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Hybrid Theorist "thehybridtheorist"

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The Art Of Balance
The Art Of Balance
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best NWOAHM album so far, 23 May 2004
This review is from: The Art Of Balance (Audio CD)
Shadows Fall have released the best album of the last couple of years in this masterpiece.
Better than albums like Killswitch Engages "Alive or just Breathing", Chimairas "Impossibility of Reason" or Lamb Of Gods "As The Palaces Burn"? In my opinion yes, this should be remembered as the best New Wave Of American Heavy Metal album so far (though to be fair, I haven't got hold of KsEs new release "The End Of Heartache" yet, and have heard nothing but good things about it).
They are more influenced by thrash than either of these KsE or Chimaira, KsE appear to borrow influences mainly from Fear Factory as well as thrash and hardcore, Chimaira, while heavily indebted to thrash, also have a heavy hardcore influence. Shadows Fall are more listenable than Lamb Of God, who are fairly close to Death Metal.
Shadows fall play a lot more solos than any of those bands, and use the guitarists as extra singers to lend an extra dimension to Brian Fears superb vocals.
From the furious opening song Idle Hands, and the next two Thoughts Without Words, and Destroyer of Senses, the pace doesn't let up, until we reach the instrumental Casting Shade. I'm not a huge fan of calm acoustic or just low tempo instrumentals in metal albums. They seem to be used to give the listener a breather between all the raw power of the other songs, but at 2 minutes, while good, this one is too long, and could easily be half that length. However, Stepping outside the circle easily steps the pace back up, and (my favourite song on the album) The Art Of Balance, brings it back slower, but no less heavier until getting to a superb crescendo. Mystery of One Spirit isn't quite up to the standard of the other songs around it, but if it were compared to songs from an average album, rather than this, it would still give them a run for their money. Its not a bad song, I'd give it 7/10. The Idiot Box returns us to the thrashy songs that we started the album with before another instrumental, then the seven minute epic A Fire In Babylon. The album finishes with a Pink Floyd cover, Welcome to the Machine, which isn't dissimilar to the original, but still takes the song in a different enough direction to be interesting
The sizzling guitar interplay is awesome, the bass is good, the drums (though overplaying the double bass as many bands do now) are heavy as hell, and the vocals are fantastic.
The main plus point about this album is that none of the songs could really be classed as filler, meaning it is a definite five star purchase. If you like Heavy Metal, I'd definitely recommend this CD to you, over just about every other metal CD I own. If you don't own Vulgar Display of Power, I'd say get this before you do. If you do have VDOP you will now how much of a recommendation that is.


Skate to Hell - The Extreme SkateRock Collection
Skate to Hell - The Extreme SkateRock Collection
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £8.17

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great compilation, 13 Jan. 2004
Name me another compilation album where you can find seminal eighties punk bands such as Dead Kennedys and Black Flag next to awesome metal bands like Sabbath, and probably the second Rap/Rock song ever, in Anthrax & Public Enemy's reworking of an old PE song, plus my favourite 60s song, the MC5s Kick Out The Jams, its punky feel must have influenced the likes of the Ramones and other punk pioneers.
Is there anything bad to this CD? Well, in my opinion there is a few too many songs seeming plucked from current radio playlists, that will not be future classics in the way songs like Kick Out The Jams and TV Party are now (TV party probably more relevent now than when it was written)
Thats not to say some of them, the likes of Fish out of water and the aweseome cosmopolitan bloodloss dont deserve thier place, but some of the other songs seem to have been put on purely for younger people (at 17 I include myself in this) to look at and go "hey, I know that one that one and that one, this might be worth £15." I know about the likes of Motorhead, I could infact name one of their songs other than ace of spades ("Eat the Rich", there you go) but some of my friends are clueless when it comes to anything further back than Nirvana other than the odd case. Girl All The Bad Guys want is on this CD to aim squarely at them.
I just cant imagine anyone thinking in 15 years time "hey, we're gonna make a skater compilation, lets put She's Gonna Break Soon on (In my opinion, its one of LTJs worst songs, and is it a coincidence that as their new single, it just happens to be on this CD?). Many of the other songs on this album would still be listened to for decades to come.
Also, its missing other skating legends, such as Agnostic Front, and Minor Threat, although I'm certian the latter would have been involved, other than the fact they seem to prefer not to appear on compilations.
That said, this is one of the best compilations I've seen, and if you like some old school punk, as well as the best current pop punk, and some heavier music to boot, I'd recommend this to you.
And if the odd kid gets into MC5, DKs, Sabbath or the Stooges because of this CD, it can only be good.
And to be fair, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is my favourite song, by the most important metal band ever, Black Flag are probably the eighties biggest punk band, (and if not them, its likely to be Dead Kennedys) Public Enemy are the best rap band ever, the one and only Prodigy feature, Rancid and Bad Religion, (probably the two most authentic current punk bands) are on it.......... its not a bad list now is it?


The Impossibility Of Reason
The Impossibility Of Reason
Offered by adrians_records
Price: £5.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The next Pantera?, 30 Jun. 2003
This is the sextets third album, and Pantera appear to be the biggest influence on them but dozens of other metal influences appear, the thirteen minute "Implements of Destruction" reeks of Metallicas instrumentals, although is interesting at almost all times, unlike the occasionally overlong songs of Metallica, (Orion from their seminal Master of puppets album being by far the worst culprit, the worst song on that particular album by a country mile).
Down again, is fairly radio friendly, and its slightly Linkin Parky intro and Drowning Pool chorus, while Clensation and Power Trip harnesses the raw power and agression on the best Slipknot songs. And I know a lot of people dont like Slipknot, if anyone did just think "eeuurgh, Slipknot" I can assure you, this album isn't just a Slipknot rip off by a long shot, this band cannot be accused of trying to carbon copy anyone else.
Basicly, this is a band who cannot fall into any of the major metal sub genres, because they can do almost anything they try well, but the best way to summmarise them would probably be a more agressive Pantera, with new elements, such as a full time "electronics" man, who is clearly evident in certian songs, such as Down Again.
My personal favourite songs are Clensation, a storming, opener, all about breaking up with a partner, and being thankful for it "our seperation/ is my clensation" and "Pure Hatred", which changes throughout, shifting tempos effortlessly, all while still being unrelentingly heavy making it a much more interesting song than others gaining airplay at the moment that are good, but samey throughout. However, there are no serious dips in quality, I'd say the albums worst song is "The Impossibility Of Reason" which does seem to wash over me, and all of a sudden, I realise its finished, and I'm bangin my head to "Pictures in the Gold Room". Its not particularly bad, its just more of a primal scream of anger with no seriously memorable hooks to speak of.
Special mention must go to Mark Hunters vocal talents as well, one of the most angry voices I've heard, (the only more intense vocal performances I can think of would be Casey Chaos of Amen, and Cedric Bixler formerly of At The Drive In). Its a sort of mixture of Slipknots Corey Taylor and Casey Chaos.
One of the only poor points of this album is that the extra song is added on the end, which as usual, ruins the proper ending of the album. "Implements of destruction" has a stunning ending, which would be a lot better than the bonus "Army of me". Good song though it is, it isnt the right one to finish the album with.
I would recomend this album to anyone who likes metal ,especially if they prefer it more aggressive then is played on the majority of radio and TV channels. Its full of awesome riffs, some great solos, (and not the self indulgent type, the ones on this album actually improve the song by fitting in well, unlike certian bands I could mention) and pounding drums.
This isnt quite A Vulgar Display Of Power, but then, you can probably count albums that surpass that on the fingers of one hand (OK, two). It should make them a major league attraction, and if they can follow it up with another album of the same quality, the sky is the limit.


We Have Come For Your Parents
We Have Come For Your Parents
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Album of All Time, 12 Jun. 2003
This is without doubt my favourite album, its fast paced, ultra aggressive and political.
Many people say Amen are metal, which is down to the heavy drumming of Shannon Larkin (now of Godsmack of all bands) and the screaming intensity of singer Casey Chaos
Others call them punk, not in the Blink 182 or New Found Glory sense (not that I have anything against these sort of bands, NFG are awesome live), but true Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Sex Pistols style, due to the guitar work and socio-political lyrics
The first few songs of this album are close to perfection. You know that feeling when you hear a song you REALLY think is awesome, and hearing the opening of it just brings a smile to your face? I do that with songs 3, 4, and 5, as well as others to a lesser extent.
Justified is my personal favourite, but I know many people with other preferences, all in all, about 7 of the songs are the favourite of someone I know, a sign of a good album in my opinion, if there is no clear cut best song.
The songs have a large source of subject material, from Calvin Klein and others destroying individuality (CK Killer) to the American Dream being basicly, a lie (Mayday) this album is a stake through the heart of all the lies people hear about the greatness of the USA. Which could explain their lack of success over there, despite being american, and featuring ex members of Snot at the time of this album.
To be honest, I cant think of a bad song on this album, nor can I think of a person I know who regretted buying this.
I cant reccomend it highly enough. Buy this album. You need it.


IOWA
IOWA
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff, 12 Jun. 2003
This review is from: IOWA (Audio CD)
This is a great metal album, even if opinons of them are split more than probably any other band at the moment.
The best song on the album is Heretic Anthem, an awesome song from the strange 8, 7, 666 countdown at the start, to the very last second, although there is plenty of competition from other songs such as Disasterpiece, and Everything Ends.
It isnt as diverse as its predeccesor, but if you thought (Sic) was the best song on the last album, this is for you.
There is a couple of bad points on the album, such as the pointless intro, and the overlong final track, which is very subdued, and not what you would expect from a band famous for their aggression.
They aren't the best metal band out there, but if you do take them at face value, admitting the masks are just a gimmick, and that its hard to take them seriously when two of them spend more time fighting than playing instruments, you should really enjoy this album, especially if you liked the first, or other similar bands.
It took me a long time to get into Slipknot, and I'll be the first to admit that not everyone likes them, but if you liek the songs you've heard, you should be happy with this CD


The Book of Metal: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Metal Music Ever Created
The Book of Metal: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Metal Music Ever Created
by Chris Ingram
Edition: Paperback

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible for a metal fan, 10 Dec. 2002
This is the best book of its kind I have ever seen, I bought it just over a month ago, and haven't put it down since.
It has biographies of almost any metal band you could mention, as well as most of the rock and punk communities.
With double page spreads on the biggest bands (Sabbath, Pantera, Nirvana, Slayer, Areosmith, etc) these bands get the space they deserve, and many bands I never new were that important (or even existed, such as Black Flag) are given a biography, usually a list of influences, or bands they've influenced, and in all cases, a recommended album (an occasional band, such as Metallica or Soundgarden, get more than one recommended)
The book seems to keep comming back to these bands, who've shaped metal forever, giving me a true feeling of the importance of Metallica, and so on, as I never realised how important and influential they were until I read this book.
Several sub-genres (stoner rock, Death metal, grindcore, etc) have a quick history box, including important albums, originators and current day bands of each genre.
There are a couple of glaring ommisions, such as the sex pistols, possibly the most important punk band ever, Papa roach, who are mentioned on the back, and Nile, maybe the biggest death metal band in the world.
The only other complaint I can have is that the top 10 section at the back, (top ten guitarists, top ten album covers, etc) is only covering about a quater of a page, which seems a bit strange, especially as the rest of the page is only taken up with a picture of one of the guys from Mudvayne, the same picture being in the book, in the Mudvayne section.
However, everything else about the book is utter perfection, and I cant reccomend it highly enough. My bible.


Last Kiss
Last Kiss
Offered by Smaller World Future
Price: £71.45

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only song to ever make me cry, 9 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Last Kiss (Audio CD)
What an amazing song.
This is quite probably Pearl Jams, (and in particular, Eddie Vedder's) finest song, and possibly the most lyrically perfect love song by any band, ever.
It is a heart wrenching tale of how the man in the song (as always, told in first person) looses his lifes love in a tragic car accident, and cant wait to go to heaven to see her again.
I listened to this songs about 10 times straight the first time I heard it. I love it. There are no big solos in the style of alive or even flow, just Vedders mournful voice, and the rest of the band playing in the background. Simple, but is it effective? Incredibly. I dont think I can think of a better singer for this particular song.
I cant find it on any Pearl Jam album, so I guess you'll have to buy the single. And You have to own this song, even if you only slightly like Pearl Jam


Seven [VHS] [1996]
Seven [VHS] [1996]
VHS
Offered by pkeylock
Price: £3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite film EVER, 8 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Seven [VHS] [1996] (VHS Tape)
This has to be one of the most atmosperic films ever, with each and every part acted out to perfection, especially the two leads, Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, as well as the deranged serial killer.
This film has maybe the best ending for any film I've ever seen, although that honour may just be shaded by "The Usual Suspects".
This obviously isnt a film for everyone, but if you like tense thrillers, and a hint of horror, this is possibly the best the genre has ever produced


Lateralus
Lateralus

16 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its Sooooooooooooo deep, you just dont "get it", 6 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Lateralus (Audio CD)
Lateralus is I believe, best described prog metal. By prog, I mean fans of Tool believe they have better musical tastes than everyone else, because the band they like is more complicated and intricate than any other band on the planet. This includes Kerrang, who voted this the best album of 2001 over System Of A Down's "Toxicity". Scandalous.
Anyone who says anything along the lines of "I only ever listen to Tool/Radiohead/Pink Floyd/Aphex Twin because they are so deep" deserves to be kicked very hard.
This is far too over complicated in many places, and some songs go on far far longer than they should do, or need to.
That said, several of the songs are fantastic, such as the 8 minute "The Grudge" which has an interesting beginning, then it appears at one point it is going to go all out heavy with huge drum beats, but then the entire band goes quiet, save the bass. Very clever, and the songs climax is fantastic. The album is 80 minutes longs as well, so its value for money.
Tool are obviously very talented musicians, and many of the songs are good in patches even at face value, I quite liked several of the songs the first time I heard them.
Unfortunatly this is without doubt the most inaccesible album I've ever bought. Often, it seems as though it is made to be inaccesible and overly complex. Its taken me over a year, of which I probably listened to Lateralus all the way through about 30 times, to notice its finer points. I dont think that makes it deep, Because if you listen to most albums more than 20 times you can keep noticing new things. The lyrics are also often very pretentious, and basicly, wierd for the sake of it.
Many of the songs have 3 or so minute pointless intros also just for the sake of it.
I was going to give this album 4 stars, until I saw the string of fairly unwarranted 5/5 stars, so I thought I'd try to put it into perspective.
DEFINATLEY NOT FOR EVERYONE
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2014 9:12 PM BST


Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
Price: £13.25

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most lyrically great album EVER, 14 Sept. 2002
Wow, one of my favourite albums, even though it was made about five years before I was born.
I got into them after downloading Kill the Poor, and Holiday in Cambodia, and any person foolish to say that file sharing is a bad idea is a retard. I must have bought 10 different CDs as a result of downloading their songs. Anyway, back to the music........
Most of the album is amazing with only a couple of weak songs put in for shock value, like "I kill children" (satirical, but still....) Standouts are "Holiday IC", "Kill The Poor" (showing Biafras amazingly sharp wit), and "California Uber Alles" another amazing song, packed full of venom at Govenor Jerry Brown. Whether hes real or not, I dont know, but he aint painted in a favourable light here. "I will be FÜhrer one day, I will command all of you, Your kids will meditate in school" and "Now it is 1984, Knock knock at your front door, It's the suede/denim secret police, They have come for your uncool neice"
Jellos lyrics and voice are amazing, and the rest of the band are great too, not just a vehicle for Biafra's messages, although when they need to be, they take a back seat. East Bay Rays guitar work is amazing, somehow he manages to make his GUITAR sound angry and frustrated itself, never mind the guitarist himself.
I find it quite appaling, upsetting and basicly embarrasing that the many things that Jello and Co were complaining about havent been addressed in the last 20 years. The poor are still poor, America doesn't care about any other country in the world, and the multinational companies are still prepared to bulldoze the last rainforests to save about £10 on land to graze cattle (MacDonalds, I'm talking to you) Thats deeply depressing.
So anyway, if you like almost any sort of punk, the anger of the Sex Pistols in some songs, the fooling about of Blink 182 in others, the anti establishment attacks of NOFX, buy this album. The Offspring are huge fans apparently. Listen to this album to find out where the likes of "Keep Em Separated (Come Out And Play)" and "The Kids Aren't Alright" came from, simply listen to this album. Everything punk should be.


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