Immortal Records: Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath

When I first listened to this album, I was in the process of looking for any Black Sabbath album from the Ozzy Osbourne years. I didn’t really listen to it on a serious matter, and that was very awful of me. I underestimated this album at first. When I fell in love with Dio’s works and his lyrics, I gave this album another try. I was blown away! You can’t be still alive and didn’t get a chance to try this metal record. This definitive album changed the future of Black Sabbath forever. Whoever used to listen to Black Sabbath and the first 6 albums would find this masterpiece something else on a higher scale of lyrics, music orchestration and melodic riffs. Ronnie James Dio just quit Rainbow after his dispute with Ritchie Blackmore over original creativity and when Tony Iommi found out about that, he couldn’t miss the chance since Iommi was also gonna leave Black Sabbath because of Ozzy’s booze and drug addiction which was breaking the band apart. Iommi and Dio sat down and wrote the melodies and lyrics to one of the greatest metal albums of all time. Till now, Black Sabbath hasn’t offered anything as strong as this album. Tracks like ”Neon Knights”, ”Children of the Sea”, ”Heaven And Hell”, ”Die Young”, ”Lonely is the word” and ”Wishing Well” are so engraved in my mind that I just keep singing to them and the lyrics automatically starts coming out of my mouth by force of love for this album! This album is a mixed drink from the heaviness of Black Sabbath slapped against the melodic lyrics of Rainbow! Two more albums and Dio, the band was created!

Dear Tony Iommi and Ronnie James Dio (RIP), the true creators of ”Heaven And Hell” album, Thank you for such an ageless masterpiece that keeping rocking us forever! God bless you!

Sega GameGear: The GG Shinobi II ~Silent Fury~

If you think this game is a port from the Mega Drive/Genesis or Master System versions, You’re wrong. This Shinobi is something else! Following the Same format as the first part on GameGear, the 2nd Shinobi game still features five ninjas, each has his own new special skill and weapon, going against mechanical or cyborg bosses, where as all original formats had only a single Shinobi ninja. As an addition to prolong the gameplay, a crystal was placed in each of the five stages. To open the last stage, you must collect all five crystals. This means you have to play each stage twice, first to acquire your fellow ninja and then again to acquire the crystal. Of course acquiring the crystals can be tough since sometimes you need to use the combined skills of the five ninjas to collect them. Just like the first part, the game play here is tilted more towards platform rather than pure action. The only complaint is the music, where it should have had more oriental themes, not industrial rock or techno music. I really liked the smoothed sprites, extra character frames and the pretty graphics. And to show that SEGA learned from TECMO and it’s achievement in Ninja Gaiden III, a password system is included. This game is must for all Shinobi fans!

Dasman Lounge, KWI

OK, I’ve wanted to write about this last month since my trip was connected to it but then I got really busy since Jana got sick on the way back and just didn’t have any time for blogging. As for Dasman Lounge in Kuwait International Airport, this is my first visit and surely it’s not gonna be the last. By comparison to MEA Cedar Lounge in BEY (Reviewed here) and Dilmun Lounge in BAH (Reviewed here), Dasman Lounge is the best I’ve seen so far and by some other commentators too (See here, starting from the 5th post). The pros? lets start:

  • Dedicated playroom for children and kids and sound-proofed!
  • Very spacious, I mean you can’t complain about the space. There are leather couches everywhere. The Dilmun Lounge needs to improve in this section. My last three visits were horrible due to lack of space and the receptionists kept letting in more people without any regard for limited seats!
  • Massage seats for free!
  • Dedicated Prayer room
  • Dedicated Smoking room
  • Costa Coffee branch with full service, orders delivered to your seat.
  • Snack bar, Lunch bar, Salad bar, Sweets bar, ice cream, cookies and cakes, soft drinks, juices and hot drinks as well. I mean you can’t find all of that anywhere else!! And by Lunch bar, I’m talking beef or chicken stew, steamed vegetables, grilled meats, rice, pasta, the real deal items!
  • Wheel-chair accessible.

My only complaints are two things. The first one is that TV screens were limited to less than 5, they were like 2-3 screens only. And for making entrance transaction, they didn’t have magnetic readers for cards like Priority Pass or any other sort!! They used the old paper slip press-on machine!! I mean like these things were still in some parts in late 90s but Com’n, its 2010 and they still have that?!! I suggest that KWI management should look into this issue because it’s totally embarrasing!

Otherwise, I’d give this place 4 and half stars out of five. I’m planning to try out the Pearl Lounge, across from it in KWI for review the next time I’m traveling.

Priority Club and Sixt cards arrived!!

Well, what do you know? I have just received my Priority Club Card [Gold] and my Sixt Express card [right now, gold status] from Aramex today, after months and so of waiting for them to arrive by regular mail in Kuwait, like hell they’re gonna make it! Believe me, this is gonna change things around right now. I’m pretty happy with Sixt Rental services. They have their iPhone App, been upgraded twice out of 5 past rentals and they’re pretty nice in attitude, service, although I’ve got some feedback with the main branch I usually deal with (Bahrain International Airport branch). Since I’ve reached the gold status right now with Sixt, I’m thinking also about giving it a shot towards Hertz. You need like 3 rentals per year to keep it in the Gold status, and they have their iPhone App as well.

As for Priority Club, its contains all the Holiday Inn, Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza chains worldwide. I’ve stayed in their establishment in Bahrain, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and they’re pretty good. My best experience would be the Holiday Inn Dunes in Beirut. Instant upgrade from deluxe to executive and it was pretty awesome to show off in front of my lady and Jana! Last Sunday, at Crowne Plaza in Bahrain there this gentleman bothering the only available receptionist so I had to wave the manager with my Gold status and he sent somebody in right away for priority check-in!  They just got their iPhone App, and when you book through it, you get 1000 bonus points aside from the regular points you get for the stay, totally awesome! You can also transfer points into air miles and right now into airlines tickets!!! now that’s a deal!

You can check out Sixt here and Priority Club here.

In memory of Ronnie James Dio

Tears fall across my face as I write these words. I’ve been listening to your music tonight, collecting news clips and posting facebook posts about you in your memory. I’ve never had the honor to meet you in person or even see you on stage. Yet, across the years of my life, your magical creations in Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio still rock me. I’m still stuck in that time period. Still stuck in that old classic metal taste which is very rare these days. I’ve spent more than an hour today driving around and listening to a bootleg album of Rainbow called ”Kill The King”, which was recorded right before the release of ”Long live Rock’n’Roll”. Listening to that album rocked me, rocked my inner sadness over your demise. Images of your videos of Rainbow concert in Munich 1977 and The Sacred Heart video in Philadelphia in 1986 still storm my mind.

You will always be remembered my friend, my idol and our true metal king and pioneer. We shall meet on the other side. Long live The King of Rock’n’Roll!