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SKYGLOW Thousand Years Of Terror

Album · 2018 · Technical Thrash Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 1 rating
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siLLy puPPy
In recent years there has been a prolific output of technically gifted musicians from behind the former Iron Curtain with Russia leading the way. Metal vocalist Alexander Mokin, having been raised in the city of Saratov found a connection with myriad extreme metal bands ranging from the classic era of In Flames, Be’Lakor and Metallica along with the more technically gifted wizardry on display with bands like Death, Dissection, Dark Tranquility, Necrophagist and The Chasm.

Mokin started to write his own music in 2012 and four years later was joined by long time friend and guitarist Vlad Kudryavtsev to form the band “Eyes Of Skyglow,” later shortened to SKYGLOW. Once Sergey Stepenenko from Excruciation By Silence replaced Kudryavtsey and handled both guitar and bass duties, the lineup was almost complete with drummer Dmitriy Kim filling the last spot.

In 2017 the band released a short two track demo called “Curse Of The Butterfly” and in 2018 they see their debut THOUSAND YEARS OF TERROR cast its shadow over an unsuspecting world. After a brief virtuosic performance of acoustic classical guitar leading the way, the music bursts into the full pyrogenic fury of technical thrash metal. These guys are riff monsters with a clear Vektor type of fury on display with a youthful energetic bombast, yet with a seasoned flare for dynamic shifts, alternating tempos and dramatic displays of neoclassical virtuosity strewn about.

The inspiration behind the theme of the album lies in Mokin’s analysis of government corruption that tells the tale of a millennium of the horrors of Russian history. While the music is firmly based in unrelenting tech thrash metal, there are health doses of Western classical music in the form of guitar and keyboards that crank out pleasant melodies that develop into fully formed thrash fury. While fitting well into the technical thrash crowds, this is melodic thrash metal that utilizes the lush compositional structures of classical music.

While the world is saturated with a gazillion metal bands as we approach the third decade of the 21st century, very few stand out amongst the ever increasing crowds. SKYGLOW is quite a different story altogether. This is a band that means business and pulls of the chops to accomplish their goal of the tech thrash metal soundtrack of Russian history in all its ugly regalia.

While a mere fledgling in the metal universe, SKYGLOW sounds like a seasoned band around for decades as THOUSAND YEARS OF TERROR not only exceeds in lyrical continuity but bedazzles with virtuosic prowess of the highest degree. The production is also noteworthy as it sounds like a bona fide professional release.

Fueled by shapeshifting time signature rich thrash metal riffs, choppy blastbeats meet jazzified percussive pummelation and brilliant classically rich intermissions accompanied by top notch thrash vocals, SKYGLOW is a band to look out for. On this debut album they display a maturity few bands muster up in a whole career. While the band claims The Chasm as their closest metal relative in stylistic terms, i hear a whole lot of Vektor inspired technicalities that show off their chops in perfect unison.

This is no clone band here. These guys really deliver one brutally satisfying track after another. So far, one of my favorite metal releases of 2018. Perhaps not quite to the level of finding a totally unique sound of their own, but they nailed the traditional classically infused thrash metal sound perfectly. Recommended.

INGESTED The Level Above Human

Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art 3.00 | 1 rating
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Nightfly
Things have been a bit quiet lately on the new release front from my death metal favourites. Whilst I’m always looking to check out bands I’ve never heard before this current dearth has encouraged me to look a bit wider. One such album I’ve recently come across in my search is The Level Above Human by Ingested. It’s the fourth from this brutal Manchester bunch but the first I’ve heard by them.

Whether there’s any musical growth from their earlier releases I couldn’t say and maybe I should have done my homework and found out. What I can say though is while it doesn’t offer anything original, something that’s not necessary anyway if you’ve got the songs to back it up, if brutal/slam death metal and deathcore is your thing then you probably will find much to enjoy here. The playing is tight and pretty complex at times with tempos ranging from the expected breakneck blasts to slower breakdowns and slam death parts. There are plenty of strong riffs throughout though the opening riff of Invidious sounds like a rip off of Iron Strengthens Iron from the last Dyscarnate album, With All Their Might. Individually each song sounds fine but nothing jumps out particularly to distinguish it from the rest despite the bands efforts to inject plenty of changes into individual tracks. After a while one song tends to blend into another and after the full 44 minutes I was feeling like I’d had enough. The more melodic instrumental Obsolescent offers some welcome respite from the overall bludgeon and alternating growl/shriek vocals making a good choice for closing the album.

Overall then, The Level Above Human whilst certainly no classic is a pretty good album. I’m sure plenty of people will love it but my own preference for my death metal being served straight up makes it more an album I admire rather than love. One that I’ll be happy to give a spin from time to time though for sure.

AMORPHIS Queen Of Time

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.83 | 2 ratings
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Kev Rowland
After twelve albums, world tours, countless gold records, Amorphis are back with their mix of metal, folklore and rock. After their last tour they decided to take a break before going into the studio to rehearse the new album, so had a single day off, before starting the next chapter. This means that all the tightness and understanding that develops from being on the road and gigging were still very much there. In many ways it goes back to the early Seventies when bands were expect to either be on the road or in the studio, preferably releasing an album every 6-8 months. I remember reading an interview with Ian Anderson saying that all his downtime while on tour in the States was spent writing songs for the next Jethro Tull album as they had to be ready for the band to record before they headed back out on the next tour.

I have long been a fan of Amorphis, who somehow manage to bring together many different styles and influences yet make the music so complete and seamless that it always makes total sense. It doesn’t matter if there is a saxophone, or guitar solo, or choir, it is always exactly the right thing to move the music onwards. After their last album, ‘Under The Red Cloud’, some fans may have expected them to get even heavier, but here they have moved sideways and have brought in the likes Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) on pipes, laryngeal singer Albert Kuvezin and saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby, plus an orchestra and a choir, while also maintaining an incredibly heavy intensity. These elements deliver a dramatic and cinematic depth to the sound, making everything even more epic, even deeper, and even more meaningful than ever before.

As always, borne by Pekka Kainulainen's poetic lyrics, AMORPHIS penetrate deeper than ever into the thicket of folklore and cosmic contexts. "This time, Pekka tells about the cosmic powers that people believed in long ago in a very universal way: the rise and fall of cultures." This is also symbolized by the image of the bee on the album cover - the queen of time, as Holopainen explains the title of the album. "It represents the microcosm that can nevertheless trigger cataclysmic changes. The fall of world empires ushered in by a small sprouting seed. The butterfly that causes a hurricane." And as “Daughter Of Hate” needed a spoken part, lyricist Kainulainen also appears for the first time as a narrator. An excellent choice: His wise and venerable shaman-like voice is a perfect match to the music. Original bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, has also returned to the fold, following the departure of Niclas Etelävuori after 17 years, as the band look both back over what has gone before, and to the future with yet another stunning piece of work. From the production through to the quality and style of the songs, this is essential.

SKELETAL REMAINS Devouring Mortality

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 3 ratings
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Kev Rowland
Taking their name from a song by cult NY thrash band Demolition Hammer, covering a song by Carcass on the album, along with it being mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Opeth, Bloodbath) and featuring cover art by Dan Seagrave (Entombed, Suffocation, Dismember), it is safe to say that with their third full-length album American death metal band Skeletal Remains are not showing any signs at all of slowing down. These guys have obviously been heavily influenced by Death, with a technical old school sound that is reminiscent of Schuldiner. One of the delighst of this album is the way that they mix tempos,. Not afraid to slow it right down almost to doom speed when the time is right, this allows them to hit back with real impact when they ramp it up, but also shows on songs such as “Catastrophc Retribution” that solos don’t have to be at the speed of light to have the corrcet impact.

There is a lightness within this, with the bottom end not always a sprevalent as it might be, but with Chris Monroy’s vocals not also being a guttural and brutal as one might expect, it actually works together really well. This is a really easy album to listen to, which isn’t something that one can always say of the genre, yet contains plenty of dynamic shifts which are always in keeping with the tone and allows the band to create a distinct sound within the genre. More melodic than many, and certainly not as abrasive, this is an album which is essential for any fan of the genre.

AT THE GATES To Drink From The Night Itself

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
Cover art 4.62 | 3 ratings
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Nightfly
AT War With Reality, 2014’s comeback album from At The Gates was criticized by some for being too safe and clinical sounding. Personally, I had no problem with it at all and welcomed the bands return to the upper echelons of melodic death metal. In fact I thought it so good I voted it my album of the year on this site and felt that many songs such as The Night Eternal and Eater Of Gods, to name just two, were showing the band at the top of their game.

No such criticism is likely to levelled at To Drink From The Night Itself. It’s a heavier, darker and murkier sounding album. In fact my eyebrows were initially raised over the production where the vocals and drums sound like they’re coming from the opposite end of a very long room to the rest of the band which took a bit of getting used to. I must admit that initially I was a little disappointed but after spending quite a bit of time with it my opinion has changed a hell of a lot. The biggest concern prior to the album’s release was how much of difference it was going to make to the band’s sound minus original guitarist Anders Björler who left in 2017. Fortunately, none at all. This is clearly the sound of At The Gates – the melancholic and melodic riffs, tremolo picked guitars and of course Tomas Lindberg’s distinctive high register growl. New guitarist Jonas Stålhammar has fit seamlessly in, no doubt an advantage having already played in The Lurking Fear with Lindberg and drummer Adrian Erlandsson.

As I said earlier this album did take a few plays to fully reveal itself, in part down to the production. The title track was the first song I heard when the band released it 2 or 3 months back. I must admit that despite being good I wasn’t blown away by it, it being pretty much At The Gates by numbers. It has since grown on me more but there’s much better on offer here, the second half of the album being particularly impressive where they barely put a foot wrong, with songs like In Nameless Sleep and The Mirror Black, after a slow start, having a vibe similar to The Night Eternal, my favourite song from At War With Reality with their use of guitar arpeggios and Erlandsson’s triplet double kick pattern. The latter closing the album in a similar fashion until the strings kick in at the very end. The first half still has some impressive moments though with A Stare Bound In Stone and Palace Of Lepers being particularly good.

To Drink From The Night Itself may bring nothing new to the table, it may not be better than At War With Reality overall, but that’s more to do with my love of that album than any weaknesses here and the production was certainly better last time around. It does however prove to be a consistently excellent album and contains some of the bands finest moments. I keep getting drawn back to it and I can’t give it a better recommendation than to say it’s my most played album since it was released.

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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Doomsday for the Deceiver

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 4.37 | 37 ratings
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UMUR
"Doomsday for the Deceiver" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Arizona based thrash metal act Flotsam and Jetsam. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in July 1986. The band was formed in 1981 under the Paradox monicker, changed their name to Dredlox in 1982, then again in 1983 to Dogz, and finally in 1984 they changed their name to Flotsam and Jetsam. Flotsam and Jetsam initially received quite a bit of critical acclaim, but only ever achieved moderate commercial success. Outside their core audience they are probably mostly known because Jason Newsted played bass on this album before he joined Metallica...

...which of course is completely unfair, as what Flotsam and Jetsam offers the listener on "Doomsday for the Deceiver" is pretty kickass thrash metal with a lead vocalist in Eric A.K., who can actually sing, and who provides the music with a heavy metal/US power metal edge. Eric A.K. has a voice that sometimes reminds me of mid-range Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and a commanding delivery to boot. His piercing high pitched screams are also very convincing. Paired with strong songwriting which is relatively varied, and a sound production which is raw and powerful, yet detailed and clear enough for the listener to hear what´s going on, "Doomsday for the Deceiver" comes off quite a high quality debut album by Flotsam and Jetsam.

The original version of the album only featured 9 tracks, while the US CD version features the "Flotzilla" track as a 10th song on the tracklist. All quality material and it´s no wonder that "Doomsday for the Deceiver" is often mentioned in the same breath as other "classic" thrash metal albums from the 80s. I mentioned Eric A.K. above and praised his performance on the album and rightly so, but the rest of the band also deserve a mention. The rhythm section is tight and Newsted´s bass is placed deligthfully high in the mix. The two guitarists churn out one killer thrashy riff after another, but also some more heavy metal oriented ditto. The many blistering guitar solos and harmony leads also deserve a mention.

Upon conclusion "Doomsday for the Deceiver" is an original sounding US thrash metal release. I hear some nods toward early Metallica, Megadeth, and Judas Priest, but Flotsam and Jetsam have managed to forge a pretty unique and recognisable sound, which was no easy treat in those days, when the scene was overflowing with new thrash metal acts trying to make it big. The fact that this is a debut album, just makes the accomplishment even more impressive. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is well deserved.

CRIMINAL Victimized

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 3.00 | 1 rating
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UMUR
"Victimized" is the debut full-length studio album by then Santiago, Chile based thrash/groove metal act Criminal. The album was released through Inferno Records in 1994. Criminal were formed in 1991, and released a couple of well received demos in 1992, before being signed to record "Victimized".

Stylistically the music on "Victimized" is a groove laden type of thrash metal, not too far removed from what Sepultura did on "Chaos A.D. (1993)", although the material is generally a bit more aggressive and direct here. There´s a slight nod towards death metal here and there, but that´s only a secondary influence.

The material on the 34:35 minutes long release is generally well written and quite effective too, but it´s also a bit one-dimensional, and the album could have prospered from a more varied songwriting approach. The sound production is decent, but there´s something about it, which keeps me from calling it a high quality production. It doesn´t have an authentic organic sound. The musicianship is strong enough, and lead vocalist/guitarist Anton Reisenegger delivers a fierce and raw shouting vocal performance which suits the aggressive music well.

So "Victimized" is a good groove/thrash metal release in some departments, while it could have been better in others. I´d still say a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved, and it´s certainly an album that´s recommendable if you need something with a nice aggressive groove (yet still rooted in old school thrash metal).

OBSCURE INFINITY Putrefying Illusions

Album · 2012 · Death Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 1 rating
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UMUR
"Putrefying Illusions" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German death metal act Obscure Infinity. The album was released through Obscure Domain Productions in July 2012 and it´s the successor to "Dawn Of Winter" from 2010. Obscure Infinity were formed in 2007 with the declared goal to play old school death metal, and that they do on "Putrefying Illusions"...

...which continues down the same musical path as it´s predecessor. That means a traditional early 90s death metal style, which predominantly draws influences from the Swedish, Stockholm scene, but isn´t limited to sounding like a retro clone of that scene. The music is very retrospective though, and we´re exposed to just about everything that was great about the early 90s death metal scene. Deep and brutal, yet relatively intelligible growling vocals, downtuned distorted guitar riffs. Both tremolo picking, and longer sustained chords for crushingly heavy doomy effect, effectful lead guitars, either playing solos, or providing the music with gloomy and morbid themes, classical oriented acoustic guitar interludes, and an overall dark and mystic atmosphere. Add to that ethereal songtitles like "The Wilting Splendour", "From the Bleak Spots to Infinity", and "Ascension-Kenosis", and you should be able to easily figure out what territory we´re in.

That songwriting approach could have ended up being a generic and tedious listening experience, but Obscure Infinity manage to play the style with passion and conviction. They are very skilled songwriters too, and obviously know exactly which elements to put where, for most impact on the listener. The album is well produced too, featuring a raw, yet detailed sound production, which suits the material well. So upon conclusion "Putrefying Illusions" isn´t a very original sounding release, but it´s both skillfully performed, well produced, and well written, so a 4 star (80%) rating isn´t all wrong.

DREAM THEATER Live at Budokan

Live album · 2004 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.25 | 43 ratings
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martindavey87
As if 2000’s ‘Scenes from a Memory’ wasn’t enough, here’s Dream Theater with another three-disc assault on the senses, with 2004’s live album from Japan’s world-renowned Budokan venue, aptly titled ‘Live at Budokan’.

Touring to promote 2003’s ‘Train of Thought’, ‘Live at Budokan’ sees the band storm through a set of highly energetic and crushingly heavy material. The format of the shows were simply “an evening with...” type affairs, which meant there were no support acts. Yet, despite the mind-boggling duration of the set, the band remains on top form throughout, and shows no signs of fatigue or letting up.

Focusing more on their later material, ‘Live at Budokan’ is three discs of some of the bands strongest material, played impeccably by some of the absolute finest musicians in the world. Millions upon millions of notes are hit flawlessly, with a number of noodles and jamming sections bungled in amongst the set, this is a highly entertaining live album, and shows an unparalleled chemistry between the highly-respected musicians.

There’s an abundance of highlights here. From newer tracks ‘As I Am’, ‘This Dying Soul’ and ‘In the Name of God’, to older classics such as ‘Pull Me Under’, ‘New Millennium’, ‘Only a Matter of Time’ and ‘Beyond This Life’, which features a near-ten minute jam section which is absolutely incredible and never gets boring. Then there’s the exclusive of this album, ‘Instrumedley’, a 12-minute instrumental medley of various parts of the bands discography. It’s genuinely mind-blowing and further demonstrates how these guys are the absolute best of the best at what they do.

‘Live at Budokan’ may lie a little on the heavier side of things, but this is truly a gem that belongs in any prog fans collection. With an absolutely banging production and top-notch performances, this will surely come to be recognized as a true prog classic.

SAVATAGE Commissar

Single · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 2.83 | 2 ratings
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martindavey87
‘Commissar’ is a single by metal band Savatage, released in 2001 to promote their ‘Poets and Madmen’ album, it features three tracks that total at just over eleven minutes in duration.

‘Poets and Madmen’ is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion, and easily one of the bands best releases, so no doubt it’d be tricky to choose which songs to use as promotional singles. However, ‘Commissar’, with its bombastic intro, its intense guitar playing and Jon Oliva’s rapid-fire vocals, is a fine choice, and easily stands out as one of the more memorable tracks on the album.

Second track, ‘Drive’, is mostly a straight-up metal song, but highlights the bands ferocity. With lightning fast riffs and wailing vocals, this is also a noteworthy track that makes ‘Poets and Madmen’ an essential purchase, and gives guitarist Chris Caffery a chance to truly shine. And finally, there’s ‘Voyage’, a short, two-minute acoustic guitar track. It’s a nice little instrumental that fills out the disc well, but isn’t overly essential.

Overall, ‘Commissar’ is an all-round decent enough CD single for Savatage fans.

DISTURBED Indestructible

Album · 2008 · Alternative Metal
Cover art 3.80 | 18 ratings
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martindavey87
Having already laid down the foundations for their post-nu metal career with 2005’s ‘Ten Thousand Fists’, Disturbed have finally shed the stigma that came with the subgenre, and established themselves as a legit and credible metal band with 2008’s ‘Indestructible’.

The band has managed to taken the groove-laden guitar style of the aforementioned subgenre whilst blending it effortlessly with an old-school metal mentality and vibe. As a result, ‘Indestructible’ is an album brimming with hooks, choruses and intense guitar work that can appeal to metal fans old and new alike, as well as more casual listeners too.

David Draiman’s melodic vocals work fantastically, his unique style has always given Disturbed their own sound. And they work in complete synergy with Dan Donegan’s guitar riffs, which perfectly capture the essence of traditional metal with the styling of nu metal. Donegan really lets rip a number of times on this album, and shows that he’s more than capable of shredding up the guitar when necessary, but can also show restraint when it’s needed.

Highlights from this release include ‘Indestructible’, ‘Inside the Fire’, ‘Perfect Insanity’, ‘The Night’, ‘Criminal’, ‘Divide’ and ‘The Curse’. The first three tracks in particular were all downloadable content for the incredibly popular 2007 video game ‘Rock Band’, which no doubt helped boost the bands popularity to no end around the time of this albums release.

With a number of stand-out tracks and an outlet for a whole new audience, ‘Indestructible’ is another strong outing by Disturbed, who have so far gone from strength-to-strength since the demise of nu metal, and have firmly cemented themselves as one of the standout metal bands of the 2000’s.

PARADISE LOST Lost Paradise

Album · 1990 · Death-Doom Metal
Cover art 3.34 | 27 ratings
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martindavey87
My introduction to doom metal legends Paradise Lost came about with albums such as 1997’s ‘One Second’ and 2007’s ‘In Requiem’. While the music itself is fairly straightforward, I found myself enjoying some of the grooving, yet melancholic, guitar riffs. With melodic and catchy vocals, along with keyboards that give the music more depth and atmosphere, this is something I could very easily get into.

Which brings me to this, 1990’s debut release, ‘Lost Paradise’. Despite being labelled as doom metal, and even death metal, I thought I’d at least give it a chance, seeing as I know what this band will evolve into, there’s no harm in at least trying, right?

But yeah, sure enough, I’m not into this at all

The death metal growls which are impossible to sing along to, the doom-laden guitar riffs that tend to plod along with about as much excitement as a root canal, and the muddy production that actually makes a lot of guitars difficult to really distinguish. Overall, this is a low-budget 1990 death metal album that sounds like a low-budget 1990 death metal album.

I do like Paradise Lost, and I know I’ll definitely be more receptive to their later albums, which seem more melody-driven, but this right here just isn’t for me.

PLATITUDE Nine

Album · 2004 · Power Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 2 ratings
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martindavey87
Released in 2004, Platitude’s ‘Nine’ is the follow-up to their debut album, ‘Secrets of Life’, which was released just a year prior, and it’s evident in such a short time how much this band has matured and polished their sound.

Part progressive metal, part power metal, somewhat labelled as “melodic metal”, Platitude have that very distinctive European metal style down to a tee. Their songs are pretty easy to get into, with high-energy guitar riffs and beautifully melodic keyboards, this is essentially prog metal which doesn’t require a dozen listens to pick up. Vocalist Erik Blomkvist has an incredible voice, able to hit the high notes while keeping warmth in his tone when not wailing away, his is a voice I could easily listen to all day.

One major difference between this album and its predecessor is that while ‘Secrets of Life’ had a very neoclassical edge to it, with a huge emphasis on shredding and virtuoso guitar playing, ‘Nine’ has taken a step back and stripped down the number of acrobatics. This favours guitarist Gustav Kollerstrom heavily, as his style is more riff-oriented, and while he isn’t known by any means for being a guitar guru, his performance and songwriting is impeccable and consistently interesting, and the very few times he does truly let rip stand out even more because of it.

Some of the highlights from this album include ‘Skies of Xenon’, ‘Dark Mind’, ‘Trust’, ‘Halcyon Days’, ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Catch 22’. But pretty much every song on this release is of a high standard, making ‘Nine’ by Platitude an incredibly underrated hidden gem, by a band which sadly mostly stayed under the radar of fans of this genre. If you’re into melodic metal, then this, or its successor, ‘Silence Speaks’ are definitely worth checking out.

ENSLAVED The Sleeping Gods

EP · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.71 | 20 ratings
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FMOTP
The Sleeping Gods is one of Enslaved's best releases IMO, because of its variety and innovation. Aren't skill and creativity why we're here at MMA? It shows the band moving into previously unexplored territory. At the same time, it maintains Enslaved's typical high level of composing and performing quality. I give The Sleeping Gods an enthusiastic 4 stars. Enslaved doesn't put out junk, so this whole CD is quite listenable.

For those who aren't as familiar with Enslaved, "Heimvegen" is an fine, representative place to start. However, I'm going with "Nordlys" and "The Sleeping Gods". They strongly demonstrate Enslaved's customary willingness to try new things, which is probably the best thing about this EP. Some of the songs like "Synthesis" drag on a bit, and I wouldn't pick The Sleeping Gods as the first Enslaved CD to listen to. However, it's still an excellent addition to collection, if innovative metal is your cup of tea. thwok | 4/5 | 2014-9-6

DREAM THEATER Through Her Eyes

Single · 2000 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 2.14 | 3 ratings
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martindavey87
Releasing singles to promote concept albums is always going to be tough. I mean, most often the songs are a small part of a larger narrative, but need to be able to work in the context of a single track. Dream Theater’s ‘Through Her Eyes’ does this well.

It seems a bit of an odd choice for a single to promote the phenomenal ‘Scenes From a Memory’ album, but the soft, gospel-inspired ballad is a catchy and emotional piece. This EP release comes with two different versions of the track, with an alternate mix having a more soulful feel to it. However, the track as a whole is actually probably one of the more subtle and possibly weaker moments from the record it’s promoting.

Then there are two live tracks, both of which come close to the 15-minute mark in duration. Now, Dream Theater are one of my favourite bands, but these recordings are pretty weak, and fairly poorly mixed, and coming at a time when James LaBrie’s vocals were suffering from a previous injury he’d sustained, they don’t really do justice to the band. A medley of moments from their first two albums, ‘When Images and Words Unite’ sounds like it should be an interesting nugget for fans, but it’s actually really not all that inspired.

Overall, ‘Scenes From a Memory’ is an absolute masterpiece, and is a highly regarded and highly recommended album, but ‘Through Her Eyes’ is definitely one for collectors.

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