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04.26.11 Bands That Have Let Me Down

Bands That Have Let Me Down

Over the years, bands that I had once depended upon to deliver brilliance without fail have begun rto fail me. This list is broken up into 3 distinct categories... Great bands who have released rsomething good but that leaves me yearning for something to fill the void that was left in its wake, rgreat bands who have experienced palpable drop in quality or slight misstep, and great bands who rreleased a turd record that I don't enjoy at all.
The King Of Limbs

I love this record as well, and much like Crack The Skye, it leaves me empty inside.
Radiohead have filled their niche in my musical
mind, and no other band can ever hope to take over that job. As good as The
King Of Limbs actually is, I almost have to treat it as a different band because I
have to approach it so differently. I shouldn't be angry that Radiohead are
making me work a bit, but I gotta wonder if the years and years of constant
supply of the Radiohead i need is gone forever!
For The Revolution

Oh, Kalmah. They Will Return and Swampsong are two of my favorite melodic
death metal albums. I feel that Kalmah are one of the best, if not the best, in
this stale and lame genre that often has nothing to offer. I can't say that
Kalmah have completely lost it yet, but I do feel that they now have little to
offer much like most of their contemporaries.

What a surprise left hook this was! Even more surprising is that Vurtox kind of
just stopped after Gloria, leaving us to only hope that one day Disillusion will
return to form. Back To Times Of Splendor is a fucking incredible album, one of
the most undyingly wonderful puzzles my brain has ever had the pleasure to
unravel. Gloria, while it may be a good release, was obviously the last thing fans
were hoping for and as such remains an incredibly painful disappointment.
Marrow Of The Spirit

Following up Ashes Against The Grain didn't have me worried, because I felt
that Agalloch were just beginning to master their craft and their direction. The
reason why Marrow Of The Spirit is so disappointing is that you can see the
potential that you knew they had in bits and pieces, but they never culminated into a
perfect storm. Black Lake Nidstang is a great example of what Agalloch is
capable of, unfortunately there are other tracks that are just plain boring and
seem to ignore everything these guys have discovered of themselves.
6My Dying Bride
For Lies I Sire

There are a few redeeming moments in For Lies I Sire that kept me from being
completely disappointed in them, but My Dying Bride have never been
consistent have they? That may be true, but A Line Of Deathless Kings was a
brilliant album that is quite under-appreciated for reasons I cannot understand.
By far their best and most consistent songwriting is found on that record, so it
was quite unsurprising to me that they would follow up with something weak
and inconsistent. Bringing back the violin does not make the songs, or Aaron's
vocal performance, good.
5Protest The Hero

Scurrilous is not a bad album, but it is not at all what I was hoping Protest The
Hero would do to follow up their stellar first two albums. Consider Scurrilous as missed potential. Their trajectory
evolution of their sound just doesn't make sense. They basically took all of the
borderline questionable elements of their music and, instead of keeping them
tasteful or working them out of their sound, they cranked them to the max.
Some folks seem to think that their songwriting has finally developed with
Scurrilous, but unfortunately that too is to the contrary. If I am going to listen
to Rhody Walker sing, dammit I want brilliantly memorable vocal melodies, not
power-metal wailing and forgettable monotonous lines!
4Dimmu Borgir

Now, In Sorte Diaboli may not have been a crowning achievement for Dimmu
Borgir, but I was still surprised with their ability to not release a bad album after
so many years of being such a silly band. Again, it seems that release is held
more or less in the same regard as the unfortunate Abrahadabra, but it wasn't
until the latter that I realized that Dimmu Borgir has nothing left to offer. I
simply cannot make it through this record, which is the problem with numbers
1-4 on this list. I just can't listen to them without wanting to take a nap or
claw out my eyes. This record is the one that clearly marks the downward slope
Dimmu Borgir will take until they decide to silently die, rather than just ending
it while the silliness was at least tolerable.
Sitra Ahra

People liked to hate on Gothic Kabbalah, but I find it to be just as epic, charming
and cheesy as many of their older releases. I was beginning to wonder how
many decades it would take before these veterans fell apart. The answer came
in the form of Sitra Ahra, an annoying and inexplicably uninspired album that I
can only hope is their last. Bands need to learn when it is time to quit, so as not
to so terribly harm their legacy.
Poetry For The Poisoned

Kamelot has been one of the few power metal outfits blessed with a vocalist
who is not just talented, but pleasing to listen to. Even aside from the
awesomeness of Roy Khan, these guys are arguably best in class with well-
crafted songs and hauntingly beautiful melodies. Having such a solid back-
catalogue was even more astounding. Folks seem to like (or dislike) Poetry For
The Poisoned about as much as they did Ghost Opera, something I feel is totally
unjustified. Sure, Ghost Opera was no Karma or The Black Halo, and coming off
the heels of 3 incredible albums I understand the reaction. However, Ghost
Opera was at least an identifiable work with its own internal merits. Poetry For
The Poisoned is where Kamelot stopped even trying to push their boundaries.
Sure, many of their albums have that song that sounds like another song
from an older album, but now they are simply copying themselves and hoping
no one notices. Apparently, no one noticed. Compare the line in Hunter's
Season "All I really ever wanted was for you" with "And this life that someone
merely gave to you" from The Human Stain. The first time I heard the Hunter's
Season, that uncanny resemblance struck me right in the face. Surely enough,
in hearing the rest of the album, there is an uncanny resemblance to all their
past (and better) works while bringing nothing new and improving on nothing
The Resistance

It's not just that The Resistance was Muse's weakest release in a solid
discography, it's all the reasons why it is so weak that makes Muse the biggest
musical disappointment of all. Not only do they mimic their influences more
blatantly, but they even mimic themselves. Muse were once a group of guys
that consistently said "Fuck You" to anyone who tried to tell them what to do.
They refused to change their sound when approached by their label, they
turned down song licensing for commercials, and sued folks who wrongfully
used their intellectual property so they could donate the settlements to charity.
Now, they seem to have given in to everything they once fought to avoid. It's
not that they have become "main stream" or any of that bullshit, Black Holes
and Revelations is a great album that achieves the same amount of pop
sensibility and radio friendliness while still having good songs. I have always been
blown away by Muse's songwriting as well as their musicianship and sincerity.
The Resistance takes all of those things I have admired for years and shits on
them. Unfortunately, there are no other bands that can fill the hole that was
once filled by Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, but at least I still have them to enjoy.
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