A Review of The Contortionist's "Clairvoyant"

    I don't have a lot of words on this one, because The Contortionist have made another very honest, human album with some occasionally actually progressive songwriting in them. After Language, I had high hopes for them to keep evolving, and they did; Clairvoyant strikes a good balance of continuing things that worked, improving things that had potential, and breaking some new ground. The personal story behind where most of the lyrics came from is also elegantly portrayed throughout the album, and everything is executed well technically. It's not an especially flashy release, but I feel it's a really solid work at both a macro and micro level.

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A Review of Leprous's "Malina"

    Leprous is a band from Norway who meld elements of art rock and progressive metal with a healthy amount of operatic vocals and pop tonality. This is their fifth album in this fairly consistent area of genre; if I'm honest, I didn't expect to have words about this one after their previous album The Congregation. That album was essentially a bunch of guitar demos with drums shedding over them – to me, it was an extrapolation of every mistake they avoided in their third album Coal which is simply a platonic ideal of art rock composition. Judging by the one single I heard from Malina, I was ready for more of the same complacent riffing. Yet, this album surprised me with some ambitious compositional choices that reminded me of Coal in a good way, so... here I am!

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Mini-reviews for 2015

It's been too long since I posted any criticism! Not much music deeply connected with me in 2015, and I was listening to less of it as well. However I wanted to write something before the new Animals as Leaders and Periphery (maybe even Karnivool?) this year, so I figured I'd take a look at my most-listened albums of 2015 and do some short write-ups.

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Let's talk about Between the Buried and Me's "Coma Ecliptic": Part One

Here we are again. I'll be upfront and say I'm not 100% sure whether I like this album or not yet, which is partially why I'm writing this. It feels like an inevitable thing that BTBAM (no, I'm not going to CamelCaps that) is going to keep releasing somewhat unique metal concept albums until the end of their career, so I'm not shocked by the ambition, and few of the songs on Coma Ecliptic have really bit into me. 

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Let's talk about Periphery's "Juggernaut": Part 1: Alpha

This is intended to be an in-depth critique and review of Juggernaut: Alpha by Periphery. I have a lot of complex feelings and critiques about this album so I'm going to start out with a short history and the easy stuff, then go track by track through my thoughts about Alpha, having listened to the album 6-7 times since its streaming release. I have not listened to Juggernaut: Omega past its two singles, and I won't until this post is finished–I will very likely write a companion post to this doing the same thing to Omega and comparing the two.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

I feel like Guardians of the Galaxy is never quite sure what it is, or what it even wants to be. It's a generic action movie, it's a comedic parody of generic action movies, it's the heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship among space randos and some white guy, but it's not very good at any of those things. If anything, it commits the most to being a space action movie and does a pretty predictable, serviceable take on that idea, but that's what you'd expect from Marvel and that's seemingly why they advertised it primarily as a lighthearted, comedic romp.

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