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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 12:25 pm 
 

Hope this helps ya dude.

"This album just cannot measure up to the previous one, which can be blamed on exactly TWO things:"

I think its grammatically correct, but the end sounds a 'lil wonky. Maybe "this is the direct result of two factors" instead.

"1. Axeman Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch departuring."

I'm thinking you were looking for 'departing'. I'm going to recommend you throw some bold or underline codes around the two sub-headings here to make them stand out, as well as putting a space underneath them to further illustrate the point that these are sub-headings. Otherwise it just looks like the first sentence of each sub-section is a sentence fragment. It's a little stylistic thing, but it makes things look a bit sharper.

"Their contributions as both musicians and songwriters had been totally invaluable to Helloween, in their and vocalist Andi Deris's (being pretty much their main songwriter ever since he joined) amazing accomplishment of building a worthy legacy of their own that didn't stray all too far from the band's original ideals and concepts, following such a colossal loss in guitarist Kai Hansen leaving, one that would've instantly reduced almost any other band, with a member of such importance and key role, to elephant excrement, never to rise again."

There are run-on sentences, and then there are linguistic decathalons. You definitely need to break this sucker up.

Might I suggest...

Grapow and Dusch's contributions as both musicians and songwriters (along with vocalist/main songwriter Andi Deris') have been considerable. They have been art of the amazing accomplishment of building a worthy legacy of their own that didn't stray too far from Helloween's original ideals and concepts following the colossal loss of guitarist Kai Hansen. That loss of a member of such importance would've instantly reduced almost any other band to elephant excrement, never to rise again.

As I usually find when editing other people's work, the substance is very good (and yours better than most) but they don't quite sequence it right. In general, it's best to keep your sentences linear and flowing and present the information in a coherent form as opposed to doing the whole comma holocaust thing.

Additionally, not only are Roland and Uli stellar musicians on their own (or there would not be a problem, I mean for fucking HELLOWEEN, they can get pretty much anyone they want, right?), they were both also integral parts of the sound and <i>chemistry</i> of 1994-and-forward resurrection-era Helloween. (STOP HERE!)

^ A good example of the backwards-first problem. If you put the contents of those brackets first, your sentence flows more easily and doesn't go into unnecessary tangents.

It wouldn't be much of a problem if Roland and Uli were simply stellar musicians on their own, as this is fucking HELLOWEEN and they can get pretty much anyone they want, but these guys were both integral parts of the sound and the <i>chemistry</i> of 1994-on resurrection-era Helloween. Such individuals...

Now we're on the second sub-heading. Again, "2. Musical differences within the band" bold/underline and seperate this sucka to make it stand out.

"So now, due to being the original member of the three, Weiki gets to stay and hell bent as he is on making a "happy" record, as if 'The Dark Ride' was an abominable shitpile and worst thing to happen to them since 'Chameleon', there are unfortunately several instances of a "happiness first, songwriting second" thought behind this whole thing."

And we're off to the races. Smaller sentences, let these ideas breathe. I can tell you have so many opinions here that are just crying to be heard, so give them all a little space. This is quite a confusing one for the reader. I won't continue making my little edits as I think I've illustrated what I'm talking about sufficiently. Onward...

"But perhaps worst of all is the for Helloween surprisingly..."

Wonky sentence. Try, "perhaps the worst thing here is the (by Helloween standards) <i>generic</i>..." and go on from there.

No beefs with the rest of it though. I'd devote that paragraph to justifying your 77% score to some extent, because that is actually a very respectable score (consider some of the albums you quite like that scored low 80s... only a 3-6 point differential) and I'm not sure your review reflects that. I mean, I know you're planning to but I just thought I'd reinforce that since it should be a paragraph of a fair amount of substance to counter your quite justifiable complaints about the piece.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Take 'em as you will, and keep up ze good work.
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Bloodstone
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 am
Posts: 424
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:17 pm 
 

My hero. :D

I'll get right on it, will post edited as well as full version soon.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 7:45 pm 
 

Sieg heil!

...

I'm told that's German for no problem. ;)
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Bloodstone
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 am
Posts: 424
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:41 pm 
 

Quote:
OlympicSharpshooter
Oceanminded


Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 1337
Location: Canada


Your points of criticism totally made me see one thing clear, although I have suspected as much for quite some time now: my sentences are far too fucking long!

Anyway here's the finished version, submitted already so that the correct date of writing is shown, can start editing later if anyone has something on their minds about it. This version is edited for forum viewing (BBCodes instead of HTML).



---
Helloween - Rabbit Don't Come Easy
77%

Expectedly a step down

This album just cannot measure up to the previous one, the direct result of TWO factors:

1. Axeman Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch departing.

Grapow and Kusch's contributions to Helloween as both musicians and songwriters, along with vocalist Andi Deris (pretty much their main songwriter ever since he joined back in 1994), have been invaluable. They were part in the amazing accomplishment of building a worthy legacy of their own that didn't stray too far from the band's original ideals and concepts following such a colossal loss in guitarist Kai Hansen leaving. Surely that loss of a member of such importance would've instantly reduced almost any other band to elephant excrement, never to rise again. Imagine perhaps not something as absurd as Maiden surviving the loss of Steve Harris, but more along the lines of a good Slayer without Jeff Hanneman (well right now they're not good WITH him either, so maybe it wasn't the best of examples after all) and you get the picture.

In any case, this wouldn't be much of a problem if Roland and Uli merely were stellar musicians on their own, as this is HELLOWEEN we're talking about and they can get anyone they want, but the thing is that these two were both integral parts of the sound and chemistry of 1994-on resurrection-era Helloween. Such individuals are always hard for ANY band to replace, because no matter the talent (in playing as well as in writing songs) of whoever comes replacing, there is always a high risk of losing identity, spirit and a certain undeterminable magic of a successful previous line-up. And that is exactly what has happened here, again. This is almost like the second coming of 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape' in that regard, the band's first full-length output not featuring Kai Hansen, widely considered their first "flop".

2. Musical differences within the band (a.k.a. events leading up to #1).

Uli and Roland wanting to stick with the darker themes begun on 'The Dark Ride' (really not that much of a change to these ears aside from production and guitar tone, see my review for it) and Weiki (Michael Weikath) thinking of that album as merely an experiment and wanting to go back to happy happy Helloween as quickly as possible afterwards. So here we see Weiki hell bent on making a "happy" record, unfortunately resulting in several instances of a "happiness first, songwriting second" thought behind some of this. As if 'The Dark Ride' was an abominable shitpile and worst thing to happen to them since 'Chameleon'. Weiki's tunes are clearly the happiest/goofiest, but one can certainly tell he's had quite an influence on the whole band's general direction here.



Oh there's good stuff on here too ("Ignorant and wasted, that's what you are, but you could be so much moooore!!"), y'all be so sure of that, but clearly the consistency here is lacking compared to three years ago - in fact, this is their least consistent effort since 1994's 'Master of the Rings'. As indicated by the title, some of this feels a little overly non-serious and, in a word, dumb. Well, in all fairness, perhaps not quite to a recent-Edguy extent ("Lavatory Love Machine" and "Trinidad" respectively), but the general idea of trading away actual songwriting power for, well, "humor" is definitely there, making for a frustrating and ultimately unsatisfying listen. Especially when it's not ACTUALLY funny - the only exception to this would be the by now infamous "something's growing in my pants..." line in the song "Just a Little Sign", but even so, it does little to save such a mediocre and overall disappointing album opener. Not even that nifty and totally headbangable little speed metal riff just before the first verse really does.

But perhaps worst of all is how generic some of this feels by Helloween standards. Not only is there that soulless and overpolished production lacking Roy Z's magic touch on 'The Dark Ride', but also these songs that seem cheaply thrown together and far too derivative of their own contemporary euro-power scene (that Helloween themselves were large part in creating). "Just a Little Sign", "The Tune", "Sun 4 the World" and "Listen to the Flies" all feature that typical boring double-bass, indistinct riffage and bland, Freedom Call (you know, that band that does a shitty job of copying classic Helloween in the first place)-styled flower metal choruses - just listen the line "make believe the world is mine" in the chorus of the first song where Andi TOTALLY emulates that annoying Chris Bay trademark sweetness, that, quoted from OlympicSharpshooter's (excellent) review for 'Crystal Empire', "makes every note sound extremely easy as if no effort is being put into it." What a fucking waste, I mean!

And who the FUCK let that goddamn attention whore of a Swede behind the drumkit, anyway? For sure, the guy has talent, and does an excellent job playing in Motörhead, but has no business in a speed/power metal band like Helloween. Despite of that, I read in an interview, he was given absolutely full control of HOW to drum on the album, without anyone telling him when to keep his playing restrained so that he doesn't go nuts just because he can. This results in some of the most annoying and least tasteful fills I've ever heard on a major label production - witness "The Tune" for the worst offence, in the prechorus for instance: "Love and *THUNKTHUNKTHUNKTHUNK* desire *THUNKTHUNKTHUNKTHUNK* Dry ice *THUNKTHUNKTHUNKTHUNK* or fire *THUNKTHUNK-THUNKTHUNKTHUNK*. There is little to no sense of good flow and coherence here. As Boris similarly complains, it is highly likely that he was also put in charge of how loud to turn his instrument up in the mix - fuck, this isn't a Helloween album, this is in reality Mikkey Dee's very own drum solo album!! As described above, this is a very "goofy, stupid and fun" sort of album and hiring this guy seems almost like a big joke in itself.

Now you must be thinking "whoawhoawhoa, waitjustaminutehere, SIX hefty paragraphs of negative criticism and still a quite decent rating (by this guy’s standards)?" It's a justified thought for sure, but the explanation for this is actually quite simple. The thing is, that when 'Rabbit' DOES manage to deliver the good stuff, which is at least about half the time, it is as good as ANYTHING they've done. I'm talking totally classic Helloween stuff here; if you like the other albums with Andi Deris, there is certainly something for you here and no bad production, drumming or silly humor can ever take that away from it. For example, "Open Your Life" - whoa, I mean, holy fuck!!! God called, he wants his main riff back. Utterly killer tempo shifting here, in the first half of the first verse and the pre-chorus. Those little lighter, mellower parts that somehow manage not to be annoying by slowing you down, but rather make the heavier parts that directly follow them sound absolutely fucking EXPLOSIVE. Rule, this does. Quite possibly better than anything on the otherwise far superior previous album.

There just isn't too much to say about the good stuff on here, that hasn't been covered in any of my previous reviews for their stuff. It's Helloween, and therefore rules by default. You want song details, check out Nightcrawler's review - but okay, since our scores and opinions differ just slightly, I'll point out the songs that are highlights for me: "Open Your Life" (the best), "Never Be a Star" (total recycle of their own "Perfect Gentleman", but I'll let that pass, still a great song), "Liar" (SPEED METAL!!!), "Do You Feel Good" (simple & sweet barrel o' fun & happiness), "Hell Was Made in Heaven" (SPEED AND POWER METAL!!!) and - surprise - album closer "Nothing to Say". Here we see Helloween trying their hand at a "Victim of Changes"/"Still of the Black Dog"-styled rocker and triumphantly succeeding at it. Say whatever the fuck you will, but even that little "reggae" pre-chorus just fucking WORKS and, just like the one in "Open Your Life", makes the chorus sound as if it jumps RIGHT at ya. "Now we can use all we give all of our loving and affection!!!" Where Edguy's "Lavatory Love Machine" fails, this song succeeds - at going completely out of their style just for some good ol' rock 'n' roll fun and still manage to be all of interesting, inventive and enjoyable, whereas "Lavatory" at best sounds like a mere Poison reject (and I'm not talking from their classic period here, with albums such as 'Open Up and Say...Ahh!', I'm mean from more recent and hideous stuff like 'Hollyweird').

As a matter of fact, since the only REAL dogs on here are "Don't Stop Being Crazy" (meh-ish power ballad) and "Back Against the Wall" (silly attempt at channeling that 90's Pantera/Machine Head groove metal stuff), I'm gonna have to admit this one thing here and now: that even with the relatively high score of 77, I drew off a couple of points from this for about half the tracks being so disappointing to hear from a band like Helloween, for reasons explained above. While listenable and to an extent enjoyable, these few songs are just not worthy of adding to Helloween's mighty legacy and the album as whole is simply made worse by the knowledge of the brilliant albums it succeeds. Were it a debut album, it would've scored maybe 80. Too bad a debut album of this quality (or higher) would be a rare occurrence these days - unless of course the band in question is the amazing HIBRIA, expect review in the near future!!
---



Turned out a bit longer than I expected.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 12:05 am 
 

Good work, as usual. I'm glad my advice helped you out with it.
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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 713
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:35 am 
 

Here's a new review by me, please critique. =)
------------------------------
Kalmah: The Black Waltz (95%) Title: Bloody Brilliant

Holy crap. I'm blown away.

I've been listening to Kalmah since about a year after the release of Swamplord, and this is easily the best work that the band has ever put out. All the instruments are wreaking havoc on the disks’ 11 tracks without a single sign of stopping. Kalmah have always been known for playing something similar to Children of Bodom, but their songs are at a slower pace than the Children, and they don’t let it rip very often. Usually, you’d get about 3 speedy songs, while the rest of the material would be mid-paced stuff that could get boring after repeated listens. However, Kalmah must have decided to stop screwing around and go for it, because I don’t think that Kalmah could get much more intense than this. The songs (With the exception of the instrumental, Svieri Doroga, and the Title track, The Black Waltz) all blaze, but never sound too similar. Interestingly enough, all this great new material seems to have sprouted from the new style that Kalmah has adopted. Let us go through their changes…

First and foremost, there are the vocals. Those who are familiar with Kalmah know that Pekka Kokko could death metal growl, but he only did it sparingly, usually layered underneath his black metal screams and shrieks. Now, the vocals are the opposite. Death growls, with very few black screams. I know that many fans will have trouble digesting this, but I didn’t. While I think that I enjoy the black screams more, the vocals add new depth and intensity to the music that I’m seriously digging. The guitar tones have changed a bit, they sound a bit heavier, methinks. The bass still kicks ass and several songs feature roughly 10 seconds of solo bass lines, like older Kalmah did. Another big different are the keyboards. There’s less atmosphere in the music now. The first keys sound you hear are Strings/Orchestral sounds that help open up the first track. These are used quite a bit, but often, you’ll hear the classic dual guitar/keys melodies that seem to be a bit of a Kalmah trademark and you’ll hear Keyboard solos. Yes, you read that right, fucking KEYBOARD solos. In Kalmah. They kicks ass, and often do duelling solos with the guitars. Fucking great stuff, though the guitar solos are still in the forefront. And of course, the drums are full of variety. From well placed double bass, to occasional blast beats and crazy fills, the drumming is very solid on this disk.

The songs themselves have never been better. Some start off slow and foreboding, then click into a speedier gear later on, Such as the opening track, “Defeat”, or “Bitter Metallic Side”, while other simply start off raging, and stay that way, some examples being “Time Takes Us All”, or “Mindrust”. And of course, there are a couple of mid-paced songs, such as the beautifully orchestrated titled track, “The Black Waltz”, which is actually the slowest song on the CD. Oh yes, there’s also a short, soothing tune that provides a bit of an interlude, or something. It’s quite nice.
The Riffs are great on this CD. They’re all really melodic and powery (Though still heavy) and occasionally there’s a slight Viking/folk touch (And, dare I say, “Epic”?). The guitar solos are enjoyable as always, with Antti Kokko shredding his Finnish ass off. The solos on this disk are either Paired solos with Guitar and Keyboards, or they’re very short ones that open the song, or bridge into other parts of the song. A couple of songs completely lack a solo of any sort, but they’re usually replaced with intricate dual melodies with the guitars and keyboards.
Overall, this release is stunning. The only thing stopping it from getting a full 100% score is the fact that the Death Metal growls get boring, and droning after many listens. I wish Kalmah stuck with the cool Black metal screams, but the growls are still pretty well done to my ears. I can see where some Kalmah fans will get pissed off, but I enjoy it, so I won’t complain too much. However, the music is heavier, generally faster, and very intense, so I give Kalmah full props for coming out with many new twists to their sound, and for truly stepping out of their role as “Children of Bodom clone”. Easily Kalmah’s best work to date.

Must listen: Defeat, Bitter Metallic Side, Time Takes us All, The Black Waltz, The Groan of Wind, Mindrust, and One from the Stands.
--------------------

Huh, came out rather long, but I think I covered all my feelings.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:46 pm 
 

There are a few very minor spelling and grammar errors, as well as a fair amount of miscapitalizations. Nothing that particularly needs fixing given that you've already submitted the review though.
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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 713
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:40 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
There are a few very minor spelling and grammar errors, as well as a fair amount of miscapitalizations. Nothing that particularly needs fixing given that you've already submitted the review though.
I ran it all through Microsoft Word, so I thought I had gotten all my little mistakes. I'm also very prone to capitalizing random words in a sentence, but I figured Word may pick that up too, but I guess not.

I forgot that I had already sent it in. D;

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KayTeeBee
Veteran

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:04 pm
Posts: 2595
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:53 am 
 

I haven't written a review in what...3 months? Something like that. Here's my latest, please comment:

Eikenskaden - There is no Light...

My expectations for this album were, in my opinion, way too high. Being the Kozak fanatic that I am, I hadn't heard new material since the last Mystic Forest album, 'Romances'. So, as you can probably tell, I was eager for more. The final product is disappointing. The piano is completely gone (but that's not a surprise, seing as the previous album, 665.999, also had no piano), and there just lacks the magic we heard in the first 2 albums. I find myself listening to only 2 songs on repeat, and the rest is either boring, or somewhat a rip-off of other tracks.

'I Hear Voices But They Aren't Saying A Thing' is one of those 2 tracks. The riffs are first class. The structure is pretty weak, however. The song is simply divided into 2 parts: 2 minutes for the first riff, and 3 minutes for the second one. The thing is, the second riff has that romantic neo-classical feel to it. And that's basically what made albums like Mystic Forest' 'Romances' so good. The main problem of the album starts at the second track, 'Anthology'. It sounds hauntingly like every other track in that vein. And by that, I mean every other track on the album. The riffs become redundant, which just make you want to skip to the stand-out tracks. '666 Pills' is the other highlight I was referring too earlier, but that's probably just me, and most fans will probably find the whole album redundant. There's no improvement on the drum machine. Actually, in some places, you're wondering whether there are drums or not. The drum machine on previous albums had this raw and unpolished feel to it, but the drums here almost sound like MIDI. The vocalist are also somewhat buried deep in the mix, unlike the first albums where you could clearly here Stefan's voice.

I'm disappointed. I think I stressed that enough. But, this is nowhere near bad, it's just superfluous. It's like taking this excellent riff, than modifying it a little bit then making an album with it. I find myself to be satisfied only the first and the 6th tracks on repeat. I'd recommend it only to the Eikenskaden fanatics, or those that want an easy introduction to 'romantic' black metal. Looks like i'll have to wait until the next Mystic Forest arrives...
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Doom_At_Dawn
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:14 pm
Posts: 4
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:20 pm 
 

.....this may be a bit to mainstream for some peoples tastes,....but here goes nothing. Give me some advice please.



Written by Doom_At_Dawn on February 20th, 2006


Doomsday Machine, by the Swedish juggernaut Arch Enemy, is truly a sloid ablum. I was drawn by their mega hit "Nemisis" which was plainlyfast and as brutal as hell. I was very excited by the release, and hurried out and bought it. Overall, the ablum was is strong from start to finish. Some of the songs were slower than I would've liked them to be, well at least for my taste. The ablum in momentum, ...was fast, slow ,fast, slow....and after awhile the whole flow of the ablum became annoying.

An example would be right after "Nemsis" the fastest, and strongest track on the ablum, you come to a speed bump after a strong beginning with the intro "Enter The Machine" and the very catchy "Taking Back My Soul"....which was both brutal yet melodic with Angela's improved vocal work. This speed bump starts with the track "My Apocalypse",....which was average at best with the slow moving vocal work, and was a big turn off to me, like Borefest. "Carry The Cross" is plainly another freaken' filler and went nowhere. The ablum gets back on track with the song "I Am Legend/ Out For Blood" which was an awesome, fast, agressive, and gothic roller coaster...similar to a vampire novel you would read somewhat.

After, this you come to the melodic death metal ballad "Skeleton Dance", which has some awesome and creepy sound effects, yet still fails to be overly impressive....some great guitar work towards the end boosts up the song, yet lots of wasted potential. Then you have the instrumental "Hybrids Of Steel" which was quite a good jam if you ask me similar to the power chord theme on 'Enter The Machine, but being more solo bassed. Then you come to anothe average song lacking life called 'Mechanic God Creation which had some good guitar work yet, never went anywhere. "Machtkampf" is an awesome song built just like Nemsis, could of used some better vocal work yet beyond that almost perfect...could have used some more tracks like this one. "Slaves of Yesterday" is a mellower yet an awesome way to end the ablum, as it gains some strength and goes all out at the ending.

Arch Enemy has really metured and have presented one of their best preformances, with Angela at the reigns. Angela Gossrow, their vocalist is awesome and has learned some new tricks along the way to really shake things up. The Amott brothers are awesome as always being two of the greates guitarists of all time. The drumming has also improved, and the double bass sounds great. The band is heading in the right direction,...blowing their dissapointing Anthems Of Rebellion into the water.

Overall I give 'Doomsday Machine" a 75% C

-Doom_At_Dawn

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Visionary
Veteran

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:57 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:05 pm 
 

Doom_At_Dawn wrote:
.....this may be a bit to mainstream for some peoples tastes,....but here goes nothing. Give me some advice please.



Written by Doom_At_Dawn on February 20th, 2006


Doomsday Machine, by the Swedish juggernaut Arch Enemy, is truly a sloid ablum. I was drawn by their mega hit "Nemisis" which was plainlyfast and as brutal as hell. I was very excited by the release, and hurried out and bought it. Overall, the ablum was is strong from start to finish. Some of the songs were slower than I would've liked them to be, well at least for my taste. The ablum in momentum, ...was fast, slow ,fast, slow....and after awhile the whole flow of the ablum became annoying.

An example would be right after "Nemsis" the fastest, and strongest track on the ablum, you come to a speed bump after a strong beginning with the intro "Enter The Machine" and the very catchy "Taking Back My Soul"....which was both brutal yet melodic with Angela's improved vocal work. This speed bump starts with the track "My Apocalypse",....which was average at best with the slow moving vocal work, and was a big turn off to me, like Borefest. "Carry The Cross" is plainly another freaken' filler and went nowhere. The ablum gets back on track with the song "I Am Legend/ Out For Blood" which was an awesome, fast, agressive, and gothic roller coaster...similar to a vampire novel you would read somewhat.

After, this you come to the melodic death metal ballad "Skeleton Dance", which has some awesome and creepy sound effects, yet still fails to be overly impressive....some great guitar work towards the end boosts up the song, yet lots of wasted potential. Then you have the instrumental "Hybrids Of Steel" which was quite a good jam if you ask me similar to the power chord theme on 'Enter The Machine, but being more solo bassed. Then you come to anothe average song lacking life called 'Mechanic God Creation which had some good guitar work yet, never went anywhere. "Machtkampf" is an awesome song built just like Nemsis, could of used some better vocal work yet beyond that almost perfect...could have used some more tracks like this one. "Slaves of Yesterday" is a mellower yet an awesome way to end the ablum, as it gains some strength and goes all out at the ending.

Arch Enemy has really metured and have presented one of their best preformances, with Angela at the reigns. Angela Gossrow, their vocalist is awesome and has learned some new tricks along the way to really shake things up. The Amott brothers are awesome as always being two of the greates guitarists of all time. The drumming has also improved, and the double bass sounds great. The band is heading in the right direction,...blowing their dissapointing Anthems Of Rebellion into the water.

Overall I give 'Doomsday Machine" a 75% C

-Doom_At_Dawn


I suggest going back to school as you forgot how to spell.

I am afraid to say that regardless of the atrocious spelling, the fact that it appears to be written in 2 minutes and the poor grammar that the review is probably unsalvageable.

For future reference review something that has little to no reviews and add a lot more musical description. Read other reviews to get a sense about what to say. And for godsakes write in Microsoft Word or something.
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:45 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:24 pm 
 

I would have to say I am greatly suprised by how good his reviews are. I'm even more suprised considering I knew him before I knew he wrote them. Haha, anyways, I think if some people need some help writing reviews, they should check some of his work (Aeturnus65). His reviews are all really good and informative. They really give the reader some depth and insight into what the album is all about.
OSS,
I can see why you keep raving about him!

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:30 pm 
 

TheStormIRide wrote:
I would have to say I am greatly suprised by how good his reviews are. I'm even more suprised considering I knew him before I knew he wrote them. Haha, anyways, I think if some people need some help writing reviews, they should check some of his work (Aeturnus65). His reviews are all really good and informative. They really give the reader some depth and insight into what the album is all about.
OSS,
I can see why you keep raving about him!


Aeturnus65 is amazing, but review recommendations go into the Review Recommendation thread. This thread is for people looking for help with their reviews, so the other thread you posted should probably go in here.

It can be pretty confusing since we have like five sticky topics now. :lol:
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:51 am 
 

Bloodride has a real winner on their hands here. They seem to be able to embody the styles of modern thrash, German thrash, and a little bit of Bay Area thrash. The result is a very exciting listen. The band almost sounds like a newer, heavier version of those vintage German thrash bands (Kreator, Destruction, etc.) without ripping any of them off. There are even some riffs that remind of something Skolnick era Testament would do. The band thrashes away with conviction the whole way through the album.

The playing is superb on all accounts. The guitars have that vintage eighties tone, without sounding stale or replayed. A couple of cool (read: not-overdone or flashy) solos are played. There are a lot of different playing styles mixed into a style to call their own. Like I said before there’s a vintage thrash feel, but they can also throw in some tremolo picking, almost a black metal style, and even a little bit of death metal into the mix. The guitars blend all these styles and don’t compromise the thrash feeling of the album. It doesn’t sound like death influenced thrash, or black thrash, it sounds like thrash.

The drums are excellent; there are some cool fills and different rhythms that keep things entertaining. It’s not all “run on the bass pedal” here. There are different patterns and tempos, but the “old reliable” style of thrash drumming is still used. The bass, well it’s not extremely high in the mix, so we won’t talk about the bass like we would with D.D. Verni from Overkill, although when the bass can be heard it is definitely not just follow the leader with the guitar. The vocals are very harsh, reminded me of Kreator or Testament’s “Demonic” album. They fit the style very well.

“Bloodridden Disease” is excellent thrash album that can remind one of the old days, without actually going back. There is a nostalgic feeling on this album. It’s nice to hear a band continue a genre that shaped metal as we know it. Since a lot of the original thrashers seem to have lost their roots, or lost interest in the style, a throwback to the eighties is always great. Not the most original album ever, but nothing is ripped off or rehashed from someone else’s back catalogue. This album is recommended to fans of thrash, especially eighties style thrash. Anyone into thrash of any kind, or even metal in general should check this out. Well done!
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:52 am 
 

It’s not very often that a metal band completely redefines a listener’s outlook on heavy music. Opeth’s Orchid is a collaboration of so many different genres and styles of music that it is nearly unclassifiable. There are definitely elements of death metal, traditional metal, doom metal, progressive rock, and even jazz. There are definitely more elements, but Opeth takes all of these different styles and molds them together seamlessly. Exceedingly heavy riffs turn into death metal crunch, which then turns into a haunting acoustic passage, almost as if it was completely natural to bend a multitude of genres into a new sound. That is definitely one of the highlights of this album: it sounds so effortless, yet so perfect at the same time. Well, for the sake of argument, I will just call Opeth a progressive-death metal band.

When one takes a glance at the length of the tracks, some things may come to mind; progressive rock bands like Rush, doom metal, and epic styled songs. While Opeth does have progressive tendencies, like playing incredible complex chord patterns and different riffing patterns, they do not have the “soft” tendencies that many progressive rock bands have. Opeth happen to be a death metal band playing extremely long, well thought out songs. The length of each track doesn’t sound forced. It is important to note how comfortable the band seems to be playing each track for around ten minutes. A lot the time with longer songs, I tend to get bored, but each of Opeth’s songs have so much variety in them, that it is nearly impossible to get bored while listening.

The production is not the greatest, as there are tinny sounds with some of the cymbals, but that is just a minor qualm. The musicianship is excellent. One should notice the difficulty of the riffs that are played immediately, especially if they’re a guitar player as well.

The base of Opeth’s music is definitely death metal. It seems that music is built around a certain death metal styled riff and the other elements the band brings in seem built on top, almost like stone is laid for a wall. The songwriting is excellent; everything seems to have its place. I believe Opeth have found a certain type of perfection in their songwriting that few bands have ever found. To be able to write a ten minute song, and have every part fit perfectly is an outstanding feat!

Each track on this album is exceptional on its own. There is definitely no need to do a track by track analysis; it would be to repetitive and redundant. Each track has a very somber, sad feeling to it, and the acoustic passage help to highlight that feeling even more. The general guitar tone is almost melancholic, while still retaining heaviness and crunch. Even the track that is solely piano has a melancholic vibe. I’m not sure if it is because it is in minor keys or not, but sadness and gloom just ooze out of the track “Sihouette”.

The vocals on this album are definitely influenced by death metal and black metal. There is a very cool rasp to some parts, and some excellent deep growls. More amazing yet may be the clean vocals. They are very haunting, and definitely help to set the melancholic tone even further. The clean vocals, in most parts, are almost whispers; very eerie and almost haunting.

The guitars on this album range from a deep distortion to a very clean, natural sounding acoustic style. The acoustic passages sound very natural to the music, and not forced like some bands seem to do. There are some really amazing tempo changes and some even more amazing riff changes throughout the music. Also are some really cool solos. Once again, not forced, and by no means showy; just another element that fits in really nicely.

Sometimes it is difficult to discuss the bass playing in metal, because frankly, I find it hard to hear on a lot of albums. Well the bass on “Orchid” isn’t the type of bass that can’t be heard. The bass has a nice place in the mix, and there are some really cool lines that the bass player uses. The bass is definitely used as another instrument (instead of like some other bands that simply play the bass as if it were a guitar). There are some really cool parts that, once again, fit in very well in the songwriting scheme of things.

The drumming is definitely not just standard metal drumming, by any means. This is where Opeth fits the jazz element in a lot. The drums, especially in the slower, doomier passages, seem to be played much like a jazz drummer would play. There are some complex patterns, but it is not flashy or all speed like a lot of metal drummers. The drummer definitely shows he can play both fast and slow; when the speed picks up, the drums are spot on!

As one can see, each element of Opeth definitely knows how to use their respective instrument very well. This album is definitely an exciting listen, as it compasses so many genres and molds them into metal. It is hard to believe that an album of this quality came from a band’s debut album. This album definitely gave hints as to the road Opeth would take with later albums.

This album is highly recommended to all. I think there is definitely something everybody can enjoy on this album. It truly must be listened to start to finish for it to be appreciated fully. Opeth showed the world that they were the masters of progressive-death metal. Like I said before, it is rare when album can redefine how one looks at metal, and this is one of those albums: it’s even rarer when a debut album can do this. This album shows why Opeth would one day climb to the top of the metal world!
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:52 am 
 

Ok, first off, I picked this album up on whim. I got in a used bin for like $1.50 or something like that. So Kenziner boasts an excellent line-up, so "The Prophecies" has the potential to be an outstanding album. So what do we get with this album?

The first track, "Live Forever", starts off with a really cool piano intro, although a bit AOR sounding for my liking. When the music kicks in, it's over-drive. Some really fast neoclassically influenced guitar riffs, some really fast power metal-esque drumming, and the usual bass that is lost in the mix. This song is fast, really fast. There is a really awesome solo here, like a less over the top Malmsteen almost. This song just doesn't let up once it starts. I just can't get into the vocals. It sounds like the guy would be awesome for a hard rock band, but it just doesn't fit with the music here. He is a bit too deep, and it sounds like he's trying way too hard, as some lines sound really forced and not smooth.

After the first track, things seem to slow down a bit, not too much though. There are some really interesting things here, especially the solos. The keyboards and guitars are excellent throughout this entire album, but the lack-luster drumming and forced vocals just take this album down a step.

The album slows down to almost a hard rock sound, especially on "Carry on Tomorrow". The vocals fit much better with this slower sound. "Race With Time" has an excellent fast riff in it, but the vocals still seem to hold the album back.

The slows down, and plays a slower style for the rest of the album, the only other track that is of a faster vein is "Eternity". There is even a 10 minute track on this album "The Prophecies". The song keeps hinting at speed, they build the riffs to almost a faster style, then slow back down. It's actually rather disappointing. After a cool solo, they just keep it slow and ride it out.

The musicianship is stellar. The songwritiing is good, but not great. Most of the songs tend to drag together. With some variation, this album may have been better.

So overall, this album just shows that not all "supergroup" bands make astonishing albums. This is a rather sub-par example of the neoclassical genre. The vocals are definitely a set back. The band seems to go all out on the first track, but then it stops and everything is slowed down. I don't know, maybe if the band put the first track towards the middle it would have broken up the monotony. The first track showed so much potential, which only leads to disappointment. This band had a lot of potential, it's too bad they didn't capitalize on it. It's a good thing I didn't pay full price for this.
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:54 am 
 

Ok for the three I just put before the firing squad. They were already accepted. I just want to know what I can do to make better reviews for the future. Fire away, I'm not light-hearted and I can take it all, so don't go easy.
Thanks a lot!
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:45 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:45 am 
 

Either two things:
1) My reviews are flawless... highly unlikely.
2) No one really cares to help me fix problems... more likely.

I'll just keep submitting, and hope they all get accepted.
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ComatoseMessiah
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:49 pm
Posts: 110
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:17 am 
 

TheStormIRide wrote:
Bloodride has a real winner on their hands here. They seem to be able to embody the styles of modern thrash, German thrash, and a little bit of Bay Area thrash. The result is a very exciting listen. The band almost sounds like a newer, heavier version of those vintage German thrash bands (Kreator, Destruction, etc.) without ripping any of them off. There are even some riffs that remind of something Skolnick era Testament would do. The band thrashes away with conviction the whole way through the album.


First off I'd advise reworking this paragraph to flow a little more cleanly. Something like, blending the ideas of sentences 2, 4, and possibly even 5, into one or two more proficient sentences (spice up your adjectives if you can) because thats the real meat of this first paragraph.
I'd also suggest reworking sentences 1, 3, and 6 into one sumed up sentence (or even just leaving out one or more of them). Overall not too bad, but just sorta bland to me, but obviously just IMO.

TheStormIRide wrote:
The playing is superb on all accounts. The guitars have that vintage eighties tone, without sounding stale or replayed. A couple of cool (read: not-overdone or flashy) solos are played. There are a lot of different playing styles mixed into a style to call their own. Like I said before there’s a vintage thrash feel, but they can also throw in some tremolo picking, almost a black metal style, and even a little bit of death metal into the mix. The guitars blend all these styles and don’t compromise the thrash feeling of the album. It doesn’t sound like death influenced thrash, or black thrash, it sounds like thrash.

Hmm, maybe revise sentences 2, 4, and 5 into a more compact feel. It just seems like your putting more down than needs be said, with out adding any flare to it to make it more interesting to read. Sentence 3 just seems like your simply marking down a note, which if possible would be nicer with some elaboration, or a specific song example. Sentences 6 and 7 fit well, but I would have put it differently myself... not sure how to elaborate my thoughts on that, so I'll just leave it at that.

TheStormIRide wrote:
The drums are excellent; there are some cool fills and different rhythms that keep things entertaining. It’s not all “run on the bass pedal” here. There are different patterns and tempos, but the “old reliable” style of thrash drumming is still used. The bass, well it’s not extremely high in the mix, so we won’t talk about the bass like we would with D.D. Verni from Overkill, although when the bass can be heard it is definitely not just follow the leader with the guitar. The vocals are very harsh, reminded me of Kreator or Testament’s “Demonic” album. They fit the style very well.

This seems pretty good, I like it. The parts about the drumming are the best parts. And good reference to D.D. Verni, I've never heard this album, but I get the point you are making well. Only thing I'd suggest is reworking the last two sentences into one.

TheStormIRide wrote:
“Bloodridden Disease” is excellent thrash album that can remind one of the old days, without actually going back. There is a nostalgic feeling on this album. It’s nice to hear a band continue a genre that shaped metal as we know it. Since a lot of the original thrashers seem to have lost their roots, or lost interest in the style, a throwback to the eighties is always great. Not the most original album ever, but nothing is ripped off or rehashed from someone else’s back catalogue. This album is recommended to fans of thrash, especially eighties style thrash. Anyone into thrash of any kind, or even metal in general should check this out. Well done!

Not bad, I'd advise putting some of the fragmented thoughts together (like sentences 2, and 3 could be narrowed, or simply elaborated on with some proper wordyness), but overall its written well enough to not bore you before you make it to the final sentence.

Overall, not bad. Even without any changes its still a decent enough read through. I've never heard the album (and although I'm slightly inclined to now, I think you could possibly describe, and fellate the album a bit more if you really like it that much), plus my writing style is a bit different from yours, so take what you will from my suggestions (although they all kinda grow repetitive huh? haha).

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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:42 pm 
 

Thanks a ton, I truly appreciate it! Things to remember for future reviews.
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Bloodstone
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 am
Posts: 424
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 3:03 pm 
 

Already submitted this, but if someone feels like taking a look at it...go ahead, I'll be open to all suggestions. The last time I posted a review here, I got some really helpful tips, so I'm doing it again now.



Sinner - Danger Zone
79%

You like breathing oxygen?

Well Boris pretty much nailed this one I think, but c'mon now, only ONE review up for this? And worse yet - as of this writing - a tiny FOUR reviews up for this band's entire discography, all written by the same person?? Absurd. Something needs to be done, and being the major fanboy on this site around Mat Sinner's later band Primal Fear, after some three and a half years of wait that task might as well fall upon me.

I'll keep this review relatively short and simple, because what we have here can be pretty much described as a sampler of random 80's metal...like Boris said, there are few surprises here. Simple, straightforward, catchy and accessible no-nonsense heavy fucking metal, with an in-your-face headbanging groove similar to that of Accept and much of NWOBHM. Then a little of that bump and sass from Mötley Crüe's second album, minus the glam, and then some riffs and rhythms that remind of Dokken at their very heaviest - again, I have very little to add to what Boris already said about the music, but even so, a second voice can often be a good thing. The production is somewhat reminiscent of 'Defenders of the Faith', though more low-budget as one can expect, but still quite solid and energetic all-around.

Clearly the band's heart is in the right place here, but the songwriting is just a little too samey and derivative for me to place it alongside timeless classics such as 'Balls to the Wall', or the aforementioned 'Defenders of the Faith' and 'Shout at the Devil' - yes, even some fourteen years before Primal Fear (as much as I love them), Mat Sinner's songwriting at times suffered from being somewhat generic. No real identity is forged in their sound and thus most of the album blurs together and does not manage to stand out in any really major way. So, how Boris puts this one above that unstoppable juggernaut of a Priest classic from the same year is entirely beyond me, but nonetheless it's quite a fun ride for what it is. If you want 80's metal...you totally fucking got it.

The highlight on here is far and away the title track...in lack of a more clever way to sum it up, this song just fucking RULES! Imagine the general melody and atmosphere of Iron Maiden's "Twilight Zone", but with a "Two Minutes to Midnight" guitar rhythm (that's actually an issue I have with the whole album - as much as this rhythm is classic and used widely in all of metal, it is used far too fucking often on here!), with Accept actually playing the song. Oh yes, and with cheesy keyboards typical for 1984 thrown in - I for one absolutely adore them, but then I really dig bands like Autograph, if you know/remember them (they had precisely one hit in "Turn Up the Radio" from their debut album, also released in 1984 - other L.A. bands were cheesier, but <i>none</i> had more keyboards than these guys!). In any case, on here they are used tastefully to give the song an added element of emotion and "depth", and in the chorus, the whole "80's effect" of this is just <i>brutal!</i>

"It's a long way through the dark, through the Danger Zone!"

Fuck yeah!!! Furthermore, the lead work here is nothing short of incredible, especially that little lead/riff just after the first chorus, before the solo. Other highlights include the mid-paced "No Place in Heaven" with its shout-out, fist raising chorus (and "Seek and Destroy" opening riff popping up out of nowhere after the second chorus, what the fuck?! Ahh, but no complaint, it's a great riff), the namesake "Fast, Hard & Loud" (featuring a really piss-poor imitation of Rob Halford's trademark majestic high-pitch wailing in the chorus, that still somehow manages to sound really cool) and the energetic "Rattlesnake", hinting at Mötley Crüe with its "sassy" vocals and lyrics.

I've only had this album for a couple of weeks now, and usually I give albums longer time than that before reviewing them, but there's really no need for that here. This is a type of album that is not only easily gotten into, but also one utilizing a style that anyone even remotely into metal should recognize immediately, meaning there's nothing here that requires time "get used to" or anything. Again, it is largely without surprises, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's true that I always say that albums that take more time to grow on you usually hold more staying power, and accordingly, I probably <i>will</i> grow out of this one faster than with, say, Hibria's fantastic debut album (aside from the title track, but that is not to say I won't be pulling the rest of it out again after laying it off for maybe a year) - but still, I'd rather have this than any of the countless far more sophisticated albums that will NEVER grow on me, like all of Opeth's works (whoa, I'm actually bashing Opeth? In a review for classic heavy metal?? Shit, I better slow down the originality train here before I hurt someone!). Aside from the most obvious of selections (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest), I could barely think of a safer purchase for the average heavy metal fan.

In conclusion - highly recommended. Noise records recently re-issued it (not with fancy new re-packaging or anything, but still), so you should be able to find it around.
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
Posts: 2135
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 5:28 pm 
 

There are a lot of NWOBHM/Heavy Metal bands who don’t get enough credit and out of those bands Satan is one of the best - Court in the Act will always be one of my favourite albums from this period.
After that album Satan would change their name to Blind Fury, but they would change it back to Satan in 1986. They released the Dirt Demo which was re-released one year later as this EP, entitled Into the Future.

The first track, Key to Oblivion, has a cool, kind of speed-ish, main riff, but it’s typically Satan. Then their new vocalist, Michael Jackson, starts off singing and you instantly know that he’s a perfect replacement for Brian Ross, he sings a bit deeper, but also a bit more raspy.
The best and also the catchiest part in this song is the chorus: In the slower part it says, “Into the future, back to the past, the key to oblivion”, but then it flows smoothly into the faster part and Jackson sings, “is already done….”

Hear Evil, See Evil, Speak Evil is the weakest out of the four songs, but it has a fantastic sing- along chorus and those awesome evil shrieks, nonetheless. It’s not an excellent song, but it is as catchy as it gets.

The third song is called Fuck You and it is an instrumental, but not one of those dull ‘epic’ pieces, where nothing happens for 8 minutes. It’s far from it! The song starts off with a fucking awesome and fast riff and for the whole three minutes and eighteen seconds it won’t slow down, except during the second part of the solo, which is fantastic by the way, it’s a bit slower. Simply incredible song.

Before I listened to the Ice Man the first time, I thought that it couldn’t top the third song, but I was wrong. It is one hell of a song, Heavy Metal riff after Heavy Metal riff without a break for nearly 5 minutes and also a very cool solo.
I like the lyrics, too:
“You are the one they fear, you could not be seen”.

Almost everything on this EP is top-notch; I only have two little complaints. Firstly, the bass is not very audible, unlike on Court in the Act and secondly, this release is a bit too short, but all in all Into the Future is a very good EP.

If you call yourself a fan of true Heavy Metal, then this EP is a worthwhile addition to your collection.

--------------------------------

Any suggestions appreciated. :)
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ThrashGordon
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:15 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:39 am 
 

After seeing how feeble those Alice In Chains - Greatest Hits reviews are I decided to write one of my own. It's not my most in-depth work, however compilations like this that are as feeble as the reviews written for it are not that easy to critique.

I have already submitted it but I thought I might ask for some opinions, incase it gets rejected...


So I Made A Big Mistake... - 20%

Considering the spectacular but rather short career of Alice In Chains one could be forgiven for assuming that after the release the Music Bank box set, the excellent Nothing Safe compilation and two live albums that AIC's relatively limited resources had been sufficiently drained. As we all know though, common sense will rarely prevail when there's profit to be had.

With it's painfully predictible track selection, unimaginative title, stock photograph cover and total lack of effort in regards to packaging and liner notes AIC - Greatest Hits is the definition of a record label cash grab. Musically there is very little to complain about here as all of the AIC hit's are covered from the debut LP Facelift to their final self-titled recording, however when nine of the ten tracks (the standout being 'Heaven Beside You') are featured on Nothing Safe along with a host of other AIC classics, live tracks and unreleased material it's a rather mute point.

It's unfortunate that a band as impressive as AIC has their name attached to a half-assed compilation such as this as it makes even Iron Maiden's Edward The Great seem like a must have. A favourite of department store bargain bins, if there is anything positive to say about this compilation is that it may introduce a few Wal-Mart shoppers to some decent music. As for any serious AIC fan, the chances are they hocked this for heroin money a long time ago.
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:45 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:20 am 
 

That was a good overview, generally. I'd suggest a closer look at what tracks coincide with the Nothing Safe release, unless it truly is all of them. If it is I'd suggest a little more fire towards the release. You give it a really poor score, but don't entirely ellaborate on this score, aside from the tracks being reused.

Was there anything about the order choice that makes it worse or better? Or perhaps a new live version on the release? If not, I'd say make your arguments a little harsher. It's good to be negative, especially if something does nothing for you.
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
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Location: Austria
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:03 pm 
 

Any comments/feedback on my review?
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:15 pm 
 

DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
Any comments/feedback on my review?


I like just got back from a trip to Niagara Falls, so my head isn't in a great place right now, but when I come back I'll try to hit the last coupla posted reviews, yours included.
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
A Dead Man's Robe

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:23 pm
Posts: 2135
Location: Austria
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:16 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
Any comments/feedback on my review?


I like just got back from a trip to Niagara Falls, so my head isn't in a great place right now, but when I come back I'll try to hit the last coupla posted reviews, yours included.


Thanks, don't stress yourself. :)
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TheStormIRide
Jesuscop

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:45 pm
Posts: 884
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:27 pm 
 

DeathForBlitzkrieg wrote:
OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
I like just got back from a trip to Niagara Falls, so my head isn't in a great place right now, but when I come back I'll try to hit the last coupla posted reviews, yours included.


Thanks, don't stress yourself. :)



:nods: Yeah definitely, if you can't get to any of mine, don't worry about it. They're all accepted, I just wanted some feedback to help future reviews. Take your time, and relax some.
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ThrashGordon
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:15 am
Posts: 1023
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:11 am 
 

TheStormIRide wrote:
That was a good overview, generally. I'd suggest a closer look at what tracks coincide with the Nothing Safe release, unless it truly is all of them. If it is I'd suggest a little more fire towards the release. You give it a really poor score, but don't entirely ellaborate on this score, aside from the tracks being reused.

Was there anything about the order choice that makes it worse or better? Or perhaps a new live version on the release? If not, I'd say make your arguments a little harsher. It's good to be negative, especially if something does nothing for you.


I was thinking that I maybe couldhave gone into more detail about the tracks, however for a detailed description of AIC's songs you probably should check out reviews for their proper releases. This is a comp which features no live tracks, no additonal material ect. I only gave it such a poor score because it is basically worthless to any AIC fan and even a newb can do much better by picking up Nothing Safe, which is a point I'm pretty sure I got across.

I've since found out that Greatest Hits comps are slightly harder to review than regular albums.

In any event it got accepted and I have no doubt it is world's better than the fecal matter that got nuked.
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TheStormIRide
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:34 am 
 

ThrashGordon wrote:
I was thinking that I maybe couldhave gone into more detail about the tracks, however for a detailed description of AIC's songs you probably should check out reviews for their proper releases. This is a comp which features no live tracks, no additonal material ect. I only gave it such a poor score because it is basically worthless to any AIC fan and even a newb can do much better by picking up Nothing Safe, which is a point I'm pretty sure I got across.

I've since found out that Greatest Hits comps are slightly harder to review than regular albums.

In any event it got accepted and I have no doubt it is world's better than the fecal matter that got nuked.



Yeah, like I said, if there's nothing new, why go over it again. It definitely got the point across that you should go elsewhere for AIC. Well done! :wink:
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OlympicSharpshooter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:45 am 
 

Okay, I'll start with Bloodstone's. If you want me to look over your stuff Storm I can, but I'm going to do the posts that haven't been 'serviced' as yet first.

Bloodstone wrote:
And worse yet - as of this writing - a tiny FOUR reviews up for this band's entire discography, all written by the same person??


Double question marks = bad

Quote:
'll keep this review relatively short and simple, because what we have here can be pretty much described as a sampler of random 80's metal...like Boris said, there are few surprises here. Simple, straightforward, catchy and accessible no-nonsense heavy fucking metal, with an in-your-face headbanging groove similar to that of Accept and much of NWOBHM. Then a little of that bump and sass from Mötley Crüe's second album, minus the glam, and then some riffs and rhythms that remind of Dokken at their very heaviest - again, I have very little to add to what Boris already said about the music, but even so, a second voice can often be a good thing. The production is somewhat reminiscent of 'Defenders of the Faith', though more low-budget as one can expect, but still quite solid and energetic all-around.


Constantly pointing out that what you're saying has already been said by Boris is not a good idea. It makes people more liable to just stop reading yours and get to his. Acknowledging/complementing his views is A-OK, or referencing his in order to expand upon or rebut a point, but there's no need to cite him on every point you make.

The bolded section is a little eh... it's a sentence fragment for a start, and secondly it's got a repetitive structure. Also the part right after it about a 'second voice' must-needs go.

Quote:
The highlight on here is far and away the title track...in lack of a more clever way to sum it up, this song just fucking RULES! Imagine the general melody and atmosphere of Iron Maiden's "Twilight Zone", but with a "Two Minutes to Midnight" guitar rhythm (that's actually an issue I have with the whole album - as much as this rhythm is classic and used widely in all of metal, it is used far too fucking often on here!), with Accept actually playing the song. Oh yes, and with cheesy keyboards typical for 1984 thrown in - I for one absolutely adore them, but then I really dig bands like Autograph, if you know/remember them (they had precisely one hit in "Turn Up the Radio" from their debut album, also released in 1984 - other L.A. bands were cheesier, but <i>none</i> had more keyboards than these guys!). In any case, on here they are used tastefully to give the song an added element of emotion and "depth", and in the chorus, the whole "80's effect" of this is just <i>brutal!</i>


The ellipses aren't really used well in that first line. Also should be 'for lack' as well.

The second bolded line is kind of a trainwreck. You start a thought, digress, and don't go back to it. "Oh yes, and with cheesy keyboards typical for 1984 thrown in" is not a full sentence, so when you digress you have to come back and finish the idea or change the way it is written as is. Maybe "There are also cheesy keyboards typical of 1984 thrown in" instead, and then a period. Then do your next sentence, with the Autograph reference (which, by the way, I totally appreciate :D).

And when you say 'brutal', do you mean in the 'oh that's just brutal' sense or in the 'BRUTAL ANTI-COSMIC METAL OF DETH' sense?

Since the next paragraph is about the same song, you might want to introduce the quote you're using at the end of the paragraph ending with 'brutal' and throw a colon on there, thus justifying breaking your paragraph in two without changing subject.

Quote:
It's true that I always say that albums that take more time to grow on you usually hold more staying power, and accordingly, I probably <i>will</i> grow out of this one faster than with, say, Hibria's fantastic debut album (aside from the title track, but that is not to say I won't be pulling the rest of it out again after laying it off for maybe a year) - but still, I'd rather have this than any of the countless far more sophisticated albums that will NEVER grow on me, like all of Opeth's works (whoa, I'm actually bashing Opeth? In a review for classic heavy metal?? Shit, I better slow down the originality train here before I hurt someone!)


All of the parts of this sentence are good, they just need to be broken up into 2-4 smaller sentences.

Anyway, good work as is anyway. No huge need to edit it, but if you feel like it.
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OlympicSharpshooter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:03 pm 
 

Okay, on to the Satan review.

DeathforBlitzkrieg wrote:
There are a lot of NWOBHM/Heavy Metal bands who don’t get enough credit and out of those bands Satan is one of the best - Court in the Act will always be one of my favourite albums from this period.
After that album Satan would change their name to Blind Fury, but they would change it back to Satan in 1986. They released the Dirt Demo which was re-released one year later as this EP, entitled Into the Future.


First off, you have some formatting problems. That should appear as one solid paragraph, not two split lines like that. Example:

"There are a lot of NWOBHM/Heavy Metal bands who don’t get enough credit and out of those bands Satan is one of the best - Court in the Act will always be one of my favourite albums from this period. After that album Satan would change their name to Blind Fury, but they would change it back to Satan in 1986. They released the Dirt Demo which was re-released one year later as this EP, entitled Into the Future. "

Just hit backspace before the word 'After' and it looks twice as good already. You should do this with all of your paragraphs that are broken like this.

I'll do a little 'shop talk' regarding sentence structure and grammar in a moment, but first I think you need to give your review some focus. I suggest you devote a paragraph prior to the track-by-track rundown to how the band actually sounds, what their style is, and try to find some reason why this band is more worthy of your interest than your dime-a-dozen NWOBHM dregs. The could be something as simple as above-average riff construction, cannier arrangements, incredible leads, amazing vocals, or something more subjective like some way they've touched you as a music listener. By providing a bit more background and a description of their sound, people will be able to more clearly understand your track by track. Like, a 'fucking awesome fast riff' means entirely different things within thrash, trad, prog, death, doom, etc. so people need some basis for comparison.

Quote:
The best and also the catchiest part in this song is the chorus: In the slower part it says, “Into the future, back to the past, the key to oblivion”, but then it flows smoothly into the faster part and Jackson sings, “is already done….”


This is really vague. The slow part, the fast part, etc. This really isn't useful to the reader. Try to stay away from very specific musical description unless there's something so unusual about it that even text can convey it perfectly (such a kazoo solo), and use more descriptive language to get your point across. Like, a "folk-y melodic lick that flows effortlessly into some vicious thrashing, while Jackson screams the catchy refrain o'ertop" or something. That doesn't describe the part in question I know, but it's an example of how using more descriptions can perk up the review.

Anyhoo, as it is a review of an EP you need not go any longer than you have, so with some tweaking I think you'll have a good, brief rundown of a thus-far uncovered album, which is good for everybody. Hope this helped!
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OlympicSharpshooter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:09 pm 
 

ThrashGordon: Brilliant last line. The review is fine for what it is, though I do agree with Storm in that you might want to point out what the listener is missing specifically by buying this inferior hits collection. There's no need to do full on paragraphs devoted to each track from Nothing Safe (or, God forbid, all of their full albums) that the people are missing out on, but highlighting the fact that the set skips some of AIC's most popular songs, as well as the exclusive Get Born Again from the earlier compilation might give the uninformed reader more of an understanding as to why it 'earned' a 20% grave.

Still, that's more of an 'if you feel like it' thing. Your review is fine in this case.
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:23 pm 
 

Thanks for the feedback, it really helps me to improve my phrasing.. :) Here's the (hopefully) improved version:

There are a lot of NWOBHM/Heavy Metal bands who don’t get enough credit and out of those bands Satan is one of the best - Court in the Act will always be one of my favourite albums from this period. After that album Satan would change their name to Blind Fury, but they would change it back to Satan in 1986. They released the Dirt Demo which was re-released one year later as this EP, entitled Into the Future.

Like from all releases by Satan you can expect catchy and (semi-)technical riffs and leads, mind blowing solos and a singer who knows how to sing. The diverse drums additionally underline the feeling of great musicianship. You can listen to the whole EP in a row without doing anything else at the same time and you won’t get bored at all. Ok, it’s only about 18 minutes long, but anyway.

The first track, Key to Oblivion, has a cool, kind of speed-ish, main riff, but it’s typically Satan. Then their new vocalist, Michael Jackson, starts off singing and you instantly know that he’s a perfect replacement for Brian Ross, he sings a bit deeper, but also a bit more raspy.
The most memorable part of this song is the chorus with its catchy lyrics.

Hear Evil, See Evil, Speak Evil is the weakest out of the four songs, but it has a fantastic sing- along chorus and those awesome evil shrieks, nonetheless. It’s not an excellent song, but definitely not a song to skip.

The third song is called Fuck You and it is an instrumental, but not one of those dull ‘epic’ pieces, where nothing happens for 8 minutes. It’s far from it! The song starts off with an awesomely fast riff, which could be from a Speed Metal album. For the whole three minutes and eighteen seconds it won’t slow down, except during the second part of the solo, which is fantastic by the way, it’s a bit slower. Simply incredible song.

Before I listened to the Ice Man the first time, I thought that it couldn’t top the third song, but I was wrong. It is one hell of a song, Heavy Metal riff after Heavy Metal riff without a break for nearly 5 minutes and also a very cool solo. I like the lyrics, too: “You are the one they fear, you could not be seen”.

Almost everything on this EP is top-notch; I only have two little complaints. Firstly, the bass is not very audible, unlike on Court in the Act and secondly, this release is a bit too short, but all in all Into the Future is a very good EP.

If you call yourself a fan of true Heavy Metal then this EP is a worthwhile addition to your collection.
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OlympicSharpshooter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:26 pm 
 

The paragraph about Key to Oblivion still has the formatting issue, but otherwise that's a solid, submittable piece.
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DeathForBlitzkrieg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:29 pm 
 

Ah, damn. Fixed.

Thanks a lot. :thumbsup:
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Bloodstone
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:28 pm 
 

OSS, you rule, thanks once again. :thumbsup:

Did most of what you recommended, edited version below:

Sinner - Danger Zone
79%

You like breathing oxygen?

Well Boris pretty much nailed this one I think, but c'mon now, only ONE review up for this? And worse yet - as of this writing - a tiny FOUR reviews up for this band's entire discography, all written by the same person?? Absurd. Something needs to be done, and being the major fanboy on this site around Mat Sinner's later band Primal Fear, after some three and a half years of wait that task might as well fall upon me.

I'll keep this review relatively short and simple, because what we have here can be pretty much described as a sampler of random 80's metal...like Boris said, there are few surprises here. Simple, straightforward, catchy and accessible no-nonsense heavy fucking metal, with an in-your-face headbanging groove similar to that of Accept and much of NWOBHM. Then a little of that bump and sass from Mötley Crüe's second album, minus the glam, and then some riffs and rhythms that remind of Dokken at their very heaviest. The production is somewhat reminiscent of 'Defenders of the Faith', though more low-budget as one can expect, but still quite solid and energetic all-around.

Clearly the band's heart is in the right place here, but the songwriting is just a little too samey and derivative for me to place it alongside timeless classics such as 'Balls to the Wall', or the aforementioned 'Defenders of the Faith' and 'Shout at the Devil' - yes, even some fourteen years before Primal Fear (as much as I love them), Mat Sinner's songwriting at times suffered from being somewhat generic. No real identity is forged in their sound and thus most of the album blurs together and does not manage to stand out in any really major way. So, how Boris puts this one above that unstoppable juggernaut of a Priest classic from the same year is entirely beyond me, but nonetheless it's quite a fun ride for what it is. If you want 80's metal...you totally fucking got it.

The highlight on here is far and away the title track - for lack of a more clever way to sum it up, this song just fucking RULES! Imagine the general melody and atmosphere of Iron Maiden's "Twilight Zone", but with a "Two Minutes to Midnight" guitar rhythm (that's actually an issue I have with the whole album - as much as this rhythm is classic and widely used in all of metal, it is used far too fucking often on here!), with Accept actually playing the song. Oh yes, and with cheesy keyboards typical for 1984 thrown in. I for one absolutely adore them, but then you have to know I really dig bands like Autograph, if you know/remember them (they had precisely one hit in "Turn Up the Radio" from their debut album, also released in 1984 - other L.A. bands were cheesier, but <i>none</i> had more keyboards than these guys!). In any case, on here they are used tastefully to give the song an added element of emotion and "depth", and in the chorus, the whole "80's effect" of this is just <i>brutal!</i>

"It's a long way through the dark, through the Danger Zone!"

Fuck yeah!!! Furthermore, the lead work here is nothing short of incredible, especially that little lead/riff just after the first chorus, before the solo. Other highlights include the mid-paced "No Place in Heaven" with its shout-out, fist raising chorus (and "Seek and Destroy" opening riff popping up out of nowhere after the second chorus, what the fuck?! Ahh, but no complaint, it's a great riff after all), the namesake "Fast, Hard & Loud" (featuring a really piss-poor imitation of Rob Halford's trademark majestic high-pitch wailing in the chorus, that still somehow manages to sound really cool) and the energetic "Rattlesnake", hinting at Mötley Crüe with its "sassy" vocals and lyrics.

I've only had this album for a couple of weeks now, and usually I give albums longer time than that before reviewing them, but there's really no need for that here. This is a type of album that is not only easily gotten into, but also one utilizing a style that anyone even remotely into metal should recognize immediately, meaning there's nothing here that requires time to "get used to" or anything. Again, it is largely without surprises, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. It's true that I always say that albums that take more time to grow on you usually hold more staying power - accordingly, I probably <i>will</i> grow out of this one faster than with, say, Hibria's fantastic debut album (aside from the title track, but that is not to say I won't be pulling the rest of it out again after laying it off for maybe a year). Still, however, I'd rather have this than any of the countless far more sophisticated albums that will NEVER grow on me, like all of Opeth's works (whoa, I'm actually bashing Opeth? In a review for classic heavy metal?? Shit, I better slow down the originality train here before hurting someone!). Aside from the most obvious of selections (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest), I could barely think of a safer purchase for the average heavy metal fan.

In conclusion - highly recommended. Noise records recently re-issued it (not with fancy new re-packaging or anything, but still), so you should be able to find it around.
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OlympicSharpshooter
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:51 pm 
 

(Y) Better now.
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ThrashGordon
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:12 am 
 

I was pretty happy with that last line. Sometimes I can right a decent review (IMO) and then spend half an hour trying to think of a way to end it.

BTW - This thread rules only because OSS is now a Mod...
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:01 am 
 

Now I'll finally will begin participating in this thread. From what I saw good job OSS, the revision was better still.

Maybe I'll put up a review. Maybe not. I like writing track by tracks, but not vapid ones that may have been seen and/or nuked somewhere.
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