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ALBUM ANALYSIS

21st May 2021

3 Reasons Origin of Symmetry is brilliant

And why this is probably Muse's most unique album

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3. The Balance of Tension & Release

 

Every second of this album is EXCITING. Even the quiet moments keep you captivated because every moment flawlessly leads to the next one: what is known as ‘the balance of tension & release’. Tension is when the music makes us feel like something big is about to happen - typically, a prechorus. Release is when the music offers us a sense of openness and liberation - typically, a chorus. We are addicted to songs which put us in alert and then deliver a sensation of emancipation. We feel rewarded and empowered for having waited and experienced this change of energy. Origin of Symmetry ‘s sharp orchestration always maintains the excitation at its paroxysm. There’s always at least one captivating instrument to nourish the energy. Per-fec-tion. How much do you enjoy this album? What makes you addicted to it? Or what might you not enjoy so much! Let me know, I’m curious! Sending you loads of love, you all!

Today, this masterpiece turns 20. Although not black metal nor jazz, it trvly inspired me in composing music. Here’s 3 reasons why.

1. The Bass

 

Christopher Wolstenholme is one of the three bassists who made me choose this instrument (guess the two others in the comment). In this album, the bass takes a leading role: you might not hear, but you definitely FEEL it. What makes Christopher Wolstenholme basslines so good? Easy: you can sing them! Far from simply providing the root note in eigth notes, it expresses melodic lines in a clever mixture of groove, intervals and extravagant distorted timbre. This subtly creates depth in the rhythm architecture, the harmonic space and the frequency spectrum. Needless to say, Matthew Bellamy and Dominic Horward definitely rock their instruments as well. What makes each one of them so damn powerful is how superb they work together.

 

2. The Universe

 

This album has a world of its own. How? While Muse’s music is rooted in grunge, they add three elements which literally take this style up to the stars, evoking the grandiose and beauty of space. First, they explore uncommon harmonies for grunge, such as the phrygian scale. Second, they incorporate some cinematographic elements, such as vinyls violins and industrial sounds. Eventually, Matthew Bellamy’s inimitable lyrical vocals is the cherry on top to achieve a fabulous space opera. 

Etienne Pelosoff Studio

ALBUM ANALYSIS

24th October 2020

Linkin Park Hybrid Theory's 20th Anniversary

What in the production makes this classic nu metal record so innovative?

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But to me, probably the most surprising move from Linkin Park is to choose to add on top of all this a layer of sincere melancholy. This infuses a feeling of intimacy between the listener and the band.

And this is what is so brilliant with ‘Hybrid Theory’: the music is so rich, diverse and complex yet it sounds so simple, obvious and natural. The best example is ‘In the End’. Who can resist this simplistic piano melody? It is instantly touching, catchy and relatable. It sounds so trve. The dialogue between the singer (“It starts with…”) and the rapper (“One day, I don’t know why”) is brilliant, beautifully supported by this guitar melody played in harmonics (those really high notes you can hear in the background).

Thank you Linkin Park for this masterpiece. I know we are many to feel a personal connection to this band. They shook our hearts back then and they still do now. Rest in Peace, Chester Bennington and thank you for showing us the light in the dark. 

What do you think of this album and its musicality? Do you have personal memories with it?  Tag one person who you know loves Linkin Park!

Today marks the 20-year anniversary of ‘Hybrid Theory’. Although it can sound far away from my Black Metal Jazz, it massively influenced me. What makes this album such a masterpiece?

It is is very rare for a band to start with such an innovative and bold album. ‘Hybrid Theory’ is much more than just a nu metal album: it is a monstrous marvel crossing various genres into a new musical dimension.

Linkin Park merges metal guitars and screams with rap vocals and hip hop arrangements, such as sample use and vinyl scratch (for instance, what you’re hearing in ‘One Step Closer’). Although this could end up messy and confusing, the drums maintain the whole structure groovy and coherent. The guitarist made a great job always keeping things simple, with power chords and eighth notes, just what it needs (and come on, we all know keeping things simple is one of the hardest things you can ask from a guitarist!).

Moreover, the use of synth creates a subtle futuristic atmosphere, such as it is the case in the ‘Crawling’ intro. This provides diverse colours for each song while maintaining a consistent overall taste.

Etienne Pelosoff Studio

ALBUM ANALYSIS

25th September 2020

Megadeth Rust In Peace's 30th Anniversary

What in the arrangement makes this classic thrash record so unique?

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Also, among the reasons why this album is amazing, do I even need to mention… Dave. Just Dave on guitars. I mean, WOW. And backed up by another astonishing soloist: Marty Friedman.

This album brought Megadeth to the top of the thrash scene. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax form the ‘Big Four’, that is to say the most successful thrash bands in the US.

Happy birthday, ‘Rust in Peace’! You are 30 years old and you still make my heart beat like the first day I heard you.

Today marks the 30 years of Rust in Peace by Megadeth!  What is your favorite song from this album, and why?

To me, this album is innovative in so many ways and the best example probably is the first song ‘Holy Wars’.

This is a piece out of this world where the guitars rush at an insane speed, creating an inimitable feeling of urgency.

This song includes breakdowns where the drummer plays half time. To make it simple, this basically means that the drummer suddenly plays ‘slower’, infusing a feeling of heaviness in the music. Half time breakdowns are literally what every modern metal band is doing nowadays. Dave Mustaine was doing it in 1990.

In terms of harmony, the riff starts with fifth intervals, which is extremely common in metal. This is what we call ‘power chords’ because they sound heavy as f***. However, once the verse starts, the riff switches to a third, which is much less common in thrash metal. Rather than heaviness, the third interval brings this ‘scary evil vibe’, which is why you usually hear it in black metal, the most evil genre. The way that Dave Mustaine moves from fifths to thirds intervals creates melodic variety and harmonic depth and nourishes the overall richness of the song.

Although labelled as thrash, this album fits somewhere between thrash and prog, bringing diverse ideas from black metal and even jazz.

Etienne Pelosoff Studio