365 Albums In One Year

Live, sure, but all I can think of when listening to the studio version is, “Jesus Christ, this isn’t mortally possible...”
Painkiller was exactly what I was thinking of when I mentioned humorous Priest vocals.
As Mr Knickerbocker says....

Heeeeeee eeeeeeeaasssseeee
Theeeeeeeese eeeeeeeaasssseeee

Album 118/365

1. Wolf - The opening to this song was pretty cool, but the rest is mostly boring. I still really don't get the love of Barlow. He's a competent singer, but competence does not make one stand out. Also, holy crap there's so much double bass, it hurts the song. I mean, this isn't terrible but I hope the rest of the tracks on here make up for this meh beginning. 6/10
2. Damien - Oh boy. A lot of my criticisms from the previous song also apply here. This one is nine minutes long and feels like it. It's a bit better but again, this band has not sold me on them at all. Barlow's high notes here are cheesy as hell, and that spoken word piece in the middle is a snoozefest. I can't say it's an outright failure but it disappoints certainly. 6/10
3. Jack - The chorus and bridge aren't the best, but the verses here are a bit more successful than previous. Barlow is stronger on this song and the driving sledgehammer of the riff helps make it work, at least better than the previous two. 7/10
4. Ghost Of Freedom - Way too soppy for my taste, although the choir is decent. But man, this song is way to, erm, "American" for my taste. Maybe that's my problem with Iced Earth. The band is undeniably American. Plus the singer sounds like he's a pro-wrestler. Ehhh. 5/10
5. Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh's Curse) - The high note at the end of this song is pretty cool, as is the fact that this one actually feels Egyptian in tone. But that's all I can say about it. It's another boring song and the chorus doesn't bring anything up. Fuck. 5/10
6. Jeckyl & Hyde - Good instrumental section, everything else is, dare I say it once again, boring. Worst chorus on the album so far? I love the original Stevenson story and it has the potential to be made into a metallic monster, but Iced Earth are emphatically not the band to do it. 4/10
7. Dragon's Child - Finally a song that's pretty good. I was starting to think something like that was nonexistant on this album. This song doesn't knock it out of the park, but the music is engaging, the verses lead to a pretty good chorus, and really, I dig this one. I just wish they had a different singer doing it with them because I really dislike Barlow more every time he opens his mouth. But even here he doesn't mar this song much. 8/10
8. Transylvania (Iron Maiden cover) - Solid cover, but it doesn't improve on the original. 8/10
9. Frankenstein - This one's cheesy but it came together pretty well. The music on this one is very good. If the chorus was better then it would be side-by-side with the previous two. 7/10
10. Dracula - Holy shit, this song feels incredibly dark. Also holy shit, this one's actually great. Barlow isn't the strongest singer when it comes to high notes but it's a hell of a lot better than his lower vocals, and I'm glad he's using mostly highs with this song. It helps bring it together really well and make it finally something I can really get behind. Not perfect, but pretty damn great. 9/10
11. The Phantom Opera Ghost - Wow, two great songs to close off the album. Incredible! This one is also not perfect but it's a gripping stab at the Phantom Of The Opera type of songs (see: Maiden, Iron and Webber, Andrew Lloyd). I like the male and female vocalists taking on Christine and Erik's roles and as a whole it has a lot more inventiveness than I expected from Iced Earth. Is it as good as Maiden's or Webber's songs? No, but it's a satisfying conclusion to an album that has mostly been all over the place. 9/10

The first half of this album was mostly boring but IE came back harder with the second half, which, while imperfect, was a lot stronger than I expected. As a whole, the album is above average but not treading into greatness. There's good stuff on here, but a lot of it doesn't really go anywhere and, while he has his moments, Barlow is still incredibly overrated. I loved the concept of this album, but the execution was often not on-par with the grand themes they were trying to present. If this is supposedly their best album, then god knows I can't be an IE fan.

Rating: 67%

Horror Show is my favourite Iced Earth album ever.
Damien is my favourite Iced Earth song ever.
This is my least favourite album review ever.
Diesel is the least credible album reviewer ever.

Album 120/365

1. The Star-Spangled Banner - Well, talk about opening with a strong foot forward. This is one the best renditions of the song I've ever heard. Good stuff, let's see if the rest holds up. 9/10
2. Declaration Day - Ripper sounds a tad off in the verses, but it doesn't really impact my judgement of this song much. I like his vocals a lot more than Barlow's. Maybe Barlow is technically stronger, but I'd rather hear Ripper myself. His highs are also way better. This song is a very strong one, and I enjoy it. 8/10
3. When The Eagle Cries - Ripper's a bit more melodramatic on these verses here, and I don't like it as much, but the way the song breaks into heaviness is far and away better than all of the ballad-esque tracks on Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the chorus is genuinely great. Definitely a very strong track. 8/10
4. The Reckoning (Don't Tread On Me) - Ripper's attempt at Halford vocals rear up on this song's verses, and I like it a lot. Very direct, raspy high pitched singing. I love Richard Christy, but I don't think he quite fits Iced Earth. This is the sort of music where an overuse of double bass usually doesn't work too well IMO. While this song is definitely solid, it doesn't grip me as much as the two that came before it. 7/10
5. Greenface - Ripper's overdoing it on the verses a bit, but he has some awesome moments on this song. There's some great growling / rasping bits and some insane high notes as well. Best song on here so far for sure. 9/10
6. Attila - The bridge here is great and Ripper has a good performance on this song, but I think they play it a bit too straight for my liking. It's a good song but not up there with the better ones. 7/10
7. Red Baron / Blue Max - Here's a song where I completely get the "heavier Iron Maiden" idea. Bits of this song sound like "To Tame A Land", and others sound like something off of No Prayer For The Dying. But I like that vibe. Gives it a darker sort of tone. 8/10
8. Hollow Man - The verses here are pretty meh. The rest of the song is fine but the song isn't really all that gripping. 6/10
9. Valley Forge - Oh god, Ripper sounds so off in this intro it's not even funny. Definitely a lowpoint on the album. The lyrics are a bit too preachy (particularly in the chorus) and don't really bring up images of the continental army. There's a bit of good stuff here, but it isn't enough to bring up the song much. 5/10
10. Waterloo - Like "Attila", this one plays it pretty straight, but I like it more particularly because of the chorus. It's a strong way to end the main part of the album. "And you will see your hundred days..." 8/10

There are a couple duds but most of this is solid to pretty great. Ripper is far from perfect but he's much more enjoyable than Barlow (even if Barlow's a bit stronger at sticking to the melodies). Definitely a strong release and more enjoyable as a whole than the other IE album I've heard, but let's see if things can get even better with the finale section...

Rating: 75%

Gettysburg (1863)

1. The Devil To Pay (July 1, 1863) - The beginning to the Gettysburg trio opens with another run through of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before bullets break through the din. Ripper holds down the fort during the intro before the riff kicks in, and it's one of the best I've heard from IE. The verses here are very bombastic, with Ripper switching between higher and lower notes, and they lead into the chorus, which isn't quite the best thing I've heard from them but it works very well. I really like the adaptation of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" in the instrumental section, and that gunshots and flings the listener into the battlefield. They do a really good job of bringing to life all the smoke and the soldiers there and it's a fantastic instrumental all through. The final verse through chorus is awesome. This song is fantastic and the best thing I've heard from IE yet. What a monster. It doesn't even feel the twelve minutes it is. 10/10
2. Hold At All Costs (July 2, 1863) - Pretty decent intro but the riff that kicks in blows it right out of the water. The verses here are absolutely awesome, with Ripper bringing to life the emotions of the soldiers as Schaffer provides the carnage with his machine gun riffing. The chorus here is the best I've heard from IE yet, I'm getting chills listening to it. I love the more orchestral piece that follows it, to. The second verse and chorus just make it even better. I'm kinda shocked at how good this one is, it continues on perfectly from "The Devil To Pay" and is actually better than it was. Awesome, fantastic song. 10/10
3. High Water Mark (July 3, 1863) - Some powerful drumming opens up the final song from the trio before the guitar slides in. It's a really killer opening made even better when the orchestra comes in. I also like how it gets quieter for Lee's musings. Is Barlow singing the one piece here? I actually really like it, it makes for an interesting combination. I like the way we lead into the heavy chorus, it makes for a very ominous piece, as we slowly head into the battlefield for the final piece of the action. The chorus pieces don't pop out at you, but for once that's not a bad thing because they work as a part of the whole piece and help add on to the picture that's being painted here. The break into more militaristic territory works really well, helping to make it the grandiose spectacle that it is. The bridge here is absolutely awesome and Ripper puts everything into it. The charge scene, illustrator through audio straight from the battlefield accent it all before the crushing defeat of the Confederates is brought to life by the final vocal section which is even better than the last. A bombastic outro piece closes out the battle of the third day as the dead lie where they fell as the orchestra draw things to a close. 10/10

That's what I've been waiting for this whole time. Those three songs were phenomenal, both on their own and working as a trio, bringing to life the Battle of Gettysburg. Filled with really heavy pieces yet also more emotional ones to fully bring it to life, with both the best music and the best vocals I've heard from the band, everything fitting together and working as an absolute unit to make one of the most epic pieces I've ever heard in metal. This was just so damn good, absolutely loved every second of it. What a tour-de-force.

Rating: 100%

Overall: For sure the best album I've heard from IE yet. The main section was some good solid stuff but the Gettysburg trio was just absolutely phenomenal and I will for sure be coming back to it again. There's a lot of cool stuff on this one, even though there's also a couple duds they can be overlooked thanks to a lot of other stuff melding together to create a very good album with an absolutely incredible ending.

Rating: 81%
7. Red Baron / Blue Max - Here's a song where I completely get the "heavier Iron Maiden" idea. Bits of this song sound like "To Tame A Land", and others sound like something off of No Prayer For The Dying. But I like that vibe. Gives it a darker sort of tone. 8/10


Slip Of The Tongue - Whitesnake
Format: CD/Digital

Slip Of The Tongue - Opening up the title track features Coverdale following the natural progression of their previous blockbuster album, a very high song with a good guitar solo which feels a little slow for such a fast song, although it remains a strong opener - 8/10

Judgement Day - The second track of the album is a brutal heavy ballad of sorts, opening with a slow and heavy riff David singing in a lower voice over the growing band. Killer screams this would have fit perfectly at home on 1987. And is a fantastic track. - 10/10

Fool For Your Loving - The rerecorded opener from their 1980 album Ready An' Willing wastes no time kicking into action, I personally prefer this version, it sounds much more like the stereotypical Whitesnake I grew up hearing. This version is a great rendition of a song making it heavier whilst sticking to the original fairly tightly - 10/10

Now You're Gone - The 4th track opens with a crying guitar solo, with some orchestration behind it. Calm but somewhat uplifting. David sings of anguish from missing someone you love. Enjoyable upbeat and decently heavy. - 8/10

Kitten's Got Claws - The sound of cats, before David imitates himself from Bad Boys intro, it doesn't have the best lyrics but the performance is quite good, it is clearly a high energy track designed for live play. It could potentially be a great live song but here it lacks the feel that it would have. - 7.5/10

Cheap & Nasty - Basically a continuation of the previous track, less commercial sounding but not by much. Weak chorus and not really a super catchy song. - 7/10

The Deeper The Love - Slowing down the band goes into the first true ballad of the album. This ballad falls into the same catagory as Is This Love, it has potential but doesn't blow me away by any means, completely overshadowed by the other ballad of the album in Judgement Day - 7/10

Slow Poke Music - Slightly better than the previous few tracks, nice groove in the guitars and David's vocals are good just not something I'd want them to pull out in a concert. - 7.5/10

Wings Of The Storm - This song starts off on the right track then it gets into the verses and something just doesn't click, better than everything since Now You're Gone but not quite as strong as it. Stronger moments here and there. David delivers some amazing mid ranged vocals at times. - 8/10

Sailing Ships - The Albums longest track closes it off, some nice acoustic work plays while synths come in building in the background. David sings calmly over the soothing music. Midway in the band erupts letting out some bent up energy with a enjoyable solo and David makes sure a high note is present in the chorus. - 8/10

Overall 81%

The Crimson Idol - W.A.S.P
Format: CD/Digital

The Titanic Overture - Beginning as a calm introductory track building in a typical overture fashion, the band decides after a minute that the song will not simply be a forgotten introductory track letting loose some killer drum and guitar work before subduing again as Blackie begins to sing the song closes off - 8.5/10

The Invisible Boy - Continuing on the strong aggressive road which was teased by the previous track, Blackie's vocals are a little buried in the mix of this track which greatly affects it. It however is still a killer track. His Raspy vocals when they come through clearly are amazing. Nice guitar solo but that drum backing is amazing. The outro to this song goes back to the acoustic style and Blackie cries out in the back. - 8.5/10

Arena Of Pleasure - Immediately going heavier again. Blackie is higher in the mix on this one, and he delivers some roaring vocals over this heavy rocker. The guitar at points sounds like it is crying out. Amazing solo, the band has hit their stride completely on this track - 9.5/10

Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue) - Opening acoustically the first lengthy track features a spoken work intro over the acoustic guitar while the guitar is calm it sounds haunting at times, fading out for the sounds of a chainsaw. The band comes in with fury and Blackie's classic rasp filled aggressive vocals lay waste to all those who had any doubts about this track. This track is perfection, every aspect of it is delivered in a perfect way. And thats just to the first half of the song... - 10/10

The Gypsy Meets The Boy - Acoustic once again, Blackie sings in a calm and clean voice, about halfway through the acoustic guitar picks up the pace and the drums come in. Pained but great - 9/10

Doctor Rockter - Jumping immediately into action, with some amazing screams from Blackie, vicious and well delivered. More straightforward than previous tracks. A great track - 9.5/10

I Am One - Opening with a mix of Live introductions, once more some killer rasp filled screams, but this song doesn't grab me as well as the others. Still a solid track, with moments of greatness - 8/10

The Idol - The title track, another lengthened epic track. Opening with some recordings pertaining to the life of a rock star being that their friends are viewed as leaches by the record company and the politics which ensue. The song comes in, pained vocals with wailing guitars. A beautiful masterpiece. - 10/10

Hold Onto My Heart - Transitioning the the amazing title track's outro the penultimate track begins as a ballad, Blackie's raspy vocals convey the pain felt in this song amazingly. The cleaner vocals while nice lose some of the feeling. A strong ballad - 9/10

The Great Misconceptions Of Me - Opening up in a very somber tone. Jonathan renounces his title as the Crimson Idol before the band erupts. A track which really is a musical journey to listen to, twists and turns while tying a bow to the end of the album. An great closer - 10/10

Overall 92%
I haven’t gone back to the album since my first listen but I’ve played “Chainsaw Charlie” and “Doctor Rockter” pretty frequently.

Album 121/365

1. If I Was Your Vampire - Decent enough start to the album. It's not a skull-crusher like most of Manson's openings have been up to this point, and it definitely isn't one of his better compositions, but it's fine. 7/10
2. Putting Holes In Happiness - This one's got a bit of a country vibe to it in addition to the goth tone that Manson's trying to set. I love Sköld's guitar solo here, it's not something that Manson albums have had like, at all. The rest of the song is kinda similar to the previous one, fine, but not his best thing ever. 7/10
3. The Red Carpet Grave - Weaker than the previous two, mainly because the chorus isn't great. Manson goes for a sexual pun and it doesn't really work. Otherwise it's fine but nothing special. 6/10
4. They Said That Hell's Not Hot - Another song that's fine but not very memorable. The melodies on here are pretty good though, it's just not something that sticks around with you. 7/10
5. Just A Car Crash Away - Manson is a pretty repetitive artist when it comes to the songwriting, but most of the time it works. This one is overkill though. The second verse is the same four lines repeated thrice, the chorus is the same line four times... yeah, nothing special. Average song. 5/10
6. Heart-Shaped Glasses (When The Heart Guides The Hand) - But this song I love. It's got a very wonderful vibe to it and it succeeds in being catchy and pretty memorable where the other songs so far haven't really managed well. Maybe not perfect, but a great song all the same. 9/10
7. Evidence - And this one's pretty good too. Not as memorable as the previous song but it's a very nice, dark sort of listen that I like. Certainly one of the album's best tracks. 8/10
8. Are You The Rabbit? - A very average song. As if the dumb title didn't reveal that already. There's nothing here that really grips. It's not terrible or anything, but, yeah, very average. 5/10
9. Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery - Manson attempts to call out his copycats but it feels pretty silly given how absolutely bland this song is. The "fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" end to the chorus feels so goddamn flimsy. Bland song. 4/10
10. You And Me And The Devil Makes 3 - The chorus is kinda fine, but it loses everything by the millionth repeat. God this song is just boring. 4/10
11. EAT ME, DRINK ME - Fine closer... I guess... nothing special but it's fine. I guess. 6/10

Really far removed from the Antichrist / Mechanical / Holy Wood days. More goth influence and there's some cool guitar solos here and there, but it's just not a very interesting or memorable album. "Heart-Shaped Glasses" is great though.

Rating: 62%