Sisslith

Alejandro
MMA Special Collaborator · Neoclassical Metal team
Registered 1 year ago · Last visit 11 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

501 reviews/ratings
VINNIE MOORE - Mind's Eye Neoclassical metal
CONQUERING DYSTOPIA - Conquering Dystopia Death Metal
X JAPAN - Blue Blood Power Metal
X JAPAN - Ballad Collection Non-Metal
SKYWINGS - Vice Versa Power Metal
POMEGRANATE TIGER - Entities Progressive Metal
GALNERYUS - The Flag of Punishment Power Metal
JASON BECKER - Perpetual Burn Neoclassical metal
YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN - Rising Force Neoclassical metal
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller Power Metal
GENTARO SATOMURA - Light and Shadow Neoclassical metal
JUPITER - Arcadia Symphonic Metal
HIZAKI GRACE PROJECT - Curse of Virgo Power Metal
HIZAKI GRACE PROJECT - Prayer Neoclassical metal
MARTY FRIEDMAN - Scenes Traditional heavy metal
BON JOVI - Slippery When Wet Hard Rock
BON JOVI - Cross Road: The Best Of Bon Jovi Glam Metal
WARBRINGER - Woe to the Vanquished Thrash Metal
TONY MACALPINE - Maximum Security Neoclassical metal
MARE COGNITUM - Phobos Monolith Atmospheric Black Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Power Metal 102 3.99
2 Traditional heavy metal 51 3.75
3 Atmospheric Black Metal 49 3.68
4 Hard Rock 43 3.87
5 Neoclassical metal 39 4.31
6 Progressive Metal 36 3.96
7 Non-Metal 31 3.77
8 Black Metal 24 3.46
9 Symphonic Metal 21 4.10
10 Death Metal 10 3.60
11 Speed Metal 8 3.94
12 Metal Related 7 3.71
13 Grindcore 7 2.64
14 Folk Metal 6 3.75
15 Brutal Death Metal 6 3.17
16 Melodic Black Metal 6 4.00
17 Technical Death Metal 6 3.92
18 Thrash Metal 5 4.70
19 Proto-Metal 5 3.40
20 Depressive Black Metal 5 3.60
21 Glam Metal 5 3.90
22 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 4 3.63
23 Melodic Death Metal 3 3.67
24 Stoner Metal 3 3.50
25 Symphonic Black Metal 2 4.00
26 Metalcore 2 3.50
27 NWoBHM 2 4.50
28 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.50
29 Doom Metal 2 4.25
30 Death-Doom Metal 2 4.00
31 Alternative Metal 2 3.50
32 Hardcore and crust 2 3.00
33 Groove Metal 1 4.00
34 Funeral Doom Metal 1 3.00
35 US Power Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

TENGGER CAVALRY Die on My Ride

Album · 2017 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Folk metal is a very broad musical genre. It encompasses a wide range of styles, from "Celtic metal" (e.g. Skiltron) to "Mesopotamian metal" (e.g. Melechesh). I’ve listened to many different forms of folk metal, the last one being "Chinese metal" by Dream Spirit. But never before had I heard of a "Mongolian metal" band.

Tengger Cavalry, which means something like "cavalry of the sky god" (Tengger seems to derive from Tengri, a Mongolian and Turkic deity), have been in the metal scene for seven years. They are quite a prolific band since they have released thirteen studio albums so far. "Die on My Ride" is their penultimate offering, and it is an unusual one.

On the one hand, the instrumental work is the highlight of the album. Although most of the guitar riffs and solos are pretty basic and simple, some of them (the galloping riffs on Die on My Ride or the ones on Cursed, for example) are catchy and interesting enough to keep the listener’s attention. Nevertheless, a few songs, such as Independence Day and To the Sky feature several parts that are extremely dull and uninspired. To be honest, at those moments I just wanted to skip both songs.

Now then, not everything is doom and gloom. The folk passages are undoubtedly the best part of the record. For instance, the opener track, Snow, is perfect to set the mood: the igil and the morin khuur, accompanied by a delicate piano, create some emotive and slow folk melodies. It is also noteworthy how these instruments are effectively used on other tracks like Die on My Ride (my favourite song of the album), Strike and Me Against Me.

On the other hand, the vocal performance is the main flaw of this album. Throat singing is characteristic of Mongolia’s traditional music. It is a curious and odd way of singing, but in this record the raspy vocals don’t convey anything to me -definitely not my cup of tea. The auto-tuned vocals on Ashley (yes, you read well, auto-tuned) are the last straw. They are completely random after five Mongolian throat singing pieces and make the album feel rather messy, even though it’s just one song. The choruses, however, are great: they sound pretty epic and, oftentimes, give a vibe of nomadism.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this album after all. The positive aspects don’t make up for the bland and slightly haphazard songwriting. Die on My Ride features some notable songs and an extremely appealing folk sound, but Tengger Cavalry should improve many aspects of their music, especially the guitar riffs. However, music is one of the most subjective things and I am sure that a lot of metalheads might appreciate this record much more than I do. Lastly, I would recommend listening to this release if you like folk metal and want to discover different and distinctive sounds.

DREAM SPIRIT 将·军 (General Triumphant)

Album · 2017 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
It is true that nowadays metal music has spread throughout the world, and never before had it been so popular. Countries like China, however, still remain quite unknown in the metal scene. Proof of this is provided by the Encyclopaedia Metallum, where less than 300 Chinese metal bands are listed on the database. What is more, very few of these bands, such as “Tang Dynasty” or “Suffocated”, are really known in the West.

Despite the fact that “Dream Spirit” was formed in 2005, they didn’t release their debut studio album, “Mountains and Rivers”, until 2014. Three years later, this Chinese metal band present the world their second work: “General Triumphant”.

As the title suggests, this is a concept album which focuses on a fictional ancient general and his adventures (military, political, etc.). A detailed explanation of the album's background given by the band can be found at the end of the review, if anyone is interested.

General Triumphant consists of 44 min of pure Chinese folk metal blended with traditional heavy metal and symphonic metal elements, although the latter are relegated to a second place. Nevertheless, they are predominant and effectively used in the opening track to set the mood, along with traditional Chinese musical instruments.

On the one hand, the instrumental work is excellent. Every song is well-structured, the riffs and guitars verses are solid and catchy, and the album features various great, technical and melodic guitar solos. On the other hand, and this is probably the major drawback, the vocals feel somewhat lacklustre, even though a wide variety of vocal range is used on the album –even some death metal growls. If I had to pick one song among all, I would undoubtedly choose “Of Daggers and Men”. It is precisely this track the one that encompasses all the assets of this record: beautiful folk melodies, catchy choruses, solid riffing and proficient guitar solos.

All in all, General Triumphant is an interesting and enjoyable album recommended for folk metal fans and for those who want to discover new bands from distant countries like China. Hopefully, Dream Spirit will make a name for themselves in the following years.

Background information of the album: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dreamspirit-cn/general-triumphant-about-the-album/1522997844431981/

JUPITER Tears of the Sun

EP · 2017 · Symphonic Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
After the departure of bassist Masashi and drummer Yuki, Jupiter released the single "The Spirit Within Me", which featured Rucy and Daisuke playing bass and drums, respectively, as guest musicians. However, it wasn't long before they joined Jupiter as permanent band members. A few months later, the new line-up released their latest work: "Tears of the Sun".

There are several things that quite surprised me whilst listening to this EP. First of all, their music is progressively becoming darker. Unlike many bands of the genre who soften their sound throughout the years, Jupiter seem to have much interest in adding death metal traits -we could already see this in previous songs, such as "Allegory Cave" or "Darkness"- and atmospheric elements into their musical pieces -just listen to the track "The Crucifixion". It is precisely in this song where Zin delivers an impressive performance by blending his tenor voice with death metal growls. Nevertheless, Jupiter's unique sound is still very recognizable, and a great example of it is the title track, in which the initial choir followed by a blast of symphonic metal and the melodic, neoclassical and highly proficient guitar solos by Hizaki and Teru are the band’s trademark.

Secondly, the production, both mixing and mastering, is simply flawless. It is so polished and well-done that it reminded me of albums like “Into the Legend” by Rhapsody of Fire, where it is a noticeable feature. Moreover, the lyrics fit in extremely well with the aforementioned dark sound. Although I don’t understand Japanese, the English verses depict feelings of struggle in our current society, going against the established order and so forth: “Live the pain and keep the struggle alive” or "I don't know why I was given breath, yet I still must go find the answer, no matter what", for example.

Finally, the musicianship is undeniable. Regarding the new members, their contribution is significant and they have their moments too. For instance, the bass in “We Against” and in “Guilty as Sin” or the drumming in the third track. But the symphonic elements and the guitars are the evident focus, and they take the stage.

Overall, Tears of the Sun is a really good release which represents the new phase Jupiter is entering. Not only have they maintained their characteristic sound, but they are also taking a new direction into heavier territories, in my opinion. Highly recommended for symphonic/power metal fans.

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