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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2278
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:05 pm 
 

bayern wrote:
hells_unicorn wrote:
Pity, I was guessing that you'd be surpassing me and challenging autothrall's commanding total at the rate you've been going. At least you won't be hanging it up completely.


Nah, never had even the remote intention on getting anywhere close to you two... I doubt if there ever will be anyone to challenge those numbers.


I see, I guess it makes sense to an extent given that you've stuck to a fairly small niche, if you'd have kept up putting out 400-500 reviews a year you would have started running out of thrash and death metal albums released between 1990 and 1995 to hit. lol

I used to talk about eventually catching up with autothrall, but he built up a pretty commanding lead between 2009 and 2014 that will probably take me another 10 years to catch up with, even if his output remains what it has been in the past few years (he may go nuts again once his kid starts school). To my credit, I have kept him from doubling my total thus far. :lol:
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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 4458
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:32 pm 
 

That Tomb of the Mutilated review is a bit odd. Not exactly a fan of the "it's a perfect album but I'm giving it 70% because I overplayed it" logic.
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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9023
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:01 pm 
 

I've tossed around the idea of "retiring" from reviewing a few times over the years but then I always realize that'd be really pretentious of me since I never treated this as a job anyway. It's something I do when I have a spare hour at the most and I feel like saying something. I've been more on top of promos lately but I'm still just treating this as a hobby that I sometimes get around to. If I did decide that this isn't how I wanted to spend my free time anymore (which I've done plenty of times) then I just kinda quietly let my production taper off because I know eventually something is gonna come up that I'll want to talk about.

Reviewing isn't "in my blood" or anything so self-important as that, I'm just opinionated and kinda arrogant and like hearing myself talk, and reviewing is a good outlet for that. I think if you take a hard look at yourselves you'll realize that that's probably true to some extent for all of us here.
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 10331
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:22 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I've tossed around the idea of "retiring" from reviewing a few times over the years but then I always realize that'd be really pretentious of me since I never treated this as a job anyway. It's something I do when I have a spare hour at the most and I feel like saying something. I've been more on top of promos lately but I'm still just treating this as a hobby that I sometimes get around to. If I did decide that this isn't how I wanted to spend my free time anymore (which I've done plenty of times) then I just kinda quietly let my production taper off because I know eventually something is gonna come up that I'll want to talk about.

Reviewing isn't "in my blood" or anything so self-important as that, I'm just opinionated and kinda arrogant and like hearing myself talk, and reviewing is a good outlet for that. I think if you take a hard look at yourselves you'll realize that that's probably true to some extent for all of us here.

As someone who hasn't done a review in over 5 years, I can say that there's always still a part of me that wants to write something. If only to have my opinion on an album out there. For instance, I'm listening to Nightrage's Sweet Vengeance right now and would love to explain how awesome it is in a review.

I'm with you in that I started reviewing when I was back in high school and it just came to me as a fan of listening to stuff. I stopped only because I was in my final year of university and needed full attention on finishing out the year. Just never went back to it, but the desire never totally went away.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 362
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:06 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Reviewing isn't "in my blood" or anything so self-important as that, I'm just opinionated and kinda arrogant and like hearing myself talk, and reviewing is a good outlet for that. I think if you take a hard look at yourselves you'll realize that that's probably true to some extent for all of us here.

Well, obviously no one here is a "born reviewer", but maybe we like to be critics and maybe we do like to hear (read?) ourselves talk. As for me personally, I almost never talk about music face to face with people and I wouldn't describe myself as particularly opinionated. However, there's something about writing that really soothes me and it's that that I almost feel addicted to at some points.

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:03 am 
 

Man that new Reign in Blood review sucks. The opinion is bad, the writing worse. I wish we still had the "hold higher standards for famous albums" semi-rule from back in the day.
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SweetLeaf95
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 693
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:27 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I'm just opinionated and kinda arrogant and like hearing myself talk, and reviewing is a good outlet for that. I think if you take a hard look at yourselves you'll realize that that's probably true to some extent for all of us here.


Sure as fuck is true for me. I've actually "stopped" back in the earlier Sweetleaf MA days on and off, but that was more or less because I thought my writing was garbage and saw less of a point in it. I didn't REALLY start considering it a legit hobby til about a year ago, which is when I started publishing for online 'zines.

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
That Tomb of the Mutilated review is a bit odd. Not exactly a fan of the "it's a perfect album but I'm giving it 70% because I overplayed it" logic.


Definitely agree. I've overplayed shit before but I won't let that hurt the music. Case in point; I overplayed the FUCK out of Holy Diver but I still consider that pretty much perfect. On the contrary, I did that to Paranoid as well and found it to be lesser than many other Sabbath albums.
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CHAIRTHROWER
Chairleader

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:10 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:30 pm 
 

Oh, man, Larry totally hit one out of park with his stellar, spot-on West of Hell_Blood of the Infidel review; enough to the point where I couldn't help but turn up the MA fan-boy-ism a bit by posting the link for it on the crootoub page for hammer & hand (Main et Marteau, quoi!). I hope he doesn't mind the exposure, but he duly nailed it with the following, in his ecstatically great closing argument:

"Where West Of Hell really shine is in their use of technical writing to appeal to music nerds like myself, but not too technical as to alienate audiences. It's that certain level of tech that makes you really pleased when you finally understand a certain complicated rhythm..."

"Blood Of The Infidel has been the most pleasing surprise of 2019, and it surely must be set as a dark horse album for year-end lists. This is something special and begs to be heard by fans of Metallica and Meshuggah alike. It's always rewarding when an artist's sub-genre is difficult to pinpoint - so I hereby dub these guys: Progressive Heavy Technical Melodic Groovethrash..."

Well played, friend, well played.

As for "H & H", I can't enough of the cathartic closing post bridge riff whatever at precisely the 5 minute mark. Also agree, the longer song constructs work to the band's advantage.

Not sure about being a hipster, but, well, you know...

Just about to glimpse that hot-off-the-press Demon Bi(a)tch write-up, as well, before turning in (the rain).

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CHAIRTHROWER
Chairleader

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:10 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:47 pm 
 

Wow! bolmeteus6 lent a helping (hammer &) hand by espousing a similarly flummoxed yet rabidly enthused take on DB - but, in a helpful, English translated manner...(double-ho-hum!). Quite enjoyable, I must say...

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Acrobat
Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:43 am 
 

Lord_Of_Diamonds wrote:
There was a time, not so long ago, when I loved Pantera.

I was in 9th grade, and I discovered them in my YouTube recommendations one day. Curious as I was, and eager to discover the biggest, baddest, most brutal metal band, I clicked, and was completely blown away. I thought it was the heaviest, grooviest, catchiest stuff I'd ever heard. I walked around in PE class that day with my $15 headphones blasting "5 Minutes Alone" on my little 3rd-gen iPod. Believe me, that shit made me want to do more than just walk around.

I have changed since then.


Read: I'm now in 10th grade. He writes like one of those shouty metal youtubers.
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SweetLeaf95
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 693
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 am 
 

Holy Whitechapel!!

Edit: I read them all. I agree with most of their points, but the entire grading system doesn't fit the descriptions themselves, which are also pretty basic and bland.
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EzraBlumenfeld
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:50 pm
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Location: Land of No Return
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:58 am 
 

In his In Flames review, Lord_of_Diamonds says The Jester Race is more alt-rock than metal.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2278
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:48 pm 
 

EzraBlumenfeld wrote:
In his In Flames review, Lord_of_Diamonds says The Jester Race is more alt-rock than metal.


Yeah, that's a pretty cringe-inducing review, it reads like he was reviewing Come Clarity and posted his review on the wrong album.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 26236
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:54 pm 
 

Man am I glad I stopped trying to write long screeds like that guy is doing. Just kind of cringe-inducing really.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 362
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:28 am 
 

(Slightly early) congrats to NausikaDalazBlindaz for simultaneously becoming no. 3 on the reviewing list and breaking 1500 reviews. Now, it's only a little bit cruel for hells_unicorn to be on exactly double that number in the no. 2 spot...

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Vadara
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 82
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:29 am 
 

That new Job For a Cowboy review is very obviously a (bad) joke, making me question if it really belongs on the site.

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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2278
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:24 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
(Slightly early) congrats to NausikaDalazBlindaz for simultaneously becoming no. 3 on the reviewing list and breaking 1500 reviews. Now, it's only a little bit cruel for hells_unicorn to be on exactly double that number in the no. 2 spot...


Yup, I'd like to echo the sentiment, so now after a good 8 years at number 3 the long gone Noktorn has finally been surpassed. Wonder if we'll ever see him again. Congrats to NausikaDalazBlindaz for the steadfast work over the years, I'll likely be submitting review number 3,000 a little later today, and in the same spirit as my 2,000th review of Crystal Eyes' World Of Black And Silver, it'll be one of my all-time favorite albums that I've struggled to review and one that will be a bit longer than my usual output.
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droneriot
cisgender

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: Spahn Ranch
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:23 pm 
 

Deafheaven - New Bermuda by Gothic Metalhead, I just read the title saying "Who says this is poser music?" and I already know it's an apology for the album, not a review. If you're so insecure about liking an album that you think you need to apologise for it you should rethink if you are really into it.
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CannibalCorpse
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:55 pm
Posts: 274
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:38 pm 
 

Vadara wrote:
That new Job For a Cowboy review is very obviously a (bad) joke, making me question if it really belongs on the site.


It's probably Ola Englund.
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CHAIRTHROWER
Chairleader

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:10 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:52 pm 
 

Luckily, it appears I'm not quite the most convoluted and bizarre reviewer out there...dig the total chug fest - in both word and concept - with respects to that Cowboy Jobing release/review:

"Whatever the reason, they have still left us with a tantalising glimpse of what extreme metal should be, and what it can be in future if only people dare to embrace the chug."

I too ask myself whether this is a joke, albeit an over-the-top, rolly-polly one...with that, hug your inner chugge!

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kluseba
Making Metal Archives Reviews Great Again!

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:47 pm 
 

Quote:
Luckily, it appears I'm not quite the most convoluted and bizarre reviewer out there...

Oh yes, you are, don't you worry! But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It makes you quite unique and entertaining!
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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:09 pm 
 

That new Six Feet Under review for the Maiden/Priest cover album made me realize that the day has come where autothrall, eternal despiser of almost everything SFU ever, has the highest rating for a Six Feet Under album, and it's a fucking Graveyard Classics album too.

Pigs have learnt how to fly.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2278
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:04 am 
 

Subrick wrote:
That new Six Feet Under review for the Maiden/Priest cover album made me realize that the day has come where autothrall, eternal despiser of almost everything SFU ever, has the highest rating for a Six Feet Under album, and it's a fucking Graveyard Classics album too.

Pigs have learnt how to fly.


It isn't entirely out of character for him, he did give positive reviews to a number of latter day SFU releases, which I believe was a hot topic on this thread years back, I basically agreed with him on the albums in question, and I'm not exactly what you would call a SFU fan either. Sometimes even bad bands will hit a stride. That being said, it is curious that a really crappy cover album garnered a score above 10/100 from autothrall, my score would probably be in similar territory to that latest review if I were ever to become masochistic enough to try and review any of their "Graveyard Classics" releases.
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CHAIRTHROWER
Chairleader

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:10 pm
Posts: 330
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:38 pm 
 

Thanks for the reassurance, K. In the future, though, and once I get myself straightened out, brainpan-wise, anticipate a mild toning down of histrionics, but without curbing the screen traversing enthusiasm!

And, Hells' WASP review is, simply put, excellent. Particularly his closing diatribe, and this part, verily:

"In retrospect, The Crimson Idol was the right album at the right time, not only in a mere musical sense, but also as a stern rebuke against the direction that Generation X was headed with the ascendancy of grunge and the demise of metal as a commercial force in the states. Though Lawless may not have specifically intended it, he all but perfectly prophesied the fall of the Seattle scene as a cultural phenomenon, and provided a telltale warning to the icons and the masses of said scene in the midst of their commercial hegemony of what was waiting for them in the near future."

He succinctly explained what I've been trying to verbalize since 2000 or so.

Also gleaned awesome big words like "zeitgeist" and, you know it, hegemony (on this note, I noticed he too employed "idiomatic" at one point, now...).

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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2278
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:09 pm 
 

CHAIRTHROWER wrote:
And, Hells' WASP review is, simply put, excellent. Particularly his closing diatribe, and this part, verily:

"In retrospect, The Crimson Idol was the right album at the right time, not only in a mere musical sense, but also as a stern rebuke against the direction that Generation X was headed with the ascendancy of grunge and the demise of metal as a commercial force in the states. Though Lawless may not have specifically intended it, he all but perfectly prophesied the fall of the Seattle scene as a cultural phenomenon, and provided a telltale warning to the icons and the masses of said scene in the midst of their commercial hegemony of what was waiting for them in the near future."

He succinctly explained what I've been trying to verbalize since 2000 or so.

Also gleaned awesome big words like "zeitgeist" and, you know it, hegemony (on this note, I noticed he too employed "idiomatic" at one point, now...).


Much obliged O great thrower of sitting implements. This is a review that I've struggled to write for the better part of 3 years and it seems that the occasion of me hitting the big 3,000 was just the kick in the butt I needed to commit it to print. I think my apprehension in trying to pay tribute to one of my favorite albums while simultaneously trying to differentiate myself from the others who had already heaped praise upon it caused me to go in more of a verbose direction than I usually do, though my jabs at the grunge scene have been a regular part of my modus operandi for most reviews of material released in the early to mid 90s and I was a tad bit surprised that no one else had even referenced it in connection to this particular album.
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SweetLeaf95
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 693
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:09 pm 
 

The Crimson Idol is quite possibly my favorite album ever written. If not number one, it's top five for sure.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:14 pm 
 

SweetLeaf95 wrote:
The Crimson Idol is quite possibly my favorite album ever written. If not number one, it's top five for sure.


Indeed, bare minimum I'd argue it was the best album to come out of the entire 1990s, which would put it ahead of a number of late 90s power metal albums that I've given comparable scores to in the past. Even though I was 13 at the time that it was released in America and I had already made myself a social outcast by refusing to parade around in corduroys and stare at the ground constantly like I was auditioning for a shoegaze band, I didn't have the opportunity to hear until years after, thus I went through a good portion of my teens thinking that the best thing to come out of that time period was Metallica's self-titled album. I've learned a bit since then, thankfully.
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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9023
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:41 pm 
 

While I'd also agree that The Crimson Idol is one of the finest albums ever crafted and the review itself was good when it focused on the music itself (particularly all of the parallels it draws with The Who), I do think it's somewhat kneecapped by hells's longstanding blood feud with the mere existence of grunge. It seems really weird to me to view it as some sort of cosmic warning to the burgeoning grunge scene that they're all going to crash and burn when really the album seemed to more explicitly be about the exact style of music that grunge helped "kill" in the first place. Yeah, it's definitely darker and grittier than anything WASP had done up to that point, but narratively it smacks far more of Motley Crue than Nirvana. Jonathan's character seemed to get swept up in the glamourous excess of the whole 80s LA Strip type scene and burned himself out with coke and groupies instead of heroin and punk rock flophouses. There are other, bigger themes at play throughout the album, specifically his shit childhood and the fact that all of his success couldn't make his parents love him, but I think you'd have to try extra hard to hear tracks like Arena of Pleasure or Doctor Rocktor and not think of the excess of glam/metal from just a few years prior instead of the brooding grunge scene that had comparatively started at roughly the exact same time Blackie started writing the album. Seems much more logical that he'd be channeling his own experiences with a scene he was a part of than a railing against something that had more or less started that week.
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Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:21 am 
 

Goddamn, The Headless Children is so much better than that "woe is me, being a rockstar is really hard". Give me Chris Holmes or give me death!
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droneriot
cisgender

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:38 am 
 

Never understood why anyone would want to do a glam version of The Wall. I'm glad that when Marilyn Manson did the same concept in goth space rock with a latex boob suit a few years later no one would dare touch the subject again because everyone finally realised you can't do The Wall in an awkward moden style.
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zeingard
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 592
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:01 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I do think it's somewhat kneecapped by hells's longstanding blood feud with the mere existence of grunge. It seems really weird to me to view it as some sort of cosmic warning to the burgeoning grunge scene that they're all going to crash and burn when really the album seemed to more explicitly be about the exact style of music that grunge helped "kill" in the first place.


His hate boner for grunge was so incredibly embarrassing to read and made my eyes roll out of my fucking head. It was like watching your dementia-addled grandfather wander into the living room with his bathrobe left open, muttering about how much he wants to fuck Rita Hayworth and knocking over the family photos and various porcelain cats with his pharmaceutically-fueled tumescence.
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Twisted_Psychology
Metal freak

Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:04 am 
 

It's hard to write "being a rock star sucks" concept albums when nobody is making any money these days. Poor Blackie Lawless and his never having to work a day job for the rest of his life.

Album rules though.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm 
 

zeingard wrote:
His hate boner for grunge was so incredibly embarrassing to read and made my eyes roll out of my fucking head. It was like watching your dementia-addled grandfather wander into the living room with his bathrobe left open, muttering about how much he wants to fuck Rita Hayworth and knocking over the family photos and various porcelain cats with his pharmaceutically-fueled tumescence.


Not trying to instigate a flame-war here, but this is exactly the response I was hoping you would give (not that I was writing that review specifically with you in mind, I stand by my opinions and I'm not in the troll-review business), I was starting to get worried that my reviews were going to start becoming similar to yours. Gotta keep my opinions unique. :wink:

Acrobat wrote:
Goddamn, The Headless Children is so much better than that "woe is me, being a rockstar is really hard". Give me Chris Holmes or give me death!


Two things I will definitely concede are that Chris Holmes' presence may well have made The Crimson Idol even better, and that when just dealing with musical content, The Headless Children is a better album. Call me a sucker for concept albums, but lyrically I think The Crimson Idol is an utter masterpiece, and I'd also argue that it's Blackie's crowning achievement as a vocalist.

Twisted_Psychology wrote:
It's hard to write "being a rock star sucks" concept albums when nobody is making any money these days. Poor Blackie Lawless and his never having to work a day job for the rest of his life.

Album rules though.


I'm going to agree to disagree regarding the reductionist sentiment of "being a rock star sucks" applies to The Crimson Idol, and I'll take it a step further and throw a bone to any Kurt Cobain apologists who may or may not being reading this. Different people deal with both success and failure differently, especially when they come from an abusive background and have had the wolf at their door for most of their lives. Probably the worst thing you could do to a random heroine addict living in a cardboard box is just simply hand him a million dollars and tell him to clean himself up, depending on his personality. There have been compelling works of art for a long time that detail how for certain people, all of the wealth and social graces the human experience can offer doesn't do a bit of good (the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson comes to mind).

I do agree with you on the album ruling though, which I think is a sentiment that at least most of us can agree on.

droneriot wrote:
Never understood why anyone would want to do a glam version of The Wall. I'm glad that when Marilyn Manson did the same concept in goth space rock with a latex boob suit a few years later no one would dare touch the subject again because everyone finally realised you can't do The Wall in an awkward moden style.


Probably the same reason why someone would want to do The Wall in the first place, a person's scene doesn't necessarily preclude them from having similar experiences to the ones who penned the older concept albums, and they might just like the idea of challenging themselves as composers by taking on a larger task than simply pumping out radio rock hits. I will concur with you on the Marilyn Manson album in question, not so much because I'm dismissing the idea of someone attempting an industrial rock version of the same template, more just dismissing his ability at doing anything else other than pissing off people in the bible belt, something that was done better a decade before he was a thing.
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Last edited by hells_unicorn on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:01 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
While I'd also agree that The Crimson Idol is one of the finest albums ever crafted and the review itself was good when it focused on the music itself (particularly all of the parallels it draws with The Who), I do think it's somewhat kneecapped by hells's longstanding blood feud with the mere existence of grunge. It seems really weird to me to view it as some sort of cosmic warning to the burgeoning grunge scene that they're all going to crash and burn when really the album seemed to more explicitly be about the exact style of music that grunge helped "kill" in the first place. Yeah, it's definitely darker and grittier than anything WASP had done up to that point, but narratively it smacks far more of Motley Crue than Nirvana. Jonathan's character seemed to get swept up in the glamourous excess of the whole 80s LA Strip type scene and burned himself out with coke and groupies instead of heroin and punk rock flophouses. There are other, bigger themes at play throughout the album, specifically his shit childhood and the fact that all of his success couldn't make his parents love him, but I think you'd have to try extra hard to hear tracks like Arena of Pleasure or Doctor Rocktor and not think of the excess of glam/metal from just a few years prior instead of the brooding grunge scene that had comparatively started at roughly the exact same time Blackie started writing the album. Seems much more logical that he'd be channeling his own experiences with a scene he was a part of than a railing against something that had more or less started that week.


I'm not trying to flood the thread with multiple posts, but I think your critique, because of how in-depth it is, deserves its own separate response.

I added the caveat in the closing paragraph regarding Kurt's identification with punk culture (which was mentioned pretty auspiciously in his suicide note, not that it wasn't a mystery to anyone prior to that) being a key distinction precisely to address this potential criticism, as well as stating that Blackie did not necessarily have the grunge scene in mind when he wrote it (songwriting on the album started about a year before Nevermind was released, and 2 of the songs were originally going to be on The Headless Children and were reworked to fit in to the album). However, one point that I think is often missed and something that I only hinted at since I didn't want my review to turn into an outright novel, was that the grunge scene was ultimately nothing more than an extension of the same commercialized joke that glam had become a couple years before, and Kurt's drug problems (along with those of others in the Seattle scene) were about as intense and excessive as that of Nikki Sixx or any other member of the L.A. scene, save that Kurt, Layne Staley and other notable examples didn't appear to be having much fun while on the stuff. The Crimson Idol does have some elements that play specifically into Blackie's L.A. proclivities, but I'd argue that the album was more a universal polemic about the music industry that largely transcends genre. My fundamental point in specifically focusing on the grunge scene was that it was the dominant commercial and cultural phenomenon tied to the music industry at the time that it was released, and having re-read Kurt's suicide note right before writing the review, I found a heavy number of parallels between it and the lyrics of The Great Misconceptions Of Me, hell, Kurt's whole point in that note was that he believed he was an impostor who nobody understood and who ultimately hated his own success after going through a good degree of work to get there. Again, I'll credit where credit is due, in spite of me hating both Nirvana's music and his cult-like adoring fans, the guy did pay his dues on the road to get noticed.

Can anyone here honestly tell me that Kurt Cobain wasn't elevated to the point of being a veritable demigod by all of those people who were weeping and wailing on the streets while Courtney Love was reading his suicide note? That's the basic message I got from Jonathan Steel's character, a person who couldn't handle being put up on a pedestal. Call me obtuse for saying so, but I'd argue that the differences between Steel's character and Cobain are incidental, though I think that their similarities probably were too. I don't think Blackie specifically had Kurt in mind when he developed Steel's character, but that wasn't the point I making. Besides, more often than not, prophets are not ever depicted as having 100% of the picture, more often than not they only get only some, or at best, most of the story from whatever source they are channeling.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:11 pm 
 

Oh hey hells_unicorn, cool to see that you reviewed Vault's Sword of Steel. Such a criminally overlooked album especially for one to never even make it out of demo territory! I mentioned it in my recent Angus review so it's cool to see it get more attention shortly after that, I always felt that much of the Dutch scene was deserving of more praise than it received. Anyway just cool to see that! I didn't know you were into that stuff, but it seems you're into almost everything in melodic metal so cheers!
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:19 pm 
 

Jophelerx wrote:
Oh hey hells_unicorn, cool to see that you reviewed Vault's Sword of Steel. Such a criminally overlooked album especially for one to never even make it out of demo territory! I mentioned it in my recent Angus review so it's cool to see it get more attention shortly after that, I always felt that much of the Dutch scene was deserving of more praise than it received. Anyway just cool to see that! I didn't know you were into that stuff, but it seems you're into almost everything in melodic metal so cheers!


Thanks, I've listened to that album on and off for a couple years and just decided to give it another listen recently and the words just started flowing. Years back I was going through a bit of a USPM craze and was basically stalking failsafeman's reviews for material, and that was how I came upon them. Lately I have been kind of all over the map in terms of what I've been reviewing, some of it has just been pure happenstance, but often times when I'm not writing something for a webzine I'll write several reviews by bands that will either share a style, a time period, or a specifically location, often times all 3. There really isn't any rhyme or reason to it at this point, I'm basically scanning for material wherever I can find it. I may end up hitting Vault's No More Escape at some point, they were consistently good throughout their sadly short career and are in need of some more reviews.
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SweetLeaf95
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:26 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I'm not trying to flood the thread with multiple posts, but I think your critique, because of how in-depth it is, deserves its own separate response.

I added the caveat in the closing paragraph regarding Kurt's identification with punk culture (which was mentioned pretty auspiciously in his suicide note, not that it wasn't a mystery to anyone prior to that) being a key distinction precisely to address this potential criticism, as well as stating that Blackie did not necessarily have the grunge scene in mind when he wrote it (songwriting on the album started about a year before Nevermind was released, and 2 of the songs were originally going to be on The Headless Children and were reworked to fit in to the album). However, one point that I think is often missed and something that I only hinted at since I didn't want my review to turn into an outright novel, was that the grunge scene was ultimately nothing more than an extension of the same commercialized joke that glam had become a couple years before, and Kurt's drug problems (along with those of others in the Seattle scene) were about as intense and excessive as that of Nikki Sixx or any other member of the L.A. scene, save that Kurt, Layne Staley and other notable examples didn't appear to be having much fun while on the stuff. The Crimson Idol does have some elements that play specifically into Blackie's L.A. proclivities, but I'd argue that the album was more a universal polemic about the music industry that largely transcends genre. My fundamental point in specifically focusing on the grunge scene was that it was the dominant commercial and cultural phenomenon tied to the music industry at the time that it was released, and having re-read Kurt's suicide note right before writing the review, I found a heavy number of parallels between it and the lyrics of The Great Misconceptions Of Me, hell, Kurt's whole point in that note was that he believed he was an impostor who nobody understood and who ultimately hated his own success after going through a good degree of work to get there. Again, I'll credit where credit is due, in spite of me hating both Nirvana's music and his cult-like adoring fans, the guy did pay his dues on the road to get noticed.

Can anyone here honestly tell me that Kurt Cobain wasn't elevated to the point of being a veritable demigod by all of those people who were weeping and wailing on the streets while Courtney Love was reading his suicide note? That's the basic message I got from Jonathan Steel's character, a person who couldn't handle being put up on a pedestal. Call me obtuse for saying so, but I'd argue that the differences between Steel's character and Cobain are incidental, though I think that their similarities probably were too. I don't think Blackie specifically had Kurt in mind when he developed Steel's character, but that wasn't the point I making. Besides, more often than not, prophets are not ever depicted as having 100% of the picture, more often than not they only get only some, or at best, most of the story from whatever source they are channeling.


I understood what you meant. BH is right in that the songs are more representative from the glam scene, but I knew the connection you were making with the grunge comments too.
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SweetLeaf95
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:27 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Never understood why anyone would want to do a glam version of The Wall. I'm glad that when Marilyn Manson did the same concept in goth space rock with a latex boob suit a few years later no one would dare touch the subject again because everyone finally realised you can't do The Wall in an awkward moden style.


Stone Sour did with the House Of Gold & Bones albums....
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:28 pm 
 

Fuck, I had hoped boob Manson killed it.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:40 pm 
 

Ahh cool! I'm pretty sure I also heard of them through failsafeman, I used his reviews and posts as a kind of guide to heavy/USPM when starting out since I found out our tastes overlap quite a lot. No More Escape is definitely cool too though I'm definitely more partial to Sword of Steel. A shame most of the bands from that scene only released a couple of albums at most, with Vortex being the only real exception that comes to mind. I'm probably going to review Angus' second album somewhat soon, not sure if I'll continue with the scene then or what. A lot of times my choices of what to review are pretty random also, there have definitely been several that have just been the product of scrolling through my music library when I'm in the mood to write something.
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