Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: BSG Final Season & Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Well another 2 weeks and another post. I talked to our tech guys and he told me that our district is still working on a separate log in for teachers that isn't as strict as student log ins. Only time will tell.

Anyway, on to the subject at hand. It's been almost one year since the rag tag fleet found Earth only to find it destroyed by a nuclear war. The episode was great. Let's face it though, it had been so long (9 months) that anything was going to make me happy. But it didn't disappoint, highlights for me:
- The 13th Colony was all Cylons, and they had a civil war and destroyed each other on earth.
- Starbuck finds her own dead body...WTF?!?!?
- Dee kills herself (didn't see that coming[in fact it ranked up there with Boomer shooting Adama during the first season as shocking moments go])
- President gives up hope (what would Obama say?)
- 5th Cylon is "revealed" to be Ellen who died last season
Basically a ton more questions and a great episode can't wait for Fridays again.

The other show I am really loving these days is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Now before Episode III came out they had a regular cartoon version which hits some of the highlights taking place before the last movie. This show is CGI and tells more of the story of the war itself. I have no idea how many seasons/episodes it will have, but I am hoping for a lot. The animation is the best I have ever seen on a tv show. I mean the prequels were full of CGI and there are times (space battles) when it seems like you are watching a movie. You can't really see Anikin's turn yet, but you know it's coming because he has a padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Now she is destined to bite the big one somewhere during this show because she doesn't turn up during Episode III. The other nice thing about the show is that it doesn't focus on Anakin all the time (like the cartoon version). We have episodes where Anakin and Obi Wan don't even appear. How about an episode without Jedis? Does it work...yep. The Star Wars universe is so big there is a ton to explore.

My only complaint is Jar Jar...yes he makes appearances (2 so far). I just hate Jar Jar, the fans hate Jar Jar why must we be forced to watch him? By the way, this isn't a kids show either...lots of death and destruction. This series was made for the fans. I really want a show that takes place between Episodes III & IV, but this will do for now. I hear the live action show will cover those 20 years.

Next post...who knows.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Who Decides: Top 10 Albums of the Year (Spinal Tap Edition)

So it's only been over a month since I last posted something (thanks Webwasher), and I missed out on some of my genre albums of the year. So really quick;
Metalcore Album of the Year: My Minds Weapon - The Carrion Sky
Industrial Album of the Year: Black Comedy - Instigator
Biggest Disappointment: Fear My Thoughts - Isolation
Best Debut Album: Exmortus - In Hatred's Flame
Best Sophomore Album: Mygrain - Signs of Existence

Ok enough of that onto my top 10 of the year. BTW, if you don't get the Spinal Tap reference watch this first.

11. Protest the Hero - Fortress: A solid follow-up to Kezia and is pretty much more of the same, which is a good thing. Something that bothered me a bit was how it seemed like the song was over and then there would be seconds of silence then another song would start up...really sucks when I am listening on random (Palms Read).

10. Into Eternity - The Incurable Tragedy: a better return to form than The Scattering of Ashes. Crazier time changes and great guitar work. Vocals were solid again, but I still miss all the harmonies of Buried Into Oblivion. What kept this album from going's short, not even 40 minutes long.

9. Eluveitie - Slania: like I said earlier when I heard this album, it's just so out there it works. Violins, bagpipes, and a hurdy gurdy sound great when thrown in with some classic death metal elements. Great Surprise.

8. Exmortus - In Hatred's Flame: a great album. If you like Dragonforce's insane guitar work but can't stand the high vocals...then these guys are for you. From the first listen I was hooked. I can't put into words how great the guitar work is it's one that you have to hear for yourself.

7. Mercenary - Architect of Lies: where The Hours That Remain lacked (death vocals), Architect of Lies makes up for it. This is a great album and might be better than 11 Dreams. The first time I heard The Endless Fall I was blown away by that riff midway through. While that is easily the best song on the album, the rest of it is just as good.

6. Becoming the Archetype - Dichotomy: one name Devin Townsend. He produced this album and made the band sound better than ever. End of the Age, How Great Thou Art, and Self-Existent really shine. Awesome album, if you are looking for a great progressive metal album this has to be it.

5. Bullet For My Valentine - Scream, Aim, Fire: How bad did I want to not like this album, but man can these guys write catchy heavy metal. I was drawn in by and Hearts Burst Into Fire, Forever and Always, but was hooked by their cover of No Easy Way Out (find it on a special import edition). Last To Know, Take it out on Me, the list goes on and on. These are metal songs that you can hum and sing along to. Solid album, my guilty pleasure of the year.

4. All That Remains - Overcome: Is it better than Fall of Ideals? No, but it's not the same album. ATR has always done something different for each album. This album focuses more on the vocals of Phil than anything else. It took a few listens to listen to, but now it's a pleasure to listen to. BTW, I'm not talking emo vocals either, just great melodic singing.

3. Testament - The Formation of Damnation: What can I say about this album? It's just a solid thrash album. It's great to hear Chuck BIlly and the boys playing again. People wanted The Ritual 2, but I wanted another Low, which is what this album is more similar to. Great guitar work between Peterson and Skolnick make this a huge winner. Also to note, Chuck kept some of his death growls in the vocals.

2. Trivium - Shogun: I'll admit it, after The Crusade I thought this band was done. That album was such a blatent sell out album I couldn't see them coming back. Enter Shogun. This album takes everything great from Ascendancy and makes it better. The more I listen to this album I think it could be their best. Songs like Torn Between, Throes of Perdition, Of Promethus, and of course their best song ever Shogun make this a classic thrash album. Then throw in Down From the Sky for those power ballad types and you have an instant classic.

1. Metallica - Death Magnetic: Was there any surprise here? I mean I actually liked St. Anger. The band said St. Anger wasn't supposed to be a popular album. In fact, they said they wanted to make an album so raw that radio wouldn't want to play it. Now we all know this album is a "return to form" for the boys, but I am going to take a different direction. I am going to say that if St. Anger had guitar solos and the corrrect drum snare you would have Death Magnetic. Think about it long intros, check, long choruses, check, wanting to make a "raw" album, check. This is what St. Anger was supposed to be. Don't believe me? All Nightmare Long is based upon a chorus that wasn't used on St. Anger. A great album. I would really like to see someone put the correct snare on St. Anger to see what a difference that would make.

That's my Top 10 for the year. I'm not sure what 2009 holds, except for Megadeth's new one. As for my posting on a more consistant basis, hopefully my school will unblock Blogger and I can start posting more feequently. Seriously, two kids makes it tough.