renegadestrings
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Last Active 02-27-14 5:33 am
Joined 04-29-06

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 Lists
01.13.19 2018: Year of the what is happening07.05.12 Mountain Conquering
08.18.11 Great Album, Bleak Cover07.09.11 I Got Big Boy Pants On
12.09.10 Dimebag Remembered11.24.10 Pop Quiz, Hotshot
11.01.10 Vote Or Die10.04.10 Expanding Faster Than The Universe
09.06.10 My Home State Is Pissing Me Off07.19.10 Game-changer Albums
04.21.10 Korea12.28.09 Music Renaissance
12.05.09 10 Most Played In Korea11.04.09 Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia
09.25.09 Does Mustaine Get Laid?09.14.09 Help Me Obi-wan Sputnik...
09.12.09 His Helmet Is Stifling...07.25.09 Dredg 7/24 Concert
More »

2018: Year of the what is happening

2018 Synopsis: An over-complicated plot with nonsensical characters stifled what should have been a monumental year in human history. Despite these shortcomings and the promise of some dark turns in the future, the sequel “2019” should see genuine progress and a closer examination of our innermost values. 2018 Music Synopsis: Dope. First 3 albums are my personal favorites of the year. The rest are in no particular order. All albums have been listened to front to back at least once unless otherwise noted.
1Zapruder
Zapruder


::: 5/5
DEP is dead. Long live Zapruder.

This album caught me completely by surprise, which is fitting considering the music contained within. Zapruder play a peculiar brand of sludge/math/jazz metal/hardcore mathcore-core. Right from the opener “I Left My Appendix in NYC’, Zapruder keep your undivided attention. One minute, the groove makes you wanna strut your stuff on a public street, the next minute you realize you put your fist through the wall 27 seconds ago. Also, the album art is Japanese-inspired, but that character in the middle is Chinese for “piss”. So that’s fun.

Mandatory if: a DEP, Daughters, Tom Waits fan. This is weird, wild stuff.
2Pusha T
DAYTONA


::: 5/5
Ye is dead. Long live King Push.
3Rolo Tomassi
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It


::: 4.5/5
Alma Mater may be the most effective, eviscerating climax I’ve ever heard. You need to be a certain level of despondent to give this album the full listen its due.
4IDLES
Joy as an Act of Resistance


::: 4.5/5
I’ve never been much for punk, but IDLES are different. This album is blunt in every regard to the benefit of the listener. This is modern punk written at a time where the concept of self-identity, morality, and masculinity are under scrutiny. And while there are powerful voices that cling to the traditional views of how humans, particularly men, are supposed to be; Joy As An Act of Resistance is the sledgehammer smashing through the old.
5Sectioned (Metalcore)
Annihilated


::: 3/5
Chaos is exhilarating until it gets boring. In this case, that’s 3-4 songs in.
Listen if: Male aged 17-21 with a chip on your shoulder. Please ensure what ensues is confined to a local gym. Remember to wipe the sweat off the bench when you finish and rerack your weights.
6The Algorithm
Compiler Optimization Techniques


::: 3.5/5
Glitch, techno, and metal come together in the most frantic possible way.
7Justin Timberlake
Man of the Woods


::: 2.5/5
This isn’t ‘The 20/20 Experience’. Let’s be okay with that. I’ll be the first to admit it’s strange to see JT release something that isn’t pure gold, but there’s some genuinely great material on Man Of The Woods. Some tunes are just as danceable as anything off his back catalogue from the bouncy ‘Sauce’ to the effortless flow of ‘Breeze Off the Pond’. However, when JT steps out from his comfort zone into folk territory, things get awkward. Don’t even get me started on ‘Flannel’. I’ve heard better performances from Chinese businessmen singing Aerosmith in a karaoke bar. And Aerosmith sucks, so…
Listen if: You know which tracks to avoid.
8Skyharbor
Sunshine Dust


::: 3/5
9Senses Fail
If There Is Light, It Will Find You


::: 4/5
First time listening to Senses Fail, and it’s a heartfelt, heartbreaking good time.
10Brockhampton
Iridescence


::: 3.5/5
11Camila Cabello
Camila


::: 3.5/5
Sexy pop. Let’s be honest, this gets an automatic pass for the album cover. The music within is just as sultry and seductive.
12Coheed and Cambria
The Unheavenly Creatures


::: 4/5
13Clutch
Book of Bad Decisions


::: 4/5
The best hard rock band you haven’t listened to yet has released another slab of straight up badass jams. Seriously, what else can I say about Clutch? Distorted guitars playing blues scale hooks all day every day over the course of 15 tracks while Neil Fallon spits out sing-a-long lyrics from the bottom of his gravely vocal cords. Why are you still reading this? Grab a bottle of Jack and get to headbangin!
Mandatory if: you’re a human being and you enjoy being alive.
14Daughters
You Won't Get What You Want


::: 4/5
I remember reading Roger Ebert’s movie reviews (see: essays) during my preteen years. A line in his review of Aliens aroused my curiosity, stating, “The movie is so intense that it creates a problem for me as a reviewer: Do I praise its craftsmanship, or do I tell you it left me feeling wrung out and unhappy?” Could not think of a better way to explain my feelings towards Daughters’ latest outing. Heavy and uneasy, it’s rare that music can move rub a listener the wrong way, yet still feel right.
15Ghost (SWE)
Prequelle


::: 3.5/5
Cheese done right.
Listen if: you wanna be bewitched in the moonlight.
16Disturbed
Evolution


::: 2.5/5
Self-destructible
17Toska
Fire by the Silos


::: 3/5
18Trophy Eyes
The American Dream


::: 4/5
19God Is an Astronaut
Epitaph


::: Not Sure/5
Written after the untimely death of a close relative, God's latest work is a sullen affair. And that's exactly what makes it so difficult to assess, There are some powerful moments here; colossal walls of sound engulf the quiet build up in songs like Mortal Coil. However the fact remains: this isn't a particularly enjoyable listen in any sense. Perhaps more time is needed, but for now it's difficult to judge the quality of what's being presented here.
20Greta Van Fleet
Anthem of the Peaceful Army


(oh boy…) ::: 3/5
Best Led Zeppelin cover band on the radio.
21Judas Priest
Firepower


4/5
22Kanye West
ye


(or, How To Lose Your Fanbase 101) ::: 2/5
23Kids See Ghosts
Kids See Ghosts


::: 4/5
Two massively influential hip-hop artists, both a couple cans short of a six-pack, come together to release their best material in years. KIDS SEE GHOSTS is the side project of Kid Cudi and Kanye West. An unusual combo to be sure, but the results are at times captivating. It’s especially nice to hear West, free of his need to be Ye, busting out some aggressively rapped verses.
24Minus the Bear
Fair Enough


::: Fine + 3.5pts
The last few songs audiences will hear from this legendary math/alt rock act. As a longtime fan, it’s hard for me to listen to this subjectively. Particularly the tear-jerking melody of the EP’s title track.
Listen if: you need closure.
25Modern Space
Flip for It


::: 4/5
26Ninja Sex Party
Cool Patrol


::: 3.5/5
NSP's best album. It's what they've done before, but better.
27Oceans of Slumber
The Banished Heart


::: 3.5/5
Think Opeth, but from Texas. Somber, atmospheric. Not recommended for amateurs.
28A Perfect Circle
Eat the Elephant


::: 3/5
This album seemed intent on dividing its listeners. The album art, the unsubtle political lyrics, the canyon-sized gap between releases… even the music itself. This is both a more experimental affair (see: Hourglass) and a refinement (Disillusion, Feathers). A grower to be sure, as the albums unevenness can make it difficult to sit through in a single listen. Found myself revisiting Mer de Noms and Thirteenth Step more than embracing the new material.
Listen if: Tool isn’t going to release new material soon and even if they do; they’re not young, frustrated, agro-math pioneers anymore. Just enjoy the fact that Maynard can still put on a beautiful vocal performance. The rest of the band more than pulls their weight, though one may still long for the excitement and emotion found in their debut and Thirteenth Step.
29Red Sun Rising
Thread


::: 2/5
Ok rock that’s ok to listen to. Great to play on the off chance your mom or new girlfriend asks what kind of music you like. As sterile as a morgue.
30Kindo
Happy However After


::: 4/5
31Revocation
The Outer Ones


::: 3/5
32Rise Against
The Ghost Note Symphonies, Vol. 1


::: 2/5
Want to like this, but it's just sort of bland. There are a couple of songs here that truly work (Like The Angel immediately comes to mind), but most fall flat. Rise Against can write effective ballads, but it seems their rockers are meant to rock and rock only.
33Thrice
Palms


::: 2.5/5
As a reviewer eloquently put in their Beggars review: “Thrice settle into a sweet spot.” Here, Thrice struggle in their sweet spot.
34Toundra
Vortex


::: 4/5
Picture yourself riding atop a stallion, galloping through the deserted lands of some new country. The romantic vision of the new frontier. A sense of wonder and risk abounds as you discover what once was proclaimed not to exist. In the age of information, escape and discovery are harder to come by. Yet here is an album that seems to take you on a voiceless journey into something new.
List if: Rosetta without the vocals appeals.
35Wild Pink
Yolk in the Fur


::: 2.5/5
36Antarctigo Vespucci
Love in the Time of E​-​Mail


::: 3.5/5
37Delta Sleep
Ghost City


::: 3.5/5
Mathish rock: Seeing Minus the Bear perform one of their last shows this year was a bit of a blow to me. They played in a sweet spot of distorted math/alt rock that is hard to find. Shortly after, I came across Delta Sleep’s Ghost City. Using a similar vocal performance and arguably more creative guitar work, Delta Sleep seem to be on track at filling the void left behind by the band (pun for those in the know). Easy album to get lost in when you’re paying attention, easy to skip if you’re not.
Listen if: you’re a fan of American Football (band) and Minus the Bear. Or if you’re interested in something different from the typical rock template.
38Ariana Grande
Sweetener


::: 2/5
39Between the Buried and Me
Automata I


::: 4/5
Starting to become convinced BTBAM can do no wrong. They can stoop to slightly above average, but they cannot do less. Automata, the obvious “we-need-money” double album of the year, is an encouraging one step, two step, three step forward for a group of artists making music they obviously love.
40Between the Buried and Me
Automata II
41Architects
Holy Hell


::: 3.5/5
First album released after the loss of guitarist Tom Searle. It doesn’t quite reach the heights attained by ‘All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us’, but this is still better than the metalcore you’re listening to.
42Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest


::: 3.5/5
43Nils Frahm
Encores 1


::: 3/5
44Long Distance Calling
Boundless


::: 4..5/5
45Tides of Man
Every Nothing


::: 3.5/5
46Swarms
Black Chapel Sun


::: 3/5
47Sigh
Heir to Despair


::: 4/5
48Moby
Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt


::: 3.5/5
49Muse
Simulation Theory


::: 3/5
50Allelic
The Smoke of Atavistic Fires


No rating/5

I've sampled most of the tracks, but this needs your undivided attention. To review another day.
51Tim Hecker
Konoyo


::: 2.14u730947/14
I just don’t get this kind of music. If someone has a suggestion, I’m all ears.
52Poly-Math
House of Wisdom | We Are the Devil


::: 3.5/5
53Night Verses
From the Gallery of Sleep


In a year saturated with quality instrumental rock and metal, Night Verses stand just a tad taller than their peers and alternatives. From the Gallery of Sleep is a thoroughly engaging listen. It’s not just a technical showcase; Night Verses have crafted a listening experience that flows effortlessly from one song to another made all the more astonishing in lieu of the tempo and tonal shifts. Where these changes can sometimes disrupt a composition’s flow, it is an essential asset here.
Mandatory listening.
54Kacey Musgraves
Golden Hour


::: 4.5/5
If you told me at the start of the year I’d find myself repeatedly listening to a country pop album, I’d laugh heartily, finish my beer, and change the subject to something pleasant like Brexit.
Yet here we are. Golden Hour is an album full of gold, fittingly. First caught my attention with High Horse and held it since. Acoustic melodies, keys, and some fun pop beats come together harmoniously with Musgraves’ serene delivery and relatable lyrics. In a year full of consternation and frustration; this is a tonic. A pleasant listen to supplement the sunniest day, an open invitation to be happy and sing along.
55Foxing
Nearer My God


::: 4.5/5
56Eminem
Kamikaze


::: 4/5
Em’s Revival was dead on arrival. Choppy and with one too many guest spots (can we please stop with the Pink), it seemed time to write off the self-proclaimed rap god. Eminem seems to have taken to criticism to heart and turned it into rage rap. Kamikaze is top shelf late Eminem. Just listen to The Ringer, with its stripped down beat, allowing him to pull out every vocal trick in the book. Seriously, how in the hell does he remember these verses? Eminem is hungry to prove himself on this. Though the lyrics face quite a few humps and troughs in quality (“I’m gonna crumble you and I’ll take a number two and dump on you..”), the fact is that no one can spit it like Em. When he’s at the top of his game, his speed, variety, and energy are unmatched. Though Kamikaze loses steam a bit after the first half; the bouncier beats and Eminem’s renewed determination carry Kamikaze well over the finish line. Something that can’t be said for most of his output since 2004.
57Nicki Minaj
Queen


?/5
Still not sure I "get" this queen. Have not been able to give this a complete listen, though I've come within a few tracks. Album run time is criminally long.
58Dance Gavin Dance
Artificial Selection


::: 3.5/5
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