About Court In The Act.

No albums are hosted here. All files must be deleted 24 hours after download, as they are for review and criticism purposes only - provided you follow this guideline, downloading from Court In The Act is legal as per s30(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. If any copyright holder has a problem with their material being posted here, get in touch and I will remove it. Let me know if any links are broken, I'll remove the post to prevent future annoyance, and will attempt to re-upload the file.

Comments make our work worthwhile. If you really enjoyed an album, tell us about it, we'd love to hear from you. If you hated it, tell us why.

Although music is a major part of all of our lives, we all have some form of external life. If there are periods in which no posts are added, I'm sorry, but that's how things happen. Even though I love blogging like this, sometimes I can't muster up the desire within myself to write about yet another album.

I'd like to say too that Court In The Act will never be run for personal profit. This means no advertisement, no premium schemes, and no LinkBucks. Megaupload is used because it strikes a fair balance between ease of upload and ease of download.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Album Roundup: Q1 2012

The first three months of 2012 have been relatively quiet insofar as music releases have been concerned - at least, they have for me. Here's a summary of the new albums I've heard this year, as well as a preview of things to come. So without further ado:

Paul Cusick - P'Dice [9th Jan]
A good second attempt that doesn't quite match up to the first yet somehow bewilderingly features the drumming talents of the drummer from the band Cusick is content to rip off so frequently. Read my full review here. [7]

Anneke Van Giersbergen - Everything is Changing [20th Jan]
Although she first came to my attention as "the girl on that Devin Townsend album", it turned out that the Dutch singer has an extensive career in her own right. Formerly the singer of goth metal/prog rock outfit The Gathering, her recent solo work has taken a more pop-rock-oriented direction, and this new album is more of that. Beginning with the lead single "Feel Alive", the tone is set from the start as one that is positive yet introspective. Still, her relationship with metal is not entirely forgotten here, and a few tracks exhibit guitar work which one may even be inclined to call riffs. Still, the album as a whole is enjoyable to listen to, even if there are no immediate standout tracks. [7]
Feel Alive
Similar: The Gathering, Tarja

Savage Messiah - Plague of Conscience [23rd Jan]
A horribly boring power/thrash metal album hardly worth the effort of a free download. Read my full review here. [3]
Six Feet Under the Gun
Similar: Symphony X, Evile, Helloween

Napalm Death - Utilitarian [13th Feb]
I'll admit that up until recently I wasn't too keen on Napalm Death. I'd listened to "Scum" a few times and didn't think it was all that (an opinion which I'm aware is considered heresy on this blog), but then I borrowed "Time Waits For No Slave" off a friend and I was introduced to the world of 21st-Century Napalm Death. "TWfNS" was fantastic, so I was pretty excited when news of a new album reached me. Now, although most of this album is standard deathgrind fare (a.k.a, holocaust in a washing machine), the band have attempted to spice things up a bit with a doomy opening instrumental, a saxophone freakout courtesy of John Zorn on "Everyday Pox", and deep, throaty chanting on "Fall on Their Swords". Tracks like this help to split up the album - which, at 45 minutes, is pretty damn long by grindcore standards - into more manageable chunks. So this is Napalm Death doing what they do best, and it will not disappoint you. [9]
Quarantined (only a minute-long preview unfortunately)
Similar: Terrorizer, Nasum, Brutal Truth

Miike Snow - Happy to You [13th Mar]
Miike Snow's eponymous 2009 début was a chirpy indie synthpop album that I developed an unexpected liking for. However, the Swedish trio's second serving seems to have missed the mark somewhat. One thing I liked about the previous album was that a lot of the songs were actually catchy, something the band seemed to have overlooked here in lieu of trying to make the production sound even cleaner than last time. But this is ultimately self-detrimental, as "Happy to You" is not as good as the previous album by a long shot. [4]
Similar: Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, Calvin Harris

Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks [19th Mar]
What Paul Weller thinks: "pop-art punch with soulful communication, jazzy explorations into psychedelia and dub with razor-sharp melodies, abstract soundscapes with clear-eyed forest-folk". What I think: Paul Weller has been increasingly experimental with his music, especially with the psychedelia-tinged "22 Dreams" in 2008. "Sonik Kicks" is an extension of that, featuring a bunch of songs in a multitude of different styles, including Britpop of old, folk music, soul, and so on. While some may argue it lacks coherence (perhaps it could be seen as a little too diverse), I think it's another great album from the Modfather, and of a quality I hope he keeps up in years to come. [8]
Similar: Blur, Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

Iron Maiden - En Vivo! [26th Mar]
I'm tempted to say "It's fucking Iron Maiden" and have done with it, but since I saw them at one of the dates on their Final Frontier World Tour last year, I can actually review this album by comparing it to my first-hand experience of this set and Maiden as they are now. As the title and packaging implies, "En Vivo!" was recorded in Chile during Iron Maiden's Final Frontier World Tour. The setlist itself focuses on a lot of new material (over half the songs are from 2000 onwards), while still including all the Maiden classics we know and love. Bruce, Steve, Adrian, Dave, Janick and Nicko are still as talented and energetic as ever, but on an audio recording this can only come across on their playing, which sounds very much as it did on "The Final Frontier". Furthermore, in order to streamline the album, most of Bruce's banter has been removed (and there's a lot) which makes the whole thing a rather bog-standard affair. This is far from the definitive Iron Maiden live performance (look to "Live After Death" for that), so unless you're a die-hard, show no more interest. [5]
(Also I know there's a DVD of this concert, but the standard edition is just the audio, so that's what I reviewed)

Astra - The Black Chord [27th Mar]
Whoops, this shouldn't be here. This album was clearly released in Q1 1972, with its psychedelic trip music, space-age synthesizer textures amd cover art quite clearly designed by Roger Dea- wait, this came out this year? Huh. Basically Astra are a band that has set out to show the world what 'psychedelic' really means (i.e. not MGMT), with an album that would have been just at home 40 years ago as it is today. Featuring six tracks (three extended, three shorter) with far-out guitar work, atmospheric keyboards and willowy Gilmour vocals, "The Black Chord" is definitely worth a listen whether you plan on getting high or just sitting back, relaxing and setting off on a cosmic voyage to discover the true meaning of 'chilled out'. Best album I've heard so far this year. [10]
Similar: Pink Floyd, Yes, Early Porcupine Tree, The Bakerton Group

The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet [27th Mar]
Apparently something's slowing The Mars Volta down. Since they exploded onto the scene in 2003 with the frantic and energetic "De-loused in the Comatorium", every subsequent release has seen slower music and a deeper singing voice from Cedric. Not that this is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination; it shows that the band aren't afraid to experiment a bit, and although "Noctourniquet" is not their strongest offering, it has enough good ideas and diversity to hold its own. Many of the songs sound like they've been taken straight from "Frances the Mute", slowed to half speed, then had the vocals re-recorded by an extremely pissed off singer. However, the production is a bit wonky at times, with some tracks (e.g. opener "The Whip Hand") sounding like someone banging some crockery in the next room. As I said, not the band's greatest album, but kooky and interesting and worth a listen or two. [7]
Similar: At the Drive-In, De Facto

So that brings Q1 2012 to a close. In the next three months we have Ian Anderson's "Thick as  Brick 2", Mikael Åkerfeldt / Steven Wilson collaboration "Storm Corrosion", new O. Children album "Apnea", the new Rush album (finally!) and more. See you then!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...