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Adam Jackson "Symphonic Metal Fan" (Stoke On Trent , England)

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Cultosaurus Erectus
Cultosaurus Erectus
Price: 4.40

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars REVEAL TO ME, Reveal To Me, reveal to me.....rev..., 16 May 2011
This review is from: Cultosaurus Erectus (Audio CD)
A really good album, this!! Ok a couple of fillers - but the good stuff justifies it!
Very much of it's time (1980) and marrying hard rock/metal to melodic sensibilities. This was my first BOC album to acquire, having only previously heard Don't Fear The Reaper & Astronomy (incl the excellent Metallica cover version)and I have enjoyed it enough to set about buying more.

Fav tracks are Black Blade which is fun with it's sword & sorcery lyrics and epic arrangements, Monsters which manages be heavy & urgent and yet at the same time has these amazing jazz breaks complete with saxophone too, Deadline which is very melodic & dark at the same time and has a bassline to die for(Have to say all the musicianship is superb on the album but the bass work REALLY stands out). Closing track Unknown Tongue is brilliant, coupling sinister & somewhat erotic lyrics with a theatrical approach and some particularly outstanding keyboards - love the singing on the fadeout as Eric Bloom repeats "Reveal To Me" over and over in an almost black metal style rasp!
Heaviest track is perhaps Lips In The Hills which gallops along with some blazin' guitar and sounds like it might have inspired Steve Harris of Iron Maiden?

Divine Wind is a track that I have to be in the mood for; it has very relaxed pace but does also have a sinister undertone. The other tracks haven't really grown on me and I have to say I found The Marshall Plan hideous and totally cringeworthy.

Production/sound quality is excellent for a 30 year old album too.
Slightly dissapointed that no lyrics but there you are; at least the internet solves that.

Ok, so not a perfect album by any means..but well worth acquiring none the less :-)

Wolverine Blues
Wolverine Blues
Price: 8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Death N Roll..., 21 Feb 2011
This review is from: Wolverine Blues (Audio CD)
Got to say this does what it says on the tin; Death Metal that actually has memorable tunes and rocky but harsh riffs!!
Very aggressive especially vocal wise with an almost Hardcore approach to the singing at times. Some Death Metaller's may find this a bit too "groove" in places (reminded me of a nastier Corrosion Of Conformity) but there you go. Other reviewers have mentioned the Motorhead & Discharge influences. I would fully agree especially with regards to Lemmy's wolf pack.

Particularly liked the bass on this. Nice and growling in the mix. Bass man, Lars Rosenberg joined a favourite of mine a few years later, the mighty Therion & worked the four strings on the Theli album (well worth getting if you like Symphonic Metal).
Production is good all round.
Stand out track is closer, Out Of Hand - a real in your face stomper!!

Will be looking to check out more of these guys (I liked the Hollowman EP too) including the earlier more out & out Death Metal stuff. Yet another impressive Swedish act to file alongside Therion, Clawfinger and Opeth...
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 19, 2012 4:25 PM BST

Atlantis Interceptors (Video Tape/PAL) 1986 (AKA Raiders of Atlantis)
Atlantis Interceptors (Video Tape/PAL) 1986 (AKA Raiders of Atlantis)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mad Max 2 Meets.. Warlords Of Atlantis (yes, really!!), 21 Feb 2011
It's a crying shame that this 1982 Italian classic is unavailable on a Region 2 DVD release but it's well worth acquiring on a VHS (especially if like me, you can convert it to DVD). I would say this was easily the best of the early 80s batch of post apocalyptic thrillers that Italy churned out en masse in the wake of Mad Max 2 & Escape From New York. The story is quite insane; an accident involving a nuclear submarine results in the domed island of Atlantis rising from the sea (??!!!) - swiftly followed by the Atlantean hordes terrorising the Miami coastline in true Road Warrior fashion! These guys are straight out of the handbook for this genre, what with mohawks, leather bondage gear, warpaint and all manner of heavily armoured bikes & cars - not to mention lots of guns & bladed weapons. Hell, the Atlantis army's leader even wears a crystal skull straight out of Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World!!
The only thing that stands against them and world domination (well ok, Florida at least) are a couple of veteran mercenaries and a handful of scientists & refugees. Finally after umpteen car chases, sieges & shootouts, the good guys pilot a chopper to Atlantis and take the good fight to the heart of the ancient empire.

Yes it often makes no sense at all & questions abound; why would the denizens of such an ancient civilisation have such a predilection for punk fashion and 1950's style vehicles (complete with revolving blades on the wheel trims)?? Are some of the Atlanteans already in place on the mainland before their city rises from the sea?? How exactly does the sub accident cause Atlantis to return (or is it Atlantis that causes the sub to crash?) And in the midst of all this mayhem, where are the police and the army?? Why does it fall to two soldiers of fortune to save the day??!!

The thing is though it's pace is relentless, the action is non stop and reasonably bloody. The stunts & practical effects are excellent and the generally the film has decent production values for it's type. The visual fx are variable to be fair. There's a tidal wave that strikes an off shore platform that is straight out of the the old days of Dr Who and the domed island looks every inch the model it really is but hey full marks for trying as we aren't exactly talking Industrial Light & Magic here. Some better FX are to be seen once the action shifts to Atlantis with a fairly impressive robotic sphinx that fires laser beams from it's eyes. To be honest though its all about the machine guns, shotguns, petrol bombs and explosions. There is a stunning highway pursuit scene where our heroes having commandeered a bus find themselves under pursuit by helicopter. The stunt work is A grade Hollywood for sure as several Atlanteans leap from the chopper and storm the moving bus for yet another Mad Max style setpiece. Full marks to director, Ruggero Deodato for orchestrating all of this action.

What I really like is that compared to a lot of the Italian exploitation cinema of the time, the artwork does not grossly exaggerate what is in the film itself. It's pretty accurate compared to the likes of The Iron Master and especially Endgame. The dubbing is mostly ok with main man Christopher Connolly delivering all his lines in english. There's even a catchy 80s style theme tune as well! The music is mainly of that early electro style but is rather suited to the ott proceedings.

So as you can see I really like this cultish near classic; I first encountered it in VHS form waaay back in 1983 and still enjoy it today some near 30 yrs later. It earns it's 5 stars for it's sheer sense of fun!
If you aren't sure, there are trailers knocking about on You Tube...

Obv the quality can't be guaranteed on an aged video tape but it's worth the gamble if you can get it. Just can somebody please release this on DVD properly though?? Bronx Warrors & New Barbarians are available so no reason why this shouldn't be too :-(

"We Have Come Back From Atlantis, This Is OUR World, You Have No Place In It..."

The Art of Jazz
The Art of Jazz
Offered by Media Store UK
Price: 4.40

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starters Orders..., 17 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Art of Jazz (Audio CD)
Good collection for the unitiated and curious (like myself!). 3 x Cds, each one a good hour long and each evenly split between 2 artists; Dave Brubeck/Bill Evans, Miles Davis/John Coltrane & Charles Mingus/Ornette Coleman.

Sound quality is perfectly acceptable for these recordings and the only gripe I have is the total absence of liner notes of any kind which is a real stinker and costs the set a star!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2011 10:40 PM BST

The Illustrated Story of Jazz
The Illustrated Story of Jazz
by Phil Woods
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters - And It's All Real Too!!!, 3 Jan 2011
A friend kindly gave me this and I really enjoyed it. Even if you are not a jazz fan, it's still a really interesting read, discovering all these great characters and the musical locations and landmarks of this evergreen musical movement.

It's a good sized hardback with lots of vintage pictures of even the oldest artists and more than enough text to accompany. Lot's of great historical info that also sheds much light on the social aspects of America at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th.

If you are like me, a music fan with a passing interest in jazz then you will like this; the dedicated jazz fan will surely love it!!!

Price: 7.90

2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do Not Start With This Album!...., 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: Revelations (Audio CD)
I started with Joke's excellent 2010 album, Absolute Dissent and basically acquired their back catalogue in a matter of weeks. Of all the albums, I find this one the most difficult. The songs are uninspired as are much of the performances and it all sounds a bit of a dirge with one track blurring into another. Only occasionally does one get an interesting riff or vocal line. Now I pretty much love all the other albums but this is a real let down. I expected much, much more with such an intriguingly apocalyptic title!!

How the band that later gave us The Raven King, A Southern Sky, Twilight Of The Mortal or Money Is Not Our God could once have produced such a slog of an album is baffling!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2012 6:02 PM BST

by Graham Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars It's Ok but it's no Clockwork Orange either...., 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: Soljas (Paperback)
This book works well if you want a fix of lurid exploitation - it's more of an unfilmed screenplay that a wholly satisfying novel though. I could easily see someone like Nick Love or Neil Marshall getting hold of this and making an ultra violent Brit movie from it. As a book, however, it's just not well enough written for me. Not to say I didn't enjoy it at all but it lacks real depth in the characterisation. The novel's anti hero Dylan is not rounded enough and the rest of the characters are often not sufficiently developed. However it moves at a brisk pace and there's some very graphic violence involving dismemberment, rape, eye gouging, steam irons, golf clubs etc, etc and some very explicit sexual references. In truth the violence is so ott at times (almost into Hostel waters) that credibility is often severley strained. The author also seems to revel in an almost pornographic attention to details when referring to the clothing apparel that the gang members wear;a mixture of mountain gear & sportswear that is almost always regulation black (reminded me of American Psycho in the clothing fixation). Also heavy focus on firearm details especially the Ingram Mac 10 SMG. Certainly by the time the military arrive and begin to engage the gangs on the ground, it's hard not to feel we are in Escape From New York waters rather than a Liverpool estate!!

Another thing, I have read is that the novel is set in the near future but I never found it to be stated anywhere in the book. The scenario of army vs lawless street gangs is an often seen futuristic scenario but there are no specific futuristic references here either in the dates, locations or cultural references. I guess it must be near future though for things to have got as bad as they are in the book!!

Some people may find the dialect initially difficult but the golssary at the back does help on that score.

Like I said, it could probably make an entertaining movie but Graham Johnson is certainly no John King, Irvine Welsh or Anthony Burgess!

Quadrophenia (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1979]
Quadrophenia (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1979]
Dvd ~ Phil Daniels
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: 12.56

5.0 out of 5 stars The Bonus Disc Is REALLY Good..., 1 Nov 2010
Whatever your subculture of choice was/is, this is an essential film. Chances are you may already have seen it or got it on an early dvd or vhs - but this 2 discer is worth a double dip if you really like this movie. The bonus disc has excellent featurettes/docs with great interviews, revisiting the locations and a detailed analysis of the movie itself and the youth culture/music/fashion of the mid 60s. I bought it for that disc pretty much and was more than satisfied.

You don't have to have been a Mod to like this movie!!; I grew up mostly into Rock/Metal so I guess my colours are nailed to the mast of the leather clad Rockers when it all kicks off at the movie's violent climax but it's good to get a more rounded view ; hard to believe that battle lines were once so fiercely drawn in today's climate of crossover genres and mash ups!
I would strongly recommend this movie for fans of This Is England (especially) and This Is England 86.

Would have loved a follow up movie that showed things from the Rockers pov - (step forward Lemmy Kilmister for your directorial debut...)

by John King
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Liked the characters, the setting, the details BUT lacking in plot..., 17 Oct 2010
This review is from: Skinheads (Paperback)
Ive read every one of King's novels with the exception of The Prison House and find him struggling to recall the form of his excellent Football Factory trilogy and career best Human Punk. White Trash left me cold (although I have resolved to take a second look at it). This book improves on that but still doesn't hit the mark of the earlier books. I approached out of curiousity in the skinhead genre based on the recent This Is England offerings and also from the prespective of being a very openminded music fan who listens to everything from Rock/Metal/Hardcore Punk/Symphonic Metal through to old school Hip Hop through to Classical Music. I did find the author's details on the old school Ska scene of interest (at the moment I'm very taken with SkaCore act Mighty Mighty Bosstones) but found a much lesser focus on the Oi scene and the later wave of US Punk. It's clear where JK's affections lie; back in the original skinhead movement of 1969.

The characters are all well drawn & the period detail is excellent (ala Human Punk) switching from present day to 1969 and the more musically aggressive years of 1981 and 1984. What is missing is a really strong plot. There's no sense of tension and little drama. There's a little bit of kicking & thumping (predictably from the Oi fan) but nowhere near the violence levels of King's Football Factory -anyone buying this expecting something like Romper Stomper will be dissapointed. Football hooliganism from both the past & the present is a small part of the story (but not a central one) with unexpectedly, Chelsea as the author's club of choice for his characters. Just remembered - Tommy Johnson from Football Factory makes a brief cameo part as does Joe Martin from Human Punk. Always good to see an author set his works in the same fictional universe.

The characters sort of drift along, musing over mistakes past & present, worrying for the future but it's all quite laid back and surprisingly sentimental. Now this does NOT make for a poor book by any means, it's just that I got to the final dozen or so pages and could see that very little was going to happen. Still it passed the 3 days or so that I read it in. Would I read it again as I have the aforementioned earlier John King books?? Probably not but neither are they hours of my life that I wish to claim back either!

In conclusion the novel provides some insight into the scene showing the different sub genres and the split between the earlier Jamaican influenced sounds and the later, harsher, 'white' sound of the Street Punk/Oi bands which have nothing in common with the Black influenced ancestors and more with the musical structure of Metal & Punk. This was alluded to in This Is England also. What the novel does stress is that many skinheads are decent, hard working people who are fiercely proud of those values and who see the image as more of a statement of self discipline than one of intimidation.

Worth a read if you like King & enjoyed the Shane Meadows films - just don't expect a UK version of American History X, that's all.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2014 10:04 AM GMT

Nazi Dawn [DVD]
Nazi Dawn [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lance Henriksen
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 4.60

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly misleading title and cover art..., 25 Sep 2010
This review is from: Nazi Dawn [DVD] (DVD)
What you are looking at here is a movie that was originally released under the titles of Black Ops and Dead Water; Nazi Dawn being a third and somewhat misleading name for the movie. The 'Nazi' element of the story only really comes into play in the last 30 mins or so. I expected something along the lines of Outpost or even the opening scenes of Hellboy, maybe even 1980's Death Ship, but really it was just an average action movie with about the same standard of production values as a Sci Fi Channel movie. The cover artwork overemphasises the Germanic occult/horror angle - there's a supernatural entity at work on the ship but it's Nazi origins are not really explored in sufficient depth.
The rather muddled ending didn't satisfy and my main gripe with the movie is that it's just so dark nearly all the way through. I appreciate that the corridors of a ship are going to be rather underlit but never the less I could make very little of the action out! There was some ok gore but nothing outstanding. You tend to see victims post death more than the actual kills. To be fair Lance Henriksen (as always) did his best as the grzzled Special Ops commanding officer and Gary Stretch (Dead Mans Shoes) wasn't too bad either.

It just about passed 90 minutes but if you want something more in line with this movie's title, you would be better served by Hellboy, The Keep, Outpost, Boys From Brazil, Marathon Man, Dead Snow...

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