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1584 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

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 148 3.62
2 Progressive Metal 125 3.38
3 Black Metal 115 3.93
4 Hard Rock 103 3.17
5 Non-Metal 97 3.70
6 Thrash Metal 81 3.79
7 Power Metal 76 3.45
8 Atmospheric Black Metal 60 4.04
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 Traditional Doom Metal 43 3.87
15 Avant-garde Metal 42 3.71
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 21 3.98
23 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 19 4.03
24 Death-Doom Metal 17 4.21
25 Heavy Psych 15 4.03
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 Groove Metal 7 3.64
38 Funk Metal 6 3.58
39 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.70
40 Death 'n' Roll 5 4.20
41 Grindcore 5 4.10
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


Album · 2014 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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Saor's sort-of second sort-of first album (Andy Marshall, the man behind this one-man project, put out the preceding Roots under the project name of Àrsaidh before changing it retrospectively to Saor) offers a really nicely judged blend of atmospheric black metal of the most epic, sweeping sort, and carefully chosen aspects of Celtic folk music.

There's lots of folk/metal blends out there, but I find that a lot of them leave me a little cold because in coming up with the mixture the projects in question don't show much judgement when it comes to what to leave out, which I think is a mistake. Trying to incorporate all the metal and folk tropes and instrumentation into a composition at once just leaves you with a mess; instead, Marshall selects his folk incorporations carefully, a whistle there, a viola there, a bodhrán drum over there, and makes sure that the folk inclusions serve rather than disrupting the atmosphere thus established.

Lyrically speaking, Marshall manages to pull off the trick of expressing pride in his homeland of Scotland and in his Celtic heritage without making it sound like he's coming anywhere near more hateful territory, which gives stealth NSBM bands who try to muddy the waters by just claiming they're singing about ancestral pride even less of an excuse. (If it's this easy to get your message across without steering into ambiguously fashy territory, then if you've ended up there it can only be because you either didn't think carefully enough or you meant to end up there in the first place.)

On the whole, Saor deserve to take their place in the current pagan pantheon of British atmospheric black metal band simply on the basis of this masterful project, and I'll be making sure to hear more of their work when I can.


Album · 2017 · Death-Doom Metal
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I've never explored The Ruins of Beverast before, but the notes of those who've previously delved into that particular dungeon suggest an interesting progression on the part of its architects. Records suggest that the Ruins began on a foundation of atmospheric black metal, before the Beverastian ruler Alexander von Meilenwald took a turn into death-doom territory.

Certainly, the treasure I found in the region known as Exuvia bears out this idea, because the foundations of atmospheric black metal - blast beats and ambient influences mostly - are frequently evident even amid the towering structures of death-doom, lending them a certain stark majesty which makes the Ruins stand apart from the pack.

There's also a certain tribal influence detectable - mostly in the form of distant chants; I am not particularly well-placed to judge whether these inclusions have been chosen with care to ensure an apt selection appropriate to the material being presented as well as respecting the original source, or whether it's some cheap cultural appropriation of some cool-sounding noises which von Meilenwald doesn't even understand and inadvertently renders the material hilarious if you actually knew how inappropriate the choice was... but gosh, does it sound cool.

"Exuvia" refers to the discarded shell of an arthropod - you know, crabs or spiders or insects, those kind of critters - after it's moulted, much as the Beverastian people moulted their old atmospheric black metal ways for a more experimental path. Having come away from the Ruins of Beverast bearing these intriguing samples, I think I will be exploring more of the fallen city sooner or later.


Album · 2012 · Gothic Metal
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In the early 2010s Paradise Lost were in the middle of a slow curve back towards the doom and specifically death-doom territory which had been where they started out, after a long mid-career sweep through gothic metal and goth rock territories. Tragic Idol seems like it's capturing a moment of them dithering on the threshold of doom metal, wondering if they're really ready to go through with it and return home; it feels like they're still holding onto some of the gothic trappings which gave them a brush with commercial success, and perhaps clutching to them just a wee bit tighter than they did on Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us.

This along with The Plague Within are probably the shakiest of the run of transitional albums from In Requiem, where they started returning to doom, to Medusa where they finally made a triumphant return to death-doom, but I think it still hits an interesting goth-doom mix which, if you dug the preceding two albums, will likely appeal to you - but I'd suggest going to those wells before you draw from this one.

PARADISE LOST Symbol of Life

Album · 2002 · Gothic Metal
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Of all the albums of Paradise Lost's mid-career cruise through gothic rock/gothic metal territory - commencing after they more or less abandoned their old death-doom sound on One Second before crawling back towards doom metal territory in their late career - Symbol of Life might be their most instantaneously accessible blend of synth-happy gothic rock in a Sisters of Mercy vein with more gothic metal guitar riffage.

With heavy guitars making a welcome return to their sound, the band manage a really nice, smooth fusion of the different styles, producing something which is accessible enough to have gained a certain amount of commercial traction (at least, it's the Paradise Lost album from this period I saw most heavily promoted in my neck of the woods) whilst at the same time feeling like the band actually believe in what they're doing here more than they did on the slightly directionless Host.

Those for whom a Paradise Lost separated from their extreme metal roots is no Paradise Lost at all will likely turn their nose up at this album, but for those with an appetite for more pop-oriented metal, Symbol of Life finds Paradise Lost adjusting their musical direction and really hitting on an appealing new course, with the lessons of Host and Believe In Nothing fully integrated whilst at the same time the band allow their metal instincts to come back to the fore. On the whole, surprisingly good: I genuinely didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did.

WHITE ZOMBIE La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Volume 1

Album · 1992 · Groove Metal
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This is one which crept up on me - much like zombies of the classic George Romero variety, come to think of it. I came to White Zombie a bit later than everyone else (Marilyn Manson was my shock rock cup of tea back in the day), and as such a lot of the stuff this album does had become widely imitated by the time I got to it. The liberal sprinkling of creepy sound clips was already a feature of the more danceable end of industrial music, having been pioneered by Skinny Puppy; new guitarist's J's riffs have been imitated by countless groove metal tagalongs ever since, and I've lost count of the number of guys I've run into over the years who thought that growing their hair out and not bathing could make them a Rob Zombie-like cult figure.

Nonetheless, even if the individual parts that make up La Sexorcisto might be cliches by themselves, brought together in one package they come up with a dynamite combination which I found increasingly intoxicating once I gave myself a little time to, well, get into the groove. On my first listen the first few songs seemed like an achingly generic morass, but something clicked partway through Black Sunshine and I loved the rest of the album; I immediately started it over and found that I was catching features of the first few songs which had entirely escaped me the first time.

Like listening to someone who's speaking your native language with a particularly strong dialect or accent, you need to give your ear a little time to adjust to what White Zombie's laying down here, but you'll be glad that you did. Rob's delirious rants and J's volcanic guitar solos are flashy as anything, and the rhythm section of Sean Yseult and Ivan de Prume purr like an engine - it's no wonder that Rob keeps coming back to the car motif in his lyrics.

Special mention, of course, has to be made of the involvement of friend and fan of the band Iggy Pop, without whose support they might have never made it this far. His spoken word introduction on Black Sunshine, in particular, is amazingly evocative and makes me think that someone should get him to narrate a documentary about the Beat writers or something. (You just *know* he'd be up for such a project, after all.)

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 7 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 7 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 7 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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Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
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Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
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