J. Wagel

Reviews 8
Approval 95%

Soundoffs 40
Album Ratings 661
Objectivity 76%

Last Active 07-27-14 11:55 pm
Joined 09-28-12

Forum Posts 14
Review Comments 1,463

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2014 First Quarter

The first quarter of 2014's standouts, not ranked or anything.
1The Hotelier
Home, Like NoPlace Is There

(Emo / Indie) Extremely emotional release that pairs cathartic energy with poetic lyrics and a catchy and accessible aesthetic that really sets it apart from others. 4.5/5
2Animals as Leaders
The Joy of Motion

(Progressive-Metal / Instrumental) Tosin is at it again with this solid release that really ropes you in at times. Sometimes you just wish for less of the chugging, and more of the lush atmosphere we know can be reached. 3.25/5
Are You Kidding Me? No

(Progressive-Metal / Metalcore) A very technical affair that is incredibly fun, but doesn't seem to bring the emotion to make it anything more than an entertaining jam. 3.5/5
La Gargola

(Alternative / Metal) Chevelle creates their greatest album to date, which shows a new maturity and virtuosity that has been dabbled in by the group, but never been fully embraced. 4.25/5
5The Mire
Glass Cathedrals

(Post-Metal / Progressive) An extremely haunting and dense record that really brings its own unique aura and sense of melody. Imagine a classic post-metal group such as Neurosis playing with the elastic string tendencies of Meshuggah. Really an enveloping listen. 4.5/5
6Thee Silver Mount Zion
Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

(Post-Rock / Experimental) TSMZ come at you with something that is the culmination of all of the better things of their past attempts and still don't hit the mark in full. A good album, but it really leaves you wishing it was something else. 3.5/5

(Post-Metal / Hardcore) Locktender release what I believe could be the AOTY front-runner. Mixing hardcore and post-metal/rock expertly with an intellectual look at music to create a near perfect release that is as emotional as it is intelligent. 5/5
An Unmarked Grave

(Progressive-Metal / Death-Metal) Technical, sprawling, and refined, Cryptodira are on their game with this EP which shows their abilities to change tempo, time- signature, and really flip songs upside-down. A great, small Prog-Death release. 4.25/5
9La Dispute
Rooms of the House

(Post-Hardcore / Emo) This release seems to be a bit polarizing as far as reception goes, and for good reason, it's not for everyone (as is the band itself). The record is interesting, and poetic, but does not achieve all it sets out to do, falling short on the infrequent sung vocal lines. There is something here to appreciate though. 3/5
10The Kindred
Life in Lucidity

(Progressive Metal/Rock) After a name change, a complete and total revamping of sound happened to this group. The metalcore influence is nearly erased entirely, and this record dazzles technically, yet remains accessible and has some incredibly noteworthy pieces to behold. 4/5
Rave Tapes

(Post-Rock) The legends of post-rock fall flat here, failing to harness their abilities and manifest them into something more enjoyable. Mogwai fans can appreciate it, as can newcomers, but in retrospect, it is extremely disappointing to see such a band head downhill. 2.75/5
Kindly Bent to Free Us

(Progressive-Rock/Metal) Disappointment is an understatement here. It is a shame that a group who can release two seemingly perfect "classic" albums, and a very strong EP would lose nearly all of their credibility. A jumbled prog-rock mess with a few diamonds in the rough serves as Cynic's downfall. 2.5/5

(Progressive Rock / Instrumental) A very fun and jazzy release that is very carefree and enjoyable. Somewhat surprising that the route was so loose, but i think it's best for this group 3.5/5
14Roots and Ruins

(Post-Rock/Metal) Shameless self-promo for my band..hahaha check it

Hows 2014 been goin?
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