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Album Review: Katatonia – The Fall of Hearts


katatonia_thefallofheartsFirst of all I am not going to mention that other guy from that other band that is known to be vocalist Jonas Renske’s buddy.  Not even going there.  I keep seeing those comparisons and it’s driving me nuts.  Second, it’s going to be hard not to be a bit biased because of my love for Katatonia’s depressively wonderful melodies.  But, The Fall of Hearts is upon us, all 1+ hour of it, and I must speak about it.  That’s a huge chunk of melancholy, but the good thing is that it doesn’t “feel” like an hour.  So, I expected the album to follow the path of Dethroned and Uncrowned.  I mean, let’s face it, that haunting remix of Dead End Kings was well transformed, produced, and engineered.  The live concert footage is killer!  Why not ride that wave?  I probably would, but that’s me.  I can milk a cow till she runs dry. Read the rest of this entry

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Reggie’s Top 15 of 2015…For Now…In No Particular Order


top-15-iphone-app-development-companies_0Throughout the year, I take all of the albums I like; the ones I think might be Top 15 quality and I put them on a list. In no particular order, they sit until a few months before the end of the year. Then, I start deciding what stays and what goes. Sometimes it’s a tough choice, sometimes I have to listen to a few things again to refresh my memory as to why they were on the list in the first place. But, there is a lot of weeding out, weeding in, and sorting. It’s actually kind of fun and I get to take a break from listening to new things for a short while.

This year, I decided to do a best of (so far) list, just to see where things are going. I haven’t done this before. There have been a small handful of albums that went over well with me and I think they will stay on my list, but overall I have to say that it is not a particularly great year in metal as far as I am concerned. The “wow” factor is just not happening all that much this year…for me. This list is in no particular order. It’s a list of albums I think have the most potential for end-year nods. We do still have a way to go though. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Katatonia – Sanctitude (Live)


489616I am not one for live albums anymore.  I used to always buy them because I felt I was enjoying a piece of the band that I did not have regular access to.  The live setting was raw and mostly unedited back then.  It seemed pure and energetic.  Then, bands like Dream Theater and Opeth (to name just two) went and threw a whole bunch of production into their live albums/DVDs and now my bar has grown accustomed to excellent sound.  How can I go back to bootleg-ish production now?  There is one exception to the rule though.  The (sort of) “unplugged” setting is an intimate atmosphere free of distortion and all around craziness.  More importantly, bands have to rehearse quite a bit because the audience will be able to hear every single nuance of the music.  It has to be awesome.  This is where Katatonia’s new live concert, Sanctitude, comes in.  It is (basically) unplugged, crisp, and sensational.  Of course, the production helps.  Read the rest of this entry

Songs That Define My Taste In Music #6 & #5 (Reggie)


music-taste--large-msg-132724488296Talking to other metal admirers has certainly opened my ears to a world of music I barely knew existed.  I have to say, my library has expanded quite a bit over the years though meeting friends in blogs and social forums.  A recent conversation on a facebook forum called “I, Author of Despair” led me to do some soul searching on songs that define my taste in music, more specifically heavy metal.  When asked, I usually tell people I just like the aggressive nature of the music, but after thinking about it for a bit I realized there are so many other reasons that define my particular taste…reasons that opened the door to my favorite genres and opened further doors to new ones.   Those 10 reasons in no particular order are Speed, Cadence, and Flow; Rhythm and Groove; Guitars; Presentation and Appearance; Disposition; Artistic Impression; Technicality; Poignant Intelligible Lyrics; Storytelling; and Aggression.  Although some of the bands used to articulate the things that define my taste can cross over into multiple areas, I use them as good examples of why it defines my taste in music.

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What’s Cookin’ in the Inbox (10 Sep 13)


full mail inboxThis week on What’s Cookin’ in the Inbox, my goal is to be as diverse as possible.  This time around I am painstakingly sifting through the requests and advertisements to capture the breadth of metal which you know doesn’t always have to be bone crunching or heavy.  Of course, that is preferred, but metal comes in many forms.  Since I am trying to bring you as much music as possible, I will skip the chatter and get to the most important point, which is introducing (hopefully) a little something new to you.

Johnny Wore Black

First up is Johnny Wore Black.  We have been following his progress for quite some time now as he has released several videos.  I believe a full album is on the way shortly.  While recording his creations, he managed to get Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson to collaborate on some of his music.  Below is the latest song, Gift of Desperation.

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Album Review: Katatonia – Dethroned and Uncrowned


98847Katatonia has been in the music business since 1991; formed in Sweden they started under a much heavier and grittier format though they still inspired a somber yet, doomy feel.  Over the course of their career they evolved to create music, as I like to describe, as songs that allow your mind to travel.  It’s a bit dark and often gloomy, but calming and soothing at the same time.  Vocalist Jonas Renkse’s haunting vocals are a perfect fit for the style of music Katatonia creates.  Though they can still be quite heavy at times, enough to inspire some crowd movement, their somber-sounds have a reverse effect on me and often my mood around for the positive.  On the 10th of September, the masters of melancholy release Dethroned and Uncrowned, the (remixed) follow-up to 2012’s Dead End Kings.

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Concert Review: Opeth/Katatonia


094It was another affair with Opeth, my second, this time at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado 20 May 2013.  It was not surprising that Katatonia were on board to open the show seeing how both bands are very good friends and tour together often.  This was also my second time seeing Katatonia, but this evening was provided more Katatonia than I have ever seen, since the first time was at a festival…and a 25 minute set doesn’t do much justice for most bands.  And before you read on, no there was no special set of Bloodbath afterward…though that would have been very cool. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Resonance Room – Untouchable Failure


Resonance Room cover

Resonance Room from Italy released their second album Untouchable Failure last week. It’s an elegant mix of heavy prog and dark gothic metal with a strong influence from bands like Pain of Salvation, Katatonia and Evergrey. That sounds like a good thing, right?

Yeah, for the most part it is! I enjoy every single one of the ten tracks on the album; they are easy to listen to and follow. The melancholic atmosphere, heavy guitars, the soft passages and melodies with keyboards in the background, just like it should be. Untouchable Failure is a nice step forward from their previous release Unspoken. This time they managed to create a more diverse, warm and deep sound, even though I wish it would be a bit more consistent and dynamic. The singer’s Italian accent can clearly be heard in most of the songs and it can be a problem if you want to listen to the lyrics and hear what he’s singing. Fortunately, he has a very pleasant voice that suits this type of dark, gothic music.

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Reggie’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time #20-16


As we journey down the path to my number 1 favorite album of all time, we have finally breached the top 20.  From here on out, you will likely see more and more classic metal albums appearing on the list except for one or two that are relatively new (to me) compared to the rest.  This all-time list is an ongoing effort started by our friends at The History of Metal page on facebook.  Each day we list another album until we get to the end which should take us close to the end of the year.  Below is my next list of five as we near our way to #1.  Enjoy!

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