Mark Wals
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 12 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

110 reviews/ratings
MY DYING BRIDE - The Manuscript Doom Metal
ENSLAVED - The Sleeping Gods Progressive Metal
BLOOD CEREMONY - The Eldritch Dark Hard Rock | review permalink
MASTODON - Oblivion EP Sludge Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Vaulted Shadows Death-Doom Metal
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Nil Recurring Metal Related
ENSLAVED - Frost Black Metal
KING CRIMSON - VROOOM Non-Metal | review permalink
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - Animosity Crossover Thrash | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - Thela Hun Ginjeet / Elephant Talk Non-Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - The Thrash of Naked Limbs Death-Doom Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - Bring Me Victory Doom Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - A Map of All our Failures Doom Metal
LEPROUS - Aeolia Progressive Metal | review permalink
CANVAS SOLARIS - Irradiance Progressive Metal
CANVAS SOLARIS - Cortical Tectonics Progressive Metal
CANVAS SOLARIS - Spatial/Design Progressive Metal
ENSLAVED - Hordanes Land Black Metal
BLOOD CEREMONY - Let It Come Down / Loving You Hard Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 18 3.67
2 Progressive Metal 15 3.83
3 Death-Doom Metal 9 3.67
4 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 7 3.57
5 Hard Rock 7 3.43
6 Sludge Metal 6 3.83
7 Traditional heavy metal 5 2.90
8 Black Metal 5 3.50
9 Deathcore 4 3.63
10 Doom Metal 4 4.13
11 Metal Related 4 3.63
12 Thrash Metal 4 3.38
13 Metalcore 3 3.83
14 Proto-Metal 3 3.83
15 NWoBHM 3 3.50
16 Gothic Metal 3 3.83
17 Crossover Thrash 2 3.50
18 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.50
20 Stoner Metal 2 3.50
21 Power Metal 1 3.50
22 Death Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Single · 1999 · Non-Metal
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This is a good single by Porcupine Tree, if not their best. Like almost anything by the band, it's well worth your listening time. 2 tracks are songs from the band's STUPID DREAM album; one is played live. I think there are better songs on the full album. The album is one of PT's more commercial, which is not a criticism at all.

The third track, "Door to the River" from METANOIA, is more of an ambient experiment than an actual rock song. Nothing at all metal here, but few people do ambient as well as Steven Wilson. There is also a vinyl single with an acoustic version of "Nine Cats" available, according to Discord. In summary, this might be a more valuable release for established fans. If you're looking for something from this period besides the full studio albums, this is a good choice.

BARONESS A Horse Called Golgotha

Single · 2010 · Sludge Metal
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Baroness is a band I like a lot. They create well-played, mostly interesting music. I think Allen Blickle's drumming should be singled out as a big part of what makes Baroness enjoyable. This short single is probably most noteworthy for the band's fun version of "Bikeage". As far as I know, it's not available on any other release.

I have one reservation with Baroness. They tend to write interesting riffs and then not stick with them, which gives their songs a disjointed quality. However, "A Horse Called Golgotha" is one of the band's most attractive songs. I think there are better bands in this subgenre of metal. However, this is still a terrific appetizer for Baroness fans.


Live album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
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I'm a little surprised at the lack of reviews/ratings for King Crimson's USA. I once read a statement by Maynard James Keenan calling King Crimson the biggest musical influence on Tool. By the time USA was released, centering on tracks from the 3 previous albums, metal was clearly a large part of King Crimson's musical recipe. These are great performances of great music. My favorite tracks are the two bonus songs from the 2002 reissue; it's the version to get. I haven't heard THE NIGHT WATCH or THE GREAT DECEIVER compilations for comparison, but I think the sound quality of USA is perfectly acceptable. The only consideration that reduces my rating of USA, for the MMA website, is its place on the "metal" scale.

MY DYING BRIDE Symphonaire infernus et spera empyrium

EP · 1992 · Death-Doom Metal
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This EP gets a 3 1/2-star rating from me. MY DYING BRIDE is one of my favorite bands. Their music is a very interesting combination of death metal trappings with violins, keyboards, and sophisticated song structures. That being said, the Symphonaire EP is a good example of the band's music. The lyrics, like on My Dying Bride's early output generally, are far-fetched. They're gothic and violent, but they seem like scattered images without a framework.

The title track is definitely the best of the three. I especially like the bells at the end. There is some variety here, although the song overstays its 11 minutes a bit. "God is Alone" and "De Sade Soliloquay" don't have that problem. They are pretty standard death metal tracks. I'm not a big fan of death/doom metal generally; the parameters are too limited. Symphonaire is an early EP by the band, which is evident when you listen to it. They haven't fully developed the distinctive sound that makes them so listenable. However, the title track does point to the variety of instrumentation and songwriting that makes the band's later records so interesting.

METALLICA Beyond Magnetic

EP · 2011 · Thrash Metal
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BEYOND MAGNETIC was released between the excellent DEATH MAGNETIC and HARDWIRED TO SELF DESTRUCT. DEATH MAGNETIC is one of my favorite Metallica albums, but critical consensus varies considerably. Your take on this EP may fall in line with what you think of DEATH MAGNETIC. The sound of BEYOND MAGNETIC is similar to the earlier album; my favorite track here is "Just A Bullet Away". I think "Rebel of Babylon" overstays its welcome.

The musical skills of the band are well documented, so I'll only single out Lars Ulrich. I'm not a musician, but I don't quite understand the disdain normally directed at him. "The Day That Never Comes" and "All Nightmare Long" are enough to convince me that the drummer knows what he's doing. This EP doesn't break new ground but Metallica doesn't need to at this point. On the whole, BEYOND MAGNETIC measures up the usual high standard set by one of the most innovative bands in metal history.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 9 months ago in MMA's Top 25 60's Albums Poll
    Does it matter whether the album you choose is actually metal, for the purposes of this poll?  King Crimson is my favorite band and IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is a masterpiece.  You can easily make a case that KC was a proto-metal band at times, but ITCOTCK is not a metal album.
  • Posted 12 months ago in The Top 25: Powerslave
    I just love 2 Minutes to Midnight, a very catchy song.
  • Posted 1 year ago in MMA's Top Traditional Heavy Metal Albums Poll
    Paranoid always strikes me as inconsistent, and just plain not as interesting, as the two Sabbath albums that surround it.  Black Sabbath, as much as any other band, can claim the title of most innovative band in heavy metal history.  That's why I'm going with Master of Reality.


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