Author Archives: Harry Keogh


Shuffled be thy metal

As a metalhead with audiophile leanings, I resisted the move to a portable digital listening device for as long as possible, preferring to lug around my top of the range cassette Walkman or CD player, but time catches up with us all.

In November 2006, I purchased a second generation iPod Shuffle, it has had a profound effect on me. There is an episode of ‘Family Guy’ where Peter gets a soundtrack to his life, the Shuffle has given me the same gift.

Like most of us, I have an extensive CD collection, but listening to the Shuffle for 9 hours per day, 5 days per week, has allowed me to data-mine my collection like never before. Hidden gems languishing on the shelf since time immemorial now see the light of day at least 3 times per year! Marvellous.

Although it is possible to squeeze 240+ tracks onto this Shuffle, don’t – the sound quality is so bad you’re better off whistling a jaunty tune. I converted a track from CD into all the available options the Shuffle can handle, then listened intently.

Verdict: if you select a bit rate of 320Kbps with a sample rate of 44.1Khz and a format of AAC, then the converted music is very listenable, although now the Shuffle will only hold approx 100 tracks – that’s still 7 hours worth of listening so I find it perfect for my working day. Bastards insist on talking to me or phoning me, so although I wear my device for 9 hours per day, I only manage about 7 hours of listening.

And talking of sound quality don’t even bother to unwrap the Apple earbuds which come with the Shuffle, rather use them as a bolas to bring down small rodents or simply consign them to the nearest bin. Rubbish. For £20 I bought a pair of Sennheiser PMX 60’s, the ultimate in comfortable good quality streetwear earphones, in fact I’m now on my 3rd pair. Metal never sounded so good.


Eddie gives good head

The other day, sitting at work and bored out of my brain, I decided to surf for metal goodies. Imagine my surprise when I found a second hand Iron Maiden ‘Eddie Head’ from ’98 on sale for £1999.99!

I admit it’s a nice piece of metal kitsch, but 2 grand? C’mon! If memory serves, all the discs in the head are CD-E’s, that is each disc has video content etc pertinent to the CD or tour from when the CD was originally released, and it’s only in the head that these specific discs were made available.

When I got home I went to show my girlfriend that not all my crap taking up our space is rubbish as she claims, but when I landed on the URL… It had been sold! Astonishing. So if anyone out there wants to buy my Eddie Head in mint condition, you can have it for a measly grand, you can’t argue with half price.


A few words about Evile’s new album

What is the point of an album review? For me personally, I want to know if I am going to like the album being reviewed, if I shell out my hard earned filthy lucre and buy it, but obviously the reviewer doesn’t know me, so how should this feat be achieved? And there’s the rub, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

Some reviewers compare the album being reviewed to other releases in the band’s back catalog, but unless you’re intimate with the band’s work, this approach is useless (and what if it’s a debut album ?). Plus, bands evolve, the fact that this new record does/doesn’t sound like one they released 10 years ago is no indication that I will, or won’t, like it in the here and now.

Take Five Serpent’s Teeth by Evile. Apparently it’s their third album, but it’s the first music I’ve heard by this band. I’ve read elsewhere that Evile play thrash, but if they do, they don’t play it on this album — it’s very mid-paced metal, overall, with just a hint of Flavor-of-Thrash thrown in for good measure. Maybe this is Nu-Thrash? The production is nice and the lead work is excellent, but a tad too sparse for these ears.

If I play this album enough, I may grow to like it more (I’ve only listend to it for about for times), but if I don’t, it’s the singer’s fault. If you’re going to sing, then you have to be able to do it properly. Unfortunately Matt Drake can’t, and to my ears, it really lets the music down. In my mind’s ear, I have tried to imagine someone like Barney Greenway providing the vocals instead, and it sounds much better!

If this was a proper review, I’d give it three skulls.

Read Guido’s full review of the album here.

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