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5 Albums Box Set - Dawnrazor/The Nephilim/Elysium/Earth Inferno/Singles and Mixes
5 Albums Box Set - Dawnrazor/The Nephilim/Elysium/Earth Inferno/Singles and Mixes
Price: £18.13

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the recordings (well, nearly) in one box set., 5 Jan 2014
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The chances are that if you're reading this then you already know who Fields of the Nephilim are/were and what these albums are about, in which case what your probably really interested in is specifics such as the remastering quality and the additional tracks.

OK, first things first then, a note on the Beggars Banquet website states that Elizium was remastered from the analogue originals but that the other recordings had to be remastered from digital sources for various reasons and it does sound as though most of the recordings have been remastered (or at the very least re-EQ'd) with the exception of Earth Inferno which to me sounds identical to the original. The remastering is subtle and sympathetic and not harsh and "in your face" as some other remasters have been, and as such there is a noticeable improvement over the original releases on this score - Dawnrazor now has more depth, sounding less tinny and sparse, The Nephilim is certainly clearer (and not at all muddy) and Sumerland (from Elizium) now has the same sonic balance as the rest of the album.

Next then we have the additional tracks which appear either tagged onto the end of their associated album or on an additional disc of Singles and Mixes, giving us all 5 versions of Psychonaut, 4 versions of Moonchild and 3 versions of Blue Water to name but a few. We don't get the live versions of Power and Vet For The Insane from the Moonchild 12" but we do get the full length version of In Every Dream Home a Heartache (with the false ending that was previously edited out on the Revelations compilation). So on the whole, a fairly exhaustive collection of songs that (nearly) includes all the bands recordings from their Beggars Banquet days.

So, all in all, a nicely put together collection of all the Fields of the Nephilim's recordings (well, nearly) in one box set.


The Brightest Light (Ltd.Ed. 2cd)
The Brightest Light (Ltd.Ed. 2cd)
Price: £19.02

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much was promised, 24 Sep 2013
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Much was promised by this album; it was to be the first Mission studio album featuring Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams and Simon Hinkler since Carved in Sand 23 years ago, similarly it was to re-unite Wayne and Craig with Producer David M Allen with whom they'd worked on The Sisters of Mercy's First Last and Always, so all in all this album promised quite a lot! Unfortunately, it doesn't really deliver on that promise, sounding more like a Wayne Hussey solo album than anything distinctively 'Missionary', for example where has Simon Hinkler's distinctive guitar sound gone? Where's the tension and the pompous splendour so well typified by songs such as Deliverance and Tower of Strength? Maybe I'm being a little harsh, after all Swan Song makes a half decent attempt at resurrecting memories of earlier times but the rest of the album fails to reignite those fires. To be brutally honest, if you are looking to rekindle memories of those searing guitar passages which became the trademark Mission sound, you're far better off looking toward Simon Hinkler's work with The Eden House (Neversea from the Timeflows EP probably being the best example). I understand that times change and that we've all got to move on, including bands such as The Mission, but if you put all the ingredients of this album together you expect a certain type of cake. It's a shame because this album really did promise so much but the reality is something quite different.

Update ... I have not given up on "The Brightest Light" and have played it through a few more times; another Amazon reviewer has referred to this album as a "grower", an opinion with which I agree. Although I'm still not particularly fond of a number of tracks on the CD, there are three tracks(When the Trap Clicks Shut Behind Us, Swan Song and Litany for the Faithful)out of the 11 on the main CD that I would say are as good as anything else The Mission have ever recorded and as such I've put my overall rating for this CD up from 2 to 3 stars.


Queensr˙che
Queensr˙che
Price: £17.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it looks like Queensryche and sounds like Queensryche then it probably is Queensryche, 3 July 2013
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This review is from: Queensr˙che (Audio CD)
Queensryche have returned with a new album and a new vocalist, so how what's it like? Well, the new vocalist, Todd La Torre, sounds surprisingly similar to Geoff Tate and the rest of the band sound (equally surprisingly given Queensryche's recent releases) just like Queensryche but not the Queensryche of the last 10 years or so, instead they sound like the band that recorded Rage For Order and Operation Mindcrime all those years ago - which (for me anyway) is a very good thing. The songs are good (standout tracks are Where Dreams Go To Die and A World Without) but after an albums worth begin to sound quite similar and you begin to hanker after Queensryche's more mellow side , the side that recorded Silent Lucidity and I Will Remember, just for a bit of variety. Don't get me wrong, it's a good album with good songs but maybe lacks a little in the way variety - hence the rating of 4 stars and not 5.


Half-Life
Half-Life
Price: £16.93

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A volatile and unpredictable teenager that's grown up into an elegant and sophisticated woman, 27 May 2013
This review is from: Half-Life (Audio CD)
Half Life is The Eden House's 2nd "proper" album, the follow up to 2009's Smoke And Mirrors (although in-between these two albums they have released a live DVD/CD package and an EP). The core line up remains mainly unchanged, however Andy Jackson of Pink Floyd association has now joined full time and Bob Loveday, previously of the Penguin Café Orchestra, has now stepped back into a supporting role but has been strengthened with contributions from Simon Hinkler of The Mission and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. So what we have is still a combination of influences that, on the face of it, have little in common but all come together in a glorious celebration of quality musicianship partnered with a fine selection of female vocalists.

Some reviews of the album's lead single, Bad Men, raised concerns about the direction that The Eden House were taking however they needn't have worried, this album is a fine follow-up to its predecessor and tracks such as The Empty Space (which features the aforementioned Simon Hinkler on guitar) are simply breath-taking, in fact that one track pretty much exemplifies what this album is about - it may be lacking the urgency of To Believe in Something (the signature track of the previous album) but trades this for texture and atmosphere to produce an all together more cohesive collection of songs. This is the album's strength and also, to some extent, its weakness: As beautiful and as atmospheric as it is, it lacks the heart-breaking passion of tracks such as Trashed Treasure and Sin from Smoke And Mirrors - think of it as a volatile and unpredictable teenager that's grown up into an elegant and sophisticated woman. Having said that, this really is a fine album full of great songs and exceptional musicianship, for me the highlight of the Nefilim's Zoon album was Simon Rippin's drumming and it's great to hear him finally unleashed on an Eden House recording as he is here on City of Goodbyes - the standout track of this album.

Half Life is a very good album and one that I have a feeling is going to grow on me with each repeated listen.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 6, 2013 12:53 AM BST


Sinews Of The Soul
Sinews Of The Soul

4.0 out of 5 stars Ultravox Mk III (or should that be Mk IV?), 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Sinews Of The Soul (Audio CD)
Ultravox always were a band with a tendency to change key personel and re-invent themselves at will and Humania was for all intents and purposes the third (or fourth if you count the swapping of Stevie Shears on guitar for Robin Simon prior to Systems of Romance) incarnation of the band. Indeed this line up actually features the aforementioned Robin Simon back on guitar again alongside the ever-present Billy Currie on Keyboards to form the nucleus of the new band.

Style wise it's Ultravox in all but name, with singer Marcus O'Higgins managing to sound quite similar to John Foxx at times, and this CD (comprised of studio demos and live rehearsal recordings) even includes two songs previously recorded by Ultravox - Can't Stay Long from Systems of Romance and Lament from the album of the same name.

The new songs are a lot better and a lot more "Ultravox" than those on U-Vox and the sound quality, although not quite up to the full £million production of some other albums of the time, is very good considering that this was never intended as an album proper. If you're an Ultravox fan then this is definitely worth a listen.


Wispers in Rage
Wispers in Rage

5.0 out of 5 stars A New Start, 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Wispers in Rage (Audio CD)
In the months leading up to the recording of this album, the band lost their drummer to pneumonia, and as such this album marks something of a new start for The Last Dance. The previous releases were generally pretty good if sometimes unremarkable (with perhaps the exception of the Single "Do You Believe In Angels") but on this album we have a rawness of emotion that had only been hinted at before, maybe this reflects the termoil the band were in at the time of recording this album - the sleeve notes would certainly suggest so. The result is an album that lives up to its title of "Whispers in Rage", with the band's upset and "rage" clearly on show but never really screamed in your face. The only criticism that could be levelled at this album is that because this rage permeates nearly every song they do have a certain similarity, compounded by the ubiquitous use of sequenced drums and keyboard parts. The exception to this being the final track, 51501, which is included as a tribute to their late drummer and was pieced together from a 4 track demo recorded with him in 2001. Despite my criticism, this is a very good album and worthy of the 5 stars I have awarded it but if you are new to The Last Dance and looking for something truely great, and a little more varied, then a better first purchase would be "Once Beautiful", the album that followed this one.


Ave Dementia
Ave Dementia
Offered by playanywhere
Price: £49.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A trip down Nostalgia Lane, 30 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Ave Dementia (Audio CD)
When I was younger I used to frequent various London rock and alternative music clubs, many of which would have live bands. One band that would turn up quite often at these clubs was The Marionettes (or Screaming Marionettes as they were first called). This CD is their first album and consists primarily of the songs that the band had been playing on the road for a good couple of years before recording the album, in fact a number of the songs are re-recordings of earlier, self-financed releases. As a result of being honed on the road, the songs on this CD have pretty much had all their rough edges sorted out and so what we have is a rather fine debut album that sadly subsequent releases couldn't quite match. Every song is a winner and every song is a sing-a-long classic with fist punching into the air almost mandatory. If you haven't heard any of the songs from this album then I suppose the nearest thing I can compare it to is The Cult's "Love", with its mix of punk, goth and rock'n'roll. In places it can be a little pretentious (eg The spoken intro to the title track, Ave Dementia) but it does so with a knowing wink and its tongue placed firmly in its cheek. Ultimately it's all good fun.


Once Beautiful
Once Beautiful
Price: £14.43

5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely One Of The Best CDs I've Ever Bought, 29 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Once Beautiful (Audio CD)
For those of you that aren't familliar with The Last Dance, they are what the Americans call a "Dark Wave" band - this is a genre that broadly covers what we in the UK might call "goth" but this CD shows The Last Dance to be so much more than that. On the CD we have 12 tracks, all of them big and full of emotion - there's not one dudd track on the whole CD and it's been quite some time since I've been able to put a CD on and listen to it from start to finish without feeling the need to skip the occasional track. As consistent as the quality is, we do still have some tracks that stand out from the rest: the single "Once Beautiful" is a good calling card for the album (the video for which can be viewed on Youtube) but for me it's the slower tracks on the album (December, Wake Me Screaming and Become Forever) that really steal the show.

It's now been 7 years since The Last Dance released this album but it's still as fresh as ever.


Reflections of Rage
Reflections of Rage
Price: £9.53

2.0 out of 5 stars Multimedia Content No-Longer Available, 29 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Reflections of Rage (Audio CD)
First things first, what is this? This is a CD of remixes (mostly) from the Whispers in Rage album, with 3 new songs - 1 of which is a cover of Britney's "Oops I did it again". Additionally this CD contains a web-link to a virtual second CD of extra remixes and videos (more about that in a moment). So what's it like? Well the remixes are standard remix fodder, nothing brilliant and to be quite honest, nothing that any fan of the band or music of this genre can't live without. The additional tracks, however, are excellent - the two band compositions are as good as anything from the Whispers in Rage album, in fact they are probably better (the first of the two, Desperately Still, would actually be re-recorded a couple of years later for the "Once Beautiful" album), while "Oops I did it again" is good fun but I really can't see myself playing it again. OK, now the multimedia content - the second "virtual" CD - this may have been good, this may have been awful but since the website that the link takes you to is no longer active I guess I'll never know.

So is it worth it? Well, the two new compositions are excellent and the Britney cover is good fun but the multimedia content does not work and what remains is quite forgetable, so I suppose it depends how much you pay for it. Think of it as a CD single (ie. 3 new tracks) and as long as you pay a CD single price for it then it probably is worth the purchase, pay substantially more and you may find yourself questionning whether you have had value for money.


Draconian Times MMXI (CD Included) [DVD] [2011]
Draconian Times MMXI (CD Included) [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Paradise Lost
Price: £21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a re-hash of the old album but a real improvement, 18 April 2012
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I suppose there are two types of live CD (and DVD): Those that plod through a set list of songs without adding much and those that add a new dimension to the studio material. I am pleased to say that Draconian Times MMXI is definately of the latter variety - yes the track list does follow that of the original CD (except for the encore tracks) but the songs are performed with such vigour and passion that they are simply transformed into something quite remarkable. Before I bought this I was a little sceptical - I had previously purchased the Evolve DVD and was quite unimpressed with the live performances, especially Nick Holmes' live vocal, however this is a world apart. The vocals are passionate and hard yet at the same time tuneful, in the style of the title track of Faith Divides Us Death Unites Us, and this new vocal style combined with some excellent musicianship (the drumming in particular is outstanding) combines to transform this into a live recording that far surpasses the original studio album. If you have any doubts, like I had, about buying this then be reassured this is one of the best live CDs or DVDs you will ever buy.


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