365 Albums In One Year

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Theatre Of Pain - Motley Crue
Format: CD/Digital

City Boy Blues - Crue come in with a direct riff and Vince comes in singing right away. This track isn't very quick but I will admit that Mick's guitar tone is wonderful, midpaced throughout and despite the fairly good vocals and guitar tone the song lacks something to pull you in and really enjoy it. Which doesn't surprise me as this album does come in the wake of some of the bands biggest partying years and following the death of their friend Razzle - 7/10

Smokin In The Boys Room - One of the bands most played radio hits, their cover track, a fun track which a nice solo section. It embodies Motley Crue's fun energy really well which is interesting since it is a cover and not something that Nikki had wrote for the band. A smart choice for the lead single - 8.5/10

Louder Than Hell - Coming in with a stomping drumbeat. Vince lets out his high vocals, this track has a lot of potential, it doesn't quite use everything masterfully which it could, Vince delivers some strong moments and the band stays in the background Mick's guitar solo is short and to the point. The song should be longer and a little faster. - 7.5/10

Keep Your Eyes On The Money - Another footstomping drumbeat introduces track 4, something Crue were good at was writing albums which go by quickly, the guitar riff isn't super strong but it isn't bad by any means. As the longest track on the album it does feature a chorus which would be fairly good in the live setting. Another fun track - 7.5/10

Home Sweet Home - One of the best ballads from the 80s and even if this album goes completely to shit after this song I don't care. Home Sweet Home is a great direct ballad with an absolutely stellar solo. The piano intro, super accessible lyrics and sounds come together to form this amazing example of a smash hit single which is still a great song in general. - 10/10

Tonight (We Need A Lover) - Another direct commerical track, the tempo is nice but the lyrics are oh so unoriginal and not really a great way to follow up a sentimental ballad, at least on vinyl it would be opening up side 2 so the listener would of had some time in between listening to this and home sweet home. Solo section is fairly good, Mars usually delivers when given his chance to shine. - 7.5/10

Use It Or Lose It - Coming in strong another super short song comes in, the energy is lost a little when the band takes a break for Vince to sing before coming back in at a quick and rather unchanging drum/bass beat. - 7/10

Save Our Souls - Tommy introduces the next song with a brief drum intro and then the band comes in slowly. Overall a step down in quality. I find it ironic that Motley Crue of all bands are singing a song about saving ones souls for heaven... - 6.5/10

Raise Your Hands To Rock - A shift to acoustic work introduces another really short track. Another subpar track better than the previous one but not by a wide margin... - 7/10

Fight For Your Rights - The album closer comes in with a fairly decent midpaced track closing off the album nicely. Although it wouldn't be a track I'd revisit anytime soon - 7/10

Overall 75%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

The Cars - The Cars
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Good Times Roll/My best Friend's Girl/Just What I Wanted/I'm In Touch With Your World/Don't Cha Stop
Some number one opens up with a slow guitar riff as their now late lead singer Ric comes in repeating the song's title, a slower midpaced track which doesn't really branch out too much, the chorus is easy and the backing vocals really help the song a bit but it isn't really that impressive or super enjoyable. A very recognizable introduction riff kicks off song number 2, My Best Friend's Girl is a radio staple, it doesn't feature amazing lead vocals but it does have a very catchy chorus and enjoyable musical work. The next track is leaning more towards the hard rock direction and is another track which I recognize although not nearly as much as the previous track. The band's bassist takes lead vocals on this track and they are better than the main lead's at least at this point they are. Slowing down for the next track Ric takes the vocals again. Not really an enjoyable track at all.. Side 1 closes with a more upbeat track not super great but much better than the song before it

Good Times Roll - 6.5/10
My Best Friend's Girl - 8/10
Just What I Wanted -8/10
I'm In Touch With Your World - 5/10
Don't Cha Stop - 6.5/10
Side 1 - 34/50

Side 2: You're All I've Got Tonight/Bye Bye Love/Moving In Stereo/All Mixed Up
A building drum intro leads into a synth heavy track which is fairly upbeat and is hopefully an indicator of where their sound went in the future since this is quite the enjoyable and continues to lean more into the rock direction. Ric's vocals aren't amazing but they are better suited on this track. Ben Orr comes in again on vocals and it appears he takes them for the remainder of the album. His vocals are better in my opinion but the song itself isn't really a very strong one. It continues to have the synth/keyboards on it which add a different element to the song but doesn't make it a really good one. The next track is the only one on the album where Ric doesn't hold the sole songwriting credits, a more psychedelic sounding background, enjoyable but not amazing it is a nice change and shows versatility. Fading into the final track of the album. All Mixed Up shifts to a more upbeat style while remaining different and fairly unique compared to what has come before.

You're All I've Got Tonight - 8/10
Bye Bye Love - 7/10
Moving In Stereo - 7/10
All Mixed Up - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 29.5/40

Overall 71%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

The Wicked Symphony - Avantasia
Format: CD/Digital

The Wicked Symphony - The title track opens up Avantasia's 4th album, building slowly with a clear symphonic emphasis and as it builds the suspense rises before the band lets themselves out followed soon by all 3 of the lead vocalists on this track, adding great dynamics to this track. Amazing chorus and some absolutely amazing vocal performances are featured on this track. Fantastic solo section, the back end of the song is utter brilliance. - 10/10

Wastelands - Another very symphonic introduction leads into Wastelands, speeding up quite a bit from the previous track, the solo section's guitar tone is fantastic and the band is unrelenting, the drums being so consistent at times actually takes me out of the song since it just sounds like a drum machine in places but as a whole the song is pretty strong, great vocal delivery as we have come to expect from Avantasia. - 8.5/10

Scales Of Justice - The first song without a symphonic introduction, Scales of Justice begin with an impressively long drawn out scream from The Ripper. A heavier track from the start by comparison to the previous two tracks, following the second chorus the song calms down a little and shifts into a more midpaced style and personally the calmer backing allows his vocals to shine through. The chorus is heavily in Tim's vocals and he does a really strong job delivering them. - 8/10

Dying For An Angel - The first commercial track in a sense, and it features Klaus Meine of the Scorpions, he uses the vocal style similar to those found on Humanity: Hour 1 it is a great duet which has a huge chorus and the two German vocalists trade off in an effective fashion. The song which introduced me to Avantasia still remains one of my absolute favourite and wow does it rock. - 10/10

Blizzard On A Broken Mirror - Pianos lead into the 5th track of the album, building with some nice heavy guitar work, vocally this track doesn't entirely pull me in and I find the chorus a fair bit weaker than the 4 before it. From and instrumental perspective the track is rather strong and features some nice guitar solos and interludes between the story telling verses. - 7.5/10

Runaway Train - The last longer track on the album begins with another piano intro. As vocals begin the band stays back and lets the piano and symphonic sections take their time. However this doesn't last as the guitars essentially break loose and begin soloing from crying as they soar. Featuring 4 vocalists on this track it begins to shift towards a heavier feeling. The song has an orchestration aspect to it which is very Meat Loaf esc and it does a great job, the chorus is fairly simple and repetitive. Verses are diverse as are the four singers taking turns singing them. The midsection isn't absolutely amazing but it does add some variation within the track keeping the listener engaged. - 9.5/10

Crestfallen - A rather odd intro kicks off Crestfallen, the keys in the background add an odd sound in conjunction with the guitars. Vocally the song is quite strong when the singers aren't being distorted but that isn't too frequently and the song really suffers from it. There are moments which shine through and show that the song had potential but between the rapid fire vocals and the distortion it falls short from being a quality track - 6.5/10

Forever Is A Long Time - Shifting back to a understandable vocal style, Jorn and Tobias deliver a track more along the lines one would expect from the two of them. Instrumentally upbeat and fairly good, it has a nice bounce to it in a sense. - 7.5/10

Black Wings - A midpaced semi-ballad comes in with some heavy guitar work, both singers do a great job playing their parts delivering vocals with a fairly good chorus that comes in incredibly strong with a nice soaring vocal deliver. Instrumentally a dark track which vocally is matched by the calm vocal section which explodes into the guitar solo section. - 8.5/10

States Of Matter - Coming in aggressive the shortest track on the album gets to work straight away, vocals are upbeat and powerful. Harmonised guitars deliver another strong solo. A nice change back to a quick track and in a short compact way. - 8/10

The Edge - The final song starts slower once more, the only song on the album without a guest singer. A strong closing track summing up the themes of the album. Tobias delivers a really strong performance and the band is dynamic in the background. A great way to close it all up. - 8.5/10

Overall 84%

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Since the last album recorded here, I've done Manson's Portrait Of An American Family and Tool's AEnima.


Album 127/365

1. I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - What an epic ballad this is. Fantastic way to open up the record, to boot. Meat Loaf sounds good, Jim Steinman is at the top of his overblown songwriting, but overblown in a good way. All of the bits throughout, from the motorcycle opening, to the softer, quieter moments, to the faster ones, and finally to the duet at the end... it all works together to make a twelve minute monster and a good sign of things to come for this album. Awesome. 10/10

2. Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back - I love Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman when their songs are both ridiculous yet also highly relatable and rooted in reality. This song does a great job of that. For a start, it calls life a lemon and sex, faith, et al "defective" in a quite cheesy way, yet also it's something that a lot of people can relate to. The dark way this song is performed helps, and the backing vocals mix well with Meat's to create just another fantastic song. 10/10

3. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through - Again, this song is even more ridiculous than the last and yet they're playing it so straight it makes you wanna cry and laugh at the same time. A prayer to rock 'n' roll? What the hell were they thinking? And how the hell does it work so well? It's such a lush song and I love it. 10/10

4. It Just Won't Quit - Another ballad. I like this one, it's another cool song, but not quite on the same level as the previous three. Gets a little repetitive as it goes along. 8/10

5. Out Of The Frying Pan (And Into The Fire) - Man, this whole song is just... wow. Ridiculous yet again, these lyrics are just absolute cheese, but Meat and Steinman pull it off yet again. The title section seems to take a nod from I'd Do Anything For Love, but I absolutely love the payoff this track gives you. Awesome, yet again. 10/10

6. Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are - Goddammit, this song is, once again, amazing. What a ballad. The way they move through three different events that impacted the singer when he was younger (death of a friend, an abusive father, and a lost love) is genius, and using the classic rear view mirror phrase to sew it together is brilliant. And beyond being an overblown theatrical Meat Loaf epic, it's also intensely real, as the past often comes back to prey on one's mind. So good. 10/10

7. Wasted Youth - Hahahahaha! N/A

8. Everything Louder Than Everything Else - Holy shit, the absolute ridiculousness of this song is more than everything else so far combined. The lyrics are absolute cheese and hilarious and the song is just a lot of fun. "The three men I admire most are Curly, Larry, and Moe!" That line made my day. The real hero here is the music itself because it elevates the song with a lot of style and swing. And they fucking end with bagpipes. Jesus Christ! 10/10

9. Good Girls Go To Heaven (Bad Girls Go Everywhere) - Was not enthralled by the intro (the sax didn't really work) but the verses in this song are awesome. The rest is solid but not on the same level as most of this album has been. 8/10

10. Back Into Hell - This isn't what I was expecting at all, but it's an awesome little interlude instrumental all the same. Great stuff. N/A

11. Lost Boys And Golden Girls - The original Bat Out Of Hell opened with an epic and closed with another two. This one closes with the shortest actual song on the album, but it's the perfect closer all the same. Such a delightful little song and caps off a great album incredibly well. 10/10

More than a worthy successor to the original, this album is fantastic in its own right. The fact that they were able to do it again so well, with a much longer runtime and more tracks and pump out song after glorious song of sex, sweat, and rock 'n' roll is amazing. I like the original a bit better but this one is so good all the same. Fantastic album. A little more ballad heavy but good ballads can be awesome and these are. Love it.

Rating: 96%

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are - The second longest track on the album, piano work and slow until after the first chorus having teased a louder explosive section before returning to the piano ballad. The callback to Paradise By The Dashboard light is great. - 7.5/10
Just out of curiosity, what is it you don't like about this song? Right now it's on track to becoming one of my all time favorites.

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars - David Bowie
Format: CD/Digital

Five Years - The albums up slowly building, piano's and drums accompany Bowie as the bass plays a little. The song builds and Bowie becomes more commanding, the song is okay not amazing but it sets up the themes of the album and isn't a bad listen. -7/10

Soul Love - Coming in more upbeat from the start Bowie's vocals are incredibly unique and stand out on this track, the guitar work is quite nice. Better than the first track but still missing that wow factor. - 7.5/10

Moonage Daydream - The opening of this track tricked me into thinking it was an upbeat rocker, although it is a more upbeat and electric track. Bowie sounds quite good and the song continues on the trend of increasing enjoyment from the previous one. A really enjoyable track. - 8/10

Starman - Opening with acoustic guitar, the familiar classic track, the chorus is fantastic and the verses are fairly strong. Bowie was known for being unique and every song thus far has had said unique feeling throughout. - 8.5/10

It Ain't Easy - The only song not written by Bowie, opens up slow before having a relatively explosive chorus. Not a super engaging track. - 7/10

Lady Stardust - Pianos kick off Lady Stardust which on Vinyl would open up side 2, Bowie continues to put in a good performance vocally. He does write music which suits his unique vocals quite well. I just wish they were a little more upbeat. But alas he isn't that artist. - 8/10

Star - Becoming more upbeat we enter Star one of the shortest songs on the album, a fairly good balance of keys, guitar and drums drive the song along. A rather enjoyable track with a fair bit of energy. - 8/10

Hang On To Yourself - Staying upbeat but shifting towards a more stripped back approach, with some nice bass work. - 8/10

Ziggy Stardust - The title track comes in, an enjoyable low key track. Nothing to exciting here - 7.5/10

Suffragette City - The most upbeat track thus far is another of Bowie's classic tracks. Easily the strongest track thus far on the album, quick paced and fun. - 9/10

Rock "N" Roll Suicide - The closing track starts with Ziggy on his guitar singing about smoking, the song picks up a little and is well orchestrated. A decent ending - 7.5/10

Overall 78%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Live At Hammersmith - Whitesnake
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: Whitesnake has released very little at the time of this live record, thus they perform 3 covers in their short 6 song set, of those covers 2 are from Coverdale's Deep Purple years. Set leaves some to be desired but is good for the early band's catalog - 8/10

Come On - Coming in feeling rather bluesy as the time period suggests, David sounds quite strong, musically the band sounds quite nice, solo section is great and the song really comes together quite nicely in the live setting - 8/10

Might Just Take Your Life - Transitioning straight from the previous track the first of the two Deep Purple songs comes in, it honestly sounded like a continuation of the previous song the transition was so good. This version is stronger than the studio version, harmonies wise that is. As a whole a more enjoyable performance than I had originally expected. Lord's keys are amazing on here so glad Coverdale brought him into Whitesnake when purple fell apart. - 8.5/10

Lie Down - Guitars and keys come in once Coverdale introduces the song, his voice is so clear and well not shot. A direct track which showcases the diversity in terms of musicianship within early Whitesnake. An upbeat and energetic track. - 8/10

Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City - A cover track from the band's debut EP. And a staple for years in the band's setlist. Slow and bluesy with some really good bass work. The instrumental sections are where this track shines as the verses aren't very strong from a engagement standpoint but it gets more engaging following the first solo section. The chorus however loses this energy. - 8/10

Trouble - The title track of the band's first full length album comes in. Upon looking at the actual setlist for this show thus far the songs have followed the exact order of the setlist with the only deviation being the closing track of the album. There are a couple other tracks on the original setlist but not much else you'd need on the live album. That aside the performance of trouble is mid paced and engaging, Coverdale sounds good and the band plays the bluesy rock track quite well. - 8.5/10

Mistreated - Mistreated starts slow and low the recognizable riff not present until Coverdale sings the opening lines. He lets himself loose on this track, singing without the bluesy tone he has used for the rest of the album thus far. A fairly subdued version of the track. The guitar solo is nice and fitting of the song but one can't help but compare it to Rainbow's cover of it from On Stage the song lacks the explosive nature that Blackmore, Ronnie and company brought to it. That being said it is easily the best track on the album. - 9/10

Flow - The songs worked well together a little slower as a whole but they did have a nice transition throughout. - 9/10

Final Thoughts - I think Whitesnake released a live album too early into their career only 1 album and an ep under their belt makes for a rather small selection of songs. Burn should of been on here. Overall a good album not amazing but good - 8/10

Overall 83%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Queen - Queen
Format: CD/Digital

Keep Yourself Alive - The debut album of rock royalty Queen opens up with a fantastic live track while the studio version does leave some to be desired Keep Yourself Alive embodies Queen's fantastic catchy lyrics, amazing harmonies and talent of each member incredibly well. What a way to introduce yourself to the world - 9/10

Doing All Right - A slower piano opening leads into a calm ballad Freddie sings it softly and with elegance. At one point the vocals become slightly distorted showing that Queen were willing to experiment right from the start as the song transitions into an upbeat guitar driven track for a little bit before another ballad section and then returning to the rock segment. - 8/10

Great King Rat - Coming in dark and heavy with May laying down some heavy guitar work, for Queen. A really interesting track, heavy and midtempo throughout. May puts in work on his guitar and Mercury sings amazingly as one would expect. Such a unique track so happy I decided to listen to the album and find this gem. - 9/10

My Fairy King - An aggressive opening leads into a harmony filled piano verse. A dynamic and ever changing track featuring beautiful musicianship from the band and an amazing vocal from Freddie. - 8.5/10

Liar - The longest track of the album comes in with a longer drawn out opening segment giving each band member their time to shine. Heavy and progressive. A massive track which is absolutely amazing. - 10/10

The Night Comes Down - Opening calm with symphonic elements, the song quickly makes a reference to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, it serves as a good reminder of context of who influence Queen early on in their career. An okay track thus far the weakest. - 7.5/10

Modern Times Rock N Roll - A short and direct song sung by Roger Taylor marks the first track where Freddie gives up vocal duties. A fun and good track. - 8.5/10

Son And Daughter - Bluesier than the previous tracks, but while the blues are very much present the song feels quite heavy and Freddie sings slightly differently here, a unique track lacking a guitar solo at this time but some research tells me it became Brian's vehicle in the live shows. - 8.5/10

Jesus - A calm track which very blatantly is about Jesus, the song soon segues into an instrumental section with some nice guitarwork from May closing it all off. - 8.5/10

Seven Seas Of Rhye... - An early unfinished version of what would become the band's first major hit song closes off the album, strong upbeat and enjoyable. Not rating it since it really isn't a finished product - N/A

Overall 86%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
So school is absolutely just piling up so while I will finish this it has taken a severe backburner. I haven't played a record since the Cars record time for that to change...


Sting In The Tail - Scorpions
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Raised On Rock/Sting In The Tail/Slave Me/The Good Die Young/No Limit/Rock Zone
The Scorpions' first farewell album comes in with a catchy rock track describing the lifestyle of a person who has been Raised on Rock throughout their lives. Klaus sounds quite good there is some talk-box throughout and the band is tight as always. Catchy and direct this song calls back to the 80s quite well and is a fantastic choice of a single. The title track comes in with a slightly more aggressive guitar riff, the band comes in singing but Klaus holds back a little at first before coming in full force, some of the lyrics are quite well lacking but as a whole the song is catchy and the chorus is 100% Scorpions brand, guitar work from Rudy and Matthias is quite good honestly surprised they didn't use this as the album opener. Coming in heavier and slower with some chanting in the background. Klaus sounds quite strong I'm happy he has a more human sounding vocal delivery thus far on the album comparatively to Humanity: Hour 1. This song however isn't a great example of that in the chorus and the song isn't super exciting, it sounds like a wall of sound at points which takes away from what could have been a half decent song. Although the lyrics are a little more raunchy than I'd expect from a band at this stage of their career. The first ballad and single from the album comes in next, Scorpions still write good ballads I believe this album has 4 of them if I can remember back to when I first heard it a few years ago. This ballad sits more on the edge of it, it has an good performance on the chorus and the message is fairly strong. I think this The Good Die Young has a lot of potential but it is bogged down by the production a little and the fact that the Scorpions wrote so many absolutely amazing ballads in their career that a solid or strong ballad really doesn't match up well against some of the absolute monsters in their catalog. No Limit shifts back to a more aggressive rocking style being introduces by the drums of James Kottak who is quite the entertaining drummer in the live setting. The chorus is cheesy and the song as a whole lacks something to pull it all together. The final song on side 1 comes in quick once again, the band backs off as Klaus starts singing, slightly better than the previous track but still not quite there.

Raised On Rock - 9/10
Sting In The Tail - 8.5/10
Slave Me - 6/10
The Good Die Young - 8.5/10
No Limit - 7/10
Rock Zone - 7.5/10
Side 1 46.5/60

Side 2: Lorelei/Turn You On/Lets Rock!/SLY/Spirit Of Rock/The Best Is Yet To Come
A calm orchestrated track opens the second side of the vinyl the 2nd ballad of the album is much more in line with the sound of a typical Scorpions ballad. A song regarding a love affair gone bad, while this song is more fitting of the Scorpions it fails to emit the emotional response a typical ballad would. Klaus and company sound fantastic on the song his vocals super clear which the guitar work is crisp and effective. It is a good song just not quite as strong as I would expect. A distant sounding drum intro kicks off the next track each upbeat track has had some good introduction thus far but has fallen apart a little at some point throughout the song. Originally written for the bands Unbreakable album, Turn You On is a fairly good hard rocking track, better than the last 3 we have had. Chorus is something which I could see crowds getting fairly well into in a live setting. Lets Rock! the 3rd song with Rock in the title makes me think that Klaus has stopped trying to think of new words to describe what they want the crowd to do. A weaker track as a whole but still fairly enjoyable. SLY comes in, the song is connected to Still Loving You as the band has met people named SLY because of the success of Still Loving You and the things people did while listening to the song... As a whole it doesn't come close to their 1984 masterpiece but the song begins with a very reminiscent riff as it tells the story of the child SLY the verses are really quite nice, the chorus paints a darker story of a girl who has run away. The strongest of the ballads thus far. Shifting back to the direct rocking comes one of the strongest songs on the album. Spirit of Rock has some crunchy riffs while remaining incredibly upbeat and fun at the same time. It was clearly designed to be a fun song and is great to drive to. The album closes off with The Best Is Yet To Come, which begs the question did the band really plan on retiring since the album was meant to be their last. Oh well, it is a great track and a strong closer to an inconsistent album but it does end it well. As a song it features a good chorus and remains another unique ballad from the band.

Lorelei - 8/10
Turn You On - 8/10
Lets Rock! - 6.5/10
SLY - 9/10
Spirit Of Rock - 9/10
The Best Is Yet To Come -9/10
Side 2 - 49.5/60

Overall 80%

114 remaining

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

The Sound Of Madness - Shinedown
Format: CD/Digital

Devour - Coming in calmly before transitioning into a more a fairly aggressive rocker. The vocals are quite varied on this track from clean to distorted, the chorus is repetitive but well delivered. An enjoyable song but not something mindblowing - 7.5/10

Sound Of Madness - The title track comes in with a heavy drumbeat and some almost spoken vocals. There is a good beat to this track, chorus vocals are better than the verse but it doesn't quite soar like they sound like they could. The guitar solo section is nice and melodic but the rest of the song isn't really that great - 7/10

Second Chance - Second Chance comes in acoustic and everything clicks perfectly, Vocally and musically this song has all the elements of making a modern rock classic. It has a little roughness vocally to it which fits the song really well. A fantastic track - 9.5/10

Cry For Help - Following up the radio staple is a more aggressive track which works a little better for the previous two rockers, the vocals have anger behind them and lots of grit, overall a stronger upbeat rocking track. - 8/10

The Crow & The Butterfly -Another calm track comes in, a fairly dynamic track with incredibly clear chorus vocals and overall it isn't nearly as powerful as the previous ballad but still an enjoyable track as a whole. - 8/10

If Only You Knew - An odd introduction leads into a midpaced clear section, a decent listen but only Second Chance has really stood out thus far the rest have been good but not enough to really pull you into it fully. - 7.5/10

Sin With A Grin - Shifting more aggressive again. The production for this song isn't great and it becomes a wall of sound at points. - 6.5/10

What A Shame - Singing in a lower tone than the previous tracks. Better than the previous track but it isn't super engaging, until the outro in which the chorus is sung with a ton of conviction - 7.5/10

Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide - A great riff openers up this oddly named track, the chorus becomes a wall of sound but the riff remains strong throughout the track. - 7.5/10

Breaking Inside - Similar to the previous track it has some potential but it doesn't do a great job as a whole - 7.5/10

Call Me - A piano ballad closes off the album, a pleasant track which conveys a rather dark story throughout. - 8/10

Overall 77%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Live At Ritz 88' - Guns N Roses
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: Appetite hasn't been out that long the band is playing a gig at the ritz in their hour set they have 9/12 songs from their new album and 2 covers one of which will feature later, there really isn't much slow songs in here I'm a little surprised by the lack of You're Crazy or Think About You but those never were huge songs anyways and this set is great - 10/10

Its So Easy - The crowd roars as GNR hits the stage launching into a classic track from the debut. The vocals are a little low and muddled in the mix but this is a bootleg, the band sounds fantastic and are fairly clear. Axl nails this nowadays but this song is clearly a warm up for the young rockers. - 8/10

Mr. Brownstone - The crowd interaction from the end of the previous track leads into the introduction of track #2, Mr. Brownstone comes in with an extended intro. The band continues to sound tight, Axl sounds better but there are times where his mike does cut out a little. Overall better than the opener but still not quite on fire. His unique voice is starting to really get showcased here. - 8.5/10

Out Ta Get Me - Axl begins by dedicating the song to the people who hold others back. Oh the rant is wonderful. And the amazing rocker kicks off with Axl sounding raspy as all hell. Duff's backing vocals are decent here. Axl's cries are fantastic but lack consistency as a whole. Slash and Izzy are amazing on their guitars. Steven and Duff hold the bottom end wonderfully. - 9/10

Sweet Child O' Mine - The circus riff comes in and with it the mood shifts to happy and light hearted. Axl has found his stride as the song opens, his rasp coming in strong over the song but not too raspy. The song feels like it is being played a little slower than the studio version but as a whole it is well delivered and quite strong, amazing solo by Slash. - 10/10

My Michelle - Axl continues to interact with the crowd and frankly I am envious since he never did that either Guns show that I saw. My Michelle is once again introduced by Axl with a mini-rant or motivational speech. The rocker comes in after an extended slower intro and quickly becomes tight and Axl's high pitched wails adds a level of darkness to the song. At some points it is clear Axl can't keep up this high pitch and Duff covers for him fairly well - 9/10

Knockin On Heaven's Door - Axl dedicates the song to a friend and it shows just how good of a mood he was in at this show, very upbeat and happy. A fantastic performance of a cover which the album version is hit and miss for me, stupid phone call, a not bloated version unlike many of their current live versions instead direct and well performed a great tribute to a friend. A nice solo section is added from Slash and then Axl has some audience interaction getting the crowd into the song - 10/10

Welcome To The Jungle - Jungle is introduced by the story which had Axl write the song and segues perfectly into his classic "You know where you are?" intro. Axl sounds vicious on this track and as a whole the performance is immense and brutal. The story intro was the perfect introduction to the track. Classic band intros follow the classic. - 10/10

Nightrain - Continuing the trend of absolutely nailing tracks the band launches into Nightrain their ode to the wine of the same name. An absolutely amazing performance once again. Axl's rasp is so amazing on this track it is no wonder why he has had vocal issues in more recent years cause those vocal cords must have been shredded. - 10/10

Paradise City - The song which would become their show closer comes in and frankly if this was the end of the set it would have been an amazing show despite being relatively short (although with 1 album it wouldn't be a bad opening set) another impressive performance, it doesn't quite meet the last 3 monsters but it comes mighty close throughout. - 9.5/10

Mama Kin - The encore opens with Aerosmith's Mama Kin, a strong rendition of the rocker Axl's rasp is very fitting but is a little much on the track at some points, as a whole a strong performance and well delivered. I like the pacing as it is slightly faster than the original which could use a little energy. - 9/10

Rocket Queen - My favourite song off of appetite comes in to close off the show, as a fan request the song comes and is well delivered despite Axl skipping over an entire verse, which makes this version super unique and adds to it in my opinion as it allows the instrumental part underneath the verse to be in the spotlight. - 10/10

Flow - The momentum isn't lost at any point in this tight setlist amazing show start to finish - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A fantastic concert captured both on film and on this great bootleg. Axl delivers a killer performance once he is warmed up and the band kills it. - 10/10

Overall 95%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Inside The Electric Circus - W.A.S.P.
Format: CD/Digital

The Big Welcome - An introductory track which sets up the album's title track, transitioning into a guitar from the spoken introduction, I'm going to treat this as part of the next track - N/A

Inside The Electric Circus - An upbeat rocking track comes in and it definetely serves as a strong opening track, upbeat full of rasp and fun all in one fairly short package. Blackie's vocals are amazing and the guitar work from Holmes is great. The lyrics really put this song as something which should only be used as an opener or close to the front of the setlist. - 9/10

I Don't Need No Doctor - The first of two cover tracks kicks off, this one by Ray Charles, verses are strong but the chorus is weak as the band takes the vocals more than Blackie's rasp filled voice takes a bit of a back seat. Guitar is nice on this track but I'm hoping this is a one off step back. - 7/10

9.5. N.A.S.T.Y. - A riff which reminds me of the riff from School of Rock's theme song. But this was written before so it would be the opposite, stepping back towards the fun raw rock n roll of the previous two albums. Blackie's vocals will be the center of many of my comments so I will acknowledge here that his screams are so vicious conveying so much anger and power behind them. This song isn't super great but those screams are so good - 8.5/10

Restless Gypsy - A great introduction makes me ask the question I've asked in 3 of my previous reviews, "Why weren't W.A.S.P. a huge band?" A midpaced track with a strong hook and good vocals which alternate between clean and calm and more raspy and aggressive. The chorus is easy to sing a long to and is fairly good. The drum work on this track is quite nice having some really good fills among Holmes guitar interludes. - 8.5/10

Shoot From The Hip - Coming in strong and uptempo, before speeding up even more when Blackie tells us to look out. The chorus has a gang style but Blackies rasp is prominent throughout it amplifying the power of the band. A strong direct attack. This track would have been great live provided the chorus vocals are nailed. - 8.5/10

I'm Alive - What would be side 2 opens up with a drum intro as Holmes guitar comes in over top of it. Blackie comes in and sings lower. This song is the first since the cover which doesn't really pull me in that much, it has good moments but it isn't as good as what came before - 7.5/10

Easy Livin' - The second cover comes in and absolutely blows away any doubts that it will be forgettable. Easy Livin' stays true to the original with some added WASP flair. Upbeat and powerful the track delivers the fun upbeat track and Blackie lets loose some great screams on the longer notes. A fantastic cover. - 9/10

Sweet Cheetah - Without wasting any time the next track comes in from the closing notes of the previous. This track drops back a little once again. It has a decent chorus and feels more poppy than your typical WASP track. Enjoyable but not that great, but that instrumental section is quite strong. - 8/10

Mantronic - Starting in a way which wouldn't be unexpected of a ballad before transitioning into a more upbeat rocking track. The chorus isn't very great just repeating the odd title, but the song does have some dynamics which haven't really been featured thus far on a WASP album, it shows where Blackie will go with his next two albums... - 8/10

King Of Sodom and Gamorrah - Blackie sings low and gravely on this track. Mid-paced throughout with another nice solo section. - 8/10

The Rock Rolls On - The album closes off with another upbeat track. A great closing track, for a relatively consistent album. - 8.5/10

Overall 82%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Surviving The North - Grizzlyhawk
Format: CD/Digital

16 Hours - Opening with a radio broadcast the debut ep from Canadian prairie band Grizzly Hawk opens with some hard rocking. Vocals aren't amazing but they fit the music fairly well. Some nice guitarwork throughout the song. An enjoyable track overall, upbeat and energetic. - 8/10

Get Me - Continuing on the upbeat theme track two comes in with some nice drum and bass work. A short track, there is a fair bit of backing vocals on this in a choir style. The song doesn't quite come together for me. - 7/10

The Great Divide - Better than the track before, vocals remain a little hit and miss for me but they do suit the music fairly well. The band shows promise for a non-big named band with a lot of potential. - 7.5/10

Waiting On - Another quick paced introduction, a good upbeat track. Not much else to say in regards to the song as a whole the guitar work remains in the background but it is a nice package. - 7.5/10

Take Me Back To Then - The intros to these upbeat tracks are remaining very similar, this one feels a little more punk style in terms of speed and vocal delivery. - 7/10

Arms Of Fate - The final song comes in calm and slow, it is the longest track on the EP and it has a dark undertone from the start. Lyrically fairly dark regarding the death of a friend. A very different song than the 5 which came before and it shows depth to the song writing. As a whole a fairly good song. - 8.5/10

Overall 76%

A light In the Black...

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Fear Of The Dark - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Be Quick Or Be Dead/From Here To Eternity/Afraid To Shoot Strangers
Opening up with an incredibly quick track, the roaring opener has Bruce singing quite lower than I'm used to but it is a highly effective high energy track. I'm quite impressed by how fast this song is by comparison to the rest of Maiden's catalog. Chorus isn't amazing but it is a good one nonetheless. From Here To Eternity slows down a little but soon explodes into a hard rocking track. It feels like a single, not quite as aggressive as the previous track but it has a nice energy to it. Chorus is a little weaker which appears to be a theme thus far but the song as a whole is quite good and the solo is nice. An eerie introduction leads into a calm track which is incredibly atmospheric with a nice solo section, then picking up a fair bit the song ends with a lengthy solo section which is much more upbeat than the atmospheric first half, only being interrupted with the chorus. This song has a ton of changes and varies quite a bit throughout as a result.

Be Quick Or Be Dead - 9/10
From Here To Eternity - 8.5/10
Afraid To Shoot Strangers - 9/10
Side 1 - 26.5/30

Side 2: Fear Is The Key/Childhood's End/Wasting Love
Side 2 opens with a strong introduction which feels a little symphonic and reminiscent of either Powerslave of SSOASS albums. That introduction/riff is found throughout the track and honestly I think deserves much more than the song as a whole. Vocally Bruce sounds fairly strong and the song is really enjoyable but it had the makings of being a massive track with that riff. Childhood's end continues with the very epic feeling intro riffs, this song is another example of a good intro riff not well used. As a whole it lacks the energy that Maiden could have put into it. It feels mundane but has a fairly strong solo. Side 2 closes off with a calm track, Bruce sings clearly over the calm intro before the band decides to not stay as a pure ballad for the chorus and he soars. A different track but very fitting with what has come before it. An amazing chorus performance by Bruce.

Fear Is The Key - 8/10
Childhood's End - 7/10
Wasting Love - 8.5/10
Side 2 - 23.5/30

Side 3: The Fugitive/Chains Of Misery/The Apparition
The Fugitive opens up with a heavy drum based intro which puts a sense of urgency into the song from the start, it slows down a little before picking up again as Bruce begins to sing, chorus is a little odd in delivery and it slowing down doesn't really fit personally. The verses are quite solid and the song is enjoyable. But after that brilliant intro and sense of urgency it doesn't quite live up to what it should have been. Another heavy drum based intro kicks off Chains Of Misery,gang style chorus which frankly doesn't work for me when you have a bad ass vocalist like Bruce. A decent song but it is clear here that Maiden are tense and the cracks are showing. Mid-paced, and boring the Apparition closes off side 3 and it is fairly disappointing.

The Fugitive - 7.5/10
Chains Of Misery - 6.5/10
The Apparition - 6/10
Side 3 -20/30

Side 4: Judas Be My Guide/Weekend Warrior/Fear Of The Dark
Side 4 opens up with another symphonic style riff and a guitar attack which brings hope that the previous side was just a minor sidestep by the band. A more pop style track from a chorus vocal perspective with some aggressive vocals from Bruce in the verses. A much better song than all of side 3, nice backing solo behind the chorus. Weekend Warrior does a bait n switch style intro starting calm before picking up a little more then shifting back again. Chorus is a little weaker but as a whole the song is fairly solid. The final track on the album is the amazing Title track, one of the songs which got me into Maiden, the live version is better but the studio version is still a masterpiece.

Judas Be My Guide - 8.5/10
Weekend Warrior - 8/10
Fear Of The Dark - 10/10
Side 4 - 26.5/30

Overall 80%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Point Of Entry - Judas Priest
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Heading Out To The Highway/Don't Go/Hot Rockin'/Turning Circles/Desert Plains
Getting straight to the point Priest kick off their follow up to British Steel with a direct commercial sounding track, their previous success is clearly seen in the direction they headed on this track, fantastic drum fill prior to the chorus which is quite catchy a smart choice of opening track and very fitting for the transition between 70s and 80s Priest. Don't Go opens with a big note before slowing right down to a stomping pace it picks up for the chorus but it isn't amazing, however the guitar duo do help the song out with their solos. Hot Rockin comes in similar to Don't Go but instead it buckles down early on and begins with some quicker riffing. A stronger track than the previous but the more polished sound somewhat is a deter ant here, the main riff should be a little more raw. A good song as a whole, nice solo once again. A midpaced track follows up, a nice riff and Halford is singing lower than he could be I think this is where I should have started in terms of high notes since he hasn't been throwing out his ear piercing screams thus far. A very accessible album thus far and this song is no different. Desert Plains closes off side 1, the longest track on the album, this song feels more like older Priest, it feels like it is missing something, which I suspect would be filled in with a live performance.

Heading Out To The Highway - 9/10
Don't Go - 7.5/10
Hot Rockin' - 8.5/10
Turning Circles - 8/10
Desert Plains - 8.5/10
Side 1 - 41.5/50

Side 2: Solar Angels/You Say Yes/All The Way/Troubleshooter/On The Run
Solar Angels kicks off side 2, with a really nice introductory instrumental section, this song suits the opening spot for an album side quite well and Halford shows off more of his vocal range here than he has on a few of the songs, it is another song which I feel like live would be better, the safeness of this record is helping everything be fairly consistent but it is removing the wow factor from a few songs which could be amazing. You Say Yes has a groove to it which sounds like it could be used to dance to if it wasn't for the wailing guitar showing up at points. Chorus is incredibly simplistic and somewhat cheesy, enjoyable but a little too far down the clearly attempting to be commercial side for me. All The Way becomes more of the Priest style once more straightforwards but it looses the catchiness of the previous track and as a result doesn't pull me in as much. Still enjoyable. Trouble Shooter opens with a drumbeat basically copied and pasted from Living After Midnight I had to do a double take to make sure that It wasn't rereleased on this album. Once the song picks up it is fairly different from the bands hit song becoming an enjoyable rocker. On The Run closes off the album, Rob releases his pent up wails on this track and it closes off the album fairly consistently with what has come before. Enjoyable, commercial esc rockers which don't quite hit the mark but do a great job.

Solar Angels - 8.5/10
You Say Yes - 8/10
All The Way - 7.5/10
Trouble Shooter - 8/10
On The Run - 8.5/10
Side 2 - 40.5/50

Overall 82%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
You were doing so well, too. :(

Honestly the album would be much better without that entire side of the vinyl being there...


Queen II - Queen
Format: CD/Digital

Procession - The album opens up with some processional music, it has a darker undertone to it it could be used to introduce the band in concert but as a whole doesn't really do too much to the album except pad the length slightly - N/A

Father To Son - Transitioning from the introductory track, sung from the perspective of a father to his son, which makes sense based on the title. A lengthy track featuring several changes throughout. Transitioning from heavier to softer. Freddie's vocals are fairly layered at points while in others he is simply distorted. The heavy instrumental sections are quite good and it shows the bands versatility. I personally think Freddies vocals are the part that doesn't suit the song in this case. He as a great performance and delivers really well for some sections but for other heavier sections the vocal style used on the song doesn't quite fit. - 8/10

White Queen (As It Began) - Coming in seamlessly from the previous track, this song has a lot of atmosphere at the beginning. Freddie sings beautifully and transitions into the heavier section really well on this track. Another really dynamic and unique song, completely different from the previous track but following it perfectly. The song doesn't entirely jive with me but it is very fitting of what came before - 7.5/10

Some Day One Day - Brian takes lead vocals on this track and it is the first of all of Queens discography where that is the case, his voice is rather calm and has an air of calmness to it. This song is okay but it doesn't really pull you in that much. - 7/10

The Loser In The End - Rogers song comes in with an announced drumbeat. His vocals are fairly psychedelic, Rogers vocal style I find the most unique of the bands he has a stark contrast to Freddie and Brian being high pitched with an edge of gravel to it all. The song isn't amazing but it is better than Brians. - 7.5/10

Ogre Battle - What would be side 2 or in this case the "Black" side of the album opens up with what sounds like winds blowing before the band lets out a high note and they transition into a rather odd instrumental section before Freddie comes in singing over the band. An incredibly unique song detailing a battle of Ogres while making plenty of room for extended solos within the song itself. - 8/10

The Fairy Fellers Master-Stroke - Once again transitioning perfectly from the previous track the band shifts gears a little becoming more keys focused, short and to the point the song is another example of just how much variety queen had to offer. - 7.5/10

Nevermore - Nevermore is a very short piano piece which I nearly missed because it sounded like an outro to the previous track. - 7.5/10

March Of The Black Queen - The longest track on the album, an incredibly unique track and a precursor to the mighty Bohemian Rhapsody, the song features varying sections, a march drumbeat and Freddie singing incredibly high with so many vocal overdubs and harmonies. This song is so weird I honestly can't tell exactly how I feel about it. It is a statement nonetheless and shows exactly how crazy they could be at times. - 8.5/10

Funny How Love Is - Another segue this time with some overlap, upbeat and high energy in terms of the backing. Vocals are a gang style which Queen has been able to do quite well over the years. A pleasant track - 7.5/10

Seven Seas Of Rhye - The album closes out with a revisited track from the first album, where it was once unfinished it now is complete. Opening with a piano intro then Brian comes in with his roaring guitar, quite the enjoyable track to close it all off. - 8.5/10

Overall 78%

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner

Stay Hungry - Twisted Sister
Format: CD/Digital

Stay Hungry - Coming in with some relatively boring guitar work Twisted Sister open up the album with the title track. Dee Snider sounds pretty good vocally well for him. Overall a half decent start to the album which doesn't do too much to inspire greatness coming down the tube. - 6,5/10

We're Not Gonna Take It - A classic youth anthem comes in next. fun and upbeat We're Not Gonna Take It is a wonderful compact rock track which has all the rebellion of rock but in a very non-rebellious commercial package. The solo is quite nice. - 9/10

Burn In Hell - Slower and mid-paced Dee sings really well on the introduction, he reminds me a little of Alice Cooper here, which fits as the two are very theatrical rockers. A pretty decent track, good vocals and some raw guitar work, although the guitar could be a little more prominent. The drumming does take the forefront instead of the guitar which works but I'm more of a guitar fan. - 8/10

Horror Teria (The Beginning) - A nearly 8 minute epic comes in next, split into two parts. The opening gives off a rather dark and ominous feeling but the chorus in the first section, Captain Howdy is fairly weak. Dee sounds good here once again. The song really should of been split since part two comes in following a complete fade out from the first. Street Justice starts strong like the previous track but it doesn't really blow me away either. Both have their moments but together they fair and are disjointed.- 7/10

I Wanna Rock - Another of the band's classic tracks comes in next, a super easy sing a long track, I prefer the rerecorded version from 2004 but this version still does a good job. - 8.5/10

The Price - A power ballad is up next, Dee sounds quite good, his voice carrying a little bit of rasp into the vocals and it adds some nice variety to the heartfelt ballad. Not a knock out of the park but a good shift from the direct rockers we have had thus far. - 8.5/10

Don't Let Me Down - Returning to a rocking approach with a nice driving drumbeat. The verses are fairly slow but build up at points. As a whole this is another decent track but once again nothing to write home about - 7/10

The Beast - Another midpaced track this one is a little more theatrical than previous tracks. But it doesn't really grab you all that much. - 7.5/10

S.M.F - A slightly more upbeat track than many of those which came before. It remains being okay and closes off an average album in a very average way. - 7.5/10

Overall 75%