Album Review: Lamb of God “Live in Richmond, VA” LP

“Live in Richmond, VA” LP

Lamb of God

Epic Records

Tracks: 10

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Originally, released June 19 of 2020Lamb of God’s first new album in five years was met with universal acclaim. The self- titled album landed at number one on the Overall, Rock and Metal iTunes album chart upon release and would then go on to take the coveted #1 spot on Consequences of Sound’s Top 30 Metal + Hard Rock Albums of 2020. “Live in Richmond, VA” was recorded at The Broadberry in the band’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia and gives fans their first live taste of the new material due to the COVID 19 pandemic postponing the bands scheduled spring/summer tour.

When COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill in early 2020 it also brought with it a whole host of questions and problems. For musicians they could no longer support new releases due the traditional routes of promotion being put on hold or cancelled. To combat that artists turned to live streaming performances which fans could watch from the safety of their homes. Lamb of God took that model and ran with it. Over the course of two nights in September of 2020 the band performed their latest self-titled release just as it appears on the studio version. Live albums tend to be hit or miss for me, but I have to say I actually almost prefer the live version of “Lamb of God” to the studio version. Don’t get me wrong the studio version is a great album but this newly released live version really captures the band in their element giving each of the ten songs extra edge and bite. “Momento Mori” and “Resurrection Man” kick off each side of the LP setting the standard high for the tracks which follow. Songs like “Checkmate”, “Gears” and “Poison Dream” pulverize your senses via the razor like vocals of Randy Blythe and the twin guitar attack of Willie Adler and Mark Morton while other songs like “New Colossal Hate”, Bloodshot Eyes” and “On The Hook” go straight in for the kill with thunderous bottom end courtesy of bassist John Campbell and drummer Art Cruz.

This was a record I found myself listening to multiple times in one sitting. A rarity for me as I tend to have a tension span that is a bit on the shorter side especially when it comes to music. The overall mix of the album combined with the bands impressive performance kept me coming back for more even after listening to it in succession. Though I had wished the full live performance had been included on the 150 gram LP as those missing songs would have been a nice bonus but, given the time constraints vinyl present I understand. Thankfully, the complete performance is available in a Deluxe three-disc version of “Lamb of God” which includes the studio version of the record, the live version including two bonus tracks and a live DVD performance. If you missed the initial streams or you want to revisit those performance’s, you will certainly want to grab one of these as you won’t be disappointed.   

Track Listing:

Side: 1

1.) Memento Mori

2.) Checkmate

3.) Gears

4.) Reality Bath

5.) New Colossal Hate

Side:2

1.) Resurrection Man

2.) Poison Dream

3.) Routes

4.) Bloodshot Eyes

5.) On The Hook

Album Review: Soundgarden “Down On The Upside” Anniversary LP

“Down On The Upside” 35th Anniversary Vinyl

Soundgarden

AM Records

Producer: Soundgarden

Co-Producer: Adam Kasper

2 LP’s

Tracks: 16

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Soundgarden’s Platinum selling 1996 release “Down On The Upside” is the latest album from the bands catalog to be included in the Seattle natives 35 year Anniversary Collection. The third in a series of vinyl releases commemorating the bands career the 16 track, 2 LP set is being pressed on limited edition 180 gram colored vinyl and comes packaged in a full color, dual gatefold sleeve complete with album liner notes.

Though this is not the first time “Down On The Upside” has appeared on vinyl it is certainly the brightest. Right away listeners will notice the heavy weight, 180 gram, limited edition Orange and Purple marble pressings which play host to some of Sound Garden’s biggest hits of the mid 90’s. Listeners will obviously want to check out “Pretty Noose”, “Blow Up The Outside World” and “Burden In My Hand” but I also would recommend “Rhinosaur” and “Dusty” as well. Visually the release pulls out all the stops as the orange and purple vinyl feature subtle marble swirls which look really cool when spinning on your turntable. The gatefold packaging is also nicely done and is printed on heavy weight card stock fitting of a special release.

Though the album is nice to look at I found it to be pretty lax in the listening dept. The sound quality was ok but it was certainly dated and could have benefited from a remix and re-master. In 1997 the band released a greatest hits compilation including the songs “Karaoke” and “Bleed Together” which we outtakes from the “Down On The Upside” sessions however, neither of those songs were included here making for a big miss in my book. The last disappointment was the fact that no digital download codes were included thus making it slightly difficult to listen on the go. If you purchased a copy of this record upon its initial release then I say stick with that and skip over this re-release but, if this is an album that has been on your list to pick up now is a great time while it is available in a limited edition release.       

Track Listing:

1.) Pretty Noose

2.) Rhinosaur

3.) Zero Chance

4.) Dusty

5.) Ty Cobb

6.) Blow Up The Outside World

7.) Burden In My Hand

8.) Never Named

9.) Applebite

10.) Never The Machine Forever

11.) Tighter and Tighter

12.) No Attention

13.) Switch Opens

14.) Overfloater

15.) An Unkind

16.) Boot Camp

Vinyl LP Review “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Princess Celestia”

“My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Princess Celestia”
Princess Celestia Variant Edition
Vinyl LP
Limited Edition
Tracks: 14
Label: Spacelab9

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This Hot Topic Exclusive Vinyl LP is a “best of” collection by composer Daniel Ingram including fan favorite tracks from the hit series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” such as “The Gala Song,” “Love Is In Bloom” and “Becoming Popular.” This specific LP is an exclusive Princess Celestia picture disc and includes two bonus tracks. There is also a Princess Luna Variant Edition available as wel. This is a Limited edition release, so if you are a die-hard “”My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” fan you should make you way to the closest Hot Topic ASAP!

My daughter absolutely loved seeing this picture disc, she kept flipping it over and looking double sided images. I was a little disappointed that the fun and catchy theme song was not on this record. “May the Best Pet Win” is definitely a fun track though. “Apples to the Core” and “Babs Seed” are the two included exclusive bonus tracks. The songs sound great and are well represented here. Lastly, this only comes in a plastic see through sleeve, like most Hot Topic exclusives. I would have loved to see then get a nice cover jacket. Still a great buy!

Side A
Twilight’s Failure Song
Love is in Bloom
The Flim Flam Cider Song
Becoming Popular
May the Best Pet Win
Art of the Dress
Ballad of the Crystal Ponies

Side B
Find a Way
Raise this Barn
The Laughter Song
At the Gala
Make a Wish
Apples to the Core*
Babs Seed*

 

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Vinyl Review “Disney’s TRON: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” 180g Double Vinyl Edition

Disney’s TRON
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Composer: Wendy Carlos
Double LP
180g Virgin Vinyl

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Growing up, one of my favorite films was “TRON”, now 30+ years later…little has changed. The music in the film was always my favorite. I just to listen to the cassette as kid and now I have it digitally on my smartphone. Audio Fidelity is the guys behind the the release of this album on a Double LP  with 180g translucent blue vinyl records. They are the definitely of quality when it comes to music releases. This wonderful music has never sounded better! Crack it up to 11 and enjoy the wonderful sound of “TRON” once again on vinyl!

The score itself for “TRON” an nice blend of electronic along with traditional orchestral music. Kudos to composer Wendy Carlos for her brilliant orchestral recording with symphonic backgrounds by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the UCLA Chorus. She has created some of my favorite scores including “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining”. The “TRON” soundtrack also has two additional tracks from the rock band Journey, “Only Solutions” and “1990’s Theme”.

The gatefold jacket inside this new vinyl reissue holds the two 180g translucent blue vinyl records and also includes colorful photos from the popular cult film. Inside there is a fantastic liner notes written by the composer as well Michael Fremer, who also served as the film’s soundtrack supervisor. Fremer also oversaw the new Audio Fidelity mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. So you know it go the attention that it deserved.

Track list: 
SIDE 1
1-Creation Of TRON
2-Only Solutions – Journey
3-We’ve Got Company
4-Wormhole
5-Ring Game And Escape
6-Water, Music, And Tronaction

SIDE 2
1-TRON Scherzo
2-Miracle and Magician
3-Magic Landings
4-Theme From TRON
5-1990’s Theme – Journey
6-Love Theme

SIDE 3
1-Tower Music – Let Us Pray
2-The Light Sailer
3-Sea Of Simulation

SIDE 4
1-A New TRON And The MCP
2-Anthem
3-Ending Titles