Re: PMX2 Thorsday Soundoff

Author:Matt Johnsen
Date:2018-09-27 16:12:36
In Reply To:PMX2 Thorsday Soundoff by killed_by_the_tech
Voivod - The Wake. Definitely their best in a long time. Better than Target Earth, maybe better than Outer Limits. Snake is sounding pretty good, especially when he's shouting, although his clean voice is still the weakest link in Voivod. Mongrain is a riffing machine, but I wish his arrangement were a little more chaotic, to truly capture the Piggy feeling of old. The guitar tone is a little toothless as well, but the production in general is appealingly warm. I dig it.

Paradox - Product of Imagination, Heresy, Collision Course, Pangea. Ripping my Paradox discs, obviously. PoI is better than I remembered it being, but Heresy is still their best album. That said, even their worst album is pretty damned solid.

Dio - Sacred Heart. I never listen to this. But, it's way better than I recalled! Still not great, but has its moments to be sure.

Derek Sherinian - Planet X. I ripped this along with all the proper PX albums. Still very enjoyable, although the thing that struck me on listening to this for the first time in probably a decade is how derivative it is of things I wouldn't have been as familiar with when it was released as I am now, like UK and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Still, the Planet X albums are all very good and give OSI a run for their money in the "Best post Dream Theater project" competition. Granted, when you're lining up with The Jelly Jam and Mullmuzzler, you don't have to run so hard to win.

Stargazer - A Merging to the Boundless. Completing my Stargazer collection. Cool band, but they don't thrill me the way they do some.

Confessor - Condemned. A random pick. Worth listening to for the drumming alone.

Astharoth - Gloomy Experiments. The new reissue on Dark Symphonies, which includes some demos that weren't collected on the last reissue. Cool tech thrash.

Inner Strength - Shallow Reflections. I enjoyed this spin way more than I expected. As technical prog metal goes, they're not really in the same league as Psychotic Waltz, but if they had made a few more albums, who knows? Rifkin is in the thanks list.

Iron Angel - Hellish Crossfire. A scuzzy classic that just never does a lot for me. I keep trying, though. Cool cover, at least.

Orphanage - By Time Alone. I always loved this disc, for reasons that are hard to articulate. At the time, it was one of the few discs you could find that sounded ANYTHING like Meshuggah, although of course wishing for more bands that do the Meshuggah thing turned out to be a monkey's paw situation. Still, this is a fun disc of grooving death metal, with an interesting sense of melody.

Negacy - Flames of Black Fire. The best band to play Nevermore style metal, aside from Nevermore, and only then on a couple albums. I'd say Dreaming Neon Black is better for sure, but this is at least as good as the next best Nevermore albums (Enemies of Reality and Politics of Ecstasy, for those playing at home) and far better than all the others. They've got a new one coming out any day now, and I'm pretty stoked, even though they've replaced their awesome old singer, Marco Piu, who evidently also quit Memento Waltz :(

Ketzer - Satan's Boundaries Unchained. This is not normally something I'd listen to, and I'll be honest - I clicked on the YouTube link mainly to see what kind of music would accompany the absolutely ridiculous cover art. Turns out, it's kind of like a blackthrash take on Bolt Thrower, with totally shredded vocals. Every song is a little too long, and the lyrics are horrid, but something about this works for me. Their next album, Endzeit Metropolis, is also quite cool, although it has more of a mechanical black metal vibe, kinda like Drottnar but with more death metal sounds. I need to further investigate this band!

Raven - Architect of Fear. The best Raven album, hands down. This is really the only album they ever made with a "serious" vibe to it. Every other Raven album is suffused with the goofy charm the brothers Gallagher bring to their live performances, but this album is as dark as Raven could possibly be. I love it.

Entheos - Primal. EP of more-technical-than-usual djenty death metal. Good stuff, if a bit samey, in the way all things djent-adjacent always is.

Freak Kitchen - Confusion to the Enemy. Maybe IA needs to fire this lineup and start from scratch, because except for the awesome Move, every album this lineup falls somewhere on a spectrum from Not Bad At All to Pretty Good, and while the first five or six FK albums are a diverse and evolving bunch, the last four or five are virtual indistinguishable.

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