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Can a Mod pin this thread. I would like to review some albums and would like to keep them in one place instead of starting a new thread each time. Much thanks appreciated.

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Just testing the waters here- would sub-sections in Reviews & Rants dedicated to music / non-games reviews be something people would be willing to contribute to?

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I think a thread on each album reviewed would be alot better and benificial.

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This is my first album review of Metal and Rock albums. There will be many to follow and if you want another genre of album reviewed just pm that album and I will try to review it.


Avantasia - Scarecrow

Release Date January 25th 2008




Here is a wikipedia page of Avantasia if you are not familiar with them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avantasia


1 Twisted Mind (6:14) - Tobias Sammet, Roy Khan (vocals), Sascha Paeth (lead guitar)

2 The Scarecrow (11:12) - Tobias Sammet, Jorn Lande (vocals), Sascha Paeth (lead guitars)

3 Shelter From The Rain (6:09) - Michael Kiske, Bob Catley, Tobias Sammet (vocals), Henjo Richter, Kai Hansen (lead guitars)

4 Carry Me Over (3:52) - Tobias Sammet (vocals), Sascha Paeth (lead guitar)

5 What Kind Of Love (4:56) - Amanda Somerville, Michael Kiske, Tobias Sammet (vocals)

6 Another Angel Down (5:41) - Jorn Lande, Tobias Sammet (vocals), Sascha Paeth, Henjo Richter (lead guitars)

7 The Toy Master (6:21) - Alice Cooper, Tobias Sammet (vocals), Sascha Paeth, Henjo Richter (lead guitars)

8 Devil In The Belfry (4:42) - Jorn Lande, Tobias Sammet (vocals), Henjo Richter (lead guitars)

9 Cry Just A Little (5:15) - Tobias Sammet, Bob Catley (vocals), Sascha Paeth (lead guitars)

10 I Don’t Believe In Your Love (5:34) - Oliver Hartmann, Tobias Sammet (vocals), Rudolph Schenker (lead guitar)

11 Lost In Space (3:53) - Tobias Sammet, Amanda Somerville(vocals)


When Tobias Sammeth announced that he had been working on a new Avantasia album again after five years, he shook the metal world awake and immediately drew everyone's attention to himself. With 'The Metal Opera' he released two fantastic power metal albums with vocal contribution of giants like Kai Hanse, David DeFeis and Rob Rock and the press and the fans all over the world received this project with open arms. So the first question regarding the new Avantasia was if Tobi would succeed in making an album of the same level, let alone make a better one.


Well what do you know? The new Avantasia album is a fact and goddamn, WHAT AN ALBUM IT HAS BECOME!!! From the very first tunes of the opening track 'Twisted Mind' you find yourself on the edge of your chair and stay there for the coming 64 minutes. The song starts rocking almost immediately and has everything that makes Avantasia so special: powerful riffing, beautiful melodies, beautiful singing, excellent arrangements, catchy choruses, clear and powerful production and especially the genius combination of it all. The following title track is an absolute breath taker. The song starts with a magnificent Celtic intro and grows into a diverse and expansive masterpiece and grabs you by the throat from the beginning to the end. I can easily name any other song on the album, because the eleven compositions are all of the same high quality and are piece for piece musical treasures.


This album is almost totally different than 'The Metal Opera' and is fortunately not a typical power metal album; something that 'The Metal Opera' was a bit. This time Tobi has chose for a more traditional rock approach. Of course the power metal influences are still present, but in general the music has become more progressive and to the point at the same time with a Celtic and even a bit oriental touch from time to time. The vocal contributions of Jorn Lande, Kain Hanse, Michael Kiske and Bob Catly among others should not stay unmentioned and see to a high dosage of goose bumps regularly. But one of the most remarkable singers on this album has to be Alice Cooper, who put his stamp on 'The Toy Master', a role that no other could have done. Musically Tobi had help from Sascha Paeth (a.o. known from Luca Turilli and Aina), who has taken the guitars for his part and none less than Eric Singer (Alice Cooper, Kiss) on the drums. Besides that, Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions) has also played a couple of solos.


With 'The Scarecrow' Tobi has made a musical treasure and masterpiece, which will blow away all the doubts with a single shot. The album has become quite different than what we are used fro this musical genius, but is from the same high quality and in my opinion from an even higher quality. The new year has just begun and I already have a candidate for my top five, because I can't honestly believe that were will be many releases this year that will top this!


This is a much have to listen to album to appreciate it fully and has many talented musicans on it.


Current line-up:


Tobias Sammet - Vocals, Keys, Orchestration, Bass (Edguy, Nuclear Blast Allstars)

Sascha Paeth - Rhythm Guitar (Heavens Gate, Luca Turilli, Virgo (Matos/Paeth), Redkey, Luca Turilli's Dreamquest, Rhapsody (Session), Aina)

Eric Singer - Drums (Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Stream (US), KISS)


Guest musicians:



Michael Kiske (The Metal Opera I & II, The Scarecrow) (Helloween, ex-Ill Prophecy)

David DeFeis (The Metal Opera I & II) (Burning Starr, Exorcist (US), Virgin Steele)

Ralf Zdiarstek (The Metal Opera I & II) (Amitav)

Sharon den Adel (The Metal Opera I & II) (Within Temptation, Voyage (Guest), Orphanage (Guest), Delain (Guest))

Rob Rock (The Metal Opera I & II) (ex-Angelica, Axel Rudi Pell, Driver, Impellitteri, Joshua, M.A.R.S., Warrior (US))

Oliver Hartmann (The Metal Opera I & II, The Scarecrow) (At Vance, Empty Tremor)

Andrй Matos (The Metal Opera I & II) (Angra, Looking-Glass-Self, Shaman (Bra), Viper (Bra), Virgo (Matos/Paeth))

Kai Hansen (The Metal Opera I & II) (Gamma Ray, Helloween, Iron Fist (Ger), Iron Savior)

Timo Tolkki (The Metal Opera I & II) (Stratovarius)

Bob Catley (The Metal Opera II & The Scarecrow) (Magnum)

Alice Cooper (The Toy Master)

Amanda Somerville (The Scarecrow) (Aina)

Jшrn Lande (The Scarecrow) (Allen / Lande, Ark, Beyond Twilight, Masterplan, Mundanus Imperium, Vagabond (Nor), Wild Willy's Gang, Yngwie J. Malmsteen)

Roy Khan (The Scarecrow) (Conception, Kamelot)



Norman Meiritz (The Metal Opera I & II)

Timo Tolkki (The Metal Opera II) (Stratovarius)

Kai Hansen (The Scarecrow) (Gamma Ray, Helloween, Iron Fist (Ger), Iron Savior)

Rudolph Schenker (The Scarecrow) (Scorpions)


Give it a listen too you will not be sorry you did.


And thanks GC for finally pinning this thread.

Edited by Jitway

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Im going to Review Lupe Fiasco's "The Cool" Soon.


You better not kill it or I will kill you.

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Should of just put up a different thread for your review jit.


Speaking of which, The Good, The Bad and The Queen's selftitled shall be reviewed in a few days time.

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Sebastian Bach's Angel Down




The Former Frontman of Skid Row releases a new solo album.

Release date 11/20/2007


For those who do not know who Sebastian Bach is here is a link to wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Bach


1. Angel Down

2. You Don't Understand

3. Back In the Saddle

4. (Love Is) A Bitchslap

5. Stuck Inside

6. American Metalhead

7. Negative Light

8. Live & Die

9. By Your Side

10.Our Love Is A Lie

11.Take You Down With Me

12.Stabbin' Daggers

13.You Bring Me Down

14.Falling Into You


Coming into this, I was very skeptical. Sebastian Bach has done a lot lately that has made me question my love for him.


The anticipation for VH1's Super Group was almost too much for me to take when it first aired. I had heard countless rumors about Sebastian being a jerk, a diva, and a douchebag, so I was depending on this show to prove all the nay sayers wrong. No one could possibly be a bigger jerk than Ted Nugent...could they? Unfortunately, Sebastian fulfilled every word of those rumors. I hope and pray that it was bad editing on VH1's part that made him look so ridiculous, but it was one of the most heartbreaking moments in my life. Sounds silly, I know, but Skid Row and Sebastian Bach are my idols and one of my all-time favorite bands. It sucks to find out that your idols aren't as cool as you thought they would be.


Then Sebastian went on to do MTV's Celebrity Rap Superstar. Why don't you just put another knife in my heart and twist it around? I couldn't even bring myself to watch that show, not one single episode. Although I did hear that Sebastian actually did pretty well, for some reason, that was no consolation to me. I understand that he probably did all this for money and to promote his new album (and I'm sure it worked), but it still sucks.


All of this was foreshadowed by his first solo album, Bring'em Bach Alive. I stole a copy of it from a local college radio station a few years ago. As much as I hate to say it, I'm glad I didn't waste any money on it. It was terrible. Not only were his new songs bad, but he shoved quite a few Skid Row songs on the album. If I wanted to hear Skid Row, I'd throw one of their CD's in, but I wanted to hear new, solo Sebastian Bach. That's not what I got at all. The quality of the photos on the CD were terrible as well; it looked like the band put on costumes, ran outside in Sebastian's back yard, and had someone snap a picture of them with a disposable camera.



So needless to say, I wasn't expecting much from Angel Down.



Luckily, I happened to catch Sebastian on my local radio station last week. I think he was doing a radio tour to help promote the album. Thankfully, he came off sounding like the old Sebastian that I had enshrined in my head: funny, thoughtful, and charismatic. I was relieved. Maybe his new album wouldn't be so bad? They played "Love Is A biatch Slap" and...it was actually really flocking good. Whew!


Then I was able to listen to Angel Down in its entirety. Wow...Sebastian redeemed himself for all his wrong doing with this album; he blew me away.



I've only listened to it once when I first did this review but have since come to love it and listen to it once a week now. The music is heavy and dirty. Slave To The Grind resonates throughout the album, but Sebastian does a great job of making it his own. After hearing him sing on Super Group, I was a little worried about how his voice would sound on this album. Not to worry. His voice sounds just as youthful and strong on Angel Down as it did on Skid Row's debut album. There is also a guest appearance by none other than Axl Rose who lends his voice to a couple of the songs on the album, which is a nice added touch.



Sebastian has shown a lot of growth and maturity with Angel Down. It just goes to prove that the less he focuses on Skid Row, the better he sounds. I'm thankful he took his time and worked hard to put out a quality album.


Moral of the story: Never doubt your idols.

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Brainstorm Downburst

Release Date 01/25/2008




Here is their hompage or those who have never heard of Brainstorm http://www.truemetal.org/brainstorm


Andy B. Franck - vocals

Torsten "Todde" Ihlenfeld - guitars

Milan "Mille" Loncaric - guitars

Toni Ieva - bass

Dieter Bernert - drums



01. Falling Spiral Down

02. Fire Walk With Me

03. Stained With Sin

04. Redemption In Your Eyes

05. End In Sorrow

06. How Do You Feel

07. Protect Me From Myself

08. Surrounding Walls

09. Frozen

10. All Alone


After the celebrations of the 10 years of the band with the re-release of the first two albums and the release of their first DVD titled "Honey From The B’s", the new album of the German band Brainstorm is now a fact and it is titled "Downburst" by Metal Blade Records. Their previous album "Liquid Monster" had left me with mixed feelings since there were tracks which I liked a lot but there were also tracks that I found a little bit disappointing. In "Downburst" things are obviously better since Brainstorm offer us an excellent album of pure Heavy / Power Metal that every fan of the genre should have. Before the release came the single "Fire Walk With Me" which was certainly a good start and a good first idea for what would follow, but personally I’ve imagined things differently.


Firstly we should mention that responsible for the production of the album is Sascha Paeth (Angra, Rhapsody (Of Fire), Kamelot) fact that gives a more positive side in this work. In "Downburst" there aren’t any new elements concerning the music of Brainstorm. The only difference is that everything about this album is done with more loyalty and attention than any other time and the result shows a maturity that didn’t exist at the desirable level till now. It looks like Brainstorm within their 10 years of existence managed to have their own unique identity since when we hear a Brainstorm song we cannot think of another band. Their music, for those who may not know, is based upon Heavy parts which consist of many rhythmical riffs and mid tempo tunes. The times that the speed rises are not few, thing that adds an attitude more influenced by the European Power Metal scene. Melodies have the main role and at some points the result is more epic, something that I personally liked a lot. For one more time there are some parts consisted by electro-acoustic guitars which remind Iron Maiden but yet they have completely blended and they’re not boring or tiring. Keyboards in this album don’t play much of a role, yet they exist, giving their own tone and making the tracks sound even more atmospheric and melancholic (like in End of Sorrow). Within all this, the beautiful vocals of Andy Frank come to be added, vocals which are a must for every Heavy / Power Metal album.


"Downburst" is the best album of Brainstorm till today, album that hides a maturity when at the same time uses in a unique way all the elements that every album of this genre should have. I guess that it is time for all those who haven’t heard Brainstorm to do so.

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Kingdom Of Sorrow Debut Album

Release Date 02/19/2008




Here is more info on the band

Jasta (HATEBREED, ICEPICK) and Windstein (DOWN, CROWBAR) came together some three years ago to create KINGDOM OF SORROW, and in that time put together an album's worth of crushing American metal.


Here is their MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/kingdomofsorrow


01. Hear This Prayer

02. Grieve

03. Piece It All Back

04. Led Into Demise

05. Demon Eyes

06. With Unspoken Words

07. Free The Fall

08. World

09. Ghosts

10. Begging

11. Buried In Black


Kirk Windstein (DOWN, CROWBAR) – Vocals, Guitars

Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED, ICEPICK) - Vocals


Derek Kerswill (SEEMLESS, UNEARTH) - Drums

Matthew Brunson - Bass


I can't even begin to explain how excited I am about KINGDOM OF SORROW! There's been two and a half years of questions, rumors and speculation surrounding this and finally it is here!


I can't wait for the world to hear this record. It crushes!! The vocals and wrote and lyrics are totally different in the Down style that Kirk is from. Kirk has never sounded better! His tone is like a 747 filled with tar crashing into a lead mountain. I think everyone is going to be really surprised!


It seems they had a great time putting it together and you can tell just by listening to it from start to finish it is a masterpiece. Its super heavy, man, it just crushes! Everyone I play it for, their jaws drop. And after three years in the making, it feels good to know now everyone can hear it.


There is not a track on this ablum that I do not like. Most supergroups you like some songs but not all. This is an exception to the rule.

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