Album Review : Hail Mogambo[2014] ; Artist : Scribe

Three years in the making of the 3rd album and ultimately, the wait was worth it. Released on the 26th of September, 2014. The amount of fun I had listening to this album is a thing that metal has not provided me in the longest time.

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Track 1 ‘Hail’ is an electronic intro where all the aromas and vibes around can be calmly imbibed and the gradual growth of tension, definitely Akshay’s baby. Track 2 ‘Calendar Khana Lao’ is just fuck yeah from the moment it starts, the star of the album. Such rich and clear 7 string tones are not an everyday luxury we come across and those synth overlays add subtle character rounding all the jagged edges. Track 3 ‘Cops Cops (Cops Cops)’ is supremely tight and bloody confusing for headbangers, cause if you try to move your head to the beat your most likely to be saying no-no-yes-yes-yes which is not following the actual timing obviously. Vishwesh has yet again learnt new tricks and this is certainly Pra’s baby. Track 4 ‘Groove Narmada’ is where Akshay steps in to take the power back, the effect of the vocal harmonies to me is as though there is one track recorded steadily with vocals at a constant octave and the harmony is to a low tempo LFO. Track 5 ‘Return Of Oberoi’ is the most all rounded track of the entire album where you can hear everyone’s trademark skills well brewed in a cauldron but the thing that is dearest to me in this song is Vaas’s bass tone and the pellucidity with which it’s played doesn’t sound like a typical Fender Jazz bass but can’t be anything but it. Track 6 ‘Ha Ha! We Are Poor’ yells out to be an intro track for a live setup, it’s the whole package you can imagine the smoke, a light on Akshay, Viru waiting at the drums, enter Pra and Vaas and then of course Vishwesh has gotta come running on stage. Getting back to song like I mentioned about one of the previous track everyone has done what they do best but just made it more personal, more prominent. Track 7 ‘Tomato Aryabhatta’ is another metal track till it goes into swing mode when your shoulders take over to the groove and you point your fingers and wave them around. Track 8 ‘Captain Raj’ is Scribe back to their roots except for Viswesh on vocals who almost has a fit in the middle of the song which is pretty killer, also being the dance worthy song on the album. Track 9 ‘Jugal’ is a concoction of bursts of positive jumpy energy and intentional gloomy vibes with some pretty serious synths, regal bass tone and a badass drum mix. Track 10 ‘ Myothershirt’ I love for the usage of 9ths, don’t hear those chords used like that often anymore and the drums here are an exhibition of the remarkable discipline Viru has as a drummer for such versatility. Track 11 ‘Black Diamond’ is a track I’m having a tough time to describe but there’s this grin on my face which it brings about that I can’t explain. Track 12 ‘Fumanchurian’ has this brief fun intro that would be used in C grade porn of the 80’s until it comes to the music where someone has worked really hard with limiters and compressors, accomplishing such pristine old school groove and incorporating it in this niche is as difficult to accomplish as easy as it sounds.’ Le Coupe France De Hair’ is the outro, just something to calm down from all that adrenaline.

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Scribe has crossed a lot of nautical miles as far as acquired skills, musical maturity, quality and what each individual member brings to the table. Gagan adding to vocals have added a powerful dimesion to the sound as well. Commendable job.

The Wait For “Pale Communion” Is On

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It has been about 3 years since this blog began. The first post was an Opeth album review of “Watershed” and here’s another one after three years of ‘Cusp Of Eternity’ , the lead track of Pale Communion. It’s gold. It’s pushing the envelope, taking it to the next level and not the way Kanye West says it. Like a surprising explosion of flavors in your mouth. Hints of old signature techniques revisited, rekindled and recreated. The slow triplets which are tough and not so tough to notice and such glorious panning and hypnagogic synths underlayed. Not to miss them bliblical screams of swells. Plus triple vocal harmonies. Hot, juicy and crispy transcendent drum mix .

I can already imagine hordes of haters, but haters are gonna be haters. Hear the shift from being Metal Gods to Rockstars. And so the wait for the long awaited ‘Pale Communion’ continues.


 

Album Review : Unstoppable Momentum[2013] ; Artist : Joe Satriani

unstoppable momentumJoe Satriani , one of the gods of instrumental rock guitarist has released his 14th solo album to his credit with Mike Keneally on Keyboards, Vinnie Colaiuta on Drums, Chris Chaney on Bass and Mike Fraser for engineering and production.

Unfortunately in my opinion Satch is using his old formula in the wrong period of time of music. He has skill, technique, charisma, tone that can never be taken away from him, but it’s like a set of state of the art high carbon steel cog wheels without any thrill left in their running. He understands symmetry really well but doesn’t play with it to his advantage.

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I miss Satriani’s old days when he had that edge, that punch like in ‘Crystal Planet’ and ‘Surfing With The Alien’ for starters. This is more like a set of good jam tracks.

There is one track which I genuinely enjoy in this album , it’s called “Jumpin’ Out” which is a quasi dark 80’s disco relic. No other track seemed to catch my attention .

Album : The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories) [2013] ; Artist : Steven Wilson

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Steven Wilson has proved that the Devil signs the deal with him and not otherwise. The artists on this album are the paramount of what they play. If you thought ‘Storm Corrosion’ was an album beyond others you had heard then I wouldn’t say think again, I say don’t even consider that thought. This album is a production dream I have eagerly awaited since before the birth of Storm Corrosion.

Steven Wilson himself is the bloody Great Wall of China in the progressive genre, Guthrie Govan – the Taj Mahal of guitarists, Nick Beggs – the Petra of the Bassists and Chapmanstick players, Marco Minnemann – The Colosseum of drummers, Theo Travis – the Christ Of Redeemer of flautists and saxophonists, Adam Holzman as serene as Machu Picchu of Jazz Keyboardists.

Only mentioned last but way up there in the list, the eldest, the solemn, the respected oracle and the prophecy: Mr. Alan Parsons – The Great Pyramid of Giza of Sound Engineers.
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Track 1. “Luminol” redefines progressive extravagance .Flawless as far as creative fronts and technically far beyond us mortal souls. The focus on solos is strange. It’s full of solos and breaks and fills but it’s not where the concentration lies for a listener. Hearing this track for approximately three quarters of an hour I couldn’t absorb anything from it, as blank as a sheet. Where the attention goes to are sweet chords and keyboard arpeggios trills, dreamy pipes and the bass lines to blow your mind and keep your head bobbing.

Track 2. “Drive Home” at its prelude reminds me of Dance of Death. It is a progressive easy listen from start and goes into a gamut of progressive expression. I see the usage of Reynolds Number from sublime Laminar to Transient flow making use of factors such as density, velocity, length and viscosity in the structural arrangement.

Track 3. “The Holy Drinker” is introduced is rotary vibrato proceeding into an amalgamation of constructive confusion until it crashes into a wall with no recoil. From there on its motion in cruise control from flats to slopes using variable power but at the same speed. Up until hitting the open roads with no traffic drifting into urgency where the tank goes empty with panic.

Track 4. “The Pin Drop” is where Steven Wilson returns to his Porcupine Tree roots of arrangement and harmony up until Theo steps in to rip it apart. The maturity of this composition is ineffable but I find it inane.

Track 5. “The Watchmaker” is a ballad in every right with an eerie tale to fill it, gorgeous pipes, flamboyant mellotron scaping, mandolin emulations and Guthrie snipped his leash. That’s just the first half of the song. From there on it takes to a psychological childlike happy place up until reality comes to slap you in the face, putting you back into place.

Track 6. “The Raven That Refused To Sing” is symbolic of a melancholy representing long-lasting sadness, gloom, sorrow, dejection and depression. All that with beauty, grace and marvel is what is brought to enlightenment here.

I can’t explain the sort of joy and satisfaction I have listening to this album. The sense of fear I experienced when I thought of reviewing this album was an adrenaline rush in its purest form. I don’t know how will Steven Wilson take it further from here. He’s such a genius he selected Guthrie Govan for guitars knowing the fact he wouldn’t have to worry about chemistry already having Marco Minnemann on board with him. Marco and Guthrie kill it in “The Aristocrats” jams.

Rating: 9.3/10

Album Review : House of Gold & Bones Part 1[2012] ;Artist : Stone Sour

Stone Sour have done a pretty good job with their new album. Its not a metal album. Its rock to post rock extravanganza. Rachel Bolan has fit like a glove replacing Shawn Economaki on bass. House of Gold & Bones Part 1 is the first part of a double concept album.The solos are observed and unobserved in parts due to Josh Rand and Jim Root’s tonal and speed excellence. Corey Taylor kills it as always. Joel Ekman does a
super job of semi technical rock drums with a good Shannon Larkin vibe.

First track “Gone Sovereign” has a nice build up of energy through the track, very charged. Track two “Absolute Zero” is road rage exhibition with a 68′ Camaro.Track three “A Rumour Of Skin” has some old time Gn’R riffage touched with Skid Row .”The Travelers, Pt 1″ is a simple acoustic orchestrated track a rich mild toned guitar to back it up.”Tired” is a track I feel I have heard before but can’t put my finger on which one backed with a string section with some pentatonic
licks. “RU486″ is pumped with adrenaline and closest to their old sound we’re all used to, unsual speed packed solo.”My Name Is Allen” has the same sound sound as the rest of the album but eclectic guitar layering in parts makes it enthralling confoundment.”Taciturn” is the expostion where an acoustic guitar and voice fill up the air and leave the required empty frequencies to imagination and gradually let a perfect gain enter and some effects worthy of raising an eyebrow take a guitar solo. “Influence Of A Drowsy God” is decorous complementing of pulsation and delay to prelude with, its a song which is like jumps between songs within a song but they pulled it off.”The Travelers, Pt 2″ is downright down tempo Maiden along with piano and vocal interludes.”Last Of The Real” starts with slow pounding bass and a drag of a song after hearing the whole album.


KEEPING Stone Sour in mind I had some major expectations when i heard this album. They used every tried and tested trick in the Rock 101 book. This reminds me a lot of Marilyn Manson’s albums during the John 5 era where all the artists are holding back on their skill to make “songs”. Stone Sour means power, rage, skill, speed, feel when intended,surprise and the ‘oh fuck they actually pulled that off moments’ which did not happen this time.

Album Review : Dead End Kings[2012] ; Artist : Katatonia

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Katatonia being a band amongst the minority that has progressed consistently from album to album thereby always keeping fans eagerly awaiting for new releases. They have always aced the warm thick to fat sound as they see suitable and I’m not talking just with distortion or overdrive, I mean pure tone. Their  lucid discharge of programming with electronic sounds is peerless.

Track 1 “The Parting” grows on you as the song progresses very organically. Nyström and Eriksson have some distinctive chemistry that picks up and stays for the entire album. Track 2 ” The One You Are Looking For Is Not Here” is where the chemistry takes to contours of different types. The atmosphere is ethereal, the vocals are unusually symphonic in syncing. Track 3 “Hypnone” is where every instrument takes its own shape and every facet we auscultate is so distinct at its own tempo and style , the coalescence is just marvellous. Track 4 “The Racing Heart” starts with almost a pseudo old school death metal/progressive death metal/experimental/drone start and goes into what Katatonia is always known to sound as with that distinct Mayones clean guitar ring and the end. Track 5 “Buldings” is where Niklas Sandin is at the forefront with a wall of bass before any other sound can be percepted being the heaviest track on the album. Track 6 “Leech” has a beginning where you can picture a shot going in and out of focus with a shaky base for the camera. The lead guitar playing seems to have hints of the Fredrik Akesson sound to it. Daniel Liljekvist has some sporadic variations in his drum patterns. Track 7 “Ambitions” is very spacey, programmed and electronically generated. Track 8 “Undo You” is simple and sweet with simple arpeggios and some nice keys, its visceral to listen to. Track 9 “Lethean” is the standout of the album as a complete song in all its forms with some sweet leads with no scope for any space for emptiness. Track 10 “First Prayer” has been made with an intrigue quotient to it. Its such an interesting track I can enjoy listening to each instrument by itself, all of them together and in various permutations and combinations put together and not get bored at the very first time I hear it. Track 11 on the album “Dead Letters” is an ostentatious show of picking techniques and promulgating gorgeous synth variety, gripping from the prelude of the track. No lack of vocal layering and double tracking from Jonas Renkse’s side.

They’ve hit the spot this time with variety, quality and quantity more than they did with their albums as a whole. I love the fact that Jonas Renkse is so monotonous with his vocals and there is no other band I would tolerate with that feature. This album can not be broken down to simple genres, it has got sub-genres one after the other immaculately arranged. I give this album 8.8/10 .

Track 2 on the album “Dead Letters” is an ostentatious show of picking techniques and promulgating gorgeous synth variety, gripping from the prelude of the track. No lack of vocal layering and double track from Jonas Renkse’s side.

Album Review : At The Gate Of Sethu[2012] ; Artist : Nile


American Death Metal giants Nile released their seventh studio album released on June 29, 2012 have incarnated mind blowing metal for the heavy hearted. This album features some gorgeous display of technique. Maintaining their theme based on Ancient Egyptian mysticism and history.

Capturing some brilliant oriental – Egyptian tracking, bone crushing riffing, spine shattering drums and bass shackled to your ankles. Karl Sander’s and Dallas Toler-Wade’s mammoth guitar and vocal skills are exceptional in power and variation. George Kollias can make his drums sound like a very fast sewing machine if you have ever carefully enough listened to one, which is quite a marvel. Technical perfection to a scary level. Almost untouchable as far as creativity and gripping attention is considered. Every edge and corner of every track has been seamlessly engineered. With Nile its never a question of standard of the album, they aren’t made for any room for error.

An undoubtedly exceptional aspect of Nile’s music and production is that they cannot be expected to improve or take their sound to greater heigths. There was never and will never be a no.2 to Nile, they do what they do and they come out supreme. Period.