Today, i found myself in the middle of Tampere, which is this nice city near me, and the provider of 80% live shows that i attend. Anyway's, there i was, with 4 hours to kill. And what did i do? Marched to the nearest guitar store...
|There it is, as welcoming as ever.|
What i love about these kind of places, is that you can just basically march in there, and play the guitars. I'v been at this specific store more then once, usually just to kill time, but sometimes as an actual customer :O, i actually bought my guitar there earlier this year, and it's a place that i always visit with one of my guitarist friends if we are around, just to hang around and play with the guitar's.
And then, after a couple of hours of fooling around the instrument's, i actually ended up buying an Acoustic guitar, or to be specific: Yamaha CS-40, which is a smaller model of the Yamaha C-40. I'm not sure if the C 40 has nylon strings, but the CS-40 sure does, and i fell in love with the sound of the nylon strings. + you can't play Fear of the dark without one of these ;)
|And there's the beast itself!|
After i took the guitar into my car, i started to hunt for Cd's, there's this nice CD store in Tampere, where i have purchased ridiculous amount's of CD's, but it was closed at the time, so i had to settle for the usual arsenal of this department store of a kind.
The supply of metal was what it is at these places, which is lot's of hard rock, rock, shitloads of pop and stuff like that, few gem's of "real" metal like Krisiun and Amon amarth, i could have picked up one of those, or go for the Iron maiden's which i still lack, but i figured that since i have some pretty fucking sweet record's coming up on the mail i'll just go for something that i actually haven't listened to before. And then an obvious Seth Siro Anton art piece hit my eye's:
And the winner was this album. Moonspell - Alpha noir, It's a band that i haven't hear much about, but i knew that they were some kind of a mix of Black metal, Folk and gothic stuff, so i took it. And it's a funny one, i'm not really sure if i like it or not, some of the tracks i really like and some i don't like at all, now usually at this point i would just think of the album as nothing more then mediocre, but the tracks that i actually like have so many little details and melodies, it's also really atmospheric, that i can't say that it's a mediocre release. The CD actually contains two albums ("Musical twins") The" Alpha noir" and "Omega white", i'v had time to only listen trough Alpha noir, with actual tough process involved so i shall write something about it. The album is not the most brutal album ever created, but brutality for me never was the mark of quality.
I think that ill go through the whole thing track by track:
So the whole package starts off with this track called "Axis mundi", and before i go on i will say that Moonspell is a band from Portugal, although most of the stuff is in English, there's a lot of Portuguese in there too.
Axis mundi: The record starts up with this nice dark ambient music, with the drums and the vocals, repeating this sort of a mantra, creating this nice atmospheric curtain that makes you really wait for the actual music to start up. And start up is just what happens, with this really heavy and nice sounding riffing, and soon the vocalist ( or vocalists?) start to go over this choir-ish vocals for a while, as i listened to this i couldn't help but to notice that the guitar work is really thrash influenced, which i like. Then there's some more "Gothic" really dark sounding vocal, which usually are not my absolute favorite's, but this singer can do it right. More of the epic chorus action, and the strong, heavy riffing, pretty steady on. I actually really liked some of the parts of this one, the rhythm of it and even more rare, the lyrics of it:
"Another lie will be enough to illuminate the misery the race has turned into"
Afterwards, there's some clean vocal, which work just fine (Wintersun!), if not over used in my opinion, definitely excluding these cute boy band's tho :) and the song is wrapped up by the amazing riff that we heard in the start.
Lickanthrope: Here's a song that's certainly not anywhere near as strong lyrically as Axis was, basic storytelling about werewolf's, but good lyrics are after all always a bonus, and certainly not a requirement for amazing music, but i always appreciate good lyrics. This one starts up with really thrashy intro riff which changes into this more melodic riff soon after, which is at some point's backed with small sections of acoustic. For me, this song wasn't that strong, but not terrible either, pretty basic one. Altrough there are some really sweet keyboard sections around the chorus, and a nice "clock" and a guy really quickly whispering the title of the song, again, i love stuff like that. Around the end there's some tremolo and a couple
of nice power chord's.
Versus: I really, really dislike this song, or at least a big majority of it, i just don't like the beginning vocals, which are repeated a couple of times in the song. The best part of the song is the ambient ending of it really.
Alpha noir: The title track starts up with, again, strong riff's that are partly really thrashy and partly really melodic, spiced with tremolo. And some awesome power chord's later on, actually it's a great song if you look at the guitarist's work, but other then the guitar's there's really nothing amazing to be seen here.
Em nome do medo: Starts up with a bass line + drums, which is a nice change, soon the keyboards join in too with this really strong atmospheric part. Oh yeah, the whole song is actually sang in Portuguese, so theres diversity for us. Really strong on the keyboards on this one, creating the dark-ish atmosphere, that i was looking for. The guitar lead's are fitting here as well. There's actually a really nice solo on this one too, fits the atmosphere perfectly, backed with the strong keyboards. Then an amazing part with similar clean vocals as Rotting Christ likes to use, backed with a bass, the whole song ends with a really dark keyboard outro. This song is probably my favorite on the album.
Opera carne: Starts up as most of the songs, thrashy and heavy, there's some kind of a Flanger guitar effect employed here, and as with most of the songs, the thrashines is replaced by melodic riff's. The chorus of this one is really nice, with couple of guys sort of grunting and chanting before and after it (good live stuff right there), a nice bit of soloing is heard here too, which acts as a passage to the chorus aaaand then the thrash - riff is back to end the song.
Love is blasphemy: pretty mediocre one, but still, nice keyboard sections and really strong riffing, which appears to be a constant thing with this album and a nice drum "solo". There's some more brutalish growls used on this one, which, again, brings a nice diversity to the album, obviously i would love to hear more of this more brutal way of singing these songs, but can't always win can i.
Grandstand: Again, the same pattern, really thrashy guitar intro's, up until 0:40 etc, where the keyboards kick in, which appears to be the pattern that these guys employ a lot. This one is a bit of a mediocre song too, a bit on the repetitive side in my opinion (excluding the solo). Some awesome power chords are employed as a passage to the solo, and to back the solo, which is a nice one, i love the bands who use solos as passages to choruses, like in this one: the solo starts up fast and as your basic solo, and greatly slows down pawing the way for the vocalist.
Sine missione: The last in line, and it's an instrumental. And a dark one at that, all kind of flutes and horns are used here, i cant help but to think about a mix of Behemoth and Septic flesh. This track is really great finish to the song, starting really dark, and then there's a "calm before the storm" before the guitar and drums really start to deliver what they did all along the album. Strong riffs, that escalate into more melodic riffs. Nearing the end, the keyboards join in, and there we have it, really dark, catchy and ambient finish to the album that was just that. The whole thing is ended by a nice vibrato dive bomb.
I'v had some bad experiences with picking a random metal album, but this one certainly did not disappoint, and as i said, i don't like all of it and i love some of it, which creates a mixed opinion about the whole thing, but for anyone who's a fan of more ambient metal, I.e Septic flesh, Stormlord or Wintersun, i would recommend this one, unless the person is a picky guy about vocal styles.
I didn't want to leave the store empty handed (I obviously didn't just assume that the CD i just bought without any info was good, which it actually was) so i picked up two coffee mugs too:
|Death: Scream bloody gore.|
And a nice Iron maiden mug, probably not the best mug design of Iron maiden, but the only one i found.
That's all for now, ill be going to sleep and tomorrow ill go through the second album on the Moonspell back, and see how that turns out!