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Old 11-25-2008, 04:08 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Great review, Comus Thanks a lot!

I wanted a Paternoster review because I thought I wouldn't have time to listen to it .. but my curiosity got the better of me and I got a hold of it and listened to it on the way back from work. By the time I got back to where I live, I was on the last song.

You are a bit more positive than I was on my first listening. I thought at times, the drums were about as tight as wet toilet paper (for example about 3 minutes an onwards into "Blind Children") and the guitarist seems to mostly improvise randomly on one string throughout most of the album, making the guitar fight a bit for attention with the vocals on some tracks. It makes the guitar slightly annoying at times and makes me think some chords or even riffs should be in order. They paint some nice soundscapes on this album, like on the track "Stop These Lines" where they make some of their instruments sound like wolves and owls in the dark .. or at least, those are associations my mind came up with. However, I miss a richer feel of the sounds, possibly more reverb on the vocals and a chord every now and then on the guitar would do wonders, I think. As a whole, the album feels sombre, dark and a little depressing, maybe also a bit repetitious. Depending on who you are, maybe that's not a bad thing, but I feel a little light (representing here also some diversity in themes) makes the shadows even deeper.

On a more positive note, the album did pull me in quite a few times. As you probably don't know, I'm currently way up in the norwegian arctic where the polar night has set in for full. Walking in the crisp cold in the darkness while listening to Paternoster was at times strangely fitting and even sent some shivers down my spine on one occasion or two. The songs are definetly mood-setters making me think many of them would fit specific use, like music in a film for example. However, the whole album from start to end feels a bit lacking for me, as if Paternoster's ambitions were a bit too high for their abilities. The production is slightly lacking in areas - as I mentioned, some wet-paper drums and annoying guitar (IMO) and nearly fulfiling soundscapes, but not quite. However, a great moodsetter and definetly a fun curiosity to show your friends now and then.

I didn't really mean to write so much, but I guess asking you to review the album made me a bit analytical myself as I was listening to it.
I sort of agree with some points, in retrospect maybe I was a bit too positive but I had just come off from listening to the dreadful new GNR album and it felt so good to listen to something that was actually properly made. I stand by my score but I can certainly see your point.

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Fantastic review for my favourite Nick Drake track. There is something so quintessentially English about Drake's melancholia.

I need to correct the two mistakes I made in those sentences, the nonsensical "played the playing with time" without the needed comma, and the like meant to be "unlike". I really need a proof reader.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:32 PM   #62 (permalink)
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We Interrupt this Review Corner for a Eulogy


RIP ENSLAVED
They Entered This World As They Should Have Left It: Kicking and Screaming

No longer shall we be blessed by the pitter patter of ****ing metal, no longer shall we enjoy the long nights being kept up by the unholy wail. On September 29th Enslaved was involved in an unfortunate accident, the release of their new album. The utter terrible nature of the album killed the band as Isa and Ruun had nearly threatened to. Not even a course of antimardraumbiotics would save the band from their untimely death. While we must mourn their passing there must be some good to come from this, I have yet to find it, but at least we can still enjoy their music from 2003 and earlier, and boy it was some fine music. From the early demos to the first true EP release Hordanes Land all the way to Below the Lights they released gems aplenty, but now that has been silenced forever.

That the band that created the epic “StÝrre Enn Tid, Tyngre Enn Natt” will no longer be able to gift the world with such beauty is the true tragedy here.


Enslaved, dead to my world, alive and well in their wallets.
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classical music isn't exactly religious, you know?
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:41 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies - The American Metaphysical Circus (1969)



"The Sub-Sylvanian Lithanies"
1. Kalyani (3:51)
2. You Can't Ever Come Down (3:01)
3. Moonsong: Pelog (3:46)

"American Bedmusic - Four Dreams for A Departing President"
4. Patriot's Lullabye (2:49)
5. Nightmare Train (3:19)
6. Invisible Man (3:33)
7. Mister 4th of July (1:47)
"Gospel Music For Abraham Ruddell Byrd III"
8. Gospel Music (4:29)
"The Southwestern Geriatrics Arts and Crafts Festival"
9. The Sing-Along Song (4:04)
10. The Elephant at the Door (5:13)
11. Leisure World (2:35)
12. The Sing-Along Song (Reprise) (0:47)

This album has a huge reputation to live up to, so I go into this review expecting something truly special, and from the start there is already the huge sense of experimentation that I was expecting. It is clearly very ahead of it's time, it sounds fresh even by todays standards. In Kalyani there is already some very interesting effects being put to good use and it makes for a very intense, refreshing listen. The end of the track and the transition into the next track is beautifully crafted and creates a very intense feeling.

You Can't Ever Come Down introduces some well played guitars and some brilliant vocal looping. There is an obvious psychedelic feel that is good enough to even define the genre, however it does it in a way that is so far above that of the normal psychedelic bands that it sets itself very much apart. All the first three songs act as parts of one larger piece "The Sub-Sylvanian Lithanies" it feels like a very concious attempt to create something so different, so fresh and it does just that. It is very obvious already why this album is held in such high regard. The unusual effects and instruments create an incredibly eclectic mix that simply drives the album forwards and makes in incredibly interesting.

Right now I am wishing as must everyone else that has ever heard this album not under the influence that I had some acid or a big fat joint to truly appreciate everything as it was meant to be appreciated, then again I doubt I'd be able to review it as well. As moonsong ends you are thrust into American Bedmusic and Patriot's Lullabye, which is a lushly arranged piece with some beautifully delivered vocals featuring some brilliantly executed effects. The whole feel is very sobering, it brings you back down to earth, and true to it's name relaxes you as any lullaby should.

The album then slowly progresses towards Nighmare Train which features some very confidently arrogan vocals and more unusual instrumentals and a lovely little rhythm. If Lullaby puts you sleep, this track will very aptly give you nightmares, the album has been perfectly crafted to reflect the outward concepts. You can feel this albums effect on progressive rock which at the time was blundering its way into mainstream, this album would certainly have helped that along.

There is a incredible feel of direction in this album, you are most certainly left feeling that everyone knows their part and exactly how it's going to turn out. Whether this can be credited to brilliant production, planning, musicianship or all of the above is unknown. The album feels very genuine yet also mechanical and this juxtaposition makes it an increidbly interesting listen. Invisible Man feels very much like a standard jazz song that has had many added layers added above the guitars and rhtyhm section, including the vocals.

American Bedmusic ends with an old-time ragtime tune Mist 4th of July with all effects, including the record scratching effect that makes it feel very genuine. This brings us into part three of the album, Gospel Music for Abraham Ruddell Byrd III. The instrumental Gospel Music very nicely breaks up the album and presents itself as a very well played, if quite outwardly standard seeming jazz song. The whimsical feel of this song will refresh the listener and adds a further direction to the album before Part IV.

The Southwestern Geriatrics Arts and Crafts Festival stats with the Sing-Along Song, which is a perfect and even more whimsical departure from the rest of the album. With a very upbeat melody and an actual sing-along at the start of the song it sets the scene for a very alternatively psychedelic part of the album. Instead of relying on the standard psychedelic feel of the era it sets the scene by creating something that feels very old yet incredibly refreshing and ahead of its time for the type of album that it is.

The fact that it encompasses early 50's style music as part of the Geriatric concept feels very natural and it shows a form of reverse experimentation that is quite uncommon even today. The Elephant at The Door often feels like standard psychedelia but turns on a penny, there are some lovely uses of silence and time here that make me feel right at home. The extended instrumental jams here can sometimes lose direction but surprisingly it works to it's favour when it is eventually brough back in line.

The whole album feels a lot shorter than it actually is, it controls time perfectly and runs through in a way that makes you want to listen to it again once it finishes. Leisure World contains narration separated by a soft folk song, and ends with what sounds like something either in intense joy or the death throes of an animal. The album ends with the melodic reprise of the sing-along song.

The album as a whole plays like a masterpiece and very much deserves the hype surrounding it, the use of effects and unusual instrumentals works very well as a whole.

9.7/10

I'd completely forgotten about this one, wow, how did you ever come across this?
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:50 PM   #64 (permalink)
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My dad had a copy when I was growing up, we were talking music on the phone and he mentioned it, so I checked my sources and someone had a good rip. It is a quite well known album to be honest so it wasn't that hard to track down a copy. Regardless I'm very glad my dad chose to remind me of it.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:51 AM   #65 (permalink)
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I tried listening to this album on my little mp3-player, but some psychedelic distorted screeching sounds became too much for me as I have these little earphones (what do you call them?). I had to listen to some Dio instead .. :p

I will give it another go, though, your review intrigues me and this certainly seems like a weird little gem.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:30 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Well it’s long overdue for me to revamp my review system, no longer will I listen to an album and review it while I’m doing so. I’m going to put a bit more time and effort into each work, since that’s what these albums deserve. I will impose a 500 word limit on myself, and if that still leaves my reviews overlong and rambling I will cut that down by 100 words.

The Frames – Fitzcarraldo (1996)



1. Revelate (3:46)
2. Angel At My Table (3:45)
3. Fitzcarraldo (6:08)
4. Evergreen (4:28)
5. In This Boat Together (5:18)
6. Say It To Me Now (5:33)
7. Monument (3:38)
8. Giving It All Away (4:18)
9. Red Chord (4:29)
10. Denounced (4:20)
11. Your Face (5:42)

For the record this is regarding the 1996 Fitzcarraldo not the 1995 release.

Managing to do the amazing, the Frames here manage to be gritty and polished, it’s an interesting juxtaposition that definitely do them no harm. The added depth that’s created by adding small segments of rough guitar into a more polished song work very well, especially in Revelate, Monument and In This Boat Together. The whole album plays with a nice ambience that follows you from track to track, interspersed with some really nice guitar solos. The use of layering to create ambience is done very ably throughout and it’s clear that the band know what they can and can’t do. You won’t find anything here that you haven’t heard before, but the mix can be called unique to a point.

The high point of the album for me has to be the title track, the slow song sticks with you, it’s filled with pop sensibility and lovely breaking melodies throughout. The folk influenced instrumental passages that litter this track make it more than just an ordinary hook oriented song. It sticks with you and immediately you want to get to know the song better, simply to enjoy the pleasure of singing along.

Fitzcarraldo:

At times the album manages to feel very organic and heartfelt, it manages to make up for the apparent lack of experimentation. Emotion is conveyed very well through vocalist Glen Hansard but even better by Dave Odlum’s guitar at times. Some small little licks and solos that seem quite randomly dispersed within the songs have an immense amount of heart and sound simply sublime.

Being only 12 years old now, the album has managed to age quite well, I can’t say that it will continue to age well, it feels very much of this era now but lacks a certain timeless quality. Parts of the album seem undeveloped and it’s obvious that the vocalist can do a lot more than he shows on certain songs and it lets the whole album down. On a more positive note the guitarist is allowed to flourish on certain tracks, on a first listen around it felt very lacking, but now I can see the album is laden with lush guitar parts. Often it’s the subtle guitar playing where Odlum is at his best. At times, as on Say It To Me Now and Monument I get a sense of Irish attitude and swagger, slightly repressed but apparent.

Say It To Me Now:

The overall strength of the rhythm section becomes apparent the further into the album you travel, it constantly works to keep the vocals and guitar in line. The overall ambience of the album is driven here by the rhythm section and it’s very much to their credit considering the amount of work Odlum puts in creating his own sound.

Fitzcarraldo is a very solid album, however it lacks masterpiece potential, it would be a valuable addition to any music library. It’s one of the finest recent Irish albums I have heard, it is most certainly a grower, especially the hookier songs like Red Chord get stronger with each listen. Good, not great, and that’s what separates the sevens from the eights.

7.1/10
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:41 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Excellent Excellent album. I love the sweet melancholia that runs throughout the album. Top review.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:13 AM   #68 (permalink)
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10 Great Genre-Specific Albums from the Noughties

For the next few weeks Iím going to be doing another little project, while my last influential albums only got to 5 instead of 10, I will be finishing this. Iím not going to limit by Journal to only these next 10 reviews, so if I want to review something else I will.

As the title suggests I will be reviewing 10 great albums from this decade, all coming form 10 different genres; Psychedelic/folk, Ambient/Electronic, Folk/Viking Metal, Indie/Folk, Avant-Garde, Black Metal, Death Metal, Progressive Rock, Post Rock and Shoegaze. Some of these albums will be obvious, some not so obvious, some will be very well known and some will be quite obscure. Iím not going to reveal what album will be reviewed in relation to what genre or what genre Iím doing next.

I have all the albums that I want to review written down so I donít have to worry about that. My first album I will be working on later tonight, so you might get a review before the weekend, and for the weekend I hope to do two more. All of my albums will be done in the new style with some extra information available. And as usual if youíre interested in any of them, just state your interest.

My first album with be in the Psychedelic/Folk Category.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:31 AM   #69 (permalink)
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ALBUM #1


Citay – Little Kingdom

Cover:


Year: 2007
Genre: Psychedelic/Folk
Tracklisting:
1. First Fantasy (6:45)
2. Little Kingdom (6:39)
3. A Riot of Color (5:26)
4. On The Wings (7:48)
5. Last Days Last (3:05)
6. Eye On The Dollar (5:16)
7. Former Child (7:02)
8. Moonburn (2:52)

Little Kingdom is a beautiful folkish psychedelic album that plays like a beautiful, calming dream. The album throughout is held together by lush acoustic instrumentals and torn apart by slow squealing psychedelic guitars and effects, despite the interruptions the first half of the album feels incredibly smooth and calming.

What sets this album apart is the lovely melodies that course throughout, beautiful in their simplicity it adds huge amount of depth. The repetitive quality of the songs simply adds to the effect and atmosphere, Citay have embarked on a grand scale plan here to create something stunningly beautiful, and they most certainly have achieved that. Sparse vocals add to the mystical and distant feel of the album, and most certainly heighten the calming effects.

The instrumental build-ups become incredibly satisfying as the album starts to tug at your mind and heart. The first few songs build to relax the listener and eventually take complete control. There is nothing completely special about the instrumentals, there are no huge displays of talent, but it all fits together so well, it’s all so appropriate. Citay’s musicians have nothing to prove by showing their talent and thus don’t let it get in the way of creating some brilliant passages, staying true to the psychedelic mindset.

Little Kingdom

A Riot of Color has an absolutely brilliant solo that plays through most of the song, helped along by some brilliant melodic effects on loop it sets your mind on a spinning path to destruction. It takes some effort not to be a drooling mess by the end of this 45 minute journey, but why would you want to resist it, well apart from reviewing the little ****er. My advice would be to sit back with something warm and intoxicating, or even better, toke up and just soak it all in.

What overwhelms me about this album is how incredibly warm it is, today I was listening to it on my walk to and from university to get some more ideas about the review. It happens to be snowing at the moment and I just felt so warm and uplifted by the whole experience, the lushness of the album is quite breathtaking. The wholly instrumental tracks are some of my favourite instrumentals and definitely my favourite of this decade.

The relaxed atmosphere that is created throughout Little Kingdom sets you up for the cutting guitars and effects that kick in every now and then, and eventually come out in full force on the final two tracks Former Child and Moonburn

Moonburn

This album is a brilliant way to start the showcase of great albums of the Noughties. It is a must have for any self-respecting indie, folk or psychedelic fan who consider themselves to be with the times. Even the casual listeners will enjoy the calming often repetitive melodies, great for what it is, you should most certainly check out this solid journey.

8.7/10
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:57 AM   #70 (permalink)
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I just read your Nick Drake reviews and bravo. Very nicely done. I myself am more partial to Five Leaves Left, but they're all brilliant. I'm looking forward to these noughties reviews.
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