Syncratic
Matt Conrad
User

Reviews 25
Approval 98%

Soundoffs 11
News Articles 5
Band Edits + Tags 12
Album Edits 35

Album Ratings 122
Objectivity 74%

Last Active 08-30-09 12:34 pm
Joined 09-26-04

Forum Posts 3,616
Review Comments 756

Average Rating: 3.60
Rating Variance: 0.69
Objectivity Score: 74%
(Fairly Balanced)

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5.0 classic
Converge Jane Doe
Isis Panopticon
An album that can change your perspective of music, human emotion, scale, grandeur, your life even, must be held dear to oneself. That, in a cinch, is Panopticon for me. I could listen to this album for years on end and never tire of it. The songs roll, explode, plod, scream, and wail in the span of seconds and repeat the process all over again. It is a wonder that strings (of the vocal and guitar/bass variety) and drums, coupled with synthesizers, could make one feel this way. You have an album like that, surely. Can you really explain it either?
Isis In the Absence of Truth
I couldn't quite believe my ears when I heard my favorite band's follow-up to my all-time favorite album. I sat in disbelief as a group of five out-did perfection in my every definition. They rewrote the definition of epic using tribal drumming, spacey guitar, and soaring rhythms in the process. To me, this album is Perfection, Evolved.
Sigur Ros ( )

4.5 superb
Al Di Meola Elegant Gypsy
At the Drive-In Relationship of Command
At the Drive-In Vaya
At the Drive-In El Gran Orgo
Cursive Domestica
Cursive The Ugly Organ
When I imagine a death waltz, few distinct songs come to mind. This entire album does. It bends, blends, shines, crashes, and rips apart with simply ease. The sound, bolstered by the creative use of cello and Tim Kasher's unique vocals and wordplay, weave the tale of the "Ugly Organist." Using this character, Cursive lament on the subjects of hope and humanity. The finale is a beautiful cementing of these themes. The music teaches us to look up when we're knocked down...that the worst is over...
Deftones White Pony
Explosions in the Sky The Rescue
Isis Clearing the Eye (DVD)
Jaga Jazzist What We Must
Meshuggah I
Nine Inch Nails Year Zero
From the get-go, Year Zero is a noisy ride. There are instances where static mimics Trent Reznor's vocals, which are on top form. The line is blurred between guitar and synth in a beautiful fury. An underlying concept, a dystopian future of fifteen years from now, is told lyrically from different viewpoints, providing many facets to this story, and even more wonderful is how the music conforms to each persona.
Pelican The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon...
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
Radiohead OK Computer
Sigur Ros Takk...
The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
The Dillinger Escape Plan Miss Machine
The Mars Volta De-Loused in the Comatorium
The Mars Volta Frances the Mute
The Mars Volta Amputechture
The Red Paintings Walls
Thrice Vheissu
For me, there haven't been many albums quite like Thrice's Vheissu. Meaning, the sheer power of the songs, the instrumentation, the lyrical content, the love of music projected by the band behind the songs haven't blown me away as this album has. "The Earth Will Shake" is behemoth, crushing and showing no mercy. The angular intro attack of "Image of the Invisible" is given a foil in the catchy yet lovely chorus of "Of Dust and Nations." Sure, there are a few missteps, namely "Music Box," but I'm willing to forgive that in the wake of such beasts that surround it. Unforgettable, this is.
Thrice The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II
Tool Aenima

4.0 excellent
Brand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Cryptopsy None So Vile
This album made me want to take a shower after listening to it...it was that, well, vile. Every minute just crushes and filthies the spirit. Tracks like "Slit Your Guts" and "Orgiastic Disembowelment" are just intense, with eye-gouging musicianship, as well as vocals that surely aren't legal. Whatever happens, don't take that shower until this album is over.
De Facto Megaton Shotblast
Deftones Around the Fur
Deftones Saturday Night Wrist
This album could have been a classic, it really could have. There is some fat to trim away, in the form of "Rapture" and "Mein," and just cut that inane, pointless monologue out of "Pink Cellphone," and you've got yourself one solid track. The positive column yields perhaps the best opening and closing tracks of any album of this past year, as well as the superb musicianship that is expected out of this group. As well, the instrumental track "U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Select, Start," is nothing short of amazing. All around, a sure top-ten inclusion for 2006, and an album that musn't be ignored.
Duke Ellington and John Coltrane Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
Explosions in the Sky All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone
Funkadelic One Nation Under a Groove
Glassjaw Everything You Ever Wanted To Know...
John 5 Songs For Sanity
Marcus Miller Tales
Mastodon Blood Mountain
Meshuggah Chaosphere
Minus the Bear Menos El Oso
Mr. Bungle California
Nine Inch Nails With Teeth
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack Vol. 1
Pain of Salvation Be
Pig Destroyer Prowler in the Yard
Radiohead The Bends
An oddity for me, The Bends was an album that I just instantly liked. I couldn't help it. Every minute is swarmed with an aura of excellence, the musicianship is both crisp and crazy, Thom's voice is phenomenal, and the songwriting is just incredible. The opener and closer encapsulate a sound that has been carefully crafted into a monster. "Black Star" is haunting and powerful. A beauty, "High and Dry" is soothing and mellow. This is an album that can't go wrong, no matter how hard you try.
Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Sage Francis A Healthy Distrust
Saviour Machine Legend Part I
Sigur Ros Ágætis byrjun
Sly and The Family Stone Fresh
System of a Down Mezmerize
The Clash London Calling
The Dresden Dolls Yes, Virginia...
Thrice The Alchemy Index Vols. III & IV
Tool Lateralus
TV on the Radio Return to Cookie Mountain

3.5 great
A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms
AFI Sing the Sorrow
Burton Wagner A Sentinel's Eyes
Callisto True Nature Unfolds
Callisto are a superb band with peak musicianship, and this should be noted as such. However, they really aren't doing anything new within the genre of post-rock or post-metal. Guttural vocals, crushing guitar, emotive soundscapes, as well as some truly beautiful passages, such as "Storm" are to behold. It might not be ground-breaking or timeless, but it's never to be scoffed at.
Chroma Key Graveyard Mountain Home
Converge You Fail Me
Converge No Heroes
Death The Sound of Perseverance
Explosions in the Sky How Strange, Innocence
Glassjaw Worship and Tribute
Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
Isis Oceanic
Being my favorite band, Isis can never do wrong. To be honest, this album just didn't.....click. I mean, it's amazing, "The Beginning and The End," and "False Light" are moving, numbing, and captivating. I just can't seem to see how people can regard this album with the likes of Panopticon or In the Absence of Truth. Well, time will tell....
Isis SGNL>05
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
Megadeth Rust in Peace
Pain of Salvation The Perfect Element, Part 1
Porcupine Tree In Absentia
Radiohead Amnesiac
Radiohead Kid A
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine
Remembering Never Women and Children Die First
Shpongle Tales of the Inexpressible
The Mars Volta Tremulant
Thrice Live At The House Of Blues
Tool Salival
Tool 10,000 Days

3.0 good
3 Inches of Blood Battlecry Under a Winter Sun
A Perfect Circle Thirteenth Step
Arcade Fire Funeral
Arcade Fire Neon Bible
Cannibal Corpse Kill
Death Human
DRACULACORE sp�l nation
Infectious Grooves Groove Family Cyco
Isis The Red Sea
Joe Satriani Crystal Planet
Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve
Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris
Radiohead Pablo Honey
Rage Against the Machine The Battle of Los Angeles
Red Sparowes Every Red Heart Shines Toward The Red...
Steve Vai Passion and Warfare
Sunn O))) Flight of the Behemoth
T.I. King
Tool Undertow
Tool Opiate

2.5 average
1905 Voice
Dream Theater Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory
High School Musical High School Musical
Lightning Bolt Hypermagic Mountain
Liquid Tension Experiment Liquid Tension Experiment
Timbaland Timbaland Presents Shock Value

2.0 poor
Isis Sawblade
Rage Against the Machine Evil Empire
Sonic Youth Washing Machine
I don't get it. I really, really don't get it. Sure, some of the songs are cool, and I can really enjoy some of the tracks on this album...but what the hell? I feel it just seems to be repeating itself over and over again. Not to mention, the noise at the end of "The Diamond Sea" goes on longer than it legally should have been allowed. I hear that Sonic Youth is pretty influential and original, but with this album I don't see it at all.
Sunn O))) White2
Trivium Ascendancy

1.5 very poor
Good Charlotte The Chronicles of Life and Death
Norma Jean Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child
Sunn O))) White1
System of a Down Hypnotize

1.0 awful
Burzum Hlidskjalf
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