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1 hour ago, KillaKukumba said:

Robert Calvert - Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters

You're so eclectic. As a huge Monster Magnet fan it was cool hearing the original version of The Right Stuff which I hadn't ever realized was a cover. Interesting little post-Hawkwind project, too bad they hadn't quite figured out the whole distorted guitars thing yet in '74. Funny though 3 years later in '77 Lemmy had distorted guitars on Motörhead's first album.

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Blind Guardian - The God Machine (2022)

Number seven in my top nine releases of 2022.

For their twelfth album in a career spanning over 30 years, Blind Guardian have finally delivered the album that probably should have followed At The Edge Of Time.  That was the last album from the German power metalllers that I truly enjoyed and The God Machine succeeds in capturing the more simplistic elements of what came in 2015.  The unnecessary pomp and circumstance of the last two albums appears to now have been ditched in favour of a more straightforward approach to some anthemic and memorable power metal and this is a decision that pays dividends for virtually the whole of the album.  Now, there is no match here for Sacred Worlds, Road of No Release or Wheel of Time from the aforementioned 2010 release.  Although there are anthems here, they lack the edge of what came before and the longer-standing fan will acknowledge that The God Machine does not challenge the imperial majesty of Imaginations From The Other Side but this is most certainly the return to form we have all been waiting for.

Structures here are uncomplicated and are not afraid to dip back into the earlier reference points of the bands sound (check out the speed metal riffing of Violent Shadows for instance) to breed a great sense of familiarity across the whole of the 9 tracks on show.  Clocking in at 50 minutes, the album feels lean without being lacking in any area - indeed this is a beefy record for a sub-genre I usually find much to grumble about for usually lacking meat on its bones.  Hansi sounds vibrant and strong throughout the record and seems to have found new life in his vocal chords as he approaches his late 50s.  Likewise, the guitars carry real presence whilst remaining at a tone that allows the more regal atmospherics to shine also.  Frederik's drums do sound a tad stifled if I am honest but this does have the advantage of letting the riffs and leads take centre stage behind the vocals.  Indeed the lead work saves Secrets of the American Gods which otherwise feels like the weakest link in an otherwise excellent release.

Listen to Architects of Doom if you have any doubts that Blind Guardian aren't back and your cynicism will soon be dismissed.  For a band who I had feared lost to the annals of power metal history for good following their last two releases, The God Machine re-establishes a brand.  I am even buoyed by the sentiment of ballad Let It Be No More - a track which showcases the strength of Hansi's voice perfectly.  I don't care if Blind Guardian called time on their career right now as they would be going out on a record that does real justice to their illustrious contributions over the last three decades.  Likewise, if this is the shape of things to come then more please.

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6 minutes ago, navybsn said:

The Minutemen - Double Nickel on a Dime

The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace 

Gang of Four - Entertainment!

Mission of Burma - Vs.

Husker Du - New Day Rising

I've tried that Double Nickles on a Dime album so many times and it's just never clicked. Husker Du I can appreciate to a point. I'm now gonna dial up Gang of Four because I remember that name from seeing their records 40 years ago, but I don't remember the story of who they were or what bands they were from. Might as well start from the beginning.

Funny thing is I'm much more able to accept music with these diverse non-metal influences when it's delivered to me by dudes with silly English accents (which I fucking love btw, "gives me mee-graine?") but if an American band tried to do something like this I probably wouldn't have time for them.


Gang of Four - Entertainment!


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1 hour ago, markm said:


I dug this one too. I like some of her other stuff, but I never put it on anymore.

My wife has a Pandora Christmas classics station going in the living room and it feels jarring. Never really cared for this stuff. This year it's downright weird, like I'm in a Tarantino movie listening to some upbeat tunes while my ear is being sliced off.

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