siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Avant-garde Metal team
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857 reviews/ratings
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Songs for Insects Thrash Metal | review permalink
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God's Flesh 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 125 2.89
2 Alternative Metal 115 2.92
3 Hard Rock 70 3.32
4 Progressive Metal 67 4.00
5 Avant-garde Metal 60 3.99
6 Black Metal 49 3.45
7 Metal Related 40 3.33
8 Thrash Metal 38 3.67
9 Traditional heavy metal 33 3.83
10 Technical Death Metal 25 4.06
11 Proto-Metal 24 3.85
12 Death Metal 18 3.92
13 NWoBHM 13 4.15
14 Glam Metal 12 3.63
15 Industrial Metal 12 3.79
16 Doom Metal 11 3.86
17 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 10 4.25
18 Power Metal 10 3.75
19 Symphonic Black Metal 9 4.22
20 Hardcore and crust 9 3.33
21 Folk Metal 9 3.67
22 Funk Metal 9 4.11
23 Death-Doom Metal 8 3.38
24 Metalcore 8 4.00
25 US Power Metal 8 3.63
26 Groove Metal 7 3.50
27 Atmospheric Black Metal 6 3.83
28 Neoclassical metal 5 3.40
29 Sludge Metal 5 3.80
30 Grindcore 5 3.00
31 Melodic Black Metal 4 4.13
32 Speed Metal 4 3.38
33 Stoner Metal 4 4.13
34 Drone Metal 4 3.38
35 Gothic Metal 4 3.38
36 Brutal Death Metal 4 3.25
37 Melodic Death Metal 3 4.17
38 Mathcore 3 4.00
39 Symphonic Metal 3 4.17
40 Nu Metal 1 2.50
41 Crossover Thrash 1 5.00
42 Deathcore 1 3.50
43 Depressive Black Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 1995 · Death Metal
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One of the most beautiful things about MORBID ANGEL is that they never stagnated in their sound despite pioneering the world of death metal and taking that final step out of the thrash world which landed them the honor of being one of the most influential death metal bands to the plaudits of the critics. Although they took the early Slayer thing and put it through the brutality blender before they emerged with their groundbreaking “Altars Of Madness,” where they churned out sonic assaults about Satanism and occult themes, they quickly became more sophisticated in not only their compositions but in their subject matter. Beginning with “Blessed Are The Sick” they evolved their lyrical content in the realms of Sumerian gods while their technical chops became ever more tight and polished without losing one little bit of the fire and fury that made them one of the most successful extreme metal bands of all the early 90s.

After cranking out three beautiful beasts of unrelenting brutality, they took a rather left field turn and began to experiment with their sound. The result was their fourth studio album DOMINATION which not only expanded their sonic palette manyfold but also saw the debut of Erik Rutan as the second guitarist / keyboardist thus making the band a quartet instead of a mere trio. This would also be David Vincent’s last album for quite some time before he would rejoin in 2004. This album is quite distinct visually speaking as it is rare to find a death metal album cover graced in green and purple. The earliest CDs came in green jewelcases and there were plans to release a “Slime Pack” but was scrapped because of the toxic slime leaking from the albums before they were ever got shipped!

DOMINATION is quite the interesting listen and shows MORBID ANGEL diversifying its sound in many different ways. The first three tracks showcase the classic death metal sound but also add a new sludgy element to the mix with slower guitar riff tempos and even less frenetic drum parts. In the composition department the guitars are more atonal, there are multiple tempo changes and break downs and there is much more emphasis on creating a dark and gloomy atmosphere instead of focusing exclusively on brutality. Of course those squealing guitar solos still emerge from nowhere and the brutal riffs are still on board but something noticeably shifted on DOMINATION. “Melting” displayed a completely new side of the band with a theatrical soundtrack like a war march through some sort of ancient siege and as far as i know is the first of its kind in the death metal world. This sort of interlude music was adopted by bands like Nile who made it a staple of Sumerian and Ancient Egyptian folklore sounds but also has been adopted by other tech death bands like Gorguts.

The influences that led to an entire career that Nile (and even for others such as Gojira) are pretty much adopted from this album and are rather apparent on tracks like “Nothing But Fear” which have complex riffing, several time signature changes and differentiations in tempo and dynamics including passages where the drumming is on blastbeat mode while the atmospheric chord changes contrast with the brutality. Basically the blueprint for Nile albums such as “Seeds Of Vengeance.” The rest of the album pretty much follows suit incorporating the expected MORBID ANGEL magic through the mix of the down-tuned darkened pummeling dual guitar riffing of Azagthoth and Rutan, Vincent’s double bass line abuse and guttural vocals with Sandoval’s blastbeat drum abuse. However with the addition of dramatic war march doom metal sequences, more atmospheric keyboard touches and unexpected detours into sludge metal means DOMINATION is the most diverse MORBID ANGEL album of the early Vincent years. Personally i also find this to be the one i find most interesting. Despite all the brutality as well as being the pioneers of the genre, the first three albums haven’t aged quite as well as i would’ve hoped. DOMINATION on the other hand has all the aggression and attitude of a quality extreme metal album without the monotony of a ceaseless fire of riffs to infinity. An under-appreciated masterpiece me thinks.

SOUL ENEMA Of Clans And Clones And Clowns

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Although founded all the way back in 2001, the humorously named Israeli band SOUL ENEMA has only released a mere two albums beginning with 2010’s debut “Thin Ice Crawling” and at long last the follow up has emerged in 2017 in the form of OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS. Main man and founder Constantin Glantz readily admits he is the utmost perfectionist when it comes to creating his music and just like the debut, the listener is treated to an equally compelling eclectic musical ride with every element ratcheted up a few more notches. Glantz is the only common thread between the two albums and all other performers are completely new to the SOUL ENEMA scene. While the debut had five full time musicians and four guests, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS still has five core musicians but has a whopping eight guests including Arjen Lucassen of Aeryon fame providing a cameo guitar solo on “Eternal Child” and fellow Israeli Yossi Sassi providing the unique sounds of his bouzoukitara on “Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History.” The album took a staggering seven years to make and and therefore leaves no “i” undotted and no “t” uncrossed. This is a project of passion, a labor of love and despite the trials and tribulations involved in the making, turned out to be another resounding success.

Due to all the attention paid to every little detail, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS comes off as a slick and serious project where every idea and composition is careful crafted and placed in the proper place as to create the perfect musical flow of ideas and energies. The emotional gamut runs from the apocalyptic “Aral Sea” three part suite to the silliness of the title “The Age Of Cosmic Baboon” and other moments of desipient amusement. Much attention is paid to the production as well and despite being rather complex and multi-layered, the album retains an organic spontaneous feel that surprisingly doesn’t sound overproduced at all and contains no excess fluff added for fluff’s sake. Right from the beginning track “Omon Ra,” SOUL ENEMA displays the same eclectic fusion of several genres all stitched neatly into a nice musical collage of styles and sounds. The heavy metal guitar riffs overlap with other polyrhythms including Middle Eastern sounds and symphonic prog style keyboard assaults. The diversity of the tracks keeps the album interesting with Noa Gruman’s vocals adding a more diverse range than her than her predecessor on the debut. Likewise there are many more elements lurking around every corner and at times even reminds of how The Beatles would layer contemporary rock over more traditional styles of music with one example of how “Spymania” takes its Vaudville tinged prog metal and allows a more traditional anachronistic musical form to emerge as the heavier parts fade out.

So many elements going on here it’s impossible to describe them all. The common thread is that much attention is paid to catchy melodic hooks that take on crossover prog possibilities. The heaviness alternates between full-fledged progressive metal riffing to calmer melodic rock to simple piano runs. There are many ethnic influences as well with tracks like “The Age Of Cosmic Baboon” sounding completely exotic with Middle Eastern rhythms and percussion with the added mystic flair of the sitar. The mix of the rhythmic elements with the atmospheric is utterly fascinating as they seamlessly weave around each other in perfect unison. Heavy guitar parts can abruptly shift to a more symphonic prog segment with folk fueled flutes fluttering away as one melodic segment cedes into another. The pace is perfectly set for each part to connect to what has already occurred and what is yet to come. While most tracks have a metal or rock feel in nature, some like “Last Days Of Rome” bring good old-fashioned piano rock to mind with artists like Carole King coming to mind although with a zillion other elements tacked on in crossover prog fashion of course! “Dear Bollock (Was A Sensitive Man) is another exotic sounding track with Glantz showing off his Japanese shamisen playing skills and although there are metal riffs added for bombast, it comes across as a mad rush down the silk road of some sort.

Despite the parade of ideas floating around on any given track, the three part suite “Aral Sea” is perhaps the most progressive rock in feel with three long suites that feature a diverse rotisserie of moods and represent the ultimate demise of the famous sea that went from Garden Of Eden fertility to the dusty barren wasteland it is today due to human carelessness. The suite begins with “Aral Sea I - Feeding Hand” that tells the tale of the fertile life giving sea that demands respect in exchange for provisions with heavy rock guitars, melodic piano runs and Noa Gruman providing one of her most dramatic vocal deliveries. “Aral Sea II - Dustbin Of History” picks up the pace a bit adding a bit more eclectic polyrhythms in a more Middle Eastern feel but quickly turns to sadness with dynamic electronic effects and heavy metal riffing suddenly simulate the once productive sea being siphoned of its life giving vitality. This second suite installment has a unique Far East vibe due to the presence of Yossi Sassi providing the unique sound of his bouzoukitara adding a truly exotic flair as the Middle Eastern meets metal riffs dance around one another. “Aral Sea III - Epilogue” has the expected ending of demise but performed with an interesting intro of discordant piano and percussion and ultimately sang out by Gruman’s powerful vox box. This finale has Sergey Kalugin of the Russian prog rock band Orgia Prevednikov making a cameo on acoustic guitar.

Glantz is an excellent self-promoter as he describes this album as a creative diverse rock / metal album that explores vast melodic and rhythmic territories that takes elements ranging from ABBA to Zappa, from King Crimson to King Diamond between East and West and way beyond in a true progressive fashion. While those words are delivered in a slightly cheeky way, they actually ring true as well as Glantz is interested in making progressive prog instead of the factory line varieties. With more elements than the periodic table, SOUL ENEMA delivers an outstanding sophomoric epic journey that takes the best elements of prog, rock and the entire Putumayo World music catalogue and runs away with it! It truly is impressive and adventurous without ever getting weird for weird’s sake. It remains completely accessible while dishing out unorthodox exaltation. While “Thin Ice Crawling” was a major step in achieving something great, OF CLANS AND CLONES AND CLOWNS actually fulfills that mission and one of the best albums of the year that i’ve heard so far. It is fearless as it shamelessly throws the sensual and the bombastic in a cage together and let them duke it out. The result is a not a musical death match but rather a triumph of sonic cooperation that demonstrates the possibilities of musical genre blending when proper care is taken to the details. Unlike the debut album, this one at over 72 minutes doesn’t wear out its welcome by the the time the last tracks finally crank up. This album is quite the accomplishment. Bravo!

SOUL ENEMA Thin Ice Crawling

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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The peculiarly named SOUL ENEMA is the brainchild of the restless and productive spirit of the Russian born Constantin Glanz turned Israeli whose fascination with electric musical elements has made him a cu’ri’o'so in layering various elements together since the band’s inception all the way back in 2001. Despite having formed at the turn of the millennium, here it is 2017 and Glanz has created a mere two albums with entirely different cast members. THIN ICE CRAWLING which finally emerged in 2010 is the debut that garnered international attention in the progressive rock / metal crowds for deftly packaging up ample doses of melodic rock that unfold in very experimental ways and in the process incorporate all kinds of genres and styles often leaving the listener in the dark about just how in the world to categorize this eclectic cauldron of simmering extravagance. In the days when carbon copy clones are creeping in with a quickening pace as progressive rock and metal burgeon in popularity, once in a while a rare musical creation comes along that effortlessly stands out from the crowd with a sound so distinct and original that it manages to sweep away all the competition in its ambitious and unpredictable sonic peregrination.

While melodic hard rock with outbursts of heavy distorted metal riffing are ubiquitous trademarks on THIN ICE CRAWLING with an emphasis on the catchiest yet quirky melodies possible, the other musical elements are a total grab bag as SOUL ENEMA crafts a clever path through which metal and rock mix and mingle with European folk, jazz-fusion, Middle Eastern, Oriental and other elements which gleefully play together like musical United Nations poster children that somehow flirted with the theatrical flirtatiousness of Broadway all the while juxtaposing elements in reckless manners that find doves of peace coinciding with weapons of mass destruction. At this stage SOUL ENEMA consisted of main man Constantin Glantz on keyboards, sound effects and male vocals, Max Mann on bass, Oleg Szumsky on drums and the feminine beauty of vocalist Irina Sherr whose mezzo-soprano presence adds a stabilizing effect to the beastly guitar riffs of Yevgeny Kushnir and jittery keyboard fluctuations of Glantz. In addition to the regular cast members are a few additional performers adding various ethnic percussion instruments alto sax. Although no credits are given i’m sure there are violins as well.

THIN ICE CRAWLING is a true delight to sit through from beginning to end (although an adventurous listen). Having taken several years to construct and perfect, this album delivers a string of infectious melodic developments all decorated with some of the most unorthodox twists and turns that while remaining totally logical in how they connect, never fail to surprise in how they are connected. In many ways THIN ICE CRAWLING comes off as an Aeryon type album with a perfectly balanced tightrope act of sensuality, bombast and Vaudeville type charm. At times one element may dominate, at times they alternate and at times they all play together seemingly on recess from the lessons learned from the school text books that have been ossified into the orthodox rulebook. Surprise and sense of adventure is what SOUL ENEMA playfully conjure up on this hour plus listening experience. In retrospect SOUL ENEMA makes me think of a less frenetic, more melodic and incredibly structured form of Unexpect as Irina Sherr’s female vocals along when the violin led folk aspects dominate while the frenetic keyboards with the heavy guitars clearly bring Arjen Lucassen’s many projects to mind.

As SOUL ENEMA emerges from their slumber seven long years later with their long-awaited followup “Of Clans And Clones And Clowns” which perfects many of the musical aspects laid down on this debut, THIN ICE CRAWLING is not to be missed as it is every bit as addictive as the followup and despite Glantz being the only connection between the two albums, there is a very cohesive feel between the two releases thus demonstrating Glantz’ talents as a conductor who can eke out the potentials of his musical ensembles that he strings together quite well. As the main songwriter and arranger it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise however making a large group of musicians perform so well is equivalent to herding cats in a string factory. THIN ICE CRAWLING is an utterly brilliant piece of work that dexterously agglutinates a ridiculous amounts of styles and influences ranging from the melodic hooks of ABBA to the prog workouts of King Crimson and Frank Zappa with enough classical and metal to expand the possibilities even further. My only complaint is perhaps there’s too much of a good thing and a couple overlong tracks like “Unholy Ghost” and the lugubrious piano laden “Outro” (although i love the craziness after the silence) which fit in thematically don’t hold my interest as much by the time i get to the end. Still though, this is a minor quibble and overall this debut album is impressive even if somewhat exhausting in one go!

BUCKETHEAD Pike 270 - A3

Album · 2017 · Non-Metal
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BUCKETHEAD (as Bucketheadland) / Pike 270 - A3 / 267th release of 2017 / All instrumental / Contains 2 tracks / Clocks in at 28 minutes 50 seconds / everything played by Buck-buck-buckethead 3: >

While the artist known as BUCKETHEAD is primarily known for his experimental rock and metal styles that transcend boundaries and push limits of what human fingers are capable of performing, the chicken lover has also proven himself a master of creating some of the most horrific and creepy dark ambient soundtracks throughout his PIKE series with the bulk having been released in 2015 with the chilling countdown to Halloween PIKEs where a new album was released everyday. Since then those types of murky overcasts of demented dread have been fairly absent in the incessant releases that never cease but on PIKE 270 - A3 the chicken lover delivers yet another mystic chimera of sound that dishes out two long drawn out tracks that just miss the half hour mark

The title track “A3” is a slow and descending sonic drift into the recesses of the darkest corners of the human soul with no melody to be heard, no rhythms to keep time and no discernible rhyme and reason to the extended bouts with darkness that slowly pulsate through the sonic underworld like bioluminescent jellyfish at the mercy of the high-pressure induced currents of the oceanic abyss. So is the feel of “A3” with a dungeon synth flow of atmospheric dread followed by echoey guitar vibrato in free form plunging ever deeper into the a lightless trench with occasional energetic outbursts of vibrato run amok

“Liquid Mirror” continues the journey into strange unearthly sound fields where dark ambient synths slowly modulate in smooth yet jarring manners of articulation designed to evoke the horrors of being plunged into a dark world haunted by phantasms and poltergeists that can only be sensed but not seen. The fluidity of the pulsating flow of sound emanates from the chasms of unnerving alien auras that evoke otherworldly encounters where all relativity with reality are completely void where hitherto unthinkable forms of chemistry and physics dominate. So utterly and incomprehensible that sheer logic crumbles like sand castles under construction in a hurricane. “Liquid Mirror” is even more extreme in its utterly formlessness with eerie dripping, echoey distant guitar vibrato and haunted synth swirls that go for the jugular in ratcheting up the fear factor. Perhaps the perfect soundtrack for a stroll down an unexplored planet in another star system as strange life forms evolved in every different way possible and where every nanosecond is fraught with apprehension and trepidation

PIKE 270 - A3 is an outstanding accomplishment of dark ambient and is guaranteed to appeal to aficionados of Lustmord, Deathprod or Bohren & Der Club Of Gore. Do not listen to this alone and in the dark before you go to bed

BUCKETHEAD Pike 269 - Decaying Parchment

Album · 2017 · Alternative Metal
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BUCKETHEAD (as Bucketheadland) / Pike 269 - Decaying Parchment / 26th release of 2017 / All instrumental / Contains 6 tracks / Clocks in at 32 minutes 47 seconds / everything played by Buck-buck-buckethead 3: >

“Is” (5:11) begins things with a creeping clean echoey guitar but soon ratchets up the alternative metal fixin’s as a chugga chug riff creates a hard drivin’ groove. This is one of those tracks where the hard parts alternate with the softer parts but basically repeat the same melodic chord changes. The bass is extra special here as it has a distinct sub-groove to the guitar riffs. The drumming is adequate but sounds like it could have spruced up a bit

“The Maps Inside” (8:16) begins things calmly with clean guitar parts slowly ushering in a more upbeat distorted guitar riff. After a few normal measures, it chugs out a weird off-kilter riff before getting cold feet and cooling off into an echoey clean guitar mode again. It sputters on with jittery distorted riffs and cleaner passages in a mid-tempo range but also slows down from time to time. Eventually it picks up and a bluesy solo erupts while the chord changes get stuck in a loop effect. This part extends well beyond its predictable outcome

“Wings of a Dead Moth” (4:51) ah, poor little moth, no wonder you died. This track is a CRUSHER!!! Brutal metal riffing suddenly changes into a clean circus anthem but then the heavy blistering riffs return but then a slower less distorted riff. It’s one of those seesaw songs where loud and fast plays and then softer and crazy! I like these kinds of tracks :P There are a few Van Halen type riffs (“Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”) as well as just crazy off-kilter time sig riffs that are brutal. My favorite is the chicken clucking riffs but there are industrial metal riffs and crazed guitar solos on hyperdrive. This one is EXCELLENT!!! Creative, diverse and non-predictable!

“Pillar” (4:23) starts with a tinny guitar lick with a clucking lick and steady bass groove and cymbal action with percussion. Good mix of instruments. Pretty much an alternative metal groove track with a melody flying high through the lead guitar while a jerky riff chugs in the undergrowth. Unfolds in a rather predictable way but still sounds good and different in its approach

“Twister” (3:46) begins super chilled and echoey as a guitar slowly builds up tension with percussion and then finds a groove to latch around and creates a bouncy little distorted melody which picks up a little speed and then the treble guitar does jittery things while the bass parts stay bouncy. Kind of an overdone style in BH’s world

“Decaying Parchment” (6:20) is freakier and begins with a free form avant-garde guitar weirdness as the lead guitar goes apes.h.i.t. and gets hyperactive and bizarre. It sounds like the bass and drums live in their own world while two guitars are in their own separate universes but somehow are coming together in an unorthodox manner. Time signatures run amok despite a steady groove, sonic assaults as guitar weave around each other in mysterious ways. Cacophonous din erupting in a merry-go-round fashion. This is the type of BUCKETHEAD track i crave!

Only third and sixth tracks set me on fire. The rest are fairly overdone in the PIKE canon and like many of these, if you haven’t heard this a million times, you’ll think it sounds great but if you have then the unwarranted repetition is a little unfulfilling

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 7 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    MORBID ANGEL Domination reviews and MP3
  • Posted 7 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    [QUOTE=Psydye]Better than DSO, imo.[/QUOTE] I like these guys a lot. Saw them several years ago as a free concert. Even bought the debut and got it signed by the band. Have since gotten all three albums. Awesome! By DSO do you mean Diablo Swing Orchestra? If so not really comparable. I love em both
  • Posted 8 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    [QUOTE=Unitron][/QUOTE] Shoulda been called So lame, so bad, so fucked LOL. I know some of you like this one. I hate it


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