Mark Wals
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 1 year ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

126 reviews/ratings
CANVAS SOLARIS - Sublimation Progressive Metal
ENSLAVED - Frost Black Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Manuscript Doom Metal
BLOOD CEREMONY - The Eldritch Dark Heavy Psych | review permalink
MASTODON - Oblivion EP Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Nil Recurring Metal Related
NINE INCH NAILS - Broken Industrial Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Vaulted Shadows Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - VROOOM Non-Metal | review permalink
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - Animosity Crossover Thrash | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - Thela Hun Ginjeet / Elephant Talk Non-Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - The Thrash of Naked Limbs Death-Doom Metal
MY DYING BRIDE - Bring Me Victory Doom Metal
LEPROUS - Aeolia Progressive Metal | review permalink
CANVAS SOLARIS - Irradiance Progressive Metal
CANVAS SOLARIS - Cortical Tectonics Progressive Metal
CANVAS SOLARIS - Spatial/Design Progressive Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 20 3.63
2 Progressive Metal 15 3.93
3 Death-Doom Metal 10 3.70
4 Sludge Metal 8 3.75
5 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 7 3.57
6 Black Metal 6 3.67
7 Heavy Metal 6 3.58
8 Deathcore 4 3.63
9 Thrash Metal 4 3.50
10 Metal Related 4 3.63
11 Stoner Metal 3 3.67
12 Proto-Metal 3 3.83
13 NWoBHM 3 3.50
14 Doom Metal 3 4.17
15 Gothic Metal 3 3.83
16 Crossover Thrash 3 3.33
17 Heavy Psych 3 3.83
18 Alternative Metal 3 3.83
19 Melodic Metalcore 3 3.83
20 Death Metal 2 3.75
21 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.50
22 Industrial Metal 2 3.75
23 Hard Rock 2 3.25
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 2 3.75
25 Crust Punk 1 0.50
26 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.00
27 Power Metal 1 3.50
28 Symphonic Metal 1 4.00
29 Traditional Doom Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

IN THE WOODS... Three Times Seven on a Pilgrimage

Boxset / Compilation · 2000 · Progressive Metal
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In The Woods... are a difficult band to describe. I think 3 TIMES 7 ON A PILGRIMAGE is a valuable and entertaining release, because it demonstrates their unique and varied sound. Although there's a lot going on in their music, it's rooted in a combination of black metal and classic psychedelic rock. The Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and King Crimson cover versions make that apparent. Though I haven't listened to all of their music, it seems the black metal components are less prevalent now.

The weakest link in the band's sound is the male vocals, but the music is predominantly instrumental. I'd have to say this is one of my favorite albums by In The Woods.... My reduction of 1 star from the rating is partially due to the vocals. It also because core fans of the band may rank their primary studio albums higher. 3 TIMES 7 ON A PILGRIMAGE would be a terrific one-album introduction to the band for newbies.


Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 1998 · Non-Metal
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This may be a add-on to PT's main output, but it's still PT! This is probably the most experimental, kraut rock-influenced album Wilson released under the Porcupine Tree label. As a result it's not a part of my regular musical diet; I need more structure. However many people love this aspect of PT and they should surely appreciate METANOIA. Not surprisingly, it's brilliantly played. Colin Edwin and Richard Barbieri are sometimes the unsung heroes of the band; I'm assuming they had significant input to this recording. The nature of these songs ensures that they get a well-deserved, large part of the spotlight.. I think I would rather listen to Porcupine Tree play this brand of rock than any one else. This is an enjoyable alternative to Porcupine Tree's main discography.


EP · 1994 · Non-Metal
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This Moonloop release represents PORCUPINE TREE at their most "psychedelic". This is is as ambient, spacey, freeform as Steven Wilson gets. Maybe you're a fan of the style. There is no debating Wilson's considerable skills, as a performer and studio wizard. I would probably rather hear Wilson, and this is mostly Wilson whatever the label, play this than just about anybody else. But to be frank, there's very little metal or even hard rock here. Moonloop is just a little too self indulgent for me. Incidentally, get the version of this release that includes "Always Never", if you can. It's a fine track, that balances out the album as a whole. I understand that Wilson is a fan of Krautrock bands like NEU. If that's more your cup of tea than mine, you should definitely enjoy this.

ENSLAVED Live Retaliation

Movie · 2003 · Black Metal
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No reviews yet & only 3 ratings for the great ENSLAVED's 1st video production? To quote Will Smith, " unacceptable." Live Retaliation is a very worthy representation of ENSLAVED live. The concert itself is a bit short, but the band shows its skill in playing their varied and fairly complex music. They play a good mix of their oldest songs and more recent ones; Monumension was the band's most recent album at the time.

The audio tracks are a very nice addition, for folks who don't own a lot of their records. Grutle doesn't interact extensively with the audience in concert, beyond introducing the songs & band members. However, that's a problem I have with the great majority of live concerts. The audio quality could be clearer at times, but I'm quibbling. If you love some progressive rock along with your extreme metal, nobody does it better than ENSLAVED. This is well worth your time and money!


Live album · 1999 · Symphonic Metal
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S&M must be one of the most divisive albums in Metallica's huge discography. Some listeners seem to believe that Metallica has no business playing their most popular songs with a symphony orchestra. I obviously disagree. They're far from the first metal band to try this, but their innovative songwriting makes them more justified in this approach than most. James Hetfield has stated in Ultimate Guitar magazine, and other places, that the idea of combining Metallica with orchestral music started with Cliff Burton. How much, and how open-minded, of a Metallica fan are you? How tolerant are you of the musical experimenting that the band has done since the release of RIDE THE LIGHTNING? I think it makes a difference in the final rating of S&M. If your answer to these questions is "a lot", like me, you should definitely enjoy this album. I disagree with some of the MMA & PA collaborators whose reviews I respect and follow closely. I like James' singing. With all of his acknowledged flaws, I think his voice suits the band's music.

Metallica's setlist here wisely starts with RIDE THE LIGHTNING, when the songwriting began to improve and James began to learn how to sing. When it comes to individual highlights, I love the percussion in the second half of "The Memory Remains". It reminds me of John Adams' HARMONIELEHRE. "Devil's Dance" sounds like its name; it could be the dance before the ritual sacrifice in the soundtrack of an old horror movie. I do agree with the reviewers who write that S&M is too long at over two hours. But I'm a biased Aspie; I think that most albums over 45 minutes are too long! It helps to get the DVD version of this instead of the CD. Unusually, Metallica are a band that still seems to love playing live and getting the audience feedback, and it's apparent on the DVD. I now realize that I'm posting this review in the live album instead of the video section. I enjoyed both formats, but the DVD is really the one to get!

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Images and Words vs. Somewhere in Time
    Iron Maiden has released more consistently great albums over the years. Dream Theater has released a handful of classics. IMAGES AND WORDS is likely the cream of the crop, so I have to pick it.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in MMA's Top 25 60's Albums Poll
    Does it matter whether the album you choose is actually metal, for the purposes of this poll?  King Crimson is my favorite band and IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is a masterpiece.  You can easily make a case that KC was a proto-metal band at times, but ITCOTCK is not a metal album.
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in The Top 25: Powerslave
    I just love 2 Minutes to Midnight, a very catchy song.


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