Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dark Suites Music Reviews

Disturbed- Asylum (2010)
Review written by Steven M. Duarte

I haven’t decided yet if I have become bored of Disturbed’s sound or have just moved on to other metal bands as I found myself skipping through majority of the tracks from their new release Asylum. Now don’t get me wrong it’s not a horrible album it’s just very much of the same Disturbed formula we have previously heard with Ten Thousand Fists and Indestructible. I remember listening to The Sickness and Believe and feeling so pumped to hear the entire album. Not so much now.

So why such a negative startup to this review? The production values are top notch, and the instrument work and vocals is standard Disturbed. I think I’m just flat out burned out from them. I own all their albums have seen them live twice yet didn’t leave with much after hearing their new album.

Their first single Asylum has a good bass riff intro with some standard David Draiman grunts. The song is decent but not the strongest of the songs on the album. Bands generally want to take the best track from their album to create a single to create buzz for the album. Asylum is good not great. Definitely didn’t push me towards buying the album on the song alone. I personally would have chosen “Never Again” as the first single as it better captures the older Disturbed sound with an angry pissed off David Draiman. Another notable track off the album is “Another Way to Die.”

Asylum is a political infused album just as their recent previous releases. This time around the band touches upon issues such as the Nazi’s treatment of Jewish people during World War 2 and the environment. Who said Disturbed didn’t care about the environment? Asylum is definitely a departure from the anti Bush message that was carried in the Ten Thousand Fist album.

Disturbed is a mainstream metal band that achieved fame with “Down With the Sickness.” Now that fame has caused them to fall into the population of the many bands out there making metal music. Considering their metal history they need to change it up a bit and either take it back to their roots or……dare I say it, create a concept album. Some bands find success in making a concept album and it may just be what Disturbed needs to kick start their career again.

Track List (Special Edition)
1. Remnants
2. Asylum
3. The Infection
4. Warrior
5. Another Way To Die
6. Never Again
7. The Animal
8. Crucified
9. Serpentine
10. My Child
11. Sacrifice
12. Innocence
13. Ishfwilf
14. Down With The Sickness (Live) [Explicit]
15. Stricken (Live)

(Visit Disturbed's official website here)

--Steven M. Duarte

Murderdolls- Women and Children Last (2010)
Review written by Steven M. Duarte

First off let me start by saying Women and Children Last is a very much more mature album than their first release Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls. Drummer/guitarist Joey Jordison of Slipknot fame had always said that the first album was very much recordings from two different bands brought together for the sake of making an album. This time around Joey and singer Wednesday 13 came together to write the new album from scratch. The result is a much more mature heavy/alt punk sound. The glam sound is still there just not as blatant as it was on their first album.

As I mentioned the album is very different sounding from their first release but that’s not to say that they have strayed away from the Murderdolls format. They still like to say fuck a lot and still have themes surrounding their infatuation with death, drugs and rock and roll. Songs such as “Nowhere” and “Summertime Suicide” are very reminiscent of their previous work, especially the guitar riffs.

Their single “My Dark Place Alone,” is very much departure from their previous work and is much more radio friendly than their older material. The song has a dark punk feel to it straying more on the heavier sound of metal. They really were out to change their overall sound and they have definitely succeeded.

Overall Woman and Children Last has some good notable songs on the album such as the previous mentioned songs as well as “Whatever You Want I Got” and “Blood Stained Valentine.” One criticism I do have for their new sound is they sound a little too much like Avenged Sevenfold now. When I first heard the album I had to look at my ITunes list to make sure Murderdolls was playing and not Avenged. I’m not a huge Avenged fan so a little more distinguishable sound would have been acceptable considering they very much created their own sound with their first release. With Slipknots future in question it’s quite possible this may be Joey Jordison’s primary band for the near future.

Track List

1. The World According To Revenge
2. Chapel Of Blood
3. Bored 'Til Death
4. Drug Me To Hell
5. Nowhere
6. Summertime Suicide
7. Death Valley Superstars
8. My Dark Place Alone
9. Blood Stained Valentine
10. Pieces Of You
11. Homicide Drive
12. Rock N Roll Is All I Got
13. Nothing's Gonna Be Alright
14. Whatever You Got, I'm Against It
15. Hello, Goodbye, Die
16. Motherfucker See, Motherfucker Do [Explicit]
17. The Funeral Ball
18. A Moment Of Violence

(Visit The Murderdolls official website here)

--Steven M Duarte

The Ocean Blue- Cerulean (1991)
Review by Nickolas Cook

The Ocean Blue's 1991 Cerulean is definitely a 'lost' classic of the dream pop movement of the late 80s and early 90s. It's got a perfect synthesis of smooth vocals and jangle guitar sound. Released just as the grunge sound exploded worldwide, these guys were unfortunately overwhelmed and forgotten, like other dream pop\shoegazer bands of that period, and unfairly so (Ride comes to mind as well). Listening to this album really brings you back to that moment in time when jangle was king on the alt music charts. It's definitely time these guys were rediscovered and remembered.
Funny...despite the definite British accent to their songs, they're from Pennsylvania and were big into the local Christian pop music scene.
This album fits smoothly into the small, but well produced, catalogue. Find it, listen to it, and learn why shoegaze is still one of the best movements we missed.

1. Breezing Up 4:12
2. Cerulean 3:58
3. Marigold 3:06
4. A Seperate Reality 4:06
5. Mercury 4:12
6. Questions Of Travel 3:45
7. When Life Was Easy 4:20
8. The Planetarium Scene 3:42
9. Falling Through The Ice 1:25
10. Ballerina Out Of Control 3:54
11. Hurricane Amore 4:48
12. I've Sung One Too Many Songs For A Crowd That Didn't Want To 3:54

(Visit The Ocean Blue official website here)

--Nickolas Cook

The Police- Zenyattà Mondatta (1980)
Review by Nickolas Cook

The third album by a group that seemed to create their own sub-genre of post punk/new wave music, Zenyatta Mondatta was a rushed affair that the group claim they have always been greatly disappointed by. But to the music lover/Police fan, this is an album of clever tunes and the usual literate and distinctive stylings of a band who could not be imitated (and obviously still can’t be). There is the slight edge of dub and reggae that they were known for back in the 80s, but nowhere as prevelant as in their earlier albums. Some fans would even say this is the beginning of the transition to the more accessible sound of their biggest selling album, Syncronicity (1983). What most casual music listeners will remember most about this album is "Don't Stand So Close To Me", a song which references classic literature in the form of Nabokov's "Lolita". But there are some really great sonds on this album that most people might have missed (unless you're already a fan of their music, that is). I'm talking songs that are as catchy and hum happy as "Canary In a Coalmine" and "Man In a Suitcase", which have a sort of common musical thread if you listen to them back to back. There's also some rather complicated songs, such as the excellent "Driven To Tears", "When the World Is Running Down" and "Voices Inside My Head". And let's not forget that classic of social rebellion, "De-Do-Do-Do-De-Da-Da-Da", which on the surface comes off as a silly song, but the lyrics are filled with anger.
This is an album that is at once a fly stuck in amber and a still socially relevant catalogue of political and social commentary. It also happens to be a classic rock album, so if you don't have it yet, get it. Add it to your horrorhead collection, without delay.

1."Don't Stand So Close to Me" – 4:04
2."Driven to Tears" – 3:20
3."When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" – 3:38
4."Canary in a Coalmine" – 2:26
5."Voices Inside My Head" – 3:53
6."Bombs Away" (Stewart Copeland) – 3:09
7."De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" – 4:09
8."Behind My Camel" (Andy Summers) – 2:54
9."Man in a Suitcase" – 2:19
10."Shadows in the Rain" – 5:02
11."The Other Way of Stopping" (Copeland) – 3:22

(Visit The Police official website here)

--Nickolas Cook