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Paul
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1749 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 298 3.58
2 Death Metal 240 3.79
3 Heavy Metal 153 3.64
4 Progressive Metal 139 3.78
5 Thrash Metal 115 3.70
6 Non-Metal 78 3.36
7 Technical Death Metal 75 3.90
8 Melodic Death Metal 66 3.69
9 Glam Metal 58 3.28
10 Doom Metal 46 3.77
11 Black Metal 46 3.77
12 Proto-Metal 38 3.71
13 Brutal Death Metal 37 3.74
14 Metal Related 26 3.75
15 Power Metal 24 3.81
16 Traditional Doom Metal 24 3.85
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 Groove Metal 19 3.66
22 Technical Thrash Metal 17 3.94
23 Melodic Black Metal 16 3.88
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 13 3.46
25 Heavy Psych 13 4.08
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 13 3.58
27 Gothic Metal 11 3.55
28 Speed Metal 10 3.55
29 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
30 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.63
31 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
32 Funk Metal 7 3.50
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

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.

MALEVOLENT CREATION The 13th Beast

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.

UNLEASHED The Hunt For White Christ

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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Let’s get straight to the point, The Hunt For White Christ, album number 13 from Swedish death metaller’s Unleashed is fucking awesome! These guys have rarely released a bad album in their almost 30 year career and since Sworn Allegiance back in 2004 all their albums would receive nothing less than 4 stars from me.

If you know Unleashed you’ll know what to expect here – death metal with touches of black and thrash metal thrown in and we’re still in the world of Odalheim as on the last few albums. Yes, don’t expect any surprises in musical growth but that’s fine with me when they keep releasing albums of this quality. If anything these songs are played with added fire and energy though as song after song unleash (no pun intended) great riff after great riff. This is easy to get into death metal and could be a good starting point for the uninitiated with Johnny Hedlund’s clear growl being more accessible than many singers in the genre. There’s also plenty of melody both in the riffs and guitar solos which are rarely less than incendiary. Things are never allowed to get dull as the music is constantly shifting through well thought out parts and tempo shifts and of course great musicianship – after 30 years it’s not surprising this band runs like a well-oiled machine. I won’t cite individual songs for praise as such is the quality here it’s almost impossible to pick favourites.

I’ve added some great death metal albums to my collection this year but The Hunt For White Christ is one of my most played and favourites. Long may this great death metal institution continue to release albums as good as this.

ALPHAKILL Degrees of Manipulation

Album · 2018 · Technical Thrash Metal
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Whilst I’ve heard no shortage of great death metal in 2018 I can’t really say the same about thrash, though I have to say I focus more on death metal these days, so I may have missed some gems. The latest Artillery album “The Face Of Fear” which certainly impressed me and Revocation’s “The Outer Ones” are my top picks of the year, the latter in particular blowing me away as Revocation always do with their technical death/thrash. Perhaps they don’t count though as they’re as much a death metal band as a thrash one. Another band on the more technical side of things is Canadians Alphakill who despite releasing their debut album “Unmitigated Disaster” in 2012 have passed me by until now. I still haven’t heard that debut but I’m pleased to have caught up with them on their second recently released album “Degrees Of Mainipulation”.

These guys can really play and while they seem to be have been influenced by old school thrash like Forbidden and Exodus the sharp production brings their more technical riffing bang up to date. Brilliant musicianship alone will not however make a great album and thankfully these guys have the songs and riffs to back up their musical chops. Yes “Degrees Of Manipulation” is jam packed with killer riffs and incendiary soloing. I’m also impressed with vocalist Justin Stear’s more traditional and cleaner approach being more in the Charlie Benante or Forbidden’s Russ Anderson vein though nearer the latter doesn’t particularly sound like either. Most of the songs are pretty fast, as you’d expect in this genre, though constant twists and turns keep things interesting with drummer Derrick Kroll tight and dextrous playing anchoring it all down. Guitar and bass duties is shared between vocalist Justin Stear and Jon Warren who can shred with the best of them when required but they never lose sight of the importance of the riffs. I could point to pretty much any song as evidence but Morality Blurred being a favourite of mine is as good an example as any of how good this band is.

As I already said the production is sharp but a minor criticism is that it could benefit from more bottom end but for an independent release they’ve done a great job. Whilst these guys remain largely unknown at the moment “Degrees Of Maipulation” has the musicianship and songs to reach a far wider audience. Definitely a band to keep an eye on and I look forward to album number three.

REVOCATION The Outer Ones

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
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Let’s face it, Revocation don’t make bad albums. So it is with album number seven, once again they impress with another dose of highly technical death tinged thrash.

They come in from the start with blast beats blazing on “Of Unwordly Origin” but in typical Revocation fashion they never sit on the same riff/drum part for long before changing to something else, usually equally complex and jaw dropping. Each song is full of time/tempo changes and musical twists and turns with each band member excelling at their individual instrument, never content to keep it simple. All this wouldn’t count for much if they didn’t have the songs to back it up but fortunately as always they deliver with compelling riff after riff and blistering yet melodic guitar solos. There always seems to be an instrumental on their albums and here we get “Fathomless Catacombs”, five and half minutes of stunning musical virtuosity. To be honest such is the complexity throughout that any song on here could work as an instrumental. With each song delivering the goods on all levels picking favourites is futile but if pushed I might just go for “Vanitas” where if at all possible, they manage just to just squeeze out a bit more ferocity.

While there’s no great leaps or growth since 2016’s “Great Is Our Sin” with music this good it’s irrelevant. In fact it would be hard to see where Revocation could take their music anywhere else without having a complete genre change as they’ve already at the top of their game and have been for at least four albums now. If you enjoy them then “The Outer Ones” is essential listening for you.

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