Tag Archives: heavy metal

“The Spider’s Lullabye” (remaster) by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “The Spider’s Lullabye” (remaster)
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10/13/2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Freshly remastered by guitarist/producer Andy LaRoque, King Diamond’s 1995 opus “The Spider’s Lullabye” comes at us for another attack. It’s interesting to listen to this particular album some fourteen years later as it’s quite different from what fans of the King had grown used to him delivering, and it was also the first album to be released on his then new label Metal Blade Records. Some felt this release was the weakest offering that the King had delivered and in one sense I can agree that it is not as strong as your “Them” or “Abigail” recordings, but those are very, very hard to top when it comes down to it based on how they impacted the Heavy Metal genre and its use of Horror as a consistent genre for source material. When you play the remastered edition you will quickly realize that “The Spider’s Lullabye” is not a timid release in any shape or form, but it is different in how it begins because it starts up by offering up several small stories as opposed to one centralized theme that runs a full album. Perhaps the hardcore fans expect Mr. Diamond to only release full stories and never experiment with his own musical ideas every once in awhile. Musically this is on point as long time collaborator Andy LaRoque is in place and with subject matter that involves ghosts, serial murderers and being buried alive one can see that the switch to Metal Blade from Roadrunner Records did not find the King dulling his senses or skill at things macabre. My favorites from this part of the recording are “The Poltergeist” and “Six Feet Under”.
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“Give Me Your Soul….Please” by King Diamond

Artist: King Diamond
Title: “Give Me Your Soul….Please”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 6/26/2007
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

It’s been four years since he delivered the truly terrifying “Puppetmaster” and now the Master of Horror Metal is back with sinister purpose Yes King Diamond has returned with “Give Me Your Soul…Please”, an album that once again paints a dismal picture of mankind’s actions against one another and places the tale to energetic Heavy Metal music. The story this time around is that of two children who were brutally murdered by their father and while this sad occurrence is something that we read about far too frequently in today’s world, the King presents an even eerier twist on the horrific event. You see the deceased girl is trying to get her brothers soul into Heaven because he was wrongly sent to Hell. The only way that she can do this is by getting another one to replace his own and her perfect candidate for the not so cozy Underworld apartment is just as you guessed it – King Diamond’s immortal soul. It sounds like quite the tale and while it makes for some interesting reading as far as the lyrics go, I did not find myself as gripped by it as I was finding with “Puppetmaster”. That album sent chills through the spines of many Metal heads and had them squirming in their seats as they listened to every bone-chilling track.
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“10,000 Days” by Tool

Artist: Tool
Title: “10,000 Days”
Label: Volcano Records
Release Date: 5/2/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal/Progressive
Rating: 7.5/10

The first thing about the long awaited Tool CD that grabbed my attention was the packaging. Yes, that’s right I said the packaging. Ok, I know it is about the music, but true to form Tool once again has some top notch package design going on courtesy of Adam Jones. Just like the vinyl albums of the past with intricate record jackets – the 10,000 Days CD gives you the complete experience of opening up the disk and going…? WTF, Oh Cool! It’s much more than the music with Tool as it’s a nice introduction to the band and something to set the mood. You don’t get this vibe from downloading MP3s. The case has two lenses in a folded flap which magnify the eyes of a Tribal tri-face illustration. Then when you open it up there are pages of double images that can be viewed through these lenses. Basically the CD case folds out to become a Stereoscope, on which 3D images can be viewed. Flip the pages and the fun begins as you browse through a series of 3D illustrations, band member photos, and some strange stuff typical of Tool which can be stared at after or while the music plays. Where’s the bong?
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“City of Lost Souls” (remaster) by Seven Witches

Artist: Seven Witches
Title: “City of Lost Souls” (remaster)
Label: Crash Music
Release Date: 1/24/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

Crash Music has re-unleashed the early Seven Witches releases on the Metal masses that are hungry for rock solid music and catchy Heavy Metal compositions. Available for the first time in the US the albums featuring axe slinger Jack Frost, the Seven Witches deliver a very inspired sound which might call to mind levels of Overkill based on the vocals of Bobby Lucas. There are times where you would think Blitz is on the record but he is not. The band has a great traditional style that does not come across as dated when you listen to the release (it was originally issued in 2000). Songs like “City Of Lost Souls” and “No Man’s Land” will bring your love of classic Metal right back and along with “The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” they are geared for fans of Maiden, Priest and Savatage (a band that Frost ended up in for a short time). “We Are The Coven” is a great sing along that has a lot of working elements to make it a worthy anthem. The band has two excellent covers as well with a rendition of Exciter’s “Pounding Metal” which absolutely kicks ass, and “Hell Is for Children” which gets a Heavy Metal makeover that would make Pat Benatar smile at the result.
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“MTV2 Headbangers Ball: The Revenge” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “MTV2 Headbangers Ball: The Revenge”
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release Date: 4/11/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7/10

Headbanger’s Ball was an institution in the middle years of MTV that was a phenomenon when it originally aired. It was the place to be on a Saturday night as for a few hours Metal ruled and you would not only see your favorite artists but also be treated to new and exciting music from up and coming bands. The network brought the show back to us a couple of years ago and it no longer features the big hair bands of the eighties that sometimes found their place on the show. As the title denotes the Headbanger’s is back and it has returned for revenge. Roadrunner Records in conjunction with MTV has put together this amazing collection of some of the heaviest music around and it is sure to please the hungriest of Metal appetites. Thirty-eight songs on two CD’s and at an affordable price make this a definite item to investigate. Take a look at the artists whose work you will find here : Slipknot, Korn, Iron Maiden, Hatebreed, Mudvayne, Avenged Sevenfold, HIM, Trivium, Lamb Of God, 10 Years, Disturbed, As I Lay Dying, Lacuna Coil, Underoath, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, Black Label Society, Bleeding Through, In Flames, Chimaira, Bullet For My Valentine, Arch Enemy, It Dies Today, Opeth, Norma Jean, Devildriver, Still Remains, God Forbid, Throwdown, From First To Last, 38 Crazyfists, Dragonforce, A Life Once Lost, High On Fire, Bloodsimple, Haste The Day, Walls Of Jericho & Kingdom Of Sorrow.
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