Archive for the 1 Category

Goatwhore/Carving Out The Eyes Of God

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on 310000003-04:00 12 by marky7235

Carving out the Eyes of God is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Goatwhore.

Apocalyptic Havoc—-Brutal from the first note, this is driving and abrasive metal. The vocals are much more understandable and mainstream than you would expect. This is fantastic…the huge drums and the layered guitar has some nice squeals to them that threaten the monopoly of grindcore bands trademark. This is, believe it or not, rather catchy despite the content. the song manages to have a sense of both brutality and melody.

The All-Destroying—-With a deeper bass heavy sound, the vocal enters with a puking delivery that pleases me to no end. the guitars are incredibly fast…like machine guns in the middle of war…the drums are heavy in your ears and the lyric a pure tirade of things that are non-sensical and others that really makes you think about life and its demise. Fantastic.

Carving Out The Eyes Of God—-WOW!!! The entrance vocal on this song is so heavy and vicious. the guitars are huge walls of sound that are constantly falling and rebuilding around your body. This is exquisite extremity. I could not ask for more…well it might be nice if you could catch a word here or there, but what is the point…listen and draw you own conclusions. This is masterful extreme metal and surprisingly coming from the US!!!

Shadow Of A Living Knife—-Delivering much of the same aggressive guitar assault as most of the previous songs, you notice the nice downshift of the guitar that manages to give the track a sense of melody while the vocal assault continues. There is nice vocal variance as the growls are sometimes deeper and at other times clearer. There are three members that contribute to vocals and sometimes it is hard to differentiate between them all. This is fantastic…would love to see this live!

Provoking The Ritual Of Death—-With a deeper and crunchier sound that reminds me of vintage Metallica, the sound of this track is huge. Suddenly the incredibly fast drumming is right in your forehead and the deep vocal is rattling your entrails. This is sublime and masterful, evil yet accessible. A remarkable display of musical ability from all members of the band. The vocal trade-off keeps you from becoming bored by the constant assault. This is great!!!

In Legions, I Am Wars Of Wrath—-This song has more musical shifts and mood swings than pregnancy and menopause combined. the vocal is assaulting and like hot pepper to the senses. This is literally a tour de’ force of musical styles and shifts…I must catch this band live and take my life in my own hands in the pit. Yeah Me!!!

Reckoning Of The Soul Made Godless—-This is an interesting song title even if you have only the slightest bit of Christian knowledge. The though of standing at the ‘pearly’ gates and having a Godless soul manages to conjour up many different images for me. the fact that songs are constructed around such ideas and theories and in detest of them only makes you realize that the interest was there and the investigation was begun at one point or the other. This song remains a favorite of mine if only for the really speedy guitar attack and the heavy presence of the drums. This is most excellent and made me think…so there you go!!!

This Passing Into The Power Of Demons—-With a really deep and powerful bass driven intro, the vocal assault is not far behind nor is it any more tame. this is brilliant brutality. the crunch of the music reminds me of the early days of Testament. The brutality of the younger days of Metallica, the evil factor ranges about 7, but there is room to grow. The melody is intact and the song has some really nice musical breaks that keep you interested.

Razor Flesh Devoured—-Like most of the bands songs, you are given no respite from the driving and aggressive assault of the music. the remarkable thing about this track for me are the drums…this guy literally kills the skins and the intensity is enough to make you squeeze the sides of your skull. And they rarely let up…team that with walls of guitars and the deep driving bass of the guitar and you are in Extreme Metal heaven. This is a wall of exquisite sound. This is guaranteed to make your brains bounce around. Sweet!!!

To Mourn And Wander Forever Through Forgotten Doorways—-Wow…what a song title…kudos just for that!!! The song begins in an unpredictable fashion, the bass guitar solo is a simple and quiet form. When the rest of the band joins in you notice the downplay and the atmosphere. The drums are a nice break and the low hum of the bass gives everything a dark and deep aura. The entrance of the vocal is a low whisper and you have to refer to the lyric sheet and then just set it aside in order to draw your own conclusions. This is nice…deep, dark and intense. You would swear upon hearing this track that the band was from the frozen tundra….the sound is full yet masterfully cold. Great!!!

**** out of 5


Pet Shop Boys/Alternative [Disc One]

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 3100000012-04:00 12 by marky7235

Alternative is the 9th release by UK Electronic Duo The Pet Shop boys. Released in 1995, this double disc collects all of the bands B-sides in chronological order. Limited Editions of the release feature a lenticular image on the cover that shifts between Lowe and Tennant in fencing masks. I am so glad I paid $40.00 for this copy….they are really hard to find now. In a 2009 interview, Tennant admitted that there will be a second B-side collection in 2010.

Disc One:

In the Night—-The opening strains of the song are so familiar and you mistake the song for Parinaro….at the time of the recording of the song, early 80’s, the boys had a very distinctive sound and it is never more apparent than on this track. Of course the affected air of indifference and cynicism is all over the track….this is wonderful to revisit. Neil never sounded more removed or disinterested. Wonderful.

A Man Could Get Arrested—-Again, the song is full of trademark sounds and a wonderful and powerful synth line…it is hard to believe that some of these tracks were considered B-sides. This is full of musical hype and some of the very rare vocals by Lowe. This is acid house almost and wonderfully delivered. Neil sings in a much higher tone, giving the song a more fluid sound. this is masterfully delivered and only a hint of the grandeur that was to come from this band. Fantastic!!

That’s My Impression—-From the onset, this song slowly begins to display the constant familiar strains of the Boys…the low hum runs through the backdrop, even though the synth line up front is damn poppy and pleasant. The song is accompanied by a rather deadpan vocal that displays Neil’s attitude at it’s best. This is so unemotional you feel the need to search for a pulse. This is not bad though…this has always worked wonderfully well for the band and they have made it a trademark of theirs. This is pretty damn good for a B-side.

Was That What It Was?—-With a fairly heavy bass synth, the song is propelled by that sound alone. As the synth lines welcomes in more effects, the shape of the song becomes classic and welcomed. The early sound of the boys was remarkably predictable…now a days, you never know what they are going to do. When Tennant enters with his vocal, it is so removed and staid you marvel…the chorus allows for more emotion and nice over layed vocal that give the song a nice depth This is remarkable.

Parinaro—-The B-side that is more famous than it’s A-side…at least among fans. Again, feature one of the few Lowe vocals, this is wonderful. According to the Boys, Parinaro is a type of dress that was popular in the later 80’s overseas…..Baggy, huge pants, Timberland Boots, fantastic sunglasses and boas…..who knew!!!??? The song is marvelous! You have to love the fingersnaps at the interlude…this just adds a nice camp feel to it…marvelous.

Jack The Lad—-With an actual pleasant piano intro, the song becomes an almost synth ballad in sound. Neil actually tries to sing rather than talk his way through songs like he did in the early days. The melody of the song is miraculous…this is wonderfully put together. I can see Chris pushing buttons and grooving to his own beat as Neil croon in the sound booth…this is great imagery and mood…that wonderfulsad melancholy hum runs through the whole song…wonderful!!!

You Know Where You Went Wrong—-With a nice cow bell intro, the slow low hum comes from the background and remains for the entire composition…..the vocal enters rather suddenly…you are surprised. It is pleasant and actually singing, the chorus is an almost british Rap of accusation. This is fantastic…the musical soundtrack has all kinds of things going on…the cowbell comes in and out…the horns are machine-made I’m almost sure. The synth lines are scattered and change temp often. This chorus is nice…..the boys introduce the female back drop singer which makes the song seem even larger. This is incredible….every bar is a new sound and almost a new sentence. Ok…I’ll stop…but this is REALLY GREAT…..Got It?

A New Life—-This track begins with a huge 80’s styled synth line…even though it was later…that slow and low hum I always speak of seems to enter the song by magic…suddenly you realize that it is there…it runs right under all of the other sounds and gives the song even more texture. Tennant delivers a wonderfully pained vocal that makes me feel both warm and empty…I love this.

I Want A Dog—-From the Introspective EP, the synth lines are more experimental and broader. Of course, that hum enters before you even realize it and slowly, different sounds are added to the song. the intro is rather long, and when Tennant finally does emit a vocal he is subdued and rather quiet. To me the song is rather silly…I have a cat and I have no problem with it. This is an interesting little song, but definitely a B-side…by the way, Lowe speaks on this track also.

Do I Have To?—-Beginning with an odd piano laden muted intro, the song quickly opens up into a melancholy PSB trademark ballad…..the voice is so morose and serious, the lyrics are stripped bare and biting in their delivery. The song has a slight theatrical sound to it, but the lyrics are real and bare. This is nice.

I Get Excited [You Get Excited Too]—-With a nice throw back synth line and some manipulated vocals, the song begins in a flourish and then slows down and slowly begins to add bits and pieces to the mix until the song becomes huge. this is Chris Lowe at his best…the song takes on many different forms through the entirety, but the melody line is always present…this is classic PSB…he machine made noises are awesome….this is fantastic!!!

Don Juan—-Poppy and sounding a bit like vintage Depeche Mode, it is quickly put to the back of your mind once Neil begins to sing…the song is another ballad styled delivery, but it works well. this is not typical PSB…one of the few songs I really do not care for…simply because to me it does not say anything to ME…whateer…right?!!!? I like it, but I can do without it.

The Sound Of The Atom Splitting—-No one seemed to love this song like I did…I though it was a huge ode to the current music scene that was happening at the time. I thought the Boys gave a nice nod to the Rave and Acid House culture that was going on at the time and still managed to stay true to the sound of theirs that has always made them…well…them. This is a huge, shifting and shape changing song that allows you to just delve into the experimentation…I love this song…one of my favorite un appreciated tracks.

One Of The Crowd—-This is so much a return to form, it is almost a shock after the previous track. The vocal has a nice auto tune sound to it at the onset…who knows if it is real or machine generated…it gives the song a nice cold feel even though the synth line is pretty damn catchy. This is really nice…the synth groove is mid tempo and you can just kind of gaze through the track…really good!!!

Your Funny Uncle—-Again, beginning with a serene piano intro, the song continues on in this fashion as Tennant enters the fray with such a sad vocal, you feel an immediate heaviness. The song is full of strings and a strong piano melody….the lyrics are masterful…..Neil paints a picture that is scary and eerie….this is really different, but masterfully done with magic and feeling. A wonderful way to end this disc.

**** out of 5

Cradle Of Filth/Lovecraft & Witch Hearts

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , on 2200000011-04:00 12 by marky7235

Lovecraft & Witch Hearts is a compilation dual disc released in 2002. Disc One is a ‘hits’ collection produced mainly to fulfill the bands contract with Music For Nations. Disc Two contains extra miscellaneous tracks, limited edition tracks and remixes.

Disc One:

Creatures That Kissed In Cold Mirrors—-Slathered in the grand sounds of most of Cradle’s songs, the intro is a slow to progress orchestrated operatic themed horror soundtrack. This is billiant…the anticipation is overwhelming as you wait for the track to open up into something fierce….of course it never really does and only leaves you panting for….

Dusk And Her Embrace—-At once the song begins and gives you what you are thirsty for….the music takes on a brutal death march as Dani enters the fray with his deepest growl ever….the music is a grand orchestrated/layered metal sound that is irresistable. When Filth lets loose with his true annoying squeal, it is welcome and familiar…the guitars are brutal, all the while there remains an orchestrated hum behind all of the layers of sound. This is brilliant….Cradle have not made this brutal of a recording in some time. Masterful.

Beneath The Howling Stars—-Again, beginning with strings and King Diamond organ, the song does not linger long in a quiet beauty…the drums and guitars enter the fray intermixed with a VERY upfront vocal from Dani. The drums are literally in your face…they drive and propel the song entirely…the guitars almost seem to take a back seat. Filth screams, rants and squeals at such an intense pace, you only catch words here and there….the drums return and the song just evolves into pure chaos. this is freakin’ fantastic. The mood shifts and tonal changes make the song one huge interlude or movement in a grand play.

Her Ghost In the Fog—-Marking the familiar introduction of the now familiar male introduction piece, the song is literally a grand orchestrated masterpiece of evil and menace. This is brilliant…..somewhere along the line Cradle discovered melody and abandoned the free for all feel of the early recordings…this is  tour de force of movements as Sarah matches vocals with Dani and turns the song into an almost  beautiful menace of evil. WOW!!!!

Funeral In Carpathia [Be Quick Or Be Dead Version]—-From the very first note, catastrophe and confusion reign….the deepeness of the Dani introduction is astounding…where does he get this odd range from. this is remarkable….the drums are ultra fast and the guitar is a beautiful muddle of noise….remarkable in every sense of the word. The song takes on so many different movements, it is like a grand act in a huge play…the voice of Sarah, the orchestration mixed with the brutality…it will only leave your head spinning in a most torrid manner…this is brilliant!!!

The Twisted Nails Of Faith—-Beginning with an urgent tone and a cataphonic onslaught of spoken vocals, the song is an eerie made for Halloween soundtrack./ This is literally fantastic…the build up makes you crazy…the slowness of the emergence….the tease and then the onslaught…this is brutal. the layers upon layers of sound take over your ears…there is so much going on all at the same time. The voice is at it’s very best….Dani has not sounded this good in quite some time…i still wonder almost every day how he sings like that…Brilliant!!!

From The Cradle To Enslave—-With an almost alarming mainstream guitar sound, only the putrid vomit of Filth keeps this from being a reality. When he joins forces with Sarah, it gives such a senc=se of melody and harmony you can not help from being addicted to the sound of the song. When the music really opens up it is a catchy almost mainstream metal affair that makes your head bob and you air guitar fingers to emerge. This is fabulous. One of my favorite Cradle songs.

Saffron’s Curse—-Beginning with a rather sedate sound, once the song opens up you are smacked in the face with sheer brutality.With  the layers and layers of sound and the irreplaceable voice of Sarah, the song becomes this huge evil opus that sucks you in and makes you study every twisted word on the lyric sheet. This is fantastic…the drums are freakin’ unbelievable…the guitars muddled yet driving…the keyboards have the spotlight and it is magnificent!!!

Malice Through The Looking Glass—-A+ for the title alone…what a wonderful play on words…the orchestration and produced atmosphere build the foundation of the song. When Dani lets loose with his scream you are just amazed with the ability of this Little Man….he is a rather small individual, but he is made huge with that voice. this is one of the most brutal Cradle vocals that I can remember…of course, the song has many movements and different interludes as it continues, but the basic sound of the song is always there. You can not deny the brilliance of this band! Some purists would dismiss them…for me they are always and will always be a favorite…so what if I’m a poseur.

Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids—-Sarah introduces the song with a rather menacing tone…the music enters the fray…then Dani and all HELL breaks loose. This is brilliant…the drums are so incredible…you wonder how someone can play like that. This is rather odd vocally…at the onset the voice is so layered and thick you wonder how they pull this off live…they never fail though. Dani goes from one extreme to the other…the movements of the song matching his vocal inflections.  Wow…this is incredible…..a return to this sound would not be unwelcomed…it seems as if late, Cradle has adopted a more mainstream sound,…this tyranny and darkness fits them very well.

Lord Abortion—-A masterpiece of a song, never to be repeated. The intro is slow and plodding, but when the song opens up you are literally blown away by the brutality of the song. This will literally blow the top of your head off…wonderfully constructed and preformed, the song has constant changing moods and tempos…this must be incredibly hard to play and keep track of. Dani delivers a voice that is shattering and sometimes beautifully annoying. The tone of the song is brutal…at times Filth actually delivers a voice that is crystal clear…what the f*&k!!!! Fantastic!!!!

**** 1/2 out of 5

Echo And The Bunnymen/The Fountain

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Echo And The Bunnymen are a Post-Punk band from England. The formation of the band dates back to 1978. The band has achieved cult like status through quality recordings and relentless touring. Despite global success, the band split with lead singer Ian McCollough in 1987 and released one very unsuccessful album, Reverberation, with temporary vocalist Noel Burke. McCollough in the meantime released a relatively successful solo record. The band went through a complete split in 1993, and officially reformed in 1997 and have been touring and releasing quality music ever since. The Fountain, released today Nov. 11, 2009, is the bands 11th studio release.

Think I Need It Too—-Beginning with a gentle guitar intro, the song grows into a nice rock sound not heard lately on echo releases. The vocal of Ian is magnificent. The vulnerability and emotion of the voice makes your heart ache. The chorus opens up to a bigger sound, much less introspective than past releases of late. The refrain is masterful and the English sound is all over the track. This is damn near perfect.

Forgotten Fields—-The fuzz at the beginning of the track leads you to believe that the song will be rockier than what it actually evolves into. This is by no means a disappointment, it is just quieter than what I expected. The voice is in fine form…Ian always delivers a vocal that is crystal clear and understandable…making the song even more impactful. The guitars are Brit inspired and the timing of the ebbs and flows are masterful. This is wonderful…quality and unforgettable. 

Do You Know Who I Am?—-Wow…..much more rockier and electric, the song keeps up the pace even with the entrance of the vocal. The voice is still crystal clear and comprehensible, the backdrop voices make the sound even bigger. this is perhaps one of the best Echo songs to be released in years…this is masterful!!!! Wow…..I really love this.

Shroud Of Turin—-Again, the band delivers a surprise with a jangly guitar sound that is almost as impressive as the vocal. The refrain of the song is overlayed and beauiful…catchy and irreistable…..clear and concise…emotional and true. This is brilliant!!!! I love the mix of sound….at times the guitars move up right into your face…at the necessary time, they ebb into the backdrop and allow the voice to come forward. This is classic Pop Brit Rock!!!!

Life Of A Thousand Crimesha—-Again…WOW!!! The song has an aggressive guitar melody that drives the song and forces Ian out of his melodrama. The guitar is more staccato and forceful than ever….the whole band seems to be singing along with Ian…or is it clever backtracking…..who cares…this is brilliant!!!!

The Fountain—-The title track of the release finds the band delving back into the quieter rock that it has been delivering as of late…this is a beautiful and melodic song that is thick with guitar layers and atmosphere. Ian always manages to be emotive and pure with his voice and it wraps itself around your brain like a warm towel…this is wonderful.

Everlasting Neverendless—-Once again, the band teases with a sedate beginning that opens up into a rocking guitar intro…which quiets to allow the melodic voice. This is so well constructed…the ebs and flows of the music create a landscape that equals pure pop perfection. This is a band that despite 30 years of recording is still hitting its stride. Great!!!

Proxy—-Full of 80’s stylings, the song has a chorus that is a sing a long affair that is grand and irresistable. The jangly guitar and the more up front rhythm section drive the song forward in a very British way…this is damn well constructed pop perfection. I apologize for gushing…..this release is that good.

Drivetime—-With an irresistable percussive sound, the song is propelled by the drums and the almost Smiths styled guitars. The chorus may be a bit inane and non-sensical,,,the delivery makes you forget all of that. You fall into the groove and the pleasure of the vocal and let it surround your head….this is really great!!!

The Idolness Of Gods—-A fantastic and emotional close to this release is exactly what I was craving, and the band does not disappoint. I loved What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?, this is as good if not better than everything on that release. Ian paints vivid pictures with his voice and lyrics and this is a Monet or Rembrandt. Fantastic…..seriously!!!!

***** out of 5

Gerry Rafferty/City To City

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , on 2800000010-04:00 12 by marky7235

Gerry Rafferty is a Scottish Singer/Songwriter best known for the 1978 release City To City. Actually Rafferty’s third release, City To City sold a staggering 5.5 million copies upon its release and was responsible for toppling the soundtrack Saturday Night Fever from the #1 spot in the US. Still a mainstay on soft rock radio, Rafferty was never able to maintain his stay on the charts because of his reluctance to tour and/or be seen in public. Rafferty maintains a reclusive and odd lifestyle to this day, his last recorded effort was in 2000.

The Ark—-From the onset, the song has a remarkable Scottish feel to it…the bagpipe sounds are in full effect and evoke a nice folky sound….as they disappear, you are treated to a crystal clear voice that has the ability to tell a story in three minutes or less. The day of modern tales in moments seem to be forgotten….this is a remarkable reminder. At times, Rafferty almost reminds you of classic McCartney. This is a beautiful, orchestrated sounding sound that is still fresh…30 years later…..God, I feel really old!!!

Baker Street—-The best known song from Rafferty, and still a mainstay on ‘Adult Radio”, this song conjures up wonderful memories of childhood for me when I was discovering FM radio and life in general. Rafferty and Al Stewart hold a very special place in my development. This track  combines all of the elements that brought music to life in the late 70’s…the saxophone is like none other ever recorded. The slight accented vocal of Rafferty is so smooth and acceptable, even grandparents loved this song. The subtly harmonies and the layered sound of the production made the song real and made it jump from your little transistor. This is classic…YouTube this is you do not know it…it is unforgettable….just the sax alone makes it a masterpiece.

Right Down The Line—-Another single that helped to propel this release to #1 worldwide, this again contains all of the elements of music that made the late 70’s FM playlist so important. Before the mainstream onset of Punk Rock, FM radio was a breeding ground of romantic and easy listening ballads…this is no exception. The whole feel of this track is so smooth, you can not deny the various hooks and the on top melody that shines through the track. Put that on top of the ultra smooth and understandable vocal of Rafferty and you had mass appeal in a heartbeat. This is classic and alive…listening back to it now…it is still freakin’ fantastic!

City To City—-With a slight blues tinge to the song, the delivery is much more straight forward rock than previous tracks. The harmonica is at the forefront and the guitars seem to be louder…despite all of the ‘noise’, Rafferty still delivers a vocal that is clear and fun. Not the mega catchy song of the previous two tracks, this is still really awesome!

Stealin’ Time—-Heavy on the classic Rafferty sax sound, the song is more downbeat and relaxed than the previous track. Gerry sounds so relaxed and real, it is hard not to be sucked in by the gentle, breezy feel of the song. The sax gives the song a shiny, happy feel…this is wonderful!!!

Mattie’s Rag—-Wonderfully full of Beatles’ styled guitar and irresistable poppy stylings, this is brilliant. What a great huge breath of fresh air when surrounded by the Emo styled stylings of music today. this is brilliant. I love all of the instrumentation….the guitars are almost acoustic, yet poppy, the sax and horns are in your face and the vocal is crystal clear…wonderful!!!

Whatever’s Written In Your Heart—-Different is sound from the onset, the song is piano based and has a slight Gospel tinge to it that is damn near irresistable. The voice sounds bare and vulnerable…this is done in a masterful almost naked way…emotions laid bare and there for the whole world to see. Rafferty had a vocal presence that is undeniable. This is wonderful…I wonder now why I have not paid more attention to it before. Catch it if you can!!!

Home And Dry—-Containing many of the pop elements that helped Rafferty hit the top f the charts, this song did manage to break the top 30 in the US…it is apparent why…the song has a nice driving rhythm to it and the classic phrasing of Rafferty to help it along. this is wonderful…as i listen back to it, memories of it flood back to me and I wonder why I never got to the second half of this release….how slow am I???? This is wonderful…classic and slightly pompous, it all comes together in a grand chorus that will sit with you for a while.

Waiting for The Day—-With more driving guitars and a heavier bass line, the song still has the classic sound of the Rafferty band. The voice is smooth and crystal clear and the blues stylings are unmistakable. This is wonderful…..nothing cataclysmic, but just damn listenable.

Stealin’ Time—-Wonderfully smooth and reeking of that classic late 70’s sound, Rafferty again delivers a pop music gem that never quite garnered the attention that it deserved…you wonder how music like this would play today? This is just magnificent is structure and mood…the music is just as important as the vocal…something that is rare in today’s musical landscape.

**** out of 5

Hammerfall/Steel Meets Steel-10 Yrs. Of Glory

Posted in 1, CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , on 280000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

The last Hammerfall review I posted got a lot of attention, so I thought I would try to revisit some of the classic tracks that Hammerfall recorded in their career. I’m not sure I can add anything new to what has already been said, but it sure is fun to listen to.

Disc One:

End Of The Rainbow—-Smacking you in the face with a great Maideninspired bass line, the choir of voices on the chorus makes this song an instant classic. Hammerfall clearly enjoys  heavy metal with a melodic flair and this song shines!

Legacy Of Kings—-Much more guitar based in the beginning with a stellar drum track, the song moves at a great pace. The vocal is so clear and understandable, the content medieval and viking oriented but listenable none the less. A stellar performance. The band at it’s best.A pure undeniable classic.

Let The Hammer Fall—-Heavier in sound, both bass guitar and drum wise, the lead guitar does carry the song at a good pace. Sounds almost to commercial to completely win me over. The vocal is so ‘eighties’ in sound that it is distracting.

Templars Of Steel—-The song builds to a silent energy that you don’t feel until it smacks you in the face. You are greeted with a rhythm section that is so Maiden and/or Priest that you shake your head in awe. Once the chorus kicks in with the chant-like choir of voices, you are convinced this is original as hell. An ode to the whole world of Heavy Metal, you actually believe that this band lives and breathes it.

Renegade—-Faster paced and less bass heavy, the melody is clear from the onset. The vocal seems a little flat to me…more the lack of energy. I like the double tracked style, but you can’t hide enthusiasm with that. Not a favorite of mine, but I’m sure it;s a crowd pleaser at a show.

Always Will Be—-Now…I’m sure that there are fans out there that live and breath this song, but to me…it is so far removed from the power of the band. They are capable of so much more than this syrupy crap. Rock on Dudes!

Keep The Flame Burning—-Moving at a stellar pace and bringing us back to pure heavy metal, the song just pummels you. Both vocally and musically the song is an assault on your senses. There is a lot going on all at the same time and it works really well. WOW!!!!SHIT!!!!

Riders Of The Storm—-Seeming more drudgy than other stuff, the bass is really heavy on this song. The vocals, as always. are incredible. The song has a subtle military feel and moves along at a nice pace.

The Abyss—-One of three new songs on this compilation. The song begins with a militaristic, symphonic overture that evolves into a stellar bass heavy example of pure power metal. Beautifully constructed, the guitar just soars and the bass gets dirtier and dirtier. Great instrumental.

Last Man Standing—-Sounding like a Dehumanizer era Sabbath, the song has that mechanical metal feel. The vocal is a tad more subdued, but the sing-along chorus is heavier. A shape of things to come.

Hammerfall—-Beginning at a stellar and incomprehensible speed, the vocal is odd at the onset but immediately warms up to what we expect. The song is so energetic, that I can barely type fast enough. The drum parts are stellar and the guitar keeps up wonderfully. The chorus again is a sing along type of choruses that makes you raise your fist and pump the air. Vintage and classic.

The Dragon Lies Bleeding—-Again, on this composition, speed is a factor. The vocal is stellar and amazing when you consider the speed of the music. It is amazing to me that he can keep up with the pace of the song. The drums absolutely pummel you and the rhythm guitar is vintage heavy metal.

Steel Meets Steel—-Anthe mic and powerful, the band never fails to deliver top notch sing along songs. The vocal seems a little lackluster to me, but the music is a heavier bass driven sludge that still shines. Awesome!

Glory To The Brave—-A ballad style delivery that works because of the sheer power of the vocal and musical talent. The vocal soars above everything and borders on Goddamn Beautiful. The musical delivery is majestic, understated yet effective. This is and will always be a classic.

Heeding The Call—-Coming through the headphones like a stampeding herd, the drums carry you to the vocal, which as always, is rewarding. The entire song is vintage Hammerfall. From the bass drum  to the sing along chorus…unforgettable.

Disc Two:

Fury Of The Wild—-Playing with your mind in the headphones, the guitars are on one side, the bass drum on the other. The soaring vocal takes over your brain. The delivery is so energetic and fresh. Incredible!

Never Easy—-Sounding a little bluesier than previous songs, the whole thing slows down to give us a ballad driven tale of loss, and sadness. The materialand delivery has been played out by countless bands. I expect more. The sonf does allow true emotion to play out at the chorus, which I like…but?

Threshold—-Beginning with a monk like intro, keyboards abound and the atmosphere begins to take place. The song speeds to an expected pace mid keyboard and the vocal soars. Jesus, I love this band!!! The chorus is full of sing along sentences that will stick to you. Exceptional.

Natural High—-A nice return to straight up heavy metal. All the necessary elements are here….the power chords, the majestic drums and of course the unmistakable soaring vocal. A nice positive song amidst all the crap. Nice!

Dark Wings—-Beginning powerful, than suddenly powering down into another unnecessary ballad from a band that is capable of so much more. I much prefer the power driven, high octane delivery.

The Fire Burns Forever—-A nice pummeling bass drum drives the song into pure power metal heaven. A great display of everything that makes this band great. The unforgettable chorus, the great vocal, the driving musical landscape. Awesome!

Restless Soul—-The last of three new songs recorded for this compilation, unfortunately it is more ballad driven sop that does not appeal to me. No matter how powerful the chorus is, I just think this band is capable of so much more. Perhaps it is fan demand, but I prefer the straight up power metal they do so well.

The Metal Age—-A nice addition of a live track shows just how powerful this band can be. The vocal is stellar, live or in studio. The lead guitar and bass drum drives the song along at a frantic pace. The crowd interacts well, and the band responds just as well.

Stone Cold—-Another live track that again explains why this band is so huge among it’s legion of die hard fans. The guitar soars, as does the vocal. The power is transported to a live setting so well. Masterful!

Hearts On Fire—-Again, how can you say anything despairing about this band. They ALWAYS deliver a stellar performance. The song has a trademark sing along chorus that is masterful in delivery, and a particular stellar drum performance!

Crimson Thunder—-With a nice down shifting drum delivery, the guitar is more relaxed but the vocal hits incredible highs. A tremendous display of everything that makes this band so great.

Hero’s Return—-Orchestrated and somber at the beginning, that does not last for long. The music and the vocal breaks out at an incredible speed that makes you wonder how the vocalist can keep up.  He never fails. Tremendous display of talent.

Blood Bound—-Muscle metal, the kind of metal that makes you want to sweat and flex and show off. The vocal is so inspiring, the drum so masterful. The chorus gets in you and sticks. MASTERFUL!

Secrets—-Beginning dark, with a great guitar intro, the song evolves into a familiar romp of power metal perfection. I find few faults with this band and question why they are not huge. Tremendous!!

***** out of 5

Franz Ferdinand/Tonight

Posted in 1, CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 280000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

Franz Ferdinand are a Scottish band formed in 2002. Enjoying almost immediate success, Franz have won numerous Brit Awards and accolades. The band sports an impressive chart history, their first release garnering them 3 Top Ten hits in Britain, their second release allowed them a No. ! single as well as three top ten hits. Tonight, somewhat of a departure for the band, features a more danceable sound and has yet to chart in the U.S. The future remains bright for this up and coming band.

Ulysses—-An immediate difference is apparent upon first listen to this song. The electronics are more apparent, the song content is more party oriented. The delivery is vintage Franz though. You can not mistake Alex’s voice or his delivery. Great!

Turn It On—-Beginning with a nice funk styled landscape, the vocal is more mainstream. The chorus is a nice sing-along romp with keys, drums and guitars working together in tandem. The song develops a nice noisy point towards the end.

No You Girls—-I suppose half the world knows this song just because of all the commercials it has been it. A funky, danceable mega-hit, the song is vintage Franz. The deep bass line adds funk, the occasional guitar adds a nice lick here and there, the keys and drums progress the song and the vocal is sexy and dark. Masterful.

Send Him Away—-Grasping on and holding tight to the funkier sound of the band, Franz delivers another sexy romp through white boy funkdom. Alex sings in a nice occasional falsetto that adds to the sexiness of the song as well as the groovy bass line that runs through the song.

Twilight Omens—-With an almost subtle reggae sound, the song has a nice feel to it. I like how the vocal comes alive with the chorus and makes you sing along, then succumbs to the nice three beat styled guitar delivery. Really Great!

Bite Hard—-Beginning with a pure brit-pop sound, the track is quiet and introspective until the bass drum and guitar kicks in and brings it to life. Absolutely brilliant in construction and delivery. The vocal is so emotive…back and forth, up and down…the keyboard takes on a Doors like organ sound at times. WOW!

What She Came For—-Again feeling funky and danceable, the keyboards add to the funk fueled sound. The pace is moderate to slow and the vocal is haughty and rigid. Alex can deliver a robot like vocal or a Prince inspired funk like a pro.

Live Alone—-Really close to the purely Electronic edge, the song moves along with the spacey keyboard effects. The vocal is up and down…straight and falsetto. A pure example of pop mastery. This band has it’s hand on the pulse of what we need to hear.

Can’t Stop The Feeling—-A little more a spacey sound, the song has a background keyboard lines that grabs the back of your brain and brings it to the front during the musical interlude. The vocal is predictable, but the music fits the mood perfectly. I love how the electronics are added as an extra and not as a main component. Brilliant!

Lucid Dreams—-With a definite nod to The Beatles, the song has a slight psychedelic feel and then comes alive into some funk-fueled orgy of sounds from all directions. What was is no more..The Beatles give way to George Clinton…giving way to a tour de force of sound! Incredible.

Dream Again—-Again, giving nod to a sixties inspired musical landscape, Alex delivers a nice spacey and pleasantly removed vocal that somehow…somehow…somehow worms its way into your brain and plants it seeds. Days later the tune of the song is still in your head and growing…only satisfied by repeated listens over and over. A near masterpiece!

Katherine Kiss Me—-Whoa!!! Guitars…and acoustic guitars at that. Alex has a nice gently Brit-inspired vocal that is so damn pleasant. The song is gentle and sexy….an ode to modern punk rock chicks. Beautiful!