What's Been Playing...

Posted by prla1983 on June 06, 2006 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

Following the desperate need to get my shit together and do some tangible work, music insists in having this strange tendency to soothe the pain, much like aloe does for my recurrent mouth ulcers (this time, in the interest of full disclosure, it was my fault, as I bit my lip and it soon developed the damn ulcer). Weird oral diseases apart, here's what's been getting airplay around here.

Devin Townsend ~ Terria - See my earlier post on Devin. Cool weird stuff.

Strapping Young Lad ~ City - Ditto.

Tool ~ Mini-Tour 2006 setlist - Whenever we plan to go to a concert, we have this habit of searching for prior setlists from the artist or band and use that to compile a CD. This way, in case we're not talking about Dream Theater or something like that, we get better acquainted with the songs and the show tends to be more enjoyable. This time, it was Tool, so this reflects what they've been playing on their current warmup tour (they're doing some festivals around Europe these days).

Spock's Beard ~ Kindness of Strangers - I've been struggling to enjoy the Beard in particular and Neal Morse in general because I feel there's something really nice about his composition but it just hasn't clicked yet. Not for Spock's Beard anyway, as I really like Neal's latest solo album. Someone whom I respect a lot, over at the Mike Portnoy Forum said "Kindness of Strangers" and "Beware of Darkness" are their best albums, despite getting overshadowed by stuff like "Snow", "V" or "The Light", so I'm giving these a chance. More to follow on this particular soap opera...

Iron Maiden ~ Piece of Mind - I finally saw the "Early Days" documentary and I simply couldn't resist the urge to listen to some classic Maiden from that era, now could I? "Piece of Mind" is great, though I find it a bit uneven. The first half is awesome, but I can't help feeling the second half is a bit filler.

Muse ~ Absolution - Played it intensely when I bought a couple of months ago and lately it kinda took the back seat. Gave it another shot and it obviously reminded me how brilliant this whole goddamn album is, from start to finish. I wonder what Muse will come up with now and whether they'll ever be able to top it.

Nevermore ~ This Godless Endeavor - Definitely one of Nevermore's best albums to date (though I still prefer "Dead Heart in a Dead World") but it seems it doesn't stand the test of time for me. Maybe I'm just not into Nevermore these days. Still a good listen, of course.

Rush ~ Moving Pictures - A classic. Enough said.

Megadeth ~ Cryptic Writings - Had developed a deep antipathy towards this particular album (while loving "Youthanasia", for example), but that feeling is now totally reversed, somehow. Gotta love "Trust" as an opener.

Pink Floyd ~ Animals - I'm more in awe with the Floyd by the minute. Historically, this has been a tough album for me to get into but now that it clicked, I find it astonishing, brilliant beyond words. There's just something about Gilmour's guitar coupled with Waters composition in this album that makes it irresistible to me. Won't please everyone, but if one's willing to take the time to discover it, then this is surely one of the Floyd's best albums ever.

Tool - Undertow - Must grok this album. It's definitely worth it and it suffers only from being the (worthy) ancestor of two of the best albums ever. No reason not to pick this one up though, it's got amazing songs which show the brilliance of Tool in the making. Kinda like the Tool Foundry, so to speak.

Vanden Plas ~ Christ 0 - Excellent. There's something about this band and Andy Kuntz's voice that sets it apart from the rest. See earlier playlist entry for more on this.

Hevy Devy

Posted by prla1983 on June 04, 2006 • 0 commentsEmail This Post

Following the recent purchase of "Infinity" and "Terria", two earlier Devin Townsend albums, I've been rediscovering the man. Historically, I've been hooked to "Ocean Machine", one of Devin's brilliant efforts, but now "Terria" and especially "Infinity" are growing on me. Earlier today I was doing some research on Townsend and hit an interesting interview from last year, when he was doing the Sounds of the Underground tour with Strapping Young Lad (which incidentally are about to release a new album which, judging by the advance track ("You Suck"), is every bit as brutal as its ancestors). From the interview, quoting Townsend:

I did acid for the first time around that time ... and fuckin' flipped out, had a Christ complex and made a record about it. I went zippy and went to a fuckin' looney bin and came out and now I don't think that way anymore. But, again, that's what I mean by practice. If I hadn't gone through that, then I wouldn't be where I am now. Like having gone through Alien - Alien is the opposite to Infinity, those two go together - so if I hadn't have gone through Alien then I wouldn't be able to do Synchestra, if I don't do Synchestra I won't be able to do whatever the fuck happens next.

I guess this gives a little insight into the man's mind. Personally, I'm delighted to find artists like these who do whatever they want to do, breaking new ground with every step they take. I'll be on the lookout for the new SYL (it's cool for those moments when you simply want to immerse yourself in noise and shut out the rest of the world) and I guess "Synchestra" will get a little more rotation soon as well.