365 Albums In One Year

The race to 365

Frozen Crown - The Fallen King (2018)

Fail No More - A slightly offbeat drum intro kicks off a slab of good ol' double-bass power metal. Plenty of noodling, a big chorus, and the transition to the guitar solo is particularly interesting. 9

To Infinity
- Why use a normal intro when you can just use the chorus? Once past that, we find a very slightly softer tune somewhat reminiscent of Anette Olzon-era Nightwish, although some big arm-swingin' power chords are scattered throughout. 8.5

- Textbook power metal, perfectly executed. 9.5

I Am the Tyrant - After three quick ones to open up, track four settles into a slow, infernally catchy gallop. Furthermore, we find yet another roomful-of-drunken-Europeans-grade chrous, something Mondelli et al appear to be particularly adept at. On a seperate note, it's a track I find myself humming at all sorts of inopportune moments. 9

The Shieldmaiden
- A few strains of synthesized harpsichord begin proceedings, but this is an especially short-lived bout of foreplay before diving into the usual double-bass rocker formula. Some growls are introduced here, and they just kinda take up space, neither enhancing nor spoiling the song. 8.5

Chasing Lights
- More fake harpsichord here, only this time it's not a drill. This is a strange one; as the song progresses in such a long-winded and moody fashion you'd be forgiven for expecting an instrumental interlude, but no, it's a full four-and-a-half minute song you kinda have to just sit through. Strange thing is (especially given it's one of the album's longest tracks) it ends in an extremely abrupt fashion and segues straight into the next track in a very interlude-y manner, thus leading me to wonder if they'd been better off making merry with the editing scissors. 5

Queen of Blades
- Phew, back to some actual metal. Another up-tempo tune, this one doesn't land quite as well as the first few. More growls, not really adding much. 7.5

Across the Sea
- Hmm, we're detecting elevated levels of pop influence here. It's not a bad song by any means, or even meh, but it just doesn't grab me like the first few tracks (stop me if I'm repeating myself) 7

- Ah, that's more like it. After a weak mid-section, the album is back on form here with another double-bass rocker. Not much else to say here that hasn't been applied elsewhere. 8

- Growls are applied more liberally here, and truth be told it's a bit hit-and-miss. Not to worry, because the most overtly melodeath-tinged track here thunders along well, even featuring a couple of power metal cliches here and there. 8

I listened to Portrait Of An American Family too but I’m on mobile so it’s hard to type a big thing for it.

Live At Royal Albert Hall - Alter Bridge ft The Parallax Orchestra
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: A great setlist with some rarities, yes there are some songs which frankly wouldn't be there if it wasn't in the middle of an album tour and some which should have been included like Shed My Skin and Calm the Fire but it looks like a great show - 9/10

CD 1:

Slip To The Void - The band opens with the eerie opener from their third album, the orchestra fits the opening perfectly and they band comes in rocking. Myles sings strong off the start and the guitarwork from him and Termonti is fantastic quite frankly this song is the perfect opener for a regular concert let alone one with an orchestra - 10/10

Addicted To Pain - Establishing quickly that the band isn't shying away their heavy rockers AB launches into a fantastic rendition of Addicted To Pain, the orchestra isn't always heard but the little bits that they do add are great. Another fantastic number from the band. - 10/10

Before Tomorrow Comes - The orchestra shows their full force on this ballad. Myles sings lower off the start before the song gets into the full swing. Some parts of this version send chills down my spine. Such a simple yet powerful song. - 10/10

The Writing On The Wall - The band returns to hard rocking with a song off their latest record at the time of the recording. A song bogged down on the studio version by the production but here it is free from that issue. As a whole this song is better than the studio version but compared to the 3 previous songs it is a step down. That being said the orchestra does shine in the opening of the song and I can't fault the band for playing a few tracks off their current studio album... - 8.5/10

Cry Of Achilles - The first epic of the album is next, Fortresses opening track comes in the orchestra building up upon the acoustic introduction from Mark before launching into the mighty heavy rocker. Myles sings lower than I would expect him to during the verses during the chorus he lets his vocals soar on the high note. A step back towards the excellence set forth by the first few tracks, but not quite there - 9/10

In Loving Memory - The first true ballad of the set comes in the form of one of the bands very first, the incredibly In Loving Memory which hadn't been played in roughly a decade at the point of the concert. Myles sings low and softly. The high note in conjunction with the orchestra is absolutely brilliant. - 10/10

Fortress - Following up the ballad is the title track from the bands fourth album, coming strong with Mark delivering a nice little solo. The biggest downside is the complete lack of the backing lyrics in the chorus from the studio version when sung live. Myles delivers the chorus fantastically. The orchestra's presence is amazing as well. Amazing solo section.- 9.5/10

Ties That Bind - Having been forced to leave the stage the band returns with the short and direct rocker which opens the mighty Blackbird album. The orchestra's presence is heard quite well in the background of the furious rocker - 9/10

The Other Side - A dark intro begins another track from The Last Hero, better than the studio version but still lacking something as a whole. Myles sings quite well. - 8/10

Brand New Start - Another track from Blackbird, Myles voice is so powerful and beautiful on this track and the orchestra really elevates the song to fly. - 9/10

Ghosts Of Days Gone By - The dark upbeat rocker closes off the first disc of the album. This song is a clear indicator as to why the band should use the orchestra, the little bits it adds to the overall sound. - 10/10

CD 1 - 103/110

CD 2:

The Last Hero - The title track from the bands last album. A mighty epic track which unlike the previous tracks from the album isn't a step down in comparison to the bands older tracks. Myles sings high among the band and orchestra which compliment each other greatly on the track. -10/10

The End Is Here - Another rarity from the band comes in the closer of the bands first album. A song which featured orchestral backing on the original recording The End Is Here is quite frankly an amazing song but wow does the orchestra bring it to life and Myles delivers an outright amazing vocal performance. - 10/10

Words Darker Than Their Wings - The band plays the highly requested deep cut at last. The colead vocals are amazing and the orchestra in conjunction with the bands already fantastic arrangement for the song show the brilliance of Alter Bridge. Perfection that's what this is. - 10/10

Water Rising - Mark takes over lead vocals completely for the next track, his vocals are really clear like Myles but when he lets loose the darkness of the song is truely conveyed through him. Heavy with the fluctuations between Myles uplifting backing vocals and Marks dark lead. A powerful track - 10/10

Lover - Slowing down for the ballad off of Fortress, a song which on the album hasn't always spoken to me, but this rendition is absolutely chilling, from the opening notes Myles I'm hooked, I now understand the beauty of this song. - 10/10

Wonderful Life/Watch Over You - Myles takes center stage with his acoustic guitar, the orchestral backing adds more emotion to Myles singing of two more ballads acoustically the somber Wonderful Life pulls the heart strings before transitioning into Watch Over You which continues to pull you in with Myles beautiful singing. - 10/10

This Side Of Fate - The final song off of The Last Hero to be played, a rather dynamic track which does an admirable job bringing the heaviness back to the set but it falls a little short by comparison. I feel like a track like Calm The Fire would have fit this spot better but thats besides the point; a track which features the orchestra building and falling creating an eb and flow throughout. - 8.5/10

Broken Wings - As the band begins to wrap up the concert they go into the first of three songs which any Alter Bridge fan would have predicted to have been present at a show of such an occasion. Broken Wings is first up, the mighty ballad. The chorus is absolutely amazing and the audience singing along to it makes it so much stronger. - 10/10

Blackbird - A song which frankly should either close out every show or open every encore. Blackbird is a masterpiece in studio, live is no different, the addition of the Beatles version prior to the opening riff is brilliant and those solos... Heavy, majestic and beautiful - 10/10

Open Your Eyes - Closing out with one of the bands typical set closers. Open Your Eyes is a fitting choice leaving out Rise Today from the set completely. The bands first single released. It doesn't really grow from the orchestra as much as the other songs but as a closer it is very fitting. A strong ending to a fantastic live album - 9/10

CD 2 - 97.5/100

Flow - Each song transitions seamlessly to the next, the eb and flow from the ballads and rockers is thought out and great. - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A near perfect live record. Amazing performance and every song fits the orchestra. As stated some songs should have been included but as a whole the album is amazing - 10/10

Overall 96%

Savage Amusement - Scorpions
Format: CD/Digital

Don't Stop At The Top - A very Scorpions guitar tone opens up the album before launching into a fairly strong rocker with amazing guitar harmonies. The band is clearly celebrating their previous massive album and the follow up live album. Not a classic like the some of the songs from the album before but still just as catchy. - 9/10

Rhythm of Love - An recognizable riff opens brings in the next track, one which is feels like an attempt to recreate No One Like You. A good song in its own right, one of the very first Scorpions track I've heard. Not as good as the aforementioned track but still catchy and enjoyable - 8/10

Passion Rules The Game - Continuing the commercial feeling which the band has clearly doubled down on following the massive success. Klaus delivers some nice vocals over the pop track. This track has a nice groove, unlike the previous tracks which had the music written by Rudolf this song has Herman composing it and as a result has some nice drum work throughout. - 8/10

Media Overkill - Opening with the growing sounds of the media overtop of the band playing minimalistly. The chorus is straightforward and rather boring. Not an amazing track, the portion following the chorus has some nice vocal harmonies but as a whole the song isn't good. It should of been replaced with their cover of The Who's I Can't Explain from the same era - 6/10

Walking On The Edge - Slowing down for what appears to be the first true ballad on the album. Anthemic vocal delivery from Klaus and the gang. Not a ballad which pulls at the heart strings but it does have potential just it isn't capitalized upon. - 7.5/10

We Let It Rock... You Let It Roll - A higher energy track, the verses are nice and would be great as an opening track. Chorus is a little cheesy but this is the Scorpions in their 80s heyday after all. Not amazing but it would do quite well live through the band's charisma. - 8.5/10

Every Minute Every Day - Midpaced but featuring some slightly heavier guitar and drum backing. Chorus is really cheesy and as a whole the song isn't that great but it is enjoyable. - 7/10

Love On The Run - The fastest track on the album opens with a strong drum intro written by Meine and Rarebell the song takes a clear heavier approach while remaining commercial. I wish more songs on the album had this energy. Although the track lacks something to really pull you in it is quite a solid track. - 8/10

Believe In Love - The first ballad that clicked with me when I discovered the Scorpions 5 years ago. This ballad is incredibly cheesy and far inferior to Still Loving You which it clearly is trying to emulate, it doesn't have the message of Wind Of Change or the peace and tranquility of Lady Starlight, Send Me And Angel or Always somewhere. Or the majestic solo outro of Holiday. But it does have a beautiful guitar intro and a catchy chorus. Dramatic and really enjoyable - 9/10

Overall 79%

The Last Command - W.A.S.P.
Format: CD/Digital

Wild Child - Opening with some much calmer riffing from the previous track, Blackie comes in singing raspy as ever, although the band is calmer it is clear from the vocals that they aren't any less primal from a lyrical perspective. Some nice higher notes are featured here but this song doesn't stand up to the ferocious opener from the previous album (either one)... - 8/10

Ballcrusher - Getting heavier the second track picks up where I would have expected the album to have begun. Chorus isn't very good at all but the track has much more energy. Blackie lets out some longer wails on this one and all I can think of is how this song and the previous are laying the groundwork for what he will do in the future with his concept records at the end of the decade and the start of the next. - 8/10

Fistful Of Diamonds - Opening with a radio commentary, the band comes in and Blackie lets loose his raspy vocals once more, the song writing hasn't jumped much in terms of originality from the debut but like the debut Blackie is able to write short catchy rocking tracks. Solo is fairly good on this track. - 8/10

Jack Action - Opening with a banging sound as a call in, before the band jumps into action, the bass work on this track is quite strong keeping the track moving with an air of haste about it. - 8/10

Widowmaker - An ominous drawn out intro leads into a midpaced track. Most the tracks on this album have had really good parts but as a whole they remain enjoyable listens but nothing to really write home about. The guitar solo on this track is quite well done, slower and building it fits the song really well. - 8/10

Blind In Texas - Starting heavy and picking up the pace quite a bit. Blackie's vocals deserve special mention at this point. His natural rasp is so fitting of these songs and really add an element of heaviness to the songs which helps keep them from being labeled as Glam Metal tracks. His wails are wonderful and this track is really elevated by it. - 8.5/10

Cries In The Night - Fading in with some calm guitar work, a ballad of sorts and not too cheesy for the bands first true ballad. A nice solo section occurs and the Blackies cries are full of sorrow. - 8.5/10

The Last Command - The title track comes in, at this point the songs are starting to blend together as they don't have much differentiating them from each other. Another relatively good track just not amazing - 8/10

Running Wild In The Streets - This track doesn't quite stand up to the rest. A decent track but it lacks the energy. Of the rest - 7.5/10

Sex Drive - The album closes with a short and direct rocking track, higher energy with a short and strong solo - 8/10

Overall 80%

7800 Degrees Fahrenheit - Bon Jovi
Format: CD/Digital

In & Out Of Love - Opening with a chant Bon Jovi opens their second album with a nice early rocker. Not as commercial as their next two album but this track shows the potential for catchy song writing and the great hooks. Jon does a great job on vocals and is an incredibly charismatic singer. Ritchie's solo is quite nice on this track as well. - 9/10

The Price Of Love - A rocking opening from Tico segues into Ritchie having a guitar solo before slowing down as Jon comes in and David plays predominately in the background. Vocally not the strongest track possible but wow is this a good piece from an instrumental point of view. Verses are quite strong from a vocal perspective. Chorus' backing vocal style doesn't work but when Jon says the song title it works. - 8.5/10

Only Lonely - Keys introduce the next track which frankly is a hidden gem from the early days. Jon delivers a fantastic verse vocal. Chorus is good and the band plays well. A mid tempo track which has some amazing moments. Great driving bass in the background. Fantastic song - 9/10

King Of The Mountain - The band continues to be heavier than their known for on this next track, a track which likely at early concerts could have been used to energize the crowd from a vocal and lyrical perspective it isn't amazing but it has a call and answer style. The band however is doing great again heavy and rocking. - 8.5/10

Silent Night - A ballad comes in next instantly recognizably different due to the synths. Jon sings calmly, not an amazing ballad but it is on the right track. The song has many elements of a great ballad but it doesn't come together for it to be amazing. - 8/10

Tokyo Road - A xylophone intro with some Japanese? singing leads into a strong early rocker from the band. The album was massively popular in Japan and this song shows that the band was willing to capitalize on their first albums success there as well, driving with a less than stellar chorus, it really is the main area the band hadn't figured out at this point. Instrumentally the track is great - 9/10

The Hardest Part Is The Night - Ritchie and David introduce the next track, Jon sings quite well throughout and the chorus isn't quite as poorly written as others at times. A nice more commercial track - 8.5/10

Always Run To You - Another heavy intro comes in, honestly I'm surprised at how heavy this album has been coming from Bon Jovi, chorus is a different, progressively getting higher which both works and doesn't at the same time or at least the first one didn't after that it got better - 8.5/10

(I Don't Wanna Fall) To The Fire - The intro to this song reminds me of the 1980's transformer movie, which isn't a bad thing just very different from the more direct rocking the band has provided on most of the album. The song itself isn't super strong. It has some good moments but it isn't great - 7.5/10

Secret Dreams - The album closes out with a track which features Tico receiving a writing credit. The vocal harmonies on this track sound like a more upbeat version of Blue Oyster Cult. A track which I half expected to be a ballad based on the name and length but it turns out to be a pleasant mid-tempo rocker. - 8.5/10

Overall 85%

Sacred Heart - Dio
Format: CD/Digital

King Of Rock N Roll - Opening with a live intro from Dio the studio track soon takes over and the "live audience" vanishes for a little bit. The song is direct and heavy. Dio delivers his vocals viciously. - 8.5/10

Sacred Heart - The title track is up next, Ronnie goes deep into his tropes on this track a very mystical intro leads into a midpaced instrumental section. Ronnie sings about finding a sacred heart and wizards. Did I catch a Stargazer reference in there somewhere. A monstrous mini epic, not a true Dio masterpiece but definitely one worth noting - 9/10

Another Lie - Getting back to direct rocking a crunchy rocker comes in next. A strong rocker overall nice change of pace. - 8/10

Rock N Roll Children - A poppier track but it is great. Catchy and upbeat with great synth work throughout - 8.5/10

Hungry For Heaven - A choir opens up the next track and the band comes in right after with some differently produced guitar sounds. Chorus is rather weak but the song as a whole is quite different from what has come on the album. That being said a really nice solo is featured on this track which helps it out quite a bit. - 7/10

Like The Beat Of A Heart - A midtempo track which like the previous track is of lower quality, Chorus isn't as weak as the one before. Not amazing but not a bad listen - 7/10

Just Another Day - Opening in the vein of Neon Nights this next track has a drive behind it which the last two have lacked. Upbeat and energetic, better than the previous two and while it isn't an amazing track it is quite good! - 8/10

Fallen Angels - A track which dips back down a little but it goes into Dio's wheelhouse in the sense of content. An enjoyable track but not super noteworthy - 7.5/10

Shoot Shoot - The final track on the album, parts of this track really work for me others however do not. The chorus is really weak and all I can think of is UFO's Shoot Shoot which frankly is far better in every way. - 7/10

Overall 78%

Permanent Waves - Rush
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Spirit Of Radio/Freewill/Jacob's Ladder
Kicking off with a synth filled introduction the album opener introduces the world to 1980's Rush, very synth filled and Geddy sings quite well over top of the band. Musically the band does their job, the drums and bass work of Rush are top tier and the guitar mixed in with the synths is well crafted. The ending of the song has some very distinct changes to the song which add to the uniqueness. Track 2 comes in and the band has more prevelence compared to the synths on this one, the chorus is nice and the lyrics are fantastic. Not quite as rocking as the previous track but a really good track! Geddy hits some really high notes at the end of the song. A longer track closes off side 1, opening with Geddy's bass and drumming similar to a military drumbeat. The song is slower at first on a similar pace as War Pigs before building up with a guitar solo section. That drumbeat becomes ominous at this point and it remains under the guitars. The first track on the album thus far that dives into the progressive nature of Rush. Following the guitar solo section the synths take over being mystical and spacy with Geddy's singing become distorted the guitar soon comes back in fading in from its absence and Neil comes back in on drums before the song closes off.

Spirit Of Radio - 9/10
Freewill - 9/10
Jacob's Ladder - 8.5/10
Side 1 - 26.5/30

Side 2: Entre Nous/Different Strings/Natural Science
Side 2 begins with more synths the band clearly is going full on into the synth sound of the 80s and frankly the commercial sound of this record is quite nice. A more direct track with not too much variation and as a whole the song isn't superb but it is quite enjoyable. Different Strings opens with Geddy, acoustic guitar and keyboards, a pleasent track but not one that really pulls you in. The longest track of the album comes up next, and in Rush fashion it has multiple parts, which frankly help my enjoyment of these epics due to the distinct changes throughout making the longer track feel like many small ones. Starting with ocean sounds in a part called Tide Pools, the natural sounds combined with the band is a good and odd combination. The natural sounds fade as what appears to be a chorus occurs. Part 2 named Hyperspace shifts the sound and ups the tempo, Geddy adopts a new vocal style for this section and the synths in conjunction to the increased tempo adds an air of urgency to the song and the chorus returns as the final section comes in... Permanent Waves. An amazing solo ensues before the second chorus. A really well thought out track. It has its highs and lows but as a whole it is a fantastic piece of music and closes off the album really well.

Entre Nous - 7.5/10
Different Strings -7/10
Natural Science - 9/10
Side 2 - 23.5/30

Overall 83%

Adjusted - 84%
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Cuts Like A Knife - Bryan Adams
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: The Only One/Take Me Back/This Time/Straight From The Heart/Cuts Like A Knife
Opening with a direct and shorter rocker. Verses are quite good and the chorus lightens up a little bit which lessens the song a little in my mind. Bryan sounds really good on this track his voice having that slight rasp that he is known for. Track 2 comes in softer and Bryan sings with less rasp but the track feels like it will burst out with a chorus. It doesn't which really isn't in its favour. However it still is an enjoyable song. Later chorus' do explode in the way I would expect but the song as a whole would have benefited more from it occurring more frequently. The first of the bands 3 back to back singles on this side of the record. One of the more well known ones. It is a commercial track featuring Lou Gramm on backing vocals. Not as strong as the later two singles which are Bryan's smash hits from the album but still a really enjoyable and fun track, Bryan sings quite softly overall but the song has a really recognizable chorus. Piano opens the next track, the ballad which reached number 1 on the charts, short and direct sentimental and well performed by all. The title track closes off the first side of the album, a great catchy commercial track, Bryan delivers vocally and the band plays really well in the background. The chant a long chorus is great. Excellent track

The Only One - 8/10
Take Me Back - 7/10
This Time - 8/10
Straight From The Heart -9/10
Cuts Like A Knife - 10/10
Side 1 - 42/50

Side 2: I'm Ready/ Whats It Gonna Be/Don't Leave Me Lonely/Let Him Know/The Best Is Yet To Come
Side 2 begins with a low midpaced guitar and Bryan begins singing over it before the band kicks up the tempo joining in, The chorus is filled with synths and is very mid-paced at the start but it picks up the pace like the song did. The chorus is actually quite long which takes away from the rest of the song as it eats up a ton of time each time it is sung. But it is an easy to sing a long chorus. A nice guitar solo from Keith ensues before the chorus closes out the song. The followup track is a track which feels like it easily could have been released as a single and likely was intended to be although the vast majority of the album is incredibly commercial. The shortest track on the album is up next, launching in from the start this song, faster paced and quite enjoyable. It shows where Bryan will be heading towards with his Reckless album in terms of direct rocking tracks. Coming in with a soft drum beat and acoustic guitars, a short and direct track which lacks much enthusiasm and while it isn't bad it doesn't click for me in the slightest. I'm surprised it was the first single. The album closes off with a ballad a song which clearly speaks to the unspoken side of success in the late 70's.

I'm Ready - 8/10
Whats It Gonna Be - 7.5/10
Don't Leave Me Lonely - 7.5/10
Let Him Know - 6.5/10
The Best Is Yet To Come - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 37/50

Overall 79%

Desolation Boulevard - Sweet
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Ballroom Blitz/ The Six Teens/No You Don't/A.C.D.C/I Wanna Be Committed
Opening up the album is the pop metal track, a contagious rocker with a super catchy chorus and a fantastic opening riff. This song is absolutely fantastic and fun start to finish hopefully setting the tone for the rest of the album as it fades out. The next track comes in with a much calmer intro and is sung in a mystical way. A very different track from the opener, however I have heard this version of the album is more similar to a compilation album. A decent track which actually opens the original version of the album. Track 3 opens up and appears to bring the album back to a heavier feeling. Distant vocals call out as bassist Steve Priest takes over lead vocal duties. Not as strong of a vocalist as Brian but still fairly capable, the bass work on this track is more notable than the previous two and it is a nice step back into the rocking direction. A track which opens and the vocal style instantly reminds me of Bon Scott, although it really isn't the legend. Brian is back on vocals and delivers a fairly good job but this song isn't quite as strong as the previous track. Chorus is okay but it doesn't entirely work with the song. An odd intro leads into the final track on side 1, the first time the title is said clearly it reminds me of I Wanna Be Sedated... maybe there was some inspiration there. Vocals are incredibly high and honestly weaker as a result, the band however does deliver a nice rocking track but it doesn't come together as a strong package.

Ballroom Blitz - 10/10
The Six Teens - 7.5/10
No You Don't - 8/10
A.C.D.C. - 7/10
I Wanna Be Committed - 7/10
Side 1 - 39.5/50

Side 2: Sweet F.A./Fox On the Run/Set Me Free/Into The Night/ Solid Gold Brass
A quick drum centric intro kicks off side 2 of the album, nice guitar work ensues and the track slows down a little before picking up again and Brian comes in singing, the longest track of the album, heavier feeling than most of side 1, quite dynamic using sci-fi sounding synths and that repetitive riff with great bass undertones. Vocals come in intermittently among the track and honestly it works really well. Fading in comes my personal favourite Sweet track. The mighty Fox On The Run comes in with all its Pop glory, that catchy chorus and commanding vocals throughout the verses. Set Me Free comes in rocking off the start and continues the rocking that this side has done really well. A fantastic solo section is featured on this track. Slowing down slightly lead guitarist Andy Scott takes lead vocals on this track. Not as a good of a track as those before, primarily from a vocal standpoint but the track does deliver an enjoyable rocking experience. The album closes off with a slightly longer track, starting off mid paced and Brian once more returns on vocals singing quite high off the start before changing into a talking style vocal, closing off the album with a solid track.

Sweet F.A - 9/10
Fox On the Run - 10/10
Set Me Free - 9/10
Into The Night - 8/10
Solid Gold Brass - 8/10
Side 2 - 44/50

Overall 84%

Unleashed In The East - Judas Priest
Format: Vinyl

Initial Thoughts: The first live Album from Priest features a lot from Sad Wings of Destiny with a couple tracks from Sin after Sin and Hell Bent For Leather with the opener being the sole song from Stained class, as someone who prefers the latter 3 albums immensely to Sad Wings I wish maybe one more Stained Class track had made the cut, preferably Beyond The Realms Of Death. Also while yes the covers were made their own, featuring two of them on the live album seems a little much. - 8/10

Side 1: Exciter/Running Wild/Sinner/The Ripper/ The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)
Coming in full steam ahead is the sole track from Stained Class. Rob shows off some of his vocal range on the roaring opener although at times it reaches the point where it doesn't really jive for me. The band however is on fire, heavy and fast, with fantastic instrumental sections to the track. As soon as Exciter closes Running Wild's riff comes in and Rob wastes no time with this rocker, he is slightly less screamy on this short and direct track. A really good performance. Sinner begins and the band plows through any resistance Rob delivers some well controlled howls and the guitar assault continues consistently with a really strong solo section. An amazing performance. A quick riff leads into The Ripper, another short and direct rocker, Rob sings lower on this track and the band delivers a strong performance of the rocker without too much extra added flare. The Fleetwood Mac cover closes off side 1 of the album, coming in mid paced with a really strong bass undertone. Amazing guitar work on this track. Halford's singing isn't quite as impressive off the start but those solos more than make up for it.

Exciter - 8.5/10
Running Wild - 9/10
Sinner - 10/10
The Ripper - 8/10
The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) - 8.5/10
Side 1 - 44/50

Side 2: Diamonds And Rust/Victim Of Changes/Genocide/Tyrant
Side 2 begins with the second cover, a sped up version of Diamonds and Rust, the song almost gallops... A strong rendition with as a whole with a long drawn out cry for Rob. Following the cover Tipton and Downing unleash the mesmerizing guitar intro to Victim Of Changes, a majestic opening and Rob lets out the trademark high notes off the start. The band earns the definition as Metal Gods on this track. Absolutely brutal screams and solos. Genocide comes in after Rob thanks the crowd lengthened slightly from the original recording, a heavy guitar based intro makes way for Rob to come back in singing, a strong aggressive track which has the unfortunate spot of following up the previous track. The band still delivers a great performance. The album closes off with Tyrant the fourth track from Sad Wings Of Destiny, wasting no time the track comes in rocking and closes off the set in fashion, with strong solos and a great vocal delivery from Halford.

Diamonds And Rust - 8.5/10
Victim Of Changes - 10/10
Genocide -9/10
Tyrant - 8.5/10
Side 2 - 36/40

Flow - Overall the album flows nicely from one song to the next without any real loss in momentum. Making for a really enjoyable experience - 10/10

Final Thoughts - While it is a really enjoyable album, as someone who isn't a fan of Sad Wings... It leaves one wanting a little more variety. That being said Victim Of Changes is amazing. And the band's performance throughout the album is incredible - 9/10

Overall 89%
It is quite impressive, and especially based on my feelings towards Priest's earlier work I'm quite happy with where I have it currently. Will be revisiting it in the future for sure!

Down To Earth - Rainbow
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: All Night Long/Eyes Of The World/No Time To Lose/Makin' Love
Opening up with some nice guitar work, the new incarnation of Rainbow launches into a midpaced rocker, clearly more in a poppier style than the albums with Ronnie. The chorus is filled with backing vocals. Graham handles the vocals fairly well. Having both harder and lighter segments the song kicks off the album in a way which feels like a natural progression from Long Live Rock N Roll although not in the exact direction which personally would have been the right one. The second song fades in with the sound of wind and a bell tolling in the distance, the tension builds an ominous keys come in, coming in heavier the song soon transitions to a song which for some reason reminds me of the sound of most the songs on Fly To The Rainbow by Scorpions. Graham delivers a strong vocal performance this song is really well written and sounds like a track which Ronnie could have absolutely slayed or Gillan for that matter seeing as it was written by Glover and Blackmore. A strong solo from Blackmore ensues and the band really puts together a nice mini epic track. No Time To Lose takes a more direct approach, much more commercial but that guitar lick is quite infectious. As a whole the song is weaker than the two prior and only the guitar riff and solo pulls me in. Side 1 closes with Makin' Love, which starts off slower and begins to tread into ballad territory. Song nice drum and guitar sections by Cozy and Blackmore. But not a great song.

All Night Long - 8/10
Eyes Of The World - 9/10
No Time To Lose - 7/10
Makin' Love - 7.5/10
Side 1 - 31.5/40

Side 2: Since You Been Gone/Love's No Friend/Danger Zone/Lost In Hollywood
Side 2 kicks off with a radio staple track, Graham sings this song great and the band delivers a great commercial rock track which has a great upbeat energy about it. A nice short solo from Blackmore, following the bridge the song comes in with more power and closes out quite strong with a short band jam. Coming in a little more bluesy and dark, the song sounds like it is something from MKIII Deep Purple. A decent track which has some strong moments but as a whole isn't amazing. Nice singing from Graham and the dark bluesy guitar from Blackmore adds some nice atmosphere. Danger Zone returns to a more direct rocking format and does a decent job as a whole. Decent soloing but not a great track. A drum intro kicks off the final song on the album. Lost In Hollywood has a sense of urgency to it as Bonnet sings at a high speed, an enjoyable track which closes off the album on a fairly good note.

Since You Been Gone - 9/10
Love's No Friend - 8/10
Danger Zone - 7.5/10
Lost In Hollywood - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 32/40

Overall 79%

Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Brown Sugar/Sway/Wild Horses/Can't Hear Me Knocking/ You Gotta Move
Opening up with the concert classic The Stones, filled with some nice upbeat guitar work and a sax solo, maracas and Mick singing about throughout. The songs big band sound does increase the enjoyment of this track and the upbeat nature of it is quite infectious. Sway comes in next and the song feels as if you're swaying from the start. Mick's vocals are clearer on this track and much more powerful on this track. That outro is quite strong as well. The somber ballad Wild Horses comes in next and a beautiful acoustic piece that frankly should be played at every strong show as I feel it could be so incredibly emotional in a live setting. Shifting back into an electric setting the longest track on the album comes in next with a guitar based intro from Keith, a song with some groove to it but the vocals are a little buried in the mix of the track. Backing vocals come through but Mick's seem a broken up. Drawn out with some notable moments but the song doesn't really do all that much in its 7 minute run time. You Gotta Move closes off the first side of the album going back to the laid back style and it doesn't work for me.

Brown Sugar - 8.5/10
Sway - 9/10
Wild Horses - 9/10
Can't Hear Me Knocking - 7.5/10
You Gotta Move - 6/10
Side 1 - 40/50

Side 2: Bitch/I Got The Blues/Sister Morphine/Dead Flowers/Moonlight Mile
A harshly named song opens up side 2 of the album, a nice groove comes with it. It has a great big band feel to it. The track is upbeat and fun feeling throughout and it does a really good job keeping the listener entertained. Slowly building another slow song comes in, it stays slow and somber but it does feature a short organ solo midway through the track. Sister Morphine comes in, staying acoustic but pulling me in slightly more than the previous track. Dead Flowers comes in fully country style and it really works, dark lyrics regarding Heroin but the song is still quite enjoyable and the acoustic nature of it makes it fun, even if it is about overdosing...Moonlight Mile closes off the album with some more acoustic beginnings, I appreciate that this album unlike the last Stones record has more variety but this side has been quite low key, a nice and enjoyable song closes off a fairly good album.

Bitch - 8.5/10
I Got The Blues - 7/10
Sister Morphine - 7.5/10
Dead Flowers - 8.5/10
Moonlight Mile - 8/10
Side 2 - 39.5/50

Overall 79%

The Final Frontier - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Satellite 15... The Final Frontier/El Dorado/Mother Of Mercy
A sci-fi sounding introductory track leads into the title track of the album. I wish the two were separate but that doesn't change the fact that the intro is a strong building guitar attack with some nice drumming from Nicko which builds up for the actual track to begin. Militant drums Bruce sings fairly well, his voice just lacking something to push the track into the stratosphere. Once the actual title track opens up Bruce becomes much stronger. Chorus is repetitive but not as bad as Maiden has been in the past, nice guitar work in the background of it all. An improvement from the opening instrumental for sure. A fairly good way to open up the album. Track 2 opens with what would seem to be a closing portion of the previous song but in fact is completely separate. Steve's bass and Nicko's drums lead the charge and soon the guitarists come in letting out some heavy riffs. The Maiden gallop is in full force by the time Bruce comes in sneering with darkness behind his every word. Chorus features a vastly different delivery, upbeat and soaring with an some high notes from Bruce, three shorter guitar solos merge as the 3 guitarists each take turns putting their touch on the single. Mother of Mercy closes off the first of 4 sides. Bruce sings clearly as the band build beneath his vocals, a heavy drumbeat signals that the song is going to pick up the pace a little. The third song in a row with Adrian and Steve writing a trend which looking at the album is quite frequent with Steve handling writing duties on the entirety of the album. A track which at this point doesn't pull me in completely but I can see it growing quite well on me.

Satellite 15... The Final Frontier - 8/10
El Dorado - 8.5/10
Mother Of Mercy - 7.5/10
Side 1 - 24/30

Side 2: Coming Home/The Alchemist/Isle Of Avalon
Coming Home opens with a guitar breakdown before slowing into a Maiden ballad, instrumentally building up and as it does so Bruce's vocals begin to soar. A song which frankly has so much potential to be a Maiden classic, but something holds it back slightly. Bruce's performance is great. Solos aren't super amazing but they are fitting of the song. The outro is great. The Alchemist comes in with a fury, Bruce sings quite well and the guitar work doesn't back down at all. An enjoyable rocker with some nice performances but it just doesn't pull me in, but like Mother Of Mercy it feels like it will be a song which grows on me. A fantastic solo is performed by Janick on this track. Side 2 closes with the first true epic of the album Isle of Avalon, the intro alone makes this song feel so different, the sounds accompanying the band. Bruce paints a story of approaching the Isle. He lets loose and the song picks up the pace getting stronger, solo section if fairly good. I think the song is quite good just goes on a little longer than it needs to as a whole, quite enjoyable

Coming Home - 9.5/10
The Alchemist - 7.5/10
Isle Of Avalon - 8.5/10
Side 2 - 25.5/30

Side 3: Starblind/The Talisman
Side 3 opens with a slow building guitar intro. Bruce comes in softly and the slow build disappears as they shift gears into a heavier track once more, the chorus is a little weaker. Some nice guitar work is done on this track, the solos are fairly strong on this track. A track which has basically all the necessary components of a fantastic Maiden track but alas it doesn't quite reach those heights for me. The Talisman opens with an acoustic intro with Bruce singing over it. The intro is fairly long, which is fine considering the song itself reaches just over 9 minutes. But wow the does band shift when they decide to come in. A strong track with commanding vocals from Bruce and great guitar tone throughout.

Starblind - 8/10
The Talisman - 9/10
Side 2 - 17/20

Side 4: The Man Who Would Be King/When The Wild Wind Blows
The final side like the previous features two epic length tracks, opening up with Dave's only writing contribution to the album as he is paired with Steve. Bruce opens once more with some calm vocals, the point where it picks up features a nice guitar interlude, A weird track structurally with an interesting solo section. A good collection of ideas but it doesn't work great as a sum of its parts. Winds blow as the final track of the album comes in, Steve's sole solo track on the album. Bruce sings quite well off the start of the song. It explodes and the song reminds me a little of Dance Of Death, Bruce's upbeat vocals sell the coming doom with joy but it has a calming sense. This is not to last as the song gets heavier and the first two solos ensue

The Man Who Would Be King - 7.5/10
When The Wild Wind Blows - 9/10
Side 4 - 16.5/20

Overall 83%

Permanent Vacation - Aerosmith
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Hearts Done Time/Magic Touch/Rag Doll
A drawn out intro leads into an aggressive rocker with all the pop flair you would expect from a track written by Desmond Child, a nice band interlude takes the solo spot on the track and Steven sings really well, but of course this is Steven Tyler we're talking about here. Joe does take a solo during the songs outro. Magic touch comes in quickly after the previous track this time the band co-wrote with Jim Vallance and it is a lighter track relative to the previous one. Steven repeats some words following certain verses. Not nearly as catchy as the previous track but still an enjoyable song with a good performance by the band. The mid-paced rag doll comes in next, Aerosmith goes back into their sexual lyrical style for this track, this song has a big band feel thanks to the brass section and it is quite a catchy track. It is clear Aerosmith's comeback album is this one due to the hook filled tracks. Simoriah comes in next, coming in quickly the fastest song thus far and the shortest as well. Steven sings clearly and with some haste and he lets loose a fairly nice scream before the guitar solo. Another classic Aerosmith track comes in, which I believe was written about Nikki Sixx, catchy and filled with the brass sound behind the band. A nice solo from Perry and Steven delivers. Brad, Tom and Joey do great as well. Closing off side 1 is the sole song on this side without outside writers on it. Counted in by the band, a low bass line opens and Steven sings over it, vocally not really a great track but that solo from Perry is great.

Hearts Done Time - 8.5/10
Magic Touch - 7.5/10
Rag Doll - 8/10
Simoriah - 9/10
Dude (Looks Like A Lady) - 9.5/10
St. John - 7.5/10
Side 1 - 50/60

Side 2: Hangman Jury/Girls Keeps Coming Apart/Angel/Permanent Vacation/I'm Down/The Movie
The sound of an old rocking chair opens side 2, harmonica comes in and Steven sings slowly and the band picks up a little bit as Steven's singing gets a little quicker. A very different track which frankly doesn't do too much for me. It is enjoyable but doesn't really make me want to listen to it again. Picking the pace up once again with a heavy drumbeat, Steven sings low until the chorus where he goes back into his higher range. The solo section on this track is quite nice again, there are some effects which I cannot figure out exactly what they are in the background but they sound quite nice. The big ballad comes in next, I have always been drawn to a lot of 80s ballads. This one is no different. One of Aerosmith's best tracks from their 80s revival. Steven may hate the song but it features an amazing vocal performance from him and the band plays the slow song perfectly. The title wastes no time getting back to rocking with a strong intro riff intermixed with the sounds of some paradise destination, quick with a fair bit of backing vocals. The track maintains the higher speed and aggression throughout and is quite fun all in one fairly short package. A Beatles cover comes in next, short and direct the band really emulates the Beatles but with a heavier feel to it which is much appreciated... A really solid cover. The album closes off with The Movie, opening ominously before the band comes in on the instrumental track, all 5 members of Aerosmith share writing credits on this track. A strong instrumental which could be used as a highly effective concert intro.

Hangman Jury - 7/10
Girl Keeps Coming Apart - 8/10
Angel - 10/10
Permanent Vacation - 8.5/10
I'm Down - 8.5/10
The Movie - 8/10
Side 2 - 50/60

Overall 83%

Breakfast In America - Supertramp
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Gone Hollywood/The Logical Song/Goodbye Stranger/Breakfast In America/Oh Darling
Opening up side 1 is some piano and more poppy guitar work and saxophones. Both of the band's lead singers share the lead vocal slot for this album. Definitely a song which uses the elements of the band to their fullest. Just listening to it makes me feel like the song is a piece of art, dynamic and enjoyable. It doesn't fully connect but one cannot deny that Supertramp has written a fun slightly progressive 70s pop rock track. Track 2 is instantly recognizable as a familiar piano section begins. Roger Hodgson's high vocals suit the song really well. Calm and upbeat this song, the sax solo is quite nice and the song is really fun. The third track lets co-lead vocalist Rick Davies take over the lead vocals, still falling into the art rock style but with a clear heavier feel to it at times. Chorus is high but fitting. The title track is short and upon the opening verse I realize that I've heard it before, wouldn't have known that going into the album. Not a fantastic song but still enjoyable much like the previous 3 songs. Closing out side 1 is Oh Darling, which starts off with a piano intro. A fairly decent ballad, Hodgson and Davies sing colead vocals on this one and it isn't a mind blowing track.

Gone Hollywood - 7/10
The Logical Song - 8/10
Goodbye Stranger - 8/10
Breakfast In America - 7.5/10
Oh Darling -7.5/10
Side 1 - 38/50

Side 2: Take The Long Way Home/Lord It Is Mine/Just Another Nervous Wreck/Casual Conversations/Child Of Vision
Side 2 opens with a slow building synth into a heavy key board intro, ominous and almost dark in a sense, harmonica comes in. Hodgson take sole lead vocals on this one. A fun upbeat sounding track, the solo section is quite nice on this track. At this point I have realized nothing will really blow me away on this album, but each track has been fairly enjoyable and none have been outright bad. The next track continues on the piano based introduction train. Once more Hodgson sings high taking the spotlight and singing lead on the whole song, building and emotive this song is once more a good representation of the talent within the band. Davies takes the next song's lead vocals once more, this track doesn't do much of anything for me. It isn't bad but the other tracks are superior to it. The followup is one of the shortest tracks on the album, calm with not too much variety it would be quite easy to tune this track out if it was on the radio but listening to it the song does have a nice calming feeling. The album closes off with the longest track it has to feature a 7 and a half minute track by the name of Child Of Vision, the two singers trade off on vocals throughout the track. It has a heavier feeling than the previous two tracks

Take The Long Way Home - 7.5/10
Lord It Is Mine - 8/10
Just Another Nervous Wreck - 6.5/10
Casual Conversations -7/10
Child Of Vision - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 36.5/50

Overall 75%

Slave To Grind - Skid Row
Format: CD/Digital

Monkey Business - Opening up calm and slow the song soon erupts with Baz letting loose a wicked scream as the band launches into action, very aggressive and much heavier than the previous album. The guitars sound more towards grunge but Baz sings high and raspy as ever with that recognizable wail which calls the song back away from being full on brutality at times. - 9/10

Slave To Grind - The low grind of the title track comes in next, just as heavy if not heavier than the previous track. Baz sings differently which makes sense since the song is actually the demo version of the song due to the band feeling it was the best version. Personally Baz's vocals on this one aren't as stellar as they could be but by the same token they are incredibly fitting of the dark and heavy guitar work. Vicious from start to finish - 9/10

The Threat - Returning to a more produced sound comes in the third track, still quite heavy but not as aggressive as the previous two tracks. A strong track with some great moments such as Bach's incredibly high scream towards the end of the song. - 8/10

Quicksand Jesus - The first ballad of the album, Bach sings softly at first. This song gives me chills. Challenging the concepts of religion and that chorus is absolutely perfect followed by a beautiful guitar solo. Absolutely brutal, emotive and powerful. - 10/10

Psycho Love - An interesting bass line introduces an upbeat track, a strong aggressive track which has a very unexpected slower midsection, nice bass work is featured throughout. Bach as per usual delivers a really strong vocal performance on this track. The guitar solo following the midsection brings the song back into a heavier rocking territory. Bolan wrote quite the track... - 8.5/10

Get The Fuck Out - A quick and short track, has a lot of energy to it but as a whole the song isn't that great I could see it being a nice way to build up some crowd energy but that is about it. Plus the band has 4 others songs on the album thus far which would be better for crowd energy... - 7/10

Livin' On A Chain Gang - A primarily vocal intro leads into a mid paced track, heavy as usual. A really good solo occurs and Baz's vocals still are unreal it is amazing how well the man can sing and bring a ton of life to these songs. The band is strong throughout drumming is nice and consistent. - 8/10

Creepshow - Another heavy intro. Not much really to say about this one which I haven't said about the others. This one however isn't quite as strong as the vast majority on the album so far but it is still consistent with how the album has been going. - 7.5/10

In A Darkened Room - A weeping guitar introduces the second ballad. Another emotional piece from the band. This time regarding child abuse, Baz's scream on this track is brutal and pained, the vocals are the centerpiece of this song and the weeping guitar returns several times throughout and features a nice outro solo - 10/10

Riot Act - A furious guitar riff kicks off the Riot Act, another short and direct song, with a lot of anger behind it. The sheer speed behind the track is a really nice switch up at this point in the album. Baz sings so high and fast throughout. This track would be a bitch to sing live. - 8.5/10

Mudkicker - Slowing back down going into a heavy stomping track. Throughout the track the band delivers with energy and angst. It feels like it is missing just a little something but still a good track - 8/10

Wasted Time - The third ballad closes off the album. The spacing of these ballads has been really well thought out, I've heard the song was written about Steven Adler, the weakest of the 3 ballads. Baz's high note at the end of the chorus is fantastic. The guitar work is calm and beautiful. - 9/10

Overall 85%

A really strong album held down by a couple weak tracks

Redeemer Of Souls - Judas Priest
Format: CD/Digital

Dragonaut - The sounds of storms kick off the album before Ritchie and Glenn launch into a guitar assault with Halford coming in sounding really strong. Chorus' vocals are weaker but the verse has a really strong performance from the aging metal god. Guitar work is really nice throughout with a strong solo maintaining the strength throughout. A strong opening track - 9/10

Redeemer Of Souls - The title track continues on the rocking train and comes in with a quick riff and Halford sounds strong once more. Chorus has Halford nearly scream but he holds back. It is better delivered than the previous chorus. Solo isn't amazing but still is quite good. - 8.5/10

Halls Of Valhalla - Fading in is the longest track on the album. And it is one worthy of the track length, the guitars build into a wall of sound with an almost horn like feel to them before the riffing begins and Halford lets loose his first true scream of the album. The growl from Halford into the high pitched scream is fantastic and the solo following it is great. The bridge with the band's backing vocals into the final chorus is absolutely fantastic. - 10/10

Sword Of Damocles - Starting with a repetitive riff and some strong drumwork before going into a harmonized guitar section as Halford comes in singing low. The harmonized guitars come back often. Enjoyable but not close to the strength of the opening 3 tracks - 7.5/10

March Of The Damned - A song which comes in with some strong lower guitar work. Halford puts in a nice lower vocal ranged performance but it loses some of that Priest feel with it. I've noticed his singing on some of the songs feels too low when you're used to hearing him wail out wicked high notes which, from having seen them this summer, I know he can still let loose... - 7/10

Down In Flames - Coming back with a little more fire, Halford sounds much stronger on this one even though he remains singing in his lower register. A nice solo ensues and the band continues to deliver a nice concise rocker. - 7.5/10

Hell & Back - Starting off slow and calm the song soon increased in speed with a shift in the bass line and the guitars come in heavier. Another track which could have been much stronger if Halford had sung higher. A nice solo section is here. It does a fairly good job. - 7.5/10

Cold Blooded - This one flat out doesn't stick to me at all. It lacks energy. Aside from the nice guitar work in the chorus and the solo. But at the same time it isn't too bad and the outro saves the song from being forgettable. - 6.5/10

Metalizer - Speeding up Metalizer lets Halford have a scream. The chorus has a militant march feeling to it. I like the heavier feel to this song, it could have been much stronger. - 7.5/10

Crossfire - The guitar intro on this track is really nice having quite a bit of groove behind it. Guitar harmonies have been a strength of the album thus far this song is no different. -7.5/10

Secrets Of The Dead - Tolling bells come in as the album begins to close with 3, 5 minute tracks in a row. A mid-paced heavy track. Rob delivers some distant vocals on this track and does a fairly average job as a whole. This song feels longer than it is... - 7/10

Battle Cry - A song whose name was used for their latest live album, without it being featured Battle Cry opens with harmonized guitars and once the rocking starts it is clear the song is stronger than many of those which came before. Halford sounds more like himself here and the band is clearly actually into the track - 8.5/10

Beginning Of The End - The closing track opens with some keys. The only true ballad of the album. A rather subdued ballad. It isn't amazing but a decent way to close off a fairly lackluster album. - 8/10

Overall 78%, quite bookended and the album is held up by that opening salvo. Absolutely amazing cover art.