Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...who needs food...buy this instead..., 16 Mar 2009
This review is from: Ghost Opera [12" VINYL] (Vinyl)
ICED EARTH, ACCEPT, and KAMELOT (Vinyl Reissues)

It's the 25th anniversary of SPV / Steamhammer Records, the German based rock and metal label who are one of the leaders of the genre. To celebrate they're taking batches of classic albums and reissuing them on lovely, lovely vinyl, with some of the records making a debut on the best ever format.

Iced Earth - The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2

The Crucible Of Man: Something Wicked Part 2 from American power metallers Iced Earth came out in 2008 and, as the title suggests, was the concluding part of their ongoing Something Wicked saga. It picked up where Framing Armageddon left off in 2007 and saw their best loved vocalist Matt Barlow, firmly ensconced in the band again, replacing ex Judas Priest man "Ripper" Owens, alongside guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer. Barlow contributes some amazing vocal lines to what is a dense work, and not the easiest way to get into the music of Iced Earth, but there are some amazing riffs to savour on tracks like "Crown Of The Fallen" and "The Revealing". It's gloriously presented here as a double album in a gatefold sleeve, with stunning artwork across the full cover spread and will definitely be a collector's piece.

Accept - Restless & Wild

Next we leap back to my childhood and the classic Restless & Wild album from Teutonic heavy metal band, Accept. A defining album in metal history, it contained what is arguably the first ever speed metal track, in the shape of opener "Fast As A Shark". The demented, air raid siren vocals of Udo Dirkschneider remain as peculiarly compelling as ever, a quarter of a century down the road, and allied to the fabulous guitars of Wolf Hoffman and Jorg Fischer on tracks like "Shake Your Heads" and "Flash Rockin' Man". this is proper, classic heavy metal, the way it should be done. A lovely gatefold sleeve gives you good cause to remember why those trousers and that haircut were always bad ideas.

Kamelot - Ghost Opera

Best of the lot in this batch, though, is Ghost Opera by Kamelot. When it came out a couple of years back, I reckoned it was the finest prog / power metal crossover I'd heard in absolute aeons, and it's remained a favourite of mine ever since. Extended to a double album, with only three tracks on each side, the power of the music just leaps out of the speakers, in a manner that says all albums should be made this way. Songs like "Rule The World", with its off-kilter riff and the Gregorian chant enhanced "Mourning Star" are just built for this kind of treatment, with the guitars of Thomas Youngblood sounding bigger and louder than ever before, on the excellently mastered vinyl. A true masterpiece, this one won't be leaving my record deck for a long time yet. Again, the gatefold sleeve and inner sleeve designs are works of art, and it would be worth buying a turntable just to appreciate this.

There are more vinyl reissues to come, and if this batch is anything to go by, they will be essential collector's items in years to come. I can't think of a better way to mark your birthday and, hopefully, some other record labels will take note.
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Mr. H "Mr H"
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Location: Embra

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