19 November 2017

2017 Round Up Review Part 13

Welcome to a roundup review!  Similar to the Round-Up posts I put up earlier in the year, I’m going to be posting some bullet point reviews, sort of akin to the one's that you get in magazines, short and to the point.  I complete my first one of these reviews around last Christmas, mainly due to the volume of albums that were still left to review at that time of year, the lack of time to review them all and this is happening for similar reasons. Basically, there is only so much time available to a one-man team, I cannot complete the full detailed blog that I usually post on here, as I need to work to feed myself, look after my lady and generally keep a roof over my head.  So, the list of albums that I want to review/promised to review,/need to review has grown beyond my control.  At any given moment, it tends to hit north of 100 with ease and going forward, I will need to get that down with these sorts of blogs.  Now, I will be breaking these roundups down into batches of ten, they will be minus the normal link to purchase of stream the albums (due to space) but you will be able to find these online very easily (legal links, remember - this is not that type of blog).  I will be using the same introduction to each of these blogs, if only to save more time.  Thanks for reading - Eddie.

Horrors – V

A modern take on the New Wave material originally made famous by Sir Gary Numan, V is a stunning album from the Southend-on-Sea natives.  I have not come across their work before, but I found V to be a hypnotic and brilliant record, one which gives a new take to a genre that can be handled with a little bit too much respect.  Songs like "It's A Good Life", "Ghost" and "Hologram" sound brilliant, with sweeping synths and a dark sense of the macabre.  One of the darkest synth gems to be released in 2017.

9 out of ten
Almost perfect, almost....

Top track
It's A Good Life

PigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigs – Feed the Rats

Released at the beginning of 2017, Feed the Rats by North-East of England band PigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigsPigs is something that must be heard to be believed.  If ever there was a prize for hidden gem of the year, this album would almost certainly on the shortlist.  Three tracks long and over thirty-five minutes long, Feed the Rats is a sludge/amplifier worship album that is designed to let you tune in and zone out.  It is a fantastic record; the production is huge, and it never gets old or boring.  Get this one now!

10 out of ten – This is proof there is a deity

Top track – Psychopomp

Robert Plant – Carry Fire

After the fantastic lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar, Carry Fire is something of a disappointment.  The traveller feeling of the previous has not been brought forward to the latter, instead it has been replaced by far too many ballads for my liking.  Don’t get me wrong, Robert Plant’s vocals still sound fantastic as ever, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing as well, especially when it comes to this record.

4 out of ten – Well, it is alright, but still.....

Top track – The May Queen

Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven

Thrice Woven might be the latest record from this group, but it does nothing to change my opinion of Black Metal legends, Wolves in the Throne Room.  Where others see genius, I see mediocrity and Thrice Woven continues that path of dull Black Metal for me sadly.  I applaud the fact that they have an organic background, I appreciate that they brought Black Metal back to the table for a lot of people, but I still find them dull.  You’re not going to like everything you hear in life, something just don’t align with your way of thinking, but this is not it for me.

2 out of ten – If only there was some quality control

Top track – Angrboda

Suffocation – ……. Of the Dark Light

Death metal legends Suffocation returned earlier this year with ……. Of the Dark Light, their first album since their 2013 Pinnacle of Bedlam.  There are no surprises here, you rarely get those with technical death metal, but you do have some sick cuts on this one, solos that sound like the rally calls of the damned and it sounds so good! 

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Clarity Through Deprivation

Alice Cooper – Paranormal

In the days where rock legends are sadly going behind the curtain invisible, there is a comfort to be found within a new album from a legendary star.  There is nothing on Paranormal that you have not heard before from Alice Cooper, the most amazing fact about this album is that Alice is still with us to be honest.  However, Paranormal is a great classic rock record, there is something comforting that his sound has returned to that classic sound that made his name.  This is essentially for the fans ony, but that is never a bad thing when it comes to Alice.

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Paranoiac Personality

Fever Ray – Plunge

Plunge is an album that comes eight years after Fever Ray, the debut release under the Fever Ray name by Swedish singer, Karin Elisabeth Dreijer.  It has been a long time coming, some might even say too long.  For me, I am happy that it has been released at all, at one point I was sure that Fever Ray was just going to be a one-off release.  Plunge is a worthy successor, a great follow up and as dark a piece of electronica as you will find.  Its political messages, the way it deals with sexuality and the aggressive nature of the album are hard to ignore.  It is an album that is hard to ignore, but it’s also one that can only be approached from one direction.  I like it, I respect it, but much like the latest LCD Soundsystem, I don’t love it.

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out.

Top track – As Part of Us (Feat. Tami T)

Galactic Empire – Galactic Empire

A metal Star Wars album, that is right – this is an album of songs from the Star Wars series, which have been re-created as metal versions.  I am sure this has been done before, it will probably be done again. This is a novelty release at best, with limited appeal and whilst I cannot fault the players, I have a feeling this will only ever come out during a Star Wars themed night at your local rock bar.

4 out of ten – It's alright, but still.....

Top track – The Imperial March

Neck Deep – The Peace and the Panic

The Peace and the Panic is a standard Pop Punk release, songs about broken hearts, the strains of life and all done within a restricted timescale.  Whilst Neck Deep are making headlines for their live shows, this album sort of feels a little too worn, even when it’s brand new.  This is a decent sounding record, but it has a bit if a generic feeling to be honest.  Nothing amazing, but not bad either.

6 out of ten – Now I see where you were going, but it is not quite there.

Top track – Critical Mistake

Paradise Lost – Medusa

As Paradise Lost get older, they seem to be returning to their old ways.  Medusa retreats further to their doom roots, sounding as if the funeral is in full flow with the skies as black as thunder.  This is both a good thing and a bad thing; going back towards that earlier sound (in some peoples’ eyes) could be viewed as retreat, an admission of failure.  However, when it sounds as good as this, who really gives a fuck!  Paradise Lost are doing what they do best, massive doom metal songs which sound best when they are played as loud as possible.  Granted, it is not their most instance record, but the most you listen, the more reward it becomes.

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost.....

Top track – Blood & Chaos

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