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The Wildhearts - CD
I first heard this when it came out but only just got round to getting it buts its as good, if not better, than i remember. Starting with the nearly 9 minute Rooting for the Bad Guy is a brave move but it pays off as its what you'd expect from The Wildhearts; great riffs, catchy melodies and a big chorus and its this that sets the tone for the whole album. In fact, this could be the best set of riffs the band had written for years and could be seen as something of a comeback after the distortion heavy, ok but not great Endless, Nameless and the hit and miss The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed albums. Everything is what you'd expect but pushed to its limit. I don't think there's a song under 5 minutes. Maybe the punky rush of She's All That, but with the riffs in The Sweetest Song, Slaughtered Authors, The Hard Way and Destroy All Monsters, theres no way you'll be looking towards the stereo in boredom. More in awe of one of the best British rock bands ever.
In A Reverie
Lacuna Coil - CD
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After a couple of fairly well reieved EP's, Lacuna Coil's first album shows potential throughout with their mixture of gothic-style guitar and vocals with plenty and melody and the odd moment of heaviness usually incorporated with the male singers almost black metal at times style roar and its this mix with Christina Scabbia's lush vocals that proved that Lacuna Coil could be capable of bigger and better things.Although not brilliant, and metal fans looking for the heavier side of Goth-Metal might want to look elsewhere, In a Reverie definately showed promise.
Sick (Limited Edition CD & DVD)
Duff McKagan's Loaded - CD
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After the drama of being in Guns n' Roses and Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan must love being in Loaded! Sick is a stripped down rock n' roll album with nods to Alice Cooper(who the band are supporting on his UK tour this autumn), Iggy Pop, both his main bands and even the Foo Fighters more raw material on the more accessible songs. If its big arena rock songs with chunky riifs and massive choruses your after then you've got the wrong album as Sick is just simple riffs, catchy melodies and good songwriting with a punky feel to some of the tracks which goes back to Duffs roots before he joined G n' R's.Like other former Guns members bands, Loaded's Sick might not be as good or as exciting as the band that made him/them legends but it proves that Duff is still a decent and relevant musician/songwriter who is also a capable frontman, as the DVD taken from a live show at Glasgows Garage also proves.
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This was the first Lacuna Coil album I heard quite a few years back and is possibly still my favourite. Their second proper album, this has more emphasis on Christina Scabbia's brilliant vocals and that definately gives it more of that gothy, sensual feel overall. Although there are metal riffs, Unleashed Memories seems to combine those with moments of orchestration and memorable melodies and vocals. Something that would help push them further and get them a couple of popular singles on next album, Comalies. First album, In A Reverie was a decent debut but Unleashed Memories is probably the best introduction to the band and where they were heading.
Beyond Magnetic (EP)
Metallica - CD
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This E.P. of previously unreleased songs from the Death Magnetic album sessions prove that Metallica can still deliver the goods when it comes to writing quality metal tunes with plenty of chunky Hetfield riffing, some effective shredding and even the odd maiden-esque melodic momement. Thos disappointed with the recent Lou Reed collaboration will hopefully be able to forget about that if this is an indication of what the new album will be like. Every song is good and at under 4 pounds you can't complain really. Great stuff.
The Kids We Used To Be
Your Demise - CD
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This was a bit of a breakthrough for the British hardcore metallers and its easy to see why. Picking up from where previous album, Ignorance Never Dies left off, The Kids We Used To Be is full of chunky riffs and pit ready beatdowns. Although new vocalist(at the time) Ed McRae's style might not be for everyone, he demonsrates some versatility with one or two clean singing parts which are a nod towards their future as new album The Golden Age is more of a punk-pop meets hardcore influenced affair. The Kids We Used To Be though, is a very good hardcore album. Possibly one of Britains best for a while and this, along with the new album, could see them taking things to an even bigger level.
Hellbilly Deluxe 2 (CD & DVD Special Edition)
Rob Zombie - CD
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After the relative disappointment of previous studio album, the stripped back Educated Horses, it's good to see Rob Zombie getting back to what he does best. B-movie samples mixed with industrial style riffs with added guitar wizardry from John 5 and obviously Zombies mad lyrics delivered in his usual growly fashion! A bonus is getting Slipknots Joey Jordison in on drums. The 3 bonus tracks are good to and are put in with the album, not just shoved on at the end. The DVD, with a random tour doc and 2 video's make it definate value for money to. Overall, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is Robs best for a long time and further proof that he's this generations Alice Cooper,
The Gospel of Filth
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I've just finished this book and its a brilliant look into the world of metal, the occult, Satanism, vampirism, Lycanthropy(werewolves), horror, femme fatales and more. Using the titles of Cradle of Filths albums as chapter titles and the themes of their music and lyrics as a catalyst, this delves into the dark world of decadence and features interviews with metal musicians, artists, writers, directors, journalists and more and is a fascinating insight into a much feared and talked about world. Gavin Baddeley has clearly spent ages researching for this ambitious project and got Cradle frontman Dani Filth to contribute to. But you don't have to be a big Cradle of Filth/Black Metal fan to enjoy this as its only partly a biography of one of British metals most iconic and controversial bands, this covers so much more. Also featuring brilliant artwork including Cradle of Filth exclusive artwork by Nigel Wingrove as well as iconic metal album covers and rare pictures of various bands in the scene, old pictures and paintings from the 15/1600's onwards, The Gospel of Filth is an essential read for anyone with a taste for the darker side of life.
True Blood Men's Bon Temps T-Shirt (Play Exclusive) (Grey)
I got a medium as i prefer a slightly baggier feel and this fits fine and I love True Blood so need to show that love to the world and this is the best way to do it! I wish it was more like the picture though as the actual t-shirt itself is a lighter grey and a brighter red, the more worn look is closer to the one in the actual programme so would have looked cooler. But i guess thats something a load of washes will sort out! If i was being extra picky i'd say it'd be even more realistic if the True Blood logo wasn't on the front to but then i suppose they have to do that. Overall, a nice top, good fit and a bargain price.
Lemmy (2 Discs)
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Even if you're not a big Motorhead fan you will find this a fun and interesting look at the Motorhead legend, Lemmy, as we find out about his life, how he got started right up until recently(the Motorizer era). Its great hearing stories about his rock n' roll lifestyle and influence on the rock scene from the man himself and his many celebrity fans/friends including Slash, Ozzy, Metallica, Dave Grohl, Joan Jett, Scott Ian and many more. A highlight for me was Lemmy rehearsing then performing Damage Case live onstage with Metallica. The 2nd disc of extras is brilliant with extended parts of scenes and other bits and pieces that add up to over 3 hours! Great stuff. A must see for any rock/metal fan.