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ALBUM REVIEW: "Urn" by Ne Obliviscaris

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I really like Ne Obliviscaris. Portal of I and Citadel are two of my favourite extreme metal albums of the last 10 years, and both get regular play time. Given this, it's no surprise that I like Urn. Do I love it? Not really. At this stage Ne Obliviscaris have written such a volume of their winding, gothic sounding compositions that these songs unfortunately have the wow factor that their previous material had when I first heard it. I never thought I would say this, but Urn sounds exactly how I thought it would, and for Ne Obliviscaris this is opposite to the desired effect. I've talked about the three album rule before, and while pumping out three of the exact same album renders albums like In Hearts Wake's Ark and The Amity Affliction's This Could Be Heartbreak near unlistenable, the sheer talent and passion on show throughout Urn allows it to well and truly dodge that mire. It's just not as exciting and mysterious as I found their previous work. Having said t…

ALBUM REVIEW: "The Mortal Coil" by Polaris

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The Mortal Coil is a damn fine debut album from Sydneysiders Polaris, who have been doing the rounds for almost five years now. Most independent EPs fly under almost everyone's radars, but 2016's The Guilt & The Grief EP threw them right into the limelight of the music scene, giving them an ARIA charts berth and a whole lot of attention. I was actually lucky enough to see them supporting Stories (R.I.P.) back in February of 2016 at the Red Rattler in Sydney during that EP cycle, and boy oh boy do they know their way around a stage.
   So naturally I was excited for their debut full length The Mortal Coil. And it's just fine. If you liked the riffs on The Guilt & The Grief, their better on The Mortal Coil. Jamie Hails' voice is better, Jake Steinhauser's singing soars and sits nicely in the mix, the breakdowns are bigger and the production is slicker. If you like your metalcore bouncy, fun and a little bit technical (but not too beard-strokey) then this is t…

ALBUM REVIEW: "The Sin And The Sentence" by Trivium

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Trivium have been consistently hit and miss for me over he years; for every album I dig there is at least one album I can't get into. In fact, more often than not their material as a whole fails to leave an impact on me. I can appreciate Ascendancy and Shogun for what they were at the time and the ripples they sent through the metal scene, and while incredibly bloated and overlong In Waves has some killer tracks nestled in there. Apart from that, there isn't much to be had in terms of enjoyment for me in the band's music. It was a surprise for me, then, when I found myself enjoying The Sin And The Sentence a lot more than I had anticipated. Whether or not this was because of the incredibly biased expectations I had coming in is anyone's guess, but for the most part I had fun with this new album from Trivium. It's not rewriting the metal history books, and it's not going to blow everyone away, but it was a reminder of just why they were such a massive hype ba…

ALBUM REVIEW: "Ecca Vandal" by Ecca Vandal

Read the full review over at Killyourstereo.com!

ALBUM REVIEW: "Feel Something" by Movements

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You can read my full review for Movements' masterful debut full length over here at Killyourstereo.com, where I will be doing some of my reviews from now. In short, it's great and you should go listen to it while you deliberate about texting that ex-girlfriend or guiltily eating your way through an entire packet of Mint Slice. Or not, it's up to you.

   In the meantime, let me know what you thought about this record, or any others that you want to see reviewed. For those who keep asking me about that Chainsmokers record, it'll definitely be in an end of year list - you'll just have to wait and see which one.

ALBUM REVIEW: "Caustic" by Primitive Man

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Caustic is the most brutal, unpleasant, abusive, oppressive and masochistic album I have heard in a long time, certainly this year. Every thing about this album in comparison to the band's previous, slightly more one-note releases is bigger, heavier, dirtier and more punishing. For one thing, it's over an hour long, but definitely is closer to epic than overlong. The guitar tone is absurdly disgusting, the vocal delivery is like the devil himself tying you down and yelling at you through a mouthful of broken glass and teeth, and the songwriting draws on slow, punishing, doom-influenced grooves that simply don't let up. It's not super diverse and the playing isn't the most mind-meltingly skilled shredding you'll ever hear, but something this overwhelmingly crushing deserves more than a casual listen for anyone who enjoys a little pain in their pleasure.

   Rating: 7.5/10

ALBUM REVIEW: "Beautiful Trauma" by P!nk

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P!nk's seventh album Beautiful Trauma gets the job done, no more, no less. Expect to hear pretty much any of these songs in General Pants Co. at some stage, but if you're looking for a game changing pop album then you're going to be disappointed. But really, is anyone going to be looking for that in a P!nk album? Eminem's verse on "Revenge" is a great addition, adding some sharp sarcasm to a track already dripping in it, and P!nk's signature brutal honesty is all over this album giving it a raw authenticity that is immediately easy to grab a hold of. For me there is this weird dichotomy all across Beautiful Trauma that I find really distracting, in a very similar way to the most recent Ed Sheeran album. The songs work best when they are firmly settled within whatever style it wants to be; when there are these country/EDM crossovers I struggle. Her voice is great, though, and doesn't falter once, and for that it's worth a brief listen to hear a…