Profile for T Williamson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by T Williamson
Top Reviewer Ranking: 133,571
Helpful Votes: 102

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
T Williamson

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
pixel
Death & Legacy
Death & Legacy

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic symphonic power metal, 6 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Death & Legacy (MP3 Download)
This is one band I am so glad that I discovered...which was almost by accident! This album, being the latest by the Austrian power metalists, is by far the best. I can categorically say that it is an album worthy of praise from start to finish, and given that there are a lot of tracks it is a real treat. Certain tracks really stand out, especially "The Chevalier", "Far from Home", "Heavenly Mission", "State of Seige", "Serenade of Flames", "Youngest of Widows" and "Beyond Desert Sands". There are some fantastic duets with some other great names in symphonic metal, such as Charlotte Wessels from Delain and Ailyn from Serenia. You get the immediate impression that a lot of thought, effort and hard work has gone into making this album so it would practically be a crime not to buy it. The singers voice fits the symphonic power metal perfectly, and the music is very well written with great strong choruses and elaborate and epic production throughout. The lyrics are great too and the songs actually mean something (i.e. carry a theme behind them). I can only hope that their next album (which, unfortunately, probably won't be released for a few years now) follows a similar theme to this. Check out this album, you won't be disappointed!


Mercy Falls
Mercy Falls
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great power/prog metal emotional rollercoaster!, 6 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Mercy Falls (MP3 Download)
This album is not just great progressive power metal, it also carries a touching story behind the music. This is a concept album which begins with, and is carried by, the underlying theme told by "A New Beginning", which is about a car accident involving a man and his wife. The man falls into a coma and the wife painfully waits for years on end by his hospital bedside for him to wake, with only a glimmer of hope in a risky bone-marrow transplant from their only son. Other songs on the album tell different aspects of the story, either from the viewpoint of the wife, the son, the family or even the comatose patient himself during his "dreamstate". In fact, the story gets somewhat complex as many believe that, during his comatose state, the patient dreams of a place called Mercy Falls (hence the album name) which is a reflection of his broken relationship with his family, and how he constantly tries to escape to return to reality. Sadly, he never gets to as he never manages to find a way out of Mercy Falls and, because the bone-marrow transplant fails, the doctors turn off his life-support machine claiming that the patient was not strong enough to fight the coma and that his brain has been inactive for too long.

The album varies in its musical styling throughout to relate to the ups and downs in the underlying theme behind the music, some parts revealing the great tragedy in all its fullness, whilst others providing some glimmer of hope and raising the spirit. The overriding theme is revisited at most points during the album, such as in songs like "Tears for a father" and "Tears for a son", eventually reaching its conclusion in "One Last Goodbye" - the very sad and moving tale of the wife having to turn off her husbands life support machine, and then "Back In Time" which tells the sad and somewhat ironic story of how the car crash came about in the first place (which I won't ruin for you in this review). The final song, "The Black Parade", completing the story of the man passing on to whatever lies beyond, and singing his words of wisdom that life should be lived to the full before we get "called" to our "Black Parade". Musically, the last song completes the cycle perfectly by using the theme music that can be heard in the first track on the album (although in a slightly varying form). In fact, the band rather creatively use musical elements and themes from various songs in the album in other songs on the album, presumably in order to carry on the main story throughout.

Some songs simply provide fantastic typical progressive power metal (some of which is the best i've heard so far in this genre). That coupled with the brilliant vocals, lyrics, and emotional progressive metal music, make for one fantastic album. It has strong choruses, and typical power metal vocals. In many places the album uplifts (if not in lyrics then in musicality), provided by songs like "Welcome to Mercy Falls", "Unbreakable", and "A Day Away", but in other places subtly reminds the listener of the tragic car accident and coma. The album contains some very touching ballads to reflect this.

In short, this album tells a wonderful story and takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster. Clearly, this is no ordinary album. It has a very creative storyline which, although deeply sad and tragic, contains a lesson for all of us. It just keeps getting better the more I listen to it. I am so glad I discovered this band and I very highly recommend this to anyone who is even remotely interested in this genre of metal. This is an album worth checking out, and at great value on download it is all the more worth a try! This is undoubtedly the best album I have heard so far, so don't do a crime to your ears by neglecting them of this great music!


Karate's Grappling Methods
Karate's Grappling Methods
by Iain Abernethy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening!, 29 April 2011
I have been learning Karate only for a relatively short period of time. However, one of the first things I noticed was how little grapples, throws, take-downs and locks are practised. I therefore took the view (as probably many others do) that Karate is a striking as opposed to grappling style. I was wrong (as are many others). This book perfectly illustrates how many grappling, throwing and locking techniques are found in the very kata's which are practised in dojo's across the world on a daily basis. It becomes apparent from reading the book that modern-day karate practitioners somehow overlook or omit to include these techniques in every-day training. This is a great shame to the art and those who practice it. The other thing the book perfectly illustrates is how a real fight is a "sloppy affair" and it is easy to think that a simple punch or kick will do the trick. This book prepares the karate student for a real scenario by putting it in no uncertain terms that, often, what appears to work in a dojo will not work in a real fight. If you want to broaden your karate practice to understand how it may be applied in a real fight situation, this is a perfect book to buy. Iain Abernethy is renound, even if perhaps controversially, for taking karate back to its roots as being a combat form that is as good close-range as it is medium to long-range. I gave this book four stars because the only way in which I think it could be improved is how it describes doing the techniques (many of which are quite complicated). The diagrams are good, but the descriptions often have to be read several times to get a grasp of how they work. Obviously a training partner comes in handy when it comes to working on this kind of "fighting". Particularly when it comes to wrist, arm and leg locks, a good description counts all the more as these techniques are hard to pull off and you can't afford to get them wrong in a real-life situation.


Halestorm [Expanded]
Halestorm [Expanded]
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classy heavy rock/metal, 26 April 2011
This album is pure class. I love the music and the vocals. The album gets off to a banging start with "It's Not You", and doesn't lose its momentum throughout. It's very powerful to listen to and kind of makes you feel good. There are the more downbeat songs, such as "Familiar taste of poison" and "Better sorry than safe", which are excellent as well, but I think this album succeeds because of it's more upbeat and controversial songs. This album bears a slight hint of girl power, but because of the sophisticated way in which the album is done it seems to work really well and edge away from cliche's and cheesy-ness. This is very very impressive and I will definately keep an eye on this band in future to see what else they come up with. I would recommend this album to anyone who likes rock/metal music. It may even appeal to fans of pop in general because the songs definately wouldn't sound out of place in the charts and they aren't done in a typical head-banging metal style, but in a more contemporary way. This is definately heavy rock/metal, but it bears a contemporary edge which makes it unique and classy.


The Unforgiving (Special Edition)
The Unforgiving (Special Edition)
Price: £9.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practically perfect!, 26 April 2011
I have a few earlier albums by this band, but this album sticks out head and shoulders above the rest. It displays their musical talent and excellence in a very refreshing way. It isn't quite like their previous releases, so be challenged if you're expecting to hear the Within Temptation of the Mother Earth days, because it is totally different. It seems to bear a more pop influence, but (to reassure the metal heads out there) in a good way. In fact, the musical styling works perfectly. The songs are very well written and, for want of a better expression, bear a seal of quality that has rarely been matched in my opinion. It's an album which I have listened to over and over and don't seem to get bored of. All songs are good, but there are also the excellent tracks such as "Shot in the Dark", "In the Middle of the Night", "Faster", "Where is the Edge?", "Lost", and "A Demon's Fate". The choruses are very strong and the songs are catchy and leave their mark. This album will be hard to match! I suggest that if you like symphonic or melodic metal that you buy this quickly - because you are missing out.


Elysium
Elysium
Price: £4.79

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good effort, 26 April 2011
This review is from: Elysium (MP3 Download)
This is the first album I have by this band. I took the plunge because I kept seeing the name crop up in the circles of melodic/power metal which is a genre I love so much. I am not disappointed at all with this album. I gave it four rather than five stars because I feel it doesn't quite reach its full potential. The album starts with a bang with the fantastic "Darkest Hours", which is the best track on the album in my opinion. That's not to say that the album declines in musical quality as it goes on, but there are the tracks which leave their mark and those that don't. However, this album is well worth purchasing if you are at all into melodic/power metal, or other bands such as Sonata Arctica, Dragonland, etc. Stratovarius do seem to have their own unique sound though and are not some cheap copy or replica of these other great bands. The title track is the longest, but most creative, on the album. It is a very impressive song which takes the listener on a musical journey through a multitude of emotions. As a result of this album, I will definately be looking into this band a little bit more and perhaps purchasing some earlier releases.


Mirror of Souls
Mirror of Souls
Price: £5.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power metal perfection!, 7 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Mirror of Souls (MP3 Download)
I have done a lot of digging recently to find the perfect power metal band, and as I carry on my search I keep coming across better and better bands. Theocracy is no exception, and I am deeply impressed by their style and quality. There is, however, one major problem with this album...it leaves the listener wanting more when finishing after just eight tracks. However, what it lacks in quantity it makes up in quality. Also, whilst it does only have eight songs, the album is actually about normal length due to the time span of some of the tracks; especially the 22-minute title track at the end. Every song on this album is of extremely high quality, supporting typical power metal vocals, great solo's, and strong/catchy choruses. Overall, very well written and produced and the vocals are some of the best i've heard in the power metal genre yet. This band supports a strong Christian theme, creatively touching on sensitive issues such as sin, salvation and suffering for Christ. I believe, however, that this music will be appealing to you whether you are a Christian or not (provided you actually like power metal!) Of course, if you ARE a Christian, and are finding it difficult to find a decent Christian metal band which does not actually skirt around the deeper issues of the religion, then this is the band for you. I strongly recommend that you try this album out, you will not be disappointed!


Silence (2008 Edition)
Silence (2008 Edition)
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album!, 31 Dec. 2010
This early album by Sonata Arctica again proves what class the band truly has. The songs are very memorable and I just can't stop listening to the album! Very well written, with originality whilst retaining the typical power metal sound that we all know and love (or should do!). This, however, is not a typical power metal album (or band for that matter), because I think it easily surpasses most other power metal material out there on the market at the moment. The songs are also quite diverse. There are the faster, uplifting, songs such as "Weballergy", "Black Sheep", "San Sebastian", "Wolf and Raven" and "Peacemaker", and then there are other much more melodramatic and downbeat songs such as "The End of This Chapter", "Last Drop Falls", and possibly one of the best "break-up songs" of our time; "Tallulah". In a nutshell, this album is brilliant and is well worth purchasing. I don't know that it surpasses Ecliptica, but it definately retains the same standard of songwriting, production, and overall class, and is an excellent follow up.


Ecliptica
Ecliptica
Price: £6.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power metal at its best!, 27 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Ecliptica (Audio CD)
I recently downloaded this album, and it is the first album I own by this band. I decided to give them a try because I am a fan of power metal and kept seeing their name crop up. This was the best introduction to the band I could have hoped for. It really is power metal at its best. Every song leaves its mark, with strong (if somewhat cheesy) choruses, great melodies, and screeching "power" vocals, it is a joy to listen to. It actually sounds very much like it was made in the '80's, but in a good way. The band have really hit the mark with this album, and I would suggest anyone who has the slightest interest in power metal to give it a try. It really does say something when you can't find fault in any one of the tracks on the whole album!


April Rain
April Rain
Price: £6.23

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album!, 30 Nov. 2010
This review is from: April Rain (Audio CD)
This could be one of the best symphonic metal albums to date. The songs are extremely good and it is hard to pick one out which doesn't impress. I personally think that the lead singers voice is fantastic, and the music has a modern edge which keeps it current and pushes it away from sounding too classical. The title track is a great opening to the album, and, whilst I would say that it is the best song on the album, the rest of the tracks do not fail to impress the listener. This album is definitely worth buying because it doesn't disappoint at all. It is far better than Lucidity (although that in itself is not a bad album by any standards). I can only hope that their next album follows a similar theme and keeps the same line-up.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4