Friday, November 30, 2007

Music Review For The Weekend

Sorry it's been like 3 weeks I think I did not review on any albums. I do have a couple of reasons for that absence though.

1) I was waiting for Static-X Cannibal to release in Malaysia so I can buy it and get some reviews for it.
2) I didn't visit much on music stores to look for new CDs to purchase.
3) I was too busy with events and going outs till I really have no time to sit and evaluate songs.

I have to be honest, Every CD I listen to for review, I make sure I would give in all my concentration to evaluate the songs, 1 by 1. So by doing so, you would be able to really "Feel" the music and the song flows. It's a great experience. Some might know what I'm talking about while listening to a song, but unfortunately, some tone deaf people do have difficulty experiencing that.

So here goes....

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Alter Bridge - BlackBird

Tracks list:

1. Ties That Bind
2. Come To Life
3. Brand New Start
4. Buried Alive
5. Coming Home
6. Before Tomorrow Comes
7. Rise Today
8. Blackbird
9. One By One
10. Watch Over You
11. Break Me Down
12. White Knuckles
13. Wayward One

First, there was Creed then Scott Stapp and the other 3 members went on to form Alter Bridge. Alter Bridge's debut album "One Day Remains" was a very solid album, even better than Scott Stapp's solo album. Mark Tremonti had definitely made better use of his amazing guitar skills, and Myles Kennedy had a vocal range I haven't heard in years. Still, the album basically sounded like Creed with a new singer. 3 years later, the band has found themselves a new record label and new management, and have made the album they wanted to make.

"Blackbird" features 13 songs (15 if you get it at Best Buy). The band has made an album that truly brings back the spirit of rock n' roll, instead of adding to the pool of mainstream rock bands who make radio anthems. The first track "Ties That Bind" kicks things into gear with a fast and heavy verse and an epic chorus. "Come To Life" features a Korn-like guitar sound, which is certainly a new sound from these guys. This is definitely a darker, heavier band than we've seen before. Although it does feature a few radio-friendly tunes like the first single "Rise Today", overall this is more of a hard rock or metal album as opposed to a mainstream rock album. Mark Tremonti is the best guitarist to emerge in the last 10 years, and on this album he makes it obvious. Rather than playing the very polished, melodic and epic sounding riffs, his style is much grittier on this album, very Zakk Wylde esque. Brian Marshall (bass) and Scott Phillips (drums) keep it interesting as well, but obviously it's Mark's guitar work and Myles' singing that will leave you stunned.

I admit that Alter Bridge's first album sounded extremely like Creed, but they've completely dropped any similarities this time around. Rock & Roll is back, even if mainstream music doesn't give these guys the attention they deserve.

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HIM - Venus Doom

Tracks List:

1. Venus Doom
2. Love In Cold Blood
3. Passion's Killing Floor
4. The Kiss Of Dawn
5. Sleepwalking Past Hope
6. Dead Lover's Lane
7. Song Or Suicide
8. Bleed Well
9. Cyanide Sun

Ok, so let me get this straight(after reading reviews on this and previous HIM CDs): This band has 'sold out' because:

1)they are signed to an American label after 8 years as a band(with the 2005 'Dark Light' album) and you no longer have to pay 4x the price for one of their CDs as an import.
2)they are getting played on American radio.
3)they are the first band from Finland to go Gold in America or
4)all of the above?

I honestly don't understand the sell out remarks. All I know is that this band makes good interesting emotional music. So what's the problem? None, in my opinion. Well, just one: their CD booklets aren't that interesting. ha

I think the new CD is great. The biggest difference that I noticed compared to their previous 'sell out'(yes, sarcasm) Dark Light is that there are less keyboards on this new CD and -brace yourself- guitar solos! The riffs are memorable and Ville Valo sings in all the styles you would expect him to. None of the songs remind you of anything off of Dark Light. There's no real toe tappers on here like 'Rip Out The Wings of a Butterfly" and you really need to listen more intently with the new CD. I only wish there were more than 9 songs on it. Oddly, the 10-minute "Sleepwalking Past Hope" is the least interesting song on the CD to me.

I think anyone reviewing this CD needs to listen to it at least half a dozen times before any attempt at a review is made. Each HIM CD I buy I usually have to listen to over and over to really get into because this band sounds like no other band that I listen to and that makes for a truly unique band. You know instantly who it is even if you've never heard the song before. I like bands like that. If you like their other stuff, then this one will be no different in my opinion. If you like the single 'Kiss of Dawn' then that's all you really need to know in deciding to buy this CD. I was hoping for more keyboards after listening to it, because they have a really weird keyboard sound on all of their CDs, but it's still great. They toned down the haunted house/phantom of the opera type keyboards(as I call it) this time around. Maybe that's why everyone is saying 'sell out' cos they sound closer to a more traditional rock band. Nevertheless... great CD.


x said...

firstly i agree that mark is a really good guitar player, his solos are very melodic...i downloaded rise today but the quality sucks big time so i cannot really tell the song is all good or bad yet.

as for HIM and other finish love metal bands...i have only one complaint..their vocals all sound alike :S this HIM and Type O Negative macam adik and abang la ....

Calv said...

haha ya wor. but then somehow for HIM, the vocal kinda suits the music. Low and melodic. All the more makes the music with more of a sinister environment. But yea rammstein should be much better suited for sinister. wahaha

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