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D. Q. RAMOS (Sintra, Portugal)
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Strangeland
Strangeland
Offered by davehopetrading
Price: £5.98

2.0 out of 5 stars Lost on the way back, 16 Dec 2013
This review is from: Strangeland (Audio CD)
The majority of reviews here rate this album high and I don't criticise them, after all, reviews are very personal, but it makes me wonder how future Keane releases will be based on this success.

This albums tries to go back to roots in terms of sound, but fails miserably in terms of creativity. Long gone are the creative sound behind "Hopes & Fears" or the not less genious "Under the Iron Sea". I remember when I first heard Keane of the radio, not even knowing who they were & "Somewhere only we know" was playing.

The tune kept running for days and I had to know who they were. When I bought "Hopes & Fears", I stumbled with a perfect album, very catchy tunes and yet powerful lyrics & feeling behind it. The second album was almost as good as the first one, with the masterpiece "Atlantic" establishing Keane as a powerful creative force.

Never again I heard that kind of genious and when i ordered the third album, I feared Kean lost it.
With the forgetable Night Train & Symmetry behind, I was curious about this album.

The piano is back & so are the soft tunes from the first albums, but this "joy joy feeling" album fails to deliver musicaly. Nothing wrong with a "happy feeling" album, if you have a strong creative force behind it, this one doesn't.

Maybe I'm a bit too harsh on giving this release only 2 stars, but for a band to deliver 2 perfect albums only to realise they have been lost all this years & try such a poor comeback... is sad to say the least.

They changed sound, pace & direction... why? Bands can experiment, but leaving such creative music behind can only mean 2 things, either they lost it or they didn't like their music in the first place (which I find hard to believe).

Either way its sad to see a band doing such a poor effort with songs that remind me of a soap commercial, almost through the whole album.

Some interesting tracks are here, like "Silenced by the night", "Disconnected" or "Black Rain" but the album is unbalanced to say the least, with songs that fade from memory the moment i hear them.

They seem to be enjoying themselves, general reviews are good & I'm afraid this "return" will see Keane betting more on this easy sound, almost a sound to the "masses".

Long gone are the introspective, intimacy of "Atlantis", the melancolic sound of "She has no time", the simple genious of "Hamburg Song".... long gone is the genious of Keane, that sold out to easier tunes, to hum along a washed up version of what they were.

I hope I'm wrong and this is just a step towards what they were, since its impossible not to compare this work to past ones, they were so long far away from their roots that I'm afraid they got lost on the way back.


Guild Wars 2 - Standard Edition (PC DVD)
Guild Wars 2 - Standard Edition (PC DVD)
Offered by RUGELEY GAMES
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Another grind-fest - good but gets boring fast, 8 April 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Guild Wars 2, had everything to make it right, but the boat is sinking fast.

Game is gorgeous, large world, graphics perform fast even on older cards, except for WvW zerg-fests, but more on that later.

Concept is the same as other mmorpgs, don't be mistaken. You choose a class, jump in your boots and off you go leveling and quickly discovering this is another grind-game with you completing quest after quest, killing the same things over and over again.

You won't kill many "rabbits" but the same old repetitive quests are there. You go to a zone, enter a quest area, kill the bad guys or fetch the water and move to the next one. This happens in every map and the only difference is that you are automatically rewarded in your game-mail (no need to talk to npcs or ride back to receive your reward.

Did I say ride? Or rather walk/teleport. There are so many portals in game you don't feel the need for a mount... but is that a good thing? I think not, part of the fun in mmorpgs is seeing your Warrior above a nice imposing steed.... no ground mounts, no air mounts, nothing.

The landscapes are varied and cover almost every type of terrain, from snow to deserts, to lava mountains, swamps, etc, problem is you will quickly move from one quest to another without caring much about the story, since npcs like i said, are not necessary unless you want to buy items from them or sell your findings.

Now to classes... like someone already said, your main skill choices are made for you, you learn to use a sword and skills are uncovered, with fixed slots in your hot-bar. You still have dozens of combinations with remaining skills and Trait trees, leaving options for "unique" class/choices that in the end and narrowed down to 2-3 "best" combinations.

Some animations are utterly ridiculous, like sword animations for instance, when developers prefer to use impossible whirlwind movements instead of finely animated sword-chops... oh well.. reminds me of Diablo3 Barbarians or something.

You have 2 forms of PVP, Structured PVP and World vs World. sPVP is a team vs team game, where you battle in rotating maps, capturing points and plagued with unbalanced class issues. When you score, you gain rewards that you can trade for PVP items, "fashion" items & gain ranks.... "fashion" names.

One thing that irritates me is that, when you fall in PvP combat, you have the option to stand up again using a limited number of skills (attack, heal or "stun") problem is, some classes can "teleport" themselves at this time, leaving the "winner" sometimes frustrated as hell and many times loosing to a player that was previously downed.

This might work in PVE, but in PVP it feels utterly ridiculous and frustrating, adding more of a cheating feeling than a new possibility towards what is already an unbalanced game.

WvW will take you on huge maps, conquering strategic points, intercepting caravans and using siege equipment. This is where i put my faith on PvP in this game and yet, when your "zerg" group encounters another, be prepared for some seconds of "Powerpoint" animation, were you can't even move due to the excess of lag & heavy computer requirements - it is that bad.

Still, it is the closest effort in doing mass-scale PvP since Dark Age of Camelot, that game had the best PvP mass-battles that i ever experienced.

Also, PvP wise, the game is unbalanced as hell, having classes in almost "god-mode" against other classes that have just 1 good build to show for... and guess what? ANet already "nerfed" that build to hell, so the Warrior class for instance, in Structured PVP is now even more lower on the food chain.

So.... the nerf-hammer already begun, a plague that in this game won't be easy to surpass, since ANet wanted to get rid of the holy trinity of classic classes (healer, tank, damage), but things are not working out as they should be.

Guardians are being requested for favorite "Tanks" since they can heal, regenerate and have protection like hell... while a classic "tank-class" like the Warrior has a role mainly for DPS only with very low survivability if you spec for that... if you spec defensively, you will have equal to worse defense than a Guardian but much less DPS to show off... go figure (so why tank as a Warrior anyway).

You see Thieves and Eles avoiding more damage than a Warrior & having more hit points means nothing to a class that has few means to avoid damage at all. Sure, you have the dodge button to evade but so does every class out there....

So, if you're a Warrior like me, who loves melee, things are not shiny at the moment for the class, at least in the PvP department and that itself was a huge let down to me.

Last but not least, this is a "barbie goes shopping" game. "Look at my new shoes, aren't they pretty?" - "They sure are, but do you walk better with them?" - "er..... no?".

That's right, you gain ranks just for titles, all high level armour is just for looks, the stats are equal to every armour out there, the same goes for the weapons.

Sure, you have legendary weapons to show off, with exactly the same stats as a normal Epic weapon out there, just looks cooler... so it's a vanity show out there, where players spent thousands of playing hours, completing every quest, searching every corner in the world, crafting like a madman and grinding like a lunatic just to show off a cool weapon that does exactly the same thing as any other weapon out there.

To me, this kills the game. Sure, you can have more balance between players like this, you are more "skill oriented" instead of being "gear oriented" but the grind is there, whether in form of daily quests, daily farm for gold, daily discovering every quest, daily killing every mob that you killed before just to complete that map, etc... etc.. daily etc....

And let's be honest here... "skill oriented game"? I'm still to see a skill oriented mmorpg that mimics properly the skill actually needed in melee combat for instance (yes, I'm a melee oriented player).

Regarding dungeons, they are well made, but don't venture alone in them (except for maybe 1 or 2 classes that actually can "solo" them), you're very group dependant in this game, to venture alone on a dungeon.

Perhaps I was spoiled in EQ where you could explore solo dungeons if you wanted to (and had a great dungeon system), I miss my dungeon crawler days, where I venture alone in a special dungeon just for me to explore and play my casual hours of gameplay.

I don't know the direction this game is taking, whether regarding classes, grind system or reward system, it seems "free" and it can be, but ANet is making a lot of money with a clever market system (and that's not bad).

Just don't think its perfect, they didn't invent the wheel at all, some classes are very poor in playing options compared to other games and balancing is very fragile here, specially in PvP.

Let the grind/nerf fest begin, GW2 is here to waste hours of gameplay doing the same thing over and over again.... I think I will take a break for a few months and check it out later... game is getting dry on reasons to login & the latest 8 bit dungeon is a poor excuse to play a broken class/out of goals game for the moment (again, another grind to get a 8 bit looking weapon just for looks!).

I sure hope things get better, but either ANet does it right ASAP, or this will sink like old AOC did pretty fast (btw, Im returning there for a while, at least it has some consistent fight system, melee system!)


Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Professional Tattoo Machines 40 Color Ink Super LCD Power Supply Carrying Case
Complete Tattoo Kit 2 Professional Tattoo Machines 40 Color Ink Super LCD Power Supply Carrying Case
Offered by Direct Power
Price: £189.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great machines for a great price - but avoid the included inks, 30 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nice package, machines are great - received one faulty and a replacement was sent very fast without extra charges.

Solid material with lots of tips to choose. Happy with the needle choices and sizes/classes. Included CD is a nice startup portfolio with hundreds of tattoos to choose from.

The only drawback are the inks, do not tattoo anyone with the included inks, they are very weak, specially the black - it won't become black at all when healed - use them just for practice.

Another drawback is the lack of rubber coil rings & rubber bands to secure the needles.

All in all a very nice package for the price, but be prepared to get some gloves, rings, bands and specially quality ink before using it.


Tattoo Gloves - 100 pack of Black Pearl Nitrile Gloves - Medium
Tattoo Gloves - 100 pack of Black Pearl Nitrile Gloves - Medium
Offered by The Tattoo Shop
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars fits like a glove!, 30 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Loved this gloves, should have ordered Large but medium worked just as fine.

Don't even remember I'm using them while tattooing, would recommend them to any tattooist out there.


Tattoo Ink New Formula Pitch Black Tribal 4oz
Tattoo Ink New Formula Pitch Black Tribal 4oz
Offered by The Tattoo Shop
Price: £18.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great pitch black ink, 30 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very happy with the purchase, tribal and celtic tattoos look great on this.

Tattoos healed fast & becomes darker after completely healed, highly recommended.


Storm Corrosion
Storm Corrosion
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.82

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars weak and boring, 22 May 2012
This review is from: Storm Corrosion (Audio CD)
I knew from the beginning this was not an Opeth or Porcupine Tree album. I actually loved Heritage and think it was one of Opeth's finest moments (as opposed to many Opeth fans), but wasn't expecting this at all.

This 6 track album fails to impress. Its like a soundtrack of a movie, a dark eerie movie, just like the video from "Drag Ropes", it fits perfectly with the video... but what was the point of the whole album? A soundtrack or a pseudo-progressive album?

In terms of progressive sound and any kind of sound for what matters, I prefer music that impresses me, music that makes me want to loop a track several times and listen over and over again.

Music that brings the unexpected...

This album is boring to say the least. Lacks momentum, rhythm and charm. I can't think of a single track worth remembering.

Coming from Steven Wilson and Mikael Åkerfeldt, I was expecting a lot more from this creative minds.

It feels as though they met for a couple of months, drank some Porto wine and recorded a album about how bored they were looking at the rain or something.

2 stars for the production... the end


Clash of the Gods (3-Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Clash of the Gods (3-Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 30 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Was really looking forward to this release, since i saw bits of the "Beowulf" on the web and it seemed very interesting.
The case is beautifully illustrated, in a nice 3 dvd box at a good price.

Sadly, the series falls into a mediocre attempt to gain money.. once again. Too many repetitions of what has already been said, flashbacks to the same images/videos over and over again.

Lack of information, ridiculous speculations and very poor actor casting.

I know this is a documentary, but actors could been better chosen. Beowulf looks like a brick with eyes, Thor has a gayish haircut and lacks charisma and presence... giants are short and laughable..

The only thing that "saves" this series are some cool animations, very cartoon like, that appear here and there.

The historians/directors clearly need to learn more about some of the myths discussed here. The giant serpent is treated like that... a giant serpent... there is no mentioning of her name, or even other important demi-Gods like Fenrir or Hel.. (since they were talking about Ragnarok, this was important).
Odin is depicted as a decaying old man (not even one-eyed).. Grendel is comical and weak.. some greek mythology creatures have a strange Asian look to them, to name but a few.

Oh... and Asgard has arabic towers... go figure...

Myths, both greek, viking or from tolkien are far too rich to be treated like this, in a back and forward game retelling the same thing over and over again.

If they took care to include some of the most famous episodes for each character, had a better cast and less flashbacks, this could be a great dvd box to have.

As it is, you will see it and easily forget.

Ancient Warriors is a much better series, in 25-30 minutes they tell the essential material for each warrior tribe. It lacks on lenght, but gains in quality.

This one has the lenght, but lacks in quality.

Not recommended, even at this price.


Heritage
Heritage
Price: £13.46

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Camel meets Opeth - a masterpiece, 27 Sep 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heritage (Audio CD)
I was fortunate enough to grow listening to 70s bands, even when I wasn't in an age to truly appreciate it, so when in my teens, I started dedicating a lot of time listening to bands like Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis (with P. Gabriel) and many more "classics".
This was by far the most creative decade in terms of music and now I wish I was born 15 years earlier to have seen them all in concert (and I'm 40 sheesh..)
And then, there are pure jewels nowadays, rare bands that have a light on their own, Opeth is one of those rare cases.

I became hooked with "Watershed" and started listening to previous albums, noticing how this band has evolved through the years. They sure are more mature, experienced and creative players and it shows in each and every album they release.

"Heritage" is not an easy album to get into it. This is, from my experience, a very good sign of a masterpiece. You have to dedicate your time, attention and heart into it, to get hooked and then lost in it.

As many already remarked, this album went towards a more progressive style than previous ones. The kind of sounds you will hear are very similar to sounds from bands like Jethro Tull, King Crimson and even Camel, all "monsters" of this kind of music that were at their prime in the 70s.

I could pin-point moments in "Heritage" that are almost 100% accurate to Jethro Tull sounds, or Camel guitar solos (the sound, not a copy).. or even changes in rhythm that made King Crimson's trademark and yet, its Opeth all over it, joining so many feelings in such powerful music.

I strongly suggest you to sit back, relax and listen to this album as a whole, not separate tracks, since this is, in my opinion, more effective for this work.

The piano on Heritage track sets the mood, ideal to listen in a rainy day or in your car while watching drops falling in the windshield, simply beautiful.

From Devil's Orchard to Marrow of the Earth, you will enter a very creative sound, with Mikael Arerfeldt's voice better than ever, although "guilty" of almost sounding like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull (Benefit album) later in the album on "Folklore" beginning vocals.

Who can deny influences from Jethro in "Famine" (just listen at 04:50 - pure Tull sound) or "Camel" influences in "Marrow of the Earth" ("Snow Goose" album guitar sound/style). I wonder if all is a pure coincidence... of if Mike is really discovering or shall I say, re-exploring this band's unique sound and merging them in Opeth's music in a brilliant way.

From the drums, to bass, keyboards and of course guitar, everything is played with a pure touch of genious, this is simply very high quality music played by very talented musicians.

The flute player clearly is a fan of Ian Anderson, no matter how long he plays flute, this is pure Ian's style (and my own style of playing to be honest - guilty i know)

And is it a bad thing? Hell no. They still maintain Opeth's style, evolving to different grounds. I wonder how it will be in the future... will we see a more aggressive sound from "Watershed" merged into the style of "Heritage"? That would be very interesting.

Favorite tracks are hard to choose, since every track is great. Perhaps "Famine", "Folklore", "Lines in my hand", "Haxprocess", "Devil's Orchard", "I feel the Dark" are the best ones.. but that is practically the whole album.... least good track... definitely "Slither", although good it fails to compete with the rest of the work.

One thing is certain, it must be very rewarding to Mike and the rest of the crew to play this live, the music has a richness rarely found this days and it sticks in my head all day long.

On a final note, the Limited edition is a bargain for just 1 more pound, including a very personal documentary regarding the album (lots of interviews and studio footage), a 5.1 version of Heritage + 2 tracks - simply a must. Cover artwork is great (hologram style) with a very nice booklet.

Can't wait to hear what's to come from Opeth in the future. One of the strongest, more creative bands out there.

Album of the year for sure!


Camelot
Camelot
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.21

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful soundtrack, 1 July 2011
This review is from: Camelot (Audio CD)
Like another reviewer said, the only fault in this album is the short duration of many songs.
The duration fits perfectly as a soundtrack to the TV series (and is one of the best aspects of it), but its a pitty the cd release didn't extent some songs (the main title or Gawain & Arthur for instance).

The Danna brothers deliver yet again a wonderful sountrack. This album, together with "A Celtic Tale" are my favorites.

Great production, use of voices and balance, sounds to make your hairs go up, it is that good.

Best thing of this series, Eva Green, Photography, landscapes... and this wonderful soundtrack.


Director's Cut
Director's Cut
Price: £5.89

23 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Director's what????, 16 May 2011
This review is from: Director's Cut (Audio CD)
6 years after the last album... this comes out...

Kate Bush is and i guess will always be my favourite feminine voice, with moments of pure creativity throughout all her career... but this time fails miserably to create or achieve that level.

First of all, this is a remake of past songs, specially from the period of "Sensual World" and "Red Shoes".

There isn't a single song here that equals or surpasses the originals... so to call this a "Director's Cut" is perhaps one of the most pathetic titles for an album ever.

So after 6 years the best Kate can do is this collection of past hits, remade into "kitchen singalongs" while she makes her dinner soup... throw in some variations that add nothing but cut a LOT from the originals... and there you have it.. a washed up "not so best of.." Kate Bush.

Listen to them first... if you already know the songs like the back of your hand, i feel you will be disappointed too... if you don't know Kate's past creations, i strongly advise you to buy the ORIGINAL albums.

A big letdown from the "lady"... so now what? More 6 years of waiting for nothing?

I find it funny how certain artists sit on the shadow of the palmtree, scratching their bottoms after being successful in the past.... but they forget 2 things... they have a legion of followers eager to listen to NEW and creative stuff... and they can do a LOT better than this.

Kate's voice still great.... but either retire entirely or wake the hell up.

Thumbs down... next
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2011 3:35 AM BST


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