Monday, May 31, 2010

Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (2005)

Ahhh, that hits the spot! Much like a hot cup of Kona Coffee, this album gets right on top of ya, gets the job done. Not full of flavor, but just the thing when there are zombies to kill. Ok, so I haven't actually found any zombies hell-bent on gnawing out my carotid artery to kill, but when I do... this will be the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, I know good metal and this ain't it, but... I like it all the same. Much like Zombie's "La Sexorcisto," it's won me over, despite the metal-purist in me. I don't care what you call it either... it gets right on top of my owie. If you want something more authentic and original listen to Big Black, Helmet, or Finch.... and shut your pie-hole.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Godsmack - Good Times, Bad Times : Ten Years Of Godsmack

Godsmack will release their widely anticipated Greatest Hits album, Good Times Bad Times....Ten Years of Godsmack on December 4. The 16-track collection is loaded with career defining milestones and seminal Godsmack classics. Among the groundbreaking songs included are the band's clarion call "Whatever," their breakthrough #1 rock mainstream smash "Awake," "I Stand Alone" (2002's most played rock radio song of the year), "Speak," (the #1 rock cut from their 2006 album Godsmack IV), and a rare, bristling Godsmack cover of Led Zeppelin's classic 1969 debut single "Good Times, Bad Times."

Good Times, Bad Times ...Ten Years of Godsmack

High on Fire - Death Is This Communion

With the release of their new album, High on Fire appears poised to become the next, but not necessarily new standard of mainstream heavy metal; a sort of post-Pantera return to the pre-Opeth age. Whatever its faults, they are preferable to the many sagging, shabby and vigor-less stand-ins on store shelves today. Though as many voices scoffed at as did praise 2005’s Blessed Black Wings, that album and its successor represent a needed turn back toward a more accessible kind of metal that is unapologetic—and plainly—still has some balls. In this case, nine of them.

It seems like an unlikely position for guitarist/songwriter Matt Pike, the former wizard behind the simmering, clam-baked jams of stoner rock behemoth Sleep, but over the last several years High on Fire has gradually cultivated, and here fully developed a faster and more aggressive style similar to later-period Slayer (“Fury Whip”) and pre-Derrick Green Sepultura (“Waste of Tiamat,” “Turk”) with the essential influences of Motorhead (“Rumors of War”) and St. Vitus still pumping below the music’s layers of bloodied thew and gristle.

Whereas the former groups eventually fell back on rote antipathy or attempts at pale authenticity by molding native culture around modern trends, High on Fire carefully blend fantasy in with realty, finding the needed balance to maintain their portrait of barbaric, Howardian landscapes (once more vividly articulated by artist Arik Roper) and allusions to Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos in ways relevant to the present—where truly nothing is too strange—without the preachiness that’s soured the best of more recognized acts from Metallica onward.

Where the album lacks subtlety it more than compensates with its tightly reigned in performances. And although Pike’s sense of melody and grizzled howls (here brought much further into the mix by producer John Endino) are the heart of Death is This Communion, it’s the titanic sound of drummer Des Kensel that give the monster its hundred legs to stand on. Varied by touches of mid-eastern music on the instrumental “Khanrad’s wall;” the almost literally acted out tribal concussions of Kensel’s “Headhunter” drum solo; the epic crush of “DII,” and a pair of non-sequitur space-rock jams inserted later on, the album is fairly strategic in the amount of ground it covers, at times majestically so. But it never strays from its center of power and force while spiraling inward toward that common terminus, with grace accomplished.

Dream Theater - Dark Side Of The Moon

year 06 I have enjoyed rock music since I was a 14-year old boy in a small city in Indonesia. At that time there were many cassette offerings with various kind of music. Especially for rock music there were varieties of groups from Deep Purple to King Crimson. I knew Pink Floyd "Dark Side of The Moon" sometime in 1975 and really amazed with the kind of music the band plays. Because I was more familiar with straight rock, I could enjoy "Money" and "Time" easily without any barriers at all. In fact, I used "Time" as my wake up call using a timer. When this album was available in CD format, I purchased it right away and I think it was some time in the end of 80s. I did not have the CD player because I could not afford it. With this CD I also purchased Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" even though I already had the LP.

Another one or two years later I could afford to buy a CD player and I did enjoy Dark Side of The Moon very much. The album actually has no complex arrangement at all but it does have an awesome soundscape and effects. I admire this album from this standpoint as well as the tight composition. I was kind like having an imagination that this album would be very tough to be emulated the same as the studio album because it has varied effects and wonderful soundscapes. In fact, in my collection of laser disc that features Pink Floyd live, performing some songs of Dark Side of The Moon, I could not sense the nuance and "soul" of the album on live performance (even by Pink Floyd themselves!).
Watch Dream Theater - Time Live Performance