• Judas Priest live, Manchester O2 Apollo, 16th July 2011

    Jul 20 2011, 10h34

    Sat 16 Jul – Judas Priest, Queensrÿche, Rival Sons

    Last Saturday, I saw one of the most iconic heavy metal bands of all time and it was the best time ever to see them. Judas Priest announced this world tour would be their last one. However, the band still intends to continue afterwards but their appearances will be very limited which is why myself along with my sister and a friend of mine had to take this opportunity to see Judas Priest live while we had the chance. For all we know, the show in Manchester on 16th July may have been our only chance.

    First support act for the night was Rival Sons. They're a new band who've been around for a few years who offer a throwback to 70s blues rock. They didn't seem to interact well with the audience but maybe they need some time to perfect their performance before they have the confidence to multitask on stage. My biggest disappointment with them was actually not having their CDs being sold at the merchandise. I always want to pick up CDs of support acts who I liked. Putting that aside, they made a great performance with their music which all sounded pretty good.

    The second support act opening up was the progressive metal pioneers Queensrÿche. I've heard a lot of bad things about the later works so seeing them was rather doubtful. Much to my surprise, the band was actually good. The setlist was solid and I had a few songs in mind that I hoped they would play (i.e. Revolution Calling and The Needle Lies, both from Operation: Mindcrime) which they didn't but hearing Empire, Jet City Woman, I Don't Believe in Love and Eyes of a Stranger. All good songs and hell, even the one song they played from their new album wasn't too shabby. However, the one song I didn't like was Screaming In Digital for the awful bass which is a shame since Eddie Jackson playing the bassline for Jet City Woman was really good. On another note, Geoff Tate's singing performance amazed me since it didn't sound like age was catching up on him. For someone who's been singing for 30 years now, he's still got it! However, the microphone sound settings did sound off here and there but at the end of the day, Queensrÿche were a hell lot better than I expected!

    Last but not least was Judas Priest themselves. It took a while for them to show up but the wait was worth it for the stage display. This show no doubt has had the best staging display I've seen so far. There were many lazer lights, pyrotechnics and Rob Halford even had some special dressing for certain songs such as Prophecy for Nostradamus and Hell Bent for Leather for the Harley appearance. They even put some effort into the staging display for Blood Red Skies where they had a huge banner in the background showing red skies and I'm glad they care that much for a brilliant song such as Blood Red Skies.

    The band performance was amazing! Although not a whole lot could be said about Ian Hill or Glenn Tipton, the other three were definitely great to see. Scott Travis was a very vicious drummer (as expected considering Painkiller) and the highlight had to the extended drum solo for Painkiller. Richie Faulkner, the guitarist who replaced K. K. Downing after declaring retirement a few months back, actually fitted right in with the band. I wasn't sure what to expect from the new guitarist considering he was only the guitarist for Lauren Harris (Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris' daughter) but he was very passionate on stage and seemed to like the left side of the crowd very well which was where I was standing for the show.

    Of course, there needs to be a special mention for Rob Halford on this night as he made a really impressive performance. It was amazing to see Rob Halford standing close to the edge of the stage and seeing all his fans around. Contrary to what some might say about him these days, Rob Halford's voice is still really good. Hell, he can hit extremely high notes and they were so loud that I expected the speakers to blow up due to the extreme volume from it. Sure, Rob Halford is past the days where his voice could do perfection with Painkiller but for the rest of the songs, he was still brilliant.

    The setlist was impressive and although I could comment on no Hell Patrol or One Shot at Glory being played (the latter I expected right at the start as soon as I heard Battle Hymn), the band insisted on playing at least one song from every album. Well, the Ripper Owens era was omitted entirely but that's no surprise. If there was one song I would have been fine with them playing from those two albums, it'd be Cathedral Spires. If there was one thing to change about the setlist, it would be to replace Never Satisfied with Run of the Mill. However, hearing Blood Red Skies, Victim of Changes, Beyond the Realms of Death and The Sentinel easily make that up 100 times over. The biggest surprise of all was how the band turned a song cover they've been famous for into a ballad. This is Diamonds & Rust and hearing the new version of it only makes me hope they have it as a live track someday.

    Overall, Judas Priest's show was highly impressive. It's quite possibly the best live show I've ever seen yet. This even goes above Opeth's show at the Royal Albert Hall which made its way to a live album on CD and DVD. The band members were fantastic, the staging display was amazing, the setlist paid great respect to the history of the band and as a nice little bonus, the support acts were satisfying. If this is the only time I'll ever Judas Priest on stage, I'm glad I took that chance.

    Setlist:

    Battle Hymn
    Rapid Fire
    Metal Gods
    Heading Out to the Highway
    Judas Rising
    Starbreaker
    Victim of Changes
    Never Satisfied
    Diamonds & Rust
    Dawn of Creation
    Prophecy
    Night Crawler
    Turbo Lover
    Beyond the Realms of Death
    The Sentinel
    Blood Red Skies
    The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown)
    Breaking the Law
    Painkiller

    Encore:

    The Hellion
    Electric Eye
    Hell Bent for Leather
    You've Got Another Thing Comin'
  • 5 years on Last.fm

    Mar 18 2011, 21h13

    Has it really been five years since I created this account? Time sure flies. I signed up this time five years ago when I heard about the site and its use for finding new music. This was very ideal to me back then since I was wanting to discover more bands and Last.fm was a nice place to get me discovering more bands. The most I knew from back then were Iron Maiden, Metallica, DragonForce, Helloween, Blind Guardian and Fear Factory.

    The other bands I knew were mostly from the genre. Not that I hate that kind of music and understand why people don't like nu-metal but the other subgenres of metal I looked into, although I can enjoy System of a Down every now and again (if you consider them nu-metal but whatever). As for music I discovered on this site, the one genre that stood out particular well was . I found many artists from the Last.fm radio station under this subgenre such as Rhapsody of Fire, Sonata Arctica, Gamma Ray, HammerFall and a few others.

    I've discovered many more bands from metal and while some may think I should expand my musical horizons, if I focused a bit on a bit of everything else, I don't think I'd have the chance to discover bands such as The Lord Weird Slough Feg. Candlemass and Hammers of Misfortune. Hey, you win some, you lose some. That isn't to say I hate , or anything. If you like them, that's perfectly fine with me. Personally, they're not my cup of tea and I have no business with talking about artists I know nothing about.

    It hasn't been just Last.fm radio stations that have helped me out, I've also found bands from a word of mouth and browsing around on Wikipedia, Metal-Archives and even YouTube on some occasions. It's sad I haven't used the Last.fm radio stations that much these days and the last time I used it was October. On the bright side, I found Van Canto as a result that night. Still, I find Spotify and YouTube (up until the Youscrobble userscript stopped working) to be more useful for finding new music and I've only been using Spotify for two weeks so far. It helps with listening to full albums and deciding whether they're worth getting or not and those I really like I'll buy just so I won't get the ads interrupting my listening sessions.

    As for Last.fm itself, I used to be very talkative in the community. I remember checking up on artist shoutboxes all the time up until most of them become a trollfest and feeling I got penalised while trolls got off scot-free. That did leave a bitter taste in my mouth towards the staff but now I see it as a wake up call and not waste my time posting negative bullshit on shoutboxes which can really ruin the mood of good discussions here. It also helps I'm being cool on the site since I've seen many users getting banned on this site and it mostly seems they were going too far on ruining artist shoutboxes. Not sure what the policies are like now but I'm happier expressing my opinions on music elsewhere.

    And that's about it for my five years on this site. I'm just happy to keep updating my profile with my plays as well and receiving artist recommendations. While there are journal entries on this site, I only use them occasionally and any concert shows and album reviews I write up stay on a site or two. I don't feel like posting my reviews everywhere on the internet and sadly Last.fm doesn't make the cut. Still, as long as I can find new bands on this site with my recommendations as well as keeping up to date with my plays, I'm all good.
  • Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus review

    Abr 29 2010, 15h58

    1986 was one of the biggest years for heavy metal with many major releases such as Metallica's Master of Puppets and Slayer's Reign in Blood. These are albums that are recognised by every metal fan in the world whether they like them or not. While Candlemass' debut album isn't as well known as the aforementioned albums, it is no doubt it made a contribution to heavy metal as great as them for being one of the major influences in .

    Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a doom metal album that's dark, depressive, powerful, dynamic, heavy and of course, epic! These descriptions together makes this one hell of an album. All six tracks on this album are fantastic. They all stick out equally well and there are absolutely no fillers in sight. This is a challenge for any artist writing an album but Candlemass knew how many songs this album needed and gave each one their own characteristics while keeping their style intact all the way through. Six may not be a lot but it doesn't feel like there's a song or two missing in this album at all.

    This was the only album to feature Johan Längqvist on vocals and it's a shame he left so soon. He has a very powerful voice and it's loud and clear. He shows a lot of energy and emotions all the way through. It makes you wish his metal career didn't end right there. Despite that, Messiah Marcolin is still a fantastic singer and did even better for the band later on. However, he doesn't sing the songs on Epicus Doomicus Metallicus as well as Johan did as shown on the live bonus disc included with the remastered version.

    The guitars are another strong point to this album. The riffs are very heavy, dark and give out a depressive feel to go with this album. Solitude and Under the Oak and the intro to Black Stone Wielder are some badass riffs and even have a Black Sabbath vibe to them which makes perfect sense considering they are one of the major influences on Candlemass. The solos are also worth noting, especially Crystal Ball and Black Stone Wielder where they show some great emotions and make a great deal of the songs they belong to.

    The bass performance by Leif Edling is fantastic. It's audible throughout and stands out as its own character in the music as well which is a sign of a strong bassist. His best performance is in Demons Gate where he gets an excellent spotlight halfway through. Alongside with the guitars, it is undeniable that it adds a great factor to the heaviness of this album.

    The drums also do good with the album for the excellent rhythm to bang your head to these awesome songs. There's even some spotlights for the drumming, especially in A Sorcerer's Pledge where it's given a great chance to show a good beat with a reasonable tempo and to prove its worthiness for the whole album.

    Each song knows how to make a great introduction, especially the acoustic depressive piece at the start of Solitude and the crushing riffs in Black Stone Wielder. The only intro that doesn't do as well is Demons Gate, You hear a demonic voice who talks about entering the demons gate which sounds rather odd. It would have made more sense if the voice was welcoming you rather than saying "I went into the demons gate". That aside, it's still an interesting introduction to the song.

    The endings are slightly less notable than the intros but that doesn't mean they're not amazing. A Sorcerer's Pledge ends it all off with the spine-shivering female choir that is not only a great closure to the song but also a brilliant closure to the whole album making you think "Wow, what an album I just heard."

    The last thing that comes to mind is the lyrics. Although this is coming from someone who focuses on lyrics the least in music, Candlemass do a good job at writing the lyrics to make the songs even more depressing, especially Solitude as well as telling an dark and epic story in Crystal Ball and A Sorcerer's Pledge. It may be cliché here and there but overall, it works very well with the atmosphere of the entire album.

    In conclusion, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus is a masterpiece. Each and every song is epic, heavy and awesome and they're all equally recognisable to each other, thus making it a well balanced album. This is highly recommended to anyone who's a genuine metal fan whether your main interest is power, thrash, death or even traditional metal. If doom metal isn't really your cup of tea, it's still worth checking this album out. Who knows, this could spark your interest in doom metal because it's that good.

    Overall rating: 9.8/10

  • Opeth Royal Albert Hall Concert 5th April 2010

    Abr 6 2010, 21h28

    Mon 5 Apr – Opeth

    Instead of eating chocolates I got for Easter, I went down to London to see Opeth who are one of my favourite bands. This was for their 20th anniversary tour and luckily enough, one of the venues was at the Royal Albert Hall in London. This definitely wasn't a typical place to hold a concert for a band, especially one that involves elements.

    So I arrived there at the show at least 2 hours before it even started. We (i.e. My, my sister and her fiance) came well prepared and as a result, we were very close to the stage and only behind VIPs. A much better view than when we saw Iron Maiden where we had seated tickets (this will be the only time I'll make a comparison between the two shows). Just seeing the band just 3 or 4 metres away was absolutely satisfying. Of course, there were some tall people in front of us but we managed.

    As they stated when they announced the tour dates for their 20th anniversary, they played the whole of Blackwater Park which to me is one of the greatest heavy metal albums ever made. Infact, I'd go as far as saying it's on the same league as Black Sabbath's Paranoid, Metallica's Master of Puppets and Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast. It's that good and just hearing the whole of this album live made it even better for me.

    As soon as they started playing The Leper Affinity, I knew I was in for one hell of a show and the awesomeness didn't stop one bit throughout the album. The highlight of the first half was the outro to Blackwater Park. At the end, the whole crowd was going fucking insane and the vibration from the band was becoming more and more intense that I felt like they were going to tear the whole building apart.

    For the second half of the show, Opeth played one song from each album they've made (besides Blackwater Park, obviously) which I thought would happen considering Dream Theater did the same thing on their Score live album and it only made sense for Opeth to do the same thing.

    They started with Forest of October and that was a fine choice and they closed the show with The Lotus Eater which was the song I actually least expected to hear from Watershed considering it's one of the more played songs on that album. Did that make the show any less great, though? Well, there were some technical problems but besides that, definitely not! The Lotus Eater is my favourite song from Watershed along with Heir Apparent so I was more than happy to hear it live!

    The highlight of the second half had to be them playing The Moor. From all the songs in Still Life , this was the one I wanted to hear the most and I got what I wanted. If you've seen my Top 10 Heavy Metal Intros, then you'll know that The Moor has one of my all-time favourite intros. Of course, the rest of the song was still a treat to hear. This song and the whole of Blackwater Park alone made my night!

    The rest of the setlist was great, although I will admit that I'm not so big on Reverie/Harlequin Forest and neither is my sister. However, for a show that was to play rarely played tracks, I will accept this song as Ghost of Perdition, The Baying of the Hounds and The Grand Conjuration must have been played many times by now. Still, that didn't make the night any less great and neither did the disappointment of not hearing Black Rose Immortal. I can't blame the band for not playing that song as it's the longest one they've written. Despite that, I still loved hearing Advent.

    Mikael Åkerfeldt was interacting with the audience a lot more than in the first half when the band just paid attention to playing the songs. He had a great sense of humour and the crowd even had amusements when he claimed he saw Bruce Dickinson that day.

    The only other disappointment I had that night was not getting my first two choices for T-Shirts. When we found the merchandise shop, I had my eye on two T-Shirts but by the time I got in front of an extremely squashed up queue (surely London rush hour can't be this bad), those T-Shirts were sold out so I had to settle with my third and fourth choices. Still, I'm happy with the stuff I got from the shop but I will try and get a T-Shirt showing the Blackwater Park album cover.

    Overall, I had one hell of a time seeing Opeth, especially since it's my first time seeing them live as well as playing one of my favourite albums of all time. It was a great 3 1/2 hour show and there's no way in hell will I ever forget this. I really want to see them again sometime in the future. However, we're only four months in for 2010, a year which is showing to be one of the finest years for heavy metal in YEARS and I could be going another band live later this year if everything goes ahead with whoever I'll be seeing next.

    Setlist:

    The Leper Affinity
    Bleak
    Harvest
    The Drapery Falls
    Dirge for November
    The Funeral Portrait
    Patterns in the Ivy
    Blackwater Park
    -----
    Forest of October
    Advent
    April Ethereal
    The Moor
    Wreath
    Hope Leaves
    Reverie/Harlequin Forest
    The Lotus Eater
  • Helloween - Unarmed review

    Jan 10 2010, 22h24

    To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, Helloween decided to re-record 11 tracks which are apparently all their best songs. When hearing about an album to celebrate the band's milestone, a re-recording of their classics like what Gamma Ray did with Blast to the Past would have been fair but considering what actually happened here, just a generic compilation album with random songs thrown in would have been more appropriate.

    What Helloween decided to do for their 25th anniversary as a "Thank you" to their fans is take away all the metal elements these songs had and make most of them all horribly acoustic and pop-ish that makes you wonder if The Jonas Brothers took over the band during the recording sessions. There's a few tracks which were more orchestral but not even they saved the album. However, The Keeper's Trilogy is actually decent.

    Yes, the only track worth listening to from this garbage is The Keeper's Trilogy which despite hearing the preview was still something to hope that it would at least be decent. Instead of throwing parts of the three songs around, they actually divided the song into three sections for each song to have their own part. However, this song isn't without flaws as the most bothersome thing about this song is how one solo from Halloween comes out of nowhere during [track artist=Helloween]The King for a 1000 Years section. Still, it's an interesting mix of their three epics.

    As for the rest of the tracks, while most argue that Andi Deris shouldn't be singing Kiske-era, that's not the main issue with this album, it's the use of all over the place. These do not mix well with songs which were made for metal and these arrangements are awful. For other instruments used within the album, the orchestral elements are rather poor in A Tale That Wasn't Right. While I enjoy the original version of this, the orchestral version just has no feeling to the song and it's boring as hell.

    The other use of other instruments are saxophones in Dr. Stein and that only makes you think "What the hell is this?" Although the song was already one of Helloween's goofy moments, the original version at least had a great riff along with it. That riff has now been bastardized by saxophones. Nothing against the instrument itself but again, this is the wrong way to treat a metal classic.

    The guest vocalists within this album are horrible. The female singer in Eagle Fly Free doesn't do any justice to the song whatever but the worst of all is I Want Out with what sounds like Kidz Bop singing in the background. Before it was revealed that these are re-recordings of Helloween classics without the metal, it would have been assumed that Kai Hansen would sing for this song but he's not heard in sight. It's bad how they left the one who wrote the damn song out but on the other hand, at least he didn't contribute to this pile of crap.

    Speaking of I Want Out, the solos are either left out or are horribly butchered. Eagle Fly Free has completely forgotten the awesome solo it had while Fallen to Pieces' acoustic solo is horrid. Infact, all the solos in this album are horribly played and re-ordered with the rest of the songs in a terrible fashion.

    In conclusion, Helloween have had some odd moments in their career such as Chameleon and Metal Jukebox but Unarmed is where it goes too far. The majority are very poorly re-arranged and butchered by extreme pop and acoustic elements and seem like they were made for Channel to go along with their modern crap. Whatever the reason they had for this abomination, this is nothing more than a horrible prank set on one of your friends and laughing at the victim. It's a good thing this album hasn't affected their musical direction at all, otherwise I and many others would have completely given up with them.

    Overall rating: 1/10. Just download The Keeper's Trilogy from iTunes or wherever and forget the rest and hopefully their next metal album will make up for this travesty.
  • Artists to listen to sometime

    Nov 22 2009, 20h41

    I've had a long list of artists I need to listen to or need to listen to more of sometime for some time now and felt I should put it up on Last.fm incase anyone is willing to suggest me tracks or albums for the listed artists. Forgive me if any of the artist have been placed under the wrong genres. Most of these artist are there for me to refer to sometime in the future whenever I'm wanting to listen to more of a certain genre.



    1349
    Abaddon Incarnate
    Agatus
    Bal-Sagoth
    Belphegor
    Blut aus Nord
    Dark Funeral
    Dragonlord
    Graveworm
    Hellhammer
    Leviathan
    Negurã Bunget
    Rotting Christ
    Summoning
    Ulver
    Vintersorg

    (including )

    Atheist
    Dark Tranquillity
    Gojira
    Kalmah
    Mistweaver
    Necrophagist
    Vader
    Woe Of Tyrants



    Aarni
    Accept Death
    Bongzilla
    Buried at Sea
    Burning Witch
    Daylight Dies
    Grand Magus
    Grief
    HeavyLord
    High on Fire
    Hooded Menace
    Iron Monkey
    Lazarus Blackstar
    Mammatus
    My Dying Bride
    Neurosis
    Om
    Pentagram
    Place Of Skulls
    Rwake
    Saint Vitus
    Solitude Aeturnus
    Spirit Caravan
    The Hidden Hand
    Trouble
    Ufomammut
    Umbra Nihil
    Void of Silence
    Weedeater
    Yearning



    Alkonost
    Bucovina
    Cruachan
    Odroerir
    Scald
    Svartby
    Waylander

    //misc.

    Armored Saint
    Battlelore
    Blue Öyster Cult
    Dokken
    Grim Reaper
    Hawkwind
    Iron Butterfly
    King Diamond
    Loudness
    Samson
    Satan



    KMFDM
    Mnemic



    3 Inches of Blood
    Axenstar
    Brainstorm
    Circle II Circle
    Dark Moor
    Dragonland
    Dream Evil
    Firewind
    Heavenly
    Jag Panzer
    Machine Men
    Magica
    Majesty
    Pagan's Mind
    Phantom-X
    Power Quest
    Primal Fear
    Pyramaze
    Skylark
    Stormwarrior



    Age of Nemesis
    Ayreon
    Blotted Science
    Dysrhythmia
    Evergrey
    Gordian Knot
    James LaBrie
    John Petrucci
    King's X
    Myrath
    Nevermore
    Pain of Salvation
    Planet X
    Platypus
    Psychotic Waltz
    Spastic Ink
    Threshold
    Vanden Plas
    Zero Hour



    Genesis
    Spock's Beard

    /

    Animetal
    Apocrypha
    Die Apokalyptischen Reiter
    Evile
    Exciter
    Exhorder



    Haggard
    Therion
    Trans-Siberian Orchestra

    All recommendations are appreciated.
  • All the CDs I got in 2008

    Dez 27 2008, 20h36

    Idea taken from my previous journal

    Wow, I'm surprised I've not made a single journal for a year now. I really don't have as much thought to put on my journals for Last.fm now, even though this year I listened to several interesting titles and saw Iron Maiden on 5th July. I usually post all my stuff about things elsewhere, so I don't usually bother with Last.fm journals. However, since it's coming to the end of the year, I thought I could make a journal now similar to my previous one listing all the CDs obtained in the year.

    How will 2009 in music be? I'd say it won't be as interesting as 2008, but that's what I said about this year and I was so wrong. This year was actually more interesting than last year with bands like AC/DC, Metallica and Guns N' Roses (especially them for finally releasing Chinese Democracy, even though it was just poor in the end) releasing new albums. 2009, however, I'll just wait and see what happens.

    Here are all the albums I got in 2008:

    AC/DC - High Voltage
    AC/DC - Black Ice**
    Alestorm - Captain Morgan's Revenge
    Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God
    Angra - Rebirth*
    Angra - Temple of Shadows
    Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin
    Bathory - Hammerheart***
    Blind Guardian - The Forgotten Tales
    Cream - Disraeli Gears
    Death - Human***
    Deep Purple - Made In Japan
    Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations*
    Dio - The Last In Line
    Dio - Sacred Heart
    Dio - Magica
    Dio - Killing the Dragon
    DragonForce - Ultra Beatdown
    Dream Theater - When Dream And Day Unite
    Elvenking - Heathenreel***
    Emperor - In the Nightside Eclipse***
    Ensiferum - Dragonheads
    Ensiferum - Victory Songs*
    Falconer - Falconer
    Falconer - Chapters From a Vale Forlorn***
    Fates Warning - No Exit***
    Finntroll - Trollhammeren
    Finntroll - Nattfödd
    Gamma Ray - Somewhere Out in Space
    Gamma Ray - Powerplant*
    Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free II
    Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy**
    HammerFall - Legacy of Kings
    Iron Maiden - Live After Death
    Iron Maiden - Rock in Rio
    Judas Priest - Sad Wings of Destiny
    Judas Priest - Killing Machine
    Judas Priest - Nostradamus
    King Crimson - Lizard
    Kreator - Pleasure To Kill
    Metallica - Death Magnetic
    Motörhead - Ace of Spades
    Motörhead - Motörizer
    Ozzy Osbourne - Bark at the Moon
    Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime***
    Revolution Renaissance - New Era
    Running Wild - Pile of Skulls*
    Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King
    Savatage - Gutter Ballet
    Sonata Arctica - Silence
    Stratovarius - Fright Night
    Stratovarius - Twilight Time
    Stratovarius - Dreamspace
    Stratovarius - Episode
    Stratovarius - Visions*
    Stratovarius - Destiny
    Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy*
    Uriah Heep - Salisbury
    Van Halen - Van Halen

    Total albums: 59. Not as much as last year (which was 76), but I did spend more money on video games than music during the summer.
    No. of unique artists: 38. 64.01% unique.

    Top countries sorted by number of albums:

    1 - United Kingdom - 19
    2 - Finland - 11
    3 - United States - 10
    4 - Germany - 6
    4 - Sweden - 6

    Key:

    * - My 7 favourite albums out of them all
    ** - Albums I got for Christmas
    *** - My last purchases of 2008 (only In the Nightside Eclipse is here right now)
  • All the CDs I got this year

    Dez 28 2007, 19h54

    Idea stolen from FFI-IX-Player38

    The year 2007 has almost ended and overall, I thought 2007 was an interesting year for music. It had some great albums, although most of what I got this year was from other years. However, I get the feeling that 2008 won't be as exciting as 2007, despite new albums by Alestorm, Iced Earth, Judas Priest and Metallica coming out. I hope the year will be more interesting later on.

    Here are all the albums I got in 2007:

    Accept - Restless and Wild
    AC/DC - Highway to Hell**
    AC/DC - Back in Black
    AC/DC - For Those About to Rock We Salute You
    AC/DC - Ballbreaker
    Anthrax - Spreading The Disease***
    Anthrax - Sound of White Noise
    Black Sabbath - Master of Reality*
    Black Sabbath - Vol. 4
    Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
    Black Sabbath - Sabotage
    Black Sabbath - Dehumanizer**
    Blind Guardian - Tales From The Twilight World
    Blind Guardian - Somewhere Far Beyond
    Blind Guardian - Another Stranger Me
    Deep Purple - In Rock
    Deep Purple - Machine Head**
    Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity
    Dream Theater - Score
    Dream Theater - Systematic Chaos
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Tarkus*
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery*
    Exodus - Tempo of the Damned
    Gamma Ray - Heading For Tomorrow
    Gamma Ray - Land of the Free*
    Grave Digger - Excalibur***
    Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
    HammerFall - Glory to the Brave
    HammerFall - Crimson Thunder
    Helloween - Pink Bubbles Go Ape
    Helloween - Chameleon
    Helloween - The Time Of The Oath
    Helloween - Better Than Raw*
    Helloween - Light The Universe
    Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys: The Legacy World Tour 2005/2006
    Helloween - Gambling with the Devil
    Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings
    In Flames - The Jester Race
    Iron Maiden - Live At Donington
    Iron Maiden - A Real Live Dead One
    Iron Maiden - Different World
    Judas Priest - Sin After Sin
    Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith
    King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King*
    King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon
    Machine Head - The Blackening
    Manowar - Battle Hymns***
    Masterplan - MkII
    Mastodon - Blood Mountain
    Megadeth - Hidden Treasures
    Megadeth - Risk
    Megadeth - The World Needs A Hero
    Megadeth - The System Has Failed
    Megadeth - United Abominations
    Meshuggah - Nothing
    Meshuggah - I
    Opeth - Still Life
    Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
    Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman**
    Persuader - Evolution Purgatory
    Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow**
    Rainbow - Rising
    Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'n' Roll**
    Rhapsody - Power of the Dragonflame
    Running Wild - Under Jolly Roger
    Rush - Fly by Night***
    Rush - 2112*
    Rush - Moving Pictures
    Savage Circus - Dreamland Manor
    Sonata Arctica - Ecliptica
    Sonata Arctica - Reckoning Night*
    Sonata Arctica - Unia
    Strapping Young Lad - The New Black*
    Stratovarius - Fourth Dimension
    Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself***
    Uriah Heep - Demons and Wizards

    Total albums: 76? Wow, I didn't realise I got that much this year.
    No. of unique artists: 37

    Top countries sorted by number of albums:

    1 - United Kingdom - 23
    2 - Germany - 16
    2 - United States - 16
    4 - Sweden - 8
    5 - Australia - 4
    5 - Canada - 4
    5 - Finland - 4
    8 - Italy - 1

    Key:

    * - My 10 Favourite albums out of them all
    ** - Albums I got for Christmas
    *** - My last purchased CDs of 2007
  • 20,000 tracks + 1 year on Last.fm

    Mar 19 2007, 16h40

    Well, I've been on this site for a year now, which is great. I also got 20,000 tracks at about the same time. Yay! :D

    Comparing top 10 artists and tracks when I got 10,000 tracks and 20,000 tracks.

    10,000 tracks (8th October 2006):

    Artists:

    1. Iron Maiden – 1,722
    2. Helloween – 1,236
    3. Blind Guardian – 927
    4. Megadeth – 695
    5. Fear Factory – 525
    6. Metallica – 412
    7. System of a Down – 368
    8. Slayer – 315
    9. DragonForce – 312
    10. Judas Priest – 305

    Tracks:

    1. You Suck – 51
    2. Aces High – 47
    3. Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) – 42
    4. The King for a 1000 Years – 36
    5. Majesty – 31
    6. Guardians – 30
    6. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg – 30
    8. Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper – 27
    9. Guardian of the Blind – 26
    9. Breaking the Law – 26

    20,000 tracks (18th March 2007):

    Artists:

    1. Helloween – 3,301 (+1)
    2. Iron Maiden – 2,193 (–1)
    3. Blind Guardian – 1,793 (–)
    4. Megadeth – 1,153 (–)
    5. Judas Priest – 773 (+5)
    6. Dream Theater – 724 (NEW)
    7. Fear Factory – 697 (–2)
    8. Metallica – 583 (–2)
    9. System of a Down – 551 (–2)
    10. Slayer – 511 (–2)

    Tracks:

    1. Beyond the Dark Sun – 257 (NEW)
    2. Aces High – 151 (–)
    3. Guardians – 150 (+3)
    4. I'm Alive – 134 (NEW)
    5. Emerald Sword – 105 (NEW)
    6. Angel of Death – 97 (NEW)
    7. Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill) – 92 (–4)
    8. The King for a 1000 Years – 83 (–4)
    9. Where Dragons Rule – 76 (NEW)
    10. Rise and Fall – 73 (NEW)

    Predictions for when I reach the next milestone (30,000 tracks):

    -Helloween - 5,000 plays.
    -Blind Guardian - 2,500 plays and rank #2 in artists.
    -Judas Priest and Dream Theater - 1,000 plays.
    -Metallica and System of a Down fall off the top 10.
    -Black Sabbath enters the top 10.
  • My review for Helloween - Chameleon

    Mar 18 2007, 13h26

    I recently bought Chameleon, which is hated by many. I wanted to get this album since I wanted to know if the album was bad or not and since I enjoyed Rabbit Don't Come Easy, which seems to be disliked by quite a lot, I had a feeling I would enjoy Chameleon and I do enjoy listening to the album. I can understand why a lot of people don't like this album at all, but in my opinion, this is a good album.

    There are some great songs on this album such as First Time and Giants. First Time is one of the very few songs on this album that is power metal and is the closest to sounding like Helloween's previous works. Giants is another great song. It's heavy and like First Time, it sounds like the previous stuff from the band and a few songs on their later albums sound a little bit like this song (e.g. Still I Don't Know, a bonus track from The Time Of The Oath). The keyboard sounds here are interesting, especially at the start of the intro. The solo is great and it's power metal-ish.

    There are some power ballads in this song and I find them very interesting, especially Windmill. I Don't Wanna Cry No More is a great ballad. Good acoustic guitars used here. Windmill is another ballad I like and in my opinion, this is the best song on the album along with First Time. The lyrics go well with the song and while it does sounds a bit like a Disney song, but that doesn't really bother me since this was made by Helloween. Also, Michael Kiske sings brilliantly in this song. I think his singing is great throughout the album and is better then how he sung on the Keeper albums (on the Keeper albums, he sounded almost exactly like Bruce Dickinson).

    Now onto some of the songs that aren't as great as the ones I mentioned before, but are good. I like songs such as When The Sinner, Music and Step Out Of Hell. When the Sinner is a good song from this album with some pop and jazz influences. Music is also a good song. It's slow and has some cool guitar riffs and solos. However, I think it goes on a bit too long. I think the song should've been a bit shorter. Step Out of Hell sounds Queensrÿche-ish to me since I have listened to Empire and some songs from that album sounds like Step Out of Hell). I find the solos and riffs on this song very good.

    I'll now talk about the rest of the songs on the album. Crazy Cat, I think is the weakest song on the album and I also think this is one of the worst songs made by Helloween. It contains 50s rock n' roll influences and it very much reminds me of Rock Around the Clock. So overall, not a good Helloween song, but I find it OK. Revolution Now is an alright song, it sounds very 60s-ish. I only have one problem with this song and that's the track length. I think it goes on a bit too long (8 minutes) and would've be better if it was about 2 minutes shorter. In The Night is another alright song, it's a pop-ish song, but I can tolerate some pop songs. There's some good acoustic works and Kiske sings very good here, but that's about it for this song.

    I Believe is the longest song on the album (the original album track list that is and not including any bonus tracks from this album), but it being 9 minutes long I think is too long. The song in the middle makes me think that it could've been with being shorter. However, I like Kiske's singing here. And the album closes with Longing. Another ballad with good acoustic guitars and again, great singing by Kiske. There's also an orchestra playing here, which makes the song sound very good.

    Since I own the expanded edition of Chameleon and have listened to the bonus tracks, I will talk about them as well. There are some bonus tracks that I like such as I Don't Care You Don't Care, Oriental Journey, Cut in the Middle and the demo version of Windill. I Don't Care You Don't Care starts off with a solo that's quite good. I get a bit of a laugh from the chorus. Oriental Journey is an instrumental song. It's heavy, it has great guitar works and bass performance by Markus Grosskopf here is very good. I like the chorus for Cut in the Middle and the guitar riffs. Kiske sounds a lot like Dickinson (like he did on the Keeper albums). Although I don't really care about demos, but the demo version for Windmill is pretty good and it uses an orchestra, but I prefer the album version.

    There's a funny interview audio track with Michael Weikath entitled Introduction. I won't spoil it. Basically, Weikath tells the interviewer about a song he wrote and claims it to be very good, but the interviewer disagrees. The song after this interview is Get Me Out of Here, which is the song that was played on the interview, but with different lyrics and Kiske singing. I don't really like the lyrics for this song, but other than that, it's not bad.

    There's two bonus tracks that I don't like on this album, which is Red Socks and the Smell of Trees (stupid song title), another instrumental song on this album. This song is about 11 minutes long and is the only 10+ minute song Helloween have ever made outside the Keeper albums. Yet another song I think would be better if it was a few minutes shorter. The other bonus track that I don't like is Ain't Got Nothin' Better. It's an alright song, but there's nothing special about it.

    Overall, I think this album is good. It's experimental and very musically adventurous and this is indeed very different compared to all the other Helloween albums. It was more rock than metal, but that doesn't bother me since there were still some metal songs and I liked most of the songs on the album.

    While some of those well hated albums from bands I like and hated those albums (e.g. St. Anger and Risk), Chameleon is the opposite since I like it. :O I guess I'm able to like it since I really like Helloween a lot and they are my favourite metal band. There are Helloween fans that hate this album, but fair enough since they might only want them to make metal albums and nothing else. Fair enough as long as they have listened to the album a good amount of times and have given it a chance before giving it a verdict.

    Just because Chameleon is very different to all the other Helloween albums and is hated by a lot doesn't mean anyone should be put off by it. You don't know what the album is like until you listen to it and given it a proper chance. If you didn't like the album on the first listen or two, listen to it a few more times before actually not liking it since it took a bit of time for me to get into it.

    Overall rating: 8/10