cocCorrosion Of Conformity have had a lot of different line-ups over the years and a few very distinct career phases. Some of the most notable and best of which are the short-lived Blind era of the very early ’90s, where Pepper Keenan and Karl Angel joined the band and wrote a very dark, yet strangely melodic mixture of Sludge Metal and Groove Metal. Then Karl left, Pepper took over somewhat and they released three brilliant mixtures of Stoner, Southern Rock and good old fashion Metal with a bunch of diverse records that had acoustic sections, interludes, ballads and speedy-ragers all mashed into one record. Their final album in that line-up (well, with a new drummer actually, but close enough…) was very Doom Metal focused. Then Pepper left, and the Trio line-up from before even the Blind era reunited but instead of making Hardcore or Crossover Thrash like they did in the ’80s; they released two Doom albums with raw punky influences.

The celebrated and arguably most popular line up (the Pepper-in-charge on from the mid 90s-early ’00s) reunited recently and toured the globe with incredible reunion shows and now the time has finally come for them to put out some new music together. Its probably one of my most anticipated albums in a very long time. What on earth could it possibly sound like?
Well, the first track is a slow instrumental Sludge intro, bringing immediately to mind the Blind era. Next comes the third single, ‘The Luddite’ which is almost indistinguishable from the style on their Doom-focused In The Arms Of God album from 2005, which is interesting to hear with Reed Mullin on drums. It totally works. Speaking of that album, the creepy-ass title track here might remind you of a certain dark semi-acoustic track from there too.

Like their seminal Deliverance album, there are a few instrumental interludes and mood pieces sprinkled throughout. The first two singles, ‘Wolf Named Crow’ and ‘Cast The First Stone’ hark back to the Wiseblood sound, recalling hits like ‘Long Whip/Big America’ or ‘King Of The Rotten’ in a certain specific way that the instruments interact with each other and with the production style (by John Custer, who did Wiseblood too!) leaving the space at the end of sections and sounding very organic and Jammed-out-in-a-rehearsal-room, if you know what I mean. ‘Little Man’ has a very characterful and southern-fried sound, reminiscent of the under-rated 2000 album, America’s Volume Dealer, only without the over-polished production.

So far, so great. Towards the end, there are a also few slower, sludgy, dragged-out pieces that hearken back to both ‘Pearls Before Swine’ and ‘Bottom Feeder.’ It just wouldn’t be a C.O.C album without mixing in something slow and dirty sounding towards the end, would it now?

The overall feeling is a mixture of all the Pepper-era albums, with a warm and very earthy production. It doesn’t stand out as an immediate drop-everything, earth-shattering revelation, but it is a very welcome return (although they were never really that gone recently, and I’d still love if they threw ‘Demark Vessey’ or ‘Tarquinious Superbus’ into the setlist nowadays too!) that gets better with repeat listens. If you walk in expecting to be blown away like the first time you heard Deliverance you might be disappointed, but if you go in with realistic expectations you’ll find a very solid and rewarding album. My favourite track on the album is ‘Forgive Me’ which has a sort of Thin Lizzy vibe to its hook, but a very metallic breakdown, and Pepper’s vocals are very exaggerated and full of character like they were on ‘Volume Dealer.

To top it all off, there’s a cover of Queen’s very heavy and Sabbathy debut album deep-cut, ‘Son And Daughter’ and it really, really suits C.O.C’s sound. I remember Iron Monkey covering it in the past and it is a very suitable track for this end of the Rock & Metal spectrum. I know people imagining ‘Radio Gaga’ or ‘I Want To Break Free’ might raise an eyebrow, but Queen’s debut was a lot heavier than you remember. For Stoner, Doom or Sludge bands it is a natural fit.

In summary; without disrespecting the fine work of the trio line-up, its nice to have the four guys from Deliverance through to ‘Volume Dealer back playing together again with their unique chemistry. The album is pretty diverse, with a nice mix of fast and slow, clean and dirty, stoner and doom, sludge and hard rock, atmospheric and immediate. The production job is perfect and there’s a fairly decent proportion of the tracks would make it into any fan’s future dream setlists or best-of playlists. If you don’t immediately do a spit-take and have heart-shaped eyeballs the very first time you hear it though, don’t worry, it grows on you.

 

Disturbed – Live At Red Rocks Review

Posted: December 30, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Metal, Metal - Live, Music Reviews, Rock, Rock Live

300x300Disturbed are one of those bands that have been around for over a decade and a half but still feel like young upstarts to a certain generation. Disturbed are one of those bands that are loved by a legion of loyal fans and play massive shows but are still thought of as ‘that band everybody hates’ by a certain generation. Disturbed are one of those bands who have released a slew of very good records across their career but are still thought of as a ‘the debut album is ok as a guilty pleasure but the rest sucks‘ kind of band by a certain generation.

Well, after seeing them live last year putting on an absolutely fantastic show, something clicked inside me. Disturbed might get mocked by critics you respect. Your friends might be embarrassed to own their CDs. But you know what? They are a pretty great band. Draiman may have a distinctive style that is easy to parody, but there is no denying he is a superb frontman. Dan may have skimped out on the guitar solos on the early albums, but there’s no denying once he started using them they were great. The rhythm section are solid as hell. Their songs aren’t overly complicated but they are well sculpted and catchy as hell.

Live At Red Rocks is their 2016 Live album; touring on their reformed and rejuvinated album Immortalized at the height of their popular single ‘The Sound Of Silence’ (a Simon & Garfunkle cover) to a hysteric and loving crowd.

They drop in just about all their most famous songs and cover all their studio albums (the less favourably-received Asylum album has significantly less songs than others admittedly); with hits such as ‘Prayer,’ ‘Stricken,’ ‘Voices,’ ‘Stupify,’ ‘Inside The Fire,’ ‘The Light’ and the ever-present ‘Down With The Sickness’ all making an appearance.

The recording quality, sound mix, set-list and performance are all absolutely top notch. The band mix songs from across their catalogue and make one consistently great show from beginning to end. Every piece of the puzzle works together well and it flows well. Older tracks like the catchy ‘Liberate’ and ‘The Game’ gel seamlessly beside newer tracks like ‘The Animal’ and ‘The Vengeful One.’ There is some onstage banter but not distracting amounts and no time is wasted on unnecessary solos or self indulgence. It is as much a perfect greatest hits package as it is a live album, and if you haven’t got a Disturbed album yet, this would be the best one to get first. One criticism of Disturbed may be that maybe their studio albums suffer a bit of filler. This live album jams in only the best stuff, so is as high energy from start to finish as you always wanted them to be. When fleshed out by such a solid and energetic performance the result is pretty excellent.

If you are one of those people who liked them when they were new but the media and their reputation put you off since, consider getting back into them now. There’s never been a better time. They have a rich catalogue of hits and they returned from hiatus with a newfound fire and passion. This live album showcases them at their best. It really shows why they have remained so popular for so long and justifies their surprisingly high position within the Rock & Metal world.

Book Review: A History Of Heavy Metal By Andrew O’Neill

Posted: December 28, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Uncategorized

aaaaa.jpgI’m not sure how to approach a book review, but um, here goes… I’ll start with some basic facts.   It is more or less a book version of the TV shows Metal Evolution or Heavy Metal Louder Than Life only released in 2017 so with some more up-to-date information and references than those, and considerably more humour and wit. It was written by a stand up comedian with left wing politics who has played in bands and been into Metal music since the 1990s. It is the book version of his stand up show of the same name fleshed out. Its succinct and brief, lasting about 280 pages in a fairly large font with a lot of space. You could easily read it all in a day or two if you wanted.

That’s the broad strokes out of the way. What I’ll say next is that it is genuinely funny. It had me cackling two or three times with laughter in the way usually only in-jokes between you and your close friends can. I’m tempted to list many of them but that would spoil their impact. Now; I am not generally a fan of comedy meeting Metal. Metal is something beloved, dear and important to me like most normal people’s religion, nationality, identity or favorite sports team for the kind of guys who cry if their team loses. I don’t really care for Metalocalypse or bands who do comedy lyrics. I don’t like a lot of comedy about Metal. I especially don’t like it if it is laughing at Metal rather than with it. I do however love hearing educated, sharp and with-an-element-of-truth-to-them jokes about it from my friends. That stuff makes me laugh. So does this book apparently. Andrew O’Neill works 99% in this style. The sense of humour is bang on the mark. Its the kind of thing your friends joked about in high school only on a professional letter and honed to better standards.

Onto the actual structure of the book. It starts off semi linear… the invention of metal and the stuff around at that time is detailed and analysed, then it covers the first few subgenres of metal and how they developed one after the other etc. Then it hits the awkward ’90s and explains how nothing is linear anymore in a satisfying way that doesn’t feel like a cop out. It does overly ignore some genres such as Prog and Power Metal while over-exposing some genres such as Black Metal but the author is really clear at the start that his biases and personal opinions are going to shine through and this is HIS history, not the objective factual history… so you can kind of let that slide.

It then ends with speculation on the history of Heavy Metal. This final section may be divisive. It is the section that is the most comedy-based. I can see a lot of people like me (but even more humourless if you can imagine that) really railing against it for it sheer absurdity. I found it pretty damn amusing, especially the lines about Messugah, Sodom, George Fischer’s indignity and Guns N Roses’ reaction to the war. (I can’t go into detail without spoiling jokes, but if you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean).

The history section of the book, by which I mean the main body of the entire book, is actually a very well written, well put together and fairly insightful and well researched version of heavy metal’s history, as good as, if not better than, most of the documentaries on the subject available for mass consumption and several other books on the subject.

It augments this history with some good arguments about subjects. One such example is something that I’ve wrote about before, the difference between the concept of “heavy” in people’s perceptions, such as how some people think heavy is a hippy-esque feeling of profundity and others think it is a measure of brutality and savagery. Eg. Which is heavier, the first Black Sabbath album, or say, Death Metal? People have argued both ways. Another such argument is how Heavy Metal was coined to describe/insult bands like Cream, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, but they aren’t Heavy Metal anymore because the goalposts have since shifted. These are interesting subjects which are close to me and I’m happy to see them discussed intelligently.

Soemthing else it really has a mastery of is the foot note. The main history will be presented in the main body of the text as normal and several notes will be found below, most of which are really rather humorous. Again, I’d love to list some but I feel I’d just spoil it on you.

Like anything; it is not completely perfect. There are a few minor issues and small factual errors. He says Jethro Tull are from Birmingham for example (Blackpool or Luton are better choices), that Strong Arm Of The Law is Saxon’s second album (third by my count) and Creed are a Nu Metal band (just no). He also calls Amon Amarth’s ‘Runes To My Memory’ ‘Runestones To My Memory’ but is setting up a joke at the time so that particular one may be intentional. He also misspells Scott Ian’s name a few times and Derek Green’s name once as well. This is probably the word processor more than the writer though, its just surprising to see in such a professional book, its not a shitty blog like mine or something. Overall however, these are very minor, mega-nitpicky issues that don’t impact the reading experience at all, when you think about it, and are barely worth mentioning except for the fact that if you are as big a nerd as me they may catch you off guard the first time before you get a grip of yourself. Overall, its pretty swish. And to be fair, there’s only so much objectivity you can realistically expect from a book that begins “There are two types of people in this world. People who like Heavy Metal and dicks!”

The only real negative for me in the book is when he can’t keep his musical bias against things I like hidden or objective enough. (On thing that raised an eyebrow was him implying Glam Metal bands can’t play their instruments but Nu Metal ones can, which is odd considering the absolute majesty of say, Ratt’s guitar solos. Those guys can play their instruments better than any Nu Metal bands I can think of, and I’m a diehard Nu Metal apologist). As stated already though, you can kind of forgive him because its clear in his mission statement, that this is his history and he has his own opinions. (Unlike, say, when Sam Dunn lets his opinion spill out when his work was supposed to be an objective factual true history of Heavy Metal and you find it a bit more galling that he can’t just keep schtum with the subjective opinions then). Andrew is also a comedian and will usually make a joke of it when he does get opinionated, which takes most of the sting off it anyway. I mean, my nose wrinkles a bit when he criticizes Slipknot but then he totally takes the edge off by turning it into a series of jokes about how people get more right wing as they get older.

In conclusion, this is a brief, very clever and interesting read that does a pretty great job of telling Metal’s history, especially the early days. It explores some interesting arguments and presents it all in a genuinely funny way. It doesn’t sacrifice quality for comedy however and isn’t wacky or stupid, it just has a funny writer. It achieves its goal of describing metal’s evolution from the ’60s until 2017 pretty damn well, but it sure keeps you smiling as it does it.

Stand up and take a bow, Andrew. Sit down Lars!

Prong – X No Absolutes Review

Posted: December 26, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Metal, Metal - Studio, Music Reviews

550143Prong’s 2016 album X No Absolutes is a real stunner. The band entered a new golden period of high quality and high productivity with 2012’s Carved Into Stone. Since then they’ve released 4 studio albums, one covers album, and one semi-live album. You could imagine with that high an output maybe the albums would sound rushed, but quite the opposite, this is arguably the strongest period of their career to date.

Among the best of this renaissance period is X No Absolutes, which is their tenth full length studio album (hence the X!). Prong show no weakness or slowing down with age. This album is pretty damn bad ass. The album follows the musical direction of the past few albums; Pantera & Early Machine Head-esque ’90s sounding Groove Metal mixed with brief hints of Thrash, a weird arty Killing Joke tinge at times, the best parts of Nu Metal used in moderation and all that is wrapped up in Tommy Victor’s New York bark.

The first track, lead single and modern day concert mainstay, ‘Ultimate Authority’ is an absolute winner, starting the album off strong with its faster pace and memorable chorus. All the first four songs are great. Groovy, punchy and memorable. Varied, but tied together perfectly by the vocal and production style. If you want to know if this album (or band) is for you, check out those first four tracks, they are red hot.

The title track comes next, branching out into more melodic material, which then defines the middle of the album. ‘Do Nothing’ actually reminds me a bit of Papa Roach only with more Fear Factory style drums, if you can imagine that. Think Digimortal meets Love Hate Tragedy.

After the middle experimental section of the album, it gears back up into more metallic territory, with ragers like ‘Universal Law’ and ‘In Spite Of Hindrances’ being particular highlights.

If you are into the likes of Pantera, Machine Head, Fear Factory, Pissing Razors, ’90s era Sepultura and actually Five Finger Death Punch as well now that I think of it, I think you would really enjoy this album. Its got a real good mix of styles but lives in that very crunchy, bouncy, memorable world more often than not and is another fine example of Prong’s modern day upswing. If you haven’t checked them out since Cleansing, maybe take a look back in the Prong camp nowadays, they’re as good if not better than ever!

Box Set Mania

Posted: December 23, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Uncategorized

I love me a good box set. Who doesn’t? Value for money is a damn tempting thing. I’ve been big into box sets this year. I’ve bought a few. A 17-CD AC/DC collection. A 14 CD Saxon late-career round up. A 6 album Deicide early days collection and a matching 6 CD Obituary album collection. I tried out a 5 CD King Diamond boxset & 5 CD Suicidal Tnedencies boxset. There was a 4 CD Girlschool boxset. A album CD Holy Terror set. A 3 CD Witchfynde box. A 3 CD Diamond Head box.

Heck, I started off the year with a 6 CD Yngwie Malmsteen boxset which someone sent me as a gift with no explanation or warning or follow-up. If that was you, own up and take your thanks.

I also went on iTunes and made my own imaginary boxset, by buying about 6 Running Wild albums at once, because I was disapointed I couldn’t find a boxset.

This is after a previous few years of getting a Dream Theater set, a Freedeom Call set, a Faith No More set, a ZZ Top set, a Thin Lizzy set, a Van Halen set, an early career Saxon set and a mid career Saxon set, 2 Motorhead sets, a Ratt Set, a Michael Schenker Group set, a Prong set, a Mountain set, a Foghat set and being gifted an Alice In Chains set.

Basically, in the last 5 years, I find Boxsets a very hard thing to skip.

This reminds me of a topic. I was discussing in the comments earlier. Boxset brain. I find that if I get a box set. I never, ever, even after 5 years… feel like I’ve really given a CD from that set enough attention. I feel like the boxset as a whole is one album and sometimes feel compared to listen to the whole set on shuffle. I feel the urge to group the sets together into a giant playlist and play songs from all the sets on shuffle. I sometimes feel like I can’t be considered a real fan because I only got into them through a boxset. (Strange, right?)

I feel like boxsets also come with a lot of pressure. A self-imposed expectation that it must be listened to quickly and all of it must be consumed NOW. I also always try to save one or two albums from it for later, but then fail, and listen to it once or twice, but then still try and save it and then get annoyed by the failure to save it and then the album is spoiled and never fully gotten into.

Its a strange battle. The need to NOT hear it and the need TO DEFINITELY hear it. I find myself needing to listen to the first few albums from the sets so much, that I have to put them on when I’m going to sleep. I’ll fall asleep and not hear it all, but in my mind I’ve put that album on one more time and therefore I’m getting my value for money.

…except I never get my value for money. I always, always have to listen to it more. I’ve never ‘completed’ that album. Not that music is something you can ‘complete.’ I bought all my Pantera albums when I was 12 years old and I’ve still been absolutely pasting them these last few months. I got into Metal through a strange combination of Metallica, Sepultura, Slipknot and Green Day and I’ve been listening to all of them this month all these many years later. So I don’t listen to something as a tickbox exercise. But if its a boxset. There is a tickbox element.

I got a Life Of Agony Boxset I forgot to list. It has 3 studio albums, a B-Sides compilation and a live album from an acoustic show with an electric encore. I have never, ever listened to that live album or B-sides album all the way through. …and that annoys me. I might go and do it now just to prove a point to myself.

There’s another point about boxsets I haven’t brought up. I’ve been talking about boxsets as if all of them are just a bunch of the albums in a cardboard box. Sometimes boxsets are specifically made new things.

I recently wrote about how I was really glad to have found a Megadeth album in Wembley from 1990. It came from a boxset. The boxset was a new product. It was specifically designed. They created a new greatest hits set and peppered a few rareties in. A new (old) live album. A new (old) live DVD. Slayer have released a similar product in the past.

Who wants theses? Why would a fan who liked the band enough to buy a box-set, want to get a greatest hits cd? Why would a newcomer who needs a greatest hits cd want to buy a gigantic boxset and take the risk on a load of rarities and archive live stuff ?

I missed out on this superb Megadeth live album for years because they stuck in on bassically a greatest hits cd filled box instead of on its own. Hell, take the rareties, take the new old live cd and dvd. Put em in a box without the greatest hits, charge the same price. I’ll buy that.

If I’m a fan enough for the box and wanting the rarities and the live stuff and willing to pay that much. I already have their greatest hits. I can make my own greatest hits playlists and burn my own greatest hits cds of my own design.

Greatest Hits sets were excellent in the past before playlsits where you could get all your favourite songs without the filler on one record or tape (We Sold Our Souls To Rock N Roll reviews always mention that!). Greatest Hits sets are excellent cheap starting points for newcomers to take a risk on a new band (I’ve done this dozens of times), or for casual fans who only want what they know anyway and don’t care about deep cuts and completionism (they do exist, as much as I can’t imagine living that way). Why stick them inside an expensive box clearly aimed at big fans though? What new fan would risk that much money on a maybe?

Maybe that’s just a little blind spot of mine. A strange bug bear of mine.

Box sets bring about a lot of strange opinions and habbits in me.

But hey…. ya gotta love em. Right?

Kingcrimsonprog Listening Habits 2017

Posted: December 21, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Uncategorized

(Source: LastFM.)

Part 1. Albums:albums 2albums 3

albums 4

Analysis: I am surprised I listened to Anthrax’s Vol. 8 more than either Edguy’s Theater Of Salvation or Anthrax’s new album.

I’m surprised Hardwired is the highest. I guess its two discs so that is more like half as much.

I thought Creeper was number one. Three. Pretty close. I thought Megadeth would be way higher. Higher than Anthrax definitely, roughly equal with Metallica. It felt like I listened to those three albums in equal doses, usually one after the other as a set. Apparently not as much as I imagined.

Trivium and Prong are doing incredibly well considering how recently I bought them.

I feel like Deicide should be on it and on it high. I feel like I listen to them really really often. I guess their albums only have like 6 songs each.

 

Part 2, Artists:

bands 1

bands 2

bands 3

 

Analysis:

…Aaaah. There’s Deicide. I guess overall is higher than an individual album would suggest.

Machine head so low? What the hell. Maybe that’s because their albums aren’t that many songs. Locust only has 8 songs for example.

Nirvana so high? I don’t remember listening to them much. I guess I read the Heavier Than Heaven book once this year and listened to them the whole time doing it. But that’s still higher than I thought.

Loving that Edguy made the top-5!

Artists 1 & 2 were exactly what I expected. I thought Creeper would be 3.

Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica much closer together in overall, than in the albums section.

Kingcrimsonprog Albums Of The Year 2017

Posted: December 18, 2017 by kingcrimsonprog in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I didn’t buy so many new-releases this year. I had my wedding this year so much of the year was spent saving for that. I also moved city to from a small furnished apartment to an unfurnished full house, so a lot of money was involved in that. In changing cities I also changed jobs and there was some time between the old job ending and the new job starting.

I’ve listened to plenty on streaming services, but for the purposes of this article only purchased albums are applicable. That’s why I’m not starting out from a giant list and whittling it down to a Top-20 or something big.

So; with that preamble out of the way, please enjoy, in context, Kingcrimsonprog’s Top 5 albums of 2017:

220px-Accepttheriseofchaoscdcover

5. Accept – The Rise Of Chaos

Since Tornillo joined the band everything this band did has been brilliant. My favourite is Stalingrad, and this isn’t just as perfect as that was, but its a damn fine edition of this new formula.

This band know how to make absolutely perfect classic Heavy Metal music. I love how this album is absolutely devoid of filler. The production, formula and vocals are all brilliant. I’m not even that old and I’ve spent the last few months singing ‘Analogue Man’ like a damn anthem!

 

220px-BlackCountryCommunionIV

4. Black Country Communion – IV

I’m a bit of a die-hard fanboy and if they’d put out a wet turd of an album it would probably still have pleased me in some way, especially with the anticipation for this after the break up and reunion.

Luckily I don’t need to try write a defensive apologist review of this. This is pure gold. Among their best work. Chock full of new classics. Not a song on it I wouldn’t want to hear on the next live album or greatest hits package.

Its been my car album for most of the time since it came out. Well done, BCC, that’s one hell of a comeback you’ve got there!

 

Kreator_-_Gods_of_Violence

3. Kreator – Gods Of Violence.

This was released all the way back in January but I hope that doesn’t stop it landing rightfully in people’s lists this year.

These guys just don’t know how to suck anymore, do they?

Since the year 2000 their discography has been absolutely amazing. Every album is album of the year stuff. They just constantly perform ridiculously well. The constantly write great memorable tunes. The incorporation of melodeath and power metal tinges into the blistering tetonic thrash has done them wonders.

This album is so good its better than any of their ’80s classics. Its better than most Thrash band’s output after 1992 at all. Its hard to believe how good this is when I grew up thinking all the best Thrash came out before 1991. This is crazily good stuff.

 

The_Sin_and_the_Sentence_album_cover

2. Trivium – The Sin And The Sentence.

A game changer, plain and simple. The undoubted best album of their career bar none. I haven’t stopped pasting this since it came out. Even my non-metal-fan wife knows the lyrics to ‘The Heart From Your Hate’ now, so much have I played this.

Everything about this album is great. The structures, riffs, crushing production, dazzling yet musical solos, best-ever vocals, verve and vigor filled performances. The drumming is the best on any of their albums ever. Its a real drummer’s album. One you can sink your teeth into.

I cannot say enough good things about this. This is a new benchmark for quality. It is the best metal album of the last two-three years. It is their The Blackening. If you haven’t heard it, get it!

 

1.220px-EternityInYourArms Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms.
This masterpiece was released in March and there is basically not a week since where I haven’t listened to it, not a day where I haven’t thought about it, and I have not heard any album since that I’ve felt was better than it.

A gripping mixture of all sorts of punk, pop and alternative rock styles from various decades mish-mashed together into a truly original and affecting record that feels cosy and familiar yet fresh and exciting.

Its odd structures, inventive patterns and utterly stunning vocals leave you feeling all warm inside after listening to it. The creative concept underpinning it all adds an extra layer of fun. The flow of the album is perfect.

I played songs from it at my wedding. I listened to it on repeat when driving for days on end back and forth dozens of times across the UK while moving house. I feel about it the way I feel about childhood favourites and all time classics in all the books and magazines.

Any time I felt bad this year, I’ve either played something jaunty of this, like ‘Suzanne’ to cheer me up, or else got down and somber with the excellent lyrics of the closer.

“Sometimes I feel like crying, and I know you feel it too, but life don’t seem as dark when I sing with you, oooh-oh-oh, I choose to live.”

Even all the shitty times in the hospital couldn’t ruin this one like they did Emperor Of Sand. This fun filled emotional roller coaster mixing misery, majesty and mischief is beyond negative association.

 

Where else are you going to hear something that starts off sounding like Cradle Of Filth, and ends up like Danzig covering Alkaline Trio? Where else are you going to hear it one the same album as a dark country tinged folk song and a furious bitter hardcore punk song?  All that amongst creamy almost saccharine, super catchy sweet melodies in oddly choppy songs that are absolutely unpredictable on first listen… this shit is the mad notes, as they say.

 


 

Honorable mentions:

Architects new song ‘Doomsday’ is absolutely stunning. It doesn’t count as its not a studio album.

Bullet For My Valentine and Slipknot’s new concert Blu Rays are great. They don’t count as they aren’t studio albums.