Phantom's Temple

The Swamp => The Dark Forest => Topic started by: The Bamboo Forest on September 16, 2009, 03:13:10 AM

Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: The Bamboo Forest on September 16, 2009, 03:13:10 AM
Got my inspiration from TAW's thread on the new Megadeth album. Basically, just rate an album and its songs and say what you thought about it. I'm gonna start off with the CD I've got in my roommate's stereo right now, "Hybrid Theory" by Linkin Park.


"Papercut" -- This is one of my favorites on the record and from a entire band standpoint. It combines an interesting rock-inspired guitar riff with a upbeat, hip-hop influenced rhythm. Mike's fast delivery of the lines is nicely complemented IMO by Chester's more aggressive singing (or rapping, can't really tell...) in the chorus.

"One Step Closer" -- This is my favorite song on the CD and my second favorite by the band overall. Short, sweet, and to the point is what gives this song its charm. Chester's aggressive vocal skills are shown-off in this song, especially the "SHUT UP WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!" bridge smack dab in the middle. Only small problem is that it's a little repetitive compared to the band's other songs, but that's not really a biggie.

"With You" - For a change, this song keeps a distinct quietness during Mike's rapping verses, but the guitar riff for the chorus combined with some of the best growling on the record makes for a good song. Again, another great combination of rock and rap as usual for the earlier songs, and overall... Pretty good, I guess. :)

"Points of Authority" - I don't really know how to describe the style of this song, but it was sort of unique, I thought. Not my favorite for sure, but it was pretty nice. I actually preferred the "Pts. OF Athrty" version on Reanimation to this version. This is one that I'd skip over on my iPod, in general.

"Crawling" - O_O''' Really impressed with Chester's loooooooong vocals, much like "New Divide" and "Given Up". Pretty good transitions from soft, melodic vocals, to the loud "so insecure..." hook before each chorus. The music video on the other hand, is fucked up. :lol: I dunno...but I just didn't like that.

"Runaway" - Nice track overall. For some reason, I liked the intro, and of course, I liked the whisper/scream combination in the bridge - that was pretty nice as well. Not much really I can say... I'm just drawing a blank for this one.

"By Myself" - Really liked the guitar in this one; it sounded pretty raw to me, and uncommon thing in their early stuff IIRC. The screaming hooks were classic Chester, much like the ones heard in "Hit the Floor" on Meteora, and the rapping was well-delivered as well. Not a great song, and definitely not my favorite, but it's not the worst... The worst by them might be IMO "What I've Done", but that's another story...

"In the End" - Now this is what I call the perfect rap/metal combo! Quickly-spoken lyrics for the rap verses - and even though they largely rhyme, they actually make sense! XD Anyway, I was also blown back by Chester's powerful vocals when I listened the first time in the "watch you go...." and the "in the end..." hooks in the first and second verses respectively. Somehow, to me it feels like a great song for a videogame soundtrack as well for some In addition, the music video is one of my favorites by them, although I don't really get why there's a random flying metal whale in the sky. Not bad, not bad at all!

"A Place for My Head" - Now this is one song that has gone through THREE demo versions, a pretty amazing amount to me. Each had significantly different verses, pre-choruses, choruses, and bridges. Honestly, I felt that the earlier versions were much more impressive with amazingly fast delivery of rap lyrics, but I suppose the final sounded...OK.

"Forgotten" - One of the better ones on the album; Forgotten has a very unique structure without a really explicit set of lyrics that I'd consider an official chorus. It's kind of confusing with one slightly more aggressive section, and one more melodic section. The one I'm leaning more towards is the one with Mike's additional rapping, but they both appear three times. The problem is, Chorus #1 (with rapping) appears alone at the very start of the song, and Chorus #2 appears without the complimenting Chorus #1 at the very end of the song.

"Cure for the Itch" - Instrumental tracks aren't really my thing, so I can't really rate this one properly. But Mr. Hahn did do well with the turntable scratching in the track. The intro with the guy walking up on the stage was a little redundant, I think, but nevertheless the track ranks around 5 out of 10 with 10 being the highest from an album standpoint, possibly lower from a band standpoint.

"Pushing me Away" - To be honest, I didn't like this one at all. Honestly, I don't really have any reason to justify my opinion, but that's just what I think. Unfortunately, not much to say about the finale.

Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: Red Jaguars Fan on September 16, 2009, 03:18:42 AM
I think I have Monkey Business by BEP, but I have to find it. I'll edit the post for the review.
Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: OlmecsThrone on September 27, 2009, 10:08:09 AM
Metallica-Ride the Lightning

Released in 1984
James Hetfield-Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Kirk Hammett-Lead Guitar
Cliff Burton(RIP)-Bass/Backing Vocals
Lars Ulrich-Drums
Produced by Flemming Rasmussen and Metallica

"Fight Fire With Fire"-Opens with a nice acoustic guitar intro before rocketing into a fast-paced thrashy track. Arguably one of Metallica's hardest tracks of all time, and a definite stand-out track of this album.
"Ride the Lightning"-Not as fast as "Fight", but still an excellent track. A bit more melodic, but still retains a very hard edge to it.
"For Whom the Bell Tolls"-An overrated track in my opinion, still a solid song nonetheless. Slow for thrash standards.
"Fade to Black"-The slowest song on the album, but an excellent slow and brooding song about a serious subject: suicide.
"Trapped Under Ice"-Back to the speedy thrash with this one. One of the weaker songs on this album, not as memorable as its predecessors, but still a good tune.
"Escape"-About the same as "Trapped", but seems more like filler.
"Creeping Death"-Intro sounds a bit similar to "Master of Puppets". Overall, very well done.
"The Call of Ktulu"-Great instrumental.

Overall, Metallica's best album, in my opinion.
Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: The Ancient Warrior on September 27, 2009, 11:11:34 AM
Agreed on the overall.

@For Whom The Bell Tolls: I must be the only one that doesn't care about the tempo as much (I mean, I realize the bell they used dictated the tempo but it's not too bad). There's a live version that's a bonus track on some versions; the tempo is probably a good 10% faster or so.
@Creeping Death: Well, this album was first, so "Master Of Puppets" sounds like "Creeping Death." :P
Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: The Ancient Warrior on October 01, 2009, 10:58:35 AM
It's that review-an-album time again~

This time I'm focusing on ...And Justice for All by Metallica (*Cough*aboutfuckinggoddamntime*Cough* :P).  A little background for the non-Metallica fans here (I know there aren't many, but still): Justice was Metallica's breakthrough into the mainstream in 1988.  It's Metallica's fourth album, but only the first to produce a hit single (only the last single, "One," became a hit, however? the fourth single/fourth track off the fourth album; go figure).  It's the first album produced after Cliff Burton's death in 1986 and therefore the first album with Jason Newsted on bass.

Going into this, I have to wonder if the reason this album was their breakthrough has to do with them perfecting their craft or if a breakthrough into the mainstream is the worst move a band can make.  Let's see... Here's my thoughts on the album, track by track:

Blackened? Very nice intro.  It keeps the structural theme of the openers to the two albums before it ("Fight Fire With Fire" from Ride The Lightning and "Battery" from Master Of Puppets), what with a "tame" guitar intro and then a fast and powerful barrage of sound.  However, "Blackened" mixes things up with mid-tempo sections as well, breaking the established pattern just enough to keep things from sounding exactly the same? a very nice move.  10/10!

...And Justice For All? At 9:47, this is the third-longest recording on any Metallica studio album (exceeded only by the 9:49-long "To Live Is To Die" near the end of the album and "Suicide & Redemption" from Death Magnetic, at 9:58).  The song is at a more normal tempo, but that helps to keep things from getting boring? imagine if this song was as fast as "The Four Horsemen"; it'd seem like it went on forever.  The band did a good job at keeping things interesting even before the vocals cut in after two minutes or so, and the song keeps pushing forward after that, using time changes and some slowing down and speeding up to keep listeners from getting bored in the three-minute break between the second time the chorus is sung to the third verse (a typical Metallica song structure).  All-around, a very well-put-together song for its length. 10/10!

Eye Of The Beholder? Starting with a slowly-fading-in, catchy beat set up by Jason, James and Lars, this one has a very infectious rhythm.

...Wait, a thrash metal song you can dance to? Actually, that's not as blasphemous as you think, considering some accounts by Megadeth:
Quote from: ""David Ellefson""
Our theory is, we play slower tempos, the girls will come. Last night they were dancing to "The Conjuring". We're up there going, 'Look at that. They're dancing to the satanic part of the set'!

It's another great piece, and one of my favorites on the album. 10/10!

One? Even if you know very little Metallica, you HAVE to know this song.  Well, this, "Ride The Lightning" and "Enter Sandman." As I said before, it's the first hit Metallica produced, and even though I've noticed my favorite songs aren't usually the singles, this is one of my favorite Metallica songs to this day.  I absolutely love the clean guitar intro, how the song sort of "snowballs" into a heavy, rapid assault and the subject matter for the lyrics.  The song is based on an anti-war novel called Johnny Got His Gun, about a man who is heavily injured in a war, losing all his limbs, his voice and the use of all his senses? all that remains is that he's alive, but cannot do anything at all, remaining a prisoner in his own body.  10/10!

The Shortest Straw? More good use of catchy rhythms here.  As one of the longer "normal"-length songs on the album (this is just my opinion since, to me, 4 to 7 minutes is "normal"), this one didn't lose my attention either.  The song speeds up about halfway through before going back to the same tempo it started in at when the vocals resume after about 4:30.  It's another infectious song like "Eye Of The Beholder," basically. 10/10!

Harvester Of Sorrow? Compared to the other songs on the album, "Harvester Of Sorrow" is one of the shortest songs and moves at a slower pace, but it's just as relentless.  The pacing and rhythm of "Sad But True" seem to be based on this song just a tad, but I can't complain about that. 10/10!

The Frayed Ends Of Sanity? The distorted vocals in the first thirty seconds were downright weird at first, but the song was excellent after that.  It's consistent, fast and pretty good to hear, though, and after giving it a second listen, the intro wasn't as bad as I thought.  9/10.

To Live Is To Die? RIP Cliff Burton... You can definitely get the feel for that message with the acoustic intro/outro.  The song consists entirely of riffs Cliff wrote that were otherwise unused, and it's as close to an instrumental as any track on Justice gets, with only four lines of vocals nearly eight minutes into it: a poem Cliff liked that was made popular by the film Excalibur.

While I knew the lyrics were coming on this otherwise instrumental piece, I was expecting an instrumental breakdown so James could be heard a lot more clearly? when he does speak the singe stanza, he can be heard over the instruments, but not as well as I hoped? but since you can still hear him and the piece sounded great and didn't lose my attention, I still love it.  Jason Newsted is a fairly good bassist, but if you think Cliff Burton's worse, you're fucking insane.  We miss you, Cliff... 10/10!

Dyers Eve? Following the same ending structure as Master Of Puppets, a very long (near-)instrumental penultimate track is followed by a fast-paced, five-minute thrash closer.  Without a doubt, this is the fastest track on the album, clearly taking a page from "Damage Inc." on the previous album.  A strong closer that makes me wonder why they couldn't sound as good when trying to replicate this sort of song on St. Anger. 10/10!

So, is this their best album or the beginning of a great band's decline? Neither, but I'm leaning towards the first choice.  With a new bassist (the most important player in ANY band), Metallica obviously sounded a lot different than before, but their work was still obviously thrash? they didn't start to reinvent themselves YET, and it wouldn't be until Load that they completed their first reinvention process (it was only partially done when the Black Album was recorded, since there were still SOME traces of metal there, at least).

In a nutshell, ...And Justice For All is a technical tour de force that isn't a step down from Master Of Puppets, but rather a step up, as they kept their sound almost the same, but finally met success. (I can't say they managed to keep things together for long after their breakthrough, but still.) It hasn't automatically become my favorite Metallica album, but with some more time and listening, you never know.
Title: The "Review-an-Album" Thread
Post by: The Ancient Warrior on October 05, 2009, 05:24:11 PM
Aaaand another review.  This time, I'm listening to South Of Heaven by Slayer.

While Reign In Blood is hailed as Slayer's magnum opus, South Of Heaven is the most successful Slayer album in terms of sales.  It was recorded and released in 1988, two years after Reign In Blood and was the band's fourth album (similar to the release of ...And Justice For All by Metallica).  The album also marked a trend towards more mid-tempo, melodic songs that are a tad more accessible than Slayer's first three albums.  But was the start of that trend really a good thing? Let's see...

South Of Heaven? The title track sounds like a very strong start to the album.  You can tell right away that things aren't going to be moving at the crazy speeds of their "magnum opus." Tom Araya's vocals are a bit toned-down, though there is still a lot of shouting.  Sadly, the bass is no more audible here than on any of the tracks on the last album, however.  Distortion effects on Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King's guitars aren't AS crazy, but Dave Lombardo's drums sound more powerful and like a much better counter to the wailing guitars.  The only drawback is the ending to the song; I think the guitars' last notes were held waaay too long, personally. 9/10.

Silent Scream? Well, this track leans more towards the speed metal of Slayer's previous releases, but it's nowhere near as crazy as some of their earlier work.  As a result, it doesn't feel like a drastic change from Reign In Blood, but it's still good to listen to. 10/10!

Live Undead? As strange as it sounds, the opening riff sounds like "Live Wire" by M?tley Cr?e turned into a macabre creation.  Only the drums and the solos near the end of the album are fast on this track, but there's other proof that the band hasn't completely abandoned their own style: A shriek by Araya about halfway through.  Somehow it at least sounds like the bass and rhythm don't also speed up, but that might be misleading.  Either way, it still sounds less sloppy than most of Reign In Blood. 8/10.

Behind The Crooked Cross? This totally sounds like something Metallica could've put on ...And Justice For All but forgot (maybe it was the blatant "Creeping Death" clone absent from the album :P).  After the first half, it's business as usual with the speed picking up, but then things end at the pace they began. 10/10!

Mandatory Suicide? Another slower, more melodic track, similar to the title track.  As a result, it's more proof that the band's new direction paid off and better explains why South Of Heaven is the bestselling Slayer album. 10/10!

Ghosts Of War? Steadily chugging, this track changes paces a tad as directed by Lombardo's rapid-fire drumming.  The riffs sound pretty good in this one as well. 10/10!

Read Between The Lies? The riffs early in the song sound almost identical to the opening riff of "Raining Blood," but the slower tempo of "Read Between The Lines" helps a lot.  The song has a much more refined sound than the riff-twin on the previous album, making it one of the best on this album.  10/10!

Cleanse the Soul? Nothing like another fast track, amirite? Kerry King goes back to semi-sloppy guitar solos on this track; whether this is related to the speed, I don't know.  It's certainly not the best track on the album, though... 8/10.

Dissident Aggressor? A Judas Priest cover? O: I think it was handled pretty well (even though I have yet to hear the original... heheh ^^;; ).  The wailing guitar turned out pretty well; not a trace of wank in King's playing, and it doesn't sound like the other members fucked things up. 10/10!

Spill the Blood? And so our journey together comes to an end.  The haunting guitar intro works nicely, and things begin to segue to a solid, heavy track.  Araya's vocals have their weak points, but they're a tad overpowered by the guitars anyway, so... yeah.  However, the solo in the middle of this song was one of the best Slayer solos I've heard, so I'm willing to overlook the slightly-worse-than-normal vocals.  All in all, a good finisher.  10/10!

So, is South Of Heaven a good album? Yes.  It's much better than Reign In Blood, which definitely wasn't anywhere near as good as it's cracked up to be.  I credit a lot of this to Slayer's producer at the time, Rick Rubin, who started to tune their songs towards more mid-tempo, regular-length music and also cut down on how much like death metal the early work sounded at times.  Reign In Blood was revolutionary for being the fastest album at the time, but quite frankly, it was a speed-over-skill atrocity.  On the other hand, South Of Heaven was a step in the right direction.  I'd totally give it a listen.
Title: Re: The \
Post by: Asian Legends Fan on January 14, 2011, 06:49:42 AM
EDIT: ... Jesus Christ, this post got so much cut out of it that I'm not even going to bother editing it (AND BECAUSE OF TWO FUCKING MEASLY SMILEYS AS WELL, GOD DAMN :roll: :x). I'm reviewing this album again another time. :roll:
Title: Re: The
Post by: Asian Legends Fan on March 26, 2011, 05:32:34 AM
Finally redid it—here is the review of my favorite Guns N’ Roses album, Use Your Illusion I. I must say, it wasn’t an easy choice because all four of the albums that the original band put out (that were not all cover material, anyway) just kick ass, but in the end, I came to this decision. :P Since the format is song reviews followed by the full album overview, I’ll do just that.

I seem to grade much harsher than TAW does, but I only give out Perfect 10’s if I really spam the replay button on it or something like that. :P I honestly don’t think any of the tracks besides “You Ain’t The First” should be considered filler, not even the three before “Coma.”

Right Next Door To Hell— The song starts off with a great bass intro by Duff McKagan but the rest of the band start playing quickly and launch into this rather fast-paced opener with Axl’s familiar high-pitched vocals that seem to start the album off with a bang. I’ll admit, the only other song on this album that can be used as the opening track would be “Perfect Crime” (which would probably make this album even more epic), but this song was in no way bad. Gotta love the “fuck youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu… bitch!” scream by Axl right before the guitar solo, too. :lol: 8/10.

Dust N’ Bones— You can’t help but like the slightly sleazier, rawer tone and style of this one. “Dust N’ Bones,” the first of three tracks on the album where Izzy Stradlin takes lead vocals, is a “song by the rest of the band,” according to Axl Rose, but shows that the original GnR can still be a complete powerhouse without Axl. :) Gotta add that the talkbox effect on Slash’s guitar compliments Izzy’s raspier vocals, and of course, this is the only track Guns N’ Roses has ever recorded to my knowledge where Slash provides vocals (“You get out on your own / And you take all that you own / And you forget about your home / And then you’re just fuckin’ gone”)—and that last bit was just awesome :P. Good song, catchy tune, 8/10.

Live and Let Die— I did in fact hear the original Paul McCartney version before this one, but I still prefer the GnR cover—no offense to the original, I know there’s going to be a lot of fans chastising me for this, but at the end of the day, it has to do with my preferences and taste in music, which both lean towards hard rock, obviously. Nothing special, but it’s a good cover. I think Axl’s worn this song out from far too many live performances, but… I’ll give it a 7/10.

Don’t Cry— Absolute fanboys of Appetite seem to dislike this song… I, on the other hand, find it to be a good power ballad and it is in no way a weak link on the album—why do you think it was released as a single, people? ;) Other than that, I prefer the Alternate Lyrics version just for the lyrics, since obviously both versions are otherwise clones. 7/10.

Perfect Crime— This song is so in-your-face and keeps its pace all the way till the end. Right from the start, the quick, catchy guitar riff blares and Axl quickly follows with a high-pitched scream before launching straight into belting out strings of high-pitched, quickly-delivered lyrics with some classic Axl Rose screams slipped in here and there. The way Slash shreds on the guitar solo is awesome as well. I absolutely love the way Axl screams out the line “Call on everybody who’s got last rites / Said it’s better if you locked ‘em away” and the final “PERFECT CRIME!” Great speed song, 9/10.

You Ain’t The First— Not Guns N’ Roses, that’s all I can say. I totally respect Izzy Stradlin and his contributions to the band, but this shouldn’t have gone on the album (just like how “My World” shouldn’t have gone on this album’s brother) because it doesn’t fit. With that said, I enjoyed Izzy’s rough vocals which were very appropriate for the song’s theme and message. 5/10.

Bad Obsession— Well, the harmonica was a nice touch. :P I actually somewhat tire of Axl’s mid-range vocals here—they get older much quicker than his high-pitched vocals ever will to me, for some reason—but I actually liked Matt Sorum’s use of the cowbell in this song, which is pretty rare for me. :lol: Didn’t quite stand out on the album for me, but I can see how this was a pre-Appetite song and I do wonder what it would be like if Steven Adler played on the track because I’m sure it would certainly sound like an Appetite song if he did. Good song, 8/10.

Back Off Bitch— One of my favorites off the album. I can’t remember clearly, but I’m pretty sure that this was an Appetite track because Adler plays on the demo. Izzy Stradlin played the intro solo at the beginning  of the song as well, which was pretty cool to hear—it’s not every day you hear an Izzy solo (though, ironically enough, Rose wrote the track). Nothing really much to say about this song, but I enjoy it for what it is: an awesome hard rock jam. 9/10.

Double Talkin’ Jive— This track is split into two main parts: first, a fast-paced song with Izzy on vocals again and Slash totally ripping a solo, which I loved. This is one of the songs where I can actually hear Duff’s baseline very clearly, which was great. I’m not a fan of Axl singing this song live because of the screams that he adds between verses, which in my opinion spoils the “dangerously quiet” tone I picked up from the slightly-attitude-ish lyrics. The second portion is a unique acoustic Spanish solo which I actually see more as an intro to the next song rather than an outro to this one, but eh, it was interesting to listen to anyway. Shows that Slash is more varied in style than people think. 9/10.

November Rain— And so, we come to Track #10, the ever-famous “November Rain,” and one of my favorite Guns N’ Roses songs of all-time. It is as complex and symphonic as a power ballad can get, which I believe was a step up from the piano-only hard rock ballads in the 1980s. “November Rain” is a unique song that was well put-together by Axl, no matter how many comments about him being egotistical when writing this song I hear. His vocals have a lot of emotion in them in this song, which I really enjoyed. But obviously, one of the best parts of the song is when everything slows down and stops for a split-second (which I thought was the end the first time I listened to it) but then Axl starts playing the piano again, picking up the pace in such a suspenseful way that you just know that something big is coming up. And that is completely true—Slash throws himself into what I consider to be his best (and most technical) solo ever, fingers just flying as he plays it. I actually favor the album version because the solo is so hard to replicate that Slash sometimes improvises when playing live, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. 10/10!

The Garden— This isn’t the most filler song on the album (in terms of how much work was put into it) but it is the weirdest and one that I don’t particularly enjoy. Apparently, it features Alice Cooper and Shannon Hoon, who I assume provide the vocals on lyrics like “Turned into my worst phobia / It’s a crazy man’s utopia.” Some interesting Slash solos here, but other than that, nothing I particularly like about this track… I skip over it about half of the time on iTunes, anyway. 6/10.

Garden Of Eden— Two (well, three if you count “Right Next Door To Hell”) speed songs on the same album? Sweet. :lol: This isn’t my favorite track, but this does have a really good Slash solo and it’s fun to sing along to. I’m fairly surprised it never became a staple at karaoke parties myself. :P Anyway, Axl’s vocals are great here too—even better than in “Perfect Crime,” if you ask me—and the main guitar riff is catchy. Not much to say about this song, but I do like it better than I seem to. 8/10.

Don’t Damn Me— Very underrated song indeed (you’re welcome, TBF :P). It’s a shame that this was never played live because I’d love to see Slash do the riff and the underappreciated solo. I think that Axl’s lyrics are more… how do I say “passionate” rather than just “angry” (like in “Back Off Bitch,” for example) and are definitely some of the best that he ever wrote. I especially love the line “My words may disturb / But at least there’s a reaction” because that is very much how I feel about criticism—what good is it sugar-coating everything you say just to keep the status quo if it gets nothing done in the process? It does mean a lot to me that Axl is writing a song about censorship of opinion. Other than that, there’s the epic shredding by Slash in his solo—it’s definitely one of his best solos. 9/10.

Bad Apples— Ah good, a team effort by the entire band (this song was written by Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Axl). Some say that the album’s end is filler; to be frank, they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about. Use Your Illusion I ends with a bang, and this is the starts that bang off. This does return to the band’s catchier, groovier tunes, and I really love Axl’s vocals in this one too (although it’s hard to hear what he’s singing at some points). Axl just belts everything out here, which fits the general message of this song, which is (from my own point of view) about being tired of bad things happening despite being rich and famous. Love the little bit of blues influence here, too. 9/10.

Dead Horse— Though it’s probably the simplest of the songs on the album musically (including the drum riff and Slash’s solo), “Dead Horse” is a very catchy tune and Axl’s screaming-type vocals are very good here. When I heard this song for the very first time, I was almost certain that this would be a second “You Ain’t The First,” to which I actually groaned because I was expecting this album to be a second Appetite For Destruction (come on, that was when I didn’t know much else about the band :P), but then Axl did a classic screech and my assumption was shot right to hell when the song exploded into more blues-influenced goodness. The way this album ends is very special—we just fly through “Don’t Damn Me” and “Bad Apples,” and just as you think it’s going to slow down (like how I was fooled), “Dead Horse” keeps things a-flowin’. Underrated song for what it’s worth and how it contributes to the album. 9/10.

Coma— And so we come to the close of this epic album. At a whopping 10 minutes and 13 seconds long, this is by far the longest Guns N’ Roses song ever recorded, and boy is it the best song they ever recorded. It took me quite awhile to come to appreciate this song better—I was put off a lot by the song’s length in the beginning—but once I did, I realized how much of a masterpiece this track and this entire album truly is. I love Slash’s guitar work in this song especially—it was one of the songs that he wrote himself—and Axl’s vocals are something different and special here. According to Axl “...[the end segment of ‘Coma’] just poured out,” and I think it’s very evident by the way he does delivers the part right after the nurses cursing (which is a nice touch too :lol:) without stopping in slightly over two minutes. Additionally, those lines were some of the best lyrics Axl ever wrote, and to think that it all just came to be when he came out of a “coma” himself (Axl said that he passed out when he wanted to write this song, which he was having trouble with, and it all just came to him when he woke up). I have tried but many times to analyze this song for what it means, and I came up with so many different things, ranging from “Steven Adler” to “comparing life to a coma” and I think I should just leave it as is—a true display of Axl’s songwriting abilities. My favorite GnR song, excellent way to close this amazing album… 10/10!

So how do I sum up this album? I have to use the staple opening line for the band at their concerts, “GUNS N’ FUCKIN’ ROSES!” Though I do find some other individual songs that capture the talent of the band members, this album is the perfect equilibrium. I recommend this as the first album anyone who wants to start listening to Guns N’ Roses should buy because I hope that people will recognize this as the closest you can get to finding out what GnR—or GnFR, more like—is in just one album.
Title: Re: The
Post by: Asian Legends Fan on April 21, 2011, 07:37:13 AM
This time, I’m doing Rust In Peace by Megadeth, which is a fan favorite and their best album in my opinion. So, without further ado…

Holy Wars… The Punishment Due— Just by the opening riff, I think anyone can tell that this is going to be an awesome album. Then Nick Menza comes in with the drums and thus begins a legendary track known as “Holy Wars.” Great vocals by Dave Mustaine on the two segments that constitute “Holy Wars” and I think no one appreciates the speed at which Dave and Marty play the main riff to the song—even a non-guitar player like myself can tell that it’s a complicated riff for just a semi-fast song. Things do slow down when the song enters “The Punishment Due” section, where there’s a lot of pauses and cymbal-choking (great opportunities to headbang, if you will :P). The section concludes with two awesome solos from Marty Friedman before changing pace once again and building up speed to culminate with an amazing shred-style solo by Dave Mustaine. The end part is indeed fun to sing, and the final “mercy killings!” breakdown always has me headbanging. Awesome song; 10/10!

Hangar 18— After the fast-paced “Holy Wars,” isn’t it time to take a little break? No way. The band launches straight into my second-favorite song on the album, the ever-famous “Hangar 18.” I just love the way how Dave and Marty’s guitars harmonize especially during the intro section and the fills that Marty plays after his post-verse solos. The solos. THE SOLOS. Marty Friedman just totally shreds his way through the solos almost effortlessly, keeping the song flowing nicely until it changes pace slightly and slows down momentarily for two longer, more melodic solos from Marty (but with no less notes, of course! :o) Following this comes my favorite part of the song: Dave and Marty alternating playing guitar solos. Dave and Marty each have their own different style (Dave just shreds like crazy while Marty plays a little more melodically) but at no other time do they complement each other this well. 10/10!

Take No Prisoners— Yeah, no, it seems like there really are no breaks on this album. :P “Take No Prisoners” is just three minutes or so of flat-out, thrashy speed metal. Dave’s loud vocals are appropriate considering the very critical tone of this song, and you gotta love the band responding each of Dave’s lines in the first verse. Every part of this song just makes me want to headbang—even the short (yet out-of-control) bass solo following the “BURN!” part in the beginning. The double-bass drumming almost throughout the entire song is a really nice touch; it makes it a lot heavier. I don’t find Marty’s solos in this one too noteworthy, but that isn’t too much the focus of this particular song, so I’ll let that slip. :) 9/10.

Five Magics— Thank God they used the second take of the vocals in the original release of the album (the original take was the one used in the “Five Magics” demo and the remastered version of the song). “Five Magics” starts off with a pure thrash riff but then suddenly slows down to a bass line (awesome as always—David Ellefson is a great bassist) and Nick thumping on the kick drum with his foot of steel. Of course, we pick up with the harmonious duo of Dave and Marty and get back into the speed, which stays for most of the song sans a slower solo by Marty. I do enjoy the slightly more progressive feel in this track—it makes Rust In Peace more than just thrash. The song ends with one of my favorite Mustaine solos which makes the first four minutes of the song just buildup compared to this explosion. 10/10!

Poison Was The Cure— From the bass intro, I thought this might be a slow song… boy, was I wrong. :lol: It may have a lot of suspenseful buildup in the beginning, but when this song takes off, it does so like the Space Shuttle. This is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) riffs from Megadeth, and I seriously admire how Dave can play it while singing at the same time. The lyrics of this song are personal, revolving mainly around Mustaine’s drug issues. Very difficult to hear what he is singing, but what comes after the lyrics cut out make up for it. Marty Friedman launches into one of his best solos ever, which is so technical that even Chris Broderick couldn’t duplicate it exactly right 20 years later (I’d say that partly had to do with Marty’s trademark but strange picking technique). Amazing song—10/10 for sure!

Lucretia— This is the slowest song on the album (excluding “Dawn Patrol”), because of which gets it quite a lot of negative response from those who just want thrash and nothing else. The subject matter of this song is entertaining, to say the least (the “Lucretia” in this case is a ghost that lives in Mustaine’s attic). Again, hard to hear what Dave is singing, but he does hit some unusually high notes in this song which I don’t think were ever hit again after the Rust In Peace era. The Marty/Dave shredfest of solos after the lyrics finish is awesome, but not the best on the album in my opinion. 9/10.

Tornado Of Souls— Famous for its guitar solo and a crowd favorite, “Tornado Of Souls” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. “Tornado” is more mid-tempo than some of the other songs, but headbanging to it is no less intense with all the choking at the beginning and some classic Dave Mustaine riffs. As usual, nothing standout vocal-wise, but after about three minutes, the lyrics cut out and Dave and Marty kick into a harmonized riff that builds up to the guitar solo, one of my favorite solos of all-time. I have never heard a solo quite like the one that Marty plays in this song, and it seems to last for minutes before the breakdown. Excellent song; 10/10!

Dawn Patrol— It honestly wouldn’t be fair for me to rate this track, so I won’t. Although some people see it as a pointless filler, I don’t see why any band would want to release a pointless filler track like this, where it is completely out-of-place on the album instrumentally. Lyrically, however, “Dawn Patrol” is more of a prelude to the final track of the album, and it does a nice job at making a transition from “Tornado Of Souls” to the lyrical theme of “Rust In Peace... Polaris,” while also serving as a buildup for the explosion of the intro of the next song...

Rust In Peace... Polaris— The title track of the album; “Rust In Peace” begins with an insane drum solo from Nick Menza followed by an extended guitar intro before the lyrics kick in. When they do so, however, they are some of Dave Mustaine’s most distorted vocals ever, and I’m not exactly sure what effect they were supposed to have, but they did sound weird. The lyrics are interesting, though: they are written from the point of view of the Polaris missile; they stand up with “Sweating Bullets” and “Captive Honour” in terms of creativity. :P Thankfully, Dave returns to his typical, early, higher-range vocals soon enough... but doesn’t solve the problem of being nearly completely incomprehensible. After about four minutes, the song pulls off a fake ending and then changes into the “Polaris” section, which is just as heavy and features a short Friedman solo, but after that, just a repeated guitar riff over and over again, which drags the song out longer than it should, in my opinion. All in all, a great ending track. 9/10.

While it doesn’t define “thrash metal” as much as Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! and Peace Sells... But Who’s Buying? did, Rust In Peace is a very guitar-oriented album with very technical solos. What I like a lot about this album is that it just flows from one song to another effortlessly with virtually no pauses.

Is it overrated?  Does it really not deserve to be called Megadeth’s best album ever? Maybe, but Rust In Peace will still hold a special place in the Megadeth catalog as being a big step-up from the poor production values of the first three albums and a turning point in the sound of the band, as a transition to the more commercialized sounds of the next four albums after this. But there is no way that you can argue against the fact that Rust In Peace is an album that everyone should listen to before they die.
Title: Re: The
Post by: Asian Legends Fan on May 14, 2011, 09:40:59 AM
Here comes another review! :P This time, I’m doing Metallica’s Master Of Puppets, arguably their most famous album in the realm of metal in addition to being their best-rated, ranking at #1 in multiple polls for “Best Metal Album.”

Battery— This song takes a page out of “Fight Fire With Fire” from Ride The Lightning, starting off with a slow intro with four acoustic guitars harmonizing. I prefer “Battery” ’s intro, however, just because it feels more appropriate in my opinion. The song then launches off into a good, heavy thrash riff that sets the rest of the song’s pace. Not much to say about James Hetfield’s vocals because they’re simply good as always in this track. Kirk’s solos would sound a lot better without wah-wah, but it’s Kirk Hammett, so fat chance for that one... :lol:  Awesome song, great speed; 10/10!

Master Of Puppets— The title and longest track on the album. I don’t know if it was this track’s more progressive feel, but I didn’t find this song overly long— that title is saved for a song later on. The riff is very memorable, and if that isn’t enough, I think that the “Master! Master!” part makes this one of the most unforgettable songs in all of metal. This isn’t the first time that Metallica has added a fairly pointless middle section to a song— see: “The Four Horsemen” (and if you knew more, you would know that that one was REALLY tacked on :P)— but James’ solo wasn’t bad. Nothing impressive on Kirk’s solo really (he’s done better). Good song, just somewhat overrated. 8/10.

The Thing That Should Not Be— I’m not one to impulsively bash a metal song that’s slow or even just mid-tempo, but “The Thing That Should Not Be” does get a tad boring after the first four minutes or so. I love the main riff on this song— great, heavy stuff— but hearing the same thing repeated for six minutes gets quite tiresome. There’s a wah-infested Kirk Hammett solo thrown in as well. In short: awesome riffs but drags out too long. 6/10.

Welcome Home (Sanitarium)— And on to the twisted power ballad about a loony bin. This song is one of the better ones on this album. I liked the slow, melodic solos in the beginning of the song and how the chorus still gave the song some heaviness. After nearly four minutes, the pace finally picks up and gets slightly heavier, but still keeping the melodic touch in Kirk’s last solo. 7/10.

Disposable Heroes— This could have been one of the best songs on the album, but it is long. Really long. Much too long, and I cannot emphasize that enough. “Disposable Heroes” has some of my favorite riffs and solos on the entire album, and it’s an awesomely heavy thrash song. I don’t really need to say more than that; my point is clear: has immense potential but got dragged down by one (very noticeable) downfall. 7/10.

Leper Messiah— If “The Trooper” by Iron Maiden resembles a galloping horse, this one resembles an elephant plodding on. The bass drum is more headache-inducing on this track than any of the others for some reason, but the guitar riffs were okay. The one at the 3:40 sounds like a poor reference to “The Four Horsemen” and does not sound well when Lars can’t keep up with the pace to make it sound heavy. Not bad, but not great. 7/10.

Orion— Cliff Burton was a very unique bassist, that’s unquestionable, but it’s like he’s trying to show off too much in this instrumental track to make up for being completely inaudible in the first six songs or something. I don’t mind a thrash song mixing in some progressive influence now and again, but “Orion” honestly sounds like all the leftover ideas from the album slapped together to form an instrumental and ending up at an agonizing eight minutes and dragging the song out too long again. 6/10.

Damage, Inc.— The best song on the album by far, just one thing... THE INTRO. IS. FUCKING. REDUNDANT. It’s like the band was challenged to make every song on Master Of Puppets longer than five minutes and tacked on 80 seconds of pointless noise to this track. Either way, this is one of Metallica’s heaviest songs with riffs that are just awesome. The guitar solo is pretty good, but really predictable (what’s new? :lol:). And yes, this song would be a good description of the world right now. :roll: :P 10/10!

So, is this Metallica’s best? Well, no. I don’t like how this album is so derivative of the previous one: a blistering opener with a slow acoustic intro (although “Battery” ’s is at least somewhat fitting), the title track as the second song, a slow song, and then a power ballad. This is exactly the same formula as Ride The Lightning— except that Ride did it better without the songs dragging out too long (it had material that seemed more filler, but nonetheless, my point still stands). To sum up, Master Of Puppets is a definite step down from their previous work, and the only songs that I really love are the opening and closing track, but it still manages to keep some heaviness and is a good listen.
Title: Re: The
Post by: Asian Legends Fan on October 29, 2011, 12:06:11 PM
Well, since I’m going on hiatus and trying to focus for my big exams, I decided to listen to TH1RT3EN now because there’s no way in hell I’m doing it next week when trying to study. So, without further ado (however lame what follows may be)— *Dave Mustaine impression* You know why I’m here, rrrrright?

Sudden Death— The band really couldn’t have picked a better opener… mainly because this song is, by far, much more well-structured than the blistering “Never Dead” is. The juxtaposition of a very simplistic riff throughout the length of the track with long and extremely technical solos by both Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick is one of my favorite aspects of this song— an epic marriage of their Nineties-era material and Rust In Peace-era solos. Obviously, the 90 seconds of constant double-bass drumming by Shawn Drover continues to impress me; and my only gripe about this song is that Chris’ solo right before that section is too soft, which is the complete opposite from Endgame but is going too far in the other extreme. :P For this album, little effects such as a gong when transitioning to the main riff and shifting about the output positions were added, which I felt were a nice touch, and helps it to set itself apart from the Guitar Hero version. 10/10!

Public Enemy No. 1— The first single from the album; “Public Enemy No. 1” is a more a hard rock song than it is a metal song, meaning that about half the band’s fanbase have struck it off as inferior. :roll: However, this is in fact and excellent tune with great hooks and technical solos reminiscent of Rust In Peace— Chris’ first solo will surely hold one of the top spots in my list of favorite Megadeth solos. The riff, as some have pointed out, is basically “Tears In A Vial” with the chord progression reversed; but making comparisons will get us nowhere because it’s not like “Tears” is the only song in the world with a galloping riff. This sets itself apart well enough, so I give it a solid 9/10.

Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)— David Ellefson announced beforehand that there was a punk-influenced bassline is this one, but it goes a lot further than that. This entire track is very upbeat with significant influence from punk rock, which has not really been shown in Megadeth since the So Far, So Good… So What era and was a nice change in pace. Dave comparing it to “Peace Sells” shows as the chorus is incredibly catchy and memorable, and the song should definitely be anthemic for the younger side of the Megadeth fanbase. Great leads and drumming too. 9/10.

We The People— Megadeth doing groove metal? :o Seems like a drastic difference, but songs like these are what makes TH1RT3EN stand out as a Megadeth album. I loved the intensely ominous intro to this one, but it seemed a little out-of-place when the song transitioned into a mid-tempo groove. Either way, this song has another great, catchy chorus and politically-charged lyrics to make sure that it stays unforgettable. The riffs are both high in quantity and quality alike, and the clean, “Clairvoyant” (by Iron Maiden)-style outro was nicely done— I’m left unable to imagine this song without it, frankly. 10/10!

Guns, Drugs & Money— I didn’t have high hopes for this one after Ellefson compared it to Green Day, but gee, thanks for scaring me for no good reason, Junior. :lol: This track is still distinctively metal (maybe not of the thrash variety, but it’s metal nonetheless, thank you) and is an excellent one at that. The beauty of this track is indeed in its simplicity; and it was interesting to see how much the vocal melody made the (once again, incredibly catchy) chorus stand out from the verse with the same riff underneath both. The layered vocals during the pre-chorus were a very nice touch as well, which sets this album aside as a more well-produced one than the previous two releases, IMO. 10/10!

Never Dead— There’s a number of reasons why this track is my least favorite out of a collection of superb tracks: firstly, the structure of this song is rather poor with an overly-long intro and an overly-short solo section; secondly, some of the fanbase is hailing this one as the best on the album just because it’s the closest thing to Rust In Peace II, which I’m pretty sure they should know by now is a pipe dream. Despite all that, I can appreciate this song for its making me want to headbang and for yet another strong, melodic chorus which sets it apart from its pseudo-thrash counterpart on the last album, “Head Crusher.” The solowork, although lacking in amount, was very well-done nonetheless. 8/10.

New World Order— Apparently, this song has been incomplete up till now; but I really don’t see much added onto it as compared to the versions on Warchest and the remastered Youthanasia. The guitars sound inconsistent in terms of tone with the rest of the album, however, which is probably this track’s only flaw. Other than that, it was great to see the current lineup of the band finally play this song; but something didn’t sit right with the drumming during the second, faster portion of the song (the sound of Shawn’s toms just don’t sound powerful enough). Either way, it was a great remake with special note of an excellent vocal performance by Dave. 9/10.

Fast Lane— This might be the second-weakest track on the album simply because it wasn’t as memorable as the others. Ironically enough, this song doesn’t live up to its name at all despite being relatively aggressive. The lyrics are about driving fast (how’d you guess?) in the same vein as “502,” and it really makes me wonder if Dave was listening to Guns N’ Roses’ “Nightrain” while writing them. :lol: The tempo change at the three-minute mark screamed “Wake Up Dead” the first time I heard it, an impression that was accentuated when I heard the solo that shortly followed. However, this is another track where the louder rhythm guitar tracks actually work against the song, because the solos can’t be heard very well over them in this case. Probably the most filler out of all this album’s songs; 8/10.

Black Swan— I thought the big solo at the beginning sounded tacked-on when I listened to that bit (just that bit, BTW) on its own, but it actually works as a nice intro and a good transition from the end of “Fast Lane,” creating a flow instead of slowing down the album. However, the second solo that was added was, in my opinion, unnecessary and it sounds out-of-place. I wouldn’t say this ruined the track, however. I really can’t empathize with the amplified fanboyism for this track in the fanbase if it’s just relative to the remake of “A Tout Le Monde” which was going to be the original bonus track for United Abominations (and I preferred the latter anyway), so I don’t see the extra solos as adding legs to a snake. ( 8/10.

Wrecker— The intro reminded me of “The Devil You Know” off of Anthrax’s new release, and the track as a whole sounds similar to some extent, being another thrash song with some noticeable traces of punk influence (both musically and lyrically). The riff is something you can really get into, and I’d definitely say that Shawn’s drumming on this track is noteworthy. As for the lyrics, I thought this was a step down from what Dave usually writes, but for this song, the positives outweigh the negatives by far. 10/10!

Millennium Of The Blind— Out of all the remakes on this album, “Millennium Of The Blind” is by far the most drastically modified one— not a bad thing, though. This track starts off with a creepy-sounding lick and a clean riff. In fact, this entire song is just very foreboding overall and builds up a lot of tension. It’s somewhat a doom metal song in the sense that the tempo is very slow for Megadeth standards throughout, and the band has pulled it off nicely with great lyrics and some of Chris Broderick’s best solos on the record. 9/10.

Deadly Nightshade— Now this one I can see fitting in on Youthanasia, mainly because of its more mid-tempo nature. The intro/chorus riff is incredible, and the verse riff is probably one of the heaviest on this album. David Ellefson especially shines in this one because the bass does take control of the song at many points, which was a very nice bonus since the bass has been basically buried for the last three Megadeth albums now. Dave’s vocal delivery on this song is amongst the best in recent years and on TH1RT3EN, and I will call blatant lies if you say that you don’t want to sing along during the chorus— out of all the catchy choruses on this album, “Deadly Nightshade” just takes the cake as the best. 10/10!

13— And so our 57-minute long journey through Megadeth’s career comes to an end… with a six-minute long journey through Megadeth’s career. Now Dave had earlier revealed that, while 13 songs had been written, only 12 tracks were going to be on the non-Japanese releases of the album; and while I have no knowledge whether “13” would’ve been cut off instead of one of the other songs, I am glad this made it onto the album anyway because  this is one of the best the band has ever released.

I definitely have to agree with Ellefson that Chris did a great job on the acoustic and clean bits. I think that once you hear the intro— that can really only be described as beautiful— you will know that this is not going to be your standard Megadeth track.

Dave Mustaine is not the best vocalist in heavy metal music, and I will not try to argue against that. Nevertheless, I really hope that newcomers to the band will not go into this song while being blinded by critics of Dave’s voice because you can tell that Dave has done his best on “13.” There are emotional vocals all over this track and is undoubtedly his best vocal performance on this album.

Finally, I hope that the portion of the fanbase that DO want Rust In Peace II do not label this as a “ballad” and push it into a corner. “13” is so much more than that. I do not think that Megadeth have ever done a song so moving as this one and, while it may start off mellow with the clean riff, soon strikes you right in the face with a slower yet powerful tempo.

The song  picks up with an immense solo section and finally concludes with a slow fadeout, during which you can reflect on this entire album and realize that “13” is an amazing conclusion to this standout Megadeth album. 10/10 for sure!

TH1RT3EN does not seem much like a natural progression from Endgame, but I will say that I’m happy the band is once again evolving. I did say before that most of the tracks being roughly four minutes long reminded me a lot of Youthanasia, and this album is very similar to that one— but just in the aspect that both have good, hooky songs with very catchy choruses.

I subconsciously prepared myself for this record by wearing out Metallica’s Death Magnetic for the past week— and I’ve never held back when discussing that album’s flaws, but that album is very similar to TH1RT3EN in the same aspect: the choruses in its songs just work too well. They get stuck in your head, and for that one, I was finally able to quickly look past the length barrier and enjoy the album.

So, if TH1RT3EN is similar to Youthanasia in terms of song lengths, choruses, and even the background of the songs (remember that some of the music on this album was written around the same time the songs from Youth were written); then what sets it apart? Well, I now understand what the band meant when they described this album as a timeline of Megadeth’s career. This is a very diverse album, exploring several unfamiliar styles of metal, sometimes even swinging into hard rock territory briefly like they did during the 1990s, and going back to the punk influences that— along with NWoBHM, of course— inspired the whole damn genre of thrash metal. TH1RT3EN is a unique release by Megadeth, and while I still can’t put it into a ranked list of Megadeth albums at this point, I am confident that it will rank highly amongst other of the band’s finest works.