FMOTP

Mark Wals
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 23 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

125 reviews/ratings
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Manuscript Doom Metal
BLOOD CEREMONY - The Eldritch Dark Heavy Psych | review permalink
MASTODON - Oblivion EP Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Nil Recurring Metal Related
NINE INCH NAILS - Broken Industrial Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Vaulted Shadows Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
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
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 Heavy Psych | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 20 3.60
2 Progressive Metal 15 3.80
3 Death-Doom Metal 9 3.67
4 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 7 3.57
5 Sludge Metal 7 3.71
6 Black Metal 6 3.50
7 Heavy Metal 6 3.58
8 Deathcore 4 3.63
9 Stoner Metal 4 3.75
10 Thrash Metal 4 3.50
11 Metal Related 4 3.63
12 Proto-Metal 3 3.83
13 NWoBHM 3 3.50
14 Doom Metal 3 4.17
15 Gothic Metal 3 3.83
16 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
17 Heavy Psych 3 3.83
18 Alternative Metal 3 3.83
19 Melodic Metalcore 3 3.83
20 Death Metal 2 3.75
21 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.50
22 Industrial Metal 2 3.75
23 Hard Rock 2 3.25
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 2 3.75
25 Crust Punk 1 4.00
26 Melodic Black Metal 1 3.50
27 Power Metal 1 3.50
28 Traditional Doom Metal 1 4.00
29 Symphonic Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

PORCUPINE TREE Moonloop

EP · 1994 · Non-Metal
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This Moonloop release represents PORCUPINE TREE at their most "psychedelic". This is is as ambient, spacey, freeform as Steven Wilson gets. Maybe you're a fan of the style. There is no debating Wilson's considerable skills, as a performer and studio wizard. I would probably rather hear Wilson, and this is mostly Wilson whatever the label, play this than just about anybody else. But to be frank, there's very little metal or even hard rock here. Moonloop is just too self indulgent for me. I understand that Wilson is a fan of Krautrock bands like NEU. If that's more your cup of tea than mine, you should definitely enjoy this.

ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

Movie · 2003 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
No reviews yet & only 3 ratings for the great ENSLAVED's 1st video production? To quote Will Smith, "That...is unacceptable." Live Retaliation is a very worthy representation of ENSLAVED live. The concert itself is a bit short, but the band shows its skill in playing their varied and fairly complex music. They play a good mix of their oldest songs and more recent ones; Monumension was the band's most recent album at the time.

The audio tracks are a very nice addition, for folks who don't own a lot of their records. Grutle doesn't interact extensively with the audience in concert, beyond introducing the songs & band members. However, that's a problem I have with the great majority of live concerts. The audio quality could be clearer at times, but I'm quibbling. If you love some progressive rock along with your extreme metal, nobody does it better than ENSLAVED. This is well worth your time and money!

METALLICA S&M

Live album · 1999 · Symphonic Metal
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S&M must be one of the most divisive albums in Metallica's huge discography. Some listeners seem to believe that Metallica has no business playing their most popular songs with a symphony orchestra. I obviously disagree. They're far from the first metal band to try this, but their innovative songwriting makes them more justified in this approach than most. James Hetfield has stated in Ultimate Guitar magazine, and other places, that the idea of combining Metallica with orchestral music started with Cliff Burton. How much, and how open-minded, of a Metallica fan are you? How tolerant are you of the musical experimenting that the band has done since the release of RIDE THE LIGHTNING? I think it makes a difference in the final rating of S&M. If your answer to these questions is "a lot", like me, you should definitely enjoy this album. I disagree with some of the MMA & PA collaborators whose reviews I respect and follow closely. I like James' singing. With all of his acknowledged flaws, I think his voice suits the band's music.

Metallica's setlist here wisely starts with RIDE THE LIGHTNING, when the songwriting began to improve and James began to learn how to sing. When it comes to individual highlights, I love the percussion in the second half of "The Memory Remains". It reminds me of John Adams' HARMONIELEHRE. "Devil's Dance" sounds like its name; it could be the dance before the ritual sacrifice in the soundtrack of an old horror movie. I do agree with the reviewers who write that S&M is too long at over two hours. But I'm a biased Aspie; I think that most albums over 45 minutes are too long! It helps to get the DVD version of this instead of the CD. Unusually, Metallica are a band that still seems to love playing live and getting the audience feedback, and it's apparent on the DVD. I now realize that I'm posting this review in the live album instead of the video section. I enjoyed both formats, but the DVD is really the one to get!

ENSLAVED The Sleeping Gods

EP · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Sleeping Gods is one of Enslaved's best releases IMO, because of its variety and innovation. Aren't skill and creativity why we're here at MMA? It shows the band moving into previously unexplored territory. At the same time, it maintains Enslaved's typical high level of composing and performing quality. I give The Sleeping Gods an enthusiastic 4 stars. Enslaved doesn't put out junk, so this whole CD is quite listenable.

For those who aren't as familiar with Enslaved, "Heimvegen" is an fine, representative place to start. However, I'm going with "Nordlys" and "The Sleeping Gods". They strongly demonstrate Enslaved's customary willingness to try new things, which is probably the best thing about this EP. Some of the songs like "Synthesis" drag on a bit, and I wouldn't pick The Sleeping Gods as the first Enslaved CD to listen to. However, it's still an excellent addition to collection, if innovative metal is your cup of tea. thwok | 4/5 | 2014-9-6

MORBID ANGEL Altars of Madness

Album · 1989 · Death Metal
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I rarely listen to death metal; Morbid Angel is the only "old school" death metal band I listen to regularly. I think my very high rating for ALTARS OF MADNESS has something to do with that fact. The creativity and musical skill that the band showed, starting with their first album, places them above almost every other band in the genre IMO. Although I'm far from the first person to say it, major credit has to be given to drummer Pete Sandoval. I can't imagine the skill it takes to play these constantly changing rhythms, even within individual songs.

Some have complained about the sound quality. I listened to ALTARS OF MADNESS on a decent pair of headphones (this is music that definitely requires attentive listening), and had no problems with the sound. Although Morbid Angel may have refined their approach on later albums, that takes nothing away from the brilliance of ALTARS OF MADNESS.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 9 months ago in Images and Words vs. Somewhere in Time
    Iron Maiden has released more consistently great albums over the years. Dream Theater has released a handful of classics. IMAGES AND WORDS is likely the cream of the crop, so I have to pick it.
  • Posted 1 year 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 1 year ago in The Top 25: Powerslave
    I just love 2 Minutes to Midnight, a very catchy song.

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