Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Wasted Bandwidth

I've got two megabite buster for ya. Maybe 3. Or 4.
Opeth - Heritage: I've never really like Opeth to begin with. But there was a time I didn't like Black Metal. And now I like all kinds of Black Metal bands. But that is not the case here. Opeth took pretty much all the things I liked least about them and made a whole album of it. Proggy stuff, clean singing, instrumental passages blah blah BORING!
Kittie - I've Failed You: No no, Hunny. You haven't failed me. For you to have failed me, I would have to actually expected you to accomplish something. I didn't expect anything at all. In fact, because I was actually able to listen to the whole album without tossing my iPod in the river means you exceeded expectations. That's not a failure at all!
(June 2023, sorry about "hunny". I've evolved as a person and wouldn't say that now. Shouldn't have said it then but I assure you it wasn't meant to be demeaning at any time. Just could have chosen better.)
 Chelsea Grin - My Damnation: Fuck me. Bombarded by breakdowns. I don't think these dudes would be able to masturbate. They can't keep a rhythm going long enough.
Anthrax - Worship Music: I'm confused. Do they want us to worship music? Or are they saying this is music to worship to? Whatever the case may be, the album is crap. It's practically not even thrash! And that Refused cover is a goddamn abomination.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There Is Always Another Way Out

hide details 1:48 PM (4 minutes ago)

I should be blogging about something good. Like my second daughter starting school. But sometimes the impetus to express oneself in words is brought on by events of tragedy rather than of triumph.
A friend and former band mate took his own life this past week. I haven't seen or talked to him in many years but the news is weighing heavy on my heart nonetheless. I've been lucky enough not to have known very many people that have taken this path to another life. It's not something I care to get used to. One suicide is one suicide too many.
Another friend and former band mate broke the news to me. They were best friends. As is often the case, even those closest didn't see it coming. As I've spoken to him, he told me that the deceased seemed like he was on top of the world. It was "all good" and there was nothing that sent up any flags. Apparently he did have a bit of an issue with painkillers after a motocross accident but not to the extent that it was feared this would happen. Like I said, his BEST FRIEND didn't see this coming.
Which got me thinking about the nature of suicide itself. I have a hard time wrapping my head around how people can go so far as to believe that suicide is the only way out. And I am no stranger to the concept. I've been to the bottom of the pit of despair. I know what it feels like to be surrounded by the slick walls of pain and loneliness. To feel like you have nothing to grab on to and no one will ever be there to pull you out. But deep down in the bottom of my heart, I knew that there were people out there that cared about me. That cared about me a great deal. That LOVED me. And I knew that if I resigned myself to thinking I would never get out, that the only way to escape the pit would be to put myself in the ground below it, that it would cause more pain and loneliness to those that loved me than I would ever feel myself.
That's why I find it so hard to understand when people actually do take their own lives. Because everyone has someone that loves them. Everyone has someone that wants nothing more than to see them happy. Sadly, sometimes people hold their eyes shut so tight, they can't open them up again to see that. They've blinded themselves to the door that is right in front of them. The other way out.
I suppose some people feel that they are a burden to others. That by choosing to remove themselves from this life, they are somehow doing "us" a favour. Their notion of putting others ahead of themselves has been twisted somehow. Somehow they fail to realize that those they are trying to "free" are actually the ones that will hurt the most. It's a harsh reality, but when it comes right down to it, suicide is a selfish act. (Unconsiously selfish) It's putting your pain and suffering, your needs, ahead of all others. When the true way to happiness is by putting the pain, suffering and needs of others ahead of your own. But it happens everyday. And each one is just as sad and tragic as the next.
I can't begin to know what reasons my friend had for ending his own life. Even his best friend was blindsided. In the end, his suffering in this life has ended. I can take some small solace from that. But it just means the cycle of birth, suffering, sickness and death begins anew for him. I pray that in some way, his return is able to enrich the lives of those he left behind.  My heart of hearts goes out to his family and friends in this most difficult time.
RIP Dude. You were part of some of the most exciting years of my life and I will never forget that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Engineer - Crooked Voices

My posts have been far too infrequent as of late. Part of that is because I've been following more metal writers and I honestly feel a little inadequate compared to them. So in an attempt to stay active, I'm not going to worry so much about long involved reviews. I'm just gonna let you know what my first (or second or third) impressions are. And if it's really good, and I feel inspired, I will stretch out.
Engineer - Crooked Voices
I listened to this on the "recommendation" of a banner ad. First mistake. I have come to think that the size of the ad is inversely proportional to the awesomeness of the album/band it is promoting. Bigger ad= shittier music. The harder the label pushes, the less the music really speaks for itself. In general. This isn't in stone. (Have you seen the size of Devildriver ads?!) I digress. Anyway, I saw a banner ad, and I thought "Engineer. That sounds familiar. D-beat HC maybe? Or more Neur-Isis?" I couldn't really pin what I thought it would sound like. At least with words. In my mind was different. My mind was bang on. I'm no good at descibing this style but it did sound familiar. As in, it slotted right in the genre box that I pictured. It sounded like a dozen other bands. I heard flashes of Norma Jean, maybe a little The Chariot (stylistically. I don't know anything about their religious leanings) perhaps Architect? And other bands l picture with beards, (non-stupid) hoodies and flexible day jobs. I mean it's not bad. It's burly. There is screaming. It's not too chaotic. But there was really nothing there that is calling me back. Who knows? I may be passing over a gem because the light isn't hitting it the right way. But, I have a pocket full of jewels and I can't stop looking for new ones.  Can't spend too long in the same place. Someone else may get there first. My metaphor is collapsing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trivium - In Waves

I'm going to make this short and sweet. I've already wasted enough of my precious time by actually listening to it. You may fire when ready.
This sounds very familiar. Oh that's right. This dead horse and been beaten countless times by talented guitarists without a shred of originality.
And it sounds like just about every other Trivium album.
The harsh vocals are uninspired. The clean vocals are weak and whiny.
There is clean and harsh vocals. Metalcore bad/goodcop style.
18 tracks? Really? I thought Track 1 was just on repeat.
Nothing really grabbed my attention about this. I mean it. When I first listened to it, I was cutting grass. Mindless pacing back and forth. And In Waves failed to distract me even once.
The best track is the Sepultura cover. (Slave New World) Nothing special about it either. Note for note reiteration. Good choice though.
Somehow, I listened to it 3 times. That's 3x68 mins of my life I will never get back. In this case, I'm so glad I rarely have the time to dedicate solely to music. I got the grass cut, the kitchen cleaned and some reading done.
68 mins! That's a long time to listen to the same handful of riffs and chugs recycled ad nauseum. Somehow, random bits would get stuck in my head. And it annoyed the hell out of me. Catchy does not equal good.
Honestly, if you are even reading this, then you must be a metal fan. And if you are a metal fan, you probably know who Trivium is. And if you know who Trivium is, you know what they sound like. And if you know what they sound like, then you either think they kick major ass, or they need their asses majorly kicked.
Damn it! I just wasted another half hour on this crap. Good thing it wasn't the only thing I was doing.