Hey there people who follow me (all five of you) as I said before and as I have in the tagline; I’m into a lot of stuff. Music is one of those things and every once in a while I may do a review of an album or a couple of songs I’ve listened to recently. May be old, may be new but I listen to a variety music and basically whatever interests me. Also, I am no professional reviewer so just a disclaimer. So with that intro, let’s get started.
First off is the “freshman” album from the band Devil You Know The Beauty of Destruction. I say freshman that way because this is their first album but all things considered they are a super group made up of John Sankey (Fear Factory), Francesco Artusato (All Shall Parish), and Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage). The album out the gate hits you with what you expect from these guys: Metal, Metal, and METALLLLLL! All of it excellent examples of melodic metal. The first song “A New Beginning” appropriately sets you up for the album and is kind of an intro to the style of metal that you are going to be in for. “Seven Years Alone” was the single chosen for album and it works. The feel of the song is aggressive enough but still feels a sadder song. “My Own” is on of my favorites on the album due to how it reminds me of a Killswitch Engage song by the name of “This Fire.” You can hear the influences from their former bands and how much each member’s contribution to their former or current band meant to their sound. An excellent metal album and one of my favorites for this year.
Next up is Southsiders by Atmosphere. A rap duo that I have followed for quite some time now and damn does this album feel reveling. Their form of alternative rap is made clear from the first song “Camera Thief” a song that I had to listen to a couple of times to warm up to. At first it sounds a little uneven and a couple of the rhymes feel a little weird but it makes a lot more sense on a second or third listen once you get the theme of the album. “Arthur’s Song” and on feel like you are looking into a one way mirror into someone’s life with a magnifying scope. All of the songs have meaning and flow between them and feels like a consistent narrative. A lot like listening to the thoughts of a person that has seen a lot in their life and this is their form of coping. The sound of a train and the naming of stops ties the album together and ends appropriately with a stop on the Southside. They still have their distinctive ability and is an example of what I expect from Rhymesayers Entertainment album label.
Last up is Benji by Sun Kil Moon. This one was hard to get through, not because it was bad, not by any means, but because it is, as expected, pretty depressing. The song that starts the album “Carissa” was a serious case of mood whiplash and a strong sucker punch to me because of the sudden shift in content. Describing her life and how he, Mark Kozelek being the story teller, remembers and how she works for her kids and suddenly death from a house fire due to an exploding aerosol can. “Goddamn what were the odds?” is right. But this song does set up the running theme of mortality throughout the album and is a really sobering look in having to accept the finality of death. “Dogs” is a bit different in comparison to the running them because it’s more about the death of love and how lust leads to doing very very dumb things. A little cringing how descriptive the sexual life of the main character is described but I think it was meant to be uncomfortable and it is very effective. “Pray for Newtown” is an extremely topical song relating to the Newtown shooting and is one of the few “feel sad about an event that had nothing to do with you” song that actually worked on me. Color me impressed. “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes” sounds really extremely vengeful and angry that he did such horrible things and had nothing bad really happen to him in comparison to what he did to others and the fears of death. The double track singing is very effective to show how worried he is. The album ends on the song “Ben’s My Friend” It’s kinda nice compared to the depressing theme of the album and is a bit of a cleanser song. He’s just describing things that he did and even admits that he needed a song to finish out the record. It’s a nice ending to a really heavy but excellent album.
So, what do you think? If you have any suggestions, comments, or thoughts feel free to share them in the comments below. I don’t know how common of a thing this will be but if I find more that I feel like reviewing then you’ll be the first to know.