• Nuclear Blast All Stars - Out of the Dark (2007)

    Shades of Grey

    In order to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, renowned German metal label Nuclear Blast asked Swedish bassist, guitarist and keyboarder Peter Wichers of Soilwork fame to write a record consisting of ten songs focusing on melodic death and thrash metal. Each track features a singer of a different band that was signed by the label back then. The final result obviously couldn't be a perfectly consistent affair and sounds like a compilation. While this release certainly has more ups than downs and deserves some attention, praise and recognition, it isn't as balanced, creative and profound as the simultaneously release Into the Light that focused on the label's gothic, heavy and power metal sounds.

    Instead of developing a coherent sound, flow or concept, the songs on this album sound a lot like the bands of the different singers featured here. The concise, focused and melodic ''Schizo'' featuring Peter Tägtgren could easily be a solid candidate for a Hypocrisy single for instance. 

    The atmospheric, epic and powerful ''The Dawn of All'' featuring Björn Strid has a wonderful melancholic, melodic and modern touch that would actually foreshadow Soilwork's future releases. 

    ''My Name is Fate'' featuring Death Angel's Mark Osegueda is one of the few tunes exploring thrash metal territories but with a modern sound that actually isn't too far away from the melodic death metal material that dominates this album. The song stands out but still manages to fit in. This underlines Peter Wichers songwriting skills best on this output.

    ''The Guilded Dagger'' features the two singers of Sonic Syndicate and is the best song in terms of combining sorrowful guitar melodies and mournful clean vocals on one side with powerful riffs and guttural screams on the other side.

    Despite adopting the sounds of the bands of the featured singers, this album mostly succeeds because many of these bands sound quite similar in style. This only proves that most melodic death metal bands fail to push the boundaries. It's difficult to blame them however since the bands that tend to experiment regularly get criticized in disrespectful ways. As for Out of the Dark, it isn't as imaginative as Into the Light but should still satisfy genre fans. While the release doesn't include any stinkers, most tracks are of an average quality with only a few good tunes. The limited edition includes a second disc featuring ten rare and unreleased tracks of bands that were signed by Nuclear Blast back in the days. Collectors, fans and newcomers might actually discover more hidden gems on the second disc that really rates this output up than on the actual main release itself.

    Final rating: 65%

    Nuclear Blast Allstars - Into the Light (2007)

    More Light than Dark

    In order to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, renowned German metal label Nuclear Blast asked Rage guitarist Victor Smolski to write a record consisting of ten songs focusing on power and heavy metal. Each track features a singer of a different band that was signed by the label back then. The final result obviously couldn't be a perfectly consistent affair and sounds like a compilation but this release certainly has more ups than downs and deserves some attention, praise and recognition.

    The first highlight on this album is the mid-paced symphonic power metal epic ''Death Is Alive'' featuring a versatile Mats Levén on lead vocals and an often underrated Jen Majura on backing vocals. 

    ''Slaves to the Desert'' features inspired oriental soundscapes and is crowned by Hansi Kürsch's soulful vocals that entertain throughout seven minutes. 

    ''Eternally'' is the record's slow, progressive and moody tune. It features one of Oddleif Stensland's most inspired performances. The track might need some time to grow but has perhaps the biggest potential here thanks to its creative depth.

     ''Inner Sanctuary'' featuring Marco Hietala contrasts the previous song with energetic riffs and a simple but efficient chorus. The melodic and almost danceable guitar sounds are complemented by gothic rock inspired piano melodies. The song finds a surprising balance between gothic, heavy and power metal that represents the entire release very well. This would have been the perfect candidate for a single..

    The record's longest tune ''In the Picture'' is the best song Nightwish has never written and offers a highly atmospheric conclusion to the record. The song takes two and a half minutes to build up an almost cinematic atmosphere with creative instrumental passages. Once these vibes have been established, Tarja Turunen can fully unfold her skillful vocals that sound much more diversified than usual. 

    Not every song on this release leaves a deeper impression but this album doesn't include any stinker. Half of the songs are good average tunes while the other half is very good. The mixture of gothic, heavy and power metal throughout the album sounds perfectly balanced. The album has overall solid flow that underlines Victor Smolski's remarkable songwriting talent. In hindsight, this release portrays very well what commercial melodic metal sounded like in the early years of the new millennium. If you haven't listened to this album yet, you might actually discover some hidden gems featuring some of your favourite musicians and singers. The special edition features a second disc with a balanced mixture of popular and rare tunes from some of Nuclear Blast's bands back in the days. 

    Final rating: 80% 

    Please note that the album titles ''Out of the Dark'' and ''Into the Light'' are inspired by this wonderful song by late Austrian singer and rapper Falco:

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks

  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    Here is the final in a long series of playlists I have been creating over the past week. This playlist focuses on quirky, entertaining and creative female k-pop artists and bands. Even I managed to get to know some new music while creating this playlist. It's a nice change from my usual oldies and metal playlists. I really appreciate this genre's airy, danceable and lighthearted vibes in times like these. Enjoy!

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0qvMtG3WoVLGKZMheihswi

    1. Dreamcatcher - Breaking Out

    2. Everglow - Salute

    3. Apink - Everybody Ready?

    4. Twice - Dance the Night Away

    5. Loona - Hi High

    6. Red Velvet - Psycho

    7. f(x) - 4 Walls

    8, Girls' Generation - Paparazzi

    9. Wonder Girls - Why So Lonely?

    10. Momoland - Baam

    11. Six Bomb - Wait Ten Years, Baby

    12. Sistar - I Like That

    13. Crayon Pop - Bar Bar Bar

    14. CocoSori - Dark Circle

    15. Dalshabet - Joker

    16. HyunA - Flower Shower

    17. Blackpink - Kill This Love

    18. Oh My Girl - Destiny

    19. Orange Caramel - Catallena

    20. T-ara - Roly-Poly

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks

  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    Here is a playlist of my favourite new songs released in March 2020 on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7rCGEZaOeayJSmfSmdGCDh

    1. Rotting Kingdom - Sculpted into Life by the Hand of Death

    2. Paradise Lost - Fall from Grace

    3. Conception - Waywardly Broken

    4. Crematory - Rise and Fall

    5. Allen / Olzon - What If I Live

    6. Deep Purple - Throw My Bones

    7. Ross the Boss - Denied by the Cross

    8. Ambush - Yperite

    9. Grave Digger - All for the Kingdom

    10. Heaven Shall Burn - La résistance

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks

  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    Here is my third and last playlist about classics from the early seventies to the first decade of the millennium. Once again, this playlist features numerous genres covering fifty completely different artists and bands that couldn't be found in the first two lists. Enjoy this dynamic retrospective and keep an open mind to discover new music in times like these. Enjoy!

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0UsMKu2s72tJFn8B0tfqTL

    1. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

    2. ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man

    3. Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen

    4. Ramones - Pet Sematary

    5. Green Day - Longview

    6. Blink-182 - All the Small Things

    7. The Offspring - Why Don't You Get a Job?

    8. NoFX - Vanilla Sex

    9. Avril Lavigne - Complicated

    10. Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me

    11. No Doubt - Don't Speak

    12. Van Halen - Jump

    13. Journey - Don't Stop Believin'

    14. Aerosmith - Dream On

    15. Carly Simon - You're So Vain

    16. a-ha - Take on Me

    17. Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

    18. Madonna - Like a Virgin

    19. Spider Murphy Gang - Skandal im Sperrberzirk

    20. Geier Sturzflug - Die pure Lust am Leben

    21. Udo Lindenberg & das Panik-Orchester - Sonderzug nach Pankow

    22. Nena - 99 Luftballons

    23. Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung - Burli

    24. Klaus Lage Band - 1000 und 1 Nacht

    25. Witt & Heppner - Die Flut

    26. Falco - Out of the Dark

    27. Chicago - Questions 67 & 68

    28. Yes - Machine Messiah

    29. Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

    30. The Doors - Light My Fire

    31. Don McLean - American Pie

    32. Oasis - Wonderwall

    33. Run D.M.C. - Walk This Way

    34. Beastie Boys - Fight for Your Right

    35. N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

    36. Dr. Dre - I Need a Doctor

    37. OutKast - Ms. Jackson

    38. Jay-Z - 99 Problems

    39. Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers

    40. Booba - Écoute bien

    41. Sido - Mein Block

    42. System of a Down - Toxicity

    43. Die Arzte - Schrei nach Liebe

    44. Die toten Hosen - Hier kommt Alex

    45. Wizo - Kopfschuss

    46. Muse - Knights of Cydonia

    47. Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence

    48. KISS - I Was Made for Lovin' You

    49. Ben E. King - Stand by Me

    50. Pink Floyd - Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks

  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    The time has come to introduce you to another playlist of mine. I have created this one with a Halloween party on my mind but it could be used for any other gloomy circumstances. Despite the dark mood, the playlist is particularly diversified and includes classical music, country, folk, hip-hop, metal, pop and rock music. I think the mixture is quite balanced. Give it a try!

    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7JAytatVWOAl8mlpwoCvvS 

    1. John Carpenter - Halloween Theme

    2. Helloween - Halloween

    3. Queen - Killer Queen

    4. Idle Hands - A Single Solemn Rose

    5. The 69 Eyes - Cheyenna

    6. Blink-182 - I Miss You

    7. The Cranberries - Zombies

    8. Mecano - Hijo de la luna

    9. Goblin - Suspiria

    10. Oomph! - Augen auf!

    11. ASP - Ich will brennen

    12. Mono Inc. - Voices of Doom

    13. Alice Cooper - Poison

    14. Ramones - Pet Sematary 

    15. Good Charlotte - Predictable

    16. Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare

    17. Ray Parker Junior - Ghosybusters

    18. Michael Jackson - Thriller

    19. Sisters of Mercy - This Corrosion

    20. Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

    21. The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

    22. Billy Idol - Eyes Without a Face

    23. The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil

    24. Iron Butterfly - In-a-Gadda-da-Vida

    25. King Diamond - The Candle

    26. Ozzy Osbourne - Under the Graveyard

    27. Necronomidol - Psychopomp

    28. The Citizens of Halloween - This Is Halloween

    29. Marilyn Manson - The Nobodies

    30. Puddle of Mudd - Psycho

    31. Rob Zombie - Dragula

    32. Eminem feat. Rihanna - The Monster

    33. Evanescence - Bring Me to Life

    34. Apocalyptica featuring Ville Valo & Lauri Ylonen - Bittersweet

    35. Tiamat - Winter Dawn

    36. The Vision Bleak - The Night of the Living Dead

    37. Ghost - Square Hammer

    38. HIM - Join Me in Death

    39. Sentenced - Ever-Frost

    40. Placebo - The Bitter End

    41. London Music Works - Main Theme from Phantasm

    42. Louis Armstrong - Jeepers Creepers

    43. Bloodsucking Zombies from Outer Space - A Deeper Shade of Red

    44. Stan Jones - Riders in the Sky

    45. Chris Isaac - Wicked Game

    46. Julee Cruise - Falling

    47. Moonspell - Extinct

    48. Slayer - Raining Blood

    49. Metallica - Enter Sandman

    50. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Time Warp

    Partager via Gmail Delicious Technorati Yahoo! Google Bookmarks Blogmarks




    Suivre le flux RSS des articles de cette rubrique