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Paul
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1318 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 US Power Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Made In Japan Hard Rock | review permalink
KING'S X - Gretchen Goes To Nebraska Alternative Metal | 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 271 3.60
2 Death Metal 131 3.84
3 Progressive Metal 125 3.74
4 Traditional heavy metal 122 3.55
5 Thrash Metal 110 3.74
6 Non-Metal 58 3.32
7 Doom Metal 50 3.86
8 Melodic Death Metal 49 3.66
9 Glam Metal 48 3.20
10 Technical Death Metal 45 3.93
11 Proto-Metal 41 3.70
12 Black Metal 35 3.83
13 Metal Related 23 3.72
14 Alternative Metal 22 3.52
15 Brutal Death Metal 21 3.64
16 US Power Metal 20 3.70
17 NWoBHM 19 3.68
18 Groove Metal 18 3.64
19 Power Metal 14 3.79
20 Stoner Metal 14 3.93
21 Atmospheric Black Metal 9 3.39
22 Speed Metal 8 3.56
23 Melodic Black Metal 7 3.93
24 Gothic Metal 5 3.40
25 Death-Doom Metal 5 3.80
26 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.30
27 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.63
28 Funeral Doom Metal 4 3.75
29 Funk Metal 4 3.25
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 Nu Metal 3 2.67
35 Grindcore 2 3.75
36 Neoclassical metal 2 3.75
37 Folk Metal 2 3.75
38 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 3.75
39 Crossover Thrash 2 3.50
40 Industrial Metal 1 3.50
41 Mathcore 1 4.00
42 Metalcore 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

OBITUARY Obituary

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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I must admit that I don’t usually get excited at the prospect of a new Obituary album, interested yes but rarely more than that. Considering their importance in death metal, one of the originals etc, I find this strange to say the least. First of theirs I ever bought was Cause Of Death back in 1990 (didn’t hear Slowly We Rot until later as it happens), generally regarded as one of their best and my penchant for Celtic Frost style guitar riffs certainly helped me enjoy that but John Tardy’s strangled growl wasn’t an easy listen for me, though time has tempered that feeling and his voice for that matter. Since then I’ve heard good and not so good Obituary and there’s at least a couple of their albums I don’t recall hearing at all. Now don’t ask me why but some reason my interest was piqued by this eponymous new release and I even pre-ordered a vinyl copy. I’m really glad I did as it’s brilliant!

There’s no particular reason why this self-titled album should be better than the last few as they haven’t deviated from their formulaic no-nonsense traditional death metal with groove approach. It’s Obituary doing pretty much what they’ve always done. That Celtic Frost guitar sound is still present - not quite as obvious as in the past, though there are moments where it’s unmistakeable and Tardy’s vocals are less extreme these days too. Why it’s so good is for starters the production is spot on - Clear and powerful with everything sitting well in the mix. Mostly though it’s a killer collection of songs that make it. Ten songs at only thirty three minutes is a short album but fortunately they don’t waste any of it. Brave and Sentence Day make a strong start. Both pretty pacey, packing powerful and memorable riffs and the pair of them all done in less than five minutes. There’s also the slower groove based stuff the first being A Lesson In Vengeance and features some fine lead work from Kenny Andrews. End It Now is the best of both worlds with its fast rolling triplet kick drum pattern though slowing down for a more groove orientated section. Without going into every song individually the rest of the album maintains the high standards set early on making it one of, if the not the most consistent Obituary album since the early days.

If you’re looking for innovation look elsewhere, there’s no great leap in style from past Obituary but if you enjoy this band this is an essential album for you. Right now I’m enjoying this more than any Obituary album and put it up there with their best no problem. My only complaint is at the length of the album the bonus track No Hope on the CD could have easily fit on the vinyl version too.

RITUALIZATION Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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With so many new bands coming along and new albums from old bands for that matter it’s easy for something to pass you by. France’s Ritualization have been kicking around for a while now with a couple of EP’s released in 2011 and 2013 and even earlier demos which I haven’t heard. Fortunately I’ve picked up on Sacraments To The Sons Of The Abyss, their recently released debut album. Fortunate because it’s pretty damn good.

After the suitably dark intro Conjuration of the Howling Depths it’s we’re into Last Rites Of The Damned and it’s relentless barrage of riffs and blastbeats make for a strong statement of intent. I’m not hearing anything particularly original here – they’ve no doubt been brought up on the old school death metal of the likes of Morbid Angel and Incantation but this stuff is played with such energy and conviction it’s hard not to be won over. They wisely slow it down now and then like on the intro of Herald Of Betrayal, one of the albums strongest moments as it happens, but this album’s largely a blackened death metal wall of sound. The vocals are typically low death growls but a black metal rasp occasionally rears its head. The standard of musicianship is excellent - inventive guitar solos but it’s more about the complex intricate riffing that’s constantly shifting as ferocious drums follow suit. This album is pretty much relentless from start to finish with the exclusion of the aforementioned Intro and outro Ashes Pouring From The Chalice, an effective way to open and close things. At 43 minutes it’s just about the right length, gets in there and kicks the shit out of you and buggers off. Perfect!

Whilst I was initially impressed it took a few plays for STTSOTA to fully reveal itself. There’s a hell of a lot going on in these grooves but it’s shaping up already to be one of the best death metal albums of 2017 so if you like your death metal on the black side you should really check these guys out. As a side note my vinyl copy came beautifully packaged with an album sized booklet and poster.

PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA U.M.A.

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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MMA Reviewer's Challenge: Album selected by 666sharon666.

Released in 2013 U.M.A. is the debut and so far only album from Italian post black metal duo Progenie Terrestre Pura. Duo’s seem more common in black metal and I sometimes wonder how these bands can pull it off in a live setting. However, it’s of little consequence here as it’s all about the album.

Only five tracks in total though all are pretty long from thirteen down to seven minutes. This is black metal of the atmospheric variety with a strong spacey feel. Progenie Terrestre Pura aren’t in a hurry and prefer a slow burn approach. Opener, named after the band gives us over three minutes of trippy cosmic ambience before anything resembling black metal kicks in. You could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a Tangerine Dream album to this point. When the metal does kick in its initially fairly generic black metal with blast beats flailing away, tremolo picked guitars and typical rasping vocals. No bad thing in itself but my ears picked up more when the pace slowed somewhat with heavier riffing augmented by the spacey synth lines adding some haunting melody to the proceedings. At thirteen minutes Sovrarobotizzazione is the longest of the lot and follows a similar approach. Whilst it sometimes feels like the parts are randomly thrown together as if you could mix and match in any order you like the number of changes does help maintain interest and some of the quieter sections in particular become quite captivating at times with some well-placed clean guitar parts.

The instrumental sections generally take precedence over the vocals. In fact La Terra Rossa Di Marte has none and is seven minutes of ambience overlaid with spacey synth lines and tasteful guitar picking. Whether this has a place on a black metal album is debateable and likely to alienate fans of the purer variety but then it is a genre that covers many bases and not generally afraid to experiment so why not. I’d have preferred real drums over what almost certainly sounds like programmed but I guess in the context of the songs they add to the futuristic feel of the album. Droni is one of the best song on the album. Whilst is doesn’t deviate from the general formula of the first two tracks it seems to gel and flow better and packing more punch too. Whilst prog elements are a feature of the album as a whole they’re most apparent in Sinapsi Divelte and also features some cleaner vocal work and instrumental sections less typical of black metal at times.

Overall despite one or two moments where I was shouting get on with it! I enjoyed U.M.A. quite a lot. Certainly enough to keep an eye open for future releases. Not your typical black metal by any stretch and probably will go over the heads of many fans of the genre but more prog orientated metal fans could find much to enjoy here.

IMMOLATION Atonement

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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How many bands are there like Immolation who’ve been going for thirty years or so and keep releasing great album after great album? Not too many I suspect. Atonement is album number ten and once again they’ve done it – one of their best in fact and up there with the likes of Close To A World Below, Unholy Cult and Majesty And Decay but in truth you could add just about any Immolation album to that list such is the consistently high standard this band keep delivering.

If you know Immolation then you know what to expect – Robert Vigna’s incredibly inventive atonal riffing and soloing. How he keeps coming up with them is amazing. Ross Dolan’s deep guttural growl and not forgetting his thunderous bass playing. Then there’s Steve Shalaty’s complex rhythmic drum patterns following or leading every twist and turn of the constantly shifting song structures. This is death metal as it should be played and at its very best, heavy as hell with riffs that’ll pin you to the wall. Every single song delivers making picking highlights completely futile. These songs have a menace about them that is sometimes lost when bands try to play relentlessly fast all the time. Sure, there’s moments of incredible speed but Immolation play it smart and temper it with captivating grooves, tempo and time changes that will enthral all who have a love of this stuff. This is clearly the sound of Immolation and no band out there can beat them at their own game with the atonal and dissonant thing.

You’ve probably gathered by now that I love this album. I’m even thinking it might be their best but I don’t want to say that as many of their previous albums have had a similar effect on me. Let’s wait for the dust to settle. What I will say though as the benchmark has been set for best death metal album of 2017. I’ve just listened twice today while I’ve been reviewing it and now I want to play it again! If you love death metal you need this album!

KREATOR Gods of Violence

Album · 2017 · Thrash Metal
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When I first heard Kreator’s Pleasure To Kill back in the mid-eighties I was blown away by its sheer intensity and speed. It may have lacked finesse but made up for it with sheer aggression. As far as my memory goes I don’t remember hearing a more extreme slab of metal at the time and that’s putting it up against the likes of Slayer who were the benchmark for full on thrash as far as I was concerned. Since then I’ve bought some and even missed some of Kreator’s albums but when I hear them they rarely disappoint. Forward to 2017 and Gods Of Violence is their fourteenth album. I was pretty impressed with 2012’s Phantom Antichrist – like Testament and Exodus here was one of the thrash originals that could still deliver as good if not better than they ever did. Gods Of Violence is another winner. Similar in feel, if perhaps not quite as intense it’s equally strong.

After the short intro piece Apocalyticon, World War Now kicks in with its ferocious riffing, a reassuring statement of intent. These days though it’s not all about sheer speed and the tempo varies here and indeed throughout the album. Something of a benefit I feel but fear not, this is still one hell of an aggressive album – check out Totalitarian Terror if proof is needed. Mille Petrozza’s snarling vocals are still incredibly strong and one of the best in thrash. Likewise drummer Ventor, there from the start with only a short break is still a force to be reckoned with. These songs, the title track being the perfect example, also contain plenty of melody – there’s even a touch of Iron Maiden at times, which to their credit takes nothing away from the ferocity and also feature some stunning guitar solos too. Mille Petrozza and second guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö are certainly the equal of most guitar partnerships in thrash metal. Even when they slow things down like on Fallen Brother they still pack a considerable punch.

Overall then Gods Of Violence is another strong addition to an already glorious back catalogue of benchmark thrash that’s sure to please fans of the band. A great start to the year for thrash metal.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 days ago in Recently Watched Films
    Features some great plastic bats.Nightfly2017-03-26 09:59:42
  • Posted 4 days ago in Doom metal (all the sub-genres)
    Me neither but I hope they don't totally abandon doom. The new Pallbearer has moved away to an extent from doom too. When i first started listening to it I was thinking this is going to have to be moved but then the doomier stuff crept in later.
  • Posted 4 days ago in Doom metal (all the sub-genres)
    Yes it was good. I get the feeling that they are going to move away even more from the doom of the first album than the last one but we shall see.

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