Joined: 30 Jan 2003
|Posted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:21 am Post subject: 2006 round-up part 3
|IRON MAIDEN – A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
So it wasn’t the killer album some of you were expecting? I have to disagree. A Matter of Life of Death is the natural progression from Dance of Death and Brave New World – how could it not be? Songs got longer, more complicated, to the point where some Maiden purists complained that ‘arry and co lost themselves up their own arses. Even Mrs. Bacteria13, quite the Maiden/Bruce Dickinson fan isn’t fond of this album – it’s ‘too long and boring’, she said.
To her and you I say whatever, I love this record; it’s difficult to argue with such monumental tracks as These Colours Don’t Run, Reincarnation … or album highlight The Longest Day, perhaps the most epic tune Maiden have ever attempted.
Yes, I do concur that maybe they shouldn’t have played the entire album on their 2006 world tour – an album of this magnitude needed time to digest and grow, and not force-fed. In fact, I’d dare say that the negative backlash to this record was because of that reason.
Nevertheless, AMOLAD is a powerful, bold album, which continues to inspire after repetitive listenings – it will be interesting to see how it (and fans' opinion towards the record) mature in the next couple of years.
SATYRICON – NOW, DIABOLICAL
Isn’t it strange that once the band you like and champion become ‘big’, selling more albums than they should, appearing in more metal magazines than they used to, being name-dropped by kids who shouldn’t even know them and touring with festivals they have no business being on you drop like someone else’s wet handkerchief? So has happened with Norway’s Satyricon, who disappointed many of the BM elite with 2002’s Volcano and 2006’s Now, Diabolical for being … what’s the word … sellouts? After all, Lars Ulrich name-dropped them in an interview with Kerrang! Let me repeat that - Lars fucking Ulrich likes Satyricon!?
I’m not saying that Satyricon are sellouts, of course. I love Volcano, and am pretty fond of this record, but it’s no Marduk. Satyricon’s brand of metal is a stripped-down Immortal circa Sons of Northern Darkness without the aggressiveness. This is clinical, subtle, melodic, even. Main-man Satyr wants to change the face of Black Metal with this album, wants to be the first Black Metal Metallica. Going by the musical talent behind ND they could very well be.
But to many, it just doesn’t sit right.
GRAVE – AS RAPTURE COMES
My beloved Grave … imagine my delight on discovering that As Rapture Comes is a huge improvement on 2004’s lackluster Fiendish Regression. Where the latter was forced and mediocre at best, ARC is a return to early-Grave, reminiscent of 1991’s classic Into the Grave and all the trappings of early Swedish Death Metal.
Boasting a huge, dirty production with immense riffs to match, this is a noisy, riotous party album, and with the peculiar addition of an Alice in Chains cover - Them Bones - it's guaranteed to get Granny up bopping with the relatives at your annual Xmas gathering.
“Who’re they, love?” she’ll ask you, swinging her limbs wildly (though not, sadly, voluntarily).
“Grave, Gran,” you’ll reply, practically shouting into her ear.
“Fuckin’ sweet,” she’ll say, giving you the horns …