JUSTIN’S ROCK REVIEWS 25/6/07
NUCLEAR BLAST ALLSTARS / INTO THE LIGHT
To celebrate the labels 20th anniversary German label Nuclear Blast have put together this all star line up, the main part of the band is Russian guitar virtuoso Victor Smolski, guitarist with Rage and the drummer from the same band and each song has a guest vocalist from past and present Nuclear Blast signings.
As nearly all of the music is played by Victor the songs work well together and despite some very different styles of vocalist they seem to work well as a whole as well. Like me you will have your favourites are “Bloodsucker” featuring Marcel from Destruction, sounding so good, “Ruling The World” with Toni Kakko from Sonata Arctica, “A Perfect Day” with Helloween vocalist Andi Deris and Tobi Sammet fro Edguy on “Dirty Wings”. All the tracks are top notch and this is a very good album, initial copies come with a bonus CD of rare, unreleased and current songs from the bands roster and are well worth getting hold of the only problem with this CD is that there are only 10 tracks and some major talent omitted.
Nuclear Blast played a major part in making Euro Metal acceptable to the rest of the world and rai8sed the standard high, Happy Birthday Nuclear Blast here’s to another successful 20 years.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 50 mins + 10 TRACKS
KING DIAMOND / GIVE ME YOUR SOUL...PLEASE
I have to nail my colours to the mast and say that I like King Diamond, his music has always been really good and surrounded himself with top musicians and he is a master storyteller and this gives all his songs a cohesion that others lack, whether its horror or ghost stories, he is the Stephen King of the Metal world.
Like all his albums this has a loose concept to it, this time it’s a ghost story of a little girl, the music is as always impeccable and played to perfection and seems a little heaver than usual (down to Andy La Rock no doubt) but still containing a strong Melodic content. The second track “Never Ending Hill” sets the pace for the album nicely and “Mirror, Mirror” keeps up the pace the key element in the songs is the exploration of mankind’s oldest fear, fear of the dark and the King explores every nook and cranny as the character and then wishes he hadn’t. The other key tracks are “Pictures In Red” and “The Floating Head” overall this is another fine album from Denmark’s premier Metal king, he really is a diamond, you must buy this superb CD.
DOWNLOAD “Never Ending Hill” DOWNLOAD LINK
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 54 mins + 13 TRACKS
NILE / ITHYPHALIC
To say that Nile are obsessed with Egyptology is not overstating it, obsession may have negative connotations but it can help to create something inspired or extraordinary, that would otherwise have just been good and that is what we have here.
This is the first album for new label Nuclear Blast and it certainly is very fine work, the other thing about Nile is that because of the obsession with Egyptian mythology is that it helps give the band a unique identity in the Death Metal genre and the imagery that it conjures is very powerful, almost as powerful as the magic that they are writhing about and it lends itself to Death Metal so well and also widens the soundscape to let the imagination run riot. Take the track "Papyrus Containing The Spell To Protect The Barer From He Who Lives In The Water" who else but Nile could even attempt to write such a song let alone make it a piece of Death Metal that is extraordinary in every way. The epic opening track "What May Safely Be Written" is a prime example how event the instrument’s they use and the way they use them are influenced by their passion, the slower, doomier "Eat Of The Dead" is a lumbering giant of a track and "Even The Gods Must Die" is 10 minutes of pure Death Metal pleasure.
This is another fine CD from a very unique band, I am surprised that other bands have not tried to copy Nile but I don't if any other band could do it as convincingly or as enjoyable as Nile do. This is an essential purchase and if you are new to the bands get hold of the compilation of their back catalogue form their previous label Relapse.
TOTAL PLYAING TIME 54 mins + 10 TRACKS