Another two weeks, another nine reviews for All Music Guide:
Foghat, Last Train Home
Kruger, For Death, Glory, and the End of the World
Noctiferia, Death Culture
Parkway Drive, Deep Blue
The Ruins of Beverast, Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite
Sabbath Assembly, Restored to One
Yakuza, Of Seismic Consequence
Dweezil Zappa, Return of the Son of...
Also, one that I submitted, but which didn't run:
Juan Gabriel’s 2010 album, his first since 2003’s Inocente de Ti, couldn’t be more different from that record. Where Inocente was an attempt to modernize his classically gooey pop-balladeer style with alt-rock guitars and radio-ready pop songwriting, Juan Gabriel (as its cover art, with Gabriel perching a sombrero on the back of his head like he’s afraid it’ll muss his hair, should indicate) is a shockingly traditional album almost entirely composed of mariachi songs—trumpets and surging strings are all over this thing. There are some weird touches, of course; on “Por Que Me Haces Llorar?” the string arrangements are more Roy Orbison than Vicente Fernández, and the echo effect on Gabriel’s voice at the end of each chorus is distracting in a sort of awesome way. There’s even a song called “Mariachi,” and it’s as over-the-top as everything else here. Gabriel never sleepwalks through a song—he sells every note, which is exactly what a sobbingly dramatic style like mariachi demands. This is a terrific record slathered in Juan Gabriel’s trademark passion and vocal mastery.