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Life is But a Dream

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Okay, so by now, most of you have heard Nobody and We Love You. A few more have heard/seen a live performance of Game Over, and a small handful were in Vegas with us this weekend and have heard the whole album. I'm gonna share some thoughts without getting too deep into it because some of it should be a surprise and no one wants these kinds of things spoiled or ruined for them.

    First impression: Adventurous. They've been talking like they didn't care much if the album had any hits, that it was important for them to embrace a vision with no limits and go for it. They did. You thought ALPOH was stepping outside the lines? This beats the line with bricks and then somehow manages to find a way to screw it. There is stuff on this album that you will struggle to accept is our Avenged Sevenfold. There's a lot of piano (all played by Syn) and almost no keyboards - what will sound like keys is Syn with an amp, a table full of pedals, and a mad-scientist brain. He said it literally took him like 4 months of 12-hour days to translate all these tones into his AxeFX for touring.

    There are places where everybody has a chance to shine. Brooks is on fire. What he plays under the solo in Mattel might be my favorite bit of his playing on the disc. Not because it's the most technically impressive (it's not), but it is really creative (to me) and fits perfectly under Syn's solo. Despite lots of places where Matt has heavy effect on his voice, it's not to "hide weakness" or anything. He shows loud and clear that he has full command of his voice and probably in a much wider tonal palette than he used to have, and he carried it live, too. Johnny gets to play around more than I think he ever has, and when I saw him after the show, I told him I was looking forward to seeing what kind of dancing he was gonna do while funking it up in (O)rdinary and he grinned ear to ear and came at me with a fist bump. He's grown a LOT as a player, but yeah, he's still short.

    The song "Life is But a Dream" is not an "album closing epic progfest." I won't say more, but whatever you think it might be, you are wrong. I guaranfuckingtee it.

    "Cosmic" will be the favorite for many, I expect. In feel and tone, it hews closest to The Stage, has beautiful lyrics, and possibly the best (3-part!) Syn solo ever. This solo is the one people are going to be killing themselves to cover first.

    It is a broad album with a huge slate of influences. They love to cite Kanye as the biggest influence, but I heard a lot of other stuff, and when I looked through what Kanye's influences were, I got a better sense of it - to me, there's a lot of 70s style influencing it. Everything from Yes, Kansas and old Rush to ELO, the Beach Boys and Parliament - all filtered through Kanye's lens. No, it doesn't SOUND like a 70s record (or Yeezy), but to an old guy like me, it FEELS like one, in that back then, bands were more interested in throwing their fans a curveball and considering genre as "more like guidelines than actual rules" (Thx Capt Barbossa). On this record, the band is throwing a massive "FUCK OFF" to sub-sub-genre devotees and purists. You see some of that in what you've heard already, but they keep going.

    If your idea of a good record is PURE METULZ like Metallica's 72 Seasons, you might be disappointed in some of this. But if you're Bilbo at heart and want to go on an adventure, this is your Precious.
     
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    Awex Came

    Campfire Attention Holder
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    May 23, 2021
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    Very well said, spot on.

    I heard the album and immediately texted Brian “You guys are out of your minds and I love it”.

    And as I told Ed, this album says so much. Dense in many ways even when it’s sonically sparse. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get new music for a long time again because this just says so much, how would you possibly have more to say anytime soon. But this is one of those albums where I’ll be finding little easter eggs for years to come.



    He's grown a LOT as a player, but yeah, he's still short
    My biggest take away from this personally
     

    Jamie London

    GYNNER
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Amazingly well said, good sir.

    I have to say, it’s easily my favorite body of work that they’ve ever released, BUT it certainly won’t be for everyone, and that’s ok. I’m excited for it to officially drop because love it or hate it, everyone is gonna be talking about it. Until then, I won’t say much more 🤐
     

    Little Laguna05

    Free Bird Player
    Feb 16, 2023
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    Okay, so I’m only 17 I don’t really listen to all these other influences or other “great” guitarists I maintain in the Hardrock and metal lane. But I am always excited for new different sounding albums from a band. I don’t like Kanye, so when I had heard about him being an influence I wasn’t sure I don’t listen to his songs or anything about him. I just don’t like the hip hop rap genre. And I just forgot what I wanted to say
     
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    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Marana, AZ USA
    soundcloud.com
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    Personally, I feel like the band took stuff from Kanye and brought it into a rock/metal context, and looking at Ye's influences, I feel like he took a lot of 70s album rock, prog, pop, and back to some Motown and made it hip-hoppy.

    So really, a lot of LIBAD, to me, sounds like 70s AOR and prog filtered through a more modern lens.