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Old 01-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Whiskey's Album Reviews Thread

Hey everyone. I just thought if I could also have a thread where I can review albums, although not weekly or daily or things like that, but whenever I have the time to review something. I have not much experience with reviewing albums to be honest, but I think if this would be approved I will get an opportunity to do my best and have a taste of what reviewing albums is like. I think I can do it well and I will do my best to write detailed and good reviews.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Big thanks to the moderator that approved my thread! I think I'll begin by reviewing this album. I'll give some basic information and then the full review after that. Before that though I must say that Im not experienced in reviewing albums so forgive me if I say wrong things in the review or if the review itself sounds a bit stupid.

Now lets begin!



Track Listing:

1. Frantic
2. St. Anger
3. Some Kind of Monster
4. Dirty Window
5. Invisible Kid
6. My World
7. Shoot Me Again
8. Sweet Amber
9. The Unnamed Feeling
10. Purify
11. All Withing my Hands

Album: St. Anger
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Artist: Metallica
Year of Release: 2003
Genre: Heavy Metal, Speed Metal
Full Review: Metallica's St Anger is quite an odd album compared to the rest of Metallica's discography, especially the earlier albums. The sound is modern, the production is raw, and the drums sound like they are made of pure steel. You wont find a single guitar solo on this album, though that isnt necessarily a bad thing. The combination of all these things, along with the overall lengthy duration of the album give it a unique feel that isnt present in any of Metallica's other albums. There also comes a very common question regarding the album - why is it that way? What were Metallica thinking when recording it? The answer is pretty clear, at least for me - they wanted to spread their wings and try something new!

A lot of people tend to skip this Metallica album and regard it as crappy and a waste of time listening to. I dont agree with that, although it does have a point. It is a difficult mission to listen to this album until the end. At a duration of over 70 minutes and very little variety in the songs, as well as the things mentioned at the beginning of the review, it's going to be more of a hassle than enjoyment listening to St. Anger. But that isnt necessarily a bad thing either - I personally loved the new sound and the fact that Metallica are trying something new can be very exciting. This isnt an album to listen to regularly, though. Furthermore, the album appears to give a wrong impression of the band for first time listeners, which is kinda disappointing, as any Metallica album other than St. Anger is a completely different world and a listening experience compared to St. Anger. For those of you who have listened to Metallica's early albums as a pure thrash metal band(although with some progressive elements here and there), you are sure aware that an album like St. Anger is nothing like Ride The Lightning or Master of Puppets, two landmark albums of the Thrash Metal genre. But St. Anger is also not exactly Thrash Metal - it is more like normal Metal with Speed metal touches here and there.

In terms of the album's general theme and mood present in much of the songs, its pretty epic. When you hear lyrics like "Shoot me again I aint dead yet" it makes you(or me personally, at least) feel like you're listening to a gunfight between James Hetfield and an unknown opponent. Overall, St. Anger can be a great album but there's a time and place when to listen to it to understand what Metallica achieved here.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome, Whiskey! Glad to see you took the step. These two links should help you
http://www.musicbanter.com/album-rev...ur-review.html

http://www.musicbanter.com/album-rev...c-journal.html

Lookin forward to it! Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Welcome, Whiskey! Glad to see you took the step. These two links should help you
http://www.musicbanter.com/album-rev...ur-review.html

http://www.musicbanter.com/album-rev...c-journal.html

Lookin forward to it! Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Yes I do actually have one question....what do you think about my St. Anger review above? Is it written well?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay, well first of all remember reviews are a matter of taste, and also a matter of style. Some people, like me, tend to go very deeply into the album, explaining how each track sounds, building an introduction to the album or band/artiste and then maybe making some comments and/or conclusions at the end. Mind you, many readers will doubtless tell you my reviews are too long-winded, boring, indulgent and a lot of other things they don't like. But some people may like them. I suppose some must, as my journal is heading for 100,000 views, bit of a landmark I believe.

Thing is, you review how you want to. Some guys do a very short review --- few lines even --- then some people break down the album but do that in a short, concise way (see Unknown Soldier's "Pounding decibels" for an example) and others just talk about it in abstract-ish terms (a la Anteater sometimes). So it's really not a question of whether your review is good, or even good enough. As long as you're happy with it then it's fine. It's not how I'd write, but then, it would be a bit boring if we all wrote the same way, and anyway I have a lot more free time to compose my reviews. Then again, in some ways I'm lagging behind Big Ears, whose reviews are pretty phenomenally well-researched.

I will say this, and it's not a criticism, but if I didn't know any Metallica I think I would come away after this review with no new real insights into the band. Of course, Metallica are a bad example, as just about everyone knows who they are and has heard at least one song from them, but I personally would have talked a little more about a few tracks. Your prose is good, your descriptions fine and your spelling and grammar, thank god, are right on, and you obviously seem to both know and care about what you write, which is always a key element of any review.

For what it is, it's a good review, but then as I said at the start of this rather rambling diatribe (see how I go on? Once I start there's no shutting me up!) there are no bad reviews. As long as you're happy with it, then that's all that matters.

Good first effort.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay, thanks Trollheart. I'll keep what you said in mind.

I dont have anything better to do right now so I'll write another review now. Here it is.



Track Listing:

1. A Fortune in Lies
2. Status Seeker
3. Ytse Jam
4. The Killing Hand
5. Light Fuse and Get Away
6. The Afterlife
7. The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun
8. Only a Matter of Time

Album: When Dream and Day Unite
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars! Excellent album!
Artist: Dream Theater
Year of Release:1989
Genre: Progressive Metal
Best Song: The Killing Hand
Review: When Dream and Day Unite, Dream Theater's first album, is an interesting album due to the fact that no song on the album lacks excitement and originality. The changeable riffs and random tempos give the entire album a feeling that cant be experienced on any other Dream Theater album. The band was pretty young when recording this album, except Charlie Dominici, who was older and was eventually fired from the band, initially, due to his "pop" vocal style. His singing is very different compared to James Labrie's singing, who has been the lead singer of the band since 1992's Images and Words. For many Dream Theater fans out there, Charlie is inferior to James Labrie, perhaps because they get used to James Labrie's voice on subsequent albums and therefore tend to regard this album as a failure and a waste of time listening to. The reality is, its not. When Dream and Day Unite is an album with such originality and creativity that one has to ask themselves how could they dislike an album before listening to it entirely and carefully before judging it. When you listen to When Dream and Day Unite, and then listen to 2005's Octavarium for example, you'd immediately realize how completely different they both sound compared to each other.

The sad fact is, this is the only album to feature Charlie Dominici, a great singer with a great ability to add excitement and energy to all of the songs featured on When Dream and Day Unite. This, combined with Dream Theater's relatively fast tempo present on much of the songs on When Dream and Day Unite, along with the originality and creativity present on the album, mean that When Dream and Day Unite is an exceptional album that is worth listening to more than any of Dream Theater's other albums, especially for new fans of Dream Theater and the Progressive Metal genre in general, a genre which has begun to lose originality and creativity over the years. And in When Dream and Day Unite, not a single riff, guitar solo, or melody lacks originality and creativity.

The Killing Hand:


Dream Theater - The Killing Hand - YouTube
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi everyone. I got some free time now, so I'll write another review now. Other than Trollheart though, I have no idea what everyone else thinks about my reviews so far, so feel free to post here and let me know!

Okay, lets begin with my review.




Track Listing

1. Renegade
2. Crawling Back to You
3.Outta My Head
4. Start of Something Good
5. Crazy
6. Break The Spell
7. We're Not Gonna Fall
8. Gone Too Soon
9. Losing My Mind
10. Rescue Me
11. Louder Than Ever
12. Spaceship

Bonus songs available only on Deluxe Edition

13. Who's They
14. Maybe We're Already Gone
15. Everything But Me
16. Lullaby
17. Never Die


Album: Break The Spell
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Artist: Daughtry
Year of Release:2011
Genre: Hard Rock, Grunge, Post-Grunge, Pop Rock
Best Song: Rescue Me
Review: Daughtry's third album Break The Spell is a catchy and marvelous album. Not only that, but Chris Daughtry, the lead singer of the band, sure knows how to deliver both powerful and soft vocals throughout the songs on Break the Spell. This is something very important because it adds a lot of variety to Break the Spell, as well as Daughtry's previous albums. This album is no exception in comparison to Daughtry's first two albums. The songs are honest, catchy, memorable, and with enough energy delivered by Chris Daughtry's vocals to give the whole album a positive feel. For those of you who like progressive and complex kinds of music, such as Progressive Rock/Metal, this album isn't exactly for you, mostly because of the song's short length, the simple song structures and a few other things which become obvious once you listen to the album. The music is also simple and catchy, with the chorus in every song pretty much the main thing that makes the songs so catchy and memorable. Chris Daughtry's songwriting is best shown on this album - the lyrics talk about personal experiences, relationships, and general struggle at life.

However, Break The Spell has this problem that I consider to be very generic. The songs are sure catchy and nice to listen to, but beyond that there's nothing unique or very original on Break The Spell that would make it an album worth listening to very much. It's a good but not great album, and this is mainly because of the aforementioned things. When you listen to an album, you hope to hear something special or exciting. Whats exciting here is that every song is catchy and almost instantly memorable, but beyond that you won't be thrilled after you hear Break the Spell. You wont think, "oh wow, that was such an intense album, I'll never forget it!", despite how catchy the songs are. This is something that Daughtry's truly missing here - Excitement. It is difficult to immediately become a fan of the band after hearing the album, and being catchy doesnt necessarily mean it will do the work and cause every single person who listened to Break The Spell to consider it as an excellent album. A lot of us wish to hear interesting music and more complex albums, because we know what a straightforward album sounds like, but on Break The Spell no one can hear even a tiny hint of that. However, Break The Spell is definitely an album worth listening to when you want to hear non complex or changeable music. With songs that sound completely sensible and straightforward on Break The Spell, there sure would be moments here and there where you'll have the urge to listen to Break the Spell, whether you consider it as a great album or not.


Daughtry - Rescue Me (Official) - YouTube
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Okey. I think its time for my fourth review now.



Songs:

1. Into the Dementia
2. The Raging Season
3. Premonition
4. Masquerade
5. Absinthe and Rue
6. Shades of Grey
7. Taunting the Notorious
8. Rapture or Pain
9. Thorns of Sorrow
10. A Lesson Before Dying

Rare Bonus song:

11. Disillusioned

Album:Symphony X(eponymous)
Artist:Symphony X
Year of Release:Late 1994
Genre: Progressive Metal, Neo-Classical Metal
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Best Song:Shades of Grey
Review: This album is the first by the progressive metal band Symphony X, the only album to feature the original singer Rod Tyler, as with a similar case to Dream Theater's Charlie Dominici, who was also featured on only one album. Similarly, Rod Tyler is superior to Russell Allen(the singer on all subsequent Symphony X albums), despite the band's initial thoughts at the time. The album's sound is unique and complex, and some might even regard the music as terribly performed or produced, but singer Rod Tyler makes up for all this with his high pitched vocals and powerful singing throughout the album. Songs like Shades of Grey and A Lesson Before Dying are slow and melodic, an occasional occurrence in progressive metal, which is reminiscent of Dream Theater's Another Day from Images and Words. The rest of the songs, especially Taunting the Notorious, are powerful and complex, with unfortunately not much originality compared to other progressive metal bands. This is not to say that Symphony X isnt an original band. Not at all - on subsequent albums, you can hear originality more than you can imagine than on this album.

However, you'd never be able to hear the vocals of Rod Tyler on any other album, despite how original it may be. His vocals are powerful and unique due to their high-pitched sound that fits perfectly to the songs present on this album. Symphony X remains a relatively unknown band outside the progressive metal community, and the absence of Rod Tyler on subsequent albums might be part of the reason why. The singer has not made any appearance on any other band or project, possibly retiring from the music industry, or, as has been implied by Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo in an interview, due to a car accident which has possibly led to his death sometime in the 1990s. This is a pity as the only reason this album is worth listening to is because of the powerful and high-pitched vocals. Otherwise the music lacks originality and is played at a quite slow tempo, something that wouldnt attract people to listen to the album very often unless they realize the true magic of Rod Tyler's vocals. And this isnt something that can be realized just by listening to the album one time.


Shades of grey-Symphony X-Symphony X - YouTube
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I like your journal so far and as Trollheart said, each journal is a matter of taste and you'll also find as you go by your reviews will get bigger and more focused. But one thing you have got and in my opinion it's a vital ingredient, is that you read between the lines on why a band recorded an album and why they did such a thing. It might not be the correct assumption but putting your own assumption makes the whole experience a more interesting read. I do this a lot on my journal.

I've always liked St.Anger and since Load the band were always trying to do something different, whilst these albums are not as good as classic era Metallica, they show a band willing to explore than simply dish out the same style of music.

You have me interested again with the Dream Theater debut, I never much cared for this album, but will listen again and I might have a different opinion on it now.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Unknown Soldier View Post
I like your journal so far and as Trollheart said, each journal is a matter of taste and you'll also find as you go by your reviews will get bigger and more focused. But one thing you have got and in my opinion it's a vital ingredient, is that you read between the lines on why a band recorded an album and why they did such a thing. It might not be the correct assumption but putting your own assumption makes the whole experience a more interesting read. I do this a lot on my journal.

I've always liked St.Anger and since Load the band were always trying to do something different, whilst these albums are not as good as classic era Metallica, they show a band willing to explore than simply dish out the same style of music.

You have me interested again with the Dream Theater debut, I never much cared for this album, but will listen again and I might have a different opinion on it now.
Thanks man, I truly appreciate it. And yes, the Dream Theater debut is probably their best album alongside Images and Words in my opinion!

I think its time for another review now, too. Here it is.



Songs:

1. Papercut
2. One Step Closer
3. With You
4. Points of Authority
5. Crawling
6. Runaway
7. By Myself
8. In The End
9. A Place for My Head
10. Forgotten
11. Cure for the Itch
12. Pushing Me Away

Album:Hybrid Theory
Artist:Linkin Park
Year of Release:Late 2000
Genre:Nu Metal, Rap Metal, Grunge, Post-Grunge
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Best Song:One Step Closer
Review: Linkin Park's first album Hybrid Theory is an album full of rapping, shouting, screaming, and melodic singing that all fits so perfectly on the entire album. There are two vocalists, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda. Both vocalists add so much energy and excitement to the songs present on this album with their shouting and rapping, respectively. The guitars are highly distorted, reminiscent of Grunge due to this and also due to the fact that not a single guitar solo is present on the album. This is common to many other Nu Metal and Post Grunge artists, as it simply wouldnt fit in the songs. This is completely true, as if guitar solos were present, they would ruin the beauty and the ultimate combination of the album with the aforementioned things. Songs like A Place for my Head and Pushing Me Away are angst-ridden and therefore also sound very intimate and personal. Other songs, such as Papercut and One Step closer, are straightforward heavy and distorted, full of impressive combination of rapping and regular singing alongside occasional electronic sounds here and there.

However, whats disappointing is not this album, but the later Linkin Park albums. Minutes to Midnight and A thousand Suns, the future releases of the band, show almost no signs of the excellent rapping of Mike Shinoda which add so much energy to songs. Linkin Park's first two albums Hybrid Theory and Meteora are the only ones to feature this great musical combination. So if you liked this album, beware - you'll only be able to experience these kind of things on this album and Meteora. On later albums, this combination is nonexistent.
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