• Eine arrogant-klugscheissende Enkelin, die so tut, als ob sie alles wusste?

    Eine etwas vertrottelte Oma, die so tut, als ob sie modern sei?

    Eine Mutter, die genauso trottelig wirkt wie die Oma?

    Ein Vater, der blod aus der Wasche guckt und hustet (wie viel Gage es fur diesen Beitrag wohl gab...)?

    Diese und mehr unfreiwillig lustige Klischees wurden in knapp dreissig gruseligen Sekunden verarbeitet - ''Ich wusste gar nicht, dass das geht!?''

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  • Epica - Epica vs Attack on Titan Songs (2017)

    Linked Horizon is a side project by Japanese composer Revo who is also the mastermind behind Sound Horizon, which focuses on telling epic stories and mixing classical music with metal elements and various other subgenres varying from Japanese pop music to Visual Kei. If you aren't familiar with Sound Horizon yet, you have missed out on an outstanding fusion of genres and should check out records like the epic Märchen. The songs on this release were written for the Attack on Titan anime series which are one of the most popular but in my opinion also one of the least interesting series. Especially the live action adaptations aren't too spectacular. The soundtrack to this series is however quite interesting. Since these songs were quite chaotic with narrative passages in German and vocals in Japanese, I was more than surprised to learn that Dutch symphonic metal veterans Epica would cover these songs.

    I must say that I'm really impressed because the band did an outstanding job. Epica avoided the use of German and Japanese lyrics and stuck to English lyrics, making the songs easier to digest. The band made the overall sound of the tracks heavier but also more bombastic with its typical use of symphonic elements. Epica managed to make these songs their own and to make them more fluid, powerful and structured at the same time. The sinister parts have become more gripping, the orchestral elements more uplifting and the melodic vocal lines more memorable. Listening to these four songs is an unforgettable roller coaster ride of ambitions, elegance and emotions. If you're not ready for multiple roller coaster rides, the band also included the instrumental versions of the four songs that make even more obvious how much passion, respect and thought has been put into this unusual project. Listening to these instrumental versions will make you discover more and more details with every spin.

    While several Epica records in recent memory had some lengths, this project is to the point and must be described as a definite highlight in the band's stunning discography. Don't underestimate this project because it consists of cover songs. Epica has made these songs their own and created a wonderful gem. You might have to pay a few more bucks than usual to buy a physical copy of this album that has exclusively been released on Japanese territory but your friends will be green with envy when they will see what masterpiece you have purchased.

    Final rating: 98%

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  • Hallo zusammen!

    Mit ein wenig Verspätung gibt es hier die Bilder meines verlängerten Wochenendes von Freitagmittag bis Sonntagabend in Drummondville. Dort fand die Classique hivernale de la Ligue de hockey junior majeur du Québec statt, mit insgesamt zwei Partien dieser Liga und zusätzlich einer Partie der Midget AAA Liga. Das Wetter war gut, die Partien waren spannend, die Stadt war ganz nett, aber Unterkunft und Verpflegung waren etwas überteuert.

     Der Park Saint-Frédéric mit der gleichnamigen Kirche

     Der Fluss Saint-François mit Blick auf den Staudamm von Drummondville

     Ende der Eishockeypartie der LHJMQ zwischen den gastegebenden Voltigeurs de Drummondville und den Phénix de Sherbrooke

     Die Maskottchen der Voltigeurs de Drummondville: links Tirobut und rechts Doris

     Aftershow des Eishokeyspiels am Freitagabend

     Skilanglaufpiste am Village Québécois d'Antan

     Kunstwerke vor dem Drummondville Olympique Sportkomplex

     Gebäude der Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in Drummondville

     Gebäude der Pères Montfortains

     Zeremonieller Bully vor dem Spiel der LHJMQ zwischen den gastgebenden Voltigeurs de Drummondville und den Tigres de Victoriaville am Samstagnachmittag 

     Tanzspektakel des Cégep de Drummondville in der Pause

     Gruppenfoto nach dem Spiel, welches wegen heftigen Schneefalls immer wieder unterbrochen werden musste und insgesamt über drei Stunden dauerte

     Eröffnungszeremonie vor dem Sonntagsspiel zwischen den Cantonniers de Magog und den Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe der Midget AAA Liga

     Ende der Eishockeypartie am Nachmittag

     Finales Gruppenfoto der beiden Mannschaften der Midget AAA Liga

     Ankunft des Zuges aus Québec-Stadt in Richtung Montréal und Ottawa 

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  • Loudness - Rise to Glory (2018)

    Even nearly four decades after its foundation, it's still a great joy to listen to this surprisingly juvenile Japanese heavy metal legend. This is due to two very important factors. First of all, one has to cite Niihara Minoru's truly unique voice who manages to mix controlled screams with a somewhat raw undertone and a particular accent that adds a melodic yet vibrant note to his performance. Secondly, Takasaki Akira is still one of the best guitarists in the genre who pulls off fast and melodic speed metal solos as well as gripping heavy and doom metal riffs but who also experiments with psychedelic soundscapes every now and then. Supported by a tight rhythm section, these eternally young protagonists entertain us throughout thirteen new tracks and a generous running time above one hour. The limited edition of this release even includes a nice selection of recently re-recorded classics. Since this album is one of the band's few to be released by a big international label, you shouldn't even think twice about purchasing the limited edition of Loudness' Rise to Glory.

    The first few songs already showcase Loudness' typical soundscapes in a fresh way. The instrumental opener ''8118'' opens with a mysterious, psychedelic atmosphere inspired by Indian folklore which is due to the guitarist's conversion to Buddhism which occurred in the nineties when the band almost broke apart and this inspiration can also be found in the other instrumental track ''Kama Sutra''. ''Soul on Fire'' and ''Go for Broke'' are powerful heavy metal tracks with slight melancholic undertones that could have been released back in the eighties but that sound up-to-date thanks to passionate performances and an overall crunchy production. The bouncy ''I'm Still Alive'' quickens up the pace, slightly inspired by speed and thrash metal of the late eighties without denying the band's classic heavy metal vibe. If you're able to sit or stand still while listening to this energizing track, you're probably either deaf or metal just isn't your kind of music. A song like ''Until I See the Light'' includes a few acoustic guitar passages but quickly evolves into a slow-paced stomping metal track that makes you want to tap your feet. Loudness' style truly represents what heavy metal is all about.

    The album proceeds with a mixture of mid-paced heavy metal anthems, up-tempo tracks with minimal speed metal influences and a few playful songs with extended guitar solos and occasional psychedelic folk influences. The thunderous ''Massive Tornado'' and the epic ''Why and for Whom'' could be cited as highlights in the second half but the record is slightly losing steam as time goes by. If the record had been reduced to the best eight or nine tracks, it could easily compete with the band's greatest cuts from the eighties. 

    As it is, Rise to Glory is still a very good heavy metal record that outclasses most other genre veterans thanks to the distinguished guitar play and vocals. After the somewhat formulaic The Sun Will Rise Again, the Japanese heavy metal quartet is definitely back in the game with this more diversified, passionate and refreshing late career highlight. If you like heavy metal, you should certainly get your hands on this great output.

    Final rating: 82%

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  • Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs (2018)

    Could a band whose last studio album would have deserved a Nobel Peace Prize and whose title track was arguably one of the best metal songs ever written possibly beat its shining opus magnum? No, it couldn't. After the colossal All Is One, Israeli quintet Orphaned Land and its numerous colourful collaborators only had two options: stagnating on a high level or reinventing itself. The band opted for the first choice and accomplished its goal in a very respectable way. 

    Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs might not include eternal anthems like ''All Is One'' but everything else is a great as on the predecessor. The cover artwork is detailed, meaningful and memorable. The lyrical topics are particularly intriguing and once again spread a quite critical yet ultimately positive message. Musically, the band fusions its Middle Eastern folk elements with epic heavy metal but also goes back to its death metal roots on at least two occasions. The integration of choirs and orchestral passages has become bigger and bolder than before. The three main guest performers, Blind Guardian's unique singer Hansi Kürsch, At the Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg and progressive rock guitarist Steve Hackett of Genesis fame, all leave a positive mark on the record and sound perfectly integrated. The production does every instrument and vocalist justice and blows the listener away in a positive way. The record convinces from start to finish and the special edition includes the highly recommendable Orphaned Land & Friends 25th Anniversary boxed set. Pointing out particular songs wouldn't do the others justice but if you really insisted, I would recommend the complex opener ''The Cave'' that summarizes Orphaned Land's current sound perfectly, the catchy ''Like Morpheus'' with a stunning Hansi Kürsch and the cinematic finale in form of the dramatic ''Only the Dead Have Seen the End of the War'' with its sound samples adding another dimension to Orphaned Land's already ambitious style.

    Orphaned Land's Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is already album of the year material and if you even only care slightly about epic metal music with emotion and intellect, there is no excuse for you to not own this brilliant record. The only element that keeps this album away from being revolutionary is the fact that its immediate predecessor already accomplished this and that the new album takes a few more spins to grow on you than the last one that had an immediate impact. Stop reading and give this album a chance now!

    Final rating: 97%

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