Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Dragon God Oct 23, 2020

Hello fellow STC members,

Some of you may remember me... That guy that used to be obsessed with anything Squaresoft/Taito/SuperSweep/etc...

I no longer have enormous collections. You know, just a little is best.

Have I completely forsaken my past history with VGM ? Not entirely... I'm still holding onto my FF6 Osv, so that counts for something, right ?

Am I still keeping tarantulas ? You bet ! Just a handful. Nothing special. Just my original Mexican Fireleg and Mexican Redknee. Other than those two, there's also a Chilean Rose and a Honduran Curlyhair. Like I said, nothing special. Typical, boring (Except at feeding time wink) spiders.

What about other music ? There was a time where I wouldn't have considered anything out of VGM. (How silly of me, right ?) Aside my deep respect for Nobuo Uematsu with FF6, there's another musical deity which I've come to appreciate in recent years.

I'm sure that GoldfishX and Zane will be shocked. Oh, I should have hooked onto his works DECADES ago.

The late, great Ronnie James Dio.

I've listened to the majority of his discography. There's at least 4 bands that he was really active. ELF, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio. The latter 2 are the ones I've latched on to hardest. Classic albums such as Heaven & Hell, Mob Rules, Dehumanizer, Holy Diver, The Last In Line... and The Devil You Know as Dio's "Swan Song". Had I gotten into his music during my teenage years, I would have made every single effort to at least see ONE of his live performances.

All I can base myself is what I see on DVD concerts such as Holy Diver Live or Heaven & Hell - Radio City Music Hall 2007 Live. What energetic performances that man gave in his lifetime !

Concerning movies... I'll admit I'm a total spider geek. Yep. I have a DVD of the original Tarantula! (1955) film, back when films were still in black and white. Fast forward 20 years, we get the hidden gem titled Kiss of the Tarantula (Starring Suzanne Ling in her only film role). Two... "classics ?" from 1977, Kingdom of the Spiders (starring William Shatner) and the made-for-TV movie Tarantulas : The Deadly Cargo.

And in summer of 1990... We get one of 3 catalysts that brought me into keeping tarantulas as pets : Arachnophobia. That giant spider crawling up to a terrified Jeff Daniels always put my imagination on fire. I've learnt that it was a robotic spider... But it resembled a Theraphosa. Those are best known under the generic name "Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula".

Will I acquire one of these giants ? Only time will truly tell.

Just felt like posting after so long. Was this awkward wink

longhairmike Oct 24, 2020

I want to say your name is Luc and you are from Canadaland

the 2010s were a great decade for european sleaze and symphonic metal.
number of games played in the 2010s aside from occasionally flipping on the snes classic: zero

Dragon God Oct 24, 2020

longhairmike wrote:

I want to say your name is Luc and you are from Canadaland

the 2010s were a great decade for european sleaze and symphonic metal.
number of games played in the 2010s aside from occasionally flipping on the snes classic: zero

Hey, Mike ! Long time no see. I hope you're doing well amidst the pandemic.

So far, so good on my end. Being real careful. Only go out when I really need to (work or groceries), doing my best to keep a safe distance from everyone.

Gaming is unfortunately over on my end. During the mid-2010s, I had acquired a used Snes so I could play my beloved FF6 as it was meant to be. I played it so much the internal battery ended up dying and I lost all my hours of gaming. These days, I do a lot of reading on an arachnid message board and view choice channels on YouTube. Other than that, any free time away from work is spent just admiring my small collection of spiders. They may be inactive most of the time, but they still are quite fascinating.

I hope everybody else here is doing ok too. Will check up once in a while.

Idolores Oct 24, 2020

STC member check-in thread, then?

Glad to hear from you, Dragon God. What a weird coincidence. I was just checking out videos of cobalt blues freaking the hell out just a few days ago.

Dragon God Oct 25, 2020

Idolores wrote:

STC member check-in thread, then?

Glad to hear from you, Dragon God. What a weird coincidence. I was just checking out videos of cobalt blues freaking the hell out just a few days ago.

Hey Idolores, nice to hear from you too ! Hope all is well considering the current world situation.

Cobalt Blues (Cyriopagopus lividus) are indeed beautiful, but you rarely see them since they spend 95% of their time in an underground burrow. Add a medically significant bite and that makes them a no-no for me.

I've since long found my comfort zone with tarantulas. What is referred to as the BAG genus. Basically, 3 groups that mainly consist of the most easily-managed species. B stands for Brachypelma, which are the gorgeously coloured Mexicans such as the classic Redknee (B. hamorii), the fiery Fireleg (B. boehmei) and the less-striking yet still sought-after Pink (B. klaasi). A stands for Aphonopelma, which a great majority are native to the US. Examples are the Texas Brown (A. hentzi), the Arizona Blonde (A. chalcodes) and the beautifully patterned Striped-Knee/Zebra hailing from Costa Rica and Nicaragua (A. seemanni). G stands for Grammostola, which has some of the most popular South American species such as the Chilean Rose (G. porteri), the Brazilian Black (G. pulchra) and the Chaco (A scrubland region in Paraguay) Golden Knee (G. pulchripes).

I know to a lot I sound extremely knowledgeable, but the truth is I don't have nor want the experience of more advanced keepers. Tarantulas that react faster than I can and those with a medically significant bite do not appeal to me at all. Same goes with so many species with a reputation to be difficult to work with. Easy peasy is my game.

Anyways, I hope that everyone is doing fine. Last night as I went to bed, I turned on my MP3 player as usual. After a couple of great Dio tracks, FF6's monumental Ending Theme came up. No matter how many times I heard the music, I can always picture the scenes in my mind. It never fails to bring a tear to my eye. Brings so many fond memories of yesteryear. This is one OSV that has aged like a fine wine. Gets better with every listen.

Wouldn't you good people agree ? wink

Dragon God Oct 26, 2020

The_Paladin wrote:

Good to see you still around DG!

Do you happen to be on twitter or discord?

Hello Paladin, hope all is well with you too.

Unfortunately, I am not on any Social Media platforms.

Take care.

Zane Oct 26, 2020

DG!!! Man, it is so good to see you around again and to hear that you’re doing well (and that you’re still hanging on to that FFVI soundtrack). smile I had wondered a few times what happened to you and if you were still kickin’ around, so I’m glad you’re OK and haven't been eaten by a giant spider. How’s the weather up there?

I’ve strayed from my earlier metal roots so haven’t listened to Maiden or Dio or anything in that subgenre for a while, but am stoked you found some new tunes to enjoy! I know when you get into things you really like to dig in, so keep it up, man. Dio was wild back in his day and put on one hell of a show. “Holy Diver” is still a classic, and I’m sure GX would have even more things to say about him.

All good on my front over here for the most part. I’ve been paring down over the past couple of years, myself, so while I still have and listen to a good number of classic VGM albums my collection is nowhere near what it used to be. Still all physical, no digital. The newest soundtracks I purchased are from some indie games that came out over the last several years - Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Celeste, and Blasphemous. I haven’t been keeping up with new games much recently but I have dusted off some old PS1 titles recently - I played through Symphony of the Night a couple of weeks back and am in the middle of FF7 for the first time in almost a decade. Silent Hill is up next. They sure don’t make them how they used to anymore. wink

That all said, glad to see you around these parts again! It’s good to hear that you’re doing well and are safe and sound.

Dragon God Oct 26, 2020 (edited Oct 26, 2020)

Zane wrote:

DG!!! Man, it is so good to see you around again and to hear that you’re doing well (and that you’re still hanging on to that FFVI soundtrack). smile I had wondered a few times what happened to you and if you were still kickin’ around, so I’m glad you’re OK and haven't been eaten by a giant spider. How’s the weather up there?

I’ve strayed from my earlier metal roots so haven’t listened to Maiden or Dio or anything in that subgenre for a while, but am stoked you found some new tunes to enjoy! I know when you get into things you really like to dig in, so keep it up, man. Dio was wild back in his day and put on one hell of a show. “Holy Diver” is still a classic, and I’m sure GX would have even more things to say about him.

All good on my front over here for the most part. I’ve been paring down over the past couple of years, myself, so while I still have and listen to a good number of classic VGM albums my collection is nowhere near what it used to be. Still all physical, no digital. The newest soundtracks I purchased are from some indie games that came out over the last several years - Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, Celeste, and Blasphemous. I haven’t been keeping up with new games much recently but I have dusted off some old PS1 titles recently - I played through Symphony of the Night a couple of weeks back and am in the middle of FF7 for the first time in almost a decade. Silent Hill is up next. They sure don’t make them how they used to anymore. wink

That all said, glad to see you around these parts again! It’s good to hear that you’re doing well and are safe and sound.

Hello Zane, great seeing you again after so long ! Glad that things are well with you too. Winter is definitely coming up over here. We've just had several inches of snow today.

Concerning Dio, I've pretty much heard everything he did, but I gotta say that the classics hold up best. Stuff like Heaven & Hell, Mob Rules, Holy Diver, Last in Line and gotta give a mention to De-freaking-humanizer ! The second venture with Dio and Sabbath may have not lasted very long, but it was glorious while it lasted.

Let me see if I can list off some highlights from these albums...

Heaven & Hell
Aside the obvious title track, Children of The Sea, Die Young, Lonely is The Word and Wishing Well always bring a smile to my face.

Mob Rules
Barring the title track once again, Sign of The Southern Cross, Falling off The Edge of The World, Voodoo and Over and Over are by far the best songs IMO.

For Holy Diver... I can't pick favourites, they're ALL awesome !

Last in Line, the title track is epic as... We Rock gets the blood pumping, One Night in The City is also super enjoyable. I have a soft spot to Evil Eyes and Mystery. Egypt (The Chains are On) needs no comment, does it ? wink

Dehumanizer may have been passed over by many since during the '90s Grunge and Alternative were the new styles of the decade. Computer God, After All (The Dead), TV Crimes, Time Machine, Letters From Earth, Too Late and Buried Alive must be heard to be believed.

Oh... and I didn't mention The Devil You Know... Being Dio's last studio album before his death, it definitely warrants a listen. Atom and Evil, Bible Black, Neverwhere, Double the Pain, Eating The Cannibals, Follow the Tears and Breaking into Heaven showed he was still very capable at 66. He may have lost a bit of power in his voice with age, but he never stopped being captivating with his lyrics.

Other than that... I think my favourite live performance has to be Holy Diver Live. Despite that he had a cold and it did affect his voice, he still gave his 100% all the time. Plus, he was surrounded by a group of ace musicians. Scott Warren (Warrant, Keel, Berlin, Dio) on Keyboards, Simon Wright (AC/DC, UFO, Tytan, Dio) on drums, Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Yngwie Malmsteen) on bass. Last, but certainly not least, is Doug Aldrich (Lion, Whitesnake, Hurricane, House of Lords, Bad Moon Rising, Dio) on guitar. They not only played Holy Diver in its entirety, but also some select Rainbow, Sabbath and Last in Line tunes. What a show ! There he was, at 63, and despite his cold, he could still outsing many people half his age ! That's one major reason why I like the guy so much. He never lost his talent and loved his fans.

Yeah... I went off on a ramble again. Oops !

I don't how much I'll participate in discussions, but I will definitely drop in more often.

Take care people, remember to wash your hands often and keep your distance from everyone. smile

Jodo Kast Oct 31, 2020

Hey Dragon God! Just the other day I was listening to that Fire Pro Wrestling CD you sent me years ago. Still love it! Glad to hear you're still wrangling with tarantulas. Myself, I still mostly listen to vgm and spend 20 hours+ every week gaming (Switch).

Dragon God Nov 1, 2020

Jodo Kast wrote:

Hey Dragon God! Just the other day I was listening to that Fire Pro Wrestling CD you sent me years ago. Still love it! Glad to hear you're still wrangling with tarantulas. Myself, I still mostly listen to vgm and spend 20 hours+ every week gaming (Switch).

Hey Jodo, glad to see you're doing well smile

Parting with the Fire Pro Wrestling CD is one of the things I regret the most ! I remember really enjoying it. What pisses me off so much is that this music is so rare, it's not even on YouTube !

Wrangling tarantulas ? Not really, any need to "handle" is done by "encouraging" the spider to walk into a temporary container using a paintbrush. Never in any moment are my hands near them. Not that I'm afraid, I just want to avoid an accidental bite. Those 3/4"-1" fangs can't feel too good if they go through the skin. Not worth the risk, so I've adopted a strict "hands off" approach when dealing with them. A paintbrush and long feeding tongs are my tools of choice.

If you could somehow upload the album on YouTube, it would be very much appreciated. So many people need to discover its awesomeness. wink

Dragon God Nov 14, 2020

Hmm... I knew I had forgotten something.

Ok, trivia time, people !

How many singers were involved with Black Sabbath's studio releases ?

Barring the live performances of the late Ray Gillen and Rob Halford filling in for both Dio and Ozzy, there were 5.

Everyone knows of Dio and Ozzy... But what about the other 3 ?

Of those remaining, Ian Gillian's work on Born Again definitely divided people. Many can't or won't listen to it while other praise it to be the best Sabbath album, even over Ozzy and Dio.

He, along with Glenn Hughes whom sung on Seventh Star, are better remembered for their contributions with Deep Purple.

And that brings us to the most underrated singer of them all... Tony Martin. "Who ?" I hear many say.

Interestingly enough, Martin is the singer that served the longest after Ozzy, from 1987 to 1991, then 1993 to 1997.

He sung on 5 albums, being Eternal Idol, Headless Cross, TYR, Cross Purposes and... Forbidden. The first 3 albums are fairly decent, the 4th one really a step above and the last is often referred to as the albsolute worst album of the Sabbath catalog.

I wasn't interested in getting each of these albums, so I searched for the one which I think has the most classic Sabbath tone : Cross Purposes. The big reason why is simple. While guitarist Tony Iommi may be the heart of Black Sabbath (He is the only member to be continually present on every single studio release), I feel that bassist Geezer Butler is the soul of the band. Some will argue that Ozzy and drummer Bill Ward are equally as significant in creating the classic Sabbath sound.

The drummer and singer can be anyone, but Tony and Geezer just bring a special tone to the band.

Anyways, I feel that Tony Martin's singing is actually really good. Not on the operatic level of Dio, but definitely more enjoyable than Ozzy's wailing voice. (Hold on, got nothing against the Ozzman, his work on the first 6 albums is awesome. Even I won't disagree with that.) Standout tracks on Cross Purposes for me were I Witness, Cross of Thorns, Virtual Death, Dying For Love, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Cardinal Sin and Evil Eyes. Most of it is very listenable, even enjoyable. It just needs to be given a fair chance.

Hmm, here I go rambling again tongue Oh well. Anyone familiar with Martin's work ? Your thoughts on his singing vs the others ?

Judgment Day Nov 29, 2020

Off a whim, I attempted to log in and how about that? It still works. I don't think I've been on here since I've praised Cuphead. I definitely haven't posted regularly in a number of years. Hope all is well.

Considering an extended vacation in Japan once this whole pandemic dies down. That's a few years down the road though.

Dragon God Feb 26, 2021 (edited Mar 12, 2021)

Hmm...

Over 5 months since my first post in this thread. Have my opinions changed ?

No... they have not.

Ever since I heard "Children of The Sea" on YouTube, I was hooked. What a voice !

As of now, I own Dio's Black Sabbath studio albums (Heaven & Hell, Mob Rules, Dehumanizer... and The Devil You Know (YES, it's still Black Sabbath, darn it !), most of his solo works (Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart, Dream Evil, Lock Up The Wolves, Strange Highways and Killing The Dragon)... and I realized... This man has never released a truly bad album in his lifetime,

A lot of people crap on Angry Machines, it's a heavy, disjointed album. Is it truly bad ? No. You just need to be in the right mindset to really enjoy it. Pissed off ? This will pick you up... kinda. I've had a long day at work... I want to relax a bit. I'm weird... Angry Machines makes me smile. "Don't Tell The Kids" is an awesome song ! Speedy, heavy... What more do you want ?!

Magica is the Concept album. A tale of Good vs Evil told in song. Dio's vocals never fall short. The instrumentisation is flawless as far as I heard.

Master of the Moon is the last Dio album... Take into account, he was 62-63 went it was released. The title song is nothing short of incredible ! How did I miss out on such great music for so long ?! I'm ashamed that I got into Dio's music 5 years after his passing !

These 3 albums... I'm expecting them shortly.

On the DVD front... I have acquired a couple of concerts.

Judas Priest Vengeance Live '82

What can I possibly say ? Priest were at their absolute best ! The only problem here... Painkiller was 8 years away ! Halford and the rest of the band gave their all.

Black Sabbath Gathered In Their Masses

A Sabbath concert dedicated ONLY to the Ozzy years. Most are from the '70s. Not even a handful are from the more recent "13" album. Ozzy is still the entertainer, but he hobbles around the stage now and then. Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler ? These two still rock the f--- off. Despite his old age, Oz can STILL sing his ass off !

The last collection I am looking into is acquiring a female of all the Brachypelma tarantulas. Currently, I have boehmei and hamorii. I am missing albiceps, auratum, baumgarteni, emilia, klaasi and smithi. Once I have those... They will be housed in the best display enclosures available.

Yeesh... so much for a dated reply. Comment from anyone ? Please ?

Idolores Mar 13, 2021

It feels like ages since I was a regular poster.

I ended up getting married and having kids, but that went south in just about the worst way imaginable. Won't get into it, but the past seven years had been utter hell. I kept in touch with precious few members of this board, mostly Ashley Winchester, who has been a massive pillar throughout the years.

I had struggled to get back on my feet financially, but now that my biggest hurdles have been cleared, I can start getting back in the game.

Don't have time for games much anymore, and as I expect I'll be looking into going into university soon, I don't think that will change.

I have finally started learning Japanese in earnest as well. It's bothered me for a long time that I never had a second language.

That's all I have to say. Big love to all of you, and I hope this pandemic, however you feel about it, will go easy on you.

Dragon God Mar 17, 2021

Idolores wrote:

It feels like ages since I was a regular poster.

I ended up getting married and having kids, but that went south in just about the worst way imaginable. Won't get into it, but the past seven years had been utter hell. I kept in touch with precious few members of this board, mostly Ashley Winchester, who has been a massive pillar throughout the years.

I had struggled to get back on my feet financially, but now that my biggest hurdles have been cleared, I can start getting back in the game.

Don't have time for games much anymore, and as I expect I'll be looking into going into university soon, I don't think that will change.

I have finally started learning Japanese in earnest as well. It's bothered me for a long time that I never had a second language.

That's all I have to say. Big love to all of you, and I hope this pandemic, however you feel about it, will go easy on you.

Idolores, I am sorry to hear that a relationship and a family went south for you. Learning a second language is always a good thing. Hang in there, good things come to those that gain patience smile

On my end, I was just so caught up in my gaming and arachnids over the past 25 years that I just never bothered to pursue women. Now at 43, I look back and think "I've could've had someone IF I had put some time and effort... but would I have been able to maintain the relationship and would having a woman really make me happier ?" That part, I really don't know.

I've never gathered many people around me, I often and still prefer to be on my own, doing things at my own pace. Career-wise, I often complain that it's never been the dream job I wanted (Liquor store clerk vs Game Programmer or Biologist/Entomologist), but I could do far, FAR worse. I'm full-time, I have all the benefits, a damn good pay doing something (for me) that's relatively easy. I'm the go-to guy when it comes to Craft and Import beers, I know my Scotch although I don't really drink it anymore.

My free time is spent browsing on Arachnoboards, helping out newbies and getting involved with the community more than ever. I check on my 8-legged babies daily and eventually plan to invest on a small shelving unit so I can add a few more. Likely no more than 15-20 tops. I don't want to be burdened with 200+ animals as some keepers are. I want to keep things in control. Other than that, listening to Dio/Sabbath/Priest/Uematsu is part of my daily routine. I no longer game, but I'm keeping the Nintendo Power FF3 Player's Guide and FF6 OSV as souvenirs of my glorious gaming days. Currently reading the Tony Iommi autobiography. Very insightful and makes me appreciate Black Sabbath in all its iterations more than ever.

So, here we are, around 9:30 am, sipping on a coffee and browsing online. I only work at 1 PM. There until 9:30 in the evening. It's a quiet, uneventful life... but it could always be worse. And since the pandemic began, I avoid people like the plague, stay home when I'm not working or running errands. I truly hope that everybody here makes it through without major losses.

GoldfishX Mar 19, 2021

Whazzup DG!!!

I was a VGM fan long before I was a rock/metal fan (half because of blind loyalty, half because much of the rock/metal I heard on the radio didn't interest me, ESPECIALLY in the 90s), but even coming into it backwards, it's hard not to hear the Blackmore influences in Uematsu's work (not to mention ELP). The riffs are so lyrical. Like...videogame melodies. Whether it's Rainbow, Purple or Blackmore's Night, it has that air of familiarity to it. Iron Maiden was my initial foray into metal, but I hit the "usual" suspects shortly after (Dio, Priest, Dokken, Van Halen, Rainbow, GnR, Ozzy, Riot, Scorpions, Rush, UFO...oddly enough, Sabbath came way later. Blame my procrastination on hearing stuff I know I'll like farther down the line. Like I'm saving the good for later) and started fleshing out those discographies. The likes of the JDK Band and early Guilty Gear (as well as Japanese metal bands like Anthem) were so heavily influenced by these groups. Eons ago, someone recommended Vinnie Moore on these boards and I found the guy pumps out instrumental metal that sounds like classic VGM, album after album (with obvious solos and ramped up production values to make his axework shine).

The "newness" and "wowness" has long faded and these groups basically sit in my cannon of albums as comfort food. One thing I do follow is a trend called NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal), which is a bunch of bands (both new and fairly established) that aim to recreate the "sound" of traditional heavy metal. Being well-versed in the classics helps pick through these bands relatively quickly, as to who to follow and who not to. There's also the rich history of NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) and the dozens of bands that came out of there, basically introducing "punk" energy into technical riffs and solos. Demon, Raven, Angel Witch, Saxon, etc. all have that down to earth, "working class" sound to it.

I basically did office slave waging for 13 years and I went from a CD drive and cheap headphones to a full blown headphone setup with a DAC and amp, so plenty of time to get leveled up on music exposure. The blandness of an Office Space environment is actually a good pairing for an obsessed music listener. It makes things more exciting and easier to focus on. I literally have hundreds of pages with album/song ratings scribbled all over them as a result.

Corona hit right as I moved to Seattle and I feel like I haven't experienced it without the shutdown and mask situation. I'm well-off, kind of. Debating if I'm staying here longterm or not. The weather is a break from east coast humidity, but the combination of cold and rainy wears you down. So I'm doing the whole ronin for hire thing. Caught a bit of that nice Gamestop stock windfall a month ago, so that helped ease some financial strain. smile I'm single, but I learned how to date myself awhile back and I'm happy with the results.

Idolores, not sure if you know, but Ashley was banned here awhile back. So if you don't see him around, that's why. If you come across him, tell him I said hi.

Idolores Mar 19, 2021

GoldfishX wrote:

Idolores, not sure if you know, but Ashley was banned here awhile back. So if you don't see him around, that's why. If you come across him, tell him I said hi.

Will do. I regret to hear that he won't be by any longer. I cannot overstate what a bro he was (and still is).

I talk with him frequently and will let him know you wish him well.

Dragon God Mar 20, 2021

Hello GFX, nice to hear from you too ! Oh, moved out west, huh ? Hopefully the weather ain't getting to you too much wink I haven't noticed the Blackmore influence in Uematsu's work, but I definitely found some ELP smilarities once I heard Tarkus.

I'm glad to have held on to FF6. Oftentimes I go through several Dio tracks on my random playlists and BOOM ! I get a theme such as Locke or Decisive Battle and the pictures in my mind just come flashing through. Such great memories ! Currently using an IPad and I think there's a special version of FF6 for it. I've seen screenshots and the artwork ain't so hot, but to have just this game to pass some time. Would it be worth it according to you guys ? Anyone who's played the version can chime in ? Thanks !

So many old faces I've haven't heard of in so long. Going by the pattern here... would it be too much a stretch to hope for someone like Chudah it suddenly pop up ? That would be crazy ! Hah !

Don't get your hopes up, people. I am not getting back into VGM. I spent close to 15 years listening from all sorts of composers, had a blast... but yeah, eventually you move on to other things.  I found new aural comfort with Dio, Iommi and Halford. I don't see myself getting tired of those 3 anytime soon.

GoldfishX Mar 20, 2021 (edited Mar 20, 2021)

I don't mind the rain, but the "cold" is so different from the east coast. It's just hard to warm up. Then mentally, you get into a funk and...lol, things go downhill quick. Pair that with unfamiliar turf and the Rona (and ESPECIALLY the cost of living) and you kind of get where my mind is at here. Florida is sounding better by the day. And insult to injury: The coffee here is VERY overrated, despite this area's rep as a coffee haven. Glad I got to experience it, but...screw it, I'm done here. Edit: On a positive note, the views of the mountain ranges and the constant greenery are amazing. PNW is a beautiful place (and the view of Seattle from the highway is picturesque). Worth checking out.

For Dio, I do consider "Strange Highways" to be kind of the sleeper hit of his catalogue. It was released in the midst of grunge and it was a classy mix of his traditional style and "edgier" 90's rock. My favorite Dio stuff is his three albums with Rainbow, Heaven and Hell and, solo, Last in Line.

And Judas Priest? Painkiller sits atop my favorite albums of all time, probably at #1. The tragedy is the band peaked here and they could have continued in this style for 20 more years, just putting out album after album. But...nope. I have to throw "Turbo" some love. As someone that grew up listening to synthesized music (both in VGM and the 80s in general), I found this to be a classy mix of metal with keyboards mixed in. It was definitely the vibe at the time. "Reckless" seems like such a throwaway track, then *BAM* my favorite Priest solo (sans Painkiller) comes out of nowhere. Virtually the whole catalogue is cannon for metal fans.

Dragon God Mar 21, 2021

Hmm,

I'm surprised you didn't list Holy Diver instead of Last in Line. I enjoy both fairly equally. With Sabbath, Heaven & Hell is obviously a classic, but I also enjoy Mob Rules and Dehumanizer, though not nearly as much as H & H. Strange Highways is one of Dio's strongest albums from his solo career, IMO. But I also find myself enjoying its follow up, Angry Machines, much more than I anticipated. Another one is Lock Up The Wolves, so underrated and a fun disc.

I had the Rainbow albums at one point, but stupidly pawned them off. There are a lot of great tracks, but still not enough to make me buy those albums again. I preferred to beef up (slightly) my Sabbath collection by not limiting myself to Oz and Dio, but giving a slot to Gillan (Born Again), Hughes (Seventh Star) and Martin (Cross Purposes).

For Priest, I only have one album, a compilation entitled Metal Works '73-'93, contains most of the best tracks from Sin After Sin to Painkiller, along with some obscure pieces and a couple of live tracks. 2 discs worth of quality Priest is all I need to be happy smile

GoldfishX Mar 21, 2021 (edited Mar 21, 2021)

Metal Works is a great compilation, if you're not worried about having all of the Priest deep album cuts. I would definitely recommend that one. Priest has a bit of an intimidating lineup of albums, but unlike Maiden, a bunch of filler in them and a lot of songs where the lyrics are phoned in. Priest also went through a variety of phases (as indicated by Turbo) and the comp captures most of them pretty well. I would say pick up Painkiller, British Steel and Hellbent for Leather as the must-have albums to supplement it (Screaming for Vengeance is their "big commercial album", but it has quite a few clunkers between the good stuff on it and while I'm happy they found success with "You've Got Another Thing Coming", I think it's horribly overshadowed by the likes of "Riding the Wind", "Bloodstone", "Screaming for Vengeance" and ESPECIALLY "Electric Eye". I actually prefer "Devil's Child" to it, which is another clunker/album filler from the same album).

Holy Diver has two strange things about it that keep me from loving it more: VERY dry production and the song Rainbow in the Dark (everyone pegs this one as a classic, but the keyboards don't work for me). It's good, great even. Stand Up and Shout, Holy Diver (the track) and Don't Talk to Strangers are all masterpieces. But Last in Line is the first one I reach for. Particularly for the song "We Rock". The song is just peak Dio speed metal to me, possibly with the exception of Rainbow's "Kill the King" and MAYBE matched by "Neon Knights".

As a slight aside, as far as Ian Gillan goes, if you held a gun to my head, I would probably need to put Deep Purple down as my favorite band (behind Iron Maiden, who I consider basically untouchable and my metal gateway drug of choice). Lord on keyboards, Blackmore on guitar and Gillan on vocals (the Mk. II lineup) just speaks to me and the album Machine Head just captured them in their prime. "Pictures of Home" is a track I simply cannot live without having access to, in some form or another.

Dragon God Mar 21, 2021

You don't like Rainbow in the Dark ? Really ? Ok. It's one of my favourites off Holy Diver, aside Stand Up and Shout, the Title track and the underrated Invisible.

Funny thing about Gillan, his appearance in Blue Dragon is what made me seek out Deep Purple. Machine Head is their only album I bought. I don't have it anymore, but I recall enjoying it a great deal. Imagine my shock listening to Born Again. I think it could be Gillan's wildest performance. Especially on Distirbing the Priest, that track in insane !

Any thoughts on Angry Machines or Lock Up The Wolves, GFX ? Both are seriously underrated.

GoldfishX Mar 21, 2021 (edited Mar 21, 2021)

Specifically, the keyboards in Rainbow in the Dark. If there's one thing I've noticed about my music tastes over the past decade, keyboards are EXTREMELY hit or miss with me, with basically no wiggle room. Even old VGM albums (*cough* Konami), the sound of certain keyboards hovering in the midrange has me reaching for the skip button. I can't tell you the amount of times I've tried to listen through Rush's Power Windows and have just HAD to turn it off.

I remember Martin Popoff (noted Heavy Metal writer/historian) crapping on Lock Up the Wolves, but I remember enjoying it a great deal and not really agreeing with him on it. But I haven't listened to it in years. Popoff is also the one that recommended Strange Highways (and he shares my enthusiasm for Last in Line). Dio's last three (edit: four...Magica is the one I always forget about) albums, I need to hear in their entirety (and no excuses, I own two of them).

I definitely recommend looking out for some of Popoff's writings. He goes out of his way to establish the heavy metal cannon very well, particularly in the 70s and 80s, and recommends a LOT of lesser known stuff. He's actually Canadian, so he shows a bit of favoritism towards bands based out of Canada that are pretty under the radar (Triumph, Anvil, Kim Mitchell and of course, he's a Rush fan). He's also been active on Youtube as of late.

Dragon God Mar 23, 2021

Magica is like that metal-style musical RPG we never got wink The instrumental piece "Magica Theme" wouldn't be out of place for some epic RPG opening like something out of Shining Force or Star Ocean during the mid-late '90s.

Killing the Dragon is all sorts of awesome. The title track, Along Comes a Spider, Better in The Dark, Throwaway Children... Solid album, and the closest that comes to the feel of the first 3.

Master of The Moon is another fun one. Dio always manages to get that hook that just stays with you. One More for The Road, the title track, The Eyes and Shivers are highlights.

Angry Machines may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you spend some time with it, it'll grow on you. Institutional Man, Don't Tell the Kids, Black, Hunter of The Heart, Double Monday, Golden Rules... Heck, it's a secretly brilliant album. People avoid it because of how poorly it was received during release. If you enjoy Strange Highways, you'll enjoy Angry Machines just as much.

I own all of his solo studio releases now and there's always a number of tracks that bring a huge smile to my face. His passing almost 11 years ago was a huge loss to the music world. Most likely, he would still be writing new music today.

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