Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009)

hammerfall-no-sacrifice-no-victory-2009

Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009, Nuclear Blast)

  1. Any Means Necessary
  2. Life Is Now
  3. Punish And Enslave
  4. Legion
  5. Between Two Worlds
  6. Hallowed Be Thy Name
  7. Something For The Ages
  8. No Sacrifice, No Victory
  9. Bring The Hammer Down
  10. One Of A Kind
  11. My Sharona

Band Lineup:
Joacim Cans – Lead Vocals
Oscar Dronjak – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Anders Johanssen – Drums
Pontus Norgren – Guitars
Fredrik Larsson – Bass & Backing Vocals

Producer: Charlie Bauerfeind

Country: Sweden

Total Time = 49:45

Hammerfall
Hammerfall MySpace page
Nuclear Blast Germany
Nuclear Blast USA

I have been on a Power Metal binge for the last decade because of Hammerfall. The band released two landmark albums in the late ’90s with their debut GLORY TO THE BRAVE (1997) and LEGACY OF KINGS (1998) and I have been plugged in permanent to the Power metal scene ever since. As good as these two albums are, Hammerfall doesn’t stray far from the same formula and I haven’t really gotten into subsequent releases, everything started to sound the same. With the release of NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY (the band’s 7th studio album) I’m starting to appreciate Hammerfall a little bit more even though they still do things the same way they did in the beginning.

The album starts off with the anthemic ‘Any Means Necessary’ that has a very Manowar-ish backing vocal, big choral vocals dominate Hammerfall songs. ‘Any Means Necessary’ is a mid-paced stomp that flirts with a faster pace at times, it’s full of guitars and crystal clear vocals. ‘Life Is Now’ is sounds like something from Royal Hunt around the MOVING TARGET (1997) album, very progressive and melodic but retaining the Power Metal. ‘Punish And Enslave’ has a thick main riff and follows the same pace as ‘Any Means Necessary’ but it has more straight ahead power. The guitar solo is pretty solid, as most are on a Hammerfall record, but the big background vocals detract from the overall song and give off that Manowar vibe again. ‘Legion’ opens with a quick demonic voice intro announcing the coming of the “legion” and then the band kicks into high gear with the fastest song so far. ‘Legion’ is straight from the band’s first two albums with breakneck melodic riffs, pounding double bass drumming and soaring vocals. What I like here most is that the backgrounds don’t overpower the main vocal, Joacim Cans has a huge voice and he can hold his own without the big choral backing.

Things slow right down with the Metal ballad ‘Between Two Worlds’. The song starts off with this church style organ that reminds me of Sunday mass from when I was a kid but moves to an acoustic based arrangement that puts the focus straight on Cans’ voice. I didn’t really expect a ballad from Hammerfall but this is one of the better songs on the album and shows a bit of diversity. I like the fact that the church organ returns for the chorus and the band plays within the song rather than go way over the top. Back to the mid-tempo Power Metal with ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’, which I thought was going to be a cover of the Iron Maiden classic, but it turns out to be a Hammerfall original. Unfortunately it’s not all that original…..it stays around the same pace as the first three songs, has a very simplistic chorus, and it just sounds like it’s been done before. If it wasn’t for the guitar solos being very good the song would be an afterthought. The pace speeds up again with the instrumental ‘Something For The Ages’, a song that sounds like it came from the inspired first two Hammerfall records with duelling guitars and a solid backline. If this track had some decent lyrics it would be the best song on the album, it’s close even as an instrumental and shows what the band is capable of when they get out of their comfort zone. The title track opens with a simple guitar riff and builds into another melodic chugger that follows the medium pace they have been building on, as well as, those over the top background vocals. Solid guitars, solid vocals, solid backline…..more of the same without much surprise to it. That’s the problem with Hammerfall, you know what you’re going to get and the band just keeps following the same formula.

A quick drum intro opens ‘Bring The Hammer Down’ and the main riff has that Accept – ‘Balls To The Wall’ tone to it. The pace and backgrounds are the same and I have been criticising that through the entire review but it works here. I think the inspired guitar work really makes the song a fist-pumping anthem and the vocals are extremely catchy. ‘One Of A Kind’ is a galloping Metal romp that reminds me of Helloween, Iron Maiden, and Gamma Ray. I like the way the song slows down immeadiately in the middle for a quiet guitar solo and vocal that builds slowly back into the meat of the song with a proper uptempo solo. It’s one of those changes you would expect from Maiden and it adds some depth/change to the album as a whole. The last song is a cover of The Knack’s popular hit ‘My Sharona’, and the band does a straight forward cover, but is it necessary? The song isn’t a Metal tune and sounds completely out of place on the album.

Bottom Line:
As I mentioned before, if you’ve listened to Hammerfall before then you know what to expect. The band makes no excuses for following the same tried and true formula that has carried them up to their 7th album. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Maybe tweak it a little. Overall the album is good but some songs sound the same as others especially with the pace and backgrounds. Then there are other songs like ‘Legion’, ‘Something For the Ages’ and ‘One Of A Kind’ that prove that the band can stretch out and enhance the overall formula. The production is flawless, as are the performances, but what else would you expect from a polished band like Hammerfall? I’ve given this a lot of spins since it’s release and I keep finding parts that I like, I would call this the best Hammerfall record since RENEGADE (2000).

Favorite Songs:
‘Legion’, ‘Something For The Ages’, ‘Between Two Worlds’, ‘One Of A Kind’, ‘Bring The Hammer Down’

Great White – Rising (2009)

great_white_-_rising_artwork

Great White – Rising (2009, Frontiers Records)

  1. Situation
  2. All Or Nothin’
  3. I Don’t Mind
  4. Shine
  5. Loveless
  6. Is It Enough
  7. Last Chance
  8. Danger Zone
  9. Down On The Level
  10. Only You Can Do
  11. My Sanctuary
  12. Let’s Spend The Night Together (bonus track)

Band Lineup:
Jack Russell – Lead & Background Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitars & Background Vocals
Audie Desbrow – Drums
Michael Lardie – Guitars, Keyboards, Mandolin, Sitar, Harmonica, Percussion & Background Vocals
Scott Snyder – Bass & Background Vocals

Producer: Michael Lardie

Total Time = 58:51

Great White
Great White MySpace page
Mistabone.com

Great White is back again with a brand new studio album, RISING, the follow-up to the 25th anniversary record BACK TO THE RHYTHM (2007). When Great White released BACK TO THE RHYTHM back in 2007 it was the first newly recorded material since 1999 and the first album after the tragic Station Nightclub fire. The album was full of passion and bluesy grit and it marked a serious comeback for the band that had hit the lowest of the lows. Now the band delivers RISING and it’s not quite what I expected…..

The first three songs (‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’) all sound like vintage Great White and/or the previous record’s direction but the balance of RISING falls into a slow to mid-tempo groove. The bluesy Hard Rock sound we expect from the band that brought us ‘Rock Me’ is almost completely missing for subdued acoustic based balladry. Some of the songs (‘Last Chance’ & ‘My Sanctuary’) have almost a Country sound to them and only ‘Danger Zone’ really comes close to a true Hard Rock sound. The bulk of the album sounds more introspective and emotional, the band is obviously in a totally different mindset after The Station Fire and the songs reflect that. Of course there is a bonus track for this European version: a cover of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ by The Rolling Stones. It’s a good version that stays safely in the same direction of the original but a real bonus track would be another original song…..I hate covers!

On the upside, the band turns in a solid performance. Jack Russell’s voice sounds as good as it ever has with a bit more soul and depth and Mark Kendall still plays in that blues based tone. Drummer Audie Desbrow and new bassist Scott Snyder keep the back end running smooth and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Lardie is on the board again and the production is absolutely flawless, the band just sounds phenomenal.

Bottom Line:
This album is going to be a grower for most fans that expected classic Great White or a Hard Rock record. RISING is acoustic based mid-tempo Rock with a dash of subtle Blues and Country, there really isn’t any of the uptempo sleazy ’80s Hard Rock the band made their reputation on. The whole album reminds me of 1994’s SAIL AWAY where the band basically had the same musical direction and acoustic base. SAIL AWAY has turned out to be one of my favorite albums and, after a ton of spins, RISING is beginning to follow the same path for me. I am disappointed that the band didn’t build on BACK TO THE RHYTHM’s success and went for a softer sound but they still turned in a decent record. For most fans, this won’t be the Great White they recognize. For me, RISING will sit alongside SAIL AWAY as a change of pace.

Favorite Songs:
‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Danger Zone’, ‘My Sanctuary’

New Release Tuesday: Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know

heaven-hell-the-devil-you-know-2009

Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009) – $9.99: I was outside my local Best Buy at 9:45 this morning to get the new Heaven & Hell album because Best Buy had a bonus DVD of studio footage included with the CD. The sale price was phenomenal for a 2 disc set! I almost went across the street to Wal-Mart to get their version with the different cover artwork but I decided against it. I’ve been listening to this album all day!

Overnight Playlist – 4/26/09

I had a couple of guys call in for the overnight shift Saturday into Sunday so I had to pull a double shift of 16 hours: 4pm Saturday to 8am Sunday. Normally it sucks but I was able to get most of the work done on my first shift and the overnight 8 hours was a piece of cake! My MP3 player is still dying a slow death, now I’m having issues with a loose headphone jack, but it still worked long enough for me to get through most of the night…..

Great White – Rising (2009): I’ve been giving this a lot of spins because of the great work the band did on their comeback album BACK TO THE RHYTHM (2007) but RISING is a lot more mellow. It’s more of a companion piece to 1994’s SAIL AWAY, one of my favorite records of all-time, but I’m a little disappointed. I was expecting more of a kick ass Rock record then a melodic acoustic based album. It’s a decent album but a grower.

Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009): Hammerfall’s latest has been in my playlist since I bought it for two reasons: because I’m a Power Metal geek and because I haven’t really gotten into the last few Hammerfall albums. I’m not sure what it is but since RENEGADE (2000) I have bought every new record but I haven’t enjoyed them as much as the first two. So far, I’m liking NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY a lot…..maybe I’ll review it before the month runs out!

Tragik – Outlaw (2009): Tragik are from my home state of Rhode Island and they play a cool Melodic Rock with a lot of guitars. Phil Vincent (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitars) has been a fixture on the RI music scene for years and Steven Albanese (lead guitars) used to sell me a lot of my Hard Rock and Metal CDs at my favorite, and missed, record store: 2 Guys Music.

UFO – The Visitor (2009): I just received a promo copy of this new album Saturday morning so I uploaded it to my MP3 player right away. Good thing because UFO is in my Top 5 favorite bands and I was able to listen closely to the entire album.

Heaven & Hell – Live From Radio City Music Hall (2007): With the new Heaven & Hell album, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (2009), coming out Tuesday I figured I would re-live the two tours I’ve seen in the last couple of years. I’m so glad that Black Sabbath heaven & Hell has continued to make new music and tour because they are true Metal masters! Can’t wait for the new album Tuesday!

KISS – Paul Stanley (1978): I wanted to listen to something familiar to end my shift so I decided to go with my favorite band (KISS) and my favorite member (right now) and give a listen. The Paul Stanley solo album is the most classic KISS-sounding album in a time where the band was struggling for an identity and sound as the world went Disco/Pop. This album proves my longstanding point that the talent in KISS is Paul Stanley.

CD Scavenger Hunt – 4/25/09

I had a few coupons that came out this past Tuesday for the new Lacuna Coil and Seventh Void CDs so I had to burn them by Saturday. Unfortunately my schedule with work and the family stopped me from hitting the record store on Tuesday so I hit it Saturday.

lacuna-coil-shallow-lifeLacuna Coil – Shallow Life (2009) – $9.99 (with coupon): Like I said, I had a coupon to burn by the end of the week so I saved myself $3 off the sale price and $7 off what would have been the regular price. I got into Lacuna Coil back in 1998 with their self-titled E.P., I had read something online comparing them to The Gathering and I was big into The Gathering at the time! Turns out I jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning before everyone else did with COMALIES in 2002!

seventh-void-heaven-is-gone-2009Seventh Void – Heaven Is Gone (2009) – $8.99 (with coupon): Another coupon to use and I saved $3 off the sale price and $6 off what would have been the regular price. I never really got into Type O Negative so the fact that Seventh Void has Type O guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly in the ranks did nothing for me. I read more than a few good reviews online and I sampled some of the music off the Seventh Void MySpace page and I decided to take a chance.

sirenia-the-13th-floorSirenia – The 13th Floor (2009) – $9.99: I picked up this album based solely on someone’s recommendation of Sirenia’s previous album, NINE DESTINIES AND A DOWNFALL (2007). I remember being in the record store back when NINE DESTINIES came out and the Metal Guy working the store said it was a solid record. Everytime I would find a Sirenia CD, I would pass on it for something else but I would always remember the Metal Guy’s recommendation. I decided that THE 13TH FLOOR would be my first listen to Sirenia’s music and the $9.99 sale price helped in the decision.

edguy-the-singles-2009Edguy – The Singles (2009) – $9.99: This was a last minute addition to my shopping spree because I was debating the new Ian Gillan album…..I’m a big Deep Purple fan! I was looking at the new Ian Gillan and I noticed that this Edguy CD was still on display with it’s sale price. THE SINGLES is a compilation of all the songs Edguy released on E.P.s and CD singles (except for ‘Reach Out’) and it was released at the same time as the 2008 European release of TINNITUS SANCTUS but it came out February 10 here in the U.S. I couldn’t leave this CD just hanging there with a shiny sale sticker so I grabbed it and put Mr. Gillan back down.

The hunting didn’t end at the record store…..I had a couple of things going on Ebay also…..

burn-global-warningBurn – Global Warning (2007) – $12: I read a lot of good reviews about this album and it’s been on my list for a couple of years but I’ve never been able to track it down. I found out that this U.K. band only had a record deal in Japan so the import prices for the CD have been around $30 plus shipping. I found this CD for $7 plus $5 shipping and insurance from a seller in China so I rolled the dice and put in a bid. Normally I have no problem buying anything from international sellers with top notch ratings but I am a little skeptical about the price and the location…..we’ll see what happens.

night_of_the_stormrider_coverIced Earth – Night Of The Stormrider (1992) – $13.50: This Iced Earth CD has eluded me for a long time in it’s original form. I could get the remastered version from 2002 but I wanted an original pressing to go along with the rest of my Iced Earth collection. This was a WANTED feature back in August. I was able to pick this CD up from a U.S. seller that I have dealt with before, turns out that most of the auctions for an original U.S. pressing go for $15 – $25 incl. shipping.

Press Release: New live album from Artillery – One Foot In The Grave, The Other One In The Trash (2009) artwork, tracklisting, release dates announced

In anticipation for the new Artillery album “When Death Comes”, Metal Mind Productions will release the band’s first live album.

The album entitled “One Foot in the Grave, The Other One in the Trash” features a fantastic gig the thrash veterans of Artillery gave at Metalmania Festival 2008! The outstanding guitar play of brothers Stützer, charismatic Carsten Nielsen’s powerful drums and the uncompromising thrash energy of Søren Adamsen’s voice ruthlessly hammered their way into the hearts of the head bangers assembled on that occasion – it’s all there!!! Artillery launched a veritable blitz, bombarding their fans with a skull-breaking selection of some of the best songs from their entire discography, including great thrash metal masterpieces like “By Inheritence” and “Khomaniac”! The digipak edition is limited to 1000 copies!

“One Foot in the Grave, The Other One in the Trash” will be released on 25th May in Europe and 11th August in USA (via MVD).

artillery-one-foot-in-the-grave-the-other-in-the-trash-2009

Label: Metal Mind Records
Cat. No.: MASS CD 1179 DG
Barcode: 5907785034785
Format: CD DG (limited edition)
Genre: thrash metal
Release date: 25.05.2009 Europe / 11.08.2009 USA

Tracklist:

1. Deeds of Darkness
2. Into the Universe
3. The Almighty
4. Cybermind
5. The Challenge
6. By Inheritance
7. The Eternal War
8. Beneath the Clay (R.I.P.)
9. Time Has Come
10. At War with Science
11. Out of the Sky
12. Khomaniac
13. Terror Squad

Press Release: New album from Artillery – When Death Comes (2009) artwork, tracklisting, release dates announced

Denmark’s Artillery is one of Europe’s earliest exponents of thrash metal and the band’s contribution to the bourgeoning genre is difficult to ignore. The Danish quartet successfully managed to fuse an abrasive brutality with technicality and good melodies, with the noteworthy guitar leads of the Stützer brothers as well as the remarkable vocals from Flemming Rønsdorf serving as highlights. Due to Artillery’s demos being well distributed, the band gained worldwide recognition even before the release of their first official album; and the band’s first three studio albums, “Fear of Tomorrow”, “Terror Squad” and “By Inheritance”, all assumed the status of classics in the thrash genre. However, due to lack of support from labels and internal band disputes, Artillery never really achieved their big breakthrough and thus split up in 1991. In late 1999, Artillery reunited and released the critically acclaimed album “B.A.C.K.”, but they never really took off as a band again. A few live appearances came in the wake of the release, only to be followed by silence. However, in 2008 the classic core of Artillery, consisting of Morten and Michael Stützer as well as Peter Thorslund (bass) and Carsten N. Nielsen (drums) rejoined forces and subsequently employed new vocalist Søren Adamsen, who provided the band with a rejuvenated energy and a musical prowess that was soon witnessed on the live DVD “One Foot in the Grave, The Other One in the Trash”, containing updated versions of classic material.

artillery-when-death-comes-2009

A new chapter in the life of Artillery has now begun with their brand new studio album, “When Death Comes”, which contains 10 blistering tracks that fill the void between past glory and future splendour. New material was recorded between March and April 2009 at Medley Studios in Denmark with Søren Andersen as the producer.

The band will promote the new album on a massive tour, which will be confirmed soon. So far the following events are confirmed:

24.04 Forbrændingen, Forbrændingen, Albertslund, Denmark w/ Konkhra
25.04 Vonhatten Randers, Denmark
04-06.06 Metal Magic Festival, Ungdommenhus, Fredericia, Denmark w/ Pagan Altar, Exmortem, Oliver Weers and more
13.06 Hellbrigade Festival, Thunder Road, Codevilla, Italy w/ Whiplash, Hyades and more
15.08 Jalo Metal Festival, Teatria Oulu, Oulu, Finland w/ Voivod, Electric Wizard, Nifelheim, Asphyx, Paradox and more

“When Death Comes” will be released as a jewel case CD and as a digipak CD including 2 bonus tracks. Japanese edition of the album will include an exclusive bonus track which won’t be available elsewhere.

The tracklist looks as follows:

1. When Death Comes
2. Upon My Cross I Crawl
3. 10.000 Devils
4. Rise Above It All
5. Sandbox Philosopsy
6. Delusions Of Grandeure
7. Not A Nightmare
8. Damned Religion
9. Uniform
10. The End

Bonus tracks (European/US digipak version only):
1. Refuse To Live – Part 2
2. Warhead (Morten Stützer/Søren Adamsen)

Bonus track (Japanese version only):
1. Chaos Ride

Metal Mind Productions will release the “When Death Comes” on 15th June in Europe, 23rd July in Japan (via King Records) and 11th August in USA (via MVD). Additional info to follow soon!

Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America DVD (2009)

severed_ways

Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (2009, Heathen Films/Magnolia Pictures)

(Region 0, NTSC, Total Running Time = 147 minutes)

Director: Tony Stone

Severed Ways
Severed Ways MySpace Films page
Severed Ways on IMDB
Heathen Films
Magnolia Pictures

I enjoy good movies but I’m hardly film aficionado. I took a few film classes in college and I did well in them so I understand, and look for, things that most people might miss when they sit in front of the screen and veg. I enjoy independent films because most offer an alternative point of view and/or subject matter than big budget blockbusters that Hollywood crams down our throats. I got my first exposure to SEVERED WAYS through a news item I read at Bravewords.com that included the two trailers (first one is normal, second is Metal):

Anything that combines Metal music to a unique film concept is right up my alley so I’ve been anticipating watching this DVD for a few weeks. Once I got my copy in my DVD player I kicked back and watched one really good independent film! The film centers around two Viking explorers that have been abandoned by their expedition after a losing battle with the natives (Skrealings) of this newly discovered land (North America). The film tracks their survival and journey as they try to make their way North to rejoin their comrades. The Vikings hunt, build shelter, encounter Christian priests (complete with a church burning), and ultimately meet their demise. The plot doesn’t seem like much but it’s the realism that really hooks you in. Nothing is as real as watching the Vikings survive in the lush forest landscape from their hunting and fighting to actually taking a dump and wiping off with leaves! Honestly, I could have done without a Viking taking a dump but think about it…..isn’t that something that would need to be done? The fight scenes and the killing that is done in the film is brutal in it’s rawness but not gory like a B Horror flick. It’s all about bringing the viewer into the adventure with as much reality as possible. I don’t want to simplify everything here but that is essentially the plot, there really isn’t too much to it. The sub-plot is each Viking’s personal attitudes and their personal journey of self-awareness.  

What makes the film for me is the way it was shot. Obviously this isn’t a Hollywood action flick with millions behind it but I liked the way director Tony Stone used regular cameras as well as handhelds to give the proper perspective. When watching scenes from the handheld cameras you get the sense of urgency and the sense of actually being in the thick of the forest as the events unfold. I also like the fact that there was minimal dialogue and that the actors spoke in what seems to be a Norse language but the subtitles kind of kill the vibe. The film is all about authenticity and realism, I would have rathered heard the dialogue with no subtitles so I could interpret the communication my own way. There is a particular scene in the beginning where the Vikings are feasting on some game and one turns to the other and mentions how “killer” the food is. “Killer”! Seriously, couldn’t someone come up with something less Hot Topic!

The Metal aspects of the film are obvious. First…..Vikings! If there was ever a subject that the Metal world understood it’s Vikings. Second…..Norse mythology vs. Christianity. If there’s another subject that the Metal world undertands it’s Norse mythology. Take a look at most of the Scandinavian Black Metal scene and there are plenty of examples and influences of how pro-Norse/anti-Christian attitudes permeate the music. Third…..the soundtrack. It’s a more subdued Metal soundtrack than I expected, more atmospheric and ambient but still containing the heaviness of Old Man’s Child, Dimmu Borgir, and Burzum among others. There is one scene that seems way out of place…..the headbanging scene in Chapter 2 – Camp. In Chapter 1 – Stranded, the Viking pair make a shelter to survive. At the beginning of Chapter 2, the shelter is built, the Metal music starts out and you see the Viking called Orn headbanging in celebration. Totally out of place! Why go through all the effort of being as authentic as possible and then put in a quick scene of a Viking rocking out?

Bottom Line:
I really enjoyed SEVERED WAYS because of the way the film was presented, the more real it became the more I liked it. The actors did a great job and the way the film was shot added to the realism of being stuck in primitive North America in 1007 A.D. There really isn’t anything Metal about the film except for the underlying soundtrack but it is a cool connection with the Norse theme. If you’re looking for a fantasy based epic from Hollywood then this isn’t the movie for you. If you’re looking for some sort of Heavy Metal themed video, this isn’t the movie for that either. What you get is a basic journey of two stranded Vikings in a foreign land: they eat, they sleep, they crap, they kill, they die. It’s all very basic but the way it’s all presented is the key. Well worth checking out…..

CD Scavenger Hunt – Record Store Day Edition

I’ve been a record store junkie since I was a young kid and I still get a charge out of searching through stacks of CDs and racks of vinyl. I learned about music in the record store and I entered the culture of Heavy Metal and of the collector. Record Store Day is one of my favorite days of the year. The discounts, the comraderie, the crowds! Hit the right store on Record Store Day and you can walk out with a bunch of great music at a great price, some free stuff, and the feeling that the death of physical music shopping is alive and well.

My plan for record store day was to hit four local shops and buy up whatever I could. Of course there are always things at the last minute that impede progress and my physical health (allergies!) and work schedule meant I only had a couple of hours. I decided to hit the two closest stores to home and see what damage I could inflict on my wallet! First I hit my usual haunt: Newbury Comics in North Attleboro, MA. My initial plan was to go to the Warwick, RI location because I planned on a bigger selection but time was the overall problem and the extra 30 minutes drive time roundtrip didn’t compute. Second stop would be Luke’s Record Exchange in Pawtucket, RI: 5 minutes from home and one of the stores I grew up in. I was outside the door of Newbury Comics at 9:45am and I was in first when they opened at 10…..first stop was the Used Metal section and then a proper focused search through the general Used section followed by DVDs. the sale at Newburys was “30% off all used CDs & DVDs” so the plan was to blow $100 and get $30 off for a grand total of $70. Of course, everything is subject to change!

Used DVDs

West Wing (Seasons 4 & 7) – $19.25 each: I cannot tell a lie…..I bought these for my wife. Here’s a tip: if you plan on spending big $$$ at the record stores, make sure you bring something good home for the wife! Never fails! My wife’s birthday was last Thursday and I bought her Seasons 2 & 3 of West Wing (she has the 1st season) and I figured I’d get these for her to fill holes in the collection. At $19.25 each for used copies I saved more than half the regular price on each.

Ratt – Videos From The Cellar: The Atlantic Years (2007) – $6.30: I searched the used Music DVD section for 20 mins trying to find something I really wanted and/or didn’t have. The only one I could find was this Ratt compilation and the price was right at $8.99 used, then take off the 30% off! This DVD is a combination of 2 VHS releases: RATT – The Video (1985) and RATT – Detonator Videoaction (1991) plus two bonus features: a commentary from Stephen Pearcy & Warren DeMartini and unreleased videos from the INVASION OF YOUR PRIVACY and DANCING UNDERCOVER albums……13 videos total.

Used CDs

Battlelore – Third Age Of The Sun (2005) – $4.90: A band I’ve been wanting to check out for a while, this was the only Battlelore disc in the store.

Cheap Trick – Lap Of Luxury (1988) – $2.80: I got nostalgic for ‘The Flame’ and this was a cool 3 bucks!

Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers (1984) – $6.30: A major oversight in my collection! I’m not sure how I accomplished going without PERFECT STRANGERS on CD but I seem to have done it. I had to call home to make sure I was missing the album, give my wife credit for going up to the music room to check.

Dream Evil – United (2006) – $4.20: I got bored with Dream Evil after 2004’s THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL so I never got around to grabbing this. I’ve been keeping an eye on this used copy for a couple months but I kept passing on it. This is a 2 CD set with a second disc of 5 bonus tracks…..great value!

Flotsam & Jetsam – When The Storm Comes Down (1990) – $4.20: Not a big Flotsam fan but I didn’t have this one and it’s from 1990 so I fugure the music has to be decent given the year. Good price too.

Heart – s/t (1985) – $2.80: Big time ’80s AOR from Heart with catchy singles like ‘What About Love’ and ‘These Dreams’. This was a big MTV/radio album back in ’85 and I always dug Heart.

Iron Savior – Condition Red (2002) – $5.60: Iron Savior are in the same boat as Dream Evil, after the first couple of albums I got bored with them. Actually, I stopped buying new Iron Savior after DARK ASSAULT (2001). Another used disc I’ve been passing over for a couple of months.

Hell Bent For Metal 2: A Tribute To Judas Priest (2000) – $2.80: I know, I know…..I am the guy who hates cover songs…..but I’m also the guy who likes tribute albums. It’s a vicious circle. Some good bands here: Cage, Seven Witches, Tyrant. A good tracklisting too: ‘Rapid Fire’, ‘Tyrant’ (by Tyrant!), ‘Grinder’ and more. I bought this and I have no idea if I have it already because my compilations/tributes/soundtracks are still packed away in boxes!

Journey – Generations (2005) – $2.80: Always been a Journey fan but I passed on this record (and the tour) when I read all the bad reviews. The good news for me is that there have been at least ten used copies of this albums floating between my two usual Newbury Comics locations all for $3.99! I figured the 30% off sale was a good time to fill a hole in the Journey collection.

King Diamond – The Eye (1990) – $4.90: Filling the holes in the King Diamond collection and I knew I didn’t have this one. This is the 1997 Roadrunner remaster.

King Diamond – The Puppet Master (2003) – $7: I had to call home and get my wife to go upstairs to the music room again. Turns out I skipped this one too along with DEADLY LULLABYES LIVE (2004). Not sure why but I’ll bet the price in 2003 was too much, especially for the digipak version with the bonus DVD.

Kreator – Renewal (1992) – $3.50: Bought solely on the price and that I know I don’t have it. I’ve been slowly filling the holes in my Kreator collection since they released the excellent HORDES OF CHAOS this year.

Operator – Soulcrusher (2007) – $2.80: I kept meaning to pick this up since it came out but I passed even though I read good reviews online. Plenty of used copies available but getting it for under three bucks is a steal.

Slayer – Show No Mercy (1983) – $9.10: How does a self-professed Metal maniac not have Slayer’s first album in his collection? I couldn’t believe it either so I called the wife a third time and made her go upstairs again! This time she was doing laundry in the basement so she reluctantly went up two floors and reported the album missing!

Spinal Tap – Break Like The Wind (1992) – $3.50: Tap is Tap and Tap is great! I just never got around to picking this up! This is the 2000 reissue.

Destiny’s End – Breathe Deep The Dark (1998) – $1.40: Did you notice that I listed all my CDs in alphabetical order? I’m breaking the order with the debut from Destiny’s End because I already own it! I grabbed it when I saw it because the price was $1.40 but I kept looking at it in my basket and I couldn’t remember if I owned it or not. By the time I was ready to check out I had already called home 3 times…..the wife wasn’t going to be happy if call #4 came so I decided to risk the $1.40 and wait to check when I got home. Looks like Destiny’s End will be returned when I head to the store Tuesday and I’ll get a small credit.

Total = $119

I ended up running into Luke’s really quick because there were a few KISS bootlegs I wanted but I passed because I think I can get them through trades. I didn’t buy anything at Luke’s but I think I will be ordering a few things online this week that just came out…..I wish everything came to the record stores like they used to!

Record Store Day – 4/18/2009


Just a friendly reminder that today is Record Store Day…..so get out there to your local mom & pop/independent record store and drop some cash!

If you’re in the Rhode Island/Southeastern Massachusetts area, I will be visiting the following stores dressed in my Saxon Metalhead Tour 1999 shirt:

Newbury Comics – Warwick, RI

Newbury Comics – North Attleboro, MA

Armageddon Shop – Providence, RI

Luke’s Record Exchange – Pawtucket, RI

Check out the Twitter widget

I’m on Twitter now! I figured that I would make good use of the Twitter phenomenon and put up the widget so I could real time update what I’m up to without clogging up the scheduled posts. If you want to follow Heavy Metal Addiction on Twitter then go to http://twitter.com/rhodeislandrock