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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst

Concept albums always seem to be the better albums, and this is definitely the case with Dr. Octagon's Dr. Octagonecologyst. The concept of Dr. Octagonecologyst is of an extraterrestrial, time-traveling surgeon and part-time gynecologist from Jupiter. With lyrics as abstract, and filled with non-sequitur and juvenile humor as Dr. Octagonecologyst is, it is obvious that this album is meant to be enjoyed as an unrated, comedic sci-fi B movie. The album starts with the Intro, a seventy-five second pornographic scene which is the running theme with most of the skits in Dr. Octagonecologyst. 3000, the first song off the album and what a good one it is. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album. After a short commercial skit for Dr. Octagon's services in the form of I Got to Tell You, the track that will be stuck in the head of most it's listeners is Earth People. After such an addictive song as Earth People, No Awareness, the fifth track, has a calm and somewhat mature beat compared to the rest of the album. However the album keeps the same tone through out. Real Raw, the next, and is the longest track of the album for a reason. Just six tracks into Dr. Octagon'n Dr. Octagonecologyst it is evident that it has set a goal for itself as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. The next track is a skit, General Hospital, in this skit a patient dies on Dr. Octagon. Dr. Octagonecologyst is one of the few albums where it can show a good amount of diversity while still remaining in the confines of it's concept. The skits are spaced evenly through the whole album like In A Visit to the Gynecologist, Dr. Octagon impersonates a female gynecologist and examines a patient. Dr. Octagon puts some melody into the second half in tracks Girl Let Me Touch You and Blue Flowers Revisited which is a slightly altered version of the original Blue Flowers, the eighth track. The track halfsharkalligatorhalfman is preceded by an excerpt from the film Cabin Boy. The album begins with 3000 and ends with 1977 which is a pre-recorded track that is actually from 1977.  


Cynic - Traced In Air Preview

Due to the requests to put preview links to the reviews I've decided to put a preview link to the latest review, Cynic - Traced In Air.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cynic - Traced In Air

After fourteen years of inactivity death metal turned progressive metal band Cynic announced that they would release a LP later that year. Traced In Air, their second LP released fifteen years after their first LP Focus. Cynic keeps some of their early death metal vocals but relies heavily on the soft vocals combined with the use of a vocoder.   Having eight tacks and being only thirty-three minutes long takes the short but sweet approach. This album is sandwiched between tracks Nunc Fluens and Nunc Stans. These two tracks juxtapose each other being complete opposite, both different philosophies of time. Nunc Fluens, latin for "flowing now", is the belief in time and the flow of it through eternity, never beginning nor stopping. Nunc Stans, latin for "abiding now", is the belief that time itself does not exist and that any distinction between now, before and the future do not exist. Traced In Air starts off with Nunc Fluens which is slightly reminiscent of Tool's "Third Eye" and this by all means is a positive thing. Following Nunc Fluens is The Space For This, taking all the energy and momentum from the previous track and propelling it forward. Evolutionary Sleeper is the next track which in some way is synonymous with what the band and this album are. Also probably the best track on the album, or at th every least tied with the fourth track Integral Birth. Which at mid way through sounds ever so slightly like Queen, but only for a brief moment. With such an amazing first half of the album it is so disappointing that the second half cannot keep the momentum going. The Unknown Guest, the fifth track other than fading in after Integral Birth fades out just does not compare to the cohesiveness that the first half had. Which seems like more of an after thought than anything else. However Traced In Air snaps back into shape with Adam's Murmur, a refreshing track after The Unknown Guest. King of Those Who Know, the longest track of the album is decent if it was not for the end which seems drawn out more than anything else. Traced In Air concludes with Nunc Stans, better than Nunc Fluens and a great way to complete the album.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium

After the break-up of At the Drive-In lead vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed an experimental progressive rock band with latin and jazz influences known as The Mars Volta. Their debut LP De-Loused in the Comatorium is probably one of if not the best debut albums of all time. The album centers around the short story written by Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Jeremy Michael Ward. In the story a man named Cerpin Taxt who attempts to commit suicide via overdose by combining morphine and rat poison, which causes him to be in a week-long coma. While in the coma Cerpin Taxt experiences visions of is own psyche and humanity as a whole. After awakening from his coma he is dissatisfied with reality and this time succeeds in committing suicide. De-Loused in the Comatorium starts off with Son et Lumiere which is a ninety-five second intro which leads straight into and blends in perfectly with the second track Inertiatic ESP. After a satisfying first two tracks De-Loused in the Comatorium tops the first two with Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of) which starts out with what can only be described as an abrasive hardcore-jazz intro into a soft melodic verse after that it fully forms into what The Mars Volta is. The album takes a brief dip in greatness with Tira Me a las Aranas and Drunkship of Lanterns. However De-Loused bounces back with Eriatarka with it's nice melodic verse's and catchy chorus. Which leads to the Holy Grail of the album, Cicatriz ESP. This track showcases Cedric Bixler-Zavala's vocal abilities, being twelve and a half minutes long there is one minor section of the song where you think to yourself "let's get going" after such a fast paced beginning it really slows down for a brief moment. All of this is made up for in the last minute and a half which is just pure perfection. After this De-Loused in the Comatorium takes one more minor dip in it's greatness with This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed. Televators, the most melodic track of the album and the second best following Cicatriz ESP. De-Loused in the Comatorium ends with Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt, concluding his story as well as the album.


Muse - Black Holes and Revelations


When Muse made their first LP debut Showbiz, they had no real identity other than being Radiohead's shadow. Ever since Muse hit mainstream success with Absolution they have broken away from the previous Radiohead comparisons. With Black Holes and Revelations they strive to top Absolution and for the most part they have. With fewer tracks than Absolution this album is more about quality then quantity. Released one year after the UK general elections in 2005 it is safe to assume that Black Holes and Revelations is definitely politically charged. The album starts of with Take a Bow which is about as political as Karl Rove. With lyrics such as "Bring corruption to all that you touch" and "You will risk all the lives and their souls" you can see that Take A Bow was inspired by the U.S's campaign against terror and the UK's involvement. In typical Muse fashion with any fast paced song a drastically slower paced song is not too far behind. None of which are of the same caliber of their faster songs. Which is a downfall for Muse as well as this album. For Black Holes and Revelations those songs are Starlight, Soldier's Poem, Invincible, and Hoodoo which is the best out of the four. The remaining seven tracks is where this album shines. With Map of the Problematique and Knights of Cydonia being the best two tracks on the album that is where your attention should be.