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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

264 reviews/ratings
DEEP PURPLE - Deep Purple In Rock Hard Rock | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order Heavy Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Deconstruction Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANVIL - Metal on Metal Heavy Metal | review permalink
NINGEN ISU - Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human) Stoner Rock | review permalink
NINGEN ISU - Ougon no Yoake Progressive Metal | review permalink
HÄG - HÄG Doom Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Now What?! Hard Rock | review permalink
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Alien Industrial Metal | review permalink
SÓLSTAFIR - Ótta Metal Related | review permalink
APRIL WINE - Electric Jewels Hard Rock | review permalink
ANVIL - Forged in Fire Heavy Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Synchestra Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Terria Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Iconoclast Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Machine Head Hard Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 60 3.52
2 Proto-Metal 40 3.09
3 Progressive Metal 30 4.02
4 Heavy Metal 28 3.95
5 Death Metal 18 3.86
6 Heavy Psych 17 3.44
7 Thrash Metal 15 3.83
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.11
9 Doom Metal 4 4.38
10 Glam Metal 4 3.75
11 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
12 Black Metal 3 3.83
13 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
14 NWoBHM 3 3.50
15 Stoner Metal 3 3.67
16 Stoner Rock 3 4.00
17 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
18 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.75
20 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
21 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
22 Metal Related 1 4.50
23 Non-Metal 1 3.50
24 Power Metal 1 4.50
25 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.50
26 Sludge Metal 1 4.00
27 Speed Metal 1 3.00
28 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00
29 US Power Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

THE DANIEL BAND Straight Ahead

Album · 1983 · Hard Rock
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I remember getting into Stryper and the Christian heavy metal thing going on in the eighties. In those days I only knew about Stryper. But one night, a current trends in entertainment program was on TV and the topic was Christian heavy metal. Because the program was from Toronto, the local boys from The Daniel Band were included in the program. I later bought their album, “Running Out of Time”, which was their fifth and final studio album. The band has never officially broken up, according to Wikipedia. They perform from time to time but haven’t released any new material since 1987 except for a few bonus track new recordings on re-releases.

I never heard any of The Daniel Band’s other albums. I think they were not so easy to get a hold off. After some years, I got rid of about half of my Christian albums, but “Running Out of Time” I kept. Then recently, I felt inspired to dig the remaining albums out and I listened to a couple of tracks from that old album. Man! It sure sounds dated! It’s that late eighties big production sound except that it’s a four-piece band who are not playing big production music. Something is amiss. But I was curious enough to check out the band’s discography, listen a bit on YouTube, and decide to get a hold of their second album, “Straight Ahead”, from 1983.

I am not going to come out and say that this album is a lost classic, a gem, a killer album that everyone should hear. But I do think it’s a really good album of the day. First of all, I guess because they were from Toronto, it’s very easy to hear a Triumph/Rush/Coney Hatch sound to the music – those held keyboard chords like Triumph used, that bass sound that Geddy had, those hard rock chords like Coney Hatch played, and vocals that sound like Rik Emmett with a bit of Geddy Lee mixed in. The band’s style moves between rock and hard rock. The overall sound quality is rather good, though I feel there’s a bit of extra scratch in a couple of tracks near the end. Nothing too detrimental though. This is a really good guitar rock/hard rock album from the early eighties but sounds more like late seventies!

One thing I have to appreciate is that even though this is a Christian album and the lyrics mostly all deal with a Christian way of life, the messages in the songs are not in-your-face praise but laid out plain and simple. (I find the praise songs to be a little uncomfortable.) In fact, some of the songs could actually be heard as love songs because I didn’t hear the lyrics actually mention who these love songs were about, assuming that many if not most Christian songs about love are about Jesus or God. Unlike a band like Petra who are leading the faithful on in their faith and commitment with every song, The Danial Band just seem less obvious if you’re just listening casually. “What? Did he just say something about Jesus?”

Guitarist Tony Rossi should get some credit here. I've read a couple of reviews of Daniel Band albums that call him an unsung guitar hero of the eighties. His style is rooted in seventies hard rock but he is good!

Anyway, if you like Triumph, Rush, and Coney Hatch but without the highly advanced skills of Rush and Rik Emmett and more like Coney Hatch, then this album is a strong piece of work. On the strength of the music presented here, I am now curious to hear what their other albums sound like. Word is that “Running Out of Time” was remastered in 2012 and the sound quality difference in the original release and the remaster is like day and night.

UNLEASH THE ARCHERS Abyss

Album · 2020 · Power Metal
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It’s only been a couple of days since I received my copy of “Abyss” and I am sure without a doubt that I haven’t properly heard the album yet. Nevertheless, I’ve been reading reviews and interviews and watching videos with Britney's commentary in order to get an idea of exactly how monumental this album is supposed to be and to prepare myself.

Unleash the Archers released their fourth full-length album, “Apex”, in 2017. It was a concept story about a character named Immortal and a nemesis named the Grand Matriarch and I think something about a battle for the souls of people. I first heard about the band on a video on Banger TV’s YouTube channel. I checked out a couple of songs, thinking UtA was pretty good. Then I heard “Awakening” and I was blown through the stratosphere. I hadn’t really shown much interest in power metal until I heard that song. Even now, after picking up a few of power metal’s classic albums and bands, that song remains my favourite.

So, “Abyss” is the sequel to “Apex”. Immortal’s saga continues and the Grand Matriarch is still out there. I’m afraid I haven’t really followed the story, but I heard there’s a graphic novel series in the works. The first track I heard was “Faster Than Light”, which I heard while enjoying the humorous but a little dark video of the four runners and their race against death. The song exhibits the high speed, high precision playing of guitarists Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdell as well as the incredible drumming of Scott Buchanan while Britney alternates between tension-filled vocal deliveries for the verses and a melody that will have you soaring amidst towers of cumulous clouds for the chorus.

That’s enough preamble. Let’s get on with the album.

“Apex” has been praised by many, calling it that album that delivered a solid but non-exemplary heavy metal band of mixed subgenres into the eyes of the global power metal community. Indeed, that album seems to have so much praise on the Internet that it could be an album UtA could never top. Whether they did with “Abyss” or not is up to the listener, but the band has certainly pushed themselves and their sound even further. While the charged, high-tech, power metal style they executed so brilliantly on “Apex” is here is spadefuls (I’m already considering “Faster Than Light” to be on equal grounds of excellence with “Awakening”), the band has approached this album as a big production. They even brought in Flesh God Apocalypse’s Francesco Ferrini to add orchestral contributions for the closing track, “Afterlife”.

You’ll certainly notice the addition of keyboards, sometimes quite subtle as a supporting instrument, other times very much to the forefront as in “Through the Stars”, which sounds like a late eighties track by some Swedish band like TNT or Europe or perhaps a bit like Queensryche with keyboards. There’s a hefty use of keyboards in the title track too, though that one still keeps a power metal pace and feel to the music. Tracks like “Legacy” and “Return to Me” have such a big production quality that I’m really reminded of Devin Townsend Project albums like “Epicloud” and “Sky Blue”.

Probably the biggest surprise here is the second last track, “Carry the Flame”, yet another late eighties-sounding track like one of Whitesnake’s or Lita Ford’s melodic mid-tempo power rockers except that this track is a duet between Britney Slayes and growler/screamer Andrew Kingsley (guitars) who is singing with clean vocals. Seriously, if you love late eighties/early nineties melodic hard rock like Joe Lynn Turner, Harem Scarem and the likes, you’ll be in heaven. Me, I’m not totally keen on it usually but I can’t deny that they have pulled it off extremely well.

There are some reasons why fans of the older style of Unleash the Archers might not like this album and for those same reasons, some power metal fans and even metal fans might not like this album - big production and keyboards being stand out features. My opinion is that all the work and effort they put into making this has really paid off. I like a band that pushes themselves in new directions and doesn’t shy away from trying new things. I wouldn’t want a whole album of “Through the Stars” or “Carry the Flame”, but songs like that nestled in between other tracks like “Legacy”, “Faster Than Light”, “The Wind That Shapes the Land” and “Afterlife” make for a diverse album with lots of texture and atmosphere.

I’d love to give this album five stars but something is holding me back. Will the synth wave influence in a couple of tracks eventually taint my opinion of this album? Or will I tire of the big production sound? Maybe or maybe not. When the dust has settled a little more, I might just come back to this review and tweak my rating a half star this way or that.

SHEAVY The Electric Sleep

Album · 1998 · Stoner Metal
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It was while I was searching for heavy metal bands from Newfoundland and Labrador that I discovered Sheavy. One listen from "The Electric Sleep" and I was sure this was a band worthy of shelling out for a couple of discs at least. The problem was that actually buying CDs meant going to Discogs and looking for near mint if not mint. And hey, I found some!

According to the Wikipedia article about this band, this, their second album, saw a big improvement from the debut, and the band went over to Europe (not so far from St. John's, actually) to play and promote their music. Critics who heard the album were divided, with some claiming that this was a long lost Sabbath album and others putting down Sheavy as Sabbath clones at best. Now, I recently started to become of the opinion that nearly every stoner and doom metal band had to have Black Sabbath's "Master of Reality" played on daily rotation several hours at a time from their day of birth until they were teens just to ensure total and absolute indoctrination into how to create stoner and doom metal. However, I do contend that Sheavy's music is largely not Sabbath-like. Yes, there are a few riffs on this album the have the Tony Iommi call of doom feeling, but many other riffs seem to go a different route. I think the drumming and bass work is also more like what you'd hear from a band experimenting with the sounds and music rather than emulating it.

So we've got some really cool, heavy riffs and a band that sounds very comfortable in their own corner of the stoner rock arena. But those vocals! Man, if Ozzy just put his vocals through a filter that made them more scratchy - like Greg Lake's vocals in "21st Century Schizoid Man" - well then he'd sound just like Steve Hennessy. It's really uncanny how similar Steve sounds like classic Ozzy. On the second track, "Velvet", his voice is a little different because it's an acoustic track with a retro electric guitar sound and bass guitar that make the song sound like it's from 1969. But the rest of the album, man, Steve really could be mistaken for Ozzy.

One unusual thing is in the track "Oracle" which features a didgeridoo throughout the song. I've heard didgeridoos on other albums as an intro instrument (I think Cryptopsy has a song like that) but never used for an entire track, in this case 6:50 long!

This album is really for people who dig that slow and heavy atmosphere of stoner metal bands, but it doesn't feature any of those really low-toned, dragged out, over-distorted guitars like some bands have. Sheavy keeps the riffs moving. Some songs are a little less exciting. I mean, they start off cool and easy and bring in a bit of tension, but then they take time to really go anywhere. When they do, it's a sweet killer riff and sometimes a contrasting change of tempo. But then the song soon ends. That and the dense production sound are my only real criticisms of the album. Basically, it's a great 1990's, stoner metal album for when you're in the mood. But as I understand it, the band's sound evolved over the years and so I had to check out at least one more album...

BLACK WIZARD Livin' Oblivion

Album · 2018 · Stoner Metal
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I grew up with a view from my living room window overlooking the Fraser River and the City of New Westminster on the other side. It sure was a surprise years later to learn that Devin Townsend, who is a year younger than me, was born in and grew up in New West. I looked out at his home town nearly every morning for many years. New Westminster was where I did a year of collage (the collage appeared in an episode of 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp running down the concourse steps), where I sometimes went to buy old magazines or snoop for photography books in the library, and where John Ritter went coasting down 6th Avenue on a bicycle at the end of the TV movie version of Stephen King's "It".

Now the name New Westminster crops up again as it is where Black Wizard are from. Yay, New West! I remember when they installed speakers to play classical music outside the train station in an effort to keep the skids and rockers from hanging out below the Sky Train where they allegedly traded drugs. New West became a bit of a tough town in the 80's, and if I recall correctly, the Hell's Angels rented a house there after the police chased them out of my home town in the 70's.

But on to Black Wizard! The band is a bit tough to pigeonhole. Basically, they are of the stoner metal variety, perhaps more from selected tracks of the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Sabotage era of Black Sabbath. The vocals sound a bit like Ozzy in Symptom of the Universe only increased in power by 5 and bolstered with a volatile concoction of toxic gases that, when released, sound like that grumpy dude at the end of the street flipping his lid over having to tell the neighbourhood kids one too many times to stay the fuck out of his fruit trees!

The band does a pretty good job of playing somewhere along the lines of stoner metal with doom riffs on a track or two and a couple of songs charging along not quite like thrash metal but good and derailingly fast like some Anvil songs.

The album shows an appreciable diversity in the tracks, enough so that it's possible to recognize most of them after a few listens, but still keep to the main theme of the music. It's all pummel and thump throughout most of the album.

Listening to it tonight with my reviewer's cap on, there were certain tracks to stand out like the title track, "Portraits" for it's less-than-super-fast thrash feel, "Heavy Love" and the closer "Eternal Illusion" which has a great Sabbath-esque riff to it.

I like this album enough that I am interested in checking out their previous release, "New Waste" (a play on New West, I wonder?). Pretty darn good, solid hitting, heavy album.

CHRON GOBLIN Life For The Living

Album · 2013 · Stoner Rock
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Described as stoner rock, this album by Chron Goblin doesn't seem content to cozy up with some "buds" and chill in the vapours. It's more like bust and grind. The songs just explode out of the speakers: bombastic guitar chords, crashing drums, and a voice that could make a bull moose feel threatened. Power! That's my impression track after track. The energy of punk and the impact of metal. This is like being shot from a cannon through a brick wall with anvils strapped to your limbs! Perhaps at times like The Sword but with a different approach to the vocals and riffs.

A lot of the songs end abruptly, so it's a bit of a surprise when "Blood Flow" suddenly stops right in the middle of the track and then slams in a new riff that's like getting your face repeatedly smushed across a rough concrete surface by some huge, ugly beast of a torture maniac.

The only time things finally cool down a bit is for the closing track, "Any Day", which is like a doom metal/stoner ballad. Not love song. Just slower tempo.

It's tough to find a track that stands out above the others, but I'll say that "Anesthetize" is pretty kick ass. Love the line, "I want excitement!" That sums up the music of this track and most of the album. These guys must work up a real sweat performing live.

Not much more to say but great driving music!

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 39 days ago in Martin Birch dies
    What a legacy he left behind though. I remember seeing and reading his name a lot in the eighties. He's part of metal music history! Thanks for all the great productions, sir. Play it loud and heavy in the next world!
  • Posted 47 days ago in MMA Best of the Decade 2010s Results
    From where I am at, I'm glad to see quite a few Canadian bands and Japan's Ningen Isu and Lovebites up there twice. Plus I actually have about 20 of the albums on the list, so I'm happy! I shared this on Twitter. I hope the link works!
  • Posted 2 months ago in MMA Best of the 2010s Voting Thread
    Ningen Isu - MandoroNingen Isu - Burai HoujouFlaming Row - Mirage: A Portrayal of FiguresAnciients - Heart of OakHaken - The MountainBeyond Creation - Earthbound EvolutionChthe'ilist - Le Dernier CrépusculeCauldron - New GodsSkull Fist - Head of the PackEnslaved - ELa Chinga - Beyond the SkyVoivod - The WakeArchspire - Relentless MutationNingen Isu - Kaidan Soshite Shi to ErosRush - Clockwork AngelsOpeth - SorceressObscura - OmniviumSigh - Heir to DespairProtest the Hero - VolitionWormwitch - Heaven that Dwells WithinAnciients - Voices of the VoidChron Goblin - Life for the LivingUnleash the Archers - ApexNingen Isu - Shin SeinenBlack Wizard - Livin' OblivionMason - ImperviousBeyond Creation - The AuraTomb Mold - Manor of Infinite FormsBorealis - Fall from GraceNingen Isu - Ijigen kara no HoukouMaximum the Hormone - äºˆè¥²å¾©è®Untimely Demise - Systematic EradicationDeafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human LoveBlood Ceremony - Lord of MisruleNile - What Should Not Be UnearthedEndless Chaos - Paths to ContentmentGomorrah - GomorrahDevin Townsend Project - DeconstructionDeep Purple - Now What?!Possessed - Revelations of OblivionDevin Townsend - Z2Gorguts - Colored SandsIron Maiden - The Book of SoulsObscura - AkroasisRivers of Nihil - MonarchyObscura - DiluviumHorrendous - IdolGotsu Totsu Kotsu - å› æžœå¿œå ± (RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE)Kataklysm - Waiting for the End to ComeRavenous E.H. - Eat the Fallen voila_la_scorie2020-06-29 06:38:01

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