Artist: King Diamond
Title: “Deadly Lullabyes – Live”
Label: Metal Blade
Release Date: 9/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
King Diamond has always been one of the most creative forces in heavy metal music. He has been this way for the past 20 years. Fortunately for the fans of his music we have an excellent example of the last tour he did. The CD is called “Deadly Lullabyes – Live” and this double CD piece showcases the King at his very best. The short North American tour was to support his latest CD entitled “The Puppet Master” which is a killer release with one of the creepiest stories King Diamond has ever come up with. It is worth looking for in addition to the live CD. Both can be found on Metal Blade’s website.
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Artist: God Dethroned
Title: “The Lair Of The White Worm”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 1/25/2005
Genre: Death Metal
This is the first time that I am getting to listen to God Dethroned and while I had heard a few tracks on some of the Internet/Cable stations I did not remember their exact sound at the time. So when I began this review I expected it to be an example of another really heavy Grind-Core like music. This was originally based on the group name and their cover artwork, a cover that really actually came across very well and did fit the name and premise of this band which does not happen all that much.
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Title: “Temple Of Shadows”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 1/11/2005
Style: Melodic Power Metal
Metal notables Angra have returned with a CD that kicks you in the teeth right off the bat. Starting with a brief orchestration, you are quickly drawn into the metal thunder that is the track “Spread Your Fire”. I admit I played this one at top volume at least 4 times in a row before I let the rest of the CD complete. Hailing from Portugal, this quintet does not do anything less that pull out all the stops for you on this entitled “Temple Of Shadows”. As I mentioned, the track “Spread Your Fire” is nothing short of a blistering technical masterpiece. There is also a grand chorus that makes one feel like raising flagons of beer into the air when it plays. Clearly this is the band that inspires the likes of “Heavenly” and “Dragonforce” for not only is an amazing amount of speed delivered during the tune, but there is no loss of technical ability throughout. We often find that when there is so much speed that the skill suffers as a result. Not so in the case of Angra. Some of the tracks made me site back as a musician and try and figure how they managed to play it with such a fluidity. Since not all Prog fans are Power Metal fans, I say that this offers quite the treat for the Prog fan as well as the Metal fan.
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Artist: Def Leppard
Title: “Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 5/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
In reviewing the 25 year history of Def Leppard it was quite the treat to listen to this Anthology piece. Entitled “Rock Of Ages” after one of their biggest hits this 2 CD set contains 35 tracks from their long and prosperous musical career. In an instant I felt that you cannot go wrong with a CD that gives you this much music for the dollar. Especially when many bands place these items on the shelf and load them with new songs or the selection of real hits is limited. I feel that the fans that have followed the group from the very beginning will enjoy this the most for there is a large amount of emphasis placed on the bands first three releases. Most prominently figured and almost an expectation is the album “Pyromania”. The record broke ground for Hard Rock music and back in 1983 it achieved a chart position of #2. This is impressive since we were just coming off the Disco craze and Rock music was again taking hold based on that new thing we were calling “MTV”. Seven tunes from this album are present but there are also many of the staple tracks from “High & Dry” and “Hysteria”. It seemed you could not turn on this music video channel (as it really did play videos once) and not see Def Leppard in every half hour of broadcast.
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Title: “Evil Or Divine: Live In NYC”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Released as a direct companion to the CD of the same name is Ronnie James Dio’s “Evil Or Divine: Live In NYC”. This sold-out live concert performance DVD was filmed at New York City’s famed Roseland Ballroom. The Roseland can be a great place to see a Metal act depending on who it is. I saw it as such for there have been times I attended and hated the place, while the week later returned and loved the experience. The love of metal and its elder Statesman Ronnie James Dio was apparent as you watch the show. The tour was in support of “Killing The Dragon” his most recent release at the time. The members of the band were Jimmy Bain (bass), Simon Wright (drums), Scott Warren (keyboards) and Doug Aldrich (guitar).
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