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Awesome, thanks for your input man! I wish you would appreciate this piece as much as I do, but I know full well how a vocalist can make or break a record simply by the sound of their voice - it's exactly what makes a lot of metal completely unenjoyable for me. Glad you liked the experience though, it's a thrill I like exposing myself to and it's nice to be able to share this.

If you're up for another round, just feed me another title.

Spied the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble on your youtube playlist during a closer inspection, Here Be Dragons is great. Shame they removed practically all of their web presence ;_;.

I often hear people laud the Blade Runner soundtrack as Vangelis' magnum opus. They are, in my humble opinion, incorrect: 666, by Aphrodite's Child.

Ok, this was not quite what I'd expected, but I'm game :) Be back with thoughts soonest.

Artist: Aphrodite’s Child
Album: 666
Grade: 4/10
Motivation: Paradoxically good album considering that it’s mainly made up of poor songs.

As someone who grew up in the eighties, Vangelis is a familiar and respected name to me. First and foremost associated with synthesizer hits in the vein of Chariots of Fire, which later took a more orchestral turn with Conquest of Paradise, trying to place this album in his oeuvre required some serious effort on my part. As of yet, I’ll admit I haven’t succeeded, but fortunately whether or not I eventually do so is of no consequence to a review of this particular album. Originally a two LP title, it’s a 78 minute concept piece on the biblical Book of Revelation – highly progressively laid out even by today’s standards, let alone those of 1972 in which it was finally released.

Compositionally speaking, with concept albums like this one there’s always two types of structures to consider: the macrostructure, or how the album is built up, and the microstructures, or how the individual songs are set out. On a good title, both structures will have been given equal attention and will match one another. This is one of the main reasons I’m so impressed with Ænima: as the album progresses, the songs becoming increasingly varied and unpredictable while still maintaining an overall coherence in sound and texture. Whether or not it can be considered a concept album is up for debate, but at least I consider it so.
Examined on the macro level, 666 has been thoroughly planned. There’s a lot of songs with relatively short run times and enough deviation between them to keep things interesting, but still adhering to the main theme. It includes both traditionally composed songs (by pop/rock standards) as well as more experimental pieces. It also comprises a very big array of instruments and voices, which helps to convey the right atmosphere for the individual pieces. I’m no big Bible fan myself, but I’d say the big picture is an honest attempt at translating the story into music.

Unfortunately, that’s where the praise stops. Sound-wise, the production doesn’t sound too different from other contemporary albums – which is neither a good nor a bad thing. It just fits the sound of that time. The death sentence is spoken through the individual songs, which are repetitive, pretentious or both. This may have sounded a lot different to someone actively experiencing this album upon its release – and possibly tripping balls in the process – but by my standards there’s not a single interesting song on the entire work. Neither the chord progressions nor the lyrics are exciting enough to warrant repetition to this extent, meaning nearly all the songs would be better off being a lot shorter than they currently are. Literally no effort is put into trying to break the monotony. And especially with songs like ∞, which is essentially a woman moaning varying configurations of about five different words over and over and over again for five minutes, this gets on my nerves in about a tenth of the time it’s being allowed to go on.
And when they finally take ample time to come up with something truly grandiose, such as the 20 minutes they spend on All the Seats Were Occupied, it doesn’t amount to much more than rehashing previous tracks and interspersing them with more monotony.

Had this work been carried out in about half the time it runs for in its original state, it would have been so much better. As it is, the album falls in much the same category as the Bible upon which it was inspired does: at some point in time it must have been a great idea, but what could have inspired people to think so is beyond me.

@Uranium, sorry if this isn’t quite what you’d expected, but I found the album very tough to digest and have tried to explain why as objectively as I could – as far as this is possible with an opinion, of course. The album sparked some link to the title I’ll offer you in return, although I’m hard-pressed to tell you how or why. It’s the first album of a double which has haunted me ever since childhood and, by its curious purpose, has withstood the test of time excellently in my opinion. Please enjoy the first part of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds.

Your mentions of drug trips made me think about having you review the album "New Magnetic Wonder" by The Apples in Stereo, but I'm unable to find any complete album uploaded online. I may have to create my own.

EDIT: If you have any of the following accounts, in theory you should be able to listen to it for free. Otherwise I'll upload files to a private playlist or something.

Deezer (some sort of streaming service?)
Amazon Prime


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