Lambda
User

Reviews 69
Approval 90%

Soundoffs 396
News Articles 9
Band Edits + Tags 72
Album Edits 274

Album Ratings 768
Objectivity 90%

Last Active 02-02-15 3:34 pm
Joined 07-08-07

Forum Posts 58
Review Comments 2,522

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Diamanda Galas You Must Be Certain of the Devil
You Must Be Certain of the Devil is an unremittingly dark record, save the over-the-top title track. It is also the most 'song-oriented' of Diamanda's albums (up until this point in her career). "Double-Barrel Prayer" sparked controversy for its music video, which was banned by MTV and named the most offensive video of the year (1988). Opener "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is an insanely virtuosic a capella piece, and closer "The Lord Is My Shepherd" is also a capella, albeit of a much creepier and understated nature. The songs in between are atmospheric and unsettling, and allow Diamanda's voice space to operate. 3.7
3.5
02.19.15
Diamanda Galas Saint of the Pit
Not as challenging as Diamanda's past work. The first track is an instrumental piece, and after that nothing gets really weird until the last song, which sounds like an audio recording of an exorcism. This record shows off the more 'normal' side of Diamanda's voice well, though ("ż (Deliver Me)," "Art?mis"). Saint of the Pit is not unenjoyable, and the atmosphere it conjures is effectively creepy. It's just, overall, less striking than some of Diamanda's other work. 3.5
3.5
02.19.15
Diamanda Galas The Singer
Probably the best place for those unfamiliar with Diamanda to start. The Singer sees her reinterpreting classic blues songs on piano and vocals with mostly successful results. The record is extremely dark. Her versions of "Gloomy Sunday," "I Put a Spell on You," and "Reap What You Sow" are particularly deathly and effective. Along with The Sporting Life (her collaboration with John Paul Jones), The Singer is the most straightforward of Diamanda's records-- that doesn't mean it's straightforward, though. 4.0
4.0
02.15.15
Diamanda Galas The Sporting Life
Diamanda collaborates with John Paul Jones (the Led Zeppelin bassist) here, and the result is, unsurprisingly, the most accessible of her records. It's still got shrieking and screaming, but for the most part it's nowhere near as abrasive as her other work. The problem here is not the accessible approach-- it's that most of these songs are simply templates for Diamanda to vocalize over. The best track on the album is "Dark End of the Street," because it is an actual song and feels like more than just a backing track with Diamanda singing over it. "Sk?toseme" is another that feels like more, but it goes on too long. Overall, a fun listen, but
2.5
02.14.15
Diamanda Galas The Divine Punishment
Less abrasive than The Litanies of Satan, but still by no means an easy listen. This is apparently a record regarding how the Catholic Church treats AIDS victims (AIDS being a prevalent theme throughout Diamanda's work, as her brother died from the disease). Musically, it sounds like someone going through an exorcism. It's very dark, very unsettling, and frightening in spots. The arrangements range from minimal to incredibly layered, often with many voices-- but there are some fantastic a capella moments too. Not for the faint of heart. 3.9
3.5
02.07.15
Diamanda Galas The Litanies of Satan
WARNING: Only fans of avant-garde and/or other extreme music need apply. The Litanies of Satan is perhaps one of the most terrifying records ever recorded. Diamanda Galas' shrieks, wails, screams, and other vocalizations sound like noises from the pit of Hell itself. The vocal talent on display here is extraordinary. It's over-the-top at times (the "I'm talking about steak" moment on track two) and with a runtime under half an hour, it's a little short. But, nonetheless, The Litanies of Satan is a frightening and intense journey into some dark musical depths. 4.1
4.0
02.05.15
John Zorn Kristallnacht
One of the most important records in John Zorn's discography. Kristallnacht marks Zorn's first exploration into his Jewish roots (in his own words, it was "a whole lifetime of denying my Jewish heritage coming out in one piece") and thus laid the groundwork for his subsequent projects covering similar ground, like Masada. Kristallnacht is based on the 'Night of Broken Glass,' which occurred in November 1938 and saw Germans in Germany and Austria destroying Jewish-owned shops and murdering Jewish people. The 11-minute sound collage/noise piece "Never Again" represents the Night itself (it is also pretty much unlistenable, and
3.5
02.03.15

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shoutbox » all posts 
  • Angelboros Boy, do you write some very thoughtful soundoffs. The John Zorn (his saxophone abilities are mesmerizing) ones in particular really stand out, IMO
    February 3 04:07 AM
  • johnnydeking29 I've heard a couple of songs, but am waiting for the cd - considerable hype!
    November 26 11:34 AM
  • johnnydeking29 Hey man, you heard the new (and final) Moonchild album?
    November 26 06:28 AM
  • BMDrummer wouldn't a 4.4 be closer to 4.5?
    November 6 11:22 PM
  • Veldin Enjoying all the Zorn soundoffs, keep 'em coming!
    November 4 11:23 PM

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