BitterJalapeno

Mark
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors and Omissions Team
Registered 4 months ago · Last visit 12 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

357 reviews/ratings
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
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 - 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
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
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Sludge Metal 49 3.98
2 Stoner Metal 30 3.75
3 Progressive Metal 27 3.63
4 Non-Metal 27 3.69
5 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 22 3.95
6 Alternative Metal 20 3.98
7 Death Metal 20 3.90
8 Technical Death Metal 17 4.24
9 Hard Rock 16 4.16
10 Nu Metal 15 3.70
11 Heavy Metal 14 3.46
12 Thrash Metal 13 3.46
13 Groove Metal 10 3.90
14 Hardcore Punk 8 4.19
15 Heavy Alternative Rock 8 4.31
16 Doom Metal 7 3.71
17 Proto-Metal 7 4.00
18 Stoner Rock 6 4.00
19 NWoBHM 6 4.00
20 Metal Related 5 3.70
21 Melodic Metalcore 4 4.13
22 Industrial Metal 4 4.00
23 Death 'n' Roll 3 4.00
24 Metalcore 3 4.00
25 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
26 Technical Thrash Metal 2 3.75
27 Heavy Psych 2 3.25
28 Drone Metal 2 3.00
29 Funeral Doom Metal 1 2.50
30 Funk Metal 1 3.00
31 Grindcore 1 5.00
32 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 3.00
33 Black Metal 1 4.00
34 Mathcore 1 4.00
35 Traditional Doom Metal 1 2.50
36 Pagan Black Metal 1 1.50

Latest Albums Reviews

TORCHE Meanderthal

Album · 2008 · Stoner Metal
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Released in Spring of 2008, “Meanderthal” is the second studio album from Floridian stoner metal outfit Torche – a band comprising members of sludge metal bands Floor and Cavity. Vocalist and guitarist Steve Brooks continues Floor’s legacy of combining crushingly heavy riffs with melodic clean vocals to great effect. Stoner metal is not the first thing that springs to mind when listening to “Meanderthal” but pop-tinged sludge - something akin to a fusion of Cavity and Jimmy Eat World with a trace of psychedelic rock thrown in.

The aptly titled opener “Triumph of Venus” gets things off to a superb start with it’s ultra downtuned and heavy rhythm guitar alongside powerful, thundering drums and layers of triumphantly blistering lead guitar which is reminiscent of the more melodic side of Mastodon and really sets things up nicely for the remainder of the album.

Unusually, the dirty sludge riffs and chord progressions tend to be played in a major key which, alongside the highly melodic vocals, provides a sun-soaked, accessible form of sludge which I find equally uplifting and addictive although at the same time, I can appreciate that few bands would be capable of pulling off this mix of sounds successfully. The album reaches its sludgiest point on the penultimate and final tracks “Amnesian” and “Meanderthal” which alongside “Grenades” and the aforementioned opener “Triumph of Venus” are the biggest highlights of the album for me.

“Meanderthal” is not an album which displays huge amounts of variance or technical complexity so clocking in at a shade over 36 minutes in length is entirely appropriate for the style of music as it negates the chance of growing prematurely stale.

I would highly recommend this album to fans of Floor and to any open minded metal fan willing to look past the accessible and poppy qualities mentioned above and try something a bit different. A great uplifting release and great summer listening.

SEVAN Guide Me Holy Ararat

Album · 2021 · Sludge Metal
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Released by Glue Man Records in January 2021, “Guide Me Holy Ararat” is the debut album by New England based sludge metal trio Sevan. Lyrically speaking, the theme of the album is based on the subject of genocide.

The album opener, “Bleeding Crescent” starts with some chilled clean guitarwork and slow rumbling drums backed up by atmospheric vocals. The heaviness soon rears it’s head and when it does, it becomes abundantly clear that Neurosis have been a massive influence on the band – slow, thick and dissonant chords dripping in oily sludge with aggressive vocals pouring out in an angry fashion.

The remainder of the album continues in the above style with a few exceptions. For example, softer vocals feature in the track “Eetch” and demonstrate something of a chanting nature. The album reaches its melodic peak in the closing minutes of “Goddess” before we reach my personal highlight of the album in the form of the final track “Kef” which boasts some beautifully piercing guitar harmonics as it draws the album to a close.

There may be nothing musically groundbreaking here or even anything particularly innovative to be heard but nevertheless, “Guide Me Holy Ararat” is a pretty strong debut album from Sevan and I’m pleased to still see new bands coming out who continue to hold the noble torch of sludge metal high in hand.

TONGUE EATING LOUSE Voidwalker

Album · 2018 · Sludge Metal
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Released in 2018, Voidwalker is the debut studio album by Canadian sludge/doom band Tongue Eating Louse. I discovered the band while looking down the list of artists recently added to the MMA database and found the name “Tongue Eating Louse” intriguing enough to merit further research.

Comprised of three long tracks, the album possesses a haunting, dissonant and abrasive sound which barely lets up apart from the occasional slightly more melodic and harmonious parts. Despite the unrelenting abrasion, there’s something quite graceful about how the music smoothly undulates from passage to passage while still maintaining a constant sense of impending doom.

The usual boxes for sludge/doom are ticked – down tuned guitars with a heavy tone, slow pace and powerful thundering drums. Two vocalists can be identified – one with a low growl and another with a higher pitched scream reminiscent of the the 00s melodic metalcore scene although they are equal in terms of ferocity. The production is good for a very much unknown band.

Further research provided disappointment as I discovered Tongue Eating Louse are no longer together. This is a shame because “Voidwalker” is certainly a promising debut album and it would have been interesting to see how the band was to develop their sound further. It’s by no means perfect but certainly an album worth checking out.

CROWBAR Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form

Album · 2001 · Sludge Metal
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Released in 2001, “Sonic Excess in its Purest Form” is the seventh studio album by Louisiana based sludge metal legends Crowbar. Listeners are presented with the classic Crowbar formula - their trademark slow and brooding brand of sludge occasionally interspersed with short bursts of fierce aggression.

This appropriately named album blends elements of previous Crowbar releases into a neatly packaged 45 minutes of sonic bliss sure to appeal to any fan of sludge. It takes the violent aggression of 1996’s “Broken Glass” and fuses it with the sorrowful “Odd Fellows Rest” from 1998 resulting in an extremely refined product and a wonderfully satisfying listen. The production is excellent – crisp, clear and warm with a ludicrously heavy guitar tone, enveloping the listener in an exquisite blanket of beefy riffs that are deeper than the ocean and powerful enough to move mountains.

For me, no other metal artist comes close to matching Crowbar in terms of the deeply emotional delivery of their music. The centrepiece of this is Windstein’s earnestly anguished vocals as he rasps and growls emotively over thick waves of immensely immersive and hypnotic music from the rhythm section.

“Sonic Excess in its Purest Form” is a contender for my favourite Crowbar album along with the aforementioned big beasts “Broken Glass” and “Odd Fellows Rest” and is, without doubt, essential listening for fans of sludge metal. I reckon it’s also a great choice for an introduction to the band for those unfamiliar with their work. Lastly, I’d recommend whacking the volume up full as you can. It will enhance the experience.

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.

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