JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 14/9/09
SHADOWS FALL / RETRIBUTION
These guys have been making their mark on the Metal world for over 12 years and 7 albums later, they show no sign of letting up, they first caught my attention with the release of The Art Of Balance and for me that was the turning point for the band.
The bands mix of brutal power and delicate melody is still very much in evidence, although the Metal content leans more towards Thrash / Metalcore these days but still damned fine, just listen to the superb, catchy “Still I Rise” or the more hard edged “King Of Nothing”, both of which are 21st Century Metal at its very best. The slower paced, hook laden “Picture Perfect” is the band at their very best, if its heavier stuff your after then “War”, “Public Execution” and “Embrace Annihilation” are all power packed, full of angst, riff laden and will lay waste to most of the current competition.
This is another fine album that deserves to be in your collection, initial copies come with the almost obligatory free DVD, which is ok but the CD has 3 excellent covers of an Ozzy’s “Bark At The Moon”, Nuclear Assault's "Critical Mass" and Cro-Mags' "Age Of Quarrel", all of which are very good. A clear winner and easily album of the week.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME (standard edition) 46 mins + 10 OUTSTANDING TRACKS
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH / WAR IS THE ANSWER
If you caught the band live at the Download festival in the UK earlier this year you will know how good this band are and although their debut CD Way Of The Fist only came out in this country earlier this year it actually got its release in the US during 2007.
The bands Groove laden Metal is tempered with a touch of Melody and if you have listened to my Metal Mayhem shows or got the digital single “Hard To See” you will already know just how good this band are and there are lots more good tracks beside this one, just check out “My Own Hell or “Bulletproof” and you will not be disappointed. I have been championing this band for over a year along with Shinedown who are just as good, “Far From Home” or “Crossing Over” both of which are full of commercial potential and could easily be a big hit, you don’t just get the Groove laden, riff hungry Metal you also get biting social commentary in the lyrics of the excellent track “No One Gets Left Behind” which is about greed and the current global recession and all the suffering that it causes. Also listen out for “Dying Breed”, “Burning Down” and “Falling In Hate” all of which are well deserving of your attention, not to forget the superb cover of “Bad Company” which suite the band very well.
If you want to be ahead of the competition then do yourself and the band a favour and purchase a copy of the this very fine CD, it definitely get’s the Justin Case seal of approval and is easily album of the week. They are currently on tour with Shadows Fall, now that’s a really good tour package you don’t want to miss.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 45 mins + 13 GROOVE LADEN TRACKS
CHILDREN OF BODOM / SKELEONS IN THE CLOSET
This is a compilation with a difference, its actually all of the bands covers that originally appeared as bonus tracks on singles and limited editions all thoughtfully n place so you don’t have to track down that illusive limited edition that bands seem so fond of these days.
I have issues with bonus tracks but that aside this kind of compilation goes a long way to amend the situation, especially as it comes at mid price, take a metaphorical pat on the back Spinefarm records, well done guys. So what s on here, in a word everything, including 3 new covers just to make this an essential purchase, the 3 new tracks being “War Inside My Head” (Suicidal Tendencies), “Antisocial” (Trust) and “Hell Is For Children” (Pat Benatar), all of which are good covers given the COB Melodic Death Metal treatment. Of the rest the best are the fun cover of “Oooops, I Did It Again” (Briteny Spears), “Rebel Yell” (Billy Idol”, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (Kenny Rogers) and a very good version of the Slayer song “Silent Scream”.
If you like COB you and want all the bonus songs that have appeared over the years this is an essential and interesting compilation well worth buy just for the Briteny Spears cover alone, very funny indeed, this compilation also has a bonus track, just to add to the irony. Can I also point out the Ooops is German for vegatables.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 66 mins + 17 TRACKS