Joseph Perrotta
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77 reviews/ratings
ELECTRIC WIZARD - Dopethrone Stoner Metal | review permalink
SABBAT - The Dwelling Black Metal | review permalink
NINE INCH NAILS - The Downward Spiral Metal Related | review permalink
EYEHATEGOD - Dopesick Sludge Metal | review permalink
REVEREND BIZARRE - In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend Doom Metal
TOOL - 10,000 Days Progressive Metal | review permalink
SLEEP - Dopesmoker Stoner Metal
OM - Variations On A Theme Stoner Metal
DIRGE - Wings Of Lead Over Dormant Seas Atmospheric Sludge Metal
FLESHPRESS - Pillars Sludge Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - The Final Frontier Heavy Metal
OPETH - Morningrise Death Metal | review permalink
GREEN CARNATION - Light of Day, Day of Darkness Progressive Metal
FAUNA - The Hunt Atmospheric Black Metal
PAYSAGE D'HIVER - Paysage d'Hiver Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
NIRVANA - Nevermind Heavy Alternative Rock
NIRVANA - In Utero Heavy Alternative Rock
NIRVANA - With the Lights Out Heavy Alternative Rock
NINE INCH NAILS - The Fragile Metal Related | review permalink
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness Heavy Alternative Rock

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 9 4.06
2 Sludge Metal 8 3.88
3 Stoner Metal 7 4.07
4 Alternative Metal 5 3.00
5 Atmospheric Black Metal 5 4.00
6 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 4.00
7 Doom Metal 5 3.90
8 Drone Metal 5 3.80
9 Heavy Alternative Rock 5 3.70
10 Funeral Doom Metal 4 3.75
11 Metal Related 3 3.83
12 Nu Metal 2 3.75
13 Heavy Metal 2 3.75
14 Groove Metal 2 2.25
15 Folk Metal 1 4.00
16 Industrial Metal 1 3.50
17 Avant-garde Metal 1 1.50
18 Black Metal 1 5.00
19 Brutal Death Metal 1 3.50
20 Death Metal 1 4.50
21 Deathcore 1 0.50
22 Stoner Rock 1 3.50
23 Traditional Doom Metal 1 3.50
24 Rap Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 1999 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Moments of splendor in an artist's career can be incredibly varied; maybe one album, maybe two, or perhaps even more. For me, the peak of my favorite band's career - that being the main project of founding member Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails - came in the first three studio releases; 1989's "Pretty Hate Machine", 1994's "The Downward Spiral", and finally 1999's "The Fragile".

Following the bleak, isolated self-loathing that came with Nine Inch Nails' magnum opus The Downward Spiral in 1994, The Fragile followed five years later, and returned to the bleak, hopeless atmosphere of it's predecessor - though it's emotions are expressed in a very different way. Much like the majority of Trent Reznor's work, The Fragile follows a storyline; the manic thoughts and expressions of an individual, as well as his significant other, both struggling through the worst and most miserable parts of their lives. The Fragile, while I would not say that it beats The Downward Spiral - which was a completely flawless album in my book - certainly comes close to dethroning it.

In the space of a five year gap, it's obvious just upon listening to this album why it took so long for Trent to finish and release it. Twenty-three tracks, 103 minutes, and a compelling and discernable storyline all require years of effort and work, in addition to it's complex and heavily layered musicianship present on the album. It takes true talent and mastery to create an album as gripping as this, and keep the listener interested for nearly two hours of music, let alone music that is nearly impossible to pinpoint a specific genre to; yes, while Reznor's work is heavily based in industrial rock, The Fragile is one of his most experimental projects to this date; the album has a tendency to fluctuate between bone-crushing, monolithic industrial metal soundscapes, followed off the bat by more ambient or subdued tracks; the first two songs here are a definitive example of this back-to-back combination. After the semi-success of the 1989 dance-influenced "Pretty Hate Machine", albums such as "The Downward Spiral" and "The Fragile" see Nine Inch Nails going for a more mechanical, foreboding industrial era that refuses to retract it's talons until fourteen years later with their 2008 instrumental epic "Ghosts".

Much like The Downward Spiral, The Fragile relies heavily on progressions or segues between tracks (think Pink Floyd) to push the storyline forward in a more convenient and recognizable flow. These transitions are not done poorly; in order to befit the storyline of the album, all of the tracks form together to create a complete and cohesive listening experience, so much that it at times feels like you are listening to an entire 103 minute epic. In terms of superbly executed cohesion, The Fragile is comparable to albums such as Neurosis' "Through Silver in Blood" or Opeth's "Blackwater Park" - strange comparisons, yes, but unarguably in the same flow and vein of The Fragile.

Sound-wise, the album also excells. Unlike the previous two albums, in which their musical categories were much more simple and easy to pinpoint - The Downward Spiral, which was purely industrial, and Pretty Hate Machine which was a twisted spin on synthpop -, The Fragile finds Reznor experimenting with a multitude of various different musical styles. Tracks range from post-rock-esque instrumentals, to hard hitting industrial rock and metal territories, to noise rock and dark ambient, to dance, to glitch music (!), to art rock and soft rock, among others. Despite the consistent erratic changes in the album's musical style, it all manages to fall together almost perfectly in the plot of the album's lyrics and fluctuating mood. Not many can accomplish such a flowing, convenient attitude with so many experimented styles of music, and Trent Reznor proves himself to be one of the chosen few who can achieve and conquer this goal - and with stunning accuracy, no less.

"Somewhat Damaged", the opener, starts off the album with the fairly innocent strum of an acoustic; but as the song progresses, the innocence drops out of existence, and the song encapsulates the same sour, self-loathing clinical misery that was prominent on nearly every song on The Downward Spiral. In the five year gap between The Downward Spiral and The Fragile, it's obvious that Trent's depression didn't get much better, if at all, and the lyrical content, most specifically in the chorus, further validates this claim; "Poisoned to my rotten core/too fucked up to care anymore". Arguably one of the heaviest Nine Inch Nails tracks, the song acts as a beneficial prelude to the rest of the album; and after the explosive build up at the end, segues right into the next track, an example of the more post-rockish, mainly instrumental side of the album.

The shorter songs here are also beneficial and crucial to the progression and development of the album's plotline and overall personality; most notably interludes such as "The Frail", a two minute piano piece that builds up directly into the brooding, painfully depressed ferocity of "The Wretched", and the rotten, decomposing album closer "Ripe (With Decay)", which does the deed of wrapping up the album in a creeping, intense fashion that leaves the ultimate fate of the two main characters shrouded in mystery. Many outsiders will likely cry "filler", though listeners who truly, fully immerse themselves in The Fragile will not be so quick to judge the importance of these songs.

Lyrically, Reznor is the musical equivalent of an author such as J.D. Salinger or even Edgar Allan Poe in terms of composing a discernable, coherent realistic fiction storyline. Many will come to a hit and miss conclusion towards this album's lyrical content; some may be compelled and others may be repulsed by the grim, generally unenthusiastic nature of the lyrical content. However, for an optimistic listener, there are many solaces to be found; tracks such as the seven minute industrial mini-epic "We're in this Together" and the subdued, delicate nature of the title track "The Fragile" introduce an encouraging, empowering determination. Not many Nine Inch Nails songs could be considered "feel good", for obvious reasons, but the two above mentioned tracks could be counted as exceptions.

Albums such as this, along with the even more superior The Downward Spiral, are something to behold in the musical world; it is a rare occasion when an album of such complex and gripping nature are discovered and, let alone, created in the first place. The Fragile is an album that, despite it's generally depressive lyrical content and mood, I see brimming with confidence. Reznor knew this album would take years to complete, and the moment he finished it must have made him feel as though he was at the top of the world; and that nothing could stop him now. Chock full of uniqueness and fantastically executed experimentation, The Fragile is a grandiose musical journey that breaches the sonic horizon line and into nothing short of a masterpiece. Listen to this sonic zenith of industrial music, and immerse yourself in the bleak world of Trent Reznor.

KORN Issues

Album · 1999 · Nu Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
At the stakes of risking my reputation, I must admit that I do like a few nu metal bands - and Korn is one of them. Personally, I believe that Korn gets an undeserved amount of bad rep amongst much of the metal community, and as their discography progressed, this claim was further added on to by people who disliked the band.

Now, I'm not going to say that all nu metal haters are elitists - it's just that many of them seem to despise the genre for it simply being a, well, genre, and I can safely say that that is rather low, especially if one considers themselves dense enough to completely disregard a band or an artist merely due to the category the band falls under.

Though many claim that Korn got stale after their first two albums (and while I do agree with the fact that their third album wasn't great, I did like a few songs, most primarily the singles), I beg to differ for the main part. "Issues", while different in style, was also a turning point for the group.

"Issues" is possibly my favorite Korn album (and the last one that I really enjoyed, to be honest). This isn't a "typical" Linkin Park style snoozefest nu metal album. It is actually genuinely dark, grimy, and is quite possibly the most disturbing nu metal record I have ever heard. Even if you are a devout hater of the nu metal genre, it is nearly impossible to deny the sludgy, filthy, and hopelessly lethargic feel of the record. This album was probably where Jonathan was at the peak of his depression, and it shows in both the lyrics and the music.

Aforementioned lyrics follow a pattern of sex obsession, alcoholism, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and various mental...well, issues. There is little to no hope to be found in this album - much like Khanate's self titled album or Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral", it's a look into the broken, shattered remains of a diseased, infected mind. The music itself compliments the lyrics - creepy, lethargic, and overall incredibly paranoid sounding, useless (in a good way), tortured, and even somewhat...fragile.

My favorite song here would probably be "Trash", the third song, and besides the final track on this album ("Dirty"), it is probably where the record is at it's highest (err, lowest?) peak of hopelessness. It's heavy, angry, fucked up and covers heavy themes such as alcoholism, sex obsession, pedophilia and self loathing. When I hear this song, I feel like I've just been dumped out into a back alley in the middle of nowhere, lying next to a destroyed garbage can with scattered, rotting remains and a rainstorm thundering down miserably in the dead of night. And the smell is unbearable, too.

It's obvious Korn stopped fucking around with this album. It was probably the closest Korn came to being a "real" metal band, and any lack of seriousness or care-freeness is gone with this record. Even if you consider yourself a nu metal hater, I'd still try and listen to a few songs here. It might change your mind. I know it did for me.

Oh, the cover art is pretty neat, too.

NINE INCH NAILS The Downward Spiral

Album · 1994 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Annie, hold a little tighter, I might just slip away..."

This was actually an album that I just kept as a rating for awhile and not a review. I felt that, if I reviewed it, my words would not do justice to the contents of the album because it is just too far above and beyond my words and important to me that it would be difficult describe it like it needs to be described. But, one day, I just decided - "fuck it, I'm reviewing The Downward Spiral." And so I'm reviewing it, but it might not be easy.

Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral" is without a shadow of a doubt one of my favorite albums of all time, not only because of the musical and lyrical power of it, but because of how important it is to me personally. Being on the brink of suicide for awhile now, "The Downward Spiral" (perhaps ironically?), along with "The Eye of Every Storm" by Neurosis and "In Utero" by Nirvana, could be considered one of the reasons I'm still here. Perhaps this might be ironic given the concept of misery that encompasses this album, but this is exactly why. To know that true suffering can be shared and or pitied, even if its only a sound on your speakers, gives a feel of cleansing. When I listen to this album, I feel absolutely miserable, but come out fresh and hopeful because I know I'm not the only one who's suffering through these problems.

Musically, "The Downward Spiral" is an album which Trent Reznor obviously set out to say "Well, its my next album, so let's make it as good as I can." And it shows - The Downward Spiral is without a doubt the peak of Reznor's musical career, heavy, harsh, misanthropic and even...sad. While NIN's other albums are also great, none of them can compare to this one, which remains fresh literally from the first second of the CD to the last. There is not a single moment of bad music here, in my eyes.

The basic album follows a jist or concept - a story of a collapse into a deep depression caused by a schizophrenic, antagonistic entity in the protagonist's head that injects depression. To escape from the suffering of the Mr. Self Destruct/Ruiner/mechanical voice in his head, the protagonist.... *spoiler* *spoiler* *spoiler* The album undergous many different states of mind, specifically anger, mental illness and regret, but also occasional glimpses of happiness and comfort - short stops on tropical islands before you continue your journey swimming through a sea of boiling water (special thanks to MutantClannfear on Metallum for that line). Let's just say the album has an unrelenting feeling of misery and darkness behind it that, despite how disturbing it is, you can't stop listening to it.

On other words about the lyrical and vocal content, Trent Reznor is without a doubt a genius at it. The vocals in track 7 "The Becoming" are by god the peak of Reznor's vocals and some of the best he has ever uttered in any of his songs. Just so full of intensity, so full of emotion, all different kinds of it. Trent Reznor, similarly to Maynard James Keenan (Tool) or Edgy 59 (Burning Witch), has a difficult to master vocal talent of sounding like a vicious mental ward patient at one moment and a cornered, kicked animal in the other. The lyrics invoke very disturbing, paranoia-inducing imagery, and if you don't read me, just take these examples from the album:

"The me that you know, he used to have feelings, but the blood has stopped pumping and he is left to decay The me that you know is now made up of wires, and even when I'm right with you, I'm still so far away." - Track 7, "The Becoming"

"Scar you, break you, lose me, hate me, smash me, erase me, kill me, kill me, kill me" - Track 11, "Eraser"

"All the pigs are all lined up, I give you all that you want Take the skin and peel it back, now doesn't it make you feel better?" - Track 4, "March of the Pigs"

Regardless of what they mean to you, they still invoke a very disturbing imagery in your head no matter the cause. This album, to me, is a masterpiece. Its a disturbing, decaying, destructive concept album that is absolutely massive in its approach and is important to me beyond words. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed about how this review turned out, as I foreshadowed earlier; because my words do not do justice to how incredible it is. One of the best industrial albums ever written, Trent Reznor really outdid himself here and this is beyond doubt the best of his musical career. Buy it if you haven't already.

Since the album is basically meant to be listened to as a whole (since its a concept album), its difficult to pick standout tracks (especially since all of them are great songs), but if I had to choose highlights, they would be:

March of the Pigs, Closer, Ruiner, The Becoming, Eraser, Hurt

The only downside I can think of here is: don't buy the double-sided version. It has excellent quality, yes, and a great idea to have both the DVD and CD on each side, but its pretty much impossible to not smudge it when you pick it up to put it in the player. Either way, it doesn't detract to how great this album and band is.

Song rankings: Mr. Self Destruct 9/10 Piggy 8/10 Heresy 8/10 March of the Pigs 9/10 Closer 9/10 Ruiner 9/10 The Becoming 10/10 I Do Not Want This 8.5/10 Big Man with a Gun 7.5/10 A Warm Place 8.5/10 Eraser 10/10 Reptile 9.5/10 The Downward Spiral 9/10 Hurt 11/10


Demo · 1991 · Funeral Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Imagine if Neurosis, Khanate, and Thergothon all had a threesome and birthed a fucked-up baby. This is probably what it would sound like.

Mordor is a difficult band to classify. If anything, this Swiss band would be funeral doom, but many sections of this album are just pure noise - though this was released as a demo in 1991 and later reissued in 1995, and is very lo-fi in quality, it still lapses into sections of noise which is not an effect of the quality at all.

The best way I can describe the sound of this album in metaphorical form is in two ways. The first is traveling through old, rotten abandoned crypts. So old, that time itself as well as the stone walls are peeling away from rot and abandoned loneliness. You hear startling, unsettling moans coming from the lowest pits of the crypt, before you come across an old, dusty staircase that leads into darkness. Your morbid curiosity gets the better of you, and you venture in, worried of the horrors you will face. The second description of this would be the lone survivor of the apocalypse. Every shred of hope is lost from you as you realize you are the literal last survivor of this post-Armageddon wasteland. Endlessly wandering through ruined cities, you give up at the top of a skyscraper - and lie, and wait, and die, unable to continue from the choking ashes and blotted out sun.

The album begins with a low, desolate drawl, echoing throughout the walls of the crypt. It sounds really great and extra terrifying on headphones, too. The song is almost 22 minutes long and is highlighted by a massive, towering bass riff. James Plotkin, watch out, there's another bassist joining the fray that can even dethrone you in bass heaviness. The song has various fucked-up growls and, just when you think it's coming to it's closure, the song blasts back into heaviness with an extreme growl - this happens about 4 times through the whole song. As expected from funeral doom, it's very repetitive, and has only about one riff (and slow-as-fucking-hell drums) but it's great at creating a fucked-up, disturbing atmosphere with it's minimalism alone.

The other songs are good too, with "Lamentations for Corrinthe" almost 25 fucking minutes in length, towering over even the aforementioned track. Warning, though: it's 99.9% impossible to find, so Satan be with ye if you're looking for this. If you do manage to get your hands on it, though, you won't be disappointed - it serves as a great addition to any doom freak's collection.

Also, this can serve as a great tool to scare people off from parties, if he or she gets annoyed by those grubby humans. Cheers.

PAYSAGE D'HIVER Paysage d'Hiver

Album · 1999 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Summer is the hottest every year, every winter there's a different sky Every spring there's a different sky, every sunrise feels so right" --Drudkh, Eternal Turn of the Wheel

It's that time of year, everyone. The first of December; when the light rots out, the darkness sets in, and you prepare yourself for a cold, long, and brutal winter.

To celebrate this dreary occasion, I will be reviewing one of the most notorious black metal bands of all time, in my opinion - Paysage D'hiver. Paysage D'hiver is a one-man black metal project by Tobias Mockl, a.k.a. Wintherr. At the read of "one-man black metal project" I can already hear some people clicking away from this review...well, bare with me here for a second.

Tobias Mockl, setting aside his desolate and arguably even more dreary interest in the cold, black veils of space, instead with his project Paysage D'hiver he turns his head to the season of winter.

Out of all seasons, there is something absolutely enthralling about winter, specifically a major interest of mine in terms of music. It's cold, clammy, desolate, dark and wet - what better season is there for metal music? It's my favorite time of year, but it's also my least favorite - it's beautiful, soothing and sorrowful, but at the same time, depressing and dreadful. All perfect attributes for good metal music.

Tobias' work, his self-titled album Paysage D'hiver, can easily be summed up in a few words: a blizzard turned into music. If a brutal snowstorm could have an audial sound, it would definitely be this.

Paysage D'hiver can easily be described as ambient/atmospheric/"depressive" black metal. While it's not necessarily music to kill yourself to, it can certainly work as a decent substitute; however, this type of black metal, in my opinion, sounds like that of a person who has had so many regrets in his/her life and that they are meeting their end by brutal snowfall - a final closure to their lifetime full of regrets and tragedies.

The metal on this album is raw, violent, frostbitten and evil - behind the buzzing, lo-fi, razorblade guitars and piercing fast drums, there is definitely something sinister concealed behind the chaos - something that is not only sinister, but sorrowful as well; something longing for something better with it's life.

There are also many violin sections scattered throughout this 54 minute album, and goddamn, they are seriously beautiful. Not only did I almost cry upon first hearing the two sorrowful violin melodies in the track "Welt Aus Eis" it certainly conveys not only what Tobias set out for (that being winter), but also a sense of relief and yet, dread. It's a complicated, confused, cold mix of emotions.

Tobias' vocals, however, are among my favorite part of his music. At the risk of sounding like a stoner, I really dig them; hidden beneath the struggling, enraged screaming, it's more than just incoherent mumbling, the vocals are...strangely human. The vocalists of depressive/atmospheric black metal music always makes me think that the lyricists are constantly striving for something better with their lives; something better above depression, despair and anger. It makes me think.

Also, like many atmospheric BM bands (and atmospheric in general music, too) the songs here are long as fuck - three tracks totaling in 54 minutes. The longest is "Welt Aus Eis" (World/Land of Ice), which is a whopping 19 minutes in length. Even then, the shortest song here is "Der Weg", which in itself is over 17 minutes. (!)

This album/demo is essential to any type of black metal fan. Good luck findin' this shit, however - unfortunately such good BM bands are so overlooked these days. All in all, if there's any music to die in a blizzard to, it's this. 93% is a fair rating for this album.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Recently Watched Films
    [QUOTE=cannon] Excellent![/QUOTE] Another one of my all time favorites, good choice!
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Recently Watched Films
    Everyone should see this film, especially people who even think about doing drugs. Absolutely devastating and soul-rending experience. 10/10
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Metal Memes


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