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METALMUSICARCHIVES.COM (MMA) intends to be a complete and powerful Metal music resource. You can find Metal artists discographies from 16105 bands & artists, 73118 releases, ratings and reviews from members who also participate in our forum.

metal music reviews (new releases)

MINDMAZE Back from the Edge

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
Cover art 4.75 | 2 ratings
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floflo79
This is a really great power metal album with everything I love in it. Epic, melodic, well written... MindMaze is a unknown band but it's also a good. I love The Machine Stops, a ten minutes epic. Onward and Through The Open Door are also great tracks. After their first album called Mask Of Lies (released in 2013) which is also great, the band publish another power masterpiece. For all the fans of melodic heavy or power, just go and buy this album. I think that it will become a classic album of power metal later. Deserves a 5 on 5 rating. Best metal album of 2014.

DRAGONFORCE Maximum Overload

Album · 2014 · Power Metal
Cover art 4.47 | 5 ratings
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floflo79
This is the greatest Dragonforce album. The songs are very catchy and powerful. This is very heavy power metal, no ballads in here. I think that The Game will be the new Through The Fire And Flames. The solos are creative (and fast) and the melodies are pretty good. The production is also great. I'm sure that the Dragonforce fans will love Maximum Overload. Guitar harmony, catchy music, power and heavy metal... All the DragonForce recipe is here. Just buy it, you won't regret it. Just headbang to Symphony Of The Night, Three Hammers or Extraction Zone. One of the best 2014 albums.

CLOAK OF ALTERING Plague Beasts

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
Cover art 4.00 | 1 rating
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UMUR
"Plague Beasts" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Dutch avant garde/experimental extreme metal act Cloak of Altering. The album was released through Crucial Blast Records in April 2014. Cloak of Altering is a one-man project featuring Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum, Aderlating..etc. Mories is one of the more prolific artists in the more experimental/avant garde part of the extreme metal spectrum. He normally works alone and is usually responsible for playing all instruments, singing and producing, which is also the case on "Plague Beasts".

Stylistically the music on "Plague Beasts" is a noisy, experimental and at times quite avant garde take on extreme metal. Somewhere in the background and usually buried beneath layers of noise effects, tortured screaming vocals and other absurdities, there is a black metal foundation. On this album Mories completely distorts that foundation by clipping the tracks and sampling them. Speeding them up, slowing them down, adding electronic effects, and just twisting them into something they weren´t from the get go. An approach not terribly different from the approach to making music that Whourkr are known for. Wold is another artist that comes to mind.

As always Mories succeeds in creating a repugnant, eerie, dark, and claustrophobic atmosphere, that reeks of putrefaction and creates images of dreadful torture chambers or people being buried alive. No light will ever shine. His affection for early Swans and especially Abruptum is still apparent, like it is in most of his work/projects, but he always manages to twist his influences into something that´s distinctly his own.

"Plague Beasts" is anything but an easy listen. It´s often very unpleasant on the ears, it´s noisy, distorted, and the way the sound production is constructed the recognisable metal elements are often buried and obscured in the mix. On purpose of course and as a consequence they are that more effectful when allowed to be dominant in the mix. Mories is as brilliant a producer as he is musican, and therefore can make such a layered and noisy sound production work. So while "Plague Beasts" can be a bit of a trial to get through (and it´s only 37:13 minutes long) because of the incredibly busy and noisy soundscape and the furious intensity level, it´s a brilliant release if you adjust your expectations to what you´ll be exposed to when listening to the album. Expect to leave the listening session with your ears ringing, your blood frozen in your veins, and a tortured confused look in your eyes and you´re halfway there. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

OPETH Pale Communion

Album · 2014 · Metal Related
Cover art 3.90 | 10 ratings
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arcane-beautiful
Opeth have had a very interesting past few years. With the release of their last album “Heritage”, the band have had mixed opinions due to their change in sound. One of the biggest problems is the loss of the death metal vocals. Now, I really don't mind if the death metal vocals are not their, in fact “Damnation” is probably one of my favorite Opeth album, but I will admit that the mix of the two styles in their earlier material is probably the reason I got into the band in the first place.

While many people will complain that Opeth aren't the same band anymore we have to take into consideration that these guys are getting older. Mikael really can't growl the way he did 10 years ago and I really respect their decision to loose the death growls. But while Mikael's vocals have gruffly diminished, he has been able to explore the diversity of his clean vocals.

Musically the album is pretty much a progressive rock album with the metal bits saturated. Now I know what your saying...”same as “Heritage” I bet. Well no. I remember seeing Opeth live during their tour for their last album and all I could think of was “this is like stoner psychedelic music”...which it was. This album is a lot more classic prog so I find it very much more enjoyable with more fluid arrangements with less improvisation and more sustenance.

Opener “Eternal Rains Will Come” is a great intro to the album. Starting off with blazing organs and clashing rhythms it then morphs into a more easier listening track with some pretty cool multi layered vocals.

“Cusp Of Eternity” is one of the heavier songs on the album. Reminding me of a more classic heavy metal style, the song has some pretty cool riffs and is a good little nod to an older metal sound.

“Moon Above, Sun Below” is the albums longest track and is probably one of the most diverse tracks on the album. Full of many different moving parts, the real highlight has to be the diversity of Mikael's vocals, showing off some clean gruffness which is a big departure from the evil growls on previous albums.

The ballad of the album “Elysian Woes” is an interesting and soothing moment on the album. I was pretty impressed by the instrumentation of this track, showing some pretty mature and experimental choices of arrangements for guitar and keyboards.

The albums instrumental “Goblin” is an interesting tribute to the 70s prog band Goblin. Full of proggy organs and some interesting prog instrumentation, the song is a prog lovers wet dream.

One of my favorite tracks on the album would have to be “River.” Starting off with a very almost joyous feel, this track is very different to what the band have ever done before, with a more lighter and nicer sound to the bands repertoire with very little bleakness or Gothic undertones. May be a new direction for the band.

In conclusion, this album surprised me. I went in expecting to hate it, but I was generally impressed by what I heard. These guys are never going to go back to their earlier styles, but at least it seems they are moving in a better direction than everyone thought they would. A great listen I would recommend to modern and older prog fans.

8.1/10

Genre: Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, Doom, Psychedelic Rock, Prog Folk, Folk Rock, Jazz Fusion, Heavy Metal

Country of origin: Sweden

Year of release: 2014

ARCH ENEMY War Eternal

Album · 2014 · Death Metal
Cover art 4.98 | 5 ratings
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666sharon666
I have a funny relationship with Arch Enemy. Being the completionist that I am, I own their entire back catalogue and didn't hesitate to also pick up their tenth offering War Eternal either. The change in vocalist from Angela Gossow to Alissa White-Gluz didn't affect that decision in the least, but here's the thing, I can't honestly say I'd rank Arch Enemy among my favourite bands. I'd always rated them relatively consistently at the 4 stars range, with a couple of ups and downs along the way but, I've never ever considered them to be an act capable of producing something really top tier.

At first War Eternal didn't change my mind on that score at all. Another 4 star, more of the same album. So maybe they threw some symphonic elements in on a few songs and they changed vocalist (and one guitarist) but seem really minor things when listening to the end result: The album otherwise sounds exactly as expected. I expected to listen to it a few times and then shelve it for a while and maybe I'd think in a few months time 'okay I'll listen to that again now', which is what I've done with every new Arch Enemy album since discovering them. Only that didn't happen. I kept wanting to listen to it. Eventually I conceded that it was a grower and began to think of it as a 4.5 star album, putting on par with Rise of the Tyrant, which is the album I'd have called their best up until this point. A few other albums may have distracted me along the way to reaching the point where I wanted to write this review, but unlike many others that I've heard and shelved I still kept going back to War Eternal even now, over two months since the album was released. That's not something that Rise of the Tyrant can lay claim to.

That's what really what made me write this review (which I hope reads coherently come its conclusion and not a bunch of my ramblings). It wasn't an album I thought I'd bother about much after a few listens but here I am still enjoying it as much as I did upon release (more, actually) and I guess I have approaching twenty full listens to it already, if I haven't surpassed it. That's probably almost as many as all nine previous albums put together. I'm not exactly sure what it is about War Eternal that makes it so addictive; certainly Arch Enemy didn't do an awful lot different compared to just about everything else they've ever done, but despite how many listens it may have taken I am confident in saying that this is the best thing the Swedish melodeath act have ever done. I'm not sure there's a moral to this little story-review but I guess the bottom line is that War Eternal isn't an album that deserves to be written off after just a listen or two. It is without a doubt the most surprising release I've heard this year so far. I just can't figure out how the fuck it happened, not after all this time.

Attribution: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/arch-enemy-war-eternal-t3708.html

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metal music reviews (older releases)

MELVINS Ozma

Album · 1989 · Sludge/Post-metal
Cover art 3.52 | 3 ratings
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UMUR
"Ozma" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US hard rock/sludge metal act Melvins. The album was released through Boner Records in 1989. The band are still a three-piece but Lori Black has replaced Matt Lukin as the band´s bassist. The original vinyl version of the album features 17 tracks while the CD version of the album features the full "Gluey Porch Treatments (1987)" album as bonus tracks.

Compared to the raw and unpolished debut album "Gluey Porch Treatments (1987)", "Ozma" is slightly more refined. We´re still talking raw, garage sounding hard rock/sludge metal with incredibly heavy riffs, adventurous drumming and a combination of raw and higher pitched "odd" sounding vocals, but it all come together a bit better this time around and "Ozma" is overall a more consistent album than "Gluey Porch Treatments (1987)". As mentioned the sound production is raw and garage sounding but it suits the music really well. The odd clicky bass sound might take some getting used to, but I guess it´s part of the album´s charm.

Quite a few of the 17 tracks on the album are very short. In fact most of the tracks on the 35:15 minutes long album, are between 1 and 2 minutes long and only two tracks exceed the 3 minutes mark. The many short tracks initially make "Ozma" a bit hard to get into, but once the tracks fall into place, it´s not a big issue although a couple of the tracks do feel a bit "unfinished". The band play a rather original sounding music style and while I´m always tempted to give praise to Dale Crover, because he is an incredibly skilled and adventure seeking drummer, it´s those ultra heavy guitar riffs courtesy of Buzz Osborne, that floor me every time I listen to a Melvins album. That man is a riff meister extraordinaire...

"Ozma" is overall a very entertaining and relatively strong release by Melvins and although the album is still a bit imature compared to later material by the band, both when it comes to songwriting, musicianship and sound production, it´s actually part of the album´s charm. The primal joy of playing music and experimenting with compositional ideas are so apparent here, that it´s hard not to admire Melvins for their approach to making music. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

HELLOWEEN Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2

Album · 1988 · Power Metal
Cover art 4.47 | 81 ratings
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floflo79
After the wonderful first part of the adventures of the keeper of the seven keys, every metal fan wants to listen to the second part. And it's just excellent. From the epic "Eagle Fly Free" to the beautiful "March Of Time", every song are good. There's also the awesome thirteen minutes epic "Keeper Of The Seven Keys" who is just pure metal, and also fun compositions like "Rise And Fall" or the very cool Dr Stein. This is just a masterpiece of metal and one of the greatest power metal albums of all time. This is the album who put Hellowen from good band to legend of metal.

HELLOWEEN Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1

Album · 1987 · Power Metal
Cover art 4.33 | 70 ratings
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floflo79
Before all the bands like DragonForce, Sonata Artica or Hammerfall, the power begins with Helloween and his marvelous Keeper Of The Seven Keys. After their first albums who were more speed and thrash, they come with a more melodic and power album : Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I. With fast songs like I'm Alive or Twilight Of The Gods, epic songs like the great Future World or some lenghty but perfect songs (the spectacular Halloween). Some songs are less good like A Little Time or A Tale That Wasn't Right. There's also the introduction Initation and the outro "Follow The Sign" with his whispered words. This album is almost perfect and it's just a wonderful trip. There's just one thing that we can say after that : I want to see the part Two !

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Rage Against the Machine

Album · 1992 · Alternative Metal
Cover art 4.20 | 50 ratings
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floflo79
I'm not a fan of alternative metal but I like Rage Against The Machine and love the eponymous album. The drum work and the bass lines are just groovy as hell, the rap vocals are pretty good, and the Tom Morello's guitar playing is very enjoyable. The main riff of Killing In The Name is just killing, tracks like Freedom, Township Rebellion and of course Know Your Enemy are just awesome. I'm just not a fan of the rap side that brings the 5 starts to four and a half. But I think that the compositions are just great. A metal masterpiece.

IRON MAIDEN The Number Of The Beast

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
Cover art 4.27 | 134 ratings
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floflo79
My favorite metal album of all time. Just awesome.

Invaders is a super track with energy and rage. Love it. Children Of The Damned have wonderful vocals and great acoustic guitar. The Prisoner is great with killer riffs. 22 Acacia Avenue have a good riff but the song is not awesome. The Number Of The Beast is just perfect. Really great song. Run To The Hills is also a classic. Great riff, great melody, great solo. Gangland is my least favorite song of the album. Good but forgettable. Hallowed Be Thy Name is just the best metal song ever. Perfect from the beginning to the ending. The solos, the riffs, the lyrics, the vocals... Everything is perfect in this song.

The Number Of The Beast is just a classic album. Not only in metal but in music.

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