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Over The Top
White Wizzard - CD
14 New from
Where do I begin? The story of Heavy Metal is a long one -- far too long to delve into. What you need to know about this album is that it is the best Heavy Metal album to be released in the last ten years. To reiterate, it has been roughly three thousand six hundred and fifty days since a Heavy Metal album of this magnitude has been created.
This isn't Cookie Monster Metal, this is true Metal that is actually enjoyable. There are no fillers -- no collage of noises melding into one brain draining sludge. Every tune is unique. Every tune melodic, of a very high calibre, and performed to a blisteringly precise degree. Dual harmonies, switch-ups, break-downs, speed-changes, catchiness, heaviness, thickness, amazing vocals. This album has it all and really takes you by surprise as much as it takes you on a dark, twisted, and triumphant journey.
All younger metal-heads who've wished they were around to experience the NWOBHM should buy this immediately. And every veteran should buy it and prepare to feel those goosebumps all over again. A future classic.
Four and half stars.
Attack & Release
The Black Keys - CD
15 New from
The Black Keys continue to be at the forefront of modern Blues-Rock with this release. While foresaking (evolving) some, but not all of the distorted punch of previous albums, The Black Keys have somehow managed to produce an array of hefty grooves - each a prize in their own right.
But make no mistake, this isn't a traditional rock album; this is for lovers of soulful, heartfelt grooves and bluesy hard rock. Genre-zealots need not apply here. It's for lovers and appreciators of good, extremely well-made and played music.
Stand-out, underplayed tracks are: So He Won't Break, Same Old Thing.
Airbourne - CD
22 New from
Every once in a while, the music media will trumpet the praises of a new band/musician's debut album, calling it "the best" such and such "in ages". The problem with this is that these praises are usually the result of 'payola' or some other type of unethical bribery. This results in a jaded perception of new bands among the public.
Going into listening to Airbourne, I was incredibly skeptical. Every underground rock fan and their mother was going on about them. I thought it was mere hype like always. However, in this case, I was wrong.
Runnin' Wild is one of the best Hard Rock albums released in the last seven years, arguably even longer than that. There is no favouritism here; the album is a budding classic which cannot be denied. Everything on the album is sharp, hard, and raw, and kicking. The riffs on the main tracks are Grade-A, and the vocals are just the right amount of awesome.
If they keep this up, they'll be a household name.
Get it now.
Ratt - CD
23 New from
In the eighties, there were two types of Heavy Metal bands: Glam and Underground. Ratt was a band which straddled the line between the two; not heavy to the point of sludge, but not light to the point of being sell-outs.
Since the release of their last classic album Dancing Undercover in the eighties, Ratt has never been the same; the punch and attitude were there, but the spark was fading.
With this album, Ratt is no longer tired; they've looked back and rediscovered their essence -- the true, raw essence and power of the music and energy they possessed when they were hungry and young. If you've heard their classics, such as Body Talk, Round and Round, Enough is Enough, and Sweet Cheater, you won't be disappointed. It's incredible that they've managed to do what so many bands of any rock genre have tried and failed to do -- rejuvenate.
The guitars are heavy, the drums are kicking, the melodies are inexplicably catchy, and Pearcy sounds like he's taken a shot of adrenalin. (stand-out tracks are Eat Me Up Alive, Best of Me, A Little Too Much, and Don't Let Go).
Ironically, There are even a few tracks on here that are faster and heavier than current Iron Maiden', which, in their hey-day, were considered heavier and truer than Ratt.
This CD is Ratt's best album since 1986's Dancing Undercover. And with it, they provide proof positive that even amid the brewing new wave of Heavy Metal, they still have a shot at the now vacant Glam Metal crown.