As one of the intermittent non-LP clearing houses Belle & Sebastian occasionally release, The Third Eye Centre performs a useful service for dedicated fans while offering a roundly enjoyable B&S record for those who don't keep tallies of individual singles. Unlike Push Barman to Open Old Wounds, which rounded up the tight, purposeful EPs of the late '90s and singles of the early days of the new millennium, The Third Eye Centre plays a bit like a warehouse of B-sides. Some of this is due to the handful of remixes scattered throughout the 18-track album – it opens with the Avalanches remix of "I'm a Cuckoo," and mixes of "Your Cover's Blown" and "I Didn't See It Coming" arrive later – as they're within the band's aesthetic yet sonically different.
…His vicious wit, often overlooked in favor of his poetic narratives, surfaces on the title track, while "It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career" summarizes his effortless gift for elegant melancholia. Such small, precious gems are what Belle & Sebastian are all about, and The Boy With the Arab Strap offers another round of timeless, endlessly fascinating folk-pop treasures.
AVATARIUM, the Swedish metal project whose recording lineup includes Leif Edling, founding bassist and main songwriter of Swedish doom metal legends CANDLEMASS, release its new album, "The Girl With The Raven Mask", on October 23 via Nuclear Blast. Edling states about the CD: "I think we have created something unique this time with AVATARIUM. The songs are more written to be just songs and there are some really nice moments on the record that I personally love… the straightforward title track, the beautiful 'January Sea', the riff in 'Ghostlight' and the groove in 'Run Killer Run'. The organ and the Rhodes piano are ridiculously loud in the mix at times; even Dr. Carl agrees [laughs], but i think it gives even more edge to the songs! I hope people will dig 'The Girl With The Raven Mask' as much as I do myself, and if they don't, it's their problem. A band can't deliver more than we have done here, so it is an album close to perfection! When an album is perfect… shoot me!"