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Profile for Mr. D. G. Hazeldine > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mr. D. G. Hazeldine "Dr. Sticks" (Kidderminster)

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Terminal Spirit Disease
Terminal Spirit Disease
Price: £7.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Stopgap before the best swedish death metal album ever?, 27 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Terminal Spirit Disease (Audio CD)
There's only a few studio tracks on this release, but, as with everything At The Gates released, it was good. The quality of the live tracks was good too, and they didn't detract from the release.
If you haven't got any At The Gates, then this isn't the best place to start, try their best album, Slaughter of the Soul.
As with the rest of their catalogue, it's all melodic swedish death metal. This isn't melodic in the Arch Enemy sense of the word, or the In Flames sense either. It'sdefinately still death metal, with just a hint of thrash. You may have heard the Bjorler brothers now playing in the Haunted, and Adrain Erlandsson is now in Cradle Of Filth, and Tomas (Tompa) Lindberg has done many things since, including the Crown and Lock Up. His vocal style is very un-death metal as it's quite high, but it fitted with the dry and brittle, but biting and low-end riffage. The drumming is definately old school, as there is less of an emphasis on blastbeats and more on the sort of style that Death made famous with their first three albums.
Mainly one for completists and fans of At The Gates, but a good release nonetheless...

The Gathering
The Gathering
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £13.30

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of 1999, 2 May 2003
This review is from: The Gathering (Audio CD)
This album sparked my interest in the band Testament, and that was from an unmixed demo-type version of the track 'Sewn Shut Eyes' from a covermounted CD. That led me to buy this ablum, and now I own almost their entire back catalogue... It seriously is that good!!
It's not because of the all-star cast of musicians used on the record (along with Testament mainstays Eric Peterson and Chuck Billy, we have guitar by James Murphy, bass by Steve DiGiorgio, and drums by Dave Lombardo!), but because the songs themselves are brilliantly written.
Of the 11 tracks, it's hard to pick out the best, but 'DNR', 'Three Days In Darkness', 'Legions Of The Dead', 'Riding The Snake', 'Sewn Shut Eyes', and 'Fall of Sipledome' are the best.
Chucks voice rides the line between melodic-thrash style that he had before, and a brutal growly voice that retains a large amount of clarity. This can be used to great effect, especially with Eric Petersons black metal-esque backing vocals.
Eric and James played together on the Testament album 'Low', and have also played together live, so they know how play with each other, and this shines through in the intricate lead change-overs, almost as good as the Kerry King/Jeff Hanneman partnership! James solos were always going to be a talking point, and they don't disappoint, even though they're more melodic and less furious. Best solo on 'Fall of Sipldome'. Eric's are as concise and furious as ever, with the best example on 'Sewn Shut Eyes'.
Having Steve DiGiorgio on bass means that the bass is not just following the guitars, which add an extra dimension. You can also hear it more in the mix too!
Dave Lombardo does a great job of not being tedious when it comes to the drums. His structures follow the patterns laid down by the music, instead of just being the backbeat. He can stillblast like the best, seen in songs like 'Sewn Shut Eyes', and 'Legions of The Dead'
So, 5 great musicians, 11 great songs, 1 great album. Get it. Now.

Fabulous Disaster
Fabulous Disaster
Offered by thebookcommunity
Price: £33.09

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a Fabulous Disaster!, 2 May 2003
This review is from: Fabulous Disaster (Audio CD)
This is the third album by one of the first thrash metal bands ever. This is the second with Steve Souza, and while the style of the songs is still very similar, there's a slight change in the lyrics, with a higher content of humour.
The album overall is produced as well as any of the other Exodus albums (those being Bonded By Blood, Pleasures Of The Flesh, Impact Is Imminent, and Force Of Habit), with the typical 'sheet metal' sound of thrash guitars. The drums, while competent, aren't groundbreaking.
There's also 2 covers, Low Rider, and Overdose, which are not completely expected.
Best songs, Toxic Waltz (apparently the song that killed thrash), Last Act of Defiance, and the title track.

Grand Leveller
Grand Leveller

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Album by Brummie Deathsters, 2 May 2003
This review is from: Grand Leveller (Audio CD)
This is the second of Benedictions many albums, and is the first with Dave Ingram, who has now joined Bolt Thrower. If you've heard any of the later Benediction albums with Dave singing, or the latest Bolt Thrower album, you'll be surprised to know that he sounds more like a black metal singer then a death metal one on this release.
That, of course, has no effect on the quality of the music. 10 tracks of almost grindcore-styled death metal. Lots of influence from Napalm Death, not only due to the fact that the album had Barney Greenaway on vocals. The dual grinding guitars are not as full as I'd like from the mix, and overall, there's not a large amount of bass in the mix, making everyhting sound a lot higher then it's supposed to. The drums pound along well to each track too. The best tracks are Graveworm and the title track, but all of the others are a close second.
Not the best Benedition album over their whole career, but worth owning.

Sons Of Satan, Praise The Lord
Sons Of Satan, Praise The Lord
Offered by disks4u
Price: £8.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Double release of covers by the only Death 'n' Roll band, 24 April 2003
According to what Alex Hellid says on the back cover of the CD insert, this contains all of the covers that Entombed has ever done. To say it's a bit eclectic is an understatement.
There are some good covers of metal tracks like Repulsion's 'Black Breath', and Venom's 'Bursting Out', along with 2 great SOD covers ('March of The SOD', and Sargeant D and The SOD'), and a Black Sabbath cover 'Under The Sun', along with the one from Uprising (Scottish Hell), and one by a Swedish metal band (Albino Flogged In Black).
Most of the other covers are from a wider span of music, like Bad Brains (Yout' Juice), Kiss (God Of Thunder), and MC5 (Kick Out The Jams). I can't remember who did the others, but it's more obscure people that you probably wouldn't expect Entombed to cover...
Overall though, it's quite good to listen to, apart from the wired versions of Amazing Grace!!!
Only buy it if you want to own all the covers by Entombed though. There's no new tracks or anything.

Price: £12.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Murder, 29 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Murder (Audio CD)
Gehenna started out as a black metal band. However, no band today can afford to stick to one formula with the sheer large excess of bands compared to actual styles. This means that a lot of bands change, some completely, and others subtly.
Gehenna refined themselves by taking a stance inbetween that of death and black metal. Murder is an example of the sort of mix that you can get between death and black metal, the best examples being Dissection, and Myrkskog.
So, this album contains parts of the styles of both genres. It includes both low and high (growls and screams) vocals, with guitars full of low-end bass, and hissing mid, and the ultra-fast black metal speed assault of double-bass drums, combined with slower grinds from death metal.
This makes the music fresh and interesting to listen to, as it combines the hate of black metal with the horror of death metal well. This album also contains plenty of atmosphere.
The first track proper is the most death metal of the ten tracks, with many of the others containing parts of both.
Good from an original standpoint, but maybe not as groundbreaking as it's potential could lead you to believe. These guys probably like black metal more then death, and this does come through in the usage of the speed and guitar hiss, but it definately has appeal from most lovers of extreme metal.
This development is carried on into further releases, with previous ones being more black metal...

Dreams You Dread
Dreams You Dread
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £21.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slight Departure From the Brummie Deathgrinders, 22 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Dreams You Dread (Audio CD)
Most people may only know of Benediction for two things:
1) Giving Napalm Death Barney
2) Giving Bolt Thrower Dave Ingram
Well, it looks like they've not been too lucky with their frontmen.
Their first album came out around 1990, when Napalm Death did Harmony Corruption, and after that, Barney felt that Napalm were better for him, and so Benediction gained dave Ingram ready for album 2 'The Grand Leveller' This started a few good things for the band, until they became slightly underground.
This release comes in the middle of that period, and is the album before 'Grind Bastard', the album that took them back above ground.
The only reason why I call this a departure is the tempo of the album. Almost every other Benediction album (to my knowledge) is a fast death metal affair. This however, has a slow feel to it, which brings to mind the themes of doom metal (like My Dying Bride, or very early Paradise Lost).
This is not a bad thing. The music fits the atmosphere of the album, as the first song (Down On Whores) is taken from excerpts of Jack The Rippers diary....
This sort of theme extends to the rest of the tracks, including the catchy 'Griefgiver', 'Denial', 'Negative Growth', and the title track 'Dreams You Dread'.
The guitars keep their death metal low-end sound, and the drums add that small element of grind that would develop in the next album. The vocals are typically low and indecipherable.
This album doesn't seem to feature much solo work, though, whcih I find a shame, but doesn't detract from the impact of the music.
Altogether a more dirgesome affair, similar to something like Morbid Angel's 'Gateways To Annihilation' in it's theme and execution, but of a much more doom-styled (and typically British) emotion running throughout.
Possibly not the best work from this band, but definately one of the more original...

Testimony of the Ancients
Testimony of the Ancients

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique album, 18 Oct. 2002
One of the most unique albums I've ever had the pleasure to hear, 'Testimony Of The Ancients' utilises one structure which I have never seen again: the use of small interludes between every song.
There may be 16 tracks, but there are only 8 songs, with the other 8 being interludes between. These interludes showcase the developing interests in Jazz that the members of Pestilence were getting at this time. This interest would culminate in the next album 'Spheres' which would fully meld the two genres, something that Jazz musicians seem to be good at (melding...)
The interludes add that extra dimension of atmosphere to the album, and make it essential to listen to the whole thing at once: there's no way that you could get the same experience from this album any other way.
This keeps in line with many death metal albums, and also their own back catalogue: you can tell that it's Pestilence. Generally the instruments have a less thin production then on 'Consuming Impulse'. The low-end guitars have slightly more bass, and give some very intersting riffs and solo's. The drums also maintain their use of varying tempo's and arrangements. The bass has an even batter role here, making use of the interludes to get some solo work, which is much needed in this genre. The bass, interestingly, is only really used to accentuate the low-end of the guitars, and provide the link to the drums in Death metal, but some people like to try and show how much more can be gained from a more competant bass player...
Overall, a unique strangely atmospheric experience that must be taken all in one go. A taster of what was to come, and also a shame to know that it was their penultimate album...

Consuming Impulse
Consuming Impulse
Price: £7.14

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dutch version of Death, 18 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Consuming Impulse (Audio CD)
Another overlooked band from the late 80's, Pestilence contained many great death metal musicians, and were fine purveyours of technical death, at a time when not many people were interested. This is the second album, after 'Malleus Malefecarum', and the first on Roadrunner (Roadracer was a special Death Metal imprint from Roadrunner - lots of good bands were on it back in the day, Sepultura, Obituary, Suffocation....)
They were one of the first bands, along with people like Death, Nocturnus, Suffocation, and Cynic, to incorporate more technical playing, and arrangements into their style. Their most radical changes would come later, with 'Testimony Of The Ancients' being a song-interlude-song based album, which I haven't seen the like of ever since, and 'Spheres' was almost a jazz-death metal fusion.
As you would expect from death metal, there are nice low-end guitars, pounding drums, and incomprehensible vocals. Add to this decent bass work (something rarely done in the early 90's), and some interesting new arrangements, that mainly concentrate on building up in stages, before the all-consuming crush. I think that's what they were trying to aim with on this album, and it comes out best in songs like 'Out Of The Body', where there is a great under-use of the double-bass drums, which creates the feeling of being consumed slowly.
They also have the trademark thrash speed that characterised many a great death metal band from the late 80's to the early 90's (like Possessed, or Sepultura), and include some nicely worked solo's.
Another of the essential albums to buy if you want to know what death metal used to be...

Conquering The Throne
Conquering The Throne
Price: £10.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erik Rutan moves on., 16 Oct. 2002
This review is from: Conquering The Throne (Audio CD)
As I'm writing this quite a while after this came out, it has since transpired that:-
Erik Rutan has stopped working with Morbid Angel
Tim, and Doug and no longer in the band.
So, when this came out it was partly overlooked, mainly due to it's shortness, and it's ability to just blast past everybody.
I listened a bit closer...
If you know Ripping Corpse or Morbid Angel, then you should know what Erik Rutan sounds like. He wrote some great stuff for Morbid Angel, with his fret-burning style.
This led to a complete album. Helping out Erik on guitars was Doug Cerrito, who may be known for being in the great (re-formed!) band Suffocation, and so he complements the style of Erik very well, with some slightly more complex ideas, and uses of slower speeds. Jared Anderson takes care of bass (and managed to fill in for Steve Tucker on a Morbid Angel tour), and previously not known Tim 'The Missile' Yeung, who blasts away quite amazingly.
So, you may have guessed what type of music this is... Complex, fast, low, crushing death metal.
It's a very fast album, so fast, that if you don't listen to it closely (i.e. if it's in the background) then you'll miss it's more subtle qualities, which lie in the sometimes hard-to-hear complex riffs, which showcaes the experience of the two guitarists.
Maybe not as original as it could have been (check newie 'King Of All Kings'), this should'nt be overlooked!
More great death metal form Florida...

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