Par kluseba le 23 Octobre 2019 à 16:12
Japanese kawaii metal pioneers Babymetal who revolutionized a combination of melodic danceable idol pop music and diverse metal subgenres have gone through numerous changes over the past few years. Lead guitarist and member of the band's backing group called Kami Band Fujioka Mikio died from injuries sustained after falling from an observation deck about two years ago. Singer and dancer Mizuno Yui had stopped touring with the band about two years ago and definitely left the band one year ago. She had been replaced by a revolving line-up of different dancers and singers. In addition to this, the teenagers had now become adults with lead singer Nakamoto Suzuka being twenty-one years old and backing singer and dancer Kikuchi Moa being twenty years old as we speak. Most idol bands would have opted for a new line-up but Babymetal's international popularity associated to its original singers would have made such a change extremely debatable. The band doesn't have its youthful charm anymore and must now opt for a new direction. Instead of dwelling on the past, Babymetal has now released a record entitled Metal Galaxy with a new background story and numerous futuristic electronic elements.
While evolution is generally positive, one can't help but miss the quirky eclectic energy that distinguished the stunning debut record Babymetal five years ago and its even more diversified successor Metal Resistance three years ago. Metal Galaxy features six popular guest musicians and singers varying from Thai rapper F. Hero to Canadian death metal vocalist Alissa White-Gluz but all these collaborations are only briefly entertaining and fail to leave deeper impressions. ''Distortion'' for instance is a faceless and short first single as the solid melodic death metal riffs don't blend in with the heavily distorted and auto-tuned vocals. Nakamoto Suzuka's enchanting clean vocals can't really unfold. Kikuchi Moa's shy backing chants are lacking conviction. Alissa White-Gluz's growls are merely a gimmicky side note. The other collaborations aren't much better. ''Oh! Majinai'' featuring Sabaton's Joakim Broden makes Alestorm sound like serious and professional artists as that failed attempt at a pirate hymn might not even be entertaining enough for a pre-school birthday party at an amusement park. ''Brand New Day' features two guitarists of progressive rock band Polyphia but if you expect this song to be more adventurous than the rest, you've got it all wrong. The staccato riffs sound nerve-firing. The omnipresent electronic elements are plain irritating. The vocal effects take any depth, feeling or soul away from the song. It's a pity that the producers didn't let Nakamoto Suzuka unfold her angelic vocals.
How about the songs without guest musicians or singers? They aren't much better to be honest. ''Future Metal'' is a bland plodding trance tune that opens the first disc while the overlong ''In the Name of'' sounds like a less convincing copy of the opener from the eponymous debut record. Japanese bonus tracks ''BBAB'' and ''BxMxC'' are as random as their weird titles and materialize as nervous short tunes mixing futuristic trance and dubstep elements with vapid industrial and nu metal riffs but the worst elements are the heavily processed vocals that are much closer to a robot than a human being.
In order to not be completely negative, there are still a few noteworthy songs. ''Shanti Shanti Shanti'' focuses on danceable Indian folkore music and could come straight from the soundtrack of a Bollywood movie. The song manages to sound creative, enchanting and exotic and isn't too heavily processed. ''Shine'' isn't innovative but sounds refreshing as an epic pop ballad that stands out because it's less overloaded and processed than most of the other songs. Album closer ''Arkadia'' offers epic power metal melodies in the key of Rhapsody of Fire, Helloween and DragonForce that nostalgically recall the spirit of the previous full length effort. It's ironic that what might be the most conservative tune on the new album is easily its best.
In the end, Babymetal has both moved away from its quirky pop music roots and its numerous metal subgenres and offers futuristic electronic music where too many cooks spoil the broth and quantity outweighs quality. The heavily processed vocals of the brilliant lead singer Nakamoto Suzuka are unnecessary, nerve-firing and even insulting for such a talented artist. Kikuchi Moa's exchangeable background vocals have nothing in common with her energetic screams on the two previous records. Mizuni Yui's absence is noteworthy but it's debatable whether her presence could have improved this vapid plastic product. The instrumental quality has also decreased and one misses Fujioka Mikio's crunching extreme metal riffs.
The only hope that remains is that the new songs sound more warm, vibrant and organic in concert. Babymetal's quirky shows are still second to none despite the line-up changes. This third studio record however is a step in the wrong direction. Fans are craving for Babymetal and not Young-Adult-Trance. If you happen to be disappointed by Metal Galaxy, try out BRATS' eponymous debut record featuring former Ladybaby singer Rei Kuromiya.
Final rating: 30%
Par kluseba le 19 Octobre 2019 à 22:18
The End... Again
Pre-orders are available here: https://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/the-old-dead-tree-the-end-cd-dvd-digital
Par kluseba le 17 Octobre 2019 à 07:11
Ladies and gentlemen,
About one month ago, I decided to spend one weekend in Montreal to assist a game between Montreal Impact FC and FC Cincinnati, an intrasquad scrimmage of the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre and a concert of Battle Beast, Sonata Arctica and Kamelot at Soda Club. I also managed to try out several pubs and restaurants I had never been to before. The weather was great as well and I had an excellent stay in a cozy hotel room. Overall, it was one of the most beautiful weekends I have ever spent in Montreal and I'm looking forward to returning there again soon.
Vegan campaign at Berri-UQAM metro station
Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine House
Montreal Impact FC lost 0-1 against FC Cincinnati
Olympic Stadium in Montreal
L'amère à boire
Le Saint Bock
View of downtown Montreal
Next to Bell Centre in Montreal
Montreal Canadiens intrasquad scrimmage
Warm-up session at Bell Centre
Face-off seen from afar
Close-up of another face-off
Celebrations at the end of the game
Bell Centre as seen from the outside
Sota B.B.Q. Korean restaurant
Par kluseba le 16 Octobre 2019 à 17:54
Ladies and gentlemen!
I had three different sets of visitors in only three weeks from late August to mid-September. After my friend Jean Daniel's visit and a wonderful prolonged weekend with my parents, it was then the turn of my dear friend Charles to pass by. We spent one wonderful day in Aylmer and the next one in Ottawa. The weather was great and the atmosphere was really relaxed. We didn't visit much but decided to hike, eat and drink peacefully. Our wonderful weekend gave me the opportunities to spend quality time with a friend while finding some time to relax.
Breakfast at Eggspectation in Ottawa
Charles in front of a building on Lisgar Street
This beautiful marmot can't read!
Canadian Tribute to Human Rights
Charles on the backside of Ottawa City Hall
Charles in front of Fire Fighters Monument in Ottawa
Charles next to a monument beside National Arts Centre in Ottawa
Charles next to Yousuf Karsh Statue in front of Hotel Fairmont Château Laurier
Charles takes a break next to Lord Stanley's Gift Monument
Charles in front of Ottawa Tourism office
My friend Charles in front of the excellent Genji Japanese restaurant
Par kluseba le 16 Octobre 2019 à 17:39
It doesn't happen very often that my dear parents come to visit Canada and spend some time with me. We had an amazing time four years earlier but the prolonged weekend we spent together in late August and early September of this year was absolutely amazing. We visisted Wakefield, Chelsea and Gatineau in Quebec as well as Arnprior, Smiths Falls and Ottawa in Ontario. We had a great time together and I'm already looking forward to meeting my parents again in December and January.
Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa
Hotel Fairmont Château Laurier
Dam in downtown Smiths Falls
Centennial Park in Smiths Falls
My father in front of Smiths Falls Water Tower
One of numerous colourful birds on Turtle Island in Smiths Falls
My parents in front of a lock in Smiths Falls
My parents on a gigantic chair next to Parks Canada administration building in Smiths Falls
My father is exploring Smiths Falls
View of a boat entering one of Smiths Falls' locks
My mother at Daniel McLachlin Park and Bell Tower in Arnprior
My parents in front of the place where the Madawaska River flows into the Ottawa River
Arnprior and District Museum
Downtown Ottawa on a sunny September morning
My parents at Dunn-D's Mini-Putt in Chelsea
My father took as many pictures as I did of this wonderful place
My father next to old railway tracks in Wakefield
My parents on a bridge in Wakefield
My parents at the entrance to Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park
My mother is visiting the ruins of a church on Mackenzie King Estate
My parents in downtown Ottawa with a view of Rideau Canal
Fountains and monuments in front of Ottawa City Hall
Ottawa Fire Fighters Memorial
My parents in front of a totem pole at Confederation Park
My father at Lord Stanley's Gift Monument
My mother is completing the Ottawa sign on Sparks Street
My father is completing the Ottawa sign on Sparks Street
Bank of Canada Museum and its surroundings
Garden of the Provinces and Territories
A boat on Ottawa River
My parents' favourite spot near Bytown Museum on the Rideau Canal
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