CD Review 1: Metal of '08
Whether you've were around to see the rise of Black Sabbath or the arrival of Avenged Sevenfold, you'll know of what metal has done to the music world. Metal heads, like me, show compassion to the bands that we love. Thanks to Black Sabbath's tuning, we can now enjoy the classic heavy sound that makes heavy metal what it is today.
This review is dedicated to the four new metal albums of the year: Black Tide's Light From Above, Dragonforce's Ultra Beatdown, Slipknot's All Hope Is Gone, and, one of the most anticipated albums, Metallica's Death Magnetic.
Black Tide can be described in one word: blend. Take Megadeth, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, and some Motley Crue, give the sound of these legends to kids ranging from fifteen to twenty and this is Black Tide. The band got big after playing at Ozzfest and touring with Avenged Sevenfold and is now on the verge of becoming one of the biggest names in metal today.
The band starts off with Black Tide releasing Light From Above. The first song, Shockwave, gives a right up in your face heavy riff that tells you "This is metal today." Songs like Warriors of Time reflect on Iron Maiden influences in lyrical style while Enterprise shows their love for Megadeth in one song with styles that bring Megadeth to mind. Songs like Show Me The Way, Let Me, and Give Me A Chance reflect on a Guns N' Roses type style while the vocals give a slight taste of Motley Crue in the mix as well. The bands cover of Metallica's first single, Hit The Lights, is indeed a cover to be enjoyed by fans. But don't expect this band to be the next Metallica. Expect them to be the next Megadeth.
Black Tide's Light From Above gets an A-. An excellent introduction to a band that has very little to tighten up on and change.
Dragonforce has just recently achieved instant success from their song Through The Fire And Flames from Guitar Hero III. But when you listen to their others songs, you can't help but note that they do sound the same. But Dragonforce is a power metal band and they do what they do best. With their fantasy themed lyrics and ear candy guitar solos, they are quite fun to listen to.
Their latest album picks up where their previous album, Inhuman Rampage, left off. The opening track, Heroes of Our Time, is indeed a great song to listen to. As goes for every song on the album, to be honest. Inside The Winter Song is a pretty sweet song that, no matter how many times you listen to it, never gets old. But that's just me. Sadly, one track, The Warrior Inside, has the oddest keyboard that I have ever heard come from Dragonforce. A major disappointment.
Ultra Beatdown is a must have if you like fantasy themed lyrics, crazy guitar, or just love power metal. The album itself gets a B from me, but the special edition gets an A. On the special edition you get two new tracks: The Strike of the Ninja and Scars Of Yesterday. Strike of the Ninja is a remarkable three minute song! I mean, a three minute Dragonforce song? That's INCREDIBLE for a band that makes seven minute songs all the time! Oh, and you also get a DVD, which is pretty cool.
Dragonforce is a fun band to listen to, where you kind of know what you're getting, but Slipknot is something else. Unpredictable. That's all I can say. All Hope Is Gone, their newest album from the group of nine, gives the band a crazy "pick on everything wrong today" style. Corey Taylor, whose voice is one of my all time favorite, is mostly heard in screams. Nevertheless, his screams work. Slipknot does the incredible and has a band of nine people. Covering their faces with monster-like masks that redefine the make-up we saw from bands like KISS and Alice Cooper.
The main focus of this album in Psycosocial, an intense and hard-to-hate song that has made itself among Slipknot's most notable tracks. The track mixes Corey Taylor's screaming into a verse and his excellent voice into the chorus alongside the crazy guitar and bass. You cannot help but fall in love with their skill. Even Joey Jordison, whom I have never really noticed for much, impressed me with his drumming. The songs on this album are up in your face and punching you over and over with intensity. A beyond excellent display of power.
Slipknot has climbed the ladder to the top with nu-metal. Sadly, the album is almost all of Corey Taylor's screaming and instead of his superior voice. But that's Slipknot. From the haunting opening to the horrifyingly awesome ending track, All Hope Is Gone is a display of what most bands have to try to sound like when inspired by Slipknot. All Hope Is Gone gets an A-. Corey Taylor said the album would melt people's faces off because the world wasn't ready for it yet. He lied. I was more than ready.
So, it all comes down to the classics. With failures of albums for their past few albums, this band has promised the return of their old, classical sound that many fans listened to and fell in love with. Their ear blistering guitars, heart pounding drums, and the mind numbing bassist history is one of the most known in heavy metal history. So if you're still clueless as to whom I am talking about, I'll tell you here and now:
The Gods and starters of thrash are BACK! After the disappointments that were Load, ReLoad, and St. Anger, a sound that is real thrash comes back to ears of fans. When this CD first came into my hands, I could feel my heart beating. Even as the first track started to play, I could feel my heart beating! I could even hear it for a moment! But then I realized I couldn't hear it, but it was actually the first track, That Was Just Your Life.
As soon as that heart beat stops, all hell breaks loose. Welcome back to 1986 and 1989, …And Just For All era! If you are a major Metallica fan, then you'll be glad to know that the songs on this album are very much like songs from the glory days. This is pure thrash of the 21st century! It even marks the return of a nine minute instrumental, something Metallica hasn't done since 1989! It is a sing Metallica is back!
A slight downside to the album is that in The Unforgiven III, there is no trumpet. But it is still minor. Nothing can actually ruin this album in all its glory! Ten songs that are just as long as albums were back in the old days. There is a slight mainstream chorus or two in there that fits perfectly well. This is what St. Anger should have been. No exception.
Death Magnetic easily gets a solid A+. A tenth album is needed that could surpass Master Of Puppets. Death Magnetic is the revival of Metallica. The next shall be the conquering of Metallica for a new generation! As far as I am concerned, Death Magnetic beats Black Album and …And Justice For All, two of which are favorites of mine. It is close to being Master Of Puppets. So close, it's deathly scary. Haha, I made a funny!
Quick Overview of the Review
Black Tide - Light From Above: A-
Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown (Standard/Deluxe): B/A
Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone: A-
Metallica - Death Magnetic: A+