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Gabriel Hill Harriss "Dionysus" (Bedford,England)

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The World Needs A Hero
The World Needs A Hero
Offered by beaches_music_canada
Price: 3.81

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The album that should have come after Countdown..., 2 July 2013
This review is from: The World Needs A Hero (Audio CD)
I lost faith in Megadeth, when I read the reviews for Risk back in that dark bleak year it was released in 1999, I thought, could Dave stoop any lower?.this is Megadeth after all, it's in the name. Megadeth should live up to what the band name stands for, and with each album after Countdown, Dave Mustaine's writing ability and song structure were getting ever weaker, in my opinion. But then came along 'The World Needs a Hero'. After leaving Capitol Records, and Dave producing the entirity of the album, refilling the gaps left by the incredible Nick Menza and Marty Friedman, with the formidable Jimmy DeGrasso and Al Pitrelli, it seemed Megadeth were getting their Mojo back! And what a return this was! In my opinion, this is easily the worthy successor to Countdown to Extinction, This is the album, had it been the road they continued, would have sat perfectly next to it.
I've read a lot of people (not on here I might add) saying the album is poorly produced, the songs are weak, and that the vocals are not Dave's best, but I strongly disagree. From the opening track, 'Disconnect' (I like the fact that the word 'Disco' and the meaning of disconnecting themselves from the past mistakes are sublimally included!)you get the old Megadeth engine revving again! The title track has an interesting groove, almost unlike anything they've tried before, and a refreshing style of verse, a personal protest from Dave about ignoring the fat cats, and standing up for the name Megadeth once stood for, bringing the flag back to the fans! On other tracks, 'Motopsycho' has elements of another sludge metal groove, but also a retro feel to it, and a great rhythm chorus, adding his trilogy of fast lane road deth! with '501' and 'High-Speed Dirt'.
There's the brilliant, 'Dread and The Fugitive Mind', which was released as a taster for things to come on Capitol Records final Megadeth release, 'Capitol Punishment'. This was such a strong direction for Megadeth after it's fans were worried where they were going after the abmissal 'Risk'. It screams of everything that was great about Megadeth during Rust in Peace and Countdown, and again proved that Dave still had the snarling teeth to bite you with. Dave Mustain has always been a one off vocally and with his song writing. He has a unique sound instantly identifiable, but the chinks in his armour were starting to show with too much experimenting, and not enough thought of the songs, and what the name 'Megadeth' stood for. Let Metallica play and fail..Megadeth were always from the heart and truer in the metal sense for me.
The track that really stands out for me is 'Recipe for Hate-Warhorse'.. this could easily fit between Peace Sells,Rust in Peace, and Countdown, with it's excellent song structure, and twist, reminding me of Wake Up Dead and Ashes in Your Mouth's frustrated sibling.. It's a song that Dave really showed you that he still had the abilities of producing pure Megadeth, technically, and sonically. Megadeth have always been about changing tempo and keeping the listener guessing, and this song proved he was still capable of that. A perfect mid-section to the album and one of my favourite Megadeth tracks of all time.
Onto the superb Return to Hanger. This is such a perfect continuation of the story, and very well thought out. It instantly gives me a nostalgic feel, and doesnt stray too far from the original,but is it's own 'beast', that it makes it more relevant.
The closing track. 'When', is probably one of Dave's most personal visceral epics he has written, then and since, and has such a dark brooding build up. His voice sounds so dark and angry, the lyrics a biting seething efegy, that I consider still might be about his inner demons battling Metallica's fame. 'When' will Dave get the credit he so desperately craves. Well, this album is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Megadeth, and a travesty for recognition, in my opinion. The musicianship is astounding. Jimmy Degrasso's drumming is the perfect recipe for the Megadeth sound, Al Pitrelli's guitar work, if a little understated, provides the missing link to Marty Friedman, and Dave Ellefson as ever is the driving force on bass, a unique player that has always brought expectional input to the band from day one so long ago. (Glad he's been back a while, he should have always been there.)
The only negative is that it could have been just that little bit heavier in guitar sound, but song wise, it is the most consistent album they have released since Countdown. In my opinion, a better overall album than The System has Failed (I know, I know, I'll get ripped for this!but I thought Dave was trying too hard to recapture the elements of Peace Sells, and it didnt produce the songs as a whole) Better than United Abominations, that was a solid first half, but grew weaker towards the end (And a re-write of A Toute La Monde?? PLEASE!, a good song originally, but running out of ideas, and a bit of a cash in I think) So far, End Game, 13 and SuperCollider have all left me uninspired, due to the lack of strong, consistent material, and it seems Dave might be dangerously falling back into the 'Risk' trap is 2014/15 due for another World Needs a Hero?.. I think so...

The Wild Geese (1978) [Blu-ray]
The Wild Geese (1978) [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Richard Burton

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tale of heroism, and a mission to save one man, in a politically war-torn Africa., 10 Jan 2013
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This is absolutely in my top 5 films of all time. I would go as far to say it is my favourite 'War' action/drama, although it's narrative transcends that of your 'ordinary War film'. People may critise it for it's minimal 'budget' at the time, although this is contrary, it was pushed a lot of money it's way. Although Richard Burton was considered a little 'dried up', and Richard Harris wasn't getting much work at the time either, Roger Moore was riding the coat tails of Bond and at his professional peak. If you , like me, have a connection with this film, whether seeing it when you were younger, appreciating it's particualr visual settings, the soundtrack, the brilliant action sequences , then you will have undoubtably seen a truly unique film. In my opinion, this film is superior to The Dogs of War, which some critics compare it too, merely for the fact that it was better acted,a far better storyline, and of course was created a good 4 or 5 years before!
I first saw The Wild Geese when I was about nine or ten, and this was the censored, televised version, on Anglia TV I think. I fell in love with it instantly, not really appreciating the depth of the plotline, or the incredible cast that were involved, but having grown up with it still close to my heart like an old friend, I have understood it's depiction, background, and the actors who portrayed the protagonists.
The Wild Geese really deals with issues that weren't being thrown into the forefront of cinema media at that time during the mid to late seventies. Although it was apparent that during the sixties and early seventies, mercenaries were fighting private wars, toppling dictators, or creating coups on foreign soil, on behalf of some Rich Bureaucrat. No one was eager to take it to celluloid at this time, and The Wild Geese, in my opinion, was the first, and possibly only successful attempt at turning an unpublished novel, about 50 mercaneries, armed with little but their dignity, and survival, are thrown into a political playing field, or war zone in this case. A film from a book, not yet published, about an event that apparently happened.. a plane lands in Kulundi, with only one engine operational. Inside, what was left of a group of weary mercenaries, and a rescue attempt of a dying President.
It became folklore, and that President was one Moise Tshombe, a genuine leader, aiming to bring solidarity to his people and the country in a time of conflict.
The Wild Geese stars, as ever, enigmatic Richard Burton as Leuitenant Faulkner,one of his last roles, yet finest. Roger Moore as the rogueish, but charming Shawn Fynn, and Richard Harris as Rafer Janders, the brains and compassion behind the group. Hardy Kruger also joins the line up as a pennyless white South African, who wants to return to his homeland and buy a farm. The mission to him is personal, and there is some superb scripting between his character Peiter, and Julius Limbani, debating on the social and poitical situation in Africa at the time. It's really quite thought provoking, and still has an impact today, considering how the political landscape has changed in Africa since 1978.
I also wanted to bring up the subject of a character called 'Whitty', the medic in the mercinary group, who is portayed as gay, yet done with real heart and humour, especially in a time when homosexuality was still quite taboo, but becoming more acceptable. I have read various negative reviews and damning comments from the media of the day, regarding it as having a racist tone. I really dont see the arguement for this in any way at all. If anything, if you closely follow the films storyline, and direction, it's obvious that the real message is one of change for Africa, to embrace both black and white. After all, they were rescuing a black man , from an oppressive black regime. In my opinion, it served as a platform to dare to address the issues in Africa, and give an honest view of how, not only were countries within the continent being manipulated by rich exporters and bankers, their own people were fighting and killing each other.
These hired mercs were quite commonly used during the 60's and 70's in order to change the political tide. Yet the Wild Geese shows the human, emotional side to all of it, the reality of this kind of War.
I was especially moved by the climactic ending. It never fails to bring me to tears. I'm not sure if it's because of the similarities it has with me and my Father, being an only child.
The scene where we meet Rafer, and his son Emile for the first time is a really warm and settled scene, seeing the other side, the family man comfortable in his leisurely but meager lifestlyle, but ultimately making the decision to fight. Then forward, through the films various twists, diversions, and battles, the ending really tore me up!
Highlights for me are (spoiler alert!!!) the training chapter, and all it's colourful language, the taking of the barracks and airport, the bridge attack, the dialogue between Peiter and Julius Limbani,and the powerful set up and deliverance of that infamous 'Vickers' machine gun and their escape!
But most of all is the powerful final few scenes, (*Spoiler Alert*) for those 'travesty-laden' public who have yet to see it, Rafer's death, Faulkners revenge on the double crossing merchant Banker Matherson who offered the contract, and the moment with Emile.
Earlier in the film, during the scene with Rafer and Emile, (father and son), I was also touched by the moment when Rafer shouts 'I love you' to Emile, and Emile only whispers is back, not knowing that would be the last time he would ever see him..but we as the viewer know the possibilities. I think this scene has a real connection with me. It's really sad...
The blu ray version of this epic, glorious film is, all in all, not bad. I would say that there is definitely an improvemt in picture quality during the second half of the movie, most of the scenes in London are a little grainy in places. It is nice to see the film version complete, and uncensored, and the extra of the premiere is, disturbing, if not slightly embarrassing and intriguing. Not one for people with disabilities back in those days, with the attitude towards them, but nice to know the charities for The Society of Spastics (can't beleive this was acceptable back then!)are now the very reputable Mencap.
I have yet to listen to all of the commentary, but great to hear the surviving members Roger Moore, and importantly, Lloyd, who produced the film, in the discussion.
A lovely booklet companion comes with the DVD, giving some real historical information on the background of the film, and it's journey, from incarnation, to the big screen. And finally, as a bonus, you get the completed film Codename: Wildgeese. The 'unofficial' Italian born, sequel. I have yet to watch it..
A classic epic film, something that everyone should watch at least once, twice and three times. THE WILD GEESE...THE BEST DAMN MERCENARIES IN THE BUSINESS!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2013 4:22 PM GMT

Hot Cakes
Hot Cakes
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.21

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great return..all killer no filler., 13 Nov 2012
This review is from: Hot Cakes (Audio CD)
Bit late to the party, and having never been a huge Darkness fan, apart from buying their very first single 'Get your hands offa my woman' and liking the first two albums, I could see where things were going wrong on 'One way ticket', their second album. Maybe a bit too ambitious, riding on the coatails of success of 'Permission', which was a blinding, balls out ironic, but never the less rockin' album. These guys could always play, and as much as people might see them as a bit of a joke band, you can't deny they have a talent for riffs and hooks. So it's onto the third, and long awaited album 'Hot Cakes'. I thought I'd give this ago as I've read so many good reviews, and I've got to say, it is brilliant. There's not a dull track on the album, every song has a great riff, and the band sound better than ever. I was quite surprised at how Justin's voice holds up so well on this album, if anything, it's probably a more serious album, maybe his most personal yet, and they have really taken the best of themselves and created a collection of real rock song. If any bands are thinking of writing a rock album, unashameably true to their roots, then they wont find a better example than this to follow. One last thing, the cover of Radioheads Fade Out has to be one of my all time favourite covers ever! It's just amazing how they changed it 'hair metal' style but completely kept the song intact, sounds awesome. You can't help throwing the horns up to that one! :)

King Animal
King Animal
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.19

9 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars King Animal? more like Road Kill...Soundgarden..soundbored.., 12 Nov 2012
This review is from: King Animal (Audio CD)
Okay, well, any die hard Soundgarden fan won't appreciate my title that's for sure, but I was so dissapointed on hearing this, after a 15 year hiatus from recording any new material, and the talent that they used to have. I really expected more from a band that were, at one point, pretty iconic. These guys were one of the forefathers of the grunge movement to make it into the mainstream. Releasing amazing albums such as Badmotorfinger, and Superunknown, which, in my opinion, was probably the best album to come out that year. So King it worth the wait? Simply It's a real shame. Don't get me wrong, musically it's not terrible, there are some 'flashes' of former glory, but it's little few and far between, and it just all sounds so lazy for a band that everyone has such high expectations for. Chris Cornell's voice sounds amazing as always, and he always has had a very powerful voice, but there really seems to be an obvious 'cash in' with this album, and in comparison to Cornell, the rest of the band almost sound bored..There's no real creativeness, imagination, or spark, it all sounds too 'safe', and polished. It could just pass off as another Audioslave album but with the 'Soundgarden by numbers' sound. I guess it is the natural progression of 'Down on the Upside', their last album released in '97, but I expected a lot more after 15 years, and this, in my opinion, is just bland and radio friendly. They could have returned with a bite, but instead came back with a wimper. I think they'll dissapear as fast as they arrived after the tour is through.. Even the album cover seemed like a last minute afterthought. Maybe I'm being unfair but the album cover doesnt hold a lot of impact for me, for a band like Soundgarden, marginally better than Down on the Upside, musically not so..
After someone commented on my review, I have given it some thought, and with careful condsideration, I'll up it to 2 star! Not worthy of 3, but I guess it's not as bad as one star.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2013 8:32 PM GMT

Frances the Mute
Frances the Mute
Price: 7.09

1.0 out of 5 stars One word..Rubbish follow up to Epic 'Deloused'.., 28 Sep 2012
This review is from: Frances the Mute (Audio CD)
I really like 'Deloused in the Comantorium', so why didnt I like there critically acclaimed follow up? Well, I dug out my old copy of Deloused the other day, after listening to Sparta, At the Drive in, and I STILL love Mars's first album! So I decided to download the second one, after hearing its one of their best. What a dissapointment, the first track starts off the album really weakly, and meanders into some half baked psychadelic tune out for about 5 minutes. Its nothing new, and the tunes are really unmemorable. The only saving grace is Omars guitar playing which has come on leaps and bounds, so musically, they are tighter than ever, but where are the tunes? Theres just to much noodling and ego space tripping on here..but if it had something dark or even an element of sound to it, it might have been better. Even on Deloused I liked the atmospheric moments, but there seemed to be some depth and dynamic to it, Frances just doesnt live up to the hype to be honest. I also hate trumpets and brass in rock music! Leave it to Ska and Big Band! I have yet to venture further into there catalogue, but this step has put me off slighty. Someone reassure me they arent all like this after deloused?

Clockwork Angels
Clockwork Angels
Offered by sauliusst
Price: 24.95

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rush..a clockwork angel critique.., 19 Jun 2012
This review is from: Clockwork Angels (Audio CD)
We are a funny bunch... us Rush fans... we pay meticulous detail to the music, the musicianship, eager to have the 'return to the old days' but happy to embrace the new, after all, these guys aren't in their twenties anymore! We are Rush's best and worst critics, we know what we expect from them, and we expect a lot. You see, RUSH, became and now are one of the most respected bands in music history, and because of the accolade, almost by accident ( I dont think they've ever let egos get in the way..), they're expected to have a certain standard that fans expect every album..and here is the next one. The 3rd post haitus, nearly 10 years since their comeback album, Vapor Trails', 5 years since Snakes and Arrows, and 20th album in total. RUSH have had the most amazing of careers, but only really started recently reaping worldwide rewards because of it. With one incredible documentary, 'Beyond the Lighted Stage', and possible the largest amount of extensive touring in the last 10 years of their careers, they have almost become every Rush fans worst nightmare.. 'a houshold name'! And yet, it's also a great thing to see they have the recognition they deserve, because boy have they earned it over the last 40 years!
Clockwork Angels is something of a more definitve album from them. They're all reaching 60, and this is an incredible piece of work considering. Going back to what the fans expect, it's easy to forget that, with the standard of impeccable music they've created, that age does slow the process down, but with RUSH, they're one of those few bands that still have new ideas, still sound fresh, still perform better than bands half their age, and thats a fact! It's got everything here, and at the same time, it's lacking something. If anything, there's almost too much..The production, like the last two albums, is too bass heavy, as if to muffle, dare I say it, any 'imperfections' that just wouldn't have happened circa Hemispheres or Moving Pictures. Having said that, it's acceptable, because song wise, they have definitely improved since Snakes and Arrows. I think there are more solid and interesting efforts in Clockwork Angels, not to mention it's an intriguing, if flawed concept piece, which needs some imagination, and not instantly rewarding, but a bold move never the less. Having already heard Caravan and BU2B, I expected the album to be much in the same vein, but was pleasantly surprised when I heard the beast of a title track Clockwork Angels, which is one of the best songs they have written in a long time. Also The Garden is a strong contender for song of the decade, and probably in RUSH's all time top ten I should think. A truly inspiring effort, and proving there is life in the old dog yet. And this is what I keep getting back to. I know it's boring, but it's the point of where Rush are at the moment. Alex said that he feels they have nothing to prove anymore, and I can only admire him for that. With such an incredible legacy left, why the need to keep recording?...becuase they still are relevant, and they still have something to say. It might not be as fluent, or well spoken as the past has shown, but their voice will always be one of the loudest!
So, is this the best thing they have done in 30 years as some fans would have it, well, in my opinion, no, but that is because we are talking about RUSH here, one of the most imaginative bands ever. It doesn't live up to Power Windows , but it is better than Vapour Trails. It lacks the sharpness of Counterparts, but it really crushes Roll the Bones and most of Presto into oblivion. It's a better set of songs than Hold Your Fire, but doesnt hold a candle to Signals..and so on. I believe it's a strong contender for a RUSH top ten, falling short of the greats of course ( Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, Hemispheres, 2112, Farewell..) but it's still one of the best albums this year, possibly the decade!..but this is RUSH we're talking about..hehe

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Price: 5.96

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For me, their best album..Hemispheres, 19 Jun 2012
This review is from: Hemispheres (Audio CD)
This is possibly my favourite creation of the legendary Canadian prog musical scientists, RUSH, and really is in my opinion, perfection from start to finish. If you think about Rush early on in there career, it was always difficult to pinpoint which direction they would go next, as they were always eager to surprise. Caress of Steel might have seemed a low point sales and marketing wise, but musically, they laid the foundations of progressive hard rock with that album, proving that music can be multi layered, interesting, with depth and most of all intelligent. This, in a way, is the sound of Rush finally perfecting the progressive alchemy they had strived for along their path. It's so perfect in every way, from creation, to production, musically Rush raised the bar ten fold from 2112. If 2112 was Rush redeeming themselves by releasing an epic but accessable concept album, when it was in the heights of fashion, then Hemispheres is almost the anti-fashion, an album that came out in 1978, when Punk was at it's peak, new wave had started it's birth, and electronica would explode from the pockets of a dark europe. Hemispheres was unashameably Prog, Conceptual, and brilliant! Rush were really on top of their game. They went on to acknowledge that this was one of the most difficult albums to create, with track one 'The Spheres' having to be written and played in 3 stages, as it was so comlpex and multi layered. For me , this is what defines Rush as being above the norm. They had the ability at the time, to push the boundaries of musicianship. Neil Peart drumming is to perfection on here, and it's easy to see why he is considered one of the worlds best and most influencial drummers. He plays with such precision its almost mathmetical in it's delivery. Mind blowing. Alex plays beautifully, using his trademark arpeggios and layered guitar work. His solos are breathtaking on this album, especially on 'La Villa Strangiato', which had an effect on many guitarists you hear today. Apparently Geddy did struggle with the pitch of the vocals, having the tone a level higher due to the music uptuned, but neverless his delivery, as always, is flawless, and his bass playing astounding. I think 'The Spheres' is a real high point for me, and musically always sounds amazing, never boring, never predictable. Thats what makes a unique listening experience.
Side 2, and Circumstances is almost a 'rock song in the traditional sense, as close to Rush have ever got, and you can see how Permanent Waves unfolded into the next wave. I love this song, Then we have the epic politically influenced The Trees,it has a great mid section, which Geddy's bass and Neils signature drum style steals the show. But the real star of side two is 'La Villa Strangiato', with it's swirling flamenco themes, spanish guitar, and jazz time signatures. It's Rush at it's most humourous, and playful, really showing the fans what they're capable of. It really would prove hard for Rush to match something of this musical magnitude again, as far as multi layered composition, and delivery was concerned, but then this was Rush at their finest.
So, anyone who reads this already knows the songs, or should do. If you want music with depth and inteliigence, or are eager to know which Rush album to start with, then you can't go wrong with Hemispheres.. the album even the most devoted Rush fan struggled with, but ultimately is their unsung crowning glory.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2012 2:43 PM BST

The Pride
The Pride
Price: 12.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars InMe hold their heads high with The Pride..., 2 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Pride (Audio CD)
This is an interesting one. Inme have been up there as one of my favourite bands since White Butterfly, and I've loved the transformation of their sound, onto Daydream Anonymous, which saw a maturer, more technically advanced approached to songwriting, then Herald Moth, which quite frankly blew me away with Inme's ability to push themselves creatively and technically. I always saw Inme as 'something different' around White Butterfly, amongst the flood of 'Emo' and 'style over substance'. Inme always looked good, but Dave Macpherson has the gift for penning great songs, with real power and emotion. He also has what I would consider one of the most unique voices in music, which is delivered like the words he sings, honest, heartfelt and powerful. Herald Moth really was Inme at their peak, and although they've never held the spotlight from the media, never selling out to commercial success (single of the weak anyone?)or changing their style to suit the masses, they've always been a band thats stuck true to their hearts, and Dave especially has pushed himself on every album. If Herald Moth was the dark, menacing angst of Dave and the band, with twists and turns, cries and screams, then The Pride is the sound of perserverance and defiance, flag held high, and the battlecry for something better. This time round we see the band celebrating life, and bringing back 'the anthem'. Some have described this as Daydream meets White Butterlfly, but where White Buttlefly was the beginning of a change in direction, and Daydream a seriously grown up Inme, The Pride is probably the natural successor to Herald in that 'Moth' was the technical metal album they wanted to make,and draw a line under, for me, the sound of Inme at their best. The Pride is a 'comfortable album' but not in a bad way, in that they're not taking too many risks, and not drastically changing their sound, just building on it. Here there is more emotional depth in places, but gone is the firey 'spit and ferocity of most of Heral Moth. Dave has given up the rage for soaring vocals, and his voice is as brilliant as anything he has sung on 'Escape to Mysteriopa', a beautiful dreamscape that rises from a prog like meander to a mountainous epic climax.
On Reverie Shores, the opening track, we have glimpses of Heral Moth in the main riff, and the song structure is solid, showing Dave has lost none of his creativity to write a blistering dark number. Moonlight Seabed also continues the punch, with a catchy chorus and 2 mid break with electro beeps and some heavy riffs! Greg has some of the best bass licks he's ever put to record in his 3 album career with Inme so far. A mention to the band as a whole on this album, thers no denying the ability and tightness of Inme, and with the inclusion of Gaz Marlow on his first Inme album, he's given the chance to prove his skill with the exeptional solo on Reverie Shores. Halycon Genesis is also one of my favourites from this album, as is A Great Man. So, The Pride lives up to expectations, but it's unfortunately just short on the greatness of Herald Moth. Neverless, my third favourite Inme album, after Daydream Anonymous.

The Hunter
The Hunter
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 14.78

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mastodon mixing things up in the cauldron of prog.., 12 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Hunter (Audio CD)
In my opinion, I think The Hunter is a natural progression for them, in terms of style and creation. They wanted to do something more organic, and just get in the studio with some ideas and run with them. With that in mind, this is an awesome album. Man there's enough dynamics here to sink a planet. Maybe its not as complex as Crack the Skye,or as epic in stature, but Brann said they all wanted something with more groove in it this time. I think its a mixed bag of the past, present and of whats to come for Mastodon. I also dont know why some people are complaining about the sound quality. Its another thunderous mix. Ok, a new producer, but none the less heavy and monstrous. Check your speakers, or sound system maybe? I think people just can't accept the fact that, well, bands like these, that are pretty rare, adapt and expand, they order to keep themselves interested, and the fans, and if you have the ear for stepping out of the norm and taking risks, than this album will actually prove that Mastodon havent really changed at all..they've just taking a different path.. So far I love everything they've done. And they just seem to be going from strength to strength with their songwriting. This album will go down as a Mastodon classic in my opinion. Maybe Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye will always be fan favourites, just for its malevolent diversity, but The Hunter is really Mastodons' ultimate creation, and people will realise that in years to come. I just hope they havent reached their peak with this one. When you have songs like 'The Thickening' 'The Octopus has no friends', 'Black Tongue' and 'Dry Bone Valley, you know these guys are truly gifted in what they do. Even if you think this is a weak album, it's stronger than many metal types by a million miles. My album of the year..

Price: 7.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dave's hardship pays off..beautiful, heartfelt and for every season!, 31 Aug 2011
This review is from: THE HARDSHIP DIARIES (Audio CD)
Firstly, I love this guy, he can do no wrong in my book, so I'm going to be blatantly biased. But anyone wanting an honest review will still get one here. I mean, great music is the reason why we fall in love with a band in the first place right?
So here it is, out for quite a few months already, but I thought I needed to put my feelings out there. 'The Hardship Diaries' is Dave Mcphersons first fully reckonised solo long player, and what an album. If you're a big fan of InMe like myself, then you will already be familiar with the prog-tech-metal that they make, and mirroring that, the more sensitive touching tracks they delve into occassionally. Apparently Dave has been out on his own doing stuff for a while now, and already has a rich catalogue to his name, with various EP's and other projects such as Primordial Soup, a sort of 'Aphex Twin' style drill and bass electro with his trademark vocals and harmonies. But for me, this album truly brings him to the fore, showing his craftmanship as a great songwriter, and singer. There's elements of Jeff Buckley influenced in his vocal style and songwriting, though still in his own unique way, which I really picked up on in the brilliant 'Thanks for Leaving Me' on InMe's magnificent third 'Daydream Anonymous' when it first came out, and this is a genuine compliment, to have the ability to craft songs to the level of past geniuses. Added to this his guitar work is stunning, and the production, once again, as with all InMe's work, sounds immaculate. It's broken into seasons, each one having 3 tracks, and these actually do reflect the mood, quite a difficult thing to achieve! In 'Spring, The track 'Is this all we are?'my personal favourite actually had my girlfriend in tears'! It's that heartrendering.'Summer-She puts me in a good mood',is just beautiful! and a lament to his present girlfriend which makes it all the more touching. 'Love Rats' tells the story of Dave's anger at dishonesty, a message to the unfaithful and the pain it causes.. Autumns 'Hibernation' almost feels like a reawakening of life, a new found love in the guise of his girlfriend, taking his emotions to new heights, and this shows in the colourful lyrics..
Dave also manages to capture a moment in time with his lyrics, always taking you to a place in the past present or future, and often deeply personal, but always affecting. His songs really do resonate with me.
I was lucky enough to see him play in a little Rock pub called The Ship in Croydon, and his performance blew me away, and for free! It's a credit to his integrity that he can do these gigs and perform faultlessly, over the years I've paid to see bands that wouldnt even come close to his talent. What a humble and truly genuine guy. The kind of honesty that's lost in todays music industry, and one that will always shine brighter than the million superstar wannabes out there today. This album can only bring great things for InMe's fifth 'The Pride' and with talent like that, this tragically underrated band will still be creating some of the best music this country has to offer. The boy from Essex has really grown into something the world should know about..

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