Monday, January 1, 2007

The Cult - Ceremony

year 1991 review:After the impressive, if inconsistent, Sonic Temple I was eagerly anticipating Ceremony, as The Cult were proving one of the last great hopes for the survival of rock music as it was then known. But, if Sonic Temple contained songs which were more hit than miss, then Ceremony completely reversed that trend. During the process of writing Ceremony The Cult had disintegrated into just Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy with Charley Drayton and Mickey Curry being drafted into the band for the recordings. But, such was the disillusionment of lead singer Astbury and the drug abuse problems which were ripping the band apart, he immediately announced that the next Cult album would diverge in a completely different musical direction.

I'm sure there's some form of message running through the album but it's certainly difficult to understand. It has something to do with fear that environmental damage is bleeding the planet dry and that the only way to redress the balance is to return to the American Indian ceremonials of worshipping the land. This is strange enough but mixed in are songs about sex ("Bangkok Rain"), alcohol abuse ("Heart Of Soul") and allusions, I think, to drugs ("White"). Maybe Astbury sees all these as evidence of damnation. Whatever, Ceremony is good but also too clever for its own good. review source

Slipknot - Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses

Recording information: The Mansion At Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California; Akadamie Mathematique, Los Angeles, California; Sound City, Los Angeles, California. Far removed from their rap-metal roots, these masked men of extreme metal show no signs of relenting with VOL. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). For this brutal chapter of the Slipknot story, the jagged sound of fierce heaviness and moody melodicism is executed deftly, as Slipknot ducks crossover cliches and nu-metal formula. Esteemed studio guru Rick Rubin captures the group's raw intensity with sonic reverence, a feat not easily achieved with bands of this style. VOL. 3 delivers all the elements that Slipknot fans have come to expect and demand. From solid, catchy choruses ("Duality") to fearsome blasts of noise and percussive gymnastics ("Three Nil," "Welcome"), and borderline balladry ("Vermilion Pt. 2"), unsettling emotions and images are vividly depicted for the listener by this notorious Iowan ensemble.