Monday, 20 April 2015

And so here we go with a Record Store Day rant.....

This has to have been the poorest year yet - over 450 "exclusive" discs and only one I actually wanted and even then I knew I could walk in 3 hours after opening and pick up a copy (due to no one else being interested in a bunch of polished Nephilim demo's that even the band disowned)

The list was poor on a couple of points - firstly too much product from a few bands
3 from Bowie, 4 from Deep Purple, 6 (!) from Pulp.....

Secondly a lot wasn't exclusive. For example last year John Grant released an EP of duets that didn't appear on the album, this year it's a vinyl release of the same orchestral album that's been out for months

Finally there also seemed to be a lot of really expensive box sets. Genesis being a prime example at £80+ with single sets from Donna Summer and The Beat going for over £50....

So after putting aside my money I spent a third of what I did last year but at least I got the one I wanted (even though I did pick up the Johnny Cash single as a bonus!)

Monday, 6 April 2015

Now this album is a difficult listen.... Not in sense that it's awful but that you need to dedicate time and effort to listening to it.

Enslaved's new album is called In Times. It's a loose concept album on the theory and nature of time (you will never get that from listening to the album, but trust me it's apparently true) and none of the six tracks clock in at under 8 minutes

In addition for a lot of people there is the issue of the vocals. Like Opeth used to do, there is a mix of clean vocals and death metal histrionics. Unfortunately from the point of getting commercial acceptance the opening track Thuriaz Dreaming starts with some serious throat shredding yelps and furious drumming which will have many reaching for the off button but stick with it and there are many delights to be found.

All the tracks are labyrinthine epics of time changes and the occasional quiet interlude or icy blast of blackest metal. One Thousand Years of Rain being a fine example where there is almost a sing along chorus before the introduction of some acoustic guitar and a finale of blast beat drumming.

A fascinating album which won't appeal to many but if you put in the work this is a really good modern prog/metal album