Monday, May 31, 2010

Arcturus The Sham Mirrors Review

Arcturus was a lightning strike on the metal world. It his, there massive and unique sound rumbled forth, and then they were gone having left their mark on the world. The sad truth is that we will likely never see another band like them again because the world of music seems to have a thing against individuality. These were my thoughts while sitting here and writing this review. Sham Mirrors was my first Arcturus album, it grabbed and pushed me to look further into their discography and continues to this day to remind me of why Arcturus was such a beast in the metal world.

Arcturus's music has always been of a diverse sort. With each new release they seem to take sounds and styles from all over and incorporate them into their own music to create something that is at times familiar but also entirely there own. The one thing that stands out with this release when compared with their others is the shift in focus to a more progressive sound with a sci-fi theme wrapped around it that helps to create some entirely unique soundscapes where you will never hear the same thing twice.

The one thing that I stress is that, as with every other release by the band, you need to come into it with an open mind. This is not a group that is content with one specific sound and they are more then willing to switch it up between styles to fit whatever mood that they are trying to create. Examples of this are the songs Radical cut which shows evidence of symphonic black metal that hearkens back to their first full length as well as bits of electronica and progressive. It is also the only track to feature screaming because of there now almost complete focus on clean vocals. Then there are songs like Ab Absurden which is almost strictly Avant Gard with bits of progressive thrown in for good measure. You never know what you are going to get with this album and I'm not going to spoil it for you. If you like how things sound so far I recommend grabbing this immediately.

The diversity in the songs brings me to another bit about this release that I really enjoy. Every song feels like it's own tightly made experience with it's own ups and downs. You never get that feeling that you have heard this before and you always know exactly what song you are listening to. The only time you will be lost is when you are being mesmerized by an amazing solo, check out "For To End Again, or when you are mentally swimming through a haunting atmospheric section as in "Nightmare Heaven" but then, it's a very good thing to be. As long as you are open to many different types of metal and music period, you will always be having a good time.

If you want a few tracks to listen to to see if The Sham Mirrors is worth your cash here are a few I recommend; "Kinetic" because of the excellent opening and it's general showcase of the huge scope and sound that the band brings to the table. I also recommend Nightmare Heaven because of the great atmosphere that it creates and "For To End Again" for basically giving you a bit of everything that makes this album a joy to listen to again and again.

There you have it, if you are a fan of many different types of metal or are just a metal fan period you owe it to yourself to at least give this a chance to sink in. It is a fun and varied listen that will give you back much more then you will have to give. I found absolutely no fault in it and really do think that in time this will be seen as a classic. Download it, buy it, borrow it, the fact is is that if you are a metal fan then you need to sit down, shut up, and listen.

(so what did you think of my first review? I haven't written one in a long time and want to become a music journalist so it would be really helpful if someone could give me some tips.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The First Metal Post

This is my first Metal blog so that makes this my first official "Metal" post so I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself. I'm 23 years old, I'm not a college student(yet), I don't have a car, and I still live with my parents. I guess if you squint your eyes a little bit I could be the most metal dude under 23 whom ever lived. I didn't get into metal until I was about 18 and it was mostly because of a Drowning Pool video and my dads hatred for the Genre. He would rather me live out my whole life not knowing the black devilish music that is metal and have kept me from being the totally hip metal dudster that I am today.

In all honestly though, I'm not here to talk about daddy issues, I'm here to talk about metal. After my run in with the now admittedly terrible Drowning Pool I began my search for something a bit rougher around the edges until I finally came upon my first true metal band in a record store, In Flames. As I listened through the dirty, probably shouldn't be using, and probably lice infested which totally makes them metal, record store headphones, the sounds poured over and in that moment my musical Identity would be forever changed. After years of listening to punk and alternative music like Bad Religion (still one of my favorite bands by the way) and Breaking Benjamin(awful, awful music by the way), I finally found what I knew was missing in my life. The power of metal!

So after that probably skipped over story about how I discovered metal you are probably sitting there thinking, "Is this dude the real deal or some poser who only thinks he gets metal?", and I wouldn't blame you. I guess the only way I'm going to show some of you is by posting and talking about metal that is actually....good? Hopefully giving some of the people who might read this some decent if not totally metal recommendations? Yes I will also be using the word metal a lot to make the posts a lot more metal and hopefully every time you hear the word you will think of me just a little bit...maybe?....No? I guess we will see.

Like pretty much every other lame metal blogger I'm going to start off with a Metal of the month article, If I can keep myself from forgetting to do it. I'm a little bit of a procrastinator you see. In the next few days I'll try to tell you all about the album that's really been getting me off lately so you can judge and see if I am up to snuff in the metal world. Don't worry, it's not Avenged Sevenfold or that other group of eyeliner wearing douches that every non-metal lover totally thinks is metal, oh wait, they are one and the same. See, I can be funny too!!