"If God exists his name must be Murphy."
Anon (in the gutter)
by Richard Karsmakers
Yes, ST NEWS is multi-media now so this is the first occurrence
of an article featuring a collection of reviews of CD and other
music carriers. Some of them are a bit older, I have to admit,
but some of them aren't. This is the biggest of the new columns,
containing reviews of CD's recently purchased or sent to me that
aren't too old yet. At least not really.
BANISHED - DELIVER ME UNTO PAIN
Peaceville is a very active company. They're doing what they
call "progressive avant garde metal" (My Dying Bride and
Anathema), funkier music (Kong and Tekton Motor Corp.),
experimental noise (G.G.F.H. and Ministry of Noise), archetypal
hard rock (Pentagram) and psychedelic sixties on acid of sorts
(Ship of Fools). But let's not forget bands like At The
Gates, Darkthrone and the rather image-driven chaps of Autopsy -
straight-in-the-face death metal. This latter genre recently got
added a new American band. They are called Banished.
And Banished, it has to be said, might not be highly original
but is actually rather nice indeed. There's the usual heartfelt
grunt, more changes of tempo that you can hurl a drumstick at,
and effectively simple riffs. I think their drummer is quite
capable, and "Deliver me Unto Pain" - I can tell this from
experience - is great to have in the background when you're
studying for an Old Irish exam. Banished has something of
Entombed, a tad Obituary, and a Death aftertaste. What more would
you want (except for the "Deaf Metal Sampler", that is)?
CARCASS - THE HEARTWORK EP
I read somewhere that Carcass new album, "Heartwork", is
actually pretty brilliant. I wouldn't know, for I haven't got it
yet nor have I bothered to go to the local CD shop and listen.
However, I did get around to buying "The Heartwork EP", a CD
single featuring one of the "Heartwork" tracks plus two
unreleased songs. I always tend to be a bit quicker with CD
singles and bootlegs, as these are usually available for a
limited time only. I can always get "Heartwork" when the price
has gone down. It might take a while - I haven't even got
"Necrotism - Descanting the Insalubrious" yet (their previous
Anyway, what of this EP?
It is clear that Carcass have evolved. Hardcore die-hards will
probably consider it selling out, but I actually think they've
improved a good lot. If I ever get "Heartwork" I am bound to play
it more often than "Symphonies of Sickness". Production is
genuinely heavy. It sounds altogether quite OK.
CRYPT OF KERBEROS - WORLD OF MYTHS
When attending a Metal Market early this year, I came across a
booth manned by a few Frenchies. They turned out to be from
Adipocere Records, a small indenpendent label specialising in all
kinds of underground-ish metal. I also met a friend, who took out
the "World of Myths" CD and told me this was some new and
progressive death metal that was worth checking out.
About once or twice per year I can't restrain myself and get out
to buy a CD I have never heard of. This was the case with Crypt
of Cerberos. I knew this bloke. He was into Pan-Thy-Monium way
before I was. His taste was excellent. I decided to risk it. It
was actually quite cheap too.
Crypt of Kerberos is a six member outfit from (surprise!)
Sweden. The thing that strikes you first is that they actually
have at least one pretty brilliant guitar player, evident from
the first few seconds on. The music itself is standard death
metal with many speed changes, pseudo-technical drum rhythm
changes and that kind of thing. I personally don't like the way
the keyboards are used - if you look at bands like Pan-Thy-Monium
and Phlebotomized the keys on "World of Myths" are meaningless by
Having said that, I still think the album is better than the
average death metal band. They're technically gifted and
compositions are quite good, but they lack something that a band
like Pan-Thy-Monium has in abundance.
DEEP PURPLE - LIVE IN JAPAN
In 1972 Deep Purple released the legendary "Made in Japan"
double LP (single CD), probably the best live rock album made
ever, which effortlessly left behind it semi-legendary trials
such as Iron Maiden's "Live after Death", Kiss' "Alive!", Thin
Lizzy's "Live and Dangerous" and Yngwie J. Malmsteen's "Trial by
Fire: Live in Leningrad" (ahem). We were quite lucky to get it in
the first place, actually, for if it hadn't been for Deep Purple
bass player Roger Glover's enthusiasm upon hearing the recording
quality it would have been released in Japan only under the name
"Live in Japan".
Roger was pretty enthusiastic altogether. It got released world-
wide at budget price, and it was a killer. "Made in Japan" is
definitely the album no Deep Purple fan should ever be without,
with "In the Absence of Pink: Live Knebworth" and "Machinehead"
breathing down its neck at a fair distance.
Simon Robinson, director of the Deep Purple Appreciation
Society, writer of all those interesting CD sleeve notes on "Live
in London", "In Concert" and "Skandinavian Nights" and instigator
of Connoisseur Collection CD's such as "Ritchie Blackmore Rock
Profile I & II", "Gemine Suite" and the most excellent "Rainbow
Live in Germany 1976", has apparently succeeded in letting EMI
release "Live in Japan". In this case, however, "Live in Japan"
features the three almost complete concerts taped in Japan from
which "Made in Japan" was made.
For sixty Dutch guilders you get a three-double CD with over 200
minutes' worth of music. Sound quality is the same, even though I
think "Made in Japan" had a somewhat better bass mix. Twenty
minutes of "Space Truckin'" pass by three times - what more do
It's an incredible CD, and relatively cheap too, featuring
encores such as "Black Night" and "Speed King" as well. To make
the whole thing even better they've thrown in a lavishly
illustrated booklet written by Deep Purple expert extraordinaire,
Simon Robinson himself.
A shame it doesn't have the "Black Night" version from "24
Carat Purple" and "Singles A's & B's". I'd have preferred that,
as well as the omitted "Lucille", instead of rehashes of the
tracks that can be found on the original "Made in Japan" (most
particularly that version of "Space Truckin'"). All in all it's a
great release, but not perfect. Worth getting nonetheless,
certainly at its price.
DRUG FREE AMERICA - TRIP: THE DREAMTIME REMIXES
Peaceville don't limit themselves to death metal and that kind
of thing. As a matter of fact some of the stuff they do is pretty
close to the stuff I hate (i.e. house) and a few of their
offerings I wouldn't ever think of playing twice.
Drug Free America is an interesting band that comes pretty close
to the stuff I don't like. Not too close, luckily. Before I tell
you something about the music on their debut CD, "Trip: The
Dreamtime Remixes", I would first like to tell you the story
behind the band.
Drug Free America consists of two people who met in a drug
rehabilitation clinic. They were given experimental therapy
which, thus goes the legend, awarded them with the power of
telepathy and the talent of distilling sounds patterns from
extraterrestrial factors (including aliens). Perhaps this is a
rather desperate attempt at a unique image, but when you listen
to the CD you quickly realise that it might very well be true.
Some of the things tread the razor's edge of house. They all
have a pretty firm rhythm, but lack the brainless quality that
makes house so loathsome to me. It seems this band is
experimenting a lot with sounds and rhythms, not just talking to
a beat (as a matter of fact there are no vocals at all).
I found the CD unexpectedly worthy of my attention.
GODSEND - AS THE SHADOWS FALL
Godsend, a solo project of the Norwegian Gunder Audun Dragsten
with the aid of Dan Swano (vocals) and Benny "Edge of Sanity"
Larsson (drums) as session musicians, is probably the saddest
band I've ever heard. Not because they're bad but because their
music radiated sadness into the existing multiverse. The nine
tracks that pass the listener by - produced as crisply and
brilliantly as Metallica's "Metallica - vary from slower
masterpieces of tearjerking doom to somewhat more up-tempo
material. The thing that makes all of what you hear so profoundly
affecting are the vocals. No grunt here, but a deep and sonorous,
booming voice that works itself into your brain and really
doesn't want to get out at all.
I think Godsend can adequately be described if I tell you they
have the song themes of Anathema (lost love, sadness, rain,
leaves falling in autumn), the drums of Metallica (only slower)
and the vocals that so far I only heard on some of the tracks of
Isengard (see review below), whereas sometimes they transform
even into something that made me think of Pink Floyd. One song,
"Walking the Roads of the Unbeheld" is the weirdest of all,
sounding a bit like R.E.M. intermingled with Pearl Jam or
something. But it's short.
Godsend may perhaps not be godsent, but are surely a fresh
breath of death, doom and pity through the wafts of most of the
ISENGARD - VINTERSKUGGE
Isengard is a solo project of Fenriz, drummer of the "unholy
black metal band" Darkthrone. They are from Norway! I got the
promo CD sent to me, so the finished product might not contain
half of the stuff found on that - like "Chapter Two - Isengard
Demo 1989 August, Spectres over Gorgoroth", for example, which
has bad sound quality that could even put most modern demos to
shame. Then again, the finished product might have them after
Isengard, like Darkthrone, tries to break through the barriers
of (death) metal. Not with volume or anything, but with sheer
bizarreness of their songs. "Vinterskugge" (which I believe means
something like "Winter's Disappointment" in Norwegian) starts off
rather excellently with the title track. The singing is unusual -
no grunt but even a bit operaic - but not bad at all. The second
song, "Gjennom Skogen Til Blaafjellene", is an instrumental that
is quite good, too, but after that they start to rip. The music
gets a lot faster at times, and vocals transform themselves into
something not unlike those of G.G.F.H.'s Ghost.
Production could have been better, I feel, for it sounds quite
meagre indeed. "Vinterskugge" is an album that you can really
crank up the volume of without feeling the bass drum in your
bowels, unlike "Metallica" for example. Musically the album is
quite innovative and very enjoyable, but the vocals are sometimes
a bit too distorted for their own good. It's a mixture of Black
Sabbath and something new, with a touch of G.G.F.H. at times.
METALLICA - LIVE SHIT: BINGE & PURGE
Well, Metallica finally released their first official live CD.
As a matter of fact they've also thrown in two live videos on
three tapes. Well, what do you get for the approximately 250
Dutch guilders you have to part with in order to get it in the
It's a sortof large cardboard flightcase-design box containing
three video tapes, a triple-CD, a 72-page full-colour booklet, a
San Diego Snake Pit pass (a trifle useless) and a 'Scary Guy'
(skull) stencil. The CDs feature a full concert off the
"Wherever" tour, in total amounting to almost 180 minutes of
footage taped at five gigs at the Sports Palace, Mexico City,
Mexico (February 25/26/27 and March 1/2 1993). Set list: Disc 1 -
"Enter Sandman", "Creeping Death", "Harvester of Sorrow",
"Welcome Home (Sanitarium"), "Sad but True", "Of Wolf and Man",
"The Unforgiven", "Justice Medley", "Bass & Guitar solo" (quite
different from other sets, and no drumsolo!), disc 2 - "Through
the Never", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Fade to Black", "Master
of Puppets", "Seek and Destroy", "Whiplash", disc 3 - "Nothing
Else Matters", "Wherever I May Roam", "Am I Evil?", "Last
Caress", "One", "Battery", "The Four Horsemen", "Motorbreath" and
"Stone Cold Crazy". The first two videos feature a complete
concert (190 minutes) from the Sports Arena, San Diego, January
13/14 1992. Set list: Video 1 - "Enter Sandman", "Creeping
Death", "Harvester of Sorrow", "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "Sad
But True", "Wherever I May Roam", "Through the Never", "The
Unforgiven", "Justice Medley", "bass and guitar solo", video 2 -
"The Four Horsemen", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Fade to Black",
"Whiplash", "Master of Puppets", "Seek & Destroy", "One", "Last
Caress", "Am I Evil?", "Battery" and "Stone Cold Crazy". The
third video contains a gig off the "Justice" tour, Seattle
Coliseum, Seattle, on August 29/30 1989. It is a complete (130
minute) concert with "Blackened", "For Whom the Bell Tolls",
"Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", "Harvester of Sorrow", "The Four
Horsemen", "The Thing That Should Not Be", "Master of Puppets",
"Fade to Black", "Seek & Destroy", "...And Justice for All",
"One", "Creeping Death", "Guitar Solo", "Battery", "Last Caress",
"Am I Evil?", "Whiplash" and "Breadfan". Vertigo order number 518
The quality is excellent. The CDs sound almost as if you're
right smack in the centre of a Snakepit, and the videos are
capably directed. The whole package makes memories come back in
large numbers - if you've been to either or both of the "Damaged
Justice" and "Wherever I May Roam" tours. There is not much to
say, really. It's just a somewhat heftily priced but nonetheless
excellent package that no true Metallica afficionado should claim
to be without. It's worth the price, even if you have to spend
the following couple of months really cutting down on everything
including the bare essentials such as food, clothes and soap.
MORTA SKULD - AS HUMANITY FADES
We should feel lucky that this album got released at all, for
the American band Morta Skuld have split a while ago and have
only recently come back together to release a new album, "As
Humanity Fades". The original line-up of Dave Gregor (vocals and
guitar), Jason Hellman (bass), Jason O'Conell (guitar) and Ken
Truckenbrod (drums) has laid down 12 tracks (2 less on vinyl)
which are firmly set in the death metal vein but with an unusual
ingredient somewhere lurking in the depths of their compositions.
I can't quite put my finger on it; perhaps it's the amount of
riffs they've thrown in, or perhaps it's the bass that sounds
different from other bass sounds (to say the least).
"As Humanity Fades" contains great death metal that I am sure
most lovers of the genre will get to grips with most firmly. It's
got the necessary aggression, the "hey we look like a bunch of
really strong and macho dudes" pictures on the CD liner, and a
magic ingredientnot to be specified in more detail.
MY DYING BRIDE - TURN LOOSE THE SWANS
When I first bought the CD I had my doubts. I think there are
two causes for this doubt: First, it starts with the rather
unusual and atypical "Sear Me MCMXCIII" (a rehashed version of
"Sear Me" played only on violin and piano), and second it lacks
the instant appeal of their previous CD, "As The Flower Withers".
Some months have come and gone, and the CD has been played
multiple more times. All my doubts have gone. The album has grown
on me in equal only to Pan-Thy-Monium's albums, mentioned below.
There's plenty more violin on "Turn Loose the Swans", probably
because violinist Martin is now a full-time member of the band. A
good development, I think. Also, vocalist Aaron abandons his
deathly deep grunt now and again, creating an even better
contrast of sounds on the new album. "Turn Loose the Swans" has
some true gems of doom, like "The Snow in my Hand" and "The Crown
of Sympathy". As a whole, however, with the exception of
aforementioned instrumental that kicks it off, "Turn Loose the
Swans" is an album thoroughly worthy of purchase. My Dying Bride
are still the leading exponents of what Peaceville labels "avant
garde metal". An excellent offering.
MY DYING BRIDE - I AM THE BLOODY EARTH
My Dying Bride release quite a lot of EPs. This is probably the
least interesting of them, as it actually only contains one new
track, "I Am the Bloody Earth". The other two tracks contained on
it are "Transcending (Into the Exquisite)" and "Crown of Sympathy
(Remix)". The first is a 134 bpm mix made up of old My Dying
Bride song elements by Steve Dixon, main man of Drug Free
America. It's not actually bad and still quite heavy, but it's
not the way My Dying Bride is. The latter is a remix of the
existing song, basically with intro and outro changed and the
drums sounding different (not necessarily better).
The title track is a good one, though, and is the only reason
why you would want to buy this CD single unless you're really
into the band such as me.
NIGHTFALL - MACABRE SUNSETS
When I heard the Nightfall track on the Peaceville "Deaf Metal"
sampler I knew I just had to have the real thing. It was one of
the very best tracks on said sampler, and it combined My Dying
Bride with perhaps rather more innovative guitar work and a lot
of aggression instead of sadness. "War Metal" is what it is
called, this music created by the Greek band that was voted last
year's "Band of the Year" by Greek "Metal Hammer" magazine. And
quite justly, it may be said. Their debut CD was already quite
good, but "Macabre Sunsets" takes everything just so much
I have to say it takes a bit of getting used to. First I didn't
like the other tracks at all. Only the track I knew, "Enormous
(The anthem of Death)", held any beauty for me. But when I
listened a few more times the CD grew on me. And now I am in a
state of bliss and horror. Bliss because I really like the
sounds, the unusual compositions, and Efthimis K.'s grind-
through-the-marrow-of-your-coffin voice. Horror because my
girlfriend hates it probably more than she before hated Obituary
and Entombed (and she hated that pretty much). So whenever she
pops out for a while I insert the CD in the player and let it
I have tried to analyse what I like about Nightfall, apart from
the fact that the more you listen to it the better it gets. I
have reason to believe it may be the unusual guitar parts, that
are played like sortof an extra voice, a wail almost, on top of
major parts of the melodies. Really eerie. Really haunting.
Because I already bought the CD before I got the promo, you can
win the promo if you send in a postcard to the correspondence
address before October 1st 1994 with on it the reply to the
following question: What is the title of the Nightfall debut
album? Don't expect the answer in this issue of ST NEWS, by the
PAN-THY-MONIUM - DAWN OF DREAMS
This is most certainly by the distance the most brilliant album
I've bought in the recent five months or so. From the starting
notes of the 20+ minute epos to the end of the last song it's a
relentless, almost orgiastic attack of exceptional experiMETAL.
The use of saxophone and utterly excellent use of keyboards make
this album stand out among all similar efforts in the death metal
genre. No band is heavier, few grunts are deeper (except for
Phlebotomized), and all of it does not degenerate into a load of
sonic mess that your ears can barely make sense of.
Words fail to explain the feelings that speeds through my entire
body when I listen to this album. The riffs are simply brilliant,
keyboard fills haunting, instruments down-tuned, sax parts
unconventional, production superb, and the whole thing is just a
total and complete joy to listen to. These guys seem exceedingly
inspired, pushing away the boundaries of the genre and creating a
totally unique and supreme sound. If you like death metal but
you're a tad bored with what most of the bands in the genre are
doing, Pan-Thy-Monium is the band to check out.
PAN-THY-MONIUM - KHAOOHS
"Khaoohs" is the second album released by Pan-Thy-Monium. After
listening to it many times I still don't think it's quite as good
as "Dawn of Dreams", but by any other standard it's still a
supreme CD. On the contrary to their debut, "Khaoosh" does have a
track listing. There are a dozen tracks on the CD, none as long
as the epos present on "Dawn of Dreams" but impressive
nonetheless. Most of the tracks still tread the boundaries of the
usual to the unusual, one track even featuring sampling and the
like, and another containing ramblings in what is probably
Swedish but sounds more like Finnish. If you like "Dawn of
Dreams" you'll have no trouble liking this one, even though it's
not quite the same.
PARADISE LOST - SEALS THE SENSE
Like with "Shades of God", the release of "Icon" eventually got
acompanied by an EP. In this case it features two existing songs
("Embers Fire" and "True Belief") with one new song "Sweetness"
and a live version of "Your Hand in Mine". As a whole I tend to
dislike there being more than one old song on there - the "Shades
of God" EP ("As I Die") had one old song, two new songs and one
live performance. "Seals the Sens" is only of interest to true
fans. "Sweetness" is a quite average song, not very well
produced, and "Your Hand in Mine" (recorded in Germany in
September last year) lacks a real live feeling.
I have mixed feelings about this.
PHLEBOTOMIZED - PREACH ETERNAL GOSPELS
At the annual "Festacle" organised by the three major Dutch
Heavy Metal Student Societies, I met this bloke who turned out to
be one of the guitarists of a Dutch band named Phlebotomized.
When I told him of ST NEWS he was more than willing to give me
their current mini CD, "Preach Eternal Gospels".
Let me start right off with the proclamation that it's a more
than excellent CD. It's severely heavy, with slow segments not
unlike My Dying Bride and faster pieces like some of the best of
Pan-Thy-Monium, with added keyboards providing a haunting sound.
People who say death metal is dead really don't know what they're
talking about. Bands like Phlebotomized are a fresh waft of
killer wind through the death metal lands. Even so, I think this
mini CD could have been better if, for example, the mix had had
more violin prominence. Most of the time this instrument is too
far in the background, and there is only one instant where part
of a song has an uncanny resemblance to Skyclad with
appropriately audible violin parts.
If you're interested in getting more info, write to the
following address (add Dutch stamps or IRCs please).
c/o Jordy Middelbosch
NL-3208 SE Spijkenisse
The CD is marketed by Malodorous Mangled Innards Records:
c/o Markus Woeste
SATRIANI, JOE - SEE THAT WIZZARD PLAY GUITAR (sic)
I always try to get a bootleg recording of each tour that I have
actually witnessed a concert of. Some months ago I bought a
bootleg CD of a Joe Satriani performance in England early last
year, but the other day I came across an even better offering in
the shape of this "See that Wizzard Play Guitar" double CD that
the credits even claim was recorded at Vredenburg, Utrecht, where
I saw the Master play in person.
The venue date listed on the CD, however, is most likely
incorrect. It lists the date as February 2nd 1993 at Vredenburg,
Utrecht, at which date Satriani was probaby playing in Scotland
somewhere. So either the date is faulty or the concert was taped
Anyway, the quality is near-commercial and this time it's a full
concert, from "Satch Boogie" to the encore "Rubina". The second
CD is filled up with five tracks that could already be found on
the "Guitar Killer" bootleg (and probably one or two others), but
I guess that's OK. The two CDs amount to over 140 minutes of good
Much in the way "San Jose '88" (complete concert) and "Paris
1990" (complete concert minus one encore and the bass-and drum-
solos) were the best quality reasonably complete versions of the
two previous tours, "See that Wizzard Play Guitar" is the
definite "Extremist" tour bootleg. If you're looking to catch
again the atmosphere of a recent Satriani concert, look no
further. Certainly don't bother getting "The Extremist Tour
1993" (single CD, recorded in England), which is neither complete
nor of such good quality.
SODOM - GET WHAT YOU DESERVE
Sodom have probably released their meanest CD so far, with
utterly straight-between-the-eyes heavy drumming of an aggression
I can't recall ever having heard with this band. This might be
caused by the fact that Chris Witchhunter (who played drums from
the very beginning up to the previous album, "Tapping the Vein")
has been replaced by one Atomic Steif who seems to get off on
very fast and very loud drumming. Ever since guitarist Frank
Blackfire left to join Kreator (after "Agent Orange"), Sodom has
lacked the melodious approach so evident on the albums after
"Obsessed by Cruelty", and "Get What you Deserve" is no
exception. Drums are more aggressive but the guitars too, causing
a definite lack of melody.
"Get What You Deserve" is very much like "Tapping the Vein",
though its production is perhaps a bit less heavy. Back to
basics, it offers 16 shorter songs, a notable exception being the
instrumental and oddly melodic "Tribute to Moby Dick".
Compositions aren't extraordinary at all, not if compared with
their two prime albums, "Persecution Mania" and "Agent Orange"
(again, said instrumental being an exception). The at times
almost terrifying speed known from their first EP has returned,
but somehow those really old songs were a lot more catchy.
Many of the lyrics, especially those of the Gemans songs "Die
Stumme Ursel" and "Erwachet!" are about sex. The lyrics as a
whole strike me as a prototype example of unrhythmic, also
lacking rhyme. On top of that, Tom Angelripper sings that in his
ny now familiar and totally unmelodic way.
I like the album, but probably most because not getting it
would have rendered my complete Sodom collection complete. You
have to be in the mood to listen to it. A masterpiece like
"Tribute to Moby Dick" and the rather OK cover of Venom's classic
"Angeldust" make the album worth while. They're probably nice to
see live - it's easy to imagine violently thrashing fans during
some of the really fast and aggressive songs.
The "Sodom" entry in the "Kerrang! Heavy Metal Direktory"
mentions that the band never succeeded in breaking beyond the
German market. I think they won't ever, not with masterworks like
"Persecution Mania" lying years back.
UNLEASHED POWER - QUINTET OF SPHERES
A friend of mine got this CD - which I understand might be
pretty hard to lay hands on - and borrowed it to me so I could
have a listen too. What we have here is a fairly innovative band,
probably to be classified within the progressive rock genre. They
consist of some Danish and American members I seem to recall, and
they have a pretty excellent drummer.
The problem with Unleashed Power, which was something that
friend of mine had also noticed, is that all songs sound somehow
a bit alike. I tried to listen to what causes that to happen, and
I think it's probably yhe singer. First of all the vocals are
mixed rather too soft, and the vocal qualities linger between
Fates Warning and Bryan Adams. I don't like the vocalist much.
The other band members are rather capable I think.
I don't really know what to say about this. If you can find it
you might want to have a listen and see if it warrants a
VAI - SEX AND RELIGION
I already spent some space on this particular CD in the previous
issue of ST NEWS, but it seems that I have perhaps somewhat
underestimated the growing power that it turned out to have on
me. Hence this kind of re-review, as I think the CD deserves a
better review due to the unexpected True Beauty of some of the
songs. I'd like to resort to the somewhat unprofessional but
otherwise handy list of songs.
"An Earth Dweller's Return" is a short and bombastic
instrumental. In the record shop I only listened to this song,
assuming it was sortof representative of the rest. It wasn't. The
only bad thing about this song is that it's too short.
"Here & Now" is a nice song with reasonable singing and great
guitar work, especially the solo. If it has been my decision, I
would have made this the single instead of the quite horrid "Down
Deep into the Pain".
"In My Dreams With You" is quite an OK song, a bit less than
"Here & Now" and a bit of a cliché ballad perhaps. Similar goes
for the fourth song, "Still my Bleeding Heart", which is made up
for by the excellent guitar solo.
"Sex & Religion" is a positively vomit-inducing song, to such
extent even that I have my CD player skip it each time. It really
has too little guitar, to many Bon Jovi singing bits, and a lot
of religious crap along the lines of "why can't you love god in
your bed" and "jesus christ is in your bed tonight". Terrible.
One of the worst songs ever done by Steve Vai as far as I'm
"Dirty Black Hole" is one of the mediocre songs. Singer Devin
Townshend screams way too much and there isn't quite enough
"Touching Tongues" is an instrumental with sitar and most
beautiful guitar work, one of my few real favourites on the
album. Devin finds it necessary to scream during one instant, but
it's kept within limits. This song could have been off "Passion
"State of Grace" is rather good but much too short instrumental
about which I can't really say a lot more.
"Survive" has a beautiful chorus, but a horribly screaming intro
and perhaps it's a bit too funky for my taste. It has some nice
guitar moments and even some humour near the end.
"Pig" has a lot of truly exquisite guitar work with fast and
impressive guitar solo bits between the singing. The singing
rather too often transforms into screaming, which is a bit of a
"The Road to Mt. Calvary" isn't actually too bad but doesn't
have much to do with music at all and has rather an enormous load
of screaming. God (who does not exist), I hate this Devin dude's
"Down Deep Into the Pain" might be a song about the miracle of
birth but it's the worst track on the CD - and despite that it
was elected to be the single and video. The singing revolts me
and the composition as it stands doesn't relate to me at all.
It's a shame that a few good guitar moments are wasted on this
track. The last few moments are no doubt literary sufficient but
have nothing to do with music.
"Rescue Me or Bury Me" is an truly beautiful song, from
beginning to end. There is a lot of subtle guitar work, including
some acoustic, as well as totally awesome solos. Devin even sings
properly. This is made of the same kind of material as "For the
Love of God". Really quite lovely. And because it's the last
track on the CD it always leaves a good impression.
Concluding, it can be said that Steve Vai is still one of the
very, very best guitar players to roam this earth. Almost every
note he plays is brilliant from a technical or sheer musical
point of view. It is a thorough shame that he found it necessary
to get such an extreme singer (or a singer at all). I would
rather have preferred them throwing "Here & Now", "Touching
Tongues" and "Rescue Me or Bury Me" on a CD single so that I
could have saved the difference in money.
VANGELIS - BLADE RUNNER ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
I don't think I would ever have come across this particular CD
if I hadn't been subscribed to "Direct", the Vangelis Internet
mailing list run by Keith Gregoire. News of this release already
reached me early December, and from that moment I went a-huntin'.
"Blade Runner", cult scifi movie and favourite of many people,
was released in 1982. Vangelis did most of the music score, but
the eventual Original Soundtrack never got released due to
contractual dispute. Only a few tracks, most notably the "End
Titles Theme", were released on the 1989 Vangelis compilation CD
"Themes". There was an Original Soundtrack, actually, but it was
an orchestral version of some American orchestra playing the
stuff that Vangelis had originally done on synths.
The "Blade Runner Original Soundtrack" is a limited edition "not
licensed for public sale". Only 2,000 numbered copies have been
made (mine is #431). It has been said that, actually, it's a
bootleg of sorts. Perhaps it is - especially the deep booming
sounds so characteristic of some Vangelis compositions sound ill
mastered, a bit distorted. Then again, perhaps it's not - it
surely looks professional and well-researched including an 8-page
booklet filled with comments and supposedly rare pictures.
What matters is that I have it. And I like it. Even though it
tends to plod along without attracting a lot of attention - like
so many soundtracks do - it's pretty brilliant. Some of the songs
are true Vangelis masterpieces ("Main Titles and Prologue",
"Blade Runner Blues", "On the Trail of Nexus 9" (if you don't
mind a bit of Arabian chanting), "The Prodigal Son Brings Death"
and, of course "End Titles"). "End Titles" is actually several
minutes longer than the "Themes" version, too.
All in all the CD features almost 73 minutes worth of music of
which only three songs (forties-style bar music thingies
amounting to about 10 minutes) are not worth your while.
The CD is made in the EEC by a label called "Off World Music". I
got mine through US import, though, through a company specialised
in soundtracks called Screen Archives.
Although I highly doubt whether they still have some copies
lying around, you can always inquire at the address below. I
recall having paid US$ 32-34 for the CD, excluding postage, but
in the mean time some companies are asked something like in
excess of US$ 50.
c/o Craig Spaulding
P.O. Box 34792
Washington, D.C. 20043
United States of America
Some more or less interesting phone numbers (all in the USA)
that you might try if you fail to obtain any at Screen Archives
Footlight Records (New York City, lower Manhattan): 212/533-1572
Intrada (San Francisco): 415/776-1333
STAR (Harrisburg, PA.): 717/656-0121
Disc Connection (West Los Angeles): 310/208-7211
VARIOUS ARTISTS - DEAF METAL SAMPLER
Have I already told you I really like Peaceville? And that's not
at all because they are one of the very few companies that deems
ST NEWS worthy of review material and press releases, but because
they have the tendency to release a lot of sampler CDs. In
general these set you back about £3 (or 10 Dutch guilders), for
which you get around 70 minutes of representative Peaceville
music, often including the odd few exclusive tracks.
The latest featuring in their sampler department is the "Deaf
Metal Sampler" (after their previous Dreamtime sampler, "Head
Your Mind"). Again you get almost 75 minutes worth of music. In
this case it's all death metal that is released through
Peaceville's Deaf label. There's tracks of At The Gates, Impaler,
Vital Remains, Morta Skuld and Banished, as well as a few
exclusive tracks by Dissection, Maimed and Eucharist from Zweden,
Chorus of Ruin from England, Nightfall from Greece and Doomed
from the States. Actually, all of the tracks are quite good, with
a few tracks sticking out (Vital Remains, Chorus of Ruin and
Nightfall) and a few I like rather less (Pitch Shifter and
Prophecy of Doom). One of the tracks, "The View" by Eucharist, is
incredibly fast and might very well have the fastest drummer on
earth (though I suspect it may very well be a drum computer
judging by the speed of the drum fills).
If you're into this kind of music there is really no reason
(certainly not price-wise) why you shouldn't get this album.
Except for one or two tracks it's really cool too. I have in the
mean time bought two of the albums of which tracks are featured
on this sampler, and I have to say that the sampler generally
turns out to have the best track. You can't go wrong with this!
Thanks need to be given to a few people and companies who made
some of the stuff here possible, most important of which are Andy
and Dinger at Peaceville and Severine and Philippe at Holy
Records. Cheers, guys!
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.