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K. Mair

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd...but amazing., 10 May 2008
This review is from: Chaosphere (Audio CD)
It's funny, I remember a few years ago before I was into extreme metal, and my little brother was copying me in my musical tastes, as they do... one day he came to me and told me about this new band called Slayer that he'd heard that were really cool. As our parents didn't want him being into anything Satanic etc, I had to convince him that that band were evil and that he should stay away from them. So I came on Amazon and found the page for Chaosphere by Meshuggah, and clicked on the sound clip for Concatenation, then clicked off the window so he wouldn't see. Then i told him to listen, that this was Slayer and 'don't they sound evil'. We both agreed it sounded pretty evil. At that point I couldn't ever imagine listening to Meshuggah, as it was just too heavy, and, well, evil for me.

Fast forward a few years to today, and my tastes have got significantly heavier, encompassing some death metal amongst other heavy genres. I decided to revisit this album having remembered the above story, to see if I could 'handle' it now. And, on first listen, I still couldn't.

This album is not like any metal album you have heard before, full stop. It has many of the hallmarks of an extreme metal release; the bludgeoning guitars, powerhouse rhythm section, and manic vocals. However, the time signatures and changes on this album will somewhat fry an uninitiated listener's brain, all merging into each other until the album just becomes a mass of chugging, offbeat guitars, devoid of melody.

Since listening to the album through earlier, and emphatically NOT getting it as before, I went out to the cinema to see Iron Man. It was a cool film, but having got back and turned on this album again, suddenly I have realised just how cool Chaosphere really is.

Essentially, this album is a futuristic, soaring death machine that comes to destroy, and does with ease. It's cold, it's mechanical, it's nightmarish and unrelenting. And it's the perfect almost-soundtrack to a kickass technology/robot film.

If you give it the time and the attention, you will come to realise that Chaosphere is, simply put, awesome.

Or, you could just go and see Iron Man first.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 22, 2010 1:12 PM BST


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense, 3 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Chronicles (Audio CD)
Britain really needs more bands like this. This EP is, according to my iTunes, the most played selection of songs in my whole music collection; I just can't get enough of them.

Viatrophy play atmospheric, technical death metal - the temptation is to attach the 'deathcore' tag here, but the 'core' element is very minimal and crops up briefly in one or two songs so to fully acknowledge it would be misleading. At any rate, the Reading boys have a ridiculously heavy low end that will have the most hardened metalheads nodding their heads in appreciation, complemented by some kickass chops to boot. And their young age suggests there are many great things to come.

You may think you've heard it all before, but don't write them off yet: there is a heavy emphasis on 'atmospheric' in this lot's music. In fact, perhaps a suitable analogy would be to refer to Viatrophy as the Misery Signals of death metal... besides the duelling melodic guitars, there are always epic guitar and keyboard undertones to the songs, gentle and meandering interludes and sprawling, progressive sections which add to the music's longevity no end. And it just makes the music more interesting, you know?

The best example of Viatrophy at the current peak of their creative powers is in the last song 'Misanthropes'(go listen to it on their myspace); it eschews typical death metal and metalcore riffs for a truly epic sound, and each of it's sections is just as headbangingly satisfying as the last. Even the hardcore chanting in the last couple of bars (one of only two or three hardcore moments on the cd) sounds completely suited to the song and will have you pumping your hand in the air as the EP draws to a close.

Ultimately, this is an essential purchase for any metal fan who is after something new and refreshing from their heavy music, and a must for believers in the current crop of emerging British metal talent. Awesome stuff.

Offered by hotshotrecordsgermany
Price: £13.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, 12 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Frames (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of the 'Size since the release of Effloresce and they have always been one of my favourite musical discoveries. I often think about the fact that Oceansize just don't receive the commercial acclaim they deserve, but on the other side of the coin, they are so far removed from the mainstream that they could never really hope to get it. And also i like to have them all to myself.

Frames is another example of why Oceansize are such amazing songwriters and musicians. I'm tired of mainstream albums that are released for maximum profits and have little to no substance about them whatsoever. Oceansize make music as an art form, to be experienced and revelled in.

One thing that has been common with all Oceansize releases is moments of sheer musical genius and euphoria; on Effloresce it was the closing three songs of WWLMWLD, SMBS and Long Forgotten, on Music For Nurses it was Paper Champion, on Everyone Into Position it was Music For A Nurse and Ornament/Last Wrongs, and now on Frames the closing three songs of An Old Friend Of The Christy's, Sleeping Dogs and Dead Lions, and The Frame. As you hear the massive crescendo of The Frame unleash itself in all it's glory, you will know what true music really is.

The thirty second gap between The Frame and Vorhees separates the final track from the rest of the album, as it is a bonus track. And a very good song it is too.

Essentially, buy this album, listen, be enlightened.

The Serpent
The Serpent
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Price: £6.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Catchy, singable metal, 7 Sept. 2007
This review is from: The Serpent (Audio CD)
I have read countless reviews of this album which moan about the usual things... selling out, too melodic, not heavy enough... and so it goes on.
I for one love a wide variety of music from flesh-flayingly heavy to soothingly mellow and in my opinion, this album sits somewhere between the two, albeit more towards the latter than the former.
If you are after the sort of music that absolutely rips the skin from your bones and bludgeons you to death, this album is not for you. But if you want something heavy, singable and inventive in equal measure, give this a listen. Sure, Wax Walls and Anaemia are two of the best songs on the album but there are still some cool tunes which deserve to be played loud.
Forget, for a moment, Still Remains' discography, and take time to listen to this as an independent piece of work... you may be surprised. I did say 'may', mind.

Game Theory
Game Theory
Price: £6.35

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're back, 1 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Game Theory (Audio CD)
Anyone who knows their hip-hop knows that The Roots are a cornerstone of the genre in its most pure form. From their early days with Organix and Do You Want More? they established themselves as a truly homegrown, organic hip hop band and since have only put out quality records. Some fans criticised them with the release of their Phrenology album, saying they had begun to sound too commercial and polished, but really we know these Roots were and still are pushing boundaries and making the music they wanna make.

On that note, I'll just say: this album is killer. Their first album on DefJam (one of the founding father labels of hiphop) and in my opinion it at least matches any of their best works. The tracks flow together like a mixtape and showcase a great diversity between songs. My favourite songs on the album are In The Music (Malik B is back!!) and Long Time, but they're all so consistent it would be hard not to list the whole tracklist. A special mention goes to Atonement (track 12), because it samples 'You And Whose Army?' by Radiohead; my favourite band next to The Roots themselves.

In short, if you like music, go and buy this album. If you like real hip hop, well, you should have it already.

With Teeth
With Teeth
Price: £7.37

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, 12 July 2005
This review is from: With Teeth (Audio CD)
When I first got this album I convinced myself I loved it. Due to my intense liking for both The Downward Spiral and The Fragile (both amazing albums), I felt Trent could do no wrong. On top of this, a large number of rave reviews from journalists and other buyers convinced me that it was another classic from the dark purveyor of ultimate neurosis. But, it just isn't. I consider a classic album to be one in which every song is as good as the one before it, and where the artist does something new with the music to make it stand out from others. And this album isn't one of those I feel.
Don't get me wrong though, there are some truly awesome songs on here. All the love in the world, the hand that feeds, love is not enough, with teeth, and only are worthy of sitting in the upper echelons of NIN creations. Trent really does have a talent for making amazing beats and soundscapes. The off-kilter timings of With Teeth make the song a great one to sit back and wallow in your own supposed coolness, and the quiet mid section harks back to the style of the Fragile. As for Only and The Hand..., these will definitely get your feet tapping.
It's just when I consider the relative quality of the other songs that I realise that this is a flawed release. As other people have said before me, some of the lyrics sound like they have been fed through a cliche machine. And some of the songs are just dull. Sunspots? Every Day...? I generally don't have the patience to listen to them as the standout tracks demand to be listened to.
Of course, this is my opinion. I know for a fact people will disagree. But if you're like me and love NIN for the inexplicable, sustained quality of their last two major releases, then you too will eventually see right through the holes in this incomplete album.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 4 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Effloresce (Audio CD)
If you like gorgeous melodies and huge riffs at the same time, then you'll love this. The melodies in 'Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs' are the most beautiful I have ever heard. When I told my former girlfriend the song reminded me of her, she heard it and told me she didn't think she was worthy of something like that. Now that's praise for the band!
Best songs: Catalyst, WWLMWLD, Remember Where You Are, One Day All This Will Be Yours

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.89

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool., 27 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Kasabian (Audio CD)
To me, I see Kasabian as a cross between The Music, Kula Shaker (without the Indian influences), The Cooper Temple Clause, and the Stone Roses. And believe me, what a glorious combination that is. Tracks like Processed Beats and the slow-building I.D. simply ooze cool, and demand you to strut along, nodding at everyone you pass, just as The Music do at the best of times. L.S.F. is a wonderfully danceable tune, while I defy anyone not to 'Aaaah' along to the chorus of Cutt Off.
This is a prime slab of quality British music, something the UK needs at the moment to regain our place as the best musical destination in the world. While this album can't and doesn't do that on its own, it sure is a stepping stone towards that ultimate end goal. Recommended for all fans of great music.
Oh yeah, by the way, if you can, get the limited edition of this album cos it comes in a cool all black cd case and is double sided- one side is the CD side, the other is a DVD with loads of nice extras!

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Storming, 28 Aug. 2004
This CD, IMO, is absolutely awesome. Sure, it doesnt have as many of the 'Firestarter' style tracks, but 'Spitfire' I feel is the best breakbeat track since that and Mindfields. Spitfire is one track you can't help but headbang and thrash about to, right from the first listen. Other highlights include 'Girls', 'Hotride' 'You'll Be Under My Wheels' (from the cool BMW 1 series ad) and 'Shoot Down'. I think this is a great progression from Fat, and as a big fan of big, bad beat music, I can't get enough. On tracks like Spitfire and Girls it is easy to imagine yourself in a film, walking slow motion down a street with them as the soundtrack. Utter coolness. Ignore the bad reviews.

Amplifier [Digipak]
Amplifier [Digipak]
Offered by disks4u
Price: £8.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn this up to 11, 16 May 2004
This review is from: Amplifier [Digipak] (Audio CD)
This is, quite simply, a wonderful album. Some of you may have heard the magnificent album by Oceansize, Effloresce (which is also essential)- if you like that, you'll love this. Im not sure whether it has something to do with the fact that both Amplifier and Oceansize are from Manchester and are friends, but the truth is, this is brilliant music.
My favourite songs are Motorhead, Panzer, Old Movies and The Consultancy, but this album flows with such consistency that it's impossible not to just listen to it all in one go, again and again. If you love loud rock music, look no further. And even if you like softer music, this has some pretty excellent melodies. I dont know if you can even compare this to other bands, Amplifier play it their own way. Maybe you could say they are a cross between Tool, Cave In, Hundred Reasons, Pink Floyd, Audioslave, and Radiohead. But that's as close as I can get. Listen for yourself.

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