Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weekend Music Roundup

This long holiday weekend is the unofficial beginning of the holiday season, and after a nice Thanksgiving with the family, I'm in a festive mood. This week's list reflects my feelings on this time of year. By that, I mean there are a lot of albums on here that are perfect for cold grey days. Some of these are newly discovered bands for me, while others are new albums by bands I've followed for a long time. There's a lot of ethereal music on this list, which I always find good for staying inside on cold days. But there's also some rock in here, which is good for letting out the aggression that builds during those dark days. Hopefully there's something on here you will want to check out. Enjoy.

AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend: The debut album from the 20 year old Norwegian chamber pop artist was my surprise listen of the week. I had no idea what to expect and was rewarded with a fantastic album that was part Bjork and part Florence + The Machine. It's beautiful moody music is complimented by her amazing voice and is one of those perfect rainy day albums. "Running with the Wolves," "Warrior," "Runnaway," and "Black Water Lilies" are standouts, but there really is not a bad song on here. 

Big Blood - Operators and Things: This EP was released in 2010, and though brief, it's a nice addition to the near flawless catalog of this Portland, Maine psychedelic folk band. This is more of a mood piece than some of their other records and quieter as well. For years this has been on of the bands that never fails to inspire my imagination and this album is no different. "The Sound and the Sea," "Lay Your Head on the Rails," and "Mouth of Seven Tongues" are my personal favorites. Well worth checking out.

Avenged Sevenfold - The Stage: The Cali rock band seems to average three years between albums and that is the amount of time that has passed since the last album. This new album is a bit of a return to form, capturing everything that was good about 2005's breakout City of Evil.  This record has the same focus on their dueling guitar riffs and loud/quiet/loud format that serves their bursts of energy. Nothing really groundbreaking here, but a decent hard rock record. It reminds me of early Alice in Chains, if not a bit more metal. "Creating God," "Paradigm," "Higher" and "Simulation" are highlights.

Argent - Circus: This is the sixth album from the '70s UK prog rock band, released in '75, a year before they broke up. This is a concept album about the circus, obviously. As a concept record, it's very tight as far as sticking to the theme of each performer in the circus serving a role. This moves away from the harder rock of their early records and becomes more jazz fusion prog rock, but not entirely and not annoyingly, It still rocks. At it's softer times, it feels like Elton John's music of the time, then breaks out into heavier riffs reminiscent of Deep Purple.

The Thermals - We Disappear: The new album from the Portland OR indie band was released back in the spring and is their seventh. Somehow I missed their last two records, though it is a band I've followed since their debut thirteen years ago. This is quality indie rock, a little less pop punk than some of their past work, which isn't a bad thing. There's a maturity here, but with their sound still being recognizable. A brief but fun album.

Aethenor - Hazel: This is the fourth album from the Swiss dark ambient outfit and the first one I checked out, purely on a whim. It's a sort of drone ambient, with a lot of industrial sounds mixed into darkwave type of music, giving it a melodic feel. It didn't leave a huge impression on me, but it was a nice bit of background music to fit a specific mood. 

No comments:

Post a Comment