Leaves’ Eyes: Sign Of The Dragonhead

I bought my copy of this album after work on Thursday. I was almost put off the purchase by a review in Metal Hammer magazine by Catherine Morris that gave 3/10 and ended her review by saying “New singer Elina Siirala is a talented soprano, but she’s utterly wasted on this awful record”. However, I greatly enjoyed the last Leaves’ Eyes album King of Kings. When Elina took over vocal duties and the band re-released the single Edge of Steel I was quite excited to hear Elina’s voice on an album of new songs. With Sign Of The Dragonhead my wait is now over.

I am pleased to say that my purchase of the 2 disk edition (vocal and instrumental versions) was well worth it. It is a great album and really enjoyable. There are lots of stand out tracks on the album, a personal favourite is Like A Mountain but there are many classic tracks on this album. It feels heavier and more dynamic than King of Kings. My only concern is that I will completely blot out listening to everything else for a few weeks and listen only to this album and then get sick of hearing it!

I think the Metal Hammer reviewer got it wrong but she was right about one thing: Elina Siirala is a very talented soprano. I could listen to her voice all day and not get bored.


Black Sabbath: The End

I bought this DVD and CD at the weekend. It’s a great concert from the old gang, minus Bill Ward on drums. Shame he wasn’t there but I only really felt the absence on Hand of Doom, I don’t think anyone else could play the drums on that track other than him. Geezer Butler was amazing on bass and Tony Iommi gave a great performance. Ozzy sang well, occasionally slurring words but still hitting the notes better than other singers his age. The band bows out holding up to scrutiny. A better way to go out than fizzling out.


Thrash til Death compilation

I bought another thrash compilation, it was ordered at the same time as my last compilation, just took a little bit longer to arrive. I’m glad it did arrive though, it seems like an excellent compilation and I’ve only heard a couple of tracks so far. It contains a mixture of old classics and new songs from some of the great bands, although not Metallica, Slayer or Megadeth.

This Is Thrash compilation

I like bands such as the often quoted Big 4 of Thrash: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax – who emerged during the 80s. I was into my metal at this point and remember listening to Slayer and my dad just putting it down as rubbish at the time. I know from memories of Kerrang magazine at the time that there were lots of thrash bands around, it was a movement and not just a handful of a few bands. I recently searched the net to see whether anyone had published a top ten of thrash albums I could use to help build my collection of thrash albums. I came across this article in an issue of Metal Hammer. Here is their list:

  • Metallica – Kill ’em all (1983)
  • Anthrax – Spreading the disease (1985)
  • Exodus – Bonded by blood (1985)
  • Possessed – Seven churches (1985)
  • Slayer – Reign in blood (1986)
  • Megadeth – Peace sells…but who’s buying? (1986)
  • Dark Angel – Darkness descends (1986)
  • Destruction – Eternal devastation (1986)
  • Testament – The Legacy (1987)
  • Sepultura – Beneath the remains (1989)

I’ve recently ordered a couple of compilation albums that will fill in some of my gaps around the thrash bands and music of the golden age of thrash. The first of these is called This Is Thrash and it was released as a compilation in 2008. There are bands outside the top ten above here including Celtic Frost, Armored Saint, Rage, Kreator,  Sodom and Voivod plus many more.

Blues Pills – Live in Paris

I recently decided to take a chance on a band who I’d only heard single tracks from before and only a couple of those. I was in my local independent record shop and saw this live DVD/CD combination on the new rack. It’s quite a progressive shop and I’ve been surprised at the music on sale in such a small town as mine. Grateful that this sort of music was available outside of a big city, I decided to buy it – even it was a little more expensive than it might have been online.

The music comes mainly from their Lady in Gold album from 2016 and their live tour for that album, the DVD was recorded in Le Trianon in Paris on 30th October 2016. It is more blues-rock based than a lot of the music I mention on this blog but it’s a style I enjoy and they give it all such a fresh twist that it doesn’t ever feel stale. It manages to achieve an air of excitement and energy that many bands just don’t: seeing any concert footage from blues rock bands from the late 70s and 80s compared to this and it’s worlds apart, you have to go back to the early 70s to get anywhere close to the excitement, on stage at any rate.