UMUR

Jonas
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team / Retired Admin
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 hours ago

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2298 reviews/ratings
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - Into The Everflow Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH - Countdown to Extinction Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - The Politics of Ecstasy Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - Dead Heart in a Dead World Thrash Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - 666 International Black Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - Supervillain Outcast Industrial Metal
CARCASS - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious Death Metal
MOTÖRHEAD - Overkill Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Jupiter Technical Death Metal | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Blessed Are the Sick Death Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Vertebrae Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Parallels Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Inside Out Progressive Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Death Metal 529 3.47
2 Thrash Metal 335 3.56
3 Progressive Metal 197 3.73
4 Technical Death Metal 117 3.69
5 Traditional heavy metal 105 3.48
6 Black Metal 101 3.36
7 Hard Rock 84 3.51
8 Doom Metal 81 3.67
9 Grindcore 59 3.13
10 Melodic Death Metal 56 3.76
11 Brutal Death Metal 43 3.56
12 Sludge Metal 40 3.54
13 Alternative Metal 38 3.41
14 Groove Metal 34 3.54
15 Power Metal 33 3.70
16 Avant-garde Metal 32 3.63
17 Death-Doom Metal 32 3.42
18 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 29 3.67
19 Stoner Metal 29 3.43
20 Atmospheric Black Metal 28 3.36
21 Non-Metal 27 3.65
22 Industrial Metal 24 3.63
23 Crossover Thrash 24 3.40
24 Metal Related 22 3.64
25 Metalcore 22 3.41
26 US Power Metal 22 3.70
27 Gothic Metal 21 3.45
28 Hardcore and crust 19 3.50
29 Death 'n' Roll 18 3.31
30 Symphonic Black Metal 17 3.29
31 Proto-Metal 17 3.74
32 Melodic Black Metal 12 3.33
33 Speed Metal 8 3.44
34 Glam Metal 7 3.21
35 Deathcore 6 3.58
36 Depressive Black Metal 6 3.50
37 Mathcore 4 3.25
38 NWoBHM 4 3.63
39 Neoclassical metal 3 3.33
40 Folk Metal 3 3.33
41 Symphonic Metal 3 3.17
42 Funeral Doom Metal 2 3.50
43 Drone Metal 2 3.50
44 Nu Metal 2 3.00
45 Funk Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

IMMOLATION Atonement

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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"Atonement" is the 10th full-length studio album by US, New York based death metal act Immolation. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in February 2017. It´s the successor to "Kingdom Of Conspiracy" from 2013 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Bill Taylor has left Immolation. He has not been replaced on "Atonement", which was therefore recorded as a three-piece with Robert Vigna handling all guitars. A 10th album release is always an anniversary release of sorts and Immolation celebrate their achivement with bringing their old logo back on the front cover of the album. A logo which hasn´t graced an Immolation album since "Here in After"(1996).

Not much else have changed though, and "Atonement" is unmistakably the sound of Immolation. Deep growling vocals, which are only partially intelligible, twisted intricate and often dissonant riffs (and some brilliant lead guitar work), varied and adventurous drumming, and a bleak occult atmosphere. While Immolation haven´t moved far from their starting point in terms of changing their core sound, quite a few compositional developments have happened since they released their debut full-length studio album "Dawn of Possession" back in 1991. So while Immolation are definitely an old school death metal act to the bone, they have still challenged themselves and their audience by incorporating dissonance and twisted unconventional riffs and rhythms to their music.

The material on the 11 track, 44:34 minutes long album is generally of high quality, and while the album occasionally feels a bit one-dimensional in style, and especially the monotone vocals enhance that feeling, "Atonement" is overall an intriguing and entertaining release. Some tracks stand out more than others (it´s like the first part of the album stand out a bit more than the latter part of the album), and Immolation are best when they try new compositional ideas like they do on tracks like "Fostering the Divide" and "Rise the Heretics", and least interesting when they deliver more "run of the mill" material, like they occasionally do on the latter part of the album. It´s intriguing high quality death metal, but unfortunately a bit of a one-dimensional listening experience over the course of a full album. It´s actually not meant as negative as it may sound, but when you hear the best material from "Atonement" and compare it to the least interesting tracks featured on the album, you just know Immolation could have done slightly better on some tracks. It may be a harsh criticism given the high quality of the material, but when you are as groundbreaking and unique as Immolation are, it obligates, and therefore expectations to their releases are always very high.

"Atonement" features a powerful, gritty, and raw sound production, which to my ears is an upgrade from the more clear and "polished" sounding production on "Kingdom Of Conspiracy (2013)". Not that the sound production on the predecessor was of bad quality or anything like that, but personally I think a more dark and gritty sound production suits Immolation´s music better. The drums could have prospered from a more dark and organic sound, but it´s a minor issue, and probably an aquired taste anyway. So upon conclusion "Atonement" is yet another high quality release by Immolation. It´s not an album which will win over those who haven´t enjoyed the band´s preceding releases, but it´s sure to please the regular fanbase and it´s as good a starting point as any for new listeners. A 4 star (80%) rating is well deserved.

PARADISE LOST Shades of God

Album · 1992 · Death-Doom Metal
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"Shades of God" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK doom metal act Paradise Lost. The album was released through Music For Nations in July 1992. Their first two albums were released through Peaceville Records, so a label change has taken place. But other changes had happened too and in many ways "Shades of God" signals the start of a new era for Paradise Lost (or maybe more correctly the start of the transition to a new era). Not in the lineup though, as the lineup, who recorded the first two albums, is still intact.

It´s more in the sound and style of the actual music that you´ll hear the difference from the earlier more doom/death metal oriented albums. While he would pursue an even more clean type of singing on subsequent releases, Nick Holmes already began the vocal transition on "Shades of God", which features a semi-growling delivery and a few more goth type clean vocals. The overall music style on the album is still doom/death metal though. There is a strong emphasis on lead guitars and lead guitar themes throughout the album, and "Shades of God" is probably the Paradise Lost album which features most guitar leads and guitar solos. It´s still heavy, doomy, and occasionally brutal, but always melodic and drenched in an omnipresent melancholic atmosphere.

The complexity of the song structures is another change that´s quite prominent compared to the earlier releases, and at times tracks like "Crying for Eternity", "No Forgiveness", "Your Hand in Mine" and especially the 9:14 minutes long "Daylight Torn" even touch progressive territories because of it. Some tracks are a bit more straight forward like "Mortals Watch the Day" and "Pity the Sadness", but even those are quite intriguingly structured. The most accessible track on the album is the closing track "As I Die". It was not included on the vinyl version of the album, which is a bit odd, as it went on to become an underground hit for the band, but the album is over 50 minutes long even without "As I Die", and long running times seriously decrease the audio quality of vinyls, so that might be the reason for leaving out "As I Die" on the original vinyl version.

The musicianship are generally on a decent level, with especially the vocals by Nick Holmes (and his lyrics) and the lead guitars by main composer Gregor Mackintosh, as some of the highlights and strengths of the band´s sound, while drummer Matthew Archer again drags the collective performance down. His drumming style is clumsy and too simple for its own good. Once he plays a fill on a track, you can expect to hear the exact same fill being played whenever a fill is called for again on that track. No variation and a very stiff and uncomfortable playing style. It´s not a major issue because of the generaly low pace of the music, but I can´t help think what a more refined and skilled drummer could have added to the music.

"Shades of God" features a rather distinct sounding production. The guitar- and bass tone and the drum sound aren´t necessarily that well sounding with the ears of today, but it was not considered an issue in 1992, where the album was generally regarded as a well produced release. Personally I think the sound suits the music perfectly and when those two features go hand in hand in perfect harmony, I´m not gonna complain about minor technical sound issues. It´s probably an aquired taste anyway.

Overall "Shades of God" is another quality release by Paradise Lost and it shows great development of the band´s sound. So at this point in the band´s career, all three of their studio albums featured a very different sound, and it was obvious at this point, that Paradise Lost were still searching for their own unique sound. Thankfully they produced some really great albums in the process including "Shades of God". A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

TRIVIAL ACT Mindscape

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
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"Mindscape" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive metal act Trivial Act. The album was released through FaceFront Records in 1997. Trivial Act was formed in 1992 as Cemetary Gates but changed their band name to Trivial Act in 1993. In terms of output "Mindscape" is their only official release, but they did actually record a second full-length album, which was released as a demo in 2001. At that point bassist Steinar Krokmo and drummer Stian Kristoffersen had however begun a new adventure with the subsequently more successful Pagan's Mind. None of those two play on "Mindscape" though where the bass is handled by Svend Ole Heggedal and the drums by Erik Wroldsen (the latter would join Red Harvest in 1998 for a longer stint.

The music on "Mindscape" is guitar/vocal driven progressive metal or in other words 80s influenced progressive metal without keyboards. There is a strong power metal influence in the music too and especially the vocals and the occasional use of choirs in the choruses lead my thoughts in that direction. The material on the 10 track, 69:34 minutes long album (the Japanese version features two bonus tracks), are well written and very well performed. It´s obvious that these guys are both skilled composers and even more accomplished musicians. The vocals are powerful and delivered with great conviction (reminds me slightly of Dio at times), the guitars are both hard and edgy, and more melodic and intriguing, and the rhythm section are tight and deliver an impressive precision attack.

While there are technically complex sections on the album, the music is not as such focused on that aspect of playing music. Instead "Mindscape" is generally a very melodic oriented album (examples of the most melodic tinged material on the album are found in tracks like "Rainbow Valley" and "Vanish"), where the technical playing is a means to an end, instead of being forced technical noodling. There are no odd sections put in for the sake of it, and when the band put in progressive parts, it´s always done in a tasteful manner.

"Mindscape" is a self-produced affair, and taking that into considering, the album is well produced, featuring a both powerful and clear sound. We´re so used to hearing keyboards on almost every progressive metal release these days (and back when this album was released too), that the soundscape sometimes feels a bit "empty", but it´s actually refreshing to hear a progressive metal release with some "room" in the mix.

Overall "Mindscape" is a quality release, but the fact that the band´s brand of progressive metal arguably sounded a bit old fashioned in 1997, probably sealed their fate, and the release of the album more or less went unnoticed by most fans of the genre. If you enjoy melodic progressive metal with strong power metal leanings (and no keyboards), this might be the release for you. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

NILE Ithyphallic

Album · 2007 · Technical Death Metal
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"Ithyphallic" is the 5th full-length studio album by US death metal act Nile. The band changed label from Relapse Records to Nuclear Blast Records before the release of "Ithyphallic", so this is the band´s first release on Nuclear Blast Records. "Ithyphallic" was released in July 2007. It´s the successor to "Annihilation of the Wicked" from 2005 and features the same core trio lineup as the predecessor: Karl Sanders (vocals, guitar), Dallas Toler-Wade (bass, guitar, vocals), and George Kollias (drums).

The material on the 10 track, 49:51 minutes long album pretty much continue down the same brutal technical death metal style of "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)". "Ithyphallic" is a bit more direct and not quite as epic as "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)" though which will probably bring joy to some and disappoint others. The 10:01 minutes long closing track "Even the Gods Must Die" is quite the epic track though and "Ithyphallic" is in no way a raw and simple death metal release. Compared to other similar releases this is still quite epic music. The lyrical themes are as usual about ancient Egypt/occultism and we´re presented with exotic song titles like "Papyrus Containing the Spell to Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is in the Water" and "Laying Fire Upon Apep". The relatively intelligible growling vocals by Dallas Toler-Wade are a great asset to the band´s music. They are placed higher in the mix than the case was on "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)" and they are generally very effective. Brutal, aggressive, and rhythmically powerfully delivered. Karl Sanders as always performs unintelligible growling vocals to compliment Toler-Wade´s commanding performance.

The musicianship featured on the album is astonishing to say the least. Drummer George Kollias high energy precision playing is beyond impressive. He plays things on this album that shouldn´t be possible. But don´t fear that he sounds like a machine. He is one of those rare technical death metal drummers who are able to put a human touch to his precision playing. A unique force, who is able to provide the band´s music with the right amount of extreme intensity. The rest of the band are of course also very well playing and one technical yet brutal and catchy guitar riff are performed after another.

While I wrote above that "Ithyphallic" isn´t as epic as it´s predecessor, the album is still very atmospheric and quite epic at times, which is one of the great assets of this album. To apply atmosphere to brutal music like this is no easy task. The fact that Nile change pace often during their tracks also helps bring great variation to the music. Just as the case was on "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)" the tracks can be told apart after a few listens. It´s not an easily accessible release, but it´s a rewarding listen given the right amount of time and spins. So while I may not be able to hum along to the tracks, they still feature rhythmic hooks and recognisable moments, which provide the material with a rare death metal catchiness.

Producer Neil Kernon has been brought in again and he has created a brutal yet detailed and very powerful sounding release. "Ithyphallic" features the perfect sound to match the intensity and brutality of the material, but still with a detail level which suits the epic nature of the material too. Upon conclusion "Ithyphallic" is yet another high quality death metal album by Nile and it´s hard not to be impressed by what the band has conjured up this time. I´m not sure if I think "Ithyphallic" is quite as interesting conceptually as "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)", which was an album with a really excellent flow, but it´s definitely up there with "Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)" and fully deserves a 4.5 star (90%) rating.

JOHN GARCIA The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues

Album · 2017 · Non-Metal
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"The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is the 2nd full-length studio album by hard rock artist John Garcia. The album was released through Napalm Records in January 2017. Garcia is probably mostly known for being the frontman of Kyuss, but he has also fronted acts like Hermano, Unida, and Vista Chino. When the latter mentioned act disbanded in 2014, Garcia opted for a solo career and released his eponymously titled debut full-length studio album in 2014.

The debut album featured a catchy and edgy hard rock sound with Garcia´s strong voice and distinct delivery in front. On "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues", Garcia takes a different approach, as he has opted to record an album with acoustic renditions of some Kyuss classics ("Green Machine", "Space Cadet", "Gardenia", and "El Rodeo") and some new acoustic songs. It´s not always purely acoustic albums work very well, but Garcia pulls it off pretty well. Both on the strength of his strong voice and distinct sounding vocal style, but also because of the intricate guitar arrangements. I´m often transported back to the most acoustic oriented tracks on "Led Zeppelin III", and that is definitely not the worst album to be compared to.

Playing Kyuss classics in re-arranged acoustic versions is probably a fan divider, as some people will call it heresy, while others will find it interesting. Personally I belong in the latter catagory, and I generally think "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" succeeds in bringing a new fresh sound to the material plus the new songs are well written and catchy too. "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is also very well produced, which further enhances the listening experience and upon conclusion it´s a high quality release by John Garcia and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

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Shouts

Please login to post a shout
martindavey87 wrote:
1 year ago
Hey Jonas! How are ya man? Every where I post reviews, either here, Progarchives or RYM, whenever I go to post one I see you've posted one on that album too. It's cool comparing them! Was actually gonna message ya on here just to ask what your name is lol. Hope you're well and rock on! \m/ \m/
more than 2 years ago
Thanks! I will be slowly importing reviews that I have done for my website over here, but that will take awhile. For now, I will just be posting new reviews that I am publishing on my website. Cheers! \m/
mjayeh wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanx again for the shout out !!!! \m/

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