08 September 2008

Procrastination Theater Part II: Semargl and Wolverine

A while ago I posted during a somewhat busy period of school in which I had no desire to do anything of substance, so I wrote a blog post about something or other. That time has come again. Well, it's not quite as busy now, but for some reason I feel like I'm putting stuff off anyway. So you get to read some lame reviews. Yay!

Semargl - Manifest

My last post was on an album that has become one of my favorite metal releases ever. This one was a favorite before that one (and still is). The Amenta hailed from Australia, these guys from the Ukraine. That's a neat thing really; extreme metal can come from pretty much anywhere. Just recently France has become something of a hotbed, producing acts like Gojira and Hacride. There are still a few holdout domains like those in the Middle East, but for the most part the black tide (not a reference to the new thrashy band that I hate for no reason) is encompassing the globe.

Anyway, this album is great. Genre-wise it's I guess what you'd call blackened-death metal, although I think it has more black qualities than death; not in any conventional sense, however. You won't find the walls of lo-fi distortion, symphonic keyboards, or raspy screeches of its roots. It mostly just retains the absolute animosity toward religion (specifically Christianity), and just an indescribable feeling of evil that is the primary tenet of black metal.

What sets this album apart from basically all other music in its genres is the extremely bouncy sound. The bass player seems to be taking lessons from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The distortion level of pretty much everything (except the vocals) is remarkably low, and the sound is well produced. It's all just really damned enjoyable.

The only thing I don't really care for is the supposed subject matter (I don't think they released the lyrics). The band is openly anti-Christian, and this album itself is a manifest of war against the religion, ergo the title. The words printed in the booklet are not the lyrics; instead they are the manifest itself, it seems. I haven't actually spent any time reading them since I don't think it's worth my time, but a brief glance made it look pretty serious. Anwhow, I just like the way the album sounds.

Here're some video samples.

Wolverine: Origin

I found this randomly and remembered that I had been wanting to read it. So I did.

It's really good.

It's not what I expected; I didn't think they'd start with his childhood; I don't know why. I think it's great how they make you expect one kid to turn into Wolverine and then make it some other kid instead. I haven't actually read any X-Men comic books, at least I don't think I have, but this seems like it's a lot better than I would expect from such things. There's a lot of emotion and drama. Kinda bleak really.

One thing I'm not entirely clear about is whether his claws were initially meant to be physically part of him or whether they were implanted with the adamantium; I had always assumed the latter, leaving his healing factor to be his only real mutation. It's cool this way anyhow.