Loudwire.com 2000 Metal Album Of The Year—-Iron Maiden / Brave New World


Brave New World

Brave New World is the twelfth studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 29 May 2000. It was their first studio release since the return of longtime lead singer Bruce Dickinson (who left in 1993) and guitarist Adrian Smith (who left in 1990) in 1999, as well as the band’s first studio recording as a six-piece, as Janick Gers, who replaced Smith in 1990, remained with the band.

The album artwork and title song are references to the novel of the same name, written by Aldous Huxley. The upper half of the artwork was created by Derek Riggs, with the bottom half by digital artist Steve Stone.

The songs “The Wicker Man” and “Out of the Silent Planet” were both released as singles. “The Wicker Man“‘s promotional radio release featured extra vocals in the chorus, not present in any other versions of the song.

The Brave New World Tour was the tour in support of the album, during which the show at Rock in Rio was recorded and later released as a live album and video.

Brave New World peaked at No. 7 in the UK Albums Chart, and has since been certified Gold. In the United States, it debuted at No. 39 on the Billboard 200, and registered over 307,000 sales on the Nielsen SoundScan system in 2008.

The Analysis—-

The Wicker Man—-Indeed, it was every fans dream come true when Bruce decided to return to the helm of this iconic band. From the very first notes, you recognize a revamped energetic delivery that reminds you of the Golden age of the band. Smith adds vocals and fills out Dickinson. this is classic sounding Maiden…something that had been missing since he left…the slower darker sound is gone…and replaced by the galloping familiar strain of the band we love. Bruce has never sounded better…not has the band ever sounded as huge.

Ghost Of The Navigator—-My favorite track on this release…I love the break at the beginning that allows you to know without doubt who is playing in your speakers. The guitar intro at the onset of the song…builds and builds until you feel crazy…just fantastic. And then the track is off to a bass galloping romp with Bruce beckoning to the mystical leanings of his lyrics. This is a phenomenal track…not has Bruce sounded more invigorated or excited…his solo material never matched the enthusiasm he sings with here. This is an epic track….hearkening the old days…and sounding like the band is 20 years younger.

Brave New World—-What can I say…a true classic Maiden intro sound that leaves you bubbling with excitement as the vocal enters with a sedate delivery that promises to explode at any moment. The trademark Harris sound is all over the track as it becomes fuller and fuller…..Bruce delivers a fantastic vocal…even when he strains he can out sing any new vocalist around. This is atmospheric, classic in sound…but fresh and invigorated. A brilliant track!

Blood Brothers—-This track has such a classic melody line that is very familiar and comforting…but for some reason never seemed to get as large as I expected it to become. This has classic Bruce lyrics to it….somewhat mystical and Mythological…..but the music just seems to fall a bit short for me….but have no doubt…I love it anyways…..there is no such thing as ‘bad Maiden’…..!

The Mercenary—-Right from the first notes, the song is off to a nice romping sound that makes you think of any track off of Piece Of Mind….the chorus is arena made Metal….begging the crowd to chant the chorus as the band basks in adulation. The band sounds so huge…it is amazing Bruce sounds so clear with everything going on in the song. The drums as always…are stellar and the Harris sound is all over the song….but the power chords are even larger than his bass line…this is fantastic.

Dream Of Mirrors—-A brilliant unexpected vocal beginning……then comes that Harris bass line leading you o a galloping desert that the lead guitar sends you skidding over the sand. Dickinson sings and lifts you out of desolation and fills you with joy that he is home. This is a fantastic track….melodic and full of every instrument…..you can’t go wrong with this one…it makes everyone happy!

The Fallen Angel—-After the epic track that preceded this, the band issues forth a faster and more straight forward Metal sounding track that allows Bruce to really stretch his pipes and allows Smith to join in on the vocals…giving the song a really large feel. This is epic….but you seem to get input from every member of the band…..excellent from every angle.

The Nomad—-Not sure exactly why, but this has been a favorite track of mine as well. It has that huge epic Powerslave vibe to it….a story told well with the vocal from Dickinson while the band delivers instrumental narrative. I think the vocal is a little less inspired sometimes….but the band seems to pick up the slack and provide a picture you see come to life right in front of your eyes….this is monumental…..huge and full of classic sounds. I love this!!!! When Bruce hits that chorus……damn the man can sing!!!!!

Out Of The Silent Planet—-Another very favorite track of mine from this release…it spoke to me in many different ways…..classic in sound and delivering a message that resonates now as much as it did then. Bruce and Adrian deliver a joint vocal that makes the sound huge. The shotgun style guitar breaks are immaculate…..and the picture painted is so desolate and scary…you have to pay attention. the chorus is huge…..and I fight the urge while i listen to not jump up and down with excitement. It seems…every time i listen to this it is like the first time….that is how you know a classic!!!

The Thin Line Between Love And Hate—-Ending the ‘comeback’ release with a bass heavy track that again features both Bruce and Adrian on vocals shows that the band is big enough for many members. The sound is odd…coming at you in short jabs of sound…but it still leaves you with a great taste in your brain as you wave goodbye and wait for the next opus. Bruce delivers some stellar vocals on the chorus line of the song…..leading you to believe…rightly so…that the best days of the band are to come.

*****out of 5


Loudwire.com 1998 Metal Album Of The Year—-Death / The Sound Of Perseverance



The Sound Of Perseverance - Reissue

Death was an American death metal band from Orlando, Florida, founded in 1983 by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band’s driving force, Chuck Schuldiner, is acknowledged as the originator of extreme metal. Death had a revolving lineup, with Schuldiner being the sole consistent member. The group’s style also progressed, from the raw sound on its early albums to a more sophisticated one in its later stage. The band ceased to exist after Schuldiner died of brain cancer in December 2001, but remains an enduring metal brand.

The Sound of Perseverance is the seventh and final studio album by American death metal band Death, released on September 15, 1998 by Nuclear Blast. This is the only album to feature guitarist Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin and drummer Richard Christy.

The Analysis—-

Scavenger Of Human Sorrow—-The first thing I really noticed first off with this release is the lack of the trademark deep bass tones on many bands that fall under the Death Metal moniker. The second thing of note is the incredible vocal….lacking the guttural feel of many of the Florida bands, it is easy to catch the lyrics to the song and to understand the darkness of the content. The track has nice mood swings…brutal but damn accessible to the casual listener. This is great!

Bite The Pain—- A nice dark plodding melody line opens the track,,,,but it comes alive as it progresses. The intricate bass line is incredible…really steering the song and the melody of the track. The voice is incredible….this is damn technical Metal….not your typical all out Thrash of Death screams and scary lyrics. Well formulated and played with mastery….these guys deserved to be kings.

Spirit Crusher—-Again with the incredible bass line lead in, this band has really surprised me with the incredible finesse it plays with. To think that this is my first exposure to the band is almost unthinkable…but it is true. I will be investigating them much more after this adventure. I really love the talent that is all over this record…a true mastery of the scene….they set the bar very high indeed.

Story To Tell—-Much fuller instrumentation at the onset of this track, the high soaring lead guitars are phenomenal. The heavier bass line returns as the song begins to form….but it never seems to be to heavy or overwhelming. The vocal often times makes me think of Dani Filth when he sings in a regular style tone. This track has a huge marching element to it…but then breaks magically and gives you a clear soaring guitar…just incredible.

Flesh And The Power It Holds—-Again, the song opens with a nice fuller guitar sound that seems to last longer than on previous tracks. The sound is crashing through my headphones…swirling around my head with a melody that is undeniable. The lead guitar adds to the full sound of the song…and then the drums really pick up the pace of the song. The vocal comes at you fast and filled with brutal lyrics….making me smile inside with the irony of it all. i love this stuff. Especially when it is played with mastery and talent such as this.The mid song melody break is phenomenal.

Voice Of The Soul [Instrumental]—-At the onset…intricate and really sounding quite familiar at this point in the record. The guitars seem to repeat a line that has been played over and over…and perhaps this might very well be by design. By the second bar of the song, the tone of the song changes….adding a backdrop of acoustic guitar that plays well with the electricity of the lead. This is really…dare I say…a beautiful song.

To Forgive Is To Suffer—-as a nice change, drums kick off the intro to this track and the song is off to a blistering romp after the sedate beauty of the previous instrumental. The sounds, I must say, are very familiar though. Although I love this record, it suffers from a sameness sound that you can’t escape….even the breaks and ‘movements’ in the songs seem almost predictable….but I will take this over many of the things being released today under this moniker of Death.

A Moment Of Clarity—-With a slight marching bass line that steers the track, the Maiden style galloping bass line comes and goes like magic. This is a stellar track…underneath the bass and the drums…there is a clarity with the guitars that transfix me. I really, really like this band. How did I miss this stuff first time around? Really a great listen.

***** out of 5



Loudwire.com 1997 Metal Album Of The Year—-Emperor / Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands.The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocals) and Samoth (then, drums).

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is the second studio album by Norwegian black metal band Emperor. It was released on 8 July 1997 through Candlelight Records and Century Black.

The Analysis—-

Alsvartr [The Oath]—-Beginning with a nice melodic acoustic style guitar, the listener may very well be taken aback by the sound. It is not long before the song begins to take form with an eerie vocal incantation as the atmosphere builds and builds until you are literally breathless with anticipation. In all reality, you are being prepared for……

Ye Entrancemperium—-And now….we are off and running to pound loudly on the doors of hell. the drums are so fast and delivered at such a pace it seems to be the maddening pound of evil. The slight orchestrated feel of the song provides the melody and backbone of the song. The voice…seems under produced and pushed to the back…but sounds way better than the vocal did on Nightside . This is incredible…fast….dark and delivered with the right level of  evil.At times when the clean vocal emerges…you can almost hear a resemblance to Serj Tankian.

Thus Spake The Night Spirit—-Epic right from the first note, you can hear the quasi-orchestration from the keyboards. The death scream that serves as the introductory vocal is only eclipsed by the incredible drums that smack your head back and forth on your neck. The vocal…when it fully emerges is hard to understand….but the intent is clear…this is dark and driven by a force. I love the energy and the forbidden sound of it all.

Ensorcelled By Khaos—-No time to catch your breath, as this track kicks you in the face from the first note. The guitars sound really powerful on this….a literal huge wall of sound that creates their own landscape. The vocal seems unformulated and all over the place…but you can’t escape the majesty and mastery of the music…there are huge breaks and ebbs in the music…..and then you are lifted right back up again. Incredible.

The Loss And Curse Of Reverence—-Seeming to roll directly from the previous track, there is no room for variance or experimentation on this release….what you ordered is what you get…pure brutal Black Metal that gives your entire brain a workout. This track just seems to wrap around and attack me from every angle. The brutality is incredible…but underneath of it all is that keyboard melody line that provides the glue that gives the noises structure. This is fantastic….a favorite track from this release.

The Acclamation Of Bonds—-Very accessible at the onset, there are huge swells of keyboards to introduce the song before the drums and the vocal lead us down a dark path. The keyboards are always there though….providing the need structure to formulate the song. These are well trained musicians….never think for a moment this is just bashed out noise and screams and thus a record is made. The thought, the structure, the writing is top notch. This is a landmark recording.

With Strength I Burn—-Although thee is little new to offer in critique of this track, I can only mention that which really impresses me…..an incredible drum track….that helped set the standard for many of the bands in this genre today, a blistering vocal that impresses, and a melody line that appears…disappears….but always seems present. I love the clean vocal element of this song….it gives some variance and breaks up the monotonous feel of the record at this point. Just exquisite.

The Wanderer—-Ending the release with a slight somber and calm note, this track is full of swirling atmosphere and a certain sadness that pervades it through the entirety. Huge in grandiosity and tone…it is a fantastic closer to an incredible effort.

**** out of 5




Loudwire.com 1996 Metal Album Of The Year—-Tool / Aenima


Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group’s line-up includes drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Justin Chancellor has been the band’s bassist since 1995, replacing their original bassist Paul D’Amour. Tool has won three Grammy Awards, performed worldwide tours, and produced albums topping the charts in several countries.

The band emerged with a heavy metal sound on their first studio album, Undertow (1993), and later became a dominant act in the alternative metal movement, with the release of their second album, Ænima in 1996. Their efforts to unify musical experimentation, visual arts, and a message of personal evolution continued, with Lateralus (2001) and the most recent album, 10,000 Days (2006), gaining the band critical acclaim, and commercial success around the world.

Due to Tool’s incorporation of visual arts and very long and complex releases, the band is generally described as a style-transcending act and part of progressive rock, psychedelic rock, and art rock. The relationship between the band and today’s music industry is ambivalent, at times marked by censorship, and the band’s insistence on privacy.

Ænima (/ˈɒnɪmə/) is the second studio album by American rock band Tool. It was released in vinyl format on September 17, 1996, and in compact disc format on October 1, 1996, through Zoo Entertainment. The album was recorded and cut at Ocean Way, Hollywood and The Hook, North Hollywood from 1995 to 1996. The album was produced by David Bottrill.

The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart upon its initial release, selling 148,000 copies in its first week. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA on March 4, 2003. The album appeared on several lists of the best albums of 1996, including that of Kerrang! and Terrorizer. The title track won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1998. In 2003, Ænima was ranked the sixth most influential album of all time by Kerrang!.

The Analysis—-

 Stinkfist—-The sounds of this release…..really have ‘experimental’ written all over it. I have never been the biggest Tool fan in the world…but I try to be objective. I love the vocal that is on this album….it really opened up a sound for many bands that still follow the recipe to this day…a nice clean vocal followed by a distorted type of chorus. There is a nice melody to the song. I love the energy….and the quirky mood swings.

 Eulogy—-Annoying toy piano sounds and odd breaths seem to open this track….it takes so long to form I find it easy to lose attention and am distracted by the acid like sounds of what is supposed to be a song. Finally by the 2 1/2 minute mark we get the formulation of a song…that is full of incredibly emotive vocals and huge power chords…why all of the bull shit to get there though? The voice ebbs and flows with added effects and reverb…..but it is not a bad song…but what is 8 minutes could have been 3.

H—-For me, this is much more accessible right from the onset. There are huge crashes and promises of things to come that fall way for a gentle and intense vocal that leads the song into the journey and body of the work. Sometimes Maynard reminds me of Jethro Tull…lol. There are many moods and ebbs on this track…as most of Tool songs are full of. This is nice though. I rather like this song. It’s dark and heavy enough to really lose yourself in.

Useful Idiot—-Building and building until you fear you may very well lose your mind this is just an interlude that leads to…..

46 & 2—-A really pleasant and accessible intro to the song…the guitars are really nice and you get teases of what the song may become. The vocal is far removed from the song…seeming to be way in the back and taking sometime to actually reach your ears. The pained expressiveness of the voice permeates your entire body. When the track opens….you are smacked with the pain and you truly feel it. This is fantastic….the deep tones of the song seem so expressive.

Message To Hairy Manback—-Gentle and expressive right from the onset, with a Pink Floyd inspired phone conversation, this is frightening and intense right from the beginning. I’m not sure what this is all about…perhaps that is my frustration….I just don’t get this…..I am lost with this recording. I don’t like this track at all…..

Hooker With A Penis—-A literal wall of sound kicks off the song…with huge incredible drums coming at you from every direction. The vocal and the lyric is odd….I guess I get it…but it all seems so overblown to me. I love the music….the guitars are so big and powerful…and the drums….my lord…phenomenal. The screams of disdain are disturbing…..and the message misses the mark with me….not a favorite track of mine.

Intermission—-Odd circus style music that breaks everything up and makes me shake my head even more…..GUYS…..I JUST DON’T GET IT!!!!

Jimmy—-Much more accessible for me and sounding Alternative if there was ever a definition. The sound is very 90’s and Seattle in sound. I love the vibe of the guitars and how they seem in contrast with the bass and drums. This is like a huge symphony….I really like this track to be honest.

Die Eler Von Satan—-Noisy and filled with an almost industrial sound, this again befuddles me and leaves me gasping for breath and questioning my taste in music. Everyone loved this release…but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the lack of consistency and structure.

Pushit—-Clocking in at almost 10 minutes in length, I was really not sure what to expect as this track began. The intro is odd…static filled and fueled by some heavy bass drums and a guitar line that take some into the very heart of experimental metal, Maynard delivers a vocal that is mismatched and full of uneven delivery. I like the power of the song…musically the sound is huge….lyrically, or vocally….it seems filled with a drug addled idea of music that just won’t click with me. But…that is me.

Cesero Summablilty—-Eerie and leaves me feeling cold and sad……

Aenema—-Huge and much more to my liking right from the very first chords of the song, I love the music and the vocal as well. I still say Maynard reminds me of a more speed filled Jethro Tull….the vocal comes at you in short violent blasts and then settles to a pleasant tone. The lyrics are intense…the drums and the bass line lead the song in a dark filled tunnel. You actually feel the angst here….and that was what I was looking for. This is really nice.

[Ions—-Another slow beginning filled with effects and atmosphere, I wonder where this will all go. It really never goes any where…..this is just an effects filled space that means nothing to me.

Third Eye—-Another romp filled with noise….vocal effects, overlays and an irritaing high pitch line that grates me. The vocal is nice….sounding detached and removed from the song….I really must say I’m glad this is all over. This is not something i would ever listen to again.

** out of 5






Loudwire.com 1995 Metal Album Of The Year—-At The Gates / Slaughter Of The Soul

Slaughter of the Soul

At the Gates is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. They are a major progenitor of the Gothenburg sound. At the Gates were initially active from 1990 to 1996. In 2007, the band announced a limited reunion tour between April and September of 2008. However, they reformed for a second time in 2011, and have since continued to perform live. The band released At War with Reality, their first album in 19 years, in late 2014.

Slaughter of the Soul is the fourth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band At the Gates, released on November 14, 1995. It was their last album before their eleven-year breakup from 1996 to 2007. Slaughter of the Soul is considered a landmark in melodic death metal and played a major role in popularizing the Gothenburg scene, alongside The Jester Race by In Flames and The Gallery by Dark Tranquillity. The album was recorded and mixed in Studio Fredman, early 1995.

Andy LaRocque‘s neo-classical guest solo on “Cold” was widely acclaimed as one of the greatest metal solos and guitarist Anders Björler admitted in 2007 that he still couldn’t play it properly.

“Blinded by Fear” was covered by The Haunted (composed largely of ex-At The Gates members) on their Japanese version of their live/double disc album, Live Rounds in Tokyo and was also covered by Fleshgod Apocalypse on their Mafia EP. The song also appeared in the game Rock Band 2 as downloadable content.

The Analysis—-

Blinded By Fear—-Dark and foreboding at best on the onset, the music soon begins and the technicality of the whole thing is immediate. The vocal is as you would expect…forceful…full of gravel and delivered at a blistering pace. The drums…outstanding, are very in your face…but it will be be the guitars..with the soaring melody lines that you notice right from the onset. Well constructed and very listenable.

Slaughter Of The Soul—-Seeming to meld from the previous song, you have no time to catch your breath before the speed of the music wipes you on the floor. The voice is abrasive but not as bad as some of the bands I have come to adore. The guitars are so clear…the rhythm section very pronounced. This is excellent.The mid point of the song…..the guitars seem to literally levitate above your head…..

Cold—-Beginning with a wall of bass guitar, the mayhem soon commences with an outstanding ascending guitar line that forms the melody line of the song. The bass line that begins the song…remains clear throughout the entirety. The voice is removed a bit from the track…the music is the star of the show…this is exquisite…you can hear the technical elements of the band all over…from the breaks, the tempo changes and the masterful upswing again…this is incredible.

Under A Serpent Sun—-Again. we are off and running right from the very first note of the song. The guitars form a melody line that you actually find your ears tuning into and drowning out the death screams of the vocalist. The soaring tones….the temp changes….the rhythm section that is so present…have made for a landmark recording.

Into The Dead Sky—-Beginning with a beautifully constructed acoustic guitar, the intricate melody that opens up and adds a bass line is exquisite. The vocal enters with a eerie whisper that runs underneath of the beautiful music….giving everything a ‘dark around the edges’ feel. This is incredible and a really nice surprise.

Suicide Nation—-Leaving the dark beauty behind and digging back in the trenches for mud to sling at your head, the mayhem picks up from where it left off. The vocal is fast…spitting at your face with a disgust and venom. The music is fast…with a heavy bass melody line. This is fantastic. Very dark with a disturbing lyric….but still fantastic.

World Of Lies—-Huge walls of aggressive bass kick off the song…the drums are really prominent and excellent. The groove that is produced is soon interrupted as the song dissolves into a huge mess of sound that comes at you from all directions. But the construction is very technical and in good form. This is not just bashing out a song….there is a lot of thought here. When that galloping bass line kicks in mid song….I can do nothing but shake my head in amazement.One of my favorite tracks on this release.

Unto Others—-Offering what you have come to expect, the death scream at the intro to this track is incredible. The drumming threatens to ruin your life as it pummels right in the center of your forehead. The guitars offer a melody line that magically seems to rise right above all the noise and mayhem. This is the most organized chaos I have ever heard. The acoustic break that magically appears in the middle of the song will leave you shaking your head in amazement.

Nausea—-Another death scream and we are off and running at an incredible pace. The band seems to almost leave the vocal behind….but there it is again….that magical melody line that appears…disappears but magically leads the song in the direction it is going. The bass takes over….falls away and you are right back to the technical melody that soars clear above your head and keeps you from sinking into the black water. Amazing.

Need—-Not to much new at the onset of the track….the established and trademark sound of the band is now permanently tattooed in your frontal lobe. The vocal….becomes tiresome at points…..it is only the magical mastery of the music that makes you crave more from the band. This is ground breaking.

The Flames Of The End—-Ending the release with atmosphere and a surprise intro, the band again shows its talent and versatility with a slow and melodic intro that leads you down a scary path into a darkness you are not sure of. The blasts of guitars that appear and disappear are monstrous and then gone….here and then there. This is stellar. The tone of the song…so dark and eerie. Not a single word was uttered with this final song…but it pt you right where the album wanted you to be.

****3/4 out of 5




Loudwire.com 1994 Metal Album Of The Year—-Pantera / Far Beyond Driven

Far Beyond Driven [Explicit]

Far Beyond Driven is the seventh studio album by American heavy metal band Pantera, released on March 22, 1994 by EastWest Records. The album is Pantera’s fastest-selling album. The album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Also, the album was certified Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Far Beyond Driven is the first album by Pantera where the band’s guitarist Darrell Abbott is credited as “Dimebag Darrell”, having changed his nickname from “Diamond Darrell” soon after Vulgar Display of Power was released. The Japanese and the Driven Downunder Tour ’94 Souvenir Collection editions contain a bonus thirteenth track, “The Badge”, a Poison Idea cover. This cover was also featured on The Crow soundtrack.

The Analysis—-

Strength Beyond Strength—-From the very second you hit play. you are pummeled by not only an aggressive vocal…but the band…seems so much larger and filled with an urgency that literally leaves you collapsed on the floor. Anselmo sounds possessed with his vocal….out of control and mad as hell. The energy is incredible….and scary!

Becoming—-Seeming to meld from one track right to the other, Anselmo sounds a bit more grounded with his vocal on this track. The vocal comes at you from every direction….sometimes pleasant as hell….other times seeming to be possessed by some demon we are not privy to. The band is so well in tune….it literally wraps itself around the vocal…fitting right in with the aggressive vocal.

5 Minutes Alone—-Never giving you a second to catch your breath. the band literally leaps from one song right into the other. Phil comes forward with his vocal…deep and smacking you right up side the head with a venom and anger that you can’t run from. The yells sometimes seem to come right from the center of his being…..just incredible.

I’m Broken—-Huge, fantastic power chords introduce the track. The drums are just incredible. Phil has a bit of a double track vocal…it gives the song a very full feel…but wonder how it played live. The vocal delivery is just incredible…full of venom and anger…desperation and a slight pleading underneath it all. This is heavy…intense and full of a darkness even the bright guitars can’t escape from.

Good Friends And A Bottle Of Pills—-What an incredible bass line intro!!!! And the effects of the song leave you a bit off kilter and wondering what the hell is going on. The vocal enters with a spoken word filth that leaves you a bit removed from the intensity of the previous tracks. This is a literal noise fest that i really never gelled with.This is just pure noise with no structure.

Hard lines, Sunken Cheeks—-Again. a nice fuzzy bass line introduces the song but is joined by the brightness of the guitars. The drums are smack in the center of your forehead as the plodding intro seems to last forever. Then Phil burst forward spitting lines after lines of venom. The drums remain right there though…so in your face you almost get whiplash. I can take or leave the vocal…but the band and their performance…..is on point!

Slaughtered—-Huge blasts of guitars serve as the introduction to this track. Anselmo, again delivers a vocal that differs so little from other songs it all begins to sound the same. It is the magic that the band has that makes this listenable for me. The drums are stellar…the guitars come at you like machine guns. The voice is just fuzz in the whole affair…..I have never heard the band sound better.

25 Years—-Clearer and with a friendlier sound at the onset of the song, the band is in such great form…right sown to the cow bell in the back drop of the song. When the deep bass elements of the song come into play it is like listening to early Sabbath on speed. The noise and the wall of sound wraps around your head and just squeezes. This is fantastic.

Shedding Skin—-Again with the incredible drum and bass line at the onset of the track. Everything seems to fall away to introduce an odd vocal beginning…but the band comes back alive…as dos the vocal. Lines seem to overlap lines….and the song is really one of the most accessible tracks on this release…aggressive but rather listenable…giving some substance and showing how ell practiced the band is.

Use My Third Arm—-Really aggressive….both lyrically and vocally…the bass line is played so incredibly fast and the drums come at you right out of the best Death bands. The vocal…I can take or leave…Phil wears me out after awhile…not like many of the Hardcore bands I like. There is just so little variance in his delivery…it is like one huge long song from him. it is the mastery of the band that makes this release tolerable for me….these are great musicians.

Throes Of Rejection—-The rhythm section leads the song off right from the very onset……giving everything a dark and ominous tone. Even the strong clear lines of guitars never take away from the deeper tones of the song. The band is literally magnificent on this release…Phil just seems to appear and scream for the most part. I could listen to a instrumental version of this release forever.

Planet Caravan—-Delivered with a musical finesse that leaves me in awe, even the vocal is rather acceptable. I’m amazed at this cover…one of the best I have heard. This closing track leaves me with a much better taste in my mouth than did most of the release. It just seemed to me…that most of this recording found Phil out of control…the band was tight as hell…but he was everywhere else.

***3/4 out of 5





Loudwire.com 1993 Metal Album Of The Year—-Type O Negative / Bloody Kisses


Bloody Kisses

Type O Negative was an American gothic metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1989, by Peter Steele (bass, vocals), Kenny Hickey (guitar, vocals), Josh Silver (keyboards), and Sal Abruscato (drums), who was later replaced by Johnny Kelly. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname “The Drab Four”(in homage to The Beatles‘ “Fab Four” moniker). The band went Platinum with 1993’s Bloody Kisses, and Gold with 1996’s October Rust, and gained a fanbase through seven studio albums, two best-of compilations, and concert DVDs.

On April 14, 2010, lead vocalist, bassist, and principal songwriter Peter Steele died, reportedly from heart failure brought on by an aortic aneurysm. Members Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly stated in a November 2010 interview with French music magazine Rock Hard that the band would not continue.

Bloody Kisses is the third album by the American band Type O Negative. It is also the last recording to feature the band’s original line-up, as drummer Sal Abruscato would leave Type O Negative in late 1993. The album further established Type O Negative motifs, such as including cover songs restylized into gloomy gothic metal, sample-heavy soundscapes in between songs, and dry, satirical humor. This album includes a cover of the Seals and Crofts song “Summer Breeze“.

Bloody Kisses was the first album on Roadrunner Records to achieve gold and platinum certification.

The Analysis—-

Machine Screw—-As with most Type O releases, the slight intro is one of sardonic humor and noise. Being a late bloomer to this band, I was fortunate enough to become a hardcore fan and witnessed Peter and Co. live just before his death. And we move onward to….

Christian Woman—-That trademark baritone of Steele’s ushers in the track with a spoken word that opens up with a wispy and eerie vocal before the band and the song kick into gear with a damn pleasant song. Not too heavy and not too sweet…but full of darkness and deep tones. I love the way Peter sings….still one of my favorite tracks, this is the band at top notch.The end of the track is both beautiful and dark with vivid lyrics and a delivery from Pete vocally that is fantastic…..he could sing really well when he wanted to.

Black No. 1 [Little Miss Scare-All]—-Perhaps one of the best known Type O Negative tracks in their career, the deep and plodding sound of the music sets you up for the deep baritone vocal that seems to wrap right around the music. This version…a bit different….is full of mood swings and some really nice guitars. When Pete really begins to deliver his vocal you realize this really is premier Goth Metal. Masterfully delivered with humor, darkness and a slight brutality.And a chorus for the ages!!!

Fay Wray Come Out And Play—-This brief interlude…filled with humorous effects and plain noise is typical of the band and their sense of humor. Eat em’ up…..

Kill All The White People—-Kicking off with a fuzziness, the song is as much Punk rock as it is Heavy Metal. Speedy with a distorted feel even to the vocal, this is dark humor at it’s best…as only this band could do. The mood shifts in the song are incredible…becoming clear and then dissolving back into mayhem. Classic.

Summer Breeze—-Perhaps one of my favorite tracks from the band….just simply because they could take such a smooth and pleasant song and add the touches to make it a dark and depressing journey through summer happiness. This is the band at their best…filled with a sense of humor, a unique point of view and a wonderfully musical delivery. Only Pete could sound so depressed…only a Type O bass line could sound so majestic!

Set Me On Fire—-Melding from the previous track with a precision and seamless melody line, this is fantastic. The band delivers an almost 50’s inspired beautiful sound to the song. The drums are outstanding and the harmonies are incredible….Kenny Silvers and his vocal is ON POINT….a high point on the release.

Dark Side Of The Womb—-Another odd interlude….but it is as expected……continuing on to…

We Hate Everyone—-speedy in musical delivery and filled with the back drop of Silvers vocals, Steele actually sings at times on the song all while the drums keep things going until a machine sound filled break brings a halt to the enthusiasm. We are back in deep and dark plodding mode as the track continues…with Pete delivering a vocal hard to even understand. The many moods of the song always keep me interested though…you will never be bored with a Type O release.

Bloody Kisses A Death In The Family]—-Classic Horror organ introduces the song before the sludge of the bass line begins and sends us on yet another slow and plodding sardonic romp through the brain of Peter Steele. The vocal is catchy as hell…you find yourself wrapped around it like a lost lover. There was no band like this at the time….and they continued to deliver this classic sound till the time of Steele’s passing. Just incredible…..there is NOTHING to complain about. That pleading vocal from Steele towards the end…is actually heart-wrenching.

3 O.I.F—-Noisy and odd, what else would you expect from the band….always consistent…..but always full of surprises….this is atmospheric and just plain odd….

Too Late: Frozen—-Another fan favorite that lived well into the career of the band, the guitar squeals and the huge chorus made it ready for audience participation at live shows. The entire band adds to the song….and it is a brighter romp…musically. Lyrically…it still falls well within the realms of the bands concept. This has some really nice bright spots though. a favorite.

Blood & Fire—-Fuzzy and filled with a slight distortion, the track also has some really nice power chord blast that lead into the darker sounds that the band does so well. Pete sings really well on this track…you find yourself loving the melody line of the song. The lyrics…not happy…..by relate able…..we have all been there. This is a beautifully constructed song….backing vocals that fir like a glove…a lead vocal that displays huge emotion and a musical landscape that is as you wish for….consistent.

Can’t Lose You—-Ending the proper release with some nice funeral style bass and what sounds like a sitar, the track leaves us as moody and dark as the intro left us feeling. This is a fantastic listen….a band at the peak of creativity and really filling the glove of who they had set out to be…humorous….dark but quality musicians. This is a fantastic listen.

***** out of 5