Noise-Some Notes: 21st April 2014

DOMINATOR! FREEDOM HATER! MASHED POTATOR!
DOMINATOR! FREEDOM HATER! MASHED POTATOR!

Here are some more observations on my recent listening. I had the new Triptykon and Manowar offerings to contend with this week but I’ll save my judgement on those for my next Buying Round-Up.

Magnum – Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow

Ok, I started off on a ropey note here. This is the most recent Magnum album I own and I wanted to check it out and see if it put me in the mood to buy their new one, Escape From the Shadow Garden. It didn’t really. I have a lot of time and affection for Magnum but this just strikes me as bland and obvious. I’d love to know how the new one compares to this if there are any Magnum enthusiasts out there?

KISS – Dressed to Kill

KISS (HMO Hall of Famers since 1988!) blast through ten tunes in 30 minutes in proto-Reign in Blood fashion. I reckon this is the closest the original line-up ever got to their live sound on record. The band probably don’t agree but what do they know?

Grand Magus – Triumph and Power

I wasn’t too fussed about this when I first bought it but it has slowly wormed its way into my good books. The feeling that it’s all a bit safe still lingers but I’d happily recommend it to fans of Priest/Manowar even if it doesn’t scale the giddy heights those bands achieved. And I can’t help mentally continuing the Dominator/Freedom Hater/Amputator/Lacerator etc… rhyming scheme with suggestions of my own. Like Masturbator and Mashed Potator. I think Boaby Halford would be proud of me.

Be-Bop Deluxe – Axe Victim and Futurama

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this band over the last few years and I’m still getting a kick out of them and Bill Nelson’s sublime guitar work. Wondering if I should investigate Bill’s solo work but I’m not even sure where I’d begin. The recent BBC set that I bought last year also has a brilliant DVD of their Old Grey Whistle Test performances that I’ve been watching repeatedly.

Various Artists – Grind Madness at the BBC

A massive 3CD collection of Peel Sessions. I only listened to the first two Napalm Death sessions here, not the whole thing. It’s absolutely essential stuff for Napalm fans. Pretty much white noise for everyone else. It struck me that, even through the intense din, they still somehow manage to sound British. And Napalm aside, this is an essential collection for Earache fans. As well as Napalm there are sessions from Carcass, Extreme Noise Terror, Bolt Thrower and more! Delight your family and friends!

The Meads of Asphodel – Jihad

Easily the best Black Metal release I’ve heard in the last few years… possibly ever! It’s an absolute hoot. Further investigation into this band is massively overdue.

Anthrax – Worship Music

Like the Grand Magus album, I’m enjoying this one with reservations. Plenty of good stuff here (and Joey Belladonna is in heartwarmingly good form) but some of the songwriting choices leave a bit to be desired. In particular, there are some radio-friendly choruses that just don’t gel with the rest of the material. Still a good album though and, giving them the benefit of the doubt due to the album’s troubled birth, I await their next move with interest.

Hell – Curse and Chapter

I still can’t get enough of this 2013 belter. It’s an absolutely stunning effort from a band that seems to be overflowing with ideas and delivered with a killer combination of theatrical flair, quirky charm and Megadeth-style precision. Awesome.

SONG OF THE WEEK

Darkhangel, the standout track from Hell’s Curse and Chapter still manages to take my breath away. Shaping up to be the song of the decade! And any song that name-checks Shub-Niggurath (The Goat with a Thousand Young) has got to be good.

[Hell – Darkhangel]

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56 thoughts on “Noise-Some Notes: 21st April 2014”

  1. I hear good things about that new Magnum.

    I like that comment about Dressed to Kill being about as live as one of their studio albums have ever been. That could be true. They were certainly tighter by then.

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    1. I just really love the sound of that album. I thought the acoustic guitars mixed in with electric stuff just sounded killer.

      I’ve heard good things about it too but then… I heard good things about this one as well. I’d like to know how they compare. If the new one is considered more of the same or a lot better.

      It might just be that they’re not my cup of tea any more. I can see how it might be “bland and obvious” to me but possibly “classy and sophisticated” to someone else! They’re talented guys no doubt…

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      1. I get that…I’m less in love with Marillion right now for example…

        Yeah another good observation about the acoustics and electrics. I know Kiss aren’t happy sonically with those album, and maybe they’re a bit “dry”, but really that’s as authentic as it gets.

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      2. That’s a great comparison. I’m feeling that way about Marillion too… still don’t have their last album.

        I’ve heard the band knock the sound on that one too but I think it’s great. Really lively and bright sounding. It’s a much happier album than the first two! One of my faves of theirs.

        And if any band proves production isn’t that big a deal its KISS! Hotter Than Hell?

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      3. …my first and favourite by them. Yup.

        I would love to hear it remixed though, and seeing that Destroyer Resurrected has come now, why not more albums? 2 CD sets? Deluxe edition? Come on Gene, I know you read HMO’s blog.

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  2. Sorry Dude, the only Magnum I followed was a P.I. Drove a Ferrari. Had a killer fuckin’ moustache. I like the idea of 10 KISS songs in 30 minutes. It’s almost… punk. Grand Magus, Meads Of Asphodel and Hell are ones I wanna hear. I love Peel Sessions. The Anthrax excites me. And Be-Bop is still a group I gotta get to.

    Jeez. Between you and Lebrain, I am so far behind. So much music, so little time. Rawk on, HMO!

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  3. Agree with the Anthrax comment. The problem I think there, is that the record was written with Dan Nelson in mind and was much more akin to the Bush-ear ‘Thrax sound. When Joey came back I reckon they felt they need some of the big 80s choruses featured in the first stint Joey had in the band.

    I’m much more interested to hear what the *next* album sounds like. Although I’m still a bit sad that Bush didn’t come back into the fold. ‘We’ve Come For You All’ is a phenomenal album.

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    1. Hi John, that’s spot on regarding the Anthrax situation. That’s why I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. I want to hear what they come up with when writing with Joey’s vocals in mind.

      I definitely prefer WCFYA and was disappointed that Bush didn’t return but then he made up for it with Armored Saint’s awesome La Raza. I enjoyed that immensely.

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  4. I’m far from an expert on Bill Nelson’s post-BBD work, but the 1979 album “Sound-On-Sound” by Bill Nelson’s Red Noise is a perfect addition to your collection if you really like BBD. It’s a little more “new wave” than his earlier band, but only slightly so. I’ve had my eye on an 8-CD Bill Nelson box set that came out a few years ago, but I haven’t found it for the right price yet. One of these days I know I have to own it, and then I’ll know a lot more about his solo years.

    Also, I completely agree with your comment about “Dressed To Kill.”

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    1. Thanks for the tip Rich! I thought you’d be able to help on this one! I know about that box set and is not too pricey here. For 8 discs anyway… Very tempting. Am I thinking of the same one? He’s wearing a rabbit head on the cover?

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      1. Yep, that’s the box set I was referring to. It’s reasonably priced for what you get (8 CDs at around $75-$80 US), but with some other recent purchases and the upcoming Zeppelin box sets it’s hard to justify spending that much right now. I will get it one day, that’s for sure.

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      2. Yes, it’s not a priority purchase for me but I’d definitely like to have it at some point. Can’t see myself springing for the Zep boxes either. I think I’ll just stick with the 2CD editions… I know you’re a mega Zep fan though.

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      3. Yeah, those Zeppelin boxes are must-haves for me…even though I was hoping they would include surround sound mixes as an added incentive. My lovely wife already pre-ordered all 3 boxes for my birthday, which is a few days after they’re released. Perfect timing for me.
        I may try to sell some stuff soon which might give me incentive to buy that Bill Nelson box set. I’ll let you know if/when I get it.

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      4. That’s an awesome birthday gift! I certainly would not complain if someone bought me those for my birthday. Which is on the 31st August incidentally… (you never know who might be reading)

        I’d love to know more of you get the Bill Nelson set. I saw a live CD /DVD of it recently. Any knowledge of that one?

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      5. Practice of Everyday Life. Yeah its a bit to get through once you get past the first 2 discs. His solo stuff I have a few of them, Quit Dreaming is an excellent followup to Red Noise, a little more accessible, Chimera is decent but after that it gets a bit dicey. I appreciate his desire (and ability) to release darn near every single piece of music he records. But yeah its a bit much. I do have the box set called Noise Candy but man if most of it doesn’t sound similar. Theres a few single discs that are interesting, Practically Wired and Return to the Jazz of Lights, I love the latter if you have the time to get into it, the former is good but more song oriented. Be Bop Deluxe is what I always come back to.

        The live cd/dvd is from Metropolis studios. VDGG has the other one. Also very cool.

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      6. Wow. That’s great info there Craig. Much appreciated! Plenty to go on there… so is the Practice of Everyday Life box a good representation of his stuff for a beginner or is it more for competists? And I noticed an album Northern Dream in a shop today. That’s before BBD isn’t it? Have you heard that one?

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  5. Yeah Northern Dream is way different, more acoustic/folky/psych then he would eventually pursue. It’s good but if you are expecting BBD grandiosity and hooks then you would be looking in the wrong place. Definelty more on an early Cat Stevens/Bowie trip.

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  6. I don’t have the Practice but just looking at the tracklist maybe its filling in the blanks for you if you don’t already have all the BBD albums. I prefer complete albums personally so the set holds little interest for me. Sorry about the split post, I don’t have the ability to edit my replys.

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    1. I agree about albums. I have all the BBD already so it was more for his solo stuff. I do still like box sets as an introduction though and for someone with such an overwhelming number of releases it might be a good idea. Hmm… I’ll maybe treat myself! Thanks again for all the input Craig!

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      1. I’m also usually an album-only guy (which is why I have 8,000+ titles in my collection), but I agree that some box sets are excellent introductions to artists with vast catalogs. Sometimes I stick with the box set but more often than not it leads me to certain individual titles if not the entire discography…and then I still have a cool box set taking up room on my shelves. Nothing wrong with that, especially if I find it at the right price.

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      2. I’m exactly the same. Many an artist I started off with a box set before buying vast swathes of their albums! And of course many box sets have tracks that are difficult to find otherwise. And like you say even if you end up not needing it musically they remain cool items especially as they usually have informative essays etc… I do like a good box set.

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      3. I probably have about 250-300 box sets and they’re all prized possessions…even if I don’t go to them all the time. The biggest issue is shelf space, of course, especially the ones that are not a standard size. Wish I had carpentry skills to remedy that.

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      4. ZZ Top – Chrome Smoke & BBQ. The girl at the store thanked me for buying it so she didn’t have to figure out where to put it anymore!

        Just played it again last week actually.

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      5. Ask me on any given day and I’d tell you that I, too, have zero carpentry skills. But even with that low appraisal of my experience in that field, I built the CD box you see over at http://whatownsme.wordpress.com and it’s still standing today. Yes, my Dad helped, but the plan and (most of) the execution was mine. I dunno, man, just figure where you want it to go, measure, roll up yer sleeves, get in there and give ‘er! The worst that could happen is you muck it up a little, but I doubt that’d happen. And the best that could happen is you get what you want (storage for your stuff the way you want it) and a boost of self-satisfaction in the job well-done.

        Scott, as for a bigger flat, don’t forget how high your ceilings are. My CD box goes to the ceiling, basement room, roughly 8′ high. You can get a shit-ton of CDs in an 8′ x 4’ space (with 6″H x 6″D shelves). I say use the space fully. And in Rich’s case, it’s just a matter of multiplication. 8000 albums just means more shelves. Build one every now and then, soon enough it’s done!

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