2011, Aeonic, Album, Alternative, Bass, Classic, Cover, Dark, Drum, Encore, Floyd, Full, Guitar, Impulse, Indie, Jordan, Metal, Moon, of, Pink, Progressive, Rock, Salfity, Side, Space, The, Vocal, Wall
Hey is the Soundcloud link to a performance by my band Aeonic Impulse of Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd in its entirety.
The show was done in early December of 2011, as part of my 21st birthday celebration. The performance was done in front of family and friends, and was recorded live by our good friend Kimo (Shooky Darshun).
This was the original Aeonic Impulse lineup, and was very early on in our stages of being a band. The recording and performance are a little rough, so we consider it a Demo. However, there are a lot of good things going on here and I’m still proud of the performance.
We also threw in some covers of other songs by Pink Floyd as encores so that it would be a full set.
Hope you enjoy it! =)
Aborted has been one of my favorite death metal bands for many years now, and I always make it a point to go see them live when they come around. This was going to be my 4th time seeing them, and my first time seeing them do a headlining tour. The month of May was a little slow for good death metal shows, so fans were lined up and ready to enter the venue, for what promised to be a heavy and diverse night of metal.
The night began with the local openers. The first local opener was a band called Detriment. They have been around for a while, and are from San Pedro (a couple of cities over from my home town), but it was my first time seeing them. They are a three-piece consisting of drums, bass, and guitar. The drummer and guitarist shared vocal duties. The style was old school death metal, reminding me of bands like Exhumed, Dying Fetus, and Carcass. The drummer handled the higher register screams and the guitarist focused on the deep gutturals. The music had a nice blend of melody and groove, going back and forth between the fast guitar lines and slow breakdowns. The band was tight, as seen in moments where the drumming added technical offbeat hits over repeated riffs that were in odd time signatures. These moments were few, but they really were the highlights of the set. It showed that they had a good knowledge and feel for technicality, while focusing on memorability.
The next local band was Send Them Sin. I had previously seen them at The OC Music Hall in Anaheim opening up for Rings of Saturn. This five-piece plays a style of music that combines elements of death metal, deathcore, groove metal, and thrash metal. The vocals have a fist pumping element similar to the style found in bands like Hatebreed and Chimera. At the same time, the band switches back and forth between slow grooves and breakdowns and the fast melodic guitar lines like Detriment did. The singer, Albert, tossed out copies of their EP to the crowd throughout the set, and explained that the songs from the set could be found on it. They threw in a cover of “Raining Blood” from Slayer, which made the crowd go crazy and scream along. They did a good job energizing the band before the show went to the touring bands.
The first of the touring bands was Dark Sermon. I had not heard this band, so I did not know what to expect, but they had a really unique element to them. They combined the look and feel of an Agalloch or Wolves in the Throne Room show with death metal style vocals that were not too far off from the other bands on the bill. The lead singer placed candles and animal skulls at the edge of the stage, and held burning sage in his hand while he performed. He began the set with a dark hood over his head, and continued to show a lot of energy throughout as he would scream at the top of his lungs while laying on his back. He would also shout at the audience without the use of a microphone. The music itself had a nice blend of heavy moments with dark, soft, and atmospheric moments that felt more like a black metal show than a death metal show.
Next up was the band that I was most excited for after Aborted, and that was Archspire. I had recently seen Archspire for the first time when they opened up for Fallujah, and could not wait to see their brand of technical death metal yet again. Archspire is known for being of the more technical bands currently out there. Their music includes guitar sweeps, bass tapping, and difficult start and stops from the drumming. But it is the singer, Oliver, who really steals the show with his rapid fire growls that are as close to rapping as technical death metal gets. The band has a lot of energy and stage and Oliver does a great job getting the crowd into it and screaming along. He also does a great job with the in between banter, as he is full of dark, inappropriate, and hilarious jokes that he executes with perfect delivery. They really pack a punch in a 30 minute set, and would be interested to see what they would be capable of if they ever came around to do a headlining set of their own.
The last of the opening bands was Fit For an Autopsy. I was familiar with their music, but this was my first time seeing them live. Like Lorna Shore on the Fallujah tour, it was their job to add some diversity from all the technical or old school death metal bands. They were the only deathcore band of the touring bill, and they handled the job extremely well. The music was filled with dark and slow breakdowns, occasional dissonant guitar lines, occasional fast melodic riffs, slight elements of atmosphere, and repeated growled phrases that allowed fans to scream along. They supplied a lot of energy and really got the crowd into the show. Deathcore really isn’t my style of music, and I was really excited to see Aborted, so it wasn’t one of the more memorable sets of the night. However, I can appreciate their set and how excited their fans were to see them. The pits were very fun to just sit and watch.
Finally, it was time to see the headliners of the show: Aborted. The Aborted fans made their way to the front sporting Aborted shirts, and started cheering for the members. The band began with a soundclip from the movie Hellraiser, and played an impressive 15 song set. The set started and ended with songs from one of their most popular albums, Goremageddon: The Saw and the Carnage Done. The set also included two other songs from that album. They played 4 songs from their most recent album, The Necrotic Manifesto, including such fan favoriets as “Cenobites”, “The Extirpation Agenda”, and the title track. The played 2 songs off of The Archaic Abattoir and even went all the way back to their Engineering the Dead to play one of their staples, “The Holocaust Incarnate”. I was happy to see them play 4 songs from Global Flatline, my favorite album by them. From album, they played “Fecal Forgery”, which the guy next to me was cheering for. Before they played it, Sven dedicated it to “that guy”. Sven went back and forth between being funny and being sincere. The band seemed happy to be able to play a headlining show at The Whisky, where they had previously opened up for Origin several years prior. The band was humble, but they were also tight as can be. The technical and heavy music flowed through perfectly, and the set just seemed to fly by. I couldn’t believe it was 15 songs long, because there were still so many songs I wanted to hear. But that just shows the band’s ability to stand it in a genre that often runs the risk of becoming stale. The band showed why they deserve to be listed as a “legendary death metal band”, and hopefully this show proved that they can come back and headline any time they want.
It was easy to tell that the show left everyone, not only the crowd but the bands as well, feeling very content. There was an electrifying feeling throughout the venue.
Metriod Prime 2: Echoes (2004) – 94/100
– The Metroid franchise continued with the Prime Trilogy just two years after the first installment. Echoes begins like most games do for Samus: with her recieving a distress signal. She is sent to rescue Galactic Federation Marines whose ship has landed on the planet Aether, which is inhabited by a race known as the Luminoth. She discovers that the planet was struck by a large meteor that split the planet into two separate planets: Aether, which exists in the normal realm, and Dark Aether which exists in a dark dimension. She also discovers that the troopers were killed by a race known as the Ing, who are the inhabitants of Dark Aether. The Ing are trying to gain control of both Aethers so that the darkness will prevail. In order to prevent this and save what remains of the Luminoth race, Samus must go to three different temples located in the dark world to regain the stolen light, ensuring the destruction of the Ing and the return of power and energy for the Luminoth. Samus travels back and forth between the two planets through the use of portals. The game starts with Samus exploring the Temple Grounds area, allowing the player to get used to the controls and the extremely dark storyline. This area contains The Great Temple, where the final battle occurs. From there, Samus explores three other areas: The Agon Wastes (a desert area that contains a Space Pirates Fortress), The Torvus Bog (a forest/swamp area with a large underwater section underneath the temple of this area), and The Sanctuary Fortress (a large Fortress with robots who used to work for the Luminoth but have been corrupted). In each area, Samus must find three keys in the dark world to gain access to the dark temples (replicas of temples located on Aether) and fight the main boss of each area. Once Samus has done this, she must find 9 keyes located throughout Dark Aether (with the help of clues Samus finds along the way) to gain entrance to the Sky Temple (a dark replica of The Great Temple). There she faces the final boss: The Emperor Ing. Along the way, Samus also encounters Dark Samus, a replica of herself that was created when the Metroid Prime from the first game in the series attached itself to her after its defeat. Samus must fight her three times throughout the game, each time becoming more difficult than the previous time. The game play and weapons are similar to the first game. The use of portals to go back and forth gives this game an interesting dynamic. The air in Dark Aether is toxic, which means that Samus is constantly losing life if she is not protected by light shields that are scattered throughout the world. This makes fighting bosses in Dark Aether extremely difficult because Samus must always be aware of her life. Some interesting pick ups include the Light Beam (modeled after the plasma beam from Metroid Prime) and the Dark Beam (modeled after the ice beam from Metroid Prime). Another interesting feature is the Light Suit, which Samus acquires towards the end of the game, and allows her to not be affected by Dark Aether’s atmosphere and also allows her to travel through beams of light so that elevators are not necessary to go from area to area. Some boss fights are really unique in this game as certain ones require Samus to fight in morph ball mode, making bosses like the Power Bomb Guardian a personal favorite of mine. However, the game is overall more difficult and challenging than the first one. Not only because of the dark atmosphere, but also because of the lack of save stations, and because of bosses like the Spider Guardian and the Boost Guardian which are commonly agreed to be among the toughest in the franchise. Once you have beaten the game, there is also a hard mode, which makes the game even tougher (I have never beaten the final boss on hard mode). The challenging nature of the game makes it one of the Metroid games I play the least, but I still have a lot of respect for the amazing attention to detail and the incredibly interesting storyline. The game also is the first to feature a multiplayer mode with a mini game similar in style to 007: Goldeneye, where players try to defeat each other using weapons in arenas. This gives the game an attempt at more playability and I appreciate that. Overall, it is another unique addition to the franchise and to the trilogy. Not better than the first one, but there was a lot of effort and care in making it a whole new experience.
Harmony Korine is an American director, producer, screenwriter, and occassional actor. He is best known for writing Kids and directing the movies Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, Mister Lonely, Trash Humpers, and Spring Breakers. His films deal with the darkness of daily life and have a heavy use of dark humor. The plots center around typical drama in the lives of human beings that are then exaggerated to the points that the are absurd. This causes tense moments where the audience is left to wonder if the images are funny because of how over the top they are, or if they are in fact very realistic and therefore are not funny because they hit too close to home. He allows for a lot of improvisation in his movies and gives his actors suggestions on note cards rather than giving them full on scripts. He makes use of surrealism, non-linear forms, and mixing different kinds of camera styles such as Super 8 alongside 35mm. His movies show unique and bizarre individuals with a high emphasis on areas that consist of abandoned buildings and broken objects. He calls this portrait the “American Landscape”, and it can be found in most of his work. He has been the subject for much debate whether his movies are pieces of art and actually have something worth saying, or if they are just pretentious and self indulgent. He has said many times that he does not like to cram his movies with a lot of metaphors that force people to constantly try and figure out what it all means. He would rather have memorable images that speak for themselves and stay with the audience members. I tend to agree with him, because I think the images in his movies are extremely difficult to forget due to his focus and direction.
Movies Still To Review:
Julien Donkey-Boy (1999):
Mister Lonely (2007):
Trash Humpers (2009):
Spring Breakers (2013): 8.25/10
– For a detailed review about Spring Breakers, click the link below:
Emma Ruth Rundle – Some Heavy Ocean – 8.5/10
– Also involved in the bands Red Sparowes, Marriages, and Nocturnes, this is Emma’s first solo album. Like those album, there is a heavy emphasis on the atmosphere. A perfect blend of post rock with straight forward songs. Her voice reminds me very much of Alanis Morissette, as does her songwriting style. There is just a higher use of tones, delay, reverb, and guitar sounds in the background. This is not a bad thing at all. I love the almost 90s angst and songwriting feel that this album is able to nostalgically bring back, and bring into the current trend of music styles that are popular in the hipster areas of Los Angeles such as the North Hollywood and Echo Park areas. The album is 36 minutes long, and goes by quickly. The fact that every song on this album is an instant classic makes it go by faster, cause you’ll be singing along with every song and wondering when a song you don’t know is going to pop up on the album. That however does not happen. You sing along with them all, and then it is all over and leaves you wanting more (or makes you go listen to that Marriages EP). Emma is a talented young musician who has a lot of potential, and thanks to her projects getting noticed and the help of a forward thinking record label such as Sargent House, has a lot of opportunities in her way. We can probably expect another release from her soon, which is wonderful, because I can’t get enough of her voice and am looking forward to seeing her diversify her abilities.
Devin Townsend – Z2: Sky Blue – 8.15/10
– Released with Dark Matters, the sequel to Devin’s highly popular Ziltoid the Omniscient album, Devin also delivered the 6th album by the Devin Townsend Project. Originally a project that started with 4 (2 released in 2009 and 2 released in 2011), the point was to release whole albums that had completely different styles of when compared to the other ones, and completely different lineups. Ki mixed his metal music with ambience, sounding more like Progressive Rock then ever before, Addicted was more danceable, Deconstuction was a highly chaotic concept album with several guest musicians, and Ghost is the most mellow and beautiful album he has done. Epicloud showed a shift as the lineup became more stable and the music became more focused on positive music, mixing heavy with beauty. It contained lots of keyboards and background vocals. Sky Blue picks up where that album left off. It is a wonderful blend of heavy songs, uplifting songs, strong melodies, and (as always with Devin) amazing vocal performances. Devin trades vocal duties with Anneke van Giersbergen, and the two compliment each other so well. The album is great song after great song, and also bears a strong resemblance to the Addicted album in addition to Eplicloud. The main focus is obviously the songwriting. This is not the chaotic albums such as Deconstruction or Dark Matters. This is the Devin Townsend who has been through a lot and is using his music in a very soul searching way. This album has a strong focus on death, but does so in a powerful way which gives hope. The straight forward focus of this album works well with the musical focus of Dark Matters, and I believe it was a good idea to release them together, because it gave you both good songwriting and good musicianship. They compliment each other so well, I don’t think these albums would have had the same effect for me if they were released separately, because it made me appreciate Devin’s diversity and ability to multitask. My complaint about this album by itself is that it feels like ground we have already covered with two previous albums and it has the possibility of becoming stale if he continues to release albums in this direction. But for now, this album is welcomed and well enjoyed.
Trioscapes – Digital Dream Sequence – 7.5/10
– Trioscapes is a three piece jazz trio that is most known for being the side project of bassist Dan Briggs (also of Between the Buried and Me as well as Orbs). The trio is rounded out by drummer Matt Lynch and Walter Fancourt switching between saxophones and the occasional flute. This album picks up where their first album left off. Intricate and challenging melody lines, unisons between the bass and saxophone, bass shredding here and there, and consistently exciting drum playing. It is 5 tracks long and clocks in at 42 minutes. Similar to the first album, catchy melody lines are few and far between. The parts that are easy to follow along with are surrounded by experimentation, technicality, and a wonderful blend of jazz fusion that can get very dark and heavy, almost sounding like the trio were covering Between the Buried and Me songs expect on jazz instruments. The flute solos reminded me of Theo Travis’s style of playing that he did on Steven Wilson’s solo albums. Walter has great ability at bringing out emotion through his solos. This can also be seen in his saxophone playing, which growls, screams, shrieks, and overall has a very soulful and human feeling. Dan gets to experiment with bass sounds a bit more than he does in BTBAM. Instead of just holding down the low end, he goes through a wide range of tones, from his solo shredding tones, to his typical jazz bass tones, to the colorful sounds during the tapping section of the album’s epic closer “The Jungle” (which clocks in at about 15 minutes). This album is a demanding listen. It is full of hard to follow lines, time signature changes, and parts seem to rarely repeat themselves. The album constantly moves you through a journey showing off not only what this band is capable of, but also how genres are able to adapt themselves so that they can sound similar to other genres (most obviously jazz and metal). Unfortunately, it is the challenging nature of the album that makes up its low score. I found that I had to be in the right mind set to listen to it. When I did end up listening to it, I enjoyed it and was quite happy with the overall outcome of the album.
Agalloch – The Serpent and The Sphere – 7.5/10
– This grade comes as a surprise to me, because Agalloch had released 4 of my favorite albums of all time in a row and were on their way to becoming my favorite album of all time. Also, a lot of people are really enjoying this album and are grading it much higher than I am. Maybe it’s because I had such high expectations for it that it fell flat, but I personally feel it is because of the change of musical direction. What they chose to do here is let the music do the talking more so than the vocals. In theory this can be a good idea. But in Agalloch’s case, John is one of (if not) my favorite black metal style singers. I was really upset that they chose not to include any of their clean vocals, which I always look forward to. The album contains three acoustic instrumental pieces which I feel somewhat break the flow. They also start and end the album with long instrumental, almost drone like passages, which make the beginning and the end the most tedious parts of the album. Similarly, some songs in the middle like “Celestial Effigy” contain the most changes in terms of dynamics and tempos, making the middle the most progressive. Perhaps it is the uneven flow of the album which caused me to not give it too many listens. Despite all the complaints, there are impressive moments on this album which may be much better in a live setting, and it contains a lot of Agalloch doing what they do best, which is being one of the best black/progressive/folk/shoegaze metal bands on the planet.