martindavey87

Martin Davey
MMA Special Collaborator · Error & Omissions Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 hours ago

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294 reviews/ratings
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Awake Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Train of Thought Progressive Metal | review permalink
THE BLACK MAGES - The Black Mages: Battle Music of Final Fantasy Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Progressive Metal | review permalink
STUCK MOJO - Declaration of a Headhunter Rap Metal | review permalink
ANDROMEDA - Extension of the Wish Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Twilight In Olympus Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - A Pleasant Shade Of Gray Progressive Metal | review permalink
RAMMSTEIN - Mutter Industrial Metal | review permalink
SAVATAGE - The Wake Of Magellan Progressive Metal | review permalink
SAVATAGE - Poets And Madmen Progressive Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Risk Hard Rock | review permalink
METALLICA - Metallica Heavy Metal | review permalink
CONSORTIUM PROJECT - Consortium Project Progressive Metal | review permalink
SONATA ARCTICA - Ecliptica Power Metal | review permalink
KISS - Destroyer Hard Rock | review permalink
H-BLOCKX - Time to Move Rap Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 97 3.44
2 Heavy Metal 39 3.05
3 Thrash Metal 33 2.64
4 Power Metal 21 2.95
5 Rap Metal 14 3.50
6 US Power Metal 13 2.77
7 Hard Rock 12 2.75
8 Nu Metal 10 2.80
9 Industrial Metal 7 3.43
10 Alternative Metal 7 3.71
11 Non-Metal 6 2.83
12 NWoBHM 5 3.00
13 Groove Metal 5 2.60
14 Gothic Metal 4 2.75
15 Heavy Alternative Rock 3 2.33
16 Funk Metal 3 2.67
17 Metal Related 3 2.33
18 Speed Metal 3 2.00
19 Symphonic Metal 3 3.67
20 Crossover Thrash 2 3.00
21 Death-Doom Metal 1 1.00
22 Glam Metal 1 4.00
23 Neoclassical metal 1 2.00
24 Proto-Metal 1 2.00

Latest Albums Reviews

DREAM THEATER Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour

Live album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
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They did it in 2000 with ‘Live Scenes from New York’, and again in 2004 with ‘Live at Budokan’, and come 2006, Dream Theater are at it once more, trying to outdo themselves with ‘Score: 20th Anniversary World Tour’, another three-disc live album that shows the kings of progressive metal at their very best.

“So what makes ‘Score’ any different?” you ask... allow me to explain.

‘Live Scenes...’ was focused around the ‘Scenes from a Memory’ album and a multitude of big, prog epics, while ‘Budokan’ had an abundance of heavier, more energetic and varied material. Interestingly, with the exception of a few songs, both albums had different sets, and this continues with ‘Score’. Based around the ‘Octavarium’ album and a retrospective look back at the bands career in chronological order, there is, once again, a varied set here which is different than previously.

With a fantastic production (this almost sounds like a studio release, at times), and superb performances (c’mon, it’s Dream Theater), ‘Score’ is over two hours of prog greatness. With such epics as ‘Octavarium’, ‘Metropolis’ and ‘Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence’ in its entirety, as well as often overlooked tracks such as ‘Afterlife’, ‘Innocence Faded’ and ‘Vacant’, there’s a well-rounded set here. And ‘Another Won’ and ‘Raise the Knife’, both previously unreleased on studio albums, are welcome and popular additions. There’s the “Octavarium Ochestra” in there too, which has fans raving. Though to be honest, I find their contributions a bit lacking, especially when Jordan Rudess could perform most of this on his keyboard by himself.

Overall however, ‘Score’ is another live success for Dream Theater. While ‘Live at Budokan’ remains my favourite, this, along with ‘Live Scenes from New York’ completes the perfect live album trilogy, and is a highly recommended addition to any prog collection.

DREAM THEATER Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)

Boxset / Compilation · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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Released in 2008, ‘Greatest Hit’ (a reference to the bands one radio hit, ‘Pull Me Under’) is a compilation album by progressive metal giants Dream Theater. With an abundance of incredible material to choose from, it should have been easy enough to make this a three-disc box set that would be the defining progressive music collection. Instead, this is more of a two-disc cash-grab, a quick and easy effort to introduce new fans to the band.

Admittedly, for that purpose, it works. However, for the die-hard fans, this is more of a disappointment.

Firstly, it’d be near-impossible to truly do this kind of band justice with a compilation. Since most of their most popular songs are around ten, fifteen or even twenty minutes in duration, you’d require at least five discs just to fit them all in. And since we already have these songs anyway, why bother?

So instead, the band went the route of using radio edits. A risky move, for sure. It’s cool as a fan to own different versions of the songs we already know and love... but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d want to hear it repeatedly. I’d rather stick with the originals. No cuts. No censored profanities. No nonsense.

But that’s not all, there’s three 2007 remixes of Dream Theater classics from the 1992 ‘Images and Words’ album, and while the compositions themselves are perfect, the remixes are pretty ugly and messy. The mix seems a bit unbalanced and some random noises and sound effects kind of ruins things. Once again, I’ll stick with the originals.

However, for the Dream Theater newbie, this is a great starting point. With all the hits, including ‘Pull Me Under’, ‘Take the Time’, ‘Home’, ‘As I Am’, ‘Another Day’, ‘The Spirit Carries On’, ‘Sacrificed Sons’ and ‘Hollow Years’, this is still a great retrospective of the bands career. But for long-time fans such as myself, this really serves as nothing more than another CD to add to the collection.

METALLICA Garage Inc.

Album · 1998 · Heavy Metal
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Released in 1998 during the heyday of their alternative rock phase, ‘Garage Inc.’ is a two-disc compilation of covers by heavy metal legends Metallica. Regardless of your thoughts on the band cutting their hair, Napster, Lars’ drumming, selling out, Kirk’s wah pedal, James being a table, or the countless other things the band have had thrown at them over their careers, one statement that holds up true is that Metallica have always done an incredible job at covering other artists songs.

Of course, part of that is probably the fact that about 95% of these bands would be absolutely unheard of if it weren’t for Metallica in the first place. But regardless, Metallica have an incredible talent of doing covers in their own way to truly make the songs their own. With beefier guitars, production and Hetfield’s trademark vocal style, pretty much all of these tracks are better than the original.

The first disc consists of covers recorded for this album in 1998, and while the song list is a little hit or miss, for the most part it’s a solid effort. Well produced, well performed, and special mention to Hetfield’s strong vocals here. The likes of ‘Die, Die My Darling’, ‘Turn the Page’, ‘Astronomy’, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘It’s Electric’ make this an interesting listen.

The second disc is a compilation of any covers the band had recorded in the past, either for various EPs or as singles b-sides. Some are better produced than others, but overall they’re a solid bunch too. ‘Am I Evil’, ‘So What’, ‘Blitzkrieg’, ‘Helpless’, ‘Breadfan’, ‘Last Caress’ and ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ are more-or-less Metallica songs now. Such is the quality of these covers when compared to their original counterparts.

‘Garage Inc.’ came out at a weird point in Metallica’s history. After going alt rock with ‘Load’ and ‘Reload’, but prior to working with an orchestra and all the drama that would follow with Napster and ‘St. Anger’, this album just kind of sits there, a small, subtle reminder that despite everything, Metallica were still metal fans at heart, who’ve never been afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve. At an excessive two and a quarter hours in duration, this can be a pretty enduring listen, but there’s enough decent material here to make ‘Garage Inc.’ as vital a part of Metallica’s discography as any of their studio releases.

AGE OF SILENCE Complications: Trilogy of Intricacy

EP · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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“Meh”.

I bought this CD in a shop in Germany for 50 cents or something equally daft. I’d never heard of Age of Silence (and apparently, neither had anyone else, since they were in the literal bargain bin), but it was a metal CD, so why not?

Labelled as avant-garde metal... whatever the hell that means... this sounds a lot like something Devin Townsend would do, complete with obscure, gloomy cover art and unusual song titles. Age of Silence have a big sound, with multiple-layered guitars overproduced to give each of the three tracks a huge feeling about them. But otherwise, these songs are fairly dull. The overbearing “big” guitar chords are heard through each track, leaving me feel like there’s been an ongoing chord played throughout the entire EP.

But it doesn’t stop there. It starts to overshadow the vocals, any lead parts, the drums... the whole lot. I don’t “get” this kind of music. I understand it’s based more on ambience and what-have-you, but for the most part this is just pretty boring and repetitive. There’s one or two moments where something might sound catchy or interesting, but as a whole, considering this is only a three-song EP, it’s not really anything I’d come back to.

The shop I’d bought it from was probably relieved to be rid of it.

METALLICA Nothing Else Matters (S&M version)

Single · 1999 · Thrash Metal
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In an age where CD singles are extinct (or at the very least, nothing more than collectibles for die-hard fans), ‘Nothing Else Matters’ serves as nothing more than a three-song sample of Metallica’s 1999 album, ‘S&M’.

‘S&M’, a live album which saw the metal legends collaborating with Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, is an outstanding release, and holds up well to this day for its fantastic performances and sound. It’s well worth checking out, and mostly makes this CD single redundant.

But with that said, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ are done incredibly, with the orchestra perfectly adding to the metal classics, without being either underwhelming or overbearing. And ‘-Human’ (pronounced “Minus Human”), a new song exclusive to the album, is a great addition, and is a nice little extra for this CD, and shows that even in 1999, amidst their alternative rock lunacy, that Metallica could still out heavy most bands on the planet.

While this is redundant today, especially to fans who already own the S&M album, it’s still a nice collectible for anyone that has to own everything that Metallica has ever put out.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 months ago in Van Halen vs Bon Jovi
    Bon Jovi.Always thought Van Halen were overrated. 
  • Posted 3 months ago in Rammstein
    Rammlied, named after one of their songs. And the "lied" bit nicely suits the tribute band gimmick.
  • Posted 3 months ago in Rammstein
    I play in a Rammstein tribute band. 

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