CD Scavenger Hunt (September update)

The hunt for CDs always continues but September is always a slow month because of back to school and getting the house ready for Fall/Winter. September is also slow because there aren’t as many new releases because the Summer concert/release season has come and gone and a lot of new albums are planned closer to the Winter holidays. There were more than a few big releases though and I was at the record store buying them up on sale…..

Newbury Comics

Anthrax – Worship Music (2011) – $12: One of the most anticipated releases of 2011 for me because of the reunion with singer Joey Belladonna but also because there hasn’t been a new Anthrax record since 2003′s WE’VE COME FOR YOU ALL. That’s 8 long years! There’s been a lot of drama in the Anthrax camp at the singer slot with John Bush leaving and Belladonna coming in for a reunion tour, then Dan Nelson replacing Belladonna for a new record. When that didn’t work, Bush came back for festival dates and to try and record the Nelson material but that didn’t work and Belladonna came back for the Big 4 tour dates. Get all that? WORSHIP MUSIC has the classic lineup intact, save for Rob Caggiano on guitar, and it sounds like the band never parted ways with Belladonna back in 1992. I’ve been an Anthrax fan since the beginning and this is a classic ’80s styled release and it sounds great. Regular price was $16 so I saved $4.

Edguy – Age Of The Joker (2011) – $10: I have this love/hate releationship with Edguy. When they first came out in the late ’90s, they were a pure Power Metal band that I discovered while getting completely immersed in the growing Power Metal resurgence. As time went on, I had a harder time with the change in sound on albums like HELLFIRE CLUB (2004) and ROCKET RIDE (2006) to a more Hard Rock sound…..at least that’s what I hear. I always buy Edguy’s albums though and they’re always really good but I think they get overshadowed now by Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia projects. I couldn’t pass up the album though and it was on sale the day of release for $10, a $6 savings compared to the $16 regular price. I’ve read online that there’s a limited edition two disc version with six bonus tracks but it wasn’t available at the record store the day of release. Actually, I had no idea there was a special edition or I might have waited and bought online.

Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn Of Events (2011) – $16: The only reason why this new Dream Theater album seems so expensive is because I bought the special edition with the bonus DVD documenting the drummer auditions the band held to replace the departed Mike Portnoy. I thought that was pretty interesting and I wouldn’t mind seeing new drummer Mike Mangini’s (ex-Annihilator, Extreme, Steve Vai) induction to the band. Not really a surprise pick seeing that Mangini already worked on some of James LaBrie’s solo projects. This is Dream Theater though and I’m going to buy the album anyway, the only difference being do I want to shell out an extra $3 for a bonus DVD? The standard version was $13 on sale with a regular price of $16, the special edition was $16 on sale with a regular price of $22…..I saved $6 and got the bonus DVD that I’ll probably watch once!

Doro – 25 years In Rock…..And Still Going Strong (2011) – $20: Now here’s the reason I made the trip out to the record store this particular week! Doro Pesch has been around a long time and she is still kicking ass! I’ve been following her since the Warlock days and it seems that I’ve acquired a large Warlock/Doro collection over the years. Back in 2008, Doro celebrated her 25th year in Metal with a huge concert in her hometown of Dusseldorf, Germany with a ton of special appearances and guests from across the Metal world including a Warlock reunion! I’ve only seen and heard bits and pieces online and through various Doro releases but now the entire collection is finally seeing the light of day in the U.S…..it seems that this was released in Europe in november 2010 through Nuclear Blast Germany. The package includes 5 hours of concert footage & a documentary on 2 DVDs and a 43 minute audio CD of parts of the live 25th anniversary concert. The DVDs include the full anniversary show, the behind the scenes look at the show and a bunch of live extras from various festivals over the last few years. I would have preferred the full show on audio so I’m going to see if it’s available on that earlier European release. Regular price was $30, paid $20, saved $10.

Saxon – Call To Arms (2011) – $10: The new Saxon record was the only reason I made a second trip to the record store during September…..like I said, it was a slow month but I’m not missing a new album from one of my favorite bands! CALL TO ARMS was released a few weeks earlier in Europe and I’d read some great reviews so I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t impress but the music sure does! There were two versions of this CD: the standard and the special edition that included the Live At Donington 1980 live album. That Donington ’80 live album has been repackaged so many times that it’s become kind of a joke, if you already own the original like I do then there’s no reason to buy the special edition. The original Donington ’80 is relatively easy to find as well. Regular price here was $13 (the special edition was $16) and the sale was $10 ($13 for the special) so I saved $3.

Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming (2011) – $14: Just like Edguy, I have this love/hate thing going with Sebastian Bach. Most of the time, I find the guy to be full of himself and he really hasn’t released much since Skid Row’s SUBHUMAN RACE (1995). Granted that he did Braodway and a lot of work on television with MTV Networks and reality TV but his solo projects haven’t been barnburners for me. He had the group The Last Hard Men, a half studio/half live album, a covers album, ANGEL DOWN (2007) and the Frameshift collaboration in 2005. For me the Frameshift record is the best of them all so I wasn’t expecting much. Then I look at the guy and he embodies that “rock star” persona and you know the talent is there so I always have hope. I heard the first single, the title track, and it sounded pretty good so I decided to take the chance.  I ended up buying the special edition with the bonus DVD that include the making of the album, live bonuses and videos while the proper CD has a bonus track ‘Jump Off The Wagon’. Regular price was $20, paid $14, saved $6.

House Of Lords – Big Money (2011) – $13: One thing I like about the Newbury Comics I shop at is that they group all the Frontiers Records’ new releases together in the new release section, I end up buying albums I totally forgot about all the time! Right next to the Sebastian Bach was the new House Of Lords which, just like Doro, I seem to have acquired almost all of the band’s albums very quietly. The problem with that is I usually end up not giving these House Of Lords albums enough time on the stereo…..maybe it’s because the first two albums were so good? Frontman/co-founder James Christian is back again as the only one left from the glory days and he’s done a great job of keeping HOL alive, the guy also still has a great voice. I forgot about this album so I grabbed the only copy in the store for the $13 sale price. Regular price for this Frontiers import was $17 so I saved $4. Just a quick thought…..I realize the crest is the band’s trademark but couldn’t we vary some of these album covers a little?

Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive (2011) – $10: This CD was a complete out of the blue purchase. I’m not a big Hanoi Rocks or Michael Monroe fan because I just never got around to buying most of the albums. I have a few but I bought them years ago and haven’t revisited them in years. So I’m browsing the regular priced Rock section and I notice one of the clerks stocking a section so I asked the guy if he had good stuff. The guy told me to give this disc a try so I took it and added it to my shopping basket. If you’ve read this website long enough then you know I always grab a handbasket when I walk in and I fill it with all the good stuff I find. When I’m done, I make my decisions, keep what I’m buying and I restock the other CDs back on the shelves where they belong. When it came down to decision time, the reason why I took a chance on Michael Monroe was because the other competing albums had multiple copies and this had only one, the others were a few dollars more, this was a lower price and I quickly pulled up a few reviews on my phone. I figured $10 sale price was worth a chance…..regular price was $13 so I saved $3.

Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising (2011) – $12 used: I ended up find ing the latest Amon Amarth album on my third and final trip to Newbury Comics in September, I actually went back to the store the day after I bought the Saxon, Bach, Monroe and Lords albums because I forgot to buy my wife a CD she asked me to pick up. So I go back in and I decide to do a quick double check of the Metal section because how much is really going to change in 24 hours? Well SURTUR RISING wasn’t there the day before and there were two copies: a new one for $20 and this used one for $12! This is the special edition digipak that includes the 10 song CD and the 33 track DVD – BLOODSHED OVER BOCHUM, GERMANY 12/28-12/31/2008. I saved the $8 over the regular price and the content value is great for that price but this was a solid purchase because 1) the digital download I received from the promo company had a glitch in it and I couldn’t download the entire album and 2) I haven’t seen a copy of SURTUR RISING stocked in any of the various Newbury Comics locations I’ve been in since a month after the album’s release. The search is over and I paid just under what the original sale price was on the new release date.

Kik Tracee – No Rules (1991) – $3 used: If you find one great bargain then there’s bound to be another! Nothing else of any significance cam out of the quick check of the Metal section so I went over to the bargain bin for a quick check and there it was right in front of the ‘K’ section. I’ve been looking for a good copy of NO RULES for a long time but everytime I search Kik Tracee on Ebay, the available copies are either going through a bidding war or the BUY IT NOW is set extremely high. I quickly checked Ebay for some current prices and the range was as low as $15 for a used CD and as high as $75 for the Japanese import. Either way, $3 for a mint condition used CD is an awesome price, especially considering the demand and my quest for the album. Instant purchase! Of course, I forgot my wife’s CD when I was ready to check out but I did go back and get it. Average price on Ebay is around $25 but I will go with the lowest price I saw of $15 so I saved $12.

Best Buy

Chickenfoot – III (2011) – $13: There is never any reason to go to a big box retailer like Best Buy, Target or Wal-Mart for a CD unless there is some exclusive release or variation. I walked into Best Buy about an hour after the doors opened the morning the new Chickenfoot was released and I couldn’t find a copy! I asked a sales associate and he looked at me like I was insane. I asked the cashier I saw reading a magazine, she had no idea. I even got the sales flyer and showed these people the CD…..they searched the FOUR racks of CDs they had and there was nothing. New release rack? Nothing. Finally I asked for the store manager because why advertise a limited edition release exclusive to Best Buy if you aren’t going to display it on the sales floor? The manager comes up, makes a call, and a fresh box of CDs arrives from the stockroom! I got one, another guy grabbed one and the fresh out of high school sales associate stocked the other 20 or so CDs in the new release rack. All this for a simple CD? No wonder the business is in shambles! Regular was $16, sale price $13, so I saved $3.

Total = $133

Total (year) = $802

Average Price (per item) = $8.72

Total Savings (month) = $65

Total Savings (year) = $735

Total CDs (year) = 86

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#26-#40)

2009 was another great year for new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums and I was lucky to have heard a great many of them. There were hundreds of new albums released by hundreds of bands over a wide range of Metal genres, it was very hard to keep up especially when I’m spending my hard-earned cash! Unfortunately, I can’t buy every new album so there are more than a few that I have missed. I am still very lucky to have many labels, PR firms, and bands sending in their CDs for review, to all of them I would like to extend a very grateful THANK YOU! Without these promotions I would have never heard some great releases and discovered some new bands. I have totalled up the CDs and there were 125 albums up for this year’s honors!

The only criteria I followed for my Top 40 was that the album had to be a studio album, not a live record, best of, or covers collection AND the album had to be released in 2009. In the beginning of the year I decided that an album that was released in 2008, but was released in 2009 for the U.S., qualified as a 2009 album…..basically I went by the date on the back of the CD! There are plenty of albums that got late U.S. releases and there may be a few in this countdown. 

The ranking of the Top 40 is based solely on my enjoyment of the album and not some scientific formula. Bottom Line: I had to like it! There were so many releases this year that I more than doubled the list this year so I will be splitting it into three posts. Be sure to check out the links to the album reviews. So here it is, my Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#26 – #40):

#40

Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Night Castle (2009): I have been waiting five years for a new TSO album and they announced the release of NIGHT CASTLE back in December 2008! Nothing like waiting a full year but the wait was worth it. A double album full of TSO expert Rock orchestra with enough guest vocalists (Jeff Scott Soto sings) to make it interesting. I prefer TSO’s holiday albums but NIGHT CASTLE fits in great.

#39

Immortal – All Shall Fall (2009): I’ve always read a ton of great reviews and articles about Immortal but Black Metal has never really been my genre of choice. I picked up ALL SHALL FALL to try the band out and I ended up really getting into it! What impressed me most was that it wasn’t stereotypical Black Metal but there were melodic layers to the overall sound using orchestration and some great guitarwork. I’ve started to backtrack and explore the rest of the Immortal back catalog as a result.

#38

Grave Digger – Ballads Of A Hangman (2009): Old school Power Metal at it’s best, Grave Digger has been doing it longer than most and they always seem to put out a solid album. I got this early in the year and it turned out to be a standout album for most of the year…..being a Grave Digger fan for a long time, I enjoyed it. Unfortunately there were better Power Metal albums that came out this year and I kept moving this one lower, a result of good competition.

#37

Nashville Pussy – From Hell To Texas (2009): Nashville Pussy is one of those bands I started to follow with their debut album and forgot about, subsequently missing out on a few records. I love this Southern-fried, hard drinking, sex crazed Hard Rock, it’s a cross between Motorhead, Ted Nugent and AC/DC mixed with Black Oak Arkansas & Lynyrd Skynyrd. I didn’t really expect much from this album and it turned out to be a great one, especially for the car! ‘Drunk Driving Man’ is one of my favorite songs of the year.

#36

Great White – Rising (2009): Despite my living in Rhode Island and the whole Station Nightclub Fire, Great White is still one of my favorite bands. In 2007 they released one of the biggest surprises with BACK TO THE RHYTHM so I expected another Hard Rock classic. RISING is acoustic based and slower than it’s predecessor but it’s still a solid record that reminded me of the acoustic SAIL AWAY (1994). This album grew on me over the course of 2009 but I’m still a little disappointed that it didn’t have more of the Blues Hard Rock the band is known for.

#35

Tragik – Outlaw (2009): Good to have a local Rhode Island band in this year’s countdown! Led by local AOR/Melodic Rock artist Phil Vincent, Tragik’s second album was a solid Hard Rock record with plenty of guitar and a great overall tone. Tragik follows the footsteps of ’80s AOR/Melodic Hard Rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi and Night Ranger but there was a more modern sound. Good solid melodies and plenty of hooks to go along with the great guitar sound made this an album I enjoyed all year.

#34

Alestorm – Black Sails At Midnight (2009): I know a lot of people don’t get into the whole Pirate Metal concept but I’m definitely a sucker for a good gimmick and I really got into Alestorm this year. This album has some good songs but the one thing that pushed this album above a lot of others was that it was fun. I bought into all the whole concept and imagery of and the Pirate Power Metal is definitely different…..I really like all those traditional pirate styled instruments mixed in. Added bonus was the DVD from Wacken 2008 included inthe limited edition.

#33

Behemoth – Evangelion (2009): Kind of like Immortal, I knew nothing about Behemoth except for what I had read online. After I saw the ‘Ov Fire And The Void’ video, I had the obsession with checking out the band. Just like Immortal, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed EVANGELION because Black Metal isn’t usually my thing but what struck me was just how brutal the music sounds. The guitars, bass and drums are just so fast and heavy that you have to take notice. EVANGELION helped me start to open my Black Metal horizons and I went from trying to understand Behemoth to enjoying Behemoth.

#32

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctis (2009): This latest album from Edguy was originally released in late 2008 but it didn’t receive a proper U.S. release until January from Nuclear Blast so I’m going with what the back of the CD says and it’s a 2009 album. I’ve been an Edguy fan since basically the beginning so their Power Metal style is what i like best but the band has gone for more of a Hard Rock style here. I had a hard time getting into this album at first because I kept comparing it to the old Edguy sound, once I got past that I started to enjoy the album a lot more. Turns out I played TINNITUS SANCTUS more as the year progressed and I kept coming back to it.

#31

Saga – The Human Condition (2009): Saga has been churning out melodic Progressive Rock for 38 years and I have been keeping up with the band on and off since 1982. One of the things that helped define the overall Saga sound through the years was the superb vocals from founding member Michael Sadler…..but he left the band in 2007 after a 36 year tenure. Enter ex-Final Frontier vocalist Rob Morrati and he puts on a performance that makes you forget that Sadler just vacated the mic. This was one of the greatest comebacks of the year!

#30

Dream Theater – Black Clouds & Silver Linings (2009): When Dream Theater releases an album I always know that it’s going to be a good one, then band just releases good albums every single time. Six songs spanning 75+ minutes and that’s just Disc 1! I always have to listen closely to Dream theater records because there are so many layers of sound and this one was no exception, what really stood out was that there was a song that clocked in just under 6 minutes (‘Wither’)! Add the 2 bonus discs and this turned out to be a great package to listen to.

#29

Queensryche – American Soldier (2009): My review is long and it may not reflect the fact that I really enjoyed AMERICAN SOLDIER, the first Queensryche album I’ve enjoyed since 1997. The first thing I needed to do was accept the fact that old ’80s Queensryche is gone and that the band has gone into more Progressive and Epic musical directions. The overall sound is full and layered but it’s the subject matter that really made the album, what is more relevant in today’s society than how soldiers cope with war? Some of the record was repetitive lyrically but the album just flowed every time I listened to it. I bought this when it first came out and I waited until late October to finally unwrap it, I think I would appreciate it more if I had listened to it all along. ‘At 30,00 Ft.’ is one of my favorite songs of the year.

#28

Megadeth – Endgame (2009): Like I said in my review, I haven’t fully recovered from 1999′s RISK debacle. UNITED ABOMINATIONS (2007) started me back on the Megadeth bandwagon and ENDGAME follows closely to cement the band back into my good graces. ENDGAME isn’t a pure Thrash record but it’s heavy, I think it’s more traditional Heavy Metal with some Thrash moments. It’s clear that Dave Mustaine and company have a solid direction and a desire to re-conquer the Metal world.

#27

Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009): If it wasn’t for me discovering Hammerfall in 1997 then I wouldn’t be the big Power Metal fan I am today. They basically single-handedly revived the Power Metal scene with it’s traditional style and soaring vocals. The problem with the last few albums is that they all just sounded the same and Hammerfall started to become a footnote in the now overly crowded Power Metal world. This album reminds me of the first three Hammerfall albums and it’s the first one since 2000 that I’ve really enjoyed. I had this ranked higher but, as 2009 progressed, there were better albums in the same genre. That said, this is still a solid album full of great powerful songs and Joacim Cans sound better than ever but I’m still not sure what the band was thinking with a cover of The Knack’s ‘My Sharona’!

#26

Stratovarius – Polaris (2009): Remember what I said about better Power Metal albums? POLARIS is one of the big reasons why both Grave Digger and Hammerfall fell a little in this year’s best of list. I really didn’t expect much from Startovarius…..I had actually forgotten all about the band because it has been four years since the bands last album. Add a lot of new members, especially replacing guitarist Timo Tolkki, and this was a recipe for disaster. I got this album when it came out and left it in the pile, I just started listening to it a couple months ago and I missed out on some serious music. Had I started listening to this record when I got it, I probably would rank it higher because it hasn’t left my daily playlist. Another great comeback this year!

——————————————————————————————

Please check out The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#1-#10) and The Top 40 Albums of 2009 (#11-#25) for the rest of this year’s countdown.

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.

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009)

edguy_-_tinnitus_sanctus

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009, Nuclear Blast)

  1. Ministry Of Saints
  2. Sex Fire Religion
  3. The Pride Of Creation
  4. Nine Lives
  5. Wake Up Dreaming Black
  6. Dragonfly
  7. Thorn Without A Rose
  8. 9-2-9
  9. Speedhoven
  10. Dead Or rock
  11. Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too!?

Band Lineup:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitars
Dirk Sauer – Guitars
Tobias Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Producer: Sascha Paeth

Country: Germany

Total Time = 53:37

Edguy
Edguy Myspace page
Nuclear Blast Germany
Nuclear Blast USA

In January 2008, Tobias Sammet released the latest Avantasia opus THE SCARECROW and it was my Album of the Year. The all-star lineup and specific attention to songwriting really made THE SCARECROW shine but Avantasia is Sammet’s side project and his focus has turned to his primary band…..Edguy.

I got into Edguy back in the late ’90s when I started scooping up albums like VAIN GLORY OPERA (1998) and THEATER OF SALVATION (1999) at the local record shop. Power Metal was having a huge resurgence with Hammerfall, Rhapsody and Blind Guardian leading the way and I was hooked right away so getting into Edguy was easy. Fast forward to 2006 and Sammet and company released the Hard Rock styled ROCKET RIDE and I just couldn’t get into it. It was still Edguy, it was still Power Metal, but with more of a ’80s Hard Rock commercial sound. From then on I put my faith in other Power Metal bands and Edguy became secondary to Avantasia. Less than a year later (TINNITUS SANCTUS was released in December in Europe and Japan), the new Edguy album arrived and I was hoping that a little of the inspiration Tobias had for THE SCARECROW would be heard in Edguy.

Opening song ‘Ministry Of Saints’ gets the Traditional/Power Metal feast started with it’s Judas Priest and Saxon styled songcraft and guitar solos with a touch of melodic harmonies that give it a bit more of a commercial sound. Euro-flavoured Hard Rock is the best way to describe ‘Sex Fire Religion’ with it’s thumping bass and cock rock styled lyrics. It’s definitely a catchy “hair band” styled song complete with sexually retarded lyrics and hooky chorus but made awkward by the band’s Euro-Metal background. It seems like Edguy is trying too hard to be sexually clever. Back to pure Power Metal and speed with ‘The Pride Of Creation’, my favorite track on the album. The guitars duel in almost a Dragonforce style frenzy and the chorus is the catchiest I’ve heard on the whole album. This is what Edguy does best, or should I say Avantasia? This could easily be a track from THE METAL OPERA or THE SCARECROW and this is what I was hoping the entire TINNITUS album would sound like. ‘The Pride Of Creation’ is the perfect blend of the two styles Sammet is trying to combine.

‘Nine Lives’ continues the perfect blend of new and old Edguy songwriting and it kind of reminds me of the direction Primal Fear started to go with on NEW RELIGION. ‘Nine Lives’ retains the Metal, slows down a little toward sthe middle and finds it’s melodic groove. Same thing could be said of ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’ but it’s a heavier track with more straightforward bass and guitar. ‘Dragonfly’ conjures up the mid-tempo Hard Rock rhythms and ’80s style riffs that the band has been incorporating into their sound, it sounds forced and the chorus has too much of a choral effect. I like the solo though it sounds very George Lynch and, now that I think of it, ‘Dragonfly’ could easily be a lost Dokken tune! Ballad time comes with ‘Thorn Without A Rose’…..is it a play on Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’? Maybe only in the title because the song is more bombastic than any ballad Poison ever released. It’s a very catchy song with a Pop Metal commercial vibe.

’9-2-9′ is another commercial sounding song but its a little heavier/faster, it kind of reminds me of the first Westworld album and the late ’90′s Melodic Metal movement. ‘Speedhoven’ has a classic rock element to it with the appearance of a Hammond organ in the mix but the song is Power Metal through and through while ‘Dead Or Rock’ (a title straight from the Saxon lyric book!) is classic ’80s styled Hard Rock with touches of Motley Crue, commercial Judas Priest and Saxon…..great guitar work on this song. Last tune on the album is ‘Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too?!’, Edguy’s stab at a Country & Western joke song. It’s songs like this that piss me off because they just ruin good albums…..the lyrics are just plain bad, worse than anything Gene Simmons could think up and I don’t like the C&W music. I know it’s a joke song (featuring the band as Granato Rambocco & The Killers) but that’s what bothers me…..you waste space on an album and then they will drop another EP on us in a couple of months with a few non-album tracks. I’d rather the album stop after ‘Dead Or Rock’ or get another solid original.

Bottom Line:
TINNITUS SANCTUS has been a hard listen for me since it received a proper U.S. release at the end of January. I’ve spent a good six weeks listening to this record and some days I love it and some I have a hard time getting into it. There is enough Power Metal to satisfy the old school Edguy fan in me and there is a lot of melodic Hard Rock songs that are pretty good but seem a little out of place when compared to the band’s previous albums. What I did on this album was stop comparing current Edguy to old Edguy and I liked it a lot more. Bands are allowed to change their sound and Edguy has done a good job with their new direction but another of my problems is getting by some of the bad lyrics…..you can go to a simpler sound, a Hard Rock sound, but you don’t have to dumb things down. Overall I liked the album a lot despite some of my complaints.

Favorite Songs:
‘Ministry Of Saints’, ‘The Pride Of Creation’, ‘Nine Lives’, ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’, ’9-2-9′, ‘Dead Or Rock’

NOTE: This album was also released as a 2 disc set with a live set on the bonus CD.

Weekend Playlist

The only good thing about inventory week at work is that I get the entire weekend off! Faced with plenty of time on my hands, and a lot of new CDs, I spent a lot of time in front of the stereo…..

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009): I just realized that I made the new Edguy March’s album of the month and I never got around to reviewing it! I’ve been spending a lot of time on this CD all week and I can’t get passed some of the juvenile lyrics but so far I like the album.

Nashville Pussy – From Hell To Texas (2009): I started on Nashville Pussy with their first record, LET THEM EAT PUSSY (1998), but I never got into them past 2000′s HIGH AS HELL. I got this CD in the mail and I really got into it…..look for a review this week.

Siren’s Gate – Haunt Me (2008): I enjoy all forms of female-fronted Metal but I do like the atmospheric/gothic/orchestrated style the best. Bands like The Gathering, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Lana Lane and After Forever all occupy space in my collection. Siren’s Gate is in the same mold as the bands and this E.P. is a more like a demo but still pretty good. Review coming…..

Great White – Rising (2009): I just got this in the mail the other day and I broke the cellophane and gave it a single spin.

Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009): Just like the new Great White, I got this CD in Saturday afternoon so it only got the first spin this weekend.

My 10 yr. old daughter is starting to raid Daddy’s CD collection and sample different bands so I had to teach Metal 101 to her a little over the weekend. I pulled out a few greatest hits/live albums to give her an idea of what some bands sounded like but she started looking on her own. Here are some of the albums she picked out and we listened to…..her Twisted Sister obsession is still going strong!

Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid (1991)

Saxon – Denim & Leather (1981)

AC/DC – Back In Black (1980)

Motorhead – Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (1998)

Scorpions – Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years (1997)

Desperado – Bloodied, But Unbowed (1996)

Dee Snider – Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down (2000)

Twisted Sister – Still Hungry (2004)

Anvil – Anthology Of Anvil (2000)

Current playlist

It’s been a very long weekend and I’m up late trying to recoup after a hellish night at work. I spent the day re-organizing all my CDs but I spent more time spinning the discs than actually getting them uploaded to my database! So here’s a few albums I listened to before work and now after work…..good music relaxes the soul…..

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009): I started out with this new record from Edguy and it is really good. Is it me or is Tobias Sammet everywhere lately? As long as he keeps putting out good material with Edguy and Avantasia, I’ll still be picking the stuff up. I found some holes in my Edguy collection so I’ll be trying to fill them ASAP.

SBS (Spicy Bits Of Scandal) – The Gambler (2009): SBS is a Heavy Metal band from Italy and they were nice enough to send their latest album along for a review. Very nice package with a DVD too, I’ve been enjoying this Traditional/Power Metal album all week. The full band name through me off (it sounds like a Glam band) but SBS is all Metal…..very good so far.

Buckcherry – Black Butterfly (2008): I have had this album since it came out but I just haven’t been able to get into it, one day I like it and the next I think it’s average. I’ve been a fan of the band since they first came out (before ‘Lit Up’ became a hit single) but I think they can be brilliant at times and dumb as stumps the other. The latest single (‘Too Drunk Too Fuck’) is good but it seems like Buckcherry always needs to have that danceable single that is blatantly explicit. It’s like they are trying too hard. Not out of the playlist yet, I need more time.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): I’m going to the show Friday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut so I wanted to give this record some spins this week so its fresh. I know the rest of the Crue catalog by heart so SOLA gets the refresher.

Ratt – s/t (1999): I had to dig this out because Metal Mark had a Lesser Of Two Evils column with this album at Heavy Metal Time Machine, I had to give this a fresh listen to see if it was as bad as I remember. At the time, I was psyched to get new Ratt but it wasn’t as good as the Great White album that came out at the same time.

Great White – Can’t Get There From Here (1999): Awesome record! Great White toured with Poison, Ratt and LA Guns in the Summer of 1999 and a buddy and I drove the 8 hours to catch the show in the Pittsburgh area. The cool thing for me was that I knew all the new Great White tunes because I bought the Japanese import a couple weeks earlier. I saw that tour 3 times that summer……

Def Leppard – Euphoria (1999): Another great record from ’99! People slag this album because it sounds too processed (like HYSTERIA) but I thought it was a great return to the classic Def Lep sound (depending on which era you think is classic). I thought ‘Promises’ was a great single the whole record had potential but it got buried by the record company. Even the band doesn’t really recognize it. When Def Lep is live they have visuals on the big screen…..they show all the album artwork and they always skip EUPHORIA.

Snatch – If The Party Is In Your Mouth, We’re Coming (1985): Another album from Metal Mark and the Heavy Metal Time Machine! He had a post about this album and I just had to find it because the title is just so bad! I actually became obsessed with finding it and I found a copy locally for a few dollars. I set up my USB turntable and decided to break the seal with this album…..definitely not a lost gem musically but certainly a timepiece of the bottom of the ’80s barrel.

CD Scavenger Hunt – Catching up already in 2009!

Here we go….. we are only one month into 2009 and I have been picking up some good CDs every week online, in stores and from Ebay. So here’s what I’ve bought so far this year…..

Record Store

Saxon – Into The Labyrinth (2009) – $11.88: I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of the album back in December but I had to go out and buy the proper CD because Saxon is one of my favorite bands. Unfortunately the local shop only had the regular version and not the limited edition with the bonus DVD. I’ll get that one eventually…..

Grand Magus – Iron Will (2008) – $15: I saw this album on a ton of year end best of lists so I put it on my want list. I hit the record store to get the new saxon and I found this CD in the section reserved for picks from the staff.

Grave Digger – Ballads Of A Hangman (2009) – $11.88: I had to get this album after I was shut out from picking up the PRAY E.P. that was released two weeks earlier. I’ve been a Grave Digger fan since around ’85 and I always like their new albums. The version I bought was the limited edition digipak that includes a bonus cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Jailbreak’.

Iron Fire – To The Grave (2009) – $11.88: The new Iron Fire was released the same day as the new Grave Digger (both bands are on Napalm Records) and the were both on sale for $11.88. Just like BALLADS OF A HANGMAN, TO THE GRAVE came in a limited edition digipak with a bonus track…..’Blacksmith Of Thunder’.

Alestorm – Leviathan E.P. (2009) – $7: I have wanted to check out Alestorm for a long time but I never got around to buying CAPTAIN MORGAN’S Revenge (2008) last year. I figured spending 7 bucks on the E.P. would be a good introduction.

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009) – $10: Tobias Sammet is a very busy guy with new albums from Avantasia and Edguy in one year. Technically, this record was released in December 2008 everywhere but North America and there is a limited edition 2CD set that includes a live show and videos. Unfortunately the record shop only had the regular edition but you can’t beat a $10 sale price!

Twisted Sister – Under the Blade (1982/1999 reissue) – $10: I thought I had this in my collection already but I was wrong. My 10 yr. old daughter, who is obsessed with Twisted Sister, pointed out the missing album to me a couple of weeks ago so that put UNDER THE BLADE at the top of the want list. Talk about pressure…..my kid wouldn’t stop talking about it and how I needed to buy it. I was looking through a markdown/sale bin just before checking out and I found it. I went home and loaded it into my daughter’s iPod before she got home from school.

Ebay/Online

Eden’s Curse – Seven Deadly Sins E.P. (2008) and The Second Coming (2008) – $20: I have wanted to give Eden’s Curse a try ever since Melodicrock.com listed the band’s self-titled debut in their Top 5 albums of 2007. The same website is offering special deals for visitors through an Artist Of The Week feature so I was able to get both albums for $20, a great deal! Now I need to pick up that first album!

Bittersweet – Loaded Up (1988-1992) – $13: One night last week I was searching local bands from Rhode Island (my home state) and stumbled upon Bittersweet. Taking a closer look, I noticed they were signed to Retrospect Records and an official CD of 20 songs from ’88-’92 was released recently. I checked out their MySpace page to hear samples and everything sounded really good so I went to the Retrospect website and Ebay and I won the album for $10 ($3 shipping)…..I saved $5 off the CD price by purchasing on Ebay and the seller is really the guy that runs Retrospect Records. I can’t wait to hear this album.

Loudness – Metal Mad (2008) – $18.55: I featured this album in my WANTED! column back in September 2008 and I have been on the lookout for this album for a full year. METAL MAD was released in Japan back in late February 2008 and it never got a distribution deal for North America, prices were around $35 average (shipping included) to get an import copy from Japan. Starting price on this one was $5 and I put in a high bid of $20. The seller is located in New Jersey, about an 8 hour drive from Rhode Island, so the mail should only take a few days. I won the CD for $15.55 and the shipping was $3…..a steal!