My new music auction site

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Check out Metal Music Auctions, my new site featuring eBay auctions for metal music. There are currently pages for individual bands, some record labels, and genres. You can subscribe to useful RSS feeds to stay updated on your favourite band's records that are listed in eBay.

It's pretty small so far, but I'm adding new stuff every day. Metal Music Auctions, that's where the auctions are. Take a look at my Impaled Nazarene page, for example.

Opeth: Watershed

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Opeth: WatershedRoadrunner

Track list: Coil - Heir Apparent - The Lotus Eater - Burden - Porcelain Heart - Hessian Peel - Hex Omega - Derelict Herds - Bridge of Sighs - Den Standiga Resan

Opeth presents us another great album. Guitarist Peter Lindgren has been replaced by Fredrik Åkesson, but frankly, if I hadn't read that from another review, I wouldn't have noticed anything. The change has been seamless, one could say.

Not much has changed: what was good remains good. What is different is the level of 70's progressive elements. There's certainly more of that. However, worry not: Opeth is still a progressive metal band, and the death metal elements are there as well. It's just the balance has been bumped a bit towards the progressive side.

The result is impressive. There are several very good tracks, with many that will surely join the lists of favourites for many Opeth fans. *****

Moonsorrow: Tulimyrsky EP

CD, Spikefarm Records

Track list: Tulimyrsky - For Whom The Bell Tolls - Taistelu Pohjolasta - Hvergelmir - Back To North

You can trust Moonsorrow to be epic! Their idea of a mini-cd is 68 minutes long. The title track lasts for whopping 29 minutes and it kicks ass the whole time. It's a story, narrated by a Finnish actor Turkka Mastomäki, and consists of several parts that vary from mellow and atmospheric to very fierce beating - as you can expect from Moonsorrow.

I really like what Moonsorrow has done with their last few albums and this MCD is no exception. The title track is excellent, furious stuff with excellent production: not too clean, not too rough. The cover songs - For Whom the Bell Tolls from Metallica, Back to North from Merciless - are well done, as are the older, previously unreleased demo-era songs. Great stuff. ****

Einstürzende Neubauten: Alles wieder Offen

Track list: Die Wellen - Nagorny Karabach - Weilweilweil - Ich hatte ein Wort - Von wegen - Let's do it a Dada! - Alles wieder offen - Unvollständigkeit - Susej - Ich warte

Einstürzende Neubauten continues making great noise. Like Perpetuum Mobile, Alles wieder offen is a calm, subtle album, full of beautiful little touches, occasional storms and curious sounds. It all sounds very mature and elegant.

There are good tracks, too. From the first rounds, I've picked up Nagorny Karabach and Weilweilweil, but I'd say the album is overall quite balanced and good. No standout hits that would challenge the likes of Die Befindlichkeit des Landes or Die Interimsliebende, but a balanced, beautiful album that is perhaps more than the sum of its individual tracks. ****

Indica: Kadonnut puutarha

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Indica: Kadonnut puutarha

CD, Sony BMG 2007

Track list: Viimeinen jyvä - Linnansa vanki - Ikävänkantaja - Ulkona - Nukkuu kedolla - Noita - Pahan tarha - Äänet - Mykkä - Unten laiva - Helmet

After seeing Indica perform support for Nightwish, I quickly checked out their discography from library. Of the three albums they've made, this, the third one, is clearly the best. All have hits, but this one's a solid flow of one good song after the other. Viimeinen jyvä, Linnansa vanki, Ulkona, Nukkuu kedolla, Noita, Pahan tarha - pure gold!

I find Indica's brand of poprock rather pleasant: catchy tunes, enough mysticism and romance and quite a bit of personality. The vocalist, violinist and songwriter Jonsu is a gifted individual and here to stay, I'd say. Her voice is personal, by which I mean some love it and some hate it and few will be left cold - I do like it a lot. What an excellent album. ****

Candlemass: Nightfall

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Candlemass: Nightfall

MP3, Peaceville Records

Track list: Gothic Stone - The Well of Souls - Codex Gigas - At the Gallows End - Samarithan - Marche Funebre - Dark Are the Veils of Death - Mourner's Lament - Bewitched - Black Candles - Bewitched (demo) - Battle Cry (demo) - The Well of Souls (live) - Dark Are the Veils of Death (live) - At the Gallows End (studio outtake) - Mourner's Lament (studio outtake) - Interview

On Nightfall, Candlemass perfected their recipe of delicious doom metal: Messiah Marcolin is one damn good vocalist. His theatrical and dramatic style fits perfectly to Candlemass's heavy doom stylings. The song-writing on this album is top-notch: The Well of Souls, At the Gallows End, Samarithan, and Bewitched all are classic tracks with lasting power.

This is one of those classic albums that all metal fans should know and all doom metal fans should definitely own. *****

Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus

MP3, Peaceville Records

Track list: Solitude - Demons Gate - Crystal Ball - Black Stone Wielder - Under the Oak - A Sorcerer's Pledge - The Well of Souls (live) - Demons Gate (live) - Crystal Ball (live) - Solitude (live) - Bewitched (live) - A Sorcerer's Pledge (live) - Black Sabbath Medley (live)

There's few different styles of doom metal. Candlemass represents the original, the one that sounds like Black Sabbath, but a tad heavier and slower (Cathedral, often called doom metal, sounds to me exactly like Black Sabbath, which makes it heavy metal in my books). Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, an album with a remarkable silly name, is their debut from 1986, now reissued. Despite the silly title, it's a true masterpiece of doom metal.

It's a very, very strong album, with several excellent tracks. The guitar riffs are low and slow, while the drums beat ominously. The vocals, mostly clear and dramatic, deliver the gloomy lyrics. While most people seem to prefer the band's next vocalist Messiah Marcolin, Johan Landquist does a great job here. Occasionally the band picks up the speed a bit and shifts in a more aggressive gear. Excellent stuff, metal doesn't get much better than this. *****

Manticora: The Black Circus - Part 1 - The LettersCD, Massacre Records 2006

Track list: Enter The Carnival - The Black Circus - Intuneric I - Enchanted Mind - Intuneric II - Forever Carousel - Freakshow - Gypsies' Dance Part 1 - Intuneric III - Wisdom - Intuneric IV - Disciples Of The Entities

Manticora's main idea is to create concept albums based on literature. They've used science fiction before; now it's H.P. Lovecraft. I didn't realize the connection until I read about it elsewhere; it isn't that obvious. The music is raunchy power metal, but at least with some unique touch. I don't care much about most power metal, but this was definitely more inspiring than it usually is. So, not a bad album at all. ****

Lycosia: ApokaLipstik

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Lycosia: ApokaLipstikCD, Araknid Records 2006

Track list: Last Splash - All These Worlds - Follow Me - Hard Dressed Bitch - Leftover - Kiss Me Hard - Say Fuck Yeah! - Light Years - уmhae Дpaka - Don't Say a Word (Make up mix)

This French band mixes goth, glam and industrial for quite a mix. Too bad I don't like it. Most of it seems fairly pointless, just rushing around for no particular reason. The best parts I might play on a goth club night, and I think this band might be worth seeing live, but listening the whole album through? Won't happen again for me. **

Century Sleeper: Awaken

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Century Sleeper: AwakenCD, Bombworks Records 2006

Track list: Voyage - Arnos Vale - My Face in Eternity - Look Straight Through - Lost on Your Ocean - Fainted World - Centenary - Your Once Loving Heart - The End - As I Close the Final Page - Autumn

This is one long album. Century Sleeper's gothic doom metal is slow and heavy; definitely deeper than likes of Katatonia and Paradise Lost, yet lighter than the heaviest funeral doom or doomdeath. I'm bit undecided here: parts of this sound very good, but many parts don't. Somewhat shorter this would've probably worked much better. ***

Borknagar: Origin

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Borknagar: OriginCD, Century Media 2006

Track list: Earth Imagery - Grains - Oceans Rise - Signs - White - Cynosure - Human Nature - Acclimation - The Spirit Of Nature

The new Borknagar album is acoustic, yet it still very much sounds like Borknagar. So strong is Øystein Brun's touch, I suppose. I like it; the songs are powerful and intense, even with their lighter instrumentation. Unfortunately the unplugged environment manages to bring up the weaker side of Vintersorg's vocals; they aren't always quite as top-notch as rest of the album. Still, this is a good album for the fans of soft progressive rock. ****

Azaghal: Luciferin valo

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Azaghal: Luciferin valoCD, Avantgarde Music 2006

Track list: Black Terror Metal - Ilmestyskirjan ratsastajat - Tuhoaja - Kuin lampaat teuraalle - Verta ja tuhkaa - Teen paholaisen työtä - Azaghal Terror Cult - Hyvästit maailmalle - Olematon - Luciferin Valo

Azaghal's black metal is simple and straight-forward. I like it; there are few surprisingly catchy tracks. The only negative is the heavily cliche-laden lyrics, but once you get over that (and enjoy the few exceptionally funny lines), it's all good. Nothing special, perhaps, but it's a good, steady ride. Few of the tracks stand out and will definitely remain on my playlist. ****

Luna Ad Noctum: The Perfect Evil in MortalCD, Metal Mind Records 2006

Track list: Phantoms ov Wrath (Intro) - The Perfect Evil in Mortal - Diablex Virus - Devilrising Impact - Humana Androide - Deviante Obscurante - Deceptive Fatality - Dimness in Me - Loneliness Ruined My Life

Polish Luna Ad Noctum plays fairly aggressive black metal in the style of Dimmu Borgir, Old Man's Child and Cradle of Filth. While their style isn't the most unique, it's still fresh enough so that I wouldn't necessarily label them as another clone band. There's some good energy here. However, the tracks are pretty bland, mostly - not enough hooks. Still; if you're fan of Dimmu Borgir, check this out. ***

Cemetery of Scream: The Event HorizonCD, Metal Mind Records 2006

Track list: Prophet - Ganges - Komatrance - On the Border - Cold Obsession in My Eyes - Absinthe - The Secret Window - Burial Ground - In His Room - Where Next?

Cemetery of Scream's work lies somewhere between doom and gothic metal. It's not very heavy (as in low-growling guitars and funeral slowness), but certainly melancholic, with curious oriental tones mixed in. Katatonia feels like a decent comparison. Parts of this are very good, some less so, but most of the album sounds actually quite pleasing. Song material isn't top-notch, but definitely better than average. Besides, in the era of MP3 players, who cares about few substandard tracks? ****

Ansur: Axiom

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Ansur: AxiomCD, Candlelight Records 2006

Track list: Earth Erasure - Post-Apocalyptic Wastelands - Interloper - Desert Messiah - Sowers of Discord - The Axiom Depicted

Axiom is a curious batch of extreme metal with all sorts of tricks involved. The roots are in black metal, but the tree branches out to progressive metal and whatnot. It takes few rounds to get your head around it all, but I've enjoyed it since. I wouldn't mind if they improved the vocals, though; now the distorted vocals are sparse and feel a bit pasted-on. Proper, well-sung vocals would've made a huge difference here. ****

Recent album covers

  • Opeth: Watershed
  • Moonsorrow: Tulimyrsky EP
  • Einstürzende Neubauten: Alles wieder Offen
  • Indica: Kadonnut puutarha
  • Candlemass: Nightfall
  • Candlemass: Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
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