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this is my music page thingy.  hope you enjoy it!

Lacuna Coil

Comalies*** 2002: Comaliesaudio
"Being that this is the third album by this Italian 'gothic metal' act, it shows polish and quite a large dose of pop sensibility. I just find myself thinking, as I always do when I see photos of bands who drop the goth tag to describe themselves: how can you take them seriously? There is a large measure of camp which is prevalent in this genre and Lacuna Coil are no different. Don't get me wrong, the music is powerful and muscular and the lyrics not too terribly self-indulgent. The vocals of Cristina Scabbia are very enchanting in an almost Julianne Regan sort of way but Andrea Ferro really doesn't do anything at all for me. I'd suggest the band allow him to fill the mysteriously unnoted keyboardist position (yes, there are keyboards a-plenty on this disc) and let Ms Scabbia get on with fronting the band. There is nothing remotely goth about how she sings and it is the one thing in this band which really stands out. Forget the re-cycled Nefilimesque riffs dominating this album and the Hetfield wannabe style that Ferro emotes. "
 
 
Unleashed Memories*** 2001: Unleashed Memoriesaudio
"Lacuna Coil unleashed more than just memories on their second full length album, delivering a blend of hard metal riffs and melodic licks that will sure please a wide range of audience. The unique female vocals of Cristina Scabbia are, as always, Lacuna's ace in the hole; eventhough the background male growling works fine on most of the songs, the band could very well do without.

Unleashed Memories is a solid release, one my favorites so far for 2001. From the haunting opening track 'Heir of a dying day', to the middle-eastern ballad 'Cold Heritage', and the more commercial 'Distant Sun', all songs that promise to become gothic metal classics in years to come.
 
 
*** 2000: Half Life (EP)
"The music is interesting and extremely well structured, if a tad commercial, with larger-than-life melodies in the foreground and heavy metal riffs in the background. Christina's voice may not stretch outside the audible range but still belongs to planes metaphysical. The combination of smooth female and rough male vocals works well as was intended to, the production is spotless (if a bit impersonal) and the atmosphere created by the band is starting to become distinctive. As for 'Falling again', it is a marvel of a song which deserved to be heard again but methinks it was slightly better the first time around. "
 
 
In A Reverie 1999: In a Reverieaudio
"'In A Reverie' is intense, refined, rich of personality, with a production that exalts all the expressive nuances of the music. The compositions are techniques, cleans but, in comparison with the other CD, more powerful and death oriented, more aggressive; at the same time the music is pervaded with new wave solutions, somehow gothic, extremely well arranged. Sometimes acoustic Arabian sounds make precious calm parts, supported by the excellent interpretation of the singer Cristina, seconded by Andrea, that has learned to exploit its voice qualities. "
 
 
** 1997: Lacuna Coil (EP)audio
Warning! Genre: Heavy Metal
"While the immediate listen will instantly remind people of The Gathering simply due to good female vocals transposed over heavy music, the band establishes its own identity quickly. Musically, the band glides like a swan through very ethereal (heh heh...that was their former name and a very apt description of the effect of their music) passages that lead deftly into heavier sections, never losing the haunting structures or melodies. "

System Of A Down
 
Steal This Album
by System of a Down
Released: 26 November, 2002
 

The best of nu-metal Rating:
Yes, they truly are. No other band presents that incredible combination of music styles, no other plays so many original instruments, and sings so much passionate and memorable.

System of a Down definitely form a new style of heavy music that is really unique, at times weird, but in the long run, extremely joyful and original. The Armenian roots and the indisputable songwriting, and instruments playing, and singing talents are all clearly here, in every sound of every track on the cd.

No matter what they say of the b-sides, Steal This Album has become a really strong effort, the collection that is hardly weaker than Toxicity, in every sense.

Innervision has become the first single, but there's really more: Bubbles, Boom!, track # 8, Fuck the System, and Streamline are all beautiful, loud, and energetic, while the tracks like Nu Guns, ADD, Mr. Jack, Highway Song, Ego Brain, and Roulette simply form the basis of the whole cd, being real pieces of art by System of a Down.

One of these: Mr. Jack, Roulette, and Ego Brain, could easily be their next single.

Just buy this album!

Kittie



Kittie

Oracle


Originally released: 2001
Artemis Records

How should Kittie grow up? Should these three loud young women from London, Ontario, keep winking through the metal clich?s that made Spit, their 2000 debut, irresistible in that raunchy-rock-chick way? Or should they go for something a little more credible? Singer Morgan Lander and her crew spend most of Oracle puzzling over this quandary. Kittie sound like they want to pursue harder extremes but can't decide whether to snicker or snarl, to play doomsayer or dominatrix. The opening track, "Oracle," sets a fearsome tone, with Lander delivering a bleating, voice-shredding yowl of indistinct syllables. Then comes "Mouthful of Poison," built on lurching wood-chopper guitar and verses that evoke the dream-haze of early Black Sabbath. Back and forth it goes: cartoonish metal guitars supporting icy, disarmingly exotic singing. Clever, melodic hooks trampled in pursuit of ordinary, one-dimensional power-chord catharsis. When Kittie learn how to make these things work together, they'll be ferocious.

Spit [ECD] [PA] - Kittie

Spit [ECD] [PA] - Kittie

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0
Reviewed by 37 Epinions users

You want Kittie? You can’t handle Kittie! The debut album SPiT on Ng Records from London, Ontario’s Kittie is one of the heaviest albums that I’ve heard in a long time. Kittie is not your typical heavy band; this band is made up of four talented females. Morgan Lander (vocals/guitar), Fallon Bowman (guitar/vocals), Talena (bass) and Mercedes Lander (drums) make up the phenomenon known as Kittie. From the first track, SPiT the title track of the album, Morgan and the rest of Kittie, take a hold of your soul, chew it up and spit it out, leaving you helpless and wondering what the hell hit you.

My first listen to the album, I was sitting at my desk with my mouth wide open. The musical onslaught that was taking place between my ears was killing me. I couldn’t take it just sitting there at my desk; I had to get up and run around. There is no way that you could just sit there and listen to Kittie and sit still, you HAVE to move around! If this is what happens to me when I’m listening to the CD, I can’t wait to see what happens at a live show!

By far my favorite track on the CD is BRaCKiSH, it is intense and it sticks with you hours after hearing the CD. The CD also gave me a nice little gift from Kittie: A video of BRaCKiSH, which in itself is an awesome contribution. Other songs that stand out in my mind are the instrumental iMMoRTaL, SuCK, GeT oFF (You CaN eaT a DiCK), and ChoKe (a song where Fallon Bowman does most of the vocals). There is not one song on this CD that I don’t like. In fact, everything is just… well amazing. So go out and buy this CD now! It will make a perfect fit in your CD collection and I can promise you that you will not take SPiT out of your CD player for at least a week!

Slipknot

Slipknot (Digipak)
by Slipknot
Released: 26 September, 2000

Amazing, one of the best cds ever! Rating:
If you've heard other heavy metal bands then you will soon find that Slipknot is completely different. Slipknot is Nu-Metal and their music is the most orignal of any other bands. The nine member band consists of 1 drummer, 1 bassist, 1 lead singer, 1 DJ, 1 mixer, 2 percussionists, and 2 guitarists. Their lyrics are powerful and depressing. The drummers are absolutely stunning. The most colorful and fast loops I have heard. And the re-released "Digi-Pak" version contains new songs!

Of course you must remember that you will think this is absolute ... if you listening to anything besides this genre. Especially if you like Classic Metal bands. This band is far better than other Nu-Metal bands like Korn

 

Vol 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
by Slipknot
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Amazing Rating:
MY OPINION: I have been a loyal Slipknot fan since 2000, when I picked up the self-titled at the local Sam Goody after I heard Wait and Bleed over the speakers. I must say, when I first heard Duality (the single) I thought, "They're goin soft. Corey's mixed Stone Sour with the Knot and ruined all." I couldn't be more wrong. I know most fans are screaming "sell outs", but if you really listend to this, you'd see that this is a very talented, mature band. Not one song is bad. On to the review.

1.Prelude 3.0-Great way to open the album. The music doesn't sound at all like the old Slipknot, but hell, it's still awesome. 10/10
2.The Blister Exists-WHOA. Great, great song. Insane drumming skills by the master, Joey. 10/10
3.Three Nil-Sweet song. Not sure what it's about though. 10/10
4.Duality-Ah, the single. First time I heard it, I wasn't real fond of it, but it's grown on me now. Infact, it's one of my favorite Knot songs. 10/10
5.Opium of the People-Interesting and catchy. 9/10
6.Circle-The single best song on this album. Really shows off the groups musical talents. 10/10
7.Welcome-Great, heavy song. This is a wonderful song. 10/10
8.Vermilion-Awesome. Nothin more to say. 10/10
9.Pulse of the Maggots-Ingenious song. The siren at the begining is awesome. This song really gets you goin and headbanging. 10/10
10.Before I Forget-Probably one of the weaker tracks. Still really good though. 8/10
11.Vermilion Pt. 2-Awesome again. 10/10
12.The Nameless-Another good track. 9/10
13.The Virus of life-Great song. 10/10
14.Danger-Keep Away-Another sort of weak track. Still good though.8/10
BOTTOM LINE-This album is top-notch. If you like Slipknot then you should like this. Only narrow minded maggots won't like this. Rock on and stay (sic).

Slipknot
 
Issues
by Korn
List Price: $13.98
New Price: $13.98
Used Price: $1.73 

Publisher: Sony
Released: 16 November, 1999
Media: Audio CD

 

Most underrated cd of the 90's Rating:
In music, your either moving forward or going backwards. For all the fans that wanted another self titled, Korn shows that they are true artists and always evolving their sound. Theres not one song on here that sounds like anything else previously done.

I like Jonathan's vocals because he shows he can sing without a major use of effects like Untouchables. I think the interludes are great unlike most people that bought this album. "Dead" starts the album off in true fashion with the great trademark of bagpipes. However the other well known trademark that is absent is Jonathan's rants (EX:Twist). I think they were overused in Follow The Leader so I was glad to see that Jonathan moved on past that. Lyrically this is one of Jonathan's most diverse records. Song meanings ranging everywhere from suicide, sex, unity in the band, the sellout tag they got from Follow The Leader, betraying one another, and dedication to his fans.

Musically this goes above and beyond Follow The Leader. The interludes are either loved or hated among fans. Personally I think it lets the album mesh a little better than previous efforts. They experimented with new effects and pianos (Make Me Bad) with Issues.

This is by far my favorite Korn album especially considering i've bought this album six times. I think this totally strayed away from Follow The Leader's success. Highlights are the whole album because frankly I can't find one track that stands out from the rest this is Korn's perfection.

Green Day
 
 
Green Day Green Day, American Idiot
(Reprise)

 

Listening to Green Day's rendition of Queen's "We Are The Champions" at Reading Festival this year, it seemed unimaginable that the same trio of hyperactive upstarts responsible for 1994's Dookie could take on stadium rock and get away with it. But, after listening to American Idiot, it makes perfect sense for the Californian punks to adopt Freddie Mercury's rally call for their own cause; if ever there were a time for the suburbs of America to unite against ennui and apathy, it seems, that time is now. Power to the people...

That, essentially, is the crux of American Idiot, Green Day's seventh studio album. Four years in the making, it's the story of the alienated, de-motivated Average Joe living under Bush's administration and the American media. 'Where have all the riots gone?' frontman Billie Joe Armstrong sings, '...the television's an obstructionist.' As far as content is concerned then, the album's political discontent is nothing new; topical, sure, and undoubtedly poetic, but not groundbreaking.

In terms of shape and form however, American Idiot takes an audacious leap from today's pack of punk-poppers. It's a narrative driven 'concept' album framed by two nine-minute, five-part tracks. Rather like T.S. Eliot's epic modernist poem The Waste Land, the album's fragmentary, hazy story revolves around several enigmatic characters, held together by themes and images that recur throughout its thirteen songs. The tales of "Jesus of Suburbia", "St. Jimmy" and "Whatsername" are loosely woven together, united by 'rage and love'. 

Musically, Green Day have matured beyond belief since their debut LP, 39/Smooth (1990). Their trademark power-chord beef and manic drumming may now be tempered from time to time by the sound of church bells, piano and glockenspiel(!), but the band have never sounded so damn vast. "Are We The Waiting" resounds with jaw-dropping, eye-watering beauty, while the centrepiece harmony four minutes into "Jesus Of Suburbia" sends an inspirational shiver up the spine. In fact, only on "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" do Green Day trip up - tone down the distortion and exchange Billie Joe's adenoidal vocal for Liam Gallagher's and the track could easily belong to Oasis.

This isn't the first time that punk-rock has transcended its three chord, two-minute boundaries. Sew together American Idiots two nine-minute bookends and you'll equal NOFX's 18-minute epic The Decline (1999). Nevertheless, this is truly inventive and emotive stuff, and arguably Green Day's best work to date. Champions, indeed.

Switchfoot


The Beautiful Letdown Switchfoot
The Beautiful Letdown (Sparrow / Columbia)
by Russ Breimeier

Sounds like … intelligently worded modern rock along the lines of Smashing Pumpkins, Sanctus Real, and Denison Marrs.

At a Glance … a wholly satisfying modern rock album that establishes Switchfoot as one of Christian music's finest bands - their best album to date.

He's accomplished much over the course of his distinguished career as a musician and a producer, but veteran artist Charlie Peacock also deserves praise as an impresario, most notably for signing Switchfoot to a record deal back in 1996. The band's talent was evident on their first album, 1997's The Legend of Chin, with their blend of noisy yet melodic and artful garage rock and surprisingly insightful lyrics. Though Charlie would end up producing Switchfoot's second album, 1998's New Way to Be Human, one wonders if even he knew in advance how much that trio would grow and evolve musically. The sophomore effort revealed a catchier, more accessible modern-rock sound that still retained the band's raw energy and smart lyrics. Lead singer and guitarist Jon Foreman continued to grow as a musician and songwriter with the release of Learning to Breathe in 2000, with drummer Chad Butler and Jon's brother Tim on bass aiding in the development of Switchfoot's sound. Here's a band that has truly improved with every endeavor, earning Dove and Grammy nominations along the way. The fruits of their efforts most recently caught the attention of Columbia Records, who were impressed enough with Learning to Breathe to feature five of Switchfoot's songs on the soundtrack for the 2001 film A Walk to Remember, and eventually sign them to a contract for mainstream distribution.

Who would have expected a teenage garage band from California named after a surfing term to become one of the most thrilling and intelligent acts in Christian music? The ironies continue with Switchfoot's fourth recording, The Beautiful Letdown, which isn't a description of the final product. With the help of producer John Fields (Evan & Jaron, Semisonic) and acclaimed mix-meister Tom Lord-Alge, Jon Foreman and company (who have since added keyboardist and guitarist Jerome Fontamillas to their ranks) have successfully unleashed a modern-rock effort that combines raw guitar blasts with crisp, polished production. As fine an album as Learning to Breathe was, it now sounds a little muddy compared to The Beautiful Letdown. Just compare the 2000 rendition of "Dare You to Move" with the new remake found on The Beautiful Letdown, and you'll hear the difference – the changes are subtle, but clearly an improvement. Of course, fans of solid guitar rock will latch onto the album as soon as they hear the powerful opening crunch of "Meant to Live," or the thick electronic effects of "This Is Your Life," the band's most anthemic rocker since "Dare You to Move." Jon's also improved as a vocalist and has never sounded more confident and passionate, allowing his throaty tenor to range from pop ballad singing to hard rocking yowls. Hardly a letdown – this band has never sounded better.

More ironic and meaningful still is the message expressed on The Beautiful Letdown. Switchfoot has been touring mainstream rock clubs in recent years to much success, going so far as to lead worship with audiences equally populated by Christians and non-Christians. They are a remarkably effective seeker-friendly band, exemplified by the songs of this album. Jon begins The Beautiful Letdown by asking questions of the listener. "Meant to Live" is a somewhat self-explanatory song about finding meaning and purpose to life beyond the broken and hollow promises of the world. He then asks us to get introspective on "This Is Your Life," asking if we're "who we want to be." The sophisticated and catchy alternative pop of "More Than Fine" challenges listeners to look even deeper, reminding us that we shouldn't merely be content with the ways of this world – we're capable of being "more than oceans away from who we are." As if the point hasn't been made clear yet, Switchfoot then launches into "Ammunition," which tells us we're "the issue, the fuse, and the ammunition" – the reason our world is such a loveless mess. The aggressive sound of this track is a strong improvement on the dissonant yet progressive garage rock of Switchfoot's first album.

Now we come to the pivot point of The Beautiful Letdown. While many well-intentioned Christian bands excel at asking questions and thereby relating to a seeker audience, they often fall short on answers and stop at this point. Switchfoot begins to point the way with "Dare You to Move," which those familiar with the song will remember to be a challenge to take action with all that is wrong with ourselves and the world around us. Though some non-Christians could potentially interpret the song as transcendental humanism, it's clear Switchfoot cites Christ as the catalyst for change. Progressing from there is "Redemption," a song reminiscent of the New Way to Be Human sound that builds its message around the 4am time frame – the point when yesterday is long gone and tomorrow looms on the horizon, when we can confess and forget about the past and long for the peace and hope the future offers. This is followed by the title track, the focal point of the album about understanding that we aren't intended to live in this fallen world and that placing our faith in anything but Jesus ultimately will disappoint us. The crux of the song is that we are "the Church of the drop-outs, the losers, the sinners, the failures, and the fools," sorely in need of grace and a Savior.

Reflection … confession … grace … now what? The bouncy alternative hip-hop/rock shuffle (a la dc Talk) of "Gone" is simply about the inevitability of death. A somber subject: "We are not infinite / We are not permanent / Nothing is immediate / And we pretend like we're immortal / We are so confident in our accomplishments / Look at our decadence." The cheerful sound is due to our hope of everlasting life through Christ. Things turn somewhat worshipful with the gentle and beautiful ballad "On Fire," which expresses the meaningfulness of a heart filled with Jesus: "When everything inside me looks like everything I hate / You are the hope I have for change / You are the only chance I'll take." The final two songs of the album take a more personal and reflective tone. "Adding to the Noise" is a fun rocker that sounds as though it was inspired by the classic MTV guitar riff from the early '80s. In this hectic and selfish world, Switchfoot simply asks listeners to turn off their music if they're only contributing to the noisy, stressful soundtrack of daily life. The album concludes appropriately with the moving "24," a song that begins with the obvious metaphor of the gift of a new day – it also was inspired by the eve of Jon's 25th birthday. Ultimately it's a song of hope and renewal ("I am the second man now") that looks toward the future for continued conformation into Christ's example: "I'm not who I thought I was 24 hours ago / still I'm singing Spirit take me up in arms with you."

The song order offers a wonderful expression of the spiritual walk fundamental to Christianity, and yet there are few overt references to Jesus in the lyrics. They're present, but worded in such a way to open doors to those who don't understand the Gospel. With the potentially strong marketing and distribution by Columbia Records, this album sets Switchfoot on the path to be the next influential ambassadors for Christ, following in the footsteps of Jars of Clay, dc Talk, P.O.D., and Lifehouse. Combining powerful sounds with thought-provoking lyrics, The Beautiful Letdown is a wholly satisfying modern-rock effort that establishes Switchfoot as one of the premier bands in Christian music. If there's a letdown here, it's the likelihood that Switchfoot won't always be able to top themselves after this one, though this is a band that has so far proven capable of continued greatness.

Music sets you free!  listen more!

::waddle waddle waddle::