Metal Music Reviews from poslednijat_colobar

DEEP PURPLE Now What?!

Album · 2013 · Hard Rock
Cover art 3.93 | 19 ratings
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What a comeback after an extensive touring for about 8 years! Hard rock giants Deep Purple shattered all the critics with Now What?!. It's an unique album with many facets. It's typical Deep Purple album, but on the other hand it's something else, as well. It's hard rock, it's symphonic prog, it's funky, it's jazzy, it's Perfect Strangers, it's Purpendicular, it's Yes, ELP and Pink Floyd, but most importantly - it's one of best and most balanced Deep Purple albums. The arrangements of the songs are precise. The songwriting is highly compressed and full of ideas, developed in accurate, direct manner. That means to create progressive rock album with hard rock means of expression! The "conversations" between rhythm section (Paice and Glover), organ solos (Airey), guitar solos (Morse) and The Voice (Gillan) are highly addictive. Highly recommended album by one of greatest bands ever! Deserved 4,5 stars! Another gloden page in Deep Purple's extensive and brilliant career!

DREAM THEATER A Dramatic Turn of Events

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.86 | 112 ratings
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Dream Theater's "weakest" since 1997

Another speedy released album by pregressive metal's kings. It's called A Dramatic Turn of Events. And why not? When all these news around the band has flourished. The founder and leader of the band Mike Portnoy left in September 2010 and soon after Mike Mangini was bought in. There was a passionate reality in three part about the audition for new drummer. All these events was very exciting.

First of all I would notice Mike Mangini is wonderful talent, who replaces Mike Portnoy in such a great manner. But this album just doesn't come up to my expectations. This album is too long, without avoiding anoyance with requisite precise songwriting and structural essence. A definite step backward to band's previous works. The ambience is quite sterile and undeviating (in negative sense of the term), typical for band's early career. All the songs, except Outcry are too predictable and contain some jejune structural decisions.

The musicianship, as always, is of high quality and long song are the positive and distinctive Dream Theater. That's the salvation of this interesting, but quite disappointing release. 3+ stars by me.

AMORPHIS The Beginning of Times

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.98 | 36 ratings
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The golden era of Amorphis... is right now!

Amorphis has produced another inspiring album yet again. The beginning of times doesn't distinguish from previous three albums too much in terms of type/genre/sturcture etc. It's high quality progressive/melodic death metal album produced very well and full of beautiful ideas and polished sound. The folky ambience is all around the album and underlines the reserved style of the band.

It's very difficult this album to be judged in comparison of the pasts, because of their equality. So I would say I prefer slightly the past two (Silent Waters and Skyforger), but that one is strongly recommended. The best song is the homonymous Beginning of Time, in my opinion. There're no weak moments in the album and the consistence is remarkable yet again. As a conclusion I would praise the present era of the band (2006-present) as their golden era. The Beginning of Times receives well deserved 4,1+ stars.

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION 2

Album · 2011 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.27 | 15 ratings
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An ultimate hard/blues rock classic

The second Black Country Communion album, called just 2 is precise hard/blues rock masterpiece with immediate effect among the listeners. All the things I've been talking about the debut album are valid here in 2 again, but there are another unique steps forward to this album's greatness.

The first aspect is the cohesion of the band members. All these great musicians are working in perfect harmony on 2 and it's obviously seen. 2 is magical album with lots of energy and intensity. The melancholy is main feeling in some ballads and plays an opposite role to solid hard rock performances.

The construction of 2, musicianship, songwriting, producton and routine are all of highest standard and revealed the exactitude of this cult album.

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION Black Country

Album · 2010 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.27 | 18 ratings
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Staggering classic/hard/blues rock experience into the 10s.

When I heard about the creation of this band, I have been very enthusiastic about that. All these musicians (Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian) are established leading players in contemporary rock music and now we have the chance to hear what they to say as a supergroup.

...and the result is astonishing blues/hard rock album, constructed in all the rules of the 70s hard rock music without any noticeable defects and flaws recommended for all rock fans...

As usual, I won't review this debut album called Black Country song by song. It's a homogeneous piece of art and carries an united spirit of expressivness. The songwriting is a masterclass with genuine and unostentatious ideas, built in highly mature conception. The musicianship is just a perfect enjoyment. "The voice of rock" as we all know Glenn Hughes is again and again in his well-known faultless form of playing bass and singing. His genius and capability of remodeling his voice helps him to sing in 4-5 different manners of timbre. To Joe Bonamassa's account could be recorded his sateen voice (in four songs) and technical guitar solos , alternated with low-tunes keyboard solos of Derek Sherinian. Jason Bonham plays in highly intensive and dynamic way, which tempted lots.

Black Country is another evidence, that most of the magnificent musicians need to play with other magnificent musicians in a band in order to fulfill thier own potential. As we saw most of all solo albums with session musicians are just a padding in comparison with albums like Black Country.

The last thing I shall notice is the similarity of the band with other hard rock bands. It's like facilitation of the listeners. The most similar band to Black Country Communion indisputably for me is Led Zeppelin. Afterthat it comes Deep Purple. So attention for the fanbase of both fore-mentioned bands!

RUSH Permanent Waves

Album · 1980 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.19 | 109 ratings
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Another famous album by Rush and another problems for me!

This time even bigger problems. The sound is uncompleted with some sharply changes in the tempo, some jazz fusion and new wave elements from the 80s and mixture of repetitions and lack of synchronous. The album is like prelude to something that never comes. The lack of ideas is tangible. It's hard for me to listen to the whole album at once.

The first song - Spirit of the Radio - is very interesting song with three elements that followed one to other constantly, but developed poorly. The second song - Freewill - is weak enough to comment it. The third song - Jacob's Ladder - again roaming between the genres without reasonable inception of the action. This is the typical for the album. The fourth song - Entre Nous - full of meaningless solos and folk rock elements. The fifth song - Different Strings - a low quality ballad. The sixth song - Natural Science - another long and decent progressive song.

An album without unexpected and fresh ideas only for the fans of the band. 2 stars

RUSH Moving Pictures

Album · 1981 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.44 | 148 ratings
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Probably one of the best Rush works, but I have little problems even with such a critically acclaimed album. Good album indeed, but obviously the level of depth of the songwriting doesn't please me enought. The flaws can be heard almost at the beginning of the album - in the second song, called Red Barchetta. It's full of static ideas and repetitions. In fact that attends all over the album, except the opening song - Tom Saywer. I think Moving Pictures is so technical example for the fact that the technique is not everything. You need more - the ability to catch the listener. And they definitely miss it with me. This album makes it, very hard! The vocals by Geddy Lee are the other weak section, in my opinion. The mixture between guitar riffs and electro keyboard sound is another motif I have a problem with here. And yet good album.

Final conclusion: an overrated album by an overrated band! 3- stars

BLACK SABBATH Black Sabbath

Album · 1970 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art 4.25 | 153 ratings
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It is 1970 and Black Sabbath have released their debut album. One big trip in the world of heavy metal music is about to begin. I don't know whether heavy metal starts here, but if it's so, obviously this genre doesn't start very properly. An album extremely influenced by blues, it is important album for the development of heavy metal. All I can say is that I'm not big fan of blues and all blues songs sound me like one exactly the same. There are some really good ideas here, but they are developed in amateur way. The sound is deadfully slow and all the songs are very boring. The vocals by Ozzy Osbourne are almost awful. If I have to listen to one or two songs it's OK, but when I have to listen to the whole album it become more and more harder for me. The production of the sound is weak, too. The musicianship is ok. There is one really good song and this is N.I.B.! The thing I dislike very much in music is the static feeling - without harmony and moving forward and I can find all of these elements here on this album. The beginning is hard for very much bands, including Black Sabbath!!! 2 stars

LED ZEPPELIN Led Zeppelin

Album · 1969 · Hard Rock
Cover art 4.06 | 90 ratings
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Very good debut album by Led Zeppelin. First of all this album is a mixture of very much ideas, full of blues songs (which I don't like very much) and some other interesting ideas. The best song on the album is Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, which is true masterpiece and contains some unforgettable moments and can be described as blues rock at its height. Some other memorable songs are Dazed and Confused and Your Time Is Gonna Come. The other songs are similar and don't attract my attention enough. The band reveals its own style of music and big virtuosity of the band members. All of these help the band to establish its own way and to become second/third most successful rock band of all time (shared with Queen and behind Beatles)! 3.75 stars!!!

URIAH HEEP The Magician's Birthday

Album · 1972 · Proto-Metal
Cover art 3.64 | 40 ratings
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Entering psychedelic domain with unapproachability

It is really hard to be evaluated such a variety and professionalism incorporeted into one band. Such a band is Uriah Heep and they proove it over and over again. This time with their 5th studio album - The Magician's Birthday. This album continues the psychedelic foundations of the previous masterpiece... and contains a candidate of my all time favourite composition - the homonymous The Magician's Birthday.

All the musicians are at the top of their songwriting and musical abilities. And especially the giant voice of David Byron, who shakes and touches everything it reach with its mightiness and gentleness. The solos of Mick Box rock strongly. The rhythm made by Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake is well-arranged. The combination of light and dark tunes by Ken Hensley complete the whole picture of suprimacy.

Remarkable psychedelic album and one of my all time favourite. Probably the best Uriah Heep album. It is so beautiful, full of grief and great arrangements. This is an album full of everything. You can find hit single - Sweet Loraine, you can find slow songs (something like psychedelic ballads) like Blind Eye and Rain, you can find rock & roll - Spider Woman, and finally you can find genius masterpieces - The Magician's Birthday and Tales.

The Magician's Birthday is a fundamental album by and for Uriah Heep! And all around the album you feel the thin psychedelic line, that makes everything so great.The Magician's Birthday is one of the greatest epic songs for me and its title is used for the name of Uriah Heep festival. Divine music by a divine band. 5 stars

URIAH HEEP Demons And Wizards

Album · 1972 · Proto-Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 44 ratings
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Demons and Wizards is the first album from the classic Uriah Heep's line-up; and it is obvious the best period in Uriah Heep's history with Demons and Wizards and The Magician's Birthday being the highlights by the band. What about Demons and Wizards??? This is really fascinating album with clear sound and irreproachable songwriting in every little song on the release! I must mark the variety in the musicianship on the album. Each instrument make that we need of. The bass works are incredible here. Gary Thain bring in new fresh sound to the band. All other guys are in top form, too! After the mixed sound from the first album, the progier sound from the second and the harder sound from the third album, here we can hear the beginning of the psychedelic sound in Uriah Heep's history. All songs = magic!

STRATOVARIUS II

Album · 1992 · Power Metal
Cover art 2.97 | 21 ratings
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In search of their accomplished sound

After the debut, called Fright Night, Stratovarius continues to explore power metal genre, in search of their own typical sound, but in my opinion they failed in their second album Twilight Time. I think the debut is better than the second one. In Twilight Time there is a lack of ideas, as well as some boring themes and songs. Most of the songs are not memorable and catchy. And the music is very predictable without surprises. The inclusion of the keyboards is limited and this can be negatively felt. The musicianship is good and reveals the potential of the band, but the songwriting is poor. An album recommended only for fans of the band and (to lesser extent) the genre. 2 stars

STRATOVARIUS Fright Night

Album · 1989 · Power Metal
Cover art 3.46 | 20 ratings
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Highly influential debut at the dawn of power metal

Fright Night is the debut album by Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. In fact, it isn't real power metal album, but speed metal. It's one of the first albums of power metal genre and that's why it's quite shapeless, despite being pioneer and full of genuine ideas.

It's really curious, that there aren't any of the then members of the band currently still playing with the band. And yet the direction of the band stays constant. The typical style "Stratovarius" is still the same. The album doesn't contain highlights or weak moments. The production is not of high quality, too. All of that make the album good, but definitely not necessity. My personal favourites are Future Shock and the homonymous song. 3 stars

STRATOVARIUS Elysium

Album · 2011 · Power Metal
Cover art 3.89 | 25 ratings
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Highly addictive modern power metal album with progressive flavour

Elysium is the newest 13th studio album by Finnish power metal band Stratovarius. And that's the first nice surprise of the year for me! The album contains really positive mood that inspires. And this positive mood is combined with precise musicianship and classic power metal sound. All the songs are in typical anthem-like sound. The songwriting is profound and full of fresh and meaningful ideas.

Elysium is quite close to progressive metal genre, instead of pure power metal. The flirtation between the genres is charming and well-accomplished. There aren't weak songs and the overall quality is much constant. The musicianship is great and the vocals by Timo Kotipelto are highly impressive and lovable. The next strong section of the album are the lyrics (especially in the homonymous song Elysium).

The album is very listenable and highly addictive to all who love the genre. I can listen to it over and over again without getting tired. The order of the songs is appropriate. The last three-suite composition is the biggest highlight within the album. It absolutely carries the tradition of progressive rock tendencies in terms of composition structure. There are constantly repeating motifs and themes all over the composition, which reveal musical mature of the band members. Magnificent... The album begins and concludes before one realizes it!

I can't give more because of the lack of phenomenal moments (except in homonymous composition Elysium), but solid 4 stars are well deserved! Highly recommended!

METALLICA Death Magnetic

Album · 2008 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 3.46 | 123 ratings
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...And Justice for All part II. The unexpected return to form.

Congratulations to Metallica, again! Again, but twenty years later. It's incredibly how they returned from trash to thrash! I think the most important about this record is Metallica is back. It's the same old band. Metallica are again creating music in the genre they are able to: thrash metal. And this is wonderful! They are made for thrash metal, not for country, blues, alternative music or noise. It's popular they failed when they try to create different kind of music. Just look at Load, Reload and especially St. Anger... But not it's all in the past and Metallica are going to save their honour. In fact, they have already saved it - with Death Magnetic!

In my opinion Death Magnetic is direct successor to the best Metallica album - ...And Justice for All in terms of everything. It has been made with the philosophy and the tradition of 80's Metallica, without being repulsively commercial as Metallica have been the last twenty years. It's again based on complex sutructures and ideas, and nicely-heavy tunes in thrash manner. There is demo version of the album, before the release as it has been until ...And Justice for All album. Death Magnetic have been recorded in E tuning, as they did on their first five studio album. The band had previously played in E flat during the recordings of Load and ReLoad, and dropped C on St. Anger. That's indicative of the return to old days, too! All that helps Death Megnetic to become a new reason of pride for the band. But the return to old style is not the only necessary element for a pleasant album. There are more...

The previous paragraph in my review shows one thing - This album is the missing link, between ...And Justice for All and Metallica. Moreover, directly, it's the best Metallica album in twenty years. It's the logical sequel to ...And Justice for All. They continue from where they have stopped in the late 80s. Death Magnetic is very close to ...And Justice for All in terms of style, so the title of my review is ...And Justice for All part II. If we look back to Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, they are little different type of thrash metal, than ...And Justice for All and Death Magnetic. As whole, each of them are logical sequels to the previous one.

I thought whether to review all songs one by one or not. At the end I decided not to review them one by one, because they all carry the spirit of the album as a whole. The impression is as an album just like it should be! This doesn't mean the songs aren't memorable, contrary. There aren't weak songs here. All of them are catchy and interesting, complex and full of surprises (this wasn't happening for about fifteen years), as well as very long. The drumming style of Lars Ulrich is highly addictive, the solos by Kirk Hammett are very fast and completed, the vocals by James Hetfield are charming. The album is full of rhythm guitars which took partly the role of bass player - Robert Trujillo, who appears as a debutant on a Metallica studio album. Bass guitar is very low tuned and often sits at the background of the performance, but it's usual for Metallica.

As whole Death Magnetic is very dynamic and energetic album with superb musicianship and ingenious songwriting with little number of non-thrash metal elements. There is one exception and it is The Unforgiven III. It's a sequel ballad to The Unforgiven series (I and II), which I consider as perfect song. It shows high level of human maturity, in my opinion. It's the best Unforgiven song I think. The Unforgiven III is one of the two dramatical pieces on the album; it contains fresh dramatical balance between ballad and heavy rocking song. The other dramatical piece on Death Magnetic is the first single of the album - The Day That Never Comes. Its structure reminds directly to One, the breakthrough single by Metallica from ...And Justice for All album. It begins as a ballad and gradually convert to more and more dramatical piece until its culmination like thrash monster. The other resemblance is their number on their respective albums - 4. This makes The Day That Never Comes direct reference to One and Death Magnetic direct reference to ...And Justice for All.

Highly addictive, the most progressive album by Metallica , Death Magnetic - 3 3/4 stars!!!

METALLICA St. Anger

Album · 2003 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 1.80 | 117 ratings
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The worst album I've ever heard

Wow... I must admit to Metallica their ability to create something abnormally disgusting. And I admit it every single time, when I listen to St. Anger (they are not much: 2 times when it was released and 1 now because of writing a review). It's noise, it,s not music. There's not any logic and songwriting here. It's just experimental noise here. Probably it's an achievement, too. It's an achievement, because it's very difficult to create so awful piece of art. There are a lot of comic moments on St. Anger. Wow... It's extraterrestrial. There aren't fresh or whatever ideas. The most important thing I can say about this album is: St. Anger is a common noun of noise, incompetence, foolishness and misunderstanding (of nature). 0,5000000000(0) star under MMA rating system (the complete minimum)!!!

METALLICA ReLoad

Album · 1997 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art 2.32 | 108 ratings
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Load part II

Reload continues the style of its predecessor - Load, but this time even worse than the first. Most of the songs are absolute irritating and illogical. They are much worse than a mainstreem radio songs. The Memory Remains, The Unforgiven II and Low Man's Lyric are exception. All of them are memorable and contain melody in contrast with the others. On Reload rules again blues, country and alternative music combined in inappropriate and unbalanced style. Because of the presence of less good songs than on Load and because of the presence of less good themes in the poor songs, Reload should be ranked lower than Load. The other reason for than wil be the less number of fresh and innovative ideas here. It could be considered as a lazy and boring release with using of universal chords that can be heard in 50% of radio rock songs. That's why they are lazy and boring: made without a will. 1 star

METALLICA Load

Album · 1996 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art 2.79 | 115 ratings
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The end

I like when a band takes different direction to explore some other types and genres of music. Not now, of course, because it has to be made with elegance and quality. The situation here is totally different. Metallica takes the commercial development and it looks like they will never get back. The genre in Load is absolutely different - mixture between country, blues and alternative music combined in mediocre way. No sign of thrash!!! The worst in Load is the length of the album - it's too long and because of that some more dull, boring and shapeless. At that moment of their career, they've lost the sense of making heavier music. But there is other aspect in here. They partially kept their sense of making ballads. These ballads save the album. Namely these ballads are the only good songs here, with Mama Said being the best one. The other songs deserving attention are: Until It Sleeps, The House Jack Built and Bleeding Me. Because of them - 1,75 stars rounded down to 1,5 stars under my voting system!

METALLICA Metallica

Album · 1991 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art 3.44 | 157 ratings
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The beginning of the end

When some great musicians made their magnum opus, they've always change the direction in wrong way. Or probably wrong is not the most appropriate word here. To be more precise I would say, then the musicians take non-musical way, but the commercial. The reason could be a relief from the great works of art they did or willingness of enrichment. Somehow or other, they sold their souls to... money!!! When they did it, it's impossible to make great music any more. The perfect example of that is Metallica. After magnificent ,,,And Justice for All it is time for losing form, at the expense of earning money.

And yet the homonymous album by Metallica is not a bad album. It doesn't contain any thrash parts. There aren't weak songs, but also there aren't special, except perhaps Nothing Else Matters. It's full of mainstream and unbalanced rock songs. Direction is lost, the style, too. Obviously, the last remained trick, that save the album musically is momentum. Despite that, commercially Metallica is the most successful album by the band and one of the most successful in the history of rock music. The last one is not important for me, so 3 stars!

METALLICA Master of Puppets

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 4.60 | 244 ratings
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Continues with excellence

Master of Puppets is the next step in the development of Metallica as one of the main bands in thrash metal. The genre of the album is pure thrash metal as the predecessor - Ride the Lightning. And yet both albums are different to each other, despite the same genre. In Master of Puppets the sound is more compact and homogeneous, while in Ride the Lightning it is more scattered. It's hard for me to judge which's better, but I suppose I slightly prefer Ride the Lightning.

There aren't weak songs here on Master of Puppets as in Ride the Lightning. Probably the musicianship here is in its peak for the band. Album is less progressive than its predecessor, but contains the instrumental Orion, which is a reminder of prog music. Because of its importance, Master of Puppets is slightly overrated in my opinion, because I don't think it's the best metal album, but yet landmark in metal music. After this album Cliff Burton passed away in accident and the other members have produced the real magnus opus of Metallica - ...And Justice for All! Master of Puppets - around 4 stars!

METALLICA Ride the Lightning

Album · 1984 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 4.45 | 197 ratings
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A Thrash Metal Classic

With Ride the Lightning begins the best period in Metallica's history, which will last about two more studio albums. It's amazing how a band can mature so much only for a year. It's necessary a lot of talent to do such an achievement. After the debut album, which I consider as amateurish, Ride the Lightning can satisfy much more the musical fan. All songs are much better than on Kill 'Em All. The production and musicianship are of high quality. The genre is much more polished and pure thrash metal. The album consists of some classic Metallica's songs, including my favourite - The Call of Ktulu . The album contains a lot of progressive themes, that make big influence on future arising progressive metal genre. Surely above 4 stars, rounded up to 4,5 stars!

METALLICA Kill 'em All

Album · 1983 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 3.86 | 163 ratings
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Passable teenage debut album

At last it's time for me to review Metallica. In front of me is their debut album - Kill 'Em All. This album is legendary for the fans of Metallica, but for me it's not! I think that the band shows some potential with Kill 'Em All, but this album doesn't contains nothing significant, except Seek & Destroy , which is one of their all time best songs. Everything else doesn't contain enough ideas or the ideas are developed too amateurish. The songwriting is poor. The musicianship is good and reveals the big potential of the band. The vocals by James Hetfield are ridiculous - like a screaming little boy. His voice is still not broken. Production is mediocre and unpolished. Not more than 2,25 stars rounded down to 2 stars!

AMORPHIS Skyforger

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.03 | 36 ratings
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Another beautiful chapter in Amorphis history

The newest Amorphis album is another impressive chapter in their (already) long history. It's called Skyforger and is probably their most varied album to date. It contains moments and ideas from all eras of the band without being chaotic. It's "very" progressive, "very" folky and "very" gothic combined in remarkable balance. The death vocals are at the album again, especially in Majestic Beast and Godlike Machine.

The production is very professional and impressive. The musicianship is superb and the songwriting is strong with modern vision and routine accomplishment and without obvious weaknesses. The whole production is fascinating and there's not weak moments. All of the songs are memorable and genuine. In fact, Skyforger can't attracts the listener from the very beginning. It attracts when you've already known the songs.

Skyforger is excellent addition to any progressive-oriented collection. And yet, without the presence of some major highlights it would just have been one very good album. With these highlights (Sampo, Sky Is Mine, Majestic Beast, Highest Star, Godlike Machine and especially the folky-oriented and profound From Earth I Rose) Skyforger is a must! 4,25 stars rounded up to 4 1/2 stars!

IOMMI Fused

Album · 2005 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art 4.50 | 3 ratings
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Classic heavy metal with doom flavour

Fused by Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes rocks really tightly. Superb album by these two impressive rock veterans. Fused contains typical heavy riffs of Iommi with the magical voice of Glenn Hughes, who stuns me all the time. The musicianship is wonderful, the songwriting, too. All the songs are catchy, memorable, heavy and emotional and transform the album into homogeneous blend of everything we can call "classic" in rock and metal music.

Don't you think this album will let you fall asleep, contrary, it will really excite you and make you full of energy. And Glenn Gughes again prove to be one of the best, unless the best vocal of modern rock music. In some of the songs he refashions his voice, but everywhere is perfect. There isn't even a wrong note. I must mention doom flavour. The slow heavy riffs are all around Fused.

Attention: highly addictive to classic rock/heavy metal/Black Sabbath/Glenn Hughes fans!!!

AMORPHIS Silent Waters

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.13 | 28 ratings
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Second Amorphis peak

I think 13 years after their biggest masterwork - TFTTL - Amorphis has produced masterpiece again. It's called Silent Waters from 2007. Silent Waters continues the conception of the previous album Eclipse, but adds another higher level of completeness of the material in terms of songwriting and musicianship. Except this, the album is more gothic and less folk than its predecessor.

Silent Waters sets up superb standards in terms of structure. The album is well-arranged, dynamic, fascinating. You cannot get tired of it, especially because of its originality. The order of the songs is estimated perfectly and that allows the listener to follows the development of all the ideas as well as inception of the action, culmination and denouement!

The album flows precise and there aren't uninteresting moments, repetitions or clumsiness. Everywhere on the album the curiosity of yourself dare for more and gets it. The structure links are logical and completed in profound manner. Silent Waters keeps the listener in suspense from the beginning till the end. A must for all metal fans!

AMORPHIS Eclipse

Album · 2006 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.85 | 26 ratings
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New era and return to form

The release of Eclipse reveals the beginning of new era of this gifted finnish band. The previous vocalist Pasi Koskinen departed from Amorphis and Tomi Joutsen arrives. That changes totally the musical direction of the band. There is reintroduction of death vocals preformed by the same vocalist as the clean vocals for the first time in band's history. There is a return to their older style of the mid-90s combined with a new modern gothic sound.

Eclipse contains much heavier sound than its three predecessors. It's a combination of progressive/folk/melodic death/gothic metal. Despite the return to the oldest works, Eclipse lie absolutely remote from doom metal. It's a dynamic album full of saturated and balanced parts as well as variety and innovation. There aren't boredom or cliches.

Excellent return. 4- stars

AMORPHIS Far From the Sun

Album · 2003 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 2.70 | 17 ratings
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Again and again they can't stop surprise us!

As usual Amorphis keep changing their style with each next album. Far from the Sun is not an exception. This album is their last with vocalist Pasi Koskinen and I have to admit it's a relief for my, because this era of the band is my least favourite. This is also their last album without death vocals.

What the different? I think the whole picture here is almost the same as on the previous one, but the sound is little harder. Moreover, the conception isn't very distinct and clear here. The whole atmosphere of the album is sterile and dry and the album is so, so long and in the middle it is already bored you.

An album only for fans and collectors. 2 stars

AMORPHIS The Karelian Isthmus

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
Cover art 3.35 | 21 ratings
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An early ambitious debut work by Amorphis.

Finnish death/doom/folk/progressive metal band Amorphis debut is quite an ambitious work for the young teenage musicians. I would say the band was developing very fast in that period of time. And their first studio album is trying to escape from the reality of Disment of Soul (their first amateur demo release). The purpose is accomplished with the clarifying of the sound and complicating of musicianship and songwriting.

Despite of all these, The Karelian Isthmus cannot satisfy experienced metal music fan and just can serve as good start with Amorphis discography. Most of the songs contain frequent tempo changes without well-arranged logical links between the themes. There isn't clear vocals here, in comparison with their next album - the masterpiece TFTTL. The inclusion of keyboards is really poor, too. It is my duty to mention the third song - Grails Mysteries as wonderful song and sample of what is going to be later in their career!

As a conclusion: a must for Amorphis fan and an interesting debut for others. 3+ stars

DREAM THEATER Images and Words

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 4.29 | 201 ratings
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When progressive metal was young (or even still unborn).

When I hear the name of the second Dream Theater album - Images and Words - conflicting thoughts come into my mind. I would say this is another band. It's not the same band as Dream Theater I adore. It's something else. It's a band of young and precise musicians who's trying to find themselves. They combine some wonderful ideas into an ambitious album. In my opinion the conception of progressive metal in that period isn't built and mapped out. It's developed in some elemental way, yet! And sounds somehow dry and poor, despite lots of nice themes, virtuosity and creativity of the musicians. For me, Images and Words remains a beginning of this wonderful fairy-tale called Dream Theater, but the best is yet to come much, much later, when the band had been reached to the height of its professionalism and the conception of the genre had been clarified. Images and Words: nice addition to most of the metal collections. 3,25 stars rounded down to 3 stars under my rating system!

URIAH HEEP Look At Yourself

Album · 1971 · Proto-Metal
Cover art 4.23 | 47 ratings
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Incredible, masterpiece, unique and so on! Probably the best Uriah Heep album with so much energy. The next face of Uriah Heep's perfection. Salisbury was the prog face of the band, while Look at Yourself is the hard/heavy face of the band. That's real classic at the dawn of heavy metal music. Every moment follows completely the previous one. Despite made before the classic line-up and without Gary Thain and Lee Kerslake, it's rocks you terrific! All of the songs are landmarks of Uriah Heep career. Perfect songwriting and musicianship! The first song, Look at Yourself, is virtuous piece of hard rock with elements of frequent changes of the tempo. I Wanna Be Free is outburst of completely mastered energy. July Morning... I don't have any words about this song. In my country - Bulgaria - this song is a religion! We have a tradition and we celebrate on the beach on 1st of July. Sometimes, there are some of the heepsters with us - Ken Hensley or John Lawton! This is the only country to celebrate this tradition. July Morning is unique with its folk, hard and progressive sound. The song is constructed on some different levels. The beginning is slow and gradually the tempo goes faster and faster until it reach its peak at the end of the song, where the dramatical feelings are at the top of you. Exceptional song! Tears In My Eyes has big rock & roll influence with crazy guitar solos. Shadows of Grief is constructed in the same way like July Morning, with frequent tempo changes and theatrical style. What Should Be Done make some changes on the album because of its dark and slow blues style! The vocals preformed by David Byron reveal that he is one of the best rock vocals of all time! Love Machine carries the mood of Tears In My Eyes with cult guitar solos and hard rock & roll! Everywhere on the album you can feel dungeon keyboard sound, typical for Uriah Heep! 5 doubtless stars!

URIAH HEEP Salisbury

Album · 1971 · Proto-Metal
Cover art 3.92 | 40 ratings
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The flaws from the first album are fixed here and I can say this is the first album from long series of great albums for Uriah Heep. That's the most progressive record by the band and contains some of the most polished moments in Heep's discography and that makes it on of their bests. There's not a weak song here. Bird of Prey is so appropriate for opening song and then The Park is so heart-breaking ballad with gentle jazz line. The album contains one of the biggest hit singles for Uriah Heep Lady in Black, which will be immortalize as frequent radio sample forever. Here is the greatest one - the epic one - Salisbury, a perfect composition with opera - influenced structure - just incredible - three guitar solos by Box, theatrical voice by Byron, great symphonic arrangement incorporated in this mini rock opera. Perfect!

URIAH HEEP Very 'Eavy... Very 'Umble

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
Cover art 3.67 | 33 ratings
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With the debut album by Uriah Heep - Very 'eavy...Very 'umble - everything for the band begins. Their typical style is established from that early point of band's career. This album shows the potential of the band. Very 'eavy...Very 'umble contains interesting mixture of sounds like hard rock, progressive rock and some art rock. It also contains some 50s and 60s typical non rock moments! It is also under a big influence of blues rock, which is not characteristic of the band. The album includes one of the most memorable songs by Uriah Heep - Gipsy and some other classics like Walking in Your Shadow and Come Away Melinda. It's a worthy classic debut album, but yet don't expect miracles from the production. Very good debut!

AMORPHIS Am Universum

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.62 | 23 ratings
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After disappointing Tounela, Amorphis are trying to change their musical direction, but I think they have failed. Their next studio album - Am Universum is as predictable as its predecessor and full of radio-oriented and commercial songs. However, the positive is they are much more catchy and memorable than Tounela's. In some songs can be detected the elegant sax sound that's trying to break up the atmosphere with innovative ideas. For me, the vocal disappoints again as on the previous release. The music primary consists of vocal-oriented progressive/space rock with a couple of harder moments spread all over the album. I pay special attention to the fifth song - Crimson Wave. It's interesting and memorable and contains jazz theme at the end. The other solid song is Grieve Stricken Heart. As a conclusion: an album worth to be listened to! 2,5 stars

MEGADETH Rust in Peace

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
Cover art 4.48 | 211 ratings
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Megadeth's fourth album is true thrash metal classic and Magnum Opus of the US band. The most obvious is, of course super-unusual way of songwriting by Dave Mustaine contrary to the traditional way of rival Metallica. Especially in Rust in Peace the musicianship and talent of Mustaine are strongly underlined. Except from this, there aren't weak songs and the musicianship by all members is highly impressive. The sound is compact, saturated and balanced. The listening of Rust in Peace provoke the imagination, because of its unpredictability and quality. My personal favourites include Hangar 18, Five Magics and Lucretia! Highly recommended for listeners who want to feel the refinement everywhere! 4,5 stars

AMORPHIS Tuonela

Album · 1999 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.84 | 26 ratings
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What I have to say about Tounela? The first coming to my mind is that something's wrong here. I even don't know what exactly, but there's embarrassing moments all around the album. It sounds dynamic, but all the sounds are lost into the vain of mediocrity. It's an album based on stone rock music with some folk and progressive elements. The songs are simple, predictable and boring. If you're trying to remember a song, it's really terrible mission. I forgot it exactly after the listening. The exceptions are The Way and Divinity. There isn't death vocals except on Greed. As a conclusion: the weakest album by Amorphis and an album that can be missed! 1,5 stars

AMORPHIS Elegy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
Cover art 3.98 | 33 ratings
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Very interesting album from my favourite metal band - Amorphis. I would say it's a transitional album between their early death metal roots and their next musical adventures in stone rock and progressive rock. When I first got into Elegy, I've been thinking, it's the greatest music I've ever heard. But that's other story... This is truly their transition. There are new ideas and there aren't some of the earlier. The newest is the presence of much more heavy and progressive tunes as well as dynamic rhythms. However, there aren't death and doom sound here, except parts of the vocals. Amorphis save a lot of the folk themes in Elegy from the previous album (TFTTL). In my opinion Elegy is overall much weaker than Tales from the Thousand Lakes, which is real masterpiece. The reasons are: the simplifying of the compositions, lots of unnecessary repetitions and the weakness of the clean vocals presented by new vocalist Pasi Koskinen! However, it's still one of the strongest Amorphis albums so my vote shall be 4+ stars!

AMORPHIS Tales From the Thousand Lakes

Album · 1994 · Melodic Death Metal
Cover art 4.05 | 58 ratings
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Classic death metal album with multiple incorporated different genres into it. This classic album by finnish death metal godfathers Amorphis will probably remain my best metal album forever! And the reason won't be just sentimental. It's musical as well! Takes from the Thousand Lakes is not just perfect, but it could be described as an encyclopedia of metal music as whole. It incorporate a lot of genres and contains "thousand lakes" of ideas and rhythms. TFTTL is blend of melodic death, doom/death, folk and progressive metal with well-arranged structure and without weak moments. It's real reference to some hard rock and heavy metal tunes, too. The album is real inspiration for all of above genres. The sound is very compact and complete. I shan't mention any songs, because each song is classic by itself. The other thing I would like to talk about is the age of the musicians. Almost all of them were teenagers at the time of the release. It's an incredible feet for that young band and reveals the potential and talent of the band at that time. Metal masterpiece and a must for all metal collections. Absolute 5 stars!

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