Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dark Suites Music Reviews

Daft Punk: Tron Legacy OST (2010)

Review written by Steven M Duarte

Have you been itching for that new album from Daft Punk? Waiting for that follow up to Human After All? Well unfortunately you will be a bit disappointed with the Tron Legacy Soundtrack which was entirely composed by Daft Punk.

In no way is this a bad album, but one thing to keep in mind is Daft Punk was given the task of creating a movie score which really is what you get with the original soundtrack. Don’t expect any Around the World or Robot Rock type songs on this album. What you can expect is excellent techno/dreamscape sounds to fill your head.

Daft Punk were clearly the best fit to take on the task of scoring the return of the almighty Tron saga from its decades long slumber. While Human After All, Daft Punk has enough futuristic Robot Rock in them to carry on a soundtrack of this caliber. I doubt they needed much direction from the filmmakers when they were first advised they would be scoring the new Tron film.

There are some standouts on the album such as the single Derezzed which can easily pass for a track on one of their regular albums. Just add some vocals and boom we have a hit.

I would definitely put this soundtrack up there with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s the Social Network. They both invoke enough emotion to carry a movies theme forward while also being strong enough to be heard on its own without the movie. This album, along with Nine Inch Nails 'Ghost' and 'the Social Network OST', will be on my revolving playlists whenever I do my writing.

Track List

1. "Overture" 2:28
2. "The Grid" 1:37
3. "The Son of Flynn" 1:35
4. "Recognizer" 2:38
5. "Armory" 2:03
6. "Arena" 1:33
7. "Rinzler" 2:18
8. "The Game Has Changed" 3:25
9. "Outlands" 2:42
10. "Adagio for Tron" 4:11
11. "Nocturne" 1:42
12. "End of Line" 2:36
13. "Derezzed" 1:44
14. "Fall" 1:23
15. "Solar Sailer" 2:42
16. "Rectifier" 2:14
17. "Disc Wars" 4:11
18. "C.L.U." 4:39
19. "Arrival" 2:00
20. "Flynn Lives" 3:22
21. "Tron Legacy (End Titles)" 3:18
22. "Finale"

--Steven M Duarte

30 Seconds to Mars-- This is War (2009)

review written by Nickolas Cook

On this 3rd album by one of the best groups to come out of the screamo rock movement, 30 Seconds to Mars brings us more of those high decibel anthems for the disenfranchised and the broken hearted. But as with their last album, A Beautiful Lie (2005), there are also songs that walk the line between political treatise and calls for revolution. Also, lead singer/lyricist Jared Leto has taken an even larger role in the band's visual direction, by not only directing the very controversial video for "Hurricane", which has been banned for strong sexual content, but by helping to come up with the promotional idea of using over 2000 different covers for the album, sent in by various fans and personalities close to the band members.
And while these are both great eye catching ideas, it's the songs you stay for. Lucky for we fans, like their other albums, "This is War" is filled with songs that are memorable and easy to feel. Production was shared by FLOOD and Steven Lillywhite, two people who are experts at building an album, one startling song at a time, and they use the band's experienced sense of drama to its max.
Some standout tracks are, "Kings and Queens", "Hurricane", "100 Suns" and "Escape". But like I said, there aren't any weak songs. You're sure to love this album.

(This is the full censored version of HURRICANE)

1."Escape" — 2:24
2."Night of the Hunter" — 5:41
3."Kings and Queens" — 5:48
4."This Is War" — 5:27
5."100 Suns" — 1:58
6."Hurricane" — 6:12
7."Closer to the Edge" — 4:34
8."Vox Populi" — 5:43
9."Search and Destroy" — 5:39
10."Alibi" — 6:00
11."Stranger in a Strange Land" — 6:54
12."L490" (also known as Equinox) (Shannon Leto) — 4:26

--Nickolas Cook

Queensryche-- The Warning (1984)

review written by Nickolas Cook

Once upon a time, back in the magical metal 80s, there rose a band called Queensryche who created some of the darkest concept albums of the era. They weren't interested in the same old sex, drugs, rock and roll lyrics, nor were they interested in providing confusing guitar tab roller coasters. Instead Queensryche sought to write songs that were part Tolkien and part prog-rock, coupled with solid intrumentalism. Their second album had much the same sort of dark magick feel as their '83 debut EP and there were few bands who had albums with such focus of vision.
In interviews, lead singer/lyricist Geoff Tate says "The Warning" was actually their first attempt at trying to get the various political and social concepts into musical format as they did so well on their biggest cult album, "Operation Mindcrime". There doesn't seem to be much evidence of that if you just give this album a straight listen, but there is a feeling of futuristic sword and sorcery. But maybe I'm reading too much into the lyrics. I was a HUGE Dungeons and Dragons geek, and this is one of those metal albums that seemed to always be playing when me and my D and D geek friends were fighting orcs and gathering treasure with our 20-sided die and Vorpul Weapons.
But even after all these years, this is an album that still hits hard, and gives thought provoking lyrics, sung by one of the greatest singers in metal music.

1."Warning" (Geoff Tate, Michael Wilton) – 4:46
2."En Force" (Chris DeGarmo) – 5:16
3."Deliverance" (Wilton) – 3:21
4."No Sanctuary" (DeGarmo, Tate) – 6:05
5."NM 156" (DeGarmo, Tate, Wilton) – 4:38
6."Take Hold of the Flame" (DeGarmo, Tate) – 4:57
7."Before the Storm" (Tate, Wilton) – 5:13
8."Child of Fire" (Tate, Wilton) – 4:34
9."Roads to Madness" (DeGarmo, Tate, Wilton) – 9:40

--Nickolas Cook

Cocteau Twins-- Heaven and Las Vegas (1990)

review written by Nickolas Cook

There was a time when 'shoegazers' were bent on world domination. Cocteau Twins was a band which were poised to lead that invasion and domination of the music world.
This their biggest studio album was also their last to find a huge following, giving testament to how quickly the end of critical accolades and love for the 'shoegaze' movement came once the grunge movement came along to destroy their numbers and record company contracts, circa early 1990s.
While this may have been their biggest album it speaks with the same esthetically musical voice that can found even on their last album "Milk and Kisses" (1996). And it is filled with all the things fans loved most about Cocteau Twins: the scintillating waves of guitar riffs, the echoing shimmering voices, obscurest lyrics that only a shaman might understand, and the sense of listening to the songs from either the slow depths of an ocean or the slightly glowing depths of a fairy wood.
When I listen to "Heaven and Las Vegas" now, it is with a sense of loss and wistful love. One can hope that somehow a new generation of fans will discover their music and maybe even a new wave of 'shoegaze' will spring forth from the disposable garbage which makes up modern music.

1."Cherry-Coloured Funk" – 3:12
2."Pitch the Baby" – 3:14
3."Iceblink Luck" – 3:18
4."Fifty-Fifty Clown" – 3:10
5."Heaven or Las Vegas" – 4:58
6."I Wear Your Ring" – 3:29
7."Fotzepolitic" – 3:30
8."Wolf in the Breast" – 3:31
9."Road, River and Rail" – 3:21
10."Frou-Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires" – 5:38

--Nickolas Cook