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Old 10-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #391 (permalink)
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I'd just like to point out that it's still called Hell Bent for Leather over here and it's how I'll always think of the album.
If truth be told Hell Bent for Leather is actually the more suitable name for the album. The previous albums by the band had displayed a dark disturbing subject base (by 1970s standards) but on Killing Machine, the band had moved this darker style into sexual themes making the Hell Bent for Leather a far more accurate title. Also the "Hell Bent for Leather" track is much strong than the "Killing Machine" track, which also adds weight to the topic.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #392 (permalink)
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02. Rainbow Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll 1978 (Polydor)
Hard Rock

A pulsating mother of an album that shivers and shakes!


Overview

If Rising is regarded as the band’s best studio album, then Long Live ‘n’ Roll is without doubt my personal favourite by the band. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll would be the third studio album by the band and despite the fact that they were often ‘pigeon holed’ in some quarters as being a band that played mystical rock, the band rock harder on this album than ever before. Their debut set had seen the band finding their ‘Dragon Rock’ sound on what had been a largely disjointed album, but on the seminal Rising we had seen the full flourishing of the band in just thirty three short wonderous minutes! But on Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, the band would give us a much gruffer and even more stripped back sound, than what would’ve been expected at this time from them. For this reason alone, the album stands as a great late decade hard rock album not to be missed. The album also continued Ritchie Blackmore’s ‘revolving door’ policy when it came to bass players, so much so that the finishing bassist on Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll is Bob Daisley ex-Chicken Shack, Mungo Jerry and Widowmaker, who only actually gets to play bass on three songs, as Ritchie Blacknore takes up the lion’s share here. I call Bob Daisley the finishing bassist, as previous bass player Matt Clarke, Jimmy Bain’s replacement was fired early in the album’s recordings. Also keyboardist Tony Carey features only on some of the tracks, with keyboardist Dave Stone sharing these duties across the album as well. The somewhat well know live concert staple “Kill the King” also makes its studio debut on this album as well, after having previously been heard on the live On Stage album released the previous year. I also never realised until recently, that so many of the tracks on this album have actually been covered by so many different artists, that have ranged from Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater and Stratovarius to name just a few of the many, again this shows just how well regarded this album is. Once again the album is superbly produced by Martin Birch and it stands around six minutes longer than the previous Rising album. From this album onwards it would be all change for the band, as iconic frontman Dio would up and leave the band, and his replacement Graham Bonnet would step in. This of course would coincide with the band marrying their sound with the fully established AOR scene stateside, to enable Ritchie Blackmore to cruise the commercial boulevard of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Dio- Vocals
Ritchie Blackmore- Guitar
Bob Daisley- Bass
Tony Carey- Keyboards
Dave Stone- Keyboards
Cozy Powell- Drums

Production- Martin Birch

Album
Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll- One of the great driving tracks from the band and Dio is totally on fire here, and it’s a song that demonstrates the gruffer overall feel of this album. Lady of the Lake- A pulsating and dynamic song and one of the best songs that the band ever put out………hell I could listen to this song everyday! L.A Connection- No let up on the heaviness here and the band put out their third straight powerhouse of a song in a row. The song mixes in some zany piano work into the latter part of the song. Gates of Babylon- The last track to be recorded on the album and certainly a hark back to the previous Rising album and it features some great keyboard work by Dave Stone as well. It’s also the second longest track on the album. Kill the King- A track that had previously appeared on the live On Stage album, and a track that definitely deserves to be slotted in on one of the band’s studio albums, it’s also one of two songs on the album to be co-written with Cozy Powell. The Shed (Subtle)- After some heavy instrumental work where the song threatens to become an instrumental, the song emerges into a another dominant delivery by Dio and the song is a great example of just how strong all the material on this album actually is. Sensitive to Light- Probably the lightest sounding and certainly most easy going track on the whole album. Rainbow Eyes- The beautiful and placid album closer and a final goodbye the to band’s finest ever line-up.

Verdict
The overall feel of Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, is at times of an album that has been stripped back to produce a gruffer feel and it’s also probably the heaviest album in the band’s discography song for song. It’s an album that at times is in stark contrast to the previous Rising album, due to a lesser emphasis on neo-classical arrangements, these arrangements are still there of course, but this time around they’ve been more immersed into the rocking elements of most of the songs. This stripped back feel becomes evident from the start clock, with the title track “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” where it quickly becomes evident that the band have different motivations for this album than on their previous work. Then there is the sublime and addictive “Lady of the Lake” which is followed by the pounding “LA Connection” a song that would’ve done AC/DC proud! The nearest we get to the previous Rising album are songs like the suitably named “Gates of Babylon” which with its heavy neo-classical overtones was later unsurprisingly covered by Yngwie Malmsteen. Then there is “Kill the King” which superbly combines the bands different styles and of course the album’s showcase track “Rainbow Eyes” another one of the pivotal tracks to ever be put out by the band. As for the album as a whole, I’ve often read on review sites, that the songs on Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll are often considered weaker than those on Rising. Now if we’re comparing this album to the mystical and fantastical feel of the Rising album, then that might be the case, but as the execution and feel of Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll is distinct, the album itself needs to be looked at with that in mind and in my opinion the songs are just as solid. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll as the name suggests, actually puts rock first and themes second, so to conclude we therefore have an album that is just as tight as Rising, because yet again the writing partnership of Ritchie Blackmore and Dio is still as solid as a rock. The album also ranks as one of the very best Dio vocal performances ever, if in doubt just listen to this album from beginning to end! As far as I’m concerned, this album along with the previous Rising, his future Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, Mob Rules and his solo Holy Diver, are the albums that made Dio a legend as a muscle vocalist that few could match. Also the drumming on the album by Cozy Powell is top notch as you would expect and the guitar work by Ritchie Blackmore is another notch of his when it comes to guitar excellence. Quite simply Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll, would be the last great album released by Rainbow, as after this album the band would achieve greater fame for the quality of some of their singles, rather than the quality of their albums.

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-13-2013, 04:43 AM   #393 (permalink)
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01. Judas Priest Stained Class 1978 (CBS)
Heavy Metal

Down on your knees and repent if you please!


Overview

I’ve constantly mentioned on previous album reviews about how the Sad Wings of Destiny and Sin After Sin, were literally towing the true metal line from Sabbath to the arrival of the key bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal now just a few years off. Also the previously reviewed Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather album had also seen the band turn in a more commercially metal direction, but before that album’s release, the band had released earlier in 1978 this dark mogadon monster of an album, that would trawl the gutters of darkness and slate Judas Priest’s name as hotter than that of the Devil! Stained Class would therefore be the third album in the classic ‘troika’ of Judas Priest albums at this time. So if the Sad Wings of Destiny had laid down their landmark sound with some 1970s metal classics, then Sin After Sin had seen the band expand on this landmark sound with both touches of adventure and excellence. But it was Stained Class that would be the most essential and most focused album of the three, and most importantly the most revered as well! The band lyrically also put out their most malevolent set of songs probably ever and for this reason alone this album surely stands as their darkest. A fact made even more prominent some several years later, when two teenage kids were supposedly driven to suicide by the lyrics of one of the songs on the album! The court case involved two teenagers one of which actually committed suicide and the other was left disfigured in a suicide attempt, facts which left a very dark shadow over the band and most specifically this album! The band had also pushed the boat out on their last two albums with both fantastical and grim album covers, now on Stained Class the band would go in for a cold almost non-emotional approach on the album cover this time around. Yet again the band had the drum stool to fill, after the excellent Simon Phillips had departed after the previous Sin After Sin and so the band drafted in the very technically gifted session drummer Les Binks, who would stick around for both this and the Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather album, along with the live Unleashed in the East album which was released in 1979. Les Binks was an excellent technical drummer and had served his time with numerous artists, and his work in his tenure with the band, would make him probably the best drummer ever to serve in the band along with the previously mentioned Simon Phillips. The album unsurprisngly is on a number of ‘greatest ever metal listening lists’ which is unsurprising given the quality on offer here.

Rob Halford- Vocals
K.K Downing- Guitar
Glenn Tipton- Guitar
Ian Hill- Bass
Les Binks- Drums

Production- Dennis Mackay

Album
Exciter
- The frantic album opener gets underway with the drumming of Les Binks and the song is then dominated by the speed vocals of Rob Halford, and is also interspaced with some great guitar work throughout. The song is one of many jointly written on the album by Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton. White Heat, Red Hot- Great album track that shows the outstanding depth and quality on this album, and it’s accompanied by some great guitar work. Better By You, Better Than Me- A cover of the old Spooky Tooth song and as expected the Judas Priest version is both far less blusier and a damn sight heavier than the original. The fact of the matter is though, that both versions are actually great songs and this is also the song that provoked the future court case. Stained Class- The title track is loud and potent and a galloper as well, and the song is full of that ever so special disjointed metal tunefulness that the band were always able to harbour. Invader- Futuristic and sci-fi inspired, and has Rob Halford accounting a tale about alien monsters. The future Iron Maiden song “Invaders” isn’t exactly a world away from this song both name and soundwise. Saints in Hell-The only song on the album where K.K Downing contributes on the writing credits and this time it’s with both Rob Halford and Glenn Tipton. The song is a steady grower and saves its best parts till its later sections. Savage- A primal tale about as the name does suggest savages. Beyond the Realms of Death- Probably the showpiece track of the b-side with its morbid feel and epic musical accompaniments, and the song feels totally at ease for its almost 7 minutes in length. Heroes End- A great album closer, with one of Rob Halfords great vocal displays across the whole song and I the way the rest of the band follow him here is pretty amazing at times! Some versions of the album have the bonus track “Fire Burns Below” which actually sounds like a beefier AOR track and the sort of thing that Foreigner would soon tie down to perfection, it’s a great track as well.

Verdict
With each studio release Judas Priest had been pushing the boundaries of brutal power, scintillating speed, greater technicality and pure heaviness within the heavy metal genre, aspects that were literally making the band a legend in their time. Also the band were taking the dark lyrical overtones and dark subject matter that had characterized the majority of Black Sabbath’s work, and they had now turned this lyrical and subject matter into a much meaner and even more sinister focused beast than even Black Sabbath could muster! Now the first thing that strikes you upon hearing this album, is just how focused the band were at this point and even more importantly, just how true they were to the true heart of heavy metal as we know it! The album is chocca full of metal classics from the speed and power of the album opener “Exciter” and its even more impressive brother the later album closer “Heroes End” and then we go onto steadier songs like “White Heat, Red Hot” with its combination of melodic metal, steady guitar interplay and echoey vocal arrangements. All of which are in contrast to the purposefully sounding disjointed title track “Stained Class” another album highlight and a great example of the complexities of some of the songs on the album. Then there is of course the infamous Spooky Tooth cover of “Better By You, Better Than Me” along the colourful tales that are accounted in songs like “Invader” “Saints in Hell” and “Savage”. Gone would be the ballads and the gothic themed tracks that had characterized previous band afforts and there is nary even a hint of experimentation but there is plenty of complexity, as the band are just too busy piledriving their way through tight dark riffs and accounting tales, that literally are living and breathing a true metal sound and feel in the process! In fact the only song that echoes of their earlier material here is the morbid sounding “Beyond the Realms of Evil”. Now I’ve constantly stated how this album or that album were vital influences on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but when it comes to the biggest single piece of work to influence that movement, then I’d say that Stained Class is probably the single biggest influence on that movement. So enjoy this album because it’s one of the most revered metal albums of its time, with its tight metal riffs and chugga metal rhythms with delicious chops to match, and its complex playing certainly forewarned us about the soon to arrive technical extreme metal of the 1980s!

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #394 (permalink)
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Also Check This Out........
This is an extra album from the same year that I've chosen, that either just missed the final cut, I think could be of interest, or even from a different genre that could be of interest or influence on the hard rock/heavy metal genre.

Sorcery Stunt Rock 1978 (EMI)
Heavy Metal

Sorcery were a Hollywood based heavy metal band that took ‘The Alice Cooper Show’ to extreme lengths. Not only would the band perform on stage as expected, but their stage show also inorporated two magicians in Paul Haynes and Curtis James Hyde, whose on-stage personas represented both ‘good and evil’ in the band’s stage performance and the show was known as “The King of the Wizards against the Prince of Darkness” a somewhat predictable topic to say the least! The band members Greg Mcgee, Richard Taylor, Richie King and Perry Morris had worked fairly extensively in the local area, especially on soundtracks and background music for the local film studios, and bassist Richard Taylor had also featured with Legs Diamond. The band put out a brand of metal that relied on energy rather than songcraft and unsurprisingly the band were looking to tap into the Kiss visual appeal market. Most of the easily accessible material by the band on the Stunt Rock album, actually comes from the Stunt Rock movie made just a few short years later. As said the band would go onto provide the soundtrack and to star in the movie that was also known as Stunt Rock in 1980, after the far better known Foreigner had turned down the offer for the film. The film was something of a flop and was one of a number of movies that were released in this time period, that tried to exploit the concept of movies meets rock. Needless to say, Sorcery were probably one of the lesser talented gimmick acts of their time, but their brand of heavy metal will be of interest to anybody that enjoys the cheesier aspects of metal and as always the Stunt Rock movie is something that I finally aim to see one of these days.

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-19-2013, 03:04 PM   #395 (permalink)
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Albums that missed the cut.........
Other good albums worth checking out that were also released in 1978, but weren't quite good enough to make the top 10 and are listed below in no set order, so the best of the rest:

Uriah Heep
Fallen Angel 1978


With an even greater shift to a more mainstream AOR sound, this album is competent without ever excelling where it matters, but it does have some great driving stuff and none come any better than “I’m Alive”.

Granmax
Kiss Heaven Goodbye 1978


This Nebraskan band released two albums in the mid to late 1970s and this album their second and the lesser known, is the stronger of the two and is really highlighted with quality songs like “This Life’s For Me” and the stunning “Respected Man”.

Shakin’ Street
Vampire Rock 1978


The debut album from this French heavy metal band, who combined metal and punk in a potent cocktail and were fronted by singer/actress Fabienne Shine, the group would also feature future Manowar guitarist Ross ‘The Boss’ Friedmann on their next album.

Gary Moore
Back on the Streets 1978


The second album by Gary Moore which despite being instrumentally top-heavy, was at certain times like a Phil Lynott album in everything but name. Some good material and helped open the door for his return to Thin Lizzy to replace Brian Robertson.

Whitesnake
Trouble 1978


David Coverdale since the folding of Deep Purple had released a slew of albums and Trouble would be the most focused to date now under the Whitesnake name. The album also displays the band’s edgy sound and blueprints their forthcoming albums.

Rose Tattoo
Rose Tattoo 1978


A slice of AC/DC inspired hard rock with pint-sized Angry Anderson matching Bon Scott where it matters. A collection of solid rockers that are highlighted by power gems like “Astra Wally”.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-19-2013, 06:00 PM   #396 (permalink)
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The Live Album Section 1978

Despite the reservations I’ve had over the year of 1978, it surely yielded some of the finest live albums of the decade and with so many on offer I’ve decided to review the best four in the genre concerned here with this diary and then another four worth checking out as well. So below in no set order of preference:

AC/DC If You Want Blood You’ve Got it 1978 (Atlantic)
Hard Rock

Let’s bring the roof down tonight!

AC/DC’s first official live album is without doubt one of the most revered live albums ever released and it was released at a time when the Bon Scott era of AC/DC were approaching the height of their popularity. This peak of couse would occur on the following year’s Highway to Hell album, which also sadly proved to be the swansong of Bon Scott as well. One of the great aspects of the If You Blood You’ve Got It album, is that unlike a lot of live albums from this period that were chopped from different live performances, the vast bulk of the material here actually comes from one concert, which was performed at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow as part of their Powerage album tour. The album from beginning to end, is simply chocca full of Angus Young’s guitar riff antics, a staunch rhythm section and Bon Scott’s whiskey-soaked yelp and his witty humourisms. The listener can hardly fault the song selection here either, as probably the best track choices cover the cream from the band’s preceeding studio albums. The album is probably one of the best produced live albums around as well, as from the album opener “Riff Raff” it sounds like the listener has a front row seat at the concert, due to both the loudness and especially the clarity of the delivery being churned out by the band here. No doubt studio enhancement has been used here, as it was so often used on live albums around this time anyway, but on If You Want Blood You’ve Got It, the studio enhancement is simply one of the best applied and does what enhancement actually should do. The highlights of the album surely include “Bad Boy Boogie” “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Let There Be Rock” but to be fair there’s not a bad choice on offer here anyway. The album is not only an essential live release from the decade, but it’s also one of the perfect documments from the Bon Scott era of the band and a prime example of what raw blues inspired hard rock should sound like in a live setting. Strangely enough there has never been an official dvd release of the concert, which is indeed strange considering that footage of the performance was actually recorded, but to this day it has just been available in segments. This is certainly strange considering just how famous the band are and how well remembered Bon Scott actually is!

Bon Scott- Vocals
Angus Young- Guitar
Malcolm Young- Rhythm
Cliff Williams- Bass
Phil Rudd- Drums

Production- Harry Vanda and George Young
Apollo Theatre Glasgow 1978

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-20-2013, 08:52 AM   #397 (permalink)
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Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo! 1978 (Epic)
Hard Rock

Just what the doc ordered from the motor city madhouse.

The best way to hear Ted Nugent’s testosterone no-frills brand of hard rock, was usually in a live setting rather than in the confines of a studio album, because by and large as a studio artist he was often found wanting, despite the fact that he does offer some good studio albums. His best studio album by far, had been his third the previous year’s Cat Scratch Fever (see review) but its follow up album 1978’s Weekend Warriors now with a new rhythm/vocalist in Charlie Huhn and a new bassist in John Sauter, fell well short of Cat Scratch Fever quality wise! Thus making the sprawling double live-set Double Live Gonzo! released in between these two albums, the essential Ted Nugent release for 1978. Double Live Gonzo! consists of eleven tracks and a large amount of these tracks aren’t featured on any of the previous three studio albums by ‘The Nuge’ either. These songs include “Yank Me, Crank Me” “Great White Buffalo”” the excellent “Gonzo” and the lengthy “Hibernation”. The utilizing of non-studio album tracks was often the case around this time anyway, thus making live albums at this time, important parts of an artist’s discography. There is also a version of the much covered Big Joe Wiiliams song “Baby Please Don’t Go” early on the album as well and there are well known stellar tracks like “Stranglehold” “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” and the addictive “Cat Scratch Fever”. The album is produced by ever present producer Tom Werman, who was also at this time still busy dishing out those legendary early Cheap Trick albums! The album would also see the final release from Ted Nugent’s best ever line-up, as the talented Derek St.Holmes would depart after this release and not return until the band’s seventh album Nugent in 1982, also to depart would be bassist Rob Grange as well. Double Live Gonzo! came out at a time, when there was certainly a level of blandness afflicting a number of hard rock and heavy metal bands, and this album offered much like the AC/DC album above, a blast of raw and honest hard rock served up on a platter and basically what you saw is certainly what you got here! The album is basically one big heavy guitar based party in a live setting, enjoy!

Derek St. Holmes- Rhythm/Vocals
Ted Nugent- Guitar/Vocals
Rob Grange- Bass
Cliff Davies- Drums

Production- Tom Werman
Various US locations 1976-1977

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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

Power Metal

Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History

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Old 10-20-2013, 10:16 AM   #398 (permalink)
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Yoi have such an amazing journal, its inspired me to.update.mine. I feel like I can relate to you music taste!
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:30 PM   #399 (permalink)
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Yoi have such an amazing journal, its inspired me to.update.mine. I feel like I can relate to you music taste!
Thanks, I always find that the best journals are those that revolve around a set structure rather than having just a random approach, that's just my opinion though.

Look forward to looking into your journal again when it's updated.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
Metal Wars

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Pounding Decibels- A Hard and Heavy History
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #400 (permalink)
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Yoi have such an amazing journal, its inspired me to.update.mine. I feel like I can relate to you music taste!
And I'm sure it'll inspire me at some point too. When I feel like it.
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