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(Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

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(Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:35 pm

I will begin to review an album every week. I will start a second thread to accept suggestions of albums to review. I will review mostly metal albums, but my review music from other genres. I will review older albums as well as recent albums.

Please submit your suggestions here.
Please submit your feedback here.


Album: Requiem For the Indifferent
Artist: Epica
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 8/10

This album seems to be another step in the direction that Epica took in Design Your Universe. This mainly stems from the introduction of guitarist Isaac Delahaye for the album DYU. His influence was evident as the general style of guitars became much heavier and more complex. Although it is still Progressive Metal, many of the riffs seem to be more Melodic Death Metal than Progressive Metal. Although the contrast of the many symphonic sections through the album and Simone Simons amazing operatic vocals with the heavy aggressive guitars and Mark Jansen's growls and screams is nothing new for Epica, the style that Isaac brings and Mark becoming a stronger vocalist makes the contrast far larger. Although the contrast is one of the key elements of Epica, it seems as though they don't mesh as well in this album as in previous album. The small feeling of the parts not fitting together completely is the only major fault that I can find with the album.

Simone Simons performs an amazing job as lead vocalist as usual. But, she seems to be having less parts as the band's style become heavier. Mark Jansen having less need to write the guitar parts due to Isaac's present may also have a bit to do with this. Mark's improving harsh vocals may also be part of it too. In the early albums he only had a few sections, to go along with the lyrics, while most of the vocals were done by Simone. But in this album, and DYU, he is on most of the songs. He seems to be much more comfortable with with screams than in other albums.

Isaac seems to be much more comfortable as part of the band, and it is evident with his playing. There is many more complex riffs than their have been in other albums and he has many guitar solos throughout the album, while he only had a few on DYU. Not only are the heavier guitars more complex, but the lighter guitar and acoustic parts used in the symphonic sections are more complex and technical than before he joined. The keyboards also are very good, but are no longer as much of a focus as in previous albums. Instead it is used more to back the guitars.

Overall I would say that the album is very good. If you enjoy Design Your Universe, I would suggest checking this album out. When this album is released I will definitely pick it up if I see it in a store. My favorite songs are Monopoly on Truth, Internal Warfare, and Stay the Course.
Last edited by krazycrismore on Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:50 pm

Suggested by Baron Somebody
Album: Hell Awaits
Artist: Slayer
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 6/10

Having heard many great things about this album, I may have been expecting too much of this album. Or, that listening to this album 27 years after it came out makes it seem less interesting due to other bands being influenced by it. But, nothing on this album really stayed with me. Although Tom Arya and Dave Lombardo had great performances throughout the album, everything else didn't seem to interest me. All of the riffs sounded like I had heard something similar or better to it, which may represent their influence, and many songs seemed to go on longer than would be expect of this type of Thrash Metal.

The drumming on this album fits perfectly with the style of Thrash that Slayer does. Dave is able to lay down a steady fast paced beat that goes along with the guitars. He can also slow it down in the sludgier parts of the songs. He fit what he needed to do almost perfectly. He didn't have any parts where he was distracting the listener from the rest of the music. This is the strongest part of the album.

Tom Arya has one of the best voices in Thrash Metal. It seems to represent the music played. It is rough, raspy, and heavy. Although he might not be the most technical vocalist, but his singing style goes along with the play style of Slayer. He is able to sing really fast on the more aggressive parts, while having his voice just seem powerful on the slower parts.

The guitars and bass on this album are what keep it from being incredible. The drums lay down the base for everything else, the vocals are there to hold it all together, and the guitar and bass are what forms the larger part of the music. The guitars did not really seem to have any sort of riff that really stood out. I have enough similar to what was on this album. The slower, longer, sludgier parts don't seem to fit in with the rest of the music. Most of them didn't seem to really fit any purpose but to make the song longer. The guitar solos on this album didn't really impress me either. It sounded less like a beautiful and composed section, and more like they just played randomly as fast as they could. But, that is how most of Slayer's solos are so I wasn't surprised.

Overall, I found this to be an okay album. The guitars and bass just didn't compare to the vocals and drums on this album. I know that some of my criticism is because of the influence that this album had. If I had been around 20-25 years ago as I am now, I probably would have thought that this album was incredible. But, other bands have taken influence from this album and made superior music. However, I am rating albums solely on the music without taking the impact the album has made taken into consideration.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:50 pm

I discovered this band last Saturday, St. Patrick's Day. In celebration I was listening to some Irish metal bands. Most of them weren't bad but none impressed me until I came across Primordial. I decided that I would review their most acclaimed album, To the Nameless Dead.
Album: To the Nameless Dead
Artist: Primordial
Genre: Celtic Black Metal
Rating: 9.5/10

Simply put, I found this album to be incredible. There is so much emotion and atmosphere that work to convey their lyrics, which are great, wonderfully. Although it has the standard play style of Black Metal, it does not have the sound of Black Metal. Instead of using a thin sharp tone like black metal, paired with shrieking vocals, for an 'evil' sound they have a heavy thick sound, paired with powerful singing, which creates a unique sound. They don't do anything impressive with their instruments, but with the style of music they play they don't need to. They still have some rather nice melodies and riffs in their songs. This album didn't blow me away the first time I listened to it, it wasn't until the third or fourth time that I listened to it that I truly appreciated this album.

Primordial reminds me a lot of Agalloch. In the way that all of the elements of the music come together to create an atmosphere that conveys emotion very well. While Agalloch conveys an atmosphere of sadness and apathy, Primordial seem to put out an emotion that isn't really anger or sadness but has some of both it also seems a bit condemning at times. It gives me a certain feeling when I listen to it that can be hard to describe.

Most bands that try to create atmosphere use a keyboard or synth to create it. While this is a rather effective way to do it, it can get dull after a bit. Primordial is able to create an incredibly strong atmosphere without either, just guitars and vocals. This is partially due to the incredible tone that they use for the guitars. Their chord progressions and riffs also evoke the atmosphere as well. The drumming used isn't complex, but given that the rest of the music isn't it fits in perfectly and compliments the rest of the instruments.

The vocals on this album are amazing. The lyrics are great. The vocals fit the lyrics. Both fit the music. This vocalist really impresses me. He has a great voice, and his singing style is unique. It is just a powerful singing with a hint of chanting in the style. He also has some pretty incredible harsh vocals too. He doesn't put them into parts that are aggressive, but puts them in when they fit and has a few different sound growls and screams.

Overall, this is an incredible album. Everything fits together well, and each piece is good. I have listened to this album at least 10 times since Saturday, and have not gotten tired of it. This album is almost certainly going to go into my top ten album list. I highly recommend this album. Favorite songs from the album are Empire Falls, As Rome Burns, and Heathen Tribes.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:02 pm

Suggested by Matapiojo.
Album: Th1rt3en
Artist: Megadeth
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 6.75/10

While this is a good album, it is nothing new for Megadeth. It very much reminds me of Countdown to Extinction, with a bit of their earlier sound in as well. There are a few songs on here that remind me of a song or two from previous albums, not because they are similar in style but because they sound very similar. Having only listened to their first 5 albums, there may be more songs than what I can recall that are the same way. While this was still an enjoyable album, I feel as though Megadave is running out of creativity.

The guitars on this album sound pretty standard for a Megadeth album. Some of the riffs sound like ones off of previous albums, but most of them don't. The style is not much different from what I am used to from them. There are some impressive solos, but none of them really stand out. But this is how most of the album is. It is enjoyable to listen to, but there isn't much that really sticks with you.

The drums do not stand out at all. It sounds as though they were added last, just to bring hold everything together. There is nothing really outstanding from the drummer on this album. There aren't really any fills on this album. The drums are just there to keep a tempo.

Megadave's voice really hasn't changed too much from what it was like on Countdown to Extinction. But, he never really had impressive vocals anyway. This is just his usual vocal performance, same style and sound. The lyrics on the album are not really exceptional. Although I do like the lyrics for the title song. It is about Megadave looking back at his career and everything that he has put into Megadeth.

Overall, this is a good album. I wouldn't say it was as good as Rust in Peace or Peace Sells, but it was good. I got the feeling through most of the album that Megadave was just running out of creative juices. Given the lyrics for 13 and the feeling of sameness of sound on this album, I think it would make sense if this was Megadave's last album for Megadeth. My favorite songs are Sudden Death, Black Swan, and 13.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:36 pm

Album: In Somniphobia
Artist: Sigh
Genre: Avant-Garde Black Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

SIgh have once again made an incredible and very unique sounding album. They are able to bring in many non-metal influences and instuments and make them fit in their style of Black Metal. Also the way that they are able to switch between styles and even genres in the same song and not sounding forced amazes me. This album is obviously not for everyone. It is very much an atypical metal album. Some of the non-metal elements that are mixed in give the music a somewhat silly nature. While it still has mostly harsh vocals and has most of the other elements of black metal as well. However, this mix of silliness and black metal is very appealing to me.

The guitars are quite interesting on this album. While there are parts where they take the lead and play the melodies, there are parts where they back up the other instruments. The guitar work is very good for Black Metal, and has many enjoyable melodies. There are a few guitar solos spread throughout this album. Although they aren't really impressive, in a technique sort of way, they are still very enjoyable. Although the guitar work is very good, it is rather refreshing to hear the guitar be used to support other instruments and fading a bit when the other instruments are in the front. Normally it is just that all of the instruments are blasting and seem to compete for the attention.

The instruments besides the guitars is what makes this album. One of the vocalists plays an Alto Sax, while the other plays a multitude of instruments. They are the main instruments that play the non-metals elements. Such as the smooth Jazz section in the middle of Amnesia, is done with the sax, a piano, and drums. The same thing that impressed me with the goes the same with the rest of the instruments. Although some may find the addition of most of these instruments unnecessary and silly. I think that they add greatly to the sound.

The drums on this album are incredible. Not only is his drumming highly impressive, but his playing goes along with the music. Instead of just keeping a beat for the rest of members, his playing goes along with the melodies and riffs. It also changes with the different styles and genres that are being played.

Overall, this album will probably love or hate for it's listeners. Most will probably fall under the hate category. Many will be pushed away by the black metal aspect of it, while the people that enjoy may dislike many of the other elements and find them silly. However, for those that wouldn't be pushed away by either of those, then this would be a very enjoyable album. I highly recommend this album to fans of Avant-Garde Metal. Favorite songs are Purgatorium, L'excommunication a Minuet, and Amnesia.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 pm

This week I will do something a bit different. Instead of reviewing an album that I haven't listened to before, I will review one of my favorite albums of all time. I plan on doing one of these albums every month or two. Not only will it show what type of music I enjoy, but some of the reasons that I enjoy it.

Album: Individual Thought Patterns
Artist: Death
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 9.5/10

Although Death's first two albums, are good albums and should be recognized as monumental albums for Death Metal, I personally enjoy Death's much more progressive albums. Not only did their music become much more complex and technical, but Chuck Schuldiner also stopped writing gory lyrics and began writing some incredible meaningful lyrics.

Schuldiner's guitar work on this album is absolutely incredible. After having heard it dozens of times, most of the riffs still are very enjoyable. Given that there are normally five or more separate riffs in each song, this is huge. They are all also very distinct, which given the sheer amount is impressive. The transition between each of the riffs are very smooth. Even though the tempo may change, it doesn't sound weird when the transition occurs. The solos by both guitarist Schuldiner and Andy LaRocque are incredible. My personal favorite is the solo on Trapped in a Corner.

The drummin on this album is amazing. Not only is it impressive itself, but it really holds together the rest of the music. When the tempo of the riffs change, the drumming makes the transition feel smooth. The kick bass on this album is astounding. The sound and tune of it goes along with the album. The triplets sound very nice and precise. The fills are impressive as well. Overall the drumming is really solid.

Schuldiner's vocals have always been enjoyable to me. His rough half-growl half-scream style seems to work for me. While some may find it difficult to understand him, I can hear the lyrics quite clearly. As I said before, the lyrics are quite good. While there is some aggression to the lyrics, there is still meaning to them. With the delivery and aggression it seems as though he is condemning and judging in his lyrics.

Overall this is an incredible album. Every part of it is impressive, fits together, and even compliments each other part. I highly recommend this to any fan of Death Metal or Progressive Metal. My favorite songs are Trapped in a Corner, Individual Thought Patterns, and The Philospher.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:13 pm

Suggested by Gmn1997

Given my lack of experience in listening to this type of music, I was wary about reviewing this album. However, I think that doing this has helped me develope both as an appreciator of music and as a reviewer of music. Hopefully it will also prove helpful if I eventually create music. Since I have little knowledge of hip hop, this review will not be as helpful as my other reviews. If there are some important aspects that I miss, please let me know. Either by PM or posting it in my feedback thread.

Album: Plastic Beach
Artist: Gorillaz
Genre: Hip Hop/Pop
Rating: 5.5/10

I enjoyed this album much more than I thought I would. I found the music on this album to be far better than most rap/pop/hip hop I hear at work. However, being better than the previously mentioned music does not mean that I found this album to be amazing. It is just not the type of music I enjoy. Although, if I had reviewed this album a year ago, the score would have been much lower. The music that I have been getting into over the past year has given me an better appreciation of electronic music, and in some styles a liking of it.

The vocals appear to be the main aspect of the music with the drums and instrumentation being put in to back it up. This album features a large amount of guests appearances including Snoop Dogg and Mos Def. I am sure that there are many talented artists, however I couldn't tell due to my inexperience in this genre of music and my dislike of that style of vocals. Honestly the vocalist in Gorillaz was the most enjoyable for me.

The instrumentation was much better than most other rap/hip hop/pop that I have heard. It was much deeper than a hook with a beat to go along with it. There were a few songs that interested me a bit, but most of it was somewhat boring to me. Although the instrumentation didn't irritate me as most music of it's type does, it was too simple and shallow to hold my attention on repeated plays of the album.

The drumming on this album was rather straight forward and bland. In the same way that some metal albums have the drums there seemingly just to keep beat, that is how I felt about the drumming on this album. There was honestly nothing remarkable about the drumming on this album.

Overall I would say that this album is okay. It is far better than what is played on the radio and at my work place, but that is not a reason for me to consider it a great album. I simply found it rather boring on repeated listens. I would recommend it to fans of this type of music, but I will stay away from it for the time being.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:34 pm

Sorry, but there will be no review this week. My pair of nice headphones are broken, and my laptop speakers are kind of crappy. Thought I ordered a new pair last week, but forgot to fully checkout so I did that today. Once I get my new headphones, I'll start to do Hunter by Mastodon.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Tue May 01, 2012 4:36 pm

Suggested by Matapiojo

Album: The Hunter
Artist: Mastodon
Genre: Progressive Metal/Sludge Metal
Rating: 7/10

Despite being very accustomed to Prgressive Metal, this album was very difficult to review. While I did enjoy this album and thought it was good, nothing really stood out as great to me. While there weren't any songs that were bad on this album, there were few that were anything special. The few spots that stood out to me were the angry harsh and aggressive vocals on Blasteroid and the psychedelic opening for The Creature Lives. While the vocals fit for Blasteroid given the heavier sound of Mastodon, the psychedelic section did not sound as though it belonged.

The guitars for this album were a bit mixed for me. While there were some really nice riffs in there, there was also quite a bit that didn't really do anything for me. The solos weren't really anything special. The tone was very thick and somewhat heavy, with some of the slower parts the term sludge fits very well. By far the Octopus Has No Friends had the best guitars in it.

The vocalist reminded me a bit of Ozzy and a bit of the vocalist for Primordial. Due to the similarity I heard to the Primordial vocalist, I was not very impressed by the performance. All I could think was that I would much rather hear Primordial's vocalist. Which is a shame because the vocalist actually did a good job on this album.

I was pleased by the drums. They went well with the music and had some interesting parts. The sound of the drums was also very nice. The double bass was really heavy without being overpowering. The drums also did a good job of building up anticipation. This was my favorite part of the album.

Overall, this is a good album. However, there was very little in it that really impressed me. When I put a rating on it, I thought that a 7 was too high for what I was going to say about the album. But, that anything lower wouldn't fit with the album. My favorite songs were Blasteroid, Octopus Has No Friends, and Spectrelight.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Sat May 12, 2012 2:04 pm

Pagan's Mind is a band that I have been meaning to check out for quite some time. I just never got around to downloading any of their albums. I recently got their discography and decided to review one of their albums.

Album: Celestial Entrance
Artist: Pagan's Mind
Genre: Progressive Metal/Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

It is difficult to listen to a Power-Prog album without mentally comparing it to Symphony X's masterpiece Divine Wings of Tragedy. Normally when put up against something like previously said album, albums fall well short. However, it didn't really happen with CE. Although the first two or three listens I thought about DWoT, after that the heavier guitar tone and more prominent drums separated this album from DWoT enough for me to really get into the album. This album is much heavier than most Power-Prog, but by no means places an emphasis on the heaviness.

The heavier tone for the guitar helped separate the guitars on this album from other Power-Prog guitars. This album does not contain many of the highly melodic riffs one would normally expect to hear when listening to Power Prog. Instead it is used as more to back the keyboards and symphonics. Which although written doesn't sound appealing, actually is able to work and is rather refreshing for a Power-Prog band to do. Although the rest of the album doesn't have much impressive guitar work, there are some really nice solos in the album. The keyboards keyboards on this album are also really nice. Taking as much of a front role as the guitars is rather unique for Power-Prog. There were also some really good keyboard solos.

The drums on the album are more prominent than most Power-Prog. While the drums did follow the music some, for much of it the drummer did his own thing. Although there weren't any parts of the album that had truly stunning drum parts, it was impressive almost completely throughout. The bat often changed pace and tempo.

Despite how unique most of the other aspects were for Power-Prog, the vocals were very standard. The only part that was unique didn't really feel like it fit with the music. There was a deep almost narrative vocals on some of the songs. Although the music was somewhat heavy, it just felt out of place for Power-Prog.

Overall, this was a really good album. It had some very unique aspects for it's genre. The difference to other Power-Prog bands was very refreshing. I would highly recommend this album to fans of Progressive Metal. My favorite songs are Of Epic Questions, Back to the Magic of Childhood, and The Seven Sacred Promises.
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