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Friday, March 28, 2014

Album Review: The Police - Ghost In The Machine (1981)

Just as I though Synchronicity was the bee's knees, I stumble across this, Ghost In The Machine by The Police, which was initially released in 1981.  Unlike their previous albums, this album progressed away from the reggae-influenced sounds of their previous albums toward a more synth-driven one that would ultimately culminate in the aforementioned album.  And whilst Synchronicity wasn't a bad album at all, Ghost In The Machine has superior melodies, is more catchy, and has better artwork.  With the reggae sound being phased out and substituted for a more synthesized sound more akin to what was fashionable in the 1980s, the results are an amicable transition between an that near trademark skank-driven sound and the ambient, moody synth hum that forms that basis of tracks like "Invisible Sun", "Secret Journey" and "Darkness."  Some might argue that it's successor is the better album - I, on the other hand, beg to differ.  A


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Album Review: Pantera - Power Metal (1988)

Coming across an ultra-rare album is one thing, but being able to savor every moment of it is certainly another, especially when what you hear is completely the opposite of what you would have expected otherwise.  I was most fortunate to be able to hear Pantera's very rare and very unknown Power Metal from 1988, their first album to feature Phil Anselmo on vocals.  This "glam metal" album, in my opinion, is the best metal album I have heard in a long time - and that is saying something.  Most people will think it sounds a lot like 1980s Judas Priest, and they would be right.  Just listen to the first track and you can instantly tell, right down to Phil's Halford-esque screaming that would carry on in diluted form into 1990's Cowboys From Hell (an excellent album, I must say).  And the riffs - Dimebag's proficiency with an axe really shines on this record - are at the very pinnacle of 80s metal excellence, and given that Pantera are best known for their 90s work, that is an outstanding achievement.  My picks - all of them really, but play "Power Metal", "P*S*T*88" and "We'll Meet Again" first.  That is, of course, if you can get hold of the album. A+