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1781 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
MONTROSE - Montrose Hard Rock
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 298 3.58
2 Death Metal 248 3.78
3 Heavy Metal 155 3.64
4 Progressive Metal 139 3.78
5 Thrash Metal 116 3.71
6 Non-Metal 78 3.36
7 Technical Death Metal 75 3.89
8 Melodic Death Metal 66 3.69
9 Glam Metal 58 3.28
10 Doom Metal 49 3.77
11 Black Metal 48 3.78
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 3.67
18 Stoner Metal 21 3.88
19 NWoBHM 21 3.79
20 Alternative Metal 21 3.31
21 Heavy Alternative Rock 20 3.35
22 Groove Metal 19 3.66
23 Melodic Black Metal 17 3.88
24 Technical Thrash Metal 17 3.94
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 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.63
32 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
33 Sludge Metal 6 4.17
34 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
35 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 3.80
36 Death 'n' Roll 4 3.38
37 Symphonic Metal 4 3.25
38 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.17
39 Folk Metal 3 3.83
40 Grindcore 3 2.83
41 Crust Punk 3 3.17
42 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
43 Mathcore 3 4.00
44 Metalcore 3 3.67
45 Neoclassical metal 2 3.75
46 Melodic Metalcore 2 3.75
47 Nu Metal 2 2.50
48 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00
49 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50
50 Deathgrind 1 4.00
51 Crossover Thrash 1 3.00
52 Drone Metal 1 4.00
53 Viking Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews


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.

SAINT VITUS Lillie: F-65

Album · 2012 · Traditional Doom Metal
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Few would argue the importance of Saint Vitus in the doom/traditional doom sphere and they certainly went out on a high with 1995’s Die Healing. Fast forward to 2012 and Lillie: F-65 was their first studio album for 17 years. Bassist Mark Adams and guitarist Dave Chandler remain from the line-up from Die Healing and in came new drummer Henry Vasquez to replace the sadly now deceased Armando Acosta. It also saw the return of Vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obscessed, Wino) replacing Scott Reagers once again.

The sound on Lillie not surprisingly is dominated by Chandler’s fuzzed guitar sound and while he’s never been the most busy player his playing seems even more minimal here as well as upping the fuzz quotient, from Die Healing at least. This to a certain extent seems to rob the riffs of some of their power unfortunately. Weinrich’s vocals whilst doing the job lack the range and expressiveness of Reagers. He was more convincing in The Obsessed to my ears. At only 34 minutes it’s pretty short and whilst there’s a few good songs time is wasted considering the short running time by album closer Withdrawal which is basically three minutes of feedback. Vertigo is better but is really another filler being a short guitar only instrumental. Of the five remaining songs nothing jumps out as great which is disappointing. Pick of the bunch is probably opener Let Them Fall and Blessed Nights. The faster and busier Blessed Nights has the edge but Let Them Fall whilst being very basic has a riff that gets under the skin. The Bleeding Ground for the most part is a bit too basic but scores points for Chandler’s searing guitar solo on the more up tempo ending.

Not the comeback album I would have hoped for from Saint Vitus then after the excellent Die Healing but I know it has its fans. However at the time of writing Saint Vitus have a new album due imminently with Reagers back on vocals. Whilst it’s too early to say, based on the two tracks currently available this is sounding far more like the return I’d have hoped for. Time will soon tell.

VLTIMAS Something Wicked Marches In

Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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We’re already a quarter of the way through 2019 and although there’s plenty of time yet, apart from a small handful, I haven’t been overwhelmed by the quantity of great death metal on offer so far. Enter Vltimas then who have come along at just the right time to give a much needed injection of classic death metal. The members of this band, which hopefully won’t turn out to be a one off side-line, should need little introduction to fans of extreme metal. They are David Vincent - ex-Morbid Angel, Flo Mounier – Cryptopsy and Rune “Blasphemer” Eriksen – ex-Mayhem. Having not listened to a lot of Mayhem, or his other bands for that matter, it is Eriksen that is the unknown quantity here from my point of view but the other two have both featured on some of the most essential death metal albums ever released.

Whilst so called supergroups can often add up to less than the individuals taking part that is certainly not the case here. Something Wicked Marches In is an absolute blast from start to finish without a weak track on offer. The playing is phenomenal. Of course Flo Mounier’s credentials as one of the greatest death metal drummers is not in doubt and he turns in an incredible performance displaying his trademark speed and dexterity. David Vincent is one of the best and most recognisable growlers in the business, his work with Morbid Angel made him a legend but why’s he not also playing bass here? All guitar duties are handled by Rune Eriksen and it is he, no doubt partly through my lack of past experience that provides the biggest surprise and turns in a phenomenal performance.

The nine songs don’t really sound like any of the bands that they’re generally associated with though Vincent sounds like you’d expect so you can’t help thinking Morbid Angel. Not surprisingly Eriksen brings a blackened touch to his riffs with plenty of tremolo picking and a healthy dose of dissonance injected too. It’s really his guitar work that defines the songs as his riffs are never less than inventive and captivating. When he gets into serious tremelo picking he impresses with a blur of notes but then will shift into something simpler and heavier in a flash and then into atmospheric arpeggios. It’s this variety that really makes the album. Of course Mounier’s blur of blast beats, breakneck speed fills and double kick drums backs it all up to perfection so Eriksen can’t take all the credit. Vincent’s vocals too are also integral to the success of the album as his clear growl attests. Picking favourites is not easy as with all great albums overall consistency is essential and present here but if pushed I’d go for Last Ones Alive Wins Nothing, Everlasting and Praevalidus as pick of the bunch, between them perfectly encapsulating the scope of this great band.

I really hope this doesn’t turn out to be a one off project as this band is too good to leave us with only one album. As I said earlier I’m not familiar with most of Eriksen’s work so can’t comment but as far as Vincent and Mounier go, neither have been involved in anything as good as this for some time despite the last couple of Crpytopsy EP’s being rated very highly by me.


Album · 2019 · Death Metal
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It was very sad news last year when it was announced that Malevolent Creation vocalist Brett Hoffmann had passed away after a battle with colon cancer. The 13th Beast, their 13th studio album naturally, comes only 6 months after his passing suggesting that the current line-up was already in place before his death. There’s been plenty of musicians through the ranks of Malevolent Creation over the years and there’s a completely new line-up here since 2015’s Dead Man’s Path with original guitarist Phil Fasciana the only person left.

Fortunately as is immediately apparent on opener End The Torture that it doesn’t seem to have made a lot of difference to the overall sound of the band. The 13th Beast continues their tradition of aggressive Death metal with thrash overtones. It’s all pretty full on relentless stuff with only occasional dips in tempo but the albums stuffed with great riffs preventing any feeling of monotony setting in. You’ll find a few less than stellar albums in the bands mid-period but the last few albums have all hit the spot for me and The 13th Beast follows suit and is as good as anything they’ve released in the last 10 years to my ears. Whilst few songs particularly stand out this is more a mark of the overall quality than any particular weakness in any of them though End The Torture and The Beast Awakened may just be my pick of the bunch for no other reason than the strength of the guitar riffs.

All the new guys do the name justice and play really well with drummer Philip Cancilla being particularly impressive with his dexterity on the usual array of blast beats, fast fills and speedy double kick patterns. New vocalist Lee Wollenschlaeger, who’s also on guitar, has a lower register than Hoffmann and more one dimensional in his delivery but is certainly an adequate replacement.

No great surprises here then but Malevolent Creation’s reputation thankfully remains intact with a great death metal album to get the year off to a good start.

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