Queensryche - Take Cover
Release Date: November 13 Label: Rhino Genres: Traditional metal/rock
Why QR decided to release this album, I do not know. I can think of two possibilities -- either to get out of their contract faster, or because they just happen to love the artists they've decided to cover (Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Queen to name a few). I'm gonna go with the last option and leave it at that.
Most of us who have heard QRs material since the glory days of the '80s-early '90s would agree that there's a certain spark lacking in their newer material. What's more surprising is that the lack of that spark spills over on this -- 11 coversongs. Maybe QR is just one of those bands who don't do covers very well. No shame in that, hell, if it keeps bands from making albums like this I'm all for it. Because this is just plain boring, bar hearing Geoff's take on a few great vocalists or so. Good performances all around, but except for "Innuendo" and "Neon Knights", there's not much value in this. Unless you're a diehard QR-fan, or just happen to collect coveralbums for some reason beyond us all, steer way clear of this. It's not even particularily good for being a cover album.
Primordial - To the Nameless Dead
Release Date: November 27 Label: Metal Blade Genres: Celtic/Folk/Pagan/Black Metal
There're certain albums that just manage to evoke certain feelings in you. Be it violent, happy, sad, depressed or any other feeling, they just make you want do something, or evoke certain images in your head. The dark, raw energy with titles such as "As Rome Burns", "Heathen Tribes" and "No Nation On This Earth" certainly evokes some violent images in my history-conscious head. The fall of the Roman Empire, the onslaught of the germanic tribes and so on. The music on this album would accompany movie cuts with the aforementioned scenes perfectly.
Primordial have managed to craft an album with flow -- the sections do not drag on longer than they have to, nor do they make you think "Oh, they should've left that part going for another four bars" (if analyzing music to that extent is your thing). It's a minor exhibition in balance, as they juggle folky themes with black metal, and also touch upon more progressive instrumentation. A minor complaint in regards to the vocals however -- the music would've benefitted from a more varied delivery.
All in all, what keeps this album from being catapulted from "very good" to "brilliant" is that some of the sections don't always "stick". Not everything on it is as captivating or as catchy (sorry for using the term) as it could've been. But, all in all, it's a damn fine album and probably one of the best we'll hear this year.
Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today
Release Date: Novermber 12 Label: Above Records Genres: Stoner/Doom Metal
Quite possibly the heaviest offering this year -- and undoubtebly one of the best too. Immensely heavy, sludgy and slow, this album drags along at slower-than-most-speed and will inevitably crush several bones in your body. The simple description is early Black Sabbath with a more modern production and more room in the low-end. But, slapping a contemporary metal production on this album would've done it a great disservice. Some of the prime qualities are the fuzzy, almost 1970's like distortion, the Bonham-esque sound to the drums and the tripped-out vocals somewhat hidden beneath the music. The songs are fairly long, around 6-8 minutes, and while not containing tons and tons of riffs, it's certainly interesting the whole way, especially amidst the somewhat tripped-out jam sections. It's not overly progressive, we're not treated to long technical passages but this is just one of those albums you should listen to in its entirety, with headphones in a dark room.
News And Tidbits From The Past Month
On Sunday, November 25th, Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his Las Vegas home. He was 52. It is now strongly rumoured that Quiet Riot will disband for good.
Also deceased this month was 23-year-old drummer Witold 'Vitek' Kieltyka of Decapitated, who was killed in a carcrash in Belarus. Vocalist Adrian 'Covan' Kowanek was also injured in the crash, but is now recovering.
As was reported today, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden will once again let his daughter Lauren Harris and her rock'n roll band open for Maiden. She will open for Maiden on the first leg of the "Somewhere Back in Time Tour" going from early February in India, to Toronto in mid-March. Let's all hope they come up with a decent direct support act, because Lauren Harris opening does not sit well with a lot of fans who have paid quite pricey tickets (around 60-100 euros for a ticket in Sweden or the London show).
Two versions of the same band? That is reality now for Gorgoroth. A few weeks ago it was reported that the band had split up and were amidst a legal feud over the rights to the name of the band. The majority of the band kept plugging along and are currently on tour in Europe, but founding member Infernus just launched what he claims to be the official website and MySpace page, while putting the finishing touches to the upcoming album "Quantos Possund Ad Satanitatem Trahunt". So, until the legal feud is settled, it's gonna be two Gorgoroth's you'll hear about. I don't know about you, but this feud has potential of becoming very funny with some amusing complications.
That's all for this (pretty short and uninteresting) month, thanks for reading.