January 2015 Reviews

Hello, and welcome to the first review post of 2015. There’s a lot of variety in this month’s post, but I’ll let you get on with reading the actual reviews now.
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Review: Jealous Gods by Poets Of The Fall

Poets Of The Fall released their new album on Spotify today and I’ve been listening to it on repeat at my work placement. It certainly made the time pass while I was scanning piles of files.

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July reviews: part one

I’ve got a few book reviews and a couple of album reviews too for you all today, loyal readers.

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‘Take Courage’ by The First: a release day review

The last time I posted I wrote about another band that had followed me on Twitter and mentioned they had a new album out today. While I was scrolling through Twitter this morning I saw a tweet from the band and thought I’d see if I could find the album on Spotify.

I was in luck.

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Avenged Sevenfold ‘Hail to the King’

Last evening my brother-in-law asked whether I’d heard the new Avenged Sevenfold album. When I told him I hadn’t had a chance yet he recommended I listen to it when I had the chance. I had that chance this morning (Spotify/internet connection – same old story). My bro-in-law described some of the songs as being a bit like Metallica, some a bit like Iron Maiden. He also thought the title track ‘Hail to the King’ was the weakest of the lot. I had heard ‘Hail to the King’ on Kerrang! and was quite impressed by it. If it was the weakest, I said, then the rest must be quite something.

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Review: Black Sabbath – ’13’

Released 10th June 2013
Produced by Rick Rubin

* John ‘Ozzy’ Osbourne     Vocals
* Tony Iommi                     Guitar
* Terrence ‘Geezer’ Butler Bass
* Brad Will                          Drums



End of the Beginning
God is Dead?
Age of Reason
Live Forever
Damaged Soul
Dear Father
Peace of Mind
Dirty Women – Live in Australia

I absolutely loved ‘God is Dead?’ when it was released earlier this year, and I’d hoped the rest of the album would be as good.


Some of it is.

Songs that stand out on first listen are the opener ‘End of the Beginning’, ‘God is Dead?’ (obviously), ‘Dear Father’, ‘Methademia’ and ‘Pariah’.
Listening to the album a second time, I found that ‘Loner’ grew on me. The other 5 songs didn’t make on impression on me either way (I’m not including Dirty Woman – only the new songs).

Overall the album is good, sounds like early Sabbath (as was intended) and has all the hallmarks of their style. Ozzy still has the most distinctive voice around; Tony Iommi’s riffs and the layered guitars are perfection. Geezer is still Geezer. Age and sickness has done nothing to dim their genius.

I know some people aren’t happy because Bill Ward isn’t a part of this album, but to be blunt, it doesn’t matter. Brad Wilk is an excellent drummer and a good fit for the band.

Mr Ward refused to sign contracts, Mr Iommi didn’t know how long he’d be able to work for and cut negotiations off so that they could get on and make the album. They got another drummer. Simple. The album that resulted is good. It’s really nothing to do with the fans and what they want; only what the band want and need.

Black Sabbath are currently touring and will be performing in the UK in December. I hope to see them in Sheffield, if I can get a ticket and the weekend off work.


Review: Airbourne ‘Black Dog Barking’


Blame Kerrang! for me me reviewing this album. I’d never heard of Airbourne or listened to any of their music until now. I probably wouldn’t have bothered except that there was an interview with the singer, Joel O’Keeffe in a recent issue of Kerrang! (01 June 2013, Issue 1468) and I thought I’d have a listen.

‘Black Dog’ is a metaphor and euphemism for depression, most famously used by Winston Churchill, and the use of it in this album’s title suggests that the band are addressing personal problems. That ignores the rest of the album title. Together they describe the songs and overall feel of the album. It is confrontational, rather than confessional. The band have used their own personal ‘black dogs’ to fuel creativity and produced an upbeat, even fun, album.

It reminds me of Bon Jovi (don’t get mad, I mean lyrically) but heavier. Does that make any sense? They aren’t saying anything new or profound, but they’re saying it with passion. I like this album and I’ll probably try to see them play at Download*.


*Airbourne play The Zippo Encore Stage 6.15pm – 6.55pm on Sunday 16th June 2014