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Old 11-12-2013, 07:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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...and then God made metal


It was 1970, and The Beatles just weren't hard enough anymore. Therefore, God made them split up, and said “let there be metal”. And then there was. Four men, Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Ward and Geezer Butler got the mission of spreading the Word of Metal, and the same year they released:

Black Sabbath




Before I even mention the music, I'm asking you to look at the album cover. “Again? Do I have to?” Yes, again. Just do it. Please don't tell me you aren't filled with a sense of doom and despair, along with a mild heat spreading from your heart and all the way to your fingertips? Now, put on the album. The rain, the thunder, and the bells. Before the music has even started, you already know this is going to be some heavy sh!t. I hope you like the blues, though. The rest of the album is dominated by it. The next track even has harmonica in it, but that's alright. Right? If you don't like polka tulk blues, just wait until the fourth track, “N.I.B.”. That one is ultra-heavy. It's also told from the view of Satan. “But why does it have to be so dark?” you ask while peeing your pants. I'll tell you, it's because Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple had already tried to spread the word of Metal before, but not succeeded, so in order for it to work, Sabbath had to make everything so damn heavy as humanly possible, and it did succeed, they just needed a strong enough dose. That's why. They could have spread it out on the tracklisting a little more though, since the rest of the album isn't even close to touching the first half in terms of heaviness. Not that it's all that matters, but some people just don't seem to treat their missions seriously. Also, it has two blues rock covers, one of which is ten and a half minutes long without really needing to be. But I guess that's just the kind of thing that makes you appreciate the gift of Metal even more. Especially track one and four.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briks View Post
Track 2
I'm not saying Paranoid is a bad song, but I do think it's a bad follow-up to War Pigs. It's pretty dull in comparison. Master of Reality wins this one just by keeping on track.

Track 3
Planet Caravan, and now we can't even see the track (you know, the one they went off) anymore. This would fit on a Pink Floyd album or something. Embryo is not much better, but I view it as an introduction of sorts to the next track, they're even merged together on the Live at Last album. Anyway, it's a tie, since none of the tracks fit in particularly well.
That's my big problem with Paranoid. It's a great album, but the song flow on the A-Side is terrible. Why would you follow such a heavy track on such a monumentally heavy album with a great, but still normal, not-at-all heavy rocker, and then further the not-at-all heaviness with "Planet Caravan"? They should have followed "War Pigs" with "Iron Man" to give you a one-two knock-out punch of monumental heaviness. Then put on "Paranoid" to change things up, and stick "Planet Caravan" near the end of the B-Side.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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"Keeper of the Seven Keys" better than "Halloween"? Blasphemy. "Keeper of the Seven Keys" is "Halloween"'s lame, inferior little brother. Like Charlie Sheen is to Emilio Estevez, except in reverse. I can't listen to that song enough. The only problem is that it's not long enough. It always seems like it's over even though it only started like eight minutes ago.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Maybe I'll grow on it, but for now, I'll stick to what I wrote. By the way, totally agree on what you said about the Paranoid tracklisting. Planet Caravan sounds like an ending track, IMO.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I liked the song for song contrast idea that you did, I don't think I've ever seen it done before on MB, which is surprising really for what seems like an easy idea and great idea.

The problem with the Black Sabbath debut is that the b-side contains too much filler, apart from that the rest is a classic though.

The Helloween albums that you've listened to are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to power metal. You now have the European or American styles to enjoy. As for Helloween the only other album that comes near this in quality is Better Than Raw.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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For some reason I thought it would be Time of the Oath, but I haven't heard either, so I guess that doesn't matter. I most certainly WILL check out Helloween further, keeping Better than Raw in mind, of course.

By the way, I'm writing for my schools online newspaper, and last monday I published an artist spotlight for Black Sabbath. At one certain middle school, posters featuring members of Black Sabbath are now lighting up the otherwise depressing (and filthy) halls.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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By the way, I'm writing for my schools online newspaper, and last monday I published an artist spotlight for Black Sabbath. At one certain middle school, posters featuring members of Black Sabbath are now lighting up the otherwise depressing (and filthy) halls.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The Lonesome Crowded West sounds like something MacGyver would throw together with duct tape in his confused teenage years. That's why I like it. I think I'll review it sometime after the weekend.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:11 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)

Ever since I first heard this I've been listening the living sh!t out of it. I love it. Not because of crushingly high-quality production and shiny clean vocals. It doesn't have either. That's the charming part (referring to my previous post). Oh, and I'm not waiting until after the weekend. I did have the time, after all.



1. "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine"
2. "Heart Cooks Brain"
3. "Convenient Parking"
4. "Lounge (Closing Time)"
5. "Jesus Christ Was an Only Child"
6. "Doin' the Cockroach"
7. "Cowboy Dan"
8. "Trailer Trash"
9. "Out of Gas"
10. "Long Distance Drunk"
11. "**** Luck"
12. "Truckers Atlas"
13. "Polar Opposites"
14. "Bankrupt on Selling"
15. "Styrofoam Boots/It's All Nice on Ice, Alright"

It kicks off with “Teeth Like God's Shoeshine”, a dissonant rocker hitting you not with clean notes, but pure, honest energy. “Heart Cooks Brain” is the follow-up, and it features lyrics such as “my brain's the burger and my heart's the coal”. Like it or love it. I think the album is kind of lyrically repetitive at moments, especially in the song “Convenient Parking”, but I like it. I think it contributes to building up the energy, at least in this case. The fifth track, “Jesus Christ was an Only Child” doesn't sound at all like the first four. It's driven by violin and acoustic guitar, and features some haunting noise in the background sounding kind of like Donald Duck getting strangled by a bear. Rad. I think my personal favourite from the album is “Cowboy Dan”. It has a tense, pounding rhythm section that leads the song until it changes into a mellow mid-part, then it gets back to normal. Another favourite is “Sh!t Luck”, the song with the most raw energy on the entire album. It has very few sung lines, or maybe I should say shouted? “Truckers Atlas” is for you guys who like long songs. Note that it's not very complex, and that about five minutes of it is... well, nothing much but filler.

This album has something for everyone. Weird lyrics, violin, a dying Donald Duck, mellow parts, long songs, (non-)religious views, punk and US state references. Recommended for emos, nerds, hipsters, Norwegians, the rest of the world and Disney-haters.



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Old 11-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Meat is Murder (1984) and The Queen is Dead (1986)




Finally
, I have acquired a copy of Meat is Murder. That means I can finally bi- ...write about which Smiths album I like the best. I decided to put it up against The Queen is Dead, since that album was rated the greatest ever by NME and I think it's my favourite.



Meat is Murder
tracklist:


1. "The Headmaster Ritual"
2. "Rusholme Ruffians"
3. "I Want the One I Can't Have"
4. "What She Said"
5. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"
6. "Nowhere Fast"
7. "Well I Wonder"
8. "Barbarism Begins at Home"
9. "Meat Is Murder"


I think there are very divided opinions on Meat is Murder. Some say it's The Smiths' worst album, some say it's their best, some say it's a tie between it and The Queen is Dead and so on. I, however, am not sure where to place it on my Smiths top list. Musically it's a bit more diverse than the debut (having funk infuences on track 8, for instance), and lyrically it's a bit darker. Though there are political and pro-vegetarian themes on it, the usual sad-to-the-point-of-being-depressing lyrics are still there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Smiths in Nowhere Fast
And if the day came when I felt a natural emotion
I'd get such a shock I'd probably jump in the ocean

The Queen is Dead
tracklist:


1. "The Queen Is Dead"
2. "Frankly, Mr. Shankly"
3. "I Know It's Over"
4. "Never Had No One Ever"
5. "Cemetry Gates"
6. "Bigmouth Strikes Again"
7. "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"
8. "Vicar in a Tutu"
9. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"
10. "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others"

The opinions don't seem too divided on this one. Everything I read about it before buying it said it was their finest work, it's their highest rated album on Rateyourmusic and it's apparently "the greatest album of all time", according to NME. Though it may not be the greatest ever, it certainly is a great album. It has very few weak moments, in my opinion (though Vicar in a Tutu is an obvious one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Smiths in Bigmouth Strikes Again
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt
As the flames rose to her roman nose
And her Walkman started to melt

My opinion:

Which is the best album in The Smiths' catalogue? I haven't heard their live/compilation albums, but they don't count anyway. I decided it had to be one of these two. But how will I decide which one it is? I can't do a track by track comparison like I did with Black Sabbath. Therefore, I'll score the music, lyrics and "other variables", and judge from the average points of each album.

Meat is Murder:

It's more musically diverse than the debut, but it sounds a little bit more unfinished than its follow-up. However, there are some good riffs and compositions here. Out of ten, I give it a 6.5*

The album has the most serious lyrics of all. I'm talking animal abuse and corporal punishment. It also has some of my favourite Smiths lyric lines. 7.5

"Other variables" include the album cover and nothing more, really. This was the first Smiths album cover I saw, though I didn't know it was theirs. Anyway, it's my favourite. That means an extra point.

The Queen is Dead:

The funk influences are gone as far as I've noticed. Instead, there are just tongue-in-cheek pop songs (and music hall, according to Wikipedia). Also, this album contains There is a Light that Never Goes Out, one of my favourite songs. 8

The lyrics are much less dark on this one. They are sad, they are funny and they are referring to poems I've never read and movies I've never seen. 7


The score average for Meat is Murder was 7.5, and for The Queen is Dead, it was exactly the same. It's a tie, but remove the album cover of Meat is Murder and The Queen is Dead wins.




*Note that it is only based on how much I like it,
personally. No science or anything.
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