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Amplifier Worship



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Z2

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Music Oct 27 2014 · 96 views

Today is the release day for the new Devin Townsend album .
It being my most anticipated album of the year I've pre-ordered it, and since I did so from Devin's official store rather than say Amazon, it actually arrived on time. Imagine that.
Seriously though, I'm never pre-ordering stuff from Amazon again. I've had consistent problems with things being late, but Ihshan's album being late last year was the final straw. Considering they charge for release date delivery, more than half of my pre-orders from them being late is not something I want to deal with.

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Anyhow, . I got the limited 3-CD digipak edition, bundled with that awesome t-shirt.

It's a double album, consisting of Sky Blue and Dark Matters, with the third disc containing a version of Dark Matters without the dialogue. Being part of the final stage of this chapter of Devin's career, it's a concept album that acts as the sequel to Ziltoid the Omniscient, something that he's been working on for several years. It's nice to finally see it culminate in this project.
This will be followed by a huge show in April, after which Devin will be taking a hiatus from music for at least year. Considering how much work he has done in the past few years - even this year had not only , but the Casualties of Cool album as well - it's a well deserved rest. Still, I will be eagerly awaiting his return.


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Ghost in the Shell

Posted by Ghost of Romance , Oct 26 2014 · 132 views

Recently acquired a copy of the second volume of the Ghost in the Shell manga, so now I have this little collection:

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DVDs: Ghost in the Shell and Innocence boxset (plus the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 remaster of the original movie); Stand Alone Complex 1st GIG boxset; Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG boxset; Stand Alone Complex: The Laughing Man; Stand Alone Complex: Individual Eleven; Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society
Manga: Ghost in the Shell; Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface; Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human Error Processor

Which - apart from the soundtracks - is pretty much everything that I think is worth owning. There's also a Stand Alone Complex manga, but from what I understand it's basically the equivalent of a novelisation of the anime series rather than something unique, so I'm not really interested in it.

Now I'm just waiting for Ghost in the Shell: Arise to get DVD releases over here. The first two parts will be released on the 24th of November, but I don't believe parts 3 and 4 have a release date yet.


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We meet again, my nemesis

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Music Oct 20 2014 · 92 views

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Seriously, I really hate these stickers. They really make me hesitate when getting new CDs imported from the US.
I actually managed to remove it without it tearing this time, but it of course still left a small bit of residue on the case.

But, that does give me an excuse to post my Boris collection thus far:

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In order: Amplifier Worship; Pink; Smile (US Version); Attention Please; Heavy Rocks (2011); New Album and Noise.

Which is only seven out of twenty - if we're not counting collaborations - but it's not likely to get bigger any time soon, as pretty much all of the others are really hard to get physically. There's obviously the ones that were only released in Japan and are really expensive to import, but there's also a few that only ever had very limited vinyl releases and aren't available on CD at all.
The only one I could find that isn't ridiculously expensive is the Japanese version of Smile at around £17, which is a price that I could still be convinced to go for, but I'm definitely gonna wait on it.


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earthtone9

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Music Oct 15 2014 · 104 views

Recently got the last earthtone9 album I was missing:

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In order: Lo-def(inition) Discord; Off Kilter Enhancement; arc'tan'gent; IV
Also a really cool deck of playing cards released to promote IV.
There's also the For Cause and Consequence EP, but it's digital only.

It's a band that's not really that well known. While arc'tan'gent has become somewhat of a cult classic, they've kinda been forgotten since they originally split up in the early 2000's shortly after that album.
Although I haven't been a fan for long, I'm very happy that they reunited recently and released IV last year, which was their first album in 13 years. They've got a very unique sound that blends hardcore, progressive metal and alternative metal, and while their music can perhaps sometimes lack the complexity associated with prog, they're still very fun to listen to.


On another note, I need to stop trying to take pictures of my CDs in the middle of the night because that never turns out well. Unfortunately, that's usually the time I get the urge to make an entry showing off something from my collection.


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Back to University

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Education Oct 01 2014 · 70 views

As of yesterday, my third year of university has officially begun. While I've certainly missed it, at the same time I do find myself wishing it hadn't started just yet.

The day went well enough. Had three lectures on land law, which isn't the most boring module I've studied so far. Pretty close though.

Spent some of the free time visiting the local record/movie store. Didn't find many interesting CDs, but they did have a large selection of films by Wong Kar-Wai. I'll definitely be going back on Friday to get the ones I don't have yet, but in the meantime I picked up Love Exposure, The Twilight Samurai and The Flowers of War.
I guess I've shifted form buying too many albums to buying too many movies.


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My purchases from the Steam summer sale

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Video Games Jun 29 2014 · 124 views

With the summer sale drawing to an end, here's what I got:

Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon
Far Cry 2
Tomb Raider (2013)
BattleBlock Theater
Mass Effect
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Shadowrun Returns
Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

Already played through all of Far Cry 2 when it first came out, but it's nice to have a digital copy. Everything else I've never played before and am excited to get started. Especially the new Splinter Cell, since I hear that it toned down the action and regained some of the focus on stealth that the last two games lost. I'm not expecting it to have nearly the same amount of complexity as Chaos Theory, but hopefully it won't be as bad as the last two. Particularly Conviction, because that was just awful.
Already spent quite a bit of time playing Tomb Raider and BattleBlock Theater, both of which are great so far, although the quick time events in Tomb Raider are really annoying.

It was a decent sale, but it's really frustrating how many indie games lost in the community choice votes and didn't go on sale at all, while many AAA games go on sale multiple times in daily, flash and community deals. But that's pretty much every Steam sale for you I guess.
I'm more looking forward to the winter sale, when games like Transistor, Killer Is Dead, Murdered: Soul Suspect and Dark Souls II will likely have larger discounts.


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Finally started playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Video Games Jun 06 2014 · 110 views

After putting it off for ages, I finally started XCOM: EU this week and I've been really enjoying it. It's definitely among my favourite strategy games, only outdone by Civilization IV and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. It's certainly very addictive.
 
My current squad, made up of (mostly) musicians:
 
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I do wish there were more customisation options, as right now Devin Townsend and Ihsahn are the only ones that actually resemble their real-life selves. With no long hairstyles, there's no way to make Alice Cooper work =P
I wanted Nick Holmes' nickname to be Cardinal Zero, since he's said that it's his favourite Paradise Lost song title and that's what he would name a new band if he started one, but it sadly didn't fit. Went with Host instead as it seemed the most fitting of their album titles. Don't get why they had to make such a low character limit, but oh well.
And yes, Motoko Kusanagi is a character from Ghost in the Shell and not a musician, but both Dennis Lyxzen and Bjork ended up getting killed pretty early on when I didn't quite know what I was doing. Been getting kind of re-obsessed with GitS, so I felt like including her.
 
That's pretty much all I've been doing this week. It sure is nice to have a few weeks where I can just relax and catch up with some of the games, music and movies I've been putting off.


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Casualties of Cool

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Music May 28 2014 · 148 views

My copy of the new Devin Townsend album finally arrived and it's pretty awesome.
 
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It's the reward for the £19 tier of the PledgeMusic campaign, which I backed pretty much as soon as it went live. That included a digital download of the album as soon as it was released, but it's really nice to actually have a physical copy now. Also, there's the bonus disc, which as usual is about as good as the actual album.
 
The campaign was actually something like 600% of the target by the end of it, with most of the excess going to fund Devin's next Ziltoid album, along with donations to charity, so that's really cool too. Devin has great fans, and he deserves to.


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Second year of university done

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Daily Life, Education May 24 2014 · 137 views

Having done my last exam a couple of days ago, I have now finished my second year of university, which feels pretty good.
The exam in question was really nasty, and I don't think I did very well on it. Still, I doubt it was bad enough to not even pass, and my assignments were good, so that will bump the grade up.
This year hasn't been anywhere near as good as the last. It's been really stressful and I'm glad it's finally over. It feels really nice to be able to relax guilt-free for a while and I can finally start catching up on all the movies and games I've bought.
 
Also, got my hands on this:
 
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Steelbook DVDs are pretty awesome.
Now I just have to wait for Ghost in the Shell: Arise to finish and hopefully get an actual release over here. I'd very much like to have a complete GitS collection.


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My Top 15 Albums of 2013, Part 3

Posted by Ghost of Romance , in Music Jan 12 2014 · 100 views

5 - Exit! by Fire! Orchestra
 
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Exit! is an experimental big band free jazz record with a lot going on. There's over twenty musicians on this album, and you'll often be hearing many of them play at once in what builds up to a complete pandemonium.
The album is chaotic and organised, both at once. There are times where you'll have stuff like a steady bass line and drum beat while at the same time saxophones, clarinets and pianos will be going insane, all synergising to create these incredible compositions. Compositions which twist and turn into completely unpredictable directions, always maintaining suspense.
This is a truly great jazz album.
 
 
4 - Weapon by Skinny Puppy
 
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I think it's fair to say that Skinny Puppy are the one of the most important bands in industrial music, and to many, myself included, they're also by far the best. So like many bands with such acclaim, whenever they release a new album, it will inevitably be met with an air of cynicism from certain fans and comparisons to their past masterpieces, which is rather unfortunate.
Is Weapon another Last Rights or Too Dark Park? No, of course not, nor does it attempt to be. Like most of the post-reunion era of Skinny Puppy, Weapon is much more energetic and straight-forward electro-industrial as opposed to the dark and abrasive soundscapes that were the focus of albums like Last Rights. Which is not to say that they don't do experimentation anymore or that their current stuff is much more accessible (Weapon definitely took me a couple of listens to get into and recognise everything that is going on in the music), but the last four albums have been substantially different from what the band were doing before they broke up.
A more apt point for comparison would be the 1984 EP Remission, especially since the new album contains a remake of the song Solvent. Weapon is very much a refinement of the style found on the EP with added elements of the modern Skinny Puppy, and it's something that ends up working very well.

With Weapon I think Skinny Puppy have continued the trend of each post-reunion album being better than the last, which should say something as all of them are great. Weapon contains some very good song writing with a lot of subtle melodies over the great beats, all accompanied by the usual abstract and political lyrics.
Something Skinny Puppy have always been great at is maintaining an atmosphere and theme throughout their albums, and this one really gives the sense of a cyberpunk dystopia to me, which is fantastic.
While I wouldn't put Weapon up there with Last Rights, Too Dark Park and The Process, it is still a great album which makes me feel very happy that Skinny Puppy decided to reform ten years ago.
 
3 - Earth Rocker by Clutch
 
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This is without a doubt the 2013 album I listened to the most this year. I suppose that's in part due to it coming out back in March, but mostly what I'm getting at is that it's an incredibly addicting album that I just can't get enough of.
Earth Rocker is an absolutely fantastic hard rock album with a hint of blues rock that is overflowing with great riffs, vocals and songwriting. Every song is infectious, from the title track opener, to the slow and especially bluesy Gone Cold, to the loud and rocking closer The Wolf Man Kindly Requests.
It is an incredibly fun album to listen to. As far as pure enjoyment goes, this was the most I've had of it this year.
 
2 - Vertikal by Cult of Luna
 
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From the pure fun of Earth Rocker, we come to the bleak and miserable atmospheric sludge metal journey that is Cult of Luna's Vertikal.
And a journey it is. Very thematically and atmospherically strong, Vertikal is an absolutely captivating piece of beautiful melancholy with incredible instrumentation and the incorporation of many influences from post-rock, electronic and ambient. Well over an hour long, the album never drags or gets boring and just continues to surprise the listener.
Cult of Luna are clearly the masters of their craft, and with them announcing an indefinite hiatus, this coupled with the equally amazing EP Vertikal II is their final artistic statement.
I'm sad to see them go, but what a note to end on.
 
1 - Das Seelenbrechen by Ihsahn
 
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The Breaking of the Soul. Taken from Nietzcshe's writings on art, there could hardly be a more appropriate title for this masterpiece.
Das Seelenbrechen is the fifth solo album from the mastermind behind the most influential and innovative black metal band Emperor, and is easily the best thing he has done. Considering how incredible his work with Emperor, Peccatum and his solo project is, for Ihsahn to outdo himself again is no small feat.
Created in an entirely different manner than his previous four albums, Das Seelenbrechen is a largely improvised piece that gives us a deep personal look into Ihsahn's true psyche.
It's very difficult to describe it. I suppose it's because of albums like this that we have terms like avant-garde. Stylistically, it's all over the place in the best possible way. You have the opener Hiber which deliberately reels you in with a false sense of familiarity to the progressive black metal of his previous albums, but that familiarity is shattered barely half-way through the song when it takes a completely different turn. Following this are tracks like the symphonic Regen, the electronic tinged beautiful and personal Pulse, the experimentation with time signatures in the terrifying recreation of black metal Tacit II, the atmospheric spoken-word piece M, the chilling experimental drone-influenced See, and five other tracks, all of which are very unique.
Despite it's chaotic nature, the album still feels very coherent and all the tracks very much act as one continuous experience.
Das Seelenbrechen is a display of incredible musicianship in every aspect. Beyond that, it is a display of creative genius.
It's definitely not an album that will appeal to everyone, but to me this not only blows everything else from this year out of the water, but it ranks amongst the greatest albums I have ever heard.






Amplifier Worship

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-5 Most Recently Purchased Albums-

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Dronevil

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-Mini-Bio-

Age:
20
Gender:
Male
Location:
London, UK
Currently Studying:
Law

Beliefs:

Atheist

Main Music Tastes:
Metal, Rock, Industrial, Dark Cabaret, Jazz
Favourite Bands:
Refused, Boris, Alice Cooper, Paradise Lost, Skold, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn
Favourite Books:
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Phillip K. Dick; Gun, With Occasional Music - Jonathan Lethem; A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Favourite Movies:
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; The Matrix; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead; 2046
Favourite Video Games:
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Trilogy; American McGee's Alice; Hitman: Blood Money; Deus Ex; Deus Ex: Human Revolution; Thief II: The Metal Age
Other Interests:
Poker, Sociology, Photography

Where Else To Find Me:

Twitter: @_Malchior_

Steam: -Malchior-

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