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Laurence WIllis "Laurence"

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Traced in the Air
Traced in the Air
Price: 14.65

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent progressive music, 14 Jun 2009
This review is from: Traced in the Air (Audio CD)
Firstly I really like that album so sorry if I sound somewhat sicophantic!
This is the second album of Cynic coming after their recent reunion, a band generally described as progressive metal which I guess is a rather good description although it relinquishes to mention so much of the depths of this band. It would be easy to not bother checking this out thinking "Oh progressive metal, more showing off from dream theater clones" but dont let that be the case. This album is acutely musical, warm and textured. There is no showing off here!
Here is a breakdown of the tracks:

01. Nunc Fluens - This isa complex soundscape that develops rhythmically. Nicly put together and introduces alot about the ablum in a fairly brief way and takes us to the start of the album proper with aplomb.

02. The Space for This - Starting with a soft guitar part this quickly develops into an exciting piece of music. The musicianship is excellent and the use of varied textures marked here with the regular return of the guitar part.

03. Evolutionary Sleeper - This is for me the standout track. I absolutly love the complexity of the guitar and rhythm section put against the tend and beautiful melody of the evolutionary sleeper. The solo is inspired, this really showcases the bands ability to move from energetic to delecate.

04. Integral Birth - This has a deffinate lilt of the classical composition around it. Which is interesting because the lyrical ideas are deffinately very philisophical in their inception. The hand over to the next song is very striking here with Integral Birth fading and as the volume rises from this fall the next track ensues.

05. The Unknown Guest - Another cleverly textured and contrasting track. Interesting lyrical content, not all of it english! (although I am not sure which language it is)

06. Adam's Murmur - I really like the drumming here, subtle and well articulated. This is a very well fashioned song mixing elements of many genres, from complex polyrhythms of jazz and harmonic movement of classical music with of course element of metal.

07. King of Those Who Know - This is the longest track on the album. This starts with a very contrasting section, a guitar and what seems to be female voices. This swiftly moves into a clever interplay between the harsh growly vocals and the soft sound of Masvidals vocals. This is one of the best songs on the album, it really draws you along with it and moves on to a far more jazzy and keyboard influanced ending. Excellent music IMHO.

08. Nunc Stans - The last track of the album and is a seemingly bleak look at the nature of existance (vacuous rockers they aint!) A really good end to this album. Very much reflective.

Many people have raised the point that this album only lasts around 35 minutes. This is indeed not long for an album but considering the quality of the music and the complexity, depth and production values I think this album can still be considered excellent. I hope to see more albums from this versitile and original band.


Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Cantata
Stravinsky - Symphony of Psalms; Mass; Cantata
Price: 7.93

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ecellent compilation, 2 Jun 2008
This is a well put together CD that leads you through the sacred works of Stravinsky. The recording are fabulous and the sleave notes are interesting and well written.

If you are interested in Stravinsky, (I personally was interested after studying his music for A level music) then this CD will give you a great introduction to his works.


Watershed
Watershed
Price: 7.34

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Horizons, 2 Jun 2008
This review is from: Watershed (Audio CD)
If you are new to Opeth about half this review will be lost on you... I do have some words for you however:- Opeth are worth getting into, they are worth the effort of listening to the album a couple of times. They will pay you back 10 fold. This album is in my opinion the most "aquired taste" of their discography so it might be worth getting one of their other albums first. Maybe Blackwater Park or Deliverance but deffinatly GO FOR IT!!!

So to the album. Overall I must say that this is an excellent album. The time taken over every detail is astonishing, the production dripping with new ideas and the songs moving into new places than other albums before. This album is as I said before and aquired taste. Some tracks like heir apparent will deffinatly turn some people off but it is important to give it time. To let your mind wrap around this and break it down so you can fully understand it. Here is a track by track breakdown of the album.

Track 1 Coil: This seems to be a good opening for the album, not diving in at the monsterishly heavy end of Opeth but rather introducing the rich sound scape that is retained through-out the album. I must say that the use of a female vocalist was an inspired decision. Not typical Opeth fair but great stuff.

Track 2 Hier Apparent: A heavy complex array of crushing guitar riffs soft keyboard/acoustic guitar sections. NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED! I am still trying to get my ming around the first riff 1:21. I must say i was impressed with the guitar work here, it is obvious that the guys have pushed it a bit further guitar wise. How the drummer keeps the tiem is beyond me. I would say that although good this is more of a viseral assult than anything else, it works in the context of the album but I will not often be listening to it as a stand alone piece. It is better on the album than it was live at Brixton and it was great there.

Track 3 Lotus Eater: This is the piece that you guys will have most likely heard all ready or at least an edited version of it. Starting with what seems to be medival folk music and then strait into a peice that really astounds. There is a great variety here (yes a funk section...) and it all really works. I must say that the soundscaped talking at the end is one of my favourite moments of the ablum. An excellent track that is of real substance.

Track 4 Burden: Here is the most accesible track on the ablum. Great singing, great solos and great song writing. Very easy to listen to. However i do not know how well this will sit with most opeth fans who I do not think are of the "I like my music accesible" varity. This is excellent however and needs attention! A near perfect production of a well written song is always welcome. Listen out for the de-tuning guitar and the laugh at the end... clever Mikael...

Track 5 Porcelain Heart: Another track you have probably heard through youtube or roadrunner records. The most encompassing thing i can say about this track is that I really tried to listen to it with an objective ear and I can't, it is too good; I got too involved. For me this is the standout track of the album. It flows through and carries you with it, one of Mikael's best compositions perhaps helped by Akesson.

Track 6 Hussian Peel: This is a most interesting piece. There is a lot going on, backward vocals, thick string sections and piano playing with a fragile beauty are the norm. This needs a lot of listens as it has abviously been recorded and produced in the most fantastic manner possible. I am particularly fond of the drumming here which is perfect for this track. Also it was nice to see some Easten influances at 08:45. This track is a close second to Porcelain Heart, but who knows how it will sound after more listens!

Track 7 Hex Omega: Starting with a crushing riff it then enters a wonderful flute section at 0:44. The originality of this album is still coming through at this late point of the album! That is what this track is, a great ending with some of the most lavish production of the album. It really drives home the importance of this album as a milestone for Opeth. This is something new, an explorable realm.

Get this album, keep it close, listen to it as much as possible and you will start to explore with Opeth. I hope above everything that this growth continues into next album. I give this album 5 stars because it still needs to grow on me and I am all ready in love with it. It stands tall with other offerings such as Still Life and Blackwater Park which is no mean feat. (sorry for it saying 4 stars I clicked the worng button)


The Odyssey
The Odyssey
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 16.14

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godlike, 30 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Odyssey (Audio CD)
Symphonyx are one of those lesser known bands who are the best you will ever hear. I have no idea why they aren't bigger, they are truly the best band i have ever listened too. Everything they have ever done is incredible.

The guitar work makes me delirious and all the other musians are on a parr, there is always something new to take away from their music. I can't find within myself enough adjectives to use about them so i will put it like this:

They ARE fanstastic.

They ARE great live.

They make GREAT tracks.

This album IS one of the best EVER.

That is all.


Octopus
Octopus
Price: 6.28

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definative, 30 Aug 2006
This review is from: Octopus (Audio CD)
Seldom do bands such as this appear to alter music. To warp it out of normal sence and do so with style and excellence. Musicianship, originality and bravery are what this band were about. They carry you away to a place where there are no boundries, no sensible route and for this they should be loved and admired. We seldom see this, we always love it.

Buy it now, get lost in it, never look back. There is nothing more to say.


Ghost Reveries
Ghost Reveries
Price: 8.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dark vision, 30 Aug 2006
This review is from: Ghost Reveries (Audio CD)
After being an avid listener of Opeth, enjoying albums such as Blackwater Park, Diliverance and Damnation, I came to this album expecting nothing but the best. I was not disapointed!

I was pleased to see that even after joining RoadRunner records they had kept to their ethos of long prog epics. They are here in abundance; classicaly dark, wonderfully orchestrated and brilliantly affecting. The shorter songs on the album are wonderful too with the truely beautiful "Hours of Wealth". This track demonstrates how mature the band is, how expressive the singer is and how delightful the guitarist can be. I am a total convert to the roaring they employ, I used to find it hard to get passed it but now i miss it when it isn't there. Yay for Mikael!

This album will get you interested, it has a deffinatly musical message and place and should NOT be ignored. It will leave an impression everytime. Some may wonder why there is no fith star and this is only because I only give 5 stars to albums which are truly great. This is not one of them but is still a must have for all prog metal-heads out there!


BE
BE
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.79

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse Perfection, 22 Feb 2005
This review is from: BE (Audio CD)
This flowing masterpeice has to be the most inovative Album, by the most inovative band I have heard to date. This music shows real emotion and intuitive composition. Simplistic new punk and formulated rap just doesn't cut it when this MUSIC is around. It stands up with Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Spocks Beard. The sheer range and intellegence of this will blow your mind. It is in my opinion a better album than remedy lane which can be hit and miss. Be prepared for a few listens before the full scale of this work hits you.

Buy This!!!!!!!!

It is all encompassing when listened to. Something other music tends not to achieve.


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