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Category: Reviews


guilty-gear-xrd-review

Discounting 2007’s Guilty Gear 2: Overture, which was hardly a Guilty Gear game, and 2006’s handheld entries Guilty Gear Judgment and Guilty Gear Dust Strikers, the last proper entry into the Guilty Gear series was more than eleven years ago with the contentious (and often frowned upon) Guilty Gear Isuka on the PlayStation 2. In fact, if we’re speaking of straight quality, Guilty Gear X2, and subsequently Guilty Gear X2 #RELOAD, was the last bastion of hope for Guilty Gear fans who loved the series, sporting the strongest soundtrack and the most solid gameplay on a home console.

Thankfully, the eight (or more) year wait is now over thanks to the coming of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-.

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Kayo Dot – Coffins On Io

KayoDot_CoffinsOnIo

Let’s get something out of the way first: yes, we slept on this album review. Yes, we shouldn’t have taken this long to cover one of the most powerful releases of the year. But, here we are and it’s a good thing we are. There are a few albums that have been released in the last decade or so that capture sensations and thoughts that stem from living in a modern world; Godspeed You! Black Emperor‘s F # A # ∞ is one of them and so is the album at hand, Kayo Dot‘s Coffins On Io. We haven’t evoked the name of God Speed You! in vain either, for these albums share a very interesting meeting point and that is landscape. Both describe a bleak, desolate place and use music to guide us through its narrowing and winding ways.

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downfall-of-gaia-thrones-of-decay

There is a set of adjectives unique to metal and perhaps a few other genres and occupations out there. In this set, qualities which are usually assigned negative connotations are usually used to signify something of high quality or effective: “destructive”, “depressing”, “morbid”. This hints at the different goals and aesthetics that metal usually sets for itself; misanthropy, rage, despair and death. However, there is also a discourse of controlling these goals: blindly flailing around is usually deemed as childish and pointless. Downfall of Gaia are exemplars of this demand, the demand for internalization and control. The way to approach these issues is via contemplation, subtlety and contained force; Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay can wear any of those descriptors with pride.

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two-weeksOnce again two weeks have passed since we last did a round-up of reviews on Heavy Blog. The new music you might have missed our takes on after the jump.

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uncon-dist-review

We’ve talked a lot about the fine and gentle art of debut albums this year, touching on some good solutions to that problem and some lacking in flair and subtlety. However, most debut albums are neither brilliant or terrible but are rather perfectly acceptable pieces of music, containing plenty of potential but lacking a finish that expresses it completely. This is the case with Unconscious Distrubance‘s debut LP, Shooting At The Moon. Its catchy mix of post metal, Tool-esque riffing and varied vocals catches the ear and entertains, but ultimately it’s reined back from true greatness by several glaring deficiencies in its overall presentation.

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Stolas – Allomaternal

stolas-allomaternal-review

Finding a band that you enjoy is an absolute treat. You now have the distinct pleasure of going through their discography and enjoying any past releases (if there are any) and reveling in your discovery. This is a feeling that normally can’t be replicated until you find a new band to latch onto. However, what if you could discover your favorite band for the first time all over again? Stolas have made this possible with their latest album Allomaternal. This is the band as we’ve never heard them before, stepping up every aspect of their sound to a new level.

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Raunchy – Vices.Virtues.Visions.

raunchy-vvv-review

Raunchy is a great example of what the proliferation of bands and music can create: their name hasn’t made a lot of impact despite having a very unique and well-performed style. Hopefully, that status will change with this release, as it definitely signifies a dedication to their own sound which is accompanied by finesse and hard work. Vices.Virtues.Visions. is Raunchy at their best, no holds barred. The synths are super sweet, the hooks are literally everywhere and the emotional spectrum is constantly kept wound tight, never once letting go of its poppy intensity.

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Cloudkicker – Live With Intronaut

cloudkicker-intronaut-review

Years of wanting and waiting and wishing and working are often hard to encapsulate in a simple 43-minute recording for some, but in the case of Ben Sharp and his solo project, Cloudkicker, finding a whole month off from work as a pilot can be impossible. Especially considering that this “vacation” is merely a disguise for more work, as touring life can be something of an endeavor. Still, after working in secret for nearly two-and-a-half years with the boys in Intronaut, it only seemed right for Sharp to become part of the joint Intronaut and Tesseract tour earlier this year.

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ghost-brigade-storm-review

There’s something about Finnish melodic death/doom metal that sets it apart from other regional scenes. Amorphis, Insomnium, and their contemporaries continue to set the standard for the subgenre. Ghost Brigade are a slightly newer and less well known group compared to the aforementioned, but they’re no less genre defining, especially on this, their fourth full length album. One With The Storm may be overlooked in favor of more high profile releases in the genre this year, but that would be a mistake.

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primordial-greater-men

In a time when the world remains under the omnipresent threat of a new Nickelback album, news of Irish-Celtic folk-laden black metal masters Primordial releasing their eighth full-length come to comfort the weary misanthropic modern metalhead. Despite having been around for more than twenty years, the wise men in Primordial have never really chosen to be in the limelight, instead opting for a rewarding career where fans with three digit IQs can digest their music and appreciate its subtleties over multiple listens. On this new record, entitled Where Greater Men Have Fallen, the layering of sound is as meticulous as ever with nary a catchy segment in sight; which is a good thing.

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