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.


Nightwish Decades album and tour 2018

The band Nightwish, whom I am a big fan of, have announced a 60+ date tour this year in America , Europe and Canada. They are releasing an album of remastered tracks from their back catalog. I have pre-ordered the album already. In many ways I wished that they had re-recorded the songs with Floor Jansen’s vocals but I suppose the remastering will be enough.  The tour looks good, it starts in March. Floor is now the mother of a child of course. I wonder how she will adapt her life around the baby. Imagine if the baby eventually becomes a singer!


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.