Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 6th August 2012

Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier There’s just no stopping Iron Maiden any more. I didn’t find this as immediately enjoyable as their previous album, A Matter of Life and Death, but I think it’s proven more enjoyable over time. Highlights of the En Vivo DVD were on telly recently which put me in the mood for hearing this again.

Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here This is a dreamy slice of summer bliss and one of the best albums of recent years. I’m still enjoying it so much I haven’t been able to completely give my full attention on to this year’s Weather Systems. I’ll get there…

Megadeth – Endgame Bought this on its release and I only really liked the track 44 Minutes and the rest went over my head. Admittedly, when it was released it was up against some other big competition for my attention like Porcupine Tree’s The Incident and Mastodon’s Crack the Skye. 44 Minutes had reappeared in my head lately so I had to give this another spin and , happily, it went down really well. I’ve been listening to this fairly regularly ever since so it’ll be popping up here for a while I should think. Their best since… hmm… Youthanasia.

W.A.S.P. – Live… in the Raw Not a lot of the LA bands bothered putting out live albums. Thankfully W.A.S.P. did cause theirs is a beast! I can think of one other “Hair” band that put one out and I’ll be covering that at some point. Any ideas? Theirs is a beast too.

Opeth – Damnation I tend to categories a lot music into seasons! This album is especially wintery! So bugger knows why I was listening to it in August. Never mind, it went down well as always. A very King Crimson-esque mellow album from Opeth (the drummer is definitely doing his best Michael Giles) but, influences aside, it’s a really gorgeous album. A good place to start for people that don’t like the shouty stuff although I personally think the skillful mix of extreme and mellow is Opeth’s strength.

Megadeth – Th1rt3en Not sure if I spelled that title right. Picked this up for a £5 after enjoying Endgame so much. It’s sounding promising so far although, on a first listen, some of the production choices sound a bit odd. Just me?

Richard Thompson – Walking on a Wire (1968 – 2009) Great 4CD box set of Richard’s finest moments. I had a run through of the 3rd and 4th discs. Just brimming with great stuff. Great Folk Rock, inspired guitar playing, rich warm vocals and some excellent songwriting with a dark seam running through it all. I was first exposed to Richard as he plays on some tracks from Robert Plant’s excellent Fate of Nations album and his guitar playing is just stunning. Highly recommended.

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25 thoughts on “Noise-some Notes – A Week in Listening 6th August 2012”

  1. Another enjoyable post sir. You are making me want to revisit my Megadeth. Thirteen, I never bought. Endgame I bought the Japanese. Certainly, the track Endgame and some of the album themes are more interesting now, in light of Mustaine’s recent comments!

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  2. I love these posts. So many albums I haven’t heard in ages, or at all!

    A friend here iTunes-gifted me the Opeth Damnation album last year for Christmas. That thing is really, really great. I just can’t stop listening to it. Never thought of it as a winter album (I can play it anytime), but once you said that, it makes total sense. Opeth’s one of those bands I don’t know everything, but records ike that make me want to get more involved in their discography.

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    1. Thanks very much Aaron! Most kind.

      A lot of times my categorisiation according to season is largely based on when I first got or heard the album. When I was kid I always got KISS albums at Christmas so they are the most Christmassy band ever!

      If you like Damnation I would recommend Watershed. It’s a fantastic album and the one that won me over.

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  3. Some great listening here. I’ve been reading nothing but good reviews about the new Anathema. I only have the “Falling Deeper” re-recordings of earlier songs and really like it, but from what I’ve read, their style has changed dramatically over the years. Will definitely be exploring their catalog at some point.

    Nice to see Richard Thompson on your list. I own his entire catalog (except for that compilation, since it would be redundant for me), and he’s just a monster: singing, songwriting and guitar playing. I’ve seen him live more times than I can count, and he’s one of the most electrifying live performers I’ve had the pleasure of watching…whether it’s solo acoustic or full-on electric.

    Also, perfect comparison between that Opeth album and Crimson, especially the drumming.

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    1. Hi Rich! Anathema really are at the top of their game right now. If you heard their first records you wouldn’t recognise them but if you work your way back a record at a time you can see the joins!

      The Thompson Box really is for beginners only! I have some of his Fairport stuff, most of his stuff with Linda and a few of his latter day efforts. Picked this up cheap so I could mop up the rest of his career highlights, but I like it so much I’ll probably end up going deeper! I got the excellent Live at the BBC set too and I think I might cover the 1000 Years… set in my live albums series. So insanely jealous you’ve seen him perform, I never have but I’m sure my time will come.

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      1. Based on your confirmation, I will be adding the new Anathema to my wish list, and I will probably delve deeper into their catalog…in reverse order.

        My first Richard Thompson purchase was the 3-CD “Watching The Dark” compilation from 1993. I was already a Fairport fan, and had probably heard “Rumor & Sigh” a couple of times, but his immense catalog was always too intimidating. After a few listens of that collection, I slowly & methodically collected all of his releases. Some of them I know better than others, though, which makes him a prime candidate for a reappraisal one of these days. I have a few other artists I want to revisit first, but I’ll get to RT eventually. Not that you need my recommendation, but if you can see him live, make every effort to do so.

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      2. Hmm, that’s a tough one. Richard Thompson is really one-of-a-kind, and his catalog is pretty vast. It’s hard to figure out a similar artist to recommend. When you’re ready to delve more deeply into his catalog, I’ll be happy to recommend some of my favorites if you’re interested.

        I’ve slowly been getting into the music of Canadian musician Bruce Cockburn, who has been similarly prolific to Richard Thompson. I only have a handful of his albums, so I can’t give a full recommendation yet, but I plan on exploring his catalog more in the future.

        Also, if you enjoy the folky & jazzy side of Thompson’s music, and of course appreciate his brilliant musicianship, you can’t go wrong checking out The Pentangle (with guitar greats John Renbourn & Bert Jansch, and bass genius Danny Thompson). They only did a handful of albums before various lineup changes, and you might not love the female vocalist, but musically they were amazing.

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      3. I like Bruce Cockburn a bit, being Canadian he’s pretty much an institution here. I also like folk music and folk rock a bit, though I haven’t listened to Richard Thompson yet. To throw in my Canadian 2 cents, my favourite folk artist is Gordon Lightfoot. You guys might have heard The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It has been covered by several bands over the years.

        Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 19:55:46 +0000 To: mladano@sympatico.ca

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      4. I really like Gordon Lightfoot, although I only own the two “Gord’s Gold” collections, most of which were re-recordings that were supposedly pretty faithful to the originals (but still not the original versions). He’s an artist I plan to explore further in the future. I really hope I live to the age of 200 just so I’ll have enough time to get to all the music I want to hear.

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      5. Here here! Well said Rich and may we all live to 200. I can tell you that over here in Canada’s Gord Gold 1 and 2 are pretty much considered to be as good as the originals. For a lot of poeple, they WERE the originals. Or at least the originals that they were familiar with, myself included.

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      6. Not heard any Gordon Lightfoot but I’ll look into that. Cheers for that. I really like the Folk music I’ve acquired so far but I’m still fairly new to it so all recommendations are much appreciated.

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      7. I have the Pentangle box set (I do like a box set!) and that is magnificent. Got some Jansch and Renbourn stuff too. Don’t know much about Bruce Cockburn, that’s interesting. I’ll definitely check him out.

        I especially like RT’s I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight if you can think of anything in a similar vein.

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      8. Incidentally I put a Bruce video up in the same blog if you wanna hear “If I Had A Rocket Launcher”. I think Bruce’s guitar playing is often overlooked. This song doesn’t showcase it so much, it’s just a great f’n song.

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      9. I’m not sure I knew there was a Pentangle box set. I just have four of their original albums (on wonderfully remastered & expanded CDs). The playing in that band was superb, and I’m not sure why they aren’t cited by other artists as often as Fairport Convention. I love both artists, of course, but I think they both deserve high praise & wide recognition.

        If you like Richard & Linda’s “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight,” you can’t go wrong with any of their collaborations (“Shoot Out The Lights” being the strongest) and RT’s “Hand Of Kindness.”

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      10. Pentangle definitely g.et cited less, really not sure why that is either. Like you say, they’re both excellent bands.

        The Box Set is called “Time Has Come 1967-1973”. Might have been a UK only release… It’s well worth picking up. Better than the RT Box as it has lots of unreleased and live stuff (great booklet in it too).

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      11. I’ll definitely look up that box set. If it’s got enough music that I don’t already own, and I find it for the right price, I will pick it up. Like you, I’m always partial to a good box set.

        FYI, there’s another Richard Thompson box set called “RT: The Life And Music Of…” which has 5 CDs of mostly previously-unreleased recordings, as well as a nearly 200-page book. I got it for my birthday a few years ago and I’m very glad I own it. Of all the RT in my collection, that’s the one I would most look forward to diving into if/when I revisit his catalog.

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  4. Hey guys, following the conversation… I’ve definitely been meaning to get to Richard Thompson myself, but as you eloquently put it, so little time! Soon (he keeps telling himself), soon.

    Gotta love Goron Lightfoot. He’s on a whole level all by himself. Do yourself a favour and pick up a few of the album propers. The Hits collections are great, of course, but as with any band, there are a ton of songs that should have been on those compilations on the albums themselves. Lightfoot’s career is full of tracks like that. Perfect example: Second Cup Of Coffee, off Don Quixote. Oh how I love that song. Ought to be on every Hits collection available.

    I went through the Bruce Cockburn discography, or most of it, borrowing albums from the public library in Saskatoon. Pick whichever one you want, they’re all awesome. My band leader in high school was a big fan, saw him live. Loved the show, but oddly enough his strongest impression was of how great his drummer was! Interesting, anyway.

    And hey, you’re in Scotland HMO. A band with which I fell in love while I was visiting over there was Wolfstone. They are GREAT! Talk about musicianship! You should definitely look them up.

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