dtguitarfan

Geoff
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 9 months ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

115 reviews/ratings
PAGAN'S MIND - Enigmatic: Calling Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - Andromeda Unchained Progressive Metal | review permalink
ORPHANED LAND - The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR Folk Metal | review permalink
SEVENTH WONDER - The Great Escape Progressive Metal | review permalink
SEVENTH WONDER - Mercy Falls Progressive Metal | review permalink
PLANET X - MoonBabies Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Weightless Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Animals as Leaders Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - Anubis Gate Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - A Dramatic Turn of Events Progressive Metal | review permalink
CIRCUS MAXIMUS - Isolate Progressive Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - Visions Progressive Metal | review permalink
BEYOND THE BRIDGE - The Old Man And The Spirit Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal | review permalink
DARKWATER - Calling the Earth to Witness Progressive Metal | review permalink
EPICA - The Divine Conspiracy Symphonic Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock | review permalink
REDEMPTION - Snowfall On Judgment Day Progressive Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 57 4.52
2 Traditional heavy metal 12 4.21
3 Power Metal 11 4.32
4 Symphonic Metal 7 4.36
5 Hard Rock 5 3.60
6 Thrash Metal 4 4.38
7 Avant-garde Metal 3 2.83
8 Folk Metal 2 5.00
9 Metal Related 2 4.00
10 US Power Metal 2 3.25
11 Symphonic Black Metal 2 3.00
12 Non-Metal 1 2.00
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 2.00
14 Stoner Metal 1 3.50
15 Funeral Doom Metal 1 3.00
16 Hardcore and crust 1 2.00
17 Black Metal 1 1.50
18 Death Metal 1 4.00
19 Doom Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

GHOST Meliora

Album · 2015 · Traditional heavy metal
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The first time I heard this group, I was mildly amused. But when I heard Meliora, I found it so catchy that I had to listen again...and again...and again. This one slowly rose in my 2015 list. I'd describe the style as spooky sounding retro metal - really sounds like a blast from the past! It's like Black Sabbath mixed with Scooby Doo and church music! There are some really catchy songs on here too. And it's gotten better with successive listens.

On the surface, one might criticize the group for being antagonistic towards religion - but when you delve into the lyrics and consider the metaphors, you find that there are deeper meanings. For example, "Mummy Dust" has been introduced by the band at live gigs as being about a deity that every audience member knows - the lyrics go:

I was carried on a wolf's back To corrupt humanity I will pummel it with opulence With corpulence and greed In God you trust My mummy dust

The deity in question is money - so this song functions as a critique of society's chasing after more more more as a way to hide from our own emptiness. This striving is "mummy dust" - another way of saying "snake's oil", or a fake remedy for our problems. The genius of the band is that their metaphorical satire is often seen only at a surface level and misunderstood - just as fundamentalists do with their own religions. Brilliant stuff.

TRANSCEND The Mind

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Transcend are a Progressive Metal band formed in the suburbs of Montreal, who describe themselves on their website as having "a raging passion to abolish formulaic and simplified popular music of all genres". The Mind is their debut album, released after 5 years of the band's existence, and shows a wealth of potential. It is a concept album, built around the concept of following the growth of the mind of a child, starting with simple and immature reality, moving through the lessons of life, and finally ending as a free and open mind. Musically, there are some obvious influences coming from Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation, and Devin Townsend, but Transcend manages to put their own spin on Progressive Metal with some spacey sections (a la Pink Floyd, perhaps), the occasional addition of the Greek Bouzouki, male and female vocal duets, and of course some heavy riffs on top of odd time signatures. As one would expect from the goal described by the band above, the compositions do not follow a predictable patter with verse, chorus and the occasional bridge, but rather take the listener on a musical journey of exploration. The album ends in a massive 44 minute long multi-part epic which will surely give many listeners great amounts of satisfaction. This is a fantastic debut, and exceeds many expectations, leaving me wondering where this band will go next!

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

KAMELOT Silverthorn

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Kamelot began in 1991 in Tampa, FL. During the history that followed, they have had a few lineup changes, but through it all have carved out a special niche in the metal world and gained a steady following of fans. Their strongest trait may be that their style is not easily grouped with just one sub-genre, but bridges the gaps between various like-minded styles, borrowing elements of Progressive, Power, and even a little doom or gothic metal, also integrating stylistic elements of classical and cinematic music. The overall effect of this combination of elements is a sophisticated, refined style of metal. Silverthorn finds Kamelot entering a new stage of their career, following the announcement of the departure of former vocalist Roy Kahn on April 21st of 2011. After all was said and done, Kamelot introduced Tommy Karevik, also the vocalist for Progressive Metal band Seventh Wonder, as their new singer.

Now I'm going to stop right here before telling my readers specifically about the new album to make a little confession: I have previously not considered myself a fan of Kamelot. I was more of a casual onlooker – occasionally checking out what they were up to, and then moving on to other music I was more interested in. I will also freely admit that not only is Seventh Wonder one of my all-time favorite bands, but I also consider Tommy Karevik to be one of my all-time favorite singers. He has a ridiculously silky-smooth, strong voice with an incredible range and a great sense of melody with on-the-money, perfect pitch. So of course when I heard he was the new Kamelot singer, I thought "well, I guess I'm going to have to check out the new album for sure then." Well let me tell you…I think this album has made a fan of me. It is really something special. For the Seventh Wonder fans, I will say that Kamelot utilize Tommy's voice in a completely different way, giving him a chance to explore his musical and emotional range in unique ways. For Kamelot fans, I think you will be pleased to hear that this album still sounds undoubtedly like Kamelot, as Tommy seems to channel, at times, former Kamelot singers, while still giving it a bit of his own spin – his style suits the band quite well, while still giving them new life in a sense.

Silverthorn is a concept album – according to guitarist Thomas Youngblood: "It's the story of a young girl who dies in the arms of her two twin brothers, taking the three siblings' big secret to her grave. The songs on Silverthorn talk about despair, a sense of guilt and the pursuit of truth. In this context, the silver thorn in the album title has a mysterious meaning, but it's up to the listener to unveil this secret."

Keeping this in mind, it's no surprise that the album has a strong dramatic, cinematic, and Progressive feel to it. There is a strong sense of story throughout the album, and not just in the lyrics but there is a journey-like feeling to the music as well. Also adding to this cinematic, story-telling feeling were the appearances of guest musicians: the band was supported at the studio by Elize Ryd, Eklipse, Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist), Amanda Somerville, and others. One of the things I found to be a strong indication of quality here was the sense that the melodies in the album were very memorable, and ended up replaying themselves in my head hours after hearing the album. And as a big fan of Progressive Metal, I'd like to point out to others like myself that I noticed plenty of changes in the music as well as little classically inspired instrumental interludes that added to the sense of being taken along on a journey. I will say that personally, I felt this may be Kamelot's most progressive album yet, though there is still a strong Power Metal presence and a sense of accessibility, resulting in a blend that I think will appeal strongly to fans of multiple sub-genres. There is some very strong interplay between keyboards, guitars and vocals throughout the album, resulting in a rich, multi-layered feeling to the music. All said, I feel Kamelot has made a strong case both to fans and former onlookers such as myself that they are back with a vengeance, and the result is that they have produced one of the most exciting albums of the year.

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

GERMÁN PASCUAL A New Beginning

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Germán Pascual was born in Uruguay, raised in Brazil, and has lived in Stockholm, Sweden, since his early teens. He was the voice for Progressive Metal band Narnia and Divinefire. His voice has that manly rasp, that tough quality to it and can be compared to metal vocalists Jorn Lande, Ronny James Dio, and Russell Allen. His debut solo album, A New Beginning, shows a maturity in the song writing and production that can only be a result in his years of work with bands Narnia and Divinefire. There is a catchiness to the tunes that does not become simplistic, a multi-layered aspect to the instrumental backgrounds, and a good flow to the songs that keeps the listener engaged. One of the first things you might notice is the driving heavy force behind the songs, and the second observations I made was the nice use of electronic synthesizer – not just for playing fancy solos, but adding to the layered sound with electronica and orchestral sounds. The album doesn't come off in the way you'd expect a solo album to sound, but has more of the feeling that you might expect from something that was composed by a band as a group effort. The tunes are very melodic, and had a memorable, accessible quality it seemed. All this adds up to a very mature effort, and an enjoyable album with Classic, Power, and Progressive Metal elements.

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

SEVEN KINGDOMS The Fire Is Mine

Album · 2012 · Power Metal
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Seven Kingdoms are a female fronted Power Metal band from Deland, Florida. The band was formed in 2007 by guitarist Camden Cruz and vocalist Bryan Edwards, but shifted lineups since then and now includes vocalist Sabrina Valentine, guitarist Camden Cruz, guitarist Kevin Byrd, drummer Keith Byrd, and bassist Aaron Sluss. In 2010, shortly after Seven Kingdoms played the opening party at Prog Power USA, Blind Guardian asked them to be the opener for their North American tour. Seven Kingdoms went on from this fantastic opportunity to play several one-offs and smaller tours in 2011, ending with the "Uniting the Powers of Metal Tour".

Now, Power Metal is a genre that, depending on your viewpoint, is either suffering or reveling in the fact that the genre is growing by the droves. The unfortunate effect of this phenomenon is that new Power Metal bands must fight hard to carve out their own niche and establish that they have a unique style. So one thing Seven Kingdoms has got going for them is the voice of the band – Sabrina Valentine. She is not your typical operatic soprano voice you'd hear in a band like this – she has more of a powerful feel to her voice, stemming from her lower, Alto range. Now this fact may both attract and deter some new listeners, but it does give them a unique element for their sound. Unfortunately for me, I felt that this was where their uniqueness ended. I know for a fact that some seasoned Power Metal fans already disagree with me here, but I didn't hear much else on the album that would separate them from the hordes of other recent additions to the genre, and I personally would have liked to have heard them mix in the sound of other metal sub-genres here and there in order to make it more interesting. But this is where my critique ends, because otherwise, Seven Kingdoms have delivered a very energetic, polished, and professional album with all the speedy riffs and nimbly-executed rhythms you might expect. And while I was looking for something to separate this group from other Melodic Power Metal bands, I do know that those who just want some Power Metal are going to be (and some already are) very pleased with this release – it is a solid effort showing musical proficiency and the love of their craft. So in conclusion – if you are a Power Metal fan who just can't get enough of the genre, this is highly recommended, but for me this was an enjoyable release: just not in the way that will make me want to come back to the album again and again and again.

Originally written for www.seaoftranquility.org

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 year ago in Recently Read Books
    Long time no post, but I was looking in the forum out of curiosity to see what people were talking about and saw this thread.  Since I have become an avid reader, I thought I'd share....In the last couple of weeks, these have been on my plate:
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Dream Theater wins March Metal Madness Tournament
    [QUOTE=Triceratopsoil]Probably the difference is only Dream Theater cared enough about this tournament to petition their fanbase for votes.  I, for one, had never heard of the thing until now.[/QUOTE]No, actually, both bands were notifying their fan bases daily about it - in fact, on one particular day Metallica posted twice about it, one time just a little over an hour after the other.  But Dream Theater's vote tally steadily climbed while Metallica's would jump a little every time they posted, and then stop climbing.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Dream Theater wins March Metal Madness Tournament
    [QUOTE=Time Signature] [QUOTE=dtguitarfan]Finally, they beat what is perhaps the most iconic metal album of all time, Master of Puppets by Metallica in the final round of the tournament!  It should be noted that on Facebook, Metallica has just barely under 30 million fans while Dream Theater has just over 3 million.  Quality beats quantity![/QUOTE]I may be the odd man out here, but I definitely do not think that Master of Puppets is not a quality album.[/QUOTE]I was speaking about the fans - note how I had just said Metallica had about 30 million Facebook fans to DT's 3 million?

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