Generally, I try not to innundate my ears with too many new albums to listen to, for no other reasons other than money and I like to not overload my brain. Recently though, I broke from this tradition, and dropped a chunk of money on a new crop of albums that have kept me more than occupied recently, and make my commute to work just that much better!!
First, I want to start off my rehashing an old argument of mine that I continue from time to time, and will continue until I’m 6 feet under; supporting smaller record stores. Yes, I understand they are hard to find, but I still like to do this when I get the chance. In this case, it’s none other than Ernie November of Cheyenne, WY, where I’ve been shopping for tunes since the age of 16 (which was 15 years go). Granted I don’t live in Cheyenne anymore, but most of my friends do, and the manager of this establishment is an old friend of mine that has introduced me to new tunes consistently since I stumbled into his store as a pudgy dork in high school. (Now I’m a pudgy dork that teaches high school.) CD prices are pretty much the same everywhere, be it in a store or online. If you purchase online, you can still scout out and find the underdog, but then you have to pay shipping and you’re subject to the shipping companies errors. So on a recent vacation, I decided to just take care of a lot of CD purchasing in one spot to a business that I have no problems supporting, be it through the mail or in person.
So here we go! The list of my massive listenings:
Graveyard – “Lights Out”: Hell yeah!!! I love this band, and they are just getting better. Sadly, I missed their recent run of US shows due to illness, but I did catch them last time and they were flawless. There’s many parts of this band that I love, especially their retro feel, but they certainly don’t limit themselves to just blues-based rock tunes. And while their sound may be a throwback, they aren’t sticking to a simple formula and branch out with their musicianship and lyric writing. In a way, I wish this would have been a 2013 release so I could just say that it’s my album of the year.
Horisont – “Second Assault”: Most people can’t really get beyond the vocals, which don’t really bother me for the most part. This album totally rocks hard and continues along the trail that Graveyard are leading me down. Do they do much to make themselves stand out from the crowd they are in? No. But I don’t hold that against them. They stick to their guns and created a solid album that certainly keeps me re-listening.
Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell – “Don’t Hear It… Fear It!”: I’m embarassed to say that this completely skipped my radar. Given my love for retro rockers I have no explanation for why I didn’t see this sooner. Combing through the endless list of stuff that I’ve missed, I came across this band and asked my good friend Keith for his two cents, which I was given in spades seeing as this was his #2 album of last year. Upon the first listen, my sideburns became thicker and fuzzier, and my smile got wider. I LOVE this album and band, especially since they are keeping the power trio alive and well.
Kadavar – “s/t”: Good Lord where have I been?! I keep missing bands like this for no understandable reason. My first listening of this album was on a car ride to Austin to see Neurosis, but between conversations with my co-travellers and gazing at the desolate landscape of Central Texas, I failed to focus on it. So then I arrive in Cheyenne, WY and pick my friend’s brain on bands along the lines of Graveyard, Admiral Sir, etc, and out this album comes. I relistened and fell in love. What’s not to love about fuzzy 70’s rock that is done well, and done right? A truly talented trio!
Celtic Frost – “To Mega Therion”: So I do know that this isn’t a ‘new’ album, and it’s not even new to me. This is actually sort of a re-purchase for me. I was first introduced to the Frost back in 1998 with “Morbid Tales” and quickly gave it the “Mega Therion” follow-up. But being the broke teenager I was, I didn’t purchase the albums, I made copies of them onto blank cassettes (my generations way of ‘pirating’ music). After years of use, that cassette has finally been retired and I was in need of the actual album. As much as I love this album, I still think that “Morbid Tales” is superior, but not by a wide margin. “To Mega Therion” is an excellent follow up filled with awesome riffs, haunting songs, and fist pounding metal!
Orange Goblin – “A Eulogy for the Damned”: My first jump into Orange Goblin was “Theiving from the House of God,” and then they dropped off my radar. This was mostly due in part to my dislike for “Healing Through Fire” but also just that my musical tastes and needs were changing. Then came the time I saw them live in Austin a few years ago and my love was rekindled, especially with this album. The first track alone, “Red Tide Rising,” is enough to make any metal fan smile. It’s a great mix, a great song, and a solid start to a solid album. Orange Goblin are pretty much on the right track again, at least in my mind, but you might argue.
OFF! – “s/t”: I love punk, and I love the bands that these dudes all came from. But the first time I heard this band, I wasn’t really impressed. So unimpressed actually that I don’t even remember the song. So then I decided to give them another chance, and it was worth it. GREAT ALBUM and kind of just the ear cleaner I need when I give myself a break from the usual listenings. It certainly isn’t rocket science, but what these four guys kick out is a perfect punk blend that is just what society needs these days. Additionally, I never get tired of listening to Keith Morris dish out his thoughts on tape.
Early Graves – “Red Horse”: I don’t even know where to begin talking about this album. It has just about everything musically that one would want to hear, all mixed together. In short, I find it perfect musicianship that they can incorporate so much without making it chaotic to the ear and making it so cohesive. This album is a strong follow-up to their unfortunate circumstances, and their new vocalist does this band justice in so many ways. Instead of pummeling out a number of straight-ahead metal songs, they take you on a journey through an extensive music-scape (if that makes sense). I can’t wait to hear what comes next!
Thanks for dropping in!
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