A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Grade Scale adopted at MetalKings.com (starting from the lowest)

1 - Shite
2 - Could be worse
3 - Could be better
4 - Damn good
5 - Killer

4/5
ANNIHILATOR
Double Live Annihilation
AFM Records/CD-Maximum
2003
thrash metal
Lately the heavy metal world got crazy over live albums. And Canadian thrash legend Annihilator is no exception. Taking into account the fact that the latest live album of this band came out in 1996 and featured recordings from 1989-90 a decision to make a live album was right in time. The band has lots of songs to record since the number of albums is big enough. Both musicians and the record company did a good job selecting songs from almost each album of the band. Whatever you want is here including “Set The World On Fire”, “Alison Hell”, “The Box”, “I Am In Command”, etc. And though I was really wondering is Mr. Comeau could manage to sing “Set The World On Fire” properly but finally the author got the guts to purchase the album. Imagine his surprise when true thrasher Comeau sang everything extremely great including songs from his own era and all the past tracks. Other musicians played their instruments off two, no wonder, they are true professionals. In general, this is obviously not the best live album among others but still enters the Top 5 of similar ones. (Dead Ripper)

3/5
ARABIA
1001 Nights
Z Records/CD-Maximum
2001
hard rock
Judging from the title the album is influenced by tales of famous Arabic girl Shaherezada. But don’t even dare to search for Oriental melodies; there’s nothing like that on the album. Musically that’s pure hard rock though the singer sounds a lot like Paul Shortino (ex-Quiet Riot). Best songs are “Love Love Me Do”, ballad “1001 Nights”, as well as “Waiting” and “Brother Louie”. Still the album lacks driving force and sounds all the same and boring enough. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
THE ARMADA
Rage Of The Armada
2003
Limb Music
progressive power metal

It’s the absolute truth that you never when German musicians that used to play in legendary bands from the 1980s are going to strike again. For instance, masters of black romantic Stormwitch reunited again along with the formation of bands with its outsiders, in particular, Mystic Prophecy and The Armada. The latest one features not only Stormwitch guitarist from the 1990s Damir Uzimovic but also the legendary romantic drummer Peter Langer. However, the guitarist himself is the leader of the band that already issued the mini-album “The Scent Of Darkness” in 1997. This time The Armada released a full-length album. And it worth mentioning that that’s a really strong competitor of Stormwitch. The band’s music is much more complicated featuring keyboards and choirs. Damir himself seems to have been the fan of Yngwie Malmsteen once and it’s clear from the structures of songs and surely solo parts. Seems like the whole album is the concept one but it’s hard to tell what that concept is. The singer reminds of Eric Adams from Manowar and Fabio Leone from Rhapsody altogether but a little bit more rough. Tracks like “Guiding Star”, “Near Dark”, “Wheel Of Fate” and “Tribal Dance” are real masterpieces in terms of arrangements and performance. One more unique band from the mighty German scene. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT
Ghost Of A Rose
2003
Steamhammer/SPV
renaissance rock

Greeting their fans with the last year’s double live album mighty and mysterious minstrel of our times Ritchie Blackmore along with his fiancee Candice Night decided not to waste time and release a new album quite fast. Sure, the fourth album sounds not so new and surprising like the first or the second ones but in terms of melody and arrangements the album is by no means reaches for the sky. I wonder how Ritchie finds enough strength to release albums and successfully promote the renaissance music that is absolutely not popular on the modern generally metal scene. Tracks are as varied as ever ranging from fast dance tunes to mellow dreamy ballads. It’s even hard to separate songs since both Ritchie and Candice manage to unite them all in one creating one strong and powerful album. After the first hearing you start liking “Cartouche”, instrumental “Mr. Peagram’s Morris And Sword”, nostalgic “Rainbow Blues” (cover-version of Jethro Tull) and catchy “All For One”. Finally the only thing left to say is that the Blackmore-Night tandem is perfectly settled not only personally but musically as well. The fact that the digipack CD booklet’s artwork and design is more than great doesn’t need to be mentioned. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
DESTRUCTION
Metal Discharge
2003
Nuclear Blast
thrash metal

Can anything stop a German musician who is existing on the heavy metal scene for almost 15 years? Seems like there’s nothing in the world can do this. And each new album of this musician and truly incredible person called Schmier manages to prove the statement again and again. After changing the drummer Destruction went on their victory march. Regardless of all sayings that thrash metal is dead and there’s no future in that genre Destruction continue to play this music and what is really interesting remain extremely popular against all odds. This time the band decided not to experiment at all and the title of the album says it all. There’s no sense in mentioning separate tracks from the album since all of them are awesome and bombastic. Still sometimes Destruction cannot be called thrash band that easily falling into punk or power metal. The major proof to the first style is the cover-version of The Exploited “U.S.A.”, which is in fact called “Fuck The U.S.A.” but for moral reasons that name was slightly changed. Bottom line: to Metallica and Anthrax – buy this album and learn to play good music! (Dead Ripper)

3/5
DRAGONHEART
Throne Of The Alliance
2002
CD-Maximum
power metal

Another power metal band from Brazil. Musically it remands of hard rock mixed with the power of Manowar. The album is the concept one but no dragons allowed; only kings, queens, castles and knights. The singer’s voice is extremely rough and reminds a lot of Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger. Seems like musicians themselves perfectly understand it since the album ends with the cover-version of Grave Digger “Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)”. And upon hearing “Mountain Of The Rising Doom” you might draw parallels with Destruction though in a bit more melodic way. In some songs the band sounds like Rhapsody, Heavens Gate, Helloween, etc. However, the album is nice enough but gets boring after the second or third hearing. The cover-version is the only chance to save the whole thing. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
ENTHRAL
Subterranean Movement
2003
Displeased Records/CD-Maximum
avantgarde black metal

A rather interesting CD especially considering the fact that the production process on this one has been influence by an ex-Dimmu Borgir keyboardist under then name of Stian Aarstad. Tripped and torn rhythms, reminding one of a bizarre cross between early Atheist and the currently latest Mayhem album. Measurably aggressive, but without rabidness and all-out hatred towards every life-form on the planet. All in all I could say that the CD is quite an interesting piece of work save for one thing - 'mafraids there won't be too many people within the bulk of the black-metal audience who will be able to truly appreciate the mastermind behind the music in all of its intended magnitude. So, if you, after all, come round to buying this one reserve some patience, this is no easy listening, and moreover, I think some people will not even be able to listen to it to the very end. Then again whoever said that music for thinkers is bad. (Troll)

5/5
FRONTLINE
Almost Unreleased
2003
AOR Heaven
melodic hard rock
This is the legendary band of the last decade and many interesting things happened to its musicians during that period. It’s probably enough to just mention the fact that Frontline guitarist, leader and main songwriter Robby Bobel used to play in the band called Talon in the 1980s that featured guitarist Uwe Hoffmann that went on to become Schmuddel uniting with ex-Destruction bassist Schmier in legendary Headhunter. But Bobby went a different way by launching a hard rock band in the style of Bonfire. OK, on to the disc. That’s the compilation of rare tracks of which some came out as bonus tracks for Japan, some were released on the non-German album “Heroes” (1997) while the others are total rarities including the live version of “Endless”. Musically the band never changed its spots and for 70+ minutes you listen to the highly professional and extremely melodic hard rock/AOR. The only surprise comes with the CD booklet that has only the thanks list and full discography. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
FUNERIS NOSTURNUM
Code 666 - Religion Syndrome Deceased
2002
Woodcut/CD-Maximum
highly explosive death black thrash cocktail

Hey, this is already something truly pleasing to the ear. Yes, it may be not that original, and quite possibly somewhat secondary, however it is candid and fucking mean, which alone is a bonus these days. From the very first track this hardly pronounceable sextet, the members of which are sporting this silly steel-colored makeup, becomes pretty damn straight with what they are really about. Necksnapping speed, magnificent techniques, quite fair (especially against the overall sad backgrounds) composer capacity, skilled keyboard incorporation, and most of all the ultimate ability to make a point - all of that put together gives one a strong impression that all is not quite lost yet for the newbies. In short - fuck shit up! (Troll)

5/5
GRAVE DIGGER
Lost Tunes From The Vault
G.U.N./BMG
2003
power metal
When finding this album at the eBay worldwide auction I was really shocked with its track list and thought it was just another obscure compilation bootleg. No way, two days later I found it in a shop and bought it right away. Why such a surprise? The reason is more than easy. The former company of Grave Digger that lately re-issued its whole metal catalogue finally issued what all the fans were expecting for years, which is an album with rare tracks. That’s how one disc came to include all Japanese bonus tracks, cover-versions and songs from mini-albums. It means that now there’s no need to purchase the Japanese edition of “Symphony Of Death” with the cover-version of AC/DC “Sin City” or the tribute album to Accept with the song “Starlight”; it all now is featured on a single album. Only one question: what is the song “Hellas Hellas”, which is said to be never released in Europe? Still being a rare track it’s a nice addition to this compilation. Sure, the album is for nobody but fans of Chris Boltendahl & Co. and finally completes the neverending collection of Grave Digger albums. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
HORNA
Sudentaival
2001
Woodcut/CD-Maximum
true black

The main artistic value of this CD lies in the fact that these days this type of music has been almost entirely dropped by the absolute majority of bands. Fast and raw, although sometimes still melodic, black metal which has turned its black-and-white sharp-tooth grin against, the father, son, the holy spirit and the Christian church in general. "Fuck you Jesus Cunt!" a hissing voice proclaims swinging off with what can be considered the righteous sequel to Venom's all-time classic, for indeed "Black Metal Sodomy" (which is the name of the song) may become a true-successor of this black metal anthem of all times. Yes, this is exactly how we want it - Troo, evil, and scary as phuck. The remaining tracks (mainly the ones in Finnish) sound no worse. Res: no masterpiece, but still one hell of a good record. (Troll)

5/5
GARY HUGHES
Once And Future King (Part II)
Frontiers Records/CD-Maximum
2003
hard rock

What can be said about the second part of this monstrous project? It surely is not a compromise to the first one and sometimes even outperforms it. Mysterious story, catchy tunes, awesome singers, perfect production – what else do you need to create a true masterpiece? Don’t believe it’s possible? Listen to D.C. Cooper-performed opening song “Kill The King” (nothing of Rainbow) and you realize that Royal Hunt and Silent Force are nothing but little clones. Even if the album was not a concept one it wouldn’t be easy to select decent tracks from it since it sounds like one. All the singers perfectly performed their parts and all the musicians did their best. And Gary Hughes once again proved that he is the perfect songwriter and composer. The album is highly recommended to all fans of classic hard rock. (Dead Ripper)

4-/5
IMPALED NAZARENE
All That You Fear
2003
Osmose Productions/Spinefarm Records
nuclear metal

A typical situation, when, while making a new accomplishment in something, the band unfortunately but inevitably loses something else, it previously had. Having recorded an album of truly superb quality and top-professionalism, Impaled Nazarene have lost that special something which really made them Impaled Nazarene, the band, which recorded "Latex Cult" and "Tol Kompt Norz, Norz, Norz". I don't know why, but after multiple spins of ATYF I personally got an impression of complete harmlessness and tameness. Yes the music is still fast and aggressive, while the lyrics are full of bitter spite and sarcasm, but the true primal rage, once so characteristic of the band, is no longer there. Additionally the guitar parts are becoming more and more melodic and diverse, which is certainly a bonus from a more global point of view, but, when you come to think of it, is probably not something which this particular band needs. The absolute hits of the record are "Kohta Ei Naura Enaa Jeesuskaan," "Armageddon Death Squad," and "Halo of Flies". The rest of it I could characterize as good quality Finnish melodic death black metal. (Troll)

5/5
KICKHUNTER
Hearts & Bones
2003
Rude Records
hard rock

Finally Markus Grosskopf recorded an album people were expecting from his for at least a decade! This legendary bassist who is probably the funniest person in the German heavy metal monster Helloween made a solo album. However, it’s hard to call it a solo one; seems more like that’s the band in which Markus plays in local clubs of his hometown Hamburg when free from his main work. Eventually the band’s sound has nothing to do with metal; it’s the purest rock’n’roll with punk and blues influences. Song lyrics are extremely simple as well like girls and parties all over. And if you see a song on the album called “Secretary Blues” that’s about what you think when looking at a sexy teenage secretary of your boss. It’s the type of music everyone can drink bear to and have fun with girls at rock’n’roll discos. Concerning the vocals they are not metal-influenced too; indeed quite raw though charismatic. Top numbers surely include “To Hell And Back Again”, “Bye Bye Bye”, “Call My Name” and “Wild Emotions”. In general, the best music to improve your mood. Note for most interested: much better than Shock Machine. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
KISS
Alive IV (2-28-03)
2003
Sanctuary
hard rock

WOW! KISS finally released a new album in its never-ending series of “Alive”. And when previous albums of this ‘collection’ were more or less standard from the performance point of view this time the band wanted a striking blow. After the split with “Mercury” KISS decided to abandon plans to release a live concert recorded in the Canadian city of Vancouver in 2000. That’s why the band decided to release… you got it, a live album with symphonic orchestra. Still some line-up changes happened in KISS by that time. Ace Frehley was replaced with Tommy Thayer, an old friend of Gene Simmons already involved in lots of KISS projects, while the Cat himself aka Peter Criss returned back to the band. The album became a double one by all means; it consists of three acts recorded in Melbourne, Australia, during only one (!) night. The first act is the collection of classic tracks performed in the traditional way, act two features five songs with the Melbourne String Ensemble while act three consists of songs performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Seems like line-up changes turned out to be great for the band since Tommy Thayer became the perfect replacement for Ace Frehley. The only pitiful thing is that the whole set list concentrates mostly on the album “Destroyer” (1976) though the performance tracks like “Beth”, “Forever”, “Shandi” and “Great Expectations” with ensemble and orchestra is the unique event to say the least. Especially it concerns “Beth” and “Great Expectations” and most noticeably the first since it’s always performed with a tape at all live shows of KISS. The booklet with lots of photos and huge poster with messages from people who attended the show are also worth mentioning. Let’s hope that someday we’ll get something totally new from KISS. (Dead Ripper)

3/5
OBSCURANT
Lifeform Dead
2002
Woodcut/CD-Maximum
depressive dark metal

You know sometimes I just cease to understand our northern neighbors - why everything absolutely has to go so wrong in their lives. Well, yes, I know about the depression of the ever-dark kaamos, ice-cold winds, general communication problems - all of that simply cannot but affect one, but still. Anyhows the situation with Obscurant here is no different - everything is very said and depressive, although melodic (wha'd you expect - they are Finns after all!). That's as far as the emotions go. Musically the material is once again, good quality, but, sadly enough, if not mediocre, then at least lacking in originality. Very traditional arrangement patterns, top-of-the-pop "Finnvox" master (which, I must say, becomes boring enough), predictable melody shifts and curves, etc. In all a solid "three-pointer" with a huge "FINNISH STANDARD LOVERS ONLY" stamp on the cover artwork. No joooo…(Troll)

4/5
SEYMINHOL
Northern Recital
2003
Brennus Music
Epic battle metal

Strange as it may seem, but this release by a young and aspiring French band most of all reminded me of a cross between Hammerfall and this one-and-only Russian kinder-metal band called Epidemiya (Epidemic). Fairy epic tale power metal, with excellent vocal work in key of herr Joacim and segnior Samosvat (Epidemiuya), an abundance of keyboard passages, good riffing and interesting moves here and there. The idea of this concept epos is also quite interesting and represents a reality based piece of historical fiction about a young boy called Thorgis who swears to sweep down on Christianity for all the evil they brought to the Saxons and Vikings. The action takes place in the 8th-9th centuries in the territories of modern-day Scandinavia, Britain and France. The good part about it, is that unlike the majority of such like opuses, the "Northern Recital" has obviously been put a lot of scholar effort into. All in all, a very good record, aside from the record quality which is the one and only serious. (Troll)

3/5
TWILIGHT OPHERA
The End of Halcyon Age
2003
Sagitarius Productions/CD-Maximum
melodic black

And? Like, I really cannot say I am impressed. It's not bad, of course, high-quality "dimmu-borgirisms" and all, but, when it boils down to the basics, there's nothing here to listen to aside from Track 2. Or, rather, there is, but what's the point when you can listen to the same-ole' Dimmu? Strangely enough, while everything is done at a high professional level, by the fourth or fifth song you become overwhelmed by such an endless boredom and jaw-breaking yawning, that's you really cannot take it anymore, and start wondering whether the torture will ever end. The CD is also enhanced with a video for "Pseudogods" which is once again quite equal in professionalism and lack of imagination. (Troll)

4/5
VON GROOVE
The Seventh Day
2001
Z Records/CD-Maximum
hard rock

This Canadian band is the survivor of the local scene existing for almost a decade. The band started its career in 1992 and the debut album was released on the major “Atlantic”. But… OK, we all know what happened to hard rock music in the 1990s but the band continued to wave the banner of hard rock music released albums on indie labels in the country where hard rock itself is not that popular at all. And after hearing this album you quickly realize why the band is still up and running. Tracks like lively “Lily” and “Soul Surgery”, mid-tempoed “Lifeline” and ballad “The Best In Me” make no doubt that the band is capable to compose great songs in style of classic hard rock. In short, fans of Europe and Firehouse should give it a chance. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
ZAR
Hard To The Beat
2003
MTM Music/AMG
hard rock
Seeing numerous reunions of many bands from the past this one seems to be senseless. The band never got any serious acclaim and the only major success it had was with the debut album “Live Your Life Forever” that featured ex-Uriah Heep shouter John Lawton. But that was the end of it since Lawton left and the band found a replacement in the form of local celebrity Tommy Bloch. That’s how Zar continued to remain in the world of German hard rock through those turbulent 1990s. But in 1994 the band framed itself by recording a progressive album. It is could happen about three years later the album could become a masterpiece but in 1994 nobody understood such moves and Zar split. And now almost a decade later leader and guitarist Tommy Claus resurrected his baby from the ashes with totally unknown musicians. The result is quite impressing since the album seems to be a mighty hard rock one though not exactly in the German style. It is likely to remind you of American heroes like Journey. The most interesting tracks are “Hundred Rivers”, “Why Don’t You Talk To Me” and the cover-version of Stevie Wonder “Living For The City”. Generally speaking Tommy himself is a good singer not worse than the new one. Still the album lacks drive and sounds weak and too tasty. (Dead Ripper)

 

Copyright © MetalKings.com 2000 - 2017

ß ÑÀÌÀß Âàòíûå ïàëî÷êè ORGANIC 200øò (ñòàêàí) 36øò â êîð òóò


All rights reserved. Any reproduction without written permission from MetalKings.com is prohibited
Send your requests to ragdoll@metalkings.com

updates |  review archive |  interviews |  gig reports |  aggressor |  dark princess |  contacts |  home |  sitemap

Ðåéòèíã@Mail.ru