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. 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 | 60 min. caching

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Blood Sugar Sex Magik Album Cover Blood Sugar Sex Magik
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
4.69 | 10 ratings
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SWANS The Seer Album Cover The Seer
SWANS
4.96 | 6 ratings
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ZZ TOP Tres Hombres Album Cover Tres Hombres
ZZ TOP
4.49 | 7 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC Bridge Across Forever Album Cover Bridge Across Forever
TRANSATLANTIC
4.18 | 15 ratings
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KAYO DOT Coyote Album Cover Coyote
KAYO DOT
4.30 | 9 ratings
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KAYO DOT Coffins On Io Album Cover Coffins On Io
KAYO DOT
4.26 | 10 ratings
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KILLING JOKE Killing Joke (Debut) Album Cover Killing Joke (Debut)
KILLING JOKE
4.49 | 5 ratings
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ANATHEMA We're Here Because We're Here Album Cover We're Here Because We're Here
ANATHEMA
3.98 | 40 ratings
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TRANSATLANTIC SMPTe Album Cover SMPTe
TRANSATLANTIC
4.09 | 13 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Love, Fear and the Time Machine Album Cover Love, Fear and the Time Machine
RIVERSIDE
4.14 | 10 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS Ghosts I–IV Album Cover Ghosts I–IV
NINE INCH NAILS
4.04 | 16 ratings
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HEART Little Queen Album Cover Little Queen
HEART
4.37 | 5 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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non-metal Music Reviews

LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT Spontaneous Combustion (as Liquid Trio Experiment)

Album · 2007 · Non-Metal
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martindavey87
Damn, is this a tough listening experience or what?!

Now, I love Dream Theater, and of course I enjoyed their Liquid Tension Experiment side-project, so it'd make sense that when this album was released, marketed as "Liquid Trio Experiment" due to the absence of guitarist John Petrucci, it was something I had to have in my collection.

And there it shall remain until my dying days, though sadly not by choice, but more due to my obsessive collecting disorder (is this a real thing?).

'Spontaneous Combustion' is nothing more than improvised jazz fusion jams and rehearsals. It's so musically self-indulgent I struggle to see what made them think it was something worth releasing that people would want to hear. I struggle even more to comprehend the fact that there is probably someone out there that genuinely listens to this and enjoys it.

But nope. Not me.

I can appreciate the amazing chemistry and versatility of all the musicians involved, and while there's maybe a few cool "moments" dotted around, it's not something I'll ever come back to or make an effort to find among the midst of mindless self-indulgence. As a whole, the album is just boring, and features nothing of any real substance.

Plus, it irks me that these guys can release and sell an album featuring nothing more than a staggering 78 minutes of mindless noodling, and it's still better than anything I could come up with.

Sometimes it sucks being a collector.

JOHN GARCIA The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues

Album · 2017 · Non-Metal
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UMUR
"The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is the 2nd full-length studio album by hard rock artist John Garcia. The album was released through Napalm Records in January 2017. Garcia is probably mostly known for being the frontman of Kyuss, but he has also fronted acts like Hermano, Unida, and Vista Chino. When the latter mentioned act disbanded in 2014, Garcia opted for a solo career and released his eponymously titled debut full-length studio album in 2014.

The debut album featured a catchy and edgy hard rock sound with Garcia´s strong voice and distinct delivery in front. On "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues", Garcia takes a different approach, as he has opted to record an album with acoustic renditions of some Kyuss classics ("Green Machine", "Space Cadet", "Gardenia", and "El Rodeo") and some new acoustic songs. It´s not always purely acoustic albums work very well, but Garcia pulls it off pretty well. Both on the strength of his strong voice and distinct sounding vocal style, but also because of the intricate guitar arrangements. I´m often transported back to the most acoustic oriented tracks on "Led Zeppelin III", and that is definitely not the worst album to be compared to.

Playing Kyuss classics in re-arranged acoustic versions is probably a fan divider, as some people will call it heresy, while others will find it interesting. Personally I belong in the latter catagory, and I generally think "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" succeeds in bringing a new fresh sound to the material plus the new songs are well written and catchy too. "The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is also very well produced, which further enhances the listening experience and upon conclusion it´s a high quality release by John Garcia and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

BUCKETHEAD Intelligence Failure (with Viggo Mortensen)

Album · 2005 · Non-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Despite including BUCKETHEAD on almost all VIGGO MORTENSEN’s solo albums, for some reason there are only two which give equal billing on the album cover thus officially casting the albums as a full-fledged collaboration. The first was VIGGO’s fith release, the 2003 release “Pandemoniumforamerica” and the second was his seventh INTELLIGENCE FAILURE which once again makes a reprise into the world political criticism of failed US policies around the world. Once again this is one of those avant-garde ambient affairs that includes speeches by George Bush, Dick Cheney, C. Ray Nagin, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Cindy Sheehan and Howard Zinn accompanied by sound effects, keyboard swooshiness and other contributions by MORTENSEN’s family members as well as Travis Dickerson, our chicken loving guitar hero and we can’t forget Brigit!

What we basically get here is a collage effect that weaves together political speeches, political critique, patriotic musical segments, ambient effects, sound effects such as sirens, soldiers marching etc. all for the purpose of creating a musical counter statement to the criminal behaviors of the US war machine regarding the invasion of Iraq in 2003. There is a fair amount of emphasis on cheesy piano runs and other emotional tugs are designed to pull heartstrings and everything is kept in mellow yellow mode. BUCKETHEAD contributes clean guitars with some really out there reverb moments but really there is really very little on here that is remotely interesting musically speaking and the LAST thing i want to hear when i put on an album is commentary by some of the most heinous political elites ever to walk this planet. It’s bad enough to hear these things on the news.

I can understand the emotional reaction of the day and the desire to protest in a more effective way than with picket signs but unfortunately i think the FAILURE part of the title in this one is fairly self-prophetic as it is rather ineffective in keeping my interest in any possible way and THAT’s coming from one of the most open-minded music lovers you could ever read a review from. While this one may have been ignited with a passion to protest, it serious lacks the inspiration to pull it off with any conviction and besides ONE of these types of albums was more than enough. If you must check one of these out only, the previous album with both BH & VIGGO in the title “Pandemoniumforamerica” was more interesting but even that one i doubt i’ll ever revisit again.

ÆON SPOKE Æon Spoke

Album · 2007 · Non-Metal
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UMUR
"Æon Spoke" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US alternative rock act Æon Spoke. The album was released through the SPV GmbH label in April 2007. 7 out of the 10 tracks featured on the album are re-recorded versions of tracks originally featured on the band´s debut full-length studio album "Above the Buried Cry (2004)". So this might be the band´s 2nd studio album, but it´s so and so with how much new material you are gonna get by purchasing this album if you already have "Above the Buried Cry (2004)". The versions on this album are of course re-arranged and re-recorded, but still. Æon Spoke was founded and is led by lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer/keyboard player Sean Reinert, who are also known for their work with Death, Cynic, and Portal (among others).

The music on the album is alternative atmospheric rock with Paul Masvidal melancholic, mellow, and fragile vocals as the focal point. The instrumental part of the music is slightly more active and also more interesting compared to the debut album, and that´s a great positive step for Æon Spoke. The sound production features an increased organic tone, which suits the band´s music well and "Æon Spoke" is overall a very pleasant and well sounding album. Within it´s vers/chorus structured form, the music is also relatively sophisticated with intriguing details popping up from time to time. So the material are for the most part pretty well written albeit slightly formulaic in structure.

While my initial reaction to releasing an album with 7 tracks already featured on another album wasn´t the most positive, I´ve been forced to think otherwise of that reaction after having listened to the re-recorded versions of the tracks. It´s not that they are significantly different from the original versions featured on "Above the Buried Cry (2004)", but the improved sound production and the better flow of this self-titled release, make the tracks shine more than they initially did. The 3 "new" tracks are also pretty great, so all in all this is a step up from the debut album and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

ÆON SPOKE Above the Buried Cry

Album · 2004 · Non-Metal
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UMUR
"Above the Buried Cry" is the debut full-length studio album by US alternative rock act Æon Spoke. The album was released through the Mercy Stroll label in October 2004. 7 out of the 10 tracks featured on the album were re-recorded and included on the band´s 2007 self-titled sophomore album. Æon Spoke was founded and is led by lead vocalist/guitarist Paul Masvidal and drummer/keyboard player Sean Reinert, who are also known for their work with Death, Cynic, and Portal (among others).

The music on "Above the Buried Cry" is very different from any of the above mentioned acts though and doesn´t feature anything that reveals that the two mainmen behind the project are usually associated with metal. The tracks on the album are vers/chorus structured and predominantly mellow alternative rock songs with Paul Masvidal´s pleasant and fragile vocals in front. It´s very straight forward with a slight melancholic edge, and it´s safe to say that this is as different sounding as it can be from the involved parties earlier output. The material are generally catchy and some tracks stick after the album is over, so there is a longivity to some of the tracks. It´s only some tracks that manage to stick out though ("Pablo at the Park" especially comes to mind) and there are quite a few that are forgotten as soon as they are over.

The sound production is clear and suits the material and all in all "Above the Buried Cry" is a professionally made album with a pleasant sound, but that´s about it. I´m not wildly impressed by the instrumental part of the music. There are little details here and there, that elevate some tracks to a higher level, but the instrumental arrangements are generally a bit dull and only seem to be there to back up the vocals. That´s of course the premise of much pop and rock music, but it´s a bit unusual to hear musicians of this caliber tone down their performances as much as they do here. For the style it´s a decent release and a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted, but don´t come to the album expecting anything else than a subdued alternative rock album with a slightly melancholic atmosphere featuring relatively simple arrangements and you won´t be disappointed.

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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