Refract – Refract

Interesting album to say the least. It’s this weird combination of doom metal and stoner metal, without really sounding like stoner doom at all. The band identifies as progressive metal and heavy metal, which is not even close to the case, further adding confusion. It’s hard to review this because the album is so short and the content is so little. It all sounds like one big song, but with not much differentiating content to drive that. The female vocals are kinda nice I guess, but overall it’s rather forgettable, other than it being a genre-bender. Also tip to the band, don’t charge 10$ for a 33 minute debut album when you have no apparent record label.


5.25/10

https://refractband.bandcamp.com/album/refract

Swampcult – The Festival

Simultaneously manages to be too conceptually large for the band to handle, while also containing, on an equal level, completely unadventurous music. It’s not terrible, but even it’s short length is wearing and none of it’s ideas achieve their intended purpose of scaring and possibly shocking the listener. A failed experiment, but there was at least an earnest attempt.


5.25/10

https://swampcult.bandcamp.com/

Sinbreed – Master Creator

This album is actually magical. It has a good guitar tone, good vocals, good production, and sounds like it was made by a competent band, and manages to actually make nothing of note for 45 straight minutes. The second and third track are literally in the same key, back to back, and sound nearly identical. It’s astonishing. It’s like the rhythm guitar has a 20 inch cock, and the whole album is just a one long masturbation session. It isn’t even chugchore, it’s just nothing but pretty good singing and backup guitars for an entire album. Oh and there’s a weird emotional piano track that’s really bad, but that’s kinda par for the course in power metal so whatever.


5.25/10

Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks – 2/29/2016

Preface: So I’ve been thinking of ways to combat my eventually exhaustion from reviewing, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest reason this happens is because I tend to feel like I have to write a master piece for every review. That includes when I simply don’t have much to say about an album. I’ll get “stuck” on an album that I feel like I should have a lot to say about, but I don’t. Simply put, I really don’t want to take an entire post for a review that’s not even 200 words long. So my solution is every day I’m going to take the albums that I don’t have much to say about, and put them in one post. That way I can get through a lot more albums much quicker, and without the pressure of having to write 700+ words. So without further adieu, here is the first ever edition of Electric Lizard’s Shortstacks.


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Eissturm – The Oak

Really solid work. I love the intermixing of the acoustic guitar sections with the straight atmo black parts. It gives it so much more of a melancholy feel. It doesn’t feel repetitive and monotonous, more just relaxing and reflective. It even has some really soothing flutes on the first track Falling Snow, which I felt was a really unique addition to the music that I don’t here in black metal much. You would think with the whole winter theme that flutes would run rampant (sounding just like a cold winter wind), but alas. The production is also in that sweet spot of clean enough to not sound like shit, and fuzzy enough to make you feel warm inside. Granted, it still ultimately sounds like an amateur work, but it’s a solid amateur work that’s worth listening to. I was expecting this to be total shit, so I’m pleasantly surprised. Good stuff.

7/10


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Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Arc

Really not a fan. The guitar work and riffs are just mediocre, if inoffensive. But the vocals are a squeaky, annoying piece of shit. It basically sounds exactly what a grindcore band transitioning to sludge metal for some reason would sound like: they don’t know what they’re doing, and traces of their previous genre are still laden throughout the work, to ill effect. It’s not awful, but I certainly won’t be playing this again anytime soon. A major disappointment.

5.25/10


 

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Bosque – Beyond

Wow what a disappointment. I was really hoping the second funeral doom album I’d listen to this year would be a real hit. Unfortunately, this isn’t so much funeral doom metal as much as it is regular doom metal extended over 13 minute tracks. The album is really monotonous and boring without any of the charm or atmosphere of traditional funeral doom. Bosque decided to ditch the synths, ditch the death growls, and everything that gives funeral doom it’s quirky charm, instead deciding to just play slower standard doom track 3 times in a row, for 40 minutes straight. Beyond is beyond boring, don’t bother with this snoozefest.

3.75/10

 

Ghost Ship Octavius – Ghost Ship Octavius ALBUM REVIEW


There are quite a few ways for an album to become exceptional in my eyes. Typically, that’s narrowed down depending on the genre of the music I’m listening to. For example, and atmo-black album is not going to be seen as exception in the same ways a brutal death metal album will be. So when I saw the genre tags as progressive metal and power metal, I narrowed it down to two main ways: progression and interesting, complex, and thoughtful musical ideas, and how fun the album is. Within the first 1 or 2 minutes of the album, I ruled out the first possibility. There is absolutely nothing profound or complex in this album at all. There are a few interesting instrumental sections, with some cool riffs (especially on Mills of the Gods and Pendulum), but nothing spectacular. So I immediately looked for the second reason to like this album. And I looked. And I looked. And I looked. And in the end, I didn’t find anything. The vocals are somber for power metal standards, with a very serious sound that really doesn’t match an album that is riddled with things like metalcore/rhythmic chugging (anyone who thinks this sound good in almost any situation needs to re-evaluate their musical career) and often lacks the really progressive aspects of a progressive metal album. And that’s another thing. I’ve often internally made a distinction between progressive sounding albums, and actually progressive albums. The key difference between the two is that progressive albums involve well, progression in their tracks. That is, they evolve and change as the track goes on, often involving different keys and motifs. This is the progressive sounding aspect, which essentially means they added an orchestra and called it progressive. Not that that inherently means it’s bad, most progressive music today falls under this category, but it certainly has high potential to be executed badly. This doesn’t necessarily execute badly as much as in a very interesting manner. Often there will be a instrumental section of the track that involves non-traditional metal instruments, however instead of being used to progress the album, or even just the track, it’ll just sit there and be it’s own separate part, almost as if they’re just trying to get it out of the way so they can get back to EPIC RIFFS or whatever.

In short, there isn’t much interesting about this album. Generic is probably the best way I can put it. The extra .25 is really because of how inoffensive it is, and how it really doesn’t do anything especially awful. But as you probably know if you listen to a lot of music, sometimes you have to take risks, otherwise you’ll sound completely uninspired, just like this album here.


5.25/10

Omega Soul – Void ALBUM REVIEW

Really not a bad album, but I will admit that there are times where the vocals can sound quite silly and cheesy at times. The lyrics also need some work. Instrumentally it’s fine though, if a bit boring. As an aside, the cover is really nice but it really doesn’t fit this album at all. I was actually really scared to listen to this because it looked like something someone would make in their bedroom or something. Pleasantly surprised, but not so much that I thought this was great.


5.25/10

36 Crazyfists – Time and Trauma ALBUM REVIEW

Pretty damn generic sounding honestly, but not in a way that I think makes me not want to listen to it. The only aspect I really don’t like about this is the vocals, which are garbage on some tracks, adequate on others. I want to rate this lower, but I can’t help but admit that I got pumped up at certain points in the album. An average rating will do.


5.25/10