BitterJalapeno

Mark
MMA Special Collaborator · Grunge/Post-grunge & Moderator
Registered 1 year ago · Last visit 8 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

518 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 70 3.76
2 Death Metal 44 3.84
3 Non-Metal 37 3.54
4 Technical Death Metal 37 4.12
5 Progressive Metal 34 3.75
6 Stoner Metal 32 3.73
7 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 30 3.77
8 Alternative Metal 27 3.87
9 Heavy Metal 18 3.50
10 Nu Metal 17 3.56
11 Hard Rock 17 4.12
12 Thrash Metal 14 3.32
13 Metal Related 13 4.08
14 Hardcore Punk 12 4.13
15 Heavy Alternative Rock 12 4.04
16 Doom Metal 12 3.67
17 Groove Metal 11 3.91
18 Proto-Metal 9 4.00
19 Metalcore 8 4.06
20 Stoner Rock 6 4.00
21 NWoBHM 6 4.08
22 Melodic Death Metal 5 3.70
23 Melodic Metalcore 4 4.13
24 Industrial Metal 4 4.00
25 Mathcore 4 4.00
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 4 3.63
27 Technical Thrash Metal 4 3.50
28 Black Metal 3 3.83
29 Death 'n' Roll 3 4.00
30 Grindcore 3 4.00
31 Heavy Psych 3 3.50
32 Funk Metal 2 3.00
33 Drone Metal 2 3.00
34 Crossover Thrash 2 3.75
35 Avant-garde Metal 2 4.00
36 Brutal Death Metal 1 3.50
37 Funeral Doom Metal 1 2.50
38 Deathcore 1 3.00
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

SUPPRESSION The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh

Album · 2022 · Death Metal
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Formed in 2012, Suppression is a Chilean death metal band comprising members of thrash metal band Ripper. Following the release of their first EP “Repugnant Remains” in 2019, the band is back to assault the senses once again with their first full-length offering “The Sorrow of Soul Through Flesh” released by Unspeakable Axe Records. It displays a marked progression from the rough death metal of the aforementioned EP with distinct developments in songwriting, stylistic diversity and production. Firmly rooted in old school death metal, it shows an obvious influence from the brutality of “Consuming Impulse” era Pestilence combined with more convoluted structures, paying homage to the likes of Suffocation and Atheist. Suppression has done a great job of keeping this old school sound alive while successfully combining it with a range of influences from more modern styles of death metal and a mild progressive edge.

The material is highly technical but not to the point of qualifying as tech death proper. Thunderous, evil riffs dominate the soundscape supported by ocean-deep basslines, frenetic blast beats and wildly parched vocals. Ominous guitar solos are frequent, providing a melodic factor but conversely, hints of dissonance are present - the band have been conservative in this respect, avoiding taking the claustrophobic route of bands such as Ulcerate and Ad Nauseam. The jarring guitar and fluidity of the bass work on “Misunderstanding Reality” bring the album to its progressive peak without losing any of the sadistic heaviness. Deep grooves provide further diversity on “Unperpetual Misery” while album closer “Extortion Behaviours” showcases Suppression’s ability to mix mind-bending cacophony with more studious parts to great effect. The whole package is assisted by the excellent production of the legendary Colin Marston and as expected, the overall sound projected is incomprehensibly powerful and barbarically heavy, while allowing all elements of the music to breathe organically and be heard with a great degree of clarity.

Despite a commendable performance from the entire band, the star of the show is undoubtedly Pablo Cortés who pulls of a phenomenal performance on fretless bass. His slick basslines provide a wonderfully rich texture throughout but shine through particularly when allowed to let loose on frequent bass-only breakdowns, swelling and contracting exuberantly, adding a touch of jazz influence to the affair. For the best examples, see the frenetic opener “Lifelessness”, the marginally slower “Oveerfeeding Gaps” or the atmospheric “Unwinding Harmonies”. Even though the overall musical style is drastically different, it’s a bass performance that reminds me of post-sludge band Intronaut’s masterpiece “Prehistoricisms” albeit in a less delicate fashion.

Any death metal fan can testify to the fact the genre has splintered into many diverse tangents since its birth in the 80s and with the help of the on-demand world in which we now reside, an overwhelming number of artists are releasing material. As such, it can prove difficult for bands to produce music which stands above that of their peers. It’s clear that Suppression deserve respect for having achieved this in an environment of such saturation and can be considered a strong force in the current death global metal scene.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
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Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

“The Sum of all Fossils” is the debut and so far, the only full-length release by New York based technical death metal outfit Flourishing. Originally involved with death-grind, the music on this album abandons grind and focuses mainly on death metal with high levels of dissonance and atonality, played in a breakneck, frenetic fashion accompanied by powerful growling vocals. Upon first listen, it might be easy to write Flourishing off as another outlet for Gorgutsish disso-death worship but with repeated listens, it’s clear there is much more on offer here – the influence of genres such as sludge metal and industrial metal become obvious in addition to the occasional pockets of hardcore/post-hardcore.

The production is perfect for the music – organic sounding, with just the right amount of filth and murkiness for death metal while giving off a distinctly cold sensation to the listener – this is amplified by a cloak of cold industrial atmosphere which envelops the whole affair somewhat but is more prevalent on some tracks such as “In Vivid Monochrome” and “By Which We’re Cemented”, the latter of which is one the most diverse tracks on the album, showcasing vocalist Bussanick’s ability to switch from his usual guttural grunting to a strangled, open-throated, post-hardcore shout.

The occasional use of melodic guitar work provides the album with some well-placed variation to the surrounding onslaught. Songs like the aforementioned “By Which We’re Cemented” and “Momentary Senses” use melody effectively to add an element of light to the dark, bleak backdrop of despair which makes up the album’s bulk. The former has some great guitar harmonics in addition to some major key celestial riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 00s sludge album and juxtaposes delightfully with the brutality, adding a small sense of hope in comparison to the overall sense of foreboding. It's clear that “The Sum of all Fossils” demonstrates an adventurous approach to songwriting with unconventional song structures and an ability to successfully combine many influences into one coherent piece.

My favourite aspect of the album is the emotion that oozes from every pore. This reaches its peak on the epic closer “As if Bathed in Excellence” which is almost like a mini version of the album in itself with its technical and brutal first half, the sludgy breakdown and the superb melodic outro which ascends the listener back into the realms of light to bring the album to a conclusion.

Sadly, Flourishing is no more but two members are currently part of the blackened death metal outfit Aeviterne who’s debut album “The Ailing Façade” was released earlier this year. It has a similar sound but with a greater focus on atmosphere, a more grandiose production job and seems to have picked up where Flourishing left off back in 2011. It was only after listening to Aeviterne that I discovered Flourishing and if you are looking for dissonant tech death with a difference, Flourishing and their new re-incarnation have both firmly nailed it.

LASCAILLE'S SHROUD The Tiger's Daughter

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
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“The Tiger’s Daughter” is the fourth full length release by one-man progressive metal machine Brett Windnagle, otherwise known as Lascaille's Shroud. Windnagle stated that the mood he was attempting to project on this single-track epic was reflective of the emotions he experienced whilst reading a trilogy of fantasy novels by K. Arsenault Rivera which focuses on the ups and downs of a romantic relationship between two female Oriental warriors. He certainly did not fail in his endeavours as this is one hell of an emotional journey through sound, encompassing both dark and light realms while maintaining an impressive level of cohesion throughout.

A wide range of musical influences is explored, including but by no means limited to death metal, progressive metal, classic heavy metal, post-rock, and traditional Oriental folk. The bulk of the music is slow to mid-paced death metal with riffs and chord progressions that steadily chug along underneath brutal death growls. Also present is the classic death metal technique of tremolo picking but, in this case, it is not overused, adding variety rather than being a mainstay. The inclusion of synthesisers provides an atmospheric background to the whole experience while the use of Oriental elements - possibly a koto - add a touch of authenticity to the subject matter.

There are few guitar solos throughout the album, but lack of quantity is more than compensated for by the quality as when they appear, they soar to great heights, displaying effective use of melody in contrast to the brutality of death metal while also drawing some influence from the classic heavy metal of the 80s. Even though I have not read the novel in question, I imagine that Windnagle created these solos to mirror the most joyous parts of the novel’s narrative and has done so with great success. Further adding contrast are piano-led segments – reminiscent of the softer side of 90s and 00s post-rock acts such as Mogwai – which bring moments of calm to the album and maintains the listener’s interest as the journey continues. The greatest contrast, however, is the inclusion of clean vocals which are provided by Mercedes Victoria. Her soft voice adds huge volumes of emotion, simultaneously producing a true sense of love, pain, and longing.

To conclude, it can’t be denied that “The Tiger’s Daughter” is an excellent example of genre-fusion with a commendable level of cohesion. Although not something I would typically have sought out as general listening, I found it a most captivating listen where many musical styles are brought together in unexpected coexistence.

GLOVES OFF Life...And Everything After

Album · 2022 · Metalcore
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Released by Upstate Records in January 2022, “Life…And Everything After” is the debut full-length release by Philadelphia based five-piece metalcore band Gloves Off. While some fans may have found some disappointment to discover that the first four tracks were not new material as they had already featured in 2020’s “Life” EP, the album as a unit is a very impressive powerhouse of modern metalcore with equal parts aggression and abrasion.

Album opener “Pinnacle in Timeline” has such a catastrophically slow and heavy introduction that one could be forgiven for thinking they were listening to a doom metal band but before long, Gloves Off blast into full-pelt, savagely heavy metallic hardcore. The remainder of the album flies by in a whirlwind of frenetic drumming, crushingly heavy riffs, jarring panic chords and the occasional destructive breakdown. Songs such as “In Reflection” and “Winter Solstice” contain riffs of skull-crushing proportions while the closing track “Between Greetings and Goodbyes” adds an additional layer to the mix in the form of black metal influenced atmosphere. The punishing qualities of the music are matched perfectly by the vocalist who delivers a performance with a supreme degree of anger and ferocity.

Most impressive, however, is the refreshing level of energy the band manage to channel into their music and this coupled with an exhibition of strong songwriting skills and an organically raw yet powerfully rich production job results in a very confident debut album which makes a strong statement not only in the world of metalcore but the world of heavy music in general and stands out proudly amongst a very overpopulated genre.

AENIGMATUM Deconsecrate

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Released in the summer of 2021 by 20 Buck Spin, “Deconsecrate” is the sophomore full length release from Oregon based blackened death metal band Aenigmatum. It boasts a complex sound, rooted in modern death metal with a slight glazing of black metal atmosphere coming mainly from the raw and organic production. As chaotic as the guitar riffs initially sound, they are also dripping with a healthy dose of melody and groove which becomes more apparent and rewarding with further listens. Amidst the bleak atmosphere and frenetic dissonance, there are pockets of fantastic melodic lead guitar which at points show influence from the twin guitar leads of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden and allow the listener to let off some steam from the surrounding brutality.

The musicianship is superb across the board with the two guitarists complementing each other delightfully, switching sharply between riffing in unison/twin lead, tremolo picking and monstrously crushing riffs. The jazz influenced basslines are interestingly structured, providing additional layers of melody and a mix of crazy breakneck and slower groovy rhythms further assisted by a truly bombastic performance from the drummer. In terms of songwriting, “Deconsecrate” exhibits a great level of maturity with unconventional song structures throughout and plenty unexpected twists which keeps things consistently fresh and interesting for the full duration.

The only factor which ever so slightly drags this album down for me is that the vocals are so low in the mix that you almost forget they are there at times, but this may be due to them being enveloped in a full set of staggering performances from all musicians.

To summarise, this album is a 45-minute blackened death roller-coaster played with great conviction and a high degree of technical skill which should please most fans of modern death metal - in particular, fans of the twisted death metal of Diskord. Despite there being a lot of stiff competition in 2021, the intense musical performances and intriguing song structures of “Deconsecrate” have engaged with me on such a level that I am compelled to name it my album of the year and I can’t wait to hear what they have to offer next.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 10 days ago in Have any neo-prog recommendations?
    I'm not sure they'd be considered neo-prog as they pretty much emulate the sounds of the 70s greats but Wobbler's album from From Silence to Somewhere is a great listen.
  • Posted 11 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
    Might not be of much interest to most here but a bit of rare Scottish sunshine earlier today put me in the mood for some skate punk/hardcore. This is the latest release (2019) from of one of the best, most underground, most consistent and most influential bands of the genre. It's now roughly 30 years since their debut. BitterJalapeno2022-06-17 09:22:36
  • Posted 16 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
    [QUOTE=DippoMagoo] One final listen before I attempt my review tomorrow (it should be pretty easy, at this point.)Next:http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/aeviterne/the-ailing-facadeFor "research purposes". I won't say anything about it today, but I'll probably give it a brief mention in my review. I'm curious to see how it stacks up against their former incarnation.I love them both [/QUOTE]

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