Dark Suns – “Grave Human Genuine”

Dark Suns - “Grave Human Genuine”You can find a Spanish version of this review in Friedhof Magazine, an extreme metal magazine. It’s thanks to them that I got it, and they are kind enough to let me republish this on my personal site.

Dark Suns – “Grave Human Genuine”
Prophecy Productions

Progressive Dark Metal
Release: 22/Feb/2008 Germany, 25/Feb/2008 Rest of the world.

The worst you could say about Dark Suns is this. The first and possibly wrong impression that hits on the first listening of “Grave Human Genuine” is that Dark Suns want to be the german Opeth. That could do as a review and I’d be done.
But I feel the neet to add that this album will be very enjoyable for those of the progressive metal crowd that like it deep and dark. Elaborate, beautiful melodies that don’t sound baroque. Bass and drums much more than correct, on their rightful place as support for an ample cast: from skillfully executed metal riffs to atmospheric piano segments. Maybe my ear is not educated enough to appreciate the complexity of the progressions, and rythm shifts of some of the tracks, but they are there, no doubt. Clear voices make a debut, their previous albums featuring quite rougher vocals.
“Grave Human Genuine” is, from the p.o.v. of someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy this genre, an interesting piece. Eight tracks (plus bonus!) that don’t sound tiring even for a second of their 58 minutes of excellent production. Well balanced, it starts pounding with “Stampede”, the track that makes you think someone’s serigraphed Dark Suns on a Opeth compact. Then it relaxes for a bit and works up again through the end of “The Chameleon Defect”, the most frenzied moment of the album. It lets some steam out then, so you can enjoy the vocal work on “Free of you” and “Papillon”, which closes the job.

Nucleus Torn – “Knell”

You can find a Spanish version of this review in Friedhof Magazine, an extreme metal magazine. It’s thanks to them that I got it, and they are kind enough to let me republish this on my personal site.

Nucleus Torn – “Knell”
Prophecy Productions
Progressive / Dark Ambient

The first time I listened to “Knell” with the prospect of reviewing it, a few weeks ago, I felt like the world was crumbling over me. “Knell” is a complex piece of work, an amalgam of classical bits, progressive segments and nearly silent intermissions that makes the task of telling something about it that doesn’t sound fragmented and a little incoherent just short of impossible.

It’s one of those records that you can’t grok the first time you hear it. In fact, first hearings are quite boring, like a school lesson from an uninterested teacher who keeps going on and on in a monotone voice. It’s a complex, enigmatic, evoking album, which can, and must be listened to on so many levels. Dark, minimalist, upsetting and many other adjectives could also define it. Depressing and inspiring, relaxing and stimulating at the same time. It’s an album which is as best suited to listen when you go to bed, as to listen when you’re trying to start your creativity for working.

Only as you go through repeated listenings, with all the attention it’s worth, you can appreciate the presence of each and every instrument, the very purpose of its intervention. Piano, bouzouki and female voice on the soothing, intimate and whispering calm-before-the-storm moments; male voice, guitar and percussion on the all-out storm ones, strident, interspersed with quasi-silent segments during which each and every echo of previous sounds is left to die -for minutes- while sinister conversations between violin and cello take place.

Too many words that can’t hope to describe an album which encompasses both the deepness of classical music and the energy of the most avant-garde progressive metal. If you can excuse the pun, you can’t judge such an experimental work just by reading a few paragraphs: you need to experiment it. Go through every layer, slowly digesting it until you extract your own conclusion. The only sure thing you can expect is that you won’t be indifferent.

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Season 1)

Summer Glau en Sarah Connor Chronicles

Hay una versión en castellano de esta entrada aqui.

Just for having Summer Glau acting as a Terminator bodyguard, I knew the show would be worth watching. It’s been, if only for the episode on which she does ballet. As a bonus, the overall plot in the series makes it marginally more interesting, just enough to grant it a few minutes of brainpower to write this.

First things first, if you were a teenager through the 90s, you are legally bound to have had at least a dozen discussions about time travel, paradoxes, and the many holes the movies had. Now you’re older, your nerdiness has receded and you feel forgiving about that kind of thing. That’s fine. But even if you’re ready for it, be warned. The series has suffered, severely, the pains of the Writers Guild strike. To the point that some CRITICAL character interactions are only shown in the summary of the beginning of each episode.

You’ve heard it right. Maybe if you see the episodes as they are aired, week after week, you won’t notice. But if hoard them to be seen in batches, you will be astounded. One episode ends, and as you are watching that ‘Previously, in Sarah Connor Chronicles…’ segment, you see a quick flash of two characters meeting or exchanging some crucial information. This quick flash ends being pivotal for the episode. And leaves you thinking if you somehow missed it, and something more. So you see the previous ep again and find no trace of the scene.

Yup. That’s awesome, right?. And it happens more than once!. I think it’s there to create suspense, given that the show won’t do that on its own.

Because I’m afraid that what’s happened it’s that the show has been heavily edited to fix into some last-hour reescheduling. Fear that confirms on one of the last episodes, where the characters decide, out of the blue, that blowing up the City Hall will make their lives better. You think: “crap”, but then you are treated to a few shots of Glau just staying there, with a blank stare on her beautiful face, and then saying something or beating some other terminator’s ass. And you forgive.

Veredict: high nerd factor. Could’ve been much more interesting, but I think they ruined it. Of course, I can’t help and will be seeing the second season if they renew. You already knew that.