RSS

Tag Archives: Prog

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.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Diurnal Aural Experiences: Karnivool’s “A.M. War” (2013)

Enjoy!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Art, Geek, Music

 

Tags: , , , ,

Diurnal Aural Experiences: Steven Wilson’s “The Raven that Refused to Sing” Live.

Enjoy; this is a stunning performance of this song.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Art, Music

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Diurnal Aural Experiences: Shining’s Fisheye (2010)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Art, Music

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Weekly Music Review: Shining’s “One One One.”

Blackjazz, the eponymous album that both defined a transition in sound for a band and a new subgenre of black metal, was released in 2010 to little fanfare and through a grant from the 80s pop-band, Aha.  It was a tightly wound package of schizophrenic sounds, inspired by Shining’s previous life as a jazz band.  After watching the Blackjazz concert on youtube, I immediately purchased the album and listened to it for three or four days in a row.  It was an amazing composition, unified by the play and creativity of the band and most specifically its lead singer, saxophonist, and guitarist, Jorgen Munkeby.  This was the best review of the album:

So, what is a band to do when a completely experimental sound pays off, and they nail the performance of the album live?  Try to push it further or refine it just a touch more.  Of the songs on Blackjazz, “Fisheye” is the most intense experience, slamming you with a jazz percussion and saxophone breakdowns, industrial synths, whispered and howled vocals.  Putting it mildly, it is such a mind altering experience that it damn well demands your attention.

One One One (2013) is their attempt to refine Blackjazz further.  It is a shorter piece than Blackjazz, running just under 36minutes.  It contains two more songs, and all of which would be among the shortest compositions off the previous album.  The album definitely builds from the same playful, torrential energy of Blackjazz.  However, its focus attempts to develop through each individual song, attempting reproduce the same energy in each song.

Their sounds are still intensely dark, rattlingly jazz with black metal guitar and lyrical themes, and industrial synths.  The music is good, direct and focused.  It rattles and hums, hammering you with more twists and turns that could be expected.  “Paint the Sky Black” is the best piece off the album, coming in with focused percussion and Munkeby’s tortured sounding howls.  “My Dying Drive” is one of the weaker tracks, sounding like it tries to be too much like “Fisheye” from the previous album.

Ultimately, Shining’s experiment is still successful.  Their style is indeed a unique and personally founded subgenre of metal, jazz, and prog.  Yet, for all its experimentation and all its hard work, One One One is not as solid an album as Blackjazz.  Their attention to shorter compositions makes the music feel a bit rushed in comparison and the album feels like it lacks cohesion amongst the songs.  Ultimately, I feel that the removal of the improvisational elements found on Blackjazz hurt One One One while the confrontational elements benefits it greatly.   Otherwise, taken on their own, a number of the songs off this album should tickle most fans of metal, prog, or jazz.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Accountability, Art, Geek, Music, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Diurnal Aural Experiences: Pineapple Thief’s Nothing at Best

Enjoy!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

Diurnal Aural Experiences: Opeth’s “The Night and the Silent Water” from the Roundhouse Tapes

Enjoy!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Art, Geek, Grief, Music

 

Tags: , , , , ,