365 Albums In One Year

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
325/365

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
Format: CD/Digital

Second Hand News - A short track kicks off soft rock legends Fleetwood Mac's 11th album, Stevie and Lindsey's vocals sound absolutely amazing together. The song is calm and poppy and sets the tone for the album as a more relaxed and laid back album with some. The outro is quite nice as well. - 8/10

Dreams - Stevie takes the main lead vocals on this track, Stevie's voice is absolutely amazing her soft singing sending chills down my spine the music peaceful behind her. Her voice is the centerpiece of the song and the band delivers killer harmonies behind her soothing vocals. -9/10

Never Going Back Again - Taking a more country rooted approach the third song feels like it could have been off of an Eagles album musically with Lindsey taking on lead vocals again. A short and pleasant track which is really short. - 8/10

Don't Stop - Shifting back towards a more poppier rock approach, Don't Stop is a song which sounds super familiar but I cannot place it, Lindsey continues to maintain lead vocals on this track and his vocals are pretty strong and the music is lower in the mix but has a fun upbeat feel to it. The message of the track is clearly about yesterday being gone and to always be thinking for the future. - 7.5/10

Go Your Own Way - One of the bands most well known tracks comes in next with the most upbeat track thus far and is super catchy as we all likely have heard the song on the radio at some point in our lives an upbeat track despite being about the members of the band all failing in their relationships at the time of it being written and recorded. A classic track. - 10/10

Songbird - Pianos open up this song written and sung by Christine McVie, a ballad another track which sounds familliar although I cannot place where I've heard it before, clearly I've been exposed to more songs from the album than I had originally thought. Her voice isn't as mystical sounding as Stevie's but it has a lot of power behind it despite not really having a section of the song to become that powerful. - 8.5/10

The Chain - Another classic track comes in this time it is written by every member of the band, the harmonies have returned once again for this excellent track. The chemistry from the band despite half of them not being on speaking terms with at least someone else in the band is quite impressive. A phenomenal track with an excellent groove to it. - 10/10

You Make Loving Fun - Christine takes over lead vocals once again, for yet another super recognizable track. With a strong chorus which sticks in your head and as soon as the song started it popped into my head. A calm and enjoyable track. At this point I wish we had another more upbeat track or two but the song is another good midpaced tune. - 8/10

I Don't Wanna Know - Slightly more upbeat but a step down in quality overall. Still enjoyable and fun but not quite on par with the emotions or the power of the previous tracks. - 7.5/10

Oh Daddy - A song written by Christine for the bands drummer Mick Fleetwood being the only father in the band at the time or so one story claims. Christine takes the vocals once again on this track, it shifts back to a more stripped back approach and her voice begins to become more mystical similar to Stevie's. - 8/10

Gold Dust Woman - Closing out the album is another track which I've heard before, I personally prefer the Halestorm cover of this song. Stevie sings this song beautifully with amazing harmonies once more, a calm ending to a very calm album. Looking back at the sheer amount of songs which I had heard before without realizing it the album clearly is super accessible to listen to and as a result many of the songs have ended up being radio staples. - 9/10

Overall 85%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
326/365

Live In The Heart Of The City - Whitesnake
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: A fair good selection of the tracks released at the time mixed in with a few covers, would of been great to have included Burn but still pretty good - 8/10

Come On- Opening up with a song from the Snakebite EP David and company come in with a bluesy rocker and more than likely a well known song among the fans of the band at the time unlike, upbeat and fun the song would have been a rather good way to kick off the show. Mick and Bernie deliver on the guitars quite well, John Lord is fairly audible on the keys and Ian Paice covers the drums quite well. - 8.5/10

Sweet Talker - Coming right in Sweet Talker from the bands most recent studio album of the day Ready An' Willing comes in. This song shows the transition in lyrical style which Whitesnake have undergone since their first EP. Lord takes a solo spot his keys going around then Micky Moody takes his turn. David sounds pretty good and not nearly as screechy as he would in later years. - 9/10

Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues - A track from Lovehunter comes in the powerful bass work with Lord's keys makes the introduction super memorable, the blues rock is at its best here and Lovehunter is an album which really shines for that and in the live environment the band does the original justice. The band is phenomenal here and the song would have been a really fun experience to witness live. Great solo work by all parties by a band which frankly is a supergroup at this point with a killer line up. - 10/10

Lovehunter - The title track of its original album Lovehunter is extended to nearly twice the original length on this album. David sounds a little weaker here at the beginning. Not quite as phenomenal as the original for the main section of the song, the extension onto the song is a guitar solo from Micky Moody which could have been left off the album in favour of one of the other shorter tracks played that night for me personally. - 7.5/10

Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City - The sole cover song on the album comes in with an eerie introduction from Lord before the guitarists bring the song to life. David sounds stronger here, the band plays fairly bluesy but it isn't as effective as Walking... An enjoyable track but not quite amazing, although there is a fair bit of crowd participation. - 8/10

Fool For Your Loving - Fool For Your Loving comes in strong, the early versions have a lot of blues to them like many early Whitesnake tunes, this one would be re-imagined into a more direct rocker. This version has a lot of emphasis on Lord's keyboard work which well when you have John Lord playing in your band is a no brainer. A great rendition of one of their best tracks. - 10/10

Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Continuing On The Ready An' Willing album trend comes in Ain't Gonna Cry No More, starting with a lonely guitar David soon comes in to sing softly the song soon picks up and the track gains a fair bit of energy, becoming a really well paced rocker with a lot of keyboard emphasis once again. Great rendition - 9/10

Ready An' Willing - Another title track comes in this one stays more true to the original than the first one did on the album. A fun rocker well performed and direct. - 8/10

Take Me With You - The album closes with a track from Trouble, a high energy rocker which does a pretty good job as the set closer considering what the band had in its catalog at the time only having 3 albums an ep and any cover tune coverdale wanted to play. A good rendition - 9/10

Flow - The songs flowed together fairly well, some songs did lose the momentum and Lovehunter's extended Jam shouldn't have been included - 8.5/10

Final Thoughts - An enjoyable live album with some great moments and highlights a band about to really begin to change their image. - 9/10

Overall 85%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
327/365
Love At First Sting: Live At Madison Square Garden - Scorpions
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: A shorter set than World Wide Live but all the necessary hits are there looks like it will be good. -10/10

Coming Home - Coming home kicks off with a bang the perfect opener filled with solos, upbeat and punchy the track allows Klaus to really shine with his stellar vocals sounding amazing from the start of the show. Herman thunders on his drums, Rudolf and Matthias have phenomenal guitar tones throughout the track. The outro solo is really well done as well. A great way to get the crowd engaged. - 10/10

Blackout - The 1-2 punch continues with Blackout's title track, still it amazes me how early in the set they played this track back in the 80s now being reserved for the end of the main set. The furious rocker grabs the energy made during coming home and launches off the guitarists shredding away and delivering some excellent backing vocal cries as Klaus delivers a stellar vocal performance. Stellar - 10/10

Bad Boys Running Wild - Love At First Sting's opener comes in with the very recognizable introduction, the most punchy feeling song yet but thats the original structure of the song. A fun track not on the same level of aggression as the first two or in terms of enjoyment. As a song Bad Boys Running Wild embodies the main goal of the Scorpions with Love At First Sting, making a fun catchy rock song which is easy to remember which while Blackout does that it is a heavier track at the same time. - 9/10

Loving You Sunday Morning - The opening track from Lovedrive comes in next, being one of the 2 featured in this hour long set. Klaus continues to sound excellent his vocals are so incredibly unique. The track is sped up a fair bit in the live show which really suits the track and the guitar work throughout the track is pretty good as well, the Schenker brothers wrote a good track. Strong and punchy - 9/10

Big City Nights - The hit machine continues with Big City Nights, the bands main set closer in modern years in the middle upon its initial release. A track which really sounds superior in the live setting, the guitars especially benefit from being played in the live setting verses the studio version which feels a little watered down in that aspect. Klaus continues to deliver stellar performances and the band plays the songs perfectly in line with the studio version. - 10/10

Coast To Coast - Lovedrive's instrumental track comes in next the guitar harmonies on this song have always been amazing to hear and this rendition is no different. Although in only an hour long release it would have been nice to have heard something else they played at the show like Another Piece of Meat or No One Like You. - 10/10

Still Loving You - The sole ballad on this set, as always the song sounds amazing and is delivered in excellent fashion. Klaus' voice is powerful and emotive throughout the song. The monstrous chorus is absolutely amazing live and the band shows their mastery of writing beautiful ballads with their magnum opus. Perfection - 10/10

Rock You like A Hurricane - Following up one blockbuster hit with another, the bands signature track, the track is full of energy and the crowd gets into it. A great way to pick up the pace from a slower track and back to a rock oriented attack. Super clean guitar work throughout Matthias' solo. - 10/10

The Zoo - Rudolf screams a bit before The Zoo comes thundering in, the track seems like a good choice earlier in the set than later personally only due to the slower nature of the track but then again the chorus is so explosive. The chorus is easily the strongest part of this rendition, it feels a little too slow throughout the track but the track was slow to begin with. - 9/10

Dynamite - Closing out the night is a roaring rendition of Dynamite, the furious rocker from Blackout is an excellent set closer and frankly the fact that the Scorpions haven't played this song since 2016 is a shame since the 2015 show which I saw them play this track was an highlight of the show. Pure rock n roll. - 10/10

Flow - A perfectly flowing setlist from one song to the next, well balanced throughout. - 10/10

Final Thoughts - A hits filled set performed masterfully only wish is that maybe the band included something not on World Wide Live, like I'm Leaving You or something else they threw in every so often on this tour. - 9.5/10

Overall 97%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
328/365

Blackstar - David Bowie
Format: CD/Digital

Blackstar - The final album by the legendary David Bowie opens up with the title track. Bowie comes in soon his voice distorted. A very Bowie esc song, lots of different elements there is the funky feeling while at the same time there isn't anything that makes this song feel happy, there is a darkness surrounding it all. Bowie clearly knows he is dying and this song is his last goodbye. There is some space sounding effects such as lasers and the song slows down for a very space walk feeling midsection, and Bowie's voice becomes undistorted aside from the lines pertaining to the title of the track. The track as a whole is a work of art, but for me I doubt I will be listening to it again any time soon. - 8/10

Tis A Pity She Was A Whore - Picking up to what feels like it will become a more straightforwards track than the title track comes in a song with a lengthy title. There are a fair bit of saxophones featured on this song which upon inspection is a rerecorded version of the song which used to have Bowie playing the saxophone. Not the most engaging song but Bowie sounds to be leaning towards a more crooning style of music with this track. - 7/10

Lazarus - Track 3 is called Lazarus and it is an absolutely brutal track. This is the song which Bowie lays it all on the line essentially saying by the time you hear this song I'll be dead with the opening lines. An incredibly sad song in which Bowie lets loose some amazing dramatic performances with somber music behind him. This is a dark masterpiece. - 10/10

Sue (Or In The Season Of Crime) - The second rerecorded track of the album pick up the tempo once again. Another odd track. - 7.5/10

Girl Loves Me - This track starts off pretty weird. Which is to be expected considering this is Bowie and it really doesn't engage me. - 6/10

Dollar Days - A more engaging track than the previous one, relaxed as a whole with Bowie singing softly, his voice incredibly unique and fairly powerful considering his state. - 7.5/10

I Can't Give Everything Away - The final track of the album comes across as Bowie becoming very much aware of his mortality and how he begins to try to make his affairs in order. A decent album closer - 7.5/10

Overall 76%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
329/365

Death On The Road - Iron Maiden
Format: Vinyl

Initial Thoughts: A diverse setlist featuring many tracks from the Dance Of Death album, some surprising omissions and there is a Blaze era track which wasn't played on the previous album tour for a deep cut. Some of the cuts I think could have been switched up here and there but overall a fairly good setlist. - 9/10

Side 1: Wildest Dreams/Wrathchild/Can I Play With Madness/The Trooper/The Dance Of Death
Wildest Dreams opens with a church choir before launching into the actual track Bruce has had better days vocally but then again I'm not a fan of the song to begin with. The band sounds pretty tight throughout and they soon launch into Wrathchild one of Maiden's live staples Bruce sounds a bit better but he is notably tired at this point albeit a bit better than he was on the previous track. Can I Play With Madness' introduction doesn't come off very well live once the song gets going it become better but the band doesn't harmonize very well. Although as the song continues Bruce does begin to sound more warmed up than the opening two tracks. The band sounds tight and performs on top of their game delivering tight solos and the track remains catchy. The Trooper makes an early appearance, the introduction to this song is absolutely memorizing live, Adrian delivers some notable backing vocals. Steve's bass sends the band into a full on gallop punchy and another step towards the quality one would expect from Maiden as a whole. The title track to the band's latest studio album comes in next, the introduction prerecorded from Bruce is haunting and a powerful introduction to the track. The calm opening section is well delivered vocally and instrumentally, the song is so theatrical. Once the song picks up Bruce begins having to sing incredibly fast and sounds pretty good on it as a whole. Adrian, Dave and Janick deliver amazing guitar work throughout soloing in a spiral as Bruce does his dance. The audience gets involved singing the riffs here like they do in Fear Of The Dark. A pretty strong rendition of the title track but it does lack something.

Wildest Dreams - 8/10
Wrathchild - 8/10
Can I Play With Madness - 8.5/10
The Trooper - 9/10
The Dance Of Death - 9.5/10
Side 1 - 43/50

Side 2: Rainmaker/Brave New World/Paschendale/Lord Of The Flies
Side 2 kicks off with what I feel should have been the lead single from the album. Rainmaker comes in with the sounds of a dark storm before rocketing off into the speedy and compact rock track, the guitar tone on the introduction calls back to Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son and Somewhere In Time. A really strong more commercial track. Brave New World's title track comes up next, the lower section of the track highlight's Bruce's strong lower delivery his voice powerful and full, the chorus continues to be super repetitive but as a whole the band deliver it in a way that doesn't drag on too much. I like how the band kept this track in the set from their previous album tour, it shows the strength of their comeback album. Guns sound and Paschendale comes in slow and mighty, Bruce introduces the track with the Anthem for Damned Youth a haunting way to introduce one of their greatest war epics. Paschendale's calm vocals into explosive transitions is such a powerful means of conveying the horrors of war before the band gets into the real meat of the song, the chorus is mighty and powerful. Instrumentally this track is perfect and Bruce's delivery is just shy of that mark. A gem which I fear may be left out of the set for the rest of Maiden's career but wow is it amazing live. Lord Of The Flies comes in quick and dark. Bruce sounds pretty good on this track, it isn't the strongest delivery of a Blaze era track which he has done, the song tells the story of the well known book of the same name.

Rainmaker - 9/10
Brave New World - 9/10
Pashendale - 10/10
Lord Of The Flies - 8.5
Side 2 - 36.5/40

Side 3: No More Lies/Hallowed Be Thy Name/Fear Of The Dark
No More Lies comes in featuring the audience singing the introduction, it goes to show just how well received the album was despite the production issues associated with this album. The chorus breaks the serenity and Nicko's drums are full of thunder, the increase in pacing following the first chorus adds a lot of energy and breath into the song, an excellent rendition. Bruce sounds really strong on this track having been fairly shaky by Maiden's standards throughout the rest of the concert. So much power in this song. Hallowed follows up the final track from Dance of Death to be featured in the set, marking the first appearance of a track from The Number Of The Beast album. The shift from the slower introduction to the explosive epic is as always amazing, amazing guitar harmonies are found throughout the bands greatest album closer Bruce may have started slow but here he sounds powerful and full. Bruce asks the crowd to scream for him for the first time through the album here and they oblige him quite well. Fear Of The Dark comes and the crowd begins to sing the introduction although not to the energy level of Rio two years prior, Bruce's vocals on the introduction sound very different from any version I've heard another explosive shift occurs and Bruce sounds much more similar to how he normally sounds as the quicker segment begins, a rather strong rendition throughout.

No More Lies - 10/10
Hallowed Be Thy Name - 10/10
Fear Of The Dark - 9/10
Side 3 - 29/30

Side 4: Iron Maiden/Journeyman/The Number Of The Beast/Run To The Hills
The band closes out the main set as they always have and always will with the Iron Maiden, a track which every live version has been better than the studio version the band closes out with a direct and powerful rock track. There are the classic maiden guitar harmonies, Eddies appearance is made known by Bruce during the instrumental section. The bands only fully acoustic track opens up the encore, never been the biggest fan of this track but this rendition is fairly good. The album rounds off with a 1-2 punch from The Number Of The Beast, the title track hits first, the introduction to this track feels odd as the second track of the encore but then again when it is in the main set it rarely serves as the opener so this is really just preference. Not the strongest performance but still quite strong. Closing off the show is Run To The Hills, ending off the show with a fury of energy and once again not the strongest performance but one which is admirable for the ending of the show with a tough track.

Iron Maiden - 9/10
Journeyman - 8/10
The Number Of The Beast - 9/10
Run To The Hills -9/10
Side 4 - 35/40

Flow - Well set up throughout. - 10/10

Final Thoughts - After a weaker first half the album really picks up for the second Vinyl. A strong performance from the band with Bruce performing fairly mixed throughout. - 9/10

Overall 90%

Also 90% done the whole listen 36 more albums.
 
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The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
330/365

Black Ice - AC/DC
Format: CD/Digital

Rock N Roll Train - The albums original title track kicks off AC/DC's 2008 comeback album, having not made an album in 8 years since Stiff Upper Lip came out in 2000. A great example of the Young's still being able to write great tracks at this later stage of their career, this track remains one of my favourite Brian Johnson era songs. The track is full of all the AC/DC tropes a big chorus, some power chords and it is catchy as ever. - 10/10

Skies On Fire - Phil's drums introduce the next track and the Youngs come in soon after, the song is mid paced and not super explosive, the verses are pretty stripped back but there is some AC/DC power chords right before and throughout the chorus. Not the most exciting track boring at some points but it is somewhat enjoyable. - 6/10

Big Jack - Big Jack comes in and unlike the other Jack song from the band this one kicks gets going pretty quickly, the song has a poppier feel to it which pulls you in a little bit and I found myself bopping my head along to the song very quickly. This track is much more along the lines of what I was expecting from the album than the previous track. Upbeat fun and catchy. - 8.5/10

Anything Goes - Continuing on the catchy train, this song sounds really familiar, and then I realized it is very similar to Rock The Blues Away from the bands next album so self plagiarism is clearly still a thing, both songs are quite enjoyable and stupidly catchy. I wish there was more outright heavy rockers but if I'm going to listen to an album of catchy rockers that's time well spent if you ask me. - 8.5/10

War Machine - A slow building bass intro leads into War Machine, a song which I believe was in the Iron Man 2 soundtrack introducing the character of the same name. Another catchy rocker, the bass work from Cliff is really prominent throughout the track. Brian sounds pretty good throughout. - 8/10

Smash N Grab - Staying midpaced Smash N Grab comes in, this is another song which isn't the strongest although unlike Skies On Fire this one isn't boring at points just not the greatest track. - 7/10

Spoilin' For A Fight - Bringing the tempo back up a little bit, Spoilin' For A Fight. This will fall into the category which I expect to be the majority of the album. Fun, catchy, but nothing I will need to revisit in the future - 7.5/10

Wheels - Falling into a similar category but this one is excessively catchy, the chorus is super easy and honestly I'm surprised it wasn't a single from the band or played on the tour. Malcolm and Angus are masters of making these stupidly enjoyable mindless tracks. - 8/10

Decibel - A slow and less enjoyable track, the power chords roar in the background but Brian's vocals aren't super suited to the slowed tempo his shrieky voice is far more fitting in uptempo tracks. - 6/10

Stormy May Day - Returning to the fun and mindless form, Stormy May Day comes in also the album's sheer amount of tracks feels a little excessive at this point, would it not have been better to ditch a few of the weaker tracks and make a more compact straightforward rocking album? Oh well AC/DC did their thing and clearly it was successful as the tour is the 5th highest grossing tour of all time currently. - 7.5/10

She Likes Rock N Roll - Huge chorus and the AC/DC formula is incredibly well applied here. Angus delivers one of the best solos thus far on the album, and the track really would have done well live. - 8.5/10

Money Made - Not much to say here, a slower track and with it the quality drops a little bit. - 7/10

Rock N Roll Dream - The longest track on the album, comes in slow. Of the slower songs on the album, this one is the best put together, it keeps my attention throughout and really flows well, Brian sings a little differently on it than the other slower ones his voice sounding quite clean. A good song. - 7.5/10

Rocking All The Way - More upbeat and direct once again, overall pretty enjoyable and fun. - 7.5/10

Black Ice - The title track closes off this 15 track record. A really nice guitar lick which got stuck in my head quite quickly after the song started is featured throughout the track. Brian sounds pretty strong and the song closes off a enjoyable album on a high note. - 8/10

Overall 77%

Rather inconsistent and too bloated, could have been a great 10 track album
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
331/365

Live In Tokyo - Queensryche
Format: CD/Digital

Initial Thoughts: The band performs in Tokyo with a 10 song set, having only released their eponymous EP and The Warning the setlist comprises only songs from those two releases with all of the EP and 5 tracks from The Warning Making the cut. Only Roads To Madness seems to be a notable omission. Upon inspection it was one of 3 songs played which didn't make the live record. - 10/10

Nightrider - A tolling bell with some ominous building leads into the opening track of this concert, the Nightrider soon makes itself known with the introduction coming in slowed down slightly Geoff lets loose a great scream, his vocals super recognizable the band sounds pretty clean with a lot of emphasis on the drumming and bass work with the guitar being lower in the mix. The slowed tempo I feel affects the track a little bit in a negative way. - 9/10

Prophecy - The bonus track from the EP comes in next, Geoff's vocals sound absolutely amazing, his lengthy notes sound just like the original track. The main complaint I continue to have from the previous track is the guitarists being so low in the mix, but Eddie's bass work is highlighted as a result as are Scott's drums. - 9/10

Deliverance - The first track to be featured from the band's recent debut album Deliverance comes in. The sound is pristine, and Geoff's amazing operatic vocals soar tremendously throughout the song. The solo is melodic with some strong instrumental backing. - 8.5/10

Child Of Fire - Another Warning track comes in powerful, the first track with a bit of eb and flow to it, starting quicker and having a slowed midsection, the guitars in the midsection create this mystical feeling and Geoff's voice shifts with the music from his higher pitch to a lower one but without losing any of his power behind it. - 8.5/10

En Force - En Force, starting with a drum based introduction, I find the lower chorus not super fitting in this live enviroment. I need to correct my previous statements, this concert was recorded prior to The Warning coming out as stated by Geoff prior to the song beginning, the band. - 7.5/10

Blinded - Another track from the EP comes in, picking back up from the lower ending of the previous track, the weakest track from the original EP but still a good high energy track, Geoff's vocals continue to be amazing and so unique throughout. - 8/10

The Lady Wore Black - The bands first full on ballad comes in next, some whistling is used in the introduction, more atmospheric feeling than the studio version although with it some of the emotion is lost. There is an element of drama felt. Musically the song sounds nearly identical to the studio version and quite frankly this rendition is amazing, I would love to hear this song performed live someday. - 10/10

Warning - Warning's title track comes up next with some crowd participation at the beginning as Geoff introduces the track. An excellent rendition of the track, the guitar and bass combination for the chorus and introduction is really great and has a heavier feel to it, the song has an almost stomp like feel to it. The solo is amazing and very in tune with the rest of the track. - 10/10

Take Hold Of The Flame - The bands lead single from their forthcoming album comes in, another track which when I saw Queensryche they didn't play due to being restricted to an opening slot for the Scorpions. Beginning soft before Geoff delivers a seamless transition into the empowering tracks true form his vocal chords reaching for the heavens. - 10/10

Queen Of The Reich - Closing out the show comes in the Queen of the Reich following some band introductions, one of the band's most operatic tracks Geoff continues to show off his amazing vocals here with some incredible high notes. The track is driving forwards and aggressive. A great show closer - 10/10

Flow - The concert flows quite well, good track ordering culminating in 4 amazing tracks to close it all off - 10/10

Final Thoughts - Great performances from the band throughout, mixing is a little off at times but overall really good - 9/10

Overall 92%

I think this will be the end of my Queensryche reviews.
 
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The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
332/365

The Spaghetti Incident? - Guns N Roses
Format: CD/Digital

Since I Don't Have You - GNR's covers album opens up with a slower track, Axl sounds pretty strong off the start, his voice sounds more similar to how he sounded on GNR Lies more raw and clean. Slash's guitar is bluesy and weeps throughout the track. An odd choice of opening track for an album, well delivered but not super engaging. - 8/10

New Rose - Duff takes lead vocals for New Rose, a short and direct punk rock track, his vocals are well suited for the punk style. Although I will say Axl's are significantly stronger, although having some songs which Duff could sing live does allow Axl a break during their lengthy shows. High energy and I suspect if Axl had sang this track it would have been the opening track of the album. - 8.5/10

Down On The Farm - A bass introduction leads into Down On The Farm, Axl sings with a fake English accent. Which feels a little weird to hear him sing in this style. Aside from Axl's weird vocal delivery this song is a really strong high energy track which is quite good throughout - 8.5/10

Human Being - The longest track on the album, Axl counts the band in before singing in his signature style, well delivered from Axl, the song has a bit of a punch to it but it doesn't really engage me the whole track, I suspect this will be a track which I will like more with relistens but for now it doesn't really keep my attention - 7/10

Raw Power - A cover of The Stooges comes in with Duff once again taking lead vocals. This one is very fitting of his vocal style, Axl sings co-lead in some sections. High energy and punchy the track is fairly engaging and delivers a great burst of energy - 8.5/10

Ain't It Fun - An extended guitar introduction introduces Ain't It Fun which has a guest lead singer named Michael Munroe from Hanoi Rocks. His vocals are a little rough around the edges when the song picks up. Slash is the highlight of the song, his guitar tone is incredibly recognizable. -7.5/10

Buick Mackane (Big Dumb Sex) - A T. Rex Soundgarden mixture comes up next. An odd short track which has a nice groove but not much else. - 6.5/10

Hair Of The Dog - Nazareth's Hair Of The Dog is the next track to get the GNR treatment. Similar to the previous track the groove is rather but the performance is stronger here than on the previous track, some talkbox soloing from Slash is here. - 7.5/10

Attitude - Duff comes roaring in on an incredibly short rendition of The Misfit's attitude, punchy and full of energy the track is nicely done and when done live is a great boost for the energy - 8/10

Black Leather - This track sounds very similar to where most of the band would head with Velvet Revolver from an instrumental standpoint, raw and rough. Axl sounds good throughout. Chorus is the low point while the verses are really well delivered. - 8/10

You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory - A bit of a ballad comes in, a song about heroin addiction, Duff is singing lead again and frankly while the song itself has potential it would be much better if Axl was the one singing, Duff's vocals are good for upbeat rock based tracks but this slower song falls victim to his weaker vocal delivery. - 7/10

I Don't Care About You - The album closes out with a direct rocking track, Axl sounds incredibly mad from the start. Punchy and angry the track ends the album with a lot of energy... If there wasn't a hidden track! An acoustic cover of a Charles Manson song, a calm track which just feels weird to have a cult leaders track but then again this is GNR. - 7.5/10

Overall 77%
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
333/365

Clockwork Angels - Rush
Format: CD/Digital

Caravan - The 19th and final album from Canadian Progressive Rock legends Rush begins dark and heavy, Geddy's bass thunders, Neil's drums sound like a storm and Alex's guitar rumbles among it all. Geddy's aged vocals are accommodated really well here. The sounds that these 3 men make with their instruments are unreal and heavy. The instrumental section is amazing, complex and engaging. A wonderful kick off to the album - 9.5/10

BU2B - Coming in with a mystical introduction BU2B which from some digging comes up to be an acronym for Brought Up To Believe, the mystical introduction is discarded for another hard rocking track, Geddy's vocals have aged in a way which makes this darker musical style very fitting of Rush's sound although I'm sure it would have been a great difference between the original material and his current vocal abilities. Another well delivered track. - 9.5/10

Clockwork Angels - The title track of the album comes in, once again a more subdued introduction with sound effects being used brings the track into existance, the longest track on the album although I wouldn't consider it long by Rush standards only clocking in around 7 and a half minutes. Geddy is layered here adding some mysticism to his vocals. Not quite as impressive as the opening two tracks but still a really great track. - 9/10

The Anarchist - A bass filled introduction with the bands excellent chemistry being shown off as Neil and Alex come in showing off their prowess in their craft. Geddy sings rather uniquely in this track and at some points it works better than others. There is notable string accompaniment on this track, and as a whole it is a solid track - 8.5/10

Carnies - Segueing from the previous track into the sounds of a carnival before Alex decides to let loose on his guitar. Some really deep lyrics on this track one specific one being "Sometimes the angels punish us by answering our prayers" haunting and dark Neil is a genius. Dark and heavy throughout. - 9/10

Halo Effect - A rather short track comes in acoustic, the track soon begins to build and it becomes clear that the band hasn't put any less thought into the complexity of this short track, this track feels uplifting and happy among a collection of dark tracks I think it is pretty great - 9/10

Seven Cities Of Gold - A Drum and Bass heavy introduction leads into another longer track, Geddy's voice absolutely shines on the chorus. His bass thundering below as he reaches for some high notes. The solo section for this track still focuses on Geddy and Neil while Alex delivers a distorted guitar solo in the background before the band launches into a short jam. Damn this album is consistently good. - 9/10

The Wreckers - Coming in a lighter feeling, Geddy sings higher with distorted backing, once again the string accompaniment is heard quite clearly, another amazing track. I'm amazed at how amazing the band is so late in their career, I wish they would release another album so we could have more music but with an album as strong as this to close out ones career I feel the band would have a hard time surpassing this. - 9/10

Headlong Fight - The second single from the album comes in, the second longest track on the album. Furious bass and drum work with Alex distorting his guitar. The first two and half minutes are absolutely stellar and the track doesn't lose the perfection as it continues. A great complex hard rocking track which perfectly embodies Rush. - 10/10

BU2B2 - A sequel to the earlier track on the album. A very short track clocking in under 1 and a half minutes. It serves as a tie together with the themes running throughout the album and more or less serves as an interlude. - N/A

Wish The Well - A fun upbeat track which I feel is a song directed towards the fans, as a thank you and how the band feels at the end of the show. Another example of the band delivering a killer track on this amazing album - 9/10

The Garden - The album closes out with The Garden, which I've heard has one of the best guitar solos from the past decade in rock so the bar has been set pretty high especially since it is coming off of this album. Acoustic with Geddy singing beautifully right from the start, his voice sounds so powerful and send chills through my body. A beautiful closer, with a majestic solo from Alex. - 10/10

Overall 92%

edit:
Adjusted 93%
 
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The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
Seeing as this has been loaded onto my Ipod since March I figure it is time to actually sit and listen to it.

334/365

Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory - Dream Theater
Format: CD/Digital

Act I: Regression/Overture 1928, Strange Deja Vu/ Through My Words, Fatal Tragedy/Beyond This Life/Through Her Eyes
Act 1 kicks off with an acoustic introductory track with clocks ticking as the main character is being put into a trance by his hypnotherapsit and beings learning about a young woman named Victoria, soon after the second track begins an instrumental track which shifts and turns throughout with a lot of complexity. Strange Deja Vu comes in and James begins to sing the second component to the first continuing the complex nature of the instrumental track. James sounds pretty strong and the musicality of the band is heavy but accessible all at once. The melodic style of vocal delivery is really well done. Through My Words introduces Scene Three, fading in from the previous track with a piano based introduction, James sings softly over the piano in this short ballad like track before transitioning into Fatal Tragedy, soon the band shifts back into a heavier mode from the piano. Some of the vocals here are distorted in an odd way. There are some choir like aspects here and there with alternating guitar, keys and drum interludes the track continues to grow heavier and heavier, becoming a phenomenal extended solo section ensues. Scene Four is encompassed by the first track over 10 minutes Beyond This Life comes in following a brief verbal introduction and the aggression built up throughout the previous track is, detailing the death of Victoria and the actions following her death. The song slows briefly before absolutely exploding into a furious guitar solo with some incredible shredding and then shifts back to a calm section and James sings really nicely almost soothingly. The next instrumental section as a wicked bass riff for a while then it shifts away and the guitarists take another solo section. Thus far the only point which could be considered weak would be James vocals in some places but even then he sounds pretty strong throughout. Act I closes off with Through Her Eyes opening up with a woman's voice singing I would assume this is Victoria, James soon comes in and sings over a calmer section of the track. Another great track. A very changed song from the previous ones calm throughout closing out the first act really well.

Scene One - 8.5/10
Scene Two - 9.5/10
Scene Three - 10/10
Scene Four - 10/10
Scene Five - 10/10
Act 1 - 48/50

Act II: Home/The Dance Of Eternity, One Last Time/The Spirit Carries On/Finally Free
Home kicks off Act II, an extended bass introduction soon begins to pick up with some eastern sounding guitar work and it bursts into a monster heavy and relentless. Julian's cocaine addition is driving Victoria away and the song, a work of art this track continues on the trend the previous 3 scenes have embodied. Amazing vocals and incredibly engaging. The best track thus far incredible. Scene Seven is the final two part scene, it begins with the final fully instrumental track of the album, The Dance Of Eternity. Building and fading away with some keyboard and special effects built in throughout. While impressive I feel the track does extend on a little too long, but from what I've heard there is a video which accompanies this track for live shows which I suspect would add a fair bit to the story throughout. The instrumental ends and One Last Time comes in ending off Scene Seven with a piano intro, a calm track with more backing vocal usage than the previous tracks. The first weaker Scene in a while but even then it remains powerful. The Spirit Carries On comes in next calm and piano based at first, the Jame's vocals are incredible here, the story is beginning to wrap up, it soon picks up into a midpaced instrumental section where the band lets loose some more incredible instrumental work before James returns more powerful than before. A step back towards the mastery which they had demonstrated in the middle section of this album. Scene Nine: Finally Free closes out the album, Nicholas opens his eyes and is free from the memories or so he thinks... driving home he is followed by the hypnotist, which has been revealed to be Edward's reincarnation, the story ends with Nicholas being killed and the cycle repeating. As far as the track itself, James performs amazingly once again. Victoria's voice is heard once again this time sung by James. When Victoria's persona sings the music picks up from the slower ballad feeling of the previous section, the track becomes haunting and dark as the murder of Victoria and Julian ensues. And the album closes out on a high note once again.

Scene Six - 10/10
Scene Seven - 8.5/10
Scene Eight - 9.5/10
Scene Nine - 10/10
Act II - 38/40

Overall 96%

Absolutely amazing, I doubt I would have enjoyed this album a couple years or even months ago but wow is this phenomenal.
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Seeing as this has been loaded onto my Ipod since March I figure it is time to actually sit and listen to it.

334/365

Metropolis Pt 2: Scenes From A Memory - Dream Theater
Format: CD/Digital

Act I: Regression/Overture 1928, Strange Deja Vu/ Through My Words, Fatal Tragedy/Beyond This Life/Through Her Eyes
Act 1 kicks off with an acoustic introductory track with clocks ticking as the main character is being put into a trance by his hypnotherapsit and beings learning about a young woman named Victoria, soon after the second track begins an instrumental track which shifts and turns throughout with a lot of complexity. Strange Deja Vu comes in and James begins to sing the second component to the first continuing the complex nature of the instrumental track. James sounds pretty strong and the musicality of the band is heavy but accessible all at once. The melodic style of vocal delivery is really well done. Through My Words introduces Scene Three, fading in from the previous track with a piano based introduction, James sings softly over the piano in this short ballad like track before transitioning into Fatal Tragedy, soon the band shifts back into a heavier mode from the piano. Some of the vocals here are distorted in an odd way. There are some choir like aspects here and there with alternating guitar, keys and drum interludes the track continues to grow heavier and heavier, becoming a phenomenal extended solo section ensues. Scene Four is encompassed by the first track over 10 minutes Beyond This Life comes in following a brief verbal introduction and the aggression built up throughout the previous track is, detailing the death of Victoria and the actions following her death. The song slows briefly before absolutely exploding into a furious guitar solo with some incredible shredding and then shifts back to a calm section and James sings really nicely almost soothingly. The next instrumental section as a wicked bass riff for a while then it shifts away and the guitarists take another solo section. Thus far the only point which could be considered weak would be James vocals in some places but even then he sounds pretty strong throughout. Act I closes off with Through Her Eyes opening up with a woman's voice singing I would assume this is Victoria, James soon comes in and sings over a calmer section of the track. Another great track. A very changed song from the previous ones calm throughout closing out the first act really well.

Scene One - 8.5/10
Scene Two - 9.5/10
Scene Three - 10/10
Scene Four - 10/10
Scene Five - 10/10
Act 1 - 48/50

Act II: Home/The Dance Of Eternity, One Last Time/The Spirit Carries On/Finally Free
Home kicks off Act II, an extended bass introduction soon begins to pick up with some eastern sounding guitar work and it bursts into a monster heavy and relentless. Julian's cocaine addition is driving Victoria away and the song, a work of art this track continues on the trend the previous 3 scenes have embodied. Amazing vocals and incredibly engaging. The best track thus far incredible. Scene Seven is the final two part scene, it begins with the final fully instrumental track of the album, The Dance Of Eternity. Building and fading away with some keyboard and special effects built in throughout. While impressive I feel the track does extend on a little too long, but from what I've heard there is a video which accompanies this track for live shows which I suspect would add a fair bit to the story throughout. The instrumental ends and One Last Time comes in ending off Scene Seven with a piano intro, a calm track with more backing vocal usage than the previous tracks. The first weaker Scene in a while but even then it remains powerful. The Spirit Carries On comes in next calm and piano based at first, the Jame's vocals are incredible here, the story is beginning to wrap up, it soon picks up into a midpaced instrumental section where the band lets loose some more incredible instrumental work before James returns more powerful than before. A step back towards the mastery which they had demonstrated in the middle section of this album. Scene Nine: Finally Free closes out the album, Nicholas opens his eyes and is free from the memories or so he thinks... driving home he is followed by the hypnotist, which has been revealed to be Edward's reincarnation, the story ends with Nicholas being killed and the cycle repeating. As far as the track itself, James performs amazingly once again. Victoria's voice is heard once again this time sung by James. When Victoria's persona sings the music picks up from the slower ballad feeling of the previous section, the track becomes haunting and dark as the murder of Victoria and Julian ensues. And the album closes out on a high note once again.

Scene Six - 10/10
Scene Seven - 8.5/10
Scene Eight - 9.5/10
Scene Nine - 10/10
Act II - 38/40

Overall 96%

Absolutely amazing, I doubt I would have enjoyed this album a couple years or even months ago but wow is this phenomenal.
Awesome job, great review. I was waiting for this one. :ok:
 

KidInTheDark666

What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine too
Thanks! Glad to hear I hit one which you were waiting for. Are there any others you've been hoping for me to listen to, I'm fairly limited by what I have in hard copy right now but there could be some wiggle room.
I can't really remember what albums you've already done, but whatever you review, I'm sure that someone here will find it interesting. More DT would fit my current interests pretty nicely, but it's up to you.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
I can't really remember what albums you've already done, but whatever you review, I'm sure that someone here will find it interesting. More DT would fit my current interests pretty nicely, but it's up to you.
@Diesel 11 Take note.

@The Dissident Try out Train of Thought if you get the chance.

While I lack other Dream Theater if I come across another album in hard copy I'll try to give them another shot since Scenes From A Memory really made me want to look into them further.
 

The Dissident

Ancient Mariner
A bit of a shorter album

335/365

Kiss - Kiss
Format: Vinyl

Side 1: Strutter/Nothin To Lose/Firehouse/Cold Gin/Let Me Know
Kiss kicks off their debut album with Strutter, Paul sounds quite impressive on lead vocals for this track. Ace's guitar work is quite formidable and Gene's bass thunders throughout. The sound quality from this recording and the heavier feel to the album than their later work from the Destroyer era is a welcomed shift. Commercial but rocking. Gene and Peter take lead vocals on the next track, it suffers from their weaker vocal performance, in addition to the weaker vocals the song takes a shift towards the upbeat poppy territory but unlike other bands who have a strong commercial sound this song doesn't have the right vocal to instrumental feel to it creating a disconnect. This feels like Kiss trying to be the Beatles, which really isn't something I ever needed to hear. Paul takes the lead vocal position once again, slow with a bass intro from Gene this track, a step back towards the rocking approach. I will say Gene's bass being incredibly prominent in this track really helps keep the groove going and Paul's vocals are a more strong style than the dual lead of the previous track. Ace's solo is slow but melodic very fitting of the song. It isn't amazing but it isn't bad. Cold Gin comes in, one of the band's classic tracks, written by Ace with Gene on lead vocals, his voice much less harsh sounding than it will on later work, a track pertaining to drinking and the lifestyle of an alcoholic. The production holds this track back for me as there are moments where I could see this song being quite heavy and a real hard rocker, especially in a live setting. Ace delivers a really tasteful solo as well. Let Me Know closes off side 1 a song with Gene and Paul trading off on lead vocals, another song that comes across as Beatles esc but this one has a more Kiss feel to it and emulates a little bit of where the band would end up going with their musical direction, I see some hints towards Rock N Roll All Nite on this track.

Strutter - 9/10
Nothin To Lose - 6.5/10
Firehouse - 7.5/10
Cold Gin - 8.5/10
Let Me Know - 8/10
Side 1 - 39.5/50

Side 2: Kissin' Time/Deuce/Love Theme from Kiss/100,000 Years/Black Diamond
Side two starts strong with Kissin' Time a punchy rocker with Gene, Paul and Peter all taking vocal duties, Peter's drum sound is quite impressive and the band's harmonies are quite well done throughout. Ace delivers some great licks throughout the track and the song really sounds like it would be a ton of fun to perform live. A cover from the late 1950's this track is well delivered and Kiss did a good job making it their own. Although the band didn't want it on the album it was well done. Deuce comes up next, Gene on lead the attack has very direct approach to it and Gene sounds pretty good throughout. Punchy and effective Deuce literally was Kiss' Wrathchild since when the band ran out of songs to play but had to fill time they would play it again in concert. Ace shreds on the guitar for the outro and Gene lets loose a good scream. An instrumental track labeled as a Love Theme comes, a pleasant instrumental but it doesn't add a whole lot to the album, the band is playing rather melodically and does a good job highlighting every member throughout, I suspect this was added to fill time on the album before the last minute addition of Kissin' Time. 100,000 Years comes in next, Paul lead again, upbeat with a prominent bass line from Gene, the guitar duo of Paul and Ace deliver some nice work here, especially in that dual solo section. Peter gets a drum centralized section with Paul singing over it but this could easily have been his vehicle in the live setting. Black Diamond closes out the album opening acoustic for a brief introduction before "Hit It" was called the final track is the only one which exceeds the 5 minute mark. Peter and Paul share vocal duties on this track and the track is dark moody and heavy, the main riff sounds like a lighter version of some future Maiden sounding riffs. The vocal harmonies are well done here. This song above all the rest on the album shows that Kiss wasn't afraid to make more complex tracks and could do a good job with it.

Kissin' Time - 8.5/10
Deuce - 10/10
Love Theme from Kiss - 7/10
100,000 Years - 8.5/10
Black Diamond - 10/10
Side 2 - 44/50

Overall 83%

Seeing as I have the next two records and they are rather short odds are I might add in one or both of them to the remaining 30 albums, since I have a few albums tentatively slated that I feel will be more of a chore to listen to than enjoyable. Also this was far more enjoyable than Destroyer.
 
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