IS HILL DEAD!!?!?!?!?

January 26, 2010

Hello peoples! it’s been a while so i thought I’d say what’s up!

So that’s what’s goin on! I’d also like to talk a bit about the best albums of 2009 as I haven’t posted since the new year. So I’ll give you 4 albums. I’m not going to rank them, and I’m not going to say they are any worse or better than any other particular album, they are just 4 from last year that I think deserve mentioning.

#1 is Between The Buried And Me’s “The Great Misdirect”. I know I said that I wouldn’t compare albums, but this is the exception. They have proven once again that they are the greatest and most complete band since Pink Floyd. This album once again takes them in a new direction but not straying too far from the “Colors” vibe and tone. In fact I would say that the two albums are the most like each other of any of their albums and at first I thought maybe it was too similar. But after listening to it everyday since it came out, I’ve found that the guitar tones are incredibly similar at some points on the album but the similarities really stop there. This is the first album where there are discernible structure in some songs as well as a full acoustic song (and not an emo one like on The Silent Circus) as well as an obvious attempt to show their blues and classic rock influences. All in all they are the best… have been since Alaska and will be for the foreseeable future. This is not something that can be argued or discussed… this is fact. They are by far the most complete band without going into the obscurities of jazz-fusion… which when you look at it BTBAM is exactly that.

#2 Is the newest from Converge called “Axe To Fall.” This was an album that I tried writing a review for but couldn’t come up with enough of a review to really do one. Basically this album pummels you from beginning to end with a couple of mellow spots to breathe. The 3rd track which is the title track is just so crazy and forward driving it’s hard to take in all of the mayhem at once. A Quick note for all the pussy hardcore bands out there… THIS IS HARDCORE! The album is a bit too strait forward to rank it up there with the absolute best of the best. But, they play around with a lot of cool poly-rhythms and show they are masters of their instruments. It also has some of the best vocal layering around. Props to the engineer! This is one that you want to buy if you love hard shit but don’t want to spend months of your life trying to figure out exactly what the hell BTBAM is doing, or can’t get into the sporadic nature of Dillinger.

#3 Is from one of the most epic bands ever… Russian Circles. This one might not have made it on to this list had I not already done a review on the newest Mono album, praising it’s beauty enough for one man. But I don’t want to take anything away from this album as it is indeed mind blowing in every way. In typical Circle’s fashion they are huge, heavy, and epic without making a fuss about it. This album has some of the best bass tones ever. That is because they make it sound huge but rarely with a lot of drive and mostly amp tone. PROPS TO THE ENGINEER! If any band proves you don’t need lyrics to be heavy… its this one. But how can that be if the guitars are floating so nicely and aren’t even that dirty most of the time? The answer is simple. It’s how the songs grow and how the guitars are layered with each other and with the strings. It’s the attitude you feel in the bass when it comes in perfectly with the drive of the drums. It’s because this band knows how to grow a song from the dirt up, build tension, and then release the tension with pummeling bass and drum grooves. They are one of a few bands changing the definition of heavy right before our eyes and it gives me goose-bumps just to think about it.

#4 Will be an odd pick for most people but Clint Mansell’s soundtrack for “Moon” truly deserves to be mentioned with the best albums of last year. As most people know I have a passion for movie soundtracks. I feel it’s a different and sometimes much more difficult skill to write music to an image and try and capture someone else’s feelings rather than your own. I’ve been a fan of Mansell’s since watching the movie “Requiem For A Dream” and then “Pi” shortly there after. He also wrote the music for “The Fountain” which was performed by “Mogwai.” So his resume is very impressive and has made him a bit of a hero of mine. Anyway, he out-did himself once again with the soundtrack for “Moon” (which is also one of the best sci-fi movies ever… go watch it now!). There are so many musical ideas, sounds, and textures going on at most points of the album it can be hard to wrap your brain around. But there are also incredibly basic hypnotic sections that can send you into a trance with reverb-saturated grand piano. Anyone who is interested in synth based music or any music with a ton of electronic textures needs to check this album out immediately!

So thats it! Check back for a full review in a couple of weeks time! In the meantime… DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN PURE ART…

hill of yage