Arise (1991) by Sepultura

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a solid Thrash record. It’s got some great playing and it’s pretty relentless. But I struggle to love it as much as I would like to knowing that they would go on to better things very shortly. And there are only brief hints of their expansive palette of later records that make this kind of samey, which is too its detriment. But I don’t actually dislike it – it’s great stuff, it’s just not quite as good as their later stuff. 7/10 Read More

Come Clarity (2006) by In Flames

Categories: 2006 and Music.

Call me crazy, but of the two In Flames releases I’ve heard, I like this one more. It feels a little more varied than the other album of theirs that I’ve managed to listen to, and it feels like the band may have some (slight) versatility. This is still not my favourite stuff – the melodic vocals too often remind me of post grunge, for example – but I can appreciate their attempt to expand their boundaries (if only slightly) more than when it sounded like they were resting on their laurels. 7/10 Read More

Clayman (2000) by In Flames

Categories: 2000 and Music.

I struggle with a lot of the name metal bands out there because it feels like it’s not only acceptable but expected for metal bands to one thing (or, in this case, a couple things) well, stick to it.  But that doesn’t work for me. My favourite bands are almost all diverse; for whatever reason I like it more when a band can do many things well or even when a band tries to convince itself and its fans that it can do many things well, even if it sometimes fails in the attempt. And so I find myself listening Read More

To Mega Therion (1985) by Celtic Frost

Categories: 1985 and Music.

I don’t particularly listen to Black Metal or Death Metal. I don’t listen to them because the idea of a band focusing on just one style for album after album bores me. So I can’t really say too much about this and its purported historical importance on both of those sub-genres. Apparently it helped establish Black Metal as a thing. And, according to some, it was also an early Death Metal landmark. I’m not really sure which is more true and, frankly, it’s probably an arbitrary thing. So all I can comment on is the actual music: for 1985, this Read More

Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing (1995) by Strapping Young Lad

Categories: 1995 and Music.

I know Devin Townsend’s music for one reason and one reason only: I lived in residence in university with his current rhythm guitarist. And so I’ve been given a CD or two and been to some shows. And honestly, I was never blown away. I was always like, ‘this man is really talented, and really esoteric, and really into genre-bending in all the right ways’ but there was something about the genres he bended that perhaps rubbed me the wrong way a little. (I must say, I have enjoyed the Devin Townsend Band a lot more live than on record, Read More

Book of Horizons (2004 Web of Mimicry) by Secret Chiefs 3

Categories: 2004 and Music.

Trey Spruance can do whatever he wants. Yes, this is certainly more scattershot / inconsistent-tonally than their earliest efforts, if only because of the concept of different bands playing different styles. And yes, the concept doesn’t quite hold up. But so what? As usual, Spruance shows that nobody can really hold a candle to him in the genre-hopping “genre”. He can do anything. And well. He continues to blow my mind. If I had any kind of musical talent, this is what I would be doing with my life too. 9/10 Read More