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Metallica ...And Justice for All
This is one of Metallica's stronger offerings. "Blackened" is a solid thrasher, "One" is... well, everyone knows it, and the instrumental "To Live Is to Die" is actually quite good too. A couple of dull tunes ("Eye of the Beholder," "The Shortest Straw") and nigh inaudible bass bring the score down.
Giant Robot Siren 19
There is widespread confusion as to what this actually is. It was never 'released' by the band; rather, fans somehow got ahold of it and now it's available at various places online. I did some digging and found the following explanation, from fuzzface over on the TDRSmusic forums: "This is not an ALBUM. These songs are part of a musical cues set (Siren 19 "Tweens") that is comprised of music one can license for use in films, commercials, etc... Pete and Brain have done a LOT of work on this type of stuff. The 2 of them + Buckethead = Giant Robot. hey have recorded a few things (these included) that have been on several of these types of "cues
Devin Townsend Official Bootleg
Hard to find live recording of a 2000 Tokyo show with the Strapping Young Lad lineup playing material from Ocean Machine and Infinity ("Detox" off SYL's City and "Fake Punk" off the Punky Bruster record are featured too, as are three Devin-only acoustic versions of Ocean Machine songs). The tracklisting is excellent (until 2015's Ziltoid Live DVD, this was the only release on which live versions of some of these tracks could be heard), but the recording quality isn't-- to be expected, I suppose, since this wasn't originally intended for release. Nonetheless, fans would do well to scope this out. Live Oc
Strapping Young Lad C:enter:###
The title track is an okay instrumental (Strapping is at its best with Devin's manic vocals, though). Then we get two live tracks ("In the Rainy Season" and "Underneath the Waves") which are good, if slightly subpar in recording quality. The release ends with the Melvins cover, "Zodiac," which is available on the European release of The New Black as a bonus track. In summation, this release is only necessary for Strapping completionists/die hard fans.
Strapping Young Lad No Sleep 'till Bedtime
An energetic, furious live performance from Strapping. Ashame the tape ran out before the band finished their performance (for that, only part of the set is included on the disc). Perhaps to atone for that grievous error, two bonus tracks, "Japan" and "Centipede," are stuck to the end of this release. They're both great. The former is an industrial headbanger that wouldn't have been out of place on Heavy Is a Really Heavy Thing, and the latter is more upbeat, but still crushingly heavy.
The Mars Volta De-Loused in the Comatorium
A dense, fulfilling record. Extremely ambitious, at over an hour in length with several lengthy songs, this is technical/'progressive' rock done right. To be fair, the album is a bit overwrought ("Cicatriz ESP"'s lengthy ambient section), but on the whole it succeeds. The production is of note: perfectly balanced. Regarding the controversial lyrics: this record exemplifies the notion of the sound of the lyrics as carrying just as much validity as the meaning. Approach the vocals as another instrument, the words as conduits for a meaning on a sonic, rather than literary, level.
Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls: Folio A
Absolutely fantastic genre-bending release from Secret Chiefs 3 + the host of satellite bands. It's all-instrumental, save "La Chanson de Jacky", which features Mike Patton on vox (his first collaboration with Trey Spruance since Mr. Bungle's split). The detail and precision across this album is evident and admirable; the production is perfectly balanced, and the songs do a great job of remaining layered, but never going overboard with instrumentation. It loses a little steam in spots, but overall, Book of Souls: Folio A is fantastic (especially "Personae: Halloween," which is one of the best covers of all time).

shoutbox » all posts 
  • johnnydeking29 Ah awesome! Lemme make some final tweaks and I'll send it over ;]
    December 13 01:04 PM
  • johnnydeking29 Hey man, I'm getting a new album out soon and was wondering if you'd be interested in reviewing? The tunes are weird fusions and should be right up your street ;]
    December 10 03:14 PM
  • 50iL Man, your soundoffs are awesome. Really entertaining and well written bite-sized reviews. Love it!
    October 5 12:27 AM
  • FullOfSounds Cool, cool.
    September 18 12:18 PM
  • FullOfSounds Whenever you can dude. A Master's Degree? Wow, pretty cool! What career if you don't mind me asking?
    September 17 10:08 PM

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