Iced Earth - Dystopia (2011)

Another major release on this month. Iced Earth pull of Dystopia today, this new album continued their heavy metal legacy with a brand new frontman and vocalist Stu Block. Stu replace retire Matt Barlow since March 2011.

I got never really listen to Iced Earth before, except for the double Live in Athens. I always think of Iced Earth as heavy thrash metal with growling vocal. On this new Dystopia album, the impression is a very catchy American heavy metal with a twist of multi octave vocal ala Judas Priest. The combination of straight heavy metal singing with tenor growling vocal blend nicely. Dystopia, the first track is a solid opener, with dynamic changing of vocal style all over the song. Anthem comes with good anthemic beat. Anguish of Youth is ballad in minor scale that represented whole album "darker" theme. Dark City is an acoustic intro, slowly built up from clean voice verse into Halford screamo chorus. A few catchy riffs and then semi ballad End of Innocence to bring the dark and sad mood to the end of the album. The album close with high energic Tragedy and Triumph. And if you purchase the Japanese edition, there is a very nice cover of Iron Maiden hit, The Trooper, where the singer is just outstanding performing this legendary song.

Dystopia still bring enough riffs and screaming to Iced Earth fans. The singer pulled it off impressively with all the twist of singing styles, from clean, heavy, growl and screaming. The instrumentation still on top of their game with all the riffs memorable to remember and tight solos. It's has it moments, a fun heavy metal album from Iced Earth.

Metal Harem class: ******** eight stars out of ten
Updated review (6 April 2013)

Iced Earth - Dystopia (2011)
get it from AMAZON

 1. "Dystopia"   Jon Schaffer 5:49
 2. "Anthem"   Stu Block, Schaffer 4:54
 3. "Boiling Point"   Block 2:46
 4. "Anguish of Youth"   Schaffer 4:41
 5. "V"   Block, Schaffer 3:39
 6. "Dark City"   Block 5:42
 7. "Equilibrium"   Block 4:30
 8. "Days of Rage"   Schaffer 2:17
 9. "End of Innocence"   Block 4:07
 10. "Tragedy and Triumph"   Block, Schaffer 8:23
Japanese Bonus - The Trooper (Iron Maiden cover)

Iced Earth Dystopia 2011 album review


Sebastian Bach - Kicking & Screaming (2011)

Not the Baroq-ian Johann Sebastian Bach, but this is the ex-Skid Row screamer. Sebastian Bach now team up with John 5, Nick Sterling etc. on guitar, releasing fourth studio solo album, but the second contained all original compositions. Songs are in highly mouthwatering heavy metal and guitar riff party, I think best in his year so far. Sebastian Bach heavy metal voice still up there, and of course this is the mature version of Skid Row from 20 years ago.

Videoclip on first song "Kicking & Screaming" are up in youtube as well:

Sebastian Bach - Kicking & Screaming (2011) - buy CD @ Amazon
 1. "Kicking And Screaming"   Sebastian Bach, Nick Sterling, Bob Marlette 3:17
 2. "My Own Worst Enemy"   Nick Sterling 3:44
 3. "TunnelVision"   Sebastian Bach, John 5, Bob Marlette 3:49
 4. "Dance On Your Grave"   Sebastian Bach, Nick Sterling, Bob Marlette 3:28
 5. "Caught In A Dream"   Nick Sterling 3:39
 6. "As Long As I Got The Music"   Deanna Johnston, Nick Sterling 3:37
 7. "I'm Alive"   Nick Sterling 4:21
 8. "Dirty Power"   Sebastian Bach, Nick Sterling, Bob Marlette 3:05
 9. "Live The Life"   Nick Sterling, Bob Marlette, Sebastian Bach 3:50
 10. "Dream Forever"   Nick Sterling, Ken Davis 4:14
 11. "One Good Reason"   Sebastian Bach, Nick Sterling 4:41
 12. "Lost In The Light"   Sebastian Bach, Nick Sterling 4:28
 13. "Wishin’"   Nick Sterling, John Godwin 4:57


Steve Jobs (1955-2011), iTunes and Metal Community reactions

I knew Steve Jobs surprisingly not because of his toy, iPhone or iPad or iXXXX. But because in the '80s, Apple was the benchmark and , well, the only toy for doing something digital. That was before Bill Gates and his Microsoft put intel based computer to the even more humanly machine.

But let's not forget how Steve Jobs change the way of music in the last decade. With iTunes, millions amateur musician, especially hungry teenage who play metal music, able to record and sell their music in more faster way. Jobs also created iPad, iPhones etc. as a machine unthinkable before, carry on thousand of music library, in our palm.

He died of illness on 5th October 2011. Curiosly, many famous metal communities pay tribute in their Twitter posting. Some are:

David Ellefson (Megadeth): RIP Steve Jobs. You made us all 'think different'. Thank you and God bless

Neil Zaza : I can't read enough today about Steve Jobs. He was a visionary & a man that wouldn't accept anything less than perfection. A true icon to me

Matt Sorum: "Rest in Peace Steve Jobs. The visionary master"

Dave Weiner: RIP Steve Jobs. Thank you so much for all you have done to make this world better through your genius, inspiring, technological advances.

SebastianBach: "RIP Steve Jobs. Thanks for allowing me to put my whole CD collection in my pocket. You have made air travel a lot more fun"

GUNS N’ ROSES: “When people say it’s not about the possessions but how you’re remembered — they are talking about people like Steve Jobs. RIP”

Nikki Sixx (MÖTLEY CRÜE): “RIP Steve Jobs. Steve was of his era what Thomas Edison was to the beginning of the 20th century. You made all our lives a better place.”

Tommy Lee (MÖTLEY CRÜE): “RIP Mr. Jobs! Excuse me… Mr. Incredible!”

Bret Michaels (POISON): “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go out the family of Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs.”

Joe Satriani (CHICKENFOOT): “R.I.P. Steve Jobs. I bet you’re busy right now revolutionizing and redesigning the afterlife for all of us to enjoy when our time comes.”

Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER): “Thank you, Steve Jobs. You rocked our world… and you never played a note.”

Billy Graziadei (BIOHAZARD): “RIP, Steve Jobs, he was an inspiration to all of us who dropped out of school and made something of ourselves! He single-handedly changed the world with his vision! When you leave your mark on the world, you live forever! Kings never die!”

Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS): “Steve Jobs, rest in peace. You really did change the world. Thank you for so much cool stuff that keeps me from getting bored on long trips and making computers that are virus-free. Even my almost-3-year-old can operate an iPod and iPad . I think the world lost a real innovator today.”

Fred Durst (LIMP BIZKIT): “RIP Steve Jobs! True visionary.”

Wes Borland (LIMP BIZKIT): “I feel stupid, but I have to say it: What an impact Steve Jobs has had on my life. My iPhone may just be the most useful tool I own. Bummer.”

LAMB OF GOD: “RIP Steve Jobs.”

(from various sources, and some are courtesy of http://fanoegerm.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/heavy-metal-hard-rock-community-reacts-to-the-passing-of-steve-jobs/)


Galneryus - Phoenix Rising (2011)

Symphonic power from Japan, Galneryus, is schedule to release new album Phoenix Rising on October 5th, 2011. I've been listening to this band for a while and yet they impressed me a lot. Their style is original with strong Neo-classical (Baroque) elements. Guitar part are awesome and the vocal did get good part, albeit some accent you can heard from the Asian.

Phoenix Rising (2011)
01. The Rising
02. Tear Off Your Chain
03. Future Never Dies
04. Spirit Of Steel
05. Scars
06. The Wind Blows
07. T.F.F.B.
08. No More Tears
09. Bash Out!
10. The Time Has Come
11. The Phoenix

[disc II: bonus]

12. Against The Wind [Stratovarius cover]
13. Rock You Like a Hurricane [Scorpions cover]
14. Secret Loser [Ozzy Osbourne cover]
15. 1789 [Silver Mountain cover]
16. Kiss Of Death [Dokken cover)
17. Never Die [Yngwie J. Malmsteen cover]

18. Street Lethal [Racer X cover]

[disc III: limited edition dvd]

19. Cry For The Dark
20. Silent Revelation
21. Whisper In The Red Sky
22. Struggle For Tth Freedom Flag

Masatoshi "Sho" Ono - vocals
Yuhki - keyboards, backing vocals
Syu - guitars, backing vocals
Junichi Satoh - drums
Taka - bass, backing vocals

reviews and links will be in comment... soon

Mini Review Phoenix Rising: 
The music looks like change a lot, from their regular Neo Classical now into more Speed Metal as per song 1 "Pheonix Rising". There are still many epic moments as in "Future Never Dies" opening neo classical riff. "The Wind Blows" is a great metal ballad as well "No More Tears". And the closing is done by "The Phoenix" an instrumental tracks. Great albums again by Galneryus. Rate 4.5/5 !


Thaurorod - Upon Haunted Battlefield (2010)

Thaurorod is a new symphonic metal band from Finland, releasing debut album Upon Haunted Battlefield in 2010. The album is in total war and hero theme mode, although its in symphonic but there were less string atmospheric layer, instead the band also play in different singing style. Worth checking out if you like Rhapsody of Fire in heavier mode.

The band name is in Sindarin, a fictional language as spoken by elves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s "Lord of the Ring" books, and it means “Evil Mountain”, or more accurately, "The Mountain of Horror".

buy from Amazon here.

Upon Haunted Battlefield
01. Warrior's Heart
02. Cursed In The Past
03. Shadows And Rain
04. Morning Lake
05. Scion Of Stars
06. Guide For The Blind
07. Upon Haunted Battlefields
08. Tales Of The End
09. Black Waters (Prologue)
10. Into The Realms Of Hidden Me
11. Elämän Tuli [bonus]

Markku Kuikka - vocals
Michele Luppi - vocals
Emmi Taipale - keyboards
Emil "Emppu" Pohjalainen - guitar
Jani Vesanen - guitar
Joonas Pykälä-Aho - drums
Pasi Tanskanen - bass

Band artworks and graphic design, great one.


Megadeth Th1rt3en (2011)

Big brother Dave Mustaine will soon put a new album for year 2011. The 13th studio album, named Th1rt3en, going to be released on 1st Nov 2011. Dave will backed by old buddy David Ellefson, the first reunion since The World Needs a Hero from year 2000.

Dave disregard the bad omen of number 13 and this albums give 13 songs on it:
Full review HERE

buy from Amazon here.

Megadeth - Th1rt3en
 1. "Sudden Death"   Dave Mustaine
 2. "Public Enemy No. 1"    
 3. "Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)"    
 4. "We the People"    
 5. "Guns, Drugs & Money"    
 6. "Never Dead"    
 7. "New World Order"   Mustaine, Dave Ellefson, Marty Friedman, Nick Menza
 8. "Fast Lane"    
 9. "Black Swan"   Mustaine
 10. "Wrecker"    
 11. "Millennium of the Blind"   Mustaine, Friedman
 12. "Deadly Nightshade"    
 13. "13"  

As per 1st October, two songs, Public Enemy and Never Dead had been released to public for hearing and there were streaming on the net (google it). Notice Marty and Menza on the writers note.... going to be awesome album!

Graphic Designs for Th1rt3en album and vinyl!

My review for this album here... after listened to it for 4 months!
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