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31 reviews/ratings
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - In Glorious Times Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - Of Natural History Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
RUSH - 2112 Hard Rock | review permalink
ALICE COOPER - Welcome To My Nightmare Hard Rock | review permalink
THE MIGHTY NIMBUS - The Mighty Nimbus Sludge Metal | review permalink
MELVINS - Pigs Of The Roman Empire (with Lustmord) Sludge Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Blue Öyster Cult Hard Rock | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Tyranny And Mutation Hard Rock | review permalink
DIO - The Last in Line Heavy Metal | review permalink
ACID BATH - When The Kite String Pops Sludge Metal | review permalink
ACCEPT - Restless and Wild Heavy Metal | review permalink
DANZIG - Danzig III: How the Gods Kill Heavy Metal | review permalink
RAMMSTEIN - Mutter Industrial Metal | review permalink
DOWN - NOLA Stoner Metal | review permalink
BURZUM - Hliðskjálf Non-Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Mirrors Hard Rock | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Curse Of The Hidden Mirror Hard Rock | review permalink
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT - Cultösaurus Erectus Hard Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 10 3.40
2 Sludge Metal 5 3.90
3 Heavy Metal 4 3.75
4 Non-Metal 3 2.50
5 Industrial Metal 2 3.50
6 Avant-garde Metal 2 5.00
7 Progressive Metal 2 3.00
8 Funeral Doom Metal 1 2.00
9 Power Metal 1 1.00
10 Stoner Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 1995 · Stoner Metal
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Down is a sludge metal supergroup based in New Orleans, Louisiana (hence the album name.) Ordinarily, I am no fan of supergroups and feel that too many dominant personalities ruin the group dynamic, but this one does a pretty great job of coming up with some first rate metal. he music is distinctly southern, not surprising given the musicians, and has something of a "good ol' boy" feel, which I find very appealing.

The songs are generally riff based, relying on just one or two guiatr patterns for their duration. With some groups, this can come off as tedious and unimaginative, but the riffs are strong enough here that the result is an undeniable catchiness. Although classified as Sludge, there are also plenty of uptempo numbers to be found. The album opener, "Temptation's Wings" is an obvious example. On the other end of the spectrum, "Underneath Everything" offers a delightfully slow stoner metal groove.

The vocals are my favorite kind in metal. Not death metal growling, but way rougher than the polished crooning of many power metal singers, and all of the other musicians more than hold their own. While only a few of the songs contain proper solos, they are uniformly impressive without descending into self indulgence. My only complaint is that the bass is practically inaudible for most of the record,

Overall, this is a great album, and while none of the songs are really bona fide masterpieces, they are all of high enough quality that I can unhesitatingly award it four stars.

SOILENT GREEN Sewn Mouth Secrets

Album · 1998 · Sludge Metal
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ALthough commonly thought of a sludge band, this album borrows heavily from just about every genre of extreme metal. haphazardly stringing together black metal shrieks, death meatl growls, grindcore, doom metal and, yes, sludge. Not surprisingly, it's a schizophrenic experience. As a sludge metal fan, I find it disappointing that, while the band manage to come up with some great southern sludge riffs, the stubbornly refuse to stick to one of them for more than a few seconds. This results in a lot of lost potential, in my opinion. On the other hand, I have read tons of rave reviews, for this album, so obviously they are pleasing some people.

The songs lead into each other almost without pause, giving the impression of a single long piece of music. That, and the fact that most of the songs sound very similar gives the record a somewhat monotonous quality, despite its rapid fire changes of pace. The 2005 reissue adds three tracks from the "String of Lies" EP, which are largely more of the same.

On final comment about the lyrics. I am certainly no prude, and not one to shy away from offensive lyrics, but for me a song like "Gagged Whore" goes too far and ruins any pleasure I would otherwise get from the music.

This is a very tough record to rate. The musicianship is excellent, and there are plenty of good riffs here. It's also hard to deny that the band is innovative in its approach. However, I ultimately have to go with how much enjoyment I get from an album,. and in this case it's not very much. 2 1/2 stars.

MELVINS Pigs Of The Roman Empire (with Lustmord)

Album · 2004 · Sludge Metal
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This is a really fantastic merging of two completely different styles, the sinister dark ambient of Lustmord and the swampy sludge metal of the Melvins. I am a fan of both bands and I think the collaboration showcases the best facets of each. The problem with both solo Melvins and solo Lustmord records is that they get a bit monotonous after a while, rarely varying from a single style. That is not a problem here, because as soon as you get tired of one, you are treated to the other. I don't think I'll go into individual tracks, but needless to say, the sprawling title track is the highlight, and fans of either band should definitely pick this one up. 4.5 stars, really.


Album · 2001 · Industrial Metal
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Rammstein had a major breakthrough in America with their hit single "Du Hast," and while that song does indeed rock, the rest of the album was a little inconsistent. Mutter is a major step forward, with better songs, more variety and more complex arrangements. You can really hear the band maturing as artists throughout this release.

A Wagnerian epic quality is very much present here, with soaring choruses, passionate string sections and of course the thundering power chords. Most of the songs have moderate tempos, which works well to emphasize the sense of the majestic. "Mein Herz Brennt," "Sonne," and the title track are all great examples of this style.

However, the speed metal fan should not despair either, since there are a couple of truly great faster songs. "Links 2 3 4," although not super-fast, is certainly uptempo and provides the obligatory military feel utilized by so many German metal bands. "Adios" is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with a rapid-fire thrash-metal style guitar part.

Rammstein haven't lost touch with their industrial roots, and electronic programming is sprinkled liberally throughout the record, although it functions mainly as part of the background texture rather than as an essential feature of the songs. As powerful as most of the material is, it does seem to run out of a steam a bit towards the end. "Zwitter" and "Rein Raus" are okay, but nowhere near as impressive as what came before. Luckily, Rammstein were smart enough to make sure the last couple of tracks were winners, making it easier to forget the weaker ones sandwiched inbetween.

Overall, Mutter is a very strong, if not quite perfect, example of Industrial Metal. Guaranteed to get your blood pumping.

ALICE COOPER Welcome To My Nightmare

Album · 1975 · Hard Rock
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Alice Cooper's masterpiece. His first solo album and for me the best thing he ever did. After the break up of the Alice Cooper Band, Alice was undeterred, and quickly recruited a bunch of studio musicians and recorded Welcome To My Nightmare. The result contains many of his most memorable songs.

The title track is a catchy disco funk number that introduces the album perfectly, preparing the listener for the tongue in cheek horror movie imagery to follow. Alice is characteristically witty when dealing with taboo and macabre topics. "Devil's Food" is about cannibalism, and "Cold Ethyl" is about necrophilia. Despite his reputation as a "shock rocker" Alice deals with these subjects tastefully and with enough humor that's it's obvious he does not intend to be taken seriously. "The Black Widow" features a vocal cameo by horror movie legend Vincent Price. His voice is so distinctive that it's a real treat to hear him here. "Some Folks" is a high-kicking music hall number that's quite catchy and "Department of Youth" is a powerful rocker. There's a even a hit single, the surprisingly sensitive power ballad "Only Women Bleed" (it's about domestic violence, despite what you might expect from the title.)

However, the jewel in Alice's crown comes with the three part "Steven" suite, a running storyline that goes through "Years Ago," "Steven," and "The Awakening." The story deals with a poor insane boy named Steven and the disturbing inner workings of his mind. Insanity is Alice's favorite lyrical subject and this suite surpasses even "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" for its vivid creepiness. The character of Steven will reappear on several other Alice Cooper records, but this is where he was born and it's his best moment.

Finally, the tension built by "The Awakening" is released by the catchy lightweight rocker "Escape." It's such a fun song that it almost makes me forget about all the great tracks that came before. There's not a weak moment here and while instrumental virtuosity is not on the menu, all the musicians play well. Most of all, Cooper's songwriting would never again be quite so inspired and energetic as it is here.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in William Shakespeare vs J. S. Bach
    [QUOTE=The T 666]Whoever says that his music is purely academic has never really heard it, for it can reach one's soul and heart as easily as a romantic.[/QUOTE]Don't get me wrong, The Brandenburg Concertos are magnificent and much of his violin music and orchestral works are as well. But I've mainly studied his keyboard works and I feel that in much of it (certainly not all) he tends to get so caught up in intervals, parallel fifth, thematic transposition and so forth that he forgot to write music.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in William Shakespeare vs J. S. Bach
    Having spent a semester attempting it, I believe that writing a good fugue is much harder than writing a good monologue, but obviously it's a matter of opinion.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in William Shakespeare vs J. S. Bach
    I am not too much of a fan of either. Shakespeare is often hackneyed and Bach is overly academic. However, when it comes to raw talent, there's no denying that Bach is way ahead. Have you ever tried to write a fugue? It's insanely hard, and this man could improvise them on command. I'd like to see Shakespeare improvise a play off the top of his head.


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