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The Doctor (Ireland)

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Price: £18.71

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the strong came forth sweetness, 23 Jan 2012
This review is from: Imaginaerum (Audio CD)
"Hey Doc, you must really like this album to give it 5 stars!" Actually no ... I don't, its boring. If anything, it got me scrambling through my attic to dust off my Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook and Monster Manual. Sorry Nightwish, the world has moved on and so should you, as Imaginaerum offers very little from their box of symphonic rock that they havent already bestowed upon us before. OK, so I do have a soft spot for the band, as I do my retired 16th level dwarven thief. But this is so so dated and devoid of creativity or passion, except for one ...

And there it was, four tracks in - `Slow, Love, Slow': a track worthy of 5 stars alone. This is Dark Lounge, oozing with sultry vocals, whispered snare and sassy trumpet. I was lost. My mind wandered through the rain-sodden streets of Manhattan and into the smokey jazz café, its crimson velvet drapes soaked with the stain of a thousand tears. A dusty mirrorball above the stage span slowly, sprinkling its shafts of hope across the lonely, while `Fat Joe' blew that horn as only Fat Joe can. I sat down at an forsaken table by the bar. The tall blonde waitress sauntered over and purred "What'll it be stranger?" She leaned forward seductively to light my Havana cigar, hand-rolled on the slender thighs of Cuban maidens. I smiled, ordered a bourbon on-the-rocks and stared into oblivion, as my heart yearned to be with the one I love.


Footnote: It may be stunning, but I am not sure about some of their Finglish - "Let down your guards, I love you's" ? Yeah ... me too's.

Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland [DVD]
Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland [DVD]
Dvd ~ Rush
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £10.44

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but sometimes people love cr-p, 11 Nov 2011
When I read all the negative reviews, I thought what a bunch of moaners. And then I put my DVD into the player. I got no sound either and was about to launch it out the window like my Test For Echo CD/Frisbee until I realized I had to change the audio settings ... and then all was well.

I then sat back and heard the perfect audio accompany the less than perfect visual. So this is what they meant about it being hazy/fuzzy/whatever. I must confess that it isn't HD, but was it supposed to be? It reminds me of '80s concerts that have been transferred from VHS to DVD and that is its charm. Even the intro video has an auditorium sound to it (all be it an empty one).

Time Machine has a 'being there' feel about it and yes its not perfect and yes although the camera angles are creative they do switch too much. But its warm and welcoming like a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord at your local pub. Its not as clinical as S&A, nor badly mixed as R30: a bit like the 3 bears porridge; one was too hot, one was too cold, but this is one is just right.

So for those of you that still think its poor quality, just pretend you're down the front at the gig, watching the show through a haze of sweet smelling concert smoke, whilst clutching your over-priced t-shirt and already creased program. Because it is more than just a concert, it is a show ... and a mighty fine one at that!

A Dramatic Turn Of Events
A Dramatic Turn Of Events
Price: £13.43

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its 1991, 4 Oct 2011
'A Dramatic Turn Of Events' is the superb follow up to 'When Dream and Day Unite', the debut album from Drea ... hang on a minute, somebody is trying to tell me something ...

What's that? [Its their 11th studio album and they've been together for 25 years]
Then what about all those half-baked albums in between? Maybe that was a different band that spelt their name 'Theatre'.
[It's the same band] Then how come it sounds so much better?
[What ... Mike Portnoy left?] But he's the second best drummer in the world!
[You felt he was stifling the bands musical creativity] That's crazy talk ... get outta here!

Sorry about that. As I was trying to say, this is a superb return to form and is Dream Theater's best album since 1989.
I think these boys could go far!

Price: £13.88

28 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No No and thrice No!, 13 Sep 2011
This review is from: Heritage (Audio CD)
Is it me or are my heroes deliberately out to upset me? If it wasn't bad enough that Queensryche released a total stinker of an album in Dedicated to Chaos, then Primus ... by beloved Primus presented us with their latest patchy (at best) offering Green Naugahyde. Now the mighty Opeth have raised my blood pressure by going so prog, that it can only be enjoyed sitting on a raffia mat in the lotus position surrounded by lava lamps and the aroma of stale petula oil! In fact it's so 70s' prog that after just one listening I was dreaming about Ford Escorts, Man about the House and Pan's People!

So Michael has finally gone and done it, realizing his fantasy by obliterating any traces of Opeth's Death Metal origins, fusing together the sounds and styles of prog rock legends such as Camel, King Crimson, early Yes, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and Gentle Giant into one big pair of purple loon pants.

Heritage is not for faint hearted readers of MetalHammer. It is slow, meandering, trippy, self-indulgent codswallop. The album starts and finishes with lifeless instrumental dirges, the tracks in between merging into one globular nonentity with tracks like 'Folklore' merely an Andy Latimer reject.

The album's only glimmer of hope is 'Slither', but even this is dashed when the ghost of Blackmore appears to drag it back to pre-decimalization. Now I'm not some leather-clad, white-face painted death metalhead and I do like the aforementioned bands, especially Camel ... but not on a damn Opeth album! It's that light and shade that made Opeth ... Opeth.

I suppose I could see it coming on Watershed, but not to the extent that I am left with a load of well produced, well recorded, well packaged ... tosh.

Talking of Tosh, if I read an interview that says he's now listening to reggae I'm outta here!
Comment Comments (31) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2012 11:55 AM BST

Dedicated To Chaos (Special Edition)
Dedicated To Chaos (Special Edition)
Price: £14.13

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Chaos? What chaos?, 1 July 2011
When I saw the title of the new album, I really thought that we were going to get a 21st century Rage For Order or Empire or even Promised Land. But instead (and sadly) its a very light-weight offering that packs no punch, drive or soul. This album really saddens me.

I have followed Queensryche religiously since their first EP, through peaks ... and lesser peaks (Q2K). So to hear such a weak album from such a dominant force in rock music for so long, especially after the excellent American Soldier, is simply tragic.

Opener 'Get Started' is ... a good start. But you expect more than just a good start from Queensryche. Tate's amazing voice is completely wasted as the album drifts aimlessly from start to finish. And as for 'Broken', I admire bands trying something different, but No! No! No! No! No!

This is Queensryche's Test For Echo and if they [Rush] had ended their career with that abysmal album, it would have undermined a truly outstanding career. Thankfully Vapor Trails, Snakes and Arrows and the forthcoming Clockwork Angels have put Rush back at the top.

I can only hope that Queensryche have another Rage For Order in them before it's too late.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2011 10:13 PM BST

Crack the Skye
Crack the Skye
Price: £5.63

5 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry, but I just don't get Mastodon, 17 April 2009
This review is from: Crack the Skye (Audio CD)
'Crack the Skye' is the same noodling nonsense as 'Blood Mountain'; like an unpleasant cross between Voivod and King Crimson. Yet for some reason we are all being conditioned by the rock media to embrace Mastodon as something equivalent to the 'second coming'. But in reality it is more like the story of 'The King's New Clothes' and eventually we will all see them stripped bare of the hype.

This is at best dull, at worst a mess.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2009 9:12 AM BST

Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £3.95

7 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I didnt feel good, 4 Nov 2008
My mother used to say that 'hate' was a strong word ... but not in the case of 'Mama Mia'. It is without doubt, the worst film I have ever seen or will EVER see for that matter and unquestionably the biggest load of tripe in cinematic history.

Absolutely, totally and utterly appalling!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2008 4:31 PM GMT

Shogun (Special Edition) (CD/DVD)
Shogun (Special Edition) (CD/DVD)
Offered by Sound and Vision
Price: £6.00

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeeha!, 29 Sep 2008
I can hear the Record Company saying when they first heard 'Shogun' ... "Where's our 'Enter Sandman'? Where's a 'Nothing Else Matters'? I don't hear a radio friendly Metallicesque sing-a-long, arena filling, drive time, million dollar HIT!" And after 'Crusade' that was what I was expecting. But no. As the blistering 'Kirisute Gomen' beats you into a senseless pulp, you soon realize that this is as intense, brutal, diverse, deafening, creative, melodic, heavy, relentless, dynamic and intelligent release you are ever going to hear and one that will win them few fans, but will further support their challenge as contenders for the (new) Kings of Metal.

Recorded in Nashville of all places, Shogun is claustrophobic; as each track ends and you are left gasping for breath, the next awesome track such as 'Insurrection' hits you like a tidal wave that carries you out further and further into deep dark waters. Nobody else could get away with an 11 minute title track AND keep you entertained from start to finish. Nope, this is it - the real deal. Trivium have raised the bar and have set everyone one hell of a target to beat. Even the normally pointless 'making of' bonus DVD's is both entertaining and informative.

The thing is, it feels as though Trivium have been around for decades, such is the maturity and complexity of Shogun. And that is my only reservation. Where to next? Maybe their country song 'My Dog, My Truck, My Woman'. I hope they play it live!

Death Magnetic
Death Magnetic
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.00

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rest in peace, 23 Sep 2008
This review is from: Death Magnetic (Audio CD)
OK. How many years has it taken them to come up with this ... this nothing?! Without listing the events that have taken place in the world since St. Anger (am I the only person that thinks it was a better album than Magnetic?), why on earth have they been treading water all this time and who is to blame? Kirk? Nah ... he has no say in things. Lars? Possibly, but he's more concerned with the business side of the machine. James then? Maybe, but he should know better after all these years. Then who?

Its not really 'Rookie' Rob's fault either (it may be 5 years, but its still only album number one). No its none other than Mr. J. Newsted. Without him they have lost that edge, that spark, that creativity, that 'je ne sais quoi'. Sure you can say well 'what about the Cliff era'? True. But they got lucky with his replacement and since his departure have fizzled out to be but a shadow of their former selves. The universe has moved on and lesser bands are doing greater things ... Trivium, Testament ... even The Haunted.

Ridiculously named tours to keep the cash flowing such as 'Escape from the studio', 'Sick of the studio' and 'Ran out of ideas so we left the studio' are not enough to keep them at the top. And neither are money grabbing boxed sets with worthless t-shirts, flags and inflatable band members. No my friends, its time to walk away from the grave side with our heads bowed in respect.

I still prefer my original 4 word review though ... "Jason! Jason! Jason! Jason!"
Succinct and to the point.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2009 2:45 PM GMT

All Hope Is Gone
All Hope Is Gone
Price: £22.28

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Choose your masque, 29 Aug 2008
This review is from: All Hope Is Gone (Audio CD)
I am not a Slipknot fan, but I like Slipknot. If I was I would be burning effigies of these boilersuited freaks. I am not a Stone Sour fan, but I like Stone Sour. If I was I would be seriously worried that 'Come What(ever) May' was their last album. 'All Hope Is Gone' bridges the gap between the two bands, to the point where its hard to know where one ends and the other begins. But I have to say that it is a great album, just not a Slipknot album - or a Stone Sour album for that matter.

This is Slipknot's 'Black album', an album that transcends musical boundaries and places it in the mainstream category of acceptable metal. There is no escaping the fact that Slipknot is Corey Taylor's band and probably given half a chance would probably go it alone. But he needs the multi-million dollar global brand that Slipknot has become, along with the unmistakable drumming of Joey Jordison and Mick Thompson guitars. However the thought of couples holding hands - lighters aloft during songs like 'Vermillion' or 'Snuff' for that matter at gigs worries me. 'Till We Die' could even be mistaken for Knickleback!

'Butcher's Hook' and the title track are trademark Slipknot. But although verses of many of the songs are Slipknot, the choruses are pure Stone Sour. I don't mind, I think they sound great, but who am I listening too? Stand out track for me is 'Vendetta' with its extremely catchy chanting chorus, but the album lacks a classic such as 'Left Behind'. All the same I give it 4 stars for pure entertainment. Although I nearly docked them a point for not including us on their world tour.

As for the future? Corey ... you have a decision to make.

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