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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:04 pm 
 

Gutterscream wrote:
I've only been on the site since mid-Feb. of this year, so I'm still reading the vast number of reviews on it, but three that caught my eye and I can remember their authors are (for some reason I can't post the direct links as it keeps bringing me back to the main page)

Olympicsharpshooter's reviews of Anacrusis - Reason
Abominatrix's Deep Purple - Book of Taliesyn
Gabometal86's Voivod - War and Pain and his trouncing of it.

A lot of the ones here with direct links or recommendations are solid, like Dybrar's (as pointed out by Byrgan) and the two by Radagast (via OlympicSharpshooter, whose recommended reviews of Rush's Permanent Waves and Priest's Angel of Retribution are fantastic and don't skimp on description, background, personal opinion, and third person view). Radagast introduced me to the word "gormless".

One reviewer, I believe it was Gabo, described one song's rhythm or melody as 'a camel floundering in a river' that has stuck with me.

Keep recommending reviews for this thread as you find them. I probably wouldn't have read half of these if they weren't brought to my attention, and most people who're regulars on this particular thread won't mind reading singled-out appraisals even if it just brightens their day a watt.
If you can get people to read reviews of bands/styles they aren't really interested in, then you're doing something right.

As for me, I have been known to over-write a bit, wax on the verbose side, and I can be the flag-waver of the run-on sentence, depending on my mood and creative verve (and I'll sacrifice proper structure or a non-word for a sentence/idea's flow anyday). For about ten years I had to review what other people wanted, so now I just do whichever ones hit me at the moment (most of which I never had to write about to any extent before), but I have been trudging through a few of the crappier releases lately. Sometimes they're the most fun. I'm just glad people like some of the reviews, look forward to reading them, tolerate my occasional nostalgic wanderings, and if all goes well, galvanize one or two people to pick up the lp/cd they're reading about.


^ Bravo Gutterscream, you managed to highlight exactly why this is probably my favourite thread on the Metal-Archives. I'm glad you've liked some of my stuff, and thanks again for the PM regarding the Reason review.

As for your writing, you put out some of the classiest reviews on this site and I read them whether I know the album or not. I remember being a little confused when you started getting namechecked a lot on this board 'cos I couldn't remember reading any of your stuff, but I looked into it and no lie, its amongst the best I've ever read here. You're one of the rare reviewers who's good in every area of review writing (personality, knowledgeability, grammar, style, etc.). I can definitely tell you've been at it a while.

I stopped in, incidentally, to pimp Bloodstone's new Testament re-review. This guy has improved drastically since he started, and I'm going to keep an eye out for his stuff. His criticisms are spot on.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=245#7600

EDIT: And this one too! Killer intro.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=22376#7600

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fluffy_ferret
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:11 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:17 pm 
 

Bloodstone is a good reviewer, just need to shorten his reviews a little... and you too ;)

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:56 pm 
 

fluffy_ferret wrote:
Bloodstone is a good reviewer, just need to shorten his reviews a little... and you too ;)


Eh, most of my reviews are between 700-1000 words these days, that's concise enough. Very few 2000-worders these days thankfully. That Awake review is long enough that you should probably pack sandwiches if you read it.

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stickyshooZ
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:29 am
Posts: 3934
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:19 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter has done it again. His latest At the Gates review is stellar.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:57 pm 
 

Glad you liked it. I really like that review, and I was sort've afraid that nobody'd read it considering the general opinion on that record here.

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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 5240
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:06 pm 
 

Yeah lets see how OlympicSharpshooter does on a requested review. ;)
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:24 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
Yeah lets see how OlympicSharpshooter does on a requested review. ;)


I've got the first track, and I'll try to set aside another hour and a half tomorrow to grab the second one. (Y)

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fluffy_ferret
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:11 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:25 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
fluffy_ferret wrote:
Bloodstone is a good reviewer, just need to shorten his reviews a little... and you too ;)


Eh, most of my reviews are between 700-1000 words these days, that's concise enough. Very few 2000-worders these days thankfully. That Awake review is long enough that you should probably pack sandwiches if you read it.


Yes reviews like http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=38022#5599 and http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=38117#5599 are OK length (you'd have a hard time finding published reviews that are longer...).

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:58 am 
 

The Clansman's review of Opeth's Ghost Reveries combines the best elements of the respective review styles of Falco and UltraBoris. As such, it is one of the better reviews I have read recently.
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fluffy_ferret
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:11 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:30 am 
 

The Clansman's views are a little unconventional, i'm not sure if i agree with them yet. As an Opeth hater i've got to recommend his review though ;)

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stickyshooZ
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:29 am
Posts: 3934
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:14 am 
 

Even though I agree with his review, I didn't find it to be anything special.
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 1:54 pm 
 

stickyshooZ wrote:
Even though I agree with his review, I didn't find it to be anything special.


Well, since I think that UltraBoris and Falco are the best iconoclastic reviewers on the site, I was delighted to see a review which struck me as a seamless blend between Boris and Falco's respective reviewing styles.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:27 pm 
 

fluffy_ferret wrote:
OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
fluffy_ferret wrote:
Bloodstone is a good reviewer, just need to shorten his reviews a little... and you too ;)


Eh, most of my reviews are between 700-1000 words these days, that's concise enough. Very few 2000-worders these days thankfully. That Awake review is long enough that you should probably pack sandwiches if you read it.


Yes reviews like http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=38022#5599 and http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=38117#5599 are OK length (you'd have a hard time finding published reviews that are longer...).


Those were reviews of albums that I had no really strong feelings about. I write a lot because I have a lot to say. *shrug*

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Bloodstone
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 am
Posts: 424
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:17 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
I stopped in, incidentally, to pimp Bloodstone's new Testament re-review. This guy has improved drastically since he started, and I'm going to keep an eye out for his stuff. His criticisms are spot on.


Sorry, didn't notice my precious little reviews were being pimped until just now. :eek::D

Highlighted part very much seconded. I find most of my old works entirely unbearable to read, so yeah that's why I'm redoing them - but in some cases it's also because my opinion on stuff simply has changed. I never review anything before really sitting down with it like two-three months prior (except the most obvious latest Paragon/3728494000th generic, predictable power metal releases), but in Testament's case it's a combination of both slowly outgrowing it as I "evolve" as a listener and finding stuff that's just plain better on all levels.

Expect a redone review for 'Practice What You Preach' soon, but I think I'll keep the ones for 'The Legacy' and 'Souls of Black', because my opinion hasn't really changed too much on them, plus I think my 'Souls' one is, if nothing else, the best of my old works (pre-summer 2004). But even my review for Scanner - Terminal Earth, a more recent one, badly requires replacing - I'm trying SO hard to be UltraBoris in it, and crushingly phail at that.

EDIT: Oh yeah and totally agree about 'Slaughter of the Soul' review - very very cool one. One of your best; all great points made and also manages to be long without being too overwhelming (when it takes multiple reads to really grasp).

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:20 pm 
 

Bloodstone wrote:
I never review anything before really sitting down with it like two-three months prior (except the most obvious latest Paragon/3728494000th generic, predictable power metal releases)


Very good policy. No offence intended to anyone (*cough*Clanny*cough*), but you can't write a review after one listen in my opinion. Although, on the subject of that review, it is quite well written and a nice change from the 90% parade.

Quote:
But even my review for Scanner - Terminal Earth, a more recent one, badly requires replacing - I'm trying SO hard to be UltraBoris in it, and crushingly phail at that.


Everybody seems to try to morph into him at some point or another... that said, nothing wrong with that review aside from that it does feel a bit out of character for you.

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Gabometal86
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 11:14 pm
Posts: 812
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:45 pm 
 

Gutterscream wrote:
I've only been on the site since mid-Feb. of this year, so I'm still reading the vast number of reviews on it, but three that caught my eye and I can remember their authors are (for some reason I can't post the direct links as it keeps bringing me back to the main page)

Olympicsharpshooter's reviews of Anacrusis - Reason
Abominatrix's Deep Purple - Book of Taliesyn
Gabometal86's Voivod - War and Pain and his trouncing of it.

A lot of the ones here with direct links or recommendations are solid, like Dybrar's (as pointed out by Byrgan) and the two by Radagast (via OlympicSharpshooter, whose recommended reviews of Rush's Permanent Waves and Priest's Angel of Retribution are fantastic and don't skimp on description, background, personal opinion, and third person view). Radagast introduced me to the word "gormless".

One reviewer, I believe it was Gabo, described one song's rhythm or melody as 'a camel floundering in a river' that has stuck with me.

Keep recommending reviews for this thread as you find them. I probably wouldn't have read half of these if they weren't brought to my attention, and most people who're regulars on this particular thread won't mind reading singled-out appraisals even if it just brightens their day a watt.
If you can get people to read reviews of bands/styles they aren't really interested in, then you're doing something right.

As for me, I have been known to over-write a bit, wax on the verbose side, and I can be the flag-waver of the run-on sentence, depending on my mood and creative verve (and I'll sacrifice proper structure or a non-word for a sentence/idea's flow anyday). For about ten years I had to review what other people wanted, so now I just do whichever ones hit me at the moment (most of which I never had to write about to any extent before), but I have been trudging through a few of the crappier releases lately. Sometimes they're the most fun. I'm just glad people like some of the reviews, look forward to reading them, tolerate my occasional nostalgic wanderings, and if all goes well, galvanize one or two people to pick up the lp/cd they're reading about.



It´s an inmense honour that Gutterscream himself (my personal favourite reviewer on the site), even bothers to mention any of my reviews.

Edit: Oh yeah.. and OSS and Bloodstone are both damn good reviews; I´d rather pick on the former than the latter but anyhow, I always enjoy reading their stuff wheter or not I´m familiarized with the album they are reviewing.

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Nightgaunt
I'll Swallow Your Soul

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:50 pm
Posts: 6240
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 12:09 pm 
 

Here is a fine piece from a different realm and in a different vein than the ones that all of you heavies normally treat with.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=15558
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:31 pm 
 

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=13750#21802

TrooperEd's new Soundgarden review is very good. The album deserves a better average though, I may have to review it myself...

And that's an excellent review by Thamuz as well.

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swineeyedlamb
Boiling in the Hourglass

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:49 pm
Posts: 650
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:15 am 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
Glad you liked it. I really like that review, and I was sort've afraid that nobody'd read it considering the general opinion on that record here.


That header can't be beat. I can almost taste the battery acid, sugar and aimless hyperactivity when I hear the opening "na-na's" of Blinded by Fear.

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Byrgan
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 5:35 pm
Posts: 1333
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:59 am 
 

Gutterscream wrote:

A lot of the ones here with direct links or recommendations are solid, like Dybrar's (as pointed out by Byrgan)


I should have said his name because the other guy posted his review later on. I meant necron313. Both reviews are solid. But necron put so much into one review. I like the flow. Like he explodes with description then takes a breather and weaves his way back in...


necron313 wrote:
The Dark Lord is calling us to WAR!!!! CRUSH the weakling humans and elves under your feet!!!! Burn their villages and rape their women!!!! Leave none alive save those who are fit to serve Our Dark Liege!!!!!!!! Go!!!!! Spread fear and death among them!!!!!! Take their ears as your trophies, minions of the blackened earth!!!!!!

The first full length release from Italy's Nazgul is nothing short of an orgasmic sonic descent into the darkest reaches of the netherkingdoms beyond the constructs we know as time, space and imagination. This album delivers on what many black metal albums promise - from start to finish it is a soul-pummeling voyage through the hidden portals of your deepest, most primitive psyche, transplanting you into a war-torn dimension of dark epic fantasy, where under violet skies and on war-scorched earth, planetary-scale war is underway between the brutal satanic hordes of Orcdom and a disadvantaged, broken, failing elven-human resistance.

Tolkien lives, indeed, but has been mangled and transfigured by Lovecraft.....

Labeled "Orkish Black Metal" by Zakrathor (vocals, keyboards, drums) and Thornset (guitars, bass), this album chronicles in fourteen gruesome vignettes or poetic "stages", volcanic full-scale war leading to the inevitable crushing demise of humanity and elfdom (light and hope) under the hand of the murderous, monstrous hellcreatures, boiling furiously to extinguish once and for all the dimly flickering light of the Age of Men and triumphantly usher in a new dark age.... the AGE OF THE ORC!

The music is richly organic and highly UNFORMULAIC folkish black metal. Those looking for another Mayhem or Darkthrone clone to add to their collection, look elsewhere. De Expugniatione Elfmuth is driven by a furious and highly original barrage of brutally fast and necro-heavy riffwork , an elaborate lattice of beautiful chords and thunderous, two-hundred-miles-per-second-wardrumming which blend together perfectly to build an atmosphere of deathmarch, epic holocaust, the supreme despair of fallen kingdoms left warriorless, naked and prone to the malicious and long-awaited wrath of brutal inhuman outlanders. There are plenty of keyboard interjections, but the keyboards are a well-done, congruous, perfectly balanced enhancement to the battle-drenched guitar-driven sound. At no point throughout the album does Nazgul go "keyboard-crazy" and allow these effects to throttle or suffocate the unbreakable metallic thrust of the album, as happens all too often on (otherwise decent) black metal albums.

Zakrathor's vocals are unlike anything one has ever heard - so far removed from anything resembling human that one would swear that a slithering, winged, tentacled creature from some long hidden mythology had been conjured up and was shrieking into the microphone. Forget those dime-a-dozen necro-growling vocalists - this makes no attempt to sound like anything familiar, anything friendly, anything you can relate to. And it works. Zakrathor perfectly captures the shocking despair and tortured ugliness of existence - fantastic, prehistoric, medieval or modern. Underneath (and often in balancing contrast to) this artful, tortured, indecipherable shrieking, there are muffled ogrish growls and a well-placed smattering of ominous monk-like incantations.

This is a well-blended, intelligent, delectable medieval grimoire come to musical life, and the dark-age ambience of the entire work is effectively enhanced by lyrics written entirely in Latin. To select one particular piece above the others is to do this album a grave injustice, since all fourteen pieces, from the unmercifully heavy ones through the several that are more glorious and symphonic, harmoniously coalesce into a beautiful collective, creating the amazing literary and sonic orgasmorama that is De Expugniatione Elfmuth. For the skeptical: a few of the tracks that best reflect the fusion/interspersal of brutal black metal with delicate symphonic sensibilities (the consummate Nazgul sound) are "Impetus Quartae Luna Novae", "Legio Draconum Orkian" and "Elficidium"....

Behold - the ancient kingdoms of opulence have long since fallen into vainglory, cynicism and corruption. The once fabled stone battlements and marbled meadhalls are chipping, cracked, in disrepair. The long forgotten enemies of old have returned in swarms to rain ultimate blitzkrieg, death and havoc upon the slumbering weaklings under the darkening skies. There are some pitched battles, arrows vaulted and chivalric assaults to repel the invaders - all feebly wrought to naught in the dramatic and inevitable end. This album is a mouth-watering, bloodsoaked panoply of richly woven dark fantasy, unparalleled war and destruction, and the ultimate victorious emergence of the armies of evil.

It is a twisted, thorn-choked, nightmarish inversion of Tolkien, culminating in the brutal, final elimination of human-elf resistance in the thirteenth piece, "Bellum", wherein the heinous armies of orcish Generals Baazgor and Orkian extinguish with symbolic axe and javelin the last of the resistance.The blasphemous details of the fourteenth piece, "Epilogus", are left to our imaginations. One could easily envision a shocking torch-lit banquet involving thousands of blasphemous mangy, armored nether-creatures, surrounded by the impaled and dying bodies of the conquered, whose women and children have already been given over to slavery, harlotry, torture (worse...?). Sauron sits enthroned, and his conquering generals render a mighty HAIL. The Dark Lord gives the sign for the hordes to commence feastiing on the tender sweet flesh of the conquered.

:::::::::::::::ROOOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!::::::::::::::::

Although some will surely disagree, I have nothing bad to say about this album, and hope that you are curious enough to atleast give it a listen. It amazes me that this band still remains largely undiscovered. The sparsity of the lyrics contrasted with the density and multitextural layeredness of the music creates a genuinely and uniquely powerful listening (mindscape?) experience. So much, in fact, of De Expugnatione Elfmuth is left to the imagination that, if you aren't careful, you may wake up in jail a week after the first listen, returning from a battle frenzy-induced anti-humanity war-axe killing spree.

This album will kill posers on contact and turn their bodies into quivering, pinkish-red organic putty in ten seconds or less,,,,for a laugh, try it at your next conservative family gathering

For the rest of you - nightmare-fantasy-glory-black-metal-loving cretins and pit-fiends,, I submit to you De Expugniatione Elfmuth,,,, beware this album,,and remember, it's only music,,,,,,,

? ? ? ?

AVE SAURON!!!! "Igitur evanescent cum strepitu inter arbores, percussas pavore cum tropaeis funebribus.....auriculis elficis!!!!"

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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:39 pm 
 

Olympicsharpshooter's recent critique of Freedom's Call "Crystal Empire" - hey man, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel. Damn, and I had a Carebears metaphor primed for a future review, but alas the early bird gets the worm.

Good job. I'm surprised it got a 25%.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 4:02 pm 
 

swineeyedlamb wrote:
OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
Glad you liked it. I really like that review, and I was sort've afraid that nobody'd read it considering the general opinion on that record here.


That header can't be beat. I can almost taste the battery acid, sugar and aimless hyperactivity when I hear the opening "na-na's" of Blinded by Fear.


Heehee, thanks man. I'm real glad you liked it since I for one look at your stuff as somewhat of a gold standard. Yours too for that matter Gutterscream. That review score kept getting lower and lower as I mined new depths of irritation towards that fluffy piece of crap.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:14 pm 
 

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=77961#47374

I've stuck my toe into the ambient waters only sporadically (still working my way through Droneriot's split for example), but this is a fine review for any genre. He's been submitting pretty frequently and most of his stuff is good.

Also worth flagging the new Gutterscream review, which is probably the longest for a single I've seen since...uhh... maybe my Motley Crue rage-a-thon a ways back.

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Bloodstone
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:48 am
Posts: 424
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:10 pm 
 

Not a great review in any sense, but rather a hilarious one for its last line at the bottom alone, which can be interpreted in multiple ways.

Quote:
Disappointment - 39%
Written by Motorsaw on August 15th, 2005

When I bought this single, I had high hopes. Now I have to say I'm totally disappointed. Title song's opening is funny (sounds like an old videogame) but when the melody turns to guitar riff, nghtmare begins.
That riff is boring, B-O-R-I-N-G. Some verses actually sound very good, but the riff in the chorus' backround kills the atmosphere.
Then we have edited version from the song "United", good god this song is awesome! It's powerful and horns in the middle keeps up the good mood.
Next, we have 'Risto Asikainen Quantum Mix' version from the "Maniac Dance". Like the original song this is boring too.
And finally, the last track, the Demo version of the "Maniac Dance".
Needless, is my opinion.


:lol: You know, I was just thinking that too...

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RightIntoTheGrave
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 9:03 pm
Posts: 111
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:04 pm 
 

MegaTormentor’s most recent reviews, especially the new Absurd one, are simply great, featuring some thoroughly awesome description.

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Minotaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:00 pm
Posts: 174
Location: Mongolia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:13 am 
 

RightIntoTheGrave wrote:
MegaTormentor’s most recent reviews, especially the new Absurd one, are simply great, featuring some thoroughly awesome description.


Thanks, I love having this kind of comments. I'll probably write more, the next ones will be Seance - Saltrubbed Eyes and Atrocity - Todessehnsucht.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 9:18 pm 
 

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=4568#29772

Starting to become almost redundant to recommend Gutterscream reviews, but this one is great even by his standards. That paragraph where he goes off on the blurb on the back of the record is just priceless. Makes me feel rather ashamed of my rather miniscule Atheist write-up that I had just submitted before reading that thing.

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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:39 pm 
 

Thanks, O - I wasn't even planning on reviewing that one until the blurb on the back cover caught my eye. It just caught me the right way and since I hadn't really listened to the thing in a few years, I'd give it another whirl. I don't know why you put your reviews down. I think they're some of the best on the site.

By the way, how'd you come up with the alternate user name 6:00XmasMorning?

PS - your package went out Tuesday airmail.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 3:16 pm 
 

Gutterscream wrote:
Thanks, O - I wasn't even planning on reviewing that one until the blurb on the back cover caught my eye. It just caught me the right way and since I hadn't really listened to the thing in a few years, I'd give it another whirl. I don't know why you put your reviews down. I think they're some of the best on the site.

By the way, how'd you come up with the alternate user name 6:00XmasMorning?

PS - your package went out Tuesday airmail.


I think my reviews are alright in general, that one just happened to be rather anemic by comparison since it was just a 3-track demo.

6:00XmasMorning was the result of wanting the name '6:00' on the Dream Theater message board and finding it already taken, thus forcing me to improvise. I've always found it rather cumbersome, which is why its 6:00 whenever I can manage it. ;)

And I look forward to it, thanks.

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:41 am 
 

I like both reviews of this despite not having heard the release in question... it looks interesting though, I may be one step closer to the holy grail that is Nazi Flying Saucer Metal.
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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:03 pm 
 

Nightgaunt wrote:
Here is a fine piece from a different realm and in a different vein than the ones that all of you heavies normally treat with.

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=15558


Whoa... I have not heard that album, but if Thamuz is to be trusted, Lunar Aurora must be like what would happen if Philip K. Dick and H. R. Giger started a Black Metal band.
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:35 pm 
 

Peregrin wrote:
I like both reviews of this despite not having heard the release in question... it looks interesting though, I may be one step closer to the holy grail that is Nazi Flying Saucer Metal.


Heh, yeah that review was fun to write.

Quote:
In Flames vs Tiffany - 37%
Written by Cheeses_Priced on October 7th, 2004

Formed in 1990 and hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, IN FLAMES are one of the best-known and highly praised bands in the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal movement. Their third full-length album, Whoracle, was released in 1997 on Nuclear Blast records.

TIFFANY (born Tiffany Renee Darwisch) was the first female artist to reach the number one spot on the billboard charts. She’s best known for the pop tunes she sang in the 1980s, which paved the way for such groups as New Kids on the Block. Her eponymous debut album was released in 1987 when she was still only sixteen years old.

In the interest of better assessing the unique merits and deficiencies of both recordings, I’ll compare both of them across a broad variety of categories. May the best album win!

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

VOCALS

This one’s a pushover. Tiffany is a very talented singer; she appeared on Ed McMahon’s Star Search as a child and so even at the young age of sixteen, she has a good range and a great deal of versatility. Although she comes from a country music background, across the album she shows herself capable of handling a variety of styles. Naturally, her voice is the lynchpin of the album and she performs more than adequately.

In Flames utilize a death metal vocal style… from a technical standpoint, not terribly impressive, and not terribly impressive compared against other death metal singers, either. Anders Fridén has a passable voice, but he’s too monotonous in his inflection. I don’t understand why the band brought in a guy just to do vocals, instead of just having somebody in the band perform them – seems like out of any group of four grown men, at least one of them would have to be able to do death metal vocals better than this guy.

Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

PRODUCTION

Tiffany’s production is very professionally done, as one would expect from a hit pop album: the recording is crystal clear, everything is perfectly balanced in the listening space, and there are nifty little effects like reverb and such where appropriate. There’s really not much to criticize – I assume the recording was done by well-paid sound engineers.

In Flames, however, are no slouches in this area either. One of the band’s biggest appeals over the course of their career (since their sophomore effort, anyway) has been their full production and powerful rhythm guitar sound. I find that the cymbals sometimes overwhelm some of the other instruments at certain points, but nevertheless, it’s a very good recording.

The deciding factor here is that Whoracle was recorded a full decade after Tiffany, and recording technology had by then come a long way since 1987. This might be partially a matter of taste, but a lot of the synthesizer and drum sounds haven’t held up too well over the years... they may have been top-shelf for the time, but nevertheless objectivity demands that I give this category to the In Flames.

Winner: In Flames – Whoracle

CATCHINESS / SONGWRITING

The primary musical influence on In Flames is Iron Maiden, and listening to this album for a few minutes will allow you to understand why Maiden bothered to hire real singers instead of just having some guy growl into the microphone. No big, soaring choruses here: all the melody is trapped in the riffs, and without a real singer providing another dimension to the music, they begin to sound repetitive. Generally, to me, it feels like all of the songs start off on a great melodic hook but quickly become bogged down with monotony. This is probably partly due to the fact that In Flames adhere closely to just a few songwriting formulas, causing the songs to run together in the listener’s mind. What I really fail to grasp is why the drummer keeps hammering the cymbal on every downbeat. Doesn’t he get tired of that? I know I do.

By contrast, every single song on Tiffany’s debut album is packed with obvious vocal hooks and catchy melodies, and every single song has a distinctive and memorable chorus. It’s certainly no accident that this album spawned two number-one hits (“I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been”) and multiple movie soundtrack appearances. Variation is not neglected either: while the whole album is based in light pop, songs range from cheery up-tempo dance numbers to sadder ballad material. There are a couple of weak points, like “Could’ve Been” (which sounds like it came out of a coffee commercial), and the whole thing’s a little on the light and airy side of course, but nevertheless, the guys who wrote the songs on this album definitely earned their paychecks. Admittedly, the songs wear out their welcome pretty quickly, but that is a problem that In Flames also tend to suffer from, in my opinion.

Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

MUSICIANSHIP

Without question, the music on Whoracle is a much greater display of raw technical ability. The guitar solos alone are enough to settle the issue, although all of the musicians are very able (if not outstanding by the highest metal standards). There are a couple of solos on Tiffany – including one saxophone solo – but they’re fairly simple, although to their credit the fact that they’re not in every song makes their appearance that much more welcome when they do appear. Other than that, the music is fairly simple, but well-played by the studio musicians. A lot of seems to be electronic, actually… but while electronic musicians never make mistakes, the programmed parts never approach a level of sophistication that can touch the more technical moments on Whoracle.

Winner: In Flames – Whoracle

LYRICS

The lyrics on Tiffany are not generally very impressive. Most of them appear to be about being in love, or falling in love, or falling out of love, or something to that effect, or otherwise seemed to be based around the “misunderstood teen” persona that the album is attempting to project for the singer (i.e. “You keep me hanging like a kid on a corner/Just because you think you can/Don't be so certain that I'll always be there/Just because I've always been”). I’m probably asking too much of pop lyrics though. While they’re not really great reading material I suppose they at least basically make sense and fit in with the music.

…which is more than I can say for Whoracle’s lyrics. An example from “Episode 666”: “Welcome here, the squirrel-wheel begins/fasten the left hand belts/remember not to think too much/and your trip will be numbingly pleasant”.

What? For starters, I have no idea what a “squirrel-wheel” is. Perhaps in Sweden people keep squirrels in cages as pets and give them little wheels to run on, like with hamsters. A “left hand belt” would be a seat belt I guess, although if you’re in the passenger side of a car it’s going to be on your right. Perhaps the belt is “left hand” in the sense of somehow being sinister or satanic, but in that case it still would’ve been clearer to say “left hand seat belt”. As it is, it makes it sound as if the singer is actually addressing people who wear belts on their left hands, a concept so absurd as to be outright insane. Perhaps I should just not think too much and let the trip be numbingly pleasant. Anyhow, I’m not going to go over all the lyrics on the album, but suffice it to say most of them are only about as coherent (or grammatically correct) as the above-quoted passage.

Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

COVERS

Both albums feature cover songs: In Flames cover Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts”, Tiffany sings both “I Saw Him Standing There”, a Beatles cover, and “I Think We’re Alone Now”, originally recorded by the sixties bubblegum pop group Tommy and the Shondells.

Honestly, “I Saw Him Standing There” doesn’t come across particularly well, especially compared to the original. If this cover is anything to judge by, when you translate the upbeat rock ‘n’ roll of early Beatles to bright mid-eighties synthesizer sounds, what pops out resembles a cheesy Prince B-side. Definitely one of the weaker songs on the album; stick with the Beatles version. “I Think We’re Alone Now”, on the other hand, is better than the rather monotonous original, if anything. Tiffany’s dance pop version was understandably the first real hit off of the album and remains her best known song; it was even popular enough to inspire a Weird Al parody.

As for In Flames: “Everything Counts” is an early Depeche Mode song, rather more cheerful than the sound they’re usually associated with and as such sort of an odd choice for a metal cover, especially a “death metal” cover. The original is a pretty catchy song, and the lyrics are rather nifty, but In Flames just don’t have the tools at their disposal to adequately represent it – the panoply of synths in the original (which included everything from electronic beeps to an artificial clarinet) are reduced to monotonous distorted guitar sounds, and of course Anders doesn’t actually “sing” any part of the song except for the chorus, so most of the vocal melodies are down the drain as well. An interesting novelty item but not necessarily a great song in itself.

Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

OVERALL (not an average): Tiffany – Tiffany 72%; In Flames – Whoracle 37%

Tiffany wins it comfortably with her very catchy (if ultimately disposable) brand of eighties pop. Now, Whoracle is not without its merits, to be sure, but ultimately it just doesn’t have what it takes to match the professionalism and consistency of a double platinum pop album. In Flames have a lot to learn if they’re ever going to go as far in the entertainment industry as Tiffany did in her heyday. To their credit, the band seems to have recognized this and made some changes in their sound in their newest material, experimenting with electronic sounds and nu-metal, although unfortunately the results have been mixed at best. Still, even Tiffany didn’t quite reach the top of the charts overnight, so there may be hope for them yet. Best of luck to them.

Standout Tiffany tracks: “Danny”, “Promises Made”, “I Think We’re Alone Now”
Standout Whoracle tracks: “Dialogue with the Stars”, “Episode 666”


Interesting review concept.

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:51 pm 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
Peregrin wrote:
I like both reviews of this despite not having heard the release in question... it looks interesting though, I may be one step closer to the holy grail that is Nazi Flying Saucer Metal.


Heh, yeah that review was fun to write.


I have actually heard that split right now, and I will say that you perhaps were a bit too harsh on Journey through Arianni Cosmos.


Speaking of reviews, I like Thamuz' review of Angelcorpse's Exterminate despite never having heard that album. His review makes me want to hear it.
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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 5240
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:12 pm 
 

Peregrin wrote:
I like both reviews of this despite not having heard the release in question... it looks interesting though, I may be one step closer to the holy grail that is Nazi Flying Saucer Metal.

No Nazi Flying Saucer Metal, though it does support theories of human seeding (human ancestors/roots from extraterrestrial sources) and neoblavastkyism (humans descending from godlike/astral ancestors).
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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:52 pm 
 

@ Peregrin: I'm not much of a traditional ambient guy, so while Shambala Serrano struck me as an interesting and sonically captivating piece of work Journey just annoyed the hell out of me aside from the bizarre psych-folk thingy around ten minutes in. Sound effects + echo chamber = Bleh. ;)

droneriot wrote:
Peregrin wrote:
I like both reviews of this despite not having heard the release in question... it looks interesting though, I may be one step closer to the holy grail that is Nazi Flying Saucer Metal.

No Nazi Flying Saucer Metal, though it does support theories of human seeding (human ancestors/roots from extraterrestrial sources) and neoblavastkyism (humans descending from godlike/astral ancestors).


Hey, I only heard static and piano. :uh oh:

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Peregrin
Cricket Bat of Longinus

Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:09 am
Posts: 1888
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:45 am 
 

OlympicSharpshooter wrote:
@ Peregrin: I'm not much of a traditional ambient guy, so while Shambala Serrano struck me as an interesting and sonically captivating piece of work Journey just annoyed the hell out of me aside from the bizarre psych-folk thingy around ten minutes in. Sound effects + echo chamber = Bleh. ;)


Your comparison to the movie Event Horizon has made me interested in seeing that, though.
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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 11:32 am 
 

I think the latest Deep Purple reviews (for Deep Purple, In Rock, and Machinehead) by AleksZ are worth reading. I agree with his non-homage of the "Smoke on the Water" riff and I also like how he picks off-beat songs for his faves. Think I'll check out some of his other reviews.

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Gutterscream
The Last Old Schooler in Town

Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:59 pm
Posts: 1419
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:21 pm 
 

It's no surprise OSS's review of Arsis's "Diamond for Disease" is being mentioned - I especially enjoyed the imagery of "...the unending rush to loot Maiden's corpse...". It's so true.

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OlympicSharpshooter
The Universal Magnetic

Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:24 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:29 pm 
 

@ Peregrin: I remember Event Horizon absolutely scared the shit out of me when it came out, but I was like 11 so I doubt it'd have the same effect today. Its still probably the only decent piece of work Paul W.S. Anderson has put out.

@ Gutterscream: Those Purple reviews are indeed excellent (although I can't imagine scoring their self-titled so highly). I recommend Maidenpriest's Made in Japan review for another example of a nice DP review.

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sovdat
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 4:53 pm
Posts: 388
Location: Slovenia
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:40 am 
 

For thrash metal fans; check out and review Negligence's demo:

Download all songs here:

http://vanzanten-studios.wehid.com/negligence/

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