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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 6 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

294 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 41 3.10
3 Progressive Metal 34 4.01
4 Heavy Metal 32 3.97
5 Death Metal 20 3.85
6 Heavy Psych 17 3.44
7 Thrash Metal 17 3.82
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.11
9 Power Metal 5 4.00
10 Black Metal 5 4.10
11 Doom Metal 4 4.38
12 Glam Metal 4 3.75
13 Melodic Death Metal 4 3.75
14 NWoBHM 4 3.75
15 Sludge Metal 4 4.00
16 Stoner Rock 4 3.75
17 Stoner Metal 3 3.67
18 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
19 Atmospheric Black Metal 3 3.83
20 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
21 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
22 Metal Related 2 4.00
23 Technical Thrash Metal 2 4.00
24 Speed Metal 2 3.75
25 US Power Metal 1 3.00
26 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.50
27 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
28 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

BOREALIS Fall From Grace

Album · 2011 · Power Metal
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The sticker on the shrink wrap said "for fans of Kamelot, Evergrey..." and one more band. My impression is that this sounds like classic Symphony X meets Evergrey. According to a couple of reviews I read, this album is the midpoint of Borealis's transition from a power metal band to a progressive metal one.

Vocalist Matt Marinelli really does sound an awful lot like Tom S. Englund of Evergrey. The guitar sound is full, the bass adds appropriate weight, synthesizer is used as a support rhythm instrument or to give a symphonic feeling. The songs don't strike me as being too overly from the power metal fold and more - really more! - like Evergrey, though I have only one Evergrey album.

The music here is really solid, melodic heavy metal. There are some speedy or heavy riffs but contrasted with the symphonic sounds of the synthesizer and the strong vocal melodies. The progressive aspect is more in the song structures or playing skill rather than being an overt display of time-signature juggling or technical hocus pocus. I do agree that this is, from a musical and song-writing perspective, a very good album. Like, done by professionals who really know what they want to achieve. The main problem I have is how similar it sounds too Evergrey. I can't help but feel that I'm listening to an Everygrey recording!

Special mention should go to the acoustic track, "Watch the World Collapse", which is a lovely track and a nice diversion from all the heavy numbers. Then there's the bonus track, "The Journey" which is such a perfect wedding song and seriously must have been written as one!

This and the follow-up album, "Purgatory" are Borealis's two highest rated albums, scoring in the nineties on Encyclopedia Metallum. I think it's a solid product but the more I listen, the more I hear Tom S. Englund, and that might be putting me off the album more and more because the singer should be developing his own voice. That and I like Evergrey but don't love the band.

EPITAPH Epitaph

Album · 1971 · Proto-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Three and a half stars for the heavy metal content, but actually I quite like this album. Since I turned 50 early this year, I decided to check out albums in my collection that were released the year I was born, and then I went ahead and ordered about a dozen more. Epitaph was a band that showed up as an early seventies heavy rock, hard rock outfit, but when I listened to samples on YouTube, I wasn't convinced that I needed to add their albums to my collection. Then I got this album and I'll say that I am pleasantly surprised!

Nearly every band that played heavy rock or fell in with the first wave of heavy metal - now respectfully known as proto-metal - was not consistently heavy and intense. Most bands had one or two killer heavy tracks, a couple more that included heavy parts, and then the rest of the songs would be boogie rock, blues rock, an acoustic ballad, a folky number, and maybe something not so heavy but possibly proggy. This album isn't one of the few exceptions. However, it thankfully avoids some of the cliches that can frequently heard on American or British releases.

The opening track "Moving to the Country" features a grooving riff with slightly distorted guitars that sounds like early Eloy. It soon changes into a swinging bluesy number similar to early Wishbone Ash. However, at 3:15 there's a guitar solo that sounds suspiciously like finger tapping or at least a sequence of notes that sound similar to a tapped solo. That perked up my ears. The rest of the track revisits some of the more heavy rock sound that kicked off the song.

"Visions" is a slow track with strings or Mellotron that sounds a bit like "In the Court of the Crimson King" or a Moody Blues-inspired song. "Hopelessly" carries over from the hippy melodies of 69/70 before changing into a bass-grooving, upbeat jazz-tinged rocker like some early Uriah Heep. Then there's "Little Maggie" which a fun, southern rock-ish, track that gets rocking like Mountain or early Grand Funk Railroad. This one puts a smile on my face once the guitar solo starts carrying on.

"Early Morning" is the epic track that appears on many albums of the early seventies and it is in this track where the early heavy metal atmosphere rises through the rock. It's a slow number at first that builds the tension a little before releasing some intense drumming and guitar work. After the 8-minute mark we're into that sweet heavy rock of the 1969-72 era.

The original album is over here but the four CD bonus tracks are really worth mentioning because aside from the single version of "Visions" each of the tracks feature more of that scratchy wah-wah's guitar, hard-hammered riffs and intense drumming. "I'm Trying" once again brings to mind Wishbone Ash while "Changing World" actually nears Black Sabbath territory with some hard and heavy chords in one part while otherwise just being a showcase for speedy guitar rock with some heavy bass lines and frenetic drumming. This track is the best pick for an example of early seventies heavy rock.

Epitaph's debut is not going to make it to the top ten heavy albums of 1971 but it has a decent set of varying styles of guitar rock tracks which include some of those early heavy examples that I love to seek out. Overall, it's a pretty cool album and one that will get repeat listens simply because I enjoy listening to it.

STRIKER Play to Win

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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Last year I picked up my first Striker album, their sophomore album "Armed to the Teeth". Thinking it was a great album, I went ahead and bought "City of Gold". That was a great album as well, so next I got "Stand in the Fire". This pattern continued until I had all six albums.

Striker began as a speed metal band with vocalist Daniel Cleary sounding a bit like Bruce Dickenson back on their "Road Warrior" EP of 2009. It's my opinion that from "Armed to the Teeth" onwards, Striker has reached a consistency of producing excellent album one after the other while showing interest in expanding their style. Previous albums included speed metal, thrashy-sounding, intense tracks, trad-metal, and more recently songs with strong, catchy melodies such as "Heart of a Lion" from their self-titled album of 2017.

Their latest release of original songs (there was a live in studio album released in 2020) is 2018's "Play to Win" and this album shows the band embracing much more strongly the melody-driven approach. Though the opening track "Heart of Lies" sounds like the Striker we've come to know and love, it soon becomes apparent that there will be no intense, speedy songs of angst or fighting to stay ahead. This album gives us more slower songs (but no true ballads), more clean guitar, some synthesizer even (!), and loads of ear-worm melodies. Think back to the latter half of the eighties with bands like Warrant, TNT, Waysted ("Save Your Prayers"), Lee Aaron ("Bodyrock"), and other bands that came out of the glam metal era but without the cock rock approach to song-writing.

Songs like "Head First", "On the Run", "The Front", the title track, "Standing Alone", "Heavy Is the Heart", and "Hands of Time" - heck, nearly the whole album - have these great melodic choruses that just stick into your head and you wake up in the morning with them playing. In fact, the only track to really deviate form this is the heavy and ominous-sounding "Summoner".

If you're a fan of the more intense, speedy and aggressive Striker of past albums, this one will be a shock. I read that the band made a conscious decision to branch out with their repertoire and record an album of more melodic songs. For someone who went through high school with albums like "Whitesnake", "Dirty Rotten Filthy Sticking Rich", "The Great Radio Controversy" by Tesla, "Perfect Timing" by McAuley Schenker Group, and other bands that probably fit more into the melodic hard rock or melodic glam metal scene than the trad-metal scene, this album delivers a whole new selection of great songs to rock out with and sing along to.

When recently making a playlist of my favourite Striker songs, this album along with "Armed to the Teeth" had the most tracks selected. However, in the last couple of days I'm finding I like practically every track on here. In fact, I'm thinking to order this CD for my best friend who always loved this kind of metal more than the extreme stuff.

SORCIER DES GLACES Sorcier des Glaces

Album · 2018 · Black Metal
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Sorcier des Glace are a veteran black metal band from Quebec who have seven albums to their name, one of them having been released three times once as a re-recording and once more as a compilation of the original recording and the re-recording.

Formed by Luc Gaulin (drums) and Sebastien Robitaille (a.k.a. Sorcier des Glaces - Sorcerer of Ice) (vocals, guitars, bass) in 1997, SDG's recording career got off to a slow start as both Gaulin and Robitaille were in the progressive power metal band Moonlyght. Their second album spent seven years shelved before finally being released in 2006.

This self-titled release is the duo's sixth full-length album (not counting the re-recording of their debut) and for it they tackled the daunting task of creating one single 50-minute track. I say daunting because there are more then a few ways that this could have gone wrong, one of the most obvious hazards being that of creating a track that sounds like it should have been separated into individual tracks, another being the creation of a track that just becomes tedious as the band tries to fill an album by stretching out ideas.

In fact, the review on Metal Archives offered the criticisms that the band was not as creative as in their younger days and that the album sounded like several tracks stitched together. With these sentiments in mind, I wondered if my decision to order this CD had been without unwise as I had only decided to add it on to the order of SDG's 2020 release. The fact alone that this is a 50-minute track reminded me that I have only ever listened to Edge of Sanity's "Crimson" twice exactly because it requires 45 minutes of un-interruption. Should I have picked an older album?

I settled in to the task of digesting this massive beast of a track during my morning commute, promising myself that I wouldn't fiddle with Facebook or twiddle tiles on Words With Friends. I'd just let the music take me away and hopefully I wouldn't be checking the time too often.

Much to my relief and delight, I found the entire track a pleasure to hear. Yes, the music does change as it would had it been composed as individual tracks; however, I felt the changes natural and appropriate, just as Opeth introduce changes to riff and tempo in some of their longer songs. There are some breaks with a clean electric or acoustic guitar taking over from the typical black metal style, and in one part we can hear footsteps in the snow as a transition. But each transition seemed very smooth and natural to me, and the main "song" parts never stretching on for too long. Even a couple of the atmospheric moments that could have overstayed their welcome soon gave way to a sudden blast of black metal riffing.

The general style of Sorcier des Glace is heavily inspired by the Norwegian scene of the early and mid-nineties but there is a frequent-enough use of clean electric and acoustic guitars to change up the music and as well, there are some parts that are closer to classic heavy metal riffing or at least not the typical second wave style.

I never looked at the time once and so it was a surprise to me when after some sombre chanting, the track ended. I had expected it to continue a little longer. That's a good indication that I found the music varied enough and enjoyable enough that I didn't lose interest or get bored.

One thing I really appreciate is the quality of the recording. It is very well done. I understand the trve kvlt black metal should sound like it was recorded in a Norwegian basement on a handheld tape recorded but I prefer a cleaner production. I like to hear the sound of the instruments well and not muddied or clipped.

This is my second Sorcier des Glace album after their third one and once again I am pleased with my purchase. From what I've heard of their latest album, this band continues to sound good after over 20 years, despite what some people have to say. I think "Sorcier des Glaces" is a success and a great album!

THE ORDER OF CHAOS Maniacal

Album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
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The last day of work of the year. Lacking sleep as usual. Riding the train home and listening to some 2020 release that is really good, but I'm standing in the corner of the train and dozing off. Two stops before my station and then a 40-minute walk home because I want to save the bus fare. What to listen to next? Hmm... How about this Order of Chaos album? I haven't really given it a full spin.

Earlier this year, I bought my first album by The Order of Chaos. It was good but the production had that heavy wool blanket feel - the music was dulled down a bit and to me it lost some of its punch. But after a few careful listens, the songs began to stand apart from one another and at last, I decided I liked the band enough to get another album. It was as I was adding them to MMA that I discovered there was a new release, a 2020 album. I placed an order through Bandcamp but was contacted the next day by John Simon Fallon, saying that the CDs were all sold out. He'd see if he had an extra one in his personal collection for me. He didn't and refunded my money. But he also sent me access to download the album in WAV file format. At the time, however, I had so many new CDs coming in that I left off listening to the album.

Until tonight! And wow! I was swept up immediately by the music!

The Order of Chaos are basically a heavy metal band. They're not a trad metal band; the style is more modern. They have thrash moments and the clean-vocal choruses have a hint of power metal. At times they also cover melodic death metal, just without the usual deep, growly vocals. Vocalist Amanda Kiernan sings in both clean and harsh vocals. There are no ballads. This album delivers just straight up heavy hitters.

One obvious difference from their older album that I have is that the production quality better brings out the blast and blister of the music. Those riffs just burn right into your brain. The songs are heavy and solid but sometimes charge ahead or drop back to slam you with another riff. And you can feel it all in the production!

Another reason why this album sounds so good is that Amanda's harsh vocals have improved, in my opinion. Previously, I preferred her clean vocals with harsh vocals as an effect reserved for only parts of the songs. When she sang too much in her shredded voice, I wasn't all that thrilled. Now she sounds awesome! Thankfully, she still keeps the clean vocals which are often double-tracked and harmonized for some of the choruses.

This music on this album feels more consistent than the older one, which played around with mixing styles a little more obviously though still successfully. This album seems to go straight for the gut with one-two punches in every track. It's only the final track, "The Downfall of Belief", where things are clearly different as it's a short instrumental track on clean guitar, very beautiful and a shame to be over so soon.

I would really like to track down a copy on CD if I can, and I'm hoping the other album I have on order will please me as much as this one. It's great to hear a band solidify their style in an album that kills it from from to back!

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 6 days ago in Hello!
    Hi, MrBlond. Good to see a new face!I came here for the old proto-metal stuff but I've since expanded to nearly right across the board. Recently, I've been adding lots of Canadian bands. What do you think of Chron Goblin or Wizards of Kaos? Both are stoner bands.
  • Posted 4 months 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 6 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!

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