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Paul
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Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 hours ago

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2195 reviews/ratings
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin II Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV Hard Rock | review permalink
LED ZEPPELIN - Physical Graffiti Hard Rock | review permalink
SAVATAGE - Hall Of The Mountain King US Power Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Made In Japan Hard Rock | review permalink
KING'S X - Gretchen Goes To Nebraska Hard Rock | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock | review permalink
VOIVOD - Killing Technology Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
PANTERA - Cowboys From Hell Groove Metal
RUSH - Hemispheres Hard Rock
RUSH - 2112 Hard Rock
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Powerslave NWoBHM
MONTROSE - Montrose Hard Rock
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Death Metal 350 3.76
2 Hard Rock 337 3.57
3 Heavy Metal 172 3.65
4 Progressive Metal 162 3.83
5 Thrash Metal 147 3.72
6 Technical Death Metal 94 3.90
7 Melodic Death Metal 83 3.66
8 Non-Metal 82 3.34
9 Black Metal 72 3.76
10 Glam Metal 59 3.31
11 Doom Metal 53 3.76
12 Proto-Metal 53 3.72
13 Metal Related 49 3.69
14 Brutal Death Metal 42 3.71
15 US Power Metal 34 3.75
16 Traditional Doom Metal 31 3.84
17 Power Metal 29 3.83
18 Stoner Metal 29 3.83
19 NWoBHM 28 3.77
20 Alternative Metal 24 3.33
21 Technical Thrash Metal 22 3.93
22 Melodic Black Metal 21 3.93
23 Groove Metal 20 3.67
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 20 3.35
25 Atmospheric Black Metal 16 3.56
26 Heavy Psych 15 4.00
27 Gothic Metal 12 3.58
28 Speed Metal 12 3.75
29 Death-Doom Metal 11 3.68
30 Neoclassical metal 10 3.60
31 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
32 Funk Metal 9 3.28
33 Symphonic Black Metal 9 3.72
34 Symphonic Metal 7 3.36
35 Sludge Metal 7 4.07
36 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
37 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.75
38 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.40
39 Folk Metal 5 3.80
40 Nu Metal 5 2.90
41 Metalcore 5 3.60
42 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
43 Melodic Metalcore 4 3.75
44 Grindcore 4 3.13
45 Crust Punk 3 3.17
46 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
47 Mathcore 3 4.00
48 Deathgrind 2 3.75
49 Crossover Thrash 2 3.50
50 Viking Metal 2 3.25
51 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00
52 Rap Metal 1 2.00
53 Drone Metal 1 4.00
54 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

DEATH DIVINE Affliction

Album · 2020 · Melodic Death Metal
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I’m always a bit wary when I discover that what I thought was a band turns out to be a one man project. Nothing wrong with that in theory, but you can’t beat a band environment for quality control and having someone tell you that your latest idea is shit when you think it’s the dogs’ bollocks. Death Divine is the work of UK based musician Daniel James who prior to his latest album, Affliction, has released an EP and a full length album, The Oracle in 2019. James seems to have played everything including the vocals apart from some additional singing from Elisha Martin on the song Without You.

Affliction is melodic death metal, fairly well played, though for the large part the song structures are fairly simple. It’s a long way off the most exciting death metal I’ve heard this year but overall it’s not bad either. James has an ear for a decent melody which seems to improve after the first few tracks. In fact on the early part of the album I was somewhat underwhelmed with songs like opener Breaking Out Of Hell and Desire, whilst not bad by any stretch, lose my interest quickly being somewhat repetitive and lacking that killer punch. Again, nothing wrong with being a bit repetitive but you need a memorable riff or two to back it up. It’s on track four where things pick up. Not only does the song structure offer more variation but it also has a memorable melody, particularly when guest vocalist Elisha Martin comes in. It may be your typical beauty and the beast approach but she has a good voice and if I was James I’d use her more in the future. After that So Sick changes things to a more atmospheric vein, ditching to a large extent the melodic side. This returns for another one of my favourites, No Hope which contains some memorable hooks including a pleasing guitar solo. It also throws in a few more changes to keep things interesting. The album goes out on another one of the better songs, the title track. At six and a half minutes is it the longest song on the album and fortunately the strength of the melody carries it including an insistent keyboard part.

The production is not bad considering it’s what I assume to be a home studio recording. It lacks some teeth but it’s mixed fairly well and everything cuts through clearly. I may be wrong but it sounds like the drums are programmed. They do the job but lack power and a real drummer could have spiced the parts up a bit. James’ guitar work is overall tight and he’s certainly a decent player, not only on his rhythm parts but also on the solos.

Affliction is an overall good album from Death Divine. It’s not going to set the death metal world on fire and unfortunately down to the sheer quantity of stuff getting released likely to remain unheard by most. That’s a shame as James is not without talent. He may be perfectly happy working on his own but if he got a decent band behind him it could make all the difference to his work in the future.

LIVE BURIAL Unending Futility

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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Live Burial have been active since 2012 but I’ve only just come across them for the first time recently missing out on their 2014 debut “Forced Back To Life. With the sheer number of death metal bands out there vying for attention I would not normally be surprised by this, but the fact that they are based only 35 miles away from me in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne makes me wonder how I’ve missed them so far. Thank fuck I like them as I wouldn’t want to give some local lads a crap review.

A quick listen to their debut album, Forced Back To Life (where they borrowed Lars Ulrich’s snare from the St Anger sessions – just kidding guys) shows the band have made considerable growth since then with Unending Futility being a more mature and paced piece of work displaying a much greater sense of dynamics. Things get off to a great start with the doomy intro of Seeping Into The Earth but the pace soon picks up. I’m reminded of early Death around the time of Leprosy and Spiritual Healing with the rawness of Asphyx. Fluid bass lines vie for attention with busy drum parts and the powerful yet atmospheric guitar riffs. Seeping Into The Earth turns out to be one of my favourite tracks but that doesn’t mean it’s all downhill from here. These guys get quite technical at times, which is not always immediately apparent through the raw production but this actually works in their favour. The emphasis though seems to be more on dark foreboding atmospherics, especially on the slower sections though they can ramp up the speed when required which they do frequently. These doomier parts work well in contrast to the busier and faster sections, sometimes having a blackened edge and the frequent changes add plenty of interest. The album may be a little formulaic and borrow heavily from the past but it’s of minor concern with the quality of the material on show and by the time I get to closer Cemetery Fog I’m ready to play it again as at 41 minutes it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome.

2020 has been a great year for death metal despite all the covid shit that’s fucked up so much in the music world. I really hope these guys get noticed amongst the massive amount of new death metal out there as Unending Futility is worthy of your investigation.

INCANTATION Sect Of Vile Divinities

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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What can you say about a new Incantation album that hasn’t already been said many times before? There’s no startling changes in direction, just Incantation doing what they do best. Ultimately then it boils down to is it any good and comparable in quality to their past work?

Sect Of Vile Divinities is studio album number twelve from these (originally) New York death metal giants. They’re located in Pennsylvania these days but it hasn’t made any difference to their style. I’m pleased to say it’s all still crushingly heavy old school death metal ranging from faster blast beat infused stuff to the expected slower doomier side. Their sound might not be quite as dirty as in the past but the riffs are still dark, packing plenty of punch. In fact the production is cleaner than you usually expect from Incantation. Some may see this as a problem but it does at least allow everything to cut through clearly. Apart from a couple of less than stellar albums Incantation have been pretty consistent for most of their career and Sect Of Vile Divinities is no exception. In fact I think it’s up a few notches on 2017’s Profane Nexus which had a couple of weaker moments. Not the case here, making it a compelling listen from start to finish bookended by two of the faster and strongest tracks - Ritual Impurity (Seven Of The Sky Is One) and Siege Hive.

The band play very well with some great guitar work from also vocalist and mainstay John McEntee and Sonny Lombardozzi. Luke Shively also supplies lead guitar and is now appears to be a full time member, replacing Lombardozzi. The drums and bass are still supplied by Kyle Severn and Chuck Sherwood respectively and they also do a great job, solid as a rock and inventive when required to be.

Classics like second album Mortal Throne Of Nazarene may remain perennial favourites amongst the bands fans but almost thirty years after their debut Onward To Golgotha, Incantation are still releasing high quality death metal. In fact Sect Of Vile Divinities is probably my favourite album to come from them in the last twenty years.

PERDITION TEMPLE Sacraments Of Descension

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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Normally I like to review an album fairly soon after it’s released and if I don’t I probably won’t review it at all. I’ve been living with Sacraments Of Descension, the third album from Perdition Temple for over six months now so it would have normally missed the boat for a review from me. However as it’s so good I decided I had to get one done.

Those of you who’ve followed guitarist and vocalist Gene Palubicki since Angelcorpse days will know what to expect here. Since that bands last album in 2007, the often maligned Of Lucifer And Lightening, he went onto Blasphemic Cruelty and Apocalypse Command before forming Perdition Temple in 2009. Pick any of his bands and you won’t find much difference between them, all following the tried and trusted template that Palubicki developed in Angelcorpse. That is blackened death metal with a Morbid Angel influence fuelled by a relentless barrage of ultra-fast drums and busy guitar riffs with a wall of sound approach. It’s in Perdition Temple where he has produced his best work since Angelcorpse and Sacraments Of Descension is their best album so far, in fact in my opinion equalling his work with Angelcorpse. Nothing has changed stylistically but here we get his most compelling collection of riffs and hooks for some time. Some may find it too busy with little variation in the songs and it would be a fair point but a good and sympathetic production really allows these songs to shine with every blur of notes and rolling double kick drums clearly heard. The lack of variety makes picking favourites futile but at only thirty four minutes it works a treat with nothing standing out as a weak moment either.

Fans of Palubicki should have no complaints here but if you’ve not been won over by him in the past that is unlikely to change with Sacraments Of Descension. Angelcorpse reformed for some live shows a few years ago but all has gone quiet again. A new album would be very welcome but if it happens hopefully that won’t be the end of Perdition Temple. On the strength of this one there’s plenty of life left in this band yet.

WHITE STONES Kuarahy

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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White Stones are a new band that will no doubt be most talked about because it features Opeth bassist Martín Méndez. More of a Méndez solo project than a band? Quite possibly and as he wrote all the music and nearly all the lyrics he’s clearly in charge here. As well as bass duties Méndez also supplies a lot of the guitar. He is joined by Jordi Farré on drums and vocalist Eloi Boucherie. There’s also guest appearances from guitarist Per Ericsson and his Opeth Bandmate Fredrik Akesson who plays the guitar solos on six of the tracks.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on Kuarahy, their debut album, despite hearing rumours that it was nearer to the sound of old style Opeth than recent Opeth albums are. To be honest it doesn’t really sound much like Opeth to me though not surprisingly occasional influences can be heard. Musically White Stones play progressive metal that also leans towards death metal. The vocals certainly fit death metal but a lot of the guitar parts are quite clean sounding for that particular sub-genre. The album largely has a similar vibe throughout with guitar riffs often cleanly picked, at least by death metal standards, though they dirty things up a bit with some welcome dissonance at times. Much of the material locks into a mid-paced groove with fast rolling double kick drums underpinning it all, though a more syncopated approach is used at times. The standard of musicianship is not surprisingly high and many of the songs have infectious hooks that on the face of it sound fairly simple but repeated plays reveal there’s more going on here than on initial inspection. The album is bookended by a couple of short non-essential instrumental tracks but other than that the quality of the material is strong though I find myself leaning more in favour of the groove laden stuff.

Hats off to Martin Méndez for his selection of sympathetic musicians and producing an original sounding album that doesn’t really sound like anyone else I can think of off the top of my head. Whether this turns out to be a one off project or not I don’t know, but I’d certainly be more than happy to have the opportunity to hear more from this interesting band.

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