Friday, January 30, 2004

Music Video Reviews

I've downloaded alot of music videos over the past few weeks, some new and some old. Thought I'd give some thoughts on what I liked and disliked about them and whether you should spend your internet time downloading them if you have a slow modem (56k) like me. I rated the videos on a 1 - 5 scale.

MachineHead - Imperium - It took me almost a whole month to download this one and it was well worth it. Thanks to 'hamzaj' whoever you are for always being the one sharer online that I slowly had to download the video from. This is one of those epic long music videos that sees MachineHead go back to their roots of albums like 'Burn My Eyes' and 'The More Things Change', goes through three stages, first in a warehouse, then somewhere in the wilderness, and finally in a confined red room. A cool video I recommend if you can find it. 4/5

Black Dahlia Murder - Contagion - Band plays in a church while images of war and conflict are shown. Good effort for the band's first video and while I'm still trying to decipher what the vocalist is singing, I'm guessing the images on screen are something to do with the war on terrorism. Still, an OK video. 3/5

Poison The Well - Bothcla - I heard alot of hype about this band, but their first video is complete utter crap! Just the band playing in an empty warehouse, and most of the shots are of their backs! Wouldn't you want people to see your faces more than your backs? Save your hard disk space for something better. 1/5

Murderdolls - White Wedding - The band's second video and a cover of Billy Idol's famous song. Cool video that pokes fun at the American Idol TV show, known here as Dispossable Idol. The band take out the contestant and take over the show. Good shots of the band and close-up in your face shots of singer Wednesday 13 and guitarist Joey Jordison (Drummer of Slipknot FYI). Trip Eisen is noticibly absent.... Download this if you can find it. 4/5

Motograter - Down - Very much like Mushroomhead, this group of 8 full body painted freaks make a good debut video. Known for their homemade bass instrument, The Grater, that you see occasional shots of. Very scratchy picture like Murhroomhead's 'Sun Doesn't Rise' video, but not as painfull on the eyes cause of the darker graphics they use. Cool song too. 3/5

Spineshank - Smothered - Oh how this band has changed since their first album 'Strictly Diesel'. This video shows some similarity to their last video, 'New Disease', which takes a voyeuristic look at the band as they jam a way in a secluded area. Here it looks like an old attic with hidden cameras everywhere. Nice touch the way the sound would blur or go silent everytime the band stumble on or break a camera. 3/5

Hatebreed - This Is Now - Your standard band playing in a club video while the audience moshes and sings along to the cues. 2/5

Superjoint Ritual - Waiting For The Turning Point - See above. Phil Anselmo left Pantera for this?!? 2/5

Monday, January 26, 2004

Bought a new CD today, "Fallen" by Evanescence. I know its a bit late but I finally got around to it as it was on the 'best of list' of many rock and metal magazines. Was actually looking for "The Blessed Hellride" by Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, but it was already sold out!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

My Best and Worst of 2003

Like my list of fav video games of 2003, my Best Of Music list is being published a bit late. Please note all my picks are based on CDs that I bought throughout 2003, so if anything is missing, it's probably cause I haven't bought it for myself yet.

Best Band: Chimaira (Runners Up: Devil Driver, Korn, Dope)

Best New Band: Devil Driver (Runners Up: Downthesun)

Best Side Project: Stone Sour (Runners Up: Murderdolls, To My Suprise)

Best Vocalist (Male): Mark Hunter (Chimaira) (Runners Up: Jonathan Davis - Korn, Edsel Dope - Dope, Dez Fefara - Devil Driver)

Best Vocalist (Female): Terrie B. (My Ruin) (Runners Up: Amy Lee - Evanescence, Cristina Scabia - Lacuna Coil)

Best Dual Vocals: Mushroomhead (Runners Up: Downthesun)

Best Guitars: Chimaira

Best Bass: Fieldy (KoRn)

Best Drums: Devil Driver

Best Song: Chimaira - Down Again (Runners Up: Devil Driver - I Could Care Less, Type O Negative - I Don't Wanna Be Me, Marilyn Manson - mOBSCENE)

Best Music Video: Chimaira - Down Again (Runners Up: Devil Driver - I Could Care Less, Dimmu Borgir - Progenies of the Great Apocalypse)

Most Disgusting Music Video: Marilyn Manson - God Eat God (Manson gets a featus removed from his head) (Runners Up: KoRn - Right Now)

Worst Video: Lacuna Coil - Heaven's A Lie (Runners Up: Any video by Audioslave)

Best Overall CD: Devil Driver - Devil Driver (Runners Up: Chimaira - The Impossibility of Reason, Dope - Group Therapy)

Best Compilation: MTV2 HeadBanger's Ball (Runners Up: Freddy Vs Jason Movie Soundtrack, Stone Temple Pilots - Thank You, Nirvana - Nirvana)

Worst Overall CD: Godsmack - Faceless

Best Album Cover: Freddy Vs Jason Movie Soundtrack (Runners Up: Cradle of Filth - Damnation And A Day)

Worst Album Cover: Static-X - Shadow Zone (What is that on the cover anyway?!?)

Most Overated Band: TIE - Linkin Park/Audioslave

Most Anticipated New CDs for 2004: Slipknot and Rammstein

Most Anticipated New Bands: Demon Hunter and The Blank Theory

Not Even Worth Checking Out: Limp Bizkit - Results May Vary

Saturday, January 17, 2004

CD Review: Type O Negative - Life Is Killing Me (Special Two Disc Version)

First off, I know this album has been out for a while, but I only just managed to buy it while in Sigapore a while back and have only now manage to give it a good listening to.

A bit of background, Type O Negative were one of the first Goth/Dark Metal bands I ever heard. First time I saw them on MTV was their "Black #1" video and then "Love You To Death". I was hooked cause of their dark styles, and most of their songs are about bad relationships and self loathing as opposed to Devil worship that most other bands in the genre follow. Singer/Bassist Pete Steele has this cool low pitched voice (kinda like me), and is also somekind of underground sex symbol, he even once bore all for Playgirl :-O (kinda like me.....NOT!!!)
Type O Negative also stand out as I have never heard another band that can even come close to touching their sound.

After their dissapointing 1999 release, World Coming Down (which I didn't get), Type O Negative redeem themselves with Life Is Killing Me, going back to their roots of past albums like Bloody Kisses (which My mom manage to find for me in San Francisco, USA!!!) and October Rust (Which I STILL am searching for!). The formula works well unlike the disaster that was World Coming Down. Going from slow heavy dark tunes to fast almost thrashy punk type riffs, showing great diversity. Peter Steele also has good control over his vocal skills, going from singing to shouting to a quiet whisper to fit the mood of the song.

Two stand out must hear tracks are "I Don't Wanna Be Me" and "I Like Goils", but don't get me wrong, the overall album is enjoyable. The version I have includes a bonus disc of rare and unreleased tracks, including the never before heard of theme for WWE's Kane, "Out Of The Fire", a totally awesome take on his classic theme which I'm suprised was never used, and would't be fitting if they wanted too now.

Overall I give Type O Negative - Life Is Killing Me a 4 of 5.
If you like Type O Negative, I also recommend listening to My Dying Bride and HIM.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

And then there's the local music stores...

Ranting while listening to "Word Up" by Gun

After my rant yesterday, the thought crossed my mind that the Malaysian Govt. was suppose to enforce price control on CDs and VCDs. However, I noticed that the prices still remain the same everywhere I've looked. What's up with that?

Monday, January 12, 2004

Why I prefer to look for CDs in a foreign country

Fueled by the song "Pure Hatred" by Chimaira

While on a recent trip to Singapore, I picked up a lot of metal CDs, though some really aren't that new but I could never find them here in Malaysia. Damn Government. Anyway, of course I couldn't get everything I wanted cause I was on a budget, and it didn't help matters to find out the price of import CDs had gone WAY up, and that beginning this year the Govt. tax would go up another 5%! Another thing that pissed me off were that the CDs I could find locally here where available there with tons of great bonus stuff like free DVDs or enhanced stuff on the CDs. Why can't we get that kind of stuff here?!? How come only repetitive CDs like Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit can become available instantly on release whereas awesome new bands like Dope, Nothingface or Devil Driver never see the light of day here unless they get that hit single that sells a million copies? And the government wonders why people buy pirated CDs.

Anyways, here's what I managed to get while in Singapore:
Chimaira: The impossibility of Reason
Coal Chamber: Giving the Devil His Due
Devil Driver: Devil Driver
Dope: Group Therapy
Downthesun: Downthesun
Freddy VS Jason Movie Sound Track
MTV2: Head Banger's Ball
My Ruin: The Horror of Beauty
Nothingface: Violence
Spine Shank: Self Destructive Pattern
Static-X: Shadow Zone
Stone Sour: Stone Sour
Type O Negative: Life is Killing Me

If I'm lucky, I might be going again in February. If I do, you can bet there's still alot more CD's I'll be searching for.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Sevendust VS Devil Driver

First of all I would like to note for the record that I am NOT an expert on the music scene. I just know what I like, and with a CD collection of almost 200 CDs (Actually PAID for,not downloaded!) there must be alot I like out there! Well not really, some are better than others and a few were a real waste of cash.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is for me to get out what I think about CDs and music videos. No expert analysis, just my opinion.
So for my 1st review, I'd like to compare 2 music videos as the bands seem to have a beef with each other: "Enemy" by Sevendust and "I Could Care Less" by Devil Driver.

First, A little background on why I picked these two videos. Ex-Coal Chamber frontman Dez Fafara apparantly rubbed his ex-band's ex-bassist (try saying that 3 times fast!) Rayna Foss-Rose the wrongway, and it prompted her husband, Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose to write the song "Enemy", probably targeted at Fafara. Fafara says the whole thing was taken out of context, but I can't help but feel his new band's first video is a response to Sevendust. Sounds like a wrestling angle doesn't it?

First up, "Enemy" by Sevendust. Video starts with a 3D graphic of the band, which is about the only time we'll see the band in this video. We are then introduced to our main focus of the video, the tough looking Romp and midget Chi Chi Gigante, holding a replica WWE championship belt! We then see some poor shmuck getting tossed around in an alley by buff chick Lulu, AKA Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer. So apparantly there's somekind of Street Fight thing going on and Romp is the champ. He challenges Lulu and disrobes to reveal (gasp!) he has NO ARMS!!! What follows is the armless wonder beats and totally embarasses the buff chick. Video ends with another scrolling 3D shot of the band. Someone call the WWE! They might have found the perfect tag partner or opponent for Zack Gowen!!! Oh yeah, the song was good too.

Next is "I Could Care Less" by Devil Driver. Dez Fafara's excellent new band. This is more straight forward and darker and heavier than the Sevendust video as it mainly focuses on the band jamming in a dark gloomy fogged up room with light bulbs hanging off the ceiling, and the occasional shot of Dez playing tarot card poker with a un-faced monk. Awesome song and cool video.

Verdict: Even though done on an obviously lower budget, Devil Driver win out here cause I always prefer videos where you can actually see the band jamming away, though Sevendust did have a good story going for it. The Devil Driver video is also heavier as compared to the more radio friendly Sevendust who still seek that elusive platinum album, while the Devil's "Could Care Less"!!! Download this video if you can find it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Coming soon, My reviews of Heavy Metal CDs and Music Videos