BODY OF LIGHT
Industrial metal-heads Halo are back with their sophomore release Body of Light.
The album quickly loses steam, dwindling under the pangs of somber and pummeling nu-metal riffs.
Body of Light staggers with each step and only offers glimpses of unadulterated metal prowess.
Most of the album sounds both contrived and non-structured.
Tracks like, “Buried in Light,” and “Crawl,” are nothing more than five-minute intros that never get to the point.
They attempt to build up towards some sort of grand revelation, but wind up with nothing to show for it, except an ill-fated attempt at classic rock cliché.
Each tune is buried beneath a needless drone of guitar feedback and the occasional discombobulated vocal grunt.
It sounds as if during pre-production, the band, (and the engineers for that matter), forgot what a song actually encompasses.
Body of Light feels like a failed attempt at rejuvenating a genre that is clearly on its last leg.
High On Fire
Surrounded By Thieves
High On Fire’s new album Surrounded By Thieves features eight tracks of sludgy, droning stoner rock.
The album’s most obvious fault is its repetitive derivativeness.
Tracks drone on and stagger under their own weight.
High On Fire is often compared to Black Sabbath, and this is fitting, as the band attempts to make the guitar sound exactly like that of Sabbath guitar legend Tony Iommi.
The trouble is, they are unable to craft riffs as memorably crushing as Iommi’s.
These problems are compounded by the fact that the album is recorded in a distractingly muddy manner.
On top of the poor production, the guitars are so heavily down tuned that it makes for an album that sounds as though it was recorded inside a sewer pipe.
However, two tracks almost stand out from the pack. “The Nemisis,” has the most enjoyable guitar riff on the record, and “Thraft of Caanan” is a ten minute epic that does manage to distinguish itself.
But unfortunately for High On Fire, two halfway decent tracks can not pull Surrounded By Thieves out from under the weight of its own sluggish mediocrity.
– Chuck DelRoss
“This is why we are alive,” is the first line Andrew W.K. hurls toward the listener during the opening seconds of his sophomore masterwork The Wolf.
Not since The Monroe Doctrine has there been such a clear, direct, and undeniable sense of purpose fueling the words of man.
W.K. plants his stance immediately, snarling in the face of homogenized mediocrity, challenging the audience to test themselves against the unavoidable rush of triumph that infuses every measure of the album.
The Wolf shows Andrew W.K. as an artist fully evolved and transcendent.
Yes, the sonic attack of metal decadence remains, but it is more lush and crushing than previously imaginable.
On tracks such as, “Your Rules,” and, “Make Sex,” it is clear that W.K. has not completely abandoned the themes and motifs of past efforts.
This time around, though, these ideas are compounded upon with songs commenting on the value of introspection, (“Tear It Up”), mortality, (“The End Of Our Lives”), true emotional intimacy, (“Really In Love”), and, of course, partying, (“Long Live The Party”).
The Wolf sounds as if it is an album preoccupied with preparation, particularly when W.K. asks that we be ready, “So we can be there when victory strikes again.”
However, there is no need to prepare for victory, because on The Wolf, it strikes many times over.
-Robert James Algeo