Hard Reviews
by Martin Popoff

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Fresh Metal

Enchant - Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10
(InsideOut)

Stare down the treeline of power metal, over to progressive metal, but don't twist yer neck yon' to progressive rock, and between the last two tree stands, you will find the delicious vibes of San Fran's Enchant. Here's the cool thing I noticed (and the plan is that you will all follow me, and in turn, I will lend each one of you my thick glasses): take the best things Styx has done lately, which happens to be the Shaw Blades' Hallucination album and the Tommy Shaw 7 Deadly Zens album, spice with Night Ranger's vastly under-rated Seven album, load in all the magic moments from old Styx (call it The Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight), and spice with a bunch of amusing Rush quotes, and you've got the captivating progressive pop magic Enchant singularly own. Pure pleasure to the point of causing one to drop all the categories and just enjoy, Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10's comforts arise from that tight snare, the shimmery, softly textured waves of both electric and acoustic guitars (sorta like Lifeson but not as mechanical), heavenly melodies and quite (and welcome) Shaw-like vocals. It's like yeah, right here folks, here's the new progressive.
Rating 9

Type O Negative - The Least Worst Of
(Roadrunner)

Kinda nice having this eventful, nook 'n' cranny-filled hits pack come out just as October Rust sees official gold designation in the states. A just reward for a creepy, unique, bla-cabre franchise. And from what I can tell, only one track here is identical to the LP versions, making this at least half a new, deep and hard experience. Granted, it is a hits pack, so the least changed would be the album's five edit versions. Next there's a number of remixes, along with half re-engineered tracks like Pete's Lucifer-standpoint vocal on cover Black Sabbath, a studio version of Hey Pete and a European b-side 12 Black Rainbows, featuring a great Iommi-ish groove riff rendered in the band's irritating fuzz guitar tones. To top it off, there are two previously unreleased tracks from the World Coming Down sessions, It's Never Enough, which is just a smothered drag, until it breaks into a weird happy Danzigland set of riffs, again, that electrical leakage guitar sound somehow ruining your mood and closer Stay Out Of My Dreams, a typical fat pounding slog lapsing into casual new wave goth and then back into bulldozing. So like, it's what you wanted and more, with the potential to be one of those surprise big sellers, likely pleasing both diehards and died-awhile-backs.
Rating 7.5

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