June 16, 2021

Various Artists - Colors (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1988)

 
*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, Funk
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: 9 25713-2
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© 1988 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Ted Mills
One of the earliest gangsta rap albums, propelled by an exploitative cop film and the following media frenzy about movie violence and the glamorization of criminals. Most of these tracks had been previously released, but here now were such tracks as Ice-T's brutal title track, Big Daddy Kane's "Raw," and M.C. Shan's "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" in one friendly package, and suddenly middle America knew about the Crips and the Bloods. It's a solid album, with only one out of place song: Decadent Dub Team's "Six Gun" (with the film's star Sean Penn on uncredited vocals), which sounds like filler. Highlight of the whole thing: Coldcut's infamous remix of Eric B. and Rakim's "Paid in Full," which no rap collection should be without.

tags: various artists, colors, original motion picture soundtrack, ost, 1988, flac,

Busta Rhymes - The Coming (1996)

 
*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 61742-2
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© 1996 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Busta Rhymes delivered his debut album, The Coming, three years after the Leaders of the New School unofficially disbanded, and it reflects the change in hip-hop between 1993 and 1996. The Coming is indebted to the slow, spare, and quietly menacing funk and soundscapes of the Wu-Tang Clan -- in fact, Ol' Dirty Bastard appears on one of the album's most infectious tracks, the single "Woo Ha!! Got You All in Check." Busta Rhymes, like Ol' Dirty, is a surreal, inspired rapper, but his skills are on a whole different level. Though his talents were evident on the Leaders of the New School records, Busta Rhymes has never had such an impressive showcase for his rhymes as he does on The Coming. Busta doesn't have a deep message in his raps, but he twists words and phrases around with an insane, invigorating flair. Like many hip-hop albums of the mid-'90s, The Coming is padded with too much material, but Busta Rhymes' brilliant raps keep the record from sinking during its monotonous passages.

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tags: busta rhymes, the coming, 1996, flac,

Judas Priest - Nostradamus (2008)

 
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 88697307082
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© 2008 Epic Records
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
On 2005's (almost) divine comeback album Angel of Retribution, Judas Priest fans got a modern day update of the band's genre-bending 1976 classic, Sad Wings of Destiny. The New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends return to the mines for 2008's Nostradamus, though this time it's another band's treasure they're looting, specifically Iron Maiden's 1988 concept album, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Heavy metal's obsession with seers, sorcery, and anything else that falls under the nebulous blanket of the "dark arts" is legendary, and Maiden's loosely knit tale of a visionary "chosen one" provided listeners with one of the last great albums of the pre-grunge, epic metal era, due in part to some truly memorable songs that remain fan favorites even to this day. Nostradamus, on the other hand, manages to live up to nearly every Spinal Tap cliché (non-deliberate, laugh-inducing cover art; melodramatic spoken word interludes; rhyming "fire" with desire). At nearly two hours long, one expects a certain amount of filler, but the dated keyboard strings, soft piano, and bluesy, minor-key guitar licks that populate every nook and cranny in between (and often throughout) each track sound like discarded incidental music from The X-Files or an RPG video game "cut scene." The songs themselves are hit or miss, with the emphasis falling on the latter, due mostly to an over-reliance on three-chord, midtempo filler, but as is the case with nearly every Priest offering, when they're on they're dead on. Disc one closer "Persecution," after a lengthy organ/guitar intro, unleashes Nostradamus' finest six minutes, boasting one of the best choruses the band has produced since 1988's "Hard as Iron" (few things sound as natural and satisfying as Rob Halford's metallic voice running through a phaser, and his signature scream, when it arises, still has no equal). The predictable but effectively apocalyptic "War" (taking a cue from Holst's Mars, Bringer of War) spawns one of the few great orchestral breakdowns on the record, while both "Death" and the nearly seven-minute title track feature stunning guitar work from Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing. None of this, however, can save Nostradamus from the fact that even if it were reduced to a single album (it should have been), its flaws would far outweigh its triumphs. Excess and metal go together like blood and guts, but even gore loses its ability to draw a reaction after the umpteenth beheading.

tags: judas priest, nostradamus, 2008, flac,

Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls (Deluxe Edition) (2014)

 
*Contains a second disc with 5 bonus tracks.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 88843083962
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© 2014 Epic, Columbia Records
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
"Welcome to my world of steel" sneers Rob Halford on the punchy, surprisingly spartan "Dragonaut," the opening salvo of the venerable New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends' 17th studio long-player, and their first outing without founding guitarist K.K. Downing, who left the group in 2011. The antithesis to 2008's overblown Nostradamus, Redeemer of Souls feels quaint in comparison, eschewing the largely fantasy-driven conceptual style of the ambitious, yet undeniably cumbersome, two-disc set in favor of a more refined, classic rock approach that edges closer to the group's late-'70s offerings like Sin After Sin and Stained Class. New guitarist Richie Faulkner, with his golden mane and tight, controlled riffing, suggests a wax Downing just sprung to life and simply walked out of Madam Tussaud's museum and into the band's rehearsal space, and his tasteful, yet undeniably meaty playing alongside Glenn Tipton goes a long way in helping to restore some of the classic Judas Priest luster, especially on standout cuts like the aforementioned "Dragonaut," the nervy and propulsive "Metalizer," and the rousing title track. Still, this is a band that's well into its fifth decade of being "Hell Bent for Leather"; they've explored, both successfully and occasionally at great cost, nearly every shadowy nook and suspicious looking crevice of the genre, and the album's stalwart yet shopworn 13 tracks reflect that journey. That said, Redeemer of Souls is also the loosest (attitude-wise), leanest (arrangement-wise), and most confident-sounding collection of new material the band has released in ages, and while it will forever tread beneath high-water marks like British Steel and Sad Wings of Destiny, it most certainly deserves to be ranked alongside albums from that era.

tags: judas priest, redeemer of souls, deluxe edition, 2014, flac,

Judas Priest - Firepower (2018)

 
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 19075804832
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© 2018 Epic Records
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
Judas Priest's 18th studio album, FIREPOWER began under inauspicious circumstances. First, guitarist Glenn Tipton, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a decade ago, found it necessary to retire from the road; second, they lost out to Bon Jovi for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and finally, former drummer Dave Holland passed on before this set's issue. But the sound of FIREPOWER remains unbowed. Its undiminished power and assaultive mayhem are somewhat tempered in its slower moments by slowly unfurling rage, loss, and menace. It was begun in 2016 by Rob Halford, Tipton, and new guitarist Richie Faulkner. They chose two veteran producers to bring it home: Tom Allom, who helmed every JP album between 1979's Unleashed in the East (Live in Japan) and 1988's Ram It Down, and Andy Sneap, master producer/engineer of modern metal. He began his career in 1994 and has worked with everyone from Accept and Exodus to Megadeth, Masterplan, and Testament. He is also a formidable guitarist who is replacing Tipton on the road.

FIREPOWER is meaner and leaner than Redeemer of Souls; the songwriting is more diverse and exceptionally tight. JP recorded all together from the studio floor; overdubs were added in post-production. It creates a kinetic energy and unified sense of purpose not heard consistently since Screaming for Vengeance. The opening title track thunders with double-timed drums, a classic dual-guitar riff, and Halford's scream. He may not be able to reach glass-shattering pitches at age 67, but his midrange wail and baritone growl remain among the mightiest forces in rock. His venomous attack righteously informs this anthemic call to arms. The grooving "Lightning Strike" is led by Scott Travis' kit swinging hard over an angular guitar vamp, which erupts two-thirds of the way through with wonderfully tasty dual leads and solos. While some might wish all 14 tracks were bonecrushers, that's not Judas Priest. The midtempo "Never the Heroes" kicks off with a moody synth line and reverbed kick drums and tom-toms. It breaks down into menacing drama as Halford unfurls a hostile paean for the dead foot-soldiers of wars created by politicians and profiteers.

The knotty chug in "Necromancer" recalls the Judas Priest of yore, while "Children of the Sun" offers a riff worthy of early Black Sabbath before reentering the band's boot-stomping sphere. The structure, drama, and production on the taut "Rising from Ruins" recalls "Blood Red Skies" from Ram It Down -- especially with Ian Hill's thrumming bassline and chant-along chorus. Slower tempos prevail on "Flame Thrower" and "Spectre," but heaviness is never sacrificed. The spiky, raucous "Lone Wolf" is another groover possessing all of Judas Priest's iconic swagger and stomp. "Sea of Red" offers the other side of "Never the Heroes." An homage to the war dead, soldiers and civilians alike, it commences as a power ballad and builds into a rousing metal hymn. Closing in on their 50th anniversary, Judas Priest still possess the musical rigor, showmanship, and force that make other bands bow down. FIREPOWER smokes.
tags: judas priest, firepower, 2018, flac,

Various Artists - Steel: Music From & Inspired By The Motion Picture (Promo C.D.) (1997)

 
*Promo disc. 
Contains censored/clean lyrics. 
*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B
Label Number: 9 46678-2
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© 1997 Qwest/Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Leo Stanley
The soundtrack to Shaquille O'Neal's botched superhero adventure Steel is similarly flawed, featuring too much flab to make the record successful. That said, there are some moments of merit on Steel, as a few of the hip-hop and urban soul cuts feature appealingly slick productions and funky beats, but the large amounts of filler prevent the album from being a standout.

tags: various artists, steel, music from and inspired by the motion picture, ost, soundtrack, promo, 1997, flac,

Naughty By Nature - Naughty By Nature (1991)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
Label Number: TBCD 1044
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© 1991 Tommy Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart
There was not a bigger, more contagious crossover radio smash in the autumn of 1991 than Naughty by Nature's "O.P.P.," a song that somehow managed the trick of being both audaciously catchy and subversively coy at the same time. Its irrepressible appeal -- the Jackson 5 sample, the saucy subject matter, the huge anthemic chorus, Treach's phat rat-a-tat flow -- was so widespread, in fact, that it played just as well to the hardcore heads in the hood as it did to the hip-hop dabblers in the suburbs. The beauty of the trio's self-titled full-length debut is that it is every bit as musically accomplished, and every bit as ghetto fabulous, in its entirety as that watershed first single. Naughty by Nature is both a pop and a rap classic that chews up stylistic real estate by the block, easily shifting from an old-school rhyme-off between Treach and Vinnie ("Pin the Tail on the Donkey"), the unflappable "Louie Louie" Vega-produced posse cut "1, 2, 3" (with verses from Flavor Unit compadres Lakim Shabazz and Apache), and the teeth-clinching combative dirge "Guard Your Grill," all of which very much come out swinging from the streets, to the more measured, emotionally developed "Ghetto Bastard," which brings an upbeat but nail-tough point of view to a grim tale of parental and societal deprivation without ever asking for an ounce of sympathy. With the assistance of Queen Latifah's makeshift patois, the trio even brought something of the Caribbean to East Orange with "Wickedest Man Alive." All the tracks are as street as they are club astute, trimming the funk loops with live keyboards and saxophone and sanguine, soulful melodies. A must-have album for fans of East Coast rap

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tags: naughty by nature, naughty by nature album, 1991, flac,

Naughty By Nature - Poverty's Paradise (1995)

 
*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 21 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
Label Number: TBCD 1111
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© 1995 Tommy Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For their third album, Naughty By Nature do little to truly change their style. Some of the beats are little slower and funkier, some of the rhymes are more dexterous, some of the rhythms are a little more complex -- yet nothing distinguishes Poverty's Paradise from the group's two previous, and superior, records.

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tags: naughty by nature, povertys paradise, poverty's, 1995, flac,

Quid Comba - Obús (2009)

 
*Prensada y vendida de forma independiente 
por el artista durante sus shows en vivo
 en una funda de cartón en CD-R.  
Contiene 13 pistas en total.  
Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo RAR. 
(*Pressed and sold independently by the artist during 
his live shows in a cardboard sleeve on CD-R. 
Contains 13 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.)
Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: None
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© 2009 Tres G Producciones
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: quid comba, obus, 2009, flac,

Cabelleros Del Plan G - Abriendo Puertas (2005 Reissue)

 
*Lanzado en 2005 por Discos Histeria Colectiva en digipak 
y con una nueva portada nueva decorado en blanco.  
Contiene 17 pistas en total. 
Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo.
(*Reissued in 2005 by
Discos Histeria Colectiva in Digipak 
and with a new white themed album cover. 
Contains 17 tracks total.
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.)

Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: CDDP-1292, 625
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© 2002-2005 Discos Histeria Colectiva
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tags: caballeros del plan g, abriendo puertas, 2005 reissue, flac,

Naughty By Nature - 19 Naughty III (1993)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
Label Number: TBCD 1069
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© 1993 Tommy Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
Despite an excellent debut album, Naughty by Nature was pegged as a one-hit wonder by some observers -- after all, they'd never duplicate the inescapably catchy "O.P.P.," would they? 19 Naughty III's lead single, "Hip Hop Hooray," proved that they could, and the album confirmed that Naughty by Nature were indeed highly underrated in terms of consistency. It's a shade less consistent than the debut, but has all the same strengths: head-nodding beats, Treach's bouncy flow, and a difficult balance between street attitude and accessibility. Naughty by Nature clearly comes from the streets, and have all the aggression of the streets, but they don't glamorize the streets; sure, they'll take care of themselves in a harsh environment, but ultimately they prefer to steer clear of trouble, cops, and jail. It's a refreshingly grounded and realistic perspective, best heard on "Daddy Was a Street Corner," "The Hood Comes First," and "The Only Ones." There are also energized guest appearances from Heavy D ("Ready for Dem") and Queen Latifah ("Sleeping on Jersey"). Kay Gee again shows himself a sorely underappreciated producer, with one foot in the clubs and the other one on the street corner, and that's true of the group as a whole. A few slower moments don't prevent 19 Naughty III from ranking as Naughty by Nature's second straight triumph.

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tags: naughty by nature, 19 naughty iii, 3, 1993, flac

Nedman Guerrero - La Vida Del Guerrero (2014)

 
*Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo RAR.
Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: None
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© 2014 EK
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tags: nedman guerrero, la vida del guerrero, 2014, flac,

Godgory - Resurrection (1999)

 
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
Label Number: NB 371-2, 27361 63712
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© 1999 Nuclear Blast
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
Godgory's first American release and third overall, Resurrection has a good grasp of the so-called "symphonic" death metal style, alternating fiercely intense metal riffs with atmospheric goth-style passages and spooky horror film backdrops. The listenability factor is enhanced by the variety in tempos and dynamics, subtleties that tend to escape a majority of Godgory's contemporaries.

tags: godgory, resurrection, 1999, flac,

Godgory - Way Beyond (2001)

 
Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Melodic Death Metal
Label Number: NB 534-2, 6534-2
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© 2001 Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by "Paul" for Metal Reviews.com
The band members are two brothers Erik and Matte Andersson and are coming from Sweden. Sea Of Dreams and Ressurection, Godgory's other albums already had good results. So they should expect the same result with Way Beyond because it is an original and various album. Their style balance between Gothic and Death Metal but they also have some progressive and even atmospheric touches. The mixtures of all these make it interesting.

Way Beyond is a good tittle because it takes you... way beyond you've heard till now. The album is various and so are the songs. From dark atmospheric parts to death and prog with a lots of melodic. All this is varied in different ambiance's with a good sense of control.

The power ballad Sea Of Dreams is a killer. But what to say when the best song from an album is an ambient ballad ???

At least gothic fans will find here what they are looking for. The death fans will have to be very open-minded...

tags: godgory, way beyond, 2001, flac,

Hate Eternal - I, Monarch (2005)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: MOSH 286CD
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© 2005 Earache
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason
The third album by Erik Rutan's post-Morbid Angel project Hate Eternal may be the singer/guitarist's purest achievement, if not his best. I, Monarch is 40 minutes of distilled essence of death metal, with Rutan's Cookie Monster vocals declaiming crypto-religious S&M lyrics over his own hypnotically repetitive riffs and flashy, technically excellent solos, while a close-to-inaudible bassist and the superhuman blastbeat drummer Derek Roddy hurtle along at near-impossible speeds behind him. Those who love this sort of thing will be in awe, not least because Rutan manages to include a few actual tunes (or at least refrains) alongside the jackhammer throb. Those whose tolerance for death metal is lower should nonetheless at least stay for the end; the instrumental "Faceless One" is something of a breakthrough, and the best song on the album by some distance. After nine tracks that whiz past in a death metal blur, Rutan slows the tempo here incrementally, but just enough to allow himself and Roddy the breathing room to show off hitherto speed-obscured aspects of their playing. Roddy in particular comes off exceedingly well; he may be the best drummer in the entire subgenre. If Rutan chose to explore this variation on what's becoming a well-worn theme, Hate Eternal might be on to something interesting.

tags: hate eternal, i monarch, 2005, flac,

Hate Eternal - Fury & Flames (2008)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: 3984-14656-2
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© 2008 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Although the Scandinavian countries have been dominating death metal and black metal for a long time, one shouldn't forget that many of the early death metal bands came out of the United States -- and one of North America's extreme metal pioneers was Erik Rutan, who was playing death metal and grindcore in the band Ripping Corpse as early as 1987 and continued in that vein in the '90s and 2000s with Hate Eternal -- all of which in addition to his contributions to Morbid Angel. Hate Eternal have had their share of lineup changes since the band's formation in 1997 (which is certainly not unusual for a death metal/grindcore combo), and on Fury and Flames, the outfit unveils a new lineup consisting of Rutan on lead vocals and guitar, Shaune Kelley (another ex-member of Ripping Corpse) on guitar, Alex Webster (known for his contributions to Cannibal Corpse) on bass, and Jade Simonetto on drums. Of the four, Rutan is the only one who was part of Hate Eternal's original lineup, but all those personnel changes haven't changed their sound. Rutan, after all, is the brains behind Hate Eternal; the band has always been the brainchild of Rutan, who is known for liking his metal bombastic, harsh, dense, and ultra-fast. That has been Rutan's mindset since the Ripping Corpse days, and he maintains his unapologetic viciousness on Fury and Flames. With this early-2007 recording, Hate Eternal provide yet another dose of unforgiving, head-crushing bombast that is usually delivered at breakneck speed. Nothing groundbreaking occurs, and anyone who expects a lot of nuance and melody from death metal should stick to bands like In Flames and At the Gates. But the songs on this album are well executed (never let it be said that Hate Eternal lack chops). And despite the obvious limitations of this approach, Rutan's longtime fans will find Fury and Flames to be a decent, if predictable, exercise in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault.

tags: hate eternal, fury and flames, 2008, flac,

Hate Eternal - Phoenix Amongst The Ashes (2011) ☠

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: 3984-14982-2
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2011 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney
Out of control and savagely relentless, Hate Eternal continue to show why Florida is the undisputed home of death metal on their fifth album, Phoenix Amongst the Ashes. From the outset, the intro track, “Rebirth,” almost feels like a bait and switch, a false smile to reassure listeners that everything is going to be all right before the band pulls the rug out from underneath them with the suffocating heaviness of “The Eternal Ruler.” From then on, the album rampages to the end, taking no prisoners along the way and leaving no bit of sonic real estate unfilled. It’s this busy feeling that dominates the album, with the band cramming so much into every moment that the songs feel not only menacing, but inescapable. For the most part, the only respite that’s to be found on the album comes from the momentary gaps between tracks, giving listeners a second of stark silence to gather themselves up before the next assault comes. While it might seem like this kind of pacing would be exhausting, Hate Eternal have a deep enough bag of heavy metal tricks that the album never feels formulaic, placing just enough breakdowns and solos throughout the album to break things up, but not frequently enough that the songs become predictable. For those looking to bring a little intensity back into their lives, seek no further.

tags: hate eternal, phoenix amongst the ashes, 2011, flac,

Hate Eternal - Infernus (2015)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: SOM363
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© 2015 Season of Mist
Review by Diabolus in Muzaka for Angry Metal Guy.com
Last time Hate Eternal graced the digital halls of AMG, they left Steel Druhm throbbing with excitement and elation and in turn he gave 2011’s Phoenix Amongst the Ashes a near-perfect score. Four years later it appears something has throttled the throbbing, as their latest full-length Infernus was dropped on my desk alongside a wonderful lack of punitive metalcore. While I can definitely say I had me a blast (well over thirty minutes of them, in fact), Hate Eternal didn’t give me the same summer lovin’ as they did Steel. Solely in the context of this review, I’d go as far as saying that particular summer fling didn’t mean a thing. I’ll stop dawdling and dive headlong into the hurricane and tell you more.

Being that Erik Rutan is still very much at the helm of the good ship Hate Eternal, Infernus deals in fast and aggressive Florida death metal that draws primarily from later Morbid Angel but is less experimental and more tightly and meticulously controlled. New drummer Chason Westmoreland passes the endurance test that is Rutan’s material and musical vision, keeping the traditional wealth of blast beats that helps define Hate Eternal’s sound alive and well. Their trademark angular and almost atonal riffing is present and accounted for, but there’s been further exploration of the straightforwardly melodious aspects of “The Fire of Resurrection” and “Tombeau” that’s a noticeable yet small tinkering with the band’s tried and true sound. They’re not slowly morphing into Mors Principium Est, but fans of the band’s prior work will pick up on this.

Thankfully this minor adjustment works for the band, with “Locust Swarm” commencing the assault in a strong fashion. It surges out of the gate and does business as usual quite well before closing on a ever-slowing melodic guitar line. It works, isn’t cheesy, and doesn’t have the aftertaste of herring via pilfered Bjorriffs. The Hate Eternal we know and have an opinion on doesn’t disappoint either, with “Zealot, Crusader of War” and “The Chosen One” doing exactly what’s expected, albeit with good enough songwriting to keep the proceedings engaging. Things take an interesting turn with the title track, featuring melodic leads aplenty and a shifting tempo that reaches a nearly glacial pace by Hate Eternal standards. The layered melodies are almost death-doom in sound, and it works surprisingly well within their template. I wouldn’t want a whole record of this, but it goes a long way toward preventing Infernus from being a veritable panzer division of endless blast beats. “O’ Majestic Being, Hear My Call” sees Rutan adding some well-placed black metal elements into his guitar work, and it makes for a solid closing number that nicely ties things off with a melancholic lead similar to the finale of their last record.

The biggest gripe I have about Infernus is coincidentally my biggest gripe about Hate Eternal: they’re a band of truly excellent players making merely good music. I’m always happy to hear what these guys come up with, but I’ve never found their music to be absolutely necessary listening for death metal.”Order of the Arcane Scripture” will have you wondering what part of I, Monarch you’re being reminded of instead of making a strong impression of its own, and the instrumental “Chaos Theory” comes across as more self-indulgent than anything; it’s not a wanky shitshow a la Brain Drill, but it does little more than impress on a technical level upon repeat listens. “La Tempestad” is the most skippable track here by virtue of the ceaseless and unchanging blasts (save quick fills) from Westmoreland exacerbating Rutan’s most stock riffing present and vice versa.

Even taking the above criticisms into account, I like Infernus. It’s not at all a disappointment, and improves upon the production of Phoenix Amongst the Ashes by giving bass wunderkind J.J. Hrubovcak the pronounced spot in the mix his fantastic playing deserves. It’s loud in the mastering department as per Rutan’s usual standards, but his notable skill behind the boards won’t give you a throbbing headache even at DR6. Fans, they haven’t let you down. Detractors, they won’t be changing your minds. As for me, I’ve been enjoying this record for the competent death metal it presents and will spin it occasionally throughout the year when I’m in the mood for a face-destroying Floridian attack that doesn’t involve copious amount of bath salts. Put succinctly, Infernus is good.

tags: hate eternal, infernus, 2015, flac,

Hate Eternal - Upon Desolate Sands (2018) ☠

 

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Label Number: SOM505D
☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2018 Season of Mist
Review by "Sol" for Metal Injection.net
Hate Eternal is never one for reinventing the wheels of death metal and yet, there is hardly ever a bad Hate Eternal album. While their music might have flavors of melody or other subcultures of metal, Hate Eternal has always been pure death metal. There’s certainly something to be said for bands that stick to their guns so tightly. On one hand, consistency is rarely a bad thing, but can easily turn into monotony and countless recycles of previous material. Thankfully, Upon Desolate Sands dispels any and all doubts that Hate Eternal can still pull off their brand of straightforward death metal.
Upon Desolate Sands is an absolutely fantastic album for Hate Eternal and for the world of death metal. With this being the band’s seventh full-length release, a little bit of change in the formula is bound to occur, especially with the number of personnel changes the band has incurred. In this case, a little more melody and a little less speed has yielded some of the best results that Hate Eternal has ever released.
First, let’s get the things that you expect to hear from a Hate Eternal album out of the way. Blistering fast guitar work, near-impossible precision drumming, and absolutely impeccable production work from frontman Erik Rutan himself. Every Hate Eternal record uses these elements to be successful, but Upon Desolate Sands goes just beyond this to make it a cut above the rest.
It seems that just a little more thought went into the composition of these songs. Dare I say, it’s even just a little slower than previous releases too. Their 2015 release, Infernus, was almost at times unbearably fast to really hear the complexity of Rutan’s riffing. Make no mistake, Upon Desolate Sands is very speedy, especially with newcomer Hannes Grossmann (ex-Necrophagist, ex-Obscura) on drums. Yet, songs like “What Lies Beyond” take the time to break amidst the chaos for a crazy guitar solo, or even just a little bit of melody. Many of the songs on Upon Desolate Sands have a compositional style like this, and it helps to make the tracks unforgettable when you hear them for the first time.
The final two tracks on the album signify this progression the best. It starts with the album’s title track. It's a slower paced chug fest with a lot more atmosphere strewn in towards the beginning and the end. It reminds me a little of a Nile actually, and certainly not in a bad way. The rest of the track doesn't speed up very much and blends itself right into the final track, “For Whom We Have Lost”. Continuing on the same atmosphere built from the previous track, the guitars are very melodic with a lot of lead work while Grossmann gets an absolute workout with the double-kicks throughout the whole song. It’s not uncommon for a Hate Eternal album to end with the slower and more melodic flavored song, but this one is arguably the most melodic that the band has ever gotten.


tags: hate eternal, upon desolate sands, 2018, flac,

June 15, 2021

The L.O.X. - Money, Power & Respect (1998)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Mafioso Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: 78612-73015-2
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© 1998 Bad Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The LOX are some of the better rappers on the Bad Boy roster, more dexterous, clever, and hook-conscious than their mentor, Puff Daddy. That doesn't necessarily mean that their debut, Money, Power & Respect, is better than Puff's record, but it does mean that it's frequently exciting and invigorating. Like most late-'90s hip-hop records, the album runs way too long and is bogged down by filler, but the very best moments equal anything that has been released by Bad Boy, and in many cases even surpasses it in terms of lyrical skills and energy

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tags: the lox, money power respect, 1998, flac,

The LO.X. We Are The Streets (2000)

 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: 0694905992
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© 2000 Ruff Ryders/Interscope Records
AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway
The LOX's highly publicized and drawn-out defection from Puffy's Bad Boy Records to DMX's Ruff Ryder camp was imperative. Not only because Puffy's glossy sound openly clashed with the group's thug mentality, but the change of scenery also furnished Jadakiss, Sheek, and Styles with an opportunity to assert their own identity. While the LOX as a unit do not offer much in terms of topical dexterity, Jadakiss is one the industry's most underappreciated lyricists, which he clearly reiterates on his solo cut "Blood Pressure." Ruff Ryders in-house producer Swizz Beatz handles most of the production duties, and although his syncopated production can become repetitious, DJ Premier ("Recognize") and Timbaland ("Ryde or Die Bitch," featuring Eve and Drag-On) provide some much-needed diversity with their signature sounds. The rowdy lead single, "Wild Out," is an obvious reworking of Jay-Z's "Jigga My Nigga," but it was a hit on rap radio.

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tags: the lox, we are the streets, 2000, flac,