Nos' Record Roundup: June

Date:2019-06-23 21:05:15
June was another one of those months where the spread of good and bad was immense. I got a couple of albums to be contenders at the end of the year, a couple to consider among the worst, and the stuff in the middle was so boring I don't know what to do with it. Let's get to business.

Album Of The Month: Sweet Oblivion - Sweet Oblivion

A case of what could have been. This album is fantastic... except for Geoff Tate. The songs are great, and it would be an easy winner if there was a better singer handling it. I'll disagree with the common perception and say I don't think Tate sounds good. He's sounded worse, but that's not the same thing as being good. He's passable, but not good enough for what I would call the best QR album ever, if they slapped that name on it.

The Good:

The Beautiful Monument - I'm The Reaper

The two singles leading up to this were great, and the album didn't disappoint, other than the first track, which is way more electronic. The rest of the record is just good, slick, pop/rock that has just enough bite to go along with the lovely melodies. It's almost as catchy as Yours Truly, but not nearly as bright, so it works as a nice counterpoint. If it was a bit longer, it might have been the best of the month, but a half hour record isn't enough. (Yes, I know I included Yours Truly when it came out, which was even shorter, but that was an EP. It was perfect for what it was. A full-length needs to be a bit more than this, even if I do love it.)

Doll Skin - Love Is Dead And We Killer Her

These women have done a heck of a job putting together this album of punk-ish rock. The guitar work has a lot of nice little riffs and solos, and the hooks are killer. This is like if you took Sleater-Kinney, but gave them some big, sing-along songs. I didn't know that was a sound I was hoping for, but after hearing this, it totally is. Great record.

TheNightTimeProject -

A couple former members of Katatonia put together a band that sounds just like Katatonia. That's cool with me, since this is a sound I really like. It's beautiful and somber, but it suffers the same problem as their inspiration; the songs don't stick well enough. It's a very good copy of the sound, and it's wonderful to listen to. I just wish it was a bit more memorable.

The Mediocre:

Bloody Hammers - The Summoning
Diviner - Realms Of Time
Chaos Magic - Furyborn
Timo Tolkii's Avalon - Return To Eden
Majestica - Above The Sky

All of these are various forms of boring. They've all got some decent songs, but not enough to make me care about them at all. Most of them, I feel like I've heard it done before, only much better.

The Awful:

Neal Morse - Jesus Christ: The Exorcist

I love Neal, and I usually don't have a problem with his religion, but damn was this impossible to get through. It isn't even just that it beats us over the head with Jesus. This is the worst, least interesting music Neal has ever made. It's dad-rock even beyond Neal's usual standards. Nothing about it was interesting. Nothing at all.

The Unforgivable:

Baroness - Gold & Grey

This album is good. Really good, actually. It expands on "Purple", and has some really interesting and beautiful stuff on it. However, the album sounds like absolute dog shit. I started getting a migraine halfway through it, and promptly said I was never going to sit through another Baroness album in full ever again. It's inexcusable that they thought this garbage sounded good enough to release. It's neck and neck with "Purple" which is the worst sounding record I've ever heard from a professional label. If this is what they think fans deserve, fuck them.

As for July, we've got a Spock's Beard album that isn't actually a Spock's Beard album, and Scott Stapp on tap, damn the rhyme. Who'd have ever thought Stapp would be the thing I'm most interested in? Otherwise, it's looking bleak again.
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