Weirdbeard
User

Soundoffs 20
Album Ratings 119
Objectivity 75%

Last Active 06-21-14 1:36 pm
Joined 09-30-12

Forum Posts 0
Review Comments 12

Average Rating: 3.66
Rating Variance: 0.89
Objectivity Score: 75%
(Fairly Balanced)

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5.0 classic
Humble Pie Smokin'
A stone cold classic. One of the first albums I owned as a youth and I've never tired of it. The production and vibe of the album is unmatched; you can feel the presence of the instruments and voices like you're right there in the studio with them.
Manowar Hail to England
Manowar Sign of the Hammer
Pagan's Mind God's Equation
Pagan's Mind Enigmatic: Calling
Pagan's Mind Celestial Entrance
Pagan's Mind Infinity Divine
Raven All for One
Raven Wiped Out
Rush Signals
Rush Moving Pictures
Rush Permanent Waves
Rush Hemispheres
Rush A Farewell to Kings
Spiritual Beggars Earth Blues
I've got their entire catalog and feel this is their best yet. The songs are accessible and inspired, the throaty organ sounds make it feel like 1973 again, and the guitar tone is gorgeous. I was not enamored of Apollo as the new singer on "Return to Zero"; the album was rather tame by their standards. But he's "on fire" here and this might be my favorite vocal performance on any SB album, and that's saying a lot.
Yes Close to the Edge
One of the grand achievements of progressive rock that still stands the test of time. You had to be there hearing this in real time, trying to wrap your head around the complexity, lyrics, musicianship, arrangements and emotion, so unlike anything else you'd heard before.

4.5 superb
Angel Angel
Chicago Chicago Transit Authority
Clutch Blast Tyrant
Clutch Robot Hive/Exodus
Fu Manchu The Action is Go
Fu Manchu In Search Of...
Fu Manchu Daredevil
I love the loose swagger of these early Fu Manchu albums. They don't skip on the riffs either. You're halfway through a song that's already kicking your ass with a killer riff and they suddenly change gears with a bridge or new section with a completely different riff that kicks your ass even more!
Horslips Aliens
Horslips The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony
Humble Pie Performance Rockin The Fillmore
Manowar Into Glory Ride
Manowar Battle Hymns
Opeth Deliverance
Opeth Blackwater Park
Pagan's Mind Heavenly Ecstasy
This band never fails to astound. How they get such a heavy sound without distortion and with such space between the instruments is incredible.
Sasquatch II
Spiritual Beggars On Fire
This was my favorite SB album until Earth Blues came along. I love the throaty roar of JB's voice and the sound of the instrumentation is perfect, fiery and in your face. Unreal that people out there are still listening to the same lame songs over and over on "classic rock" stations without knowing about this superior band.

4.0 excellent
Chicago Chicago II
Chicago Chicago III
Chicago Chicago V
Chicago Chicago VII
Chicago Chicago at Carnegie Hall
Earthless Sonic Prayer
Earthless Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky
Fu Manchu Signs Of Infinite Power
A definite improvement over the previous two disastrous albums, We Must Obey and Start the Machine! The guitar tones are thick and fuzzy again, the trippy elements have returned and the riffs are more plentiful. There are still moments where they reference the punk rock sound of the aforementioned albums, but for the most part this is solid Fu Manchu.
Fu Manchu California Crossing
Fu Manchu King of the Road
Horslips The Táin
Humble Pie As Safe As Yesterday Is
Humble Pie Rock On
Lo-Pan Salvador
Lo-Pan Sasquanaut
Just got into these guys at the same time as Wo Fat. Lo-Pan... Wo Fat... sounds like I'm ordering at a Chinese restaurant! Killer sound though, picked up this and the Salvador album.
Opeth Ghost Reveries
Raven Rock Until You Drop
Rush Clockwork Angels
Rush Power Windows
Rush 2112
Rush Vapor Trails Remixed
I like this a lot better now with the remix. So many textures come to the fore now. The original gave me such a headache that I couldn't listen to more than 3 tunes in a row before having to turn it off.
Rush All the World's a Stage
Sasquatch III
So many times I hear a song on a stoner internet station that starts with a killer guitar riff... and then the vocals come in and kill it. Not these guys. They've got a major league vocalist to go along with their thunderous riffing, which puts them head and shoulders above their stoner contemporaries. They simply excel at every aspect of making this kind of music. This is the standard against which all other hard-n-heavy rock should be measured.
Sasquatch Sasquatch
Sasquatch IV
A more compact offering than previous albums, but I do miss the acoustic tracks. "The Message" is not a good choice for the opening track, rather ordinary by their standards. Things get cooking after that. Killer sound, guitars and vocals rule and I don't care if they cop riffs. There's a bit in "Sweet Lady" that sounds like it comes from Humble Pie's "Four Day Creep" off Rockin' the Fillmore. Who cares, it sounds killer!rMy only other issue is some of the song lengths. "Wolves at My Door" and "Corner" are just 3 minutes and I wish they were a bit longer. "Smoke Signal" is 7:26 and the last two minutes are the repeated "Woo hoo hoo" vocals over repetitive riffs and guitar noise. It didn't need to go on that long. Only "Drawing Flies" at 7:41 works for me at that length as the melodies and riffs are quite dramatic. Overall a damn fine album, been cranking it in my car.
Spiritual Beggars Ad Astra
Spiritual Beggars Mantra III
Spiritual Beggars Another Way To Shine
The Sword Age of Winters
The Sword Warp Riders
The Sword Apocryphon
Wo Fat The Black Code
Wo Fat Noche del Chupacabra
Yes Fragile
You had to be there, hearing this album in real time when it came out. There was nothing to compare it to. It was so "out there", so rich and complex and full of musical ideas that it was overwhelming. It loses points for the gratuitous solo pieces; with the exception of Steve Howe's amazing "Mood For a Day", they are largely forgettable. But the band tracks are still granite blocks of progressive rock that stand the test of time.

3.5 great
Fu Manchu Gigantoid
Solid FM. Yeah they're formulaic, but I like the formula. They harken back to some earlier styles though with some trippy sections, a nice surprise. The drumming is looser and wilder on this album too.
Fu Manchu Eatin' Dust
Fu Manchu Go For It...Live
Horslips The Man Who Built America
Pelican The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon...
Rush Grace Under Pressure Tour
Rush Grace Under Pressure
Rush Caress of Steel
Rush Different Stages
Spiritual Beggars Demons
Wo Fat Psychedelonaut

3.0 good
Chicago Chicago VIII
Clutch Pure Rock Fury
Horslips Drive the Cold Winter Away
Humble Pie Eat It
A huge left turn for the band after their heavy stoner/blues classic, "Smokin'." It could have been better if not for the awful production. In his book, drummer Jerry Shirley says he heard one of the songs on the radio in a car a few days after the album was released and knew they were sunk because it sounded so bad. Some of the soul songs are quite good, and the acoustic side was a nice twist. But the side with 3 live concert tracks was atrocious. Considering how great they sounded on Rockin The Fillmore, this sounds like caterwauling noise.
Manowar Louder Than Hell
Manowar The Triumph of Steel
Manowar Kings of Metal
Manowar Fighting the World
Opeth Damnation
Raven Life´s A Bitch
Raven Live At The Inferno
Rush Test for Echo
Rush Hold Your Fire
Rush Fly by Night
Rush A Show of Hands
Rush Exit...Stage Left
Spiritual Beggars Return To Zero
This album feels tame compared to earlier efforts and I'm not that enamored of the new singer... but thankfully Apollo has redeemed himself and found his voice on the new Earth Blues album!
Spiritual Beggars Spiritual Beggars
The Sword Gods of the Earth
Wo Fat The Conjuring

2.5 average
Chicago Chicago VI
Chicago Chicago X
Chicago Chicago XI
Fu Manchu We Must Obey
Continues in the vein of "Start the Machine", which is basically Fu Manchu gone wrong. The songs are slightly better though, and a few have parts that sound like they're trying to reach back to their classic stoner sound (Shake It Loose, Land of Giants, Lesson) and Sensei vs. Sensei is a killer slow closing track, but there is still too much here that sounds like punk rock.
Grand Magus Iron Will
For me, this is a case of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. All the right ingredients are there: JB's killer voice (love his work in Spiritual Beggars), classic metal riffs, great sounding instruments, Nordic themes...so why don't I love this? It all seems...average. Safe, even. Too many mid-tempo songs that seem to blur together. Nothing really exciting or innovative about the arrangements; it's all very play-by-numbers. No ragged edges to the playing. Repetitive choruses that aren't very compelling - after I hear "silver into steel" repeated 4 times, that's enough, but it goes on and on. I bought this at the same time as Alabama Thunderpussy's "Open Fire" and ironically both bands have been in the "stoner" category earlier in their career but have morphed into a more classic metal/power metal sound. By contrast, I can't get enough of "Open Fire." It also has all the right ingredients but played with fire and passion, and with some cool instrumental breaks. It grabs my ear, whereas "Iron Will" just plods along and I find my interest drifting from boredom. Wish it wasn't so because I really wanted to like this album.
Horslips Short Stories - Tall Tales
Horslips Roll Back
Humble Pie Thunderbox
Burnt out from all the drugs that their success brought them, Thunderbox is the result. The recording lacks "oomph" in the production and Steve's voice especially is not well recorded. He was also short on inspiration with quite a few cover songs and not many originals.
Manowar Warriors of the World
Opeth Heritage
Rush Vapor Trails
Rush Rush

2.0 poor
Fu Manchu Start the Machine
Fu Manchu lost the plot with this one. The thick fuzz tones are gone and the songs sound more like punk rock than stoner rock - short songs without any adventurous jamming. "Hey" sounds like The Knack, and that's not a good thing! "Written in Stone" is a great opening track but it's all downhill from there. An uninspired effort.
Humble Pie Street Rats
Tired, uninspired, just playing out the string. They made this after the record company rejected a completely different album which they submitted, so maybe the lack of motivation is understandable! (that other album surfaced in the 90's as the Scrubber Sessions, and was better than Street Rats).
Manowar Gods of War
Raven The Pack Is Back
Rush Counterparts

1.5 very poor
Manowar The Lord of Steel
Rush Snakes & Arrows

1.0 awful
Rush Roll the Bones
Rush Presto
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