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Inmazes
Inmazes

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, original yet familiar and approachable Progressive music with a metal edge, March 15, 2015
This review is from: Inmazes (MP3 Music)
I love everything about this album. Hard to soft, crunchy to delicate, sweeping to precise. Just great music in the finest spirit of prog metal or even prog with an edge. Not derivative, with lots of original ideas, but respectful of everything that came before it. Just terrific

Never heard of these guys before I found them on bandcamp. Simply put, this is an awesome band with an awesome album here. Amusingly, the cover art caught my attention first, and interestingly enough, the entire production feels like the album art. Layered, thoughtful, a little harsh yet out there, very modern music, but it feels like an old shoe.

I did need to listen to it a few times before it started to sink in, so no, its not poppy at all, but rather for genre collectors who love progressive minded metal-ish, yet huge soundscape type music, this should be a bullseye. There's not much to complain about here.


VSTN ® Lenovo Tab S8-50 ultra-thin Smart Cover Case with Auto Sleep / Wake function, Only fit Lenovo Tab S8-50 (Blue)
VSTN ® Lenovo Tab S8-50 ultra-thin Smart Cover Case with Auto Sleep / Wake function, Only fit Lenovo Tab S8-50 (Blue)
Offered by Vostrostone
Price: $29.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than ideal, February 18, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not what I was hoping for. It fits ok, but it has a magnetic latch, which other have mentioned, basically destroys the tablets functionality.

Its also pretty think and stiff for a tablet case. But as


Turning Tides
Turning Tides
Price: $9.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal... Great progressive melodic metal, February 17, 2015
This review is from: Turning Tides (MP3 Music)
Surprised no one has bought or reviewed this one. This is a GREAT album, can't stop listening to it. I knew little about Malpractice before I stumbled across this album on Bandcamp. Now its become one of my favorites in recent memory of this type of music. Pagans Mind is probably my current favorite melodic progressive metal band in the world, and have seen them many times and own all their albums. I also loved older Enchant, especially the broad harmonies and grinding guitars.

Turns out, Malpractice, a Finnish metal band, has been around for longer than I've known, since 1996 it seems. I mentioned Pagans Mind and Enchant mostly because Malpractice hits the same chords (pun intended) in my brain. Vanden Plas, with their epic harmonies comes to mind, as does Threshold and IQ. Huge melodies, crunchy guitars, sweeping vocals, epic passages, giant songwriting and playing. Not much else to say, but if you like giant melodic, guitar driven progressive metal, with awesome vocals and writing, then give this one a try. These musical veterans certainly deserve our attention!!


III
III
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A mind bending, hardcore, symphonic musical extravaganza. Insane, February 8, 2015
This review is from: III (MP3 Music)
It had been suggested by another reviewer here on Amazon that Xerath III may be an interesting listen after Scar Symmetry's amazing 2014 release. I had NO idea what these guys were all about, but holy cow, now I do! I'm going to try and write a reasonably in depth review here, so maybe these guys will get some more attention from our fellow Amazon metal shoppers, from whom I learn every day about new bands and albums.

Xerath is a British progressive metal band...but that means nothing. These guys are completely out in their own orbit of these genres, and their compositional skill and musicianship is simply unlike 99% of everything out there now. I know people like comparisons to get their bearings around new music, so the best I can offer is Devin Townsend, blended with Immediate (yep, the movie music guys), with a dose of SikTh, seasoned with some older Kamelot, all spiked with some Periphery. Basically an insane combination that makes no sense. But works brilliantly here.

I have none of their earlier albums, so have no idea about their origins musically as Xerath. However, III stands on its own as an epic 70 odd minute collection of music to please metalheads. As I've stated in many of my reviews, I'm not a huge fan of growl/harsh/screamo vocals in most cases. They work as accent, and may add to potential storytelling here and there. It seems like there's another screaming angry metal band every day, and as it requires zero talent and produces little melody, most of these screamo bands blend together into bland noise (and this is coming from a hardcore metalhead of 30 years) Xerath has chosen harsh vocals as their predominant style, which in most cases would have made me stop listening at the first song of the album, but the music is so complex and layered, that I kept listening until I got to some absolutely soaring clean vocals, and then is started to fit together.

The album is enormous, and lasts a good long time. If you have the time to listen to the entire affair in one sitting, which most of us don't these days, you'll be pushed, pulled, beaten, serenaded, slapped, tickled and decapitated all in the course of the album. I was fortunate to be laying poolside when I finally had some time, and after the first run through, I immediately started it again! It was hard to even take it in with 2 listens, especially all the little nuances and tangents taken. Their are these bizarre syncopated connectors all over the place, mostly guitar but with numerous synthesizers as well. Huge soundscapes, some sinister, while some symphonic. There are some "songs" that could be standalone death metal songs that would be uninteresting by themselves, but when segued with the before and after, have context and poetic continuity.

I was simply blown away by this album. The first "half" is more traditional death/extreme metal style crunching and grinding, but the back half is sweeping and ambitious.... I liked the back half more. But the entire thing is just epic in a thousand different ways.

To get a feel for whether it might work for you, try and listen to Passenger in whole. It demonstrates the range of these guys, from writing and producing, to playing and singing. Its one of my favorites on the album, and may be one of the most approachable to start with. It also feels like the turning point between the two parts of the album from a musical style standpoint. All in all, this thing is just insane, and a fantastic effort for any broad tasted metalhead who likes all types of heavy/loud/complex/progressive/hardcore music. Go for it


Rollin
Rollin
DVD

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Cast, but cliche and overplayed storyline is tired, February 3, 2015
This review is from: Transparent (Amazon Instant Video)
Hollywoods fascination with the whole LGBT "outing" experience has been played out so many times in recent years, that there is no new ground broken with Transparent. In many cases I find, these types of shows have become completely self indulgent, and celebrate themselves more than their audience. In recent years, the entertainment industry has spent quite a bit of time trying to "teach" the audience about the LGBT experience, many times in a seriously condescending and preachy way. Transparent at least, respects the viewer's intellect, and just tells a story about a bunch of dimwitted people caught up in their menial and shallow lives end up turning to their sexuality to change their lives. To its credit, Transparents writers never preach, and don't insult the viewers intelligence, choosing to tell the story through pieces and parts.

I'll watch anything that Jeffrey Tambor is in. He's always just great in everything, just fantastic. He's great and fun and exploratory in Transparent. He has an honesty about how he behaves here that keeps his parts of the show really interesting. The rest of the cast is decent enough, but the other well worn part of the storyline is the super shallow "loser" Los Angeles children who never amount to anything in life. The 3 children, while competently played by the respective actors, are just barely interesting. Its not much different, coincidentally, than how shallow and idiotic the children are in Arrested Development (another of Tambor's shows), where his kids are just lost. In Transparent, they are spoiled, vapid, and devoid of life motivation, and therefore, the only think they can actually turn to, is sex.

Transparent is about sex, and only sex. This whole self indulgent "outing" experience, or peoples "searching for meaning" storyline is well worn and has been showed to us so many times, its just not really interesting. I certainly hope there aren't this many people in the world who have such empty lives. I watched the entire series, and will likely watch the next season when time permits, but I hope the writers add some ooomph to the story, rather than just all sex all the time.


The Human Paradox
The Human Paradox
Price: $8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nouveau mix of metal, synthpop, glam, electronica, January 24, 2015
This review is from: The Human Paradox (MP3 Music)
I stumbled over Blood Stain Child quite some time ago, and really loved their most recent album. The vocalist, Sophia Aslanidou, really lit up the album, which was also an awesome mix of metal and electronica. One day, I was perusing to see if they'd done a new record, and alas, Sophia left the band. So a little internet searching later, I discovered that she started her own project, called Season of Ghosts.

This new album is fantastic. Finely produced, with excellent players, Sophias powerful voice, catchy tunes, and a depth that lacks on a lot of current music. Its a mix of various types of music, but doesn't stray from being accessible to metalheads, especially those who like female fronted goth metal bands. But its not as trivial as many of those bands have become. Its a highly layered production with tons to listen to, but it doesn't take 20 listens to get into the music. There's this interesting undercurrent of Japan style synthpop, but its got a hard edge on it. Clearly influenced by Blood Stain Child and the like, which is never a bad thing

All in all, a very listenable album, that genre hops, but still stays in a zone of making sense.


Zion
Zion
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific album for progressive metalheads. Heavy, fast, crunchy, melodic, January 2, 2015
This review is from: Zion (MP3 Music)
I agree with the first review here. This is a fantastic album. Its my first exposure to Empyrios music. Like many Italian metal bands, they don't get much attention in the US. DGM is one of my ALL time favorite metal bands since I saw them perform at ProgPower a number of years ago, where they crushed it and made the festival. Then, there's Astra (italy astra), which is reminiscent of DGM stylistically, with soaring vocals, catchy tunes, radical playing, and great songwriting.

Now I'm exposed to Empyrios and I LIKE it!! And lo and behold, guitar virtuoso Simone Mularoni is the driving force behind both Empyrios and DGM. Twitchy keyboards take a prominent position in the musical lineup, which I'm a total sucker for, although I can't find any references to who plays these little connector riffs anywhere. DGM is spoiled with the insane Emanuele Casali, and I suspect that he sneaks some riffs in here as well, although I don't know that for sure. Mularoni is simply an over the top player on guitar, and excels in everything from the technical to the melodic, to speed and almost djenty thrash.

The vocals here are exceptional, even the harsh stuff, which in many cases I don't like. But here, it glides in and out effortlessly, almost like Breaking Benjamin in their mid career days. The harsh vocals are a condiment drizzled on the super guttural clean vocals on the record. It sounds natural and not cheap.

More people should know about these guys, especially if you drift towards more extreme technical guitar driven bands with soaring vocals. Definitely deserves a place in everyones library


Foundations Of Burden
Foundations Of Burden
Price: $8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just didn't do it for me..., January 2, 2015
This review is from: Foundations Of Burden (MP3 Music)
My fellow amazon metal heads will slaughter me for this, but what the heck. I tried, I really tried with this album. But alas, its so incredibly boring and whiny. At least, its not another generic growl/harsh/screamo anger production to take it down yet another notch.

I'm a fan of prog/sludge/doom for sure, but this is so conventional that my eyes rolled back in my head during my first listen through. I smelled hints of earliesh Mastodon here and there, which I do like, but absolutely nothing grabbed me during the entire duration of the album. No licks, no passages, no melodies, no technical masterful playing, nothing. There is absolutely nothing new here, it all feels highly derivative and almost unoriginal.

Yes, its heavy. Yes, its grindy. Yes, its doomy and yes its metal. And yes, to my ears at least its super dull and repetitive. While the players are highly competent with their instruments, their compositional skills did not produce something that spoke to my metal addiction at least. One final thought, is that the entire recording sounds recessed and compressed, which could indeed contribute to my lack of enthusiasm for this recording, so there is that at least.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2015 11:20 AM PDT


III
III

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mind bending, hardcore, symphonic musical extravaganza. Insane, December 31, 2014
This review is from: III (MP3 Music)
It had been suggested by another reviewer here on Amazon that Xerath III may be an interesting listen after Scar Symmetry's amazing 2014 release. I had NO idea what these guys were all about, but holy cow, now I do! I'm going to try and write a reasonably in depth review here, so maybe these guys will get some more attention from our fellow Amazon metal shoppers, from whom I learn every day about new bands and albums.

Xerath is a British progressive metal band...but that means nothing. These guys are completely out in their own orbit of these genres, and their compositional skill and musicianship is simply unlike 99% of everything out there now. I know people like comparisons to get their bearings around new music, so the best I can offer is Devin Townsend, blended with Immediate (yep, the movie music guys), with a dose of SikTh, seasoned with some older Kamelot, all spiked with some Periphery. Basically an insane combination that makes no sense. But works brilliantly here.

I have none of their earlier albums, so have no idea about their origins musically as Xerath. However, III stands on its own as an epic 70 odd minute collection of music to please metalheads. As I've stated in many of my reviews, I'm not a huge fan of growl/harsh/screamo vocals in most cases. They work as accent, and may add to potential storytelling here and there. It seems like there's another screaming angry metal band every day, and as it requires zero talent and produces little melody, most of these screamo bands blend together into bland noise (and this is coming from a hardcore metalhead of 30 years) Xerath has chosen harsh vocals as their predominant style, which in most cases would have made me stop listening at the first song of the album, but the music is so complex and layered, that I kept listening until I got to some absolutely soaring clean vocals, and then is started to fit together.

The album is enormous, and lasts a good long time. If you have the time to listen to the entire affair in one sitting, which most of us don't these days, you'll be pushed, pulled, beaten, serenaded, slapped, tickled and decapitated all in the course of the album. I was fortunate to be laying poolside when I finally had some time, and after the first run through, I immediately started it again! It was hard to even take it in with 2 listens, especially all the little nuances and tangents taken. Their are these bizarre syncopated connectors all over the place, mostly guitar but with numerous synthesizers as well. Huge soundscapes, some sinister, while some symphonic. There are some "songs" that could be standalone death metal songs that would be uninteresting by themselves, but when segued with the before and after, have context and poetic continuity.

I was simply blown away by this album. The first "half" is more traditional death/extreme metal style crunching and grinding, but the back half is sweeping and ambitious.... I liked the back half more. But the entire thing is just epic in a thousand different ways.

To get a feel for whether it might work for you, try and listen to Ironclad in whole. It demonstrates the range of these guys, from writing and producing, to playing and singing. Its one of my favorites on the album, and may be one of the most approachable to start with. It also feels like the turning point between the two parts of the album from a musical style standpoint. All in all, this thing is just insane, and a fantastic effort for any broad tasted metalhead who likes all types of heavy/loud/complex/progressive/hardcore music. Go for it


Lun
Lun
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS! One of the most creative, fresh, crossover releases of the year, December 21, 2014
This review is from: Lun (MP3 Music)
I don't even know how to describe Destiny Potato. I'm a genetically mutated prog-metalhead, and love all of it, even some of the now worn-out-harsh-angry-growl bands that are stuck in the past.

I can't get enough of musical bands though, where the music comes first, composition, ideas, freshness, progressive thinking, creativity and not observing the bland conformity that has infected metal and even progressive music in recent years (how many more metal bands can we have with the words Dragon/Dream/Evil/Force, etc in some combination that all sound alike)

But now we have this incredible effort from this little know Serbian band that just totally wreaks havoc on convention. Killer technical playing, mated with amazing breadth of writing, distorted djenty (not even sure this exists BTW) licks, sort of Scale the Summit tortured signatures, all fronted with an epicly sweet yet powerful female vocalist. All of this technical and creative prowess wrapped in a totally approachable and listenable to album, with nary a bad song. Satisfies all my musical proclivities...metal, technical playing that I cannot even imagine having the skill to do, amazing writing, super production, stylistic creativity, and non conventional thinking.

If you like the lunacy of bands like Diablo Swing Orchestra, Fair to Midland, Scale the Summit and other bands that blend tons of styles to create unpredictable results, you MUST listen to this band. I hereby order you to buy this record......


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