Lambda
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Last Active 07-23-14 8:27 pm
Joined 07-08-07

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 Lists
07.16.14 2014 Quarterly Report #2 06.17.14 Pick The Best And Worst 5 Stars Of The
05.02.14 2014 Quarterly Report #112.31.13 Sputnik Review Of The Year 2013
12.23.13 Lambda's 2013 12.15.13 Sputnik Review Of The Year - Voting
12.15.13 Review Of The Year?11.23.13 A Beginner's Guide To Buckethead
11.12.13 2013 Quarterly Report #307.16.13 2013 Quarterly Report #2
06.15.13 Just Got Hired At Bojangles06.04.13 My Daughter Is Mad At Me
04.23.13 2013 (late) Quarterly Report #102.03.13 Sputnik Layout Changes
01.26.13 5 Bands With Consistently Terrible Artw01.03.13 The Ten Best Songs Of 2012
12.31.12 Lambda's 201211.26.12 Top 10 Movies Of 2012 (well.. So Far)
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2014 Quarterly Report #1

Late this year (sorry!) but here's my first quarterly report for 2014.
10The Used
Imaginary Enemy


A terrible record. "Cry" is catchy and "A Song to Stifle Imperial Progression" has its moments, but Imaginary Enemy consists mainly of disingenuous attempts at 'radio' songs with overblown choruses and hackneyed, done to death melodies. Some cliched 'political' lyrics only exacerbate the record's badness. "Generation Throwaway" is the worst song I've heard all year. 1.8
9Cynic
Kindly Bent to Free Us


Cynic bent their sound with kind intentions, and it freed us from any notions of their next album being great. Yeah, that was kind of forced. Whatever. The problem with this record is that it's like a nice breeze. It's not unpleasant to listen to, but nothing really happens for its duration. It just blows by... like a breeze (there's the connection). I can't say that this is a bad album, because it's not, but it's not a very captivating one either- and for a band as established as Cynic, that is pretty surprising. 2.8
8Intervals
A Voice Within


This album falls into the trap that a lot of modern prog metal does: it jams a bunch of not unpleasant but similar heavy riffs together song after song and does not differentiate enough between them, save small eclectic moments and touches which are forgotten about after the record ends. Furthermore, the album's marriage between djent and pop doesn't work for me- every time I try to hook on to the poppy melodies, the slow drumbeats and chugging guitars strip the energy away. Good production and performances, but the songwriting leaves a lot to be desired. 2.9
7Animals as Leaders
The Joy of Motion


So much great instrumental work, so few great songs. In fact, I wouldn't call any of the tracks on The Joy of Motion great. I love the production, the detail, and, as aforementioned, the performances, but the songwriting is just unsatisfying to me. The tracks seem to go in different directions without ever attributing to anything. As a result, the numerous fantastic sections are wasted in a hodgepodge of go nowhere riffage. 3.1
6Alcest
Shelter


Shelter sees Alcest dropping the black metal entirely from their sound and this results in a pleasant and enjoyable release, but one which is more one-dimensional than their previous work. It's got some absolutely fantastic songs ("Voix Sereines," "D?livrance") but it also has some underwhelming tracks, including one total dud ("Away"), and that aforementioned one-dimensionality is slightly disconcerting. 3.4
5Crosses
Crosses


I went into this expecting to hate it, but it pleasantly surprised me. Though Crosses is too long and some of its lyrics are a bit hackneyed, overall it is a strong listen; it's catchy, well-produced, and Chino's vocals are extraordinary. I wish there was more screaming on the record, though (like the end of "Bitches Brew"). 3.5
4Marissa Nadler
July


Great album concept, and the atmosphere matches it extremely well. Marissa's guitar playing is nicely emotive too, and the extra instrumentation- particularly on the record's first two tracks- is dead on. The production is superlative, with just the right amount of reverb on Marissa's voice and a good amount of space for everything to breathe. The issues with the record are that some of the songs are slightly dull, and that after the fantastic first two tracks the same heights are never reached. Still, the strength of the performances and production and sheer earnestness of July are enough to warrant a recommendation. 3.6
3Behemoth
The Satanist


An excellent record, The Satanist shows that Behemoth have not slowed down despite their nearly five year hiatus. They are just as heavy, fast, and aggressive as ever, as songs like "Messe Noire," "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer," and the title track demonstrate, and the songwriting is fantastic throughout the record. This great songwriting is emphasized by equally great performances, especially from Nergal, who is in better vocal form here than I've ever heard him. My only complaint is that some of the tracks run together a bit- more experimentation, like the guitar solo on the aforementioned "Messe Noire" and the ambient/soft parts on the ironically titled "In the Absence ov Light," would be welcome and help this issue. Regardless though, The Satanist is a stellar record and well worth checking out. 4.2 NOTE: This was my 666th rating.
2Thee Silver Mount Zion
Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything


The lo-fi production grew on me as the record played out, and I love the violins and female vocals. The male vocals are a bit much at times (the beginning of "What We Loved Was Not Enough") but on the whole, they work for me. There are some fantastic songs here- the aforementioned "What We Loved Was Not Not Enough" and "Take Away These Early Grave Blues" being two highlights. "Little Ones Run" is excellent as well. I don't care much for "Austerity Blues" though- it feels stretched out- and it's the longest track here. On the whole, however, this is a very successful release. 4.2
1Trophy Scars
Holy Vacants


I would not call Holy Vacants a perfect record. Due to their loose structures, a lot of the songs run together, like melted ice cream- it's still delicious, but it's hard to eat and better if it's solid. The drums are a bit loud in the mix as well. However, the uniqueness of the band's sound and fantastic musicianship are huge pluses, and I love the strings and other extra instrumentation. Overall, Holy Vacants is a superb record, but not a perfect one. 4.5
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