Archive for Concept album

Enslaved – RIITIIR

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 25th October 2012 by Pieni

Enslaved
RIITIIR
Released: 28th September 2012
Progressive Black Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Photobucket

It’s been more than a decade since Enslaved engaged in a progressive journey, but I dare saying that “RIITIIR” is the closest to that final destination. Yes, you can still call it “progressive black metal”, but the black metal part is a ghost – present, but not very solid.

This is not a conceptual album in its most common sense – the lyrics don’t tell you a story – but the songs are linked musically, as if these eight songs could be a single one-hour-and-seven-minute-long track.

And if you did the math with the numbers I’ve just given you, you’ve realised that most of the songs are even longer than before. But since their composition is very well structured, you don’t get that boredom feeling that sometimes long songs can cause.

Not even the last “Forsaken”, which exceeds the 11-minute mark. An ominous piano piece, punctuated by several lightning sounds, suddenly changes into a chain of progressive riffs under Grutle Kjellson’s grunts. Then the grunts become a spoken chant, prophecy- or curse-like, with the drums speeding up the rhythm. That also stops abruptly, being replaced by an electronic loop with some synthetizers on top of it, and eventually it fades out into a doom ambience. The piano returns in the end, this time playing a melancholic tune.

I wasn’t exactly counting, but I had the feeling that the clean vocals of keyboard player Herbrand Larsen have more airplay in this album. At least in “Thoughts Like Hammers” and “Veilburner” they have, enhancing the harmony of the songs’ melodies.

The guitar work is very methodical, whether it’s shredding away as in “Storm Of Memories” or wailing as in “Death In The Eyes Of Dawn”.

More than progressive, there’s hint of atmospheric music and a whole sense of emotion entwined with “RIITIIR”’s global sound, and it results in a beautiful, dramatic and yet pungent album.

4.5/5

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

 

Anachronaeon – The Ethereal Throne (2012)

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 27th January 2012 by bkemeny92

Band: Anachronaeon
Album: The Ethereal Throne
Release date: January, 2012
Genre: Dark Metal
Label: Stygian Crypt Productions

Concept albums. You rarely come across these nowadays, don’t you?
“The Ethereal Throne”, Anachronaeon’s fourth album, is one of them though.
The Swedish duo describes their music as dark metal, and I find this term highly accurate,
as “The Ethereal Throne” could hardly be filed under mere melodic black or death metal, there are
so many more influences, but the concept’s and the lyrics’ mood makes dark metal a perfect
marker for this release. If I had to compare it to anything I could only mention Evemaster,
as they share the conceptuality and darkness in their releases.

So, imagine a man, blinded by religion, eager to do anything for the success of his quest
earning the Ethereal Throne, thus reserving a pleasant afterlife for himself.
The lyrics represent the diary of this man, describing his twisted mind, and his dark deeds,
and the story goes on and on leading to this man’s demise. The story is perfect, it caught me
right from the start and remained truly interesting until the end. I won’t spoil any more of it,
hear it for yourself.

As for the music itself it’s clear that Patrik (vocals/guitars/bass) and Andreas (drums) are skilled
musicians, and their music perfectly fits the lyrical concept. Dark lead melodies with fierce
tremolo picking are common through the entire piece as much as heavy rhythm guitars and
Iron Maiden-ish lead harmonies. Also, the music screams for oldschoolness, and I mean it as a compliment.
Amongst today’s overtechnical sweep based soloing concepts, there are a rare few, who
follows the old ways, and Patrik’s lead playing is like a blast from the past,
containing melodic runs and eighties tapping for example.
Unfortunately, sometimes the riffs and chord progressions are the bit overused ones,
and there are some really, I must say, boring rhythm guitar parts, and
the occasionally entering additional keyboard passages in the background are there
just to remind the listener how much it could enhance the atmosphere if they would have been used more.
Also, the music didn’t catch me that much. After I’ve listened through the album twice, I was still
a captive of the story, but could hardly remember any of the music.
I find the album is the strongest in the middle, and I think the best songs in the record are
“The Whereabouts Of My Father” and “Defying My Master”, but if you only plan to listen to some songs,
you’ll miss the strongest aspect of this album, the story, so do yourself a favor, and listen to it
from the beginning, ’till the end.

Pros:
– perfect story
– lead guitar work

Cons:
– can only be listened to as a whole
– many overused or boring rhythm guitar riffs
4/5 – A great concept makes this album a good one.

Bálint Kemény

Obsolete Tomorrow – Beauty Through Chaos [2010]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 31st July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Obsolete Tomorrow
Album: Beauty Through Chaos
Release year: 2010
Genre: Progressive Death Metal/Yorkshire Metal

Obsolete Tomorrow is the solo project of Driffield based guitarist and producer Lee Rule [Ravenage, Windrider, ex-Divine Sinn]. The debut EP “Beauty Through Chaos” [A concept EP revolving around Rule’s life] was released through Rule’s label Xeroxed Records.

The generically named “Prelude” is the first track of the album. Even on a low volume the sheer aggression of the guitars and drums bursts through the speakers. “Battle Ready” comes shredding its way next with a violent combination of raw growls, guitars and drums. The guitars are acute in their composition and playing whilst the drums are masterfully played. The vocals are extremely impressive, almost demonic – Even the whispered growls are a great addition to the track and the EP. The guitar solo is brilliant, very melodic – Mixing well with the aggressive rhythm. Two songs in and the EP is already at a savagely awesome beginning.

The hard-bitten intro of “The Eternal Nightmare” blasts its way next with a ruthless combo of guitars and drums. The synths are a great part of the track, adding a calmness to the hurricane-like force of pure brutality. The drum work is precise but savagely brutal and the vocals are feral and beasty. The double bass pedal barrages are an ingenious addition to the track as well. “Let Chaos Rise” starts with a less rage-fuelled riff, being more akin to progressive metal than death metal, as can be heard in other sections of the track. The guitars and drums certainly show a progressive influence though the vocals keep the angst and aggression. The synths are amazing. There are some death metal elements in the guitars and drums – Good news for those whom aren’t a fan of progressive metal. The highlight of the song would definitely have to be the guitar solo.

”My Asylum” is one of the more lighter songs on the EP, featuring a masterful use of melodic guitar riffs. The track could be easily described as the calm before the storm, which is most true considering the bloodthirsty assault of metal that follows in the form of “The New Beginning” which mixes the aggression and heaviness of death metal with the interesting influences of progressive metal. The drum work is entertaining in its style and playing, blending well with the guitars and vocals. The vocals certainly add the brutal element to the song. The different tempos throughout the track add a new dynamic to the entire EP as well as the track.

”The Rise Of Beauty” is another softer song on the EP, being akin to a mixture of progressive and melodic metal. Surprisingly, there’s a use of female vocals that create the good ol’ “beauty and the beast” effect with the harsh growls. The riffs are very melodic and heavy in some sections. The choir voices from the synths add a very mystical and epic atmosphere to the track. The rough, aggression guitar work contrasts well with the soft, melodic riffs and the female vocals are just enchanting. The EP finishes with “The War Is Over”, another soft, progressive styled track that is the perfect end to a brilliant EP.

Both composition-wise and production-wise, Beauty Through Chaos is a masterpiece. If you didn’t know it was the debut release of Obsolete Tomorrow, you’d most certainly think it was a later release in Obsolete Tomorrow’s discography. Progressive death metal has never been so brilliantly composed! It’s probably the best release in the British metal scene.

5/5

Nico Davidson