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Agma (UK)

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Masquerade In Blood
Masquerade In Blood
Price: 10.51

4.0 out of 5 stars Masquerade in Torture., 16 Mar 2014
This review is from: Masquerade In Blood (Audio CD)
This album is Sodom's seventh full length and an album caught in the mid-nineties thrash depression. Anyway,- so apart from another business as usual fare from the band, they sensibly dropped the punk influance they had started to show on they're previous few albums- which ultimately lead this into a semi return to form. This album is probably one of the most underrated of Sodom both in quality and popularity in the sub-genre and the band's discography, when in actual fact it's simply superb album and listen at face value.

It's certainly not as good as albums as "Agent Orange and M16". This is just a top-down dressing of their lethal brand of straight forward and heavy thrash. There are no areas of musicallity that seem to stand out but there is a consensus of a good overall standard across the board. I find the album's strength is in a unity of a good-even quality of songs, It's a fairly brief and trepid album too clocking in at just over 40 minutes. "Fields of Honour" is my favouite track, and I most definitely find this a worthy canon to investigate in any respect.


Celebrate: The Greatest Hits Live + Tour 2013 - O2 Arena, London
Celebrate: The Greatest Hits Live + Tour 2013 - O2 Arena, London
Price: 12.15

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cash-in. Don't buy this!, 15 Mar 2014
As I am not the first person to underline this, this set is certainly no substitute for actually being there at the concert live. Unfortunately, I would in other cases give this a two or even three star rating, but I think this is one of those concerted no-efforts to arise out of corportate greed. As the other reviewers have pointed out: the sound and mix is unacceptable and it proves that presentation and attension to detail were totally absent. This is sub-par:- a lack of pictures, text, and other fan goodies surely can't be well received either. This is like a demo, a non-collectable non-product that only the most serious and dedicated Simple Minds fan could consider:- and this shammed package is currently advertised at a tenner?!.


NIGHT ON BROCKEN
NIGHT ON BROCKEN
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 7.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We've all gotta start somewhere!, 14 Mar 2014
This review is from: NIGHT ON BROCKEN (Audio CD)
This elementary effort is the first album which kickstarted the career of Fates Warning, unfortunately to start with, (being a FW nut) it is a pretty mediocre and simplistic co-hort in a simples marriage of power, prog and heavy bits and pieces. The album doesn't seem to do anything no else has already done a 1000 times already and the lack of standouts is obvious and chronic. Ok, so it does have that eighties European sound and flare that (John Arch is likely the best thing about this record), I just can't find much musical merit in here as opposed to heaps of it in the rest of they're catalogue.

Well Fates Warning's innovative side was seemingly much too primeval at this stage, this is semi enjoyable backround metal with no standouts. (I had a look but couldn't find any!) and if I wanted to hear the power metal strength of Fates Warning then I would be far more likely to turn to "The Spectre Within" which in my opinion was a much improved beast indeed. Certainly, by all means check out where FW path began from they're earliest days, but just try not to envisage another debut classic becouse "Night on brocken" isn't that and is easily the weakest album in they're career by far.


Pray
Pray
Price: 35.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Razor sharp lost gem., 13 Mar 2014
This review is from: Pray (Audio CD)
I was listening to this record yesterday for the first time in a while and realised that this is another one of those lost, but stunning mid-nineties thrash/death metal classics. This is Solstice and they're second album from 1995; and it largely builds on positive territory handled by the first S/T Solstice CD. Solstice are a band that draw on many similarities from throughout the genre but in-particular to the early period of Malevolent Creation. For me, this is as good as recognised monstrosities such as the ten commandents or retribution.

Track lengths are also short, most clocking in at under four minutes- and mostly loaded with razor sharp riffs and well constructed songwriting. It's not all stunning stuff though, for an album hailing from this period the production job is a little too raw and demo-like for my expectations but since there has been no remaster since its release (to my current knowledge) I guess it suffices!. Very hard album to come by these days- as are many of these albums, but it's very much worth the effort in doing so in the end in-light of such a riveting listening experience.

My favourite songs include "Denial, All life lost and Freedom denied". This is one heavy and compelling metal album. I would recommend to all metal fans in checking this one out, especially to those who tend to swing more to the extreme side of things.


Burial Ground
Burial Ground
Price: 11.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Twisted and rotten,, 12 Mar 2014
This review is from: Burial Ground (Audio CD)
This release is the 9th full-length studio album from Grave in 2010, and one that arrives against the backdrop of an excellent predecessor "Dominion 8"; but where-as that album was lacking in the production department, this affair is seemingly much better. There is unfortunately some evidence of a slight oversight in lax songwriting and some unacceptable filler:- (Ridden with belief), but for the most part this is straight down the line death metal, characterized by extreme distortion and barking mad vocals.

There are a few semi-standouts here; the opener:- "Liberation, Semblance in black, Conqueror & Outcast" rank as some of my most enjoyable enterprises. The title track "Burial ground" is also a very good closer and possibly my most favorite song in post nineties hiatus. So I would certainly recommend looking into this for specialist, swedish death metal fans but seeing as this is a sound of an uncompromising band on autopilot-..., for everyone else I'd move along nicely, there's nothing new to see here.


Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10
Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10
Offered by actionrecords
Price: 10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A colourful and inspirational rock album., 11 Mar 2014
Enchant are a fantastic band, and this one of theirs proves it. A band on serious form - underpinned by an exceptional narration of musicianship and soft production. The songwriting quality is through the roof on this album as is the main driving force of inspiration propelling these songs; there's so many intoxicating and addictive choruses sandwiched in this affair with each a moment of atmosphere. Each song takes it's own line and there is plenty of decent variation, but a unison of a common thread holding the album together. Immaculate vocals as well by the fantastic - Ted Leonard.

The opener "Paint the picture" is a faultless and well suited opener with a nice and upbeat tempo. "Rough Draft" is one of my favourites as the chorus and atmosphere is so shady yet reflective. While, "What to say" is a moody and darker song transcending into the soul and mind which progresses to a more upbeat line. "Bite my tongue" is another very memorable one and a charasmatic mouthpiece of the album. "Colours fade" is a delicate touch or originality and pop sensibility. "Juggling knives" is slightly funky and jazzy but lights the sky with it's amazing line and direction.

The second half of the album continues the quality from the first half with an excellent contribution in the form of "Black eyes and broken glass" with a swirling and beautiful construction. "Elyse" is a little heavier than the rest but the hard rock is flavoured undercurrent developing the song in a truly interesting enterprise. "Shell of a man" is the only weak moment of the CD in my opinion, with a technically sound piece and fine line but just isn't quite as memorable with a rather flat and boring centerpiece. "Broken Wave" is pure mindblowing prog:- just give this one a listen!. -Amazing, songwriting again."Traces" is a little more chilled out and rather pleasant in it's timing. "Know that" is the finale, and it borrows a cue or two from "what to say" but it gives that song a slightly different angle of it. Short; the album then comes to an end.

Definately buy this album if you enjoy progressive music and relish an amazing set in committed and inspired sound-scapes. One of my favourite rock albums in my collection and certainly up there with the most played too!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2014 8:04 PM GMT


Infernal
Infernal
Price: 15.93

4.0 out of 5 stars The edge of the fault line looming., 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Infernal (Audio CD)
After the release of this album, the main axeman- "Swano" left the band sounding their death knell and reiterating the influance and steering extent he was responsible for within the group. I certainly had no problem with this throughout their career, as they made some really splendid stuff in they're time. "Infernal" however is certainly not up to standard with much of their previous back catalogue; however it could still ultimately pass off as a great effort none-the-less.

For me, the shortsighted songwriting and lack of transition is the main hinderance of the album. They're is also an extensive gothenburg melo-death shine to the production, resulting in a remarkably clear sheen that some listeners may not like due to a strong brightness. There is also a wierd array of time signatures and rhythms in-combo with dissonant riffs. I personally like it, but I still find myself pegged back due to the staleness of predictableness and uninteresting developments.

Seems harsh to say since I have awarded a respectable 4 star rating to this underrated record. There is lots of great enjoyment to be found here:- "Damned (by the damned)" is a supremely catchy song and memorable. "Helter Skelter" is another of those Swano blinders. The last track "The last song" by it's very wording, seems to spell out the ultimate fate of resignation of the Edge of sanity bandwaggon teetering on it's last days pf premise; but at least the track ends the album on another highlight.

Infernal: Worth looking into, but really a specialty that will likely be of most value to progressive death metal fans or existing Edge of sanity lovers. 3.75/5


Godless Beauty
Godless Beauty
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The last of greatness before the rot set in,., 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Godless Beauty (Audio CD)
Look, I've got to be honest with you- when it comes to the career history of Cemetary, like pioneers Therion, when they first came on to the scene in the early nineties they had the potential to be the reigning lords of the Swedish death metal genre. "An evil shade of grey and Beyond Sanctorum" are two of the best albums ever to come out in this sector, but where differences differ- in a sense is that Therion went on to at least another decades worth of innovative but puzzling opera metal. Cemetary instead went head first into a template of boring and wasteland goth rock, but that transition wasn't yet fully set in motion on this second effort from the band, but it was clear even (at this stage) that they had no intention of repeating the pristine results they had achieved on their debut album "An evil shade of grey".

That said, "Godless Beauty" is still an excellent album fully worthy of both technical and progressive metal- merit. There is still some sign of that Swedish buzz and bottom end but the album doesn't have the bass or power behind it to truly rank as a full on and committed death metal album. There is a variety of different songwriting and influence experimentation going on here, lots of little nuances, melodic undercurrents and unexpected sounds. The album is certainly a very strong one, always united by a high standard and quality of songs; I found it all to be highly enjoyable- it's just a shame therefore that after this they descended into a mirky world of obscurity and a equal set of unimaginative follow-up albums.

Godless beauty:- Recommended for fans of "To ride - era Entombed" and other death metal/death & roll/melodic hybrid metal music. 4.5/5


Bird Noises (Remastered)
Bird Noises (Remastered)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic EP., 8 Mar 2014
I managed to pick up this "EP" along with "Head Injuries" when I was passing through Melbourne last year. This 4 track little EP is barely 15 minutes in length but it's indeed a marvelous effort from this legendary Aussie group from all the way back to their early 1980 period.

The first song is "No time for games" and straight away you are taken aback by the raw, energized and old-school production:- the song ultimately transmits into a passively familiar and enjoyable Midnight Oil opener. "Knife's Edge" to start with reminds me of a tongue-in-cheek Devo track but it's frenetic character develops the song into another trademark Oil song. "Weddingcake Island" is a nice and truly pleasant ballad which is a little different to the usual mill with it's usual intricate sounds and vibe; this of-course finally leads into the final track "I'm the cure", which is a rocker with intent and displays the Oil's youthful spirit with class.

If you're into classic rock or have an existing interest/occasional fan-ship of Midnight Oil you should have a look at this short little maestro. After giving it a dozen or so spins this morning I can really see what the inspiration morphed into on their "Diesel & Dust" album which arrived 7 years down the line.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2014 9:52 PM GMT


Disconnected
Disconnected
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: 5.46

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its slightly quirky and groovy, ...and I like it!,, 7 Mar 2014
This review is from: Disconnected (Audio CD)
9th studio album from the progressive metal masters and certainly a minor return to form, (both bettering A pleasant shade of gray and Inside out albums in my opinion.) Far removed from normal service, this edgy and proggy affair has since it's release been known as the odd cannon in Fates Warning's discography; but it's much more than just that. FW always pour their mind and soul into their music and wear their heart on their sleeve when it comes to their music. On this one, there is quite alot of variation considering it only has 7 songs; 7 excelent songs in any case.

The intro sidekick opens the door for the slightly upbeat numbers "One and Pieces of me" which transpires into a more moody affair as we enter "So" (the definitive album highlight) and beyond. The following half of the album is probably a little more closer to the stuff they had become known for (especially compared to the previous album) but the songs all possess a freshness of the air about them:- unpredictable, dynamic, lots of subtle influances etc; and yes this is a much more progressive album than most of their previous outings, and I just think it was a superb move. 16 minutes of "still remains" says that much and a true epic!.

This was the start of an upward trend for Fates Warning that has so far culminated in last years blinder "Darkness in a different light" absolutely recommended progressive CD, and essential if you're really into the band.


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