Vim Fuego

Patrick Stott
Forum Admin Group · Death, T/S/G, Grind, VA Teams
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1398 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 261 3.99
2 Death Metal 154 4.13
3 Heavy Metal 152 3.74
4 Grindcore 79 3.97
5 Hard Rock 78 3.19
6 Hardcore Punk 44 4.53
7 Black Metal 44 3.45
8 Crossover Thrash 44 4.16
9 Groove Metal 41 3.59
10 Non-Metal 41 2.62
11 Industrial Metal 38 3.87
12 Alternative Metal 37 2.53
13 Glam Metal 31 3.31
14 Melodic Death Metal 22 3.30
15 Progressive Metal 20 2.60
16 Technical Death Metal 19 3.87
17 Sludge Metal 18 3.61
18 Goregrind 18 4.25
19 NWoBHM 16 4.03
20 Power Metal 13 3.85
21 Gothic Metal 13 3.77
22 Folk Metal 11 3.95
23 Deathgrind 11 4.23
24 Stoner Metal 11 3.55
25 Nu Metal 11 1.68
26 US Power Metal 11 4.05
27 Proto-Metal 10 3.80
28 Heavy Alternative Rock 10 3.70
29 Metal Related 9 3.67
30 Brutal Death Metal 9 3.61
31 Death 'n' Roll 8 3.00
32 Speed Metal 8 3.75
33 Symphonic Metal 8 2.44
34 Pornogrind 7 3.93
35 Deathcore 7 3.07
36 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.36
37 Metalcore 7 3.50
38 Funk Metal 7 3.00
39 Cybergrind 6 4.25
40 Technical Thrash Metal 6 2.83
41 Symphonic Black Metal 5 4.30
42 Atmospheric Black Metal 5 1.90
43 Death-Doom Metal 5 3.50
44 Doom Metal 5 4.50
45 Melodic Black Metal 5 2.00
46 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 4 4.75
47 Stoner Rock 4 3.50
48 Traditional Doom Metal 4 4.00
49 Rap Metal 4 3.00
50 Drone Metal 3 3.33
51 Crust Punk 2 4.75
52 Melodic Metalcore 2 2.50
53 Heavy Psych 1 0.50
54 Depressive Black Metal 1 4.50
55 Viking Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

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.

COFFIN FUCK Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Single · 2021 · Black Metal
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Ho, ho, fuck...

Yep, it’s Christmas time, so the world’s most (only?) Christmassy death metal band Coffin Fuck have made their annual trip to the studio somewhere near their home base of Hopatcong, New Jersey. COVID played the Grinch in 2020, the first time in a decade a Coffin Fuck Christmas single didn’t eventuate, so the three lads in their silly sweaters are making up for lost time this year.

But something has changed.

Yes, it’s the usual three self-professed dorks mangling a Christmas song in a so-bad-it’s-good completely unproduced metal manner. Yes, the lyrics are mostly inappropriate and silly. And yes, the artwork to this year’s offering “Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree” looks to have been hand drawn using Microsoft Paint.

But therein lies a clue: there’s a rough hand-rendered version of the most famous image in black metal history. No, not Dead’s splattery “excuse the mess” farewell. No, no! Not Count Grishnakh posing with the over-sized butter knife. The OTHER most famous image from black metal. You know, Abbath and Demonaz in full battle dress and badger make-up ready to shovel snow with their guitars from the cover of “Battles in the North”.

Yep, Coffin Fuck have passed over to the dark side. This year’s Christmas single is... black metal!

And actually, it’s not half bad. Well OK, it is pretty bad, but that’s the point. It’s standard-ish black metal with fast, reedy sounding guitars, and blasts and snare drum flurries like you’d expect, but it’s the funny little foibles which make Coffin Fuck such fun. The tuneless vocal tuning at the start of the song. The clunky solo mid-song. The stupid lyrics – “You will get a detrimental feeling when you hear/heathens screaming, worship Santa” and “Have a Misanthropic day/Everyone glaring evilly/In the most trve nekro way”.

Yep, it’s dumb as fuck, but that’s why it’s fun. Merry Antichrist-mas!


Album · 1998 · Heavy Metal
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The 1990s saw Metallica start the decade as thrash metal’s biggest band. The band and genre was somewhat niche, and not particularly well known outside metal and alternative music scenes. By the turn of the millennium, Metallica had become the biggest band in metal bar none, and was surpassed in popular music by only a handful of artists, but in creating new music thrash metal had been left far behind. “Garage Inc.” as a covers and B-sides compilation album lays bare the influences mixed in to Metallica’s thrash metal roots which made “Metallica”, “Load”, and “Re-Load” the albums which led the band to world domination.

Disc 1 of this double album is freshly recorded covers. These run the full gamut of Metallica’s musical tastes, and some work better than others. Metallica can do punk, and do it well. We know this because of their covers excellent of The Misfits, and Anti-Nowhere League’s utterly filthy “So What”. However, Metallica aren’t too good at Discharge, with “Free Speech For The Dumb” and “The More I See” bookending this disc. These versions are too… clean. Discharge’s originals are scuzzy and discordant, from a band on the verge of starvation. Metallica just can’t reproduce the same feel. It’s hard to sound desperate when you’re a multi-millionaire living comfortably. Bob Rock does big, fat, and comfortable as a producer, with the latest in studio technology at his fingertips, while Discharge would have been recorded as quickly as possible on zero budget. The guitars are too warm, and too big. The bass doesn’t have enough distortion. And Lars just can’t play D-beat drums. Still, without Discharge, thrash metal wouldn’t have been thrash metal.

Metallica’s love of NWOBHM band Diamond Head is well known, so a Diamond Head song was inevitable here, and while “It’s Electric” is no “Am I Evil?”, in the same vein as that famous cover, it’s not far removed from Metallica’s own style.

Covering Black Sabbath isn’t always as easy as it seems. Slayer stumbled with their version of “Hand of Doom”, and Megadeth’s “Paranoid” is almost an unintentional parody. Metallica don’t fuck it up as badly as those covers, but “Sabbra Cadabra” isn’t particularly impressive. They just can’t reproduce Sabbath’s whacked-out stoner groove.

The first really impressive track here is “Turn The Page”, originally by Bob Seger. It’s a brooding tale of life on the road. James Hetfield’s vocals and the ruminating main riff seem to be an indicator of where “The Memory Remains” came from.

“Die, Die My Darling” is a welcome addition to the existing collection of Misfits covers. It’s not near as rough as “Last Caress/Green Hell” recorded a decade earlier, but it retains the boisterous energy and wicked dark humour of the original.

The inclusion of Nick Cave and The Bad Seed’s “Loverman” is the biggest what-the-fuck on the whole album. The original switches between minimalist restraint and raucous post-punk anarchy, and Metallica doesn’t attempt to pull it off, but instead smooths out the rough edges and makes it their own. Cave’s introspective oblique lyrics are somewhat different to the Metallica norm, but like “Turn The Page”, the song illustrates James Hetfield’s varied vocal abilities.

The five song Mercyful Fate medley is more traditional fare. The songs don’t exactly merge seamlessly, and of course there’s no King Diamond helium vocals, but it’s 11 minutes of 80s satanic metal goodness.

Blue Öyster Cult don’t often get the love they deserve, even though they are the band who wrote monster rockers like “Godzilla”, “Burnin’ For You”, and “Don’t Fear The Reaper”. “Astronomy” isn’t one of those monster rockers, but Metallica turn it into one.

“Whiskey In The Jar” is the best song on the first disc. It’s a boisterous, catchy party anthem, and a new take on Thin Lizzy’s take of the traditional Irish folk song.

“Tuesday’s Gone” was recorded during a radio broadcast in 1997 with a number of guest musicians, including members of Alice in Chains, Corrosion of Conformity, Lynyrd Skynrd, and even Les Claypool on banjo, and… it’s fucking tedious. Yep, it’s an all-star acoustic jam that’s an all-star acoustic bore. It also indicates where Metallica found the Southern rock and country influences which popped up on the Load albums.

Disc 2 is older stuff which already existed, but was sometimes hard to come by until this release. The first five tracks come from “The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited”, which had been out of print for the best part of a decade, and dedicated collectors had been paying exorbitant prices for copies of it. The E.P. also featured the first recordings of Jason Newsted with Metallica. This sloppy spontaneous recording is a little rough around the edges, but that’s a big part of it’s charm.

The next pair of NWOBHM covers were initially recorded as B-sides for the 12” vinyl version of “Creeping Death”, released as a single in 1984. The epic “Am I Evil?” is Metallica’s most famous cover, and is so well known it may as well be their own song. Diamond Head have done very well from it over the years, with Metallica’s cover helping revive their career and earning the band a decent sum from royalties over the years too. The other song is “Blitzkrieg”, originally by Blitzkrieg, is an up-tempo blitzkrieg of a song (is that too many blitzkriegs?), and it’s choppy riffing shows how influential the NWOBHM was on thrash metal.

“Breadfan” (originally by Budgie) and “The Prince” (originally by Diamond Head) were B-sides to the 1988 single “Harvester of Sorrow” may have been another couple of Metallica’s favourites, but these are two of the lesser tracks here, and aren’t particularly exciting.

In 1990 Elektra Records marked the label’s 40th anniversary by releasing a compilation of covers by their current roster of artists from their historic catalogue of artists. Metallica’s contribution was a version of Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy”, which didn’t need much tarting up to make it a thrash metal song. It was later used as the B-side for the “Enter Sandman” single, and it also won Metallica the consolation Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1991.

“So What” is Metallica’s most notorious cover. The filthy song by Anti-Nowhere League was originally a B-side for their own single “Streets of London”, and had at one stage been seized as an obscene publication in the U.K. The simplistic structure of the song and it’s exaggerated profane lyrics make it a lot of fun, and it remained a live staple for many years.

“Killing Time” by Sweet Savage is another NWOBHM cover, another B-side, and another not particularly remarkable song.

There are four Motörhead songs that aren’t exactly live, but were recorded during a rehearsal for a live performance in 1995. The performance was to celebrate the legendary Lemmy’s 50th birthday, where all the members of Metallica dressed as Lemmy and banged out some Motörhead tunes. A recording of the live performance would have been better, even if it was technically worse, because these four songs are flat and lifeless, especially “Too Late, Too Late”. Even a really rough recording of a live performance would have had more energy, and maybe a bit of spirit which is missing here.

Overall, the entire album is something of a mixed bag. The new tracks on disc one show a surprising breadth of musical likes and influences, and despite a couple of missteps is about as good as cover albums ever get. The second disc gathered together in one place all the covers recorded for various different releases, which was something of a relief for fans of the band struggling to collect them all.

That it followed the relatively poorly received Load albums (relatively – "Load" and "ReLoad" have both sold more than five million copies, as has this album) may contribute to how "Garage Inc." is perceived, but it is still a strong release in Metallica’s catalogue.

ULTRA VOMIT Panzer Surprise!

Album · 2017 · Grindcore
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French humour can be a bit hard to understand for non-French people. It takes huge chunks of absurdity and mixes it with social commentary, word play (“jeux de mots”, often untranslatable to other languages), and elements of what-the-fuck weirdness. Those of us who aren’t French can laugh along with the bits we do get, but we aren’t getting the full burn. However, not getting the full joke isn’t a problem when the bits you do get are actually really fucking funny. Take “Panzer Surprise!” here as an example.

You’re not going to expect anything too intellectual from a grindcore band called Ultra Vomit which has produced a previous album called “M. Patate” (Mr Potato), and another called “Objectif: Thunes” which has a piss take of a power metal album cover. And piss-taking absurdity is exactly what you get on “Panzer Surprise!”

(Now, a warning: my French isn’t too good. I used to take French at school mainly because the teacher was hot, and I was a horny teenage boy. I remember a few things, like merde is French for shit, fantôme means ghost, and saying “j'aime tes seins” to a girl is not very polite (it means “I like your tits”, and that was the last time I ever said anything in class when I didn’t know what it meant first!) Due to my linguistic deficiencies Google Translate has been used extensively here. If there are any language fuck ups, blame the interweb, not me!)

The funny starts with the cover art. “Panzer Surprise!” has a cartoon caricature of the band riding a tank through the Looney Toons famous end card, presumably squashing Porky Pig. That’s all, folks!

Intro track “Entooned” previews the musical madness here. Yes, the name is a play on Entombed, and you get a death metal version of the Looney Toons theme song.

Second track “Kammthaar” is more Rammstein than Rammstein. It has a massive martial main riff, a chantable chorus even if you don’t understand the language, it has the solemn almost-spoken breakdown, choral backing. It seems quite earnest and meaningful until you realise kammthar is a word play on the word “camtar”, or van. Yep, it’s a Rammstein style song about driving a truck.

Next comes “Un Chien Géant”, which literally translates to “A Giant Dog” (I guessed that even with my stunted French!) and is apparently in the style of French metal band Tagada Jones. Not heard of them, so not sure how accurate the parody is – it’s probably one of those jokes only the French would get. And the whole album continues like this. “Takoyaki” starts out sounding like a System of a Down parody, then the song breaks down, and out come the Japanese kawaii vocals a la Babymetal. “Super Sexe” is a dance club (maybe a strip club?) and it inspired a cowpunk song. “Hyper Sexe” is just the word “sexe” repeated 124 times. “Le Train Fantôme” is about a trip on train 666, a ghost train.

The next obvious parody is “Calojira”. It it’s a note-perfect homage to Gojira, combined with the lyrics of French singer/songwriter Calogero. Er, except Ultra Vomit shoot a seagull mid-song.

“Jésus” is perhaps the sharpest parody on show here. It turns AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” into a slick Christian rock anthem ripping TV preachers, and then somehow morphs into an homage to footballer Lionel Messi. It could be a comment on sport, religion, and mass media, or it could just be a really funny song. “Pink Pantera” almost reaches the same height of absurdity. Yep, the Pink Panther theme tune done Pantera style. And “Pipi Vs Caca”? Straight toilet humour. Not clever, but always funny.

For a grindcore band, there isn’t much grind on this album, so it looks like full on pig squeal pornogrind track “La Ch'nille” was thrown in as a reminder of what these guys can do when they put their minds to it.

And just to wind up this whole crazy, mostly illogical album, “Évier Metal” is a near five minute ode to a kitchen tap or sink, or some combination of the two (I don’t fucking know, I’m not French!) simply because the name Évier Metal sounds a lot like heavy metal. As stupid as it sounds, it’s a fucking banging straight up trad metal anthem.

All in all, it’s really best to just listen and enjoy, and not try too hard to understand exactly what these guys are on about. Making “Panzer Surprise!” a covers album would have been too easy and a bit dull. A parody album like this is far superior. Completely fucking insane.

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