Mitchell D. W.

Reviews 65
Soundoffs 133
News Articles 22
Band Edits + Tags 181
Album Edits 337

Album Ratings 3003
Objectivity 87%

Last Active 08-03-20 4:19 pm
Joined 03-01-15

Forum Posts 30
Review Comments 11,329

03.19.20 Mars2020: What to Listen For09.30.19 Update: Build-an-Album, Life, etc.
09.06.19 Sputnik Mafia: Trial Run07.30.19 MarsBro's Court of 2019
06.25.19 Build-an-Album R10: Weaving a Web06.05.19 Help a geriatric catch up on the times
04.17.19 Build-an-Album R9: To Salt a Wound02.10.19 Build-an-Album R8: Development, Oh Hell
01.26.19 Build-an-Album R7: Raise Yer Rhythms01.15.19 Build-an-Album R6: Burnin' Churches
01.04.19 Build-an-Album R5: Dad Bods Unite12.27.18 Build-an-Album R4: Flannel Time
12.19.18 Build-an-Album R3: Swine Surprise12.13.18 Build-an-Album R2: Off to Paradise
12.07.18 Build-an-Album R1: Clang-clang12.06.18 Rec Comp: Build-an-Album Madness [FULL]
08.21.18 Going Down04.06.18 Update #3/Synecdoche, New York Poem
More »

MarsBro's Court of 2019

Welcome to the list I'm gonna use to get through even more 2019 stuff, but with a bit of a twist to it.
1Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

Here are the rules:
1. Any album submitted must be from 2019.
2. I have my preferences, naturally, but all genres are welcome.
3. Each user can give up to 3 recommendations.
4. Recommendations can be either: i. a record I haven't heard, ii. a record not yet released but will come out in 2019, or iii. a record I HAVE heard but you believe I should rate higher (a 3.5 to a 4, 4 to a 4.5, etc.)
2Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

With regards to ii., if it's a record I already was aware of, you may rec something else instead.

Bring the new stuff or bring something for new judgement!
Forgotten Paths

from Scheumke
VERDICT: Naturally, Saor's latest offering is about as epic a black metal release as you can find. The melodies are beautiful and the song structuring is worthy of praise for its brilliant balancing of quiet, folksy moments and rousing tremolo riffs. Surprisingly, this was a brief listen--under 40 minutes--and it could have easily been longer. Certain shortcomings hold this back, chief among them being a level of predictability in how each track progresses. The vocal performance also leaves a lot to be desired. Those instances of calm could have expanded upon much more, with their accompanying transitions less jarring/expected. In sum, this was excellent, but it doesn't quite attain a greater tier. 4.0
4De Staat
Bubble Gum

from Scheumke
VERDICT: This is rather unconventional, yet despite that--or precisely because of it--it is insanely addictive, sporting uncannily-powerful choruses and lead synths/guitars/whatever they choose to do. It's delivered in a funky manner with an overarching attitude of 'yeah this is how we're gonna play, what are you gonna do about it?' It's entertaining, but incredibly well-produced. Essentially, it's how anything dubbed as 'fun music' should be, and I foresee this being stuck in my head for a long time now. 4.5

from Scheumke
Digitalized Human Nature

from JohnnyoftheWell
VERDICT: Couldn't find a way to listen to this, so I s'pose it's on hold for now.
7100 Gecs
1000 gecs

from Johnny
VERDICT: Drown me in a fucking river. 1.0
8Dots (.........)

from Johnny
VERDICT: There is a very pleasant, spacey sort of atmosphere that dominates the record, making it a very blissful listening experience. Coupled alongside a lofty, carefree vocal performance, Points becomes a recipe for light-hearted indie success. However, it becomes clear early on that song structures are very linear and hardly ever change, relying on basic melodies to propel themselves. It begins to morph from pleasant to drone-like, which equals to a growing sense of disappointment. 3.0
9Wounds of Recollection
You Were A Garden of Empyrean Light

from Nocte
VERDICT: Honestly, I'm not sure what made me take to this moreso than other post-black metal albums of a similar persuasion. I think perhaps what does it for me is how natural this feels and the blending of the quieter, ambient sections, with two tracks being devoted to instrumental works to set the mood. Still carried enough power inside to offer up strong tunes when the black metal riffs hit. 3.5
10Clouds Collide
They Don't Sleep Anymore

from Nocte
VERDICT: Maybe they don't sleep anymore, but I surely do after listening to this. It was as if someone desperately wished to NOT make a black metal album yet still made one out of obligation. This whole thing was so nebulous that I could hardly perceive it as it drifted away. The guitar tuning was a huge turn-off for me, as well as the amateurish clean vocals. Blackgaze can and has been done well, but this ain't how you go about it. 2.0
The Approaching Darkness

from Nocte
NEW VERDICT: The brutality is certainly enjoyable alongside the accompanying technical elements, but the consistent song structures eventually run into the issue of blending together. Some cuts off of this are very catchy and others feel as though they simply exist and that's about it. The diminished bass presence is a definite issue, as this hampers some of the grooves that are crafted. That being said, it is still solid and I think my rating will remain as is: 3.0
12Gaahls Wyrd
Ghosts Invited

from garas
VERDICT: Some strong riffs and equally strong songs to boot, but the repetitive nature they tend to fall into makes for an unfortunately lackluster experience at times. Those memorable guitar chords are struck ad nausea until they lose their original appeal, with the structures of tracks rarely making compelling deviations. While I'm certainly not one to take much issue with vocals in black metal, some of the choices here--namely the spoken word-esque delivery--come across as sounding uninspired. It's a sturdy offering, but it doesn't hold up too well under scrutiny. 3.0
Esoteric Warfare

from garas
The Carpathian Summit

from Hawks
VERDICT: Perhaps my identification skills aren't what they used to be (were they anything to begin with?), but I perceived very little black metal on this; there were more leanings towards melodic death metal and post-metal/rock. That being said, the soundscapes here and their accompanying atmosphere were beautiful to behold and had me hooked from the very beginning. It's always a difficult undertaking to make an hour-long album with no filler, but it was pulled off here in incredible fashion. There are issues I have with this, mainly the lack of maturity at parts--there is undeniable room for growth--but the spectacle as a whole is a thrilling journey. This is what Falls of Rauros wish they created. My mind says 4, but my heart is set on a 4.5
15Warmoon Lord
Burning Banners of the Funereal War

from Hawks
VERDICT: Warmoon Lord doesn't put on any airs, doesn't try to disguise his work; this is striaghtforward, in-your-face black metal. It's loud, it's got a healthy static content, and boy does it have riffs. Symphonic elements are used sparingly to add that little extra touch, which works to the album's benefit. The overall presentation coupled alongside the catchy guitar compositions give this an edge over peers. An easy 4.0

from Hawks
VERDICT: Pretty great! Not sure what this offers that peer groups don't, but it's a nice effort nevertheless. I just don't foresee it earning much higher praise from that point. 3.5
17Off With Their Heads
Be Good

from SlothcoreSam
VERDICT: The vocals here reminded me a bit of Bear vs. Shark. Considering the nature of this album--instruments are pretty one-note and rarely embark upon memorable melodies or otherwise interesting forays--a charismatic performance from the singing section is a requirement. This guy takes the weight of the album on his back and is able to deliver hook after hook with sufficient passion and emotional weight. Despite that energetic exhibition, the flaws of the album's instrumental contributions cannot be ignored. Those performances, in contrast, are sadly quite dull and drag down the quality of the disc. It's a big no-no when your songs start to bleed together even with vocals this good. 3.5
18We Never Learned To Live
The Sleepwalk Transmissions

from Sloth
VERDICT: It's always a pleasure to listen to a post-hardcore record that's not solely concerned with technicality these days. This particular album aimed for that post-rock, grandiose, spectacle-driven form of the genre, but it sadly falls flat due to a lack of truly powerful moments. The instrumental sector is fairly plain, rendering melodies to very basic riffs that are hard to distinguish from each other. Song structures are incredibly linear and the climaxes they sluggishly strive for are unimpressive. An 'A' for effort, but definitely not a passing grade overall. 2.5
19Yugen Blakrok
Anima Mysterium

from Sloth
VERDICT: Very similar beats and an unchanging vocal delivery weigh down heavily upon this album. I can be very picky with my rap/hip-hop and this isn't really giving me anything that I generally desire. Tracks started to bleed together since neither the performer nor their supporting elements offered much. Textbook average album. 2.5
20Two People
First Body

from Uzumaki
NEW VERDICT: I wish this maintained that atmosphere struck from the first two minutes of "I'm Tied, To You," but such is not the case; things drift off to such a faraway place that the potential emotional payoff is too disconnected. The presentation is airy, distanced from the audience, and some of the more electronic dance-y leaning elements further create issues. It's certainly a compelling album, but one that tends to pass over without saying much. I'll stick with where I started in this case: 3.5

from Uzumaki
VERDICT: I'm actually disappointed that this wasn't as strange as the opener made it out to be. It started off in such an odd manner that was somehow charming and very compelling. What followed were a handful of sturdy math rock compositions that provided a nice, soothing ambiance. If it was more 'out-there,' I think I'd feel a lot more positive about it; it feels as though an opportunity was passed up here to be something special. 3.5
22Jay Som
Anak Ko

from Uzumaki
VERDICT: This was a vibin' kinda thang. I'm not usually for this stuff since it feels more meandering to me on most records of its type. But the compositions here are tight and feature such a chill, relaxing ambiance that it's hard not to sink into the sound. It helps that I was in an emotional flux while listening; the soothing tones brought me back down to Earth. 4.0
23Remete (AUS)
Into Endless Night

from Papa Universe
VERDICT: Here be some more post-metal soundscapes to digest. There's a nice ambiance that dominates this record, with the hazy production maintaining a distant presence from the audience while still retaining a bite. My biggest gripe, and the one that precludes this from a higher score, is that there are rarely any shifts/changes within tracks; a riff is crafted and then endures until the end. Those riffs add to the atmosphere but fail to captivate on their own for the time they're given. The general composition of each riff is also lacking in terms of individual identity, making tracks essentially coalesce into a whole--a whole with a nice mood, though with low aspirations. 3.0
New Freak

from Papa
VERDICT: This was a nice, quick burst of energy. Didn't do much for me to warrant high marks, but for what it strives to do--in-your-face, jam-oriented punk--it succeeds for the most part. It starts to sound like it doesn't have much to offer despite the short length, which hampers it a little bit. Part of my dilemma here is that I cannot see myself having a reason to return to this; nothing special is here. 3.0
25Fontaines D.C.

from Papa
VERDICT: Post-punk in general is usually something I avoid; the realization hit me long ago that it's a genre not meant for my tastes. Yet, after walking away from this album, I was rather satisfied overall. It was naturally hindered by general problems I have with the category--apathetic vocals (which I get that's the point, but can't you emote at least once?), scaled-back instruments, excessive usage of repetition, absence of an 'umph' factor, and so on. The aesthetic this album sports does click in various spots, however, making it a nice albeit flawed experience. 3.5
The Glowing Man

from ItsTheSquirrel
Sea Sea Sea Drifter See See See Drifter

from Trifolium
VERDICT: This was a series of interesting premises that either had no payoff or a payoff so lackluster it might as well have not been there. There was an attempt to craft some kind of ambiance, but there's not much consistency to it, with the record often backtracking on its own development. Many tracks just wandered about seemingly without purpose, turning a comparatively brief 40-minute disc into an unnecessarily elongated affair. 1.5
28Ultra Silvam
The Spearwound Salvation

from zaruyache
VERDICT: I feel very similarly about this as I do for Warmoon Lord. Whereas that album featured a more melodic approach, this one gets a bit dirtier in its production quality and amps up the speed. At less than 30 minutes, it's over with fast, though that time span is spent delivering crushing riffs every second. Hard to say anything else except it feels much more black metal-y than other records and does the sound better. I dunno man, riffs! 4.0
Winter Ethereal

from kalkwiese
30Jordan Rudess
Wired for Madness

from kalk
VERDICT: Din't find this nearly as offensive as others have, but it is certainly deserving of criticism. There is such an abundance of aimless wanderings on here that it's hard to figure out if any track on the album means anything or has any sort of instruction from its creator. Some moments were enjoyable, but they are simply not good enough to warrant a arduous voyage through an hour of prog metal's equivalent to a bog. The more I think about it, the more I feel like my time was honestly wasted, and perhaps a 2.5 gives it too much credit. 2.0
Periphery IV: Hail Stan

from kalk
VERDICT: I was never a fan of Periphery, but it had been so long since I listened to them that I honestly forgot what they sounded like. Despite that detachment and coming into what is apparently their most critically-acclaimed album (at least on this site) with a blank slate, I ended up being thoroughly bored. It was standard djent fare mixed in with some 'progressive' elements so that it can sound like it's grander than what it actually is. Just chug-and-chug-and-chug. Admittedly, that approach amounted to some sufficiently heavy and catchy portions, though their power is nowhere near great enough to surmount the mountain of uninspired sections. A textbook average album, if not worse--but I don't care enough to revisit and find out. 2.5
32elend (IL)

from brainmelter
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