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Reviews Written by
M. J. Barratt "slasherb" (UK)

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Circle Of The Oath
Circle Of The Oath
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here we go again!, 14 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Circle Of The Oath (Audio CD)
I'll try not to repeat too much of what the other reviewers say, as I pretty much agree with them. However I thought I'd support their comments and this album by writing a few extra words.
I am one of those people who has every Axel Rudi Pell album. Some may say ,"why?" Well, its because he never makes a bad one! He plows a tight furrow, yes, but there is variety within that and time after time you get consistent song writing and performances.
If you like melodic rock in a Dioesque style and enjoy Johnny Gioli's voice, then you'll be well rewarded. Strong riffs and melody persist throughout the album. Rockers interspersed with power ballads sums things up.
It's a bit early for me to say where this will sit in relation to all the other albums he's made but this album sounds fresh, vibrant and relevant. The band certainly haven't sat on their laurels.
I wasn't sure Axel could do it again but I'm happy to say he has and, after all, why wouldn't he. Quite simply, I LOVE IT and would recommend 'Circle of the Oath' as a buy, even if you have a few of Axel's previous albums!


4.0 out of 5 stars Rocking, 21 May 2011
This review is from: Caravan (MP3 Download)
Two great tracks that grow on you if you are prepared to give them a few listens. Strong guitar driven rock music with the familiar vocal prowess of Geddy Lee. Try not to compare with previous Rush songs and enjoy on their merit. Both were played when I saw them on tour recently and they fit in well with the set suggesting they will eventually be viewed favourably with hindsight.

Once and Future King Vol. 1 [IMPORT]
Once and Future King Vol. 1 [IMPORT]
Price: £5.88

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OAFK Pt 1 Arthurian legends brought to life., 10 Jan. 2004
For a while I didn't feel this album lived up to my expectations as I was looking forward to its release for ages. However, my early impressions were wrong as I can state with absolute certainty that there are no fillers on here. This is classic melodic rock in typical Gary Hughes style (similar to Rainbow and his own band Ten for want of a comparison) but with the addition of guest vocalists in what is described as a 'rock opera'. Don't know if I would use that description myself as it comes across as 10 individual tracks rather than one piece as might be imagined from that description. The story is only on the sleeve notes and there is no narration such as on Wakemans Journey to the Centre of the Earth (not that that should be the case).
The overall emphasis is on the songs rather than any significant instrumental passages (not a critcism) and I would suggest that anyone not having heard Gary Hughes work before might safely make a start with this album. Unless you really object to any of the guest vocalists (who all perform excellently) then have a listen.
My personal favourite is the ballad between Gary himself, playing King Arthur, and Lana Lane (Guinevere) called At the End of Day. An excellent track. I also like very much the two tracks by Danny Vaughn(Lancelot), The Reason Why and Avalon. Both are incredibly melodic and consequently latch immediately on to the brain. Also any Magnum fans get two tracks by the great Bob Catley taking the part of Merlin and Diamond Head fans might appreciate the contribution from Sean Harris as Sir Galahad.
Melodic hard rock fans should buy without fear. Haters of the genre might want to avoid it. However, I say give it a try might like it!

Once & Future King Pt 2
Once & Future King Pt 2
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £24.69

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OAFK Pt2, 10 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Once & Future King Pt 2 (Audio CD)
Melodic Rock at its best. Gary Hughes continues to produce fantastic albums and it astounds me he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
Part 2 is slightly better than Part 1 in my opinion as it is a touch more diverse. The vocal contributions from the 'guests' bear justice to the songwriting and musicianship with contributions from the likes of Doogie White (ex Rainbow circa 1995), Bob Catley of Magnum, the excellent Lana Lane, Harem Scarems Harry Hess and a host more. The mixture of hard rock songs and ballads is about right and the feel for the Arthurian subject matter is certainly there.
This can perhaps be described as a labour of love by Gary Hughes and he pulls no punches in its execution and provides a must have album for fans of melodic rock. If you hate melodic rock then just don't buy. If you do, then its essential along with its partner, Part 1.


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tyrd, 13 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Tyr (Audio CD)
Good Sabbath album this with Tony Martin on the vocals. By no means a classic but worth buying all the same with a Norse theme throughout, if you hadn't noticed by the title.
The lengthy opener 'Anno Mundi' dominates events but it is well followed and supported by the rapid and powerful 'Lawmaker' and the excellent 'Valhalla' and finale of 'Heaven in Black'.
It is an album with a strong theme and great imagery and comfortably fits in to the Sabbath catalogue as a must have.
Not a classic but great all the same. A good starter for those unfamiliar with the Tony Martin era.

Price: £5.99

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sabs 1992, 13 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Dehumanizer (Audio CD)
A variable album which Sabbath and Dio fans alike will consider purchasing. Not one of Sabbaths best and not a patch on Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules previously recorded with Ronnie James Dio.
That said, there are some decent songs on here and it is worth a listen. Just don't expect it to be a classic, because it isn't.

Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £20.95

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legend indeed, 13 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Legends (Audio CD)
A great album written for Bob by the talented Gary Hughes from Ten. Melodic rock at its best by the Magnum front man in the vein of 'On a Storytellers Night' by that same band. Perhaps the best of Bob's 4 solo albums there are some quality songs each based on a Legend of some description ranging from Marilyn Monroe and Elvis to The Hydra and Phantom of The Opera. It is consistent throughout with no songs you're likely to pass over.
This is an album you will want to return to time and again and can be confident that it is a safe buy. Any hard rock lover who has heard Bob's earlier work should have no fear!

Red Sky
Red Sky

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're Back, 13 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Red Sky (Audio CD)
For any self respecting rock fan this is one of the must have albums of 2003. Rob Bendelow and the boys return after nigh on 20 years with an album of new and re recorded classic material.
For anyone unfamiliar with Saracen this is a melodic heavy rock album with prog leanings consisting of guitar and keyboard with great vocals by Steve Bettney and even saxaphone on an instrumental track called 'Menage a trois'.
However this is principally hard rocking stuff with such classics as 'Heroes Saints and Fools', from the album of the same name and a tremendous rerecording of 'Horsemen of the Apocalypse'. The final track, 'Follow the Piper', was a live favourite and is here committed to record for the very first time.
There are no fillers and rather than describe each track individually it is fair to say that the whole album is brilliant. Buy with confidence.

Red Sky
Red Sky

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Have Arrived., 22 Jun. 2003
This review is from: Red Sky (Audio CD)
Well, after 20 years they're back. Led by Rob Bendelow with Steve Bettney still on vocals Saracen have reformed to produce an album of classics and new material with top quality sound and production. New life is breathed in to classic tracks such as Horsemen of The Apocalypse and Heroes, Saints and Fools whilst Follow the Piper (a live favourite from their early years) makes it to record for the very first time.
Although guitar and keyboard driven Saracen are a band with more to them than your average 'in yer face' rock band and they include female vocals on Angel Eyes and a saxaphone/guitar instrumental in Menage a trois. However, the core of the album is pure melodic heavy rock of the highest order with a progressive feel.
With memorable songs and top quality guitar work from Bendelow most listeners will be left wondering why this band never made it big like many of their contempories.
I have no hesitation in recommending this album which is a forerunner to a 3 record deal with Now and then Records.

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