album reviews

Album Review: Sully Erna - "Avalon"

Sully Erna's solo album "Avalon" seems to serve two purposes. First, he finally gets to explore his fascination with tribal drums and acoustic music to his heart's content, without the weight of the Godsmack name and subsequent label expectations. Second, he created a vehicle which allows him to create all the songs about longing and soul-searching emotional torment that it seems he's been brimming with since his band's eponymous album.

Album Review: Serj Tankian - "Imperfect Harmonies"

There are a certain number of things that must be said in regard to Serj's album, and they relate to both the man and the music. He possesses a nearly flawless sense of the dramatic. Sometimes teetering on the precipice of melodrama, Tankian has an innate talent for crafting music of grand context. This album, not unlike any of his solo adventures, would be well adapted for stage, complete with larger-than-life characters, exotic sets and resplendent costumes.

Album Review: The Sword - "Warp Riders"

Albums like this are why I take so much joy in listening to music. It makes sifting through all the boring, blasé, baseless music seem trivial in the face of unearthing such beaming majesty as this.

Simply stated, and cutting to the chase, “Warp Riders” from The Sword, a band that is sure to be in the ranks of metal aristocracy soon, is my runaway favorite for Album of the Year.

Album Review: The Toadies - "Feeler"

Holy crap, the Toadies! Remember them? I do. I don't think it's too heavy an exaggeration to proclaim that I am the only person in the Western Hemisphere who owns all of the Toadies' albums besides the band's own mothers. I can't really defend that, nor can I put my finger on why I find them such an enjoyable band, especially considering that I probably listen to them only four or five times a year.

Album Review: Autopsy - "The Tomb Within" EP

Somehow, even after all the years of latent dormancy, three of the four original members of Autopsy can come back together and still rock it. It must be like riding a bike, as this incarnation of the long-thought-to-be-dead gore metal classic hasn't really missed a step relative to their other works.

Album Review: American Bang - "American Bang"

American Bang is a raw band with a developing sound. So it will be interesting to see what happens with their career path since the band’s producer is none other than legend/scourge Bob Rock. Sometimes lauded as a rock and roll genius, and sometimes referred to with less positive sentiment as the Man Who Ruined Metallica, Bob Rock evidently saw American Bang perform live and was instantly smitten. With a new heavy-hitting producer in tow, American Bang presented the world with their eponymous debut.

Album Review: Disturbed - "Asylum"

Disturbed always leaves me in a strange place as a metal fan. The selfish, select, protective metal fan in me wants to write them off as another example of metal overproduction; a band that some record label wants me to like. Conversely, the honest music fan in me can’t help but admit that they have written a whole bunch of incredibly catchy songs.

As a side note, someone whispered to me that Disturbed will be talking with fans on Ustream about the album on release date, which is Tuesday the 31st (5:30 PM EST.) So if you're a fan, scope that out for yourself.

Album Review: The Ashers - "Kill Your Master"

I don't get to hear albums like this very often. Furthermore, I don't know that I would ever go out of my eye to hear one. Still, whenever something like this crosses my desk, I always take a minute to enjoy it for its pure destructive potential and crack a smile at how simple it all can be.

Album Review: Hell Within - "God Grant Me Vengeance"

I find that I like the idea of Hell Within. It seems like they’re built in the same mold as Unearth; a Massachusetts-built strong brand of new age metalcore with flying guitar solos that is coupled with a forceful but unfocused vocal performance. The problem is that the cohesiveness of the band isn't quite there. "God Grant Me Vengeance" has a feeling in parts that each individual musician is playing his line in the proper context, but it’s all so raw and unfiltered as to get snarled up in itself.

Album Review: Sister Sin - "True Sound of the Underground"

It's funny to me how the "True Sound of the Underground" sounds suspiciously like the "True Sound of Hot Topic." Everything is a little too arranged, and seems coldly calculated. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the album was assembled behind the soulless doors of a record company marketing meeting, but all the rage and vinegar just seems too convenient.

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