siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Prog/AG Team
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Favorite Metal Artists

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1503 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 169 3.01
2 Progressive Metal 132 3.92
3 Alternative Metal 132 2.95
4 Avant-garde Metal 101 3.99
5 Hard Rock 98 3.52
6 Black Metal 90 3.72
7 Metal Related 76 3.50
8 Heavy Metal 60 3.77
9 Technical Death Metal 59 3.95
10 Death Metal 54 3.76
11 Thrash Metal 43 3.64
12 Proto-Metal 35 3.99
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 34 3.71
14 Power Metal 21 3.88
15 Sludge Metal 20 3.73
16 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 18 4.08
17 Folk Metal 17 3.88
18 Death-Doom Metal 15 3.70
19 Hardcore Punk 15 3.40
20 Glam Metal 15 3.57
21 Doom Metal 14 4.04
22 Brutal Death Metal 14 3.50
23 Symphonic Metal 14 3.86
24 NWoBHM 14 4.07
25 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
26 Funk Metal 12 4.17
27 Industrial Metal 12 3.75
28 Melodic Death Metal 11 3.82
29 Grindcore 11 3.59
30 US Power Metal 11 3.77
31 Metalcore 11 3.55
32 Symphonic Black Metal 11 4.14
33 Depressive Black Metal 10 3.15
34 Deathcore 10 3.40
35 Groove Metal 9 3.39
36 Mathcore 9 3.94
37 War Metal 9 3.44
38 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
39 Melodic Black Metal 8 4.06
40 Funeral Doom Metal 7 4.07
41 Gothic Metal 7 3.43
42 Speed Metal 7 3.50
43 Stoner Metal 7 3.79
44 Pagan Black Metal 6 3.83
45 Heavy Alternative Rock 6 3.00
46 Heavy Psych 5 4.10
47 Drone Metal 5 3.50
48 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
49 Crust Punk 4 3.38
50 Goregrind 4 3.13
51 Melodic Metalcore 3 3.33
52 Crossover Thrash 3 4.33
53 Nu Metal 3 3.33
54 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
55 Rap Metal 2 2.00
56 Viking Metal 2 4.00
57 Deathgrind 2 3.50
58 Electronicore 1 2.00
59 Cybergrind 1 3.50
60 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
61 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
62 Trance Metal 1 1.00
63 Nintendocore 1 3.50
64 Pornogrind 1 0.50

Latest Albums Reviews

CHILDREN OF BODOM Something Wild

Album · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
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Starting out as Inearthed in Espoo, Finland, CHILDREN OF BODOM formed by guitarist ALex Laiho (R.I.P.) and drummer Jaska Raatikainen would go on to become one of Finland’s most successful metal bands with a string of gold albums. Starting out in 1993, the fledgling Inearthed existed for five years influenced by death metal bands such as Entombed, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary but with the arrival of Janne Warmann on keyboards, the band reinvented itself and emerged as one of the first examples of death metal and power metal fusion. The world would never be the same!

Having developed a unique sound that took several competing metal styles and forcing them to play together, Inearthed was forced to change its name before a recording contract for Spineform Records and after a random perusal through the phone book settled on Lake Bodom which was the scene of some murders. After some reworking, CHILDREN OF BODOM had arrived and released the debut album SOMETHING WILD In 1997 which at the time sounded like nothing else. Death metal didn’t take long to splinter off into a million categories but once thrash metal split into death metal and power metal, the two sort of became the antithesis of each other until CHILDREN OF BODOM changed all that.

Mostly tagged as melodic death metal, SOMETHING WILD comes across more of a power metal album with death metal elements therefore a deathened power metal album that showcases neoclassical wizardry, fast tempos, Iron Maiden inspired gallops and highly melodic tunes leaving only the growly vocals and blastbeats to really bring any death metal attributes to the table. The album showcased the guitar virtuosity of Laiho who has been labeled as one of Finland’s all time greatest guitarists however Warmann’s keyboard wizardry is also of an equal caliber with frenetic soloing tradeoffs that are highlighted on the Slayer cover “Silent Scream” that is included as a bonus track on some CDs.

Added to the aggressive mix of melodic power metal and death metal grit, SOMETHING WILD also features an interesting black metal atmosphere which possibly was gleaned from touring with Dimmu Borgir. There are also moments of thrash metal attacks and many moments of good old fashioned 80s heavy metal coming through in the mix. The music is really quite unclassifiable as it wriggles around through various stylistic moments but its’ perhaps the neoclassical underpinnings most apparent by the Mozart inspired intro of “Red Light In My Eyes Pt 2” that defines the CHILDREN OF BODOM sound.

This is one of the bands that seems to get a lot a hate. Purists of both death metal and power metal find CHILDREN OF BODOM to be an unthinkable bastardization of two classic metal styles but for those of us who aren’t so hung up on genre purities, i personally find this music to be quite fascinating in how it manages to juggle all these disparate stylistic effects and fuse them together to proficiently. CHILDREN OF BODOM truly hit the ground running and propelled themselves to the top fo the melo-death tiers with this eclectic and energetic mix of extreme metal styles. While i can’t say CHILDREN OF BODOM has ever topped my list of favorite all-time metal bands, i am always in awe of the musicianship on display and the maturity of the compositions. Excellent debut.

BLUT AUS NORD Odinist: The Destruction of Reason by Illumination

Album · 2007 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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While beginning as the one-man solo project of Vindsval, the French experimental freak show known as BLUT AUS NORD really came into its own once the lineup was expanded to a trio that included drummer / keyboardist W.D. Feld and bassist GhÖst. Already having crafted some of the most chilling atmospheric black metal albums in the vein of Burzum, the trio version of BLUT AUS NORD shocked the black metal world with its lauded masterwork “The Work That Transforms God” which ironically transformed the world of second wave Norwegian style black metal into a stranger nebulous world of surreality that incorporated as much dark ambient psychedelia as it did black metal heft.

After reaching the apex of its industrial dark ambient infused alternative universe where black metal was forced to perform unthinkable acts with thick gnarled atonal guitar antics painfully decrying the jagged prog infused percussive beats, the album “MoRT” found this stylistic approach finding its logical conclusion with seemingly nowhere left to go but BLUT AUS NORD proved to be a wily beast that was content with experimenting and then perfecting said experiment and then moving on altogether without abandoning the underpinning of the band’s experimental and progressive black metal stylistic approach. While downright normal compared to “MoRT,” the band followed up with ODINIST - THE DESTRUCTION OF REASON BY ILLUMINATION which borrowed its title from the magickal world of none other than Aleister Crowley.

Decidedly less otherworldly and more anchored in contemporary atmospheric black metal that had taken the 2000s by storm, ODINIST retains the general characteristics that had graced the band’s previous two albums, namely the buzzsaw guitar riffs casting larger than life distorted feedback, bantering bass lines buried beneath the sonic swells and the irregular drum rolls that colluded to craft a bizarre atonal callithump through hellish soundscapes. However on ODINIST all that came before is toned down manyfold in order to craft a somewhat more accessible, or at least more orthodox black metal experience. While “MoRT” cast the strangest of sonic spells with a never-ending supply of jagged irregular jazz-fueled percussion, ODINIST takes on the more standard approach of blastbeats and less jagged progressive time signature attacks. This is all relative of course as ODINIST is much more avant-garde than the average black metal album.

Likewise the compositions lie more in the realm of standard black metal than the experimental freeform avant-garde tendencies of the previous two albums. While the newbie to this band may find this one to be more accessible due to the more standardized approach complete with the expected raspy vocals and less frenetic zigzagging effect, ODINIST to my ears sounds like a few steps down in quality and creative expression as the album tends to feel to safe for its own good in comparison to the albums that preceded and the excellent “777” trilogy that followed. While ODINIST hits all the marks that makes BLUT AUS NORD stand out from the pack, the album feels like it’s running on automatic pilot rather than tackling something completely fresh however occasional such as on tracks like “Ellipsis,” the doppler effect style of “MoRT” is more prominent.

In many ways ODINIST feels like a Viking metal style album with scattered melodic nods to Norwegian folk music with even the title referring to the god of Norse mythology. On board with the caustic black metal which had been amped up from the previous works, the dark ambient and industrial elements still teem with life however they are also kept on the leash as the compositional style is more predictable and less prone to crafting intangible elements that leave the listener in a cold bewildering reality devoid of any Earthly connections. ODINIST in its 37 minute run is nothing but a decent and compelling atmospheric black metal album experience however i can never shake the feeling that it just doesn’t rise to the standards that BLUT AUS NORD had set so high just the year before. Not my personal favorite but a must for fans no doubt.

BLUT AUS NORD MoRT

Album · 2006 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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While second wave of black metal was without a doubt the product of Norwegian wrath against humankind and religious practices with plenty of church burnings to add some visuals, the relative adaptive nature of the buzzsaw guitar led bombast and simple song structures allowed various elements to hybridize quite quickly making black metal one of the most versatile subgenera in the entire metal universe. While Darkthrone, Emperor, Immortal and Mayhem may have led Norway’s darkened dramatic take on the 80s metal that evolved into the 90s, it became clear in the 2000s that France was taking the lead having created some of the most unique experimental examples of taking black metal into surreal new realities.

The one man band BLUT AUS NORD also known as Vindsval took the atmospheric black metal approach of Burzum and Naglfar and adopted some of the first traces of psychedelic rock as far back as “Ultime Thulée” in 1995 but once the BLUT AUS NORD project became a fully fueled band beginning with 2003’s “The Work Which Transforms God,” Vindsval and friends took the black metal world by storm by crafting a new level of sophistication that had never been achieved with depressive chugging atonal guitar riffs enshrouded by suffocating atmospheres and crafting a sonicscape that reflected the frequencies of true hellish underworlds.

Three years later this Mondeville outfit took the stylistic approach on the breakthrough album to its logical conclusion with the fifth full-album MoRT which featured Vindsval on guitar and vocals along with bandmates W.D. Feld on drums and keyboards and GhÖst on bass. The album which pretty much was a continuous flow of bleak mind-numbing surreality which featured eight tracks symbolizing a “Chapter” of a greater nebulous concept never quite defined. The overall mood of the album is terrorizing as MoRT allows you to enter a strange new world where nothing is familiar and excels in atonal deformity unlike anything else that has been experienced before or after.

Beginning with terrifying processed vocals and dark ambient swirls, the atonal amorphous guitar riffs swim in a gelatinous vacuum with abstract drum beats, dissonant swells of distortion and thick depressive atmospheres that sound like single musical notes are tortured until they cease to exude a life force. In many ways MoRT exudes the absolute perfect fusion of black metal textural sensibilities with icy dark ambient atmospherics crafting a perfect balance of calculated metrics. Twisted progressive time signatures slink and slither like magically enhanced serpents writhing out of cold fiery pits in the bowels of the deepest recesses of the underworld, a place so devoid of light and human tangibility that one is reduced to a spiritual cryogenic state of the soul.

Perhaps one of the most adventurous black metal experiences one could possibly encounter, it’s fair to say that BLUT AUS NORD changed the black metal world exponentially with “The Work Which Transforms God” and this even more bizarre example of MoRT which would apparently shift the tectonic plates leading many other French black metal bands like Deathspell Omega and S.V.E.S.T. to adopt some of the deranged harsh tactics employed on this sonic display of freakery. Perhaps the least metal of BLUT AUS NORD’s canon, MoRT excels at being utterly outside the boundaries of virtually anything orthodox in any musical genre. The processed unintelligible vocals that erupt occasionally only add an emphatic sense of horror to the incessant parade of soul splitting awe that lasts for 47 minutes of sonic terror.

Needless to say, MoRT is unlike any other musical experience you could imagine existed and is perhaps one of the most terrifying albums that has ever been produced. Taking on aspects of black metal, dark ambient, progressive rock and even freeform no wave accompanied by a series of deep processed otherworldly growls and the occasional liturgical choirs peaking out of the din, MoRT is without a doubt one that will disturb even the most hardened music lover upon first listen and will send any uninitiated passerby to the insane asylum. This music requires learning an entirely new language in many ways to comprehend as it craftily displays some of the most extreme possibilities of a black-metal-in-opposition approach. While BLUT AUS NORD has crafted some excellent albums in its multi-decade career, it’s this one MoRT that i find the most original and utterly fascinating in its unapologetic experimental rampage.

RUPTURE Death to Peace

EP · 2014 · Thrash Metal
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RUPTURE is one of the many newcomers from China who has been bitten by the head banging metal music bug. This band comes from the coastal city of Xiamen and formed in 2013 with only two releases so far, this debut EP titled DEATH TO PEACE and the 2017 full-length “Rise From The Mass Graves.”

While RUPTURE has become a full band experience and one of China’s more popular thrash metal bands with a few death metal elements (like early Death), in the beginning this was the solo project of Schtarch who performed all guitars, bass, drums and vocals. The band’s 2017 album though featured four more band members.

DEATH TO PEACE is a short intro to RUPTURE with five tracks that amount to 23 minutes. This short thrash metal experience is like taking a time capsule back to the 1980s as this is old school thrash metal all the way and the final track which is a Cranium cover “Nymphomaniac Nuns” demonstrates perfectly where RUPTURE has gotten its inspiration.

Given that China is only emerging from its multi-millennial cocoon of relative cultural isolation even though it has been open to the world for decades, it only seems to have started adopting Western art forms in the 21st century and instead of joining the world at the contemporary level seems to be starting from the beginning which in this case is the origins of thrash metal.

As a Westerner who has been exposed to thrash metal for quite some time now, this sounds fairly generic to me but i also have to remember that i’m not the target audience. There are literally over a billion Chinese inhabitants who missed out on the first wave of thrash metal and now have their own bands who are touring so it’s totally understandable from a commercial perspective why these bands are simply modeling themselves after established styles of yore.

All in all, DEATH TO PEACE is a perfect display of some of the more aggressive strains retro thrash only devoid of any creative stamp whatsoever. Think of this as a cover band and its golden but i very much anyone who has enjoyed the sounds of Sadus, Annihilator, Forbidden or Slayer will find this particularly interesting. This is indeed a very good display of thrash metal but hardly rises to the ranks of essential.

FALL OF EFRAFA Owsla

Album · 2006 · Crust Punk
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FALL OF EFRAFA formed in Brighton, England in 2005 with the clear intent of releasing a trilogy of albums that revolved around the mythology of the 1972 Richard Adams novel “Watership Down” and then disbanding and that’s exactly what this band of Neil Kingsbury (guitar), Steven McCusker (guitar), Mikey Douglas (bass), George Miles (drums) and Alex CF (vocals) did. The term EFRAFA in the novel refers to a rabbit colony ruled by a dictator who oppresses the rebellion through law enforcement which are called the OWSLA (means warrior or defender), which is also the title of the first album of the trilogy followed by “Elil” and Inlé.” These titles come form the Lapine language used in the novel. Yep, this is some serious nerding out going on here!

In the big scheme of the vast music universe, FALL OF EFRAFA is quite unique in its approach having primarily taken its influences from post-metal bands like Neurosis and Agalloch, post-rock bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and heavy caustic post-hardcore and crust punk thus making a bizarre blend of stylistic shifts from atmospheric arpeggiated post-rock segments to bleak bombastic crust punk swells teased out into atmospheric sludge metal orotundity. The vocal style of Alex CF is also unique in that if falls somewhere between the extreme shouting style of Neurosis frontman Scott Kelly and the more angry crust punk sort of shouts that often struggles to emerge from the bombastic guitar, bass and drum angst. A cello accompanies to add a sense of impending dread.

These albums narrate elaborate tales with OWSLA recounting a despotic leader who gives his people a false sense of empowerment to that he can swoop in at the last minute and crush them. OWSLA begins the trilogy by outlining the tale of an unarmed society that clings to dated beliefs and remains paralyzed by the inability to overcome these stilted anachronisms. The following “Elil” continues by narrating how those very beliefs result in an oppressive reign of religious indoctrination thus showcasing the band’s staunch atheism. The final chapter “Inlé” deals with hope in the face of death and how a society that has clung on to certain values for eons must overcome the rigidness as they face a do or die situation.

With chamber folk and crust punk elements crafting a greater sum of the parts, FALL OF EFRAFA crafts a unique sounding album that takes disparate musical elements and casts a unique magical spell as it tackles deep psychology that has permeated humankind since the beginning of time. While hilariously set in the context of a warren of rabbits, the subject matter hits close to home and paints the bleak picture of human mind control carried out through conditioning and religious doctrines. OWSLA is a satisfying slice of post-rockand atmospheric sludge metal with elements of crust punk and highly recommended especially for those who love elaborate storylines that allude to the plight of homo sapiens however this is certainly an all or nothing affair and once you check out one album you are pretty much committed to explore the whole trilogy which was released as a whole unit in 2010 with “The Warren of Snares” boxset.

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