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ARSIS - We Are the Nightmare Technical Death Metal
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SPASTIC INK - Ink Compatible Thrash Metal
WATCHTOWER - Control And Resistance Technical Thrash Metal
BLACK SABBATH - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath Heavy Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Destroy Erase Improve Progressive Metal
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal
KING CRIMSON - Heavy ConstruKction Non-Metal
EXIVIOUS - Exivious Progressive Metal | review permalink
ALICE COOPER - Billion Dollar Babies Hard Rock
FATES WARNING - Perfect Symmetry Progressive Metal
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal
JIMI HENDRIX - Are You Experienced? Proto-Metal
MARTYR - Feeding the Abscess Technical Death Metal
MOTORPSYCHO - The Death Defying Unicorn Non-Metal
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal

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Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 101 3.61
2 Heavy Metal 37 2.85
3 Hard Rock 34 3.16
4 Thrash Metal 31 3.48
5 Non-Metal 30 3.17
6 Avant-garde Metal 22 3.84
7 Funk Metal 20 3.40
8 Proto-Metal 16 3.78
9 Technical Death Metal 14 3.86
10 Crossover Thrash 9 3.44
11 Industrial Metal 8 3.44
12 Hardcore Punk 7 3.71
13 Technical Thrash Metal 7 3.79
14 Metal Related 7 3.21
15 Mathcore 6 2.42
16 Death Metal 5 3.60
17 Gothic Metal 5 3.70
18 NWoBHM 5 3.60
19 Speed Metal 4 3.38
20 Groove Metal 3 3.17
21 Melodic Death Metal 3 4.00
22 Melodic Metalcore 2 3.75
23 Alternative Metal 2 4.00
24 Metalcore 2 2.25
25 Symphonic Metal 2 3.50
26 Power Metal 1 2.00
27 Nu Metal 1 2.50
28 Stoner Metal 1 3.00
29 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 1 4.00
30 Deathcore 1 2.00
31 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 3.50
32 Heavy Psych 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

MESHUGGAH Catch Thirtythree

Album · 2005 · Progressive Metal
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From the "wall of sound" section of my collection comes Swedish metal kingpins, Meshuggah, with their fifth full length LP-CD and first attempt at a concept album, Catch-33. Released approximately 3 years after the less than enjoyable LP Nothing, the shift in album structure to a continuous piece on Catch-33 was prefaced a year earlier with the EP I, not only in its compositional presentation, but also in its lyrical theme. I may be completely off base as the lyrics contain enough metaphoric ambiguity, and there is a significant amount of interpretative discussion to be found on the internet about Catch- 33, that the concept of I appear to be expanding on the concept of self, inner struggles/paradoxes and pitfalls of defining self in reflection of others. To a lesser extent, one might even look at Catch-33 as a microcosmic extension of the concepts used in guitarist Fredrik Thordendal's Sol Niger Within. The ideas expressed in these thick metaphors are abundant with images of self being the primary perpetrator of psychological torture, even in the chemically stable mind. The summation of ideas seems to be presented early on in the album in one of its most recognizable lines, "The struggle to free myself from restraint, becomes my very shackles". Many of these ideas are expressed in the basic ubiquitous teachings of Zen philosophy and the core tenets of Buddhism. From a delivery standpoint, it is understandable that many may feel the ideas and depth of concept are lost in the profoundly distorted and incomprehensible screaming vocals of Jens Kidman. But in the case of Catch-33, there is a dichotomy in that loss of understanding by the listener is the representation of what is conveyed by that soft inner voice that speaks in paradoxes and generates the internal torment of confusion and loss of self. Instrumentally the band uses 8-string guitars for an extremely thick bottom end. The processing of the guitar sound is peculiar in that even during the most distorted sections the lowest guitar sound less like the distortion of amplification overdrive and more like two metal pieces (wire/fret) vibrating against each other. This creates unconventional accents in the rhythmic patterns that are mimicced frequently today, but were very unique at the time of this release. Thordendal's typical Holdsworthian soloing style is used primarily as a texturing tool throughout the album. A particularly unusual aspect of this album is that Tomas Haake's drum tracks are actually programmed rather than recorded. Haake explains that this occured in the writing process, the programming was used for laying down the guitar tracks and the band as a whole decided the samples "sounded really good" and just went with it. Interestingly, they did perform some of the Catch-33 material live with Haake playing. Catch-33 is separated into tracks for indexing purposes, but is presented as a single composition with different movements that seem irrespective of the track assignments. The composition displays a great deal more dynamic contrast than previous work. And while the use of "quiet" parts are nothing new to a Meshuggah album, they are never quite as extended as they are delivered on Catch-33. Nor are they ever delivered with as much of an avant-garde musical approach. Previous songs like Unanything, Acrid Placidity had a more generic "this is the mellow song on the metal album" feel to them. Even later, The Last Vigil, approached the use of undistorted strings in a similar vein, but did not come close in the complexity of musical idea. The sections of particular note I am speaking of are at the end of the tracks In Death...Is Death and Sum. There are a couple shorter undistorted sections, but these are the two longest. Each has intertwining guitar patterns and both contain some of the eeriest, most sinister sounding passages in the body of Meshuggah's work. I should hope that Thordendal and Mårten Hagström will employ more of this approach or even explore a separate project in the future. There is something truly majestic about that style. And even the percussive portions of the music display a depth of musical understanding that exceeds that of bands considered in the same paradigm. From the rhythmic structures that use multiple time signatures simultaneously, to use of jazzy dodecaphonics (12-tone), Meshuggah was, and continue to be unbound by expectation. When taking into account Meshuggah's body of work I find Catch-33 at the forefront of my appreciation for its unconventionality, diversity, and thoughtfulness. It is held from the regard of masterpiece outside of the metal world simply by the vocals. And as I stated previously, there is a fundamental value to that style in the story.I believe that the listener who is up for a challenge will find a very deep and rewarding experience in the intricacies and complex build of this mammoth construction. 4.5 stars.


Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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Fusion metal pinnacle Sub-genre: Progressive Metal For Fans of: Canvas Solaris, Allan Holdsworth, Return to Forever, Gordian Knot Vocal Style: None Guitar Style: Varied electric. Metal distortion but little in the way of "chugging". Use of swells for texture and plenty of clean tone. Keyboard Style: None that I am aware of. Percussion Style: Rock kit, occasional metal double-bass sound, never overbearing. Bass Style: Very tasty, warm fretless electric bass. Other Instruments: None You are not likely to enjoy this album if: you insist on vocals or are a genre purist of any sort.

Summary: The roots of Exivious are well documented. It is those roots that draw people to want to hear their self-titled debut album. But there is more - or perhaps less depending on context - to the band than what is implied by their roots. First and foremost is the fact that this is a 100% homegrown, do-it-yourself, self funded project. As we are well into the age that this is not only possible, but becoming the norm, we tend to find a lot of boiler plate production value that seems to limit the creative process. This is not the case with Exivious. While it is not hard to pick out derivative elements in this album, the presentation is wholly their own and finds a healthy niche in a genre that is now flooded with hybridization. The most simplistic description of style/genre would be fusion metal. I refrain from using the J word for fear of a purist attack, but jazz elements resound throughout the compositional structures, chord modulations and use of broad dynamics and textures. An instant injection of warmth of tone is provided by the use of fretless bass. The guitars, while unmistakably distorted at most times, are never content to ride power chords. Instead frequent tonal variations, key modulations and string ensemble-like volume swells provide a strong sense of contrast throughout the album. The use of these tools leaves the project not wonting of vocals. Exivious allows the music to tell the story completely. They use a seemingly simple device in a two-part intermission type song, "All That Surrounds", which ties the albums segments together and provides the cohesiveness of story. The first part gives a calming false resolution major chord sound that is unraveled by the more urgent "Waves of Thought" and "The Path", finally leaving the listener on an ethereal precipice with the minor and whole-tonal "All That surrounds, pt.2". The album again resolves with the upbeat "An Elusive Need". The album rounds out at forty four and a half minutes, a short album by today's standards, but containing not a moment of filler that permeates 21st century recordings. The sense of completeness as the album fades is to often missing in the majority of music in the last 20 years.

Final Score: I spent a good 18 months listening to this album trying to figure out if it was really the masterpiece I thought it was from the first listen. In fact, I am drawn more to this album as time passes. It has the perfect balance leaving the listener simultaneously sated, yet wanting more. No element completely dominates or submits. Tasteful and artistic. 5 stars.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 8 months ago in Schizofrantik (Deutschland) for Progr or Avant met
    ^[QUOTE=siLLy puPPy] ^ cool. Hypnotoad, if you are familiar with this band, are they like 50% metal? We can always add under Metal Related. I'll listen to some more later when i have time.[/QUOTE] Let's put it this way: somebody put them in as a suggestion to the PA eclectic team about 18 months ago and I voted move to Progmetal on first listen. As it turns out to our embarrassment it had already been added to eclectic. So I feel like its around 50% across the albums. Have not listened to Night on the Shark in awhile. I seem to remember it being the least metallic.I do know that my view is somewhat skewed by the early days at PA when a hint of a distorted power chord 35 minutes into an album would get you pigeon holed into a metal sub. tapfret2019-01-31 22:48:21
  • Posted 8 months ago in SYK (Italy) for Mathcore...grind maybe
    I am admittedly not very adept at differentiating some of the metal sub-genres. Particularly the more recently named ones. Hopefully I am somewhere in the right ballpark.
  • Posted 8 months ago in SYK (Italy) for Mathcore...grind maybe
    SYK is a heavy duty polymeter focused band from Italy that features the haunting vocals of Dalila Kayros.They have 2 albums. 2014's atoma and 2017's I-Optikon, produced by Phil Anselmo.Bandcamp Page


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