Archive for metal review

Amesoeurs – “Amesoeurs” review

Posted in album review, amesoeurs, black metal, French black metal, metal reviews, shoegaze with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by GRAMPS Pantheon

Imagine The Cure with blast beats and female vocals.

If that doesn’t sound awesome to you, you should probably stay away from Amesoeurs’ self-titled album. For everyone who is a fan of Neige’s ‘shoegaze black metal’ experiments, though, Amesoeurs is mandatory.

First, the bad: the main problem with this album is that it is not, in any sense, cohesive. ‘Trouble’, a blistering black metal track featuring Neige’s trademark screams, is followed by ‘Video Girl’, which is essentially a pop song. Both songs are incredible, but it’s very disjointing to leap from one style to the next, especially when this occurs several times over the course of the album. Also disappointing is that Audrey and Neige’s vocals are never used jointly. Each track is either predominantly a ‘Neige track’ or an ‘Audrey track,’ and it would be incredible to hear them together.

Don’t let these complaints fool you; Amesoeurs is fantastic. Once you get past the erratic nature of the album, you will find that each track is uplifting and gorgeously crafted. ‘Gas in Veins’, the instrumental opener, shows that Amesoeurs is more than just the vocals, and does post-black metal better than most other bands in the genre. ‘Heurt’ opens with furious blasting before segueing into sublime female vocals. The peak of the track comes when Audrey wildly shrieks over a brilliant lead. While ‘Les Ruches Malades’ and ‘La Reine Treyeuse’ are strong contenders, the true climax of the album comes with the finale, ‘Au Crepuscule de Nos Reves.’ The song truly amalgamates the black metal and shoegaze stylings. The album ends on a melancholy note, as Neige howls through a passage that easily ranks as one of Amesoeurs’ finest.

Amesoeurs broke up after the completion of this album, so unfortunately Neige will have to pursue his experiments in one of his other acclaimed bands. If you like your black metal with an experimental twist, or your shoegaze on a heavier note, then this album is a necessary listening experience. – Adam Barron

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Between the Buried and Me – “The Great Misdirect” review

Posted in album review, avant-garde, between the buried and me, metal reviews, metalcore, prog reviews, progressive metal, progressive rock with tags , , , , , , , on March 18, 2010 by GRAMPS Pantheon

With their magnum opus, Colors, Between the Buried and Me stretched the already distorted limits of progressive music. This included the insertion of many conflicting musical genres into one continuous album. The Great Misdirect picks up where Colors left off, but takes the sporadic passages and streamlines them into a transcending record. The band’s eclectic style makes the transitions seem very cohesive. The Great Misdirect is a transcendent experience, the majority of the album examining the mind and our own human perception.

Although not extremely technical, “Mirrors” opens the album by creating a preparatory listening experience. The listener is able to relate to their own existence through the calming mood created.  “Obfuscation” relays the overall theme of the album with these lyrics; “As humans we could never be content with knowing all, yet we can’t be content with the fact that our brains will never know.” Throughout the entire album, the band exhibits a knack for creating haunting vibes of mind control (“Disease, Injury, Madness”), questions of existence, and even UFOs (“Fossil Genera- A Feed from Cloud Mountain”).

Musically, the greatest evolution can be heard through Blake Richardson, the drummer. Prior to recording, Blake had been collaborating and working with Dream Theater virtuoso Mike Portnoy. That being said, Blake stays true to the heavy side of BTBAM by pounding out barrages of brutal drumming. Picking up from where he left off in Colors, bassist Dan Briggs plays with an enormous amount of talent and emotion, and should be considered one of the premier young bassists on today’s scene. Tommy Rogers is not the exclusive vocalist on the album. Guitarist Paul Waggoner’s takes the lead on vocals for “Desert of Song,” which is the low point of the album in my opinion. The 18-minute closing epic, “Swim to the Moon,” features Chuck Johnson, light tech and merch coordinator for the band.

Overall, Between the Buried and Me continue to exemplify the progressive label by adapting with each album and constantly reworking their personal goals as musicians. The Great Misdirect is a chilling, magnificent representation of what the band is capable of doing musically and lyrically. Though everyone may not approve of the eclectic shifts present in the latest albums from the band, BTBAM brings something new to the table with each release. One can only hope they continue down the road paved by Colors and The Great Misdirect.Matt Karow