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Plains Of Oblivion

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Page Artiste Jeff Loomis

Détails sur le produit

  • CD (6 avril 2012)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Label: Century Média Records
  • ASIN : B007AQIB0S
  • Autres éditions : CD  |  Téléchargement MP3
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
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Descriptions du produit

L'album que tous les fans de Nevermore attendent! Le deuxième album solo par l'un des plus talentueux guitariste de la scène Metal « Jeff Loomis» ! Un album aux riffs très Nevermorien, puissant et racé, avec ce qu'il faut de technique pour que cela résonne de puissance en toute intelligence. Musicalement, l'album est très riche car Loomis a pris la peine de diversifier l'éventail des instruments qui étaient à sa disposition. Nous avons donc droit à des guitares saturées, une guitare sans frets, des guitares acoustiques, du piano , et ces sons d'ambiances travaillés avec raffinement. Avec en invités spéciaux: - Marty Friedman (Megadeth) - Tony MacAlpine (Steve Vai) - Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth). - Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) - Christine Rhoades et Ihsahn (Emperor) au chant sur les titres bonus.

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Format: CD Achat vérifié
Très très moderne, très agressif, évidement beaucoup de virtuosité, original.
L'écoute de ce cd impressionne, attention cependant: pour initiés, l'immense majorité des gens trouverait ces chansons brutales et inaudibles.
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Seattle Shredder does it again! 7 mai 2012
Par Ravenheart - Publié sur
Format: CD Achat vérifié
Plains of Oblivion

So this is my first review, I hope its good!

Jeff Loomis has always been one of my all time favorite guitarists and Nevermore is one of my favorite bands. I am proud to be from Seattle, where this phenomenal musician hails from.

I had bought his previous album, "Zero Order Phase" a couple years back, and I thought it was the greatest instrumental metal album of all time.

WAS. On "Plains of Oblivion" Mr. Loomis only improves on his previous masterpiece. His riffs are still heavy as hell, and his solos are as beautiful and melodic as usual. But this album has that extra something.

First off, the inclusion of Ihsahn and Christine Rhoades on guest vocals really compliments the music. I've noticed some fans haven't exactly been happy with their appearance but I personally give Jeff props for wanting to try something different and take a break from instrumentals. True, Christine's vocals really aren't that impressive compared to other singers but her sound fits really well with the music.

As for the guest appearances from Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, and Tony MacAlpine, I have to say choosing this many guitarists to play guest solos was a very risky move from Jeff, with the fear that one of these remarkably gifted musicians could outshine him. But that's not the case here. All of these players play in complete harmony (no guitar technique pun intended) with Jeff, with their skills equally matched, but at the same time having their own unique sound that defines each of them.

Overall, an excellent release from Jeff Loomis, and although I've noticed that most fans prefer "Zero Order Phase," (which mind you, is also incredible) I personally prefer this album, but to each their own! \m/
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Loomis Raises His Own Highest Bar even Higher 8 juillet 2012
Par Snow Leopard - Publié sur
Format: CD
Jeff Loomis, founding guitarist for Nevermore, has released another mind-bendingly creatively solo guitar album. Below is an attempt to address some of the higher-lights of individual songs, but here's first something of an overview.

An important difference with this disc compared to Loomis' first are the collaborations, and particularly the inclusion of vocals (that range from female power ballad to founding Black metal). I'd say this a part of Loomis' attempt not just to tread water creatively from his last album, even if one could hardly mind if he did. If what you are looking for is another round of Jato Unit, Cashmere Shiv, Opulent Maelstrom, &c, the first three songs, "Requiem for the Living," and the last will keep you covered.

Maybe the main difference between this disc and Loomis' first (which truly set the new bar for "guitar albums", which this one exceeds I think) is a wider variety of musical "styles". As usual, Loomis' ADHD keeps him coming up with an average of three riffs per minute, so that's not where the new variety is; in his songs, he switches from math-rock lines to Rhoadsian power metal to aggro-thrash to ballad-metal faster even than Mike Patton might, but the inclusion of vocalists imposes a certain kind of musical gravity to some of the songs that wasn't present on his first disc. This greater variety has, so far, made it "easier" for me to listen to this one more times than his first. Whatever this all means, this is impressive, frequently amazing, often stunning stuff, which benefits from being listened to on headphones.

With Mercurial, 5'29" (featuring Marty Friedman), it opens with one of the very few literally atmospheric moments on the record, a rising, slightly unnerving thing with a booming drum in the background, that soon gives way to multiple layers of warp-speed chug (if that's even a sensible description). Barely 90 seconds in, the first soaring solo gives way to another riff. Thus, right off the bat, one can hear, as in just about everything Loomis does, the incredible intelligence he brings to composition, somehow piling the various jigsaw pieces of each song together. He has an exceptionally fine knack for figuring out what seemingly would be the most wonderful thing (solo-wise) to overlay on the multiple shifting riffs. At 4'15" another great riff flickers by in barely ten seconds, and its back to the main riff, before dive bombing scales close out the piece with a gorgeous, howling high note flying over things to cap the song off.

The Ultimatum, 4'39" (featuring Tony MacAlpine), one-ups the rather absurdly high bar the Mercurial sets. The opening chords recall the second song from Loomis' first solo album, but soon give way to clouds of rolling arpeggios (doubled at the end, because, why the heck not), quickly setting into a luscious sounding speed metal under current with a frantic, edgy solo zooming around over it. This is all in the first 47 seconds, mind you--... but seriously, it's really not practicable to try to describe all of the quickly shifting, exquisitely assembled bits. I'll have to stick to pointing out simply the more obscenely epic moments. This piece, in any case, is a (familiar) Loomis billion-note extravaganza, changing personality four times in a minute. Even so, this is the opposite of "tasteless shredding." The ridiculously fast arpeggios and scales almost always seem to be going somewhere and/or they are interrupted and cut up and made interesting by guitar effects, doubling, whammy bar, vibrato ... it makes the things always seem like carefully put together solos (which they are) rather than "look what I can do" grandstanding. Cue 1'33", where he puts a solo on top of the opening (slow chords) riff, making it almost unrecognizable at first. It's a finger-riffed solo (god, at least I hope it is) with some phasing on it that makes it blur slightly in and out of focus, and the way it is syncopated against the riff underneath is pretty much too much. And, again, if I stress the "fastness" here, it's not to say "look what this guy can do," but rather that the speed of it is essential to making the song and solo work at that point, and I doubt many people could even do it. It is certainly the case that maybe everyone else has never thought of it (much less tried it). Somewhere near 3'00", there's a bit of a breather and another kind of "big bridge" on the way to the warp-speed closing again. Check out the guitar tone at 3'45"-4'00" ... yum.

So if the first piece was changeable (mercurial) and the second an ultimatum, one could hardly be blamed wondering what might be implied by Escape Velocity, 4'29" (the first piece on the disc without a guest). Immediately a fuzzy, linear thing chews in one of your ears (this album is worth headphones), followed by typical trillion note explosion for 20 seconds (it even sounds like the amazing closing line from the last song is stolen here for an intro), and the speed is, indeed, faster. However, even as Loomis threatens one with boredom over more warp speed astonishment, at 27 seconds, he pulls out another fantastic, guttural, low, fuzzy sound that Fripp would want to steal and slowly works up the guitar with it (with the drums continuing along at slightly less than light speed). More freak out, and then that gorgeous guitar sound again, oozing and sinking up at 1'15"; a classic speed metal chorus at 1'40"; a semi-acoustic bridge at 2'23" which gets all properly grand and epic with a marvelous "felt" solo despite the pyrotechnics. For the record, the 8 seconds from 3'42"-3'50", which may have more notes in it than other folks' entire songs, is gorgeously layered; sometimes Loomis makes me wish he'd hang out on an idea longer. Really, these 8 seconds are just a transition back to the "chorus" and that just points to the relentless creativity of this guy, that his "throw-away" moments can make a disc worth buying.
With Tragedy and Harmony, at 5'00", controversy begins, since there are guest VOCALS (by the female singer from Nevermore's Dreaming Neon Black, Christine Rhoades). Fact is, she belts it out (and doesn't even sound female when she first starts singing). It opens with a relentless, chugging thing then gets into one of Loomis' blurs of twisting circular lines before settling into a Randy Rhoads/Andy LaRocque kind of speed-chord crunch. Here, the verse/chorus structure is especially pronounced (no doubt for the vocalist's sake). But, come time for the solo and bridge, Loomis kicks the craziness into high gear, with multiple licks and all sorts of gorgeous layering and tone again. Most assuredly, this song is the most like something that will get a video made of it or become a single.

Requiem for the Living, at 4'52" (featuring Hungarian-born guitarist Attila Vörös) starts off with 10 seconds of full neck arpeggios (perhaps a touch of "look what I can do"), but stops quickly enough to get on with other matters. The main riff here (or at least the first one) is deliciously asymmetric and piled up with the usual yummy crowd of riff-solos. The guest here (Attila Vörös) has been with Nevermore live, and this strikes me as one of Loomis' most successful collaborations--in part because I think Vörös is entirely able to keep up. In any case, despite the slightly too-Gothy song title, this is a surprisingly heart-felt take at the notion of a "requiem". It sits on the usual shifting clusters of running lines and fast power-metal chords, but the extra step up include a distinctly "Eastern" (gorgeously toned) thing around 1'55" (I suspect it might be Vörös there), as well as the various build-ups to the emotional climax at ~3'08".

With Continuum Drift, at 5'37" (featuring Chris Poland), the piece comes out of the gate at what, for this album, is a walk. Cue the slightly jazz-tinged in places power ballad, including even the shift to acoustic "inwardness" only 45 seconds into the song. I'm not being snide, though the shift of styles here (which shows Loomis' range) could also be annoying if you're not looking for a power ballad. However, Loomis can't keep the façade up, and at 2'49" he loses it and shifts to a completely scrumptious driving chord thing (with linear solos smearing all over the guitar neck of course). I don't know how many times I've listened to this song but it still seems to surprise me--or perhaps I'm just so damn thrilled to hear it again. This bridge opens up in a more expansive, crunchy thing with rolling arpeggios all over the place, slightly downtempo, squelching bent notes and then finally a return of the killer riff with a soaring crystalline solo over the top. The opening returns, of course, bigger than ever, reorchestrated, with a suddenly acoustic bit at the very end. I mention this, because Loomis (or Poland) bends the last note, rather than letting it ring out, and that simple gesture makes this otherwise very conventional ending actually have some emotional punch. It shows again how Loomis may play a gazillion notes; nevertheless, he seems to pay attention to each one and what it does. Craftsmanship.

With Surrender, at 5'29" (featuring Ihsahn--do I have to mention he's the founding singer for Emperor), we enter the realm of even greater controversy, since Ihsahn's vocals are (obviously) in the black metal direction. The song, however, only in spots resembles black metal; nevertheless, I note that at least a couple of reviewers dismiss this song as hopeless noisy. It begins with a kind of advanced "Enemies of Reality" jumpy kind of lick (and that solar-gorgeous guitar tone again), and then the howling begins, slicing through the definitely aggressive guitars. I've been listening to a lot of Gorgoroth lately, so the vehemence and power here really work for me. The chorus (which must surely feature other vocalists) is more of a symphonic metal thing and perhaps a bit too melodic or jarring next to the aggressiveness of the opening. At 2'21", however, the aggressive comes back (with some fantastic "orchestra hit" keyboard accents) and completely unhinged gutturalizing by Ihsahn--ultraawesome, even if the song lapses back basically into the lush chorus for too much of the rest of the piece. The bridge, however, at 3'36", is introduced by a percussive, crunchy thing and the first note of the solo I can only describe as the guitar equivalent of Ihsahn's unhinged vocals. And the solo is pretty sick. I like this song a lot, but I wish it had stuck more with the aggressive/black metal aspects.

With Chosen time, at 4'32", Christine Rhoades returns. It's an obvious contrast in styles to have this, the most relaxed and ballady song, especially after the last one. Once again, people wanting or expecting things to hang out in the "usual Loomis territory" (i.e., the first three songs) may not appreciate these style shifts. The song also doesn't allow Rhoades to belt it out quite as much as her other go round (except toward the end in the usual sort of "soaring" way that ballads do, and she does soar, with all the requisite guitar accents). The whole thing is put together quite well, &c; I don't feel a need to program it out, but it's definitely the "rest point."
Rapture, at 2'43", is a Spanish guitar solo piece, opening with a demonstration of speed that's kind of obscene. Unsurprisingly, it showpieces once again Loomis' ability to wrench out emotionally affecting guitar work even without electronics. It's only mystery is why the slightly gratuitous ending, which makes a record of Loomis putting down his guitar and walking away--reminding those who remember (perhaps) of the ending of Baker St. Muse (from Jethro Tull's Minstrel in the Gallery).

And last, at 4'33", Sibylline Origin, opens with immediately one of the most memorable rifts on the disc (featuring a great "diving" note and really nice bass and drum details). Miraculously, Loomis actually sticks on this riff for an entire 32 seconds (playing through it three times; unprecedented on this disc) before zooming off to something else--I think he must have liked it as much as the rest of must. As (seemingly) always, Loomis patches together an assemblage of riffs, reorchestrating and overdubbing them, disguising them so they don't seem the same anymore, but here the assembled parts hang together perhaps even better than usual. At 1'27", a new riff that somehow seems like the massively steroided-out brother of the opening appears; there's just a sick amount of brilliant overdubbing here--and then, just to be a saint, we get the opening riff again for a couple of seconds before Loomis swerves off into a down-tempo chorus-thing (with racing guitar lines over the top). And since Loomis is such a genius of contrasts (even if people don't like ballads after Ihsahn), the return of the steroid super-brother at 2'51" is brilliantly brought back in (an ultra-sweet bit of fade in and then with massive arpeggios shooting up and down the guitar + well-placed keyboard swells to fill things out). At 3'40" the main riff finally returns (again, for hardly any time at all, with yet another impressively appropriate kind of solo sitting on top of it)--and then an acoustic, moody fade out. Fantastic end to the album.

Usually, with massively accomplished musicians, they are either stunning virtuosos or fantastic songwriters; almost never both (because the set of skills to become one usually precludes the other). I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings with an inept comparison to their personal guitar god, but these kinds of guitar-display records frequently suffer from tasteless shredding or else soulful but not mind-boggling performances. Loomis is that rarest of things, who is inexplicably capable of handling both modes with amazing tact. He seems to helplessly invent one massive rift after another and then merges that with exquisitely contrasting but still well-matched solos; the moods shift so frequently but also so well that things never lapses into boring (usually the reverse is the case), and never for long even if they did. &c. Plus, he's able to get it all committed to tape gorgeously, etc., with the able assistance of other musicians. Although the disc is "only" 47 minutes long, it probably has 8 times more notes than most "full-length" discs and doesn't at all feel like a cheat or short.

The platitude is that someone is "in a league of their own" but Loomis truly seems to be. I frequently feel like he may not even know how talented he is, no matter how much people keep trying to tell him. Other people can learn his solos, &c; maybe there are some who are faster than he is, etc. But no one else can pull together a guitar album with this much consistency, attention to detail, (never mind the obscene degree of technical skill), and still have on top of it a sense of passion in the playing so the whole thing doesn't seem like one giant, extremely well-executed exercise. It seems kind of ridiculous to put it this way, but I feel like it's a genuine honor to be alive at a time when Loomis is putting out stuff like this and I get to be around to hear it.
13 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 didn't meet my expectations 16 avril 2012
Par Damien Schwader - Publié sur
Format: CD
I loved his first release. It worked perfectly for me because I love the musicianship of a lot of metal, but I usually don't like the vocals. I was quite excited to pick up his newest release. The first track kicks it off with great intensity, but for me it was a little too much. Contrary to existing reviews I think it felt quite a bit like "hey look at what I can do". It didn't have much of a hook and just felt like metal, just for the sake of metal. Friedman is one of my favorites, so it is a bummer that the track doesn't do much for me. The remaining tracks all come and go with varying degrees of success. Nothing really sticks out to me, so I can't really comment on specific tracks. It kind of all blends in together. Personally, I don't like any of the vocal tracks. I appreciate the effort and I am glad it connects for some. Rhoades does nothing for me, and Ihsahn's style is a style I have never been able to appreciate.

I know very little about the technical aspects, aside from: well it sounds fast. So, my approach is whether or not anything is particularly catchy. After a half dozen listens, it still doesn't do a ton for me. More educated and savvy people may have a better suited opinion of this album. However, if you listen to it like I do, it may not quite connect like Zero Order Phase.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not the Jeff Loomis we thought we knew... just WOW 22 novembre 2012
Par Nanohead - Publié sur
Format: CD
Mr Loomis has been a fixture on the shredding, metal and hardcore music scene for years, decades in fact. I was always an 85% Nevermore fan, buying all their records, but always cringing at the passages that were pure noise, while relishing the hardcore melody and technical prowess. Plains of Oblivion changes everything for me at least, putting his musical composition skills, and balance as a metal musician and composer into a new light. Honestly, I'm addicted.

Most of us metal heads have different tolerances for specific stylistic methods, from shredding, to crunchy, to melody, to growl, to screamo, to goth, symphonic, metalcore, numetal, traditional heavy metal and so on. I'd say that most of us like a variety of different types, and different things catch our ears, and then expand us into a new, or adjacent type of crunchy and delicious music.

I have always timed out on pure noisy screamo, but always looked for melody, compositional creativity, and new ideas. Plains of Oblivion gives me all of what I love, and very little of what doesn't work for my ears. Mr Loomis has reached a new height in his breadth of ideas here.

Nevermore was a project that had specific expectations, where there was an undercurrent of anger and sort of (don't hit me here) rage against the machine thing in the music style of the collective. I did in fact struggle when the singing started on many Nevermore songs. But Jeff Loomis is free here to show us what he really thinks and sees in the musical landscape, and its not what we all thought.

There is prodigious melody everywhere, huge passages, guitar driven ideas that are as broad as any keyboard driven landscape. His guest musicians give us insight into where he has come to in his career, with the addition of the amazing Tony McApline on certain tracks, and a roster of other virtuoso players. The one that simply blows me away, is the insanely smooth Christine Rhoades, who I simply cannot fathom how liquidy her voice is, how it almost sounds robotic in certain places, yet gorgeous and rich in others. Holy vocal chords.....

As a diehard fan of the female fronted Goth metal bands of Europe, Ms Rhoades brings a new possibility to a bombastically beautiful but somewhat stale genre, that hasn't progressed in many years. While the songs she sings on here are not in that genre, its shows how an amazing female voice can meld with hardcore metal to bring us to a new place (finally....!)

All in all, this record is simply fantastic. It is addicting, thoughtful, technical, melodic, adventurous and gigantic, all while being vintage Jeff Loomis. I need more, much more
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Loomis #2 31 mai 2012
Par Sean Carrothers - Publié sur
Achat vérifié
Jeff Loomis is no doubt a guitar wizard. His work with Nevermore and his debut disc prove that. Planes of Oblivion seems to me to be less about show off and more about creativity. His integration of vocals on a few of the songs really took me by surprise, but after listening a few times began to grow on me. I don't like the growling vocals at all and have even deleted the one song from my files but it is a personal preference rather than an indictment on his song crafting. If I want to lose myself in shred, his first disc is much more suited to this end. If I want more substance I listen to this. Either way it's a win for us listeners.
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