The Angry Scotsman

Brian L
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 8 months ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

321 reviews/ratings
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal | review permalink
LYKATHEA AFLAME - Elvenefris Technical Death Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - The Mantle Folk Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Individual Thought Patterns Technical Death Metal | review permalink
DEATH - The Sound of Perseverance Technical Death Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Beneath the Remains Thrash Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid Heavy Metal | review permalink
ISIS - Panopticon Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
ISIS - In The Absence Of Truth Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - The Odyssey Progressive Metal
SYMPHONY X - Paradise Lost Progressive Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - System of a Down Alternative Metal
SEPULTURA - Arise Thrash Metal
CLOUDKICKER - Beacons Progressive Metal
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Enter Metal Related
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Heavy Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Bath Avant-garde Metal
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal
SYMPHONY X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy Progressive Metal | review permalink
NEVERMORE - This Godless Endeavor Thrash Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Deep Purple In Rock Hard Rock
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality Heavy Metal | review permalink
BLOTTED SCIENCE - The Animation Of Entomology Progressive Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Toxicity Alternative Metal | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - City Of Echoes Metal Related | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Eternal Kingdom Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Lateralus Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGHORA - Formless Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGHORA - Aghora Progressive Metal | review permalink
AT THE GATES - Slaughter of the Soul Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CYNIC - Focus Technical Death Metal | review permalink
PANTERA - Vulgar Display of Power Groove Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? Thrash Metal | review permalink
ISIS - Wavering Radiant Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DEATH ANGEL - Act III Thrash Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - Australasia Atmospheric Sludge Metal
OPETH - Deliverance Progressive Metal
VOIVOD - Nothingface Progressive Metal
ATHEIST - Jupiter Technical Death Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - Remedy Lane Progressive Metal
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal
ANNIHILATOR - Never, Neverland Thrash Metal
CULT OF LUNA - Somewhere Along The Highway Atmospheric Sludge Metal
RIVERSIDE - Anno Domini High Definition Progressive Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
BLUE CHEER - Vincebus Eruptum Heavy Psych
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Leaving Your Body Map Avant-garde Metal
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ziltoid The Omniscient Progressive Metal
AGALLOCH - Ashes Against the Grain Folk Metal | review permalink
JOE SATRIANI - Surfing With The Alien Hard Rock
MESHUGGAH - I Progressive Metal
CORONER - Punishment for Decadence Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Entropia Progressive Metal | review permalink
NEVERMORE - Dead Heart in a Dead World Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ki Metal Related
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Weightless Progressive Metal
METALLICA - Death Magnetic Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Leprosy Death Metal | review permalink
ANTHRAX - Among The Living Thrash Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Ænima Alternative Metal | review permalink
IN FLAMES - Lunar Strain Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
EXODUS - Exhibit B: The Human Condition Thrash Metal | review permalink
ASPHYX - The Rack Death Metal | review permalink
SANITARIUS - Eyes to the Soul Thrash Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller Power Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! Thrash Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Angel Of Retribution Heavy Metal | review permalink
ASTROHENGE - Astrohenge Progressive Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Awake Progressive Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - So Far, So Good... So What! Thrash Metal | review permalink
CANDLEMASS - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Traditional Doom Metal | review permalink
ISIS - Oceanic Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Human Technical Death Metal
SLAYER - Hell Awaits Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal
SEPULTURA - Dante XXI Groove Metal
PELICAN - The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw Atmospheric Sludge Metal
OPETH - Orchid Death Metal
EDGE OF SANITY - Purgatory Afterglow Melodic Death Metal
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson II Melodic Death Metal
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Animals as Leaders Progressive Metal
THE PAX CECILIA - Blessed Are The Bonds Metal Related
CORONER - R.I.P. Technical Thrash Metal
KYLESA - Spiral Shadow Stoner Metal
INTRONAUT - Valley Of Smoke Atmospheric Sludge Metal
ATHEIST - Piece of Time Technical Death Metal
RED SPAROWES - At the Soundless Dawn Metal Related
THE OCEAN - Anthropocentric Atmospheric Sludge Metal
BARONESS - Red Album Sludge Metal
IRON MAIDEN - The Final Frontier Heavy Metal
ANNIHILATOR - Alice in Hell Thrash Metal
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal
NEGURĂ BUNGET - OM Atmospheric Black Metal
BURZUM - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Atmospheric Black Metal
DREAM THEATER - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Destroy Erase Improve Progressive Metal
CONTROL DENIED - The Fragile Art of Existence Progressive Metal
FORBIDDEN - Forbidden Evil Thrash Metal
FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS - Sol Niger Within Avant-garde Metal
FEAR FACTORY - Demanufacture Industrial Metal
OPETH - Morningrise Death Metal
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
MEGADETH - Endgame Thrash Metal
OVERKILL - Ironbound Thrash Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Piece Of Mind NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN - Killers NWoBHM
BLACK SABBATH - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Heavy Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - One Hour by the Concrete Lake Progressive Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - The Perfect Element, Part 1 Progressive Metal
OPETH - Damnation Metal Related
RED SPAROWES - Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun Metal Related
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible Avant-garde Metal
DARK TRANQUILLITY - The Gallery Melodic Death Metal
NEVERMORE - The Politics of Ecstasy Thrash Metal
PANTERA - Cowboys From Hell Groove Metal
AUDIO INSIGHT - Dimensions Progressive Metal
AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
LAMB OF GOD - Ashes of the Wake Groove Metal
VINTERSORG - Solens rötter Folk Metal
NOCTURNUS - The Key Technical Death Metal
DRUDKH - Кров у наших криницях (Blood in Our Wells) Atmospheric Black Metal
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - A Social Grace Progressive Metal
CELTIC FROST - Emperor's Return Thrash Metal
CORONER - Mental Vortex Technical Thrash Metal
VOIVOD - Killing Technology Technical Thrash Metal
AGALLOCH - The White EP Non-Metal | review permalink
THE OCEAN - Heliocentric Atmospheric Sludge Metal
KAYO DOT - Choirs Of The Eye Avant-garde Metal
RAMMSTEIN - Reise, Reise Industrial Metal | review permalink
ALCEST - Écailles de lune Atmospheric Black Metal
DRUDKH - Autumn Aurora Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - World Painted Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Iconoclast Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Twilight In Olympus Progressive Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Scarsick Progressive Metal | review permalink
ULVER - Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Iron Maiden NWoBHM
TROUBLE - Psalm 9 Traditional Doom Metal
SHRINEBUILDER - Shrinebuilder Stoner Metal
YAKUZA - Of Seismic Consequence Progressive Metal
BLOTTED SCIENCE - The Machinations of Dementia Progressive Metal
BLIND GUARDIAN - At The Edge Of Time Power Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ghost Non-Metal
RIVERSIDE - Second Life Syndrome Metal Related
PRIMUS - Sailing the Seas of Cheese Funk Metal
MINSK - The Ritual Fires of Abandonment Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
PROTOTYPE - Trinity Progressive Metal
MASTODON - Remission Sludge Metal
MASTODON - Blood Mountain Sludge Metal
TOOL - 10,000 Days Progressive Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Пригорща зірок (Handful of Stars) Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - The Hunter Progressive Metal | review permalink
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Empros Metal Related | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Hypnotize Alternative Metal | review permalink
CYNIC - Carbon-Based Anatomy Metal Related | review permalink
NEUROSIS - The Eye Of Every Storm Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Train of Thought Progressive Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - Forever Becoming Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Pale Communion Metal Related | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Underworld Progressive Metal | review permalink
MORTIFICATION - Scrolls of the Megilloth Death Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - Nighttime Stories Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Kill 'em All Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Spiritual Healing Death Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Schizophrenia Thrash Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal
MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT - The Violence Beneath Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
CLOUDKICKER - The Discovery Progressive Metal | review permalink
CALLISTO - True Nature Unfolds Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Through Silver In Blood Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
IN FLAMES - The Jester Race Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - Pelican Atmospheric Sludge Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal
FEAR FACTORY - Soul of a New Machine Death Metal
SLAYER - Haunting the Chapel Thrash Metal
OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse Death Metal
MEGADETH - Countdown to Extinction Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - Nevermore Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - Enemies of Reality Thrash Metal
PANTERA - The Great Southern Trendkill Groove Metal
DEATH ANGEL - Frolic Through the Park Thrash Metal
LAMB OF GOD - Wrath Groove Metal
AGALLOCH - Pale Folklore Folk Metal | review permalink
VINTERSORG - Hedniskhjärtad Folk Metal
VINTERSORG - Till fjälls Viking Metal
DARK ANGEL - Time Does Not Heal Thrash Metal
SARCÓFAGO - The Laws of Scourge Thrash Metal
PESTILENCE - Testimony of the Ancients Technical Death Metal
DRUDKH - Відчуженість (Estrangement) Atmospheric Black Metal
CELTIC FROST - Morbid Tales Thrash Metal
SYMPHONY X - The Damnation Game Progressive Metal | review permalink
DÅÅTH - The Hinderers Death Metal
BURST - Lazarus Bird Progressive Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Fear Of A Blank Planet Metal Related
LAMB OF GOD - As the Palaces Burn Groove Metal
DRUDKH - Microcosmos Atmospheric Black Metal
NEUROSIS - Neurosis & Jarboe (with Jarboe) Atmospheric Sludge Metal
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Station Metal Related
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Alternative Metal | review permalink
BLIND ILLUSION - The Sane Asylum Technical Thrash Metal
PROTOTYPE - Continuum Progressive Metal
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal
OPETH - Heritage Metal Related | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Vol 4 Heavy Metal | review permalink
ELIMINATOR - Breaking the Wheel Thrash Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - What We All Come To Need Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Faustian Echoes Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - BE Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - The Serpent & the Sphere Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Opiate Alternative Metal | review permalink
MAYHEM - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Black Metal | review permalink
CYNIC - Traced in Air Progressive Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Chaos A.D. Groove Metal | review permalink
HELMET - Strap It On Alternative Metal | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Steal This Album! Alternative Metal
DREAM THEATER - Octavarium Progressive Metal
413 - Path To Hocma Hardcore Punk
DEATH ANGEL - The Ultra-Violence Thrash Metal
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - Rage Against the Machine Rap Metal
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal
FEAR FACTORY - Archetype Industrial Metal
MEGADETH - The System Has Failed Thrash Metal
CULT OF LUNA - The Beyond Atmospheric Sludge Metal
PANTERA - Far Beyond Driven Groove Metal
AGALLOCH - From Which Of This Oak Melodic Black Metal | review permalink
SLEEP TERROR - Probing Tranquility Progressive Metal
AGALLOCH - Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor Folk Metal | review permalink
MESHUGGAH - Contradictions Collapse Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
MESHUGGAH - Chaosphere Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Catch Thirtythree Progressive Metal
KAYO DOT - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue Avant-garde Metal
PESTILENCE - Spheres Technical Death Metal
DREAM THEATER - When Dream and Day Unite Progressive Metal
DRUDKH - Пісні скорботи і самітності (Songs of Grief and Solitude) Non-Metal
DRUDKH - Forgotten Legends Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Лебединий шлях (The Swan Road) Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Christ Illusion Thrash Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Nothing but Death Remains Death Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Diabolus in Musica Thrash Metal | review permalink
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Geneva Metal Related
NEUROSIS - The Word as Law Hardcore Punk | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Road Salt One Non-Metal | review permalink
40 WATT SUN - The Inside Room Doom Metal | review permalink
ALCHEMIST - Jar of Kingdom Death Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Systematic Chaos Progressive Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - Ataraxia / Taraxis Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
PELICAN - The Cliff Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Dream Theater Progressive Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Infernal Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Metallica Heavy Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - St. Anger Alternative Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Scream Bloody Gore Death Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Undertow Alternative Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Show No Mercy Thrash Metal | review permalink
VOIVOD - Rrröööaaarrr Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEFTONES - Adrenaline Nu Metal
BURZUM - Filosofem Atmospheric Black Metal
JUDAS PRIEST - British Steel Heavy Metal
MEGADETH - Cryptic Writings Heavy Metal
MEGADETH - United Abominations Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - The Obsidian Conspiracy Thrash Metal | review permalink
ELECTRIC WIZARD - Dopethrone Stoner Metal
MESHUGGAH - Nothing Progressive Metal
LAMB OF GOD - New American Gospel Groove Metal
LAMB OF GOD - Sacrament Groove Metal
EDGE OF SANITY - Cryptic Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - A Dramatic Turn of Events Progressive Metal | review permalink
MESHUGGAH - Koloss Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Black Clouds & Silver Linings Progressive Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - TH1RT3EN Thrash Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Dystopia Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Load Heavy Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Bestial Devastation Death Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Morbid Visions Death Metal | review permalink
VOIVOD - Infini Thrash Metal | review permalink
SEPULTURA - Roots Alternative Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Tomorrow Will Never Come Non-Metal | review permalink
SUFFOCATION - Effigy of the Forgotten Brutal Death Metal | review permalink
DARKTHRONE - Transilvanian Hunger Black Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Falling Into Infinity Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - obZen Progressive Metal
SLEEP - Dopesmoker Stoner Metal | review permalink
FEAR FACTORY - Mechanize Industrial Metal
MEGADETH - Youthanasia Heavy Metal
MEGADETH - The World Needs a Hero Thrash Metal
ISIS - Celestial Atmospheric Sludge Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Slipknot Nu Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Iowa Nu Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) Nu Metal
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal
SYMPHONY X - Symphony X Progressive Metal | review permalink
HANZEL UND GRETYL - Über Alles Industrial Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Divine Intervention Thrash Metal | review permalink
EXIMPERITUSERQETHHZEBIBŠIPTUGAKKATHŠULWELIARZAXUŁUM - Promo 2013 Technical Death Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - The Grey EP Non-Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Pain Of Mind Hardcore Punk
MEGADETH - Super Collider Heavy Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - ReLoad Heavy Metal | review permalink
ULVER - Nattens Madrigal: Aatte Hymne Til Ulven I Manden Black Metal | review permalink
MAYHEM - Deathcrush Black Metal | review permalink
UNHOLY TRINITY - Omnimalevolence Black Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Risk Hard Rock
MESHUGGAH - Meshuggah (Psykisk Testbild) Technical Thrash Metal
SLAYER - God Hates Us All Thrash Metal | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Illud Divinum Insanus Death Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Lulu (with Lou Reed) Heavy Metal | review permalink

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 63 3.80
2 Thrash Metal 53 3.65
3 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 26 3.85
4 Heavy Metal 16 3.16
5 Atmospheric Black Metal 15 3.63
6 Death Metal 15 3.17
7 Metal Related 15 4.00
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.14
9 Alternative Metal 13 3.50
10 Groove Metal 11 3.45
11 Melodic Death Metal 9 3.83
12 Technical Thrash Metal 7 3.43
13 Non-Metal 6 2.92
14 Folk Metal 6 3.92
15 Avant-garde Metal 6 4.08
16 Black Metal 5 1.60
17 Industrial Metal 5 3.00
18 Sludge Metal 5 4.00
19 Stoner Metal 4 3.13
20 Nu Metal 4 2.13
21 NWoBHM 4 4.13
22 Hard Rock 3 3.50
23 Hardcore Punk 3 2.50
24 Power Metal 2 4.00
25 Proto-Metal 2 3.50
26 Traditional Doom Metal 2 4.00
27 Viking Metal 1 3.50
28 Rap Metal 1 3.00
29 Funk Metal 1 4.00
30 Melodic Black Metal 1 3.00
31 Heavy Psych 1 4.50
32 Brutal Death Metal 1 2.00
33 Doom Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

PELICAN Nighttime Stories

Album · 2019 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
6 years since their last release, Pelican shows they are still a force to be reckoned with.

This album continues their drift from post metal to, well not quite sure what to call it. Instrumental progressive sludge metal? Perhaps atmospheric metal is the most fitting genre to lump it under. What I call it is: awesome.

"Nighttime Stories" is in some ways classic Pelican, (super heavy, killer riffs, grooves, and melodies, quiet peaceful movements) but in some ways quite different. For one, I was quite shocked to here blast beats. In general, "Nighttime Stories" is less "post" and more riff oriented metal. Don't get me wrong, Pelican has always been based on the almighty riff, but here their songs continue their shorter trajectory, all except one clocking in at under 7 minutes, and there's less collective wall of sound, long building sound and more traditional riffy driven metal songs.

This is not unwelcome. It keeps the band fresh, and given the countless number of post metal bands that have faded away with the tide of that genre, I'm glad to see some of the founders of it managing to fight past and stay relevant. This is not to say there isn't still wonderful atmospheres created, because their are, as well as some of the classic slowly progressing old school sound.

The music on "Nighttime Stories" is not as compelling or thought provoking as older Pelican, it's not quite as energetic as some newer, and I found the drumming a bit lackluster, but the music is still interesting enough to hold up without any vocals. The major driver of this album is its biggest difference from previous output: emotion. This is a very emotional work. Not surprising giving the band's various difficulties and changes, and it really comes out. It can't be put into words, but you feel it.

FOUR STARS

MORTIFICATION Scrolls of the Megilloth

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Music to feel the power of Christ move through you...like a coked up jet fighter in mid dog fight.

This album is famous for being one of the giants of "Christian Metal" and I suppose that is accurate, as this album is based on the 5 books of the Old Testament, though personally lyrical content means little to me, (not like you can understand 90% of what Steve Rowe says anyway), it's all about the music. No doubt, the music here is straight up death metal. The guitar work is near entirely low register, tremolo picking, blast beats and double bass drumming abound, there are no guitar solos, and the vocals are quite brutal. No clean singing or even screaming here, it's entirely guttural growls, (often delivered with a real force behind it), shrieks that verge on black metal or bellows so deep and inhuman it actually sounds demonic. This is a no frills, nothing superfluous, straightforward Death Metal album.

That doesn't mean it's uninteresting. Quite the contrary, "Scrolls of the Megilloth" is a well composed piece of music. There is a lot here, from balls to the wall blast beats, doom metal-esque dirges, mid tempo parts, thrash beats, lots of good riffs and movements varying in speed, feel and brutality. There's lots of groove to be found, solid drumming, and plucky sounding bass that reminds me of Death. None of these parts last for too long. They linger for a minute or so, sometimes shorter or longer, before moving onto a different part. The progression is always different. You don't get bored at any part, it never lasts too long or goes away too soon, you don't know exactly what's coming next, and the songs aren't too long. It's an extremely well crafted album. It's finale, the near 12 minute "Ancient Prophesy" does everything in one track. It's like a microcosm of the album in one flowing piece. Hell, I'd nominate it for "best summary of death metal" out there.

To conclude, this is a very good, albeit unspectacular, death metal album. While it is nothing mind blowing or stand out, it does what it does very well. It's brutal, it's groovy, it holds your interest. "Scrolls of the Megilloth" is an extremely well composed album. This is what makes up for its fairly standard style. Though there are touches here and there to keep it a tad unique, like organ, church bells and choirs, natural noises all of which add freshness and contribute to it's creepy feel. Christian or not, a break that consists of fire and people screaming in agony is some brutal s***

FOUR STARS

METALLICA Lulu (with Lou Reed)

Album · 2011 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Oh my...here to begin?

When I heard Metallica and Lou Reed were doing a collaboration, I was intrigued to say the least. What on Earth would that sound like? While I had no idea what to expect, safe to say it was not this.

I have to have a bit of fun, there were some young, (my age) Metallica fans that started discussing Lou Reed, and I knew they had absolutely no idea who he was. I thus enjoyed their utter horror at this album, clearly having no idea this was never going to be a standard Metallica album.

Then there's the Metallica purists who haven't liked the band since "selling out" 20 years before, and the die hard Metallica fans, who hated this because it doesn't sound like Metallica. Some of course hate anything this band does, while fans of Lou Reed were also pretty displeased with this. Never have I seen such a diverse hatred for an album.

Well, what about the music itself? This has been a difficult review to write. I tried to free myself of all these outside influences, sat down and really listened to this, digested it and really wanted to think about the music. Keep in mind, I actually think St Anger isn't so bad, so I'd say I'm fair as possible. What did I finally come up with for "Lulu"?

Messy. Random. Boring. Laborious. Painful. Unrewarding. A failed attempt at being experimental.

"Lulu" is a lot of simple, boring music. Emphasis on a lot. 87 minutes! Most of it sounds random, like it was not even constructed but just thrown together and the songs drag on and on. Lou Reed does spoken word over this musical train wreck, and age has gotten the best of him. There's no way to put it: he sounds terrible. His singing is no better, and in all fairness I think James Hetfield doesn't sound very good either.

There is no hand holding, this album goes right into it. A nice acoustic guitar intro leads into Reed's nasaly, raspy voice delivering the fairly hilarious opener "I would cut my legs and tits off". There's a cool droning riff that kicks in with James howling while Lou continues on. It works, for a bit. It became quite boring though and felt longer than a 4 minute song should.

"The View" became a bit of an internet sensation due to the line "I am the table!" being shouted by James, but this song is actually pretty good! There is a simple, but cool, riff that plays as Lou Reed delivers spoken word over it, slowly and subtly building to a brief, moderately up tempo crescendo with James singing. It shifts back to Lou, building back up to another James crescendo and finishing off with some shred like soloing, transitioning back to that churning, chuggy riff.

The reason this song works is because it was well constructed. It never grows tiresome because it builds. There are some minor changes to the drum work as the riff drones on, there is progression opposed to simply going on without change. The crescendos hit hard, the settle downs feel more impactful, there are some solos and neat guitar work sprinkled throughout. There is variation, progress, a coherent song structure. Thus no part gets stale or feels awkward, and there is enough going on to keep you there.

Unfortunately this can't be said for the rest of the album. Sure there are good moments sprinkled throughout, but it's like dumpster diving to find them, a big dumpster and all you find are nickles. There's not much reward for all the work and filth. Whenever "Metallica" comes through, it's generally simple and uninteresting. Little technical skill or songwriting ability is displayed.

The album actually finishes on a pretty good note. The only other good song, "Junior Dad" is a 19 minute journey, and I don't use that word lightly. The song actually moves. Peaks and valleys, builds, some nice riffs, melodies and songwriting. There are many textured parts and the drumming is simple but effective, and throws enough unexpected moments and fills in there to keep your head bobbing. Much of the second half are just strings, but it's quite beautiful and is a fitting end to this slow paced, gentle yet moving song.

I wanted to emphasize those two songs, "The View" and "Junior Dad" to give this album some positive words. The pretty good pieces of bread that hold together this sandwich of minimalist droning, noise, spoken word, hard rock all smushed together randomly. I have read that most of this album is improv, and it shows. Kudos for the ambition, but it's not something I think Metallica proved very capable of doing.

I always applaud a band for doing something different, for experimenting and for challenging their fans. I understand this is what Metallica was doing with "Lulu". They have always been a band to try something new, no matter the criticism, and "Lulu" takes it to the nth degree. Metallica is saying we've been around for 30 years, sold 100 million albums, we have everything we could want so we're gunna do something different, something we want and no fucks are gunna be given. While I admire the effort, it is not successful. Just like how people shouldn't automatically hate something without giving it a fair try, a band experimenting doesn't mean it needs to win our approval just for doing so.

"Lulu" has 2 good songs, the rest of which is boring and frankly, terrible. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful, I am hesitant to give this album even a one star rating, because even a completionist will be A OK not having this album in their collection. Yes, it may not even be worth having solely to complete a collection, no one would blame you. That said, it's not 100% garbage so I can't give it a half.

ONE STAR

MEGADETH Dystopia

Album · 2016 · Thrash Metal
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A standard album for Megadeth over the previous decade: Dave Mustaine has surrounded himself with very good talent, and managed to melt it all into a pot of mediocrity.

While Megadeth's last two albums were increasingly depressing efforts, I couldn't help but find myself intrigued by Dystopia because it's Megadeth...and I was impressed with the additions of Kiko Loureiro of Angra and Chris Adler of Lamb of God. I have long been a fan of Adler's drumming, and after exploring Angra it's no doubt Loureiro is a very talented musician.

Loureiro does lay down some nasty solos, (and damn impressive acoustic work), and Adler's drumming is solid, but his unique style has been shoved into the Megadeth formula...and that's really the way I'd describe "Dystopia". Formulaic.

The album isn't bad, though it isn't anything special, there are some great riffs, melodies, solos and moments sprinkled throughout, while the rest is filled with uninspired, generic music. It's modern Megadeth by the numbers: lots of mid temp chugging, mix in speed metal riffs and double bass chain drumming, some unique moments, shred solos and very rare thrashing. There's really just not much about this album that stands out either way.

Mustaine's vocals continue to show signs of age, but aren't too bad honestly. Recent attempts at singing have been abandoned for his trademark gruff, talk-singing style that does remind me of his classic days, though no doubt it lacks its past ferociousness and sarcastic bite.

"Dystopia" starts on a high note with "The Threat is Real" a very solid song, then "Dystopia" which may be the best on the album with its awesome riffs, melodies, solos and song structure...it really moves, never lingers too long or grows boring. "Fatal Illusion" is another good song that reminds me of classic Megadeth: dueling guitars, harmonized melodies, explosive solos and anarchic structure. After this 3 song burst the album goes bland, exception being the instrumental "Conquer or Die". This song competes for best on the album, opening with an awesome acoustic lick before launching into some wonderful dual guitar work. Spidery riffs, blazing yet varied solos all within a slowly building framework. Right out of the classic Megadeth playbook.

So what to make of Dystopia? There are some good songs, but nothing spectacular, which stand out in an album of generic, frankly uninspired feeling, music. Those who worship at the church of thrash shouldn't bother with this, those that enjoy the newer, modern metal style Megadeth, will probably like it. I don't feel it's thrash or nothing myself, I just believe Mustaine is not good at writing non thrash music, which "Dystopia" continues to prove correct. The two best songs sound like good ol fashion 80's Megadeth, while the rest spins its wheels in the mud that has been the band's 4 of their last 5 albums.

Overall, an OK album that won't blow anyone's mind. Fans of newer Megadeth will find it acceptable, and it's certainly better than the disaster that was "Super Collider". You won't find anything new, but nothing really bad. Fans of pre mid 90s Megadeth will find little to enjoy here.

TWO AND A HALF STARS

SYMPHONY X Underworld

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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The New Jersey Prog Metal Masters are back with their newest album "Underworld"

The album is an in between Paradise Lost and Iconoclast. It is clearly grounded in the bands new style: heavy and intense, (there are even a few blast beats thrown in one part!) darker, less progressive and less shred riffing/neoclassical insanity of their old days...however "Underworld" drifts a little more towards the style of "Paradise Lost" rather than "Iconoclast" meaning this album is a little more progressive, features more keyboard, less "hardcore" vocals and is just more varied in style.

While I am a fan of Iconoclast, I greatly appreciate the drift away from there and back to a more classic sound. Don't misunderstand, this is firmly within the band's new sound and you should not expect The Odyssey or V or Divine Wings here, but there are plenty of classic Symphony X riffs, melodies, sounds and staples to please any fan.

Style aside, all the musicianship is superb, as is to be expected, the songwriting tight and well composed, the audio quality is great and I particularly love the sound of the bass. The songwriting of Symphony X is what always struck me, their ability to create songs with great flow, surprise, technicality and musicianship but without wasting any of our time, and they have done so yet again. There are still moments that surprise you, and all the instruments, while getting to showcase the skill of the musicians, work together.

"Underworld" is not a perfect album, there are some weak moments, and there is nothing here really unexpected, but it's another great output that continues to walk the line of pleasing fans and originality, technicality and musician ship, heaviness and progressiveness, and they walk the line superbly. The vocals of Russell Allen are brilliant as always, displaying a great range, there are riffs galore, and Jason Rullo, (one of my all time favorite drummers) continues to increasingly show off his drumming prowess. Michael Romeo still solos like the best of them, and the composition is a bit more progressive than Iconoclast, with some truly beautiful movements sprinkled throughout.

Standout tracks are: Without You, Kiss of Fire and Legend.

Symphony X is one of the greatest metal bands of their time, and continue to prove it with yet another strong output. "Underworld" should be a great addition for Symphony X fans, and please prog metal fans. Excellent album.

FOUR STARS

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  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    P/S! I had the pleasure of seeing them live in Brooklyn and meeting the bandmates, hanging with them later at their place. Was one helluva show, and not just saying that as online friends, they were pretty damn rockin.PA pays off sometimes Really cool people too 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in The Shadow Gallery (post pics of yourself)
    You know my love for Scandanavia so if I do get out though, Denmark is a guarantee :D    
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in The Shadow Gallery (post pics of yourself)
    Ah, still great stuff! Hope the Merkans were friendly, we're not all such bad people.   I'll get myself out to Europe soon.

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