BitterJalapeno

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

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

566 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 3.73
2 Non-Metal 46 3.59
3 Death Metal 42 3.88
4 Technical Death Metal 42 4.11
5 Progressive Metal 36 3.71
6 Stoner Metal 32 3.73
7 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 31 3.76
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 Metal Related 17 4.06
13 Hard Rock 17 4.12
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 9 3.44
20 Metalcore 7 4.00
21 Stoner Rock 6 4.00
22 NWoBHM 6 4.08
23 Mathcore 5 4.20
24 Melodic Death Metal 5 3.70
25 Melodic Metalcore 5 3.70
26 Black Metal 5 3.70
27 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.88
28 Grindcore 4 3.75
29 Heavy Psych 4 3.63
30 Industrial Metal 4 4.00
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

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.

CONJURER I

EP · 2016 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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Conjurer is arguably amongst the most exciting and most hyped bands in the UK metal scene today, receiving raving reviews from big players in the alternative music media. While this praise is fully warranted, 2016’s EP “I” has been overshadowed and undeservedly left behind.

Opener “Behold the Swine” achieves plenty in its 6-minute run-time. Punishingly heavy riffs lurch underneath anguished growls and screams that come from the depths of hell. The guitar interplay between Dan Nightingale and Brady Deeprose exhibited here is fantastic – filthy, sludgy riffs, rapid, intricate, thrashy riffs and beautiful clean atmospheric guitar work all play off each other to create a truly monstrous track. As the journey through the EP continues, it becomes apparent just how diverse a palate Conjurer has at this stage of infancy. Post metal, black metal are major influences not to mention the deep grooves which help add maintain rhythmic interest throughout the two tracks which make up the albums centre.

Aside from the combination of barbaric brutality and atmospheric beauty, Conjurer’s other trademark has always been one of overhanging misery and hopelessness. The vile despair projected by the music is perfectly emulated by song titles such as “A Chasm Forged in Dread and Disarray”. The most wretched point on the album is the crushing doom-fest that is the closer “Frail”. “I” also impresses structurally, squeezing touches from a plethora of metal sub-genres into something that feels less a collection of songs but more a single cohesive 23-minute track, leaving the listener’s soul obliterated to dust by the end.

The early EPs of artists are sadly often forgotten by all but the hardcore fanbase and despite Conjurer having evidently developed their songwriting chops significantly with the release of 2018’s “Mire” and further still with 2022s “Páthos”, “I” staunchly stands proudly as the solid foundations for what has rapidly elevated to become a powerhouse of progressive, blackened, post-sludge. A must check for those who have enjoyed the subsequent albums.

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.

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