This week we make up for the lack of reviews in Episode 20 by sharing our thoughts on four albums and some “music” that makes you consider one of those ridiculous “would you rather…?” conundrums. Really! You kinda end up in a position like, “would listen to this or use broken beer bottles instead of toilet paper for the next week?” Anyway, we also throw you our two cents on the recently announced Orion Music + More festival…and you may be surprised where we end up with that.
Album Reviews: Beneath the Massacre – Incongrous; Caliban – I Am Nemesis; The Devastated – Devil’s Messenger; Goatwhore – Blood for the Master; Orange Goblin – A Eulogy for the Damned
how seriously can anyone take someone’s advice to go spend their money on a new CD when the disclaimer that it’s only a buy IF
• you are predisposed to death metal in general
• are told to do your best not to listen to the singer
• it only sounds good with hundred dollar headphones
Unlike Nick I do like death metal from time to time and do own some 6feet under and dying fetus- but when I hear a review from the “death guy” of the group saying buy this cd just do your best to block out the singer and only listen to it on an expensive set of headphones…
That’s not a buy, that’s a skip.
While I have to agree with everything you said, Jon, I am pretty sure that is not what I said. Yes, you should be predisposed to the genre. I think that is true in most cases of any metal sub-genre. I mean, if you don’t like thrash, don’t buy an Overkill album. If you don’t like hardcore, don’t go buy Hatebreed or Terror.
However, I never said to block out the vocals. No, they are are not dynamic, but they don’t bother me and won’t bother most fans of the genre. They are pretty standard DM vocals, which, as discussed, kinda is what it is, and works for this kind of music.
As for the headphones, I personally don’t think anybody should be using Apple earbuds, Skullcandys you can buy at a kiosk at a train station, or any other similar product. If one has bothered to spend a bunch of money on any iDevice or comparable mobile device/MP3 player and listens to music often, he/she should spend no less than $50 on headphones. I mean, let’s face it…headphones like that are doing music of any genre of any production quality any good. The more going on in the music, the worse it is going to sound. So, when it comes to DM (especially the more technical stuff), one will want something better than crap headphones (or tiny laptop speakers, for that matter) to listen to such a dense and loud production of such fast, technical music because those speakers will not do it any justice and potentially make it sound more like the ‘noise’ Nick speaks of.
Nick, good points on Slayer and death metal.
Stravinsky said that all composition ultimately comes down to a balance between unity and variety. Too much unity (too much repetition) leads to boredom, while too much variety (too much contrast) leads to chaos (credit to Rob Kapilow for this, I lifted the words straight from him).
Heavy metal in general and Slayer specifically often suffers from the problem of too much unity. Too many metal artists seem to be one-trick ponies that craft their songs at one speed, with one note screamed by the singer, with no contrast at all. While a few songs like this can be good and make an emotional impact, an entire album or in some cases an entire discography like this just gets boring.
As for death metal, I find myself only liking those bands that can be classified as “melodic” death metal. Music is made up of melody, harmony, and rhythm – and the best music combines elements of all three. It’s not that there aren’t merits to what some bands such as Meshuggah do with essentially only rhythm, but for me they don’t compare to those bands that combine all elements of music into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.