My Top 10 Favorite Rock/Metal Albums of 2015

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Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the first list/countdown of 2016 (not counting the “Most Anticipated” list). And it’s not the list that I think most people would expect from me based on what I usually cover on this here blog (movies). but I do listen to a lot of music and as some of you might know, most of it is rock. And from that I wanted to do a list of my favorite albums of the year since I didn’t wanna pick my favorite songs since that would just take fuckin’ forever. So instead, list of albums. Time for rules.

Rule #1: As I usually state, this is my list and that means you have no right to bitch and moan about your favorites not being on the list or if an album you hate is on the list. These are my opinions and should be treated as such; opinions, not objective facts.

Rule #2: No re-releases allowed here since those are just older albums with updated audio quality being released.

Rule #3: There is no rule #3…

Before we officially begin, I do officially have an honorable mention to give out. And that honorable mention is for the album “Totally Driven” by Uriah Heep. The reason it didn’t make the main list is because it has technically been released several times before under different titles to no real success at all. And even though it didn’t make the main list, I do still really recommend it because it’s pretty fucking great.

Now that all of that is done, laides and gentlemen, I present to you… My Top 10 Favorite Rock/Metal Albums of 2015.

Number 10: Toto – Toto XIV (Sample: Burn).

So at the bottom of the list we see the release of “Toto XIV” by… Toto. You know, Toto, the guys that made “Africa” and “Hold the Line”. In 2015 they released this album which does carry the regular Tot style but without the late 70’s/mid 80’s style that their classic songs have. And while I don’t think this album will live on with as big of a reputation/admiration of those classics, it’s still a good album.

Number 9: Motörhead – Bad Magic (Sample: Fire Storm Hotel).

This album just shows how badass Motörhead has been throughout the entirety of their career. And with that said, rest in peace Lemmy, you awesome bastard.

Number 8: Def Leppard – Def Leppard (Sample: Dangerous).

Anyone else here who’s surprised that Def Leppard never having released a self-titled album before this? I mean, most bands release a self-titled album pretty early in their careers, but Def Leppard here decided to wait until 2015 to do it. Oh well, at least it’s a good album. It’s very diverse in how it sounds which is something I really liked about it, the songs don’t really sound like each other.

Number 7: Ghost – Meliora (Sample: Cirice).

Now we start getting into what I would like to call the creep-metal. It’s the type of metal that kind of creeps me out. And I think that is kind of what Swedish metal band Ghost intended with this album. I mean, if you look at the band you would agree that they are a creepy bunch. But honestly, I don’t care because it’s a really good album with several great tracks and I think that’s a good justification to listen to it.

Number 6: W.A.S.P – Golgotha (Sample: Hero of The World).

W.A.S.P. is one of those bands I have heard of for several years but never really paid attention ot/listened to. But after listening to their 2015 album “Golgotha”, I believe I might have to keep an eye on them because this album is pretty great. This album has a lot of tracks that sound a surprising amount like a lot of older songs I have listened to. And I don’t really mean in chord progression, but more in style. Not that I’m complaining, on the contrary, I really like it. It’s a style that I just find really great.

Number 5: Browsing Collection – Greeting From Neverland (Sample: Don’t Tell Me).

This is the part where I recommend some kind of relatively obscure band that most of you probably haven’t heard of. This is Browsing Collection, a hard rock/metal band from a small town not too far from where I live. What I find interesting too is the fact that that band consists to 100% of girls. I know that’s not entirely weird, I jsut find it interesting and fun… especially since they make some great fucking music. Seriously, go listen to their albums on Spotify and wherever you can find them because they need a lot more attention than they already have.

Number 4: UFO – A Conspiracy of Stars (Sample – Run Boy Run)

Yet again we have an old rock band with a new album in 2015. And like the other ones, it’s pretty awesome. This is really UFO at their best. If you’ve heard any of their music before you know what their best is and I do think that this album could be added to that mix. Seriously, it’s great.

Number 3: Scorpions – Return to Forever (Sample: We Built This House).

I feel like the expression “old but gold” fits in perfectly to my list because I believe the majority of it consists of old bands doing stuff. But at the same time, who gives a shit as long as the music is good? Scorpions is no exception to this with their latest album, “Return to Forever”, an album made up of songs written throughout their entire carerr but could never release based on the sieze of albums back then. But now we have them as recent recordings and they all got released as a pretty amazing album by the great band who have given us classic like “Rock You Like A Hurricane”, “Wind of Change” and “Send Me An Angel”, to name a few. What can I say, the old guys still got it.

Number 2: Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls (Sample: Death or Glory).

I’m not gonna lie, I struggled quite a bit when deciding over my Top 2 albums. I went back and forth like “No, that’s number 1, no that’s number 1!”. But it finally came down to this. But you can keep in mind that this is an incredibly close second place. Anyhow, what did we have here? Well it was the latest album from legendary metal band Iron Maiden, one of my aboslute favorites. So when I heard that they were making a new album, I was of course very pumped because… Iron Maiden! And when it finally came out I actually kind of missed it and didn’t listen to it until very shortly before the new year rolled around. And I have to say that I am a little disappointed in my self for not listening to it sooner. But when I finally did, holy hell was it amazing. Really, one of Maiden’s best albums in my opinion, and I don’t think they have ever done anything bad when it comes to their music. But really, this album’s great.

NUMBER 1: Muse – Drones (Sample: Psycho).

Yup, I put Muse over Iron Maiden… that’s how I roll. But like I said, I struggled a lot with the Top 2 so who cares. I have to say that this might one of Muse’s best albums. The music is cool/well made and I kind of do like the lyrics even though a lot of people hate them. That’s right… I am the minority. Great album, go listen to it. But if you don’t like it then fine… be like that.

So this has been my list of my top 10 favorite Rock/Metal albums of 2015. What have been some that I haven’t mentioned that you liked? Feel free to mention any and all of those in the comments. Yeah… I’m done.
Have a good one!

 

 

Movie Review: Ghost (1990)

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Does love transcend all? That is a question many people ask themselves. Can love for someone be the solitary reason for one’s survival/struggle? Intrepret the situation however the hell you want. Me? I don’t know, haven’t felt true love yet.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ghost”.

Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) is a young man with a lot of things going for him. He’s doing well at his job as a banker, he lives with his true love Molly (Demi Moore) and they have a pretty big apartment. Unfortunately he gets murdered one evening. But he also comes back as a ghost and takes the help of a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg) to keep in touch with the world and help Molly from a terrible fate. I know my description sounds a bit off, but I am simply trying to explain it without really spoiling it. Anyway, I really liked the plot. I was a bit skeptic since it seemed like it might become a very melodramatic and sappy plot, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. It had a lot more depth than I thought it would. It also made me tear up at a spot. Let me put it like this, on the outside I shed a tear… but on the inside I cried like a little baby. Good job, “Ghost”.

The characters are interesting and entertaining, that’s the best way I can put it. Patrick Swayze was pretty great in this movie. As a big fan of him I have still been able to see that he hasn’t been that great of an actor, but here he was genuinely good. Demi Moore was pretty great in the movie as well, showing a lot of emotion and simply giving a great performance. Whoopi Goldberg was also really good, she actually gave a great performance in the movie (holy shit). Tony Goldwyn was also great, but I guess you can safely assume such a thing when Tarzan is in the house (Obscure references, ho!). Every actor was in fact great in the movie.

Leave it to Maurice Jarre to create a truly great score for a movie. If you don’t remember, he is the man who was the main composer for the movie “Fearless” which I love. And here he knocked it out of the park again. This score has a lot of emotion behind it, but it also manages to create tension whenever it needs to. It managed to capture all kind of musical feelings it could. He did a great job. I also like how they included the song “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers, it was really well done.

This movie was directed by Jerry Zucker who, HOLY SHIT HE DIRECTED “AIRPLANE”! That is a funny jump, from a hilarious and strange comedy to a love story featuring ghosts. Anyway, he did a great job directing this movie, nothing else to really say here. What I also enjoyed is the fact that this movie manage to capture pretty much every genre without it all feeling totally mish-mashed and terrible. It captures drama, comedy, fantasy, thriller, action… you name it. And I’m genuinely impressed by how well it actually managed to do it.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay. The movie was also nominated for an additional  3 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Ghost” is a movie that surprised me on so many levels. Not only did I actually like the story, but I was even touched deeply by it. I also really enjoyed all the performances (which were great), the score was terrific with the inclusion of “Unchained Melody”, and the directing was good. I also enjoy how it actually made me laugh because of real humor. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Ghost” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Ghost” is now reviewed.

I guess love does transcend all…

Movie Review: The Sixth Sense (1999)

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Don’t worry, I have seen this “essential” movie before so you don’t have to lose your shit. It’s just that I haven’t seen this movie in a few years and thought it could be good to give it a little rewatch to refresh my memory of it. So now I’ve seen it (again) and now I will review it (for the first time).

Ladies and gentlemen, do you have… “The Sixth Sense”?

In this movie we follow child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) as he after getting shot, takes on a new patient. This patient is nine year old Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) who apparently can see dead people… who don’t know they’re dead! From that you might expect “Oh, it’s a horror movie then!”. But I wouldn’t really call “The Sixth Sense” a horror movie per se. I would say that it is a drama with thriller elements. Sure, there are parts that you could argue are straight up horror-related, but I counter with the fact that this movie never really tries to full on scare you, it just wants to get udner your skin and make you feel a little bit uneasy. Kind of like a thriller. But if you analyze the plot, it is really a drama-thriller, not a horror movie. Anyway, with all of that bullshit out of the way, I loved the plot. It built up a lot of suspense, it showed excellent drama and it was just overall really great. And despite knowing the final twist, I still think it is one of the greatest twists ever. I’m not gonna spoil it if you somehow haven’t seen this movie at all.

The characters in this movie (despite the unusual situation) all feel like real people, none of them simply felt like characters in a movie. And I think a lot of that comes from a combination of excellent writing and some pretty great performances, three in particular. First off we have Bruce Willis who is actually acting and playing a character not just being Mr. Grumpy action dude. Jokes aside, Bruce Willis is great in this movie, playing a very human character who you’d just wanna be friends with. Next up is Haley Joel Osment who gives possibly the greatest performance by a child-actor ever. And if not THE best, at least one of the best. The final performance I wanted to mention was that of Toni Collette who plays Osment’s mom. She was excellent in the movie, portraying every emotion you could ever mention. Yeah, she was great. Everybody was great.

The score for the movie was done by James Newton Howard who managed to create an atmospheric, creepy, suspense-building and beautiful score that has lingered in my mind ever since the movie wrapped up, it is that great.

This movie was directed by M. Night Shyama-Lama-Ding-Dong, sorry… Shyamalan. And he did a great job with it, perfectly building tension and never revealing too much of anything in the movie. He did a fantastic job directing the movie. He also did the writing for the movie which I also thought was pretty great.

This movie has been very well-received over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #161 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best PIcture, Best Supporting Actor (Osment), Best Supporting Actress (Collette), Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

Guys, “The Sixth Sense” is an awesome movie with a tense and beautiful story, great characters/acting, excellent music, great direction, great writing and one of the best twists in cinema. Time for my final score. AH! Dead person! Oh, it’s just Jeff. Envelope. Thank you. My final score for “The Sixth Sense” is a 9,88/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “The Sixth Sense” is completed.

Shyama-Lama-Ding-Dong…