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Nev Daimler (United Kingdom)

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Tab
Tab
Price: £10.51

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The cover's pretty cool, too, 27 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Tab (Audio CD)
Originally released in 1991 (reissued in 1993), the Tab EP could be viewed as Monster Magnet's first album due to it's 40+ minute run time. But the first half-hour is taken up with the title track, a rambling psychedelic stoner space rock epic with a cyclic riff that perpetuates throughout and very little else in sense of direction. That's not to say it's bad - I really like the trippier side of MM's work and find that chunks of their later albums can be monotonous rock-a-thons. But this song does stretch things and the listener definitely needs to be in the right mood to fully appreciate what's going on.
The other two tracks - 25 and Longhair are placed as one song and only Lord 13 remains on original issues - are by contrast much more concise (though the former is 12 mins long) but nevertheless are awash with early MM trippiness. Neither would have sounded out of place on later releases and are great tunes. Lord 13 is particularly memorable, the first of many charmingly laid back, slightly sinister "ballads" the band would record in the years to come, it's swooshing, hypnotic outro a precursor to the excellent Ozium on follow-up release Spine of God.
Not a record for casual listeners, Tab nevertheless offers some aural delights to the curious and a healthy slab of spaced-out pleasure for the initiated.


Ultraviolence
Ultraviolence

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 80s thrash...., 1 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Ultraviolence (Audio CD)
...but it does sound a little of it's time.
Each time I put this album on for a quick blast of old-school thrashing, I'm a little surprised at how the fierce pace, chugging riffs and frenetic fretwork leaves me unsatisfied. The Ultra-violence was a constant listen for me when I first got it and remained a favourite for some time. The pounding bass of Evil Priest's mid-section, the unrelenting heaviness of Voracious Souls, the vicious guitar intro to Kill as One...everything on this album hit the mark and I placed it alongside Eternal Devastation, Killing Technology, Darkness Descends and Terrible Certainty, among others, as one of THE great albums of the thrash genre. And it certainly gained terrific reviews in the press.
Yet now...well it sounds just a little dated. Not that that in itself is such a bad thing as there's nothing wrong with revisiting what was one the great eras of metal, but I can listen to the other albums I mentioned (and more besides - Nuclear Assault's Handle with Care, Testament's The Legacy) and still find them to be very engaging and hugely satisfying. Those albums possess a unique edge and there is something very creative and genre-defining about them. With The Ultra-violence, while all the necessary ingredients are there, I don't think there is enough uniqueness about this album to set it apart(other than the fact that all the musicians were very young - I think the drummer was twelve, seriously!). Don't misunderstand, on it's own, this is a great thrash album, with the aforementioned chugging riffs etc. coupled with a nice clear production that does the band great credit. I just believe there are plenty of more intense, more vicious and more creative thrash records out there that really pushed the boundaries of the genre.
I cannot comment on subsequent Death Angel albums; for some reason I never followed them after this debut and its possible they expanded their sound after first finding their feet with The Ultra-violence. Despite my misgivings, if you can pick it up cheap, this is a good buy. Hardcore thrash fans of old should own this and if they don't (because it was hard to get every album out there with just a weekend job to cover all your teenage needs) it's a worthy addition to a collection. And for someone looking to explore the thrash genre anew, it's a good place to start. It's just no match for Dark Angel


The Very Best Of Kiss
The Very Best Of Kiss
Price: £11.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It does have it's plus points, 3 May 2010
This review is from: The Very Best Of Kiss (Audio CD)
Yes, it's another of many Kiss compilations and there are so many of them out there, a newcomer to the band's output (of which I'm hoping there are a few more soon due to the Sonic Boom tour) would be baffled as to where to start. I'm not going to agree or disagree with the other reviewers of this disc as everyone is right. But in my opinion, if you are looking for a starting point for buying Kiss CDs, this is a good choice. It's cheap and it offers a good overview of the end of the back catalogue you really need to be concerned with (i.e. everything up to Lick It Up - though as a die-hard I'm not ruling out later albums, you just need to save these for later). More crucially, though, is that the songs on here don't suffer from dodgy remixes like on other compilations (notably the more official but rather insulting early compilation Double Platinum - Strutter '78? Oh dear). Perhaps you would be better served by just buying the classic debut album and working from there, but if you're wondering where best in the Kiss catalogue you'd like to begin your journey, want a decent compilation containing a lot of their best and best known songs (to a fan, no compilation is gonna be satisfactory) or just have a few quid to spend after seeing them live recently, then this CD is just the ticket.
(For fans reading this, I bought it cos my original Love Gun vinyl now has a scratch through the title track and I needed a faithful re-issue of the song)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2015 7:06 AM BST


Ten
Ten
Offered by mdo1
Price: £26.02

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, finally, 4 Sept. 2009
This review is from: Ten (Audio CD)
I rarely go in for re-issues/remasters etc of albums I already own unless something particularly special is included in the packaging. Well, with this re-issue of Ten, not only is there something special, but something myself and my friends and many other Pearl Jam fans have been waiting 15 years for and that's a DVD release of their performance on MTV Unplugged. I first saw this in 1994 and have always said it was the best Unplugged session I'd seen (above even the mighty Kiss); for this disc alone, Ten is worth buying again. There's a great version of State of Love and Trust, a strong Jeremy and a terrific Porch. There's also the best recording of Black the band have ever released, with Vedder's voice as powerful and emotive as I've ever heard.
Yep, Ten's a classic but you should own it already, remixes are remixes and if you like that stuff then fine, but it's the DVD that matters here.


Humanity - Hour 1 [Limited Edition]
Humanity - Hour 1 [Limited Edition]
Offered by Townsend Records
Price: £17.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sting is Back, 20 Aug. 2007
Finally, after more than twenty years, the Scorpions have released an album of genuine quality! Predecessor `Unbreakable' gave fans renewed hope after many years of disappointing albums, but there were still throwaway numbers among the great hard rockers. And though no song on `Humanity' will force its way into the canon of Scorpions classics, almost every one is a winner.
The news that `Humanity' was to be a "project album", with all the Prog Rock pomposity that the term implies, must have shaken many a fan's optimism. Desmond Child being named as producer after Dieter Dierks fine work on `Unbreakable' undoubtedly hammered a further nail into the coffin of hope. Yet any fears have definitely been misplaced; for starters, the concept (dealing with "humanity", surprisingly enough) is so loose as to be non-existent, the Scorpions delivering the same lyrical content they always have. More crucially, Child has given the album a clear, well-balanced and muscular yet accessible sound that suits the modern incarnation of the Scorpions perfectly. Moreover, his pop-rock sensibilities have been an invaluable contribution to the songwriting, with Rudolph Schenker apparently taking something of a backseat (according to the credits) for the first time in the band's career.
The first half of the album is easily the better: `Hour 1' is powerful headbanging number which, along with mid-paced rocker `You're Lovin' Me to Death' and the driving footstomp of `321' sees the band utilising a more modern, nu-metal guitar sound that suits them well. `The Game of Life' and `We Were Born to Fly' are in possession of soaring, catchy choruses the band were once so adept at writing and even the formulaic ballad `The Future Never Dies' works well thanks to a sweeping orchestration and a nice retro guitar break.
Unfortunately, the magic of the first half isn't maintained throughout and whilst the songs are of sufficient quality to keep it enjoyable, a sense of unoriginality seeps in. Nevertheless, `Love Will Keep Us Alive' is a charming ballad, `We Will Rise Again' an uplifting hard rocker and `Love is War' a nicely balanced light-and-shade number with a fine guitar solo. Only `Your Last Song' falls flat, the cheese factor being too much to bear. The album goes out on a highpoint, though, with the serious heavy metal of `The Cross' (one of the best songs the band's recorded in recent times) and the excellent title track closing proceedings.
I've waited two months before writing this so as to allow my initial euphoria to subside because otherwise I would have gone completely over-the-top with praise. When I first heard `Humanity', I was overcome with joy; it's not up to the standard of their 80s albums, but after so many disappointments, so many flaccid and half-hearted albums full of mediocrity, it was an absolute delight to hear the mighty Scorpions actually packing a real punch and delivering an album worthy of their name. Yes, it's a bit clichéd and may sound dated to modern metal fans, but the Scorpions are not Queens of the Stone Age; this is classic, timeless heavy rock delivered with sophistication and passion. If that's your thing then look no further.


Acoustica
Acoustica

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Should be laws against this, 7 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Acoustica (Audio CD)
The best Scorpions albums get the blood pumping, the foot tapping or the heart melting; on their best tracks all these things happen at once. On `Acoustica', nothing happens...for over an hour.
Good acoustic albums offer a new sound to established songs; while slow numbers, especially ballads, are most obviously suited to the format, it's wonderful to hear a band pull off the difficult task of reworking a full-blown rocker on acoustic guitars. Yet the vast majority of `Acoustica' has the Scorpions playing ballads. What's worse is that they manage to make them sound laboured and flat. This is especially evident on `Still Loving You', but also on `You and I' and `Holiday' (such a great song rendered impotent is a crime against their back catalogue). The only hard rocking numbers given a work-over are `The Zoo' and `Rock You Like a Hurricane' (titled here as `Hurricane 2001' - a useful re-labelling should anyone wish to avoid it when buying a compilation). `Always Somewhere' is here, too, and to be fair it's not all that bad, but listening to one tired ballad after another makes `Acoustica' a tedious listen. Only with the cover of Queen's `Love of My Life' does the band really hit the spot, but then they follow this triumph with a dreadful interpretation of The Cars' `Drive'.
The Scorpions got the orchestral thing out of the way on `Moment of Glory' and `Acoustica' covered them for ruining, sorry - reworking - their songs without electric guitars. From here, the band could get back to the business of writing and recording proper rock albums (although they'd been struggling at that too during the Nineties). This is an album best avoided, except perhaps by insomniacs.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2015 6:54 AM BST


Eye To Eye
Eye To Eye
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £39.98

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Creative vacuum persists, 7 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Eye To Eye (Audio CD)
Slated by critics and fans alike on its release, `Eye to Eye' is perhaps the antithesis of what the Scorpions were once about. Virtually devoid of originality, energy, memorable riffs or catchy hooks, this is a remarkably bland record that a music fan really shouldn't subject their ears to. Having said that, it's not without some positives, mainly in its consistency - it remains dull throughout its hour-plus length!
But, it is unfair that `Eye to Eye' is continuously singled out as the example of the Scorpions at their worst in the seemingly idea-free Nineties: predecessor `Pure Instinct' can be considered as being just as bad (and in some ways worse). And critics seems to point the finger at the band and accuse them of attempting to "go techno" on this album, when in actual fact there is only one song, the insipid `To Be No.1' where electronic beats are prominent. Yet, there really is very, very little to recommend this album, from the tepid opening of `Mysterious' to the clumsy German rocker `Du Bist So Schmutzig'. Some of the tracks are so flimsy they simply drift out of the speakers and fade away, leaving nothing for the listener to hold onto. And the album as a whole is so devoid of character as to make you question whether it actually is the once-mighty Scorpions you're listening to. Only three tracks manage to inject some sense of worth into proceedings: the footstomping `Mind like a Tree', the upbeat singalong `Aleyah' and the very worthy closing track, `A Moment in a Million Years'. This latter, a ballad penned by Klaus Meine and lyrically in the same territory as old classic `When the Smoke is Going Down', finds the Scorpions on familiar ground and is performed with style and sophistication and imbued with genuine emotion that is wholly lacking elsewhere.
One advantage `Eye to Eye' does hold over the risible `Pure Instinct' is a greater sense of cohesion, like the band were operating more as a unit. This record was the debut of drummer James Kottak, whose fresh, youthful energy would surely be an influence on subsequent releases. However, this doesn't change the fact that `Eye to Eye' is a very poor album for such a great band to put their name to and is definitely an album for avid Scorpions fans only.


Unbreakable
Unbreakable
Price: £8.02

3.0 out of 5 stars Right Turn, 7 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Unbreakable (Audio CD)
On `Unbreakable', reunited with producer Dieter Dierks (the man at the helm on all the great Scorpions albums) after more than fifteen years; with a new bass player, Pawel Maciwoda, on board and having drummer James Kottak contributing to the songwritng on three of the tracks, the Scorpions sound fresher, more alive and more energetic than they have in the studio since 1991's `Crazy World'. Whilst the album is far from perfect, the guitar heavy production and the emphasis on rockers instead of ballads marks something of a return to form for the band. Long-standing fans breathed a collective sigh of relief after years spent fearing that their favourite band had completely lost direction.
Nothing on `Unbreakable' will set the world alight and some of the songs are pretty formulaic heavy rock-by-numbers, but they're played with plenty of skill from a tighter-sounding Scorpions unit and recorded with plenty of power in the mix. `New Generation' is a rather plodding opener, but `Love `Em or Leave `Em' is a solid ass-kicker, `Deep and Dark' a satisfying footstomper and `Blood Too Hot' energetic and catchy.
Best of all, where too many Scorpions albums veered rapidly into ballad territory, no slow songs are on offer here until track six. `Maybe I Maybe You' works very well as a restrained, piano-driven tune, yet even on this the band can't resist plunging into bombastic rock at the finale.
The latter half of the record, after the very fine `Someday is Now', doesn't quite sustain the quality but the songs are still far more enjoyable than most of stuff the Scorpions had offered up over the last thirteen years (unlucky for some, namely the fans). The cheesy, upbeat final number (with awful lyrics) is called `Remember the Good Times': highly appropriate, because `Unbreakable' most definitely does hark back to the glory days of the band and although it can't compete with albums the Scorpions released at the height of their powers, it offers plenty of positives and is a very solid slice of traditional heavy rock.


Eye II Eye
Eye II Eye

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Creative vacuum persists, 5 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Eye II Eye (Audio CD)
Slated by critics and fans alike on its release, `Eye to Eye' is perhaps the antithesis of what the Scorpions were once about. Virtually devoid of originality, energy, memorable riffs or catchy hooks, this is a remarkably bland record that a music fan really shouldn't subject their ears to. Having said that, it's not without some positives, mainly in its consistency - it remains dull throughout its hour-plus length!
But, it is unfair that `Eye to Eye' is continuously singled out as the example of the Scorpions at their worst in the seemingly idea-free Nineties: predecessor `Pure Instinct' can be considered as being just as bad (and in some ways worse). And critics seems to point the finger at the band and accuse them of attempting to "go techno" on this album, when in actual fact there is only one song, the insipid `To Be No.1' where electronic beats are prominent. Yet, there really is very, very little to recommend this album, from the tepid opening of `Mysterious' to the clumsy German rocker `Du Bist So Schmutzig'. Some of the tracks are so flimsy they simply drift out of the speakers and fade away, leaving nothing for the listener to hold onto. And the album as a whole is so devoid of character as to make you question whether it actually is the once-mighty Scorpions you're listening to. Only three tracks manage to inject some sense of worth into proceedings: the footstomping `Mind like a Tree', the upbeat singalong `Aleyah' and the very worthy closing track, `A Moment in a Million Years'. This latter, a ballad penned by Klaus Meine and lyrically in the same territory as old classic `When the Smoke is Going Down', finds the Scorpions on familiar ground and is performed with style and sophistication and imbued with genuine emotion that is wholly lacking elsewhere.
One advantage `Eye to Eye' does hold over the risible `Pure Instinct' is a greater sense of cohesion, like the band were operating more as a unit. This record was the debut of drummer James Kottak, whose fresh, youthful energy would surely be an influence on subsequent releases. However, this doesn't change the fact that `Eye to Eye' is a very poor album for such a great band to put their name to and is definitely an album for avid Scorpions fans only.


Pure Instinct
Pure Instinct

7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rock bottom, 5 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Pure Instinct (Audio CD)
The nadir of Scorpions studio albums, `Pure Instinct' wallows in a pit of mediocrity that leaves the long-term fan holding his head in despair. Other than Klaus Meine's distinctive vocals, there is very little on this album that would lead you to believe it's the same band that released such classics as `Lovedrive' and `Blackout'.
Are those bagpipes that herald the opening number, `Wild Child'? I can't believe one of them came up with such a ridiculous idea. And `Wild Child' itself is so utterly average it wouldn't have been fit as a single b-side a few years previous. Things actually manage to go downhill from here, until the fourth track, `Stone in My Shoe', which has a lively feel and a pleasant, catchy rhythm. If only it was an indication of better things to come. Alas, `Soul Behind the Face' is a bland, soulless number and `Oh Girl' nothing short of appalling. Beyond these, most of the remaining five tracks fail to contain anything of merit; indeed, it's hard to believe the band could be so devoid of inspiration when they recorded these songs. Only the ballad `You and I' has a modicum of appeal with its affable, chilled-out groove (though at over six minutes it's maybe a tad lengthy).
I want to award the album two stars purely because it's the Scorpions and they remain my favourite band. But even this loyal fan's heart cannot tolerate such a pitiful excuse for a rock record. Unless you intend to purchase the entire band catalogue, `Pure Instinct', is a Scorpions studio album you should most definitely avoid.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2015 6:42 AM BST


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