Grayceon

Giant Squid – Minoans Review

Giant Squid – Minoans Review

“Firstly, before I delve into the guts of this review, here’s a bit of context regarding the elaborate conceptual narrative San Francisco’s Giant Squid have once again crafted with their latest weird and wonderful musical trip, entitled Minoans. The Minoan civilization emerged on the island of Crete and thrived from roughly 2700 to 1450 BC. I’m not here to give you a fucking history lesson, but for those seeking to get the full engagement of another carefully constructed and highly ambitious Giant Squid concept album, there’s an interesting backstory behind this mysterious civilization well worth investigating.” I feel like we just got a fucking history lesson.

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere Review

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere Review

Marrow of the Spirit‘s “Black Lake Niðstång” marked the beginning of my journey through American band Agalloch‘s sizeable discography. The album delicately, but rather doggedly introduced me to the band’s neat fusion of avant-garde black-ish metal, neo-folk and post-rock, drawing influence and inspiration from the atmosphere of Ulver and the ambient nature of October Falls. It’s John Haughm’s talent for merging this kaleidoscope of textures that gives Agalloch a level of inspiring complexity while still giving the songs an air of accessibility and easy listening.” Madam X tries to wrap her arms around infinity and the cult of great expectations that comes with every Agalloch release. Expect dislocated shoulders.

The Living Fields – Running Out of Daylight Review

The Living Fields – Running Out of Daylight Review

Now this was a tough album to review. I had a devil of a time trying to get through the music and honestly couldn’t even figure out what genre, sub-genre or sub-sub-genre these Chicago progressive metallers belonged in. You see, The Living Fields are so all over the place with their sound on their sophomore release Running Out of Daylight, they utterly defy conventional pigeonholing. At various times during the album’s playtime, they touch on ambient, darkwave, post rock, black metal, death metal, doom metal, folk and power metal. Yes, they cover their bases fully. In some ways these chaps could be called a more linear and rational version of Therion. They have all the same orchestration, pomp and variety and sport multiple vocalists of varying styles. However, they lack Therion’s lunatic charm, off the rails approach and overall entertainment factor. Although far more restrained in their songwriting, their compositions have a cold feeling and lack of cohesion that made it very difficult to get into. While I can’t dispute their creativity and musical ability, this is a strangely distant album that has resisted all my efforts to enjoy it in a meaningful way. It’s also a very challenging album to describe so stick with Steel Druhm and he will do his bestest.

Subrosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones Review

Subrosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones Review

I consider myself a pretty open-minded guy. Sure, I’m angry and a tad dogmatic at times, but I’m certainly not unwilling to engage in new ideas or to follow along with people when they do innovative things. But one trend, or musical movement if I’m going to be polite about it, in the metal underground that I just have never been able to get on board with is sludge or funeral doom. As I’ve said before, I just get bored. My attention span isn’t up for this stuff. There is a mind-numbing simplicity that I think you can only appreciate if you’re really stoned and I, frankly, don’t touch the stuff.

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon – All We Destroy Review

Grayceon is a three-piece progressive metal band from San Francisco that was formed in 2005 and that is releasing their third full-length All We Destroy via Profound Lore (which is being distroed by Sound Pollution in Sweden, by the way). Since their 2007 debut, the band has been hailed as something totally unique on the metal landscape, and in 2011 this is still very true. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that they are a singular voice in the area in such a way that there is very little functional comparison to a reader understand what it is that they do, and more specifically why it’s so damn successful. However, as a music reviewer that’s my job (or in this case, ridiculously time consuming habit), so I shall wade fearlessly into the fray and hope that you, angry reader, are left with a sense of why you should head over to Profound Lore’s website and purchase the record.