BitterJalapeno

Mark
MMA Metal Reviewer · MMA Metal Reviewer
Registered 43 days ago · Last visit 45 minutes ago

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All Reviews/Ratings

158 reviews/ratings
CROWBAR - Odd Fellows Rest Sludge Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Heavy Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
GOJIRA - From Mars to Sirius Death Metal
GOJIRA - The Way of All Flesh Death Metal
GOJIRA - L'Enfant Sauvage Death Metal
MASTODON - Remission Sludge Metal
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal
CROWBAR - Broken Glass Sludge Metal
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal
MESHUGGAH - obZen Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - Nothing (2006) Progressive Metal
MESHUGGAH - The Violent Sleep of Reason Progressive Metal
GORGUTS - Obscura Technical Death Metal
MELVINS - Houdini Sludge Metal
MELVINS - Stoner Witch Stoner Metal
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - Siamese Dream Heavy Alternative Rock
WISHBONE ASH - Argus Proto-Metal
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 20 3.95
2 Sludge Metal 19 4.37
3 Non-Metal 16 3.84
4 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 15 4.17
5 Stoner Metal 10 4.05
6 Proto-Metal 7 4.07
7 Nu Metal 7 3.43
8 Death Metal 6 4.75
9 Groove Metal 6 4.00
10 Alternative Metal 6 4.33
11 Hard Rock 5 4.90
12 Heavy Alternative Rock 5 4.30
13 NWoBHM 5 4.20
14 Industrial Metal 4 4.00
15 Thrash Metal 4 4.13
16 Technical Death Metal 4 4.63
17 Stoner Rock 3 4.00
18 Heavy Metal 3 3.00
19 Hardcore Punk 3 4.00
20 Doom Metal 2 4.25
21 Melodic Death Metal 2 3.75
22 Metalcore 2 3.75
23 Drone Metal 1 2.50
24 Black Metal 1 4.50
25 Heavy Psych 1 3.50
26 Technical Thrash Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

JAMIE LENMAN Muscle Memory

Album · 2013 · Hardcore Punk
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Released in late 2013, “Muscle Memory” is the debut double album by Jamie Lenman – former frontman of the cult UK post-hardcore band Reuben who have been on an “indefinite hiatus” since the summer of 2008. Anyone who knows the music of Reuben will be aware of Lenman’s incredible ability to juxtapose brutal heaviness against beautiful melodies throughout individual tracks and in the context of a full album.

After the personally disappointing break up of Reuben, Jamie Lenman finally returned to assault the senses once again. The first disc of this double album takes his previous heaviness to new heights while the second disc completely abandons heavy music in favour of more experimental indie/folk tones with touches of jazz and swing inspired music.

The music on the first disc is still deeply rooted in post-hardcore but also showcases elements of mathcore with complex time signature changes as well as traces of thrash, groove and sludge. The influence of sludge metal is obvious on the track “Gary, Indiana” and even more so on the closing track of the first disc “Muscle” which could easily qualify for a place on an Eyehategod album. Some tracks such as the blistering “One of My Eyes is a Clock” and “All the Things You Hate About Me, I Hate Them Too” come close to rivalling Meshuggah levels of brutality if not technicality. Overall, this is a great recording where dissonance and harmony are brought together in an undeniable projection of outstanding musical talent and song writing skill. Lenman’s ferocious vocal delivery is stronger than ever and I’m glad he has lost none of his ability to evoke intense emotion and genuinely make you feel his anger and pain deep inside.

As outlined above, the second disc contains music which obviously does belong on MMA but is nonetheless an enjoyable and humorous foray into indie/folk with the odd jazzy walking double bass line thrown in for good measure. It more accurately reflects the Bugsy Malone esque album cover and is orders of magnitude lighter and more accessible than anything Reuben ever recorded.

I would urge everyone to give the first disc of this a bash as it is an unknown and underrated gem. If the first disc was released as a standalone album, I would have to give it full marks but due to the inclusion of the second disc and the fact I am rating this as a metal release, I have to knock off a star and a half.

CAVITY Supercollider

Album · 1999 · Sludge Metal
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Although originally released in 1999, this review has been written based on the 2002 reissue.

As one would expect from a sludge recording, thick and meaty blues influenced riffs are very abundant and continually assault the listener with very little respite – no complaints from me of such assault as I am a bit of a masochist for being abusively flattened the heaviest of riffs as I imagine many others are. Another common sludge trait consistent with this release is the almost constant use of ear piercing guitar feedback.

Although sludge by definition is influenced by punk, I feel this album showcases a more punk tinged sound than most other sludge I am familiar with. For example, the vocals in the first track remind me of a more violent version of Bruce Loose from massively influential San Francisco punk outfit Flipper before becoming much rougher and harsher for much of the remainder of the album. A further example of this would be the average track length which is much shorter than most metal tracks with only 4 of the 11 tracks breaking the 4 minute mark and 5 tracks not reaching 3 minutes.

Elements of Stoner rock/metal are also exhibited in a few moments such as “Taint and Abandon” which features the same riff throughout and after opening with nice calm stonerish vibes, suddenly blasts everyone listening with a sludge soaked version of the same riff. Other tracks such as “Threshold” and “How Much Lost” conjurer up delightful memories of the stoner metal/desert rock of Kyuss which I now realise I must refresh myself with as a matter of urgency.

Overall, I would say this an essential riff-fest of an album for anyone who enjoys getting down and dirty with a bit of sludge or for anyone who simply enjoys mega powerful riffage in any format.

4.5/5

THERAPY? Troublegum

Album · 1994 · Alternative Metal
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Widely considered to be their magnum opus, 1994s Troublegum is the second full length studio release by Northern Irish alternative metal outfit Therapy? The album marks a progression from the vaguely industrial/post-punk influenced music heard on predecessor “Nurse” to a more straightforward and accessible metal sound. It is altogether a more focused recording with far cleaner production, neater song structures with a much stronger and more defined vocal performance from front man Andy Cairns.

Arguably one of their most accessible releases to date, Troublegum has detectable influences from genres such as pop punk which I imagine may put some people off giving it a bash but I would advise those who haven’t listened to still do so. The album does not hang about and from the first second is bursting at the seams with aggressive riffage, catchy hooks and copious amounts of noisy feedback. Lyrically, the album explores themes of anxiety, rejection and self-loathing amongst others and is delivered to the ear canals with a large dose of hatred and rage.

Despite the obvious negativity in the musical and lyrical output, it still manages to be a fun and motivating listen which I would recommend to any fan of metal or rock based alternative music. I would also recommend catching a live performance if you ever get the chance – many songs from Troublegum are set staples.

4/5

CANDIRIA 300 Percent Density

Album · 2001 · Metalcore
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Many thanks to Unitron for kindly recommending this album to me. A rather interesting listen with many musical styles being brought together in unexpected harmony.

The bulk of the album is composed of deep grooves, aggressive, sometimes dissonant riffs and angry screamed vocals but throughout the album, there are some portions which lean more to avant-garde metal and others with the addition of some entirely different genres altogether.

On a few tracks, the metal gets briefly abandoned for hip-hop beats/rapping. Being someone who is generally not the biggest fan of that genre, this was not something I was expecting to enjoy but for a reason I honestly cannot pinpoint, I have no issue with it being inclusive on this album.

Jazzy material also features occasionally. For example, the track "Constant Velocity is as Natural as Being at Rest" makes use of a trumpet in sections that sound not unlike the jazz inspired post-rock of Tortoise. There is also a nice vibraphone solo on "The Constant Destination." Although these sections work surprisingly well, they are appropriately short lived and the listener is soon catapulted back to abrasive metal.

Further surprises were discovered in the final track – “Opposing Meter”. It begins with eerie background noise and a rapid rotating synth part which sounds like Pink Floyd’s “On the Run” followed by a few minutes of silence. After this, we are treated roughly 15 minutes of very pleasant and soft psychedelic guitar work overlying slow rhythms on bongos/djembe. I did feel this could easily have been shortened significantly but it was enjoyable regardless.

Overall, I found this album to be a bit of roller-coaster encompassing a wide variety of influences and takes your mind in many directions. Perhaps not one I will listen to frequently, but I know I will gladly return to it when the mood strikes. 3.5/5 from me.

BitterJ

GODFLESH A World Lit Only by Fire

Album · 2014 · Industrial Metal
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Deep, dark and exceptionally moody, A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE was the first GODFLESH album released in nearly 13 years after 2001s HYMNS. I get the impression that they were trying to record something of refreshed version of their first studio album STREETCLEANER which I think they did successfully. Call it a STREETCLEANER 2.0 if you will. It has the same relentless rumbling aggression, very low tuning and Broadrick's signature bark but with a fresher feel from the modern production. If you listen with headphones up full blast and close you eyes, you can practically see the fire mentioned in the album title (or maybe it just makes me think of the album cover of STREETCLEANER??)

Having said that, I would still put STREETCLEANER in front of this down to its originality at the time of its release even though the music itself has a less professional feel which is generally the case for most first releases anyway and certainly not always a bad thing.

One thing that lets A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE down in my opinion is that it can feel that it drags on somewhat towards the end and on occasion, i do not make it quite to the end of the album. For this reason, I cannot give more than 3.5/5. Still a great album which I would recommend to anyone who likes their metal dark and bleak.

BitterJ

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
    [QUOTE=666sharon666] [/QUOTE] Had that on earlier myself. Fantastic stuff.
  • Posted 2 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V3
    [QUOTE=Psydye] [/QUOTE] Love this album. Perfect balance of technical brutality and atmospheric beauty
  • Posted 2 days ago in Post an album only you have rated on MMA
    I will give the above albums a listen and report back.As Bosh was kind enough to also add this for me, try this.  Don't let the album cover fool you.  It's a double album and the first disc does NOT sound how it looks.BitterJalapeno2020-10-23 14:55:45

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