CCVP

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All Reviews/Ratings

119 reviews/ratings
DREAM THEATER - Live at the Marquee Progressive Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Arise Thrash Metal
SEPULTURA - Beneath the Remains Thrash Metal
DEATH - Human Technical Death Metal | review permalink
CELTIC FROST - Into the Pandemonium Avant-garde Metal
MESHUGGAH - Chaosphere Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - I Progressive Metal
PANTERA - Cowboys From Hell Groove Metal
FORBIDDEN - Omega Wave Thrash Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - Nightfall in Middle-Earth Power Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - A Night at the Opera Power Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - Imaginations Through the Looking Glass Power Metal
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal
ANNIHILATOR - Never, Neverland Thrash Metal
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 35 4.27
2 Thrash Metal 20 4.03
3 Technical Death Metal 13 4.35
4 Traditional heavy metal 12 3.83
5 Power Metal 10 4.10
6 Death Metal 7 4.14
7 Groove Metal 5 4.00
8 Metal Related 4 4.00
9 Melodic Death Metal 3 4.00
10 NWoBHM 3 4.50
11 Speed Metal 2 3.50
12 Symphonic Metal 1 3.00
13 Non-Metal 1 4.00
14 Deathcore 1 0.50
15 Avant-garde Metal 1 5.00
16 Black Metal 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SLAYER Reign in Blood

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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Let me kick off this review by saying that I am no fan of Slayer and that this album has all the reasons that cause me not to like this band.

Slayer's third studio album became quite notorius for its unprecedented aggression, power and speed in the heavy metal circles and exactly for that it became quite influential in heavy metal in general. Wile all that is true (the album really excels in all those characteristics), I find that it does nothing but that and that the band forgot to do everything else there is to do. In other words, they were more worried with being agressive, evil, fast and powerful than they are with their actual music.

During all the 29 minutes of the album, I can sense little change in Slayer's music, little variation, a real lack of new ideas. In short, they basically repeat themselves a lot, even during the short length of Reign in Blood. The songs have almost the same structure, a similar development and they do not change their expression and tone through the album. Yes, the album is agressive, evil, etc, but if you take that out of the way and simply listen to the music they play, there isn't much else to offer.

That lack of variation and creative inertia is, however, an ever-present feature in Slayer's music and the real strengh of Reign in Blood is balancing that with being markedly short. Besides the aggression and power, the short length is the biggest quality Reign in Blood has to offer, because that keeps you from getting tired of listening to an album that constantly repeats the same thing over and over again. Said repetition is something that actually keeps me from actually finishing most of Slayer's other albums, even though most of their albums clock below 40 minutes.

Grade and Final Thoughts

In spite of having all of the characteristical Slayer problems, Reign in Blood still manages to be an enjoyable album just for being very a short album. That actually restrain the listener from losing interest in the album. That unquestionably shows that it is only a good album and not a perfect masterpiece.

FORBIDDEN Omega Wave

Album · 2010 · Thrash Metal
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Forbidden was, during the late 80's and early 90's, one of those interesting thrash bands that, no matter what they did, they could not be nothing more than a shadow of the big acts: they put out enjoyable albums, but only that, nothing REALLY remarkable or groundbreaking, and that was only natural since they did nothing but emulate the style of the big acts and eventually throw a new thing or two.

Because of that, it was a great surprise when I listened to their comeback and realised that they were a completely new band: they were not comming back, they were, quite literally, borning again! Their style, wile still somehow related to their older albums, is so renewed and polished that I can say with some degree of certanty that they sound like a different band.

Starting with the differences in the instrumental section, they have finally found their style. Differently from their early era when, as I mentioned, they had a little amount of new things to put on the table due to their choice of following the style of other more accomplished bands, now Forbidden is part of the less "alternative" movement called post-thrash. Rooted on groove metal and "traditional" thrash metal, post-thrash manages to get the best of both worlds and put in one thing.

Expect to find the mid-tempo funky grooves and the sharp marauding edge riffs, many times in the same song, somerthing that I honestly think that gives the music the fantastic flavour and variety needed to keep you interested and wanting for more of it.

As for the vocals, they are also brutally changed. If you are expecting Anderson's previous style, that could be summarized as Bruce Dickson meets Tom Araya, you will be terribly disappointed. His voice has become considerably graver and he is also using more aggressive stiles of singing, such as raspy vocals, shouts and some kind of growl, all of which fit perfectly in this album.

The composition in Omega Wave is simply perfect. The band constatly throws in the song something new and interesting without being needlessly complex or too off the mark. You can relate with everything, yet every time you listen to the album you can see something new, something you didn't perceived before, what shows just how much the songs were intelligently written.

Grade and Final Thoughts:

Have you ever imagined how Meshuggah would sound if the band simply stopped doing their usual technical show and just played the damn instruments? That is how Omega Wave sounds, less technical "show-offness" and more down to business heavy metal.

This is possibly the best album of 2010, so you'd better grab it the first chance you have.

DEATH Human

Album · 1991 · Technical Death Metal
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In a time when progressive metal was still consolidating itself and death metal was still a baby, Chuck Schuldiner was already breaking barriers and revolutionizing the death metal, which he created.

This is a very interesting and unique album. It is the beginning of the glorious "progressive" era of Death, it is a BIG turning point for progressive metal in general, specially for the heavier side of the force, because it represents the creation of another level of both progressive metal and death metal, completely revolutionizing the musical scene just by itself. To put this very simply and plainly, Human is both a classic and a quintessential album for death and progressive metal alike. So, if you find yourself anywhere near extreme metal / prog metal or even think about listening something about it, begin by listening this album.

This particular album right here was my first contact with extreme metal and extreme progressive metal and I have this to say: from day one until now Human still manages amazes me. It has THAT unique quality of a true masterpieces that is to never get old nor tiresome.

Musically, this album is definitely a step (or maybe even a jump) forward for Chuck. Nothing that he ever done before had reached this level of complexity and what is even more amazing is the fact that Chuck was a self-taught player and composer with zero musical formal knowledge whatsoever. He basically, in his head, invented the music he composed. Of course, he truly invented nothing as far as musical theory goes, but it was never used the way he used.

Each song follow a basic script: guitars consisting of a broken rhythm fast riffing in odd time signatures, usually made by Chuck, a very competent solo guitar, bass playing being quite technical and complex and out-of-this-world drums that blast hard and crazy, complementing the music to make it well rounded. We can clearly see here that, in the short space of time of four years, since Scream Bloody Gore, Chuck immensely improved his playing and compositional abilities.

To this day another thing that incredibly amazes me is how it can be possible for someone go from something like Spiritual Healing to Human, in the matters of musical complexity, technicality, quality and basically everything else there is. The evolution shown here is so drastic that its hard to believe that this is the same creative force.

Grade and final Thoughts:

I don't think that there is anything else more important to mention about this album, so I will be as plain as possible in this final part of my review. Human put together musical brilliancy, quality, amazing playing, revolutionary music in only one album that keeps you interest from begining to end. No matter what others may say, this album rocks and deserves the top grade for all its qualities and that is it. Class dismissed.

DREAM THEATER When Dream and Day Unite

Album · 1989 · Progressive Metal
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When Dream and Day Unite: an album difficult to swallow, but not as bad as it looks like

Debut albums are always eccentric and almost always primitive, and When Dream and Day Unite is no exception. What we have here is a totally different manifestation than what Dream Theater is widely known for. I say this because the band does not yet have the controversial James Labrie to tackle singing duties. Charles Dominici is the vocalist on this album and he's living proof as to the drastic effect a vocalist can have on a band and/or album and why they are held in such high regard and called 'frontmen'.

Dominici is remarkably inferior to Labrie, in my opinion, despite Labrie having his issues. He's not as resonant, doesn't have as much conviction, and can't nail high notes as effectively, since his vocal amplitude is not a big thing, specially for high notes. He would be more effectual if he tried a different genre of metal, prog or music, such as pop or alt rock because he doesn't have the depth and chutzpah to pull this off. If Dominici had remained Dream Theater's vocalist throughout their career, it only leaves me to wonder if the band would have been as successful and popular as they are today. Sure, guitarists, drummers, bassists, and keyboardists are essential, but when the vocalist isn't adept, it's very grating and makes everything else happening in the music a nonentity. That's why SO many otherwise good albums on this website have lost points---it's because of the sub-par/terrible vocals; Dominici sounds like your average clean power or traditional metal vocalist: there's nothing distinguishing him from the vast crop of other singers out there in the progressive genre and in metal in general and that is another grade loss for him.

Unfortunately, When Dream and Day Unite is somewhat sub-par musically speaking as well. The overall tone of the guitars is somewhat muffled and soft, unlike on later albums where each instrument booms with confidence and charisma, burying itself in your subconscious. On a similar token, the riffing is quite competent, but not the soloing. Everything is presented in a much more primitive, compact package here, which is stifling for listeners thoroughly acquainted with the band's later work.. Also, the keyboards play a far lesser role here and don't have that squealing, spacey tone we're all accustomed to. Still on the keyboards, for those used to Rudess's way of playing (usually together with Petrucci and his guitars) and late Moore's keyboards (usually playing different, but related melodies / harmonies), here Moore plays a much more team role, being the glue holding the band's sound together and making the bridges needed on the harmony side.

One of the few highlights is the instrumental Ytse Jam, a tune that has gained a peculiar amount of fame in the Dream Theater universe, even spawning a website bearing its name, and the final piece of music on this album, the song Only a Matter of Time, which is, together with Ytse Jam, the most solid and developed piece of music here. It's not their greatest work, but it's very aggressive, something typical for a new metal band with a lot of things to say (luckily they left most of them for Images and Words and Awake). In keeping with the overall songwriting layout of the album, it cuts straight to the chase, not opting to enthrall the listener with unwarranted grandeur.

Basically, what we have here is the groundwork for much classier, less opulent offerings from a band who is continually evolving and adapting, yet trying to keep their sound and image intact. Often I wonder if all players involved with this intentionally held back to pique fans' suspense as to what comes next and to totally blindside everyone with Images & Words, possibly their best work and absolute milestone for prog metal. Ability is never and has never been something that people question about Dream Theater, but how exactly is the band choosing to present its ideas to listeners? What are they cutting and pasting?

Potential for excellence is written all over the instruments on this record and Dream Theater has impeccable consistency, but we'll never know if the band could have pulled off something more defining. That sense of wonder in itself is enough reason to buy this album. Personally, at least, I find all the 'what-ifs' of the world to be very gratifying and know that from day one these guys have pulled their best to surprise us all with whatever innovation they can make.

Rock on Dream Theater! and may the good winds of prog metal always be with you for ever

DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
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This is the worst Dream Theater studio album, probably because the label messed with their way of doing music

Dream Theater's fourth release, Falling Into Infinity, was actually the first Dream Theater album I bought but was the second DT album I ever heard (the first being Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, which a friend of mine borrowed to me) and, frankly, was a major disappointment. To this day it is still the only DT album i can't listen completely. However, as time passed, this album slowly grew into me and I could realize it was not so bad at all, i mean, these guys can't screw up completely: there will always be some tracks that will be worthy in every album they make.

The real problem with this albums is that the label wanted them to sell even more records (though their previous albums were relatively successful: Images and Words peaked at 61st place among the Billboard 200 charts and is, to this day, their best selling album and Awake peaked the charts at 32nd place) and, to do so, messed with the way the band worked. The result was a big mixed bag: although there were many more radio friendly songs and featured Desmond Child, the album was not as popular as the albums before it were, being the least selling DT studio album (besides their debut) and not making its way to MTV's prime time, like Awake and Images and Words did. The album had so many problems, specially because of problems and misunderstandings between the band and the label concerning the album production, that Dream Theater even considered disbanding.

It is just a shame that, because of those problems, such talented musicians could not be able to deliver an album as good as their previous and their later albums were. I mean, if you look at Derek Sherinian bands (Derek Sherinian and Planet X), plus the band members various side projects (such as Transatlantic, Liquid Tension Experiment, Platypus, The Jelly Jam, among others, besides their solo albums) you will see that in this album their both composing and playing skills are pale. That becomes even more evident when you compare Falling Into Infinity to their other albums and see that it is incredibly dated (it sounds exactly like a 90's album).

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

As i said before, this album still have some good songs (maybe because of its big of 78:19), but the big amount of bad or just good songs makes this album quite hard to sit through without pressing the next track button.

The highlights go to New Millennium (very good opening, though not perfect), Peruvian Skies (i couldn't listen to this song before, but now i realize its pretty good), Hollow Years (same thing as Peruvian Skies), the epic Hell's Kitchen - Lines in the Sand (one of the best songs in the album), Just Let me Breathe (kind of good song; i like it) and Trial of Tears ( its the second album epic and along with Hell's Kitchen - Lines in the Sand is one of the best songs in the album).

The saddest moments are: You Not Me (seriously, they look like a teenage garage band here), Burning my Soul (probably the worst song here) and Take Away my Pain (not as bad as the others listed here, but i can only listen to it if i am in the mood) and Anna Lee (same thing as Take Away my Pain).

Grade and Final Thoughts

After all, Falling Into Infinity is not such a bad album, but the many issues that it have just drag the quality of the album down. Besides some very good songs the whole is not as satisfying as it should be, so the three star rating seem quite fair, since this album is definitely not essential and it is the album that the band plays least live. So three stars it is

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