BitterJalapeno

Mark
MMA Special Collaborator · Grunge/Post-grunge & Moderator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 14 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

571 reviews/ratings
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CROWBAR - Odd Fellows Rest Sludge Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
GOJIRA - From Mars to Sirius Death Metal
GOJIRA - L'Enfant Sauvage Death Metal
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal
CROWBAR - Broken Glass Sludge Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal
MESHUGGAH - Nothing (2006) Progressive Metal
GORGUTS - Obscura Technical Death Metal
MELVINS - Houdini Sludge Metal
MELVINS - Stoner Witch Stoner Metal
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - Siamese Dream Heavy Alternative Rock
WISHBONE ASH - Argus Proto-Metal
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock
RUSH - Moving Pictures Hard Rock

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Sludge Metal 72 3.74
2 Non-Metal 46 3.59
3 Death Metal 45 3.88
4 Technical Death Metal 43 4.08
5 Progressive Metal 36 3.71
6 Stoner Metal 32 3.73
7 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 32 3.73
8 Alternative Metal 27 3.87
9 Hardcore Punk 24 4.04
10 Nu Metal 19 3.55
11 Heavy Metal 18 3.50
12 Hard Rock 17 4.12
13 Metal Related 16 4.13
14 Thrash Metal 14 3.32
15 Doom Metal 13 3.65
16 Groove Metal 12 3.79
17 Heavy Alternative Rock 11 4.09
18 Proto-Metal 9 4.00
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 8 3.63
20 Black Metal 7 3.36
21 Metalcore 7 4.00
22 Stoner Rock 6 4.00
23 NWoBHM 6 4.08
24 Mathcore 5 4.20
25 Melodic Death Metal 5 3.70
26 Melodic Metalcore 5 3.70
27 Heavy Psych 4 3.63
28 Industrial Metal 4 3.88
29 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.88
30 Grindcore 4 3.75
31 Technical Thrash Metal 4 3.50
32 Death 'n' Roll 3 4.00
33 Crossover Thrash 2 3.75
34 Funk Metal 2 3.00
35 Drone Metal 2 3.00
36 Funeral Doom Metal 1 2.50
37 Deathcore 1 3.00
38 Brutal Death Metal 1 3.50
39 Pagan Black Metal 1 1.50
40 Power Metal 1 4.50
41 Rap Metal 1 3.50
42 Traditional Doom Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

VITRIOL (USA) Suffer & Become

Album · 2024 · Death Metal
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Vitriol has had four and half years to produce a follow-up to the cacophonous monolith "To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice". Evidently, the band has used this time wisely and are back with an updated lineup, and a notable upgrade in sound. While their debut showcased some of the most punishingly frenetic death metal ever put to wax, "Suffer & Become" shows a fraction more restraint, with the Portland-based quartet paying more attention to compositional and structural diversity. That said, it should be stressed that this is no walk in the park - "Suffer & Become" is still so utterly bewildering in its complexity and so overbearingly intense that a casual attempt at listening will most likely end swiftly, even for death metal enthusiasts. This is best reserved for the most masochistic of listeners willing to suffer and become at one with torture, ultimately reaping the tumultuous rewards of giving this monster their full and undivided attention.

"Suffer & Become" is distinguishable from its predecessor through a few slight augmentations to their richly textured tech death which, when combined, yield delightfully successful results. Although its compositional base still lands you in the same hurricane of incomprehensibly intense drumming and discordant riffs, the use of melody is key in giving the album a platform of its own. After opener “Shame and its Afterbirth” has beaten you to a pulp, virtuosic guitar leads machete their way through the carnage to temporarily save your soul in majestic fashion. “The Isolating Lie of Learning Another” also shines in this respect with a brief yet triumphant solo, soaring joyously above the chaos. A greater variance in tempo also pays dividends with the slower, lumbering groove of “The Flowers of Sadism” and “I am Every Enemy” helping to break up the incessant rapid-fire drumming. “Survival’s Careening Inertia” provides arguably the starkest contrast on the album with clean guitar dominating the first few minutes, serving as a short intermission. The track gradually builds in intensity before morphing into monstrously dark and atmospheric epic outro, rich in swirling overdriven leads and ominous synths. From this point on, the album is consistently at its most brutal, tormenting you with a tirade of chaotic riffs, near constant double bass peddling and snarling interplay between equally ferocious vocalists, one in the death camp and one with a spine-chilling black metal shriek.

Despite all this talk of diversification, one thing is certain: no matter what respite you are granted, Vitriol will slam you straight back down into the depths of hell almost immediately. "Suffer & Become" is so suffocating and oppressive that after several listens, you still won’t have made much progress with unpacking its contents. Perseverance will reward and those with enough patience will enjoy an astounding sophomore that displays a supreme level of technical skill and an insatiable thirst for pushing the limits of death metal. If it were to push any further, Vitriol may collapse under the weight of its own genius.

Attribution:

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/88183/Vitriol-USA-Suffer--Become/

WOTHROSCH Odium

Album · 2023 · Black Metal
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Ever present is a plethora of artists attempting to imprint their mark on the diverse world of extreme metal, ensuring that the wide umbrella genre is never short of fresh meat. Naturally, this also means that saturation is unavoidable, resulting in many efforts inevitably slipping under the radar and fading into obscurity. Athenian blackened death-sludge outfit Wothrosch is one such artist launching its first assault on the world with its debut album Odium, released to the unwashed masses two weeks into 2023 showcasing great musicianship, fantastic production and a record which is enjoyable but sadly, not too memorable.

Odium is impressive in many ways. The mix of mid-pace sludge riffs grinding away underneath creepy tremolo-picked leads provides an ominous backdrop and creates a truly ghastly and asphyxiating atmosphere assisted by vocals that switch between brutish sludge roars, guttural death growls and screams that sound like a wild beast being subjected to the most barbaric torture methods imaginable. The musicianship on offer is top notch with a special mention to the drummer who effortlessly swapping between rapid blast-beats and slow doomy passages, proves themselves highly versatile. The production is remarkably grandiose for the debut album of a little-known band and gives the album a nice sheen without being too clinical.

In contrast, Odium is plagued by a shortfall in variety and a surplus of overly lengthy cuts. By the halfway stage, the magnificent vibes projected at the start begin to wane and the album succumbs to stagnation with individual tracks becoming indistinguishable from each other. The ferocious closer “Reign” being an exception, just about managing to bring the album above mediocrity. While Wothrosch may have cooked up a variety of metal influences into a tasty sonic recipe, a distinct lack of deviation from that specific sound is enough of a stumbling block that consuming the full portion in its entirety is a challenge. If the band were to combine the tight performances and fastidious production with a more focused approach to songwriting, they could easily prevent themselves from being one of the countless highly talented outfits who do not cut the proverbial mustard.

--

Attribution:

https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/86160/Wothrosch-Odium/

CHAT PILE God's Country

Album · 2022 · Metal Related
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Chat Pile is an Oklahoma based noise rock/sludge metal quartet who's debut studio album "God’s Country" became available to the masses in the summer of 2022 after having been the subject of much hype in alternative music circles. After the initial listen, one feels like a corkscrew has been inserted into each ear and violently twisted. What has one just experienced? The answer is a savage and exasperated assault on a broken western society, transported to the ear canals with unprecedented levels of rage. While lyrical content concerning the failings of society is a well-trodden path with each new endeavour having potential to project yet another rehashed and redundant message, God’s Country does anything but.

You might ask what prevented God’s Country from falling into the rehash trap. It all comes down to the earnestness with which the message is delivered – no generic “fuck the government” material can be found here. Vocalist Raygun Busch launches a wide-ranged and carefully calculated attack on several aspects of modern American society which is both unapologetically scathing and depressingly accurate with its content. Amongst the themes of homelessness, mass meat production and the disgraceful condition of the environment are pockets of truly harrowing material in relation to the ongoing mental health crisis but rather than giving off the impression of wallowing, the overall message is one of downright rage, giving the record authenticity and ultimately, lyrical relevance.

While there is nothing overly complex musically speaking, the genre-fusion on offer here more than compensates for those who crave something less simplistic. Ferocious sludge and noise rock form the base of the musical palate, supported by touches of post-hardcore and the occasional groove-laden, angular nu-metal passage. The heavier portions of the musical fabric are juxtaposed by the inclusion of gothic and 80s post-punk elements which add a sense of gloom and if that wasn’t enough, the whole experience is shrouded in a cold industrial atmosphere.

A grotesque and blood-curdling release, God’s Country brings something new to the party without straying too far from its sludge roots. Unique yet familiar, harrowing yet humbling, Chat Pile have produced something truly special.

OFFERNAT All Colours Retract

Album · 2022 · Sludge Metal
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New and obscure sludge releases are something I have begrudgingly grown to approach with a certain degree of trepidation - a fear of being greeted with a bland sixty minutes of overly atmospheric music and a distinct lack of memorable riffs. Enter Danish three-piece outfit Offernat who (with their independently released debut) thankfully reinstate the almighty sludge riff – an especially pleasant surprise on a release containing only four tracks, the shortest of which still exceeds a duration of ten minutes. Having said that, All Colours Retract still boasts its fair share of atmospheric qualities but rather than reaching saturation point, the band has approached this with an optimal degree of curation, resulting in a wild ride of metal which fuses 00s progressive sludge with elements of doom, black metal and post-rock/metal.

Opener “Inside the Fog” wastes no time in smacking you in the face with a series of lurching, pelagic riffs, similar to the oceanic brutality of early Mastodon. The track builds in intensity as it reaches the halfway point of the +10-minute duration, developing an almost insurmountable feeling before crashing down to the ocean floor and erupting again with near overwhelming levels of feedback and screeching effects. More Mastodon influence is featured on the epic “The Winds” which showcases some slow yet intricate, atonal riffs, akin to the sounds explored on the 2004 masterpiece Leviathan. Post-rock and black metal influences play a significant role in the overall sound of the remainder of the album. All tracks besides the opener contain strong elements of both genres with the aforementioned epic “The Winds” opening with rapid blast beats and thick, atmospheric guitars while the middle section possesses qualities akin to the lighter side of Glaswegian post-rock titans Mogwai. “Harvest Return” and “Caught in Existence” both switch between suffocating riffs and relaxing clean guitar and bass melodies but over the course of their combined length of 23 minutes, the album descends to a bit of an anti-climax after the commendable quality of the first two offerings.

While musically diverse, the vocal department is stubbornly similar throughout. The overall tone shares a parity with the harsh vocal delivery a la Tom Araya of thrash metal legends Slayer and to a lesser extent, Lars-Göran Petrov of Entombed fame. While it does suit the music well, I was surprised to learn that lead vocal duties are shared between all three members of Offernat as this was not readily apparent to my ears. Cohesivity is another department where the band fall somewhat. As pleasant as the post-rock passage is on “The Winds”, its placement seems somewhat disjointed with the rest of the album and doesn’t slot in as nicely as the similar passages on the other tracks.

A worthwhile listen to any fan of sludge, All Colours Retract demonstrates a return of the glorious and all too absent sludge riff while maintaining a healthy atmospheric quality from the more modern facets of the genre. Despite the disappointment in the decline in quality in the latter half, Offernat are certainly more than worth keeping an eye on.

[Originally written for Sputnikmusic]

CONAN Evidence of Immortality

Album · 2022 · Doom Metal
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Orogenic processes fast-forwarded while the stricken lay dying...

The fifth full-length offering from Liverpudlian doom metal machine Conan shows no sign of deviating from spirit-crushing, despair-filled doom metal of the most ferocious degree. Clocking in at over 50 minutes, Conan’s latest is their longest album to date and is somewhat a return to their older style, centring the structure around lengthier cuts as opposed to the shorter, punchier tracks featured on 2018’s impressive Existential Void Guardian. However, there are still pockets of aggressive sludge here – such as the punk-tinged “Ritual of Anonymity” which contains some of the album's faster-paced sections. The aggression in the middle is bookended by two epochs of slow-moving, catastrophic doom which despite their length, do not outstay their welcome and are the strongest portions of music on offer here.

There are two things that Conan’s music always brings to mind: barbaric battles and geological processes. Opening track “A Cleaved Head No Longer Plots” is so destructively heavy and dense that it manages to replicate how I imagine the collision of continents would sound if occurring in 10 minutes rather than over a period of millions of years. The usual pulverising doom riffs are nuanced with some nice touches of post-metal adding stylistic diversity. Conjured in the mind are images of thick, slow-moving lava snaking its way down the side of a volcano as pyroclastic bombs descend from the ash-obscured sky above, reducing everything in their path to cinders.

In addition to the strong structure, the album impresses from a production perspective. The viscosity of the guitar and bass tone is unfathomable while still allowing the drums to shine through with crystal clarity. It’s obvious that Conan has lost none of its forbidding atmospheric quality and on Evidence of Immortality, some additional features develop this further. Organs are utilised to great effect in the funeral doom closer “Grief Sequence”, providing another layer of ominous atmosphere as the brooding, monolithic guitar chords gradually edge the listener towards their impending death following the aftermath of a medieval bloodbath. The sinister atmosphere intensifies as the song (and album) crawls to an end, assisted by the inclusion of warping flange techniques on the organs, delivering a fever dream-like sound as if the stricken listener is slipping into a delusional state as their life approaches its inevitable terminus.

Conan has delivered yet another high-quality lump of barbarically heavy doom metal and have once again re-cemented themselves as a prime act of the genre by adding another pillar to their legacy – one with the utmost consistency in quality, and undoubtedly, longevity.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 year ago in Best Nile Album
    Toss up between Those Whom the Gods Detest and Annihilation of the Wicked but I'll opt for the latter.BitterJalapeno2023-05-10 12:10:08
  • Posted 1 year ago in Metal Up Your Ass and all that Jazz Room V2
    Grabbed tickets for Carcass later in the month. Should be a good night as Conjurer are supporting.
  • Posted 1 year ago in MMA Best of Year 2022 Results
    Profuse apologies Paul, a very late thanks for your efforts in compiling this - superb job as always.

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