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Fortress of Doors


My Top 10 Albums of 2012, Part 2

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Music Jan 06 2013 · 111 views

Well, here are my five favourite albums of last year.
5 - Eremita by Ihsahn
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This is a superb progressive metal album with black metal influences. The songs here range from beautiful to brutal, and the riffs from simple to wonderfully complex, but it all flows together very nicely. The musicianship across the album is brilliant with lots of absolutely fantastic guitar playing and great drumming. It's a very heavy album at times, but there is always subtle melody to the heaviness and the songs will often go in unexpected directions. It also has some guest vocals by Devin Townsend on one of the songs, which is always good.
4 - Phantom Antichrist by Kreator
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I'm not too big on thrash metal, but this album really clicked with me like few other thrash albums have.
It's an anthemic and infectious album, full of stellar guitar playing with catchy riffs, blazing solos and melodic bridges. It often sounds very grandiose and melodic, while retaining the heaviness of thrash metal.
This is a fantastic album that is everything good thrash is, and then more. If not for Anthrax's Worship Music, I'd likely call this the finest thrash metal album of the century so far.
3 - Epicloud and Epiclouder by Devin Townsend Project
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I wasn't sure whether to treat this as two albums, but decided to treat it as one, as Epiclouder is a set of demos that comes together with the deluxe edition of Epicloud, although it could have easily been released as an album in its own right.
Epicloud is a much more simple and accessible Devin Townsend album than usual, especially when compared to 2011's Deconstruction, with Devin even calling it pop-metal. But then again, there is rarely anything 'usual' about Devin's music. He always creates very unique albums with none being the same as another, and this is no exception.
This is an album about love, and apart from being, as the title would suggest, epic and loud, it is also very positive and beautiful. Anneke van Giersbergen makes a return to provide her beautiful female vocals which go very well with Devin's clean vocals and contrast just as well with his harsher vocals, although the latter don't have much presence here.
The musicianship is brilliant as expected, and although the album is mostly simple and catchy, it does become complex at times. It also has its heavy moments on songs like More! and Kingdom, which are reminiscent of some of his earlier work.
As I said, this is a very beautiful and uplifting album, and despite being much less complex than one would expect from Devin Townsend, it's still a gripping and original record, breaking quite a few metal cliches by being a positive album about love.
Also, I have to say that seeing him perform Grace was one of my greatest live music experiences.
Epiclouder retains the same vibe, but is a more complex and musically diverse piece. I do feel it's a shame that it was only released as a bonus disc, as it deserves to be an album on its own, at times being even better than Epicloud.
2 - Awoken Broken by Primal Rock Rebellion
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I've done a review of this album on my blog earlier, so if you care you can read that.
A collaboration between Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith and SikTh's Mikee Goodman, this is a very unique record, the sound of which is hard to describe. It's eccentric and often quite heavy, but not overwhelmingly so. Adrian Smith's guitar work is as excellent as ever, as are Mikee Goodman's vocals. As he did with SikTh, Goodman will use four or five different vocal styles or techniques in a song, which creates a very unique sound which is only further aided by the intriguing lyrics and Adrian Smith's fantastic riffs and solos.
1 - Tragic Idol by Paradise Lost
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For the third time in a row, Paradise Lost have released an album that has completely blown me away.
This record is the fathers and masters of gothic metal doing what they do best. A strong, gripping and melancholic atmosphere accompanied by absolutely brilliant guitar and powerful vocals. It's heavy, but it's melodic and it has a haunting beauty about it that only Paradise Lost can create.
I can not put into words how much I like this album. Paradise Lost are a band that constantly evolve and are not afraid to experiment, and almost 25 years of doing so have led to this masterpiece of melancholic beauty. I don't know where they can go from here, but then again, that's what I thought the last two times.


My Top 10 Albums of 2012, Part 1

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Music Jan 05 2013 · 82 views

2012 recently ended and it has been a great year for music, so here are albums 10-6 of my top 10 albums of the year. I was intending to do reviews or something detailed for each one, but I guess I can't be bothered :P
10 - Sentenced To Life by Black Breath
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A remarkably heavy combination of death metal and hard rock with crust punk undertones, full of great riffs and drumming.
9 - Dead End Kings by Katatonia
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A brilliant melancholic atmosphere with enchanting melodies. Perhaps one of Katatonia's best records, it gets better with each listen.
8 - Honor Found In Decay by Neurosis
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A more straightforward and accessible Neurosis album than usual, it still is a great heavy and atmospheric sludge metal journey.
7 - A Map Of All Our Failures by My Dying Bride
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As the sticker on the limited edition of the albums says, "a new voyage into the darkest depths of humanity, religion, love and death from the UK masters of doom".
This album is a blanket of bleakness and misery, and it's great at that.
6 - De Vermis Mysteriis by High On Fire
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Filled with fantastic riffs and brilliant solos, sometimes incredibly heavy and sometimes mesmerisingly melodic, this is a great aggressive stoner metal album with leanings towards doom metal.
And there you have it. I might write more detailed stuff for my top 5, but that's not very likely.


First Semester Of University Done

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Education Dec 18 2012 · 72 views

Well, submitted my last two assignments this morning, and with that it's the end of my first semester of university. Got to say it was quite enjoyable. Very enjoyable even. Definitely the most enjoyable time I've had in education so far. I'm glad that I decided to go with Law after all, as it's actually a very interesting and relevant subject. Although the workload multiplies at a rather staggering rate if left unattended for even the tiniest amount of time, most of that work is fairly interesting and engaging.
However, I would have thought that at this point I'd be able to pull myself together enough not to leave large chunks of assignments unfinished, only starting to finish them within the last 24 hours before the submission deadline.
Apparently not.
Well, it's still a big relief not having anymore coursework to do for the time being. Now I get more time to do nothing.


Spending My Birthday Money

Posted by Cheshire Cat , Dec 14 2012 · 81 views

Decided to finally spend some of the money I got for my birthday and got all this stuff in the last couple of days.
You know, just to make sure I have things to distract me from doing university assignments and revising for exams.


Cryptic Clues?

Posted by Cheshire Cat , Dec 07 2012 · 95 views

So, I mentioned yesterday that I got a used copy of the limited edition of Paradise Lost's album One Second. As I was looking through the booklet, this piece of paper fell out:
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What does it mean? Does it mean anything at all? Has it been there for the whole 15 years that this copy of the album existed?
It kinda makes me sad that I will never know.


Rage Against The Machine XX

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Music Dec 06 2012 · 122 views

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So I decided to get myself a copy of the 20th anniversary special edition of Rage Against The Machine's debut album. Although usually I try to avoid reissues, especially of albums I already own, the demos and unreleased tracks included on the second CD were enough for me to get this one.
I'm quite happy with it. As you can see, the packaging is great and includes some good pictures of the band, although more liner notes from the band members themselves would have been nice. The remaster of the album barely sounds different, which is good as the original was absolutely fine. It's the same ten songs that still sound as fresh, relevant and hard-hitting today as they did in 1992. I do believe this to be one of the finest rock records of the last 20 years. From that iconic guitar and bass riff which opens the album with Bombtrack, to Zack de la Rocha's last calls for freedom on the record's closer, Freedom, this is a relentless onslaught of revolution which just doesn't get old.
The extra stuff on the second CD is also very nice for a big Rage fan like me. The unreleased songs are very good, and the demos are interesting to listen to as well. There's also a DVD with some live performances, although I haven't watched it yet.
So yeah, a good purchase, I think.
Oh, and I also managed to get a used limited edition copy of Paradise Lost's 1997 album, One Second, for just a few pounds. I just can't resist limited editions if they're a good price.


Back From A Comedy Show

Posted by Cheshire Cat , Nov 23 2012 · 69 views

So, I went to see the brilliant Steve Hughes tonight, and it was great. Bonus points to him for having Motorhead songs playing before the show started.
This was actually the first time I've seen a comedian live, and having enjoyed it quite a lot, it seems that a fair amount of my free time at university will be divided between going music concerts and going to comedy shows. Often at the same venue too.


Another Year, Another Birthday

Posted by Cheshire Cat , Nov 12 2012 · 97 views

Well, I am now 19. Which is quite a boring age really. Nothing of much significance comes with it, but I am getting to the point where birthdays are becoming mundane.

Ah well, I'll go listen to I'm Eighteen by Alice Cooper now, and pretend that I'm still 18 and that song is still the perfect fit for celebrating my birthday.


My Halloween Playlist

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Music Oct 31 2012 · 57 views

I tend to make playlists of horror themed songs for Halloween, and here is this year's. Just gonna leave it playing in the background throughout the day ^^
Always a struggle to not just fill it up with Alice Cooper :P But it does always have to start with Dada.

Anyway, happy Halloween everyone!


An Early Awakening

Posted by Cheshire Cat , in Daily Life Oct 30 2012 · 80 views

So, some drunk students in my accommodation apparently thought it would be funny to activate the fire alarm at 4 AM, thus waking everyone up and making them go stand outside in the cold for 20 minutes.

It's fine really, not like I was planning to get a decent amount of sleep for once before a day at university or anything >.>


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Seek and ye shall find they say,

But they don't say what you'll find...


-5 Most Recently Purchased Albums-

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London, UK
Currently Studying:



Main Music Tastes:
Metal, Rock, Industrial, Dark Cabaret, Jazz
Favourite Bands:
Alice Cooper, Paradise Lost, Iron Maiden, Refused, Skold, Devin Townsend
Favourite Books:
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? - Phillip K. Dick; Gun, With Occasional Music - Jonathan Lethem; A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess; The Seer King Trilogy - Chris Bunch
Favourite Movies:
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind; The Matrix
Favourite Video Games:
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time Trilogy; American McGee's Alice; Hitman: Blood Money; Deus Ex; Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Other Interests:
Poker, Sociology, Photography, Stand-Up Comedy

Where Else To Find Me:

Twitter: @_Malchior_

Steam: -Malchior-

April 2014

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