|Willie's Q1 - 2017|
The 2017 music I've enjoyed up to this point. As always, recommendations are welcome.
|1||Pain of Salvation|
In the Passing Light of Day
4.5 - For those that feel like this band went off the deep end somewhere around Be, this is total redemption. I hear the heaviness of Entropia, the epic-ness of Concrete Lake, the ultra-catchy melodies of Perfect Element, and the emotion of Remedy Lane... but this is better than all of those. All the youthful mistakes and Dream Theater wanking that would ruin songs in the past is gone.
The Assassination of Julius Caesar
4.5 - My favorite Ulver tracks have always been the ones with vocals. This whole album has vocals and it kind of mixes their Blood Inside sound with an almost 80s style synth pop sound. Definitely another new sound for them.
4.0 - So, this guy plays all sorts of funky looking guitars and delivers some of the coolest instrumental music I've ever heard. It's not metal by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely has an edge. It's like progressive rock/jazz/metal/unique shit. The twitchy rhythmic nature of the songs and the out of left field melodies just appeal to me.
I'm Only Dreaming
4.0 - Eisley have gone back to the chill, melody-drenched, sound of their first two releases and it's a welcome return.
|5||Within the Ruins|
4.0 - These guys play Djenty, techy, metalcore; that hasn't changed. They are definitely getting better and better with every release, though, and the addition of clean vocals is definitely welcome.
3.7 - Anomalie's debut was definitely on the primitive side of the post black metal genre, but there was something endearing about it as well. Unfortunately, the sophomore release didn't really build on the debut's promise, but Visions finally does. Visions has a great production, memorable and varied songs, and it has broken away from the generic post black medal formula.... and it still features plenty of aggression, too.
3.7 - It's like a 50/50 split of modern prog and technical death metal, but without any of the excesses of either genre. Very well done and surprisingly melodic while still being pretty damn riffy.
If I Don't Make It
3.5 - Really well done melodic hardcore. The coolest part of this is that the melodic parts create more of an atmospheric feel then just a straight up melody.
3.4 - Old school thrash with some really cool riffs. The vocals could be better and all the songs are roughly similar, but it's still really good.
|10||Mors Principium Est|
Embers of a Dying World
3.4 - Really solid melodic death metal with a strong keyboard presence and occasional black metal influences. Unfortunately, it is largely by-the-numbers stuff.
3.4 - I remember watching Rush Hour, and one of the karate dudes punches Chris Tucker in the face. Chris' only confused reaction is "Which one of y'all hit me." That's how listening to this feels. Chaotic and noisy death/black metal with random industrial sounds.
AFI (The Blood Album)
3.4 - I've never really liked AFI, but I do like this album. It's basically post punk, with a bit of alt. rock thrown in. This I like. For fans of The Cure and New Model Army.
As Embers Turn To Dust
3.4 - I'm sorry. Enough is enough. This is the same fucking thing as before and before and before. Is it good? Yeah, it's good. Is it in any way a deviation or even a continuation of their sound? No.... it's the exact same album they keep releasing. It's time to seriously sit down and figure out how to think outside of their tired (albeit good) formula.
3.4 - Kind of reminds me of a heavier version of Flyleaf's debut without any screaming. Having said that, this album also seems to be a little saturated with power ballads which is why the score drops a little bit. The female vocalist definitely has some range and will probably be the point that makes people either enjoy it or dismiss it.
3.3 - Basically this is slightly heavy alt. rock with a kind of post rock style melody attached to it. Not bad, but it kind of blends together by the mid-point.
Time Doesn't Heal Anything
3.3 - This is basically post metal, but there is a lot of post rock and doom thrown in as well. That makes the music pretty damn good. My problem is that the clean singing needs to make a bigger impact. These guys definitely have potential.
3.3 - 70s inspired, female-fronted doom. Very gritty and raw sounding guitar sound similar to a few other doom bands that have
come out with female vocalists lately. It's very good stuff and definitely better and more diverse than those other bands.
The vocalist is capable of hitting those high notes and also a harsh rasping style, and the songs don't just plod along at
one tempo for the entire album. Both good things.
3.3 - This is definitely a different approach for her. It's not the indie pop of her Meg and Dia days, and it's not the slick pop of her post-The Voice appearance either. This reminds me of the atmospheric pop of bands such as Delerium. This is catchier than that and less eccentric, but it's definitely in the same realm.
The Immortal Wars
3.3 - Solid, if a bit unremarkable, symphonic/melodic death metal.
The Great Cold Steppe
3.3 - By-the-numbers 90s melodic black metal... hell yeah. Features Roman Sayenko of Drudkh.
Emperor of Sand
3.3 - These guys are good, but I've never been able to get into them like some people do. That being said, this release is probably my favorite from them.
Eternal Rituals For The Accretion of Light
3.2 - Yes, the vocals are kind of monotonous and the music basically plods along, but somehow the melodies and atmosphere are enough to make it enjoyable.
3.2 - Great in small bursts, and the chick in the band is hot... take that for whatever it's worth.
Let Me Leave
3.2 - This really reminds me of 'A Liar Wrote This' album from A Bunny, A Bear but leaning more towards the post hardcore sound. Same male/female back-and-forth with the female vocals providing all of the hooks. I really like her voice though. Her accentuation is pretty unique. Unfortunately, the album starts to drag as it goes on.
|25||The Raven Age|
Darkness Will Rise
3.2 - Kind of a modern take on the doom sound made famous by Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, and Isole. I'm not going to lie, though, the modern influence in the music seems to take a lot from Trivium (around the Crusade/Shogun era).
3.2 - Reminds me of a less frantic Ulcerate, which is just fine with me.
|27||In Thousand Lakes|
Age of Decay
3.2 - Well done, but very generic, melodic death metal that shares a lot with bands like Amon Amarth.
3.2 - This is a good album, but it is way too lethargic for me. I liked the energy of the second release. At least they don't sound like they're ripping off Tool anymore.
|29||Our Hollow, Our Home|
3.2 - Ultra-melodic metalcore. My main issue is that it just feels too manufactured... screaming during the verses, singing during the choruses -- chugs followed by guitar harmonies followed by super melodic tangent back to chugs....