Non-Metal

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Not every band on Metal Music Archives exclusively plays within a metal or metal related sub-genre. Some start as such only to later leave their old sound behind, others become relevant to the site later in their careers. Some bands like to release one-off experiments. The Non-Metal tag on MMA is used to cover releases that are completely removed from metal music in style, so in a sense is a catch-all sub-genre for releases that don't fit anywhere else.

Sometimes, artists will be added under non-metal exclusively due to being related to the metal genre and scene by association with metal artists, such as the symphonic prog act Transatlantic who feature the former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, the ambient project Neptune Towers by Darkthrone's Fenriz or the folk band Fejd, who have members who are/have been with a couple of different metal bands (Fejd later became metal themselves, but were accepted on MMA long before that). Such artists are typically covered by the metal media due to this association with the scene, and are as such included on MMA for the same reasons.

Mostly however this tag will be used for releases belonging to other genres by metal (or other metal related) artists, such as Opeth's progressive rock albums Damnation and Pale Communion or Elvenking's folk/folk rock album Two Tragedy Poets.

- Written by adg211288 (August 2015).

non-metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.61 | 15 ratings
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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Blood Sugar Sex Magik Album Cover Blood Sugar Sex Magik
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
4.57 | 11 ratings
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SWANS The Seer Album Cover The Seer
SWANS
4.80 | 6 ratings
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ELOY Ocean Album Cover Ocean
ELOY
4.53 | 11 ratings
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MOTORPSYCHO The Death Defying Unicorn Album Cover The Death Defying Unicorn
MOTORPSYCHO
4.73 | 6 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC The Whirlwind Album Cover The Whirlwind
TRANSATLANTIC
4.36 | 17 ratings
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KILLING JOKE Killing Joke (Debut) Album Cover Killing Joke (Debut)
KILLING JOKE
4.71 | 6 ratings
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ALICE COOPER From The Inside Album Cover From The Inside
ALICE COOPER
4.27 | 22 ratings
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MAUDLIN OF THE WELL Part The Second Album Cover Part The Second
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL
4.28 | 19 ratings
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MEAT LOAF Bat Out Of Hell Album Cover Bat Out Of Hell
MEAT LOAF
4.44 | 9 ratings
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ZZ TOP Tres Hombres Album Cover Tres Hombres
ZZ TOP
4.42 | 9 ratings
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KILLING JOKE Night Time Album Cover Night Time
KILLING JOKE
4.52 | 7 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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ARCHITECTS
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non-metal Music Reviews

PURSON Desire's Magic Theatre

Album · 2016 · Non-Metal
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Warthur
We'd seen strong hints on The Circle and the Blue Door that the retro stylings of Purson included a strong interest in the prog-psych boundary - that intriguing sound that existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s when progressive rock still hadn't quite disentangled itself from the artier end of the psychedelic scene.

On Desire's Magic Theatre, Rosalie Cunningham and her cohorts steer Purson away from the heavier territory of their debut album in order to more deeply explore the different nooks and crannies of that era, whilst delivering an album which applies modern production values and the benefit of some five decades' hindsight to the material. Jazz, Tull-esque flute, disorienting psychedelia and a small epic in the closing Bitter Suite finds Purson going from strength to strength. Due to its exploratory nature, it doesn't quite feel like it's hanging together as well as the debut album did, but the musical evolution on display is appreciable.

PAIN OF SALVATION Linoleum

EP · 2009 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
Prior to the release of Road Salt One and Two, Pain of salvation released this EP called Linoleum as an aperitif

It contains one song of Road Salt One (the fine Linoleum), one of Road Salt Two (the repetitive and disjointed Mortar Grind) and four tracks which were not included in these discs.

Sadly, If You Wait is a short blues-rock track with no interest. Gone is better but the production is too raw (just like the Road Salt albums) and it is boring and repetitive in the long term.

Bonus Track B is a curiosity just for fans, and finally Yellow Raven is a very dramatic version of an Uli John Roth song which is not enough to make this EP interesting if you are not a die-hard fan of the Road Salt era of this band.

My rating: **

H-BLOCKX Discover My Soul

Album · 1996 · Non-Metal
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martindavey87
Ah, the early 90’s. Shell suits, techno pop and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A bright, vibrant time, it was colourful, innocent and fun. Until around the mid-90’s, things changed. “Attitude” became cool. Bands were rebelling. TV was becoming bleaker. Everything suddenly became “darker” and more serious. And much like H-Blockx’s second album, while the music is still similar to their 1994 debut, there’re much more serious undertones to the album than before.

1994’s ‘Time to Move’ was a fun, quirky and very energetic album, with its daft, not-a-care-in-the-world lyrics and brightly coloured artwork, music videos and imagery, it was a sure reflection of the times. However, by 1996, the youthful enthusiasm was gone, and in its place was a more polished and mature band.

H-Blockx, Germany’s answer to the rap-rock movement that was being spearheaded by bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Body Count and Stuck Mojo, managed to incorporate more serious aspects to their music and lyrics, while still delivering an album full of vigour and exuberance. With their punchy guitar riffs, tongue-in-cheek rapping and anthemic choruses, they managed to adapt to the shifting social climate while producing an album that stays true to their own sound.

Underrated and always overlooked, guitarist Tim Tanambergen has some incredible chops in him, with some impressive guitar riffs that can be interesting without having to resort to mindless shredding, and they’re complimented well by two vocalists, Henning Wehland and Dave Gappa, who’s combination of melodic singing and aggressive rapping gives the music a great dynamic, years before Linkin Park were doing the same.

While this album does seem a little more disjointed than ‘Time to Move’, it’s still a worthy follow up and shows a band with so much potential, who just never really were in the right place at the right time. Songs like ‘Try Me One More Time’, ‘Gimme More’, ‘Discover My Soul’, ‘I Can’t Rely on You’, ‘I Heard Him Cry’, ‘Duality of Mind’ and one of my personal favourite rap-rock songs, ‘This is Not America’, show a band with a vast pallet of influences and styles. Ranging from soft and melodic, to energetic pop and downright fist-pumping rock, ‘Discover My Soul’, like its predecessor, serves as a great example of why rock and hip-hop fits together perfectly, and shouldn’t be as nonchalantly discarded as it is.

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt Two

Album · 2011 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
Road Salt One was a strange album... Not pleasant for old fans of the band while having also a difficult style to find a new public, very much 70's oriented and with a rather dry production.

This second part is an exploration further in this direction, but luckily it also contains more links to the past in the form of some symphonic elements (Road Salt Theme, End Credits, To the Shoreline), a bit more of prog (The Physics of Gridlock, although I find the end of this song rather boring), an homage to the sound of their album 12:5 (Healing Now) and a better singing from Gildenlow.

Nevertheless, they continued to explore this strange 70's oriented rock (Conditioned, Eleven, Mortar Grind') which makes them sound like some kind of revival band of this decade like Ocean Color Scene or the more modern Greta Van Fleet. Not bad, but just not my cup of tea and definitely not what I expect from a band like Pain of Salvation.

However, like I said this album contains more pleasant moments than the previous one and is also a bit better in terms of songwriting.

Best Tracks: To the Shoreline (beautiful orchestral melodies for the best track of the album), 1979 (beautiful lyrics and good songwriting) and The Deeper Cut (a song which retrieves the old style of the band from the 90's and 00's)

Conclusion: Road Salt Two is better than Road Salt One in general terms and although it does not get back the old prog-metal style of the band, Gildenlow was able to replicate part of the incredible atmosphere of the first (and best) four albums of the band with a pair of really good tracks.

Sadly, despite being the best album of the band since Remedy Lane, this record also felt in no man's land being not adequate for metal fans and not really satisfying for prog-rock lovers, making Pain of Salvation to travel further into oblivion.

My rating: ***

PAIN OF SALVATION Road Salt One

Album · 2010 · Non-Metal
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The Crow
After the confusing and too experimental BE and the directly horrendous Scarsick, Pain of Salvation (or Daniel Gildenlow) returned to a better path with Road Salt One!

But fans of the older material of the band be aware, this is not a return to their roots. Some trademarks of Pain of Salvation are here, like some syncopated rhythms, a pair of polyphonic vocals and a bit o prog (No Way, Innocence), but the album is mainly blues-rock influenced by acts like Link Wray or Robin Trower with some experiments like cabaret music (Sleeping Under the Stars) and a pair of ballads (Sisters, Road Salt)

And another curious fact that this album has is some different singing of Daniel. I don't know if this man lost his voice or he just uses it differently here... But I think he shouts too much. It's even a bit unpleasant sometimes.

Nevertheless, the album has enough good moments to be considered a return to form for the band after some obscure years following the release of the grandiloquent (and maybe best work of the band) Remedy Lane.

Best Tracks: No Way (cool blues melody with a surprising instrumental interlude), Sisters (pure Pain of Salvation magic, melancholic and touching), Darkness of Mine (dark, like its title), Linoleum (will please old fans of the band) and Road Salt (truly beautiful singing here and great lyrics)

Conclusion: Road Salt One supposed a return to form for a band which lost its way with BE and Scarsick. Nevertheless, die-hard fans of the old Pain of Salvation albums will maybe also dislike this one, because it's not prog, and it's not metal.

It's another experiment of Gildenlow with new sounds for the band in the form of blues, soul, cabaret and country. It's not overall excellent, but good enough to be considered a worthy addition to the band's discography.

My rating: ***

non-metal movie reviews

NEAL MORSE Live Momentum

Movie · 2013 · Non-Metal
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Kev Rowland
One of the disadvantages of living at the end of the world is that these days I get most of my promos as downloads, which generally isn’t too much of a pain but here I find myself reviewing a DVD set where I haven’t actually seen the DVDs! Okay, so this has been released as a double DVD (more than 4 hours), along with a triple CD set and it is the latter that I am reviewing. This recording took place on October 11th, 2012 at The High Line Ballroom, New York, and captures the band in incredible form. I have no idea how many live recordings of Neal there are in my collection, from duetting with NDV through Spock’s Beard and Transatlantic and of course his solo work, but there are one or two. I have seen him in concert with SB as well as on the ‘Testimony’ tour and have had the privilege of interviewing him a few times as well, so I guess you can say that I am a fan.

I greatly respect the way that he decided to stand up for what he believed in (even though I don’t share those beliefs), although I still regret that SB never had the chance to tour ‘Snow’ which is easily their finest work. I have never given anything that he has been involved with a bad review, and there is no reason at all to start now as this triple CD set (2 hours 45 minutes) is as close to perfection as one could hope to hear. When it came to choosing the musicians to form the band he brought in close friends Mike Portnoy and Randy George and then used YouTube for the audition process! He ought to do that more often, as during “Sing It High” he gets it right when he says that the guys are “Sick”. Adson Sodré (guitar, vocals), Eric Gillette (guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals) and Bill Hubauer (keyboards, violin, sax, vocals) do a stunning job. Mind you, it’s handy when you have three multi-instrumentalists in a band as it does mean that you can spread the wings. Vocally they are all in fine voice as well, just listen to “Author Of Confusion” to see what I mean.

Both Adson and Eric really riff and shred as the need requires, and this is probably the heaviest that Neal has ever sounded as he works his way through material from throughout his career: this is much more than just a live rendition of the latest album. The suites from ‘Testimony’ and ‘?’ work incredibly well and it is the longer sections that really allow Neal and the guys to shine. There are four songs more than twenty minutes long and one more than thirty!

But, for me one of the major highlights sees Neal taking a back seat, literally. One of my favourite live albums that feature Neal is ‘One Night in New York City’ by Yellow Matter Custard. This was a band put together by Mike Portnoy to play Beatles’ numbers, and the line-up was completed by Neal, Paul Gilbert and Matt Bissonette. The whole purpose of that band was to provide a new take on classic numbers and have fun at the same time. Well, on “Crazy Horses” Neal takes over on drums while Mike becomes the frontman, and everyone has an absolute blast. Mike says that when he first heard the song when he was five years old that it was the heaviest song that he had ever heard, and the band certainly do it justice. I defy you to listen to this and not smile throughout. There are some people who don’t enjoy what Neal does, and feel that he hasn’t dramatically changed since he left SB, but I sincerely hope he keeps going in this vein for the rest of his very long career as I love it.

So there you have it, a five star review for a DVD set that I haven’t even seen. But to me they are just an added bonus as this triple CD set is just mindblowing. www.insideout.de

ANATHEMA A Moment in Time

Movie · 2006 · Non-Metal
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Conor Fynes
'A Moment In Time' - Anathema (5/10)

First off, might I say that the rating for this work is not based on the music itself. 'A Moment In Time' is being rated here for what it is; a piece of visual media. The songs themselves are amazing, and have been commended as such on other reviews. As far as being a vessel for such beautiful music however, this DVD really comes up short. There are so many errors that make it a sloppy creation, that could have been avoided and corrected had extra care been given.

As far as the musical arrangement goes, things are really good. As well as the band performing, there is a string quartet that plays throughout, as well as a guest appearance from a talented female vocalist. The vocal passion I generally expect from Vincent Cavanagh is a bit lacking here, but that can be forgiven. There's a nice setup here, a beautiful selection of songs, so what could go wrong?

Throughout watching 'A Moment In Time,' I find myself increasingly agitated over the camera work. The camera is fixated on the vocalist, and fails to give a visual mention to either the bass player or rhythm guitarist almost at all!

Another issue is the recording of the sound. For example, during the climax of 'Empty,' the vocals drown out completely for a few seconds. For a band that's had such a high standard of musical quality, my jaw dropped at how they could ever let a DVD release come out to the general public with that sort of negligence.

Despite it's flaws and failure as a professional DVD release however, being an Anathema fan; it's hard to not at least find some enjoyment in it, and there's an CD counterpart included as well! Two stars.

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