Tag Archives: Acyl

Nocturnal Ruminations: Melody… or how a song becomes a song.

Since I’ve spent the week ruminating on music in general, here’s what my personal definition of a song is: a unit of an entire composition of music.  I have an extreme enjoyment of an album on which songs were strategically placed on their album by the artists in question to develop their piece.  Hence why albums like Porcupine Tree’s “Deadwing” (they hit you over the head with “The Incident”), Opeth’s “Blackwater Park,” and many, many, many others are so great.  You can listen to one song, but listening to the entire composition is equally rewarding.

While I respect bands like Meshuggah, I have a hard time calling what they do music.  It’s more an exploration of syncopated percussive assault in which melody (something I feel a song needs) is placed to the back burner.  I know Devin Townsend writes “even though we have bands that influence still, we all rip off Meshuggah.”  Many have critically acclaimed this sound as brilliant, but I’ve not been able to get it except in small doses (“Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave Them Motion” and “Pitch Black”).  Being the nerd I am for anything music, Sam Dunn’s “Metal Evolution” documented how the songwriters of this specific offshoot of metal focus on the tribal, percussive elements, turning nearly every instrument in the band to a hammer.

I do not find this enjoyable or even musical (though it is obviously well written and charted).  Honestly, of this style, only Acyl has capture my imagination for a long period of time.  I love the manner through which they tie the music of their heritage into the percussive elements.  It’s intoxicating.

Therefore, I look for bands whose songs are movements, like in an orchestra, for the most part for enjoying my music.  The combination of melody, rhythm, verse, and orchestration is what makes the best bands that I have come to greatly enjoy.  This is why Leprous is at the top of my list, while Pig Destroyer is a grave question (yes, I realize this is a bit without precedence in this writing because I’m not writing about hardcore).  Hardcore is a sound I’ve yet to be able to qualify with how vapid I truly find it and is the antithesis of what I enjoy musically.  I get that people love it, but when I see some of its fans gushing admiration of Hardcore and then putting Hip Hop down I get a bit puzzled.  I view the two styles in their basest senses as the same.  A complete and utter rejection of melody for rhythm and quick turn of phrase.  In the end, all music is art, no matter how it’s written.

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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Accountability, Art, Geek, Music


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Diurnal Aural Experiences: Acyl’s “Ungratefulness” from Algebra (2012)

North African/Berber music mixed with Djent Metal stylings?  It works.

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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music


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Year in Review: Best Songs of the Year.

In addition to the best albums of the year, here are the best songs I’ve found this year:

10. Acyl’s “Ungratefulness” from Algebra

9. Anathema’s “Untouchable, Parts I and II” from Weather Systems

8. Barren Earth’s “Passing of the Crimson Shadows” from The Devil’s Resolve

7. Bastard Sapling’s “Beyond the Void of Life” from Dragged from Our Restless Trance

6. Beardfish’s “This Matter of Mine” from The Void

5. Devin Townsend Project’s “Grace” from Epicloud

4. Alcest’s “Autre Temps” from Les Voyages de l’Ame

3. Beardfish’s “Ludvig & Sverker” from The Void

2. Ihsahn’s “The Eagle and the Snake” from Eremita

And the best song is probably from one of the worst albums from the entire year.  It is like this band took all the emotions and thoughts for this one song and then were unable to muster the energy to go further due to the drain and power of this single song.

1. Swallow, the Sun’s “Emerald Forest and the Blackbird” from Emerald Forest and the Blackbird.”

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Accountability, Music, Reviews


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A Year in Review: Top Music that This Bureaucrat Heard this Year.

These are the top overall albums I listened to over the previous year.  I don’t rate by points or comparison.  I rate this way, because these are the albums to which I listened the most, enjoyed, and those to which I felt emotional or creative response.  Music is something for me that helps my creativity get started, and helps my thoughts start.  So, without further ado, here’s the list:








10. Katatonia – Dead End Kings: Released in September 2012, this was the first album that I truly enjoyed   from this Swedish band.  In my opinion, it was a solid follow up that progressed the previous album “Night is the New Day.”  This album offers a more mature look at their darkly chosen topics, such as loneliness, loss, and contemplation.  I actually enjoyed this album as much as Opeth’s Heritage (which I love).








9. Acyl – Algebra: I hate Djent.  I find it muddled, confusing, and excuse to use primarily charted rhythms with very little progressive movement in its structure. However, these French Tunisians nailed it on this album.  The use of North African chanting with Djent was perfect and really made me feel the tribal bent of what Djent is supposed to be.  Amazing album that is politically evocative and very tied to the band’s heritage.








8. Enochian Theory – …And All It Entails: Warning – this is not metal.  This is a progressive rock band from England whose skill and focus build songs well through their album.  I can’t tell you which is my favorite song off it, but I can tell you it was like listening to a collection of poems to found that were well written and well performed.  They are of a similar vein to Porcupine Tree and Anathema, but their album was better than Anathema’s as I felt it carried more emotional weight and power behind it.







7. Enslaved – RIITIIR: This is the first album from Enslaved that I understood.  I really enjoyed the music, the perform, the power, and folklore behind the band.  It feels very rooted in the Norwegian scene, but at the same time feels apart from it and pushing the band’s sound forward.  I love growled call and response that is not good cop/bad cop.  They did a great job of using that on this album.








6. Ne Obliviscaris – Portal of I: A bombastic mixture of Ihsahn/Emperor style black metal, Opeth melodic progression, violins, and power metal.  This Australian band’s release had me reeling with their first release.  I loved the thoughts this album brought to me when listening to it. If there was anyway in which to make a statement on your first approach, then damn it, these guys did it.  And other metal bands, looking to make a name for themselves, should take notes.








5. Obsidian Kingdom – Mantiis: I have been aware of this Spanish band for sometime now (I love to follow band camp/youtube to find new music from independent bands) and I had enjoyed their earlier works, but this album takes them beyond Death and Black into a truly unique and powerful sound.  Some of the songs on the album would be movements within songs for other bands, for these guys, they define where they see that song’s emotions developing.








4. Devin Townsend Project – Epicloud: This album is just so damned happy, is filled with poppy, hook filled rock, but damn it, it’s one of his most progressive albums!  Yes, it’s Devin Townsend, and it has its cheesy movements, but some of the emotional swings on this album have made me laugh aloud or brought tears to my eyes.  Anneke Von Giersberegen’s performance on this album actually quiets some of Devin’s cheesiest moments.







3. Ihsahn – Eremita: Like all of Ihsahn’s solo works, listening to this album is listening to a philosophical examination of a theme.  In this case, it is regard whether the misanthrope should return to society or not.  The approaches that he took on this album pulled him further into progressive rock and even took him into using funk, hooky cock rock riffs, pop, and other strangeness for him.  An amazing, soulful performance.








2. Beardfish – The Void: This was the first album I’d ever heard from this Swedish Progressive Rock group.  It was perfect in nearly every way, in my opinion, using rock, metal, operatic, and classical approaches.  Songs on this album made me reconsider what the Void really was, and what it all could mean.  Ludvig & Sverker made me cry.  Turn to Gravel made me laugh.  Great damn album.







1. Alcest – Les Voyages De L’Ame: To be frank, I fell in love with Darkgaze thanks to his previous album; however, it missed what Neige wanted to do with his sound: making a traditionally dark, misanthropic sound when combine with shoegaze into something positive and emotionally warm.  In this album, he did it.  He transcended the band beyond black metal’s cold plains and icy depths and made each song a cry for joy.  This was 2012’s best album in my opinion.



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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Accountability, Art, Inspiration, Music, Reviews


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