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1595 reviews/ratings
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid Heavy Metal | review permalink
THE STOOGES - Fun House Proto-Metal | review permalink
THE STOOGES - Raw Power Proto-Metal | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Secret Treaties Hard Rock | review permalink
KISS - Alive! Hard Rock | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Heavy Metal | review permalink
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock | review permalink
RUSH - Permanent Waves Hard Rock | review permalink
MOTÖRHEAD - Ace of Spades Heavy Metal | review permalink
RUSH - Moving Pictures Hard Rock | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast NWoBHM | review permalink
MERCYFUL FATE - Don't Break the Oath Heavy Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
CANDLEMASS - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus Traditional Doom Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
KING DIAMOND - Abigail Heavy Metal | review permalink
TROUBLE - Run to the Light Traditional Doom Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 148 3.62
2 Progressive Metal 125 3.38
3 Black Metal 117 3.94
4 Hard Rock 103 3.17
5 Non-Metal 98 3.70
6 Thrash Metal 81 3.79
7 Power Metal 76 3.45
8 Atmospheric Black Metal 63 4.02
9 Death Metal 55 3.92
10 Gothic Metal 54 3.44
11 Doom Metal 52 3.79
12 Proto-Metal 51 3.50
13 Metal Related 45 3.61
14 Avant-garde Metal 43 3.72
15 Traditional Doom Metal 43 3.87
16 Industrial Metal 38 3.58
17 Stoner Metal 36 3.78
18 Symphonic Black Metal 31 3.29
19 US Power Metal 29 3.60
20 Melodic Death Metal 25 3.96
21 Technical Death Metal 24 3.88
22 Melodic Black Metal 22 3.98
23 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 19 4.03
24 Death-Doom Metal 17 4.21
25 Heavy Psych 16 4.09
26 Hardcore Punk 15 4.07
27 Folk Metal 14 3.39
28 Funeral Doom Metal 14 3.68
29 Symphonic Metal 14 3.04
30 NWoBHM 13 4.23
31 Alternative Metal 11 3.50
32 Technical Thrash Metal 11 4.14
33 Sludge Metal 10 3.95
34 Speed Metal 10 3.60
35 Depressive Black Metal 9 4.28
36 Drone Metal 9 3.83
37 Funk Metal 8 3.69
38 Groove Metal 7 3.64
39 Grindcore 5 4.10
40 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.70
41 Death 'n' Roll 5 4.20
42 Viking Metal 5 4.10
43 Metalcore 3 3.00
44 Pagan Black Metal 2 3.50
45 Nu Metal 2 4.00
46 Heavy Alternative Rock 2 3.00
47 Crust Punk 2 4.00
48 Glam Metal 2 2.50
49 Stoner Rock 2 3.50
50 War Metal 1 4.00
51 Crossover Thrash 1 5.00
52 Mathcore 1 3.00
53 Neoclassical metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SIGH Heir to Despair

Album · 2018 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Mirai Kawashima's come over a little Ian Anderson. Not to a full Jethro Tull-ish extent, mind - but there's an outbreak of flute and piccolo on this Sigh album that's just as interesting an addition to their sound as when Dr Mikannibal first brought her saxophone onboard. For a good long while, the sound of Sigh has been guided in part by the particular direction that Mirai's wanted to take his multi-instrumentalist experimentation in; just look at the credits for this and their past few albums and you'll see how much he's changed his portfolio from release to release. So the addition of flute this time around may sound like a small thing, but as an extra ingredient in Sigh's bizarre mashup of classic metal and black metal and progressive rock, it ends up being an interesting through-line which ties the album together.

MYRKUR Mareridt

Album · 2017 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
I am increasingly convinced that the black metal scene's fixation on aesthetic kvlt purity is far and away its biggest liability. For one thing, when bands buy into it too hard it's a recipe for artistic stagnation; exactly how many bands do we need rehashing the early Darkthrone style, particularly when Darkthrone themselves already nailed it and moved on? For another, it means that whenever someone does something a bit different in a black metal context, there's inevitably a grumpy backlash.

Take Myrkur, for instance, whose debut album had a mixed reaction to say the least. Some of the backlash devolving into either lazy misogyny or quibbles about her indie pop background; those arguments we can toss aside easily, the former as the bigoted nonsense they obviously are, the latter for the absurdly closed-minded attitude they reveal. Who cares where she learned her chops if she produces decent black metal? How does it help black metal grow and evolve if the scene rigorously closes itself off to influences from outside it? Wouldn't someone who cut her teeth outside of black metal and then shifted over to it later in her career be able to bring an interestingly different perspective to bear? It's precisely this perspective which allows Myrkur to really tease out parts of the classic black metal sound which other artists take for granted.

A somewhat less risible set of criticisms came from those who dislike it when their black metal gets blended with other genres, regarding that as a dilution of the music at best, an attempt at bandwagon-hopping at worst. If that's genuinely your aesthetic outlook, fine; you probably didn't like Myrkur's M, and you certainly aren't going to enjoy Mareridt, because far from pandering to a purist audience that she'd likely have never satisfied anyway, Myrkur instead goes even further with her genre blending here, bringing to the fore the dark folk and ethereal wave influences which were already apparent on M.

Compare the covers: M had Myrkur lurking about in the distance, an indistinct shape; here she's stood out in the light, her aesthetic intentions entirely clear. Take it or leave it, guys; for my part, I consider this one of the most interesting projects in black metal today.

SAOR Guardians

Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
As I said in my review of Saor's magnificent Aura, I'm a bit fussy about my folk-metal hybrids and it doesn't take much for me to lose interest in them. Case in point: I quite liked Saor's mashup of atmospheric black metal and Scottish folk music on Aura, but I find Guardians to be substantially less interesting than its predecessor - largely because it seems to be leaning too heavily into the "Scottish folk" angle and playing it up for the audience, spoiling for me the delicate balance of the album.

The addition of Kevin Murphy on bagpipes is symptomatic of that - they're a love-it-or-hate-it instrument at the best of times, and to be honest their inclusion seems to be an attempt to deliberately pander to people's preconceptions about Scottishness and distinctively Scottish music in a way which the previous album didn't actually do.

What you get, then, is a reasonably competent but not enormously special atmospheric black metal album that someone's thickly layered a lot of ostentatious bagpipes and other folk instrument. I just can't get into it the way I do Aura.


Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Oathbreaker's Rheia finds the band walking away from the crust punk that had characterised their early work, instead hitching their wagon to the "blackgaze" style of shoegaze-influenced atmospheric black metal.

Oathbreaker's particular approach is to do the whole quiet/loud/quiet/loud thing which the post-rock crowd love so, with quieter sections of reflective post-rock alternating with louder black metal sections. Lead vocalist Caro Tanghe offers pleasant enough clean singing during the post-rock/shoegazey sections and reasonably wild shrieks during the black metal sections, and in general the album comes across as a competent exercise in working this particular formula, but on the whole I found that it's rather unsatisfying.

To me, the quiet sections on their own would not constitute especially satisfying post-rock, and the loud sections on their own would not constitute especially satisfying black metal, and whilst you can construct a whole greater than the sum of its parts from such material, Oathbreaker don't quite manage it here. Check it out if you're really keen on the whole blackgaze style.

PURSON Desire's Magic Theatre

Album · 2016 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
We'd seen strong hints on The Circle and the Blue Door that the retro stylings of Purson included a strong interest in the prog-psych boundary - that intriguing sound that existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s when progressive rock still hadn't quite disentangled itself from the artier end of the psychedelic scene.

On Desire's Magic Theatre, Rosalie Cunningham and her cohorts steer Purson away from the heavier territory of their debut album in order to more deeply explore the different nooks and crannies of that era, whilst delivering an album which applies modern production values and the benefit of some five decades' hindsight to the material. Jazz, Tull-esque flute, disorienting psychedelia and a small epic in the closing Bitter Suite finds Purson going from strength to strength. Due to its exploratory nature, it doesn't quite feel like it's hanging together as well as the debut album did, but the musical evolution on display is appreciable.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 10 months ago in Glenn Tipton no longer touring with Priest.
    Can't keep Glenn away too long, it seems - some nice footage of him rejoining the band for an encore in New Jersey recently:http://www.metalsucks.net/2018/03/21/video-glenn-tipton-joins-judas-priest-on-stage-in-new-jersey/As the reporter notes, it's great to see him on stage, but he does carry himself a little gingerly, like it's a big effort for him just to be there. If it takes that much to do an encore I can see why he wouldn't feel able to do full concerts any more.
  • Posted 10 months ago in MMA Reviewer's Challenge April 2018
    I've just done some playing around with the top album list page (http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/topalbums.aspx?lstReleaseTypes=1&MinNRatings=30&MaxResults=25#list) to see if I can filter it to find promising candidates for this.If you set minimum number of ratings to 0, maximum number of to something like 5, leave minimum average rating value at 0 and set maximum results to 100 you'll get a big fat list of albums with only have at most 5 ratings. Since albums tend to have more ratings than reviews, most of the albums on the list will fit the "no more than 2 reviews" criteria for the challenge.If you want some real obscurities, if you set minimum number of ratings to 1, maximum number to 1 or 2, minimum average at 0 and maximum results to 100 you get a host of real obscurities, all of which should by definition count for the challenge.What I haven't worked out is whether there's a convenient way to list all the releases on the site which have 0 ratings.
  • Posted 10 months ago in MMA's Top Depressive Black Metal Albums Poll V2
    I'll go with Leviathan, though I've not explored this subgenre as much as I thought I had.


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Stephen wrote:
more than 2 years ago
agree, welcome to the site and please keep them coming friend
UMUR wrote:
more than 2 years ago
You write some really good quality reviews. I hope to see more from you in the future.


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