Profile for Mark Kirkman > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mark Kirkman
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,118,762
Helpful Votes: 92

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mark Kirkman

Page: 1
Offered by westworld-
Price: £19.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A Sicilian Message or just a guitar blast?, 4 Sep 2007
This review is from: Mafia (Audio CD)
Zakk Wylde will always be entwined with Ozzy's leisurely output of music, but he is a true old-fashioned axeman. A mountain of a man, with a personality and big slab of Les Paul wood to match. Mafia is Wylde's 2005 production. Perhaps not as good as AFB, perhaps better depending on your feelings towards good ol' fashioned hard rock. "Been a Long Time" and "Fire it up" are the real gems on this offering : big guitars and snarling vocals telling you the story. Yet this contains some very tasteful stuff too. "Dirt on the Grave" sounds like it could be a right belter, but in fact it's a slow and haunting ballard. "Forever Down" another bashing of the guitar - "Say what you will" and "Death March" are more of the same. Getting the idea? This man is serious about his music not being like Whitesnake. Belting.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2010 8:33 PM BST

Live At The Greek
Live At The Greek
Offered by hotshotrecordsgermany
Price: £19.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Loads to Crowe over!, 23 Aug 2007
This review is from: Live At The Greek (Audio CD)
I heard this CD pre-release in a big record shop in Dublin, and thought it was an old Zep concert that had been given the re-mastering and digital enhancing treatment. I refused to leave until I'd heard the whole lot, and they eventually gave me a promo copy for myself!! What a treat for both Crowes and LZ followers. This CD contains a huge slice of Zeppelin live nostalgia, played with 3 guitars to get all the (Overdubbed) parts accurate. Page sounds straight and clean, and Mr Robinson delivers the vocal with a maturity and excellence that is stunning. It's a shame there is no original Crowes material given "the treatment" by this excellent band plus one. The bluesy based covers get an airing, too, and it would be easy to think of this as just a covers project. But just listen to the way the classics (like Sick Again, Heartbreaker, In my time of dying et al) are played. Great feel and poise. Remember, Jimmy is no stranger to collaborations (Coverdale/Page, The Firm, Jimmy Page & Friends, Hip young guitar slinger etc) and not all of them are his best work. But this is a real top bollocks effort. Superb.

Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "Sting me!", 27 Mar 2007
This review is from: Sabotage (Audio CD)
Their 6th album, Sabotage has classic Sabs riffs all over it. Unlike their initial work, (such as albums Paranoid and Master of Reality) this is a very sophisticated recording by their standards. "Hole in the sky" is the awesome opener. Mid way through, you get "Symptom of the Universe" another monster but classic Iommi riff. My favourite is "Megalomania" - a tour de force that tells the story of Ozzy's mind around that time. They went on to record 2 more terrible albums in "Never say die" and "Technical Ecstasy" before the growing rift between Ozzy and Tony Iommi would result in Ozzy getting his P45. Sabbath would hit the heights again in the 80's with Ronnie James Dio (we'll quietly forget Ian Gillan's tenure of the microphone as a huge mistake by both parties) in "Heaven and Hell" and the excellent "Mob Rules" - but you know what you get with little Ronnie, and that did not last either.

Black Sabbath have pioneered the way for many a heavy metal band, and their stuff has been covered by all sorts of artists (ie Faith No More's cover of War Pigs is particularly good). With the exception of drummer Bill Ward who is not in the best of health, the remaining 3 Sabs record on. Check out Geezer Bulter's GZR Ohmwork, Iommi's Fused and Ozzy's Down to Earth.

Marching Out
Marching Out
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £5.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marching To Glory, 15 Mar 2007
This review is from: Marching Out (Audio CD)
I'd heard of YJM through Guitar Player magazine - Mike Varney had a column in it, and he also owned a record label called Shrapnel. Yng had recorded some solo's on Steeler's debut album, but coming via Alcatrazz and Graham Bonnet, Rising Force was very much Malmsteen's own brainchild. Having now raised his profile with his unique playing style, he was now playing and recording with his boyhood chums Marcel Jacob and the Johansson brothers. The first CD "Rising Force" was mainly an instrumental affair, but "Marching Out" brought a new star to light - namely vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. "I'll see the light tonight" was a storming concert opener - usual quick Malmsteen riff and towering vocal, with a guitar/keyboard unison in the middle. Still played in the live set today, it remains as Yngwie's "Burn" - for want of a better comparison. This album was still very much Yngwie's old tried and tested stuff he wrote in Sweden as a kid. If you have access to Yngwie's demo tape, you'll find "Soldier without Faith" and instrumental bits like "Anguish and fear" on it. Despite all the labels of "can play, can't write songs" that dogged Malmsteen through his career, the intro to "Don't let it end" is beautiful and delivered by Soto in a sublime fashion. All bar the title track "Marching Out" - the only instrumental on the album - got a airing on the 1985 tour, and Rising Force were awesome with their live show. They were still very much a small draw, and played The Marquee Club in London's soho. I went with my mate Phil Hilborne (himself soon to be a guitarist of note) and we were stunned into jaw-drop slience. I'm a Viking, Disciples of Hell and Anguish and Fear all have Malmsteen classical overtones. His use of Harmonic minor and Phrygian mode scales is well documented elsewhere. Of course, there would be the inevitable parting of the ways with his band, which gives fuel to the "difficult" tag that Yng has. New singer Marc Boales would last one album, Joe Lynn Turner would come and go and bass players would be a revolving door. But this album still stands as an astonishing testament to what Yngwie J. Malmsteen could do with a guitar - and it was different to other players out there. Neo-classical bods like Tony McAlpine would follow, but YJM was first. There would be scandal - car crashes, the women, fights with just about everyone, cancelled gigs, drinking and ending up recently as a bloated parody of his waif-like 20's stature - but he's still out there playing, and can still shread with the best. Tremendous.

Price: £7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Motorhead, 15 Mar 2007
This review is from: Bomber (Audio CD)
This could be Motorhead's finest hour - if you like your 80's rock heavier than hell. This is the best line-up, the classic 3 piece with Fast Eddie and Philthy Phil Taylor. Classic 'Head gig fave's like "Stone Dead Forever" and "Over the Top" line up with "Dead men smell toe nails!" - as Lemmy introduced it at The Bingley Hall on the Bomber tour in 1980. It could be argued that "Overkill" is a better album, but "Bomber" really put the Motor boys on the rock map. They toured heavily all the time, but the Bomber tour was spectacular with the Bomber suspended above the stage. It nearly killed them one gig when it broke it's moorings in Germany, but that's another story. Great album, great band.

Come Taste The Band
Come Taste The Band
Price: £13.29

4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The end was near........, 6 Mar 2006
This review is from: Come Taste The Band (Audio CD)
Deep Purple had survived line-up changes before (Simper/Evans and Gillan/Glover's departure) but the man in black had now departed the arena. His songwriting skills and structure tended to be the difference, seperating Purple from their peers. CTTB was the follow-up to a poor MkIII album in Stormbringer, and it proved to be their weakest offering since before "In Rock" and covered in blues/funk mediocrity. Tommy Bolin had accepted the poison chalice of replacing Blackmore, and it proved to be all that and more. Ex James Gang Bolin, a fair guitarist and master of many styles was certainly competent, but Blackmore he definately was not. Purple had taken a distinctly different musical path, with Coverdale and Hughes at the helm, and Bolin's more funky approach completed that transition. The edge that was "Child in Time" or "Burn" in previous years is sadly missing, and it was replaced with "Dealer" and "Love Child" - poor songs that wouldn't have made Purple's studio out-takes. They took it on the road in late '75 and '76, and Bolin was roundly boo'd and given a really hard time by a public still wanting Ritchie. The Mark IV line-up did over 50 gigs in that period, until the band's (1st) demise in mid '76. The rest is well documented history - the bootlegged "On the wings of a Russian Foxbat" is probably Bolin's best (now official) live work with MkIV, and the infamous "Last concert in Japan" probably his (and Purple's) worst. Bolin was to tragically die in December 1976, aged 25.

Made In Japan
Made In Japan
Offered by dutchtoni
Price: £21.74

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You're only about 4' 6" !!, 21 Dec 2005
This review is from: Made In Japan (Audio CD)
Live albums were not in rerum natura, as they say. DP took their first tour in Japan seriously, and brought the Rolling Stones mobile with them to record it. No stranger to live recordings (or being bootlegged!) the Mk II line-up was taped on all 3 dates at Osaka and Tokyo. The result was a staggering success, and captured the band's stage show at it's electrifying best. Blistering harmony & unison interplay between Blackmore and Lord, a rhythm section containing the world's best rock drummer in Ian Paice and the hugely underrated Roger Glover on bass was capped off by a storming performance of Ian Gillan's silver throated vocal. Having just recorded "Machine Head" the bulk of the set comes from that LP - but "Child in Time" (from In Rock) is an astonishing testament to how good DP were at the time. The best live rock band on the planet, by some considerable margin. I'm sure there will be a few who will argue that Led Zeppelin had that accolade, but some of their live performances were long-winded and unrehearsed. DP's instrumentals were well crafted, and had some huge cues. If you listen to any of their live stuff in any depth you'll see what I mean. The opener, Highway Star, introduces you to the band and is followed by Child in Time. Nuff said. Smoke on the Water is considered to be the band's most memorable riff by the public (check out any music shop on a Saturday afternoon!) and The Mule is a Paice solo spot. Strange kind of Woman is the standout track for me - Blackmore and Gillan (so often at odds with each other)united on stage with the question and answer phrasing and posturing. Lazy is Jon Lord's tour de force. The LP is finished off with a rousing 20 minutes of "Space Truckin' - a bit of everything in this, really, and a very powerful set closer. I listened to this as a 13 year-old when it was released, and my opinion has not diminished over 30 years. Best Live Album - Ever. Bar none. The later releases contain some of the encores "Lucille" "Back Night" and "Speed King" but the core 7 tracks tell you who this band are.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 28, 2012 9:29 PM GMT

Made In Europe
Made In Europe
Price: £10.04

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mark 3 in Turmoil, 7 Dec 2005
This review is from: Made In Europe (Audio CD)
I'd listened to this LP as a teenager, and liked it a lot. But you can hear the difference between "Burn" in the studio and this Live recorded version. Not just because it's live, but the blurry performances. Paice is a powerhouse as always, but the fire of The Moody in black is missing. Say what you like about Blackmore, he gave the band the edge, and everything really good that they did usually came from him co-opting with his arch enemy Gillan. I like Mistreated and Burn, but the rest has "funky Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale" stamped all over it. Hughes' high vocal is an irritation, and he has become far more professional and a more rounded vocalist over the years. As has David Coverdale. RB would go on to fly Rainbow soon after, and DP would (in Jon Lord's own words) "Go round the world with Tommy Bolin, unravelling every good thing we had done" - soon to break up after the "Come taste the band" LP. Coverdale/Lord/Paice would soon be starring again with Whitesnake, Hughes had his own demons to face, Bolin would die tragically and RB would have the biggest band and go on to record one of the best rock studio albums of all time in "Rising" - an awesome tour de force that neither parties ever managed to emulate after.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2012 11:15 PM GMT

Price: £7.80

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best studio album of the 70's, 26 Jan 2004
This review is from: Rising (Audio CD)
This is, without doubt, one of the best Rock studio albums ever released. From the mystical keyboard intro (building into the opening riff) of Tarot Woman, through to the Tour de Force that is "Light in the Black" (one of Cozy's best) the pace never stops. Stargazer is absolutely awesome (especially Dio's ad-libs at the end - "My eyes are bleeding.....) and makes you feel you are on the Tower of Stone with the Wizard himself. Blackmore's guitar playing, now freed of Coverdale/Hughes funky influences, smashes home the riffs with his unique style - Starstruck is classic Blackmore - and his lead breaks interchange structure (LITB) with avante-garde (TW) and harmony
(DYCYE). It's interesting to note Blackmore's success and ascendence, and Deep Purple's demise in the same period.
The writing combination of Dio/Blackmore would stand only one more studio album, and RB would break this version of Rainbow up before then. After the "Onstage" live album, Blackmore would turn his writing skills to a more commercial direction, again to great success, and wouldn't return to the more Rocky directon until "Stranger in us All" in the mid-90's. Put "Rising" on your CD/Record player, turn it up and relive 35 minutes of sheer Classic Rock.

Page: 1