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14 reviews/ratings
SOUNDGARDEN - Badmotorfinger Alternative Metal | review permalink
CAR BOMB - Mordial Mathcore | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Axis: Bold As Love Proto-Metal | review permalink
KILLSWITCH ENGAGE - Alive or Just Breathing Melodic Metalcore | review permalink
CAR BOMB - Meta Mathcore | review permalink
CHEVELLE - Niratias Alternative Metal | review permalink
A PERFECT CIRCLE - Mer de Noms Metal Related | review permalink
DEATH - Human Technical Death Metal | review permalink
EVERGREY - Escape of the Phoenix Progressive Metal | review permalink
ORANSSI PAZUZU - Mestarin kynsi Black Metal | review permalink
SOEN - Imperial Progressive Metal | review permalink
JIMI HENDRIX - Are You Experienced? Proto-Metal | review permalink
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE - Oracles Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ARCHITECTS - For Those That Wish To Exist Alternative Metal | review permalink

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Alternative Metal 3 3.67
2 Mathcore 2 4.50
3 Progressive Metal 2 3.25
4 Proto-Metal 2 3.25
5 Technical Death Metal 2 3.00
6 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
7 Metal Related 1 3.50
8 Black Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

CHEVELLE Niratias

Album · 2021 · Alternative Metal
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Alt-metal veterans Chevelle are back with their fifth studio album... to debut in the top 10? Huh? When did they drop all these mega successful albums? Where the hell have I been? Surely most of those must have been released in the early to mid 'oughts - right? Well... no. Apparently this is already the third top 10 since 2014!

While I fondly remember growing up listening to Chevelle's 2002 debut Wonder What's Next, much of its charm faded fast as I grew to appreciate more technically sophisticated metal and progressive music. Too heavy to be remain commercially relevant but too simplistic for proper metal fans, I hardly would have expected Chevelle to survive rock's fall from commercial dominance in the almost two decades since their debut. And yet here they are, nine albums in and more successful than just about any of their alt-metal and post-grunge peers could ever have hoped to be. How did Chevelle do it?!

I am not familiar enough with band's back catalogue or business history to fully answer this question. But Chevelle's latest release, NIRATIAS, which demonstrates the band's commitment to growth as musicians and songwriters, firmly solidifies, in my book, Chevelle's place amongst modern hard rock's elite "survivors," approaching the inner circle of artists like The Foo Fighters, Deftones, and Tool.

As the album's cover art and psyched-out title suggest, NIRATIAS, an acronym for Nothing Is Real And This Is A Simulation, is an album with near progressive ambition. On tracks like "Mars Simula" and "Self Destructor," big and melodic riffs are accompanied by playfully soaring vocals. The riffing and bass on "Peach" and "Ghost and Razor" are unmistakably but tastefully Tool inspired. So epic and triumphant was the track "Remember When," I was praying the band would, by the end, segue into a reprisal of the "Send the Pain Below" chorus.

The record's weakness lies with the various pyschedelic interludes and piano-based spoken word closing track. While the verdict is still out on the artistic merit of these passages, they do not substantially detracts from the overall experience of listening to this record.

EVERGREY Escape of the Phoenix

Album · 2021 · Progressive Metal
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In all honesty, it would be difficult to attempt and try to add anything to the analysis of this record that has not already been expertly argued by Angry Metal Guy's Steel Druhm in his recent review (can't seem to leave a URL in the text here, so just google it). Starting with his concerns regarding the expected post-lockdown explosion of new music and Evergrey continuing to push their unique but repetitive brand of "mope-core," the writer ultimately comes to the conclusion that, on Escape of the Phoenix, Evergrey actually manages to tighten their song writing and put together an improvement on their formula.

With all that mind, I simply wish to add that if there is any artist I genuinely want to hear in our still healing almost post-lockdown world, Evergrey is certainly one of them. Of the legacy prog metal giants, Everygrey really was the only one that could consistently tap into the melancholy and angst many of us felt as a teenagers growing up in the early 'oughts. As COVID catapults us as adults back into the same sea of emotions, I am grateful to have a strong Evergrey record to help us steer through it.

It is worth mentioning that I strongly disagree with Steel Druhm's take on James Labrie's duet with Tom Enguld on ""The Beholder."" The harmonies the duo generate in the bridge are absolutely gut wrenching. While it is short lived, it constitutes one of the emotional climaxes of the record.

Escape is a record that has fewer moments of prog-greatness when compared to 2019's The Atlantic. But overall, its hard not see this as a stronger and tighter record than its predecessor. When Fans eventually evaluate the band's legacy, I believe it will be Escape that stands up as the strongest record from this phase in the band's discography. "

SOEN Imperial

Album · 2021 · Progressive Metal
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Imperial is Soen's second release in just under two years. While it is tempting to explain this seemingly short album churn time as the result of the band spending more time in lockdown than on the road in 2020, Soen is actually one of the few bands in metal today that has consistently released new albums almost every two years. Indeed drummer, founder, and principal songwriter Martin Lopez has confirmed that most of the music on Imperial was written shortly after the release of Lotus and before the China virus lockdowns.

Given the condensed time frame of song composition, I am not surprised by the music on Imperial sounding very much like another reiteration of the same Soen formula originally conceived of on 2017's Lykaia and perfected on 2019's Lotus. In fact, its easy to view this release as a B-Sides project from the previous two records. Of course the Soen formula, with its emphasis on punchy groovy riffs, moody vibes, and big melodic choruses, is an effective one. And Imperial certainly lives up to the potential inherit within the formula.

Soen is usually regarded as a progressive metal act not a standard heavy metal one. While I don't care much for gatekeeping, I genuinely feel Soen's music is best characterized as solid and well-grounded heavy metal proper. In all likelihood, the progressive moniker took hold owing to Martin Lopez having been an ex-Opeth member as well as the group's propensity for sounding like Tool on their earliest releases.

Ultimately, whether or not a fan will consider this a great record or "merely" a good record will depend on what extent they're expecting a band to evolve its sound. You can certainly count me a someone who very much sets that standard for the bands I like. And as much as I believe the chorus on "Monarch" to be the best the band has ever put to tape - a truly impressive feat when you consider just how many great choruses this band written and performed - I still would have liked Soen to explore some new territory in their post-Lotus output.

CAR BOMB Mordial

Album · 2019 · Mathcore
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There are certain alignments in nature that, when they occur, demand a bit of humanity’s fickle attention and wonder. And much like a solar eclipse or seeing a flipped coin land on its side, an album whose cover art perfectly aligns with the music on that album is one such alignment. And Car Bomb’s Mordial is one such album.

Like the cover art, the music on Mordial is chaotic. Patterns come into existence only to flutter apart under the force of their own instability. There is a certain beauty to both the art and the music but they’re twisted in such a way that they are basically unsettling more than they are beautiful.

Mordial continues in the technical extreme metal, djent and mathcore footsteps of its predecessor Meta . But by incorporating more melodic, twisted as they are, and experimental passages, Mordial successfully breaks from the monotony I would feel when listening to Meta straight through. In short, Car Bomb have out done themselves yet again. These guys are at the top their game and are, at this juncture, untouchable.

CAR BOMB Meta

Album · 2016 · Mathcore
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Car Bomb is the living embodiment of everything New York-based music could ever aspire to be. The band simultaneously captures the ferocity of the native working-class hardcore punk scene while also realizing the high-brow art rock aspirations of New York’s saturated indie hipster rock scenes. But unlike your average hardcore or indie rock outfit, Car Bomb is actually compromised of exceptional musicians with the technical and musical chops to actually pull off something genuinely novel and refreshing. And, in the case of Car Bomb, their talents have allowed the band to fashion a unique and highly technical, even by today’s standard, form of extreme metal, djent, and mathcore.

Meta is an absolute head trip from start to finish. The mind-bending rhythms and tone defying riffs are guaranteed to knock any metal head of their feet. Unfortunately, like so much extreme metal, the album can be a chore to listen through straight through. Monotony invariably sets in at some point despite all the genuine novelty in the song writing. This record is best enjoyed piecemeal.

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