Chris C's blog

Album Review: Attika 7 - Blood Of My Enemies

Some musical reinventions are necessary, while some of them seem to come out of nowhere. Musicians, for all the time we spend thinking about them in abstract terms, are artists, and they by definition cannot recreate what has already been done. Approximations can be made, but there will always be a different creative spark inciting the next work. No amount of careful copying can perfectly replicate what we've already seen or heard. That means at some point every musician has to accommodate change, whether it be a shift in taste, or simply the process of aging and gaining experience.

Album Review: Revolting - Hymns Of Ghastly Horror

Rogga Johansson is the closest thing we have to a death metal machine. Even in a world where bands swap members at random, and everyone has multiple projects, the amount of projects he has put his name to is staggering. You would think that after enough time has passed, there would come a point where the need and the inspiration to continue making mountains of old-school death metal would wane. The amazing part is that we have yet to reach that point, and we may never will.

Album Review: Gypsyhawk - Revelry & Resilience

Whatever happened to rock and roll? There was a time when rock bands ruled the world, selling out stadiums and lighting the imaginations of music fans everywhere. Rock music was about having a good time, celebrating life, and enjoying the hell out of the moment. But somewhere along the way, we all decided we were too cool for that anymore, and we needed to move on to more artistic endeavors. Merely playing music and having fun with it wasn't good enough, everything had to push boundaries and break new ground.

Album Review: Beardfish - The Void

Right now may be the best time since the heyday of the 70's to be a progressive band. Not since the anything-goes days of yore has the scene been filled with so many bands willing to step outside the box, and so many fans wanting to take the journey with them. Everything from classic prog rock, to the technical wizardry of progressive metal, to the brazen attitude of progressive death and black metal, everywhere we look is filled with bands no longer content to play within the confines of the typical.

Album Review: Katatonia - Dead End Kings

At what point does consistency become stagnation? Even the most remarkable of stimuli loses its efficacy if repeated too often. It's a truth that we face on a daily basis, but one we don't often give much of our attention, instead focusing on whatever is shiny and new. It's a natural reaction to have, to be fixated on things we haven't seen or heard before. The quest to seek out as much good music as we can is never ending, and it's one of the driving forces for most fans.

Album Review: Threshold - March Of Progress

The path a band takes is rarely a straight line. Detours pop up that throw into upheaval whatever momentum can be gained, making a career as much a test of endurance as it is a measure of the quality of work produced. It would be nice to think circumstances that fall out of our control wouldn't have such an impact on where life takes us, but we are not given that luxury. Bands are subject to the whims of fate as much as anyone else, and while some are blessed with good timing, others find themselves stuck with the blackest kind of luck.

Album Review: Darkness By Oath - Near Death Experience

I will admit that I don't share the same affinity for death metal that a seemingly massive portion of the metal world does. It's not that I'm against the genre on philosophical grounds, or that I've never found any bands that I enjoy, but on the whole I've simply never been gripped by the constant onslaught of brutality that so many others lap up. I can appreciate the talent and skill that goes into writing and playing much of the material, but at its best death metal feels emotionally hollow to me, and at its worst it feels downright silly.

Album Review: The Foreshadowing - Second World

Doom bands have a struggle on their hands. Not with their fans, who love and crave the slumbering behemoths that pour out of speakers like cold molasses. No, the problem is with people like me, who may have only a passing interest in doom. The tempos and bleak outlook that categorize so much of the music is an impediment to growing the fan-base beyond the hardcore devotees. When the blueprint is executed as written, songcraft often gets placed well behind bludgeoning heaviness, turning what could have been a powerful musical statement into a thundering wall of noise.

Album Review: Candlelight Red - Demons

The proliferation of media means that bands can't merely be bands anymore. Everyone needs some sort of a gimmick, whether it be sound or image. Four or five guys wearing jeans and playing instruments won't capture anyone's attention, not with the cornucopia of options the consumer has at their disposal. Perhaps this helps explain the decline in relevancy rock music has encountered in recent years.

Album Review: Bad Salad - Uncivilized

One of the greatest benefits that has come about as a result of the shifting nature of the music business is the establishment of a relative meritocracy. If a band is good enough, no matter where they come from, and no matter if they are signed to a label or not, word will spread and they will find an audience. At no time has there ever been such an ability to hear music from all corners of the earth, to uncover the gems that in earlier days would have remained hidden forever.

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