Tonight is lazy entry night.
I'm exhausted from the 12 hour shift I just finished, all the family has gone to bed and the only thing I actually feel like doing is sleeping for a month. Unfortunately I suffer from a complex disorder which distorts a great deal of my social interaction, and never really gives me any rest. The name of this complex disorder, which appears to be absent from the majority of most people I do have some kind of social interaction with, on one level or another.....guilt.
There, I said it.....I feel so much better having gotten that off my chest. I was beginning to think I was suffering some bizarre or un-diagnosed psychological condition. I was sitting on the bed with my trusty laptop just cruising around the internet, catching up on the latest gossip and news. Not even bothering with my usual blog or music sites. And then it hit me....I felt guilty that I hadn't updated my blog for a week and a half, since my last post, which was the review of the Make Them Suffer show that never was.
So, with Shape Of Despair blaring painfully loud inside my head I decided to jot down a few words, just to ease my feelings of guilt at not having posted anything, for a month (in internet terms a week and a half feels like a month anyway). And now that I've reached the point when I was going to say something profound or exquisite or esoteric, the thought of saying anything is just too much work.....oh, and Shape Of Despair has finished, and now I'm loving Swallow The Sun's "Doomed To Walk The Earth".....
You may have guessed by now I dig slow music more than fast music....
Maybe it's all down to the guilt....
Wednesday 3rd October
Tonight I can't be bothered.
I get out of the shower after my weekly basketball game, and sit down with my humble blog, fully intending to review some masterpiece I have stashed away on my hard drive since the beginning of the year. As soon as I get comfortable, I have to decide what album to review. Before I even open up the media player, the thought comes to my mind, most of the albums on said hard drive have been listened to a billion times in the past few months, and I really couldn't be bothered listening to them again.
So what do I do? I turn on the internet radio on my humble laptop and hope and pray that some decent metal comes out the other end. This is the problem I have with modern metal, and to a large extent music in general. Of the 90 minutes I've been listening, I've heard one song from a band I've never heard of which merited a search for their material on facebook or youtube, just to ensure I actually did heard a good song. the remaining 85 minutes have been a frustrating glimpse into the current state of our beloved metal scene.
I have some bad news.....
What I've heard so far may only be the radio station's moderator's best of, or he/she could have simply clicked the shuffle button. Either way, I'm not really convinced we have many discerning metal lovers doing their bit to ensure the proliferation of quality metal. I fear for the future of metal if the best we can produce is 80's thrash riffs played 100 times faster than the guy who wrote them, or meandering bloated pretentious "synth prog" riffs interspersed with a guy (or girl in some cases) who can neither sing nor scream/growl properly.
So far, mind you I'm still listening to the aforementioned internet station, I've had to sit through black metal with way too much noise to actually be effective, death metal with really boring riffs, doom/goth with terrible female (and male) singing and horrendous "classical" parts. The worst part has been when I suffered through a 2 minute solo that was one Kirk Hammett threw away 10 years ago.
Is it me or are the kids actually having a great deal of trouble creating original riffs and interesting melodies?
And before you say anything, I am a big fan of deathcore. To qualify that statement, I'm a big fan of quality deathcore. At this point I'm not thinking of, or even discussing, the big guns of the metal scene. Honestly I've never wanted to go to an arena show. I think they are the most over-rated, tacky and un-deserving types of live music. Festivals such as Donnington and Wacken will unfortunately fall into this category. Sorry guys. I am definitely a small club gig sorta guy. I won't apologise for that, there's plenty of fans around the world who will disagree with me. Maybe we can leave that topic for another day
My fear is for the next generation. What sort of legacy are we leaving them if the only metal we can produce is to rehash someone else's work that we found in dad's Metallica and Anthrax collection? Where are all the guitar legends for the next generation? Have they got their paycheck for the supergroup album they starred on last week and gone fishing? I have a very bad feeling that all the really good bands are hitting their prime right now, but the new bands who are meant to step up when these guys get old and boring just aren't cut out for it. Maybe it's too much Guitar Hero, or too many youtube videos, but there's not many awesome bands who will stand the test of time.
Maybe I'm wrong and the moderator of said internet station is a total knob with no ear for awesome metal...
Those kids exist as well...
Monday 1st October
I've decided to turn this section into my gripes page. This is where I get to yell at the top of my lungs a variety of contemplative pronouncements which will, in all likelihood polarize people away from or possibly closer to my side of the fence. I'm not fully convinced the latter is a good idea, but on we go...
To start off, as much as it really does hurt me to say this, My Dying Bride have become the epitome of cheese.
This is a term I quite commonly use for bands/music that, although well put together and obviously derived from talented musicians, has the consistency and flavor of aforementioned dairy product. You may have guessed I am not a fan of cheese. I enjoy it liberally with my pasta and salad, but by itself it is bland, hard to chew and sits very heavily on my stomach.
In this case, the same can be said for My Dying Bride's latest maudlin opus "A Map Of All Our Failures", and it really does hurt to even think that one of my all-time favorites of the doom/death/goth genre has sunk to the very place I never thought they could end up. On first listen, their intent is noble. To broaden the human perspective of our collective miseries and failings is certainly an ambitious one, and their desire to immerse us in their depraved and tortured consciousness is laudable.
My gripe stems from the seemingly widening gap between their attempts at tearing open the veil of this darker side of humanity and their musical/vocal inability to actually accomplish the task that they set themselves. Don't get me wrong, Aaron Stainthorpe and co are masterful musicians and consummate performers in their own inimitable way. I have the utmost respect for their pedigree in the doom/goth genre. The problem is their ability to write good doom metal either wasn't there to start with (Symphonaire.... was an ambitious first album) or Andrew and Hamish have gone so far down the gothic metal road they've dropped the compass and have just looked up to find themselves in VERY unfamiliar territory.
I have to point out that "Turn Loose The Swans" is my #1 MDB album. TLTS was such a mind-blowing excursion into the netherworld inside Aaron's head that I couldn't stop playing it for months. I was so hungry for the follow-up album, so sold on the the MDB concept. I suppose that was my mistake, thinking my world was going to get better with the next MDB release. It never did. Every album released since TLTS has let me down a little bit more every time that now everything is crystal clear.
I see the terrible truth.....
All this time I was following along on MDB's eclectic and dysfunctional musical adventure, looking where they looked, peering into each corner of the sordid world they were showing me. The pitch black yawning gap of the veil they had torn open and shredded decades ago is now only a memory. The only thing I see in my panorama is the compass they hold.
They are the gate-keepers, and I am the penitent traveler. I am a silent partner to their morbid curiosity as they dissect the terrible remains of my dissolving world......
What have I become???
Where am I???
Who am I???
Ah, that's better.
Must have been the cheese....
Some information you might find interesting about me and what I'm about...
As you might have guessed already, I REALLY dig my extreme music. I must admit I get really excited by discovering new and interesting music in all its unique incarnations. Unfortunately for the the rest of the world I don't have any time for 99% of the garbage that everyone else seems to enjoy.
I also have a deep spiritual connection to everything I do. That usually manifests as comments or posts, but it also is a standard I hope to maintain on this blog. Therefore, everything submitted for review on this blog will be evaluated through this lens.
Don't take it personally if your demo that you worked really hard on and spent hundreds of your own dollars on doesn't get a review. We will be posting quality music and artwork, regardless of the genre.
This spiritual lens also applies to any links or affiliations we may be approached to sponsor. Any sites which fail this litmus test will not be shared on this blog.
Please feel free to comment. I am not a fan of censorship of any kind as long as the rules are followed.