siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Prog/AG Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 15 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

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1795 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
GORGUTS - Obscura Technical Death 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

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 188 3.01
2 Progressive Metal 162 3.93
3 Alternative Metal 155 2.94
4 Avant-garde Metal 126 3.96
5 Hard Rock 110 3.51
6 Black Metal 98 3.73
7 Metal Related 88 3.57
8 Death Metal 86 3.73
9 Heavy Metal 68 3.78
10 Technical Death Metal 63 4.01
11 Thrash Metal 50 3.66
12 Atmospheric Black Metal 45 3.70
13 Proto-Metal 41 3.90
14 Power Metal 27 3.85
15 Sludge Metal 24 3.69
16 Melodic Death Metal 20 3.75
17 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 19 4.03
18 Technical Thrash Metal 19 3.84
19 Brutal Death Metal 18 3.44
20 Hardcore Punk 18 3.42
21 Folk Metal 17 3.88
22 Doom Metal 16 4.00
23 Death-Doom Metal 16 3.72
24 Symphonic Metal 16 3.78
25 NWoBHM 15 4.07
26 Glam Metal 15 3.57
27 Grindcore 15 3.60
28 Industrial Metal 15 3.60
29 US Power Metal 14 3.75
30 Heavy Alternative Rock 13 3.31
31 Funk Metal 13 4.08
32 Deathcore 12 3.25
33 Mathcore 12 3.88
34 Metalcore 12 3.38
35 Symphonic Black Metal 12 4.08
36 Stoner Metal 11 3.59
37 War Metal 11 3.36
38 Heavy Psych 11 3.95
39 Depressive Black Metal 11 3.14
40 Melodic Black Metal 10 4.05
41 Speed Metal 10 3.45
42 Gothic Metal 9 3.44
43 Groove Metal 9 3.39
44 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
45 Funeral Doom Metal 8 4.06
46 Drone Metal 7 3.64
47 Pagan Black Metal 6 3.83
48 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
49 Melodic Metalcore 5 3.10
50 Goregrind 5 3.10
51 Crossover Thrash 4 4.25
52 Crust Punk 4 3.38
53 Nu Metal 4 3.50
54 Rap Metal 3 3.00
55 Stoner Rock 3 3.83
56 Viking Metal 3 4.00
57 Deathgrind 3 3.33
58 Cybergrind 1 3.50
59 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
60 Electronicore 1 2.00
61 Nintendocore 1 3.50
62 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
63 Trance Metal 1 1.00
64 Pornogrind 1 0.50

Latest Albums Reviews

CRAWL (TX) Damned

Album · 2023 · Drone Metal
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One-man band Michael Engel has been cranking out albums, splits and EPs for over a decade now as the ominous sounding CRAWL but found a long gap between his latest DAMNED and the 2019 release “Necrotic Fear.” While traditionally a mix of sludge and drone metal, DAMNED has pretty much abandoned any notion of sludgery for a bleaker mix of funeral doom metal plodding, drone metal monotony and dark ambient atmospheric chill effects.

DAMNED features four long plodding tracks that extend past the 37-minute mark and showcase Engel’s frightful blackened dungeon doom effect in full lo-fi regalia. Nicely paced and seemingly demonically possessed, the music exudes a horrific march into the depths of the underworld with molasses slow bass / guitar grooves accompanied by Engel’s black metal rasps that simulate a grim reaper having a very bad day.

The sludge metal of previous releases has been totally replaced by a monotonous funeral doom procession with only energetic drum rolls breaking the hypnotic spell of torturous cyclical loops playing the soundtrack of hell for eternity. The mix of the elements is perfect for the overall effect and the lo-fi exuberance perfectly scratches the itch for a droning blackened funeral from the deepest depths of the unseen darkness. Occasional keyboard melodies creep out of the underbelly of the beast.

Drone metal in general can be quite boring but CRAWL adds the right amount of tension by slowly ratcheting up the tempos while the tortured blackened screams become more frenetic as the tracks progress. The mixing is excellent and the entire effort really does harken to the earliest days when first wave black metal was giving way to the second coming. The ambience stands alone as spectacular like frightful howling winds kissed by the demonic forces that summon a war of the worlds.

In this minimalist approach CRAWL has focused on the elements that really make the horror soundtrack work on all levels. While my appetite for drone metal oriented albums rarely make it to the top of my list, when i do find the right combo of elements that work in tandem so well to craft the utmost dread and fear factor, i cannot resist the temptation to venture into the world of the snail-paced where every ounce of doom and gloom is milked for your depressive pleasure. Much better than many of the SUNN O))) releases that try to hard to cram too much in which ruins the effects. Sometimes less is more and CRAWL got that memo.


Album · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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NE OBLIVISCARIS has been one of the most revered progressive death metal bands of the last decade and although the band and i started out on a bad note, i have completely had a turn around moment in recent months after revisiting the band’s phenomenal debut “Portal of I” which upon first listening about a decade ago seemed to leave me cold and unappreciative of the subtle intricacies that constituted its woven musical tapestry. Progressive death metal is a fragile beast that more often falls flat on its face than gracefully construct the proper kingdom where bombastic death metal excesses commingle with progressive rock pomp. When it’s done well though, nothing is better. Once i discovered the error of my ways i have gained a much deeper appreciation for this group of Aussies on the cutting edge of modern day prog metal.

Little did i realize a few months ago that NE OBLIVISCARIS was close to releasing the newest installment of their canon in the form of the fourth album EXUL arriving six years after the band’s last full-length “Urn” which seemed to find the band waning in its creative mojo and dipping in fan appreciation. Well EXUL seems to be rocketing the band back into the spotlight as prog metal’s most creative modern day band and it’s not really difficult to understand why this is the case. After all this extreme metal band that started out somewhere between black and death metal with progressive excursions has slowly shapeshfited itself into a tighter unit and while the black metal aspects have been primarily extinguished, these Aussies have veered into the world of classical to craft some mighty symphonic backings for their aggressive rampages bathed in thematic prose.

One of the key elements that has always allowed NE OBLIVISCARIS to stand out in the world of extreme metal is the use of the violin provided by Tim Charles and although strings have also helped carve out careers for doom metal bands such as My Dying Bride and Evoken, violins have not become a common staple in death metal but then again NE OBLIVISCARIS can hardly be considered a death metal band with its genre bending antics that have resulted in a sound that is unlike any other. With lush pastoral backings and excursions into true symphonic splendor, NE OBLIVISCARIS has tamed things down considerably since its raucous debut and steered things into a more focused easier-on-the-ears endeavor. A boon for those not acclimated to the extremes of harsh metal brashness and a bane to those who thrive on the most of extreme music of all.

One of the main differences between EXUL and the first two albums (somehow i missed “Urn”) is a much more pronounced addition of clean vocals that often act as the sole lyrical delivery as well as providing an all male beauty and beast effect of clean vs guttural growls. This is particularly dominant on the two part “Misericorde” which adds up to over 17 minutes of the album’s near 52-minute playing time. Unlike the debut the music is much more streamlined and less chaotic that meaning fewer hairpin turns and the experimental unorthodoxies have been tamped down big time. The focus on extended composiitons in the sense of classic symphonic prog is more the modus operandi. In many ways EXUL is a more polished and sanitized stylistic approach with a clear aim for some crossover success but hardcore metalheads need not worry. Although tamped down a few notches, the extreme metal effect is still rife with ferocious guitar riffs and growly growls as fertile as an alley cat in heat.

While personally i prefer the band’s first two releases i cannot say that this newest shift in stylistic approach is an unpleasant one at all. Sure it seems there are more clean vocals than anyone thought possible but lead vocalist Xenoyr proves to be quite competent as a metal crooner as he is hacking his lungs out. Overall not a bad update to the NE OBLIVISCARIS even if EXUL fails to match the wow factor of the band’s unbeatable classic debut “Portal Of I.” The best part about EXUL is that it excels on the progressive side of the band’s equation with thoughtful compositional fortitude trumping the lack of extreme metal dominance. Looks like this is going to be another huge hit for the band.

ENCENATHRAKH Ithate Thngth Oceate

Album · 2022 · Brutal Death Metal
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ENCENATHRAKTH dropped its self-titled debut bombshell on to an unsuspecting world in 2015 and basically treated the extreme metal world to its very own supergroup that featured Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Krallice, Behold… The Arctopus, etc), Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm, Ocrilim, etc), Weasel Walter (Behold… The Arctopus, The Flying Luttenbachers) and Paulo Henri (Copremesis). The main gist of this band was to create the ugliest freeform brutal death metal possible with all disregard to melody, established compositional structures or everything that popular metal features.

While sounding like a one-off, this team of seasoned veterans has continued releasing what i have designated extreme noise metal with ITHATE THNGTH OCEATE serving as the third release. There have been a few name changes since 2020’s “Thraakethraaeate Thraithaake” with Paulo Henri Paguntalan shortening his name to Vito, Mick Barr becoming Rick, Colin Marston adopting the name Nigel and Weasel Walter calling himself Coward. There’s also a couple more musicians on board. Sesh and Session play bass. Well not much changes with this band in seven years and what this album dishes out is another delivery of dissonant brutal death metal that is as chaotic as a traditional war on a battlefield.

Eight tracks crank out the most down-tuned dreadful menagerie of loose canons in the metal world. Of course anything with Mick Barr, Colin Marston and Weasel Walter is going to be weird and extreme and put them all together in the same room and it’s literally like raising hell to the Earthly plane. The pyramid and so-called theme of this release focuses on Egyptian and Sumerian texts but that’s really just a triviality since the only thing detectable through this 27 1/2 minute run is adrenaline fueled angsty death metal that’s as formless as a plume of smoke drifting about. Somehow these guys engage in the virtuosity of tech death metal, the bleakness of disso-death and the explosiveness of brutal death metal simultaneously.

This one actually has a bit better production since the debut but basically this is ENCENATHRAKH by the books. Erratic jittery guitar riffs and squeals, freeform bass grooves that sound like hard bop jazz from hell, incessant blastbeat drumming that sounds like Weasel Walter is playing on the kitchen cooking pan set and unintelligible grunts, guttural groans and pig squeals. Occasional excursions into higher register guitar licks sound like tortured demons trying to escape the incessant swarm of cacophonous din. There seems to be absolutely no point in this other than making as much extreme noise as humanly possible. And these guys succeed in doing just that!

The exception to this is the closing “Outro: Chronology Rejection Conjecture” which is a freaky two minute noise collage with no metal instrumentation. Yeah this is not for the feint of heart. I love myself some good brutal death metal, dissonance, break-neck speeds and even freeform avant-garde madness but this band doesn’t really scratch any itches except to experience the occasional complete breakdown of musical systems. It’s like the soundtrack to a planet that has just been destroyed by the Death Star and the simultaneous torment of souls set to sounds detectable in the physical plane. It’s a fun spin but i never listen to these guys’ albums a second time.

ENCENATHRAKH Thraakethraaeate Thraithraake

Album · 2020 · Brutal Death Metal
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ENCENATHRAKH, the supergroup brutal death metal project of Paulo Henri Paguntalan [aka Vito] (vocals, guitar), Mick Barr [aka Rick] (guitar), Colin Marston [aka Nigel] (bass, guitar) and Weasel Walter [aka Coward] (drums) may have seemed like a one-off with its 2015 self-titled debut but despite the gazillion main and side projects of these prolific angsty musicians, it became clear that this one was a regular gig with the band’s second release THRAAKETHRAAEATE THRAITHRAAKE.

It took five years to get it out but it pretty much follows in the footsteps of the debut with a relentless pummeling style of technically charged brutal death metal enshrouded in dissonance and avent-garde mindfuc.kery. The longest album of these crazed noisemakers, the double T album features eleven tracks at almost 43 minutes. In many ways it’s business as usual but when killing is your business sometimes a group of blood thirsty crazed madmen are in it for the sport than for any other reason so i’m sure they don’t care if anyone likes this or not.

This is what i call extreme noise metal. It’s like Walter’s Flying Luttenbachers on speed, caffeine and crystal meth with ridiculously fast tempos pummeling your senses away like a jackhammer in downtown Manhattan. Formless swarms of guitar riffs flap around like a crazed exaltation of larks aimlessly flying en masse in gloomy skies and deep guttural growls and pig squeals that sounds as if Satan himself has some digestive issues. Add to that incessant brutal time signature changes and all together you simultaneously have both the most brutal metal possible along with the most obnoxiously hostile prog.

Just like the debut, this one is forced chaos exclusively for its own sake. There are a few moments of dark ambience serving as intros on a few tracks so it does let up for fleeting moments but even then everything is designed to be as jarring as musically possible and the effect is like a warehouse of TNT blowing up in the middle of a wartime battlefield scene with blood and body parts flying around in every direction.

Even most metalheads will hate this. Think of the extreme avant-death metal version of Psyopus or Behold….The Arctopus and you’re on the right track. I can’t say this is a band i revisit often but when the mood strikes for something that’s unapologetically obnoxious then how can you got wrong with the most proggy fueled brutal death metal possible with the constructs of freeform jazz. Definitely a fun and wild ride but too much exposure will rot your soul and make your head explode. For those special moments only.


Album · 2022 · Non-Metal
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Well this is surely one i never saw coming. THE MARS VOLTA is of course one of those millennial prog acts that pretty much introduced prog rock to a new generation with its brash musical mishmash on the band’s lauded double one two punch debut releases “De-Loused In The Comatorium” and “Frances The Mute.” These two albums took me quite a while to warm up to mostly due to Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s abrasive vocal style but once i acclimated to the band’s unique idiosyncrasies i have to admit that those two releases rank high in my favorite album releases of all time now. Along with Omar Rodriguez-López, Bixler-Zavala made an instant smash with their unique punk-infused style of progressive rock but after the second release it was pretty much diminishing returns with “Amputechture” all the way to 2021’s too-abstract-for-its-own-good-and-lost-its way sound of “Noctourniquet.”

Due to creative differences Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-López split ways after collaborating on the one-off Antemasque which revived the post-hardcore style of At The Drive-In which itself would find a second coming. After making a secret truce, the talk of reviving THE MARS VOLTA seemed inevitable as neither was setting the world on fire with solo and other projects. In 2019 the duo began working on what would become this self-titled album which signals a complete reinventing of the band by dropping all progressive rock influences and adopting a more indie pop approach. The album finally hit the scene in September 2022 with a less than thrilled fanbase waiting for the next “Frances The Mute” expressing its dissatisfaction.

Basically a completely different band from anything released before, this version of THE MARS VOLTA also features Marcellus Rodriguez-López, little brother of Omar, on keyboards, Eva Gardner, one of the founding members of the band back on bass, Willy Rodriguez Quiñones on drums and Leo Genovese, a famous Argentine jazz pianist, also joining in on keyboards. Notable for their albums’ long playing times, this eponymous release keeps things on the shorter side just missing the 45 minute mark. Only two tracks are barely longer than four minutes and the overall stylistic shift is to emphasize instantly catchy melodic hooks accented by Caribbean rhythms and percussive styles along with indie rock guitars, bass and modern production techniques.

Honestly this was not something i was hoping for! Although a few albums after “Frances The Mute” are interesting, nothing comes close to the quality of the first two albums and in many ways this is an even loftier deep dive off the cliff of what made this band stand out from its nascency. Inherently there is nothing overtly awful about this album. The short digestible tracks are decently presented with Bixler-Zavala sounding less goofy in comparison. The mixing and production are excellent and fully up to date however what’s mixing from this one is any connection to the soul. Unfortunately the band seems like it’s striving to find commercial success in the context of achieving catchy pop hits on Spotify or something. All those wild unpredictable excursions into King Crimson prog and over the top psychedelic mindful.c.kery seem like a distant past although it’s only been two decades since the band’s debut.

When it comes down to it this just sounds like a completely different band with only Bixler-Zavala’s vocal even remotely bringing any past efforts to mind. This is a fairly inoffensive, even bland set of 14 tracks that never really go anywhere or do anything beyond supporting the lyrical delivery that spends a great deal of time addressing the inconsistencies of the Church of Scientology which Bixler-Zavala’s family had apparently tortured him with. For some sort of anonymous indie pop album, this is pretty decent for a listening experience but the whole thing seems like a mere shadow of the greatness this band once achieved. It’s like Genesis’ self-titled album in comparison to its prog heyday only without the super pop hits. Any way you slice it, a nice warm album but rather forgettable with nothing really to sink your teeth into.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
  • Posted 3 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
  • Posted 7 days ago in Somewhere in Time
    Just listened to it recently. I used to not like it as well as the others of the first 7 albums but it has grown on me big time. Really just consider the first 7 I.M. albums essential and all good. My fave drifts from one to the other depending on my mood. THe only one that doesn't rank as high is Killers but it's still excellent.


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