Friday, January 26, 2007

I just saw this last night at home

I think ILM did a better job, though.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My 2006 CD Haul - Final Ratings

Here we are. This is every last CD I bought in 2006. All 50 of 'em. In order.

Stratovarius - Elements Part 1 (5)

Four very awesome songs on this CD. The rest was gay. And when I say gay I mean gay. Those four tracks, however, were worth it.

Soilwork - Stabbing The Drama (7)

Pretty good shit, but it has little staying power. Soilwork is a notable band, but this was their more mainstream album apparently. S'okay, but not something I can play all the time.

The Black Dahlia Murder - Miasma (9)

Wow! Insane, brutal shit. Too bad the drummer left, cause this album was a motherfucker cause of him.

The Pat Metheny Group - Letter From Home (8)

Very different for me. Kinda world musicy but Metheny's guitar workis fantastic.

Children of Bodom - Are You Dead Yet? (6.5)

Finnish thrash. Nice. Second half of the album was kinda weak though.

Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (7.5)

Great band. progressive emo? No shit! Not as focused as the follow up but still very exciting, poppy music.

Dream Theater - Octavarium (7.5)

This was a grower. I dig it. A drastic improvement on Train of Thought.

The Pat Metheny Group - Still Life (Talking) (9)

Love it. Less world musicy than Letter From Home, more contemplative.

Metal Church (7)
Metal Church - Blessing In Disguise (7)

Great songs, but they desperately need remastering. I could barely hear anything on my dinky piece of shit stereo.

Burst - Origo (4)

Good musicianship but the vocals absolutely rin it for me. I can't bother to play it cause of that.

The Bled - Pass The Flask (6.5)

Hardcore. Hardcore!

Pat Metheny - Bright Size Life (8)

Nice shit, but I don't think I'll ever uderstand Jaco.

Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um (8.5)

Goodbye Porkpie Hat just fucking kills me.

Weather Report - Heavy Weather (7)

Good stuff, but some of those sounds they used in the 70s really date it.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out (10)

Required listening. Seriously, the government should fucking mandate for everyone to own this.

Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance (7)

I don't own enough denim and/or leather to really apreciate this album. Some great fist pumping anthems though.

Old Man's Child - Vermin (7.5)

Hooray for Satan!

Mike Keneally & Beer For Dolphins - Dancing (9)

Know Keneally, know peace. No Keneally, no peace. Seriously, why isn't this man better known? Easily one of the best pop songwriters of our time.

Fullmetal Alchemist Original Soundtrack Volume Three (*)

Came with the third FMA box. They really made a good soundtrack for this series. Alas, it was a freebie so no rating.

All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals (9)

Fuck yeah! A little formulaic with the singy choruses but goddamn this is great thrashy deathcore. High energy shit leaves me dying for more.

OSI - Office of Strategic Influence (9)

Progressive/trance. Dream Theater side project. Shit, without this album, my summer would have sucked all ass. Best listened to with headphones.

Crowbar - Equilibrium (7)

Louisiana sludge, thick and raw.

Nevermore - Dreaming Neon Black (5)

Why? Why? Why the hell does anyone listen to these guys? Why did I buy it? Derivative if well done. Metal by numbers.

Devin Townsend - Terria (6)

Talented guy, but the music lacks feeling. A couple of stand out tracks, however, leave you humming for days.

Mr. Bungle (7)

If not for all the superfluous shit like the sound of a guy taking a dump this would be a better album. Still, very infectious.

Celtic Frost - Monotheist (9)


Faith No More - Angel Dust (7)

Not quite The Real Thing. Still, I ought to listen to it more.

Voivod - Katorz (6)

Hey, it's Jason Newsted! And he can really play that bass! Good, solid release.

Motorhead - Ace of Spades (7)

This makes me wish I were more of a drinker.

Rush - Permanent Waves (8)


Rush - Vapour Trails (6)

Shit, what's with that guitar tone? Still, a few good numbers on this one show they still got it.

Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death (7)

Jesus, when did Bruce stop trying? Some great songs, bad production.

Helloween - Better Than Raw (9.5)

If you want to know how to do power metal right, just listen to this album.

Brand New Sin - Tequila (5)

Alas, a major disappointment.

Slayer - Christ Illusion (8)

Dave's back! Dave's back!

Project Creation - Floating World (7)

Pretty good shit. Kinda of a poor man's Ayreon.

Gojira - From Mars to Sirius (10)

Album of the year.

Dragonforce - Inhuman Rampage (9)

Wankery! Wankery! God bless wankery!

Mastodon - Blood Mountain (9)

My only regret is I don't smoke pot.

Lyzanxia - Unsu (8)

French deathcore. Fuck yeah, I can dig it!

Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime II (8)

Holy shit! They don't suck anymore!

The Mars Volta - Amputechture (9)

It's too bad the drummer left after this one.

God Dethroned - The Toxic Touch (4)

I was debating between this and the new Lacuna Coil. Shoulda gone with Lacuna Coil. A coupleo of good tracks but these guys are trying waaaay too hard.

Amon Amarth - With Oden On Our Side (7)

Solid death metal. Hail, Oden!

Amorphis - Eclipse (8)

Finnish pop, basically, with a slight return to their death metal roots.

Strapping Young Lad - The New Black (8.5)

Dev really puts his talents to excellent use here.

Green Carnation - The Acoustic Verses (7.5)

Gotta give it up for these guys. They're never afraid to experiment a little.

Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May (8)

Bringing the rock from start to finish. Too politically charged though.

Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies (6)

Alas, a disappointment. Very, very formulaic.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ghost Riding

Like my aunt used to say, that's what you get for being a pendejo.

Album of the Year

Gojira - From Mars to Sirius

That was a tough one. All That Remains and Celtic Frost were tough, tough contenders. I've had the new ATR a lot longer and it's gotten a lot more play but it lost out cause it gets a bit bogged down in formula. Celtic Frost lost out cause as good as it was it wasn't something I could play nearly as often. Very dark black metal but that guitar sound wasn't entirely agreeable. Gojira presents death metal that is progressive yet heavy enough to collapse into a black hole (They've gotten compared to Meshuggah, but these guys have musical chops beyond doing constant time changes). And the album is conceptual to boot! The band leans towards environmental causes (yeah, I know) so the album reflects that lyrically. But it's no big deal cause, firstly, they're French (FRENCH! For fuck's sake!) so the English lyrics are typical of a band who are writing in a language other than their native tongue. Secondly, there is also a scifi/fantasy angle towards the end so they really aren't trying too hard to hammer you over the head with that shit. The production sounds fantastic. Celtic Frost was again taken down a notch for that reason. Ditto for Iron Maiden (big time!). The vocals are done in that typical thrash/death screamed/growled/grunted style. There is a tiny tiny tiny bit of actual singing, but no matter, it's all good. What helped was that I had like zero expectations for this album. I had heard two songs through MySpace and read a nice write-up about them in Revolver. All I knew was that it was a fairly heavy album. Holy shit! So this album basically came out of nowhere and knocked me on my ass. Hell, I had no experience with Celtic Frost either but this album feels so fresh, so exciting. I wouldn't call it experimental exactly, though it has that side to it, but this is the album that pushes this style of music on to the next step. It's early yet, but I can see this album being cited as a gateway album much in the same way Master of Puppets and Seasons in the Abyss are for those styles of metal. It's death metal but it's not about cutting people up and raping dead bodies like Cannibal corpse. It's progressive death without being frighteningly inaccessible like Meshuggah yet maintains a constant brutality unlike Opeth. Landmark? Well, I guess only time will tell on that one. Hell, I still got a handful of CDs that I haven't listened to, I might change my mind. Strapping Young Lad? Amorphis? Both great bands. Still, this is an album people must know about.

Complete ratings will come later. Overall I think it's been an adventurous year for my collection. Never thought I'd be getting shit like The Pat Metheny Group, Charles Mingus and Weather Report. Even if it was just a few CDs, it was definitaly a new experience. With that in mind I'm also calling The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out as my best overall purchase for 2006. This is something that needs, absolutely fucking needs to be in every music collection. It's also super cheap through Amazon and therefore you have no excuse for not buying it.

Got shit like OSI, which is basically progressive/trance music. That one I looooooved! I could just lie there all day listening to that shit on headphones. Metal Church was great, but the quality of the recordings were lacking severely and sounded like shit on my dinky little box. God Dethroned was a disappointment but Amon Amarth was fucking solid. Mr. Bungle and The Mars Volta are practically distant cousins in a way. God bless Mastodon! And on it goes. It was a varied year for me. I should probably aim for more consistency in my choices instead of hopping from one style to the next at random but the year is young. Some albums got more play then others. Some got a lot more play then others. Shit, some I still need to listen to! But it was a weird year overall for me. That new ATR sure as hell helped my summer after getting shitcanned. Nothing like a sonic kick to the nuts to help get you moving past shit.

Here's to 2007! May it be pleasant yet surprising.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Prog kitty

Set to King Crimson.