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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 39 minutes ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

285 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 61 3.52
2 Proto-Metal 40 3.09
3 Progressive Metal 33 4.02
4 Heavy Metal 30 3.93
5 Death Metal 20 3.85
6 Heavy Psych 17 3.44
7 Thrash Metal 16 3.81
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.11
9 Stoner Rock 4 3.75
10 Melodic Death Metal 4 3.75
11 NWoBHM 4 3.75
12 Power Metal 4 4.13
13 Doom Metal 4 4.38
14 Glam Metal 4 3.75
15 Black Metal 4 4.00
16 Atmospheric Black Metal 3 3.83
17 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
18 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
19 Stoner Metal 3 3.67
20 Technical Thrash Metal 2 4.00
21 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
22 Sludge Metal 2 4.00
23 Speed Metal 2 3.75
24 Metal Related 2 4.00
25 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.50
26 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
27 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
28 US Power Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

CENTURIES OF DECAY Centuries of Decay

Album · 2017 · Death Metal
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"Centuries of Decay" is the self-titled debut and only release so far by this band who are said to mix black metal and death metal in a progressive death metal style. The band was formed in Toronto by two brothers who are originally from Prince Edward Island, land of Anne of Green Gables and the signing of the Canadian Constitution.

And potatoes! Lots of potatoes!

Centuries of Decay released this album in 2017 and then in 2018 went on to win the Wacken Metal Battle Canada National Final.

At the heart of it, Centuries of Decay is a mid-tempo-paced, modern metal band with harsh vocals that sound like a midway point between the guttural bellowing of death metal and the higher, wet-meat shredded throat shrieks of some black metal bands. The lyrics are quite clear if you follow along with them in print. Riffs can be steady, pulses of badadum badadum or more complex. Double bass is used when necessary to affect speed or intensity, but the band is more about creating songs that stretch out a bit with lyrics about struggle against oppressive forces, determination and perseverance, and hating the bastards who shove you down.

Honestly, this was another album that took me a few careful listens to begin to see it beyond the obvious modern metal band stylistic accoutrements. When you've heard enough bands, you start to look for the things that make tracks stand out even if it's just enough to make them stand out from one another. There are a few things on this album such as clean vocals that don't sound like the metalcore type on a couple of tracks; a curious classically influenced piano bit that closes out the last couple of minutes of the track, "Rise"; the melodic black metal riffing in the title track; the eerie beginning with clean guitar and bass and creepy muttering voices at the start of "Asylum"; the smooth, clean-guitar, jazzy section in "Odyssey"; the snarly breakdown in "Asylum", and the pleasant, strummed acoustic guitar finale of the album at the end of "Demise". With each subsequent listen, the subtleties and nice touches reveal themselves more.

However, while each track has been written and recorded with care and skill, I must return to the fact that I was not immediately smitten by the album. I could hear it was very good but I didn't have any tracks leap out at me. In fact, a week from now I might not remember what I heard that I liked in what tracks. This might be due to overkill as I have been trying to digest several dozen new albums from the last half year.

Another slight problem I have with this album is the recording volume is quite low. The CD needs the volume turned up a few notches more than regular CDs and even the download from Bandcamp doesn't deliver the weight that should be there. Less volume lessens the impact of the music, I think. This one needs the dial twisted way over.

I think we're talking about a very good album here. But I do have the nagging suspicion that there are plenty of other bands capable of recording a similar album. Who knows? Maybe I'm missing something?

SKULL FIST Head öf the Pack

Album · 2011 · Heavy Metal
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It’s 1984 and I’m 13 years old. I’ve just come back from the record store where I purchased with a bit of my weekly paper route earnings a cassette by a band called Skull Fist. I’ve only been into heavy metal for a year and a bit but I’m eager to build up my cassette collection with as many bands as possible, and Skull Fist just look like the perfect band to bring home. One very good reason for that is that no one around me has ever heard of them!

I drop the cassette into my stereo and press play. There are some quick lead guitar notes and then the guitar starts rapidly firing off a riff. The bass and drums drop in and a high-pitched male vocal adds a “AH-ah-Aoh!” before the double bass drum goes double time. The album is awesome! Vocals, guitars, bass, and drums. That’s it! The music is speedy, the riffs just keep coming, and the vocals are soaring ridiculously into to troposphere. I want to sing along to “Commit to rock”, and “No false metal” captures my adolescent ears with the bold expletive, “Get the fuck away from me!” I’m still too young though to have a chuckle over “Get Fisted” as I assume the band means that I should enjoy being at their concert or listening to their music.

It’s 2020 and I’ve decided to track down Canadian metal bands in order to show support for my countrymen and women and to see what’s happening in the metal scene these days from a Canuck perspective. One of the bands I discover early on (because their album “Head of the Pack” shows up on three or four lists of Canadian metal bands/albums you have to hear) is Skull Fist. I order their debut album from 2011 and when I receive it, I take it home and put it in my computer, copy it into iTunes and export it to my iPhone. The next day, I stuff the ear buds into the holes of my ears and tap the play arrow on my phone. There are some quick lead guitar notes and then the guitar starts rapidly firing off a riff. The bass and drums drop in and a high-pitched male vocal adds a “ah-AH-aoh!” before the double bass drum goes double time.

No, Skull Fist are not an eighties band but their album sure as heck sounds like it could be, from the speed metal playing style to the ultra-high vocals of Jackie Slaughter. This is a fabulous homage to the eighties metal scene from around 1983-85, when playing fast, hard and heavy with a singer who could shatter light bulbs with his voice was the coolest thing. With Skull Fist, they sound so sincerely committed to keeping the spirit alive that you’ll likely be racking your brain in search of where you have heard a band like this before. I think they sound a lot like early Killer Dwarfs on speed metal!

I’m not certain of when this trend began, but it seems that perhaps sometime in the mid-2000’s bands took up the flag of that classic heavy metal sound and style began popping up, and the trend continues to the present. Skull Fist, along with Cauldron, Striker, and Riot City are just a few representatives from Canada who have been dropping albums over the last dozen years or so, their music capturing the sound of eighties metal at a master level. It is so easy to imagine myself hearing this music for the first time on cassette back when I was just a young teenager.

The only non-positive aspect to this particular record is that because the music stays true and blue to a certain style, there is not much variety. It’s just riding the rocket from start to finish. Nevertheless, favourite tracks there are: Head of the Pack, No False Metal, Like a Fox, and Attack Attack rise only slightly higher than the rest of the album which already rises high. Who am I to disagree with the professional reviewers who give this album much praise? It delivers beautifully!

There’s a tendency for some people to lambast any band that’s not “original” because they are only copycats of past acts. I don’t give a beaver’s anus about that. If I enjoy the music, I’m in! And I’m enjoying this album. Got a problem with that? Then you can get fisted!

ONI Ironshore

Album · 2016 · Progressive Metal
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Oni is billed as a progressive metal band and one of the first things you should know is that Oni’s brand of progressive metal is of the new wave type that a reviewer for Metal Injection pointed out as being a lot like Between the Buried and Me. We’re talking lots of different styles, lots of fast music with fast changes, harsh vocals and clean vocals, different riffing styles, mellower parts and a xylosynth.

A what?!

A xylosynth. Well, alright. It sounds potentially gimmicky so I’ll move along and come back to it when it’s relevant.

“Ironshore” is Oni’s debut album and, aside from a digital-only EP release, this is their only album. As mentioned, the music on this album is fast, brutal, and furious at times while other times being surprisingly melodic and also Dream Theater-technical at other times. The band promoted the album with two singles and videos: “Barn Burner” and “Eternal Recurrence”, the first two tracks off the album. I’ll admit that with so much happening in the music, it’s a bit difficult at first to sort in one’s mind one song from the next, but a few careful listens helps to make sense of what’s going on here. “Barn Burner”, for example, features some ear-catching bass finger tapping (that’s what it sounds like to me anyway) while “Eternal Recurrence” has this slow and soft part with clean vocals, synths and piano cropping up in the first minute of the song before things go all brutal again.

The music at times sounds like Dream Theater at their heaviest and most intense while at other times it’s closer to metalcore. One reviewer pointed out how the clean vocals often give a flavour of “whiny metalcore”. I’ll stick my own thought about that in here: I’m not a fan of clean vocals in metalcore because I don’t think they suit a metal vocal style. For that, I sometimes don’t care for the clean vocals here either, and I’m not alone. The one review on Metal Archives has lots of good things to say about the music but heaps disdain upon the clean vocals. There’s a tendency toward the progressive metal style of clean vocals as well, and in the slowed down, almost seventies groovy section in the middle of “The Science”, it sounds more like a modern progressive rock band. Still, out of three reviews I read, two really weren’t in for the clean vocals. Fortunately, the harsh vocals are much, much more common.

Given the nature of the music, everyone is freakin’ busy! It’s good to hear the bass come forward so often and show up clearly in the mix many times. Guitar riffs, well, just go back and refer to the likenesses to Between the Buried and Me and Dream Theater. A YouTuber reviewing the album said at least three tracks are so much like The Human Abstract, but I can’t agree or disagree because I haven’t heard that band.

So what about this xylosynth? Well, you’ll hear plenty of what sounds like synthesizer playing, often sounding reminiscent of Jordan Rudess, particularly for the barrage of notes that come like a volley of arrows through the heavy guitars. There are also other “synthesizer” moments frequently enough to likely remind you of Dream Theater. The thing is that these are all played on a xylophone that is “electric”. In fact, you can see videos on YouTube of musician Johnny DeAngelis playing away to Oni’s songs. Now the Metal Injection reviewer said he saw the band perform live and thought that the xylophone looked like the most un-metal instrument ever but quickly pointed out that when you hear the album, you think it’s a synthesizer and it sounds really cool. Again, I’m hearing strong Dream Theater similarities when the xylosynth is playing some complex melody or solo between bursts of electric guitar leads or the band’s sometimes jarring time signatures.

This has been not an easy album for me to digest right away. It’s easy to think at first that this album is the musical equivalent of trying to repack an explosion back into the bomb. But if you’re familiar with the sub-genre-jumping music of Between the Buried and Me or Protest the Hero and the technical and contorted instrumental exercises of Dream Theater, you may begin to appreciate what’s going on here. There’s a lot happening with a lot of parts crying for closer attention.

Naturally, a band with this much flair for tight, shifting dynamics in music, an instrumental track is on order, and that is the track “The Takeover” which delivers one helluva wild exhibition of musical gymnastics. Of the three reviews I read and the one YouTube video review I watched, everyone had great compliments about the music and the harsh vocals. Only the clean vocals received criticism in two cases. I’ll say that at times the clean vocals kind of work with the music in some places but when they go soft and melodic metalcore, I’m not convinced it’s the best approach. However, I will agree that the music here is quite a ride and with a few more careful listens I think I should be able to untangle the knots in my brain that some of this tracks give me.

LUTHARÖ Unleash the Beast

EP · 2018 · Melodic Death Metal
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"Unleash the Beast" is the second EP released by melodic death metal band LUTHARO. The band has no full-length albums to date but did release their third EP earlier in 2020.

The track list includes a brief intro and four songs between 5:31 and 7:08. The band's style is actually more of a melodic death metal blended with intense moments of thrash, with vocalist Krista Shipperbottom pulling off some soaring high notes as well as plenty of ferocious death bellows. She also has the ability to slip in some more standard metal vocals, going high but raspy.

"Unleash the Beast" delivers more or less straightforward melodic death metal crossed with thrashy moments and perhaps hints of power metal. Their web site claims they have a little something for everybody. The riffs go from simple chugging to more involved finger-work and speedy tremolo picking. The speed stays pretty much middle of the metal road, though easily lurching into fifth gear when appropriate and never dragging its ass either. There’s never a dull moment to be sure. The musicians all deliver as well as one would expect from this kind of band with tight guitar interplay and some tasteful solos plus some abrupt switches of tempo from the drum kit. Strangely, I have to say that after a few listens the songs have yet to fully grasp my affections (i.e. am I writing this review too prematurely?).

Perhaps it's because melo death is not my first choice for metal pleasures or perhaps it's because I recently and coincidentally picked up a few bands playing a similar style and so, aside from the fact that it's a woman singing in this band, I'm not hearing something groundbreaking. I just find the music here - while satisfying on a technical level - doesn't quite have me gripping any seats or grasping the safety bar with white knuckles. The band is firing away, all systems go, but my response always seems to be more analytical than emotional. My apologies to the band!

Certainly not a disappointment, however. Ms. Shipperbottom's voice is sometimes the highlight of a song. An unexpected death roar or ear-piercing wail makes me utter, "Ah, you got me!" The music is really good, but I feel it's rather “to be expected” for the genre. It’s worthy to mention that the one review on Metal Archives praises this album outright, the rating an impressive 89%. Other reviews give sufficient hype to this EP and the band as well.

If melodic death metal crossed with thrash is something that excites you and you can't get enough, you should consider checking out LUTHARO. As for me, I have no regrets purchasing this EP on disc but I feel it's more of an album from which I can pull off tracks for a mixed playlist rather than an album I deeply desire to listen to often. Or maybe I just haven't really heard this album right yet?

Songs to check out would be "Black Scorpion" and "Temple of the Damned". In the meantime, I'm going to see how their latest EP sounds. The reviews I’ve read claim the band has become even better!

DROID (ON) Terrestrial Mutations

Album · 2017 · Technical Thrash Metal
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You cannot find a review of this album out there that does not mention Voivod. That is because Droid have included on their full-length debut album a lot of Voivod-isms, particularly of the likes of Nothingface and also Dimension Hatross. However, most reviews I read also mention Coroner and Vektor and a few people who are more familiar with the Canadian metal scene also throw in Obliveon. The reason for all these bands being mentioned should then make it quite clear that what Droid play is technical thrash metal.

Voivod similarities aside, Droid tend to go a bit further into seventies-influenced space and psychedelic rock, while still remembering that they are a thrash metal band. The blend is quite interesting. You'll get speedy, technical songs that break off into sparse and eerie interludes or some smooth, clean and jazzy guitar chords with bass and percussion keeping to the jazz mood. But you'll also get your dissonant chords a la Piggy and some more time-signature-bending technical riffs. Lead guitars seem to used more for melodic phrases rather than rampant soloing.

All but one of the reviews I read came to similar conclusions: the old school hardcore-meets-thrash styled vocals are rather one dimensional and need a bit of work (clean vocals do show up two or three times in mellower parts) and some of the tracks seem to fiddle about a little too long; however, the proggish compositions and interesting twists to the music make this an enjoyable album worthy of repeat listens. All but one review also gave this album four or four and a half stars.

As for my own opinion, I generally agree with what others have said. I like the Voivod-like parts but I'm glad that Droid are far from being simple Voivod copycats and follow their own path experimenting with technical sci-fi thrash metal and seventies space rock. I don't care about the vocals so much either. They are good enough on this album. Perhaps it's easier for me to accept the vocals because what's more important here is the music. Drums, bass, and guitar working very well together throughout much of the album.

If there's one point where my opinion holds a less favorable view it is regarding the production. Where others have specifically pointed out the good production, I feel the music sounds a little dulled down. Had this been just a straight up old school thrash album with really gruff vocals, the band could have blasted their way through the invisible cloak that takes some of the edge off the music. But as a technical space thrash band, I personally would prefer to have a slightly cleaner production.

Because this album is a little weird, it may not appeal to a lot of thrash fans. But for something a little quirky, this album has its rewards.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 45 days ago in R.I.P. Lee Kerslake
    I opened YouTube the other day and saw a video of Lee playing Crazy Train with some young dude on guitar. Lee was so fat that I said to the video, "Dude, for god's sake, lose some weight. This will kill you!" I then checked Wikipedia to see what he was doing these days and the entry read (...- September 19, 2020). Well, it was cancer not a heart attack. Funny thing, I didn't hear anything about his passing in any of the music groups on Facebook that I follow. Had it not been for that video, I'd have been surprised to find this notification here.
  • Posted 3 months 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 3 months 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!

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