New year, new platform and plenty of music to judge, discover and enjoy. This monthly review includes: Kings Of Leon, Haken, Wovenhand, Neurosis, Wovenwar, Joe Bonamassa, Hyenas, Amaral, Between the Buried and Me, The Rolling Stones and Radim Hladík of The Blue Effect.
Kings Of Leon – WALLS
This album made history, right after it was released, as it made of the biggest drops in Billboard history, by falling from #1 to #20 in a single week. However, from a personal point of view, they are getting better with every year. There were comments all over the place, about a poor success of their previous two albums at listeners and the fact they settled down. Well, you cannot make sex on fire all the time and I would love to be aging one day, like these guys. Relax and enjoy this amazing piece and even the previous two albums.
Haken – Affinity
I discovered Haken in their really early stage, as I loved back then everything related to progressive Hungarian/UK band To-Mera.
One of my friends is making fun of me till this day, because I could compare To-Mera, in one of my first magazine reviews, only to almighty Madder Mortem. Try it yourself… Anyway, thanks to a singer Julie Kiss I got to her early sympho gothic activities at Without Face. When I heard two other members are forming a new prog band, I had to check it out. Plus, you cannot visually miss guitarist Tom MacLean, Julie’s husband, who surprisingly took bass duties. Haken’s debut Aquarius was a big meal at first, but since the first second you can feel inside it’s worth listening time. Eventually, it’s so simple to fall in love with it, discover its hidden treasures and apply the music moods into your own mind’s interpretations. I gave their other albums same amount of energy, as I gave to the debut, but they didn’t become so close to me. Time went by and Haken became one of the most favorite bands on the prog scene. Honestly, I didn’t even plan to listen to their latest, fourth album Affinity, as I simply didn’t enjoy much the previous two albums. Plus, I was not caught by the album cover and the video image for a single Initiate looked too “powerish”. Eventually, also thanks to a community on Prog Snob Facebook group, I gave them another chance. I truly miss Tom on bass, but I do finally enjoy a Haken album after number of years. Yes, other videos are also a bit power metal funny and you need some tolerance for prog fun, but melodies are more than true, electronic experiments serve their decent purpose and Rocky soundtrack moments are bloody catchy!
Wovenhand – Star Treatment
Absolutely incredible! I strongly believe I heard some of Wovenhand’s work before, but simply cannot find it my collection. Honestly, I feel this music has been with me for years, just waiting for me to hear it. Dirty atmospheric country rock, with elements from Native American music.
Neurosis – Fires Within Fires
I have heard many compliments from these guys from numerous sources. I even gave them multiple listens and tried number of albums, but this dark mood never clicked…
Wovenwar – Honor Is Dead
Radio americano metal/rock. Missing such a strong hit as All Rise was on the debut.
Joe Bonamassa – Live At The Greek Theatre
Joe is amazing, but it was simply too much Joe lately. If this was a tribute to B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King, I miss desperately a single track from B.B.’s legendary live album Live at the Regal.
Hyenas – Deadweights, Amaral – Nocturnal, The XX – I See You
Running music of the month:
Between the Buried and me – The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP
Respect The Elders
Rolling Stones – Blue and Lonesome
Taste of good old blues from the masters.
R.I.P. Radim Hladík, Czech guitar legend