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Super Haul! (Part V)

Discussion in 'Katagory V' started by Dustin, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    yes, it's once again time or "what the hell did Dustin buy this time?"

    Todays episode consists of a few new reelases, a handful of older ones... and a shload of classic prog/aor albums that some guy unloaded on ebay and I got for dirt freakin cheap!!!


    Agent Steel - Order of the Illuminati
    Aghora - Formless
    AOR - L.A. Concession
    Astral Doors - Astralism
    Brother Firetribe - False Metal
    Circle II Circle - Burden of Truth
    Cresent Shield - The Las of my kind
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Love Beach
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Works, Volume 2
    Genesis - Wind and Wuthering
    Gentle Giant - In' terview (35th anniversery edition)
    Gentle Giant - Octopus
    Gentle Giant - The Mising Piece (35th Anniversery edition)
    Glass Hammer - Les Rex
    Grave Digger - Liberty or Death
    Happy the Man - s/t
    Harem Scarem - Human Nature
    Hartmann - Out in the Cold
    Jethro Tull - Stormwatch
    John Wetton/Geoff Downs - Icon II: Rubicon
    Kansas - Audio-Visions
    King Crimson - The Construktion of Light
    Metalium - Nothing to Undo - Chaper six
    Mike + the Mechanics - Beggars on the Beach
    Mike + the Mechanics - s/t
    Mike + the Mechanics - Word of Mouth
    Pretty Maids - Wake up to the Real World
    Rainbow - Bent out of Shape (remastered)
    Rainbow - Down to Earth (remastered)
    Rhapsody of Fire - Triumph or Agony
    Riot - Army of One
    Sadus - Out For Blood
    Sadus - Swallowed in Black (ltd Ed.)
    Sinner - Mask of Sanity (ltd. Ed)
    Squealer A.D. - Confrontation Street
    Starcastle - Song of Time
    Steel Attack - Diabolic Symphony
    Tarot - Crows Fly Black
    Uriah Heep - Innocent Victim
    Uriah Heep - Sea of Light
    Uriah Heep - Wonderworld
    Vicious Rumors - Warball
    Virgin Steele - Visions of Eden
    Xentirx - Kin (ltd Ed digi)
    Yes - Tormato (remastered)


    Such a variety of flavors there. :cool:
     
  2. MetalAges

    MetalAges Captain Spectacular
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    Very nice! I love the Steel Attack album!
     
  3. J-Dubya 777

    J-Dubya 777 It NEVER ends

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    Major rockage up there! You bought the GG just because YOU are on the cover, didn't you? :D


    J-Dubya
     
  4. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    LMAO!!! Oh yeah, good point!

    If I can get a picture of me doing the "Gentle Giant" (also known as the the PG rated Mangina), I'll have to post it with the album cover to "Giant for a Day", I am certain it is an uncanny resemblance! :lol:
     
  5. MattSnakepit

    MattSnakepit Member

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    Dustin: How does your wife not throw you out of the house when the delivery man comes with all those discs at once? I know my wife almost had a heart attack when I received 30 CD's at once in one day....

    Great haul man, keep us posted on what you think of the albums when you get a chance.

    Matt
     
  6. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    Oh, I don't go unpunished, that is for certain! Of course, my wife is as big a collector as I am, (thus, how we hooked up) but I do most of the CD purcashing for both of us, as long as I pick up some titles she wants when I do these hauls, I tend to walk away with only minor cuts and bruises.
    :saint:

    I'll definately try to post some quick thoughts on this haul latter on this week...
     
  7. Dustin

    Dustin C-C-Cool Beans!!!

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    okay...here it is! :kickass:




    Agent Steel - Order of the Illuminati

    I was missing this one from the collection still, and wanted to get it and check it out before our gig with them in a few weeks. It's a fairly good album that kicks it up a notch compared to Omega Conspiracy, a bit more melodic, and even more thrashy elements.

    Aghora - Formless

    Now... THIS is the Aghora album I've wanted to hear! Much better on the production, a MUCH better vocalist, and the songs are even more adventurous. I haven't spent too much time on this one, but the few spins it's had, definitely has me satisfied.

    AOR - L.A. Concession

    I absolutely loved the 4th album by AOR, so I bought this re-release of the 1st album. Not what I expected. Granted, it's good if your in the mood for Boys 2 Men/Babyface style love songs, but it is not quite as good or compares to the other album I own (which is in the vein of Toto/Survivor). This one is one long R&B/pop album.... Not really my thing.

    Astral Doors - Astralism

    It's what I expected, Deep Purple meets Dio-Era Sabbath with a power metal twist. I dig the other albums, so this is right up there with the rest of em'. I really love these guys, and the total vibe, it just rocks! My only gripe would be that it's not much of a progression from the other albums, other than that Nils sings in a much higher register most of the time, which is a surprise change, but the songs are no different than the other albums, and if I listen to all their albums on random, I still can't tell which song goes to which album. Oh well, doesn't matter too much, they still knock my dick in the dirt with their brand of hybrid retro 70's metal.

    Brother Firetribe - False Metal

    Big surprise, I love this one! Emmpu really doesn't pull any punches on this side-project from Nightwish, but it's so catchy with lots of balls & chunk, I can't help but want to grow out my skullet (that's a bald guy with a mullet) and buy me an IROC. Seriously though, this album is what 80's-style melodic metal is all about, and it just rocks.

    Circle II Circle - Burden of Truth

    I'm on the fence here. I like the songs, I love Zach's voice, but when listening to this album from beginning to end, I'm left feeling like it's missing something. I can't tell what it is, which is driving me crazy, but I can tell you it is a step up from the previous effort, and really solid stuff.

    Crescent Shield - The Last of my kind

    Still trying to digest this one. It's Destiny's End meets Onward. Actually a fairly logical marriage of band styles if you ask me, due to Danny and Grant working together. However, I'm still trying to absorb this one. It's growing on me with every spin. Classic-80's style U.S. metal, a bit raw and primal with good melodies, but that's to be expected for this style. I can see why the European metal fans are going nuts for this album, this has the "made in U.S.of A." heavy metal stamp all over it.

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Love Beach
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Works, Volume 2

    Most ELP fans will tell you that Love Beach is the worst album they ever did. I have to agree to some extent, but it's not all that bad. I personally don't care much for the epic "Memoirs of an Officer and a gentleman", as it's sounds forced, and not as adventurous or epic as some of their other long songs, but there are some good moments, like "For You", but most of the songs sound like fillers. But, I'm a completist, and had to have it.
    Works, Vol. 2 is a great album with the leftovers from Works Vol 1. Lot's of really good tracks here, but you could hear these guys starting to dive into the more commercial end that would become Love Beach. "Watching Over You" is such a great track, and the actual song "Brain Salad Surgery" sounds like it was right off of that album of the same name. Classic stuff.

    Genesis - Wind and Wuthering

    One of the last few Genesis albums I had missing from the collection. Not too bad, but a bit sleepy at some points. Not one of the more memorable albums, but still retains some of the classic genesis sounds/style before going headfirst into the pop territory called Collins-ville. It's obvious this was going to be the hail marry for Steve Hackett, he is almost non-existent on this album, and his leads are few and sparse compared to the rest of the Genesis recordings he's on.

    Gentle Giant - In'terview (35th anniversary edition)
    Gentle Giant - Octopus
    Gentle Giant - The Missing Piece (35th Anniversary edition)

    More Gentle Giant to nearly complete my collection! In'terview is a decent album, probably my least favorite in the discography, but a good album none the less. The opening track is trademark GG, and has one gnarly sounding bass guitar! Some of the other tracks tend to drone a bit, but this band can really do no wrong, it's all genius. Octopus is obviously a classic with some of their more trademark song Like "Knots", "Rocendure Troubador" and "The Boys in the Band". I had a majority of the songs from this album on a compilation, this one is just adding to the official collection.

    The Missing Piece is that transitional album between their prog heyday and the pending commercialism of the following albums. This one actually works for me, I love this one. Kicking off with "Two Weeks in Spain", and continuing on, this was a good, solid album. Sure, it's a bit more song oriented and a bit more commercial, but it still has all the GG trademarks.

    Glass Hammer - Les Rex

    Not too shaby for my first round with these guys. Classic 70's prog with a modern twist. Several influential prog bands are heard in their sound, too many to really pin down in my opinion. The songwriting is very solid, and they have some good hooks. It's not the most original or overly adventurous prog album, but good enough to be worthy of a few good spins. I'll have to pick up some more of their stuff.

    Grave Digger - Liberty or Death

    I am a big Grave Digger fan, and I've been following these guys forever. However, ever since Uwe left, and they got Manni on guitar, the albums have been hit-and-miss for me. So far I am digging this one a lot more than the previous album, it is a bit more simple, but has some trademark "Manni riffs" as well as having better hooks.

    Happy the Man - s/t

    Not what I was expecting, but still pretty good stuff. This sounds to me, more like a jazz-oriented album, with a few progressive rock sections. Some really cool odd-meter breakdowns and melodies that are more reminiscent to Zappa than anything, which is really cool. I need to get some more Happy the Man.

    Harem Scarem - Human Nature

    Another one I'm on the fence with. Better songs, catchy hooks, great production... But so-so songwriting. Some of the songs have catchy hooks, but in a bad way, kind of like the songs you get stuck in your head that won't go away because it's a silly, but still catchy. (i.e. "Give Love, Get Love" and "21"), but there are some classic Scarem tracks as well. My only problem is that most of the songs don't jump out and take off, and are all slow to mid-paced power/pop songs. Even though it's a good album, probably their best in a while, I still find myself missing the chunky, polished 80's metal, Dokken/Lynch inspired earlier albums like Mood Swings and Karma Cleansing.

    Hartmann - Out in the Cold

    Still trying to get into this one. Good stuff so far, and Oliver is amazing as expected. The songs don't really do too much for me, but their not bad either, I think I just need to spend a little more time on this.

    Jethro Tull - Stormwatch

    Wow, excellent Tull album! This is my 2nd round with this band. I never really thought about getting any of their material, possibly due to the song "Bungle in the Jungle" ruining it for me - I can't stand that song! This one seems to be pretty underrated from what I understand. I was always told this one was from their "folk" period, but they've always had that Celtic/Folk sound, and this is no different. The songs are a bit more commercial here, and even some that are borderline metal like the song "Dark Ages". I wish I hadn't put off buying any Tull Albums in the past, this one was very rewarding.

    John Wetton/Geoff Downs - Icon II: Rubicon

    Finally these two go tit right. The last Wetton/Downs album sounded more like a down-played Wetton solo effort. That's not a bad thing, being that I love all of Wettons solo stuff, but being that Geoff is collaborating, I expect more "ooomph" with that classic Asia flare. Well, they hit it with this one, and goes from beginning to end. The two songs that have duets, (and I believe Anneke from The Gathering is on one of them), are really, really strong, and would be radio hits if they were given a chance. Lot's of energy, and great songs; a great prelude to a rumored Asia album with the original line up. In fact, if this was an actual Asia album, I would be considered it the best since Astra.

    Kansas - Audio-Visions

    This one was purchased just to complete the collection. I've had most of the songs from this album through box sets and compilations. Excellent album, with some really heavy tracks. The song "Loner" is worth the price paid for this one.

    King Crimson - The Construktion of Light

    Another one I picked up to further complete their catalogue. Underrated album with some seriously mind bending songs. This one scores high points for writing a few more parts to "Larks Tongue in Aspic" (best KC song ever!!!), which sticks to the radical, heavy and abstract style of part I & II from the album of the same name. Even without Bruford and Levin, this album still qualifies a well rounded KC recording, with Fripps genius well applied in every section.

    Metalium - Nothing to Undo: Chaper six

    If you've heard one Metalium album, you've heard them all. Well, that's not entirely true, but as quick as these guys put out albums, it's difficult to keep up. The good news is, this is a sold album, with some good tracks here and there, but Henning Basse is worth buying any Metalium album, he is a vocal god.

    Mike + the Mechanics - Beggars on the Beach
    Mike + the Mechanics - s/t
    Mike + the Mechanics - Word of Mouth

    Not a real big M & TM fan, but for a $1 each, how could I say no. My wife has Living Years, which is a great album, so I decided to grab these while they were cheap. The self-titled is classic stuff with "Silent Running" and "All I need is a Mircle", as to be expected with Mike Ruthford's song writing. Word of Mouth is decent, with some good songs here and there, sticking with the last two albums formulas and Paul Carracks excellent vocals. But, Beggar on a Beach of Gold is a really big snoozefest for me. Too many drawn out, slow songs, and not much experimentation, hell, not even a good up-tempo pop rock track to break things up. Oh well, 2 out of three ain't bad.


    Pretty Maids - Wake up to the Real World

    I don't know about this one yet. I've only given it about two or three good listens, and only a few tracks stand out for me. It seems that these guys really haven't put out anything solid since Anything Worth Doing... This album has the Pretty Maids stamp on it, but the melodic, crunchy songs seem to be lacking. Ken's guitar also seems really fuzzy and muffled, and I'm not hearing the variety and combination of radio-friendly hard rock/pop songs and power/speed metal anthems, which is a trademark for these guys. I loved the fact they would change gears at the drop of a dime!, But with this album (as with the last few), everything seems so... mundane, as if the album was written with a gun to their head. I don't know, maybe I need to give it a few more spins. I think it might grow on me in time.

    Rainbow - Bent out of Shape (remastered)
    Rainbow - Down to Earth (remastered)

    Just completing the collection here again. Both albums are actually pretty good, considering they don't have Dio, who made Rainbow in my opinion. Graham Bonnet actually sounds great in Rainbow, and has some really solid vocals, the songs on Bent out of Shape are very strong. Not really into Joe Lynn Turner though, in fact he puts me to sleep on most days. Great voice, good melodies, but too soft and tame for rock/metal, even in Rainbow. I always felt he would be better fit as a solo artist like Peter Cetera or Michael Bolton, and having good AOR studio guys backing him up (NOT the guys he's using now). Granted, Bent out of shape is still a good album, almost better than the other Rainbow albums he sang on. I hate to carry on about the singers and not the music, but when you follow up with guys that are replacing the almighty Dio, you better be able to step up, know what I mean?

    Rhapsody of Fire - Triumph or Agony

    Why do I keep trying to like this band? I loved them when I first heard them, no one else was really doing this as well as them back in the late 90's, but I guess the novelty has worn off now. I'm not going to bad mouth these guys, because they are excellent at what they do, and this is actually a decent album for this style, but I really can't get into the Symphonic Metal thing anymore. I guess I just can't connect with it on either imaginative or emotional level, it's just to much. But I will say this, I will take this album over the latest Dragonforce album any day of the week.

    Riot - Army of One

    So far, this is the best Riot album since Nightbreaker. "Knockin' at My Door" is my favorite track on here, with "It All Falls Down" as a close 2nd. Very strong album. Trust me, I'm not being biased based on my recent personal experience with these guys, this is easily one of the strongest Riot albums I've heard in years. Not to downplay any of the former drummers, who are all amazing, but it seems Frank adds a more solid and aggressive element to this album, something that has been missing for a while. It's unfortunate that this album is still unavailable domestically in the U.S. and a crime these guys don't get the respect they deserve in their own country. This one is getting plenty of spins...

    Sadus - Out For Blood
    Sadus - Swallowed in Black (ltd Ed.)

    Once again, just completing the collection here. I've never owned Swallowed in Black, so I got the Metal Mind Re-Master version (fortunately, it wasn't one of the miss-pressed ones!). Hyper speed thrash/death combo, and a very intense album at that; totally all over the map. A lot of Sadus fans consider this their best, but I'm not certain about that myself, I still lean toward Vision of Misery as the best of the earlier albums. Of course, only a very small complaint... Why the hell is the snare so loud on the first few albums!? It cuts through so much it detracts from the rest of the music sometimes. Oh well, no big thing really. Which leads me to Out for Blood - now THIS is a perfect representation of Sadus! Great Songs, crunchy, heavy, with both Fast and Mid tempo tracks, and you gotta love it when Steve DiGiorgio is more up front in the mix, and you can hear every bass note, and as a big Steve D. fan, It puts a big grin on my face. You can't loose when you have a song called "Smack down", and lyrically? it just rocks - Possibly the best Sadus album yet!

    Sinner - Mask of Sanity (ltd. Ed)

    It's Sinner, with less power metal (or less Primal Fear sounding?) and more Hard Rock - Almost a return to the earlier days. Not too bad actually, but nothing really exciting either. Still trying to digest this one...

    Squealer A.D. - Confrontation Street

    Yup, Gus kind of ruined this one for me too. Not that Gus is a bad frontman for these guys or that this Squealer album is terrible, it's just hard to hear Gus and not think of Grip Inc. In fact, some of the songs sound like they were written around his vocal style, and that might be why it sounds like Grip Inc. to me. This album is not as melodic, or power metal driven as the previous albums. There are some really good riffs, and the songs seem solid, but it really doesn't sound like Squealer... It sounds like a different band - Squealer A.D. - an appropriate name change I suppose. I digress, It only makes me really miss Henner's voice (R.I.P.) As a fan, I guess I'm still having detachment issues, which I'll get over eventually.

    Starcastle - Song of Time

    This album was a big surprise, and a great return to form after being inactive for two decades. They still retained a lot of their classic sound from the 70's, which is impressive. I should also add that they songs on here are very catchy, and they didn't even seem to skip a beat in all this time. I recently discovered these guys a year ago, seeking out other obscure prog rock bands. A very good release that I'm listening to often.

    Steel Attack - Diabolic Symphony

    This is my first actual album of this band, and it is surely one of the most aggressive, powerful power metal albums I've heard in a while. The vocals and the guitar tone are the high points for me, strong and in your face, with lots of grit. Funny thing is, they remind me a lot of Nocturnal Rites in terms of delivery and production. Unfortunately, the songs seem to run together a bit and are somewhat similar to each other, but that's only because I've only listen to this thing 3 or 4 times while having it play in background while working, and haven't really had time to absorb it. So far, good stuff.

    Tarot - Crows Fly Black

    If it's got Marco Hietala singing on it, I'll buy it... Period. This band is severely underrated, as is Marco himself. He's gotten more exposure thanks to his recent roll in Nightwish, but it is still wrong that a band like Tarot, after seven + albums, still is very underground. This album sounds like a continuation of the last one, and they have added another lead/harmony vocalist(?) I'm not sure what that is about, he sounds a bit like Marco, only higher in range. I hope this doesn't mean Hietala is stepping off the mic and sticking to bass only for Tarot, because his voice defines the music IMO. Really solid album, with some catchy songs (no surprise there!), "Ashes to the Stars" and "Crows Fly Black" are my favorites here, classic Tarot material.

    Uriah Heep - Innocent Victim
    Uriah Heep - Sea of Light
    Uriah Heep - Wonderworld

    Still trying to make a dent in my empty Uriah Heep Collection. With these three I'm now more than half way through! Wonderworld is a decent affair, fairly typical album of the period, but not quite as memorable as Demons & Wizards or even High & Mighty. Sea of light is my first venture into the latter Heep material. Not to bad, Hard rock with an AOR flare. This one seem to be growing on me. Innocent Victim is a strange Uriah Heep album, most of it is this attempt at blues rock with John Lawtons aggressive Dio-like vocals. However you get something like "Free n' Easy" thrown in the mix, and it's damn near could be considered speed/power metal song!

    Vicious Rumors - Warball

    Best VR album released since Welcome to the Ball. Granted, it is a different album that most of their past releases, but the songs are solid, in your face and there is a lot of variety here. It took me some time to get used to James singing on this, but once I gave it a few good spins, it all hit me like a ton of bricks. I did a full review of this on the
    www.utahmetal.com forum.

    Virgin Steele - Visions of Eden

    Hhhmmmmm….. Not sure yet. Unlike the epic The House Of Atreus albums
    , It's more cohesive and song oriented, with less instrumental segue's. However, I'm still having a hard time getting into the symphonic elements. I honestly miss the more straight forward VS stuff like the Marriage of Heaven & Hell albums or Age of Consent, which were still very epic, and symphonic at times, but the songs were more direct. Again, I'm just not connecting well with symphonic metal these days. There are some really good, emotional moments on here like "Bonedust" and "When Dusk Fell", but I think I just need more time with the album because it is pretty in depth musically. One other thing I noticed in listening to this, is it sounds like a few songs are sampled drum tracks/drum machine, or at least, don't sound like real drums or triggered effects. I'm wondering if Frank actually played on all the songs, or only a few that required him, and David used a drum machine on the more basic moments. I'd like to ask him that is the case if I run into him or Frank in Atlanta. Not that it matters, as it sounds fine, it's just me being a nosey fan-boy wanting to get the story on it, because stuff like this always drives me nuts if I don't know and I'm left speculating.

    Xentrix - Kin (ltd Ed digi)

    The last Xentrix Album I had to get to complete the collection. I've had the first two albums on CD for years, and got Scourge a few years back for a bargain price. This one has always eluded me, but I never really pursued it much since the CD would go for over $30.00 on eBay. Now that it has been re-released, it was time to pick it up. This one is that transitional album between "…." and Scourge. Kin has that 80's Thrash element combined with that modern "bu-dunka-dunk" metal twist that the few surviving thrashers turned into during the mid/late 90's. Really heavy, and some good songs but still retaining the some classic thrash sensibility.

    Yes - Tormato (remastered)

    Every band has to have a stinker album, and most will tell you that it's Drama, but it's Tormato for me. Don't get me wrong, I love all the Yes albums, but this one is probably the bottom-of-the-pile for me. There are a few strong moments, but it's a bit of an oddball album with a lot of filler tracks. I more or less got this to be the completeist, and to get all the bonus tracks on the remastered version (which appeared on the Yesyears box set previously).
     

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