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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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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 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 Death Metal 392 3.77
2 Hard Rock 350 3.59
3 Heavy Metal 185 3.69
4 Progressive Metal 176 3.83
5 Thrash Metal 159 3.74
6 Technical Death Metal 99 3.91
7 Melodic Death Metal 96 3.70
8 Non-Metal 90 3.34
9 Black Metal 79 3.76
10 Glam Metal 60 3.31
11 Doom Metal 56 3.75
12 Proto-Metal 53 3.72
13 Metal Related 51 3.72
14 Brutal Death Metal 44 3.72
15 Power Metal 44 3.90
16 US Power Metal 39 3.82
17 Traditional Doom Metal 30 3.88
18 Stoner Metal 29 3.83
19 NWoBHM 28 3.77
20 Technical Thrash Metal 26 3.98
21 Alternative Metal 24 3.33
22 Melodic Black Metal 22 3.93
23 Groove Metal 22 3.66
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 20 3.35
25 Atmospheric Black Metal 18 3.58
26 Heavy Psych 17 4.00
27 Gothic Metal 14 3.61
28 Speed Metal 14 3.82
29 Death-Doom Metal 12 3.71
30 Neoclassical metal 10 3.60
31 Symphonic Black Metal 9 3.72
32 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
33 Funk Metal 9 3.28
34 Symphonic Metal 8 3.44
35 Sludge Metal 7 4.07
36 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
37 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.67
38 Metalcore 6 3.67
39 Nu Metal 5 2.90
40 Folk Metal 5 3.80
41 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.40
42 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
43 Crossover Thrash 4 3.75
44 Grindcore 4 3.13
45 Melodic Metalcore 4 3.75
46 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
47 Mathcore 3 4.00
48 Crust Punk 3 3.17
49 Viking Metal 3 3.50
50 Deathgrind 2 3.75
51 Drone Metal 1 4.00
52 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50
53 Rap Metal 1 2.00
54 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

LVCIFYRE The Broken Seal

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Based in the UK, though originally from Poland, Lvcifyre have been plying their trade of blackened death metal since 2007, releasing their debut album The Calling Depths in 2012. Their second album released in 2014, Svn Eater showed great promise and likewise the Sacrament EP released in 2019 showing greater growth. With The Broken Seal however the band have come of age and released their strongest collection to date.

The music on The Broken Seal sounds massive while still being darkly atmospheric. Dissonance rules here. Those who like their death metal on the murky side with brooding atonal riffs should find plenty to get their teeth into. If you were to mix in equal portions Morbid Angel, Sulphur Aeon, Immolation and throw in a bit of Deathspell Omega and Ulcerate for good measure you would probably come up with something like this. The raw but powerful production suits the music perfectly contributing greatly to the success of this album. Easier said than done to present each instrument with clarity whilst still maintaining a sound that sounds like it comes from the depths of hell. The years of experience have paid off, the musicianship is top notch as is the songwriting, each track expertly balancing the elements of atmospherics, dynamics and most importantly great riffs. It’s not easy to pick favourites as each song plays its part and integral to the whole, which is how this album is best appreciated with the slower atmospheric sections laying the ground for the next barrage of compelling riffs.

Lvcifyre are technically a duo rather than a band with T Kaos handling all the instrumentation apart from the drums. He also is responsible for the very effective vocals, mainly a guttural growl and the occasional higher scream. Menthor’s drums are integral to the band’s sound and his contribution should not be underestimated as he follows all the twists and turns easily. His inventive and busy playing ranging from blasts to slower syncopated sections, constantly shifting in line with the busy and restless song structures.

If there's any justice in this world this should be the album to break Lvcifyre to the next level. Whilst there was nothing wrong with their earlier work, here the band have realised the promise shown on those releases and made an album that’s up there with the best death metal 2021 has to offer. As we near the end of the year The Broken Seal will feature highly on my album of the year list for sure.

WHITE STONES Dancing into Oblivion

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Dancing Into Oblivion is the second album from White Stones, a band perhaps best known for featuring Opeth bassist Martín Méndez. I was quite impressed with their debut album, Kuarahy, an enjoyable collection of groove infused progressive death metal. Dancing Into Oblivion comes hot on its heels being released just over a year later and features the same line up, the band being completed by drummer Jordi Farré and vocalist Eloi Boucherie.

Dancing Into Oblivion treads the same ground as Kuarahy though far less pleasing as a whole. Perhaps they should have taken a bit longer as even though it’s only thirty five minutes long, it failed to keep my interest for even that. The riffs sound less inspired and mainly pale imitations of their debut though any song here wouldn’t be out of place there. Six minutes of the short running time is wasted on three far from essential instrumentals which meander aimlessly starting with the ambient La Menace. The other two are minimal guitar pieces that are pleasant enough but take up space that could have been better used. New age Of Dark kicks the album off proper and is the best track on the album, the only song that can compete with the better moments of Kuarhy. Perhaps a little too similar though with a main riff that feels very familiar. Clean by death metal standards guitar work laid over fast rolling kick drums create a groove that they have already used a few times on the debut. Iron Titans at nearly nine minutes is where they do try to do something a bit different. In four parts, the first three minutes are instrumental and have a bit of an Opeth vibe in their quieter moments. When it shifts up a couple of gears we’re back in more familiar territory followed by a strong guitar solo from guest João Sassetti who also leads the song out underpinned by some inventive drumming from Farré. Unfortunately by this point we’ve had the best from this album with four tracks still to go with only Freedom In Captivity mildly piquing my interest.

I feel a bit short changed with this one as if you remove the three instrumentals you’re only left with around twenty five minutes of music and around half of that is average at best. I wouldn’t write them off yet though as their debut showed they’re very capable but I’ll pass on this one for now. Disappointing.

ANGEL DUST To Dust You Will Decay

Album · 1988 · Speed Metal
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It’s only in the last year or two that I actually heard Angel Dust for the first time. After starting life as a speed metal band in the 80’s, they split up after two albums and reformed in 1997, re-inventing themselves as a power metal band, releasing a further four albums. It was on these later releases that were my first taste of the band. I’m quite selective with power metal, generally preferring the heavier USPM, but German PM bands can often be heavier than many of their other European counterparts as well. Such is the case with Angel Dust and I was impressed with their strong hooks and melodies that didn’t sacrifice heaviness.

To Dust You Will Decay, released in 1988, is the second of their original incarnation albums. It’s not surprisingly as slick as their later work but still has a powerful , full and professional sounding production, especially for the time when lesser known bands often released albums with a less than perfect sound to put it kindly. The band are tight and the nine songs are well played speed metal , occasionally verging on thrash, with no shortage of compelling riffs on not surprisingly, mainly up-tempo numbers. It’s on these songs where the band is at their best, the few mid-paced songs like Wings Of An Angel being less memorable though lesser bands would be glad of them. The songs often contain melodic elements making a bridge to their later power metal style. The increase in melody is more noticeable from their debut which was at the thrashier end of speed metal, which nevertheless was an equally fine album. Pick of the bunch? The King and the title track and The Duel are as good a choice as any, as I prefer my metal fast but there’s plenty of similar quality to pick from here.

I wish I’d been aware of this band in the 80’s as this is certainly an album I would have bought at the time but in those pre-internet days it wasn’t as easy to hear new albums as it is now. Still better late than never and I can recommend this along with Angel Dust’s other five albums very highly.

CAMBION Conflagate The Celestial Refugium

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Conflagate The Celestial Refugium is the debut album from multi-national Cambion. A new band to me, having not heard their previously released EP and demo. The three band members have been playing in extreme, mainly death metal bands, for years though apart from Hate Eternal whom drummer Chason Westmoreland briefly played with, I am also unfamiliar with.

From the off its obvious this is going to be a pretty intense ride. Relentless ultra-fast blast beats and a blur of double kicks, with only the occasional respite where they slow it down a bit, are the order of the day on this slab of blackened death metal with thrashy undercurrents. It’s technical stuff with brilliant musicianship from all involved. Those who enjoy the intensity of the likes of AngelCorpse and Perdition Temple should lap this up. Fortunately they’ve also got great songs with the riffs to back all the bluster up and over the thirty eight minutes my interest never waned, which for an album that on the face of it offers little musical variation, takes some doing. However, final track Obscuratio, a nine minute plus instrumental, sees the band trying something a bit different. The break neck blasts are still there but it takes time before we reach them, prior to which from a lone guitar opening we get a more tempered approach. It makes a good closer but the previous seven tracks are where this albums strengths lie.

Conflagate The Celestial Refugium has turned out to be a great find, an album that I’ve been playing more than most over the last couple of months. Certainly one of the best death metal albums of the year so far. Essential listening for fans of the genre.

SUFFERING HOUR The Cyclic Reckoning

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Back in 2017 Suffering Hour created quite a stir with their debut album “In Passing Ascension”. Their distinctive take on blackened death metal won them many admirers so not surprisingly album number two, “The Cyclic Reckoning” arrives with high expectations.

Whilst the band shows growth they continue using the template they cut last time. Their sound is pretty distinctive mainly down to the guitar work of YhA which is quite clean with plenty of top end and vibrato and a heavy chorus effect – a seventies vibe even at times. The songs, only five in total, sound cold and atmospheric loaded with plenty of dissonance. The thin top heavy production bears more resemblance to black than death metal and in fact the music does sit in both camps. Personally I would have preferred the rhythm section to have a meatier sound as they lack power and sound distant in the mix. No doubt this is deliberate though adding to the cold, icy feel. As a result of this the guitar does tend to overshadow everything else, including the vocals, so it’s just as well that YhA has come up with some engaging riffs though they’re far from immediate and require some perseverance to fully appreciate. The album closes with the sixteen and a half minute “The Foundations of Servitude” giving them ample opportunity to stretch things out and not surprisingly is the most complex track here. The opening chiming chords soon descend into a maelstrom of riffs backed by the ever-shifting bass and drums. It’s the best track on offer and whilst the first four songs hint at what’s to come it’s only now that I feel the band reach their full potential.

A minor criticism from me is despite its uniqueness; the guitar sound does wear a bit thin over time and seems to offer limited opportunities for growth on future albums if they stick with it. But I’m getting too far ahead here so concentrating on “The Cyclic Reckoning”, whilst it’s an album I admire rather than love, there’s no denying it’s very good and full marks must go to Suffering Hour for trying to do something original in a genre (or genres) of music where it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

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