I got Karajan's Ring cycle almost ten years ago as a birthday present, and it's one of my favorite collections of music to listen to, but I can't really pretend to be a Wagner scholar. My only other Wagner recording is this Tristan und Isolde
, which I also really like (it's got Fischer-Dieskau singing and Furtwängler conducting, how could I not?). This
recording of Parsifal
is on iTunes for five bucks; might be worth downloading the program just for that, since it's like four hours of music and by all accounts appears to be a good recording. I just downloaded it myself, and I'm looking forward to giving it a spin when Asphyx's Embrace the Death
It seems to be an unfortunate tendency of good bands to have a few turds hanging off the end of their discography. I was just thinking about this while listening to Deströyer 666 today. If they had just dropped off the face of the Earth completely after 2003 (which they appeared to have done until 2009), they would be remembered as one of the few elite quality black metal bands, but now, they're just kind of this boring black/thrash/whatever combo. You go to their shows hoping to hear their classics, but you have to suffer through their new shit while you're at it. The same goes for Absu, Asphyx, Grave, and countless others. Luckily, there's bands like Summoning and the aforementioned Graveland that keep it real throughout their whole discography. One really cool band is Saint Vitus: they put out a real stinker with C.O.D.
, but they came strong with Die Healing
and (after a massive hiatus) Lillie: F-65
, both of which were faithful to their back catalog, but also built on their past in a substantial way. Are there any other bands that have made a "comeback" like this? Only one I can think of is Deeds of Flesh after their first album, but they fell back down the shit-slide with their more recent stuff.