Monthly Archives: October 2011

From the Pits – METALLICA (30/10/11,Bangalore)


The verdict is in and it is unanimous: Metallica simply blew everything away on 30thOctober, 2011 at the (what should be known as a legendary venue by now, at least from the perspective of the Indian metal fan) Palace Grounds, Bangalore. I thought that I would pull out a few sneering remarks about how some fans had never heard anything but “Nothing Else Matters” and how the collective orgasm on the opening chords of “Enter Sandman” just killed a few of my brain cells, but I have to refrain from doing so and give both Metallica and the Bangalore crowd the silent approval of the devils horns.

Take a bow, Metallica.

Yes, The Black Album got way too much attention; there was no need to play “The Memory Remains” and I would have jumped even more if they had substituted “Fuel” with “Whiplash” but this is just nitpicking. The crowd singing along with the chorus of “Memory Remains” produced an amazing moment, what with Hetfield showing his appreciation by standing still and letting the crowd do their thing, I shouted myself hoarse along with everybody else singing “ off to Never Never Laaaand!!!”, and even the hardened cynic could not deny the infectious rhythm of Fuel. And these were the weak parts of the show, ladies and gentlemen.

To me the best part was that the crowd popped huge, and I mean, HUGE, for Master of Puppets, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Creeping Death (but again were comparatively silent for Ride the Lightning) and Sanitarium. Everyone sang along to the songs; the fan-band connect was incredible, and this ain’t some 10 score pub crowd we are talking about here.  I was hoping that we would get the customary segue from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack into Creeping Death, and I was not disappointed a whee bit. I shit myself when I saw Eli Wallach (Tuco) running towards the graveyard. (I love the way in which Metallica pay tributes to their influences btw). We got the whole video (minus the traditional fireworks) treatment right into the growling intro of Creeping Death. Awe-freaking-some.

I was hoping that they would pull out Orion or The Call of the Ktulu or at least some more from Kill ‘em All, but that’s ok, because whatever was there was off the friggin charts. It was like a dream to see freaking Metallica friggin LIVE. Yes, it is easy for the people from the States to scoff at this point, but think about it. The Indian Metalhead gets one chance in a lifetime to see Maiden, Metallica, and Megadeth, and there is no denying that when it comes to metal these bands are the best. This was huge for us.

So to conclude, yes, their last good album came out in 1989, yes, they sold out and then produced a weak imitation called Death Magnetic, not to talk of St Anger which they themselves ignore.. But in this live show, this band gave us the absolute best, note for note, beat for beat, riff for riff. This was a quality show, and the fans knew it. History has been made, and nobody is gonna be forgetting last night anytime soon.

-This is Baba T, reporting live from the pit.

PS – Dear Mainstram Media, shut the fuck up if you don’t know what you are talking about. I am looking at you TOI, stupid prole sell out newspaper. At least do yourselves a favour and listen to the fucking songs or at least ask somebody about the names of the songs played. Assholes. And to think that people pay to read that pile of faeces and I write this blog for free.

PPS – Welcome to one more new feature at TDSR, the live show review.

PPPS – This is only a review of the music played at the show, not of the security and logistics arranged by DNA Networks. A whole new site could be put up about the same, and I hope to god I never go through something like the Delhi fans in my life.


Details – FROU FROU – 2002


In the primeval mush of information overload that is the Internet, it’s hard to find something truly unique and original. Consider that statement, and multiply the uncertainty by 10 when speaking of music. Because there are no more pockets of isolation left, any schmuck can post his band’s videos and music, and the latest generation of musicians has grown up more on half-assed guitar solos on YouTube than properly woodshedded fare. An older generation of musicians still remains, though; the people who grew up before Hotmail and Netscape are still around, and their pockets of development exist and manifest themselves in strange and sometimes beautiful ways.

 Now consider Imogen Heap (that’s not a stage name). She straddles these two distinct generations of musicians. Having come of age in the early 90’s, her early work just pipped the advent of the internet. Still, it’s the sort of modern electronica that translates very well on to YouTube. Frou Frou, her side project with, uh, some guy, almost seems pre-determined for internet fame. Short, innovative and trippy songs seem to make up the bulk of Details, Frou Frou’s first and so far only album. The bands YouTubeability is massively helped by the beautiful, soaring “Let Go”. But I’ll come back to that in a moment.

This album, for the uninitiated, is mostly very good electropop overlaid with some surprising arrangements (Indian flutes FTW) and Imogen Heap’s breathy, emotional, Matthew Bellamy-meets-Joanna-Newsom voice. For an artist who is so sonically experimentative, the lyrics are surprisingly confessional and straightforward. It doesn’t get more straightforward than “It’s Good To be In Love”. No bad thing, just that the more experimentative the artist, the more oblique the lyrics tend to be. Sometimes the directness is very powerful. “’Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown” has to be one of the most seductive lines I’ve heard in a long time. But it can get a little bit cloying at times, with “Hey There, Delilah” exceptions being hard to pull off. Still, I suppose there is value in straightforward expression when most smart people express themselves either ironically or with self-conscious understatement.

As a general rule, I found the more experimental tracks more intriguing. They lose none of the strong melodies that characterize Heap’s music, and append crazy sonic experiments for good measure. The high-pitched denouement to the chorus on “Must be Dreaming”, for instance, is gooseflesh raising. I would’ve liked a slightly more adventurous album, seeing how two avant-garde artists got together. There are many moments when there seems to be a conscious attempt to rein in too much arthousery. This tension produces mixed results, with “Psychobabble” being a lesson in strange and beautiful arrangements(cue the Bollywood string section), while “Must be Dreaming” ends up sounding odd overall despite that chorus. At the negative extreme, “It’s Good to be in Love” sounds too conservative, and boring.

There is definitely an Indian music influence there, with a number of songs referencing Classical Indian raga melodies and Bollywood inspired strings. It’s this combination of Boards of Canada and Baazigar, which makes for the most compelling moments on this album, such as the amazing, amazing “Let Go”. Also, sample the amazing middle section of “Shh”, and tell me it doesn’t make you want to trip.

Anyway, in summing up, this is a good album, but it falls in the same way Blackfield did. It’s the slightly underwhelming result of two very creative people coming together and making the whole checks and balances thing work all too well. This sounds somewhat right.

- El Bajista



Worship Music-ANTHRAX-2011


I am sorry but this album sucks. It is a) derivative b) relies on pop hooks c) uses Bullet for My Valentine-esque techniques of going into a soaring chorus that doesnt make any sense within context of the song d) too long e) uses some neat lead guitar riffing to give a feeling of transcendence but the rhythm section sucks because it uses the same tired riffs for 6 minutes f) Fight em till you Can’t makes me cringe. I understand that they need to pay their bills ..but this? What happened to the Sonisphere and Big 4 concerts? At least respect your own legacy, man. Where is the crunch? Where are the incisive, cutting edge riffs? Where is the..oh wait, does anything else matter more for a speed metal band?

Sellouts

I understand that Joey Belladonna is singing on this album. He sounds old, weak, and there is not one memorable hook on this album. If any kid out there is trying to get into crunchy speed metal try Spreading the Disease and Among the Living. Also look at Practice What You Preach by Testament. Please do that and stay away from this if you really respect and worship music. This doesn’t sound right.

-Baba T


The Hunter-MASTODON-2011


…Aaaand they fuck it all up. See the thing is, in today’s world of metal, unless you are good or you are out. Finis. There is no place for “yeah the vocal lines are bad and cheesy, but they have got this cool guitar solo going on.” Cut to the second song from the album “Curl of the Burl”. The vocal line of “ooOOO OOooo OOO oye OOO” is something that Ozzy used to do in early 90′s and it doesnt help that the vocalist has retained the heliumishness of Ozzy. Wat the fuck is this bullshit they are trying to pull? All the vocals are weak and the lines are just wrong (I dont mean the lyrics, you nOOb). They mish mash with the rhythm section and just distract and fracture my brain not calm it and help it come together.

So we have gone from Riff based Metal to Proggish Metal to weak Modern era Hard Rock with a few metal-ish chord sequences and pretty power ballads (ala the title track) complete with fucking latter era Rainbow-Blackmore solos (even though they are the best part of the album)??? So the production and the little tweaks help pass the time of the day, but I DON’T want to pass the time of day with mediocre crap. I want to listen to the absolute best, and The Hunter is third rate modern butt metal. Take the song “Creature Lives”. It is like some f’ing pop generic pop song, where the vocal parts follow the terrible nursery rhymish guitars. It is like a kid taking “sa re ga ma pa” lessons. The majority of the chord sequences go in typical generic 3 Doors Down fashion from A to B to C back to A back to B and so on and so forth without displaying any real melodic progression or ideas.

Breathe. Slowly.  OK, so things are not all bad, but don’t ever talk about “Curl of the Burl” or any other vocal parts of this album. There are songs which are good, even though spoilt in large because of the rest of the album. For example “Thickening” has pretty good guitar parts that remind you more of “Oblivion” from Crack the Skye rather than whatever the heck they are doing elsewhere. “Spectrelight” reminds you of the Leviathan era, and it just might be the only true metal song with the proper grandeur befitting the genre, that I can actually recommend.

Except in some places the whole proceedings suck. It doesnt help matters that the album is so damn long that……wtf…I have better things to do, this doesnt sound right. Some good parts but the suck on others overwhelms all that. This is not an album I am going to be putting on anytime soon.

-Baba T


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 477 other followers

%d bloggers like this: