A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


5/5
BOHZE ONKELS
Ein bohses Marchen
2000
Rule 23
punk metal
Finally it happened!!! The new album of probably my favorite German band is now a part of my collection. There has always been something about this band. You can't actually tell what it is - maybe it's the vocals of Kevin Russel or straight and stunning lyrics of the bass player - Stephan Weidner. Unfortunately lots of people in Germany and outside the country (if there are any that know about BO) still think of the Onkelz as a nazi or a fascist band. That's absolutely unfair because the band was tagged this way since they have released the first album. Maybe it isn't their best record (and definitely not the most politically correct one either) but the band has definitely nothing to do with nazis at the moment. Anyway Bohse Onkelz still gather huge concert halls all across Germany - not bad for an "illicit" band. But enough of history and legal preambles - back to the record. So what are the Onkelz 2000 like? (By the way there is a track called "Onkelz 2000" on the record - very modest indeed). There is only one answer to this question - Onkelz 2000 are absolutely like Onkelz 1995 or Onkelz 1998. Of course I'm a bit overacting here but there has always been one feature of this band that I particulary liked - it's their consistency. Their style hasn't changed much since the beginning of the nineties and I was literally shocked when I read some interview with Stephan Weidner where he said that the previous album ("Viva los Tioz") was an experimental record. If it is experimental can anybody tell me what kind of experiment it was? "Ein bohses Marchen" is some sort of a sequel to the previous album, but with a bit more mid-tempo songs. The whole sound of the band has "softened" (if this word is applicable to Russel's vocals), there aren't any teeth-smashing fast-tempo hits as "Danke fur nichts" or "Ihr sollt den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben". Maybe it will be a little early to say but I think that the band is moving from heavy punk rock (or punk metal, as you wish) into some sort of hard rock direction with high quality production and clarion sound (however strange this might sound). If it's the right direction or not - only time will tell. From my point of view this album is one of their best records, containing both raw energy & at the same time "polished" sound. I think that Bohse Onkelz have chosen the only right direction. Viva los Tioz!!! (Big Daddy)

2/5
BURIAL
Enlightened with Pain
2000
Lost Disciple Rec.
death/grind (meat)
Do you know what nostalgia is? Seems like the Burial guys know it quite well. Otherwise they wouldn't have issued a CD that is actually a quintessence of all that was done in the Meat department of deadly metal. Yeah! So many meat bands made me feel that someone is really starving and that the times of vegetarian metal have gone away. 'Disfigured in Pain', 'Scorn and Castigation', 'Skullfucked' - that's only some of the song titles. Have you listened to early stuff made by Cannibal Corpse, Mortification or other 'TION'-bands © - well that's the music you are to hear on the 'Enlightened with Pain': cannot-make-out-a-word vocals, high velocity riffs, that are of being-heard-somewhere type, bulldozer-like drumming. Nothing interesting. Boring, repetitive and mediocre. Two fists. (Felix the Katt)

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3/5
CHILDREN OF BODOM
Follow The Reaper
2000
Spinefarm Records
speed'n'black

The Children are back with their new LP. Bodom Lake is blood-coloured again. After 2 years of silence once more the Finns are ready to make our ears ache. The music is the same keyboard-blended speed'n'black. Every member of the band takes everything possible out of his instrument. The keyboards are excellent, they give every song its... Well, let's say they spice every track with its own diversity. But as to the rest of it, what the listener gets here is just this same pattern COB used two years ago, as well as on their previous LPs. Still there are some differences. For instance the thematic background of the album, that deals with the misterious Reaper (the never-found murderer of poor young boys on the shores of the Bodom lake) - 'Follow the Reaper', 'Bodom After Midnight', 'Taste My Scythe'. Another major change on this disk concerned the production department. And what do we see? Oh, dammit, not him again - it's Peter Tagtgren and his Abyss Studios. Although, to my mind 'Follow The Reaper' is one of the seldom examples, that was not spoiled by him. Wanna know why? There was nothing to spoil. The guys just played as they got used to. So the only really notable change, we are left with, is the sound quality, that has dramatically improved, if compared to the band's earlier records. Nothing more to say. As you probably noticed already there are many 'same' words in this review. May be it's good for the band to change nothing (having the In Flame-ish example in mind as well as many others). I mean, no or almost no development is somehow also a sort of a development. (Felix da Katt).

P.S. The Japanese version of the album contains a bonus Ozzy Osbourne-cover.

5/5
DORO
Calling The Wild
2000
Steamhammer
hard'n'heavy with a taste of industrial

Can you believe it? The Lady is back to the Rock'n'Roll Hell that she has been striving so hard to leave in the past few years. Terrible industrialised affair "Love Me In Black" almost succeeded in killing the fans' respect to Doro, but now she seems to have come back to her senses and releases an album which takes you back to the glorious days of rock'n'roll radios and heavy metal on MTV. "Calling The Wild" is still industrialised a little, but now electronics are only an addition to heavy guitars and authentic drums. Strangely enough, the song where samples and stuff are used the most ("Ich Kenne Alles") is one of the best on the record. To back up her own material, Doro plays two cover songs, namely Billy Idol's "White Wedding" and Motorhead's "Love Me Forever." The latter is performed in a duet with Lemmy himself (what a surprise!) - (is it? somehow Lemmy never missed an opportunity to sing in a duet with aa girl... ;) -- the ed), though the man's voice sounds somewhat strange here. The digipack contains yet another duet of this 'beauty and the beast' alliance - it is entitled "Alone Again." A very good record, this one. Not as good as "Angels Never Die" or "Triumph And Agony," though, but far better than I expected. Those who liked Doro's music in the late 80s and early 90s should not miss this release. (Maniac)

3/5
ENSLAVED
Mandarum - Beyond the Within
2000
Osmose Productions
viking metal
Frustrating music for frustratable fans made by frustrated musicians... I dont know, probably I dont understand something here, but I just fail to see any message or point in this album, at least musically. Not that I have ever been a fan of this particular act, but still, usually when you hear an album you can see there is some sort of a focus there, some sort of an end target, aim, or whatever other impact the makers wanted to put into it. You might accept it or not, but regardless of that, in 99 percent of the cases it is there and you can read it quite clearly. Even when it is chaotic and inconsistent, there always is some sort of order put into it. Well, this record is more like a 50-some minutes jam session, which wasnt even mixed properly. What is even more annoying is that you can hear that these musicians are not like completely lost in themselves, they are true professionals when it comes to handling their instruments and riff-making, but its like there is no stem in it. I can say it absolutely frankly that I liked about 90 percent of the guitar parts I heard here, and the drumming is flawless as well, but, there are no songs. When it comes to structuring the compositions for the end product Enslaved are beyond help. It is like a body without a skeleton. When you hear it for the first time you start searching for something to hook to and to your greatest disappointment never find anything but a solid wall of sound. Ironically, the subtitle of the record - Beyond the Within - is, to my mind, the best and the most graphic description you can get of it. At the same time I might be wrong, quite possibly the Enslaved fans and their kin will like this album and call me a clueless inconsiderate jerk. Or else, I might give it a couple of more tries and change my opinion radically. Or never find it in my rack again after doing this review. So to be on the safe side Ill give it a cautious fans-only three, and let the sleeping dogs lie. (Troll)

5/5
HALFORD
Resurrection
2000
Metal-IS
heavy metal
What the f**k? A master borrowing from his apprentices? That's what I thought after hearing the song "Made In Hell" from Halford's latest CD. To see Rob recording a track which is so similar to Helloween's "I Want Out" (yes, you got it right) was a literal shock to me. However it is the only drawback of the almost perfect record. Very heavy and very groovy songs fit wonderfully with Rob's voice, and we all know how the man can sing. Parallels with Judas Priest are obvious, but only on faster tracks which are few on the disk. The rest are mid-tempo songs sounding very similar to what Bruce Dickinson was doing on "Balls To Picasso," but much heavier. Maybe it is the blame (or the merit) of Roy Z., the producer of both discs. To complete the impression Bruce helps with the vocals on the song "The One You Love To Hate" - the duet which really deserves to be heard. All songs are high-quality here, even the above-mentioned "Made In Hell" sounds very cool, but my personal favourite is "Silent Screams" which starts as a ballad and then gradually turns into a head-on speed metal attack. That's a true resurrection. Hats off to Rob! (Maniac)

4-/5
JORN
Starfire
2000
Frontiers Records
hard'n'heavy
Who the hell is this Jorn? Well, he is better known as Jorn Lande, former singer of a band called The Snakes and the best imitator of David Coverdale ever. It is obvious that since he quit The Snakes and went solo, he started to look for his own, more personal style, but the spheres in which he is looking for it are very surprising for me. Look, the man releases his first solo record, invites John Macaluso (Yngwie Malmsteen), Tore Ostby (Conception), Ronny Le Tekro (TNT) and may others to play on it, and records a total of five (!) cover versions which make a half of the disc's total running time. I could have understood the move if Jorn's compositions were crap, but on the contrary, his own songs ("Starfire," "Gate of Tears") sound even better here, so the purpose of the record is absolutely unclear to me. If that's a demonstration of Jorn's diversity in vocal capabilities and styles, the man definitely succeeded, as Coverdale-like intonations are only apparent in the cover version of Deep Purple's "Burn" (originally performed by David himself). If the general theme is to introduce the younger generation of hard rock fans to the bands like Journey, Foreigner and Jefferson Starship, he has also quite succeeded (though his version of Foreigner's "Break It Up" sounds like a copy of DC Cooper-era Royal Hunt). However Jorn's true composing and songwriting talents are not apparent, and we will probably have to wait for the next record to see if he really can write the number of cool songs enough to make a good record. I rated "Starfire" at four points, but then deducted a half-point due to the song "Forever Yours" which is another silly love ballad of the likes I cannot stand anymore. I mean, what makes so many hard rockers write songs with promises of eternal love and faithfulness till the very end? Are they generally more romantic than the musicians playing other types of heavy music? Or are they more willing to cash in on radioplay of their typical and boring, but well accessible stuff? A mystery, folks, I'm telling you, a mystery. Go check this out and make your own judgement. But don't forget that the package sucks awfully hard and you better listen at least something from the disc before you buy it. (Maniac)

2/5
KRABATHOR
Unfortunately Dead
2000
Impact Records
death

Ugh... What in the hell is that supposed to mean? Everyone around me is talking about this really good Czech death metal act, and all of the other bands I get from this country are totally cool, and these are supposed to be like the oldest and the best on the scene, so I rush to the store already anticipating to hear the brutal ol' school death metal I used to love so back in my days, and what do I get? The greatest death metal swindle this is! And those are classics? My arse! Mediocre high school garage band, more bloody likely... Where is the promised diversity? Where are the alleged killer riffs? Where is that wild growling I heard about so much? Where is all that? Instead what I got here was 46 minutes of the most boring music you could ever imagine. Like all of the songs are going along with one and the same bumble-bee riff with the musicians not bothering to change the rhythm at least every once in a while. Moreover, this is not even original. To me it just sounds like a very bad attempt at early Morbid Angel and SOD, with the only exception that it just does not rock. Stupid! Stupid and boring! There is not even one good song here, because all of them are the same and all of them are equally crap. I might sound too ignorant and repetitive here, but this album is ignorant and repetitive, so... Seems like staff rotation did not do the band any good. Extremely disappointing... (Troll)

4/5
MERCYLESS
Sure to be Pure
2000
System Shock
hardcore with a touch of thrash
Time is the wind. It flows with such a high velocity that sometimes we don't even notice we are growing older. Our tastes change and very often with a 180 degrees amplitude. Mecryless (with Y in the middle!) is a France-residing band. Once, a really long time ago, the country used to be known for having a very strong death metal scene, but seasons change, as we said already, many bands once being leaders now have become deadly ghosts. Where are the Loudblast, Massacra, Mercyless we used to know? After years of silence Loudblast reunite only for one concert (Death Tribute). Massacra, this legendary death metal band of the early 90ies, seems to have been totally erased from our memories. And Mercyless. Eight years ago they issued their debut LP 'Abject Offerings'. It was true death metal. I liked the album. Now 8 years later I was a bit surprised and taken aback when I found their '99 LP 'Cold' in the music store. I rushed home, turned on my stereo. The thing that blasted out of the speakers had almost NOTHING to do with Death metal. What I heard was thrash/hardcore with Pantera/Machine Head-like vocals. Nevertheless the album turned out to be a good one and a true competitor for the hard-core scene inhabitants. Well yesterday I bought the band's '2K album 'Sure to be Pure'. Should I say that the now fashionable logo change made me wonder about the forthcoming novelties of the album. What it turned out to be was pretty much the same hard-core angry metal with the vocals this time definitely sounding like those of Max Cavalera. Musically the Frenchmen produce very qualitative riffology sometimes reminding of the band's 'deadly' past. The thing I liked most of all is the atmosphere. It's in every song, especially in the last one. Lyrics-wise the guys seem to have put a cross on their anti-religious past and write about social problems, life and even love. All-in-all Mercyless still justifies its name.
P.S. Remember that if a band completely changed the style it doesn't mean that you have to forget it. Give it a chance. Mecryless is an excellent example. (Felix the Katt)

5/5
MORBID ANGEL
Gateway to Annihilation
2000
Earache records
a typical sweet and romantic soul boy-band errr What? ;)
Ladies and gentlemen, it has arrived! The long expected and much anticipated new release of the true kings of death metal is hovering over the planet ready to strike down upon the putrid and disgusting spawn that has infested this ball of dirt. After the not so successful 1997 album, that in my humble opinion was way too obscure and unfinished, Morbid Angel have come up with what can be called the heaviest record in the history of mankind. Mamma mia, it's just impossible this is! The slow, meat grinding guitar riffs are coming at you wave after wave like a sand storm gradually burying you under their mass. You see them cover your face gradually and methodically and you know that in a few minutes the light will be gone, but you simply cannot move under their weight. Oh yes, the Maestro of Black Guitar Magic has done it again, leaving one bemused and wondering just how the hell does the man do it. I mean, honestly, fitting those solos into this wall of noise and rumble is something beyond the power of a normal human being. And well, with regard to the fact that he is also the one responsible for making up the main riffs, I am starting to seriously doubt that his second name is actually a pseudonym That's just not right somehow, you know what I'm saying? Furthermore, that's not all quite yet. I mean, okay, one fiend in a metal band is fine with me, don't have a problem with it, nothing against it, fineyou know it's really not a problem whatever But three more of them?! Are we in for a pandemonium around here or something? Well, guess what - we are! While you stand there, mesmerised by the sophisticated mind-twisting coils of Azagtoth's solos, his partner Eric Rutan is kicking it in with a not as complex probably, but by no means less effective guitar technique. I am not sure what it is called properly or if there actually is any name for it, but well, try to imagine a pitch somewhere in between a bulldozer and a 800ccl sport-bike, and you'll get close enough. Impressive? Sure is, especially with the artillery cannonade in the background that, at a closer look, turns out to be none other but Pete "Commando" Sandoval and his lovely pair of drumsticks. And, last but not least, topping it all off in the most brutal and impolite manner in comes the earth-quaking growling of Mr. Stephen Tucker. Baby, it just don't get any better then this.
P.S. Careful with the volume controls - one wrong move and yer history ;)
(Troll)


1/5
ORIGIN
Origin
2000
Relapse Records
meat
If I was asked about the motto of this album that would be definitely 'No remorse, no repent, we don't care what it meant, another day, another death, another sorrow, another breath'. Well seems like 17 years ago Metallica was writing about meat metal and definitely about Origin as a true representative of that brutal type of heavy music. 30 minutes of no hope for future, 30 minutes erasing your brains, making them screaming in pain - 'Turn it off!' I wonder what kind of origin the guys wanted to be? As for the music, there is no music at all. One and the same riff. Songs differ each from another by small pauses, when a lead singer seems to have time only to have a deep breath. What a monotonous stupidity. You see, after listening to this piece of noise I felt sorry for the BURIAL guys. They were much more interesting. Panzerchrist are true composers. Meat Mozarts! And Origin, saying in terms of grindfathers Napalm Death, are followers, not leaders. Absolutely nothing interesting or FFO (for fans only). (Felix the Katt)

4-/5
PANZERCHRIST
Soul collector
2000
Mighty Music
Cannon meat grindcore

Have you ever spoken to your grandfathers about the Second World War? Or may be some of you, gentlemen, probably thought in their childhood to become an armor commander? Seems like the Panzerchrist warlords had the same ideas and feelings. OK, let's charge our cannon balls and have a close-up of the dudes who enlisted Jesus to the military service. This is already the third LP of this Danish band. The vocals on the disk are performed by none else but Bo Summers of Illdisposed. The five-strong hate squad also includes a female bassist named Karina (seems like this is becoming a trend for bands with a focus on the war theme, remember the Bolt Thrower Snow-whitey?) Anyways, so what is this all about? Well, kinda obvious - war, death and destruction. Oh my Panzergott, do I just love the song-titles! Take this, for instance, - der Panzertoter, Panzergrenadier, P2Krieg. Charming, isn't it? But what struck me most here and made me gazing into the rack spellbound was track four - the already mentioned Panzergrenadier. I mean just imagine this: the most violent and disgusting death riff you could ever think of playing in the background of what turns out to be nothing else but one of my favorite monologues from Devil's Advocate (the Al Pacino movie). Weird? Maybe, but it kicks fricking ass any day of the weekend! But, alas, I guess we have gone too far from the music itself - ehhh... the meat product of the highest quality, brought forward to you by the natives of the land that presented the world with the all-too-known Steff & Houlberg sausage. Blowing away riffs, bombardier drumming, catchy solos, diverse melody patterns. Well done, although obviously that's not for veggies. (Felix da Katt)

POSTMORTEM
Storm force
2000
Morbid records
Trash core
Total recall! To tell you all the very truth that lies in my heart - I dunno how to rate this CD. This is an EP of the forthcoming album of one of the most famous German death-thrash bands. The disk contains 5 tracks - all in all around 20 minutes, - of which the first two were taken from the previous albums and were mixed and electrocuted by Ron Thiele (Dreadful Shadows). The work that was done is really interesting 'cause the songs sound different and the style is definitely unusual for the Postmortem guys. Track three is just a remastered (no one knows what for!) version of a song originally to be found on one of the Morbid Rec. compilations. And the two last tracks represent the UNRELEASED demo versions, which are completely of no interest to anyone outside the band's fanbase. As I already mentioned this EP just prepares us for the new full-lenght coming out in February 2001. That one should have even more remixed versions, more demo-sessions, more remastered stuff, 2 or 3 new songs and even a cover version of Madonna's 'Beautiful Stranger.' But what for do we need such a disk. I mean why the guys could not release a 'normal' CD with a cover version? As for me the only thing I really long to hear is a thrash/death Madonna's cover. I understand that this review can be regarded as a totally stupid and non-competent, but Hell tell me would YOU pay some 10$ for an EP with nothing new? I wouldn't. For fans only. (Felix da Katt)

5/5
PRO-PAIN
Round 6
2000
Nuclear Blast
hard core
Whoever said a majour label always spoils an underground band and makes their sound commercial? Let the liar have his forked filthy tongue sliced off! It might be true in some cases, but definitely not with Pro-Pain. The four bald kings of the New York hard core, now signed with one of the planet's biggest metal record companies, are kicking the door in again with full force. The non-compromising raw power and pumping aggression are just the same here as on any other Pro-Pain CD. I don't know, but I think Pro-Pain fans are probably the luckiest people in the world, at least in the world of heavy music they are. Because while the others are awaiting the new albums of their favourite bands with a mixed feeling of anticipation and fear of whatever their idols are going to do this time, the Pro-Pain fans know pretty damn well what they're going to be in for with each and every new record coming their way. "Round 6" is no exception. In fact I think a parallel with boxing is a very good metaphor in this case. I mean, to say that boxing is erm a bit straightforward and not too intelligent a sport would be saying nothing. But nonetheless it has always been a great fun to watch and millions of people around the world would pay huge amounts of money just to see two sweaty dudes punching the living begeezuz out of each other somewhere in Vegas. Well, Pro-Pain is pretty much the same (although it is heaps more intelligent than boxing is) but, let's face it, the music of this act has always been pretty head-on. But, drokk it, does it just rock and does it just make you slam around to these budda-budda-budda-boo replica riffs, that the guys have been using for the past decade?! Besides, well, there're a couple of surprises here as well. Like a bit of clean vocals in one song (really just a bit of it and only in one song) and what sounds to me like a harmonica in the track that will undoubtedly enjoy a lot of radio airing and MTV-sponsored promotion, which is called "F**k It!" ;) But, once again, those are minors. The rest of it is just that same ole' fuck-shit-up hard core the New York style. Go get it, boyz! (Troll)

5/5
RHAPSODY
Dawn Of Victory
2000
Limb Music Prods.
fantasy metal

Brilliant! Who could have thought that Luca Turilli can come up with such a great number of melodies ranging from folk to classic? When Rhapsody's previous record ("Symphony Of Enchanted Lands") came out, I decided the band would never beat it. Not that I'm a huge Rhapsody fan, their music somehow failed to truly move me, but this time I'm really impressed. The second track blew my mind away instantly when I heard a high-speed variation on the theme of Russian folk dance Yablochko in the solo. However it was just the beginning, as the killer tracks kept on coming. IMHO, the best song is the first single "Holy Thunderforce", but the short instrumental tune "Trolls In The Dark" (hi Troll!) (well I never said I completely denied power metal... -- the ed.) is also one of my favourites. Even the epic track ("The Mighty Ride Of The Firelord") is interesting and not tiresome, probably because it is much shorter than the band's earlier attempts in this sphere. Overall, this is a killer album which all speed and power freaks should check out. I'm only doubtful whether Luka Turilli will be able to beat this disc as well by his next release. If so, he's a genius, believe me. (Maniac)

4/5
SKYCLAD
Folkemon
2000
Massacre
folk metal

The stylish cover says it all. Here are Skyclad, the originators of folk metal, the cult band of the early 90s, which later sank into oblivion with a row of quite good, but very similar to each other albums. "Folkemon" is unlikely to change anything in the band's market position. The album is very nice to listen to, it is full of great violin parts and satiric lyrics based on wordplay ("You Lost My Memory," "Think Back And Lie Of England"), but I can see absolutely no difference between this record and the previous few. Some songs here are undeniable hits ("The Great Brain Robbery"), others are typical for Skyclad, but the same was the situation on the previous releases. What can I say - Skyclad are the forefathers of folk metal, but their star was long ago outshined by younger and more versatile bands like In Extremo or Cruachan. I like Skyclad in general, and if you do too, you have apparently bought "Folkemon" much earlier than I set down to writing this review. If you've never heard the band before, the record will be a good chance to get into Skyclad, but any other album can serve for this purpose with an equal result. Good but unnecessary - sad but true.
P.S. I decided to give the album another spin and found one true difference - it's the brilliant hidden track "Swords Of A Thousand Men," which is a cover of the 80s punk rocker Tenpole Tudor. (remember "Who Killed Bambi?" by the Sex Pistols? He wrote that.) The track is really worth checking out, but does one non-typical track is worth buying the whole record? It's up to the listeners to decide. (Maniac)

4/5
SLASHS SNAKEPIT
Aint Life Grand
2000
Koch Entertainment
glam

Ive always said that the split of the Gunners was not that bad a thing really. Sure they were a cool band, and I mean, to me this was like the music of the good ol days of my 15 when everything seemed bright and cloudless and all. But, seriously, I am of the opinion that the fans only won from the band splitting up, cause instead of one good band they now had several of them - just think of it - Duff, Izzy, Gilby, Slash and even Matt were all involved in some sort of solo projects. And moreover, all of them were surprisingly good, if not spectacular. For instance, Duffs Believe in Me still is one of my personal favourites. At the same time, Slashs solo debut turned out to be pretty average if not mediocre. Yes, most of the songs were okay and the trademark solos were there, but the drive was missing. The album sounded flat, artificial, and was just not something everyone had been expecting from the man with no face. And, well, considering the fact that Its Five Oclock Somewhere was released in something like 1995 (if my memory serves me correct) I really didnt think there would be any continuation of the project. Seems like I have been wrong. Slash did not quit and moreover his latest is really something worth checking out for all of the GNR fans, Slashs fans, glam fans, and simply those who dig good blues-based music. The 12-tracked disk, is a hard-driven Cadillac on a long deserted highway somewhere amidst the sands of Southern Dakota, with the wind rushing through your hair and your spirits changing together with the rhythm and the speed of the ride. This is the kind of music that really blends nicely into almost any background, without taking to much of your attention and leaving you pretty enough space for thinking of something else, or else, if you feel like it, just humming along with it. Its really unlikely that youd remember any of the songs straight on the first listen, but, thats what so cool about it - it never gets boring and you always have a fair chance of discovering something new here. A definite four-fister. (Troll)

4/5
DEE SNIDER
Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down
2000
Koch Records
heavy/glam
A rumour has reached me that the charismatic Twisted Sister vocalist has decided to put an end to his singing career with this record. The more I'm listening to "Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down" the less I understand this decision. Why quit after such a hit record? It may be not as good as the legendary "Come Out And Play," but still better than all the stuff he has done afterwards. To tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting anything good from the man after his fiasco with the Widowmaker project and six years of silence. However when I heard the new record I loved it. It is heavy, it is well-played, and Mr. Snider's voice sounds like it used to in the midst of the 80s hard-rock heyday. The disc is packed with hits, the best of which are "Hard Core," "Our Voice Will Be Heard," "Ride Through The Storm" and the very original rendition of Status Quo's "The Wanderer." The music is a bit heavier than that of Twisted Sister and the sound in general reminds me more of Widowmaker, but the songs are much stronger here. I wish it was a comeback, but if it's a goodbye that Dee did his best to be remembered for may years to come with this record. (Maniac)

3+/5
TANZWUT
Labyrinth der Sinne
2000
EMI music
industrial folk core
Being a German band Tanzwut decided not to break their neck and wrote lyrics in German. A good move nowadays, especially if we remember such successful acts as, say, Rammstein. To make the impact even bigger the boys decided to get themselves a couple of pretty catchy nick-names such as Teufel (Devil) and Cactus and - bingo! - signed an excellent contract with one of the world's biggest labels EMI, recording their first album in 1999 and coming up with the second straight year after. What a productivity! Moreover, even that didn't not seem quite enough to this Mad Dance squad. For fear of being spoken of as those copying and combining all the best musical features of other major industrial German bands, they created a fiery tale that their style is something supernaturally inspired and brought to them by some unknown creatures from other galaxies. Now lets' face the truth. Frankly speaking, I was pretty turned on when I heard the self-titled 'Tanzwut' - I have listened to it 15 times already. I just like it! Well the next one wasn't really a revelation to me (although a good one too, won't deny it), but when it came to the forth track I was yawning my head off. Needless saying my interest continued vanishing as the record proceeded further. I'll try to make it clear. Tanzwut created an excellent mixture of everything that was made before them in German industrial core music - Rammstein, Oomph!, Stahlhammer, whatever. But still it is a bit new. It's a new mixture, if you don't mind. Sounds stupid, but that's the thing. Still, I can't help it Too damn boring. Very nice if having on a compilation CD. Three plus. (Felix da Katt)
P.S. By the way, the last track begins with the Beethoven's 'Ode to Happiness' (another smart marketing move?)

3/5
THYRFING
Unkraft
2000
Hammerheart records
viking/black metal
Unlike their colleagues from Enslaved, that has already been mentioned here today, the Thyrfing warriors have decided to concentrate more on the melodic aspect of the album, rather than on the chaotic primitive vibe of the pre-medieval times, hence making their music a lot more easy to appreciate and, lets face it, listen to. Its just the point of attitude, I guess, this is just more civilised, though, probably less original too. What we have on Unkraft is typical trendy sympho-black with a viking gimmick and hype around it. High-quality, melodic, professional, but still trendy. It has everything any other modern black metal band has nowadays - dirty distorted let-ring guitars, with a lot of twin-soloing and stuff, built-in and predictable keyboard passages with plenty of sampled church-bells, blacksmith hammers, and other indispensable noises, echoed vocals and clean voiced choruses, and drum parts that are just so unbelievably correct and well-fitting. Positively not the worst record you might buy on your next shopping round, but not a masterpiece either. Cool if you are new to this type of music, but not really a turn-on if you have been following the scene lately. A three. (Troll)

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