Showing posts with label Metal Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Metal Reviews. Show all posts

4/26/2020

Metal Review: Exlibris - Shadowrise

Release Date: April 17, 2020
Label: 2020 Exlibris Recordings
Website 

Crank up your radio or stereo and let er’ rip with Shadowrise! The band Exlibris unleashes its latest, six-track album with a blend of rage and power, combined with a melodic body of work; all of which accelerates the band through a momentous round of music.

Coming high off their critically acclaimed album Aftereal, the band leaves no stone unturned in letting rip all efforts fly on their fourth studio album. With the intense vocals of Riku Turunen mixed into the instrumental stylings of keyboardist - Piotr Sikora, bassist – Piotr Torbicz, and drummer Grzegorz “Gregor” Olejnik; a rebirth of heavy metal, or “Hi-octane metal,” or “speed metal”, has also been referenced...is born. One would assume, four albums in, a band starts to either sound repetitive or lose its fundamental uniqueness of sound. Exlibris keeps it polished and the volume past 11 as the album unfolds.

Right out of the gate, “Rule #1” transforms from an intense set up as a trick of a possible light hunter’s battle-themed tune, to then quickly evolving into an intense battle royale. Its powerful guitar-shredding clashing with the main theme of the lyrics to produce a dramatic introductory track proves to energize the listener and excite them for what is to come. As the song continues, it plateaus and slightly builds to heighten the dramatic effect of enticing the listener, only to leave them wanting more with the singer repeating a partial chorus.

“Hell or High Water” intensifies the continuation of the record. It is the fighter anthem, with the strong intensity of the guitar, this song is all about building up and getting stronger with each note that passes on. It connects well also to the beginning of “All I Never Know.” “All I Never Know” starts with great force and then lends itself to mellow out for a good half of a minute in the middle. This is only to follow it through with another short burst of energy, keeping the listener on their toes, and unwinds by mellowing out with the keyboards.

Another instance of a song flowing right into another is that of the title track “Shadowrise.” The song blends the keyboard fadeout in the very beginning and then bursts right into power and might “looking for a sanctuary.” This might imply that everything that lies within the shadows might be in danger or that the shadows may be the danger themselves. Whatever the case may be, it is a clever appeal to combine a lyrical image with the speed and sound of the song at hand.

“Megiddo” comes in with a bang. Rightfully so, aside from Riku’s vocals, this song is 85 percent dedicated to the work and craft of Grzegorz “Gregor” Olejnik. Without him, much of this record, and this song would fail to carry itself as the drum beats are what it is built upon. The speed, the rhythm, and the control of the song carry out only because of Grzegorz.

The final track “Interstellar” is intriguing. Much of the track is spoken word of a speech formerly given by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Anyone born after the early 1990s or, even some just before then, might not even know of this infamous speech proclaiming the great desire of traveling to the moon and through space. It is a great tease in history. Never close your mind to where music could lead you even in secrecy.

Key Tracks: “Hell Or High Water,” “Shadowrise”

Gregg Keniston- MuzikMan.net Staff

April 23, 2020

Track Listing:
01. Rule #1
02. Hell Or High Water
03. All I Never Knew
04. Shadowrise
05. Megadido
06. Interstellar



1/21/2020

Rock - Metal Review: Blind Ego-Preaching To The Choir

Release Date: February 14, 2020
Label: Gentle Art of Music
This record is a blast of power and energy. From start to finish, Blind Ego’s efforts into their fourth studio album Preaching To The Choir is a force to be reckoned with. The uplifting lyrics blend seamlessly with the sounds of the guitars and drum in each track like a different chapter of a storybook. Most of the album reflects a very upbeat and positive tone which, to me, is hard to expect from a Rock, or Metal album typically. “Burning Alive,” the lead single, sounds not only the most radio-friendly but; somewhat like a Pop record because of how light it plays.

“Massive” is the ultimate starters song. You would expect to hear this song at the lead out of the announcement of the two Super Bowl LIV teams. It has so much fight and exhilaration throughout it. Not only that but, it sends the listener to a place where they feel like they are marching to their victory, to claim what is rightfully theirs.

As though one is stepping into a video game, the title track, “Preaching to the Choir” starts like walking onto a warp pad. The song quickly becomes a thrill, a rush of blood to the head, because you’ve been headbanging along with the guitar and drum patterns throughout. Then comes about, “ Burning Alive.” Leaving the past behind and watching it go up in flames, the band prepares and sets off to make a new out of the fire and ash of what they intend to leave behind; even if they catch a little singe on their way out.

“Line In The Sand” turns the album a little darker. The band is engulfed in a struggle of some kind. They don’t see a way out per se but, they establish then and there, that the things that turned them to the darkness of sorts, will not keep them from moving forward. The music keeps propelling the band, the album, and their career forward.

“Dark Paradise” keeps with the same darker underlying spirit. It acknowledges that standing alone might be the best way to move forward. The realization that sometimes you have to walk out the toughest battles alone, lays a theme for indeed, a dark paradise – a vast land now covered in blank darkness, that seemingly fits eternity. If there’s one theme that runs through this album, it’s consistency. “In Exhile” reflects that the singer has been running constantly and now has gotten to the point where those around him cannot see him, do not hear him, and do not care to look. He has grown comfortable this way, just muscling through whatever he must to get through day today.

“Heading For the Stars” become a bit lighter, in having a companion beside one another as they venture onto brighter things ahead. However, they find themselves embattled in a sea of negativity and disaster to get through. On the bright side, the singer notes, “the future is alive.” So, there must be something worth the chase after all. “Broken Land” lends itself to the same ideals of “jump into the flame” to get to where you want to be. It speaks of change, and what is to come of it on the other side. But, this broken land is wasted on them anymore because there has been so much trauma in its path.

The final track “The Pulse,” is all about anticipation. The singer reclaims what he’s been searching for in terms of peace and a purpose (or pulse). Beginning the track is just over two minutes of a lead-in of thrill and sound. But, what will come of this man’s future in taking down the one-man-army that stands in his way? In many ways, that one man is simply trying to find a way back to a sense of normalcy and to build upon that.

Gregg Keniston- Muzikman.net Staff
January 18, 2020



Tracks:
1. Massive
2. Preaching To The Choir
3. Burning Alive
4. Line In The Sand
5. Dark Paradise
6. In Exile
7. Heading For The Stars
8. Broken Land
9. The Pulse
 

9/22/2019

Rock - Metal Review: Howling Giant-The Space Between Worlds

Release Date: September 27, 2019
Label: Blues Funeral Recordings
 
Premiering their debut full-length album The Space Between Worlds, Howling Giant proves they have exactly what it takes to go toe-to-toe with some of Rock N’ Roll’s or better yet, Metal’s biggest contenders like Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, or even Megadeath. Before even reading what the album concept is, you can tell there is a theme that runs through; as though someone is on a journey for victory. 

As you travel through the tracklist, “Ghosts In The Well” is a nice switch-up on the record giving the song a more acoustic vibe, even if it is only temporary. The band does a wonderful job conveying the message of a 9-track journey that almost seems like a video game with some of the track titles. This album is not for the faint of heart, however. It is most certainly is for the veteran Metal lovers because of its heavy tones of vocals and drums. 

The idea of a concept album is great for their first full-length feature. A lot of newer Rock bands have more of a Pop-friendly vibe to them to show themselves as radio-friendly, and like something, the labels (especially the larger labels) can market to the masses. This band revitalizes the fresh-out-of-the-garage-band style that has been largely missed due to the implementation of machines and quick fixes. 
I have little doubt that there wasn’t some technical editing going through the record, as is with most other albums and genres today but, the record flows through the ears like the adventure it tries to display through their sound.

Like me, if you have never heard of Howling Giant, you would probably be interested right of the bat because of their name. Though I am not the biggest Rock or Metal fan of the world, I appreciate real Rock N’ Roll when I hear it. The album is great if you are looking for inspiration with any type of music. If you are trying to solve the latest bad day of your week, or you just need to find an outlet to get oneself through the journey of the day, this record is most definitely for you. Should you not be able to handle the heaviness and emboldening sound of The Space Between Worlds, I suggest you either wake up, or head elsewhere to find what you might deem as “good music."

Gregg Keniston-MuzikMan.net Staff
September 21, 2019

Tracks:

1. Comet Rider
2. Nomad
3. Ghosts in The Wall
4. The River Guide
5. Ice Castle
6. Cybermancer and The Doomsday Express
7. Everlight
8. The Orb
9. Stone Giant

12/15/2018

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY
December 13, 2018



With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.  We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.

Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.

For those of you unfortunate, tortured, misled souls that may not be familiar with Ghost, here is a bit of information I grabbed from Wikipedia.


Tobias Forge obscured his identity behind the character "Papa Emeritus". The character, which consists of Forge in a prosthetic mask and makeup can be best described as a 'demonic anti-pope'. The Papa Emeritus Character has gone through four incarnations - I, II, III, and Nihil. As of the 2018 album Prequelle and subsequent world tour, Forge portrays a character known as "Cardinal Copia," who is described as being unrelated to any of the Papa Emeritus characters and whose costume consists of either Cardinal vestments or a black or white tuxedo alongside a prosthetic mask with black eye makeup and the multi-colored eyes which had been present in each Papa character.

Ghost is quite theatrical and I expected much of what I saw. What I did not anticipate was a 7-piece band! Now the lead singer has 3 guitar players, and two ladies, who are referred to a Lionesses, on keyboards and of course the Nameless Ghouls. As with any bands rise to popularity a culture is created within and this is no exception. There were people there in the audience with the full Papa makeup and Santa Claus stocking caps and one dude was fully decked out as the Cardinal. It reminded me of the days when Kiss were on their meteoric rise and people would go out on Halloween as one of the band members. This is entertainment at its highest level as far as I am concerned.

The Ghost band is like a well-oiled machine. Seeing them two dates before the tour ends surely showed how well versed they were with their musical acumen and stage presence. Speaking of presence, Cardinal Copia has become masterful at playing to the crowd and getting a response. Many times, during each song he would yell “Are you with us Albany!” That would always get a rise in the decibel level of voices and whistles.

They opened with the raucous “Rats.” That was a perfect tone-setter for the night. I have included the official video which has over 15 million views and counting right now! There is one guitar player who is the lead, and second, that is a good match to exchange riffs with, they stand on either side of the Cardinal. In the back, you have the third guitar player who is there for a lot of background vocals, tambourine, posturing, and some electric guitar playing to accentuate the other two. The addition of the two ladies on keyboard adds that extra layer of music that at times pushes their music to the border of progressive metal. Do not fear metalheads, I did say “border,” and it is one that they have not crossed over, not yet anyway. Who knows what the future holds in the creative mind of Tobias, the master of disguise?



The setlist encompassed 3 hours and they certainly have enough material to fill that time. 28 songs were covered and it was a great mix with older material and great versions of songs from the amazing Prequelle album. My belief is that they will win the Grammy for the best metal album of 2018. They are spot and precise as any band I have heard live going their list of studio recordings.

The musicianship was outstanding all night and the transitions from the heavier songs like “Mummy Dust,” the real ass wobbler as the Cardinal coined, to the most recent rock-oriented tracks like “Life Eternal,” we got all the different aspects of this talented group encapsulated into one exciting package.

Ghost is at the top of their game now and is taking full advantage of their popularity. I do not mind paying $40 for a souvenir t-shirt to support a band that truly deserves it and they most certainly do! I hope their success continues and I would expect it would.

The difference last night and what I saw a year ago was a band with more punch, precision and extra oomph with the added members. If you like theatrical music and love heavy metal, Ghost is a sure bet to please that preference. I cannot think of a better band in the metal genre right now and would see them again without a second thought.

Set List

Act 1:
Klara stjärnor (Jan Johansson song)
Miserere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Ashes
Rats
Absolution
Idolatrine
Ritual
Con Clavi Con Dio
Per Aspera ad Inferi
Devil Church
Cirice
Miasma (with Papa Nihil saxophone solo)
Jigolo Har Megiddo (acoustic)
Pro Memoria
Witch Image
Life Eternal

Act 2:
Masked Ball (Jocelyn Pook song)
Spirit
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Majesty
Satan Prayer
Faith
Year Zero
Spöksonat
He Is
Mummy Dust
If You Have Ghosts (Roky Erickson cover) (with band introductions)
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer

Encore:
Monstrance Clock
The Host of Seraphim (Dead Can Dance song)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

"The original internet “MuzikMan” Reviewer since 1998!”

9/07/2018

Metal Review: Saxon Remasters-Saxon, Wheels of Steel, Crusader, Denim and Leather, Strong Arm of the Law, Power & The Glory

Release Date: May 25, 2018
Label: BMG
Website


I thought it fitting to show the cover of the first Saxon album since I am starting at the beginning with these remasters. I have been listening and getting to know the band much better.

 
Each disc comes in a hardbound book style case with pictures and lyrics. Each one is a collector's piece in its own right. Keep in mind these are the “Deluxe” reissues, not the set that came out in 2012, there is a difference.
I never got into Saxon as much as bands like Judas Priest but thanks to these great remasters my thoughts and listening habits have changed. I do have to say that I still feel Sacrifice is their best album. It’s a personal favorite and I actually got the vinyl picture disc for that release.

I read a review recently that said Saxon has been carrying the torch for New Wave Of British Heavy Metal much stronger than Judas Priest. That is a view I do not share wholeheartedly but I will say they are both still very strong bands and each has their own stamp on the genre. Saxon is not as heavy as JP although I heard a steady progression of their music from their first self-titled release to the Power & The Glory. That is what can make a listener so much more appreciative of a band’s legacy than before. If you start right at the beginning and listen to how a band matures with each album it does make a difference on your opinion going forward listening to the band. Also, the formative process you can hear through alternate versions of a track or a demo. This really lets you dig in and understand a cradle to grave if you will process before we as listeners have the chance to hear it. This is an opportunity that opens a door a listener can open more often with remastered sets, which have become more commonplace than ever.

The hardcover booklets, pictures, and information provided make it all a real history lesson in metal music and how Saxon was a major influence on the development of the genre. These are all high-quality remastered releases that the long-time fan will appreciate, and those that want to explore one of the progenitors of NWOBHM. I must say I will feel incomplete if I do not hear the next batch the comes out. All of the albums are out on limited edition swirl colored vinyl now as well. I would also recommend the four-album set on vinyl The Decade of the Eagle (1979-1989) which is excellent.

So, it certainly seems there is still a good market for a band that kicked things off in 1977. This is further proof of the Saxon imprint on heavy metal. They are still going strong and touring so make sure you check these special releases out if you are a fan. I am sure they will be found in many collector’s vaults soon enough and I would expect their value to rise with the passing of time. I know one thing, after making my way through all six releases I certainly see why they are so popular, they are now more popular in my listening rotation!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 7, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By Muzikman’s Reviews & News

5/26/2018

Metal Review: A Sound of Thunder - It Was Metal (Special Ed. 180 gm 2 LP Set Black/Orange Splatter)

Release Date: June 15, 2018
Label: Independent 
Website

I like having a history with an artist or band. This is the kind of relationship I have with A Sound of Thunder. I have always done my level best to cover their music and I go all the way back to the 2012 release Out of the Darkness. And here we are in 2018 and they are set to release another metal masterpiece. 

The band is Nina Osegueda (vocals, theremin), Josh Schwartz (guitars, keyboards), Jesse Keen (bass, keyboards) and Chris Haren   (drums, percussion).

The new album is titled It Was Metal. What is different this time is I have the 2 LP set in a limited run of black with an orange splatter in nice a tri-fold package. And yes, it looks very cool. And of course, the sound on vinyl is superb. And if you happen to a fan of comic books there is one that tells the story that is set to music. The comic book series by Bob Hall is what inspired this musical tribute.

It Was Metal is a story or concept if you. Call it what you like, it comes together with their own comic book and some incredibly good music. The music is Metal and much more. You will hear some prog, blues and few other unexpected things blaring through your speakers.

The opening track is “Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)” and sets the tone for what there is ahead (more killer tracks). Then the curtain closer “Fortress of the Future Race,” is absolutely perfect. Keep in mind this is a story and that last track, which is one of the very best on the album, leaves the door open for a continuing saga…

This band pledges allegiance to no one and does not fit nicely into any box. Metal is a common thread that runs through their music however it ends up being a patchwork quilt with a lot thrown into the mix to make a very full and interesting listen. And who said you could not take Metal and bend and shape it into something more? A Sound of Thunder creates their own sound with a foundation of crunching guitars and a pounding rhythm section. The title certainly makes a statement however it means more than just a reference to the music because of the storyline, comic book, and artwork.

The one striking about this LP set is the artwork. The cover reminded of classic Dio and Judas Priest albums with all the demons rising from hell to destroy the earth. So, sharpen your blades and raise them up high to fight all you metal fans! It is all so much fun to put this whole thing together, hold it in your hand, and check out all the great pictures on the gatefold sleeves. It sure as hell beats a digital download but those are nice to have on your phone or iPod, I must admit. 

It Was Metal is complete musical experience as it was meant to be. You get a beautiful 180-gram splatter vinyl set, and then you can watch it spin around on your turntable. There is something mesmerizing about that, especially with colored vinyl of any kind.  As the music comes blaring out your speakers and fills the room you are in, you realize how much you have missed this kind of experience in the digital age.

So, what’s there not to like about this package? It is everything a true music fan could possibly ask for. And believe me, this band kicks some major ass and they play it all loud and proud just like any fan would expect. So, get this vinyl while you can and experience it all and feel the power of A Sound of Thunder. I think It Was Metal will inspire you to seek out more of this band’s catalog not to mention the classic metal albums you may not have heard in a while.


5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 24, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:
Side A:
01. Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)
02. Lifebringer
03. Atlacatl


Side B
 

04. The Crossroads Deal
05. It Was Metal
06. Obsidian & Gold (Desdinova Returns)


Side C:

07. Second Lives
08. Els Segadors (The Reapers)


Side D:
 

09. Tomyris
10. Charles II
11. Fortress of the Future Race


3/24/2018

Heavy Metal Review: Judas Priest-Firepower

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Label: Sony

Judas Priest is not making music for the sake of doing so. This band puts their heart and soul into everything they do. It all started 50 years ago…I know, hard to believe right?

So here we are in 2018 and the latest from the legends of metal has arrived. Aptly titled Firepower, it is heavy and pounding metal reminiscent of Screaming for Vengeance. Interesting enough, that is my favorite Priest record. This one comes in a close second. If it were not for sentimental value, it would be in a dead tie.

I decided to order the book version of the album through Pledge Music rather than waiting for my promo copy like I usually do. I also do not mind supporting bands with something other than reviews. Getting a download of a few tracks before they were released then the complete download before the official release of the album was nice too. I have used the Pledge Music service several times and I really like the way it brings in income for the artists.

So, where to start with 14 tracks for all us heavy metal maniacs? I am straight up and true with what I heard, this is all metal, and still some of best you can find. Asking Priest to do anything less would be like asking the devil to be the Easter bunny for a day. Their music has a common thread of darkness and evil about it, but that is what we expect for the subject matter. Like a sledgehammer, it permeates your soul. It comes at you full throttle, track by track, minute by minute.

Firepower is everything the title implies. It is their finest release since Nostradamus in my opinion. I realize there a few albums over the years that are not fan favorites but I would bet my last dollar that this one catches fire and becomes one of their most successful. The amazing thing about this band is that they are all in their late 60s now with the exception of guitarist Richie Faulkner, who has been a shot of energy and inspiration ever since he joined the band to replace K.K. Downing.

Every track is killer on this album, however, if I had to pick some favorites, they would be “Firepower,” “Evil Never Dies” and the superb closer “Sea of Red.” So, you have dynamite opening and closing tracks with plenty of gutsy meat and potatoes in between. That is what heavy metal is to me.

Longtime Judas Priest fans will be overjoyed with the release of Firepower. For a band that has been around long enough to finally call it day, they are robust, vital and relevant as they ever were. I think it’s refreshing and they stand as a monument to preserving heavy metal music and a great inspiration to those wishing to carry the torch in the future. Keep the flame burning gents, you are doing a fine job!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 24, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:
01. Firepower
02. Lightning Strike
03. Evil Never Dies
04. Never The Heroes
05. Necromancer
06. Children of the Sun
07. Guardians
08. Rising From Ruins
09. Flame Thrower
10. Spectre
11. Traitors Gate
12. No Surrender
13. Lone Wolf
14. Sea of Red




7/21/2017

Concert Review: Iron Maiden and Ghost In Concert

Iron Maiden and Ghost In Concert
Xfinity Center Mansfield, Massachusetts
July 19, 2017
I can tick one off the bucket list now. I finally got my opportunity to see the iconic metal legends Iron Maiden in concert. I have been waiting for many years for this night and it was worth the wait. On a steamy July night, an over capacity crowd at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts reveled in their time witnessing the heavy metal giants perform. 

I have never seen that many people in sync like that, the admiration and respect was evident all night long. You would expect a raucous crowd, and I know we are all stereotyped like other groups of people, but this was an orderly crowd and when we all left there were no issues. So much for the stereotypes, you can throw them right out the window. We love our metal and our bands, and as Bruce Dickinson said, prior to a short dissertation of the world before a song, we are all “Blood Brothers.” One people enjoying each other’s company and the music.

The opening band Ghost is one I was anticipating as well. I had already purchased all their music and found their presentation onstage very theatrical. Of course, Maiden takes that element to entirely different level when they get on the stage. The music of Ghost is heavy and precise. The band’s lead singer “Papa Emeritus III” has put together a well-oiled machine, and he looks menacing as hell (no pun intended there). The “Nameless Ghouls,” the rest of the band, all have their devil masks on while the lead singer is a moving skeleton working the stage all night. The act is a tribute to the dark side and Satan. It is entertainment, an act yes, and I do not believe for a second they are worshipers of Lucifer. When you talk about being happy and prosperous as the lead singer did last night, well, worshipers of the dark master just don’t discuss such things, so there you go. The music is as awesome as I expected in a live setting. I would expect this band to continue to grow a large following and eventually be headliners.

Ghost was a superb warm up band for Maiden and I think everyone in attendance really enjoyed their music and presentation.

Iron Maiden’s stage sets the tone for their shows. With mascot Eddie and the backdrops for whatever album they are touring under, it always makes it a total multimedia event. This was the next to the last show for the incredible masterpiece The Book of Souls

All the members look to be in terrific shape physically and Bruce is still running around the stage all night long. He was totally soaked in sweat after only a few songs (as was I all night long). The energy he commands onstage is something to behold. The band has been together so long it is like watching a family joining together to celebrate what they love. You can feel the honesty in their performance. With three excellent guitarists and the phenomenal founder and bass player Steve Harris uniting them to make their way through fan favorites and the most recent recording, it really was something people in attendance will never forget.

The large video screens were amazing. The shots of the band on stage were HD quality, you could see the sweat on their arms and watch their fingers blazing away on the guitars. It made a difference for all of us in the upper sections. It was hard not to keep looking at the screen!

The one thing I did notice that was a blemish on an otherwise excellent show, was how Bruce’s mic kept cutting out last night. It happened frequently, so hopefully that is something that would be corrected by the venue or their own team on the mixing board. I am not sure where the problem was originating from.

The venue is in an off the beaten path area and by the time we made it through the incoming traffic, the only parking left was the very last lot with a 2 hour wait to get out. I learned my lesson when attending such a major event there. You should either get there when they open the lots or pay the price to park outside the venue! Fair warning to those who have not been there yet.

The inconveniences were not welcomed but dealt with in good spirits by all in attendance. And why not? We got to see phenomenal heavy metal in one evening so it was worth it. I had always watched the DVD sets over the years of Maiden and now understand the energy level and commitment of the band and their fans.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 20, 2017

Founder of:

Ghost Set List:
Masked Ball
(Gregorio Allegri song)
Square Hammer
From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Ritual
Cirice
Year Zero
Absolution
Mummy Dust
Monstrance Clock

Iron Maiden Set List:
    Doctor Doctor
    (UFO song)
    If Eternity Should Fail
    Speed of Light
    Wrathchild
    Children of the Damned
    Death or Glory
    The Red and the Black
    The Trooper
    Powerslave
    The Great Unknown
    The Book of Souls
    Fear of the Dark
    Iron Maiden
    Encore:
    The Number of the Beast
    Blood Brothers
    Wasted Years

7/02/2017

Heavy Metal Review: Rob Halford-The Complete Albums Collection

Release Date: May 19, 2017
Label: Legacy

Rob Halford is The Heavy Metal God. I don’t think too many people would dispute that claim. Although there are a few others like Ozzy that can stake claim to that title however he is the self-proclaimed prince of darkness. Halford has made his mark with the legendary band Judas Priest and he did have a remarkable solo career for several years. He is on his second long term stint as their front man and doing very well indeed.

I never got into his band Fight before and this was a great opportunity to do so. I really enjoyed the four recordings that are part of this box set. Even the K5: The War of Words Demos were good. And as far as demos go I would have to say excellent.

Halford put together a young and energetic band that really knew how to bring down the house. All you need is a good band and Halford fronting it, and you the perfect recipe for heavy metal mayhem.

When Resurrection and Crucible came out I remember being very anxious to hear them. I was wondering without Judas Priest if the man would lose his core sound and command in songs. Well that thought was dispelled quickly as those two releases cemented his solo career once and for all. We are all glad he went back to Priest but he did carve out an excellent solo career. It’s all about talent and chemistry and those two elements blended well on those excellent releases.

Live Insurrection is one of the better live albums I have ever heard. For my metal tastes, it ranks right up there with Deep Purple’s Made In Japan and Uriah Heep Live, both 70s classics that I played all the time. The only qualm I have with this box set is the inclusion of two other live albums, which are good but they don’t touch Live Insurrection. I really don’t think there was a need to have three live albums in one box set. More rarities would have been appropriate for this type of career spanning release.

Two was an experiment and it doesn’t sound like it belongs in this set at all but it was one of Halford’s solo projects. Halford III: Winter Songs was a novelty and now he can say he did a Christmas album. I thought it was a waste of time when he released it and it is the one blemish on his otherwise incredible career. Halford IV: Made of Metal would get him back on track again although it was not one of his best it was a good listen. He reclaimed his title as the heavy metal god once again and moved on to make some incredible music with Judas Priest (and they are working one another album presently).

So, take away two live albums and the Christmas album and what you have is various shades and levels of heavy metal music with one of the best voices in the history of the genre. Those three releases could have been replaced easily for us hungry metal fans with other recordings in the vaults. Perhaps that will be for another day though.

When you hear the scream like a banshee on “Resurrection” you know there is nobody that did it like Rob Halford. So just crank it up and enjoy. I started every day off for a week listening to this music on my morning drive. Metal and a cup of joe always set me right.

Check out the amazing solo career of Mr. Rob Halford. His work with Judas Priest continues to be excellent and what he did on his own certainly made a statement as well. He can hang his head high knowing his music represented Heavy Metal in the best way possible. 

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 2, 2017
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Rob Halford The Complete Albums Collection

Albums:
Fight
K5: The War of Words Demos
War of Words
Mutations
A Small Deadly Space
2wo
Voyeurs
Resurrection
Live Insurrection
Crucible
Live in Anaheim
Halford III: Winter Songs
Halford IV: Made of Metal



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