- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
Much credit and respect should go out to Avenged Sevenfold. Not only have they managed to carry on through the adversity of losing their childhood friend, Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan, but they've managed to produce a solid album with a fine mixture of raw emotion, fiery pace and enough twists to scare a helter skelter. Never a band to stay the same, with each release something new is brought to the table, Nightmare is no different although it does draw on earlier influences.
The first half of the album returns to the ferocious style of City of Evil. Tracks like Welcome to the Family and Natural Born Killer display the bands ability to hit massive choruses whilst keeping the music undeniably heavy. Synyster Gates shows once again why he could easily be the Slash of his generation with style and skill ever present. Buried Alive is part ballad part Metallica stomp whilst the title track packs a hefty punch with a catchy riff and an arena size chorus. M. Shadows displays multiple sides through the course of the album with a heartfelt breakdown in Danger Line and an aggressive, anger filled vocal performance during God Hates Us, which could easily been seen as the bands heaviest song to date.
Overall the album displays great variation; the ballads have great depth of emotion with a high quality of musicianship. Admittedly the songs towards the end, Tonight the World dies in particular, are not as strong as the first few, but Avenged Sevenfold have clearly used the album as a form of therapy. Fiction even uses demoed vocals from the Rev himself as he seemingly duets with M. Shadows creating an eerie yet beautiful moment. Another high point is Dream Theatre's Mike Portnoy who shows once again why he is one of the greatest drummers alive, not only does he play with an enormous high quality but imitates the Rev's style unlike anyone else could.
What Avenged Sevenfold will do after this year is out is unclear, but their memory and legacy will always remain, Nightmare may not be their best album but it's certainly a fitting tribute to their fallen friend, Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan.
Journey - Escape
Who are Journey?
Well, if your between 30 and 50 then you probably know who Journey are, if your my age, then just ask your parents or someone older and they'll be sure to tell you. Journey are a rock band formed many years ago in 1973 and are most widely known for their hit single 'Don't Stop Believing,' this had lead them to be called a one hit band and are rarely ever shown with any other songs, but let my get this straight, Journey are a terrific band and a brilliant one to see live, I've now seen them as they played the main stage at last years Download festival, and they did not disappoint.
As for their studio work they have now made 13 studio albums and a few 'best of' albums along the way, they've also moved on since the days with he great Steve Perry and currently have Arnel Pineda, who is equally fantastic, but still not the original. So, I think that's enough background, if you want anymore there's always Wikipedia, go knock yourself out, how about the album...?
Don't Stop Believing
As I've already mentioned, this was the song that made Journey a huge success, and is by far their most recognized song, and I'm not surprised, Don't Stop Believing brings every element of the band together as each member plays to perfection, from the beautiful piano intro that's combined with some fantastic bass work that just has to be heard to be admired, to the vocal work of one of the best singers rock has ever seen, Mr. Steve Perry, who made this song something beyond the realms of greatness, if you just listen to the opening lyrics you'll see what I mean:
'Just a small town girl
Living in a lonely world...'
This song will get you singing I guarantee it, well, I've seen it live and 60,000 people singing along is proof that it'll get you singing too. But this is a rock song, and is met with a great intro solo, and then dives into an upbeat rhythm and energy that has a natural feel good factor that brings this song to life, and with such a great singer, working with fantastic progressive musical composition, Don't Stop Believing is one that will be frequently played over and over and don't be shy, I know you'll want to air guitar to the solo, its not that difficult, as I found out when I tried to learn it, but its defiantly effective. This is how you start off a great album!
Stone In Love
Right, now we've gotten past Don't Stop Believing we can concentrate on the other songs that made this album so successful as Journey are not a one trick pony! Stone In Love starts with brilliant rock n' roll style chord work, that alone would be great but when you add Steve Perry singing the opening lines of 'Those crazy nights, I do remember, in my youth,' it just turns something good into something great, trust me people, you have to hear him sing, he has such a wonderful voice that no matter what he sings you can't help but to love it.
Yet again Journey provide you with another good bass line, and as soon as I buy my bass I'm going straight to learning this album, but as usual the song is dominated by the vocals, which is only ever a good thing if the singer can sing, and have I mentioned Steve Perry can sing? Oh yeah, I think I did, 'those summer nights are calling...' sorry I was enjoying it so much I felt like singing the song through the keyboard.
Stone In Love has a lot more musical passages than the previous song which is another reason why I love it, as Journey show they can actually play some good music, and a nice lengthy solo is always a way to get me to love a song and I lovely way to keep up the albums tempo before divulging into 'Who's Crying Now...'
Who's Crying Now
Another famous Journey song, this one is made so brilliant due to the piano introduction that is followed by Steve Perry, the melodies used by the piano are then used for the vocal melodies, which creates a fantastic chorus, 'One love feeds the fire...'
The guitars on this song are less involved than other tracks as the piano does the majority of the song, as well of course Steve Perry dominates the song yet again, but with this combination you get impressive results, along with a simple but effective solo you can't really complain about this song, it just lacks any real pace and drive that gives most tracks a lot of energy, but as this is a slow song that is what you expect, but I would prefer it if the song reached some sort of pace but is good none the less.
Keep On Runnin'
Pace was lacking in the last track but is immediately made up for at the intro of Keep on Runnin' with a powerful use of guitars before giving back the limelight to Steve, the song progresses with good pace and rhythm that generates a feel good factor that Journey are so good at finding and the vocals for the first chorus are utterly sublime, I wish the same could be said for the verse that loses energy on the second time its sung.
Another fine solo and repeated chorus and you're left with good filler for the album, ending with the same introduction as it started with can't really complain, just another good solid Journey song.
Still They Ride
Let's take it down now with another classic, Still they Ride is another great song from all angles, a terrific melody and harmony with guitars and piano with an enjoyable rhythm throughout that is not only relaxing and calming but also purely brilliant and a very under-rated song. Its songs like this, well and every other song on this album, that shows just how good not only Steve Perry is, but Journey as a whole as this song has no real stand out (unless you love vocals) but instead the whole band combine to create and enduring, heartfelt ballad, with a terrific mood solo, you don't always have to play at 90 miles an hour, sometimes a nice solo is better than a fast one and this is certainly the case, trust me when I say listen to this and see what you think.
The title song off the album and god is it a great one! Such a good rock riff to start the song off with, but the best part about this song is the vocals of Steve Perry, the verses are good but the chorus of 'I'll break away, yes I'm on my way' is sung so well that its no good me sat here saying how much I like it, you just have to listen to it.
Escape is also one of the longest songs off the album, lasting just over 5 minutes (not really that long is it?), this means it has more musical passages and is a much more developed song, admittedly they do repeat a lot of the lines towards the end, but it's the bit I love so I'm not complaining. The song is also met with a fantastic solo with a great entrance to it that produces such a lovely sound that it makes the song so much more, just another great Journey song.
Lay It Down
On we go to 'Lay it Down,' and you can probably guess that I'm going to say this is another good song, think you can gather I like this album now yeah? But what I like about this song is the notes that Steve hits on the pre-chorus, that part certainly isn't one to sing along to, unless the majority of us want to look like fools, as I often do whilst singing Journey. Again though the song is catchy with a lot more backing vocals than other tracks with Steve just singing over the top and this happens to work very well and when you throw a few passage solos in then you're looking at another good tack, surprise?...
Actually I'm sat here thinking Neal is a really good guitarist, he has a knack for playing in the background and playing for the band rather than to show off, which is something you don't always find with guitarists, but when he needs to play he can, as the solos on this and many other tracks show.
Dead or Alive
Defiantly one of the more upbeat songs of the album and is needed as a lot of his album contains slower songs albeit they are very good, but this injects that needed pace and is song more orientated around the guitar rather than Steve which is nice to see and gives to more air-guitar than air-singing. Steve is a bit different on this track, singing faster than normal and giving a lot of energy to the performance which is nice to hear.
The song is met with a brilliant solo which is fast and aggressive which I like to hear, as for the song as a whole it's more down the rock side than the likes of 'Don't Stop believing,' and you wont see this one gracing the charts but hey, its still a good track.
Nothing particularly special about this song, obviously it has great vocals but other than that the song doesn't really stand out from the rest of the album. The solo mid way through the song does make it catchy and musically it does get better in the passages but as for the verses there is nothing much really going on, it's a mid paced song with a catchy chorus and a strong solo towards the end, but this makes the album up and is part of it and once you've listened to an album enough times you begin to love every song, sometimes I don't even realise what song is playing, I just know what album is on and that what happens when you listen to albums in their entirety often as people should be doing. In final thoughts, it's not the strongest song off the album but it's still a good listen.
One thing I love to see in an album is a beautiful song to finish, for example 'Avenged Sevenfold's' self titled album which finished with Dear God, but here we have 'Open Arms,' and if you don't think this is a nice little song then you must be a little harsh, this is just a perfect example of why a piano is a brilliant instrument and when combined with the melody of the guitar (which I have recently learnt) it makes a brilliant foundation for Steve to build on, and you may recognise the words 'lying beside you, here in the dark,' which as usual are wonderfully sung by Steve and this is how you end an album, its not a particularly long song, actually its the shortest on the whole album, but that's perfectly fine as it doesn't drag on or over do itself but I will admit its a bit too short, by the time your getting into it its over and your slightly gutted and want more, but if your listening to it on a CD in the car then 'Don't Stop Believing' comes back on so I'm not complaining.
This is really an album that deserves a listen, with a total of 10 tracks, 4 of which should be found on any 'Best of' collections and others that possibly should be, you know this is a good solid rock record and if your a fan of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard or any early 80s rock bands then I'm guessing you may like Journey, but then and again if you like 80s bands then you've probably already heard of these, actually if you haven't heard of Journey I don't know how you haven't...
As ever it is hard to find a band totally original and in modern times just finding one who actually thinks for themselves is even harder, but in the early 80s/late 70s there was a flood of bands, hence a lot of them where pushed aside (the likes of Diamond Head come to mind) and Journey was a band who was relatively unknown and have really come back to life over recent years, but as for their originality, obviously they have their influences and they are no Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin, then again who is? But Journey still find their own style and with Steve Perry's vocals which have influenced many other singers you can find their originality their, as for the music, well its just some old hard rock...What wrong with that?
In comparison with Journeys other albums you'll find this one rate quite high as Journey found success with earlier releases and such songs like 'Any way you want it' putting them on the Rock map, Escape cemented them into the wall of rock history, but whilst Journey still made a few good records before their split, it is undeniable that Escape was the bands peak and is one I am doubtful they will reach again, with their latest album falling quite short of what this album has now become.
Value for Money
With iTunes being such a huge hit in modern times and time being much more scarce than once before, people will often download one or two tracks off an album instead of the whole thing, and this can certainly be done here, at just 79p per track you can't go wrong, a few of these songs will be hitting the peaks of your most played list whilst others are good listens every know and then or as part of the whole album, personally, I'd get the whole thing, but if you need something cheap, just go with the killer tracks.
In conclusion Escape is an album that I'm sure will not disappoint, from the brilliant upbeat Don't Stop Believing, to the softer songs of Open Arms or Who's Crying Now, you'll find yourself falling in love with a band that deserves more recognition as a quality band as this album certainly proves so.
With 45 minutes of music and 10 tracks in total I'm sure you'll find at least one you love, and if you can't stand a bit of Rock N' Roll then the vocals of Steve Perry are ones that can be appreciated by anyone as you'll be astonished by how great this man really is, so go out and buy or even download either this album or a few of the songs, and trust me when I say you'll love every minute of it...
Killer tracks: Don't Stop Believing, Stone in Love, Who's Crying Now and Open Arms
For fans of: Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, and all things Rock N' Roll!
The following is to be written as a dialog between two opposing people on the argument of capital punishment. The names I have chose have no significant meaning, I just fancied using Greek names to make it look more like something you'd find in Plato's book the Republic, I also fancied writing it a bit different to how others do, and if people like this style you might see Tamas and Agatone coming back for another argument.
Tamas - I turn to you now Agatone to discuss the role of capitol punishment in our society; I for one believe that it should be reincorporated into our system as it serves the purpose of justice, any man who has taken a life shall expect nothing more than for his own to be taken in return, this I see is the only logical outcome in a just world.
Agatone - Is that so Tamas, so what you say is if a man is to kill, in return his left is to be taken?
Tamas - Indeed
Agatone - And who is to take that mans life?
Tamas - The state
Agatone - And then what of the state? Does the man who takes the wrong doers life expect the same? Or his he just?
Tamas - He is just, he is merely doing his job to restore justice
Agatone - I see, but then what of the public? Surely the role of the state is to lead and teach the masses, thus taking a life of a member of the masses surely does not teach lawful citizenship? How can a state expect an obedient, law abiding public when the state itself is breaking the laws it commands?
Tamas - Fair to you Agatone, but answer me this, what would you do if the love of your life was taken away? Would you want justice to be done? Or would you want the man to be freed after his time has been served? Would you want revenge?
Agatone - admittedly Tamas I would be angered, any man would suffer under his own feelings if a loved one is to be taken, but to ask the state to take that mans life would be unjust and thus make me as bad as the man I wish to kill.
Tamas - But this is simple to say when you remain happy, with loved ones intact, your feeling may change if something was to occur.
Agatone - My feelings to justice and morality are far stronger than those of another person, one life for another should never be the case, as where would it stop, if a man was to steal from you would you steal something in return? Surely any man should wish to live a moral life?
Tamas - But is killing in revenge immoral?
Agatone - Any man who wishes that another's would end and acts in a manner to make it happen is immoral
Tamas - What of war?
Agatone - War is different, of course war serves no logical purpose, the only reason why war continues is because we are powerless in our own state to stop it, the interests of the bourgeois outweighs that of the common man, and hence they are used to fight the battles of the rich so they can earn more, but this is far from the point of capital punishment.
Tamas - Agreed.
Agatone - Capitol punishment was only introduced as a method of fear, people would be publically hung to scare the remaining people into obedience, now the state has several other methods to get the public scared, terrorism, disease and war, this is just the few used in our country, if you look to the west you will see even more, as we all know the US is the most feared state, not only by the outside masses but also by those who live inside, everyone constantly scared by the state, outside forces and even members of their own society, simply because the government uses methods to drive fear home, capitol punishment is just one of many used in this case.
Tamas - But surely capitol punishment is used for justice and not fear?
Agatone - Maybe they believe it is used for justice, but are people still afraid of the ultimate punishment?
Tamas - I would say that they are
Agatone - So surely bringing this back would instil more fear in a free country?
Tamas - Only for those who wish to murder
Agatone - Where does it stop though? What if a government deems an act by a member of the public a crime punishable by death, when others would deem it as an act of freedom? Surely a punishment such as death takes away our freedom of speech and expression?
Tamas - the state only acts in the interest of the people
Agatone - Dose it Tamas? Think of the laws this country strictly upholds, who are they in favour of? Us or the powerful?
Tamas - Both, laws of stealing protect all, as do laws of murder
Agatone - Yes but who has the most to lose when it comes to theft? The poor homeless man or the rich powerful CEO? Of course that question is simple hence the poor man is not gaining from that law; surely the law should be that he has a house. How can a moral state allow its own people to suffer whilst others live in luxury? If every man was rightfully homed and lived a comfortable life with all basic needs the rich would have far less than they currently have, but instead of men being equal you have those who can afford to spend millions of one house when that money could be used to house several others.
Tamas - What does this have to do with capitol punishment?
Agatone - Everything Tamas, as any law that is created is made in the interest of the ruling class, hence if capitol punishment was introduced it would be in the interest of the powerful, it would be exploited and any who oppose them would be subject to this law.
Tamas - But surely people would see what is going on and oppose the state if this was to occur?
Agatone - If that was the case then surely they would be opposing the government now? You believe we live in equality?
Tamas - Of course, every man has the same opportunities
Agatone - I love your idealism Tamas, but this world is far from equal and that is how they want it. You seriously think that if capital punishment was introduced your idea of justice would occur? If a the CEO of a wealthy international company was to 'accidently' kill a member of staff, or if the incidence of Bhopal was to reoccur you seriously think they would be trialled for capital punishment, as surely you would see this as justice being served?
Tamas - Well no man is above the law, any found of causing death shall result in death
Agatone - Tamas, the law as it stands isn't always just, so what makes you think bringing death into it would create more justice? The rich will always get away, some men, I'm afraid, are above the law, we should not look into making new laws to kill those who have killed, locking them away will suffice, we should look into corporate crime, issues like this are more important and more damaging to society as a whole than one man who has killed, yes that man has caused damage but nothing compared to that of the corporations.
Tamas - So you say we should ignore murder and focus on corrupt business men?
Agatone - I never said to ignore murder. Those who commit murder serve their time; I admit the criminal justice system needs vast improvement but it will suffice for the time. Instead time should be taken to educate others of what happens around them, because if we do not do something soon who's to say what will happen. What you don't realise is that the rich have more power than anyone else, if they wish they could make a drug and give it to the working class, this drug could lead to mass deaths, but they will not get trialled, they will not fall to justice.
Tamas - This will never occur so is largely farcical
Agatone - who's to see what is to happen within the next many years; with times as they are my friend I can see every outcome, a fictional tale could become a reality, that's why we need to educate the present to prepare for the future.
Tamas - And what to those who do not fit? We shall look them away for the rest of their days? Or shall we have them killed? What is really the difference between the two?
Agatone - The mere fact that the government would kill someone who, by their say, is 'faulty' and does not 'fit' society is ludicrous. What then, may I ask of you, do you think of those who are sufferers of mental conditions and struggle to fit with society? What if they were to kill? Then what?
Tamas - Those who are not of sane mind should not be killed, for it is not their fault
Agatone - But surely any man who kills is not of sane mind? What if one moment of adrenaline leads to an outburst and a murder? He could surely not help the rush?
Tamas - Of course he could
Agatone - What you fail to see here Tamas is the endless variants that could excuse someone from death, the mere fact that it cannot 100% be proven, thus you could kill a just man, is suffice not to bring this law in and also the act of killing another human being is surely against morality? Any logical human being does not wish to kill and should see no purpose in murder, for if we all thought this way we would all live in harmony, yet it is the state apparatus that keeps spirits low thus people resort to such actions as theft and murder.
Tamas - Surely we are not addressing capitol punishment here
Agatone - admittedly we have gone off at a tangent
Tamas - So what you are saying is that I should oppose capitol punishment?
Agatone - I say that you are right in saying what you wish. But just because a man has a voice it doesn't mean he knows what he is saying. I may not be able to change your views Tamas, but I hope one day you too will see sense, for this country needs solutions not more problems, why are we even discussing something that has been long forgotten? If the US wishes to continue then so be it, I am not American and so it is down the people of the state to change that law, American is developed enough, its time we start work on other counties problems, as well as our own, thus to make this world a more just place, not less
Tamas - What of those who have life sentences? Surely it is a waste of time looking them up for the rest of their days? At least use them for labour?
Agatone - Slavery was abolished a long time ago Tamas, I do not believe that should be reintroduced.
Tamas - Granted. But people need to atone for their sins.
Agatone - You are right my friend. But to how we do this is a more suitable question and we may discuss this next time we meet.
Tamas - Thank you Agatone. And if I am to change my thought then I would owe it to you. But my mind still remains puzzled over crime and justice.
Agatone - You are not the only one Tamas, the idea of fairness in justice and what crime deserves what punishment is always up to debate, for the justice system is always going to be biased, unfair and unjust to those from a lesser position, unfortunately this is the truth of our society, the police are patrolling areas known for underage drinking rather than monitoring the rich, crime rates are rising, not necessarily because more crime is being committed but because the police are looking for it more. We will discuss other laws again Tamas as for now I shall leave. I bid you a good day and farewell until we meet again.
Tamas - Goodbye to you too Agatone
Right then, thanks for reading, I don't know if I made a point throughout all that, I enjoyed writing it, although I did go off a bit a few times, but I think you get the message that I disagree with capitol punishment and I can't ever see it coming back, but I understand why those who want it do want it. You see crimes of horrific nature, of mass murders etc, but do we really have the right to kill them in return? Of course we all have our own views.
Well thanks for reading, hope you learnt something or enjoyed it.
Europe - Last Look At Eden
Right, I thought I'd do a review on Europe mainly because I saw them the other night in Bristol and they were a lot better than I was expecting and if tickets are still available I would suggest you go see them as they will not disappoint. But I'm not here to review the gig, I'm here to talk about their latest album 'Last Look at Eden,' now the one thing I always seem to find with Europe is when ever I mention them, or when people ask who I was going to see in Bristol, and I say Europe, they always say 'Oh the band who did the final countdown,' and it does slightly annoy me, in the same way people seem to think Journey did 'Don't Stop Believing' and nothing else, they did other songs people!
Yes, there's no getting away from the fact they are the band who did the final countdown but they are so much more than that; all the way through last nights gig I was thinking 'did they really do the final countdown?' as they felt like such a different band, a far cry from one cheesy song, which brings me on to their latest album; 'Last Look at Eden' is the eighth album by Europe and their third since they came back together in 1998, it was released last year in September, probably should of reviewed it then but it doesn't matter.
Anyway, the album kicks off with a prelude, and I've always been a fan of albums with an intro, Nostradamus by Judas Priest being one of the best, but this one goes into the title track which is a brilliant song, it has all you need, a good sing-a-long for a live song and great guitaring by John Norum whom, by the way, is a fantastic guitarist and totally under-rated, I was stunned by his ability when they played live and his capabilities are just as good on the CD, he has a brilliant ability for mood solos, like in the song 'New Love in Town' the solo isn't blistering fast but it fits perfectly with the style of song. Another good point to the album has to be the main man himself Joey Tempest, whose voice seems to be completely different to that of the 80s, just think more Bon Jovi, and it suits perfectly as he does have a terrific rock voice, one that is just as good live.
Of course one thing I love about Europe are the songs like 'Carrie' and off this album it would be 'New Love in Town,' you know what I'm talking about, the songs where you can wave your hands in the air and actually sing to, but not only do they provide you with a few of these, they also provide quite efficiently with the heavier stuff. Just give 'The Beast' a listen to and you'll see exactly what I mean, the songs fast, furious and met with catchy lyrics, also if you are going to see these, this will be the song they'll come back on to for the encore, and it didn't fail to get the crowd going, if your looking for a jumpy, head-banging song then you've found one.
Another favourite of mine would be 'No Stone Unturned,' which like most of the album has the rocky edge, but also has more keyboard in which for some reason is hard to find for most of the album, which made me ask myself 'What is he actually doing?' when looking at Mic (keyboard) for most of the time at the gig, but hey, you don't need too much keyboard really, I'm happy with guitar, and that's exactly what you get, although the riffs aren't exactly nothing special, I mean they are not something new, but they're good, and what's wrong with bands just playing rock? These days all I seem to see is kids getting into these weird bands who as far as I'm concerned are doing nothing but screaming and making strange noises, I guess that's why I love the classic bands, because they know how its done and whilst Europe are not doing anything new, they're keeping it old fashion and that's how I like it.
You'll find that throughout most the album, the songs will appear slightly familiar but you've never heard it before, giving me that warm feeling, like when I first heard Sonic Boom by KISS, and when you hear songs like 'In My Time' you'll know what I mean, a song that's slow, soft and brilliantly sung, but with perfectly selected notes in the backing by John. Basically this album is consistent from start to finish without many weak songs, so if your a fan of the older bands, or maybe even if you like more modern bands, just give this album a listen and maybe you'll think like I do, that Europe are a band far beyond that of the final countdown.
Well all I can mention now is their live performance; trust me when I say these guys (and their support Diamond Head) were brilliant! If you still have chance and they're in your area I'd give it a shot, it's only around £20 that's not much is it? I promise you you'll have a good night and if not then tell me what you thought...Also if there is anyone here seeing them then tell me.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed what I had to say, now it's your turn, don't be afraid to call Europe what you want, or say what you think, that's the whole point of Ciao...
Top Tracks: In My Time, New Love in Town, the Beast...
Highway To Hell...
Well since its 30 years since the legend that is Bon Scott died I thought it would be fitting to review one of his finest and evidently his last album 'Highway to Hell'. Now when most people go on about AC/DC they tend to mention the obvious, 'Back in Black', and yes its a good album I'm not doubting that, but for a much truer feel for AC/DC you need to go into the back catalogue and find albums like 'Let There Be Rock' and 'High Voltage,' as these albums had a much rawer power to them and the same can be said for Highway to Hell, like the others this album had the pure riffage of Angus and Malcolm Young and this is shown quite well in not only the simplicity of the title track but even the brilliance of true rhythm in songs like 'If You Want Blood' and 'Girls Got Rhythm,' and when you throw in Bon Scott your left with nothing more than pure Rock N' Roll.
Of course its AC/DC so be prepared to hear some terrific solos and as you expect Angus doesn't disappoint from the first solo off Highway to Hell, with its power and speed to the slightly more melodic style on 'Love hungry man' Angus does it all and will leave you air guitaring in no time.
But this is what AC/DC are all about, nothing stupid, no sound effects, no over production just straight into the music, pure Rock N' Roll and you won't find a single bad song on the album, from start to finish its something special and it never fails to make me shiver slightly when I hear 'Highway To Hell' as you are hearing a guy who has died sing about being on the highway to hell which can be quite eerie.
Of course I have nothing against Brain Johnson, he's done a brilliant job replacing Bon but the simple truth to me is that AC/DC haven't been the same since he died, they've gone on to bigger things and wrote some of their most successful songs even if most of them came from Back In Black, but their greatest songs, based on my opinion and many other fans, instead of sales, will come from their work in the 70s. Highway to Hell is just another great album in a string of successes but for me they did set the bar so much higher with this release and has my favourite AC/DC song of all time on it and its a song that often goes under looked, not once I have heard mention of this song whilst on forums talking about wish-list sets for AC/DC, that song is 'If You Want Blood (You Got it)' and you'd be hard put to find a better, more rhythmatic AC/DC riff and I would almost go as far to calling it a perfect song, but this isn't an album with two great songs and a bunch of filler, the rest of the album is almost as good.
You may of heard of the songs 'Girls got Rhythm', 'Night Prowler' or 'Shot Down In Flames' which is still apart of their set today, but these songs and the others display the Rock that you may of fell in love with when you was younger as AC/DC aren't about political agendas, or saving the planet, they are like KISS, all about the love of Rock N' Roll (also the money in the case of KISS) and want to share that with you, and I don't know how anyone can fail to have a good time listening to this, it always brings my mood up and makes me want to party right from the very first chord to the last scream from Bon Scott and if this album doesn't excite you and make your hairs stand up then your probably reading the wrong sort of reviews.
But if you was like me and initially thought that all Angus does is play chords, not surprised if you did as look at their biggest hits, but he also shows a brilliance in faster, more fret work kind of play, and this is clearly shown in 'Beating Round the Bush' which is fast, ferocious and has a whole lotta rock to it, but if your looking for songs to sing along to as your more into the pop scene then oh wait actually, AC/DC can provide! They pick up on some good melodies, I'm always singing 'I'm a love...Hungry Man,' and if you don't know the words to the chorus of highway to hell then, seriously? You don't? Well you'll pick it up fairly quick, and that goes for most of the album, almost every song as catchy lyrics that talk about environmentally friendly ways of making energy, how to treat your fellow man and how to destroy capitalism, sorry, that's wrong, AC/DC sing about sex, drugs and Rock N' Roll the way it should be...
Basically this is a terrific album, possibly just behind Back in Black, as much as I hate to say it, but there's no getting past that and if you liked a few songs off that album, or maybe the whole thing, then you either already like this album or you will once you've heard it, also if your one of those people who just buys the best albums and want to add another to your collection then this here will be a good idea.
Well all I can say now is thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, rest in peace Bon Scott who died 30 years ago today and he's still being remembered and he will continue to be remembered and finally in the words of AC/DC (and Jack Black) for those about to Rock! We salute you!
Killer Songs: Highway to Hell, If You Want Blood, Night Prowler
Rampant Ross 2010
Get ready to shock rock your way back to the 80s, back to the LA strip with the burst of glam metal, and back to a time where music was fun, powerful and sexy. Steel Panther will be sure to blow your mind with their over the top lyrics, hard driven music and gut wrenching riffs that will rock not only your shocks off but your trousers and shirt as well.
* Michael Starr - Lead/Backing Vocals
* Satchel - Lead/Rhythm/Acoustic Guitars; Backing Vocals
* Lexxi Foxxx - Bass Guitars; Backing Vocals
* Stix Zadinia - Drums; Backing Vocals
Once a tribute band playing the clubs in the 80s, Steel Panther now come to you with 12 tracks that are not for the faint hearted, with opening lines like 'F**k the goo-goo dolls, they can suck my balls' you know your in for more than just a musical treat, but a high amount of comedy along the way.
The album touches on important political issues, NOT! Actually, they just talk about sex and that's about it. From the opening track of 'Death to all but Metal' with its insultingly funny lyrics to the heavy rocking riffs of 'Eatin' Ain't Cheatin', or the slow ballads like 'Girl from Oklahoma' your sure to find something that will not only satisfy but leave you in stitches with the insanity of the lyrical content.
True to the style of glam metal, Steel Panther can play the ballads better than most, with Michael Starr's versatile vocal range, Satchels terrific acoustic and solo work combined with lyrics like 'My heart belongs to you, but my cock is community property,' this is an album that song after song impresses and surprises for the full 45 minutes covering every possible penis related situation imaginable, one can only wonder what these guys can think of next...
Whilst almost every track has multiple elements of outstanding musical comedy, they also provide you with brilliant technical ability and once the comedy factor fades, your left with nothing less than fantastic songs, each containing something different, like the wonderful keyboard intro of 'Party all Day,' or the sound of static in 'The shocker,' Feel The Steel won't disappoint.
Through the time that Steel Panther have played the clubs in LA they've grown a steady following of fans from all over the country and with people like Corey Taylor of Slipknot and M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold working on the album you can see the respect they've grown over the past years. Almost each track has someone extra working with the band, and 'Turn out the Lights' is a personal favourite of mine as M. Shadows and Michael Starr kick off a duet that is sure to make you laugh and think wow...
One thing these guys have done better than almost all modern bands is create memorable choruses that are easy to sing along to, this I can say I have experience of as I was lucky to enough see them play at this years download festival, and their over the top stage presence and illustrious looks, went down a storm as the tent was alit with fans screaming 'F**K all night and party all day', as well as 'She's got the eyes of a panther...' trust me when I say this these lines will get you singing, or will disgust you entirely.
The album cover is pretty simplistic, with just a shot of the four band members posing in their stage outfits, with all the hair, makeup and leather that defines the genre, although this is a little uncreative and inartistic, what else do you expect from a glam metal band, as part of the genre is the looks, just look at Motley Crue's 'Shout at the devil,' or Poison's 'Look what the cat dragged in,' but what I really like about this album is the booklet.
Each band member takes a page out of the booklet to do a little biography, which are quite comical and really interesting to read, but don't expect anything too clean, these guys go into detail, the booklet also has the usual pages with the song lyrics on, which again are a funny thing to read as most of the songs are quite hilarious, it also shows who else has worked on the songs as Steel Panther managed to get many different artists from many bands to work on the album.
1. "Death to All But Metal" -2:30
2. "Asian Hooker" (Feat. Corey Taylor) -4:02
3. "Community Property" -3:39
4. "Eyes of a Panther" -3:37
5. "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)" -4:38
6. "Eatin' Ain't Cheatin'" -3:50
7. "Party All Day (F**k All Night)" (feat. Justin Hawkins) -3:03
8. "Turn Out the Lights" (feat. M. Shadows) -4:24
9. "Stripper Girl" -3:35
10. "The Shocker" -4:10
11. "Girl from Oklahoma" -3:57 (Steel Panther/Dean Cameron)
12. "Hell's on Fire" -3:02
As you can see every song is under five minutes and the most are even under four, so many of the songs are quite quick and none really develop into an epic song and generally keeps to the verse chorus verse chorus solo routine, which leaves little surprises with the structure, the only surprises are with lyrical content. But once you've heard it all before and you know the lyrics some of the songs become a little dull, mainly the ballads towards the end with 'Girl from Oklahoma,' and 'Stripper Girl,' which I know find myself skipping the majority of the time.
Despite this the album still contains several songs that will always provide you with a buzz and will find their way to any playlists you may make, or if your iPod is on shuffle you'll love occasionally hearing one of these songs come up.
Feel The Steel is an album with elements of comedy that even once they've run out still maintains a high level of technical ability that will keep this album at a high level five years down the line when the joke has completely worn out. Many of the songs are fantastic when they are played live, showing that Steel Panther are more than just a studio band, remember these guys play live shows all the time, so albums are not their thing, they are now on tour in the UK and I would advise any of you to go and check them out.
Even is you can't check these guys out live, I would check them out on iTunes, at least on there you can hear before you buy, and you may fall in love with a few of the songs like I have, there are now 7 of the 12 tracks that I adore and listen to quite regularly, but on the whole I think they produced too many songs and should of thought more about lengthening the great songs they already had before creating more. But with that said I am sure to be looking forward to how Steel Panther progress with their next album and will be sure to get more guest artists and keep up the explicit material and X-rated ability that will give you more than just a laugh...
Songs to hear: Death to all but metal, Turn out the lights
For fans of: Motley Crue, Glam metal, Tenacious D
I'm writing this review with a full stomach, full to the brim with what I am about to talk about, Dominos! Now I first came about this site when I was sat up my girlfriend's house and she said 'Do you want Dominos?' And I thought, well yeah, I do like my food by the way. But instead of getting the phone and a menu she pulled out the laptop, which slightly confused me as I didn't know fast food chains where online.
But they are...And ever since that day we have used Dominos quite regularly as it has combined several critical factors that would make any place good, its quick, nice and he site is easy to use...Perfect!
On the home page of the site when you first go on, you are asked to type in your postcode, either that or you can log in or register, presumably to make everything that little bit quicker, but we've yet to bother with doing it. After typing in your postcode you then arrive at a new page with the biggest font they could pick saying 'Found You!' Which of course looks cool, it also has some details about the store you are closest to, opening times and the usual basics.
This is where the fun begins; you now go onto the meal page, where you have an option of 5 pages, Starters, Pizzas, Deserts, Drinks and Meal Deals, the latter of which we use all the time. The range that Dominos has is larger than I first anticipated, I presumed that Dominos only ever did pizza, as that's all you hear about on the adverts, but you can have a little bit more than just that.
Ranging from various sorts of chicken, two different potato skins (cheese & bacon and cheese & onion), then garlic bread and wedges, but the best part of all of dominos come from this section, the dips! The dips include:
Honey & Mustard
Garlic & Herb
We've yet to try the mustard one, and I doubt I ever will, but the others are what makes dominos such a great feast, the chilli is spicy but not too hot, the garlic & herb is cool and as good as any other herb sauce out there, it beats KFC's and probably lots of others that I have yet to try, the barbeque is nice but a little bit too 'barbequey' for my liking and the hot sauce, although be it nice, it is a tad bit too strong when you get full and slightly sickly.
With Dominos you are supplied with a wide range of pizzas, with pretty much every type you could want, unless you're a bit unusual, you can also have two special pizzas, the first is create your own, which enables you to pick what ever toppings you want, costing you a little for each one, you can also pick the crust and then order. Or if you can't decide then you can go for the half and half pizza, you can have plain on one side and a load of meat on the other side, perfect for two people with different tastes.
There are only three deserts to choose from, and we've only had two of them, that being the Domino's Cookies and the Chocolate Brownie Squares, both of which where delightful, but you also have a choice of Domino's waffles, but for some reason at the moment the waffles and the brownies come with two dipping sources of chocolate and toffee whilst the cookies no longer do...
At only £2.99 each this is one of the great bargains of Dominoes and although the deserts are quite small, they are extremely tasty and if you're ever going to order from Dominos I'd suggest that you should try one of these three out.
Quite a boring page as it all it has is a selection of 3 drinks, Coca cola, Diet coke and Fanta, with a choice of either as a can or as a 1.25 litre bottle, exciting stuff right? So that covers the drinks page, let's move on...
This is the section we use most often, as it has the popular Meal Deal for One for £6, with that you get a small 7 inch pizza, one side of either wedges or garlic bread and a can of one of the drinks above. With the pizza you can select any style and change any 3 things, or make from scratch which is pretty much pointless as they only give you 4 choices, which is good for someone who is slightly more minimalistic than I am, as I am more of the type who likes as much meat as possible, but if you fancy just some ham and pineapple then you may as well use this feature.
As with all fast food chains the meal deals can change quite regularly with new promotions coming in all the time, and Dominos does this quite often, currently having the usual ones like buy two large pizzas get another free, or buy one get one half price, you know the usual deals you get from any store, the main one they have at the moment is Two for Tuesday, which is buy one get one free on a Tuesday, this is a brilliant offer, just a shame you have to wait until a Tuesday.
Of course it doesn't matter how good the website is, at the end of the day if the food was tasteless then the website would be pointless, but this is where the real dominos comes in, yes the website is good but this is the factor that has made Dominos the success it has become.
Dominos are well known for pretty much being the best pizzas around, and this is certainly the case in my mind, whether it be just a cheese and tomato pizza (that my girlfriend continually has) or it be one with multiple things on it, your guaranteed a delightful pizza, and at Download this year, some people from my tent ordered a pizza and when we got back they ate some of it but left us a few pieces, and even a cold, plain Dominos pizza is extremely nice.
Going onto the deserts Dominos comes out on top, with sweet thick toffee sauce and rick dark chocolate you won't just be dipping those brownies in; your fingers will be getting a dunk or two as well. So if its nice food you want, then look no further than what you're reading...
After you've selected you're food from the five categories you then move on to paying of course, with Dominos you can either pay by card, or do what I like and say you'll pay on the door, you just leave your name, email address and several other things (including where you want it delivered) and you'll have it in no time.
There is one issue with this of course, the ability to send someone else Dominos, as once the order is taken I thought they would ring the house to confirm the order with you, but instead they just send it out. Now Dominos is a multinational store, with chains across the UK, meaning you can type in a random postcode from somewhere in England, they'll find the nearest store, you can order what you want, then pick an address they provide you. A bit stupid if you ask me, but I bet people do it.
One of the only problem that I can see with Dominos is the price, and with the food being nice, you know your in for a bad combination, as you'll find yourself always wanting more, but by the time you've ordered extra dips, maybe some brownies t and a £6 meal deal each, then you could be looking at anything over £15 which is nothing compared to a restaurant, but for a take away I would say that's pretty pricey for my liking.
On average Dominos takes about 20 minutes, sometimes less, to arrive, and we're about 1.8 miles away from the nearest one (according to Googlemaps) which is pretty quick considering how much they have to do, and is a lot quicker than my local Chinese, which is two minutes away yet takes 45 minutes to get here.
But Dominos are not only quick, but good; only on one occasion they have gotten an order wrong, they just forgot a few sauces, in which case we rung them back and told them, later on they returned with three times the amount of Garlic & Herb as we wanted, which make the next order cheaper.
Well if you haven't yet ordered from Dominos online and you enjoy pizza, then, since you're online reading this, why don't you check it out as I'm sure you'll enjoy it? The only main problem that I can see is the price, but if you have a lot of cash, or feel like treating yourself then its worth a try, and maybe £15 for a meal for two people isn't that much for you, its probably just me, so why don't you give it a go, with a fast delivery service, very tasty food and a good selection of stuff, as well as a good website that is very easy to use, Dominos has the full package that deserves our money and we deserve its food, so be prepared to watch your diet fall... Like Dominos...
Thanks for reading
Favourite singers of all time
At number 1 then, its Judas Priest singer Rob Halford. Although coming to like Judas Priest only last year, I have now grown so fondly of Rob Halford that I believe he deserves the top spot on this list. With the power and diversity to hit extreme notes, whilst remaining an encapsulating way of turning a mediocre song into something brilliant, just listen to Judas Priest's latest album Nostradamus and you'll see what I mean.
Killer Vocals: Touch of Evil (Painkiller), Resurrection (Halford, Resurrection), Lost Love (Nostradamus), All Guns Blazing (Painkiller), actually the whole Painkiller album...
Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson has his place in my heart ever since I first heard Run to the Hills quite a few years ago, and ever since that day I've loved everything I've heard, from the powering vocals of Aces High or the subtle and soft vocals of Fear of the Dark, Bruce will guarantee you with a solid performance on stage as well as in the studio.
Despite not being the original singer for Iron Maiden, Bruce did help an already great band become even greater and with a different style to that of Paul Di'Anno he took Maiden in a new direction that would lead them to nominating the metal scene of the 80s with the new wave of British heavy metal and cementing quite a few of their albums into my favourite of all time, hopefully with one or two more to come...
Killer Vocals: Aces High (Powerslave), Number of the Beast (Number of the beast), Dance of Death (Dance of Death), The Thin Line between Love and Hate (Brave New World)
3. Bon Scott
Every time I hear the first lines of Highway to hell I get that cold shiver up my spine as if Bon Scott is there singing it from beyond the grave, this of course is part of his draw to me, singing Highway to Hell after being dead has an awe to it that is so enthralling that it generates this energetic buzz inside that excites me to the core, and not only the song but the album are both fantastic pieces of musical work.
Unfortunately Bon Scott died in 1979 and was then replaced by Brian Johnson, who picks up a large amount of credit due to the Back in Black album, but it was Bon Scott and Angus Young who got the AC/DC ball not just rolling, but pounding down the hill to rock n' roll stardom. Any true AC/DC fan would have to say its Bon Scott all the way, with the roughness and raw energy to his voice; you can't deny the quality of this once great singer.
Killer Vocals: Highway to Hell (Highway to Hell), It's a Long Way to the Top (High Voltage), If You Want Blood (Highway to Hell), TNT (High Voltage)
4. Michael Jackson
Whether it be as a child or an adult Michael Jackson had a way of transferring power to the front of his voice where others fell by the way side, making music history with the release of Thriller Michael Jackson is now, and will remain for some time to come, the highest selling artist of all time.
But you don't need me to say anything about Michael Jackson, you have probably heard one or two songs by now, more than likely more, and you will know as well as I do how terrific this man was, and how influential he still is as he was more than jus a singer, but a performer, and one of the highest quality.
Killer Vocals: Man In The Mirror (Bad), Human Nature (Thriller), Wanna Be Startin' Somthin' (Thriller), Black or White (Dangerous)
5. Ozzy Osborne
One of the fore fathers of heavy metal it would be rude not to mention this figure music, but Ozzy isn't here just from what he has influenced, but from what he has done, almost everyone will have heard him sing, either be it with Black Sabbath or as a solo artist, but Ozzy had a natural knack for creating spooky vocals and sounding utter evil at the best of times, whilst on the other side of the scale he could bring energy to any song and his lovable stage presence, along with the antics, have made him an international star.
Killer Vocals: Crazy Train (Blizzard of Oz), Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath), Iron Man (Paranoid), Over the Mountain (Diary of a madman)
6. Steve Perry
It's almost undeniable to say that Steve Perry single handily made Journey the huge success they are. With a beautiful sound and pitch that continues to vary, Steve has made several classics that deserve more than they have gotten, unfortunately Steve is no longer with Journey and has been replaced by another great singer, but of course doesn't beat the original.
If want any evidence of this singers quality then just check out their album Escape, with tracks like Don't stop believing and Open Arms I think you'll soon be in agreement with me...
Killer Vocals: Don't Stop Believing (Escape), Open Arms (Escape), Any Way You Want it (Departure), Stone in Love (Escape)
7. Indina Menzel
Although not a metal or rock artist Indina Menzel undoubtedly deserves her place in my list ever since I was introduced to the musical Wicked, since then I've been encapsulated by many other musicals, this one now being one I am dying to see.
Indina has a natural way of portraying motion and energy through her voice as she does time and time again performing on the big stage, if you have any doubts then listen to the musical Wicked and go to Defying Gravity, or look it up on YouTube, believe when I say that this girl is beyond terrific and has the ability to turn any song into a piece of gold.
Killer Vocals: Defying Gravity (Wicked), For Good (Wicked), the Wizard and I (Wicked), Take Me or Leave Me (Rent)
8. M. Shadows
Okay, so M. Shadows is probably the most unknown on this list, and the least influential and from the least successful band, but this is my list and when I hear him sing at full throttle I can feel the buzz that he's producing, a singer who always seems to be giving his maximum that really shows on studios CD's, but when it comes to live performances he is almost equally as good, but if you've never heard of him then listen to Dear God, not only is he a good lyricist but the vocals on this song are sublime.
Having changed a lot since their debut release of Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, going from a growling style to a mix of both on their Waking the Fallen album, which I now adore, but with their latest release you can see how far he has come and I can only look foreword to what else is to come from Avenged Sevenfold...
Killer Vocals: Afterlife (Avenged Sevenfold), Beast and the Harlot (City of Evil), Unholy confessions (Waking the Fallen), Dear God (Avenged Sevenfold)
9. Axl Rose
When on form Axl was once one of the best performers around, although since his hey day with the real Guns N' Roses Axl has now dipped in both capability and draw factor as I have no interest in the new GNR, neither really am I that bothered about Velvet Revolver, together Axl and Slash struck up a storm and Appetite for Destruction, all be it their first release, was and still is a terrific rock anthem with tracks that show Axl at his best along with the rest of the band hitting their peak at such an early stage.
With songs like Sweet Child O' Mine and Paradise City you can tell immediately that you're listening to not only a fantastic singer, but a great band who's songs continue to be played on radio stations and music channels alike, yet he has now become less of what he was, Axl can still be shown in the limelight he once had, and no matter what GNR do now, I will still think of them as the band who put together Appetite for Destruction...
Killer Vocals: Paradise City (Appetite for Destruction), Nightrain (Appetite for Destruction), November Rain (Use your illusions 1), Sweet Child O' Mine (Appetite for Destruction)
10. Corey Taylor
One of the modern day masters of combining hard aggressive vocals with a softer more natural way of singing that gives Slipknot an extra edge to what is a strong band. Although many people may dismiss Slipknot due to their masks, hostile music and their infamous stage antics, but don't get these guys wrong, they can play, and Corey can sing, but if you don't fancy Slipknot then try Stone Sour, as Corey changes to try a different direction with his vocals and are defiantly softer than that of Slipknot.
With a new album on the horizon, expected to be out in 2010, it won't be long before we hear what else both Corey and Slipknot can produce, and as long as it isn't an Unmasked album I know I'll be happy, along with every other Slipknot fan...
Killer Vocals: Bother (Stone Sour), Vermillion Pt. 2 (Vol. 3 the Subliminal Verses), Dead Memories (All Hope Is Gone), Sulfur (All Hope Is Gone)
So that concludes my list of my favourite singers, I hope you have either found a new singer you wish to check out, or enjoy many of the same ones I do, if not then don't worry, there are still plenty of good singers out there that didn't make the list, but I'm sure over the years this list will alter slightly as I discover and love more and more bands.
Thanks for reading!
In a modern time with buses, trains, cars and many other modes of transport, a time where motorways and duel carriage ways rip through the countryside, and a time where people are becoming lazier and lazier the lost art and joy of the simplistic satisfaction of walking is slowly withering away. Teenage youths are increasingly becoming more dependant on public transport and parental taxis whilst the beauty that surrounds many of us becomes unappreciated as it becomes more of a background than a natural wonder.
Of course I am a teenage youth, who does depend on public transport to get me to college, and I also depend on parents and siblings to get me from my house to my girlfriends, but yet I have not lost the joy that I share with few as I take a stroll through the mountainous landscape that is Wales.
I felt like writing about this as I arrived at Rachel's house to the response that people thought I was crazy walking about 5 miles from my house in Llanhilleth to Rachel's in Oakdale. Obviously I am not crazy, but very much sane, as during this walk I traveled through an area that I had previously never been though and combined with the rain it turned out to be quite a joyful walk. All you need to enjoy a walk is some sort of mp3 player or iPod and a few audiobooks or albums to listen to.
On my journey I listened to the 8 out of 10 cats podcast, some of the musical Wicked, and a lot of Megadeth, this is the great part about going for a walk, it gives you time to think, to listen and to look, something many people no longer do, and find themselves constantly stressed, so who's to say I am the mad one for walking over 5 miles, I enjoyed it so that's all that counts.
Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller
This quote is very true of me, I did not feel I was getting wet and being forced to be out in the rain, instead I was walking in the rain, and there is a subtle difference, a man who walks in the rain enjoys himself and feels self satisfaction from the experience, whilst a man who gets wet in the rain refers to one that does not enjoy his experience and is mealy doing it because he has to.
This can be used for many things, like people think I'm mad when I say I enjoy waiting for the bus, or even missing it, but I get a quiet satisfaction from standing at a bus stop listening to my iPod as I wait for another, don't ask me why, but its just a way of enjoying life, if you enjoy the stupid things then the good things are so much better.
There is no real art to walking, the art is where you walk, and anywhere can be art, I found new views of places I've been down so many times, and to see them from a completely different place was quite interesting, to go down roads and enter places that have surrounded me even though I've never noticed them before was also quite intriguing, and is something I shall be doing again, because taking ourselves out of our comfort zone and into something diverse and interesting is a good experience that people lose touch with.
Although what I'm saying is kind of pointless to many of you, and hardly any of you will take any advice I'm giving, but this site is about reviewing things, so I'm reviewing walking, and it has many benefits that will help many people out.
First of all it keeps you fit, like getting dropped off one bus stop earlier is a great way to do more, but walking the whole distance helps a lot, and my legs felt a bit achy afterwards so it works, also it gives you time to think, ponder and get away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life, not that I have much hassle, but for those who find continual stress a problem, just try it, see how you feel.
Finally all I have to say is walking is to be free, and to be free is to be at one with your thoughts and feelings, it's a liberating and mind opening experience that people seem to have lost touch with, being cooped up inside all the time watching brainless television when there's a world out there to be walked upon. I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make with what I'm saying other than walk more, open your mind and enjoy your time on earth, it's the strange things in life you remember the most, so try and do more of them. The art and joy of walking is all with the beholder, and what's stopping you from enjoying a walk...
Overkill are one of the many thrash metal bands out there who continue to produce solid albums yet fail to reach the limelight of the likes of Metallica and Megadeth, this underrated band has steadily risen up my list of favourite bands and now certainly sit higher than anthrax and Slayer. In 2007 they came out with the new album Immortalis and like almost every other album they have done, it was a solid album that has cemented itself in my regularly played list and is still and album that I enjoy every time it's played.
One thing I love about Overkill is they're way of slowly building up songs with small steady riffs whilst the other band members come in one after the other, this is the case with the opening song 'Devils In The Mist,' and if you love slow build ups then this is a song you should enjoy and one I have on many occasions, but don't be fooled by the start as Overkill can certainly play and as the song moves into the verses then you'll hear some real thrash metal, that is continued pretty much throughout the whole album.
As usual Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth's vocals are brilliant and combine well with heavy riffs, similar to Anthrax, but the way the verses are put together often disappoints me slightly as they always seem to be sung too similarly with no real melody, hence they struggle to produce catchy lyrics that are easily remembered, which is probably the main reason behind Metallica being much more successful.
Despite this the music is still outstanding and you'll soon find yourself nodding unconsciously to the rhythm that Overkill seem to find so easily, thus making it almost impossible to be board whilst listening to this album. If you're the type of person who listens to albums in the background then this would be a good buy as I constantly put it on whilst I'm on the Xbox and occasionally stop and air guitar.
'What it Takes' is one of those songs that gives you both nodding and air guitar moments and is a brilliant 2nd song as it doesn't hang around and goes straight into a killer thrash riff, with all the heaviness that you desire and solo to make you're face drip to the floor.
Overkill also manage to combine old thrash metal (themselves) and more modern metal as Lamb of Gods screamer Randy Blythe features in the song 'Skull and Bones,' and doesn't disappoint, with his aggressive style of screaming that flows well with Overkills way of playing, and just adds something extra to the song, showing when you combine old with new, you get an impressive result, just another great metal track.
Immortalis continues with more heavy flowing tracks such as 'Shadow of a Doubt', but this track and another also has a more rocky feel to it rather than being just fast playing, Overkill manages to combine trash well with a few rock n' roll riffs, the intro to 'Shadow of a Doubt' and 'Walk Through Fire' are good examples of this, and if you listen to 'Walk Through Fire' and fail to feel the need to nod, then maybe your in the wrong genre as the riff to this is simply brilliant and even my girlfriend, who likes the lighter side to metal, was trying to resist the temptation to nod, and she never does!
But despite the fast tracks that are dominate on the album, Overkill still manage to throw in a few slower, but darker tracks like 'Hellish Pride' which is a song with that shows how Overkill use drumming to their advantage as they tend away from the usual fast double bass that is now too common in thrash metal, and instead use slower complex rhythms which I love about them, but don't worry, they're not afraid to speed up when it comes to the solos.
Now, if you've ever heard the song 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Iron Maiden, which you probably have if you like metal, then you may notice a few similarities between the slow bass part in that song, and the introduction to the song 'Head On,' not as if this is uncommon in metal, but you can see where they get some of their influence from. Despite the nice intro the song does develop into another heavy Overkill song, this is also my favourite lyrical track of the album, Bobby just has a gutsy way of delivering his lines, and the opening verse is a brilliant one to sing along too met with a heavy riff, what more can you ask for?
Another favourite of mine is the 8th track 'Chaly Get Your Gun,' as it's a display of the bands overall talent, brilliant drum intro, good riff, great solo and of course Bobby! This song being at a much faster pace than the one about to follow it, with yet another fantastic solo, which by now I've come to expect of Overkill and this song probably has the longest solo of the album, I'm not sure if this is true, but its long none the less.
With just two more tracks to go Overkill keep up the consistency as found with the rest of the album as they go into a darker side with 'Hell Is' whilst still keeping the rawness of their thrash sound, which shows the brilliant production work that went into the album, that gels hard heavy sounds but keeps them clean enough not to bleed through the speakers with a wall of fuzz, and instead you hear every instrument and every part with amazing quality, you even hear the bass! This can too often be a rarity in the Trash metal field, but that's one thing Overkill have constantly done over the years, as on many tracks there will be a pause and the bass riff will be the sole thing you hear.
The final track of the album has a common title you may notice if you're a fan of the band, its called 'Overkill V' and as you can probably tell; there have been another four tracks before it with a similar name. Just like the four tracks that came before it this one doesn't disappoint, and I'm always looking for a big song to end the album and am a big fan of 'Overkill V,' a song that contains multiple riffs and constant pace changes that keeps you guessing what's going to happen next, the song then finishes in the same way it starts, with a slow finish that brings the album to an end.
In conclusion this is a terrific thrash metal album, with elements brought in from other genres completing a brilliant record and one that I will continue to listen to and hope that you way consider to buy/download this yourself.
This is the track list for the album, which in total comes to just under 50 minutes:
1. "Devils in the Mist" - 4:34
2. "What It Takes" - 4:28
3. "Skull and Bones" (featuring Randy Blythe from Lamb of God) - 5:54
4. "Shadow of a Doubt" - 4:51
5. "Hellish Pride" - 5:16
6. "Walk Through Fire" - 4:08
7. "Head On" - 5:21
8. "Chaly Get Your Gun" - 4:28
9. "Hell Is" - 4:40
10. "Overkill V... The Brand" - 5:36
Killer Tracks: Devils In The Mist, Skull and Bones, Walk Through Fire
For Fans of: Thrash metal! Metallica, Megadeth etc...
Overkill - Immortalis: 4/5 Stars.
Thanks you for reading, I hope you may decide to check this album out, it will be well worth it if you love thrash. I would also like to say I haven't mentioned the DVD part as I couldn't find the regular version and I do not own the DVD so I can't comment on it, sorry.
===Bon Jovi...Slippery When Wet===
1986...A year for music across all genres of music, Metallica had just released 'Master of Puppets,' Slayer where to release 'Reign In Blood' and Iron Maiden released their 6th studio album 'Somewhere in Time' but whilst the metal scene had several mind blowing albums that hit the scene like a Van Halen solo, the rock scene had a saving grace that would change both rock and pop music for many years to come...Introducing Bon Jovi, Slippery When Wet...
'''Who are Bon Jovi?'''
Do I need to answer this question? Well for those of you who haven't listened to the radio in the past 20 years I shall explain. Bon Jovi are an American hard rock band formed in 1983 from New Jersey, to date they have released 10 studio albums and have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, sure you haven't heard of them? They had mild success with their first two albums, but it wasn't until Slippery When Wet hit the world in August 1986 where Bon Jovi went from a regular rock band to a worldwide rockstars...
Jon Bon Jovi - lead vocals
Richie Sambora - guitars, guitar synths, backing vocals
Alec John Such - bass guitar, backing vocals
Tico Torres - drums, percussion
David Bryan - keyboards, piano, synthesizer, various noises, backing vocals
'''Let It Rock'''
How can you complain about an opening song called Let it Rock? Well the answer is you can't, Let it Rock starts with a minute long introduction that sounds both wonderful and strange as keyboards play a lovely little progressive riff before the actual song kicks in with some backing vocals before moving into full swing with Bon Jovi's typical upbeat style combined with lyrics that work well with the song, and you can't complain about lyrics that say 'Let it rock, let it go...'
The opening solo is a great one and more complex than the usual Bon Jovi solo, also much longer and you can tell you're in for a great album with an opening track like this, and is defiantly not a song that will be skipped very often, the only complaint I that the song does seem to drag on a bit too long lasting over 5 minutes whilst the lyrics are mainly just the chorus, but that's only a minor complaint.
'''You Give Love a Bad Name'''
One of the many songs on the album that propelled Bon Jovi through the glass of fame and on to stardom, coming in as the second song on the album it doesn't take long before Slippery When Wet explodes all over the speakers with the famous lines of 'Shot through the heart, and your to vain, darling you give love a bad name,' you won't hear a much better intro on the whole album.
But the vocals are not the only successful element of the song, the brilliant rhythm of muted guitar notes playing through the verse builds the suspense before the chorus that is a sure sing-along, that even if you hate Bon Jovi, like I once did, you'll find yourself humming along to this one.
The whole rhythm of the song is entirely upbeat from the first to the last note, and met with a typical solo that is never going to be overly complex but does the job for the song, this is defiantly a song you should hear, or already have.
'''Livin' on a Prayer'''
Perhaps the song that this album will be most remembered for, with the signature talk box riff that has now come to define Bon Jovi, but it wasn't just this riff that made this song such a great success, the groovy bass riff and the fantastic lyrics that have set this song apart and remains a classic hit.
The lyrics of 'Tommy used to work on the docks...' have now become beyond famous as the song has been covered many times by many different acts, as well as becoming quite a good club song, but the original is always the best and this song will not disappoint, as you probably already know the chorus off the top of your head, if not I'll refresh your memory, 'Whooah, were half way there, Livin on a prayer...'
For me its not just the chorus that makes this song, actually the pre-chorus is much better, but it's the whole feel of the song, its such an upbeat, feel good song, that you can't fail to smile and enjoy yourself when your listening to this track, the simplistic works brilliantly and doesn't drag on as it just peaks over the 4 minute mark, this is certainly one of the songs of the album.
Despite the sexual start this song does have a really neat guitar intro, Bon Jovi uses pitched harmonics to full effect to give the riff that extra edge and yet again the lyrics are interesting, I love the first lines of the chorus, 'You can't start a fire without a spark, But there's something that I guarantee' just another Bon Jovi song about love, but the best part about this song is the feel to it, it has more of a jazz style rhythm which works brilliantly and as always Social Disease is easy to sing along to, as with many Bon Jovi songs, but this is a nice little filler between two big songs and I'm always waiting for Wanted Dead or Alive when I hear this song.
'''Wanted Dead or Alive'''
Throw aside the talk box effects, the bursting vocal introductions and the simple riffs and you get a song that I didn't expect to hear when I first listened to this song. I was sat playing Rock Band and I saw that the next song I had to play was a Bon Jovi song, and I thought here we go, this will be easy enough, but instead I was thrown into a master class of suspense, the terrific introduction with the folk style acoustic guitars, combined with the distorted guitars that kick in after the second chorus is sung and you now have an epic song that for me makes the album great.
Bon Jovi are often thought of as cheesy with their style of poppy rock, but Wanted Dead or Alive set them up to be a unforgettable hard rock band who could play fantastic songs combined with the brilliant voice and lyrics of Jon Bon Jovi himself.
Lyrically I think this is a terrific song as it tells the story of a cowboy who is basically wanted, dead or alive, but on a serious note the song goes into matters that interest me, like the idea of being a stray person, meeting random people every day and struggling to survive, these are the types of songs I always find fascinating and this is no different.
'''Raise Your Hands'''
Well, what can I say, Raise your hands is just anther splendid addition to this album, a fantastic introduction that has a more hard rock feel than the other lighter songs and most certainly a more aggressive solo, but whilst this being a great part to the song, its not the best, for me I love the use of backing vocals for the chorus, with 'Raise your hands' being sung in the background as Jon Bon Jovi sings the rest of the lines.
Lyrically the song is catchy and easy to sing-along to, which is something most of us love, but like the other songs that have come before it, the chorus is sung too often and is, yet again, faded out towards the end, it always feels like they couldn't find a way to end the song so they just faded it out, which is a bit disappointing, but none the less the song is still powerful and catchy, so that's always a bonus.
Without Love is another good rock song, with a feel good style energy to it, and a brilliant chorus 'Without Love, there's nothing without love,' this song won't fail to disappoint, I expected the songs to get quite weak towards the end, but I enjoy this one just as much as You Gave Love a Bad Name, yet I can't explain why, I do just love the way Bon Jovi puts songs together but as with the majority of these songs they overuse the chorus and fade out the end, which I've come to expect by the latter stage of the album.
I really do believe if they added more musical passages instead of choruses then these songs would become so much better, rather than just another good rock song, they could be much more, but none the less, this is what they have done, and it's still good, onto the next song I think...
'''I'd Die For You'''
I'd die for you has a different introduction to the rest of the songs, using the keyboard effectively to plunge the listener straight into the song, with power chords and good drumming that builds the song up to the verse.
Listening through this album I've come to realise that no matter what song Bon Jovi is singing, I think I'd like it none the less, he has a voice that you can't help to love, and through the song and onto the chorus he remains at his regular high standard with the lines 'I'd die for you, I'd cry for you, I'd do anything...' the chorus is then met with another good solo, again not brilliant but as always Bon Jovi never fail to disappoint, I'm not expecting something outstanding but the solos are always sufficient enough.
'''Never Say Goodbye'''
Lets bring the tone down a bit, bring out the lighters and get ready for the ballad, Never Say goodbye has a brilliant start, with just easy sounding drums and Bon Jovi singing his heart out and with a chorus that you can't help swaying slightly side to side as you imagine standing with 60,000 other people singing 'Never say goodbye, never say goodbye, You and me and my old friends...'
If I ever saw these live, this would be a song I'd defiantly want them to play, but despite the chorus being great, the whole feel to the song being perfect for a ballad and a delightfully soft solo this song still lacks something, as a ballad its only under 5 minutes, for a ballad I'd want something a bit more, maybe a longer solo or more verses, but the majority of the song is the chorus, which would be great live, and is still great on the album, but it still shows that Bon Jovi where lacking in adventures ideas after the 3 minute point on almost every song, this is still a great song though and one I enjoy listening to every time, and sets up the finale of the album with wild on the Streets...
'''Wild in the Streets'''
I think it's always important to finish the album with one of your strongest songs as this will be the last song you'll hear. Bon Jovi do not disappoint, Wild in the Streets is a terrific song with such a feel good rhythm especially for the chorus, 'Wild, Wild in the streets,' its songs like these that shows how good Jon Bon Jovi is as a singer.
Despite the fact that the lyrics consist mainly of the chorus, which isn't the first time on this album, its still a strong song, with a blasting solo, and rock n' roll style finish that despite being very good, I do feel it should be longer and not end as such as a surprise, that does leave me wanting a little bit more from this as it is the last song, and final songs should be like a finale where the whole album comes together to finish on a high, but don't get me wrong, you'll still love this song and think of it as a good end to the album.
Overall Slippery When Wet is a terrific rock album, with many catchy songs that'll you already love all will love once you've heard them, the album isn't too aggressive, explicit or soft, so it plays into just about everyone's hands, for me I love metal and yet still enjoy this album, so hopefully you'll do the same, and if you've heard the singles before, why not try out the rest of the album, i'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Several catchy songs, one epic song with Wanted Dead or Alive, the brilliant talk box effect of Livin' on a Prayer, sublime vocals that are seen throughout the album, along side good musical ability that follows with a great rhythm and pace that can be enjoyed no matter the mood your in.
At only 45 minutes long it doesn't take long to enjoy the whole album, but the songs can easily be enjoyed separately as part of a playlist, for me, it has to be the whole album, all the way through, put it this way, you watch a film that lasts on average an hour and half, so what's 45 minutes?
I do thoroughly enjoy Slippery When Wet, the only main issue I have with the whole thing is that I constantly feel that some songs could use a bit more work to make them either longer or more diverse, as the majority of the songs are lacking in range in terms of lyrical direction and seem to base themselves around the chorus, combined with a small solo that is sufficient but if it had that extra bit of work this album could be so much better.
Despite being overly repeated the lyrics are quite strong, meaningful and most importantly catchy, some songs like Wanted Dead or Alive go into subjects that interest me, whilst other like Livin' on a Prayer and Social Disease go into more relationship type topics or the common theme for rock songs and that's love, songs like Never Say Goodbye and Without Love are brilliant songs to just listen to in terms of lyrics and as a whole the album will impress from a lyrical stand point.
As for originality, this kind of music was already being done by Def Leppard, Whitesnake and many other bands as the early 80s saw the birth of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but one thing Bon Jovi are now known for is the talk box effects used in Livin' on a Prayer, so they helped to create a new use of an effect, but simply used old templates of writing albums and followed them nearly step by step, just listen to Pyromania by Def Leppard and you may see a few similarities. In saying all that it doesn't divert from the fact that this is still a good album, and there aren't many bands that are completely original, every single band has taken inspiration from somewhere.
Slippery When Wet was the album that put Bon Jovi on the map; many bands have that one album that turns them from an average band into rockstars, this album was what Pyromania was to Def Leppard, as both albums greatly increased the bands popularity and whilst Bon Jovi's first two albums brought them success and where by all means good albums, they did nothing compared to this, which is why this is by far their best album to date, and will probably stay there for many years to come.
Whilst the consistency of the album is quite high amongst the majority of the tracks, you do of course have the 3 main songs of 'Livin' on a Prayer,' 'Wanted Dead or Alive,' and of course 'You Gave Love a Bad Name,' none of the other songs really compare with these songs and they certainly make the album a great one. Whilst Metallica's album Ride the Lightning has 8 near perfect tracks that are barely separated between each other, Slippery When Wet has 3 great songs and the rest are similar but incomparable with the other 3, in saying that the album is still a very strong record and there's nothing wrong with having a few great songs combined with lesser great songs.
'''Value for Money'''
If your looking for value for money then look no further, this isn't an album that you'll enjoy for a few weeks before thinking it was a waste of money, this album was brought out in 1986, its been around for over 20 years, and now you have a 17 year old reviewing it, so quite clearly this album has stood the test of time, I guarantee you that if you buy this album, which can probably be found for quite cheap, then you won't live it down, and you'll enjoy Slippery When Wet for years to come...
In conclusion Slippery When Wet is a fantastic rock album, with many songs you'll enjoy again and again giving you your value for money, it's a great album to hear to matter your mood as the songs are mainly cheerful and have an upbeat rhythm giving it its feel good factor. Not only having the upbeat rhythm, the album also has many songs that are good musically, with a solo on almost every song, including complex acoustic parts and brilliant vocals, this is defiantly and album that will not disappoint and I advise that you either buy this album, or somehow download it.
As a seventeen year old with a mother who works various shifts as a nurse, I find myself staggering in from college with the ominous task of conjuring up my own meal. Now I'm no chef, in fact I struggle to cook the most basic of meals, only occasionally producing a plate full of mashed up sausages and a few potato wedges, all of which has been overwhelmed by numerous spices and a dash of 'Reggae Reggae Sauce.'
One product that has been a real life saver to my stomach is the famous instant noodle snack, Pot Noodle. This, as most of you know, is a pot based snack that consists mainly of noodles, dried vegetables and flavored powder and now comes in a variety of flavors, most popular of course is the 'Chicken & Mushroom' flavor. There are 10 other flavors that accompany the 'Chicken & Mushroom' these are the following:
* ''' Beef & Tomato '''
* ''' Sweet & Sour '''
* ''' Original Curry '''
* ''' Chicken & Mushroom '''
* ''' Chinese Chow Mein '''
* ''' Sweet & Spicy (formerly Nice & Spicy) '''
* ''' Southern Fried Chicken '''
* ''' Bombay Bad Boy (branded Hot Noodle) '''
* ''' Lamb Hotpot '''
* ''' Chicken Satay '''
* ''' Tikka Masala '''
I haven't tried many of these flavors as my mother usually sticks to the ones she knows I like, 'Chicken & Mushroom' and if I'm lucky the 'Bombay Bad Boy.' The last 3 on the list are new and I do plan on trying these within the next few days!
~How to Make~
Making a Pot Noodle is probably one of the easiest things that you'll ever have to do; this is the main reason why they have become so popular. Simply fill the kettle up with water as you would with making tea, whilst the kettle is boiling pull back the foil packaging on the pot. Take out the sachet of source, and leave it on the side for later use. When the water has finished boiling pour it into the pot up to the fill level at let it stand for about 2 minutes.
Now I don't mind the usual Pot Noodle, but I prefer to add a little bit of an extra kick to it, to do this I take 'Tesco's Hot Chili Powder' and mix it in with the dissolvable flavored powder. When the water is added the chili powder will mix in with the noodles and the water to provide a hotter flavor and give it that much needed kick. But if you want you can just add the sachet of source that was provided.
After the pot noodle has been left for 2 minutes you then mix it up, otherwise you get this horrible lump of powder at the bottom that one of my friends actually likes, somehow! After this the noodles should be free, the powder dissolved and the snack is ready to consume!
Each Pot Noodle is different in colour and it all depends on what flavor you like, personally I'm now used to seeing the Pot Noodle in green, the colour for the 'Chicken & Mushroom' flavor. My favorite has to be the 'Bombay Bad Boy' they chose the right colour for it, black, which makes it look dangerous and to the average person it probably is. When you add the 'Fire Chilli Source' it unleashes the beast of spices that will automatically attack your taste buds and make them burn! Add a little hot chili powder as well if you want that extra kick.
Pot Noodles now come in 3 different sizes; the regular size, around 90g, King size, around 120g and the mini pot which I'm unsure how many grams are in there as I've never actually bought one, too small!
Prices vary depending on where you shop, I can pick up a Pot Noodle at my local store for about 90p and that's the same for most places. Occasionally there will be special offers in supermarkets, where they will sell 4 Pot Noodles for around £3; luckily my mother has seen this offer and now my cupboard is stacked full of them.
Pot Noodles are one of the most useful snack products on the market, but I've yet to try all the flavors that are available so I still have something to do over the next few weeks. There simplicity and taste had helped them to thrive and the lack of dishes created by them means I have no house work to do by the end of them, but to clean a simple fork, which is useful since I can be a very lazy person from time to time. Also its price is a helpful factor in its success as I would have to pay around £3.50 for a lovely kebab, which can take a big chunk out of my wallet if eaten daily, besides adding a chunk onto my stomach, but with the Pot Noodle, £3.50 would buy you at least 4 and that could easily last me 3 or 4 days.
Another great thing about Pot Noodles is that they are produced in Crumlin Wales, which just happens to be a 20 minute drive from where I live, Crumlin is also the town that is right next to my school in Newbridge, so Pot Noodles have a big effect on my local economy.
I advise any Non-Pot Noodle eater to go out there and purchase this marvel and satisfy your taste buds demands for superior, healthy food with an added kick of extra spice to make the finest British delicacy that everyone should try. Be British, eat Pot Noodle and do the country proud!
Eat Pot Noodles!
Rampant_Ross TM 2009
This is just a poem that I have written, it was going to be entered into a poetry competition in college but apparently there wasn't one, that's why I did it on Last Rites, although I never knew what it was about, so it is mainly a poem about Jorrrr or how I felt at some point over the past few months, all the rest of the content is just so it has something to do with last rites, hope you enjoy.
Since the time of birth I've grown
Through this able body I have shown
How to smile when you're feeling down
To live you're life without a frown
A life full of joy is hard to find
A loss of happiness deep in mind
The smile has stayed though it's not within
All of this hardship, a blow to my chin
I lie here in madness, filled with rage
Death has me captured, locked in its cage
My mind has wandered, gone to its cell
Soon I'll be gone, trapped in a shell
Time begins to take my final breath
As I lie alone on my bed of death
Will it be heaven, will it be hell
At my last rites I begin to tell
As I lie here in sorrow, a life of regret
A life of guilt, to him I'm in debt
It is him we have lost, him we called Jorrrr
A life cut short, left wanting more
Now I'm feeling like I'm going insane
The power of guilt causing me mental strain
Sleepless nights with doubt in mind
Peaceful thoughts become hard to find
Repressing memories to the back of my head
I still can't believe he's actually dead
These thoughts in my mind, will be my killer
My life seems like a fictional thriller
The cancer has spread through this difficult test
Soon I'll be gone, laid down to rest
My body has weakened, thrown into fits
Death awaits me as I fall into bits
I know of death, I know its need
Through my best friend I've seen it bleed
This my last rite, the last thing I say
To be with that friend for just one more day
Thanks for reading!
This has been changed from the one I posted on Ciao.
I normally do reviews on stuff, but I saw this and thought it would be interesting to do, doubt its interesting to read but what the heck, I don't care, its here if you want to read.
1)What did you do in 2008 that you have not done before?
Lots of things! I went to college for the first time, picked up the guitar, saw Iron Maiden live and some things with Rachel that are not discussable.
2) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope, most the people I know are my age so aren't really up for that, either that or they already have children.
3) Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately yes, on the 19th of December my best friend and band member Joe Musto got hit by a car as we walked home from the Dolls house, I was the only witness and had to undergo a cognitive interview, which I had been learning about in psychology, then on Christmas eve they pulled the plug and on January of this year we had his funeral.
4) What countries did you visit?
Only one, Majorca, which was fun as all inclusive holidays always are, but I did miss Rachel, I had only been with her for about 4 months when I left.
5) What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
The ability to shred the guitar to pieces like Dave Mustaine or Kirk Hammett, which would be nice, doubtful, but it would still be great if I even got better at guitar, which I have already!
6) What dates will you remember from 2008?
Quite a few actually, first of all March 22nd because that's when I got together with Rachel, I'm still with her now and probably will be for a very long time. December 24th for the reasons above, same with December 19th, I'd like to say I'll remember the date I saw Maiden, but I've forgotten it so that's a no.
7) Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, I never really get injured and my illnesses only last about a day if I ever find my self sick, suffice to say most of my illnesses where due to alcohol.
8) What was the best thing you bought?
I don't usually buy that much, all the good stuff is normally to expensive, so my parents buy me all the best stuff, the best things I bought was all my gig tickets, like Iron Maiden and Slayer!
9) Whose behaviour has merited celebration?
I don't know, we all do things that are good, we also do bad things, so no one in particular done something amazing, well someone probably did I just can't say who or what.
10) Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
No ones! I wouldn't get depressed over how someone acts no matter how bad it is, because at the end of the day you have to look into why they say it and not just get offended, actually if anything annoyed me its Kerrang! What a bunch of sell outs!
11) Where did most of your money go?
Possibly albums, I have illegally downloaded but if the album is good enough then I'll buy it, I don't see why I should pay for something that I believe is trash, illegally download it then buy it.
12) What did you get really excited about?
I'm a very excitable person, food excites me, so I can't say one thing of 2008 that excited me, concerts got me going, anything with chicken and bacon in gets me going, playing Gears of War gets me excited, so I'm excited quite often!
13) What song will you remember from 2008?
That's not a question I can answer because I listen to the same songs all the time, there wasn't really one for 2008 because they where similar to 2007, oh yeah, I was shown Painkiller by Judas Priest, so I'm not going to pick a song, but an album and that was a great album, so glad I got shown it!
14) Compared to this time last year are you happier, fitter, more productive.
Hard to say, this time last year I wasn't with Rachel, but I had Jorrrr, I seriously doubt I'm fitter, I've gotten lazy hence less productive in terms of college work but fitness and that can be worked on, happiness is hard to obtain, yet through Rachel I know I'll always have it.
15) What do you wish you had done more of?
Attended college, well I can't really say that because I still miss the odd lesson, so I'm not learning from my mistakes, I wish I spent more time on guitar, more time doing something useful like reading.
16) What do you wish you had done less of?
That's easy, playing the Xbox, its great fun at the time, its just when you get off it you just think to yourself 'What have I done today?' the answer is usual nothing.
17) What was your favorite TV programme?
The 4400! Not many people know about this, people like Heroes, don't bother with Heroes, go on play.com and order season 1-4 of the 4400 then come back and thank me.
18) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?
I don't hate anyone really, I normally just accept what ever people do, if people have a go at me behind my back I find it funny, I like it when people are bitchy and anyway I don't like people knowing about it if I don't like them, so I ain't going to name names.
19) What's been the best book of 2008?
Reading really isn't something I do very often, but Happy Slapped by a Jellyfish by Karl Pilkington was brilliant, he's really funny!
20) What was your greatest musical discovery?
Judas Priest, didn't really like them prior to last year so that's a discovery I'm glad of, otherwise I can't really think of who I discovered, I got into Slayer last year as well, not really a good thing for God but I bet he likes them.
21) What did you want to get in 2008?
Umm... I don't know, I was happy with everything I got and didn't really want anything.
22) What did you want and didn't get?
Isn't this practically the same question? Who put these questions together?
23) What is your favorite film of the year?
Dark Knight, easily, I think that's a brilliant film, so much effort involved, shame Heath Ledger died, he could have gone on to do great work.
24) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
Went down my friends house and got smashed, then struggled to get home with Rachel and done something else, can't say what! But I was 17 and I still am.
25) What political issue stirred you the most?
To be honest, I don't really follow it, I hate conservatives because they want families to stay together and are like the New Right idiots who think all us working class are incapable of anything and are to blame for this current recession when really its all the upper classes fault yet they are still sat their looking fine with all their millions whilst we suffer.
26) Who was the best person you met?
Rachel. Easy as that.
27) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008?
Enjoy life, because it can end when you least expect it and if you live life full of stress its only going to get cut shorter, so relax, enjoy yourself, your only here once so why ruin it.
Ride The Lightning - Metallica!
'Who Are Metallica?'
Who are Metallica? Well Metallica are one of the biggest metal band of all time, have dominated the thrash scene, they've made some of the greatest albums of all time (this being the best), has one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Kirk Hammett, in their arsenal and have amassed over 100 million album sales since their release of 'Kill 'Em All' in 1983.
Over the last 25 years Metallica have released a total of 9 studio albums, 2 live albums and 1 album consisting of coverers and tributes.
Although Metallica started out by making four amazing album, they are still not only one of the greatest thrash bands but also the biggest sell outs, with such pieces of trash like Load, Re-Load, Garage Inc. and worst of all St. Anger! But despite this Metallica is one of my favourite all time bands and one I will eventually see live, but this is Ride The Lightning, this is not a sell out album, so hear comes the thrash!
Lead Vocals and Rhythm Guitar - James Hetfield
Lead Guitar - Kirk Hammett
Drums - Lars Ulrich
Bass Guitar - Cliff Burton
Ride the Lightning was released in 1984 and was the follow up to the greatly successful Kill 'Em All album that was released only a year prior to this masterpiece, 25 years later and some Metallica fans will argue that this album is their best, I most certainly will, although Master of Puppets was a landmark in Thrash metal and voted the best metal album of all time, according to Metal-Rules.com but this album most certainly has a very different and much heavier feel to it.
Since 1984 Metallica has sold almost 6 million copies, which for its genre, is pretty good and albums shouldn't be judged on sales as this only shows popularity not quality, I mean not one true Metallica fan will say that the black album was their best album, but that has by far sold the most, after which Metallica was labelled as sell outs, but I'm not here to discuss that, I'm hear to talk about one of the greatest albums in metals history, it's time to Ride the Lightning.
Basically plays up to the whole lightning theme by having 'Metallica' induced with a fierce glow of lightning, dark clouds in the background producing a few bolts of lightning and having the old electric chair in the middle, this comes into relevance with the title song 'Ride the Lightning' with the lyrics 'strapped in the electric chair' and I personally love the look of this album next to Master of Puppets as that is red and the mix of blue and red goes quite well, so credit where its due to Metallica, a simple yet effective piece of artwork.'Track List'
Fight Fire With Fire
Ride The Lightning
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Fade To Black
Trapped Under Ice
The Call of Ktulu
'Fight Fire With Fire'
I love the way this song opens the album, it's a brilliant intro, it stars off with an acoustic guitar, but even that sounds a little heavy, with other guitar parts in the background, this only last around 20 seconds until Metallica do what they always did in the early 80's and that's play some heavy thrash metal!
True to Metallica this opening riff is heavy, simple and so very hard hitting, it just knocks you out of your seat, puts you on your feat and makes you pull out that beautiful looking air guitar, thrash at its best.
First time I heard this I found the vocals a bit odd, just the way it's like a word at a time 'Do...On.....To others.....As.....They've done to you' but even though it's a bit strange its still really catchy and goes well with the backing music, which does help when playing air guitar, and if you've ever wanted a solo to air guitar to here's a brilliant one, the intro to this solo is one of the albums best, reminds me of the solo intro to No Remorse, another Metallica classic.
There isn't really much else to this song, a catchy and simple chorus just 'Fight fire with fire, the ending is near...' and towards the end of the song the words 'Fight fire with fire' is just repeated fore a while until James is almost screaming it.
Now this song, to me, is just an intro to the title track as the ending part with just a quick repetitive beat on the drum, like the heavy part on 'One' leads straight into the killer opening riff off 'Ride the Lightning' and when listening to it on iTunes, as I am now, they miss out the few seconds of nothingness and go straight into the next song, so I'd advise using iTunes for this album.
'Ride The Lightning'
With a Brilliant opening riff and guess what? It's easy again! But Metallica are so good at it, look at Paranoid, simple yet still good after over 30 years. Now this track is my 3rd favourite of the album and this is because of three things, number one, it's a song that shows the rest of the world that Lars is an awesome drummer and the thick beats at the start gives the good old head banging feel to the song, number two, the riff after the intro that takes you to a new world of head banging, this riff caves your head in! Finally, have you heard Kirks solo? What a solo, another amazing solo entry with the tapping and then another minute or so of pure solo, how much more can you ask for?
This song is album downloadable on Rock Band and when my friends are over it's always on our play list if get to choose our songs but it is one I really struggle to do on expert as that solo is extremely hard.
Lyrically it's a song about someone facing the electric chair, hence the album art and basically I like the fact they did a six minute song on the electric chair and the emotion that comes with it, again a lot of talk about death, as usual, with a catchy melody playing with a great riff, perfect, I also love the chorus:
Flash before my eyes
Now it's time to die
Burning in my brain
I can feel the flame
Its just really catchy and what more could you say about an electric chair besides flashes, dieing and burning brains, nice one Metallica. The song closes out with a repetitive riff of power chords and hard picking before the intro riff finishes it off, then we enter For Whom the Bell Tolls, are you ready for 'Tallica heaven?
'For Whom The Bell Tolls'
One of Metallica's all time classic, a really simple song as a whole; the intro just shows any bass haters what the instrument can do when used by a trained professional like Cliff Burton, one of the greatest bassists to have lived, along with Steve Harris who is probably the best.
The simple power chords and the powerful bass riff combine extremely well and just sets the song up for so many brilliant yet easy riffs, the hard hitting heaviness of the first one as the guitars slide up the neck producing such an effortless amount of heaviness, this of course is then destroyed with one of Metallica's best riffs, played a total of 16 times by Kirk Hammett before entering into the chorus riff. That's the traditional 2 minutes of intro by Metallica.
Now into the verse and surprise surprise yet another simple riff, well just a power chord actually, couldn't make it much easier, yet somehow Metallica makes the song feel so electrified and with the lyrics about death, possibly in relation to the novel 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' by Ernest Hemingway, but I just love the lyrics:
Take a look to the sky just before you die
It is the last time you will
Relatively simplistic lyrics with a very catchy rhyme pattern and a very catchy chorus to match, 'For whom the bell tolls, Time marches on' easy enough and that's probably why its such a great crowd pleaser, well and the fact that there is no solo so its pretty easy for them to do live, unlike the rest of the songs. The song slowly in a similar way to how it started but with a little bit of craziness from Kirk to make up for the lack of solo, then the song goes onto one of the best Metallica songs and one of the best songs ever made, in my mind, Fade To Black.
'Fade To Black'
This is defiantly my favourite track off the album and quite possibly my favourite Metallica song of all time. The slow intro of the clean acoustic guitars is met with a soft solo, beautifully crafted from the hands of Kirk Hammett. This is also the first song on the album that Kirk has been credited for in terms of the writing process.
Then after the long introduction the riff changes, though still using the acoustics which gives this song a much more epic and emotional feel. After a few seconds the drums begin to softly play along and you know that the song has moved into full swing and we only await the lyrics of James Hetfeild to come in.
Next the words 'Life it seems, will fade away, Drifting further every day' are sung wonderfully and again soft, fitting in with the mood of the song. This mood keeps with the song throughout the first verse where it then begins to show the darker side to the song as the lyrics 'Need the end to set me free' are sung and the mood of the song rapidly switches from soft and gentle, to hard and heavy.
This only lasts about 20 seconds before the song goes back to its original verse riff and another slow background solo goes throughout the verse. Then again, like before, the mood changes as the words 'I was me, but now hes gone.'
The darkness is then kept thought the song instead of going back to the slower feel like before and this is where Metallica show how great they are as guitarists. The riff changes, to a 3 part riff with a quick tremolo section for the riffs tail as 4 frets are used to give it that extra edge and create a much more dynamic feel, basically its one of the greatest riffs of all time, and so energetic.
The last 2 minutes of the song is then pure instrumental and is truly great. It's hard to describe I suggest listening to the song yourself. Watch out for the solo, as even though its quite slow at the beginning it does pick up to a much faster pace and I believe some tapping is used towards the end, which is typical of Kirk with songs such as 'One' that uses this technique, then he goes back to the original solo rhythm and this continues as the song begins to fade out which is ironic considering the song title.
'Trapped Under Ice'
Yet again Metallica builds suspense through a 30 second introduction, mainly consisting of power chords and a simple drum beat, this is all before Kirk Hammett steps in and like No Remorse all you here is hardcore solo and what an intro to a solo, with plenty of bends and typical thrash speed.
The verse is again played with speed and a lot of open strings, this really does sound good and with the lyrics of 'I don't know how to live through this hell' that blends well, as usual, with the rest of the song, this is a song I love singing and playing guitar to on Guitar Hero World Tour, feels just like being James Hetfield, which is nice to feel.
The chorus again like most of Metallica's early songs is a catchy melody and a much slower backing music, something they are brilliant at, just look at the pace changes in Fade to Black or One, the lyrics go:
Can't move at all
Can't hear my call
I am dying to live
I'm trapped under ice
Great to sing along to whilst playing the lead guitar, or the air guitar, either one works well, then solo number 2 kicks in and of course it's a good one, what did you expect? The only flaw is that this song only has two minor solos, but is lacking that epic over the top 1 minute long solo and doesn't really provide enough unique riffage to back up the lack of long solo like for whom the bell tolls.
Overall though a good start to the second half of the album, which is the weaker half of the album, still 4 great songs, but it's hard to measure with what has come before. The song then ends, pretty fast before going into Escape.
Escape, although a good song, it is probably the worst song on the album, only just behind Trapped Under Ice, it's just that song had a blistering opening solo. The song opens relatively slow, with no real energy in either the intro or the repetitiveness off the verse riff, this song is basically saved through the quality of the sound, even though the verse riff is just constant open E strings, it does sound hard and heavy, which is always nice, also the chorus is yet again really catchy and soft:
Out for my own, out to be free
One with my mind, they just can't see
No need to hear things that they say
Life's for my own to live my own way
I'm a man for catchy melodies and fun-to-sing lyrics, one of the reasons why I love Maiden so much and this song luckily provides us with that catchiness. Now I love Metallica and all but this isn't one of Kirks best solos, it does fit with the song well, possibly too well as I fancied a really fast solo to overlap the riff, instead I didn't really feel much energy, then the song plays with the last line of the chorus being repeated as a siren sounds in the background this then fades away until you hear the sound of Creeping Death!
In terms of intros, this has to be one of the best on the album and one of the best in Metallica's history, beaten of course by Master of Puppets, but not only does this have a great riff with a lot of head banging potential, but it also has a great riff for the verse and is one of those songs that combines everything to create an amazing song and if we talk about energy then this song is a power plant of pure pleasure.
Lyrically the song is about the old Moses thing and the Egyptians, letting the people go and all the rest of it, but the way James enters with the first lyrics is what does it for me, as soon as I heard that I was up and singing with my air guitar, nothing different there.
Hebrews born to serve, to the pharaoh
To his every word, live in fear
The chorus is then said through the eyes of the thing that comes and kills all the first born children, don't know what it was, don't believe in it either, but I makes a good song, the chorus isn't as catchy as the verse but its still brilliant.
So let it be written
So let it be done
I'm sent here by the chosen one
So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh's son
I'm creeping death
As choruses go it's not my favourite but it does well for the track and does flow pretty well, now a song with this sort of start, fantastic intro, quality lyrics, has to be backed up with a good solo, I bet your surprised to hear that this one is pretty good, not my favourite solo but it still has a good sound and speed for the song and the bit played out at the end has a really nice tune to it before going into the slower part of the song.
This part is again, pure headbanging, traditional of thrash metal, with slower vocals but with the same theme of death and killing the first born son, very nice. The song continues with another verse and chorus, before ending with a little simplistic riff and another sort of half solo type riff then back to the intro like on Ride the Lightning, this of chorus setting it up for the next song, The Call of Ktulu.
'The Call of Ktulu'
Right, this is defiantly the hardest song on the album to talk about, for two reasons, one it's really long, almost 9 minutes in fact and second of all, it's an instrumental, so I can't talk about lyrics, just pure music.
It's actually surprising how quick this song goes, as there is so much going on, your mind gets taken away due to the speed changes and the different riffs, it really is a brilliant song. The introduction is both beautiful and some how rather sexy, which is weird for a Metallica song, well I find it sexy, probably because I'm a little strange but it doesn't deny the fact it's a good intro, with, thanks to Cliff Burton, a really good bass line at a different pace to the other riff that adds that dynamic feel to the song.
Then after about a minute or so the riff changes, you'll find this a lot, and your taken somewhere else from where you thought you was going and although this part is rather heavy, its still soft, don't ask me how, it just is. The rhythm carries on until around 4 minutes where it picks up from some good guitar work and eventual soloing from Kirk but with a slower background sound, now we're at the half way point, don't worry it gets better from here, somehow, well it starts off getting better with a much heavier feel and a lot more vertical movement up the neck of the guitar giving increasing note sound that begins to build towards the next stage of the song.
The pace then gets slower before continuing with a new riff and this has a nice little headbanging moment as it draws to the final few minutes of the song and as its an instrumental everything takes long, each passage extended so you will find a lot of repetition before it goes back to the intro part, this is where the final outro of the album comes, with a build up from the drums and an final power chord riff that should used a lot more frequently, but is still a brilliant closing to any album, basically by this point your ready to start again as your slightly gutted its come to an end whilst being chuffed with how good it was. So that's The Call of Ktulu, a weird name and one that I don't think I can say correctly, but a good song none the less.
Well, what can I say? This is my favourite Metallica album and possibly my second favourite album of all time, just behind Painkiller and only just above Powerslave. Its an album that shows what Metallica where capable of, of course we all now know that they've lost that edge with their age and are no trying to redeem themselves with Death Magnetic, which is their best album since selling out in 1991, but still, its no Ride the Lightning and nothing they ever do with compare with this album, if you're a fan of heavy metal then you don't need me to describe the feeling of this album, if your not then I either suggest you listen to it, or you start off lighter and build yourself up.
Rating 78.5/80 ----- 98%
Total album time: 47:24