Hard Reviews
by Martin Popoff


Martin Popoff is the author of The Collector's Guide To Heavy Metal, a 540 page, 600,000 word compendium comprising 3,700 heavy metal record reviews. Also included are rock lists, a glossary of terms, a concise listing of almost 500 9's and 10's, plus a roll-call of non-metal faves. New to this edition is an exclusive 19 track sampler CD from Century Media. The book is now in its second pressing. For more information, visit the book website or contact martinp@hardradio.com

Hard Reviews Archives
Metal Church, Iced Earth, more
Machine Head, Candlemass, more
Megadeth, Ratt, Lillian Axe, more
Def Leppard, Dokken, Anathema, more
Reissue Revue
Mercyful Fate, Soil, more
Buck Cherry, Alice Cooper, more
Southpaw, Lungbrush, more
Riot, MSG, Anvil, more
Overkill, Puya, more
Great White, The Angels, more
Blind Guardian, F&J, more
Stuart Smith, Memory Garden, more
Rush, Metallica, Maiden
Skid Row, Dream Theater, ECW
Kiss, Aerosmith, Santers, more
Judas Priest, Riot, more
Sepultura, Rob Zombie, more
Bruce Dickinson, Dirty Deeds, more
Helix, Savatage, more
Deep Purple, Paul Gilbert, more
Monster Magnet, Strapping Young Lad, more
Slayer Vault, Kings X, more
Van Halen, Clutch, more

Fresh Metal

Type O Negative - World Coming Down
(Roadrunner)

In what Pete describes as one final attempt, Type O just amplify their dead green philosophy to thick, sloth-like, fuzzed out levels, spreading and infecting unremarkably but gravely like an unwelcome underground spore. Depression reigns, but carouselled by nihilism and a tossed tongue-in-cheek mirror back at the typocritical ingrate staring out. It's Type O distilled to highly flammable proportions, no commercial hand-shake for these guys, although the novelty cover (a curious roundabout chainsaw knaw through Day Tripper) seems to be a Roadrunner prerequisite these days. All things low and slow, World Coming Down could only be a product of this one band, gothic rock in so many ways, churned by long-haired New Yorkers who would stare with blank eyes at the accusation. If October Rust was kind of slick, this one could sonically be deemed similar, although you might not notice given the sorry belly crawl sprawl of the thing, wave after wave of something that approximates Rockman power chords (band credits jokingly include preprogramming, deprogramming, reprogramming and programming, along with keyboards and sampling) smothering each track in post-metal bacterial decay. It's so over the top, you gotta laugh, and then sit down and figure out its usefulness, World Coming Down eithering doing one of those ironic constructive purges on the downtrodden or scaring you away from visiting New York.
Rating 8

Queensryche - Q2K
(Anthem)

With their primary songwriter Chris DeGarmo gone, replaced by grunge guitarist and producer Kelly Gray, Queensryche have turned in a predictable Seattle drizzleday. Not to say it isn't brave, Q2K sure to upset fans of a band who seemed to be turning the ship around with the crisp (although still thick and ponderous) Peter Collins-produced Hear In The Now Frontier from 1997. Many thumbed their noses at that one, but I persevered and found myself pleased at the hooks and harmonies, even if Queensryche have long abandoned prog or power metal. Q2K however is pure Soundgarden, and all types of it to boot, the heavy, the psychedelic and the Beatle-tinged balladic. 'Cept coming from a fusspot band who has long been on a mission to strip layers of ego and unlearn, it's usually less complex, Gray left to fill in the gaps with grit on the heavy ones, ambiance and percussion tinkles on the many quiet moody ones. I don't know, it's a deep album, with many of the better tracks hangin' out in the second half (although the final three are plain boring). I'm sure if you play it 50 times it'll ingratiate itself, but I'm getting tired with having to work so hard at a record. There's a lot out there and I no longer feel that obligation. Much of this is noisy and hookless and uh, gray, and I feel like a pillow's been shoved over my face by the belaboured end of this thing.
Rating 6

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