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227 reviews/ratings
ACCEPT - Staying a Life Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Progressive Metal
DREAM THEATER - Octavarium Progressive Metal
DREAM THEATER - Live Scenes From New York Progressive Metal
DREAM THEATER - Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour Progressive Metal
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock
MEAT LOAF - Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell Hard Rock
PENDRAGON - The World Non-Metal
PENDRAGON - The Window of Life Non-Metal
QUEEN - A Night At The Opera Proto-Metal | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Empire Progressive Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: LIVEcrime Progressive Metal
SCORPIONS - Love At First Sting Heavy Metal
THE WHO - Quadrophenia Proto-Metal
THRESHOLD - March Of Progress Progressive Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Somewhere In Time Heavy Metal | review permalink
TEN - Never Say Goodbye Hard Rock | review permalink
RAINBOW - Rising Heavy Metal | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal | review permalink
AC/DC - Highway To Hell Hard Rock

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 96 3.74
2 Heavy Metal 36 3.85
3 Non-Metal 22 3.57
4 Progressive Metal 22 4.18
5 Power Metal 16 3.88
6 Proto-Metal 12 3.67
7 Glam Metal 9 3.56
8 NWoBHM 4 3.88
9 Thrash Metal 4 3.75
10 Speed Metal 2 3.25
11 Symphonic Metal 1 4.50
12 Metal Related 1 0.50
13 Funk Metal 1 4.00
14 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SAXON Solid Ball of Rock

Album · 1990 · Heavy Metal
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As I already mentioned in the Rock The Nations review, Solid Ball Of Rock is one of the three Saxon albums I listened to most often, and all of the three have the same rating of three and a half stars.

In case of Solid Ball Of Rock the reason for this only slightly above average rating is the surprising gap in quality between some songs, though most of them are exactly those solid Heavy Metal songs we can expect from Saxon. But others, like especially Altar Of The Gods, completely fail to impress. I also will never find the connection of Bavarian Rhapsody (I recall it being named Bavarian Beaver on the sleeve of the CD I recorded it from) with the country in which I grew up. On the positive side I can only name three songs: The title track is a wee bit more than solid, and Overture In B Minor / Refugee has been a constant member of my favourites playlist in the last 25 years. But the best song on the album and my number one Saxon song is Requiem (We Will Remember), a fine tribute to all musicians and fans of Rock and Metal who are not with us anymore.

BOSTON Third Stage

Album · 1986 · Hard Rock
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Third Stage was my first Boston album, and I got it not long after its release. I can remember very well that a friend of mine gave it to me, saying "It is said to be Hard Rock but doesn't sound like it". Depending on the definition of Hard Rock, he may be right or not, because Third Stage is as melodic as every Boston album. The two differences are that it is a concept album (and yes, the rating would be lower if it were not) and the introduction of Tom Scholz's biggest achievement, the Rockman. Please forgive me for not explaining the details of this little device, I'm not a guitar technician.

The songs sound consistent. They're all based on guitars in the typical Boston sound with the odd interlude on a Grand Piano, according to the sleeve a real Steinway. None of them is really bad, but some of them are simply not as good as the others. On the other hand, there are two excellent ones, the opener Amanda and Cant'cha Say (You Believe In Me), and two absolute standouts: Hollyann, the final track, has always been one of my favourite ballads, while I used the first instrumental track, The Launch, as my signature melody and intro whenever I was DJing.

In the end Third Stage is a really good album. Though the slight weaknesses, the biggest of them the short playing time of just 36 and a half minutes, prevent a five star rating, the concept bonus lifts it to four and a half which it thoroughly deserves.

SAXON Rock the Nations

Album · 1986 · Heavy Metal
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Rock The Nations Was The First Saxon album I got and is still, together with Strong Arm Of The Law and Solid Ball Of Rock, the one I listened to most often. Interestingly, there is not much of a difference in my liking of those three albums, so they all get the same ratings.

Rock The Nations is a solid album with most of the nine songs being just what you can expect from Saxon. There is no real crap song on the album, though You Ain't No Angel is a wee bit below the standard of the other songs. But this little weakness is easily compensated by the two really good songs, namely the title track and the closing ballad Northern Lady, and the one excellent song, in fact my second favourite Saxon song, the funny party track Party Til You Puke. If you want to find out my favourite, watch out at this place!

The production is solid, but not extraordinary. The same can be said about the musicians' work, though especially the quality of Biff Byford's singing is not the most consistent feature on the album. The reason may be that he had to play the bass guitar, too, though this part shows much less of a drop. The total running time of just under 41 minutes is ok for the time of release.

I guess that I might have awarded this album four and a half stars some 25 years ago. Now I prefer more complex sounds and song structures, but Rock The Nations is still above average, which earns it three and a half stars.

QUEENSRŸCHE Operation: Mindcrime

Album · 1988 · Progressive Metal
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Concept albums usually get a half or even full star more from me than the music of the album itself deserves. This is not true for Operation: Mindcrime. But the reason is not that I dislike the concept so much, though it took my some time to fully understand the plot.

The 15 songs show a wide scale of variety both in length and style. The only thing not represented is an acoustic ballad. That said, I'm be very curious how Operation: Mindcrime would sound unplugged. I guess it would be different, but not a great deal weaker. That said, the live album Operation: Livecrime gets the same rating as the original version, but that will be another review at another time. Apart from four particularly strong songs I especially like the way the story and album are built up. First two short tracks with some hospital noises and guitar sounds before the first real song gets the album going, a feature later repeated before the Grande Finale. The plot is then quite similar to the one of Dream Theater's Scenes From A Memory, but of course Geoff Tate can claim first spoils as Operation: Mindcrime was recorded and published several years before its counterpart from the other coast. Speaking of Geoff Tate, his voice and style have improved massively compared to the first Queensryche albums, as have the performances of all instrumentalists. But back to the songs, I have always liked little inserts of speech and action like the beginning of Suite Sister Mary. This longest track of the album is on my personal favourite's playlist, as are the title track and I Don't Believe In Love, but everything is overshadowed by Eyes of A Stranger, another personal Top 10 song.

To finish my introductory musings, Operation: Mindcrime would rate at 4.8 stars if it were a normal album. Since 5 is the highest rating, I can't award 5.8 stars, so it has to be perfect 5.0 stars.

RAINBOW Rising

Album · 1976 · Heavy Metal
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Rising was my first Rainbow album (still on vinyl), and I loved it immediately. Though Jimmy Bain on bass and vocalist Ronnie James Dio have never been the most talented musicians, and Ritchie Blackmore has proven later that he is at his best with an acoustic guitar, they somehow managed to compensate this by something they never achieved again: playing as a real band.

The most dominant feature of Rising is the intensity of the songs. It is no wonder and quite fitting that Rising contains no ballad. The six songs, however, are nowhere near similar or even monotonous. Though it is evident that Ritchie Blackmore dominated the songwriting, of course letting Dio write the lyrics, similarities to Deep Purple are subtle. Blackmore's solos sound like they always did, but that's it basically. Drummer Cozy Powell and keyboarder Tony Carey prove that they are in the same league as Iain Paice and Jon Lord. Who would have thought that Carey would later become famous for a pop ballad like Room With A View?

It is not easy to point out single songs as better or weaker, although Dio once stated in an interview that he wished A Light In The Black had never been written. I strongly disagree, as it is my second favourite song of the album. It is only surpassed by Stargazer which is the reason why I didn't write impossible at the beginning of this paragraph. Stargazer is definitely a five and a half star song with tendencies to six stars, although it never made my personal Top 10. But this is not Stargazer's fault but simply due to the even higher quality of the other songs I rated above it.

The rating for Rising is simple: 5.0 stars.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in I found you
    Hi there,some of you have already read and commented on my first reviews, I just want to tell the others that I've found this wonderful site.I've been a Heavy Metal fan since about 1985, and as I'm not a genre fascist, my range of music is quite wide, including classical, Irish folk and most stuff connected with rock. I don't really have a favourite band, though I write the opposite in a Threhold review, the reason is that those two bands I mention there still have to publish a really bad song. And that's what is important to me. I like good songs and don't care who wrote them. Just as examples, among my top 10 songs is stuff like Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, Deep Purple's Child In Time, Queensryche's Eyes Of A Stranger and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. See what I mean?

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