Another good selection of CDs this week ranging from the clever black metal to the rather interesting indie. Nothing terrible, which is most gratifying for a change.
Christ Agony: Elysium
They are players in the Polish underground who have evolved from fairly standard black metal into something far more interesting and subtle. They play a rather interesting form of neo-prog black metal that seems to be becoming more prevalent these days. This is a re-release of their 1999 release and it does great justice to the CD. Despite the creepy logo does not reflect what is herein. No Morbid Angel histrionics here, that is for sure.
This is rather good metal (of the black variety) with great playing and a rather good singer as opposed to the standard grunter. Eleven tracks filled of excellent metal that deserves a good listen. Forget the dubious name and just enjoy the metal.
Clutch: From Beale Street to Oblivion
Lauded by those who have gotten a sneaky listen this, this is Clutch at their absolute best. If you can imagine Black Sabbath if they were American with a taste of Skynrd and Black Label Society, then you might get a general idea of what is on display here. It's great bar-room heavy rock with a twist of humour and oodles of Jack Daniels. I defy any hard rock fan not to enjoy every track on this disc. I quite enjoyed "The Devil & Me" with its bluesy tale and clever rumblings.
I you want some clever humour how about "When Vegans Attack" or even "My Shiny Cadillacness", this is one of the best hard rock releases you will hear all year. Believe the critics this one is an absolute keeper. It shall remain on my playlist for quite some time to come.
Freedom Call: Dimensions
It has become rather trendy these days to bash power metal and its adherents for various reasons. I think one of the gripes from some is they don't take themselves too seriously when writing lyrics. Yes, there is always the trouble of non-native English speakers trying to write music. FC is no exception for a few bits of Helloween-esque goofiness. Then again they toss up a few cracking tracks like "Queen of My World".
Then there is a rather good closer in the form of "Far Away", which is rather pleasant indeed. While this CD is not exactly essential by any means, it will fill the gaps as you wait for the next release from Helloween or Blind Guardian. This is good stuff and it puts a smile on my face.