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  #1  
Old 10-28-2012, 05:16 AM
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Thumbs up IrritatedTrout's 2012 Best of Thread

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.
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2012, 05:22 AM
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Album #1: Lamb of God - Resolution
January 24, 2012



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.
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:05 PM
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Album #2: Metallica - Beyond Magnetic
January 31, 2012



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. 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. Probably my least favorite release this year but it's not horrendous. I'd give it a 6.5.
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2012, 12:24 AM
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I keep forgetting that Lamb of God came out with an album this year.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:06 AM
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Album #3: Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth
February 3, 2012



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. "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. 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. 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.
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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  #6  
Old 10-29-2012, 09:31 AM
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Album #4: Blaze Bayley - The King of Metal
March 8, 2012



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. 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.


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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2012, 03:19 PM
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Album #5: Iron Maiden - En Vivo!
March 23, 2012



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.

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!
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrritatedTrout View Post
Album #4: Blaze Bayley - The King of Metal
March 8, 2012



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. 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.


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).
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:52 AM
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I prefer DoD from death on the road personally the band sounded much more together to me.
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2012, 04:27 PM
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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



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.

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.
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6/17 - Meshuggah
6/28 - Iron Maiden - Bergen, Norway
6/29 - Blaze Bayley - Bergen, Norway
7/1 - Iron Maiden - Luxembourg
10/31 - Fleetwood Mac

Last edited by IrritatedTrout; 11-02-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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