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Old 01-20-2021, 01:28 AM   #81
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Lightbulb Alien Red Maquee



Ah the 90's....the decade that if you didn't have no fashion sense yet played music with guitars you were considered Grunge. Twenty years later I dispute that labeling. Sure, bands like Nirvana earned it, but others like Helmet, Quicksand, or this chestnut Smile's Maquee? No, the line should have been drawn, but some just called them "Alternative Rock", but the same could have been said of Faith No More too, and those bands are worlds apart. Somewhere between Grunge and Nu-Metal there should have been another genre title.

I really, really dug the group of bands that sounded like Helmet, and Smile followed their formula to a tee. Strange this is the only real album they got released, and it sounds like (on purpose I believe) a rehearsal than a record for the masses. Had a 1995 radio hit "Staring At The Sun", this album jumps all over the place in styles while keeping that crunchy guitar. If you like Helmet & Quicksand, you'd like this too (also, check out the one album by Stompbox "Stress", which blows ALL these away in power!).



Flash-forward about six years later and you have this entry in the NU-Metal movement. Again, guitars distorted and high in the mix than ever, this album by Alien Ant Farm has the curse of "the cover tune on it is the famous track", which honestly isn't fair. Like Smile, it's all over the place in genres, but well produced and the vocalist sounds like he should be in Incubus, but it works. The Michael Jackson cover of "Smooth Criminal" was cute, but there's songs on here that put bands like P.O.D. & Sublime to waste. Great production, and really the only thing that separates this from Metal is that there's no guitar solos, and listening to each track I can pinpoint exactly where each of those solos should have been. Listen to the songs outside of the novelty track, I always say....
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:44 AM   #82
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Wal-Mart Welcome To Red Valley



After the hit 'n miss of Queens Of The Stone Age for me (Deaf-Excellent/Rated R-Okay/Lullabies-Better than R), I decided to pull this gem, remembering that I loved it 25 years ago but it sorta got lost in the shuffle. Now, man, I still do! Christ was Kyuss a killer band. Sorta Soundgarden-y with that early 90's fanboy Sabbath influence, this is the direction that Josh Homme should of stayed the course with. This album, with it's hit "Demon Cleaner", is perfect for those long aimless drives at sunset, slow & chuggingly heavy. If I had to knock it down a peg, it would be only for the fact that the CD takes three songs and puts them into only one CD track each (and their not even connected), so to get to a certain song, you may have to fast forward ten minutes on say Track Two to get to it. And not that I'm knocking Queens, I still feel Songs For The Deaf is better than Valley, it's a shame this band didn't (or couldn't) continue without Homme. I'm probably gonna splurge on the other two or three albums now.
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Old 01-26-2021, 02:45 AM   #83
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United Kingdom Baptism Of Red: The Revenge Of Saxon



Even though I consider myself a "Metal Historian", they were some bands that for some reason or another, I never invested in. Some of those NWOBHM bands like say Anvil, Raven, Manowar, and especially Saxon. I don't know why, but back in the mid-80's I considered them too "old-school" for my tastes. Anyway, I watched this Saxon documentary on YouTube recently and from the clips I thought "Why did I ignore this band? Over twenty albums?!!?". So I broke out the wallet and bought two 2CD best-of's that would cover most of their career. I got the second one first (?). But man, what a nice, and head-bangin' collection! Seems Saxon never gave up the metal fight, and with this collection you can hear Biff and the boys (all probably not born when the first album came out) adapting to the Metal Vogue at the time while still keeping the traditional sound in there somewhere. But how can I describe Saxon? Take maybe early Bruce Maiden with old British Steel Priest and add a bit of Krokus vocals (?). It's hard to pinpoint Saxon. but at times they are corny, and maybe too serious for their own good, but if you want classic 80's Heavy Metal (that on this collection isn't thirty years old), they have 100's of songs waiting for you. I am so suprised it took me so long to say I'm a fan with them, looking forward to re-discovering the era I should have found them in soon.
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:15 PM   #84
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Amazon Redcass



There was a short period of time when ALL the major labels wanted their very own underground Metal band, a band that normally would be on a minor, yet respected label. And not just Heavy Metal, but Thrash and Death Metal too! This is probably the last gasp of that as the Grunge changed the scene forever. Carcass features a former member of Napalm Death (another past member formed Cathedral), and already had two classics under their belt before this. Anyway, Carcass was considered yet another genre in Metal, "Goregrind", but with lyrics about guts & gore but cookie-monstered to not being able to understand them, it was just another version of Death Metal to me. But if you got signed to a major label, you were gonna change, like it or not. This album is considered Carcass' "Black Album". More refined, excellent production, yet still keeping the growl & riffs, just way better produced. Some hated it, some loved it. Hell, even Kreator & Morbid Angel got the major label treatment, and Beavis & Butthead tore them a new one for it. In the end, by the time Nirvana were almost a thing of the past, all those newly signed underground metal bands were without a home, but the albums each recorded at the top offer at least interesting results. This is probably one of the best (outside of The Big Four of course) where it was a big improvement.
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Old 01-30-2021, 06:24 AM   #85
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Thumbs up Fingers Don't Fail Me Now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
It is way more commercial than their preceding three albums....I think Red's referring to....
Whoa, what did I start here?!!?

Actually, this is why I post on message boards, not to just read my own thoughts, but to see & read opposing (yet civil) views & sides and discuss. You guys pretty much took my rebuttals right outta my mouth so I'm gonna leave it at that.

However....

I will say this, the 90's had the biggest effect on Extreme Metal music. It really was the only generation that had to "keep up with the Jones'" as it were. Regardless if you were Carcass or Metallica, the style of let's say "Hard Rock" music never changed, or it's audience, as much as that decade. Labels were chasing tails to keep up, only to see the invention of the MP3 and Napster yank the carpet right from under them anyway. I do feel no matter with label influence or not, band's thought about altering established styles in order to -A- stay relevant or -B- keep that prized label adorned on the back of their album. I mean we had so many styles going in and out, from Grunge to Nu-Metal, to Industrial to Metalcore. What it took to slow down to a reasonable level was basically having "Rock" as a whole commercially ignored with the likes of "hip-hop" and others in that vein. By then, we Metalheads could go back to the underground and truly be ourselves without wondering if the next album will be our "St. Anger" or "Turbo". And besides, nowadays if it is, who cares, we're out of the main limelight! I wanna say that theres rarely, and I mean rarely an album with a heavy guitar that I don't like at least a little. So I've always been a tad forgiving for that one album slip like say Slayer's "Diabolus In Musica", Celtic Frost's "Cold Lake", or (I dunno-it's 2 in the morning...gimme a break) Overkill's "I Hear Black". But regardless, those artists, under label pressure or not, choose to do it, and had the balls to go against the grain. Good for them. Good for us? Maybe not, but that's why they invented comeback albums, right?

Oh, I don't own Carcass' "Swansong". I guess I should get it. Been playing "Heartwork" for the past two days. Not bad for a "commercial" album, huh? Oh, and look what I dug up from the past:



Talk about feeling homesick, I grew up in Tampa and they sorta ruled the roost of Metal there before the Death Metal explosion (with credit to Savatage as well). Right before Metal became Thrash, this is one band that tried to incorporate a "wrestler-like" stage show, with lead singer Nasty Ronnie taking old console TV's and smashing then on his head on-stage. Oh jeez, good times. Never heard of them? Think The Mentors but not dirty (?).

Anyway, keep the discussions going guys, I love reading 'em!
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Old 02-09-2021, 01:02 AM   #86
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Canada A Perfect Rush Circle

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Of all the Rush albums.....
Wow, sorta already highlighted the band this week, beat me to it. Well, here's my addition:



...so I actually discovered this album about a year ago in the (of all things) Big Lots Bargain Bin for $5 dollars. It looked like a live album, songs looked good, but when & where does it take place? Oh well I thought, I have "Exit Stage Left", that's all I need and skipped yet. Enter yesterday looking for a reusable coffee filter (can't deal with the paper ones), and there was the last copy, now at $2.50. Okay, worth the risk.

Boy was I stupid. This actually is a hell of a release. This 2009 release represents the absolute best of three live performances through the 2000's only (Brazil, Netherlands & Germany). Sure, you get Working Man, Subdivisions, Tom Sawyer, and other classics with 00's material, but you get it with 2000's sound & technology. Sure, Geddy's voice isn't as strong as the 70's, but ddddddamn Lifeson's guitar sounds so powerful here. These performances have been released before on official live albums, but this is the first time I believe I ever saw a best of album featuring only the best from an artist's live albums. And it features a song left off of one of them too. I wonder how this did when it first came out? Makes me think of Neil again, what a loss. But a cool sounding release.



Stop telling me Tool rules, and A Perfect Circle sucks. You're full of it, APC is just as good as Tool. There, I said it. Sure Tool's the first and more "out there", but Maynard's side project has incredibly catchy songs, and dare I say it, better production. And both sound like the same family, so how can't you be a fan of both? This is the "Best-Of" album, which I thought was pre-mature at the time, but they definitely picked the cream of the crop. Two covers are here, but their version of "Imagine" is simply haunting. Actually even paid full price for this because I never find them in the used bin (except the "remix" album which I got, and love too). Oh, and like Tool is more than "Prison Sex", APC is alot more than just "Judith".
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Old 02-11-2021, 04:22 AM   #87
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United Kingdom C.U. Can't Post That/Saxon Violence

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Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
I never said such a thing! Don't hurt me!.....

That Rush disc is cool. Geddy's voice was still totally passable until around the Time Machine tour....
Oh, that Cool/Sucks line was for my buddy Joe. He's an old-school Metalhead like myself & we once had this conversation. I still think he's missing out.

He's a Rush fan too, he probably saw that tour as well. Sadly, I myself never got to see Rush live. I don't know what stopped me. Now I regret it big time. As for Geddy's voice, yeah, it sounds the weakest here on "Working Man". Sounds like they even had to slow down the tempo in order for his vocals to keep up, and then going for a reggae vibe towards the end doesn't help. But outside of that yeah, this CD is a great release.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post
Has anyone ever sounded as cool as King Diamond does when calling a lady a....
Yeah, gotta be careful with that word, it's a no-no. However, back in the "let's shock 'em" '80's, it was a great chorus for an underground band who probably didn't fully understand English in the first place. I gotta go with "Devil's Eyes" here, never has the Fate sounded more like a contemporary Metal band than on this song. With this track, and without the theatrics, they could have been the next Judas Priest. Instead they became something much darker & cooler.



Okay, took 17 days, but I finally got my "Chapter One" 2 disc best-of set of Saxon. So why weren't these guys as big as Priest & Maiden in the states? I mean, they sound very much like them, even crossing early on in AC/DC territory, so why aren't they huge here? Well, maybe because even remastered, most of these recordings sound live in the studio and unpolished. Or the fact that alot of these tracks, while great to Metalheads, just miss the mark on being really, really catchy. I think in later years they caught up in production and writing, but if anyone really remembers Saxon (who are still as alive as ever), it's these years they'd remember. I guess I needed to "grow-up" with them. Had the opportunity, but they didn't grab me in '85. Now? They are like a hidden treasure of Metal to rediscover.....but these years give me that "Really good songs, good singer, good writing, but not GREAT". Does that make sense? Still, very, very glad I spent the dough on these two "best-Of Saxon" Collections. Gave me a total of 68 tracks to rock on to!
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Old 02-15-2021, 11:57 PM   #88
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Buy.com Redwood Mac



Found this 4CD box set at Goodwill this weekend for just $6.99 and couldn't pass it up. Finally owning some of the Green/pre Buck-Nicks years I've been wanting to do and surprisingly alot of it is highly entertaining in that pre-Sabbath blues-rock kind of way. What really surprised me is not one, not two, but three songs from this era were covered by another artist to receive major fame from it: Black Magic Woman (Santana), Green Manalishi (Judas Priest), and Sentimental Lady (former member Bob Welch). Now the originals aren't better than the remakes in my opinion, but really interesting to hear the arrangements they first came with. Also here are all the suspected hits, which I already had with better/more recent remastering, but at least five of them come as a new mix of the song which brings out different instruments & vocals to tracks I knew by heart for decades. Even has four new '92 songs (you guys gotta listen to "Make Me A Mask", chilling) and a whole minute longer studio version of "Gypsy" that should have been re-released it's so much better. Love it when I find these great finds at Goodwill, and this one (though it has early 90's remastering) is definitely up there. Very cool listenin'!
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:45 AM   #89
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Question The Last Saxon (But Not In Mono)

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This completes...the eight 2014 Beatles Mono vinyls I have....
A serious question here, can anyone explain the appeal of "Mono" versions of songs when a "Stereo" version is available? I have alot of records too that offer the "Mono" mix (a couple of Monkees & Bee Gees releases come to mind), but when the Stereo mix is on say Disc One, I skip the Mono on Disc Two every time. I mean, if a Mono track is the only thing I got, I'll put it on my drive, but I like the sound of Drums on Right, Vocal on Left vibe....so really, what's Mono's appeal to you?



Okay, okay, this is the last Saxon I'm buying, I promise! Another 2CD collection that features Saxon classics recorded with an orchestra and one from 2002 which features studio re-recording of the '02 line-up doing 70's/early 80's classics. While I haven't heard both of these all the way yet, what I did blew me away. The acoustic of "Iron Wheels" and the re-record of say "Strong Arm Of The Law" really grab you like never before. And this is an alternative to the classics, it doesn't erase them, just adds to it's legacy. And since this is two releases put together as one, it gave it more appeal. No more other Saxon after this, I don't have to be a completest of them too. I don't. But check these out.

By the way, I have other albums like this where bands re-record their past hits with new studio technology & members. For me, they're usually cool. I have bands like Kiss, Venom, Suicidal Tendencies, Ozzy, and others, and I get a kick out of them. How about you?
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:06 AM   #90
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Exclamation RedSabbath Reviews: Sabbath Volume 4 Deluxe/Floyd Family Tree

Quote:
Originally Posted by HotTastyChili View Post

They put out a greatest hits for Syd? He only made two albums! I like them both a lot.
Feeling like him probably isn't a good sign. What's on Sabbath's mind?
Actually, during Syd's time as an artist, yes he did put out only two solo albums, but also did a couple of Peel Sessions, and in the 80's had the rest of the unreleased works released as another record. Honestly, the best-of above is the best you can get. They released another recently, but it features half Syd Floyd tracks and the solo stuff has new bass lines by Gilmour. This is the best way to get his stuff on one CD (without alterations), but using the word "best" might be pushing it. Most of it is acoustic and sometimes off-key & off-timing, sorta sad to hear his mental decline captured like this. But there still is a little spark there, but his days of "Piper" greatness was way behind him already. And concerning me, work has been maddening lately and listening to this, unintentionally at the time, made it like the soundtrack. But again, if you like all eras of Floyd, you'll like this too.

Oh, I saw "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" mentioned earlier. Look, I bought that album Day One and loved it. Roger Waters, who was bitter & angry at the time, called it a "well-made forgery", and while he may have been right, it did capture the spirit of what Floyd was remembered for. Some say it sounds like a Gilmour solo album. Really? Have you heard his self-titled or "About Face"? While yes, the vocalist does sound like the same guy, but the music on "Lapse" tried damn hard to sound like the Floyd we were dying to hear again, while solo Dave went into blues and straight forward rock away from the Floyd pattern. Overall, AMLOR is a product of it's time, very 80's but it was what we wanted, another Pink Floyd album, with or without Waters. What we didn't need was another "Animals" or "The Final Cut", and solo-wise it seemed that's what Roger gave us on his own.



Okay, so I finally took the time to dig into this box set and I wanna talk about Disc Four, "Live In The UK". The question asked "Is this basically a repackaging of Sabbath's 1980 live album 'Live At Last'". The answer is mostly yes.....but a little bit no. Live At Last was the product of two live shows Sabb did in early 1973. About 85% of show Two made it on the album. This CD is ALL of Show Two. So while most tracks are what you heard on LAL exactly, some like "Snowblind" and "Tomorrow's Dream" are different. What really got me was "Wicked World" on this CD. While the same performance, I never, ever knew that originally for LAL, they cut 5 minutes out of Iommi's solo, a solo mind you that is already over ten minutes long on the original record edited! And those five minutes feature a live version of "Orchid" & a jam session with the whole band. I can tell exactly the original edit was now on LAL, but it blows my mind I never knew this for over 30 years. Also, LAL re-arranged a couple of tracks while this puts them back in proper performance order (War Pigs was the third track of the night, not the seventh), and keeps a couple extra seconds of Ozzy yelling & Iommi/Butler tune-up's. And the remastering? Yes, it is definitely better sounding than any version of LAL before it, but not by too much, it still retains it's bootleg-vibe. Would I buy this on this disc alone? No. But the music on Disc's Two & Three might change your mind (more on that soon). Thanks for reading.
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:07 AM   #91
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United Kingdom RedSabbath Reflects: Fastway



I can remember back in the 80's when there were a few bands that wanted to continue that "Led Zeppelin" sound after Bonham died a few years earlier. Two of those bands that came really, really close were Kingdom Come and Fastway. Strange thing about Fastway was the fact that their guitarist was Fast Eddie Clarke, the guitar behind the first five classic albums of Motorhead. So how do you go from Motorhead to Zeppelin? Not sure, but Eddie did it. In fact, it doesn't even sound like the same guitarist, not in playing or sound, he really pushed away with this on his Mo'head legacy. This came out in 1983, but it seems it could have come out in 1987 like Kingdom Come with it's riffs, and especially vocals, that take the Robert Plant blueprint to plagiarism heights. I only got into this first album, but the fourth album was the soundtrack to the Heavy Metal Horror movie (...really??? Yes.) Trick Or Treat, and the actor who played the villain lip synced this band. Anyway, though they were around during the 80's, they never became huge, but enough to have a few albums and Number 1 is the best. Think Led Zeppelin 1 through III style rock blues with big 80's production. But don't think Motorhead, this ain't anything like that!
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:49 PM   #92
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Exclamation RedSabbath Reflects: Fixxing A Def Monkee



So I was looking for some early, early as in the first two albums, of Def Leppard to place in my USB collection and found this 2CD set. Features 8 songs from the first two, from a total of 35 tracks, this is probably their best collection of tunes to date. Released in 2005, it has some great remastering, though it tends to be a little on the high side, but you get mostly album versions (two video edit ones) and it really is interesting to see this band grow through the years. Each disc is 77 minutes, definitely worthy of a Metalheads collection.



From the depths of my vast CD collection, this was found. They did have four big hits, and they're here (be it Red Skies is the '87 version & Stand Or Fall is live) this reminds me that all "New Wave" bands weren't actually New Wave, they were just rock bands with a keyboard player. The songs that you're not familiar with are decent too, but no one could say they were an 80's one-hit wonder.



Figured I had the best-of, with re-recorded versions of some of these songs, might as well put the original album too. Pretty revolutionary when you think of it, one of the first albums, with say D.R.I. and C.O.C., to merge Metal and Hardcore. Mike Muir says he never has gotten much payment for this record and that's sad because I didn't know anyone of my generation that didn't have a copy. True angst for an angry generation.



Found this remastered at Goodwill without a front cover & The Monkees fan I am bought it instantly. Say what you will about The Monkees, when it came to Nesmith's songs, he was all over them. Always bringing the country flair to the rest's pop. this continues what he started on television. Was he my favorite Monkee? No, Micky's style was more unique and varied, but if I wanted a country ditty that sounded great and had a story, there was always Mike.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:26 AM   #93
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United Kingdom RedSabbath Reviews: The Mob Rules (2021 Deluxe Edition)



So, to no one's surprise I just bought the "second" Deluxe, 2 CD, Edition of Black Sabbath's Mob Rules. There's no reason to give a review of the original album's music, it was groundbreaking Metal that started with Heaven And Hell, while the tracks on this actually surpasses them with even more intensity and overall heaviness in feel. But why buy another deluxe edition? Wasn't the first one enough?

No.

Y'see, the one from 2010 was actually for sale outside of the US. Because of that, while you got a remastered original album, the bonus "Die Young (Live)", and the "Heavy Metal" version of the title track, it's bonus disc was the entire limited edition CD of "Live At Hammersmith". It was a great addition since the original release of "Hammer" was limited to only 5000 copies, selling out on day one and still to this day not released on it's own. When I got it I noticed that the overall volume levels on both discs were surprisingly lower than usual standards. While I didn't want it "blown-out", it was obvious that even remastered if you had to turn your stereo up full max to hear it, it misses the point. And honestly, with all of these 2010's, 2CD Sabbath deluxe Vertigo versions (there are to date nine of them: Black Sabbath, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Heaven And Hell, Mob Rules, Live Evil [though with NO bonus content], Born Again, Seventh Star, & The Eternal Idol), each suffered the same fate, being just too low to really appreciate any overall remastering improvement. While the first three were eventually released over here through Warner Brothers, they too were just ports from the Vertigo remastering.

But ten years later, Warner decided to give it a spin, and yes, they did it right! Like others they've gave the 2CD treatment to (Alice Cooper's "Billion Dollar Babies" comes to mind, the ONLY version you'll ever need), this remaster features broader range, sharper clarity (Mob Rules always tended to be on the "bassy" side, now fixed), while not going into brickwall country. Simply put, I've owned Mob Rules on four different CD's in my life, this one beats all of them in one sonic punch. But the main reason to buy this isn't just the album, but the bonuses, and this time, they are different. While the Die Young/Heavy Metal tracks remain (also sounding much better), gone is Hammersmith, mostly, in favor of a different concert, "Portland 1982". However, it's placement is sorta strange, starting on Disc One, then two songs in, continues for the rest of Disc Two. Why they didn't place Hammersmith on here is beyond me, but they did decide to give you three songs from it, two of which weren't performed in Portland being "Country Girl", "Slipping Away", and yes another live "The Mob Rules". In fact "Mob" is on this edition FIVE times, with another oddity, a 2021 Remix that sounds like a mash up between the original and Heavy Metal versions, not essential, but still a cool listen. But with the extras being what they are, the star of the show is Portland.

Instead of Hammersmith, a best-of collage of three shows in a row put together seamlessly, Portland is Portland, that one complete late April 1982 show. While it's possible they're might be some editing here and there, it doesn't compare to what Hammersmith went through. As for it's sound quality, maybe it's a hair less as clear as Hammer, but miles above of what a bootleg version could ever be. And while most shows from this tour tend to sound the same, this Portland presentation has a unique mix. While Dio sounds as front as ever, Iommi's volume takes a back-step to Butler and strangely keyboardist Geoff Nicholls. While on paper this might throw off some purists, it gives an interesting listen, with Geezer just tearing up his parts and to hear what Geoff actually did for the ambiance of the performances are quite interesting. Trust me, he's no John Lord behind the scenes, just adding enough here and there to fill any holes, what few there were. The set-list is no shock, what you'd expect, but as always a variation every so often. And I could sware I can hear Ronnie's voice crack just once, and for one of the most perfect voices in Metal live to actually crack, even once, is worth the price of admission it's so rare. So, would I miss Hammersmith if I didn't own both? Maybe, but Portland is longer, more real & in your face, and the Vertigo version with it will always be around. I say, Portland, the better choice at this point.

So if you finally want the definitive version of the second-led Dio Sabbath album, this is it. Great volume without any brickwalls, nice extras that fulfill nicely, and a longer concert with a mix you've never quite heard before. That and of course a full many-paged color booklet, gatefold Digipack cover, and alot of history written out inside, this is one Mob Rules that rules them all!
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Old 04-06-2021, 12:33 AM   #94
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Red face RedSabbath Reflects: Collective Soul/Foo Fighters



Another trip back to the 90's with the third & fourth releases by Collective Soul. Strange how they went into a sorta "dance-remix" style of songs starting here, almost as if there's more "rock" versions of these songs on some other album. Still, enjoyable radio staples to go good with Puddle Of Mudd, Creed, and next purchase.....



I must have missed something, and that was the album before this, "Concrete And Gold". Somewhere between "Sonic Highways" and this, Grohl and company changed their style from hard edge pop-rock, to Lenny Kravitz style funk. Works for Len, but for Dave it's a bit jarring. I guess you don't want to repeat yourself, but why fix something that ain't broke? Not a total dud, couple of really good Foo tracks, but the best ones don't have the female backing singers and EWF-like orchestra behind them. Waiting for the "comeback/back to our roots" album now....
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:50 AM   #95
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Smile RedSabbath Reviews: Dio-Live In NYC 2002



Y'know, the past year has actually been pretty damn good for Ronnie James Dio. Too bad he's not alive to enjoy it. But over the past twelve months a total of eight of his albums have been re-released & remastered for a whole new audience. Each one a vast sonic improvement over the original release. Hot on the heels of the two Black Sabbath American remasters of "Heaven And Hell" & "Mob Rules", comes two live solo albums from the 00's, "Evil Or Divine: Live In NYC 2002" & "Holy Diver Live". I bought the last two together & just finished listening to "Evil Or Divine", an album I must admit I never bothered with when it was new mainly because of the live album "Dio's Inferno" 2CD set was only five years older than this one. First would be the packaging, now with full & alternative artwork, a new front artwork done by the same artist that did Dio's remastered solo box-set (don't worry, the original's inside still), plus anything visually related to that tour throughout. However, with these Digibooks, they insist on having sleeves hold the discs instead of trays, and yes, a CD can get damaged going inside and out. But the remastering is what's most looked at here, and again BMG Records has done Dio right. Loud yet not even close to brickwalling, Dio's voice sounds so clear and the instruments have great separation throughout. Yet another great performance of Ronnie's for the record books.

However, I must admit, I have heard the Dio band sound better. This version of the band features only one original musical member, bassist Jimmy Bain, with the "Killing The Dragon" line-up of ex-Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, and future Heaven & Hell keyboardist Scott Warren. While this seems like a powerful line-up, and it is, I have heard other line-up's, both original & new, of Dio's family tree perform these songs more closely to the original than here and when they stray off the path, others have been more interesting and successful doing it. Not to say this live album is a stinker, it isn't, but with at least five different officially released live albums under the solo Dio name, other like "Dio's Inferno:The Last In Live" or "Finding The Sacred Heart:Live In Philly" might be a better starting point.

As for the set-list itself, it follows the usual Dio touring of three or four current album songs, with the best of the classic first three & a few Sabbath/Rainbow hits. What's cool about this re-release is this time you get the entire concert where the original 2003 release was edited down to just one CD. Now you get an extra track, the rare "Lord Of The Last Day", and Wright's drum solo. In fact, there's even two tracks just dedicated to Dio banter & even the chant of "Dio, Dio, Dio!" for an encore. Not really big bonuses there, but at least a little different and complete. So, if you still miss the "big little guy of Metal" and never listened to these newly remastered 2000's performances before, it's a nice treat to have in such clarity. Yes, Dio's coming back with a vengeance, and with these remastered reissues, Heaven nor Hell will stop him!
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:16 AM   #96
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Cool RedSabbath Reflects: Napalm Death-Scum



Speaking of birthday's, it's damn hard to believe Napalm Death's first album is about to turn 35 years old! 35?!!? Back in 1987 when this came out, it blew our Metalhead minds. By this time, we had come to accept the hardcore scene with the likes of D.R.I. & S.O.D., with their sheer power and speed, but they sounded like easy-listening compared to this. This album at the time was considered the fastest performed album ever, with songs that would clock in as short as a second. We were taken with this band. Looking back what gets me the most is the original line-up of this band spawned three more acts that would stand beside Napalm, being Godflesh, Carcass, & Cathedral, each that would release classic underground Metal albums in their own right. However, once word came out that Tampa Florida was THE place to record your Death Metal album, they left England and came there. Unfortunately, that may have been the wrong decision because as members would leave they were replaced with the best that Tampa's Death Metal scene could offer, forever changing their style to more of a Morbid Angel than a D.R.I.. Also to note, even the first album has line-up changes as outside of the drummer, there's different performers on Side A than Side B, but listening to it, you hardly can tell. The band is still as active than ever, releasing at least fifteen albums after, but this was the one that got everyone's attention.

I also feel with Side B, with drummer Mick Harris' screaming "yayeyayayeyeahs!" background vocals, that it also influenced the "Screamo" genre to a degree too. Listen to any Screamo album of the 00's then this, I bet you'll hear it too. And finally, contrary to popular belief, thanks goodness for them, because England really didn't give us much in the Thrash Metal era (sorry, five bands ain't enough), but the Grindcore era did, and this was the start, and kept the UK on the Metal map.
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:02 PM   #97
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Exclamation RedSabbath Looks Towards Sabotage 2021



Well, it's finally happening, Sabb's sixth masterpiece, and to some the final "classic" Mark I album, "Sabotage" is getting the deluxe treatment! Like Volume 4 and Paranoid before it, it'll come with 4 CD's of material, tons of colorful booklets, and new written history of the band at this point in time. It arrives around June 12th, and I'm gonna get it Day One (no surprise). This album has great meaning to me. To me this is Sabbath's first angry album, mainly due to the fact at this point they realized that it was the label & their managers getting all the money that they earned, not them, and having to take them to court to get what was rightfully theirs back. Songs on this album reflect that, and at times Ozzy has never sounded more honest. Plus, two classic staples "Hole In The Sky" & "Symptom Of The Universe" which have been covered by hundreds of times by bands years after. If you never got around to Sabotage, do it. It's a "beginning of the end" album that will stay with you to the bitter end. Wanna just rock, then get "Master Of Reality", but wanna think, get this. Oh, one more thing, the Sabotage tour had an incredible set-list (three tracks made it on Disc Two of their "Past Lives" 2CD set from the 00's) , and this set will finally feature an entire show remastered. Just. Can't. Wait.
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:34 AM   #98
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Thumbs down RedSabbath Tearfully Remembers-GZR



So lately I'm back in full Sabbath mode (looks like some of you are too), and realized that after I put two of Bill Ward's solo albums on my drive (which I love, more on them later), it was time to complete the solo library of Sabbath. Oh jeez.......it's time for Geez! Geezer Butler's "GZR" project that gave us three albums between 1995 & 2005. What can I say? How can one of the most brilliant bassists, lyricists, and performers of Metal's all-time come up with three albums of the most modern-day generic Nu-Metal one has ever heard? What was he thinking, not once but three damn times?!!? Iommi put out three albums of Sabbath-inspired metal that won over any BS fan, while Bill gave us something between "John Lennon joining Pink Floyd" with that bottom end Sabbath doom. Why Geez, why? I figured after fifteen years I may have missed something the first time around with these two (I don't own the second album, and the third I got in the bargain bin), but no. Imagine a watered down version of 90's Machine Head (with their actual vocalist) for the first, or bland Alice In Chains for the third, but nothing here grabs you. Almost like a parody, I can see him wanting to try something either new to him or of modern times, but when you have a good thing going for at the time 25 years, ya keep the doom metal chuggin'! Even the most Sabbath fan would have a hard time loving these records, not that they sound or performed bad (but not great on either really), it's just so generic in how it's done here. Funny, these went OOP quickly after, but recently all have been reissued, but instead of the band called G//Z/R, or geezer, or even GZR (why change the band name three times?!!?), this time each are released as "Geezer Butler". That took metal balls, because 80% of the time, you can't even hear Geez over the downtuned 90's mess. Listen to at your own risk.

...and this guy called "Cross Purposes", and I quote, "s**t". Did he listen to his solo work at all?
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