All 31 entries tagged Music

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October 23, 2006

He's back, alive and blind as a bat

Title:
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Approximately every decade something wonderful happens, a Bat Out Of Hell album is released. They always have a selection of awesome tracks with a few fantastic duets thrown in.

Bat 3 starts with the title track which is a bizarre fusion of old-school dramatic Meat Loaf with effected vocals and general awesomeness, it’s a long ‘un at 7 minutes but the nice mellow part in the middle breaks things up nicely. Track 2 is the absolutely amazing power ballad “Blind As A Bat” which is one of the many tracks on this album that deserves to be on a greatest hits album, so is track 3 though. Meat Loaf has taken Jim Steinman’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and made it awesome again, it’s pretty darned powerful especially with Marion Raven’s vocals.

“Bad For Good” is very classic Meat Loaf, flowing and cheesy vocals with the backing choir, not entirely sure it justifies it’s length of 7:30 though. Then it’s time for another ballad with “Cry For Me” which is typical ballad with symphonic strings and general niceness. Track 6 is “In the land of the pig (the butcher is king)”, notice the trademark bracketed title? This one is by far the heaviest song on the album and features the fantastic Steve Vai on guitars, it’s very different from the rest of the album but the solo is nice.

“Monstro” is basically an extended introduction for the fantastic “Alive” which is possibly the best song on the album. There’s basically nothing wrong with this song, it’s incredibly uplifting and is an instant classic. It has a beautiful melody, excellent backing choir, nice solo and superb outro. The track is followed by the mellow-yet-powerful “If God Could Talk”, it’s nice.

“If it ain’t broke” is more traditional Meat Loaf, a bit like “life is a lemon”. “What about love” is another ballad featuring duet awesomeness. “Seize the night” is long and weird, but still good. “The Future Just Ain’t What It Used To Be” is a little bit rock gospel featuring guitar solo goodness, possibly a bit too long though. “Cry to Heaven” is a short ballady outro song, not particularly great but not bad.

Everyone should love Meat Loaf because it’s over-the-top and awesome.


September 14, 2006

Video: Meat Loaf – It's All Coming Back To Me Now

Follow-up to Free Mp3: Meat Loaf – Monster's Loose from Andy's Dumb Ramblings

I’d argue that this isn’t a cover, because the song was originally by Jim Steinman who writes most of Meat Loaf’s songs anyway. Anywho this is a video from the new album “Bat Out Of Hell 3: The Monster Is Loose” that comes out at the end of October.

It’s an impressive video, not because of any crazy technical voodoo, but because of the emotion on display, it’s something we don’t often see in modern music videos.

A larger version of the video is linked to from the offical Meat Loaf site, Direct Link


July 31, 2006

Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory

It took me a long time to warm to Dream Theater, their use of crazy time signatures and unusual scales and keys means that it takes a while to train your ears to understand the music. Dream Theater is best classified as progressive metal being that they're highly technical and heavier than the well–known prog bands of old – Pink Floyd and Genesis to name a couple.

At first listen, you'd assume Dream Theater is just about mindless shredding at ridiculous speeds to show off technical skill. This impression is enforced by the aforementioned use of difficult scales. But you slowly come to realise that the heavier and faster parts brilliantly complement the slower parts and work well to set the mood.

Metropolis Pt 2 is an album sequel to a single song on the band's Images and Words album, and is simply fantastic. You have to read the lyrics to really understand what's going on as the singer plays the roles of a number of characters. The album follows the story of "Nicholas" who is haunted by the memories of "Victoria" and his attempts to find out why. The first track begins with Nicholas undergoing hypnosis and the rest of the album slowly reveals the truth, the real twist only comes in the last 2 minutes of the last track (itself being 12 minutes long and one of the best on the album).

I'd argue that this is one of the greatest albums ever, the concept is well executed, the skill of the band as a whole is arguably unsurpassed. John Petrucci's guitar and Jordan Rudess' keyboards are in a league of their own, Petrucci himself proving with some particularly emotional solos that he's more than a guitar–playing machine.

There are a few songs on this album that do have immediate appeal, "The Spirit Carries On" is a beautiful spiritual ballad that makes excellent use of a gospel choir as well as contributing to the story of the album.

Unless you already like progressive music, it's almost certain you won't like this album at first, but give it time and see if it warms on you.


June 18, 2006

The List Of Bands

This is a list, of bands.

  • A.C.T
  • Aerosmith
  • Alice Cooper
  • At Vance
  • Blondie
  • Bon Jovi
  • Boston
  • Celesty
  • Children of Bodom
  • Def Leppard
  • Dire Straits
  • DragonForce
  • Dream Evil
  • Dream Theater
  • Eagles
  • Edguy
  • Epica
  • Europe
  • Evanescence
  • Freedom Call
  • Gamma Ray
  • Genesis
  • Green Day
  • Guns N' Roses
  • HammerFall
  • Heart
  • Helloween
  • Iron Maiden
  • Joe Satriani
  • John Petrucci
  • Journey
  • Judas Priest
  • Kamelot
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Meat Loaf
  • Neil Young
  • Nightwish
  • Pagan's Mind
  • Pain of Salvation
  • Pink Floyd
  • Power Quest
  • Queen
  • Racer X
  • Rainbox
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Replica X
  • Rhapsody
  • Sabaton
  • Scorpions
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Sinergy
  • Sonata Arctica
  • Steve Vai
  • Stratovarius
  • Symphony X
  • Threshold
  • Toto
  • Twilightning
  • Vision Divine
  • Within Temptation
  • Yngwie Malmsteen

June 16, 2006

Free Mp3: Meat Loaf – Monster's Loose

Everyone loves free music and everyone loves Meat Loaf, so what better than a free and legal preview of Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose? This is apparantly unmastered and was leaked but the record company decided to just let people have it for free rather than try and clamp down on it. Good Times.

It's an odd track, slightly heavier and more modern sounding than your typical Meat Loaf, yet the vocals can't be mistaken for anyone else.

Go Go Go


March 04, 2006

Covers better than Originals

Sometimes covers of songs are better than the originals, here are some examples:

  • Guns n' Roses – Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan)
  • Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)
  • At Vance – Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
  • Nightwish – Over The Hills And Far Away
  • Sonata Arctica – Two Minds One Soul (Vanishing Point)
  • Sonata Arctica – The Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Middler)

February 22, 2006

Sabaton = Pretty Darn Metal

Title:
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

To be honest, I only bother reviewing the albums I actually like so that's why they always get good scores. Reviewing bad albums would be more professional I guess but it would require enduring them for longer than I need to.

Anywho, first heard of Sabaton a few weeks ago when I found out they were supporting DragonForce. Downloaded the song "Primo Victoria" from their site and concluded that it was pretty darn awesome. Rousing power metal about World War 2. Consists of deep growly vocals (which I normally don't rate that highly) that manage to be significantly more tuneful and melodic than the average mainstream band (to be honest i'm loving the fact that metal has become more accessible to fans of pop music than indieschmindie is). The vocals are supported by your typical layered power metal guitars and occasionally keyboards with thunderous rhythm. Guitar solos are tasteful and relatively short so don't detract from the largely vocal-driven music.

The majority of the album is about war but it's in the same kind of vein as the typical power metal theme of journeys across mountains and slaying demons and being generally heroic. The title track is clearly one of the strongest but the rest are pretty good too, other highlights include "Purple Hearts" and "Wolfpack". However, the true highlight of the album is the final track titled "Metal Heart". Here's the description of the song from the album booklet:

In 2004 a Swedish heavy metal band called "Sabaton" stole the history of metal and refused to return it.
The allied metal bands of the world sought to recapture the content of their lyrics but to no avail.
Sabaton was way too sneaky and hid it in the coppermines deep below the metal capital of the world, Falun.

Basically, this song steals lyrics from various well-known metal songs and fuses them together into possibly the best song on the album. Cheeky. Songs I spotted include "Paranoid", "Crazy Train", "Breaking The Law", "Fear Of The Dark" – i'm sure there are many others.

This album is what power metal is about. Cheesy, Powerful, Melodic, Rousing, Arrogant and Brilliant.

PS. If you've ever played the Metal Slug games, this album should be the soundtrack.


November 25, 2005

Replica X, Hostile and Power Quest

Tonight I tagged along to Birmingham with Replica X and their bandsoc posse to see them support Power Quest. I've only actually seen Replica X play live a few times and had some Power Quest samples on my computer so thought it was probably worth checking them out.

The venue wasn't large, there weren't really many people there at all, and with Replica X up first they drew the smallest crowd. I think everyone was suprised at just how good this uni band sounded, i've heard them before and was suprised, they sound tighter and more confident each time I see them.

Hostile were the other supporting band, i'm not too hot on my metal classifications but they sounded fairly death metalish, but fear not – they seemed to be really cool people too, not the homicidal maniacs some people associate metal with. I wasn't too keen on their sound, they had great mastery of their instruments but didn't produce enough in the way of melody for my tastes. Their main guitarist seems to position his hands in a similar way to how I do when I play so maybe i'm not doing things completely wrong afterall – always good to know.

Power Quest were last being the headline act and put on an energetic and enthusiastic show but they felt lacking, they didn't play the only song i'd heard before so I couldn't tell if it was just a poor live performance (the mixing seemed a bit too in favour of the guitarist rather than the singer or keyboardist) but it was fairly disappointing.

Whilst attempting to be objective as possible, Replica X were probably the best-sounding band of the night and hopefully they'll stick together long enough to really make a name for themselves.


November 09, 2005

Andy's Top 10 Songs In No Particular Order #8 – Last Drop Falls

Nothing is over until the Last Drop Falls

Running out of numbers here, picking a top 10 is really hard, there will be so many incredible songs that get missed out.

Sonata Arctica - Last Drop Falls
Apparantly this one was done live a lot before Reckoning Night was released (and caused Shamandalie to become the new angst-ballad of choice). It would have been awesome to see this song live, maybe I'll still get to one day, but for now i'll have to settle for the live recording on Songs of Silence. Not going to bother explaining the song, the meaning isn't particularly hidden behind hundreds of metaphors, but it's a fairly beautiful fusion of soft verses and a heavy chorus.

Lyrics

When i'm looking in your eyes
Everything seems to fade away
After all these years we had, do I know you now?
Have I trusted blindly in your love, too many times?

You said "hey, my love, I'm sorry but we can't go on 'cause
I'm in love with someone else"
Tell me, what do you want me to say
When you treat me this way

Oh I love you, maybe
And I hope it goes away
Oh, how I want you daily
I know it's gonna stay

You are so self-satisfied
Always ready for a ride
Double crossing, lousy cheat, love you anyway
You have warm and tender devils soul, you are so low

I can hear you say: "I'm sorry, should we still go on,
I'm not in love with that someone else"
Tell me, what do you want me to say
When you treat me this way

Oh I love you, maybe?
And I hope it goes away
Oh, how I want you daily

Tell me now that…
I have found the whore in you
Why can't I tell you "no"
Time will show, the last word is for me
If you fail to see the problem we have, one room full of walls
Jar of love isn't dry until the last drop falls

The moment I will step aside, you're ready for another ride
Walking in the cool night air without underwear
You have red light burning in your soul, I've seen the glow

In every dream I have I say "I'm not in love with you"
But every day I say I do
You have messed with my head so many times
Forced me to love you

Now that…
I have found the whore in you
Why can't I tell you "no"
Time will show, the last word is for me
If you fail to see the problem we have, one room full of walls
I will try until the last drop falls…


September 22, 2005

Andy's Top 10 Songs In No Particular Order #7 – Valley Of The Damned

Huzzah! Part 7! This is the song that everyone knows the band by, mainly because it's so utterly insanely amazing

DragonForce - Valley Of The Damned
If you haven't heard this song before, you haven't heard one of the greatest guitar riffs of all time, fact. From the word go this song screams epic with a brilliant opening riff that has you immediately air-guitaring. It's good that this is effectively the opening track on their debut album because it makes you realise that despite the gloomy song title this band is anything but gloomy. They are fast, cheesy, fun, powerful and above all incredibly melodic. Very few bands can pull off 3 minutes of guitar shredding that actually sounds good. The vocal harmonies after the shred-fest are pretty damned awesome too. Listen to it. Love it.

Lyrics

On a cold dark winter night hidden by the stormy light
A battle rages for the right for what will become
In the valley of the damned a warrior with sword in hand
Travels fast across the land for freedom he rides

And the sign from the master on high screams aloud and across hear the cry
For the kingdom of fire and ice and the power to be alive
Be strong ride on, carry on through the war
Come along carry on, living for ever more

On the wings of death by the hands of doom
By the darkest light from the darkest moon
Crossing silent seas over mountains high
For we stand as one tonight

On the black wind forever we ride on together
Destroying your evil with freedom our guide
When the master will storm us
He'll stand high before us
Our hearts filled with splendour
Our swords will shine over the light

In the valley of the damned
Days breaks with golden strand
Over pastures green it glows
To where night returns

In the shadows faces appear
Warriors wearing full metal gear
All join together one and all
Before the glorious light

Rise up, gather around
Come and hear what is said
Use your senses open your mind
Don't you ever forget

On the wings of life, by the hands of hope
By the brightest light from the brightest sun
Crossing silent seas over mountains high
To the valley of the damned

On the black wind forever we ride on together
Destroying your evil with freedom our guide
When the master will storm us
He'll stand high before us
Our hearts filled with splendour
Our swords will shine over the light

On the black wind forever we ride on together
Destroying your evil with freedom our guide
When the master will storm us
He'll stand high before us
Our hearts filled with splendour
Our swords will shine over the light

The black wind forever we ride on together
Destroying your evil with freedom our guide
When the master will storm us
He'll stand high before us
Our hearts filled with splendour
Our swords will shine over the light

The black…


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