Tuesday, August 28, 2007

AGENT STEEL: (1985) Skeptics Apocalypse

The passage of time has not proved fortunate for AGENT STEEL, more or less the 80s finest Speed-Thrash band. "Skeptics Apocalypse" is plain and simple straight up in your face Heavy Metal, with awesome riffs, excellent songwriting and a vocalist whose falsetto could shatter glass. Recorded for 800 dollars, SA belongs up there with ANGEL WITCH's "s/t" and the first METAL CHURCH... but alas, they are largely overlooked. =*( . Anybody who digs on Classic/Speed Metal should do themselves a service and check out AGENT fucking STEEL!
The production is pretty rough, but nothing too overt... just 80s style. The thing that makes AS stand out is singer John Cyriis, whose voice is somewhere in the stratosphere between King Diamond and Rob Halford without sounding like either. His twisted lyrics about outer space and the supernatural really add character, especially on "144,000 Gone". Points for picking a truly unique and Metal subject matter (Mayan sacrifices) for "Bleed For The Godz", AGENT STEEL's best song and an 80s classic. Juan Garcia is a talented guitarist and has a knack for coming up with riffs that are propelling and catchy... sort of like PRIEST meets METALLICA. "Bleed For The Godz", "Agents Of Steel", "Children Of The Sun"... solid stuff. "Taken By Force" is a mid paced number, but fits well with the album... ditto for "144,000 Gone", a most creepy track with interesting use of twin guitar harmonies.
As mentioned above, if you like Speed Metal or traditional Metal at ALL, pick up "Skeptics Apocalypse" or the follow-up "Unstoppable Force", this is grade A shit and needs to be heard. The End Records has this shit in stock so get on it juniors. There's some cool biographical stuff and liner notes by Juan Garcia on the remasters, which is a welcome bonus. (Online February 14, 2003) ... by Sean (http://www.metal-observer.com/)

Track Listing:
1. (The Calling)
2. Agents of Steel
3. Taken by Force
4. Evil Eye/Evil Minds
5. Bleed for the Godz
6. Children of the Sun
7. 144.000 Gone
8. Guilty as Charged
9. Back to Reign
10. Calling 98 for Skeptics
11. The Unexpected (Live)

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AGENT STEEL: (1985) Mad Locust Rising (Ep)

Track Listing:

1. The Swarm is Upon Us
2. Mad Locust Rising
3. The Ripper (Judas Priest)
4. Let it Be Done / The Day at Guyana

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AGENT STEEL: (1987) Unstoppable Force

After the cult killer debut "Skeptics Apocalypse" AGENT STEEL provide us with an absolutely worthy successor. Already the opener and title song storms through your stereo at a hellish tempo. On "Never Surrender" the speed is reduced a bit, what does not take away from the intensity of the song at all, a killer! "Indestructive" is very hectic and progressive. A song that I haven't understood to this day - for me the weak point of the album…Then it gets a lot more melodic as we had been used to from AGENT STEEL before. Songs like "Chosen To Stay" or "Still Searchin'" rather go into the CRIMSON GLORY direction, which is not the worst thing either, is it? "Rager" is a fat banger in a medium gallop! "The Day At Guyana" we already know off the "Mad Locust Rising" EP, where it had been shortly introduced. This instrumental is one of my faves in all of Metal besides "The Ides Of March" by IRON MAIDEN, "Moon" by SACRED BLADE and "Call Of Kthulu" by METALLICA!
"Nothin' Left" is pure US-Power Metal of the best and the closing "Traveler" does not seem from this world. A slightly different ballad with this goose bump inducing whisper in the beginning and one of the most gripping solos of all time! Even though many think that AGENT STEEL had lost their speed here, I find this album very impressive. It is very varied and all parts of the heavy music are covered! Maybe the debut had been more cult because of songs like "Bleed For The Godz" or "144.000 Gone", but "Unstoppable Force" shows the MASTERS OF METAL more mature and the vocals of John Cyriis never had been better! (Online June 19, 2003) ... by Ralf (http://www.metal-observer.com/)

Track Listing:
1. Unstoppable Force
2. Never Surrender
3. Indestructive
4. Chosen to Stay
5. Still Searchin'
6. Rager
7. The Day at Guyana
8. Nothin' Left
9. Traveler

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AGENT STEEL: (1999) Omega Conspiracy

One of the most inspiring things to happen in Metal in recent years has been the sudden increase of band reformations. Long dormant and presumably defunct outfits are sprouting up from one corner of the globe to the next, among them the once vaunted AGENT STEEL.
Omega Conspiracy essentially picks up where the band left off a decade or so earlier. I can clearly remember my first experience with Agent Steel; having heard them on a Metal radio show in 1984. I caught the band live in a show a year later and found them highly energetic and talented songwriters. Fans of the band were undoubtedly peeved over the band's disappearance but having to wait all these years for a return to the scene has been well worth the wait. Omega Conspiracy is far better than I could have expected given the lengthy hiatus.
With a healthy measure of sci-fi inspiration the band have crafted one nifty Power/Thrash album that is far less melodic than I would have expected. In fact, Omega Conspiracy is downright nasty at times. The vocals are the strong, long-range shrieks you'll remember from the glory years and the musicianship is as good as its ever been (maybe better). The band let their aggressive tendencies rule the day though they find it in their hearts to squeeze out at least one Thrashy ballad and it is it ever good! What strikes me most about this album is it's overall feeling - spacey, angered and emotionally draining in parts. No matter how you slice it, this is a remarkable album and one I've been recycling through my player for months now. I'm personally very happy that one of the trademark names in Metal is back in business and long to hear a lot more from their creative minds. ...by endtimes

Track Listing:
1. Destroy the Hush
2. Illuminati is Machine
3. Fighting Backwords
4. New Godz
5. Know Your Master
6. Infinity
7. Awaken the Swarm
8. Into the Nowhere
9. Bleed Forever
10. It's Not What You Think

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FINNTROLL: (1999) Midnattens Widunder

Now if this is not one of the weirdest and at the same time most original CDs that have been put into my player of late, then I don't know.
The Finnish FINNTROLL mix melodic Black Metal, some Folk, clean vocals and Black Metal-croaking and, and that's the strange thing: Humppa! Yes, you have read correctly! The strange sound that ELÄKELÄISET have established now also has found its way into Black Metal! The album is just 30 minutes long, but songs like "Rivfader", "Blodnatt", "Midnattens Widunder" or "Segersång", which features a Speed-Humppa-part, more than make up for this!
Support this original band! ...by Alex

Track Listing:

1. Intro
2. Svartberg
3. Rivfader
4. Vatteanda
5. Bastuvisan
6. Blodnatt
7. Midnattens Widunder
8. Segersang
9. Svampfest

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FINNTROLL: (2001) Jaktens Tid

Trollish Howdown Metal? What is this? That's what most of you will think. Well, the guys of FINNTROLL play just that. A mixture from Black Metal, Humppa (some sort of Finnish Polka), Folk and alcohol! FINNTROLL had been created on a very drunken day. That's at least what the info tells me. It might sound like superficial drunkards' music, but it isn't. Imagine a similar direction like VINTERSORG or THYRFING, just with this Humppa-touch and some Saami-vocals! The songs all are very straight, fast and with equally epic and dramatic parts. I've rarely heard something more gripping like the acoustic part in "Födosagan". Sounds very demanding!
Also ultra-cool is the weird accordion. Who won't believe that an instrument like that could sound evil, no, "trollish", listen to the killer "Slaget Vid Blodsälv", a brilliant up-tempo-song, which will make each pogo result in suicide. The band managed to pick only great songs and you have to admit that a band like FINNTROLL has brought a new and fresh breath into the scene. In a time, where copies copy other copies, this truly is something special! But what I don't get yet is the high demand they managed to put onto this album, combined with this ultimate party-feeling! You just cannot play this precise with a blood-alcohol of 4! Thumbs up for the Finnish trolls! ... by Ralf

Track Listing:
1. Krig (Intro)
2. Fodosagan
3. Slaget vid Blodslav
4. Skogens Hamnd
5. Jaktens Tid
6. Bakom Varje Fura
7. Kitteldags
8. Krigsmjod
9. VargTimmen
10. Kyrkovisan
11. Den Hornkronte Konungen
12. Aldhissla
13. Tomhet och Tystnad Harska (Outro)

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FINNTROLL: (2003) Visor Om Slutet

Having experienced enough adversity to cause any other band to call it quits, FINNTROLL have proven to all that they have no intentions of doing so. After losing their original vocalist (who is still a contributor to FINNTROLL), and finding a replacement in the form of Tapio Wilska, the band was dealt another severe blow when guitarist Teemu "Somnium" Raimoranta (to whom this album is dedicated) died this past winter. Perseverance has proven to be a trait possessed by FINTROLL, which is why they have decided to continue making the music that they, and their fans have come to know and love.
Amidst all of the troubles experienced by the band, a bright spot has emerged in the form of their latest release "Visor Om Slutet", a self-proclaimed "acoustic/experimental" EP. My anticipation for this release was very high, as I had thoroughly enjoyed 2001's "Jaktens Tid"; therefore, when I was finally fortunate enough to experience FINNTROLL's latest offering, I did so in shock and awe. The reason for feeling such sentiments was that this EP was 180° from "Jaktens Tid" (which was to be expected as it was meant to be "acoustic/experimental"); however, it was still undeniably FINNTROLL.v What we have here is a complete and flowing work of acoustic Folk Metal songs that is sure to please those expecting just that. The reason I say this is because those expecting a follow-up to "Jaktens Tid" full of thrashy Polka Metal will be disappointed, as there is no such material of this sort to be found on "Visor Om Slutet". Instead, we are left with an album that is just what it claims to be: acoustic, as well as experimental. read more >>>

Track Listing:
1. Suohengen Sija
2. Asfagelns Dod
3. Forsvinn du Som Lyser
4. Veripuu
5. Under Varje rot Och Sten
6. Narr allt Blir Is
7. Den Sista Runans Dans
8. Rov
9. Madon Laulu
10. Svart Djup
11. Avgrunden Oppnas

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VENOM: (1985) Live - Official Bootleg

This eleven track hour's worth of skull-crushing thrash mayhem was recorded sometime in 1984 at London's own Hammersmith Odeon.Sound is pretty heavy,yet well balanced.I believe this may actually be a soundboard recording.Either way,it kicks ass!With tunes like "Countess Bathory","Buried Alive","Welcome To Hell","Warhead" and "Bloodlust",'Official...' leaves the listener(s) nearly gasping for air.Nice import from this trio that hails from Newcastle,UK.Line-up:Cronos-bass&vocals,Mantas-guitar and Abaddon-drums.Would go real good right next to your Kreator,Overkill,Entombed,Witchfynder and Destruction CD's.Turn this puppy UP!You have been warned...by Mike Reed

Track Listing:

1. Leave Me Alone
2. Countess Bathory
3. Die Hard
4. Seven Gates of Hell
5. Buried Alive
6. Don't Burn the Witch
7. In Nomine Satanas
8. Welcome to Hell
9. Warhead
10. Stand Up (and Be Counted)
11. Bloodlust

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METALLICA: (2004) Some Kind Of Monster (Ep)

This CD features the title track from the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster (also found on St. Anger), plus tracks recorded live on June 11, 2003, in Paris, France, during one of the three club shows performed on the hottest day in French history. A fan's dream concert, the disc features live versions of several cuts from the group's earliest days.

Track Listing:
1. Some Kind of Monster
2. The Four Horsemen (Live)
3. Damage Inc. (Live)
4. Leper Messiah (Live)
5. Motorbreath (Live)
6. Ride the Lightning (Live)
7. Hit the Lights (Live)
8. Some Kind of Monster (Edit)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

RAVEN: (1999) Raw Tracks

A nice collection of demo, live, and unreleased material. The sound quality is as the title suggests but is actually quite good for the most part, especially considering some of this stuff was from bootlegs. "Hot Moves" probably has the worst sound of any of the demo tracks. "Thunderlord" is the worst of the live tracks, sounding like it was recorded using a small condenser mic. Still, overall this disc is very listenable. I've said it before, but Raven are one of those bands that sound best when heard in their most raw form. That is what this disc is-Raw Raven!. Nice booklet complete with lyrics, notes about the songs, and tons of photos. "Raw Tracks" is probably the closest thing we'll ever get to a Raven box set. "Tie Your Mother Down" is a loose and live Queen cover.

Track Listing:
1. Firepower
2. Don't Need Your Money
3. Savage And The Hungry
4. Nightmare Ride
5. Get It Right
6. On & On
7. Extract The Action
8. Barbarian
9. Hot Moves
10. Rock Until You Drop
11. Juggernaut
12. Thunderlord
13. Gimme A Break
14. Move Over
15. White Hot Anger
16. Altar
17. Tie Your Mother Down
18. Architect Of Fear
19. Enemy

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RUNIC: (2006) Liar Flags

The swords are painted in blood, the barrels are full of beer and the fellow Vikings are singing hymns to Thor. Holy shit! How can I concentrate to write a review about Runic with all this noise around me? I know! I’ll play the CD and ask the Vikings about their opinion. Hmmm, it seems they liked Runic... Originating from Spain, Runic were formed in 2000 in order to produce something that can be described as Folk Death Metal. In 2001, they released a six-track Demo, "Awaiting The Sound Of The Unavoidable". Their hard work was rewarded with a contract with Massacre Records in October 2005. The result of this contract is "Liar Flags". Even though Runic have absolutely nothing to do with the race of the mighty Vikings, they managed to release an album that kicks some major Scandinavian ass!!! Their composing skill is more than good, creating nine tracks of pure pagan Death Metal. If you are a bit into Ensiferum or Finntroll then you know what I mean. Everything has been played and structured so good that this record has been given the fresh air it needs. Even the keyboards are used smartly so as to add to the music. The keyboardist is really indispensable to Runic. He knows just where he has to play and exactly what he has to do. Some times making the climate more atmospheric and melancholic, other times starting an all out attack. These Spanish guys really know what a medieval battle looked like! "Liar Flags" is the best soundtrack a battle could ever have! The record’s second track, "Liar Flags", is what made me love this CD. It starts with a folklore intro and then... HEAVY METAL!!! An aggressive breakthrough by Runic. Many bands would really beg to release a debut like this one!
It has been some time since I last came across a debut like "Liar Flags". It is a bomb that will explode and won’t leave anything alive! Be sure to stand somewhere near!!! Reviewed by Yiannis D.

1. When The Demons Ride
2. Liar Flags
3. Last Days Of Aphragur Pt.1 Ambush
4. Last Days Of Aphragur Pt.2 Lost Empire
5. Predecessor
6. To The Fallen Ones
7. Vs Myself
8. Nau
9. And A New Journey Begins...

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SATYRICON: (2006) Now, Diabolical

On Now, Diabolical, the rock to black metal ratio is at least 50:50. The thundering toms that open the album recall “Enter Sandman,” which, too, signaled for Metallica a similar shift to the slow and heavy. The first three tracks are some of the catchiest metal songs in recent memory. They’re sinister and sound nothing like pop songs, but they’re constructed as such, with verses, choruses, and hooks. Simplicity is the key here. “Now, Diabolical” is a guaranteed sing-along; “The Pentagram Burns” is nothing but hooks; the primal stomp of “K.I.N.G.” is as if The White Stripes did black metal.
The momentum of these songs doesn’t last, however. While riffs remain catchy, the same midpaced stomp pervades throughout and eventually feels tired. In a nod to Satyricon’s past, “Storm (of the Destroyer)” closes the album with clattering blastbeats that raise the energy level but feel out of place. It’s strange to hear Frost playing rock ‘n’ roll backbeats. He’s good at it, though, and according to him, playing slow presents its own challenge. This album is about simple, solid songs, and while its warm production could have used a little more teeth, it sounds fine overall. Now, Diabolical is inviting; that’s bad for purists, and good for music listeners.

Track Listing:
1. Now, Diabolical
2. K.I.N.G.
3. The Pentagram Burns
4. A New Enemy
5. The Rite Of War Cross
6. That Darkness Shall Be Eternal
7. Delirium
8. To The Mountains
9. Storm (Of The Destroyer)

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SATYRICON: (1994) The Shadowthrone

This is sometimes considered the quintessential Satyricon release (myself, I prefer Dark Medieval Times, but this album is a CLOSE second,) and it certainly is marvellous. And unlike Emperor, Satyricon were able to create a sevond full-length album that was more epic than the first, without being pompous and melo-dramatic. Where DMT was more folk/medieval, this album is conspicuously more Viking metall-ish. There is even a Viking metal song to be found on this disc (the aptly-titled "Vikingland") The musicianship is tighter on this release, and the song-writing is slightly less minimalistic (which some consider to be an improvement.) Satyr's vocals are also amazing, being very fierce and raspy, yet not overly so. Frost gives another astounding performance. There seems to be just slightly less of an emphasis on the use of the acoustic guitar on this album, as compared to DMT, and to regain the balance, there is a slightly higher use of keyboards, for ambience and atmosphere. Satyr even experiments a bit with some clean vocalled passages! And he conquers these quite well, too. Lyrically, this album follows the pattern of DMT, in that about half of the songs are written in English, and half in their native Norwegian (not sure if this is modern Norwegian or archaic Norwegian, though.)
Of particular note is perhaps Satyr's finest composition to date, the album closer "I En Svarte Kiste," which translates to something along the lines of "In the Black Casket." This track is an all-keyboard instrumental funeral dirge, and it is amazing. It begins with ambient synth lines, and then progresses to a keyboarded horn passage, and ends with several minutes of an organ passage. This track makes it imminently clear where Satyr would be heading with his side-project "Wongraven." Worth the cost of the album alone.
In short, this album, along with DMT, has helped greatly to define early-90's Norwegian black metal. Unfortunately, these releases have since been (unjustly) overshadowed by bands like Mayhem, Emperor, and Darkthrone, which are great bands in their own right, but I can't help but think their reputations have done more for them than their actual musical recordings. Either way, this album is essential for all bm fans, and even those non-BM fans looking for something a little different.

Track Listing:
1. Hvite Krists Dod
2. In The Mist By The Hills
3. Woods To Eternity
4. Vikingland
5. Dominions Of Satyricon
6. The King Of The Shadowthrone
7. I En Svart Kiste

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UDO: (2007) Mastercutor

After singing for over 30 years with Accept and U.D.O., Udo Dirkschneider has earned his place as one of the most respected vocalists in metal. At age 55 he shows no signs of slowing down, and his voice is as strong as ever. Mastercutor is U.D.O.'s 14th album, and another very solid effort. U.D.O. is very consistent, delivering traditional metal with a lot of hooks and Dirkschneider's trademark vocals. Guitarist Stefan Kaufmann also does a nice job with memorable riffs and excellent solos. This is a very well rounded album. From mellow ballads to balls out rockers, U.D.O. showcases a variety of different styles and tempos. Dirkschneider does the same with the vocals. Most of the time he sings with his well known high-pitched rasp, but also does some melodic singing. While not breaking much new ground, Mastercutor is a worthy addition to U.D.O.'s extensive catalog... From Chad Bowar,

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MACHINE HEAD: (2007) The Blackening

Since their outstanding 1994 debut Burn My Eyes, Machine Head has had their ups and downs. They are definitely on an upswing now, and their latest album is the best since their debut, and some may argue it's even better. The Blackening has all the ingredients: really good thrash riffs, excellent solos, catchy melodies, memorable choruses, a lot of diversity, compelling lyrics and well-written songs. Machine Head is as angry as ever, with cutting riffs and angst filled vocals. But that anger is perfectly balanced by hooks and melody.
Many songs are epic, with several clocking in near the ten minute mark. Even though they are long, there is little if any filler, no noodling and no pretentiousness at all. From acoustic interludes to mid tempo metal to all out thrash, this album has it all. Robb Flynn's vocals are mostly angry yells, but he also has more laid back vocal parts and even some melodic singing. His lyrics are very politically charged and make no bones about his unhappiness with what's going on in the world. The Blackening grabs you from the first listen, but you appreciate the complexity and depth of what Machine Head is doing more and more with each spin.... From Chad Bowar

Track Listing:
1. Clenching the Fists of Dissent
2. Beautiful Mourning
3. Aesthetics of Hate
4. Now I Lay Thee Down
5. Slanderous
6. Halo
7. Wolves
8. A Farewell to Arms

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MOTORHEAD: (1982) Iron Fist

Motorhead were riding high in the early-'80s, courtesy of such big U.K. hit albums as ACE OF SPADES and NO SLEEP 'TIL HAMMERSMITH, so there was no reason to worry about an imminent, career-threatening turmoil. Or so fans thought. Problems were brewing behind the scenes--longtime guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke would be exiting the band after only one more studio album, 1982's IRON FIST. Produced by Clarke himself, though it didn't achieve the instant classic status of the previous two, FIST kept Motorhead in the heavy metal spotlight.
The title track remains a rapid fire Motorhead classic, while such oft-overlooked rockers as "Got To Hell" and "Sex and Outrage" proved to be highlights. By 1983, Motorhead announced the addition of a new (albeit short lived) line-up, featuring ex-Thin Lizzy guitar slinger Brian Robertson, while Clarke formed a new band, Fastway. Originally released in 1982,this was Motorhead's follow-up to their notorious 'Ace Of Spades' landmark lp.Always knew that album would be tough to match.But,in all fairness,they do their best and I'm certainly not complaining.'Iron Fist' also marks the last record with ace guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke.Most memorable tracks here are the title cut "Iron Fist","Heart Of Stone","Loser" and "Speed Freak".Some fine British '80's metal to be fully experienced here.

Track Listing:
1.Iron Fist
2.Heart Of Stone
3.I'm The Doctor
4.Go To Hell
6.Sex And Outrage
8.Shut It Down
10.Grind Ya Down, (Don't Let 'Em)
11.Don't Need Religion
12.Bang To Rights

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IN STRICT CONFIDENCE: (2006) Exile Paradise Lim. Edition

Is there anyone left in the vitriolic world of electronic music who can compete with In Strict Confidence? With this album, I'd have to say that currently, no, there is no one who even comes close. It's certainly a treat to bear witness to a band who are at their creative peak, as this lot certainly are. "Exile Paradise" punches it up with the next one, "Fading Light", a high-tempo number which Antje smolders on vocally. The musical backdrop is just stupefying in its complexity, deliriously screaming along without ever letting up. To cram so many kick ass sounds into one song should be fundamentally impossible. "Wintermoon" features more acoustic elements, along with some of those trademark basslines which few bands seem to bother trying to create nowadays. A sparkling piano is also incorporated, which lends a melancholic shading. Delicious.
The production, packaging (who else bothers with art cards anymore?) and fluid transitions of this album cannot be mentioned enough. ISC have never sounded so polished. They have never before been this refined. I don't know what new technology they have managed to acquire since "Holy" but they're bloody proficient with it. Be warned.
The first bonus disc contains three extra tracks, of which "A Single Touch" is certainly the most unusual and definitely the best. It lopes along on a "get this" trip hop beat. I have not heard them do this before but it works marvelously. Dennis and Antje duet once again during the chorus, (there's quite a bit of that on "Exile Paradise") while the album version of "Samael" just crushes. More Here!!!

Track Listing:
1. The Harder They Come...
2. Promised Land
3. Forbidden Fruit
4. Fading Light
5. Wintermoon
6. Manchmal Redest Du Im Schlaf
7. Regicide
8. Der Teufel
9. Away From Here
10. In Favilla
11. Something To Remember
12. ...The Harder They Fall
13. Samael
14. A Single Touch
15. Blind Spot

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Link 2 - http://lix.in/5fede0
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VIRGIN STEELE: (2006) Visions of Eden

Even though this album is somehow as could be expected and all the way Virgin Steele, it's still refreshing, ingenious and different in a fascinating way.
All tracks apart from a single one are beyond 6 minutes, the production has a dark edge to it, still very balanced and crisp and it's like a dramatic and all surrounding veil has been put over these songs, giving the whole album a special grave and tense glow. After starting out with the eponym's debut in 1982, Visions Of Eden is the 11th studio album from the band. So after intensive listening I have naturally embraced it as an essential part of life just as the others, I just hope that this album will bring Virgin Steele to an even greater fan base.
11 songs and a total of nearly 80 minutes equal a monumental and complex display; the following is a short commentary of some personal highlights.
Immortal I Stand (The Birth Of Adam) is one of the bands finest moments ever and one of the albums most forward creations. An exceptional element is the dynamic keyboard and drum collaboration, it provides a total unique drive to song, another is found with the catchy and majestic chorus.I will let you explore the countless remaining treats yourself.
With its almost 10 minutes, Adorned With The Rising Cobra is the albums lengthiest track and even though it has its own special vibe and elegant flow, a really effusive element is somehow missed.
David's passionate vocal delivery and subtle piano sections are fabulous. Read the complete review here >> HERE!!

Track Listing:
1. Immortal I Stand (The Birth of Adam)
2. Adorned with the Rising Cobra
3. The Ineffable Name
4. Black Light on Black
5. Bonedust
6. Angel of Death
7. God Above God
8. The Hidden God
9. Childslayer
10. When Dusk Fall
11. Visions of Eden

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

GREAT WHITE: (1996) Stage

I started listening to Great White back in the mid-eighties , when they were doing stuff like Stick It & Shot In the Dark. I've been "Hooked" ever since , now Im 48 years old , believe me I know good metal! I lived it & loved it all through the 70's
80's & into the early 90's . I've got to admit , I did'nt buy or hear Let It Rock , until 2005 , but I came away thinking this is as good a Great White album , as almost any they've recorded.
Tunes Like "Lil Mama , Where Is The Love , Hand On The Trigger..
these are EXCELLENT rockers , Pain Overload & Easy , both strong entries as well. I strongly urge all Great White fans & fans of
good straight Blues Rock in general , pick this up. It will not

1. Train To Nowhere
2. Sail Away
3. House Of Broken Love
4. Maybe Someday
5. Congo Square
6. Afterglow
7. Face The Day
8. Old Rose Motel
9. Babe (I'm Gonna Leave You)
10. Rock Me
11. Can't Shake It
12. Once Bitten, Twice Shy

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GREAT WHITE: (1996) Let It Rock

This was a fine album of music that was better than The Rolling Stones "Voodoo Lounge" LP. Unfortunately, most American rock fans did not find out about it. Only the sad state of American radio can be blamed for this album's lack of exposure to the millions of rock music listeners across America. This is why I hate bands like Wheezer and The Presidents of the United States of America, who received loads of air-play during the 90's while the music of Great White was over-looked. Those cheesy pop rock knockoffs can't measure up to Great White. Please do yourself a favor and purchase this album. It Rocks!

1. My World
2. Lil Mama
3. Where Is The Love
4. Hand On The Trigger
5. Easy
6. Pain Overload
7. Lives In Chains
8. Anyway I Can
9. Man In The Sky
10. Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady
11. Miles Away

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GREAT WHITE: (1994) Sail Away

Not one song on this disc rocks in anyway shape or form. No songs like Lady Red Light, Once Biten, Twice Shy, or Stick It, but it doesn't matter. On this record we found that Great White was more than just a Led Zeppelin inspired blues rock band. not one song about hookers, groupies, drugs, or any of the other cliches that may have been writen about in the past. song by song, here is why i think this is one of the best cds of the 90's

1. A Short Overture... and that is what it is
2. Mother's Eye is a very slow opener, gets the record started and puts the whole record in prespective
3. Cryin', Another slow song about a lost relationship. Heart felt lyrics and soft melodies
4. Momma Don't Stop, An accoustic uptempo tune compared to most of the rest. The best sounding song this 1994 release
5. Alone, Great song! Flows so well with the record. A great bridge is heard here!
6. All Right, Another Upbeat Accoustic number with a catchy chorus. Probably could have been a big single if there was a little record company push
7. Sail Away, Title Track...has a litle of a jazz feel. When I first heard this song on the radio I had no idea it was GW. It made it's way to rock radio in 94'
8. Gone With the Wind, Best song here. Blues Songs With a sax solo by long time Bruce Springsteen sidekick Clarence Clements and what a sax solo. Mark and CC match notes and the sound is unreal. Song brings shades of Led Zeppelin's Since I Been Lovin' You, but with more passion
9. Livin' in the USA, the cloesest to Great White of the prior records. Toned down a little more to fit the record, but still a classic
10. If I Ever Saw a Good Thing. Hey, I can't give away the whole record!

I'm not sure if there is still a bonus Disc (it is live stuff), but if there is it only makes this even more worth the money. Some of the Live stuff was released prior, but makes this a great contrast with all the hits on the live 2nd disc.If you heard GW on the radio and want to hear more of what this artist can do, this is something to get

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GREAT WHITE: (1992) Psycho City

In this day and age of mediocre to downright awful albums selling gazillions of records, I'm amazed that so many good to really excellent records seem to fall through the cracks. With this in mind that I decided to do my miniscule part to level the playing field, obviously a fruitless endeavor but hey, it's my time.
From time to time I will post albums that should have been big hits but barely left a whimper. The first of which is this rare gem by Great White called Psycho City What's rare is that every song is a gem. No weak sisters, no filler. At 61 minutes of great music, you really get your moneys worth. Starting with the hard rocking title track, "Psycho City" and "Step on You" to slow bluesy plodding "Old Rose Motel" to the bigger than life "Big Goodbye", the quirky "Doctor Me", the eight minute ballad extravaganza "Love is a Lie", to the final bluesy "Get on Home" the album is solid. Psycho City goes down in my history book as one of the most unheralded, underrated, unappreciated rock album in history. Great White has several great albums but none are better than Psycho City. And to think, this album only made #107 on Billboard album chart. However it hit #1 on Old-Man-Metal's chart. If you get the chance, check it out, this album is for real.

1. Psycho City
2. Step on You
3. Old Rose Motel
4. Maybe Someday
5. Big Goodbye
6. Doctor Me
7. I Want You
8. Never Trust a Pretty Face
9. Love Is a Lie
10. Get on Home

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GREAT WHITE: (1991) Hooked

This is not the best Great White CD in the long line of great Great White CD's, but it does have the most diverse bunch of songs. Let's see, I bought this on the day it was released in 1991. I was 15 and looking for Twice Shy part 2. It wasn't. Let me explain. Here are the songs and what my opinion is on them
1. Call it Rock & Roll 9/10, This was Once Bitten part 2. The first single and a damn good song. At the time I thought it was the best song on the record.
2. The Original Queen of Sheba 9/10, A great Bluesy rocker. Mark Kendell rips on this tune. Man, If I could play like that
3. Cold Hearted Lovin' 6/10, Low point of the album. Just a rather boring song, Jack's Voice gives the tune a lot of Emotion
4. Can't Shake It 8/10, A song that goes back to pre Once Bitten styles. A true rocker that sounds great today
5. Lovin'Kind 10/10, Great White shows that they are not just a hard rock/metal blues band. This song is oozing with emotion that only Jack and the boys can deliver
6. Heartbreaker 8/10 not a Led Zeppelin cover just a real good rock/blues song
7. Congo Square 8/10 A song that might ask the Question Why did this band ever get grouped in with bands like Poison? It sounds nothing like it Must be the hair
8. South bay Cites 9/10 Intro sounds like it could be on Sesame Street, but you'll find yourself singing along to a great laid back number
9. Desert Moon 10/10 I know that this was the opening number of the show where a lot of fans saw the band for the last time. It is one tragady that will have me asking why for a long time.
10. Afterglow 10/10 For someone that can only listen to a song maybe 2 times in a row, this I can do about 5 times. As long as I can sing a long
I hope this review will make you spend the $1.50 (amazon average price used) and get yourself a true classic.

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GREAT WHITE: (1989) Twice Shy

Every decade has its fads, but only one that really defines that decade. For the 1980s, it's hair metal. Of course, this is a derogatory term for any rock band that grew their hair long and played loud, aggressive, often sexist music. Only a few have stood the test of time, let alone continue their careers long after the craze comes to an end. One of these bands is Great White. In some ways, they fit the stereotype of an '80s hair metal band, but it's in what they don't that has caused them to soldier on today. Albums like 1987's ONCE BITTEN... and its sequel 1989's ...TWICE SHY are ones that don't get their due as the best of the era. Great White really could play and write music, contrary to the popular legend, and aside from Aerosmith, were the best at imitating Led Zeppelin. They even devoted an entire live album to it. In the footsteps of Zeppelin, Great White doesn't dress up their sound too much, creating a rough blend of blues and rock that doesn't contain any of the instruments to date it. While the entire album is a gem, the biggest highlights are, oddly enough, ballads like "The Angel Song" (lead singer Jack Russell actually does sound like Robert Plant), "She Only", and "House Of Broken Love". When a hair metal band did a love ballad, it often came off as sappy and mawkish. But Great White manages to sound sincere without being emasculated. But the one song that has come to define the band for all time is their cover of Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten Twice Shy". Because this song was a hit, and not an original Great White song, that is probably why the band has been dismissed as just another band of its era. However, it's amazing that a band can easily make a song they didn't write sound like their own, and that's not an easy thing to do. ...TWICE SHY only has 9 songs, which average about 5 minutes each, meaning a lot of attention is paid to musicianship. I think this was necessary to prove that Great White was a band that really knew how to play. Not always a fan of long space jams, I'm willing to make a sacrifice here. When grunge came to play in the '90s, many hair metal bands were without a country, and found themselves forced into early retirement. But Great White was a band that didn't and hasn't stopped working, no matter how less of a success they become as the years go on. While ...TWICE SHY may be their finest hour, Great White is a band that deserves a closer look. And when one does that, they'll see a hair metal band with as much brains as brawn.

1. Move It
2. Heart The Hunter
3. Hiway Nights
4. The Angel Song
5. Mista Bone
6. Baby's On Fire
7. House Of Broken Love
8. She Only
9. Once Bitten Twice Shy

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GREAT WHITE: (1988) Recovery Live

1. Hard & Cool
2. Substitute
3. Streetkiller
4. Money
5. Red House
6. Shot in the Dark
7. Gonna Betcha
8. Run Away
9. Since I've Been Loving you
10. Face the Day
11. All Over Now
12. Rock me

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GREAT WHITE: (1987) Once Bitten

This and several other CD's by Great White released during the 80's are essential classics and examples of great 80's metal (Hooked, Psycho City and Shot in the Dark). Producer Alan Niven made the comment that the band didn't find its "niche" during this time, but I'm surprised at this comment. What is the band doing now in the year 2000's? A bunch of boring covers of Led Zeppelin stuff (did I mention boring)? The band needs to get away from the Tenessee hillbilly cover songs of the 1960's and get back to doing the edgy, melancholic, power melodies they did in the 80's. Songs of realism tempered with a message of hope is what they must return to. Songs with less of a sociological commentary are fine, but these days they're not even heavy rockers anymore. "Psycho City" was Great White's last great CD. "Step On You", "Lovin' Kind", "Angel Song", "Shot in the Dark", "Rock Me"... This will be what we remember from Great White. C'mon boys, go back to it or fade into obscurity.

1. Lady Red Light
2. Gonna Getcha
3. Rock Me
4. All Over Now
5. Mistreater
6. Never Change Heart
7. Fast Road
8. On The Edge
9. Save Your Love

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GREAT WHITE: (1986) Shot in the Dark

Until recently, I only remembered having seen the front cover of this album in the mid eighties. One of my neighbours friends had it and he was a guitar player, as well. I just heard it a few months ago and now I've ordered the remaster (well worthwhile, especially from Japan, awesome sound). This is likely the most underrated and ignored CD's from Great White. It doesn't have as much bluesy flavoured tracks like "Twice Shy" or "Psycho City", but it has some of the best eighties pop rock you'll find. I count four tracks, the first two and the standouts "Shot in the Dark" and "Runaway" that make this exceptional. I can't understand how songs like "Save Your Love" or "Face the Day" (which is on this CD, even) and others are selected to the bands myriad of Greatest Hits collections and yet the song "Shot in the Dark" is overlooked. Let's put it this way, it's a simple opening riff, but it sounds great and the song, overall, is on the same level as "Rock Me".

1. Shake Me
2. Face The Day
3. Is Anybody There
4. Gimme Some Lovin
5. Shot In The Dark
6. Runaway
7. Waiting For Love
8. What Do You Do

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GREAT WHITE: (1984) Great White

Great White is the kind of band that has various sounds as they became older,but this is the cd by them that rocks.They capture the 80's metal in it's prime with this album.Being their first album they had some great talent to show off.(also in 1984 great white did a reworking of a Frank Sinatara song called witchcraft for a Joe Piscopo video special, it's worth hunting down if you like this cd.It's had to find though it was only released on The Joe Piscopo video).
1.Out of the night(10/10)This is a great song, the chorus is catchy.Good guitar work to.
2.Stick It(8/10)A good standard track.
3.Substitute(7/10)I love the guitar work on this one!I remember seeing the music video for, what a guitarist!
4.Bad Boys(8/10)Suberb track,Jack's vocals shine and the guitar licks smoke!
5.On your knees(7/10)Another decent track.
6.Streetkiller(10/10)3rd best song on this cd.Vocals and guitar work are stunning and something fierce.A concert favorite!
7.No better than hell(7/10)Lyrics sound like a Kiss song a bit.Not bad!
8.Hold On(10/10)A great song with a more mellow feel, but still rocks.Good for blasting loud in the car!
9.Nightmares(10/10)Best song on the cd.The guitar intro is very cool and vocals are perfect.I just love the guitar sound though!
10.Dead End(6/10)Least favorite song on the cd.Not Bad if you liked the previous songs.
To put it plain and simple thre is only 2 more good Great White cd's.Shot in the Dark and Once Bitten is the cut off point for this band.
All three of these albums are great, but this and Shot in the Dark are the TRue GREAT WHITE!

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