365 Albums In One Year

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
235/365

Golgotha - W.A.S.P.
Format: CD/Digital

Scream - Starting off with a midpaced riff this opener soon makes way for Blackie to sing, his voice aged but still there is that very unique sound to it and he is instantly recognizable. A well produced track with a decent chorus. Solo section lets the guitar go higher than the verses. There appears to be a quick reference to The Crimson Idol in this track. Blackie lets out a weak scream towards the wrap up of the song which shows how much he has aged. - 7.5/10

Last Runaway - Coming in quickly track two feels much more poppy than the first off the start, I think it is a nice track and it features a good performance from Blackie. Good solo. A midlength track which has some nice ebb and flow to it. A good track as a whole with Blackie clearly understanding his changed voice and writing songs which suit it quite well. The band delivers with a good level of energy throughout - 8/10

Shotgun - Shotgun comes in with a nice riff which is similar to For Those About To Rock, staying somewhat poppy in sound the band delivers a solid hard rock track. That riff is quite strong. Lead and Backing vocals are well delivered. The production however is making the songs sound quite similar at times. The guitarwork is the really impressive part of this track - 9/10

Miss You - The first ballad of the album, and one of the two songs I've heard before. Miss You is a powerful piece with clear imagery of a man who has lost someone who he clearly loved very much. I believe this song was partially written regarding the death of Blackie's brother. The second chorus is where the band comes in quite strong. As it builds towards it Blackie's vocals get a little darker. An absolutely beautiful guitar solo ensues. Blackie's religious beliefs are more noticeable on this song although it doesn't feel out of place given the subject matter. A massive ballad with a killer outro solo. - 10/10

Fallen Under - The transition from the previous track is quite impressive, slow building at first but Blackie comes in with a lot of force behind him and the band picks up the pace with him. A really strong track which feels like a continuation of the previous track but in a completely new direction. A great way to follow up and the energy the track has is great. Solo is really impressive and the song as a whole is amazing - 10/10

Slaves Of The New World Order - Another longer track comes in slowly in what feels like a ballads beginning. However the band has other ideas, letting loose the drummer and the guitars become energized as the song launches into the main section of it. A song which if the band had released earlier in their career I think would have become one of their most well known. Incredible energy and performance throughout, wow the sheer amazingness from these last 3 (well 4) songs from a lesser known band at this point in their career is really quite impressive. - 10/10

Eyes Of My Maker - As the previous track fades away Eyes Of My Maker comes in with a calm riff then a heavy drumbeat and Blackie come in low and powerful. Not quite on par with the previous few tracks but still really enjoyable and powerful. The solo section is once again really strong and the song is a good upbeat one throughout. - 8.5/10

Hero Of The World - Starting with an acoustic riff which soon transitions into another hard rocking track, direct and aggressive at some points, at others slower with a sense of urgency. Another rather consistent track - 8.5/10

Golgotha - The title track comes in with organs sounding, this track doesn't hold back the religious imagery at all. Soaring vocals with an easy chorus to sing to. Solos are amazing as they have for the rest of the album. The epic title track does an excellent job closing off the themes and ending the album with style. - 10/10

Overall - 90%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Since I have tickets to see them in a couple weeks...

236/365

Infestissumam - Ghost
Format: CD/Digital

Infestissumam - A dark church choir opens up the second album from Ghost. The band comes in and the church sings over them. Overall a decent introductory track - 7/10

Per Aspera Ad Inferi - Track 2 comes in with a Sabbathy low sound. Forge comes in singing in his very calm voice. And thats about all that is interesting in this track. The dark riff stays low and Forge's vocals drone on at times. His voice isn't bad on this track but wow does it lack any enthusiasm. Solo section is very low key featuring a key solo which doesn't amount to much. - 6/10

Secular Haze - An odd intro leads into track 3 of the album, I'm hoping it picks up from the decline of the previous track. Forge's vocals once again begin to drone. Solo is half decent but not really one that grabs you. Wow two essentially dud tracks in a row. - 6/10

Jigolo Har Megiddo - The next track brings the energy up slightly, a decent drumbeat to this one makes you want to at least tap your feet along to it, which in itself has the potential to make it better than the previous two tracks. But it remains boring and uninspired. Wow I knew their earlier stuff was different from Meloria and Prequelle but this is a shame. - 6/10

Ghuleh/Zombie Queen - The piano intro of this longer track is a nice shift away from the previous tracks starting, Ghuleh is said in a creepy voice several times, it shifts a little bit back towards the piano following an interlude. Vocals remain incredibly uninspired, the song shifts somewhat as it changes into Zombie Queen. Slightly better than before but wow is this song not what I had expected. It does have its moments, like the outro... - 7/10

Year Zero - The church Choir comes back for this song, chanting different names for the devil, vocals are slightly better here but I'll be honest Year Zero is catchy as all hell. Chorus is quite powerful. Thus far the only song I would think of listening to at any point - 8.5/10

Body And Blood - Coming in with an odd intro Forge and co come in again. More poppy sounding, lacking energy again. It is a definite drop in quality from Year Zero but it is better than the early tracks from the album. - 7/10

Idolatrine - Another good beat, with droning vocals once more. The band has certainly grown a lot since this album. - 6.5/10

Depth Of Satan's Eyes - The penultimate track comes in with an enjoyable riff. The album at this point is putting me to sleep as a whole. And it once again is really boring. - 5/10

Monstrance Clock - The final track off the album is the band's show closing track, beginning ominous with Forge singing more energy is in this track than everything else barring Year Zero. A decent track ending off a really poor album as a whole. - 7.5/10

Overall - 67%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
I wouldn't call a 67/100-rated album "really poor" myself. That being said, it is definitely their weakest record.

It is more that I'm acknowledging that my reviews tend to provide higher values. (Seeing as the lowest I've given is 65%) so while I'm not shifting the ratings on these posts until I've done the entire thing and compile a master list of all the albums. At which point they will become out of 5 stars. This would put Infestissumam at a roughly 1.5 rating which would fall under rather poor.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
237/365

Balls To Picasso - Bruce Dickinson
Format: CD/Digital

Cyclops - A low and dark intro opens up Bruce's second solo album. An odd sound is in the background sounding almost futuristic. The band comes in and the song continues to remain dark. Bruce sings calmly at first before letting out a cry as the song gets heavier. A big shift away from his work in Maiden but still something that sounds like if it was reworked a little would fit right onto a Maiden record. Overall a very interesting choice of opening track. - 7.5/10

Hell No - Track two comes in with drums and light amounts of guitar before Bruce comes in and the bass accompanies him, guitar work is fairly decent on this track but it isn't anything to write home about. Bruce delivers a decent vocal performance. It is clear he is burnt out from his time in Maiden and wants to try something new but it isn't clicking. 7/10

Gods Of War - This track is where I think it becomes fully apparent to me, what the album thus far has been lacking. It lacks the sheet chemistry that Bruce had with his band-mates. There are some moments where this song pulls me in a little more than others but as a whole the song is lacking something that will spark a fire and pull it all together in a nice explosive package. - 7.5/10

1000 Points Of Light - I don't want to continue beating a dead horse since I like Bruce but this just isn't clicking completely for me. There is a nice long note from Bruce at the end! - 7.5/10

Laughing In The Hiding Bush - A move aggressive track, it pulls me in the most of anything thus far on the album. It has a nice beat to it and the chorus is a little more aggressive. It is a nice track and a step in the right direction - 8/10

Change Of Heart - A ballad of sorts, Bruce sings about someone leaving something, it almost seems like Bruce acknowledging him leaving Maiden but I'm gonna leave that aside for a different place and time. It clearly is about someone realizing that they needed to leave but don't want to. It is a nice calm track - 7.5/10

Shoot All The Clowns - This track would of been a nice anthem to release when we had all those people dressing up as clowns trying to scare people... I hate clowns. Another track which is more aggressive and works better as a whole in comparison to the rest. Chorus is calm but still gets the message across. - 8/10

Fire - A heavy riff comes in next, strongest one thus far on the album, the song has a good groove to it and the solo section has a nice introduction to it. Overall it is more what I expected from Bruce's solo work. Heavy riffing with some strong vocals. - 8/10

Sacred Cowboys - Another strong riff leads into a quick and direct track. Bruce sings fast and his vocals are a little distorted off the start. Feeling like a bit of a continuation from Run To The Hills. Another quite enjoyable track! - 8/10

Tears Of A Dragon - The album ends with an amazing track Tears of A Dragon is absolutely amazing. That chorus is brilliant and the guitar work is fantastic. Emotional and roaring. The gem of the album and it shows that Bruce can still deliver monstrous tracks outside of Maiden. - 10/10

Overall 79%

And before you tell me to, yes I will do The Chemical Wedding at some point in the nearish future...
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
238/365

Return To Forever - Scorpions
Format: CD/Digital

Going Out With A Bang - A bluesy guitar intro leads into a mid paced rocker the band having previously having pulled the farewell tour card open an album with a song about ending their career. The chorus lacks a ton of emphasis but the guitar work isn't all that bad in it. The song is quite catchy and does a fairly good job as a concert opener for the older band. Solo isn't really that impressive, it brings a little of the blues back. Klaus sounds strong on the song. - 8/10

We Built This House - The main single comes up next, a track which goes midpaced in the vein of No One Like You. Klaus sounds fantastic on this track and the chorus is once again catchy as ever. Personally if the track was sped up just a little it would be a later masterpiece in their career. The song is all about rolling with what life gives you. A great half ballad of sorts. - 9/10

Rock My Car - The first song which wasn't written at the time of recording the album, this like many of the tracks were previously written for usage. In this case it originates from their 80s heyday. And wow is it a song which could have easily made it onto Savage Amusement if they had focused on it a little more. A speedy intro leads into the first chorus, heavier than both the previous tracks, fairly high energy for the old timers and an aggressive rocker. A good fast rocker. Would have made a strong album opener as well. - 9/10

House Of Cards - Ballad #1 comes in, having been written for acoustica, which I may get to if I find a copy... it comes in as any Scorpions ballad would, calmly and Klaus' delivers the opening verse with his beautiful calm voice. Clocking in just over 5 minutes this song is the longest on the album but it doesn't feel super long. Chorus isn't amazing and lacks something. However despite the lacking chorus the verses are quite strong and as a whole the ballad is pretty good. But in the Scorpions catalog a pretty good ballad isn't really good enough - 8/10

All For One - Kicking off quick comes one of the shortest songs in the bands catalog. Chorus is fairly catchy, the message is clearly working together and the band delivers it quite well. The first half prior to the solo I find better than the post solo but as a whole the song is really enjoyable and fairly fun. - 8/10

Rock "N" Roll Band - A song which the band wrote for MTV unplugged. Well it clearly isn't unplugged here by any means. Klaus delivers some nice fast paced vocals over the guitar attack. The song doesn't veil the rock n roll life style what so ever and it features one of the better solos thus far on the album. It reminds me a little of Dynamite although watered down a fair bit in terms of the guitar assault... A song which had it been written in the 80s would have easily been a major hit. - 9/10

Catch Your Luck And Play - Written in the days of Savage Amusement this song features a nice intro riff and transitions into a mid paced rocker which like the previous rockers is fairly fun and catchy at times. This album has been fairly consistent thus, and as a whole the band delivers. Matthias and Rudolph play well together as they have for the past 35 years. Pawel holds down the bass. And Klaus lets the music come from his pipes. - 8.5/10

Rollin' Home - James opens the next track with a mid paced drumbeat. The guitar duo soon come in and Klaus soon after joins in. A song regarding their early travels, it is the first song that doesn't really grab me and pull me in. It has a large chorus and everyone sounds good and it does have many elements of a strong Scorpions track. But it just lacks something. - 7/10

Hard Rockin' The Place - A hard hitting intro with some low vocals bring the band back towards the quality they had before. This song is the hardest hitting thus far in terms of guitar work. Chorus is okay, but the verses are better. The repeat of the ahh's and low vocals I think weaken the song a little bit. Solo section is quite good. And the band screams the era it was written in. I completely forgot about this song since I haven't heard many of these songs since the album came out in 2015. - 9/10

Eye Of The Storm - Written back in 1991, Eye of the Storm has been considered for several albums and I'm surprised it hasn't been picked up for one of them, oh well we got it and it fits the band at this point in their career. A calm ballad from the start. Chorus is fairly anthemic and strong. Not a heart wrenching ballad but as a whole well delivered. - 8.5/10

The Scratch - The last rocking track of the album, opens with some drum and guitar jamming. The beat of the song makes you want to tap your foot to it. The only song on the album completely written without a member from the band. And while it sounds like a track they could of written there still is that Scorpions touch missing. Solo is fairly good. - 8/10

Gypsy Life - In typical Scorpions fashion they close off the album with a ballad. My personal favourite from the album. Gypsy Life was written for acoustica in 2001, a song about longing for the road I think it is fitting to have a song like this placed on the album of a band deciding to not hang up their stage cloths and to continue. The chorus is strong and this song does a great job closing off the album - 9.5/10

Overall 85%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
239/365

Lost Whispers - Evanescence
Format: Digital

Lost Whispers - A calm intro which I believe was used as a tour intro at some point opens up this B-Sides album. Not gonna rate it since it really just serves to open the album. - N/A

Even In Death - A piano version of a song off the albums demo album. It fits the early haunting ballads which they have written before. Amy sounds amazing on this track and the piano with the band behind it adding darkness to the track which suits it really well. The musical interlude replacing the solo is very fitting and as a whole the song is dark and sad with a beautiful performance. - 9/10

Missing - This song comes in with a mix ahs and whispering behind it. It was originally intended for Fallen but was released as a studio track on the bands live album. It builds slightly but remains slow throughout. Chorus is calm. This song hasn't been one which I gravitate towards but it really is a decent track which is well performed. - 7.5/10

Farther Away - Another Fallen outtake, this time it starts with some more electric and rock oriented guitar work. Amy comes in singing in a style which feels like she is trying to catch her breath. This track frankly wouldn't have made Fallen better so I'm happy it remained off the album. It does a decent job but it isn't great. - 7/10

Breathe No More - Piano introduces the next track which comes from a music soundtrack, this ballad features a good vocal from Amy Lee, but it doesn't have the emotional side which My Immortal, Lithium or even the rerecording of Even In Death from this album have. That being said the packing of guitar backing completely throughout the song does let her shine as a vocalist. - 8/10

If You Don't Mind - Coming in quickly is a rocker from The Open Door era of the band, which frankly should of been on the album. A strong chorus does carry this song a bit, but as a whole it stays upbeat and has some decent guitar work throughout - 9/10

Together Again - Slowing back down once again, it is clear that Amy didn't have trouble writing a ton of ballads in the early years. I would have expected more upbeat tracks thus far but then again this isn't a proper album in that sense anyways. This one does have the band in the background unlike Breathe No More, and unlike that song Amy becomes buried a little beneath the atmospheric band at some points. She however does deliver when she is in the forefront. - 7.5/10

The Last Song I'm Wasting On You - Ballad #5 comes in and yea it is just like the others - 7/10

A New Way To Bleed - Transitioning to the era of the bands self titled album and with it they let out some more of their rock side. Not a great rocker but a generic one from the band. It does a good job as a whole at picking the energy back up from the low energy we have had for the majority of the album thus far but it isn't super strong. - 7.5/10

Say You Will - What two rockers in a row? Well the band launches into this next track with some faster guitar work and Amy comes in as the band fades back a little. A better track than the previous one, Amy continues to deliver a good performance that clearly displays her strong vocal abilities. - 8/10

Disapear - Disapear is a compact rocker, which has a great chorus. It and If You Don't Mind are two rockers which should have been on their respective albums. It actually is played in their live shows a fair bit which shows that clearly the band wishes they had released it upon the album as well. - 9/10

Secret Door - Ballad #6 closes off the album the fourth and final song from their self titled album's outtakes. Amy's vocals at times seem uplifting but the band itself is playing a darker and more somber sounding song - 7/10

Overall - 78%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
240/365

Neon Knights: 30 Years Of Heaven And Hell - Heaven And Hell
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: The final recorded show with Ronnie... An absolutely killer setlist for the most part, one cannot help but look at what is missing. Sign Of The Southern Cross, Computer God being the biggest glaring absences. But alas the band does play some new songs from their latest studio album. Overall the set looks great but is missing something - 9/10

The Mob Rules - The eerie intro launches into the roaring riff of the band's 2nd album Dio's aged vocals sound vicious on the killer opening track, Tony's guitar tone is mistakable and Geezer's bass thunders with Appice's drums. A killer way to kick off a concert. - 9.5/10

Children Of The Sea - Coming up second is a heavy and beautiful rendition of Children Of The Sea, it is clear that Ronnie has aged a lot since Live Evil but wow does he sound absolutely amazing. I personally think this version sacrifices some of the beauty of the song for the sheer heaviness which they can let loose. An amazing solo section takes place and the song returns to the calm intro riff before Dio lays waste to all doubt of his vocal prowess. - 10/10

I - Digging into album number 3 the band bring out I, the calm intro soon is transitioned into the heavy rock riff machine, the clearly recorded backing vocals on this one are a little distracting. Instrumentally the song is dark heavy and delivered perfectly. - 9/10

Bible Black - Continuing on their trend of a song from a different album the band brings in the big epic from their 4th album although it is the first under the moniker of Heaven And Hell. A dark epic detailing the story of a man who reads a demonic version of the bible. A brutal riff is delivered from Tony and Dio's low vocals are soaked in pure rasp. The way Dio says "Black" on the chorus is incredible and haunting. - 10/10

Time Machine - Launching into a heavy riff off of Dehumanizer, it is nice to have a more direct track following the epic track. I will say that I wish I had a Time Machine so I could have seen this band live... A good strong performance from the entire band is featured on this track. It isn't quite on par with the other songs but it still does a great job at rocking. - 8.5/10

Fear - The only track upon initially looking at the setlist is one which I would have replaced. That being said this is a really strong rendition of the track. Nice guitar riff from Iommi and Dio continues to deliver amazing vocals despite everything... The song has a really consistent beat to it making it easy to stomp along to. - 8.5/10

Falling Off The Edge Of The World - The calm intro and Dio's vocals instantly send chills down my spine, the darkness builds in the background and soon the band unleashes their full might coming in with a heavy sludge hammer riff before a guitar assault begins with Dio crying out over it all warning us all to beware. The second half of the track is so completely different from the intro it creates for an incredible experience listening to it. - 9.5/10

Follow The Tears - The final new song opens with a very low and heavy riff, the dark slow riff feeling like you can't escape it. The prerecorded backing vocals rear their ugly head once again. Dio sounds great but wow do this backing vocals lack synergy with his powerful aged vocals. - 8.5/10

Die Young - A short guitar solo segues into an amazing version of Die Young the beginning of a 3 song onslaught from Heaven And Hell which will close off the show (although the video includes Country Girl before Neon Knights). Every member of the band delivers a perfect performance of this mighty track. Dio absolutely slays this track. Tony riffs a storm. Vinny keeps the song driving. And Geezer masterfully delivers the bass line behind a face of pain as seen in the video version of the album. - 10/10

Heaven And Hell - Opening with a sing a long riff. Fantastic adlibs from Ronnie and a killer solo from Tony, the only downside is the track goes on a little long. Overall the band deliver a brutal closer to the main set and clearly leave the audience wanting more. - 9.5/10

Neon Knights - The only song which feels disjointed in terms of flowing in is the final track a roaring rendition of Neon Knights. Absolutely amazing and aggressive a perfect show closer. - 10/10

Flow - The songs flow from one to the other perfectly, each band member clearly delivers an amazing performance. Tony's solo does go on a little long but it does fit into the vehicle - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A fantastic live record, lacking some songs which should of been in the setlist but it has amazing performances of those which are part of it. A little short for a headline setlist but still amazing - 9.5/10

Overall - 94%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
241/365

Save Yourself - McAuley Schenker Group
Format: CD/Digital

Save Yourself - A guitar centric introduction launches into a ferocious rocker which Robin singing incredibly raspy on this version of the track. Schenker shreds up a storm on this track. Amazing solo section and the heavy aggressive vocal style is incredibly fitting of the track. From the church/guitar intro to the outro solo this track is fantastic from start to finish - 10/10

Bad Boys - Bad Boys comes in with a midpaced intro, Robin comes in his voice still dripping with rasp. A fun track which personally would have worked better with a slight speed increase. But the track as a whole has a great chant style chorus. - 8.5/10

Anytime - The only MSG song I've ever heard on the radio, a power ballad of sorts, a really strong ballad vocally. Musically also really strong. Robin's rasp really brings a lot of emotion into the track. Unlike the previous reviewed albums from the band, they are on a really strong course with the songs thus far. - 10/10

Get Down To Bizness - Coming in hard and fast the band is getting down to business wasting no time launching into a solid rock track. An easily chant able chorus is featured on this track. Schenker's solo on this track is also quite good. As a whole not on par with 1 or 3 but a really enjoyable and fun track - 8.5/10

Shadow Of The Night - I've said it before, Robin McAuley has an amazing set of pipes on him. The chorus on this track is rather weak but the verses are vocally amazing. Midpaced and Schenker delivers some nice guitar work throughout the song. - 8/10

What We Need - Opening with a chant intro. Musically the song kicks off in a style similar to Motley Crue. The song as a whole is enjoyable but not super noteworthy, although it could be used as a good song for audience participation. - 7.5/10

I Am Your Radio - Another chantable song. Not super amazing but rather enjoyable. - 7.5/10

There Has To Be Another Way - A short instrumental piece, starting very calm before a crying guitar, it doesn't really go anywhere - 6/10

This Is My Heart - Coming in with a short solo intro, chorus is dry in delivery but as a whole a fairly decent track - 7.5/10

Destiny - Another accessible rock track. The harmonized guitar solo is really well done and as a whole the song is a little bit stronger than the last few tracks. Robin continues to sound great. Schenker's tone is fantastic - 8/10

Take Me Back - The album closes off with a ballad of sorts. Robin's vocals are super clear over the calm opening. When the guitar picks up it reminds me of Boston's Peace Of Mind. Chorus is a little weaker but the song is a nice way to close off the album. - 8/10

Overall 81%
 

SixesAlltheway

Ancient Mariner
According to last.fm which I started using February 20th I reached 365 different albums today 15th September. No idea how many albums I heard before that in February and January :bigsmile: Been working a ton though lately so I don't even feel like I've been listening to that much music :blink:
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
242/365

Daughtry - Daughtry
Format: CD/Digital

It's Not Over - The first album from the American Idol finalist lead rock band kicks off with a pop rock track which pulls the listener in right off the bat. Chris' lead vocals are the centerpiece of the song with the musical aspect of the song taking more of a backseat for the majority of the song. The lyrics are quite relate-able and for the most part the album does follow a relationship theme. - 8.5/10

Used To - The second track comes in slow before picking up the pace as the chorus comes in. An enjoyable track with a fairly decent chorus and a strong performance from everyone involved. A fairly enjoyable track as a whole - 7.5/10

Home - Song 3 is where things click completely, Home is an amazing ballad, sentimental and fairly calm with a great chorus. Chris delivers the vocals perfectly and the soaring chorus vocals convey the emotions behind the song greatly. An amazing song which lacks a solo section but the final chorus and breakdown more than make up for it. - 10/10

Over You - Starting off acoustic this song returns to a more direct rocking style, and with this return comes the relationship style lyrics once again, even though Home did feature some... Once again Chris is the centerpiece of the song and frankly there is nothing wrong with that he is delivering strong vocals over music which suits his voice quite well. - 9/10

Crashed - An interesting intro leads into another direct rocker, a really big chorus on this track. I remember this being used in a commercial of some sort when it came out when I was a kid and it was fairly popular on the radio. It is a catchy track throughout. Direct and well constructed. - 8.5/10

Feels Like Tonight - At this point the amount of clearly radio friendly songs made me decide to check the actual amount of singles for the album... there were 7 from this album, which explains the style and how big the album did end up being. This is a solid song but it isn't quite on par with most of what has come before. That being said the song is really enjoyable and sits in the role of semi-ballad and does a good job throughout. - 7.5/10

What I Want - A very guitar heavy track comes in, the sound is a result of Slash coming in and lending a hand on the album, short and direct this song has a heavier feel to it and it shows how well the band could have done in this direction, which frankly they should have followed instead of the lighter rock which they continued with. -8/10

Breakdown - Shifting back to a more familiar lighter tone, the opening lyrics are dark which is a theme that does appear at some points in the album. A nice calm song for the most part with a very simple chorus. Halfway the song shifts into a more electric style and it suits the song quite and the first true solo section from a band member takes place. - 8/10

Gone - A distorted introduction leads into another fairly commercial rock track. Strong vocals but this track doesn't really reach any new heights and the lyrical style is getting quite repetitive. -7/10

There And Back Again - Counted in leading into a bass intro then the guitar echos the riff. Slightly more rocking than the previous songs but it doesn't really fit together super well. It could have been a pretty good track but lacks something. - 67/10

All These Lives - From an album mostly talking about relationships a song about child abduction is a shocking change. A easy chorus which is slightly too upbeat for the subject matter but as a whole the band delivers a strong track which conveys pain and the hopelessness of having someone taken from you and the thoughts of if they still are out there - 8.5/10

What About Now - The closing track comes in with a piano intro, a decent album closer closing up the relationship themes throughout the album. Ending the album with the question of what to do now. I think it is a fitting way to end the album. - 8/10

Overall 81%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Since I'm technically ahead of schedule I'll do a double album...

243/365

Flight 666 - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Initial Thoughts: An absolutely killer setlist recreating the mighty World Slavery Tour absolutely phenomenal song choices. -10/10

Side 1: Churchill's Speech/Aces High/2 Minutes To Midnight/Revalations/The Trooper/Wasted Years
The amazing speech by Winston Churchill leads into one of the best opening tracks in metal history the furious Aces High leads the charge as the British Heavy Metal Gods take the stage, the crowd is heard backing Bruce up as he delivers an amazing rendition of an incredibly vocally demanding track. The energy of the song is not lost in the recording and the solos from Dave and Adrian are amazing. In a very natural feeling way the band launch into the followup track from Powerslave in 2 Minutes To Midnight, a crowd favourite and Bruces asks Melbourne to scream for him which the crowd obliges instantly, a great sing a long chorus is shown here which frankly makes the song super enjoyable live, so much better here than the studio version, incredible solos once again. An fantastic rendition with tons of crowd participation. Revelations comes in, that intro riff is absolutely fantastic live and you can easily picture the band running around on the stage when the song speeds up. Bruce sings the calm parts so beautifully. I have spoken out about how I wasn't a fan of this song but the live version is absolutely amazing and really improves the song immensely. Solos from Dave and Janick are strong and the shifts throughout the song are delivered masterfully. Following up the mini-epic comes one of the bands signature tracks The Trooper rides in continuing the charge of classic tracks, that chorus is just perfect for getting a crowd excited as if the song's opening riff didn't send people into a mindless frenzy anyways. Bruce sounds really good on this track his vocals incredibly high and so fast at times it is amazing how well he can deliver the song after over 20 years of singing it. The final track on the first side of the album is from the Somewhere In Time Album, the amazing riff sounds phenomenal and Bruce delivers an amazing performance backed up by Adrian on backing vocals. Incredible. I have to picture myself at this show the band has just played 5 amazing tracks in a row and based on side 2 won't be slowing down anytime soon...

Aces High - 10/10
2 Minutes To Midnight - 9/10
Revalations - 10/10
The Trooper - 10/10
Wasted Years - 10/10
Side 1 - 49/50

Side 2: The Number Of The Beast/ Can I Play With Madness/Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
5 songs in and you hear the dark intro for the title track from the 3rd album, while you're nearing the midpoint in the setlist it still comes quite early clearly the band has some surprises up their sleeve if their willing to place this monster so early in the set. Bruce sings the opening verse so calmly there is a peaceful reassuring sense to his voice as the band builds up in the background before he lets loose a killer scream and the song erupts and the band continues to take no prisoners delivering a performance that some bands could only dream of being able to do. An immense track. Following up is one of the bands most poppy tracks, the intro is a little rough vocally from the band. The backing vocals are mostly handled by Adrian but the mix with the others aren't as strong as the rest of the performance. Bruce delivers his part greatly. The song remains catchy in the live atmosphere. Closing off side 2 is an immense rendition of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, that introduction riff alone is worth the price of the album alone. Every member of Maiden delivers this track with mastery which is amazing for a song not performed in 20 years prior to the tour. Incredibly strong and aggressive the only downside of having this song on the live record is that it hasn't been played since...

The Number Of The Beast - 10/10
Can I Play With Madness - 8/10
Rime of The Ancient Mariner - 10/10
Side 2 - 28/30

Side 3: Powerslave/Heaven Can Wait/Run To The Hills/Fear Of The Dark
Following up a song you haven't brought out in 20 years is a tricky task, so you pull out another epic from the same album the mighty Powerslave comes in with an electric riff which plows through the masses. Bruce commands the crowd to scream as he details the life of the dying pharaoh, that riff before the chorus is absolutely amazing, the keys in the background really add something to a track which wasn't missing anything they bring the song higher. The solos... well they are fucking beautiful. Following up a song about death, comes in a song about making death wait. A fitting transition. Heaven Can Wait represents the last song off of Somewhere In Time to be played in the show and marks the 3rd longer track in a row. Bruce delivers the fast paced vocals quite well. Strong solos are featured here and the band hasn't let up their immense presence thus far and don't appear to be losing any of it. The Woah oh oh part is so strong thanks to the roadies and is an excellent way to add new life into the song. Shifting back to a more direct song, Run To The Hills comes in galloping as Bruce sings the age old story of Native Americans being fought for their land. Such a powerful energetic track from start to finish. Another perfect performance. Fear of The Dark's sing a long guitar intro remains to be on of the most beautiful things I've heard, although not as strong as Rock In Rio's from the start the song is a live classic for a reason, a great improvement over the studio track which in my opinion is pretty great as it was. That speed up section is amazing live.

Powerslave - 10/10
Heaven Can Wait - 9.5/10
Run To The Hills - 10/10
Fear Of The Dark - 10/10
Side 3 - 39.5/40

Side 4: Iron Maiden/Moonchild/The Clairvoyant/Hallowed Be Thy Name
The end of the main set is signaled by the Bruce once more asking the audience to scream as he introduces "The Iron Maiden" upbeat and fun the bands eponymous track is delivered with flare and energy. A strong performance of a track which frankly wouldn't be in the setlist if it wasn't their name. Band introductions lead into another track which hadn't been played in roughly 20 years at the time of the tour. Moonchild is played in full with the band playing the acoustic intro instead of having it over the PA in the vein of Aces High's intro. A fairly strong version of the opener from Seventh Son... Musically the band is strong and Bruce does channel Lucifer quite well throughout the track. The solo section is immense and the breakdown that follows is quite strong as well. The Clairvoyant is introduced by Steve's powerful bass. The harmonized guitars soon follow in suit and the band launches into the track, those guitars blend together so well and the chorus is has a nice bounce to it. Bruce is getting tired at this point but he is still pulling his weight incredibly well. The band closes off the night with Hallowed Be Thy Name, one of the finest metal tracks in existence and the calm intro exploding into the band running around the stage is absolute magic. A fantastic choice in show closer and the instrumental section is brilliant.

Iron Maiden - 8.5/10
Moonchild - 9/10
The Clairvoyant - 9/10
Hallowed Be Thy Name - 10/10
Side 4 - 36.5/40

Flow - Absolutely stellar flow throughout, the only downside is that Iron Maiden closing off a side of the album would have separated the album from the main set which would have been a nice thing but that's a super specific nitpick - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A near perfect setlist, an amazing performance and a band showing no sign of slowing down. - 10/10

Overall 96%
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I read them too. But it’s hard for me to finish my own challenge because I’ve become a lot busier as the year’s gone on. Sad but true.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
244/365

Rocka Rolla - Judas Priest
Format: CD/Digital

One For The Road - Priest's debut album opens with a laid back riff which feels directly out of the 70s, Halford's vocals aren't very prominent on this track although they are still recognizable, the track doesn't pick up at all and while it could be a decent live track if slightly reworked the song doesn't bode well as an opener - 6/10

Rocka Rolla - The title track reminds me a little of AC/DC which is ironic as they hadn't released anything at that point, a short and direct track which once again doesn't branch out much. It is slightly less laid back than the previous track but as a whole isn't much better. - 6.5/10

Winter/Deep Freeze/Winter Retreat/Cheater - A medley of songs comes in next, each split individually on other versions of the album but alas here they are a single track clocking in close to 10 minutes in length. Winter is a rather short portion with a very laid back intro before the band comes in heavier, Halford lets his vocal prowess be seen a little here and the song really feels like a Black Sabbath song in some senses. Transitioning into Deep Freeze, which is even shorter with some heavier guitar work then the band shifts into Winter Retreat, which opens with an instrumental section and has a single verse in it, Halford sounds very different here. The transitions into Winter retreat is rather weak but the transition into Cheater clearly feels like a return to form. A more direct track once more which would have done better not being combined into the medley since the first 3 feel like they should be together. Cheater has a nice groove to it and does a fairly good job as a whole the medley is odd but fairly decent - 7.5/10

Never Satisfied - The track the band brought up for the epitaph tour is up next, continuing on the more laid back approach than one would expect from Priest in the future. Robs vocals seem so unnatural here, as in they are low and not stretching out to where he can belt out much in the sense of high notes. Guitar work on this song is fairly good the twin lead guitars also haven't found their niche quite yet but there is the fundamentals in place for their future work. The closing note from Halford is quite nice. -7/10

Run Of The Mill - The longest individual song on the album, and from my experience the longest priest song on any of the records I've listened to. It opens very calmly, slowly building Rob comes in and sings in a way which reminds me of the slower portion of Victim Of Changes. The song picks up slightly in a bridging section of between verses before returning to a calmer for the next verse. There is a clear desire to get heavier on this song it is shown throughout as the band does venture into that direction at times. So much potential for this track. It would be interesting to see them break it out live since I think it would be way better live. - 8/10

Dying To Meet You - Slow start once again, Rob sings really low on this track and for a little bit I was almost convinced it wasn't him. The band continues to sound like they want to break out and be heavier. I suspect the record company didn't want a band trying to go too heavy at this point... The song does have a false ending roughly 4 minutes in, the band comes in stronger following it and Halford sounds like himself. My version doesn't say it is a medley but I wouldn't be surprised if they combined 2 tracks since this feels quite different. -7.5/10

Caviar And Meths - The closing track is a short instrumental piece, which really doesn't go anywhere but it is a pleasant little instrumental even if it does serve no purpose... - 6.5/10

Overall 70%
 
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