Who knew that Slash was so good at anything other than knocking out great, classic licks for almost thirty years? Some fans might have, but Made In Stoke shows makes the point unavoidable; these are great, classic songs all around.
Unfortunately Elysium (the album) fails to meet the expectations that Polaris set out. I really wanted to love this album and gave it more listens than normal but I came out loving parts and feeling very ambiguous about others. The band has managed to create an awesome half record, while the rest is ‘okay’. That said it’s a damn sight better than the Elements albums!
One of the optional categories that all Hellbound contributors were asked to write about in our year end polls was their favourite Metal DVD of 2010. As it was optional – and because not all of us watched music DVDs in 2010 – not everyone has participated but I think that it is obvious from those that had a favourite to offer that the new RUSH documentary Beyond The Lighted Stage was hands down the favourite, followed by the Norwegian black metal documentary Until The Light Takes Us. Here are the individual favourite Metal DVDs of 2010, alphabetical by writer.
While not every track can boast the same impressive quality, We Wish you A Metal Xmas… offers a bit of sonic relief from the repetitive soundtrack that normally accompanies the Christmas season. If you take it with a grain of salt and pinch of irony, you might even find yourself enjoying a carol or two.
The amazing thing about this release is the drastic change from their debut; with some work put in by the listener they will be rewarded with such a intelligent laid back prog masterpiece. This new direction may put off some of the heavier progmetal fans out there but if you are willing to put in the time and this could sit nicely by years end for top ten material.
What is it about black metal, and death metal, guys that makes them want to drop the corpse paint and put on a biker jacket? Black River aren’t the first side project formed by some guys who needed a break from their ‘day job’ band to just rock (see Chrome Division for example) but they certainly have created an album in Black N’ Roll that will get them noticed outside of the usual metal circles they travel in.
Pairing Polaris with a 14 track live disc recorded around the world, is a great move on Armoury’s part. It is a chance for fans and detractors to hear the new guitar player (Matias Kupianinen) in live action, and he more than stands up to the challenge. Recording this over a few shows means the band can make sure it’s their best performances before it’s put out. Of course Stratovarius don’t have bad performances so I’m sure it was tough picking the tracks.
All in all, if you don’t own Infinite and are a power metal fan, I recommend you pick it up. If you already own it but don’t have the bonus material, it’s not essential but it is cool to hear at least once.