bartosso

Bartosz
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 months ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

251 reviews/ratings
CRYPTOPSY - Once Was Not Technical Death Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin III Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock | review permalink
A FOREST OF STARS - Opportunistic Thieves of Spring Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Through Silver In Blood Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Hubardo Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Coffins On Io Non-Metal
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Part The Second Non-Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Plastic House On Base Of Sky Non-Metal | review permalink
OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse Death Metal | review permalink
NILE - In Their Darkened Shrines Technical Death Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Second Life Syndrome Metal Related
MESHUGGAH - Catch Thirtythree Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - I Progressive Metal
DECAPITATED - Organic Hallucinosis Technical Death Metal
KATATONIA - The Great Cold Distance Alternative Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
FEN - Epoch Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
UNEXPECT - Fables of the Sleepless Empire Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
A FOREST OF STARS - A Shadowplay for Yesterdays Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
CATTLE DECAPITATION - Monolith Of Inhumanity Death Metal
CATTLE DECAPITATION - The Harvest Floor Death Metal | review permalink
CLOAK OF ALTERING - The Night Comes Illuminated with Death Black Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - RIITIIR Progressive Metal
CLOAK OF ALTERING - Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids Black Metal | review permalink
CORMORANT - Dwellings Progressive Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Anno Domini High Definition Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Lateralus Progressive Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Times Of Grace Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DE MAGIA VETERUM - The Deification Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Choirs Of The Eye Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Honor Found In Decay Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
CRYPTOPSY - None So Vile Technical Death Metal | review permalink
HAIL SPIRIT NOIR - Oi Magoi Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Morningrise Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Deliverance Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Damnation Non-Metal | review permalink
OPETH - The Roundhouse Tapes Progressive Metal | review permalink
INTRONAUT - Prehistoricisms Atmospheric Sludge Metal
MESHUGGAH - Chaosphere Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - 10,000 Days Progressive Metal | review permalink
DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE - Nightwork Melodic Black Metal | review permalink
ENSIFERUM - Ensiferum Folk Metal | review permalink
GWYNBLEIDD - Nostalgia Death Metal | review permalink
PRIMORDIAL - To the Nameless Dead Folk Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
KATATONIA - Viva Emptiness Alternative Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Toxicity Alternative Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - System of a Down Alternative Metal
KYUSS - Welcome To Sky Valley Stoner Metal | review permalink
NEVERMORE - This Godless Endeavor Thrash Metal
AGALLOCH - The Mantle Folk Metal
NILE - Black Seeds of Vengeance Brutal Death Metal
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal | review permalink
KVELERTAK - Kvelertak Hardcore Punk
AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit Atmospheric Black Metal
OPETH - Lamentations, Live At Shepherd's Bush Empire, 2003 Progressive Metal
NILE - Annihilation of the Wicked Technical Death Metal
SUFFOCATION - Blood Oath Brutal Death Metal | review permalink
THY CATAFALQUE - Rengeteg Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
GRAYCEON - All We Destroy Progressive Metal | review permalink
ISIS - Wavering Radiant Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
ISIS - In The Absence Of Truth Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
HEIR TO MADNESS - The Citadel Progressive Metal | review permalink
JESS AND THE ANCIENT ONES - Jess and the Ancient Ones Hard Rock
DISTORTED HARMONY - Utopia Progressive Metal | review permalink
DE MAGIA VETERUM - In Conspectu Divinae Majestatis Black Metal | review permalink
WODENSTHRONE - Curse Atmospheric Black Metal
DEAD EYED SLEEPER - Observing Oblivion Death Metal
RIVERSIDE - Shrine of New Generation Slaves Metal Related | review permalink
ROBERT PLANT - Mighty ReArranger Hard Rock | review permalink
REVOCATION - Teratogenesis Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
ISIS - Panopticon Atmospheric Sludge Metal
KVELERTAK - Meir Hardcore Punk | review permalink
ORANSSI PAZUZU - Muukalainen puhuu Black Metal
AGALLOCH - Faustian Echoes Atmospheric Black Metal
NEUROSIS - Given To The Rising Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Vertikal Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
BEHEMOTH - The Satanist Death Metal | review permalink
CLOAK OF ALTERING - None Black Metal | review permalink
DE MAGIA VETERUM - Migdal Bavel Black Metal | review permalink
CLOAK OF ALTERING - Plague Beasts Black Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Gamma Knife Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
CORMORANT - Earth Diver Black Metal | review permalink
NO SALVATION - Defiling Verses Death Metal | review permalink
CLOAK OF ALTERING - I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Orchid Death Metal | review permalink
MESHUGGAH - Nothing Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Animals as Leaders Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLOODBATH - Breeding Death Death Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Rapid Eye Movement Metal Related | review permalink
CLOUDKICKER - The Discovery Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLOODBATH - Resurrection Through Carnage Death Metal | review permalink
SEPTICFLESH - Communion Death Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - 02 Panic Room Metal Related | review permalink
BLOODBATH - Nightmares Made Flesh Death Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - In Absentia Metal Related
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal
MESHUGGAH - Destroy Erase Improve Progressive Metal
CHRIST AGONY - Moonlight act III Black Metal
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller Power Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
AMON AMARTH - Versus the World Melodic Death Metal
WORC - When the Day Forms Progressive Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Memories In My Head Metal Related
FEN - The Malediction Fields Atmospheric Black Metal
XERATH - II Symphonic Metal
KATATONIA - Night Is the New Day Alternative Metal
ELUVEITIE - Slania Folk Metal
VERMINOUS - Impious Sacrilege Death Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Heritage Metal Related | review permalink
DRUDKH - Autumn Aurora Atmospheric Black Metal
IHSAHN - After Progressive Metal
DECAPITATED - The Negation Technical Death Metal
NILE - Those Whom the Gods Detest Technical Death Metal
PRIMORDIAL - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand Folk Metal
MASTODON - Blood Mountain Sludge Metal | review permalink
LES DISCRETS - Septembre et ses dernières pensées Metal Related | review permalink
IMMOLATION - Close to a World Below Death Metal
CRYPTOPSY - Blasphemy Made Flesh Technical Death Metal
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ziltoid The Omniscient Progressive Metal
DECAPITATED - Carnival Is Forever Technical Death Metal | review permalink
CLOUDKICKER - Fade Metal Related | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Alternative 4 Metal Related
ENSLAVED - Vertebrae Progressive Metal
BEHEMOTH - Satanica Death Metal | review permalink
ORANSSI PAZUZU - Kosmonument Black Metal
KAYO DOT - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue Avant-garde Metal
GORGUTS - Colored Sands Technical Death Metal
PRIMORDIAL - The Gathering Wilderness Folk Metal
AGALLOCH - The Serpent & the Sphere Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - In Times Progressive Metal | review permalink
A FOREST OF STARS - Beware the Sword You Cannot See Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
CANNIBAL CORPSE - Kill Death Metal | review permalink
GHOST - Meliora Heavy Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - obZen Progressive Metal | review permalink
DISPERSE - Journey Through The Hidden Gardens Progressive Metal | review permalink
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - Alive or Just Breathing Melodic Metalcore | review permalink
ABLAZE IN HATRED - The Quietude Plains Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Undertow Alternative Metal
METALLICA - Kill 'em All Thrash Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Nil Recurring Metal Related
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Hypnotize Alternative Metal
CHRIST AGONY - Unholyunion Black Metal
KATATONIA - Brave Murder Day Death-Doom Metal
KATATONIA - Last Fair Deal Gone Down Metal Related
KATATONIA - Discouraged Ones Gothic Metal
BEHEMOTH - Demigod Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Fear Of The Dark Heavy Metal
ENSIFERUM - Tale of Revenge Folk Metal
METALLICA - Garage Inc. Heavy Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - BE Progressive Metal
WINTERSUN - Wintersun Power Metal
NILE - Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka Brutal Death Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Brave New World Heavy Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Slipknot Nu Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Iowa Nu Metal
SLIPKNOT (IA) - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) Nu Metal
A PERFECT CIRCLE - Thirteenth Step Heavy Alternative Rock
EXHUMED - All Guts, No Glory Goregrind
BARONESS - Blue Record Sludge Metal
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal
DARK SUNS - Existence Progressive Metal
FALLS OF RAUROS - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood Atmospheric Black Metal
AGALLOCH - Ashes Against the Grain Folk Metal
DEAD EYED SLEEPER - Through Forests of Nonentities Death Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - The Light at the End of the World Death-Doom Metal
LED ZEPPELIN - Remasters Hard Rock
BLIZZARD AT SEA - Invariance Atmospheric Sludge Metal
ALCEST - Écailles de lune Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
CLOUDKICKER - Beacons Progressive Metal | review permalink
LEPROUS - Bilateral Progressive Metal
RUSH - Moving Pictures Hard Rock
IMMOLATION - Majesty and Decay Death Metal
BORKNAGAR - Empiricism Progressive Metal
CULT OF LUNA - Somewhere Along The Highway Atmospheric Sludge Metal
INDUKTI - S.U.S.A.R. Progressive Metal
BORNHOLM - March for Glory and Revenge Black Metal
HOUR OF PENANCE - Sedition Brutal Death Metal
NERVE END - Axis Progressive Metal | review permalink
ULVER - Bergtatt: Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler Atmospheric Black Metal
THE ARCANE ORDER - In the Wake of Collisions Melodic Death Metal
ANATHEMA - Judgement Non-Metal
MIROIST - The Pledge Progressive Metal | review permalink
SUFFOCATION - Suffocation Brutal Death Metal
IMMOLATION - Providence Death Metal
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
KATATONIA - Live Consternation Alternative Metal | review permalink
IMMORTAL - At the Heart of Winter Black Metal
OV HOLLOWNESS - The World Ends Atmospheric Black Metal
NEUROSIS - The Eye Of Every Storm Atmospheric Sludge Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
NE OBLIVISCARIS - Portal Of I Progressive Metal | review permalink
SUFFOCATION - Pinnacle of Bedlam Brutal Death Metal
CLOUDKICKER - Subsume Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Pale Communion Non-Metal | review permalink
BABYMETAL - Babymetal Alternative Metal
BARONESS - Purple Stoner Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Out Of Myself Metal Related | review permalink
TESSERACT - Concealing Fate Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAMSHADE - What Silence Hides Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Metallica Heavy Metal
ENSIFERUM - Iron Folk Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Steal This Album! Alternative Metal
MESHUGGAH - Contradictions Collapse Technical Thrash Metal
KATATONIA - Tonight's Decision Metal Related
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini Progressive Metal
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Enter Metal Related
METALLICA - Some Kind of Monster Thrash Metal
METALLICA - S&M Symphonic Metal
IRON THRONES - Visions of Light Death Metal
WOLVERINE - Still Progressive Metal
CRYPTOPSY - Whisper Supremacy Technical Death Metal
OPETH - The Candlelight Years Death Metal
OPETH - Porcelain Heart Progressive Metal
DECAPITATED - Winds of Creation Technical Death Metal
LED ZEPPELIN - Presence Hard Rock
INSOMNIUM - One For Sorrow Melodic Death Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal
OCTOBER TIDE - A Thin Shell Death-Doom Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - The Perfect Element, Part 1 Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Koloss Progressive Metal
BARONESS - Yellow & Green Heavy Psych
ULVER - Kveldssanger Non-Metal
MASTODON - The Hunter Progressive Metal
CRYPTOPSY - Cryptopsy Technical Death Metal
PAIN OF SALVATION - Remedy Lane Progressive Metal
TOOL - Opiate Alternative Metal
MESHUGGAH - Pitch Black Progressive Metal | review permalink
CLOUDKICKER - ]]][[[ (aka A New Heavenly Body) Progressive Metal
NYKTALGIA - Peisithanatos Depressive Black Metal
RIVERSIDE - Schizophrenic Prayer Metal Related | review permalink
METALLICA - Load Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal
KATATONIA - Dance of December Souls Death-Doom Metal
STEAK NUMBER EIGHT - When The Candle Dies Out Sludge Metal
OPETH - The Grand Conjuration Progressive Metal
OCTOBER FILE - Our Souls to You Industrial Metal
RANDOM MULLET - Remission Progressive Metal | review permalink
CRYPTOPSY - The Unspoken King Deathcore
PAIN OF SALVATION - Scarsick Progressive Metal
UNEVEN STRUCTURE - 8 Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - ReLoad Heavy Metal
MESHUGGAH - Rare Trax Progressive Metal
MORBID ANGEL - Illud Divinum Insanus Death Metal
CLOUDKICKER - Hello Non-Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - St. Anger Alternative Metal

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 56 3.24
2 Death Metal 24 3.48
3 Black Metal 16 3.88
4 Metal Related 16 3.25
5 Technical Death Metal 13 3.65
6 Alternative Metal 13 3.19
7 Atmospheric Black Metal 13 3.65
8 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 12 3.92
9 Folk Metal 9 3.44
10 Non-Metal 8 3.63
11 Hard Rock 7 3.79
12 Thrash Metal 7 3.50
13 Heavy Metal 7 2.64
14 Avant-garde Metal 7 4.29
15 Brutal Death Metal 6 3.33
16 Death-Doom Metal 5 2.70
17 Sludge Metal 5 3.10
18 Melodic Death Metal 4 2.88
19 Nu Metal 3 3.00
20 Hardcore Punk 2 4.00
21 Stoner Metal 2 3.50
22 Symphonic Metal 2 3.00
23 Power Metal 2 3.25
24 Technical Thrash Metal 2 3.25
25 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.00
26 Melodic Metalcore 1 3.00
27 NWoBHM 1 3.00
28 Deathcore 1 2.00
29 Depressive Black Metal 1 2.50
30 Goregrind 1 3.00
31 Gothic Metal 1 3.00
32 Heavy Psych 1 2.50
33 Industrial Metal 1 2.00
34 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

CLOAK OF ALTERING I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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Finding one voice

Following the evolution of Mories throughout the years is all the more fascinating on the grounds of his self-imposed obscurity. It's a man driven by a force I wouldn't even dare naming, a musician prolific to the point where it's almost scary. With a talent like that, he could have been big by now, had he been interested in appealing to a larger audience. And yet, the force he's driven by seems to be absolutely and irrevocably self-centered. You and I do not belong in this universe. Listening to Mories channel his demons is like watching a black hole swallow a star - all you can do is look, speechless, and only by keeping a safe distance it is actually possible to catch a faint, terrifying glimpse of what is happening.

I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth might be a slightly, ummm, weird name for a black metal record, but this is where Mories finds a single voice for all of his disparate alter egos. Now that I think of this project in hindsight, I feel like it might have been its purpose all along. We know Mories as the twisted mastermind of the ambient-noise oriented Gnaw Their Tongues, where he's at his filthiest and most terrifying. De Magia Veterum is Mories in his primal form, where his seemingly chaotic black metal reaches the heights of technical prowess and structural forward thinking. The latest Seirom album, on the other hand, is where, despite the underlying sense of unease, Mories finds a key to the blissful and gentle. It’s his only truly uplifting and truly non-metal project I know of (Apart from Aderlating, maybe?), but he’s all there with all of his hair-raising relentlessness. And while Cloak of Altering sounds like none of the above, it is, in a way, a fusion of them all.

Seirom’s latest is actually the key to understanding the difference between the new Cloak and the old ones. Founded upon ashes of a discontinued Mories project, Ophiuchus, Cloak of Altering began and continued as an exercise in blurring the seams between the organic and synthetic. This premise, combined with Mories’ insatiable fascination with Swans-esque noise, drone and his tight, exalted songwriting, resulted in a project that felt both extremely experimental and yet driven by emotion. There’s a sense of neurotic urgency to anything Mories does and the new CoA album is no exception. The mood is set within the first 20 seconds with abrasive guitar harmonies heralding the imminent apocalypse. Or maybe howling in memory of one that already happened. This is also the point where the comparison with Seirom becomes inevitable. Cloak of Altering has always felt abstract concept-wise, but its mood was more easily definable. Even though it’s still the same sound, more or less, themes and moods of all the above mentioned projects are fused into one abstract nightmare. Much like Seirom, IRFtLTDiYM feels eerily celestial in a weirdly intimate way. While Seirom’s darkness was implicit, however, the CoA’s latest is outright unsettling, keeping pace with its predecessors. If a celestial being that left paradise to find rest in death were to give its final account of the unfathomable, this would be the way to tell the story.

While a black metal project at heart, Cloak of Altering both solidifies and deconstructs the genre, venturing into territories that not only black metal has barely explored, but music in general rarely dares to go to. With its closest relatives being acts like Jute Gyte and Wold, Cloak of Altering remains thoroughly unique. The last offering from the one-man band might not be as inventive and forward-thinking as some of its predecessors, but it does feel like a natural step forward in Mories' artistic evolution. It’s a complete, fully realized vision of something that eludes comprehension, an unfiltered stream of existential horror expressed on a record from one of the most unique avant-garde metal acts in existence.

GHOST Meliora

Album · 2015 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Is this ABBA?

I know that my review titles tend to be goofy and rarely make much sense, but this time I'll sooner die than let this one be classified as such! Ghost is a Swedish metal band, their sound layered with catchy harmonies, somewhat symphonic in their sound and almost sickeningly melodic. And yet, while it could easily be tagged "pop metal", there's enough ambition, passion and skill poured into this music to make even an irredeemable snob like myself feel no shame in liking this band. Now, take a moment to cross off the word "metal" from the lines above and it could just as well be me talking about ABBA.

Jokes aside, though, what really makes Ghost stand out? After all, there are countless accessible metal bands out there that, while often popular, get little respect from the critics and other, well, people who just can't help spoiling everybody's fun. I believe the secret to Ghost's success lies in them striking a happy medium between being serious about their craft and yet very conscious of its context. Ghost manages to put up an amazing show fueled by their crazy, tongue-in-cheek, sacrilegious image and yet, charmingly unpretentious and cheesy as they are, there's a deeper purpose to all those fireworks. Regardless of whether you're willing to delve deeper into the concepts on display here or not, Meliora's overall sound benefits from this meta-approach. The sound is retro, polished but punchy, themes extremely catchy but often spiced up with some understated excursions into heavy, psych and symphonic prog territories. I, however, especially enjoyed the way Ghost shamelessly turns all the pomp up to eleven with theatrical arrangements reminiscent of The Scorpions, operatic choirs, flowery solos and... God, it's all just so freaking showy! But again, in a good way for the most part thanks to the underlying laid-back attitude the band has toward their art.

As far as mainstream heavy metal is concerned, it doesn't get much better than this. Meliora manages to strengthen all that made Ghost charming in the first place - stylistic diversity, vocal harmonies, pulp-gothic ambiance, solid, hook-based songwriting - and builds upon the concept of "Blue Öyster Cult meets Satan on a pride parade" with bricks made of bones and glitter. It's well-written, obscenely catchy and flows well from the beginning to the end. While it's not exactly my cup of tea, I can't help but enjoy the sound Ghost developed on this record. All in all, if you like old-school stuff in the vein of Kind Diamond or Mercyful Fate, give Meliora a go.

HAIL SPIRIT NOIR Oi Magoi

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
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Hellenic wizardry #2

Unlike death metal, black metal has embraced the "post" prefix with open arms as if it were kindling, spawning sub-genres like a freaking rabbit since the late nineties. If black metal were an element, it would be cesium, the most reactive of them all. Successfully combined with post-rock, shoegaze, jazz, electronic, folk and Satan only knows what else, black metal is it when it comes to crossovers. It's all the more admirable when a new act comes around and brings something fresh to the table without the word "post" ever being brought up. And while Hail Spirit Noir do indeed draw from non-metal genres like psychedelic, classic and progressive rock of the 70s, they've managed to carve out a niche of their own.

My very first thought upon my introductory listen to Oi Magoi was "that's what Opeth should have done with their sound". Hail Spirit Noir walk a thin line between the past and the present without ever sounding outright experimental or derivative. That's in part due to the magic of black metal: it helps put stylistic elements out of their context. Black metal is loosely interpreted here, though, and deliberately stripped of its usual ferocity. Oi Magoi is playful and menacing when it needs to be, wrapping its black'n'psy formula in a wicked atmosphere of the 70s dark cabaret and the occult. If you've ever read a horror story by Neil Gaiman, that would be a perfect soundtrack to it. The band provides each song with a catchy main theme but lets each of the in-between sections breathe. Full of left hooks and adventurous trips, Oi Magoi never slips down into pointless experimentation, though. That's how you make things engaging without the usual bloated prog extravaganza. Paradoxically, each seemingly disparate element, from the pleasantly textured clean vocals, raspy growls to carefully chosen synths, contributes to Oi Magoi's consistency.

Slightly longer, punchier and more daring than Pneuma, Oi Magoi founds its glory upon an already excellent concept. Rich in flavors both old and new, Hail Spirit Noir shows a well-founded confidence in their trademark blackened/psychedelic rock sound. What I love most about it, though, is its unwavering devotion to good fun - the album simply oozes cool and it's a hell of a ride each and every time I give it a spin.

NO SALVATION Defiling Verses

Album · 2015 · Death Metal
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Old-school never gets... old?

There's something about the death metal formula that makes it timeless, impervious to trend shifts and the passage of time. Sure, the genre as a whole has evolved quite a bit throughout the years and the very thought of naming all the branches of that big-ass tree makes me squint with my left eye. But hey, no need for post-progressive-technical death metal when there's enough stylistic diversity in old-school American and European death metal to get inspiration from. That's exactly what No Salvation are about. And they nailed that premise to a fucking cross.

Defiling Verses draws inspiration from an impressive array of death metal landmarks and the more I listen to this short LP, the longer the list of those little nods of appreciation is getting. So, let's point out just a few of them. On one hand, an underlying, classic vibe of Death's Leprosy and Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness is immediately noticeable. On the other hand, its more modern and groovy character makes certain passages of Defiling Verses reminiscent of late Bolt Thrower and some more ominously discordant ones (tremolo warning!), of Deicide and Immolation. Let's not forget the elephant in the room, though, Behemoth. While Behemoth themselves are a fairly "recent" guest to the death metal scene, they've managed to carve out an impressive niche with their blackened sound. No Salvation, while much more old-school in their approach to the genre, are clearly infatuated with the Pomeranian satanists ("Coroner's Friend", "Niosący Światło").

All in all, competent songwriting, solid musicianship and some left hooks here and there (that freaking phaser at the end of "Veritas Obscura"!) make me like No Salvation more than I initially thought I would. It's a band that pays homage to their idols without losing track of what made death metal immortal in the first place. And I don't necessarily mean Chuck Schuldiner's death. Get it? Nevermind, I'll see myself out.

CRYPTOPSY None So Vile

Album · 1996 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
They do that rather well, don’t you think?

I often ponder the appeal of extreme music, be it death metal, avant-garde jazz or modern classical, and I always end up with the same conclusion, no matter how hard I try to come up with something fancy. Extreme music is kind of like bungee jumping. It’s an exercise in going beyond what's safe, what's considered correct. Besides being an artistic experience, it's also about reaching beyond the comfort zone, challenging your limits and having fun in the process. I believe this is exactly why it all boils down to grit; no matter how technically proficient you are, how good a songwriter you are, it’s all for naught if you have no spirit, no balls. And fuck me if these Canadian bastards are not amongst the craziest on the planet.

By today’s standards, None So Vile may not seem as brutal as some of the records spawned every ten seconds by the modern extreme metal scene. Sound production has obviously evolved considerably since the 90s and that’s why many classic death metal albums have lost their edge. Not this one, though, or at least not in a way that would make it unappealing to the contemporary audience. I was talking about balls before. They’re made of metal, remember? Dusty and somewhat rusty but timeless, still rocking. The point is that None So Vile is not only brutal on the outside, it’s actually boiling with aggressive, fearless creativity at its very core. The album, and to some extent its predecessor, is a seamless, unprecedented blend of technical death metal, grindcore and classical music. While not overtly experimental, the beast got some bon-vivant swagger without having its claws trimmed down. The resulting record is both deadly and playful - It’s toying with you before ripping your head off.

I might have been too young to remember this, but back in 1996 this album rocked the underground boat big time. It was filthy, provocative and uncompromising but at the same time cleverly arranged and well written. Even if I dig Cryptopsy’s experimental and jazzy Once Was Not a bit more, this album is a death metal classic and it aged incredibly well.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 months ago in Metal Up Your Ass and all that Jazz Room V2
    I see you're talking about some health related issue? A virus, correct? 
  • Posted 1 year ago in Do metal fans have a political leaning?
    As much as I'd love to say I'm centre-left, I'm probably just left  Socially, I'm very progressive, economically, I favor the Swedish model which is somewhat centre-left. I believe in education as a tool in shaping societies, not revolution, though.
  • Posted 1 year ago in Cattle Decapitation
    The Harvest Floor and Monolith of Inhumanity are their best albums by far, imo.

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