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61 reviews/ratings
DEMON - The Unexpected Guest NWoBHM | review permalink
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk Heavy Alternative Rock | review permalink
IDEAMEN - Progress Progressive Metal | review permalink
IDEAMEN - May You Live In Interesting Times Progressive Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Heavy Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Stained Class Heavy Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Defenders Of The Faith Heavy Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller Power Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Metal Works '73-'93 Heavy Metal | review permalink
TUB RING - Zoo Hypothesis Alternative Metal | review permalink
SAXON - Wheels of Steel NWoBHM | review permalink
SAXON - Strong Arm of the Law NWoBHM | review permalink
KNIVES OUT! - Black Mass Hysteria Alternative Metal | review permalink
HELLOWEEN - Helloween Speed Metal | review permalink
HELLOWEEN - Walls of Jericho Speed Metal | review permalink
GAMMA RAY - Land of the Free Power Metal | review permalink
SONATA ARCTICA - Reckoning Night Power Metal | review permalink
KILLING JOKE - Killing Joke (Debut) Non-Metal | review permalink
KILLING JOKE - Night Time Non-Metal | review permalink
BATTLE BEAST - Unholy Savior Power Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Power Metal 21 3.57
2 Heavy Metal 14 3.71
3 Non-Metal 5 3.80
4 NWoBHM 5 4.40
5 Alternative Metal 5 4.10
6 Groove Metal 2 3.50
7 Progressive Metal 2 4.50
8 Speed Metal 2 4.50
9 Heavy Alternative Rock 2 4.25
10 Thrash Metal 1 3.50
11 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50
12 Avant-garde Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DEMON The Unexpected Guest

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
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"The Unexpected Guest" was the album that took Demon from one of the many bands of their time and transformed them to masters of their craft. This album is easily one of the best Heavy Metal albums that, to me, ranks among great masterpieces from heavyweights like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon.

The album is a loose concept album about a seance that goes horribly wrong. "Don't Break the Circle" kicks things off on a fabulous note, featuring some of the best performances by both Dave Hill and Mal Spooner. Things continue on a strong note with "The Spell" and "Total Possession" both in terms of music and concept. "Sign of a Madman" is another great tune that has been a live favorite that the band features in their repertoire even to this day. It also has the first prominent underlying sounds of keyboards, which foreshadows the things to come for Demon.

"Victim of Fortune" and "Have We Been Here Before?" are the two more straightforward tracks that remind me more of the style from the band's debut album but with a lot more maturity, especially in the guitar work from Mal Spooner. The latter is easily the most commercial track off this album and it did made me cringe when I heard it for the first time. Many spins later and I actually enjoy it a whole lot more. The song does continue the story line but with a slightly cheerier sound.

"Strange Institution" returns the album to a serious note and sounds to me like an improved version of "Father of Time" from their debut album. "The Grand Illusion" and "Beyond the Gates" are two strong Heavy Metal compositions that would have easily been highlights on any other NWoBHM record of the time, but they kind of get lost among all the other gems here.

"Deliver Us From Evil" closes the album on another highlight and features a reprise of "Don't Break the Circle" theme. This is a perfect ending to the concept and thus completes the circle. I highly recommend "The Unexpected Guest" to all fans of Heavy Metal as this is as good as it will get. Note that this was just a beginning for Demon as the band went from one career highlight to the next.

***** star songs: Don't Break the Circle (4:43) The Spell (3:41) Sign of a Madman (4:31) Strange Institution (4:47) Deliver Us From Evil (4:41)

**** star songs: Total Possession (3:51) Victim of Fortune (4:41) Have We Been Here Before? (4:42) The Grand Illusion (3:44) Beyond the Gates (4:19)

*** star songs: Intro: An Observation (1:24) Outro (0:41)

DEMON Night of the Demon

Album · 1981 · NWoBHM
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I'm relatively new to Demon even though I've heard of them for a few years. I gave their third album, The Plague, a spin a few months ago and was completely blown away by the experience. Since then, I've gone through all of their 80's and 90's output and have to say that they are easily my favorite Heavy Metal band! I don't take these words lightly and it did take some to convince myself that it was time to dethrone Judas Priest.

So what is it about Demon that makes them stand out among so many other great Heavy Metal bands that came out of the NWoBHM movement? To me it's the great versatility that has made their career as engaging as it is. No two albums are the same but all feature a piece of the puzzle that is Demon.

Their 1981 debut record "Night of the Demon" is a pretty straightforward Heavy Metal record and the sound of the band is not completely developed. Luckily there is enough great material here to make it worth a while. Starting with their classic tune "Night of the Demon" and following it with my personal favorite "Into the Nightmare". After the strong intro, the album goes into artsy territory with "Father of Time" which starts with the lyric 'In the beginning he gave us the word'. That opening can sometimes make me chuckle as it sounds like something straight from the Spinal Tap movie. The rest of the track is actually a lot more enjoyable once you get into the whole concept.

The rest of the album is a bit too simplistic to my ears even though I do enjoy tracks like "Decisions", "Liar" and "Fool to Play the Hard Way". The closing number "One Helluva Night" isn't as impressive as the version that's featured on their 1990 live recording with the same name but it does give you the urge to give the record another spin as soon as it has ended.

The only weak track here is "Big Love" with it's very basic structure and bluesy sound. Just skip it and move straight to "Ride the Wind" for a track that could have easily come from one of the early Saxon releases.

As a whole, "Night of the Demon" is a competent debut album but it very rarely gives you the glimpses of the things to come for Demon. I'd say that it's not as strong as "The Unexpected Guest" or "Taking the World by Storm" in the songwriting but does offer enough great tracks to make it enjoyable to fans of Heavy Metal music.

***** star songs: Night of the Demon (3:17) Into the Nightmare (3:57)

**** star songs: Father of Time (4:20) Decisions (3:40) Liar (3:14) Ride the Wind (2:48) Fool to Play the Hard Way (4:01) One Helluva Night (4:00)

*** star songs: Full Moon (1:35) Big Love (4:15)

BATTLE BEAST Bringer of Pain

Album · 2017 · Heavy Metal
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So how did Battle Beast manage as songwriters after firing their main songwriter Anton Kabanen after the release if their previous album? To tell you the truth, my expectations were low since I doubted that the band would be able to top their material on "Unholy Savior" and was expecting the new songwriter contributions to make this record into a weird mash-up of all the individual members styles. Luckily this is not entirely the case since "Bringer of Pain" does offer the familiar sound of Battle Beast and the compositions aren't as bad as one might expect them to be.

The opening track "Straight To The Heart" kicks things off on a right foot with strong Power Metal vibe and almost makes me forget that Kabanen is out of the band. Things continue in the right direction with the title track and the album's first single "King For A Day". "Beyond The Burning Skies" and "Familiar Hell" don't have the same punch to them, as the previous three tracks, but are still pretty solid numbers.

Unfortunately the quality of the material begins to drop halfway through the album with "Lost In Wars" which features a guest appearance of Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis. This track sound really weird and doesn't fit in at all with the rest of the material... almost as if the band wanted to collaborate with Joutsen and thus made a song that would fit his style more than that of Battle Beast.

"Bastard Son Of Odin" is another lesser track as the band is clearly trying to be tongue and cheek but this only undermines their sound. "We Will Fight" is a fine Heavy Metal number which clearly shows that Battle Beast aren't ready to completely leave their Traditional Heavy Metal roots and be labeled as a Power Metal act. "Dancing With The Beast" is a continuation of "Touch In The Night", from the previous album, but I don't find is as enjoyable this time while "Far From Heaven" is a fine ballad that closes the album.

I was surprised that two of the three bonus tracks that were released were actually really strong tracks. Both "God Of War" and especially "The Eclipse" features all the momentum I was missing on some of the album tracks. I would have easily enjoyed this album more if "Lost In Wars" and "Bastard Son Of Odin" were replaced by "God Of War" and "The Eclipse". "Rock Trash" on the other hand is another joke song and it's enough to hear it once and completely forget that it ever existed.

Overall I'm actually surprised that Battle Beast managed to make a pretty good album with "Bringer Of Pain". Granted I do enjoy their two previous albums a bit more but this release is definitely better than their debut album "Steel". Hopefully they can continue in the same direction on future releases!

***** star songs: Straight To The Heart (3:31) King For A Day (4:33)

**** star songs: Bringer Of Pain (3:04) Beyond The Burning Skies (4:39) Familiar Hell (4:04) We Will Fight (3:26) Far From Heaven (4:20) God Of War (3:56) The Eclipse (4:30)

*** star songs: Lost In Wars (4:34) Bastard Son Of Odin (3:34) Dancing With The Beast (3:42) Rock Trash (3:13)

BATTLE BEAST Unholy Savior

Album · 2015 · Power Metal
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With "Unholy Savior" Battle Beast continued in the same direction set by their sophomore album. The major difference this time is that the quality of the compositions have gone up a notch or maybe even two. I honestly can't find a bad track here, even the unexpected flirt with dance music on "Touch In The Night" feels somewhat charming after a few spins. This is why I feel that it was a pity that the band parted ways with guitarist Anton Kabanen right after the release of the album. Kabanen also happened to be the main songwriter in the band up to this point and his loss meant that the rest of the members had to show their songwriting chops once the have to release their next album.

This album marked the final step in the transition on the band's first three albums where they moved from Traditional Heavy Metal to pure Power Metal sound. "Unholy Savior" offers pure Power Metal bliss and I'm sure that most fans of the genre will enjoy this release.

I also enjoyed the flirt with the movie Scarface (1983) on the track "I Want The World... And Everything In It" which even features intro dialog taken directly from the movie. The band also made a cover of the song "Push It To The Limit" from the Scarface soundtrack and put it as a bonus track on "Unholy Savior".

Highly recommended album to fans of great Power Metal! It will be interesting to see how Battle Beast will manage to top this release now that Anton Kabanen is out of the band.

***** star songs: Lionheart (4:53) I Want The World... And Everything In It (4:37) Sea Of Dreams (5:01) Far Far Away (3:46)

**** star songs: Unholy Savior (5:36) Madness (4:01) Speed And Danger (4:38) The Black Swordsman (1:15) Hero's Quest (2:30) Angel Cry (3:33) Push It To The Limit (3:20)

*** star songs: Touch In The Night (4:27)

SAXON Battering Ram

Album · 2015 · Heavy Metal
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Another ok but somewhat unnecessary release from Saxon. The band hasn't exactly been innovating their sound over the decades and most of their live sets still consists mostly of the early '80s material. I'm a huge fan of the classic trilogy of "Wheels Of Steel", "Strong Arm Of The Law" and "Denim And Leather" but none of the albums after that have managed to re-capture the great songwriting of those releases. Saxon never bothered of treading new ground but instead continued in that same direction that was paved by the classic releases. This might be all right for some fans but I honestly feel nothing for each new album that is being released by the band. Still, they keep on releasing one new album after the other and there doesn't seem to be an end to this cycle.

"Call To Arms" from 2011 had a few memorable moments but the album as a whole never really took off and "Sacrifice" from 2013 was a pretty lackluster release that I've listened to two times before dismissing it entirely. "Battering Ram" fits somewhere in between the two previous releases, some of the material works but the album as a whole feels flat. The first three tracks are pretty decent, even though none of them sticks out that much. The opening album titled track is a fun live track but that's pretty much it. "The Devil's Footprint" is very moody and flirts with "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest but lacks a real punch. "Queen Of Hearts" is the most creative track of the three but the chorus is really weak in comparison to the rest of the track.

After a few filler tracks like "Destroyer", "Hard And Fast" and "Eye Of The Storm", we finally get to another two highlights. "Stand Your Ground" sounds like a classic Saxon track that might as well have been a part of one of the '80s albums. The only downside is that the chorus is really weak in comparison to the rest. "Top Of The World" starts of with a riff that reminds us of "Princess Of The Night" followed by twin guitars that remind me of Iron Maiden. This and the final track are probably my favorite moments off this release. What makes these songs so great is that they show Saxon embracing new sounds and directions that they otherwise lack in their sound.

After the terrible "To The End", that drags on for almost 6 minutes, we finally get to the "Kingdom Of The Cross". The track starts in the same slow tempo as "To The End" but the arrangements all scream that this is a classy composition and not just another metal by numbers track. "Kingdom Of The Cross" shows a completely different side of the band that almost sounds a bit progressive at times. This track is probably the reason why I bothered reviewing this album to begin with!

If you're a fan of the classic Saxon sound and want a weaker version of just that then "Battering Ram" might be for you. Personally, I prefer quality metal and this album has a few moments here and there but lacks the momentum that made Saxon one of the classic metal bands that we know and love.

**** star songs: Battering Ram (4:56) The Devil's Footprint (4:09) Queen Of Hearts (5:08) Stand Your Ground (4:16) Top Of The World (4:01) Kingdom Of The Cross (6:08)

*** star songs: Destroyer (3:21) Hard And Fast (4:46) Eye Of The Storm (3:55)

** star songs: To The End (5:51)

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 year ago in Favorite vocalist of Riot
    Listening to their latest album, Armor of Light, right now and Todd Michael Hall is amazing! RuneWalsh21122018-05-08 01:16:25
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Lizzard for Sludge/Post-Metal
    Agree! Tool was my main point of reference and they are a mix between post-metal and alternative metal.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Jumping Jack for Stoner Metal
    The French heavy trio formed in 2009.Sample links:http://jumpingjack.bandcamp.com/album/cows-and-whiskyJumping Jack – Trucks and Bones (debut album, 2012)Jumping Jack – Cows and Whisky (EP, 2009)French Interview with concert samples:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_mwZMKtTvg

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