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Paul
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 13 hours ago

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1839 reviews/ratings
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin II Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Physical Graffiti Hard Rock | review permalink
SAVATAGE - Hall Of The Mountain King Heavy Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Made In Japan Hard Rock | review permalink
KING'S X - Gretchen Goes To Nebraska Hard Rock | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock | review permalink
VOIVOD - Killing Technology Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
PANTERA - Cowboys From Hell Groove Metal
RUSH - Hemispheres Hard Rock
RUSH - 2112 Hard Rock
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
MONTROSE - Montrose Hard Rock
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 306 3.58
2 Death Metal 259 3.79
3 Heavy Metal 155 3.64
4 Progressive Metal 146 3.79
5 Thrash Metal 122 3.69
6 Technical Death Metal 79 3.89
7 Non-Metal 78 3.36
8 Melodic Death Metal 70 3.68
9 Glam Metal 59 3.30
10 Black Metal 51 3.78
11 Doom Metal 50 3.76
12 Brutal Death Metal 38 3.74
13 Proto-Metal 38 3.72
14 Traditional Doom Metal 26 3.83
15 Metal Related 26 3.75
16 Power Metal 25 3.82
17 US Power Metal 23 3.70
18 NWoBHM 21 3.79
19 Stoner Metal 21 3.88
20 Alternative Metal 21 3.31
21 Heavy Alternative Rock 20 3.35
22 Technical Thrash Metal 20 3.95
23 Groove Metal 19 3.66
24 Melodic Black Metal 18 3.92
25 Heavy Psych 14 4.07
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 14 3.54
27 Gothic Metal 11 3.55
28 Speed Metal 10 3.55
29 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
30 Funk Metal 9 3.28
31 Neoclassical metal 9 3.56
32 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.63
33 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
34 Sludge Metal 6 4.17
35 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
36 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 3.80
37 Death 'n' Roll 4 3.38
38 Symphonic Black Metal 4 4.13
39 Symphonic Metal 4 3.25
40 Folk Metal 3 3.83
41 Grindcore 3 2.83
42 Crust Punk 3 3.17
43 Metalcore 3 3.67
44 Melodic Metalcore 3 3.67
45 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
46 Mathcore 3 4.00
47 Nu Metal 2 2.50
48 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50
49 Deathgrind 1 4.00
50 Crossover Thrash 1 3.00
51 Drone Metal 1 4.00
52 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00
53 Viking Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MEMORIAM Requiem for Mankind

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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When Memoriam released their debut album “For The Fallen” in 2017 I was expecting great things from them. After all they had two former members of Bolt Thrower in their ranks, the best death metal band to come out of the UK. Whilst it had its moments I was somewhat disappointed – it was certainly heavy but lacked the Sledgehammer bludgeon and strong hooks Bolt Thrower always delivered. Follow up “The Silent Vigil” likewise and felt a bit rushed arriving the following year with a weak production. For album number three, released only a year later again, they have finally nailed it.

The first thing you notice about “Requiem for Mankind” is the production. Here they’ve hired the services of producer Russ Russell and it’s really paid off. The sound is big and for the first time they’ve really captured some of that Bolt Thrower bludgeon. Not only that, but as is immediately evident from opener “Shell Shock” they’ve got the riffs to back it up. Here they really crush and hit hard with just enough melody for them to get firmly under the skin. It’s mainly mid-tempo stuff, injected with groove, also like Bolt Thrower, heaviness taking precedent over speed. Best of all, they keep it up for the whole album with every song earning its place. The band turns in a strong performance – guitars, bass and drums all sounding crushing with Scott Fairfax’s guitar work being particularly good. There’s quite a bit of war themed stuff here but the lyrics also get political on the self-explanatory “Austerity Kills” and delivered with conviction by Karl Willetts.

Despite my earlier comments the first two albums weren’t bad, just ordinary. Here though Memoriam have released an album that can stand head and shoulders with the best death metal the year has to offer. Here’s hoping that album number four, due in 2020 if their current prolific streak keeps going, is just as good if not even better.

FIRESPAWN Abominate

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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For what is essentially supposed to be a part time band (see my other Firespawn reviews for info on their day jobs), since releasing their debut album Shadow Realms in 2015 Firespawn have been pretty prolific and are already onto album number three. An album every couple of years is more than most full time bands seem to manage these days. There’s always that danger of inferior work getting released when bands release albums too quickly but there’s no sign of that here with Firespawn remaining consistently excellent since day one.

Abominate more or less follows the template laid down by their first two albums. That being more of an old school death metal style with a modern edge aided by a sharp production but thankfully not getting too far into that clinical sound that permeates many modern death metal releases these days. The standard of the songs is of an overall high standard with no shortage of crushingly heavy and inventive riffs from the two guitarists Victor Brandt and Fredrik Folkare, who also play some fine solos as well. The rhythm section of Matte Modin and Alex Friberg are incredibly tight and despite the speed of much of their playing also manage to inject plenty of groove into their patterns. Vocalist L G Petrov delivers the same guttural growl as on the first two albums which suits the style well even if can be a bit one-dimensional at times.

Overall then Firespawn have delivered the goods yet again with another excellent album putting many full time bands to shame. Hardly surprising though considering the extreme metal pedigree here. I’m now primed for album number four but before that hopefully another Unleashed album to follow the brilliant The Hunt For White Christ.

WORMWITCH Heaven That Dwells Within

Album · 2019 · Melodic Black Metal
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Black metal is a genre I dip in and out of. I have my favourites like Watain, Immortal, Melechesh and Dissection to name a few but I’m far more likely to be listening to death or thrash when it comes to the more extreme side of things. Now and again though something comes along in the black metal field that really grabs my attention. One such album is Heaven That Dwells Within, the second full length release from Canadians Wormwitch.

I’d heard they were a mix of black metal and crust punk. I’ve only had a brief listen to their debut after hearing this but that certainly seems a fair description of Strike Mortal Soil as far as I can recall. Heaven That Dwells Within seems to have reduced the crust quota though that D beat synonymous with crust rears its head from time to time, this being more of a melodic black metal affair with touches of melodic death metal at times. As opener Disciple Of The Serpent Star kicks in Tribulation immediately comes to mind. As the album progresses it’s not a one off either as they share that bands ear for a catchy riff loaded with melancholia. DOTSS happens to be my favourite song on the album but there’s no shortage of other great moments with plenty of variation with drums shifting through blasts, double kicks, D-beats and more. Whilst the vocals are of a fairly standard black metal style they’re well done but the strength of this album lies in its musicality. There’s no shortage of hook laden riffs, tremolo picking, searing licks and melodic solos – something else that reminds me of Tribulation. There’s enough variation to keep things interesting throughout and Lord Of Chains throws in a dose of dissonance which I always like.

I really love this album, probably my most played new release of the last month or so. I can’t see that changing any time soon and this one will certainly make my end of year list, somewhere near the top I suspect. To add to the appeal it has a great cover - a section of the John William Waterhouse painting “The Lady Of Shalott” which looks even better on the vinyl version . If you’re a black metal fan you really need to check this band out if you haven’t already.

SAVAGE MESSIAH Demons

Album · 2019 · Heavy Metal
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I’ve read a few things about Demons, the new Savage Messiah album and previous release Hands Of Fate, that make the point that after starting their career as thrash metal hopefuls and making a pretty good job of it, that they have in recent years adopted a more mainstream heavy metal stance. It has been seen as a somewhat backwards step and they are the worse for it. Firstly I find this idea total bollocks. Not that the above is not true but the view that heavy metal is somehow inferior to thrash metal. Now I like thrash as much as the next man but I equally have a fondness for well-played heavy metal and Demons is certainly that.

The album kicks off with Virtue Signal and after a power metal infused start retreats into more typical heavy metal. It packs considerable punch as well as plenty of melody. Next track What Dreams May Come is probably a contender as an example of what the naysayers are getting at. Nevertheless despite its mainstream leanings it’s a likeable enough song with a strong melody. The band occupies similar territory in other songs on the album such as Parachute, The Lights Are Going Out and Until The Shadows Fall, but they’re all played with conviction and not a weak one amongst them. There are still plenty of songs that kick ass and whilst this is primarily a heavy metal record thrash infused riffs are still evident at times even if they may not dominate whole songs. Pick of the bunch would be Heretic In The Modern World, Under No Illusions, Down And Out and Rise Then Fall, all with strong hooks and melodies without sacrificing power.

The band are all good players with a nod to drummer Charly Carreton who gives a fine performance with plenty of inventive fills and rhythmic shifts. Their ace up the sleeve comes in vocalist Dave Silver, a great metal/rock singer in the traditional sense. Kind of a Jon Bon Jovi for metal with more balls. Yes, good clean vocals are hard to beat.

While I’m not overly familiar with all Savage Messiah’s albums I’m enjoying Demons as much as any of them I’ve heard. If traditional heavy metal is your thing you really ought to check this out and I’m definitely going to go back and check out those albums I’ve missed in their back catalogue.

POSSESSED Revelations of Oblivion

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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Regarded by many to have spawned the death metal genre, Seven Churches, the debut album from Possessed released way back in 1985, whether you agree with that or not was certainly a brilliant and highly influential album. Whilst not bad by any means the follow up Beyond The Gates saw the band retreating into more standard thrash territory. Apart from an EP in 1987 that was pretty much it. Although active again as a live band since 2007 it’s taken some time but finally thirty three years later Possessed are back with a new album though vocalist Jeff Becerra is the sole remaining member of the original band.

The new Possessed remain largely true to the band’s sound of old but whilst Seven Churches despite being generally well played could be a bit sloppy in places. Not surprisingly, the new band come across as much tighter having the benefit of time and modern recording and production techniques at their disposal not to mention being great musicians. After a short intro the album kicks off proper with No More Room In Hell, a song I’d heard a while back being released as a pre-album taster. It comes in all guns blazing, fast with razor sharp and extremely busy guitar riffs. Equal parts death metal and thrash it’s a brilliant statement on intent. Becerra whose vocals are better than they ever were has assembled a fine band that does the Possessed name justice. Guitarists Daniel Gonalez and Claudeous Creamer’s riffs twist and turn with power and precision as well as playing some jaw dropping solos – these guys can shred with the best of them, drummer Emilio Marquez lets rip with a barrage of fast fills and rolling double kicks and bassist Robert Cardenas provides a solid but highly dextrous bottom end.

Hearing this a while back and being mightily impressed had led me to expect great things from the album to come. Fortunately I wasn’t to be disappointed as whilst there’s not really anything here that tops No More Room In Hell much of the rest of the album is as good or not far behind, following track Dominion being a case in point keeping things going at the same breakneck tempo and displaying equal precision. This is the case for most of the album with the tempo rarely slowing down and when it does like on Demon it’s never for a whole song. Faults? None really but at fifty four minutes it’s quite an exhausting listen with little variation in tempo so perhaps a couple of songs shorter might have worked better, but a minor issue.

Some may consider it sacrilege but I believe Possessed have not only equalled their debut, but actually bettered it. This is going to be up there with my albums of the year for sure come December. Hopefully it won’t be another thirty three years before we get another one.

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