Author Topic: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. I bless the rains down in Africa [#1]  (Read 17550 times)

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Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Gloria, gloria perpetua [#35]
« Reply #490 on: June 18, 2019, 09:42:11 AM »
I used to have that Rhapsody album and then sold it at least 10 years ago, if not longer.  For a while, I got tired of power metal and I figured that the only Rhapsody disc I'd ever need was the first Symphony of Enchanted Lands.  Their albums just tended to blend together and there was just too much coming out at once, from Rhapsody of Fire, Luca Turilli, etc.  I stopped wanting to keep track of it all, especially as I was more into thrash and death metal during those years.

Now, I'm swinging back towards enjoying power metal more often, but I have no desire to get any more Rhapsody albums aside from the one disc I have, which I still love.

Symphony is a fantastic album :)
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Offline Kattelox

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Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #491 on: June 18, 2019, 12:43:46 PM »
34.
STRATOVARIUS
DESTINY

Power Metal

released October 5th, 1998 via T&T Records



1.   Destiny [10:15]
2.   S.O.S. [4:15]
3.   No Turning Back [4:22]
4.   4000 Rainy Nights [6:00]
5.   Rebel [4:16]
6.   Years Go By [5:14]
7.   Playing With Fire [4:15]
8.   Venus in the Morning [5:35]
9.   Anthem of the World [9:31]
10.   Cold Winter Nights [5:13]

DESTINY is

Timo Kotipelto (Vocals)
Timo Tolkki (Guitars)
Jari Kainulainen (Bass)
Jens Johansson (Keyboards)
Jörg Michael (Drums)

WITH

Eicca Toppinen (Strings)
Max Savikangas (Strings)
Mr. Unknown (Strings)
Sanna Salmenkallio (Strings)
Cantores Minores (Choir boy)

Very fun fact: Lil Wayne samples two songs from this album on two separate songs. “Anthem of the World” is sampled on “Navigator” and “Destiny” is sampled on “Sacrifice.” I'm just as confused as you are.

Destiny is the fifth album in five years from Stratovarius, and the third with this lineup. The title track has become an iconic power metal epic, “4000 Rainy Nights” might be my #1 favorite power ballad, and “S.O.S.” is one of Stratovarius's best short poppy songs. This is just another remarkable power metal album. The trilogy of Episode, Visions, and Destiny is usually acknowledged by Stratovarius fans as the band's golden years, their absolute best. Hard to argue that. Destiny continues Stratovarius's tradition of lyrical themes concerning the environment, individuality, spirituality, and... destiny.

Not everything is a home run. The ballads on this one aren't that hot, other than the amazing “4000 Rainy Nights.” “Years Go By” and “Venus in the Morning” aren't very noteworthy, and there is this tinny production to the vocals that becomes very noticeable during these songs. Timo's voice still sounds wonderful, but the tinny sound is a little distracting and not as pleasant as the reverb-heavy recording on previous albums. I wish the bonus track "Cold Winter Nights" replaced one of the ballads, preferably "Years Go By," but it's still a good song on its own.

Timo Tolkki and Jens Johansson, musically speaking, are a match made in heaven. Jens keeps up with Timo Tolkki, one of the fastest guitar players on the planet, and makes it look easy. Both have an impressive mastery of both shred and melody. They complement each other so well that every solo trade-off sounds like they understand where the other is heading with a melody and how to answer it in their own way. I love the power in Timo’s voice, it complements the lyrics (and vice versa) so much.

In Summary: I’ve loved this record since I was a kid. “Anthem of the World” was one of the first power metal songs I ever heard and “4000 Rainy Nights” is still one of my most loved songs. This band captured lightning in a bottle not once, not twice, but three, arguably four times in a row with this lineup. Two of the three ballads aren’t all that, but everything else is gold, Jerry. It has epic power metal but also a bit of pop sugar on top of that meaty metal roast which is a delicious pairing for my tastes. If you don’t like harmonized guitars, loads of keyboards, and “whiny” vocals, though, stay far away. Check out the favorites.

Katt's Favorites: Destiny, S.O.S. (music video), 4000 Rainy Nights, Anthem of the World

Listen to "Destiny (2016 Remaster)" on Spotify
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Offline twosuitsluke

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #492 on: June 18, 2019, 03:02:59 PM »
So I listened to 4000 Rainy Nights. This is the sort if song that, if it I'd heard it circa 2004/05 I'd have fallen hard. I have added the album to one of my Spotify playlists. I'm getting quite the power metal haul dude! I'd already added a load of Blind Guardian earlier in the year as I'd never gotten around to listening to them (and they have songs about The Wheel of Time!).

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #493 on: June 18, 2019, 03:11:02 PM »
So I listened to 4000 Rainy Nights. This is the sort if song that, if it I'd heard it circa 2004/05 I'd have fallen hard. I have added the album to one of my Spotify playlists. I'm getting quite the power metal haul dude! I'd already added a load of Blind Guardian earlier in the year as I'd never gotten around to listening to them (and they have songs about The Wheel of Time!).

Yay!  :biggrin: I pretty much highly recommend every power metal album from this point forward. Don't rush, take your time.  :biggrin: I saw BG play The Wheel of Time live in 2010 and it was incredible.
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Offline twosuitsluke

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #494 on: June 18, 2019, 03:15:13 PM »
I mean it's my favourite book series of all time and I'm on my first re-read since the series finished (probably my 8th or 9th re-read of the early books). Getting seriously pumped about the TV series.

I'll be sure to revive this thread next year, when I actually get to these albums  :lol

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #495 on: June 18, 2019, 03:17:52 PM »
I mean it's my favourite book series of all time and I'm on my first re-read since the series finished (probably my 8th or 9th re-read of the early books). Getting seriously pumped about the TV series.

I'll be sure to revive this thread next year, when I actually get to these albums  :lol

You and me both, brother. I hope they don't fudge the show. They probably will, unless they throw a budget the size of a mountain at it. But I'm hopeful. There's also this fan film that recently came out that isn't TOO bad for a low budget fan film. It's way more faithful than that awful pilot that was made just to hold onto rights, anyway.
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Offline 425

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Time to return to the tribe [#36]
« Reply #496 on: June 18, 2019, 03:43:36 PM »
Looking forward to hearing more Stratovarius, so I'll try to give this one a go tonight or tomorrow. As for the Rhapsody, my reaction to the one you sent in my roulette was just that it was way too over-the-top cheesy, but I might at least give the selected songs a shot from this one.



Wow, DT12 is brilliant.  Thought that paragraph must have been talking about The Astonishing for a moment there.

Huh, and I thought it was talking about Distance Over Time. :-X

(Edit: Looking back at this, it feels a little mean to an album from my favorite band, especially one where the jury is actually still out for me, so I'll just say that this is not exactly my real opinion of that album.)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 03:53:05 PM by 425 »
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Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #497 on: June 18, 2019, 03:47:43 PM »
If I recall correctly, the one I sent you was the 16 minute epic "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight" - that one is extremely over-the-top and probably more corny than most of their music, so I don't blame you. This one is kind of similar, I mean it's Rhapsody so it's very cheesy, but on this album most of the songs are a lot more straightforward and not as all over the place as Mystic Prophecy is. It's worth checking out at least the title track. I'd say... hm... don't write them off ENTIRELY, maybe, until you see the next one on this list. Give those ones a go and if it's still not doing much for ya, it's probably safe to tap out.
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Offline 425

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #498 on: June 18, 2019, 03:51:00 PM »
That is in fact the one you sent me, so it's good to know that that's to one extreme of their sound. I'll let you know what I think.
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Offline Puppies_On_Acid

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #499 on: June 18, 2019, 05:03:05 PM »
I mean it's my favourite book series of all time and I'm on my first re-read since the series finished (probably my 8th or 9th re-read of the early books). Getting seriously pumped about the TV series.

I'll be sure to revive this thread next year, when I actually get to these albums  :lol
I'm about to start my first re-read of the series since the series was finished, too, as soon as I have some time. Trying to catch up on 2019 albums though.

As for the TV series, the only thing I'm worried about is how much they mess with the story. I'd prefer they don't change any of the plot lines and just eliminate some of the unnecessary ones to save on time. It's being produced by Amazon, so they are going to have a big budget to work with....
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Offline bl5150

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #500 on: June 18, 2019, 06:54:02 PM »
Good to see Strato getting a good run in here.................in my Top 50 (one album per band) I used Fourth Dimension as it was my first and most influential album by them.   I prefer them - and most power metal bands - when they ditch the drumathon and slow down a bit , so many of their albums are just a 3-4 track listen for me.   My favourite songs are stuff like Eternity , Kiss of Judas etc....... and the almighty We Hold The Key .......the intro to that song knocked me into the next neighbourhood when I first heard it.   :metal 
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Offline TAC

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #501 on: June 18, 2019, 06:58:23 PM »
I just can't get on board with Stratovarius.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Grappler

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #502 on: June 18, 2019, 07:32:49 PM »
Destiny is awesome.  I was just getting into the band when this record was new, so all in a year or two I bought Visions, Episode, Destiny and the live album.  Talk about power metal heaven!

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Time to return to the tribe [#36]
« Reply #503 on: June 19, 2019, 01:14:16 AM »
That voice solo rules. This album captures them having fun while delivering some seriously good music. RR rocks, glad Kade is on board.  What's wrong with Trinidad?? :lol

Going to have to catch up on this list later, couple of great albums here. Love RR. Nothing wrong with Trinidad. Humour is hard to do in music and they get it right here. Voice solo is cool.

Offline wolfking

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #504 on: June 19, 2019, 05:58:37 AM »
I'm not sure, but Destiny could be my fav Strato album, it's fucking amazing.

Offline wolfking

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #505 on: June 19, 2019, 06:00:54 AM »
I have to check these Lil Wayne samples, I didn't know that lol.

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. And be free like an eagle in the sky [#34]
« Reply #506 on: June 19, 2019, 07:15:42 AM »
I have to check these Lil Wayne samples, I didn't know that lol.

Navigator Man using Anthem of the World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2aFWAbce9o

Sacrifice using Destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cb3tBwka-A
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Offline Kattelox

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Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #507 on: June 19, 2019, 01:02:22 PM »
33.
SONATA ARCTICA
THE DAYS OF GRAYS

Progressive Power Metal

released September 18th, 2009 via Nuclear Blast



1. Everything Fades to Gray (instrumental) [3:07]
2. Deathaura [7:59]
3. The Last Amazing Grays [5:40]
4. Flag in the Ground [4:09]
5. Breathing [3:55]
6. Zeroes [4:24]
7. The Dead Skin [6:15]
8. Juliet [5:59]
9. No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart [4:33]
10. As If the World Wasn’t Ending [3:49]
11. The Truth Is Out There [5:04]
12. Everything Fades to Gray (full version) [4:30]
13. In the Dark [5:24]*

*bonus track on my physical copy, digipak version

THE DAYS OF GRAYS is

Tony Kakko (Vocals / Additional keyboards)
Marko Paasikoski (Bass)
Henrik Klingenberg (Keyboards)
Elias Viljanen (Guitars)
Tommy Portimo (Drums)

WITH

Perttu Kivilaasko (Cello on 1, 6, 11)
Johanna Kurkela (Vocals on 2, 9)

This album released at a pivotal time in my life, a few months after I graduated high school. I picked up a girl on the way to go see Sonata open for Dragonforce, because we were both at an Edguy show a couple weeks before that and realized that on the Edguy message board. I had a bootleg copy of the new Sonata album and played it on the way to Chicago; I bought a real copy of the CD for each of us after the show. Then we dated for 2 years. How cute! *barf*

There are really only two power metal songs on this album. “The Last Amazing Grays” is a modern, sleek take on power metal, half a ballad full of metaphors about wolves and the next generation of people taking over and half a sweeping orchestral romp reminiscent of Nightwish. “Flag in the Ground” is just a rework of an ancient Sonata demo from their earliest days, and it’s okay, but fairly uninspired and generic. They are not the stars of this album because Tony Kakko’s heart stopped being in the speedy power metal game years before this album.

Instead, the real gems of this album are the ones that contain obvious passion from Tony Kakko, the ones full of interesting, dramatic lyrics that tell a story. “Deathaura” is a dark and mighty progressive, symphonic epic about a woman accused of witchcraft and the man who falls in love with her. “Zeroes” is a dirty rocker with some biting sociopolitical commentary and interesting lyrics. “The Dead Skin” is about an irreparably damaged relationship with some stinging words. “Juliet” is the next chapter of the Caleb saga, about a woman and her stalker. The album is bookended by the “Everything Fades to Gray” intro and reprise. From start to finish the album is bleak and depressing, full of songs about love and heartache and all sorts of other negative emotions. Tony Kakko has said he writes a lot of his music from the point of view of other people, but he really digs into their emotions when he writes his lyrics. Rapid-fire verses are augmented with Queen-like layers of harmonized backing vocals and add even more density to an already dense record.

I’m aware of the other bonus tracks, but my version specifically has “In The Dark” – and this is one of my favorite songs ever, not just for Sonata, but in general. I love the cool, nighttime vibe it has, the emphasis on piano, and that gorgeous a capella ending with the name of the song in the lyrics. It has some of my favorite Tony Kakko lyrics and reminds me of a really good time in my life. It’s cornier than the Illinois countryside but it’s true!

In Summary: It’s darkly sweet, and barely power metal, and at times the orchestrations are reminiscent of modern Nightwish. It’s a radical departure from speedy power metal and to me that is only a good thing. There are a thousand bands that sound like old Sonata Arctica, but almost none that sound like Sonata does on this record. Tony Kakko’s lyrics are my favorite thing about this album (he's arguably my favorite lyricist) and a big reason in picking my favorites, but songs like “Deathaura” have some bizarre songwriting choices (the song goes through several drastic mood and meter changes, and early on has the drums and vocals playing two different meters at the same time) which make it interesting to hear many times. Prog fans (and fans of bother darker songwriting and heartwrenching ballads) should listen to this, pure (power) metal fans should approach with caution.

Katt’s Favorites: Deathaura, Zeroes, The Dead Skin, No Dream Can Heal A Broken Heart, In The Dark

Listen to "The Days of Grays" by Sonata Arctica on Spotify
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #508 on: June 19, 2019, 01:29:09 PM »
I never listened to this album, I enjoyed SA's Ecliptica album.  And Silence is solid, but a notch below.  I then got Unia and was not really into it.  I don't mind them changing their sound, but I just didn't find the end result to be very good.  I did enjoy the song Caleb though so maybe I should listen to the next chapter, but I kind of just stopped following the band.  I was never a huge fan to begin with.  I saw them sandwiched between Nightwish and Delain like 3 or 4 years ago, but I remember then just not really being overall impressed with their live show either.  COuld just be that I enjoy Nightwish and Delain much more so they compared lesser to me in that moment, but overall just never felt the need to revist them. 

As I'm writing this I put on Deathaura and I don't know, it's not doing anyhting for me granted it's only halfway done.  I'll see them again this year, sandwiched between Kamelot and Battle Beast and I fear they will once again be the least interesting of the three that night.

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #509 on: June 19, 2019, 01:34:07 PM »
I like Silence and Ecliptica, but they're so obviously written to worship Stratovarius that they're nowhere near my favorites. Each album post- Reckoning Night seems to get more and more divisive amongst their fans.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #510 on: June 19, 2019, 01:36:18 PM »
As I just finished the song, which did get better, I think the end reasoning for me never really enjoying them more is because of Tony.  His singing is not my favorite. 

Offline Evermind

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #511 on: June 19, 2019, 01:39:41 PM »
Man, I've been slowly losing interest in the list because of all the power metal (and I'm a fan of power metal somewhat I guess), but this album is special. This is, for me, a truly the last SA album that was top-notch in quality. It wasn't on my Top 50, I had Unia and Ecliptica instead, but TDOG is probably my favourite SA album nowadays.

I still regret that I missed the tour in support for this album.

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #512 on: June 19, 2019, 01:43:35 PM »
Man, I've been slowly losing interest in the list because of all the power metal (and I'm a fan of power metal somewhat I guess), but this album is special. This is, for me, a truly the last SA album that was top-notch in quality. It wasn't on my Top 50, I had Unia and Ecliptica instead, but TDOG is probably my favourite SA album nowadays.

I still regret that I missed the tour in support for this album.

You and everyone except maybe luke and 425 are gonna lose interest once again pretty fast, unfortunately.  :) This album has definitely aged very well. Tony's singing isn't for everyone (see cram's take) but he's one of my favorite singers ever, probably at his best on this album.

EDIT: I just checked... there are 14 albums left to post that aren't power metal. The rest are some variation on power, whether it's speed metal or symphonic metal or some form of Maiden-esque heavy metal. One of those 14 is a special 'half-time' mention I'll make halfway through; it didn't make the list but was the toughest one to cut out of the top 50 because of a couple songs I just don't like, but the rest of the album is SUPER important to me.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 01:51:43 PM by Kattelox »
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Online Lethean

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #513 on: June 19, 2019, 02:13:47 PM »
 :metal

Offline Kattelox

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Offline Cyril

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #515 on: June 19, 2019, 02:27:12 PM »
:3metal: when

Justice for 3-armed metalheads

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #516 on: June 19, 2019, 02:57:35 PM »
:3metal: when

Justice for 3-armed metalheads

The good news is we successfully transplanted a third arm onto his body.

The bad news is he's dead.

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Offline wolfking

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #517 on: June 19, 2019, 03:39:35 PM »
The Days of Gays more like.

Hate it.  Unia was a masterpiece, this was a turd IMO.

Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #518 on: June 19, 2019, 03:49:26 PM »
One day I love your takes, Kade, and the next I want to fight you.
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Offline TAC

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would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #520 on: June 19, 2019, 04:15:52 PM »
Dude. 

Katt - I think Zeroes through Juliet is an absolutely Incredible 3 song run.  The whole album is great - except maybe Flag in the Ground but it's not bad - but those three are just awesome back to back like that.

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #521 on: June 19, 2019, 04:24:15 PM »
We really still using gay as an insult? Really?

Dude. 

Katt - I think Zeroes through Juliet is an absolutely Incredible 3 song run.  The whole album is great - except maybe Flag in the Ground but it's not bad - but those three are just awesome back to back like that.

Juliet is my least favorite of that run but it's still so good. Zeroes gets waaaaay too much hate. That song is awesome!!
DOWN, LOWER, BELOW, AT THE BOTTOM, WHERE THE TRAIN OBSERVES YOU
RYM | Last.FM | Top 50 Albums

Offline TAC

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #522 on: June 19, 2019, 04:27:39 PM »
Never got into Sonata Arctica.

I did buy the live album with the wolf on it. I thought it was ok. I then bought Unia which I thought blew big fucking chunks.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 05:36:31 PM by TAC »
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Kattelox

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Re: Katt's Top 50 Albums v. Colors last a lifetime and fade to gray [#33]
« Reply #523 on: June 19, 2019, 04:30:26 PM »
Fix yourself. Get some help.
DOWN, LOWER, BELOW, AT THE BOTTOM, WHERE THE TRAIN OBSERVES YOU
RYM | Last.FM | Top 50 Albums

Offline Puppies_On_Acid

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