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Rodian (UK)

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Midnattens Widunder
Midnattens Widunder
Price: £11.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously underrated - excellent Nordic black metal, 4 Sep 2013
This review is from: Midnattens Widunder (Audio CD)
Finntroll are almost always described as 'folk metal', but this their debut album has a heavy dose of old-school black metal too. The band's tongue-in-cheek and non-satanic image have caused them to get less attention than other bands, and many people seem to have missed this great debut.

When playing Midnattens Widunder, it's easy to believe you're listening to early Dimmu Borgir (with better production); the melodies are strong, if a little familiar at times, and the songs convey the appropriate mood (basically vengeance, violence and merriment in the forest) pretty well. Finntroll romps or blasts its way infectiously through every track, and Katla's unhinged vocals are impressive even by Scandinavian black metal standards. Some of the lyrics are also excellent - for those who don't understand Swedish I recommend reading the translation while listening to the music (try the Dark Lyrics website).

I bought this album in 2000, the years after it was released, and I still listen to it. Sure, it's cheesy at times, but that's normal for black metal and inescapable for folk metal.

Standout tracks: 'Blodnatt', 'Midnattens Widunder' and the opening song 'Svartberg', which is an absolute stormer.

Deceiver Of The Gods
Deceiver Of The Gods
Price: £16.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Another great effort, 4 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deceiver Of The Gods (Audio CD)
Amon Amarth is standing the test of time. Some say "consistent", others "repetitive", but 9 albums in and people don't seem to be losing interest.

'Deceiver Of The Gods' is partly more of the same melodic, relentless death metal, but there's definitely a bit more flair and some departures from their typical style here as well. Every now and again it's easy to forget who you're listening to, but then Hegg's unmistakeable vocals and lyrics bring you back.

Standout tracks: 'Shape Shifter', 'As Loke Falls' and the title track itself. 'Hel' is pretty great too. Recommended.

Price: £7.64

4.0 out of 5 stars Agree with much of the praise here. An excellent Death Metal record., 10 Aug 2013
This review is from: Nocturnal (Audio CD)
For all the old-school Death Metal fans wondering which bands nowadays can REALLY carry the torch forward from the 'good old days', I'd recommend TBDM and this album in particular.

Equally, newcomers to Death Metal should find this an excellent introduction. It's melodic, catchy and pretty accessible (not usually the genre's strong suit). More than their first two albums, Nocturnal looks to Black Metal as an influence for some of the fast and melodic guitar work, but they also manage to get some real groove into many of the songs. Heads will definitely be banged, compulsively.

If the critics and other comments here aren't enough, listen to 'Everything Went Black' on their Myspace page. It's the opening track and it's magnificent.

Rust and Bone [DVD]
Rust and Bone [DVD]
Dvd ~ Marion Cotillard
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: £5.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental but very powerful, 29 May 2013
This review is from: Rust and Bone [DVD] (DVD)
A reminder that great dialogue and delivery can trump even the mightiest on-screen spectacle.

Not that there isn't any humour, action or drama, but Jacques Audiard's deliberate pacing and fairly minimalist style place the focus on the characters and their thoughts, which is where the fireworks are. Two absorbing journeys, extreme emotions without melodrama, some superb acting and a dose of rugged romanticism makes for a seriously powerful story. In the wrong hands it could have become too self indulgent, but this is a treat. Loved it.

Race The Loser
Race The Loser
Price: £11.42

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as magnificent as L&G, but still Lau and still excellent, 29 May 2013
This review is from: Race The Loser (Audio CD)
I thought this was a pretty strong album. Lau's instrumentals and folk song arrangements remain highly effective.

Four stars because for me it does not match their awesome debut 'Lightweights & Gentlemen' which received all sorts of praised when released in 2007. 'Race The Loser' is perhaps more experimental in its instrumentation, often to great effect - it feels like the band is continuing to trim things back instead of laying it on thick just because it's worked for them before. The results continue to set them apart from the vast majority of folk acts out there, although I can't see these guys making their way into the charts any time soon.

Drever, Green and O'Rourke somehow manage to make their material seem classic without clichés, and to be maverick without thinning the soul of the music. Another very impressive album.

Star Trek [DVD]
Star Trek [DVD]
Dvd ~ Chris Pine
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £9.78

17 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not at all Roddenberry's Star Trek, 8 April 2012
This review is from: Star Trek [DVD] (DVD)
Star Trek in the 1960s was visionary - it looked ahead to the understanding and achievements that humanity could one day be proud of, breaking all sorts of anti-war and anti-racism taboos in the process. Today's mutual ignorance and suspicion between East and West is a great time to revive this sort of message in popular culture. The guys making this movie knew this only too well, but they obviously didn't care.

The movie itself is solid in many ways. Good direction, some strong acting and slick CG. It was always going to make JJ Abrams & Co a lot of cash.

For a lot of old-school Star Trek fans however, this kids' story is a dagger in the back of TV's most influential franchise. Humanism and thought-provoking scenarios (the very hallmark of Star Trek) are totally abandoned in favour of fireworks and empty-headed bravado, plus a poor villain with paper-thin motives. References to the original series are laid on thick (Karl Urban is actually awesome as McCoy), but you'd think Abrams and his team had actually never bothered to watch it.

One star may seem harsh, but this is like a book adaption which completely undermines the text it is based on. Abrams has made a Star Wars movie here (is it any coincidence that Disney has now recruited him to do it in earnest?).

Verdict: Not without merit, but ultimately a huge disappointment.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2013 8:14 PM BST

Beowulf - 1 Disc Edition [2007] [DVD]
Beowulf - 1 Disc Edition [2007] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ray Winstone
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.70

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly bad, 24 May 2008
When I think of the enormous amount of time and money pumped into this project I feel so infuriated by the outcome. I can only assume that the reviewers giving this film 5 stars know little or nothing about the original poem.

Beowulf is one of the greatest stories ever told, and it could so easily have been made an incredible film. I was excited about this project since the first rumours were heard years ago, but once I saw trailers and promo-posters I knew I was in for a major disappointment.

The story has been warped beyond recognition, and Beowulf himself turned into a extremely unlikeable character. With some disturbingly bad scripting and a disjointed narrative structure this film utterly fails to deliver. Ray Winstone was a terrible casting choice, and his oafish-sounding voice make some dialogue embarrassing to listen to. As for Angelina Jolie, I laughed out loud when I heard her bizarre accent (already showcased in the awful film Alexander).

The one thing going for this film are the visuals, but even they are inferior to both Final Fantasy films (the first one is 7 years old!).

There are more action scenes than you can shake a stick at, but the animation techniques have a long way to go before they become convincing.

Having said all that, Beowulf is an entertaining film and probably worth watching, but ultimately it's a joke. A much better alternative is 'Beowulf & Grendel' with Gerard Butler, which is a longer and lower-budget film, but contains some intelligent multi-level plotlines and an innovative take on the Beowulf story.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2012 2:06 PM GMT

Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £14.74

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE - perhaps their best yet, 5 Oct 2007
This review is from: Paradise Lost (Audio CD)
It might be hard for long-serving fans to believe, but Symphony X are still getting better and better. This stunning album shows that far from running out of ideas they continue to move forward.

By far their heaviest album so far, the ferocious edge is softened by the beautiful title track 'Paradise Lost' and 'The Sacrifice' where Russell Allen shows just how gifted he is as a singer.

Unlike some of their previous efforts, this album doesn't have any weak points. Every song is killer, and grows on you with every listen. I must have heard it dozens of times and am still hooked.

This is an absolutely brilliant album. Buy it and put it on!

The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003]
The Last Samurai [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Price: £2.50

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars don't you DARE mention 'history', 3 May 2004
It shouldn't take a genius to work out that this film is absolutely brimming with historical inaccuracy, a flaw which is usually just accepted as part of filmmaking. This is a classic hollywood 'cheesing up' of the past, with all the usual improbabilities thrown in. At the same time, the film is certainly entertaining, with a slightly refreshing appearance for Cruise.
Some people will just find it too typically unrealistic. It depends on whether or not you find that important. It's probably worth a watch, but there are numerous films that money would be better spent on.

Offered by hotshotrecordsgermany
Price: £12.35

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating live album, 27 April 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 12:05 (Audio CD)
Pain Of Salvation are surely one of the more original and inventive rockbands of recent years, who rarely let the beauty of their music suffer dueto their innovation and technical skill (as far too many bands so oftendo). This live recording reflects and reinforces both their accomplishedinstrumental cleverness and their sense of musical landscape (for want ofa better word).
These songs will sound amazing live (thoughoccasionally strange) to just about anybody, but to fans of PoS the albumis particularly impressive. Most of the songs are unrecognisable until thevocals kick in, they have been wonderfully adapted for acousticperformance. The four-way harmonies are pretty much perfect throughout,which I found quite amazing, especially when you consider the complexityof the parts which they have to perform simultaneously. 'Ashes' stands outin particular for me because the live version sounds so tender, whereasthe original is harsh and bitter. Of course not all of the songs areequally gorgeous to listen to, and some of the instrumental may grate onsome ears. Such people will be those who do not have prior knowledge ofPoS, and if you are one of these you might do well to check out theirstudio albums first. 'Entropia' and 'Remedy Lane' are probably the mostrewarding to get into.
Five stars for doing what barely any bands would(or could) do with a live performance.

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