Nos' Record Roundup: March

Date:2019-03-26 15:03:48
Edited:2019-03-26 15:04:32
March has been a very.... busy month. The number of albums that came out this month has been overwhelming. I don't recall the last time I had this many releases scribbled down on my lists. The sheer number is more than I can handle, so even though I listened to more records than usual this month, there are still a bunch I didn't even give a chance. That would include stuff like Burning Rain, Iron Savior, Tyr, Frozen Crown, and Anthem, all of which I probably would have tried if there wasn't so much competition.

So we got a solid amount of good stuff, but that was countered with more lousy music than a month has given me in a while. Overall, that makes it a mixed bag.

Album Of The Month: Forever Still - Breathe In Colors

This is the only record of the month I was really looking forward to, and it delivered what I wanted. I love Maja's voice, and the way she's able to play off the darker rock sound is a bit different than a lot of the modern rock I hear. It's mainstream rock, but she makes it sound classier than the boors who make a lot of it. Every time I listened to it, the songs were getting better and better. It's early, but I've got this pretty high for the year so far.

The Good:

Any Given Day - Overpower

I don't really check out much metalcore, but for whatever reason I gave this one a cursory glance. I'm glad I did, because this is one of those 'what if' albums. I swear, it sounds exactly like if Tremonti went metalcore. The verses of the songs are the usual growled/screamed stuff, but the choruses are lush and melodic, and the vocals sound just like Tremonti. It's actually pretty darn cool, and for whatever reason, I think I actually like this better than the record he put out last year.

Red Handed Denial - Redeemer

More metalcore-ish stuff. This one starts out with some songs that border on deathcore, but with some catchy melodies thrown in, and gradually moves into being almost alternative rock in a few spots. It's not something you would think I'd enjoy, but I do. She may not be the greatest singer, but her parts are strong.

In Flames - I, The Mask

I wasn't expecting to like another In Flames record, since there's only one I really do, and the last one was complete trash. Surprisingly, this one is pretty darn good. Anders sounds better than usual, and it works as alternative rock type stuff. The metal people will never get over them not being death metal anymore, but if they make records like this one, I'm happy.

A New Revenge - Enemies And Lovers

Ripper didn't suck this time! He cuts back on the screaming to play some good ol' rock, and it's amazing how much better it is. Yeah, the screaming sounds like it's damaged his regular voice, but this is the most enjoyable record of his in who knows how long. How do we get him to focus on this, rather than his screaming shit?

Reason Define - In Memory

Mainstream, alternative rock from this group of ladies. The record could use a bit more bite, but I still found it to be an enjoyable listen.

Twin Temple - Satanic Doo-Wop

An oddball, that's for sure. This is 50s music, but all about Satan, and without the obvious camp of Ghost. I wouldn't want to listen to it all the time, but every now and again it makes for a bit of fun. It's unique.

The Middle:

Bloodbound - Rise Of The Dragon Empire

It's a half-and-half record, but the good half is better than the good from the last few. That said, eight records in and I still don't have a clue who Bloodbound are. They don't have an identifiable core to their sound, and I think that's a huge problem.

Lance King - ReProgram
Darkwater - Human

Both of these are dense prog albums that are still rather melodic and hooky. I like them both, but they get on my nerves a bit in how unrelenting they can be. I like my prog to be prog in structure, not in playing. Too much technicality gets boring.

Battle Beast - No More Hollywood Endings

I'm not saying this is bad by any means, but it didn't hit me the way I was hoping it would. I love her vocals, and the basic sound is good, but the songs were just kind of 'meh'. I think Beast In Black had a couple more that were catchier, so I'm not sure which I prefer, other than to say putting the beast back together again would have been the best option.

The Awful:

Devin Townsend - Empath

What a wretched mess this thing is. None of it makes a lick of sense, bouncing from idea to idea without connecting them at all. There's too much ambient time-wasting, and then there's the fact that all Devin ever seems to do is chug a couple of chords on his guitar while screaming long held notes. Sorry, that's boring as fuck.

Sermon - Birth Of The Marvellous

This is another of those 'anonymous' bands (though the singer does sound sort of familiar), and perhaps for good reason. It's supposed to be deep and cinematic, but it's more boring than anything. Long stretches where little happens are followed by boring sections where something tries but fails to be interesting. It sounds a bit like if Tool was on quaaludes.

Rage Of Light - Imploder

This is supposed to be a mashup of metal and trance music, and it sounds as good as that description would make you believe. You can mix metal and pop sounds, but not like this. The growling and blast beats sound stupid in a more pop context, the synths don't play anything compelling, and the songs aren't catchy. Amaranthe, this is not.

LA Guns - The Devil You Know

I'll give them this; it's better than their last album. It's also still terrible. The mix is lousy, the songs are mediocre, and I don't care if he sounds like he did in 1988, Phil Lewis' voice isn't good. Please, someone let this band die, rather than have two of them running around. No one cares.

Weeer - The Black Album

Another awful mess that I was fortunately expecting to be this bad. I wasn't disappointed to hear this middle aged bitching, along with the pathetic attempts to sound young. Weezer has sucked for fifteen years, and even their good albums are deeply troubling. It's a real fight for worst of the year between this, Devin, and the two Ripper albums.

That wraps up March. April isn't looking to be much better. The only thing I'm currently excited for is the Yours Truly EP. That should be an easy winner.
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