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Author Topic: Taking a look at another three albums...  (Read 6017 times)
Jamie
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« on: November 14, 2011, 09:41:34 pm »

Alright... I thoroughly enjoyed my last micro-sized review of several albums (Namely "Scurrilous", "Heritage"), so I figured I would do another one. It may have seemed long, but that's because I decided to whine about shipping issues with ADTOE. Speaking of which; I did mention I would get around to reviewing it.

There's not much to say about this album that hasn't already been said... I mean, It's F***ING AWESOME. Sonically, this album is by far the best- if not, one of the best Dream Theater albums to date. I was smiling throughout the album, and the only time that grin came off my face was during "This Is The Life", "Far From Heaven", and "Beneath The Surface"; for their more mellow- and in the case of FFH- slightly melancholic nature. But that does not mean I disliked those tracks. In fact, I loved them just as much as- or more than- the rest of the album. FFH serves as an excellent precursor to Breaking All Illusions. As JP said; this album was like a roller-coaster ride. I definitely got that feeling. Lyrically, we can all agree that the cheese factor that was apparent at times on Black Clouds and Silver Linings is now gone- for the most part. There were certain lyrics that felt awkward to me upon first listen, but once you really sit down and decipher them, absorb them, and learn what each song is about, then it begins to make sense. The album ends off on a light note with BAI and BTS, and to me it symbolized a new beginning for Dream Theater; looking forward instead of lingering on the past.

And yes, I have read the article on the similarities between A Dramatic Turn Of Events and Images And Words in terms of song structure. If anything, I believe they used the latter as inspiration to craft another masterpiece- and ADTOE definitely won't be the last... I have a good gut feeling for their next album  Grin

So, moving on...

We have "Weightless" by Animals As Leaders; a trio based in Washington, D.C., whose technical mastery and abstract "riffage" separates them from most progressive metal acts. For those who have listened to their first, self-titled album; you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. Tosin Abasi's guitar work and song-writing is unlike anything I've encountered, to be quite honest. This is an instrumental band; so it's a given that you probably won't find any conventional song-writing methods, but Mr. Abasi's playing style is unique. At times it can be very heavy and aggressive, and at other times, it can be mellow and "jazzy". But the one thing that it is at ALL times is tight. There's a subtlety to even the heaviest of his riffs that make him sound graceful; it's something that's rather difficult to put into words (having just realized that I may have gone in circles with my verbiage). You also can't forget about rhythm guitarist/mixer Javier Reyes (whose work I hope to hear more of) and drummer/engineer Navene Koperweis; their work is outstanding on this album. The album "Weightless" is almost like a suite, in that each song tells a story, and the flow is seamless. With the addition of Javier and Navene, their sound has branched out texturally and musically compared to their first album, featuring electronic sounds and focusing more on melodies than just Tosin's technical prowess. Stand-out tracks include: "An Infinite Regression", "Somnarium", "Earth Departure", "Do Not Go Gently", and the title track, "Weightless". The music speaks for itself, and this is one band that you really should check out if you're into prog metal. Interesting fact: Misha Mansoor of Periphery made an appearance on AAL's debut album; he helped to write the twelve songs and engineered.

Last but not least...

DYSTOPIA BY ICED EARTH. I must say, Stu Block's singing on this album was phenomenal. Now, I like Iced Earth, and I like Tim Owens and Matt Barlow (more so Matt) as singers, but I will admit that I bought this album (the special edition with bonus tracks) to hear Stu sing. It's almost as if the gods fused Owens and Barlow when Stu was born. As for the sound, it's heavy as always. Don't expect a radically new album from Iced Earth; they have a formula that they stick to (lots of triplets  Cheesy). However, It isn't necessarily a bad thing- it makes for a solid album. Considering I haven't listened to some "traditional" heavy metal in a while, I really enjoyed this album. Stu's maniacal vocal lines and soaring screams just propel the songs to a new level; after all, he is without a doubt, one of the best (and most versatile) metal singers out there today!

So there you have it folks; feel free to comment!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 06:35:02 pm by Jamie » Logged

The little things that kill you make you glad to be alive.

Viola da Voce
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 02:01:46 pm »

Glad to hear that the Animals As Leaders album is so good. I love the first one, and I can't wait to get the second one.
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rhino2112
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 02:42:23 pm »

I have purchased both of these and have yet to listen to them because I've been so damn busy lately.  Thanks for the reviews! 
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Jamie
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 01:37:59 am »

No problem! I have to say, even after a couple weeks, "Weightless" is still on replay. I cannot stress enough how good this album is... LOL
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The little things that kill you make you glad to be alive.

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