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Karl
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 38 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

223 reviews/ratings
AGALLOCH - Ashes Against the Grain Folk Metal | review permalink
ALCHEMIST - Spiritech Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
VOIVOD - Dimension Hatröss Thrash Metal | review permalink
THE GATHERING - if_then_else Non-Metal | review permalink
INTRONAUT - Prehistoricisms Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin Hard Rock | review permalink
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Mob Rules Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini Progressive Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Through Silver In Blood Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
TRIPTYKON - Eparistera Daimones Doom Metal | review permalink
KATATONIA - The Great Cold Distance Alternative Metal | review permalink
CORONER - Grin Groove Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sad Wings Of Destiny Traditional heavy metal | review permalink
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - Into The Everflow Progressive Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Traditional heavy metal 44 2.99
2 Progressive Metal 39 3.73
3 Thrash Metal 22 3.70
4 Hard Rock 13 3.08
5 Black Metal 11 3.59
6 Symphonic Metal 10 3.00
7 Proto-Metal 9 3.17
8 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 7 3.93
9 Doom Metal 6 3.83
10 NWoBHM 6 3.75
11 Melodic Death Metal 5 3.80
12 Atmospheric Black Metal 5 3.70
13 Death Metal 5 3.80
14 Death-Doom Metal 4 2.63
15 Folk Metal 4 3.75
16 Gothic Metal 4 4.00
17 Groove Metal 4 2.75
18 Depressive Black Metal 3 4.17
19 Alternative Metal 3 4.50
20 Power Metal 3 3.33
21 Melodic Black Metal 3 3.17
22 Technical Death Metal 3 3.17
23 Non-Metal 3 3.83
24 Metalcore 2 4.00
25 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.00
26 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.00
27 Metal Related 1 4.50
28 Industrial Metal 1 4.50

Latest Albums Reviews

RUSH Clockwork Angels

Album · 2012 · Hard Rock
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After quite some time with this album my initial disappointment has lost its sharpest edges, which puts me in the mood for a friendly bit of criticism towards the band that used to be my entire world in my teenager years and that has stayed with me as a trusty companion for more then 25 years since.

'Caravan' and 'BU2B' open this long expected album and they are easily amongst the best the album has to offer. When these songs were released 3 years ago (already!) it made me hope that another strong album was ahead. Turns out they are by far the best the album has to offer. 'Caravan' is an instant classic, and also 'BU2B' is enjoyable but is symptomatic for the main weakness that troubles the album. It starts with a decent and catchy bluesy riff from Lifeson, of the kind we haven't heard much since the debut, but as soon as the vocals kick in the band wanders off in an onslaught of Rush-clichés, producing the type of songs and melodies that rubbed me the wrong way ever since 'Hold Your Fire' and especially on 'Presto' and Roll the Bones'.

'Clockwork Angels' has the advantage of a thick and heavy - if somewhat monotonous - sound that makes it more likeable then the late 80s albums, however, compared to their last 2 albums, the songs are simply too average for Rush standards, especially the middle section of the album, where a cheesy song like 'Halo Effect' and the way too long and repetitive 'Seven Cities' and 'Wreckers' are nothing better then 'Presto'-Rush stuff. Not my thing. On too many occasions, Geddy Lee is trying in vain to come up with a vocal melody that he hasn't sung countless times before, and the severely limited range of his voice doesn't help.

'Headlong Flight' continues the more pleasant rock vibe of the opening songs, but in the end it comes off as an unnecessary 'Bastille Day' remake. The odd 'BU2B2' and the mainstream radio rock of 'Wish Them Well' don't speak to me at all. 'The Garden' is better, for a ballad at least.

Conclusion, a decent melodic heavy blues-rock album that will please a lot of fans but it's one that stays far below the magical tunes they created up until 'Power Windows'. It's also a notch below the somewhat similar grunge-blues-rock of 'Counterparts' and 'Vapor Trails'. Adding that all up it features somewhere around position 15 out of 19 albums. Despite a couple of strong moments, that will be 2.5 stars overall.

ENSLAVED RIITIIR

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Enslaved's 'Riitiir' has been met with near unanimous praise on the web from the moment it was released. I must say I really envy the critics in question as Enslaved albums are always a big challenge for me to get into. And 'Riitiir' is certainly no exception, even after 10 years of fanboyism for this band, the full 67 minutes of the latest album have been a daunting task to digest. It took no less then 5 listens before it's intrinsic qualities edged their way into my appreciation.

While immediately recognizable as an Enslaved opus, 'Riitiir' is quite different from preceding 'Axioma Ethica Odini' from 2010. Tracks are much longer, clocking in between 8 and 11 minutes with only one track below 7 minutes. It makes the album less direct and immediate then 'AEO'. Less aggressive as well, as more space is reserved for clean melodic parts and instrumental development. In other words, it's another step up towards full-fledged progressive metal. Without the cheese luckily, as the snarls and the vicious black bite are still an essential feature of the sound, as are the groovy riffs and spacious arrangements.

Conclusion, fans of Opeth that have been somewhat confused by their recent direction and that would have wished them to continue the furious and atmospheric prog-metal of "Blackwater Park" and "My Arms Your Hearse" need to get this new masterpiece from Enslaved. In their own unique way Enslaved managed to produce an equally captivating mix of epic frosty metal and prog complexity. Second astounding album in a row for a band 20 years into their career. Not bad, not bad at all !

MEGADETH Youthanasia

Album · 1994 · Traditional heavy metal
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Third album in a row for Megadeth's longest lasting line-up. There are no significant stylistic changes compared to the previous album but they made it all sound a bit smoother and bigger. That combined with some slower-pace material makes this a regular Metal album rather than Thrash Metal.

Back in the day when this was released I was very much into deth-mode and quite loved it, but over the course of the years it gradually turned into a bit of a disappointment. The songs (production) simply miss the freshness, bite and stroke of genius that blessed this band on"RIP" and "CTE".

I'll take two songs to point out the symptoms of deth-decline. Take "Train of Consequences" first, it's a song that suffers from generic melodies and riffs, not to mention the way too poppy chorus. I could list the same complaints about 'Addicted to Chaos', but will add the lethargic mid-paced beat that makes this song entirely forgettable. It's all nothing too bad, but just kind of 'meh', certainly when looking at this from a 2012 perspective, after enduring countless Megadeth albums since with this sort of songwriting and execution.

On the other hand, there's still fun bits like "Reckoning Day", "The Killing Road", "Youthanesia" and "Victory", which are all at least as good as the stuff on "Hidden treasures".

For newcomers to Megadeth I wouldn't recommend this album unless you already devoured all preceding albums (and maybe 'Endgame') and are still hungry for more. For fans, it's a nice occasional listen but there's too much mediocre songs and lazy playing.

PSYCHOTIC WALTZ Into The Everflow

Album · 1992 · Progressive Metal
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In the beginning of the 90's I got into a serious 'metal state'. The reason was obvious. At that time it was the liveliest scene around. Prog had been gone for years, new wave was turning stale and the Happy Mondays were ruling the charts. In this climate also progressive rock morphed into its metalized shape: progressive metal. And next to pioneers like Dream Theater and Fates Warning there was also this less known but nevertheless marvellous band Psychotic Waltz.

Into The Everflow was the first Psychotic Waltz album I heard and it rocked my socks off. It's sure the most overwhelming prog-metal album ever for me. They play with considerable rhythmic and melodic virtuosity, yet balancing this against very subtle and intimate passages and very intense, expressive and original vocals. Imagine Ozzy could really sing and you're close.

The opener should be an immediate winner for all progheads. Gentle guitars and keys work against heavier sections. It changes into a huge David Bowie salute when the vocals kick in. The dead-heavy second track leaves no doubt that they are really a metal band. Be it one with an exceptional gift for original melodies, both in the eerie vocals as in the intricate guitar riffing that constantly progresses into new sequences. Inspiration for 5 albums on this one track.

Next on is Tiny Streams, a song with a huge Sabbath feel (even in the lyrics). It was the first song I heard from them and it immediately drew me into their weird psychotic sound.

The title track is probably everybody's favourite. It's an extended and brooding piece with beautiful picking on spacey guitar chords. About half of it consist of breathtaking harmonic guitar soloing. A typical feature of the PW sound but they never had it better then here.

Little People and Freakshow stick to the complex progressive metal style of Tiny Streams. In between sits a pleasantly lighter piece called Hanging On A String. A ballad that is as good as the sweet melancholic ballads that the Scorpions did in the 2nd half of the seventies.

Butterfly is the other long piece here. It goes through multiple changes, from an almost jazzy opening into something that sounds like Ozzy Osbourne doing some Jethro Tull Benefit chorus. Halfway in, on top of some great percussion jamming, an endless number of musical quotations are thrown into the mix. All too soon, the chorus is repeated and the 9 and a half minutes have passed already.

Despite their obvious influences Psychotic Waltz had an entirely unique sound. Maybe an acquired taste but if you dig it, you will probably find yourself entirely addicted. I'd say go in and discover them and who knows, you'll find yourself hooked forever. One of the best metal albums ever.

JUDAS PRIEST Stained Class

Album · 1978 · Traditional heavy metal
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"Stained Class" is the first Priest to abandon the heroic 70s cover paintings in favor for something more metallic and straightforward. A very fitting choice as also the music sheds the more progressive and mellow aspects of the preceding Priest albums. The result is their first - and one of their few - albums that I find entirely consistent, in sound as well as quality. It was sure their most aggressive album till then and a leap towards the NWOBHM that would soon take off.

An excellent work, and even if my personal preference goes to "Sad Wings" and "Sin After Sin", this is the album where Priest fully fleshed out their full metal potential. Alas, they would abandon this level of excellence to return with a more commercial approach on the next couple of albums.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in 2015 in Metal so far
    I'm always slow picking up releases from the current year.1. So far, Enslaved has hit me the most, not a surprise but still incredible how they keep going at such consistent quality.2. Second a very nice Goth metal release from Kontinuum: Kyrr.3. Still on the goth scene and getting better again with each new release: Paradise Lost4. Also digesting now: Tribulation, Alkaloid, The Great Discord.5. And not bad but (way) past their prime: Iron Maiden, Leprous and Faith No MoreTurn offs: Wilson, Riverside (sorry guys I hate ballad pop)
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in MMA Collaborator's Top Albums of 2013
    Strange outcome, how is the winning album even metal? It's ballad pop with the some sparse hard-rock thrown in. Boo!
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Leviation Hex (ex-Alchemist)
    Hadn't made my mind up yet that's why I posted here instead of bugging a team First impression is that it is very close to Alchemist's Organasm which is in Progressive MetalI'll give it a full listen tomorrow and will let you know!

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