Re: PMX2 Thorsday Soundoff

Author:John Frank
Date:2018-09-27 17:58:00
In Reply To:Re: PMX2 Thorsday Soundoff by Matt Johnsen
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.
I look forward to hearing 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.
Never got into PoI or CC. I like most (all?) of their others, but Heresy is the clear standout by a mile.
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.
It's awesome. The only song I dislike is Shoot Shoot. Ugh. The rest of the songs range from decent (Like the Beat of a Heart, Fallen Angels) to amazing (King of Rock and Roll, Just Another Day) with the rest being damn good.
Stargazer - A Merging to the Boundless. Completing my Stargazer collection. Cool band, but they don't thrill me the way they do some.
A Great Work of Ages is my fave, although I dig all of their work.
Astharoth - Gloomy Experiments. The new reissue on Dark Symphonies, which includes some demos that weren't collected on the last reissue. Cool tech thrash.
Cool album, but I am not buying it again for the demos.
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.
Fine, I will revisit. Or I will find out I already own it. We shall see.
Iron Angel - Hellish Crossfire. A scuzzy classic that just never does a lot for me. I keep trying, though. Cool cover, at least.
Yeah, never got into Iron Angel.
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 :(
Your love of Negacy is interesting. I like em, but I do not hear the excellence you do.
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!
I am shocked you did not discover them after reading my brief 2016 list:

Ketzer - Satan's Boundaries Unchained (2009) / blackened thrash
Ketzer - Endzeit Metropolis (2012) / blackened thrash

The first two offerings from these Germans are engaging slabs of blackened thrash. Unfortunately, their 2016 release, Starless, did not tickle my fancy.
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.
I will revisit again, but I am fairly certain Life's a Bitch is all I "need" from Raven.

"It's not exactly a horrible album, but it's no better than something by, I dunno, Pagan's Mind or some other shirt-tucking nerdprog band." - Matt Johnsen of Pharaoh
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