Warthur

MMA Metal Reviewer · Metal Reviewer
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1827 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 Non-Metal 175 3.75
2 Progressive Metal 155 3.67
3 Heavy Metal 149 3.65
4 Black Metal 124 3.80
5 Hard Rock 118 3.52
6 Metal Related 91 3.69
7 Thrash Metal 81 3.76
8 Power Metal 79 3.41
9 Atmospheric Black Metal 64 3.86
10 Proto-Metal 62 3.65
11 Gothic Metal 58 3.38
12 Doom Metal 57 3.78
13 Death Metal 55 3.92
14 Traditional Doom Metal 45 3.87
15 US Power Metal 41 3.46
16 Stoner Metal 38 3.78
17 Avant-garde Metal 38 3.78
18 Industrial Metal 33 3.44
19 Symphonic Black Metal 30 3.20
20 Technical Death Metal 25 3.84
21 Melodic Death Metal 25 3.94
22 Death-Doom Metal 23 4.13
23 Melodic Black Metal 22 3.91
24 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 20 3.98
25 Hardcore Punk 19 4.21
26 Heavy Psych 16 4.06
27 Funeral Doom Metal 15 3.70
28 Folk Metal 14 3.32
29 Symphonic Metal 14 3.04
30 NWoBHM 13 4.23
31 Alternative Metal 12 3.25
32 Technical Thrash Metal 12 4.13
33 Sludge Metal 11 3.95
34 Speed Metal 11 3.73
35 Depressive Black Metal 10 3.75
36 Drone Metal 9 4.00
37 Funk Metal 9 3.78
38 Groove Metal 8 3.63
39 Viking Metal 8 3.63
40 Crust Punk 7 2.93
41 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.70
42 Grindcore 5 4.10
43 Death 'n' Roll 4 4.50
44 Crossover Thrash 2 4.50
45 Glam Metal 2 2.50
46 Pagan Black Metal 2 3.50
47 Nu Metal 2 4.00
48 Metalcore 2 3.00
49 War Metal 2 3.00
50 Stoner Rock 2 3.50
51 Neoclassical metal 1 4.00
52 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
53 Mathcore 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

THE STOOGES Metallic K.O.

Live album · 1976 · Proto-Metal
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Buyer beware - the original release of Metallic KO, the one whose track list is reflected above, was mislabelled, with only the second side actually coming from the final Stooges show and the first side hailing from a worse-sounding gig at the same venue from some four months earlier. So for this purpose, my rating of this will be based on that issue - go look at my review of Metallic 2xKO, one of several versions of the release to include the full final show (and, in its 2CD configurations, the full version of the earlier show too), for my thoughts on that.

Really, though, if you are enough of a collector to want this material, the best way to get it these days is on Cherry Red's You Think You're Bad, Man? box - a modestly-priced 5CD collection which will get you both those shows, plus three others, coming to about as much Raw Power-era live Stooges as anyone could possibly want.

THE STOOGES I'm Sick Of You

EP · 1977 · Proto-Metal
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The I'm Sick of You sessions have been released in various formats now - the definitive one being that offered on the first disc of the Heavy Liquid boxed set (rereleased more recently on the Born In A Trailer boxed set), from which you can take whichever version of I Got a Right and Gimme Some Skin you prefer, add a brilliantly filthy Louie Louie, Money, Scene of the Crime and of course the brilliant I'm Sick of You itself to get a definitive version of the set. Punk rock in all but name, these aggressive, stripped down, and angry as hell garage rock numbers rank among the very best of the Stooges' output.

ENCHANT The Great Divide

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
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Following Tug of War, Enchant went into a big hiatus, at least as far as studio activity was concerned, and their members pursued other interests. Frontman Ted Leonard, in particular, would find a new berth in the intervening time as the lead singer in Spock's Beard, replacing Nick D'Virgilio - but that didn't stop him and the gang getting back together to give Enchant one more go in the studio.

I wasn't so keen on the last two Enchant albums before the hiatus, and in both cases the issue largely stemmed from the departure of Paul Craddick from the band. As well as being the group's drummer, Craddick had made extensive contributions to the songwriting, and it was immediately apparent in his absence that the band's pool of creative ideas had become just a bit shallower as a result. (In particular, the Rush influence which kept creeping into their stuff disappeared, to its detriment.)

Under such circumstances, it's understandable that the band would want to step back a while and recharge their songwriting batteries before giving things another go-around. Unfortunately, in this case I don't think it quite worked. On the one hand, at least this isn't another re-run of Blink of an Eye; they're playing somewhat less heavy this time around, in a reversion back in a more art rock/melodic rock-with-prog-influences direction. Unfortunately, that isn't quite enough to invest the material with much in the way of personality. Once again, they play perfectly competently, but it's so generic that I can't retain any of it in my memory once the album stops playing.

If The Great Divide has failed to rekindle my enthusiasm for Enchant, it also seems to have failed to prompt the band themselves to spend more time, well, being Enchant. Take Ted Leonard, for example: in the intervening eight years or so since this released, he's fronted two Spock's Beard studio albums and three Pattern-Seeking Animals releases, as well as working live dates with all those projects, whereas Enchant has been inactive in the studio and, after the 2015 tour supporting this album wrapped up, seem to have only gotten together to play live at major prog festivals like Cruise To the Edge.

Might this be the end of Enchant? If that's the case, it's a bit of a lukewarm ending. On the one hand, it's not an embarrassingly poor album; on the other hand, the bonus disc on some editions which provides a potted "best of" their preceding career kinds of beats the pants off The Great Divide itself. I'm certainly more inclined to remember Enchant for albums like Blueprint of the World or Break than for unmemorable material like this.

ENCHANT Tug Of War

Album · 2003 · Metal Related
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Tug of War would be the last Enchant studio effort before a fairly long hiatus, which would be broken over a decade later by The Great Divide. It's not that they outright split or everything - it's just that they stopped making studio albums, despite having kept up a fairly frequent output over the preceding decade.

Perhaps it was high time for a break; I'd thought the album prior to this, Blink of an Eye, was rather forgettable, in part because the departure of original drummer Paul Craddick meant that the band's pool of songwriters suddenly got shallower, with Douglas Ott and Ted Leonard taking on all the songwriting duties when previously they had been shared between more hands, leading to an album with a rather samey sound.

This time around, other hands contribute more - Ed Platt has some credits, as does new keyboardist Bill Jenkins - but Leonard and Ott still shoulder most of the burden, and it feels like the creative well is running dry here. Whilst it has a few more prog flourishes than Blink of an Eye did, this like that album is often painfully generic at some points, and once again I find myself missing the Rush influences which were more evident on their run of albums from Blueprint of the world to Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10.

Just as Blink of an Eye felt like a rehash of Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10, with just a bit less sonic diversity, so too does Tug of War feel like a rote rehash of Blink of an Eye - again, it's pleasant, but it's not memorable. Maybe the band's earlier works had their shakier aspects, but they at least had more personality than this. Taking a good long break to recharge those creative batteries might be just what the doctor ordered.

ENCHANT Blink Of An Eye

Album · 2002 · Metal Related
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Enchant's sixth album, Blink of an Eye, comes amidst a time of changes for the band. For their first five albums, their lineup had been fairly stable; bassist Ed Platt had, for reasons I've not been able to track down, not been involved in the recording of Break, but he was back in the fold for Juggling 9 and Dropping 10 - at which point longstanding keyboardist Michael Geimer departed, followed by drummer Paul Craddick a while after that.

This release would see Sean Flanegan take over at the drumstool, but the band did not yet have a permanent replacement keyboardist; Douglas Ott filled the gap for the time being, with guest Phil Bennett stopping by to add a few extra touches here and there. (Subsequent to this release, Bill Jenkins would join to take up the keyboard post long-term.)

Of course, musicians join and leave bands all the time - it's par for the course. However, as well as being their original drummer Craddick was also one of Enchant's key songwriters, making extensive contributions to all their prior albums on that front. In fact, he'd get at least a co-writing credit on the majority of the songs on more or less every previous album except Break (where he still wrote music for four of the ten songs).

As such, losing him didn't just mean losing a drummer - it also meant the band lost a key creative mind, and whilst Flanegan seems entirely competent behind the drumstool, he doesn't step in to fill the songwriting gap here. (He wouldn't get credited with any songwriting on the followup, Tug of War, either, but would get cowriting credits on four songs on the reunion album The Great Divide.)

I don't say this as a slam on Flanegan - if you're the new guy coming into a band which has just lost a couple of long-standing measures it can be sensible to hang back a little and get a sense of the group's internal chemistry before you start pushing your own ideas. However, the upshot of Craddick leaving is that only Douglas Ott and Ted Leonard get any songwriting credits on this album, making it the Enchant album with the least number of distinct individuals contributing to the songwriting. (The songwriting pool would widen again with Tug of War.)

That might explain some of Blink of an Eye's issues. In some cases, narrowing down the range of people contributing to songs can be a smart move; it can help to focus your sound and hone in on a distinct creative vision, rather than sprawling to try and accommodate everyone's ideas. In other situations, however, losing someone from a songwriting team is a net negative: what you might gain in some respects you ultimately lose through the simple fact that you have one less person throwing ideas into the pot.

In Enchant's case, I would say the latter situation applies. Enchant's sound prior to this was based on a smorgasboard of influences - neo-prog like Marillion, IQ, and Jadis, prog metal and heavy prog like Dream Theater or Rush, and from Break onwards an increasing influence from melodic alt-rock. That's at least two distinct flavours of prog, plus influences from outside of prog, all representing distinct strands in their music; you can see how it would be a challenge to come up with musical ideas which cover all those bases at once.

By comparison, to my ears the sound of Blink of an Eye feels like it's just a little bit blander than usual. Little musical development over Juggling 9 Or Dropping 10 is evident, and for a band which had made an admirable show of significantly developing and shifting its music from album to album that's unfortunate. To the extent there is a change, everything sounds a little bit more same-y than it did before - which is not a positive development -and it feels like the Rush influence that had cropped up frequently has been dialled back a lot. (If Craddick was responsible for a lot of the Rush-isms, that might be why - he'd hardly be the first drummer to look up to Neal Peart, after all...)

Don't get me wrong, this isn't flat-out horrible - you don't put it on and think that Enchant have suddenly lost all ability to play their instruments. It's nice, entertaining melodic rock with heavy touches here and there and some prog sensibilities... but it's one of those albums where I can sit here and listen to the entire thing start to finish, and when the final track ends I cannot remember a single goddamn part of it. It's pleasant enough in the moment, but there's nothing here which'd stay with you, and as such it feels like a comparatively lukewarm effort by Enchant's standards.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 4 months ago in Scott Kelly (Neurosis) retires from music
    Coming to this late but echoing what other people have said: I don't trust Kelly's statement an inch.I've known people who've gotten into a cycle of regularly making big dramatic apologies for their behaviour and spurting all sorts of promises they're going to change... but actually, the apologies and promises are what they do instead of working on themselves. They just use them as a delaying tactic to convince people to give them a bit more time before writing them off entirely.Apparently, this isn't the first time Scott's done this particular dance - just the most public one - so it smells like a similar situation to me. If the band don't see any reason to back him up on this - and they might have been out of touch with him a while, but they surely know him better than me - I don't see any reason to differ.
  • Posted 1 year ago in A name for "progressive metal punk?"
    If most of the examples LightningRider's thinking of are usually described as some flavour of 'core, why not just go with "progcore"?
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Sean Reinert R.I.P.
    An ugly coda to the story: despite strongly believing in organ donation, and despite the fact that he was clean of STDs, Sean's wish to donate his organs was denied simply because he was a gay man with a normal, active sex life:https://www.metalsucks.net/2020/02/11/sean-reinerts-organ-donor-request-was-denied-because-of-his-sexual-orientation/If any of us want to do some small thing in Sean's memory, I'd say making a monetary donation to a charity that supports transplant patients wouldn't be a terrible idea.

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Stephen wrote:
more than 2 years ago
agree, welcome to the site and please keep them coming friend
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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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