Here’s a quick list, and series of thoughts, on all the blog-related purchases I’ve made in the last while. I haven’t had time to give them all their own articles yet, so I’m going to give them all a short round-up here:

Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary (2001) – I bought this and another album because I remembered liking the song “Private Eye” as a teenager, and because a co-worker liked them and it put me in the mood to check them out. Not for me really. I’ve only listened to it two or three times but it just seems pretty dull to be honest.
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Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning (2003) – see above.
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Hammerfall – Glory To The Brave (1997)
– My most recent purchase, bought quickly due to a real bargain price. I really love their Dalhalla Blu Ray ( Reviewed by me here) and wanted to hear some studio material. I Can’t wait for this to be delivered in the mail.

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Hammerfall – Legacy Of Kings (1998) – Same as above; My most recent purchase, bought quickly due to a real bargain price.
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Accept – Balls To The Wall (1983) – Again, I’m a gigantic, gigantic fan of their Stalingrad album, its one of my absolute favourite albums of the last five years and one of my favourite discoveries of the last five years, up there with Rishloo, Queensryche and Helloween’s best albums. ( Check out my review of it here) Recently my friend Mackers put me in the mood to try some of their early classic-era material. I’ve been waiting until I could find a dirt cheap copy for a while, and I finally have done so. Again, I can’t wait for this to be delivered.

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Accept – Metal Heart (1985) – See Above.
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Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (2012) – I was enjoying Lebrain’s Van Halen review series and it inspired me to pick up this record, which I did for mere pennies. Wow, was I surprised. Even with a good reputation, high praise from people I respect and a cheap price, I was taken aback by how good this was and how worth my time it was. Just listen to this album, every song except the single Tattoo is an out of control, barely contained and completely explosive Hard Rock Masterpeice with bundles of creativity. Check out “China Town” – Its like if Saxon at their Heaviest had Tom Morello on guest Guitar then stole a Periphery part for a crazy Djenty intro. I was skeptical, but this exceeded my wildest expectations.

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Alice In Chains – Alice In Chains (1995) – I’ve only had it a few days and haven’t really fully absorbed it yet. I have all other Staley era Alice In Chains albums and EPs so it was the last piece of the puzzle for me. First impressions are its seems good, but songs are overlong. Who knows though? I’ll give it the time it deserves and find out…


Helloween – 7 Sinners (2010)
Absolutely love it. Highly Recommend it.
Heavy Helloween. Serious Helloween. Awesome Helloween. Flute solo Helloween!.
Biff Byford even makes a guest appearance. Read my Review here.
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Helloween – Straight Out Of Hell (2013) – I Absolutely love it! I Highly Recommend it. Even more than the previous one! This album is just packed full of quality moments – “Though they had no slaves, believe it or not!” and “Far Beyond The Stars” are two of the most memorable vocal deliveries I’ve heard in recent years. Maybe there is a higher being? Deris is pretty convincing… It is Reviewed by me here.
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Helloween – High Live (1996) – Pretty good. You know, I think this is probably a better CD than it is a DVD. If you wanted a bad-ass introduction to the band, this performance would be quite a good one. The Concert itself is way better than the recording of it, but its still a pretty decent product overall. Read my Review here.

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Sick Of It All – Yours Truly (2000) – After buying Scratch The Surface, I got put in the mood to hear “The District” again, so I picked up this album a few months later when I saw it for under £1 on Amazon. Its a pretty varied and interesting album. Much punkier than I expected. “Hello Pricks” sounds almost like Dropkick Murphies. Also it has good lyrics (about not being a prick). “The District” is probably the track from it I listen to the most, but its the kind of thing, like Madball, that I always have in my shuffle playlist. Even if you don’t always remember to listen to Madball, you never dislike a Madball song when its there. They’ve got a good formula, and I always think ‘lets here more songs like it!’

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Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll + Come Out And Play + Love Is For Suckers [Box set] – I am really glad they released this product. You may remember me saying a lot on this blog that if they released something like this that I’d buy it. Well, they did, and so I did buy it. I haven’t fully gotten into it yet, but I can already tell there’s some great stuff on here. I really dislike “Leader Of The Pack” but almost all the rest of the first two albums on here seems right up my street. Their faster numbers are all really good. I’ve got a few boxsets and its all really slow to gel in my head. When I get a boxset, I usually take it all in slowly as one giant album that takes months and months to get my head around. I’ve come to love the Saxon and Motorhead boxsets which I got last year, but its taken a long time to get it all in, and separated. My head just struggles.


Dream Theater [Box set] – See my above comments on Boxsets and multiply it by a very dense and attention-requiring Prog Metal band. That’s the score here. Every time a new discovery, never a feeling of familiarity. I feel it’ll take years to absorb this. I was listening to Awake yesterday, for about the 12th time, and I thought “I am really unfamiliar with all this.” Still, “The Silent Man” is pretty awesome, and I always find myself singing the ‘Broken Promise/Doubting Thomas’ line from “Lie” when I’m making breakfast, so it must be sinking in a little. Also, even if its from an unpopular album, “You Not Me” is really up my street!


MSG [Box set] – Sometimes these guys sound like Judas Priest. “Attack Of The Mad Axeman” for example is crazy good fun. Sometimes its absolutely bland, bland, bland radio rock for the background on a video on drying paint. I think I need to seriously concentrate on it to find out where they gems are, make a playlist of just them, then get into the band that way.


Dokken [Box set] – I’ve slowly been getting into these over a few months and there is some absolutely quality material on here. A few of the albums suffer from filler or “sameyness” among deep tracks, but there are always a few absolute gems on the albums. George Lynch is a superb guitar player and more Metal fans should listen to these guys. I think their name is thrown on the “list another bad band from the 80s” pile a little too easily, and its usually from people who haven’t actually given them too much of a fair chance. They have some excellent tracks, like “Lightning Strikes Again” “Bullets To Spare” and “Kiss Of Death.”


Poison – Open up And Say Ahh (1988) – I really liked half of their debut, and so I thought I’d try some more. Its a bit blander, and also definitely less Metallic. I think I could still get into it if I give it more time. I’ve been too busy to really give entertainment in general enough time, and this is low on the priorities list.


Poison – Flesh And Blood (1990) – As above, only it made an even worse first impression, its a much synthier record, and seemingly has a lot less character about it. I don’t want to be too skeptical but the lack of that one “Metal Track” in there really leaves me a little on the outside. On their debut, the brilliant title track was there to keep me anchored. Here… its a little harder to stay afloat.


Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi (1984) – I bought four Bon Jovi albums and a Bodom album together for £10 one day as a celebration after an important day in my career. Since then I’ve been super busy and haven’t been able to totally commit to listening to them enough. First impressions of it so far are good though. Unfortunately, I always seem to put one of these four Jovi records on and get immediately distracted into doing something else, so apart from the big hits, most of it has passed me by. “Runaway” is fantastic.


Bon Jovi – 7800° Fahrenheit (1985) – “King Of The Mountain” is an absolute stormer. Admittedly I need to give the rest of this record some more time.
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Bon Jovi – (1986) – Hits, hits, hits, what’s not to love? I think you could repackage this as a greatest hits album and nobody could tell the difference. I guess its kind of like Metallica’s Black Album, Nirvana’s Nevermind or Guns N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction in that respect.
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Bon Jovi – New Jersey (1988) – Yet more hits. “Bad Medicine” is my favourite Jovi song, and “Born To Be My Baby” is in my top-5. I hope the rest is even half as good. I can’t wait to give it a fair chance. .
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Children Of Bodom – Are You Dead Yet? (2005) – After seeing these guys live and hearing the huge crowd sing-along to this record’s title track, I knew I had to get myself a copy. The album is pretty damn solid. Its like the Bodom of the first four albums mixed with a big dose of Pantera. Suits me. I Reviewed it here.


Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (1994) – I loved their debut. Its awesome. It sounds like a mixture between Black Label Society, Clutch and Pearl Jam. One track was a frentic, progged-out carchase of a song that sounded a bit like Mars Volta. This album has none of that. It has some cool parts, like one bit which sounds a little Gentle Giant-esque on “Silvergun Superman” and a fairly decent opener in “Meat Plow” but overall, its just sort of dull. Its just wallpaper most of the time, and the joke track after the end isn’t great. The actual album closer though is the best thing off it; that closer reminds me of Tool a little, which is always a plus.


Lego Batman: The Videogame (2008) – This is superb fun. I played the demo and didn’t “get it.” However, I saw it for super cheap, took a shot and it payed off. I’ve had tonnes of fun with this. I highly recommend it. I haven’t often had the time to play lengthy serious games recently, but short blasts of this where possible have been immense fun. Also, its neat that you can play as Nightwing!
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Batman – Zero Year Secret City (2014) – Not as good as I expected. A bit disjointed, uneven and bitty. Brilliantly drawn and coloured though. The story has too many gaps in it and flows more like a series of flashbacks than a proper start to finish story set in the past. It has a fun, bombastic tone and bright colours so it reminds me of Grant Morrsion’s Batman & Robin Reborn trilogy, which is always a positive, but overall, I’m not the biggest fan of this effort. Maybe when I read all three parts together it’ll work better. For now its just and OK start. I read it a second time and it felt better though, which also happened with Death Of The Family incidentally, which was from the same creative team.
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Batman – Shaman (1990) – Absolutely fabulous. I love all the books from this series that I’ve read so far. I’d definitely recommend this. Its everything a Batman book needs to be to make me smile. Inventive, charming, detailed and full of character.
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Batman – Anarky (1989/1995/1997/1999) – Fun, but a bit pointless. The first story is by far the best. I like Anarky in general, as an idea for a villain/antihero, but this is just OK. There was minor annoyance when my copy came in a terrible state; dog-eared, frayed, bent and falling apart – but it was still readable luckily. For the most part its entertaining, although I resent the way Punk and Metal fans are written about in it a tiny bit. Maybe I’m just being overly defensive?
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Batman – The Cult (1988/1991) – This was a very good book and I enjoyed seeing Jason Todd alive. I didn’t quite live up to my super hyped-up expectations, but I enjoyed it a lot. Its surprising how old it is. Older than A Death In The Family obviously. I’d like to read more stories with Alive-Jason in them.
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Batman – Manbat (1995/1987) – This was surprisingly good, after a slightly too-sweary and overly sexual start that seemed in poor taste, it really pulled it around and became a very well written and interesting story which made you think. A lot more depth than you’d imagine. Really unique art too. Batman looks like a photograph of a bulky bodybuilder.
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Batman – Bruce Wayne Fugitive Vols. 1, 2 & 3 (2003) – Much better than their reputation led me to believe they would be. I really enjoyed these post-No Man’s Land Tales a lot more than either Knightfall or No Man’s Land.

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Comments
  1. stephen1001 says:

    Great call on Slippery When Wet being easily confused with a greatest hits!

    Like

  2. I’m still wanting to get those Accept albums too. And I’m glad you liked the new Van Halen, I thought it was awesome.

    Like

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