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Stiff Upper Lip
Stiff Upper Lip
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £5.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Best in 20 years., 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Stiff Upper Lip (Audio CD)
The best album since Back In Black. Great guitar tones and production. Classic Akka Dakka.

Relentless: The Memoir
Relentless: The Memoir
by Yngwie J. Malmsteen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing., 13 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Relentless: The Memoir (Hardcover)
Not a massively insightful read for a Yngwie nut like me. Seems without his wife his life and career would probably be over. You do get the impression a lot of this was written by his wife truth be told. Sadly it seems Yngwie doesn't grasp what his fans really want to hear from his music. Nothing on why WTEAW sounded so bad either!

La Futura
La Futura
Price: £5.15

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form., 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Futura (Audio CD)
The best in years from the Rev Willy G and co.

Converse Unisex-Adult Star Player Adulte Core Canvas OX Trainers 289162 8 Black/White 9.5 UK, 43 EU
Converse Unisex-Adult Star Player Adulte Core Canvas OX Trainers 289162 8 Black/White 9.5 UK, 43 EU

5.0 out of 5 stars No con here., 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great price. Great product.

BaByliss for Men Super Hair Clipper
BaByliss for Men Super Hair Clipper
Price: £49.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Good piece of kit., 13 Dec. 2014
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I shave my head on a grade 1 once a week. The cut from these clippers is the best I've had and I've been through a few. Also quiet enough it doesn't scare my 4 year old so I now cut his hair with these and the variety of grades make this a breeze. Pay extra and get a decent cut. Simple as that.

Washing Line / Airer Metal Ground Spike Width 32 mm Height 385 mm
Washing Line / Airer Metal Ground Spike Width 32 mm Height 385 mm
Offered by Jas Household Suppliers
Price: £3.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job., 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Over a year on the whirlie gig still stands despite gails.

Adults Black or Navy Army Combats Cargo Trousers Sizes 30-50 (34W 32L, Navy)
Adults Black or Navy Army Combats Cargo Trousers Sizes 30-50 (34W 32L, Navy)
Offered by Dallas Wear Ltd
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Snug... Too snug., 13 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Avert tight on the waist so returned. Service for despatch and refund was first class though so cannot fault that. Rating is for the product which aside from the fit issues seemed good quality.

Price: £12.65

5.0 out of 5 stars A more direct offering from one of prog rock's best kept secrets, 12 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Insomnia (Audio CD)
Returning after an absence of close to 10 years are the American rockers Mastermind. Led by brother guitarist/vocalists Bill and drummer Rich Berends the band have built up an impressive back catalogue before seemingly disappearing from the scene after 2000's "Angels of the Apocalypse" which saw release on Inside Out.

Now the band are back after an self released ep in 2005 with their seventh full length album in "Insomnia" released on Lion Music on Feb 19th. Long time band cohort/guest Jens Johansson (Stratovarius/Malmsteen) provides keyboard solos whilst the album marks the album debut for vocalist Tracy MacShane, a female vocalist with a great ballsy voice. Often labelled as prog rock band the band exhume some prog rock sensibilities on `Insomnia' but mostly this is hard rock covering a wide gamut of styles that fall under the rock banner, all well played written and aided by a nice warm production.

Opener "Desire" sets the ball rolling in fine style, pretty straightforward in style and intent but home to a catchy melody and a thunderous bottom end. "Break Me Down" is more left field, darker, slower, moodier and not without some stoner properties. The riffs are slow, doomy and satisfying, however the band travels into a glorious more up-tempo solo section where Bill gives his vintage Gibson a nice workout with his fluid, liquidy warm tone and the orchestration builds beneath before working its way back to the chorus. "One More Night" sees a nice airy acoustic vibe enter with Bill giving us a lead vocal before the track builds for the chorus. The solo sees Bill build layers of guitar in a more textural way than a typical solo before the dual vocals harmonise nicely. "Meltdown" seems to exhume some dark Seattle alternative flavour and its dark vibe pictures a visual nightmare of sorts. McShane uses her voice in a variety of ways here showing her versatility, the track's icing comes in the guise of a superbly dirty toned solo from Johansson acting like a red rag to Berend's bull guitar - very nice.

"Piggy World" is home to an aggressive spiteful vocal delivery from McShane, which despite its aggressive verses finds some melodic resolve for the chorus. The track does feel a little out of place to the rest of the album but is still likeable enough. "No Answer" is much more laid back, almost introspective in its approach with a great melancholic feel whilst the heavy riffs and more classic melodies return for "Broken" which has a nice exotic feel to it. Being home to an almost trance inducing chant line refrain, the track marks McShane's finest vocal performance on the album along with another fluid solo from Berends, arguably the most accessible track on offer.

"Night Flier" will appease all 70's prog enthusiasts with its instrumental format and fusion/jazz feel. Berend's guitar takes off in a big way here and again Jens Johansson helps build more tension with his keyboard solos. "Nietzsche" comes across as a fusion of Pink Floyd but with a darker, more troubled vibe. Largely thanks to the machine like vibe of the throbbing bass and drums which lead way to more layering from the guitars whilst Johansson's keyboard tone here send shivers down my spine - tantalisingly scared but warm at the same time, the track finds a nice resolve at its conclusion leaving my nerves calmed somewhat. "Last Cigarette" closes the album in more dark style, with a variety of parts laid across its slowish tempo yet is a nice finisher.

With "Insomnia" Mastermind have produced a very solid seventh album with a sound that is unique to the band, yet at the same time classic in its approach. Sonically the band have their own sound happening with the warm production, kudos go to Bill and Rick Berends for producing such a warm and individual sounding album (and McShane for a great vocal performance), which took me back to the days when sound production helped shape an albums character. "Insomnia" is such an album with its own character, its a dark album in a lyrical sense, heck even the album title hints at this and you wonder if the band have slept for the last decade? Perhaps now the album is done they can rest easy in the knowledge they have produced a very enjoyable, individual and skilful release in "Insomnia".

Readers wanting an original slice of rock music that will reward further with each listen check out the album now.

Hot Spots : Desire, One More Night, Night Flier, Nietzsche

As featured on my site

Growing Apart
Growing Apart
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Solid rock offering featuring Goran Edman and Scott Rockenfield, 12 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Growing Apart (MP3 Download)
Headless were a band that were kicking around in the late 1990's, they disbanded in 2000 but have seen fit to reform under the watchful eye of guitar duo Walter Cianciusi and Dario Parente, making up the core of the band is vocalist Goran Edman, he of some of the finest pipes to have come out of Scandinavia. Completing the lineup is guest drummer Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche fame for the bands come back "Growing Apart".

Stylistically Growing Apart sits somewhere between straight metal and hard melodic rock mixed with some progressive elements, all tracks are listenable and accessible from the first spin and to be honest this is a very good collection of songs with good performances from all involved.

The promo literature states that the music was built around the drum rhythms of Rockenfield, fortunately this doesn't sound like musicians trying to lay down music to drum rhythms, instead its well written, focused and with good arrangements. Edman contributes strong vocals and melodies and throws down some interesting vocal harmonies on the likes of "Primetime", "The Backstabbers Around Us" and the title track. Cianciusi and Parente prove themselves to be more than capable guitarists, who also know the art of restraint when it comes to lead time too.

Overall, a good album worth checking out.

Galahad Suite
Galahad Suite
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best concept album of 2013? Maybe, 12 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Galahad Suite (MP3 Download)
Described as "Epic storytelling with an all-star cast make Anton Johansson's Galahad Suite one of the best concept albums you will hear in 2013" is rather a bold claim by label by Lion Music and you'd be right for being sceptical with such fanfare, for starters I imagine few have heard of Anton Johansson who played with Mister Kite a few years back, but delve deeper and you'll discover the fanfare might not be so wide of the mark after all.

With a sound that runs across progressive rock/metal, melodic and hard rock grounds with equal measure, "Galahad Suite" is the result of an idea that has been in the head of former Mister Kite member Anton Johansson for almost 30 years and features an array of talented musicians including Linus Abrahamson (guitar and bass), Carl Lindquist (vocals), Mats Bergentz (Drums), Sebastian Berglund (Keyboards), Anna Forsvall Lundmark (Cello) and backing vocal by Evelina Andersson, Ellen Abrahamson and Mikael Cederhag. Is this the all-star cast mentioned previously? Well no, aside from Lindquist most names are new to me, but then we get onto the guest list.


How about guitarists Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen, Freak Guitar), Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear, Allen/Lande, Starbreaker), Jonas Hansson (Silver Mountain), Dennis Post (Star*Rats) and Magnus Kristensson (Mister Kite, Planet); along with keyboards by Jens Johansson (Stratovarius, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio) and Lalle Larsson (Karmakanic, Agents of Mercy, Electrocution 250) and additional vocals by Alf Wemmenlind (Mister Kite, Fifty Grand Suicide), not too shabby eh!

But of course names are nothing without a decent end product and boy has Anton conjured up something rather special. As someone sick to death of overblown pompous epics (Timo Tolkki's Avalon anyone?) this is understated, it has very good songs, a strong story running through and the guest spots are used to enhance the end product, not be the only reason for buying. Production is excellent, strong, powerful and with a crisp mix.

10 tracks which take us from opener "The Hope" to closer "The Man", each track represents a step in Sir Galahad's quest, corny? Maybe, but Wemmenlind and Lindquist deliver the lyrics with so much passion and emotion it's hard to not get caught up in it. The other musicians are uniformly excellent whether its on the mid-tempo opener to the up-tempo and melodic delight that is "The Quest" to the musicality of "The Incident" (Dream Theater fans will love this one) and its breakdown with a superb keyboard solo from Sebastian Berglund. Each track has something to offer new on each subsequent listen and I can see this album staying in frequent rotation for a long time to come.

Overall, a very pleasant surprise from Lion Music and congratulations to Anton Johansson, the 30 year wait has been worth it. Check out ASAP

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