Kronzo
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Last Active 12-05-12 7:36 pm
Joined 07-07-07

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 Lists
04.15.14 Eyy Yo 2014 Listens12.30.13 Alex's 2013 In Music
12.29.13 Video Games I've Been Playing this Year12.26.13 2013: Bottom Of The Barrel
08.06.13 2013: A Discussion (Part 1) 07.28.13 Avenged Sevenfold Ranked
07.16.13 85 Bad Albums07.10.13 Dance Gavin Dance Ranked
07.06.13 Give Us Another Shot? 06.18.13 Coheed & Cambria Ranked
06.13.13 The Best Of 2013 So Far05.20.13 Recs Recs Recs Recs Recs
03.09.13 What Is The Best Sex Position? 01.02.13 2012 Top 30
11.02.12 Some Of My Fave Post-hardcore10.21.12 Favourite 2012 Albums So Far
09.28.12 Which Album Should I Review Next?07.20.12 2012 Listens So Far
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2013: A Discussion (Part 1)

some thoughts on a few albums I've heard this year, I got a lot of the stuff I was meh and rrrrlukewarm on out of the way on this one. Let me know what new albums you'd like to read rrabout rrin the next post, preferably stuff similar to what I've enjoyed on here, but I'd consider rranything.
1Amarionette [US]
Amarionette


Previously, on their 4-track EP, Dangerous Times and My Dangerous Ways, Amarionette showed us that they were a band capable of writing catchy post- hardcore tunes and that they had the potential to become something great, with a singer that did his best (albeit slightly overbearing) Claudio Sanchez impression throughout the release. On their 2013 self-titled album, you can tell Amarionette put a lot of work into this record, with the instrumentation being much more technical and calculated and still retaining their catchy factor. The vocalist finds his own voice, and works better as a unit with the band while still having his stand- out moments. Amarionette is a criminally underrated record that deserves to be heard and loved by more fans of Coheed & Cambria or Dance Gavin Dance. 4.6/5
2CHON
Newborn Sun


An extremely colourful and catchy second release from the SoCal instrumental wizards. This is definitely a softer affair compared to the much heavier debut, but it still brings the heavy and the wank whilst still being pleasant to listen to. A couple interlude tracks and riffs feel a little empty andor half baked which hold this back from being truly amazing. Despite that, this is still definitely worth your time. 3.6/5
3Deafheaven
Sunbather


This must be one of the most emotional and bombastic albums I've heard this year. Sunbather is quite the beast of an album with multiple 10+ minute tracks. There is quite a lot of variety here with equal doses black metal, post-rock, and shoegaze. With blasts galore and a good ear for melody, I'd recommend Sunbather to any metal fan looking for something a little fresh. 4.1/5
4Baths
Obsidian


Baths is the pseudonym for Will Wiesenfield's electronic solo project. Rewinding to 2010, he presented us with his debut piece known as Cerulean. Wiesenfield's debut displayed itself as a carefree record that was as enthusiastic as it was ambitious. The glitchy and stutter-laden feel of Cerulean, combined with its scattered falsetto vocals and overall optimistic feel, was something unique-sounding to me, as someone who is relatively new to this field of sonic exploration. This year, with his sophomore release, Obsidian, his style has taken a drastic turn towards a darker side of electronic music, I'd almost describe it as similar to Burial's 2007 record Untrue, except noticeably more vocal driven. It's arguably even more vocal-driven than Cerulean, which mostly works out for the better than for the worse. This is one of my favourite records from 2013 so far. 4.2/5
5TesseracT
Altered State


TesseracT's sophomore album is definitely much more atmospheric than their debut. Altered State is a release that took some time to grow on me, and I found myself appreciating it the new vocalist AND the change of pace more and more each time I listened to it. It can get a bit samey at certain points but there really isn't a bad song on here. 4.1/5
6I The Mighty
Satori


After the incredibly well-made EP Karma Never Sleeps, I the Mighty clearly put much effort into their 2013 LP to make sure it delivered to our high expectations of them. Other than a couple duds like "Four Letter Words", this smart 13-track album is incredibly catchy and contains just the right amount of technicality. A definite contender for post-hardcore AOTY. 4.1/5
7Buckethead
Buckethead Pikes #13


Pike 13 is another one of Buckethead's softer, more heartfelt outings. The album cover shows him unmasked with his father, who was apparently ill in the hospital around this time. The album shows that Buckethead is still able to create relaxing albums that can tug at your emotions. The minimalistic nature of this album really has the power to draw the listener in. The only issue with this piece is that it lacks many highlights other than Track 6, the longest piece on the record that features percussion. The rest of Pike 13, while still beautiful and performed with conviction, sort of lacks the emotional climaxes and crescendos found in classics like Colma and Electric Tears. 3.5/5
8TTNG
13.0.0.0.0


A beautiful record that expands on the bombastic yet relaxed feel of Animals and also successfully experiments with various electronics. The interlude-esque tracks on this release are also top-notch. Definitely an improvement from the already awesome debut record. 13.0.0.0.0 is a must-get this year. 4.5/5
9August Burns Red
Rescue And Restore


This 2013 August Burns Red album sports improved production and the similar high energy performances that are always expected with this particular metalcore outfit. It employs just the right amount of experimentation that doesn't sound as forced as a few of the moments on Leveler. The only downside with this album is that the songs still occasionally blur together, which seems to be a recurring problem. Aside from that, this album is still worth hearing immediately. 4/5
10Jay-Z
Magna Carta...Holy Grail


Jay-Z's incredibly hyped up 2013 album more or less delivers what it promised, even though it is sort of carried by everything except the MC himself. This is kind of funny considering the amount of braggadocio in the lyrical content. Save for a handful of shoddy verses, Hov's lyrics and flow are solid at best and mediocre at worst. However, the best parts of the package lie in the production, and the excellent guest features from Beyonce, Timberlake, Frank Ocean, and Nas. 3.9/5
11French Montana
Excuse My French


The first five songs on this are absolute garbage, and all of the memorable moments that were of some quality on this LP were due to guest appearances, of which there is also way too many. There are so many posse cuts on this album that it might as well be called a compilation album, since that is what it really is. Cuts like "Gifted" and "Fuck What Happens Tonight" are actually half-decent, but the rest of the album is just boring or plain awful. 1.8/5
12Strawberry Girls
French Ghetto


This is a pretty out-of-left-field experimental/instrumental rock release that includes an ex member of Dance Gavin Dance. Some really interesting stuff going on here with solid guest features, but it just doesn't have the goods to keep my attention 100% of the time. 3.6/5
13Demigodz
KILLmatic


While we've heard of a lot of this kind of stuff before from these guys, Apathy- fronted hip-hop group Demigodz put out an album that doesn't really have a bad track, and all the MCs are on top of their game. 4/5
14Lil Wayne
I Am Not A Human Being II


Lil Wayne, while I don't think he's out to be taken as seriously as other mainstream hip hoppers in his league, has put out some truly insipid music as of late such as the "rock" album Rebirth or that dreadful mixtape Hottest Nigga Under the Sun. However, with decent albums like Carter 2 under his belt, I always seem to be going back to check in on him every once in awhile, listening to a recent mixtape or LP from his prolific discography. I Am Not A Human Being II shows Lil Wayne at his sloppiest, which is saying a lot. After hearing a 5+ minute ballad about his dick, the rest of the album is the typical trash "rap" probably done better on his thousand mixtapes. A definite contender for worst mainstream hip-hop record this year. 1.4/5
15Justin Timberlake
The 20/20 Experience


This is easily Timberlake's best release so far. Sporting darker, more atmospheric cuts like "Tunnel Vision" and "Don't Hold the Wall", and tracks on the poppier side like "Suit and Tie" and "That Girl". This is probably one of the most epic "pop" albums I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. 4.6/5
16Funeral For a Friend
Conduit


A solid album that showcases the heavier side of FFAF. The vocals are passionate and performed well, and I found myself nodding my head a lot to the music. Unfortunately, a lot of this album comes off as stripped-down b-sides of Welcome Home Armageddon. The music can be a bit bland at times and the songs seem to run together a bit sometimes. However, this is still worth a listen if you're a big fan of this band. 3.1/5
17Action Bronson
SAAAB Stories


Action Bronson being Action Bronson. A major difference here is the production of Harry Fraud, providing a more relaxed backdrop most of the time compared to the music on Blue Chips or Dr. Lecter. Action is his usual carefree self, cracking sexual jokes and making food references. Most of this EP is quality and worth hearing. A few missteps, such as the cringe-worthy hook in "No Time" and a lame Wiz Khalifa feature hold this back from being up there with the amazing hip-hop releases this year. Definitely still worth any Bronson fan's time as this is incredibly solid. 3.5/5
18Confide
All Is Calm


Confide's fan-funded album All Is Calm is definitely a step up from their 2010 album Recover (which was a pretty generic affair). The band tries a few different things, throw in a couple well-placed electronic parts, but a lot of it just comes off as Sempiternal rip-offs doused in Risecore. You'll be trying hard to remember anything you heard after all of the breakdowns and BMTH posturing. Joel Piper has a few catchy clean spots on the album, but his vocals are way too processed to properly appreciate his efforts. This isn't really worth listening to unless you're a huge fan of this genre. 2.5/5
19Red Seas Fire
Exposition


Red Seas Fire's new EP is basically an extension of what we heard before with their previous self-titled release. While nothing offensively bad happens here, you'll be hard pressed to remember anything interesting that occurred in the first two tracks, which seem like watered down versions of their previous material. "Of Motion" is the highlight of the EP, being a soft song with the clean vocals taking the main stage (it was nice to see the band trying something a little different for once). EP closer "A Life We Used to Know" is also a solid track that stands as the best heavier song here. Exposition is worth hearing if you're a big fan of this band and this scene, but I could think of a lot of more rewarding progressive metal releases to listen to instead. 3/5
20Machine Gun Kelly
Black Flag


MGK has never been a downright terrible rapper, and all of his releases have at least a few cuts that I find myself replaying a decent amount. Despite the fact that his rapping is almost always solid this time around, Black Flag doesn't really seem to get anything else right. From all the samey synth driven production to the weak guest spots (French Montana and Wiz), I hold Black Flag in the same regard as his releases in that it is only worth hearing to pick out a few highlight songs like "Breaking News" and "Skate Cans". 3/5
21The Used
The Ocean Of The Sky


There are a lot of interesting ideas to be found on this new EP, like the really strange noise and spoken word parts in the title track. The first two songs sound like they'd fit right at home on an earlier Used record as well. Unfortunately, Bert's voice just seems pretty shot with it sounding a little flat at times. They are showing potential to create something really great with their next album if they can develop these ideas a little more. 3.1/5
22The Black Dahlia Murder
Everblack


The Black Dahlia Murder does another pretty good imitation of their other albums with their 2013 release. While this is the same tried and true style of music that we've heard from the band many times before, the music itself is still of a very high quality despite the similarities. If it ain't broke... don't fix it. 3.5/5
23For Today
Prevailer


A pretty harmless jesus-loving metalcore romp with a bunch of bass drops and scattered melodic riffs. Nothing really stuck in my head after listening to it but nothing overly offensive happens in its (probably for the best) short length. 2.5/5
24Sleeping With Sirens
Feel


When listening to Feel, all you'll 'feel' is copious amounts of 'meh' and disappointment due to expecting something equally good or better after their first two decent albums. There are a couple bad songs on here but most of it is just boring, which is one of the worst crimes a band like this can commit since it is clear that they are trying to move into poppier territories. 2.5/5
25Birdman
Rich Gang: All Stars


On a positive note, there's a handful of quality verses/songs on here. Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, and Ace Hood all do a decent job on the release compared to the rest of the cast. Birdman himself isn't even that bad, even though he doesn't really do much. With incredibly samey beats, and overwhelmingly bad features in abundance from Lil Wayne, Future, French Montana, Gudda, and the laughable DJ Khaled interludes. Rich Gang: All Stars really doesn't deserve a much higher rating than what I'm giving it. 1.5/5
26Gatling
Passiveclimactic
27The Quiet Chapter of the Deadly Walls
Paradigm of Consensus


Beyond the stupid artist name and album title, this is just some trolly guy messing around with a cheap keyboard. This is the first 2013 album I've heard that I've given a 1, if that means anything. Hooray for objectivity!!!!! 1/5
28Waka Flocka Flame
DuFlocka Rant Halftime Show


Any fun and catchy moments that this mixtape contains is marred constantly by repetitive production and inconsistent guestspots, I want to rate it higher due to the sheer enthusiasm and energy, but the quality of the music won't allow it. 1.9/5
29Falling In Reverse
Fashionably Late


"I've been in rap since I've been shittin in Pampers" would probably be enough to justify this rating. But I'll go into more detail, most of the rap here is garbage, some of the songs seem to just wildly fly around random genres on the fly, probably at Ronnie's whim. The cheesy ballad "Keep Holding On" (Which manages to include a breakdown), slapped together country song "Drifter" and "Bad Girls Club" (I can't even explain this one, hear it for yourself) are probably three of the worst songs I've heard all year. A few shining moments like the guilty fun I had listening to the opener "Champion", the pure hilarity of the record, and some of the lead work (most notably "Born to Lead") gives FIR's sophomore release a couple points, but not enough to recommend this to anyone. 1.4/5
30Within the Ruins
Elite


This is a pretty fun technical metalcore (deathcore?) romp. The guitar playing is great and the drumming keeps the urgent exciting mood going most of the time. I'd perhaps recommend Elite to fans of Veil of Maya. However, the vocals can get a little monotone and the songs can get a bit samey if you listen to this all the way through. 3.4/5
31J. Cole
Born Sinner


J. Cole's Born Sinner is easily his best in my mind. With skilled production and lyrical prowess in songs like "Villuminati", "Rich Niggaz" and "Born Sinner", and an ear for pop hooks (see "Crooked Smile") there is definitely a lot to enjoy here. The sparing use of guest spots is nice too, seeing as lot of mainstream hip-hop releases seem to be flooded with them lately. The only issue is that nothing here really breaks the mold and sometimes I feel like I'm just listening to some amalgamation of all the other big rappers in the game right now. 3.6/5
32Tech N9ne
Something Else


Oh man, this album is straight fire. Tech is on the top of his game on nearly every song. All the songs seem like unique entities as well. There are some sweet guest spots from Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Snow Tha Product, Twisted Insane, and many others, and they all feel like they belong there too. With a couple questionable choices like including Wiz Khalifa and some strange skits. I can't really say anything else bad about this album. 4/5 (might go higher)
33Run The Jewels
Run The Jewels


Production-wise, this album basically suceeds in everything Yeezus was trying to accomplishes, and outshines it in nearly every department, including the lyrical side of it. With MCs Killer Mike and El-P providing a variety of top-notch lyrical content and stellar flow, Run The Jewels is one of my favourite 2013 hip-hop albums. 4.5/5
34Elitist
Between the Balance


I really wanted to love this EP. After hearing Reshape | Reason, and thoroughly enjoying it since it was chock-full of awesome riffing and metal in general, Elitist's Between the Balance comes off as a bit boring and maybe even tired. The mix muffles the drumming, killing the music's power a little. There is also more of an emphasis on clean vocal sections this time around, they sort of sound like slightly less boring Miss May I clean vocal sections, and slightly less boring isn't really saying much to Elitist's credit. They seem to have dumbed down and slowed down the frantic pace that they had on the Reshape | Reason and Caves (and Earth to a lesser extent), ESPECIALLY during the aforementioned clean sections. Finally, "Echo in the Room" is one of the most boring songs Elitist have released thus far. However, with all that said, Between the Balance is still not at all bad in terms of metalcore, and I find myself going back to "Vice Versa" every now and then, which is the highlight of this EP. But fans of more *progressive* metal will be a bit disappointed by the band's technical regression. 3.1/5
35Puig Destroyer
Puig Destroyer


As hiliarious as the premise of this EP is, I can't really get into the actual music enough to rate this much higher. 3/5
36will.i.am
#willpower


For starters, I really don?t know why I decided to review this album. Browsing the internet, I saw that this collection of compositions was being critically panned all over the place. After I acquired the album in a completely legal fashion without the use of The Pirate Bay, I began to listen to this album and realized I should have just trusted the reception I previously witnessed. After a pleasant and acceptable intro, #willpower mainly deteriorates into a lame collection of hit-single attempts and poor song composition that unfortunately overshadows any of the talent found on the record. 1.3/5
37Rings of Saturn
Dingir


This new album is definitely a step-up in terms of songwriting. The music is still way too technical, over-the-top and fun as always. However, this stuff is almost TOO ridiculous for it's own good and can be a pain to listen to unless you're in the right mood and even like technical deathcore. 3.5/5
38The Color Morale
Know Hope


These guys always had the melodic edge over their labelmates on Rise Records. The clean vocals have always been top-notch and one of my favourite parts of this group. The band seems to be striving to push boundaries sometimes here and it really shows. Sadly there's a couple too many mediocre cuts to rate this much higher. 3.5/5
39Kanye West
Yeezus


This is a really tough album to explain, Kanye basically turns away from MBDTF and goes in the opposite direction with (mostly) good results. Kanye's production skills really shine here and his rapping is decent at best and occasionally pretty laughable at worst, definitely worth the listen if you can get past all the braggadocio. 3.9/5
40Etienne Sin
The Paradox Divide


This is ALMOST as laughable as his debut album except everything is marginally less shitty. Perhaps his 9th album will be a 3. 1.3/5
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