not awful, but disappointing.

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Postby Tunco » 2012.09.23 (17:44)

History Never Repeats: The Best Of Split Enz by Split Enz [via kuri]

I didn't have my hopes up when I read about this (well known?) '70ies band that produces, apparently, extremely generic rock music; I thought it would be much bereft of originality and was afraid that it might belabor the same song 18 times but thankfully that isn't the case, it far exceeded my expectations. I've listened to the album a few days ago and only have a vague recollection of it, I do remember it sounded very entertaining with pop-influenced funky beats and a really happy feeling encompassing all over it, it's a very summer-y album. I definitely wouldn't call it mediocre, it's not great either, but it's pretty good.
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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2012.09.25 (18:34)

By the second track of Thunder, Lightning, Strike I'm acutely aware that I'm listening to this album wrong--I should be blasting it from a boombox on a bright summer afternoon, not listening to it on my headphones at 3am in a dark and not particlarly warm room. Still, I'll make do, and if anything could transport me to a bright summer day, it's probably The Go! Team. The exclamation mark in the band's name, like the loud, compressed, fairly lo-fi production, sums the whole affair up pretty well. It's indie with a decent helping of old school hip hop, and the two work in synergy to bring out the warmest and brightest parts of each. This is unabashedly feel-good stuff, but it mostly manages to avoid being too saccharine. Perhaps that's because the music's energy burns off most of the sugar. That may be a laboured metaphor, but there's no denying that this is energetic stuff--again, it's right there in the exclamation mark in the name. Some of the tracks sound like they would be right at home on a cheesy action movie soundtrack, and I'm not ashamed to admit they're also my favourite ones. The last track (Everyone's a V.I.P. to Someone) is also notable, with a more leisurely pace giving it more room to breathe and time to build to a very nice ending.

Now, instead of trying to come up with a good conclusion to this review, I'm just going to listen to Junior Kickstart again, because it's awesome.
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Postby mediate » 2012.09.25 (19:17)

Mental Torments by Spheric Universe Experiment [via Rose]

I love progressive metal. This album is a very normal progressive metal album. Do you have long, epic tracks? Check. Heavy riffs? Check. Rock 'n' Roll singing? Check. Backing strings? Check. Excellent song beginnings? Check. It's a really damn good album. You've got fast songs, slower songs, mellow sections, heavy sections, pretty much everything. As well, the I love the production on this album, as it reminds me of the late 80s for some reason. It sounds very much like early Dream Theater or Master of Puppets-era Metallica. Overall, this was a great listen and I highly recommend it if you like prog metal. 9/10.

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Postby TommyWiseau24 » 2012.09.26 (04:54)

"Hawaiian de Kiku Morning Masume Collection" by Morning Musume [via ortsz]

If the title doesn't make it apparent enough, the Japanese girl group Morning Musume took twelve of their singles and Hawaiianized them. That description right there should rightfully frighten anyone away, except maybe the biggest fans of that oh-so-ukulele sound. It's not surprising that a girl group would do absolutely nothing but only the most cliche Hawaiian sound for 50 minutes, and the result is one of my toughest musical sits in recent memory. Not that it's ever unpleasant - it's certainly passable background music, if certainly the type of background music that you tune out (like I did for maybe 1/2 of the album). The singers are all talented too, but not enough to actually grab my attention, except perhaps on "LOVE Machine". The only other song of note to me is "Koi no Dance Site", which had elements of actual creative atmosphere towards the end of the track, but I might just be saying that because the ending rips off the James Bond Theme.
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Postby Seneschal » 2012.09.26 (10:53)

I'm going to have to drop out of this again for the time being, I'm afraid.

-

Is Ellipsis by Psyche Origami [via xwd]

Psyche Origami are (were?) practitioners of what I like to call ‘nonsense rap’ (which is a term that probably already exists, but whatever); in other words, they seem to be more concerned with how the lyrics sound and flow than whether they make a whole lot of sense. I suppose Madvillainy would be the most famous example of this type of rap, but whereas that album is a lot more cut up and abstracted, Is Ellipsis is much more straightforward in terms of composition, consisting of a series of 3 or 4 minute tracks broken up by the occasional sample-based interlude. Occasionally this is to the album’s detriment, as at 18 tracks the album can feel a little overlong, though this is mostly mitigated by the very chilled out vibe of the record.

In fact, samples feature very heavily on this album, which makes sense when you consider that the outfit consists of two DJs and just the one MC; the two DJs actually go head to head on the playfully titled ‘I’m Da Man (Part Deux)’. The sampling itself is often very reminiscent of The Avalanches, as is the abundance of record scratches which are also very prominent throughout. Sometimes the raps themselves tend to get sublimated by the dense soundscape of samples and scratches, but the instrumentation is often enjoyable enough that this isn’t a drawback at all.

The first half of the album is filled with fun though mostly unmemorable cuts which tend to blend into each other due to their similar lengths and styles, but around about the aforementioned ‘Eye Detector’ the album picks up and comes damn close to greatness in a way that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s the fact that tracks like ‘At Last’ and ‘Reversing Gravity’ are frontloaded by catchier and more memorable hooks than what came before? Or maybe it’s because slap bang in the middle of these superior cuts is a track which I would not hesitate to classify as one of the best hip-hop tracks I’ve ever heard (and, by extension, the best track bar none that I’ve heard thanks to this swapping group). The track is ‘Dead Right’ and it hangs everything on an absolutely gorgeous piano sample which is wisely given plenty of room (almost a minute) to breathe at the beginning of the track before the actual rapping kicks in. None of the songs on the album are overly serious or heavy-handed, but virtually all of them successfully cultivate a kind of effortless cool; next to the sumptuousness of ‘Dead Right’, however, they can’t help but feel strained and unhip by comparison. The first line is enough proof to show that the group knew they were on to something truly great with this sample (“Damn, my man blessed me with this track”), and the end result of their tinkering is simply gorgeous to behold, with the original sample being tweaked (twuck? That should be a word) in new and exciting ways throughout. The lyrics themselves more than rise to the challenge, producing some of the group’s most surreal and inventive imagery (sample lyric: “It’s the dream merchant selling everything from lucid nightmares to fantastic flashbacks to classic recollections of wearing a gas mask to fourth period lunch right after math and time for arts and crafts”) while flowing forth so smoothly as to make most rappers verdant with envy (or so I imagine).

Great though that one track is, Is Ellipsis is far more than a one-song-showcase. Though it may fall within the same wheelhouse as Madvillain, it’s a lot more substantial and to my mind more enjoyable too, even if it lacks the former’s brevity, thus enabling it to stand on its own merits. Highly recommended if you’re a fan of experimental hip-hop.

Verdict: A-

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Postby aids » 2012.09.26 (15:30)

Thank you for the reviews guys. Here's a casual reminder that FOR ASS, BANDS ARE ITALICIZED, SONGS ARE BOLD, AND ALBUMS ARE "IN QUOTES". You can use 'single quotes' to highlight things like 'reminiscent of Queen' or likewise, and of course normal quotes should be around lyrics (and whatever you want, as long as the album is still in quotes). And parentheses can be used at will. Thanks for helping by following these specs. Next round is starting very soon.
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Postby Tanner » 2012.09.26 (21:18)

If the reminder is in size 30 font, all caps, it's not casual.
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Postby unoriginal name » 2012.09.26 (23:39)

The B-52's by The B-52's [via TommyWiseau]

As opposed to most of the bands I'm recommended for this dumb thing, I have actually listened to The B-52's before. Like, not just Love Shack. The entire album Love Shack was on. Which was... less than good. It was pretty dreadful, honestly. B-52's at that point are a band only tolerable in small, single-sized doses, I guess. So I didn't go into this one with exactly high hopes, but it did come with a bit of a pedigree, and TW said it was fairly different from their later stuff.

"And," you ask, leaning forward over the edge of your seat in rapt suspense, "was it?!" Well, yes, actually. The first B-52's record shows a much more interesting, thoughtful band than the one that made Love Shack. This is an album of slightly odd and skewed new wave; fun, catchy, but with an edge. It's not a remarkable album, but it is a perfectly decent one, that sounds to me like about a million other perfectly decent new wave albums. No regrets.

spoiler

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Postby xwd » 2012.09.27 (00:20)

Within Temptation - The Silent Force [via mediate]

I'm not entirely sure what to say here. Apparently I've heard enough orchestral metal albums (2) to know the general structure of them: you've got the all-orchestral intro to prove that you have an orchestra, the orchestral ballad in the middle of the album to prove that you're not relying on the guitars to bury the quality of it and your lead singer, and the really big epic closing number. In between you have songs saturated with all the production power you can manage without making it sound stupid. And... yeah, that's pretty much this album. I have my usual comments about wanting this stuff to be harder and faster (seriously, would it kill you to do a blast beat what the hell did I just type), and while the production values are good and all, the riffs and drum patterns are all very basic, and the lead singer isn't amazing or anything. The mastering also feels a bit off to me, but that could just be the slow and generic and slightly too dragging powerchords getting on my nerves after a while.

Again, I'd like to stress that this is a solid album. There are no offensively bad parts, but there aren't many parts that stand out either. I suppose the parts that I remember the most were See Who I Am because that was the first one after the intro and Forsaken because it either was faster or it had somewhat more interesting parts to it. It could just be because it was the one after the ballad. It also felt like the album started repeating itself after a while.

So, thanks for the album, but it doesn't pump me up enough.

>> xwd


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