JUSTIN’S METAL REVIEWS W/C 21/9/09
I doubt if there is any Paradise Lost fan that would disagree with me when I say that Draconian Times is the bands best album to date, with Gothic coming a close 2nd, yes there have been many high point over the last two decades but none as good, until now.
The album is full of the Paradise Lost signatures, heavy, doom laden guitar riffs coupled with sombre, mournful Melodies and lyrics to match, listening to tracks like, “Last Regret”, “As Horizons End”, “Living With Scars” or the title track, just remind me why I got into this band in the first place, yes there are bands similar to them but none can touch them when they are on top form like they are on this CD. Just listen to the sheer magnificence of “Universal Dream” or even the sheer power and beauty of “First Light” and I promise you will be totally hooked. Its not just the songs either, the limited 2 x CD edition packaging has had a lot of thought gone into it as well, the 2 discs come in a DVD sized booklet in a nice sleeve and the booklet has some very fancy Gothic style plating and the extra studio track “Cardinal Zero” is not just a bonus, throwaway either its as good as any of the other songs, the other two are live Orchestral versions that are a very nice extra touch.
This is defiantly the best album the guys have done since Draconian Times, this is British Gothic Metal at its absolute best, buying the limited edition is not just an option, its essential and I am sure fans will look back on this in a few years with the same reverence as the aforementioned album. BUY this album NOW, Justin has spoken.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 45 mins + 10 TRACKS
HOUSE OF LORDS / CARTESIAN DREAMS
Apart from my love of extreme Metal I also like a lot o Melodic Metal bands like House Of Lords, these guys have been around for quite some time and their last couple of albums have hinted at former greatness and I’m pleased to say that this CD is the one that delivers, big time.
The bands first few albums that came out in the 80’s were essential listening, not quite as big as Journey or Bon Jovi but definitely on par with the likes of Nightranger or Dokken, good powerful songs with great guitar playing and more harmonies than you can shake a stick at. You only need one listen to tracks like “Bangin’”, “Desert Rain”, “Joanna” or the mighty “Saved By Rock” to hear just how good they are, these guys are back on form, big time. The great songs don’t finish there as “Repo Man”, “The Bigger They Come” or the excellent “Never Look Back”, this album proves without doubt that House Of Lords are still a force to be reckoned with in 2009.
If you like the bands I mentioned above or Melodic Rock in general you cant fail to like this superb CD and one word of warning you WILL find yourself singing along to the tracks in no time flat.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 51 mins + 12 TRACKS
LYNYRD SKYNYRD / GOD + GUNS
Lets face it Lynyrd Skynyrd are true legends and the fact that they are still around and releasing new material is cause for celebration especially when what is on offer here is as good as it is, the south rises again.
There are some really good classic songs on here that deserve to be heard “Sill Unbroken” for instance is classic Skynyrd but updated for the 21st Century and when the Southern Rock filled riffs of “Skynyrd Nation”, “Simple Life” or the blues soaked “Floyd” come flooding out the speakers its sheer joy to behold. They get a bit sentimental at times but considering how long the band have been going its not surprising and “Southern Ways” is semi autobiographical and a damned good song to boot, the same sentiments come across loud and clear during “That Aint My America” which bemoans the current state of things in the USA.
A lot of people have a tendency to write off a band because they have been around the block awhile and shame on those who do because they are missing out on some very find CD’s and this is without doubt one of them, long may the band continue to thrive. There is a limited edition 2 x CD with 3 bonus studio tracks and 3 live classics that is well worth getting hold of.
TOTAL PLAYING TIME = 49 mins + 12 SOUTHERN TRACKS