Tuesday, January 03, 2012

 

Shutting Down

I am closing up shop.  I am still continuing the Top 500 here as well as posting other lists on rateyourmusic.  Soon look for the worst metal albums and the best non hard-rock/metal albums.  Also best live albums, bootlegs, etc.

I may post an occasional observation here and there, but if I have something to say, I'll probably just make a note on facebook or something.

See you round Al Gore's playground friend(s)!!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

 

480 - Immortal - Pyramaze - 2008

So when I heart Matt Barlow joined Pyramaze I thought that was pretty cool and the result would be something special.  Legend of the Bone Carver and Melancholy Beast are really cool albums, so I figured with a better singer, Immortal would be a can't miss great record.

Well, it is a good record, but disappointing for sure.  My real beef here is that the album is a tad boring.  I mean in theory it works, but when I play the album I am just not that impressed.  Maybe I expected Dante's Inferno of something more substantial, but what it is is a collection of solid Power Metal songs, nothing more, nothing less.

Friday, December 30, 2011

 

481 - Back From the Grave - Grave - 2002

Tr00 Grave fans do not like this record, and I think the Death Metal Establishment (DME?) will tell you their first album is the best; however, I disagree.

For me, this album sounds more musically mature (I hate that word but I think it's the right one) than Grave's earlier works.  It sounds like they cared more for the quality of the music and production here.

This album is just as heavy and any of the previous works, but it is more cohesive.  Hell - it is just better.  Grave would eventually top this record, but in 2002, this was their high water mark, and they were getting better. They were not selling out or going soft as the DME may have you think.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

 

482 - Enigmatic: Calling - Pagan's Mind - 2005

The songs on this record could all be B-sides on Dream Theater's Images and Words.  That's not an insult.  Images and Words is one of the greatest records of all time, so B-side status on that record is pretty damn good.

It is hard to deny the Long Islanders influence on this band, and I don't think they ever did.  That being said, this record is better than anything Dream Theater has done in ages.

As with many progressive metal albums, it is too long and they certainly could have trimmed a fair share of fat away, but all in all, this is a cool album and recommended for fans of the sub genre.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

 

483 - Evil Star - Wolf - 2004

Evil Star is the third record from Swedish traditional metal act Wolf.  There is not much flash here, just solid traditional metal.  The production is slightly fuzzy and it gives the album a nice Mercyful Fate meets Iron Maiden vibe.

Wolf is not a clone band, and they get more points for originality than Primal Fear, but Wolf won't amaze you either.

A solid record from a good band.  Not much else to say.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

 

484 - Nuclear Fire - Primal Fear - 2001





"This guy sounds more like Halford than Halford". This is a great quote and will always stick in my mind. I know I've used it on this blog before, but it is appropriate, and needs to be used again. Primal Fear's lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers should have been Rob Halford's replacement in Priest, rather than Ted McGinley. However, Priest's mistake is a boon for Power Metal fans as Primal Fear have been churning out competent records for over a decade. This is one of their best.

Primal Fear will not win any awards for originality. While this is quite an understatement, it still does not completely detract from the fact that they write cool songs, and execute them perfectly, and with excellent production value. The sound is so crisp and clear, I wish more bands would have this sound.

Stefan Leibing and Henny Wolter play twin leads as well as anyone in the genre, save Smith/Murray and Tipton/Downing. The bass and drums are audible, and while not brilliant, certainly are audible in the mix and add something to the songs. Sure this is formula driven power metal by numbers, but Primal Fear does it well. And on this record, they do it particularly well, and thus Nuclear Fire is number 484.

Friday, December 23, 2011

 

485 - No Escape - At Vance - 1999



German Power Metallers At Vance are a band that I typically do not care for. While, they are a power metal band, most of their stuff is a bit like Dragonforce, who I have no use for. However, their first album, No Escape is a bit more raw than the rest of their releases and it is more of a straight up power metal record.

Big guitars and strong vocals are the ingredients here, and other than the sappy ballad, this album is solid all the way through. Even the weird Abba cover is not bad. The album is well produced and the sound is great. Really other than this record, there is not much convergence with At Vance and me, but this album is a good piece of power metal, so I like it and it is number 485.

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