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Old 09-15-2010, 08:00 PM   #121
TheSpirit
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Engraved - Before The Tales
Rating: 4.5
(only the intro paragraph)

In the extreme metal underground, it's live, or die by the demo. Collected, traded, but above all cherished, the demo by far makes up metals most commonly released form of music. However, it is not just the overwhelming quantity that makes metal demos an anomaly within music; it's their quality. Take for instance a group such as Von; formed in 1988, this raw, filth proto-black metal band never released a full-length record, yet their 1992 demo Satanic Blood remains to be one of the most highly regarded releases within the extreme metal community. Even if not influential, recent demos from bands such as New England's Frontier or Santa Cruz's mysterious Sleepwalker perfectly showcase the bands talent, and all in one short, sweet, sitting. Fitting more so into the latter category, Engraved who formed in 1992 unfortunately was a band that never made it past the demo stage; however, thanks to the supreme compositional content found on their sole demo Before The Tales their legacy will always live on strong for those who have had the privilege of hearing it.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:40 PM   #122
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Since I don't really read as many posts on the review site as I used to I'll be making an effort to check up on this forum a few times a week to provide help to anyone that wants it. That is if it doesn't remain dormant.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:25 AM   #123
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Seeing a band taking their sound and moving forward with it is always refreshing. The sound of musician's taking risks and mixing up their palette of ideas has a rewarding factor that sails over the opportunity cost of releasing the same sound in varied formats. Women's debut record was a gorgeous take on lo-fi, a more technically minded approach to murky indie pop. The guitar tones weren't fuzzy and huge, but rather dry and cacophonous. They had a unique way of sounding orchestral and minimal simultaneously. On Public Strain they have refined all of these elements and decontextualized them to create something darker; Women's magnum opus. Their lo-fi-ness is no longer akin to No Age, but rather a grimier Velvet Underground-esque sound. The songs deviate from their usual stripped down, 60s pop tunes and focus more around Sonic Youth atonalities. The vocals no longer charm, but rather recall the dry tones of Justin Trosper. That's not to say this new LP is in essence a refinement of influence. Public Strain shines with character, finding small moments such as the juxtaposition of feedback bursts and layered vocals in "Narrow with the Hall" to exemplify this quality. No matter just how reverberated and lost in drone each track gets, the actual songwriting manages to retain an emboldened flare, an exercise in ethereality.

If the huge opening drones of "Can't You See" signify anything, it's that Public Strain is a different, more alienated affair, in direct contrast to the jangle pop opener of their self-titled. It flows into the first rocker of the album "Heat Distraction", whose disjointed and off-putting riffage leads way to have vocalist Patrick Stregel moan cryptically over. Inaccessible to say the least, the first half of the record toys with balancing of melody and dissonance. "China Steps" stands right on this line, the first two and a half minutes focused around nerving clashes of dissonance, only to be resolved by gentle keyboarding and reassuring repetition. Women also rely on varying outlets to release their disturbed musical tales, switching up from choirs of treated guitars that would make Thurston Moore proud, to the gentle echos of tracks such as "Penal Colony". The afore mentioned track in particular epitomizes the beauty of Stregel's voice, being able to pick up gentle lines such as "talking to you" in the otherwise indecipherable tone of his vocals. His vocals don't rely on any sort of particular lyrics, but the tone and phrasing in which he delivers them. Public Strain's last three offerings are all more pop-oriented, a sort of conclusion to the dark tones of the record. However it's the fact that Stregel's obscured crooning and krautrock jamming keep a pop track like "Eyesore" from ending on a proper, phil spector-pop closer, is what makes this LP not a record of potential songs of the year, but a very big candidate for record of the year. A production to be reveled in, Public Strain is a leap forward for Women and another lovely surprise in the music releases of 2010.
tbh, I'm pretty proud of this review. however I am a pretty sloppy writer, so I would love to have somebody point out any typos, fragments, run-on sentences, etcetera.

Last edited by Enotron; 10-03-2010 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:29 AM   #124
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oh and the album is public strain-women
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #125
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well i dibbed women-public strain so you should just kill yrself
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:25 PM   #126
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so should i post it now and beat you to it?
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #127
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The sound of musician's taking risks and mixing up their palette of ideas has a rewarding factor that sails over the opportunity cost of releasing the same sound in varied formats.
musicians*, opportune*

Quote:
Women's debut record was a gorgeous take on lo-fi, a more technically minded approach to murky indie pop.
replace that comma with a colon

Quote:
On Public Strain they have refined all of these elements and decontextualized them to create something darker; Women's magnum opus.
should be "...something darker: their magnum opus."


Quote:
Their lo-fi-ness is no longer akin to No Age, but rather a grimier Velvet Underground-esque sound.
This sentence reads really awkwardly to me. Specifically I don't like "lo-fi-ness" and "Velvet Underground-esque". Also, is their 'lo-fi-ness' akin to some of Velvet Underground's grimier stuff or akin to a sound that is grimy but also like Velvet Underground? The syntax makes for confusion here.

Quote:
That's not to say this new LP is in essence a refinement of influence.
should be a comment after 'is' and before 'a' ("...LP is, in essence, a...")

Quote:
It flows into the first rocker of the album "Heat Distraction", whose disjointed and off-putting riffage leads way to have vocalist Patrick Stregel moan cryptically over.
who's*, "moan cryptically over it"*

Quote:
Inaccessible to say the least, the first half of the record toys with balancing of melody and dissonance.
should be "toys with the balancing..."

Pretty good review, but two recurring problems.

A) to a person with little to no experience (such as myself) the referencing of other artists can make for a lost-in-transition feel and a sort of lack of understanding.

B) in your last review, i mentioned you used the same word too close to one another. you do a better job of not doing this this time, and you only do it twice. But still if its possible to change these, you should.

Quote:
ost in drone each track gets, the actual songwriting manages to retain an emboldened flare, an exercise in ethereality.

If the huge opening drones of "Can't You See"
Quote:
dissonance. "China Steps" stands right on this line, the first two and a half minutes focused around nerving clashes of dissonance,
good review (i'd pos) but i doubt it will top downer's
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:08 PM   #128
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musicians*, opportune*
i'll fix the first part, the second I'm pretty sure is correct "opportunity cost" is a specific financial term.

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replace that comma with a colon
no thank you

Quote:
should be "...something darker: their magnum opus."
again, i'm pretty sure there would be a semicolon there.

Quote:
This sentence reads really awkwardly to me. Specifically I don't like "lo-fi-ness" and "Velvet Underground-esque". Also, is their 'lo-fi-ness' akin to some of Velvet Underground's grimier stuff or akin to a sound that is grimy but also like Velvet Underground? The syntax makes for confusion here.
sorry if the terminology reads awkward. however i'll put a comma between "grimier" and "velvet-underground-esque".

Quote:
should be a comment after 'is' and before 'a' ("...LP is, in essence, a...")
i suppose so, will note

Quote:
who's*, "moan cryptically over it"*
you're incorrect on the first one, the second one I could see someone having a qualm with, may edit it.

Quote:
should be "toys with the balancing..."
thanks

i think I'll keep the name-dropping, as it helps people understand the sound, though I appreciate your criticism. and yeah I'll fix the "dissonance" part, leave in the drone part.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:15 PM   #129
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With two official releases, and a hefty overhaul in their sound, 65daysofstatic has been the post-rock band to talk about in 2010.

What started with humble beginnings as a three piece out of Sheffield, England, has grown into one of post-rock’s most consistently intriguing acts. Sure, 65daysofstatic do not have the same mass appeal as many other acts in the genre, but the band has been picking up speed ever since their debut The Fall of Math in 2004. The band has always been able to keep listeners on their toes, as every release has seen a slight alteration of the their sound, for better or for worse. This was very much apparent on their effort earlier this year, We Were Exploding Anyway. Featuring oppressive electronics and dance beats, the album marked a complete shift in the band’s sound, and with their latest EP Heavy Sky, that sound is clearly here to stay.

Shedding their math rock influences, and buffering their post rock aesthetics, the band has evolved into something entirely different, and yet they feel completely at home. It’s truly a delight to hear a band being so comfortable with experimentation, as Heavy Sky is a very tight and self assured affair. Completely unafraid to break their genre constrictions, 65dos has made 2010 their stage, showcasing their bold yet refreshing alteration. Like its predecessor We Were Exploding Anyway, Heavy Sky features a much more electronic side of the band. It’s an incredibly meaty experience, consisting of seven songs with a run time of nearly thirty minutes. Displaying a few new ideas, as well as those tried and true, Heavy Sky is the very definition of a successful EP.

Although Heavy Sky isn‘t a complete return to the days of old, certain selections seem to have a more toned down vibe. Featuring less dance beats, the latter half delivers a more classic post-rock sound. Tracks such as “Pacify” and “PX3” feature fleshed out piano and guitar, relying less on the beats and glitches. Both tracks are fairly beautiful, and the sound is a great stylistic melding of traditional post-rock and upbeat electronica. Truth be told, they do not really mesh with the rest of the album, as the stylistic difference is fairly jarring. Regardless, this does not prevent “PX3” from being one of the EP’s finest tracks.

While the previously mentioned selections differ in execution, tracks like “Tiger Girl” feature quick tempos, infectious beats, and an insurmountable amount of personality and character. There’s been a lot of contention with this new direction, but “Tiger Girl” is incredibly refreshing, and there is little else like it in the genre, making it a very worthwhile listen. The more rock aspects underlie the dense techno soundscape, with the rich atmosphere bolstering the digital aesthetics, making the track a perfect opener to the EP. The following tracks, “Sawtooth Rising” and “The Wrong Shape” each have their own respective style, but are in the same vein as the opening track. Very stylistic in their execution, and catchy as hell, the songs are impossible to not tap one’s foot to. Yet it is “Guitar Cascades” that offers the EP’s most peculiar track. At ten minutes in length, it is the longest song on Heavy Sky. It’s oddly ambient, utilizing much more static and glitches than any of the preceding songs, but somehow it feels very organic. The song is structured much like a standard post rock track, with the rise and fall, and a nicely placed climax. However, the electronic influences make it a very interesting listen, and a great way to close things out.

Although fans seem to be split, 65daysofstatic have clearly hit their stride, which is made very apparent with Heavy Sky. This will not sway the detractors who found We Were Exploding Anyway to be vapid or gimmicky, but it’s clear that the band doesn’t care. And why should they? Heavy Sky is the sound of an inspired band loving what they do, and it is all the better because of it.

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Old 10-31-2010, 09:05 PM   #130
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The easiest, most art-schooly comparison I could begin a review of Archer on the Beach with would be to romanticize some glorious picture of a phoenix rising from its ashes. Unfortunately, this would be unfair. Destroyer, comprised of Dan Bejar, a Canadian with superfluous musical connections in the biz, pledged to be done with music. For a man that’s created indie-pop epics like the lovely Destroyer’s Rubies, a true treasure to anyone lucky enough to have known it, and contributed to the New Pornographers, this was a true loss... but here we are. The man is still creating touching, profound tunes, and in this case he has the help of ambient troubadours Tim Hecker and loscil by his side. Altogether, the two songs flow well into a concoction of melancholy, self-loathing, and loneliness through the subtle ambience, and still manages to become truly dazzling at some points through Bejar’s spoken-word. Prepare for an interesting adventure into a self-conscious work that won’t dazzle you with flames, but is all the better for it.

“Grief Point” was the first song recorded after Destroyer returned to the studio. It shows. Not in the sense that he’s rusty, as Bejar is still a master of honing music to fit his agenda- the length, the tone, the underlying consciousness of his work which is, in this case, despair, is all perfectly orchestrated and under control. Bejar, without a doubt, picked this skill up from obvious influences Guided By Voices and Pavement. Instead, Bejar’s refreshing “newness” makes itself latent through the poignant lyrics of “Grief Point,” the second song, and the main feature. I’m afraid I only skim the surface of the 9 minute-long piece, but Bejar ponders and ponders, claiming, “I have lost a trust in music, it is horrible. I should only make things I understand, I should only make things I know how to construct, however imperfect.” Or later, he goes as far to proclaim, “At some point, when it is made, I will explain this record, word for word, swear to god, I will know what is good and what is bad. The answer to the making of grief point is a picnic basket, filled with blood.”[/i] I want to be put off by the utter pretension of it all, but I can’t. The lyrics, spanning most of the song, are absolutely compelling. Hell, I literally couldn’t type this review while listening to it because I would finding myself stopping only to listen more closely. That’s not something that happens every day.

Interspersed throughout “Grief Point,” making sure the pretension doesn’t strangle the song, are tiny, subtle, sound effects. The flick of a Zippo makes me think of a scene right out of a Wes Anderson movie, the click of a glass being set on the table breaks my concentration. Admittedly, the sound effects and lyrics become more prominent than loscil’s beautiful valley of a setting, which settles a little too deeply into the background, but manages to do a wonderful job nonetheless. On “Archers on the Beach,” Hecker, ambient-extraordinaire, makes his presence known a little more powerfully, piano in tow. The first song is a tad less stimulating than “Grief Point,” but works as a wonderful complement to the its more engaging counterpart. Slower-paced and relaxing, “Archers on the Beach” is still a wonderful example of the capabilities of two musical-masterminds at work. Exquisite songwriting and a wonderful progression are prominent, as both loscil and Tim Hecker concoct dreamy, melancholic backdrops. What Archers on the Beach lacks in quantity, clocking in at roughly 15 minutes, it makes up for in distinguished quality that only gives me more inner-conflict-- Am I more excited for Destroyer’s next full-length in January, or am I more compelled by the prospect of Archers on the Beach truly setting in and latching on, as it has ample room to grow? I can’t be sure of the answer, but something tells me it’s not a picnic basket filled with blood.

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Old 11-02-2010, 06:23 AM   #131
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Dernier Martyr/All The Cold/Lifeless Sorrow
The Plague of Our Lands
Rating: 3.5/4

Although each of the three bands featured on The Plague of Our Lands find derivation within the confines of the black metal genre, it is undisputable that one of the main factors that guarantees the success of the three-way split is still the great diversity found within; featuring a combination of more time tested and true sub-genres such as ambient black metal and blackened doom along with the relatively new post black metal sub-genre, The Plague of Our Lands split sees not to create any further divide between the traditional sects of black metal and the "hipster" likes of shoegaze (and other alternative influenced black metal) but in fact, bring those distinct factions together.

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Old 11-23-2010, 05:53 PM   #132
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Well, this is my first attempt at a concept review of sorts. I made it short on purpose and based it on only one song, as I feel it defines everything the band (and the album) is all about. Anyways, if anyone could proofread it for me, that would be great!

Saxon Shore-Four Months Of Darkness
Rating: 5/5

Darkness; it is everywhere you turn. This entity resides inside each and every human being at one point or another. It is the lack of emotion found in one when all faith is lost. It is the voice inside your mind that pleads for the end to come sooner. It is the one who desires people to believe that life just isn’t worth living anymore. It is almost unattainable to escape once it engulfs you…but there is a glimmer of hope inside that mass of anguish, and Saxon Shore knows how to fully expose it, pulling the victim of agony away from the depths of despair and back into the arms of bliss.

Four Months of Darkness begins with an extremely gentle piano piece paired with a hushed electric guitar present in the background that helps lull the listener into a mysterious zone. Although it is seemingly calming at first, a sense of loneliness begins to wisp through the speakers. Wrapped in their thoughts with no escape from them as the piano depressingly plays on, it gives off the feeling of laying alone in the dark, with nothing left but the listener and their troubled mind. Slowly but surely though, the drums begin to make their way into the piece about half way through, and the atmosphere thus changes into the feeling of a deep dream. Although their thoughts have slipped away into a temporary safe haven, things haven’t changed just yet, although there are signs of hope that begin to shine through the murky abyss. The remaining pieces to the puzzle finally catch on, and as everything is now in unison, the awakening occurs. With every instrument turned up, they climax into a beautiful wall of sound. So many different ideas have now come together, from the distorted guitars slewing over calmly played pianos, to the crashing drums continuously trying to overtake the whole accumulation of noise. The listener is now lifted up from their dreams with an answer to their dilemma, as the glorious rays of the Sun shine in their face. This is pleasantly welcomed; a solution has been discovered, and life may now truly begin.

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Old 11-27-2010, 09:29 AM   #133
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lol

i just read bulldog's grammatical corrections

why are you trying to correct other people's writing when you do not even understand basic grammar
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:27 PM   #134
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Underneath the waves of the world’s vast oceans, life is constantly thriving, moving, and expanding. Everywhere one looks, from just below the surface, to the darkest caverns thousands of feet below sea level, it can be found prospering. Now, the organisms on the surface may be simple to locate and observe, as they are either great in size or pleasing to the human eye, but the ones below are a completely different story. Many of these life forms are microscopic, and they do not stand out. If they were not there, numerous massive creatures would have no food source, and thus the whole cycle of life would be disrupted. So, you may be wondering, what the hell does this have to do with music? Well, like the ocean, [/i] Waverine’s 2010 release, entitled Underneath The Waves, is a group of recordings that is home to immense sounds backed up by layers upon layers of textured instrumentals which give each and every song its own life.

Moving about the ocean, a beautiful whale progresses on its path through life; it is not a lonely journey though. Following in the gigantic mortal’s wake are thousands of vibrant fish, all of them making sure to not drift too far from its course. Most could imagine that this would be an awe-inspiring sight to see brought by nature; but how would this experience appear to the ears? On “Whale”, Underneath The Wave’s standout track, a current wisps it way through the speakers, with drenched electronic pulses tiered over the fixed beat of a drum. In the background of the track, thumping synthesizers flow in and out of reach. As the song picks up pace, everything begins to echo back and forth from left to right, thus seemingly making the sense of floating in the ocean with sea life and water churning in every direction even stronger.

Whales and the inferior fish that follow them appear to hold a mutualistic relationship where both benefit from each other, and once again, Underneath The Waves can relate to this. In the mixing of a track, one synthesized line may be created to tower above the rest, but it still depends on the other pieces to make it thrive. For example, on “Rebirth”, the central idea of the song is based on something that would be rather uninteresting by itself, but is given a breath of air by the circulating digital recordings that bear a resemblance to swimming below the surface. Not only are there countless numbers of layers established through out, but none of them overstay their welcome either, as progression is key. Each time something appealing enters a song, it transitions into an even more fulfilling idea. Just like marine life, Underneath The Waves is constantly moving, and without the diverse, evolving coats of auditory sensations Waverine implements, a noticeable lack of depth would come to place. When devoid of this, the whole oceanic atmosphere of the album would be lost.

Every consumer needs to feast on lower beings, and sadly, the blue beast is no different. On a select few tracks, the whale itself consumes some of the beings around it, and there is a lack of the mood present on the rest of the album. “Everything’s Fine” represents this, as it feels empty in comparison to, say, “Pokerface”. Thankfully, Underneath The Waves rarely succumbs to this plague as the listener is given a free opportunity to experience what it is truly like under the ocean.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #135
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La Dispute is one of those post-hardcore bands that refuses to be shallow. Ambitious and literate, they write music that seems to grow in depth upon each repeated listen rather than become overly familiar. An exploration of the seemingly insurmountable odds one faces in searching for that one special person to love unconditionally, Here, Hear can be likened to a shallow but reflective puddle. The first in a series of EPs, Here, Hear clocks in at about seven minutes, yet warrants much more than that amount of time spent on it. First impressions are critical, and La Dispute does a brilliant job of making their music interesting from the onset, if not at once comprehensible.

Dreyer loves to intertwine lyrical themes, and this EP is no exception. ‘One’ serves as an interesting and fitting exposition for the lyrical journey to come. It begins by establishing a starting point for this journey, but does so with a peculiar vagueness, giving us only the past, “the last quarter of the century.” Soon, soft notes meander in from the shadows, first as awkward ticks and tocks, but growing more and more complex as the song wears on. Upon first listen, it appears only as an introductory piece defined by two major contrasts. The differences between the imposing amount of verse Dreyer’s vocal chords are reciting against the mostly calm and assured backdrop of music that accompanies it serves to highlight the overall effectiveness of both, ultimately leaving the listener with the ‘only’ serious question: How to make love stay?

‘Two’ begins to delve into narrative exploration. Dreyer’s voice guides us into the nature of love, and the search for it without ever really understanding. It is this mysterious beauty that makes Here, Hear inexplicably interesting. Drums and guitar frolic along in a way that’s not quite comfortable, but still endlessly intriguing, hauntingly fading away with ‘Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.’

‘Three’ progresses in similar fashion, exposing more of the misty surface of this Last Lost Continent with the story of two doomed lovers. This time, piano, tambourine, and drums follow Dreyer along as he shifts the tension from love shared into passionate anguish, cursing the fate that tore ‘them’ apart.

For anyone that enjoyed and couldn’t get enough of Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, an indispensible companion can be found in these songs. They offer further exploration of the Lost Continent of Lovers.

Overall feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:15 PM   #136
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Read through and is basically a glorified TBT so be careful with that.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:26 PM   #137
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TBT? And I'm currently struggling with the middle of it. I always find it easy to start these things, but hard to finish and polish.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:51 PM   #138
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Track-by-track.

I understand that it's only three tracks long and such, but the general userbase on the site hasn't responded well with tbt's in the recent past. It's well written, you definitely have a great ability with wording and structuring, but try to focus more on the overall album/ep as a whole than each individual track.

To be honest, if I were to review this, it'd only be like two, maybe three, paragraphs long so length isn't really a huge nessecity for this.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:55 PM   #139
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It's four tracks, but yeah, work in progress. Thanks for the help, I'm going to be polishing this up over the next few days, hopefully get in a better version soon.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #140
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Rating; 4.5

The Heat Death of the Universe; the title says it all. Like every other emo album, this is a self-absorbed entity with little notion of the outside world. Indeed this album more than appeals to that idea, it's rage tightly bound inside a single room. However one should remember that this rage is self-contained and self-controlled. It's a dangerous beast that fights within its own boundaries. Conceited? Maybe. Pretentious? No.

If Saetia stripped back emo to its barest roots, albeit badly, then Off Minor took the formula, tightened it with a greater use of discordance and repetition and produced a creation that was even more visceral. The songs have all the feel of free jazz compositions with no formal structure. The rough, barren production creates the impression that this album was written and recorded in a burnt out apartment where there is nothing but the three musicians, their instruments and a bottle of bourbon between them. Yet if one looks closer, there is a meticulous attention to detail in creating atmosphere and emotion through a loose structure.

Most of the songs are self-absorbed, the discordant riffs repeatedly collapsing in on themselves. However these musical cavities are used to build towards one out pour of anger and pain. The rhythm section, particularly the bass work, break up and stagger the riffs to siphon the emotional charge. This pacing only makes the more frenetic moments, such as the opening to the title track, that much more potent, especially when they are utilised multiple times throughout each song. The scream-bridge-scream middle section of “The Transient” provides a cathartic drowning then two or three seconds to breath before being pulled under again. It's hard not to be swept up in the inferno of selfish emotions. It's a testament to the musicians' skills that they can create an album this absorbing and sincere without it turning into pseudo-pretentious garbage. That is all because Off Minor recognise their own limitations as human beings.

Songs such as “Punch for Punch” illustrate how the band need to breath and reflect. This is not original, many artists regularly use this technique in their song-writing but the intensity of the emotions within makes it a necessity to allow listener and band alike can take a breath. Conversely the more chaotic songs are only one to two minutes in length because that is only how long the band can maintain that level of self-destructive aggression. It's these limitations however that make the emotions feel realistic and human. The people who make this album are not musical gods, they are flawed just like the rest of humanity and that is what makes this album so endearing. However the lyrics, save for the occasional, spoken word segments, are rendered near inarticulate by the screams. The intensity of the searing dual screams is the more important factor though as this album is all about emotional impact and release of one's own inhibitions. It's a raw, powerful exorcism of the most personal kind, something that no amount of axioms, Hegel quotes or arithmetic jokes can ever disprove.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:52 AM   #141
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I'm more worried about accusations of plaguerism than anything as I did take some ideas from Pixiesfanyo's review.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #142
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The Heat Death of the Universe; the title says it all. Like every other emo album (this might be a too-big generalization, maybe re-word?), this is a self-absorbed entity with little notion of the outside world. Indeed this album more than appeals to that idea, it's rage tightly bound inside a single room. However, one should remember that this rage is self-contained and self-controlled. It's a dangerous beast that fights within its own boundaries. Conceited? Maybe. Pretentious? No. (I think this sounds a bit awkward placed here... maybe just go through a full sentence about how it's not pretentious though maybe conceited?)

If Saetia stripped back emo to its barest roots, albeit badly, (both these points are very debatable but oh well) then Off Minor took the formula, tightened it with a greater use of discordance and repetition and produced a creation that was even more visceral. The songs have all the feel of free jazz compositions with no formal structure. The rough, barren production creates the impression that this album was written and recorded in a burnt-out apartment where there is nothing but the three musicians, their instruments and a bottle of bourbon between them. Yet if one looks closer, there is a meticulous attention to detail in creating atmosphere and emotion through the loose structure.

Most of the songs are self-absorbed, the discordant riffs repeatedly collapsing in on themselves. However, these musical cavities are used to build towards one out pour of anger and pain. The rhythm section, particularly the bass work, break up and stagger the riffs to siphon the emotional charge. This pacing only makes the more frenetic moments, such as the opening to the title track, that much more potent, especially when they are utilised multiple times throughout each song. The scream-bridge-scream middle section of “The Transient” provides a cathartic drowning then two or three seconds to breath before being pulled under again. It's hard not to be swept up in the inferno of selfish emotions. It's a testament to the musicians' skills that they can create an album this absorbing and sincere without it turning into pseudo-pretentious garbage. That is all because Off Minor recognise their own limitations as human beings. (this feels a little grand and out of place... nothing that wrong with it, if you're going to use it though I would go into a little more depth here, because that's a pretty grandiose point to prove, I'd say)

Songs such as “Punch for Punch” illustrate how the band needs to breath and reflect. This is not original, many artists regularly use this technique in their song-writing but the intensity of the emotions within makes it a necessity to allow listener and band alike can take a breath. Conversely, the more chaotic songs are only one to two minutes in length because that is only how long the band can maintain that level of self-destructive aggression. It's these limitations however that make the emotions feel realistic and human. The people who make this album are not musical gods, they are flawed just like the rest of humanity and that is what makes this album so endearing. However(you use "however" a lot, and forget the comma afterwards a lot, you might want to use a different opener for sentences a few times to vary your diction more) the lyrics, save for the occasional, spoken word segments, are rendered near-inarticulate by the screams. The intensity of the searing dual screams is the more important factor though as this album is all about emotional impact and release of one's own inhibitions. It's a raw, powerful exorcism of the most personal kind, something that no amount of axioms, Hegel quotes or arithmetic jokes can ever disprove. (lol took a few seconds but I love your conclusion)


Hope that helps!
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:40 AM   #143
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Yeah it did tanks Sea.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:42 PM   #144
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It’s unfair, really. Longevity wise, Boston hardcore act The Carrier have yet to carve out their own legacy in the burgeoning scene, yet after merely a demo, a full length and a following EP, they are already considered legends in the modern hardcore scene. While their first LP ‘One Year Later’ was an acceptable and interesting take to the already impressive Deathwish roster, it wasn’t until their three song EP ‘No Love Can Save Me’ that people really started to put The Carrier on an incredibly high pedestal. No doubt, ‘No Love Can Save Me’ was highly praised for its bursting emotion, its driving guitar chords and varying drum patterns, but it makes The Carrier’s sophomore album ‘Blind To What Is Right’ just as hard in overcoming the expectations laid upon them to craft an equally, if not better, album that isn’t merely just three songs but a full length; fairly a nigh impossible task if you ask me. Setting the bar so high for a band that is still young and blossoming could be considered unfair and uncalled for by some, but to others it is the result of bursting potential. Is ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is an answer to those expectations or a band doing their own thing and crafting their sound how they wish?

It is very easy to tell that ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is the natural progression of The Carrier as a band. This is instantly felt on their opening eponymous track, as it features exactly what fans have come to expect from The Carrier; frentic drum work, driving bass lines and full, melodic guitar chords carry the album from song to song. Improvements from their debut ‘One Year Later’ are apparent; ‘Blind To What Is Right’ carries a renewed sense of desperation and angst that was sometimes lacking in their debut. Vocalist Anthony has matured quite a bit as well and it becomes apparent in his better-rounded and fuller screams of pain and love lost that made ‘One Year Later’ cringe worthy at parts. But I digress. The main point of improvement that can be felt on ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is the overall improvement of The Carrier in their chemistry as a band together. Every member feels more comfortable with each other, more tightly as a group and on key, with each member complimenting each other more than most bands in the scene. ‘Wash Away Me Sins’ and ‘Hollow Pain’ featuring stellar instrumental work that shows The Carrier in their fullest; unafraid to experiment with their sound, even if the result is lackluster at times. But perhaps the greatest highlight to ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is the two final tracks; the instrumental track ‘Into Darkness’ and closing track ‘All That’s Left To See’. Both tracks are clearly the darkest, most angst ridden tracks in The Carriers short discography, featuring naturally built, minor guitar chords, and a stellar performance from the vocal department.

However, just because ‘Blind To What Is Right’ might be the natural sonic predecessor to ‘One Year Later’, it simply isn’t enough to satisfy the expectations fans have thrown upon The Carrier. Maybe ‘No Love Can Save Me’ was an enigma, a one time off-shoot, that just happened to strike a particular chord in the hardcore audience, but ‘Blind To What Is Right’ suffers from a sense of wanting more in the end. This isn’t your typical thirst for more to come in the future, but a feeling of ‘wait, that’s it?’ sensation laces throughout the entire album. ‘Blind To What Is Right’, while only nine tracks in length, blazes through with little to catch the ear until maybe the final two tracks, as nothing is as mind blowing as previous songs such as ‘No. 51’ or ‘Epilogue: Forgiveness’. Just the shear length, even at less than thirty minutes, makes ‘Blind To What Is Right’ somewhat of a dull task to listen to from start to finish.

But this isn’t a fault of any type as a result of the band; no, this is a fault from us, the fans. It seems that while we may have hyped The Carrier to impossibly high standards, The Carrier are still content with them growing naturally as a band, not simply become freaks of nature and skyrocket to the top of the scene. It still must be put into perspective that 'Blind To What Is Right' is still only the second album from a still new, up and coming band that are still experimenting their sound, while still retaining the elements that make them what they are as a band. No, ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is not the proverbial ‘sophomore slump’ that it might be for some, it is The Carrier becoming crushed by the weight of expectations that we, the fans, have put on them. So for that reason alone, ‘Blind To What Is Right’ is an exceptional album that may disappoint those who were hoping for a classical masterpiece but prove more than capable enough for those who accept the fact that The Carrier are still young and growing as a band.

Last edited by cvlts; 12-23-2010 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:08 PM   #145
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Been goin through this piece by piece over the past few days, picking out anything glaringly bad.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:26 PM   #146
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little unimportant nitpicky thing, first sentence should have a comma.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:40 AM   #147
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added some bits to the final paragraph, got too long, and now split it into two separate ones.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:08 PM   #148
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Intro

Whether you can appreciate his often convoluted black noise/hardcore hybrid bands or not, one thing nobody can deny about Mark Mckoy is the passion he has for his work. Born in 1975, this Illinois music mogul has certainly been around the block a few times; starting his career in music as a member of legendary powerviolence unit Charles Bronson, Mark Mckoy has not only been involved in literally dozens of other successful projects ranging from black metal to thrashcore but his label Youth Attack!, is easily one of the best American labels for the black metal/hardcore/powerviolence etc... underground. Although on hold since their first and only 2005 demo release, Mark Mckoy has one again resurrected Arts, a black metal project whose 2010 opus Vault of Heaven not only matches the heinous intensity of the band's earlier work but at times, surpasses it.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:23 PM   #149
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pretty great except for that last comma before surpasses, it needs to be between work and but
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #150
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Will fix and thanks!!
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