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    Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

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    Zarich

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    Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  Zarich on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:08 am

    I used to do some music/band reviewing for a small blog, the name I forget as i did it a couple years ago. Since we are doing a Music Based VN. I might as well start up again. At the moment this is going in the Dev section b/c most of us are all devs. When we pick up might as well move this to the general section later on.

    I'll mainly review anything I happen to think about. Usually the music will either be Avant-Garde/Metal/Rock/Folk/J-pop/Anime music reviews, the bands will for the most part, be all underground bands (with the exception of the anime and J-pop songs, which will probably be a lot shorter). Plus, it helps me get better a more review based writing just in case I want to want to be the next Roger Ebert. Xp.

    I'll probably do the first review if I have time tonight.

    Words to Know so you can keep up with the reviews:

    EP (Extended play): Essentially a Mini-album. Usually only has at most five songs, and is usually a max of 30 minutes.

    LP (Long Play): A regular album, usually has 5+ songs that range from 3-5 minutes (generally speaking). Usually lasts at a Minimum of 30-40 minutes.

    Concept Album: An Album that is either based around one theme or character. These albums usually tells a story throughout the whole album.

    Folk Metal: Heavy Metal with a huge classical folk influence. Instruments such as Violins, Flutes, or Bagpipes are very common in the music. If not, then keyboard synths are used to create a folkish sound. Lyrics usually deal with Nature, Paganism, Mythology/Folklore, or Fantasy.

    Viking Metal: Heavy Metal that has a galloping sound to the guitars. Debated to if an actual genre or just a group of multiple bands. Harsh vocals are common and there is usually some deep clean vocals, usually chanted or sung by the whole band. Folk Instruments can sometimes be seen used sparingly. Lyrics include well, Vikings and Norse Mythology.

    Plan to Review/Retreospect list:
    Bands Retrospects:
    Chaosweaver - Industrial/Symphonic Black Metal from Finland
    Equilibrium - Epic/Symphonic Folk/Viking Metal from Germany
    Adavänt - Epic Folk Metal from USA (Arizona)



    Last edited by Zarich on Thu May 10, 2012 2:28 pm; edited 5 times in total
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    Waytfm
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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  Waytfm on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:10 am

    I'll keep up with this.
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    notop

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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  notop on Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:09 pm

    Waytfm wrote:I'll keep up with this.
    This. ^^
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    Zarich

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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  Zarich on Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:31 am

    Blog Post #1: Tuatha De Danann (Celtic/Folk Metal) Part 1: Tingaralatingadun.

    (This is the first time I reviewed something in about four years, I'm rusty, I will revise over the next day)



    When you think on places that would have bands that would play Celtic music the first place you would think of is Ireland, right? Probably the last place you would think is Brazil. Well, here comes Tuatha De Danann, a Celtic/Folk Metal band from Brazil. Tuatha De Danann started in 1995 in Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil and probably the first South American Folk infused heavy metal band in South America. Having a good amount of fame in Brazil by Heavy Metal Fans and Fans who don't listen to metal , the band combines the guitars of heavy metal with Accoustic Guitars, a Variety of Flutes, and lyrics ranging from Celtic Mythology to Vercingetorix, the famous celtic hero. One more thing to point out, they are famous for having little people dressed up as gnomes or very tall people dance around on stage why they play. They are defiantly not a serious band, preferring to have fun with their music.



    Throughout their tenure they released they have released two albums, one EP, Three LPs, and a DvD. I will be reviewing and talking about the three albums, as those are the albums I own physically.

    Tingaralatingadun (2001)



    Tingaralatingadun, is Tuatha De Danann's first album (duh), which came two years after their Self-titled EP released in 1999. While the EP had a big Power Metal Influence, Tingaralatingadun shifted the sound to what Tuatha De Danann sounds like right now, toning down the heavy guitars and the harsh vocals they had.

    The album starts out with “Dance of the Little Ones”. This is a very silly song. The instruments themselves aren't silly (with some exception to some of the flutes), but it is Front man and co-creator Bruno Maia's great voice and lyrics and just gives you a damn big smile from ear to ear. Don't believe me? Here, watch the music video:



    Had fun? Next song is the aptly named “Battle song”, this song is more in tune to the Power Metal dominated EP but the guitar work is more folkish than the EP. This song shows that the band can dish out some impressive solos from their guitarists, Giovani Gomes and Rodrigo Bernes. The song is Melodic and Catchy, showing influence from bands like Blind Guardian.

    The next song is “Behold the Horned King” By the time you get to this song, you will realize what the band does to keep you to play the album. This song perfectly balances the right amount of vocals, flutes and guitar solos. If you even start to get slightly bored, the song shifts to a different instrument. The solos are of proper length and don't even repeat the same motif, why bother play a solo if the melody will just end up similar to what was already played during the verses? “Behold the Horned King” is about as epic as this album can get.

    Next is almost seven minute (The second Longest song in the album) “Tan Pinga Ra Tan”. Now, what does “Tan Pinga Ra Tan” mean? I have no idea. “Tan Pinga Ra Tan” is the soft song of the album. When I mean Soft, I don't really mean like all acoustics and/or no distortion like a Blind Guardian Ballad. “Tan Pinga Ra Tan” does have acoustics, but it also has the heavy guitars. The only way to describe the song is...Magical. Everything in this song blends so well, it builds up with some keyboard atmosphere and then some flutes (The DvD version has some violin in the intro also). This song is where Bruno shines best in this album, his voice is calming, almost coaxing as he sings:

    Give me your hands - Please leave here your fears!
    Let's fly away 'cause the past awaits us
    Forget your name and open your eyes
    The magic is done
    Here in the woods the elves dance and sing
    Sing to the birds from the moon and the trees
    They were your friends - great friends you've forgotten
    They dwell in your dreams


    Next is the second silly song of the album, “Finganfor”. What makes this song unique is two things, the Fiddle solo at the end and the vocals. The Song tells of Finganfor, the man/gnome/something, that lives on top of a hill in a magical palace. He is your friend, and if this upbeat song doesn't convince you otherwise, change your name to Scrooge.

    Next is “Vercingetorix”. This song plays off the same vibe that Battle song gave but heavier. This song is about as heavy as the album gets, mixing both Bruno's Vocals and the harsh vocals done by Giovani sparsely heard around in “Dance of the Little ones” and “Tan Pinga Ra Tan”. If you aren't a fan of heaviness, don't worry, the song gives you a small acoustic break, albeit a dark and sort of haunting one, in a magical sort of way. In my personal opinion, this is the weakest song of the album. It is still very good, though.

    The next song is the three minute instrumental “Celtia”. This song shows that this band isn't just good with electric guitars. This is an all acoustic guitar piece with percussion accompaniment. There is no Flutes in this song save for the last couple seconds that brings you into the next song.

    Next is what should be called the “Epic-Finale”, I'll explain more on this in the review of the next album. “Some Tunes to Fly” is a culmination of all that you heard. From “Celtia” that just graced your ears, to the intro vocals of “Tan Pinga Ra Tan” (it is also the only song in the album with female vocals) then changes to heavy guitars that you heard in “Vercingetorix” and “Battle Song”. This song has it's heavy moments, but it also has it's magical moments, an adventurous song and a great song to end the album.

    BUT WAIT!

    We still have two more songs to review. The next song is “Tingaralatingadun - The Dwarves Rebellion”. This song follows the same style as “Finganfor”, it has silly vocals of different types, as if to imitate Dwarves (The small gnome like kinds, not the Fantasy LoTR/DnD Kind). This song will probably give you a smile larger than the one that you got in “Finganfor”. The lyrics in this one is the conversation of Dwarves telling humans “Since you stopped believing in us, we are moving. Sayonara”. A slightly sad lyrical subject played for laughs.

    The final Song is the Outre, called “Macdara”. This is an all Accoustic Guitar song, that takes the role of calming you down from your adventure and breaking this story to a close. It is a good song, if, truthfully, slightly out of place.

    All in all, Tingaralatingadun is a fantastic album how those who don't know what Folk Metal is. It is a great gateway piece for those who listen to only folk music to get into heavy metal and it is a great gateway piece for those who only listen to Tradditional Heavy or Power Metal to get into the Folk Genre. I've probably listened to this album well over twenty times. It never gets tiring. Also, “Tan Pinga Ra Tan” is my favorite song of all time and has been for over 5 years. Everyone should listen to this album at least once.
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    Zarich

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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  Zarich on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:22 pm

    I'll revise this when I have time....later. But my review on the next Album, The Delirium has just Begun... will come this week
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    Zarich

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    Tuatha De Danann - The Delirium has just Begun...

    Post  Zarich on Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:03 am

    Tuatha De Danann - The Delirium has just Begun...



    After the Sucess of Tingaralatingadun, in 2002, Tuatha De Danann released "The Delirium has just Begun...". This is ths second of Tuatha De Danann's Three Albums, it is also the shortest one.

    Brazuzan - Taller than a Hill

    The first song is the seven minute, the first song in the album tells us a story about Brazuzan, the man as tall as a hill. The story in the song goes that Brazuzan was feared by the people in the nearby village, he was a tall man, but a good man. When he heard that Guilart, the evil giant was going to invade the village, Brazuzan fought them off and died saving the town. The villagers realizing how good of a man he was, mourned at his grave, their tears bringing him back to life.

    Musically, this song is pretty fascinating, it again follows the Tuatha De Danann style of never leaving one bored. Acoustic guitars are more prominent in this album, and is what opens the album. Also, one will notice the introduction of keyboard synths in this album.

    The music in the song is also played like a story, It starts off happy (in a way), when the battle starts, the electric guitars get more a crunch to them as harsh vocals are added, when he dies the song slows down just slightly, and the bass is more prominent in the section. After that comes a reprise of the beginning and then ends with a party, which has an increase of prominence in the acoustic guitars and gives us one of only two sections in the album where the silly, vocals ala Finganforn is used.

    Probably the most noticeable instrument in the song is the use of flutes, which gives us an incredibly catchy and upbeat melody.

    The Last Pendragon

    The last Pendragon was originally recorded in their demo which was also called "The Last Pendragon", re-recorded for this album. This is the heaviest song in the album, this song brings back some of their original sound they once had (see Below), except instead of High-Range Vocals, Tremolo Picking and Triumphant Lyrics, The last Pendragon forcuses on dark-sounding guitars, a Mix of Harsh Vocals and Mid-range, almost Melancholic and Darkly Epic Clean Vocals, it is a slow song, but not slow enough to be a ballad.

    Abracadabra

    Abracadabra is Tuatha De Danann's First pure Folk song in this album. There are barely any electric guitars in this song. This song is noticeable for being sung with a female, who harmonizes with Bruno. It is a nice song, it allows one to have a break after the intensity of The Last Pendragon

    The Last Words

    The Last words...what can I say about this song.
    Lyrically this song is basically a Musical Adaptation of the famous scene in Hamlet, where the dying Hamlet is talking to Horatio. This song is only sung from the view of Hamlet, no Horation lines at all.

    This is a Classic Tuatha De Danann song. This song could be considered a ballad, but I can argue that it isn't. This song is heavy on the Flutes and Accoustic Guitar, the Electric Guitars only appearing in the Chorus. When one is listening, one should take notice off the bass, which is also prominent in this song, mixed louder than the electric guitars at some points.

    The Crowning point of this song is Bruno's Vocals. While the Vocals were good in the album overall, this song has Bruno's best Vocal performance in out of Tingaralatingadun and The Delirium has just Begun..., the vocals is filled with a lot of power and feeling in it and is what sets this song above the others.

    The Wanderings of Oisin

    This is the second pure folk song. Unlike Abracadabra, it is purely acoustic. The Female Vocals are back but they appear very little in it. It is a good song which again, acts like a break, which then shoves you into the the final song.

    The Delirium has just Begun...

    The Eleven minute, "The Delirium has just Begun..." is widely considered probably Tuatha De Danann's best song. What sets this song to be highly regarded more than the other songs? This song plays all the instruments with full force. This song has many solos for every instrument Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Flute, Piano, Synth, Flute. All this is missing is a A Capella Vocal Solo Ala Tan Pinga Ra Tan. The Vocals don't appear that often but when they do, they are harsh vocals. The Female Vocals appear one last time in this album in the very beginning. This song also seems to take influence from their Original sound, also (again, see Below)

    Actually really, the song is nine minutes long. I won't spoil what fills the other three.

    Overall, this Album is great. Frankly, I am going to say this before I review the third and final album, Tuatha De Danann has a perfect discography. They have made nothing bad. Tingaralatingadun has my favorite song, The Delirium has the most famous song, but what does the Third Album, Trovi di Danu bring to the table? YOu will have to wait to find out.


    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Before Tuatha De Danann was Tuatha De Danann, they were a band called Pendragon, which played Doom Metal, which is a derivative of Heavy Metal known for being slow-paced. The first demo was Doom Metal with a big Celtic Influence.
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    CaptainErsatz

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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  CaptainErsatz on Thu May 10, 2012 12:15 am

    That is a kick ass album cover for that last review and it and the review are making me wanna listen to some goddamn folk metal.
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    Zarich

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    Re: Zarich's Music Bloggery Stuff (Review of Silent Descent - Mind Games up))

    Post  Zarich on Thu May 10, 2012 12:22 am

    Lol thanks. I'll post the final album review, maybe tomorrow, if I have time in between Martial Arts and Yellow Submerine in theaters.

    But first...
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    Zarich

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    Album Review: Mind Games by Silent Descent (2012)

    Post  Zarich on Thu May 10, 2012 12:26 am

    Album Review: Mind Games by Silent Descent (2012)

    Genre: (official label) Melodic Death Metal with Trance Elements. (My Label) Melodic Deathcore/Nu Metal with Trance Elements


    I walked into Silent Descent's “Mind Games” with barely any knowledge of “Duplicity”, the title track being the only song by them that has entered my ear canals. I felt that song was enjoyable and lived up to it's name. Duplicity: the state or quality of having two elements or parts; being twofold or double. Simple enough, a band that put together two different genres, trance and melodic death metal. The genre lived up to the title. The name “Mind Games” gave me some expectations for the band to fulfill. Sure, they most likely won't make an album that would play with your mind like Unexpect does, but I was slightly hopeful. Actually getting to the album brought my small expectations crashing to the ground.

    Without even playing any of the music, a photo of an almost naked woman with torn black tights and a band shirt covering her breasts greats the eyes. On her face is a beauty mark above the lip and messily put on lipstick and mascara. Sometimes Album covers usually tell you who the music is for or what to expect, in a way. This album cover spoke to who would buy the album without knowing who Silent Descent is, prepubescent and teenage boys of some semi-Gothic fashion. Most likely they will hide the album underneath their bed or something, next to the outdated porno mags their uncle gave them.



    There are three kinds of vocals used in "Mind Games". The most heard type is the type of tough-guy shout used by bands such as Korn and Slipknot. The second type of vocals used, brought to us by one of the guitarists, are a Metalcore type of clean vocals that one would hear most likely in a Bullet for my Valentine song. Auto-tune is used, but it is only used to clean up the vocals a little bit. These clean vocals are predominately used in the chorus, they never take any verses and there is never a fully clean vocal song. An early thing to point out is just about every song goes by the typical verse-chorus song format. The third type of vocals are a more high pitched type of vocals most commonly heard in those combination melodic death metal/metalcore bands. Sometimes the vocalist tries to hit deathcore lows, but it is usually overshadowed by the instruments. None of the vocals are particularly stand out at all, and none are particularity good, the only props I can give is that the clean vocalist actually can sing, he is just in the wrong band if he wants to make some money.

    The guitars are also a mixed bag. The genre Silent Descent is labeled with is melodic death metal with trance elements (the band themselves calls their music Trance Metal). In my opinion, the melodic death metal label should be used sparingly. Songs like “Bring-in-Sanity” and “On That Trip” has some Gothenburg/At the Gates influenced riffing in the guitars, more so in “On that Trip”. Other than that, the verse guitars are just chord progressions. Besides that, half of most of these songs contain a number of breakdowns. Now, in my opinion, that is when they would bring in the trance bits. Nope; during most of the breakdowns there is barely any trance to be heard.

    The bass guitar and drums are nothing special, they are just there, as they aren't a huge part of the music. What surprised me was the use of double bass in the songs. I was under the assumption that the drums would have a more electronic sounding beat. But no, the drums are actually drums.

    Besides the vocals, guitars, bass and drums, Silent Descent has two other members to complete this seven piece. Member #6 is the keyboardist. OK, that one is typical, someone has to make the trance sounds. The final member of this band's duties is labeled “DJ/Sampler” and I'm pretty sure he barely does anything in this album. For instance, the only part of the album that I can recollect being sampled is in the final song, “Breaking the Space”. The sample in question is an annoying repeat of four words “Defecate, Sleep, Procreate, Eat” said by an very annoying women. I wouldn't doubt it that the words were said by our messy-makeup model on the cover. Any other music input from this DJ seems to be nonexistent, as his only actual jockey work in the album seems to be the addition of less than a second of record-skipping to some shouted vocals on “Psychotic Euphoric”. Even then you have to repeat the song to even notice the vocal tampering.

    If I had to choose a standout musician out of all of them, it would be the keyboardist as the trance parts are not half bad. Given some time, I could probably get into trance music. Since this album was created in the 2010 decade, there are some dubstep parts, which can mostly be heard in the second half of the intro called “Overture” but there isn't enough to actually complain about. One moment it is there and forty-five seconds later, it is gone.

    Over all, this isn't a good album. It isn't even an OK album. In the mixing, the trance parts of the song overshadows the guitars in many parts, as if the band wants to hide their stale riffing. Every instrument save the keyboards are pretty lame and the music isn't that inventive nor groundbreaking. It is as if they are trying to be unique in the way of doing the ol' switcheroo in the type of electronic music used in combination to metal. Trance instead of Industrial.

    Before the album was released, Silent Descent released a music video for “Psychotic Euphoric” with the added part of “For fans of Slipknot.” on the title of the video. They aren't wrong. This is an album for the Hot Topic crowd. You got your Slipknot vocals, you got your -core instruments and you got your electronics.

    Let us see. Score out of 100, 7 band members, only one good band member, divide into 7 parts, Round DOWN. Total score for this album.

    14/100

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