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2633 reviews/ratings
IMMORTAL - The Seventh Date of Blashyrkh Black Metal
DARKTHRONE - A Blaze in the Northern Sky Black Metal
CARACH ANGREN - Death Came Through a Phantom Ship Symphonic Black Metal
ANCIENT WISDOM - For Snow Covered the Northland Atmospheric Black Metal
FEN - Epoch Atmospheric Black Metal
DARKENED NOCTURN SLAUGHTERCULT - Hora Nocturna Black Metal
KVIST - For kunsten maa vi evig vike Melodic Black Metal
BORKNAGAR - The Olden Domain Viking Metal
CRUACHAN - Folk-Lore Folk Metal
АРКОНА - Гой, Роде, гой! Folk Metal
АРКОНА - От сердца к небу Folk Metal
BEYOND TWILIGHT - Section X Progressive Metal
BEYOND TWILIGHT - For the Love of Art and the Making Progressive Metal
ICED EARTH - Night of the Stormrider US Power Metal
ICED EARTH - Burnt Offerings US Power Metal
ICED EARTH - Horror Show US Power Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - Tales From the Twilight World Power Metal
REBELLION - Born a Rebel Power Metal
REBELLION - Miklagard - The History of the Vikings Volume II Power Metal
REBELLION - Arise: From Ginnungagap to Ragnarök - The History of the Vikings Volume III Power Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Power Metal 384 4.16
2 Heavy Metal 302 3.86
3 Progressive Metal 282 4.18
4 Folk Metal 157 3.89
5 Black Metal 131 4.08
6 US Power Metal 126 4.33
7 Hard Rock 125 3.61
8 Atmospheric Black Metal 113 4.32
9 Symphonic Metal 97 3.92
10 Thrash Metal 87 4.04
11 Death Metal 86 3.63
12 Technical Death Metal 68 4.28
13 Melodic Death Metal 66 3.89
14 Non-Metal 57 3.58
15 Metal Related 50 4.07
16 Melodic Black Metal 46 4.30
17 Groove Metal 42 3.38
18 Speed Metal 42 3.90
19 Symphonic Black Metal 38 4.18
20 Gothic Metal 37 3.91
21 Alternative Metal 36 2.92
22 Stoner Rock 33 3.83
23 NWoBHM 30 4.42
24 Doom Metal 22 4.30
25 Heavy Psych 20 4.35
26 Traditional Doom Metal 19 4.47
27 Heavy Alternative Rock 18 3.53
28 Death-Doom Metal 13 4.38
29 Pagan Black Metal 10 3.90
30 Stoner Metal 10 4.10
31 Viking Metal 10 3.85
32 Sludge Metal 8 4.00
33 Industrial Metal 8 4.19
34 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.57
35 Technical Thrash Metal 7 4.00
36 Brutal Death Metal 6 4.17
37 Depressive Black Metal 6 3.08
38 Funeral Doom Metal 5 4.20
39 Melodic Metalcore 5 3.50
40 Deathcore 4 4.00
41 Glam Metal 3 2.33
42 Crust Punk 3 3.17
43 Death 'n' Roll 3 1.00
44 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 3 3.67
45 Proto-Metal 3 3.50
46 Nu Metal 2 1.25
47 Funk Metal 1 1.00
48 Drone Metal 1 1.00
49 Trance Metal 1 0.50

Latest Albums Reviews

POPPY I Disagree

Album · 2020 · Alternative Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Here are two facts about myself: I'm female and I'm a massive fan of metal music. Once upon a time that would have openly been considered a paradox, but fortunately we've moved on somewhat. Not enough, but progress has been made; in 2020 being a girl and into this kind of music really isn't noteworthy. There are many women now performing in major metal bands in a variety of roles and sub-genres and more women are attending metal gigs (or we would be if not for that little bastard known as Covid-19). There are also some female musicians who have become notable for starting their careers in other genres before making the jump to metal. The 2010s saw Amalie Bruun go from various indie pop outfits to atmospheric black metal as Myrkur. Chelsea Wolfe released a doom metal album and started the sludge metal/noise rock act Mrs Piss. And Rose Kemp went from psychedelic/folk music to doom metal.

Enter Poppy.

What can we say about Poppy? Well, she's followed a similar route having made a name performing electro-pop styles, but for her third studio album I Disagree has made the jump to alternative metal. That's where the similarities in these stories end. You see, Poppy's I Disagree doesn't necessarily sound like the work of an artist who decided to embrace a love of metal the way someone like Myrkur did. Instead it sounds like the work of a hipster pop artist who decided to add some heavy guitars to her sound for the purpose being ironic without caring an iota about how the result may be perceived as a metal album. And that result is what may just be the most offensive metal album to female metalheads ever created and the stupid thing is if my suspicions are right about what Poppy was actually going for with I Disagree then she probably will never have a clue about why that is.

Let's add some context, the rarely spoken about female experience of being a metalhead. Like in many walks of life, women into metal have had to put up with a lot of unacceptable crap from men who half the time probably don't even realise they're doing it. Actually not just men, but other women who don't like metal as well can actually be just as bad or at least bloody judgemental toward a woman who listens to metal. As a female headbanger I have often found myself on the receiving end of the assumption that when I speak about metal that I don't know what I'm talking about, never mind that my Dad practically raised me on a diet of classic 70s and 80s metal and hard rock bands. There was even a meme posted here on Metal Music Archives once with the words 'When a girl says she likes heavy music' picturing Slayer as 'what you hope for' and Nickelback as 'what she means'.

And that's just the start of the shit we have to deal with, especially in the online context which for many metalheads regardless of gender is often the only place we get to actually discuss the music we love with like-minded people. Online I have been accused more than once of not being a girl, but a G.I.R.L. which you internet savvy folks will know stands for Guy in Real Life. One guy even went so far that in my early days on YouTube took it upon himself to actually make a video about me and how I was a 'sock account'. This was after I wouldn't agree with his opinion on something so trivial I no longer even remember what it was.

Does anyone realise just how fucking offensive that is? And this is not to mention the situation at gigs. It was more of a problem a few years ago, but still, I've had to put up with people assuming I'm just someone's girlfriend dragged along against her will or that I'm just there to be provocative to guys. In fact I was even sexually assaulted at a gig once by some drunk arsehole which ultimately resulted in me getting kicked out by a bouncer after I defended myself.

What does this have to do with Poppy and her first (and please God let it be her only) metal album I Disagree? Because this kind of thing is how historically women in and into metal have been perceived and treated and I Disagree sets all kinds of wrong impression. Even before we hear a single note of music we have that atrocious cover where it looks like Poppy got done up in corpse paint (complete with a spiked collar), but then you'll notice it's actually just a bad Photoshop job hiding that she really doesn't look 'metal' at all. And that's a problem in that looking metal really doesn't matter to actual metalheads. Akercocke wore tweed suits for crying out loud. Image is the selling point of the pop album. But they say a picture is worth a thousand words and true to form the cover art actually gives a glimpse at the kind of music that will be found within. Not black metal, but basically what Poppy must have been doing before dressed up as metal, just like she is on the cover. That's not a very good image to set for women in metal. It reaffirms the kind of crap people expect of a girl when she says she likes metal.

Everything about the album screams wrong when trying to listen to it as a metal album. The really heavy guitars in the opener Concrete are nice, but everything else about that song made me just switch the album off in disgust on my first attempt to listen to it, with Poppy mixing those heavy riffs with sunshine pop vocals. You may as well just listen to an actual novelty act like Babymetal if you want your metal to sound cute. Personally it makes me want to go barf up my lunch.

And it really doesn't get any better across its ten songs, if anything it instead gets worse, such as at any point that Poppy abandons her pop singing for rapping, where she manages to sound like a petulant child about to throw a major tantrum rather than anything remotely close to convincing. The more bearable parts are where she drops all the pretences of being a metal album and the heavy guitars are removed, but that just leaves us with with various elements pop, electro, dance and hip-hop, which after you scratch its surface is what you're left with across the whole release. There's precious little actual metal that's anything more than vapid and generic stuff playing a supporting role in her sound. Of course metal does mix well with other genres and it's the other elements that often raise an otherwise standard sounding release up, but that's not the case here. Maybe it works form the point of view of any of the other genres she has in the mix, I won't speak for that as that is not music I care for, but as a metal album I Disagree may just be the worst thing I've ever heard.

Poppy represents a popular artist who genuinely could have introduced metal to people who wouldn't have given it the time of day before this for no other reason than its metal and as the narrow minded have taken time out of their busy days to remind me before, metal is 'evil, unfeminine and just a load of noise'. The majority of people hearing her go metal will be in this group (the rest will be existing metalheads like me who got curious without thinking about what killed the cat). This is not a good album to give newcomers an impression of what metal sounds like. It is not even a good album to get an impression of what alternative/nu metal sounds like because frankly it makes me want to shout for the dreaded Limp Bizkit to come back because all is forgiven.

On an earlier album Poppy posed the question Am I a Girl? Well Poppy I don't know what you decided, whether you're a girl, a boy, the kitchen sink or a toaster, but you sure as hell made a beyond awful album to judge women in metal by with this piece of work. We're in an age where female musicians in metal are becoming more plentiful and recognised for their work, not just as eye candy. I Disagree is far from representative of female achievement in the genre and yet this will likely be the most heard album from a female solo artist in metal in 2020. Maybe even the most heard metal album. And that sucks for the genre as a whole, not just the women who are embarrassed by this perversion of an album (because I sure as hell hope I'm not the only one).

Now that I've got off my chest how it makes me feel, I'm going to do my damnedest to pretend this album doesn't exist.

MOTHERSHIP High Strangeness

Album · 2017 · Stoner Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
When the opening title track of Mothership's 2017 third full-length album High Strangeness kicks off, you may just think you put on the wrong album. After all, the US trio is known to be a stoner metal act. But coming out of the speakers on this first track is neither stoner nor metal, but pure, beautiful space rock. Just over three minutes later though and the band start to show their true colours, as Ride the Sun introduces distorted riffs and vocals into the equation. This song is more of a stoner rock number, but the band gradually increases their metallic tendencies as the track does on, including a really heavy doomy bit towards the end before it's closed with a lead bass line. Then with Midnight Express, Mothership really start to deliver what was promised, with heavier, crunchier metallic riffs and more raw vocals alongside melodic singing.

High Strangeness is a varied record that isn't too long either, lasting for only 33:32 minutes, but this plays into its favour well. There's a twist around every corner and all kind of elements are to be found from the heavy and hard rocking to the psychedelic. After Midnight Express we move onto Crown of Lies, which has a really galloping metallic riff but otherwise is like a bridge between the two preceding songs and then it's onto Helter Skelter, which brings a noticeably fuzzier guitar tone to the table. Next, Eternal Trip returns things to a lighter but less spacey psychedelic rock sound, while finally Wise Man and Speed Dealer round the album off with as close to business as usual as the record ever delivers.

Due to the diversions into space and psychedelic rock, High Strangeness comes over as more of a rock record overall despite the band's reputation as a stoner metal act. There's still plenty of more metallic riffs here, in fact I'd say that the core sound is fairly summed up as stoner rock/metal but it's difficult to think of it as a metal album in total. I haven't heard Mothership's previous albums to know if High Strangeness is much of a departure for them, but one thing is for sure, this record is a real winner with its regularly changing yet never forced style shifts, so they've definitely done something right. Great stuff.

SPECTRAL VOICE Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Album · 2017 · Death-Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The fusion of doom metal and death metal can result in a number of vastly different sounding albums all being branded under the same 'death-doom metal' banner. From more melodic and gothic stuff like the recent (and early) Paradise Lost outings to slowed to a snail's pace crossovers with the funeral doom metal style and even something like Exuvia by The Ruins of Beverast that throws in all kinds of unusual influences like tribal ambient. Then you get an album like Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, the 2017 debut full-length by US act Spectral Voice, which instead of feeling like a doom metal album with death metal influences like a lot of death-doom metal can be described as, is more like a true fusion of the two: in some ways it's a death-doom metal album, in others it's a doom-death metal album.

I say this because there's plenty of instances during the album where Spectral Voice's music is much more death metal based than it is in doom metal, especially during tracks like Lurking Gloom where they pick up the tempo and go beyond what is normally considered acceptable for doom metal, even the more heavy metal influenced so called 'traditional' style. Maybe that shouldn't be a surprise when most of the band's line-up also belongs to the death metal act Blood Incantation, so they're hardly greenhorns (Spectral Voice themselves have also previously released no less than five demos and two splits) in the genre.

Yes, more often the music on Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is slow to mid-paced, but it certainly equally has the sound of a death metal album in terms of riffing style. And it sounds like a particularly filthy death metal album at that. There's no modern squeaky clean polished production work been done here and the band show everything they can do offer perfectly without it. Through it all though the album builds an atmosphere of oppressive menace, which is in no way mitigated by the inclusion of melodic guitar lines and notes and ambient sound effects during the brief moments the album allows you to come up for air. I can't understand the vocals, but in this case I don't need to: they function perfectly as an extra instrument, adding an extra layer to the evil cacophony of guitars, bass and drums.

Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is a mid-length album, containing five songs. I find that some death-doom metal albums can end up seeming like they've been drawn out for too long, but there's no danger of that impression forming here. These five songs are packed to the brim with quality riffs, and though it sure doesn't sound pretty the unpolished production gives the album a certain kind of charm that has me instantly hooked in Spectral Voice's style. I really think this one is a special album. It's quickly become my new personal favourite doom and death metal album of the year. Play it loud and often.

RENDERED HELPLESS Entities of Transdimensional Emergence

Album · 2017 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
MMA Reviewer's Challenge August 2017 – Randomly selected previously unreviewed 2017 release.

Brutal death metal is a genre designed to push the death metal sound to its most extreme. I've always been under the impression that doing that this is the easy part. The hard part would be doing it in such a way that an album stands out in some way. One man act of Alexander Paul (Organectomy), Rendered Helpless, from New Zealand, is back with his second album under the name, Entities of Transdimensional Emergence, which shows a lot of promise for this young artist in the genre.

The album contains nine tracks and only lasts a total of 28:20 minutes. We're talking short tracks that waste no time, just do their business, and then they're over, so in that sense the structure of the album is fairly typical of the genre. Speaking of which, Entities of Transdimensional Emergence is technically more of a slam death metal album and this is the main feature of the music. The style is bit monotonous on the surface, but I found that I had little trouble listening to the whole album in one go, though it's definitely in its favour to have such a short length. Regardless being able to listen to the whole thing in one go is the first hurdle crossed when it comes to genres like brutal/slam death metal, so in my book that puts Rendered Helpless that much closer to the head of the pack. Also working in this album's favour is that there are a few other influences that can be picked up on in music if you listen past the slams, notably a bit of death-doom metal in the slower parts.

This album isn't my typical thing by any means, so it isn't the easiest of albums for me to write about. The most positive thing I can say in its favour is that it's an album from a genre that, while I don't completely dislike it, largely find uninteresting and I actually do quite like this one, though it's not something I'd revisit very often.

CAVITY Supercollider

Album · 1999 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by aglasshouse.

With some albums you only need to take a glance at its artwork or the artist's logo to make a reasonable guess about what sort of music it is. With albums like Supercollider, the third album by American metal band Cavity, I'd have guessed wrong if I hadn't already been told. You can no more judge an album by its cover than you can a book. I'd have guessed at something in the post-grunge line looking at either the original cover or the 2002 reissue over, but I'd have been dead wrong. But then who could have guessed that this rather unassuming and (in my view) interesting style of cover would be hiding some heavy, semi-doomy, sludge metal?

The 2002 version of this album also brought some changes to its tracklist, adding in two extra ones, Xtoone and ...Who Doesn't Even Know Yet? For some reason the original final song of the album, Almost Blue, was removed in this edition of the album. It's this version of the album that I have listened to. The album has however had another reissue, this time on vinyl, in April 2017 which restores the original 1999 tracklist.

Cavity aren't a band who mess about with their song-writing. Their main focus is heavy, fuzzy riffs. Vocals play a prominent role as well, but their do seem secondary to the guitars. They aren't a showy band though; there isn't any lead guitar to speak of in their music and their writing style tends towards a short track duration. Tracks two (Set in Cinders) through six (Threshold), don't even hit three minutes. Just heavy riffs, with the occasional added bit of full-on doom slowness. I'd also say it has a few stoner metal moments, a genre that some of the band's other albums seem to be more heavily associated with. Here it's just flavour though, like with the doom metal. Supercollider is otherwise a straightforward sludge metal record, out to do one simple job: make those riffs as heavy as possible.

I think they do a pretty decent job at that, but with that said, if you're listening to albums looking for a lot of variation then you won't find too much of it here. As I said before, Cavity aren't a flashy band, so the closest thing you'll get a change of pace with is probably Inside my Spine where the vocals are harsher and more traditional growling rather than the hardcore shouts and raw singing used elsewhere. Xtoone's style also stands out as a bit different but as I said before, this song doesn't exist on the original 1999 version of the album and my honest opinion is that its rather throwaway, so it beats me why the 2002 version added it.

Cavity don't play a style of music I listen to very often but as far as my taste in sludge metal goes they certainly display a raw kind of charm that as a metal fan I find difficult not to smile about. 4 stars.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 days ago in List Challenges Not Related to Metal
    [QUOTE=adg211288]A new horror list: https://www.listchallenges.com/rate-your-musics-horror-gems-of-the-2010s[/QUOTE] 32/60.
  • Posted 2 days ago in List Challenges Not Related to Metal
    [QUOTE=adg211288]This is my most used list on LC. It's a bit out of date but very close to being my first to hit 5000 users.https://www.listchallenges.com/the-100-greatest-movies-of-the-last-five-years[/QUOTE] Already filled it out but I was able to update my score. 49/100.
  • Posted 2 days ago in Name The Band - Album game
    I also have this one without any guesses yet. Honestly I thought Adam might get this one since I know he owns it. Clue: The name of this album is the name of a real place. 

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