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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 1 day ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

253 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
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
GORGUTS - Colored Sands Technical Death Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 57 3.51
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 14 3.82
8 Technical Death Metal 13 4.12
9 Glam Metal 4 3.75
10 Doom Metal 3 4.17
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 Rock 2 4.00
16 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
17 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
18 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.75
19 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
20 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
21 Metal Related 1 4.50
22 Non-Metal 1 3.50
23 Sludge Metal 1 4.00
24 Speed Metal 1 3.00
25 Stoner Metal 1 3.50
26 US Power Metal 1 3.00
27 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

QUARTZ Quartz

Album · 1977 · NWoBHM
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Often cited as being the first album released in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, that notion does have strong historical backing. One of the new British heavy rock bands among many who formed in the mid-seventies, Quartz was fortunate enough to get into a recording studio and pull off a piece of vinyl while many bands were still touring their local circuits. Strangely, it would be three years before their sophomore release, and by then the dam had already burst.

But there's something to note about this album that distinguishes it from many of the acts who wouldn't hit record store shelves until 1980 and onward. One main difference between this album and debuts by the likes of Tank, Tigers of Pan Tang, and Raven is that Quartz were still showing strong prog connections in their music while a lot of other bands had tapped into the punk scene by the time their debuts came round. Quite simply, in spite of the album being the at the vanguard of the NWoBHM, it's still a product of 1977.

The first track, "Mainline Riders" is heavy and blissful to listen to. I hear a slight similarity to Scorpions in the music, but more like the early Matthias Jabs albums. Still, a great heavy metal song in a year where hard rock still dominated most of the heavy guitar rock releases.

But then "Sugar Rain" brings something that reminds me Yes meets Jethro Tull. A decent enough track but evidence that this album's music was developed before punk really took over.

"Street Fighting Lady" sounds to me like a cross between Ted Nugent and Triumph. Perhaps the latter comes to mind because they had a song around the same time called "Street Fighting Man". Maybe the two characters knew each other.

"Hustler" once again reminds me of Scorpions though this time the Uli Jon Roth era, at least during the opening. The verses are more typical of 1977 hard rock, thinking of Thin Lizzy for example.

"Devil's Brew" has a cool, simple and heavy riff to it and at first it's easy to think of Black Sabbath or Angel Witch. But those keyboards and tempo changes are closer to Uriah Heep. Cool lyrics: "When the dead no longer dead begin to rise" and "In the fires that are burning / Give the living back to me". Now I'm thinking of the contemporary American hard rock outfit, Sorcery.

"Smokie" is a short acoustic guitar instrumental, and then we're on to "Around and Around". This has a cool blend of UJR Scorpions at the intro, Sweet chorus vocals and guitar riffs around the chorus, a Uriah Heep part that then leads into a proggy section that reminds me of something you'd hear from Genesis around this year before it gets heavier and sounds more like something from a NWoBHM album. Along with "Mainline Riders", this is one of my two favorite tracks.

"Pleasure Seekers" is a great hard rocker with a heavy riff. To me, this is one of those 1976-8 songs that indicate a new direction for heavy rock music. Alright, count this as a third favourite track.

The album closes with "Little Old Lady" and I swear someone asked Roger Daltrey to sing the opening. This song sounds like it's going to be a weak one but does have some redeeming moments. The lyrical theme, I'm guessing, addresses the writer's grandmother in her old age. It has a Queen feel to the music, alternating between softer acoustic and electric guitars and a hard rock riff for the chorus.

My conclusion? This album reminds me of several different groups which means that there's a lot of diversity in the music. For that, I think it's a very good album to listen to from time to time. It's not one that I'll just shelve and forget about. As an example of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, I'll say again that it's not derived from exactly the same influences as bands dropping albums three or four years later. However, if we are looking for music that is a departure from the standard hard rock acts of 1976-78 (Thin Lizzy, UFO, Sweet, Nazareth, etc.) I think Quartz were beginning to steer things in a new direction, albeit in a way that their German counterparts, Scorpions, were also doing around this time.

LA CHINGA Beyond the Sky

Album · 2018 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Beyond the Sky is the third album by Vancouver hard rockers, La Chinga.

As an intro for the uninitiated, La Chinga play music that taps into classic ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, The Black Crows with twice the juice, and some powerful eighties retro rock / sweaty glam-in-denim punch. The lyrics are a perfect tribute to seventies rock writing; you’re not always sure what the song is about but it sounds cool. “Hey, hey and alright / Ridin’ low, ridin’ high” goes the beginning of the chorus to “Wings of Fire”. Or the opening lyrics to “Nothing That I Can’t Do” - “Bell bottoms, boogie shoes / Feeling fine, sucker proof / Bumps and bruises along the way / But I’m a born hell raiser/ And I’m here to stay”. And one of my favourites, the first line in “Killer Wizard”: “I’m a master of disaster / Watcho want, you bastard?!” Warning: this song could get you permanently addicted!

Basically this album kicks, punches, grooves, and hip checks. Simply a kick ass hard rock album that needs to be cranked. Check your speed if listening to this while driving. It’s a punch-the-roof-of-the-car, head banging-with-sunglasses-on kind of album.

Butt hay, it’s gotta have it’s laid back smooth groove in places too. If you’re going to be an early seventies, space trucking, badass biker bro then you need a bit of that eased back cosmic wind in my hair feel here and there. No sappy love songs. Just rocking out from start to done deal. I’m loving this album so much, I want a T-shirt!

For starters, you could check out the video shared here on MMA for “Killer Wizard”. All I will say is that riff could slay a horde of ogres, like the illustrated ones that show up in one part of the video. After that, you’re on your own.

BLACK THUNDER La Fine Creata

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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The western provinces of Canada seem to be a hotbed for stoner rock and metal and heavy psychedelic rock. Must be that famous B.C. bud! Regina, Saskatchewan's Black Thunder have been going at it (the music I mean; I don't know about the bud) since 2009 and released their fourth full-length album in March of this year (2020 for those reading this in the future).

Their sound has evolved since their first two albums which had a certain Vincebus Eruptum sound to the guitars: raw, distorted, retro. Their third album "III" delivered a heavier guitar sound and more aggressive style of playing, or so that's my impression from cursory listens to their albums while adding this band to this web site. But while everything up to now has been in the stoner rock / heavy psych camp and even pushing stoner metal with their third album, "La Fine Creata" brings something new to their repertoire.

I'll be honest when I say at first I was almost disappointed with the album and band because there were so many stop and start instrumental passages and odd time signatures that I felt the band was trying to be prog by overdoing just one of the signature aspects of progressive rock. When a band relies too much on stop/start music or off kilter time signatures, I feel like they are forcing a prog impression on us. But even though this album does include a lot of this approach to composing and playing, I soon began to feel comfortable with it as the album played on.

Actually, there are many moments when I was reminded of Voivod from the "Killing Technology" to "Nothingface" period not only because of the jilted and skewered take on time signatures but also the guitar sound and vocals. The second band to come to mind was Seven Impale, obviously here without the saxophones.

Being influenced of course by the mighty Sabbath, there's a distinct groove to their riffs. In the end, the album proves to be an interesting blend of grooving stoner riffs, Voivod-like vocals and guitar riffs in places, Seven Impale-esque time signature twists, and an overall sound that is catchy. The band sounds smoother and more together there than on their previous albums which have a distinct gritty and raw sound to the guitars.

This album sees the introduction of synthesizers to the band's music. Have no fear though. The keyboards are used for psychedelic atmospherics and adding some trippiness to the eased back, funky groove passages such as in "Bekenstein Limit" and "Lack of Photos". Here I'm reminded of Glenn Hughes.

I started out giving this album 3 and a half stars (the RYM rating is three stars from 2 ratings). But it's been growing on me as I have been digging into the music during the writing of this review. I have to give four stars.

NINGEN ISU Mandoro

Album · 2013 · Doom Metal
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"Mandoro" is the 17th album by Japanese heavy metal band, Ningen Isu. For over twenty years, the band had sold enough records with each release to permit them to stay with a record label, but the band remained an underground phenomenon. In 2013, they appeared at Ozz Fest in Japan. Seeing the opportunity as a chance to introduce themselves to a larger audience, the band approached their next album as if it were their second debut. There was also a conscious decision to move the band's sound more firmly into heavy metal. Therefore, this album features less of the band's progressive rock side (no 9-minute songs with long, instrumental parts) and as well, it smartly strays from some of their more lighter, pop-influenced songs that had cropped up on albums during the previous decade.

The heavy guitar sound that had been used on some tracks on the last few albums was now the guitar sound of the album. The album is chock full of heavy riffs. Guitarist Shinji Wajima once again takes over all the lyric writing except for the track "Neputa no Mandoriko," which was written by bassist Kenichi Suzuki. The song was inspired by some of the images on the floats of the Neputa Festival of their hometown, Hirosaki City, in Aomori Prefecture. In particular, Suzuki liked the images of battling warriors with skulls, chopped off heads, and eye balls popping out.

Even without writing many lyrics, Suzuki still contributed the music for several of the tracks. Suzuki's songs are usually the faster and heavier ones, and there's no mistaking them here with "Jigokuhen - Hell Screen", "Neputa no Mondoriko", and "Jinsei Banzai". "Neko ja Neko ja - It's a Cat, It's a Cat" features Wajima's wah-wah guitar to mimic the meow of a cat. The song was inspired by an incident when they discovered a kitten had become trapped in a ventilation pipe just over the drum set in their rehearsal studio.

Wajima delivers some great heavy prog songs with some awesome riffs in tracks like, "Kuroyuri Nikki - Black Lily Diary" and "Jikan kara no Kage - The Shadow Out of Time". He also proves yet again to be a master of customized guitar solos, going from blazing metal solos, to psychedelic influenced effects, traditional Japanese music scales, and his unique style of playing what he called "Tsugaru jamisen". The shaminsen or jamisen and a traditional three-stringed instrument a bit like a Japanese banjo. The fingering involves many frequent slides and wiggles on the string to create a vibrato effect. Wajima applies this playing style to his electric guitar.

Wajima once again taps into literature for some of the songs. "Kumo no Ito - The Spider's Thread" and "Jigokuhen" are based on stories by Akutagawa Ryunosuke, a famous Japanese author from the early 20th Century, and H.P. Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time".

The whole album is packed with intense and exciting heavy metal songs. Some songs are heavy and prog-influenced while others are fast and furious. Drummer Nobu Nakajima sings lead on "Kumo no Ito" and belts out some killer screams at the end. He also plays a wicked drum pattern in "Neputa no Mondoriko" which came from a festival drum beat on traditional Japanese taiko drums played at the Neputa Festival.

Only the opening track, "Shigan Goeika - Hymn of This World", takes the tempo down and sounds like a Buddhist chant turned into a song for a three-piece heavy rock band. And the closing track, "Eisei ni natta Otoko - The Man Who Turned Into a Satellite" begins more gently with chorus guitar before switching to a heavy and groovy riff after fifty seconds.

"Mandoro" marks the change over to the current style of Ningen Isu which has continued over five albums now. Most of the band's official music videos on YouTube are for songs from this period. Though always heavy, the band sounds most metal from "Mandoro" and on. It remains one of my favourite albums by Ningen Isu.

CHTHE'ILIST Le dernier crépuscule

Album · 2016 · Technical Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Chthe'ilist. I can spell it. I am not so certain I can pronounce it. But I recognize it as something H.P. Lovecraft would have dreamed up - or nightmared up. I first saw the name on a Kerrang list of Canadian bands I needed to know now. Then they showed up on Hellbound's web site among the ten best Canadian albums of 2016. Then again, I saw the band reviewed on Angry Metal Guy. When I checked them out on BandCamp, the comments left below sung praises.

Chthe'ilist are a death metal band from Quebec who have fashioned their sound after some of Finland's best: Demilich, Crematory, Abhorrence, and early Xysma. Their BandCamp page also name checks influences from Pestilence, Nocturnus, and Ripping Corpse. So we are quite nicely set up here. The band formed in 2010, but has only released a short ep and one full-length - this one - which many people were calling the best death metal album of 2016. And when I say many, I mean at least five or six.

The music is very dense, resembling the artwork of the album cover. The drums are what you would expect from a death metal band and so is the guitar, though I like this particular style of playing where these almost spring-like open strings bound in after rapid bursts of tremolo picking and blast beats. The lead guitar can be rather melodic but it's also unpredictable. These songs have no usual place for a guitar solo so the lead breaks are surprises.

One interesting thing is that as the album plays on, some slap bass begins making itself more prominent. A lot of tech death bands from Quebec go the fretless bass way, so here with slap bass we get something different.

I love the overall atmosphere of the album. But I'll confess that it was the vocals that were the selling point for me. The main vocals are delivered in ultra-deep death growl style, similar to those of Demilich. But there's a second voice that comes in from time to time that I can best describe as sounding like they come from a human-sized raven, or possibly a pterodactyl. It's this dry cackling growl and it sounds so inhuman that I love it. As I listened to this album and stood in the supermarket today, I felt as though roots would grow up from the abyss below, wrangle through the soles of my feet, burrow into my veins, and siphon my soul out, sucking it down into some cavernous, dank expanse where hideous beastly things dwell and feast on pillaged human souls.

There are also some interesting ambient sound parts of two tracks that reminds me of something Nile has done on some of their albums. In particular, the sounds at the end of "Into the Vaults of Ingurgitating Obscurity" (now there's a fun song title!) create an image in my head of some pterodactyl-like creature of Hades and some other disgustingly large, bloated beast gorging themselves contentedly on what I image to me human limbs. There's this crunching and snapping of bone noise and a wet fleshy noise and that raven voice happily crushing flesh-encased skeletons while deep grunts and snorts attest to the presence of its grotesque companion.

There is just something about this album that really appeals to me. I have to agree with all those people on BandCamp and the folks at Kerrang that Chthe'ilist is a treat to hear. That is if you're comfortable with listening to the end of the world coming from the denizens of some Lovecraftian Inferno being unleashed upon our world.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 15 days 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
  • Posted 22 days ago in The Dumbest Concept Album Stories
    [QUOTE=adg211288]The one that most comes to mind to me is Ziltoid the Omniscient: an alien comes to Earth in search of the ultimate cup of coffee. After declaring it fetid, he attacks. [/QUOTE] The initial premise is amusing. He needs the coffee for his hyperdrive, I think, so that he can travel faster around the universe and assert his omnipotence. The fact that he actually drinks the coffee in order to test its quality is oddly amusing. But his decision to attack doesn't make sense. It's just a excuse for the story introduce more silliness and come across like a Saturday morning cartoon.I had mixed feelings about Z2. The production was bigger, the voice actors fun, and a lot of the songs were good. But that the Planet Smasher was just a cute cuddly little thing that hated musicals put me off. I had believed the Planet Smasher to be some menacing creature with incredible power, not a distorted pekingese. Then the whole thing with the captain and Ziltoid being brothers just got to a real WTF point and by then you just had to shrug and remember Devin used to smoke pot a lot. 
  • Posted 24 days ago in Paul Chapman R.I.P.
    And far too young! I just found out a couple of days ago that Steve Priest of Sweet passed away.It’s very sad to keep hearing the news of these legendary artists leaving us.

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