Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Vital Remains evil ~ death ~ live

Alongside the recent Abdullah purchase I grabbed this vital remains dvd. I never got too into vital remains, but always wanted to give them some more attention, so I thought this was a good addition. What sold me on buying this though was the amazing artwork included. I might give my thoughts on this one later, but for now here is what the dvd looks like.






[MUSIC REVIEW] Abduallah - Graveyard Poetry (2002)

Let me briefly go into how I learned about this band in the first place, it kind of coorelates with this review in the first place. Let's rewind back to the early 00's and I was just getting into the whole stoner rock scene, as an initiatory Black Sabbath (ozzy era) fan, I learned that a whole sub genre was created out of their sound and other bands, I am too ignorant to name. At the time there was a web site by the name of stonerrock.com. But it was basically a archive of all bands in the aforementioned genre of music. I would go through the bands randomly listening to different artists and hearing what was out there.

One of the bands that kept my attention was a group by the name of Abdullah. I had a scant amount of mp3's of theirs. At the time my mom was heading to Chicago for some kind of business expo, and while we were there I got to go to this giant record store. And that is where I obtained their 2002 release "graveyard poetry", a disc that got a lot of spins. Fast-forward a few years and my collection of music got expunged to gain funds for what I can remember for probably drugs or something irresponsible and not worth the abandonment of material possessions.

Well I was at a record store around here in my neighborhood. They have a small "metal" section of Cd's, and I almost shit myself when I saw graveyard poetry there. It was a measly $5, so it was a no brainer and I picked it up. I know what your thinking, "cool story bro...". But to me this was some kind of intuitive intergalactic sign, the cosmos were telling me to stop listen, and reminiscence with some of nostalgic relic.

Another side note, I actually remember conversing with the band over AIM (aol instant messenger) at the time, and I remember them telling me that they were going to be playing at Mac's Bar (a local gig). I never did attend the show, which I still kick myself today. Maybe the band would have stuck together had they been given the support and recognition they deserved.

So the music here I can only describe as some psychedelic rock/metal with melodic clean singing. I can't name a song that doesn't have a catchy ring to it. It's more upbeat then what I was typically listening to. But this is all played well and the vocals go great along with it. Listen I am not good at going into detail with musical details, you will just have to take my word for it. And give it a listen. You can find the full album on youtube.

Here is a liner note about the band...

abdullah is:
jeff shrilla - voice * alan seibert - guitar * ed stephens - bass * jim simonian - drums

graveyard poetry was:
recorded by paul hamann
at summa recording studio

bryan stauffer played piano on 13
jeff played drums on 5

artwork design by jeff

dedicated to jasper and matt shirilla
we love and miss you

contact us:
abdullah * po box 159
richfield, oh * 44286 * usa
abdullah@stonerrock.net
www.stonerrock.com/abdullah

not 100% sure if any of the contact information is still active or correct.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

update and randomness

Its been a while, I took a brief absence from the internet due to personal events that compromised my ability to readily use my laptop for blogging purposes. I am now in a stable place, but using the internet is still a matter of taking a trip to the library or a coffee shop. My plans and intentions of this blog where nothing more than to share my thoughts and ideas, and put a emphasis into my taste in music.

Social abilities are limited, I find myself cracking at the surface, but I will never be any different than how I remain. I don't mean to sound cryptic, but I have no other way to write than what seems to come natural to me.

I have had a l lot of time to be by myself and to think, its been refreshing but all the same a conclusion that abandones existence. The idea of teen angst, follows while thinking about this. Everything has a stereotype that saturates any real meaning. It all follows a social code, everything assembles into a social field.

Going off on a tangent here. This post was purely to check in, and say hi. I want to put up some new content. But right now I am at a stand still. That's all for now. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Purgation - Realm of the Dead EP 2000

Updates have been pretty slow for the month of March, being homeless and uninspired dragging me down. Anyways I wanted to share a unknown band I used to listen to all the way back into the early 2000's. The band is named Purgation, and not to be confused with a death metal band from Kolkata with the same name.

Anyways they are a doomy metal band with clean vocal styles. I have listened to a sparse  amount of bands that are in this same variety, most notable would be Abdullah. The more known groups in this genre are good, but their consistency and ability to rationalize a sound that is both evoking and strongly despairing. Why would somebody fall deep into a pit, anger and despair are the responses. Purgation is a group whose message is of the christian variety, but it's not in a preachy kind of way. Although I am certain when he says "will we wake up...", off the track Slumber, he isn't talking about literal sleep, but overcoming an impending doom for those who disbelieve in the faith.

Its simple, its angrily sang, nothing special in the guitar sections or drumming. But in most cases for me its typically the simple in style, who capture the most atmosphere and evoke emotional response. When I found this band, it was like a needle in a haystack. There is absolutely nothing about them on youtube, fortunately archive metallium had a page on them, and I was able to do more elaborate searching. After searching around, I came across their myspace page, and it has their EP in entirety so I am just listening to this, and thinking about the past.

Well nothing great, probably will be less updates for a while, being homeless and uncertain where I will be staying at, makes thinking difficult. I do have a laptop, and plan on making updates soon. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Lords of Thunder Sega CD

Lords of Thunder is a horizontal shooter, for the Sega CD. It is a fun and worthwhile game, and for those fans of shmups who don’t make the cut. As far as surviving and feeling a sense of accomplishment when you play, this is the game for you. Consider this title a shmup with training wheels. It is essentially one of the easier shmups to be brought upon us. And considering the amount of shmups that I’ve played, this is hands down the easiest. And I might as well clarify, I am speaking of the Normal difficulty setting.

The game plays well, a lot of the bosses are really cool to look at. Some of the levels come off as repetitive and kind of generic in style. As I said before the bosses are done well, and are great to look at. But where they excel in style, they fail in sustainable and enduring play style. Let’s face it, most of the bosses if not all, come off as pretty lame. I am all about being able to complete a game, but I feel a sense of failure if the game doesn’t respond with a harsher reality.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pestilence - Spheres - 1993

PESTILENCE - Spheres
Roadrunner 1993
Credits: Marco Foddis - Drums.  Jeroen Thesseling - Bass.
Patrick Mameli - Vocals, Guitar.  Patrick Ulerwijk - Guitar.


In the early 90s, a small flurry of death metal bands experimented with mixing death metal and jazz fusion.  Improbably, the results are almost invariably remarkable.  Pestilence was one such band, and Spheres was their death jazz contribution, a wonderfully crafted blend of jazz-themed riffs, odd time signatures, extremely synth-like guitar lines, and mature lyrics (they never bought into the gore schtick put forth by New Yorkers Cannibal Corpse and their ilk).  What else can I say: I love this style of music, and it thus follows that I love this album.  Too bad Roadrunner records hated it so much that it led to the demise of the band.  Pestilence plays advanced music that avoids the "wank-fest" trap that so many progressive metal bands fall into.  These songs never degenerate into over-indulgence, but reveal more and more individual character upon each repeated listen.  The riff to Multiple Beings, while not very complex, gets stuck in my head all day long.  There are many places throughout Spheres where the listener would swear a keyboard was being played - but it is all guitar synthesizers, something that was totally foreign to death metal at the time (and largely, still is).  To a fan of jazz fusion and death metal, Spheres, and its contemporary albums from Atheist and Cynic, is an absolute essential. Bottom line: Like fine wine, Spheres only gets better with age.

Review by, Mark

Monday, February 22, 2016

Frankenstein - movie - 2015

I randomly picked out Frankenstein to watch, my expectations were nil, as if nothing, maybe even burdened by the idea it being bad and having to stop watching it. I happy to say that I started to get into it rather quickly from the beginning. To me when I think of Frankenstein I think of the stereotypical one you see on the Munsters, and is very much identified with Halloween. But this movie managed to display something real, something tangible, many perspectives available to perceive this character.

We run through the experimentation, bringing life to the dead. They bring about life to a corpse, or whatever kind of aesthetic they use, it's uncertain how about they got the body all together. Unless it was like Andy Warhol's, Flesh for Frankenstein, where they harbor dead corpses to bring to life. Whatever they have brought to life a man, whose intelligence is that of an infant. He is apparently very strong and although susceptible to pain, he seems to endure a great bit of torture and still manages to carry on.

What I like so much about the movie is that, Adam, he rummages through the real world with a infantile perspective. It isn't until he meets a homeless man, that he begins to learn and grow more intelligence, this is also where you start to hear him speak like a narrative throughout the movie. He makes a conscious effort to support his relationship with the homeless guy, and if not for an awkward proposal for sex, they might very well have been better off. Through the whole movie, Adam is trying to reacquaint himself with whom he calls mother. He wants love, he is a "monster", but he does have a strong human desire for love.

Even with his best effort, he is ran off by the townspeople and police. Everyone thinks of him as a worthless disgrace. This is something that I found a great parallel to our own society. We find a majority, a herd, and people will blindly attack anyone they deem a monster. Isn't this the truth with human beings. We harbor so much hate and disgust with our own species, even if our conception of truth is hearsay. We don't want truth, we just want somebody to hate. Somebody to lynch and humiliate.

Monday, February 15, 2016

survival of the fittest

I am not good with predictions, prophecy or telling the future. Infact I keep my mouth shut when it comes to predictions, I would rather watch the cards fall, and then decide for myself accuracy. It isn't so much recognition, but more so a hint at something invisible, maybe spiritual, something that hints at a power that exceeds our human ability. After all my body collects the oxygen to let blood flow, there must be something that hints at a power greater than ourselves.

It's difficult to accept life, and secular human beings when you made up for yourself a certain moral law that is dictated by the spiritual. You criticize, antagonize human life. But at our core, we acknowledge a moral law, something to differentiate good and bad. Ravi Zacharias/CS Lewis, both believe that if a moral law exists, than there must be a more lawgiver. The moral law giver of course being god. I have a problem with this idea, only because I think that our environment our reality that is around us dictates wrong and right. I think they are not so much concerned with environmental and surroundings, but more with a singular aspect that reflects onto all human beings. The idea that there are certain things that exist in all of us, and we can all agree that they are in all human beings. We are all affected by certain stimuli, things that are spiritual and non existent in the physical.

It's hard for me believe that a god imbedded in us certain laws and rules, that if permitted result in a barrier around us, that crushing guilt and conscious wrong. Why do human beings feel this, some human beings (strong ones) can outright resist the idea of wrong in themselves. They are the herd, they follow the physical and resist the spiritual. After all anything that negates a successful lifestyle  must be resisted and thrown away from our consciousness. We have wronged one, or a whole lot more, but we do not allow ourselves to fall into self pity. This reminds me of teachings by Nietzsche, he believes that christianity or spiritual beliefs are all human weakness. He believes in the herd instinct the powerful, the courageous and daring.



I haven't a clue about where I stand in all of this. But I feel the crushing blows of reality, I have a hard time ignoring the consequence. I fall into the weaker category, but somehow I feel as if I am aligned with something spiritual, something that exists outside of myself. I do not subscribe to certain institutions and churches. The older I get the less I see the exposure of life, but more the love of money and ignore the weaker human beings. Let the herd throw them out, they waste the oxygen somebody with a spine could have. I believe in suicide, only because when a human has no purpose, nothing to permit itself to success. The greatest pain I could endure is the absence of family. That would be a pain I could not endure through.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

finally beat Panzer Dragoon Saga

At long last I finally beat Panzer Dragoon Saga, a long time coming but I finally did it. I do have some minor criticisms and a few resolved issues. The game is definitely not nice and polished like Final Fantasy 7, I do not see any comparison between the two as far as content and storyline, but I use FF7 only because I consider that the best rpg on the playstation, Saga being the best on Saturn. With that being said, the FMV's are a lot nicer to look at on the PS1, and background imagery on FF7 is a lot better, it really brings to surface that although the Saturn can run 3D games, its strongest quality is in 2D games. With all that being said, to me Saga doesn't really shine and show its ability until the end of the game. Though its 3D abilities not being the best, you will be impressed with what the game can do later on.

Something cool is that at the end of the game it tally's up your score. And one thing I found interesting is it has a "spirituality" piece, and I think that is attributed with how many people you speak with. The game has a lot of detail and ability if you're willing to look past its muddied up graphics. I am sure some will defend it, in regards to graphics, and although impressive you can obviously see it cannot accomplish with what the PS1 can do.

Graphics aside the game was definitely a great experience. Sure I found myself yelling at the screen when you have to enter different floors and find keys to unlock. You will find yourself setting off alarms fighting routine enemies and just repeatedly entering same areas and running in circles. That aside it did add a nice element towards the end. Speaking of the end, I was really surprised at the amount of enemies you face. I was thinking that there would be a lot more to the end boss battles. Instead you fight several different dragons all with different attributes and qualities. And then you're proceeded to face the end boss, which is a mess of a creature. I was thinking that he was the prelude to the end boss. But nope, that was it. A sigh of accomplishment that I finally beat the game, but also a bit of disappointment there was no more boss battles ahead.

Overall I cannot recommend this game enough. It to me is one of the, if not the most unique RPG to come out. The boss battles, the moving of towns. Everything about this game is fine tuned. I know I made a gripe about the graphics, but trust me, make it to disc 4, and later on you will see that the saturn can pump out some amazing graphics and features.That's about all I got for ya. Get this game and enjoy the best rpg on the saturn. 



 One thing I forgot to mention is some of the architecture and designs in this game, are absolutely amazing. Some of which remind of HR Giger. Very unique.

Friday, February 5, 2016

HYPOCRISY - The Arrival 2004

HYPOCRISY - The Arrival
Nuclear Blast 2004
Credits: Peter Tatgren - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards.  
Mikael Hedlund - Bass.  Lars Szoke - Drums.  
Dan Swano - Lyrics.  Silenoz: Lyrics.

- After a relatively quiet January 2004, the year's first heavyweight release dropped rather quietly onto store shelves.  Hypocrisy, always what I consider a criminally overlooked and underappreciated band, have been soldiering through the death metal underground practically since it began, and should be at near-legendary status - except they don't seem to get the respect they badly deserve.  Their reputation was likely further damaged by the poorly-received Catch-22, an album largely influenced by American nu-metal band Slipknot.  In a controversial move, Tatgren decided to keep this new album firmly on safe territory, treading absolutely no new sonic ground whatsoever and releasing an album that for all the world could be Abducted Part Two.

The cover is eye-catchingly gorgeous, done in unified blue hues that represent the concept perfectly.  The three aliens, I presume, represent the trio of band members (drummer Lars has since dropped out of the band and has been replaced by former Immortal powerhouse Horgh) and their new - or, I should say, old - mindset: the alien theme that has made Hypocrisy so unique in the past is back in force.  Lyrically, Hypocrisy has always been about two things: alien cover-up conspiracies, and the (as they perceive) evils of Christianity.  The graphic inverted cross on the disc itself should erase any question as to their stance on organized religion.  The album opens up with an eerie chord progression and some experimental vocal effects reminiscent of Fractured Millennium, before kicking into a high-tempo thrash theme.  This is a rare occurrence, however, and most of The Arrival sticks to the tried-and-true Hypocrisy formula: slow or mid-tempo and crushingly heavy. While the album boasts nothing but solid songwriting, it is also largely repetitive of previous works, particularly songs like Eraser.  Criticism aside, I consider this album to be largely an artistic success, boasting the mid-period Hypocrisy that we know and love while seamlessly blending previous-awkward influences into a cohesive musical unit.  New World and Dead Sky Dawning are sure to be future classics.  Bottom line: heavy Hypocrisy returns with a vengeance.


Guest review, MarK