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(Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Sat May 19, 2012 4:23 pm

I discovered Dissection through Pandora Radio. It is played some on the station I listen to when I work out. Storm of Light's Bane is supposed to be their best album, so I decided to review it.

Album: Storm of Light's Bane
Artist: Dissection
Genre: Melodic Black Metal
Rating: 8.25/10

I can understand why this album has so much hype about it. Although this album was strong in the elements of Black Metal that I find less appealing, I very much enjoyed it. There was a very large contrast between some of the more elegant and beautiful melodies and the dark atmosphere, simple but heavy drumming, and the harsh vocals. Although some may find that the melodies are out of place due to the contrast, I found it rather enjoyable and very interesting.

The guitars on this album are amazing. As I said before, there are many beautiful melodies. Melodies that would not be expected to be played over the fast paced blast beats on this album or beside the shrill screams and shrieks that are present. Sometimes they are played on acoustic guitar without the other elements which just shows how truly beautiful they are. There is only one guitar solo on this album, on Thorns of Crimson Death, but it is beautiful and melancholic. The short intro and ending were excellent. The intro had a sense of foreboding about it and the ending was very sad and mournful with a bit of haunting.

The drumming on this album was very simple and straightforward. There wasn't anything fancy or elegant about it, but it did it's job extremely well. It held the pace of the album in a firm grip. Although the rest of the music may have stayed the same pace, a change of pace in the drums tempo controlled seemed to slow everything else down as well.

The vocals weren't anything extraordinary, but fit the music. The semi-typical black metal shriek with a hint of growl in it went along with the music. The lyrics though were amazing. They matched the melodies in that the subject matter was often dark and aggressive, but had eloquent lyrics.

Overall this was an incredible album. Definitely one of the best semi-straight forward Black Metal albums I have heard. I highly recommend this to fans of Black Metal or Melodic Metal. My favorite songs were Night's Blood, Where Dead Angels Lie, and Thorns of Crimson Death.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Thu May 31, 2012 9:04 pm

This is the newest album by Diablo Swing Orchestra.
Album: Pandora's Pinata
Artist: Diablo Swing Orchestra
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Rating: 9.25/10

This album is incredible. Every song song unique and are all great. This album has so many styles and variety in it. From Swing to Jazz to Opera to Classical and even having a thrashy song on it. On most albums the songs sound different because the tempo or style of riff or melodies may change, but with this album each song sounds different because the style and genres explored in the entirety of the music changes. Instead of just talking about the individual elements I will go through each song.

The album starts of with their iconic blend of Swing and Metal. However, there is something in it that makes me think of New Orleans. The female vocalist does an amazing job with her operatic vocals. The cello fits in how the bass usually does for other styles of music, as backing the main melody. The trumpet and trombone are absolutely fantastic and go right along with the guitar. With the two brasses opening and then the guitar coming in and just continuing what was already started. The drums are really what makes this song though. With a great upbeat tempo that just makes you want to dance. Voodoo Mon Amor is a very danceable Metal sound as was Balrog Boogie off their first album.

Guerrilla Laments the next song is very different than the first song, but is still very danceable. The general melody style is done the same way, with the brass beginning it with the guitar then coming in and continuing what was started. As usual, the drumming on this song is absolutely fantastic.

With how the previous two songs, the intro of Kevlar Sweethearts sounds extremely heavy. After a short period of heavy riffing, the brass comes in then the instruments quiet down and the focus shifts to the female vocalist. Then after the first verse the heaviness comes back suddenly only to go away just as quickly for the second verse. Then during the bridge, the brass plays the vocal melody used in the verses.

How to Organize a Lynch Mob serves as more of an intermission between Kevlar Sweethearts and Black Box Messiah than a full song in itself.

If it weren't for the childlike choir and the brass instruments, this song could pass as a normal Symphonic Metal song. However those added elements make this seems like a rather quirky song.

Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball starts off much heavier than DSO has been before. The guitar riff is more complex and 'metal' than DSO normally does. Although the song does have some lighter parts, overall this is one of the heaviest songs DSO has ever done. The brass instruments play as though they were intended to be metal instruments. Under the heavy guitar is a very mellow and almost elegant violin melody that contrasts it very nicely. The song ends with a steady build up as the vocalist sings over and over 'You'll never see her again' ending with him screaming it and the heavy guitar and brass coming back in at full force.

Aurora is almost a straight up Opera song. The female vocalist acts as the lead instrument with the other instruments backing her. Building up when she is singing powerful notes and calming down when her singing is quieter. After her singing is finished the instruments become much more prominent and continue the flow of the song as it was before.

Mass Rapture is another heavy song. There is also a bit of an electronic sound to it at some points. However, the guitar riff isn't very complex. But the other instruments have some very interesting melodies. Although for a lot of the song the instruments don't really go along with each other, when they do however they fit nicely.

Honey Trap Aftermath has a very consistent and cool bass riff almost entirely throughout, while the other instruments come in and out. Almost like the other instruments are taking turns.

Of Kali Ma Calibre is a very heavy song for DSO, even including some blast beats. After a heavy opening, it goes into a majestic and pompous feeling verse. With the female operatic vocals over the brass lead with the other instruments backing. This leads into a fast tremolo picked section with the operatic vocals continuing to be on top. Then builds up with the same brass part as before without the vocals and with a prominent drums. This builds up into a short section with blast beats then calms back down.

Justice For Saint Mary is my favorite song on the album. It starts off with a beautiful and mellow guitar playing being backed by violins. The cello that comes in goes over the guitar and sounds somewhat foreboding. The vocals go along with the music wonderfully. At times it almost seems like it is an entire orchestra playing the music. The first section between verses is a very foreboding section. With a few playings of the violin melody with the 'doomy' cello in the background. In the next verse, the trumpet, I think, takes place of the cello. It isn't until five and a half minutes in that the vocals end and the song really begins to pick up. The brass begins to become more prominent and the acoustic guitar more aggressive Then it goes back to the same melody style as the violin melody had. This continues to build up and get louder until the drums and electric guitar slowly come in. Once all the instruments are playing at full force it becomes an outstanding combination of all the instruments. This goes n for about thirty seconds until the music seemingly fades out only to introduce a heavy electronic and industrial element. This warps the music and adds in an electric sounding occasionally. This song just simplay has an incredible ending.

Overall this is by far my favorite album of the year. The drums are simply fantastic throughout the entire album, even if they aren't always prominent. This is a must have for any fan of Avant-Garde Metal. I also highly recommend it to any fan of Metal simply because of how unique it is. My favorite songs are Exit Strategy of a Wrecking Ball, Of Kali Ma Calibre, and Justice For Saint Mary.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:47 pm

Album: Midnightmares
Artist: Dreaming Dead
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Rating: 8/10

Another solid release from Dreaming Dead. They didn't do anything new or innovative. In fact it is almost like they released their first album a second time. Like the first album everything is done well, but nothing is really outstanding. Everything is good, but not great.

As I said, each part of this album is good. The guitars have nice melodies and solos, but nothing really outstanding. They have a few points where they are better than usual, but not enough to really make a specific note of. The drums flow well with the music. The blasts are solid and don't sound like crap. The vocals are not bad, and occasionally sound really cool when layered.

This is just a solid Melodic Death Metal album. If you are wanting a good Melodic Death Metal album or liked Dreaming Dead's first album, you should definently check this album out. My favorite songs were Overlord, Lapse, and Exile.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:08 am

I DLed this album because it reminded me somewhat of Wintersun. Although there are some distinct differences between the two albums, they have similar styles. For a bit of time I was unable to fully appreciate this album because I was trying to hold it up to Wintersun. But once I was past that stage I highly enjoyed this album.
Album: Breathe Fire to the Sun
Artist: Brymir
Genre: Melodic Death Metal with heavy Symphonic and Folk elements
Rating: 9/10

This album is incredible. Although when compared to my favorite album of all time it is completely overshadowed, it can be called a masterpiece of it's own. Hopefully they won't have the same problems as Wintersun and take 8 years to release a second album. All of the elements of this album combine to make a very Nordic feel for the music.

The guitars on this album are amazing. Although not nearly as techinical as Wintersun, there are some really awesome riffs and intricate melodies. There aren't many solos and they are super impressive. The guitars have a very fitting tone for the music. It is heavy and strong. ALthough most of the atmosphere is created by the keyboards, the tone helps some.

The keyboards are the most spectacular part of this album. The way that it sets the atmosphere is incredible. There are usually some sort of backing magical feeling keyboards in the background, with occasional interjections of keyboards in the foreground that add much depth to the music. The way the background keys are done makes it feel as though it is from a mythological world.

The vocals are also very fitting to the atmosphere. The harsh vocals are very powerful and emotional. At certain parts of the album the anger and rage in the vocals is almost overpowering. The clean vocals are used in a similar way to the keyboards, often in the backgrounds to add atmosphere. The vocals range from somewhat of a chant to clean emotional singing.

The drums are used more just to hold the music together and provide pace. There aren't many fills or such, just consistent patterns.

Overall the elements of this album mix together to create something incredible and magical. I hold high hopes for this band's future work. I highly recommend this to fans of Death Metal, any fan of Melodic Death Metal needs to listen to this. I also recommend this album to any fan of Folk Metal. My favorite songs are Unconquerable, Cycle of Flames, and Ragnarok.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:46 pm

Band suggested by Baron Somebody.

Album: Toxic Zombie Onslaught
Artist: Lich King
Genre: Thrash Metal Resurgence
Rating: 5/10

Lich King sounds like a near exact of some of the Thrash Metal bands from the 80's like Exodus and Testament. While both of those bands released some awesome albums in that style they started the style two decades before this album and that almost completely died out a decade before this album, this has little originality to it. If the bands that started this style back in the 80's 'went back to their roots' and started a second wave of 80's Thrash, I could understand that. But this is something different, it sounds like they are just ripping those bands off in an attempt to be old school. There is even a song, Cold War Machine, aside from the early Metallica-esque outro that sounds like early Cannibal Corpse, mainly Hammer Smashed Face.

The guitars on this album are not bad, just unoriginal. They have good riffs and a few good solos, but the style that they play has already been done and gone away. Although all the instrumental parts of this album fall under this criticism.

The drums are the same as the guitars. They are decent, but I have heard this before and done far better.

The vocals on this album are awful. It sounds like he is trying to sound like Exodus's Paul Baloff, but does an awful job at it. He even tries to mock Black Metal style vocals, but it just sounds like an idiot that doesn't know how to do that style trying to do that style. Although the lyrics seem as though they are meant to be a joke and silly, have some of the most arrogant lyrics ever. Considering how unoriginal this album is that makes it all the more offensive.

Overall this album seems like an attempt to sound like 80's thrash, which they do. However instead of sounding like a tribute to 80's Thrash they sound like a cheap rip-off. If you want to listen to this style of Thrash, listen to the originals, not this inferior knock off.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:10 pm

Suggested by Ruliya
Album: Rize of the Fenix
Artist: Tenacious D
Genre: Comedy Rock
Rating: 4.5/10

Given what type of music this album is, there are two reasons to listen to it, comedy and music. Neither of these really appealed to me. Although there were some positive parts to the music, it didn't really interest me. I normally listen to music while doing something else, and with this album nothing really stood out to me during passive listening.

The guitars did not really stand out to me. Most of the songs were a mix of acoustic and electric guitars playing standard rock riffs. Senorita started off with some variation to the usual, but eventually went back to usual style of the album. There were a few different rock styles that were utilized on the album, but it was mostly just ordinary riffs.

While the drums went along the music very well, there was not much that was interesting about them. They blended in so well with the rest of the music, that when passively listening it was easy to not notice them at all.

I really disliked the vocals on this album. Jack Black is a decent vocalist, but his enunciation of some words and him trying to 'show off' was very irritating to me. The lyrics and humor on the album were juvenile and needlessly vulgar. Most of the humor did not even slightly amuse me, it was more common for me to groan on the inside.

Overall, I found this to be a poor album. It failed to deliver high quality rock or humor, which were it's two main focuses. If you want a humor album that kicks some ass, go for Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend. If you want needlessly vulgar and wacky music go for Big Fat Box of Shit by Crotchduster.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Weekly Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:08 am

Suggested by Fallstar Thief
Album: Khaos Legions
Artist: Arch Enemy
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Rating: 7/10

Having used to be a big fan of Arch Enemy, I own Doomsday Machine and RIse of the Tyrant, this album seems to be more of what I came to expect from those albums. It's not so much that this album isn't amazing, but that it feels like each song follows the same formula, or for their slower songs a separate formula. This is something that I noticed about Arch Enemy as a band, not just this album. It seems like a majority of their songs have a few key elements it shares with every single other song. While most bands have a few key elements they generally use, Arch Enemy seems to take this to an extreme. You could make a chart with each of these elements, which I will go over later, and line their songs and find that most of their songs contain them almost exactly.

The Amott brothers are both very talented guitarists, but seem very formulaic with their writing. They seem to write two types of songs, fast songs and slow songs, and you can tell which one you are listening to at the very beginning. Fast songs will begin with a super fast super melodic riff/melody, go into a slower heavier thrashier riff which is the riff used for the verses, and have a slow 'sweet' melody used for the chorus. There may be a bridge with a different riff or melody leading to a solo, also the last chorus may have a guitar solo play alongside it. The slow song will start off with a slower heavy riff which is generally used as a verse riff and a second riff. The solos are technical and interesting enough even though their solo style doesn't seem to have changed much. My biggest complaint is with the super slow parts. It broke up the tempo, didn't fit, and sounded weird given the rest of the song.

The drums were about as formulaic as the guitars. After being very familiar with two of their albums, I could predict most of the changes in the drums. There was double bass when I expected it, it slowed down when I expected it to, it cut out and in when I expected it, etc. Other than that the drums were used in the supportive role.

Angela Gossow is a good vocalist. Although he has a certain feminine sound to her growls, they are very strong. Her screams are also good too. Going along with the formulaic structure of Arch Enemy, you can expect her vocals to be fast in the fast songs and she will do a scream or growl without lyrics in them generally once, and they will be slower in the slow songs.

Although the album was very formulaic, it was still decent. There were some good riffs, and the music was overall pretty good. However the formulaic nature of them is a very negative feature. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to get into Melodic Death Metal, being that they are somewhat easy to get into. However, there are many superior Melodic Death Metal bands. My favorite songs were Yesterday is Dead and Gone, City of the Dead, and Thorns in my Flesh.
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Re: Krazycrismore's Album Reviews

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:00 am

Given that this is only half of an album I will not give it a rating yet. I will wait until Time II comes out next year before giving a rating on them. Since this album only has three actual songs with the other two being an intro and a transition, I will give it a song by song review.
Album: Time I
Artist: Wintersun
Genre: Symphonic Melodic Extreme Metal

When Time Fades Away is an excellent intro track to this album. It is very orchestrated and contains some Japanese folk melodies and flows directly into Sons of Winter and Stars. With the first two and a half minutes of Sons of Winter and Stars being an intro for that song, it feels as though it has two intros. However, the intro for SoWaS quickly becomes different that WTFA so combing the two intros would be kind of weird sounding.

Sons of Winter and Stars is my favorite song from this album. The song structure is similar to Starchild from their first album. However, while Starchild's separate movements flowed together well, SoWaS's movements have very clear separations. Although three of the four movements have a similar atmosphere and work together as a song, the third is different and breaks up the momentum and makes the song drag on until the last movement. However, lyrically the third movement fits into the song and the music goes with the lyrics so it is necessary, but still breaks up the song. Even though the different movements are clearly divided, if the were individual songs they would be part of the same act, so it doesn't really make sense to split the song up.

SoWaS starts with Rain of Stars, which continues from WTFA musically. It quickly progresses into a heavy and epic section. The combination of the orchestration and multiple vocals give it a somewhat mystical feel. This leads into Surrounded by Darkness starts with a simplistic chuggy guitar part and more elements are added until it becomes something epic and really fucking metal. The multiple vocal tracks continues through most of this movement. Next comes Journey Inside a Dream. It is a soft acoustic passage with very clean vocals and nice orchestration. Although the music is very enjoyable, it doesn't flow very well with the rest of the song. The last movement is Sons of Winter and Stars. It goes full force back into the Extreme Metal from Surrounded by Darkness. There is also a short keyboard and guitar 'solo'. It doesn't really feel like a Wintersun solo because it isn't very technical and very short. After that comes the finale to the song featuring a chorus made up of some musicians from some big Folk metal bands, Ensiferum, Turisas, and Tyr, as well as some members of Wintersun.

Land of Snow and Sorrow is my least favorite song from this album, although I still enjoy it. It reminds me of Sleeping Stars from the first album. Although it has some quicker parts, it mostly a slow, relatively, song. Has some interesting melodies and orchestration, but nothing really of note. It leads directly into Frost and Darkness.

Frost and Darkness is a transition between Land of Snow and Sorrow and Time. I think it does a good job of gradually going from the slower simpler LoSaS to the faster, heavier, and more complex Time.

Time reminds me of Sadness and Hate from their first album. I love the odd sounding drum at the beginning of the song. Orchestration seems to be the heaviest element of things song, with the guitar lead sometimes being the main focus. This song does contain a short, relative to most WIntersun solos, guitar solo. There are also some really amazing moments in the song.

Lyrically this SoWaS feels like the first act and LoSaS and TIme feels like the third or fourth act. Leaving Time II to have the middle and ending acts to this work.

For a few different reasons, this is just half an album. A damn good half of an album, but still half an album. There is really only one solo on the album, even though there were two much longer songs on The Way of Fire, a song they played live last summer. So it seems as though Time II will have many intense solos. Musically and lyrically there is much missing. I still very highly recommend this album, but cannot give a score until I can view the work as a whole.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:06 am

I plan on getting back into reviewing albums. I also changed the thread name to encourage others to add their own album reviews. I mostly listen to metal and won't be able to review other genres as well. Perhaps you disagree with my judgement on an album, and would like you express how our views differ. Feel free to post reviews here if you would like.

I will start my return by doing a series of short reviews for the end of the year. I will do an album from each year since the new millennium. I'll only review one album from a band, and I'll try to make the bands I choose be a bit less known around FPT.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:55 am

2000


Album: Day Into Night
Artist: Quo Vadis
Genre: Melodic/Technical Death Metal
Rating: 8.5/10

Starting off the series is Day Into Night, a 50 minute onslaught of the unique mixture of catchiness and complexity that I've only found from Quo Vadis. The technicality on this album is incredible. Although all the instruments, besides vocals, bring a great display, the drums are the highlight of this album. Seamlessly switching tempos, perfectly supporting the guitars at many points, and having amazing, and plentiful, fills. Although the flashy guitar is the most easily noticed part of this album, the drum is the real star.

As I stated before, the technicality is something to note on this album, but the astonishing part of this album is that the technicality does not seem to be the focus. Many Technical Death Metal bands sound as though they are trying to show off how technical their musicianship is and how complex and complicated they can make their music, very often negatively affecting the music. With Quo Vadis however, instead of sounding like technicality for technicality's sake it just sounds like highly technical Melodic Death Metal.

Best songs are Absolution, Dysgenics, and I Believe.

Honorable Mentions:
Brave New World by Iron Maiden- Iron Maiden's album after the return of frontman and vocalist Bruce Dickinson. A different sound from their material before Dickinson left, but still undoubtedly Maiden.
Litany by Vader- The album that many, myself included, consider to by Vader's Magnum Opus. Filled with many great tracks to just bang your head to till it might come off. Mata, check this album out.
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