The latest in our Record Collection Dilemmas series sees Sentinel Daily quizzing Mattias Nastolin, guitarist and vocalist of Finnish doom newcomers Desolate Realm…
Hello Mattias! and welcome to Sentinel Daily… On with the action, as Phil Mogg might have said! Ten bands, thirty albums… and for reasons that haven’t been made clear you can only keep one from each band definitively, trade one for another from the band’s canon, and sell the third. Here are the bands and the albums – tell us which you’ll keep, trade or sell and the reasoning behind your decision…
We’ll kick off with Black Sabbath – and the albums Heaven and Hell, Born Again and Headless Cross…
Keep: “Damn, you started out with something nearly impossible… But if I had to choose between those three albums… I’m going to keep Headless Cross this time. For me it’s close to a perfect record, and Tony Martin’s era is a huge influence overall! As a singer Tony Martin is one of the greats, for sure, but unfortunately also very underrated. The mastering of the album is bit dated, but the mix is huge and Cozy (Powell, drums) and both Tonys (Martin and guitarist Iommi) are on top of their game. Just crank the volume up! I’ve been thinking lately that I might need an altar at home dedicated to Iommi’s music… A shrine of some sorts. I listen to this band a lot…”
Trade: Let’s trade Heaven and Hell. This album has great stuff in it, and the whole band is totally killing it. But there are couple of weaker tracks also. The classic tracks are just too good, though… But Mob Rules should be a good pick instead! Of course, there are classic Ozzy albums around as well, but let’s trade Dio to Dio this time”.
Sell: “Born Again. Ian Gillan does an awesome performance on this one and I like most of the songs. But compared to those two albums, it’s just not as good. I’d say with some better production choices this might have been on par with the best Sabbath albums… I mean it’s still listenable but lacks some punch and clarity”.
At last! Someone who feels the same way about Headless Cross as me! Moving on – next we have Rush, and your options are Caress of Steel, Power Windows, or Hold Your Fire. Keep, trade or sell?
Keep: “Caress of Steel. It’s a pretty good album. While not their best, it’s enjoyable for sure! I don’t know every Rush album too well, but their stuff from seventies and early eighties is solid! And I’ve grown to like them a lot more in the last few years”.
Trade: “Power Windows for Moving Pictures, which is probably their best album all in all”.
Sell: “Hold Your Fire. I really don’t like it that much. Maybe I need to listen to it more in the future and see if my opinion changes”.
You really do. It’s a belter of an album! Next up, Iron Maiden. Will you keep, trade or sell Killers, Powerslave or Virtual XI?
Keep: “It’s a tough decision for me between Killers and Powerslave. I’m going to choose Powerslave. It has a great production and I think this one has the best vocals from the Bruce Dickinson era. Also, can’t complain about the songs or the band’s performance at all”.
Trade: “Killers. Will trade it to the debut Iron Maiden. These albums are kind of evenly good in my opinion”.
Sell: “I’m going to sell Virtual XI. I don’t listen to it that often and compared to the other two records, it’s not up to par”.
Agreed. That set was pretty straightforward – You might find this one a bit tougher. Metallica – Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets…
Keep: “Wow… You don’t make this easy at all for me. This is basically a tie between Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets – these are the best two Metallica albums, I think… Let’s go with Ride The Lightning though. A perfect record”.
Trade: “I’m going to have to trade Master Of Puppets then, damn… I’m going to trade it for …And Justice For All”.
Sell: “Kill ‘Em All. It’s a good album but this is one of the records that just hasn’t aged that well. The band really improved after the debut in every way”.
Next up we’ve got Alice Cooper, and the albums for consideration are Goes To Hell, Special Forces or Trash…
Keep: ‘I’ve got to admit, I haven’t really listened to Alice Cooper that much. I’ll keep Goes To Hell”.
Trade: “Special Forces for Billion Dollar Babies”.
Sell: “Trash. This stuff is bit hard to digest right now! It can be listened to on the radio, of course…”
Of course it can. Maybe Judas Priest might be a bit more to your liking. What about Sad Wings of Destiny, Ram It Down and Nostradamus?
Keep: “Sad Wings of Destiny. It’s a perfect album. Even the production sounds huge to me nowadays, even though the guitars don’t have that much distortion going on! While it’s probably not the absolute best album from Priest, it’s still awesome stuff. Can’t go wrong with it”.
Trade: “I’m going to trade Ram It Down for Stained Class. This is probably the best trade this far! Stained Class is perfect. One of my all-time favourite records”.
Sell: “Nostradamus. This album is in the bottom three albums by the band, easily. They lost the focus on this one it seems. Honestly, they haven’t recovered fully after Nostradamus if you ask me. I Don’t know what’s up”.
It’s the very sad premature demise of Glenn Tipton, I fear… Best not to dwell on it. How do you feel about Queen – And specifically the albums II, The Game and Innuendo?
Keep: “The Game. It has awesome songs on it. As with all Queen records, there are some questionable tracks as well. But this album has a great balance between the seventies Queen and their later, more radio friendly approach”.
Trade: “II for Sheer Heart Attack. I never got that much into the first two records. I’ve tried, but Sheer Heart Attack is more to the point for me”.
Sell: “Innuendo. Some good tracks, but that’s all, pretty much…”
I’ve never been a big fan of Queen, but Dragon Attack on The Game gets me every time! Now, a fave band of mine – UFO… Any thoughts on Force It, No Place To Run or Sharks?
Keep: “It’s going to be Force It. Great stuff! I don’t listen to UFO that often, but I’ve got nothing to complain about here”.
Trade: “No Place To Run. Let’s trade it for Strangers in the Night. I think I’ve listened to the live album the most from UFO”.
Sell: “Sharks. Haven’t even heard this one, so it’s hard to give an opinion… Sorry about that!”
No worries. It’s almost the ‘lost’ Michael Schenker/UFO album… Let’s move on to Thin Lizzy instead. Your choices are Jailbreak, Chinatown or Thunder and Lightning.
Keep: “Jailbreak. Although I’d really like to keep Thunder and Lightning as well! Great stuff”.
Trade: “Thunder and Lightning. Will take Bad Reputation instead.
Sell: “Chinatown. But honestly out of those three albums, I’d like to keep all of them. Chinatown has lots of great songs on it as well. I wouldn’t get rid of it really, but I’m going to stick to the rules this time!”
Thank you for your compliance! You can always buy it back later… Finally, we’re having a look at Queensrÿche – Rage For Order, Hear In The Now Frontier and The Verdict are the albums in the firing line…
Keep: Easily Rage For Order. This is still classic Queensrÿche. A couple of strange tracks but mostly great stuff. I listen to this one a lot, although I listen to The Warning more often”.
Trade: The Verdict. It’s a good album and I’d say it’s the best one from (vocalist) Todd La Torre‘s era. I’m going to pick The Warning instead!”
Sell: Hear in The Now Frontier. I really don’t know what happened to Queensrÿche in mid-nineties. Their eighties albums are classics”.
Yes, it’s weird, although the new Geoff Tate album sees him hitting the eighties motherlode again! What goes around comes around! thanks so much for a great chat!
Desolate Realm’s self-titled debut currently sits at number nineteen on Sentinel Daily’s Top Thirty Album Chart; You can read Scott Adams‘ review of the album HERE