Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wicked Garden

Hey guys,

I had said that I wanted to get to get back here before too long and talk about Opeth's new album Heritage.

Here I am.

It was their highest selling debut in the U.S. and I'm sure it's not done charting songs, but there is one single out right now... and also a music video for that single.

So, in the tradition of what I've done with all the other albums, here's the first single and music video off Opeth's 10th studio album Heritage, entitled The Devil's Orchard.

It's probably one of the most eerie and psychedelic videos I've ever seen. Even folks who aren't fans of the band are spreading good buzz about the video.

Check it out and I'll hopefully see you guys before too long with my full mini-review of Heritage.

Be well until then.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Hey guys,


I've let about three months get away from me when it comes to the updating of this blog.

I've just been kind of floating to and fro on things (like I do), shifting between reading prose, reading comics, watching a bit of TV and movies, and listening to tunes.

Also, if any of you readers here are into comics, I've started a new blog here where I've found a massive list of some acclaimed graphic novels in the form of a huge book. There are 500 of them and I'm reviewing them one by one there. That's also one of the things that's kept me away.


When I last posted, we were going through all the albums of the band Opeth. I was breaking them out, doing a short preview post, giving them a couple week's listening and then giving you my two cents on them.

When I stopped, I had done the sort of preview post for the ninth album Watershed.

I've long since digested that one and all the rest of the first eight. I'm back here today because Opeth's tenth album Heritage has come out and I'd like to finish what I started with Watershed and move onto that one and then perhaps some other music that's recently wormed its way into my listening time.

So, without further ado (and before I disappear from you loyal Llog readers' sight for another three months!), let's get down to Watershed.

If you'll recall when I had been posting this summer, I'd pick my favorite two tracks from each Opeth album, usually a heavy one and then a lighter one, and then post vids for them and tell you why they were my favorite, pointing out moments in each that were special to me.

Let's mix it up a bit and go lighter first and also give you something I haven't done yet: post a video of a live performance of one of the songs. Here's the opening track to Watershed: a beautiful track entitled Coil. (Fear not when you hear the hosts of TV4 introduce this tune in Swedish. The lyrics are in English, like all other Opeth stuff. Stay tuned and give it a listen.)


Ahhh... There we have it. Coil...

As I said, this one is the opener of Watershed, and it's just your basic pretty ballad. Nothing really busy going on, certainly no traces of Opeth's death metal roots, but a song that just grabs you.

The song is a bit faster here than on the album and there's a bit less here in the instrumentation department, but I wanted to post a nice, simple acoustic version. And guest female vocalist on the song Nathalie Lorichs certainly isn't difficult to look at or listen to, either. ;-)

Now, let's get into what's probably my favorite heavier track on the album, if I've got to pick just one. If you're so inclined, give The Lotus Eater a listen below.

The Lotus Eater

I think I knew the name of this track before any others on the album because of the beginning. That odd, meterless singing by Mikael makes the start of this one really stand out.

From there we go into a ripping, punishing onslaught by the instruments with droning guitar and blast beating drums. When the lyrics start, they're nice, sweet harmonies over this fantastic chaos morphing into brutal death growls and back again. And back and forth we continue to go.

At around 3:40, we get a guitar solo into a nice mellow break that you almost wouldn't believe was the same song.

At 5:10, we come back up a little bit with a slightly distorted guitar leading into a nice little lead guitar piece which, in turn, leads into a little jam that's almost in the jazz/fusion vein.

All these different parts I've listed so far are the reason I love this song and this band. This musicianship is what makes Opeth different from any other band. You can pigeonhole them as death metal and say they're too heavy for your tastes, but I'd say that if you've done that and listened to everything I've posted simply in this one entry, you've got to get the inkling that your argument might be faulty.

After that little jazzy part, we get a nice solid drum fill that leads seamlessly into a more "metal" portion of the song and a bit of the lyrics that I personally find very ensnaring and always find myself singing along to in the car or what not... (The "And the pride of a mother..." part). :-)

Well, loyal, loving, Llogsters... There you have Opeth's Watershed and my two cents. I hope to get back here soon to post on Heritage and then perhaps move onto the work of Devin Townsend. (Can you tell I've been in the mood for metal lately?)

Again, the blog on comics/graphic novels (and probably the one that I'll be updating a LOT more frequently than this one) is at . Stop on by there if sequential art is as close to your heart as it is to mine.

Also, if you're noticing that you're into most of the stuff that I'm into and want to "hear" rapid fire rants, praises, thoughts, musings, ramblings, insanities, and snippets, head on over to Twitter and follow me @lloydduvalljr .

I hope you're all well.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Sip of Water(shed)

Hey guys,

Now that I've had my first listen of the ninth and latest (until September, when "Heritage" comes out) Opeth album entitled "Watershed", I thought I'd come back like I promised and post the music videos that came from the record.

Here they are (in the order the singles were released):

Porcelain Heart


*-Note: Sorry, guys. None of the versions of the official video for "Burden" could be embedded. If you wanna see it, hit that link above and it'll take you to YouTube for the official vid.

Also, these songs are both pared down a good bit from the album versions, but I enjoyed both of the videos.

Anyway, just a taste for now of "Watershed". Any of these Opeth albums I've commented on are, of course, out now. You can get them all on iTunes or wherever you get your music.

Again, guys, hope all's well with all of you.


Spectral Daydreams

Hey guys,

While I've fallen irrevokably behind in the 30 Day Comic Book Challenge and don't think I'm going to continue with that, one thing I haven't been able to stop doing is listening to Opeth.

A few weeks back, I posted the music video ("The Grand Conjuration") that the album "Ghost Reveries" spawned and since I've decided to make today my last day (for now) for listening to that album, I thought I'd come back and do my little mini-review of the record and share some of my thoughts about it and post videos for some of my favorite tunes.

I guess the most notable thing about this one that I've read is that there's actually debate as to whether or not it's a concept album. The popular answer that I've come across to answer that question is that the first seven tracks ARE, in fact, a loose concept piece and that the eighth track ("Isolation Years") is not part of the concept, but was added because vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Mikael Akerfeldt liked the song and wanted it on the record.

The supposed concept of the first seven tunes is that a man has brutally murdered his mother and now lives in guilt, paranoia, and insanity because of that act.

This album sees the return of the death metal growls, absent on the last album "Damnation", but also, like most Opeth efforts, switches around from brutality to beauty and back again.

Let's take a look... or, um... listen to some of my favorite tracks from the album, shall we?

Harlequin Forest

There are many things I like about this song and things that struck me about it from first hearing it. Oh, and before I start: although the video that you're going to see is labelled on YouTube as "Reverie/Harlequin Forest", this is only "Harlequin Forest" unless I'm mistaken... Anyway...

The very beginning of the song, judging by the lyrics, conveys the character in the concept running into the forest. I love the fact that the music, if you stop, listen, and visualize it, almost shows the character stopping, looking over his shoulder and then taking off "into the trees". That guitar riff starts it all off and then that drum fill and driving beat start the running in my mind every time I hear it. :)

The lyrics and melody at 2:19 ("A trail of sickness leading to me. If I am haunted, then you will see.") have stuck in my mind from the very first time I heard them. Very cool.

The part at 7:23 has also frequently popped into my head during the days I've been listening to this one. You've got those nice heavy guitars underneath and Mikael's spooky clean vocals weaving overtop of it (starting with "It's all false pretension..."). Love that part...

Also, although the outro gets a bit "mathy" and seems to be an odd meter, I believe it remains in a 4/4 time signature. Whatever it does, it's cool, too. You can hear it at 10:00 into the song.

"Harlequin Forest" was my favorite of the heavier tunes on the record. Let's hear a song that's more mellow now in "Hours of Wealth".

Hours of Wealth

You really just need to listen to the whole of this song right now. It's one of the most beautiful things I've heard in quite some time. This one just moved my soul from the very first time I heard it and if I'm alone and really concentrating on it, somewhere in the part between 2:23 and the end of the song, a tear will inadvertently slip from my eye. Simply a gorgeous song.

Well, guys... There's a few words about "Ghost Reveries". I've got a lot more I wanna do tonight, but I may give the next Opeth album "Watershed" a spin and come back and post the music videos made from it and stuff later. If not tonight, it should be very soon.

Be well and...


Thursday, June 9, 2011

30 Day Comic Book Challenge - Day 8

Double posting today since I missed yesterday from being tired from my travels in New Orleans. But, without further ado...

Day 8 - Best series being published right now.

This one's a tough call and one that I don't feel altogether comfortable with commenting on, since I don't read all THAT many titles being published currently. I stick with a couple favorite characters/groups of characters and a few favorite writers. That being said, I've been continually wowed by Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" and Geoff Johns' run on the Green Lantern stuff (especially since "Blackest Night") has impressed me thoroughly.

posted from Bloggeroid

30 Day Comic Book Challenge - Day 7

I'm late by a day, but here's my post for the Challenge, Day 7:

Well, I missed Day 7, so let's start with... Day 7 - Favorite Comic Couple

I think I've got to go with King Mob and Ragged Robin from "The Invisibles". They're passionate about each other, totally in love, erotically insatiable for each other and one of the sexiest couples and most beautifully depicted romances in all of comicdom.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Day Comic Book Challenge - Day 06

Here's my 30 Day Comic Book Challenge post for today, folks. It was:

Day 06 - Most Annoying Character

I think I'm gonna have to go with Namor, the Sub-Mariner on this one. He's cocky, um, obviously annoying and just throws attitude around whenever he shows up. I'm always hoping the bad guys will beat the stuffing out of him when I see him. And though I don't really mind the character of Deadpool, I think it's annoying that Marvel puts out 30,000 books with him featured each month...

Also, I think I'm gonna have to skip the bloggings of the travels this year. The WiFi connection here in the hotel is pretty sluggish even when it IS working and I really just can't fathom posting really lengthy blog posts from my phone's keyboard.

Those of you who are interested can check out my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Some of you already have them or, if you don't, I believe you can still follow links from this very page for them.

Take care, all. I hope this post finds you well.


posted from Bloggeroid