Angelboros
Jared Floryan
User

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Soundoffs 1,682
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Last Active 12-12-17 12:54 pm
Joined 08-24-14

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 Lists
12.31.16 Czeched II: New Year's Tang10.26.15 Finally Got a Job (Angel's 100 Favorite
10.03.15 Here's What I've Czeched Lately07.12.15 The Inevitable 1-Year Sputversary List
06.17.15 Zodiac Signs in Crimes on the Nephilim'05.03.15 Soundoff Nation Army: Braggart's Road
01.28.15 Diru Ranked: Average Blasphemy/Birthday01.06.15 Thousand Island Boros (+recs)
01.01.15 Mmxv - The Second Angel10.10.14 Bow Down Before The Food You Serve
10.03.14 Recs For A Bastard Angel09.15.14 A Tepid Whiff Of Adventurous Releases
09.04.14 Faith No More Ranked: Here's How to Ord08.31.14 Formidable Illustrations Of A Pristine

Soundoff Nation Army: Braggart's Road

Hello once again, Sputnik. In case if you didn't know, I've been here since July and I couldn't be more at ease with my stay. Not to sound like an overemotional biatch or whatever, but as all the days, weeks, and months passed, I've grown accustomed to checking out just about anything on here, whether the music release be good, decent, bad, or all-around unlikeable. Now to toss aside all that, there's something I want to throw out there that's been more than obvious for awhile: writing soundoffs are fun. The soundoffs function as miniature reviews, if you will, and are a great way to express both positive and negative opinions about an album, an EP, or a compilation specifically. The very first goal I had in mind when I entered the realm of Sput was to obtain 1,000 SOs. Whilst I'm not quite sure if it counts as some hoity toity accomplishment, I managed to get 1K of these at the start of April - only to suddenly dish out a list about that now 'cause I'm incompetent as balls. Personally, I find soundoffs themselves to be preferable to taking the time just to unleash well-written, standard reviews due to not really being expected to write the former as much (my POV). In honor of completing my #1 objective, this is home to my all-time favorite smaller-quality revs; as in, the SOs I got the most entertainment out of.
1System of a Down
Steal This Album!


Driven by schizophrenia, pervertedness, belligerence, and most importantly cohesion above any other characteristic I can think of to describe this release, System of a Down's third studio album is a criminally underrated gem between all the diamonds and emeralds. Steal This Album!'s runtime is both reasonable and mind-boggling, and the record's flow is so fantastic that not even the most savvy of galaxies would expect it. The transitions are smooth, SOAD are at the top of their game instrumentally, and the production values are as clear as they are disgusting. I'd say this album or Toxicity are vital starting points for those who want to get into the alternative metal act - but moreso this one in particular. I can't honestly recommend any song on here because they're all so glorious, but my favorite tracks are: "Mr. Jack," "Innervision," "36," "Ego Brain," "Highway Song," "Roulette," and of course "I-E-A-I-A-I-O".
2Jamiroquai
A Funk Odyssey


British acid jazz band Jamiroquai have gone out of their way to create a galactic demon of an album. A Funk Odyssey contains elements of disco funk and electronica, and Jay Kay and the others' method of approaching these styles is very tasteful. Its accessibility is pretty tough to overlook, but in spite of how apparent this trait is, Jamiroquai make damn sure on their promise to keep their funky feet planted firmly on the ground; all while knowing how to craft hooks at that.
3Puscifer
"V" Is For Vagina


As a far cry from the prog nature that has engulfed Tool for so long and the alternative rock direction of A Perfect Circle, Maynard James Keenan's side project Puscifer is... uh, intriguing, to say the least. The monkeys expecting "V" Is for Vagina to be this siren song easily ingested by scholars with third eyes just because Maynard's held responsible may end up disappointed. Personally, I adore how soothing and vaguely bizarre the overall record is; the bizarre part is there to stay since Puscifer's debut full-length album has a sound more in the vein of danceable music with trip hop elements. Stare like a junkie into the cover.
4In Flames
Soundtrack to Your Escape


It will be a given that - no matter how much the post-Clayman releases tend to irk you - there's something to like about even the newer In Flames albums. Their seventh studio record Soundtrack to Your Escape almost diminishes the melodeath influence which was prevalent on its predecessors (and Come Clarity) in favor of a more experimental approach, which borders on a mainstream level somewhat. Anders Friden's fry scream techniques aren't too grating on the ears, though his singing needs to be refined. As for the musicianship, it's a bit uninspired, though the simplistic riffage and chords definitely work for this one. The electronics are also a nice touch to some of the songs here, but that's really about it. How does the entire album fare overall? Soundtrack to Your Escape clearly has its moments of homogeneity, but the sound these Swedes deliver throughout isn't too shabby and may warrant a listen or even another.
5Within Temptation
The Heart of Everything


As a safety precaution, to ensure that the bipolar crocodiles of the sacred lake don't go apeshit on me, I'm refraining from mentioning Evanescence anywhere in this soundoff - with the exception of that one time right here. But getting down to the nitty-gritty, Within Temptation's The Heart of Everything is an ultimately likeable, solid album with really great arrangements and soaring, operatic vocals found within lead singer Sharon den Adel. Is it a cheese fest? Yeah, it's a bit sturdy in the corn department. Is the record itself worthy of being considered innovative as fuck? Nope, not exactly. Even with its relatively few obstacles (i.e. "All I Need" isn't nearly as effective a song as the tracks preceding it, while "What Have You Done" is a half-hearted excuse for a closer), Within Temptation's amalgamation of that blatant Goth aura and the overall hard-edged musical style is surprisingly nice on the ears.
6The Used
The Used


Is it whiny? Yes. Does the album do whatever it can to attract introverted teenyboppers who dance around wearing trenchcoats drenched in flowery blood? Yes. Furthermore, is it possible that The Used have conjured up something more stereotypical than a wannabe Caucasian rap artist with goofy attire? Well... That just isn't too much of a backbreaker to imagine. Debated flaws and whatnot aside, this self-titled debut recording was a bit easier said than done and vice-versa when it first came out. Bert McCracken's emotional vocal performance and the strong instrumentation were enough to lure even the most bizarre of fishes in the narcotic sea, and did it matter much if the lyricism was underdeveloped and too emo-oriented for one's tastes? This Utah post-hardcore act had registered a nigh flawless release with little diversity and a whole lot of charisma - an accurate summation from me.
7Maximum the Hormone
Buiikikaesu


At one point in my life, I used to fall madly in love with Maximum the Hormone. There were one of those bands who could borrow a fuckload of tired aspects from mainly the nu metal and punk rock genres - and abruptly make them out to be quite unconventional, but most notably entertaining as well. Buiikikaesu in its entirety is one gay old time after another, showcasing MTH at their very best. All the songs off this album are a bit varied just as much as they are simplistic and cheesy, though guitarist and singer Ryo Kawakita's composition duties transcend enjoyability enough for me to not really write the tracks off. If there's anymore consolation, it also helps that the bandmates are having a blast with the material; Maximum the Hormone's overall sound and attitude towards their recordings can be likened to a pre-One Hot Minute incarnation of Red Hot Chili Peppers or System of a Down to some extent.
8(hed) p.e.
Back 2 Base X


Occasionally in life, when you have nowhere to go but a depraved battlefield, all you need is a practical warhammer and call it a night. On the album known as Back 2 Base X, (hed) Planet Earth - for short, (hed) p.e. - are pretty much heading into a fight with these basic weapons and seeing what works. To their credit, Jahred Gomes and his anarchy-driven cronies have a mostly fun record on their hands. The band's combined flavor of punk rock and hip hop meet up with influences of ska and the results could've been worse, though simultaneously speaking, (hed) p.e.'s efforts could've ended up in a better, more filler-less condition. It is with an open mind that I can say that, to be fair, Back 2 Base X is far from inconsistent and has a very nice amount of replay value. Recommended tracks: "Novus Ordos Clitorus," "White Collars," "Sophia," and "Let's Ride".
9Blood Stain Child
Epsilon


I'll put this as short and sweet as I can: I practically fell in love with the combination of trance sounds and what was undeniably melodic death metal. Sure, the overall album wasn't impervious to issues, but this was about as easy to digest as a bag of Doritos while sitting upon a throne. About - let's say, two or three months before I rewrote this soundoff o' mine - I gave the previous album Mozaiq a spin. When compared to that offering, this just feels and sounds more cohesive. BSC's fourth official entry in their discography was by no means bad, though its composition capabilities were underutilized and the track structures could get extremely carefree at times. Epsilon features German songwriter Sophia as the singer and bass player Ryo handling all the growling in Anders Friden impersonator Sadew's place. Essentially what this is is a very entertaining LP with nicely-executed vocal performances and a Final Fantasy XIII-inspired cover art; it's supposed to represent Sophia.
10Coldplay
Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends


You are the leader of a dishonest nation. For years, you would go and lie to your higher-ups about the condition of some ongoing war; basically, the superiors are aware that life on this battlefield is both cinematic and harsh, which is totally the opposite of what you as a soulless commander had mentioned. What does this have to do with Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends? The alternative rock band Coldplay pretty much never truly convinced us that Chris Martin has a limited vocal range. On their fourth studio album, this group implements baroque pop and artsy tidbits into their style, whilst managing to throw a cohesive album onto our feet. The result is a beautiful recording which will presumably take ages to digest. Martin himself sounds compassionate, with the other members of the outfit complimenting his graceful voice via balanced string arrangements and overall tireless craftsmanship. Those who are dead to me are not dead at all; they're just living in my head, it seems.
11Dance Gavin Dance
Happiness


After jamming the LP, I'm know aware that this group lives up to the hype more or less. Happiness, whilst basically getting dipped in the post-hardcore sauce, is not one in a traditional sense, seeing how Dance Gavin Dance dabble with quite the healthy dosage of experimentalism; the band likes toying with math rock and jazz styles, just to name a few genres. To give the boys credit, nothing sounds out of place and almost flows seamlessly. I suppose what helps to an extent is the overall length, which barely hits the 40-minute mark, yet I digress. This is instrumentally concise, fun, and the songwriting prowess shouldn't be taken so lightly if "Carl Barker" and "Powder to the People" are of any fluffy indication. The main vocalist Kurt Travis has an exceptional singing voice that contrasts with guitarist Will Swan's relentless, although sort of bland screams, and these two members have nice chemistry together.
12In This Moment
The Dream


For their second studio album The Dream, Maria Brink and company did away with much of the metalcore-oriented formula that bombarded the band's debut release; in its place is more harmonization and a pop-centric feel. In This Moment, however, didn't shed their roots entirely given that screams still present themselves, most noticeably on "The Great Divide". Chris Howorth and Blake Bunzel are at least a step behind Maria during the record: these two employ riffs which make the choruses to most tracks pretty good fun, though they don't necessarily provide anything else. Brink's vocals are undeniably the highlight, as she doesn't sound as forced here as she did on Beautiful Tragedy or uneasy like Blood. This offering isn't ready to create imaginary voids anytime soon, but for what it's all worth, I'd say The Dream was the closest ITM ever got to recording a true knockout, with the group's latest Black Widow also being a worthy contender.
13Frank Zappa
Zoot Allures


Weeks have passed since I was ferociously knocked out by the Hot Rats, and as I started to regain consciousness, the cold fists of the Zoot Allures connected with my pelvis. This felt most humiliating, though in the end, I reckon the pain I had to endure was worth it. The eccentric, yet ever so charismatic ringmaster who led the Apostrophe troupe - Frank Zappa - was as much a well-versed storyteller as he was a composition hoarder. His tales ranged from workin' in a gas station to becoming some sort of disco boy to handing out black napkins via unforgettable guitar riffage. While I'm afraid that's all I knew at the time, more secrets shall be revealed; ASAP won't cut it in this regard, but who is to say, really? Oh, great, now Zappa's making me hallucinate, too.
14Godzilla
Godzilla


Not really astonished that wwba gave this a damn 4, though whatever. Getting to the subject of the album, it seems Godzilla was that one overlooked glam metal band who sifted through scratched discs courtesy of Skid Row, Poison, Aerosmith, and virtually every other rock band renowned during this period. The truth is: their self-titled release wouldn't have been so lifeless and severely half-assed had previous groups never existed. But even so, I bet a baby carrying two packs of napalm could tell there was no thought put into this; by Jet Jaguar's constipated son does the review make accurate sense.
15Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects
Sol Niger Within


More deep in thought than the cosmos and no less untamed than the output from his main band, the extreme/progressive metal outfit Meshuggah, Fredrik Thordendal had unveiled a sickeningly explosive, yet also Machiavellian beast in Sol Niger Within. This is one extensive track separated into 29 songs which are - whilst short-lived - breathtaking. It manages to merge complex, jazz-like aspects and furious guitar-driven diatribes together, all while only missing a beat or two. Fans of Meshuggah might be reminded of Catch Thirtythree, and others may or may not recall whatever concoctions Devin Townsend has up his arsenal. Simply put, this is some awesome material; listener discretion is advised. You will be probed hard.
16Shaquille O'Neal
Shaq Diesel


As a Shaquille O'Neal album, it's entertaining enough to warrant various unintentional giggles. However, as a rap record, Shaq Diesel isn't akin to some messiah. The lyrics in particular are flat-out dumb and they make you want to get off the court in a matter of seconds; Shaq attacks the listener with references from E.T. the Extraterrestrial and pretty much his own skills. Magic Johnson at least teaches Jedi pilots how to destroy the Death Star, so that's a bit more salvageable than this.
17Eiffel 65
Europop


"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" is a song that will never leave anybody's head, no matter the gap in years or time overall; the inane lyrics, that unforgettable chorus, and the Auto-Tune on Jeffrey Jey's voice is one gigantic memory harder than bricks - and especially even tougher to suppress. If for some inexplicable reason you can't memorize any part of the track, then I implore the simple-minded to see what Todd in the Shadows has to say about it. Europop is unsurprisingly danceable, as its catchiness seems to know no limits. But after a while, Italian act Eiffel 65 will tire you out. They're all style without any of the substance or grace, and for a vocal minority, the material is pretty friggin' dense. For instance, as ridiculously fun as a number like "My Console" can be, I'm detracting points solely because the "brains" of this triad didn't mention Crash Bandicoot or Twisted Metal anywhere in the lyrical content, but he *does* receive a strawberry-coated brownie for name dropping Tekken 3.
18Ministry
The Land of Rape and Honey


Everybody in the world's gonna have to die sometime. This isn't just survival of the fittest, for as the industrially-aggressive The Land of Rape and Honey keeps on telling us, this entire realm we're living comfortably in will turn into a barren wasteland sooner or later. The album's cellar-like quality, alongside Al Jourgensen's not-so-prominent shouts which represent an alcoholic form of rebellion, is bound to give its people more than just a deadly smack in the filthy mouth.
19The Prodigy
The Fat of the Land


Now first and absolutely foremost, something has to be said here: if Deviant's review for The Fat of the Land doesn't give the album justice, then I have no goddamn clue what else will. Now onto the record itself, English electronic music act The Prodigy have gotten down to the nitty-gritty for no one but themselves. Although essentially a big beat recording, Prodigy's third studio release contains a little of something for everybody; for instance, you can be a metalhead and still fall head-over-heels the moment "Breathe" kicks in. Liam Howlett changed the pitch up just so he could eventually smack his bitch up in the process. As mandatory as it is to witness Experience, you'd have to be as forgetful as shrapnel if you ever feel like missing out on the dragon that is The Fat of the Land.
20P.O.D.
Snuff the Punk


Try to picture Tommy Victor of Prong walking in on L.A.P.D. reading the New Testament out loud, and you have this album. Snuff the Punk was the very first studio recording by Christian rock band P.O.D. and the effort itself shows. The production quality is quite filthy, though it suited the group's heavier style during this era. Lyrically, however, the album is about as subtle as a Catholic and two rottweilers staging a fight. Despite the instrumentation coming off as blatantly uniform and uninspired, Snuff the Punk's second half is slightly better and boasts some of the potential P.O.D. would expand upon with future outings; "Run," "Every Knee," and "Three in the Power of One" are fairly good songs in their own right.
21X Japan
Jealousy


Most of the instrumentation and arrangements that first-time listeners and veteran X Japan fans can expect from this particular record are barely phoned in, with the occasional cheese factor arriving onto the scene just to make things seem a tad bit inconsistent. There is, however, quite the baggage of diversity, for Jealousy does include gnarly ballads such as "Say Anything" and medium-paced songs which get a nice portion of the job done. Some will be put off by the sheer lack of speed metal tracks - although "Stab You in the Back" pretty much counts - but as a whole, this record is damn sweet for what it's all worth.
22Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Uplift Mofo Party Plan


Red Hot Chili Peppers' third studio album The Uplift Mofo Party Plan is no funk rock masterwork, but goddamn if it isn't worth checking out. The recording does very well in fusing the band's roots with heavy metal riffage and some kind of reggae-laden bravado. At times, RHCP can pull off variety just fine while not necessarily getting off on the wrong foot (the relatively melodic "Behind the Sun" would be a taste of what this band would eventually become).
23MUCC
Gokusai


Hmm, what to say about Gokusai... First and foremost, the album is too bloated for its own good. Mucc certainly delivered on the quantity, and just from listening to this record, I can tell that the band should've paid more attention to the area known specifically as quality. If this were about 10-15 minutes shorter, then I suppose Gokusai would've harnessed less duds; I'm looking at you, "D.O.G," "Horizont," and "Yasashiiuta", for starters. One of the band's subsequent releases, Shion, had a similar problem. As a whole, the full-length isn't terrible: the instrumentation is pretty fine as it is and the production values aren't ugly in the least. IMO, trimming was a must and Mucc basically skipped out on that.
24Taku Iwasaki
Soul Eater Original Soundtrack 1


The first of the two original soundtracks for the anime series known as Soul Eater - which is certainly a fun show (albeit with a cop-out during its final episode) - the music was composed by Taku Iwasaki. Unsurprisingly, a majority of the anime's incidental pieces are fairly eclectic in character and are effectuated very well; Iwasaki can deliver songs that bear a traditional nature like "Camellia," "Soulmates," and "Mifune," but his knack for throwing curveballs such as "42-42-564," "Lycaon," and especially "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Have a Nice Dream" (Death the Kid's secondary theme) shouldn't go unnoticed either. Even if you haven't seen Soul Eater or hold indifference towards it, I can still say this compilation may contain a tune or two you'll probably end up liking.
25Kittie
Funeral For Yesterday


Kittie's fourth studio album Funeral for Yesterday was arguably a step in a different direction, for better or worse. Morgan Lander utilizes more singing on here, with her growls a bit less prominent this time around. The instrumentation and overall tone of the recording is somewhat heavy metal-inspired as well, though it all sounds very acceptable. There's no song that truly stands out amidst the rest of the crowd, but Kittie certainly aren't strangers to writing satisfyingly generic material. Now if only they could become better composers, the people who are either indifferent or have a strong, personal grudge against these girls might finally warm up to them.
26Coheed and Cambria
From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness


Coheed and Cambria go to town on their ten-speed bicycle with this evenly-matched studio album. From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is a thematic mindfuck for those who haven't heard of Claudio Sanchez's comic book franchise known as The Amory Wars, but what's more vital for the time being is the music itself. The band primarily have their roboticized feet dipped in the progressive rock genre, whilst taking a few cues from post-hardcore and pop as well. Composition-wise, the record is mostly on point and never gets too dull; this definitely goes double for the "Willing Well" tracks, which show just how ingenious and lyrically interesting Claudio and the boys can really get once push comes to an almighty shove. Get away with calling the record (and this group in general) flamboyant all you want, don't go and make such a recurring lie that From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is a waste of valuable time.
27Soilwork
Sworn to a Great Divide


While Figure Number Five did solidify Swedish metal act Soilwork's mainstream crossover style of melodeath and alternative metal, the band somehow took this direction a step further with Sworn to a Great Divide; a record initially believed to be a sequel of sorts to Natural Born Chaos for some inexplicable reason, though I digress. Despite being musically consistent and featuring snazzy production, the album's biggest problem lies within the composition job: most tracks either don't have that pwnage factor or seem to be only slightly indistinguishable. Not even Bjorn Strid's vocal performance on here is enough to help out the one-dimensional nature of these ditties. But even with its number of misfires, Sworn to a Great Divide isn't that terrible of an album. For what they went for, Soilwork gets a mostly tolerable score in my book - and if I didn't experience releases like Steelbath Suicide or the already-mentioned Natural Born Chaos beforehand, this would actually be very good.
28HORSE the band
R. Borlax


Nowhere near as powerful as their future releases, R. Borlax was more or less a reminder of HORSE the Band preparing for the surprises to attack. The guys' debut album strikes more hearts than it does poison them, what with its synthesizer-heavy effects courtesy of the fabulous Erik Engstrom and the vicious performance by frontman Nathan Winneke. None of the tracks on here are filler in the slightest - except for maybe "Immense Defecation of the Buntaluffigus", which is understandable - and the production, while a bit weak, does pretty well on signifying some of the 'stealthy' goofiness of certain songs. Looking back on this, R. Borlax isn't as invincible as I thought it was several years ago, though it's still a fun and somewhat merciless record nonetheless.
29Grade
Headfirst Straight To Hell


How in the world did this continue flying under the radar for so long!? Headfirst Straight to Hell feels and sounds like a complete puzzle which can arguably defeat the evil that nests within Pandora's Box. Okay, divine exaggeration aside, the songs off this album carry an immense quantity of firepower and emotion, thanks to the absolutely raw-sounding compositions and Kyle Bishop's comfortable dosage of alluring clean vocals and unforgivingly tense screaming. Oh, sure, there exist disfigurements during this release's time, yet somehow Grade ends up either purifying them or just playing along with the occasional blemishes. If anybody out in the world loves gorging themselves with the likes of Fugazi or Glassjaw, then I'm pretty sure you'll have a sweet, astounding experience with Headfirst Straight to Hell.
30Mushroomhead
XIII


Around the time Mushroomhead and the Universal record label came to see an understanding, said band started to get their big break; they had a major label debut in the compilation release XX, which tends to be perceived as the group's first album by those who haven't heard of MRH's independent offerings. This eventually culminated in these filthy hands unleashing a fourth studio recording: the popular XIII. Mushroomhead kept their traditional style of alternative metal with that swanky industrial flavor close all while expanding upon it, with elements of nu metal being quite obvious - and you can make the argument that they sounded more like a drugged Static-X than they did a shameless Faith No More clone. XIII is musically diverse, but hardly an incoherent chimera, I'd say. While it certainly doesn't hold a candle to Superbuick, this 2003 effort is still a prized possession.
31Eddie Rath
Naruto


Alright, allow me to ask a very, very simple question: why the heck would Eddie Rath put this out? Now lemme answer said query with... him either being a fanboy of Naruto, or perhaps he made this for shits and giggles. Don't get me wrong here, Eddie's actually a fairly decent rapper and his flow is a bit on the OK side - but the sort of amusing lyrics huddling with the most cliched beats you'll ever discover easily clashes against the young man's potential. I could see people handing Naruto 2009 a troll 5, though, if only because of the novelty factor. And for what it's worth, Eddie practically foreshadowed the ending of the series: *SPOILER ALERT* Naruto becomes Hokage and gets to pork Hinata. This franchise's storyline needed to come to a conclusion sooner, to be perfectly honest.
32VERSA
Fixed at Zero


Fixed at Zero leaves more of a lasting impression than one might be led to believe. What pop rock band VERSA (known at the time as VersaEmerge) lack in songwriting abilities - which aren't truthfully lacking, per se - they easily make up for with gorgeous production values, dreamy instrumentation, and frontwoman Sierra Kay's alluring vocals to go along with her precious looks. It also helps that many of the tracks themselves are as earworm-y as they are a giant mirror left in the middle of a forest signifying only purification. A surprisingly powerful debut that strong-arms me into desiring more material from these guys, VERSA honestly didn't belong on the Fueled by Ramen label at the time Fixed at Zero was first released.
33Chiodos
Devil


For what they were, both All's Well That Ends Well and Bone Palace Ballet had sufficient energy to be considered just a little more than merely average. This doesn't really hold true for Chiodos' most recent album Devil. With the reintroduction of frontman Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost, a return to form was blatantly inevitable; the results aren't too glamorous. Thomas Erak of The Fall of Troy fame hardly even gets a chance to shine, and Craig - whilst showcasing an improved vocal range - gives an overall bland performance. On this offering, Chiodos are awkward and not what any halfwit would deem unusual. Highlights: "Why the Munsters Matter," "Expensive Conversations in Cheap Motels," and "Under Your Halo".
34Atreyu
Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses


Suicide Notes and Butt(erfly Kisses) just can't seem to decide whether the album itself wants to be a McIntosh, a Golden Delicious, or a decomposed tree stump. Atreyu shows incredibly brief, but thankful sightings of potential throughout their first album; notably on "At Least I Know I'm a Sinner" and "Lip Gloss and Black". Beyond those tracks, unfortunately, the rest of the CD's songs are nigh-barely even worth one listen, and they're plagued with lyrics which read akin to a manic-depressive kid's diary entries. If you're a metalcore nut, try listening to another band whose members bear more vigor and thought-out formulas.
35Holland Boys
The Objectification of Me


Essentially the Holland Boys are a futuristic Gunther if he took his shirt off, lifted weights, and was a diamond that shines in the sun... Fuck yeah! It doesn't alter the space time continuum as we know it, but The Objectification of Me is a hilariously enjoyable, gay old time of an album.
36All That Remains
Behind Silence and Solitude


Many naked apes are aware of All That Remains for (as far as whatever knowledge I possess) two things: the Killswitch Engage-inspired metalcore stylings that imprisoned The Fall of Ideals, and the recent "post-grunge-meets-heavy metal" direction this band feels comfortable with on their latest albums. That said, ATR's debut full-length outing Behind Silence and Solitude offers more of a melodeath vibe. Listening to this makes me want to compare the group to Dead to Fall; frontman Philip Labonte's growls recall Jonathan Hunt, while both outfits at the time were pretty much influenced by Gothenburg metal. Though the musicianship could leave room for adjustments, Behind Silence and Solitude doesn't really lack in the composition area. Guitar harmonies are tasteful and sync up just fine with the drum work, and the production quality is dirty enough to be compatible.
37Linkin Park
Meteora


Let me get something off my chest here, all while I prepare for incoming grenades filled with cyanide and shitstorms: Meteora contains what I believe to be Linkin Park's most achieved sound. On the California-based outfit's second full-length recording, the band's traditional elements of nu and rap metal coalesce together alongside a slightly offbeat - but no less melodic, thankfully - nature to form a work of stability that is both mature and puerile simultaneously. When a shake up or two comes into play (i.e. the incorporation of the shakuhachi flute on "Nobody's Listening"), it helps LP's songwriting abilities rather than merely functioning as some kind of detriment. Hybrid Theory is acceptable enough for me to revisit from time to time, but Meteora's predecessor is also a bit weaker in terms of quality.
38DragonForce
Inhuman Rampage


DragonForce relish in crafting a power metal sound as over the top and cornballish as possible. It would be entirely fun and adventurous if it weren't for the ridiculously generic arrangements enclosing Inhuman Rampage, and its bland nature comes across as a bit shocking for me considering the bandmates *do* possess a boatload of talent. The retro video game-inspired elements and the fantasy themes would only help this band's case according to the mightiest of nerds - and just because "Through the Fire and Flames" played a part in the Guitar Hero series and got DragonForce popular, doesn't mean that it's a fantastically difficult track. Kiddies, there exist memes which can and will go out of style; this is one of them.
39Thrill Of A Gunfight
The Struggle The Rebirth The Beginning Anew


Passionately brutal and uniform as it may be, The Struggle The Rebirth The Beginning Anew is an undoubtedly incohesive studio album. Thrill of a Gunfight are no slouches in delivering beefy, hostility-crazed riffage and gut-wrenching (if forgettable) vocals, but keep in mind that this band is far from good in the composition department; I wouldn't mind the length of most of these tracks if the outfit didn't insist on making me halfway bored out of my skull. To easily get a taste of the release, songs like "My Family, My Blood," "Good Ole Fashioned Back Stabbing," and "Six Flags Over Jesus" may tickle your fancy moreso than other tunes on here.
40Soundtrack (Anime)
Infinite Stratos 1


The soundtrack to the first season of Infinite Stratos, composed by Hikaru Nanase, just barely offers anything distinctive or pleasurable; pretty much like the anime itself, with its quality ranging from slightly terrible to only decent. Most of the background music hardly stands out and could've been ripped from just about any kind of media - and trust me, it doesn't have to be a Japanese anime. However, I will say a good portion of the leitmotifs are diamonds in the rough, with "Shinonono Houki," "Huang Lingyin," and "Charles/Charlotte Dunois" being legit favorites; "Britain Yori Ai wo Komoete" counts as well, I guess. Even if you yourself aren't accustomed to the show (though why would you watch IS when you've got the audacity to check out better harem series?), this OST isn't going to convince a vast majority of people very well about the content that's being dealt with. The anime is fanservice with mechs, which would actually be sweet if the execution wasn't screwed up in general.
41Butthole Surfers
Locust Abortion Technician


Surprisingly terrifying in more ways than one demonic baby performing cartwheels above the heads of reanimated carcasses, Locust Abortion Technician has just enough material during its 32-minute duration to send chilling nightmares down the spine of even a hulking boogeyman on meat-flavored steroids. Its usage of the Gibbytronix vocal effects are astounding in the sense that a rocket ship crash landed into the Sea of Atlantis, while the instrumentation is sickeningly stunning. Butthole Surfers were probably one of the most innovative bands during their time, and this album might as well be sheer proof of the claim.
42BUCK-TICK
Kurutta Taiyou


Ardor percolates through medieval castles which are always remembered with fondness, much like Kurutta Taiyou. For this album, one of the visual kei movement's founders Buck-Tick shine with raw ebullience and assault our ears through earnest songwriting capacities and frontman Atsushi Sakurai's silvery vocals.
43Fear Factory
Obsolete


We are souls placed inside corrupt machines, commandeered by totalitarians with scars for body paint. Obsolete follows a story quite similar to the statement I just made - more or less - and has a grandiose, industrial sound with fresh death and alternative metal elements. Because of the production's high quality and the vocal range Burton C. Bell possesses, one can easily be forgiven for believing this album's aged too well. It's every bit as depressing, vicious, and clinical as it should be.
44Vanilla Ice
Hard to Swallow


Going from pop rap that dips too much into the 'So Bad, It's Good' category to hereditary, badly-uninspired nu metal because of Ross Robinson wasn't as shocking as Vanilla Ice's small, but devoted fanbase (and detractors) thought it was back then. Hard to Swallow, however, is still a trainwreck of an album which pretty much butchered the man's career even further; the guest appearances by the likes of Jimmy Pop and Casey Chaos aren't enough to keep this one out of the cold-hearted gutter.
45Clutch
Pure Rock Fury


Stylish like the man of stone and dirty akin to the wolf who shall never ever test patience, Pure Rock Fury does more than wonders at demonstrating Clutch's combination of abrasive, but marvelous stoner rock and a sempiternal blues-esque presence. It's instrumentally fantastic and frontman Neil Fallon's got a voice filled with gravel, strength, and overall clarity; on the black sheep hit that is "Careful With That Mic...", he displays his surprisingly top-notch rapping skills laid down upon memorable, catchy riffs. This is one of those albums you just have to witness for yourself.
46Luna Sea
Image


Image, the major label debut by legendary visual kei rock band Luna Sea, contains rather harmful material in one of the most engrossing ways possible. For the majority of this recording, the quartet are able to amalgamate different musical styles whilst still sucking on a bottle of graceful coherence. The arrangements aren't consistently perfect, though tracks like "Mechanical Dance," "Search for Imitation," and "Wish" effortlessly showcase the unit's composition abilities very well. Lead vocalist Ryuichi Kawamura's pipes offer a marvelous amount of zealousness, while Sugizo, J, Shinya Yamada, and Inoran's contributions can pretty much rise from the grave of lifelessness without warning - and problematic occurrences are rendered as infrequent.
47Repulsion
Horrified


It is neither a juggernaut regarding its production values or a colossal titan if diversity is what you're seeking. But try not to misunderstand the legacy that enclosed Repulsion because of this very studio album. Horrified's 'punk-meets-thrash' riffs are absolutely killer, and the vocal performance by this band's frontman is gorgeously terrifying. The beefiness of the audio truly lies within the savage influence rather than just the quality alone. If you're a big fanatic of grindcore or are simply starting out, this should pretty much be one of your first releases courtesy of said genre.
48Breaking Benjamin
We Are Not Alone


The 11-year-old in me still can't get over how emotional "Firefly" is, musically speaking. The memories of WWE: Day of Reckoning have decided to flood my cerebellum. Anyhoo, Breaking Benjamin's We Are Not Alone is no spectacular album; at its core, the record is your standard post-grunge effort that any band could've busted out, in all honesty. Even if this is so, these guys know how to conjure up in-your-face riffs without missing much of a beat. Frontman Benjamin Burnley's vocals aren't even remotely interesting, though his voice alone has sheer power and a little bit of a genuine aura. The production values are somewhat off, but in general, this type of quality gets along with the really nice instrumentation.
49Drop Dead, Gorgeous
In Vogue


Sometimes when an apple falls and attacks the tree, you have to wonder if the latter was actually this album. In Vogue is an indistinguishable mess of a debut record, suffering from quite a number of trends that became popular around this time; you like bizarre song titles which don't allude to the poorly-written lyrics? Drop Dead, Gorgeous have that covered. How about the lack of variation within the otherwise decent instrumentation? But oh wait, I almost forgot... Does the combination of whiny clean vocals and aggravating screams tickle your fancy? {sigh} As muddy as the production is on the release, I think it manages to help many of the problems (though not by much).
50Nightmare
The WORLD Ruler


I'll take a potato chip and eat it! No seriously, if it weren't for the anime series Death Note, I would've never discovered this band to start out with. Jasdevi reviewed all the albums released so far, which also tempted me to give the records a listen or two. The WORLD Ruler allows us to witness that Nightmare have a certain amount of charisma you probably won't find in any other similar group formed in the 2000s or after. Undeniably a gothic rock record, the bandmates do their best to pull influences from ambient music, electronica, and also implement brass instrumentation. The songwriting couldn't be more far from a fluke, as each member's contributions are seemingly prevalent and well-crafted; lead vocalist Yomi's melodramatic range has the right mixture of subtlety and blatant poise, whilst Sakito and Hitsugi function as excellent guitar players with their imaginations running loose inside a padded cell.
51Evanescence
Fallen


For the darnedest reasons, I've always believed Evanescence was only around to feed on the emotions of primarily wangst and all-around cheese. What makes it hard for me to fully respect the group is something even I find difficult to answer. Fallen, the band's debut album, is a largely acceptable record which offers no element of surprise and contains some replay value, though it is marred quite a bit by the asinine songwriting and the glowing spotlight on frontwoman Amy Lee; she has an admittedly gorgeous voice and looks to boot, but I swear she gives no credit to the other musicians, who seem to hide a bunch of potential but don't exactly show it.
52God Forbid
Earthsblood


Although the songwriting department obviously could've been improved upon in places, God Forbid's Earthsblood is a self-explanatory horse of a different color on the inside and a complex sheep with a familiar face on the outside. Byron Davis' monolithic vocals suit the thrash metalcore-like destructiveness of the record very well, with the cleans supplied by rhythm guitarist Dallas Coyle being fairly acceptable despite his slightly irritating tone. The somewhat proggish nature of Earthsblood colliding with the typical savagery makes for both intriguing and tiresome moments: effective on numbers like "The New Clear", yet a bit trouble-ridden on tracks such as the title song itself.
53John 5
God Told Me To


John Lowery (aka John 5) crafted a luxurious album in the form of God Told Me To. It might be all instrumentation and no vocals, but the material itself doesn't need a singer to speak to the listeners' needs - John 5's songwriting alone can do the trick. For every pulsating rock jam with some industrial undertones exists numbers which undergo a melodic approach, with this man's guitar licks and flamenco-like tapping hardly missing the record's pre-approved target. Unlike Buckethead, John 5 has no need to conjure over a hundred releases just to prove to the masses that he's talented; by no means am I saying the former's material is tedious on its own. To summarize, God Told Me To is an incredibly skilled and fun experience with noteworthy choice cuts in "Noche Acosador," this dude's cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It," "The Lie You Live," and "Killafornia".
54Children of Bodom
Blooddrunk


Although the Finnish melodeath metal band Children of Bodom certainly know how to bring the mindless riffage and shredding on Blooddrunk, they also fall quite short on delivering intriguing compositions above that. The keyboard melodies don't really mesh well with the thrash-oriented chaos and lead vocalist Alexi Laiho basically sounds exhausted, though on more of a positive note, he's at least a fine guitarist. I think this act encountered one too many lake trolls and lost their sense of direction by just a bit. If you're amused by cheesy Power Rangers soundtracks and gallons of wizardry without a lot of the sage-like wisdom, this could be your type of album to sit through. To be fair, there are a few good tracks on this, but they're more or less buried underneath repetition that couldn't touch the scythe of a grim reaper.
55Miley Cyrus
Bangerz


It's surprisingly hard to tell where it ends and begins with Miley Cyrus. She's Billy Ray's daughter, but unlike him, Miley's usually been comfortable with corporate-laden pop music courtesy of the soul suckers at Disney. This mostly changed when Can't Be Tamed entered the fray, though people could still tell that the girl's needed a shitload of growing up to do; she botched Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn", by the way. As the dance move known 'round the fractured world as twerking got more popular thanks to her (and probably Vine), that's when Bangerz came rolling along. Miley does a better job at embracing the mature image she's now craving for, but a number of the songs off this album still have a tendency to grate on your nerves (e.g. "SMS" and especially "We Can't Stop"). Thankfully, there exist certain tracks like "Rooting for My Baby," "FU," "Maybe You're Right," and "#GETITRIGHT" that have a surprisingly unavoidable charm.
56Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Of Natural History


Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's whimsically hazardous world of avant-rock/metal will allow listeners to learn a thing or two about accepting the fear and insanity hiding deep within the animate objects lodged inside our chests. The eccentricities and this band's method of avoiding categorization are made a bit more authentic largely because of how this record as a whole plays out, but the members being gracefully talented songwriters can also become a safe bet in no more than four minutes. If Of Natural History were a real person lying in a puddle of his or her own gore, the figure would magically revive; that much is certain. Very remarkable stuff.
57Secret Lives of the Freemasons
Weekend Warriors


Weekend Warriors is one of those parties you're better off not attending, but not because it'll end up as as shitty shindig. North Carolina-based pop punk act Secret Lives of the Freemasons find themselves restrained by the fundamentals of the genre, all while half-heartedly shoving in a post-hardcore element or two. The production, although pretty good, isn't enough to enhance the primarily lukewarm musicianship that this quintet has to share with us. Go back to probably a few tracks off Secret Lives' second studio album and don't bother crashing the celebration again.
58Transcending Bizarre?
The Serpent's Manifolds


Transcending Bizarre?'s name is a little bit on the misleading side, as the material they have to make us submit is basically symphonic black metal on the surface. I am, fortunately enough, not saying that The Serpent's Manifolds isn't capable of inspiring terror and queasiness in our hearts. This Greek outfit is never short on feeding our bellies with tremendous musicianship and competent songwriting, I can say this much without hesitation. The timing of the vocalist's growls are rather close to being impeccable, and the subtle usage of singing tends to add flavor to the bleak, menacing disposition of the entire album. If you admire your Dimmu Borgir, Sigh, or Blut Aus Nord (whether in secret or not), I'm positive that you won't miss this one; heck, the more casual metalheads can learn to appreciate how unyielding the thing is in all its alien glory.
59The Agonist
Prisoners


Most definitely the closest this Canadian melodeath band has to a magnum opus, The Agonist's Prisoners was their third and final studio outing with gorgeous frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz - and boy, does she go out with a bang here. Sonically stupendous, instrumentally powerful, and lacking in restraints from an overall songwriting perspective, these hounds of shameless flamboyance possess the grace of doves. The musicianship is passionately fierce as much as it is refined, as The Agonist took what they did on Lullabies for the Dormant Mind and expanded upon said prequel's influences. Alissa showcases her vocal range to the fullest extent of her abilities, being able to switch from war-ready death growls to hauntingly beautiful singing - a feat the ex-Agonist main lady can do in her sleep with no issues. Her overall performance and the contributions made by the other members are in a dead ocean of harmony.
60Jane's Addiction
Nothing's Shocking


If the pendulum never swings, then we'd forever be stuck in suspended animation. Had bands such as Jane's Addiction ever cease to come true, then alternative metal would never bother coming to fruition. Their debut studio album Nothing's Shocking is a challenging, yet also very coherent achievement showcasing the beauty and ugliness wrapped around the group's fingers. Its musicianship is authentic and magnificent, while the CD's cover art is merely the tip of the iceburg; conjoined twins with exposed grenades should be enough to tell you just how disgustingly captivating Perry Farrell's mind is.
61Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Doc at the Radar Station


Deep inside a pool of seltzer water, the flames on your head suddenly can't be extinguished and gun-toting cats are visiting whilst riding fossils away from rocks. The quirky, stomach-churning, but accessible strengths holding the reins of Doc at the Radar Station are reasonably responsible for this incorrigibly intimate situation. Don Van Vliet, better known by the stage moniker 'Captain Beefheart', delivers amusing vocals all while the blues-influenced guitar work keeps things steady and many miles from shallowness. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band sound mesmerizing enough for me to go experience other material, specifically Trout Mask Replica.
62Rammstein
Mutter


This is perhaps one of the most daring 5s that I'd ever give to a release such as Mutter, yet it's also worth whatever consequences will stare at me right in my face. Neue Deutsche Harte outfit Rammstein - though if you want to call them industrial metal, then be my guest - have showcased a perfect knack for traces of symphonic music and dark electronics overlapping the rebellious anger seeping out of this record's melodious, yet creepy heart; the album cover depicting a dead fetus will already tell both long-time fans and newcomers what they're in for.
63Big Dumb Face
Duke Lion Fights the Terror!!


Influenced by the likes of the dynamic duo that was Ween and Mr. Bungle - as in, the genre-defying act helmed by the devil on holiday commonly known by Mike Patton - Big Dumb Face's debut full-length album is the project's only release. Wes and Scott Borland alongside the rest of this abnormal entourage clearly revel in stupidity, although not much else on Duke Lion Fights the Terror!!. The songs aren't really terrible, yet they do sustain a major casualty of being unremarkably retarded just for absurdity's sake. Redeemable factors which made groups such as Crotchduster and the Butthole Surfers so endearing just don't seem to be present throughout this album, sadly enough.
64Gackt
Mizerable


Whether you know him as the former lead vocalist for Japanese visual kei rock band Malice Mizer or anything else, Gackt Camui is as much a vastly talented composer as he is a brilliant singer. While not his official solo debut, Mizerable was the first release this charismatic, unassuming young man dished out. By EP standards, it is indeed fantastic; but in the case of recordings, the offering will make one who confronts its presence both exhilarated and touched. If you ever browse through a dictionary just to find the term "perfect", then a picture of Gackt will undoubtedly accompany the word. Whilst there is only four tracks presented on Mizerable, the emotional weight and songwriting tactics for each of them are far more than meets the eye. Honestly, if you feel nothing after getting dragged away by the amazing utilization of a piano in the number "Lapis", then it would appear you've not a soul that's worth any ounce of sympathy.
65Refused
Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent


Infuriation is key to throwing a rock in the machine, as we call out to the power-hungry fools who stole our airwaves. While Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent is nowhere near as memorable, charismatic, or imperfectly immaculate as the record's successor, Swedish punk outfit Refused still proved via this release that angry, calculated progression was a beautiful thing. Dennis Lyxzen shouts and screams with burning tenacity, while the guitar riffs throughout compliment the smart ruthlessness these guys would go on to transform into an omnivorous tower. The songwriting barely grows stale as well, yet as everybody and their brainwashed grandma keeps saying, the overall structure would pale in comparison to The Shape of Punk to Come.
66Faith No More
Angel Dust


Never have I become so enamored with an album such as this! Angel Dust - Faith No More's fourth full-length effort (and second CD with Mike) - is quite hard for me to put into specific words just for how perfect its overall sound can be. Even when there are garbled messes to be found, like on "Smaller and Smaller" as well as "Crack Hitler," these particular songs are still impressive and try to consider their issues as grand advantages. There are no insipid or dull moments, the instrumentation throughout the album is crisp, messy, and intelligent all at once, and... just don't even make an attempt to talk about Mike Patton's vocals on Angel Dust; they're so chameleonic and distinctive that you'll be left as speechless as an egret covered with LSD. It's safe to say that, as a band, Faith No More finally knew the direction they were going for, even if the members weren't on the same page per se.
67Blink-182
Cheshire Cat


A highly underappreciated debut album, Cheshire Cat has a searing quantity of potential that is otherwise marred by its amount of filler. The record's anthemic style of pop punk with that evident skate attitude is certainly fun, but only while it lasts, and the vocals tend to be hit-and-miss: Tom DeLonge's whiny tone can win over any sexually-driven, teenaged girl, but he doesn't put nearly as much enthusiasm into his performance like Adam Hoppus does; this isn't saying a whole lot, but on this album, the latter's bearable. Blink-182 would eventually go on to channel their vigor and frivolity in order to hit the jackpot with the memorable releases Enema of the State, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and their self-titled effort. To summarize, Cheshire Cat is good if you adore wasting vital time loitering or doing any other activities which are sure to get you thrown in the slammer.
68Secret Chiefs 3
Book of Horizons


Book of Horizons is a dizzying, miserable album which is of extraordinarily high value. Trey Spruance put together six satellite bands (seven in reality) who manage to give it their all effortlessly, and the 14 tracks displayed throughout couldn't sound any better. The record's capability of pushing genre boundaries will render the most self-conscious of listeners speechless, with Spruance's nifty production skills only augmenting both the expected and the unpredictable. This Secret Chiefs 3 release can even occasionally make its lack of coherency one of its biggest strengths, though some out there will say otherwise.
69Thrice
The Illusion of Safety


In terms of songwriting prowess and diversity, Vheissu blows this album out of the water; in regards to every other aspect such as emotion and replay value, The Illusion of Safety ends up beating that record to a swift, bloody pulp - although the former still harnesses a lot of staying power. Admittedly, I never grew up on Thrice, though I did enjoy the heck out of similar post-hardcore acts during the 2000s era, with Silverstein in particular easily coming to mind. What really amazes me about Thrice's second full-length release is its enormous quantity of depth, which would be a cakewalk to overlook if this were any other band that formed during this time. The youthfulness in Dustin Kensrue's vocal performance is not without clarity or eloquence, even if a vocal minority perceive his contributions here as merely uninteresting today, and the quick, punk-oriented musicianship doesn't even lack in caution. Brian McTernan's production truly does wonders at highlighting the raw energy.
70Electric Six
Fire


Electric Six seem totally content through means of never really taking the material seriously on Fire, which incorporates a bit of punk rock and techno-tinged sounds. The members are having a grand time with synthesizers, a nuclear war, and taking people to gay bars for some inexplicable reason.
71Shpongle
Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost


Simon Posford and Raja Ram issued two albums which came after this, so the title has since become ironic; beforehand, Nothing Lasts... But Nothing Is Lost's name made accurate sense, though that's a discussion for another time. The record's 20 tracks play out as if there was merely one interminable, powerful song with quite the stylistic variety and brilliant arrangements, all while said piece fuses trance with ambience, psychedelia, and pretty much influences borrowed from 'round the universe. Shpongle's third effort is an audacious dragon trapped in a colorful cellar, and even if you feel like dancing to its inner and outer magnificence, Nothing Lasts... is something that must be experienced if the atmosphere and artwork are anything to go by.
72Sevendust
Sevendust


I'm going to point out the excruciatingly obvious here, but Sevendust are a nu metal band; that's right, I mentioned they were involved in one of the most maligned subgenres of music - and yet if anything, the reason I myself am so biased towards the style isn't so much due to the downtuned guitar playing or the vocalizations. The lyrical subjects that are brought up are juvenile: if your song doesn't boil down to boasting courtesy of a teenaged bully, then it's going to revolve around how atrocious your childhood was. Believe it or not, there exist outfits within nu metal that are a lot better than detractors give them credit for (Deftones is a clear-cut example, seeing how they abandoned it ever since White Pony and were probably already accepted prior to that album's release). Sevendust on their debut studio album manage to be consistent, as the bandmates know full well the basics of natural melody and slightly forced aggression.
73Marilyn Manson
Mechanical Animals


As controversial and polarizing as Marilyn Manson is, you can't say that he's absolutely no musical genius. With nine studio albums under his sadomasochistic belt, the man's mind is both creepy and quite rationally deranged. Manson's third full-length record Mechanical Animals is a salacious offering which blends his band's industrial ways with a dazzling rock appeal, and most of the results turn out pretty positive. The release's selection of tracks are colorful, though not entirely animated; songs like "Coma White" can prove that this shock value-ridden prince(ss) can handle subtlety like the third day of a seven day binge. While his pretentiousness and the barbie doll anatomy you see on the cover might give a couple fellas the wrong impression, Mechanical Animals is nonetheless a peacock drying its feathers with the apple of discord.
74AFI
Sing the Sorrow


A brief summary of AFI's sixth full-length album Sing the Sorrow: the amount of positive reception it got at the time of its release up to now is no joke. Personally, I wouldn't dare say it's the band's #1 recording. True, the group had issued a darker and arguably mature album which leaned more towards alternative rock and post-hardcore than it did AFI's punk roots, though what I definitely adored about Sing the Sorrow's predecessor The Art of Drowning is somewhat missing here. However, this is far from a bad offering and features very nostalgic songs in "Silver and Cold" as well as "Girl's Not Grey". The songwriting is mostly in tip-top shape, but there are those rare moments when this album's sophisticated feel (compared to earlier efforts, of course) feels kinda phoned in; "Dancing Through Sunday" - while on its own a great tune - is pretty forced because AFI are trying a bit too hard via recalling their earlier years, which showed us a different type of band.
75Dir En Grey
The Marrow of a Bone


There are quite a number of peeps who are quick to ignore The Marrow of a Bone's place within this Japanese experimental metal band's catalog, partially due to the Western influences becoming even more prominent than before; the trashy musicianship also adds a bit of fuel to the black fire. I can clearly see where the vocal minority come from, though even so, this is a transitional release that requires a bit more love as time passes. The good on Dir en Grey's seventh full-length outweighs the shit in spite of the album's largely straightforward nature, and if you aren't down with the aggressively generic (if not satisfying) songs like "Agitated Screams of Maggots," "Lie Buried with a Vengeance," and "Grief", then I have this wondrous feeling that you might just adore other tracks such as "Disabled Complexes," "Namanekashiki Ansoku, Tamerai ni Hohoemi," "Ryoujoku no Ame," and record closer "Clever Sleazoid".
76Soulfly
Primitive


Countless number of people are still waiting for Max Cavalera to rejoin Sepultura, and some of them don't exactly appreciate how biblical he's gotten; by the time you've read this, he'll still be a part of Soulfly. Having said that, Primitive is an album dipped halfway into the nu metal craze and also showers itself with Brazilian tribal elements. The musicianship is largely consistent and works for the record, even though there's one or two guest cameos that sort of ruin the flow. The rap group known as Cutthroat Logic on "In Memory Of..." is kinda misdirected, whilst Corey Taylor seems to overdominate the moody "Jumpdafuckup".
77Passenger (SWE)
Passenger


Passenger's self-titled debut album - and their only release for the time being - is inherently a 2000s In Flames recording, except keep Anders Friden as the vocalist and take away everyone else who's contributed. Infusing nu metal into a poppier, yet still abrasive formula, the frontman's newfound approach to his abilities by then fit this group more than his primary act; particularly if Sounds of a Playground Fading and Siren Charms are compared with it. Whilst boasting inconsistent songwriting and some restrained craftsmanship, many of the songs on Passenger are overall somewhat hale and hearty. If you enjoy In Flames in general or prefer their later work over the first five melodeath offerings, this is worth a crack.
78Megadeth
Rust in Peace


You can't really say much about Rust in Peace that hasn't been talked about already. Hailed as one of the greatest thrash metal records to ever slam its pugilism-driven fists into the very existence of Planet Earth, Megadeth's fourth studio album is overvalued and the instrumentation is far too concentrated and furious - and those are at least two reasons why it deserves all the recognition and overwhelming praise. This release sports the classic and most memorable Deth lineup, as Dave Mustaine's vocal performance and spirit appeared to be at an all-time high and Marty Friedman's guitar shredding is unbelievable. Bassist David Ellefson's abilities resonate very well with the bandmates, whilst Nick Menza gives it everything he's fucking got on the skins; his drumming on "Rust in Peace... Polaris" alone speaks decibels regarding the position he rightfully deserved back then.
79Mr. Bungle
Disco Volante


Mr. Bungle's second album shows these California men aiming to be as innovative as possible whilst allowing the record itself to become an hour-long experience that shan't be forgotten. Mike Patton's diverse vocal range comes in handy for Disco Volante, resulting in overall powerful performances on dizzying numbers such as the schizophrenic, yet beauteous thrash metal piece "Carry Stress In the Jaw". The other band members are neck-and-neck with the frontman, being able to provide a wide array of techniques like drum fills, more technologic effects which are prevalent on the Middle-Eastern techno track "Desert Search for Techno Allah" (as its title suggests), and one mean saxophone capable of enhancing the fun factor of "Platypus". Every last second of Disco Volante is so random (if slightly expected) that it starts turning into unadulterated perfection after some time has passed.
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