Mitchell D. W.

Reviews 65
Soundoffs 133
News Articles 22
Band Edits + Tags 180
Album Edits 337

Album Ratings 2999
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 »

Build-an-Album R10: Weaving a Web

There are four! And now there must be three...
1Noise Trail Immersion
Symbology of Shelter

The genre was HOST CHOICE - METALCORE, the theme was "W, PALW?", and users had to grapple with a strict 30-to-40-minute album duration specification with at least six tracks included. The dumb rule further forced contestants to make sure each major metalcore decade (90s, 00s, 10s) was representated by at least one of those tunes. Considering how much I love the genre, I committed myself to being a very difficult judge for this round. Lyrics undoubtedly took primary focus, but can lyrics alone carry the day? Let's see.
Petitioning the Empty Sky

Sint's album: When it comes down to it, Sinternet has basically been the textbook model for consistency in this competition, and the trend continues to shine here. The flow, predictably, worked very well and was able to cross over decade boundaries without trouble. There was a consistent style of straightforward, more hardcore-driven instrumentation rather than especially melodic or chaotic displays, embodying the more 'classic' presentation of the genre. Lyrically, there were a treasure trove of strong phrases to be found. In some instances, they could be weighed down by their delivery--the cleans on the intro track were rather amateurish--or simply come across as basic, as was the case with Track 7's standard "rise-up" sort of fare. The chorus on the closer additionally sounded cheesy, especially when compared to the other lines found throughout the song.
Petitioning the Empty Sky

That being said, the highlights undeniably covered up the low points. Sometimes cryptic and sometimes straightforward, the majority of the lines here had purpose and were uttered with passion. Track 2 portrayed a striking scene of self-harm as a means of gaining attention, but it turns into an addiction; the repetition of "Shut up and pay attention!' really hit hard and made me miss when Tim's voice still had such conviction in it. The Disembodied cut, while not aesthetically pleasing, made up for that by just dealing out brutal, despairing honesty, which the band excelled at. As mentioned before, the instruments were on-point throughout, with tons of memorable leads. The lyrics got the win, but having good performances elsewhere sealed the deal. VERDICT: 4.2
4Silent Planet
Everything Was Sound

bg's album: A similar beacon of consistent quality, bg ended up taking this round a little further than others by crafting a loose concept to tie together the different tracks. While not necessary--the lyrics here were solid to begin with--it added an extra story sort of element to the mix that gave the disc more emotional weight. Instrumentally, there was a bit more of a mainstream appeal in play in terms of the driving, central riff melodies, with choruses being employed in a pop-esque manner--the inclusion of a band like Architects is evidence enough. Once again, the flow between the tracks progressed without a hitch. The lyrics here were much more of a back-and-forth affair when it came to their value, however, as some clearly outshone lesser lines. Track 2 undoubtedly stands out as the most flagrant offense in this case, as its lyrics become very repetitive from the get-go, featuring little content to chew on outside of the same phrases over and over.
5Silent Planet
Everything Was Sound

There were two cases that stood out in a different manner because they were held back in a way: track 5 contained beautiful lines ("Don't let your boat be empty / Don't be a sunken dream / Don't let your boat regret thee / For what you could have seen") but the vocals were erm... odd at times. Then there was the closer, whose speech was incredible and grandiose--but the band didn't write it. It felt almost like cheating, in a way? But considering I didn't really make any requirements on the contrary, I didn't find issue with it, and it was indeed a fitting reversal from earlier negativity. Track 4's engaging imagery and interpretation of "drowning" as almost like a saving grace was particularly effective. Overall, this held up despite arguable low points. (SiKth being weird is kind of par for the course anyways, right?) VERDICT: 3.8
American Nervoso

Steak's album: Here again was an album that seemed to lean towards the mainstream sound of the 2000s - 2010s, although this comes across much more strongly here than in bg's album. This meant djent riffage was a reoccurring motif alongside previously discussed tropes and sparkly-clean vocals. None of that is necessarily bad, but when presented in excess and when using sub-par tracks to represent the sound, it gets tiresome. Tracks 5 and 6 are clear examples of this, where the central guitars felt so whitewashed that they could have come from any other 'prog' act and I would've been none the wiser. These instances essentially made it so the lyrics had to carry the entire load with minimal support.
American Nervoso

There again, unfortunately, this album was lacking. Tracks 5 and 6 bear mentioning once more for the latter's awkward wording and uninspiring narrative, the lackluster vocal performance only compounding those issues, and the former's juvenile reliance on cursing to build intensity. Track 7 got repetitive very quickly, making use of the same lines constantly, and the lines that were chosen were not really noteworthy. Not all was doom and gloom--track 2's take on a "rise-up" style was powerful while track 8 was chilling in its depressive reality--but the majority of the songs, sadly, faltered. VERDICT: 3.3
The Dusk in Us

neek's album: Not unlike many other rounds, neek once again found himself in unfamiliar territory. Yet, if the past is proof enough, he tends to shine when even neek himself least expects to. The tunes found on this album meshed together well, just like those exhibited by peers, but the styles presented covered a much broader terrain: classic Dillinger chaos, electronic elements, hardcore intensity, and hints of rock were peppered throughout. It made for a varied listening experience, which does not in of itself make for a better time than albums possessing greater internal consistency, but it was a welcome deviation. Because of the longer track times, there was a lot of hope riding on those choice cuts putting in the right work. And, with the notable exception of track 2--Avenged Sevenfold were never very impressive, and the repetitive lyrics left no impact whatsoever--they did their job.
The Dusk in Us

The obvious centerpiece was embodied by the titanic third track, which dwarfed the lengths of any other song included this round. The lyrics captured the tragic sense of longing for a lost connection, one that cannot be forgotten. In the case of track 5, the words expressed are not themselves beautiful or stunning, but the way they are written and then presented is perfectly vitriolic. Despite the setback imposed by track 2 and the intro track's admittedly 'eh' lyrics, the body of this piece remained firmly grounded. Buttressed by commendable instrumentation, this equaled to a positive. VERDICT: 3.9
10Noise Trail Immersion
Symbology of Shelter

The chips have fallen where they may, and now the standings look like this!
FIRST PLACE: Sint (4.2)
SECOND PLACE: neek (3.9)
THIRD PLACE: bg (3.8)
This unfortunately means that someone's run is going to have to be cut short. It has been a memorable ride coming all this way, but cuts have to be made and the axe has to fall somewhere.
Steak (3.3) is ELIMINATED. Thank you for joining us through this competition and for your patience. You played hard and gave it your all, but it just didn't quite surpass the mark.
11Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

And then there were three. After battling it out over nine different rounds and nine different genres, you all have managed to stand out and survive elimination after elimination. Even when the eliminated players themselves tried to take a swing, you held fast. While the finish line is getting tantalizingly close, nothing is set in stone yet: two more rounds remain until a champion can be crowned. That means two more obstacles, two more genres, and two more ways I can make life hard. Or fun. Either way, it will be a really emotional time.
12The Hotelier
Home, Like NoPlace Is There

So emotional, in fact, it seeped into the genre wheel! The genre is EMO boys and girls and aliens and bacteria. This is yet another territory firmly within the MarsMan's limited-but-occasionally-on-point-but-not-often area of expertise. That means a lot more fun for me, because I can continue to be a judgmental ass! I have to enjoy myself somehow, you know.
13Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

You've had to construct concepts and you've had to focus on lyrics. Now, the two activities must be combined: the theme this round is SHOW AND TALE. The album that you create must be within the random genre pick, obviously, but it cannot be just an album: it must tell a story. Every track must cooperate, musically and lyrically, to craft a reasonably coherent narrative that you string together. Make it happy, make it sad, make it crush my soul or bring about an existential crisis--doesn't matter. Ensure above all else that it makes sense to the best degree and comes together as best as it can. Give me all the details you can as it can only help you more than harm.
14Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

No track limits are to be imposed this round, but a duration limit is once again in place. For the purposes of this trial, at least 45 minutes of material need to be presented in your album. Make that happen in whatever manner you successfully can, but don't even think about going under time! (I'll know).
15Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

Emo is a wide genre, after all, which means it shouldn't be hard to find inspiration. What might make matters a bit harder to navigate will be the "dumb rule" that forces you to pick tracks longer than three minutes. Yep, in a classification replete with tunes under that time limit, I'm gonna force you to go higher because I can. "Point of no return" rules remain as per usual.
16Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

Genre = Emo
Theme = Show and Tale
Requirement = Over 45 minutes of content
"point of no return" = no repeat songs; can only use an artist in your album once
"Dumb Rule" = tracks must all be three minutes or greater
17Macho Man Randy Savage
Be A Man

Sinternet | bgillesp | neekafat
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