Archive for March, 2010

Goatwhore/Carving Out The Eyes Of God

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on 310000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Carving out the Eyes of God is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Goatwhore.

Apocalyptic Havoc—-Brutal from the first note, this is driving and abrasive metal. The vocals are much more understandable and mainstream than you would expect. This is fantastic…the huge drums and the layered guitar has some nice squeals to them that threaten the monopoly of grindcore bands trademark. This is, believe it or not, rather catchy despite the content. the song manages to have a sense of both brutality and melody.

The All-Destroying—-With a deeper bass heavy sound, the vocal enters with a puking delivery that pleases me to no end. the guitars are incredibly fast…like machine guns in the middle of war…the drums are heavy in your ears and the lyric a pure tirade of things that are non-sensical and others that really makes you think about life and its demise. Fantastic.

Carving Out The Eyes Of God—-WOW!!! The entrance vocal on this song is so heavy and vicious. the guitars are huge walls of sound that are constantly falling and rebuilding around your body. This is exquisite extremity. I could not ask for more…well it might be nice if you could catch a word here or there, but what is the point…listen and draw you own conclusions. This is masterful extreme metal and surprisingly coming from the US!!!

Shadow Of A Living Knife—-Delivering much of the same aggressive guitar assault as most of the previous songs, you notice the nice downshift of the guitar that manages to give the track a sense of melody while the vocal assault continues. There is nice vocal variance as the growls are sometimes deeper and at other times clearer. There are three members that contribute to vocals and sometimes it is hard to differentiate between them all. This is fantastic…would love to see this live!

Provoking The Ritual Of Death—-With a deeper and crunchier sound that reminds me of vintage Metallica, the sound of this track is huge. Suddenly the incredibly fast drumming is right in your forehead and the deep vocal is rattling your entrails. This is sublime and masterful, evil yet accessible. A remarkable display of musical ability from all members of the band. The vocal trade-off keeps you from becoming bored by the constant assault. This is great!!!

In Legions, I Am Wars Of Wrath—-This song has more musical shifts and mood swings than pregnancy and menopause combined. the vocal is assaulting and like hot pepper to the senses. This is literally a tour de’ force of musical styles and shifts…I must catch this band live and take my life in my own hands in the pit. Yeah Me!!!

Reckoning Of The Soul Made Godless—-This is an interesting song title even if you have only the slightest bit of Christian knowledge. The though of standing at the ‘pearly’ gates and having a Godless soul manages to conjour up many different images for me. the fact that songs are constructed around such ideas and theories and in detest of them only makes you realize that the interest was there and the investigation was begun at one point or the other. This song remains a favorite of mine if only for the really speedy guitar attack and the heavy presence of the drums. This is most excellent and made me think…so there you go!!!

This Passing Into The Power Of Demons—-With a really deep and powerful bass driven intro, the vocal assault is not far behind nor is it any more tame. this is brilliant brutality. the crunch of the music reminds me of the early days of Testament. The brutality of the younger days of Metallica, the evil factor ranges about 7, but there is room to grow. The melody is intact and the song has some really nice musical breaks that keep you interested.

Razor Flesh Devoured—-Like most of the bands songs, you are given no respite from the driving and aggressive assault of the music. the remarkable thing about this track for me are the drums…this guy literally kills the skins and the intensity is enough to make you squeeze the sides of your skull. And they rarely let up…team that with walls of guitars and the deep driving bass of the guitar and you are in Extreme Metal heaven. This is a wall of exquisite sound. This is guaranteed to make your brains bounce around. Sweet!!!

To Mourn And Wander Forever Through Forgotten Doorways—-Wow…what a song title…kudos just for that!!! The song begins in an unpredictable fashion, the bass guitar solo is a simple and quiet form. When the rest of the band joins in you notice the downplay and the atmosphere. The drums are a nice break and the low hum of the bass gives everything a dark and deep aura. The entrance of the vocal is a low whisper and you have to refer to the lyric sheet and then just set it aside in order to draw your own conclusions. This is nice…deep, dark and intense. You would swear upon hearing this track that the band was from the frozen tundra….the sound is full yet masterfully cold. Great!!!

**** out of 5

Paper Tongues/Paper Tongues

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 310000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Paper Tongues are an American rock band from Charlotte, North Carolina. The band consists of Aswan North (lead vocals), Devin Forbes (guitar), Joey Signa (guitar), Daniel Santell (bass guitar), Jordan Hardee (drums), Clayton Simon (synthesizer keys), and Cody Blackler (rhode keys).[1] Their sound is described as fusing rock n’ roll melodies with hip hop beats, and includes elements of rock, funk, rap, and soul.[2] Their debut album was released on March 30th, 2010.[3

Trinity—-From the onset, this is a pretty nice sounding and accessible band. The vocal has a slight edge to it and the music has elements of bass heavy Hip Hop evident, but it is all done with a fresh and electric angle. The chorus is so damn catchy and during it the voice loses any irritation. The entire band seems to handle parts of the vocal and it is great to hear a band functioning as a BAND!!! This is really nice.

For The People—-I have been trying to place the familiar sound of the voice through my first initial listen to this release and slowly I realize that the voice has a strong resemblance to The Cult’s Ian Astbury. The chorus of this song is so damn catchy and almost irresistable. I think this might really play well in the very near future…the song has an excellent summer vibe to it. This is fantastic…my radar is really blinking on this one.

Ride To California—-With some odd electronic musings at the onset, this emerges as a yelling kind of rap song…when the rest of the band joins in on the vocals, the song turns into a great party anthem that may very well be blasting as the summer months slowly emerge from this harsh cold winter. This is bright, sunny and sounds better with beer. Excellent.

Get Higher—-Suffering from a bit of ‘sameness’ at first, the song emerges like a caterpillar from a cocoon and takes on a beautiful life with a wonderful melody. This is not about what you would surmise, but instead about the power and perfection of love…I know….cheesy, but trust me…it really works for the band. This is fantastic. A new favorite band.

What If—-With a much mellower intro, the vocal soars and reminds me of Ian even more…a nice cross between McCollough and Astbury creates a masterful frontman for a really talented bunch of musicians. The song has an irresistable melody and the rise and fall of the music is remarkable. This is really excellent…and to think I got this CD fresh from the shelve for $6.99!!!!

Soul—-From one extreme to the other, this song has a huge Electronic feel that is aided by a hum in the v=backdrop, a bass heavy beat and a vocal that is sometimes really erratic. This is an interesting mix of genres and influences. The chorus as usual becomes even larger with many voices adding to the catchy and irresistable hooks. This band, at this point can do no wrong!

Everybody—-The track has a nice ‘marching’ melody to it that allows the vocals to be even more Rap based but not in an obnoxious way. The chorus is  another joint adventure that only adds to the density of the song. This could be huge on radio and MTV…let’s see if I’m right.

Strongest Flame—-This from the onset appears to be the requisite ballad that every release must have. The crazy piano pound in the backdrop is right in your forehead, while the voice swarms your ear lobes. The chorus opens up and shows that this guy has some nice chops on him as his vocal soars above the more vigorous instrumentation. This is yet another hit pout of the park. I could not be happier with this release. A great 7 bucks!!!!

Rich And Poor—-With a really heavy bass kick, the song begins with a pure rap style rant that grows into a band chant that will drive the Emo kids crazy as they are sure that this song was written just for them. The remarkable thing is how quickly the song dies down and then erupts with little effort and finesse. This is a masterpiece of a song. I have not heard something that sounds this fresh right out of the box in quite some time.

Love Like You—-With a much more sedate and quiet delivry, this song is almost a shock after the vigor and energy of the previous track. The song does open up in a grand way by the second bar, but this is an Emo blaad if there ever was one. I predict this may be the nest big thing. This is a remarkable band with some really great talent. Awesome!!! 

****3/4 out of 5

Scorpions/Sting In The Tail

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 310000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Sting In The Tail is the 17th and final release from iconic German Heavy Metal Band Scorpions. The band has officially announced their retirement following their 2010/2011 World Tour. This release also feature a duet with former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen. This CD was released Worldwide in March 2010.

Raised On Rock—-The opening strains of the track fill you with a comfort as the sound is so familiar. The vocal enters the scene and you are transported back to 1984. The odd Bon Jovi noise in the background is disturbing, but the chorus is a big arena style sounding anthem that will please fans everywhere.

Sting  In The Tail—-Sounding much more like the early classics of the band, this has a new rock lean that allows it to also be pertinent. The more somber feel of the past few Scorpion releases seems replaced with a new energy and a nostalgic lean that would fit into the huge 80’s era of the band’s popularity. This is classic Hard Rock….not near enough of this stuff around. The big chorus will have the stadiums singing along like the old days.

Slave Me—-This track has a slight Blues tinge that allows the band to relax and deliver a scorching sexy song. The guitars provide an even larger refrain than the vocal. The chorus is a band effort that makes the track even bigger. This is nice, but sounds much to much like the earlier two songs on this release….mix it up guys.

The Good Die Young [featuring Tarja Turunen]—-The song begins with that wonderful moody ballad guitar that the band is known for so well. Klaus sounds a little hoarse and the change in tone is fantastic. You hear the gentle strains of Tarja in the backdrop as the lead guitar soars. When the voices join for the chorus, the result is nothing less than spectacular. This is a huge opus filled with the kind of moodiness that will inspire lighters everywhere. A wonderful composition.

No Limit—-Returning to full throttle aggressive Metal mode, the band comes out rocking harder than it has on any song since the early 90’s. It is hard to believe that the guys are going to give this up so abruptly and while still sounding so fresh and pertinent, but i understand the concept of going out while the band is still GREAT. Klaus sounds very good for his age and the voice has held up really well despite his rigorous recording career. This is great!

Rock Zone—-Again, this track takes no musical prisoners. The guitars literally soar with aggression and the result only seems to spurn Meine on to sing at the top of his lungs. This is another track that will drive the crowds crazy in a live setting. This is louder and more masculine than anything that the band has produced in the last 10 years. This is a keeper!!!

Lorelei—-Delivering a full on classic ballad that the band is so well-known for, this is a moody and atmospheric track with an almost Spanish sounding guitar. The vocal is crystal clear and you can actually catch every single word that is sung…a rarity these days. This is a beautiful song that ranks right up there with the best ballads the band has produced in their long and illustrious career. Wonderful.

Turn You On—-Kicking off with a slight muted sound, the song breaks out within ten seconds and delivers more straight on Rock n’ Roll. This is exquisite. The band never has to worry about people losing faith or detesting their efforts. this is a great song that allows every member of the band to shine. the guitars are perfect, the drums in perfect tandem with the melody and the vocal sounds like it did in the 1980’s. Fantastic.

Sly—-At the onset, the guitars soar in full ballad mode….Klaus has the ability to convey emotions with his voice in a remarkable way. This is nice…a huge stadium sized ballad that will bring out the lighters again as the boys grab their girls in bear hugs and sway through the track. The song makes me sad to think that this will be the last of the band, but what a great swan song!

Spirit Of Rock—-With a huge guitar intro, the song kick starts your heart with little problem. The lyrical content of the song is nice…speaking of togetherness and acceptance all in the name of Metal. This is classic…the chorus is huge and I can only imagine how well this track will play in a live setting. Let me just say…this band has rarely if ever let me down…well maybe on Eye II Eye.

The Best Is Yet To Come—-With lots of sentiment and gentleness, the song marks the end of a brilliant career. This release will allow the band to exit in fine form and great reputation. This is wonderfully written and really made for this swan song..I would expect that Klaus & Co. will pop up here and there. If not, the last release is a wonderful piece of history.

**** out of 5

The Smiths/The Sound Of The Smiths

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 290000003UTC 12 by marky7235

The Sound Of  The Smiths is a compilation release by iconic band The Smiths. Released 21 years after the bands split, the band issued this in both single and dual formats. This single release captures both the beginning and the end of the band in chronological order and to a masterful degree. The song titles and order was organized by Morrissey while production was relegated to Johnny Marr….obviously at different locations.

Hand In Glove—-Marking history, this very raw and fresh song found Morrissey and Marr at the beginning of the bands inception with bright eyes and the true desire to be the biggest band in the world. the band was masterful at creating the best Indie pop songs in less than three minutes and leaving you with introspection, devastation and euphoria. Remarkable. 

This Charming Man—-The unmistakable guitar drive of Marr is almost more impressive than the vocal of the morose and serious Morrissey. The rhythm section of the band and their addition only shows that Joyce and Rourke were as important to the band as anyone. this is remarkable…Morrissey sounds so wide-eyed and innocent, while the guitar of Marr only makes the song beefier than Morrissey could ever hope for. Masterful!

What Difference Does It Make [Peel Session]—-It is hard for me to listen to this song and not think of the brilliant and campy lip synch video from Top Of The Pops. The vocal is wonderful, although pushed to the back. The drums are really upfront while the rest of the song sounds almost cool and removed. None the less, this is a piece of Alternative Music history that seems to have never been forgotten. And that falsetto at the end…..to die for!!!

Still Ill—-When Morrissey sings the classic line…..”does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body….”, you are left contemplating the idea. When Morrissey sings of the terrible travesty of ‘relations’ with a best friend and how things are “…not like the old days anymore….” you are left remembering things best left alone and in your past. I have heard this song at least a 1000 times…everytime I have a fresh memory or a new feeling…a band for ALL ages. I love you Morrissey!!!

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now—-Perhaps one of the cornerstones in the band’s career, this set the jangly guitar sound of Marr in motion and also solidified Morrissey as the King Of Mope with the exquisite falsetto and attitude. The gentle and bright guitar sounds contrast with the vocal so much that you shake your head in amazement. The lyrics remain intellectual and ‘book read’ while the music blends in with the horizon of the burgeoning Manchester sound. I am still amazed with this band! 

William, It Was Really Nothing—-Another stalwart track that is one the Best Of compilation ever made, this again marks the true sound of the band in the very early days. Morrissey and his sardonic sense of humor cemented alongside the bright poppy sound of Marr’s guitar is remarkable. This carried far into the career of Morrissey…despite the music played, he always keeps his own pace. Fantastic!!!!

How Soon Is Now?—-Perhaps one of the greatest songs ever written, it is one that despite 25+ years of hearing, I never tire of listening to. Morrissey has NEVER sounded more truthful and pained and the guitar brilliance of Marr has never been on better display. The layers and layers of sounds played live very well and the band always seemed to come together for this outstanding piece of history. This is beyond description and something that you have to here to understand. If you are a novice…this is the only place to start.

Nowhere Fast—-When Morrissey proclaims “I’d like to drop my trousers to the world” he is at his sardonic and sarcastic best. The guitar ministrations of Marr are exquisite. Sounding a bit dirtier and full of Manchester grit, the song is a classic, huge slice of British musical history.

Shakespeare’s Sister—-Sounding a bit muted and dated, the song is driven by the rapid fire guitar of Marr and some excellent drumming that seems to keep the sound grounded. Morrissey sounds so young and unadulterated, the musical jade had not yet befallen the band and it really showed. Although the song is preformed with mastery there is a clear sense of innocence underlying the track.

Barbarianism Begins At Home—-By this point in the band’s career, they had established themselves with a trademark sound that is apparent and in glorious display on this track. The surprising thing about this track is the really present and obvious bass line…this adds so much more depth to the song. Morrissey delivers some nice falsetto yells and mixes them in with some predictable vocal growls at the same time. This is wonderful.

That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore—-This track finds Morrissey at his most depressing best. The song is a huge layered affair that has an almost slight 50’s flair to the music…which seems quieter than usual and pushed a bit to the back. the production of the vocal adds a slight echo that even adds more to the emotional appeal of the song. This is wonderful, Morrissey and Marr, when in tandem created masterpieces like this at the drop of a hat. Still one of my favorite tracks.

The Headmaster Ritual—-The rocking guitar line that begins the song was the first type of Rock-A-Billy feel I can remember hearing with the bands direction. Morrissey enters the fray in full story mode and the result is nothing less than spectacular. Morrissey seems to almost talk his way through parts of the song, but when he does croon, it is with direction and mastery. This also has always been on my list of favorites…mainly for the way Morrissey almost yodels during parts of the song. WOW!!!

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side—-This remains nothing less than an exquisite British pop classic. The music is so accessible, while Morrissey delivers a vocal that is both gentle and somewhat sad. This is striking in its beauty AND its simplicity. Beautiful and sad. Brilliant and poppy.

Bigmouth Strikes Again—-Perhaps this was Morrissey secretly poking fun at himself…by this point in the band’s career, he was finding constant problems with the British press…twisting and manipulating his sometimes obscure ideas and quotes. Morrissey has taken to playing this song in his live set as of late and it still comes across as brilliant and elicits a huge crowd response.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out—-A critic and fan favorite alike, Morrissey has also taken to playing this live as of late as a concert closer. The result is nothing less than spectacular. Musically, the song is somewhat quiet and relaxed…lyrically, it reminds me of all the life lessons I have learned along the way. Morrissey magically transforms the first feelings of love to recorded medium with fanfare and finesse. This remains as brilliant today as it was when I first heard it.

Panic—-The beginning of the end….that is what this song reminds me of. The song received a lot of attention in England because the press insisted that the song had racist overtones…for me, it has never been a favorite of mine as you can feel the strain and the cracks appearing in the creativity curve. Still a fan favorite, it was a very sad day when this band deserted me.

Ask—-Showing up on the Louder Than Bombs compilation in the states, this has always been, for me, a weak spot in the band’s history. This was not the Smiths that I had come to adore in my late teens and early 20’s. This seemed forced and contrived…..next….

You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby—-Harkening back to the wonder years of the band’s career, this is a driving and poppy composition that finds Morrissey as depressed and self-deprecating as ever. This is a wonderful example of the bands high points despite turmoil. They only wanted to be famous……careful what you ask for.

Shoplifters Of The World—-When I first heard this song, I remember being shocked by the different sound and then just chalked it up to evolution. these few songs, recorded at the very end of the band’s career, carries the mark of distance and a lack of pleasure…although I must say, Morrissey has seldom sounded better.

Sheila, Take A Bow—-Classic in the sense that the band has a marked Rock-A-Billy feel that would later become the style of Morrissey. Exquisite for the great rhythm sounds of the band…the drums are great and the bass guitar carries the song very handily. Marr is in the backdrop with the fuzzy guitar taking more than a backseat. This is wonderful if only for the lazy vocal style of Morrissey….what a band!!!!

Girlfriend In A Coma—-One of the most brilliant compositions from the band ever…this short little ditty had a great guitar line, an incredible melody and classic sardonic lines courtesy of Morrissey. We have all felt this way about our beloved…Morrissey just had the nerve to actually say it.

I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish—-With fantastic drums and a more present bass line, the vocal is just pure classic Morrissey. The overall feel of the song is much noisier than what you normally received from the band, but it managed to work wonderfully well. Morrissey sounds lazy yet remarkable honest in his vocal style. When he delivers his trademark growl, your hair stands on the back of your neck and a smile sneaks across your face. Fantastic!

Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me—-What a magical and typical song title from the King Of Mope. We have all been in this mood at one point or another….well, Morrissey lives there!!!! This is a magical moment as the band would produce nothing else after this and we were abruptly left with just the history and the memory. Morrissey has never sounded better or more real to me…the pain is exquisite and real…the music is just as emotional. A wonderful swan song….it would be a few years before we heard the voice again….I still rue the day.

***** out of 5

She & Him/Volume 2

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 260000003UTC 12 by marky7235

She & Him are an American Indie Folk Rock band consisting of renowned Folk singer M. Ward [guitars, production] and Indie actress Zooey Deschanel [vocals, piano, banjo]. The duo released their debut Volume 1 in March 2008. This sophomore release was issued in March 2010.

Thieves—-The song, at the onset really reminds me of a throwback 50’s high school dance. Zooey has the most delicious voice and I’m not sure how I missed the first release. When the voices join together, it is a pure eargasm for me. This is bright and polished, shiny and comforting. Fantastic song!!

In The Sun—-With an even brighter and poppier feel, the vocal is much more mid range and pleasant with a slight wonderful Country lean. The chorus is a joining of voices that allows the song to become even larger than it was to begin with. The piano and the drums are the highlight of the track, combining to create a landscape of Middle America that becomes irresistable after a few listens.

Don’t Look Back—-With a nice liberating sound, Zooey delivers a vocal that is stronger and tinged with a slight angle of anger. The music is a nice combination of drums and acoustic driving guitar that creates yet another landscape of the Folk Driven America. This release is a pure treasure.

Ridin’ In My Car—-This track, to me….has Ward written all over it. The sound again resembles something straight out of the 1950’s…not in a bad way. Ward finally makes a clear entrance with a vocal and it is exquisite…I am crazy about him right now. This is a slick and polished Indie Folk Doo-Wop that you cannot help but love. This is wonderful.

Lingering Still—-This is a brilliant piece of Folk/Country that has all the twang of the best Country song and the mentality of classic Americana. I love this…Ward keeps his vocal in the backdrop, but remains present enough to really appreciate. The remarkable thing about Deschanel and her vocal is the purity of the whole thing. This is natural and unassuming ability that brings a huge pleasant feel to my being. Wonderful!

Me And You—-Another composition to me that has Ward written all over it. It is wonderful to hear a song from this duo that is almost ‘raw’ and under-produced. The feel of the song is so natural I wonder if the track was recorded on the first take. The miniscule addition of Ward’s vocal only adds to the beauty of the track and creates a wonderful rounding effect. I love this CD!!!!!

Gonna Get Along Without You Now—-Returning to a bright and poppier feel, the song is driven by the pleasant acoustic Folky guitar and the pure vocal of Zooey. This is so damn pleasant it almost comes across as cheesy if your mind is not in the right place on first listen. This is a nice sing-along track that is wonderfully produced. The musical interlude is so clear and practised you want to hear just that bar over and over again.

Home—-Wanting the band to mix things up a little bit at this point in the release, we are instead confronted by more of the same and almost dared to be bored. The saving grace is the nice vocal inflections that go up and down in tone and the gentle swaying of the guitar that makes you think of horse riding in a too green pasture. This is remarkable and wonderful. I’m not hatin’ it!!!

I’m Gonna Make It Better—-Revisiting the more country feel of the band, this song has a nice slide guitar or banjo that gives the song a backwoods kind of feel. Again, the vocal is so pure that you cannot help but love this girl and start seeking out her movies…by the way if you have not seen 500 Days Of Summer, start with that!!! A marvelous film and a wonderfully poppy song!!!

Sing—-Brimming with purity and pleasant feelings, the vocal is crystal clear and overlayed just enough to make it seem as if a dozen people were singing all at the same time. The tale is wonderfully raw and real…making you think of those middle of the night internal conversations brought about by lack of sleep and loneliness. This is real, raw and brilliant!

Over It Over Again—-Delivering a predictable sound, it is only a testament to this talent that I am not bored already with the sameness of the sound. The vocal is overlayed and seems to be backed with some extra female vocals, but possibly is just Zooey double tracked a dozen times. This is wonderfully produced, crystal clear and a damn pleasant journey.

Brand New Shoes—-From the onset, the song is much more sedate and makes me wonder if this is a Ward composition. It just seems to have his style all over it. The voice and the music combined produce a lonely feeling that is welcome and relieving. This is wonderful.

If You Can’t Sleep—-With a choir of backdrop voices, the song is almost a capella and fueled by the clear and wonderful vocal of Deschanel. This is a remarkable ending to a wonderful, fantastic release.

***** out of 5 [PERFECT]

Dimmu Borgir/Spiritual Black Dimensions [Bonus Track]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews on 240000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Spiritual Black Dimensions is the 4th studio release by Norwegian Symphonic Death Metal band Dimmu Borgir. The CD was issued in 1999, and was reissued in 2004 with added videos and a bonus track. This also marks the debut of keyboardist Murtis and clean vocalist ICS Vortex as well as the departure of 3 former members. There is a marked difference in the texture of this release, it is much faster, darker and keyboard laden the the bands previous efforts.

Reptile—-Almost at the onset you notice the more textured sound of the band. As the intro suggested, the music is much faster and aggressive and the huge organ sounds from the keys are magnificent. ICS makes his debut almost immediately and adds a unique and novel sound to the band that would exist through In Sorte Diaboli when both he and Murtis were expelled from the band. This is remarkable…the layers are dark and monstrous allowing the cold feeling of the aggression to grow. Fantastic!!!

Behind The Curtain Of Night-Phantasmagoria—-With a huge drum intro, the song literally explodes with huge symphonic sweeps that overtake your speakers. Shagrath has never sounded better than on this release…he appears driven and actually into the sound he is delivering. The keyboards are magnificent, the drums are even better. This is a remarkable example of the bands progression. Listen to the first release For All Tid and this and you will be hard pressed to believe it is the same band. At times the keyboards soar at such a speed you reach to pull your hair out and gouge your eyes…this is METAL!!!

Dreamside Dominions—-The first thing that you notice about this ‘vintage’ release is that the band sounds like the band!!! The tones and texture of the band is remarkably familiar and in tune with the music they are producing today without the orchestra though. Let me tell you…they don’t need all of that overdone musical revelry. The band stands alone on its own very well…at times, there is so much going on that you feel like Linda Blair with your head spinning in a million directions. This is fantastic.

United In Unhallowed Grace—-You never have a second to breathe the music begins so quickly and with unannounced fanfare. This is remarkably dark and sounds even more so with the added keyboards. You feel alone in the pitch dark with a vintage horror movie playing in your vein as you wait for the Reaper to appear. This is wonderfully constructed Symphonic mood music. Even better in English!!!! The guitar are drums are so aggressive on this track, you turn it down just a bit to save your speakers. Mag-freakin’-ificent!!!!

The Promised Future Aeons—-Beginning with a more familiar orchestrated intro, you know in the back of your little measly mind that it is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. The tone is set and lulls you into a quiet kind of mood until the 1:30 mark when the band enters the fray in all of their magnificent noisy revelry. This is aggressive with a huge sense of melody thrown in, while Shagrath blasts your ears with things that are better left alone. He only speaks of the human condition in a round a bout way…that is what so many people fail to realize. This is remarkable…the sound and the clarity, the texture and the layers makes this a remarkable opus.

The Blazing Monoliths of Defiance—-No playing around this track, the brutality begins at the first note. The layers of music are remarkable and the drums are absolutely mind-blowing. This is a nice thick slab of dark, cold maneuvering through the darker sides of life. When the guitars really move to the front, you realize how important they are to the melodic sounds of this band. Shagrath sounds demented and driven by inner forces that make the song literally huge. How this guy drums like that is beyond me….this is exquisite!!!

The Insight And The Catharsis—-Beginning with a magnificent piano/keyboard intro that manages to set the tone for the song, the melody is so strong on this track you declare the band a bunch of musical genius’. This is literally a huge, mammoth song that has things going on in all different places but managing to congeal into a magnificent journey. The clean vocals are magnificent and add so much to the band…what will become of this sound now that these two are gone remains to be seen. I can only hope for some great replacements.

Grotesquery Conceiled—-With a nice Cradle like vocal intro, the scream is surprising as you are used to Shagrath and his deep menacing vocal. This is remarkably layered and filled with the sounds that at the time were new and have now become expected. If the band really wanted to F&*K things up they will come out with a release that is so raw and demonic, the fans will be scrambling and hiding their heads beneath their pillows. This is fantastic. Huge and layered with so much melody it is almost normal to my ears.

Arcane Lifeforce Mysteria—-Beginning with an amazing sedate sound and acoustic guitar, the effects board on the keyboards add nice flavor as the metal guitars enter and begin to set the melody for the song. A choir of angels seem to sing through the backdrop and I laugh at this preposterous line I have written. The guitars gradually become more aggressive as the song progresses, but at over 7 minutes you have lots of room for mood swings. Shagrath invokes the name of Satan at a moments notice and when he finally pukes his vocal you are sure HE has arrived. The sounds grow increasingly more aggressive as the song progresses and the drums are again marvelous. The keyboards add a low-level ambience that has become important to the band…this is an opus full of feeling, sound and pure pleasure. Fantastic.

[Bonus Track]:

Masses For The New Messiah—-Even more orchestrated at the onset, the guitars come galloping pout of the darkness like an Iron Maiden classic. The emotion of the music is HUGE…you cannot escape the feeling behind all of the sound. The vocal seems set back a bit but still sounds as possessed as ever. This is literally a tour de force of Symphonic Black Metal. Almost better than anything else on this release, I am thrilled to have this.

****1/2 out of 5

Vern Gosdin/Chiseled In Stone

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 210000003UTC 12 by marky7235

Vern Gosdin is an American Country Music Singer. Gosdin is known for continuing the golden, soulful honky-tonk style of Country well into the early 90’s. Gosdin sports 19 top ten singles, three of them being #1. The title track to this release Chiseled In Stone was awarded Song Of The Year from the Academy Of Country Music in 1987. Chiseled In Stone, released in 1987 was the 9th of 12 studio releases.

Do You Believe Me Now—-Beginning with that earnest Gosdin guitar, the song is joined by the silky smooth vocal of Vern. Gosdin has that ability that classic country singers have of drawing out certain words that will make you weep. This is pure country…you know, the kind your Grampa used to love. Words cannot describe the purity of this. Fantastic!

Tight As Twin Fiddles—-Sounding like the poppier sounds of Randy Travis, this is modern as could be while losing none of its integrity. This is a fun and sexy song without being that way. The fiddles are magnificent and cement the genuity of the song even more. Gosdin delivers a vocal pure and clear, defying his age and experience. This is great!!!

Is It Raining At Your House—-Barely acoustic at the onset, the vocal enters and sets the tone for the sad country song. This is freaking fantastic. The slide guitar is magnificent and the drawn out vocal adds to the over the top emotional quality of the song. This is fantastic…why am I just discovering this guy……must be all the Death Metal!!!!

Set Em’ Up Joe—-From what I understand this is a remake…original…whatever??? It was also one of Gosdin’s 3 #1 hits. This is great classic Honky Tonk jukebox music. The writer cites the greats from the glory days of Country music and the singer integrates it with a fun beer swilling rhythm that makes everything good!!

There Ain’t Nothing Wrong [Just Ain’t Nothing Right]—-With that sweet Country music swirl you hear in the classic cuts, this is as old school as you could get in 1987. This reminds me of the great old days of country with Bill Anderson. Buck Owens, George Jones and Conway Twitty. This is a perfect and more than adequate homage to the founders.

Chiseled In Stone—-With a gentle interlude, the vocal enters reminding me more and more of George all the time. The timbre is different, but the emotion is more real than you could imagine. This is a true ‘story song’ and is a tender and heartfelt journey. This is classic stuff…the best song on this release by far. It is one for the ages. When Gosdin sings the line “…..you don’t know lonely until it’s chiseled in stone…” your heart will break.

Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time—-This is a classic Jones styled honky-tonk somebody done me wrong song!!!! The drawl is magnificent, the emotion is real and the honky-tonk feeling is enhanced by both the music and the long drawn out enunciation. Fantastic!!!

It’s Not Over, Yet—-The gentle sound of the slide guitars lulls you right into the vocal…reminiscent of the classic lonely songs of the 60’s. This is huge…the chorus when it really hits you makes you even sadder than He Stopped Loving Her Today. This is good, good stuff. If you thirst for classic country, check this out.

Nobody Calls From Vegas Just To Say Hello—-Where in the world do they get these song titles? This is an awesome one though!!! This is a nice romp…electric enough to break you from the spell of introspective songs. The bass sound of the song is great and the twang of the guitar reminds you where you are. The tempo is great and the tale is awesome.

I Guess I Had Your Leavin’ Coming—-Rounding out the release with an updated country sound, the song in piano based and it is present through the entire song. the vocal is so clear you would never know this guy was in his 60’s at the time of its release. This is masterful country that never loses its true integrity. Really great!

****1/2 out of 5