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Agma (UK)

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Price: £16.07

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)
Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: £6.03

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

Offered by roundMediaUK
Price: £5.93

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.

Perfect Balance
Perfect Balance
Price: £10.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Balance not quite perfect on this one., 6 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Perfect Balance (Audio CD)
Great, but un-spectacular power/prog metal hybrid CD from 2001. I'm not sure what has been happening in this quintessentially British metal group, as between 1997-2003 they had managed to release 5 full-length efforts, but since 2005 a dead silence has prevailed in the band- and the longer it goes on it seems- the less likely it will be that we will get any more new music. "Perfect Balance" is the fourth album from the band and is an overall competently done job. Songwriting is evidently a little weak, and a slight lack of inspiration within the music as a whole could be abit tighter; but overall, the songs do hold their own for a dedicated listen at least.

"Higher than the sun" is a pretty good opener, albeit lacking an intoxicating chorus, there is some good keyboard work present, as can be seen from the start of "Shelter me" which is probably among the better crop of songs from the album. "Fire Dance" is an excellent song on this CD, which is memorable and intriguing- certainly the best song of the album at least. "One Voice" is more of the same but shows good evidence of tempo and quality control throughout. "The Pleasure room" is a more reflective and progressive side of the band, certainly among the better songs again.

"Killer Or The Cure" is a "twisty and turny" song with a funky bass-line, but again fails to capture my imagination; fairly ordinary!. "House Of Cain" is next and one that I found to be highly enjoyable- very memorable chorus and one I hit repeat on often. "Hard Life" is the heaviest song on the album and a good one too- nice solo at the end of the song was a great touch too. Finally, "Searching For The Truth" is the last song and it blazes out of the gates with intent and transpires into a well-grounded & shifty power metal opus concluding the LP.

I ultimately found the middle to end half of the album slightly superior to the first couple of songs and I felt it is here that the most merit and weight of quality was to be found on "Perfect Balance". So yes- there is an abundance of good variation, musicianship, chemistry, and a fabulous production, but it still seems to come up just short for me:- almost like it's missing a crucial ingredient needed to make it a sky-reaching affair. Definitely recommended for the prog/power obscurists and enthusiast's, but certainly not an essential album by any means. 3.5/5.

World Without God
World Without God
Price: £8.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Evil!..., 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: World Without God (Audio CD)
Apparantly, this is the first time this monstrous album come out on CD, so strictly saying that it's not really a reissue; this album on release was available as an LP and anything else that was out there was probably limited to ultra small quantities. So up until this release this has been a very sort after death metal album indeed. Convulse - "World without god" was the early 90's debut from this underground finnish band; and certainly the forerunner of a pool of top notch bands- overshadowed somehwhat by the more famous Stockholm death metal bands from their Swedish cousins and neighbours.

If you're looking for truly scary and death metal with intense atmosphere you have come to the right place. "World without god" showcases a modest tapestry of slow, heavy/primative death metal and a voice from the caves; gutteral somewhat, but only adds to the mordid environment created. After this album, Convulse returned to the studio with a totally diifferent angled "Reflections" which ultimately resulted in a long period of silence and inactivity until the bands surprise formation and a comeback album in 2013. This one as you'd expect is they're best effort so far, and a great addition to a death head's sordid collection.

In Mourning [Digipak]
In Mourning [Digipak]

5.0 out of 5 stars Awful cover but pristine Brutality!, 25 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In Mourning [Digipak] (Audio CD)
This was the last of a trio of high quality albums that Brutality put out in the early to mid 90's. The album differs from "Screams of anguish & When the sky turns black" with a reduction of eclectic moody / Jazzy death metal to a more streamlined and classic sound. The pace of the album has also notably increased; lots of blast beating and faster tempos. This is my favourite album from the band as it retains a classic old-school sound with a nice dark shady atmosphere.

Like all of Brutality's efforts; they never got the recognition they deserved and for me that is a shame as they are one of my favourite florida based death metal bands. The loss of the bands logo and poor artwork I doubt will have helped it's case but the content inside it all was a terrific slab of death metal. "Subjected to torture" is undoubtedly the standout on the LP; I would recommend just simply checking this one out. My words really don't do this one justice, it's a great one, and just as enjoyable now, nearly 20 years down the line.

Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld
Chronicles Of The Immortals - Netherworld
Price: £12.28

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album number 7 and it's a stellar one!, 25 Feb 2014
Most welcome return from the German progressive band Vanden Plas. "Chronicals of the immortals" sees the band take-on the challenge of a concept album, which will bring us a storytelling viewpoint for the first time; and this story will be split into 2 installments, (much like Pain of salvation's Road Salt 1 & 2), with the conclusion set for a tentative 2015 release. The inspiration for the story (named Bloodnight) and idea itself came from an author known as Wolfgang Holbein and it is about a challenging tale of a lad (I believe), who is different and feels no-one understands him.

The CD showcases a concept album, (not original or fresh to this genre) but a hugely well done one. A mixture of all the best of progressive musical qualities is helmed together by excellent musical lines, unpredictable musical corridors & strong transitional links. The album is versatile, with a huge range of variability allowing full idea exploitation and the development of these ideas in many aspects of they're musical qualities. They're isn't a single boring moment on this CD, constant shift and tempo changes provide the prelude for it's engagement, and this has been done very effectively.

As you would expect from a band of this caliber, grandiose and classical blueprints support this machelian task; The album is a excellently done tapestry of well balanced metal and beauty. Shades of light, (but mostly dark) are used for a well-laid foundation of dynamacy, and this has created a somber and epic feeling of progression as we first enter these realms and indulge inside it. So Importantly, the songs too sound inspired and full of musical character; musicianship & clarity is absolutely top notch as well which also enhances the CD to a genuinely mammoth level.

Vanden Plas, - Like other great prog metal meastros such as: (Threshold and Symphony X) have become very reliable components in this genre who deliver the goods time after time. This is the seventh studio album from the band and is just as good as their other masterpeices such as: (The god thing & Christ O); and may even even superseed other great efforts like their debut & the Serephic Clockwork. Definately don't miss out on this progressive encapsulation, the whole album is absolutely brilliant and I cannot imagine any progressive metal fans not eating this one up: This is one of the best albums of they're career so far- without-a-doubt.

Price: £13.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Is that a chainsaw I hear?..., 24 Feb 2014
This review is from: Pieces (Audio CD)
This tankerous little EP gem sitting at the beginning of Dismember's career came after the best death metal album ever penned "Like an everflowing stream"; and where-as songs on that album were brutal with an unparrelled equal in the songwriting. "Pieces" is simply straight-down-the-line brutality. The distortion on the guitar sound is maxed to the most possible and Matti Karki sounds like an ever more deranged man than he had done previously.

The EP contains six songs on the tracklisting, minus the intro:- we are left with a five song set including a redition of "soon to be dead" of the previous album. Four songs are newly penned for the release and showcase a new extremity of metal monstrosity. I really just don't know how they manage to get that sound, but it's a unique one, and one that will be copied and borrowed from for many years to come.

"Pieces, I wish you hell, Carnal tomb and Torn apart" are worth the price alone. I don't think Dismember were ever as extreme again than the work displayed on here. Of course, for swedish death metal fans it's a must have effort.

Melancholy Beast (+Bonus)
Melancholy Beast (+Bonus)
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4UK
Price: £33.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome:- a blinder., 23 Feb 2014
A fantastically modelled blueprint of a good, decent metal album. The voice of Lance king immediately stands out here on this LP, as I am familliar with his tongs from the frontline work he did on Balance of power. This album while slightly different angled to Balance of power, direction-wise, is fairly similar to the cross progressive/power combinational axis. Content-wise, the songs are bold and impressionate, leaving a well streamlined sound to further compliment the whole listening experience.

This debut album from this obscure & unknown Danish metal band showed a real success story that didn't materialise, in an all too common occurance in the metal music circles. "Melchanoly beast" was my first introduction to Pyramaze and I have stayed up to date with them to this day. "Sleepy hollow, Melchanoly beast or the Journey" are the standouts on this opus, but each of the 10 songs presented on the standard issue album seem to pull they're weight and appear robustly competant, and that is all quite satisfying stuff.

I would recommend looking into this opus and other similar creations from Pyramaze. They might not push any new boundaries or play stuff that's entirely original. The album comes across as a fresh and delightful sitter and I get this feeling each time I sit down for a listening re-visit.

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