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Burn My Eyes
Burn My Eyes
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 4.45

4.0 out of 5 stars A near-classic debut., 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Burn My Eyes (Audio CD)
Bob Flynn and the Boys dropped a steaming hunk of great metal with this album, raw with protest and blazing with anger.

Opener "Davidian" bellows "let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!" This is named of course after the freedom fighter David Ian Scrogg, known for tying tinkly dinkly bells to the barrel of his gun to add a pixie-like innocence to shotgun homicide.

"Old" continues this finger-on-the-pulse social commentary, delving into Flynn's own experience providing Meals on Wheels for the elderly. "Old man, bread, flan," he growls, and we all know he cares.

The most striking song, however, comes near the end. "Real Eyes, Realise, Rhea Lies" finally tackles the issue of the Rhea, the biggest liar in the animal kingdom. "I'm bigger than ostriches!" Flynn roars, diving deep into character, "Emus are all gay! I can fly!" It's a challenging song, with very grave subject matter. But that's what metal is all about.

Machine Head continued very strongly after this release, coming back next with "Lenor Things Change", a concept album dealing with the trauma of changing your fabric softener, but this remains their finest hour. Buy it, or the Rheas will win.

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Sound Of Thunder., 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Devotion (Audio CD)
Oh, now this is good.

I don't know what the hell this is. Crushing hardcore? Ethereal, melodic gentleness? It's both, often in the same song. The lyrics are enigmatic, poetic, striking - much like the music itself. It's an exhausting listen, to be sure. The vocals are raw, and the melodic passages provide welcome breathers for the listener. But it's not just an intense and difficult listen, it's a hugely rewarding one. I just finished my first playthrough of the album, and I feel deflated, almost. I feel like I've gone through some terrifying dark tunnel and reached the light once more.

This is quite brilliant.

Do to the Beast
Do to the Beast
Price: 9.51

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "If they've seen it all, show them something new"., 20 April 2014
This review is from: Do to the Beast (Audio CD)
When suspiciously "record studio"-like photos began surfacing on the Whigs Facebook page without much fanfare, I allowed myself to hope, and was extremely happy when "Do to the Beast" was announced. I'm a relatively new Whigs fan, getting into them through an interview with Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem and buying Gentlemen back in 2011. As a result I haven't had quite the wait that the "first wave" fans have faced, but nonetheless, my anticipation was high for this album.

So does it stack up to my expectations? I have to say 90% yes. It's a great album, make no mistake. "Parked Outside" is one hell of an opener, marrying crunchy guitars and an almost-discordant cello to Greg's unmistakeable yowl. "Matomoros" follows this up with a typically funky guitar and a thunderous bass boom in the chorus that never fails to satisfy. Other highlights include crooning Western death-ballad "Algiers" and "Royal Cream" - which sounds bizarrely like Jimmy Eat World's delinquent chain-smoking older brother.

So why only four stars? (Four and a half really, but I can't give half stars).

Well, it's perhaps not surprising, but a significant part of the album sounds A LOT like Greg's other band, the Twilight Singers. For the most part this isn't a problem, as TS are a great band, but just sometimes in the more electronic parts of this album I found myself longing for the gritty, purely organic Whigs of yesteryear. The worst offender is probably "The Lottery" a shimmering track with electronic drums which just sounds too much like a reject from Dynamite Steps (it's probably the weakest track on the album which doesn't help).

Other than that minor gripe, and also a slight longing for a couple more hard rockers like the first two tracks, this is a great album. It's seen quite a few plays already from me, and it's very likely to see a few more. I would say it's comparable to Soundgarden's stellar comeback "King Animal" - a well-established band making a great comeback after an extended absence.

For those in the know, I found it much easier to get into than Black Love. It's probably on a par with the partylicious 1965 in terms of quality, edged out by the phenomenal Gentlemen (I'm not too familiar with the albums before that and so I'll refrain from commenting). For those new to the band, this is a good starting point. Give it a shot.

Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remastered)
Nightfall In Middle Earth (Remastered)
Price: 8.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Like Power Metal, Don't Like Tolkein... LOVE This Album!, 26 Jan 2014
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This is just unbelievably good, and frustratingly I can't quite put my finger on what makes it so. I've tried other power metal, I've tried other Blind Guardian, but nothing lives up to this masterpiece.

It's very unusual. The guitars are quite low in the mix, often out of focus. Placed front and centre are the huge, explosive choruses and frankly ridiculous vocal harmonies. I think what makes it so good is, while this album is epic and ambitious in scale, it retains a gritty, earthy toughness that elevates it beyond the often cheesy and wimpy sounds of their contemporaries. This is no harp-wielding bard music, prancing about a king's court, this is tankard-slamming tavern music, sung by soldiers. Check out the swaying chorus of "Nightfall" or the bellowing chants of the stunning "Time Stands Still at the Iron Hill" to find out what I mean.

Almost every single chorus on here makes me want to drink ale out of a huge metal tankard with one hand while groping a busty tavern-wench with the other. "Mirror Mirror" isn't great, but beyond that and the ones I've covered we have "War of Wrath", "Blood Tears", "Noldor", "Thorn" and "When Sorrow Sang" to name but a few. All of them make me want to stand tall with my hands on my hips and lead a group of warriors in bawdy singalongs.

And really, I can't recommend it more highly than that, can I?

PS. If anyone knows of an album that might be up my street in the same way this one is, I am all ears.

The Boondock Saints [1999]
The Boondock Saints [1999]
Dvd ~ Willem Dafoe
Offered by wmdservices
Price: 6.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Described in three words... hilarious, hilarious and hilarious., 15 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Boondock Saints [1999] (DVD)
This is an utterly brilliant film. Loud, violent and offensive. But most of all, it's funny. Unbelievably funny. It's the ultimate "Lads' night in" film. Get it now, drink a lot of beer and try not to wet yourself.

A Thousand Suns
A Thousand Suns
Price: 9.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly fantastic, epic and daring. But a cold reception buried it., 6 Jun 2013
This review is from: A Thousand Suns (Audio CD)
This is easily LP's best. They didn't care about writing hits, they just wanted to do what was true to them. By god, they succeeded. This is a great album. It flows together as one track. The soundscapes are brilliant, coming across like Imogen Heap meets Trent Reznor's quieter moments meets (in places) a gritty, electronic rap crunch.

The subject matter is haunting, covering war and death and the atomic bomb a lot more deftly and convincingly than similar material on the somewhat patchy "Minutes to Midnight".

Highlights? As I've said, this hangs together as one coherent work, making highlights a redundant concept, but the beautiful melodies and synthetic vocal harmonies of "Robot Boy" always bring a smile to my face, and the thunderous industrial-rap/world music chanting fusion of "When They Come For Me" shows just how far Shinoda has come as a rapper since "You've got a face on the inside too, yo,"

All in all, this should have propelled LP into rock's pantheon. Sadly, the fans were (as ever) hoping for Meteora Part Two (Subtitle: Hybrid Theory Part Three), and a lukewarm reception meant that the band went back to the drawing board and released Living Things next. While enjoyable, Living Things is the sound of a band running back to safety.

Oh well.

My Shame Is True
My Shame Is True
Offered by Direct Entertainment UK
Price: 9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, rip-roaring return to form., 17 May 2013
This review is from: My Shame Is True (Audio CD)
Agony and Irony was underwhelming (and for some reason rather irritating), but This Addiction was where Trio really dropped the ball.

Other than the title track, it was a dull album. Bland melodies and laughable, forced lyrics ("Like ships in the night we are colliding and sinking, into the black sea of our love"... Skiba, what were you thinking?)

With my Shame is True, Alkaline Trio are doing what they want, rather than trying desperately to fit back into the gothy pop-punk niche they carved for themselves and then outgrew with Infirmary, Good Mourning and Crimson. The lyrics are still melancholy. Injury, pain and death still crop up rather a lot, but now it sounds natural. Alkaline Trio are embracing their advancing age and their musical progression, rather than resisting it as they did on This Addiction. Synths slither around the guitars, and sound great. Choruses are huge, hooks dig deeper, and we're presented with instant classics like I Wanna Be a Warhol, The Torture Doctor and the truly excellent The Temptation of Saint Anthony, truly one of Trio's best moments.

This album is a triumph, the experimental touches of Crimson combined with the poppy brilliance of Good Mourning. Alkaline Trio are back, and it is wonderful. Pick this up.

Diamond Eyes
Diamond Eyes
Price: 7.09

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best album by a long way., 21 Oct 2012
This review is from: Diamond Eyes (Audio CD)
This is a Deftones shorn of the excess fat that plagued some of their previous albums. This is a lean, hungry Deftones. This is Deftones at their best.

All of the songs on here are compact and tight, coming and going in fairly short order but leaving a very lasting impression in almost every case. The melodies are carried primarily by Chino's vocals, and by the occasional keyboards. The guitars here function almost as percussion instruments, providing little in the way of melody but plenty of meaty, slamming rhythm. Check out the staccato assault during the verses of the title track, or the bruising grooves of "CMND/CTRL", or the brilliantly slithering chops of "You've Seen The Butcher" for an idea of what I mean.

This tops White Pony, which is saying rather a lot. This really is Deftones firing on all cylinders. But excitingly enough, what I've heard from their new album (released November) suggests that Chino and crew will be continuing this creative streak, and possibly even surpassing what they achieved with this remarkable disc.

So until November, and Koi No Yokan, Diamond Eyes remains the crowning achievement in Deftones' impressive career. Buy it!

It's All in Your Head
It's All in Your Head
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Head and shoulders above the rest of their work., 23 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: It's All in Your Head (Audio CD)
When I first got this album, I hated it.

Fresh from the smart-alec pop punk of their debut and the infectious fast-talking computerised bounce of the follow-up "Horrorscope", I didn't know what to make of this album. It seemed to embody nothing that the Eve 6 I knew stood for. It was destined to languish forever in my collection, forgotten.

And then "Good Lives" came up on my iPod.

It's an amazing song, with a pleading, almost desperate chorus. I loved it instantly, and with that the rest of the album opened up for me with one listen.

This is a dark album, make no mistake. This is a million miles away from their always somewhat tongue-in-cheek angst. And yes, the motormouth, stream of consciousness lyrics that were almost their trademark have been dialled back significantly. But the lyrics are even stronger, if anything. Look to the aforementioned "Good Lives", "At Least We're Dreaming" or "Think Twice" for examples. In particular, Think Twice manages to be a "stay the heck away from my girl" song without sounding too testosterone laced or posturing.

This album finds Eve 6 experimenting with a very organic style and sound, with no keyboards or studio trickery such as characterised their previous album. I think it's a vast improvement, best shown by the earthy, low-fi "Hey Montana". Another departure would be "Not Gonna Be Alone Tonight" which sounds unlike not just Eve 6's previous work, but also quite unlike anything else I can think of.

Much more mature and experimental than their previous efforts, this album left fans of easy-access hits such as "Inside Out" and "Here's to the Night" rather cold, and its sales reflected that. This is just yet another miscarriage of justice in the music industry (seems I spend a lot of time writing about these) as this is the far superior album. It's darker, heavier, more eloquent and much better written. Anyone who wants a pop-rock album that actually rocks could do much worse than to pick this one up.

Dawn Escapes
Dawn Escapes
Price: 6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A non-Christian's perspective., 6 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Dawn Escapes (Audio CD)
This is a very good album.

Falling Up are a Christian band, and to be honest as a non-Christian I was put off their début album by lyrics that were far too preachy for me, about fathers and healers and suchlike. There is, however, no such problem here. The lyrics are open to multiple interpretations without falling into the usual American God-rock cliché of "Jesus or my girlfriend" vagueness. While I'm aware my interpretations may differ greatly from what the band members intended, I am happy with what I take from the music, and would say that the lyrics display a startling level of maturity for a band only on its second album.

As the other reviewer said, "Contact" is by far the best song on offer. It took obvious comparison points Linkin Park until 2012 to write a song of this quality ("Castle of Glass" from their latest album) and yet Falling Up reached this level on their second effort, way back in 2005. The song is utterly haunting, its melodies gorgeous. "Exhibition" is another highlight, with its hypermelodic staccato riffs and the clever use of pianos, which drive the song forward rather than seeming tacked on as an afterthought. Another personal favourite in this, my very earliest acquaintance with this stunning album, would be "Moonlight", which marries Maiden-esque twin guitars to a crunching industrial-strength stomp. Finally, closer "Into The Gravity" once again uses memorable keys and a very Peter Gabriel-like vocal delivery to round out a truly excellent collection of songs.

One minor criticism so far would be the choruses of "Flights" and "Cascades" are rather too similar. They share very similar words and I found myself wondering if I had gone back to the former by accident. This is a minor gripe, however, and it could even have been a deliberate move by the band, depending to what extent they were going for a "concept" album with recurring motifs and themes.

All in all, this is really a very good album. I find it both poignant and at the same time, hugely uplifting. To any non-Christians worried you'll be bombarded with Jesus references and asked to donate the second you put this in the player, don't be. This is just good music, regardless of what you believe.

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