It’s partially Susan M’s influence, but mostly the fact that Greg and Jim at Sound Opinions turned me on to Torche’s Meanderthal, but now whenever I go to my local library I hit the CD bins and grab three or four discs that look like they are by metal bands based on the name of the band, the name of the album and album tracks and the cover art. It’s amusing to me (but probably not surprising) how most of the time my assessment is right on. But anyway, the result has been that over the past nine months (and mainly the past four) I have received a random education in 21st century metal (with some not-exactly-in-genre intruders because of the random element) Â and the beginning of a personal set of likes and dislikes. Here is a list of capsule reactions to the albums in order of listen.
Torche — Meanderthal (2008): This is the album that started me on the journey. Love the vocalist here. Exactly what I want out of a metal/hard rock album. Pretty decent lyrics. Solid songs up and down the track list. It simply rocks. Standout track is “Grenades.”
Thrice — The Alchemy Index Voumes I&II , fire and water (2007): Fire is better than water. This is epic, ambitious, pretentious stuff, but Â it has its moments. Hard rock with prog elements (I don’t know what else to call it) and a bit of rap rock/thrash in places (sorta). Quiet/loud, slow/fast. Stand out track is on disc 1 Fire — “Burn the Fleet.”
The Sword — Gods of Earth (2008): With song titles like “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians” and “The Frost Giant’s Daughter,” this is your typical D&D-tinged metal band. But I kinda like it. Some of the riffs seem derivative and some of the song structures don’t bring much to the table. But on the longer songs, in particular the aforementioned “The Frost Giant’s Daughter” and the 7-minute long instrumental “The White Sea” you get some interesting structure and movement and some surprising or at least interesting moments. Continue reading