ben folds - way to normal

Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)

I wish this was a case of “second verse, same as the first” but the sad reality is I think there was a moment in time where the music of Ben Folds really impacted me, and that time is past.  The music I experienced at the time still holds up and connects me to those moments in time, but Way to Normal feels like it trades too much on the nostalgia of past albums, and beyond a few key moments doesn’t hook with either its music or its lyrics. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Way to Normal (2008)”

ben folds - rocking the suburbs

Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)

There’s no way for me to be impartial when it comes to Ben Folds, and specifically his first solo album Rockin’ the Suburbs.  Sorry if that makes me bourgeois or vanilla or uncool.  Ben Folds Five was a huge deal for me finding a way through a lot of feelings of depression and anxiety during my 20s, and the way the songs on this album mirrored so many moments of my inner life was scary.  It’s a huge musical touchpoint for my life, one I can’t listen to without getting emotional. Continue reading “Ben Folds: Rockin’ the Suburbs (2001)”

behold the arctopus - nano nucleonic cyborg summoning

Behold…The Arctopus: Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (2006)

Behold Behold…The Arctopus!  See their shimmering and gnarly cacophony of sound as they summon forth nano-nucleonic cyborgs on their EP/later expanded to full release with live cuts Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning.  If that sounds like a mouthful, well it perfectly encapsulates the music, a frenetic prog/noise/thrash-jazz hybrid instrumental execution courtesy of Colin Marston and Mike Lerner.  Continue reading “Behold…The Arctopus: Nano-Nucleonic Cyborg Summoning (2006)”

behemoth - evangelion

Behemoth: Evangelion (2009)

We’re back with the Good News, because apparently “good news” is a loose translation of the word evangelion, which also happens to be the name of the 2009 album from Behemoth.  And it is good news, because after the dulling of Nergal’s schtick with Demigod and The Apostasy (which I never bothered buying but a quick re-listen confirmed I made the right choice) Evangelion is a brutal return to form. Continue reading “Behemoth: Evangelion (2009)”

behemoth - demigod

Behemoth: Demigod (2004)

It’s not that Demigod, the 2004 followup to Zos Kia Cultus by Behemoth is bad…it’s not.  It’s just that this is the first album where the songs really begin to blur and I lose interest about halfway through.  There’s less distinction through the album, less that jumps out and grabs you.  This is blessing and curse of blind buying based on previous albums: sometimes you get gold, sometimes you get, well…meh. Continue reading “Behemoth: Demigod (2004)”

behemoth - zos kia cultus

Behemoth: Zos Kia Cultus (2002)

Behemoth is back and surprise: they’re still angry at God.  I’m pretty sure I bought both Zos Kia Cultus at the same time as Thelema.6 to try the band out, and listening back there’s a lot I like: things have evolved somewhat, taking a (very) slightly slower approach, more bottom-heavy and menacing, but still ready to riff your head six feet in the ground.  Occult and Aleister Crowley reign over the proceedings, but since I can barely understand the words, it has little impact to the punishing hooks contained o the album. Continue reading “Behemoth: Zos Kia Cultus (2002)”

behemoth - thelma.6

Behemoth: Thelema.6 (2000)

You have to embrace the ridiculous a little bit when it comes to extreme metal.  Otherwise the act just falls into pretension.  For all of his posturing, Behemoth frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski knows a certain amount of pop and circumstance give life to his musical entity, and he embraces it.  Thelema.6 eschews the more blackened elements of the band’s earlier output in favor of a real slick, dare I say catchy death metal that still sounds great, even better than a lot of his later output.  It remains one of my favorite releases from the band, and that’s even without the David Bowie cover. Continue reading “Behemoth: Thelema.6 (2000)”