siLLy puPPy

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1031 reviews/ratings
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Songs for Insects Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God's Flesh Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
NOKTURNAL MORTUM - Lunar Poetry Symphonic Black Metal | review permalink
CARACH ANGREN - Where The Corpses Sink Forever Symphonic Black Metal | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal | review permalink
INFECTIOUS GROOVES - The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move... It's the Infectious Grooves Funk Metal | review permalink
BEHEMOTH - Demigod Death Metal | review permalink
KYUSS - Welcome To Sky Valley Stoner Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
DARKTHRONE - A Blaze in the Northern Sky Black Metal | review permalink
BROCAS HELM - Black Death US Power Metal | review permalink
BROCAS HELM - Defender of the Crown US Power Metal | review permalink
BUMBLEFOOT - Ron Thal / Hermit Progressive Metal | review permalink
BUMBLEFOOT - Ron Thal / The Adventures Of Bumblefoot Progressive Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
BUMBLEFOOT - Hands Progressive Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 149 2.95
2 Alternative Metal 119 2.94
3 Avant-garde Metal 83 3.94
4 Progressive Metal 77 3.96
5 Hard Rock 74 3.36
6 Black Metal 62 3.64
7 Metal Related 54 3.39
8 Heavy Metal 49 3.78
9 Technical Death Metal 40 3.99
10 Thrash Metal 30 3.53
11 Death Metal 25 3.92
12 Proto-Metal 19 3.79
13 Folk Metal 14 3.93
14 Glam Metal 13 3.62
15 Atmospheric Black Metal 13 3.88
16 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
17 NWoBHM 13 4.15
18 Power Metal 11 3.73
19 Technical Thrash Metal 10 4.05
20 Symphonic Black Metal 10 4.20
21 Funk Metal 10 4.10
22 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 10 4.25
23 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.38
24 Hardcore Punk 8 3.44
25 Sludge Metal 8 3.75
26 US Power Metal 8 3.63
27 Groove Metal 7 3.50
28 Metalcore 7 4.00
29 Brutal Death Metal 7 3.64
30 Doom Metal 6 4.08
31 Melodic Black Metal 6 4.17
32 Neoclassical metal 5 3.40
33 Gothic Metal 5 3.50
34 Grindcore 5 3.40
35 Drone Metal 5 3.50
36 Stoner Metal 5 4.00
37 Symphonic Metal 4 4.13
38 Speed Metal 4 3.38
39 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
40 Mathcore 4 4.00
41 Melodic Death Metal 3 4.17
42 Deathcore 3 2.83
43 Depressive Black Metal 2 3.25
44 Goregrind 2 2.50
45 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.25
46 Heavy Psych 2 4.50
47 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
48 Traditional Doom Metal 2 3.75
49 War Metal 2 4.00
50 Rap Metal 1 1.00
51 Pagan Black Metal 1 5.00
52 Nu Metal 1 2.50
53 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
54 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
55 Crossover Thrash 1 5.00
56 Crust Punk 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DØDHEIMSGARD Satanic Art

EP · 1998 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
After two albums of fairly orthodox and good old fashioned second wave Norwegian black metal, DODHEIMSGARD started to get a lot more experimental and playful with their demented and devilish musical madness. Serving as a tradition of sort, they released an EP titled SATANIC ART in 1998, two years after their second album “Monumental Possession” and a year before their third “666 Internation.” SATANIC ART finds the band at an interesting halfway point between their second wave black metal origins and their avant-industrial leanings that follow.

SATANIC ART finds not only another lineup change but a few guest musicians adding all kinds of interesting new elements to the band’s new fangled black metal smorgasbord. This EP despite its short duration offers many transitions and not only musically. Svein Egil Hatlevik aka Mr. Dingy Sweet Talker Women Stalker (Fleurety) would debut as keyboardist and Galder (Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child) would pick up extra guitar duties but only on this one release. Cerberus replaced Jonas Alver on bass.

“Oneiroscope” introduces the new Dodheimsgard with a piano piece that sounds like demented carnival music in a minor chord or even a psycho-drama flick soundtrack piece with lots of murder scenes. While “Traces Of Reality” reverts into the super bombastic black metal of the past, it is punctuated by a “White Zombie-esque” sampling, eerie atmospheric keyboard effects and most surprisingly the guest musician Paganini virtuosity of guest violinist Stine Lunde. “Symptom” continues the black metal bombast but adds some underpinnings of industrial metal that would surface on “666 International.” “The Paramount Empire” also sticks to black metal a la “Monumental Possesion” but with a more loosy-goosy construct. The Finale “Wrapped In Plastic” is another piano driven outro.

Although this EP originally only clocked in at just under sixteen minutes, it exhibited more diverse elements than the first two albums combined. SATANIC ART has been virtually unattainable in a physical format at a decent price for two decades but has found at last a much needed rerelease in 2018 on Peaceville and adds a couple bonus tracks (“Black Treasure” and “Symptom (Alternate).” SATANIC ART is like dipping into the pool of avant-garde possibilities where obviously DODHEIMSGARD got the experimental bug and never looked back. Good for them because this is where they got really interesting and put themselves on the map in the metal world. Despite only being a little EP, this one is a monumental moment in experimental extreme metal.

DØDHEIMSGARD Monumental Possession

Album · 1996 · Black Metal
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DODHEIMSGARD jumped into the Norwegian black metal snake pit and became only one of many in the legions of Darkthrone imitators with their debut album “Kronet Til Konge,” which showed a group of angry misanthropic metalheads pulling off a really decent carbon copy version of albums like “A Blaze In The Northern Sky,” however quickly after they released their rather ho hum debut to the world, the band started to take itself a little more seriously and started upping their game by infusing more creativity into their second wave black metal shtick. While not quite reaching the out of the box approaches that would define them, on their second release MONUMENTAL POSSESSION some of the avant-garde explorations had already started to creep in but in the end this is a black metal album from start to finish.

While firmly steeped in the same black metal world as the debut, MONUMENTAL POSSESSION has a much more diverse palette of ideas this time around. Firstly there are more thrash leanings. While the trebly black metal tremolo picking is ubiquitous as are the blastbeats and buzzsaw guitar distortion, there are many periods of thrash riffing and even soloing. This is a stylistic fusion that would be abandoned in favor of heading down a more experimental industrial path but a blueprint for bands like Aura Noir to adopt in DODHEIMGARD’S stead. Initially released on the Malicious label before the band had become better known, this album had been rare and out of print prior to the 2016 reissue on Peaceville.

MONUMENTAL POSSESSION saw a lineup change, a feature common with many extreme metal bands. While Aldrahn and VIcotnik are back for a second round, Jonas Alver replaces Fenriz on bass and Apollyon joins the grew as second guitarist. Another aspect that makes this album much different than the previous is that Aldrahn, Apollyon and Vicotnik all share vocal duties with each having a distinct style that offers more variations in the vocal department than most black metal releases of the 90s. So in addition to the usual shrieked vocal style, Victonik offers his own bizarre croaked shouts not unlike the vocalist of Inquisition which offers a freakish sensibility to the mix.

The album is bookended by hellish sound collages that offer freaky ghoulish Satanic sounds accompanied by swirling dark ambient turbulence. It sets the tone for the album but the music is unapologetically brutal black metal with thrash elements sewn in for good measure. A huge step up from the debut and a clear link to the future is the fluid and frenetic percussive attack of Vicotnik who offers a much more varied array of drum abuse than the average second wave pummelation of skins. Avant-garde and jazzy, they point to some of the weirdness that would emerge on the most experimental albums like “666 International.” Overall, the music falls into the brutally melodic zone with distinct hooks that are augmented by the orotund bombast.

MONUMENTAL POSSESSION is a huge step up in terms of quality from “Kronet Til Konge” in every conceivable manner and while still firmly planted in the black metal universe is a surprisingly consistent and pleasant journey into the sickened Norwegian minds of these face painted miscreants. This is an album i actually enjoy and want to listen to. While this would be the band’s last true black metal album, it is one that displays their talents of pulling off more than a mere Darkthrone clone routine and finds the band coming of age just in time to jettison it for something else completely, a trait that would find DODHEIMSGARD drifting from album to album much like Ulver without ditching the metal sound altogether. Not as great as future releases but damn good for an orthodox 90s black metal release.

ALCEST Souvenirs d'un autre monde

Album · 2007 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
ALCEST, although a complete band, wasn't always so. While founded by Neige in 2000 (about the same time he joined Peste Noire), the original band that consisted of Aegnor and Argoth soon imploded after the demo "Tristesse Hivernale. " The two members soon departed leaving Neige as a one-man band for eight long years before a new lineup would occur. This debut SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE ("Memories From Another World"), having been released in 2007 which is the year before a new band would emerge, is in effect a solo album by Neige. This is the Neige show where he tackles lead and backing vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and drums. There is for a short time one guest vocalist, Audrey Sylvain, on "Sur L'autre Rive Je T'attendrai."

Since SOUVENIRS D'UN AUTRE MONDE is a Neige solo album in disguise, it is of no surprise that it sounds quite different than the albums such as "Écailles De Lune" that follow. While the band has been tagged as shoegaze, blackgaze, post-rock and experimental metal, this debut yields very little in the metal department and is in effect a post-rock album that happens to have a guitar chords that ruffle their feathers to look bigger than they actually are. Like most post-rock, SOUVENIRS relies on a hypnotic run of soft dreamy guitar arpeggios and riffs that ratchet up the tension and ultimately find some sort of crescendo. The overall mood of the album is dark, dripping in nostalgia, rueful regret and euphoric yearning for blissful peace.

It's hard for me to review this album because in all honesty because i find it utterly boring. While this debut has been lauded since ALCEST first hit the scene in the mid naughts, i have had a very difficult time understanding why this clicks with so many and yet leaves me as cold as a whale's ass in the Arctic Ocean. While the future albums are actually quite engaging, this one seems to juxtapose all the wrong elements together in all the wrong places, at least for my tastes. First of all, the vocals are the most annoying of all, sounding like some indie pop twee garage band from small town USA. Despite being tagged metal, there are no metal vocals whatsoever with completely clean vocals dominating the entire album's run.

Secondly, this album chugs along at a snail's pace and never really engages in any dramatic changes. This is a true zone out album if i've ever heard one. While i love post-rock, indie rock, indie pop, post-metal and all the genres this is purported to be, SOUVENIRS is simply mediocre all the way around. It is a lazy breezy type of album that just floats by on codeine with no dramatic passages really ever emerging from the nonchalant drifting through the proper post-rock expectations. Next complaint, the instrumental parts just don't work together for my liking. Neige attempts to deliver black metal attributes such as tremolo picking and guitar solos but performs them so half-assed that it sounds too ridiculous for black metal and likewise sounds too out of character for post-rock.

I can understand some music lover's infatuation with emotional content being enough to make a good album but that is not the case with yours truly. Emotional connections in a pool of mediocrity equals, well, mediocrity. Probably the most competent aspect of SOUVENIRS is the production and mixing job. I do have to admit that the atmospheric qualities work quite well and indeed in retrospect ALCEST was one of the big players that brought the term blackgaze into existence with their debut EP "Le Secret," however Neige got all wimpy with the black metal aspects without jettisoning them all together which creates a rather tenuous vacuous tinniness within the overall structure of the compositions. Well, i'm glad some people can find pleasure in this debut by ALCEST because i sure can't, but i'm all on board starting with the second album.

PORCUPINE TREE Signify

Album · 1996 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
PORCUPINE TREE’s fourth album SIGNIFY displayed the perfect title upon its release for it really did declare that the project that had begun as a joke and had developed into a bona fide solo project of Steven Wilson that continued to gain steam and popularity and to his surprise an amazingly successful career. With a three album run of twisting and teasing Pink Floyd inspired psychedelic space rock and electronic experiments that culminated with the extraordinary “The Sky Moves Sideways,” it became apparent that the next step was to incorporate the session musicians who performed on these albums and turn the project into a bona fide band that delivers a distinct band sound that would be supported by touring and audience interaction.

With the official band member status of Richard Barbieri (piano, synth, tapes, sequencers), Colin Edwin (bass) and Chris Mailand (drums, percussion), main man STEVEN WILSON found a new wellspring of creativity which allowed the band to expand beyond the simply tagged psychedelic space rock that dictated the feel of the first trilogy of albums. SIGNIFY is the transition album that didn’t jettison what came before but rather married it with a larger palette of musical ideas. The compositions first and foremost became more cohesive with more traditional song structures that were obviously designed to sound more commercial than the free for all psychedelic meandering of the past although certain tracks on SIGNIFY do allow for the same experimentation as those albums.

Perhaps the most startling contrast are the more rock oriented guitar hooks which comes into full prominence on the introductory title track which is a more heavy rock rendition of the Neu! track “Hallgallo” from their 1972 Krautrock classic debut. While the title track rocks out and points to the future, the second track “Sleep Of No Dreaming” seems to get cold feet and point back to the past with a more sedated chilled out feel however it simultaneously shows another direction in conjunct with the heavy rockers. It finds Wilson creating a more lyric centric form of songwriting which displays his tender carefully uttered vocals with the fullest implementation of production value allowed by law. The addition of softer passages that utilize acoustic guitar and dream atmospheric background sweeps would be another major deviation from the psychedelic space rock years.

Many of the tracks on SIGNIFY were actually demos for previous albums but were sitting idle in the backroom and dusted off and rebranded for the new PORCUPINE TREE. Wilson explained that the bass and percussion parts were re-recorded by the now permanent members and they were given liberties to add their personal touches which allowed the full band effect to come to fruition. Colin Edwin contributed many interesting bass lines as well as a stellar double bass run on “Sleep Of No Dreaming.” While the albums would continue to get more into the rock scheme of things on SIGNIFY, there are still experimental electronic ambient sections such as “Waiting Phase One” which display the nebulous sound squigglies as heard on the earliest of albums but “Waiting Phase Two” clearly demonstrates the new PORCUPINE TREE with gently strummed acoustic guitars, a soulful Steven Wilson singing his heart out with softened percussion and interesting verse / chorus changes.

Much of the psychedelic holdover was due to the fact that the band recorded this album during the tour of “The Sky Moves Sideways” and the process of switching gears sounds like it was happening organically rather than a forced escapade into the harder rocking world. One could say that these are cleverly crafted pop songs in prog clothing as the basic song structures are actually quite simple but Wilson has always had a gift for milking the potential out of any three chord strum along with outstanding production ingenuity and his unique stamps such as his guitar solos and counterpoints. Tribal rhythms are implemented at times which offer an interesting contrast to traditional rock drumming norms.

Despite not being a solo album, SIGNIFY was recorded as such. Wilson recorded much of the album as a solo project the way he envisioned it and then let the other band members re-record their respective parts separately which basically saw a finished product shift gears one instrumental part at a time until the final product emerged. Even after the album had been released Wilson was never happy and remastered all the original albums to create an even crisper and clearer listening experience. While SIGNIFY is dominated by many sing along type songs, there are plenty of simple zone out moments when the pop rock cedes into space rock and the vocals take a breather and let the instrumental and electronic sections cast their mesmerizing spells.

SIGNIFY is in effect project #1 of the Phase Two era of PORCUPINE TREE which would include the following “Stupid Dream” and “Lightbulb Sun,” a trilogy of albums that equally merged the hard rock potential of the future with the earliest psychedelic space rock sensibilities. PORCUPINE TREE has been nothing but consistent in their output over their career and SIGNIFY is no exception. An excellent slice of Mr. Wilson’s unique progressive rock outlook with strong catchy hooks that evolve into solid compositions that implemented lyrics concerned about late 90s issues and the addition of those atmospheric emotional tugs and interesting sound effects that allowed the perfect chilled out progressive rock experience. While i find this style would peak on “Lightbulb Sun,” SIGNIFY is quite the solid release with tracks like “Sever” providing catchy ear worms and a throw back to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” to boot.

ASTERIX Asterix

Album · 1970 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
ASTERIX was a short lived band that was the precursor to Lucifer's Friend. The band formed in 1969 when British born vocalist John Lawton moved to Germany and met guitarist Peter Hesslein, bassist Dieter Horns, organist Peter Hecht and drummer Joachim Reitenbach, who were members of a band called The German Bonds. These Germans also played in many of the 60s beat groups such as The Giants, The Rattles and many anonymous studio albums released as budget albums through The Air Mail, Electric Food, Hell Preachers etc. After hitting it off with Lawton, the other members found the chemistry was perfect and released one self-titled album under the moniker ASTERIX.

ASTERIX is the logical precursor to the classic Lucifer's Friend sound. While not a progressive band per se, ASTERIX had amply revved up its hard rock creds sufficiently to take it all to the next level where they could develop all the progressive twists and turns of the next incarnation. This is actually a pretty good hard rock album with all the great markers of a great period piece that implements heavy rocking bass driven grooves, bluesy guitar riffing and accompanying percussive drive. While not really progressive at this point, there are touches of jazziness but most of all the music is highly melodic and augmented by Lawton's strong vocal performances which always add a whole layer of zest to a stellar hard rock performance.

Despite being German, ASTERIX sounded more English most likely due to Lawton's British beginnings. In fact, i wouldn't have been surprised if someone told me that this was a Free album or even an early album by The Faces before Rod Stewart jumped on board. While labeled as Krautrock due to nationality, this sounds more like classic turn of the decade British hard rock through and through with even a bit of Little Feat in the bluesy piano and organ use. As it turned out, ASTERIX was simply a warmup act and the moniker was scrapped fairly quickly in exchange for the more ominous Lucifer's Friend which would suit the band's new heavier sound and progressive qualities.

This is a really good album for the period and much better than i could've imagined since the 69-70 timeline has some gawd awful crap that was released in that period. This is highly melodic, heavily charged with all the musicians having honed chops that flawlessly deliver their heavy blues laced rock. Lawton is an under appreciated singer in the history of rock and roll as he had one of the strongest and most powerful voices that was perfect for the style. He even sounds a bit like Robert Plant at times without the whiny nasal thing and all. It's no wonder he would go on to play with Uriah Heep amongst others. ASTERIX was a great start but Lucifer's Friend was better. Nice beginning.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 5 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    ^ thanks for keeping this thread alive! I love seeing who is listening to what. I've gotten extremely busy and just can't post everywhere all the time any longer!Today:Running Wild - Death Or GloryDodheimsgaard - Satanic ArtGong - YouMagma - Emehntehtt - ReBetweeen The Buried And Me  The Parallax II: The Future Sequence
  • Posted 26 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    [QUOTE=Psydye]^Well I do have Asperger's and I've heard some time ago people w/ that can get obsessive. Which certainly explains a lot![/QUOTE] I get obssesive too but my attention splits into different arenas. Since i listen to a majority of my music while driving i rely on what i buy and when at home seem to listen to non-music lately. You've been posting some really great music i need to revisit and discover though!Now:
  • Posted 26 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    ^ are you currently unemployed? LOLI thought i listened to a lot of music but you're rockin' the house :)http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/blue-oyster-cult/cultosaurus-erectushttp://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/ihsahn/amr

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