Dienstag, 22. August 2017

HELLOWEEN - "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" (2015)

HELLOWEEN - "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT"
(Running time: 61:20 minutes; 13 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2015; CD):
And on we go, still remaining for a while "ongoingly" in the year of 2015 and remaining still in the Metal and Rock department also with this very one here (and I think I'll probably make out of this whole month finally a complete and "through-and-through" Rock/Metal month up here, even this wasn't anyhow planned but so far it's exactly that and so I think I will stick to/with it this month), and here's my review on the mighty HELLOWEEN's 2015 full length album "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" released via the german "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS" label and it's still so far and for all what I know the current/actual release of/by the legendary HELLOWEEN and so there's anyhow more than enough justification to still do a review on it up here even it's already two years old now. HELLOWEEN are true Metal legends from Germany and they mean a lot to me, even my personal favorites of/by them are all offspring(s) of their still very strong today going (hm... anyway... you know what I want to say ;-) ...) Andi Deris era and my all time favorite HELLOWEEN album is definitely their unrivaled "MASTER OF THE RINGS" masterpiece, yes, and what shall I say: "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" comes incredible damn close to "MASTER OF THE RINGS" in the sense of its quality and its approach, too, with its fantastic cocktail of top notch melodic Heavy Metal, speedfilled Power Metal respectively powerful Speed Metal marks and doses in it, and with a big stunning load of massively hard rocking and heavy grooving Heavy Rock ingredients, all melted together by larger than life melodies, a over the top hymnal/anthemic potential/approach, a first class tight and to the point as well as diverse and multi-layered/rich-on-variations-and-surprises songwriting, and a just sheer fantastic highest skilled guitar work and all is crowned by Andi Deris' stunning and very charismatic vocals. The songs or better the writing and the arrangements and the composition of the songs cover a damn wide palette of different approaches (from gloomy stompers to huge dramatic tension-builders to hard rockin' and groovin' anthems and then to speedy power monsters we find everything on "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT", and this all also on the highest levels of quality), and all is also done very, very intense and each song truly shines with its very own strong atmosphere and pretty unique character, yes, with its very special flavor to it, painting a rich and diverse picture with overwhelming impressive varied different colorful tonings and moods that are mirrowed in the very multiple/diverse "musical work" on "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" and this painted "musical picture" is just nothing than fascinating, grapping, interesting, rousing, and just "stunningly" awesome and it offers so much, so many different surprises and fresh ideas and is also so uplifting and rousing, soulful and playful, all done with so much passion and diversity to it, yes, this is just a totally amazing piece of music of the very highest quality, period. Prepare yourself for brilliant powerful, melodic, rocking, grooving, symphonic, high skilled, diverse, and just fantastic guitars delivering massive rhythm work, bright shining leads, and strongest solos; for above all shining amazing charismatic lead vocals that are also often nicely backed up by hymnal backings; for a sheer full force rhythm section played in a diverse way all the time to the point; for stunning verses and anthemic refrains; and prepare yourself for all this done in a brilliant way, point and fact. A big bunch of very good and pretty cool lyrics we get on top of it, as well as a typical, very cool HELLOWEEN artwork, and a first class transparent and also powerful production sound. My personal favorite songs are "HEROES", "STAY CRAZY", "LOST IN AMERICA", "RUSSIAN ROULÉ", "THE SWING OF A FALLEN WORLD", "CREATURES IN HEAVEN", "LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE", "IF GOD LOVES ROCK & ROLL", and "CLAWS", but don't make the mistake and think that the other here and now not mentioned songs would be anyhow weak or something like this, because hell no, that they are definitely not. The only song that I can't really "follow" is the finishing song "YOU, STILL OF WAR", an epic and I'm pretty sure also an anyhow pretty strong song but I simply somehow can't relate to it. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that's just a matter of me and my personal taste and not of the general musical quality of this particular song. Yes, I'm very sure about/on this. Something that I haven't mentioned in a clearly "outpointed" manner so far is how impressed I am by the constantly very fresh and grapping dynamics and the also constantly very high energy levels of the whole album, just fantastic and, like already said, very impressive. Okay, I think that's it so far, and if you love some impressive and fresh up-to-date yet real and just honest and fantastic Heavy Metal and if you really still should not know or have HELLOWEEN's "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" then by any means make sure to finally change this and best do this right now, this is a nearly perfect album that I can only highly recommend to you even now two years after it first saw the light of day.
(9 of 10 points)
https://www.helloween.org/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





HELLOWEEN - "LOST IN AMERICA" /live\ (2015, "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT")















Montag, 21. August 2017

BLIND GUARDIAN - "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" (2015)

BLIND GUARDIAN - "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR"
(Running time: 71:14 minutes; 11 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2015; limited digi-book CD release):
Hey guys, here's the next one coming for you. And also or still right now we'll currently linger on in the year 2015 with this very post here and now, my record-review on BLIND GUARDIAN's 2015 and so far still current full-length-album "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR", and this was a pretty strong surprise for me. But okay, one step after another and now also a few steps back, starting this one here with a view or look on BLIND GUARDIAN's discography (in parts) so far. The predecessor "AT THE EDGE OF TIME" was released in 2010 and so five full years lay in between "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" and its mentioned predecessor; the predecessor is so far still pretty unknown to me like more or less all albums of this german legends since their 1998's "NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE EARTH". I guess you may could say that I was simply not in the targetgroup of BLIND GUARDIAN from then on anymore. Not that I ever said the albums would suck or BLIND GUARDIAN turned to crap and especially never said that BLIND GUARDIAN would sort of suck since then because they developed and refused to record their old albums forever on. No, from then on BLIND GUARDIAN or their records were or became simply sort of too overloaded in a musical-sense for me and my personal taste (back then). Long talking, short saying: The pretty controversial but also interesting reviews on "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" finally really made me damn curious and so I decided to give it a fair try, to give BLIND GUARDIAN finally a fair try again... and that's where my surprise starts to happen or to become reality, because you know what, damn it, this is damn strong one, nah, this is a great one, and it's probably BLIND GUARDIAN's so far most complex, "artistic", and "richest" album to date, full of (three) real (!) choirs and orchestras, incredible dissolute and sweeping bombastic and dramatic arrangements and structures, inspirations taken from operas, and just sheer diverse and rampantly sprawling symphonic and epic compositions and I would go even so far to ennoble BLIND GUARDIAN with "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" to sort of the today's QUEEN of Heavy Metal, for sure, yes, and even when you really have sort of a "demanding-but-damn-enjoyable" time to work yourself into "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" but when you invest your curious open-minded interest into it (and that's something that the album definitely demands from/of you) and allow the album to grow on you, then you'll really find one damn impressive and rousing, one damn great album that will give you uncountable hours of big enjoyment for a very long, long while. This is symphonic and epic, (pretty often) still surely speedfilled and (all the time) very powerful, top notch up-to-date Heavy Metal with a bombastic and orchestral and "operatic" as well as sort of a "proggy" approach to it all shining with a very non-conform demanding songwriting that's (absolutely) sticking "out of the ordinary"and that's of "high-artistic-quality" delivered by for sure very high skilled musicians, filled with impressive and charismatic lead vocals shining above all and strong back up choirs and mighty multi-layered forceful guitars, a sheer force like rhythm section, yes, and then with all the above already mentioned "other" ingredients and trademarks to it all. Work yourself into this little/big masterpiece and best ignore the "nostalgic" haters and naysayers of "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" and just allow and let yourself to be carried away by BLIND GUARDIAN and sink with joy and pleasure and fascination into this very own and incredible intense and atmospheric and very and highly unique world that they've created here with and on "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR"; something that, at least in my book, they haven't managed that intense and overwhelming since my personal all-time-favorite of/by them: "IMAGINATIONS FROM THE OTHER SIDE" from 1995. And it's also a very brave album and (for example) to place a 9:28 minutes song like "THE NINTH WAVE" as the opener of the album is an impressive statement of its very own, especially because it also works perfect(ly) out. Great lyrics and a incredible beautiful artwork as well as a forceful production sound we get on top of it all. I only sort of dislike a bit somehow "MIRACLE MACHINE", why the hell ever, it's for sure not that it would be anyhow bad or weak or something like this but this particular song and me, myself, and I somehow just don't really connect, like I've already said: why the hell ever; but beside this we only get here pure gold. Okay, I close this review here and now because I could go on and on but I would still feel like not doing justice to this album, and so I'll leave it and you here and now with saying that I can only highly recommend this to any fan of symphonic, artistically, epic, and metallic surely larger-than-life and unique music full of tension, intensity, and atmosphere, and in case you really don't have or know or if you haven't given it a fair chance so far then change this very soon and discover this incredible album. Highly recommended.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.blind-guardian.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)




BLIND GUARDIAN - "THE NINTH WAVE" (2015, "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR")















Samstag, 19. August 2017

MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" (2015)

MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES"
(Running time: 54:26 minutes; 10 songs)
("Steamhammer"/"SPV"; 2015; CD+DVD limited version):
Next one's coming in and we'll remain a little bit in the year 2015 with this record review being again a record review on a 2015 album and here and now we will have a closer look on the 2015 MAGNUM album "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES", the 19th regular full length album by this British Grandmasters of Rock/Hard Rock music (live and compilation albums not counted here and now) in a now 45 years spanning career, and it's also for all what I know their current regular full length album to date with having released since then just a "THE BALLADS" or so titled compilation album more or less recently this year, I guess. I knew MAGNUM before this one, to be honest, not really at all (I know, shame on me), some of their "hits" (I guess) were known to me but beside this bunch of songs not much else. When I then read two years ago a lot of very interesting and positive reviews on "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" I got curious and when I finally saw it in the local media store I grabbed it, bought it and took it with me, and it convinced me pretty much right from the start. This is just damn fresh and intersting, exciting and from start to finish grapping, very heavy and yet symphonic-melodic Hard Rock of the premium kind and with some nice strong Rock/AOR marks in it all, and it is also very self-contained/independently done with a huge own identity and a pretty unique own character, with big bombastic elements/arrangements and all delivered with overwhelming playfulness. The songwriting is pretty diverse and all the time high skilled, covering a wide area or stretch/distance of truly wide emotions, tones/tonings, and moods, not to talk about all the majestic changes of the paces and in the rhythmic architecture and the arrangements of the songs as well as in the dramaturgy of the strong tension building and atmospehric close songs. This is really high skilled stuff the premium way and it's a really grapping album, very intense and it really stands out even still today with already being two years old now. It's an exciting musical roller coaster ride and a, if you want so, pure "joyride" for sure with a lot of little, huge surprises in it all. Gorgeous, diverse, sensitive and melodic yet stunningly heavy guitars mark and carry the songs in combination with the fantastic piano/keyboard playing and the bright shining melodic and still pretty heavy or maybe better strong done clear lead vocals with that charismatic tone to it, and the fantastic tight, precise, diverse, and to the point played rhythm section is then backing everything up in a beefy and bulky way and is so giving the songs the/their final heavy punch, and all done highest skilled. First class expressive lyrics, a brilliant and gorgeous artwork, and a warm yet bonedry and heavy production sound are then rounding everything just beautifully up. My personal favorites are the title track and opener "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES", "PRINCESS IN RAGS (THE CULT)", "AFRAID OF THE NIGHT", "A FORGOTTEN CONVERSATION", "QUIET RHAPSODY", and "DON'T CRY BABY" and that are purest gems you simply need to know, period. And in my book the only really weak or at least weaker song is the personally for me just too corny ballad "YOUR DREAMS WON'T DIE" that I skip more or less always, but that's at the end just a matter of personal taste and says pretty much nothing about the musical quality of this particular song. So, with all this said, with "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" the mighty MAGNUM delivered us one hell of a great album and to every Rock/Hard Rock fan out there I can only highly recommend it and this also still today with now being already two years old. The bonus DVD is also pretty nice stuff and offers us also three strong bonus songs that are more than worth listening. Okay, so I guess you know what you should do now in case you still don't have  or know it. So, yes, with having said everything I am signing out for today and so I wish you all a nice saturday, enjoy your weekend, I'll try it as well... and you read from me again more or less soon or so. Bye.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.magnumonline.co.uk/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" (2015, "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES")











Freitag, 18. August 2017

SCORPIONS - "RETURN TO FOREVER" (2015; limited CD release)

SCORPIONS - "RETURN TO FOREVER"
(Running time: 66:43 minutes; 17 songs)
("Sony Music"; 2015; CD/limited edition, feat. 4 bonussongs)
Hey folks, I managed more or less succesfully to get myself up again, at least a little bit, and so now it's time to kick things "off'n'loose" here again. Today I'm returning with a record-review on a 2015 release and it's no other than the so far still current SCORPIONS' album "RETURN TO FOREVER" released in, of course, 2015 via "SONY MUSIC". Yes, yes, yes, I know, back then five, six, if not already seven years ago with "STING IN THE TAIL" the SCORPIONS announced their final good-bye-album and since then several different live and compilation releases and then in 2015 with "RETURN TO FOREVER" even another full-length-album saw the light of day, I know... but you know what: Who the hell cares?!? If you don't like it, well that's fine, just don't take notice, just don't care. And if you like? Well, then all is even more "finer". I grew up with the SCORPIONS and they were one of the first Hard Rock/Heavy Metal bands I've ever listened to and I managed more or less to stick with them through "ups'n'downs" over now 25 years and I love to see and hear them being finally again/back as strong now in their (late) autumn of their career like back in their glory days and so I was incredible curious about this album back then... and how the SCORPIONS conquered me with "RETURN TO FOREVER", just outstanding amazing, and they conquer me all the time again and again with it. This is heavy rockin' and energetic rollin', yet very catchy and especially hymnal/anthemic Hard Rock of the greatest and strongest kind, filled with killer guitar work that shines in the fantastic rhythm work and rhythmic arrangements and that so nimbly work larger than life symphonic melodies, exciting solos, and grapping leads into it all, sometimes with a "bluesy" and sometimes with a "jazzy" tone, sometimes toned strongly Rockabilly-like, all very fresh, strong, highest skilled, and just totally stand alone; and that here are the SCORPIONS and no one else at work you get right from the get-go and all the time. Amazingly unique. And yes, the guitars really are the strongest marking element of the songs and the music, together with the absolutely stunning and charismatic lead vocals. The rhythm section then is going very diverse, versatile, tight, beefy'n'bulky, and elated, all at the same time, at/to work. What I really love is the fantastic fresh and alive/lively, very diversified outstanding highly exciting songwriting that's in some parts maybe even one of the strongest ever in the anyhow outstandingly strong SCORPIONS histo-/discography. A lot of fresh and grapping surprises, attention arousing twists'n'turns, highly energetic dynamics, greatly done variations of rhythms and pace(s), yes, "RETURN TO FOREVER" is an incredible rich filled treasure box that holds a lot of just sheer fantastic gems for us to discover in store. And it's also a highly emotional album filled with strong, honest emotions and that delivers a rich palette of different and wide ranged moods and tonings/tones. Something that's also nothing but great and even "greater-than-just-great" is the fact that this album is incredible relaxed and smooth in the sense that you really get right from the start and without any break up through to the final that here's a band delivering the goods that's completly doing solely what the fine gentlemen in the band want to do, you really get that there's nothing like the need to convince anyone anymore or so and that's just so refreshing and makes me "only" love "RETURN TO FOREVER" even more. And that the four bonussongs are songs that also shine as bright as the regular album songs just showcase how strong the SCORPIONS (again) really are these days. My personal favorites are "GOING OUT WITH A BANG", "WE BUILT THIS HOUSE", "ROCK MY CAR", "HOUSE OF CARDS", "ROCK'N'ROLL BAND", "HARD ROCKIN' THE PLACE", "EYE OF THE STORM", "THE SCRATCH", and "GYPSY LIFE", and from the bonussongs especially "THE WORLD WE USED TO KNOW", "DANCING WITH THE MOONLIGHT", and "WHEN THE TRUTH IS A LIE" are purest gold, ah, damn it, and for "ONE AND ONE IS THREE" that counts as well. And yes, I have to admit, I simply love this unique and stand-alone album, and I just love the SCORPIONS, period. The lyrics are also just first-class and the artwork is a pure beauty and the production sound is "in-just-one-word" perfect. One of the very best Rock/Hard Rock albums I've listened to in years and probably also one of the very best we'll listen to for years to come; and also probably one of the very best ever. I can only recommend this larger than life album, and so, yes, if you are into supreme Rock/Hard Rock music and you (why-the-hell-ever?) really shouldn't know/have "RETURN TO FOREVER" already then you should change this as soon as possible. My highest recommendations.
(10 of 10 points)
https://www.the-scorpions.com/ (-the link to band's homepage)





SCORPIONS - "WE BUILT THIS HOUSE" (2015, "RETURN TO FOREVER")






SCORPIONS - "THE SCRATCH" (2015, "RETURN TO FOREVER")






SCORPIONS - "DANCING WITH THE MOONLIGHT" /live\ /acoustic\ (2015, "RETURN TO FOREVER")







SCORPIONS - "HARD ROCKIN' THE PLACE" (2015, "RETURN TO FOREVER")












Mittwoch, 16. August 2017

STEEL PANTHER - "LOWER THE BAR" (2017)

STEEL PANTHER - "LOWER THE BAR"
(Running time: 39:21 minutes; 11 songs)
("Steel Panther Inc." & "Kobalt Label Services American, Inc."; 2017; CD):
Okay folks, back on track again... or no... definitely not back on track again, no definitely not... and so I use this post (and with each of the following ones for a pretty long while it will be the exact same case) pretty much as a sort of a "therapeutic measure" to somehow try to get out one day of this deep hole in that I'm currently completly stucked in... yes, the two days ago or so mentioned "private troubles" couldn't be, hm, yes, couldn't be solved... instead of being solved "they" rather definitely got the best of me... but how-ever, life sucks and we all gonna die, I guess, but this blog never was and never will be an emo blog so okay, how-ever, life goes on one day, I guess, again/too, and so, yes, here we go again: Here and now comes my review on the current STEEL PANTHER album "LOWER THE BAR" and beside some (mostly funny) singles this is the or better my first full-length experience with STEEL PANTHER, and if you shouldn't know STEEL PANTHER so far than be prepared for a load of pubertal funny, tasteless humorous and self-deprecating Sleaze Rock or maybe even better Hair Metal that's musicwise really strong and that's lyricwise... giving you a big blush in your face while listening to it, and even more when you start singing along to it due to the damn catchy and hymnal approach of the music and the songs. And with that said we're already right in the middle or the action of this review.  Do you like Sleaze Rock or Hair Metal like for example WARRANT or MÖTLEY CRÜE?!? Great, then you're at the right place here with STEEL PANTHER; even for all what I would say STEEL PANTHER are, yes, just sort of a parody, yes, a "comedy band". And I also think they by themselves made this all the time pretty clear. That out of the way... yes, you now could say that in my current mood that's definitely a total inadequate band and album to listen to and to review it and you would be right, no discussions, but I now have this one already a few months and I have listened to it quite often and so I'll do it anyhow anyway today/tonight; just don't be confused when it will maybe turn out to be sort of a less enthusiastic one then you're used to get up here (less enthuastic because of my above mentioned damn depressing current situation). STEEL PANTHER deliver us strong rocking, yet melodic guitars that kick off cool groovin'n'rollin' rhythms, a nice load of variations of pace and rhythmic arrangements and that also and especially deliver us taste-safe and tasteful catchy and hymnal leads as well as a bunch of cool and strong solo work. The rhythm section goes in a very manifold way with lots of energy to work, adding a lot of "diversified-wealth", excitement, and grapping moments to the songs and the album. The snotty and naughty lead vocals then just give the song the final "nutritious-finishing" and loud back up singings round it all up. The songwriting is very tight and offers also a big bunch of dynamics that really enrich the songs and STEEL PANTHER deliver a good load of nice and fresh surprises while keeping the energy level always pretty high. This is no new or second "CHERRY PIE",if you get what I mean, but it's anyhow a really decent and strong album for every sleazin'n'rolling Hair Metal fan. The lyrics are dumb or funny, depends on your humour and/or (maybe) on the situation and the mood you're in, but "they" hurt no one and are simply part of the STEEL PANTHER "concept", and so all is good and fine with me. The songs offer a lot of sing-a-long hymnal potential and, yes, are "just" damn good, period. A funny artwork and a good production sound make it all complete. Okay, a clear recommendation if you are into above mentioned bands and genres of music. Don't expect a milstone or a new masterpiece, but you get a decent and truly damn good album that you should call your own if you are only a little bit into the already one or two times mentioned bands and genres. My personal favorites are "GOIN' IN THE BACKDOOR", "ANYTHING GOES", "POONTANG BOOMERANG", "WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS (OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS)", "PUSSY AIN'T FREE", and "SHE'S TIGHT", but also the not mentioned songs are decent, good stuff that won't disappoint you anyway. So, yes, that's it, so go, and check it out or even better, yes, buy it instantly. Btw, and maybe don't take it all too overly serious, because the band doesn't do so by themselves... but take their music serious, because that's some serious good stuff (and I would bet that STEEL PANTHER take their music pretty serious as well). And now, good night or so.
(8 of 10 points)
https://store.steelpantherrocks.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)

Note: I don't know when I will get myself up again to do new stuff up here, currently I am sort of totally "exhausted" and "powerless" on "all fronts of life", I'm just completly "done" and "down'n'out" and I don't know when "things" will look, feel, and go better again and so I won't name you any date or a certain "period-of-time" when you will see new posts up here; I won't quit it again, even not now (or maybe in the long run especially not now) but I honestly really don't know when new stuff will come up, when I will find the mood to do so again... maybe (already) some day this week, maybe (just) some day the next weeks, or maybe already tomorrow or maybe not before the next month, I really don't know it but I know and promise you here and now calmly that new stuff will come sooner or later this year the next weeks again up here and so stay calm and just wait for it, even you may have to wait a little bit longer than the last weeks since the rebirth of this very blog. Okay, that's it, I wish you all the best and have a nice evening. I'm done. I'm out.






STEEL PANTHER - "POONTANG BOOMERANG" (2017, "LOWER THE BAR")











Montag, 14. August 2017

SAGA - "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" (2016; remastered Rerelease)

SAGA - "PLEASURE & THE PAIN"
(Running time: 54:36 minutes; 12 songs)
("Edel Germany GmbH"; 2016; CD):
(Note: This is the 2016 remastered Rerelease of this album that originally was released in 1997 via "Polydor" and that features two live-bonus-songs in this rereleased version.)
And here's the next one coming right for you, so no long introduction words, right and direct into the action: SAGA, this grandmasters of proggressive Rock/Hard Rock (/Heavy Rock), were a band with which I grew up, thanks to my beloved mother, and especially their 1980's works had a huge influence on me, and "WORLD'S APART" in particular will be forever high placed on my all time favorite list. Their 1990's phase then was so far relatively to completly unknown to me (I guess I was too busy listening to Death Metal, Crustcore, and Hardcore back then... ;-) ...), but that's something that I (at least slightly) started to change over the last two years, finally. "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" in this remastered Rerelease edition from 2016 was sort of their first 1990's releases that made its way into my record-collection and... damn it, did I have had a hard time finding my access to it. The linerotes and looking back at their old works helped me finally out in doing so, because "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" is studded with "even-quotes", and also the undeniable quality of this album. I mean, it starts pretty "blocky" and sort of sinister/dark with "HEAVEN CAN WAIT", "HOW DO YOU FEEL?", and "WELCOME TO THE ZOO" and this songs breath definitely a strong, alternative/"grungy" 1990's spirit. And then there's the Techno/Dancefloor song "WHERE'S MY MONEY?" and I really asked myself what the hell SAGA wanted to say with that back then... until I realized that it's sort of a self-ironic funny statement-track playing with their very own biography/discography/history as a band, all also sort of explained in/with/through the very interesting and informative linernotes. But, despise all that, it's still a crappy song, hahaha. So, yes, I can easily understand why "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" is a very controversial album that don't seem to have that many fans outta there... anyhow. But after this "difficult start" we get more and more of the original greatness of SAGA delivered through strong songs like for example the very emotional "YOU'RE NOT ALONE '97" (another biographical/discographical "even-quote"), the very strong "TAXMAN", and basically the whole following songs ("YOU WERE MADE FOR ME", "GONNA GIVE IT TO YA", "FANTASTICALLY WRONG", and "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" itself) really convince; and the two bonus live songs, "TIME TO GO" and "YOU'RE NOT ALONE"/and that one I simply love, are just fantastic. So, yes, give this album a fair chance and best skip the first four songs and you will damn fucking like it pretty much. Great guitars with that special SAGA tone, diverse rhythm-arrangements and first class melodic lead work and of course "proggy" and bright shining solos; fantastic Keyboards, also very stand-alone and unique in tone and the style of playing and just brilliant "duels" between the Guitars and the Keyboards that heavily mark the songs; first class and charismatic sung lead vocals; and then a diverse, airy played, multi-layered rhythm section; it's all there, you just have to dig a bit to get it. The songwriting is pretty intense and comes in several layers that wait to be (finally) discovered by you and that offer really a lot; and that this gentlemen are musicians of the highest class should be clear and should definitely need no any further explanations. Even, honestly admitting it, by far all is not that strong like on their masterpieces and a real hymnal/anthemic über-hit like for example "ON THE LOOSE" you definitely won't find on "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" but you'll definitely find anyhow a good album that is truly worth to be (finally) checked out by you if you are into or interested in proggy Rock/Hard Rock (/Heavy Rock) or, to say it more precise, Prog Rock; pretty cool lyrics, interesting linernotes, a beautiful artwork, and a first class production sound round it all up. Yes, "PLEASURE & THE PAIN" is definitely no masterpiece or a milestone, but it's anyhow a good album, a really good album, that you can calmly check out if you are into or at least interested in Prog Rock, especially when you find it in this gorgeous rereleased version, so give it a fair try. Okay, that's it and then now have a nice evening and later then good night.
(7 of 10 points)
http://sagaontour.ca/ (-the link to the hompegae of the band)

Note: Yes, I know, I tricked you all a bit with this two today's reviews after they were on 2015 and 2016 releases, but I promise you that the next one coming up here some other day later this week will finally be on another 2017 release again, so calm down and trust me upon tis, I won't disappoint you. ;-)





SAGA - "YOU'RE NOT ALONE" (the original from 1979, taken from "IMAGES AT TWILIGHT")







EVIL INVADERS - "PULSES OF PLEASURE" (2015)

EVIL INVADERS - "PULSES OF PLEASURE"
(Running time: 42:19 minutes; 9 songs)
("Napalm Records"; 2015; CD):
Hey guys, (already) back again, new post, new record-review, and this one on the EVIL INVADERS' 2015 full-length-album "PULSES OF PLEASURE", released via "NAPALM RECORDS", I will start in a different way, in a little bit different way then how I usually start record-reviews, and so I'll kick it off with a quote from the fantastic opener "FAST, LOUD & RUDE" because this quote pretty much sums it all up and gives already the perfect description of what we get here:

"BURN, BURN, let the fire ignite, scream it out! Destroy this place tonight, when all you sick bastards collide into one, the world will be ours! Let it be done! BURN IT DOWN! Burn this place right to the ground! So sick of this shit, it's time to inrude. We'll take 'em down, FAST, LOUD & RUDE!"

Yes, the direction of the mayhem that's unleashed on "PULSES OF PLEASURE", aiming straight at us, should be clear: Highest energy, high octane, full throttle, no holds barred, no prisoners taking, and damn fucking highly aggressive raging and "onslaughting" harsh, angry, heavy, and mad sawing musick of the most "rampaging way"; and to name it more precise this musick is Speed Metal; and when I say Speed Metal then here and now I mean SPEED METAL. The EVIL INVADERS hail from Belgium and delivered with their debut-full-length-album "PULSES OF PLEASURE" in 2015 (for all what I know it's also still their current full-length-release) a fantastic and fascinating, a damn intense and despise the mostly definite high paced songs also very atmospheric and incredible tight, precise, yet diverse and multi-layered Speed Metal sound with deep roots in traditional Heavy Metal and a big dose of self-contained delivered and done NWOBHM (and especially IRON MAIDEN, for example) influences and impressions in it, and this for its sheer energy nearly bursting and exploding Speed Metal cocktail totally kicks ass and rules and this on a damn high level - and I mean a really DAMN HIGH level.  The playfulness is incredible high, the songwriting despite or because of the Old School influences incredible fresh, alive/lively, and rousing as well as damn intense, atmospheric, and nicely diverse and multi-layered, and the levels of energy, dynamics, and (atmospheric) intensity combined with the phenomenal and very sympathic and authentic honest attitude make it all "only" even far greater. Prepare yourself for stunning and sawing, aggressive yet (at/in the right parts) very symphonic/melodic and so pretty catchy and hymnal guitars that deliver highest pace and also grapping rhythmic works (with also cool moshy grooves), and full force non stopp as well as and especially also just larger-than-life meldoy-lines, leads, and bright shining solos; and yes, the guitars really mark the songs strongly and heavily in a massive and impressive way. It's just fantastic!!! The other most massive marking element of the sound of the EVIL INVADERS is without a slightest doubt the lead singing voice; the lead vocals ripp and are pretty extreme, aggressive screaming sung high pitched, all the time nearly skipping, very intense and incredible unique and charismatic, yes, I just love the style and the voice of singing (and it's a perfect match to the musick, too). Often they are backed up by loud background chants and guttural, throaty screams that all just add to the massive impact of "PULSES OF PLEASURE" and its songs. The nimbly, yet massively stunning drumming then sort of rounds it all up perfectly, together with the bass buzzing in the background of the songs. METALLICA's "KILL 'EM ALL" and "RIDE THE LIGHTNING", old MEGADETH, AGENT STEEL, EXCITER, and RAZOR together with IRON MAIDEN and Old School Heavy Metal/NWOBHM were pretty much sort of pretty influential for the EVIL INVADERS, but trust me, this guys do their very own thing. And that this guys surely know how to play should need no further explanations. Cool, strong lyrics, a fantastic artwork, and a harsh hitting and raw yet very powerful (and also pretty clear) production-sound are rounding it all finally up. I can only highly recommend this to you and I am really looking forward to the hopefully finally soon coming successor release. My recommendation (if you still don't know/have it): Get it, asap. And now, bang that head that doesn't bang!!! Cheers.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.evilinvaders.be/ (-the homepage of the band; and it seems like a new album has been recently released or will be recently released... Hell yeahr!!!)




EVIL INVADERS - "MASTER OF ILLUSION" /live\ (2015, "PULSES OF PLEASURE")










Sonntag, 13. August 2017

THE 69 EYES - "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS" (2016)

THE 69 EYES - "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS"
(Running time: 46:49 minutes; 11 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2016; CD):
And yes, trying to get now also the next up and ready for you, this time we'll have a closer look on a 2016 full-length-album-release and it is the "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS" album of/by the almighty THE 69 EYES released via "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS", one of my all-time favorite Gothic/Gothic Rock bands ever after the all-time-ever-larger-then-life THE SISTERS OF MERCY; and btw THE 69 EYES are with the mentioned THE SISTERS OF MERCY so far the only Gothic/Gothic Rock(/Gothic Metal) bands I still listen to today and this even on a regular basis. Hm, so maybe it's save to say that this alone tells sort of a story... but I'm not here to tell you a story or what-so-ever anyway, nah, I am here to give you my review on it, yes, so here we go again: THE 69 EYES delivered one strong and diverse new album in 2016 and what I really love is "simply" the fact that this is a band that music- and lyricwise really still got a lot to tell. Four years after its predecessor "X" THE 69 EYES came back with "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS" and this is a just damn fine, nicely clichee-free (as far as "true..." Gothic Rock can be clichee-free anyhow), surely laid-back but still in a "under-the-surface-way" very powerful and especially ass-cool rocking'n'grooving album full of strong, big ideas and a very strong own, unique, and matured identity and character; a big album delivered by matured gentlemen who know their own (musical) identity and who don't give a damn about sounding like fifteen to twenty years ago, instead do their very own thing. This is pretty unique Gothic Rock with a big written Rock in it that cruises somewhere between their very own old(er) masterpieces and THE SISTERS OF MERCY's "VISION THING", some few doses (old) DANZIG, and just good old Rock and also Blues and Country, especially when it comes to the tone and the feeling of the songs, maybe somewhere between ELVIS PRESLEY, JOHNNY CASH, and THE DOORS; even the Gothic still clearly dominates, what-ever this now may mean. We get very emotional, pretty dark and melancholic yet still pretty forceful guitars that drive the songs forward and that really shine "dark'n'bride" with strong grooves and rhythms as well as and especially with fantastic sensitive leads/lead-melodies and very, very often truly and really "just" sheer majestic solos. Then there are mostly "just" fantastic arranged and composed Keyboard parts, a strong bass-work seething in the background, and elated ingratiated drumming, and all on a supreme level of quality and skills. Musicians of high skills, songwriters of high skills, thumbs up. And above all really shine the stand-alone, full, and strong, very unique charismatic vovals. Amazing!!! The songwriting is exciting and grapping and offers a lot of nice little, big surprises and a big bunch of fresh ideas; and it all meshes perfectly into another. That's just great!!! The atmosphere is intense and it is dark, yes, still dark, but it's also all often strong rocking and so it's while it's pretty laid-back still yet very damn powerful you "just" have to take the time and work yourself into the "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS", and trust me, it's really far more than "only" worth it, this is a true treasure box full of diverse and multi-layered songwriting and damn great songs. This fine gentlemen do what they want to do today and while they were pretty much always a (even more than) great band these days THE 69 EYES and their "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS" (also one of the by far "coolest" albums I've heard in and for years) are like a delicious bottle of a fantastic wine with a very unique delicate taste that only got better with all this years passed by. I can only recommend this very, very fine album to you even when Gothic Rock is normally not really "something for you", but this album has so incredible much to offer and I am pretty sure that sort of "every" fan of good old Rock & Roll will find a big bunch of songs to enthusiastically enjoy on "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS", so, yes, hell yeahr, go and give it a try if you still didn't have so. And damn it, even today and after all this many, many years down the river, THE 69 EYES still damn fucking rule and that's just amazing. We get also very good and diverse lyrics, a cool artwork, and a firstclass production-sound to top it all. I love this band, I love this album, it's a (nearly perfect) masterpiece of its very own, and it's highly, highly recommended. Cheers.
(9 of 10 points)
http://69eyes.com/ (-the link to the band's homepage)

Note: Okay folks, that's it for today, I'm done for today's evening. Doing this reviews (sort of finally again) was fun and helped me to forget at least a bit for a few hours all the two posts ago mentioned "private troubles" and so it was all more than only good and fine, but so far right now, yes, I feel pretty "exhausted" post- and review-wise, so yes, more will come the next days and next up then will also be a review on another new 2017 release. Okay, that's it for today, I'm pretty sure, and so, yes, I wish you all a good evening. Cheers.




THE 69 EYES - "ROCK & ROLL JUNKIE" (2016, "UNIVERSAL MONSTERS")













DISTURBED - "IMMORTALIZED" (2015)

DISTURBED - "IMMORTALIZED"
(Running time: 53:34 minutes; 13songs)
("Reprise Records"; 2015; CD):
Yes, despite the in the "end-note" of the earlier post today mentioned "private-troubles" I am at least trying to get "this one" up and ready still right today. And "this one" is finally my record-review on the 2015 and so far still current DISTURBED full-length-album "IMMORTALIZED", released via "REPRISE RECORDS" (a "subdivision" or how-the-hell-you-may-call-it-else of the "WARNER MUSIC GROUP") and featuring thirteen tracks running through in nearly fifty-four minutes. I simply love DISTURBED from "day-one" on and they became very importnat for me especially over the last three to five years and so I was stoked when back in 2015 "IMMORTALIZED" finally came crushing in, after four (far-too-long) years of silence. When they then finally came back with "IMMORTALIZED" I was damn enthusiastic and also nicely surprised, yes, DISTURBED still were/are DISTURBED with their über-mighty every resistance into the ground crushing massive yet still nicely varying/diverse grooving rhythm (guitar) work, the fantastic together-working and incredible strong tension-building lead guitars and this sheer incredible fantastic larger-than-life clean and powerful lead vocals, the massive forward rolling "tank-like" rhytm section that backs it all up so amazingly and also not just tight and precise on a damn high level but also diverse and varying, just fantastic; with the brilliant arrangements of the verses and the larger-than-life refrains, with this just fucking great symphonic melodies, the goosepimples you get from this outstanding hymnal anthems, and this just awesome unbowed attitude of it all. This is first class Rock/Hard Rock/Modern Rock (or Modern Metal) of the by far best kind, and still DISTURBED managed/nanage to deliver nice "little", "greatly" done fresh ideas and surprises like the sweet, catchy "Pop" anthem "THE LIGHT" or the Dancefloor-Beat of "YOU'RE MINE" and not to talk about their majestic cover-version of "THE SOUND OF SILENCE" with its massive, very-own inner-dynamic or the great upfreshing "fluffy" groove'n'atmosphere of "WHO"; DISTURBED keep their music still fresh and exciting while holding on and staying true to their very-own A-Game, thumbs damn up high for that and for them. That the songwriting is intense and atmospheric and "just" stunning as fuck should be clear as also it should also need no further explanation that DISTURBED are damn skilled musicians (and songwriters). My personal favorites are "IMMORTALIZED", "THE VENGEFUL ONE", "OPEN YOUR EYES", "THE LIGHT", "YOU'RE MINE", "WHO", "SAVE OUR LAST GOODBYE", "FIRE IT UP", and "THE SOUND OF SILENCE"; but also I could have easily named nearly "them all" still right here, right now. And still I also love especially the positive high-octane energy and the great uplifting attitude and dynamics of DISTURBED that also shine through in the very valuable and forceful lyrics and that are mirrored in the first-class-artwork of the Album; and btw we also get a bombastic powerful clear transparent production-sound on top of it all as well. Only the two final songs "NEVER WRONG" and "WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO HATE" are a little-bit-too-easy-listening-songs for my taste, but are still songs other bands would sell their souls for to get them done. So, yes, I think I've said so far everything I got to say, yes, just in case you really still shouldn't have it, why the hell ever, then I can only recommend this masterpiece to/for you. A fucking great and nearly perfect album that you simply need to have in your collection, point and fact. I love it!!!
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.disturbed1.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band; if blogger finally one more time again refuses to post it as a direct-link to the site then just click on the link with your mouse, mark it, copy it by a click on the right mouse-button, then open a new browser-tab, click on the headline of it with your right mouse-button, insert the link, and then finally just go there... and why the hell am I explaining this to you as if you wouldn't know this anyhow... never mind...;-)...)





DISTURBED - "IMMORTALIZED" (2015, "IMMORTALIZED")









MARTYR - "CIRCLE OF EIGHT" (2011)

MARTYR - "CIRCLE OF EIGHT"
(Running time: 61:12 minutes; 12 songs)
("Metal Blade Records"; CD; 2011):
Hey guys, next one's finally coming up and this time here and now comes a record-review on a record that's now already six years old and that was released back then in 2011, it's the full-length-comeback-album "CIRCLE OF EIGHT" by the 1980's Dutch Heavy/Power Metal band MARTYR that released in 2009 a comeback-single and then in 2011 this comeback-album (released via the mighty "METAL BLADE RECORDS") and it's for all what I know their so far still current release to date. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I just picked it up more or less pretty recently for only 3,00 Euros after MARTYR in general and their "CIRCLE OF EIGHT" in particular were flying absoultely "off-my-radar-screen" so far before and it seems like "they" sell it generally for (pretty) low prices on a regular basis these days, and if you now want to know why I still do a review on it being that old already then let me say that it's for the reason that I read several pretty negative reviews on it and to be honest I truly think that the most majority of this (negative) reviews didn't do justice to it. So I decided to give you my thoughts about it despise its "date'n'age" anyhow. Okay, so with what used to come MARTYR up on this one, after being at most sort of a semi-legendary/culty European Metal band (because, of course, this is a (Heavy) Metal release) of the 1980's? This is "old schoolish" and pretty forceful Power Metal in a traditional but thankfully not or if so only slightly retro/vintage way (that's always lame and stale for me, personally) with good doses of classical Heavy Metal and some fast-paced Speed Metal reminiscences in it to back it all up. We get forceful guitar riffs and strong rhythm structures that give the songs a really powerful punch to it all and listening to the guitar work I can't help but to me this sounds pretty U.S. American, influenced by (U.S.) American Metal or (U.S.) American Power Metal, to say it more precise. Stunning and shredding the guitars power their way over the course of the album with might and also a good dose of diversity through arranged and composed verses to pretty good done refrain-parts (even this parts often sound to me often sort of  too "over-loaded-with(-unnecessayr/annoying)-pathos"; but are after all not that bad and is more sort of a matter of personal-taste and says maybe not that much about the musical-quality of this album after all), delivering good changes of rhythms, songstructures, and paces and the strong solo/lead work enriches it all nicely. Then we get clear yet strong-intoned, pretty imploring vocals that (like the songwriting or the songs in general especially shine in the verses, so my perception), and also a massive and bulky, tight and precise rhythm section that beefs it all strongly up. And this guys are surely good musicians, even here and there the songwriting lacks a bit of quality. The four opening songs of "CIRCLE OF EIGHT", namely "D.I.", "AFTERLIFE", "ART OF DESCEPTION", and "CIRCLE OF EIGHT" itself, really shine and surprise and overwhelm with strong, damn good to really great ideas and a totally alive/lively character and go straight forward with power and might. Then comes "ALL WARRIORS BLOOD" and kicks off with a slow and heavy start that then starts to pace off with thundering drums and a sort of (at least slighty by) BLACK SABBATH influenced guitar riffing with a very "gloomy'n'doomy" tone to it all, the vocals then try to sort of migrate into the CIRITH UNGOL territory but maybe sort of more theatrical and less intense and extreme (before turning into a Spoken Words-part and closing the song then in that already above mentioned imploring way), and I like this song pretty much. Then comes with "THE UNINVITED" a "speedy" thrashing headbanger with a strong hymnal refrain and a stunning mid-paced middle section with a slightly SLAYER styled solo. Next up is "INSENSIBLE SCREAM" delivering a fantastic sharp cutting "high-pitched" riffing during the verses, pushing without mercy ahead into the mighty refrains and offering beside a very strong solo-part also power and force non stopp.  Also a really good one, thumbs up. So far everything is fine, if not very fine... but you remember me mentioning above that "the songwriting here and there lacks the quality", yes, and this "here-and-there" you'll recognize surely and strongly on/with the five last songs "SCENE OF HELL", "FAKE", "JUSTIFIED KILLING", "LOCKED", and "SPEED OF SAMURAI (2011)". "SCENE OF HELL" starts really strong with a classical Hard Rock inspired opening riff and a nice driving riff leading to the verses but then with the verses and also the refrains it gets incredible annoying and boring, pretty "blocky" in a way of that the song is having a lot of potential but standing in ist own way of unfolding its strong potential and instead of unfolding it turning it all finally into a boring, crappy mess. "FAKE" seems to try to be a "head-off-cutting" Thrash Metal assault with SACRED REICH and some MACHINE HEAD and even sort of GURD inspirations in it (not saying that this is the case but so it seems to me while listening to it), and to make it short, yes, this attempt fails gloriously, this song is just utter garbage and sounds like a total-wanna-be-ripp-off with terrible arranged verses... I love the three mentioned bands, all of them, some more, some less, but MARTYR simply can't do it properly. "JUSTIFIED KILLING" then is sort of the exact same mess like "FAKE" but at least with a cool forward pushing middle part leading up to a stunning solo, but this ends by far too soon again and then the "crappyness" that was "JUSTIFIED KILLING" so far continues on. With "LOCKED" then MARTYR seem at first to want to try to sneak into the (newer) SLAYER territory, before then spoiling a promising beginning with horrible and boring verses with terrible overly theatrical vocals and just a garbage middle part, so that even the nicely delivered refrain can't save much. The final track then is "SPEED OF SAMURAI (2011)" (and judging by the title I would bet it's a new recorded MARTYR oldie, being the genius I am...;-)...) and after this four horrible tracks coming before it this track sounds pretty good... but at the end of the day it's just sort of a solid IRON MAIDEN influenced 1980's Speed Metal song that runs smooth through but then that's it. But at least after all it's more or less pretty okay, average to solid stuff, I guess, especially because the lead and solo are pretty good. Okay, that this record-review turned out being that long wasn't planned, hm, but okay, now that's how it is. Fans of good Old School yet fresh Power Metal should really give this record (finally) a fair chance and risk one or two ears if haven't done it so far already, even the last four to five tracks I really wouldn't have needed anyhow. But this is anyway a good one that you should check out if you're into good, fresh Power Metal the traditional way with some nice fresh ideas, so yes, give it a try when you see it. A first class artwork, nicely done pretty "darky" lyrics, and a pretty roaring production-sound we get on top it all.
(7 of 10 points)
http://www.martyronline.nl/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)

Note: I have currently some "private troublers" to deal with or to get over and so sorry that since monday this very week nothing new saw the light of the day up here until now, but I'll try to come up with new Posts asap (maybe I'll get already today some more new stuff done, not promising anything, but we'll see; and next up will be newer releases coming up again, working towards another record-review on a new 2017 album, you can be sure about/on it. Until then and so far, have a great sunday.




MARTYR - "ART OF DESCEPTION" /live\ (2011, "CIRCLE OF EIGHT")