Tag Archives: Live Albums

Song of the Week: Rainbow – I Surrender (Live)

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I know most metal fans prefer the Dio-fronted Rainbow but round these parts Joe Lynn Turner rules. So here’s a superb version of the classic Rainbow track I Surrender. It’s taken from the Live in Japan 1984 double live album that was made available recently as bonus discs with the Ritchie Blackmore Story box set. It’s a bonus extra that outstrips the main feature easily. Listening to Ritchie Blackmore reminiscing about his career is one thing: listening to him play is another entirely. And if you’ve never listened to The Man in Black’s live playing, you’ve never really heard him at all. No criticism of his studio output – it’s adorned with legendary guitar work – but this is a man that likens studio recording to “being at the dentists”. Unshackled from the studio, his playing reaches a transcendent level of inspiration and excitement. The whole band is on great form here, especially Joe Lynn Turner who sings with passion and commitment. But Blackmore grabs this great AOR track by the balls, lifting it to another level with one of his ingeniously messy, improvisational and thrilling solos. There’s a tag I use on this site: The World’s Greatest Guitarist. It’s reserved for The Man in Black and performances like this are why.

[Rainbow – I Surrender (Live)]

New Releases – 10th February 2017

Another Friday is upon us and that means… new stuff!

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Cynic – Uroboric Forms: The Complete Demo Collection

Cynic’s 1993 debut album Focus is the stuff of giddy prog tech wonderfulness. But there has always been grumblings of discontent among death metal fans who feel that the debut album was a disappointment compared to the band’s earlier demos. I’ll be able to make my own mind up now, as the pre-Focus demos get this official release. The CD version looks great but the vinyl edition is particularly snazzy, and has the CD and a 7″ with it too, so that’s the one I’ve pre-ordered.

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Overkill – The Grinding Wheel

Following the return of Kreator last week, the thrash good-times continue with the return of New Jersey veterans Overkill. Actually, of the classic thrash acts, Overkill are one of the few that just never caught on with me. So I’ll probably pass on this myself… I’d rather try some older albums again than hop on here. But if you’re up for buying this, the limited edition CD and vinyl versions have a bonus track, Emerald… I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that’s a Lizzy cover?

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Nidingr – The High Heat Licks Against Heaven

I’ve never heard these Norwegian black metallers but I know the name through (their guitarist) Teloch’s involvement with Mayhem and their last album Estoteric Warfare. He was the main writer for that impressive album so if you enjoyed his work with Mayhem, this should be worth looking into. And I love that title.

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Mayhem – Live in Zeitz

Speaking of Mayhem! This old live recording was recently featured as a bonus disc with the Live in Leipzig reissue. But then a version taken from a better source was released very soon afterwards as a standalone vinyl edition with new liner notes and packaging. I was more than a little annoyed at this so I didn’t buy the vinyl. But now this cheaper CD version is hitting the shops so I think I might finally upgrade. No doubt, they’ll find an even better version down the back of the couch next week.

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Sleep – The Clarity

Not strictly a “new” Sleep song as it was available as a free download a couple of years ago on the Adult Swim site. But here it is on 12″ vinyl. I’ve never been a big Sleep fan but this is a great track and it’s well worth getting if you don’t have the song already and/or love vinyl. Just the one side of music here but the B-Side will have a, no doubt suitably cosmic, etching.

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Def Leppard – And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit

And finally, we’ve got Def Leppard’s new live DVD/BR/CD combo And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit. I’d normally be a sucker for some live Lep but after Mirrorball and Viva! Hysteria made little impact, not to mention their dicey self-titled album, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for this. Arm no geddon it.

And that’s quite enough for one week, thank you very much! Happy hunting.

Song of the Week: Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Live)

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Here’s a rousing track from Primordial’s new live album Gods to the Godless (Live at Bang Your Head Festival Germany 2015). I always feel like live shows are defined by the inclusion of new tracks. My memories of live performances usually revolve around the new songs that were played. For better or worse, bands seem to put extra welly into the new stuff: meaning that brilliant new songs make for an unforgettable show but weak ones will likely mar my recollections, no matter how classics-laden the show might have been. The former is definitely the case with Primordial. Four of the eleven songs here are taken from their last album Where Greater Men Have Fallen and here’s an amazing version of the title track: a burly and martial take that surpasses the studio version. Alan Nemtheanga proves himself, once again, the consummate metal frontman, and the band’s chemistry and the skill of their arrangements are even more evident in the live setting: every instrument occupying a unique space to create a massive wall of sound. Primordial, over twenty years into their career, sound like they’re determined to remain impassioned and vital until the bitter end.

[To hear the Song of the Week, click track three on the YouTube screen below. And then listen to the whole thing, you won’t regret it]

 

Song of the Week: Iron Maiden – Heaven Can Wait (Live)

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It’s been a dark and frosty week here in Glasgow. Perfect conditions for enjoying some black metal but I decided I needed some sunshine in my listening. Time for some synth-era 80s Maiden then! I opted for the excellent live album Maiden England ’88 and this song always stands out for me. The real magic happens 3mins in though, as the “take my hand…” bridge ratchets up the tension and the song’s tone shifts from jaunty to totally epic. Then the song cruises into the famous, roadie-enhanced “woah-oh-oh”s. This singalong section always seemed like it was devised for live performance so it’s no surprise that it works so much better here than on the Somewhere in Time studio version. The building urgency, shimmery guitar fills and Bruce’s added exhortations to the audience make it breathlessly exciting. It’s brilliant stuff that turns one of the potentially weaker songs of the set into an outright showstopper.

[Iron Maiden – Heaven Can Wait Live]

New Releases- 13th January 2017

Time for us to take a look at today’s new metal offerings.

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He’s not the messiah, he’s just a very naughty… thing

Sepultura – Machine Messiah

Sepultura crack on with their fourteenth album. This’ll be good news for the dedicated fans that love the current band in it’s own right. Not so big a deal for people like me that lost interest after Roots (new track Phantom Self isn’t winning me over either). But if you’re one of the dedicated this is a big release. Top tip: the CD/DVD edition and the vinyl editions have bonus tracks. The standalone CD doesn’t.

I'll wait for the follow-up: Balls to the Concert Hall
I’ll wait for the follow-up: Balls to the Concert Hall

Accept – Restless and Live

2014’s Blind Rage was a disappointingly patchy affair so… time to whip out the classics with a live album and video! The band can certainly deliver live and has a glorious catalogue to draw from so this is bound to be fun. That said, I can’t help feeling that I’d probably listen to/watch this once and then forget all about it.

Go right
Go right

Emperor – Various Reissues

In the Nightside Eclipse, IX Equilibrium, Emperial Live Ceremony, Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire & Demise, Live Inferno and Live at Wacken Open Air 2016 all get new CD and vinyl reissues today. Doesn’t seem like much here to warrant buying them all over again but vinyl collectors and anyone new to this legendary band will want to check these out. I had hoped for more reissues along the lines of the expanded In the Nightside Eclipse 20th Anniversary Edition that was released a couple of years back. Ah well.

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Skeletor: evil genius, shit electrician

Grave Digger – Healed by Metal

I’m going to have to confess to being fairly ignorant of this band. I checked out the new track Call for Arms and it sounded pretty stock to me: trad metal with a bit of the old beer-tent singing for the power metallers. I know this band has a long history though, so if I’m missing out feel free to point me in the right direction.

Bubbling away in the underground, we’ve got some Norwegian blackened death from Shaarimoth and their new album Temple of the Adversarial Fire. Getting some great reviews that one. And from Italy, there’s a new EP Rite of Inverse Incarnation from Fides Inversa. That sounds pretty decent too: I like the crazed Jason Medonca-like vocals.

Not a bad roster of releases today but nothing particularly standing out for me. Them’s the breaks! Let me know if there’s anything here that floats your boat or if there’s anything awesome that I’ve missed.

New Releases – 16th December 2016

We’re getting to the final release dregs that 2016 has to offer now. There’s nothing particularly crucial today, all compilations or live stuff.

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MAYHEM EUNT DOMUS

Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive

This new live album/video features a full performance of the totally seminal, essential black metal album. The band is still out there doing this tour but this release captures the debut show in Sweden. Unfortunately, only the audio download is available through the normal channels, if you want the physical CD/DVD or LP/DVD sets you’re going to have to buy it through the band’s own website which means either a hefty shipping charge or waiting to buy it at one of their gigs.

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They’ve taken care of everything

Rush – 2112: 40th Anniversary Edition

I saw this listed on one site as “2112: 40th Re-Release”. Well, not quite, but there has been a few… not quite 40 but maybe 37? At any rate, I think it’s safe to say you have this already. So what does this 40th edition have to offer? Well there’s a CD that’s mostly cover versions (including Dave Grohl so they can fuck right off with that), there’s a few live tracks and a live DVD from 1976. The DVD looks decent but cover versions? Reeaally? Oh yeah, and there’s a super-unnecessary idiot edition for £150 too. Attention all planets of the solar federation, Rush have assumed you have more money than sense.

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Big in Japan

Uli Jon Roth – Tokyo Tapes Revisited: Live In Japan

Fact: the Scorpions albums with Uli Jon Roth are completely awesome. So good on Uli for revisiting the tremendous songs from that era on this live 2CD/DVD set. Recorded at the same venue as the classic Tokyo Tapes album too and featuring most of the same tracks. Or you could just go and listen to Tokyo Tapes… which is what I’m going to do. There’s also a £100+ version of this too which beggars belief really.

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Don’t know why the wasted all that money on Joe Petagno to be honest

Motörhead – Wake the Dead

This is a three disc set housing the final brace of Motörhead albums. I don’t have any of these albums as I got fed up with this band when Motörizer came out. At just under £30 it’s not exactly “budget” for three albums though. I’m sure the individual albums could be got pretty cheap and those would come with the bonus tracks, DVDs etc… unlike this. But if you’re happy with just the vanilla albums (and Lemmy sketches!) then this is the set for you.

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“See, so there’s definitely a link to the hand size” explained Jon to an appalled audience

Bon Jovi – This House is Not for Sale: Live at the London Palladium

Looks like this is just going to do what it says on the tin. All new songs but live! I’ve been boycotting the Jovi since a few albums back so I’ll just pass on this. Bring back Alec, that’s what I say.

And that’s us this week. Amazingly, no Darkthrone or Fenriz-related releases this week. What’s that all about?

New Releases – 9th December 2016

Greg Lake’s passing has cast a right pall over the HMO Mission Control this week. There’s only one thing for it… some retail therapy. Get some music down ye!

Lovely shades of brown there but maybe this needs some... black. Black!
Lovely shades of brown there but maybe this needs some… black. Black!

Terra – Mors Secunda

UK black metallers Terra release the follow-up to their debut Untitled. Two dark and atmostpheric epics with some uplifting crescendos but mostly dank, raw, dirty and rhythmic. I singled their drummer Luke Braddick out for praise last year and he excels himself again here with a dynamic and intense performance. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room.

The anti-gravity guitar: easy on your back but a bugger to hold on to
The anti-gravity guitar: easy on your back but a bugger to hold on to

Deep Purple – California Jam 1974

The film of Purple’s legendary headliner restored for a new release on Blu Ray and DVD. If you don’t have it, this is a totally essential performance. Blackmore’s climatic solo is the stuff of rock legend, both in terms of music and antics. As well as the restorative spit and polish this version has supposedly been re-edited with different camera angles and stuff like that. Not sure that’s enough for me to buy it again but this is worth getting if you’ve never seen it, or if there’s a big Deep Purple fan in your life that you need to buy a Xmas gift for (cough).

Sigh. I miss MERP
Sigh. I miss MERP

Isengard – Traditional Doom Cult

A new Darkthrone album, then an archive release from them and now this! Fenriz fans (and that’s everyone surely?) really are getting spoiled rotten these days. Here are two unheard recordings from his old Bathory-esque side project on a sexy 7” single. Might be a bit of a barrel-scraper but I’ll bite. I’ve got this pre-ordered and if all this Fenriz-related activity keeps up I might have to just arrange a direct debit straight into his bloody bank account.

I'm not sure... but I think this might be a metal album
I’m not sure… but I think this might be a metal album

Root – Hell Symphony

Root’s new album came out recently and I said that, because I only have their debut, I’d rather get more of their older stuff first. Well, the Eternal Death label, were apparently paying attention because here’s a reissue of their second album (on CD and vinyl) with extra live tracks. Bugger. They went to all this bother so I’m going to have to buy this now aren’t I?

Get tae fog!
Get tae fog!

The Doors – London Fog 1966

Fog! This week’s over-egged and over-priced award goes to the new release from The Doors. Fog fog! It’s a recording of a very early show called London Fog 1966 and the set has both the CD and LP in it FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER and all sorts of trinkets and tat just to pop the price up. Fog Fog Fog! It’s also got a track on it called Tuning. I’m sure that’ll be exciting.

And on top of all this there’s also the new Gnaw Their Tongues album Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent. I didn’t really “get” their last album so I’ll probably pass but I do feel like I’m maybe missing out on something. Shape of Despair’s album Monotony Fields had a buzz about it last year. Seems like it might be up my street but I still haven’t got round to checking it out. And now here’s Alone in the Mist, an album of their old demos from when they were called Raven. I’m sure I’ll catch up with all this stuff eventually… when Fenriz gives me some time off.

And that’s the lot for this week. Let me know if there’s anything cool I’ve missed and if there’s anything you’re rushing out to buy today. Happy hunting!