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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 13 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

229 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
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
SWORD - Metalized Heavy Metal | review permalink
SACRIFICE - The Ones I Condemn Thrash Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 52 3.54
2 Proto-Metal 47 3.05
3 Progressive Metal 28 3.98
4 Heavy Metal 21 3.88
5 Death Metal 18 3.86
6 Thrash Metal 13 3.81
7 Technical Death Metal 11 4.14
8 Heavy Psych 9 3.50
9 Glam Metal 4 3.75
10 Black Metal 3 3.83
11 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
12 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
13 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
14 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.75
15 Avant-garde Metal 2 4.25
16 Doom Metal 2 4.00
17 NWoBHM 2 3.50
18 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00
19 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
20 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
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

Latest Albums Reviews

PILEDRIVER Stay Ugly

Album · 1986 · Speed Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
It’s a funny thing because I can remember seeing both Piledriver album covers advertised in Metallion magazine back in the eighties. But at the time I had become a little disillusioned by the metal scene. It seemed that there were just too many anybody bands coming along, and just by posing in leather and bullets they could somehow sell albums of run-of-the-mill music. That’s what Piledriver’s albums made me think of and they were not the only ones.

Strangely enough, as it turns out, I was not too far off base. A few weeks back, Piledriver got mentioned in something I was reading or watching, and as I could remember their album covers easily, I decided to check out more about the band. And that’s how I came to know about “metalploitation”.

The person I heard use this cockamamie term was the young fellow of Nasty Metal Productions, a U-Choob channel about metal music. The way he said, “metalploiTAtion”, emphasizing the second last syllable and spitting it out with venom, made me think he was a nutter for making up the word. However, it was not he who coined it. “Metalploitation”, however you want to say it, was a real phenomenon in the eighties, and companies like Germany’s Metal Industries and Cobra Records in the Canada are among the guilty parties. I’m sure nearly everyone knows about this sordid period in metal history but to spell it out in brief, record companies would create fake bands, usually using real artists and get them to write and record some music to help them pay off debts, and then the record companies would release the records to be sold to undiscriminating teenagers who just had to be the one to find new, exciting bands. Searching the Internet turns up dozens of hits for music blogs and U-Choob music channels.

One such band was Piledriver. As the story goes, a guitarist wanted to fund an album he wanted to record and someone suggested that he write and record a metal album and release it because metal albums could easily sell 20,000 copies, especially if they had an outrageous cover and crazy song titles. The music was written and singer Gord Kirchen was called up by his guitarist friend and asked to sing. In an interview with Gord, he explains that he got paid $250 for the job and forgot about it again, figuring the album wasn’t going anywhere anyway but at least he got his voice on some vinyl and some rent money. The album, “Metal Inquisition” was released on Cobra in Canada and Roadrunner in Europe. It was also released in the States but with some changes to the song titles and track list because the album was too dirty for American standards. One interesting note about the album cover is that the guy on the cover who is getting jackhammered by the guitar is actually wearing a band shirt with the same album cover on it. This means that a T-shirt had to be created with the album cover art on it, and then that shirt worn for the photo shoot that would be the final album cover. This couldn't have been just a simple throw away project.

A year or so later, David DeFeis of Virgin Steele got told by his manager that DeFeis owed some money. His debt would be forgotten however if he would write some albums for fake band projects. He and his guitarist, Edward Pursino, worked together on three projects: Convict, Exorcist, and Piledriver. DeFeis stated in an interview that even though Virgin Steele was his band, he always enjoyed the opportunity to be creative and so he made a serious effort at creating the material for each project. In the same interview, he claimed that Exorcist was where his best work went while Convict received the least love and not surprisingly, the album disappeared quickly. Gord Kirchen was called in to sing for the Convict and Piledriver albums. Kirchen agreed because, hey, more rent money and he could appear on two more pieces of vinyl. When the projects were completed, DeFeis and Pursino went back to work on Virgin Steele while Kirchen started a band called Dogs with Jobs. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later that Kirchen discovered that the two Piledriver albums had become underground classics. According to the Wikipedia article, the two albums together have sold over 500,000 copies worldwide! Kirchen has since revived the band under a new name, Exalted Piledriver, and has received blessings from DeFeis to continue using the material that he wrote.

That’s all for the history lesson. So now how about this Piledriver album, “Stay Ugly”? Interestingly, it gets a lot of praise. At least two U-Choobers declare this to be an awesome album and so do a few bloggers. It sits somewhere on the fence between speed metal/thrash metal and American power metal. Though different from Virgin Steele, the fact that two VS dudes wrote the album does give it more class than just any slap shod project, like the ones I read about from Metal Enterprises on THE CORROSEUM music blog. This actually does sound pretty good for the day. Lots of power, speed, and killer riffs. The lyrics are a bit dorky to listen to now. I suppose if I’d heard this when I was fifteen I might have been singing along but now at forty-seven I crave something a little more profound or inspiring. Nevertheless, this does sound like a one of the better obscure band albums of the mid-eighties.

I have two issues with this album. The first is that the CD I have sounds like it was copied from a vinyl record. Little pops and scratches can be heard. I don’t know if that’s because the re-release used a record as the master source or if it’s just because my version was copied from vinyl. I bought it through Amazon so I’d like to believe it’s an official release.

The second issue is the drumming. It not only has that echoing mid-eighties sound but for most of the album the drums just stick to keeping the beat with the snare and there are few fills, while other drums such as toms or the bass don’t stand out much if they’re being used at all. The bass guitar? I guess I’d notice it if it was not there. The overall production sounds pretty low quality, and DeFeis said that the album cost almost nothing to make. But then again so did the first Virgin Steele album and, despite some excellent songs, I always remember the sound being pretty poor on that one as well.

Other than that, “Stay Ugly” is a decent enough album for what it is. I think if it weren’t for the fact that Kirchen is Canadian, David DeFeis was involved, and the interesting background story, I wouldn’t really need this in my collection. Kirchen himself seems like a loveable guy who really believes in Piledriver. As for me, I think this is as far into metalploitation I will dip.

KILLING FLOOR Out of Uranus

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The title track of this album caught my ear a few years back and I always meant to get back to this band. Finally I did!

Killing Floor were a late comer to the British blues scene of the late sixties and cut one album and then sat back to watch their career... go nowhere. After some soul-searching and some in-band disagreements, a second album came together and was released in 1971. This album catches the band still clinging to their blues roots but also reaching for more powerful guitar rock.

The album's namesake opens the album and is a pretty decent rocker that the album notes compare to The Who and The Yardbirds. As a sample of the band's abilities, it's a pretty cool track. The title of the album is made apparent here as the band criticizes religion's hypocrisy of permitting killing in the name of God and then asking for forgiveness of sins: "It's from out of their ass!"

"Soon There Will Be Everything" is more of a doomy heavy psyche number with some very mellow and melancholy parts punctuated by faster, harder parts. "Acid Bean" is an almost punk-tinged hard rocker; "Where Nobody Ever Goes" is a harmonica-lead, hard blues number; and "Sun Keeps Shining" is based on classic rock and roll.

I guess we're on side two with "Call for the Politicians" which sounds like it could have been written by the same band that originally did "I Fought the Law". There appears to be a bit of a punk edge turning up in places. "Fido Castrol", a humorous title I think, is again on the hard rocking side of things but again not your typical blues-based track. Lots of thumps and pounds that almost gets a little weary when it carries on. Not a bad track when it gets good. "Lost Alone" is a combination of psychedelic rock with harmonica but book-ended with an "I'm a Man" type of blues rock. And then there's "Son of Wet" which is a bit of a heavy rock, stoner track that clutches a drum solo. Yes, another drum solo! What would bands of the early seventies do without their drum solo tracks?!

"Milkman" is a funny country rock track about a milkman making the guy's wife while he's away from home. The song gets more rocking after the first minute and has some decent lead guitar work though it's quite typical for the day. Oh, the song is alright and in a small way it reminds me of "Ice Cream Man" by Van Halen, although I wouldn't put the two of them in a boxing ring together.

This album has some pretty decent rocking tracks and manages to let go of the band's blues roots enough to let them pound and stomp with some hard hitting drums and guitar. The vocals could use some more excitement. Not a killer album but some pretty solid, heavy guitar rock.

BANG Mother / Bow To The King

Album · 1972 · Heavy Psych
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Bang! or BANG were an American heavy rock band in the early seventies. Their first album, "Death of a Country" was not released on account of it being a concept album. So the band went ahead and recorded another album and it was released as a self-titled debut in 1971. I got this album as a double album along with their final seventies release, "Music", which was pretty disappointing as the heavy, almost Sabbath-esque riff rock from the debut had been abandoned. "Mother / Bow to the King" sits snuggley in between and I always wondered which way it leaned.

Fortunately for us early seventies heavy rock fans, it's heavy enough to drop like an anvil on "Music" and totally crush that acoustic pussy rock sucker. Oh, sure, this album is not heavy through and throughout. The song "Mother" starts off the album with acoustic guitar and sounds a bit down home at first. It's all foot-stomping and hand clapping. That is until about 1:30 when it turns into a foot-stomper, hand-clapper with a rock out electric guitar. "Humble" leads in with some gentle, clean electric guitar but this song also soon goes heavy rock around 0:55. At times the lead vocals resemble Ozzy's voice when coupled with those heavy guitar riffs. But then this dude, I'm not sure if it's Frank Ferrara or Frankie Glicken, is able to belt out the lyrics with more power than Ozzy typical gave.

Side one simply gets better with "Keep On", a grooving heavy rock number, and "Idealist Realist", which also hints a bit at Black Sabbath when the riff gets darker.

Side Two begins with a cover of "No Sugar Tonight" by The Guess Who. It sounds quite pretty until we get to the hard rock, power chord chorus. The Guess Who version is a dual track combined with "The New Mother Nature". Bang just stick with "No Sugar Tonight" but they do a pretty cool job of it. "Feel the Hurt" is a bit more like heavy country rock like some Nazareth songs and "Tomorrow" takes us into melodic hard rock with a catchy chorus. The final song, "Bow to the King" is a clean electric track, slow like a ballad but about a boxing champion. It's okay.

Well, there are enough cool, hard rock/heavy rock tracks on here to make this worth picking up for my collection. The only complaint I'd have is that - like many old albums - it sounds like the CD was cut from a nice piece of vinyl instead of a master tape. I don't know if there are other versions out there with a better sound. It's not bad but with ear buds you can really hear the tiny scratches and pops which I think don't belong on CD.

JERONIMO Jeronimo

Album · 1971 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
I had never heard of Jeronimo (the band) until a few years back when they showed up on a compilation video of proto-metal bands. Once I finally got an album on CD, I was surprised to read in the liner notes that this band had been at the top of the German charts and a hit across Europe back in the day. Seriously, I had never heard of this band!

Although Jeronimo seem to have been labeled as a progressive rock band, there's nothing on this, their second album, that hints of progressive rock. This is a solid hard rock/early heavy metal album. In fact, among all the proto-metal bands to release albums (or at least record albums and have them released a couple of decades later), Jeronimo's self-titled sophomore belongs in the upper half of the heavy hitters. The guitar sound is not really distorted but still sounds pretty wicked when hit up for some heavy power chords. The drumming hammers hard but still has grace. The bass in some tracks is really quite outstanding. Lead vocals are shared by two of the members, one a little higher register and the other more standard guitar rock vocals.

Most of the tracks on this album rock out pretty hard and heavy. "Shades", "How I'd Love to Be Home", and "End of Our Time" are excellent early metal tracks. "Silence of the Night" has a really cool bass line but sadly the rhythm guitar is kept back in the mix a little. "Reminiscensis" is a short acoustic guitar instrumental, and "You Know I Do" is a kind of straight forward groovy rocker about a guy trying to get a girl.

As with so many albums from this time, there is an obligatory drum solo track. "Hugudila" begins with the full band in full swing but soon the drum solo begins. It's good enough as it is but there are just so many drum solo tracks from this period that hearing yet another is enough to roll one's eyes. The only good news is that this drum solo includes a kettle drum bit, so there's that as a surprise.

The final track here, "Save Our Souls - S.O.S." has the same band sound but the recording sounds warmer than the rest of the album. It's also more of a power chord rocker than most of the other tracks. It seems to be about the band calling out to their fans to help keep the band alive. There's a kind of funny line that says, "When Lucifer's Friend eats your bread," and I can't help but wonder if Jeronimo were worried about losing fans to fellow-German band, Lucifer's Friend. "When we are sure / We're getting older/ Ideas are dying / We are trying / To keep us young / So we are crying". Well, they did manage one more album, their third, after this.

If you're looking for progressive rock, keep moving along, there's nothing to hear here. But for a good, solid rocker that in a way reminds me of Wolfmother's debut but without the keyboards, then this is a good place to lend your ears.

SORCERY Stuntrock

Album · 1979 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Holy crap, but these guys know how to start off an album! Pick slides, power chords, and crashing cymbals pierced by a high shrieking vocal. Within seconds you’re carried into an all-out ass buster. Take your most rockinest rollinest KISS and inject a powerful dose of Uriah Heep and there you have “Sacrifice”, the opening track of Sorcery’s 1978 album, “Stunt Rock”.

Sorcery were one of two concurrent bands in late seventies America with the same name that were playing hard rock, with one leaning more toward heavy psychedelic rock and the other ripping up the vinyl grooves with hard charging rock. Their debut album, “Stunt Rock”, served as a movie soundtrack for an Italian movie of the same name.

But sure, any band can rip your face off with the album opener. What about the rest of the album? Ballads and blues? No way! Sorcery stick to a solid hard rock core and with a total Satanic/sacrificial theme. With song titles like “Sacrifice”, “Wizards Council”, “Talking with the Devil”, “Burned Alive”, “Book of Magic”, and “Mark of the Beast”, Sorcery take a late seventies hard rock approach to black magic and devilish deviation. The music is kick ass but too fun to be really dark in spite of the lyrics. Again, imagine KISS meets Uriah Heep.

This album pretty much sticks to its powerhouse rock sound with “The Bird Song” being the only exception as most of it is acoustic before bringing it to a close with a Uriah Heep-like ending. The CD version comes with a bonus track, “Power Mad”. I had to order mine as a near-mint used copy from Italy. The recording does sound at times like it came off a very good piece of vinyl, but I honestly don’t notice it except on the title track and a couple of others.

If you have a chance to give this a listen you’re in for a solid dose of kick ass hard rock. Great guitar sound! Some late seventies rock clichés. Overall great stuff!

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 7 months ago in Fabulae Dramatis - Progressive metal, avant-guard
    They have some shows lined up for the summer, starting this weekend. I promised Hamlet (bass, vocals) I'd get them on here by Saturday night, Japan time.
  • Posted 7 months ago in Fabulae Dramatis - Progressive metal, avant-guard
    Wow! Thanks for the quick reply! Sure, I can add them but I'll need a few days to get there. Things are piling up around here this week. But, yeah, I'll do it then. Thank you!
  • Posted 7 months ago in Fabulae Dramatis - Progressive metal, avant-guard
    Fabulae Dramatis are a Belgium-based band whose music is best described as progressive metal (with death metal vocals at times) and avant-guard metal. The band is currently comprised of four performing members, two of Slavic background and two from Colombia. Members are:Isabel Restropo - vocals, sitar, harmonium, sax, keys, lyrics, programming.Hamlet - bass, vocals, keys, production, song writingDaniel Diaz - guitar, bass, writingMaxime Moreira - drumsIsadora Cortina, a Mexican woman currently living in Norway and singing and playing keyboards for the band Ancestral Legacy, is a key recording and writing member but not a performing member.The latest album also had Wesley Beernaert on vocals but he has since left the band.Both Isabel and Daniel have studied at music academies in Europe.Their second album, "Solar Time's Fables" was released in 2016 and their debut, "Om" in 2012."Solar Time's Fables" is said to be less avant-guard or experimental than "Om" but nevertheless combines a slow and heavy death metal approach with operatic singing, clean vocals, and aggressive vocals. The band included 15 guest musicians on "Om" and 11 on "Solar Time's Fables". The range of non-traditional instruments include harmonium, saxophone, flute, accordion, djembe, cello and violin.The band formed in 2011 when Isabel found Hamlet and Isadora on MySpace and contacted them about recording some music with her for a personal project. That project evolved into Fabulae Dramatis.There is an excellent interview with the band where they talk about their history here:http://www.unratedmag.com/fabulae-dramatis-talks-progressive-avant-garde-metal-style-music/And an interview on YouTube with English subtitles here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVeRxE2x6pU

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