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User reviews

User reviews
December 24, 2007, 06:43:06 AM
Graveland - Raiders of Revenge (Alexis)

The old black metal sound from Graveland meets medieval war-hymns with well-balanced ambiental base-structure. Honor introduces this album with music evoking (Polish) nationalism and national pride in opposition to the liberal sell-out that sprung from the virus of Christianity. Mediocre, but well performed considering what it tries to achieve, Honor's music is therefore a worthy introduction to the three songs from Graveland that follow.

In an attempt to use National Socialism and Pagan pride as a way to oppose Communism, Judeo-Christianity and other ideologies of normalising "freedom" and "peace" - this split is a nail in the eye to all the politically correct groups - including liberal "metal heads", parasitical politicians and religions creating the very Hell they so bitterly preach about in houses built on Pagan holy ground. As such, "Raiders of Revenge" lives up to its name as a fire of destruction and musical brilliance in black metal craftswork - a blend between dark organic parts and the subtle medievalness reborn through Darken's use of clashing swords and axes throughout this journey into the land of the brave spirits.

Perhaps one of the most profound works coming out from Graveland ever. - Alexis

Re: User reviews
December 26, 2007, 02:48:20 PM
Klaus Schulze - Moondawn - Alexis

Re-issue 2005. Originally released in 1976.

A travel through an esoteric space of both organic and unorganic worlds only present in competent ambient soundscapes. Unlike projects like Neptune Towers, "Moondawn" starts with a beginning and ends with an ending - there is a "takeoff" present to establish a certain mood within the mind of the listener, opposed to immediate space exploration.  

Low volumed background layers of ambience inserts the feeling of hearing meteors, fallen and born stars and wishes from a cosmos that will never end. It is this focus on the eternal, yet the actual situation present, that force the listener into an isolated experience beyond the Earthly life.  

Like a silent night under heavy rain, or watching a beautiful woman under the rays of a bleak and cold full moon, the last song reflects over the intense experience from the previous song. Time of peace, wondering and afterthoughts are therefore lingering in the air, giving an overall idea of a certain balance found in this album that many times is missing in other ambient works of droning and soundscaping.

The constant melodic entrancement of stars dancing in a loop far from this world and into another, is by no means centralized, as Klaus Schulze has chosen to integrate underlying waves of drawn-out sounds, similar to watch a green field of grass grow, only to have children playing football on it. Life on life is what is ringing in the ears of this listener after a meeting with the dawn of - not only time - but with memories of the past and wishes for the future.  

In two words; hypnotizing and lasting. Very profound.

Re: User reviews
December 26, 2007, 03:28:08 PM
Dead Can Dance - A Serpent's Egg - Alexis

A travel into the mystic world of the medieval orient is the ticket offered by this groundbreaking duo consisting of Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry.

Organs deciding a general ambient undertone begins this album, while Lisa's voice provides with an emotional and timeless beginning, leaning towards the suffering, but at the same time upholding the reactionary opposite. Continuing on this journey, voices of different tone heights co-work and thereby conclude an ultimately interesting piece of medieval spirit rarely found in other artists of similar interest.

Brendan, although in many ways fond of the positive and optimistic, surges forward with a calm exclamation of the fatal individualism that splits and sever the ties that create a strong and unified people. His recognition of this in "Severance" is clear and profound, and it is not without a sprinkle of sadness that this song ends with an emotional violin as a reaction to the problem.

However, it is Lisa's performance that mostly impresses this listener - as in songs like "The writing on my father's hand", where total sorrow and hopelessness is uphold and taken to its emotional extreme - without losing its musical honesty and integrity. The melody played by a harp in the background leaves room for only a small gap of echo, which seems to suggest a closed and distant room in the tower of a castle, where feelings and wishes are repressed - both physically and mentally.

No more than for how long such a feeling may last in the mind of the observer, Brendan immediately presents a reactionary piece where the current ignorance is replaced by tolerance and an opened mind, freed from the sins imposed by those with God but without eyes to see the beauty of life. These feelings and counter-feelings are one of the things that gives this album a balanced picture and leave it more in the space of dynamic change, rather than linear thinking.

Further, it seems like the album itself unconsciously is divided into two separate chapters; one of suppression and reflection, and one of spiritual enlargement and celebration. Songs like "Mother Tongue" affirms this idea, as the album suddenly takes a different turn; multiple layers of rhythmic drumming, sounding similar to bells of crystal ice blowing in the wind, seducing, mystic and monotone ambient tones wave the sounds into a blurry vision of a forest undergoing a magical change - all of this is later into the song accompanied by the sound of a secret waterfall somewhere deep into the mouth of Mother Nature.

Conclusion-wise, "The Serpent's Egg" ends with a hopeful and optimistic vision of the future, something which probably should be seen as the overall underlying motivation behind this album, where the pieces of sorrow and pain only are there to strengthen the message of problems addressed. The sadness described stems from the negative forces built upon during medieval times - where the situations are played out - but the effects of these are in this musical piece concentrated on in modern time of living.  

What makes "The Serpent's Egg" so beautiful - apart from the well arranged musical structure and use of strings and ambience, is its profound and honest aesthetic, as well as its way of handling with emotive situations, historical past and philosophical future. While Lisa focuses on scrutinized sorrow, pain and spiritual mystique, Brendan thereafter lifts the mood up by addressing the ignorance inflicted upon the modern soul, and instead announce a new way of living - a new life, where the past is unified by future.

Re: User reviews
December 26, 2007, 03:52:42 PM
Jordi Savall - the Medieval Fiddle - Alexis

Memories from a time now lost, echoes throughout this highly emotive music. Folk songs of epic scale are painted up on canvas of medieval spirit. Jordi Savall manages with great feeling to evoke ancient culture and the individual's way of dealing with existential issues that always have plagued humanity.

These special moments of lament and awe are expressed through a cold and empty room, where the silence in between the occasional percussion reflect this. As such, "the Medieval Fiddle" is a very isolated experience. Melodies coming from the soft fiddle are often reoccuring throughout the songs as main themes, and in this way try to establish a general mood, where the high and low volume points of the fiddle determine the current emotional state. However, now and then Jordi continues to build on the basic melody in order to strive away from the original concept theme, and it is here the music feels the most profound and entrancing.

Fans of Dead Can Dance will experience this album as authentic and inspiring, as they will notice the beginning of "Saltarello" from a classic DCD album. Where many songs are filled with sorrow and contemplation, others celebrate the virtues of rich folk culture. The tense moments built up in songs like "Ritual" and "Dansa de les espases" most oftenly depend on the perfect balance between the fiddle and the dark sounds of tribal drums that form the basic rythm throughout this piece.

While musically it may not be able to compete with the more advanced structure of compositions found in medievalist bands like Dead Can Dance, Jordi Savall's "the Medieval Fiddle" still remains highly emotional, authentic and honest about what it tries to present. This is as close as you can come to the expression of a lonely and aspiring individual, both engaging wildly in cultural bonds, and experiencing the gloomy sides of a life that in this age stood between poverty and happiness.

Re: User reviews
December 26, 2007, 03:56:31 PM
House Of Usher - On the Very Verge - Cody Thunder

Fast and terrifyingly violent, fused from the alienated self-contrast of thrash and the accelerating rhythms of extreme speed and black metal, moving its rhythms from the abrupt to the contiguous at the same time it migrates its harmony from the dissonant to a centering of the harmonic unevenness that permits slightly displaced, resonant melodies across varied structures. The enlightened use of blasting and driving technical structures featuring tempo-driving offbeat double-hit drumming and the incorporation of structure behind the melody using dissonant chords provides a range of data types for theme, which built around central ideals is distributed chaotically although cautiously through varied renderings such as flutterstrum guitar melody behind a charging lead line and subtle harmonies anchoring layers throughout the work, fuels themes of conflict between a stagnation with the sense of conflict with world itself and the desire to discover more of the faint coherence emerging through the chaos. Nearly mystical in its hypnotic surging of rhythm and disturbingly abrupt shaping of sound, this album gains its technicality from the adept rhythmic changes and precision it employs, fashioning its own earful from power chords and forthright fretboard patterns under muffled strum. Cadenced to the motion of human beings in times of war or great need, the rhythms carrying melodic progression in the shifting layers of riffage that compose these hymns of violence are distinct in hook and architecture, and open a world of possible lexicon in texture and shape that has yet to be fully explored.


Re: User reviews
December 26, 2007, 06:50:18 PM
Maybe these should be added to the site reviews, setup sort of like the way amazon and similar websites do it. Not sure if they should be automatically added like that, but you could use such a system but screen the reviews before they're posted.