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Paul
Forum Admin Group · Admin, Doom and Death Metal teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 2 hours ago

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1484 reviews/ratings
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LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin II Hard Rock | review permalink
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SAVATAGE - Hall Of The Mountain King Traditional 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 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 288 3.59
2 Death Metal 179 3.80
3 Progressive Metal 132 3.77
4 Traditional heavy metal 128 3.56
5 Thrash Metal 115 3.75
6 Non-Metal 68 3.32
7 Doom Metal 60 3.83
8 Technical Death Metal 57 3.90
9 Melodic Death Metal 56 3.67
10 Glam Metal 52 3.26
11 Proto-Metal 43 3.70
12 Black Metal 41 3.78
13 Brutal Death Metal 31 3.74
14 Metal Related 26 3.75
15 US Power Metal 22 3.68
16 NWoBHM 19 3.68
17 Power Metal 18 3.83
18 Groove Metal 18 3.64
19 Alternative Metal 17 3.29
20 Stoner Metal 14 3.93
21 Melodic Black Metal 13 3.81
22 Atmospheric Black Metal 12 3.54
23 Speed Metal 8 3.56
24 Gothic Metal 7 3.43
25 Funeral Doom Metal 6 3.42
26 Funk Metal 6 3.50
27 Death-Doom Metal 5 3.80
28 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.30
29 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.63
30 Hardcore and crust 4 3.25
31 Sludge Metal 4 4.25
32 Symphonic Metal 4 3.25
33 Symphonic Black Metal 3 4.17
34 Metalcore 3 3.50
35 Folk Metal 3 3.83
36 Industrial Metal 2 3.50
37 Mathcore 2 4.00
38 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 3.75
39 Neoclassical metal 2 3.75
40 Grindcore 2 3.75
41 Nu Metal 2 2.50
42 Crossover Thrash 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

FLESHKILLER Awaken

Album · 2017 · Melodic Death Metal
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Awaken is the debut album from Norwegian extreme metal band Fleshkiller. New band yes, but not lacking experience as it features guitarist/vocalist Ole Børud of Extol fame and previously Schaliach. Also present is guitarist/vocalist Elisha Mullins who’s also a member of The Burial and ex- A Hill To Die Upon, bassist Ole Vistnes from Tristania, ex- Zerozonic and drummer Andreas Skorpe Sjøen.

Of the past bands these guys have played with above the only one I have any experience of is Extol and Fleshkiller don’t sound too dissimilar playing a blend of prog metal injected with more extreme elements, in this case melodic death metal with a touch of thrash thrown in. It sounds generally heavier and more complex than later day Extol to my ears though I know their earlier work less, at times reminding of technical death thrashers Revocation with added melody. The vocal harmonies are still in place and if anything have an even more melodic edge and integral to the sound alongside the harsher more extreme vocal work. Musically it’s pretty complex stuff with each song rarely sitting still for too long before throwing in another complex series of shapes, licks and intricate riffs. These songs are full of strong hooks with inventive progressions that often go off in unexpected directions. In fact it’s a strong emphasis on melody that really help mark these songs as something special and not just a vehicle for displaying exceptional musical chops. The guitar solos have an equally melodic edge too.

Not surprisingly, these guys play really well – a pre-requisite for this sort of complex material. I’ve already mentioned the vocal harmonies but it’s worth emphasising their importance to the overall sound and certainly makes them stand out in extreme metal circles. Like Extol the songs have a Christian leaning. I’ve always felt that Christianity and death metal make unlikely bedfellows but then again why not and it doesn’t come across as incongruous. The production is powerful and with everyone cutting through clearly in the mix displaying the intricacies of the songs effectively. Not a single moment is wasted with every song earning its place making it compelling listening from start to finish, but it doesn’t get any better than the first two tracks, Parallel Kingdom and Salt Of The Earth being perhaps my pick of the bunch for the interplay between vocal melodies and inventive guitar hooks.

2017 has been a great year for death metal and Awaken can now be added to the list of best albums for this year, it really is that good. It also comes recommended to Prog metal fans who don’t normally venture into extreme metal territory who may also find much to enjoy.

ENSLAVED E

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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I’ve always viewed the development of Opeth and Enslaved as running parallel with each other. Both started as extreme metal bands, death metal for Opeth, black metal for Enslaved and both even at an early stage displaying progressive influences. As they have developed the progressive elements have come to more to the fore. One of the areas where they differ though is whilst Opeth these days bear no traces of death metal Enslaved have never entirely lost touch with their roots. Sure, they’re much more of a prog metal band these days but their black metal roots can still be heard.

E is Enslaved’s fourteenth studio album, drawn as a Latin rune which is why it appears as M on the cover meaning Horse. The albums not about Horses per se but is symbolic of the partnership of co-operation and trust between them and man. 2015’s In Times was their most progressive album yet but still managed inject some pretty harsh black metal moments. E whilst maintaining the prog quotient is less reliant on extreme metal though it’s still there and Grutle Kjellson harsh rasp vocal work is still in place. In Times was the last album to feature keyboard player/clean vocalist Herbrand Larsen and I expected a major shift in dynamics and sound with his loss. New guy Hakon Vinje slips easily into his shoes and has a similar clean vocal style so E just seems like a natural development which could and probably would have happened even if Larsen hadn’t left.

The music on E is epic and grandiose shifting through a myriad of changes no better demonstrated than on opener Storm Son, at almost eleven minutes giving them ample opportunity to stretch out. Clean vocals dominate over harsh here and their sound is a lot smoother than the Enslaved of old but they can still pack a punch. Kjellson’s rasp is still present and more to the front on other songs though like on The River’s Mouth that has a spacey outro that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Hawkwind album.

Sacred Horse might just be the albums best track where more extreme metal elements come to the fore but includes a Hammond organ solo that Opeth would be proud of. Light and shade are present but largely it drives along at a fair pace. That said E has no weak moments and shows a band on top of their game with no sign of running out of ideas. The musical interplay between band members is strong as always and like most great bands Enslaved aren’t afraid to experiment – they even use saxophone on album closer Hiindsiight, but still retain enough of their original identity to keep older fans happy.

E just keeps getting better and better with each play as more subtle melodies come to the fore and whilst it probably won’t end up being my favourite Enslaved album it not lacking in any way. It’s great to see this excellent band still on top of their game after all these years.

XIBALBA Diablo, Con Amor​.​. Adios.

EP · 2017 · Metalcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Reviewers Challenge Nov 17.

This three track E.P. is my first taste of Xibalba as I only occasionally venture into metalcore/deathcore territory. Doing a bit of homework and checking out some previous releases from this USA band they seem to have gone for a simpler approach than on their last album, 2015’s Tierra Y Libertad which I have to say I found more involving and prefer to this.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with this release though. At just over two minutes Diablo kicks things off and the sound is raw, the tempo slow, blending death metal, metalcore and doom. Con Amor is more up tempo, at least initially before they bring it down for a slow grinding breakdown. Adios is the longest of the tracks at over five minutes and probably the most interesting of the three. Whilst it maintains the traits of the first two songs the riffs are more compelling and they throw in more tempo changes. The standard of musicianship is good and the vocals a cross between a shout and a death growl which do the job but nothing more.

All in all this is the kind of release that I quite enjoy whilst listening to it but with so much other great music out there am unlikely to return to in a hurry. That said I’m tempted to go back to Tierra Y Libertad for another blast.

DYSCARNATE With All Their Might

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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It’s been five years since Dyscarnate released an album, the last being 2012’s excellent And So It Came To Pass marking them as one of best death metal bands to come out of the UK.

Roll on to 2017 and With All Their Might sees them returning with a more accessible sound. We are talking relatively speaking here of course as this album is still pretty brutal and complex at times but the riffs are more immediately memorable and they’ve injected plenty of groove into songs like opener Of Mice And Mountains and Iron Strengthens Iron. This definitely works to the albums benefit with most of the songs displaying strong hooks that beg for the repeat button to be hit. The playing is absolutely incendiary as fans of the band will expect with all showing their mastery of their chosen instrument. Best of all there’s not a single weak moment, the material showing plenty of diversity from the almost doom pace of Traitors in The Palace to the more explosive All The Devils Are Here, this really is death metal played at its best with a crystal clear modern production displaying the songs to great effect.

In case you hadn’t figured yet I’m loving this album and as the year draws to a close it’s pretty clear this will feature pretty highly in my album of the year list here on MMA.

WITH THE DEAD Love From With The Dead

Album · 2017 · Doom Metal
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I wasn’t sure if the eponymous debut album released by With The Dead in 2015 might have turned out to be a one off, especially with former Cathedral mainman Lee Dorrian having his hands full running his Rise Above Records label. Anyway I’m pleased to see them back with album number two though this time minus former Electric Wizard drummer Mark Greening leaving guitarist Tim Bagshaw the only former member of that band left. In comes drummer Alex Thomas and bassist Leo Smee.

Love From With The Dead pretty much picks things up using the same template as their debut. In other words crushingly heavy doom metal – all fuzzy guitars and a bottom end so heavy it’s a wonder the stylus managed to stay in the grooves on my vinyl copy. First impressions are of little growth from the debut with opener Isolation’s slow and heavy crawl sounding pretty much like most of it. Egyptian Tomb ups the tempo slightly whilst maintaining the same sonic qualities. Initially I felt a bit disappointed with the riffs lacking memorability and it all seeming a bit one dimensional as doom sometimes can. However after a few plays the songs started to take hold with some decent melodies buried in the murk with some compelling guitar riffs and motifs taking hold. Whilst occasionally the songs outstay their welcome there’s generally enough in the way of subtle changes to maintain the interest. Watching The Ward Goes By sees a deviation from the generally cacophonous nature of most the material opening with cleanly strummed guitars and tom toms very low in the mix with Dorrian adopting a spoken word vocal. As expected it eventually explodes though with a funeral doom pace.

Most of the songs are pretty long, the shortest being Reincarnation Of Yesterday at 6:25, but nothing comes close to CVI which at 17:35 closes the album. It’s a slow burn into the realms of funeral doom pace once more. It meanders along somewhat aimlessly doing little to justify its length and it’s a bit of a relief when it’s over. It could have said all it had to say in half the length so a slightly disappointing close to the album.

Love From With The Dead is considerably longer than the debut and whilst it’s often very good, sometimes excellent, a bit of editing could have produced an album that matched the debut. As it is, it outstays its welcome somewhat with that final track and although it’s good to have them back I can see myself returning to the debut more than this.



Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in No Doubt - album poll
    I haven't ever listened to a No Doubt album. All I've heard is a few singles here and there.
  • Posted 2 days ago in Where do you buy your music from?
    ^ I agree, Dodax are usually good on price and I've never had an order go missing or had to return one that was damaged. You're right though, very slow - I normally expect 18 - 25 days and only once has one arrived in a week. I suspect it's because they're German based but on Amazon they say shipped from the UK. I think they may ship over here in bulk and then post individual items once they arrive in the UK from a smaller warehouse. Either that or they don't have much in stock and have to order from a supplier after you place the order.  They have their own website as well as on Amazon which is usually a bit cheaper still. I order most of mine through this but it doesn't seem to make a difference to delivery time.Nightfly2017-11-22 11:17:42
  • Posted 3 days ago in Favourite AC/DC album
    The early years up to For Those About To Rock... were brilliant. Highway To Hell gets my vote though.

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