Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Upload: Celtic Frost - Monotheist

As I said in my intro post, I'm a college student. I wasn't exactly alive when the original greats of metal were getting started and touring. To top it off, I only started seriously listening to music a little while ago. Thus, I only caught "classic" metal albums on the second or third go-around, and there are many more that I have yet to listen to.

This being said, I had just heard Celtic Frost's Into the Pandemonium (killer album, by the way) when I read that Celtic Frost were reforming and coming out with a new album after 14 years or so. I was happy, but also a little scared. Would this be a masterpiece or a dud? It was impossible to tell up until the last second. Critics were completely divided about the album, either hailing it as a work of genius or denouncing it as the worst they've ever done (well, second-worst...almost nothing can get worse than Cold Lake). The two singles I heard from their site sounded alright, if not inspirational, so I figured I would at least get an enjoyable experience.

What I got was a truly unique album, and a lesson from the forefathers as to how dark, dark music (and metal in general) is really done.

The first two songs, "Progeny" and "Ground", are the two singles, and they're decent, if not exactly inspired. "Progeny" uses maybe 5 notes, and Ground doesn't have many more. This is very simplistic stuff, but damn if it doesn't get the blood flowing! That being said, these songs serve as an effective counter to the incredibleness that is to come. "A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh" is next, and it's impressive. The song uses simple riffs, but the buildup in the song borders upon apocalyptic. This seems to be a theme in the album: building really complex songs out of complete simplicity. "Drown in Ashes" starts with some industrialish sounds, then a female singer comes in and creeps the hell out of anyone listening. This track has a more industrial, almost goth feel to it. As the album goes on, the music gets more doomy and more reflective, culminating in the triad of "Totengott" (a distorted spoken-word track), "Synagoga Satanae" (an impressive 14:24 sardonic look into the nature of evil), and "Winter"( a classical instrumental string quartet piece). "Winter" is a really calming piece, as if to give one a cooldown or respite from the awesomeness of the whole rest of the album. That's right, this is a full-album deal. To get the full effect, this really has to be listened to at night or during the winter; preferrably both. This is one of those albums where atmosphere means a lot. Listen in the right place and time, and it will mean so much more.

Final word:

8.3 creepy mo'fo's eating spiders out of 10.

Highly, highly recommended.

Click to Download!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Review: Trivium - The Crusade

I never really liked Trivium. I would like to say I did in proxy, in that I used to be one of those 'core fuckers that piss every metalhead off. But as far as I'm concerned, these idiots missed the boat, in that they missed me. I came in as late as humanly possible to the 'core rush, weaning myself from Killswitch Engage's "The End of Heartache" and Shadows Fall's "The War Within". I soon moved onto bigger and better bands. These guys released their first (non-demo) album in '03; I completely missed them. That being said, while I look upon KsE and SF with some nostalgia, this is one band I am proud to say I never liked.

Then I heard this cover of Master of Puppets. The CD it was on ("Re-mastered" Master of Puppets) was a complete clusterfuck, but that track stood out -- partially because Heafy didn't do either his trademark puke vocals or his harmonized emo-wail. Instead, he opted for a very appropriate Hetfield-esque "tough" voice. The instrumentation also improved in subtle ways on the original (as blasphemous as that sounds, listen to the cover). I was pleasantly surprised, and as such opted to at least try their next album. Then I saw it on MetalHead and figured, fuck, I might as well.

I have to say, I have rarely made such a bad choice in my life.

This album starts off with an admittedly decent track. The vocals worked, the piano thing in the chorus was vaguely reminiscient of Dark Tranquillity, and being a DT junkie like crazy, I kind of dug it. I could almost see myself enjoying this album. Then we moved to the next track. "Detonation" is a slightly decent song, made worse by the awful ripping-off of various Metallica riffs. This would be the theme for the rest of the album: blatantly ripping off as many bands as possible, even to the point of combining two ripped-off themes at once. Not to mention, that damn emo voice returns by the second track! Matt Heafy is one tricky bastard. I noticed too that even though he ripped off so many bands, the music still doesn't stand out that much. Why? Oh, right, because he has almost no songwriting skills. Smooth.

On the other hand, "Anthem (We Are The Fire)" actually made me laugh during the midsection, it was so bad.

I was having a pretty bad time for the first 2/3 of the album. Then "This World Can't Tear Us Apart" came on. Even the most diehard, fanatical Trivium fan should have to pause a few seconds to find a proper way to praise this song. I mean, fuck, look at the title. That sums up what the song sounds like. I can't think of anything honest that is good about this song. Wait -- it'll bring more chicks to concerts. +1, Heafy...I can't contest that.

I was almost dreading the final, 8-minute title track, but it actually turned out to be instrumental (and surprisingly good). I suppose every genericxcore tree has a few good apples, though.

So, here's the lowdown.

-This album started off with a 7.5 or so, not counting "This World".
-The fucker's gonna lose 2 points for ripping off so much, so blatantly. Influence is one thing, plagiarism quite another. Not to mention combining so many classic thrash/melodeath riffing with emo-core...*shudder*
- -1 point for recording "This World".
- +.5 point for recording the title track (it was, admittedly, decent enough to pull the grade up a little).
- -.5 point for WEARING THEIR OWN FUCKING T-SHIRTS TO THEIR CONCERTS. Arrogant, conceited little Matt Heafy.
- -1 point for saying they were going to be "the next Metallica" or whatever the fuck they said. Pride breeds bullshit (and bad grades).

So, that would leave us 3.5 cliched sung choruses out of 10.

Fuck you, Matt Heafy. Fuck you. I raise two middle fingers and two swollen ears (from listening to your garbage) in your general direction. Your music almost made my balls disappear.

[/angry, pissed off metal rant]

Monday, September 18, 2006

Upload: In Flames - The Jester Race

Let's start on a positive note. I'm an In Flames fanboy, unabashedly. This is one of my favorite albums of all time.

In the past, I have been asked why it's so up there in my estimation. It ain't the most technical guitar album, it doesn't have the greatest songwriting skills in the world, it's neither completely brutal nor completely melodic, the songs aren't long/short enough, etc., etc., ad infinitum, STFU already. My answer to this is: balance. It's got some really great melodic moments, such as in "The Jester's Dance", "Moonshield", or the midsection of "Lord Hypnos". It's also got some seriously buffeting riffs, such as the intro to "Dead Eternity" or the intro to "Dead God In Me". It's got a lot of electric, but some acoustic is mixed in for serious effect. The songs aren't that out of the blue in terms of songwriting, but there's often not a distinct verse, chorus, etc. There are no ten-minute Malmsteen-esque wankfests for solos, but damn if the solos and leads that are there ain't absolutely delicious (not to mention comprehensible and melodic). 40 minutes, 10 tracks -- not too long, not too short.

My question is, what do people have against this album? There's so much right with it, why shouldn't it be one of my favorites?

The answer: it is, and it should be one of yours too. Bitch.

9 oddly shaped jester head thingies on fire out of 10.

Click to download

This is the first post of the rest of your lives.

A few months ago, I was introduced to sites such as metalcentral.blogspot.com and loadown.blogspot.com. In the spirit of these, I will upload albums. Many of these will be metal albums (80-90%); some will not. If I use an album somewhere else on the internet without reuploading it, credit shall be given. That being said, I will also include a review for that uploaded album, and maybe a few others I didn't upload. We're not talking some serious-as-shit magazine review. I'll review the damn album any way I fucking want, and it will be my review. Check out Global Domination for an idea of how I want my reviews to go. This being said, judging by the hatemail GD has gotten in the past (most of which was responded to brilliantly), I'll likely piss someone off; if that happens, fuck off.

Because of the text-heavy content (and because I'm a lazy, poor college student), uploads will only be once a week or so. If it happens more often than that, count your blessings; this will be quite rare. If you want to contribute a uploaded album to this particular site, send me the link, and I'll see if it meets my standards (aka, would get above 6/10) and is something I've never heard (as in a band/album I haven't heard of yet). If it does, you get a seat of honor next to Odin--err, in the sidebar, with the number of uploads. I also review your album. If you are the person with the most uploads, YOU = WINNAR!!!@!!1! Or not.

A word of caution: this does not get you off the hook for buying the album. I strongly encourage you to get the album if you like it. If you don't, do us all a favor and delete it.

Another thing, if you downloaded it, be sure to thank by means of comments. It's appreciated.

Yet another: I don't do requests for uploads. If you want me to review an album, refer to the upload contributing.

Have fun, download a lot, buy what you like, and stay fuckin' metal! \m/