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Profile for Azrael > Reviews


Azrael's Profile

Customer Reviews: 79
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Helpful Votes: 254

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Azrael RSS Feed (Lake Forest, CA USA)

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Legend (Ultimate Edition)
Legend (Ultimate Edition)
DVD ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $19.88
51 used & new from $1.56

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Combo Pack, June 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Legend (Ultimate Edition) (DVD)
Really great to have both the US theatrical and foreign releases for a comparison. I certainly prefer the extended director's cut to the theatrical US release, but I'm a bit torn between the Jerry Goldsmith score and the Tangerine Dream score. The Jerry Goldsmith score is great, but there seems to be a number of scenes in the Director's Cut where there is either no background score/music or it is exceptionally quiet, which occasionally makes the scenes (such as some of the extras with Jack & Lily) feel like they're dragging.

Excellent to have both releases available under one cover, though.

27 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Breed of Musical Insanity, March 23, 2009
This review is from: Mongrel (Audio CD)
If you enjoyed the reissue of the album titled Put on Your Rosy Red Glasses by THE NUMBER TWELVE LOOKS LIKE YOU, then you're in for a treat with their new release Mongrel. As the name would imply, this album like previous ones combines a wide variety of styles to form a mutt of metal musicality. The new album should appeal to fans of just about any sort of musical insanity, but those who have an interest in PSYOPUS, POOLSIDE AT THE FLAMINGO, THE LOCUST, THE NETWORK, and CEPHALIC CARNAGE will likely find this band incredibly talented. Grindcore passages are continually broken up with emo-ish screams, anthemic choruses, and completely random musical twists. They seem to have kept the dual vocal approach from earlier recordings, and their musical execution is tighter than ever. The drumming is fantastic on this album in its incorporation of styles and fluid changeovers from measure to measure. Particular stand out tracks are "El Piñata De La Muerte" for its machinegun drumming and hand claps, "Jay Walking Backwards" featuring long ambient passages, occasional clean vocals, and lots of melody, and "Paper Weight Pigs" for its completely random yet well performed Spanish guitar portion. It's truly amazing that this band is able to shove so many influences into a single album, but then again that seems to be the point. This release is highly recommended for anyone who wants a wild ride on the edge of sanity where indie meets grindcore, and this is definitely one mongrel that should not be sent to the pound.

None So Live
None So Live
13 used & new from $1.25

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour of the Ages, October 6, 2003
This review is from: None So Live (Audio CD)
I saw this tour in Chicago, Illinois at the House of Blues and it was just as crushing and amazing there as it is on this disc recorded live in Montreal. Cryptopsy is simply a phenomenal, devastating experience live, and this album truly shows that. This is perhaps the definitive live album for hyper-technical death metal, except maybe until Origin releases something trying to rival 'None So Live.'
Not only do you get to hear Cryptopsy, but they play all of the best songs from each album and Martin Lacroix certainly displays a vicious vocal sound. He's the perfect blend of Lord Worm's unintelligible, inhuman howls and DiSalvo's brutal vocal precision. Lacroix's immitation of Lord Worm on the parts that really need it shines, and he's at least as good if not better than DiSalvo on tracks like 'Cold Hate, Warm Blood.'
If you're a fan of Cryptopsy and want the true live experience without having to be there, you need this album!

In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood
16 used & new from $7.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Blachowicz Era, March 31, 2003
This review is from: In Cold Blood (Audio CD)
(4.5 Stars if possible)
This is definitely my favorite Malevolent Creation album featuring bassist Jason Blachowicz on vocal duties. Most people I know who listen to MC prefer the album "Eternal" to this release, but I find "In Cold Blood" to be the superior release simply because it is a more frenetic, in-your-face type of album. The songs on this album are, overall, much shorter and much faster than those on "Eternal" and lack some of the technicality. However, what this album lacks in song length or technicality it more than makes up in brutality. All the songs on this album are played at break-neck speeds and are very entertaining to listen to. There are also more songs presented here, and this disc is still more than satisfying to throw in and listen to only a couple quick songs if you so desire or don't have time to listen to lengthier releases. The blasts on this album are great, but the drumming isn't varied quite as much as on "Eternal". However, despite the shortfalls just mentioned, "In Cold Blood" is my top pick of the albums featuring Blachowicz on vocals.
When comparing this to the rest of Malevolent Creation's catalogue, "In Cold Blood" is right up near the top on my list, only clearly surpassed by "Envenomed". If you like this album a lot, I VERY HIGHLY recommend that you check out their newest release "Will To Kill". The new vocalist (Kyle Symons from Hate Plow) sounds pretty similar to Blachowicz and the drum production is some of the best I've ever heard for a death metal band.
Overall, this is a fantastic release and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the genre, whether you're just getting into death metal or want to see what some of MC's material sounded like without Brett Hoffman. "In Cold Blood" is definitely worth your time and your cash.
Fave tracks:
"Nocturnal Overload", "Prophecy", "Compulsive", "Narcotic Genocide" & "Comdemned"

Affiliated With the Suffering
Affiliated With the Suffering
Offered by Itchy Disc
Price: $14.49
6 used & new from $3.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Slight Step Down; Not As Good As "Monument of Death", March 12, 2003
I purchased this album not too long after buying Blood Red Throne's debut album "Monument of Death". I have to say that this new release is a little disappointing. (I could gripe about how this band still sounds like a Vomitory clone, but simply read my review of "Monument of Death" for that particular opinion of mine.) There are primarily two reasons why this album is inferior to the debut: 1) the mixing job was done completely different in terms of production, which makes for a very different listening experience; and 2) the band slowed waaaay down.
I'm rather fickle when it comes to production jobs, so my complaint(s) here some people may find applicable and others may not. This is a rather 'loud' sounding album in terms of how it was recorded, which isn't inherently a bad thing. The problem is that it also sounds like during the normalizing process, it was normalized at a very high volume, meaning that it's slighly 'noisier' than it should be. This kind of problem/difficulty was virtually non-existent on "Monument of Death" which sounded great, so I'm not sure why it was done.
In terms of the speed of this disc overall, it's a lot slower than the debut. It's almost as though the band is going for a slight 'brutal aggro-thrash' edge than speedy death metal. There are still good blasts here and there, but the drumming is nowhere near as complex and is typically not as exciting as it was on the debut album. You won't find songs here such as "Portrait of a Killer" and "Ravenous War Machine". The general approach on this album is a less technical sound combined with slower speed, hence only giving it 3 stars. The 'artwork' is also kind of lame, but I'm just being REALLY picky.
However, despite my rantings there are still excellent songs here such as "Bleeder's Lament", "Mandatory Homicide" and "Razor Jack". The entire album maintains the emotion and attitude of the debut; it's execution simply isn't as superb. The vocals are just as gutteral (Vomitory style) as the debut, and in this release the vocals are given more presence so that's also a good thing.
I still recommend this album to fans of the genre and fans of Blood Red Throne's debut, but "Affiliated with the Suffering" isn't quite up to the expectations created by "Monument of Death".

18 used & new from $3.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Death Metal w/ Blastbeats Galore!, March 5, 2003
This review is from: Murder (Audio CD)
For those of you who are tired of death metal bands that try to put a lot of melody into their music and seem to have forsaken the idea of just making a truly devastating work with blastbeats galore, look no further than this album by Gehenna. Clocking in at only just over the 31 minute mark, this album is short but oh so good. This band is actually reminiscent of The Forsaken, only an extremely stripped down version. You won't find the kind of melodies and guitar wanks here that you would find on any albums by The Forsaken. This is simply straight-up fast as hell death metal, rivaling even Myrkskog's "Superior Massacre" in simplicity and speed. The vocals are also a bit different in that they leave behind the typical gutteral growl for an approach that sounds more like Marco Aro off of The Haunted's "...Made Me Do It" album.
As for highlights on this album, the entire disc is great. My favorite song is probably "Devout Dementia", but every song on here is more than worthy of praise. The guitar work is also pretty good. I picked this album up after having it recommended to me by one of the shopkeepers at the local underground metal store where I pretty much buy all my stuff exclusively, and I'm glad I followed his advice.
Downsides of the album would have to be how the vocals are pushed really far into the back of the mix, so you have to play it REALLY loud to hear the vocals clearly (maybe this was done on purpose?), and also the fact that, yes, the album is only about a half hour. It could stand to be at least a little longer. The bass guitar also lacks presence. I like putting this on as background music when playing video games. It makes the experience a little more intense.
Anyway, this is a good album for what is it is: a short but oh so sweet death metal experience at hyper-speed. The blasts on this album are amazing, but not necessarily something you haven't heard before. Still, I highly recommend this album.

Destroy the Opposition
Destroy the Opposition
Price: $10.99
49 used & new from $4.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talented, Innovative, & Fun Death/Grind, March 5, 2003
This review is from: Destroy the Opposition (Audio CD)
This is one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. Dying Fetus is definitely one of the greatest bands in the genre, and that's saying a lot. While many, many bands can be perhaps as technical and heavy as Dying Fetus, one element is almost always missing with those other bands - actually being able to tell that the band members are having a lot of fun. The way the songs on "Destroy The Opposition" are written demonstrates to a great extent just how much fun these guys have. Rather than keeping everything extremely down-tuned and continuing with the typical, (semi)serious nature of the death metal approach, the time changes and chord/note choice presented here show that DF write music that they really enjoy playing. It both shows off their amazing abilities as well as keeps you interested in what's going on. The guitar playing is excellent & exciting, and the drumming is even more jaw dropping because it's constantly all over the kit and slams out beats with both awesome precision and speed.
These guys really know how to put out an album that's memorable from start to finish. Check these guys out if you're looking for a very refreshing kind of death/grind. Favorite songs are the title track, "Epidemic of Hate", "Pissing in the Mainstream", and "For Us or Against Us".

Beyond Sanctorum
Beyond Sanctorum
8 used & new from $11.80

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Therion Missed The Mark With This Release, February 25, 2003
This review is from: Beyond Sanctorum (Audio CD)
I know people who swear by this album, but for some reason, as far as I'm concerned, this album missed the mark. Therion attempted to keep very close to the death metal style that was started in their far superior debut album "Of Darkness", but Therion fails here to maintain both the strength in songwriting and the style that was present in "Of Darkness". They didn't lose their edge with this release, but there's just something missing (aside from the lousy production).
Of Therion's first three albums ("Of Darkness", "Beyond Sanctorum" & "Symphony Masses"), I think it's safe to say that this one is the worst. As odd as it might sound, I think it was because this album was a transition album for a transition album. By that, I mean that "Symphony Masses" was where they truly got more experimental and started the transition to a polished symphonic approach, and "Beyond Sanctorum" was simply a stunted attempt to get there. I also believe that, as experimental as "Beyond Sanctorum" may be, it was stunted due to the band members involved. Therion's frontman himself, Christofer Johnsson, states in the notes for "Symphony Masses" that "Symphony Masses" was the first album where he could truly experiment since most other band members had left at that point and wouldn't have approved of such experimentation had they been there. I think "Beyond Sanctorum" was the result of Johnsson trying to be progressive but was held back by the people he was working with. The end result is exactly that - a subpar execution of ideas. I absolutely love Therion's debut "Of Darkness" and I think "Symphony Masses" definitely has its strong points, especially for a transition album, but "Beyond Sanctorum" simply fails to meet expectations as it's the 'transition for a transition'.
The overall feel to this album is that it's another death metal contribution, but in songs such as the title track, it becomes obvious that there were songwriting discrepancies and difficulties. Had Johnsson been able to experiment on this piece as he wanted, who knows how it would have turned out, for better or worse. One thing is for sure, though - "Beyond Sanctorum" is beyond help. Even when it's remastered.

Monument of Death
Monument of Death

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Poor Man's Vomitory, February 25, 2003
This review is from: Monument of Death (Audio CD)
(3.5 stars if possible)
First, let me start off by saying that this release is EASILY a 4 or 4.5 star release at the minimum. The musicianship here is great, the drums blast nearly the entire time (although there is actually some drum variety), the vocals are in the gutter, and the riffing is well done.
But there's a reason for me giving it such a low rating, namely the fact that they sound almost identical to another band - Vomitory. Vomitory has been around for a good while. One of their first efforts, "Raped In Their Own Blood", was released on a metal indie label before Vomitory was picked up by Metal Blade. They've released a number of discs on Metal Blade, and they have a very unique sound, combining a number of thrash elements with traditional death metal to create an extremely heavy yet technical sound. Think of it as Sinister + Witchery + Machine Head (first album). Vomitory's best release to date, in my opinion, is "Revelation Nausea" which was released in March 2001, prior to the December 2001 release of "Monument of Death" by Blood Red Throne. If you honestly compare those two albums, Blood Red Throne sounds waaaaaaay too much like Vomitory. BUT.. since Vomitory is one of my favorite bands, this is certainly not a bad thing! If it wasn't for the fact that Vomitory pretty much already has Blood Red Throne's sound, I'd give "Monument of Death" 4.5 stars easily.
Aside from the similarities which are cause for so much criticism from me, there are some big differences, too. Whereas Vomitory relies on a lot of thrash influences in their riffing style and songwriting, Blood Red Throne uses a much heavier dose of "death 'n roll" style drumming and guitar playing reminiscent of Entombed. Also, Blood Red Throne's production isn't quite as thick as Vomitory's, so even though the sound is thinner it provides for a slightly rawer experience.
All in all, I highly agree with the rest of the reviews here that Blood Red Throne is indeed a fantastic band, my only problem is that they're virtually identical in sound (at least in my opinion) to Vomitory. If you like Vomitory then check out this band, they rock. And if you really like Blood Red Throne, be sure to check out Vomitory! I highly recommend this album.

Close to a World Below
Close to a World Below
33 used & new from $5.22

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terribly, Terribly Cliché... But Still Great, February 25, 2003
This review is from: Close to a World Below (Audio CD)
"Close To A World Below" stands out as possibly THE best offering to the death metal genre from Immolation. The music is absolutely unrelenting the entire time, and the musicianship is some of the best out there. The vocals are also classic.
I recently reviewed their 2002 release "Unholy Cult", which is also amazing, and I hailed it as quite an impressive work, but "Close To A World Below" is, I feel, still a bit superior to even their recent release. The reason for this is that the music here is simply done in a slightly more traditional style, and done VERY well. It's certainly some of the heaviest death metal available, not to mention a top-notch release when looking at technicality as well. The great production on this album really helps bring out the intricacies of Immolation's sound.
The huge downside to this album, as another reviewer noted, are the terribly cliché, extremely anti-Christian lyrics added for the sole purpose of being offensive. These days, bands that include that kind of thing simply date themselves and demonstrate that they are unable to evolve (which was proved wrong in this case, since their follow-up release of "Unholy Cult" is definitely an evolutionary step for Immolation). The anti-Christian lyrics get pretty annoying sometimes, simply for repeatedly kicking the dead horse, so to speak.
"Close To A World Below" is quite possibly some of the most talented death metal available, but you have to be able to stomach the extreme anti-Christian lyrics. Despite the fact that a lot of aspects of this album are cliché, this is still a superb release and I highly recommend it.

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