topofsm

Jeremiah
MMA Metal Reviewer ·
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit more than 2 years ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

92 reviews/ratings
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - Colors Metalcore | review permalink
MESHUGGAH - I Progressive Metal | review permalink
NILE - Annihilation of the Wicked Technical Death Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ANIMALS AS LEADERS - Animals as Leaders Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - V: Hävitetty Folk Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM | review permalink
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - Alaska Metalcore | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - BE Progressive Metal | review permalink
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Alien Industrial Metal | review permalink
FREDRIK THORDENDAL'S SPECIAL DEFECTS - Sol Niger Within Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini Progressive Metal | review permalink
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal | review permalink
BOLT THROWER - Those Once Loyal Death Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Addicted Alternative Metal | review permalink
VEKTOR - Black Future Thrash Metal | review permalink
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues Progressive Metal | review permalink
NILE - In Their Darkened Shrines Technical Death Metal | review permalink
MR. BUNGLE - Disco Volante Metal Related | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 25 3.50
2 Thrash Metal 7 3.71
3 Technical Death Metal 6 4.42
4 Power Metal 5 2.50
5 Hard Rock 5 2.90
6 Metalcore 5 3.60
7 Symphonic Metal 4 2.50
8 Folk Metal 3 3.67
9 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 3 3.17
10 Death Metal 3 3.50
11 Alternative Metal 2 4.50
12 Avant-garde Metal 2 3.75
13 Industrial Metal 2 4.00
14 Melodic Death Metal 2 2.00
15 Traditional heavy metal 2 2.00
16 Grindcore 2 3.00
17 Sludge Metal 2 3.25
18 Symphonic Black Metal 2 3.00
19 Metal Related 1 4.50
20 Non-Metal 1 3.50
21 NWoBHM 1 4.50
22 Mathcore 1 4.00
23 Gothic Metal 1 3.50
24 Black Metal 1 4.00
25 Brutal Death Metal 1 4.00
26 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 2.00
27 Death-Doom Metal 1 4.00
28 Deathcore 1 1.50

Latest Albums Reviews

EMPEROR Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

Album · 1997 · Symphonic Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
After already creating one of the greatest albums, "In the Nightside Eclipse", Emperor decided to do it again right. This is one of the rare examples of when a band can make a large change in their sound and still do it right. Emperor deserves respect for doing something new instead of rehashing their sound when they were already at their peak, but also deserve more respect for the quality of this album on its own merit. Thus, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is a highly recommended black metal album with tons of symphonic elements that bring out their best.

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is fantastic for the wall of sound that's all over the place. It's completely ahead of its time, and instead of the symphonics being cheesy and overblown, they melt perfectly into the other instruments to give of an epic feeling without the cheese, which is the problem with so many of Emperor's "successors". The guitars are sharp and heavy, leaving off most of the rawness from the previous album. And, of course, no Emperor album would be complete without Ihsahn's pure, sharp, evil shrills, which pierce right through the sound and deliver all the demonic feeling of hell.

The songs work well to build the atmosphere of the album, so while the songs are memorable and the riffs are great, they don't really stand out from each other. Metalheads should be familiar with "Thus Spake the Nightspirit", though, which features some pre-avant garde Ihsahn styled riffs and guitar solo. Its driving 12/8 rhythm gives off a frantic pace, and goes into a heavy slow drive towards the end. "With Strength I Burn" may also be one of the greatest metal songs on the Earth, featuring some of the most epic-sounding arpeggios, and a clean section towards the end that would break the most kvlt black metaller into tears.

Ultimately, those starting looking into black metal need to listen to this guy. It's a classic album, and will be around for many years to come. In its original form, its symphonic metal that does everything right before the followers got everything wrong. It's a complete symphonic metal orgy of chaos and darkness, and you won't regret the purchase.

NILE Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka

Album · 1998 · Brutal Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
While not a classic in any sense of the word, Nile's debut, "Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka" is still a testament to the greatness of Nile. It doesn't have any of their more epic styled songs, and the production has yet to be bumped up a notch, but that hardly makes it less enjoyable for a Nile record. In fact, it will probably appeal more to straight-up death metal lovers, rather than those who dislike overtly technical and excessive attributes in their metal.

The first thing to notice is the songs are rather short, a stark contrast to what the band would become one day. It gives a sort of grind feel in that sense, in that a lot of the tracks go by at a rapid speed and leave as soon as they arrive. It is indeed harder to pick out tracks even after a few listens, but that's ok. There are also more sections with pure Middle Eastern ambience, such as the track "Kudurru Maqlu", and the complete march piece, "Die Rache Krieg Lied Der Assyriche". Apart from that, there isn't really much different from what we know from Nile.

That being said, the more creative and progressive elements are a bit more noticeably absent. Many of the songs are straight up death metal, like "Barra Edinazzu". There are some great snipppets of what would come eventually, most notably the highlight of the album "Ramses, Bringer of War", which lifts Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War" and incorporates it wonderful into an Egyptian styled death metal piece, definitely a great adaptation. The closing track "Beneath Eternal Oceans Of Sand" is also great, transitioning from dark ambience to tech death in a snap.

As always it seems that Karl Sanders does well leading the team to construct some great metal. His guitar is noticeably present and throughout the album there are lots of those blistering solos that buzz through, giving more harsh oppression to the Egyptian slave-driving mood. The drums lack a bit of personality, and seem to be rather standard fare though. That seems fine, because the song structures still speak for themselves.

As a Nile album, it is easy to see why this one isn't brought up as much as other releases. It isn't bad at all, it just lacks quite a few elements that makes Nile great. That doesn't mean Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka isn't great. On the contrary, it stands on its own as a good collection of Egyptian death metal at a rapid pace with plenty of its own merit

DREAM THEATER Falling Into Infinity

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Dream Theater had a massive following after two of their greatest albums, Images & Words along with Awake. Fanbase wise they were at their peak. It is unfortunate that this album should be released immediately after these two, because unfortunately this is where they dropped a lot of the complex prog technique, something they were champions of. That being said, there's still great prog metal to be found here, and plenty of substance still.

Overall, this album is very soft for a metal album. Derek Sherinian plays keys here, and his tone is very smooth and clear, a stark contrast to Moore's proggy synth tones or Rudess' unusual experimental sounds. This smooth tone ties the album together into a more etherial feel, and since the band is playing fewer jagged time signature twists and angular note choices, it gives the impression of a more pop-oriented sound.

This may be the case on a couple songs. "You Not Me" is an unforgivably annoying pop rock song, and "Take away my Pain" and "Anna Lee" could also easily be heard on your mainstream radio station. That being said, the softer feel works in the band's favor on a lot of the songs. "New Millenium" and "Lines in the Sand" are rocking songs with a very King's X feel to it to give some good feeling edges (the latter even features Doug Pinnick on vocals, so it makes sense). "Trial of Tears" is a long form song with lots of beautiful atmosphere and wonderful lyrics from John Myung behind it. The band even hits a peak at an instrumental track "Hell's Kitchen", which is a stunning testament to the skills of the musicians, where it is beautiful and shows some wonderful technique all around, it's probably their best instrumental track.

There is some nice metal on here, though none of it's very heavy. "Just Let Me Breathe" is a very energetic track, and the best example of prog on this album with a demanding bridge section and some fantastic instrumental interplay. "Peruvian Skies" is also great, starting off as a grungy ballad but going into some heavy energetic riffs, giving some dramatic light to an incident of a girl being kidnapped. "Burning My Soul" is also metal, but unlike the other is slow and churning, maybe the darkest on the album.

All in all, Falling into Infinity is still a great album. It is only maligned because it isn't what Dream Theater fans are looking for. It's true to an extent, with a couple pop songs that mar the album. But as for the rest, I feel it is a collection of music that is Dream Theater at their best when they learn to drop the showoff crap and really play.

DEVIN TOWNSEND Deconstruction

Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
For those looking at the other Devin Townsend Project outputs, they may be missing something from the rest of his catalogue, especially if they miss Strapping Young Lad. Ki had a really heavy mood, but used soft instrumentation and atmospheres to convey it. Addicted used solid metal instruments, but used them to create really catchy and colorful moods. This is the album where Devin brings back his sound full swing, over the top everything back together into his full fledged prog metal album Deconstruction.

In terms of sound, it can be compared mostly to his solo album Ziltoid: The Omniscient. It's got a lot of the progressive sounds under fairly heavy riffing. The humor's there, though unfortunately Devin has switched Ziltoid's clever tongue in cheek over the top humor for some sophomoric cheeseball toilet jokes. The main difference is that Deconstruction's instrumentation's significantly heavier, and the song structures are more chaotic on the whole. That being said, there are also some unusual "circus" style noises that permeates the album, giving it a unique, zany feeling under the heavier shell.

This album works best as a whole and the highlights don't stand out as much because it's more of a cohesive work. That being said, the title track is probably the highlight. The riffs are crazy and fun, especially when it comes to Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah when he guest stars and pulls out a solo. The humor is decidedly more self aware, like Ziltoid, especially when the choir begins to sing about cheeseburger condiments. Other standouts include "Juular", which is a short, fast-paced track with some dark riffing, and the guest vocals of Ihsahn certainly give the track a more nightmarish attitude. "Sumeria" gives a very large crushing feeling, and the intro verses are absolutely stunningly epic. It's as bombastic as it comes, and brings a large scale feeling to the album. "Stand" is also a highlight, with some midtempo heavy riffs that are downright groovy.

At a look at the album tracks, though, and you'll notice that I've neglected two of the longest tracks on the album, "The Mighty Masturbator" and "Planet of the Apes", which together make up a good thirty minutes of the album. They are good too, but don't quite match up to what one may expect from an epic. Rather, they are simply long extensions of the album. For "Planet of the Apes" case, it starts off with some awkwardly timed riffing and verses, but makes up for it with a heavy but ethereal outro along with a nice catchy chorus. "The Mighty Masturbator" is made up of several long sections of music sort of glued together, going a while in some repetition of some standard Devin riffs and arpeggios, going into a dance rhythm, and ending on a pompous orchestral riff. The dance section hurts the song a bit, though, there's some rather repetitive annoying beeping that goes on for an extended period of time, and it never seems to end.

Along with just a couple awkward sections, this album has maybe a few flaws. The production is good for the most part, as to be expected from Devin, but there are a lot of loud parts in the album, also to be expected. At the most chaotic and heavy, the instruments drown each other out, which becomes a problem sometimes. It also is the cause of some of the other problems, most notably the guest vocals. A handful of the artists stand out, such as Ihsahn, Floor Jansen, and Paul Masdival. At other times, you'd hardly notice that they're there, partially because of the chaos. Because of this, they don't bring the variety to the album that they could.

At the heart of it all, though, Deconstruction is still a solid release for Devin. It's got all the trademarks: the walls of sound, the melodic arpeggios, the humor. It's not really a Ziltoid, Terria, or even Alien in the case of Strapping Young Lad. It may be the heaviest release in the "Devin Townsend" realm, but that may pull it back a bit. The three albums listed aren't quite as chaotic as this one, but somehow they manage to be over the top and tongue-in-cheek when it needs to be, which this album seems to lack. They also have their strong moments of beauty and melody, which are a bit absent from here. That being said, it's still a Devin Townsend album, and he's still got the touch to make a good album such as this, a worthy release and a good one from 2011.

MEGADETH Rust in Peace

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Really, what more about this album has been said that hasn't been said already? Rust in Piece is Megadeth's Magnum Opus, along with Peace Sells... and for good reason. This is the point where the band took their complex progression and multi-sectional thrash to its logical extreme, before regressing into more standard metal with Countdown to Extinction. Through the creative sections along with masterful riffs, this shows that Megadeth were far from just screwing around with music.

There are plenty of arguments about Megadeth vs Metallica, and one reason people see Metallica as better are their long-form progressive metal tracks. While the tracklist shows that the song lengths for Megadeth aren't excessively long, Megadeth preferred to throw out the repetition on albums like this and bring tons of interesting sections into a well-constructed, concise format. One of the best examples of this is one of the deeper cuts on the album, "Five Magics", which starts off with some repetitive bass and guitar interplay, before blasting off into multiple high-energy sections, ultimately climaxing into a gigantic buildup. In less than six minutes they say more than, say, the eight minute opuses "Battery" and "Master of Puppets"

They do not suffer from sporadic changing syndrome that causes some to groan when listening to the more instrumentally challenging bands. All the riffs are solid, where Mustaine and Friedman just crank out great riff after great riff. The opening shouting of the guitar kicks it off in "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" and doesn't stuff. Most of them are energetic and thrashy, peaking out speedwise at the rockabilly-esque "Poison Was the Cure". Other times they are slow, like the latter section of the opening track. No matter what, though, they all pack a punch, with maybe the sole exception of "Lucretia" which while opening with a great melody on guitar delves into some sections that are slightly more standard in metal.

Again, Mustaine and Friedman must be mentioned. Friedman is many a Megadeth fan's favorite guitarist, and the solos on this album back it up quite well. It's difficult trying to tell what brings more to the table, the wild, endless soloing that goes on and on in "Hangar 18", or the emotional and shreddy blast that is "Tornado of Souls". The former is quite entertaining, with Mustaine and Friedman going back and forth against each other in a chaotic maelstrom of fury, getting faster and faster and building in increasing rage and technique. The latter, however, might be Friedman's masterpiece of a solo, containing thousands of exactly the right notes needed, giving a wonderful emotional and energetic touch needed in such a powerful song.

At the end of the day, you should know what you're getting into with "Rust in Peace". Megadeth is at the top of the game, and while the thrash isn't quite as extreme or dark as other bands in the genre, this still stands as an important pillar in the world of metal. Plenty have stated its influence and importance, and the music behind it speaks for itself. So if you're reading this and haven't gotten it already, there's really no excuse. Go out and get it.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Molly Hatchet (Proto?, Classic?)
    You disagree with me completely? You don't think their album covers are metal as fuck? In all seriousness though, I don't see the connection whatsoever. They sound pretty much like your standard southern rock band, though maybe a bit grittier. I have to concede that I'm not really familiar with their stuff too much, but I have heard nothing to earn them anything metal related.I consider "You Really Got Me" a rock song as well. The repeating riff isn't metal, it's a very pop-based repeating melody found in rock at the time, just played with guitar a little more distorted than what the public was used to. When I hear the same song played on hard rock instruments a la Van Halen, it's still a poppy hard rock song, and metal was arguably at its mainstream popular peak.The drums are not metal, it doesn't evoke anything at all found even remotely in the most borderline hard rock/ traditional heavy metal bands found in the late seventies. Sure, it may have been culturally jarring at the time, but it's not really metal.Metal does not have a monopoly on these elements:GrittinessHeavinessTechnicalityLoudnessDistorted guitarsShocking elementsMolly Hatchet, among other bands, has a few of these elements in spades. Yet they don't have to be metal. Their riffs still evoke southern rock, and riffs are basically the foundation of metal. There are plenty of these bands with elements and people hear them and lump them into metal, even though they really don't have anything beyond a couple of these elements.I realize that among the rest of the forum, I seem to disagree with everyone else on what metal actually is. I definitely have a narrower definition of metal than everyone else here, and I'm ok with that. If anything else, I think a diversity of opinions is helpful, and If I have to be the buzzkill so we can get an idea of what people think, that's ok too. But we're a lot like Prog Archives in the sense that we'll take anything metal related at all, and you have to admit that is one of Prog Archives' biggest criticisms. For every one of me who comes to Metal Music Archives as a regular user there will be a hundred more visitors who come by here, see a Molly Hatchet album review on the front page and decide this website doesn't know what it's talking about.I hope this doesn't come across as strong, I'm just defending my argument. Cheers! topofsm2011-09-01 18:08:01
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Molly Hatchet (Proto?, Classic?)
    Southern rock. The only metal element in them is their awesome album covers. After that, the only connection to metal is that they have drums, guitars, bass, and a singer.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Now -- what are you listening to?

Shouts

Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Rising Traditional heavy metal
RAINBOW
Buy this album from our partners
Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
SLAYER
Buy this album from our partners
Ride the Lightning Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

River Black Metalcore
RIVER BLACK
Buy this album from MMA partners
Curse of Conception Doom Metal
SPIRIT ADRIFT
Buy this album from MMA partners
Samudra Death Metal
KARTIKEYA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Dawn of Aquarius Power Metal
ARRAYAN PATH
Buy this album from MMA partners
Descent Into hell Death Metal
DEATH YELL
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Free Metal MP3 download/stream

New Metal Online Videos

More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Share this site
Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online