365 Albums In One Year

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
280/365

Crazy World - Scorpions
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Tease Me Please Me/Don't Believe Her/To Be With You In Heaven/Wind Of Change/Restless Nights
The first 90s album from the Scorpions starts off with a concert staple, the cheesy and sleezy Tease Me Please Me, it has a super catchy repetitive introductory riff. Klaus sounds pretty good on the verses and the chorus is easy to sing a long to. That riff is wonderful, the song is pretty commercial but much better as a whole than the previous album's clearly over pop filled tracks. Jabs has a nice solo and together with Jim Vallance he wrote the music for the track and it is a good track. The bridge is a little weaker but it soon fades out for the next track to make entry... Don't Believe Her, another good poppy but still rocking guitar based track with Klaus singing strongly over it all. Catchy chorus and some nice soloing. The track has a nice beat to it and it really makes you question just how the band released something like Savage Amusement a couple years prior and Pure Instinct just a few years later... Although that may be explained by tracks 4 and 11's success. To Be With You In Heaven is the first Schenker and Meine only penned track. Slowing down a little with some strong guitar and drum work for the pacing. Klaus sounds pretty good and his main vocals in the chorus are solid. The backing style vocals not so much. A track which I used to really like, in recent years it hasn't done much for me. It is an enjoyable track which could be quite interesting to see in a live show. Klaus pens one of the Scorpions most well known tracks for Track #4, the mighty Wind Of Change, beautiful from the Whistling Start to his soft and soothing vocals, the power on the chorus is phenomenal and the song flies gracefully above the world below it. I still get goosebumps from this masterpiece even after years of hearing it what many would consider far too frequently. Restless Nights opens up with a heavy drumbeat into a short guitar solo before slowing right down for the verse. Klaus sings fairly well but the slow tempo of what started as a real strong uptempo rocker doesn't really make for the greatest enjoyment. It has lots of references to placed the band has toured which I guess is a nice sentiment.

Tease Me Please Me - 9/10
Don't Believe Her - 9/10
To Be With You In Heaven - 7.5/10
Wind Of Change - 10/10
Restless Nights - 7/10
Side 1 - 42.5/50

Side 2: Lust or Love/Kicks After Six/Hit Between The Eyes/Money And Fame/Crazy World/Send Me An Angel -
Side 2 kicks off with another catchy rocker, Klaus once again sounds phenomenal his unique voice has aged so well in the bands 20 year career at this point. The chorus isn't the greatest vocally or lyrically but the verses are really good as a whole and are delivered in a softer way but still really fitting of the faster style, solo is fairly good as well and the song segues into it in a way which really focuses in on it. Kicks After Six, opens right from the close of Lust Or Love, the song is faster and much more commercial sounding. It doesn't really work as well but the tempo is quite good. Klaus sings a little too high in the chorus which is where the song mainly doesn't work. Verses he sings lower which works quite well and Jabs delivers on the solo. Continuing on the speed increase track another more relevant track from the album Hit Between The Eyes, a driving rocker with some screaming guitars from Jabs and Schenker, I forgot how good the solo is on this track. A killer rocker which is a fair bit heavier than the rest of the album thus far and super strong. Money And Fame is the only song on the album which neither Klaus or Rudolf receive writing credits for and the song isn't too bad but it lacks the catchyness of a typical Scorpions track, in addition to lacking the heaviness Matthias' and Herman's tracks usually have. It does feature some talk box from Jabs which does switch it up a little bit. Crazy World comes in with a strong drum beat and the guitar sound a little heavier here. Klaus sounds really strong as he has for most of the album. A fantastic title track with a strong direct approach with easy vocals for crowds to do. I'm surprised the song isn't played more frequently it also would be good for crowd participation outside of the chorus. The album closes off with Send Me An Angel. A smart choice of ballad to go on an album with Wind Of Change since it stands out in its own right, far more calm and orchestrated than the peace anthem. Klaus sings beautifully once more and he delivers an emotive performance throughout. The calm backing vocals on the chorus are great and the whole song is so uplifting and majestic.

Lust Or Love - 8/10
Kicks After Six - 7.5/10
Hit Between The Eyes - 10/10
Money And Fame - 7/10
Crazy World - 9/10
Send Me An Angel - 10/10
Side 2 - 51.5/60

Overall 86%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
281/365

Forevermore - Whitesnake
Format: CD/Digital

Steal Your Heart Away - Album number 11 from Whitesnake kicks off with a dark sounding rocker. Coverdale's age is showing on this track but he does a really good job for someone who screamed for the better half of 3 decades at the time of recording this. A nice guitar solo ensues and a band jam section which is quite enjoyable. - 8.5/10

All Out Of Luck - A building intro which sounds a little like a car speeding up comes in next, it soon gets a decent groove going. Coverdale once again sounds old but unlike the previous one his aged vocals don't suit the song nearly as well. It is covered quite well by his backing vocalists at times but as a whole he doesn't deliver the best performance. - 7/10

Love Will Set You Free - The guitar work in the introduction shows just how good of a band David has set himself up with. He once again sounds quite strained. Which is a shame since when I saw him a few years ago he didn't sound quite so bad although he only played an hour set with an instrumental section in it. Quite nice and catchy guitar work throughout and once more a great solo. - 7.5/10

Easier Said Than Done - The first true ballad of the album. Coverdale sings quite well here by comparison and he delivers a calm and consistent performance. The guitar solos are nice and tasteful. The song doesn't convey emotion super well but it is really pleasant and could have been fantastic if David didn't shred his vocal chords. - 8/10

Tell Me How - Shifting back into a rocking tempo, a strong rocker and a really good performance from Coverdale. The band puts some nice work in delivering this mid paced and heavier track while covering David with some great backing vocals and allowing him to shine quite well. - 8.5/10

I Need You (Shine A Light) - Another mid tempo track however this one doesn't feature the good performance from David that the previous one did and it really makes the song far less enjoyable than the previous 3. - 6.5/10

One Of These Days - Slowing down, David sounds better once again, he clearly needs to just focus on the actual singing. But the song doesn't really have much else going for it. - 6.5/10

Love And Treat Me Right - Another good performance from Coverdale at the start of the song and he sounds good for most of it. Guitar wise the song has some nice driving guitar work Doug and Reb were quite a good pairing. An improvement but still not something that knocks the ball out of the park although it is proof that the band could deliver a good concise record if they had filtered out a fair number of tracks. - 8/10

Dogs In The Street - This song feels like David is trying to recreate Bad Boys but in a slower vocal delivery style. The solo on this track is absolutely fantastic. The song has a fairly good upbeat energy to it but the self plagiarism is so evident. - 7.5/10

Fare Thee Well - This next track starts off fairly strong, a calm track which actually makes good use of the aged sound in David's vocals. The song is decent and enjoyable but not a standout from any member or as a whole. - 7/10

Whipping Boy Blues - Starting distorted before becoming undistorted, it is another unremarkable track. - 6.5/10

My Evil Ways - Opening with a drum solo introduction before the guitars come in. An upbeat and poppier track but David continues to not sound the best. Enjoyable but not amazing. - 7.5/10

Forevermore - The mighty title track David sounds absolutely incredible here and the band deliver an immense epic track which begins acoustic before launching into a heavy ballad with amazing solos from the guitarists and a great performance from David start to finish. Why the rest of the album he sounds quite bad and then he pulls out all the stops on the closer I don't understand but wow can he still deliver. - 10/10

Overall 76%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
282/365

Long Cold Winter - Cinderella
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallen Apart At The Seams/Gypsy Road/Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone/The Last Mile/Second Wind
Opening up with a combination of two track which begins with an acoustic introduction before becoming more upbeat, and featuring some decent vocal and guitar work, the solo is quite good but for the rest of the song it isn't really a massive standout. An enjoyable opening track. Gypsy Road starts in a much more direct fashion, Tom's vocals are fairly screechy thus far on the album but they do improve a little bit more here. The solo is quite good as well and it becomes an enjoyable upbeat track with some room for improvement but still a good listen. Cinderella's big hit from the album comes in next the long titled Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone, the longest track on the album. I prefer Nobody's Fool but this song does have some strong moments. It remains fairly calm and sentimental and it has an easy to sing a long to nature which would have made it good for radio play. The Last Mile opens up quite well picking up the pace once again but Tom's screechy vocals return in full force with them. The song isn't too bad but those vocals are a little much. Side 1 closes off with Second Wind which begins with a plane landing the song is quite quick once the band comes in and Tom's comes in, and the song has a good rhythm to it.

Bad Seamstress/Fallen Apart At The Seams - 7.5/10
Gypsy Road - 8/10
Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone - 8.5/10
The Last Mile - 7.5/10
Second Wind - 8/10
Side 1 -41.5/50

Side 2: Long Cold Winter/If You Don't Like It/Coming Home/Fire And Ice/Take Me Back
The title track comes in with some bluesy guitar work and it has a very different energy to it than the previous tracks, Tom sings slightly better on this track than the others and wow does the blues aspect make it work so well. A fantastic surprise where I didn't expect this track to be nearly as enjoyable as it is. If You Don't Like It has a very interesting guitar riff which screams 80s hair metal but oh is it a good sound, Tom's vocals continue to not be nearly as grating as side 1, and that really helps this track out in delivering a pretty enjoyable experience. Chorus isn't the best but the song as a whole is pretty solid. Coming Home slows back down for another ballad. A decent ballad, the calm vocals are really well done and a nice contrast with the higher vocals. Overall not the greatest ballad but another enjoyable track. Fire and Ice picks the pace back up as the album begins to come to a close. It is a fairly decent track overall. Closing out the album is Take Me Back which has some cowbell in the introduction it ends off the album nicely.

Long Cold Winter - 9/10
If You Don't Like It - 8.5/10
Coming Home - 8/10
Fire And Ice - 7.5/10
Take Me Back - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 40.5/50

Overall 82%
Rating is a little higher than I would put it as a whole experience it would be down to a 77% or so if I was going to edit the score.

Only 3 behind schedule, going to hopefully have some time to power on ahead of schedule over the next couple days.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
283/365

Draw The Line - Aerosmith
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Draw The Line/I Want To Know Why/Critical Mass/Get It Up/Bright Light Fright
Album #5 from the Bad Boys of Boston kicks off with the title track of the album. Steven sounds pretty good and Joes guitar is decent. Steven is definitely the highlight overall but there are moments where the guitar really shines, the lick inbetween verses is quite nice as an ascending riff. It has a fairly good energy to it. Track 2 comes in a little slower but Steven's vocals are quite clear here and he sounds really good despite the lack of rasp. It is an enjoyable track but it doesn't have that wow factor. It has some harmonies but isn't amazing. Fading in Critical Mass is one of the longer tracks on the album, Steven has some more rasp here, and Joe's guitar is fairly good, the keys come in and add some emphasis here and there but the song is the least effective of the 3 thus far. Get It Up has some real strong and groove filled guitar licks off the start, the groove is quite consistent throughout the song and Steven has some fairly strong vocals here. An enjoyable track throughout and that groove is so infectious. Side 1 closes with a speedy track sung by Joe Perry, he has some fairly good vocals here, and Brad hits the drums hard and fast to maintain the strong quick pace. It closes side 1 fairly well with a good amount of energy

Draw The Line -8/10
I Want To Know Why - 7.5/10
Critical Mass - 7/10
Get It Up - 8/10
Bright Light Fright - 7.5/10
Side 1- 38/50

Side 2: Kings And Queens/The Hand That Feeds/Sight For Sore Eyes/Milk Cow Blues
Side 2 opens with a Kings and Queens, which features some lower guitar work right off the bat. When Steven comes in the band slows down a little bit, singing about the crusades the band delivers the dark message of the song in a quite appropriate way. It remains dark throughout and the lengthened solo section keeps the listener fairly well engaged despite not being very flashy. The Hand That Feeds has some awful opening vocals but they soon disappear for some more normal Aerosmith vocals. It has a good foot stompin beat with a really strong solo section. But those awful vocals come back which brings the song back down. Sight for Sore Eyes has better vocals but the song as a whole isn't super engaging, it has some nice basswork but doesn't really make me want to revisit it anytime soon. The album closes off with a cover of a 1930s blues track. The track opens quite well and it really picks up from the lacklusterness of the previous two tracks. Steven sounds great and the band plays quite well.

Kings And Queens - 8.5/10
The Hand That Feeds - 7/10
Sight For Sore Eyes - 7/10
Milk Cow Blues - 8/10
Side 2 - 31.5/40

Overall 77%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
284/365

Straight Between The Eyes - Rainbow
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Death Alley Driver/Stone Cold/Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser)/Tite Squeeze/Tearin' Out My Heart
Side 1 opens with the sounds of cars driving and then some quick riffing from Blackmore, Joe sounds pretty strong on vocals, his vocals sound more suited to this sound of Rainbow than Graham's did for Down to Earth and wow does Blackmore sound good on this track his guitar solo is fantastic. Joe sounds like a light version of Ian Gillan. A strong opener. Stone Cold comes in next, starting slow with some really soulful vocals from Joe, the chorus is easy to sing a long to and Joe's non harmonized vocal in after the songs title is quite strong. Blackmore takes more of a back seat as the band focuses more on the keys. Blackmore had stated he really like Foreigner around this time and the influence is so evident throughout that to an untrained listener it could be mistaken for a Foreigner track. A really good commercial track with Blackmore playing a rather tasteful solo. Bring On The Night comes in with a speedier approach again, a bit of a mix of the two previous tracks in terms of their level of rockability, the solo is once again pretty great cause Blackmore knows how to make tasteful solos in conjunction with the keys. A pretty strong track throughout. Tite Squeeze is the shortest track on the album it comes in midpaced and it marks the first real step down in quality from the previous songs. It doesn't really pull you in although the bass work of Roger Glover does try to do so at least it is the shortest song on the album. The first side of the album closes off with a ballad of sorts, it has some heavier guitar riffs built into it and it shows that the previous track was clearly a miss step because this track is much better than it and the performance for the ballad is strong and emotive.

Death Alley Driver - 9/10
Stone Cold - 9/10
Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser) - 8.5/10
Tite Squeeze - 7/10
Tearin' My Heart Out - 8.5/10
Side 1 - 42/50

Side 2: Power/ MISS Mistreated/Rock Fever/Eyes Of Fire
Power kicks off with a solo riff from Blackmore before the drums and bass come in with the keys not far behind. Blackmore's riff has a real nice crunch and rhythm to it. Joe sings fairly well the Foreigner vibe is back once again and it is quite good throughout. Catchy, upbeat, Rainbow has fully committed to their poppier rock sound and wow does it fit the band quite well although the band is entirely different barring Blackmore from their days of Rising and Long Live Rock N Roll. Joe is a very fitting vocalist for this style especially since Lou Gramm was otherwise occupied. Naming a song Miss Mistreated begs the comparison to the Deep Purple song of a similar name... it appears to be along the same lyrical passage. A pretty decent track but not quite as impressive as the previous tracks. It has a good groove and is a good example of a pop rock track. Rock fever remains on the same lines as the previous track it is upbeat and catchy sounds like it could have garnered a fair amount of airplay which is possible as it was one of the singles from the album. I'm quite glad I put this on for a spin this album is surprisingly quite good. The final song on the album is a six and a half minute track which opens up like an experimental Queen song would before the drums and guitar fades in. It has a very eastern feel to it off the start. The keyboard work is quite nice and is featured here more than it has been previously. A rather good album closer but not quite as strong as the previous tracks.

Power - 8.5/10
MISS Mistreated - 8/10
Rock Fever - 8/10
Eyes Of Fire - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 32/40

Overall 82%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
285/365

Spectres - Blue Oyster Cult
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Godzilla/Golden Age Of Leather/Death Valley Nights/Searchin' For Celine/Fireworks
Godzilla opens with a heavy riff and has some fairly catchy vocals although Buck's guitar work is clearly the start of the song, heavy for the time but still so clear and upbeat. Super easy chorus to sing a long to with strong bass work in conjunction to the two lead singers taking their turns. Golden Age Of Leather opens with a toast of sorts, Buck takes lead vocals duties solo here, a slightly slower track than the previous one and lighter as well. Buck's vocals aren't as mystical as he can be on other more well known tracks. It has some distinct portions to it which does make it quite enjoyable with the differentiation throughout. This track could really be expanded upon live with solos and improvisations. It had some of the psychedelia aspects to it. Death Valley Nights lets drummed Albert take on the lead vocals, the song is the slowest yet but it has a lot of harmonies, it has some nice moments but as a whole the song isn't amazing it does have moments for improvisation which BOC are quite good at and the song has a nice solo from Buck. Eric takes on lead vocals for Searchin' For Celine his vocals are the weakest thus far, they are higher but not nearly as strong by comparison to the previous tracks vocals, although I do like how there has been a wide variety of lead singers on the different tracks I expect it would have made for stronger vocals on the tours if they had a setlist which balanced who was on lead vocals throughout each night. The instrumentation on this track is solid but as stated the vocals aren't the best. Albert closes off side 1 singing a song known as Fireworks, it is a fairly enjoyable track with some pretty decent vocals. It is a good track.

Godzilla - 8.5/10
Golden Age Of Leather - 8/10
Death Valley Nights - 7.5/10
Searchin For Celine - 7/10
Fireworks -7.5/10
Side 1 - 38.5/50

Side 2: R.U. Ready 2 Rock/Celestial The Queen/ Goin' Through The Motions/I Love The Night/Nosferatu
Opening with a midpaced rocker Eric takes the vocals once more, it has as very poppy feel to it especially during the chorus. It doesn't come together as a whole package for me although I think the chorus could have been used on a better track but that pop feel to it makes it quite infectious when it is occuring. A good and short solo takes place but the song isn't phenominal by any means. Bassist Joe takes on lead vocals on Celestial the Queen, his vocals are fairly strong but the song isn't the strongest. The harmonies from the band are the highlight of this track. But it isn't the most interesting. Doubling down on the poppier aspect from the previous two tracks. Eric sounds the best he has since Godzilla, he sings fairly well and the band plays well, once more showing their diverse abilities throughout the track. Buck takes on lead vocals for the I Love The Night, singing quite mystically from the start seeming closer to the style he does for Don't Fear (The Reaper). A fairly subdued track which has some nice vocal delivery and rather calm guitar work. Joe closes off the album with Nosferatu coming in with a a piano based introduction, the song is fairly decent and closes off the album nicely, it doesn't blow me away but it is quite sci fi esc.

R.U. Ready 2 Rock - 7.5/10
Celestial the Queen - 7/10
Goin' Through The Motions - 8/10
I Love The Night - 7.5/10
Nosferatu - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 37.5/50

Overall 76%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
286/365

Maiden England 88'
Format: Vinyl

Initial Thoughts: It literally is only missing 5 songs from the catalog which the band has played ever from this dream setlist. Yea it looks like ti will be amazing - 10/10

Side 1: Moonchild/The Evil That Men Do/The Prisoner/Still Life/Die With Your Boots On
The classic introduction to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son kicks off the tour of the album, Bruce sounds fairly strong but definitely tired. The band sounds immense from the start and delivers an amazing performance of the opener. Bruce is the weakest link and he still delivers the song with force and energy he doesn't show signs of slowing down too much further. The song ends with a baby crying before transitioning into The Evil That Men Do, those harmonized guitars in the intro are so beautiful before the song launches into the meat of it all. Bruce sounds stronger already than the previous track and the power of Steve's thundering bass, chorus isn't the strongest vocally but the crowd gets so into it and they help Bruce deliver it. A classic track comes in next being introduced by a playback of the intro which the crowd can be hear quite clearly singing along to. The Prisoner, fast and heavy a powerful track from the bands third album. That chorus is great for singing along to. I'm quite glad Bruce has stopped having the crowd sing so much in real concerts instead of singing himself. A really strong performance as a whole it does lack something without Bruce taking command of the chorus but wow are those solos amazing. Still Life is up next a track which I'm fairly unfamilliar with as a whole. The intro sounds quite nice and Bruce sounds stronger here than before but he is singing calmly, it soon shifts into a heavier track as it naturally should. Bruce sings strongly still and the song seems to fit very well amongst the Seventh Son Material. A phenomenal performance, that makes me want to revisit the studio track since clearly I missed something the last time I heard it. Die With Your Boots On closes off side 1, and it rocks hard as ever here, it comes in strong and Steve commands his band with the mighty bass. Dave and Adrian let loose on their guitars and Nicko delivers on his drum kit. The backing vocals are quite good here as well. Bruce sings strong and does a great job on this performance. The bridge is a little weaker because Bruce has to really strain vocally but it closes off the side quite well.

Moonchild - 9/10
The Evil That Men Do - 9.5/10
The Prisoner - 9.5/10
Still Life - 10/10
Die With Your Boots On - 9.5/10
Side 1 - 47.5/50

Side 2: Infinite Dreams/Killers/ Can I Play With Madness/Heaven Can Wait/Wasted Years
Infinite Dreams comes in with incredibly calm and those guitars can really sing on that introduction. Bruce's low notes are amazing. An absolutely amazing performance of a track which should've been brought back in recent years and wow is this track phenomenal live. Maiden performs a masterpiece track with the expertise and precision that only they truly can. Steve's bass is furious he is one of the few Bassists which I can tell the true impact of them on the bands music. The instrumental passage is perfection and Bruce's singing is top notch. Another forgotten track comes in next, one of the 4 Paul era tracks on the album, the title track to Killers comes in next, Bruce's delivery becomes more like Paul's the speed of the track is fantastic. Another track I haven't paid much attention to but wow is it absolutely immense here. Bruce sounds absolutely vicious. Amazing instrumental work. Hard to believe in a few short years both Bruce and Adrian would be gone from the band. That solo is breathtaking. Can I Play With Madness has a stronger start here than it does on Flight 666, a step down in quality compared to the previous two tracks and for me is the weakest track thus far. I get it being one of the more commercial tracks of the album but frankly it is the only song thus far that could have been dropped for another track, like we could have Stranger In A Strange Land, Flight Of Icarus, Aces High or The Trooper in its place... or either of the epics from Powerslave... Overall enjoyable but not nearly on par with anything else which happened before it on the album. As the crowd cheers for the outro of Can I Play With Madness, Heaven Can Wait comes in, the song remains quick as ever and Bruce delivers it quite well. The guitar tone is quite great in the song, not quite as beautiful as on the album but still strong. The solo in this track is amazing as one has come to expect from Maiden at this point in their career. Wasted Years closes off side 2 the introductory riff is fantastic, and a great way to pick the pace back up following the slower more epic track which preceded it. Chorus vocals are a little messy but the song is delivered with great energy and Adrian delivers on his solo once again.

Infinite Dreams - 10/10
Killers - 10/10
Can I Play With Madness -8/10
Heaven Can Wait -9/10
Wasted Years - 9/10
Side 2 - 46/50

Side 3: The Clairvoyant/Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son/The Number Of The Beast/Hallowed Be Thy Name
The bass intro of The Clairvoyant comes in strong, the guitar tone of the Seventh Son Album being really well translated in the live atmosphere and Bruce sounds stronger once again. It is quite impressive how well he can sound on some of these tracks by comparison to others. He nails the chorus. Such a great performance of the song. The guitar harmonies, tempo shifts between sections and a great way to segue towards the album's title track. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son comes in and Bruce delivers a stellar vocal performance throughout, the massive track has a powerful drive thanks to Steve and Nicko's phenomenal back end skills. Adrian and Dave's guitars sing throughout the track and sound immense throughout. Absolutely amazing track in general only to be brought to soaring heights in the live atmosphere. The instrumental ending is absolutely killer and completes the material from the album of the same name on the record in amazing fashion. From one title track to the next, The Number Of The Beast comes in next, a classic which would signal the beginning of the end of the main set, Bruce lets out the killer scream everyone would have been waiting for. His vocals overall aren't the strongest on the verse but he does an admirable job delivering the mighty title track with energy and fury. Hallowed closes off side 3, Bruce sound quite good here, and the guitars are incredibly immense once more. The strain on Bruce's vocals is obvious in the verses but he does another admirable job sounding better here for me than on the previous track. Bruce finally unleashes his trademark "Scream For Me" on the mighty epic.

The Clairvoyant - 9/10
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son - 10/10
The Number Of The Beast - 8.5/10
Hallowed Be Thy Name - 9/10
Side 3 - 36.5/40

Side 4: Iron Maiden/Run To The Hills/Running Free/Sanctuary
The bands eponymous track opens up the final side of the album which brings up a little pet peeve of mine, I wish Maiden would close a side with Iron Maiden then have the encore as the sole components of the final side of the live album. It don't know it just seems more fitting. Oh well Maiden deliver a fantastic performance of their self named track the furious guitar work and thundering bass are incredibly driving and Bruce sounds pretty good. As a whole a high energy way to close off the main setlist of a show chopped full with amazing songs. Another request for the audience to scream for him showing just how much control Bruce has over the audience as they oblige his request with glee. The encore opens with radio favourite Run To The Hills, the power behind Nicko's drums as the song begins is incredible and the Maiden gallop is so evident here, once again Steve's amazing bass work cannot be oversold, his fury in and speed add so much extra depth to the songs. Bruce misses the scream in the song but the build up doesn't feel let down. Running Free comes in next a song much improved being live versus on the album, it sounds quite heavy but Bruce's vocals clearly are done at this point. The crowd participation doesn't take up a ton of time on this version which is good. Sanctuary comes in and closes off the show with a direct and speedy guitar based assault with a moment of crowd participation before erupting once again. A nice closer.

Iron Maiden - 9.5/10
Run To The Hills - 9/10
Running Free - 9.5/10
Sanctuary - 9/10
Side 4 - 37/40

Flow: The album flows incredibly well throughout the only real downpoint is during Running Free but it still functions incredibly well within the song as a whole. - 10/10

Final Thoughts: Despite Bruce sounding weaker on several tracks the album was incredibly enjoyable and the band put on an amazing show with a phenomenal setlist. - 9.5/10

Overall 94%

And with that I'm on back on schedule... 79 more.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
287/365

Made In Japan - Deep Purple
Format: Vinyl

Initial Thoughts: A fairly well rounded set, the band only played a total of 9 songs per show for the shows which were recorded for this album. Of which they had 3 total excluded one was a cover and the remaining were Black Night and Speed King. But the release is the main set in the order they were played. Can't really complain since this was Deep Purple at the top of their game - 10/10

Side 1: Highway Star/Child In Time
The band kicks off their set with a roaring rendition of the opener from their Machine Head album the mighty Highway Star comes in with Gillan singing strong, Lord's organ intro is pretty strong in conjunction with Blackmore's furious guitar work. Gillan sings quite well as a whole although he misses some of the screams but completely nails others. The solo section is mesmerizing. This song is hard enough on a good day but putting it first thing in the set takes real skill and talent. Purple were on fire and they made a great choice of opening track. The chemistry between Lord and Blackmore is absolutely incredible and Glover, Paice and Gillan are on fire as well. Fantastic opening to a live album. The song fades out as Gillan talks which then opens again with the introductory notes of the mighty Child In Time, Gillan's vocals are soft on the introduction before long he lets loose the wails the track has become well known for. The song has an incredibly dark mood to it all, the solo section within the track is full of improvisations and serves as a massive vehicle for Lord, Paice and Blackmore. Fantastic once again, the solos are amazing and the band performs their masterpiece like the legends they are.

Highway Star - 10/10
Child In Time - 10/10
Side 1 - 20/20

Side 2: Smoke On The Water/The Mule
Opening up with the brief story of the band's most well known song's origin. Smoke On The Water comes in with its classic riff and wow does Blackmore's guitar sound great. Gillan sounds pretty strong and delivers vocally his voice earning a bit of a break with a calmer song compared to the opening pair and their massive screams. Blackmore lets out a nice solo. The song stays fairly true to the original and is a good track throughout. The song fades out before allowing some band chatter before The Mule, it comes in and there is definitely and emphasis on Paice's drums who takes a drum solo early on in the song which extends for the majority of the songs length and I really would have preferred one or two of the encore songs in leiu of the drum solo which I have never found to be very enjoyable. Paice does a pretty good job but it doesn't do much for me.

Smoke On The Water - 9/10
The Mule - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 16.5/20

Side 3: Strange Kind Of Woman/Lazy
Side 3 comes in with a track featured on the North American version of Fireball. It has a strong groove put into effect by Rogers bass work in conjunction with Lords keys. Gillan sounds pretty strong here, the band performs strongly but the song as a whole doesn't have the same wow factor we saw on side 1 but at the same time it is unique and really quite enjoyable, Gillan has stopped letting out waits since Child In Time which seems odd to start of a show with two songs so vocally intensive when they have other less harsh vocally which would be used to warm up his vocal chords. Oh well Strange Kind Of Woman does have a fair bit of band jamming and is an enjoyable track start to finish. Speaking of Screams Gillan lets loose one inbetween songs before introducing Lazy, the track opens with Lord keyboard solo, featuring some soloing from Blackmore as well here, the two. But the momentum is lost a little as the track is quite calm in these solos. It soon does pick up and the whole band gets involved on the solo section, eventually the first verse does occur Gillan sings quite nicely but the song isn't the most vocally demanding. It is a good performance but the extended length feels like Dazed and Confused or No Quarter from Zeppelin, good to an extent but far too long as a whole.

Strange Kind Of Woman - 8.5/10
Lazy - 7.5/10
Side 3 - 16/20

Side 4: Space Truckin
A side spanning rendition of Space Truckin' closes off the album, opening up with very true to the original the final track off of Machine Head comes in with fantastic instrumentation and Gillan begins to scream again. The brilliance of everyone's performances in the band are evident here you can tell exactly what every member is doing throughout the track. The solos are quite nice but once again extend the song a fair bit too long for my liking.

Space Trucking - 9/10

Flow - The fade outs disrupt the flow for me, especially when the band is talking. As a whole the album flowed quite nicely but the 2 songs flip vinyl is a little disjointing as well but overall it flows quite well. - 8.5/10

Final thoughts - A great performance by a band on top of their game. Every member was on fire, and while I don't like the extended Jam style it was part of the 70s rock scene - 10/10

Overall 90%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
288/365

Stranger Highways - Dio
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost/Firehead/Stranger Highways/Hollywood Black/Evillution
A brutal opening riff makes me question if this is Dio or Sabbath right from the start. Dio's vocals are distorted from the start he soon becomes far less distorted. The metal god sings with venom in his voice he clearly is angry following the Sabbath split but wow does he deliver a strong track with the anger he has. The distorted vocal portions aren't amazing but they fit the song decently well. But when the song isn't distorted I quite enjoy it. Firehead opens with a guitar solo from a drum based introduction. Dio comes in not sounding quite as angry but still there is evident traces of it in his voice. Tracy is quite the guitar player and he lets loose a strong solo. Dio's shifting vocal styles aren't always the best but he does a pretty good job throughout. The title track comes in with a very different tone to it from the start opening with calm keys and Dio singing softly, the song pretty soon gets heavier, the song I believe is about someone about to die or is in a space where they feel they are about to die. The guitar work is ominous with the drums and bass adding an element of menace to the song. A dark masterpiece. Hollywood Black opens with a drum based intro, originally written as a Black Sabbath track. It is a step back down from the darkness of the title track but it still is a good track with clear Sabbath influences and Dio singing nice. Tracy's guitar solo starts weird but it works so well. Evillution opens up with some howling of some kind. It features some solid bass work from Jeff Pilson, the song is mid paced and pretty decent, it has some good moments throughout and Dio seems to have dropped most of the venom from his voice.

Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost - 8.5/10
Firehead - 8/10
Stranger Highways - 10/10
Hollywood Black -8.5/10
Evillution - 8/10
Side 1 - 43/50

Side 2: Pain/One Foot In The Grave/Give Her The Gun/Blood From A Stone/Here's To You/Bring Down The Rain
Side 2 opens up with Dio crying out, his voice sounded so good on the intro, he shifts to more clean vocals for the verses of the album, Tracy's guitar work has a nice groove to it and the song has a call and answer style instrumentation. The chorus features the scream from Dio once again and it really elevates the song having his voice so raw and powerful. The song doesn't really build up a lot of momentum but each member delivers a good performance especially Dio and Tracy. One Foot In The Grave, another shorter and direct track comes in, it starts off a little slow but the track builds and becomes a strong crunch filled rocker. Dio sounds angry and vicious once again. Give Her The Gun, comes in light and calm, Dio sings softly a style which he didn't use too frequently but when he did oh it was so good. The chorus explodes and the song gets heavier with Dio howling, another great track. This album has been consistently good throughout and this song is absolutely phenomenal. Blood From A Stone comes in hard not wasting any time getting to business, more nice guitar work here, the song is solid and enjoyable. Here's To You opens up with a very call out, the chorus is rather weak and in the past this song being one of the two I've heard from the album was one which I didn't enjoy listening to. But here is sounds much better than I recall still not an amazing song but the guitar work is top notch. Lyrics not so much but the song is very fitting on the album. The album closer fades in, Bring Down The Rain, the album closes out on a slightly weaker note than the majority of the album but it is still a solid ending. Bring Down The Rain features the great aspects of the album but in turn it also has its shortcomings.

Pain - 9/10
One Foot In The Grave - 8.5/10
Give Her The Gun - 10/10
Blood From A Stone - 8/10
Here's To You - 8/10
Bring Down The Rain - 8/10
Side 2 - 51.5/60

Overall 86%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
289/365

Ram It Down - Judas Priest
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Ram It Down/Heavy Metal/Love Zone/Come And Get It/Hard As Iron
Kicking off with the title track Judas Priest's follow up to their Turbo album opens up with a beautiful scream from Halford and furious drumming and guitar work from Glenn KK and Dave. The sheer speed is amazing and the song is a furious rocker, the guitar tone is amazing and Halford sounds like a great blend of the 80s sound and that of the looming Painkiller. The shout it out section, is a real nice section, short and commercial but an amazing way to segue into the dual solos from the guitarists. Holy shit this song is amazing. Absolutely fantastic track and an amazing opener for the album, hard to believe this was left off of Turbo... Heavy Metal comes in with a guitar solo once it is done Halford comes in with some odd vocals the band behind him sounds fairly good but those vocals leave a fair bit to be desired, they just seem so false. A major step down from the opener... the solo section is pretty great. Love Zone kicks off with a drum based introduction and Halford returns his vocals better than the previous track. The song has some really nice guitar work like everything else on the album thus far, Halford's return to form is really a highlight for this song. It may have taken me a while to get to appreciate his wails but wow is he the master. Come And Get It opens with some lower guitar work while the other guitarist solos. Rob sings lower and the song is pretty decent as a whole. It is an enjoyable rocker but not amazing nor would it compete with the many of the band's hits. Hard As Iron closes off side 1, it opens up with a fury of drums and guitar, nice tasteful screams from Halford here, not quite on par with the title track this song also delivers a great rocking experience. Great guitar work shouldn't need to be said but this is Priest, Glenn and KK need more everyday recognition...

Ram It Down - 10/10
Heavy Metal - 7/10
Love Zone - 8.5/10
Come And Get It - 8/10
Hard As Iron - 9/10
Side 1 - 42.5/50

Side 2: Blood Red Skies/I'm A Rocker/Johnny B. Goode/Love You To Death/Monsters Of Rock
Blood Red Skies opens up ominous, the longest track on the album clocking in close to 8 minutes in length. Halford sings mystically over the ominous keys and acoustic guitar. The song begins to pick up the pace and become heavier, Rob lets out some nice screams here and there. It remains somewhat ominous and dark but less so as the band builds up in the background. A nice solo section occurs and the song sounds like it could have fit onto Turbo quite nicely but it would have been easily one of the best tracks on said album. I'm A Rocker comes in far more direct and begins rocking right off the bat. A beautiful solo occurs the strings screaming then becoming incredibly harmonized. Johnny B Goode comes in quite different from the original, the song is re energized by the Priest formula, the guitar solo is amazing but the vocals don't suit the lyrics the best in my opinion. It is an enjoyable and fun cover. Love You To Death comes in and the track is fairly decent, it isn't amazing and doesn't really measure up to some of the other tracks on the album. It is enjoyable but not great. Monsters Of Rock closes off the album, the intro is slow and heavy. Rob sings slow and darkly, the song closes off the album fairly well it like the previous track isn't amazing but does a fairly good job as a whole and has some really nice guitar work

Blood Red Skies - 9/10
I'm A Rocker - 9/10
Johnny B. Goode -7.5/10
Love You To Death -7.5/10
Monsters Of Rock - 8/10
Side 2 - 41/50

Overall 84%

And with that All Non-Ripper/Nostrodomas Priest studio albums have been listened to.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
289/365

Ram It Down - Judas Priest
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Ram It Down/Heavy Metal/Love Zone/Come And Get It/Hard As Iron
Kicking off with the title track Judas Priest's follow up to their Turbo album opens up with a beautiful scream from Halford and furious drumming and guitar work from Glenn KK and Dave. The sheer speed is amazing and the song is a furious rocker, the guitar tone is amazing and Halford sounds like a great blend of the 80s sound and that of the looming Painkiller. The shout it out section, is a real nice section, short and commercial but an amazing way to segue into the dual solos from the guitarists. Holy shit this song is amazing. Absolutely fantastic track and an amazing opener for the album, hard to believe this was left off of Turbo... Heavy Metal comes in with a guitar solo once it is done Halford comes in with some odd vocals the band behind him sounds fairly good but those vocals leave a fair bit to be desired, they just seem so false. A major step down from the opener... the solo section is pretty great. Love Zone kicks off with a drum based introduction and Halford returns his vocals better than the previous track. The song has some really nice guitar work like everything else on the album thus far, Halford's return to form is really a highlight for this song. It may have taken me a while to get to appreciate his wails but wow is he the master. Come And Get It opens with some lower guitar work while the other guitarist solos. Rob sings lower and the song is pretty decent as a whole. It is an enjoyable rocker but not amazing nor would it compete with the many of the band's hits. Hard As Iron closes off side 1, it opens up with a fury of drums and guitar, nice tasteful screams from Halford here, not quite on par with the title track this song also delivers a great rocking experience. Great guitar work shouldn't need to be said but this is Priest, Glenn and KK need more everyday recognition...

Ram It Down - 10/10
Heavy Metal - 7/10
Love Zone - 8.5/10
Come And Get It - 8/10
Hard As Iron - 9/10
Side 1 - 42.5/50

Side 2: Blood Red Skies/I'm A Rocker/Johnny B. Goode/Love You To Death/Monsters Of Rock
Blood Red Skies opens up ominous, the longest track on the album clocking in close to 8 minutes in length. Halford sings mystically over the ominous keys and acoustic guitar. The song begins to pick up the pace and become heavier, Rob lets out some nice screams here and there. It remains somewhat ominous and dark but less so as the band builds up in the background. A nice solo section occurs and the song sounds like it could have fit onto Turbo quite nicely but it would have been easily one of the best tracks on said album. I'm A Rocker comes in far more direct and begins rocking right off the bat. A beautiful solo occurs the strings screaming then becoming incredibly harmonized. Johnny B Goode comes in quite different from the original, the song is re energized by the Priest formula, the guitar solo is amazing but the vocals don't suit the lyrics the best in my opinion. It is an enjoyable and fun cover. Love You To Death comes in and the track is fairly decent, it isn't amazing and doesn't really measure up to some of the other tracks on the album. It is enjoyable but not great. Monsters Of Rock closes off the album, the intro is slow and heavy. Rob sings slow and darkly, the song closes off the album fairly well it like the previous track isn't amazing but does a fairly good job as a whole and has some really nice guitar work

Blood Red Skies - 9/10
I'm A Rocker - 9/10
Johnny B. Goode -7.5/10
Love You To Death -7.5/10
Monsters Of Rock - 8/10
Side 2 - 41/50

Overall 84%

And with that All Non-Ripper/Nostrodomas Priest studio albums have been listened to.
Blood Red Skies is definitely a 10/10 for me, but I otherwise I agree with this.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
290/365

Condition Human - Queensryche
Format: CD/Digital

Arrow Of Time - The second Todd La Torre album from Queensryche comes in upbeat and strong with the albums first single the Arrow Of Time. Todd sounds quite strong here and delivers a strong lead vocal on a track about living in the moment. The guitar solo is fairly subdued but it does have serve as a nice instrumental section. The chorus is quick and catchy. - 9/10

Guardian - Guardian comes in with low and strong. Todd's vocals are layered here there are some very low in among his regular range. He does let out a higher note and the chorus is very layered but it works fairly decently. Guitar solo is nice and the bridge following it slows down quite a bit but Todd sounds pretty good on it. A pretty decent song as a whole - 8/10

Hellfire - Coming in slow, the song remains slow and Todd sings high his voice sounds a lot like Geoff's here. A fairly decent track it has a good beat to it but it doesn't pull you in and with a title like Hellfire I would honestly have expected it to be a furious rocker. Todd's vocals are quite strong. Not the greatest track but it has its moments - 7/10

Toxic Remedy - The next song is a little bit quicker than the previous but it also doesn't have the strongest pull. Todd does sound good and the band delivers a decent track once again. I feel like the song writing team hasn't quite figured out how to work together consistently at this point. - 7.5/10

Selfish Lives - Selfish Lives comes in low before it like the previous two tracks doesn't really pull the listener in. Todd once more sounds good but something just isn't clicking. I really like Todd's high note into the solo it does make the track slightly more memorable and the back half of the song is quite a bit better than side 1. - 7.5/10

Eye9 - Eye9 is the first track to be written by a single member of the band not named Chris since The Warning. It opens with some bass work which makes sense since the bassist wrote the song... A more enjoyable track than the previous ones and it actually pulls you in a fair bit and the instrumental section is pretty good. - 8.5/10

Bulletproof - Bulletproof starts calm, sounding like it could be a ballad and it sticks with that although I think there is a little too much production used on the chorus it is a decent ballad, no where near the Lady Wore Black or Silent Lucidity in terms of emotions or performance but the song still have a fairly strong chorus. - 8/10

Hourglass - Coming in heavier before backing off a little bit once again. The highlight are the guitar interludes on this track. The verses and chorus don't do too much for me but the instrumentation portions are quite good. - 7/10

Just Us - This song starts with very different vocals from anything else on the album, incredibly soft and not even sounding like Todd is singing. I think this song is a good representation of a calm track which isn't overproduced but it lacks an emotional delivery. Overall it remains one of the better songs on the album. - 8/10

All There Was - The pace is picked up once again by one of the shortest tracks on the album, it is a generic rocker with not much to it. - 7/10

The Aftermath - A rather calm introduction with Todd singing/speaking the song doesn't really do too much and could be left off. - 6/10

Condition Human - The title track closes off the album clocking in at just shy of 8 minutes. Todd starts singing quite soon and it lacks that epic feeling which Queensryche have been able to put into their tracks in the past. It is a solid track but doesn't really blow me away. A pretty good track as a whole. - 8.5/10

Overall 77%

Will likely be doing 1-2 more Queensryche albums getting low on open spots since I have a decent sized list which I have decided I must do.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
291/365

Innuendo - Queen
Format: CD/Digital

Innuendo - One of Queens greatest tracks opens up the final album released in Freddie's life. The might Innuendo builds slowly, Queen have gone full progressive here releasing their own Kashmir. Freddie delivers a phenomenal vocal performance the band plays epic around him with many distinct sections throughout the track it would have been an amazing live track. But damn difficult to pull off live. That's one thing I appreciate about Queen they didn't stop when Freddie got sick they doubled down and released more music and we got masterpieces like this to show for it. - 10/10

I'm Going Slightly Mad - Coming in to follow up the title track is a track which Freddie sings in a deeper voice than normal; upbeat with some more crooning style of delivery for the chorus. There are some nice key work in the background, the content for this track is of Freddie's body shutting down and the mental decline associated with his condition. Brian's guitar has a wonderful tone to it. The song as a whole isn't super amazing but it is a rather unique track in its delivery. - 7.5/10

Headlong - A drumbeat and Freddie open up the next track, it soon picks up and Brian comes in with the guitar and John with his bass. The track continues to pick up the pace and it becomes a fairly solid rocker which was evident from the opening, originally written for Brian's solo album before he let Freddie have a shot at singing it. An upbeat track which could use a little more guitar from Brian but as a whole the song is fun, upbeat and catchy it could have been a great classic track and a live favourite. - 8.5/10

I Can't Live With You - Shifting into a poppier direction and remaining quite upbeat. Freddie sings wonderfully, it is hard to believe that within roughly a year and half the man who sang this wonderfully died from his body shutting down... Queens amazing harmonies are featured here, and the guitars remind me a little of A Night At The Opera. A fun track - 8/10

Don't Try So Hard - Coming in soft, Freddie sings calmly his voice effortlessly rising and falling with the music. The music picks up and his voice begins to soar. Musically the closest track Queen has to this is Who Wants To Live Forever except this one has a stronger guitar solo in exchange slightly less powerful vocals. That being said the song is incredibly beautiful. - 10/10

Ride The Wild Wind - Freddie comes sounding strong here, upbeat and Freddies voice has some commanding power behind it. The song isn't amazing but the delivery is full of confidence. Solo is pretty good but the instrumentation throughout the track isn't the strongest it could be. Freddie is the star here. - 8/10

All Gods People - This song feels very gospel esc. It doesn't pull me in very much but the delivery style is a nice change. Overall a forgettable track. - 6.5/10

These Are The Days Of Our Lives - Described as one of the simplest songs in the entire Queen catalog, this song. Mainly bongos and keyboards with Freddie singing calmly over it all. The song is fairly decent it is enjoyable but not breathtakingly beautiful from any perspective. - 7.5/10

Delilah - A song named after one of Freddies 11 cats, it isn't a great song, it is a weird song but at least you can clearly tell it is about a cat. - 6/10

The Hitman - Coming in incredibly hard and fast The Hitman wastes no time bringing the band back on track. Freddie sounds great over the heavier guitar work. A strong hard hitting track with the Queen classic dynamics to shift in and out of the heaviness for less metal inclined listeners while not lacking any enjoyment for those who like it a lot. - 9/10

Bijou - This song opens with a lengthy guitar segment which upon research is due to the song being an inside out song which I guess means you feature the guitar where you would expect vocals and visa versa. Seeing as the song only has one verse but some great guitar work which jumps around as Freddie would have sang it the description makes sense. An interesting piece of music. - 8/10

Show Must Go On - The album closes off with the might Show Must Go On, another of my favourite Queen songs, the chorus is incredibly powerful and Freddie delivers an impeccable closer to the album. The band is heavy but uplifting all in one beautiful package. Amazing verses and the backing vocals feel like a full choir is behind Freddie as he delivers amazing high notes. What an album closer. - 10/10

Overall 83%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
80% Complete

292/365


Virtual XI - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Futureal/The Angel And The Gambler
The last Blaze era album opens up with one of the shortest tracks in the Maiden Catalog, Futureal comes in quick and Blaze sings quickly, Steve's bass work is quite evident and strong. The chorus is simple and effective. The song sounds very much like Maiden's work but the different vocals may take a little bit to get used to. The solo is short and effective. I like the song Blaze is the weakest link on it but he does a pretty good job as a whole and the song is well delivered throughout. Blaze sounds more like Dianno to me than Bruce. Track 2 is a nearly 10 minute track. The Angel and The Gambler opens up with a School of Rock style riff before adding in what almost seems to be like woodwind instruments, Blaze sounds pretty good here, the song feels like it should have two separate singers on it to play the two distinct roles within the song. Especially since Blaze doesn't sing them differently. The song chorus is decent but is repeated way too many times in a row, the solo is quite nice before the second set of verses and the song increases in tempo which makes it much stronger than the first lengthy chunk. It however soon slows down for a little bit before increasing tempo for another lengthy run of the chorus. Overall this song would be much better if it was cut down and the chorus was repeated far less often, I expected a train wreck and so far it has been enjoyable.

Futureal - 8.5/10
The Angel And The Gambler - 7.5/10
Side 1 - 16/20

Side 2: Lightning Strikes Twice/The Clansman
Side 2 kicks off with a nice introduction, and Blaze sings calm before the band erupts and the song gets heavier. Blaze's calm voice is quite nice and his more upbeat voice has a lot of power behind it during the first faster section, the subsequent ones have a little less power but he still is delivering a good performance. Chorus is very repetative and the word twice sounds like he is saying strikes for a second time. The solo is pretty strong and transitions into a more band instrumental section with some nice harmonizing guitars. A good punchy rocker, with a weaker chorus. Calm guitar work signals the beginning of the second epic of the album, the mighty Clansman comes in one of Maiden's greatest tracks the story which is told in Braveheart but in a 9 minute song. The tale of clans fighting for their freedom. The imagery is beautiful I can picture the rolling hills and cliff sides. I usually prefer the Rock In Rio Live version but the studio version is still immense and powerful. The chorus is so simple yet amazing. The fury that the band delivers following the chorus is phenomenal and the cries for Freedom feel as if they could fit in literally anywhere in the song but the band holds back from delivering the chorus too frequently amazing solos. A well hidden masterpiece.

Lightning Strikes Twice - 8/10
The Clansman - 10/10
Side 2 - 18/20

Side 3: When Two Worlds Collide/The Educated Fool
Side 3 begins low and slower before it picks up the pace quite a bit. Blaze continues to sound strong and really feel like he has come into his own on this track. The chorus is fairly strong and the Maiden gallop appears throughout... even if the chorus does extend on a little long and once again happens far too often. Instrumentally the song kicks serious but and featuring some great solos. Overall this song is let down by just how frequently the song repeats itself otherwise it would be a pretty strong track. The Educated Fool comes in and Blaze sounds a little weaker here than he has previously and the song isn't the strongest, thus far it is easily the weakest on the album and it doesn't really pick up at any point the music isn't the greatest even the solos aren't super strong although they are the highlight of the track.

When Two Worlds Collide - 8/10
The Educated Fool - 6.5/10
Side 3 - 14.5/20

Side 4: Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger/Como Estais Amigos
The final side of the album opens with another lengthy track this one doesn't start off super calm but instead with a building riff which makes way for the first chorus. Which based on looking at the lyric sheet is gonna be repeated far too many times... in addition to the bridge. The song has some decent performances but wow does it repeat itself to the nth degree and it frankly just makes the track so much worse. The solo is pretty good and quick but wasted on this track. The final track on the album comes in dark and somber before picking up a little bit and the song becomes fairly uplifting and it ends the album on a better note than the previous two tracks did, frankly those two could have been left off and the album would have been a pretty decent album. I see why people aren't huge fans of this album it doesn't live up to the standard Maiden had established up to Seventh Son but it is a dark album with a lot of potential. The chorus for Como Estais Amigos is quite enjoyable and powerful

Don't Look To The Eyes Of A Stranger - 6.5/10
Como Estais Amigos 8.5/10
Side 4 - 15/20

Overall 80%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
293/365

Unbreakable - Scorpions
Format: CD/Digital

New Generation - Starting dark and ominous the with clips from the song itself in the introduction, the song is heavier than the Scorpions have been for the past two albums, one of which I won't even bother reviewing since I refuse to listen to Eye II Eye. Klaus sounds a little aged and his voice on the chorus isn't the strongest, it sounds a little robotic but he delivers the verses quite nicely. The message of the song is one which was really needed and one where the Scorpions had been singing about for a while with songs like Living For Tomorrow and Moment Of Glory. The longest track on the album opens it all up. A fairly decent track - 7.5/10

Love 'Em Or Leave 'Em - A crunchier riff opens up the lead single from the album. Klaus' voice really sounds like he had done some damage to it at some point in the early 2000s but he did recover quite well for the follow up albums. A good high energy track but it lacks that wow factor and Klaus' vocals really don't make it feel like it is a true Scorpions track. It lacks the catchiness which even their 70s material had - 8/10

Deep And Dark - One of the few tracks on the album I listen to. Klaus sounds stronger here as he begins in a calm and low voice, the eb and flow between the verses and the chorus is quite different for Scorpions tracks. It feels upbeat but it has a rather dark tone to it throughout. It is a stronger track but it still doesn't have the Scorpions charm but even without it the song does pretty good. - 9/10

Borderline - Track 4 fades in then goes into a beat slightly slower than The Zoo although without the killer guitar work associated with said track. There is a fair bit of harmonies on this track. It isn't really that strong of a track the guitar work isn't very grabbing and Klaus' singing is shifting from solo to harmonies too frequently without either being super effective. - 7/10

Blood Too Hot - The tempo is picked up on this next track, the chorus is weak delivery wise but the verses are fairly solid and the tempo is really well suited to the song. Solo is quite good from Jabs and the song has a fairly good energy throughout. It does fall short as a whole but it is better than the previous track. - 7.5/10

Maybe I Maybe You - Piano opens up the first ballad of the album, Klaus sings quite well over the piano based track. Emotionally the song doesn't click but it does a fairly decent job as a whole. The shift from piano ballad to a more electric track is a nice switch but the song doesn't have the power behind it to make the shift as effective as it could have been. - 7.5/10

Someday Is Now - A crunchy riff comes in with lyrics written by the drummer James Kottak, fun, upbeat and super positive throughout one of the other songs I really like from the album. The positive message in the song is really along the lines of classic Scorpions and I feel like the song could have been something they released earlier in their career and would have been fairly successful. Overall it is one of the best on the album - 9/10

My City My Town - Another upbeat song this one is quite poppy and has another positive message. It has that hometown feel to it. I think the song is really a good way to thank the fans for their continued support. It isn't a stellar song but it overall is really enjoyable and pleasant. - 8/10

Through My Eyes - Another ballad this one is darker than the previous ones and the upbeat nature from the last few songs is also gone. Now a darker song in regards to a lover walking out on their partner. The relationship ending and pleading for the other to listen to how they saw what was going on different. Klaus sounds pretty good on the verse and the chorus has more emphasis to it and it is fairly catchy. Overall not nearly on par with their classic ballads but an admirable effort to try out a different formula for one. - 8.5/10

Can You Feel It - Coming in with gang vocals the song has a decent beat to it. Another track penned by Kottak this time both lyrics and music although Klaus helped on the lyrical front. The song could be really upbeat and powerful but it falls quite short for me and it does very little for me as a track. Nothing pulls me in. - 6/10

This Time - Matthias wrote everything for this next track. It is okay but doesn't really have a strong hook or really provides much to pull you in without it. Chorus is decent. It also provides an example of why the band really started bringing in outside writers after this album in addition to having Klaus and Rudolf co-write essentially every track released from here on out. - 7/10

She Said - She said comes in slow and the song begins to shape up like a typical Scorpions ballad. The song is a decent ballad and Klaus sounds pretty strong here. The song doesn't have a lot of emotions to it but it tries. - 7.5/10

Remember The Good Times - The final song on the album is labeled as a bonus track but everything regarding this album that I've found says it is the album closer so I will be reviewing it as the album closer. An odd introduction starts off an upbeat rocking track which has slightly distorted vocals from Klaus but he sounds a fair bit younger in this song so I won't complain. A song very reminiscent of the 60s and 70s. A time long before I was born or even a thought... A decent track throughout - 7.5/10

Overall 77%

Only 1 more Studio album from Scorpions left to do...
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
294/365

Master Of Puppets - Metallica
Format: CD/Digital

Battery - An acoustic introduction opens up Metallica's 3rd album, the song soon shifts into the sound one would expect from Metallica the shredding begins heavy and aggressive Battery delivers a strong heavy rocking experience. James sings quickly and overall quite well. There is a really short solo following the first chorus and James continues to deliver the vocals strongly the song is a nice balance of the heavy style Metallica are known for while not being inaccessible for others. The true solo section is pretty solid but I preferred the style of the shortened solo earlier in the track. - 10/10

Master Of Puppets - The title track doesn't waste any time as it starts off fast and heavy, shifting and turning the longest track on the album features slower vocals than the opener but James is incredibly clear with some anger behind his vocals. The shift to a lighter segment halfway through the track and having the solo occur during this lighter section is amazing. It soon shifts heavier once again the bridge occurs and another brilliant solo comes in. The first chunk of the song frankly I wasn't super impressed with but wow is the back end of this song is absolutely amazing. - 10/10

The Thing That Should Not Be - An interesting introduction leads into a song which has a real wave like approach, shifting quite a bit. James sounds pretty good. This track has a lot of potential but it doesn't really click for me completely there are moments where I really get into it and others where I just don't. The solo is an example of a wow moment. -7.5/10

Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - The band's follow up ballad of sorts to Fade To Black, starting eerie and it builds, James vocals paint a dark picture which would only be improved upon when the band write One... His voice paints the picture but the venom behind his voice does just as much as his words. He brings a feeling of doom and gloom over the song. The harmonized guitars are great and the song while not as explosive as One or Fade To Black remains incredibly powerful throughout. - 10/10

Disposable Heroes - The heaviest opening of any track on the album comes from this 8 minute track, the speedy drums bass and guitar are contrasted by one of the guitarists making slow sabbath like riffs before they to join in with the furious guitar assault. The guitar assault while incredible is a little much at some points. James sings with fury. Dark and incredibly heavy this track surprises me not by the track itself but my actual enjoyment of it. I went into this album expecting it to be one which I wouldn't enjoy aside from a couple tracks but this track is amazing and the solo is super clear amongst the furious riffing. I don't know how often I will revisit this song but wow is it a masterpiece. - 10/10

Leper Messiah - The studio count in leads into one of the shorter songs on the album. A nice beat to bob ones head to. This track has some strong moments but it doesn't hold a candle to most of the album that has come before it. Overall the song is well delivered but isn't the same caliber of the other tracks. The solo is nice. - 8/10

Orion - The mighty Orion slowly builds in, one of Metallica's lengthy instrumental tracks... which I have spoken out about my dislike for in the past. Building up with bass and drums before the guitars come in with a really nice beat to it all. The guitars soon separate into two different modes. As a whole the instrumental is pretty good but it just doesn't wow me. The last minute and a half could have gone on a little longer.- 8/10

Damage Inc - The final song comes in slow then the resistance breaks and the song fires off like a rocket. Furious rocking from everyone. The title of the song being said so softly is a nice touch. The solo section is quite good and as a whole the song is a nice closer for an incredibly strong album. - 9/10

Overall 91%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
295/365

ACDC Live - AC/DC
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: A killer setlist from the Austrailian Rockers a good mix of tracks from both eras, and I believe there is a deluxe with the whole concert setlist, although Let There Be Rock probably should of been included on this package - 10/10

Thunderstruck - The sound of thunder signals and crowds cheering signals the beginining of AC/DC's latest hit single at the time of the recording. Angus soon breaks the suspense and he starts the iconic riff. Brian comes in strong, his raspy voice sounding near identical to the studio version. Thunderstruck is a brilliant opener as the song continually builds up becoming harder and more energetic as the song continues. A great performance - 9/10

Shoot To Thrill - Not slowing down at all the band launches into Shoot To Thrill off of Back In Black, a good high energy rocker with some great vocals from Brian. The Youngs are relentless on the guitars and Cliff and Chris round out the band nicely. The rocker is punchy and the momentum from the previous track just carries on into this track. Another really good performance - 9/10

Back In Black - Continuing the 1-2 now -3 punch comes the mighty Back In Black, the classic track is another great live choice there is a reason it is a live staple. That solo and the groove the boys were brilliant song writers even if they did produce a lot of filler following the early 80s wow could they play and deliver raw rock n roll. Brian's wails are pretty good throughout. Nothing has blown me away yet but there performances are pretty damn near perfect - 10/10

Who Made Who - A song from the soundtrack album of the same name. A strong midpaced track Brian continues to sound pretty good as a whole. The song has an easy sing a long chorus. The instrumental section is fairly reminiscent of Thunderstruck or would it be the other way around... A pretty good performance throughout. - 8.5/10

Heatseeker - Heatseeker is the only song on this version of the album which I don't recall hearing a studio version for, upon closer examination thats because I haven't listened to the album it is from at this point... The track comes in upbeat and with some early AC/DC sounding guitar work feeling rather raw and not as polished as one usually hears from post-Back In Black AC/DC. The lyrics are typical AC/DC and the song is fairly generic but delivered quite well. - 8/10

The Jack - One of my least favourite AC/DC tracks from the Bon Scott era comes in next the first of that era to be featured on this live album. I don't get where the love for playing this track is coming from. Brian sounds fairly good on the track. And the track does sound decent with some nice heavier guitar work from the Young's. Yea this track may be better than the studio version but it still isn't a good song by any means although well performed. Angus' solo is the highlight and brings the score up to a - 7/10

Money Talks - Money Talks comes in and the stomping beat translated incredibly into the live atmosphere. Brian sounds pretty good. Such a catchy track would have been a wonderful live staple. The solo is simple but effective. The song would be perfect for crowd interactions and is delivered pretty well - 9/10

Hell's Bells - The ominous bell tolls signalling the beginning of Hell's Bells one of the best opening tracks ever and easily one of the best AC/DC tracks in their catalog. Angus' guitar sounds immense as it comes in and the pace picks up. The instrumentation throughout this track is absolute perfection. Brian sound vicious and powerful. Not quite as good as the studio but pretty close. Near perfection is with a 10/10

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - A fun track with yet another recognizable riff and great drumbeat comes in Brian sounds pretty good but he lacks that swagger that Bon had on this track. But he makes up for it with amazing energy. Angus and Malcolm deliver some phenomenal riffs throughout the track the chemistry those two had on guitar is amazing. - 9/10

Whole Lotta Rosie - That intro riff never gets old. You can almost see Angus' doing the duck walk as the song really gets going. Brian sounds fairly good throughout on the amazing rocker. Amazing performance start to finish. - 10/10

You Shook Me All Night Long - Another staple from Back In Black comes in strong and is the final song from the main set included in this version of the live album. Brian sounds pretty good his voice can't quite hit what he sang on the album but that was over a decade before with some pretty amazing vocals to try to match up with. Another amazing performance incredibly enjoyable and powerful. - 10/10

Highway To Hell - The encore begins with the bands signature track. A pretty strong rendition of the track. Like everything here the song's original version was stuck to pretty well and the song kicks ass. - 10/10

T.N.T. - TNT comes in and the band delivers a really strong rendition of a song which frankly I'm very much sick of hearing. High energy and making a very easily skippable track into one I actually enjoyed listening to. - 9/10

For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) - The album closes off with For Those About To Rock, a track which took me a long time to appreciate. A brutal show closer which is full of flare and cannons. I would love to see the band open with this it would be quite fitting. A pretty strong performance closing off a very strong live album. - 9/10

Flow: Songs flowed nicely from one to the next the fade out and fade in was somewhat necessary because of the varying dates and tracks not being in the exact order intended. - 9/10

Final Thoughts: Why do we have the Jack here when we could have had Sin City or Let There Be Rock? Other than that the album is fantastic - 9.5/10

Overall 92%

70 albums remaining
 
Top