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Reviews Written by
Johan Klovsjö (Göteborg, Sweden)

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Price: £14.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death to Doom., 22 Jan. 2011
This review is from: V (Audio CD)
"Best of modern Doom" was proudly boasted on the wrapping to my purchase. In that case, let's go back to the early 00's...

While there are some interesting bits in this album, I don't feel there was much innovation or bravery in the sound. It's very laid back, familiar melodies in different sounds, but a lot of the time just falling back on a rhythmic doom-doom-doom beating with heavy guitars and percussions. Vocals are OK, could use more variation (like the melodies). It seems that they have gone for the heaviest possible sound, whatever the melody/instrument/lyrics. I wouldn't call it so much Doom metal as slow Death metal.
But some songs are fine and well worth a listen. I guess you should do as was also mentioned on my wrapping: play it loud! It's definitely that kind of music. But if you have listened to them before, or were recommended, I suggest you move on to Kongh - Counting Heartbeats. An album in the same style/sound, but which is much more inventive.

Unearthly Trance will have to do better to keep me interested in another album.

Marrow Of The Spirit
Marrow Of The Spirit
Price: £14.07

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An infusion of power, 13 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Marrow Of The Spirit (Audio CD)
Like all *really* good albums, this one takes a while to get into. At first listen it just seems more extreme and not as well-built as previous albums. But after listen 4 or 5 you start to really get it. The strong and intricate melodies are there, the definitive Agalloch sound shines through.

So what have we here? Is it the next logical step for the band? I'd say yes, the previous three albums are way more alike to each other than any of them is to Marrow of the Spirit. This one explores new highs and new lows, progressive metal at its best.

Agalloch fans need not hesitate in buying this new piece. And for others, if you're a fan of bands like Isis or Opeth, you definitely need to give this a try.
Great stuff!

Attack and Release
Attack and Release

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rocking gem!, 1 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Attack and Release (Audio CD)
I am a long time heavy metaller (mainly death/doom metal) that happened to see the live version of track #2 "I got mine" from abbey road on Swedish TV. I got curious and tried out the rest of this album. It's a cool piece with a lot of rock n' roll. Admittedly the best track, #2, is a cover, but the rest of the album is great too. Since this is far from my usual listening I can't describe it very well, I just wanted to give it my rating. One star knocked off for being slightly too slow for my taste sometimes, and a short-ish album. You can never have too much rock n roll in an album after all!
Anyway, this music works well to vary my heavier music with, great songs.

The Circle of Reason
The Circle of Reason
by Amitav Ghosh
Edition: Paperback

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reason rules passion, 18 April 2006
This review is from: The Circle of Reason (Paperback)
I recently finished my second Amitav Ghosh book: The Circle of Reason. But there's no way to compare this to the other book, The Hungry Tide, for they have nothing in common.

The 'circle' was an interesting read... but it felt a bit disconnected. Everything and everyone had its story, but it didn't seem to fit so well together. About halfway through I had been getting more and more interested in the story, cause it had been building up for quite a while, but it seemed like the climax was at the end of the part called "reason", whereas the last two parts, "passion" and "death" only managed to contrast against "reason" but not make the story fully interesting.

The plot is centred on a young Indian, Alu, with a large and bumpy head, but the majority of things that happen in the book happen to the people around him, now and in the past. Alu is orphaned and adopted by his uncle with a passion for determining people's personalities by examining the shape of their heads. The uncle gets caught up in a personal war with another man in the village, ultimately leading to chaos and death, when the police storms the village.

Alu flees across India and to Africa, where he has an Epiphany that money is the cause of all disease and creating a community revolting against the use of money. Once again the authorities comes to clash with the people around him, and the final part of the book takes place elsewhere, but I won't reveal too much.

It's definitely an original book, and the language is quite good, evoking a sense of reality. But the story doesn't make much sense on the large scheme, and the books leaves me with the question, what did the author wish to accomplish? And did he really accomplish it?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 30, 2011 9:02 AM BST

The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things
by Arundhati Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Similicious!, 18 April 2006
The quantity, quality and originality of Roy's similes are astounding! Take a plunge into a book so riddled with new ways to bend the English language that you feel like you have stepped into a mythological maze of ancient Greece. Add to that characters both good and bad so real as to make you question whether you read about them or met them in person. And finally a story that, though leaning heavily on the false suspense of always hinting at what's to come, is deeply moving. Shake and bake and you get The God of Small Things, a modern masterpiece.

Now if someone could convince her to write more fiction...

General Of The Dead Army
General Of The Dead Army
by Ismaïl Kadaré
Edition: Paperback

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important book., 12 Feb. 2006
Kadaré's book takes us on a journey through the Albanian landscape, and through the mind of an Italian general, who has come to Albania to collect the remains of his country's soldier from the second world war. This plot allows for a lot of deep thoughts and emotions, which Kadaré examines properly. Through glimpses into the minds of Italian soldiers during the war he also delivers comments on the pointlessness of war, the loss of identity, and many other topics which could have been explored more. But that is left to the reader, and the philosophical reader may remain with these questions at hand long after finishing the book. A very moving book, and an author I simply must explore further.

The Missing Piece
The Missing Piece
by Antoine Bello
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book different from most., 9 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Missing Piece (Paperback)
I picked up The Missing Piece expecting something more akin to a murder mystery. What I instead got was the fabricament of a fictional "speed puzzling tour", including two competing organizations and a (fictional? entirely? mostly?) history of the puzzling world. Oh, and someone got murdered too.
Now, there is an actual puzzle in this book, the one where you solve the murders of 5 speed puzzle tour-connected people. But since the book is told mostly through news paper reports, live speed puzzle comments, and board/committee reports etc., there is not much of a plot with which you can feel there's a story being told. Only when you have aquired a fair amount of information do you feel like there's actually something going on here. And that information is little and far inbetween.
Although the fictional world of the speed puzzle circuit is quite entertaining and the end where the mystery of the murder is explained, this book holds not much else.
If not for the fascinating and disturbing end of the book, I would have considered this one a waste of time. However, I will allow it 3 stars and recommend it to those who really want to try something different. Or maybe like puzzles. It's not so long, after all.

by Toni Morrison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for serious readers, 14 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Beloved (Mass Market Paperback)
"Beloved" is the story about a black woman in the mid 1800s, Sethe, who lives alone with her daughter in a house haunted by the spirit of her other daughter, who buried in a grave under a stone reading only 'Beloved'.
Into their lives comes first a black man from Sethe's past, putting the spirit out of the house, and joining his life with Sethe's. But soon after, a young black girl appears at the house, calling herself Beloved... with scores to settle and love to demand.
An immensely moving tale and undisputable force of literature... Toni Morrison moves to the top of my list.

The Hungry Tide
The Hungry Tide
by Amitav Ghosh
Edition: Hardcover

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 6 Jan. 2006
This review is from: The Hungry Tide (Hardcover)
The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh is a story about love and life, politics and ecology, nature weather and myth, set in the Ganghes/Brahmaputra delta in Sundabar, India. The language is straightforward, and the keeper is how the different topics are connected at the core.
A young scientist comes to the area researching river dolphins and gets caught up in a love triangle with the proud, educated, male visitor, and the 'wild' and simple, native, fisher. Through a notebook of the educated man's uncle we live through the story of not one but two generations on a similar theme in the area.
While the politics of the area are discussed, the nature is ever-imposing, eventually cataclysmically so, and the hearts of people never stop beating. The love story is very real, not romantic in any way. The end is quite gripping, and the story lingers. A great read.

Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2)
Silence Of The Grave (Reykjavik Murder Mysteries 2)
by Arnaldur Indridason
Edition: Paperback

13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written for the screen, 10 Dec. 2005
I do not read much crime novels, but I thought I would give this one a try, noticing the best-nordic-crime-novel-of-the-year award.
If suspense is what you're looking for, then this novel might very well do fine. Through the book the mystery of the identity of a dead body (skeleton) remains veiled in secrecy. Through the narration in the present and the past simultaneously we draw our suspicions and false conclusions, ever so often receiving new vital information changing our opinion. The truth is revealed late in the novel. But when it is revealed it is hardly dumbfounding or spectacular.
The way the narration keeps the truth at bay is rather awkward and roundabout. It doesn't feel natural. The thing I enjoyed most about the writing is when it changes between past and present narration.
The details of the characters of this novel seems taken out of any Swedish (since I'm more familiar with those) crime movie, which is why I feel that the author has tried to copy a concept that he hopes a producer for the screen will pick up, e.g. the tragedy of the hero and several unpleasant details about life. It is not entirely uninspired though.
I don't feel inclined to pick up another book by this author, but that's probably mostly because my lack of interest in the genre.

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