Monday, October 29, 2007

GIRLSCHOOL: Demolition & Hit and Run

Two classic albums on one CD, Girlschool's first and second, originally released in 1980 & 1981, & produced by Vic Maile. Features 21 remastered tracks of all girl British new wave heavy metal. Victor. 1993.
** I'm sorry THE DONNAS, LUNACHICKS and other female bands fans..THIS IS THE REAL DEAL... Girlschool is the most impressive and tough female rock'n roll band of history.... these two albums are simply amazing, you cant' miss this file...

1. Demolition Boys
2. Not for Sale
3. Race With the Devil
4. Take It All Away
5. Nothing to Lose
6. Breakdown
7. Midnight Ride
8. Emergency
9. Baby Doll
10. Deadline
11. C'mon Let's Go
12. Hunter
13. (I'm Your) Victim
14. Kick It Down
15. Following the Crowd
16. Tush
17. Hit and Run
18. Watch Your Step
19. Back to Start
20. Yeah Right
21. Future Flash

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Covers of the last posts

Get the covers of the last posts.

link =
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MOTORHEAD: March Or Die (320kbps)

'March or Die' is, simply put, a brilliant album. Motorhead has been so consistant and so friggin' good for so many years now...they may very well be the greatest heavy metal band of all time (settle down, Zeppelin and Sabbath fans, I'm about to explain myself...). What sets Motorhead apart from most metal bands are two qualities: the tight take-no-prisoners-hellraiser-on-wheels assault of the playing and, most of all, Lemmy's songwriting. Scan the lyric sheet here and see Lemmy take on -- quite brilliantly, I might add -- TV evangelists in 'Bad Religion', politicians who create wars and abuse the environment in the title track, and the power balladeers by writing one called 'I Ain't No Nice Guy', making it an acoustic duet with Ozzy guesting on vocals, and giving it a melody that will stick in your head for days on end. Add a smokin' touch of boogie-woogie piano here and there and guitar-and-bass solos that will rip your tonsils out and make your heart thump, and what you have is one unbeatable band. Anyone who thinks that 'March Or Die' is Motorhead's commercial sell-out album just hasn't been listening close enough. Every band should sell-out like this !! They hold the legacy of the Ramones and Sex Pistols' attack dear to their hearts while staying true to the purest expression of heavy metal form around. We should feel blessed that they are still around making one wonderful album after another, and that we are still able to catch them live. Born to Lose, Live to Win -- indeed !! --- By Robert Bykowski (Milwaukee, WI USA)

1. Stand
2. Cat Scratch Fever
3. Bad Religion
4. Jack The Ripper
5. I Ain't No Nice Guy
6. Hellraiser
7. Asylum Choir
8. Too Good tobe True
9. You Better Run
10. Name in Vain
11. March or Die

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TIME MACHINE: Hidden Secrets

One thing you definitely cannot accuse TIME MACHINE of is not to release enough stuff for the fans. If you add everything together, then we have three full albums, five mini CDs and this double CD best of named "Hidden Secrets". As it is a compilation of their best tracks, including previously unreleased material, live recordings, re-mastered versions and lost studio songs, I think that it is befitting, if I do the same and go back into the history of TIME MACHINE a little. Back in 1992 Lorenzo Deho' and Ivan Oggioni formed TIME MACHINE and after first line-up changes released the EP "Project: Time Scanning" in 1993 with Andrea Ruggeri (formerly with MOON OF STEEL) on the vocals, thus becoming one of the very first Italian bands in ages to get known internationally. Next up was another EP, "Dungeons Of The Vatican", limited to a Japan release only, then followed by the first full album, "Act II: Galileo". It was the first one to feature Folco Orlandini behind the microphone and is a masterpiece of Progressive Rock/Metal. Then Folco went and Morby came, with him TIME MACHINE release the EP "Shades Of Time" and soon he leaves as well, making space for Nick Fortarezza. The second full album "Eternity Ends" is recorded with him on the microphone, to be followed by the two MCDs "Secret Oceans Part 1 & 2", the latter of which also featured ANGRA (now SHAMAN) singer Andre Matos on the track "I Believe Again". After this one, "Hidden Secrets", TIME MACHINE went to Pino Tozzi as singer, so you see, there has been a lot going on, especially in the vocal sector…
Anyways, on "Hidden Secrets" we are treated with songs off almost all releases (before 2000, of course), and even though you hear some stylistic differences and evolutions, everything is absolutely and completely TIME MACHINE. Always in the middle between Progressive Rock and Metal, the Italians manage to perfectly walk the tightrope between demand and accessibility, shifting moods and atmospheres as well as intensity, combining calm and almost fragile passages with crunchy guitars and some pounding drums, plus, of course, keyboards. And the truly beautifully made booklet brings us the lyrics plus the different line ups of TIME MACHINE and also liner notes for each track, what was special about it and/or the version to be found on this 2-CD, which is highly interesting to read for sure!
So "Hidden Secrets" (with both CDs at the price of 1) holds a great appeal to both long time fans of the band and newcomers and is a worthy anthology of one of the top bands of the genre of this time, even though far less people actually know them… That should change… Really! (Online May 28, 2003) --- Alex

CD --- 1
1. Riots in The Colonies 753 A.C.
2. Stargazer
3. I Hold the Key (Into the Void)
4. Eternity Ends
5. Silent Revolution
6. Behind the Cross
7. I Believe Again
8. 1.000 Rainy Nights
9. Falling Star (Mixing) I The Subversive Nazare
10. Past and Future
11. Mother
12. Dungeons of the Vatican
13. White Collars

CD --- 2
1. Will You Remember
2. Burning in the Wind
3. Desert of Souls
4. Sphynx (The Witness)
5. New Religion
6. I Hold the Key
7. Prisoner of Dreams
8. Never-Ending Love
9. Virgin of the Temple
10. Love Without Sin Part I
11. Obscure Medieval Lady
12. Earth's Dawn (History)
13. Hidden Pain

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TIM DONAHUE: Madmen & Sinners

With six releases under his belt, Donahue decided it was time to take his music to the next level. After recording Into The Light (2000) and long before the ever meeting James LaBrie(Dream Theater),Donahue began writing M&S with LaBrie's voice in mind thinking in terms of a progressive metal album in the vein of a bombastic Dream Theater. A chance meeting with a mutual friend of LaBrie's in the summer of 2001, put Donahue in touch with the singer following a spontaneous listening session of the initial demo material. Phone calls were made, LaBrie was suitably intrigued by the offer and Donahue began writing in earnest with realization of the Madmen album in sight.
Guitarist and singer met for the first time in July 2002 to discuss Donahue's musical vision and ideas for Madmen & Sinners. Over the course of their brainstorming sessions Labrie suggested bringing drummer Mike Mangini (Extreme/Steve Vai) on board, having worked with the skinbasher on his Mullmuzzler side project. Recording took place in January 2003,with Mangini put to tape in Boston,LaBrie's vocals recorded in Barrie,Ontario. The year that followed saw Donahue holed up in his home studio playing and recording all the fretless guitar, bass and synth parts,engineering and mixing the album himself,all while having to deal with a temperamental computer intent on eating precious recorded data at random. Donahue prevailed in the end,coming out of the studio with the best album of his career.

1. Million Miles
2. Let Go
3. My Heart Bleeds
4. Feel My Pain
5. Morte et Dabo
6. Children of the Flame
7. The End
8. Wildest Dreams
9. Master of the Mind
10. Madmen & Sinners

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CIRCLE II CIRCLE: Watching In Silence

Ex-Savatage frontman, Zak Stevens' solo project is excellent. If you are a fan of his work with Savatage this will blow you away. Chris Caffery does play guitar on a couple of tracks and Jon Oliva helped write a few songs as well, so the Savatage feel is still there, but the chorus' are bigger and Zak's voice stronger. There is not a bad song on the album. In fact, I have trouble getting the CD back from my wife, she likes it that much as well, it is always in one of our vehicles' CD players. The sad thing is that this being such a great album it will get almost no airplay here in the States. Most of the good metal now-a-days is coming out of Europe, but we don't hear it here. US bands like Circle II Circle, Iced Earth, Savatage, Symphony X and Kamelot have to rely on the European market to make it. Which is unfortunate, because it is really hard to find good metal here in the States. Yes, I am jealous of my European friends for having such great music that gets airplay. Rock on, and I guess I will have to keep buying the imports.

1. Out of Reach
2. Sea Of White
3. Into the Wind
4. Watching In Silence
5. Forgiven
6. Lies
7. Face to Face
8. Walls
9. The Circle
10. F.O.S.

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HUMANIMAL: Humanimal

Featuring Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen), Pontus Norgen, Marcel Jacob & others. Z Records. 2002 release. Humanimal is an excellent CD by former Yngvie Malmsteen singer Jeff Scott Soto. Jeff was also the singer on some of the original songs on the Rockstar soundtrack. This CD has a George Lynch/Jeff Pilson Dokken era sound/ crossed with Yngvie Malmsteen's style of Music. The music is Heavy yet melodic. Jeff Scott Soto has never sounded better. Pontus Norgren is a guitar god and sounds great!! Every song on this CD is good, which is a rarity these days.
It's a shame that CD can only be purchased as an import, because this CD is so much better than a lot of the Numetal, distortion rock band CD's that we are being forced to listen to by American Music Companies.If you are looking for a great hard-rocking CD, where you can actually understand the vocals, and hear songs where guitar solos are not a lost art, you have to check out HUMANIMAL!! --- By NEO-CS- "Cyber Soldier"Highly Recommended!!

1. R U 4 Real
2. Again 2 Be Found
3. License 2 Kill
4. Find My Way Home
5. Feel The Burn
6. Road to Forgiveness
7. I
8. Turn Away
9. Who Do You Think You Are
10. Way to Deep

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This cd is one of the best greatest hits comptilations ever! Lizzy has so much of his hits represented here. Truly great masterpieces such as Me Against The World, American Metal, Notorious, Master Of Disguise and Love Is A Crime. It is one greatest hits comptilation a true heavy metal fan should have in their collection! A great album from one of the forgotten metal masters. If you have never heard of Lizzy Borden or, are a seasoned fan this album is a must for your rock collection!!! This album takes you through the bands greatest moments. This album will take you back to when rock was more than just a guy singing.It has emotion along with terrorising up's and downs.

1. Me Against The World
2. American Metal
3. Notorious
4. Master Of Disguise
5. Psychopath
6. Eyes Of A Stranger
7. Red Rum (Live)
8. Ultra Violence
9. Live And Let Die (Live)
10. Give 'Em The Axe
11. Love Kills
12. Love Is A Crime
13. Lord Of The Flies
14. Rod Of Iron

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40 GRIT: Heads

Deep from within the wellspring of modern hard rock has sprung a plethora of new bands raised and versed in metal but betraying a resolute passion for the better aspects of the grunge era (think Alice In Chains, not Nirvana or Pearl Jam). 40 Grit are one of the better of these bands to come along. More committed to the underground aspects of their sound than the Collective Souls and Bushes of the world, 40 Grit nonetheless slice through the pop sensitive conscious by firmly wielding the cutting edge of modern rock. From the hypnotic sway of "Groin" to the industrial-without-electronics vibe of "Ground Zero," "Heads" steers well clear of anything that might not be considered Billboard material, but on those terms it's an astonishing debut. --- By Jeremy Ulrey "Bangyrmfhead"

1. Ground Zero
2. Serving Time
3. Sneaky Glass Face
4. Groin
5. Fade Into You
6. Spit
7. No Name
8. Three Spaces
9. Tension
10. Think
11. Wide Mouth

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ANVIL: Anthology of Anvil

A part from the production which is so-so, this album is exceptional. With sounds that resemble Old Judas Priest, Motorhead, and even a bit of Helloween at times, this Group borned from where I come from, Canada, have great songs in their arsenal. Metal on Metal is to Anvil what Back in Black is to .... This classic song is astonishing from start to finish. Although there are many other good songs, other highlites include the hockey based BLOOD ON THE ICE, PAPER GENERAL, FORGED IN FIRE, and the oldie but goodie SCHOOL LOVE. These Heavy Metal hall of famers have assembled 18 of their most astonishing songs on one single disc. A disc that everyone should own. Rock on!

1. Metal On Metal
2. Smokin' Green
3. Winged Assasins
4. Free As The Wind
5. Old School
6. Bushpig
7. Blood On The Ice
8. March Of The Crabs
9. Jackhammer
10. Speed Of Sound
11. 666
12. Stolen (Bonus Track)
13. Paper General
14. Forged In Fire
15. School Love
16. Motormount
17. Dr. Kevorkian
18. Mothra

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Amazing album. Amazing band. There is true creative and music genius behind this group and behind the concept of "Gospel Cola". Though Atomic Opera have a distinct sound all their own and sound like no one, if you need a comparison think the groove and crunch/sludge of King's X with the progressiveness of Galactic Cowboys...topped off with more varied instrumentation (cello, mandolin, dulcimer, recorder, ocrina, Chapman stick, etc.), more complex arrangements and some of the most amazing, insightful and intelligent lyrics to grace music in a long, long time. They pull no punches. Incisive, bold and inspired - just like their music. I loved Penguin Dust, but felt the songs all had a "sameness" about them...not so here. Every song is distinct and stands alone in arrangement, rhythm and structure. There's a sense of artistry and musical vision here that was a bit lacking in their previous efforts - though they're all good. It seems like Frank and Kemper's vision for AO is finally coalescing! Excellent owe it to yourself to pick this up. --- By Ockham's Razor (Michigan, USA)

1. Jesus Junk
2. October
3. WinterLand
4. Reiah Discerns The Times
5. Malediction
6. My Head
7. Silence
8. Muse
9. Love is as Strong as Death
10. The Circle is Closed
11. Stop my Heart
12. Doxology

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BEYOND THE EMBRACE: Against the Elements

What an incredible piece of work this album is. This is one of my favorite cd's now and I haven't even owned it for more than a week.Shawn Gallagher is an excellent singer remniscent of a young James Hettfield,Brian Fair(Shadows Fall) and Anders Friden(In Flames).An excellent display of old-school thrash and melodic Gothenburg style metal.The guitars work is breathtaking and goes in every direction of the fretboard with amazing scales, tremolo picking and hammer-ons and pull-offs that will make you wonder how six guys could create music with such perfection and magic."Drowning sun" is also one of the best instrumentals I have heard since Metallica's Orion and other songs like "Mourning in Magenta" and "Rapture" show that metal also takes alot of intelligence and talent and not just any scmuck with a guitar who knows power chords and can scream could make good music.This will definately leave you with your jaw-dropped and your eyes will open to the sound of progression as you take a journey "Against the Elements". A must have --- By L. Bazan "woisdbfi3iwiuw"

1. Bastard Screams
2. Mourning In Magenla
3. Compass
4. Rapture
5. Drowning Sun
6. Against The Elements
7. Release
8. The Bending Sea
9. Embers Astray
10. The Riddle Of Steel

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DIAMOND HEAD: Diamond Nights

Diamond Nights is a compilation album of some of the choisest Diamond Head tracks from the late '70s and very early '80s. Diamond Head is a band that is somewhat of a paradox. Most metal fans know their songs, but don't know the band. That is because during Metallica's early days, they performed (and eventually released) many Diamond Head songs. The CD's liner notes cover this by saying, "...Metallica didn't start off creating anything much, only covering songs released by Diamond Head..." The notes go a bit further by saying, " might be suggested that Metallica stole the limelight away from Diamond Head, and it should have been Diamond Head who stood in the limelight and not Metallica, even today..." Diamond Head burst out of England around the same time as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. Unfortunately, they did not share the enormous fame as their collegues. DH's music is outstanding, well crafted and produced, while still having the all-important "rawness" of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). DH was powered by Brian Tatler's furious riffing, Sean Harris's soaring vocals, Colin Kimberley's thumpy and precise bass work, and Duncan Scott's heavy-duty drumming. Again, many songs were covered by Metallica, but the originals are always the best. James Hetfield's (annoying) vocals do not even come close. Standout tracks include: "Sweet and Innocent", "The Prince", "Helpless", "I Don't Got", "Lightning to the Nations", "Am I Evil", "Sucking My Love", and "Shoot Out the Lights". The best part of this CD, is these are the original versions of these songs, simply cleaned up and remastered. So, you will hear these tunes how they were meant to be heard. So, if you need some new Metal for your tunes collection, check this one out. It has a great collection of songs (15 tracks), lyrics, and very informative and interesting liner notes. After listening, don't be surprised if you find yourself cursing the very existance of Selloutica (sorry, I mean Metallica). --- By B. Cross "Prowler Bassman"

1. We Won't Be Back
2. Sweet And Innocent
3. Streets Of Gold
4. The Prince
5. Helpless
6. I Don't Got
7. Lightning To The Nations
8. Play It Loud
9. It's Electric (Remix)
10. Am I Evil
11. Waited Too Long
12. Sucking My Love
13. Shoot Out The Lights
14. It's Electric
15. Diamond Lights

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EYES ADRIFT: Eyes Adrift

Eyes Adrift represents the first teaming of Krist Novoselic, guitarist Curt Kirkwood, and former Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh. While Novoselic's previous project, Sweet 75, was misbegotten, the ex- Nirvana bassist's new "tragedy all-star" band draws on a rich vein of lilting psychedelic country rock that borrows heavily from the mid-period work of another of its members, the Meat Puppets' Kirkwood. Eyes Adrift's Americana resonates thanks to its solidness and maturity. --Everett True

1. Sleight Of Hand
2. Alaska
3. Inquiring Minds
4. Untried
5. Blind Me
6. Dottie Dawn & Julie Jewel
7. Solid
8. Pyramids
9. Telescope
10. Slow Race
11. What I Said
12. Pasted

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FATES WARNING: Disconnected

This is what metal should be like; not being loud for its own sake, but adding to the music. The Who understood. King Crimson, Dream Theater, Queensryche, they understand. And so does Fates Warning. Disconnection. Alienation, separation, loneliness. The subject has been dealt with many times before, true, but at least Fates (mostly) isn't resorting to cliches here. The lonely feeling is palpable throughout, from Ray Alder's dead-on vocal delivery to Jim Matheos's guitar wails that open and close the album. (Has he been listening to a little too much Robert Fripp lately? Nevermind.) Though Ray contributes a lyric or two, this is mostly Jim's baby. Hard to believe how far they've come since the D&D days of Awaken the Guardian, isn't it? There's hardly any soloing or showing off here, no wild screaming or frenzies of 64th notes. Like their previous A Pleasant Shade of Gray this is an album full of tones and textures, a recording where the production and ambiance is just as important as the music.
This will also come as a relief to those who disliked the valium-induced-coma approach of PSoG. Though the mood is dark and dreary as ever - I still find Disconnected impossible to listen to if I'm in a happy mood - they've brought fire and energy back to the mix. Mark Zonder's wonderfully understated drumming gives everything just the punch it needs, and they've remembered to turn up the tempo again. The one exception is "So;" Ray sings tiredly and everyone else seems practically numb. And for that track, that's exacty how it should be.Is this album worth buying? That probably depends on what you're looking for. If you just want heavy metal, probably not. If you prefer subtlety in music you have to hear several times to appreciate, come right in. Welcome. --- By spiral_mind

1. Disconnected, Pt. 1
2. One
3. So
4. Pieces of Me
5. Something from Nothing
6. Still Remains
7. Disconnected, Pt. 2

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Monday, October 22, 2007

SANCTUARY: (1990) Into the Mirror Black

Nevermore straddles the line between power metal, traditional heavy metal, and the contemporary hard rock scene, eschewing the silly theatrics of the "power scene" in favor of a darker tone, while reaping the rewards of melody and the high-flying vocal range of singer Warrel Dane. The roots of the Seattle-based band can be traced back to Sanctuary, with whom Nevermore's Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard recorded two albums. Sanctuary was one of a small handful of late-'80s thrash metal bands to sign with a major label; they even enlisted Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine to produce their debut album. Label-imposed limbo caused the band to grind to a halt, with one member also exiting to pursue more "grunge"-oriented music. Three members of the final lineup of Sanctuary reemerged as Nevermore, inking a worldwide deal with Century Media Records and releasing a punishing eponymous debut album in 1995. The following year saw the band issue a well-received EP, In Memory, that boasted cover tunes as well as Sanctuary material, which pleased many fans. -- Ryan J. Downey, All Music Guide

1. Future Tense
2. Taste Revenge
3. Long Since Dark
4. Epitaph
5. Eden Lies Obscured
6. The Mirror Black
7. Seasons of Destruction
8. One More Murder
9. Communion


NEVERMORE: (1995) Nevermore

This eponymous debut from Seattle's Nevermore had the right combination of traditional metal attitude and musicianship to garner significant attention in the European metal scene. The band was even awarded a much-coveted appearance at the Dutch Dynamo Open Air Festival -- the most prestigious event on the massive European metal festival circuit. Ex-Sanctuary members Warrel Dane (vocals), James Sheppard (bass), and Jeff Loomis (guitars) joined up with drummer Van Williams and second guitarist Pat O'Brien to form and record Nevermore without a record deal but with influential metal producer Neil Kernon, who had worked alongside legends like Judas Priest and Queensrÿche. Nevermore shouldn't strike Sanctuary fans as unfamiliar. Dane's vocals and lyrics are dramatic, and the musicians make a forceful power metal noise. While similar, Nevermore's music has a dynamic, progressive edge to which the straight-ahead '80s European-style metal of Sanctuary never aspired. A distinct Queensrÿche influence -- less apparent on Sanctuary discs and more pronounced on later Nevermore work -- can be heard within the clean guitar arpeggios and smooth vocal inflections on the tracks "The Sanity Assassin" and "The Hurting Words." A musical step forward for Dane and company, Nevermore launched the respectable underground metal career of its namesake via refined songcraft and excellent musicianship. -- Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide

1. What Tomorrow Knows
2. C.B.F.
3. The Sanity Assassin
4. Garden of Gray
5. Sea Of Possibilities
6. The Hurting Words
7. Timothy Leary
8. Godmoney


NEVERMORE: (1996) In Memory

Sporting some of singer Warrel Dane's most extreme vocal workouts, In Memory is an impressive musical display of neo-progressive yet heavy melodic metal. With an identical band lineup and producer Neil Kernon returning to helm the console, the results on this follow-up to 1995's eponymous debut are predictably similar. The bombastic medley of Bauhaus cuts, "Silent Hedges/Double Dares," is representative of the continuing evolution of the band and its heavy rhythmic reworkings. While the melodies are commercial, Nevermore refuses to get bogged down in technique and, in so doing, avoids the sterility and weakness that some associate with a certain other Seattle melodic metal band. With subtle, clean performances mixed with all-out metal hollering, Dane sounds like a doctorate-level student of Geoff Tate's vocal style ("The Sorrowed Man" being his thesis). Perhaps borrowing a little too heavily from Queensrÿche, Dane and his bandmates still infuse enough of their own passions and personality to make the music on In Memory their own. -- Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide

1. Optimist or Pessimist
2. Matricide
3. In Memory
4. Silent Hedges/Double Dare
5. The Sorrowed Man


NEVERMORE: (1996) The Politics Of Ecstasy

The Politics of Ecstasy, their second proper album, was a dense, technical masterpiece that displayed the talents of guitarists Pat O'Brian and Jeff Loomis, and drummer Van Williams in particular. But it was with their next opus, the dark and conceptually driven Dreaming Neon Black, that Nevermore really caught the attention of heavy music fans and earned the respect of the heavy metal press. Voted Album of the Year by many publications, 1999's Dreaming Neon Black was a tour de force that highlighted Dane's soaring vocal range. It also included newcomer (and former guitarist for Forbidden) Tim Calvert, who replaced O'Brian when he split to join Cannibal Corpse. After successful tours with Iced Earth and Mercyful Fate, the band knew that they had a tough job ahead of them following up the well-received album. Now a four-piece after the exit of Calvert, Nevermore entered a Texas studio with producer Andy Sneap and crafted a new album that adeptly blended contemporary heavy sounds with traditional heavy metal. Dead Heart in a Dead World was released in 2000, and was supported on the road with a full U.S. tour with Swedish metal band In Flames and labelmates Shadows Fall. - Ryan J. Downey, All Music Guide

1. The Seven Tongues of God
2. This Sacrament
3. Next in Line
4. Passenger
5. The Politics of Ecstasy
6. Lost
7. The Tiananmen Man
8. Precognition (Instrumental)
9. 42147
10. The Learning


NEVERMORE: (1999) Dreaming Neon Black

With their sprawling, progressive balladry mixed with speed metal turns, Nevermore seem to retreat from the consistent power metal stance of Politics of Ecstasy on 1999's Dreaming Neon Black. On this, their third full-length release for the giant indie metal label Century Media, the band slips creatively, rehashing concepts and sonics from their earlier material. The struggles could be due in part to the group's first lineup change in their six-year history as ex-Forbidden guitarist Tim Calvert joins Warrel Dane (vocals), Van Williams (drums), James Sheppard (bass), and guitarist Jeff Loomis. Slogging through familiar-sounding numbers like "Deconstruction," "All Play Dead," and three other slow-paced, vocal-driven ballads, Nevermore seem to be losing steam. The ex-Sanctuary core of Dane, Loomis, and Sheppard don't stray too far from their earlier work, as the cleanly arpeggiated melodrama takes the forefront much like 1996's In Memory. Fast numbers like "Fault of the Flesh" and "Beyond Within" have a modern thrash spark, suggesting Calvert's influence might have actually been a positive but limited one. Nevermore always produce quality work, especially with regards to their musicianship; however, Dreaming Neon Black, with its slow-paced track list and subpar melodies is not the band's best effort. -- Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide

1. Ophidian
2. Beyond Within
3. The Death Of Passion
4. I Am The Dog
5. Dreaming Neon Black
6. Deconstruction
7. The Fault Of The Flesh
8. The Lotus Eaters
9. Poison Godmachine
10. All Play Dead
11. Cenotaph
12. No More Will
13. Forever


NEVERMORE: (2000) Dead Heart in a Dead World (Lt. Edt.)

The fourth in a list of solid releases from Nevermore, Dead Heart, in a Dead World is possibly the group's most accomplished recording. For the first time, Jeff Loomis handles all the guitar duties himself, giving the disc a musical continuity that was sometimes lacking on prior efforts. Nevermore co-founder Warrel Dane (vocals), Jim Sheppard (bass), and Van Williams (drums) join Loomis on this 2000 Century Media offering. All four members demonstrate great command of their instruments, but Loomis' guitar playing stands out. Bold and inventive, the combination of nu-metal and '80s golden-era metal riffing propels Dead Heart, in a Dead World and Nevermore ahead of the American indie metal pack. "The River Dragon Has Come" and "We Disintegrate" are just two superior examples of Loomis' dissonant, detuned grooves. Dane's moaning almost sinks mellower numbers like "Insignificant" and the title track, but Loomis provides the buoyancy these otherwise dull songs need to become listenable -- in fact, they're almost interesting. The members of Nevermore were always ready to challenge themselves, and Dead Heart, in a Dead World confirms the wisdom of that ethic through the realization of the band's massive potential. -- Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide

1. Narcosynthesis
2. We Disintegrate
3. Inside Four Walls
4. Evolution 169
5. The River Dragon Has Come
6. The Heart Collector
7. Engines of Hate
8. The Sound of Silence
9. Insignificant
10. Believe in Nothing
11. Dead Heart in a Dead World
12. Love Bites
13. All The Cowards Hide
14. Chances There
15. Next in Line (Video)


NEVERMORE: (2003) Enemies of Reality

Seattlites Nevermore carved a unique little niche for themselves, mixing power metal, thrash, and traditional heavy metal stylings into a heady, dark witch's brew that's as muscular as it is melodic. While previous platters Dead Heart, in a Dead World and Dreaming Neon Black were sprawling, epic concept albums, Enemies of Reality has more elements of a nasty little thrash record, clocking in at a relatively brief 40 minutes and letting rip with the pummeling aggression of the leadoff title track (which boasts typically stellar guitar work courtesy of Jeff Loomis, who carefully balances technical shredding with rock-solid, articulate riffs). Producer Kelly Gray's (Queensrÿche, Dokken) mix sounds a bit botched during the maniacal tempo changes and dizzying fretwork of cuts like "Ambivalent" and "Never Purify," which would definitely benefit from a fine-edged, less muddy guitar sound; however, his knob-twisting sharpens the dynamics of stunningly effective power ballads "Who Decides" (just try prying that guitar hook out of your brain) and "Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday," which boasts the crystalline quality demanded by the down-tempo, clean arpeggios of the verses, and explosive peaks for the chorus' rib-crunching body blows. Vocalist Warrel Dane's lyrics are, as usual, devastatingly bleak and poetic, especially when schizoid voices overlap during psychedelic, out-of-body experience "Noumenon" -- "There is no stronger drug than reality," he warbles, reprising the line over the hoof-pounding thrash gallop of album closer "Seed Awakening." While Enemies of Reality doesn't necessarily break down any new barriers for Nevermore, the album is a manic, panicked, pissed-off disc compared to other entries in the group's discography; and there's really no arguing with the band's consistency, especially when its top-shelf songwriting skills and musicianship are so willfully and skillfully on display. Even if fans long for the skills of past producers Neil Kernon or Andy Sneap, they'll still find Enemies of Reality to be a nasty little thrash record with plenty of depth. [The limited-edition import version of the album came packaged with a bonus DVD featuring three promo videos and two live clips from the band's 2001 tour. -- John Serba, All Music Guide

1. Enemies of Reality
2. Ambivalent
3. Never Purify
4. Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday
5. 1,Voyager
6. Create the Infinite
7. Who Decides
8. Noumenon
9. Seed Awakening


Sunday, October 21, 2007

BOSTON: (2002) Corporate America

For all the bad press heaped these days on vintage stadium rock, Boston's Artemis debut resonates with a crisp, fresh energy that's hard to find in the downscale aesthetic of post-punk. As Tom Scholz fans might expect, a metallic sheen gleams across the surface of each track, adding luster to resonant anthems like the politically correct title track as well as more intimate acoustic moments on "With You" and elsewhere. (The same sleek textures coat the album's one live track, a cover of "Livin' for You" that's marred only by the electronic snare drum, which sounds distressingly like the zap of a toy space gun.) Acoustic guitars glisten in fields of dewy reverb, while Scholz's electric leads and fills project a streamlined muscularity. The vocals, delivered by a rotating cast of guests, range from arena stratospherics to whispery folkisms; in the fashion of Phil Spector, Scholz is more concerned with blending them into his timbral landscape than with encouraging interpretive profundities. But that's fine, for Boston has always centered on one man's sonic fantasies, and for better or worse these are undimmed and as assertive as ever, even in the era of Corporate America.-- Robert L. Doerschuk, AMG

1. I Had a Good Time
2. Stare Out your Window
3. Corporate America
4. With You
5. Someone
6. Turn It Off
7. Cryin'
8. Didn't Mean to Fall In Love
9. You Gave Up On Love
10. Livin for You
11. Crystal Love


BOSTON: (1997) Greatest Hits

Since Tom Scholz is such a slow worker, there were only four Boston albums between the group's 1976 debut and this Greatest Hits collection in 1997. That may mean that there isn't much music to compile, as the reliance on their biggest-selling album, Boston, suggests, but that doesn't matter for most casual fans, since Greatest Hits gathers all of their best songs, from "More Than a Feeling" to "Amanda," on one compact disc. For the collector, the record isn't quite as appealing, even if it contains three new songs as bait. These three songs simply don't deliver the melodic punch or guitar crunch that distinguishes the group's best work. It's nice to hear original vocalist Brad Delp on "Higher Power," but "Tell Me" is slight, and an instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner" is nearly an insult. So, for the devoted, Greatest Hits is a mixed bag, but for less dedicated listeners, it may be all the Boston they need.-- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG

1. Tell Me
2. Higher Power
3. More Than a Feeling
4. Peace of Mind
5. Don't Look Back
6. Cool the Engines
7. Livin' For You
8. Feelin' Satisfied
9. Party
10. Foreplay - Long Time
11. Amanda
12. Rock & Roll Band
13. Smokin'
14. A Man I'll Never Be
15. The Star Spangled Banner
16. higher Power (Kalodner Edit)



BOSTON: (1994) Walk On

Boston's long-awaited fourth album, Walk On, which this time took Tom Scholz a full seven years to complete, failed to capture the attention of most AOR fans and became the group's first record to not spawn a hit single. Perhaps the reason was AOR and classic rock stations began losing their audiences in 1992; more likely, it was because Scholz's legendary perfectionism didn't yield the same results it did in the past. Although the production is certainly state of the art and is overflowing with detail, there aren't any memorable songs or hooks to justify such extravagance. On the surface, the record sounds fine, but there is no substance beneath the layers of gloss.-- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG

1. I Need Your Love
2. Surrender to Me
3. Livin' for You
4. Walkin' at Night
5. Walk On
6. Get Organ-Ized
7. Walk On (Some More)
8. What's Your Name
9. Magdalene
10. We Can make It



BOSTON: (1986) Third Stage

After rushing their second album Don't Look Back, Boston took eight years to complete the album Third Stage. The long delay is even more surprising considering that their sound didn't change at all; even though only songwriter/guitarist Tom Scholz and vocalist Brad Delp remained from the original lineup, they were the ones responsible for Boston's sound. As such, it is difficult to avoid comparisons with their landmark debut. Third Stage has some strong moments, especially the number one hit "Amanda" where the band blends acoustic and electric guitars to complement the layered vocals. However, the songs are not as strong as those on their debut, and the album is marred by the presence of instrumental fillers and an attempt to cling to a theme of "journey through life's third stage." Thus, rather than focusing on universal topics such as the exuberance and uncertainties associated with youth, the mature lyrics are lost on most of their young rock audience. Given the time between albums and the changes in the pop landscape, it was a little disappointing to find Boston stuck in the same sound. The album still sounds great when it works on all cylinders ("We're Ready," "Cool the Engines"), but the album is not filled with enough satisfying moments. This may be nostalgic pop rock of the '80s, but casual listeners should start with their debut.-- Vik Iyengar, AMG

1. Amanda
2. We're Ready
3. Launch
4. Cool the Engines
5. My Destination
6. New World
7. To Be a Man
8. I Think I Like It
9. Can'Tcha Say (You Believe in Me) Still in Love
10. Hollyann


BOSTON: (1978) Don't Look Back

The follow-up to Boston's mega-hit first album, Boston, Don't Look Back took two long years to complete and it's hard to figure out why it took so long because it is almost exactly the same as their debut. The guitars still sound like they are being fed through computers and stacked into great walls of sound by robots, lead singer Brad Delp still sounds like he is ripping his throat out and the harmony vocals still sound like a choir of androids warbling angelically. Most importantly,the songs are overflowing with hooks, there are plenty of riffs to air guitar to, and the songs stick in your head like dirt on a dog. The main difference lies in the semi-melancholy tone of the record. Boston was a nonstop party of a record but one look at the song titles lets you know that Don't Look Back is a little different: "A Man I'll Never Be," "Used to Bad News," "Don't Be Afraid." These songs reveal a reflective side that was nowhere to be found on Boston. Not to say the record doesn't rock because it does mightily. "Don't Look Back" has a killer riff that's very similar to the timeless riff in "More Than a Feeling," "Party" is a storming rocker much like "Smokin'" and "It's Easy" is mellow 70's AOR at its absolute best. Don't Look Back is basically Boston, Pt. 2, but don't let that put you off because even though the band was treading water they were treading it like Esther Williams. This record is better than 96.7% of the AOR records released in the 1970s, combine it with Boston and you are looking at two tickets to AOR paradise.-- Tim Sendra, AMG

1. Don't Look Back
2. The Journey
3. It's Easy
4. A Man I'll Never Be
5. Feelin' Satisfied
6. Party
7. Used to Bad News
8. Don't Be Affraid


BOSTON: (1976) Boston

Boston is one of the best-selling albums of all time, and deservedly so. Because of the rise of disco and punk, FM rock radio seemed all but dead until the rise of acts like Boston, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. Nearly every song on Boston's debut album can still be heard on classic rock radio today due to the strong vocals of Brad Delp and unique guitar sound of Tom Scholz. Tom Scholz, who wrote most of the songs, was a studio wizard and used self-designed equipment such as 12-track recording devices to come up with an anthemic "arena rock" sound before the term was even coined. The sound was hard rock, but the layered melodies and harmonics reveal the work of a master craftsman. While much has been written about the sound of the album, the lyrics are often overlooked. There are songs about their rise from a bar band ("Rock and Roll Band") as well as fond remembrances of summers gone by ("More Than a Feeling"). Boston is essential for any fan of classic rock, and the album marks the re-emergence of the genre in the 1970s.-- Vik Iyengar,AMG

1. More Than a Feeling
2. Peace of Mind
3. Foreplay - Long Time
4. Rock and Roll Band
5. Smokin'
6. Hitch a Ride
7. Something About You
8. Let me Take You Home Tonight


PRETTY MAIDS: Planet Panic (192kbps)

1. Virtual Brutality
2. Playing Good
3. He Who Never Lived
4. Face of My Enemy
5. Not What You Think
6. Natural High
7. Who's Gonna Change
8. Worthless
9. One Way to Rock
10. Enter Forevermore


PRETTY MAIDS: Red, Hot & Heavy (192kbps)

PRETTY MAIDS: Spooked (192kbps)

1. Resurrection (intro)
2. Freakshow
3. Dead or Alive
4. Die with Your Dreams
5. Fly me Out
6. Live Until it Hurts
7. Spooked
8. Twisted
9. If It Can't Be Love
10. Never Too Late
11. Your Mind is Where the Money Is
12. Hard Luck Woman
13. The One That Should Not Be
14. A Love and a Fiction
15. Crazy Horses
16. Where the Blood Runs Deep


Thursday, October 18, 2007


Formed out of Norway's famed black metal scene, Theatre of Tragedy combine elements of goth and metal with an added touch of drama thanks in part to the dual vocals of Raymond I. Rohonyi and Liv Kristine Espenaes. With the accompaniment of Frank Claussen (guitars), Tommy Olsson (guitars/programming), Eirik T. Saltroe (bass), Hein Frode Hansen (drums) and Lorentz Aspen (synthesizer), Theatre of Tragedy orchestrates a different performance piece with each song, while the singers bounce dialogues off of each other and even at times portray different characters. With their 1995 self-titled debut on Massacre, Theatre of Tragedy won over Century Media Records, who began licensing their albums for U.S. distribution. Velvet Darkness They Fear appeared in 1996, and the more electronic-flavored follow-up Aegis was released in 1998; both albums helped substantially expand the group's following among both goth and metal audiences. Before Musique was issued in 2000, the band parted ways with both Olsson and Saltroe.--- Mike DaRonco,AMG

Track Listing
1. Cassandra
2. Lorelei
3. Angélique
4. Aoede
5. Siren
6. Venus
7. Poppaea
8. Baeehante
9. Samantha
10. Virago
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SLADE II: Keep On Rockin'

Slade received a boost stateside around this time as well, courtesy of the U.S. pop-metal outfit Quiet Riot, who made a smash hit out of "Cum on Feel the Noize" in 1983 that resulted in a strong chart showing for Slade's 1984 release Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply (issued as The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome in the U.K. a year earlier). Slade then enjoyed a pair of U.S. MTV/radio hits, "Run Runaway" and "My Oh My." Holder and Lea also tried their hand at producing another artist around this time as well, as they manned the boards for Girlschool's 1983 release Play Dirty. Despite another all-new studio release, Rogues Gallery, and Quiet Riot covering another classic Slade tune ("Mama Weer All Crazee Now"), Slade was unable to retain their newfound American audience or rekindled British following and they eventually faded from sight once more, this time without a comeback waiting around the corner. During the '90s, a truncated version of the group dubbed Slade II was formed (without Holder or Lea in attendance), while Holder became a popular U.K. television personality as well as the host of his own '70s rock radio show. A 21-track singles compilation, Feel the Noize: The Very Best of Slade, was issued in 1997 (re-released under the simple title of Greatest Hits a couple of years later), which proved to be a popular release in England.--- Greg Prato

Track listing
1. Hear Ya Callin'
2. Hot Luv
3. Do You Want Me
4. Black and White World
5. Miracle
6. Cum On Let's Party
7. Johnny Played The Guitar
8. Howlin' Mind
9. Red Hot
10. Dirty Fool Lane
11. Wild Nites
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By the time Phoenix thrash band Sacred Reich released Heal in 1996, the excitement that surrounded their particular brand of hard-edged metal had indeed dissipated, as bands like Korn and Deftones began moving mainstream metal in a new direction. After spending over a decade churning out some of the metal underground's most furious music, the group wasn't about to change their style or concede anything to the new-metal '90s, however, and Heal became their last great studio tribute to an important (if almost forgotten) era of aggressive music. Highlight tracks include fast-paced numbers like "Don't" and "Break Through." Vocalist Phil Rind, guitarists Wiley Arnett and Jason Rainey, drummer Dave McClain, and bassist Phil Rind also display a knack for all-out rock while they churn through the strong choruses on songs like "Seen Through My Eyes" and "Ask Ed." Ferocious and unrelenting, Heal is the finest Sacred Reich offering of the '90s, if not their entire career.--- Vincent Jeffries, AMG

Track Listing
1. Blue Suit, Brown Shirt
2. Heal
3. Break Through
4. Low
5. Don't
6. Jason's Idea
7. Ask Ed
8. Who Do You Want to Be
9. Seen Through My Eyes
10. I Don't Care
11. The Power of the Written Word

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PEARL JAM: Pearl Jam

Nearly 15 years after Ten, Pearl Jam finally returned to the strengths of their debut with 2006's Pearl Jam, a sharply focused set of impassioned hard rock. Gone are the arty detours (some call them affectations) that alternately cluttered and enhanced their albums from 1993's sophomore effort, Vs., all the way to 2002's Riot Act, and what's left behind is nothing but the basics: muscular, mildly meandering rock roll, enlivened by Eddie Vedder's bracing sincerity. Pearl Jam has never sounded as hard or direct as they do here -- even on Ten there was an elasticity to the music, due in large part to Jeff Ament's winding fretless bass, that kept the record from sounding like a direct hit to the gut, which Pearl Jam certainly does. Nowhere does it sound more forceful than it does in its first half, when the tightly controlled rockers "Life Wasted," "World Wide Suicide," "Comatose," "Severed Hand," and "Marker in the Sand" pile up on top of each other, giving the record a genuine feeling of urgency. That insistent quality and sense of purpose doesn't let up even as they slide into the quite beautiful, lightly psychedelic acoustic pop of "Parachutes," which is when the album begins to open up slightly. If the second half of the record does have a greater variety of tempos than the first, it's still heavy on rockers, ranging from the ironic easy swagger of "Unemployable" to the furious "Big Wave," which helps set the stage for the twin closers of "Come Back" and "Inside Job." The former is a slow-burning cousin to "Black" that finds Pearl Jam seamlessly incorporating soul into their sound, while the latter is a deliberately escalating epic that gracefully closes the album on a hopeful note -- and coming after an album filled with righteous anger and frustration, it is indeed welcome. But Pearl Jam's anger on this eponymous album is not only largely invigorating, it is the opposite of the tortured introspection of their first records. Here, Vedder turns his attention to the world at large, and while he certainly rages against the state of W's union in 2006, he's hardly myopic or strident; he's alternately evocative and specific, giving this album a resonance that has been lacking in most protest rock of the 2000s. But what makes Pearl Jam such an effective record is that it can be easily enjoyed as sheer music without ever digging into Vedder's lyrics. Song for song, this is their best set since Vitalogy, and the band has never sounded so purposeful on record as they do here, nor have they ever delivered a record as consistent as this. And the thing that makes the record work exceptionally well is that Pearl Jam has embraced everything they do well, whether it's their classicist hard rock or heart-on-sleeve humanitarianism. In doing so, they seem kind of old fashioned, reaffirming that they are now thoroughly outside of the mainstream -- spending well over a decade galloping away from any trace of popularity will inevitably make you an outsider -- but on their own terms, Pearl Jam hasn't sounded as alive or engaging as they do here since at least Vitalogy, if not longer. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

track listing
1. life wasted
2. world wide suicide
3. comatose
4. severed hand
5. marker in the sand
6. parachutes
7. unemployable
8. big wave
9. gone
10. wasted (reprise)
11. army reserve
12. come back
13. inside job

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OZZY OSBOURNE: The Ozzman Cometh

Theoretically, a greatest-hits collection should be an easy job for someone like Ozzy Osbourne, whose career always thrived on singles. However, this is not the case, as Ozzman Cometh proves. While the compilation does boast some of his biggest hits, including "Crazy Train," "Goodbye to Romance," and "Shot in the Dark," some of his most memorable songs, such as "I Don't Know," "Flying High Again," and "Miracle Man," are surprisingly missing. Instead of extra tracks from his 15-year career, listeners aren't even given definitive Ozzy -- the album is unfortunately overshadowed with Black Sabbath basement tapes, including "Fairies Wear Boots" and "War Pigs." Although Osbourne never failed to put Sabbath hits into his live shows and albums, the idea that re-recorded material from his former band replaces some of his best songs is a little depressing. The album also includes one new track, "Back on Earth," which continues the musical setting similar to Ozzmosis (where Osbourne counts on synthesizers instead of guitars). Despite its flaws, however, Ozzman Cometh certainly delivers a good collection of hits, making it and Tribute the only necessary Ozzy albums for casual fans. ~ Barry Weber, All Music Guide

track listing
1.Black Sabbath
2.War Pigs
3.Goodbye to Romance
4.Crazy Train
5.Mr. Crowley
6.Over the Mountain
7.Paranoid [Live]
8.Bark at the Moon
9.Shot in the Dark
10.Crazy Babies
11.No More Tears [Edit]
12.Mama, I'm Coming Home
13.I Don't Want to Change the World [Live]
14.I Just Want You
15.Back on Earth [#]

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NIRVANA: From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah

From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah is the second posthumous Nirvana record, an attempt to capture Nirvana at the peak of its powers on stage. That doesn't necessarily mean all the band's best-known songs are here -- "Come As You Are," "All Apologies," and "About a Girl" are all absent -- but it does mean that this is the closest representation to what Nirvana sounded like on-stage. It may not be perfect and it's a little scattershot due to its varied source material (the tapes were recorded anywhere between 1989 and 1994), but it's still a terrific record, thanks to a sharp selection of performances and a set list that relies on B-sides, album tracks, and album favorites, highlighting the group at its best. It's not necessary, but it still finds a great band in top form. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

track listing
1. intro
2. school
3. drain you
4. aneurysm
5. smells like teen spirit
6. been a son
7. lithium
8. sliver
9. spank thru
10.scentless aprentice
11. heart shaped box
12. milk it
13. negative creep
14. polly (live)
15. breed
16. tourette's
17. blew

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

MOTLEY CRUE: Motley Crue

On Mötley Crüe, the band's first album recorded without vocalist Vince Neil, the group revamped its trademark dirty but melodic heavy metal, adding elements of '90s grunge and alternative metal, as well as the group's new vocalist, a hoarse shouter named John Corabi. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

track listing
1. power to the music
2. uncle jack
3. hooligan's holiday
4. misunderstood
5. love shine
6. posion apples
7. hammered
8. till death do us apart
9. welcome to the numb
10. smoke the sky
11. doppin like flies
12. driftaway

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Deriving from an early 90's melodic metal quintet named Twilight, which issued just one album called Eye for an Eye before vanishing without a trace, Beyond Twilight was formed almost ten years later by keyboard player Finn Zierler. Together with vocalist Jørn Lande, guitarist Anders Ericson Kragh, bassist Anders Lindgren and drummer Thomas Fredén, he entered the studio in the year 2000 and emerged with The Devil's Hall of Fame album, released through Massacre Records the following year.--- by Ed Rivadavia

Track Listing
1. Be Careful It's My Head Too
2. The Path of Darkness
3. Shadow Self
4. Sleeping Beauty
5. The Dark Side
6. Portrait F in Dark Waters
7. Ecstasy Arise
8. Section X

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