Saturday, 31 October 2009

Creed - Full Circle

Now this album has taken me by complete surprise. I am a massive fan of Alter Bridge and when I heard that Creed were getting back together for an album and tour I was a bit disappointed as I thought it might be the end of AB. Well they soon announced that AB would continue once Creed had run it's course of touring.

Now the previous Creed material was so so to say the least so I didn't really hold out much hope for the new CD. Now that I've heard the whole thing I am completely bowled over. This is an amazingly strong modern rock record. Scott Stapp's vocals are top notch and the rest of the band is on top notch form especially Mark Tremonti's crunching riffs and solos. Here's my song by song review.

1. Overcome - A monstrously great start. Heavy riffing and Stapp singing magnificently over the top. The chorus on this beast of a heavy and melodic song stays forever. 9/10

2. Bread of Shame - This song is the heaviest on the record by far. It almost has a crunching nu-metal feel to it. I wasn't sure about this song at first but it's slowly been growing on me. The chorus is not immediately magical but starts to nag away at you after a few plays. An extremely heavy song though for a band like Creed. 7/10

3. A Thousand Faces - The first of the great powerful ballads on this awesome album. Acoustic start with Stapp crooning before guitars join in and Stapp gets more aggressive in the chorus which is supremely emotional and catchy. This song could easily grace an Alter Bridge album. The melodies from Stapp are so powerful and in your face. I love the harmony vocals behind the chorus parts immensely. 9/10

4. Suddenly - This song has a nice heavy riff before the main verses use a groove riff which reminds me of Disturbed quite a bit and Stapp soon goes into the chorus and what a gem it is. The 'suddenly' refrains stay in your mind and send chills up your spine. The riffing in this song is ace and add that to the amazing vocal acrobatics you have the first 10/10 of the album.

5. Rain - This one is a soft acoustic led song and could possibly be a huge single for the band with it's commercial feel and hit appeal. The chorus gets electrified and the melody is totally engrossing. The lyrics are sentimental but the melody is very hard to resist and Stapp sings it magnificently. 9/10

6. Away In Silence - The third balladic song in a row and you would think a heavy rocker was in order, but with this level of quality I don't miss the heaviness at all. Stapp's voice is absolutely wonderful on this song. Emotional to the point of bringing a lump to your throat. The lyrics are very heavy and sad. The line "If my life is the price, then my life it will cost" is sung with such heartfelt power and emotion like it's really meant to the nth degree. 9/10

7. Fear - Ok after the three ballads a heavy song had to arrive and what a song it is! A superbly heavy and crunching groove riff like something Metallica would write on the black album. The songs verse is somewhat laid back and doesn't let on to the glorious parts to come on. The chorus an impassioned plea to keep rocking as you never know when it might all end. This chorus is truly sung with amazing power and catchiness. The riff behind it is so cool and catchy and Scott Stapp sings it with great tone. The song builds to a heavy as hell end with even more aggression before a quiet little bridge before finally ending with the full on massive chorus once again. I love this song it friggin' rocks like a bastard! 10/10

8. On My Sleeve - The emotion and power in this song is almost draining when I listen to it. An acoustic start with Scott's usual crooning and wonderful melodies and poignant lyrics before the chorus goes full on electrified. This chorus could be the best the album has to offer. The "My heart is tattooed on my sleeve...." line is sung with so much passion that he feels like he's about to burst a blood vessel! The emotion just pours out from every pore in this moving and amazingly catchy song. 10/10

9. Full Circle - The title track is up next and starts up with a slight country flavour before the usual full on electric chorus kicks in. The melody is again very nice but doesn't hit you as quickly as the other songs. The song has a very nice playful feel to it with still a great vocal performance from Stapp. The song gradually builds in heaviness with Stapp really singing aggressively towards the end which sounds damn cool. A slow building song but sure to get under your skin before long. 8/10

10. Time - The usual acoustic and mellow start with Stapp doing his usual smooth vocals and this time the song stays in acoustic mode during the chorus. The chorus itself is yet another heart rending marriage of emotional melody and the little bit of grit in Stapp's voice which makes it such a pleasure to listen to. The song progresses to a heavier end and we have another huge song on our hands. 9/10

11. Good Fight - Another moody and acoustic start with the electric instruments soon joining in for the chorus which has a soaring edge to it and sung very powerfully by Stapp. It's not an immediate chorus but decent enough with plenty of power behind it. The guitar is super heavy and grinding during the mid section before a typically awesome Tremonti solo steels the show once again. This is a slow and heavy song, drenched in aggression. 7/10

12. The Song You Sing- Finally we reach the final song and it's a glorious gem. The melody and the somewhat interesting lyrics are to die for. The chorus melody is something precious with it's simplicity and catchiness. A great end to a fantastic modern rock record. 9/10

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Playing the 'mickeys' today

Yes it's one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures on the football calendar later on today. United go deep into the Lion's den looking for some sort of revenge after the utter trouncing they gave us in our own backyard towards the end of last year. That 4-1 hammering wasn't very nice of them was it!

United did manage to fall over the line and win the league but losing 4-1 to your bitter rivals on your own patch is rather hard to swallow indeed. Liverpool have lost 4 games on the trot and perhaps they are due a result today which irks me somewhat. Still if we perform well and not get beat I'll be happy enough. A win is a bonus. Roll on kick off!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

W.E.T. WOW!!!

Absolutely jaw droppingly incredible melodic rock release!!

What a friggin cd this is. I must must must must buy immediately once it's out for purchase properly. This is a project between 1 member from Work Of Art, 1 member from Eclipse and 1 member from Talisman, hence W.E.T.

The Talisman part is voiced by the legend Jeff Scott Soto so you know you are guaranteed killer melodic vocals with edge. Now Eclipse released an amazing record last year as did Work of Art so I was expecting huge things from this with Jeff singing and my expectations have been SURPASSED!!!!

This is unreal. The Forsi melodic hype machine is in overdrive baby!!!

The songs are truly orgasmic and Jeff sounds the best he has ever done, weaving some totally incredible melodies around your head. If you are a fan of melodic rock/AOR you will fall in love with this in a nano second. This is plain awesome. Now I have to decide how I can compare this to Place Vendome to see what is my numero uno melodic rock/AOR disk of the year. I didn't think PV could be challenged but W.E.T. have gatecrashed that one horse race and then some. It's a toughie! I will write a song by song review soon once I've digested the songs a bit more.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Dream Theater Live Report

Got in around 7pm and Bigelf were playing as I walked in. They sounded ok. Warm, fuzzy, heavy prog rock played by very 70s spaced out looking people. I saw about 4 songs. Portnoy got on the drums for one of their songs. I had already missed Unexpect but not a massive loss for me as I don't get their brand of technical weirdness. Mind you it would have been cool to see if they can pull it off live, anyway I didn't lose any sleep over it.

Next it was Opeth or Odear as I called them last night. They bored me shitless. The sound was less than good for them when they played the heavier songs. I listened to about 3 songs and I thought fuck this for a game of soldiers - I'm going for a pint and a hot dog. So I went for a little walk round to the other side of the arena and poppped my head in to see that Odear were still on stage .......yaaaaaaawwwwnnnnn. (Sorry Opeth fans they bored me badly)

Finally they left and the roadies got the stage ready for DT behind a large black curtain which meant you couldn't actually see what they were doing. At 9.15 their intro started playing, being a DT first timer and non DT fan I didn't really know what to expect but have heard so many good things about their live performance. The thing is I don't listen to DT much at all but when I listen it's quite enjoyable. Anyway as the show started the sound was way way better than it was for Odear. Much crisper and clearer. I can't even tell you exactly what songs they played well apart from the encore which was Count of Tuscany and the best song of the night no doubt. I must say the live James Labrie experience is much much better than the one on plastic. The guy is a supreme live prog metal singer, sounding much much more powerful than I was expecting. Petrucci and the keys guy whose name I forget were both great. The bassman Myung was ace too and Portnoy was solid as well.

I think enjoyed the over the top progressive jam session parts best of all with the band members really playing tighter than the proverbial nun's whatsit. The drum solo section was a bit too much though lol. Portnoy called each individual drummer from the other three groups out to jam with him on his ginormous kit and then finally all four of them were bashing away! Now if you've seen his drum kit you'll know that it's like a spaceship landed at the front of the arena or something. It's really massive so four guys sitting at it was not really a problem but that part probably took up 15-20 minutes of the set when we could have done with a Pull Me Under or something a song which was sadly omitted. I guess they are sick of playing it but being a first timer I would have liked to hear it.

Anyway the 5000 or so metalheads of various ages were well happy with their heroes as DT took a final bow and the show ended at 10.50. So now I have "wanting to catch DT live" out of system I doubt I will go again. They were damn great and professional as hell, but the ticket price prohibits me in general from wanting to see them again. I will leave that to the fanboys and trust me they were out in full force last night. Speaking of the crowd I must say that DT attracts some of the most varied crowds I have ever seen at a metal show. You get absolutely all sorts of folks there. From professor looking types to 12-13 year old fanboys to black metal fans and even a few goths and a lot of regular looking people who don't probably normally attend metal shows. I guess DT music can appeal to anyone really which is all the more credit to them.