Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve

I suppose I should wish any passer-bys to my blog a Happy New Year. Personally speaking, I hope it's better than 2008 really which was yet another flat year for me.

I have been writing metal reviews for a metal site for 6 months or so now. You can read my reviews here.

Pure Metal site

I am always open to writing reviews for other sites or even magazines god forbid should I be deemed good enough for a printed publication. Shock horror!! So if you know of any site looking for reviewers etc or anything like that please don't keep it to yourself.

I think I will have a Pizza tonight and plenty of beers to toast in the new year. On the football front it looks like this year's title is going to be a scrap between Livertool, Chelscum and United. Unfortunately it seems that the scousers have grown some backbone and are willing to fight their corner this year and not give up that easy. I'd hate to see them win the league after so long without and this year is special because if United win they will equal the hubcap fanciers on 18 titles and if the mickeys win, they will go 2 clear of us again which will be very hard to peg back.

Should be an exciting run in!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Top Death Metal Albums from 2008

Ok death metal fans and fans of the more aggressive side of metal here is the list that you will be more interested in. In reverse order...

50. Children Of Bodom - Blooddrunk.
Enjoyable and typical Bodom.

49. Stigma - When Midnight Strikes
Ultra melodic deathcore. Surprised myself by liking this. For fans of Black Dahlia Murder and Darkest Hour.

48. Norther- N.
Melodic Bodom style. What can i say I like it.

47. Visceral Damage - Icons of Massive Murder
Raw and semi-technical death with hints of melody and always cool riffing.

46. Martriden - The Unsettling Dark.
Unsettling dark is right..very brooding and heavy with dark atmosphere.

45. Cyaegha - Steps of Descent.
Groovy death with great riffs.

44. Destinity - The Inside.
Melodic death/thrash with some black parts but cool enough.

43. Resurrection - Mistaken for Dead
Old school punishing US death metal from Florida with mid paced Morbid Angelish sick grooves.

42. Death Heaven - Viral Apocalypse.
Heavy and chunky death grooves.

41. Hollenthon - Opus_Magnum.
Epic and dark with grand feel.

40. Dead Shape Figure - The Grand Karoshi.
Intricate death with cool riffs.

39. The Scourger - Dark Invitation To Armageddon.
Good quality melodic death/thrash metal with killer riffs

38. Apocalyptic Visions - Leave None Living.
Great death metal with a unique feel.

37. Casketgarden - Incompleteness In Absence.
At the Gates worship melodic death. Pretty good.

36. Infinitum - Behold_Eradication.
Catchy as a bad rash old school Deicide worship but miles better.

35. The Rotted - Get Dead or Die Trying
Formerly Gorrotted, these London bad bots changed the name and became a much more skilful band and not so joky. Some great songs and huge production here.

34. Myndsnare - Conditioned Human
Death worship from India of all places. Not perfect but a pretty great effort for a band from India just starting out.

33. Sympathy - Anagogic Tyranny
Thrashy and semi technical death with sweet riffs all over the place with sizzling leadwork.

32. Evocation - Dead Calm Chaos
Out of nowhere comes a great band aping the almighty Amon Amarth and also plenty of old school Swedish Death flavour. Realy enjoyable.

31. Demiurg - The Hate Chamber.
Classic old school stompathon. Dan Swano involved so you are guaranteed quality.

30. Vomit The Hate - Of Ignorance And Self Destruction.
Necrophagist copy band. Copying the best is a start at least.

29. Origin - Antithesis.
Hyperblast damnation unavoidable. Warp speed merchants return to lay waste once more. Most people are bored by them but somehow I love them and totally get the speed fixation.

28. Terminal Function - Measuring the Abstract
Good disk but a few influences I am not so fond of personally like the annoying vocals. Still they play super well of that there is little doubt.

27. Deny The Urge - Blackbox Of Human Sorrow.
Interesting mix of death and melodic thrash with great riffs.

26. Jack Slater - Blut Macht Frei.
German cinical death merchants with chunky and very cool semi tech riffs.

25. Hateform - Dominance.
Groovy and choppy death/thrash with sizzling solos.

24. Braindrill - Apocalytic Feasting.
Super brutal and super fast braindrilling delivered on a plate.

23. Kalmah - For the revolution.
Loved almost all Kalmah disks and this is no exception. Solid and melodic effort from them this time with soem great guitar/keys interplay with a very heavy sound as well.

22. Defloration - Necrotic Nightmares.
Groove based Cannibal Corpse worship with monstrous sound. The word HEAVY was invented for these guys.

21. Volturyon - Blood Cure.
A surprise. Heavy and groovy death with great riffs and sound.

20. Beneath The Massacre - Dystopia
Hyper brutal death with technical riffs. No prisoners taken!

19. Codeon - Source.
Technical death/thrash which has great sound but could have even been better than it is but still good.

18. Neptune - Acts Of Supremacy.
Top quality unknown melodic death. Perhaps the best melodeath release of the year for me.

17. Prey For Nothing - Violence Divine.
Unexpected classy death grooves from Israel with hi tech level riffing without being over the top and with massive production.

16. Coldworker - Rotting Paradise.
Ultra heavy and brutal death warmachine with thundering riffs heavy enough to move mountains.

15. Carnophage - Deformed Future-Genetic Nightmare.
Technical and fast death with very clean precise production.

14. Neuraxis - The Thin Line Between.
Technical and catchy midpaced death grooves with solid tempos and sound.

13. Eluveitie - Slania.
Folky melodic death masterpiece sometimes aping Dark Tranquility.

12. Equilibrium - Sagas.
Majestic folky viking black with huge melodies. Really enjoyable.

11. Subconscious - All Things Are Equal In Death.
Top notch and best Death worship disk from the deep underground.

10. Hieronymus Bosch - Equivoke
Melodic, free flowing midpaced technical death with nice riffs and unobtrusive vocals.

9. The Faceless - Planetary Duality
More brutal and mature but somehow not as good as previous CD. Still some amazing chops.

8. Revocation - Empire of the Obscene.
Technical death thrash with hi tech level and great whirling riffs.

7. Amon Amarth - Twilight Of The Thunder God.
Viking killing machine. Grand chest beating melodies from the Swedish horde but somehow not quite as good as last CD though it got better after repeated plays.

6. Arsis - We are the Nightmare.
Technical wizardry on the fretboard from these guys much better than United in Regret IMO.

5. Stigmatized - Becoming Unique.
Mix of Obituary and Death with great vox and riffs. Just the perfect mix between technicality and catchiness.

4. Psycroptic - Ob(Servant).
Technical death mastery this time slightly more relaxed allowing the music room to breathe. The production could have been better

3. Severed Savior - Servile Insurrection.
Superb and slick death mastery with hi technical level and a huge sound.

2. Deeds of Flesh - Of What's to Come.
High precision level, state of the art brutal death with amazing riffs. Easily their best album ever.

and to the number one and this year there was no real clear wide margin winner but if I have to I will give it to Decrepit Birth for improvement sakes alone considering their previous disk was a piece of shit and their new one on another level altogether.

1. Decrepit Birth - Diminishing Between Worlds.
Jaw dropping technical death with melody as well as great solos -what more could you want!

It was a solid year for death metal overall and there were enough great releases to keep everyone happy.

Top 50 melodic rock/metal albums of 2008

Ok time to post my top 50 melodic metal cds of the year. I always split the melody based albums from the aggressive albums. I find it very hard to make a list with the two styles mixed. It's much easier for me to compare music that is similar in nature rather than music of polar opposites. Anyway it's been another solid year for melodic metal fans out there. This year I enjoyed many more softer releases in the melodic rock/AOR world alongside a good dose of the usual power metal that I like. Here is the list in descending order:

50. Dragonfly - Alma Irae.
Argentinian power metal band sung in Spanish with a great singer. If sung in English would be higher.

49. Crown of Glory - A Deep Breath of Life.
Enjoyable light and airy melodic power metal with nice songs.

48. Revolution Renaissance - New Era
Decent effort from Tolkki and his singing stars.

47. Malpractise - Triangular
Muscular and chunky prog metal with tons of melody.

46. Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge
Hapy go lucky, beer swilling pirate metal from the silly Jockos!

45. Elevener - When Kaleidoscopes Collide
Smooth as silk Scandi AOR release that carresses the ears with honey.

44. Asia - Phoenix
Strong comeback record from all star 80s AOR outfit. Some cracking songs.

43. Cloudscape - Global Drama
Full bodied and powerful melodic power/prog with a melody laden vocal performance.

42. Crystal Eyes - Chained
Possibly the best Crystal Eyes album yet. Great singer and very cool memorable power metal tuneage.

41. Ramos Hugo - The Dream
Collaboration between Hugo and Josh Ramos comes up trumps. Edgy melodic hard rock with tough yet clean production.

40. Pyramaze - Immortal
The fact that Iced Earth didn't make my list shows you what I think of this CD.

39. Seventh Avenue - Terium
Super catchy hymns in prasie of the almighty here. Seventh Avenue were an ok band before but on this release they are good enough to join the Helloween/Gamma ray/Edguy power metal premier league.

38. Keldian - Journey of Souls
Was looking forward to this immensely after their very catchy debut and they don't dissapoint although it could have been even better. The band knows how to write catchy metal.

37. Serenity - Fallen Sanctuary
Top quality Power/Prog from the Austrians.

36. Saint Deamon - In Shadows Lost from the Brave
Top quality debut melodic power from Sweden. Looking forward to the follow up release.

35. Souljourners - Mind Control
Excellent melodic prog metal debut effort. Chunky and melodic with a solid singer.

34. Dignity - Project Destiny
Super catchy power metal with huge anthemic choruses all over the shop.

33. Khymera - The Greatest Wonder
Top quality Melodic Rock/AOR release from this all star European band.

32. Benedictum - Seasons of Tragedy
Very heavy US based power metal with the female Dio on vox.

31. Galneryus - Reincarnation
The best Japanese band I have ever heard that plays melodic power metal style.

30. Avantasia - The Scarecrow
Interesting release from Tobi. Some great memorable and epic songs much better than his day job IMO.

29. Disturbed - Indestructible
Modern metal that old school metal fans can easily get into. Melodic, heavy and catchy with powerful vocals.

28. Work of Art - Artwork
Super slick AOR with supremely sweet choruses.

27. Whitesnake - Good To Be Bad
Very strong comeback effort from Mr.Coverdale and Co. Fantastic crunchy guitar production.

26. Stormwarrior - Heading Northe
For fans of old Running Wild this is an absolute must.

25. Brainstorm - Downburst
Top class German power metal merchants don't let their fans down.

24. Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown
They are just plain fun love'm or loathe'm and they know how to write a real catchy chorus.

23. Eyefear - The Unseen
Very Surprised by this. Aussie prog metal merchants deliver a more straightforward and killer melodic metal release with OTT powerful vocals.

22. Seventh Wonder - Mercy Falls
Top quality conceptual melodic prog metal with a fantastic singer.

21. Anthem - Black Empire
I said Galneryus was the best band in Japan and yet Anthem's disk is rated higher! The reason being the surprise factor again. Didn't expect such wondrously enjoyable anthems from Anthem so to speak.

20. Grand Magus - Iron Will
Great return from Swedish warriors of epic mid paced metal with manly vocals. Heroic, chest beating warsongs to be played as loud as possible.

19. Journey - Revelation
Another surprise. Journey returns with a Filipino singer and makes their best album in many years. New singer is amazing and the songs are brilliantly memorable.

18. Royal Hunt - Collision Course
Another comeback disks of sorts with the brilliant power house Mark Boals on the vox truning in his best performance in many a day on the mic. The production is also out of this world.

17. Marcello Vestry - st
A debut melodic rock release guaranteed to put a smile on your face with super catchy tunes.

16. Almah - Fragile Equality
I prefer this to the last Angra release. Edu Falaschi's solo band just released a magnificent album that builds on the debut Almah release and then some.

15. Eden's Curse - The Second Coming
Miles better than the already solid debut. Crunchingly heavy and melodic guitars with sweet vocals and songs.

14. H.E.A.T. - st
From out of nowhere comes a pure 80s AOR release with wonderful vocals and melodies.

13. Rick Springfield - Venus in Overdrive
Once again a massive surprise for me. A modern take on the melodic rock genre but with massive hooks and surprising heaviness.

12. House Of Lords - Come To My Kingdom
A huge album in terms of songs and vocals. Could have been higher with slightly better production.

11. Her Whisper - The Great Unifier
Another unknown melodic metal gem from the underground. The guy sings like Messiah of Candlemass fame and the band are top notch melodic metallers.

10. Edenbridge - My Earth Dream
Been loving Sabine and co for a good while now and whilst this album is not quite as good as Shine, it is still truly a breathtaking and awe inspiring CD.

9. Bob Catley - Immortal
Bob hooked up with Magnus Karlsson which was a damn good move if you ask me. Bob himself is on top form and Magnus provides him with the ammunition songwise. Only magic can be the result.

8. Rage - Carved in Stone
A straightforward, powerful Rage album without any of the whistles and bells of the previous CD. Perhaps not as good as Soundchaser but getting there. The production is again marvellous with the crispiest guitar sound known to man.

7. Jorn - Lonely are the Brave
Jorn does what Jorn does best here - belt it out! Some of these songs create moments of genuine power and aural ambrosia!

6. Shinedown - The Sound of Madness
Once again a huge surprise and a truly monstrous disk. Modern melodic metal doesn't get much better than this. Amazingly powerful vocal performance as well.

5. Firewind - The Premonition.
Well Gus G is ever the monster shredder but the guy knows how to write tunes and with a singer like Apollo by your side you know you can't go wrong.

4. Axel Rudi Pell - Tales Of The Crown
Was looking forward to this immensely and I wasn't let down. I think Johnny Gioeli is my favourite singer in the world right now. The guy is an absolute monster on the mic! Mr. Pell fires the riffs and with the huge sound you just can't go wrong with this huge slab of Deutsch metal bellieve me.

3. Eclipse - Are You Ready to Rock.
I love being taken by surprise as you might have noticed and Eclipse did just that alright. This is just a fantastic release of fiery, hellishly catchy melodic rock from Sweden. These guys havetaken their time since their previous release and boy was it worth the wait. These songs are engraved on my brain for life.

2. Brother Firetribe - Heart Full Of Fire
This one wasn't a surprise at all as I was expecting massive things after the amazing debut and by jove they didn't let me down. If anything they superceded any expectations that I had with this album. Just an amazing batch of 80s melodic rock/AOR tunes that are impossible to dislike. Where they go on the third album is hard to tell, because this one was just through the stratosphere.

And yet they were still not my number one album. My runaway 'numero uno' from the band that can do little wrong in my eyes.

1. Sabaton - The Art of War
This band now has a trilogy of stellar disks on their hands. Just when you think how on earth will they be able to top their previous release, they go and do it and then some. It's superfluous to talk about individual songs on this album as there isn't a filler track in sight. Sabaton is truly one of the greatest power metal bands in the world today, if not the greatest. I can only dream of what they will come up with on the next album but I am so confident in the abilities of this band and I'm sure I won't be let down.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Some New Year Downloads.

What the hell after an age I will post some links to some of my uploads. More people might as well try them if they pass my blog. Just interested in seeing how many people download them. - featuring 10 of my current favourite melodic metal tunes. It's about 15 minutes long and a lot of fun. - Some Jap dude who shreds. - Shinedown bonus tracks from The Sound of Madness. Awesome tracks too if you ask me. - Solo album from Trev Lukather, Steve Lukather from Toto's boy. The song-writing skills were definitely passed down. - A unique CD limited to 1000 copies released as a money raising excercise for the great online rock radio station And yes I DID pay for mine!! :) - Great song from the Sly Stallone 80s flick Cobra. Sung by Jean Beauvoir. 80s Soundtracks were too cool. This song just has this great feel about it. Smells of Hollywood's extremely warm and dangerous nights. - This from Highlander II soundtrack sung by the almighty Lou Gramm of Foreigner. Great epic song. - I think this guy came runner up to David Cook in American Idol though I'm not certain. Anyway reson I like this is because I actually love the original - it's a classic. Not a bad effort from this guy either. - Title song from Hot Leg, who are Justin Hawkins's new vehicle. I think the song rules. Queen meets ZZ Top boogie! - Old band called Ya Ya. This is their 2nd album titled simply II. Pretty perfect anthemic AOR/Melodic rock. - Brand new Dark Moor track from the forthcoming album. Sounds good. - Unknown UK melodic thrashers. Pretty damn good if you ask me.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Blog Apathy

So long since the last post eh. Started off like a house on fire with plenty of enthusiasm but it gradually wears off after a while. I was meaning to post about all the exciting things happening in my life but alas it wasn't to be. I kept my hordes of readers waiting with baited breath - err not!

Anyway I've been to 2 gigs of late and am due to go to another one as well. Helloray was good. Hardcore Superstar rocked and I will be seeing Megadeth once again soon.

The weight-loss program is going badly and turing into a weight-gain fiasco! I have bought 2 dvds. I am still working for the agency. I still want to figure out a way to earn money from writing but haven't quite figured out how. I am not sure I am really up to it. I would love to do it but it's such a difficult profession and do I really have the basic skills for it?

Time seems to be flying by this year. I will try and post sooner next time to keep my patient followers happy! Maybe after the Mega gig. Keep'em peeled!