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[Recap] March 2010

Here we are, just past the second month of the existence of The Golden Bird. This month, the blog has done much better in many ways than it did in February. Despite the busy month I had, I am personally satisfied with the amount and quality of posting I was able to achieve. There has been much content this past month that I would like to revisit. This includes the following:

  • Album of the Month
  • Other March releases
  • Eric VanLandingham
  • Concerts
  • My personal favorites of the month

I have reviewed several albums which were released this month. I admittedly skipped a few, which are mostly death metal albums that I thought I would find too extreme for my tastes (including Dark Tranquility, Immolation, Triptykon, etc.). But the March releases I managed to review (in chronological order) are those by Tarot, Kaipa, Poisonblack, and Scorpions. Of these contestants, the winner for Album of the Month is…

Album of the Month: In the Wake of Evolution (Kaipa)

There has been mixed feelings about this album, although the general attitude towards it is positive. When I was writing the review for In the Wake of Evolution, I was asking myself, “what is wrong with this album?” I still do not have a complete answer to that question. To me, it seems that most of the pessimism towards this album is based on the general sound and feel as opposed to the musical content. But that is something very opinion-based and unavoidable. Focusing on the music itself, it is very difficult to find any reasons to dislike this album. The instruments and musicianship are both at a higher level, and the flow and overall completeness of the album are remarkable. It is without doubt, the most intelligent release this month (from which I have heard), which is largely why it is Album of the Month.

Other Releases

The three other albums which I have reviewed this month are Tarot’s Gravity of Light, Poisonblack’s Of Rust and Bones, and Scorpion’s Sting in the Tail. None of them, however, are near as well-done as Kaipa’s release.

The Finnish metal band, Tarot (led by Nightwish bassist Marko Hietala), released Gravity of Light on March 10. It is definitely above average, but nothing too extraordinary. Referring to both the instruments and the musicality, there is nothing overly wrong with this album, but it is rather standard and predictable. The songs are also too similar to each other and lose their identity within the album. Though it is a somewhat enjoyable listen, it is not necessarily a required one.

Another Finnish band, the gothic metal Poisonblack, also released a new album. It is entitled Of Rust and Bones, and was released on March 22. Of the three, this is definitely my least favorite. It is extremely generic and an obvious attempt to appeal to the masses. As a result, a collection of soulless, thoughtless songs was created and pieced together into this album. It is definitely an album to avoid.

Sting in the Tail is the final remaining release by Germany’s legendary rock stars, Scorpions. It is no doubt a solid album; my second favorite of the month. The record is basically what one would expect coming from the Scorpions. True, it is somewhat predictable, but the musical performance is at a high level for the band’s standards. And although it may not be as memorable as the classics, it is surely an album that should be heard, if not for its great quality, then for the fact that it is the last Scorpions album to be made.

Who is Eric VanLandingham?

My best bet would be that whoever is reading this has no clue who Eric VanLandingham is. Although he released his album Meet My Demons in 2008, I only recently discovered him. In March, I ordered his album and when it came, I had no regrets.

When I heard it, I was immediately impressed. I did not expect the musicianship and instrumental quality to be so grand, but it certainly is. And though VanLandingham is definitely without much of his deserved attention in the music scene, he makes no deliberate attempts to deceptively hook an audience. Consequentially, the everything in the album is pure and purposeful towards the music. VanLandingham is not only a stellar musician and instrumentalist, but also a wonderful person. I know this because, he admins the forum help site for the drum program which was used on this album (Acoustica Beatcraft), and has shown himself to be extremely helpful. I sincerely hope there’s a future in music for VanLandingham. For now, check out some audio samples for Meet My Demons here.

Concerts

In the middle of the month, I managed to purchase tickets to the Iron Maiden – Dream Theater concert in Edmonton on June 26. And though the tickets were pricey and worse than I hoped they would be, I am still raging with excitement. Both are among my favorite bands (definitely top 10) and have performed what have been my two favorite concerts as of yet. The concert is to feature Iron Maiden’s upcoming album, The Final Frontier, which I hope is not actually their retirement album (though it very well could be). Regardless, I am highly anticipating both the record and the concert. I’ve been spending much time listening to both bands, and have given playlist advise on my two-part blog post entitled Prepare for the Final Frontier“. Dream Theater is included in part 1, while Iron Maiden is included in part 2.

Muse

Also, just near the end of the month, I got a last-minute invite to the floor of the Edmonton Muse concert. Silversun Pickups were a fair opening band, but Muse was at a whole new level. I never previously listened to their music often, but their show was incredible. The visual appeal stood out more to me than the music. I enjoyed the experience more than the content itself, but the music was still quite enjoyable. Based on my musical taste, I was unsure whether I would enjoy the concert or not, but I ended up having a wonderful time. Without doubt, the dedicated Muse fans will greatly appreciate a return show.

My March

Last month, I listened to a lot of power metal. However, this month has been dominated by progressive. And though there was a stellar release by Kaipa this month, it has not exactly overpowered my month.

My favorites this month have been:

  • Band: Riverside
  • Album: Out of Myself (Riverside)
  • Song: “Blackwater Park” (Opeth, Blackwater Park)

April is exam cram time, but hopefully I’ll be able to keep active. See you all around!

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  1. April 4, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    nice info thx!

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