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Jonas
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team / Retired Admin
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 17 hours ago

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2764 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 - 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 - Dead Heart in a Dead World Thrash Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - 666 International Black Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - Supervillain Outcast Industrial Metal
MOTÖRHEAD - Overkill 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
CATHEDRAL - Forest of Equilibrium Doom Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - The Collection Technical Death Metal | review permalink
BURST - Prey On Life Metalcore | review permalink

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Death Metal 599 3.46
2 Thrash Metal 379 3.56
3 Progressive Metal 244 3.70
4 Technical Death Metal 148 3.72
5 Heavy Metal 138 3.51
6 Black Metal 113 3.38
7 Hard Rock 85 3.45
8 Melodic Death Metal 71 3.73
9 Brutal Death Metal 63 3.59
10 Technical Thrash Metal 55 3.74
11 Stoner Metal 51 3.59
12 Non-Metal 47 3.54
13 Grindcore 47 3.22
14 Doom Metal 46 3.65
15 Death-Doom Metal 41 3.41
16 Metal Related 41 3.70
17 Alternative Metal 40 3.36
18 Sludge Metal 39 3.59
19 Groove Metal 36 3.60
20 Power Metal 35 3.69
21 US Power Metal 35 3.63
22 Crossover Thrash 34 3.43
23 Atmospheric Black Metal 30 3.38
24 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 28 3.75
25 Gothic Metal 27 3.54
26 Avant-garde Metal 26 3.60
27 Metalcore 25 3.56
28 Industrial Metal 24 3.63
29 Hardcore Punk 22 3.68
30 Death 'n' Roll 21 3.29
31 Symphonic Black Metal 18 3.33
32 Traditional Doom Metal 16 3.81
33 Melodic Black Metal 14 3.36
34 Deathgrind 12 3.50
35 Speed Metal 11 3.27
36 Proto-Metal 10 3.70
37 Goregrind 10 2.65
38 Stoner Rock 9 3.94
39 Glam Metal 7 3.21
40 Depressive Black Metal 7 3.43
41 Deathcore 7 3.50
42 Crust Punk 6 3.33
43 Heavy Alternative Rock 6 3.58
44 Cybergrind 5 3.80
45 NWoBHM 5 3.60
46 Drone Metal 4 3.50
47 Mathcore 4 3.25
48 Heavy Psych 3 3.50
49 Neoclassical metal 3 3.33
50 Melodic Metalcore 3 2.67
51 Folk Metal 3 3.33
52 Rap Metal 3 3.50
53 Symphonic Metal 3 3.17
54 Nu Metal 2 3.00
55 Funeral Doom Metal 2 3.50
56 Funk Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SINISTER Deformation Of The Holy Realm

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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"Deformation of the Holy Realm" is the 14th full-length studio album by Dutch death metal act Sinister. The album was released through Massacre Records in May 2020. It´s the successor to "Syncretism" from 2017 and features some lineup changes since the predecessor as guitarists Bas Brussaard, Ricordo Falcon, and Dennis Hartog (also bass) have left and have been replaced by Michał "Grall" Gralak, who handles all guitars on "Deformation of the Holy Realm".

After a long streak of high quality death metal releases since Sinister reformed in 2005 ("Afterburner" from 2006 being the first of many), "Syncretism (2017)" offered a slightly different approach and sound. It was death metal done the Sinister way, but a slight black metal influence had crept in, and overall it´s just a different sounding release to what came before. After the short intro track "The Funeral March" is done, the first death metal track of the album "Suffering From Immortal Death" kicks in, and if you only listen to that track, it would appear that Sinister have returned to a more "straight" death metal sound again, but already on the next track "Unique Death Experience", there is a grand choir motif and a more melodic sensitivity to the music (notice the acoustic guitar in the back of the mix during the chorus), which is definitely a different musical approach and deviates a lot from the most regular Sinister death metal style.

The material are however predominantly Sinister as they´ve sounded for now many years. Technically well played old school death metal, mostly influenced by the US death metal style of artists like Deicide, Morbid Angel, and Suffocation. It´s sharp, aggressive, and brutal death metal, but the songwriting is clever and varied within the boundaries of the genre, which means "Deformation of the Holy Realm" never becomes a one-dimensional listen. Sinister are seasoned death metal composers and fully understand that even the most brutal music needs hooks and memorable moments to be effectful. Tempo changes, atmospheric moments, and as mentioned above even a rare touch of melody, are all features present on this album which help ensure variation.

Band leader and frontman Aad Kloosterwaard leads his troops with an iron fist and a commanding growling delivery. The musicianship is on a high level on all posts, but it´s no surprise that Kloosterwaard has yet again managed to assemble a skilled and powerful band lineup. Sinister have always delivered high quality death metal (except for a momentary dive in quality on a couple of albums in the early 00s) and "Deformation of the Holy Realm" is no exception to that rule. Featuring a powerful, brutal, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly, "Deformation of the Holy Realm" is a high quality death metal release through and through, and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

CARCASS Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious

Album · 1991 · Death Metal
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"Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK, Liverpool based death metal/grindcore act Carcass. The album was released through Earache Records in October 1991. It´s the successor to "Symphonies of Sickness" from 1989 and it features one lineup change since the predecessor as Swedish guitarist Michael Amott has joined Carcass, making the band a four-piece on "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious". Before joining Carcass, Amott had been an instrumental part of the early Swedish death metal scene with Carnage. A band which released one of the early Swedish death metal albums in "Dark Recollections (1990)".

Right off the bat the new four-piece lineup have great impact on Carcass sound. While "Symphonies of Sickness (1989)" showed great progression from "Reek of Putrefaction (1988)", by incorporating death metal heaviness and brutality to the goregrind intensity of the debut album, it´s nothing against what has happened between "Symphonies of Sickness (1989)" and "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious". The gory (and almost completely impossible to understand) lyrical subjects, the combination of high pitched aggressive snarling and deep growling grunts, and the occasional blast beat, are elements the two albums have in common, but other than that Carcass have made a lot of changes on "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" compared to the predecessor.

The tracks are composed with more focus on catchy riffs/rhythms and melodic hooks in mind. Not that this is easily accessible music in any way, but it´s still quite melodic at times and there are several really strong recognisable moments featured on the album. A powerful catchy vocal phrase, a melodic guitar solo (on an interesting sidenote, all guitar solos on the album have been given titles), or a memorable death/thrashy riff or drum pattern (like the drum intro to "Corporal Jigsore Quandary"). All elements which make the listening experience a more memorable one. The tracks generally require some spins before they sink in though, and it has a lot to do with the complexity of the song structures, which may feature vers/chorus like sections, but often go way beyond that "regular" structure. Sometimes to a point where you can call the song structures progressive.

In addition to the very well written material, the high level performances, and the brutal and powerful Colin Richardson production, "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" also features something else which defines it and that´s its dark and sick atmosphere. The short intro samples, which appear between most tracks on the album, of medical examiners/coroners speaking about decaying flesh, skeletal remains, and identifying decomposed bodies, provide exactly the right atmosphere for the music to shine. It´s one of those releases where the tracklist and the overall flow of the album are constructed almost perfectly.

The album is more or less one long highlight, but I´d still like to mention "Inpropagation" and "Incarnated Solvent Abuse" as some of the standout tracks (the latter is the Carcass track I will always tell people to listen to first if they are new to the band and want to explore them). Upon conclusion "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is a high quality release through and through and to my ears the artistic peak of Carcass discography. Carcass may have refined and perfected their sound on "Heartwork (1993)" and thereby brought a more accessible appeal to their music, but they were never able to bring the gloomy and vile atmosphere of "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" with them, in my opinion they lost a bit of their magic because of it. "Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious" is a unique piece of extreme metal and a 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

CRIMSON GLORY Astronomica

Album · 1999 · Heavy Metal
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"Astronomica" is the 4th full-length studio album by US power metal act Crimson Glory. The album was released through Spitfire Records (US release)/Rising Sun (Europe release) in September 1999. Crimson Glory achieved quite a bit of success with their first two albums, which both featured a melodic but still at times pretty hard edged US power metal style. Their third full-length studio album "Strange And Beautiful (1991)" was generally not received that well though, and the band folded soon after its release. With a few lineup changes (including the replacement of original vocalist Midnight with Wade Black) the band reunited shortly in 1999 and recorded "Astronomica". Crimson Glory disbanded for a second time shortly after the release of the album.

After the stylistic mish mash of "Strange And Beautiful (1991)", fans of Crimson Glory probably didn´t have high expectations to "Astronomica". Stylistically it´s more or less a return to the US power/heavy metal style of the band´s first two albums though, and fans of those two albums should find a lot to like here. Midnight was of course an iconic frontman and his helium screams are legendary, but Wade Black does a great job here. He has a strong and commanding delivery, and can sing both raw and higher pitched screaming type vocals and his voice fits well with the instrumental part of the music.

The material on the 10 track, 69:44 minutes long album (about 20 minutes of which are silence following the closing track "Cydonia") are well written and relatively varied. There are hard edged US power metal tracks like "War Of The Worlds", "Lucifer's Hammer", and "Cyber-Christ" featured on the album, but there are also more epic and sometimes bordering power ballad type tracks like "Astronomica", "Edge of Forever", and "Cydonia". Some tracks are very well written, powerful, and memorable, while others are less remarkable. Everything features a professional touch though, and paired with a powerful and detailed sound production, and high level musicianship, "Astronomica" is a relatively successful return to form after the generally ill-received "Strange And Beautiful (1991)". It´s not a perfect album by any means, but there are enough quality here to warrant a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

EQUIPOISE Demiurgus

Album · 2019 · Technical Death Metal
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"Demiurgus" is the debut full-length studio album by US, Pennsylvania based death metal act Equipoise. The album was released through The Artisan Era in March 2019. Equipoise formed in 2015 and released the "Birthing Homunculi" EP in 2016. If I read the credits right, it looks like Equipoise is a seven piece featuring three guitarists, a keyboard player, a drummer, a bassist, and a singer. That´s a pretty big band but Equipoise utilize every member to the fullest. In addition to the permanent lineup, Equipoise have invited quite a few guests to perform on the album (predominantly to perform guitar solos).

The material on "Demiurgus" is a busy, technical, and progressive type of death metal. It´s melodic and neo-classical influenced with both deep growling and higher pitched snarling vocals (think the bastard child of a menage a troi of Necrophagist, Obscura, and Dragonforce). Equipoise play a million notes at any given time during the album´s playing time (except on the short mellow instrumental pieces), and this is definitely a musician´s album, composed and performed to make your jaw drop. As a more casual music listener the soundscape can seem a bit chaotic and packed, and Equipoise certainly aren´t familiar with the word subtility. Three guitars doing fretboard runs, while the keyboard player spits out a thousand neo-classical influenced fast-paced piano notes, while the bassist plays a million notes on his fretless bass, which don´t always seem like they fit with the rest of the music, and the drummer playing very fast and technical rhythms. Your ears sometimes feel like they are about to explode from the overload of sounds and notes.

As a musician I´m impressed by the skills of Equipoise, but as a composer and reviewer there are some issues here which I can´t ignore. I haven´t mentioned the vocals much yet, and there is a reason why that is. They simply aren´t worth mentioning, compared to the instrumental part of the music. Neither the growling vocals nor the higher pitched snarling vocals are performed in a way that brings much to the music. They lack uniqueness and a more powerful aggressive sound. It doesn´t help that they are placed too low in the mix. The compositions themselves also lack memorability and hooks (which makes them hard to tell apart). I´m often thinking these tracks are written to show off the musicians skills rather than give the listener a full listening experience where the skills and the songwriting go hand in hand.

So "Demiurgus" is actually a bit hard to rate. On one hand it´s a high quality release featuring high level musicianship and a clear and detailed sound production, but on the other hand the actual compositions often drown in the musicians competing on how many notes they are able to churn out. I miss coherence and memorable songs. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is therefore a compromise.

GRAVE Fiendish Regression

Album · 2004 · Death Metal
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"Fiendish Regression" is the 6th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Grave. The album was released through Century Media Records in August 2004. It´s the second album since the band´s long hiatus ended with the release of "Back From the Grave" in 2002. A significant lineup change has taken place since the release of "Back From the Grave (2002)" as drummer and founding member Jensa Paulsson has left and has been replaced by Pelle Ekegren. The remaining part of the lineup who recorded "Back From the Grave (2002)" is intact.

Stylistically the material on "Fiendish Regression" pretty much continue the old school Swedish death metal sound of the predecessor, but the relatively dominant groove element of "Back From the Grave (2002)" is scaled back a bit on "Fiendish Regression", making it a bit more "straight" in terms of old school death metal authenticity. When that is said the contemporary sounding production still reveals that this is not an early 90s death metal release and there are still some groove elements left in the band´s sound. To my ears it´s actually a bit of a shame that they cut down on the use of the brutal grooves, because that was the part of their sound on "Back From the Grave (2002)" that I felt made them stand out a bit. "Fiendish Regression" is a bit more one-dimensional and the tracks seldom stand out (something which isn´t helped out by the one-dimensional growling vocals). The pace is predominantly mid tempo and it´s only very rarely the band play faster parts.

"Fiendish Regression" is overall still a quality death metal release by Grave though. Personally I just find it less appealing than it´s direct predecessor and also less memorable. It features quite a few redeeming qualities in the high level musicianship and in the powerful and detailed sound production, but the songwriting could have prospered from more variation. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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martindavey87 wrote:
more than 2 years 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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