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Thatcher
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Favorite Metal Artists

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1024 reviews/ratings
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) Hard Rock
AC/DC - Ballbreaker Hard Rock
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid Traditional heavy metal
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality Traditional heavy metal
BLACK SABBATH - Vol 4 Traditional heavy metal
BLACK SABBATH - Mob Rules Traditional heavy metal
OZZY OSBOURNE - Blizzard Of Ozz Traditional heavy metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Toxicity Alternative Metal
DIO - Holy Diver Traditional heavy metal
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - As Daylight Dies Metalcore
BREAKING BENJAMIN - We Are Not Alone Alternative Metal
BREAKING BENJAMIN - Phobia Alternative Metal
COHEED AND CAMBRIA - Welcome Home Hard Rock
BREAKING BENJAMIN - Blow Me Away Alternative Metal
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal
FINGER ELEVEN - Tip Alternative Metal | review permalink
RUSH - Test for Echo Hard Rock
BREAKING BENJAMIN - The Diary of Jane Alternative Metal
BREAKING BENJAMIN - I Will Not Bow Alternative Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 292 3.67
2 Non-Metal 99 3.13
3 Traditional heavy metal 93 3.66
4 Alternative Metal 89 3.99
5 Nu Metal 59 3.18
6 Progressive Metal 42 3.12
7 Proto-Metal 42 4.10
8 Thrash Metal 32 3.95
9 Metalcore 30 3.98
10 Doom Metal 28 4.02
11 Funk Metal 27 4.24
12 Glam Metal 25 3.02
13 Metal Related 22 3.95
14 Industrial Metal 20 3.35
15 Power Metal 14 3.86
16 Stoner Metal 10 4.35
17 Groove Metal 10 4.25
18 Death Metal 9 4.61
19 Symphonic Metal 9 4.67
20 NWoBHM 8 3.13
21 Atmospheric Black Metal 7 2.07
22 Sludge Metal 6 4.33
23 Melodic Black Metal 5 4.80
24 Avant-garde Metal 4 3.38
25 Drone Metal 4 1.38
26 Hardcore and crust 4 3.00
27 US Power Metal 4 3.63
28 Mathcore 3 3.17
29 Grindcore 3 4.17
30 Funeral Doom Metal 3 4.50
31 Death-Doom Metal 3 3.50
32 Deathcore 3 1.50
33 Black Metal 3 4.33
34 Melodic Death Metal 3 3.00
35 Symphonic Black Metal 2 3.00
36 Technical Death Metal 2 5.00
37 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 4.75
38 Crossover Thrash 1 0.50
39 Gothic Metal 1 3.50
40 Speed Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

JUDAS PRIEST Rocka Rolla

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
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Judas Priest's 70's albums are usually cast in bronze as some of the earliest and most high-quality developments of heavy metal that have ever been. Not only did they expound on Black Sabbath's discordant proto-doom by evolving it into a faster, more explosive version of itself, but albums like Sad Wings of Destiny, Stained Class, and Sin After Sin all paved the way for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that would dominate the Western charts for years to come.

It's hard to deny how beloved these albums are. They're practically legendary. All except for one. One that sets itself apart from Priest's 70's repertoire in both its obscurity and its strangeness. Funnily enough, it also happens to be the band's breakout first album.

1974's Rocka Rolla is a musical enigma. This isn't to say the music is impossible to understand, because it's not. For one, the album is much more progressively slanted as prog was in sort of phase two as bands like Rush emerged in the same year in the wake of the late-60's uprising. This can be seen on best on the sprawling eight-and-a-half minute long epic 'Run of the Mill' with the Floyd-esque guitar tuning and spacey vibes permeating the first chunk of the track. At the same time however, much of Rocka Rolla is infinitely more laidback than a tightly-strung album like Sad Wings, both lyrically and musically. The swaggering, bluesy knuckle-duster-knockout 'Rocka Rolla' especially exemplifies this side, wherein a young Rob Halford channels Bon Scott's greasy punk aura to deliver one of the oddest moments in Priest history. It maligns itself with any subsequent song Priest put out, but goddamn does it rock.

Not only in this way does Rocka Rolla set itself apart from other 70's Priest albums, but it also does so with it's sheer off-the-wall musical makeup. This is really where the main criticisms of the album come into play, as with an album such as this many are quick to claim it as underfocused and maldeveloped, and in most cases I would tend to agree. I suppose though that where this branches off is honestly dependent on personal taste. I personally love the elements Priest cobbles together on the album- the softspoken and melodious humdrum of 'Caviar and Meths' (an Al Atkins tune which, due to time constraints, had to be neutered from fourteen to two minutes), the snappy, riff-laden heel-clickers like 'One For the Road' or 'Cheater', etc. This is all without yet mentioning that Rocka Rolla showcases what I believe to be one of Priest's finest moments in their entire career- 'Dying to Meet You'. This particular song is divided into two sections: the first being a low-pitched Rob Halford lamenting over dual guitars shifting from muddy and pounding to austere and subtle with satisfying drum fills by one-timer John Hinch taking up the background. The song then shifts to it's second part, a rollicking rocker similar to the title track, and is also reminiscent of 'The Ripper' from Sad Wings with an early showcase of Halford's high notes, albeit in bluesier fashion.

The talented band's earliest incarnation is mainly what the quality of this album is owed to. The aforementioned John Hinch is a fantastic drummer, with his off-kilter, almost jazz-like playing that makes even the most simple of moments on this album seem intricate. I do agree with the band's decision to dismiss Hinch though. Although I think that Glenn Tipton's words of him being "musically inadequate" might have been a bit harsh, his style was not very well suited to the band's heavier future as opposed to someone like Alan Moore. Rob Halford needs no introduction, but I will say that the lower octaves he hits were scarcely replicated in the band's future endeavors, which I find unfortunate because they are pretty good. I quite enjoy Ian Hill's pounding performance on 'Dying to Meet You' especially on the second part, and of course the dual ripcord guitar duo that is Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing are a force to be reckoned with, even with their more synthesizer-fronted sound before their evolution.

Well, this was a bit of a ramble. But in all honesty I've listened to Rocka Rolla more times than I can count and it's always remained a staple in my favorite records, even if it might not be the heaviest nor the most high-quality Judas Priest record to exist. To say I have a soft spot for it may be a gross understatement- I fucking love it.

ANATHEMA Serenades

Album · 1993 · Death-Doom Metal
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Serenades' story is an unfortunate one, mainly due to the album being unknowingly doomed from the start to be cast aside because of how much of a reputation Anathema would gain with preceding albums. I'm not the first one to say it, but it's fairly cut-and-dry that Anathema's debut does not match up in quality to nearly every other release the band had following it. This goes for not only Anathema's progressive rock material but also in terms of their doom metal albums, because they made leaps and bounds with their previously half-baked ideas with the Silent Enigma two years later. So really what makes Serenades generally thought of as bad?

Well aside from the aforementioned comparisons it gets to later material (that is usually judged to be much higher quality), Serenades is generally not very interesting. It's unnaturally melodic in unfitting places with overly loud guitars drowning out dull, growling vocals from Darren White, making for a seemingly confused doom metal album that shows a different genre within it but refuses to show it to it's full potential, in this case the progressive side of Anathema. I will admit on first listen it packs quite a punch- the double kick, crisp drumming from John Douglas really contrasts well with the very large-sounding guitar duo of the Cavanagh brothers. And then they do it again. And again. And so forth. It really is a neat concept that could use more exploring, but here it's just really maldeveloped. The melodies also get stale extremely quickly. 'Eternal Rise of the Sun''s opening hook isn't anything really special, but it is substantial. Then it gets repeated so much that it just gets annoying.

Honestly I think the biggest problem is Serenades doesn't want to be a gritty, Winter-esque album with very low production value and little eclecticism. Young Anathema wanted to be more than that, obviously, but how they show that is with an underwhelming release that can't decide whether it wants to be complex or simple. And don't even get me started on the twenty-three-and-a-half minute long pseudo-orchestral snooze-fest that is 'Dreaming: The Romance". Usually when you see a song of that length you'd assume something spectacular. Instead you get almost a half-an-hour of flat, programmed strings with very little variation, and sounding like an intro or interlude stretched out twenty minutes too long. Really it's a disappointing ending to an already disappointing album.

Serenades is an album remembered among really only fans, and not really for a good reason. It's an underdeveloped...well, I wouldn't really call it a "mess" but more along the lines of a misstep. It was corrected fairly well but it's a tangled debut with bigger aspirations than it can fit in it's tiny box.

NOTHINGFACE Violence

Album · 2000 · Alternative Metal
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With nu metal, the quality can go one of too very polar-ended ways: either it is structurally basic, repetitive, laughably edgy, or just plain uninteresting, or it's surprisingly competent and able to incorporate more interesting elements than the genre is known to allow. This is not an original observation by any means, but it is important to keep in mind as to distinguish quality nu metal releases from the mountains of drivel that also occupies the genre. And this pile of drivel is enormous- so enormous that I wouldn't really put it past someone to dismiss the medium in it's entirety. In my case when I find something actually good that happens to be golden-age nu metal, it is surprisingly and extremely refreshing. Today's pick is Nothingface, an act arising from the surprisingly vivacious hotpot of Washington D.C. They were rather early to the scene with their 1993 emergence and shot off a few well-judged, but ultimately decent bullets through their 90's career, but they did end of up petering out by the time An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity came out in '98.

But Nothingface's followup and 2000 breakout was the band's second to last release but also happens to be their most caustic, interesting, and violent. Right off the bat it's clear from the title and the minimalist cover bearing only the album and band's titles and a strip of a Roy Lichtenstein-esque illustration that Violence is about as blunt as a ball-bearing cosh swinging at your skull at 25 mph. Fear not, the music certainly reflects that. Thematically it is very reflective of the era's newly born alternative metal scene with somber and often times volcanically pugnacious lyrics, which blend very well with Matt Holt's low-pitched and melancholic self-harmonizations. The raw aggression is conveyed through snarling guitar licks and barely-restrained yet pretty complex at-times drum fills from Chris Houck (who has probably become one of my favorite nu metal drummers of all time). Also, some of the hooks on this album in particular are extremely catchy at times either with the vocals or the guitar. I think 'Can't Wait For Violence''s chorus had been stuck in my head for several days after listening all the way through the album. Going back to Matt Holt; harmonizations are present but something that really brings the apoplectic rage is his extremely raw vocal screams, which would likely not sound out of place on any other more respected metal album. Not only are these screams very well done and do well to get my heart kicked up a few notches at some points, the unapologetic use of juvenile curse words is a good motif and a conveyance of a sort of loss of humanity amidst the animalistic fury that is used on this record. I think the line: "FUCK! SCRAPE OUT HIS EYES!!" from 'Hidden Hands' will go down in my books as one of the unabashed incitements of ultra-violence I've heard in music.

Violence, as well as Nothingface in general, is a real diamond in the rough and I hope they do get more recognition, especially considering Matt Holt's horribly unfortunate death a few months ago. Even nu-metal naysayers I believe are safe near this record.

VOIVOD Killing Technology

Album · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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In the short time span of a year following Voivod's second album the band reinvented themselves drastically and almost frighteningly well in time for their third release. It marked a short lived second generation of Voivod, one that mediated the hardcore punk infused, lo-fi thrash that they represented in their earliest years, and the eccentric and boundlessly creative prog thrash that would garner the group their most popular image. Thus Killing Technology represents a half-and-half mix of both sides, still bearing anarchic similarities to Rrröööaaarrr but also bearing the fruits of a more technical, progressive edge in its earliest Voivod incarnation.

The actual music of Killing Technology though is, at times, hard to swallow, and it's not hard to see why it can be polarizing to some. The riffing is obviously enthusiastic and full of youthful energy, but it's also rather unmelodious and rather unpleasant (the metal kind, more as in interesting than bad) at times. The searing scratch of the guitar can broadside the vocals at a completely different melody to what Snake is singing, creating at times an almost black metal vibe such as on songs like 'Tornado'. To counter this, Piggy's guitar can rip into a battering crunch that blends perfectly with the even faster and furious drumming but also the heavy twang of Blacky's bass creates a monstrous, pulse-pounding combo. Not only this but with the unspoken quasi-concept of the dark and horrifying unknown side of space attached like a tag onto many of the songs does well to give Killing Technology an almost alien feel comparative to many of the bands other releases. This is of course what gives Voivod such uniqueness as it hits home the point that very few Voivod releases sound similar, giving the band an ever-present freshness that many other bands of their caliber could not achieve.

Nonetheless it cannot be denied that Killing Technology was the mark of a truly upward slope in quality for Voivod, it terms of quality, creativity, and overall success. One of thrash and prog metal's biggest names are on the fast-track to the upper echelons of greatness and it seems nothing can stop them.

VOIVOD Rrröööaaarrr

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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Rrröööaaarrr is a very interesting followup to the band's 1984 debut album. It's certainly an improvement in recording quality, as even though the band remains firmly set in lo-fi thrash territory, their abandonment of the then-young Metal Blade Records for the even younger Noise Records kept them there while also making them sound better. The music has an overall presence that it didn't have before, all while retaining the garage-thrash feel they obviously are going for. But the inability for the band to leave their comfort zone creates an album that is more or less a continuation of War and Pain, even featuring an almost identical album artwork that, instead of featuring the band's mascot, depicts a rusty looking robot instead. There is not that huge of a boundary leap in terms of maturation of sound, and instead Rrröööaaarrr just makes it seem like Voivod's trying to pull the same trick twice.

Granted a maturation is shown in a few areas, like the song-writing's ever increasing gravitation towards progressive eclecticism that would sprout particularly in the coming albums, and in general there's a better selection of fun songs. 'Ripping Headaches' in particular is to me the most aggressive bit from the whole piece, showcasing not only vigorous power but also a few interesting tonal shifts that do well to pique my interest and come back often. Said tonal shifts would become commonplace of course, so it's fun to see the early stages of Voivod's massive appeal. Also it has a great guitar solo, plain and simple. 'Horror' is another good track that would have better fit on the first album in terms of lyrical value of combat and vicious, otherworldly conflict, and also has some of the best guitar-work of the album in whole. But that aside, Rrröööaaarrr is an album that, if the band didn't have an explosive epiphany following it, almost seems like Voivod running out of ideas. Like War and Pain, it doesn't really have the chutzpah to rival something like Dimension Hatröss. But I will say that it comes a bit closer to doing so.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 days ago in Linkin Park's Chester Bennington commits suicide
    I remember around 2011 that Chester had a drinking problem. Not only that he had some drug problems in his childhood. They might have re-intervened in his life in some way, leading to this.It sucks. Two fantastic nu metal vocalists down in three months.
  • Posted 3 days ago in Linkin Park's Chester Bennington commits suicide
    It's been confirmed by Loudwire and several other news sources that nu metal act Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington committed suicide this Thursday morning. He was 41.http://loudwire.com/linkin-park-chester-bennington-suicide/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4715568/Linkin-Park-singer-Chester-Bennington-commits-suicide.html
  • Posted 6 days ago in Judas Priest's Screaming for Vengeance turns 35!
    The 1982 Screaming for Vengeance release by quintessential metal act Judas Priest turns a whopping 35 years old today. The band's overall best selling record of their career with a worldwide sale of over 5 million and sealed together with several platinum certifications, what do you think about this classic album? Let's give it some love![TUBE]H5fF36RVBV8[/TUBE]

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