Get (Into) What You Paid For – Volume 5, No. 2: ‘Tis The Season

Howdy; welcome once again to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about the music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 27, so that means I’ve made it 27 days without buying any cds, dvds, comic books or videogames. The man who started this blog four years ago could never have gone this long without consumerism. I’m pretty sure back when I worked my old job in 2010, I probably bought on average about two cds a week for the entire year at a minimum.

I haven’t actually posted much this time around because for the first 75% of the month, I’ve been super busy working crazy hours and having to fit in lots of academic work at home too for my final year. The other 25% of the month has been spent with loved ones and crazily poor internet signal. So, didn’t want to be rude and spend family time blogging, and didn’t have a good enough signal to do it much anyway, or at least do it easily.

Normally, going a month without buying anything would be quite difficult, but with the whole Christmas thing, I get to buy other people gifts and that sates the itch, so its been much easier. Also, you don’t know what you may receive as a gift and then buy nothing incase you’re gifted with it.

I’ve been really tempted a couple of times though, because, hey… I’m me. I saw Stratovarius and Accept albums in HMV this month and they never had them when I went looking for them. I saw Manowar albums on Amazon for between £1 and £3 that I’ve wanted for a while but are always more expensive. A lot of bands I like put out new albums and I’ve not gotten around to getting them (this year I’ve been so bad with buying new releases I can’t even put together an AOTY list!) even after seeing some of those bands live.

There’s also been numerous temptations within the world of comics. Just before starting this new fifth round of the GITWYPF challenge, I discovered Comixology. I mean I’d heard of it for the last two years, but Digital Comics seemed like a bad idea… I like reading physical books and laptops hurt my eyes and are the wrong shape for stories designed to be read in the shape of actual physical comics (unless you put a laptop on its side). So, for the two years I’ve been reading comics I avoided it, but the fact that so much is unavailable or only available on eBay for crazy prices, but available digitally for about £1 an issue (with no P&P because its digital) kind of won me over, and I can fill in gaps using this. Its not even poor to read due to the “guided view” feature, which zooms and readjusts the panels in order and blanks out the other panels, allowing you to watch the comic like a powerpoint or a slow cartoon. As a service, it’s a bit addictive though, and so a huge source of temptation. You the read two issues you want and then it makes you want to buy the ones before and after, or older ones of historical importance. Its too easy, too tempting, damn hard to stay away from.

Also, being in bookshops for getting others gifts makes me walk past lots of comic books and that makes you very close to just slipping one in there with the rest of the less-selfish purchases.

Videogames haven’t been a temptation at all, because I don’t have the time. It takes time to start up, time to shut them down or find savepoints, and your brain is abuzz afterwards so you can’t play them right before its time to sleep if you have to go to work in the morning. Compared to a book or comic book that you can just pick up and set down at a moments notice, its harder to fit them in. I got God Of War Ascension for my Birthday in the Summer and only managed to play it when Uni broke up about a week or so ago, and even then only for two days, and I still haven’t opened up Darksiders 2 which I got last Christmas. Theoretically I could now, but I don’t have a console with me at the moment, and by the time I get back to my term time address I’ll be hard at work again.

On the subject of God Of War Ascension, it was pretty good. I love that series, it is one of the most consistant and dependable series going. The combat is absolutely perfect, and its fun to see what vast-scale ideas they come up with next. It felt maybe like GOW 3 backed them into a corner and this prequel wasn’t just as impressive, but it was damn good regardless. I only got time to play one run-through of single player and no multiplayer, bonuses or second attempts, but on first impression it was very entertaining.

Anyway, the reason I right these things is to stop myself slipping up in the challenge. I may not have written many entries this time around, but I haven’t slipped up. I’ve stayed true, stayed the course (and whatever other “stay” phrases apply) and haven’t bought anything for myself since starting the challenge. Its been helped immensely by the Christmas presents.

I got the new Mushroomhead, Slipknot, Machine Head and Corrosion Of Conformity albums, as well as Helstar’s Nosferatu. I also got Spawn, Batman, X-Men and Spiderman comics. All delightfully nerdy gifts that stave off the “buy new stuff” urge very well. (Until I finish the comics and want the next in the series, at least).

Over the month, I’ve been really heavily listening to stuff I got for my Birthday, like the Tirivium, Judas Priest, Soundgarden, Helloween, Manowar and Savatage records I’ve already discussed on this blog ad naseum, in addition to Rishloo’s superb new album (of fucking course!) – because this year is going so ridiculously quickly that those still feel brand new despite being several months old – and in the last two days I’ve been blitzing those Christmas gift albums.

Did you know the Mushroomhead one has a cover of Adele’s “Rumour Has It” ? I had no idea until the chorus came in on my first listen through. Quite the surprise! Usually, I hate when Metal bands cover pop songs, especially if they aren’t particularly old. Covering a current pop song is a bit cheesy. But this works. Also, I’m way less snobby these days – Five Finger Death Punch covering “Moma Said Knock You Out” and nailing it will do that to ya.

The new Slipknot and Machine Head albums are good, by the way. Really good. The Machine Head one in particualt seems like a bit of a min-masterpiece in fact. If I heard enough new albums to do an AOTY list, it’d be damn tough choosing the top spot between it and Accept’s Blind Rage. Slipknot’s new album is interesting, beforehand I could not have been more cynical about or suspicious of. I was convinced it would be rubbish. It really isn’t though. Its strong. Damn strong. Stronger than the last one for sure. It seems to be a grower. Even all the lyrics about Paul’s death aren’t as cheap and cheesy as I imagined. I’d streamed “Skeptic” a few times because I’d heard that it was about Paul and I really cringed at the lyric “the world will never see another crazy muthafucker like you” – it just felt so dishonest and cheap, as if it was purely written to get sang along with and to make headlines, but the more I listen to it, in context, with the rest of the lyrics… I think its actually honest. Especially given how Corey and Shaun actually talk in real life.

The rest of that album is really good too. Its heavy, there aren’t any real ballads, the songs with poppier choruses never have as poppy verses as anything like “Dead Memories” or “Before I Forget.”

Not that heaviness in itself is good enough on its own. The thing is that the songs themselves are actually good. Memorable, catchy, the solos that feel more natural and less “look, I’m soloing.” There are some real fun, satisfying riffs on there and the new drummer actually keeps up Joey’s unique flappy, skittery style of drumming so it doesn’t sound like a huge departure.

I’ve also been listening to Machine Head’s older albums too. Inspired by the recent concert, and the new album, its always good to break out the ones I already own. Through The Ashes Of Empires has some of my absolute favourite Machine Head songs on it. “Vim,” “All Halls Down” and “Wipe Away The Tears” are the perennial favourites, and the concert made me reevaluate “Descend The Shades Of Night” and “Bite The Bullet” which I’ve overlooked in the past.

Then there’s Blind Guardian’s Nightfall In Middle Earth. Its like a mixture between Testament, Gamma Ray and oddly, Gentle Giant. I highly recommend checking that one out.

Being back with my family for the holidays I’ve also been exposed to my brother’s music. I’ve gotten to check out the new Animals As Leaders and Skyharbour albums. That is some seriously good stuff right there!

Check out the Animals As Leaders song “Physical Education” – such a fun tune!

I’ve also got access to my CDs again, because in my own place – half a country away – I don’t have the space to keep my CDs. My iTunes copies of a few Porcupine Tree and W.A.S.P. albums had glitches and faults in them, so being back here I was able to re-rip them. Its great listening to the songs properly without it skipping and cutting off short.

The rest of the time has been spent on romantic trips with my beautiful girlfriend, huge amounts of scrabble with the family, and watching all three seasons of That Mitchel And Webb Look and a series of Peep Show. I can’t go anywhere now without hearing Sir Digby Chicken Ceaser’s singing in the back of my head.

Its been an excellent break. The final one of this life as I’ll be qualified by the next one and go from someone who works to someone with a career – I forsee this will be my last Chirstmas day off for a while. I’ve been lucky in that my current job and my last job didn’t have me work on Christmas day (although I’ve done it before in previous jobs to that). Its been nice getting homework done and weights lifted in the same building as family instead of hundreds of miles away, its been nice having the time off work and its been nice having the free time to read so much. The crushingly slow internet was a tiny bit inconvenient but there’s only so many blogs about heavy music or Batman that a person can read in a month anyway.

Plus all this time in the middle of nowhere with no shops and too poor internet to access iTunes Store or Comixology well enough is pretty darn good for sticking to the challenge.

You can look forward to new album reviews and Amature Batfan articles too, as a result of all these lovely gifts. Merry Christmas, blogosphere!

GITWYPF Round 5 – Warning Shots

As of today, I’m starting a fifth GITWYPF Challenge. Buying no music, comics, books, magazines, videogames, movies or any other form of media for a minimum of two months. I’ll take time to appreciate the stuff I’ve already got and I’ll blog about it all in this series as the time passes on.

So… look forward to posts about forgotten gems and under-appreciated gifts for the next two months.

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 90 – THREE MONTHS COMPLETED!

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, three months).

Its day 90, so that means I’ve made it an entire three months without buying any cds, dvds, comic books or videogames. The man who started this blog four years ago could never have gone this long without consumerism. I’m pretty sure back when I worked my old job in 2010, I probably bought on average about two cds a week for the entire year at a minimum.

I’ve been trying to avoid spending anything these last three months but there’s been severe temptation, I just got into Manowar right before the challenge started, and boy-oh-boy do I want some more Manowar albums. I’ve also been really tempted to check out Blind Guardian… I’ve been listening to so much Power Metal over the last two years from the limited sources of only Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Hammerfall, Sabaton, Dragonforce (and now Manowar)… and it seems like a pretty obvious omission to leave out Blind Guardian. Its like listening to Thrash and not listening to Slayer.

You know what else, Accept… Russian Roulette and Breaker. I’ve been really heavily listening to Restless & Wild, Balls To The Wall and Metal Heart… its time to expand my Accept repertoire. I’ve got lots of Maiden, Priest and Saxon to listen to but only three Accept albums.

What else? Slipknot released a new album… I’ve been re-playing their back catalogue a heck of a lot this month to get in the mood. I’ve been getting reacquainted with the bonus tracks like “Scream,” “Don’t Get Close,” and “Snap” again, as well as the four main albums. I forgot how damn good Iowa is, especially deep tracks like “The Shape” and “Skin Ticket.”

What I really forgot though is how good Vol. 3 is. These days I tend to think of Vol. 3 as just “Before I Forget,” “Duality,” and “Vermillion Parts 1&2” and forget all the interesting stuff like “Virus Of Life” and “Opium Of The People.” There’s some seriously interesting music on there. Not that the hits are uninteresting, just… overplayed. To top it all off, I’ve also broke out 9.0 Live, the disappointing Live album that I never feel like I’ve listened to enough times.

I’ve also been really tempted to buy several comic books… My good buddy Paul introduced me to Ultimate Spiderman Volume 1, and the subsequent volumes have been screaming my name ever since. Also, Batman Zero Year part 2 has been released in the time I was under the challenge… how did I not buy that?

To avoid buying new comics, I’ve re-read Hush, Hush Returns, Heart Of Hush, Hush Money and House Of Hush. (Which range from awful to brilliant). I really like Paul Dini’s spin on Batman. That makes me want to buy more Dini Batman comics though… it’s a terrible trap. Now I want to buy Streets Of Gotham Leviathan. Maybe I’ll learn more about the character “Abuse.”

I also re-read Arkham Reborn, which is absolutely fantastic. I really, really recommend that book to people who want to read Batman. It’s a stand-alone story that you don’t need to have read anything else to enjoy on one level, and a tie-in to Battle For The Cowl on another level. Its art is superb, the tone and pacing are good, and its not just the usual “high stakes problem gets solved in the nick of time” stuff.

Its not all been fun though, I re-read Dark Knight Vs White Knight… that one… that one is a stinker in my opinion. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

To top it all off, I read the Batman Vampire trilogy, a gift from my good friend Paul. It was very entertaining. I don’t know if I would call them good books, but they were very entertaining.

Anyway…

I’ve been looking back at older purchases all month to try and avoid making new purchases. Some of this stuff dates back to my earliest days of music fandom, some of if is a few years old, and some of it is a few months old. Some of this stuff I haven’t listened to in yonks.



































Some of this stuff, man, I just never feel like I’ve listened to it enough. Made In Japan for example… I got it for my birthday in 2009 and I just never ever felt like I listened to it.

Some of them, like Periphery 2 and Trivium’s Ascendency, I listened to them a heck of a lot all in once but then really haven’t listened to as much recently.

Some of it just got lost amongst the better albums by the same band, like Saxon’s debut, WASP’s Headless Children and Dio’s Dream Evil. Heck, this month I even listened to Green Day’s Dookie again… when I was 11 years old, that was a daily requirement. For the past decade though, its been a once-a-year sort of thing.

I have to say, even though I’ve not enjoyed the not buying things I want at whim aspect just because I’m a spoiled westerner… these three months have been really entertaining. Its pretty nice to break out stuff I haven’t been listening to again. I mean, I buy all this stuff because I like it and want it, but then you pile so much up that it becomes impossible to keep up with all of it. Its nice to not be so focused on the NEWNEWNEW mindset and just enjoy what made you like it all in the first place. I don’t listen to Slipknot’s debut nearly enough. I don’t listen to Iron Maiden or Pantera nearly enough. I don’t re-read Batman books nearly enough. Its nice to just soak in the good stuff, y’know?

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 82

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 82. 82 days without buying myself anything. As I said last time, that’s a successful double challenge completed and I’m aiming for a full third month. Triple Challenge almost completed! Think of that like having 82 days clean and sober from the narcotic of consumerism. Well in fact, in real life I’ve got more than 82 days actually clean and sober, that’s closer to eight months (I don’t drink that often, and in general, wouldn’t drink willingly apart from being polite).

I’ve almost broke when finding super cheap Batman comics or relatively rare ones, but I’ve held strong. Also, almost daily, I almost buy some Manowar album or other, then back out at the very last minute. I am also tempted by the new Slipknot album and several other assorted musical bits and bobs (like Tygers Of Pan Tang’s second and third album or whatever).

To avoid spending… I’ve been revisiting the stuff I already own.

I’ve been mixing up my listening in a few ways, some days I’ll set up all my Thrash Metal albums (pre ’92 only, natch!) and shuffle songs from only there, catching a nice mix of stuff like Nuclear Assault, Sodom, Overkill, Anthrax, Testament etc.

Some days I’ll set up an individual Glam Metal band’s albums, and shuffle out of that, getting a mixture of Crue or Twisted Sister or WASP tracks from all different albums.

Some days I listen to something in its entirety that’s a newish acquisition for me, like the Hammerfall album or Down EP I got back on my birthday.

I’ve also been picking out things that I really rarely listen to (eg. Slayer’s Live Undead!) and giving them a shot.

The great thing about music is you can still do it when you are working (homework). Or at least traveling to work (job). I am trying to re-read Batman comics in the same way, but I don’t really have time, I can maybe sneak an issue’s worth a day if I’m procrastinating, but damn… my workload is abnormally high. I shouldn’t even be writing this blog… it’ll be a short one… I just wanted you to know I’ve made it 82 days.

I think I’ll buy myself Batman – “Ten Nights Of The Beast” or Manowar’s Louder Than Hell when I finish the third month… you can’t expect someone as hopelessly addicted to material goods as me, to go a full quarter of a year (as in do a fourth month in the challenge) without buying something, can you? Can you!? Don’t be cruel!

Well, maybe… actually. I’m starting to believe maybe I could do it. Could I? Wait and see readers, wait and see.

Just to take the shakes off for definite, I’ve opened this birthday present at long last (been saving it to get me through the challenge). It sorta feels a bit like buying a thing, because its new fodder for my ever-hungry music collection… even if I didn’t technically do the buying myself (thank goodness for kind, generous flatmates):

I’ll let you know how I like it:

Have you heard it? How do YOU like it?

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 68

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 68. 68 days without buying myself anything. As I said last time, that’s a successful double challenge. Its a double challenge (Two full months) plus an additional week. I’m aiming for a full third month. Three entire months without buying myself something like a CD or Comic Book or DVD or whatever, will be the longest I’ve ever gone without doing so since I got my first job at 15-16 years old.

Last time around on GITWYPF, I mentioned that I was severely tempted to buy more Manowar albums and to be honest I’ve put Manowar albums in my shopping basket numerous times in the last week and very nearly bought them, only to come to my senses at the very last minute. Yeah, I’m learning restraint alright. I did however, go on Youtube this morning for some try-before-you-buy action, hoping it would “talk me out of” buying those Manowar albums, and nope, just the opposite. Now I feel like I need them. Need them. Like Oxygen and Glucose kinda need them. Yes, I am a big nerd. And spoiled.

Luckily (?) I am flat broke, and couldn’t afford a £2 Manowar album from Amazon if I wanted it, so that has been keeping me from going too far and breaking the challenge. Or indeed Blind Guardian’s Nightfall In Middle Earth for £4… (Stupid temptation!).

Also, due to said lack of cash, it looks like I will definitely not be a first-day-buyer of the new Slipknot or Machine Head albums despite massive curiosity on the former and a certainty-of-love for the latter. And, y’know, Exodus and everybody else with a new album coming will be pushed way back to maybe far into 2015, (like my very late acquisition of Trivium’s Vengeance Falls).

Last time around, I also mentioned that I’d open my birthday gift of the new Judas Priest album, Redeemer Of Souls a month late to extend the feeling of having new stuff. (Also, two months late for similar Trivium, Ozzy and Soundgarden gifts). Well, its been more than a month since my birthday and I have indeed finally opened that generous Judas Priest gift from my flatmates. I don’t know how I feel about the album actually… Its sort of stylistically on to a good thing, but I’m not sure if I can remember any of the songs when the music has stopped. Its not like the old albums where you’d get tracks in your head forever on the very first listen. Its not even like 2005’s Angel Of Retribution which has 3-5 absolute bangers. Nothing had me thinking “wow, this is brilliant.” Nothing at all had me thinking anything negative… but just, I don’t know… its good, but not speaking to me right now?

It made me go back and listen to Angel Of Retribution again. I really enjoyed that. It has some serious jams!

Otherwise, I’ve been mostly listening to 2013-2014 purchases to get my money’s worth. More Poison, Dokken, WASP, Motely Crue and Twisted Sister. That or NWOBHM like Motorhead, Saxon, Angel Witch, Diamond Head and Tygers Of Pan Tang. Which in turn has made me brake out more Priest and Maiden to fit the theme.

I’ve also broken out Kiss’ Monster, BMTH’s Sempiternal and Killswitch Engange’s Disarm The Dissent which I slayed last year but seemed to be taking an unintentional break from over the summer.

Other than that, its been a lot of the recent birthday acquisitions. Helloween, Fratellis, Manowar, Sick Of It All, Minor Threat etc.

What else, other than a ton of work and fitness stuff?
– I’ve watched Batman Begins again… which is better than I remember.
– I saw an episode of Gotham, which I’m unsure about so far.
– I’ve been to see the movie Pride on a date. (Doesn’t count towards challenge due to the non-selfsih nature). Pride is an excellent film. Go see it!

Can’t think of much else to say. (Other than “please send me free Manowar albums” of course, if you are some sort of Label Executive with random spares on the go.) 68 days, aiming for 90. Wish me luck.

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 55

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 55. 55 days without buying myself anything. (Actually I can’t remember if I bought anything on the exact last day before the challenge, so it might be like, y’know, 60 days or something overall… my memory is fuzzy. 55 for sure though.

Anyway; I did a bad thing guys! I placed a bid on Batman Contagion on eBay, so unless someone outbids me, I’ll have broken the challenge tomorrow… woops. Lesson learned: “Don’t go on eBay during these challenges!” Common sense really… I also damn nearly bought a W.A.S.P. vinyl for my wall that I have absolutely no call to be buying in my current financial situation, but I snapped myself out of that pretty quickly. Its just that contagion was on the wishlist for so long (like Batman Cataclysm too) and it always sells for stupidly high prices like £33 or whatever, and seeing it at £4 was exciting. Oh well, it’s a process. Also hopefully I’ll be outbid and dodge this failure-bullet narrowly.

Fingers crossed.

Now here’s what I’ve been distracting myself with recently:

Any one song in isolation is excellent. The intro is even excellent. Russ’ voice sounds better than ever. There are great guitar solos and a decent production sound. There’s even guest appearances from other Bay Area Thrash heroes.

That being said… this album has gone from “Yay, they’re back!” to “Meh” pretty quickly. I’ve more or less ignored it since the year it come out. I think the problem is that there isn’t enough variety, there isn’t enough speed, and that all the songs are about a minute-too-long (Exodus disease).

The title-track is actually really fast at times, and pretty varied, I don’t think I’d noticed before because the album wore me down before that point most times. Anyway, yeah, doesn’t work as an album so much, but any of the songs in a playlist is excellent.

This is a classic. I like it a lot. Its got a good balance between their Slayer-esque side and their more Anthrax-sounding riffs. Its technical but not overwhelming, its aggressive but not just pointless hammering. There’s a surprising depth and more softness and melody than you may remember. Great album.

Another birthday gift. The latest one to be opened. I’ve waited almost a whole month to open it. It’s a pretty damn good album, just as I expected. There’s a lot of AC/DC sounding moments, along with the Speed Metal of “Fast As A Shark” and “Flash Rocking Man.” Also, it has “Demon’s Night” as covered by Cannibal Corpse. I already like “Princess Of The Dawn” and “Neon Nights” from the live Blu Ray that came with Blind Rage.

I read a few people say this album is inconsistent. I don’t hear it. This is all good stuff, and deservedly considered a classic.

Sometimes when I haven’t heard this in a while, I mistakenly think that I don’t like it. While I certainly could live without “You Aint The First” or “Live And Let Die” (or “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” for that matter, and also I always feel cheated by the two “Don’t Cry” versions…one is enough!) and I have to be in the right mood to enjoy “The Garden,” “Bad Obsession” or “Coma,” that still leaves over two-thirds of the album as certified awesome.

The fast heavy material like “Right Next Door To Hell,” “Perfect Crime,” “Don’t Damn Me,” “Garden Of Eden,” “Double Talkin Jive,” and “Back Off Bitch” is all exciting, energetic and enjoyable. They keep that spirit of Appetite’ alive. People often forget this material is on here too. I often forget it myself. They should release a version for Metal fans that starts off with all of these tracks first, and loses the acoustic tracks and covers. That would stop all the Appetite-whinging.

Also, “Dust N Bones” though not heavy, has been one of my all time favourite GnR songs since my very first listen of it. It is excellent.

Also, “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry” are awesome. Its just that I associate them with idiots from my high-school. When they catch me unawares I remember just how good a song they each are. They are fantastic.

Sometimes I think of this album as being 60% acoustic, 30% cover songs and trumpets, and 10% good. This is way, way, way off the mark. Excellent album. Also, as it happens, I indeed was in the mood for “Coma” this time.

I’m really becoming very, very fond of Hammerfall indeed. I just can’t stop cranking this and their debut. It also keeps getting better on new listens. Such a fun, entertaining, easily digestible band! They’re the musical equivalent of popcorn.

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 53

I didn’t buy anything new. Not even Batman Contagion, despite severe temptation. I’ve been good. Just doing a lot of walking, eating healthily, and even getting some homework done. That and general life organizing. Its been a productive weekend.

In terms of listening to things that I haven’t been listening to regularly, I bust out Chinese Democracy tonight, which I love but haven’t been listening to a lot in 2014. I also stuck on Alice Cooper’s Schools Out, which I hated for about a year, but now think is tolerable. Then I capped it all off with Arctic Monkey’s debut, which is one of my all-time favourite albums but which I’ve been ignoring (inadvertently) lately due to prioritizing the listening of their newer material.

Other than that, the day has been spent with all my birthday gifts and recent acquisitions playing together on shuffle, while I went for a giant walk.

Also; just because I can… Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately. [Arctic Monkeys (although I love them anyway as mentioned above), Paolo Nutini and Bon Iver are usually playing if my girlfriend is visiting, because not everyone likes heavy music.]

The last 7 days:

1. Arctic Monkeys – 131 songs
2. The Fratellis – 79 songs
3. Paolo Nutini – 44 songs
4. Protest The Hero – 36 songs
5. Accept – 27 songs
6. Bon Iver – 23 songs
7. Helloween – 22 songs
8. Sick Of It All – 19 songs
8. Minor Threat – 19 songs
10. Napalm Death – 18 songs

The last month:

1. Accept – 234 songs
2. Manowar – 178 songs
3. The Fratellis – 162 songs
4. Arctic Monkeys – 141 songs
5. Helloween – 92 songs
6. Iron Maiden – 82 songs
7. Sick Of It All – 76 songs
8. Paolo Nutini – 73 songs
9. Judas Priest – 66 songs
10. Protest The Hero – 64 songs
11. HammerFall – 60 songs
12. Anthrax – 56 songs
13. DragonForce – 55 songs
14. Saxon – 52 songs
15. Motörhead – 49 songs

The last 3 months:

1. Accept – 346 songs
2. Mötley Crüe – 311 songs
3. Arctic Monkeys – 260 songs
4. Pearl Jam – 242 songs
5. HammerFall – 190 songs
6. Manowar – 178 songs
7. Helloween – 174 songs
8. The Fratellis – 168 songs
9. Dream Theater – 137 songs
10. Paolo Nutini – 135 songs
11. Alice In Chains – 128 songs
12. Protest The Hero – 127 songs
13. Iron Maiden – 110 songs
14. Megadeth – 108 songs
15. Saxon – 106 songs

Also, because I’ve been thinking about what a good line-up Tesseract with Animals As Leaders is, and how it would’ve been perfect if they’d added Periphery, I’ve spent the day thinking about great concert bills existant, and non-existant.

The following are some dream concert line-ups. Some of them can’t exist due to deaths and break-ups. Some of them have already existed. Some are based on genres, membership links, location, common influence, or just my own personal preference. Some are for bands I don’t even like.

Anyway, here are some dream concert line-ups, which I would totally go and see if they were available:

Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax

Anthrax, Overkill, Nuclear Assault, Sacred Reich

Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Vio-lence

Kreator, Sodom, Destruction, Holy Moses

Clutch, Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Dozer

Clutch, Sixty Watt Shaman, Five Horse Johnson, Lionize

Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Minor Threat

Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam,

Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots

Pantera, Fear Factory, Machine Head, Sepultura

Down, Crowbar, Corrosion Of Conformity, Eyehategod

Down, Hellyeah, Black Label Society, Mudvayne

Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Queen

Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Heart, Thin Lizzy,

AC/DC, Kiss, Van Halen, Aerosmith

Black Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow, Elf (All Ronnie bill).

Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Motorhead, Alice Cooper

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Outlaws, Molly Hatchet

Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Saxon

King Crimson, Yes, ELP, Genesis

Rush, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Camel

Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Amplifier, Mars Volta,

Coheed & Cambria, Fair To Midland, Rishloo, Cog

Mastodon, Black Tusk, Red Fang, Baroness

Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Fratellis, Babysahmbles

Biohazard, Madball, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front

Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, WASP, Quiet Riot

Bon Jovi, Poison, Dokken, Europe

Queensryche, Savatage, Crimson Glory

Helloween, Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Blind Guardian

Hammerfall, Sabaton, Sonata Arctica, Dragonforce

Opeth, Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation, Riverside

Tool, Primus, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine

Isis, Neurosis, Pelican, Cult Of Luna

Disturbed, Papa Roach, Drowning Pool, Soil

System Of A Down, Mudvayne, Mushroomhead, Slipknot

Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones

Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, Parkway Drive, The Devil Wears Prada

Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Chiamira, Lamb Of God

Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All That Reamins, Unearth

Lamb Of God, Devildriver, Chimaira, Trivium

Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Morbid Angel, Obiturary

Cradle Of Filth, Carpathian Forest, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal

Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Carcass, Children Of Bodom

Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Ministry

Tesseract, Periphery, Animals As Leaders, Circles

Ramones, Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned

Protest The Hero, Helloween, Queensryhce, Gallows

Ok. I need to go to sleep. See you later.

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 52

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 52. 52 days without buying myself anything. I think that’s a new record. I don’t think, since getting my first job at 16, ten years ago, that I’ve ever went this long without buying something along the lines of a book, cd, dvd, videogame etc. for myself. I’m a big old spoiled Western consumer of the hardest core.

I’m also tempted to break my pledge not to buy anything because Batman Contagion is on eBay at the minute for only £4 and that’s been on my wishlist for a year now. Time will only tell if I break my resolve and buy it. Maybe someone else will buy it first and the problem will go away.

I’ve also saw in town a shop selling In The Court Of The Crimson King on Vinyl. Its £17 though, and for my use of it as merely a poster for my wall, that’s not worth it. Why is no one selling it used for £3? Anyway…

Its been an excellent few weeks. I’ve been eating super healthy (constant soups full of dozens of veg, and smoothies full of dozens of fruit and veg, adding spinach to normal meals, eating less meat, massively reducing my intake of junk food, almost giving up chocolate completely) and I’ve been exercising a lot (going for walks almost daily, lifting weights frequently). Most of this was in the sun and away from the city, but even this last week when I did return to the city, I’ve kept it up. I even kept it up yesterday on my first day back at Uni. Next week, with a return to work, and full-week Uni, will be the real challenge.

At any rate, everyone is telling me I’ve lost weight. To the point where I actually believe it. Take home message: get more vitamins and go for walks = Thin Jim. Hopefully I can keep it up.

During this time, I’ve been experiencing the delights of Manowar, the new Down EP, a whole heap of Accept, some early Savatage, and trying out Minor Threat.

I’ve also been gifted a butt-load of comics related stuff which I shall try tonight after weightlifting. Those two things, lifting and comics, (with a healthy dose of Hammerfall in the background), should help me stay off eBay and avoid breaking my pledge.

Also, my house mates got me the newest Judas Priest and Trivium albums, as well as Ozzy’s Tribute live album with Randy Rhodes, and Soundgarden’s recently reissued debut EP, Screaming For Life/Fopp. I’ll deny myself these goodies now, and open them in a month, so I have something to look forward to in a month, and hopefully that will stop me buying any new music between now and then. Even if buying Raven or Tank albums on iTunes is tempting….

Anyway; here’s what else I’ve been up to, in order to distract myself from my materialism.

First off, for my own entertainment, and your information, I’ve complied the following list:

Albums I Have Fallen Completely Obsessively In Love With, in roughly chronological order of it happening:

Protest The Hero – Kezia
Gallows – Grey Britain
Helloween – Keeper Of The Seven Keys Parts 1 & 2
Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime
Accept – Stalingrad
Rishloo – Feathergun
Chimaira – The Infection
Mastodon – Crack The Skye
Kiss – Alive
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Jethro Tull – Thick As A Brick
Gentle Giant – Octopus
Pink Floyd – The Wall
Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am’
Forbidden – Forbidden Evil
Megadeth – So Far So Good So What
Anthrax – Among The Living
Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power
Powerman 5000 – Tonight The Stars Revolt
Jetplane Landing – Once Like A Spark
The Libertines – S/T
Mudvayne – The End Of All Things To Come
Slipknot – S/T
Green Day – Warning

I also had huge Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Napalm Death and Monster Magnet periods, but no single album ended up getting the focus of that huge obsession. Zyklon, Carpathian Forest, Mars Volta, Riverside and Gamma Ray are all almost up there for an album each (Aeon, Defending The Throne Of Evil, Ochtahedron, ADHD and Land Of The Free) but I can’t bring myself to fully commit to writing them down for some reason. Motley Crue’s Theater Of Pain is kind of getting this way at the minute so we’ll see how it pans out, its probably the newest name on the list. Some that are up there have faded, but some are as strong as ever.

Now here’s what I’ve been distracting myself with recently, excluding the aforementioned birthday gifts (I’ve been absolutely hammering Manowar, and that new Fratellis album):









I really like the Alice In Chains demo “Social Parasite” …its quite good fun.

I’m thinking of digging into some really under-listened albums next, like the Napalm Death covers albums, Anathema’s Falling Deeper, Sodom’s debut, Fear Factory’s Soul Of A New Machine and Forbidden’s Green. Then I think, maybe I listen to them so little because they aren’t good.

I remember going back and listening to all my Nu Metal albums like Static X and Spineshank and Ill Nino for a similar reason, but I never blogged about it because I was so snowed under with Uni essays at the time. I found that to be be a worthy exercise for surprise enjoyment (“Ostego Undead” is more fun than I remember), so maybe listening to records that I think of as duds may prove worthwhile too.

I’ll let you know what I chose. Right now I’m off to lift weights while watching the Justice League cartoon. See you soon…

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 44 : The Avarice List

After being reminded of the phrase “The Avarice List” by my good buddy Paul, I’ve decided to compile my current “wishlist.”

These are the things that I would buy if I had infinite money and no responsibilities:

7 Seconds – All ‘80s albums

Accept – Accept, I’m a rebel, Breaker, Russian Roulete

AC/DC – All the Bon Scott albums

Acid Bath – All albums

Aerosmith – First five albums

Alice Cooper – Some of the famous albums like ‘Nightmare and ‘Babies

Amon Amarth – Vs The World, Fate Of Norns, Deceiver of the Gods

Amplifier – All the albums I don’t own already

Angra – All albums

Autopsy – First two albums

Armored Saint – All albums

Bad Brains – First two albums

Anathema – All the albums I don’t own already, especially the new one.

Annihilator – First four albums and new one, and all Padden-era ones I don’t own already.

Anthrax – Live The Island Years, Vol. 8,

Anvil – First five albums

Architects – Lost Together Lost Forever

At The Drive In – All the albums I don’t own already

A.B.W.H – Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

Bad Company – That boxset

Baroness – All the albums I don’t own already

Biohazard – All the albums I don’t own already

Blackfoot – All the albums I don’t own already

Black Flag – First two albums

Black Sabbath – All the albums I don’t own already, Also Iommi and Geezer solo albums

Black Label Society – All the albums I don’t own already

Black Tusk – All the albums I don’t own already

Blind Guardian – All albums

Blitzkrieg – First two albums

Blue Oyster Cult – That big boxset

Boston – Don’t Look Back

Budgie – All albums

California Breed Their album

Candlemass – First three albums

Cannibal Corpse – All the albums I don’t own already

Carpathian Forest – All the albums I don’t own already

Carcass – All their albums

Celtic Frost – All their early albums

Children Of Bodom – Blooddrunk, Halo Of Blood

Chimaira – Crown Of Phantoms

Circles – Debut album

Crimson Glory – First two albums

Clutch – All the albums I don’t own already

Cog – All the albums I don’t own already

Crowbar – All albums

Cynic – Focus

C.O.C – All the albums I don’t own already

Danzig – First four albums

Darkane – All their albums

Dark Angel – First three albums

Dark Tranquility – The Gallery

The Darkness – All the albums I don’t own already

Devildriver – Winter Kills

Dead Kennedys – All albums

Dead Letter Circus – All albums

Death – All albums

Deicide – First four albums

Destruction – First three albums & EP

Dew Scented – All the albums I don’t own already

Diamond Head – 2nd & 3rd album

Dimmu Borgir – All their albums

Dio – All the albums I don’t own already

Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing

Disturbed – All the albums I don’t own already

Dissection – A Storm Of Lights Bane

Dismember – Their first four albums

Distorted Harmony – Chain Reaction

The Dear Hunter – All albums & EPs

D.O.A – First five albums and crossover album with Jello Biafra

Downset – All the albums I don’t own already

Dozer – That demo collection

Dragon Force – 2nd album

Dream Theater – All the albums I don’t own already

D.R.I. – Thrash Zone & Crossover

ELP – All the albums I don’t own already

Edge Of Sanity – Crimson

Edguy – All albums

Emperor – All albums

Entombed – All the albums I don’t own already

Exodus – All the albums I don’t own already

Extreme – All the albums I don’t own already

Exciter – First two albums

Eye Hate God – All albums

Faith No More – All the albums I don’t own already, Also B-Sides

Fates Warning – All albums

Fear Factory – All the albums I don’t own already

Fight – All albums

Five Horse Johnson – All the albums I don’t own already

Fleshgod Apocalypse – All albums

Flotsam & Jetsom – First two albums

Foghat – All the early albums I don’t own already

Free – All the early albums

Freedom Call – All albums

Fun Manchu – All the albums I don’t own already

Gallows – All the albums & EPs I don’t own already

Gama Bomb – All the albums I don’t own already

Gamma Ray – All the albums I don’t own already

G.B.H – First two albums

Genesis – All the albums I don’t own already

Gentle Giant – All the albums I don’t own already

Ghost Of A Thousand – New Hopes New Demonstrations

Girlschool – That boxset

Gojira – All albums

Gorguts – First two albums

The Grand Astoria – All the albums & EPs I don’t own already

Grave Digger – All albums

Green Day – All the albums I don’t own already

Grim Reaper – First three albums

Gryphon – Red Queen To Gryphon Three

Hakken – All albums

The Haunted – The Haunted Made Me Do It

Hawkwind – Space Ritual

Hammerfall – All the albums I don’t own already

Hatebreed – All the albums & EPs I don’t own already

Helloween – All the albums I don’t own already, also B-Sides

Helstar – First three albums

Holocaust – The Nightcomers

Holy Terror – First two albums

Iced Earth – All the albums I don’t own already

In Flames – All the early albums

Iron Butterfly – Inna Gadda Da Vida

Iron Moneky – All albums

Iron Saviour – All albums

IQ – First two albums

Jag Panzer – Ample Destruction

Jethro Tull – All the albums I don’t own already

Judas Priest – All the albums I don’t own already

Kansas – That big boxset

Killswitch Engage – That self-titled debut demo album

King Diamond – That big boxset

Kings X – That boxset

Kiss – All the albums I don’t own already

Korn – All the albums I don’t own already

Kreator – All the albums I don’t own already

Life Of Agony – All the albums I don’t own already

Linkin Park – Meteora

Leprous – All albums

Lunatic Soul – All albums

Lynyrd Skynrd – All the albums I don’t own already

Machine Head – New album

Madball – All the albums I don’t own already

Yngwie Malmsteen – All the Rising Force albums

Manowar – First four albums

Masterplan – All albums

Mastodon – Once More Round The Sun

Marduk – Panzer Division Marduk

MD.45 – The Craving

Melechesh – All the albums I don’t own already

Mercyful Fate – Melisa

Metallica – Beyond Magnetic, Lulu, Live Shit Binge & Purge

Metal Church – All the early albums

Metsatol – All albums

Misfits – All albums

Molly Hatchet – That boxset

Mondo Generator – Cocaine Rodeo

Montrose – That boxset

Monuments – All albums

Morbid Angel – First four albums

Mother Love Bone – All albums

Motorhead – All the albums I don’t own already

Motley Crue – Girls Girls Girls

Mudhoney – Debut EP & album

Mushroom Head – New album

My Sleeping Karma – All albums

Nasum – Inhale Exhale

Nevermore – All albums

Nightwish – All the early albums

Nuclear Assault – All the albums I don’t own already

Obiturary – That boxset

Onslaught – All the albums I don’t own already

Overkill – All the albums I don’t own already

Ozzy Osbourne – Speak Of The Devil & Tribute

Pain Of Salvation – All the albums I don’t own already

Papa Roach – Their 2nd album

Parkway Drive – Debut album

Pearl Jam – Binaural

Pestilence – All the albums I don’t own already

Porcupine Tree – All the albums I don’t own already

Possessed – First two albums

Powerman 5000 – All the albums I don’t own already

Powerwolf – All albums

Primal Fear – All albums

Psychotic Waltz – All the albums I don’t own already

Queen – All the albums I don’t own already

Quartz – All albums

Radiohead – All the albums I don’t own already

Rage – First four albums

RATM – Renegades

Raven – All albums

Rammstein – All the albums I don’t own already

The Ramones – That big boxset

Ram Jam – Best Of

Ratt – That boxset

Red Fang – Debut album

Rhapsody – Symphony Of Enchanted Lands

Riot – All albums

Riverside – Debut album

Rise To Remain – New album

Rob Zombie – That big boxset

Rossington Collins Band – First two albums

Running Wild – All albums

Rush – All albums I don’t already own

Sabaton – All the albums I don’t own already

Sacred Reich – All the albums I don’t own already

Samson – All the albums with Bruce

Savatage – All the albums I don’t own already

Saxon – All the albums I don’t own already

Scorpions – All 70s & 80s albums

Sex Pistols – Deluxe Never Mind The Bollox with loads of B Sides

Shadows Fall – All the albums I don’t own already

Sheavy – All the albums I don’t own already

Sick Of It All – All the albums I don’t own already

Sixty Watt Shaman – Debut album

Skid Row – All albums

Sweet – Desolation Boulevard

Skyharbour – All albums

Slipknot – New album

Sleep – All the albums I don’t own already

S.O.D – Bigger Than The Devil

Sodom – All the albums I don’t own already

Soen – Debut album

Soulfly – All the albums I don’t own already

Soundgarden – All the albums I don’t own already

Sonata Arctica – First two albums

Suicideal Tendencies – First four albums

Suffocation – First two albums

Stone Sour – All the albums I don’t own already

Stone Temple Piolts – All the albums I don’t own already

Stormwitch – Beauty And The Beast

Stratovarius – All the albums I don’t own already

Symphony X – All albums

Temple Of The Dog – All albums

Testament – All the albums I don’t own already

Thank You Scientist – All albums

Thin Lizzy – All the albums I don’t own already

Trapeeze – All the albums with Glen Hughes

Trivium – All the albums I don’t own already

Trouble – All the early albums

Twisted Sister – Debut album

Tygers Of Pan Tang – All the albums I don’t own already

Type O Negative – That big boxset

UFO – That big boxset

UK – All albums

Uriah Heap – That big boxset

Van Der Graff Generator – All the albums I don’t own already

Venom – First three albums

Vista Chino – Peace

Voivod – War & Pain, Nothingface

Warrant – That boxset

Whitesnake – That big boxset

Yes – All the albums I don’t own already

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell

Frank Zappa – Some of the famous albums eg Hot Rats

Also the solo albums by Jon Fratelli and Carl Barat

I would add every superhero movie ever made;
Quite a few Superhero cartoons,
Every Batman, Spawn, Dredd & Spiderman TPB ever released,
Every documentary about Hard Rock and Metal music,
Every autobiography of a musician I like,
and every other installment of a videogame series in which I have another game already.

Wow, that took way too long to type!

Get (Into) What You Paid For: Round 4 – Day 42

Hello and welcome once more to yet another edition of my blog series, Get (Into) What You Paid For; a series in which I blog about music and media I own, to distract myself from the fact that I am sworn off buying anything new for a month (or in this case, two months).

Its day 42, and I haven’t spent anything new thank goodness, I’m actually on track. This time last year I was rolling around in Batman and Dredd Blu Rays, picking up White Zombie and Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots albums, picking up about 7 concert tickets and about 14 Batman TPBs, and generally just quickly and almost violently spending all the money I’d earned from working in a media-centered retail outlet all summer.

This September however, I’m not spending anything. I’m thinking of extending this already-extended challenge to be yet another month long as well. So… that’d be no purchases from August 1st all the way to November 1st. My reasoning for this is that I could use that money for fruit and vegetables. Also, I didn’t work this summer like I usually do so its not like the aforementioned that money is much anyway. I’ve got bills to pay people!

Also… I have so much stuff already. And so much borrowed stuff on top of that. And access to so much free stuff on the internet (how many comedy video shows like Zero Punction and web comics are there anyway? And how many bands like Miroist give their music away for free on bandcamp?). I could re-read each of my Graphic Novels, read all the books I got in the last two years again, re-read all my Game Of Thrones (Song Of Ice And Fire) books, listen to all the albums I rarely listen to, play through the backlogue of videogames I haven’t finished (or even started for some of ‘em) yet, and hey, I’ve got Netflix and so there’s always something to watch.

What’s the reason to buy new things anyway?

Apart from my burning need to buy things of course… (the hungry deamon who screams in my brain to ‘spend, spend, spend,”) and the fact that one thing leads to another (as discussed here by my talented friend Paul), in so much as if I read Batman, I’ll want more Batman…if I play God Of War I’ll want more similar video games, If I listen to a certain band, I’ll want more similar music.

Heck; on that tip, I got books about Black and Death Metal for my birthday from Paul (cheers, generous!) and once I read them that’ll make me want to buy Death and Black Metal albums mentioned inside.

…but apart from all that … I think I could do it. I think I could go three months purchase-free, just enjoying what I’ve already got. Getting to grips with what I’ve got. Getting into what I paid for… I think you can consider the challenge extended folks!

Anyway… here’s what I’ve been listening to whilst weightlifting, walking and wanking spending time on facebook for the last few days:


This is one of my favourite album discoveries of the past few years. This album is so well-crafted, so catchy and such good fun. Its also one of their most consistent, filler-free, and exciting albums… one where everything just “comes together” and becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It really is “the 3rd Keeper Of The Seven Keys” like people say it is. Its definitely my number three favourite Power Metal album behind those two aforementioned Keeper gems.

Continuing on a Power Metal theme, I finished the weights yesterday by listening to the melodic Metal stylings of Sweeden’s Hammerfall. This is a really solid and enjoyable album indeed. I’m not sick of it yet at all. Its been a sort of soundtrack to the summer. It is a really motivating album to exercise to as well, the sound of it just inspires activity and dedication. Something about the clean vocals just makes you want to do push-ups. I think if they played this sort of glorious victorious music in high school Phis-Ed classes (or “PE” for us Brits), there’d be much less fat kids. Maybe there’d be higher sales of Dungeons & Dragons and replica swords too, which could offset the economic disaster that thin kids would cause by not buying Big Macs and diabetes medicine, maybe.

Ok. No. I think its just me. I’m sure the average jock thug wouldn’t want Hammerfall during his dodgeball bullying time.

Can you tell I’ve watched much US teen television? Thought so….

I haven’t listened to this album in yonks. I think that’s because I temporarily lost it when I lent it to a former guitarist of a band I was in, on a day we were going to see Gama Bomb and Onslaught live. Turns out he was in Uni with Gama Bomb’s bassist and I got to meet the band and get into the gig for free. Good evening! I left this album in his car though, that’s the only downside.

That was probably one of the last nights I listened to it, even if it is in my iTunes library. Also, that was probably the first time I’d listened to it in a few years. I liked this band during my Thrash-obsessed teens, but they really were just “one more thrash band” to put into my metaphorical hungry maw. (Also literal hungry maw, hence all the weight-loss now). I mean look at me around the time I was listening to this album regularly:

Anyway… yeah, this album reminds me a lot of Slayer’s Hell Awaits in terms of its slightly ploddy nature and slightly weird black production job. Its thrash, its got solos and double kicks and all that good stuff. Its just a bit dull overall, but still good if that makes sense? Its talented enjoyable stuff… but every song is about a minute too long, and the album is about a song too long, and every idea is about one unit of plagiarism too many to get truly excited about. Still… its nice to hear it again after all these years since I first picked it up (2004? 2005?).

Now this was a real favourite of mine in my teen years. This is a brilliant album. I’m not sure why I am not listening to it regularly now… other than the fact that NEW STUFF NEW STUFF NEW STUFF SO MUCH NEW STUFF

Ahem, excuse me. But yes, Overkill’s Taking Over is a brilliant record. I don’t think there’s a single song on it I’d loose. I like Bobby’s voice on this album the best of any in the discography too. And the production is charming, with an excellent guitar tone. Also it has “In Union We Stand” on it. How can you argue with that? Fun, Fun, Fun!

I’ve been listening to this a lot recently anyway, but I generally squeeze new stuff in with the old stuff on these GITWYPF endeavors anyway… so, what the heck?

This is my favourite Dokken album. I think Back For The Attack is better and my favourite two songs (“Lightnin Strikes Again” & “Til The Livin End”) are on Under Lock And Key, but this one is my favourite album overall. The variety, the charm, the guitar solos, the choruses! Its all so good. Also the album is succinct and entertaining and doesn’t ever get samey.

I listened to this and Heartwork last night upon realizing that I’d gotten a lend of them over a year ago and never actually returned them (woops). Anyway, yeah, I like the idea of them, and there’s loads of riffs, vocal patterns and fills I like…. But each album is a bit tiring. Any song in isolation, yup. The famous songs like “Keep On Rotting In The Free World” “Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody” “Heart Work” etc. are all absolute gems, but deep album tracks all in a row aren’t as entertaining and can find me zoning out a little. Sorry!

I’ve had this album almost for as long as I’ve been into Metal, I got it pretty early in my time in high school. I rarely listened to it (if at all) after I left high school. I seem to remember it being almost 100% d-beats with very little variety, excluding the title track, which is awesome. (I’m always disappointed by how the title track isn’t as good live on the Monkey Puss DVD, and also the fact that the cool bit at the end is a “cover” and not just invented by the band).

Well, my memory was half-right. The title track is indeed awesome. But there’s way more variety than I remembered. Its not all d-beats. The drumming is really impressive actually. There’s some seriously inventive and impressive kick work and fills on here. This is a damned decent album! I think I’ll be listening to this more often nowadays!

I really enjoyed this. I stuck it on tonight. Its basically just a good, catchy Thrash album when all is said and done. Or at least the best songs are. The unarguably Death songs (eg. “Blaspherion”) are maybe the weakest moments for my own personal taste, but otherwise, this is some damn catchy enjoyable stuff. “Dead By Dawn” is great fun. Also, even “Blaspherion” has awesome drums, and some great sections in the middle and towards the end!

I like that this album is short. It’s a short, sharp, exciting blast of energy. It feels passionate. Its kind of that Reign In Blood thing… Succinct, powerful, effective. I think too much of this might get a bit old, but this is a nice snack (for my hungry maw, remember?).

This is not short. It is not Reign In Blood-esque by any stretch of the imagination (save for talent, of course). It is however, really impressive. Surprisngly groovy, musical and listenable, the album is really rather interesting. Its just outside my brain’s comfort zone, so I only enjoy it in a sort of technical way, I’m an observer who can tell that it is good, but I’m not actually enjoying it myself on a gut level. Oh well, maybe with more listens or some other band to “unlock” it for me, it will become a favourite once my objective admiration for it synchs with my gut-reaction.

Speaking of gut reaction…. Boy, this is a banger. Those riffs! Those riffs! Those riiiifs!
I don’t think I’ve found an extreme Metal band that better connects with me on a gut level than the mighty Melechesh (Napalm Death and Zyklon are the closest, but Melechesh do it more consistently).

“Ladders To Sumeria” for example just slays! That reoccurring riff is the bee’s knees. I can’t explain it properly in words, but it’s the “key” riff of the song, so just listen to it, and that riff you find yourself loving… it’ll be that one!

Another new one mixed in with the oldies. I like it a lot. “Demon’s Whip” is a great song, balancing their fast and slow sides well. “The Power Of Thy Sword” is my favourite on the album… it is pure outrageous Gamma Ray style fun!

The only complaint I have at all is that the drum solos and bass solo in “Achilles” rob its momentum, but the fact that they represent parts of the story through sound (the forging of armour etc) is cool enough to forgive that problem.

Ok. That’s enough for one article. Consider the challenge extended and have a good evening.