Xaxaar

Mike
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit more than 2 years ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

316 reviews/ratings
KAYO DOT - Choirs Of The Eye Avant-garde Metal
GORGUTS - Obscura Technical Death Metal
CONVERGE - Jane Doe Mathcore | review permalink
WEAKLING - Dead as Dreams Black Metal
DYSTOPIA - Human = Garbage Crust Punk
ISIS - Oceanic Atmospheric Sludge Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Leaving Your Body Map Avant-garde Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Bath Avant-garde Metal
MR. BUNGLE - Disco Volante Metal Related | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue Avant-garde Metal
CONVERGE - You Fail Me Mathcore
CONVERGE - No Heroes Mathcore
CONVERGE - Axe to Fall Metalcore
CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE - As The Roots Undo Hardcore Punk | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Hubardo Avant-garde Metal
KAYO DOT - Coyote Non-Metal
BREACH - It´s Me God Hardcore Punk
GAZA - I Don't Care Where I Go When I Die Mathcore
GOSPEL - The Moon Is A Dead World Hardcore Punk
MARE - Mare Atmospheric Sludge Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY - Sadness Will Prevail Avant-garde Metal
DYSTOPIA - The Aftermath Sludge Metal
DYSTOPIA - Dystopia Sludge Metal
ALTAR OF PLAGUES - Teethed Glory and Injury Atmospheric Black Metal
CONVERGE - When Forever Comes Crashing Metalcore
CONVERGE - All We Love We Leave Behind Metalcore
DISEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into the Peripheral Death-Doom Metal
GRIS - Il Était une Forêt... Depressive Black Metal
PESTE NOIRE - La Sanie des siècles - Panégyrique de la dégénérescence Black Metal
PORTAL - Outre' Technical Death Metal
TOOL - 10,000 Days Progressive Metal
ENSLAVED - Below the Lights Black Metal
AGALLOCH - The Mantle Folk Metal
AGALLOCH - Ashes Against the Grain Folk Metal
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal
DEATH - Human Technical Death Metal
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Terria Progressive Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ocean Machine: Biomech Progressive Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Infinity Progressive Metal
ISIS - Panopticon Atmospheric Sludge Metal
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - I Progressive Metal
CYNIC - Focus Technical Death Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
KING CRIMSON - Larks' Tongues In Aspic Proto-Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Addicted Alternative Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ki Metal Related
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM - Two Hunters Atmospheric Black Metal
ENSLAVED - Isa Black Metal | review permalink
MR. BUNGLE - California Metal Related
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ghost Non-Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Deconstruction Progressive Metal | review permalink
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - Of Natural History Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
DØDHEIMSGARD - 666 International Black Metal | review permalink
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum Black Metal
TOOL - Lateralus Progressive Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Somewhere Along The Highway Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Paracletus Black Metal
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum: Chaining the Katechon Black Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ziltoid The Omniscient Progressive Metal | review permalink
PORCUPINE TREE - Fear Of A Blank Planet Metal Related | review permalink
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice Black Metal
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Mass Grave Aesthetics Black Metal
TOBY DRIVER - In The L..L..Library Loft Non-Metal | review permalink
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Diabolus Absconditus Black Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Official Bootleg 2000 Progressive Metal
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues Progressive Metal
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - Colors Progressive Metal
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - Colors_Live Progressive Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Secret Song Avant-garde Metal
KAYO DOT - Gamma Knife Avant-garde Metal
BOTCH - We Are The Romans Mathcore
NEUROSIS - Through Silver In Blood Atmospheric Sludge Metal
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Drought Black Metal | review permalink
DISCORDANCE AXIS - The Inalienable Dreamless Grindcore | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid Heavy Metal
SWANS - Filth Metal Related
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE - Rage Against the Machine Rap Metal
BORIS - Flood Metal Related
CRYPTOPSY - Blasphemy Made Flesh Technical Death Metal
SWANS - Cop Metal Related
KAYO DOT - Blue Lambency Downward Non-Metal
BREACH - Kollapse Hardcore Punk
TODAY IS THE DAY - Temple Of The Morning Star Metal Related
TODAY IS THE DAY - Willpower Metal Related
CONVERGE - Petitioning The Empty Sky Metalcore
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Part The Second Non-Metal
PORTAL - Seepia Technical Death Metal
TOOL - Ænima Alternative Metal
CYNIC - Traced in Air Progressive Metal
AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit Atmospheric Black Metal
ATHEIST - Piece of Time Technical Death Metal
CARCASS - Heartwork Melodic Death Metal
DEATH - Individual Thought Patterns Technical Death Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Synchestra Progressive Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Accelerated Evolution Progressive Metal
GOJIRA - The Way of All Flesh Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Somewhere In Time Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Brave New World Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
MESHUGGAH - Chaosphere Progressive Metal
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - In Absentia Metal Related
VOIVOD - Nothingface Progressive Metal
VOIVOD - Dimension Hatröss Technical Thrash Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal
SEPTICFLESH - Communion Death Metal | review permalink
CYNIC - Re-Traced Metal Related
CYNIC - Promo 08 Progressive Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - Supervillain Outcast Industrial Metal
FEN - Epoch Atmospheric Black Metal
ANTHRAX - Among The Living Thrash Metal
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
TRIPTYKON - Eparistera Daimones Doom Metal
NEGURĂ BUNGET - OM Atmospheric Black Metal
UNEXPECT - In a Flesh Aquarium Avant-garde Metal
RUSH - Hemispheres Hard Rock
RUSH - Permanent Waves Hard Rock
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock
SEPTICFLESH - The Great Mass Death Metal
ENSLAVED - Vertebrae Progressive Metal
GOJIRA - From Mars to Sirius Death Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson II Melodic Death Metal
ARCTURUS - The Sham Mirrors Avant-garde Metal
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal
FAITH NO MORE - Angel Dust Alternative Metal
MOONSORROW - V: Hävitetty Folk Metal
MOONSORROW - Suden uni Folk Metal
CYNIC - Demo 1991 Technical Death Metal
KLONE - The Eye of Needle Alternative Metal | review permalink
FANTÔMAS - Delìrium Còrdia Metal Related
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal
OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse Progressive Metal
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - In Glorious Times Avant-garde Metal
PRIMUS - Frizzle Fry Funk Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - Satanic Art Black Metal
UNEXPECT - Fables of the Sleepless Empire Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Ruun Black Metal
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Crushing the Holy Trinity (Father) Black Metal
DEATHSPELL OMEGA - Kénôse Black Metal
KAYO DOT - Kayo Dot / Bloody Panda Avant-garde Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Unplugged Non-Metal
THE OCEAN - Precambrian Atmospheric Sludge Metal
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Great Misdirect Progressive Metal
NEUROSIS - Times Of Grace Atmospheric Sludge Metal
NE OBLIVISCARIS - Portal Of I Progressive Metal
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal
SABBAT - The Dwelling Black Metal
BORIS - Boris At Last: -Feedbacker- Drone Metal
BORIS - Amplifier Worship Drone Metal
FATES WARNING - Parallels Progressive Metal
CORONER - No More Color Technical Thrash Metal
CRYPTOPSY - None So Vile Technical Death Metal
PROGENIE TERRESTRE PURA - U.M.A. Atmospheric Black Metal
BREACH - Venom Hardcore Punk
GAZA - He Is Never Coming Back Sludge Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY - In The Eyes Of God Avant-garde Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY - Today Is The Day Metal Related
TODAY IS THE DAY - Supernova Metal Related
GRIS - À l'âme enflammée, l'äme constellée... Depressive Black Metal
ISIS - In The Absence Of Truth Atmospheric Sludge Metal
PORTAL - Swarth Technical Death Metal
PORTAL - Vexovoid Technical Death Metal
TOOL - Undertow Alternative Metal
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini Progressive Metal
AGALLOCH - The White EP Non-Metal
AGALLOCH - Pale Folklore Folk Metal
ANATHEMA - Alternative 4 Metal Related
ANATHEMA - Judgement Non-Metal
ATHEIST - Jupiter Technical Death Metal
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal
CARCASS - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious Death Metal
DEATH - The Sound of Perseverance Technical Death Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Physicist Progressive Metal
EXIVIOUS - Exivious Progressive Metal
IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN - Killers NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN - Piece Of Mind NWoBHM
ISIS - Wavering Radiant Atmospheric Sludge Metal
MESHUGGAH - Catch Thirtythree Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - obZen Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Nothing (2006) Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Destroy Erase Improve Progressive Metal
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal
OPETH - Deliverance Progressive Metal
OPETH - Damnation Metal Related
PORCUPINE TREE - Deadwing Metal Related
VOIVOD - Killing Technology Technical Thrash Metal
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal
ARCTURUS - Aspera Hiems Symfonia Symphonic Black Metal
BURZUM - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Atmospheric Black Metal
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Alien Industrial Metal
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Animals as Leaders Progressive Metal
SHINING - Blackjazz Avant-garde Metal
MESHUGGAH - Nothing Progressive Metal
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal
RUSH - Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RIVERSIDE - Second Life Syndrome Metal Related
DISSECTION - Storm of the Light's Bane Melodic Black Metal
RIVERSIDE - Anno Domini High Definition Progressive Metal
BLOTTED SCIENCE - The Machinations of Dementia Progressive Metal
IHSAHN - After Progressive Metal
ARCTURUS - La Masquerade Infernale Avant-garde Metal
MR. BUNGLE - Mr. Bungle Avant-garde Metal
CELTIC FROST - To Mega Therion Thrash Metal
ZU - Carboniferous Avant-garde Metal
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal
CELTIC FROST - Into the Pandemonium Avant-garde Metal
ULVER - Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ORPHANED LAND - Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven Folk Metal
MOONSORROW - Verisäkeet Folk Metal
PRIMORDIAL - To the Nameless Dead Folk Metal
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - Grand Opening and Closing Avant-garde Metal
GREEN CARNATION - Light of Day, Day of Darkness Progressive Metal
OBSCURA - Omnivium Technical Death Metal
KING CRIMSON - Lizard Proto-Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible Avant-garde Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - The Incident Metal Related
DEVIN TOWNSEND - The Hummer Non-Metal
RUSH - 2112 Hard Rock
DREAM THEATER - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Progressive Metal
FAITH NO MORE - The Real Thing Funk Metal
CYNIC - Carbon-Based Anatomy Metal Related
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - Alaska Metalcore
DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE - Death's Design Black Metal
ENSLAVED - RIITIIR Progressive Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY - Pain Is A Warning Hardcore Punk
TODAY IS THE DAY - Axis Of Eden Hardcore Punk
BLOODBATH - The Fathomless Mastery Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Iron Maiden NWoBHM
DEATH - Fate: The Best of Death Death Metal
AGHORA - Aghora Progressive Metal
ANTHRAX - Spreading The Disease Thrash Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
MORBID ANGEL - Blessed Are the Sick Death Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal
SODOM - Agent Orange Thrash Metal
PESTILENCE - Spheres Technical Death Metal
METALLICA - Kill 'em All Thrash Metal
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - The New Black Industrial Metal
A PERFECT CIRCLE - Mer de Noms Metal Related
MOONSORROW - Kivenkantaja Viking Metal
OBSCURA - Cosmogenesis Technical Death Metal
PRIMUS - Pork Soda Funk Metal
EDGE OF SANITY - Purgatory Afterglow Melodic Death Metal
PRIMUS - Sailing the Seas of Cheese Funk Metal
OPETH - Heritage Metal Related
NIGHTWISH - Wishmaster Power Metal
DREAM THEATER - Awake Progressive Metal
GUNS N' ROSES - Appetite For Destruction Hard Rock
TRIVIUM - Shogun Melodic Metalcore
KATATONIA - The Great Cold Distance Alternative Metal
NEUROSIS - Souls at Zero Atmospheric Sludge Metal
TODAY IS THE DAY - Kiss The Pig Grindcore
CONVERGE - Halo In A Haystack Hardcore Punk
TOOL - Opiate Alternative Metal
DEATH - Leprosy Death Metal
GOJIRA - The Link Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - A Matter Of Life And Death Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - The Final Frontier Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Fear Of The Dark Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - No Prayer For The Dying Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Train of Thought Progressive Metal
AGHORA - Formless Progressive Metal
PANTERA - Vulgar Display of Power Groove Metal
SODOM - M-16 Thrash Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Toxicity Alternative Metal
PESTILENCE - Consuming Impulse Death Metal
PESTILENCE - Testimony of the Ancients Technical Death Metal
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - City Industrial Metal
VAN HALEN - Van Halen Hard Rock
UNEXPECT - Utopia Avant-garde Metal
PESTILENCE - Doctrine Death Metal
ADRENALINE MOB - Adrenaline Mob Groove Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Devlab Non-Metal
DREAM THEATER - Black Clouds & Silver Linings Progressive Metal
DREAM THEATER - Octavarium Progressive Metal | review permalink
RAMMSTEIN - Mutter Industrial Metal
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Strapping Young Lad Industrial Metal
RIVERSIDE - Shrine of New Generation Slaves Metal Related
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Heavy Metal
DEATH - Spiritual Healing Death Metal
GOJIRA - Terra Incognita Death Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - System of a Down Alternative Metal
METALLICA - Metallica Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Falling Into Infinity Progressive Metal
CARCASS - Swansong Death 'n' Roll
DEATH - Scream Bloody Gore Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Dance Of Death Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - The X Factor Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Virtual XI Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Systematic Chaos Progressive Metal
AVENGED SEVENFOLD - Avenged Sevenfold Alternative Metal
AVENGED SEVENFOLD - City of Evil Heavy Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Steal This Album! Alternative Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Hypnotize Alternative Metal
PESTILENCE - Resurrection Macabre Death Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - All Hope Is Gone Alternative Metal
DISTURBED - Indestructible Alternative Metal
METALLICA - Death Magnetic Thrash Metal
MORBID ANGEL - Illud Divinum Insanus Death Metal
DREAM THEATER - When Dream and Day Unite Progressive Metal
METALLICA - Lulu (with Lou Reed) Heavy Metal
LAMB OF GOD - Resolution Groove Metal
GODSMACK - Faceless Alternative Metal
METALLICA - St. Anger Alternative Metal
EMMURE - Speaker of the Dead Metalcore | review permalink
SATANIC ARMY - Praise Him Black Metal

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 55 3.17
2 Avant-garde Metal 24 3.60
3 Metal Related 23 3.43
4 Technical Death Metal 21 3.50
5 Black Metal 19 3.71
6 Alternative Metal 18 2.03
7 Death Metal 17 2.26
8 Heavy Metal 15 2.07
9 Thrash Metal 13 2.88
10 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 11 3.68
11 Non-Metal 10 3.50
12 Folk Metal 8 3.38
13 Hardcore Punk 8 3.69
14 Hard Rock 7 3.00
15 Atmospheric Black Metal 7 3.64
16 Industrial Metal 6 2.50
17 Metalcore 6 3.50
18 Mathcore 5 4.50
19 NWoBHM 5 3.00
20 Proto-Metal 4 3.38
21 Sludge Metal 4 4.00
22 Melodic Death Metal 4 3.13
23 Funk Metal 4 2.88
24 Groove Metal 3 1.67
25 Technical Thrash Metal 3 3.33
26 Grindcore 2 3.25
27 Drone Metal 2 3.50
28 Depressive Black Metal 2 4.00
29 Doom Metal 1 3.50
30 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.50
31 Crust Punk 1 5.00
32 Death 'n' Roll 1 1.00
33 Symphonic Black Metal 1 3.00
34 Rap Metal 1 4.00
35 Power Metal 1 2.50
36 Melodic Metalcore 1 2.50
37 Melodic Black Metal 1 3.00
38 Viking Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DISCORDANCE AXIS The Inalienable Dreamless

Album · 2001 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Not being a grindcore expert, this review may be like a grindcore song: short. But I'll give you 10 short reasons why I like the album.

1) I hear definite mathcore undertonings, and for me that keeps the album interesting. Along the many time signatures, there are many different speeds as well.

2) Past the scary grindcore coating, there is some life to be found in the record. So for me, this satisfies both sides of me which want to analyze and feel.

3) The production, relative to other grindcore releases I've heard is great.

4) This record has a ton of riffs, and they never really get boring. This is just a rollercoaster that never really goes down, just slows down.

5) The vocal-styles, having both a high-pitched and pig-y low voice, are very well done. Their technique sounds flawless for their style to me.

6) Got some good grindcore drummin'.

7) To me, this was a breath of fresh air with grindcore. I heard some of the stuff they did with other mathcore bands, but to hear grindcore + mathcore, and executed well, was a treat.

8) I like the art.

9) Incredibly consistent.

10) Sounds like Converge at times.

DEATHSPELL OMEGA Drought

EP · 2012 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Deathspell Omega has been a very consistent black metal band starting from their release "Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice", the first of the trilogy, and this EP doesn't break the chain. They have been releasing some of the most interesting releases in the modern era of black metal. And along with their black metal roots, they have been adding plenty of progressive metal elements to their sound, and especially in this EP.

With progressive metal, I can see I'm very picky. Now I know I'm generalizing here, but a lot of progressive metal just sounds very dreary, dull, drab, and dry. Sometimes it doesn't even feel like you're listening to a band, just a machine that makes music in some odd time signature. But I believe Deathspell Omega is far from that. When I hear this EP, I always hear the raw roots where they came from and that helps put life into this release for me.

The production helps a lot with this album as well. Everything is textured so nicely and everything feels so tangible and you can really hear the instruments...if you get what I mean. Everything just feels so rugged, raw, rich and real.

As the EP starts off with a very atmospheric and slow song, it quickly picks up. The guitars are...excited, as they never really stay in a single riff for all too long and just seem to be jumping all over the place, which I like, but is an acquired taste. If you like having a lot of song structure, this may not be the EP for you because sometimes it does sound a bit scattered. But in all the chaos, you still get to go back to the black metal roots with the types of chords they choose.

Also, besides the instruments, there are of course the vocals. They haven't changed much, they're still the DSO vocals you either love or hate. There still isn't much in the ways of singing as there are a narration, but for some reason I'm always attracted to that style, love the classics like Spiderland and Trout Mask Replica that have plenty of that style. But if you've been turned away by previous Deathspell Omega, I'd recommending checking out this release. It has to be one of their most accessible releases along with the last ofthe trilogy, Paracletus.

Some complaints are that I feel that the EP ends too suddenly. Not that the EP is too short, although it could be longer, it just feels like a sudden stop and I wish it could have gone on longer. But I know this isn't their last release, and I'm excited that after the trilogy, they're still releasing awesome music.

CIRCLE TAKES THE SQUARE As The Roots Undo

Album · 2004 · Hardcore Punk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
As the Roots Undo is a screamo/post-hardcore album with some elements of mathcore, as there are some odd time signatures with polyrhythms and what have you.

To quote the album's booklet: "In a nutshell the concept behind the songs was to document the different points on a path to self-realization." Now, this is by no means the most original topic to make an album about, but as the song Kill the Switch says: "I know its all been done before, I want to do it again." And I'm very glad they did because the lyrics on this album are really phenomenal. The lyrics range from being very emotional to being outstandingly vivid. Just to throw out another quote out there, here's one of my favorite lyrics from the album:

"My dad's favorite novel on top of the pile, in the self concious first light shake the memory of his smile, igniting these volumes, igniting these volumes I'm warmed by the flames. Alter the deafening earthen tones... In the nervous light, I dance in the nervous light and I'm warmed by the flames. Dance to the sound of his weight bearing back fucking breaking."

I guess you can't really relate to the emotional part until you hear it and how it's delivered, but I'm sure by reading it you can even so how the lyrics are even slightly poetic. Now, how the vocals are delivered is where this album may be a bit challenging to get into. The screamo vocals aren't for everyone, but I think if you can learn to appreciate them you'll be rewarded with great lyrics and fantastic delivery.

But as this album also has some instruments in it, let's talk about those now. There's the conventional bass, guitar, drum set, but every so often there is another instrument thrown in for added texture. The intro song is actually nothing but flute, playing the main melody of the song, which does come back every-so-often, and most notably in the song "Interview at the Ruins", where they chant the lyrics "A murmur from the ruins echoes softly as the roots undo, and the branch becomes..." using the notes from the into track. And there are also some piano and random percussion thrown in as well. Fun stuff.

The drumming is very good. I'd say it sounds a bit like the drumming in Jane Doe, being very chaotic and sporadic as most mathcore drumming sounds. Basically, if you ever heard a mathcore album in your life, this is that drumming, but definitely above the average drumming, but still not quite "amazing" standards. It gets the job done, adds a good spine to the band, and keeps the songs driving that want to be driven, so it does everything a drummer is supposed to do and does it well.

The guitar/bass are also very well done, even better than the drums if I do say so. The riffs they make up often stand out in a very good way. The riffs are very diverse, not just focusing on one style too long. The quantity and quality you get with their riffs is great and definitely a reason to go back to the album.

Some criticisms of the album is that sometimes it feels to over-the-top, not because it's so extreme, but just how they express themselves it may seem kind of silly. After all, it's a bunch of youngsters letting out their angst with the tool of music. But I argue if one can handle this crazy, maybe even perhaps immature, album, you'll be glad you gave the effort.

CONVERGE Jane Doe

Album · 2001 · Mathcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Jane Doe really took me by surprise. As someone who's opinion of "core" has been contaminated by bands such as Bring Me The Horizon and Emmure, this album was sort of "Well, let's give the best of this genre a shot and see if it can redeem itself." And it has. Jane Doe is a whirlwind of emotion and technicality that never ceases and makes you longing for more when it does finally fade out. Every song is a cohesive experience, you're not going to "get it" by just listening to Homewrecker or Concubine by itself; it needs the context of the album to fully appreciate. Every song is absolutely essential, feeling like a mad house until the last track fills you with some sense of closure, but still longing for more.

The lyrics have no real structure to them and instead every song feels like a poem, but with hXe screams. Most people are put-off from the vocal style, but I think if you can get over that fact you can find some really meaningful stuff. Jane Doe's lyrics were written from Jacob Bannon's heart and I really do think it blends very well. He takes you on a journey where you feel everything from: shock, to denial, to depression, to hatred, defeat, self-loathing, loneliness, and hope. When all our roads have been travelled and all have come to a most bitter end: Today I thaw.

And of course there are the instruments. There are nothing short of being some of the most creative I've heard in a while. There is no question that this is also a masterpiece regarding technicality. Right away within the first 30 seconds of the album, it throws you into odd time signatures, crazy riffing, blast beats, and screaming. Concubine sure kicks off the album with haste. And it really doesn't slow down with Fault and Fracture, continuing on with Concubine's crazy theme. But what I like about this song so much is the outro. The drums crashing in and then speeding up the song is just great. After that is Distance and Meaning which actually utilizes clean vocals. And yes, I have to say it has calmed down a bit here, although that riff in the beginning still sounds pretty clustered. Now, Hell to Pay is when it really calms down. No doubt the calmest song on the album, and it has a very climatic song structure. It also has some great lyrics and how they're presented are great:

"That night, I think he cried himself to sleep Just maybe, he felt more than we could ever know And I think he pulled that trigger to empty that memory I think he cut the weight to end the floods of you Let him soar, let him ride as budding gravestones do Just sleep, girl, just dream well"

Then it goes into Homewrecker, which is kind of a 'rocking' song, believe it or not...at least I think so. It's still mathcore, don't get me wrong, but it has a certain drive to it that kinda makes it feel like that. Maybe it's the cowbell. Then there's The Broken Vow which is a pleasant little 2 minute'r. Starts off sounding like hardcore punk, but then quickly switches to a more mellow song until it finally hits you with the outro. And then it hits you with an even shorter song. This one just has a very punk-y tone through-out, I think. Heaven In Her Arms is when the album starts to take a turn. It's pretty fast the first half, but then it quickly goes into a more heavy sounding riff and then slows down until it fades off into Phoenix in Flight. Phoenix in Flight is like any other song on here, as it's just kinda slow and has an epic (forgive me for using that word) feel to it. It just sort of builds on itself instrumentally and then brings it home with a driving outro. And then there Phoenix in Flames which is just nuts. Just screaming and drums and the production turns kinda shotty. It serves as an excellent transition to Thaw, which is one of my favorites. It just never gets dull; it starts off with an awesome riff, and then just erupts with, yes you guessed it, an awesome outro. I know I kinda used that phrase a lot, but it's true: a lot of these songs' finishes are just golden. And I have to say, the best outro, and reward for the best song on the album, goes to Jane Doe: the epic to end it all. This song practically makes the album. I don't like to throw around the word 'perfect' a lot, but this song may just be. It's not as chaotic as you would think, but the song is driven by such emotion that it can be easily forgiven and in fact you wouldn't want it either way.

Jane Doe has went far beyond my expectations and deserves a 5 star for how much it enlightened me on other genres. It gives me hope for all of those other genres I disregarded. Maybe they will have a Jane Doe of their own.

Run on girl, run on.

DREAM THEATER Octavarium

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
A lot of people absolutely love this album, and a lot of people absolutely hate it. I'm a bit more on the hate side.

Let me just say that this album is incredibly inconsistent. It has a bunch of ups and downs, but as you can tell with the rating I give it, a bit more downs.

It starts off the album with "The Root of All Evil." This is song, as well with others from various albums, is about Mike Portnoy's AA experience. Personally, I don't like any of the songs that deal with those; they all sound extremely cheesy to me and this is no exception sadly. I do like the intro to the song, though.

Now that we're on the second song, "The Answer Lies Within," I realize I'm going to use the word "cheese" a lot. I'm sorry for my weak vocabulary, but yes, this song does smell of the cheese. It doesn't really have any redeeming qualities for me, just nothing works here.

Next we have "These Walls." Dare I say, the first good song? Yep, I do enjoy this song quite a bit. I mean it's not absolutely great, but it is a good song. No really bad or really awesome moments, just consistent all the way through.

And after all those compliments, we come to this monstrosity. Remember when I said I was going to say cheese too much? Well, "I Walk Beside You" is the king of the cheese on the album. Kinda makes me gag of just the odor it gives off. Probably the worst track of the album.

Next we have...oh this one, if I have to hear this song on the radio again I'm gonna hurt someone. "Panic Attack" is definitely their most overrated piece of music. Now, it's not a horrible song, but I have no idea why it's so popular. It's just kind of the equivalent to decent filler. At least it's better than its predecessor.

"Never Enough" is the next song and it's not quite as cheesy as it is corny. Yes, those are different to me. The instruments aren't actually too bad on this one, it's the vocals that slap me across the face with corn. I am not a huge James fan, I will not hide that, but I feel like this was even bad for him.

Now this is when the song starts getting enjoyable for me, better late than never, eh? "Sacrificed Sons" has a very nice build-up going for itself in the beginning, and then when it goes off the song is actually quite great. Definitely the better than the songs before it. Oh, and I'm sure everyone knows it has to do with 9/11 and all that junk...which is actually quite fitting for when I'm doing this review. This is the first song that gets a solid thumbs up from me.

Now "Octavarium," the self-titled track, the 24 minute long epic, it just HAS to be good, right? ...Right! This is actually my favorite track on the album, not close. If this wasn't here, this album would probably be even rated lower than I have it now, but luckily this song is here. And yes, it is a masterpiece, and I don't like to throw that word around. This song is sooooo much better than the rest of the album, it's even where I coined something I say quite a bit "Octavarium Syndrome."

So yes, enjoy your 24 minute long epic, and Sacrificed Sons too, because that's all this album really has going for it.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Metal Up Your Ass and all that Jazz Room V2
    Very cool. 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Your recent non-metal purchases
    In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and Pink Moon are two of my favorites.  Sick grab.Enter the Wu-Tang, The Seer, and Skelethon are also pretty cool.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Buckethead
    I would definitely say it's progressive metal.  I never hear moments of Avant-Garde Metal.  Maybe Experimental Rock, but all the metal elements are prog to me. Also, a good deal of his discog has no metal what-so-ever.  But the metal albums are prog.Xaxaar2013-05-28 13:06:45

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Xaxaar wrote:
more than 2 years ago
lol

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