Friday, October 17, 2008

Saviour Machine: II (5/5)

Year: 1996
Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Apocalyptic Gothic Metal
TRT: 76:20

This band has been around for nearly twenty years, and released an immense amount of music over the course of those two decades, with each of their five release (save their first) clocking in at well over an hour.

And even more remarkable, each of their albums are almost exclusively about the end of the world. Somehow, they are able to maintain the quality of their content, and for the most part managing to avoid rehashing the same old themes in the same old ways.

II was their second release, and out classes all the others in my mind, as it's far more philosophical and subtle than their subsequent releases (all of which revolve heavily around the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel), and because of this, it comes off as the most passionate and genuine of the lot.

This also might be one of the most epic albums I've ever heard, containing one of the most epic songs ever written (The Stand). The instrumentation is nearly flawless, especially the drumming, and the flow from song to song is seamless most of the time, with beautifully executed transitions, especially the one, two three punch of Enter the Idol/The Hunger Circle/Child in Silence. I'm not one for a song-by-song analysis, so I'll refrain from going into any more detail, except to mention the only taint on the entire album, which is the grating and superfluous Ascension of Heroes, which I always skip over.

If you like gorgeous and moving music coupled with soaring passionate vocals and dark themes, you have no excuse for passing this over.

01 Savior Machine I
02 The Gates
03 Enter the Idol
04 The Hunger Circle
05 Child in Silence
06 Ascension of Heroes
07 Paradox
08 The Stand
09 American Babylon
10 Ceremony
11 Overture
12 Love Never Dies
13 Savior Machine II

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Elend: A World in Their Screams (4.5/5)

Year: 2007
Genre: Classical Dark Chamber
Label: Prophecy
TRT: 57:38

The atmosphere and tension created by this group is something often grasped for, but seldom attained. I can't think of a better time of the year to pop in this disc, with it's chilling choral arrangements, instrumentation both thunderous and hushed but always for maximum impact, and haunting spoken word sections. Adding to the mystique, everything is in French, so you really have no idea what sort of incantation is being uttered. in a few words,
Imagine the twisted sadistic half-brother of Dead Can Dance and you'll have a decent idea of what you're in for. As an added bonus, they have a fairly extensive back catologue reaching all the way back to 1994.

Highly recommended for scaring the fudge out of Trick-or-Treating visitors.

01 Ophis puthôn
02 A World in Their Screams
03 Ondes de sang
04 Le dévoreur
05 Le fleuve infini des morts
06 Je rassemblais tes membres
07 Stasis
08 Borée
09 La carrière d'ombre
10 J'ai touché aux confins de la mort
11 Urserpens

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Rodrigo y Gabriela (4.5/5)

Year: 2006
Label: Rubyworks
Genre: Acoustic Flamenco Metal
TRT: 42:49

Thank you Jay Leno for having this amazing duo on your show. After seeing them perform one track off this album, Iwent out and bought it. The things they do are mind-boggling, especially if you're a guitarist. They met each other in a Brazilian black metal band, and quickly realized they were both becoming increasingly disconnected and dissatisfied with the scene they were a part of. So they decided to do something different together, and this is the fruition of that aspiration. Blistering, unconventional, groovy and simply fun to listen to. Be sure and look up some videos of them playing too, because that intensifies the experience even more.

Can't wait to see what they come up with next.

01 Tamacun
02 Diablo Rojo
03 Vikinman
04 Satori
05 Ixtapa
06 Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
07 Orion (Metallica)
08 Jaun Loco
09 PPA (Pinche Personal Assistant)

EDIT: We received a DMCA complaint, so the preview link has been removed.

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