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Reviews Written by
D. Calvert "Contemporary Dave" (UK)

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Devil's Playground
Devil's Playground

4.0 out of 5 stars A great album with a nice raw and punchy production, 12 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Devil's Playground (Audio CD)
A great album with a nice raw and punchy production. It would have got 5 stars if it wasn't for that AWFUL Christmas song.

Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography: Vol 2
by Danny Baker
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of padding - and I'm not talking about Bakers waistline..., 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought Bakers first part of his biography and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I very much looked forward to the second part. Unfortunately I found it a bit of a let-down.

The problem is that Baker fills the book with anecdotes that have little or no relevance to his career - or indeed interest to the reader. Where most people could tell a story in a couple of paragraphs, Baker takes up pages and pages to tell them - and to be honest, most of these anecdotes are just plain boring. You find yourself having to skip several pages before you read something that is of interest. Don't get me wrong, there is some interesting stuff here, but you have to plough through the waffle to get to them. If you took out the padding, the book would be half the size.

At the end of the book, you find out why he's added so many irrelevant stories. Its summed up in the last 3 words - 'To be continued' Its clear he's got a 3 book deal! Good for him, but for the rest of us, we've been short-changed.

Godzilla [DVD] [2014]
Godzilla [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Price: £4.75

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK-ish, 30 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Godzilla [DVD] [2014] (DVD)
Clearly a big budget movie... when it comes to the special effects, which are pretty impressive. Watching the film the effects is clearly the place where all the time and money has been spent. Because the script appears to be a bit of an afterthought and written on the back of a cigarette packet the day before shooting commenced. As a result, the dialog and the actors performances are rather wooden and lifeless.

A real pity because if they had got the basics right, this could have been a really great movie.

Ram It Down
Ram It Down
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't take the cheesy lyrics and song titles too seriously, 9 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Ram It Down (Audio CD)
In my view this is one of Priest's most underrated albums. This is probably due to the cheesy song titles, such as 'Heavy Metal', 'I'm A Rocker', 'Monsters Of Rock' etc, and the equally cheesy lyrics, but if you take your serious hat off for a moment, this is a really good album. Its has some stonking riffs, great solos and some great vocals. The duelling lead break that Tipton & Downing do in the title track is great. They are clearly trying to out do each other. Production duties are handled by the very competent Tom Allom. Not a Priest classic, but one well worth checking out.

Baptizm Of Fire (Remastered And Expanded)
Baptizm Of Fire (Remastered And Expanded)
Price: £7.87

2.0 out of 5 stars Vanity Project?, 9 Oct. 2014
Glen Tipton needs to remember that his true talents lie in being the guitarist of metal legends Judas Priest - not as a vocalist and producer. Stick to what you are good at Glenn.

Angel Of Retribution
Angel Of Retribution
Price: £6.94

4.0 out of 5 stars This would have got a 5 star review but was let down by one track., 19 July 2014
This review is from: Angel Of Retribution (Audio CD)
I've just listened to Priest's new album 'Redeemer of Souls' and it made me want to listen to their past offerings again.

Angel of Retribution features the return of Rob Halford back into the Priesthood. After the poorly received Jugulator and Demolition featuring Tim Owens (a great vocalist who had to sing some below-par songs), it was vital that the band got this album right.

Listening to this album, its clear that it has been written to win back the fans - and I think they succeeded. A number of tracks have a big nod to their most successful albums such as British Steel and Screaming for Vengence.

Notable tracks include 'Deal With The Devil', a strong driving song with autobiographical lyrics, 'Demonizer' - a slightly more modern sounding song with great chugging riffs and some excellent screams from Halford. 'Angel' is one of the best ballads that Priest has written in a very long time. 'Wheels of Fire' has a very strong British Steel sound to it, plus the curious 'Eulogy' a song lasting only about 2 minutes with a very slow and haunting melody. Its very different to anything that the band has done before - but it works really well.

So now we are now on the home straight with only one track to go and a 5 star review on the horizon... And its at this point where it goes horribly wrong. The final song is 'Loch Ness', a song about a mythical creature with flippers - as a Classic Rock journo once referred to it. It drones on for nearly 15 minutes and is utter nonsense. Why on earth they decided to include this song is beyond me. They could have finished off with 2 absolute killer songs to make your speakers melt, rather than this awful durge.

With the exception of 'Loch Ness' (and possibly 'Revolution'), this is a good solid Priest offering.

Fujifilm X-E2 Camera - Black (16.MP, CMOS II Sensor, 18-55mm Lens Kit)
Fujifilm X-E2 Camera - Black (16.MP, CMOS II Sensor, 18-55mm Lens Kit)
Offered by WAA Electronics
Price: £649.00

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I prefer the X-E2 to the X-Pro1, 16 July 2014
I seem to get through Fuji X cameras rather a lot. So far, I've had an X20 (found it a bit too small, pic quality OK...ish), got rid of that and bought an X-M1 (fantastic pic quality, but missed not having a viewfinder), then I got the X-E2 and whilst having a very large G&T I also bought a S/H X-Pro1 off Ebay (Ebay and drink... not a good combo!). The X-Pro 1 is a great camera, but the focussing on low contrast subjects and VF is not as good as the X-E2 - especially if you wear glasses.

So now I've gone back to using the X-E2, and I love it (I always loved it). The EVF is miles better than the X-Pro1 and the focussing locks on targets much easier - although its still not as good as the focussing on my Canon 5D MK3. The Wifi image transfer is great and once you have that facility, you get used to it very quickly. You miss that when you use the X Pro1.

The X-E2 is small and really light - great if you want to take it out on a walk with you and get great quality images.

As for the image quality - its superb... professional quality. Indeed, I know a number of professional wedding photographers who have now dumped their heavy Nikon gear in favour of using the X-E2 and the X-T1. Normally in my work I shoot RAW, but on the X-E2 the quality of the JPEG's are so good, I don't bother with RAW. Noise is very well controlled at high ISO's. Indeed, the noise has a filmic look and is not unpleasant, even at 6400iso.

This is a really great camera - buy one!

Redeemer of Souls
Redeemer of Souls
Offered by FLASH
Price: £10.80

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK... but it does sound like metal by numbers., 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Redeemer of Souls (Audio CD)
This is the first offering since Nostradamus - a 'Concept' album, apparently. Its fair to say that 'Nozza' (as Halford once referred to it) divided the Priesthood. I thought it was a brave attempt, but in my view, it was too long. If it had been cut down, I think it would have improved it no end.

So now the guys have delivered the long-awaited 'Redeemer of Souls'. When the teaser videos appeared on Youtube, I, along with a lot of other people got seriously worried. The production sounded awful. It sounded like a demo tape. But yesterday, I received my CD (nice job on the artwork etc, by the way), I placed it on my death deck and crossed my fingers hoping that the production would sound better. Thankfully it does. However, it still lacks the power, finesse and dynamics that past Priest producers Tom Allom & Chris Tsangarides brought to the table. Their production was BIG and explosive - just what a larger-than-life band like Judas Priest needs.

So what about the songs? I'm not going to give a blow by blow account of every track, but they are OK. It does seem a little metal by numbers and they sound a bit like they are just going through the motions. They don't seem to be performed with the drive and conviction that we've all come to love with Priest songs. But I may change my mind when I've played it a few times.

Is it a classic Priest album? No it isn't. Out of their more recent offerings I think Angel of Retribution is better (except for that awful Loch Ness track). Don't get me wrong, its OK, but that's all it is.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 5:30 PM BST

Denon RCD-M39DAB Micro Component CD Receiver System - Silver
Denon RCD-M39DAB Micro Component CD Receiver System - Silver

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good!, 17 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A really impressive little system. The sound quality is surprisingly good and loud. Being a bit of a metalhead, Rammstein and Black Sabbath sound clear, punchy & rockin'!

My only comment is that I am having some difficulty in programming the radio stations into the presets. Perhaps I should read the instructions more...

Logitech 2.4 inch Harmony Touch Universal Remote Control for Home Entertainment System
Logitech 2.4 inch Harmony Touch Universal Remote Control for Home Entertainment System
Price: £91.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good universal remote, 17 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was getting totally fed up with having a load of remotes to control my TV, HiFi, DVD and YouView box, so I decided to buy the Logitech Harmony.

The amount of equipment this remote can control is vast - it was even able to control my Denon amp which must be nearly 13 years old. Setup was fairly simple, you connect it to your PC and download the device profiles you want the remote to control. It did however take an hour or two to find yourself around the menus to fine-tune how you want the remote to behave, but all in all it was pretty simple.

Two things I would point out though. When I connected it to the Logitech site, it automatically did a software/firmware update, which was fine, but I was a little surprised that the software didn't recognise the BBC have added some new HD channels - despite these channels being on air for a few months now. This wasn't too much of an issue as I was able to programme the new HD channels into the remote. The other observation I have is that I think it would be better if all the control buttons were all grouped together, rather than having the touch panel in the middle with the buttons above and below. I think it would make sense if the touch panel was at the top and all the buttons located at the middle/bottom of the remote.

But all in all, the Harmony does the business and is recommended.

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