• Attempt to Like Metal, pt. 2

    24 mars 2012, 19h29m

    Shuffle playlist of

    1. Mayhem - Psychic Horns - 3/10. What a stunningly bad song. It sounds like he's literally trying to sound as silly as he humanly can, while additionally letting the bells and whistles of the instrumentation make him out to be some insane railway worker. This is not a train I am happy to be on. A line or two ir lyrically interesting. Fairly bad.

    2. Rhapsody - Old Age of Wonders - 5/10. That minstrel feeling is all over this one, in a ballad of sorts about elves and jesters. Am I two years old? When the drums kick in for a chorus, the melody gets bouncy and somewhat enjoyable. If the entirety of the song was like that, I'd oblige to calling it decent. I guess I could wander around Skyrim to this.

    3. Forgotten Tomb - Springtime Depression - 7/10. Last I checked, this was one of those black metal bands that made my heart flutter with how good they are, and though I got the only instrumental of the record here, I find myself loving the melancholia in it. I do miss that about metal: the sad feelings it can evoke. I forgive its repetitiveness.

    4. Estatic Fear - Des Nachtens Suss' Gedone - n/a. Too short to judge, especially from an album with songs so long that it's only four tracks. This opens up for a doom metal release, and the sadness that it's got going for it is pretty evident. I wish I had gotten one of their metal tracks to compare to, but it's alright.

    5. Liquid Tension Experiment - Three Minute Warning, Pt. 5 - 5/10. I've always really hated that band name. The dudes from Dream Theater have always been talented at what they do, but I remember this project being too technical and wanky for me. This closing track and suite-ender to this album rings true with that, sadly.

    6. Black Sabbath - After Forever - 5/10. Not only it is cool because this is the first metal band, but it's from an album that I surprisingly haven't bothered to hear yet. I feel like I used to really love Ozzy, but that he's somehow way less interesting than the piece of dirt I just picked off my shoe. This one just kind of rolls around boringly.

    7. Shadow Gallery - Interlude 5 - n/a. This is only eighteen seconds, and I should have made a rule exempting tracks that can't be rated for the overall score of this thing. Nevertheless, I might as well fill space and say that I'm sad when I remember Mike Baker (ex-vocalist of Shadow Gallery) died a few years ago. He was great.

    8. Behemoth - The Nephilim Rising - 4/10. I can never, ever understand the vocals of this band. Listening to something like this just makes me feel insane, with an occasional guitar squeal in the background to keep everything grounded in reality. A song about half-angel half-human hybrids, with a few spoken words passages. Ugh.

    9. Royal Hunt - Memory Lane - 5/10. That neo-progressive metal vibe is one that I used to dig around for until I couldn't get enough of it, but I've grown tired of it. I unfortunately got saddled with yet another instrumental, and while I know something like this would have made me erect years ago, I'm limp through all of this.

    10. Skid Row - I Remember You - 9/10. One of the best power ballads of all time? Here to save the day? I guess I can allow that, because Skid Row was one of my favorite heavy metal/hair metal bands back when this was all relevant to my life. That voice, especially in, "Oh my darling, I LOVE YOU!!" near the final chorus... you know you love it.

    pt. 2: 5.4/10
    pt. 1: 5.8/10
    TOTAL: 5.6/10
  • Attempt to Like Metal, pt. 1

    3 mars 2012, 19h12m

    Shuffle playlist of

    1. Arsis - Shattering The Spell - 4/10. I don't like how the riff just kind of flies around and disregards the rest of the song, I hate the melodramatic lyrics, and the vocals generally bore me. There is no melody and no emotive quality that has me liking this. I think atmosphere could maybe be applied with a lot of difficulty.

    2. Saxon - Motorcycle Man - 7/10. I like the fun aesthetic that a song like this one is able to capture, how the beginning sounds like it could hold some straight pop motif, and the emphatic early '80s British wail that accompanies the whole of the song. I don't like that it doesn't really work with buildups, but I like the hazy atmosphere.

    3. Dream Theater - Just Let Me Breathe (live) - 5/10. Not much of metal, but sort of a weird rock song. Version from Live Scenes From New York. I like some of the guitarwork; I dislike everybody involved in the vocals, think the melody is extremely weak, and feel like the concert must have really sucked in this one. This used to be my favorite band.

    4. Ozzy Osbourne - Time After Time - 6/10. I like the slight nostalgic tinge to it, how it's sort of a ballad but it's got the heavy guitars going, and the trademark voice of Ozzy. I don't find myself being particularly impressed by this track, but I could see it being a song that one might find special after a while.

    5. Tool - Lateralus - 5/10. - The Fibonacci sequential vocal rhythm has always been cool, the guitars building up makes for a good backdrop, and the chorus feels like the song is really going places. Unfortunately, I don't like that it's nine and a half minutes with so little content. The "Feed my will" part (in how he sings out) is nice.

    6. Fairyland - In Duna - 7/10. - The lady in this song has a beautiful voice, the melody sounds like it could be from a Nobuo Uematsu-scored PS1 game (that's a good thing), and the melody progression is interesting. The use of a male choir adds a nice timbre. It is ridiculously cheesy, but disregarding that fact lets me dig it.

    7. Ozzy Osbourne - Countdown's Begun - 5/10. A song from nu-Ozzy, which is considerably heavier sounding and with that djent sound that has always bored me. The weird vocal production in the verses sounds a bit nice, but as the song goes on, it just feels like more of the same. Chorus seems sloppy. I'm not too terribly impressed with this one, and the compressedness makes my ears feel funny. Solo is alright.

    8. Ravage - Raise Some Hell - 6/10. The old-school heavy metal vibe is refreshing after the last five songs. The vocals are mixed oddly and echoey-ly, but the steady rhythm gives the song a big presence. The falsetto at the end of the chorus is pretty ballin (I can't believe I just used that term). It doesn't go much of anywhere, but it's palatable. Masterful outro.

    9. Andromeda - The Hidden Riddle - 6/10. Powerful vocal from the start, which is something I never remembered from this band. The neo-prog synthesizers that come in after the first stanza are highly supportive, and the song structure makes it sound like repetitive listening is reward. Chorus sounds a little misplaced; the bridge is refreshing. I oddly dig it.

    10. Disturbed - The Game - 7/10. Poppiest band in this playlist, and I've always been more inclined to liking their melodies. The nu-melodies from out the gate rope me in, and his cool vocal things continue to entertain me. The guitars are a bit flat, but the part at around 1:23 is pretty catchy. Rhythmically, this song manages to win me over, even if it's not their best.

    pt.1: 5.8/10
    TOTAL: 5.8/10
  • REVIEW: Sunday June 1st, 2008 - Progressive Nation '08

    4 juin 2008, 15h16m

    Sun 1 Jun – Prog Nation 2008

    This was the best concert I have ever attended in my young life.

    Let's begin with the absolute basics. As soon as I heard about this concert, I wanted to go. The tour itself intrigued me, being that Dream Theater is my favorite band, Opeth is one of my favorite bands, and the fact that it was Dream Theater's first time coming to this area in years. Between the Buried and Me and 3 were both bands I had never listened to, but I knew I would hear some of their stuff before I even got my tickets.

    When I went to book the tickets online, I was sad to find that Ticketmaster said that they were sold out. Much to my later dismay, it was a glitch on the site. A FUCKING GLITCH. I could have gotten better seating than I did, but I didn't because of the fucking Ticketmaster website which had me believe that the show was sold out for two months. Luckily, Ruth Eckerd Hall is a wonderfully small venue, and there wasn't a bad seat in the house.

    As soon as I actually bought my tickets, I acquired the latest album by 3: The End Is Begun. It remains to be one of the best albums I've ever heard. What a progressive masterpiece! I became even more excited about the concert as the month wait between the purchase and the show went on.

    Anyway, the day finally came, and me and my buddy were sitting in row BB, right in the middle of the row actually. Those were some of the best seats I have ever gotten at a concert. If we were closer, it could have been nicer, but I'm not complaining. Everything was so nice about the place; it was air-conditioned, the seats were comfy, and you didn't have to worry about getting beer spilled all over you (however, some drunk guy behind us later threw beer all over people, pissing off plenty).

    After about 30 minutes of waiting in our seats, the show began. 3 played a short, but very outstanding set. They started by playing the first five tracks of their The End is Begun album: The Word Is Born Of Flame, The End Is Begun, Battle Cry, All That Remains, My Divided Falling. Joey Eppard is a god when he sings live! I thought that there could have been some studio manipulation in there when I first heard them, but alas I was proven wrong. His voice is delightful to here live, and he's got a lot of passion.

    If this wasn't cool enough, a man in a hood kept coming out and throwing paper balls at them while they were on stage. This man came out after the end of the fifth song to do a drum solo with their drummer, and of course, this man was Mike Portnoy. His first appearance sparked a lot of applause. 3 closed their set with Monster, which I think was a great way to end it. When that song ended, a crew headed by Portnoy came out and silly-stringed them and their equipment. By the time that intermission rolled around, I didn't want to leave my seat.

    The next band that played was Between the Buried and Me. Prior to the show (and even now), I had been ignorant of this band's general sound. After hearing them play, I can safely say that I'll be checking into their discography. I've already got Colors; I just have to hear it. Anyway, I'm unsure of their set due to my lack of knowing their songs, but I know that one of the songs they did was White Walls, which was fantastic. No guest appearances during this band until the end of their set, where Portnoy and his trusty band of pranksters repeated to Between the Buried and Me what they did to 3.

    Oh, before I go on, did I mention that this is the final show of the tour? That's why there was such an array of pranks and whatnot. Chaos in Motion doesn't end til tonight, however, when Dream Theater will play a show in Puerto Rico with only Between the Buried and Me as the guests. However, the official second leg of the tour ends in Clearwater, and I feel very proud to have been at this show. It really was a fantastic closing. Anyway, let's get back on with the review, shall we?

    Inbetween the sets, we saw hooded Portnoy running back and forth on stage, putting random pieces of paper on the floor where Opeth would be playing. Everyone knew that it was going to be something humourous, and we later found out what those pieces of paper had on them (I'll get to that soon).

    Opeth was, simply put, outstanding. The lighting was amazing; they had an effect where the entire interior of the stadium was bathed in a spinning design. It's hard to explain, but if you were at one of the shows on this tour, you probably got to experience this. They opened with When, which is probably one of their most powerfully delivered live songs to date. After this song, Akerfeldt happened to notice the papers that Portnoy had left. The first one was a picture of Mike's ass, which everybody enjoyed. Another one said "Eat my ass and balls" (Mike's signature phrase). Mikael's response was nothing short of comical. He sang a vocal-only song called Mike Portnoy is a Bitch.

    Opeth then started cranking out the classics: The Baying of the Hounds and Wreath were the most memorable parts of their heavier setlist, and my absolute favorite Opeth song, In My Time of Need, was beautifully done. And if that wasn't special enough to hear, James LaBrie came out to sing the final chorus of this song (in sneakers and short-shorts, for that matter.). After LaBrie ran off, Mikael exclaimed: "Who the fuck was that guy?" What a marvelous site to hear your favorite singer sing one of your favorite songs. It was wonderful. (I have a video of this, shout to me if you want to see it). They closed the show with one of my first favorites: The Drapery Falls. Appropriately, the curtain began to rise and fall as the band played, making for a very nice effect. Oh, and did I mention that Mike was throwing grapes and bread at Opeth while they played? Yeah, Mikael promised that payback was 100 percent (which we all later found was indeed true). Oh, and also, Between the Buried and Me came out half-naked and danced to "The Drapery Falls". The applause was much greater when Opeth ended, and the silly-string was much more abundant.

    One more intermission; it was the most special intermission of all. A giant stoplight prop above the stage glowed red, indicating that Dream Theater was not ready, but as we waited, it later turned to yellow, riling the fans to insane amounts and bringing those out in the corridors into the theater room. And when it turned green and the lights went down, everybody went fucking apeshit.

    Dream Theater's show began with nothing but a timeline video playing, showing a history of their albums and their endeavors, all finally concluding with an in-motion video of the Systematic Chaos album art. And then they began. In The Presence Of Enemies, Pt. 1 began, and everyone went out of their minds. It is the best version of that song I've heard. Seeing my favorite band in person for the first time is something that's a real treat, and I'm sure that any of you older readers know exactly what I'm talking about. Needless to say, this opening kicked ass.

    Dream Theater then went into playing two more favorites of mine: Beyond This Life and Surrounded. The latter, "Surrounded", was different than the one featured on Images and Words, and it contained a very beautiful instrumental part. I sang along gladly to both of these. The smell of pot (yes, pot at Ruth Eckerd Hall) began to swell in my nostrils from the people to our right. The Dark Eternal Night was a surefire show highlight, featuring a cartoon video of the band defeating a giant werewolfesque monster. We later got to watch a video called "The Dark Nintendo Night", which synced up Super Mario Brothers to the studio version of the song. That was cool.

    Forsaken was played with the music video on in the background, and this live performance of "Forsaken" tops every listening experience I've ever had with this song. I've learned to like it even more than I already did. Take the Time serves as the ultimate highlight of their set for me personally, not only because it's one of my earliest Dream Theater favorites, but because Mr. Akerfeldt got his payback during this song. When they got to the song's bridge, Mikael situated himself on the side of the stage with a golf club and golf balls and started firing away at Portnoy, hitting his cymbals a couple of times (it was audible).

    The show ended on a memorable note: The Shmedley Wilcox! For those unaware, this is a five-part medley containing parts from the following Dream Theater songs (in order of appearance): Trial of Tears, Finally Free, Learning to Live, In The Name Of God, and Octavarium (The Razor's Edge part). It was orgasmic. By the time Petrucci played those final chords, everybody was screaming with delight. All of the bands (except for Opeth, who seemingly "went back to Sweden as somebody on stage put it) got together and bowed.

    I can only hope that they plan on releasing a DVD of this show. It was a great set, a great line-up, and a great experience. What a wonderful event to attend.
  • Here's to a brilliant 10,000 tracks!

    18 mai 2008, 23h12m

    Today, on May 18th, 2008, I have officially scrobbled ten thousand tracks played. And even better yet, I haven't even been a member for a full year yet (that comes next week).

    May the next 10,000 tracks be just as incredible!
  • Wanted Underground Bands

    21 mars 2008, 23h37m

  • My first listen to Kid A

    18 mars 2008, 2h03m

    For starters, let me say that the first time I actually listened to OK Computer, I thought that it was decent and nothing more than that. There were songs on the CD that I thought were boring, including "Paranoid Android", "No Surprises", and "The Tourist". Today, I find that very album to be an orgasm, with the only bad song being "Airbag".

    So, I expect that it will take me a little bit of time to get into Kid A. I already know that it has more of an electronic sound that its predecessor, but I'm fully ready to embrace the idea of an altered sounding Radiohead.

    So, without further adieu, my first impression of Kid A.

    1. Everything In Its Right Place - Alright, quite frankly, this is a boring opening. The vocals sound pretty cool, but this song has no structure and very little lyrical concept. I find this to be a bad first impression.

    2. Kid A - Now this is one awesome song. The opening notes are chilling, and the melody is hauntingly beautiful. I thought I was going to orgasm when the vocals came in for the first time.

    3. The National Anthem - This song has a lot going on, but it manages to keep itself together and be a very kickass song! Definitely the most rock-based song so far.

    4. How to Disappear Completely - The lyrics are very nice, and the instrumentation is great, but the song itself doesn't really hold up. I can't say that I like this song right now, but it has potential.

    5. Treefingers - This is a really boring and meaningless interlude of sorts. But it's too short to really be considered an intermission track. Oh well....I don't like this.

    6. Optimistic - Now, this one made me stop and think if I really liked it or not. The idea of the song is very good, and you would think that it would be a hit in my book. But alas, I can't say that this first listen is very impressive in the slightest.

    7. In Limbo - Here's a track for ya! This song is synched straight from the mediocre "Optimistic", but it's a brilliant song with what appears to be two separate tunes going on. Quite confusing really! I like this one a lot.

    8. Idioteque - Definitely the most electronic-influenced song on the album. And still, it manages to sound really really good. Wow, I really like this song! Reminds me of something but I can't quite tell what...all in all, it's a winner.

    9. Morning Bell - I don't know what it is about this song, but I like it a ton. The atmosphere is perfect, and the lyrics are hauntingly delivered. It sounds like the theme song to a school shooting. This is certainly a song to remember Radiohead by.

    10. Motion Picture Soundtrack - Well, for starters, it's very melancholic sounding. It sounds like the way that a Radiohead album would normally end off. The chilling fade out is just...brilliant. It's beautiful. And...wait what is this? Huh, there's more after that spout of silence. Interesting. And also....what the fuck, it stopped again. Very peculiar. But good.

    Okay, so this was my first listen to Kid A, and although I was underwhelmed and a bit disappointed, it still gets a first rating of 6/10. I plan to listen to this more than once, and hopefully I'll learn to appreciate it much more.
  • Best songs of 2008 (under constant construction)

    12 jan. 2008, 17h16m

    Ah, the new year. I just love the thrill of listening to new music, and 2008 seems like it can be a very promising year. Without further adieu, here are the songs of this year that I feel are the best!

    Avantasia - Carry Me Over

    All of Avantasia's earlier catalog is incredibly cheesy and overblown. However, their newer material has a more modern, almost progressive kick to them. "Carry Me Over" is the first actual single from The Scarecrow, and it certainly peaked my interest in the album!

    Avantasia - The Toy Master

    Hearing Alice Cooper and Tobias Sammet sing in the same song together is one of the greatest experiences that anybody could ever live through, and this song featuring Mr. Cooper on lead vocals is simply incredible. The lyrics and the role of "The Toy Master" completely fit Alice's style. This one is outstanding.

    Avantasia - Lost in Space

    Alright. Technically, this is a song of 2007, but it's official debut on an LP wasn't until this year. With that said, this song is one of the catchiest and most mainstream sounding of Avantasia's work. I don't really think that it's the best song on the new album, however. The two above are superior.

    Avantasia - Another Angel Down

    Also debuted on an EP in 2007, but this song is fantastic. Take a power metal anthem and mix in dual vocals between Tobias Sammet and Jorn Lande. Now, imagine an insanely cool chorus. That would be this song in a nutshell.

    Avantasia - The Scarecrow

    This epic title track is certainly a grower! The first time I heard this song, I thought it was a very nice, energetic yet well-paced duet between Tobi and Jorn. Upon further inspection, my opinion remains the same, but I happen to feel that this is one of the greatest power metal epics to date. What an awesome song!
  • My Album Wishlist

    10 nov. 2007, 20h57m

    * indicates I want it.
    * indicates I've obtained it.

    Enter Twilight - The Inner Verse
    American Don - Don Caballero
    Hella - Hold Your Horse Is
    Mullmuzzler- II
    Midwinter Storm- Desolation's Rest
    Odin's Court - Driven by Fate
    Stam1na album
    Nick Cave
  • The Albums of the Day

    7 août 2007, 7h00m

    I've decided to put them on RYM instead of here.
  • Album of the Day...07/08/2007: Manowar- Into Glory Ride

    8 jui. 2007, 14h09m

    Album: Into Glory Ride

    Review: Manowar is probably one of the funnest power metal bands to date, but once upon a time they were heavy metal. This album exhibits a typical heavy metal sound, while retaining a bit of cheesiness for the work that would come in later years. Nowadays, Manowar is pretty much done, but this album shows that the band was just like all the rest at their dawning.

    This album contains some good songs, but the very vast majority of this album is extreme filler, major crap, and ultimate cheese. I hate to say it, but this is one of the worst records that I've ever happened to hear from a band that I care about so dearly :(.

    Luckily, the band's future wasn't as bleak as this sad album.

    Song Ranking (from best to worst)
    Revelation (Death's Angel)
    March For Revenge (By The Soldiers Of Death)
    Gloves of Metal
    Gates of Valhalla
    Secret of Steel