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951 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 143 2.95
2 Alternative Metal 118 2.94
3 Progressive Metal 75 3.96
4 Avant-garde Metal 71 3.92
5 Hard Rock 68 3.33
6 Black Metal 50 3.51
7 Metal Related 49 3.37
8 Heavy Metal 45 3.79
9 Thrash Metal 30 3.53
10 Technical Death Metal 29 4.05
11 Death Metal 21 3.93
12 Proto-Metal 19 3.74
13 NWoBHM 13 4.15
14 Glam Metal 13 3.62
15 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
16 Folk Metal 10 3.70
17 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 10 4.25
18 Funk Metal 10 4.10
19 Power Metal 10 3.70
20 Symphonic Black Metal 10 4.20
21 Doom Metal 9 3.94
22 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.38
23 Hardcore Punk 8 3.44
24 Technical Thrash Metal 8 4.13
25 US Power Metal 8 3.63
26 Sludge Metal 8 3.75
27 Groove Metal 7 3.50
28 Metalcore 7 4.00
29 Brutal Death Metal 7 3.64
30 Atmospheric Black Metal 7 3.86
31 Melodic Black Metal 6 4.17
32 Grindcore 6 3.33
33 Gothic Metal 5 3.50
34 Neoclassical metal 5 3.40
35 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
36 Drone Metal 4 3.38
37 Symphonic Metal 4 4.13
38 Speed Metal 4 3.38
39 Stoner Metal 4 4.13
40 Deathcore 3 2.83
41 Melodic Death Metal 3 4.17
42 Mathcore 3 4.00
43 Heavy Psych 2 4.50
44 Goregrind 2 2.50
45 Funeral Doom Metal 2 4.25
46 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
47 War Metal 2 4.00
48 Rap Metal 1 1.00
49 Depressive Black Metal 1 3.50
50 Crossover Thrash 1 5.00
51 Crust Punk 1 2.50
52 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
53 Nu Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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It’s hard to believe that the metal gods of the 80s who formed all the way back in 1969, yep, that’s 49 years ago are still around almost 20 years into the new millennium with their 18th studio album are still cranking it up and pumping out the metal glory. While most metal bands have formed and disbanded within this time period, JUDAS PRIEST somehow seems immortal as they unleash their classic 80s sound in modern form on their newest sonic artillery range FIREPOWER. On their previous album “Redeemer Of Souls,” PRIEST seemed to be having an identity crisis of some sort. The album sampled a bit from their entire career with one of the most diverse sounding albums since their Gull Records days, but on FIREPOWER, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, Scott Travis and the newest member of the pack Richie Faulkner (who replaced found K.K. Downing in 2011) zero in on the classic 80s PRIEST sound that made them some of the metal lords of eternity. In fact if someone were to re-write history and replace “Turbo” with FIREPOWER and listen to their canon in sequential order, no one would probably even notice if they were not familiar with the real order or course.

While JUDAS PRIEST may have had mixed reviews with their 80s output, it’s generally agreed upon that they hit a high note with “Painkiller” and although it seemed that the band were on top of the world ready to rule another decade, Rob Halford upped and left leaving the band to find a new singer while he jumped into other projects like Fight and his self-penned band Halford. Once he found himself back in the band on 2005’s “Angel Of Retribution,” the original lead singer was back but that old school PRIEST magic was not. After a divisive attempt at a prog album “Nostradamus” and their decently performed but rather safe feeling “Redeemer Of Souls,” PRIEST finally return with one of their most confidently performed albums since “Painkiller.” To help rekindle the spirit of yore, producer Tom Allom rejoins the cast after an absence stemming back to 1988’s “Ram It Down.” To keep things fresh and modern Andy Sneap stepped in as co-producer which means FIREPOWER sounds like classic PRIEST in all thunderous heavy metal glory with a crisp punchy modern production fit for the modern era.

Right from the very first guitar gusto bursting out on the opening title track, it’s clear that PRIEST were going for the aggressive guitar riff heavy sound that is all their own with a serious feistiness not experienced since the “Painkiller” days although Halford is a lot more conservative with his high-pitched falsetto but nails the mid-range dynamics of his vocals perfectly showing not a single sign of multi-decade strain. The following “Lightning Strikes,” one of the singles follows in classic PRIEST form with heavy dueling guitar attacks, catchy and dynamic melodies with bombastic bass and percussive backup from Hill and Travis. Both of these tracks easily could have slipped in on any of the 80s releases. However just when it seems PRIEST was going completely retro on us with a few classic sounding tracks, they start to show a more diverse picture starting with “Never The Heroes” which shows influences from Halford’s solo career more than classic PRIEST with Fight inspired riffage although the soaring sustained guitar chord choruses yank the listener back into the classic era.

Some tracks like “Necromancer” carefully craft riffs around previous classics only changing it up enough to keep you guessing where you’ve heard it before much like Iron Maiden’s “Book Of Souls.” “Children Of The Sun” which sounds more like something from the Ripper years with clean guitar arpeggiated sections with thrash laden riffs showing that PRIEST were just as interested in incorporating other aspects of their career rather than a totally 80s free-for-all. Likewise the piano based “Guardians” serves as an intermission reminding more of the “Nostradamus” album before jumping into the now familiar guitar driven riffs of “Rising From Ruins,” another heavy melody rich stew of aggressive guitar driven metal only with softer verses that build up momentum.

The rest of the album continues this trend and pretty much continues the strong selection of compositions. While the album is surprisingly consistent in its quality, the album does hit a brick wall at the end with the head scratcher of a tune “Lone Wolf” which with a dirty bluesy shuffle sounds very weak amidst the heavier tracks. Likewise the “Sea Of Red” finale seems a bit anti-climactic as well as it slowly oozes in with a soft melodic acoustic guitar passage that also seems out of place in the midst of heavier company and not a very dynamic way to end the album although it’s not necessarily a bad tune by any means. Perhaps if it were placed elsewhere it would have packed a bit more punch. It also sounds like the classic PRIEST sound mixed with a Maiden “7th Son..” era with the un-PRIEST-ly sounding background vocals. When all is said and done, PRIEST deliver on 14 tracks of classic heavy metal fortified with a modern production as well as a contemporary lyrical subject matter.

FIREPOWER proves that PRIEST is not even close to ready for the retirement home as far as pumping out feisty adrenaline fueled classic metal anthems, however the news of of Tipton’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease resulting in his possible dismissal from the band’s line-up beckons the lingering question if the band after nearly a half century of head banging service will simply call it a day and at long last bask in their heavy metal god status glory that few others have achieved. The ingredients displayed on FIREPOWER do have a rather epic flare of gusto that would be a good note to end on. Personally i never expect much from classic era metal bands to deliver something compelling but i was pleasantly surprised with FIREPOWER. True it may not go down as the number 1 favorite PRIEST album of all time. That indeed would be a tall order to fulfill, but neither will it go down near the bottom. While not a perfect album by any means, for a band who’s been around for so long to put out an excellent midrange album this late in their career, that’s certainly a classic comfort i can wholeheartedly support and with metal music having spun off in so many crazy directions since the classic 80s, it’s really cool that one of the veteran acts of the day can create something that grounds them to the past while keeping both feet in the here and now.


Album · 2005 · Heavy Metal
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Every so often in a metal god’s career, someone gets a wild hair up their ass and release something that is equivalent to entering the torture chamber and in the case of the godfather of metal himself, OZZY OSBOURNE delivers his biggest turd in the punchbowl of his career with his ninth album titled UNDER COVER which as the title suggests is indeed an unbelievably unnecessary collection of fourteen gawd awful tracks that makes me wonder after which party the quality control crowd passed out at when this was given the ole a-OK for release.

To be honest, i am not a huge fan of cover albums period but there are rare examples of where a band can pull off a track or two (such as Voivod’s extraordinary Pink Floyd cover “Astronomy Domine” or Marilyn Manson’s version of the Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This.”) There are even a scant few albums out there such as Between The Buried And Me’s “The Anatomy Of” which effortlessly tackles a wide swath of musical achievements that leaves me in awe, however most of the time these types of projects make me cringe and in the case of OZZY OSBOURNE’s take on his favorite tracks of all time, cringe i do indeed.

Yes, it’s true that an artist should be allowed to pay respect to other’s in the biz that moves him / her to tears and what better way than a pointless, boring and unflattering cover album to tell them how much they mean to him / her. UNDER COVER is really one big batch of ridiculously misconceived and uninspired tributes finding OZZY tackling everyone from Joe Walsh and King Crimson to Buffalo Springfield, Mott The Hoople as well as The Beatles with the cream of the crop torturous moment achieved on John Lennon’s “Woman.” A number one flop on the cringe-o-meter for sure.

Despite the ridiculous nature of this piece of musical excrement, the production team and guest stars on board is quite impressive with even Ian Hunter collaborating on “All The Young Dudes” as well as Leslie West of Mountain joining in for a guitar solo on “Mississippi Queen.” There are tons of other guest stars as well including Joe Bonamassa and Gregg Bissonette to name a few. While this is the only album to find Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell filling the shoes of the great Zakk Wylde, this is hardly something he will be bragging about when he’s telling tales of lore to his grandchildren.

This is definitely one of those fan collectibles only and since i am indeed an OZZY OSBOURNE fan who is a completist at least as far as studio albums are concerned, this one sits on my shelf and got listened to one time and never again, well until i pulled it down for this review and i have to admit that this is one of the most horrible experiences i could ever imagine subjecting onto unwilling ears and if there is a hell then this one is surely on perpetual replay for eternity. Sorry OZZY, i love ya, man but this is utter crap! Every track is AWFUL but hearing OZZY sing The Animals, John Lennon and Bessie Banks makes me want to hurl. I think i’m scarred for life :o

SWANS Young God

EP · 1984 · Metal Related
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SWANS emerged in the short-lived New York City no wave noise rock scene with their debut album “Filth” and earlier eponymous EP but in 1984 they not only released their second album “Cop” but also an extended play (EP) that didn’t really have a title at the time. It consisted of only four tracks and has been referred to “Raping A Slave” and “I Crawled” (both album tracks) but is officially referred as YOUNG GOD which is the title of the longest track, therefore it has pretty much gone down in history under that title. The fourth unfortunate track that it hasn’t been named after is “This Is Mine.” Once again SWANS dishes out a strange concoction of punk infused energy, metal tones and timbres all parading in a drone drenched stripped-down minimalism and avant-garde outrage.

Following in the bleakness and brutal nature of the “Cop” album, YOUNG GOD takes the stylistic approach to even more extreme measures offering a glimpse into the mind of the serial killer Ed Gein. The EP takes the no wave, no frills droning percussive march into even more bombastic territories as it even utilizes a chain against a metal table offering a bleaker industrial feel than “Cop” ever dared explore. Likewise, the tempos are even slower and it genuinely sounds as if the sounds that emerge evoke the darkest, most abstract and utterly violent musical offerings possible with an abrasive surreal minimalistic barbarity unlike anything ever conceived.

YOUNG GOD contains only a mere four tracks that don’t even add up to the half hour mark but in their wake leaves a barrage of emotionally bereft hypnotic parades of industrial bleakness and surreal surrender of everything familiar in musical trends of the day. Melodies are replaced by jagged torturous textures of jarring guitar distortion, arhythmic percussive drives that churn along like heart palpitations and the bleakest sewer rat perspective of sado-masochistic sonic torture sessions that incorporate downtuned dread with utter hopelessness.

While the overall effect is equivalent to “Cop,” YOUNG GODS is even more surreal and hypnotic as the guitar parts are more uniform whereas the Michael Gira’s vocals are much more emphatic and take on a more diverse repertoire of tortured prowess. The main effect of YOUNG GOD is one of disbelief as the grimy filth of the guitar and bass distortion churn along with the atypically timed rhythmic flow of the percussion. This one has been cited as a major influence to bands like Nirvana, Neurosis and Godflesh. The Swiss band The Young Gods even named themselves after it. This is about as subversively sinister as music can get before it totally becomes irregular formless noise.

This is the last bout with sheer musical bleakness for SWANS. After YOUNG GODS they would incorporate Jarboe into the band and her influence would forever change the band’s course into more diverse arenas. While the EP was never officially released beyond the initial vinyl pressings, the four tracks that appeared on it can easily be found on modern compilations of the early works. YOUNG GODS takes the unique musical lexicon that SWANS crafted in their earlier years and fleshes out only the bleakest possibilities. So intense is this stuff that more than four tracks of it and it may have caused death. Include this on the “scariest tracks of all time” list.


Album · 1984 · Metal Related
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While many will claim that the 80s were one of the worst decades for music but i must disagree wholeheartedly since some of the most original thinking musical entities emerged from this period. On the aggressive side of the musical equation, the punk and metal that had been gaining steam in the late 70s and early 80s really took off during this period. While punk and post-punk had splintered into a gazillion subgenera, metal on the other hand was only starting to see the potential of different styles emerging from the hard rock that had developed it a decade before. Out of all this craziness came SWANS whose unique style to this day is unclassifiable as they exist in their own musical universe but was even more the case in their beginning days. This NYC band led by Michael Gira existed in a strange gray area between punk and metal although they were technically part of the short-lived no wave noise rock movement.

Their debut album “Filth” set the tone for their abrasive unrelenting assault on melody with undulating waves of distorted noise grinding in a jarring rhythmical fashion like a thousand jackhammers pounding the city streets in unison and only slightly deviating from each other until a true cacophonous din results. On their second album COP, the band of four continues this aggressive assault and takes it even further with even heavier bombastic drum and bass beats accompanied by screeching downtuned and dissonant guitar riffs along with Gira’s tortured soul vocalizations that preceded the world of black and death metal by several years. It’s no wonder that early SWANS have been cited as one of the major influences for the heavy down and dirty approach of sludge metal because the thick guitar riffs that buzz to infinity create one of the loudest albums of the early 80s as if the band recorded this in a deep industrial bunker in the darkest recesses of the cockroach filled underbellies of a post-apocalyptic world.

While many comparisons have been made with doom metal and i can honestly see those connections, i find COP is more of a unique fusion of snarling punk attitudinal posturing with heavily cranked up adrenaline inducing distortion from the guitar and bass akin to the early extreme metal of Venom and Hellhammer with a bombastic drone-like march of a souless percussive drive that hypnotizes by sheer brutal force. Part of the allure is the ambiguousness of the subject matter at hand with lyrics flirting with scenes of sexual domination in unseen corners in dimly lit dungeons. The tempo on COP is much slower than “Filth” which adds a sense of valium laden dread to the abrasiveness of the fuzzed out guitar tones grinding the eardrums into audio submission like the morbidly obese woman on the cover depicts in utter despair. COP took the art of ugliness to perfect heights as the holy trinity of audio, visual and emotional impact impaled the listener from all angles.

COP is almost universally deemed SWANS’ most brutal album and i doubt anyone could disagree once encountering this seductively repulsive sonic terror. If the guitar dissonance and vocal anguish wasn’t enough, the drum and bass experience a hypnotic repertoire that is jagged with off-kilter time signatures that succeed in disrupting melodic flow in every way possible. Both “Filth” and “Cop” as well as the two EPs of the same era are cited as a major influence on bands like Godflesh, The Young Gods and the 90s sludge gods Neurosis with an almost tribal rhythmic drive gone horribly wrong into arhythmic sado-masochistic sonic torture sessions. This is not one for the faint-hearted by any means. After this album, Gira would incorporate the feminine charm of Jarboe to the band’s sound which would change the band’s style and sound drastically. However on COP, these guys pumped out one of the most monstrous and tenebrous death marches of all the early 80s. While bleak, this stuff is morbidly beautiful in its own way as it creates its own musical lexicon.


Album · 2001 · Heavy Metal
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OZZY OSBOURNE had every intention of retiring after the “No More Tours” era of the early 90s but his restless spirit couldn’t kick the heavy metal habit and ended up recording another album, “Ozzmosis” in 1995 which would cement his status as metal god in the alternative 90s. Soon thereafter that release, he and his wife Sharon had organized a totally new event called the Ozzfest Tour which was loosely based on Perry Farrell’s (of Jane’s Addiction) successful Lallapolooza tours. The event took place annually and hosted two stages and a dozen or so different bands. The festivals turned out to be a huge success which led OZZY to focus on constant live settings instead of releasing new material.

By the turn of the millennium his record label Epic was demanding a new product, so back into the studios once again to record new material which emerged with his first 21st century album DOWN TO EARTH, the first album in six years. Another lineup change in the process with only Zakk Wylde returning from past glories. The new OZZY lineup would consist of bassist Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Metallica) and drummer Mike Bordin, most famous from Faith No More. While not official members of the band, producer Tim Palmer added extra guitars, keyboards and military drums (on “Can You Hear Them?”) as well as Michael Railo helping out with keyboards as well.

It seems that OZZY had never had a more relaxed and stable period in his life where everything was running smoothly. He had the festival tours in his blood at this point and an army of collaborators to assist in the songwriting process, which was a wise decision to employ their talents because DOWN TO EARTH contains eleven strong heavy metal anthems in the vein of OZZY’s classic 80s metal spirit but yet exuded a strong 90s vibe such as the White Zombie heavy stomp heft on the heaviest tracks as well as the industrial synthesizer action that oozes out of the background between the cracks in the heavy metal bombast. It also seems that OZZY’s rekindling of Black Sabbath has rubbed off as well as many of the tracks have that old school early metal feel with crunchy fifth root chords chugging along like demons on ecstasy.

DOWN TO EARTH finds OZZY in a great spirit lyrically as well. His poetic lyrics propound the usual subject matter ranging from rough times in life to drug influenced experiences albeit from the point of the observer instead of the user. The tracks are all quite catchy and the true addiction is in the form of great tunes that have favorable solid melodies exquisitely performed by the top notch musicians on board. As usual there are even a few ballads such as “Dreamer” and “Running Out Of Time,” but at this point even the slow numbers are quite sophisticated in their orchestration and dynamics with clever arrangements and an alternative rock swagger. OZZY truly found a way to adapt with grace into the new world all the while retaining his timeless sense of godfather of metal status.

I have to admit that DOWN TO EARTH is one that didn’t grab me upon first listen. In fact i pretty much shelved it for several years before giving it another spin. This is not balls to the wall heavy metal in full madman status rather this is a contemplative collection of well-crafted tunes that stitch together various aspects of OZZY’s career and add a few modern ingredients into the mix which yields a rather excellent batch of heavy rockers and sweet syrupy ballads. OZZY’s voice seems even more controlled and relaxed on this one not to mention that the evil as fuck album cover which is one of the best in his canon. DOWN TO EARTH may not be one that blows you away upon first listen and one would surely expect something grand from the godfather at this point but what we get is that at all but rather an incredibly consistent collection of top crafted heavy metal tracks that only got lost in the shuffle because of the preponderance of newer metal acts that were stealing OZZY’s thunder at this point. Still though, not one to be missed.

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