Archive for June, 2011

Macabre / Grim Scary Tales

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 290000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Grim Scary Tales

Macabre is an extreme metal band from Illinois. They were formed in 1985 in Chicago, Illinois, and have never had a line-up change. They blend thrash metal, death metal, and grindcore (sometimes with nursery rhymes and folk melodies) to form their own unique style dubbed murder metal. Lyrically, they have a strong focus on serial killers, mass murderers and a touch of sick gore humour. Most lyrics are based upon true stories and are about real infamous personalities. The content of the lyrics is historically accurate, and band members actually have known and met with convicted serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy on a personal level. They also have a side project called the Macabre Minstrels that play acoustic camp fire songs. Their current label is Decomposed Records.

Macabre’s music was strongly influenced by US and UK hardcore, grindcore, and death metal acts, ranging from The Accüsed and Cryptic Slaughter to Possessed and Napalm Death. Macabre’s sickening sense of humour alienated casual metal listeners. However, it helped to gain a small but strong cult status among gore metal fans.

The Analysis:

Locusta—-This is so familiar and nice to hear after such a long time with no new material. The sound is consistent…the swirling and heavy lead guitars…the high hats on the drums….and that damn voice…which still manages to sound as demented as hell. The energy is incredible…the leads are wire filled and remind me of classic King Diamond. Nice!!!

Nero’s Inferno—-Returning to the campy sound that this band is known for, this takes of the fun of a campfire song….resplendenat with almost theatrical vocals. This is such great fun…until you really listen to the lyrics and then you are led down a road questioning your sanity since you found such a song so much fun. This is classic Macabre…..I would expect nothing less!!!!

The Black Knight—-Taking on the subject of the last Cradle release, the band delivers an aggressive yet still fun track that conjures up the darkest days of Giles De Rais…..the guitar solos on this track are incredible…the bass is masterful and the drums have a nice share of cow bell sounds. the voice is deeper in tone, but still brings about a fun sound…until you really listen!!!!

Dracula—-Deep and bass heavy as you would expect, there are some chords in this song that are just massive. The drums, combined with the bass provide all the darkness you need. The vocal enters with a demented delivery…taking you to an even darker place. This is pretty phenomenal…I’m always so impressed with this very long-standing grim band!!!!

The Big Bad Wolf—-Delivering what should perhaps be the theme song for this band, this is a pretty apt title. Taking the predictable Nursery Rhyme route that you would expect, that does not last forever. The drums on this track are literally incredible and the vocal delivery is full of dementia. This is energetic, dark and scary as hell. this is one of my favorite tracks on this release…just because it is so HUGE!!!!

Countess Bathory—-Beginning with a huge lead guitar sound, the song is almost crisp and clean at the onset. When the vocal enters, I am almost shocked…sounding like early Metallica or a pre-pubescent Mustaine!!! This is thrashing, metallic and full of a unique energy I have not heard from this band in a long time…masterful…another favorite!!!!

Burke And Hare—-Much deeper and more in tune with what i expect from this band, this is stellar from the onset. the lead in is long and drawn out…the drums are huge! Just when you begin to lose interest in the whole thing, there are chord changes and the entrance of a pretty maniacal vocal. This is classic Macabre…just what I needed to hear at the time…even injuecting the track with a nice sing song dose of humor…classic!!!

Mary Ann—-Wow…..I’m impressed by the rhythmic quality of the song from the very onset….not just the usual thrash that you recognize with this band. The vocal is damn pleasant and accessible….you could hear this damn thing on the radio…until you read the lyrics….LOL!!! This is perhaps one of the most accommodating songs this band has ever made…still brutal in content, but damn pleasant to listen to!!!!

The Bloody Benders—-Another bit of a surprise to me, this has a remarkable ‘countrified’ delivery that makes me laugh out loud to myself. This is freakin’ fantastic….I would expect nothing less from this band…how fantastic is this? BLUEGRASS METAL!!!!!

Lizzie Borden—-Returning to a much more familiar ground and sound, this is truly classic Macabre!!!! The driving lead guitars and the machine gun drums all laid over the vocal that seems to be driven by mania. Gosh, I would love to sit down and talk with this guy…I bet he is a fountain of information. This is not a disappointment…exactly what I would expect just from the title of the song alone!!!!

The Ripper Tramp From France—-Beginning with a huge Maiden drum trample, the song dissolves into complete mania. The only thing that stays consistent is the trampling beat that comes from the drums. The vocal is indiscpherable….but the song is as evil as you would demand from the band….thank God for lyric sheets.

Bella The Butcher—-Returning to the nursery rhyme rhetoric that the band has become famous for, this is no disappointment for the true fans of the band. this spoken word track is remarkable….the lesson is learned and you just laugh your way into the mayhem of music that occurs mid way through the song. The fat lady kills the men after the act….come into my web says the spider to the fly…..fantastic!!!!!

The Kiss Of Death—-Delivering really nice drums and bass sections at the onset of the track, this is a loud and aggressive track. The leads enter the scene and the song really begins to move at an incredible pace. The vocal is so erratic that it almost impossible to catch a word…but you cannot turn away from the aggression. This is fantastic for me…I love this!!!!

The Sweet Tender Meat Vendor—-Layered with sound and aggressive drums from the first note! I don’t think this drummer gets near enough mention in the evolution of this band. The vocal is what you would expect……dissolving into that familiar sing song delivery that you are accustomed to and at times reminding me of Gwar. The musicianship is tight as hell though…and that has really captured me on this release…much more than the content or vocal!

**** 1/2 out of 5

 

Beastie Boys / Hot Sauce Committee Part Two

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 290000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Hot Sauce Committee Part 2

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is the eighth studio album by the Beastie Boys, released in 2011.

The album was originally planned for release on September 15, 2009 under the title Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1, as the first installment of a two-part set. However, the album was delayed after band member Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with cancer.[3] After a two-year delay, only one album has been released and it is not clear if the plan for a two-part album has been abandoned.

The Analysis:

Make Some Noise—-Right out of the gate, the old school sound of the Boys is intact. The trade-off vocal rhymes have not lost the charm…even after all of these years. the samples are so deep, you would be hard pressed to actually identify any of them. The content is still juvenile and you step back into the late 80’s with no problem. Charming!!!

Nonstop Disco Powerpack—-Seemingly combining early sounds that made the band huge with the more experimental jazzy sounds that the Boys later explored crash together to create a huge wave of sound that allows me to relive some of the best years of my life. The rhymes are incoherent and as cheesy as ever, the tones have never changed and the experimental muted sound of the track keeps everything from becoming a bit too boring!!!

OK—-This has a nice level of silliness to it…what beastie song doesn’t? when the ‘chorus’ comes in, you are swept up in the slight vocoder energy of the whole damn thing. The Boys sound like they have never been gone or left the ‘scene’…despite the electro feel of the song, this is still fresh as anything they have released in the previous 10 years!

Too Many Rappers [New Revolutionaries Version featuring Nas]—-This builds and builds..like the anticipation prior to a rocket liftoff. The song ebbs and flows magically while the boys trade not only versus but words and short phrases. This is deep in sound….even sounding a bit muted….Nas sounds like he has come home and found a new crew. There is humor and static…but still comes across as brand new!!!

Say It—-Adding in a nice bit of actual live guitar and a generous helping of feedback, the boys go back in time to earlier recordings when they relied on much more of a musical base than just samples and cuts and splices. This is nice….the sound is deep …the very little sounds you have to strain to listen to…but the listen is worth it….for me, one of the better releases on this CD.

The Bill Harper Collection—-Silly but typical interlude…hilarious!!!

Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win [featuring Santagold]—-Now, this is what I needed to hear!!! This has a deeper sound to it…Santagold adds a flavor to the song like only she can do…this is fantastic!!! This is still a bit distorted at times, but the song magically flows between clarity and distortion like magic…and becomes one of the most accessible tracks this trio has recorded in years. simply fantastic!!!!

Long Burn The Fire—-Beginning with some nice funky organ and a deep bass beat that runs underneath it, the sound these guys manage to produce is incredible. Yauch delivers a vocal that sounds a bit hoarse and rough…making you wonder if he is ready for all of this already. The music is pristine…the energy is top-notch, but the vocals are a bit flat.

Funky Donkey—-This is interesting to me…beginning with a slight Middle Eastern sound and some references that allow you to believe the intent was clear. The trade-off of the vocals are as masterful as the very first record…wonder how they decide who takes what phrase? This is funny, humorous and bordering on hysterical!

The Larry Routine—-A small and short interlude, this is bass heavy and classic in sound…I could do with an entire CD of this type of stuff!!!!

Tadlock’s Glasses—-Rumored to be the original title of this record, this is more sample heavy classic Beastie’s. the atmosphere on the song is so experimental and jammy…making you wonder what these guys are smoking. this is ok, but a bit to out there even for me. This is largely inaccessible….

Lee Majors Come Again—-Not does this remind me of something that belongs on the band’s Greatest Hits CD, this is innovative and fresh as hell. the energy that is parlayed on this is just incredible…making me want to jump up and down and act a fool. There are nice levels of both live instruments and sampoles….a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm that leaks out of my headphones….fantastic!!!!

Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament—-Right away, I am drawn to the funky bass beat of the song and the slight references to past electro sounds of day past. This has a groove that I have not heard from this trio in quite sometime and it draws me in and makes me smile. This is the best of the Beasties and Moby combined….incredible light and refreshing!!!

Here’s A Little Something For Ya—-Old School at it’s finest, right from the onset. The trade-off vocals remind you of the glory days…despite the fact that Yauch still sounds a bit tired and worn. This is still magnificent…the beats are old….yet fresh. The attitude is 1990 and the energy is all 2011!!!!

Crazy Ass Shit—-This is another fantastic track…with a little child chorus and a huge pulsating beat, you are smiling right from the onset. this is a bit more distorted as well…perhaps to drown out the wear and tear that has been taken on Yauch’s voice. None the less, the others take up the slack and deliver a classic Beastie track!!!

The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine—-Nonsensical and giving a nice nod to days gone by. this is fun but just filler. Still not a waste!!!

**** out of 5

Madonna / Celebration [2 CD Retrospective]

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 270000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Celebration

Celebration is the third greatest hits album by American recording artist Madonna, and the closing release under her contract with Warner Bros. Records, her record company since 1982.[1] The release follows her two previous greatest hits albums, The Immaculate Collection (1990) and GHV2 (2001).[2] The compilation was released in many different formats including a one-disc edition and a deluxe double disc. A compilation DVD, entitled Celebration: The Video Collection, was released to accompany the audio versions. The album includes three new tracks, the title track, “Revolver” (featuring Lil Wayne) and the bonus track on some editions “It’s So Cool”.

Celebration was appreciated by contemporary critics who noted the vastness of Madonna’s back-catalogue. The album debuted at the top of the charts in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Madonna became tied with Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most number-one albums in the United Kingdom, though this tally also includes the soundtrack album Evita which features other artists. In the United States, it debuted in the top ten of the Billboard 200 at seven. In other nations, it debuted within the top ten. The title track was released as the first single of the album. It became Madonna’s fortieth number-one song on Billboard‘s dance chart. “Revolver” was released as the second single from the album, but failed to achieve commercial success.

Disc One:

Hung Up—-The collection begins with some of Madge’s later recordings and her most successful in years. Hung Up is a nice blend of both classic Madonna and dance floor fueled Eurotrash. The french production includes a bit of vocoder, swirling synths and a decadent bass line!!!

Music—-Continuing much in the same vein as the last track, this only convinced the public that Madonna had no intention of giving into age or the changing scene of the Music Industry. This was a ‘comeback’ so to speak, and she did it all rather very well. Again with the french production team and the added sounds of the evolving European Music Scene….this is not a favorite, but has become a classic!!!

Vogue—-Returning to and reminding us of the ‘second’ heyday of Madonna, this was a track that swept the entire globe with its contagious delivery and a fantastic video and dance to go along with it. Madonna still relied on the 80’s synth line of deep swirls and house sounds for this track…even now, it still sounds rather fresh after not listening to it for such a long time. Classic Madonna right here!!!

4 Minutes—-The pairing of two of the world’s biggest superstars was pure management genius and resulted in nothing less than a worldwide smash. With the personalities of both Timberlake and Madonna clashing over a huge Timbaland beat, how could you possibly fail? This is one for history…still plays incredible well and sounds like a huge Clash Of The Titans!!!

Holiday—-Jumping back to the very early Madonna days when she was a quasi-club kid hanging on every bit of advice given to her by Warhol and his entourage, this only served to let the world know that this Detroit girl was going to be a huge star. With classic 80’s beats and a swirling synth line that betrays the time, this was so popular in the gay clubs all over the world…we know stardom when we see it!!!

Everybody—-Another song that betrays the time of the recording, this slight Electro sounding track is still fresh despite the aged beats. Madonna urges us all to join her on the floor and lose control…with the bass synth, it is rather easy to do so. Still sounds rather remarkable.

Like A Virgin—-Like GaGa after her and bowie before her, Madonna is a master at marketing and making a gimmick to promote her music. This classic track is no exception. Using MTV as a pedestal, Madonna produced a video that propelled her to even greater heights. This has never been one of my favorite songs….perhaps I heard it just a bit too much…none the less, this is the quintessential classic dance track!!!

Into The Groove—-This is a bit dated as well, but one of those early songs when I realized that perhaps this girl was here to stay. The vocal is so much better than the earlier things she had done and we hear the first production of that deeper tone of hers that I like so much. This is classic 80’s pop…but still sounds remarkable and makes me want to dance even now!!!

Like A Prayer—-Fueled by a religious overtone and a video that made it overt, this still remains one of my favorite madonna tracks she has managed to produce. the sentiment was so real for me as I struggled with both my sexuality and my religion. It stands the test of time incredibly well and she was triumphantly successful with this. This only helped make her an even bigger superstar!!!

Ray Of Light—-The title track to my favorite Madonna record thus far released, this was a HUGE hit…and not even the best song on the CD. The increasing beat and the Euro-sound makes the track ultra contagious. the remixes for this song are breathtaking and the vocal, in my opinion, is one of the best of her career. A huge hit out of the ballpark and down the street!!! This is brilliance!!!

Sorry—-Another of those tracks that really dug into my brain cells and decided to live there for years, this has so much of the fancy French production that you just knew when you first heard it that it would be huge. madonna has made few musical missteps in her career…she knows what sounds good and what will sell well. She obviously was right again with this one…still love this track!!!

Express Yourself—-This really fell flat for me when it was released. This is still very low on my list of Madonna classics…just never really found a place for me in her catalog. I much prefer the Gaga ‘remake’…..LOL!!!

Open Your Heart—-Led by another marketing coupe with a cute video, Madonna captured the masses with this track. This is another track of hers that really features that deeper tone of her voice that almost makes me feel euphoric…I love it when she sings in that tone. Despite the dated 80’s sound, this is an incredible track with a huge great message!!!

Borderline—-Another 80’s track that manages to play well without seeming to dated, it is the opening strains of the song that really get me. The introduction of the song takes me back to that carefree and joyous time in my life when I had not yet discovered the burden of responsibility. For a song to make you still smile after all of these years is an accomplishment….because music matters!!!

Secret—-Acoustic in nature and featuring that contra-alto vocal that works so well for madonna, this is another very favorite track of mine. This is moody, rather dark and exquisite with deep synth lines and emotion. This is fantastic…I may have to listen to this twice!!!

Erotica—-Featured as a new track on the first Hits collection, Madonna further cemented herself in the hearts of popular culture even more. This is sexy, dirty and quite damn wonderful!!! With familiar 90’s synth lines that were everywhere at the time, Madonna made them her own by her overt sexually suggestive lyrics and breathy voice. This was a triumph and carries a whole other set of memories…this is classic!!!!

Justify My Love—-Also offered as a new track on The Immaculate Collection, this was a WORLDWIDE SMASH….and is still in my top 5 Madonna tracks. I have about every remix of this song you can find anywhere. This is sexual, seductive and at times pretty dirty…but also expressive and full of longing. This is Madge at her best!!!

Revolver [featuring Lil’ Wayne]—-Offered as a new track on this massive collection, Madonna joins forces with the hottest star of the current time to rather mediocre results. For me, this track never really got off the ground….as a matter of fact, I rather dislike this song….it is replayed current music and sounds way to much like a lackluster Britney track.

Disc Two:

Dress You Up—-Another of those early tracks that Madonna used to further her career at the expense of MTV and the annual video awards. No one can deny the brilliance of the woman when it comes to marketing and promoting herself with outrageous behavior and costumes. This sounds a bit dated, but again brings out that deeper tone of her voice I love so much. Rather nice!

Material Girl—-Perhaps the one song that is identified as making this woman a household name, the video and the ensuing live performances proved to the world that Madonna was here to stay. This is still jaunty and exciting…as I listen back on it now, it seems hard to imagine her singing this with much gusto now, but why abandon a shining star….this still shines!!!

La Isla Bonita—-Another very favorite track of mine, this song found an instant place on my playlist simply because it was so different from anything she had produced up to that moment. the tone of voice, the tropical music and the gentle breeze that flows through the song…is still fresh and magical to me. A pure triumph!!!

Papa Don’t Preach—-with a brilliant video, some rather emotional live performances and a rather sedate track for the Queen Of Pop, this is another track that remains on my playlist to this day. I never get tired of the emotional quality of the voice….the message of the lyrics and the undeniable contagion of the synth line. Masterful!!!

Lucky Star—-A track that catches Madonna at her earliest and trashiest. This still reminds me of the later Warhol days and his proclaiming that this youngster was going to be a huge star…when Andy spoke, people listened. This is far to bubble gum for my taste, but it is still hard not to sing along….

Burning Up—-Reminding me of a long-lost Human League track from the onset, this falls a bit flat for me. this sounds rather dated and less than stellar as I listen back on it now. This lacks a certain energy that the Queen always produced in her songs…oh well, you still can’t argue with brilliance can you?

Crazy For You—-Still in my top 10 favorite Madonna tracks, this ballad shows the force and talent of Madonna at her finest. This is heartfelt, emotional and can produce a lonely feeling even after all of these years. This only proved to the wold that this girl could really sing…just a stellar track!!!

Who’s That Girl—-The title track to this filed Motion Picture, the song fared about as well as the movie. this should not be on this release….was this a hit????

Frozen—-also taken from Ray Of Light, this is still one of my very favorite tracks ever produced by Madonna. This is so emotive, full of intensity and has the ability to make me incredibly sad if I catch it at the right moment. This is brilliant in production…there seems to be layers and layers to the music on the song. And the vocal is stellar….taking me to a place I don’t visit often!!!

Miles Away—-This was refreshing to me the first time I ever heard it. It has a unique sound…the French Euro beats combined with a slight acoustic guitar is rather genius. The lyrics are real and relateable…and madonna sounds fantastic…the vocal over lays are incredible…another track I really enjoy hearing from time to time!!!

Take A Bow—-I think, these days, Madonna is at her best when she involves herself in these more heartfelt ballads. this reminds me so much of classic Carpenters….yes, I said it!!! This is exquisite…full of heart ending lyrics, deep emotion and a sadness that makes you wonder what inspired this track. This is genius!

Live To Tell—-Without a doubt, my favorite #1 Madonna track and video….the live versions of this song are rather heart wrenching for me. This is real as real gets…Madonna had a worldwide smash with this track…delivered it in person like no one could imagine and made a lasting impression on millions of people the world over. This is still fresh, new and wrenching…..never forget!

Beautiful Stranger—-This begins with a rather joyous refrain…..full of typical Madonna musings…but the slight Electro feel to the song allows it from becoming anything but ordinary. Madonna is laid heavily on top of the vocal…full of a powerful vibrato that makes me smile and ponder again what inspired this track. This is stellar!!!

Hollywood—-Another of those songs that fell way under the radar for me in the career of Madonna. This has never really found a solid place for me in my favorites from the Queen. To me, this is lackluster and lacks a certain energy that I have come to expect from her. This is not bad, but just not a favorite of mine.

Die Another Day—-What can be better than recording the title track for a 007 movie…..but this falls a bit flat as well. same as the movie did if I recollect correctly. This is too generic to really find a place for me…this is predictable and a retread of 30 other songs that Madonna pulled off otherwise well.

Don’t Tell Me—-This is fantastic, I love this track. the stop and start, the stutter and the missing beat here and there keeps your attention. The stripped down feel of the song allows Madonna to showcase her voice incredibly well. When the swirling synths arrive over the acoustic guitar, you are amazed still at the versatility of the woman who is Madonna!!!!

Cherish—-Ugh…..never liked this track, and it sounds no better to me now than it did then. this is way to bubble gum for me…..next…..

Celebration—-Another new offering released with this retrospective, this has a nice Pet Shop Boys deep house sound that runs through it. I love this track…Madonna continues after all of these years to prove that she is still a force and still relevant. There is little wrong with this track…as Madge prepares to once again enter the studio, she must feel pressure. Can she out-GaGa GaGa……let’s wait and see…..

**** 3/4 out of 5

 

 

Hollywood Undead / American Tragedy

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 250000006UTC 12 by marky7235

American Tragedy

Hollywood Undead is an American rap rock band from Los Angeles, California. They released their debut album, Swan Songs, on September 2, 2008, and their live CD/DVD Desperate Measures, on November 10, 2009.[1] Their second studio album, American Tragedy, was released April 5, 2011. They have released the singles “Hear Me Now“, “Comin’ in Hot“, Coming Back Down, and “Been to Hell“. All of which are to be set on the new album. All of the band members use pseudonyms and wear their own unique mask, most of which are based on the common hockey goaltender design. The band members currently consist of Charlie Scene, Da Kurlzz, Danny, Funny Man, J-Dog, and Johnny 3 Tears.

The Analysis:

Been To Hell—-The first strains of the song are a bit dark, but it is just mementary…the familiar strains of the band begin to form and the trade-off vocals begin. The rap delivery is fantastic, but the chorus is what makes the track huge. This is a nice alternative sounding band that manages to combine so many genres..you can’t stop listening…this is the best I have heard from this band….loving this.

Apologize—-With little time to catch your breath between songs, this track enters with a complete and fresh sound that is so different from the first track. I like this bands style…the hip-hop element insure to keep your attention, but the harmonies and the huge chorus manages to prove the band’s talent. This is not easy music to make…combining all the elements of pre-recorded and live instruments is an art…well, these boys have it down pat. Even if it is a bit silly at times, this is still classic stuff.

Comin’ In Hot—-This track, has no socially redeeming qualities…..it is just plain partying’ music..plain and simple. With enough references to liquor brands to establish an endorsement, this band is serious about the drinking. The beats are masterful and the mood is light and fun. This is rather generic and reminds me of classic 90’s party rap, but it still manages to sound fresh and lively. Nice!!!

My Town—-At this point in the release, I am longing to hear a bit more of the aggressive side of this band…the one you know that they are capable of. The chorus of the song is rather masterful and saves this from the skip button. The song manages a huge sound when the entire entourage joins in on the chants, but the typical rap deliveries tend to become a bit old….you know as well as I do that this band can rock out…so where is it?

I Don’t Wanna Die—-This is pretty awesome from the very first strains that you hear…..remarkable. The song is a somewhat typical delivery of mundane rock/rap switch off, but these guys always manage to deliver a chorus that makes your ears prick alive and a refrain that stays in your brain. This is pretty impressive…I love this…..

Hear Me Now—-This, right from the onset, has a much deeper sound. Once the vocal begins, the song indeed, has a darker tone as well. This is fantastic!!! The chorus as expected is freakin’ amazing. the harmonies and the melodies that are produced are magical…reminding me of a very new Linkin Park. This is extra-ordinary…my favorite track on this…by far!!!

Gangsta Sexy—-Wow….I thought for sure when I saw the title of this track that I would just hate this…it really is not that bad though. the beats are pretty addictive and the lyrics are funny and sexy at the same time. there are some real fun vocal inflections on the track and again, the chorus is just large enough to make the entire thing addictive as crack!!!!

Glory—-Beginning with a gentle piano interlude, the song builds and builds with a nice aggression that excites me from the onset. Unfortunate for me, there is no screamo to be found….the silliness in the delivery is almost immediate…then again, here comes that damn chorus. It seems to make the entire rest of the song acceptable…this band has a great knack for producing a huge chorus that wants to live in your brain and eat at you like maggots..this is nice!!!

Lights Out—-This is very Linkin Park…right from the onset…the band delivers the chorus and the refrain in that order. This is fantastic…I love the ebb and the flow that the song manages to produce….it keeps you interested and makes you look forward to the super addictive chorus. This is freakin’ bordering on brilliant!!!!

Coming Back Down—-Wow….this is amazing…..the beginning of the track is just incredible. The ensuing refrain is straight off of a Mike Shinoda tip…..but it is the chorus again that draws you in and makes you a sucker for addiction. This is stellar…another really favorite track.

Bullet—-This is just silly and a bit of waste of recorded space…..why????? Until you listen to it a bit closer….the suicide references are a bit disturbing…especially if you have ever been there…..this is weird but a bit poignant.

Levitate—-At the onset, the song has strong electronic sounds, but quickly returns to the bands trademark sound. This is a nice delivery…the joint rap switch off is nice…but AGAIN….the chorus will dig in your brain and live there until next month. this is fantastic…..if you dismiss everything else, this is an entire release built on huge chorus and switch off rap……this should be huge!!!!

Pour Me—-Wow….another bit of a surprise….this is rather tender and sweet at the onset. Once the rap begins, I’m even more surprised..this is a tender and intricate story of abuse, loneliness and desperation. Wow…who knew. And of course, the chorus is fucking huge and addictive…this is pretty fantastic!

Tendencies—-Returning to round out the release with a full on metal onslaught, this is nice after 12 songs of other wise different music. The guitars on this track are huge and there is nice aggression on this song. the chorus again delivers an unforgettable Chester Bennington inspired sound that sticks in your brain forever. This is a great way to end this CD…the band is still standing strong…I hiope we don’t have to wait forever for another release from this outfit. Stellar!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Arch Enemy / Khaos Legions

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 220000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Khaos Legions

Khaos Legions is the eighth studio album by Swedish extreme metal band Arch Enemy, it was released on May 30, 2011 by Century Media. The record marks a return to new, original material, after releasing the Tyrants of the Rising Sun – Live in Japan live CD/DVD (2008) and The Root of All Evil (2009) which consisted of a selection of re-recorded songs from the band’s back catalog.

Khaos Legions debuted at number 78 on the Billboard 200, selling around 6,000 copies. This surpasses both Doomsday Machine and Rise of the Tyrant, making it the bands highest-charting effort so far.

The Analysis:

Khaos Overture [Instrumental]—-Beginning much as you would expect, the intro to this release is full of urgency, darkness and a brutality that is only a slight taste of things to come. All the while, this by now seasoned band gives a nice melodic flair to the onslaught…bringing only a big smile to my face!!!

Yesterday Is Dead and Gone—-Right out of the gate, the track is aggressive as hell…there is a nice guttural scream from Angela and then the mayhem ensues. It is just beyond belief that that voice comes out of this lady. The song is firm in the formula of the band…the melody and the structure is what we have come to expect. The amazing thing to me is the exceptional musicianship…it seems the band has developed even more in the few years they have been gone…..fantastic!!!

Bloodstained Cross—-There is so much energy right from the onset of this song, I have problems staying seated. Angela again delivers a death scream that almost makes me hard. This is a pummeling track…the drums are amazing and the leads that go off into solos are magnificent. Angela gets some nice squeals to her voice that off set the deep tones rather nicely…this is a true return to form!!!

Under Black Flags We March—-Beginning with a bit of a downtrodden beat, the song slowly builds…at times sounding like classic 80’s Heavy Metal….all that illusion is dashed once Angela opens her mouth. This is nice, the melody sticks in your brain…but the song is unremarkable…except for the chorus…which is catchy as hell…..repeat, repeat and repeat…..

No Gods, No Masters—-Returning to full on aggression, the band again seems to deliver a slight retro sound that is only amped up by the vocal. This is pretty damn catchy though…even with the vocal as rough as it is. Angela actually seems more accessible than I can ever remember her sounding. This has a nice ebb and flow to the feel of the music…there is a huge marching beat to the backdrop that only fuels the adrenaline rush…a favorite of mine.

City Of The Dead—-Nice….right from the onset!!!! The huge sound that this band manages to produce is just incredible. Angela delivers line after line of deep and incredible sounds that defies most other Metal singers. This is one band I have not seen live…but must catch them on this tour!!!!

Through The Eyes Of A Raven—-Again, this is aggressive right out of the gate. The bass and drums are the leaders on this track and the result is pretty damn fantastic. This band has a pretty incredible rhythm section…that falls into place very well once the rest of the band kicks in. Musically, this is very Dimmu Borgir to me……even the vocal is not that far off…although Angela sings in a bit more mechanical voice than Shagrath. None the less, one of the other best tracks on this release.

Cruelty Without Beauty—-This is rather odd at the onset……a bit mechanical and atmospheric…..but the little trickles of sounds slowly build until you are set smack in the middle of mayhem. This has a rhythmic quality to it that is just perfect for head banging and moshing. Angela sounds literally possessed on this song…I have never heard her sound more angry and demented. This is remarkable!!!! The slight electronic sounds that pop up on this track are a surprise, but make it incredible!!!

We Are A Godless Entity—-Coming out of the dark with a rather ominous and deep bass intro, the song begins like an unworldly ballad that is set for modern times. The track takes a bit to get going…but once the entire band kicks in, there is an underlying melody that will stick in your brain for a very long time. This is huge and epic……the track will not let you down and is perhaps one of the best and remarkable little interludes I have ever heard.

Cult Of Chaos—-Melding magically from the previous interlude, the time to play is over. this is brutal…driving, aggressive and will leave you feeling like you just got a beatdown!!! This is fantastic….Angela sounds literally possessed and delivers some screams that must have left her voice raw. This is brutal….fantastic and left me in a heap on the floor!!!!

Thorns In My Flesh—-With little time to catch your breath, this is right out of the gate the most aggressive track on this CD. The band and the vocal begin during the VERY first second of the song and never gives you respite for the entire length. the energy and the brutality is incredible…but the song still manages to have a structure and a feel to it that allows for an underlying melody. This is fantastic!!!!

Turn To Dust/Vengeance Is Mine—-Returning to a more somber and low-key intro, the band begins with a slow almost electric acoustic feel for the introduction…it rather made me smile…..I knew it would not last too long…and I was right. This drummer is just stellar…I love the urgency and the rapid fire delivery….besides the vocal, the drums are the true star of this ENTIRE release….I love it. The vocal is as you have come to expect…the leads on this track are exceptional though…this is a seasoned sounding band…the fingers are moving fast as hell on this song….I love this shit!!!!

Secrets—-Huge and epic in sound from the very first notes of the song, this dissolves into mayhem and a remarkable almost Industrial sounding track that made me smile even more than the rest of the record. This is stron….but the vocal seems removed to the back a bit on this song…the leads are so in your face it is almost impossible to hear anything else. Still, this is stellar and WAY better than I expected!!!!

 **** 1/2 out of 5

She Wants Revenge / Valleyheart

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 180000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Valleyheart

She Wants Revenge is an American musical duo, based in San Fernando Valley, California. The group’s debut album She Wants Revenge was released in early 2006, with three singles to follow (“These Things,” a video for which features Shirley Manson from Garbage, “Out of Control,” and “Tear You Apart” for which the video was directed by Joaquin Phoenix). The band has sold more than 300,000 records in the US. The band’s second album, This Is Forever, was released on October 9, 2007.

The group’s third album, entitled Valleyheart, was released on May 23, 2011.

The Analysis:

Take The World—-The one remarkable thing you notice at the onset of the release is the missing trademark bass line that has always led the band…have no fear…it is not forgotten or left behind. This has a bit of a more experimental sound, but it is so damn pleasant. When the vocal begins you are at once comfortable…the speak/sing delivery is in full effect and the song is much more dance friendly than anything I have heard from this band in some time. Reminding me so much of classic Human League!!!

Kiss Me—-Returning in glory to a more predictable and ordinary sound, it is not to be construed as a disappointment. I love how the vocal is pushed so far to the front of the mix and sets right in the center of your forehead. This gains a lot of momentum as it develops and turns into quite a fantastic pop song…perhaps the most accessible thing the band has ever done. Just remarkable…this is a favorite!!!!

Up In Flames—-This is yet another surprise! Beginning with a sound that reminds me of classic Gary Glitter, this has a nice sleazy and dirty feel to it. The vocal reminds you without a doubt whom you are listening to, but the musical backdrop is a nice display of new sounds and textures…I rather like this!!!

Must Be The One—-This is just classic stuff…hard to believe you are listening to the 4th release rather than the first, this could have fit perfectly on the recipe driven debut CD. This is a nice track…full of lament, regret and a longing for the past. The vocal is outstanding and the energy is so damn contagious. This is the lead off single…and for a good reason….fantastic!!!!

Not Just A Girl—-This begins in a rather grand musical manner, but settles a bit…becoming at times an almost tender song. There are vocal overlays and a really huge growth in the sound of the band on this release. This is not ordinary and as you would expect music from the duo…this is new and fresh…accessible and a bit mainstream. This track is HUGE……I could hear this on the radio and I can hear this playing wonderfully well to a booze sodden club as well…..marvelous!!!!

Reasons—-Although there are predictable moments in this track, there are also new sounds that manage to keep my attention and make me excited about this band all over again. There is an incredible New Order sound to the band….but also a great homage to the synth sounds of the 80’s magically woven underneath it all. The vocal is trademarl…the speak/sing formula is masterful…but this is new and fresh all at the same time…think Human League meets Soft Cell!!!!

Little Stars—-Returning to a more predictable sound, this is not a disappointment by any means. This is a bit abrasive at times and reminds me on numerous songs from the band’s past Part II. This is fantastic and full of energy…the deep sound and the rhythm section makes you wonder how two people make such a big sound…..

Suck It Up—-Wow…..WTF!!!???? This is so large, fresh and new, you have to wonder what Executive talked to this band about updating and changing their sound? This is brilliant…the music is much different but fits with the vocal from Justin like a home-made recipe that actually works. there is a nice darkness to the song, but a huge brightness as well…..this is schizoid but so addictive!!!!

Holiday Song—-Again with the huge drum intro…but here comes the bass…making me hard at the first listen!!!! This has a swarming darkness that sucks me in and makes me smile like you can’t imagine. this is bass heavier even than new Order on the first release….Justin delivers line after line that makes you ponder, think and examine your life…perhaps to a fault…..ahhhh…because  music matters!!!!

Maybe She’s Right—-Laden with heavy synth sounds that makes you think again of The Human Lague in their heyday, the vocal even fits in as perfectly. I love this new direction….the band has produced a fantasic release…I only hope that many people get the chance to hear it!!! This is a triumph!!!

**** 3/4 out of 5

Deicide / To Hell With God

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 170000006UTC 12 by marky7235

To Hell With God

To Hell with God is the tenth studio album by the American death metal band Deicide. The follow-up to Till Death Do Us Part (2008), it was originally intended to be released in 2009[1] before being pushed back to a 2010[2] release, and was finally released on February 15, 2011 through Century Media Records.[3]

On January 11th, 2011 the Song “Hang in Agony Until You’re Dead” was debuted on Deicide’s MySpace page in full for streaming.

The Analysis:

To Hell With God—-Picking up and delivering much in the same vein the band has for many years, this song is full of classic Benton blasphemy and incredible Owen riffs. There is a nice bit of melody on this track…allowing you to breathe on occasion during the song. This band never disappoints….if you want dark and brutal, you got it!!!

Save Your—-I love how this track begins…the drums are AMAZING…both in volume and speed. The deep sounds of the bass are incredible and Glen delivers line after line like a machine gun. This lacks the melody part of the song…at times a bit chaotic….but would we really expect anything else. Sometimes, Glen scares the yell outta me!!!

Witness Of Death—-Sounding more Metallica than Deicide at the onset, there is a refreshing feeling to the difference in sound. Once Benton opens his mouth and delivers line after line of anti-religion rhetoric, you are sure you are listening to the right band. I am still surprised at times, after all of these years, that this guy can still sing like this and with such range. The overlayed vocals are fantastic…one of my favorite tracks from this release.

Conviction—-At the onset, this has a much more mainstream feel to it…the lines are pretty crisp from Owen…but the drums kick in and the hyper delivery begins. Benton enters with his vocal and it is delivered in an almost hypnotic and rhythmic feel that suck me in right from the onset. This is another favorite track of mine…and you can actually catch many of the lyrics without help!!! Magnificent…but dark none the less!!! I swear the guitar solo reminds me of Mercyful Fate!!!!

Empowered By Blasphemy—-With little time to catch your breath, this song begins and sounds a bit underproduced to me…the sound of the track lacks a bit of the shine of previous tracks. The band saves the day…this drummer is fucking stellar….delivering minute after minute of hyperactive machine gun speed that blows my mind. The joint vocals or overlays really provide a nice full sound to the song….and when Owen goes off on his solo…you are really reminded of the old days.

Angels Of Hell—-This is really nice….well produced with some good head phone speaker play, the song again reminds me of early Mercyful Fate…until Glen opens his mouth. The marked difference with this track is the nice overlay on the vocal, the almost addictive melody and the drums as ALWAYS. This has a nice ebb and flow to it…building you up a bit and lying low for a moment…definte must have track from this release!!!!

Hang In Agony Until You’re Dead—-The first track to be streamed from this release, it still is less than my favorite from this CD. This is nice, but seems like a re-tread of some material from the last release. I still have to commend the incredible guitars…and the drums which shatter my brain with precision, speed and accuracy!!!

Servant Of The Enemy—-Right out of the gate, this track is delivered with speed, desolation and chaos. One thing that holds the song together is the amazingly clear vocal from Benton…not what i am accustomed to!!! This is brutal…the higher pitched overlay is freaking fantastic and rounds out the song. when Benton delivers his little nursery rhyme at the midpoint of the song….I just sit and smile!!!!

Into The Darkness You Go—-A bit predictable but still delivered with fresh brutality, the song takes a remarkable turn once the vocal enters the fray. This is almost addictive…despite the sometimes chaotic flavor of the music. I am blown away…despite the content and the religious backlash, this is stellar. This has a really nice rhythmic feel to it…just fantastic!!!!

How Can You Call Yourself A God—-Ending this rather generic and predictable release with a song that has a slight 80’s metal intro is a bit of surprise…I guess it is the high pitch lead in that reminds me of this. The drums enter at break neck speed and Benton continues to spew his distaste for anything even remotely Christian…..but the brutality and the force is true and real…you HAVE to love this band…..

**** out of 5