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Reviews Written by
R. J. Dougherty (Winchester, UK)
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Auf Deinen Schwingen
Auf Deinen Schwingen
Price: £33.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why don't more people like this band??, 20 July 2007
This review is from: Auf Deinen Schwingen (Audio CD)
This album, the latest offering from Austrian Electrogoth band L'Ame Immortelle is an ideal first listen for anyone new to the scene. You are certainly not short of melody and fantastic singing on behalf of both vocalists.

The 80's sounding offerings, Du Siehst Mich Nicht and Nur Du, are a bit of a departure for them as the past offerings have been of a more modern and of a more electro sound. in fact, the entire album is a departure because of the more guitar lead sound and conventioanl rhythm and vocals.

This is a bother for me. I didn't have the heart to mark this album any lower than a 4, because it is still a very good album, but because it is such a departure, I find myself missing the old sound of L'Ame Immortelle.
I hope that a future L'A I offering will offer more in the way of sythesizer and experimental sound.

Nonetheless, it is a very strong album, and a great first album to listen to for anyone who is just getting into the scene. The album equivilant of dipping your foot into a swimming pool to check the temperature.

I do hope that more people in the UK begin to listen to this band, there is a potential big following in the more underground groups of people, if we could just get the marketing!

If you have read this review, take it to heart. If you don't like it, I will be incredibly surprised.


Xtort
Xtort
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.27

5.0 out of 5 stars End with an M, Begins with a K!, 20 July 2007
This review is from: Xtort (Audio CD)
Xtort shows a KMFDM back to push the boundaries further after the more "commercial" (but nonetheless different) Nihil of 1995. It sees a return of the unsuaual rhythm patterns seen in the past, as well as some awesome synth and fantastic guitar riffs.

Some tracks, such is IKONS sound like the ever-so-familiar punk/industrial/techno offring from the UK, The Prodigy. Maybe this is the influence of Scottish vocalist Chris Connelly, or maybe this was just the sound at the time, with The Prodigy beginning to emerge into the mainstream.

As is usual with KMFDM, there is very little in the way of singing, except from the backing vocalists, who add a bit of an American 80s feel into the whole thing. You are not, however sold short with the vocals, which do more than simply add an extra layer to the sound. Sung they not be, but they are still an integral part to the sound of the album, and are one of those things which can help you pick out a KMFDM track even if you have never heard it before, despite the ever-changing list of vocalists.
The song Inane is a perfect example of this, with vocals almost spoken into the microphone.

The remastered copy (2007) sees the improvement of the sound quality from before, to bring it in line with the 21st century, but KMFDM have resisted the urge to modernise their songs any further, and risk butshering and destroying an amazing formula. They have, however added a brand new track, called Fairy. Rather than being a song, this track is a narrative (I beleve, but don't hold me to this, that it is read by Sascha). The story is that of a fairy with...erm...urges. I shan't go on any further, and ruin an enjoyable and very funny listen for you.

The songs themselves do not sound outdated, instead they may as well have been recorded yesterday. What this album does is offer a chance for new fans of KMFDM to hear the classic tracks, which are often less publicised than their modern counterparts, and to form a bigger picture of what KMFDM is all about.

Xtort is definatly an album that any new fan must own!


Consign to Oblivion: +DVD
Consign to Oblivion: +DVD

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, Epica are original., 15 July 2007
This is a masterful album, with an epic sound. A vast improvement on the last album, but with still a little bit of development to go. It's all there though, I just wish the guitars were a bit heavier (new, heavier album coming soon!)

How anyone can refer to this band as a second-rate nightwish is beyond me. Nightwish are not the only band to use soprano, and they certainly are not the only band to use orchestral sound.

Unlike Nightwish, Simione Simons is a mezzo-soprano, with a voice that can melt even the strongest and blackest of hearts. Epica also have a far stronger grasp over orchestras than other bands, composing it all themselves, and making it of a many-layers complex design.

I still feel that the guitar could stand to be heavier sometimes, and a bit louder (particularly in Quietus, in fact, I preferred the Score version. It could also stand to blend in a little better sometimes.

But I can't fault the technique!

I look forward to hearing more!


Ghost Opera + Bonus DVD
Ghost Opera + Bonus DVD
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £11.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic...up to a point., 15 July 2007
This review is from: Ghost Opera + Bonus DVD (Audio CD)
I always preferred the live sound of Kamelot, finding the sound to produced and muffled in the studio, but this album has improved vastly on the past ones, with the sound clear, and well-produced.

Ok, the classical opening does seem to be becoming a bit of a fad, strange how this album follows an album by Dutch rockers (and Kamelot friends) Epica with an orchestral opening, but I like it, and fad or not, it is certainly not something I object to.

The title track is a highlight for me. I loved the different time signature, rather than the usual poppy 4/4 used by most bands.

Song such as "Love You To Death" and "The Human Stain" had me singing along very happily.

The slow song of the album, "Anthem" was one of few that I can really get into. It didn't seem to be put there by necessity, or because the studio told them to. It felt considered, and worked on.

I do have a few niggling problems with the album. First and foremost being that on the song "Blücher" which is a fantastic song, but I was saddened to notice that Simone Simons beautiful vocals were pushed so far into the background. So much so that I didn't notice them until I read the booklet.

Another problem is that some of the songs struck me as a bit weak, and filler. But then, it may be that I just haven't given them a chance...you tell me...

Am I the only one who noticed that some songs did sound curiously like Epica songs? I am not sure if I object to it or not, I do like Epica, after all.

It is certainly good to see Kamelot develop, and progress beyond tried and tested formulas of the past, and come out with a fresh, certainly darker album than before. I certainly can't fault the guitar playing of Thomas Youngblood and Sascha Paeth. or the vocals of Roy Khan, who sounds more powerful than ever. In fact, I think his voice has developed a more mature and manly sound than before.

Khans miming in the video has improved as well.


Stratovarius: Limited Edition
Stratovarius: Limited Edition
Price: £17.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong album, worth a listen, 15 July 2007
I am always saddened by the evidence of disloyalty for this band. Maybe it is just the kind of people the band attracts, or the hard times in the past, but it bothers me when people slate a Stratovarius album for doing something a little different.

I happen to think that this album is a strong album, and a good listen. It has the quality to get me jumping around and singing along, playing air guitar.

Fight!! and United really got me.

My one gripe with this album is the abscence of fast drumming and guitar. It also felt a bit unfinished, and raw.

Nonetheless, it is certainly worth a listen, but not for new listeners, in my humble opinion.


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