When I said Flesh Field was the only techno CD I owned, I lied. The Tempest 2000 soundtrack came with my Atari Jaguar CD add-on. It features improved music from the game of the same name, for the Jaguar. I basically have it here because it's one of about ten thousand that exist on this planet, and to fill up space because I don't have many CD's T-Z. VERY authentic, sure to be worth nothing one day. That's why I have two of them. Anyway the music on it is a sort of plain-type of techno, which I believe to be true for nearly all of that type of music. It focuses mainly on sound, has few words here and there, and is worth listening to a few times. The last song, 'The 2000 Dub' I had actually recorded on tape a while back (I was still in high school), and if people were in my car while it was playing, I'd get asked who it was. Apparently it's liked more than what I normally listen to, which I get asked if I can turn it down.|
Playing Time: 63:45 Tracks: 12 Favorite: 1, 2, 7, 11, 12
The most depressing album that Testament came out with, The Ritual is the last to feature guitarist Alex Skolnick. There's guitar solos aplenty, most of them slow. Also it contains the (arguably) classic song, Return to Serenity, which was my favorite song for about 8 months. A guy I met at Fort Bragg, Orneleus I think his name was, said that that song was the story of his life. I remember going through Airborne school, scared spitless, and listening to that song would calm me down. I thrived on it. Anyway, like most Testament CDs it has really good songs, and really bad songs. And many in between. This CD is the first one from them that I can actually listen to most of. The production takes a jump up from their first four (as this is the fifth), sounding clearer and smoother. Vocals are less monotone, but still noticeably so. There is a constant acoustic sound to them that I don't care for, but they're clean so it's possible for the common listener to like it.
Playing Time: 54:34 Tracks: 11 Favorite: 1, 2, 5, 7, 10
Tony Platt/Atlantic Records
"I'm gonna take you to a place far from here. No one will see us, Watch the pain as it disappears. No Time for anger, no time for despair. Wont you come with me, there's room for us there. The innocent beauty, My words can't describe, This rebirth to purity, Brings a sullen tear right to your eye."
Low is probably the best sounding album Testament came out with. It's easy to tell it's very commercialized, from the full color lyric book, to the Dave McKean-ish art on the front and back of the case, and of course to the general sound. I guess they needed something to make up for the loss of three members, and the two new ones to take their place. Just the original guitarist and vocalist remain. There is a little bit of experimentation going on. This is the CD where Chuck Billy (singer) starts bringing out his unique 'Death Metal' voice. I don't particularly care for it, as it sounds like a deep hoarse whisper. But anyway some people consider it their favorite album, and others consider it a betrayal to what Testament was before, and never bought their later ones. I have mixed feelings about it. It seems..I don't know... Strange analogy, but here goes... It seems like a Pepsi, where the older albums were Coca-Cola. The music is same amount of good, but it seems that the older stuff was made with...love? There are some good guitar solos, plenty of them in fact. This was their last mainstream sounding work.
Playing Time: 47:19 Tracks: 12 Favorite: 3, 4, 9
GG Garth/Atlantic Records
"See the sun as the day is done, Life is of the broken ones, Some will stray as time will come, All their lives, they will live it well, Red man proud and giving hell, Some stand and shining tall... Can you hear them call?"
It starts out with some kind of acoustic guitar/violin ditty that sounds almost classical and then 8 seconds into it, it breaks in with some of the hardest drumming I've yet to hear. The Gathering is right up in the ranks of Withered Beauty and Pantera: Far Beyond Driven as far as heaviness goes. It's unbelievable when I think about what Testament used to be. This CD can actually be considered Death Metal. I find it amazing that it's actually good, which is rare for a band to go through such a transition as this one, and still pump out something that is worth listening to. The vocalist goes from the loud harsh whisper to sort of a rough singing that sort of sounds like what he used to... The music is VERY fast paced, and of course heavy. There are now five members, I don't even remember their names... But the original guitarist is still sticking it through, and everybody else has gone and been replaced... A notable mention is the new drummer, Dave Lombardo. It's okay if you don't recognize the name. I wouldn't either except the (soon to be popular) PFC Mangano I knew in AIT said that Davey was the drummer for Slayer. Again the music is good. Even original. There are some annoying parts where he says the same thing at the same part in a repeating melody, (I haven't listened to it in a while... hold on... Three Days of Darkness, the fifth track. In there there's a part where the lyrics rhyme too much. I know that's a pretty anal thing to pick on...). Well, in any case this is an awesome CD. One of my favorite, but I don't listen to it much for some reason... I'm listening to it now if it's any consolation :).
Playing Time: 42:44 Tracks: 11 favorite: 1, 3, 5, 8
Andy Sneap/Spitfire Records
"Melting ice beneath the waves, frozen ice sheets slowly start to break away, another cycle has begun, the ice is flowing, the meltdown has begun, fall of siple dome, the core reveals the past, of a world once lost, shifting ice plates below, without warning..."
Yet another band I found out about through a compilation CD. The song, Lorelei, was on (I think) Century Media's "Identity Five". I remember (story time? Why not?) being on 'Rail guard' back at my old unit. I had just gotten my new car, and put $300 speakers in the front... MB Quart brand, for those that care... And bought a bunch of new CD's plus the Identity one... Well on this rail guard there was a lot of people, twelve in total, to pull shifts thoughout the night from 5 PM to 8 AM. Basically if we weren't walking around like idiots with our helmets on looking for thieves or bombs, we were sitting in our cars or each other's cars. Since I was recently temporarily attached to 82nd, I didn't know anybody so I stayed in my own car listening to these new CDs. Well, all of them were crap except for the one. Something I noticed about Lorelei, while half asleep was that the song seemed to be like waves on a beach breaking the shore. One melody would fade in, to be followed by another instrument, to be followed by something else, (and the first one is fading away now), to be followed by vocals, to be followed by another instrument... And so on. I liked it so much that I went straight to Musik Hut when it opened at 10 o'clock (I was very tired) and spent yet another fifteen dollars on Aegis. Well, aside from that one song the CD is pretty bland for my tastes. There are two main vocalists, one male and one female (very nice). This band used to be a Gothic/Death metal band but decided to change their image with this particular CD. I like this one better than their first two, and a hell of a lot better than their next one (some sort of a crappy techno kid-like CD... only four members involved), so this is the only one I'm reviewing. Seven people make up the band... Neither over extending themselves with a second task (such as singer/guitarist or keyboard player). There's violin, keyboard, and piano adding to the traditional metal combo... But it's not metal... I don't know what it is... I guess Gothic... But I don't really know what Gothic is... It's very nice sounding, very melodic, but unfortunately for me very repetitious. I was just listening to it earlier today... I think that's why I've said more about it than any other CD in this review section :P   .
Playing Time: 49:57 Tracks: 8 Favorite: 1, 2, 6, 7
Only because someone with loud head phones was near me while in the field in Ft. Stewart, GA I found out about Therion. I don't know what song or even CD he was listening to, but it sounded like it could be good. I asked him who it was (once he was done listening to it), and he said Therion. I had to have it repeated to me a number of times, because he was a light speaking fellow, and that word is not exactly 'sharp' sounding. Now that I remember, it was through him that I found out about Musik Hut. Because that's where he bought the CD. So I went to this magical store and saw a massive collection of Therion's music. I picked the newest looking one (at the time) and bought it... And of course I was impressed to see At the Gates on the shelf there. I brought it to the barracks and listened to it (I don't think I had a CD player in my car at the time, probably still had my Celica), and LOVED it. It was so different from anything else I had ever heard. It's best described as a 'Classical Rock'. Not Classic Rock, mind you. There are about 12 vocalists and 3 violins and one cello player, plus three drummers. And then there's four bassist/guitarists. You figure out what it sounds like. There's some good stuff on this CD. My only complaint is that the vocals don't really match the music. Each sounds good on their own, but when put together doesn't seem to sound... 'right'. Unfortunately I wasted a lot of money buying Therion's previous five CD's, plus their next two. All have at least one good part in a song... But not good enough to hook my interest to continue following their progress.
Playing Time: 55:15 Tracks: 11 Favorite: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10
Sigfried Bemm/Nuclear Blast
"Dark horizons come close to me and magick will be my key, I will travel through the gate, to the finder of my fate, Nox. The night and key I will open up your old mystery, Key of night, OPEN UP!"
I first heard the songs from this CD from a video game. That game was called Way of the Warrior, a bloody fighting game a la Mortal Kombat. It actually fit very well into the game. To listen to the music, I actually went as far as fabricating a wire from two sets of headphones to connect from the headphone port to a microphone port on my stereo, so that I could record it on tape. That sounded so bad, that I saved up my money (I was making $3.50 an hour at the time, and had a hefty video game habit to attend to as well as car insurance) and bought the CD. It's got a couple of classics on there, one of which is Black Sunshine. Every song sounds the same, which is bad, because I can only listen to two or three songs and I'm done. The word 'Yeah' takes up about 50% of the lyrics. There's a few wacky stuffs on here, with excerpts from horror movies and anime cartoons, etc, as well as crazy, cult-ish pictures in the lyrics sheet, which by the way is probably the most Satanic lyric sheet I own. Yes that's right. White Zombie makes devil music.
Playing Time: 57:41 Tracks: 14 Favorite: 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13 (after first 30 secs)
Andy Wallace/Geffen Records
"Gripping the wheel his knuckles went white with desire - The wheels of his Mustang exploding on the highway like a slug from a .45. True Death: 400 horsepower of maximum performance piercing the night - This is Black Sunshine."
Ahhh.... One of the first CD's I bought. After Pantera, White Zombie was my favorite
band at a time. I first bought it at Wal-Mart, jumping on the low low price of it. Little
did I know, that there was no Parental Advisory sticker on it. So it was edited, big deal.
Unfortunately when I first listened to it, the music wasn't radio-edited, the bad words were
simply cut out, so it sounded like the CD was skipping. And the CD skipped a lot>. The
music is sort of a dancy, metal type stuff. It really can't be described. There's so many
different things happening, that it's hard to realize that it's music that your listening to.
My first time with it, I thought it was just a bunch of noise, until I managed to get the song
Electric Head stuck in my... head. And then there's More Human Than Human, everybodys
favorite, which was overplayed on the radio in Fayetteville, but after not hearing it for a
year or so it's very good. Of course there's a few annoying parts. When I was into recording
CD's on tapes I edited a lot of repitition out of it. Maybe that's why I like the CD more than
you did... :)|
Playing Time: 52:08 Tracks: 11 Favorite:1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 11
Terry Date/Geffen Records
"The siren sings a lonely song.. of all the wants and hungers. The lust of love a brute desire - The ledge of life goes under - Divide the dream into the flesh, kaleidoscope and candle eyes - Empty winds scrape on the soul, but never stop to realize..."
This was probably the hardest CD to acquire than I have ever tried to acquire. I first found out
about Withered Beauty from a demo song that was on Nuclear Blast's ten year anniversary box set.
The only store that was capable of ordering it for me was Musik Hut. And it took several months to
get it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. The music is extremely heavy and fast and complex.
It's hard to believe that it's just three guys doing it. The vocals have three main styles.. Mainly
because all three participate in it. One is the classic Death kind, another is sort of a Swedish Death
/Black type which I've familiarized myself so much with. And the last is what I think makes Withered
stand out from all others, having a clean sort of choir-type sound. I don't know quite how to describe
it... Not boyish, but very nice sounding, I guess. Everywhere where they use it, it actually enhances
the music. Enough about that... When I first listened to it, I felt it wasn't very good. It had too
much growling and not enough music. Of course there were parts of Lies, and The Worm, and Dying Alone
that I really liked, so I listened to it a couple more go-rounds. And the more I listened, the more I
saw in it. The crazy drumming actually had a pattern to it. The little guitar ditties actually had a
place in the songs. Everything seemed to have been planned out meticulously from song to song. Of
course there were some things I didn't like, like the very repetitive, but nice sounding He Who comes
With the Dawn (which I believe may be based off of the series of books - The Wheel of Time),
and the tuneless Twighlight Dreaming , but I have a CD-R, so that's easily fixed. I don't
quite know what happened to the band. I know the CD can't be ordered off of Nuclear Blast directly.
I know that you'll never find it in a store (not an American one at least). All the fansites and
official webpages haven't been updated in years. I read something a time ago about a disagreement
between them and Nuclear Blast, and then a break up and a reformation... But I can't find it now and
don't quite remember what it was.|
Playing Time: 53:32 Tracks:10 Favorite:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
Peter Tägtgren/Nuclear Blast
"Crawling below, striving forever, The sky with its shine or blackness, It will be mine, yes, I will reach it, As I'm heading for the sky in my dreams, My journey brings me deeper, deeper, Only my will to crawl keeps me alive, Pointless existence, guided by instincts, Feeding others with myself, If I had wings, the wind would take me there, If I had a mind, my dreams would be destroyed, I travelled far away,I will never stop."
This is undoubtedly one of the weirdest CD's I own. Not quite Ambient Techno, not quite Rock.
It is some kind of mix though, that is unlike anything I have heard before, and probably wont hear in
the future. There is not a good reason why for this, as it's not bad at all. The guy can't sing, but
neither can 90% of the guys you hear on the radio. It sounds good. The CD cover (not pictured.. the
case wasn't clear, but solid white, with gold writing), and enclosed lyric book art match the music
to a tee. Makes you think you're flying. Really. It does. I found out about them initially from
a compilation, Metallurgy 2 (whichever one had Kyuss and The Nefelim on it), I think where the featured
song was Kissing The Sun. I didn't like most of that compilation, but went looking for the bands CD's
in the stores around my house (Kenner, LA) just because I needed more music and didn't know what I liked.
Well, I only found one by the Young Gods, and I picked it up, not quite knowing what I would think of it,
or what I actually did when finally listening to it. As a matter of fact, I still don't know what to think
of it. I have another of their CD's. Called Heaven Deconstruction.. Purely experimental. A bunch of
sounds, and very little music. It says 'Made in Switzerland' on the back of it.|
Playing Time: 57:59 Tracks: 10 Favorite: 2, 3, 6
Roli Mossimann/Interscope Records
"I hear the moon, the witness, I hear the hands that caress The head of hte Sleeper, and as the night evanesces The distand siren madness.. Speed of Night, Speed of Night; I hear the whale underground carrying people around, The city's maze, oh whale your journey is long; take us where we belong"