Hello Cruel World

So out of nothing other than a desire to get the “writing cap” on again and to alleviate some boredom, I decided to start a blog dedicated mainly to the music I listen to on a daily basis. I’m a freelance copy-editor, so normally when I work I have the headphones on and listen to music all day long. I’m a massive music fan and have been a Spotify Premium subscriber for years now. A normal day for me involves opening Spotify, opening Word, and chucking on a set of Sennheiser HD 202 headphones.

At night, if I’m not continuing to edit manuscripts and listen to music, I normally like to watch films. I’m working my way through the 2013 edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and am currently sitting on 171 of 1,001 … so a fair bit of watching ahead of me still.

I’m also a Terrorizer subscriber, although I made the jump from a physical to a digital subscription in the last couple of years, preferring to be able to read the latest issue on my iPhone or MacBook than have the paper copies stack up in the bathroom.

So for this first entry, I’ll recap what I’ve been listening to today, which revolves around albums that were reviewed in issue 250 of Terrorizer a couple of months ago (I’m a little behind with keeping up with 2014 releases). The new issue 252 came out today too, but I’ve promised myself that I’ll get through everything that I can from 250 before moving on to 252. I knocked 251 out of the park last week.

First off, I’m working on an edit on a book on consumer credit law at the moment, which is an interesting enough read, and has been well prepared by the author, so it’s perfect for some accompanying listening. I started the day off finishing the new Monuments album, The Amanuensis [3/5], which I stopped about halfway through last night before heading to bed. It’s apparently a concept album based on Cloud Atlas. I’ve never read the book, but I really enjoyed the film, so I was intrigued to hear it. Not being a massive fan of the whole “djent” movement, it was still a fairly enjoyable listen, with very impressive lead vocals in particular, but I guess I’d have to delve a little deeper into the lyrical content and whatnot to discover the Cloud Atlas theme a bit more. The live tracks tacked on at the end didn’t really help to leave a lasting impression, though.

Monuments - Amanuensis (3/5)
Monuments – The Amanuensis [3/5]

I guess at this stage, I should try to explain my rating system for albums. I like to rate everything I listen to on Rate Your Music (here) so that I’ve got a fairly comprehensive log of everything I listen to. Same reason I’ve had a Last.fm account since 2006 (here). Basically, I work to the following system:

[1/5] Poor

[2/5] Average

[3/5] Good

[4/5] Very Good

[5/5] Amazing

Anything that gets [4/5] or [5/5] (Very Good and Amazing, respectively) gets chucked into my favourite albums of 2014 list (more on that another time perhaps, but you can take a peak here). 

After that, I checked out the new EP from Of Spire and Throne, Toll of the Wound [3/5]. I’d never heard this band before, even though they’re from just up the road in Edinburgh. Three tracks of well done sludge metal, but I did find my attention slipping a little throughout. Possibly the fault of consumer credit law, in fairness.

Of Spire and Throne - Toll of the Wound (3/5)
Of Spire and Throne – Toll of the Wound [3/5]

Then it was on to the new album from Opium Warlords, Taste My Sword of Understanding [3/5], on what is quick becoming one of the hippest labels to be on, Svart Records. I remember checking out their first album, We Meditate Under the Pussy in the Sky, a couple of years ago, and enjoying it quite a bit, and the same with this second offering. A fine listen of traditional doom with some oddball leanings. I have a feeling this one could be a grower, and I do have a desire to listen to it again soon. I think that might be because I feel like I didn’t quite “get it”, as well as the fact that Svart is usually a seal of quality these days.

Opium Warlords - Taste My Sword of Understanding (3/5)
Opium Warlords – Taste My Sword of Understanding [3/5]

Then it was on to some technical death metal from the USA, with the new album from Pillory, Evolutionary Miscarriage [3/5]. Another band I wasn’t familiar with, and another enjoyable, if not entirely groundbreaking or surprising, listen. When it comes to death metal, I’ve always been a bit more into the eerier sounding stuff, like the latest Morbus Chron album, Sweven, over this technical stuff that’s very popular at the moment. Nonetheless, I do like to keep up with what’s happening in “the scene”, as it were.

Pillory - Evolutionary Massacre (3/5)
Pillory – Evolutionary Massacre [3/5]

And right now, I’m finishing off the new Powerwolf compilation on Metal Blade, The History of Heresy I (2004–2008) [4/5]. I’ve really enjoyed this German power metal band’s last couple of albums, and they were fantastic live at Hellfest 2014. Great stuff to chuck on if you fancy something fairly simple and heavy, with plenty of catchy riffs, great vocals, and a good-humoured werewolf theme running through their stuff. This isn’t simpleton nonsense like Steel Panther, though, but a good bit of dry humour running through otherwise catchy and melodic metal that could easily stand strongly on its own without the gimmick. This compilation is a re-release of the now-hard-to-find first two albums from them, so it’s been interesting hearing these for the first time. I’ve also realised that whenever I listen to Powerwolf, it just makes me happy.

Powerwolf - The History of Heresy I (2004-2008) (4/5)
Powerwolf – The History of Heresy I (2004-2008) [4/5]

My good friend Ally is coming over tonight. He’s decided to join me in the quest to watch those 1,001 movies. At last count, he was a good 30 films ahead of me too. We’re going to try to do three tonight: All the President’s Men, Tootsie, and Mad Max. Despite being really into the Fallout video games, I surprised myself when I came to the realisation that I haven’t seen any of the Mad Max films.

Also, yes, I was looking through some of the stuff I’ve been listening to lately for inspiration for a blog name, and really liked the new Pallbearer album, Foundations of Burden, so settled on that. Hope it does the trick over the course of this blog, which I’m sure will be something of a work in progress for a little while at least.

I also chucked Spotify links to all of the albums I listened to into the album artwork, so if you click them, you should be transported there for your listening pleasure. Until next time!

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Author: Andrew R Craddock

Metal and Spotify enthusiast, freelance copy-editor, writer, jolly nihilist.

2 thoughts on “Hello Cruel World”

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