August 18, 2017

Various Artists - Independents Finest: Volume 02 (2001)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2001 Ill Boogie Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: various artists, independents finest, volume 2, 2001, vol 2, flac,

Bullet - Full Pull (2012)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 2012 Nuclear Blast Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Here's the first thing that should probably be said about Swedish hard rockers Bullet: their singer screams like a castrated banshee. But, if the listener subjected to this happens to be partial to the kind of screeching made relatively mainstream by latter-day AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, then any negative connotations involved will instantaneously reverse polarity and sound quite smashing! Released in 2012, Full Pull is truly an AC/DC album in everything but name (and mane -- see lion-headed cover art), and, short of lacking originality there's honestly very little at fault about that, thanks to the well-meaning tribute displayed by pedal-to-the-metal stompers ("Full Pull," "In the Heat," "Rush Hour") and mid-paced fist-pumpers alike ("Midnight Oil," "High on the Hog," "Free Riding"). With the lone exception of the atypical "Rolling Home" (which flirts with more timid guitar stutters and even a bit of piano), each song's Spartan three-chord riffs are as infectious as you please, the guitar solos fleet-fingered without showboating, and the lyrics simple to a fault, never once straying from the ultimate prize of blue-collar rock & roll pleasures. Even when he threatens to take his throat-ripping approach into Udo Dirkschneider (of Accept fame) territory, vocalist Dag "Hell" Hofer is just the kind of hooligan you'd want to drink your Friday nights away with, and he and his bandmates' self-effacing image is also bound to disarm even the grumpiest of AC/DC defenders out there (and attract some Twisted Sister fans to the party, besides). In short, you can bet your schoolboy outfits that Full Pull won't in any way damage the Aussie legends' album sales, and no legal limits are imposed on having a rocking good time like the one Bullet are celebrating here.

tags: bullet, full pull, 2012, flac,

Bullet - Storm of Blades (2014)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 2014 Nuclear Blast Records
Review by Eldad “Blacknasa” Stainbook for Metal-Temple.com
I'm a big, big even huge fan of BULLET from their first album "Heading For The Top" that for me was a beacon of light at the time of that release, up to their last album released on 2012 "Full Pull" , even though that "Full Pull" I think was a more mellow album they still kept the fire of metal on , with great fun to listen Hard rock meets Metal, now upfront I can say that like any BULLET album their new album named "Storm Of Blades" will be a classic one , however it remains to see if it will become a masterpiece , I will try and reveal that along the review. BULLET's new album starts with an Intro named "Uprising" with new significant impact however the moment you get to track number two , the album title track "Storm of Blades" you feel like you just hit a brick wall, starts with a JUDAS PRIEST old days style riff and what unforgettable riff it's , "Storm of Blades" itself, it's a classic track that should and will become an hymen of the band for years to come , just like "Heading For The Top" and "Midnight Oil" had become. the storm doesn’t stop in the contrary it goes on with "Riding High" with again classic lead riff that you just can't get out of you head, loyal to their classic sound from AC/DCBULLET uses "Tornado" to remind us that they know how to create crescendo start , "Tornado" reminds me of "Hell bells" from AC/DC and yet again BULLET nails it with yet another classic. "Hawk Eyes" again it's reminisce of JUDAS PRIEST classic riffing; does look like a BULLET try with the immortal "Electric Eye" even the chorus reminds me of that. For me, besides "Storm Of Blades" the song "This One's For You", is the best, again classic and great lead riff and great vocals like in all songs by Dag Hell Hofer, you can love or dislike his voice but the sheer power that he demonstrates is amazing. Don’t miss out on "Hammer Down" and "Run With The Hunted" sheer classic songs with AC/DC and JUDAS PRIEST mix that create the unique sound of BULLET. Heavier, better and classic this is the conclusion of BULLET's new album, it's a real "Storm of Metal".

tags: bullet, storm of blades, 2014, flac,

Magic Circle - Journey Blind (2015)

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

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Doom Metal, Heavy Metal
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© 2015 20 Buck Spin
Review by Samantha "Samii" Mittelstaedt for Metal-Temple.com
The bands insist to make a retro sound like BLACK SABBATH did in 70’s. And the public keep growing. Are they making a bad quality sound? No. But it’s easy to make a copy. The interesting is to make something different than everything you listen. To mark your name in Music history. Unfortunately, bands like MAGIC CIRCLE are taking exactly the same formula used in 70’s by SABBATH and re-creating new songs under it. They’re releasing their second album called “Journey Blind” by 20 Buck Spin Records in November this year. The artwork is very beautiful but nothing impressive and different than the album theme. The production is perfect and fits like the style needs. I can’t tell anything about the line-up. They’re very talented. But they could make anything more original than this. I’m pretty sure they’re got perfectly play it. The songs are like you listen “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” or the self-titled BLACK SABBATH album. As I told you – they don’t make a bad work, but this was making in the past and the comparisons will be done and will be unfair to this American quintet. The dark and mystic atmosphere it’s the same SABBATH used in the early years and if you like a trip in the time, you will like this new album from MAGIC CIRCLE. The highlights in this album are “The Damned Man”, “Lightning Cage”, and “Grand Deceivers”. They are making a faster and retro Rock or better called Stoner Rock and if you are a great fan from SABBATH you will enjoy it. Definitely, my personal taste could be influent here. I tried to be more impartial here. But I can’t like a band that doesn’t have an owner characteristic. If you like all the things I wrote above, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy “Journey Blind”. If you like me – you like more the talent plus originality – you won’t listen this band.

tags: magic circle, journey blind, magic circle band, flac, 2015,

Magic Circle - Magic Circle (2013)


Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Traditional Doom
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© 2013 Armageddon Shop
Review by theobelisk.net
After earning some measure of viral doomly acclaim by releasing their debut single on YouTube,
Boston-based five-piece Magic Circle issue their first proper full-length on CD through Armageddon Shop’s eponymous in-house label. The self-titled offering contains the two songs that made such a digital splash – those being “Scream Evil” and closer “The Magic Circle/Cloven in Two” – as well as four other cuts, topping out at a vinyl-ready 41:16. Vinyl also seems to be on the band’s mind in terms of the album’s structure, which finds the tracklisting split at its halfway point with each set of three songs ended by a longer, slash-inclusive title, the first being “The Greatest Escape/White Shores” (7:10) and the second the already-noted finale (7:40). Similarly, each side begins with a track on which frontman Brendan Radigan sings over a guitar solo, the opener “Winter Light” and “Scream Evil.” Those aren’t the only times Radigan does that, there’s also second track “Rapture” where it’s notable, but the chaotic swirl it creates – particularly late into “Winter Light” – is a standout element. Radigan comes out of Boston’s hardcore scene, namely the bands Mind Eraser and The Rival Mob, and Magic Circle’s drummer, Q, is also of Clouds and Doomriders, while guitarist/principle songwriter Chris Corry and bassist Justin De Tore can be found in Death Evocation (the latter is also formerly of NYC grinders Taste of Fear). The band is completed by guitarist Dan Ducas, but particularly because of Radigan’s pedigree, I have a hard time not likening Magic Circle’s debut to that of Brooklyn-based Maple Forum alums, Kings Destroy. Indeed, the album bears some of that out in stylistic commonality with Kings Destroy’s And the Rest Will Surely Perish, though Magic Circle’s Magic Circle delves further into genre with an affinity for Ducas and Corry’s guitars crossing over the line where trad doom meets NWOBHM; call it a Witchfinder General or Pagan Altar influence if you want, I don’t think I’d be the first to saddle them with either. Still, with a somewhat similar circumstance and aesthetic, the comparison to Kings Destroy circa 2010 seems fair. Radigan’s vocals add a drama that enhances the musical dynamic, and the band locks in familiar grooves that they’re nonetheless able to make their own. In the end, perhaps in part because I’m so used to traditional doom that plods eternal, Magic Circle feels short at its 41-minute stopping point. --- Read the full review at theobelisk.net

tags: magic circle, magic circle album, band, 2013, flac,

Jex Thoth - Witness: E.P. (2010)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Traditional Doom, Psychedelic Rock
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© 2010 Soulfood/I Hate Records
Review by Rob Hughes for Hellbound.ca
Jex Thoth’s debut album was all creaky organ and fuzz-blasted guitars, like something on the Vertigo or Dawn labels circa 1971. This was a band not made for these times: a contrarian, antiquarian enigma railing against the sterile modern sound-world. For those eager to hear the next missive from Jex Thoth, the Witness EP has arrived. At only 15 minutes long it’s definitely a teaser, but the three songs show a pleasing attention to old-school songcraft. Some spooky organ ushers in the charging opening section of “Raven nor the Spirit” before the track opens up and slows down to make way for the stately vocal melodies. As always, the most powerful element is the voice of Jex herself, presiding over everything with sinister authority. The first track segues smoothly into “Slow Rewind,” another slow burner of a song that nevertheless features some tasty lead work before breaking into a gallop at the end. The EP closes with “Mr. Rainbow,” a cover of a Slapp Happy song. It’s an excellent choice from an obscure corner of British rock—Slapp Happy may be best known for their mid-’70s merger with “Rock in Opposition” legends Henry Cow. Its pace and melodicism make it a good fit with the two originals here. Whether it’s an addendum to the debut or a prologue for Jex Thoth’s next testament of doom, the Witness EP is an enjoyable, intriguing release. All three tracks display craft and restraint, while keeping the established sound of the band intact. A glimpse through a stained-glass window for now; hopefully we’ll get to explore the entire cathedral soon.

tags: jex thoth, witness ep, e.p., 2010, flac,

Totem - Totem: E.P. (2007)

*Debut E.P. Totem. The band would eventually re-brand as Jex Thoth.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Traditional Doom, Psychedelic Rock
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© 2007 I Hate Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: totem, totem ep, jex thoth, 2007, flac, e.p.,

Jex Thoth - Jex Thoth (2008)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Traditional Doom, Psychedelic Rock
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© 2007 I Hate Records
Review By "Psythe" for MetalUnderground.com
This review has been months (more?) in the making. I still don’t know quite what to say about this album. I am fairly new to the doom metal genre (oh, to have more time for lifes’ pleasures), and Jex Thoth – previously known as Totem, now named for the band’s vocalist - has been exceedingly difficult for me to get my head around. At times folky, sometimes progressive, oft-times downbeat, Jex Thoth is a band that at all times maintains an atmosphere of haunting melancholy. The guitar production is both crunchy and muddy, layering an eclectic lead over a miserable yet driven bass rhythm. I am a huge fan of albums that carry a theme from song to song, not just lyrically, but in the musicianship also. Some might call such cases concept albums, and in some cases they would be right. "Jex Thoth" is not a concept album, however it does have a strong sense of carry-on from song to song. That is not to say that each song sounds exactly the same; the rhythms and so on definitely change and each song is a song unto itself. But each song also flows flawlessly into the next, creating a listening experience that stretches far further than the stand-out-tracks style of typical, radio-friendly music. Once the album starts, and you are drawn into it, you will not feel the need to skip songs. The downside of this, of course, is that unless you really love this album a lot, it also doesn’t have any particularly catchy stand-out tracks that will make you play it over some other disc in your library. It’s a toss of the coin; on one side, you have a few great tracks that will get played to death while on the other side, is a great album that will probably get played rarely. Personally, I prefer the latter for my serious taste music, and the former for my fun, piss-up-with-the-mates music. Read the full review at MetalUnderground.com

tags: jex thoth, jex thoth album, 2008, flac,

Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual (2000 Remastered Edition) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: New Wave, Pop, Pop Rock
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© 1983-2000 Epic, Legacy Records
Review by
One of the great new wave/early MTV records, She's So Unusual is a giddy mix of self-confidence, effervescent popcraft, unabashed sentimentality, subversiveness, and clever humor. In short, it's a multifaceted portrait of a multifaceted talent, an artist that's far more clever than her thin, deliberately girly voice would indicate. Then again, Lauper's voice suits her musical persona, since its chirpiness adds depth, or reconfigures the songs, whether it's the call to arms of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or the tearjerking "Time After Time." Lauper is at her very best on the first side, all of which were singles or received airplay, and this collection of songs -- "Money Changes Everything," "Girls," "When You Were Mine," "Time," "She Bop," "All Through the Night" -- is astonishing in its consistency, so strong that it makes the remaining tracks -- all enjoyable, but rather pedestrian -- charming by their association with songs so brilliantly alive. If Lauper couldn't maintain this level of consistency, it's because this captured her persona better than anyone could imagine -- when a debut captures a personality so well, let alone a personality so tied to its time, the successive work can't help but pale in comparison. Still, when it's captured as brightly and brilliantly as it is here, it does result in a debut that retains its potency, long after its production seems a little dated.

tags: cyndi lauper, shes so unusual, 1983, 2000, remastered, she's, flac,

Pebbles - Always (1990)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop, R&B
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© 1990 MCA Records
AllMusic Review by Ed Hogan
Pebbles followed her self-titled LP with Always, which went gold and spawned two number one R&B hits, the gritty "Giving You the Benefit" and the fluttering Pebbles/Babyface duet ballad "Love Makes Things Happen." Salt-N-Pepa appear on the pumping smash "Backyard." The lovely ballad "Always" features her cousin Cherrelle and broke the R&B Top 20. The urgent "Say a Prayer for Me" is a lyrical snapshot of '80s-era ills. Other standouts are "Give It to Me," the ethereal ballad "Why Would I Believe," and the sweet, bouncy "Stay With Me." Some tracks from Always are on Pebbles' Greatest Hits released by Hip-O/Universal on April 25, 2000 and Heart of Soul [Polygram] issued in January 2000.

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Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite (2010)

Country: Australia
Genre: Pop
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© 2010 Parlophone ‎Records
Review by Tim Sendra for Allmusic.com
By time of Kylie Minogue’s eleventh album, 2010's Aphrodite, she had been releasing records for over 20 years. Most artists who’ve stuck around for that long end up rehashing their past catalogs and/or growing stale, but Kylie manages to avoid these fates by constantly working with new collaborators, keeping up on musical trends without pandering to them, and most importantly, never taking herself too seriously. Sure, she’s serious about making great dance music, but she never confuses her status as a pop icon with a desire to send out a message in her music. Aphrodite rarely strays past sweet love songs or happy dance anthems; its deepest message is “everything is beautiful.” You have to credit the songwriters (big names like Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters and Calvin Harris, as well as behind-the-scenes people like Sebastian Ingrosso, and Pascal Gabriel) for tailoring the efforts to Kylie’s strengths. Also on board is exec producer Stuart Price, who puts it all together, giving the record a focused sound that was lacking on her previous record, X, which touched convincingly on a myriad of styles and influences, but which ended up sounding a little scattered. Here the main sound is the kind of glittery disco pop that really is her strong suit. The various producers keep their eyes on the dancefloor throughout, crafting shiny and sleek tracks that sound custom-built to blast out of huge speaker columns. Fortunately for non-club goers, they never pave over the interesting details that make records good for home or headphone listening. The squiggly synths of the massively catchy “All the Lovers,” the sighing background vocals and spiraling harpsichord-esque synths on the ominous "Closer," and the heavenly extended breakdown on “Looking for an Angel” are the kind of hooks that reward repeated listens. While Kylie is fortunate that so many excellent writers and producers are willing to work with her, they are lucky to be working with Kylie too; she can put over a shimmering and funky track like “Can’t Beat the Feeling” with ease, stomp through a dancefloor-filling jam like “Put Your Hands Up” with power, or cruise through a breezy summertime jam like “Better Than Today” with all kinds of laid-back charm. Sure, she’ll never be mistaken for an octave-stretching diva or a vocal powerhouse, but her slightly nasal, girl-next-door vocals serve her needs perfectly. She soars through the songs with just the right blend of emotion and restraint, adding some sass when needed (as on the thumping title track or “Get Outta My Way”) or some quiet melancholy when the mood arises (“Illusion”). This ability to tailor her performance to the song is a rare quality in the pop world of the early 2010s. It may lead people to underestimate Kylie's artistry but really, Aphrodite is the work of someone who knows exactly what her skills are and who to hire to help showcase them to perfection. She and her team have crafted an album that’s both full of songs that could/should hit the upper reaches of the charts, and also a collection of songs that hang together as an album. One of her best, in fact.

tags: kylie minogue, aphrodite, 2010, flac,

No Doubt - No Doubt (1992)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Pop, Pop Rock
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© 1992 Interscope Records
AllMusic Review by John Bush
Despite No Doubt's punk influences, they weren't included in the grunge boom of the early '90s. Much of the cause is due to the band's debut album, a work of polished production inspired more by '80s synth than No Doubt's heritage. Compared to Southern California's accepted ska/punk fusion, the album is quite pop-oriented, with new wave keyboards and punchy brass proving a foil to the basically ska framework and Gwen Stefani's extroverted vocals.

tags: no doubt, no doubt album, 1992, flac,

Kylie Minogue - Let's Get To It (1991)

Country: Australia
Genre: Pop
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© 1991 PWL Records
AllMusic Review by Chris True
While it's certainly as danceable as Rhythm of Love, Let's Get to It seems to try too hard. By this point in her career, Kylie had transformed from her innocent dance-pop image to what the press dubbed "SexKylie." Obviously, this wasn't accidental on her part. From the title to the heavy breathing effects to the kind of creepy cover pic, this is Kylie as a self-made sex kitten. What makes this album interesting musically is that she has taken creative control of her career as well as image control. She co-wrote much of the record, and while there are some noticeable missteps (the stadium keyboard part that lays the foundation of "I Guess I Like It Like That," for example), she shows potential. Not her most solid release, but fans of her early work will enjoy it.

tags: kylie minogue, lets get to it, let's, 1991, flac,

August 17, 2017

Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death (1997) ☠

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file. The link contains both discs.

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Mafioso Rap,Pop Rap
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1997 Bad Boy Records
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
It may have taken the Notorious B.I.G. a few years to follow up his milestone debut, Ready to Die (1994), with another album, but when he did return with Life After Death in 1997, he did so in a huge way. The ambitious album, intended as somewhat of a sequel to Ready to Die, picking up where its predecessor left off, sprawled across the span of two discs, each filled with music, 24 songs in all. You'd expect any album this sprawling to include some lackluster filler. That's not really the case with Life After Death, however. Like 2Pac's All Eyez on Me from a year before, an obvious influence, Biggie's album made extensive use of various producers -- DJ Premier, Easy Mo Bee, Clark Kent, RZA, and more of New York's finest -- resulting in a diverse, eclectic array of songs. Plus, Biggie similarly brought in various guest rappers -- Jay-Z, Lil' Kim, Bone Thugs, Too $hort, L.O.X., Mase -- a few vocalists -- R. Kelly, Angela Winbush, 112 -- and, of course, Puff Daddy, who is much more omnipresent here than on Ready to Die, where he mostly remained on the sidelines. It's perhaps Puffy himself to thank for this album's biggest hits: "Mo Money Mo Problems," "Hypnotize," "Sky's the Limit," three songs that definitely owe much to his pop touch. There's still plenty of the gangsta tales on Life After Death that won Biggie so much admiration on the streets, but it's the pop-laced songs that stand out as highlights. In hindsight, Biggie couldn't have ended his career with a more fitting album than Life After Death. Over the course of only two albums, he achieved every success imaginable, perhaps none greater than this unabashedly over-reaching success. Ready to Die is a milestone album, for sure, but it's nowhere near as extravagant or epic as Life After Death.

tags: notorious big, b.i.g., life after death, flac, 1997,

Various Artists - One Million Strong (The Album) (1995)

*First pressing. A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B
Style: Gangsta Rap, G-Funk
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© 1995 Mergela, Prolific Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Originally released on the Sound of Los Angeles record label in early 1995, just before 2Pac became a genuine superstar, One Million Strong is a solid collection of gangsta rap from a diverse selection of artists. 2Pac takes center stage with the title track, but Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre and the Wu-Tang Clan also make appearences -- just a few short months later, such team-ups would only seem possible in a fantasy world. It's a little brief and a couple cuts fall flat, but One Million Strong remains a good snapshot of the state of gangsta rap circa 1995.

tags: one million strong the album, one million strong soundtrack, 1995, flac, the soundtrack,

August 16, 2017

Xzibit - 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz (1998)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1998 Loud/RCA Records
AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway
The dysfunctional member of the Likwit Crew once again re-emerged to lyrically decapitate fake MCs. Xzibit's verbal asperity and rough, blunted diction is unmistakable. The sophomore jinx is null and void as Xzibit rips line after line over a grab bag of sizzling tracks. Sir Jinx and Xzibit combine production duties on the haunting "Torture Chamber," which incorporates elements of Ice Cube's "When Will They Shoot." The propensity at which Rass Kass, Saafir, and Xzibit drop bombs over "3 Card Molly" is sick, with each flipping an exceptional verse. Another gem is the marvelously crafted, Jesse West-produced "What U See Is What U Get" in which Xzibit touches all bases over a fluctuating piano and synthesizer track. On "Handle Your Business," Xzibit and Defari coalesce to show and prove for Cali over an expansive well-constructed track from DJ Pen One. In addition, Xzibit gives you a survival guide for the City of Angels with "Los Angeles Times." When the Likwit Crew convenes on a cut, the results are usually splendid, and "Let It Rain" is no exemption to that rule. The Liks, King T, and Xzibit drench this E-Swift track, with Tash shining in grand fashion. A newcomer to the Likwit family, Montageone touches down on the flame-broiled "Recycled Assassins." Also, Xzibit brings the heat in ridiculous ways on "Focus" and "Deeper." 40 Dayz and 40 Nightz is sure to whet your appetite with a nonstop accumulation of lyrics and a prolific variety of production

tags: xzibit, 40 dayz and 40 nightz, 40 dayz & 40 nightz, 1998, flac,

Xzibit - At The Speed of Life (1996)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1996 Loud Records
AllMusic Review by Leo Stanley
Xzibit's debut album, At the Speed of Life, is an excellent mixture of hardcore showcases for his lyrical virtuosity and ruminative, reflective hip-hop ballads. Though his rhyming skills are impeccable, the production from tha Alkoholiks' E-Swift, Muggs, and Diamond D gives the album the musical weight it needs to keep it interesting throughout the album.

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Cannibal Corpse - Gallery of Suicide (1998)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Death Metal
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© 1998 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Cannibal Corpse settled into their own gruesome groove early on in their career, spitting out a predictable set of carnage-obsessed trash-rockers on each of their albums. Consequently, their albums can be a little interchangeable, and Gallery of Suicide -- the group's sixth album -- is no different. From the titles ("Disposal of the Body," "Blood Drenched Execution," "Dismembered and Molested," "Stabbed in the Throat," "Centuries of Torment," "Crushing the Despised," "I Will Kill You") to the incessant, buzzing guitars, it's Cannibal Corpse as the fans have come to expect them. It's a little fresher than its predecessor, Vile, but it does have the problem of sounding a little monotonous in comparison to their entire catalog. That may not matter to the hardcore fans, who will inevitably be able to spot subtle differences between this and their previous albums, but it does suggest that the band will need to find a new modus operandi soon in order to keep things fresh.

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Cannibal Corpse - Bloodthirst (1999)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Death Metal
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© 1999 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Steve Huey
Bloodthirst is the seventh full-length album by Cannibal Corpse, and it's rather remarkable how little the band's sound has changed over the course of an entire decade. Sure, their musicianship has gotten a little more polished, and they've perfected their formula a bit more, but it's essentially been the same vibe on every album throughout their career. Bloodthirst is not that much different from the other Cannibal Corpse recording with George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher (which in turn were not an incredible distance removed from the Chris Barnes era); there are the prerequisite detuned grinding guitars, hyperspeed blastbeat drumming, and vocals that sound like Fisher's larynx is being put through a garbage disposal, plus lyrics geared for maximum gore and shock value. The appeal of Bloodthirst, then, is likely to rest on your answer to the question "how much Cannibal Corpse do you really need"? If you enjoy the formula, haven't tired of it, and want to hear more material in the same vein, Bloodthirst is exactly what you're looking for. Otherwise, just get a couple of the Chris Barnes albums.

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Cannibal Corpse - The Wretched Spawn (2004)

Country: U.S.A
Genre: Death Metal
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© 2004 Metal Blade Records
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
For album number nine, Wretched Spawn, Cannibal Corpse continue on with much the same style of gore-themed death metal that had made them a mainstay of the stateside scene for a decade-and-a-half. Bassist Alex Webster and guitarist Jack Owen write most of the songs here, respectively, and those songs are pretty much what you've come to expect from Cannibal Corpse by this point -- musically pulverizing and lyrically unsettling. Vocalist George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher is as unrelenting as usual, especially on such songs as "Frantic Disembowelment," where he switches from growling to screaming with seeming ease. Wretched Spawn is overall a pretty brief album, clocking in just under 45 minutes, as few of the 13 songs break the four-minute mark. The title track is an exception, as are the lumbering "Festering in the Crypt" and the thrashing album-closer, "They Deserve to Die" -- these three longer songs being some of the more interesting ones here, given their unique characteristics. Most of the others are rather straight-ahead death metal blasts, and while they're on the mark stylistically, they may seem a bit workmanlike to longtime fans who have heard all this before. And that's perhaps the one lurking problem with Wretched Spawn -- it sounds great and is everything you'd expect it to be, but it's nothing new for this veteran band, who long ago perfected their death metal attack. If you're perfectly fine with the status quo, or are perhaps new to Cannibal Corpse, you'll surely find much delight here; however, if you're looking for something beyond another run-of-the-mill album from the band, you'll probably want to pass this one over. Unlike more memorable albums such as Tomb of the Mutilated (1992) and Bleeding (1994) where the band took its music to another level, Wretched Spawn is simply Cannibal Corpse continuing on with their trademark mayhem, seemingly confined by or content with their own musical boundaries, for better or worse. [Wretched Spawn is accompanied by a making-of DVD.]

tags: cannibal corpse, the wretched spawn, 2004, flac,