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9 &1/2 Badgers Please

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Audio Secrecy - Special Edition
Audio Secrecy - Special Edition
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £20.54

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Good Than Bad, 24 Sept. 2010
Stone Sour's latest work is somewhat odd to say the least. On the special edition there are a whopping 17 tracks
(as well as some videos and such that you can watch if you have nothing better to be doing). Now 17 tracks is a lot. Of the 17, 11 are Very good and 6 are pretty horrendous. Thereby it is for all intensive purposes a very good album. I mean 11 great songs is pretty good for you money.

What is strange is that the 6 poor tracks happen to be the first 6. everything from the pointless 'Audio Secrecy' up to the bland 'Let's Be Honest' is barely listenable. The words on 'Say You'll Haunt Me' (the lead single??? Really??) are especially bad. they make no sense and what was meant to be a meaningful ballad ends up sounding pretty lame. 'Dying' isn't much better, where Corey rhymes 'you' with 'you' way too many times.

The thing is after this the CD really picks up. The Heavy tracks 'Nylon 6/6' 'Unfinished' and 'Hate Not Gone' are the best the band have ever produced. 'Hesitate' is an excellent pop song that fans will be singing back to them for a long time.

Audio secrecy is overall very enjoyable but it feels like your forced to sit through and ep by a less good band before you get to the main article. Perhaps they need to invest in a slightly more cut-throat producer next time.

Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)
Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)
Price: £13.10

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Torn Apart Under It's Own Storyline, 26 July 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
You can't Help But Feel sorry for Square-Enix Of late. After Churning out a Slew Of Bland J-RPGs the pressure was even greater to make Final Fantasy XIII a worthy addition to the flagship series. I'll start with the Good. the story is extremely solid and the world is very very vivid. On top Of this The combat is extremely innovative, the best of the series so far in fact.

Right now that's out the way here's what's wrong. The story, although very well told, does it's best to step on the toes of absolutely every other aspect of the game. The six main characters are drawn together when they become l'cie, servants of extremely powerful and feared beings, the fal'cie. This gives them kick-ass magic powers, but they are seen as enemies of the state feared and hunted wherever they go. This completely ruins any aspect of exploration of FFXIII's the several cities as you're too busy running down linear corridors fighting a squads of police every 5 feet for the first 20 HOURS.

Furthermore, plot dictates the characters travel in twos for the first 20 hours as well, not becoming united until right at the end of the second disc. This greatly affects the variety and tactics of the combat. with three fighters in play the pardigms system is deep and challenging to master. With two however, it essentially consists of turning on heal every minute or so, sucking absolutely all fun out of preceedings. The story completely hampers the gameply to the point where it's almost a chore to play.

I really wanted to love this game. but having finished it, all I can say is that I had far more fun with all of Bioware's RPGS and would reccomend them over FFXIII any day.

Finally I would like to bring up character of Snow. Throughout the course of the game, their experiences cause all the characters to develop as people; as they have with all fFinal Fantasy since FFII. It's one of the most enjoyable parts of the series to see the closed off loner or the cocky know-it-all learn to be a better man. Snow apparently missed this memo. In the opening cut scene he's a 2 dimensional moron who refers to himself as 'Hero' twice a sentence and in the final cut scene he still is. The plot gives him several key opportunities to learn and grow but they may as well not happen as they only serve to make him more annoying. I felt very close to the character of Hope As we both wanted to murder him.

Backspacer (Limited Edition Gatefold Sleeve)
Backspacer (Limited Edition Gatefold Sleeve)
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £5.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Much Better Than I Thought I Would Be, 19 Feb. 2010
Pearl Jam are one of the most talented rock bands ever, and also one of the most frustrating. After the first two landmarks, they descended into the mire of avant-guarde music. This chain of 4 albums was certainly not devoid of great material. in fact it yeilded (oh look a pun!) some of their best.

That said it's nice to hear them sound like they're doing what comes naturally to them again. Bacspacer Is by far their most accessible album to date. The eleven songs tend to fall into the catergory of either lilting ballad or guitar driven punk, both deeply rooted in the band's pop sensibilities. Fans will recognise these as the two main staple of Pearl Jam's output, but it is safe to say that neither syle has been done better or more consistenly on any pearl jam record, or indeed many other records period.

Opening with 4 of the big rockers, all of which last 3 minutes or under , you instantly hear that the band have loosened up considerably since their last realese. 'The Fixer' is a hugely catchy anthem. All the shoe gazing forlorn feeling is gone and the song is profoundly optimistic. 'Johnny Guitar' sees them looser still, With a blusey sound they havent attempted before.

From the pogotastic opening, Backspacer then shifts tone dramatically with the achingly beautiful 'Just Breathe', their best ballad since 'Better Man'. However once again the subject matter is a lot happier than usual. rather than lamenting what he doesn't have, Vedder Seems completely ay ease with what he does have.

I could go on as there are really no songs here that arn't utterly excellent. I've not been this impressed with Pearl Jam since I first had my mind blown out the back of my skull the first time I heard 'Ten'.

The Way Of The Fist
The Way Of The Fist
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £25.56

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So Bipolar It Almost Sounds Like the Work of Two Bands, 14 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Way Of The Fist (Audio CD)
This is pretty much that average long haired, 16 year old, mosh kids dream album. Songs like 'White Knuckles' and 'Ashes' are short memorable pummellers with an approach simliar to 'Slipknot' (indeed Moody's voice is a dead ringer for Corey Taylors). This bands strengths lie in it's agression, which is potent. especially on the aformentuioned two tracks and the Maiden influenced 'Death Before Dishonour'.

Howver that's only half the story. Half the tracks on this album deviate from the winning thrash formula into the more pitfall ridden alt metal territory. Here the band become an almost intolerable self-deprocating buch of shoe gazing emo kids. the worst offenders are 'the Bleeding' a Breaking Benjamin-esque ditty about cutting yourself and 'Never Enough' with similar feelings of unfullfillment and inadequecy. All of these songs the same boring formula, where five huge tatooed meat-heads tell you about their feelings and their Daddy issues in the blandest way imaginable

I feel obligated to tell you that the exception to this is the inexplicably great 'Stranger Than Fiction' Where they manage to nail the alt rock ballad perfectly, but hey 1 out of 6 aint great.

in short. there is some great Metal to be heared here, but it's worth sifting through the dross and downloading the thrash gems individually

Imaginations from the Other Side
Imaginations from the Other Side
Price: £10.16

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Is What It Is. And It's Totally Awesome For It, 14 Feb. 2010
Blind Guardian are pretty much the last word on power metal. It's a giant cacophony of Kürsch's screeching vocals, mighty walls of guitar noise ranging from brutally simple to deeply complex, and of course a full choir providing the baking on most songs. This is truly one of the masterpeices of the genre.

The Lyrics are pretty standard power metal fair. The over the top fanciful nature perseveres throughout, covering topics from Arturian myth, to portal fantasy to The New testament. Nearly every song here is utterly exemplary but the absolute best are 'Mordred's Song', the most mellow on the album, with archaic sounding acoustics dancing around strong vocals and 'I'm Alive' A speed metal anthem in the vein of Judas Preiest and Metallica. Also the album's astonising title track, which is roughly seven and a half minutes of prog metal perfection.

Fans of European power metal, as well as anyone who fondly looks on The 70s and 80s NWOBHM should definitly own this. Seriously. What are you doing still reading this??? just click add to basket1 Do it NOW!

Only Revolutions
Only Revolutions
Price: £6.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Much MUCH Better Than Puzzle, 14 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Only Revolutions (Audio CD)
The cover of this album raises a lot of questions. Who are those two with the flags? Why have they committed arson? Why does the blue flag look angy at the red one? The whole image conveys mistery and intrigue. This is somewhat misleading as 'Only Revolutions' isn't particularly mysterious, nor revolutionary for that matter.

This isnt to say it's bad. far from it. This album is an exceptionally strong set of pop rock songs. After Puzzle became the mega seller it did, it's clear that the band have put a lot of effort into living up to it. So much so that they have more than surpassed it. Personally, I though 'Puzzle' was very uneven and ultimately a bit of a letdown. The songs here are a lot more consistent and mature.

The opening track 'the Captain' Is an interesting choice. It has a lot of radio appeal, but it's also a weird one, with a full orchestra bouncing along in the background contrating with Neil's brooding lyrics. A much better indicator of what's to come is 'That Golden Rule', a monsterous pummeller with an epic minute and half orchesteral section at the end. Other standouts include the ballads 'Know your Quarry' and 'Many Of Horror', as well as the springy electro rock of 'Born On a Horse' a track that would be just as at hom on a Marmaduke Duke record.

Indeed thats The strength of 'revolutons' The songs don't burst with orginality but that was never Biffy's game. Every song is different both in lyrical and musical content. Although definitly their most accessable release to date it is also arguably their deepest. Overall an excellent selection of songs by one of the most likable and talented bands working today.

World Painted Blood (Jewel Case)
World Painted Blood (Jewel Case)

4.0 out of 5 stars It's certainly a Slayer Album, 17 Jan. 2010
This is pretty much the quintisential Slayer album. It consists of vast, Chuggy riffs, Insane solos, Inhuman drumming and Tom Arya's screaming clenched teeth death howl. 'World...' takes the 'Seasons of the Abyss' route of being between the two extremes present on 'South of Heaven' and 'Reign in Blood'.
'World...' starts off the the slow building title track, with a full minute and a half of intro before kicking in with one of the most memorable riffs in the band's near thirty year history. Other standouts include 'Beauty Through Order' in which Arya sounds like he's about to explode,The brooding 'Not Of this God' and The Single.

I only have one problem with this album and here it is. Stop reading this review and go and listen to 'South Of Heaven'. Seriously, I'll wait....

Right, Back? It's just not as good is it? Maybe it's just so similar to their other output but it doesn't have the same edge.
This Album is well worth getting but it isn't quite as good as the landmarks they released in the 80s.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 24, 2010 4:31 PM GMT

21st Century Breakdown
21st Century Breakdown
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.23

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No I didn't like it and neither should you, 6 Jan. 2010
This review is from: 21st Century Breakdown (Audio CD)
Like pretty much everyone reading this I bought american Idiot and loved it. I loved it because of what it stood for. In a musical climate as boring as the one in 2004 it was nice to have someone in the mainstream start giving the establishment the finger for a change.

Right now thats out the way I'm gonna say that 'Breakdown' is like listening to 'American Idiot', except it's had everything you liked about it removed with near surgical precision. For starters the music is repetitive and boring. If you're idea of fun is listening to the same 5 chords in a slightly different order for 18 songs then what are you waiting for? buy this!

Also can someone answer me this question. What the balls happens in this album?? I'ts a concept record. Doesn't that mean it has a story or something? Aparently their idea of a storyline is mentioning the same two names in about five songs and using the intro of the first song as the intro for the last song... oooo continuity.

Where 'Idiot' was releveant and new, 'breakdown' is pointless. It accomplishes nothing except taking away an hour of your life you could have spent listening to something that matters, rather than mediocre pop-punk disguised as something that matters.

Oh and by the way 18 SONGS!? really, you need 18 song to get your message accross. I'm not even sure what the message was but maybe I would be if it wasn't stretched pointlessly over 18 SONGS! No-one needs that many...
Unless you're Pink floyd in which case you can help yourself to 24.

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