Kenneth E. Rathburn

Reviews 105
Soundoffs 590
News Articles 3
Band Edits + Tags 2
Album Edits 24

Album Ratings 590
Objectivity 76%

Last Active 04-16-17 10:12 am
Joined 07-06-09

Forum Posts 9
Review Comments 906

05.29.17 First Gaming PC & CD Exchange with Co-w05.12.17 Iced Earth Ranked
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03.03.17 Google "metalcore bands"03.03.17 Katatonia EP's Ranked
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08.05.14 Dream Theater Ranked (albums)07.14.11 Billy Joel Ranked
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First Gaming PC & CD Exchange with Co-worker Pt. 1

As the title says, those are the two things that have been going on. I've recently been contemplating a gaming PC and the more I thought about it, the more I quickly wanted one. I used to be completely adamant because every time a PC gamer (especially a purist) spoke up or reared their head, my reaction would essentially turn into the first PC person to appear in the Console Wars: PC Master Race video by Flashgitz. But one friend who has both a PS4 and PC was cordial enough to lay things out in a way that didn't come off as smug or condescending. But after a bit of research, I got a build selected and ordered. Granted, I know I should have waited for new parts and price drops, but I haven't been this excited for a long time, probably since my little road trip last year. The other thing that's been going on is my co-worker (one of my managers) is, like me, a die-hard CD buyer. We like having our collection of physical copies. He's more into rap and hip-hop, I'm more into metal. We both find ourselves getting on the topic of what makes each genre what it is and how they appeal to us, and after I told him I wish more people in our town had my taste in music, he proposed the idea of exchanging CD's to sort of introduce ourselves to a genre each of us are less exposed to. We've agreed to do this for 10 albums, and we're halfway done now. Here's the exchange thus far.

I started him off with this album since it's still fresh in my mind, it was one of my favorite albums from last year, it's accessible and has a nice variety of tones to keep things interesting. To my surprise, his favorite song was "Seduction of Decay" followed by "Master of the Pendulum."

Since I'm more of a sonic listener than anything, this was even more of a change in musical direction than I might've expected. The line delivery and especially the lyrics are a far more central part of the music, which made me feel that I had to give it a more undivided listen than normal. Going back to Illmatic after the other four albums, this probably ties for my favorite of the ones I've borrowed so far.
3Dark Tranquillity

This was more of a test album for my co-worker; I wanted to see how he'd react to an album where the vocals were mostly growls. His reaction was one that I can still completely identify with, since I've been in that position: "I'd like it more if it were instrumental."
4Wu-Tang Clan
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

While I'll say I found this to be a more fun and straight-up entertaining album, I'd still probably put three of the other albums I've heard above it. I'm actually having a difficult time describing how this album sounds to my relatively virgin ears other than it's not only I'd necessarily pay that much attention to lyric-wise. I feel like there's less of a personal narrative sense to the tracks, which I think is why I prefer the first and third albums I borrowed.
5Dream Theater
Images and Words

Anyone who knows me here knows that Dream Theater were bound to be picked. And honestly, the choice was almost a given. While there are a couple of albums that I do prefer, Images and Words is such a natural choice, because it's super accessible for a progressive metal album. Turns out it was a good choice, because my co-worker ripped "Pull Me Under" and "Metropolis Pt. 1" to his computer. I'll consider that a win.
6Mos Def
Black on Both Sides

After Wu-Tang Clan, this felt like something a little closer to Nas, which I didn't mind. In fact, I'd say this was a bit more enjoyable than Illmatic, but I do think Nas had more grounded feel. Still, there were some moments I was able to honestly say "yeah, I dig this," namely "Umi Says" and "New World Water." But this was the most consistent album for me, so that's definitely something to consider.
The Great Cold Distance

As with Dream Theater, this should be of no surprise to anyone who knows me, especially since they were my most recent discography review. Unlike Dream Theater, however, I had a bitch of a time deciding what album to let him borrow. I was literally stuck on six albums. I ultimately decided on The Great Cold Distance since I feel it's the album that comes closest to representing the band as a whole, both their heavy and vulnerable sides. Not to mention it treads the line between rock and metal quite nicely. In addition, I had an old copy and I decided to let my co-worker keep it since I purchased the 4-disc version of this album for myself (the new 5.1 mix is excellent, for anyone wondering). To my very pleasant surprise, not only was his favorite song on the album my favorite ("July"), but this is his favorite album I've let him borrow so far.
8Dr. Dre
The Chronic

I don't know if it's just me, but I began to feel like this was more of a Snoop Dogg album than a Dr. Dre album, given how much he appears throughout it. My co-worker described this as more of a party album to listen to for fun, and I can definitely see (hear) what he means. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd honestly pick "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang."
Rust in Peace

This was an album I picked more for its reputation and legacy, since it's so highly regarded. Not to say I don't agree with the acclaim it's received, but I hardly listen to it as much as others probably do. I basically refer to this as the Pulp Fiction of heavy metal, since every time I see Pulp Fiction (which isn't often) I remember why I find it such a fantastic movie, but after let some time pass I find myself thinking "it's not THAT good"...then I listen to/watch it again. Once again, my co-worker's opinion surprised me on this; he said "you know how when you first listen to certain bands many of their songs can sound the same? That's the what happened to me with this album." Less surprising, however, was his favorite song ("Holy Wars"). He thought my favorite would be "Take No Prisoners" (it's "Five Magics").
10Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom

I haven't quite finished my listen to this album, since I received it when I started really crunching the final decisions on my PC. But from what I have heard, I'm actually quite fond of this so far. It has a nice rhythm and the use of sampling feels a bit more natural. Will have to see how the rest fares and ultimately compares to everything else I've heard, but I have a feeling this will be the easiest album for me to get into, but whether I'll appreciate it more than Illmatic or Black on Both Sides remains to be seen.
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