Ēōs – Third Demo

Absolutely fantastic demo. The main theme is present, but there’s enough slow evolution to keep your interest, which is really difficult to do in funeral doom. I especially love that opening synth, and really wish they would’ve done a bit more with that, other than play it in the background. It’s this cool moog like synth that sounds like it came right out of a black church service. Obviously it’s hard to comment on something that’s just a demo, but I’m extremely excited to see this band’s first album, moreso than I’ve been for any other band I think. It’s rare to have quality funeral doom outside of major bands, so it’s so inspiring to see it from such an obscure band, especially one that makes a demo that’s this ridiculously well produced.


8.5/10

https://eosdoom.bandcamp.com/

Undertale is Cancer but goatmom is kinda hot tbh

I’m pretty drunk, so I figured I might as well go for this. There is this special meme going on that toby fox is a great composer that is god’s gift to video game music. That he has amazing melodies and should like make symphonies or do some sort amazing thing that some random awful Undertale fan thinks he should do because he’s somehow on par with professional composers. Here’s the thing, Toby Fox isn’t just a mediocre composer, he is literally incapable of creating a full song. For an example, I’ll go with megolovania because everyone jacks off over that (even though it’s literally just a rehash of his song from homestuck, like literally just about note for note). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcoqR9Bwx1Y Now it’s all fine and fappy until about 1:20. Now look at 1:20 and notice what happens through the rest of the song. Look at it more. See any development? No? You mean he’s just rehashing the first theme the entire fucking 4 minutes? Gee wow, that doesn’t like good composition. No shit it’s awful composition. He can’t create a full song. There is no end to that track, it ends because he figured he had to end it somewhere, so he’ll just restate the main theme until people grow tired of it. And it works, because in game nobody cares about the composition of the song, and out of game nobody of youtube listens to a track for more than a few seconds, so they don’t know that he actually doesn’t know how to make more than half a song. “but Lizard-kun-chan-husbando, what DOES a good video game composition look like?”. Here I’ll fucking give it to you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_F6hCvmzVE
Notice how there is a main theme, development of a main theme, and an actual end. Like, wow, a song and not just an amateur composer jerking off around one theme. Yes, this is from a yugioh game and it is just about half the length of megolovania, yet says about quadruple as much as toby fox could ever hope to produce from his tiny, tiny fingers.
No go to just about any other toby fox song and you’ll see the exact same thing. He is actually incompetent at writing music beyond a frame of 30 seconds, but modern video game music is essentially shitty movie music (at least in the popular games), so anytime people here a melody they freak out like it’s the god of video game music.

In conclusion, fuck everyone who like this, they are what makes modern video game music the cancer that it is today. Have some good shit to cleanse the pallet of this grabage
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPl-ns-yIUE


2/10

Ahab – The Boats of the Glen Carrig ALBUM REVIEW

Full disclosure, Ahab is my favorite band. I even went so far as to get an Ahab shirt for Christmas, one which I’ll gladly show off for years to come. I’ve been saving this review for the end of the year, as I feel like it would be a nice closure to 2015. However I found that I really just don’t have a whole lot to say about this record.

It follows the familiar Ahab sound, with crushing doomy riffs (albeit at a slightly more brisk pace this time), coupled with beautiful calming clean vocals, and acoustic passages. On previous Ahab records I felt that they were exploring the notion of wandering at sea, with the waves crashing against your vessel, creating a struggle of man vs water. On The Boats of the Glen Carrig, I feel like Ahab has finally dove into the water, as the cover indicates, giving off a more atmospheric and lighter approach, rather than being sloth like in their riffs, which makes me feel like I’m exploring the vast, colorful landscape of the ocean floor that’s filled with life, rather than the bleak, desolate surface. Ahab has almost totally abandoned the funeral doom aspect of their music, making this much more a post-death doom record than anything else.

It goes without saying that this is a fantastic record, though that’s more due to the fact that I’m not sure if Ahab can produce something that’s not amazing. But, hold on a sec guys. Nalpam Records. The second in command of the Legion of Shitty Entry-Level Records (also know as L.O.S.E.R) right behind Nuclear Blast. So of course they gotta make this more accessible to the avant-teen. In this case, while the tracks are fantastic, they follow an extremely predictable pattern of acoustic intro, buildup, crushing doom section, outro. Every single track does this without fail. There’s none of the subtle variety of the previous Ahab albums. While the sound is great, it overall feels sterile and catered towards mass appeal.

So yes, I feel like this is Ahab’s worst output yet. That isn’t really saying much however, as Boats is still a marvelous record that even when tainted by big industry, manages to stand out above the rest of the Napalmed metal jungle as one of the best doom albums of the year.


8.75/10

Horrendous – Anereta ALBUM REVIEW

Been a while since I did one of these, let’s see how my time off served me.
It seemed like a perfect storm. A mixture of all the things I love in music. Sophisticated harmony, technically brilliant, melodically well thought out, and rough around the edges. Everything I could possibly want in an album. Horrendous’ Anereta seemed like a surefire AOTY candidate from me. And at the start, it sure seemed that way.

What struck me first about the album was how each song was structured around one super catchy riff. And not just based around, but evolved from as well, having beginning, middle, and ends that seem to be in some way tangently related to that one riff. Every chord seemed to be there for a reason; to exert a certain emotion, or to move along the song to the next stage. The music in this record is intelligently constructed by extremely well practiced composers. No, not just musicians. That would imply they only know how to play. These guys know how to write good music as well. I loved how despite mostly standard chord progressions, they threw just enough spicy chords in there to keep you on your toes. It’s a much understated aspect of this album, but things like the major seventh mini resolutions on The Nihilist, and the arpeggio on Siderea, just… unf, you know? It’s the kinda thing that almost gives you pseudo-sexual pleasure by listening to it. Not quite eargasms, but more like ear-edging. They’re little things, but important things.

And there’s plenty of those to go around throughout the album. Even my wishes for a rougher sounding track were answered on Acolytes, which is much more a traditional head-banging death metal track that then eases its way to a post-metal like climax in a major key, to which the rest of the song had been in this typical metal mixture of minor and atonal. And of course, just in case you weren’t excited enough, it ends in a completely unrelated key to which the song began, a moment that I’d call random if I didn’t know better.

However, as the album began, it grew a very server case of diminishing returns. I began to realize that even though on a technical level, all the tracks were quite different, they all seemed so much the same. I mean this in that even though they all had distinct structures and melodies, they all conveyed the same thought. They were all synonyms for “technical progressive death metal”. Great to listen to at first, but after a while I felt I wanted something else, something the album hadn’t already shown me yet. The only time Anereta really seemed to change things up was on Sum of All Failures, which resulted in an extremely forced sounding acoustic intro that ended not having anything to do with the rest of the track. It’s almost as if the band knew they needed something else, but didn’t know what else to give that others hadn’t already done.

The album went from a solid 9.75 to around the 8.5-8.25 range. Finally however, I got my wish, as The Solipsist sent the album off with a bang. Taking a totally new spin on the acoustic intro trope, they instead use this muted electric guitar, which sounds more like it belongs in a jazz fusion album than a death metal one. But god damn does it work. This calm, yet sorrowful reflection slowly builds into a crushing, slow, and titanic finale that couldn’t have been a better closer if it tried.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit too little too late. Despite mending the wound slightly with its final breath, Anereta is a fantastic record that just doesn’t quite have enough variety in it to mingle with the elite, showing that songwriting skills alone can only get one so far before our mere human attention spans wish for something different.


8.75/10

Obsequiae – Aria of Vernal Tombs ALBUM REVIEW

Often music has the ability to transport the listener to other places, be them earthly or cosmic. I can feel like I’m in the amazon rainforest, or floating through the cosmos, or even in the pits of hell. This is what people often called transcendence, where the music transcends physical being and places your consciousness in another realm entirely. In the case of Aria of Vernal Tombs, the destination was medieval Europe. Through the use of period instruments and scales, Obsequiae creates an ethereal dream like soundscape, which makes me feel as though I’m at the crossroads of time, the in between space between years, traveling but never quite arriving at my destination. It’s a unique atmosphere, but one that I feel ultimately fails the assumed goal.

While yes the period instruments do help create a literal creation of medieval Europe, it’s never quite implemented as a fusion, but rather in interludes between songs. The album follows a distinct formula of song, interlude, song, interlude, etc. I don’t have any trouble with the format itself, however the way it is executed leaves a lot to be desired. Every song and interlude sounds essentially the same, with the occasional key difference. The interludes are more noodling improvisation than song, reinforcing the notion that you’re in limbo rather than in the physical world. It’s light, it’s airy, it’s calming, however quite frankly it’s boring. The same can really go the metal tracks, which have the same dreamy atmosphere, albeit more structured as songs rather than improvisation. However the notion that they all sound the same stands. There is very little if any variety in this album whatsoever, so if you’re no enamored with the first two tracks, you’re going to have a tough time with this record.

I feel like the atmosphere it does bring is very unique and wonderful in it’s own way. However Aria is simply a one trick pony, lacking in substance, and is ultimately relegated to nothing more than background study music. Mediocre study music at that.


5.5/10

My Dying Bride – Feel the Misery ALBUM REVIEW

My original experience with My Dying Bride was not a good one. I felt like they overdid it on the gothic aspect, creating something cheesy rather than dark and beautiful. In their latest record, Bride rejects their roots somewhat and goes with a much more straightforward, and down to earth sound that baths you in a sea of despair, engulfing you in unrelenting melancholy and sadness. The sound is quite clean, but it never feels plastic, as I’d describe it more as modern and forward thinking. Listening to the album, you wouldn’t think it would be made at any time other than the present, however the mood transcends dates and years. The lyrics are a bit on the obvious side, but in my mind that’s part of the charm. Fell the Misery is upfront about what it’s about and how it wants you to feel, and what’s amazing is that Bride managed to do this without alienating the listener. I feel like when an album is too upfront about its intentions it leaves all the mystery out of it. I like to make my own interpretations of music and how I want to feel about it, I don’t need the band to tell me what to feel. However hear I don’t think it matters. The intent of the music on this album is to have its content accessible, universally understood, yet lovable all the same, which is succeeded in scores. I feel like just about anyone could listen to this, no matter what their background, and instantly understand, yet nothing here feels dumbed down, rather to put it simply, this is all around good shit.

I feel like the death vocals are completely unnecessary and ruin the mood a bit however. I know that’s a part of My Dying Bride’s sound, but I’ve never been married to that aspect of the band. It’s not that vocals of intense pain can’t coincide with soft depressive music, but I don’t think the death vocals are utilized enough to be a constant force, and utilized just a bit too much to be a special treat. I feel like if Bride had been on the latter side, it would’ve made more of an impact on me, while still keeping part of their traditional sound.

Gothic metal is a hard act for me to be pleased by, but My Dying Bride, against my previous notions of what they were, managed to do just that. Feel the Misery really makes you quite literally FEEL the misery, pronouncing itself as one of the better doom metal albums this year, if at the cost of the listeners hearts sinking into their stomach a few dozen times.


8.25/10