Music Reviews: Utopia Banished and Jami Sieber

These albums are so far apart, I think they could make a music sandwich:

Jami Sieber - Hidden Sky: Lush and elegant, this album inspired by the artist's time elephants in Thailand. OK, now that we've gotten that out of the way, this really is a wonderful, relaxing album. Dark, brooding, and hypnotic, the spell is only broken towards the middle of the disc when the vocals begin. On listening to it the first time, the vocals were jarring, and most unwelcome, but on repeated listens, they aren't as offensive, and blend in much better withthe overall atmosphere of the album. Recommended.

Utopia Banished - Night of the Black Wyvern: Possibly the heaviest album available on Magnatune's list of albums, its not without saying that this is excellent death metal. Sometimes I picture the drummer trying desperately to keep up with the band, but it all works out in the end. And fortunately its not recorded through a pillow-filled trash can like some death metal I've heard. Recommended, if you like things a little harder than most.