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Old 09-01-2014, 05:54 PM   #191 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Unknown Soldier View Post
Only you could come up with a rating called hum factor
What? I thought it was good. It's certainly one of the criteria I (subconsciously) use to decide whether an album is worth listening to or not...

Perhaps I should apply for a patent on that. Or not.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:10 PM   #192 (permalink)
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More like A Perfect Yawn!


Artiste: From Oceans to Autumn
Nationality: American
Album: A perfect dawn
Year: 2013
Label: Self-released
Genre: Post-rock?
Tracks:
Aurora
Zenith
Eos
Halo
Visible light
Legend
Split sky
The absolute
The illusion of a moving sun
Faultless

Chronological position: Fifth album
Familiarity: Zero
Interesting factoid: It's mentioned that the band changed their name (after five albums) to Mountains Among Us, though their Bandcamp page still shows them as From Oceans to Autumn... Oh, and the previous band of founder and mainman Brandon Helms was ... Autumn is Forever. Apparently not.
Initial impression: Atmospheric, powerful, moving music. Definitely instrumental.
Best track(s): Eos, Split sky
Worst track(s): Not really interested enough to pick out worst tracks
Comments: Another band I chose purely on the basis of their name. I like bands with the word “autumn” in their names. It just always seems a very creative thing to do. I found these guys on Progarchives so they must or should be some sort of progressive band, but whether rock, metal, experimental or something else I do not know. I do get the impression they may be an instrumental outfit though. Well, the first track certainly is.

And so, it would seem, is the rest. Mostly it's driven on the sort of hard guitar work you get with ASIWYFA and God Is An Astronaut, but occasionally there are quieter, more reflective pieces, such as Eos, which is short but very ethereal with what appears to be synth guiding the music. Other than that it's pretty basic. Great music, there's no doubt, but the same as I could hear on any of these post-rock instrumental albums from any band in that genre. Losing interest....
Overall impression: Meh
Hum Factor: 0
Intention: Not intending to check any more of their stuff out.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

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Old 09-16-2014, 04:30 AM   #193 (permalink)
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Melodic? Or just Metal?


Artiste: Mooncry
Nationality: German
Album: A mirror's diary
Year: 2013
Label: SAOL
Genre: Melodic Metal
Tracks:
Burning curtains
Puppet crow
Defamed pride
Scylla
Reflection of lies
A thousand lives
Pictures of thee
The beast within me
A mirror's diary
Angel of darkness

Chronological position: Third album
Familiarity: Zero
Interesting factoid:
Initial impression: More like death met --- oh wait. Power? Not so sure I'd call this melodic metal, which is often just a harder form of AOR...
Best track(s): Defamed pride, Scylla, Reflections of lies, Pictures of thee, The beast within me, A mirror's diary, Angel of darkness
Worst track(s): None
Comments: According to the lineup there is only one vocalist, in which case Sali Hasan has a very versatile range, as we start off with death growls and roars, then fall into a more intelligible and listenable style. I wonder is it more than one guy singing? Whatever, it's heavy as hell with elements of gothic and progressive thrown in, but definitely more in the line of speed or power metal than melodic I feel. Some great keyboard work, with the gothic influence most keenly displayed in the choir-like vocals opening Puppet crow, and a really nice orchestral style keyboard passage in the middle of Defamed pride, then the first real evidence of Mooncry being any sort of melodic metal band comes with Scylla, which I must say is one of my favourite tracks so far.

Reflections of lies keeps the quality high, with Hasan's ability tested as he sort of mutter-growls the low-key vocal, and it becomes a sort of slow cruncher with some crushing guitar. More orchestral/gothic material in Pictures of thee with lovely acoustic guitar then on The beast within me and a very decent closer. Overall a pretty decent album with nothing bad about it, but again does it stand out? Still working that out.

Overall impression: Pretty good metal, though again not what I'd categorise as “melodic”.
Hum Factor: 2
Intention: Probably happy with just hearing this really.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:01 AM   #194 (permalink)
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Daddy would have been proud...


Artiste: Roseanne Cash
Nationality: American
Album: The river and the thread
Year: 2014
Label:
Genre: Country
Tracks:
A feather is not a bird
The sunken lands
Etta's tune
Modern blue
Tell Heaven
The long way home
World of strange design
Night school
50,000 watts
When the Master calls the roll
Money road

Chronological position: Thirteenth album
Familiarity: Zero
Interesting factoid: Ah you know what I'm gonna say!
Initial impression: Kind of more rocky than I expected
Best track(s):Etta's tune, World of strange design, 50,000 watts, Night school, When the Master calls the roll
Worst track(s):[i] None
Comments: I suppose it's inevitable that if Country icon Johnny Cash was going to have children that some of them at least would take after their late pa and go into the music biz. Roseanne is the eldest daughter from Johnny's first marriage, and so has the inestimable honour of being the first in the “line of succession”, as it were. She has three other sisters, and her marriage to Rodney Crowell in 1979 just solidified her love for and interest in Country music. And so we come to her thirteenth album, in a career that has spanned over thirty-five years, and I didn't even know of her existence until a short while back...

Nice bit of slide guitar to get A feather is not a bird going, and it's really more a sleazy boogie/blues feel to it than Country, while Etta's tune has a lot of early Nanci Griffith in it with some fine male vocals adding to its atmosphere. There's a sense of resignation and weary triumph as she sings “We're just a mile out from Memphis/ And I've finally made it home.” Nice bit of orchestral work on The long way home, and I'm noticing that much of this album is reflective, I guess Cash is looking back on her life and career and assessing where she is now.

World of strange design seems a journeyman (or woman) song, with some uptempo guitar and handclaps and the inevitable reference to the J-Man. It's quite rocky in its way and I really like it. According to ZZ, Jesus just left Chicago, but if we're to believe Cash then he was born in Mississippi! Night school has a very Dan Fogelberg feel to it, while 50,000 watts is more sort of Carpenters and has a great beat and swaying rhythm to it, almost gospel at times. Another favourite. Great backing vocals on When the Master calls the roll and some fine accordion I think? Trumpet too possibly. Not to mention that I hear Irish folk artist Mary Black's influence in there. Good stuff.

Overall impression: Damn fine Country album, a credit to her da, but I doubt I'll be listening to the previous twelve. Well, maybe one or two...
Hum Factor: 4
Intention: Might look into more. Might not.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:59 PM   #195 (permalink)
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You can run but you can't hide from the melodies


Artiste: Carbon Based Lifeforms
Nationality: Swedish
Album: Refuge
Year: 2013
Label: Leftfield
Genre: Ambient
Tracks:
RCA (+)
Birdie
RCA (-)
Leaves
Lost
Escape
Marauders

Chronological position: Seventh album
Familiarity: “Interloper”
Interesting factoid:
Initial impression: More or less what I expected. I really like these guys!
Best track(s): Pretty much all of it
Worst track(s): Nothing
Comments: I've liked CBL ever since I went looking for some ambient electronic music that wasn't dance or trance or dubstep, and was advised by I think Rezz to try these guys out. I tasted “Interloper” and was hooked. Now this appears to be a motion picture soundtrack but that's ok: this Swedish duo are well suited to the atmospheric nature of cinematic music, as is evident from the soft opener, the enigmatically titled RCA (+) which builds from a gentle beginning into something a little more tense, with swirling synth soundscapes and ethereal piano.

CBL are known too for their slowly building soundscapes, rather like Solar Fields, and indeed the first minute of Birdie is nothing but a softly rising synth effect until piano and guitar fill in, and RCA (-) has a much darker and threatening undertone with a big wailing guitar line growing to something of a crescendo, while Lost is almost minimalistic, the music nearly in the background, if you can imagine such a thing. Escape has a darker, throatier feel to it and is carried mostly on some bassy synth. There's definitely a sense of running, of flight about it.

Like most of CBL's repertoire, you're talking about spacey, laidback, mostly soft and definitely ambient music. Great to drift off to sleep to, study to or anything else that requires or allows music in the background, but can be enjoyed by direct listening too.
Overall impression: What I expected. Another flawless album from the Carbon Based ones.
Hum Factor: 0 (You can't hum this stuff)
Intention: As ever; keep up with the releases
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Don't make fun of my vagina!
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Eat a hollow tip you calorie avoiding pussy.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:59 AM   #196 (permalink)
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Kiske does it again!


Artiste: Place Vendome
Nationality: German
Album: Thunder in the distance
Year: 2013
Label: Frontiers
Genre: Hard rock/AOR
Tracks:
Talk to me
Power of music
Broken wings
Lost in paradise
It can't rain forever
Fragile ground
Hold your love
Never too late
Heaven lost
My heart is dying
Breakout
Maybe tomorrow
Thunder in the distance

Chronological position: Third album
Familiarity: Zero with this band but a lot with its individual members' bands
Interesting factoid: Place Vendome is actually an area in Paris. Whether or not this has anything to do with why the band chose this name I don't know.
Initial impression: Interesting. Violins, then it breaks into a real power rocker. Good start.
Best track(s): It can't rain forever, Fragile ground, Hold your love, Heaven lost, My heart is dying, Maybe tomorrow, Thunder in the distance
Worst track(s): None
Comments: When I downloaded this I had no clue what it was other than it had an AOR tag. Now I find it's the band Michael Kiske formed when he left Helloween, and not only that, but members of Stratovarius, Labyrinth, Adagio and Primal Fear are also involved, some playing, some writing the songs. Impressive pedigree and I really hope this lives up to the expectations which have just appeared in my mind now considering who's in the band. This is their third album, and Kiske also apparently plays or played in another band called Unisonic with another ex-Helloweener, Kai Hansen. Small world, eh?

I always thought Kiske was the better of the two Helloween vocalists, and he shows it here from the off. The music is a little softer than the likes of his work on the seminal “Keeper of the seven keys” of course, but it's still powerful with some great guitar work from Uwe Reitenauer, and the bulk of the material here appears to be written by my mate from Eden's Curse, Allesandro del Vecchio. It's commercial of course and Helloween fans might shudder, but this is a different arena. Given that, I so far don't hear anything that blows me away. Interstingly enough, it's a song not written by ADV that impresses me first.

It can't rain forever has that classic AOR sound with a killer hook (must never have visited Ireland eh?) and really showcases Kiske's already-established vocal credentials, but proves he can also sing “soft rock” as well as heavy metal. Great keyboard work too from Gunther Werno. The next one is brilliant too and now I think we're really starting to get somewhere. Most of the tracks are good from here, some better than others. Good AOR is usually built both on great hooks and vocal harmonies, and this album has both, especially on My heart is dying, which features some heavy guitar.

There's only the one ballad, rather surprisingly, and it comes with Maybe tomorrow, some fine orchestral keyboard work in it, with the closer another strong track. Speaking of orchestral, there's an orchestral version of Maybe tomorrow as a bonus track and it's really worth listening to. For an album that started slow this really found its feet and never really looked back once it got going.
Overall impression: Great AOR album and it's great to hear Michael Kiske again.
Hum Factor: 6
Intention: Will check out their previous albums now.
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This point you're making is so stupid that I almost thought I wrote it.
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Don't make fun of my vagina!
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Eat a hollow tip you calorie avoiding pussy.
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:35 PM   #197 (permalink)
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Been away too long...


Artiste: Bram Stoker
Nationality: British
Album: Cold reading
Year: 2014
Label: Sunn Creative
Genre: Progressive Rock
Tracks:
Climbing the gyroscope
Cold reading
Fast decay
Calling me home
Chasing red
Joust
New adventure
Like autumn now
Fingal's cave
Light at the end of the tunnel

Chronological position: Second album
Familiarity: Zero
Interesting factoid: Their first album was in ... 1972!!! Also, in 1971 they were supported by a young band looking for their first gigs. You may have heard of them: Queen?
Initial impression: Very Genesisesque but with a doomy undertone
Best track(s): Cold reading, Fast decay, Calling me home
Worst track(s): None
Comments: Now this is a weird one. I can't recall any band leaving such a gap between their debut and their next album, in this or any other genre. Forty-two years? Many bands celebrate if they last that long, and usually have a string of albums and live albums and gigs under their belt. But what is known of Bram Stoker? Originally formed in 1972 as a sort of session band to record “Sabbath-like” music, they produced an album called “Heavy rock spectacular” (later re-released, for some reason, as “Schizo/Poltergeist”) which apparently was the closest thing prog has ever come to Doom Metal. What happened to them in the interim? I have no idea. But now they're back with what is, by all accounts, a much more mellow, um, follow up.

You can definitely hear the influence of early Genesis on these guys as the opener gets going, but there's a darker, doomier undercurrent running through much of this music, mostly delivered through a low bassy piano but there's a lot going on with the keyboards too. Then, just as I think this is going to be an instrumental outfit, the title track brings in vocals in a very Alan Parsons direction, reminiscent of Colin Blunstone or the late great Eric Woolfson himself. A nice ballad, though it speeds up halfway on uptempo keys and guitar. Fast decay is a great instrumental that really funks up (or I should probably say progs up) Bach, with the old Toccata getting the full treatment. Class.

That doom overtone has disappeared now and the music is definitely wavering between early seventies Genesis and early eighties APP, a good combination. I also hear a certain Mike Oldfield influence here too. It's hard to compare this to an album --- albeit released four decades and more ago --- that was supposedly just put together to cash in on what was doom metal at the time. Bram Stoker have certainly come a long way. Just not sure why it took them so long to get their second album out? Been worth waiting for though.

Overall impression: Very worthy blend of prog and balladic APP material. Gets progressively (geddit?) better each time i listen to it.
Hum Factor: 4
Intention: I may listen to the original album, not sure.
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This point you're making is so stupid that I almost thought I wrote it.
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Don't make fun of my vagina!
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Eat a hollow tip you calorie avoiding pussy.
Quote:
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And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:41 PM   #198 (permalink)
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Thoroughbreds in every sense of the word


Artiste: The Donkeys
Nationality: American
Album: Ride the black wave
Year: 2014
Label: Easy Recording
Genre: Indie/Folk
Tracks:
Sunny daze
The Manx
Nothing
I love Alabama
Scissor me cigs
Imperial Beach
Ride the black wave
Brown eyed lady
Blues in the afternoon
Bahamas
Shines

Chronological position: Fourth album
Familiarity: Zero
Interesting factoid: There's also a British band called The Donkeys
Initial impression: Liked this from the start; great mix of Country and rock
Best track(s): Sunny daze, The Manx, Scissor me cigs, Ride the black wave, Brown eyed lady, Blues in the afternoon, Bahamas
Worst track(s): Nothing.
Comments: There's something I can only describe as a full or solid sound about the opener, Sunny daze and an infectious sense of optimism that just pulls me in right away. The second track is a superb instrumental that somehow conjures up empty, windblasted beaches, while Nothing has a sort of Beatles feel to it. Unfortunately these guys are another band who, though they have a website, neglect to include a bio or any band information, so I can't tell you anything about them other than that they're from San Diego and twice were nominated for that state's music awards, winning on one of the occasions.

They have been compared to CSNY and the Grateful Dead, and with the sound of accordion, electric piano and booming organ in their songs, I can see why. Their vocal harmonies are gently beautiful while yet being powerful, and there's a folk sentimentality to their music which is quite rare these days. In fact, did I not know better I might have thought this was a band from the sixties. The title track is just immense. Love this. Blues in the afternoon is even better, just makes you want to relax and chill. And then there's Bahamas. Good lord, can this get any better?
Overall impression: Superb and a really good find. I can see why they won an award.
Hum Factor: 9
Intention: Must listen to their other albums now.
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This point you're making is so stupid that I almost thought I wrote it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
Don't make fun of my vagina!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucem Ferre View Post
Eat a hollow tip you calorie avoiding pussy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland View Post
And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.

Last edited by Trollheart; 01-12-2015 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 01-09-2015, 09:46 PM   #199 (permalink)
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Well, you sold me. I'm checking that album out.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:13 AM   #200 (permalink)
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Well, you sold me. I'm checking that album out.
You won't regret it. It's amazing. More coming soon.
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Don't make fun of my vagina!
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Eat a hollow tip you calorie avoiding pussy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland View Post
And mindfulness doesn't even talk.
Come away human child to the waters and the wild
With a Faery hand in hand;
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


W.B Yeats, The Stolen Child.
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