Weekend Playlist – 10/11 & 10/12

It’s been awhile since I had a long weekend off so I decided to do my best and relax, listen to some music and get back on track with the website. The good news is that the laptop is fixed, all it needed was a little compressed air into the fans and it works! So here’s what I’ve listened to this weekend and what I have on tap for late night tonight…….

Alice Cooper – Along Came A Spider (2008): Alice is one of my favorite artists but I really haven’t given this album much play since it’s release. I’m really not sure why because he has had an excellent track record with his last 4 records. I’ve been spinning this more than any album lately and I’m really starting to get into it. Alice is just creepy and this serial killer concept is great.

J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2008): Very cool acoustic melodic rock from singer/songwriter J.C. Cinel. This is kind of light because it’s all acoustic and it has a lot of Country influences in it. It kind of has a Jon Bon Jovi/bret Michaels solo vibe to it but a lot better. I’m a sucker for good acoustic guitar and there’s plenty of it here!

Uriah Heep – Wake The Sleeper (2008): I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t tear the wrapping until today. Heep is one of those legendary bands that I always try to get into but I never buy their albums because I find something else. I read some reviews online and grabbed it. Too early to make a judgement after one spin.

Metallica – Death Magnetic (2008): I bought this the day it come out, listened to it a half dozen times and moved on. I really want to like this album but I haven’t been able to get into it.

Judas Priest – Jugulator (1997): I thought that this was a great album when it first came out. It’s very heavy and Tim Owens does a great job singing, even if the Halford comparisons are there. With all the news on Owens leaving Iced Earth and joining Yngwie Malmsteen for a new record, I decided to go back 11 years and hear how everything started. Some solid tunes here: ‘Burn In Hell’, ‘Jugulator’, ‘Cathedral Spires’…..the whole album is top notch, I just think people couldn’t get by the Owens vs. Halford debate.

‘Burn In Hell’

Two – Voyeurs (1998): Rob Halford + Trent Reznor + John 5 (John Lowery) = one big mess! I bought this in the hopes that Halford would answer Priest’s JUGULATOR but this ended up being one of the worst albums I’ve ever bought! I give Halford credit for trying something new but Industrial Metal isn’t his thing, he was trying to emulate Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails and failed miserably.

Round 1 to Judas Priest!

Halford – Resurrection (2000): A huge comeback! The Two project sucked and I think Rob Halford knew it so he went back to his Metal roots and made sure everyone knew it. The title track signals the return but ‘Silent Screams’ is a gem. I also really dig the duet with Bruce Dickinson on ‘The One You Love To Hate’.

Judas Priest – Demolition (2001): Priest was in the middle of making this album when Halford dropped his RESURRECTION bombshell, after hearing that comeback I just knew that Priest would have a tough time competing. Some good tracks here, ‘Feed On Me’ is the best, but the album feels disjointed. This doesn’t even compare to JUGULATOR so forget the comparison to RESURRECTION. When I went to get this album out I noticed that I have four copies: the promo advance, the regular U.S. CD, the Japanese pressing (1 bonus track) and the Australian Tour Edition (3 bonus tracks, one being the bonus from the Japanese release).

Round 2 to Halford!

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers (Special Tour Edition w/DVD) (2008): I only gave this one spin but it was good to hear Angry Anderson and the boys again. This one is on my list for late night listening.

Girlschool – Legacy (2008): This album is out out in a couple of weeks, in a month for the U.S. I always liked Girlschool, they came in with the NWOBHM and I always seem to acquire their albums. This is the album I’m holding for later tonight after the NFL game…..I’m betting it’s good.

Engel – Absolute Design (2008)

Engel – Absolute Design (2008, SPV)

  1. In Splendour
  2. Casket Closing
  3. Next Closed Door
  4. The Hurricane Season
  5. Propaganda
  6. The Paraclete
  7. Scyth
  8. Descend
  9. Trial & Error
  10. I’m The One
  11. Calling Out
  12. Seven Ends

Band Lineup:
Niclas Engelin – Guitars
Marcus Sunesson – Guitars
Mangan Klavborn – Vocals
Michael Hakansson – Bass
Mojjo – Drums

Producer: Anders Fridén

Total Time = 46:42

Engel official website
Engel MySpace page

(NOTE — ABSOLUTE DESIGN was released in Europe in late 2007, the U.S. release was May 20, 2008)

Engel is a band from Gothenberg, Sweden that plays Melodic Death Metal with Industrial influences. Usually I can’t get by the growling vocals and overdone blastbeats of Death Metal but I do like some and I find that the Melodic sub-genre of Death is more to my preference when done well. As for Industrial, I don’t like sequencing, sampling, and synth overclogging my Metal, it’s too Nu-Metal (Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach) for me and I’m more of a traditionalist.

Right away I noticed that the songs have more to do with the Nu-Metal and Metalcore movements than actual Death Metal. There are those trademark growling vocals (sometimes) but most of the vocals are clean and remind me of Linkin Park and the like. Actually, the growls are better than the clean vocals but the screams sound processed and not guttural. The background vocals seem out of place as well. I also don’t like the down-tuned guitars and the lack of speed. Good Death Metal has at least some element of Thrash to it and this sounds more like every other trendy band out there. Nothing really jumps out and makes me take notice, aside from the band members’ pedigrees: In Flames, The Crown, Evergrey.

Bottom Line:
Nothing really impressed me and I really tried to enjoy this album. I must have listened to this CD a couple dozen times over the course of the last few days and all I could picture in my head was some of the bands I’d seen on Ozzfest — Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Static-X, Incubus, Drowning Pool, Limp Bizkit, Korn. Everything sounds the same to my ears and, if I want to hear down-tuned guitars and a light mix of growls, screams, and clean vocals, I can turn on the local Rock stations that specialize in this type of music. I knew I should have known better when I saw pictures of the band with matching outfits!

Favorite songs: none