Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Teasers and Sneak Previews

Heroes Of Might and Magic V Demo:

Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3 were pretty awesome games but the series was dealt a bit of a blow with the very sub par fourth entry. The new one seems to have done almost everything right however, returning more or less completely to the gameplay of the more popular installments. The UI has been given a total overhaul and mostly it seems to be a big improvement. The graphics have of course been updated into full 3-D and it looks pretty good and runs smoothly even on my machine, although the artists seem to have been trying a little too hard to emulate Warcraft 3. Still, now that they've announced that the game will not carry the horrible rootkit installing Starforce copy protection, it looks like I'll be buying this one when it comes out.

The New Tool Single – Vicarious

After listening to what Tool have had to say about their new album I was expecting something pretty intense and difficult, however the first single at least seems like it will have a comfortable home on the radio, once the dumbass radio people cut it down from it's full seven minutes. It opens with a riff that sounds a little like the main one from 'Schism', but with a rhythm more like that of 'The Patient'. The polyrhythmic influence of Meshuggah isn't immediately apparent, but is definitely there, all Tool have done is taken Meshuggah's ideas that they use to make aggressive, difficult music and arranged it so that it sounds natural. The song might sound a little weird to someone not used to that sort of thing, but still quite listenable. However if you pay attention, the bass and guitar are usually playing in completely different time signatures.

Danny Carey's drums seem to have been kicked up yet another notch, which is very impressive, and the whole song is far heavier and angrier than anything off Lateralus (excepting of course 'Ticks and Leeches'). Maynard's lyrics have taken an unexpected turn to the political (rumour has it that A Perfect Circle are finished so that might have something to do with it) which could easily have gone wrong but fortunately on this song at least they're pretty cool, “Because I need to watch things die... From a distance”. It's a lot more direct and less esoteric than his previous Tool songs.

While it wasn't the face meltingly brilliant musical revelation I was secretly hoping for, it's pretty good, and Tool's 'pretty good' is everyone else's 'fucking brilliant', so no disappointments here.


andrew brown said...

personally, i'm not a lover. yeah i like it's heavyness and the fact that it doesn't have to die down to a dark-quiter part like they do in almost every other song, but as a whole, it's ok. i've heard that it's not really an indication of the rest of the album though, so who knows?

yeah i'll definately get it, i mean, it's tool, i'm sure the album will rule, but will it be better than aenima? probably not.

to me, and this is only my opinion, it seems like they're over the hill. i don't LOVE the drumming at the end unlike some people who LOVE the last 10 seconds. I don't know, the song doesn't seem to flow as nicely as some of their other ones

i do appreciate the change though

Jon said...

Well I'm not super impressed either, but it's definitely growing on me. I couldn't disagree more that they're over the hill, Lateralus is one of my favourite albums ever, and I still have very high hopes for 10,000 days.

andrew brown said...

oh i didn't mean lateralus is over the hill, and what i mean is that, the band members themselves sound over the hill in that song. they use riffs and stuff that sound "below" them, stuff i'd expect from "lesser" bands

Jon said...

I found the riffs to be similar to their older stuff, but more complicated although understated.

Anyway, a little bird tells me (koff koff) that the rest of the album is quite different and goes in some unexpected directions.

andrew brown said...

so i've heard to. i can't wait to get home to have 'accidentally' found it on the internet through a private torrent site..........

Jungle Rhino said...

Well I've got to say the new single is pretty sweet. It's actually disturbingly funky due to Justin pimp slapping his bass like a cheap ho. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Jon said...

I won't post a full review until the album is actually released but I will say that it's a good 'un. Not as heavy as Vicarious might lead you to expect though.