About Court In The Act.

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Weekly album analysis, week 5

Again, another week in which I've mainly been reacquanting myself with old albums, preparing for Damnation next Saturday, so there won't be much in this issue again:

Bastard Priest - Ghouls Of The Endless Night [2011]

Bastard Priest, in all honesty, probably peaked with their excellent debut full-length Under The Hammer Of Destruction - such was the quality of the d-beat informed old school swedeath worship on that release. However, that's not to say that this is bad, and in fact it's a very good album - again, it doesn't quite have anything to match the likes of 'Total Mutilation', but standout tracks 'Pestilent Force' and 'Fucking Slaughter' should appease any deathbanger. [8/10]

Cruciamentum/Vasaeleth - Eroding Chaos Unto Ascendant Flesh [2011]

Both of the bands on this split are part of the new guard of death metal - along with the above Bastard Priest, and like Bastard Priest, they do what they do very well. Cruciamentum, already favourites of mine with the one demo I've heard of theirs, are probably slightly better than Vasaeleth, but it's a close call and both bands are truly worth a listen. My one gripe is the overly short run-time; as a grindcore fan, I don't mind really short releases, but this sort of death metal really warrants more expansion over a longer time period. [7/10]

Death Toll 80K - Harsh Realities [2011]

I don't know what it is about Death Toll 80k, who play much the same style of punky grind as Wormrot, but they just don't appeal to me in the same way that most of the style does. Riffs just don't stick out, the vocal performance is uninspired, and frankly, I feel I can do a lot better elsewhere. Now, if I could identify the factor which made them different for me - after all, they are well-received elsewhere - perhaps I could find the 'X-factor' of grind for my ears. [4/10]

Iced Earth - Dystopia [2011]

Iced Earth are a very well-known power metal band, but surprisingly, this is the first release of theirs I've heard. Perhaps it's not the best place to start, but there's very little I remember of it, which is far from a good thing for a genre which hinges on the quality of its hooks. Maybe further listens will unveil some quality to me, but at the moment, it's firmly within the 'meh' category. [5/10]

Invidious - In Death [2011]

This EP is fucking great. Fist-pumping riffs with a bit of black metal and the mysteriosity of the likes of Demilich to them, and surprisingly enough, great vocal refrains. The small amount of technicality makes this more than just another old-school-style death metal release, and the surprising level of originality on this is to be applauded. This band, who feature current and ex-members of the likes of In Solitude, Repugnant and Immaculate, have good things coming to them on the basis of this. [9/10]

Steven Wilson - Grace For Drowning [2011]

Because of the way that my other prog-fan contributors kept fapping over this album and proclaiming it as the second coming of christ, I expected it to be just another album of self-conscious, overthought, disjointed prog wankery. It has to be said, there are elements of wankery to it, and the incredible runtime means that to me, it would be better split up into two separate albums, but it did just manage to hold my attention, and upon a second listen across two separate sessions, I realised this: this is a great album. 23-minute epic 'Raider II' is perhaps the best of its kind since the title track of Rush's 2112. [8/10]

Synkretosmis Mutare - In Rebus Adversis Meliora Sperare Memento [2011]

After listening to Sagamore of Waves Explosions' noise project, Mediocre Fin, I downloaded this, realising the man was a musical genius. All I can say is that even Mozart wrote some dud concertos. Pseudo-'creepy' ambient passages mixed with just generally odd sounds appears to me to have little musical merit, and although others may enjoy it moreso, this does absolutely nothing for me. I didn't even do my usual bit of finding out what the title meant. [2/10]

 

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