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(Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:41 pm

2001


Album: Imaginary Sonicscape
Artist: Sigh
Genre: Avante Garde Black Metal
Rating: 9/10

Usually bands that change their style between each album do not have a definitive greatest album. Especially if many of their albums are considered Classics for two separate subgenres, Black Metal and Avante Garde Metal in Sigh's case. However, Imaginary Sonicsape is widely considered Sigh's greatest work.

This is an extremely odd album, somehow blending psychedelic into Black Metal. There is also a heavy usage of keyboard on this album, and is the instrument I most enjoy. Songs on this album can switch between a soft almost upbeat sound to a heavy and oppressive Black Metal sound in an instant, and the return to the upbeat shortly after. Most notably on A Sunset Song. Even if not for the aesthetic value of the music, this album is worth at least one listen for the novelty of it's genre melding.

Best songs are Corpsecry/Angefall, A Sunset Song, and Slaughtergarden Suite.

Honorable Mentions:
Follow the Reaper by Children of Bodom- This album held the spot as my favorite album for quite some time. A must listen for any fan of Melodeath.
Blackwater Park by Opeth- Opeth's Magnum Opus. In the middle of Opeth's transition from Death Metal to Progressive Rock/Metal, Blackwater Park contains the best of each style.
Karma by Kamelot- My favorite Kamelot album. A must listen for anyone that is a fan of powerful male vocalists.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:11 pm

2002


Album: The Mantle
Artist: Agalloch
Genre: Atmoshperic Folk/Black/Doom Metal
Rating: 9.25/10

Agalloch as a whole is very much a 'love it or hate it' type of band. They have a very unique approach to Metal. Melancholic would be the best way to describe the majority of this album. I once heard In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion described as a 14 minute song that doesn't really go anywhere, and in a way that is completely accurate. The entire album is, relatively, light considering the instrument they use and the harsh raspy vocals often used.

The use of guitars in this album is definitely the best part of this album. The beauty of the guitars is not in the technicality of the work, but in how the guitar is used. Agalloch layers acoustic, clean electric, and distorted electric guitar together to make a dark, chilling, and depressing atmosphere. Although a large part of the songs are instrumentals, the vocals must also be commended. The sorrowful almost chant clean vocals accented by the raspy harsh vocals just adds to the atmosphere created by the guitars.

Best songs are In the Shadow of our Pale Companion, You Were But a Ghost in My Arms, and A Desolation Song.

Honorable Mentions:
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence by Dream Theater- An album that marks a turning point in the style of Progressive Metal that Dream Theater releases.
The Odyssey by Symphony X- Another album that marks a change in a legendary Progressive Metal band's style.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:56 pm

2003


Album: 1000 Thoughts of Violence
Artist: Kekal
Genre: Avante Garde Extreme Metal
Rating: 8.75/10

1000 Thoughts of Violence marks a major shift in Kekal's music. Shifting from a relatively straight forward Black Metal act into Avante-Grade. This album blends in electronic music to create something that has to be heard to understand. Although the electronic element is the most notable deviance from traditional Black Metal, and Metal in general, there are many parts that switches to clean guitar and vocals that help further distance this album from Kekal's Black Metal roots.

My favorite instrument on this album is the guitar. The switching between the distorted Black Metal style guitar and clean guitar is done very well, and doesn't feel forced. There aren't too many solos on this album, but they are well done and feel natural when they are used. The guitar is varied in it's use, and the way they make it fit into nearly all of the different styles used on this album is incredible.

Best songs are Subsession-Once Again it Failed, Violent Society, and Beyond Numerical Reason.

Honorable Mentions: 2003 was a really great year for Avant Garde Metal.
Choirs of the Eye by Kayo Dot- One of many legendary Avant Garde Metal albums released this year.
The Trees Are Dead and Dried Out by SikTh- Another great Avant Garde Metal album.
Pod vládou biče by T.O.O.H!- A crazy, chaotic, and plain weird album, Avant Garde Metal obviously.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:21 pm

2004


This year was just a huge year, IMO, for metal releases. It was really difficult for me to decide which of numerous potential albums to review. My favorite album Wintersun by Wintersun was released this year. The short reviews I am doing in this series would not do that album justice, but I want to review that album sometime. Temple of Shadows by Angra, Advance and Vanquish by 3 Inches of Blood, Of Natural History by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Human Equation by Ayreon, and Defiant Imagination by Quo Vadis are all amazing albums released in 2004 that I may review in the future. Those are just a few of my favorite among many other great albums released in 2004.

Album: Big Fat Box of Shit
Artist: Crotchduster
Genre: Avante Garde Metal
Rating: 8.75/10

The only album released by Crotchduster is intentionally, and hilariously, vulgar and absurd in it's lyrical content. The randomness and just plain offensiveness of their lyrics goes so far that it almost seems to be a satire of satire itself. While most Avant Garde bands blend genres together resulting in a mixture that has a bit from each genre, Crotchduster just switches whenever they damn well please between genres. I use the analogy of a smoothie to a salad.

Given that the one man in this band was a guitarist for a Technical Death Metal band, the guitar is the most notable part of the album. Although the drums have some pretty incredible parts, they are obviously from a drum machine. The guitar is able to nail every different style and genre that is played. There are even a few parts where he is able to show off a bit of his technicality.

Best songs are Cain Sings the Blues, Mammal Sauce, and Crotchtopus.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:23 am

2005- Annihilation of the Wicked by Nile

Probably the heaviest album that I would consider one of my favorite. It is also Nile's first album with drummer/god George Kollias. Although Kollias's drumming is incredible on this album and certainly helps make this album the masterpiece it is, it is not the only reason this album is so good. The guitarwork is a blend of death metal brutality and insane technicality. The vocals on this albums are really good as well. All of the elements of this album combine to make something that this trio has sadly yet to match again.

Honorable mentions: Idolator by Blood Stain Child, Shovel Headed Kill Machine by Exodus, and Collection Prestige by Carnival in Coal

2006- In a Flesh Aquarium by Unexpect

This album is just plain bizarre, which is part of what makes this album so incredible. Blending and switching between dozens of genres and styles, this album truly lives up to the bands name. All of the musicians display a very high degree of talent, and equal levels of insanity. With three vocalists, that do both clean and harsh vocals, sometimes it is difficult to tell if you are listening to one sound or three separate songs layered atop each other. This album almost seems like the musical embodiment of Schizophrenia.

Honorable Mentions: Enter Deception by Cellador, The New Black by Strapping Young Lad, and Adultery by Dog Fashion Disco

2007- Beyond the Permafrost by Skeletonwitch

An aggressive assault that grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go for thirty-six minutes. The debut album by Skeletonwitch really set the bar high for modern Thrash albums. The Black Metal elements make this album a breath of fresh air compared to many of modern Thrash albums. Listen to this album with care, excessive headbanging can result in a very sore neck.

Honorable Mentions: Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend, Paradise Lost by Symphony X, and Purgatory Dance Party by Polkadot Cadaver

2008- Captain Morgan's Revenge by Alestorm

Pirate Metal. I really shouldn't need to say much more for you to be interested in just what this album is. While at first glance it seems that the pirate sounding vocalist and music combined with the pirate themed lyrics may seem like a cheap gimmick, further listening will reveal a very enjoyable and fun album.

Honorable Mentions: Sagas by Equilibrium, Shrouded Divine by In Mourning, and 2 Unlimited by Pin Up Went Down

2009- Blue Record by Baroness

While I have discovered many bands in the last year that have become favorites, Baroness is at the top of the list. These guys do everything you want from a Sludge Metal band; great riffing, incredible atmosphere, rewarding build ups, and just the right amount of aggression. Although the drums and guitar are all very enjoyable, the vocals are my favorite part. His voice matchs the feel of the band and he seems to have a perfect feel for what type of vocals to use to best match the music.

Honorable Mentions: Archangels in Black by Adagio, Design your Universe by Epica, and Black Future by Vektor

2010- Immersed In Chaos by Massakren

My second day at the Indiana University campus I saw a band called Ballisticka play at a club. This band later reformed as Massakren with an album that took their demo as Ballisticka and added in a Black Metal edge and lots of Symphonics. They still have the outstanding guitar and drum work of the brothers that form the core of the band through all of their reformations. They later reformed, again, as Starkill and essentially re-re-released this album as Fires of Heaven with three new songs. Fires of Heaven has a much higher production quality, but is lacking the Black Metal sound the Immersed In Chaos has. Although both have their pros and cons, I personally prefer Immersed in Chaos.

Honorable Mentions- First Communipon by Stoned Jesus, Blackjazz by Shining, and Tribe of Force by Van Canto

2011- Outer Isolation by Vektor

It was love at first sound when I saw these guys open for Skeletonwitch in September. A similar blend of Thrash with a touch of Black Metal, like Skeletonwitch, but Vektor also adds in a generous dose of Progressive Metal and turning the technicality up to 11. Skeletonwtich keeps things short and fast, only having four songs over four albums that eclipse the four minute mark. Vektor on the other hand is the opposite, with only one song on Outer Isolation under four minutes. Yet another Thrashterpiece that I feel I must have be on this list.

Honorable Mentions: Glorification of a Myth by Ouroboros, Visions by Haken, and Heavenly Ecstasy by Pagan's Mind

2012- The Weight of Oceans by In Mourning and Portal of I by Ne Obliviscaris

Both of these albums achieve a very similar result through very different methods. They take an Extreme Metal genre, Melodic Death Metal for In Mourning and Black Metal for Ne Obliviscaris, and make a thing of beauty out of the genre. They both include a fair amount of both clean and Harsh vocals. They both include a large influence from Progressive Metal. That is also where they also differ. While In Mourning keeps it to Melodic Death Metal and Progressive Metal, Ne Obliviscaris adds in so much more. Portal of I has many classical influences and instruments used in it, and is woven together to create a Metal album that is sophisticated and a bit pretentious. Although I like The Weight of Oceans just a hair more, I couldn't pick just one for this year. The Autotheist Movement off of Autotheism by The Faceless is another release from 2012 that could be included with the two albums, although that is only 3 songs off of that album.

Honorable Mentions: Eremita by Ihsahn, Yellow & Green Album by Baroness, Possession by Christian Mistress

2013- The Mountain by Haken

This albums competes closely with Divine Wings of Tragedy as my favorite Progressive Metal album of all time. Haken continue their trend of releasing increasingly incredible albums. Yet another band that uses many non-metal influences to give some refreshing diversity to their sound. I have very high hopes for future releases from this band.

Honorable Mentions: Colored Sands by Gorguts, Halo of Blood by Children of Bodom, and Surgical Steel by Carcass
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby krazycrismore » Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:55 pm

Top 10 Albums of 2014


Honorable Mentions:
Dawn of the Brave by Van Canto: A Power Metal band with five vocalists and a drummer. Three of the vocalists are used to make up for the lack of guitars and bass. They are well known for their covers. Although the original songs on this albums are good, the covers are just better.
Tibi Et Igni by Vader: Antoher great album by Vader. This album just doesn't really differ from Vader's previous releases, which prevents it from being on the actual list.
Shadows of the Dying Sun by Insomnium: Falls under the same category as Tibi Et Igni, a really good album but doesn't bring enough new direction to the table to really stand out from their previous releases.
All You Can Eat by Steel Panther: Steel Panther is an homage/parody of 80's hair and glam metal. Although the hilarious, and extremely offensive, lyrics are the main selling point of the band, the music can definitely stand on its own.

#10: The Quantum Enigma by Epica
Epica's last album had problems blending their heavier elements with their symphonic elements. They have fixed those issues on this release. The other most notable improvement is Mark Jensen's growling. He is finally reaching the same level as Simone Simmons, which makes the clash between their styles that much more satisfying. Epica continues to get better at their two separate elements and blending the two styles, and it clearly shows on this album.

#9: At War With Reality by At the Gates
After splitting up following the release of the legendary album Slaughter of the Soul, it seemed like we wouldn't get another album from the band. This seemed to be further cemented by many comments by the band claiming that it would be impossible for them to top SotS and that another album would be pointless and just disappoint. But, here we are after nearly two decades. Although this album will almost certainly not be as influential and acclaimed as SotS, it does not disappoint. It is pretty amazing that after nearly twenty years, At the Gates seems to have picked up right where they left off in the bands musical evolution.

#8: The Path of Apotheosis by Inferi
With their third album, Inferi really took their music up a couple of notches. Everything about this album eclipses it's predecessors. Incorporating some of the symphonic elements that have become popular in Technical Death Metal after Autotheist by The Faceless, this album has a bit more depth than their previous works. Unlike Autotheist however, the symphonic elements are not as prevalent and only used to support the rest of the music and to add a bit of atmosphere. This appears to be a much better fit for Inferi, shedding a spotlight on their technicality rather than competing for attention. If they continue as they have, Inferi could become a big name in Technical Death Metal.

#7: The Satanist by Behemoth
Behemoth has long been at the forefront of Blackened Death Metal, but had to take a short break from recording while frontman Nergal battled Leukemia. They have come back with a real show of force. Although their recent albums have been gradually moving away from their black metal roots towards death metal, this album takes them back to their roots. This album is incredibly dark and atmospheric and sounds plain evil. This album is finished off with one of the best songs Behemoth has released yet.

#6: Melana Chasmata by Triptykon
Roughly translating to 'black, deep depressions/valleys', the album title perfectly summarizes the album. Usually heaviness can detract from the ambience in an album, but the heavy guitar tone utilized on this album complements the dark and brooding atmosphere. The tone adds an oppressive feel that turns the atmosphere from being dark to suffocating. All of the different instruments work in tandum towards the ambience that is clearly the goal of this album. The vocals are absolutely phenomenal, My only complaint is that the songs can get a bit repetitive.

#5: Blood In, Blood Out by Exodus
Exodus is absolutely incredible. They just continue to release phenominal album after phenominal album. It blows my mind how they can continue to pump out thrashterpieces that keep true to their 80's thrash origins without growing stale. Steve Souza's return to vocalist is definitely a much needed change, and definitely makes it feel even more like an old school Exodus album. An absolute listen for any fan of Thrash.

#4: Citadel by Ne Obliviscaris
Every bit as elegant and complex as their debut album, Citadel was able to live up to the hype that Portal of I created for this band. Although Epica continue to improve at mixing together symphonic elements in with extreme metal, Ne Obliviscaris seem to have mastered this from the get go. Although their transitions can sound abrupt and awkward at times, that is only a minor inconvenience for this incredible album. Ne Obliviscaris show that they were not some one off band and that they are definitely a band to keep an eye on.

#3: Clearing the Path to Ascend by Yob
I had never even heard of this band before this album came out. But, all I heard was praise for this album and that it was the best album of the year. This album lives up to the acclaim it has received. Clocking in at over an hour on only four songs, this album is not for those who prefer their music to be fast and to the point. This album is extremely heavy and has a crushing atmosphere. I am extremely happy that I didn't pass over this album and checked to see what all the hype was about.

#2 Sunset on the Golden Age by Alestorm
After so many serious and complex albums it can be nice to relax and listen to a lighthearted fun album. Although sticking to their 'pirate metal' core, Alestorm continue to expand what makes up their sound. It is nice to see that Alestorm can do songs with really silly lyrics such as Wooden Leg, Drink, or Surf Squid Warfare, while they can do songs about actual events, 1741 and Sunset on the Golden Age. Although the rest of the album holds it's own, once the title track and final song of the album begins it is clear that is what the entire album has been building towards.

#1 From Wisdom to Baked by Cannabis Corpse
Yes, my favorite album of 2014 is from a parody band. Although the marijuana puns on death metal songs were humorous at first, it is the music that kept drawing me back to this album to just get my fix. This album shows that silly lyrics don't mean silly music. Cannabis Corpse has grown past the point of needing to be a parody band to garner attention, but it gives it a bit of a silly charm that I enjoy.
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Re: (Krazycrismore's) Album Review Thread

Postby Baron Somebody » Tue May 09, 2017 2:07 pm

What's good my nigga?
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