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Author Topic: What are you listening to  (Read 649118 times)

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Offline wrathborne

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Re: What are you listening to
« Reply #5085 on: January 08, 2023, 02:46:27 PM »
Listening to ye olden Nes music. Good times.

Offline NO1SY

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Re: What are you listening to
« Reply #5086 on: January 24, 2023, 05:30:02 PM »
So last Friday, Katatonia released their 12th studio album "A Sky Void Of Stars", and I have been listening to it everyday. I've heard it said that, for many, this is a return to form for the band, following a slightly self-indulgent album in "The Fall Of Hearts" (which I absolutely love but is not a fan favourite), and the unfortunate "City Burials", which got lost in the years of covid... Honestly, I think that people rag on these two albums in particular because they veered very squarely into prog-rock territory, compared to the alternative metal sound people had been enjoying since the early 2000's, which even then was a change from their much beloved gothic doom sound from the 90's. Perhaps people had PTSD from Opeth...? Regardless, I think that people are enjoying a "Sky Void Of Stars" because it brings together elements from many of those favoured points in Katatonia's sound, and ties it all together in a very thoughtfully composed and wonderfully produced package. In particular, the gothic aesthetic has made a return to the forefront, just building on top of their sound that has matured and become more rich and complex since the days of "The Discouraged Ones". The pre-release singles were all great and showcased a great variety in style and feel, but I am now particularly impressed by the middle three songs on the album: "Drab Moon", "The Author" and "Impermanence". Super excited to be going to see them live in London in a couple of weeks time!


Also, towards the end of last year, Harakiri For The Sky re-recorded their first two records: their 2012 "Self-Titled", and 2014's "Aokigahara". I had not really listened to the originals much, on account of the drums sounding programmed and the vocals just being a touch too raw and shrieky (yes... even for me...). These re-recordings see the absolute monster Kerim "Krimh" Lechner return as studio drummer, breathing life into the drums with feel and some signature flare where appropriate (and bringing a properly produced 'real' drum sound...). The guitars have been rounded out in production to sound a bit more full, and the vocals are the semi-emo post-hardcore wails that I have come to love from JJ. Honestly, the only track I didn't really dig was their new rendition of "Mad World" by Tears For Fears, which just lands nowhere near as well for me as their cover of Placebo's "Song to Say Goodbye", or Graveyard Lovers' "Manifesto".
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 05:48:32 PM by NO1SY »

Offline NO1SY

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Re: What are you listening to
« Reply #5087 on: January 29, 2023, 01:22:14 PM »
Ok, I've gotten my gushing about Katatonia and HFTS out of the way, so now I've managed to catch up with some other new albums.

Riverside - "ID.Entity": A pretty cool prog-rock album reminding me that it's been 5 years since their last!? Stand outs for me are "I'm Done With You" and "Landmine Blues" because they have teeth, but if anyone's been missing the 80's then "Friend or Foe" will put a smile on your face, and "Self-Aware" is a pretty fun rock 'n rolly track with reggae post-choruses!? Overall and enjoyable progressive romp, although I think I'll find myself going back to the bassist's Lunatic Soul project more often.

Sleep Token is kinda blowing up a bit at the moment! They've released 4 new singles, each with awesome Sci-Fi/Fantasy RPG-esque artwork: "Chokehold", "The Summoning", "Granite", and "Aqua Regia". Vessel's soulful voice is obviously a huge draw, but honestly the composition and musicianship on display in these songs is a pretty fantastic continuation of the sound they've been honing for two albums now (especially the drumming). The melancholic keyboards in "Chokehold" are perfect; we are treated to a guitar solo of all things in "The Summoning", which is a song that could've been of a Deftones record (interesting switch up for the outro too); Granite is like a throwback to their old singles with a big climactic ending; and Aqua Regia brings the pop sensibilities for a bit of a palate cleanse. Exciting young band with a bit of something for everyone.

Was checking out the J-Rock section of Apple Music yesterday and stumbled on this little EP from a band called Crisis Code - "Invoke Your Spirit - EP". It brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of old school Crossfaith! It's a little raw at the moment, but I think there is potential. I'm ready for Synthcore to make a comeback!
Another band that caught my attention is RED ORCA, with their new singles "Beyond the Wind" and "Buddhism (The Shine Will Come Back)". They really reminded me of FACT, which is great, but then listening to their 2020 album "Wild Tokyo" showed me that they are bringing their own unique energy to things in a very exciting way. Looking forward to hearing more!
For those of you that like Babymetal and are looking for another Metal Idol Group, maybe something a little heavier, Passcode may have you covered. The released an EP "REVERBERATE" at the end of last year. Some pretty high-octane stuff with a harsh vocalist that has decent chops.
Jyocho released "As the Gods Say EP", which is packed with 4 pretty and slightly mathy J-rock songs. The use of a flautist for an additional layer in the mix, and to back up the guitar, gives a really nice round and smooth sound to things.

Offline Manimal

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Re: What are you listening to
« Reply #5088 on: January 29, 2023, 05:01:24 PM »
2Pac, All Eyez On Me

Okay wow, this album is seriously amazing. I was put off by it's 2 hour runtime but it's so damn good that it doesn't matter. All of the 27 songs range from great to amazing with hard hitting wonderfully produced beats, solid hooks and of course the absolutely remarkable rapping of 2Pac. His flows on here are so satisfying, you can't help but love the aggressive high energy tone of his voice. The lyrics...oh my God there are some serious highlights and profound moments here.

"Life Goes On" is my favorite song of the bunch, it has so many show stopping lines and featuring the more reflective side of 2Pac like "Dear Momma". It's such a beautiful song, with the perfect sample, backing vocals and it gave me the chills. I'm not overstating it's one of the best Hip Hop songs I've ever heard, it's going to stay with me for a long time. "How Do U Want It" is my second favorite song here, I love the fast dirty lyrics and tone. The way 2Pac raps about sex is on a completely different level from any other rapper I've heard, there's something more charismatic and playful about it. Those songs like "Run Tha Streetz" and "Ratha Be Ya _" ended up being my favorite. The reflective tracks, lustful ones and light hearted party jams like "California Love" are contrasted by harder tracks like "Ambitionz Az A Ridah" and "No More Pain". The variety makes it enjoyable throughout. 2 Pac could deliver the emotions of every song so well, making you feel the meaning behind every line.

Disc 1 is amazing song to song. It's perfectly sequenced and well balanced without any bad songs. Disc 2 is steady, it gets in a groove of similar songs but the last five tracks are expectational. There are not as many highlights on Disc 2 but it's still really solid. Nothing feels bad or out of place on this entire album.

I haven't listened to Hip Hop very much at all in the last few years but this album has absolutely everything I like about the genre, it's almost perfect! 2Pac's rapping is irresistible, you can't stop listening once he goes, and it's made me want to listen to the album again after finishing it! This thing is nearly 5 stars, just fantastic.     


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB4t4-4xHPA     

Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip

I've never given TLC a chance so I figured I'd start with the first album. This is a pretty dated one and not really in a good way. I don't like the production, it's busy and cluttered and the vocals don't sit very well. The girls don't come through as clear as they should over the New Jack Swing style instrumentals. I like the energy and attitude, it starts off on the Hip Hop side but goes more towards R&B towards the end. There's some decent moments like "Hat 2 da Back", "Das Da Way We Like 'Em", "His Story" and the ballads at the end like "Baby-Baby-Baby". I like the messages and everything on here but the music is just...okay. I'm expecting more out of the CrazySexyCool album, this seems like a stepping stone. Not bad but nothing overly special. I'm not in a rush to listen to it again. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2H6pTtEVlo

Nas, Stillmatic 

Wow, this album comes out swinging! "Stillmatic (The Intro)" clearly states Nas' intentions for the album and for the rest of the track list he fires off great verse after great verse with a real impassioned delivery. "Ether" is such an aggressive diss track, every line is sizzling! It's a complete and utter decimation of Jay-Z. "One Mic" is such a dark track with a boiling intensity. It's the most stunning song on the album, Nas explodes and then slowly eases off at the end of the last verse. My favorite track is "Rule", his flow is so cathartic and the Tears For Fears sample is perfect. "What Goes Around" is a real attention grabber, amazing verses. This one lyric is, to me, the best on the whole album. "Life is short is what some _ said, not if you measure life by how one lives and what he did".

The production is great and I love the overall spirit of Stillmatic. Nas is making a strong statement song after song and there are tons of stand outs. I really enjoyed this one, and it's good to listen to something from Nas besides Illmatic. These song sounds timeless because of his remarkable lyrics and clear aggressive delivery.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpPHRIWxaKs             

Outkast, ATLiens

This is an interesting album, maybe it needs a few more listens from me though. It didn't connect with me or really move me in any way. I think there is something about this album that isn't so direct and in your face like Stillmatic and All Eyez On Me, so it's not really what I'm personally looking for. "Wheelz of Steel" is fantastic, I love the trade offs in the verses and the flow. "E.T." is solid as well. Otherwise the songs came and went. Not bad, but on first listen I have little to say.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Xju1Wavoc   
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 09:26:58 AM by Manimal »