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Semi Detached
Semi Detached
43 used & new from $0.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best?, June 20, 2005
This review is from: Semi Detached (Audio CD)
Semi Detached is one of the more underrated Therapy? albums. Personally it is one of my favourite Therapy? albums. The album is a combination of Therapy's love for catchy but also experimental songs. "Church Of Noise" is one of the rawest and punkiest songs on the album. "Lonely, Cryin' Only" sounds like a sixties harmony rock/pop song. " "Tightrope Walker" and "Black Eye Purple Sky" have a great guitar harmony. "Stay Happy" and "Straight Life" are my favourite tracks. "Stay Happy" is a over-the-top up tempo song and "Straight Life" could have been on the album Troublegum. "Tramline" really is an experimental/noisy song, pure chaos. The only track that I don't like is "Don't Expect Roses". It is a rock and roll track that is not bad, but is not really my cup of tea.

Overall Therapy? combines noise and melody and also melancholy and joyness perfectly. The songs are pretty layered. The bands uses different sounds to enhance the songs. Semi Detached is a diverse album and when the album ends it invites you to press play again. The album is just a perfect mixture of Nurse, Troublegum and Infernal Love.

Love Metal
Love Metal
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $19.52
51 used & new from $1.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Great mixture of their previous three albums 4,5 stars, June 20, 2005
This review is from: Love Metal (Audio CD)
With Love Metal H.I.M. returns to heavier form. Although the band still doesn't play Metal, their latest album is the heaviest effort since their debut album. Especially the punky up-tempo songs "Buried Alive By Love" and "Souls On Fire." "Sweet Pandemonium" reminds me of their debut album, with the doomy guitars. The catchiest songs (both released as singles) are "The Funeral Of Hearts" and "The Sacrament". "The Sacrament" contains an excellent classical piano intro and is one of the best songs on the album. The first six songs are the strongest songs on the album. The other songs are great to, but are not as strong and are also more mellow songs.

The production is much better than their previous albums. The sound is heavier, I really like the heavier bass sound. On a lot of songs the band uses two guitars. The second guitar is mainly an acoustic guitar, but that guitar is not as prominent in the mix as the electric guitar. The drums on most H.I.M. songs are mainly basic, but on this album they are slightly more interesting. The keyboards do not really have a prominant role in the mix. Sometimes that is a good thing (when rawness/heaviness is needed) and sometimes it is a bad thing (especially when the keyboardist plays some really cool parts. This is also on the other H.I.M. records. You will love or hate the vocals. I personally think that on Love Metal Ville shows his best effort to date.

Overall, Love Metal contains all the elements that were on their previous three albums. There aren't really new elements, but musically and vocally it is a great album. I am not sure if this is there best effort, but I know that every H.I.M. fan should have this album.

Tyranny of Souls
Tyranny of Souls
19 used & new from $6.04

3.0 out of 5 stars 3,5 stars Should have been better, June 20, 2005
This review is from: Tyranny of Souls (Audio CD)
It has been a while since Bruce Dickinson released a solo album. Therefore it is a disappointment that the cd only last 43:36. Tyranny of Souls is a good album, with a descent production. Unfortunately it is not Dickinson's best effort. I prefer Balls To Picasso, Accident Of Birth and The Chemical Wedding. The main problem I have with this album is that there isn't anything new to hear. On every solo album the music sounded different. Tattooed Millionaire was a (raw) rock album, Ball To Picasso contained a lot of tribal feeling and was really experimental, Skunk works was an alternative rock album, Accident of Birth was a traditional Heavy Metal album with some modern touches and The Chemical Wedding was a more groovy albums, with heavy guitars, but also a lot of acoustic guitars. On Tyranny of Souls you mainly hear a mixture of the last two Dickinson albums. The best songs are the songs from the trilogy, namely "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun", "River Of No Return" and "Power Of The Sun". I especially like "Navigate The Seas Of The Sun" because I like the chill atmosphere and Dickinson's vocals. Compared to Dickinson's effort on the Iron Maiden record Dance Of Death, his vocals on Tyranny of Souls are much better. The vocals are the real highlight of the album. The music is not bad, but doesn't contain a lot of memorable moments, like on previous records. Also the solos aren't that great.The drums could have been better. You can unfortunately hear that there is a different drummer on this album, than on other Dickinson records.

Overall not a bad album. Dickinson released such great albums in the past that were way better than this one, but compared to other bands this is still a great album. My negative feelings about this album is also feeded by the fact that the album is to short and that his last album was releases 7 years ago and it can take awhile before he will release a new solo record.

War of Words
War of Words
Offered by Media Medley
Price: $6.50
72 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great album, June 10, 2005
This review is from: War of Words (Audio CD)
War Of Words is the first album Rob Halford released after his departure from Judas Priest. War of Words does not really sound like the music from Judas Priest. Sure there are minor resemblances with Judas Priest's Painkiller album, but overall it was a new start for Halford. By the way, Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis played the drums on this album.

Musically War Of Words reminds of then popular bands like Fear Factory, Pantera, Prong, and Biohazard. To put it in other words, expect a mixture of Thrash Metal and Hardcore. The guitarists mainly play heavy chunky riffs, but there are also more melodic songs like "Immortal Sin". Also expect some excellent solos. The opening song "Into The Pit" reminds me the most of the Judas priest area. It is a song that goes from mid tempo to fast. The song sounds like a mixture of the albums Painkiller and Jugulator. The song "Life In Black" reminds me of the doomy Black Sabbath.

For a 1993 release, the production is really excellent. The production is really heavy and clear. Are there also negative aspects on this album? Yes there are. Some songs could have used more diversity, more tempo changes, different patterns, etc. Musically, some songs are based around only a few riffs and that's it. The remix album Mutations, where 5 songs from War Of Words have been remixed, shows that with use of electronics these songs become more interesting. Also the clean vocals of Halford could have been better. The clean vocals should have been less raw, but maybe the rawer clean vocals suites the music better. Vocally there are also some typical hardcore shouts like in the song "Contortion".

It is strange when you compare War Of Words and Jugulator, Priest their first album without Halford. These albums have more in common with each other than with other Priest records. Strange! Overall, War Of Words is still a great album.

Angel of Retribution (With Bonus DVD)
Angel of Retribution (With Bonus DVD)
Offered by Rare Imports
Price: $25.99
31 used & new from $3.19

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just under 4 stars. Good album but no classic., May 14, 2005
I was really skeptical when Halford rejoined Judas Priest. Could they make a good record? Jugulator was a good album, but lacked diversity. Demolition is one of the worst albums I own. Angel Of Retribution delivers what most fans would expect, namely traditional metal. The positive thing about it is that it is mostly well played, ranging from crunching songs like "Judas Rising" and "Demonizer", ballads like "Angel", mid tempo stuff like Revolution and epic stuff like Lochness. Rob Halford does a great effort, wizefully not using too much high vocals (he has to sing them live).

There are also a few negative aspects. The album lacks new elements. Everything you hear has been played before in the large metal history. The solos do not really improve the songs like they did in the past. I also would have preferred faster songs like "Painkiller", "Exciter", or "Metal Meltdown". I also do not really like the epic song Lochness. The lyrics are cheesy and it should not have lasted more than 13 minutes. There are way better epic tracks. It is the last song on the album and I always tend to stop the album before that song begins.

To conclude: It is by far not their best record, but it is not bad at all. Musically it is a mixture of Painkiller, the early eighties albums and small hints from their seventies releases. Influences from Jugulator or Demolition cannot be found. I personally like Halford's solo releases more, but if you prefer classic Priest then you can really enjoy the album. If you want something new then check out other bands.

Symbol of Life
Symbol of Life
Price: $10.69
30 used & new from $4.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album to listen to at night, December 21, 2004
This review is from: Symbol of Life (Audio CD)
Ninth album from former Doom Metal band Paradise Lost. Compared to the later releases like Believe in Nothing, One Second and especially Host, Symbol Of Life album sounds heavier. The music on Symbol Of Life album still cannot be compared with albums like Gothic or even Draconian Times, but the term Metal can be mentioned again. Especially the fast and heavy "Channel For The Pain" and also the fast "Self-obsessed" remind me of songs from Draconian Times. "Self-obsessed" shows some harmonic leads that I missed on One Second, Host and Believe In Nothing. The band still uses electronics, but not as often as on other recent albums. One of the best tracks is "Erased", with some soothing female vocals. Nick Holmes his vocals are good, but I prefer his cleaner, melodic voice on the album Believe In Nothing.

An overall strong side of the album is the diversity. Not only the pace of the song, but also the balance between the use of guitars and electronics changes per song. The music on the album is melancholic, but who would expect something different from this band? One day I listened to the album after midnight and I really enjoyed it. The day after that I listened to the album in the middle of the day and the album was not half as good as the day before. I therefore recommend people to listen to the album at night.

The only problem that I have with this album and also with most other albums from Paradise Lost, is that the songs are too short. There aren't any (semi)length instrumental parts. The songs are well written, but too damn short. I also think that the songs on Believe In Nothing are better, but Symbol Of Life still is a great album.

Piece of Mind
Piece of Mind
Price: $10.99
62 used & new from $4.35

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is a revelation, December 17, 2004
This review is from: Piece of Mind (Audio CD)
Fourth album from Iron Maiden, released in 1983. Drummer Nicko McBrain debuted on this album. Although the album was released more than 2 decades ago, I still think it is one of the best sounding Iron Maiden records. Where most other Maiden albums have a rather thin guitar sound, Piece Of Mind has got a heavy guitar sound. Also the overall sound, sounds less "dated" than earlier albums like The Number Of The Beast. The album still sounds fresh. On this album the heavy and melodic riffs are in perfect balance. The album starts with the up tempo song "Where Eagles Dare". The song is mainly based around a couple of interesting riffs. Compared to the other tracks, there are not many vocals on this song. Halfway through the song you can hear cool gun firing sounds. Revelations is one of the best tracks on the album. It is a mainly slow song, with some heavy guitar playing. The song has got a biblical context. There is only one track that is still often played by the band and that is "The Trooper". The song is a typical melodic up tempo Maiden song, with great solos.

"Sun And Steel" and `Quest For Fire" are the least interesting tracks, but they are better than most people think. Especially musically these song are great, only the lyrics could have been better. The album closes with the epic song "To Tame A Land". The song is based on a book about the planet Dune. The cold and desolate atmosphere on this song really reflects the lyrical context of the song. "To Tame A Land" even sounds rather doomy. No wander Doom Metal band Morgion covered the song.

Although "Piece Of Mind" is not my favourite Maiden album, any Metal fan should have listened to this album at least once.

Weight of the Circumstances
Weight of the Circumstances
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $11.99
18 used & new from $1.14

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Popcore, with one of the best female vocalists around, November 26, 2004
The Weight Of The Circumstances is the third album from German band Die Happy. The vocalist Marta Jandova is from the Czech Republic. It is difficult to really put a label on this band. The band calls their music popcore, because they play both heavy as poppy songs. The songs vary from up-tempo to slow and from melancholic to happy. The structures of the songs are rather basic, but the band members are excellent songwriters. The band consists of the traditional line-up of 1 vocalist, 1 guitarist, 1 bass-player and 1 drummer. There are some sound samples on the album, but they do not have an important role. When the band started out, they where often compared to fellow countrymen Guano Apes. From what I heard from that band, there are resemblances, but also large differences.

Compared to the first two albums, The Weight Of The Circumstances sounds less heavy. The riffs are less heavy and the album production is less raw. The song writing, on the other hand, has improved. On this album I am really impressed by the vocals from Marta Jandova. She did sound great on earlier albums, but the vocal-performance on this album is even better. Marta Jandova has a powerful and diverse voice. She mainly sings about relationships.

The first song, "Take You On A Ride", "Get Up" and "Mannequin" are the heaviest songs on the album. Especially the song "Take You On A Ride contains a very heavy riff. The song has also got a dark atmosphere. There are also up-tempo songs with a more alternative feel. Songs like "Big Boy" and "Everyday Is A Weekend" belong to that category. "Big Boy" was the first single from the album. It is a great happy up-tempo rocker. "Slow Day" and "Wrong" are two really beautiful and powerful ballads.

I can really recommend this album to anyone who appreciates well-written and diverse rock music with an impressive female vocalist. I suggest you to buy the limited edition, it got 12 tracks.(The extra track is the excellent song "Standing Strong")

Synthetic Generation
Synthetic Generation
Offered by IMS Distribution
Price: $19.12
35 used & new from $4.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok debut, but the music should be more interesting, November 26, 2004
This review is from: Synthetic Generation (Audio CD)
Synthetic Generation is the debut album from Swedish Metal band Deathstars. When I first heard the album, I immediately heard resemblances with The Kovenant. The main difference between those bands is that The Kovenant writes better and more original songs. Although Synthetic Generation is a fun album to listen to, the songs tend to sound to simple. The music is build upon up-tempo Rammstein riffs and electronic keyboard-sounds. Unfortunately the instrumentation is rather simple. There are not many instrumental parts that really stand out. The vocals are not bad, but sound a bit limited. On the title-track you can hear a vocal part, which sounds much better than the usual vocals on the album. Besides simple, the songs are also short. On Synthetic Generation Deathstars also plays the song "White Wedding" from Billy Idol. That song fits the band perfectly. If you are a fan of The Kovenant or Rammstein, then check out this album. Synthetic is a promising debut, but I hope that the second album will be better.

Price: $12.99
30 used & new from $4.53

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark classical Black Metal, November 25, 2004
This review is from: Stormblast (Audio CD)
Stormblast is the second album from Norwegian Black Metal band Dimmu Borgir. Stormblast and their debut album For All Tid are the only Dimmu Borgir albums with only Norwegian lyrics. Although I don't understand the lyrics, Stormblast is a great album. Compared to later releases the production is rawer and the keyboards sound more classical. The first song "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen" immediately shows this. It is one of my favourite tracks. I really like the lengthy intro, with atmospheric keys and rolling drums. The Norwegian language suites Black Metal perfectly, it gives the vocals a more raw tone than English vocals. The vocals are also very cool produced, giving them a icy atmosphere.

The titeltrack is one of the more known songs of this album. It starts out with lightning sounds and than fast guitars, bass and blast beats take over the song. The epic keys make the intro even more dramatic. The rest of the songs are mainly mid-tempo. The keys have an important role on this album. They are just as important as the other instruments. Many people would say that the production is bad, but I think the production fits the music perfectly. The production is raw not shaky and unlike other Dimmu Borgir albums, the bass can be heard much better.

Besides "Alt Lys Er Svunnet Hen, Dodsferd is my favourite track. There is a part on this song that is just brilliant. Normally when you here a great part of a song, it great because of one instrument or when you are lucky two instruments. On Dodsferd there is a part were every instruments plays a great part. Sorgens Kammer is a rather weird song, because it is a instrumental, only played by the keyboardist. The song sounds both romantic and dark.

Stormblast is musically one of Dimmu Borgir more accessible albums, but because of the Norwegian lyrics and not state-of-the-art production many fans of later Dimmu Borgir albums do not have Stormblast. They do not know what they miss out.

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