Monday, February 18, 2013

"Metallica - Career Discography" Review by Dom

This is something I've wanted to do for some time now, pick an artist do a short review of their albums and give the artist a rating. I though why not start off with my favorite band, which makes me biased but still, so here it is, the career of Metallica.

Kill 'Em All(1983) - A straight up no BS thrashterpiece that paved the way for 80's thrash bands. 9/10

2. Ride the Lightning(1984) - In my, oh so humble opinion, this is truly Metallica's magnum opus. It exceeds all levels of thrash, metal and velocity. Every track is pure fire. 10/10

3. Master of Puppets(1986) - Many consider this to be one of if not the best metal album of all time, I agree with it being one of the best. It's phenomenal and an ear opening experience to listen to, only reason it's not the best is because Ride came first. 9.5/10

4. ...And Justice for All(1988) - The loss of Cliff Burton changed the dynamic of Metallica, Jason Newstead was by all means a suitable replacement but he wasn't Cliff. This album is very good, and gave the band its real first mainstream success with the track "One". This album is a transition from the straightforward thrashing into what the band would become. 9/10

5. Metallica(AKA The Black Album)(1991) - This album, if you haven't heard it, you haven't lived. This is one of the quintessential metal albums of all time. It's heavy yet commercial enough that it reached a worldwide audience and spawned a 4 year world tour. 9/10

6. Load(1996) - Ah, the album where most fans jumped ship, I think had I been alive and into the band to see this transition I would've probably jumped ship as well. I wasn't a big fan at first, it leans more toward hard rock but there are some very good songs on here but for me, this is the first album that's not fantastic. 8/10

7. ReLoad(1997) - The continuation of the previous album and this album continues the downward slide. This album gets a ton of hate from fans and critics alike but there are some diamonds in the rough. The first half of the album is a solid set, the second half, not so much. 7/10

8. Garage Inc.(1998) - A double disc album of covers of the bands influences. Sounds boring but there's a bit of a range in the track selection and it's a good enjoyable listen and provides some old songs with a good ol' Metallica twist. 8/10

9. St. Anger(2003) - 5 years fans waited for new Metallica music, 6 years for original music and this is what they got. Looking back I see why it was hated, but after listening to it multiple times it's grown a lot on me. It's a raw sound, full with some heavy good music that was better than what came out 6 years prior. 7.5/10

10. Death Magnetic(2008) - Another long wait for the fans, this one proved to be more worth it. This saw the return of thrash into the band, it's a modern take on the genre full of full throttle thrash with a couple songs to pump the brakes a little and this was a great return. 9/10

11. Lulu(2011) - A collaborative album between the band and Lou Reed of Velvet Underground fame and this was just awful, truly unlistenable, and this one goes on Lou Reed, it was his vocals that trashed this project and a waste of Metallica music. 2/10

12. Beyond Magnetic - EP(2011) - This EP came out mere months after Lulu and this proved that Metallica was not at complete fault for that train wreck of an album. Only fault on this is that it sounds like tracks that just didn't make it onto Death Magnetic, at the same time, they're still good tracks. 8/10

Overall: The band has released monumental albums, with a couple that weren't amazing and one that wasn't to blame on them they've had a respectable career. Supposedly they're writing for their next album due out in 2014, we'll see where that takes the band.

Final Rating: 8.5/10

"Bullet for My Valentine - Temper Temper" Review by Dom

Bullet for My Valentine have been one of my favorite bands of the past decade. Their debut album The Poison is still one of my favorite debut albums and the follow up Scream Aim Fire is just as good. They released their third album Fever in 2010, which in my opinion was a disappointment but still had some quality tracks on it. 3 years later they release Temper Temper their fourth full length album, one that I wasn't expecting much but I was hoping for the best.

Let me start off by saying that there's not many positive things to say about this album. When they released the title track as the first single, I didn't like it, but as always, I never judge an album based off of the single. They then released "Riot" which I liked a little more but it lacked the screams that made BFMV who they are. The album starts off on a high note with the track "Breaking Point", it's a fast punch in the gut with a solid chorus, the only negative is that the bridge sets up for a fantastic breakdown but then goes back into the chorus. Most of the tracks on this album fit the same model, riff-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus, which works for a pop album but for a metal album it really lacks creativity. For me, the albums low-point is the 'sequel' to their spectacular "Tears Don't Fall" with the "Tears Don't Fall (Part 2)" it's just plain bad. You can't make a part 2 to a song unless it's 100% intentional, it just doesn't work (exception: Metallica with the Unforgiven trilogy that has spanned 3 albums and 17 years).

The problem with this album isn't that the individual tracks are bad, just none of them are good, they're all really in the middle. Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to trash. In the metal genre mediocrity is not how you stay relevant. The band doesn't sound bad, they just sound like they're running through the motions without any real sense of creativity. Also why is Matt Tuck not screaming anymore? It's like when M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold stopped screaming except they continued to release exceptional albums.

Standouts: Breaking Point, P.O.W., Dead to the World and Not Invincible(On the deluxe edition)

Worst Track(s): Tears Don't Fall (Part 2) and Dirty Little Secrets

Rating: 3/10