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Reviews Written by
Paul Spence "Paul S" (Liverpool, UK)

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The Incident
The Incident
Offered by the_record_factory
Price: £9.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PT fan writes......., 21 Sept. 2009
This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
Well, the race to be first reviewer off the mark is out of the way and those of us that have embraced the album and fully digested it for the past month or so can have our say.
I've been PT fan for donkey's years ( first saw them inadvertently as the support to Gong in Manchester in the 90's !) and , I must disagree with a couple of reviewers, I like both the trippy Floyd-esque stuff and the heavier crunchier stuff.
The fact is that, subject to a few blips here and there (e.g. Signify ) which all bands have , PT produce credible, sensitive, soulful music with a passion.

This album is no exception.

Like many, I was really into FOABP, which is a great CD but the whole vibe of the album ( and Nil Recurring) is a bit " samey". Obviously SW had to get that thing off his chest. Insurgentes also fell into that trap a little. To me, this album picks up the more musical, positive/upbeat thread of In Absentia and Deadwing that came before.

Whilst the "concept" might not work for all, Ibelieve that the songs and interludes work perfectly together. There are some moments of sublime beauty, the mellow chorus on Drawing the Line, Yellow Windows...and of course I Drive the Hearse - "Silence is another way of saying what I want to say".....

Another favourite for me is the electro loop of The Incident. Even my girlfriend ( who only really liked Voyage 34) got into that. That is a lesson in songwriting the way the layers are added and the menace is constructed.

I can't say that this is my favourite because that would be unfair to Deadwing. The beauty of PT is that as each of their last 4 albums have been released, at that moment in time they were all my favourites, but the love for them remains as the band evolve.

To call PT underrated is an understatement. It is a crime that Radiohead and Coldplay are regarded as "Indie" giants by people who accept what is thrust at them by Sony BMG's marketing guys. This band ( and SW is the main reason) are without doubt one of the top 3 bands around in the Rock Genre, now ,and for the last 5 years at least.

It would be great to think that this wonderful work of art will invade the consciousness of the masses and tune them in to real music and musicians....artists ( rather than X Factor "celebreties" ) but I won't hold my breath.
Still, thank God I went to see Gong all those years ago........

Black Clouds & Silver Linings [Special Edition]
Black Clouds & Silver Linings [Special Edition]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £17.93

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wishful Thinking........, 9 July 2009
Why wishful thinking ? Well, I've read a few of the reviews and many people are lauding this as a fantastic album and almost a masterpiece. I have to disagree. I know music appreciation is ultimately subjective but this falls below the high standards that DT have set themselves over the years. From Awake to Train of Thought, fantastic albums - only Octavarium really let the side down. We saw though with Octavarium and Systematic Chaos that the strength in the songwriting was starting to wane.
Songs are being padded with too much noodling. There is no thought to the musicality or as to how the songs scan. Jordan seems to have a right to throw in a pointless honky-tonk piano bit on every album for instance.
Guys, stop believing your own press.....DT dont have to be about how many notes per minute you can shoe horn in. You're way better than that.
All of the individual musician's performances are, as you would expect, peerless from a technical point of view but they just lack a bit of the soul of some of the other albums.
Lyrically, it's the weakest album they have put out - even weaker than Octavarium. "A man without a face".......Come on'll be on the "midnight train" next !
Any other group would probably hail this as their masterpiece but I think DT are selling themselves short here. We know what these guys have delivered. Maybe the muse has left them. For another band this would get a higher score, for DT it's not good enough I don't think.

In years to come when all of the fizz has gone , fans will look back and say that TofT was the last really strong, original piece DT put out. Octavarium was too Muse influenced and Systematic Chaos was good but averagely-good. Black Clouds is a dip in form. I'm sure that loads of fans, like me , were excited when they listened to this on 22nd June but wanting it to be good doesn't make it good.
I'll be in Manchester on 9th Oct and London on 10th Oct and I can't wait - there is nothing like a DT show but I'll probably enjoy anything pre Octavarium most.

I'd be interested to know who shares my view.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 18, 2014 10:41 AM GMT

Death Magnetic Limited Edition
Death Magnetic Limited Edition

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let's be's a disappointment, 30 Oct. 2008
I admire all of the die hard fans ( like myself) trying to talk this one up. We have waited five years with only the embarrassment of SKOM to shred our nerves in that intervening period. If hoping , wishing, willing from the fans made a good album then this would have been a classic, isn't.
It sounds tired and disjointed. It's as though the band are trying to perform in a genre that they just don't understand or have the passion for anymore. I fear that the muse has left the guys for good.

Put your hand on your heart all you life long Metallica fans and tell me that this deserves to be on the same page as Master, Justice, Black album....?
I'm sure some younger fans, who are still into the thrill of following a mega band will blindly endorse this but musically, and lyrically it sounds soulless. If you get a chance , catch the Kill/Ride medley on the "Until it Sleeps" cd. You will hear the band flying - they were tight and they meant it and you cant help but feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.It's awesome and electric.
Here, however, James sounds like he is trying too hard to be "mean and angry" and the riffing is mediocre ( sonically if not technically)

When you look at the way in which this genre has been taken to new heights by the likes of Opeth, Dream Theater and even Slipknot, you must wonder whether there is still a place left for Metallica at the top table.

I have my tickets to see the guys at Manchester in Feb, but truth be told , I'm going because I want to see the best Metallica tribute band around......Metallica. I'm going for the pre-Reload stuff.
It is a better piece of work than St Anger but that was a given. But after five years and all of the turmoil, personally and professionally, we all hoped for better, I'm sure. Let's face it, they are drifting to the fringes and to the horizon.....I doubt that there will be another Metallica album , certainly not one with credibility.........Please don't misunderstand me, I love what these guys did and for a decade or more they were at the cutting edge and the best band on the planet but their days are passing I feel

If you get the album please don't expect anything like Master or's more like St Anger/Reload mix with less sonic structure.....for a band like Motorhead or Mastodon, this would be a great album....but a great Metallica album it is not.

My honest opinion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2008 10:41 PM GMT

Systematic Chaos: Special Edition+DVD with DD 5.1mix
Systematic Chaos: Special Edition+DVD with DD 5.1mix
Price: £9.33

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate ?, 7 Jun. 2007
Like many of the reviewers so far, I have been a DT fan for many (10 + years). I guess we each look for something different from them. To me Train of Thought ( which I was honoured to be at THE first gig on the world tour to promote) was the last GREAT DT album. It followed a wave of peerless releases starting with Awake ( still my favourite for the diversity, confidence, melodies and musicianship).

I have only managed 3/4 listens so far so temper my views with that.

The songs aren't great on the whole - there is a feel of a formula about some of the longer ones - almost like the guys said " We are DT so we better add another 5 minutes of noodling and time changes" without thinking about where the song or melody is going. We know they can be self indulgent ( I wish I had 10% of JP's ability) but sometimes less is more.

The highlights for me,so far, are Forsaken ( a great DT song - great vocal performance as well) and Repentance.Weakest is Prophets of War - very poor lyrics - on the whole just below the , admittedly very high, standards DT have set for themselves over the years.

I am , and remain a massive DT fan. I can't wait to see them tour to support the album.I hope that Octavarium and now SC don't indicate that the bands creativity is on the wane. I must emphasise, putting this into perspective that it's good and I will listen my ears off over the next few weeks but TOT, 6DOIT, SFOAM grabbed you right away, no escaping the magnitude of them as classics - this doesn't seem to make it into the same bracket.

Don't shoot me - I'm just a fan with an opinion.

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