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Agma (UK)

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Sagacity
Sagacity
Price: 11.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vital return of the Saga bandwagon., 1 July 2014
This review is from: Sagacity (Audio CD)
After 21 studio albums, which seemingly extend every 2 or 3 years; Saga are in no mood of stopping anytime soon. This commitment to rock music gleefully shown on "Sagacity", which represents the magic number of 21. It is certainly the best overall album since 10,000 days, and it's relaxed vibe is a rather different permissant not often seen on they're studio CD's. While Ian Crichton's dirty guitar is still present I dare say it takes a slightly more of a side seat for other sounds and nuances to infiltrate the music:- which is nice.

Songwriting is also quite laid back but it is still very focused:- thankfully. There is an evident progression and change to their approach that I think could be a little divisive; the usual energised Saga flare is slightly reigned-in abit for a more "slow boat experience". An overall lower reliance on tight malchanoly, but a scale tipper for atmosphere and thought provoking ness is ultimately prevailant. There is still a few rockers present, but noticibly fewer than normal:- the spirit and feel of the disc a convincingly inspiring and settling one.

Typically, I prefer the differentness of "Go with the flow", and the rock fests of "Wake up & Don't forget to breathe". But I really enjoyed my listen to this one, it did give me a kind of a modern "Full Circle" feel, and I feel it's release will go down as a complimentary one to the bands great career. I would definitely recommend you buy the standard jewel case over the flimsy new digipack, as the packaging is a cardboard cut out gatefold, which stinks of cost saving and lack of thought with regards to presentation and practicality.

Thank you.


Seasons In The Abyss
Seasons In The Abyss
Price: 5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evil spirit in action., 15 Jun 2014
This review is from: Seasons In The Abyss (Audio CD)
For many, the speed and insanity of the landmark "Reign in blood" was the masterwork of this hallmark band, but for me "Seasons in the abyss" is the finer work of the group with a sensual evilness, creepy, and more sophisticated song writing taking the front seat. With a rough and abrasive production, the CD was ultimately a triumph and reflected the last album of they're golden period. Classic and inspired Slayer sounds grace the 10 strong tracklisting with absolutely no room to spare.

'War Ensemble" is a relatively speedy speedy start, laregly giving way to the pounding 'Blood red', 'Dead skin mask' is an unusual and spine tingling effort from Slayer and remains one of they're best and unique songs. The truly terrifying 'Skeletons of society' increases the suspense. 'Born of fire' returns the familliar speed, and the title track, 'Seasons in the abyss' nails a very pervasive riff and scary prelude, with a ratcheting tempo throughout; closing a sublime and magnificent work.

Seasons in the abyss is a mandatory thrash staple and a perfect introduction to the world of the fast and manic side of metal music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 10:44 PM BST


Considered Dead
Considered Dead

5.0 out of 5 stars Considered superb,, 11 Jun 2014
This review is from: Considered Dead (Audio CD)
Gorguts are one of the few death metal bands that are willing to progress and impliment experimental tweaks to they're sound. On they're debut album, it's about superb death metal execution for these french canadian maniacs. Considered dead is a very very technically sound and proficient album, and it is also a very well written one too. For me, this album is the epitome of everything that is great about old school death metal:- The rusty and energetic production only helps to ramp up the intensity of it all.

There's quite bit of variety with riffage, solid lines and rhythms, blastbeats, guitar harmonics, and deathly atmospherics. It all adds up to being a sophisticated and destructive effort for the band. Showing they're raw talent, for brutality of this earliest effort the band went on to release another four albums to which all of them are classics. Despite suffering many line up changes in this band's musical career, they have done well to keep it all going. "Gorguts" are specifically one of the most consistent and greatest death metal bands out there.

Key tracks must be:- "Stiff & Cold, Title track, and Drifting Anatomy"; and so I can recommend 'Considered Dead', this band, and all five of they're studio albums, in the highest of regards.


Network
Network

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid territory, 10 Jun 2014
This review is from: Network (Audio CD)
After the great, but ultimately:- below par album for Saga, in 2003's Marathon, they swiftly return the following year in 2004 to unleash Network; and out of the two CD's, Network is the better album and by far the more consistent. It starts with the very classic Saga anthem "On the air", the song is catchy and energetic, and is possibly the best opening track on a Saga album in recent memory.

Other key tracks include the hustle and bustle of "Keep it reel", the rock pomp of "I'm Back", the mystic "Outside looking in and Live at five", the sophisticated:- "Back to where we started", and the closer "Don't make a sound". Overall, the music retains the energised flare of Ian Crichtons guitar; complimemted by newcomer- pounder/ Christian Simpson and the delicate touches of Jim Gilmours keyboarding.

In truth, the band is clearly on form, and the music curtails a sense of confidence and of productive flair. Musically, the songs sound fresh and inspired with a good correspondence to previous Saga discographies. Network is not a classic, but it is most certainly among the top five albums, out of the 12 or so that Saga have produced since the 80's. Overall, an excellent album and one you simply can't go wrong with.


The Winterlong (Reissue)
The Winterlong (Reissue)
Price: 14.77

5.0 out of 5 stars It's back, finally!., 9 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For those who love they're Swedish death metal and have been waiting over 20 years to get a copy of God Macabre's unavailable CD, It has finally been re-released:- and it was badly needed. Prices for an original CD sometimes fetched over 100 for a neat 1993 version. Relapse, have now decided to bite the bullet in unleashing this 20th anniversary celebration CD as the singlular and only album to ever surface from God Macabre:- it all seems only appropriate. This album does contain a song which was never included on the original version and it is called "Life's Verge".

This album is a classic death metal album in every sense of the word. The vocals in particular are monstrous and the riffs subversive. The production is thin and sketchy:- (common for early nineties old school albums), and it has a very badass attitude to it as well. This guitar work also has a Swedish buzzsaw sound to it:- Like (Entombed, Dismember, Fleshcrawl, Grave, Comecon). I just can't wait to get my mits on this one as I have received it. Simply unmissable in my opinion.


Distant Satellites
Distant Satellites
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking progressive-ness., 9 Jun 2014
This review is from: Distant Satellites (Audio CD)
I have been an avid follower of Anathema's productions for quite a while now. I have a few of they're albums, and this is just another exemplorary addition to those past achievements. For what it's worth, I highly enjoyed "Weather systems" and this is a perfectly natural successor to that album. From a progression of doom metal on they're earliest efforts to what we have now is obviously a big transition, but I think where they have arrived at now on "Distant Satalites" is likely the most comprehensive progressive album from them yet.

There is mellow - beautiful melodies; superb front and backing vocals, and a subtle production. One of my favourite songs on the album is probably 'Dusk', as the track soars to then dip in the middle, which is lovely. So this music can probably be best described as a subtle and melodic brand of progressive music that has a focus on atmosphere, effect and the colours & shades of light and dark. I certainly found this album most refreshing and telling in character, it also has a deep personality to it that I thoroughly enjoyed; and so for that reason I think it worthy of the maximum five stars to hand.


Reclaim the Beat
Reclaim the Beat
Price: 6.36

4.0 out of 5 stars The final statement of true violence!., 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Reclaim the Beat (Audio CD)
A hybrid of blisteringly fast thrash death metal is on offer with "Reclaim the beat" and it is about as brutal and metal as it is possible to get. By now, fans familliar with the music of Defleshed know the score; unashamed musical violence, tight rhythms, screeching vocals, no solos, blastbeats & massive riffs. But rather than this being a comprehensive summary of they're rather great musical assembalages this does seem to be a case of more of the same. It results in an excellent album, but falling short slightly of they're previous three.

While songwriting has never been a huge consideration for these crazed Sweeds, I do feel that a progressive dose of experimentation would have beneffited the net result greatly. The music is still very well executed but the variation is very evidently needed, as many of the songs sound very very structually similar to each other. They rely on a tried and tested formula, but "Reclaim the beat" is a furious and obliterating dose of madness, and if you think you can withstand the heat it would definitely be a worthwhile investment to serve you're energized needs.


Open Your Eyes
Open Your Eyes
Price: 6.33

2.0 out of 5 stars Weak and limp., 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Open Your Eyes (Audio CD)
I can completely contest to the variety of reviews sporting this album as a complete washout, but I don't feel upon deconstruction that it's all quite as simple as that. This is however, probably one of the worst CD's from yes in terms of overall quality alongside "Tormato " and "Union", as the songwriting is unpredictable and haywire. In my opinion the only really good/compelling song on this album is 'Man on the moon' and that is worthy of the extra star.

The bulk of this album is mostly filled with disjointed wanna-be (appeal to everyone) rock songs. 'New state of mind' is a total disaster and the title track is a wet blanket:- the rest are skimmed b-rate pop songs derived from uninspiration. There does seem to be a safe playing formula to most of these songs as well, and it does seem to point towards corporate interfearence for the band. Wether or not that is true:- is on the face of it; irrelevant. Open your eyes is ultimately a forgettable and tortuous excursion of a band on a formulaic and obvious flight of cruise control.


Smooth noodle maps (1990)
Smooth noodle maps (1990)

4.0 out of 5 stars Disc spinners., 6 Jun 2014
I have only one album of Devo, and 'Smooth noodle maps' is that album. I have always quite enjoyed they're unique brand of sub-new wave rock :- always attached with a humourous assemblage of college boy antics on what is a pretty solid and convicted template. The songwriting on the whole is a tad loose and glossy, but there is still plenty of good musical moments and quirky nuances too. The production is heavily slanted on a distant 80's production roster, but I feel that that fact only adds to it's genuine and organic listening experience. The use of synths also helps to elaborate on melodies and key musical developments as well.

There are quite a raft of unique and unashamededly brilliant ideas on this disc stretching from the entirety of the whole albums 11 tracks, and, with a sprinkling of mass appeal. Out of what's here, my favourites include:- The first five tracks, the quite superb "Pink jazz trancers, and/, Devo has feelings too". "A change is gonna cum" and "The big picture" are the two obvious weak links in this uniformly strong chain of quality entities, but in this reviewers opinion, the very vast majority of excellence ultimately trumps the loose ends to result in a four star and easily enjoyable album.


Darkness In A Different Light
Darkness In A Different Light
Price: 13.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O Fates Warning, this is amazing., 5 Jun 2014
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An urgent and compelling start kicks of last years "Darkness in a different light" in the form of 'one thousand fires' and as it turns out, it would be the best start for on a Fates Warning album in well over 20 years. "Firefly returns the heaviness and riffage not seen since "No exit", with an added dose of variation with the third track "Desire", which harks back to the 'Disconnected' era. 'Fallling' represents a sweet enough ballad; 'I am' is a decent enough prog fest. 'Lighthouse' is one of my favourites song of the album as the song is so deep and melodic it is impossible to escape from it.

'Into the black' returns back to a little dose of metal, with "Kneel & Obey" straight after, capitalising on the previous song with a opening sledge hammer riff. 'O chloroform returns things to a 'Into the black esque, 'and yet it moves' ends the album on a high note with a minute accustic sweep and a destructive metal weight then obliterating it. So as far as I am concerned, every single song was attractive and memorable from the first time I listened through them. It was also very obvious from the first completed listen that this was something amazing, as such a diverse and united arsenal of ideas has been so sculptrally transformed into such a organic effort.

Fates Warning's - "Darkness" has to be one of the best all-round progressive metal albums for many years. This is most certainly a five star album: as the songwriting, execution, musicianship, and production is so damn perfect. I simply cannot find any issues at all with this album. Artwork is intriguing too, as well as an extra bonus disc if you buy the very lavishly produced double disc 2CD set. It comes in a hardback digibook with a digipack hub to hold the discs and the bonus disc contains an extended version of Firefly, a bonus song 'Falling Further'; 'One' & Life in still water' live.

This album will go down in history as a classic, and it is one of the best CD's they have come up with in they're long exemplary musical history; the impossible has been done.


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