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IrritatedTrout
10-28-2012, 04:16 AM
I'm going to start a bit early to beat the rush. I'm still waiting on two albums to come out this year so what I'm gonna do is start by reviewing all my 2012 albums chronologically. Nothing overly long, maybe just a paragraph each. Then I'll post my final ranking closer to the end of the year once everything has been released. I may also add a few things such as top 10 songs, best live shows, etc but I doubt I go too all out with this.

IrritatedTrout
10-28-2012, 04:22 AM
Album #1: Lamb of God - Resolution
January 24, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e0/LOG_Resolution.jpg

My first LOG album. I saw the mini-tour they did on the first date in Richmond, VA. I'm not a massive LOG fan like my brother but they're pretty good. I don't listen to the album much and I usually can't get through the entire thing at once but there are a lot of good tracks here. The first two, Desolation and Ghost Walking are probably my favorites. I've always felt Lamb of God were really same-y and that's the biggest fault with this album. A lot of very similar songs, probably why I don't listen much. I'd give it a 7.5 for being solid though.

Not much more to say about this one really.

IrritatedTrout
10-28-2012, 06:05 PM
Album #2: Metallica - Beyond Magnetic
January 31, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/09/Metallica_-_Beyond_Magnetic_cover.jpg

A decent release considering these are tracks that the band didn't think were good enough for the album. I'd say that Just A Bullet Away is actually better than a number of tracks on Death Magnetic despite the homoerotic "Suck, suck it till it's gone dry" line. :eyes: Hate Train is also a good tune, the other two are pretty average. I think the songs on this EP suffer from the same problem as Death Magnetic (and almost all of Metallica's post-Black Album career), the songs are too damn long! If they cut them all in half then they'd be a lot better. Metallica's old songs have length but they go somewhere. It seems like from Load on Metallica just wrote long songs because they felt like they had to despite the fact that they often feel like they go absolutely nowhere. Oh, and the production sucks too.:lol: Probably my least favorite release this year but it's not horrendous. I'd give it a 6.5.

OraclesofAgony
10-28-2012, 11:24 PM
I keep forgetting that Lamb of God came out with an album this year.

IrritatedTrout
10-29-2012, 05:06 AM
Album #3: Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth
February 3, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/Van_Halen_-_A_Different_Kind_of_Truth.jpg

This was a very high-profile release for this year so I'm sure you've heard all the opinions on it before. I've heard everything from it absolutely sucks to it's a classic that should be played live in it's entirety. I don't agree with either of those at all. It's far from a classic but it's pretty good, especially considering how many years it's been since DLR and the Van Halens did an album together. I was worried when the first single was released because that shit does suck. :lol: "SEXY DRAGON MAGIC" Shut the hell up. Along with the horribly titled "Honeybabysweetiedoll", Tattoo is the worst song on the album. Stay Frosty is a bit on the stupid side too but it's enjoyable in a weird way.

I remember when the single was released it was said that tour dates would be following imminently, well I was on the way to the airport to go to New Delhi for two weeks so I was checking my girlfriend's smart phone right up to the time we parted for updates. :lol: And then I tried to buy a ticket to the DC show from a two-decade old PC with a connection slower than my 90's dial-up in Agra. Didn't work out and I missed out on the tour. Then they announced a show in my hometown this summer! And they cancelled it.:finger2: One day...

Anyways, a decent album. Van Halen isn't my favorite but I enjoy them from time to time and I occasionally put this record on. So far my 2012 seems pretty underwhelming but it starts to pick up a bit from here. I'd give it a 7.5.

IrritatedTrout
10-29-2012, 08:31 AM
Album #4: Blaze Bayley - The King of Metal
March 8, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1e/Blaze_bayley_the_king_of_metal_cover.jpg

This is an album that was largely panned by most people. I'll admit, there are a lot of warts on this one. The production is bad, the lyrics can be awful at points, and the backing band clearly does not have the chops of Blaze's past lineups. Despite all this, I really enjoyed this album. Blaze's vocals are great and he has some really interesting melodies on this record. Dimebag is probably the best track on the album although the vocals on the title track, the Rainbow Fades To Black, and One More step are really interesting as well. One thing that might have made me like this album more than most people is that I didn't get it until it had been out for months and my expectations were pretty freakin' low after reading all the reviews. :lol: So the album really didn't have to try hard to exceed expectations.

I still don't understand why Blaze dumped his band because the last album was great. I don't think any lineup will top the original one that was responsible for Silicon Messiah and The Tenth Dimension in terms of songwriting ability and musicianship but the last lineup seemed to be improving quickly. Madness and Sorrow was a giant step up from The Man Who Would Not Die. So, yeah, a shame to see Blaze starting over yet again. I think this album could have been much better with a stronger band. As it stands, this is his worst album. However, if you're a big fan of Blaze's vocals you'll find some enjoyable material here. Oh, and the cover art is sweet.

7.75. Which technically makes it a better record than Resolution. It's not really that the musicianship is better, it's just that I've gotten more enjoyment out of this one.


:blaze:

IrritatedTrout
10-29-2012, 02:19 PM
Album #5: Iron Maiden - En Vivo!
March 23, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/af/Iron_Maiden_en_Vivo_CD.jpg

Yes, I know this is a live album. But it's Iron Maiden so it deserves it's own review.;) So how many live albums does this make for them? 8? Not enough for me, I'd love a live album from every tour, especially the wonderful AMOLAD tour in 2006. So how does this one stack up against the rest? Pretty well I'd say. The real gems here are, of course, the new Final Frontier songs. I was lucky enough to see the proper TFF tour that most Americans didn't back in April 2011 in Florida. While I think the 2010 set was better (because, let's face it, that setlist was fucking phenomenal) there is some good stuff to be found here, despite the recurrence of a few of the usual suspects.

The Final Frontier is a solid opener and I really enjoy the live take here, El Dorado is waaaaaaaay better live than on the album, Coming Home is a great anthem to get the arena singing, When The Wild Wind Blows is majestic and punches you in the balls when it picks up from the intro (brought tears to my eyes in Fort Lauderdale, one of the best single numbers I've seen from the boys), and The Talisman is the real jewel here. An absolute monster and one of the best songs Maiden has ever written, the live version here is great and is probably the single song I've listened to most this year along with The Wreckers and Native Blood. Other highlights include Dance of Death (better version than Death on the Road), The Wicker Man, and Blood Brothers. It's also nice to have a more recent version of Running Free. One change that would have made the set and the live album much better is to keep These Colours Don't Run in from 2010 and exclude 2 Minutes to Midnight or The Evil That Men Do.

The production is pretty good, maybe not as good as Flight 666 but better than the overly muddy Death On The Road. Not as crystal-clear as the titanic Rock In Rio however. Performance wise everyone is spot on and Bruce sounds as good as usual (despite the lyrical flub in The Wicker Man). The DVD is also really good, although I have listened to the live CD way more. The Behind the Beast documentary is a terrific bonus feature and you'll see a few mugs from Metalsetlists.com in a number of shots.:cool:

Another great Maiden release. I'll give this one an 8.5 overall. A bit more variety in the set would surely push that ranking up, if I scored the post-Reunion chunk of the album separately it'd be a 10.

Roll on the 2013 European tour!:powerslav

SomewhereInTime72
10-30-2012, 09:06 AM
Album #4: Blaze Bayley - The King of Metal
March 8, 2012

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1e/Blaze_bayley_the_king_of_metal_cover.jpg

This is an album that was largely panned by most people. I'll admit, there are a lot of warts on this one. The production is bad, the lyrics can be awful at points, and the backing band clearly does not have the chops of Blaze's past lineups. Despite all this, I really enjoyed this album. Blaze's vocals are great and he has some really interesting melodies on this record. Dimebag is probably the best track on the album although the vocals on the title track, the Rainbow Fades To Black, and One More step are really interesting as well. One thing that might have made me like this album more than most people is that I didn't get it until it had been out for months and my expectations were pretty freakin' low after reading all the reviews. :lol: So the album really didn't have to try hard to exceed expectations.

I still don't understand why Blaze dumped his band because the last album was great. I don't think any lineup will top the original one that was responsible for Silicon Messiah and The Tenth Dimension in terms of songwriting ability and musicianship but the last lineup seemed to be improving quickly. Madness and Sorrow was a giant step up from The Man Who Would Not Die. So, yeah, a shame to see Blaze starting over yet again. I think this album could have been much better with a stronger band. As it stands, this is his worst album. However, if you're a big fan of Blaze's vocals you'll find some enjoyable material here. Oh, and the cover art is sweet.

7.75. Which technically makes it a better record than Resolution. It's not really that the musicianship is better, it's just that I've gotten more enjoyment out of this one.


:blaze:
I roughly agree. Worst Blaze album with many noticeable weak spots, but still delivers in crucial ways that I enjoy. The most annoying thing is not actually the low quality but the -shrink- in quality from a band that seemed to be improving (I agree that M&S was great). :hmm:

The_jman
10-30-2012, 10:52 AM
I prefer DoD from death on the road personally the band sounded much more together to me.

IrritatedTrout
11-02-2012, 03:27 PM
I like both versions but this version just seems more energetic and the production is better as I mentioned.

Album #6: Ian Anderson - Thick As a Brick 2
April 4, 2012
http://www.mid-day.com/imagedata/2012/jun/ThickAsABrick.jpg


This is an interesting release simply because of the banner it was released under. Why is this an Ian solo album instead of a Tull album? Only thing I can figure is that it appears that Anderson and Martin Barre have had some sort of split and Tull may not be active at this point. In that case, props to Ian for not using the Tull name without the second most important component of the band. This album is not as good as it's predecessor but who expected that really? However, there is some good material here and Ian's backing band does a good job. I really like Banker Bets, Banker Wins, Adrift and Dumbfounded, Wooten Bassett Town, and What-Ifs, Maybes, and Might-Have-Beens. And it wins the award for album with the most long-winded song titles this year. :lol:

It's not as riffy as Tull, and not nearly as guitar driven as the first TAAB. That part is kind of a bummer but Ian seems to make more laid-back music nowadays. I saw Ian and company play this album and TAAB live last month, both came off really well. In fact a lot of these tracks were better live than on album. I also got to meet him and got my copy of Aqualung signed. He seemed tired but he was nice enough to stick around for everyone that was waiting to meet him so that was cool.

I'd give it a 7.7.

IrritatedTrout
11-08-2012, 11:41 AM
No one seems interested but oh well.

Album #7: Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
May 1, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ce/Blown_Away_album_cover.jpg

First off, bring on the haters. :lol: I grew up on country and while I don't listen to much more than three or four artists nowadays, I still enjoy it from time to time. Carrie Underwood is someone I've been a fan of since her first album a few years ago. She has a really strong voice and, a bit to my surprise, it seems completely genuine as her live vocal performance was every bit as good as on her albums when I saw her in 2010. She doesn't write all of her own songs, but neither do Kiss for that matter so whatever. :lol:

This album is kind of a mixed bag, some great stuff and some crap to be found here. The title track is one of her best ever while others such as See You Again, Wine After Whiskey, and Good Girl are great. But tracks like One Way Ticket, Leave Love Alone, and Cupid's Got a Shotgun fucking suck and are among her worst of all time. One problem is there are just too many songs on this album. She could have dropped those 3 horrendous ones and still have had 11 tracks.

The last two albums have both been kind of disappointing, there's always some great stuff but there's too many just ok or downright bad tracks. Her first two albums are still her best. Still, I'm pissed that the only close VA date of her tour is the one day of the week next semester that I really can't afford to miss.:hmm:

It gets a 7.3.

dcmetal108
11-08-2012, 02:07 PM
She's sexy.

IrritatedTrout
11-14-2012, 06:35 AM
Album #8: Rush - Clockwork Angels
June 12, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4c/Rush_Clockwork_Angels_artwork.png

This is a lock for my album of the year. A fantastic release after the inconsistent and somewhat ho-hum Snakes & Arrows. One of the things I love about this record is that it's heavy as balls, at least for Rush. S&A was seriously lacking some intensity. All of the instrumentation here is great as you would expect from Rush and the songwriting is top-notch. Geddy sounds a little tired but I really enjoy his vocals on this one even with his age starting to show.

The only two tracks that I'm not crazy about are Carnies and The Anarchist, both are good tracks but for some reason I can never tell them apart. They're just not as memorable as the other songs. I've heard a lot of people complain about Halo Effect and Wish Them Well but I think those two are both great. BU2B2 is an interesting little transition piece. My favorites off the album are BU2B, Seven Cities of Gold, The Wreckers, and Headlong Flight. The Garden is really good as well. The Wreckers is my favorite song of the year and probably one of my favorite Rush songs, it's just so catchy.

I'm glad that they did so many of these tracks live because they came off really well, I didn't realize how much extra layer the strings section added until after I saw them do it live. Including the two tracks played on the Time Machine tour, I've seen the whole album live except for BU2B2 and Carnies. Hoping to see them again on the next NA leg of the CA tour.

Amazing album, get it. 9.5

IrritatedTrout
11-18-2012, 01:58 PM
Album #9: Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
June 26, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/86/Gojira_-_L%27Enfant_Sauvage_cover.jpg

I wasn't into this band until this past August when my friend gave me a copy of The Way of All Flesh. I'm not normally into many extreme metal bands like this but I fell in love with Gojira. The songwriting is so unique and that really sets them apart from their peers. I can't think of another band that sounds like them.

I got this album this past fall and it's definitely one of the better albums of the year. My favorite tracks are Gift of Guilt, Liquid Fire, and the title track. Mouth of Kala is awesome too. The Wild healer is the weakest track and is actually kind of annoying. Explosia is good but I feel like they could have done more with it, especially the back half of the song. Pain Is A Master is pretty hilarious with that outrageous sounding riff near the beginning, I busted out laughing the first time I heard it. I like The Way of All Flesh more because I feel that there's more variety to be found on there but this is still a great album.

I wish I could see these guys on their tour next year. I've actually already seen them once in 2009 with Metallica but I wasn't into them then and don't remember a thing about their performance unfortunately. :hecho:

This one gets an 8.5.

IrritatedTrout
11-18-2012, 02:06 PM
Album #10: Agalloch - Faustian Echoes
July 11, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b7/Agalloch_Faustian_Echoes_EP.jpg

This will be a short review. This is a 1-track, 20 minute EP. The song is pretty good although I can't say that I'm a huge fan. I really like the spoken word parts as I feel they add a lot to the atmosphere but a lot of the parts are too black metal for my tastes. I'm a huge fan of everything before Marrow and Marrow itself is really good but I hope they incorporate more acoustic work and clean singing into their future releases. Those are the two elements I've always loved most about Agalloch.

I picked this up when I saw them on tour, they put on a phenomenal performance. I took my girlfriend who only likes a couple Ozzy songs, Alice Cooper, and Fleetwood Mac. :lol: But we had a good time. She saw Maiden, Alice, and Agalloch for free this past summer so she should be stoked, she's probably not but oh well. :lol: Hope I get to see them again soon.

7.5.

IrritatedTrout
11-18-2012, 06:35 PM
Album #11: Baroness - Yellow & Green
July 17, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b0/Baroness_-_Yellow.jpg

This has been a controversial album but I don't have a real strong opinion on it. I haven't listened to it a ton and I don't have any of their older stuff so I'm just kinda taking it for what it is on the surface. My favorite tracks are March To The Sea, Sea Lungs, and Take My Bones Away. A few of the tracks annoy me a little stylistically and I suspect these are the same suspects who many other people find fault with.

This isn't a bad album but it didn't set the world on fire for me and I'm not a huge fan of the band or the style but I enjoy it when I'm in the mood for something like this. The cover is really good and I love the title Cocainium. I think I like the yellow half more than the green half.

I'll give it a 7.7. It's good but it's not a regular listen for me.

SerpentineVIVIVI
11-18-2012, 07:30 PM
I've been wanting to give a listen to Carrie Underwood for quite some time now. She has a beautiful voice, and some stuff I've heard online has been good.

IrritatedTrout
11-19-2012, 08:19 AM
Album #12: Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
July 31, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Album_cover_of_%22Dark_Roots_of_Earth%22_album_by_ Testament.jpg

This is my number two album of the year. A fantastic release from one of the best thrash bands out there. I had been looking forward to this album all year and it was perhaps my most anticipated release of 2012. Upon hearing early reviews on this board that it was more low-key than Formation I knew I was in for something good. Not that I dislike all of Formation, some of it is great, but I really don't like the death vocals on a few of the tracks. Chucks a great singer so I really wanted to hear more melody in this one and that's exactly what I got.

The first single, Native Blood, may be my favorite song on the album. It's catchy and heavy with a god tempo, much like most of the material found here. My other favorite tracks are the title track, Cold Embrace, Throne of Thorns, and Rise Up. True American Hate, Man Kills Mankind, and Last Stand For Independence are all great thrashers. They're more formulaic than something like Cold Embrace or DROE but they serve the purpose of giving you something to rock hard to without having to think about it too much. In that sense I would say that them being less original really helps the album because of course you'd want to have some straight up thrash on a thrash record. A Day In The Death is my least favorite song but it's by no means bad, just my least favorite.

The covers on the deluxe version are really good as well. Dragon Attack is freakin great and the Powerslave cover sounds true to the original while having its own unique flavor. Animal Magnetism is good but not as much as the other two, but I'm not a huge fan of the original anyway.

Oh, and the production and the cover rule. I really wanna hear some of these songs live. I think each and every one of them could come off great on stage.

9.25.

This may be my favorite Testament release. I love the songwriting on The Legacy but the production is just so horrible on that one.

IrritatedTrout
11-20-2012, 10:21 AM
Album #13: Kiss - Monster
October 9, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cf/KissMonsterAlbum2.jpg

My expectations were low for this album so I can easily say it exceeded expectations. :lol: But despite all that, I am somewhat surprised to say that it's actually pretty good. Obviously it's nowhere near their old material but there are a number of real standout tracks here as opposed to there being about two or three on Sonic Boom. My favorite track here is Freak which I think is one of the best Kiss tracks since 1992's underrated Revenge album. Other really strong songs include: Wall of Sound, Take Me Down Below, and All For The Love of Rock and Roll. The choruses for most of the songs on this album are pretty poppy, but I don't mind. The guitar work is a noticeable step up from Sonic Boom and Tommy and Eric seem to have improved vocally since that album as well.

A lot of the songs on this album are fairly average for Kiss but that doesn't make them bad. Kiss isn't one to break the mold often so you know what you're getting when you buy one of their later albums.

One thing I found funny is that Outta This World and All For The Love of Rock & Roll are extremely similar to Shock Me and Hooligan. Similar feels, similar lyrical themes, it's a blatant attempt to cement Tommy and Eric as the real Spaceman and Catman. :lol:

It's better than Sonic Boom and it's better than I expected. It's not a great record but it's pretty enjoyable.

7.9

IrritatedTrout
11-29-2012, 09:59 AM
Album #14: The Sword - Apocryphon
October 22, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/TheSwordApocryphon.jpg

The only other Sword album I have is Warp Riders. While I'm not a huge fan of this band, I really enjoy that one so I figured I'd pick up their new album. Apocryphon is not as good as Warp Riders in my opinion but its a solid release. If you dig their retro sounds then you'll dig this record. My favorite tracks are the title track (love the synth :lol:), Seven Sisters, Dying Earth, and Execrator. This album doesn't break any new ground and it won't blow you away but if you want some easy, simple, rocking music then this should do the trick.

7.25.

Oh, and the cover art and the rest of the art on the album is pretty awesome.

IrritatedTrout
11-29-2012, 10:02 AM
I only have 3 more albums to do but once I finish that I'll do a review of my biggest disappointment of the year, a short ranking of the shows for this year, and maybe a short ranking of the best single songs of the year.

IrritatedTrout
12-03-2012, 08:56 AM
I need some more time to soak in my last 3 albums (although one is just a greatest hits but it has two new tracks on it so I'll review it anyways) so I'm gonna go ahead and do my biggest disappointment of 2012.

Album #0: Steve Harris - British Lion
September 24, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a9/Steve_Harris_-_British_Lion.jpg


Steve is my favorite musician and my personal hero but this album sucks. I hate to have to say that because I was stoked to hear him do something that was outside of his usual Maiden style. After listening to the online stream for this album maybe three or four times through, I decided to not even buy it.

I think the biggest problem here is that the players he's surrounded himself with are noticeably mediocre. The vocalist definitely fits that description. His vocals have no power and no emotion. They're just flat, stale, and uninteresting. I probably would have preferred that the songs just be instrumentals. But he isn't the only problem, it just seems like nothing stands out on this album. There are a few decent choruses, and even some ok songs but it all ends up feeling pretty bland.

I was listening to an internet stream so the quality wasn't as good as it could have been but I didn't really notice any bass playing that stood out to me. Just seemed to go along with the song without breaking out of the box and really shredding. I was at least hoping for some cool bass solos a la Blood on The Worlds Hands or The Clairvoyant or something. There are a few decent tracks such as This Is My God, Lost Worlds, and A World Without Heaven. Tracks like Eyes of the Young and Karma Killer just freakin suck and the rest is ho-hum.

A letdown. I hope a future Steve Harris solo album sees Steve releasing new tracks written by him, not decades old songs co-written by nobodys with very limited chops.

4.5/10

IrritatedTrout
12-05-2012, 09:01 AM
I'll do my show rankings of 2012 now. I've seen so many shows that it's impossible to rank them numerically but I'll group them into tiers. I didn't go to any bad shows, they were all awesome. So the highest tiers will be pretty stacked but oh well.;)

Tier 1: God tier

•Tool @ Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA – February 3rd 2012
•Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Charlotte, NC – June 21st 2012
•Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper @ Aaron’s Amphitheater – Lakewood, GA – June 23rd 2012
•Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper @ Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ – June 29th 2012
•Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper @ Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA – June 30th 2012
•Scorpions @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD – July 12th 2012
•System of a Down @ Verizon Center – Washington D.C. – August 7th 2012
•Rush @ Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA – September 9th 2012
•Megadeth @ The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC – November 25th 2012


Tier 2: Excellent

•Anthrax / Testament @ Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD – February 7th 2012
•Mastodon / Ghost @ The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD – May 9th 2012
•Rob Zombie / Megadeth @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD – May 12th 2012
•Roger Waters @ PNC Arena – Raleigh, NC – July 9th 2012
•Agalloch @ Empire – Springfield, VA – July 28th 2012


Tier 3: Really good

•Lamb of God @ The National – Richmond, VA – January 22nd 2012
•Kiss / Motley Crue @ Farm Bureau Live – Virginia Beach, VA – July 21st 2012
•Ian Anderson @ Ferguson Center For the Arts – Newport News, VA – October 1st 2012

I'd say my least favorite show of the year was LOG because I was sick and because I'm not a huge fan, I mostly just went because it was cheap and because my friends were going and because I'm a casual fan. If I had to choose a favorite show I'd probably pick Iron Maiden / Alice Cooper in Charlotte because it was the first night of the tour and the atmosphere was electric. Not knowing the setlist was really cool and I just about lost my mind when they did stuff like Moonchild, The Prisoner, Seventh Son, ATSS, etc.

Oh, and I had tried to buy a pit ticket with no luck since February. I probably checked Live Nation at least 500 times between presale and the day before the show but no dice. Thankfully my girlfriend's brother-in-law who I was staying with has a degree in digital multimedia or something so he's a photoshop pro. The feeling of complete relief was unbeatable when I got on the rail with my lawn ticket redesigned to say pit.:lol:

IrritatedTrout
12-10-2012, 02:18 PM
This is a quick rundown of my top 10 songs of the year. I didn’t put too much thought into this, it’s just for fun. I tried to leave it at a maximum of 2 songs per band.

1. Rush – The Wreckers
http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/ultimateclassicrock.com/files/2012/07/Rush-The-Wreckers-Artwork.jpg
A fantastic song with an insanely catchy chorus. The lyrics are great, the melodies are awesome, and it came off superb live as well. My favorite song of the year.

2. Testament – Cold Embrace
I love the fact that they did something different for this song. Chuck sounds great and this is probably my favorite song off the album. I wish they’d do it live.

3. Gojira – Liquid Fire
A really technical track. I love the robot vocals.

4. Soundgarden – Live To Rise
http://www.projectrhythmseed.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Soundgarden-Live-To-Rise-300x300.jpg
This song is catchy as hell and has more of a metallic feel to it than most of King Animal. I would have liked to have a few more tracks in the vein of this one on the album.

5. Iron Maiden – The Talisman (Live)
Phenominal live version, Bruce just nails this song. I’m so glad I got to see this along with the other Final Frontier tracks in Florida. I doubt they’ll ever do this one or When The Wild Wind Blows again and they were easily the highlights of the night.

6. Rush - Seven Cities of Gold
The bass intro is sweet and the chorus is great. I saw the live debut of this song and it was awesome.

7. Testament – Native Blood
http://metalodyssey.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/testament-native-blood-cover-promo-pic.jpg
Catchy, riffy, and great.

8. Kiss – Freak
This is just really catchy. I’d like to hear them do this one live and I think it’d go over well.

9. Carrie Underwood – Blown Away
http://www.itunespremieres.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Blown-Away-Single.png
A great sounding track vocally and easily the best off the album.

10. Rush - Headlong Flight
http://www.blabbermouth.net/soulflypremiere/rushheadlongcover.jpg
A great single from an even better album. It’s heavy, it’s technical, it’s got cool lyrics. It’s just an all-around great song.

11. Gojira – L’Enfant Sauvage
http://thenewreview.net/wp-content/uploads/gojira2.jpg
Another great song from the new Gojira album. I’d say they’re the best modern extreme metal band there is.

12. Blaze Bayley – Dimebag
The best song off the album. The lyrics seem pretty cheesy if you just read them but in the context of the song they’re not bad. The vocals here are really good and this song has some of the better instrumentation on the album.

13. Black Country Communion – Big Train
A really strong and catchy opener. My favorite song on the album.

14. Soundgarden – Rowing
This song is kinda weird but I really like it. The lyrics are awesome and Chris sounds really good.

15. Lamb of God – Ghost Walking
http://getmetal.org/uploads/posts/2011-12/1323099537_lamb-of-god-ghost-walking-single.jpg
Love the intro and the rest of the song is nice and heavy.

Final three albums and the final top 10 list coming next.

IrritatedTrout
12-15-2012, 10:40 AM
Album #15: Black Country Communion – Afterglow
October 29, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f4/Afterglow_album.jpg

It’s starting to look like this could be the last album from this classic rock super group. That would be a shame but at least they’ve given us 3 albums worth of great material within a very short span of time. The new one, Afterglow, may not be as good as its predecessor, 2, but it’s a very strong release. It feels less intense than the previous album with more of the songs being mid-tempo and bluesy. Opener Big Train may be the heaviest track on the album and the best overall in my opinion. The tracks that follow are noticeably Hughes-heavy.

Bonamassa doesn’t share vocals duties nearly as much on this album as on others. In fact, if I don’t pay too much attention I can get through the whole album and almost not notice Joe’s presence at all. I think this speaks towards the tensions in the band between him and the rest of the guys. The final track, Crawl, is a bit heavier and a strong ender.

One of the better albums of the year and a record that proves that this group could carry on if Joe decided to leave, something that wouldn’t surprise me much at this point. It gets an 8.3.

IrritatedTrout
12-15-2012, 11:11 AM
Album #16: Soundgarden – King Animal
November 12, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fe/Soundgarden_KA_Album_cover.jpg

One of my favorite albums from this year, I’m having trouble deciding whether it will get the 3rd or 4th spot on my final top 10. I don’t need to go through all the circumstances surrounding this album because you’ve heard them all. I know that a lot of folks were disappointed in this release but I found it to be a strong release, albeit somewhat different to what I was expecting. I figured that more of the songs would be in the somewhat metallic vein of the single they released earlier in the year for the Avengers movie. I love that song so I was a little disappointed on first listen when I didn’t hear much of anything that was similar to that on this album. However, the more I listened the more I began to enjoy this record for its own merits.

The first three songs are really solid hard rock songs that are pretty simple but really enjoyable. Blood on the Valley Floor, Eyelid’s Mouth, and Bones of Birds feel a little more experimental and are pretty cool. Taree is one of the best tracks on the album along with the weird, almost industrial, sounding Rowing. Worse Dreams is another cool rocker that sounds the most similar to Live To Rise. Halfway There is pretty mellow for Soundgarden but I love it, especially the lyrics. The only songs I’m not crazy about are Black Saturday and A Thousand Days Before.

It’s not quite what I was expecting but this has become one of my favorite albums of the year and I’m really looking forward to seeing Soundgarden live for the first time and hearing some of these tracks this January.

9.0


Only one more album to review and it's just a best-of with two new songs on it but I'll do it anyways.

IrritatedTrout
12-16-2012, 03:39 PM
Album #17: The Rolling Stones – GRRR!
November 12, 2012
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/11/The_Rolling_Stones_GRRR!_cover_artwork.jpg

There are only two new songs on this best-of collection, Doom and Gloom and One More Shot. However, this is the first Stones album I’ve ever bought as I’m interested in them but not enough to want to own a bunch of different albums. So a 50-track greatest hits is enough to satisfy me. I’m not a huge fan of the really early stuff on the first disc; it’s a little boring and a little samey. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction is pretty overrated while Little Red Rooster and Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby,… fucking suck. My favorite tracks on this disc are Get Off Of My Cloud, Under My Thumb and Ruby Tuesday. Paint It Black is good but it’s kinda overrated too.

The next disc is a lot more consistent. Almost all these songs range from very good to awesome but my favorites include: Jumpin Jack Flash, Brown Sugar, Sympathy For The Devil, Fool To Cry, and You Cant’s Always Get What You Want.

I didn’t know what I’d be getting into on the third disc with the latter material; however I enjoy most of it a lot. I listen to disc 2 and 3 a lot more frequently than I listen to the first disc. My two favorites here are Start Me Up and Highwire.

On to the two new songs, Doom and Gloom is the better of the two with a nice, up-tempo groove and cool lyrics. One More Shot is good but not quite as good. Jagger sounds better than I would expect him to at his age.

I’ve never listened to much Stones before this but I enjoy this record when the mood strikes me. The cover kicks ass as well (that’s actually what made me wanna check it out). I’d give the collection an 8.9 and the two 2012 songs a 7.6.

Besides Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day (which I hope I get for Christmas) that’s all the releases from 2012 that I’ve heard enough of to review.

IrritatedTrout
12-16-2012, 03:51 PM
Final top 10 of 2012 with the spaces where I feel there is a noticeable gap between how much I enjoy them:

1. Rush - Clockwork Angels
2. Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
3. Soundgarden - King Animal
4. Gojira - Le'Enfant Sauvage

5. Black Country Communion - Afterglow
6. Kiss - Monster
7. Blaze Bayley - The King of Metal

8. Carrie Underwood - Blown Away
9. Ian Anderson - Thick As a Brick II
10. Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth


So there it is, let the lively discussion commence. :lol:

Fe Maiden
12-17-2012, 01:14 PM
Madness and Sorrow was a giant step up from The Man Who Would Not Die. I know I am not the biggest Blaze fan out there but am I missing something here? What is Madness & Sorrow? Do you mean Promise & Terror?

IrritatedTrout
12-17-2012, 07:44 PM
:lol: Yeah, I didn't catch that until now. Madness and Sorrow is a track from the album.