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Endgame
Endgame
Price: $6.99
113 used & new from $1.52

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He finally did it!!, September 19, 2009
This review is from: Endgame (Audio CD)
I'm embarrassed to admit that I was completely unaware of this album until literally the day it came out. I'm not worthy, Dave!! Though I supposed I at least managed to spare myself the months of agonizing anticipation. Anyway, let's get to it. Contrary to what another reviewer wrote, Mustaine has been moving the band in this direction since The World Needs a Hero back in 2001, and he certainly wasn't following Metallica's lead in releasing this album (though the comparisons between the Black Album and Countdown are right on the money). United Abominations was promised to be a complete return to form after not quite getting there with Hero and The System Has Failed. While there's a lot to like on UA, there are also a lot of very average tracks and some that, while containing great moments, completely lack any kind of structure or direction (You're Dead and Burnt Ice come to mind).

So 2 1/2 after being somewhat disappointed by Abominations, I found myself trying to find the release date for Slayer's next album, only to discover that (GASP!!) Megadeth was releasing a new album that very day!!! And the reviews were stellar!! During my two hour commute home from work, I had plenty of time to wonder if Megadeth would finally deliver. Within the first 30 seconds of Dialectic Chaos, I knew that this album was a whole other animal than anything that had been released after Rust In Peace. By the end of 1320, I had a big smile that didn't leave my face for two days. This is the album that Dave Mustaine has been trying to make for nearly a decade now. There are songs that shred like it's 1985 (This Day We Fight!!, 1320, Endgame, Head Crusher), there are mid-tempo rockers that top anything they did in that vein during the 90s (44 Minutes Bodies, How the Story Ends), there's even a track that wouldn't feel too out of place on Youthanasia (The Hardest Part of Letting Go), the band's best non-thrash record, in my opinion. Is it perfect? No, I'm not too big on Bite the Hand and I'm still not sure what I think of Right to go Insane, but there's no such thing as a flawless Megadeth record.

The band may be little more than Dave and his revolving door of hired guns these days, but if there's one thing that can be counted on, it's that he'll give it 110%. This time, he nailed it. Rejoice and rattle your god damn head!!


The Proposition
The Proposition
DVD ~ Guy Pearce
Price: $6.49
175 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, underappreciated piece of work, September 7, 2008
This review is from: The Proposition (DVD)
I had intended to see this movie for a long time, but never really gotten around to it. I was finally sprung into action when I heard that John Hillcoat would be directing the upcoming adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road (outstanding book, by the way). In short, let me simply say that not only has my excitement for that film increased ten fold, but I have a new film in my top 10. The performances to a one are pitch-perfect, with Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone leading the charge as men forced to make difficult decisions by the circumstances which surround them. The dialogue is outstanting, the premise is unique and compelling and the direction is truly perfect. I cannot recommend this overlooked gem enough.


Ghost Reveries
Ghost Reveries
Price: $7.99
79 used & new from $1.45

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, a defining album of my lifetime., December 12, 2005
This review is from: Ghost Reveries (Audio CD)
With the release of Ghost Reveries, I'm ready to make it official: Opeth have sold their souls. That is the only explanation I can come up with for how they so regularly churn out such astounding music. It would take most bands an entire career to pull off an album half as bold, complex and ambitious as any of the 8 albums Opeth has given us in the last decade. They have never failed to raise the bar for themselves and metal as a whole. Now they give us Ghost Reveries, one of their most ambitious offerings yet. Although, in this highly commercialized age, it is hard to see Opeth reaching the same sort of pantheon status, I would not hesitate to put them in the same room as Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath in terms of what they have done with music. Here's the track by track:

Ghost of Perdition: Brace yourself, that's the best advice I can give for the first time you hear this song. Do not let those first 8 seconds fool you, because that is all the time they give you to say goodbye to your face before they rip it off. The first minute of this song is downright brutal. Another thing you should make note of in this song is Mikael's clean singing, which he uses in new, more interesting ways than he has previously. It makes appearences in the heavier sections where, normally, he would be growling, and sounds more sinister than it ever has. At once familiar and entirely new, this is one of the best opening tracks i've ever heard.

The Baying of the Hounds: Some have compared moments on this song to Deep Purple, I don't know if I'd go that far, but it does have a bit of a swagger to it that I've never from Opeth heard before. The opening riff is probably my favorite on this album, and the clean vocal part at around 2 minutes is very interesting. It almost sounds....happy. Like I said, Mikael's clean singing on this album is being taken in all sorts of new directions. Watch out for the riff around 6:20 when the heaviness kicks back in, it may cause you to kill someone.

Beneath the Mire: The intro is definately something new, key boardist Per Wiberg is most prominently on display here and took awhile to grow on me, now I love it. It is very groove oriented and an interesting new direction for the band. The solo around 3:30 is a classic. Now, this may come off as a bold statement, but I think this song may be Mikael's best vocal performance ever. His growls are horrifying and vicious on a level he's never quite reached before. His clean vocals go through several different, amazing sections that all but carry the song. A lot of people didn't like the way this song ended, but I thought it was really cool and yet another unexpected twist in this frequently surprising song.

Atonement: The weakest track on the album, in my opinion. It gets points for being a true original in the Opeth catalog. It's very psychedelic and experimental, reminiscent of something The Beatles might've done. That said, it never really goes anywhere and doesn't hold my interest.

Reverie/Harlequin Forest: Whoa, this track is a f***ing monster. The opening two verses mark the most pronounced change in the way Akerfeldt uses his clean singing. The death metal vocals are used more or less as an interlude and for the finale. Mikael and Lindgren's guitar work on this track is unforgettable. The ending could have been a little better, it comes off as a more lumbering version of the ending of Deliverance, really a minor complaint when the rest of the song is so stellar.

Hours of Wealth: My favorite light track on this CD, I'm finding it's too often overlooked. The intro is absolutely gorgeous, it's borderline hypnotic. Once again, though, Akerfeldt's vocals steal the show. Almost completely unaccompanied except for a few well-timed keyboard strokes from Wiberg, the emotion in this very stripped down performance is undeniable. Of all the tracks, this is the one on the album the stuck in my mind immediately.

The Grand Conjuration: Ah, here we are, the contriversial single. I will admit I was a bit concerned when I heard the cut down version of the song, however, it grew on me and the unedited version blew me away. Probably the simplest of Opeth's trademark epic tracks, it sticks to the same basic structure and riff throughout. Careful with this thing, it doesn't let up once in its entire 10 minutes. Even the lighter sounding sections simmer with tension, making sure you know what's coming. The solo following the second chorus is awesome.

Isolation Years: Very intersting, Opeth usually choose something a bit more climactic to finish off their albums. That said, this is a nice little epilogue to all the chaos we've just been through. It's a short, simple, soothing song that will not immediately grab your attention, but you should make sure not to ignore.

Bottom Line: Opeth should not be thanking Roadrunner for getting them decent distribution (FINALLY), Roadrunner should be thanking Opeth for adding such an amazing piece of work to their library.


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