365 Albums In One Year

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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

Are you aware of the two-disc version of this album (containing the two aforementioned tracks, among a host of others)?
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
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
Great live album. I have it on DVD.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
296/365

Face The Heat - Scorpions
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Alien Nation/No Pain No Gain/Someone To Touch/Under The Same Sun/Taxman Woman
The follow up to Crazy World opens with one of the heaviest Scorpions tracks ever recorded. The mighty Alien Nation comes in with its heavy riff and thundering bass. An extended rocking introduction leads into the track before Klaus comes in his voice crying out with both fury and serenity. He sounds amazing here letting out some higher vocals throughout the verses. Chorus is short and effective. Matthias and Rudolf deliver a killer guitar assault throughout the track. This rocker references the album's name before launching into a decent solo section. A phenomenal opening track. No Pain No Gain comes in with a talk box intro before the band begins rocking heavy once more showing the previous track wasn't just a hook for fans who wanted heavier material. Klaus continues to sound great. Chorus is very catchy and a common saying. The guitar work is dark and heavy. Someone To Touch begins to shift back towards the more commerical sounding Scorpions, Klaus sounds a little more like he did in the 70s than he did in the 80s, the chorus is poppier and once again is quite catchy. Guitar work isn't nearly as dark or menacing here than it was on the previous tracks but that shift isn't really the greatest when compared to the previous tracks. The solo section is quite good. The band slows down for Under The Same Sun, a song which bears resemblance to Wind Of Change but approached from a slightly darker opening more directly about war, religious and living as one. It doesn't have the sheer beauty of the aforementioned track but it does a pretty strong job conveying the message intended. Side 1 closes off with Taxman Woman it is a fairly decent track it doesn't really have a lot going for it but the bass and drums are more notable in the mix than you normally hear on a Scorpions track.

Alien Nation - 10/10
No Pain No Gain - 9/10
Someone To Touch - 7.5/10
Under The Same Sun - 8.5/10
Taxman Woman - 7/10
Side 1 - 42/50

Side 2: Unholy Alliance/Woman/Hate To Be Nice/Ship Of Fools/Nightmare Avenue/Lonely Nights
Unholy Alliance shifts back towards the heavier feel from the start of the album. Chorus is rather weak but the verses are decent. The song is fairly decent as a whole, the guitar lick behind the verses is quite nice. Klaus sings quite well throughout the song. But it doesn't really become a kick but rocker. Ballad number 2 comes in with Woman, very calm with Klaus singing over some bass work. He is the centerpiece of the song. He lets out long notes on the title of the song. The song has a blues element to it and eventually does pick up a little bit. As a whole the song I feel is missing something but I know there are people who absolutely love this track. Hate To Be Nice comes in and the track has some nice stronger guitar work it feels like it would fit on Savage Amusement quite well and the song is rather enjoyable. Ship Of Fools continues the direct rock track style with a commercial edge to it. A pretty solid track, enjoyable with a good solo but not really a super memorable track. Nightmare avenue shifts back to heavier with a drum based introduction, it has lots of harmonies on the chorus and delivers a fairly straightforwards and fast rocking experience. Lonely Nights closes off the album, a rather strong ballad which Klaus lets loose some really good wails on. It is easily the best ballad on the album not quite perfect but the ballad has a lot of emotion and delivers a great performance from the band to round off the album.

Unholy Alliance - 7/10
Woman - 7.5/10
Hate To Be Nice - 8/10
Ship Of Fools - 7.5/10
Nightmare Avenue - 7.5/10
Lonely Nights - 9.5/10
Side 2 - 47/60

Overall 81%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
297/365

Going To Hell - The Pretty Reckless
Format: CD/Digital

Follow Me Down - A sexual based introduction soon launches into an aggressive rocker to kick off the second album by The Pretty Reckless. Taylor sounds pretty good, she fluctuates between very soft vocals at points and a more aggressive 70s style of singing. When she sings softly the band shifts acoustic before launching back into an electric style. The sound of the song screams 70s influence and it really works quite well. One section features some synth becoming very mystical before the acoustics come back in and the song once more becomes a rocker. A much more complex track than I was expecting as the album opener. It abruptly ends when it really could have gone on a little further. - 10/10

Going To Hell - Opening with a confession the title track continues with the 70s feel, there is a solo section near the beginning. The lyrical content is much of what is to be expected acting as a confession of sorts throughout the track. Not as impressive as the previous track but it is quite catchy and Taylor sounds good as a vocalist. She delivers the song in a direct manner with a voice that sounds like a more commercial Joan Jett. Musically the band is a more raw sound. - 8.5/10

Heaven Knows - A school bell before a stomp and clap routine comes in and Taylor sings over it, the band is very much in the back as a chorus of youth sings the chorus of the song. The bass can be heard keeping the beat. The song is goes full blown call and answer with itself which is more than many do. Taylor's voice has some blues to it throughout the track and the song is a lighter track than the previous two. It has a strong uplifting energy to it although it is clearly following the themes of belonging in hell instead of heaven which has ran deep within each song thus far on the album. - 8.5/10

House On A Hill - A heartbeat introduces the next track before acoustic guitar comes in and the heartbeat takes the role of the drums. Incredibly calm and majestic vocals, gently soar over the calm instrumental. It does pick up a little bit taking the emphasis off the vocals but the song doesn't overdo it and calms back down. Simplistic from an instrumental standpoint. The biggest downside of the track is the layered dual vocals from Taylor at times where she sings two separate lines at the same time. It disconnects the song slightly but as a whole the song is very nice and a great shift. Each song thus far has been very unique from the others which really adds to the listening experience without feeling like the songs are being copied from a template, but they flow in a really good way as well. - 9/10

Sweet Things - Sweet things doesn't start off as one would expect by a song of its name, coming in with the hardest riff thus far on the album and a strong drum beat. Taylor sings in a more grunge style droning at times but incredibly clear at others. A male vocalist sings some of the vocals in the middle of the track adding a new dynamic shifting the song into a duet. A longer track which doesn't really work for me. The song just doesn't excite me much at all. - 6.5/10

Dear Sister - A brief interlude which doesn't really need to be used for the scoring. - N/A

Absolution - Going back to acoustic another song with really soft vocals which makes me wonder what Taylor would sound like on a song like Zeppelin's No Quarter. The song does a good job getting back on track from the previous full track's disengagement. Still not nearly as good as the first few tracks but wow does her voice sound amazing on the chorus, so soft but still so much power behind it without having to belt it out. The guitar solo is fairly subdued but very fitting of the song. - 8/10

Blame Me - This song opens up in a way that reminds me of Just Tonight. Another more relaxed track it deals with the shifting of blame onto another person for your own problems. It sits somewhere in the middle between electric and acoustic. The song has a some nice drum work. Good vocals and lyrics throughout the song still has a huge 70s influence throughout - 7.5/10

Burn - An incredibly short song comes in next, Burn is fully acoustic, the solo acoustic track is a nice spotlight on Taylors vocals. It does a pretty good job overall. Not a lot to write about for this one that hasn't been said somewhere else. - 7.5/10

Why'd You Bring A Shotgun To A Party - Going back to a more upbeat approach. The song is quite forgettable it does have a shot gun loading sound at some points but the song lacks the energy which could have made it a good rocker but instead it is a little too slow for the majority of the class. The riff sounds nice but I think it is wasted on the song. - 6.5/10

Fucked Up World - A strong drumbeat which sounds quite familiar and Know Your Enemy esc. The most commercial sounding song on the album thus far which is odd seeing as it is the only song with an expletive in the title. Chorus is somewhat catchy and the song as a whole is pretty solid at best. The pacing of the song is good and like the rest of the album it sounds and feels unique. - 7.5/10

Waiting For A Friend - The album closer has some harmonica on the introduction, acoustic once more. A nice and pleasant closer to the album finishing it all off in on a darker note as the song isn't very upbeat lyrically nor in energy. - 7.5/10

Overall 79%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
298/365

Meanwhile In Burbank - Stone Sour
Format: Digital

We Die Young - Stone Sour's first covers EP opens up with a very true rendition of Alice In Chains' We Die Young, production wise the song sounds fantastic the Corey delivers the track in fairly similarly to Layne. There is a good energy to this cover and the guitar solo is fairly good as well. This song is a great opener to the EP as it is short packs a bit of a punch and delivers a good experience while setting up some pretty good expectations for what will come following it on the EP. - 8/10

Heading Out To The Highway - Song #2 is from Judas Priest's Point Of Entry album. Corey sings a little higher which makes sense since he is trying to sing a song written for Rob Halford. The song has a fun upbeat feel to it. Chorus is rather well performed, the high note doesn't feel like a full on high note but it is at a good range without going too high and getting out of Corey's range. An admirable cover of a legendary band. The solo does feature some harmonized guitars which is a pretty nice touch. - 8/10

Love Gun - An incredible drum based introduction kicks off the cover of Kiss' Love Gun. Personally Love Gun is one of my favourite kiss tracks and this version is so much better. The modern production allows the song to be far heavier than the version Kiss released in the 70s. Corey sounds a fair bit like Paul on the song showing more versatility since each track thus far has felt like he was doing a great tribute to the singer of the song he is performing. Christian's solo is tasteful. An amazing version. - 10/10

Creeping Death - The monstrous introduction to Creeping Death comes in hard and fast. Corey's clean vocals sound absolutely amazing over the massive band lead assault. The clear sound he is conveying throughout the song allows for the message of the song to be understood quite well and the rage and anger within his voice sets the tone of the Angel Of Death coming through Egypt. A massive track which is more along the lines of a commercial approach than the Metallica version but while the Metallica version is a masterpiece this in its own right fits that bill. A brilliant cover. - 10/10

Children Of The Grave - Like Love Gun this cover for me surpasses the original. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of Ozzy's vocals this track provides the brilliance that Sabbath had when writing this song but from a much better vocalist. Corey delivers the anti war anthem is fury. Sonte sour once more does justice to their influences. The opening drums feel like the army beginning to march and the bass is well performed here as well. Soon the guitar comes in setting a darker mood as the drums and bass pick up the pace. A phenomenal track. - 10/10

Overall 92%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
299/365

Priest... Live!
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: Nothing from before British Steel makes it onto this live album, I guess that's fair in a way since they were already released for the most part but I would have loved to have received another live version of Victim Of Changes or Beyond The Realms of Death. - 8/10

Out In The Cold - The crowd cheers as the band gets ready to take the stage, the introduction to the mighty Out In The Cold comes in and the crowd really gets excited. Chanting Priest repeatedly the before singing the key portion. The drums of Dave Holland come in hard. Rob sounds like the record off the start a good choice of opener, not having too many high notes throughout it allows him to really get warmed up with the crowd. The solo section is memorizing as Glenn and KK delivers amazing solos. An amazing track which really shouldn't have been left in the past for as long as it was. - 10/10

Heading Out To The Highway - Increasing the pace a little bit once Rob is done talking to the crowd, the track is just as catchy as ever here. Rob's voice is notably higher here. The band helps out a bit on the chorus and the song really takes on the fun rock n roll approach for the content and feeling of it all. Rob begins letting loose the high notes he has become synonymous with. A prime example of how Priest songs just come to life in the live environment. Unleashed in the East really improved songs which I found much weaker on their original albums, this song was quite good on the album but here it takes on new life. - 9.5/10

Metal Gods - Metal Gods comes in fairly early in the setlist, my head soon began bobbing along to it. A track which really didn't do too much for me on British Steel. It gets a bit better here but it still isn't the greatest track. The chorus is simple and would be good for the crowd to join in on. I can see how it would be a crowd pleaser. KK and Glenn once again put in good solos but the song as a whole could have been replaced with a better rocker from the earlier albums or something more epic... - 8/10

Breaking The Law - Rob talks to the crowd before launching into one of the bands most well known tracks. The furious intro riff is phenomenal live and I think the tempo is sped up here from the original. Amazing Rob sounds pretty strong on the verses, chorus is a little weak side from his mighty screams. The solo shreds like no tomorrow. And that final scream is brutal - 10/10

Love Bites - Synth kicks off Love Bites, the pacing feels a little awkward off the start. Chorus is well delivered and the song is a nice shift from the previous tracks speedier approach I just think that Priest have better songs than this from the same album. That being said the performance isn't bad by any means Love Bites just feels not right at this point in the setlist. But the band is clearly promoting The Defenders Of the Faith album with Turbo at this point seeing as there is half the album featured here and half of Turbo. Holy fuck that scream from Halford is godly the second one is pretty good as well but wow was that first one a beauty - 8.5/10

Some Heads Are Gonna Roll - A second defenders track comes up next, the only track on the album not written by a member of the band. Another track which isn't the strongest choice, this one is of better pacing but it feels much more commercial than even the intended commercial Priest tracks and lacks that true Priest feel to it. The highlight of this song is the scream leading into the solo and the solo itself and the final screams. Overall not the greatest performance but once that first scream happens the song does increase in enjoyment a fair bit. - 7.5/10

The Sentinel - The introduction riff of my personal favourite Judas Priest track comes in heavy and dark as it should be. Rob sings high throughout the track, his vocals already high on the verses reach for the heavens above with his amazing screams. Not quite the perfection of the studio version from that prospect but the song is fucking brutal as it is. The solos are furious and intense before making way for Rob to share the death of the Sentinels opposition. His voice low and power before he explodes into the furious high notes - 10/10

Private Property - A Turbo track comes in with the keys oriented opening one would expect from the album. A nice groove comes in very quick and the song slows on down. The crowd clearly knows the song as they can be heard singing along to the chorus of the song. A song which clearly isn't as demanding as the previous track which Is probably a good thing considering that The Sentinel is so vocally demanding. - 7.5/10

Rock You All Around The World - The chanting of Priest continues as the band launches into another Turbo track. Fast and heavier than the previous Turbo track from the start. High notes return here. The chorus feels a little silly in terms of the inflections of the vocals. An enjoyable track but seeing as Turbo has Priest's most commercial sounding songs the track feels out of place among the harder rocking songs like Breaking The Law and The Sentinel. - 7.5/10

Electric Eye - Electric Eye comes in with The Hellion introduction. A track which has grown on me a little since my first introduction to it. Rob sings with some distortion sounding robotic which fits the concept of the ever watching eye. The song as a whole remains not one of the ones I enjoy but the solo section is once more amazing. - 8/10

Turbo Lover - Coming in with the roar of an engine, the synth and guitar make a glorious combination. Rob sings low and the song really could have been a good opener but Out In The Cold I feel is more fitting. A lot of energy is presented in this performance. Rob singing is modified on the chorus and it really suits the song. A more upbeat and overall stronger rendition of the track than was present on the album. The solo section slowing down for the start feels a little odd but at the same time fits the song really well. I'm surprised he didn't let loose a massive wail on the comeback from the chorus. - 9/10

Freewheel Burning - The classic motorbike entry from Halford occurs on this track or at least it sounds like thats the case here. The tempo has increased a lot and Rob sings quickly although I feel it seems a little too fast as a band causing him to have to really try to keep up. The song feels rushed. Some songs just can't be properly recreated I have a feeling this blazing rocker may be one of them. His vocals remain high and strong. - 8/10

Parental Guidance - Parental guidance comes in shifting back to a much more commercial sound. A good rendition of the track. It has some nice soloing as KK and Glenn deliver some great guitar work. As a whole the song isn't amazing but has some good moments - 7.5/10

Living After Midnight - The drum intro to another of the bands most recognizable songs signals the concert is about to end. The increased pace really adds a lot of energy to the track and it delivers a great energetic performance. The crowd is going crazy in the ending. A great rendition of the classic track. Incredible energy and a great way to close out the show. Rob talks to the crowd and they soon begin to chant for the band. - 10/10

You've Got Another Thing Comin' - The final song of the album is probably Priest's most well known track, coming in like a storm. Rob sings well and the band delivers a killer extended performance of their hit ending off the live album in style. - 10/10

Flow - The album felt super smooth flowing from one song to the next incredibly well. - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A phenomenal performance, yea some of the set choices really aren't the best but as a whole the setlist was really good. - 9/10

Overall 88%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
300/365

The X Factor - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Sign Of The Cross/Lord Of The Flies
Blaze's first Maiden album opens up with the monstrous epic Sign Of The Cross, beginning dark and ominous the song grows dark and Blaze speaks softly with a dark tone behind his voice and soon the song picks up Blaze's voice begins to soar. Steve drives the song his bass powerful beneath his mighty band. A moody and dark epic, this is the first time I've heard the Blaze version of the song and he does an amazing job different from Bruce at times but he is the original on this. Janick, Steve, Nicko and Dave deliver an amazing and epic instrumental section. The production holds the song a little less energetic than it should feel but wow does it remain absolutely breath ta kingly beautiful and it shows the direction Maiden will continue to head towards as they follow this up and then when Bruce returns. Such a powerful chorus. Lord Of The Flies comes in being based on the classic book which I quite enjoyed reading. It is faster from the start than the previous track and Blaze sounds okay on it. His vocal style is very comfortable in his mid range but I prefer the reaching towards high notes. The song doesn't hold a lot of energy not sure if it mainly from Blaze's delivery or the production keeping the band compressed. The latter half of the song has more of an upbeat energy to it which feels more of how the song should have felt from the start. I'm intrigued to hear the version with Bruce singing it from Death On The Road...

Sign Of The Cross - 10/10
Lord Of The Flies - 7/10
Side 1 - 17/20

Side 2: Man On The Edge/Fortunes Of War/Looking For The Truth
The introduction to Man On The Edge is very melodic whilst keeping the dark tone from the previous songs. Soon it speeds up and Blaze sounds much stronger here than on Lord Of The Flies. I think this could have been a great album opener. The chorus is easy to sing a long to and the sheer speed of the track is pretty great. The solo is screaming and effective. Blaze sounds great on the bridge. Great energy although a little repetitive at some points. Fortunes Of War slows down. Steve has some really great bass work here, low and powerful. The song stays slow for a little while being really calm and Blaze sings softly. Eventually it alternates between heavy and Steve taking a little bass solo in between. It soon stops and a short solo is heard before Blaze comes back in, his voice low throughout. A track without a clear direction to it. Enjoyable but the song shifts in so many different directions without really committing to one to really become quite good at. The introduction however is still really good. Looking For Truth starts like most of the other tracks thus far. Blaze begins to reach higher on the introduction, soon the band picks up the pace. It is an enjoyable track throughout but it doesn't have much of a wow factor.

Man On The Edge - 9/10
Fortunes Of War - 7/10
Looking For Truth - 7/10
Side 2 - 23/30

Side 3: The Aftermath/Judgement Of Heaven/Blood On The World's Hands
I really like this introduction to The Aftermath, it would be super cool with an orchestra, the calm strings then the heavier but the groove that comes with is nice and consistent. The pacing of the track works with the groove but the vocals could be done in a slightly higher pace. The lyrics however are incredible and powerful the message being portrayed really is something which sadly isn't given enough attention. The song is pretty decent up till the solo which is amazing. Judgement Of Heaven begins more upbeat and continues to increase in that regard. A stronger track than the previous few and Blaze sounds pretty good. The band seems as if they are still trying to figure out how to work with a different lead singer. Melodic and to the point a better track but not one that I would say is on the normal Maiden standard. Blood On The Worlds hands opens in a very unique fashions, the extended intro is calm and feels like there should be the sound of water dropping somewhere. Blaze comes in and the song takes a dark twist, a rather good track, dark with a really tranquil introduction and the switch doesn't feel out of place.

The Aftermath - 7.5/10
Judgement Of Heaven - 8/10
Blood On The Worlds Hands - 8/10
Side 3 - 23.5/30

Side 4: The Edge Of Darkness/2 A.M./ The Unbeliever
Helicopters, the band comes in beneath the sound of the blades. The helicopters fade and the song stays dark and slower. Janick's writing influence here shows a brief look towards what he will write on the title track on The Dance of Death. Blaze lets loose some of his classic OH's which actually suits the song quite well and a furious guitar assault ensues picking the pace up tremendously. 2 A.M. comes in much like the other songs before it. It picks up following the first verse and Blaze sounds good but the song the upbeat sections are much stronger than the calm and relaxed sections. It seems to have this eb and flow between highs and lows of the person who is being sung about in the song. A decent track. The Unbeliever closes out the album, it starts off very boring but once it picks up so does my enjoyment of the track, spanning over 8 minutes the track is the longest on the album aside from the opener. It features a bass and drum section which lets the rest of the band back off for a bit to prep for the solo section. As a whole this song feels too long and doesn't really click for me.

The Edge Of Darkness - 8/10
2 A.M. - 7.5/10
The Unbeliever - 7/10
Side 4 - 22.5/30

Overall 78%

65 more albums...
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
301/365

Live At The Rainbow 74' The Queen II Tour - Queen
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: With 2 very eclectic albums under their belt Queen don't have the largest selection of songs to choose from what they put together for this hour long show however is quite strong. - 10/10

Procession - Queen takes the stage with a prerecorded instrumental from their 2nd album, a very fitting way to come on the stage for Queen, it sounds really good but isn't performed. - N/A

Father To Son - Coming in with keys and Freddie sounds on point instantly the second track from Queen II. The harmonies from Queen are unparalleled and they show off right from the start as to how amazing they are at them, the track is played in full and features plenty of shifts in pacing and heaviness. Freddie sings along effortlessly. Brian's guitar tone is so recognizable and powerful throughout the song. An interesting choice of opening track but performed quite well. - 8.5/10

Ogre Battle - Continuing on the Queen II path comes Ogre Battle, Brian's guitar work on the introduction is eerie, heavy and thundering before launching into the track. Rogers drums sound immense and those Queen harmonies return. Freddie delivers once again his amazing vocals. The song is so upbeat and fun throughout it really makes for an enjoyable experience to listen to. The band sounds much heavier than one would expect based on their later material. This would have been an amazing opening track if they didn't have a prerecorded introduction. - 9/10

Son And Daughter/Guitar Solo/Son And Daughter (Reprise) - The first track featured from Queen's debut album, Freddie introduces the song. Once more Brian delivers on the guitar creating such a good groove throughout the track. The chorus is pure harmonies and Freddies vocals soar. John's bass work is quite nice as well. Brian takes an extended solo in the track which on the album is separated into a separate track which personally I would have preferred it all as one longer track due to the reprise following it. The build up to the solo is great and the solo that follows it is great. Melodic but heavy and emotive. It took me a second to realize that this solo is the Brighton Rock solo being performed prior to the song's recording, it sounds absolutely immense and is amazing, transitioning back into Son And Daughter closing out the song in excellent fashion. - 10/10

White Queen (As It Began) - The White Queen comes in soft with Roger or John introducing the song to the audience. Freddie plays piano, and his vocals soar over the calm music. You can almost picture the clouds of white smoke flowing across the stage as he sings. The band however really is starting to build up tension in the background clearly getting ready to erupt into a heavier section. However it doesn't quite explode instead it backs down and a melodic solo from Brian ensues. The song wraps up with a Freddie's dramatic performance of the outro. A stronger rendition than the original rendition that's for sure. - 8.5/10

Great King Rat - Brian kicks off Giant King Rat with an extended solo introduction, Roger and Deacon come in fast and heavy. Freddie sings over the band as they begin to go into a sort of gallop. The lyrics sound silly but they are a ton of fun and the instrumentation from the band is pretty good throughout. A strong rendition of a really good early gem from the band. About 2 third through May comes in with a fury and delivers a great guitar solo. This extended solo section is the highlight of the track. - 9/10

The Fairy Tellers Master-Stroke - The band decides to play a short and direct track. With some call and answer vocals between Freddie and Roger with harmonies intermixed. The song is a bit better live but it really isn't the most amazing track, I think sections of it could have been used for introductions of other songs later on in the band's career but it doesn't have a ton going for it. Brian's solo is once again the highlight. - 8/10

Keep Yourself Alive/Drum Solo/Keep Yourself Alive (Reprise) - The roaring opener from Queen's debut comes in, Freddie sounds amazing and there is an energy about this track it shows where Queen were going to end up in the future, it has the attitude and strength of their later hits. The band delivers an absolutely killer performance of the track, it is a shame they stopped performing it in its entirety live, the drum solo from Roger is short direct and effective, it flows perfectly with the song. Amazing - 10/10

Seven Seas Of Rhye - Seven Seas Of Rhye comes in with the piano based intro, another fun and upbeat track with some great harmonies. Freddie's vocals are phenomenal. I have to highlight the power behind the other band members vocals it is so rare that bands have so many great singers all in a single band where each can truely shine in their own light. A great well delivered rendition. - 9/10

Modern Times Rock "N" Roll - Coming in furiously Freddie takes on the vocals which Roger originally sang, he handles them quite well and the band plays the most aggressive that they have throughout the concert. The chorus has a beautiful harmony section. Slightly extended the track is another great hidden gem from the band in their early career. - 10/10

Jailhouse Rock/Stupid Cupid/Be Bop-A-Lula/Jailhouse Rock Reprise - A medley of rock standards from the time comes in, starting with Jailhouse rock, a nice high energy medley without taking up a ton of time, it is a nice way to extend the show seeing as the band only has 20 of their own songs released at this point. Definitely a fun selection. - 9/10

Liar - The first true Queen Epic comes in, opening with a drum based introduction before Brian and John come in and start jamming a little bit. Such an eclectic track. It has a very different feel than many of the band's other tracks, it has an epic feel to it even without any furious explosive segments in the beginning before a furious solo section comes in really putting that Epic feel into the song. A really good rendition - 9/10

See What A Fool I've Been - The album closes out with a track which never made it onto the original Queen II album. An odd choice to close off the show with a song people haven't heard before if you ask me, upon looking at Setlist FM it was actually from a 2nd encore with the first comprising of some cover tracks while the rest of the show is here in the original order. Freddie sings powerfully over the track. It feels like a bluesy track at times but in others it really gets going. I'm surprised it wasn't on any albums. - 9/10

Flow - The album flowed perfectly, the instrumentals suited their songs which they were added into very well. - 10/10

Final Thoughts - Amazing start to finish - 10/10

Overall - 93%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
302/365

Hotel California - Eagles
Format: CD/Digital

Hotel California - The memorizing title track opens up the album, calm acoustic guitars bring you into the world of the Hotel California, the guitar work throughout the song is incredible and Don Henley's vocals are so soft and powerful. The imagery from the lyrics are amazing, you can picture yourself in this paradise turned horror hotel. The outro guitar solo is amazing and continues to pull you in more as it goes on. - 10/10

New Kid In Town - Another calm track comes in next, the vocalists sound really great and the song continues the soothing feeling from the title track. Glenn's lead vocals are really well done. Not on the level of the title track but still a really good track, the vocals are the clear highlight on this track. - 8/10

Life In the Fast Lane - Henley takes the vocals back for this track and the following track. Another classic track the radio staple Life In The Fast Lane, picking up the pace a little and shifting away from the completely acoustic style of the previous track. The song feels like it could go a little quicker especially considering the subject matter of the track being taking everything to the excess. - 8.5/10

Wasted Time - Pianos kick off Wasted Time, Don sounds quite nice and sentimental throughout the ballad. Soft and emotional the track features some nice orchestration and it really feels like a fitting follow up to the title track in terms of the epic feeling of it. A really nice ballad - 9/10

Wasted Time (Reprise) - An instrumental reprise occurs to start off what would have been the 2nd side of a vinyl record. Outside of Vinyl it could have been merged with the previous track but on a vinyl record I could see why the reprise would have been a nice touch. A nice calm instrumental which has some nice orchestration throughout. - 7.5/10

Victim Of Love - Coming in darker and moody Don continues to sing lead vocals, the chorus is a little more uplifting but the music of the verses feels darker and the song is better suited towards that style personally. Some really strong verses here and the chorus while uplifting it doesn't quite fit. An enjoyable track - 7.5/10

Pretty Maids All In A Row - Joe Walsh takes on lead vocals on this track, he sounds a lot like Bowie here. The song is really calm like many before it on the album. As a track it isn't the most exciting or memorable. - 6.5/10

Try And Love Again - More upbeat with Randy on lead vocals, a much stronger track. It has some amazing vocals and the relatively slow pacing works. The song is pleasent and enjoyable throughout not amazing but quite good. - 8/10

The Last Resort - The albums longest track closes it out Don once again takes on lead vocals opening on piano. Soft for the majority of the song. A pretty good way to close out the album. I personally don't love this kind of relaxed album but I cannot deny that the band did play quite well throughout and how it would be amazing for someone with different preferences. - 8.5/10

Overall 82%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
303/365

The Mystery Of Time - Avantasia
Format: CD/Digital

Spectres - The album opens up on an ominous note, with some very clear orchestration joining the band. Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow joins Avantasia on this track. The pacing increases with the darkened orchestra becoming darker as it continues. Tobias and Joe sound quite similar. The song definitely shows an evolution from The Wicked Symphony feeling much more orchestral and less focused on the guitar than they have been in the past. While the evolution makes sense I don't feel it is used to its best form here the song feels bloated at some points which doesn't bode well when the song is only 6 minutes and there are a pair of 10 minute epics on the album - 7.5/10

The Watchmaker's Dream - Joe continues to guest on track number 2. Shorter and taking a more direct approach to the song. Both vocalists sound more angry in their delivery of the track than the previous one. The band goes into that drum machine sounding speed which I still frankly hate the sound of. The guitar solo is nice and feels very fitting but the song as a whole remains on par with the opener. The organ solo is the highlight of the track. - 7.5/10

Black Orchid - Symphonic from the start this next track comes in incredibly strong making me think this track will be a step in the right direction. Saxon's lead singer Biff Byford is the guest here. He sings really well contrasting with Tobias quite well. The chorus is filled with harmonies and the orchestration really elevates the track. The song would be unreal live with the sheer amount of vocalists that go on tour with Avantasia all coming out for the chorus. - 9/10

Where Clock Hands Freeze - Fast and punchy, the 4th track features Michael Kiske, a common guest for Avantasia albums. Singing quick and high over a very muddy guitar and drum assault. Vocally a really impressive track but the instrumentation just feels incredibly fake at times, the solos and the drum breakdown are really good but the majority of the track I could tune them out since they just become this wall of sound which doesn't amount to anything. - 8/10

Sleepwalking - Slowing down to a ballad. A female co-lead vocalist comes in and sings wonderfully in conjunction with Tobias. The first two voices are done in a soft manner and are done quite well. The chorus picks up and a bit of the emotions are lost but as a whole the song remains more emotive and connects quite well with the listener. The solo is tasteful and well delivered for the calm ballad. - 9/10

Savior In The Clockwork - The first of the 10 minute tracks comes in next, ominous with the what sounds like gears on a bike being used in the background. The orchestra does a good job setting the tone. Joe, Michael and Biff return as lead vocalists on this track. It soon speeds up to a really quick pace before backing off and the vocalists come in. The first set of verses is well delivered and the chorus features all 4 singers coming in and doing a pretty good job as a team. A track which worried me at first with the drum machine style which appeared in the introduction. This track is truly amazing the four vocalists deliver amazing performances and the band unleashes some amazing guitar work throughout the track. A formidable and dynamic track indeed. - 10/10

Invoke The Machine - Ronnie Atkins comes in as guest on the seventh track. Opening up with an extended guitar solo introduction, a strong aggressive rocker which really uses the energy from the previous track and continues with it maintaining a good and aggressive style throughout. An eb and flow does occur and it helps the track in the long run instead of staying as a direct rocker the song pulls back a little here and there feeling incredibly natural in its doing so. - 9/10

Whats Left Of Me - Another ballad comes in with Eric Martin, another common guest for Avantasia coming in and singing a nice song throughout. Tobias joins in and lets out some really nice high notes. Another really good solo, the track continues on the improvement which the previous tracks have done from the opening pair. A good tight ballad - 9/10

Dweller In A Dream - Michael comes back for a final time and the song's tempo returns to a more upbeat direction. An enjoyable track throughout not much more to add. - 8.5/10

The Great Mystery - The final track on the album once again features 3 guest vocalists. Opening with a piano ballad section, Bob Catley, Joe Lynn Turner and Biff Byfold being the 3 guests. The drums come in building up the song and for a little bit the song sounds quite theatrical almost like Operation Mindcrime in terms of the drama but in a lighter fashion. A sprawling track. It is a nice way to close out the album. Not an amazing epic but it is very fitting of the album closing spot. - 8.5/10

Overall 86%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
304/365

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Funeral For A Friend(Love Lies Bleeding)/Candle In The Wind/Bennie And The Jets
The double album opens with a church bell, the 11 minute opening track opens with part 1 of its massive run time, Funeral For A Friend, the opening is full of synth, very somber before it fades out to Elton and his piano playing a sad melody. The first half of the track is completely instrumental, with some nice synth and guitar work. Elton plays his piano amazingly and the band sounds absolutely amazing throughout. Constantly shifting the track pulls back here and there before coming in strong once again. It sounds like an orchestra would absolutely kill this track. Transitioning into the second half, Love Lies Bleeding, Elton comes in singing and his voice so powerful and amazing. Upbeat and quite enjoyable, the harmonies from the band are pretty strong and Elton continues to blaze a trail with his first massive epic, the influence on the Use Your Illusion albums is clear from this amazing track. Following up the sprawling epic comes in the beautiful tribute to Marilyn Monroe. A peaceful song with amazing instrumentation written by Elton and Bernie's lyrics are amazing as Elton sings them with emotions. Where the previous track was extended to its benefit this one remains shorter and compact while delivering incredible emotions through the beautiful lyrics and vocals. Opening with an applause comes the radio stape Bennie and The Jets, a staple which didn't always connect with me. Elton sounds quite nice here at times he ventures towards Plant's style from Houses Of The Holy, a calm track with a nice catchy chorus.

Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding - 10/10
Candle In The Wind - 10/10
Bennie And The Jets - 8/10
Side 1 - 28/30

Side 2: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/This Song Has No Title/Grey Seal/Jamaica Jerk Off/I've Seen That Movie Too
The title track opens up side 2, Elton's vocals here are easily the best he has done on the album thus far. This track is absolutely amazing the message of being done with the same old same old of daily life and looking further into life's mysteries. The vocals are soothing and uplifting while the music is simplistic and positive. A beautiful track start to finish. The next track comes in with some quick piano work and Elton singing his voice deep but still not low all in one powerful combination. The chorus is poppy and more upbeat, there is some heavy synth work in the background. A simple enjoyable track. Picking the pace up with a more punchy approach Grey Seal comes in with another piano based intro before transitioning to a more drum based approach. The chorus is very upbeat and effective. The instrumental outro to the song is quite good. Jamaica Jerk Off comes in with a very reggae vibe to it, the song doesn't click for me as it goes too far into the pop/reggae zone for my liking. It is a nice way to shift the feeling of the album and Elton sounds nice but yea I won't have to listen to this ever again. Side 2 closes off with a relatively longer track, piano and drums are the main features with Elton's voice in the first chunk of the song. The song shifts towards the Candle In The Wind type of song. A good song as a whole but not amazing like some which have come before it/

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - 10/10
This Song Has No Title - 8/10
Grey Seal - 9/10
Jamaica Jerk-Off - 6.5/10
I've Seen That Movie Too - 7.5/10
Side 2 - 41/50

Side 3: Sweet Painted Lady/The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34)/Dirty Little Girl/All The Girls Love Alice
Side 3 starts with Elton singing from the start, it continues on the calm and soothing approach of many of Elton's songs from the album. It is a decent track overall. The Ballad Of Danny Bailey, shifts a little more upbeat despite the discussion of Danny being killed right at the start of the song. A stronger track, Elton's piano is excellent for adding a darker tone to the song while remaining upbeat throughout and his delivery of the vocals is quite nice from start to finish. Some bass guitar kicks off Dirty Little Girl, a relatively heavier track with dark subject matter and Elton sounding a quite angry spitting out some of the words throughout the song. The shift in tone is a nice change from the calm and upbeat songs thus far. Side 3 closes off with a track that begins upbeat but stops for a calmer section during the chorus.

Sweet Painted Lady - 7/10
The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34) - 8/10
Dirty Little Girl - 8/10
All The Girls Love Alice - 8/10
Side 3 - 31/40

Side 4: Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock N Roll)/Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting/Roy Rogers/Social Disease/Harmony
Side 4 kicks off with a rather quick track, and more along the glam rock style. Elton sounds great with the speedy piano and guitar beneath him. A really fun short and punchy rocker and a great segue into the following track. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting comes in with the recognizable riff and some great vocals throughout. The guitar work hasn't really had its time to shine on the album thus far but this song changes that, a punchy guitar based rocker. Incredibly catchy and punchy a fantastic pop-rock track and it pulls you in from the start and keeps you involved from start to finish. Great chorus. Shifting Back to a piano ballad approach, Roy Rogers, a song written about the King Of The Cowboys, a good song, pleasant piano work and a strong vocal from Elton. Social Disease comes in with a different approach once more, feeling more along the country approach but it definitely isn't country by any means. Acoustic guitar is the main focus and there is a slight twang to it. A song where Elton sings about some intense social life. Harmony closes out the album, the song starts quite nice before taking a turn lyrically and the song shifts darker as a result. I like the song it is short and closes off the album quite well. Elton sings beautifully throughout as one would expect ending the album on a strong note.

Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock N Roll) - 8.5/10
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - 10/10
Roy Rogers - 8/10
Social Disease -8/10
Harmony - 9/10
Side 4 - 43.5/50

Overall 84%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
305/365

The Miracle - Queen
Format: CD/Digital

Party - Roger opens up the 13th album from Queen with a heavy drumbeat before Brian and Freddie begin to sing together in harmony. The song has some elements which would really have made it a pretty strong Queen song but as a whole the song doesn't really go anywhere leaving it as a song which frankly doesn't do too much. It at least is fun. - 7.5/10

Khashoggi's Ship - Transitioning from the previous track, this track continues the lyrical themes from Party and it slows down slightly by comparison. Freddie sounds good and the song has more to it than the previous one. The instrumental piece is the highlight of the song. - 8/10

The Miracle - The title track comes in and the song feels rather poppy. John Deacon's bass work is heard quite well here. Brian's guitar has a nice little lick here and there but it doesn't have the greatest guitar work or tone. Frankly of Queen's longer more drawn out mini-epics this one remains quite lackluster. - 7/10

I Want It All - Opening harder with a lengthy instrumental introduction comes in the only well known song from the Album. I Want It All's original version doesn't open with the chant of the chorus and it took me a long time to get used to that shift. Punchy and upbeat the rocker has all the elements which would have made it a super well known Queen track had it been released in the 70s. Freddie sounds good and the band's harmonies in the background are pretty strong. Brian's singing before the guitar solo is a nice addition. - 9/10

The Invisible Man - Whispers open up the next track before the synth from Radio Ga Ga comes in, the song feels weird but it fits Queen. Roger takes the whispering vocals while Freddie sings the main lyrics. The song hits its stride about halfway through but the sheer amount of transitions makes the song really hard to fully get into. - 7.5/10

Breakthru - Breakthru opens full on harmonies and acapella before the 80s style synth bass comes in below him. The song starts sounding pretty dated but the upbeat chorus is actually really good. Enjoyable and odd. It is a decent track with a chorus which I feel deserves better. - 8/10

Rain Must Fall - Basically much like the previous tracks this album has featured not amazing but clearly the band is at least trying to branch out and try new things with them not touring. Not bad but not particularly good. - 7/10

Scandal - Fading in with Freddie singing high then Brian fades in with his guitar before the song shifts into a harder stomp. A stronger track than the previous one but it really needs something more to make it truly a strong track. - 7.5/10

My Baby Does Me - Yea no idea why they included this at all. - 6/10

Was It All Worth It - The album closes off with a song that starts calm before shifting into a massive instrumental assault. The verses are calmer from the instrumental perspective and Freddie delivers some really nice vocals. The song is fairly reminiscent of their 70s material and as a whole the song benefits from that. Amazing harmonies. A great ending for the album - 9/10

Overall 77%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
306/365

Acoustica - Scorpions
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: Some rather odd choices for this setlist, a couple covers and only 1 Roth era track. It seems to be a decent mix but we will see what happens - 8/10

The Zoo - A rather odd choice for acoustic if you ask me, it opens a little like Black Velvet and soon becomes recognizable but in a very different way than Scorpions fans would expect their beloved The Zoo to appear in a concert setting. Klaus sounds pretty good singing a song written 20 years prior and in a completely new arrangement. The instrumentation and backing vocals makes for a really unique take on the track. For a mighty rock track to be transitioned into such a effective arrangement and to open the show with it shows guts. - 9/10

Always Somewhere - Always Somewhere comes in next, a much more natural choice for the acoustic, an amazing ballad on the original album but the stripped back rendition is so much more emotional and powerful Klaus sounds absolutely amazing, the acoustic guitar is beautifully done by Rudolf and Matthias. Backing vocals are well handled. The crowd sounds to be enjoying the track with their sing a longs to the chorus. - 10/10

Life's Too Short - The first new song from the band. Klaus sounds strong he is clearly going to be the centerpiece of the album with the acoustic guitars and string accompaniment providing a strong backing. I wish they had released studio versions of the new tracks from this album. The chorus gets a little too long at times but as a whole the song is another excellent ballad from the band. - 9/10

Holiday - Another familliar track from Lovedrive comes in next, Holiday begins with a reworked introduction before the verses begin, the song feels quite different and my initial thoughts on it are that I prefer the acoustic version from World Wide Live. However what really makes this version strong is the fact that they took the upbeat section and incorporated it in between the chorus'. A good rendition with a great unique twist to it but the song was a masterpiece as it was created. I like that they brought the original introduction and used it at the end. - 9/10

You And I - Another of the Scorp's amazing ballads comes in next, the setlist is filled with their best posts '79 ballads barring a couple... Another amazing rendition of a gem from a forgotten era. I wish this was one of the songs they had incorporated into their acoustic medley the times I had seen them. Klaus continues to sing amazingly his voice so powerful and full of emotions. Amazing - 10/10

When Love Kills Love - New track number 2 comes in, the only one which they have made a studio version for. It isn't an amazing ballad and doesn't hold up to the opening tracks. The chorus is simplistic and easy to learn to sing a long to. Klaus sounds amazing on the verses but the chorus has a lot of backing vocals which make it a little muddled. - 7.5/10

Dust In The Wind - The first cover track of the evening, like the new songs there are 3 covers in the set. The first is of Kansas' ballad Dust In the Wind, Klaus continues to be an absolutely amazing vocalist. The tempo is upbeat and a good choice since the last couple tracks have been on the slower end. Violin is very fitting of the song and the solo is really well done throughout. - 8.5/10

Send Me An Angel - Another track which has been really reworked. Scorps have been doing Send Me An Angel acoustic for so long and this version is less stripped back than I expected. The backing vocals not being covered by the band themselves sounds a little weird and the bass work is more pronounced than normal. A beautiful performance of a classic track. - 10/10

Catch Your Train - The only Roth era track to be featured comes in very different sounding, upbeat and while not quite as amazing as the original rendition the band delivers a fantastic reworking of the Virgin Killer track. This would have been a treat to hear. I know the band weren't playing many Roth tracks so hearing one live would have been absolutely mind blowing for many fans. And for others they would have had not clue what was going on or how lucky they would have been. A really fun rendition. - 10/10

I Wanted To Cry (But The Tears Wouldn't Come) - The final new track for the album. It opens with some piano which hasn't been the focus of any song thus far. A decent song the song is really calm and has a great echo of the vocals. It doesn't really pull me in a lot but I feel like the song does have a lot of potential. - 7.5/10

Wind Of Change - Wind Of Change opens with a different intro riff but that whistle still sends chills through me and the song becomes very clear. The shift in the riff actually pulls me out of the song at times as the band does it in-between verses whereas they stick closer to the original throughout the verses. The backing vocals have been good throughout the album but at times here I think there is too much. Wind Of Change was perfection in its original form so they took on a massive challenge to make it acoustic. Overall a great rendition but not perfect. - 9.5/10

Love Of My Life - Speaking of perfection, cover number 2 is a Queen cover and I frankly can't say anything bad about this cover. Klaus sounds amazing and the piano is solemn throughout. An amazing track in its original and the power Klaus delivers this ballad with is amazing and so much emotion is conveyed throughout. Perfection. - 10/10

Drive - The third and final cover is from The Cars, another cover which I consider better than the original but unlike Queen I'm not a Cars fan. Klaus continues to sound amazing and the cover is well delivered and quite enjoyable. - 8.5/10

Still Loving You - Still Loving You comes in, I'm very partial to the original but this rendition is well done. Just the original and World Wide Live Versions are masterpieces. Admirable attempt. - 9/10

Hurricane 2001 (Rock You Like A Hurricane) - The album closes out with an acoustic rendition of their most famous rocker. A fairly strong upbeat rendition of the track but the album should have closed off with a ballad it just feels more fitting. - 8/10

Flow - Each song transitions perfectly without any real interruption in the sound. -10/10

Final Thoughts - Some odd choices and some notable omissions from the setlist that they played, being Rhythm of Love and Loving You Sunday Morning but the set that we were given for the live album was really tight and well thought out. - 10/10

Overall 91%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
307/365

True Rockers - Monster Truck
Format: CD/Digital

True Rocker - Coming in with a conversation of times, and a mainly drum based introduction. The song soon turns into a commercial rock track, Dee Snider guests on this track and the highlight is the solo section, it remains brief but is a fun track about rocking. Dee delivers a sermon about rocking which is quite fitting of the theme of the song. - 8/10

Thundertruck - Thundertruck opens with some keys and the song, less commercial than the previous track this one comes in more aggressive and delivers some nice old school sounding guitar work. Vocals aren't the strongest but the song is full of energy and it is a rather enjoyable track start to finish. - 8.5/10

Evolution - Segueing perfectly from the previous track, the vocals are much more commercial and upon some digging it appears this is the first single from the album. The band sounds much more polished thus far on the album than I've heard from the little bits of their prior work which I've heard. The song is pretty solid throughout. - 8/10

Devil Don't Care - This song shifts to a southern rock style on the introduction especially in the vocal delivery. Harmonica comes in and the song increases in tempo, I could see these songs coming across quite well live they aren't the greatest but they have a catchy upbeat energy to them. - 7.5/10

Being Cool Is Over - A short compact track, counted in and decently punchy the song ditches the southern style from the previous track. Decent track as a whole it has a nice riff which would be quite catchy and is quite recognizable. - 7/10

Young City Hearts - A track which goes more commercial but it pulls me in with this shift. A fun track which I think would have made a good single it is light enough to get lighter rock fans into the band with enough edge to keep people who prefer harder rocking engaged. The vocals shift from clean to raspy and the chorus has a ton of energy in it. - 8.5/10

Undone - Slowing down with a bluesy guitar based introduction, a slow ballad of sorts. Not amazing or super memorable, the vocals are quite well suited to the song but it doesn't emote many feelings nor does it really keep you pulled in. It has some potential. - 6.5/10

In My Own World - Shifting back to upbeat and regaining the energy and momentum which was displaced in the previous track, my foot is tapping along to this track quite a bit and it really is quite an engaging song despite not being the strongest track as a whole. The vocals at the start are a little muddy but they do get better late on into the track. - 7.5/10

Demin Danger - This track is in the same boat as the previous one, it has some good moments but as a whole the track is enjoyable with not much else to it. - 7.5/10

Hurricane - Opening up with a solid scream the penultimate track comes in with a very punchy guitar riff. The song pulls you in quickly and has a nice head bopping beat to it. The guitar work is fairly simplistic but it does keep you engaged throughout. -8/10

The Howlin' - The final and longest track on the album, prepares to close off the album with a quiet introduction, vocals come in calm but with some good power behind them. A good choice of album closer the song is engaging and delivers what you would expect from the rest of the album. It builds up throughout and their is an airy howl in the background. - 8.5/10

Overall 78%

58 albums to go, it looks like I might finish by New Years Eve after all...
 
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The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
308/365

B-Side And Rarities (from Live At O2 + Rarities) - Alter Bridge
Format: CD/Digital

Breathe - The first track of the B-Sides album opens up low and Myles sings low with it, his voice sounds so powerful, the song feels very ODR esc which I believe is because it is from those sessions with this album being ordered in by the album the songs are associated with. The chorus is great and the song definitely feels very well thought out and put together. A good quality B-Side - 8/10

Cruel Sun - A building based introduction leads into Cruel Sun, Myles singing is a little distorted on the introduction and very low for his soaring vocals. He lets loose after a little bit with some higher notes as the band picks up with him. They soon fade back down. The chorus is interesting and the sound is quite raw. The bridge feels along the direction of their AB III record dark and moody at times with a really strong chorus. - 8.5/10

Solace - The final ODR B-Side comes in similar to the previous ones, calm guitar work. Myles once again sings low, I forgot how low he sang on many of their tracks back then. The verses sound like they were made for an acoustic ballad while the chorus is bombastic and full of explosive energy a rather strong track. Better than the title track from the album it could have belonged to thats for sure. - 9/10

New Way To Live - The first b side from the Blackbird era, the sound difference between the two albums is notable, this sounds less raw but darker at the same time. The verses aren't the strongest but the chorus is big and the Marks solo is good, it sounds a lot like Blackbird in parts but thats mainly due to a similar tempo and the tone of his guitar. The bridge is whispered and the final chorus is large like the rest of the song's. - 8/10

The Damage Is Done - Another building introduction comes from a song which seems quite similar to some of the heavier rockers from Blackbird. The verses sound dark which is very fitting of the darker tone in the guitar but then the chorus comes in and it is rather upbeat and happy sounding and frankly it causes a large disconnect for me. The verses are so much better than the chorus. The solo is quite good as well, the guitars feel like they are climbing into the sky like a spiral. - 7.5/10

We Don't Care At All - A drum based introduction, Myles sings in a more alternative styled approach. The song does fairly decently but it doesn't really live up to anything on Blackbird album and was a smart decision to leave it off the album. Myles sounds pretty good and the only true strong point throughout the song is the solo. - 7/10

Zero - The first ABIII B-Side, the main change is notable in Myles vocals the song remains dark like the album it was written for. The chorus is short but effective. A fairly uplifting song for this subject matter. The song features an outro solo. Overall it isn't the strongest track but it is enjoyable. - 7.5/10

Home - Home comes in and this song 100% feels like it should have been on the album, the darker themes of the album flow through this song. A feeling of being lost without a home on an album about searching for truth and discarding the past. Myles sounds amazing throughout. - 8.5/10

Never Born To Follow - The final ABIII track, closer to Zero, a decent track which if it had been reworked a little could have made a good addition to the album but being left off makes sense. -7.5/10

Never Say Die (Outright) - The sole B-Side from Fortress was originally misnamed Outright on some pressings, upbeat for the majority of the track with a chorus which feels a little bloated at times. But the song follows the general trends of Fortress. Catchy it would have made a decent single for the album but then again Fortress is an amazing album so shifting something out or adding this would have been a large shift. - 8/10

Symphony Of Agony (Last Of Our Kind) - Closing out the album is the sole track left off of The Last Hero. The longest of the B sides. Myles sounds decent but the production sucks all the life out of his voice on the chorus. It ends off the album in an okay fashion. - 7/10

Overall 78%
 
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