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Paul
Forum Admin Group · Death, D/S/D, T/S/G Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 14 hours ago

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1656 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 295 3.59
2 Death Metal 222 3.79
3 Heavy Metal 142 3.62
4 Progressive Metal 135 3.79
5 Thrash Metal 104 3.73
6 Non-Metal 78 3.36
7 Technical Death Metal 68 3.89
8 Melodic Death Metal 60 3.71
9 Glam Metal 53 3.24
10 Black Metal 44 3.78
11 Doom Metal 40 3.83
12 Proto-Metal 38 3.71
13 Brutal Death Metal 36 3.69
14 Metal Related 26 3.75
15 Stoner Metal 22 3.89
16 Traditional Doom Metal 22 3.89
17 US Power Metal 22 3.68
18 Power Metal 21 3.79
19 NWoBHM 20 3.77
20 Groove Metal 19 3.66
21 Alternative Metal 18 3.31
22 Technical Thrash Metal 18 3.97
23 Melodic Black Metal 15 3.87
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 13 3.46
25 Atmospheric Black Metal 13 3.58
26 Heavy Psych 12 4.08
27 Gothic Metal 10 3.65
28 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
29 Speed Metal 9 3.50
30 Death-Doom Metal 7 3.71
31 Funk Metal 6 3.50
32 Grindcore 5 3.30
33 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 3.80
34 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
35 Sludge Metal 4 4.25
36 Symphonic Metal 4 3.25
37 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.63
38 Death 'n' Roll 4 3.38
39 Crust Punk 3 3.17
40 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
41 Mathcore 3 4.00
42 Folk Metal 3 3.83
43 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.17
44 Melodic Metalcore 2 3.75
45 Metalcore 2 3.50
46 Neoclassical metal 2 3.75
47 Nu Metal 2 2.50
48 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50
49 Crossover Thrash 1 3.00
50 Drone Metal 1 4.00
51 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00
52 Viking Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

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 Thrash 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.

TAPHOS Come Ethereal Somberness

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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Taphos created quite a buzz with their 2016 demo MMXVI and even more so with their MMXVII EP in 2017. The EP was particularly good retaining that old school death metal vibe evident on the demo but with added clout with a more bottom end production.

With their debut album, Come Ethereal Somberness they’ve just got even better. These Danes know that raw organic heaviness is far preferable to processed precision, especially if you’re going for that old school sound. In fact it’s essential. Not counting three instrumentals including a short intro and outro we get six raw and ferocious songs of atmospheric blackened death metal . Nothing original for sure but what they lack in originality they more than make up for in conviction. These riffs are truly crushing, often tremolo picked. There’s no shortage of blastbeats but they’re not overdone with plenty of rhythmic shifts to keep things interesting aided by a crushing production. Not as doomy and dirty as Incantation can be but I hear an influence in here. The standard of musicianship is also impressive with drummer U – yes they all use initials, driving the compelling riffs of M and D on with ferocious precision. H’s vocals, who also supplies bass, are also impressive being suitably dark and dirty sitting between a death growl and a blackened rasp.

For a debut album in particular this is very impressive and I can only see this band going from strength to strength. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

INGESTED The Level Above Human

Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
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Things have been a bit quiet lately on the new release front from my death metal favourites. Whilst I’m always looking to check out bands I’ve never heard before this current dearth has encouraged me to look a bit wider. One such album I’ve recently come across in my search is The Level Above Human by Ingested. It’s the fourth from this brutal Manchester bunch but the first I’ve heard by them.

Whether there’s any musical growth from their earlier releases I couldn’t say and maybe I should have done my homework and found out. What I can say though is while it doesn’t offer anything original, something that’s not necessary anyway if you’ve got the songs to back it up, if brutal/slam death metal and deathcore is your thing then you probably will find much to enjoy here. The playing is tight and pretty complex at times with tempos ranging from the expected breakneck blasts to slower breakdowns and slam death parts. There are plenty of strong riffs throughout though the opening riff of Invidious sounds like a rip off of Iron Strengthens Iron from the last Dyscarnate album, With All Their Might. Individually each song sounds fine but nothing jumps out particularly to distinguish it from the rest despite the bands efforts to inject plenty of changes into individual tracks. After a while one song tends to blend into another and after the full 44 minutes I was feeling like I’d had enough. The more melodic instrumental Obsolescent offers some welcome respite from the overall bludgeon and alternating growl/shriek vocals making a good choice for closing the album.

Overall then, The Level Above Human whilst certainly no classic is a pretty good album. I’m sure plenty of people will love it but my own preference for my death metal being served straight up makes it more an album I admire rather than love. One that I’ll be happy to give a spin from time to time though for sure.

AT THE GATES To Drink From The Night Itself

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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AT War With Reality, 2014’s comeback album from At The Gates was criticized by some for being too safe and clinical sounding. Personally, I had no problem with it at all and welcomed the bands return to the upper echelons of melodic death metal. In fact I thought it so good I voted it my album of the year on this site and felt that many songs such as The Night Eternal and Eater Of Gods, to name just two, were showing the band at the top of their game.

No such criticism is likely to levelled at To Drink From The Night Itself. It’s a heavier, darker and murkier sounding album. In fact my eyebrows were initially raised over the production where the vocals and drums sound like they’re coming from the opposite end of a very long room to the rest of the band which took a bit of getting used to. I must admit that initially I was a little disappointed but after spending quite a bit of time with it my opinion has changed a hell of a lot. The biggest concern prior to the album’s release was how much of difference it was going to make to the band’s sound minus original guitarist Anders Björler who left in 2017. Fortunately, none at all. This is clearly the sound of At The Gates – the melancholic and melodic riffs, tremolo picked guitars and of course Tomas Lindberg’s distinctive high register growl. New guitarist Jonas Stålhammar has fit seamlessly in, no doubt an advantage having already played in The Lurking Fear with Lindberg and drummer Adrian Erlandsson.

As I said earlier this album did take a few plays to fully reveal itself, in part down to the production. The title track was the first song I heard when the band released it 2 or 3 months back. I must admit that despite being good I wasn’t blown away by it, it being pretty much At The Gates by numbers. It has since grown on me more but there’s much better on offer here, the second half of the album being particularly impressive where they barely put a foot wrong, with songs like In Nameless Sleep and The Mirror Black, after a slow start, having a vibe similar to The Night Eternal, my favourite song from At War With Reality with their use of guitar arpeggios and Erlandsson’s triplet double kick pattern. The latter closing the album in a similar fashion until the strings kick in at the very end. The first half still has some impressive moments though with A Stare Bound In Stone and Palace Of Lepers being particularly good.

To Drink From The Night Itself may bring nothing new to the table, it may not be better than At War With Reality overall, but that’s more to do with my love of that album than any weaknesses here and the production was certainly better last time around. It does however prove to be a consistently excellent album and contains some of the bands finest moments. I keep getting drawn back to it and I can’t give it a better recommendation than to say it’s my most played album since it was released.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 days ago in What TV shows are you watching right now?
    I enjoyed The Haunting Of Hill House too. Just watched the first 2 series of American Horror story which was pretty good too. Yes, I'm a latecomer to this series.Also nearly finished 3rd series of The Last Kingdom which I always enjoy.
  • Posted 3 days ago in Where do you buy your music from?
    Terrorizer album arrived today - 14 days from order date which is still quicker than the old Dodax.
  • Posted 3 days ago in The Upcoming Albums Thread
    [QUOTE=Sisslith]New album by Sulphur Aeon (21st Dec):[TUBE]http://youtu.be/yXr-8BUX4X0[/TUBE][/QUOTE]  I have to have that!

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