Re: PM:X2 Thorsday Soundoff - 14 March

Author:Matt Johnsen
Date:2019-03-14 15:47:43
Edited:2019-03-14 15:48:01
In Reply To:PM:X2 Thorsday Soundoff - 14 March by Brian Taylor
Athena - A New Religion?
Definitely one of the finest Italian prog metal albums, and easily Fabio's high water mark as a singer.
Candlemass - Chapter VI
Now go find Silent Memorial - Cosmic Handball to hear this singer in a fairly great Dream Theater knockoff.
Celtic Frost - Cold Lake
Karyn Crisis’s Gospel of the Witches - Salem’s Wounds
I have never liked anything this woman has done, but I think she's cool.
Hollow - Hollow
Make note: there's a new Hollow album!
Pretty Maids - Red, Hot and Heavy
Their best.
Queensrÿche - Condition Hüman
Ugh, is this really the title of one of their releases? What a stupid band.
Threshold - Paradox: The Singles Collection
Threshold had singles?

My shiz:

Dead Can Dance - Aion. I did it.

Omen - Warning of Danger. All Kimball-era Omen is awesome. All post-Kimball Omen is terrible.

Poverty's No Crime - Save My Soul. The two albums before this (and the one after it) are pretty damned boring, but I feel like they really caught onto something with this one. If this isn't my favorite PNC, it's at least the one I choose to listen to the most often.

Bolt Thrower - Realm of Chaos, The IVth Crusade. There's no arguing with RoC. There is some room to argue with IVth Crusade, but I still like it, and it really feels like the black sheep of the Bolt Thrower discography in a way that even the Ingrahm album doesn't.

Bobby Hutcherson - Head On. The greatest mallet percussionist in jazz history! His very best albums include Harold Land as a sideman, and this is maybe the best of those.

Entombed - Clandestine, Crawl. I listened to a track from their upcoming live recording of Clandestine, and it's pretty cool, but it really just made me want to listen to the original. Everything about Clandestine is great, but I think what makes this album so much greater than any other Stockholm DM album is Nicke's drumming, which is insane and super creative. The Crawl EP is always worth spinning for the killer vocals, but I always like noting the small differences between these versions of the songs and the album versions. The title track is significantly different.

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains, Arise. The idiot twins, aka the Cavaleras, are touring Australia of all places doing a BtR/Arise set, which makes me dislike those two even more, but reading that news definitely inspired me to revisit these seminal classics.

Hollow - Between Eternities of Darkness. I didn't know until John mentioned it a week ago that Hollow was still around and had something new out. The band is just the singer/guitarist and a drummer now. This is impressively on-brand for Hollow, sounding pretty much exactly as you'd imagine the follow-up to Architect of the Mind would sound. Stolz's voice has gotten even more nasal, which is a problem, but he does still sound more or less like Tom Mallicoat. I'm not sure the world really needed a new Hollow album, but what the hell, I'll take it.

Overkill - The Wings of War. Everyone here has been really down on this album, and I agree it's not very good, but it's not very good in the exact way the last several albums have been not-very-good. I dare say I might even like this one slightly more than the last couple. Still very much not into Blitz's stache.

Riping Corpse - Dreaming with the Dead. I saw these guys opening for Morbid Angel in the early 90s. It was pretty intense, although what I always remember was this one guy who used to be at a lot of Philly shows back then who walked with the aide of forearm crutches and who threw down in Every. Single. Pit. He got a boost up on stage during Ripping Corpse, was handed his crutches by some samaritan in the pit, and ambled across the stage before diving. That dude was fucking hardcore.

VOLA - Applause of a Distant Crowd. Djentier than the first one, and therefore less good, but still cool.

Cloven Hoof - Fighting Back. This is so bad I can hardly believe it! It's a fake live album of all new songs (at the time - this is from 1986) but what really seals the deal is the world's least convincing drum machine. Not only does it sound obviously like the kit that might have been bundled with a 14" casio keyboard for children, the beats are programmed more like a metronome for demo riffs than like actual beats a drummer might play. Astoundingly shitty in every way! But, there are a few good songs to be heard here, even if the best of them were later re-recorded in vastly superior forms.

Riot - Archives Volume 2: 1982-1983. Pickin's must be slim for Rhett Forrester material, because all they came up with here are rough mixes of most of the two albums be did, plus a couple demo-level audition tunes. That said, there are a couple songs here that I don't think made it to any album, and an extended, 8 minute version of Loved By You, with a lot more harmonica. The sound is really good across the board though, and I imagine this will be a treat for Forrester fans, in whose number I sadly do not include myself.

Týr - Hel. Still kinda dull, but growing on me. I just like Týr, okay?

Archetype - Dawning. I only just realized I didn't own a proper copy of this - I only had the cardboard sleeve promo from when it was reissued by LMP. Wasn't hard, or expensive, to find an original release. One of the better US prog metal releases from the 00s. The singer sounds like Matt Barlowe.

Protector - Leviathan's Desire. Finally completed my original-run Protector discography, for reasons that remain obscure even to myself. This band just wasn't very good. I just really, really want to like them. Probably because Frank Blackfire wore a Protector shirt for the Mortal Way of Live concert. Is that the dumbest reason for me to collect a band? Reader, I promise you, it is not.

Mosh Pit Justice - Fighting the Poison. By now, this band should really have started fulfilling the promise they've always shown. They're a melodic thrash band in the Heathen/Forbidden vein, which is a a vein almost entirely untapped by today's rethrashers, and Mosh Pit Justice (the name fills me with such sadness) are basically pretty okay, but never more than that. The singer's voice is decent, but his melodies are samey and dull, and the riffing, while not embarassing, is never particularly inspired. And they couldn't even manage a fresh cover with their dumb gorilla mascot - this cover is just repurposed art from the first album! The hell, Mosh Pit Justice? I mean, come on!

Powermad - The Madness Begins. The cover art is surely the best thing about this EP, and it's an awesome EP, even with a very unnecessary Ramones cover. I really don't understand how this hasn't been reissued, or at least nicely bootlegged.

Andre Matos - Time to be Free. Andre's last great album. It actually sounds a lot like post-Andre Angra, with less interesting riffing. Really makes me wish that those knuckleheads had just worked shit out and stayed together, because every Edu album would have been better with Andre singing, and most of Andre's post Angra albus would be better not existing.

Asphyx - The Rack. It's funny how the after the rather cool, spooky keyboard intro, the bottom ends drops out altogether. Never has an intro so dramatically illustrated the sonic weakness of what came after it! I love van Drunen on this album. His vocals are absolutely shredded, in the best way. "Vermin" is an awesome, stupid DM classic.

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group - Live. I like this better than all the other Beck albums I own, because it's more jazz than blues.

Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer. Still growing on me, but this will never even come close to her first EP and album (not counting The Audition, which is not very good anyway), nor even Electric Lady. These songs definitely work better for me in the album context than individually a singles.

Extol - Extol. Had to spin it after Ben got all douchey about Extol. This is one of my favorite albums ever, now.

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