Tuesday, November 20, 2007

BATTLELORE: Sword's Song

"Sword's Song" is an excellent sophmore effort from this Finnish group. In fact, I'd have to say that it's the best album out of the three that Battlelore have released. I just can't get enough of this album! The music this group produces has many influences, but not one inparticular that can be pointed to as being the most prevalent. They sound like Nightwish, Candlemass, Nine Inch Nails, and Malevolent Creation all rolled into one! "Sons of Riddermark" starts the album out with a head-nodding march-step. Kaisa's vox are beautiful & mesmerizing, while Tomi's are non-aggressive in this first song. The title track shows Tomi being a bit more aggressive, though still not going at full bore yet, as Kaisa ever calls like a siren to the listener. "The Mark of the Bear" is a different tune, though no less addictive than the rest. Heavily marked by bass and techno-infused synths, this tune explores a dark, punky feel that can also be found on "Shadowgate", from their first album, "Where the shadows Lie." "Buccaneers Inn" is a fun song, and the song that introduced me to Battlelore. At times (thankfully very few) the group has a nu-metal feel, such as during the chorus of this song, but just when you think you know what the group is going to do next (in the same song) they fly off in another direction, the whole time keeping the song reigned in to where they want it. "Attack of the Orcs" is another awesome tune. It could nearly be categorized as a death metal tune, but with an odd techno groove to it. "Dragonslayer" starts with a solid metal lick, but soon turns into a Battlelore song. You just have to hear this amazing group to appreciate my former statement. "Khazad-Dum part II (Silent Caverns)" is another one that feels like death metal, but also very doom-y & forlorn sounding. "Horns of Gondor" is a beautiful instrumental piece that belongs on the "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" soundtrack. "The War of Wrath" is a song that I feel summarizes Battlelore quite well. All of their elements are here in this one song: the enchanting vox of Kaisa, Tomi's aggressive and non-aggressive vox, plenty of synth, a bit of techno... total metal. "Forked Height" feels like an 80's pop-rock radio song, during the first half of it (like something you'd hear from Pat Benatar or Cyndi Lauper), before blazing off into mayhem, Battlelore-style. "Starlight Kingdom" is another similar to "War of the Wrath" only in that all of Battlelore's elements are heard here. Other than that the songs sound nothing alike, proving that this group can play in a widely diverse array of styles, while staying within the realm that they've set up for themselves. BRAVO!!! Submitted by Nebulae (Burlington, IA, USA)

1. sons of riddermark
2. sword's song
3. mark of the bear
4. buccaneers inn
5. attack of the orcs
6. dragonslayer
7. khazad-dum, pt. 2 (silent caverns)
8. horns of gondor
9. war of wrath
10. forked height
11. starlight kingdom
12. the curse of the kings


Friday, November 16, 2007

MOTORHEAD:- Overnight Sensation

1. civil war
2. crazy like a fox
3. i don't believe a word
4. eat the gun
5. overnight sensation
6. love can't buy you money
7. broken
8. them not me
9. murder show
10. shake the world
11. listen to your heart

pw = heavymetalbreed

Thursday, November 8, 2007

STRATOVARIUS: Intermission

1. will my soul ever rest in peace
2. falling into fantasy
3. the curtains are falling
4. requiem
5. bloodstone
6. kill the king
7. i surrender (live)
8. keep the flame
9. why are we here
10. what can i say
11. dream with me
12. when the night neets the day
13. it's a mystery
14. cold winter nights
15. hunting high & low (live)

pass = heavymetalbreed

SEVEN WITCHES: Passage to the Other Side (VBR)

1. dance with the dead
2. mental messiah
3. johnny
4. apocalyptic dreams
5. fever in the city
6. betrayed
7. the last horizon
8. nature & wrath
9. wasted
10. passage of the other side

pass = heavymetalbreed

SHADOW KEEP: Corruption Within (VBR)

1. dark tower
2. the trial of your betrayal
3. mark of the usurper
4. altar of madness
5. corruption within
6. cast out
7. meta morale
8. the silver sivord
9. death a new horizon
10. murder
11. inner sanctum

pass = heavymetalbreed


1. eagleheart
2. soul of a vagabond
3. find yor own voice
4. fantasia
5. learning to fly
6. papillon
7. stratofortress
8. elements
9. a drop in the ocean

pass = heavymetalbreed

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

RUSH: Retrospective I (1974-1980)

This album and its companion volume Retrospective II: 1981-1987 are rather pointless exercises. Rush had already released an admirable comprehensive retrospective back in 1990, the excellent double-disc Chronicles, which took two songs from each of their studio albums (three in the case of Moving Pictures) and augmented them with selected tracks from each of their three live albums at that point in their career. Now years later, Rush's money-grubbing manager Ray Danniels convinced them to milk their past again by releasing two separate (and therefore more expensive when purchased together) compilations rehashing most of the same songs and adding in a few of their more epic pieces ("Xanadu", "By-Tor and the Snow Dog") which were too long to cram onto Chronicles. I know Danniels is the mastermind behind this, because when he later became the manager of Van Halen he tried to convince them to do the same, releasing two volumes of greatest hits separately compiling the David Lee Roth and the Sammy Hagar eras. He lost that battle, only managing the milk the fans for a single-disc VH best-of.
Diehard Rush fans will tell you to skip both Chronicles and the Retrospective volumes and instead purchase all of the Rush CD's, since that is the context in which they are best enjoyed. As an in-betweener, I can tell you that the Chronicles set is a more broad overview, even if it's at the expense of some of their longer songs with mutliple movements and time signature changes (plus, Chronicles includes the excellent "Working Man", missing here). But then if it's the longer stuff you enjoy and not their shorter, more commercial material, then you DEFINITELY have no business looking at either Chronclies or the Retrospectives. Start collecting all the Rush CD's!

1. The Spirit of Radio
2. The Trees
3. Something for Nothing
4. Freewill
5. Xanadu
6. Bastille Day
7. By-Tor And The Snow Dog
8. Anthem
9. Closer to the Heart
10. 2112 Overture
11. The Temples Of Syrinx
12. La Villa Strangiato
13. Fly By Night
14. Finding My Way

pass = heavymetalbreed

RUSH: Retrospective II (1981-1987)

Rush Retrospective II 1981-1987 was originally released in June of 1997 to coincide with the release of the band's back catalog in remastered state.
This compilation and its offshoot Retrospective I were released as alternatives to the expensive and obsolete Rush Chronicles collection but now both these Retrospectives are now part of the two disc set Rush Gold.
Retrospective II/disc two of Rush Gold covers 1981-87. The band's biggest selling album, February of 1981's Moving Pictures is represented by Tom Sawyer, Limelight and Red Barchetta. Nothing I can say here. Two of their biggest hits off the band's best-selling album are here and album favorite Red Barchetta is included as well.
The US Top 10 Platinum selling follow-up Signals from 1982 is represented by Subdivisions, New World Man and The Analog Kid. Two huge rock radio hits(with New World Man being Rush's only US Top 20 hit and Subdivisions also being an MTV staple) and a classic album cut from Analog Kid are included here.
The 1984 Top 10 Platinum seller Grace Under Pressure is represneted by Distant Early Warning, The Body Electric and Red Sector A. The first track was a rock radio and MTV smash, the second choice got extensive MTV play and the third became a concert favorite.
The band's 1985 Top 10 Platinum seller Power Windows is represented by The Big Money, Mystic Rhythms and Marathon.
The Big Money was one of the group's biggest hits and its video got lots of airplay as did Mystic Rhythms. Marathon is a great number as well. The band's final effort for Mercury, the Top 20 million selling Hold Your Fire is represented by Force Ten, Time Stand Still and Mission. The former first track was a rock radio hit, the second choice was the big hit and the latter was a rock radio favorite and a great concert number.
If you just want the best of Rush from 1981-87, get this but if you want a great overview to Rush's history go for Rush Gold! --- Terrence Reardon

1. The Big Money
2. Red Barchetta
3. Subdivisions
4. Time Stand Still
5. Mystic Rhythms
6. The Analog Kid
7. Distant Early Warning
8. Marathon
9. The Body Electric
10. Mission
11. Limelight
12. Red Sector A
13. New World Man
14. Tom Sawyer
15. Force Ten

pass = heavymetalbreed

SACK TRICK: Sheep in Kiss Make-up (VBR)

1. shout it out loud
2. love gun
3. i'm a legend tonight
4. almost human
5. i stole your love (pt.1)
6. deuce
7. beth (robin guy vocal)
8. all hell's breakin' loose (wid da funky groovz)
9. i've had enough (into the fire)
10. great expectations
11. audio video (catch me when i fall)
12. stanley the parrot
13. i stole your love
14. beth (sponder vocal)
15. love her all i can
16. war machine
17. i still love you
18. i stole your love
19. the elder
20. bonus

pass = heavymetalbreed

THE DARKNESS: Permission to Land (VBR)

Open your hearts, minds, and ears! The Darkness are here and they are Rocking the planet! In an age where so-called "rock" bands are supposed to be depressed, uncharismatic, Kurt Cobain-obsessed whiners with no talent singers and no solo guitarists, The Darkness is rocketing through the universe on their spaceship spreading the gospel of Rock and Roll!!!! If you hate Rock and Roll, love angst-ridden teen torment drama pop punk, can't have a good time, and are too cool for school, please don't buy this album. BUT if you like smiling, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, KISS, Queen, Van Halen, and just good ole Rock and Roll, then this is a must have album.
Justin Hawkins has heaven-sent vocals that can shatter steel, vocals that bust through your speakers with the force of a 400mph hurricane wind. He has TALENT. And lots of it, with a stage swaggering bravado to reinforce it. His brother, Dan Hawkins, is bringing the solo back into style. Frankie Poullain delivers the booming bass lines and one killer mustache. Ed Graham gives us some great drumming, old style and Rocking.The album is solid. --- John Anthony Moroso

1. Black Shuck
2. Get Your Hands off My Woman
3. Growing on Me
4. I Believe in a Thing Called Love
5. Love is Only a Feeling
6. Givin' Up
7. Stuck in a Rut
8. Friday Night
9. Love on The Rocks with No Ice
10. Holding My Own

pass = heavymetalbreed

DIO: Magica (VBR)

With the emergence of a new generation of heavy bands spearhead by Korn, Slipknot, and that lot in the 1990s, few expected to ever hear again from Ronnie James Dio. Yet he and his band have soldiered on defiantly. Magica is all big hair, big guitars, old-school metal. A concept album inspired by the Book of Magica, this is good-and-evil, swords-and-sorcery stuff, the musical equivalent of a game of Dungeons & Dragons--and likely to share the same fans. With its guitar solos, stadium anthems, and lyrics about wizards and demons, Magica feels dated, but promises a good time for a certain segment of heavy-music fans. --Robert Burrow

1. Discovery
2. Magica Theme
3. Lord of the Last Day
4. Fever Dreams
5. Turn to Stone
6. Feed My Head
7. Eriel
8. Challis
9. As Long as It's Not About Love
10. Losing My Insanity
11. Otherworld
12. Magica - Reprise
13. Lord of the Last Day - Reprise
14. Magica Story

pass = heavymetalbreed

DEF LEPPARD: Retro Active (VBR)

Surprisingly, this is truly a great album, even though it is regarded as a unreleased/b-sides collection, the material on here is worthy of being called top-notch album quality. If you took all the great songs from all rest of Def Leps 1990's albums, you still couldn't accumulate enough to surpass this one. Only 2 good songs are on Adrenalize, maybe 2 on Slang, and 6 on Euphoria, you still can't touch Retro Active's 11 song that are all excellent. Most of the material on here is from the Hysteria sessions, and the rest come from Adrenalize sessions, being cover songs and canned material. There is 1 or 2 songs on here that were recorded for this CD. Steve Clark,R.I.P., appears on a handful of tracks, and newcomer Vivian is on a few as well. This CD has a ton of rockers like Desert Song, Fractured Love, Action, She's Too Tough, and Ring Of Fire, among others. But the standouts are the two ballads, Two Steps Behind and Miss You In A Heartbeat, both presented in electric and acoustic versions. All-in-all a superb album, that should be considered a regular album, and by far the best one since Hysteria.

1. Desert Song
2. Fractured Love
3. Action
4. Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)
5. She's Too Tough
6. Miss You In a Heartbeat
7. Only After Dark
8. Ride Into the Sun
9. Fron the Inside
10. Ring Of Fire
11. I Wanna Be Your Hero
12. Miss You in a Heartbeat (Electric Version)
13. Two Steps Behind (Electric Version)

pass = heavymetalbreed


Many a fan of Exhorder bought this, hoping it would be a surrogate third album of the Deep South thrashers. Anyone expecting an extreme thrash-fest from this album will be highly disappointed. While Floodgate features a former member of Exhorder, none of the old sound has been retained at all.Y'see, 'Penalty' is sludgy Doom-laden swamp rock, more akin to the likes of Trouble and Monster Magnet than Dark Angel and Pantera. This is an album of huge rock slab guitar riffs and a rhythm section dragged out of the slimy 'gator infested swamps of the Bayou. There is nothing fancy here, just four guys churning out the music they love, without pretension.
Kyle Thomas was the acidic mouthpiece of Exhorder in his thrash incarnation. With Floodgate, he proves highly versatile, and surprisingly comes out with a rough edged blues-y voice, reminiscent of a number of singers from different bands, one moment Trouble, the next Masters of Reality, and the odd touch of Ozzy. Thomas shows an excellent ear for vocal melody, and backing vocal harmonies slide in and out of many of the songs. The Exhorder roar comes out on occasion, to add effect or emphasise a point."Whole" is like a soundtrack for that moment of semi-consciousness between waking and sleeping, like Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan". "Second Guesser" jolts you out of that reverie, with an almost Hardcore shout-along feel, like a Corrosion Of Conformity or Crowbar track.Fans of supergroup Down will love this album. Strangely enough, it was released about the same time as 'Nola', and was also recorded in New Orleans. It is basic, no nonsense Stoner Rock, minus the stoned part and stripped back to the bare bones. You don't even need to get out of it to get into this. --- Patrick Stott

1. Shivering
2. Through My Days Into My Nights
3. Before the Line Divides
4. Those Days
5. Till my Soul
6. Whole
7. Second Guesser
8. Running with Sodden Legs
9. Imitation Salvation
10. Feel You Burn
11. Black with Sin

pass = heavymetalbreed

QUEENSRYCHE: Hear In The Now Frontier (VBR)

Queensryche was never a band to sit still-- from their early metal roots on their first couple releases, the band began blending elements of progressive rock and other influences into their sound until "Promised Land". In many ways a pinnacle acheivement in the band's history, it would have been extremely difficult to equal. The album was well constructed, an acheivement of arranging and sound, and while it was unpopular with a number of the band's fans (who would have preferred a straight metal sound), it was certainly a unique statement. Many bands would have been tempted to try for a sequel in sound and feel, others would have tried to get even more over the top, still even more would be likely to retreat backwards, to rejoin the metal sounds of their youth. Queensryche did something quite different.
"Hear in the Now Frontier" is a stripped done, bare record. Gone are the swirling arrangements, the extra instruments, keyboards, synths, samples, layered vocal harmonies, etc. Instead, straightforward riffing, blistering leads, and a looseness bleed forth, as though the band had been listening to what the other locals in Seattle were doing. When I first heard the record, I hated it (even as a fan of the grunge movement that in many ways inspired it), but there was enough decent material to keep me coming back to it. --- Michael Stack

1. Sign of the Times
2. Cuckoo's Nest
3. Get a Life
4. The Voice Inside
5. Some People Fly
6. Saved
7. You
8. Hero
9. Miles Away
10. Reach
11. All I Want
12. Hit the Black
13. Anytime Anywhere
14. Sp00l

pass = heavymetalbreed