Vim Fuego

Patrick Stott
Forum Admin Group · Death, T/S/G, Grind, VA Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 5 hours ago

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743 reviews/ratings
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
PUNGENT STENCH - Been Caught Buttering Death Metal | review permalink
CATHEDRAL - Forest of Equilibrium Doom Metal | review permalink
BRUTAL TRUTH - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses Deathgrind | review permalink
ANNIHILATOR - Alice in Hell Thrash Metal | review permalink
DARK ANGEL - Darkness Descends Thrash Metal | review permalink
CARNIVORE - Retaliation Crossover Thrash | review permalink
EXODUS - Fabulous Disaster Thrash Metal | review permalink
HOLY TERROR - Mind Wars Thrash Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Symphonies of Sickness Goregrind | review permalink
CARNIVORE - Carnivore Crossover Thrash | review permalink
DEICIDE - Deicide Death Metal | review permalink
DESTRUCTION - Sentence of Death Thrash Metal | review permalink
BAD NEWS - Bad News Heavy Metal | review permalink
EXHORDER - Slaughter in the Vatican Thrash Metal | review permalink
8 FOOT SATIVA - Season for Assault Thrash Metal | review permalink
TERRORIZER - World Downfall Deathgrind | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Live Shit: Binge & Purge Thrash Metal | review permalink
LAWNMOWER DETH - Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth Crossover Thrash | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 169 3.99
2 Death Metal 87 3.99
3 Heavy Metal 81 3.60
4 Grindcore 52 3.82
5 Groove Metal 28 3.18
6 Hard Rock 28 2.91
7 Crossover Thrash 26 3.98
8 Black Metal 22 3.41
9 Alternative Metal 21 2.57
10 Hardcore Punk 20 4.53
11 Glam Metal 17 3.41
12 Non-Metal 17 2.44
13 Industrial Metal 15 3.63
14 Technical Death Metal 11 3.68
15 Power Metal 10 3.75
16 Goregrind 10 4.05
17 Deathgrind 9 4.17
18 Progressive Metal 9 2.78
19 Melodic Death Metal 8 3.19
20 NWoBHM 7 3.14
21 Brutal Death Metal 6 3.33
22 Nu Metal 5 1.30
23 Gothic Metal 5 3.30
24 Folk Metal 5 3.90
25 Sludge Metal 5 2.80
26 Symphonic Metal 5 1.60
27 Speed Metal 4 3.38
28 Stoner Metal 4 2.75
29 Pornogrind 4 3.75
30 Metalcore 4 3.25
31 Rap Metal 4 3.00
32 Death 'n' Roll 4 2.00
33 Cybergrind 3 4.67
34 Death-Doom Metal 3 2.83
35 Deathcore 3 2.50
36 Heavy Alternative Rock 3 4.67
37 Metal Related 3 4.83
38 US Power Metal 3 3.33
39 Symphonic Black Metal 2 4.50
40 Melodic Black Metal 2 1.25
41 Funk Metal 2 1.50
42 Doom Metal 2 4.75
43 Crust Punk 2 4.75
44 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 2.50
45 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 4.75
46 Avant-garde Metal 2 4.00
47 Drone Metal 1 4.00
48 Depressive Black Metal 1 4.50
49 Heavy Psych 1 0.50
50 Proto-Metal 1 5.00
51 Viking Metal 1 3.00
52 Traditional Doom Metal 1 3.50
53 Technical Thrash Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

BEASTIE BOYS Licensed to Ill

Album · 1986 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Yes, dear reader, this is a rap album review, but please bear with me, for a metal story is to follow. It is an ancient tale from far back in the mists of time. It is a tale of a hero bold and brave, and not really bright enough to know any better. It is a tale of fair maidens and slain dragons (or would be, if you think of the dragons in a metaphorical sense, and the maidens... er, would you consider random pictorials ripped from 1986 Penthouse magazines to be fair maidens?)

So “Licensed to Ill”? I really fucking hate this thing. I think this album is one of the worst pieces of shit I have ever had the misfortune to hear, but in all fairness to be able to write a fair review, I had to listen to it again. So...

Nope, 30 plus years haven’t improved it in my estimation. “Rhymin & Stealin” stole shit from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin (hmm... maybe a little poetic justice in that?) with stupid whiny lyrics all over it, and it only get worse from there. “Slow Ride” pinches the horn riff from “Low Rider”, with something of a samba beat, and might be OK without the stupid raping over it. “Girls” is puerile, misogynistic Casio-rap. OK, the idiot party anthem that is “Fight For Your Right to Party” gets a pass. Its harmless, brainless throwaway rap/rock for white teenage boys. “No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn” is even more brainless, and shorter still on rock content, but does have quite the solo at the end. And the rest of the album, well there’s always the “skip” button. There, said it. Done. If all you’re interested in is what I think of the music, you can stop reading here.

However, I owe this album a lot. If it hadn’t been for the first rap album to go to number one in the charts, I might never have become the person I am today. “Licensed To Ill” started my quest for metal. Let’s wind back the clock to 1987. Internationally, it was the year of the Black Monday stock market crash, Ronald Reagan was slowly losing his marbles in the White House, a US politician shot himself on live TV, New Zealand hosted and won the first rugby World Cup, and Canada introduced the Loonie.

This story requires something of a cast of characters - no real names used here to protect the pathetic. There’s me, the heroic but slightly nerdy (OK, VERY nerdy) protagonist of this tale, and whose embarrassing nicknames will remain unrevealed. Next is Harry, music tragic, but the best friend you’d ever want, even to this day (See my review of Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss” for more adventures with Harry). Then there was Fru-Ju. The name has nothing to do with Jewish heritage or anything, It’s just his name bore a similarity to Fru-Ju ice creams. There was Nerd-gel, a ladies’ man in his own mind only. There were a few others too – Brickie or Brickman, Scummy (really unfortunate name, and given to him by someone whose own nickname was Egg), Jimmy… yeah, that’ll do before this all gets out of hand.

I was 14, going on 15, and was busy preparing for School Certificate, which were the big Year 11 exams in New Zealand, roughly equivalent to O Levels or GCSE in the UK, and whatever the US does at Grade 10. Basically, this means it’s a year where you’re supposed to work and study hard at school, but you’re starting to get interested in partying and fun. It’s that year when your parents say “the rest of your life depends on how well you do at school this year”, which generally turns out to be bullshit, but you’re not old enough to know it yet.

I had found that listening to music helped me with my studies, but I was quite puzzled trying to figure out what sort of music I really liked to listen to. I had a few Dire Straits albums, and I still rate the band to this day. I had Kevin Bloody Wilson’s “Kev’s Back”, the album with the infamous “Hey, Santa Claus” song, and I had a really badly recorded copy of Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry”. Otherwise, it was the radio. The problem with the radio was there was the occasional good song, followed by half a dozen shit songs, before the next decent tune. It was time to expand my musical horizons. But in which direction?

The radio wasn’t much help. I thought Michael Jackson’s “Bad” lived up to its title. U2 had lost some fucking thing they were looking for, but instead of looking in the last place they left it, wrote a song about it. Paul Simon wanted people to call him Al, but we all knew his name was still Paul. Talking Heads were on an endless road to no-bloody-where, and wouldn’t shut up about it. The song which was to Rickroll millions across the world decades later was unleashed on an unsuspecting public, who were gormless enough to make it the number one hit on 23 different charts around the globe.

A friend in need is a friend indeed, and I was a friend with needs, so I asked around. And what a useless bunch of pricks these guys turned out to be.

I started with Harry, who had the most valuable of all devices, a double tape deck. On the upside, Harry had few musical boundaries, so he gave me quite an eclectic mix tape. On the downside, Harry doesn’t have a bullshit filter. Nestled alongside gems like Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel The Noize”, Meatloaf’s “You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth” and Marianne Faithful’s “Ballad of Lucy Jordan” came turds like Kylie Minogue’s “Locomotion” and something or other by Icehouse.

Next I went to Fru-Ju. He listened to the radio more than anyone else. From him I got “Showing Out (Get Fresh at the Weekend)" and “Respectable” (which we renamed “Respectyourballs” in a show of high wit) by Mel and Kim (if you’re asking “who?”, then you’ll understand the problem), “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles, and “Venus” by Bananarama. Seems he was more interested in what the singers looked like rather than what they sounded like. On the plus side, he also recommended “All You Zombies” by The Hooters.

Brickie was a bit more promising. He suggested Europe, Whitesnake, and Bon Jovi. Scummy also reckoned Whitesnake was worth a listen. Nerd-gel was no fucking help. He really didn’t know anything about music. Jimmy was new at our school that year. He was what would be called a stoner now, but we had no idea back then. He suggested some weird shit – these bands we’d never heard of. “There’s this cool song called ‘Transvestite’ by Peter and the Test Tube Babies. The Dead Kennedys are really cool. And have you heard anything by Metallica?” He didn’t have anything by any of these bands, so I remained none the wiser.

And then Nerd-gel came up with a surprise. It was a tape with a crumpled aeroplane on the cover. Yep, “Licensed to Ill”. We’d all seen the riotous video for “Fight For Your Right To Party”, and here was the album it came from. Everyone got right into it. Except me. This shit was really stupid. It lived up to the witless label “rap crap” (yeah, not clever now, not particularly clever then) as far as I was concerned. Nerd-gel turned into a prick. First, he wouldn’t me borrow his tape. I wanted to hear it properly to see if there was something I wasn’t quite getting. I think he thought it made him special or something. Then he started adopting rap culture and language, and then so did Fru-Ju. It started with baseball caps and low-slung pants. The others weren’t quite so into the culture, but they all seemed to love this album. But I didn’t.

Then came the moment. Nerd-gel had some teen pop magazine with instructions on how to be a rap fan, and was reading it out to us in the corridor one lunch time. It had all about what to wear, what to say, and what you should and shouldn’t like. The uniform is pretty well known now. The language included idiotic words like “skeezing” (had no idea what it meant then, really couldn’t give a fuck now), and new definitions for old words, like “ill” (duh!). The shit you were supposed to like I don’t remember, but one of the things you weren’t supposed to like was heavy metal, and in particular, Deep Purple. That was the final straw for me. “Smoke On The Water” had been one of my favourite songs since I was a kid. At that moment, I rejected this fake, pretend “culture” this poser was embracing, and decided metal was what was important to me. What sort of dumb-assed trend needed a fucking instruction manual, for fuck’s sake? It was faux inner city/urban bullshit. We went to a small high school in a rural town in New Zealand. What the fuck did we know of life and culture in cities like New York or L.A.? It was about as urban as the Serengeti plains or the Amazon jungle. I’d like to think that I told Nerd-gel to fuck off, but I probably didn’t. Yeah, metaphorical dragon slain, but I was still a bit pathetic...

Almost immediately, I got Harry to get me copies of Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet”, and “Masters of Metal”, one of those cheapie thrown together compilations by a record label that had heard of heavy metal, but didn’t really know what to do with it. I hammered those two albums and Twisted Sister while was studying for my exams. I passed with some excellent marks, as did everyone else, except Nerd-gel. Yep, he really wasn’t too bright.

More than three decades later, I’m still living the metal life, and still exploring and enjoying metal from the world over, while the rap/hip-hop culture proved to be a five minute fad for the others. I explored Scummy and Brickie’s suggestions further. I eventually discovered the bands Jimmy had suggested. I got a bit more metal off Harry, and gave him plenty more back in return.

Nerd-gel and Fru-Ju turned into right cunts the next year at school (quote from Jimmy: “What the fuck crawled up their asses?”), and along with Scummy weren’t around for the last year at high school. Brickie turned out to be incredibly studious, and worked flat out the rest of the time he was at high school, while Harry, Jimmy, and I enjoyed ourselves, but still did enough to pass.

So what happened to this merry bunch of nerds?

Last I saw Nerd-gel, he was working in a petrol station (that was more than 20 years ago, so he’s probably moved on from that. He was still a cunt though). Fru-Ju went off to boarding school for his final year, spent his time at university drunk, or at least he was every time I saw him, and is now a manager in one branch of his family’s business. Last time I saw him he was pissed as a fart in a restaurant with some woman (his wife, I suppose?) ranting at him.

Brickie did really well at university, and went into finance. I heard he’d had some serious stress related health problems in his early 20s. Last time I saw Scummy, he was a regional sales manager for an electrical appliance supplier. Jimmy took a gap year in 1990 instead of going straight to university like I did. He still hasn’t got there quite yet. It turns out I drive past the company where he is a manager on my way to work.

Harry and I partied too hard. Even though he did a bit better than me in our University entrance exams, he went back and repeated the final year of high school. He’s now an engineer who jets round the country, servicing high tech medical equipment in hospitals.

As for me, I went to university, and took five and a half years to complete a three year degree. I have since moved on to be an astronaut, rocket scientist, spy, and movie stuntman (what? It’s my story! Ah fuck it. I meant teacher, journalist, shop assistant, farm worker, and now technical writer). I discovered an absolute fuckton of metal on my mostly merry journey through this weird old life, and I owe so much of it to one crappy yet ground-breaking rap album.

So, thank you Beastie Boys. I hate your music, but I love what you have done for me.

GUNS N' ROSES G N' R Lies

EP · 1988 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
What offends people and what is considered offensive are unusual and changeable things. Guns n’ Roses once held the title of most dangerous band in the world, and have managed to offend countless people in a range of inventive and unusual ways. The way in which people take offence has changed over the decades since the appearance of “GnR Lies” the band’s second major release. It can be used as something of a potted study in how society’s attitudes evolve, and how something which seemed scandalous in the 1980s hardly raises an eyebrow now, while attitudes which were fine then are far from it today.

So, first the technical stuff. “GnR Lies” was released in 1988, and even the format of it is is a little ambiguous. It’s not technically a full album, but it’s too long to properly be called an EP. The first four tracks are demos recorded in 1986, but have been manipulated and cleaned up in the studio, with crowd noise and band banter added to make it seem like they are live tracks. This was originally released as “Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide”. The second set of four tracks are mostly acoustic songs recorded in the studio in 1988, and reportedly originally intended to be B-sides. Never ones to miss a trick, Geffen Records realised there was a huge demand for anything with Guns n’ Roses on it because “Appetite for Destruction” was going stratospheric, so the B-sides became side B of this album, the demo side A, and it started flying off the shelf.

Now to the offensive stuff.

Before you even get to the music, the cover is a mock-up of a tabloid newspaper. The headlines quite cleverly used the song titles with a quick blurb under it about each song, mixed in with a bunch of humorous fake headlines, and pictures of the separate band members. And what did tabloid newspapers used to have on page 3? Why pictures of scantily-clad young ladies of course, and this faux tabloid was no different. Yes, right there on the inside cover, the dream of many a teenage boy across the world – a topless woman! With no top on! Real live print boobies!

Naturally, such a thing caused a bit of a stir. A black bar appeared over the woman’s nipples in later versions. The human breast is a source of nourishment for infants, but apparently they are the only ones allowed a peek of nips! The naked human body is nothing to be ashamed of, but there is a time and place for nudity, and apparently it’s not on the inside of a record cover.

And on to the music.

The song which caused the most offence in 1998 was “Used To Love Her”. It’s an acoustic ballad, with a wicked dark streak to it. The protagonist of the song had been in love with a girl, but ended up killing her because she wouldn’t stop talking. It’s open to interpretation, but it’s easy to imagined the guy singing the song is talking to either a psychotherapist or is in a police interrogation room confessing all. Why? He may be haunted by the spirit of his dearly departed, reflecting shades of Edgar Allen Poe, or perhaps he has descended into insanity, driven to psychosis by his vile crime. Either way, the song has the sting right in the tail. On the front cover of the record there is a quick description of the song – “a joke, nothing more” - and to anyone sane or sensible, that’s exactly how it should be interpreted. The band even said it was one of the few songs they had ever written from a purely fictitious point of view. So of course, it got taken “seriously” by people looking for attention and an excuse to be righteously outraged, and they blew up an absolute shitstorm. The band were accused of promoting violence against women, murder, and misogyny. This was during a time when the PMRC were still trying to label and censor records because lazy parents weren’t supervising what their children were doing. This storm in a teacup blew over pretty quick, and it gave the band free publicity and added notoriety, which bumped up album sales even more. In the subsequent years, a psychopath has claimed he killed his wife because of this song, but there is no evidence to the truth of this, and was more than likely part of an attempt to appear insane to avoid justice.

The song which caused a bit of offense at the time, but was still deemed fit for release was “One in a Million”. In the 2016 reissues, it was left off the album. Why? Because standards of offence had changed, and the band themselves agreed. The shame of this is, it’s a powerful song, and ill-considered choices of language aside (which aren’t going to be repeated here - you know what the song says), it’s the best song on the whole album. The acoustic/semi-electric mix of guitar here lets some simple yet effective riffs shine through. Axl Rose’s vocals are some of the most raw and angry of his career. There’s venom and frustration in his lyrics, and it demonstrates feelings of disgust and helplessness at what Rose experienced when moving from small town USA to the seedier side of Los Angeles.

Since we’re on the acoustic side already, let’s deal with the other songs here. “You’re Crazy” is an acoustic version of a song from the band’s “Appetite for Destruction” debut, and if anything, rips all the harder for it. There’s a few more “fucks” and a “motherfucker” in it than on the original, and Axl spits it with seething venom, rather than wild fury like the electric version. The offense? Obscene language.

And “Patience”. This was a hugely successful single for the band. For a period of time in 1989, you couldn’t turn on FM music radio without hearing it. The song is a sickly ballad, supposedly about Axl Rose and his stormy relationship with Erin Everly, who was the subject of another GnR ballad, the far superior “Sweet Child o’ Mine”. So you’re wondering how a schmaltzy love ballad could be offensive? Just think back to the band’s debut album. What powered it’s massive sales figures? It wasn’t all just marketing and flash. Nope. It was a raw, energetic, angry rock album. “Patience” is the opposite. So the Gunners offended their own fans. A bare 18 months after the release of one of the most incendiary albums of a generation, many fans were already calling this the beginning of the end.

So let’s deal with the electric side. “Reckless Life” starts with Slash screaming “Hey fuckers, suck on f Guns N’ fuckin’ Roses!” Great! An obscene intro to the song and the album! Apparently this is an old Hollywood Rose song. Apart from the intro, it’s not particularly offensive, but it’s a good demonstration of the rough and raw rock sound which earned Guns N’ Roses their reputation.

Next up is the old Rose Tattoo rocker “Nice Boys”. The energy is similar to the original, and Rose Tatt’s singer Angry Anderson was obviously a big influence on Axl Rose’s vocal style. The offensive thing here is rock and roll itself – the full title being “Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock 'n' Roll)”. You couldn’t call either band nice boys. The sleaze and seediness of the song for both bands, from the rough side of town.

“Move to the City”, like “One in a Million”, is another small-town-kid-shocked-by-the-big-city song. It deals with a teen runaway unhappy at home, who steals from their parents to hit the city, but then finds it’s not all it’s cracked up to be – hard drugs, prostitution, all the fun stuff. It’s a fairly typical GnR rocker. Yeah, also not very offensive, but it’s about a pretty gritty sort of life.

And finally the Aerosmith standard “Mama Kin”. Aerosmith knew a thing or two about offending people, having been doing it for nearly two decades at this stage. However, for such a hard-living band, they were a bit thin skinned, as if threatened by the young upstarts. It wasn’t exactly offensive, but there were some comments in the press at the time which saw the bands sparring with each other in public. The Gunners had opened for Aerosmith on tour, and seemingly stole the younger sector of the audience from their heroes. It also didn’t help that GnR were partying hard at a time when the Steve Tyler/Joe Perry toxic twins were trying to dry out and stay off addictive substances. It’s been an on again/off again relationship, with the bands occasionally performing together in the years since.

In a single 33 and a half minute release Guns N’ Roses managed to offend a lot of people. But they also managed to sell over five million copies of what was essentially a cobbled together compilation, short on new content, but packed with attitude. It demonstrated where the band had come from, but, with the acoustic side, where they were heading. It’s paradoxically an easier and harder album to listen to than “Appetite for Destruction”. “GnR Lies” is the same but different. And it still has the power to offend.

DEICIDE Insineratehymn

Album · 2000 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Have you ever had the chance to go back and take a look at something you did a long time ago with a critical fresh perspective on it?

From 1999 to 2001 I was a full-time newspaper reporter for a regional daily newspaper in New Zealand. Due to the paper having a limited roster of reporters, I had a number of different rounds outside agriculture and general news reporting, which were my main focus. This meant I got saddled with a few rounds I knew nothing about, including environmental news (it’s funny, but conservationists don’t like talking to farming reporters), hunting and fishing (er, never done either of those recreationally), religion (atheist, so I gave all the different churches the same time coverage), and real estate (yawn!). It also meant I got a few plum roles too – back-up sports reporter (I got paid to watch rugby!), back-up politics (I got to talk to all the opposition MPs) history (which I have a degree in), and entertainment. Entertainment was my favourite, because it meant I got to interview any passing stars of stage and screen (and radio too), and I got free stuff – concert and movie passes, CDs, video games, books etc.

The CDs I got sent for review were mostly mainstream pop music. I did my best to be impartial, but some of them were just dreadful! So I did what any self-respecting headbanger would do in my position. I started reviewing stuff from my own collection! From 1999 to 2005 (I carried on writing as a stringer after 2001) the paper I worked for had more metal than any daily paper in the whole country. Probably.

By now you’re probably saying “So what? What does this have to do with Deicide? Get to the fucking point or I’m going to stop reading!”

OK, here’s the point: Deicide’s “Insineratehymn” was one of the albums I reviewed. I have just dragged out a yellowing, tattered cutting of the Ashburton Guardian entertainment page for Thursday, November 30, 2000. The page has an interview with Kiwi rock band Shihad (former thrash metal band – sellouts!) and reviews of “Suburbia” and “Insineratehymn”, all written by yours truly.

In the interview, Shihad were promoting their latest album, which I hadn’t heard (oops! Not a great way to research your interview!), but I got to shoot the shit with bass player Karl Kippenberger, who was genuinely nice, and was happy to talk metal, and was very polite when it was revealed I hadn’t heard the new album. Full confession: I still haven’t!

“Suburbia” was a novelty album. The cover had Astroturf stuck to it, and it was 74 minutes of someone mowing the lawn. Yep, the drone of a lawnmower going up and down a lawn. Not exactly riveting, but it did make a great Christmas present for my younger brother.

Alright, if anyone is still reading, time for the Deicide review. From here on, this is the actual text from 2000, with my 2020 comments in [square brackets].

***********************************************

Deicide have often been criticised for their unwavering use of death metal clichés.[For some context, I think it was probably me accusing Deicide of cliché more than the metal media at large. I can’t remember why, but I wasn’t that keen on the band at this time. It makes me wonder why I bought the CD in the first place!]

Vocalist Glen Benton has never sung a note in his career, drummer Steve Asheim still abuses his double kick drums, and guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffman still reel off cheesy guitar solos. [I suppose I meant Glen Benton had always growled his vocals, but I probably should have pointed this out in such a mainstream publication. Those might be clichés, but Deicide’s sound has always been unique.]

However, Deicide have been playing this way for more than a decade now, and there is no reason they should change now. Does anyone ever tell AC/DC they need to change?[I still agree with this. Deicide’s sound was really distinct then, and still is now.]

As usual with Deicide, Glen Benton travels down the well-worn Satanic/anti-Christian lyrical path. While often working well, Benton dishes up a bit of a dud once on the album. The chorus to “Bible Basher” is almost funny. You can’t scream “bible basher” over and over and sound scary, Glen![Yeah, the chorus to “Bible Basher” still sounds really fucking stupid!]

However, Deicide are one of the few bands who practice what they preach. Benton still brands an inverted cross in his forehead on a regular basis, despite many thinking it was just for show.[I should have explained what the significance of the inverted cross brand was, for the non-metal audience again. How did I ever get paid for writing this shit?]

The Church of Satan has made him an honorary member, while shock rocker Marilyn Manson had to pay for his membership. Even the album cover has a stylised 666 on it.[Yeah, enough of the Satan shit. Did you forget you have a limited wordcount in a newspaper? What did the fucking music actually SOUND like? Mentioning Marilyn Manson was a good touch though – he was public enemy number one at the time, guaranteed people would read this, and probably the only Satanist most people had heard of.]

Deicide have slowed down on the odd track, to great effect. [Er, shouldn’t this be up a paragraph or two? And name some you lazy bastard! “Forever Hate You”, “Refusal of Penance”, “Standing in the Flames” maybe?] Some of the riffs come through with a crushing heaviness, where they would have been lost in a high speed blur in the past.[True. On the first two albums Deicide was just about straightforward speed. This really limited the scope of their music. The different dynamics after that really helped. Some of the slow chug riffs here, like on “The Gift that Keeps on Giving” paint a distinct contrast to the Asheim-led blast beats. “Halls of Warship” does it well too, the name of which looks like a typo, but the song’s lyrics also use the word “warship”. Who knows?]

Deicide will probably not pick up many new fans with this album, but the band has a well-established base, and are continuing to do what they believe in.[Actually Deicide didn’t really believe in this album much. It was a contractual obligation album, when the band’s label Roadrunner were being less than helpful. Deicide was far from a typical turn-of-the-millennium Roadrunner band, in that they weren’t playing commercially orientated nu-metal or rap metal, and had zero chance of ever gaining any radio play. However, in smashing out an album as quick as possible, Deicide produced a very strong album, almost accidentally. It was poorly received on it’s release, but it has actually held up well. There are some classic riffs here, and Benton’s vocals were clearer than on previous albums, but still just as bestial. He’d matured as a vocalist, if not lyricist. No, the song “Bible Basher” hasn’t got any better despite the passage of 20 years, but the other nine songs here are worthy additions to the band’s legacy.]

***********************************************

Back in 2000, I would have rated this album 2 out of 5, but this is 2020. Now, I’d double that score. This is easily a 4 out of 5. It has all the essential elements of a good Deicide album – fast, heavy, chaotic, blasphemous. Unfortunately, it has the dud opening track, which drops it’s value a little. However, get past that and you’re into some good, solid Satanic death metal.

As for a fresh perspective on the writing? It’s fucking terrible! The original review does little to adequately describe the actual music, and fails to address it’s actual audience and panders instead to a small clique of readers. The paper’s circulation was about 6,000 copies a day. Hopefully, few people if any, remember this review besides me. On the other hand, every single issue of this paper back to it’s creation in 1880 has been archived, so this hack piece will be preserved forever more. Fuck…

COCK AND BALL TORTURE Sadochismo

Album · 2001 · Pornogrind
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With a band name like Cock and Ball Torture, you know you’re not going to get high art, but you can reasonably expect something extreme and nasty. “Sadochismo” is extreme and nasty, but not how you’d normally expect.

The opening track is called “Where Girls Learn To Piss On Command”. Right, nasty enough sounding so far. The first riff has something of a steady groove, and feels like it’s preparing to burst into something heavier and faster. Waiting... there’s the cum-gargling vocals. Can’t understand a thing because they are pitch-shifted to monstrous levels. Waiting... yes, there’s the double time section, and here comes the blast beat... waiting... waiting... more double time, surely it’s time for the blast beat... waiting. And that’s the end of the song. What?

OK, second track “Heterosexual Testosterone Compressor”, here we go. Ominous riff, feels like it’s building to something. There’s the horny grumbling crocodile vocals again. Oh good, a double time section… and an impending bla... nope, slowed down again. Ooh, a massive breakdown. Surely it’s time for a blast beat. Waiting... OK, double time, yes, yes, yes... no, no, no... hmm... finished again without the orgasmic release of a blast beat.

In the world of modern home-made porn, this is known as edging, or prick teasing in the old days. The victim is aroused to the edge of climax, and then... stimulation is withdrawn and they deflate again, as it were. The delicious torment continues, building to a massive, gushing, shuddering release of pleasure and ecstasy... but it never arrives. Nope. This entire mostly mid-paced album is without blastbeats!

There are other sorts of extremity on show though. “Instant Onanizer” is the most unsettling track here. Have you ever seen a Japanese porno? If not, don’t go out searching for it online. Let’s just say that female participants do not enjoy these movies. So of course, these sickos have a sample from such a flick (no, it’s not a fucking snuff movie. Even perverts have standards!). Domination and humiliation are the main objective here. You’ll either be disgusted or aroused, or disgusted that you’re aroused. And then there’s a few seconds of music.

None of this album is a comfortable listen in any way, but at the same time is somewhat hypnotic. The three-piece band do hit massive grooves, and it’s speaker-wreckingly heavy at times. The song titles are amusingly filthy – “Kamikaze Incest”, “Aphrodisianus” or “Cellulite Convoy” anyone? And the lyrics are probably along a similar line, but who the fuck can tell? Pornogrind’s most extreme element is also it’s weakest – the vocals. Yes, the voice is another instrument, and is as distorted as the other instruments, but that also renders it a bit useless to convey anything other than sound shapes. This is the reason John Tardy originally didn’t have set lyrics to Obituary’s songs. He wanted to make the right noises for the songs, and the words didn’t matter. Unfortunately, Sascha’s sicko gurgling don’t compare to Tardy in the slightest. Oh well, at least it sounds extreme as fuck.

The other problem with playing heavy and extreme is that there’s little variety in the songs. True, it’s a pretty good initial sound, but there’s little to differentiate between “Enema Bulldozer” and “G-spot Gigolo” (couldn’t resist another couple of song titles!). There’s not even a lot of variation in tempo.

In the end, this album leaves you with a case of grindcore blue balls (or the equivalent organ, whatever your gender orientation). It teases, titillates, and tortures, but ultimately doesn’t deliver.

POISON Seven Days Live

Live album · 2008 · Glam Metal
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OK, so I’m not a huge Poison fan. I was right into them at one stage though. I listened to “Open Up and Say... aah!” til the tape wore out (yes, back in the 80s), and I own “Look What The Cat Dragged In”, but then I stopped listening some time around the time I first heard “Unskinny Bop”. Being bored in lockdown, I had a quick squiz through my CD collection at a few albums I hadn’t listened to much, and came across “Seven Days Live”.

I don’t actually remember buying this particular album, let alone listening to it, and can’t understand why I would have bought it in the first place. After all, I parted company with Bret Michaels and the boys in the early 90s. I was in search of harder, faster music, and they certainly weren’t producing it. And besides, no self-respecting thrasher would admit to owning a Poison album. But I must have dragged this thing out of a bargain bin at some time. Poison were always the butt of jokes for their massive hairspray abuse, feminine looks, and CC De Ville’s supposed shortcomings as a guitar player. By the time this was recorded in early 1993, CC had been ejected due to tension in the band caused by his drug abuse problems, and hotshot guitar hero Richie Kotzen had taken his place. There was a joke circulating that Kotzen would have to wear boxing gloves to play as poorly as De Ville. Funny, but unkind.

So not being familiar with Kotzen-era Poison, this is all pretty new to me. What do we have? The first couple of songs I had no fucking idea about. Bland glam pabulum. This doesn’t seem promising. If the whole album is like this, it’s going to be hard going to get through this. Third song “Ride The Wind”? Oh fuck, I HAVE heard this before! I thought it was Bon Jovi. And no, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The next track is “Good Love”, from “Open Up...”, but I didn’t recognise it at first because it had more of a blues rock swagger than the studio original. Yeah, nah, don’t fuck with it. It wasn’t the best song ever written to start with, but if you’re going to do it different, at least do it better!

“Your Mamma Don’t Dance”, the band’s infamous Loggins and Messina cover, has a 12 bar blues swagger missing from their studio version. This time it improved the song, bringing it closer to the Loggins and Messina version. It’s still a silly party anthem.

Brett announced “Body Talk” was off “Native Tongue” so I don’t know it, but this ain’t too bad. Bobby Dall’s bass is more than solid, and these guys nailed the backing vocals. Kotzen finally lets rip with a too short solo, and Michaels proves he’s actually a pretty fucking good singer. Who’d a thought it? I hadn’t. And then Kotzen comes back for a longer, more satisfying solo. And apparently he cut it off short, because it was meant to be Brett’s piss stop song. Never mind...

You know that horrible taste you get in the back of your throat when you almost-but-don’t-quite vomit? Yeah, that’s “Something To Believe In”. Being live doesn’t improve it.

And “Stand”. More wimpy bollocks which I had heard before, but this time thinking it was Extreme. I really wasn’t paying much attention to these bands at the time these songs came out. I have no idea who these power ballads belonged to because I was more concerned with Sepultura’s changing sound, whether Bolt Thrower’s bottom end could actually wreck your speakers, and looking forward to what Entombed were going to do next.

“Fallen Angel” was a rare (for Poison’s first two albums) thoughtful song. It’s about the pitfalls of seeking fame and fortune in the big city, which the band knew about too well. It seems to have some deeper meaning to them than some of the other songs. It could have been a weepy ballad, but it’s a driven rocker instead. It’s one of the highlights of the whole show.

“Look what The Cat Dragged In” was silly, harmless fun when it was released, and it’s silly harmless fun here. It’s the epitome of what glam metal was supposed to be all about. Rikki Rockett punctuated it with a drum solo, and you know what? He’s not bad. No, he’s not Nico McBrain or George Kollias, but he knows a good rock groove when he hears it. And the solo isn’t too long, so no chance for it to get boring.

Blame the Black Crowes for “Until You Suffer Some (Fire & Ice)”. They made everyone think Southern rock was cool again. Hey, it never wasn’t cool, but the Crowes inspired mush like this.

The band really shines on “7 Days Over You”. Yes, it’s more blues rock, but this time it’s done well. It’s one of those week-long hungover break-up songs, when you realise she’s not worth it. It’s the best of the Kotzen-era songs. He shows he’s got the wailing licks and rocking chops to make a real go of this sort of music.

And so just when you thought Poison had got too mature and serious, up pops the dopey duo of double entendre filled sexytime songs in “Unskinny Bop” and “Talk Dirty To Me”. These are the sort of dumb fun anthems that made cock rock popular in the first place, but also ultimately led to it’s demise.

Or was it the ballads? Nobody ever out-ballad-ed “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, the quintessential acoustic glam weepy. Michaels and Kotzen together on guitar add an extra layer to the original. And that voice. No, he’s not one of the all-time great singers, but this is a guy who had perfected his craft through years and years on the road, and can connect with his audience.

Imagine finishing a show on such a downer. Well, yeah, maybe a band like My Dying Bride could finish on something melancholic, but this is supposed to be one of the ultimate party rock bands, so the finale is a belting version of “Nothin’ But A Good Time”. And this is what this is – a band having a good time, with a crowd also having a good time as a means of escaping their regular workaday lives. It’s fun, and unapologetically so.

Yeah, so Kotzen didn’t last too long after this. He turned out to be human filth and got caught fucking Rikki Rockett’s missus, so got booted from the band later in 1993. Poison sounded different with him – more mature and subtle, but a lot less chaotic and fun. He was replaced by Blues Saraceno, and eventually CC made up with Bret and got back into the Poison fold.

OK, I gotta say it. Bret, and the rest of the fellas onstage at the Hammersmith Apollo on April 23 1993, that was actually a pretty fucking good time.

I still don’t know where the fuck this CD came from though.

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