Tag Archives: Review

Restaurant review: McDonald’s never fails (to disappoint)

ronald_mcdonald_jumping1-1Fargo, ND – It all starts as soon as you wake up in the morning. You’ve overslept. You’re running late to work. Now, in order to fill your daily “quota” or keep on task at the office, you have to cut corners. You are forced to shorten your lunch hour. One minute, you have plans to meet a friend at a respectable establishment like Toscana. The next minute, you have to cancel and hit up the McDonald’s drive-thru because you’re pressed for time.

Couldn’t be a worse lunchtime scenario. Gag. Driven by the need for convenience, I begrudgingly head out to my car at 12:35 (a little over a half hour into my lunch hour) and speed off to the nearest McDonald’s. During the entire 1-minute drive my mind is racing frantically, trying to figure out how I got here. How I found myself in this miserable situation.

“Where did I go wrong?? Lack of preparation? Irresponsibility? So much could have been done to prevent this from happening.”

By the time I end up in the drive-thru lane, my mind is in such a state of turmoil that i’m no longer hungry. Frankly, i’m sick to my stomach with disgust. The good news: only 3 cars in front of me, so this should go quick. The bad news: only 3 cars in front of me, so it’s decision-making time. These lines move fast. The last time I was at a McDonald’s there were still leaves on the trees, making the impromptu drive-thru decision that much more difficult.

What’s this? They’ve revamped the dollar menu yet again?? The usual suspects are there (Big Mac, Quarter-Pounder), but my appetite is not. In the back of my head i’ve already predicted the outcome:

“Gotta make this simple. For Christ’s sake, be smart. Don’t over-analyze this. Two double-cheeseburgers and you are outta here.”

By the time i’m at the drive-thru speaker, my heart rate is jacked. I’m sweating. The last thing on my mind at this point is eating McDonald’s fast food, but again, i’m left with no choice. I blurt out my order, pay, and proceed to find my parking spot. I will sit there, alone in my car with tears running down my face, choking back a who-knows-what burger and swallowing my pride in the process.

McDonald’s – ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Album Review: Chimaira/Chimaira

Chimaira- Chimaira (2005)

Chimaira’s self-titled follow up to Impossibility Of Reason is not what you’d call “picking up where the band left off” but a turn in a darker, more intense direction of songwriting and guitar playing. Impossibility Of Reason came out in the year 2003 as their 3rd official studio album, the follow up to their major-label debut Pass Out Of Existence. The band toured relentlessly throughout a two-year period to promote IOR. They paid visit to small venues and arenas, their live performance reflecting the supersonic power of their studio work. This garnered them a legion of fans who i’m sure have eagerly anticipated their 4th release.  Through the creation of their first three albums, Chimaira have honed their songwriting and musical skills that have made the album Chimaira their very best. To get an idea of the band’s sound (for those of you who haven’t listened) one has to imagine this hideous mixture: A Slipknot/Metallica hybrid fueled by Jagermeister and suffering from an uncontrollable fit of ‘roid rage.  

This album has been widely considered as a kind of “epic” with songs as long as five to seven minutes in length, sans the repetitiveness and monotony you might expect. This provides a broader spectrum of experimental guitar riffs and solos sequenced with a decent mix of sampling that doesn’t go overboard. The album of course has what made Chimaira
famous- Mark Hunter’s screaming vocal talents as well as Rob Arnold’s lightning-quick guitar riffs that will make your blood shake. The song “Nothing Remains” shows true emotion on display as it was written on the very same day Dimebag Darrel Abbott was murdered. The same goes for the albums closing track “Lazarus”, a meaningful, brooding 7 & 1/2 minute mind-bender written about a friend who committed suicide 11 years ago. With Chimaira, the band evolves into a more mature and involved sound but doesn’t escape from the amped-up heaviness fans have come to expect.  

My favorite song on this disc is “Salvation”, and my very hard to choose least favorite song is “Inside the Horror.” “Salvation” contains a furious breakdown starting at about the 3:10 point that pretty much defines what metal is supposed to sound like. Unbeatable. “Inside the Horror” is my least favorite song simply because it’s the only song that lacks the sonic ferocity all the other tracks possess. I felt that what this album is missing is maybe a track or two containing some slower, drawn out riffs and a small amount of vocal melody. However, such is not part of this particular group’s M.O. They will come at you with blitzkrieg-style guitar shredding and a guttural scream that would force Coldplay through the nearest wall. All in all, I give this album a definite 10 out of 10 as one of my favorites and also one of the best metal albums ever produced.

Sample and buy the album HERE