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MUSIC REVIEWS - CDS
by Richard Karsmakers
On with the show that will never end...even more CDs reviewed
GODSEND - IN THE ELECTRIC MIST (HOLY RECORDS)
Godsend, like the Gathering (above), have really changed musical
style too. Their first album was "depressive doom" or something
like that, beautifully produced and haunting and, indeed, not all
too sunny and bright insofar that it was downright depressive
(though in quite a nice way). With their second album on the Holy
Records label, "In the Electric Mist", they have released an
album that is so diverse it somehow misses the point. "Clarion
Call", for example, is basically a guitar (or even banjo?) with
singing atop it, sounding almost country & western. Only a
handful of the 11 songs still show a glimpse of the former
greatness that once was Godsend. "Down Upon You", "In the Bitter
Waters", "Under Silver Linings" and "Thoughts and Shadows" have a
couple of great moments, and "Voyage in Oblivion" sounds
influenced by Cathedral (including the "oh yeah!") and seriously
groovy. But the other tracks, well, they don't please me at all.
The new vocalist, Per Morten Kjök, doesn't appeal to me. The
sometimes operatic guy who sang on "As the Shadows Fall" was
superior in every respect.
A bit of a letdown, this one. Not my cuppa tea.
JAMIROQUAI - EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH
Although released in 1993 and not too new anymore, Jamiroquai's
"Emergency on Planet Earth" is a really interesting album that
ought to be checked out by all those who claim to have an open
Jamiroquai isn't heavy metal, nor synthesizer music. It's not
even rock. I don't quite know what to call it, for it's on
entirely new territory for me. If I tell you that we have a
really funky album with a vocalist the likes of Stevie Wonder, I
think that might give you an indication. Further than that I
don't want to go into label-giving country.
The thing that is wrong with the music industry today is that
way too many musicians don't really know what they're doing. Many
of them (need I mention the dread band Hole?) can't sing or even
play their instruments in other than a really basic fashion
indeed. The horrible thing is that those bands get airplay by the
wagonload on MTV. MTV tries to shape the market, it convinces Joe
Public that he really should want what MTV has on offer. And it
works. It's pretty horrible, but thank God it only affects the
more brainless and gullible lower 95% of the populace.
Er...MTV? Where the hell was I? I seem to have dwelled on one of
my favourite ranting subjects...er...
Oh, yeah, right. Jamiroquai got some MTV airplay a while back
but then disappeared, I think. And a few months ago Karin bought
"Emergency on Planet Earth". I really dig this stuff. It's kindof
seventies but not too much so. I'd even go so far as to say that
it's pretty innovative, though I have to say I'm going out on a
limb here because I am not at all deep into the genre (which,
like I said, I don't really know what to call).
Funky. Really funky. A terrific drummer (Nick Van Gelder, never
heard of him before). Fairly long instrumental passages. Dreamy
bits, more aggressive bits. Funky seventies guitars. Violins.
Loads of copper instruments. Flutes, too. Use of the Didgeridoo
(which has become a bit too fashionable of late, but remember
that this album is 2 years old). Of course, the album is quite
politically correct. Environmental awareness and the like, you
know what I mean. It comes across as pretty sincere, but even if
it wasn't then it's the music that counts. And in this case the
music counts big time.
I really seem to be having difficulty getting to grips with a
description of the music, though. Lack of experience in the
field, I am sure.
All I know is that my musical taste is expanding. I hear some of
you sniggering that it's all Karin's influence and that I only
like this stuff because she exposes me to it. Believe me, I am
not that gullible and can't be moulded that easily, not even by
Karin. I really dig this stuff. I can't wait until we get to live
together, so that I will have even easier access to this
What advice to give you? If you're into somewhat heavier music
you should go to the record shop and listen to "Revolution 1993".
If you're into alternative Aboriginal stuff (say, some bits of
Levellers) you should listen to "When You Gonna Learn
(Digeridoo)" and "Didgin' Out". If you're into mainstream kindof
mass-current-day-music but you find no challenge for your mind in
what MTV and everyday radio has to offer for you, check out "Too
Young to Die", "Blow your Mind" and the title track. "Blow your
Mind" might be a bit long-winded but it's really subtle musically
and the bass, well, the bass sounds about as funky as you can
Actually, I think you ought to check out all tracks. Take some
time to listen to the whole CD in the shop. They won't mind.
KREATOR - CAUSE FOR CONFLICT (GUN)
Kreator are not proud of their previous album, "Renewal". It had
a few industrial elements and, so guitarist/singer/boss Mille
Petrozza said in a recent radio interview, they really oughtn't
have made the album. It was too experimental and a lot of the old
fans didn't know what to think of it.
Never mind that I actually liked it a lot and that for me it was
one of Kreator's better albums to date.
Anyway, it's back to the roots now, and "Cause for Conflict" is
the really aggressive product of this decision. It's a mystery to
me which band members are in Kreator now, for there is only a
picture of the band and no further information. Mille is still in
it - with the straightforward slightly monotonous vocals that
make sure he'll never be my favourite thrash vocalist - and I
also recognised Frank Blackfire, the guy who made Sodom crap when
he left that band to join Kreator. Sodom still hasn't recovered
after three albums, but that's beside the point.
Produced by Vincent Wojno (who I only know of his work for
Mindfunk myself), "Cause for Conflict" has 12 tracks that are
each pretty excellent. A total of 48 minutes make this CD the
longest they have released so far - not counting the CD with
bonus EP times - and I'd like to say that they sound as current
as they ever have. The German thrash metal explosion may be over,
but Kreator shows that there's still plenty of life to be
witnessed. The drummer is better than ever (I think they might
have replaced Ventor, actually), especially on the superb first
There is only one bad thing about the album as a whole: The last
track. It starts off just like the other ones, really, a
straight-in-the-face awesomely blunt thrash song. But then
there's a couple of minutes of silence followed by about two
minutes of various animal and electric noises. Yawn! A waste of
time. It only mars the album, and quite severely at that.
Why the hell do bands still do that shit?
LIVE - THROWING COPPER
Normally I have something about commercial hype. About? Against,
rather. Now this band, Live, has been the subject of quite a bit
of hype. "No. 1 in America", adhesive proudly proclaims on the CD
package. To me, this fact is sooner a bad sign than a good one
(like "Parental Guidance, Explicit Lyrics" is for me a good sign
and not a bad one). But some friends had told me Live ought to be
So I listened with as much of an open mind as possible and,
frankly, was hooked instantly. Well, hooked might me a bit too
much, but I was sufficiently impressed to A) Buy it, and B) Write
this bit to tell you to check it out despite the fact that it's
already about one year old.
"Throwing Copper", as far as I know, is Live's third and best
album. I haven't heard the first one because it's rare and all,
but their breakthrough debut, "Mental Jewellery", didn't do
anything for me. "Throwing Copper", however, shows clear signs of
Pearl Jam, Nirvana, the Golden Earring and Rage Against the
Machine, possibly with a touch of R.E.M. (though thank god not
their vocals). The mix is really interesting, not boringly
unoriginal, and very energetic.
The album contains almost an hour of rather excellent music,
varying from more sensitive pieces like "Lighting Crashes" to
more in-the-face material such as "Stage", "Top" and the
excellent "Shit Towne". The two hit singles, "I Alone" and "All
Over You", are also quite zarjaz and certainly don't cause me not
to move about much. Actually there's only one track that is
rather a bit less than the rest, which is a non-listed fourteenth
track. I think it's pretty clear why they didn't list it.
I would much advise you all to check this album out. Listen to
"Top", "All over You" and "Shit Towne" (tracks 6-8) in your local
record shop and, well, like it or not.
MALMSTEEN, YNGWIE J. - MAGNUM OPUS (PONY CANYON/MFN)
Well, another album has been released by He Who Who Plays The
Guitar Fastest (And Possibly Quite Brilliantly) In The Known
Universe. It's called, modestly, "Magnum Opus". Available in
Japan ever since mid June, it wasn't released here until the end
of August. I wonder why.
The thing with Malmsteen is that his albums are never really
surprising. Well, "Fire & Ice" was a surprise because it was
actually way below the usual standard, but otherwise there hasn't
been much new stuff under the sun ever since, with "Odyssey",
Yngwie went decidedly more commercial. "Magnum Opus" is no
exception, you will probably not be surprised to read. One of the
two instrumentals, "Overture 1622", is a true corker of a song
despite the rather blatant Mozart rip-off contained within it. I
haven't heard such powerful an instrumental since "Krakatau",
although "Perpetual" came kind of close.
All songs have incredible guitar solos in them as usual,
although I personally think there is one particular chop (can't
explain which one because I lack the musi-theoretical background)
that he rather revives a bit too often. "Voodoo" is my favourite
song on the album. It's incredibly powerful and the guitar sounds
amazing and very aggressive. This is the kind of stuff that the
phrase "he really lets rip!" was conceived for, no doubt! And the
end is truly one to die for; it sends goosebumps all over my
skin every single time I hear it. Fucking amazing (and those of
you who know me and ST NEWS also know that I rarely use that
word!). Quite a difference from a song like, say, "I'd Die
Without You", which is rather too much of a "well I've got a
lovely wife and she deserves a few ballads on every album" song
(and thankfully the only one). "Time Will Tell" and "Fire in the
Sky" are rather good songs, too, and the second instrumental is,
despite what is suggested by its name ("Amberdawn"), rather very
When I listened to this album I was surprised at the bits that
made me think of other bands. There are a few passages in "I'd
Die Without You" that sounded a lot like Led Zeppelin, and the
intro to "Cross the Line" could have been off an early Van Halen
As a whole "Magnum Opus" is surely not a letdown. But whereas
"The Seventh Sign" was a clear step forward after "Fire & Ice", I
think "Magnum Opus" isn't. Having said that, it is not a
devolution from aforesaid album, which was really good.
In short that means that you will like it and should get it if
you like "The Seventh Sign".
MISANTHROPE - 1666...THEATRE BIZARRE (HOLY RECORDS)
Misanthrope, probably the most innovative and least understood
of French metal acts, have released a new album. After their
previous effort, "Miracles: Totem Taboo", they did one track for
the "Brutale Géneration" CD called "Le Roman Noir", not to be
heard of after that for a while. But now they're back, with a
more symphonic "1666...Theatre Bizarre".
It has been wondered by quite a few people whether in fact
Philippe Courtois de l'Argilière is crazy or someone of sheer
genius. At the end of this review I will present you with my
answer to this question.
Misanthrope's music, on this album described by themselves as "a
gargantuan new piece of pure hate and eroticism", is probably the
most challenging music that is produced today. Tempo changes
happen every few seconds. In that respect, I guess, they could be
described as a French version of Death (Chuck's band, not the
regular concept of death). The songs make use of English, French
and German lyrics, which is quite another experiment on
Misanthrope's account. The only other band that comes to mind
that sings in different languages is Bel Canto (oh yeah, Sodom
too). They're not making it easy for the listener.
I didn't like "Miracles" too much, but I think "1666...Theatre
Bizarre" is a lot better. A lot better! The thing I always
disliked was the whining vocal passages, especially where
Philippe lapses into something that sounds as if he's crying.
Although it's still present on this CD, it is toned down heavily.
That way, you can concentrate more on the music, which is pretty
The new CD features Alexandre Iskand (of Elend) on keyboards,
which makes for a very interesting aural experience. He adds a
completely new and fascinating layer of sound to the songs. Other
musicians are Jean-Jacques Moréac (a really good bassist,
showcasing nicely in "Trumpets of Hypochondria"), Jean-Baptiste
Boitel (guitar), Cyril Dieupart (freaky drummer) and, of course,
Holy Record's own Philippe Courtois de l'Argilière (guitar and
vocals). Additionally, Renaud Tschirner is a session vocalist on
"Schattengesang" (which is the song in German).
The album has a lot of excellent tracks (I guess my personal
favourite is "Mylène"), but "Aphrodite Marine" has too much of
the vocal type meant above in between the good bits. Down the
bottom line - which is the line that matters - this album is
getting quite a few whirs in the CD player, as a matter of fact.
To get back to the "crazy or a genius" question: For me,
Philippe is a genius. And if he's the one doing the guitar solos,
he's a pretty damn good guitarist too!
"1666...Theatre Bizarre" was quite a pleasant surprise, and it
just keeps growing on me, too. Great.
NIGHTFALL - ATHENIAN ECHOES (HOLY RECORDS)
Nightfall, carriers supreme of the Greek Emotional War Metal
Flame, have not been doing nothing since the release of their
"Aeons Aura" EP, now a fair few months ago. Instead, they have
released their rather excellent and innovative third full-length
album, "Athenian Echoes".
With this product, they have released what is probably both
their most experimental yet most accessible album to date.
Whereas their earlier full-length efforts were sortof no-holds-
barred war metal epics, their new album relies less heavily on
speed and pays more than a mere occasional visit into the country
of the more gentle muses. Mind you, it's still not the kind of
music you'll ever hear on the radio, for Efthimis grunts along
with zeal and the drums do occasionally give rise to a Napalm
Nightfall, well, I don't know what causes me to like their
stuff so much. Septic Flesh as well as Nightfall seem to have a
really special ingredient that has passed on from their ancient
Greek culture or something, for this is the only extreme form of
metal that I would without a doubt describe as "beautiful". Some
of the guitar and keyboard lines have been very cleverly written
and sound almost eeriely majestic. Beautiful, indeed.
Like I said, Nightfall are not resting on their laurels. With
this album they have a really clear production and have taken to
experimenting lustfully though not exaggeratingly. "Ishtar
(Celebrate Your Beauty)" even has (Arab?) chanting and
instruments in it; "I'm A Daemond" has a lot of piano and synth.
Like I said, some of the songs are really more melodic than
previous yet aggressive as ever, such as "Armada" and "My Red,
Red Moon (Emma O)" - the latter even starting off with an almost
Seemingly without much effort, Nightfall have delivered yet
another fine album. I think it has to be said that Holy Records -
with the exception of the so-so release of On Thorns I Lay - is
my favourite record label. With bands like Septic Flesh, Elend,
Tristitia, Orphaned Land and Nightfall in their midst, they are
on the forefront of tasteful metal, brilliant metal, indeed,
PARADISE LOST - DRACONIAN TIMES (MUSIC FOR NATIONS)
A while ago I got a promo tape for this CD. It has the first
minute or so of every track. It didn't leave a good impression on
me at all, and I don't know whether it was because of the
relative stinginess of the record company or the fact that the
intros were just too short to judge the songs as a whole.
When I listened to the full CD, borrowed off a friend some time
after it became available, I was still not too much taken away by
it. I found that they had lost their roots too much. It was still
fairly heavy and distinctly Paradise Lost (not counting their
death metal "hey - we-can-be-in-the-studio-for-a-whole- day - so-
let's-record-the-album-then" debut), but somehow it let me down a
bit. The prequel, "Icon", did that to me too. I liked the songs
eventually - some of them really grew on me - but at first I
tended to go back to albums the likes of "Gothic" and" Shades of
God" more often.
Then, mid October, suddenly a special edition became available:
"Draconian Times Limited Edition Commemorative Tour Package
including bonus CD containing live, unreleased tracks & B-sides".
Because it only cost me 5 Dutch guilders more than the original
disc would have, I couldn't resist. So I shelled out 45 Dutch
guilders for the beautifully designed package with the two CDs
and...did I already mention the truly beautiful design and
It is strange what the sheer possession of a CD does to you. Or
me, for that matter, anyway. The music started to grow on me
really soon, and some of the tracks have now gained the
"Excellent Beauty" predicate in my mind. "Jaded", for example, is
a truly beautiful song. All in all, "Draconian Times" is a really
fine album that, especially with this bonus CD, presents
unbeatable value for money.
Now to some remarks on the bonus CD. It contains five live
tracks ("Embers Fire", "Daylight Torn", "True Belief", "Pity the
Sadness" and "As I Die", probably from the "Harmony Breaks" video
that was recorded at Stuttgart in 1993), 2 demos ("The Last Time"
and "Weeping Words", the latter off "Icon"), 3 B-sides (which
were present on the pre-album release "The Last Time" CD single,
thus redundant) and one "video edit" of "Forever Failure". The
latter song is a lot like the one on the CD single reviewed
earlier - i.e. beautifully orchestrated - but it has a longer
This new pack makes paying 40 guilders for the one-CD original -
even in the limited edition boxed design - a bit of a waster.
Anti-commercial thingy (rant thing, really) alert!
Speaking of 40 guilders...don't you people out there find it a
bit ridiculous that CDs continue to be overpriced? It doesn't
cost that much more to manufacture a CD when compared to, say, a
cassette or a vinyl album. I think everybody should principally
not pay more than 40 guilders for any CD (more and more CDs cost
42,95 these days, and the other day I saw a standard non-import
Rainbow "Stranger in Us All" for 48,95 (!!)), and preferably even
less. I think 29,95 Dutch guilders would be a fine price to pay
for a full-length CD. If we all make a statement and not buy all
those new CDs until they come down in price we can shape the
market, people! It is time to realise that the customer is king
and we have the power to make changes!
Enough of this. Let's continue with the actual reviews then.
POLICE, THE - LIVE! (A&M)
The Police called it a day about 10 years, possibly a bit
longer, ago. Drum monster Stewart Copeland went off to do solo
stuff and movie soundtracks, Andy Summers really didn't do much
any more and Sting entered the musician's all-time hall of fame
by launching a smoothly flowing solo career that saw him work
together with a host of fine co-musicians.
Produced by ex-Policeman Andy Summer, "Live!" is a double CD
set featuring two virtually complete concerts taped during two
American tours - one during the "Regatta the Blanc" tour in
November 1979 and the other during the "Synchronicity" tour in
November 1983. It shows how poignant the changes must have been
that took place in the musical direction in those four years. The
first disc is filled with up-tempo stuff, plenty of ska (or is it
reggae?) influences and some amazing drumming. The second disc is
rather slower, much more like Sting's later solo work. There are
even female backing vocals and rather more use of non-bass-
guitar-drums nucleus instruments. I clearly like the first disc
best, though the second also has interesting songs like "Spirits
in the Material World" and "Every Breath You Take" (two of the
very first vinyl singles I ever got, both in 1981).
I would personally have preferred this release having been
limited to the first disc at appromimately half the price. I
personally liked "Regatte de Blanc" most of all Police albums,
and off that album a host of those songs can be found on the
first disc - "Bed's Too Big Without You", "Walking on the Moon",
"Bring on the Night" and "Message in a Bottle", for example.
An interesting release, but not perfect.
RAINBOW - STRANGER IN US ALL (BMG)
Early 1994, Ritchie Blackmore's ego clashed rather too often
with that of Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. The result was a bit
of a surprise: This time Ritchie left the band and Ian stayed.
Almost immediately, rumours abounded of Rainbow about to be
reformed. It remained a mystery as to which musicians and
vocalist Blackmore would find for the band, but the recent
release of "Stranger in us All" made it clear that he's once more
opted for completely unknown musicians (at least as far as I am
The new singer is the one who most defines the new Rainbow
sound. Called Doogie White, he sounds rather like Joe Lynn
Turner who at the end of the first Rainbow years gave the band
that American sound, that commercial sound. It had been a good
thing that Rainbow ended, for it was nowhere near the quality
displayed by the early Dio-Bain-Carey-Powell-Blackmore group.
"Stranger in us All" is a fine CD. Although not quite as fresh
and tintillating as the mid-seventies Rainbow albums, it's a big
step back to that time. Not all songs are equally good, though.
One of them is a clear rehash of a Rainbow song from the later
Roger Glover stages, and there is a guitar solo somewhere that is
mayhap a bit too much like that of "Eye of the World". But some
of the songs are potential classics. "Hunting Humans
(Insatiable)" displays some really subtle and virtuous guitar
textures in the background of an almost tedious melody. Songs
like "Ariel" and "Black Masquerade" are also rather excellent,
whereas "Silence" is a song that sounds a lot like it could have
been on any classic Deep Purple CD, nice and heavy riffing. The
CD also has a song called "Hall of the Moutain King", using the
familiar and fairly downtrodden theme of the track of the same
name by Grieg (with a few moments of Peer Gynt inserted, too).
It's a really nice and fairly powerful song, but I'm afraid it
can't match Savatage's version on the album of that name. Last on
the CD is a rerecording of "Still I'm Sad". Though better
produced and with a really coolly subtle guitar intro, it's not
quite as musically brilliant as the early studio version and the
new vocals have been rearranged up to the point of irritability.
Ronnie James Dio's version was quite a bit better.
Although "Stranger in us All" is better than the few latest Deep
Purple products, it doesn't quite make me forget the Rainbow
heyday - nor do I expect this will happen with many other people.
Some of the guitar antics are quite brilliant, though much more
subtle than we're used to. I guess one shouldn't expect too much
of 50-year old Blackmore who's been in the biz so long that his
inspiration ought to be dried up a bit.
For those in Japan: The Japanese version has a bonus track.
Lucky gits! Don't think twice about contacting me about it. Maybe
we can swap some tapes?
RUSH - CYGNUS
On the Ytsejam Mailing list (a subscription list for Dream
Theater fans on the Internet) there roams an enthusiastic fan by
the name of Mike Bahr. About two or three times per year he
releases rare bootleg material on CD, making his efforts
available at a mere US$ 25 to the list's subscribers. He has done
three CDs so far and will release the fourth one in December. The
first one, called "Subconscious", was a collection of Dream
Theater songs never released on official CD before. There was
stuff like "A Change of Seasons", "Eve", "Don't Look Past me at
the Sun", "O Holy Night" and various small bits. Most excellent,
and of good quality too. The second one was "Acoustic Dreams",
reviewed above. The third one is "Cygnus", which is a Rush
bootleg from the underrepresented "Hemispheres" tour of 1978,
this particular gig being the TCC Arena, Tucson, Arizona one of
Although not of as excellent quality as you might wish - I've
given it a "7" myself on the scale of 5-9 - it features some
totally riveting performances of songs such as "Cygnus X-1",
"Cygnus X-1 Book II" and "A Farewell to Kings", not found on too
many bootlegs that I am aware of. The sound quality is fairly OK,
especially because the mix is good and the drums are clear and
not too loud. The bass, too, is really clear. The vocals sound a
bit tinny, and there are a few recording screw-ups too:
"Something for Nothing", for example, has a rather obvious glitch
where sound disappears for almost a second; "torn apaaaaaaart" at
the end of "Cygnus X-1" fades out 16 seconds before the bells,
and "Cygnus X-1 Book II" has about 40 seconds missing at the end
of the "iv. Armageddon" section (faded out and in).
These obvious glitches render the album of almost no appeal to
anyone but the more dedicated fan, but as far as bootlegs go it's
not too bad and, well, it's really cheap. It is not
representative of the average quality of Mike Bahr's CD releases,
I am glad to say.
He has several other Rush bootlegs on his schedule for the
coming few years. I hope they'll be better, and I have no doubt
they will. For those interested in "Cygnus", I have a spare cope
that I am willing to part with. Offers can be sent to the
SATRIANI, JOE - JOE SATRIANI (SONY)
Completely unexpected, I might say, Joe Satriani released his
new album. Called "Joe Satriani", I guess it must have surprised
quite a few Satriani fans. And not just because of its unexpected
arrival, but more because of its rather different musical
If you ask me - though you shouldn't, because I am not in the
know as far as recording techniques are concerned - this album
has been recorded in a very different way. I'd almost guess each
song was recorded as a jam. Bass is played by Nathan East (who
also played bass on the "Heavy Metal Nocha a Sevilla" some years
ago) and drums are performed by Manu Katche. A second guitarist
even plays the "low rhythm guitar" on quite a few songs: Andy
Fairweather. A pupil maybe? This second guitarists just confirms
my theory about the songs having been recorded as jams; no
overdubbing, so a second guitarist was needed. One song features
the Bissonette brothers instead, and one further song has Jeff
Campitelli on drums with Joe himself on bass. And there's one
song with tinny vocals, "Look My Way", just like "The Phone Call"
on "Flying in a Blue Dream".
My first impression was not too good. I mentioned my
disappointment in a small message, as an aside really, on the
Ytsejam Dream Theater mailing list and got quite a few reactions
of people who thought the same. One even went as far as saying
that the album came "dead last" in their list of fave Joe albums.
The thing I dislike about it, I guess, is that the guitar sound
is not really prominent; somehow the production is not up the the
standard of earlier work. "Luminous Flesh Giants" is an OK song,
"Home" has a same feel as "Cryin'" on "The Extremist", and
"Killer Bee Bop" is nicely freaky guitar-wise but the drums are
way over the top. Maybe it's fuzion or jazz-crossover, I don't
With his latest album, I think Joe Satriani made a really
brilliant one. The problem is that, perhaps, it's so brilliant
that it will only be thoroughly enjoyable by the select few who
know how to appreciate what he does. The melodies being much
simpler and less catchy, all the attention goes to the freaky
drum work and still superb but perhaps too subtle guitar work.
Where "The Extremist" turned out to be an almost main-stream
album with commercial appeal, "Joe Satriani" most certainly
Check out the Joe Satriani WWW page, which is one of the nicest
pages I've ever seen. The URL is http://www.satriani.com.
SAVAGE - HOLY WARS (NEAT RECORDS)
Ten years after their last pre-split full-length album
("Hyperactive"), Savage have reunited. Signed to Neat Records
now, their line-up includes vocalist/bassist Chris Bradley and
guitarist Andy Dawson as well as early member Dave Lindley on
drums, the guy who left the band even before the first album got
released (which, as you all know of course, was "Loose'n'Lethal"
Savage is supposed to bring to the ninethies the unrelenting
aggression of the mid eighties' metal movement. Well, I can be
really short about this and say that they failed. Although guitar
work shows moments of excellence (such as in "Twist" and "Streets
of Fire"), heaviness as such is nowhere to be seen. The music is
hard rock of some sort, but vocalist Bradley at best sounds like
Lou "Foreigner" Gramm, only less talented. "Suffer the Children"
is the worst of the songs, sounded rather plainly like a ballad
of Ugly Kid Joe or something. Don't touch this album, folks. It,
as they say, sucks.
VANGELIS - THE BOUNTY SOUNDTRACK
Remember the "Bladerunner" bootleg CD release, now about 2 years
ago? It was a limited edition release by Off World Music
featuring just about every second of music to be found on any
version of the "Bladerunner" film. The sound quality was quite
excellent with the exception of the really heavy and low
bombastic sounds that tended to be distorted a little. Less than
a year later, Vangelis did the official "Bladerunner" music, the
differences being some new stuff added (that was never in the
film) and quite some bits being left out, and the overdubbing of
Now, Off World Music has done it again. This time, with them
being called One World Music, they've done it with an equally
interesting Vangelis soundtrack that has (so far) never been
officially released on CD: That of "The Bounty" (the film
starring Mel Gibson).
The CDs contain almost two hours of music, about 90 minutes of
which is by Vangelis; the rest is comprised of Tahitian tribal
music and seamen's chanteys that can also be heard in the film.
Although probably less appealing to those who haven't seen the
film, the Vangelis music is now soft and moody, then up-tempo and
aggressive. The main titles already made it onto the official
"Themes" CD, but this special double CD contains every note ever
played in connection with the film - including some stuff never
The sound quality is similar to the OWN "Bladerunner" release,
sometimes a bit better. The CD liner notes are extensive and
well-illustrated. Now let's hope that Vangelis will be urged,
like what happened with "Bladerunner", to release an official
soundtrack in the near future. And I hope that release will be a
one-CD effort, without the chanteys and without the rather very
repetitive Vangelis bits that quite mar the whole.
There's no use contacting the usual supply addresses (such as
Screen Archives Entertainment, where I got it for a quite
amazing US$ 63) anymore. It's a 2000-copy limited edition (my
number being 539) and is definitely sold out by the time you read
If offers are good enough, I may sell my copy.
TOP 10 OF 1995
The year 1995 has almost reached its end. As I suspect the next
issue of ST NEWS will be too late to have a relevant "Top 10 of
1995" in it, I guessed it might be right to put it in this issue
already. That means that this Top 10 (which is my personal one,
of course) excludes releases for December. However, there are no
interesting releases planned for December at all (unless the new
Elend is released well in time).
So here it is...
1. My Dying Bride - "The Angel and the Dark River"
2. Orphanage - "Oblivion"
3. Septic Flesh - "Esoptron"
4. Dream Theater - "A Change of Seasons" (EP)
5. Yngwie Malmsteen - "Magnum Opus"
6. Tristitia - "One with Darkness"
7. Celestial Season - "Solar Lovers"
8. The Gathering - "Mandylion"
9. Nightfall - "Athenian Echoes"
10. Paradise Lost - "Draconian Times"
Special Spinal Tap runner-up (because there are only 10 in 10,
and really there ought to be 11) is "The Silent Enigma" by
By the way, the fact that Holy Records has a massive 3 entries
in 1994's Top 10 and another 3 in this year's has nothing to do
with the fact that they are one of the few companies offering ST
NEWS review material. Fact is, actually, that Holy Records offer
most challenge to the heavy metal fan who thinks of himself as
"with an open mind", "progressive", "a connoisseur of the
beautiful" and "in for a change", whilst still catering for the
aspects typical of the genre such as "virtuosity" and
"aggression". They are, simply, the #1 metal label in the world.
More music-related text in the next issue of ST NEWS, as usual.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.