Iron Maiden – Death On The Road (DVD): Finally this thing sees the light of day in the US. Initially proposed to be released last February, then pulled at the last minute due to some kind of catastrophic pressing errors on the discs, we Maiden fans who wanted this thing waited and waited, patiently enduring month after silent month of absolutely no word at all. At times, it seemed as if Death On The Road wasn’t going to materialize at all. Well, here it is now, and it looks like it’s legit this time – you may actually get your hands on this thing for reals. And what is it? Well, for starters, it’s three DVDs – the first two being the same 16 songs found on the CD release from fall of 2005 (one disc being stereo, the other being surround, as I understand it,) and the other disc filled with all kinds of extras – a 75 minute documentary featuring interviews with the band, crew, and management about the previous studio album and tour, a 45 minute documentary about the tour itself, another documentary, 30 minutes long, about the fans, and the two music videos shot for Dance Of Death as well as a bunch of promo photos and other things like that. For basically the price of one normal DVD, this is a steal – and it should work without problems this time around.
Pain Of Salvation – Scarsick: The band I consider to be the modern masters of the concept album are back with, of course, another concept album – because that’s all they record. Some have speculated that Scarsick is the long-awaited follow-up to 2000’s The Perfect Element I, but I’m not so quick to believe that – I’m guessing they’d name it so if it truly were a sequel. I think we’re left waiting a bit longer for that. Equally unknown is if they’re going to retain their place at the top of the conceptual-music mountain, having really dropped the ball in this listener’s eyes with the mess that was Be and the dreary and boring 12:5 live album (yes, they even manage to turn live albums into concept albums by recasting their previous songs in new incarnations – and it didn’t work, either.) For me, I prefer to look at Be as an unfortunate experiment, one that I’ve gladly forgotten and moved on from. I’m looking to Scarsick to be another challenging and weird metal album that demands that I listen to it from many different angles like their previous albums have – and that it will reward me like the others have with years of enjoyment in exchange.
Tom Johnson – Music For 88: I apparently wrote some avant-garde pieces that attempt to explain the relationship between music and mathematics, and it’s finally being re-released today. This is a good thing because I don’t remember a thing about this album, so a refresher is definitely in order.