FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Updates, Re-evaluations and Looking Back – Part 2:

FI 72: Psychotic Waltz – A Social Grace – This album was a real disappointment at the time. Its kind of stayed that way. Its too slow. I don’t listen to it often and when tracks from it come on during a shuffle session they bring down my mood. I’m not sold on this album at all. I got this as part of a boxset, packaged with Mosquito and a DVD. I haven’t watched the DVD yet and I listened to Mosquito once or twice but usually when I’m going to bed so I fall asleep before hearing it all. I’ll give them a few more listens, but as it stands, its not looking promising.

FI 71: Poison – Look What The Cat Dragged In – Despite expecting this to be awful, this album was surprisingly strong. Its only grown on me since. I listen to the Title Track all the time now, I absolutely love that song. If almost any song from this album comes on during a shuffle session I’ll enjoy it.

FI 70: Living Colour – Vivid – Not my cup of tea, then or now. I’ve tried three or four times to get into it, but its just not for me. I’ve given up trying now.

FI 69: Dokken – Tooth And Nail & Back For The Attack – I got these as part of a boxset with the first four albums and a live record. I listen to them all fairly regularly although I’m still in the stage of not really knowing the material yet. If almost any song from this album comes on during a shuffle session I’ll not feel the urge to skip them, but only a handful get me excited. I think this band are a grower and they’re in the process of slowly growing on me. Slowly.

FI 68: Pain Of Salvation – The Perfect Element, Part 1 – This album is fantastic and it gets better with repeat listens. I want to listen to it a lot more than I already do, so I’ll be keeping this in rotation for quite a while. If almost any song from this album comes on during a shuffle session it always brings a smile to my face. When I have money, I definitely plan to look into this band further.

FI 67: Death – Symbolic – I haven’t listened to it since if I’m honest. I enjoyed it, but then I forgot about it until just now.

FI 66: White Zombie – La Sexorcitso and Astro Creep 2000 – I haven’t fully gotten into them, but they’re kind of mentally filed under “OK.” Both are on my phone so I’ll hear one or two tracks from them a day, which will be mildly enjoyed and not skipped, but bring no huge excitement. I still stick by the idea that these songs would be good if they played them more energetically. There are cool riffs, but everything is so calm and quite and polite.

FI 65: Sick Of It All – Scratch The Surface – I don’t listen to it as a whole regularly, but I consider it to be good. I always enjoy it if one of their tracks comes on during a shuffle session, but just by coincidence, that doesn’t happen to often. They’ve got a low actual-number-of-plays to enjoyment ratio.

FI 64: Stone Temple Pilots – Core – I really like this album and listened to it heavily at the time. I haven’t been listening to it a lot since Christmas, but think of it positively and enjoy anything off of it when I do hear it. I also bought the follow-up album “Purple” afterwards, but I don’t enjoy it half as much as I enjoy “Core.” – “Dead And Bloated” is an absolute tune, by the way. I’ll probably listen to the best songs from this album for years to come.

FI 63: Silverchair – Freak Show – Much the same story as Stone Temple Pilots, I like it but in the last two months I haven’t been hitting it particularly hard. I always, always, always enjoy “Cemetery,” “Lie To Me” and “Freak” though!

FI 62: Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger – I listen to Soundgarden almost every day now. I’ve also gotten the album which preceded this and the two which follow it. I’m not sure, but I think this might be my favourite… although Down On The Upside is pretty close too!
Soundgarden are a band I never expected to like so much, due to an endless dislike of “Black Hole Sun” as a teenager, but I just can’t deny how good their good material is.

FI 61: Vision Of Disorder – Self Titled and Imprint – I don’t like these albums. I tried. Eventually I even took them off my phone and stopped trying. I just can’t get into these records.

FI 60: Statovarius – Visions – I listen to this fairly regularly and enjoy it a lot. It feels a bit held-back at times, but almost everything on it is enjoyable. I’d never skip them if they appear during a shuffle session. Its a shame that the other two Stratovarius albums I have are slightly filler-y, because the lead singles from both are two of my favourite song discoveries of the last two years. (“Hunting High And Low” and “Eagle Heart” – Visions is a better album than either of the albums that those songs come from, but it doesn’t have a song anywhere near as brilliant as either of those unfortunately.)

FI 59: Emperor – Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk – Never listened to it again. More of a learning experience than a new album to listen to.

FI 58: DragonForce – Inhuman Rampage – I really like this. Every song on it is a winner and I’d never skip anything from it. I have a weird guilty-pleasure/shame vibe about it at times due to some mental block over the Guitar Hero thing, but man… this is a damn good album. Fun as hell! I might get more from the band at some stage.

FI 57: Alice In Chains – Dirt – I feel like I hear something from this everyday, and usually I enjoy it. There’s one or two tracks I have to be in the mood for, but most of this is great. “Would?” and “Damn That River” have become favourite songs of mine. I’ve since picked up their demo collection which was OK and their debut album Facelift which is pretty great too. I actually sat down and listened to their MTV Unplugged album last night, and it really switched a mental switch and now I consider myself a fan. I’d been enjoying them all this time, but now I realize and affirm it.

FI 56: Life Of Agony – River Runs Red – I got this as part of a boxset containing their first three albums and a demos collection. I never really listen to the demo collection and I haven’t given the third album a fair chance, but I love the debut and strongly like the sophomore effort, both of which are fairly well served number-of-plays-wise by my phone’s shuffle. “River Runs Red” and “Lost At 22” have become favourite songs of mine. Check them out, seriously! (Oh, and I heard the band got back together recently, so check them out live too!)

FI 55: W.A.S.P – The Crimson Idol – I really, really like this. Its absolutely cracking! I’ve got W.A.S.P’s first five albums so far, and this one is my second favourite, just behind the debut. Its really well made, the songs are memorable, and the drums are brilliant. I really recommend this to people who are skeptical about this band… its a musical and artistic triumph that you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

FI 54: Boston – S/T – I think its ok. I kind of listen to it more than my like of it deserves. Its stayed on my phone and will regularly make an appearance on my commute to work at least once a week in some form or another. The first two tracks are the best. I don’t have anything negative to say about it, but it doesn’t cause me to use hyperbole or exclamation marks either.

FI 53: Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry – Its good. I always enjoy hearing something off of it in a shuffle context, but the two big singles (and “S.M.F”) are much better than the rest. I plan on getting more from the band when I see it for a reasonable price.

FI 52: Poison Idea – Feel The Darkness – I’ve listened to this quite a few times but with huge gaps between listens. I’m not totally sold on it, but don’t totally hate it. Its ok, but I have to be in the mood for it.

FI 51: Queensryche/Geoff Tate – Frequency Unknown – I listen to tracks from it really regularly and its actually grown on me quite a bit. Its not one of the best Queensryche albums, and its nowhere near as good as Toddryche, and the bonus tracks and history behind it all damage it… but you know what? I still like most of the songs from it. “Running Backwards” is an excellent song! I’m not sure if the album deserves the taint it got as a punishment, but I’m half tempted to call it underrated… because, when judged as a set of songs by a band like Soil or Drowning Pool, this is actually competent, above-average stuff. People act like its the worst garbage that ever existed and that’s not true. That being said, if given a choice, I’d pick Toddryhce every time. Every single time!

FI 50: Melechesh – Sphynx – I listen to it or songs from it all the time and I’ve since gotten the next two albums by the band, both of which I really enjoyed.

FI 49: Madball – Set It Off – Exactly like Melechesh; I listen to it or songs from it all the time and I’ve since gotten the next two albums by the band, both of which I really enjoyed. All my Madball albums have weird glitching problems (I got them via Amazon-MP3 – I don’t know if that’s why or if it was a glitch when I converted them into iTunes?), which sometimes puts me off listening to them, but for the most part, yeah, I enjoy this album and subsequent Madball albums. I don’t really have favourite songs, or distinguish between them much… its sort of a general “here’s some Madball” thing. I like the Madball formula in reasonable doses. If you’re in the right mood they really satisfy some mental itch.

FI 48: Anathema – Judgement – I got this as part of a boxset, and its my favourite out of the three albums in that boxset. They’re a band like Devildriver and Black Label Society where I listen to them all the time but somehow feel like I’m unfamiliar with them.. I have to be in the mood for Anathema, as sometimes in the middle of a shuffle session they can be a real depressing bring-down. That being said, Judgement is the most rocking and most accessible album I’ve heard from them yet. I think Judgement is my second favourite album of theirs behind the masterful Weather Systems.

FI 47: Extreme – Pornograffitti – I don’t like this, and I’ve tried. Its the worst Hair Metal album that I own. I’ll come back to it every so often and try again, but nope… just not for me.

FI 46: Downset – Do We Speak A Dead Language? – I enjoy it, but even at that, I seem to listen to it way more often than I expect. I recommend it though, a very fun and satisfying album! If you’ve never heard of them, why not take a random chance on them…? It worked for me.

FI 45: Foo Fighters – The Color And The Shape – I never listened to it again.

FI 44: Van Halen – 1984 – I got this as part of a boxset of their first six albums. I don’t really listen to the last three albums in single-album sessions the way that I do with the first three albums, which I listen to very often and mostly enjoy. I seem to be hit by a lot of Van Halen through my phone’s shuffle and its usually enjoyable so if anything from this comes on I’ll enjoy it. Van Halen can be very fun. They have some duff tracks and some filler, and they’re so unique they take a bit of getting used-to but overall I really like the band now.

FI 43: Motely Crue – Dr. Feelgood – I sort of hate this band, but I have a weird fascination with them and keep coming back for more, trying to like it. I like some songs a lot, like “Livewire” from their debut, and “Kickstart My Heart” off of this album, but overall they’re a band I just can’t get into.

FI 42: The MC5 – Kick Out The Jams – I don’t like this album at all. I haven’t given it a totally fair chance, but it has had more than one listen and its not for me.

FI 41: The Stooges – Raw Power – I bought all three of The Stooges’ original albums in one go. I only sort of half-like them. I listened to them quite a bit at the start but now I’ve kind of forgotten them if I’m honest.

FI 40: Saxon – Wheels Of Steel – I got this as part of a boxset containing the band’s first six albums and a live album. Apart from one or two tracks here and there, I love almost everything I’ve heard from Saxon. Most of it took quite a while to grow on me, but I’ve clocked up quite a lot of listens over the last year, and generally enjoy them a hell of a lot. This album is particularly great, as are the two which followed it! If you can only get one album by them though, try “The Eagle Has Landed” live album.

FI 39: Venom – Black Metal – I never listened to it again.

FI 38: Quiet Riot – Metal Health – I got this as part of a boxset along with the follow-up album. I listen to them both all the time. I almost feel like I listen to them too much. I remember listening to it in bed. I listen to songs from it almost every day on the bus. I’m not sure how much I even like them, but I sure do listen to them a lot. If you took the best songs from both, and dropped the filler, you’d have a damn brilliant album!

FI 37: ZZ Top – Eliminator – I got this as part of a boxset, and I just can’t get into the band, which always makes me feel like there is “a waste.” I like a few songs, but not enough.

FI 36: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak – I got this as boxset, and I kind of half-get that same “waste” feeling that I get with ZZ Top because I rarely listen to Nightlife or Fighting, but I’ve taken the best songs from the rest of the albums into fairly regular rotation. “Johnny” and “Don’t Believe A Word” are absolute tunes!

FI 35: Dream Theater – Images And Words – This is hands down my favourite Dream Theater album. I pretty much love it at this stage, although to be honest the rest of the Dream Theater albums that I own are all pretty unfamiliar to me so far. I will like this band a lot some day, but my brain is very slow in coming around to them.

FI 34: W.A.S.P – S/T – I love this album. Absolutely love it. Finding it was like a revelation. I listen to it all the time. “The Torture Never Stops” and “I Wanna Be Somebody” are some of my favourite songs I’ve found in the last year!

FI 33: Van Halen – S/T – As I already mentioned above regarding their album “1985,” I got this as part of a boxset. I think this is my favourite Van Halen album. “Aint Talkin Bout Love” is my favourite song of theirs for sure!

FI 32: Rammstein – Herzeleid – I never listened to it again.

FI 31: Alice Cooper – School’s Out – I don’t like it. I’ve gone huge gaps between trying to like it and trying it once more only to find myself writing it off. Alice is a cool guy, but I can’t enjoy this record.

FI 30: AC/DC – Back In Black – I really like it and have since gotten more from the band too. I’m not their biggest fan or anything, but I can certainly appreciate them nowadays in a way I didn’t used to.

FI 29: Gallows – Grey Britain – I love this album. Absolutely love it. Finding it was like a revelation. Even more than W.A.S.P. This is seriously one of my absolute all-time favourite albums already. I listen to it all the time. Its the most extreme bonding experience I’ve had with an album since Keeper Of The Seven Keys and Operation Mindcrime. This is a masterpiece and I recommenced it to everyone!

FI 28: My Dying Bride – Trun Loose The Swans – I never listened to it again. At the time I did briefly start exploring more of the band’s music, but that kind of petered out and now I’ve kind of forgotten about them.

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