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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

iTunes Roulette, part II

Back to the 'I can't be arsed to do a proper post theme' (actually, I'm scheduling this a week in advance so the point's somewhat moot), here's the second week of a random look at my shitty taste. This week's not so bad - we don't have Dummy Burger and System Of A Down as the first two tracks, but I still feel there will be something less-than-kvlt in here.

1) Tomaso Giovani Albinoni - Movement I (Allegro) (of Oboe Concerto No. 6 In D Major, 1751)

Can't remember where I got this from - some classical blog, I don't doubt, but it's summer music at its most defined - sub-Vivaldi baroque classical is the name of the game. It's interesting, but not lasting. However, I can't make that judgement of Albinoni as a whole as I haven't heard any other compositions.

2) Tartaros - Into The Faculty Of Wonderful Secrets (off The Red Jewel, 1999)

There's no Dimmu Borgir this week, but this might as well be a slightly rawer version of Death Cult Armageddon. Recommended to me as good later Norwegian black metal, I'm afraid I see little merit to Tartaros. Symphonic black metal benefits from compositional complexity rather than sheer bombast, which is all that's on display here.

3) Black Sabbath - Neon Knights (off Heaven And Hell, 1980)

In my eyes, this was the best album that the late, great Ronnie James Dio was involved in - better even than the splendid Holy Diver and Mob Rules. This opening track exemplifies the sheer quality of the album - heavy metal done as well as can be with TONY FUCKING IOMMI and RONNIE JAMES FUCKING DIO. I think my point is made.

4) Mastodon - Bedazzled Fingernails (off The Hunter, 2011)

Mastodon are every hipster's favourite metal band which isn't Wolves In The Throne Room. That's not to say they haven't written some good music over the years - Leviathan and Blood Mountain are very good, and this song is one of the better ones off last year's The Hunter, which itself was a large improvement over the lacklustre Crack The Skye, but it simply doesn't warrant the levels of praise and popularity that Mastodon continue to receive.

5) MDC - Henry Kissmyassinger/Mao Tse Tung (off Elvis In The Rhineland: Live In Berlin, 1988)

MDC are one of the hardcore bands that I've never really been able to get into, and it's rubbish like this breaking up the good stuff which is my problem. The whole track is just a poor joke really, and doesn't warrant your time, my time, or anyone's time.

6) Ivebeenshot - What Would Clint Eastwood Do? (off Doza, 2008)

Whatever the last.fm tags suggest, this album has very little to do with grindcore - it's simply a mediocre deathcore album with occasional blastbeats and very frequent breakdowns. There really is nothing to say about this type of music. It's just dull.

7) Yutaka Shiina - Lover (off At The Moment, 1996)

One of the very few Japanese musicians whose music isn't completely apeshit, Yutaka Shiina here serves up a more than adequate album of piano jazz. His technical ability is good, but merely complements the excellent improvisation that Shiina brings to the table here. Good stuff.

8) Circle Jerks - 15 Minutes (off Wonderful, 1985)

Circle Jerks are one of the few punk bands who are genuinely witty. There is absolutely nothing political about their music, which admittedly makes a refreshing change from time to time, and this song is funny. It doesn't really get going until a couple of minutes in, but it's pretty good from that point on. I don't think I've given the full album a proper listen and will have to do so at some point.

9) Led Zeppelin - Dazed And Confused (off Led Zeppelin, 1969)

Everyone and their mother knows this song. And so they should, it's fucking great. Sometimes Led Zeppelin's music fails to keep my attention due to lack of riffs or ideas over long stretches (middle section of Whole Lotta Love, I'm looking at you), but this is solid throughout. Enjoy it whilst in the middle of this playlist of music that you probably won't have heard before.

10) Dmitri Shostakovich - Movement One (Moderato) (of Symphony No. 5 In D Minor, 1937)

Shostakovich is one of the best 20th century composers - and like the rest of the best 20th century composers, he's Russian. Not quite as avant-garde and dissonant as Stravinsky, yet still breaking new ground in the realm of classical composition, Shostakovich is essential to hear for classical music newbies.

11) Secrets Of The Moon - Black Halo (off Priveligivm, 2009)

Secrets Of The Moon are really, really, really good at writing riffs. Priveligivm is not their best, but it's still a solid album and is another solid example of their brand of mid-paced, slightly doomy, well-produced modern black metal. This one is actually pretty straight-forward and fast by their standards - indeed, there's little melody in the main riff, so the main appeal is the battery, but it's good anyway.

12) Soulreaper - Ungodly (off Written In Blood, 2000)

If you ever wanted a Morbid Angel album after Gateways To Annihilation that was worth listening to, this, and indeed Soulreaper's other one, Liferazer, are they. They really are little but a post-Vincent Morbid Angel clone, but they do what they do well enough to justify the style.

13) The Ruins Of Beverast - Skeleton Coast (off Unlock The Shrine, 2004)

Another iTunes Roulette, another TRoB track. This is an interlude track off the album, so I nearly skipped it and posted something else, but I'm being honest with you all here.

14) HammerFall - Dreamland (off Legacy Of Kings, 1998)

HammerFall's early albums are very much a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for many (their later albums are as a whole pretty poor). I love them - this isn't quite as good as the stunning Glory To The Brave, but I think that if you can overlook the massive faggotry present in the lyrics, the music is actually very well-made power metal.

15) Voivod - Twin Dummy (off Angel Rat, 1991)

Voivod are a band that I find to be overrated - their early stuff is excellent tech-thrash, sure, but the albums produced past that early era are just *adequate* grungey music. They say that grunge killed thrash, and this is an example of how.

Admire my shitty taste

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