siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Prog/AG Team
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1328 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 161 2.99
2 Alternative Metal 122 2.95
3 Progressive Metal 116 3.97
4 Hard Rock 94 3.51
5 Avant-garde Metal 92 3.98
6 Black Metal 74 3.66
7 Metal Related 67 3.51
8 Heavy Metal 61 3.80
9 Technical Death Metal 51 4.00
10 Death Metal 41 3.82
11 Thrash Metal 35 3.60
12 Proto-Metal 34 4.00
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 27 3.74
14 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 18 4.08
15 Power Metal 18 3.81
16 Folk Metal 16 3.91
17 Death-Doom Metal 14 3.71
18 Glam Metal 14 3.61
19 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
20 Symphonic Metal 14 3.86
21 Sludge Metal 14 3.79
22 NWoBHM 13 4.15
23 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
24 Brutal Death Metal 12 3.54
25 Funk Metal 12 4.17
26 Doom Metal 10 4.10
27 Grindcore 10 3.60
28 Hardcore Punk 10 3.55
29 Symphonic Black Metal 10 4.20
30 US Power Metal 8 3.63
31 War Metal 8 3.75
32 Groove Metal 8 3.44
33 Metalcore 8 3.75
34 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
35 Mathcore 7 3.93
36 Melodic Black Metal 7 4.07
37 Stoner Metal 7 3.86
38 Gothic Metal 7 3.43
39 Speed Metal 6 3.42
40 Deathcore 6 3.42
41 Drone Metal 5 3.50
42 Depressive Black Metal 5 3.70
43 Melodic Death Metal 5 4.00
44 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
45 Pagan Black Metal 4 4.13
46 Goregrind 4 3.13
47 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
48 Heavy Psych 4 4.13
49 Funeral Doom Metal 4 4.00
50 Nu Metal 3 3.33
51 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
52 Deathgrind 2 3.50
53 Crossover Thrash 2 4.75
54 Crust Punk 2 2.75
55 Cybergrind 1 3.50
56 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
57 Electronicore 1 2.00
58 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
59 Nintendocore 1 3.50
60 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
61 Pornogrind 1 0.50
62 Rap Metal 1 1.00
63 Trance Metal 1 1.00
64 Viking Metal 1 4.50

Latest Albums Reviews

SKULL CRUSHER The Darkside of Humanity

Album · 1996 · Death Metal
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After death metal splintered off from its parent sub thrash metal in the mid-80s there were two Bay area scenes that pretty much dominated the scene for a brief moment in history, those being the San Francisco Bay Area and the other the Tampa Bay Area but once these two scenes were in full force the death metal scene went viral across the globe with many outstanding bands getting lost in the sheer number of bands that appeared. Poor little Austria has always taken a backseat to its neighbors to the north and that was no exception in the old school death metal scene and i’ll bet you can’t name a single death metal band that has emerged from this nation.

Along with a few early followers such as Pungeant Stench, Disastrous Murmur and Sturdy Taste, the latter of which never made it past the demo stage another band named SKULL CRUSHER formed in 1990 in the tiny town of Niklasdorf near Leoben. This band adopted the classic old school sounds of bands like Death, Obituary, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpose and even Pestilence and Bloodbath and has been largely forgotten in the vast canon of death metal acts of the 90s but just one listen to this debut THE DARKSIDE OF HUMANITY will show you that the band was quite competent albeit not exactly the most original. After the release of three demos “Skull Crusher” from 1992, “Merciless Destiny” from 1993 and “Deathmatch” from 1994, SKULL CRUSHER unleashed its first album THE DARKSIDE OF HUMANITY in 1996.

Influenced most by the Florida death metal scene, SKULL CRUSHER adopted a very similar style of death metal that takes the unrelated crushing brutality of bands like Morbid Angel and Obituary and adds a few more elements of surprise such as occasional pure thrash metal moments as well as a few industrial elements. The inclusion of keyboards added a bit of atmospheric dread but was used fairly sparingly and only emerges in a few quieter moments. While the band had a few lineup changes on this debut it was Andreas Ibitz (bass/vocals), Christian Bukovac (guitars/backing vocals), Robert Windisch (guitars), Wolfgang Rathgeb (drums) and Gerald Bukovac (keyboard). While the music follows the old school playbook there are a few technical elements that give this one a slightly more complex edge throughout the eight track run but more like early Death complexity rather than some of the later 90s bands like Opeth or Gorguts. For 1996 this album does sound about 5 years too late to the game.

While i doubt SKULL CRUSHER will ever go down in history as having crafted a long lost masterpiece mostly due to the lack of originality as this album sounds way too derivative for its own good, the band members sound like seasoned veterans playing this style of old school death metal due to the fact that the band played live for years before scoring a record contract. This is the perfect sort of album that will delight fans of this style after they’ve exhausted the more popular bands of the era and although SKULL CRUSHER will forever be regarded as a second tier band in the world of death metal where the talent pool is filled to the brim, this is quite an excellent album to check out. Gotta love that perfect album cover too with the molten skulls glowing in the sky! This is recommended for the extremely competent musicianship as every track just kills it with and there are enough variations to keep this album from getting stale. Much better than more revered artists like Massacre and Cannibal Corpse in my opinion.


Album · 2009 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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And like an impending pestilence that rains mortality and despair across the lands far and wide, Ireland’s ALTAR OF PLAGUES was unleashed like a potato famine from their cryptic whereabouts in Cork only to bring depressive sonic terror to a doomed planet where nary a ray of light exists behind the toxic clouds of an eternal scourge that extinguishes the silver cord to infinity. Existing somewhere in the murky sonic nebulous worlds of ambient black metal, post-rock and sludgy doom, ALTAR OF PLAGUES is one of those bands that has focused less on tight-knit fiery compositions that display the any trace of melodic songwriting skills and virtuoso dynamism but rather reincarnated from the depths of hell to evoke extreme emotional distress through sonic orotundity.

This band that formed in 2006 released a few demos before casting a more official form of darkness with this debut album WHITE TOMB that reflects a post-apocalyptic angst of bleakness delivered by the lineup of James Kelly (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jeremiah Spillane (guitars), Dave Condon (bass, vocals) and S. MacAnri (drums). Through four long tracks that range from 10 to 15 minutes, this 50 minute rage-a-thon delivers everything from the classic black metal goods of heavily distorted tremolo guitar riffing along with blastbeats and anguished vocals to ethereal dark ambience that reinforces the gravitational pull of distorted darkness and even allows a few guest vocals from Stephen Lordan and Nathan Misterek to utter their pain every now and again.

This album runs very much in the vein of post-rock with slower cyclical riffs slowly gaining maturity through the elements of incremental tempo gains, dynamic intensity increases and the variations that occur through subtle changes that build to some sort of climactic release after several minutes. ALTAR OF PLAGUES is the epitome of a post-metal paradigm only under the banner of a black metal barrage of the senses. Similar to bands like Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen and Deafhaven, this Irish band excels in long thunderous excursions into noisy cacophonous black metal bombast but also allows a little breathing room with quieter passages that offer hypnotic and reflective moments when the perception of the true horrors of reality are allowed to be cogitated upon at least for a brief respite in time.

Verging on blackgaze at times, ALTAR OF PLAGUES often sounds like a broken record of Deafhaven puncturing a hole in space time with only a spiraling and unstable atmospheric collapse generating the ultimate vibrational recipe to destroy the Schumann resonance and craft an expansive degree to insanity. Long dark winters projected through lengthy blistering tracks evoke a touch of Darkspace or even A Forest Of Stars but somehow the band manages to exist within its own sliver of a spectral paradigm of dark atmospheric blackened metal that laments the realities of oppression, urbanism and ecological collapse. Sounding like the industrial razed wastelands coming to life in pure vitriol, gloomy doom fueled atmospheres lurk like servants of Lord Voldemort whose astral entities are ready for attack following the complete usurpation of the physical realm.

I cannot think of a more appropriate band to experience the distressing and formidable realities of the current state of the world in March 2020 with ghastly demonic forces hiding in every foreseeable nook and cranny of space and time and ready to attack on the astral plane where unwilling victims consent through charlatan subterfuge. Honestly i’m not really sure how to classify WHITE TOMB and ALTAR OF PLAGUES in general. Is it black metal? Sludge metal? Post-metal? Just plain experimental hardcore hued to the darkest tones imaginable? In the end it doesn’t really matter. If you seek a cathartic toxic elixir for bleakness for the times and resonate with sounds so utterly devoid of hope which engage in more depressive vibes than one can stand, then ALTAR OF PLAGUES is what you have been waiting for. Not only has evil come to steal your soul but it demands you worship its very existence and here’s some music to make it all OK.

SLAUGHTERBOX The Ubiquity of Subjugation

Album · 2011 · Deathgrind
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SLAUGHTERBOX is an extreme metal band that began in the year 2000 in Red Bluff, CA but has since relocated to the Sacramento area. Although the band has technically been together for 20 years it has so far only released one EP titled THE UBIQUITY OF SUBJUGATION which came out in 2011. The lineup on this monstrous burst of sonic chaos is only 19 minutes and 21 seconds with the lineup of Pete Chavez (drums, vocals), Matt Thompson (guitar), Hal Rotter (guitar) and Johnny Bourdon (bass, vocals).

This band plays an excessively brutal form of technical deathgrind with incessantly fast tempos and unrelenting bombastic pomp. The tracks are short and to the point with only one exceeding the three minute mark but in the fiery wake of one listen of this cacophonous din it is quite the enervating experience. SLAUGHTERBOX not only excels at delivering some of the most demanding brutality at breakneck speeds but also engages in some seriously technical workouts much like the mathcore giants Psyopus and Behold… The Arctopus although the music is more focused on following a deathgrind blueprint.

Despite the excessive angst with pig squeals and screaming at the top of the lungs vocal antics, there are occasional clean jazzy guitar segments that only last a short time but offer a surprisingly contrast but the technical wizardry of the album is of very high quality and the musicianship is really about as good as it gets as far as extreme technical wankery is involved. This is literally extreme on every level like a suffocating cloud of sarin gas thrown into a subway. There is no escape from the relentless banter except the few jagged jazzy interludes.

This stuff is as brutal, chaotic and crazy as it gets and considered some of the most technical wankery that can be found. This style of metal will only attract the most insane amongst us but if you’re into Brain Drill, Rings of Saturn, Viraemia or Cytotoxin then SLAUGHTERBOX is your demented deliciousness in full decibelage only this band adds a lot of progressive touches and jazz-metal underpinnings that many similar bands lack and to top it off plays at some of the most frenetic dizzying speeds humanly possible assuming of course these are mere humans playing this shit. Impressive to say the least.

WORSHIP OF KERES Bloodhounds for Oblivion

EP · 2016 · Traditional Doom Metal
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WORSHIP OF KERES is an up and coming traditional doom metal band from Lake Shasta, CA which is just north of Redding. As of early 2020 this band has still not released a full-length album but has so far put out two stellar EPs. This debut titled BLOODHOUNDS FOR OBLIVION was released in 2016 and only contains three tracks that up to 17 minutes but what a nicely done set of tracks this one is!

In Greek mythology the KERES (plural of Ker) were female death-spirits that personified violent death and were drawn to bloody corpses on battle fields so as you can imagine WORSHIP OF KERES crafts a subject matter that is quite dark and based in the occult and other nightmarish tidbits of horror. The music is primarily based in old school death metal particularly from the 80s (think Pentagram, St Vitus, Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General etc) but the band dabbles a bit in NWOBHM as well as thrash for brief moments of time.

BLOODHOUNDS FOR OBLIVION contains three tracks: “Book 1,” “Book 2” and “Book 3” and each connects to the other quite nicely. The music’s procession is a doomy stomp that builds in intensity as it ramps up. The guitar tones are nice and fuzzy but distorted into full metal decibalage. The highlight of the band’s sound for sure are the haunting vocal performances of Elise Tarens. Female fronted doom metal as been all the rage in recent years and it does seem that the slow tempos of doom metal cast the perfect sonic spell for a witchy musical experience.

This EP really comes off as if it’s one single track segmented into three chapters yet it’s not exactly prog or anything but the band has definitely mastered the art of subtle changes in order to keep the music interesting on a more active level but this is a very receptive style of doom metal that generates cyclical melodic loops and uses the dynamics and tempo changes to change things up. This is a really compelling album that portends a band that’s on its way to better days and with the band’s signing to Svart Records it’s very likely that this band won’t be a secret for too much longer. I for one look forward to a full album’s worth of material.

TAARMA Beyond the Cemetery Gates

Album · 2008 · Depressive Black Metal
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While many of us still associate black metal with a bunch of misanthropic miscreants from Scandinavia, the truth of the matter is that black metal has long left its cradle and become a global phenomenon and not just in North America and Japan. The genre has even taken off in the most unlikely places whether it be the Chinese band Be Persecuted, Kekal from Indonesia, Shub Niggurath from Mexico or even Inquisition from Colombia just to name a few. But even stranger yet is when this style of metal with screamed vocals, tremolo guitar distortion and blastbeats most often dished out in lo-fi hellish production appeals to some region of the world where nobody has even heard of much less visited, then things enter the Twilight Zone.

TAARMA is yet another one-man band that produces a gloomy mix of depressing atmospheric black metal enveloped in a distorted wall of sound in the vein of Xasthur and other depressive metal bands. The sole member is the aptly named Black Emperor Jogezi and he lives in the extremely remote city of Zhob in Baluchistan which is an area of Pakistan that sits on the border with Afghanistan and has been the hot potato region of the world for eons as the two nations have fought over its territories. The devastation that has ensued through all the conflicts has left permanent psychological scars on its peaceful populace with little or not escape from the aftermath. TAARMA which means “darkness” in the ancient Brahvi language reflects this emotional trauma perfectly.

Jogezai is an ex-member of the band Black Arts but moved on to form TAARMA in 1999 and has released a series of lo-fi torturous demos in the far flung region of Pakistan that was virtually unknown to any outsiders until 1884. So far TAARMA has only released three very hard to find full-length albums with this one BEYOND THE CEMETARY GATES being the second. It was released in 2008 independently as a cassette only edition. Only 200 copies of this album were made and it’s not even very easy to find a place to listen to this on the internet as the audio streaming seems to disappear without warning. TAARMA’s themes revolve around the usual suspects such as death, depression and bleakness but rather than suffering from frigid winters and snooty Christians, TAARMA draws its influence from Afghan folklore due to the fact that Zhob is considered to be an Afghani city under the occupation of Pakistan.

The music on BEYOND THE CEMETARY GATES is about as claustrophobic and lo-fi as you could hope for. This is the stuff black metal purists get all hot and bothered over and for good reason. TAARMA is heavily influenced by the American band Xasthur and with a monotonous repetitive death march that is accompanied by buzzsaw fueled droning guitars, drums that alternate between apathetic and agitated blastbeats, minimalistic keyboards and a tortured raspy vocal rage that aggressively strives to emerge from the suffocating din. The music is unique in the fact that it sort of swarms like a plague of locusts rather than just make a clearcut procession. The guitar drones and the keyboard ambience merge together for the most part and rather than making distinct transitions to different chord progressions, they seem to just slide in out of tune.

This is truly horrific music that reflects the harshness of existing in a very remote region of the planet devastated by eons of conflict and the incessant suffering that follows. Jogezai certainly isn’t alone in the world when it comes to making this style of tortured soul music but in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan where such music is literally unheard of and in some cases can result in severe condemnation if not imprisonment is quite unique indeed. In the end this is nothing new under the sun except for the fact it comes from some remote outpost in the Pakistani desert but neither is it without its merits. This truly feels like some sort of dark mirage is descending upon the land where all traces of hope are extinguished as if some spiritual war has been lost and the victors’ intent is fixed on eternal enslavement of the soul. This is really spooky stuff! There’s a depth to TAARMA that often seems insincere in many depressive black metal bands.

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