After last week’s Thanksgiving shenanigans, we are back to your regularly scheduled music reviewing shitshow. And what a show we have! We have a quite diverse line-up of music ranging from holiday tunes to Power Metal to…electronica? Yes, that get’s explained, we promise. Kyle even throws in some reviews of terribly awesome horror movies he watched on his birthday. To top off the episode, preview the honors we will be giving during out year end festivities! Not enough content for you? Well too bad! Ok, just kidding. After the jump, our good friend and resident graphic artist Mike Clancey (he designed our logos) adds his thoughts on The Algorithm’s debut album.
Reviews: The Algorithm – Polymorphic Code; August Burns Red – Sleddin’ Hill; Destinity – Resolve in Crimson; Secret Sphere – Portrait of a Dying Heart
Mr. Clancey’s 2 cents on The Algorithm’s Polymorphic Code:
Overall I thought it was OK. It’s not exactly the formula I like my metal/electronica combos to be in, but they have a decent grasp on how to combine the two. I know how you guys feel about Asking Alexandria, but I really like their remix album, Stepped Up and Scratched. I guess I like my metal remixed after the fact, rather than have it originally written with “techno” in it.
The first 2 tracks (Handshake and Bouncing Dot) caught my ear. Unfortunately, things quickly became disjointed. A lot of these songs jump all over the place in the course of 4-6 minutes for no apparent reason. Another negative is their use of the same sound/midi “noise” for most of their melodies. When you’re not restricted by what your instruments can do, and you’re in the realm of computer effects, why stick with the same sound? One last gripe, which doesn’t pop up often, is the “vocals.” There are only a few lines here or there, but it just sounds like they grabbed the janitor in the recording studio and said, “Here, say this.”
As much as it sounds like I didn’t like it – it wasn’t too bad. It’s not something that will get me banging my head in the car OR dancing, but it would work just fine having it on in the background while doing something else. I may go back to it now and then, but not highly recommended, especially for those not too keen on techno in their metal soup.
Even though you are correct that song of year is a difficult category, I do have a song of the year for 2012. That would be “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat” by Cattle Decapitation. It’s got a little bit of everything all wrapped up into 3 minutes. Grind, death, contrasting vocal styles, a good riff, and even a hook!
The most overlooked album of the year for me is And So It Came to Pass by Dyscarnate. If you didn’t read British metal magazines when this was released earlier this year, then you missed this album. But this is death metal at its best. Crushing guitars, driving rhythms, brutal guttural vocals, And So It Came to Pass has everything you need for a straight up death metal album. While Dyscarnate doesn’t break any new ground on this album, they sure know how to craft a killer album. I can’t decide if “A Drone In the Hive” or “The Promethean” is my favorite song on the album because they’re both great. This album just missed my top 10 of the year.
Ah, Christmas time is here. Happiness and cheer. Who doesn’t like Christmas? It has become such a secular celebration in this country that I celebrate it with my Jewish friends and my wife’s Chinese family who have no concept of Christianity whatsoever. It’s a time of year to spend time with family and reflect upon the fond memories of Christmases past. What is has not been for me is a time for metal. I just can’t really get excited about listening to the new Deftones album because it just seems out of place. Christmas time means listening to all that other music, as we all have our favorites. I love the 12 days of Christmas by the Chipmunks but I could never get past the first song of their album because I would listen to just that one song over and over again when I was a kid. So if it means that I won’t know where the Deftones album fits into a year end list, then so be it. I’d rather give it a fair chance at a more appropriate time of year rather than listen to it now when I’m not really in the spirit of it.
Speaking of year end lists, when you mentioned your categories for the year, did you leave out best live show? Whether you are going to have that category or not, I’ll give you mine already. Even though I have one more show to attend this year (Machine Head), I seriously doubt anything will be able to top seeing Quicksand at Bowery Ballroom this past August. The entire crowd had been waiting 15 years for this show and the band did not disappoint. The band played like they had never broken up but the crowd reacted with the energy and excitement that you would expect from a band that hadn’t played in 15 years. If you’re 30 something and wanted to mosh like it was 1995 again, this was hands down the show of the year.
As for bad horror movies, I’ll give you one that you may already know about because it has a metal connection: Maximum Overdrive. The movie featured a whole bunch of AC/DC songs, and I think they wrote the song Who Made Who just for the movie. The movie was based on a Stephen King story and featured a tractor trailer truck with the Green Goblin on its hood that went around killing people. When you are 13 years old, the combination of AC/DC, Stephen King, and the Green Goblin seems like a sure-fire formula for success. But even the 13 year old me thought this movie was bad so it must have been really bad though I really don’t remember any other details of it.