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792 reviews/ratings
SLAYER - Show No Mercy Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Hell Awaits Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Perfect Symmetry Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Parallels Progressive Metal | review permalink
X JAPAN - Art Of Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood Thrash Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order Heavy Metal
KREATOR - Terrible Certainty Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Haunting the Chapel Thrash Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal | review permalink
CORONER - No More Color Technical Thrash Metal
SODOM - Agent Orange Thrash Metal
KREATOR - Extreme Aggression Thrash Metal
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
ANACRUSIS - Reason Thrash Metal
DEATH - Spiritual Healing Death Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal
ANACRUSIS - Manic Impressions Thrash Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 167 2.46
2 Thrash Metal 108 3.23
3 Death Metal 53 3.23
4 US Power Metal 38 2.89
5 Hard Rock 35 2.07
6 Black Metal 33 2.42
7 Power Metal 32 2.89
8 Speed Metal 25 2.78
9 Traditional Doom Metal 23 2.46
10 Progressive Metal 23 3.02
11 Technical Thrash Metal 19 2.92
12 Hardcore Punk 18 1.50
13 Proto-Metal 16 1.66
14 Death-Doom Metal 16 2.13
15 Funk Metal 15 1.50
16 Neoclassical metal 15 2.57
17 Alternative Metal 13 1.42
18 NWoBHM 13 2.42
19 Groove Metal 11 2.18
20 Industrial Metal 11 1.27
21 Metal Related 10 1.00
22 Sludge Metal 10 1.30
23 Technical Death Metal 9 3.33
24 Non-Metal 7 1.36
25 Grindcore 7 0.93
26 Doom Metal 6 2.42
27 Stoner Metal 6 1.50
28 Gothic Metal 5 2.10
29 Crossover Thrash 5 2.00
30 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 2.00
31 Heavy Psych 3 1.83
32 Brutal Death Metal 3 3.33
33 Avant-garde Metal 3 1.17
34 Folk Metal 3 2.67
35 Melodic Death Metal 3 3.50
36 Viking Metal 2 3.00
37 War Metal 2 2.25
38 Glam Metal 2 1.25
39 Goregrind 2 1.25
40 Drone Metal 2 0.50
41 Deathgrind 2 3.25
42 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 2.75
43 Death 'n' Roll 2 3.50
44 Melodic Black Metal 2 2.25
45 Metalcore 2 2.00
46 Rap Metal 2 1.00
47 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 1.50
48 Symphonic Black Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

X JAPAN Art Of Life

Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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If I had to pick one song, not as my personal favorite, but as the best piece of music – one that pulled from all aspects of what makes music such an mazing and beautiful art – it would be Art of Life. As pretentious as that sounds, and as pretentious as writing a 30 minute epic about life may be, this song can actually back up such a monumental title. Am I biased as a metalhead, a fan of X Japan? You bet. But I only love these things because of what they offer me. Metal, to me, is ultimately an incredibly raw, even bestial display of human art. The harshness and aggression of it feels like a death throe. When one is in a life-or-death situation, or pushed to their limit, or faced with overwhelming emotion or psychological trauma, the ugliest, yet purest expressions surface. This is what Metal is to me.

X Japan do a fantastic job of mixing into that Metal foundation the sonic embodiments of young love, of beach sunrises, city-lit snowfall, a tear of joy. They have mastered both the ugly aggression and the passionate beauty, each in excruciatingly pure form. “Art of Life” is their magnum opus that displays every talent they’ve mastered. At times the music gets insanely fast as the guitars and drums exercise every last shred of pain, and at others slows to let the piano and strings cover you like a gentle rain. The song goes to all extremes and everywhere in between.

The lyrics are poetic, evocative, and hold an immense amount of depth especially for a band writing in a second language. Band leader and main writer Yoshiki was going through the grief of losing his father, among other things in his life, and in his words, tried to draw from every emotion he had when writing the song. And yeah, he succeeded, without a doubt. This is conveyed both in the music and the words, which tell of an existential crisis of love, longing, and loss. The lyrics are not specific enough to pigeonhole the song, and therefore almost anyone could listen to this and attach a very personal meaning to it.

Lastly, I’ll talk about that piano solo. That god damned piano solo. Originally, I hated it. I didn’t get it, I didn’t respect it, I didn’t think it contributed to the rest of the song, nothing. I went out of my way to make an edit of the song that cut it out so I could listen without having to fast forward through it. I didn’t get it.

I do not like when people chalk someone’s dislike of something up to them “just not getting it.” As if a song is so transcendental that a human cannot understand it. As if one has to be “in” on something to judge it correctly. As much as I do not like that and do not think it is a good response to any sort of opinion, I will allow myself to say it just once, for this piano solo. I get it now. After going through a psychological and emotional low, I got it. It became so clear what Yoshiki was feeling as he hit that cacophony of keys, how it played into the rest of the song, what it represented, everything. And magically, I immediately started enjoying it. I absolutely cannot listen to the song without it now. It took an experience and a perspective I did not have before to grasp it. And while this is no fault of any listener and I would not wish it on anyone, if you haven’t had that sort of experience, you just might not get it.

DEATH Individual Thought Patterns

Album · 1993 · Technical Death Metal
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It’s truly astounding how consistent Death are at crafting top quality Death Metal, not only album to album, but song to song. Every Death release so far has been a fantastic showcase of new ideas and progression on top of all the classic traits that make it unmistakably Death. Individual Thought Patterns did not fail to exceed my expectations despite the legendary precursor Human.

This album has got to by Death’s most melodic, technical and progressive so far. The riffs are incredibly melodic and memorable, with multiple guitar melodies often playing wonderfully off each other. This of course does not take away from the brutality of the album; it borders on melodeath at times, but at the core is still classic OSDM. The album doesn’t sound incredibly evil compared to other Death Metal, but this is fitting with Chuck’s desire to focus on more philosophical subjects. As the album title suggests, this record is total brainfood, fortunately the kind where the riffs get stuck in your head.

What really blew me away on this one was the rhythm section. The drumming here in on another level, and so many patterns here were totally fresh. As I suspected, this is where Gene Hoglan made his debut in Death. His creativity with the kit is monstrous, and goes far beyond progressive or technical. He manages to craft entirely original beats in every song, and knows exactly when to go all out and when to serve the music with something slower or simpler. The basswork of Steve DiGiorgio is similarly praiseworthy, and thank god the production made it clear and audible. I was fairly certain it was fretless bass based upon the sound, and it seems he is possibly the first to bring fretless bass to extreme metal.

5 albums in, and Death is still at the forefront of the genre they helped create, leading it in new directions and maintaining their status as the best of the best.


Album · 1993 · Technical Death Metal
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A wild ride of an album rife with technical prowess and atmospheric beauty. Easily the first of it’s kind, in 1993 there were no (to my knowledge) Death Metal albums purposefully trying to sound “pretty” or peaceful” juxtaposed with all the other elements of extreme music. Death Metal bands were all trying to predict or be the next development in the genre; usually this was defined by Death (the band) and their constant evolution and progression of the genre, but a few bands like Cynic still managed to stand out and make it to still undiscovered frontiers.

When talking about Cynic, one has to address the elephant in the room – those vocoded vocals. Because they’re definitely there, on just about every track. When I first heard those open track 1, I thought for sure they were just being used to intro the album. Then they consistently appeared throughout the song, and I’d hoped they were a one song gimmick… no luck. They are prevalent throughout the whole album. Eventually I was able to tolerate them, and I do appreciate the futuristic aesthetic they bring to the album. I understand the purpose, and it was certainly a bold move to put in a Death Metal album. That aside, I will probably never enjoy them, and they definitely keep this otherwise flawless record from a higher rating.

But what a masterpiece this is otherwise. The Tech Death aspects of this record are very melodic and riff-driven, with noodling never overtaking the primary goal of creating fantastic and memorable melodies. Like all the best albums, every instrument is playing lead; rhythm instruments are varied and powerful, bass is very audible and melodic itself. Then there are the keys and various other atmospherics and electronics, which add wonderfully to this album. They are worked tastefully between catchy leads and adding lush backing sound. Overall the album sounds incredibly futuristic and spacey, an incredible feat for 1993. It still sounds very fresh decades later.

One very great aspect of this album is there is never a dull moment. In fact, it’s so insanely layered you could listen to it over and over and always find something new. Even the slower, more peaceful parts have so much going on, it really is an “experience” without being overly pretentious. Just fantastic music here.

ANGRA Angels Cry

Album · 1993 · Power Metal
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Angra were not quite the inventors of Symphonic Metal – that accolade would have to go to X Japan – but they were absolutely at the forefront of its development. What’s more, the style of Symphonic Power Metal first crafted on “Angels Cry” is a style that has carried on to the present day. The genres tend to go hand in hand now, rarely one existing without some element of the other, no doubt the legacy of this majestic work.

Something that is immediately apparent is that this album is incredibly rich and developed for a debut album. The symphonic elements are in full swing, there’s a strong variety of sounds all pulled off quite well, and the music is quite frankly impressive. This band knew exactly what they wanted to do from the get-go, and they hit the ground running. Another interesting factor is that this is a debut album from Brazil of all places, yet the production is very good, as if it were a popular band with a big budget. Of course, the guest appearance of Kai Hansen of Halloween and Gamma Ray fame is testament that this band was not totally unknown and must have had some notoriety.

One slight weakness for me is that the vocals can be quite pitchy at times, and always stay at the very high end of the registry. Despite that, the guy definitely has impressive range and technique, just doesn’t always suit my taste. The two part closer is also not anything amazing, meaning the album is bookended by its weakest tracks if you include the intro.

Overall, amazingly impressive and cohesive debut album, hasn’t aged a day.

DISSECTION The Somberlain

Album · 1993 · Melodic Black Metal
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Yes, this brand of sombre Melodic Black Metal is absolutely to my taste. It also helps that this has huge Melodeath influences, enough so that you could easily give this album the accolade of being at the forefront of both genres. Mixing two genres still in infancy and managing to ace that combination is quite an incredible feat!

That’s what makes The Somberlain unique, but certainly not what makes it good. Every song is packed with excellent riffs that dance the line between evil, sombre, and folky. The drums have an incredible amount of diversity for a Black Metal album (the Melodeath influence is very strong here rhythmically) and you can expect much more than constant blast beats. The rhythm section is always changing, usually quite energetic but slowing down surprisingly often to allow riffs and atmosphere to marinate in a calmer zone.

The vocals sit right between Death growls and Black Metal shrieks, having a nice weight to them but maintaining a raspy enunciation that works very well. Most of the lyrics/themes are standard BM fare, focusing on occult darkness, but they’re well written. I will say, the acoustic interludes really don’t add anything to the album, and would have been more effective if interwoven into the songs. Unfortunately, they hurt the momentum because they aren’t strong enough to stand on their own. Otherwise, a great dark triumph that still stands above a vast majority of the hundreds of attempts at this sound since.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 months ago in Searching for a band
    It's possible the content creators made the song themselves. Especially if no apps recognize it, it was probably created in-house so they didn't need to get any permissions. It's also possible they got the track from some royalty-free music website.
  • Posted 4 months ago in MMA Best of Year 2021 Voting Thread
    Swallow the Sun - MoonflowersPowerwolf - Call of the WildBe'Lakor - CoherenceLake of Tears - OminousRage - Resurrection DayChaos Over Cosmos - The Silver Lining Between the StarsMary's Blood - Mary's BloodAlcatrazz - VWheel - Resident HumanMinstreliX - 11 TrajectoriesAephanemer - A Dream of WildernessTrivium - In the Court of the DragonWorm - ForevergladeThe ruins of Beverast - The Thule GrimoiresAsphyx - NecrocerosConverge & Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: INunslaughter - Red is the Color of Ripping DeathHooded Menace - The Tritonus BellHelloween - HelloweenWolves in the Throne Room - Primordial ArcanaCannibal Corpse - Violence UnimaginedOmnium Gatherum - OriginPanopticon - ...And Again into LightThy Catafaique - VadakCradle of Filth - Existence is FutileWhitechapel - KinDream Theater - A View from the Top of the WorldFear Factory - Aggression ContinuumUnto Others - Strength (not on MMA)Trisagion - Ethereal Shroud (not on MMA) Nightfly2022-02-05 09:42:51
  • Posted 7 months ago in Melancholic metal songs
    When it comes to Doom Metal a lot of bands build their whole career out of this...Swallow the Sun, DOOM:VS, Katatonia, Anathema, Mar de Grises are some great bands that haven't been mentioned yet. The vast majority of their songs are melancholic metal (Katatonia and Anathema both have non-metal material, but it's still usually melancholic). Insomium are a melodeath band that purely do melancholic songs.  SilentScream2132021-10-23 10:34:45


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