Agree to Disagree
The show is in rare form this week. Your normally agreeable hosts did not give any of this week’s albums the same rating. Did we greatly disagree on any of them? Did we fight over these albums? Well, all of your questions will be answered once you listen to the episode.
Kvelertak – Nattesferd (Roadrunner)
Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional (Nuclear Blast)
Grand Magus – Sword Songs (Nuclear Blast)
Hatebreed – Concrete Confessional
Ahhh Hatebreed… All I think about when I hear them is being punched in the face and being suffocated as I’m slammed between 3 350lb men… Good times…. PS… I’m with Nick on this one…
I remember that! That was a pretty brutal pit. But when Hatebreed is opening for Slayer at the Palladium, that’s gonna happen. Lol.
Lol…. I guess I had it coming. Speaking of – that was the most bad ass wall of trickled blood I’ve ever seen!
As you probably know, I enjoy classic rock. So I enjoy the classic rock direction that Kvelertak have taken with their recent albums. You are correct that I can’t figure out how you guys didn’t like Kvelertak’s previous album, Meir. Nick called Meir a mish-mash and a transitional album? Brian makes a great point about Kvelertak in that their live set, the songs from their self-titled debut album and Meir fit in great together. I haven’t really listened to the new album Nattesferd enough yet to fully form an opinion, but I do like the direction they are going.
One thing I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention about Nattesferd is the production. To my ears, Nattesferd sounds a bit thin and distant, as if the location of the microphones was further away than normal. I had to look it up, but my suspicion was confirmed that Kurt Ballou did not produce Nattesferd (he did produce Meir).
Nick, you must have been listening to a lot of Stevie Nicks recently. That riff on Nattesferd you mentioned sounding like Stevie Nicks is just some basic alternate picking on a single guitar string, which is probably something that’s been done a thousand times before, not just by Stevie Nicks. And for the record, I had to look up the Stevie Nicks song. It’s one of those things that I know the song when I hear it but I don’t know the name of it.
Wait, are you telling me they don’t have the chicken wire at Toad’s Place anymore?
You certainly should *not* stop reviewing Hatebreed. Your discussion of them has been some of the liveliest disagreement on this podcast for quite some time! I didn’t dislike their last album, Divinity of Purpose. While Divinity of Purpose isn’t a solid album front to back, it did have several songs that fit right in as decent Hatebreed songs that come across great live. I haven’t yet listened to their new album, but I plan to. Even though I’m not the biggest Hatebreed fan, there is a place once in a while in my listenings for lyrics written by a 5th grader (as Nick put it).
Speaking of hardcore, I’ve been listening to No Cure No Saviour by Polar. Is it possible for an album to get a rating of a 5 yet still be disappointing? That’s what No Cure No Saviour is for me. It is a very good album, but it’s not as good as I wanted it to be. It all boils down to expectations and comparisons with their previous album, Shadowed By Vultures. While steeped in hardcore, Shadowed By Vultures struck me as being slightly progressive. It was if they expanded the boundaries of what hardcore could be on that album. The one-two punch of “Before the Storm” and “Mountain Throne” in the middle of Shadowed By Vultures, featuring female vocals in the first of those two and the buildup in the second mark a high point in defining what a hardcore album can be. However, no such progressive nature or boundary expansion seems to be present on No Cure No Saviour. It is still a great hardcore album worthy of the positive reviews, but it leaves “No Cure No Saviour” shadowed by “Shadowed By Vultures” (see what I did there).
There have been so many good releases lately that I’m behind in keeping up. I am trying to take things in order of release. Which means I’m listening to Terminal Redux by Vektor. It’s gotten lots of positive reviews by numerous sources. There is a lot of music on this album, and it is certainly a grower. What it grows into still remains to be seen.
I said to Nick last weekend that we should probably be listening to Vektor because everybody and their mother seems to be loving. I was immediately turned off by the song length on what is a type of thrash album, but I will spin it. I just haven’t had the chance yet.
Something I have listened to a couple times this week – Blind Guardian. I know. It’s totally random. However, this girl I am seeing now likes some metal, especially Swedish Melodic Death and some power metal. She name dropped BG, and I realized I never gave them a fair listen because I didn’t know where to start. Apparently you can only stream the most recent three albums anywhere on the Internet (and cannot buy any others digitally) so that made it easy! Gotta say…I liked it! Power Metal is still not something in regular rotation for me, but when it does come up now, I’ll add Blind Guardian to the mix.
Blind Guardian? Cool! As you may or may not recall, Beyond The Red Mirror by Blind Guardian was my number 6 album of 2015. As for where to start listening to Blind Guardian? That’s fairly easy. The generally accepted answer is with Nightfall In Middle Earth. It is weird that their albums are not all available at the moment (do you want me to give you some of their older albums?).
As for Vektor, I’ve been listening to it more and it is a very good album but it is definitely too long. I picked out my top 5 or 6 songs from their album Terminal Redux and have been listening to just those. It makes for a more manageable 50 minute album when I leave out most of the songs in the middle. But the songs at the end really start to show the strength of this band, with “Pillars of Sand” being the highlight of the album.
I listened to Red Mirror and Edge of Time. From what I saw, Nightfall and the two albums on either side seem to be the favorites, but I have only found the CDs at a reasonable price on eBay since those also appear to be out of print for some reason. Granted I haven’t searched the used section Vintage Vinyl yet (been a avoiding the store for my own sake) but, yeah, I wouldn’t mind listening to them.