I got a lot of new music this month, so I won’t belabor the intro too much. I do have to confess that not all the music this month was obtained through above-the-board means. Yeah, I slipped back into that whole “stealing music on the internet” thing a bit. Two of the albums hadn’t been released at the time, and one isn’t available for purchase in non-DRM digital format, so those are my excuses.
Testament – The Formation Of Damnation
Even though the last Testament record I bought was a bit of a mixed bag, I gave their new one a shot anyway. Founding guitarist Alex Skolnic, who had left years ago to play around in Savatage and The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as well as his own jazz trio, was back. It seems to have made a difference, this is the old Testament I loved back in the day. Probably my favorite album of the month.
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
This would be that “not available DRM-free” record I mentioned in the intro. I hadn’t listened to this in years, and used to really love it, so when it turned up on Usenet (yes, I still use Usenet) I couldn’t pass it up. Seeing as I’ve owned this on vinyl and cassette over the years, I’ve paid for it twice already so I don’t feel terribly guilty over the download. Fuck ’em.
Portishead – Third
It took them 10 years, but there’s finally a new Portishead album out. It was worth the wait. Gritty. Organic. Atmospheric. Understated. It’s exactly what you might have expected the third Portishead album to sound like. I haven’t listened to it enough to pass a final judgment, but it may be their best yet.
Noise Unit – Voyeur
After Rhys Fulber re-joined Bill Leeb in Front Line Assembly, I took a chance on their latest record. With Rhys, FLA has always been pretty solid, without it him they’re utter crap. The FLA record was good, so I gave the newest record from their Noise Unit side project a shot. Big mistake. This is unremarkable and lifeless.
Dub Trio – Another Sound Is Dying
Dub Trio recently toured as Mike Patton’s support band with his Peeping Tom project, so I had to check them out. The previews sounded really good, and the album as a whole is good, but it hasn’t quite grabbed me yet. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood for experimental instrumental rock music lately.
Meshugga – ObZen
Meshugga are definitely not a band for everyone. Their tracks are dense, polyrhythmic cacophonies filled with complex arrangements and performances, and heavy enough to cause a brain hemorrhage if listened to loudly enough for a long enough time. ObZen is the answer to the question “What if Tool were a death metal band?” It’s a love it or hate record, and I love it. In small doses. For a band that started out doing a bad Metallica impression, they sure have come a long way.
Eagles of Death Metal – Peace Love Death Metal
After falling in love with Queens of the Stone Age earlier this year, it seemed logical to check out Eagles of Death Metal. They’ve been on my shortlist for a long time, the QotSA affair finally sealed the deal. The songwriting is pure Josh Homme, but it’s still very different from QotSA. Lighter, poppier, more fun. Danceable even. Big thumbs up. So begins the EoDM love affair.
Audion – Noiser/Fred’s Bells
I mostly grabbed this because I had two songs left in my monthly E-Music allocation, and it’s not bad. I generally like anything Matthew Dear does, so long as he doesn’t sing. Like the rest of the Audion catalog, it’s buzzy and minimal. Somehow managing to be sparse and abrasive at the same time. Good stuff. It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.