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Diurnal Aural Experiences: Opeth’s “Eternal Rains Will Come” from Pale Communion (2014)

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Art, Geek, Music, Nature

 

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Year End List for 2014

I did no reviews last year. Therefore, I’m going to still do a top 10 list and disappointment list for 2014 releases. Without further ado, here goes my ten favorite releases from last year:

10: Junius – Days of the Fallen Sun EP: Stunningly heavy and dense without ever having to go into traditional metal tropes, Junius’ short release burned up my headphones for quite a long time in 2014.

9: Bloodbath – “Grand Morbid Funeral”: Yes, please, more with the heavy and the dark and the genuinely old school feel and vibe. I completely enjoyed this album.

8: Alcest – “Shelter”: Dream pop at its finest, but the overall sound lost contrast quickly when the intensity was removed.

7. Agalloch – “The Serpent & the Sphere”: A band, whose music is typically dense, melancholic, and reminiscent of the sky just before the clouds break, offers up a serving of the coldest, darkest music they’ve done to date in my opinion.

6. Devin Townsend Project – “Z2: Dark Matters”:  Campy, original, filled with fart jokes, and evoking a 50s radio play, this album’s jaunt through Dev’s witticisms is fun if not a touch too saccharine at points.

5. Behemoth – “The Satanist”: Ranked this high due to the sheer factor of sarcasm dripping from Nergal’s voice in the first track: “Blow your trumpet, Gabriel!”  I was never a fan before, but I find that I am now.

And, because I’m a massive and amazingly terrible writer that cannot make up his mind, I have 4 albums in a tie for the first spot, depending on my mood (which will be listed below) and these are in no particular order:

1d.) Causalities of Cool – “Causalities of Cool”: Dark, melancholic space country rock?  WTF, Dev?  This album has seriously some of the most amazing textures, rolling noise, and themes I’ve heard in a long time. Here’s “Ether” from that album that demonstrates this wonderfully:

I found myself gravitating to this when I was feeling extraordinarily stressed or needing to reflect.

1c.) Opeth – “Pale Communion”:  Holy shit, it’s not a jangled mess of riffs and thoughts. While I enjoyed Heritage, it was like a sentence fragment.  Here’s “Moon Above, Sun Below” from the album:

I found myself going to this one when I needed the melancholy feels from Opeth and when I wanted something openly and unrepentantly creative.

1b.) Solstafir – “Otta”:  This album defines Iceland in my mind now. It is stunningly gorgeous, filled with texture, and wonderfully performed. Here’s “Lagnaetti” from the album:

Similar to Casualties of Cool, I found myself coming to this album as I could when I needed a bit of stress relief. Even the abrasive moments are wonderfully performed and never out of context or character.

1a.) Tritypkon – Melana Chasmata”:  Oppressively heavy, stunningly depressive, and at times hauntingly beautiful, the album hits a progressive metal fan right in the gut and does everything it needs to do well.  Further it has a love poem dedicated to Emily Bronte on it. I enjoyed their first album greatly, but I didn’t get overwhelmed by it.

I came to this album again and again just because I wanted to hear it.  It appealed to times when I was down, but also times when I needed to explore a different headspace.

Biggest disappointments of 2014:

1.) Soen – “Tellurian”: Their first release, “Cognitive,” stunned me.  It was an amazing album.  This album I listed to maybe to or three tracks and switched to a different band and never went back.

2.) Encoffination – “III: Hear me, O Death (Sing Thou Wretched Choirs)”:  This album was on the list because if you are going to name yourself with something as off  the wall as this, then you better damn well be good.  They weren’t.

3.) Mayhem – “Esoteric Warfare”:  These are the fathers of Norwegian Black Metal?  Eeeeeesh.

Two Albums that Blew My Fucking Mind:

1.) Primus & the Chocolate Factory:  Like listening to the soundtrack only (no pictures) of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on LSD.  I need not say more.  Listen to this album.

2.) Cynic – “Kindly Bent to Free Us:” Like listening to the soundtrack of peace and harmony on LSD.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Accountability, Art, Lists, Music, Ranks

 

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Diurnal Aural Experiences: Beardfish’s “Until You Comply/Entropy” from Destined Solitaire (2010)

Enjoy.  Perfect with themes of the day.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Accountability, Music

 

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A Bevy of Music

So, I’ve been off again; mostly due to family stuff and weather related shenanigans.  Ultimately, I was never able to get to full reviews on a number of albums, so I’m going to do a series of five reviews each week for the remainder of the year.  Simply put, this is to round out the releases I’ve heard over the course of the year.

Agrimonia’s “Rites of Separation”: Back to Sweden, Agrimonia offers a full on death metal assault of the senses.  It is dark, grimy, stomping and gloriously heavy all around.  The singer’s howls rip straight into your skull, allowing the music’s crushing riffs to shatter you.  Yet, it maintains a level of grandiosity that death metal has seemed to lose of late.  A wonderful release, Rites of Separation is deserving of at least one listen for any metal fan.

Àrsaidh’s “Roots”:  Scotland’s Agalloch, Àrsaidh brings folk and post-black metal together to construct their sounds.  Song structures are reminiscent of Agalloch, clearly, but the use of Scottish pipes, flutes, and drums accentuates the points they are trying to make on this album. They understand subtlety and restraint as much as they do fury and windswept crags; the album’s well written and focused.  Again, being similar to Agalloch, the band is going to draw in comparisons to Wolves in the Throne Room, Fen, and perhaps even Nine Covens.  Ultimately, it’s the folk instrumentation that’s going to make you like it or hate it.

Being’s “II: Nix”: I totally apologize for this.  I missed it in my inbox and meant to do a full review sooner, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  That said, if you’re looking for really intelligent genre bending post-black metal assaults with a singer that uses a deep, thick clean vocal, then Being’s totally your cuppa.  I really, really enjoyed this album.  For keeps and so you don’t jump in midway, also check out Being’s first EP “I: Odes to Nothing” from 2010.

Ayreon’s “The Theory of Everything”: A metal opera album containing 42 tracks with approximately 10 characters, lasting approximately 1.5hrs and is openly referential to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?  Yes, please.  I don’t get Ayreon for the most part and enjoy a smattering of songs, or a concept here and there.  However, the interplay of voices and really developed musical concepts on this album really make it.

East of the Wall’s “Redaction Artifacts”: Okay, okay, I get it now.  I tried on “Ressentiment” and enjoyed bits and pieces before the slammed back into their ‘Core element.  This album really hits it for me, but revealed that unfortunately I’m still not a big fan of the band.  While they are interesting and the inclusion of clean singing croons is welcome, ultimately when they really pop into their metal I can’t get past the focus on rhythm instead of melody.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Accountability, Art, Geek, Reviews

 

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Diurnal Aural Experience: Obsidian Kingdom’s “Torn & Burnt” remix of “Mantiis”

Some of my favorites are back with a remix album (is 2013 the year of the remix?)  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music

 

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Diurnal Aural Experiences: Salt in Two Forms, mined from Norway.

The first:

The second:

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music

 

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Diurnal Aural Experiences: Mord’A’Stigmata’s Ansia (2013)

Enjoy!  This is the music from the review today:

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music

 

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