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Reviews Written by
E. Roberts "ia" RSS Feed (Canton, MI United States)
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Genevieve
Genevieve
7 used & new from $5.45

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars album of the year, October 8, 2005
This review is from: Genevieve (Audio CD)
Velvet Cacoon play their own unique brand of black metal influenced music. The music is usually fast and hypnotic backed by drums that move like a racing heartbeat. When it isn't going fast, the music slows down to a sigh and ventures into clear channel bliss like the speed of fog(it can get slow which is good). The production sounds like it was recorded in a giant tank of water. It has a really clean, aquatic sound. I haven't heard a band that really sounds like this, though I think Filosefum era Burzum is somewhat similar in style they are two different bands. I strongly suggest you pick this up if you are into black metal like Burzum or Drudkh and even if you aren't.


Aqua Necromancer
Aqua Necromancer
5 used & new from $11.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars merzbow and peopl, June 1, 2005
This review is from: Aqua Necromancer (Audio CD)
Well after having bought several Merzbow albums and having given each of them plenty of enjoyed listens I've come to the conclusion that Merzbow does not make noise but soundscapes. Or maybe soundscapes out of noise, whatever. The main point is that he doesn't make the same album over and over again. Each album I own of his has it's own personality and sound. This one seems to focus on prog rock sounds interacting with psychedlic waves of noise. It works surprisingly well.

Here's album:

Aqua Necromancer- whooshing noise sound fx in an organic fashion mixed with some catchy drum beats(from prog rock albums I hear). When I first heard this track, it was my favorite of his next to Ananga-Ranga from Venereology. But then I heard...

Contrapuntti Indian- Probably the nicest thing I ever heard. Loops of melodic guitar and wah solos weaving in and out of a wash of noise.

Soft Drums- lots of prog drum fill loops, a rather manic track with the usual slice of noise.

Contrapuntti Patto- same formula, this time with Keyboard and drum samples. Works great, lots of noise cutting in and out of the sound, well played though not one of my favorite tracks.

Farsa Del Buen Vivir- a looped drum beat that is immediately catchy. I think rap artists would find this a nice thing to sample, but then Akita starts in with what sounds like a noise solo. Very interesting... and under 4 minutes! Pretty accessible for Merzbow.

One of his better works. It gets a lot of regular replay with me, recommended. I'd suggest looking for a more decent price than what amazon has it listed for($44?). I got mine off ebay for under $10.


Carnage
Carnage
21 used & new from $1.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars holy crap, May 24, 2005
This review is from: Carnage (Audio CD)
these guys don't mess around. dirty, raw, pissed, mythologically based themes, a real character of a vocalist. Like a cross between Cronos over the top evil approach, Araya's shout etc., and Tom Warrior's guttural stuff. It's great to hear a metal band with a vocalist I really like, the guy's got persona going here.

The music is metal. That's about the best way to put it, I suppose. It's got some blastbeats, sludge, thrashing rhythms, etc. A nice spread of song writing, though I wish there were more tracks like 'The Wolf'. It rules.

Anyways, I recommend it. Not the worst thing you could do.


Filosofem
Filosofem
5 used & new from $29.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars production?, April 20, 2005
This review is from: Filosofem (Audio CD)
A guy complained about the production ruining the music. I don't think so in this case, it works fine. Burzum has other releases where the production truly is quite (bad), like the aske/self titled. I think his statemenst would make more sense in that context.

As for the music/album, I'd say Varg has made a beautiful and personal album, his melodies touch on odd emotions that are carried throughout, his songwriting is fine that doesn't really stick to a particular bm aesthetic though it does have that vibe. I can't complain. It's a contemplative album that tells plenty about the guy who wrote it if you're willing to pay attention to detail. Lots of people try to create black metal that is 'true' and 'kvlt', whatever the that is they miss the point of making music(although I do enjoy a good homage to a particular sound). Regardless of who he killed and what he burned, this guy made honest music and it's pretty darned listenable. This actually sounds like it came from one mind, one musician, with no other members to contribute their misinterpretations of what Varg was after. The album runs the gamut of emotions from dark, brooding, sorrowful, introspective, reflective, contemplative, odd melancholy, and the serenity of being completely alone, lost in the wonders of drifting thought uninterrupted. It's a very human album, if you ask me and I don't think I've really heard anything as personal as this, save maybe stuff like Hank Williams Sr or Today is the Day. In a word, it's unique and pretty good too.

I recommend it, but surely you're not clueless as to what this sort of stuff is.


Come to Grief
Come to Grief
16 used & new from $1.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only one review of this?, April 19, 2005
This review is from: Come to Grief (Audio CD)
Ok, let's get something straight here. This is classic. And people are selling it for cheap! If you'd like to hear slow, torturous, sludgy, horrible doom this is what you have in mind. Grief are highly influential and (from what I can tell) underrated. The music moves at a crawl, the lyrics are honest and fitting, the atmosphere is there. Occasionally they'll speed it up a bit for a 'quick' groove but most of the time it's just doom, slow crushing doom. They use the howling-shrieking-loud-growl-scream vocal method and it suits the music and lyrics well.

What else do you need to know? Head over to [...] and seek out a track . If this is your thing, you'll love it. I don't know many( if any ) people at all that like this kind of music so I don't know if there are those who sit on the fence.

Recommended. I give four stars because I'm hesitant to give five though it certainly seems worthy!


Jungle De Ikou
Jungle De Ikou
DVD ~ Eri Sendai
6 used & new from $43.00

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars is nice, March 26, 2005
This review is from: Jungle De Ikou (DVD)
I bought it mostly cuz I was looking for something like decent hentai with good animation that isn't chock full of women in pain. This series(cut short after 3 episodes) doesn't have that, but quite a bit of fan service which is probably what you're looking for if the cover caught your eye.

The service delivers for the most part but quickly took a back seat with me once plot happenings started rolling as it really isn't always the focus. It tells the tale of some gods from the jungle awakening and doing battle in Japan. They fight each other with magic, dances, rituals, chants, etc. which are usually pretty easy on the eyes. A good few of the characters are interesting such as Nasumi/Mie, who is a respectable young girl with a strong head who ends up having to save Japan. She's similar to Akane in Ranma 1/2. Occompanied by her is the god of Destruction Ongo, a rather unassuming character from the jungle and Ahem the Earth god. I found these two characters the most enjoyable of the show as they provide distraction from trite dialogue. Sometimes the exchanges between characters are funny and natural, other times they are painfully silly and stupid(like when the focus turns to Mie's bosom). I had to laugh when I heard the voice actors trying to seriously deliver some of these lines. I've found cringe-inducing dialogue to be nothing new with anime, it's present here but not always prevalent. I made use of the skip forward button on my dvd player due to the dialogue and bad plot development. Some things happen throughout the story that seem poorly written in(like Ongo and his magical limitations) so I would skip past them while the characters try to tie everything together.

Overall I would have to say I enjoyed the strong ancient religious themes of the story the most(gods, possessions, spells, enchantments, etc.). I don't think they will offend, but they are there and they help to move the story along. The fan service is well animated and rather nice, as I rarely see characters so well-endowed move so well. As a movie/series it's patchy but with promise if the writers figured out what they want to do(focus on fan service, or plot). It seems the movie can't decide wether it wants to be a naughty romp or something more along the lines of Ranma where humor and strong characters drive the story.

A reviewer said that the god Ahem is a slightly racist charicature, I would disagree. He seems like the standard 'dirty old man' character with purpose crossed with a witch doctor, I wasn't offended and didn't sense anything that came across as a mock of any demographic. Though I would like to know how old these girls are supposed to be before transformation, I read they are supposed to be 10 years old(excuse me?). The box says it's for those 13 and up, I wouldn't recommend it for children.

The review is a bit spotty, but I'd say that attests to Jungle de Ikou's own spottiness. The main question boils down to: Do you like the cover? Go with your instinct on that one... it's about what you'd expect though there is no nudity, just alluring dance moves, fine animation, and some sicko's pre-pubescent fantasies. If you're looking at this, that's what you were looking for. Not really recommended though I was glad I sniffed this film out finally.


Amplifier Worship
Amplifier Worship
10 used & new from $23.21

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amplifier worship, March 21, 2005
This review is from: Amplifier Worship (Audio CD)
Mr. MC Hood makes a lot of fine points and is quite right on a lot of them. This album is not perfect, the songs aren't perfect, and there are other suitable directions the production could've taken.

Not perfect but pretty close if you ask me. The band exhibits a rather wide range of styles on this album, discernable ones to my ears include hints of: Grief, Earth, MC5, the Stooges, Venom, Melvins, and some odd ambient yet melodic passages. I would say the band has their own style. They are indeed a drone band as Mr. Hood stated, songs are long and tend to 'drone'(ie: parts are repeated to the point of the listener zoning out). I think it's a great aspect of their music. At first I was a bit put off because to some it could easily be interpreted as boring. After repeated listens it became funny and very obviously done on purpose. When you first hear it happen on a song like Ganbow-Ki, the song moves along at a rockin pace then drops off with the bass and drummer by themselves. As you listen to it, it sounds like they are preparing for a guitar solo, or break, or bridge or something, ANYTHING but it doesn't come the beat just continues. A few things may come to mind: did they mess up and kept it on the final track? Is this some kind of joke where the actual break comes up when you don't suspect it? If the song drones on for any of these reasons I find it funny, but the song keeps going and I soon stop asking questions because I'm zoning out as I listen to it or I forget why I was asking questions in the first place. Much later the music resumes with a new intro and moves in another direction rather different from the way it began. edit: after another listen, this droning aspect isn't as endearing on the track 'Hama' but tolerable.

It's a very pleasant and relaxing style of songwriting where there is really no rush to 'WOW' or amaze the listener, but entertain, occupy, and accompany. It's 'drone music', where you both feel and listen to it not so much to pump your fist and throw cups of beer too. Although their heavy-handed rock n roll segments certainly allow for that kind of behaviour, there's just a bit more to it.

Overall I think this is an incredibly solid album and easily among some of the better records I own of recent times(considering both metal and otherwise). It can be listened to as an album, there are ups and downs and a variety of tones/moods/etc. I add that it wasn't obviously good, I had to listen to this thing quite a few times before I began to click with it and notice the band's subtle nuances.

I would suggest picking it up if you are a fan of heavy music or a fan of rock n roll and don't mind some odd experimentation, keeping in mind the bands I noted in the second paragraph.


Alien Hominid - PlayStation 2
Alien Hominid - PlayStation 2
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $18.12
32 used & new from $5.87

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars greatest 8-bit game ever, March 13, 2005
it's got everything. sounds like contra, plays like mega man, metroid and zelda ii. he sounds similar to mario when he jumps. you blast a lot of stuff. music and stages are played like a cartoon show from about that era. oh yeah, and it's hard like that too. i died a lot.

i can't really complain, this is about as classic as it gets for me.


We Live
We Live
7 used & new from $12.00

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars rebirth of the electric wizard mach 2, October 23, 2004
This review is from: We Live (Audio CD)
so new lineup, with veteran and core songwriter jus oborn. the band's songwriting has improved greatly focusing more on melody and vocals than they have in the past while still retaining the monolithically huge riffs pure doom aesthetic they are known for.

jus' vocals are no longer buried in the mix which was hit(dopethrone/cmf) and miss(let us prey) if you ask me. sometimes it worked to their advantage and created great atmosphere, other times it just sounded like crap. You will also no longer hear Jus taking huge breaths in between lines( most noticeable on I, the Witchfinder). His singing is more proper, he hits all the notes and can sustain them without making it sound awkward. It works very well with the direction of this album.

The playing is great too, as Justin Greaves displays about as much skill as you need to when pounding out ruthless, stoned doom. All parts are played expertly by the band. No muffed chords or botched areas in solo excursions.

So with a tighter band and proper production, all minor problems and nuances concerning the band's sound have been remedied. It is not as ridiculously huge sounding as on Dopethrone, but it is still big nonetheless. It is more akin to that of a cleaner, brighter High on Fire sound. Not exactly like it, just comparing. If you need an example, go download The Sun Has Turned to Black at [...]

Which leads us to the music: After Let Us Prey and all their other EPs and singles I didn't think EW had it in them to create an album that could match up to CMF or Dopethrone, and hearing The Sun Has Turned to Black didn't help my opinion any. That opening riff is horrendous if you ask me, though after repeated listens I have found it's one of the better 'songs' on the album. The riff works a lot better with vocals and the full band behind it, and the solos in the song are memorable and suit the mood.

As for the rest of the album, it's awesome. The songs are inspired and soulful though they tend to run on way too long once the main parts have run their course. They like to play that one riff from the song for an extra three or four minutes after the last chorus, which is annoying and seems like a cop-out as a way to avoid pushing themselves any further. That's a minor gripe as when I'm driving around in my car listening to the album, I really don't mind the repetition. I just think they're capable of doing a little more with the music.

Song breakdown:

1. Eko Eko Azarak- at first I thought it was probably the best EW song to date. Great chanting vocals, huge memorable riffs, cool lyrics, total absolute doom. Nothing about this song is fast, even the solo drags along. Awesome.

2. We Live- cool riffs, lyrics, screaming about zombie type stuff. Pretty appropriate considering EW's past with seriously screwing themselves up. Runs on a bit long though.

3. Malfiore- good song, not much to note. Just a good song for this album.

4. Another Perfect Day?- probably could've been on Let Us Prey, it doesn't suck. Nice use of two guitars.

5. The Sun Has Turned to Black- I think the opening riff is annoying but it gets a lot better when the rest of the band comes in followed by a well placed solo.

6. Saturn's Children- you could call this Saturn's Children of the Grave, 15 minutes of doomy riffage and a lot of solo that rules. When I say 'solo' in the context of this album, it's more like a lead melody. One of their better songs if you ask me, along with the Eko Eko and We Live.

So there you go, if you were ever disappointed with them, this might renew your interest and probably wouldn't be a bad place to start for those new to the band. I hope this review offers some insight.


Sleep's Holy Mountain
Sleep's Holy Mountain
16 used & new from $4.19

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars probably the best sabbath rehash i've ever heard, October 17, 2004
This review is from: Sleep's Holy Mountain (Audio CD)
and that's quite what it is, but with a bigger sounds that leans more towards the metal spectrum than rock in terms of rock and heavyness.

the vocals are real gruff but intelligible like a rough bellow or a strong shout there's a fair amount of 'singing' which sounds great as well. the lyrics are spacey and stick with the themes of the songs(flying into the sun, riding dragons, stoner caravans, etc.) both fit the music very well.

the music sounds like black sabbath, but with a stronger emphasis on their heavier nature. if you liked volume four, and like a lot of fans of heavy music, you probably want more. this album takes what vol.4 did and runs with it, and as a huge fan of sabbath, i couldn't be happier.

sometimes i think it would be nice if the music had a bigger production, like that of high on fire's art of self-defense(matt pike's new band, if you like sleep and venom go check them out) or dopesmoker. it would be absolutely killer.

as it is, the sound isn't horrible, you can hear everything fine and it doesn't really detract from the experience, it just makes me wonder how much better it could've been with a 'proper' sound.


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