Thursday, September 30, 2010


Full-length, Metal God Entertainment
September 27th, 2010
I found the new HALFORD album rather disappointing to say the least, his voice is great but I don't like the production job; it's cheesy and sounds a little hollow, helplessly juvenile lyrics repeated over and over again ad-nauseum don't help the situation... there's no urgency on the entire record like he had on his tremendously triumphant "RESURRECTION" album, when he was in a position where he had to prove to the METAL scene/community that he was back for good, in a big way!

I consider "RESURRECTION" to be the best album JUDAS PRIEST never made! Even when Halford was accepted back into the ranks of Priest, "ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION" was only half as urgent sounding as "RESURRECTION" was in comparison, despite being a magnificent comeback album in every sense of the word! Then Priest decided to get all EPIC and do the mediocre "NOSTARADAMUS" which ended up being a tepid, over-wrought, lengthy affair... a 'Metal Opera' that was just too soft in light of what JUDAS PRIEST have been known to churn out over the years!

Halford's last effort was the HALFORD 3 : WINTER SONGS album which was a collection of Metalized Christmas songs, of all things, another rather mixed bag that really had heads spinning in wonderment! HALFORD 2 : CRUCIBLE had it's moments but was a rather lukewarm sophomore solo effort with great production and fantastic vox, the songs were well written but the album lurched along with a sludgy heaviness that never seemed to pick up speed and nothing on the album really stood out... the same goes for this new album except the production is very clean in a hollow plastic sort of sterile way, the lyrics have no depth and are constructed of a series of annoyingly repeated choruses that defy imagination leading to the listener zoning out and doing other things while the album is playing! Not a good sign for a return to the fray!

The album cover is the worst part of this package, a Metal racing car with the words "MADE OF METAL" emblazoned across the front... stupid, silly title and an absolutely awful album cover only hint at the lack of depth the listener becomes painfully aware off from the first track.

I love HALFORD, I love JUDAS PRIEST and I always will... Rob Halford is thee greatest METAL vocalist of all time, even Pavoratti admitted as much, but there has to be an injection of urgency and depth into his solo albums if he wants to gain more METAL fans in future and keep the old loyal ones as well... this album treads dangerously into Pop-Metal territory, though I hate to admit it... cheesy ballad-lite tracks, repetitious chorus's and lackluster, empty lyrics all the way through... add up to one painfully boring album that's not going to have longevity as one of it's attributes. That being said, there are a few interesting moments and ideas on the album and in general i enjoyed this album simply because it was something new from a man and a singer I hold in high esteem!

Reviewed by Damien Bentley
SCORE: 75/100

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enslaved (Nor) - Axioma Ethica Odini Review

Full-length, Indie Recordings
September 27th, 2010

Another exemplary new full-length album from ENSLAVED, this should get the hair standing on the back of your neck and arms within the first opening notes! No contest! If you are a die-hard ENSLAVED fan and especially a fan of their latter day works of genius Progressive Viking/Black Metal, then this is most likely going to be Album of the Year for you!!!

The album is released through Indie Recordings on September 27th, 2010 in most places though some Release dates differ: Europe - September 27 & North America - September 28.

The album was Recorded at three different studios in Bergen, Norway: Duper Studio, Earshot Studio and Peersonal Sound Studio. Cover art by Norwegian artist Truls Espedal, suits the albums sound perfectly and is a complimentary piece of art in it's own right!

The album is available as a Special Edition in a gate-fold seven-inch format with the entire album on CD and a seven-inch vinyl single as a bonus, as well as a regular jewel case edition and additionally on double vinyl as well. The bonus seven-inch single includes new recordings, "Jotunblod" and "Migration".

A fantastic album with some marvelous tracks from beginning to end, as with all ENSLAVED albums, this demands t be listened to from beginning to end as a complete piece of work. It's still got that glorious epic flowing feel to it, that frigid Pagan iciness, Grutle's gravelly shrieking growls and that magnificent Pink Floyd like Progressiveness to it that has made the band the powerhouse they are today, truly a band to be reckoned with... they have really carved out heir own niche within a genre that become convoluted and polluted by copy cats and overdone Folky efforts! None of that here, just pure genuine effort and passion that flows naturally without sounding like they are trying too hard like some bands... in fact, this record sounds effortless like river flowing downstream naturally.

1. Ethica Odini 07:59
2. Raidho 06:01
3. Waruun 06:42
4. The Beacon 05:38
5. Axioma 02:20
6. Giants 06:37
7. Singular 07:43
8. Night Sight 07:36
9. Lightening 07:51
Total playing time; (58:27)

Ethica Odini is the perfect track to open the album with and the track the band chose to introduce the new album prior to official release. Giants is another tremendous track though every track has it's own nuances and merits individually. Fantastic piece of work, I know I will continue to listen to this album many many times again in future, over and over again as I never get sick of it and it never tires me, always makes me want more!

SCORE: 666/666

Reviewed by Damien Bentley // Sept. 21st, 2010