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Thatcher
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 8 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

1084 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 297 3.63
2 Non-Metal 118 3.23
3 Traditional heavy metal 105 3.71
4 Alternative Metal 83 3.95
5 Nu Metal 60 3.18
6 Progressive Metal 45 3.22
7 Proto-Metal 38 4.03
8 Thrash Metal 36 3.96
9 Metalcore 33 3.98
10 Funk Metal 30 4.12
11 Doom Metal 29 3.95
12 Metal Related 24 3.92
13 Glam Metal 20 3.52
14 Industrial Metal 20 3.45
15 Power Metal 15 3.87
16 Stoner Metal 13 4.31
17 Death Metal 11 4.50
18 Groove Metal 10 4.25
19 Sludge Metal 10 4.15
20 NWoBHM 9 3.28
21 Symphonic Metal 8 4.81
22 Atmospheric Black Metal 8 2.38
23 Avant-garde Metal 6 3.67
24 Technical Death Metal 6 4.58
25 Melodic Black Metal 5 4.80
26 Black Metal 4 4.38
27 Crossover Thrash 4 3.38
28 Death-Doom Metal 4 3.75
29 Drone Metal 4 1.38
30 Hardcore and crust 4 3.00
31 US Power Metal 4 3.63
32 Mathcore 3 3.00
33 Grindcore 3 4.17
34 Funeral Doom Metal 3 4.67
35 Deathcore 3 1.50
36 Melodic Death Metal 3 3.00
37 Symphonic Black Metal 2 3.00
38 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 4.75
39 Gothic Metal 1 3.50
40 Speed Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SWORDMASTER Postmortem Tales

Album · 1997 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Here's a funny story: when I was seven or eight years old, I fantasized about having my own rock band. I had consumed volumes of Breaking Benjamin and Green Day, and I aspired to one day be mentioned alongside the likes of Benjamin Burnley and Billy Joel Armstrong. Said desire isn't really part of my life anymore, but what I can tell you is that during this time I was a kid who loved to plan out things. Hardly any of these things came to fruition, but regardless I loved plotting my dreams in large itineraries and graphics. For this rock band dream, I conjured a single-word name for the band, being...well, Swordmaster. I drew covers of explosions and fire and flying eagles for imaginary "Swordmaster albums", and it entertained the hell out of me.

Well, flash-forward to about a decade later and here I am, with a disc in my hand from a band called Swordmaster titled Postmortem Tales. And would you look at that- explosions on the cover. Go figure.

It's safe to say my past alone propelled me toward this particular album, but I remained curious to discover the actual contents. What lies inside this particular album is at least partially interesting- Swordmaster is apparently a Swedish death-thrash band that made their marks prior to this 1997 studio debut with a black metal themed demo and a split with the Norway-based Zyklon-B. While their genre shift is definitely evident from this record, palpable nuggets of their black metal past are still present in areas like Andreas Bergh's vocal work and the droning ripple of the dual guitars. Upon first listen, I was a bit skeptical of the whole piece and it's nature as an "obscure but boring thrash release". While listening through though I was pleasantly surprised at a variety of satisfying tidbits that did well to throw a wrench into the mix of what would otherwise be a dreadfully monotonous work.

For one, Terror (aka Niklas Rudolfsson) on the skins is quite the piece of work. Owe it to the production (which is quite good for such an indie release) or what have you, but his zealous, machinery-esque drum sound is quite entertaining and fitting, and is heeded by the fact that he is quite impressive with the more rapid fills and tempo changes. Another great part of this album is its surprising eclecticism. Swordmaster not only dabble in death metal and black metal, but also in some more melodic parts such as on 'Blood Legacy' and 'Past Redemption', the band hits some notes that would not be out of place on a power metal album. Such elasticity is extremely refreshing, keeping you on your feet at all times prepared for a different sonic onslaught. The third and final noticeable feature of Postmortem Tales is the above-par songwriting. As previously mentioned, the album has a rather eclectic nature and isn't shy to pull in different metal sounds to create a fun ride. But such eclecticism wouldn't be able to function if it weren't for the songwriting, which is particularly enjoyable due to how fast everything travels. Sometimes it feels almost progressive in terms how many guitar solos and drum fills can be jammed into a simple minute of playing time.

But Postmortem Tales isn't all great, because a few things indeed hamper it. Sometimes the drums and tempo lean a bit too heavily on the thrash 4/4, a metal cliche that haunts even the best of bands. Luckily as stated before, sophisticated drum fills do well to add at least some flavor, as do the melodic guitar solos. Sometimes the vocals can grow a bit cliche as well, but honestly I wouldn't expect much more from a band still clinging a bit to their roots and is still trying to find their sound.

In all, this little gem is a romp that packs quite a punch in some areas. Definitely a punch big enough to give it the edge over much of Swordmaster's peers. I'd say check it out if you've got 45 minutes to spare.

ATHEIST The Best of Atheist

Boxset / Compilation · 2017 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Ever wanted to own a major chunk of Atheist's discography without needing to purchase 2005's The Collection for upwards of $60? Fear not, a solution is here!

After seven long years following Atheist's last studio album Jupiter, the band finally decided to digitally release their first ever compilation album to date- and what a compilation it is! In true-to-form fashion Atheist grab the most sonically insane and cosmic songs from their studio albums (as well as a live version of 'Mother Man' from Live At Wacken 2009) in a massive 22-track corpus. Forthright this puts The Best Of leagues ahead of other death metal contemporaries' works like Death's Best Of in '92 or Nile's Legacy of the Catacombs in '07, granted both rather good releases, simply from the vastness of the song selection. Especially considering Atheist's relatively small discography, 90 minutes of pure action may seem a bit hefty at first, but for only $10 (roughly €8.50 for you Europeans) from Bandcamp it is a fairly free-and-easy deal compared to another compilation that would front you the same price but with half the content.

This album is a perfect introductory release for beginners and also a good pickup for familiars. The only gripes I have with it are the fact that there's no physical release, because I prefer lending actual tangible material to a hypothetical beginner depending on the circumstances, and the fact that my favorite song 'Why Bother?' from Piece of Time is not present. Maybe they took the title a bit too literally?

TANK Honour & Blood

Album · 1984 · NWoBHM
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Do you remember that I felt so bad that you'd been blown away for good?"

Tank's story is one of frontman and bassist Algy Ward slowly detaching himself from his past in The Damned- slinking slowly farther and farther away from the punk rock he had been playing a year prior to him forming Tank. But, just like contemporaries Motörhead, the band stayed attached to their roots firmly, combining the newborn New Wave of British Heavy Metal with the youthful exuberance of punk.

As Tank moved more and more onward however so evolved their music. The punk sensibilities became thinner and thinner as they broached further into the 80's, and by the time 1984 rolled around Tank had dropped the tomfoolery. This new album, brazenly embossed with an explosive military-style cover that would make even Sabaton blush, shows Tank at their most balls deep in this new medium. The vivacious Honour and Blood bears the brunt of some of the most badass metal to come from the early 80's. Each drum hit clicks like the hammer of a gun, no matter how simplistic the beat (which they are often not, thank god) may be. Each layered guitar lick reflects off itself and it's rippling bass counterpart to create a cacophony of chaos at each turn. This is of course without mention of Ward's vocal work, which is reflected particularly well on the force ten hurricane opener 'The War Drags Ever On' and the title track. No screeching or castrato stuff here- just brash, primitive growls...as it should be.

The sharp sonic assault created on multiple occasions are some of the finest that this particular scene has to offer, and can work in both a rapid gallop, or a slower, sludgier jog like 'Chain of Fools' or 'When All Hell Freezes Over'. Whatever your preference, it's likely Tank has you covered fairly well. But with almost every album, a few listens-through provide a few strikes against it. Ward's vocals, while almost always good, can get a bit silly the more guttural he goes. This is sometimes a shame because his clean vocals (seen on 'W.M.L.A.') are often equally as fitting for the music as his bellow. As a NWoBHM album, Honour and Blood occasionally delves into contrivances with some of the guitar work, but it remains almost always creative even at it's worst (even 'Too Tired to Wait for Love', possibly the closest they get to a ballad is fun as all hell). Of course we also have to take into account the time period; it's pretty obvious that the 1980's inanity would weave itself into the music at certain points, such as the glam vocal choruses and sometimes ridiculously cheesy lyrical themes (though 'Kill' is an extremely dark tune lyrical-wise for the time). These factors might bog a lesser album down to a much lower quality, but Tank's sound and presence is just so much more creative than others that, even through the lowest points, you're still cheering these boys on.

And so, the war drags ever on.

A PERFECT CIRCLE The Doomed

Single · 2017 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Thirteen years of baited breath and whispered rumors followed A Perfect Circle following their 2004 cover album eMOTIVe and subsequent hiatus. This effect followed both them and Tool, the other project featuring the frontman vocalist extraordinaire Maynard Keenan, as both bands of which fell into what seemed like an irreparable slumber filled with insubstantial announcements of various happenings, none of which came or seemed would come to fruition.

But Tool in fact came back with a bang with a surprise reunion tour in January of 2016, and it was only expected by the collective conscience of Keenan to give a fair shake to his sister band as well. As expected, a little over a year later APC also received recognition with not only a similar tour but one supporting the release of a new single (/rumored album) titled 'The Doomed'. Remember, this single is the first thing this legendary act has created in almost a decade and a half, so expectations are higher than an elephant's ear.

'The Doomed' has arrived at a perfect time, particularly for me, at a time when I am personally starved of new and enthralling uniqueness on the rock scene, let alone the hard rock/metal scene. It has got to be one of the most interesting songs released over the span of this entire year, and this is for a variety of reasons. First, for those who care to know, this song does in fact synthesize previously established sounds on other APC records, particular the past two. In other words Thirteenth Step and the good stuff from eMOTIVe, especially the original song from the latter, 'Passive'. This means great big burly drums (by new member Jeff Friedl replacing long-time member Josh Freese) that shift from simplistic beginner fills to war-like timbre that fills the stage heftily. This coincides perfectly with Keenan's vocal delivery- one of his absolute best in my opinion- which similarly shifts from scratchy and raw (akin to the Tool trademark) to almost saddened, quiet bridges. These bridges lament of a rapture-like event, as a "new Christ" comes to bless/doom those he deems worthy or not. The blessed are portrayed as undeserving (the fornicates, the rich, the envious, etc.) as they sit on the proverbial skeletons of the deserving doomed (the pious, the pure-of-heart, the peaceful). This lyrical environment is not only fresh but also almost bemusingly expressive. Although such greatness is unsurprising from such an act as A Perfect Circle, the content they deliver is straightforward yet thought-provoking, panicked yet collected, emotional yet headstrong. All in perfect harmony with eachother.

I'm not sure why I felt the need to write such a massive review for a single track, but a band that is so important to me and my past releasing such satisfying content is something I'm not willing to slip under my radar so easily. Fantastic.

NOTHINGFACE Nothingface

Album · 1995 · Nu Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Nothingface's little-known 1995 debut unsurprisingly shows them at their most vulnerable and creatively amateurish. As a result the band seems to play much of their sonic onslaught safe, leaning heavily on their contemporary influences to guide them through the ordeal of a studio debut. These influences mainly revolve around the increasingly-popularized Korn sound with stocky, punchy drum fills and semi-reserved riffing to make way for what is generally the most-sought piece- the vocals. Such a production choice is a bit of a problem though as Matt Holt in his earliest stages really hadn't quite perfected his scream nor his clean vocals, both of which would become hallmarks of the classic Nothingface sound. At his best, Holt sounds like a mediocre proto-Chad Grey-esque character, with his emotional value not nearly being up to par with his future work.

The band occasionally hits some marks though- mainly because these lovable bastards are so talented- with really well-thought-out constructions in their music. For example, 'Severed' is likely the most epic and impressive tune out of the bunch, showcasing not only Houck at his best with his blistering syncopation but also a rather fantastic and roaring breakdown that makes the track hold up to even some of their greatest hits. I cannot for the life of me understand why it wasn't chosen as a track to re-record for Pacifier in '97. Another highlight is the atmospheric 'Communion', another very Korny track where Holt channels Jonathan Davis with a warbling, weak-sounding whisper layered on with microphone distortion effects, creating quite the formidable atmosphere for fresh-out-of-the-underground band. But while these tracks are indeed great and a fun romp either way, Nothingface 1995 is still an album that could do with much improving, which is almost certainly to be expected with such a new band who hasn't quite found their footing at this point in the music world.

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  • Posted 4 days ago in AC/DC's Malcolm Young dead at 64
    Co-founder along with Angus Young of the highly influential hard rock group AC/DC, Malcolm Young has died today at the age of 64. The dementia that forced Malcolm to retire from AC/DC had apparently caught up with him, and he died "peacefully and with his family by his bedside".http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/malcolm-young-acdc-guitarist-and-co-founder-dead-at-64-w512164
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    tech support...
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    Bumpin' for King Mose.

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