Time Signature

Kim
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 33 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

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1492 reviews/ratings
AT THE GATES - Slaughter of the Soul Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious Death Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Heartwork Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - Highway To Hell Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - Back In Black Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - The Razors Edge Hard Rock | review permalink
ACCEPT - Balls to the Wall Heavy Metal | review permalink
ANNIHILATOR - Never, Neverland Thrash Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - The Detached Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - Andromeda Unchained Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANVIL - Metal on Metal Heavy Metal | review permalink
ARTILLERY - By Inheritance Thrash Metal | review permalink
ARTILLERY - When Death Comes Thrash Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal | review permalink
JOHN ARCH - A Twist of Fate Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality Heavy Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 166 4.01
2 Progressive Metal 158 3.98
3 Heavy Metal 144 3.87
4 Hard Rock 134 3.62
5 Death Metal 120 3.68
6 Power Metal 91 3.85
7 Black Metal 86 3.49
8 Doom Metal 45 3.96
9 Speed Metal 38 3.80
10 Melodic Death Metal 35 3.97
11 Groove Metal 33 3.71
12 Alternative Metal 25 3.64
13 NWoBHM 25 3.56
14 Hardcore Punk 24 3.67
15 Metalcore 23 3.15
16 Technical Death Metal 23 4.46
17 Crossover Thrash 22 3.66
18 Sludge Metal 21 3.55
19 Traditional Doom Metal 20 4.28
20 US Power Metal 16 4.19
21 Folk Metal 16 3.44
22 Death-Doom Metal 14 3.89
23 Atmospheric Black Metal 14 3.36
24 Gothic Metal 14 3.50
25 Stoner Metal 14 3.71
26 Technical Thrash Metal 12 4.25
27 Heavy Alternative Rock 11 4.09
28 Glam Metal 9 3.39
29 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 9 3.78
30 Brutal Death Metal 9 3.78
31 Deathcore 8 3.38
32 Grindcore 8 3.00
33 Melodic Black Metal 8 3.75
34 Symphonic Black Metal 8 4.00
35 Metal Related 8 3.81
36 Industrial Metal 7 3.50
37 Crust Punk 7 3.86
38 Avant-garde Metal 6 4.17
39 Melodic Metalcore 6 3.75
40 Non-Metal 5 3.40
41 Funeral Doom Metal 5 4.10
42 Drone Metal 5 3.10
43 War Metal 5 2.90
44 Stoner Rock 4 3.88
45 Death 'n' Roll 4 3.25
46 Mathcore 3 3.50
47 Symphonic Metal 3 2.33
48 Viking Metal 2 3.50
49 Proto-Metal 2 3.75
50 Rap Metal 2 3.50
51 Goregrind 2 2.25
52 Nu Metal 2 3.50
53 Neoclassical metal 2 3.25
54 Funk Metal 2 4.25
55 Deathgrind 2 4.50
56 Depressive Black Metal 2 3.75
57 Electronicore 1 3.50
58 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
59 Trance Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

OPERATION: MINDCRIME The Key

Album · 2015 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Re-inventing boredom...

Okay, so I figured I'd give Tate's band Operation: Mindcrime a chance.

I shouldn't have done that.

This album is really boring, and, whenever things seem to actually get interesting, everything quickly collapses back into utter blandness. The problem is that the band's style comes across as a pale imitation of 90s alternative rock - injected with a dose of pretentiousness in a failed attempt at invoking a sense of sophistication. There seems to be a lot of looking back to Queensrÿche's subdued and dark classic "The Promised Land" without really managing to replicate the genius of that release.

Most tracks do absolutely nothing for me other than make me thankful for Tate's split with Queensrÿche and the way that it reinvigorated Queensrÿche.

"The Key" has some redeeming features though.

'Re-Inventing the Future' has its moments. I like the use of twin guitars as a vehicle of delivering the main theme, and there are glimpses of a more glorious past every now and then in Tate's singing. 'Ready to Fly' starts out promising with a catchy groovy riff, but quickly devolves into a sub-par attempt at emulating the atmosphere of "The Promised Land". I like the keyboard solo though. Another groovy track 'The Stranger' goes through a very similar journey: a strong groovy opening riff and then a descent into utter boredom. Here, however, rather than emulating a previous Queensrÿche album, it sounds like Tate & co try to sound a bit like a nu metal band. The highlights are 'Hearing Voices', 'An Ambush of Sadness', and 'The Fall' all of which are pretty decent songs. Oh yeah, and while a boring dark ballad, 'On Queue' at least has a nice saxophone solo in it.

There's nothing really interesting about the compositions on the album, although there are some decent moments as mentioned above. The musicianship is solid to be sure. Tate can still sing, but he's merely a shadow of his former self. It's hard to imaging that this is the same vocalist whose voice soared like an eagle on the first four Queensrÿche releases. It's really kinda sad to be honest.

Overall, this is an incredibly boring album. It sounds like run-of-the-mill alternative rock from the 90s and really just reminds me of "Hear in the Now Frontier" which I find to be an incredibly sad and boring album too - but at least that's a 90s album trying to sound like mainstream 90s music. If you like alternative rock, then maybe you'll enjoy this album. I certainly don't enjoy it. It bores me. It makes me sad.

SHAKRA Mad World

Album · 2020 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
They still rock...

Shakra's latest album "Mad World" marks their 25th anniversary and, if anything, this album show that they still rock.

Roaming the transition region between hard rock and traditional heavy metal, Shakra offers up solid rockers, rich in melody, groove, power, and catchiness. It may be old-man rock, but it's tasty old-man rock with crispy guitar riffs, powerful drumming and rocking guitar solos that hit the spot. Overall, the music on the album is uplifting and full of energy and extremely enjoyable. Just check out the catchy title track 'Mad World', the high energy opener 'Fireline', or groovy 'When He Comes Around'.

The production is crisp, and neither the musicianship nor the production has any flaws. I can imagine that some people might find Mark Fox' slightly raspy vocals a bit annoying, but I really can't imagine any other singing style being a better fit for the music on this album (also, his voice reminds me of my dad's rock 'n' roll singing voice, because - yes - my old man is a rock singer, how cool is that?). Of course, that means that Mark Fox scores a couple of extra points from me.

To be honest, I was on the fence about giving this album 4 stars, but, heck, I enjoy listenening to it so much that I think that 3.5 is just too cheap! Listening to this album equals a mighty good time.

ANVIL Legal At Last

Album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Metal house...

Canadian metal legends Anvil have another album for you in the form of the weed-celebrating "Legal at Last".

Musically, we are dealing with old school heavy metal falling somewhere between Motörhead and Black Sabbath, with tracks like 'Legal at Last' and 'Chemtrails' being reminiscent of the former and 'Plastic in Paradise' and 'Said and Done' leaning towards the latter. Shying away from any type of sophistication, Anvil's main contribution on this album to the universe of rock lies in simple, but not simplistic (because there are a couple of tempo shifts and things like that), hard rocking metal songs revolving around solid and dynamic drumming coupled with balls-out rocking riffs. Oh, and there's a bass too.

This is not an album where Anvil reinvent themselves, and some might criticize their lyrics for being banal, but these old boys have something to say, and so - let them say it. Personally, I don't really care about weed and things like that, but if that's important to Anvil, let them write songs about it. In terms of the music on the release, the album is pretty good, I think: booming metal by boomers, I guess.

In sum, there's not much new under the sun on this album, but if you enjoy old school rock 'n' rolling heavy metak, you're bound to have a good time listening to Anvil's "Legal at Last".

SERIOUS BLACK Suite 226

Album · 2020 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Power metal is coming home...

Serious Black strike back! This album is a lesson in tasty European power metal. It retains the few good things that contemporary European power metal has to offer and blends in all the good stuff from original power metal and traditional metal. I, for one, appreciate that.

Several of the tracks on this album feature some pretty aggressive guitar riffage and drumming, and the album definitely ventures into, if not quasi-thrash, then at least speed metal territory at times while retaining the melodic sensibility of quality power metal. That is not to say that there are no softies on the album - one such example is 'Fate of Humanity' which combines pop rock with metal (and I gotta say, I really like the chorus - in particular the instrumentation, but the vocal line is undeniably catchy). More of a hard-rocker 'Heaven Shall Burn' overlays weirdly cheesy synth parts on top of groovy guitar riffage. It sounds like a recipe for failure, but it works. At the other end of the scale, we find aggressive tracks like 'Let Me Go' and 'Solitude Étude'.

There is just the right amount of cheese on this album, which is otherwise dominated by guitar riffage and compelling guitar melodies along with face-melting guitar solos. The musicianship is top notch as is the songwriting. Some might protest that Urban Breed's vocals are a bit too thin for this type of music, but I think his singing works well.

"Suite 226" is a fine power metal album which seriously challenges my dislike towards European power metal. You know what, I'm happy to be proven wrong by these guys.

BROTHERS OF METAL Emblas Saga

Album · 2020 · Power Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Healthy viking cheese...

Tapping into the mythology of their Scandinavian heritage, Swedish Brothers of Metal recently released their second full-length in the form of "Emblas Saga". The album is a tour de force of epic folk-power metal.

The opening track is more of a spoken word introduction, setting the scene for the rest of the album. Fans of Manowar's 'The Warrior's Prayer' will probably like this introduction, because it has a similar atmosphere to it. It's too cheesy for my taste, and when I first heard this track, I expected the album to be your typical Euro-trash cheesy power metal.

Thankfully, my expectations were subverted, because there is almost nothing wrong with the music on this album.

It is larger than life, to be sure, and has that European power metal feel to it. However, Brothers of Metal never o overboard and manage to strike an almost perfect balance between the powerful metal sensibility of older power metal (think Running Wild and Helloween) and the over-the-top approach of contemporary European power metal. Personally, I particularly like how Brothers of Metal inject old school traditional metal into their style. I mean 'Chain Breaker' might as well have been a Judas Priest song, and 'Powersnake' vaguely reminds me of Maiden's 'Blood Brothers'.

There is an underlying folk metal feel to this album, but rather than throwing everything and a million kitchen sinks in here, Brothers of Metal mostly distil their folksy side to essential melodies, many of which - while super catchy - also inherit the melancholy of traditional Scandinavian folk music. There are occasional bursts of folk instrumentation that are both in a dynamic contrast to and a relation of coherence with the power metal side of the album.

It's not the case that the album is totally cheese-free. You can't have European power metal without some cheese. I mean that's like ordering a double cheese burger without cheese. There's plenty of cheese, but it's good cheese with healthy fats and all that. Many of the song openings take on a slightly-over-the-top epic and folky nature but it's not ridiculously indulgent. If you want an example of good cheese, just listen to 'Theft of the Hammer' which is the musical version of a quality burger with a grass-fed beef paddy, double cheedar, extra goat's cheese, and lots of relish. It has several vocal layers, a sympbonic feel, and is overly epic, but it works. For another quality cheeseburger, check out the closing track 'To the Skies and Beyond' which is in may ways the perfect conclusion to this album. Most of the songs on this album feature epic elements, but it never goes awry.

One thing that doesn't work for me is the gruff viking-style semi-spoken vocal style that one of the male vocalists utilize; in fact, I would be perfectly satisfied if Ylva Eriksson took care of all the lead singing. But that's just me. I can see how the male vocals do fit into a viken-esque style of metal. In terms of musicianship, there's nothing wrong with the album. There are some pretty amazing guitar solos to enjoy, and plenty of kick-ass metal riffage. Ylva Eriksson has a voice that suits this style of music perfectly, and delivers some outright beatiful singing in the opening of the title track. The production is crisp, professional and epic.

I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed listening to this album, given that I normally find folk metal, viking metal, and contemporary European power metal in general to be a tad silly. Maybe it's the songwriting displayed on this album, or maybe it's the musicianship. Could be the catchy choruses and compelling vocal melodies. Perhaps the production. Or maybe Brothers of Metal simply appeal to my own Scandinavian heritage in a way that connects with my inner viking. Who know? I just know that I like this album... which I totally didn't expect.

I tip my viking helmet to you, Brothers of Metal. Well played, brothers and sisters, well played.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 37 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    [TUBE]eyb2NtPwcxc[/TUBE][TUBE]cCKNiIvOkBo[/TUBE] Time Signature2020-03-03 11:15:02
  • Posted 54 days ago in Allen/Olzon for hard rock
    I have access to the album, but can't share it or any info (other than what the label has already made public) on it due to embargo from the label. In my opinion, it's relevant, but I guess it should be up to the HR team to decide. Time Signature2020-02-15 02:32:25
  • Posted 54 days ago in Allen/Olzon for hard rock
    I've given samples by this band a listen, and am wondering if they're acceptable for inclusion (the label categorizes their music as melodic metal):Allen/Olzon:[TUBE]Yq_Q6hrozxk[/TUBE][TUBE]bfpeafQouno[/TUBE]

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