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Tragic Idol
Tragic Idol
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blew my mind! Majestic return to their Icon/Draconian sound., April 26, 2012
This review is from: Tragic Idol (Audio CD)
I completely disagree with the first reviewer ( KOURKOULOS NIKOS ). I think this is the best album this guys have released since Draconian Times, and that's saying a lot. The fact that this album is so reminiscent to Icon and Draco, my two favorites by them, can also be a factor to make me like it even more than their later stuff, but since in the past few years they had made a comeback to their original goth/dark sound, this record cannot be compared to their late 90's - mid 2000s synth/poprock melodic stuff. This record has their original sound, so if you are looking for their mellower melodic radio synth pop ala Depeche Mode stuff, this is not your record. This new songs sound like some of the stuff you could find in their early- mid 90s era. If that's your thing, we are on the same page. This is a heavy album, and a very melodic one endeed. In my opinion, this is most melodic stuff they have come up in years.

Old fans are quite happy that PD made an extreme sound shift their to old sounding classic records on their last two albums (which are pretty good), but to my ears, this record sound WAY more inspired than those records. Those two new records are good, but they lacked something. That something, which I don't know how to describe, I found here. The Tragic Idol is the album I was waiting from this guys.

To the record. Almost every song, if not all, are arranged beautifully and tastefully, and in some moments, range into the amazing. Since I pressed play, I was truly blown away by how tasteful, dark, heavy, atmospheric and melodic their new stuff sounded. The record production is immaculate! The composition is absolutely inspired and the vocals are amazing. But what really destroyed my senses was how beautiful the guitars fit into their old/new sound. Layer after layer after layer of guitar melodies on top of each other and above some of the most awesome dark riffs PD has composed in years. And even though this record is very heavy and doom, it's also VERY melodic, but If your looking for melodic as in catchy ala One Second, I may say that some of that stuff is also here, but not as prevalent. The music is dark, heavy, very melodic, quite agressive at times, and in some occasions, sad (in the beautiful way). This is the best guitar stuff this band has recorded in years! The guitar work are really what make this record stand out. The drumming is also quite extraordinary and it has a more metallic approach than on previous records. A lot more signature changes, up beat, fast, double bass. Quite creative for a PD record. And the last thing that I should stand out is Nick Holmes EXTRAORDINARY vocals sessions for The Tragic Idol. This is by FAR some of the best stuff he has ever recorded. He is just flawless on energy, melody and reach!

I will give this album and absolute five stars. And for me, this is the real continuation of the Icon/Draconian era.

I love this record.

The Electric Age
The Electric Age
Price: $11.11
49 used & new from $5.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute Overkill, March 28, 2012
This review is from: The Electric Age (Audio CD)
Simply put in a small paragraph, Overkill not only found itself again, but manages to do it better. This record is absolutely amazing. Not only catchy and melodic, but also fast, agressive, furious and most important, Thrashy! After a very experimental, confused and inconsistent late 90s to mid 2000s era, Overkill sat down, thought it over and understood that the best metal they ever created was their 80s stuff (including Horrorscope), and that newer bands where getting heavier, faster, extremer and way more technical than ever. They just had to pick it up. So after a couple of sludgy, groovie and "all right" releases, they put their engines back on gear and went back to what they did best: Thrash Metal! In 2010, they came out with the AMAZING Ironbound! The record is not only a comeback to their thrash roots, but they also maintained the best element of their second era: the groove!! Ironbound is without question, not only one of the best record of 2010, but one of the very best albums that Overkill has ever recorded. Amazingly for Overkill, thrash was back and angrier than ever. So after two years, they announced that they will be coming back in 2012 with the follow up to Ironbound. Many kept a question on their minds after that statement: Will Overkill be able to at least come up with something that sounds close to Ironbound, or will they go back to their groovie, sludgie and simplistic sound? Well, The Electric age is not only as good and thrashy as Ironbound, but in some aspects, it's even better! You did it again, guys! This is a great Thrash album, one of the best follow ups in thrash metal history, and again, one of the best records of their amazing career. This is Thrash like veterans of the genre are supposed to be playing! So Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Metallica, Megadeth, etc. I love you guys, but Overkill will kicked your old asses any given day! Those bands just can't compare themselves with the level of creativity, tenacity, intensity and execution that this 30 year old Overkill has! 30 years later, Overkill is better than ever! Way better than their contemporaries.

The Electric Age is fast, thrashy, groovie and fun! So Metallica, Anthrax, Testament, Slayer, Megadeth! Take notice cuz Overkill has just kicked your buts, AGAIN!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 29, 2012 3:42 PM PDT

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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The most objective review you will read about an album that could had been., November 6, 2011
This review is from: Lulu (Audio CD)
It might have sounded good on paper.

That's the only explanation one can come up with for the genesis of "Lulu", the surprise collaborative album by METALLICA and Lou Reed that first had fans scratching their heads and now, since the album surfaced online ahead of this week's release, shaking them in horror. It could have been a fascinating mix: the biggest, most powerful metal act of its generation joining creative forces with one of rock's dark urban poets and iconoclasts, whose band THE VELVET UNDERGROUND has cast an enormous influence over untold numbers of alternative, punk and avant-garde acts.

And indeed, when METALLICA and Reed jammed together at the New York concerts honoring the 25th anniversary of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009, there seemed to be something there. Reed (67 at the time) looked and sounded inspired, while METALLICA seemed to find a loose yet still massive groove as it rumbled behind Reed on "Sweet Jane" and "White Light/White Heat".

But all that cannot rectify the fact that "Lulu" is a catastrophic failure on almost every level, a project that could quite possibly do irreparable harm to METALLICA's career. Reed doesn't have as much to worry about, since his recent work has gone further and further into obscure, avant-garde reworkings of some of his older material and has become increasingly irrelevant to mainstream pop/rock. For METALLICA -- who earned back a lot of good faith with 2008's "Death Magnetic" after fans turned their noses up at 2003's "St. Anger" -- the damage could be a lot worse, and the band is bizarrely doing everything it can to help that along, as we'll discuss a little later.

The original idea -- which might have worked -- was to have Reed re-record a selection of his older songs with METALLICA acting more or less as his backing band. But instead, the singer came up with another venture: he wanted the band to set music to a series of lyrics/poems he'd written for a stage production based on two early 20th century plays by German Expressionist writer Frank Wedekind. The lyrics allegedly tell the story of a seductive, amoral woman who somehow ends up crossing paths with Jack the Ripper.

From the start, the album's biggest problem is that it sounds like someone took two completely disparate recordings and laid them over each other. Much of the music that METALLICA has recorded for this sounds like either unfinished jams or basic song structures (like the generic thrash of "Mistress Dread") that are a long way from the final versions that would appear on a METALLICA record (here's a question: is any of this stuff taken from the semi-legendary, abandoned Presidio sessions of 2001?). There are germs of interesting ideas here, and some earthshaking riffs do emerge from time to time, but it's hard to imagine METALLICA would put this material out as is on a proper album.

Now, imagine that someone left the tape running of this material (some 95 minutes of it) and an old man wandered in off the street and started recording his own incoherent, cracked-voice ramblings and rantings over it. That, in a nutshell, is what you get on all 10 interminable tracks found on "Lulu". On nearly every cut, Reed's wavering, emotionless, melody-free vocals undermine any potential musical power that the band can muster. With a few exceptions, the vocals and music don't sound like they belong in the same universe, let alone the same room.

The album actually starts out with a moment where one can glimpse something interesting from METALLICA: as the main riff of "Brandenburg Gate" crashes into existence, the band locks into an easy, bluesy groove as frontman James Hetfield (who delivers counterpoint vocals on several tracks) bellows "small town girl!" over and over. It's kind of fascinating to hear METALLICA play so loosely -- but then Reed comes in and wipes all that away.

The most conventional track on the record, "Iced Honey", settles into a similar pocket that makes it the closest thing on here to an accessible song. On this one Reed semi-sings to the music and crafts what we suppose passes for a melody line from him these days. But "Iced Honey", while not a particularly strong song, sounds like pop genius compared to the never-ending drones of "Cheat On Me", "Pumping Blood", "Frustration" and most of the others. There are a lot of ambient passages where the fragility of Reed's voice comes out in even more stark relief, while the members of METALLICA flounder around behind him and attempt to create some sort of sonic landscape.

As far as the concept of "Lulu" itself goes, Reed's lyrics are full of references to "colored man's dick," "waste" that he wants to "eat," and wanting to marry someone who is "spermless like a girl." He threatens to "cut my legs and tits off/when I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski" in his very first lines on the record, throwing in his trademark references to other aspects of culture, but it is Hetfield himself who comes up with the greatest howler on second track "The View" by inexplicably screaming "I am the table!" (which in the song's official lyrics is actually written as "the tablet," as in a block of stone) -- a line that will haunt the singer/guitarist for some time to come.

A track-by-track analysis is almost futile when each track delivers more of the same deadening, dull grind, right up to the 19-minute closer "Junior Dad". While that final exercise begins with a gentle, slowly building and almost poignant guitar theme, by the time one reaches the finish line, there's nothing but a sense of exhaustion and incredulity.

What's even more inexplicable about this whole demented affair -- and which we alluded to above -- is METALLICA and Reed's solid, unyielding support for this broken toy they've created. Again, we almost can't fault Reed, since this is the most high-profile project he's been involved with in years. But for METALLICA to say over and over again in interviews how proud they are, how strong this record is, and -- more ominously -- how it may point the way musically for the next proper METALLICA record... well, they're either delusional, feel forced to show solidarity with Reed, or trying to hide their embarrassment behind a wall of bravado.

Did anyone attempt to stop this thing in its tracks at any time? Did every single person involved in this project -- from managers to producers to the guy who brings coffee to the studio -- praise it enthusiastically to the faces of the members of METALLICA, even if they were hiding their distaste inside? Has no one -- not even the shrewd and generally savvy Lars Ulrich -- considered the confusion and anger this could cause among fans, or even paused to think, "Gee, this really doesn't sound very good, does it?"

One can argue that METALLICA is too big, too rich and too established to care what anyone thinks, and that they're in a phase of their career where they need to stretch themselves and take risks in order to keep themselves interested. All of that is, in one sense, absolutely correct. But putting this record out under the METALLICA name, when it is so clearly driven by the vision of another person entirely, is simply too far a stretch to ask from fans, especially when they're plunking down good money to buy it.

The ideal solution, perhaps, would have been to put this out as a Reed album, without METALLICA's name on it, and let the world virally/organically discover who the singer's backing band was for the sessions. That might have added a cool "surprise" or "mystery" factor to the project and perhaps even taken the sting out of how poorly conceived it is. Then again, maybe not, because "poorly conceived" may not do justice to how horrendously this has turned out. This makes St Anger sound like a 21st century Master of Puppets. The impetus behind that album was at least there to understand; the incentive for this one is MIA.

As we said at the beginning, this might have sounded good on paper. But someone should have crumpled up that paper and thrown it away.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2011 3:11 PM PST

Price: $13.99
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A kick in the balls, February 20, 2010
This review is from: Ironbound (Audio CD)
I don't use the word impressive too often in music anymore coz nothing quite impress me this days, but this time I have to make an exception. I'm very much impressed with Overkill again as I was in the late 80's, early 90's. This record is a true ageless thrash metal masterpiece. Please try this when you can because thrash metal veterans don't make records like this anymore. Hey Slayer!, Metallica!, Megadeth!, Anthrax!, Testament!, Exodus!, get this record and take notice because this is the way you should be playing right now!

A thrash metal masterpiece from the early masters and pyoneers of the genre. 25 years young and still kicking balls!

Congratulations Overkill.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 3, 2012 3:43 PM PDT

The Ones I Condemn
The Ones I Condemn
Price: $8.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest example of a COMEBACK album, October 30, 2009
This review is from: The Ones I Condemn (MP3 Music)
They used to be a fast thrash/ speed metal band, and they came back just like that but even more powerful! If you liked Apocalypse Inside, then feel free to try it's continuation. Probably the greatest TRUE comeback in TRUE form I've ever heard in my life. You know how bands say " well this is our comeback record" and you get it and is just not the same style, and they have like 2 or 3 song that kinda reminds you of their glory days, but the rest of the album is just a LET DOWN? Not here! This is fast agression and technical as hell! Problaby the greatest record of their career.

True thrash titans of the 80's and true thrash titans of the 21st century. If you want thrash, don't even bother looking anywhere else.

Highly recomended.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
Offered by BA Sports
Price: $33.97
60 used & new from $10.54

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD OLD FUN IS BACK, BUT..., October 11, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I'm loving the game. The Ninja series are just awesome. Lotz of action, cool characters and huge fights. If you have the Sigma 1, which it's one of the best games ever produced by anybody, getting this sequel will make you feel like in a continuation of that first game, but not to par in terms of greatness. Still, it's a awesome game with a lot of challenges and I REALLY recomend it, but there are a few cons that you may found (very) dissapointing if your are a huge fan of Sigma 1.

first con:
CAMARA WORK SUCKS!!! HUGE LET DOWN!!! The firts game had a smooth, easy to control camara that allow you to easily follow your character from all angles in a very quick and precise 360º. In fact, one of the best camara works in all the ps3 games happened to be in Ninja Gaiden Sigma (the first game). The camara work on this new version is just a disgrace. Hard to get to angles, hard time following your character through corners, incoheret blind spots during huge fights and plain too rigid to manouver. Sometimes, you're being attacked by 7 or 8 enemies at a time, and while you role to fight one of them, the camara gets stock behind a tree, or a light pole, or a stone, an opponet's arm, or even a wall, making it impossible to view your player and follow the action. Not to mention the pain to even try to get out of those blindspots and enjoy blattle again. Sometimes the camara gets so close to your back that you can't see opponents from behind, making yourself an easy target for being attact from out of frame. This never happened in the first game, it was a pleasure to go into battle just because you had an angle on all your weak spots. Now, the camara it's just so rigid and stiff, and such a pain in the ass to manouver, that it makes you wanna quit the game.

Second con:
GAME IS WAY TOO EASY if compared to Sigma 1. Sigma 1 was just incredible hard even on easy!! This one is just too easy on easy mode and just to hard in Hard mode. You just don't get an in between challenge like it actually was the easy mode on the first game. Remember how hard it was to figured out every boss fight in Sigma 1? You wont find that in here. In fact, the first two bosses in this new Sigma 2 are as challenging as fighting the dragon like pre-boss characters in the first sigma. Nothing hard to figured out, just attack and duck, attack and duck.

Third Con:
LESS BLOOD, LESS GORE, LESS SCARES!! Again, the first sigma had it all, this one is a bit to clean for my taste. I know that the company is trying to sell more games to a younger audience by cleaning the action and making it easy to play, but it's not as good for hardcore fans of the first like myself and thousand others.

Great Game, lotz of action and great characters. The graphix are to par with the first IMHO, but the action is just less of a challenge. I'm loving the game, even if there are a few things that I REALLY dislike. If you're a fan of the first, you will really enjoy this tittle. If you're new to the series, I advice you to get Sigma 1 first and then continue with this one. If you go viceversa, you will just find Sigma 1 impossible to play. Have to admid I'm having lotz of fun!

Across the Dark
Across the Dark
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In simple words: Insomnium best album, September 26, 2009
This review is from: Across the Dark (Audio CD)
I love this band with all my heart and this album is quite an acomplishment for a band of such magnitude and ethereal beauty. This record is just a masterpiece. This is the most inspired work this band has ever put together. Just brilliant. If you love this band, you'll be happy. For those who don't know their work, this is the album to fall in love with dark music.

Price: $7.42
123 used & new from $2.13

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of Metallica... really!, September 17, 2009
This review is from: Endgame (Audio CD)
For all you guys that have been comparing Metallica vs Megadeth, this is a final statement. METALLICA HAD IT... MEGADETH HAS IT! I'm blown away by this record in a lot of ways and a bit blah! in others, but having to know the fact that Dave Mustaine is almost fifty years old and still can destroy and reinvent himself with the style he once invented, that alone is worth a 5 star review.

The record is very refreshing for megadeth. I probably say that I like United Abominations more that I actually did, but Endgame is just that forever awaited comeback album. This is easily the best Mustaine we have heard in 20 years. He's technique is sharp and flawless. The riffs are crushing, precise, unpredictable, complicated, well thouth and heavy as hell. His solos are way more intricate and inspired (probably due to playing with such an extraordinary talent like it is Broderick). It just feels like Mustaine has been taking guitar clases to refine his mighty technique. This is the must "Mustaine album" since Countdown. Listening to this record it just make me feel like "wao! what will Dave bring to the table on his next record?". It feels like Dave has skills, power and inspiration for 5 more albums. Nothing sloppy here. But, if you listen to Death Magnetic, everything is so damn sloppy, recicled, out of place and uninspired. Metallica is just NOT into Heavy Metal anymore... they were of course, but just not anymore. Death Magnetic is an insult for what Metallica once was... Endgame is a triumph for what Megadeth was, and still is.

Death Magnetic is Metallica's so call comeback album. Endgame feels like classic Megadeth.

Dave voice is a bit blown off, but still he manage to get his anger flowing and keeps the melodic lines interesting. Hetfield's voice is just a shame! Blown off, predictable and pathetic.

The solos. Lord. Broderick is a MONSTER and what I really love is that he still uses some frases and voices in his soloing that reminds you to Marty Friedman ( a huge inspiration for Broderick), so you still have that "Megadeth solo sound" that we happen to love. Not even bother to mention Kirk Hamment. In this day the guy is just pathetic.

I love the album. It could had been better, but still crushes like hell. I'm very happy for Dave coz this is a new Begining. There's no need to compare Metallica with Megadeth now. This is just fantastic.

Can't wait for Megadeth new record in a couple of years... keep it like this Dave, you're the man!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2009 2:41 PM PDT

Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder(Special Edition 2 CD)
Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder(Special Edition 2 CD)
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $15.70
34 used & new from $8.03

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the hell were you, Cradle?, October 28, 2008
Can't believe it, no pop ish bullshet here!, this is fast and dark as hell!. Best album since Midiam and in my top 5 best COF records. This is how gooooooddddd this is. If you were turn off by damnation, nymphetamine and thornography, and you love their first 4 records, well brother, you will be happy.

Welcome back and stay like this please!

Let There Be Blood
Let There Be Blood
Price: $11.99
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Think of it as a Bonded by Blood tribute album by a great cover band., October 28, 2008
This review is from: Let There Be Blood (Audio CD)
Just to let you know, if you haven't listened to the original Bonded by Blood, then you're in the wrong page. There's no way anyone (including Exodus itself) can do justice remaking an album that has 20 years of being perfect. Bonded by blood is still to this date in the top 5 best thrash metal albums of all time. Bonded by blood IS that important! Just like Master of Puppets, Peace sells, Among the Living, Reign in Blood, It's a landmark, just impossible to top, not even for exodus.

So, if you came with the idea that this album was going to be better than the original, well brother, then you'are simply not a fan. It just can't be done.

The remake is good fun, I could almost say that it's great fun. But it just does'nt feel like exodus. Instead, it feels like a great tribute by a talented cover band. And by saying this I mean that if Exodus would have had recorded Bonded by blood today, and sounded just like Let there be blood , then this record will be of no significance in metal at all. Why? Well is not innovative, crucial or a landmark in metal when the extreme bands of today play at a 1000 mph with a clinical precision ( see Arsis, Krisium, Nile etc.)

The songs are the same. Same structure and everything. The record feels strong. The production is great, and I was surprised in how good the new singer's vocals fit into this 23 year old baby. The band did a great job. Most important, you can still taste the oldschool in this record which is a great thing.

I have to say that I liked it. I will be have lotz of fun listening to this record. But to be honest, the original Bonded by Blood will pop out of my speakers way more frequently than this album will ever do. With that said, and even though I like this new record, there's some things in life that cannot be replaced... and Bonded by blood is one of them.

If you own the original... DO GET THIS!!! THIS IS A GOOD REMAKE!!!
If you don't, then again, you're in the wrong page.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2015 4:29 PM PDT

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