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number of songs: TIE! (ten + a bonus track)
album art: cob (actual art, not just an half-assed snapshot photoshopped to within an inch of its life, megadeth)
bonus trackness: tie! (Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat” is slightly classier than Loudness’s “Crazy Nights”, but Laiho puts more energy into “Crazy Nights” than Mustaine’s whole band does on “Cold Sweat”.)
actual tracks: Bodom, by a landslide. This is their first disc in the last seven or eight years that I’ve caught myself head-nodding to (that’s headbanging when you’re old and at home) and I’m digging the complimentary guitaring again: “Waste of Skin” eight seconds on either side of the one-minute mark, the first solo break in “Bodom Blue Moon,” the haunting lilts under the verse for “Scream of Silence”, with that one “accidental” note(?)!
Meanwhile, I couldn’t find ANYTHING noteworthy in the new Megadeth record, and that hasn’t happened since Risk. I mean, who gave Dave a fuckin’ BANJO (“The Blackest Crow”)!? Even 2011’s Th1rt3en had “Never Dead,” “Black Swan,” and “Wrecker”!
WINNER: Children of Bodom / Halo of Blood :)
(Super Collider needed Dave Mustaine’s ~large hadrons~ but all he brought to bear was some buckyballs.)
red lamb | red lamb (2012)
Dan Spitz (ex-Anthrax) does his best Megadeth imitation with Red Lamb, a “band” (Spitz + a singer + a hired-hand drummer) AND album that came out eleven months ago with no marketing push despite being “co-produced” by Dave Mustaine.
I kinda dig it.
It’s like if Countdown to Extinction had been done in the risible Pitrelli/deGrasso era, without the magic that Marty Friedman and Nick Menza brought to the table. But it’s still Mustainian, and therefore still cool.
In fact, a lot of people online thought they WERE listening to Mustaine singing and playing! At several points, I sure did.
This album has lots of tight riffs servicing memorable melodies. However, the vocals are a bit too spoken-word (think “Hello me, meet the real me” times twelve), and the drums were given short shrift in the mix (some EQing might’ve helped them stand out a bit). But there’s certainly worse Megadeth albums out there!
Cool album art too. :)
Recommended track: “Watchmen”, but not so much for the music as the “free _____” line @1:50, which had me laughing as I walked along my Brooklyn street.
Ginger - 555%
Not heavy enough!
Ginger - Hey Hello
Heavier and pretty Wildheartsy.
Gory Blister - Earth Sick
Just enough melody to keep this technical death enjoyable.
Halestorm - The Strange Case of…
There’s one track I super-duper like: “Love Bites (And So Do I).” Then there’s an indeterminate number of other tracks that aren’t even close to being as awesome.
J - On Fire
The usual J solo disc, but with 10% more oomph and 5% more depth.
Luna Sea - Rouge/Dream
On paper I should really like these two heavy-ish tracks that mark a return to form for one of (if not THE) greatest j-rock bands ever. But I find myself quickly tuning out, and not airguitaring or airdrumming like I would expect.
Luna Sea - The One ~Crash to Create~
Can’t even remember how it goes.
Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction 20th Anniv 2CD
It’s nice to finally have some of these Cow Palace live tracks (a few were rare b-sides back in the early nineties that I paid like $10 each for). Also, I guess the album proper it’s been remastered again?
Merrow - Retrospecial
The surprise hit of the year! Loved this album of instrumental metal madness. “Spice Dealer!" "N.O.O.B.E!"
MUCC - Shangri-La
There’s some pretty ripping stuff here; the first two tracks are very Kodomo no Bodom (a.k.a. Blood Stain Child). Several duds as well but hell, it’s the first Mucc album in five years that I’m happy to have.
…to be concluded