Vim Fuego

Patrick Stott
Forum Admin Group · Admin,Thrash/Death, Grindcore & VA teams
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458 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 Grindcore | 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 Grindcore | review permalink
CARNIVORE - Carnivore Crossover Thrash | review permalink
DARKTHRONE - Soulside Journey Death Metal | review permalink
DEICIDE - Deicide Death Metal | review permalink
DESTRUCTION - Sentence of Death Thrash Metal | review permalink
BAD NEWS - Bad News Traditional 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 Grindcore | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Live Shit: Binge & Purge Thrash Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 117 3.88
2 Traditional heavy metal 52 3.63
3 Death Metal 49 4.04
4 Grindcore 48 3.72
5 Hard Rock 18 2.47
6 Crossover Thrash 18 3.97
7 Groove Metal 16 3.03
8 Black Metal 12 3.63
9 Alternative Metal 11 2.68
10 Glam Metal 10 3.25
11 Technical Death Metal 10 3.70
12 Industrial Metal 7 3.43
13 NWoBHM 7 3.21
14 Progressive Metal 7 2.36
15 Power Metal 6 3.25
16 Sludge Metal 5 2.70
17 Melodic Death Metal 5 2.60
18 Gothic Metal 5 2.80
19 Folk Metal 5 3.60
20 Symphonic Metal 5 1.60
21 Brutal Death Metal 4 3.38
22 Death 'n' Roll 4 2.00
23 Non-Metal 4 2.13
24 Nu Metal 3 0.67
25 Atmospheric Black Metal 3 2.83
26 Doom Metal 3 4.17
27 Death-Doom Metal 2 3.00
28 Deathcore 2 2.00
29 Funk Metal 2 1.50
30 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 4.75
31 Speed Metal 2 2.50
32 Symphonic Black Metal 2 4.50
33 Metal Related 2 5.00
34 Hardcore and crust 2 5.00
35 Melodic Black Metal 2 1.25
36 US Power Metal 2 2.75
37 Metalcore 1 2.50
38 Mathcore 1 3.50
39 Avant-garde Metal 1 4.00
40 Drone Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


EP · 2017 · Thrash Metal
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To say the reception for Metallica’s “Load/Re-Load” double-wide double-long duo was a little mixed is a bit like saying Charlie Manson and his family of followers were just a bit misguided. The meandering, rudderless albums were full of more filler than Dolly Parton’s bra. Long-time Metallica fans were confused and frustrated, having to sift through piles of horse shit to find a few gems. This pair of albums was so bad fans almost jumped for joy at the 1998 cover/compilation album “Garage Inc.”, because of the total contrast.

Hindsight has showed us though, that the negative fallout from the “Load/Re-Load" combo has been tempered somewhat by the total abortion that was “St. Anger”, and to a lesser extent, “LuLu”. It is possible, after a few beers, 3 days without sleep, and if you squint through your rose tinted spectacles, to say “you know, “Load” and “Re-Load” weren’t THAT bad, when you compare ‘em to…” Still, to many Metallica fans, it is a part of the band’s history best left behind.

So what do Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre go and do? Remind us it was only 20 fuckin’ years ago, and make us relive that perplexing era by covering a chunk of “Re-Load”.

Now, it seems the lads of TTCM, who would have been pre-schoolers running round pulling the cat’s tail and jamming crayons up their noses at the time of “Re-Load”’s release, have more sense than four of the world’s most famous musicians, who had cut their hair and changed their image to appeal to a wider audience. In what way more sensible? Well, these young fellas had the sense to cut out most of the superfluous shit from the album, and just covering five songs for an EP instead. So how did they get on?

Well, the mournful, melancholic “The Memory Remains” has been turned into a crossover thrash sprint from start to finish. The manic take on Marianne Faithful’s “la la” vocal melodies are fucking comedy gold, and her part sounds something like a cartoon ogre. Despite the potential silliness, the song seems to work out well, with the original riffs somewhat benefitting from a faster tempo. Actually, the song is two minutes shorter than Metallica’s version too.

Second track “Devil’s Dance” is one of those forgettable ones which is hard to remember until you hear the fucking thing, and then you wish you hadn’t. So here it is, revved up, retooled, and reinvented.

“Better Than You” is memorable for the wrong reasons. It was one of the worst songs on “Re-Load”. So these guys fixed it. Rather than sounding like a plodding Black Album reject, it becomes a crossover crusher, which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Suicidal Tendencies’ “Join The Army”.

And then, just to really fuck with your mind, there is a very respectful and well-executed take on “Low Man’s Lyric”. This was one of the diamonds in the Metallica turd. The hurdy gurdy, the soulful, gentle rhythm, the jangling acoustic guitar, and the incredible guitar work of Hetfield/Hammett set this song apart from its peers. Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre don’t have Metallica’s deep pockets, nor Bob Rock twiddling the knobs in the studio, and it tells somewhat. This sounds a little rough round the edges, but it’s more than just an ambitious attempt at a tricky song by a band better known for oddball references to movie stars like Gary Busey. This comes off sounding like a production demo from Metallica themselves, no mean feat in itself.

“Fixxxer” was the pointless, over-long closer to Re-Load. Overindulgent in length, and a little sparse on actual content, the song did feature a classy vocal melody, reproduced quite faithfully here. This version sounds more chaotic than Metallica’s, which in this case is a good thing, because to be perfectly honest, “Fixxxer” is usually boring as fuck. This isn’t.

So... This isn’t a perfect cover EP, but nor is it a disaster. What you get here is 21 minutes of the best bits from an album which originally ran to a tedious 76 minutes. Listening to “Re-Load” is a feat of endurance. Listening to “Re-Loaded” is fun.

Note: If you’re able, drop Texas Toast Chainsaw Massacre a few bucks on this “name-your-price” download. Vocalist Josh is using any proceeds from it for cancer treatment for his dog.


Album · 1998 · Hard Rock
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Listening to “Thunderbolt - A Tribute To AC/DC”, several things become immediately obvious.

1. AC/DC wrote some fucking great songs - Just look at the tracklisting here - “Highway to Hell”, “Back in Black”, “Live Wire”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “ It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)”. Such great songs of such quality. Many bands have aspired, to such greatness. Most failed. And AC/DC just kept on doing it. This compilation could have been twice as long without the slightest drop in the quality source material.

2. AC/DC inspired some amazing bands - First track up is “Highway to Hell” by Kevin DuBrow, the late singer of Quiet Riot. His swagger and voice has that perfect combination of rough and smooth to do justice to Bon Scott’s ragged bourbon-and-cigarette howl. The rest of the band hit that AC/DC groove bang on, although the bass player shows off a little too much. Second track is “Little Lover”, performed by Sebastian Bach. As accomplished a singer as he is, he doesn’t quite match DuBrow in trying to re-create Scott’s greasy, sleazy drawl, just a little too clean for his own good. Bach’s second track, an album closing take on “T.N.T.” doesn’t work well at all. While the vocals are fine, it has an awful pinging snare drum, misplaced samples, and a pseudo-industrial element to it. Not the place for experimenting.

3. Made-up bands are quite often a bit shit - The biggest down-side to this album is it seems to be made up of various “supergroups”, thrown together just for the album. Often, as in Joe Lynn Turner’s rendition of “Back In Black”, the musicianship is flawless, there’s scope for some reinvention, particularly of Angus Young’s solos, and it’s a fairly faithful cover, just sounds wrong.

4. Made-up bands can also be fucking good - One of the better renditions included here though, is Whitfield Crane’s The Sensational Whitskiteer Band doing “Live Wire”. A little rougher and heavier than other songs here, the song also featured Crane’s Ugly Kid Joe bandmate Klaus Eichstadt on guitar, and the pair showed up many of the more seasoned musicians here, injecting agro and energy into the track. The band also contribute an ultra-laid back rendition of “Ride On”, cruising through the lazy blues track with the throbbing bass line like they were born to play it.

5. AC/DC songs can sound a bit shit if not performed convincingly - “Sin City” is credited to Jack Russell and Mark Kendall (Great White), with Bobby Blotzer (Ratt), and a couple of other fellas. It doesn’t suit Russell’s vocals, the music is pretty fucking bland, and the song just seems too long. “Shake A Leg” just sounds awful with John Corabi’s tuneless screech over top of it, while Bruce Kulick shows why he got kicked out of KISS with some awful try-hard guitar heroics. It doesn’t suit the song one little bit. Bass player Billy Sheehan must have been cringing listening to the racket. He shows much restraint, sticking to AC/DC’s original basic bassline, demonstrating few of his legendary chops.

6. AC/DC inspired some real hacks - The Stephen Pearcy (Ratt)/Tracii Guns (LA Guns) version of “Whole Lotta Rosie” (listed here as “Whole Lot Of Rosie”. What sort of fuckwit changes a song title to something grammatically correct?) shows why neither of their bands quite hit the stratosphere like Guns N’ Roses or Def Leppard. Pearcy tries too hard, and inexplicably sounds like the song is way out of his range, where a singer of his abilities should have handled it comfortably. Guns fares a little better, but his performance leaves you longing for the original. “Night Prowler” performed by Dave Meniketti (Y&T) along with former AC/DC drummer Simon Wright is just boring. Wright was probably note-perfect with the drums, but ya don’t listen to AC/DC for the fucking drums!

7. AC/DC had some legendary friends - A supergroup featuring Lemmy, Jake E. Lee, and Simon Wright (again!)? Do supergroups get any more super? “It's a Long Way to the Top” by this combo is a pure gem. While sounding totally different, Lemmy’s crusty old vocal cords probably best matched Bon Scott’s of any singer on the album. While not as revered as Randy Rhoads and overshadowed by Zakk Wylde, Lee was still Ozzy Osbourne’s guitar player, and no matter how fucked up he ever got, Ozzy always knew a shit-hot guitar player when he heard one. Lee fills in the spaces where Bon Scott’s bagpipes would have been with some incredible lead work, probably the best on the entire album. Lemmy and Lee both just seem to have the right feel for this song.

8. Dee Snider would have made a fucking great vocalist for Anthrax - Dee joined Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, and Frank Bello of Anthrax performing “Walk All Over You”. While it’s the heaviest song of any on the album, the Anthrax boys resisted the temptation to thrash the track up. Dee Snider injects plenty of energy into the song, but is hardly stretched. A good solid, honest rendition of the song.

9. Quite honestly, the only band which does AC/DC songs any justice is AC/DC - Yup. As great as some of these covers are, this album leaves you longing for the real thing.

SPECTRAL VOICE Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

Album · 2017 · Death-Doom Metal
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Once upon a time, someone hit upon the great idea of pulling together death metal’s distorted heavy guitars and gargled vocals with doom metal’s pedestrian pace to create one of metal’s most vital and creative, but simultaneously depressing and gloomy, genres. As with all things metal, there could be more than one answer as to who came up with the idea first, but it matters not. What matters is the legacy of this momentous combination, from its earliest tentative steps through to today.

Paradise Lost’s debut album, the rather unimaginatively named “Lost Paradise” was one of the first examples of the genre to actually gain a wide release. It took death metal tunings and vocals, and played them at doom metal speeds. The band really hit their straps with the more gothic sounding “Gothic” (hmm, is that a pattern forming?) which also introduced the element of clean sung female vocals, and less of the deathly side of things. The band’s third album “Shades of God” saw the doom starting to dominate, as the death metal influences started to disappear.

There were also Paradise Lost’s great buddies from the north of England My Dying Bride and Anathema. Just about every early release by My Dying Bride was an exercise in soul crushing despair, with wonderful titles like “Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium” and “The Angel and the Dark River”. With less of a death metal sound than Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride were still crushingly heavy. Were? They still fucking are!

Anathema were just as despairingly heavy as the other two, although they lost their death metal influence a lot sooner. No matter, their later works like “A Natural Disaster”, “Judgement”, or “A Fine Day to Exit” are far more subtle exercises in desperation.

Skin Chamber threw an industrial element into the mix. Although inspired by Napalm Death, Skin Chamber came out sounding like Godflesh raping The Swans (ooh, The Swans! I forgot the fucking Swans!). Created by Paul Lemos, and Chris Moriarty of experimental band Controlled Bleeding, the original intention was to produce short, sharp sonic blasts, like Napalm Death was doing, under the name Fat Hacker. However, given time, a recording budget, and the aforementioned Swans’ album “COP” on heavy rotation, the result was two legendary albums of industrial doom-death which have rarely been emulated since. The project was put to bed after just the two albums, but was about to be resurrected in 2008 when Moriarty’s untimely death put paid to it.

Disembowelment er, or diSEMBOWELMENT, as they spelled it, was an Australian band formed in 1989 from the ashes of grindcore band Bacteria. The band became famous for their funereal tempos interspersed with occasional bursts of speed. Their only album “Transcendence into the Peripheral” is still regarded as an essential album of its kind today. In 1993, band members Renato Gallina and Matthew Skarajew formed the highly respected ambient/fusion/world music outfit Trial of the Bow. All in all, this was quite some achievement for a band which only existed for four years and never performed live.

Closer to home, (well, my home anyway) there was Sinistrous Diabolus from Christchurch, New Zealand. The three piece band produced an absolutely stunning demo in 1993 named “Opus One”. The three tracks were far beyond the realm of what any other band in New Zealand was doing at the time, combining doom and death metal with anti-Christian black metal imagery. Like many a great band at the time, if Sinistrous Diabolus had been based in Europe or the US, they would have snagged a record deal, but New Zealand was and still is too far from the rest of the world. The band lay dormant for many years, but was revived in the 2010s, and has been emitting occasional slabs of filthy doom-death ever since.

So why a mention of all these excellent albums of days gone by when this is supposed to be a review of Spectral Voice’s “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing”? Because “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” is unbelievably tedious, and all the previous selections mentioned are better examples of doom-death metal.

All the ingredients for a good sound are there. Spectral Voice are undeniably heavy. The sound is utterly crushing and extreme. Somehow, it still doesn't work.

There is so little inspiration or effort in the music its surprising even the musicians themselves don’t get bored with it. Yes, it is supposed to be slow and heavy. Yes, it is decently executed doom/death. Yes, the band members in Spectral Voice are highly skilled musicians. These things are not what’s at fault here. The biggest problem is it is unoriginal, predictable, interchangeable, and ultimately dull.

This album has had a lot of praise from social media, but it seems like another case of hype building up the mediocre to a status far beyond that it deserves. Music is supposed to inspire some sort of strong reaction in a listener. “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” inspires apathy.

That’s not to say “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” is a total loss. While slow-paced plodding gets a bit monotonous, when the band uses a bit of tempo things improve. “Dissolution” blasts into life after a dreary opening passage, but this is over 40 minutes into the album. There is little to offer which has not been done before. While near faultlessly performed, “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” has no character or vitality, and is just not an essential release.


Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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With a band like Cannibal Corpse, it would be entirely reasonable to expect to find a body buried in the back yard, or a disfigured sibling kept locked in the attic, but it just hasn’t happened. Despite the themes of murder, mutilation, cannibalism, tracing back to the band’s earliest days, there are no true life horrors like "St. Anger", "Cold Lake", or "Risk" lurking anywhere in their back catalogue. The days of a tour de force like "Butchered At Birth" or "Tomb of the Mutilated" seem to be a long time ago, but “Red Before Black” proves that the same band which recorded those slabs of maggot riddled carrion still exists today.

Metal has evolved since the heady days of the early 1990s, and Cannibal Corpse have also evolved, while still keeping the essence and vitality which made them unique. This is a band which started out playing death metal and is determined to keep playing it until the bloody end.

“Only One Will Die” blasts off, no horror movie or acoustic intros needed, and it’s death metal bliss. Ah, fuck, you know what it’s like. Hammer smashed face drums, monolithic bass, hatchet to the head guitars, and vomit the soul vocals, and the aural horror show is back for another instalment. “Code of the Slashers” is one of those songs which should become a live favourite, with an impending doom crushing opening riff, followed by Corpsegrinder’s bestial vocals, and then a fast section kicks in. It’s uncompromising as fuck. It’s hard to imagine five guys all aged around 50 are still making such fucking brutal, complex, crushing, unearthly, thunderous music, but they are.

“Remaimed” is, if anything, heavier than “Code of the Slashers”. Once again, it seems Cannibal Corpse are going to sacrifice speed for the sake of heavy, but the song changes gears effortlessly between the two. And that’s one of Cannibal Corpse’s great strengths. They make this seem easy, when it’s anything but. Screaming “head shovelled off!” at the top of your voice along with Corpsegrinder is great fun, and that is exactly what “Red Before Black” is all about, albeit a dark sort of amusement. There are still plenty of elitists out there who wrote off Cannibal Corpse a long time ago, and can’t or won’t change their opinion. The band’s crime? Becoming too popular through their controversial artwork and lyrics, and even popping up as “thrasher band Cannibal Corpses” in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. That’s like judging a beer by the bottle and not what’s inside. Fuck ‘em. They are the ones missing out on some of the finest crafted death metal there is, and the band’s longevity has proved beyond doubt that any hint of gimmickry is long gone. Cannibal Corpse is no longer the most brutal and vicious band around (and fuck off once again to the elitists who say they never were) but fucking hell, how many bands are still creating such killing riffs 14 albums and nearly 30 years into a career? And look at the regularity of those albums too. There are no half decade gaps anywhere in the discography. This is a band that lives, breathes, and shits death metal. “Red Before Black” is for the fans who do the same.

PHYLLOMEDUSA Phyllomedusa, the Destroyer

EP · 2017 · Grindcore
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Ever listened to a harsh noise or grindcore demo and wondered how the musician... no, performer, because this may not be music, is actually making those hideous/beautiful sounds? Have you considered what instruments might actually be involved? Is this created by over-amplified, distorted strings, or by some evil Dr Frankenstein electronic circuit soldered together with crowbars? And is that a human voice, altered beyond bestial into impure noise too dirty to be called white? Drums or machines? Are the microphones used in the recording process broken, or can human-created devices tolerate such stresses far beyond the red-line? Is this just the hideous nightmare outpourings of a cybernetic entity spontaneously formed inside a labyrinthine silicon chip?

In short, have you ever wondered where the boundary between noise and music is?

Here it is, right here.

Don’t try to understand or interpret “Phyllomedusa, The Destroyer”. Like quantum physics, it just is, and it’s beyond the understanding of most humans. There are two correct responses. The first, and more usual, is to recoil like pain receptors flinching from a flame. The other is to seek more, yearning for further stimulation of already overloaded pleasure sensors, like an overdosing addict knowing death will result but plunging the needle ever deeper in search of that elusive final apocalyptic high.

Few will tolerate this. Fewer still will find gratification. But which urge is stronger- fear of the potentially unpleasant and painful, or the desire and drive of Sacher-Masoch’s perversion?

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 9 minutes ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    [QUOTE=Sisslith][/QUOTE]Used to have an original vinyl version of this, without the billion dollar note insert. Sadly, it hot hot and ended up getting wrinkly...
  • Posted 22 hours ago in Trannosorceress (black metal)
    Oops, typo in that title.
  • Posted 22 hours ago in Trannosorceress (black metal)


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