You know how some people make sensible, optimistic new year’s resolutions that might, in some little way, improve themselves? Well, I’ve tried those, and while they’re an interesting way to prompt eating more healthily, or take up additional physical exercise, they’re often forgotten about by the end of the first week of January.
Additionally, I do think about self-improvement quite a bit. I read about it on twitter and elsewhere, and I agree that I should do something about it. No doubt I’ve blogged about it on here at some point too; I’m too lazy to look up the related posts but I am sure they are there. Somewhere. So, instead of taking up yoga or going vegan I have decided to listen to every album reviewed on Angry Metal Guy this year, and write a little review of each one.
This will, in no way whatsoever, improve my well-being. It is unlikely to help me sleep better, or to even get finished. I’m writing this first post in February because I just cannot get personal projects going on time. Or any project for that matter. It’s a totally useless thing for me to start doing, but these are the sorts of things that get into my brain and poke at my motivational buttons, so here we are.
I’m keen on improving my writing skills, so perhaps there’s some use to it. I’ll also listen to a good few albums I’d have skipped over normally, so maybe I’ll discover a new artist I can fanboy over. Let’s see how it goes. I’m going to review these in review week order rather than release date, so these first few albums will have been reviewed between the 1st and 7th of January. I am not going to include Things You May Have Missed reviews, because Jesus Christ there are a lot of these to listen to anyway and I can live without also listening to stuff catching up from last year.
Anyway, here we go! There are only two to review for the first week.
Seven Nines and Tens – Over Opiated in a Forest of Whispering Speakers
This is the first one up for review, and it’s theoretically something I might actually like. It’s supposedly progressive post-metal with some shoe-gaze chucked in for good measure, and while that is certainly part of their make-up I’m really not too sure where to pigeon-hole them.
The album title suggests that we might get something ‘over-opiated’, and my first impression aligns with me not listening very closely due to a heavy dose of morphine. It’s a bit dull, on the whole, and I cannot remember any of the songs after my single spin. I did enjoy the vocals though – they’re like if the Stone Roses decided to sing along to some average-ish prog.
This one is not a bad effort but not something I’d listen to again.
Wilderun – Epigone
Ah, now were are onto something interesting! I really enjoyed Wilderun’s last album Veil of Imagination, and while I wasn’t quite as head-over-heals as AMG himself, I did think it was one of the best releases that year. Wilderun like to cross genre boundaries for fun, and I love their folk-death-prog stylings.
I enjoyed this one too, and while a single spin is never going to do it justice, I can tell that there are going to be plenty of re-visits in the coming weeks and months. Epigone sounds amazing most of the way through – especially in the quieter parts. Vocalist Evan Anderson Berry has a terrific clean voice but can also give the growls some proper menace too, and it is his performance that sets the band above almost everyone else making heavy progressive music. There’s lots to admire, and those missing old Opeth need look no further.
I found myself less enamoured with some of the heavier sections, which don’t quite smack me around the head as much as I’d like. However, overall this is excellent and likely to be one of the best albums of the year. Need more listens!