Vim Fuego

Patrick Stott
Forum Admin Group · Death, T/S/G, Grind, VA Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 80 minutes ago

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1550 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
FIGHT - War of Words Groove Metal | 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
DARKTHRONE - Soulside Journey Death Metal
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
TWISTED SISTER - Stay Hungry Heavy Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 278 3.98
2 Death Metal 166 4.14
3 Heavy Metal 162 3.72
4 Hard Rock 93 3.18
5 Grindcore 89 4.01
6 Black Metal 50 3.39
7 Hardcore Punk 49 4.44
8 Crossover Thrash 48 4.17
9 Non-Metal 46 2.60
10 Groove Metal 43 3.59
11 Glam Metal 43 3.26
12 Industrial Metal 41 3.85
13 Alternative Metal 37 2.53
14 Melodic Death Metal 22 3.30
15 Progressive Metal 21 2.55
16 Sludge Metal 19 3.58
17 Technical Death Metal 19 3.89
18 Goregrind 18 4.25
19 Gothic Metal 16 3.66
20 NWoBHM 16 4.03
21 Power Metal 16 3.66
22 Metalcore 15 3.60
23 Stoner Metal 13 3.62
24 US Power Metal 12 4.04
25 Nu Metal 11 1.77
26 Folk Metal 11 3.95
27 Heavy Alternative Rock 11 3.73
28 Metal Related 11 3.73
29 Deathgrind 11 4.23
30 Cybergrind 10 4.05
31 Proto-Metal 10 3.80
32 Technical Thrash Metal 9 3.17
33 Symphonic Black Metal 9 3.72
34 Brutal Death Metal 9 3.61
35 Deathcore 9 3.39
36 Funk Metal 9 3.00
37 Death 'n' Roll 8 3.00
38 Symphonic Metal 8 2.44
39 Speed Metal 8 3.75
40 Stoner Rock 7 3.50
41 Pornogrind 7 3.93
42 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.36
43 Death-Doom Metal 6 3.50
44 Doom Metal 6 4.50
45 Atmospheric Black Metal 6 2.42
46 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 5 4.80
47 Melodic Black Metal 5 2.00
48 Traditional Doom Metal 5 4.00
49 Rap Metal 4 3.00
50 Mathcore 3 3.50
51 Drone Metal 3 3.33
52 Depressive Black Metal 2 4.75
53 Crust Punk 2 4.75
54 Melodic Metalcore 2 2.50
55 Neoclassical metal 2 2.75
56 Viking Metal 1 3.00
57 Heavy Psych 1 0.50

Latest Albums Reviews

STRYPER The Final Battle

Album · 2022 · Heavy Metal
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Mainstream metal fans have always had a couple of problems with Stryper which has held the band back from greater success.

The first is the obvious one – the Christian lyrics and message the band has been broadcasting for the best part of 40 years. However, celebrations of, and exhortations to, Big Daddy, J.C., and the Spook, er... I mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (gotta keep the atheist piss-taking to a minimum here because this is a review of the album, not the religion) aside, Stryper have produced some absolutely banging metal tunes over the years. Take the first track from “The Final Battle” as an example. “Transgressor” is a booming lead-off track, so forget those old 80s glam metal reservations you might still be hanging on to. This is a full on powerful heavy-fucking-metal… oh, sorry, heavy-f***ing-metal song. Solos, a relentless rhythm, killer Judas Priest/Saxon/Accept style riffs, and lyrics guiding you on the path to eternal life, if you so desire. Yes, Stryper can rock hard with the best of them.

And so the album continues. Musically “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” isn’t a million miles distant from Judas Priest’s “Touch of Evil”, and vocalist Michael Sweet even hits a Halford style falsetto scream. “Same Old Story” and “Heart & Soul” are a pair of stadium rockers which modern day Mötley Crüe would kill for, all with positive, life-affirming messages instead of death and destruction or party anthem lyrics.

So far, so good. This is exactly what anyone who’s been paying attention to Stryper over the years would expect. However, the second problem hinted at earlier rears it’s ugly head with fifth track “Near”. The bane of many a young metalhead from the 80s, it’s a POWER BALLAD! Yep, Stryper’s ballads are just awful. The ballads are just so sappy and saccharine, and with the Christian sentiments come across as the Imagine Dragons of metal. These songs might really tear it up in the live setting in an evangelical mega-church, but in recorded form these are the tracks the skip button or air sickness bags were designed for.

From here on, the rest of the album seems to lose a bit of it’s bite, teetering between hands-in-the-air hard rock hymns to Him, and rockers that don’t quite roll like the first few tracks. The album could easily have just fizzled out like this, but final track “Ashes To Ashes” elbows it’s way in, and it’s a rocker which wouldn’t seem out of place on a W.A.S.P. album.

The Yellow and Black Attack have always been a bit problematic for metal fans not looking for religious messages in their music. The messaging has put off a lot of potential listeners over the years (yes, I’ll own up, I was one), but if you can put prejudices and preconceptions aside, and then filter through the filler tracks, there’s some absolute killer metal contained here. Just make sure your finger on the skip button is quicker than your gag reflex when you hit the ballad...

INTERCEPTOR Thrashing Violence

Demo · 2022 · Thrash Metal
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Landmarks in your life can bring on bouts of nostalgia (I’m writing this the day before my 50th birthday), and can get you reminiscing about things you enjoyed from the past missing from the current day. If you can be bothered doing the maths you’ll see I was 17 when the 80s ticked over to 1990. The small thrills from those days are often the hardest to rediscover - the wicked thrill associated with underage drinking (started age 14 when the legal drinking age was 20), the buzz of a first cigarette (age 15, and can genuinely say I enjoyed it), the forbidden treasure of naked women in slightly sticky girlie magazines (with pubic hair!), and the visceral delight of discovering a new band.

These days a quiet beer with dinner is still nice but is no longer illicit, I feel sick for a couple of days after if I smoke so that’s out, all forms of human nakedity and perversion are only a few mouse clicks away (and I’ve been living with a genuine, real-life beautiful woman for more than a quarter of a century anyway), and most new thrash metal bands sound like variations on a Municipal Waste-based template.

And then I discovered Interceptor’s “Thrashing Violence” demo, and I felt the thrill of 17 again.

“Thrashing Violence” is genuine, grass roots thrash metal, done for the fun of it by a young trio from a dead-end town. (That’s another thing about being 17 – whatever town you’re from seems like a dead-end town). The first thing that hits you with this demo is that it’s rough and raw, and gloriously under-produced. This isn’t the forced rough/raw pose of black metal deliberately trying to sound tr00 kvlt and grymdark. This is the genuine rough/raw of “OK, we don’t really know what we’re doing, we don’t have a lot of money, let’s just plug shit in and record what comes out”.

The guitar sound doesn’t have a lot of bottom end, but here’s the thing – this allows the riffs to shine through, nimble and sharp. Go back and listen to those old early albums from thrash metal’s big names and they sounded the same. “Kill ‘em All” sounds sharp. Exodus’ “Bonded By Blood” is their least heavy album, but has their speediest riffs. “Thrashing Violence” sounds closest in character to Megadeth’s “Killing is My Business…and Business Is Good” – the riffs are choppy rather than chunky, which helped define thrash metal’s early sound.

The title track’s opening riff is reasonably memorable, but doesn’t seem like much to write home about, but then the band put their heads down and absolutely thrash! Stereo separated guitar lines, a throbbing bass line underpinning the guitar, and then a throaty melodic shouted vocal. It’s all you could hope for in a thrash song. And it isn’t limited to that. There’s some almost Death Angel-esque screams, a barked refrain of the song’s title, and a tasty but unindulgent solo. The lyrics aren’t particularly deep and meaningful, being about a love of metal and moshing, but remember that just about every band wrote songs like these back in the day – Rattlehead, Hit The Lights, Bonded By Blood, Metal Command, Hammerhead…

“Hatred” seems a bit darker and a little slower, adding a touch of Possessed or perhaps Celtic Frost to the mix. “Into The Hellmouth” has a military radio intro and outro, and is an outright martial headbanger. When the guitars back off preparing for a solo, the bass and drums really shine through Sodom-style.

And that’s it. Three tracks in just under 12 minutes. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before or been done better, but you know what? That doesn’t matter. This is simply the music these guys want to play, and it’s done will skill and conviction. And it’s exactly what an ageing headbanger going through a mini mid-life crisis wanted to hear.

MANOWAR Highlights from the Revenge of Odysseus

EP · 2022 · US Power Metal
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It’s been an epic journey. There have been many times when the battle looked lost, but the Kings of Metal triumphed. The final swansong, Manowar’s Armageddon, the ultimate final confrontation approaches. How will these mighty warriors fare?

To unnecessarily answer a rhetorical question, fuck knows. And at this stage, how many metal warriors still care? Manowar knows not and cares not, and on they soldier in the fight for metal!

OK, enough cliché and war themed metaphor. Let’s get down to plain talking. Manowar are nearing the end of their musical career. There’s one more album coming. There’s a song on it about the Greek hero Odysseus, which promises to be over 30 minutes long. “Highlights from the Revenge of Odysseus” is supposedly a sample from the song.

Achilles was afforded the same treatment in 1992 in “Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts” on the album “The Triumph of Steel”. “Achilles…” is a sprawling but flawed progressive power metal operetta, incorporating both bass and drum solos, and overblown theatrics. How has Odysseus fared?

Not particularly well on first appearances.

First track “Athena’s Theme” is a quasi-operatic, over-dramatic intro”. It follows into the clichéd stormy night and ominous horns of “Telemachus, Pt. 1”. It sounds like a rehashing of “The Warriors Prayer”. Except it’s in fucking Greek. If you don’t speak the language you’re buggered without a translation. It segues into a power ballad duet (“Where Eagles Fly”) so sappy even Meatloaf would have been too ashamed to sing it. Yes, Eric Adams still has a great voice, as does Chiara Tricarico of Italian symphonic power metal band Moonlight Haze, but metal fans want to hear him belting out massive war anthems, not warbling away in limp pseudo-operatic insipidity. And then there’s another Greek interlude called “Odysseus and Calypso - The Island of Ogygia”, which sounds ever so dramatic, but is still meaningless if you don’t speak the language. It’s enough to make frustrated Mano-warriors hang up their rusty battleaxes and dented codpieces.

But then Manowar do what they’ve done for their entire pompous, pretentious, unintentionally self-parodic 40+ year career. These arrogant, self-important bastards make all the bloated theatrical bullshit worth wading through by knocking out an anthemic, monstrous blast of good old fashioned heavy fucking metal with final track “Immortal”.

Ominous, ethereal choir? Check. Thundering Drums of Doom? Check. Relentless militaristic guitar riffs? Check. Joey De Maio’s unbelievable bass gymnastics? Check. Eric Adams calling brothers to arms? Check. The recipe is all there, all laid out plain and to see. It should sound tired and rehashed because this is a 40-year-old recipe, but it doesn’t. It still feels crisp and vital as it did when “Battle Hymns” first blasted out of speakers worldwide in 1982. It’s comfortingly metal without being over-comfortable. It’s over-blown without being overbearing. It’s just quintessential Man-O-fucking-War.

Whether the rest of the forthcoming album lives up to the standard set by this EP remains to be seen. And that’s exactly what this is supposed to do – pique curiosity and set out expectations. So fuck you Manowar, for who you are, you arrogant grumpy old bastards. But also thank you Manowar, for the music which has been, and possibly for what remains to come. There’s still a bit of wear left in the old codpiece yet.

FLOURISHING The Sum of All Fossils

Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal
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Metal Music Archives Reviewer's Challenge: June 2022

Death metal got disconnected somewhere along the line.

When the genre first spawned from bands who found thrash metal wasn’t extreme enough for them, the focus was mainly on big riffs and brutality. Like thrash before it, there was a certain melodic groove to it, albeit buried under layers of monstrous guitars, thunderous drums, and bestial vocals.

Fast forward to the 21st century and for some strange reason, new death metal bands don’t seem to have anywhere near the same focus on musicality. Instead, it seems technical prowess, off-the-wall time signatures and arrangements, and headache-inducing discordance are the flavour of the time instead. The old bands realised death metal is still music, while the newer ones don’t.

A bit of dissonance and discordance, and brutal technicality can be great to listen to, but such things need to allow room for the underlying music to breathe, otherwise you may as well listen to Merzbow demolish buildings with decorated amplified white noise. Enter Flourishing, who connected things back up again.

“The Sum of All Fossils” has the groove and expressiveness so beloved by death metal’s founders, while incorporating the brutal technicality and clashing disharmonia so ever-present in today’s death metal. This is undoubtedly a death metal album, but thrown in are elements of Neurosis-like post-apocalyptic guitar scrapes, Skin Chamber’s industro-death blown throat dual vocals, and some big sludgy chunks of Crowbar. Imagine a harder edged Gojira partnered with pre-prog Pestilence, and Disharmonic Orchestra overseeing it all with bleak surrealistic cyberpunk lyrics.

There’s nothing as conventional as intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/outro songwriting here. The music, like the lyrics, seems to be stream of consciousness, but at the same time seems precise and rehearsed rather than loose and improvised. While the music is compelling and hard to break from, the lyricism seems dense and impenetrable. Observe “Fossil Record”: “Rates increase all the time and embrace all of these thoughts. So lost. Photographs fade in every era. Left with their solitude. Reasoning dulls. Voids become deep. Alarm. They plant seeds of high purpose. Mortals drone on.” It’s a bleak but powerful vision of… what? It seems left to the listener’s interpretation.

This is an album-sized exercise in brutality and beauty to be consumed in it’s entirety, rather than trying to pluck song from song, as it is a singular vision viewed in eight parts rather than a collection of eight songs squeezed together and called an album. “The Sum of All Fossils” fills a missing link between two divergent, distantly related metal sub-genre which share a common ancestor, but long ago branched in different directions.

LAST DAYS OF HUMANITY Horrific Compositions Of Decomposition

Album · 2021 · Goregrind
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Goregrind – invented by Carcass, perfected by Regurgitate, and pushed to the absolute limit by Last Days of Humanity.

Everything Last Days of Humanity (LDOH) has ever produced has been extreme, pushing the boundaries between brutal uncompromising music and formless noise. This is what endears the band to it’s fans, and also deters potential new listeners. Just look at the band’s previous album covers. Gory pictures are the norm among goregrind bands, but LDOH’s album covers take the revulsion to new depths. Human bodies aren’t just mangled but are also decomposing, with images so visceral and disgusting you can almost smell the putrefaction and trigger your gag reflex. This music isn’t something which can just be explored casually.

And the music. It’s fast, distorted, guttural, and really fucking heavy, but often it dissolves into an indistinguishable blur. It’s a nasty, gut-punch kind of a blur, and quite satisfying in it’s own right, but it’s hard to tell where bass, guitar, vocals, and drums all start and end. There have always riffs lurking just beneath the surface, but like the Loch Ness monster, they have proved to be elusive up until now.

Right from the first few seconds, “Hematopoietic System Tissue and Lymphoid Fail” opens with an absolutely massive riff which wouldn’t sound out of place on Carcass’ first two albums, except that it’s crystal clear and monumentally heavy. It seems like for almost the first time in their career LDOH actually had a production budget.

However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Hans Smits’ vocals still sound like a clogged drain in a pathology lab. Clearer production aside, this is still the familiar trademark micro-blast songs, sometimes lasting only a few seconds but run together so it’s often hard to know where one song ends and the next begins. Let’s face it though, this isn’t the sort of music you listen to for individual songs. Other than with the opening track, the only other time this matters is with a suitably mangled cover of Fear of God’s “Running Through The Blood”. Sometimes music emerges from the crimson maelstrom. Otherwise, this album is glorious, gory cascades of shredded, decaying human tissue.

So… is LDOH breaking new ground? No. Is LDOH still pushing the limits? Yes. Is this a contradiction? Maybe. Is “Horrific Compositions of Decomposition” any good? Yes.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 116 minutes ago in Recently Watched Films
    Ho hum. Still think they were a bunch of attention seeking edgelord kids. The only new thing I learned was that Varg was too naive to understand the media.
  • Posted 9 hours ago in Recently Watched Films
    That was a lot of stupid OTT fun. Love seeing Zoe Bell being a bad ass.
  • Posted 10 hours ago in Upcoming sub-genre changes
    Ah, for fuck's sake! Missed the old school Atari2600core.


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