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Paul
Forum Admin Group · Death, D/S/D, T/S/G Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 hours ago

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2171 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 337 3.76
2 Hard Rock 336 3.57
3 Heavy Metal 172 3.65
4 Progressive Metal 162 3.83
5 Thrash Metal 146 3.72
6 Technical Death Metal 94 3.89
7 Non-Metal 91 3.35
8 Melodic Death Metal 80 3.67
9 Black Metal 71 3.76
10 Glam Metal 59 3.31
11 Doom Metal 53 3.76
12 Proto-Metal 53 3.72
13 Brutal Death Metal 42 3.71
14 Metal Related 40 3.74
15 US Power Metal 32 3.77
16 Traditional Doom Metal 31 3.84
17 Stoner Metal 29 3.83
18 Power Metal 28 3.80
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 Speed Metal 12 3.75
28 Death-Doom Metal 11 3.68
29 Gothic Metal 11 3.55
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 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
45 Mathcore 3 4.00
46 Grindcore 3 2.83
47 Crust Punk 3 3.17
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

SKELETAL Bitterness And Burning Hatred

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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Bitterness And Burning Hatred is my first encounter with Finnish death metallers Skeletal. Turns out it’s their second album, the first, Dreadful Life being released back in 2017. I must admit that initially I wasn’t blown away by it, in fact it’s an album I’ve been blowing hot and cold with as subsequent plays had me alternating between average, good and very good. Overall though it seems to have left a favourable impression. After all, I’ve returned to it half a dozen times so there must be something there.

Skeletal’s death metal, whilst not getting into the realms of technical DM is pretty busy at times displaying a thrash edge. It’s aided by a crisp and organic sounding production, much preferable to the clinical and sterile sound that pervades plenty of modern death metal, especially at the tech end. From opener, Lower Than Filth, it’s clear these guys can play. Particularly impressive is the guitar work of Make Tiainen and Samuel Lehikoinen who also double’s up as vocalist, reminding me of Martin Van Drunen of Asphyx and ex-Pestilence. In fact on a musical level parallels can also be drawn with early Pestilence around the time of Consuming Impulse and while they don’t pack the sledgehammer approach of Bolt Thrower some of the guitar work shares a similar melancholic vibe that they often display. I’m not sure why this took so long to click as once the riffs get under your skin a surprising amount of melody cuts through, also present on some well thought out guitar solos all nimbly and fluently played. A couple of tracks I was blowing hot and cold with in particular were Concrete Salvation and Razors Edge. The former eventually won me over, simply requiring a few plays to reveal its complexities over its almost six minute length. Razors Edge, almost equal in length didn’t convert me in the end leaving little in the way of a lasting impression despite containing a fine guitar solo. Pick of the bunch for me is opener Lower Than Filth. After a Pacey start with some strong riffs the tempo drops and eventually locks into an insistent groove that had me wanting to hit repeat. Another strong contender is Apathy, at almost seven minutes the longest track on the album displays some progressive influences revealing another layer.

In the end Bitterness And Burning Hatred has come out on top. Not a classic by any stretch but Skeletal have impressed me more than enough to mark them a down as a band I want to keep an eye on and I would be surprised if we had a masterpiece from them in the future at some point.

ONSLAUGHT Generation Antichrist

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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Despite being at the forefront of all things metal in the early 80’s with the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” the UK was lagging behind, the USA in particular, when thrash metal broke through with bands like Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Megadeth and Anthrax to name the obvious contenders taking metal into faster and heavier extremes. One of the few acts around at the time that showed the UK could compete was Onslaught. I first came across them on their second album The Force, when I bought it on vinyl, as far as I remember, based on a review in Kerrang! magazine. I was immediately blown away by opener Let There Be Death from its slow burn opening before exploding full pelt into ferocious riffing and drumming. The album was raw and heavy with a great guitar tone. By the follow up the band had recruited former Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimett for 1989’s In Search Of Sanity. It was a slicker affair but lacked the ferocious impact of The Force but still contained some strong material. The band split up in the early 90’s, reforming in the mid 00’s. I must admit to not paying a lot of attention to the bands output from 2007’s Killing Peace, their first since reforming but early indications suggested Generation Antichrist, their fourth since reforming was going to be worth checking out.

I’m glad I did as Generation Antichrist shows the band still have what it takes to make a great thrash metal record. Not surprising, down to modern recording techniques, the album is sharper and tighter than their 80’s output. Thankfully the modern production doesn’t rob the album of its ferocity and they’ve released a thrash metal album stuffed with breakneck speed riffs and drumming. From opener (proper) Strike Fast Strike Hard after the short intro Rise To Power the pace rarely lets up. The quality of song writing is strong throughout as is the playing. These days only guitarist Nige Rockett remains from the original line up and bassist Jeff Williams is the only member who played on their last studio album, 2013’s VI. Rockett has recruited a strong band however including vocalist David Garnett who delivers a convincingly raw and aggressive performance and a special mention to new drummer James Perry who is relentlessly fast, tight, powerful and skilful in equal measures. Musically there’s nothing ground-breaking here, and you wouldn’t particularly expect it, but Onslaught have made a totally convincing album with no shortage of killer riffs equal to the new kids on the block and their 80’s contemporaries still in the game alike.

Generation Antichrist is a very welcome return from Onslaught and put me in the mood for checking out those other post-reformation albums more fully. They’ll have to go some to be better than this though. This might just be the best album of their career.

STYGIAN CROWN Stygian Crown

Album · 2020 · Doom Metal
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Unless they’ve somehow passed me by, great doom metal albums have been a bit thin on the ground lately, perhaps down to all this covid-19 shit. When it’s done right, no better example than the first Avatarium album, doom is as good as any sub-genre of metal you’d care to name but for every great one I could list probably tenfold tedious generic doom by numbers releases by bands who think all that’s required is a slow tempo overlaid by some low tuned sub-standard Sabbath inspired riffing.

It really goes to show how important it is what you listen to your music on as prior to buying a vinyl copy of Stygian Crown’s eponymous debut I’d given it a few listens on Spotify through headphones on the PC. Okay I thought but nothing special, but I was hearing enough that kept me going to back to it and eventually decided to buy it. Once I stuck it on the record deck the monolithic sound of the production really opened it up. Stygian Crown aren’t exactly what you’d call original but they clearly understand what makes a great doom album. The drums and bass are absolutely crushing as are the guitar riffs – a mixture of fuzzy and cleaner tones with some death metal touches thrown in, no doubt down to the fact that three band members also belong to Californian death/black/ thrash metal band Gravehill. The eight compositions, only seven on my vinyl version with When Old Gods Die missing, barring the short The Hall Of Two Truths intro are all of a decent length with nothing under six minutes. Devour The Dead kicks things of proper with a fairly typical slow tempo but soon moves up a gear where the guitars become even heavier. Throughout the album the band use plenty of tempo changes including the occasional faster double kick drum section which keep things from becoming stale. With a weaker vocalist this could have still been a strong album but in Melissa Pinion they have a powerhouse performer. She may not have a massive range but her deep, low and expressive register suits this stuff perfectly. Strong songs are what matters most though and fortunately this album has plenty of them.

I’m trying to be more selective with my music purchases these days, not always successfully, but I’m glad I took the plunge and got this one as it’s turned out to be the best doom album I’ve heard this year so far. If you’re into doom, give it a go, you’ll hopefully love it.

BLACK CURSE Endless Wound

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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I initially thought Black Curse was a new band but they’ve been kicking around since 2015 but only got around to releasing their debut album now. This is no doubt down to the fact that all members have been busy with varying amounts of success in their main bands making Black Curse a supergroup of sorts I guess. In their ranks we have members of Blood Incantation, Spectral Voice, Khemmis and Primitive Man amongst others. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn out to be a one off because it’s fucking brilliant!

Black Curse play an old school blackened style of death metal. No clinical sterile production here. This is raw as hell, the sound dense and crushing. Most of the time they adopt a wall of noise approach, apart from the occasional lull, with riffs that’ll bludgeon you into submission. This takes precedence over a more technical style with most of the songs whilst containing plenty of twists and turns to keep it fresh, are not overly complex. They save the best for last with Finality, I Behold having more great ideas into its nine minutes than many bands manage over the course of a full album. The rest of the album though has no shortage of strong tracks which are almost as good. Listen through the atmospheric murk and you’ll hear a compelling collection of riffs that reveal themselves over repeated plays. If you like Incantations blend of death metal you’ll probably like Black Curse but even they don’t quite manage to create the suffocating density on display here.

Overall then Black Curse have produced a real winner, an album that any death metal fan needs to hear. Whilst it might not get all the accolades heaped on Blood Incantations latest offering from 2019, it’s an album that I’m sure is going to be featuring on best of year lists in six months’ time.

VADER Solitude In Madness

Album · 2020 · Death Metal
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Apart from a couple of lacklustre albums – The Beast springs to mind, Vader have been releasing quality death metal for near enough thirty years. A couple of masterpieces – De Profundis and Welcome To The Morbid Reich remain highpoints but now onto their twelfth studio album there’s been no shortage of gems to get stuck into including Litany, Necropolis, Tibi Et Igni and most recently 2016’s The Empire.

Some people felt Vader had gone a bit soft on their last album The Empire. I’m sure they were talking relatively speaking as Vader could never be accused of being soft but I can understand what they were getting at as by death metal standards it was a fairly accessible album. A strong collection of great riffs, quality songs and strong musicianship won me over however and I still rate it very highly. Solitude In Madness should have no problem shutting the doubters up. From the off they hit harder and faster with the aggressive Shock And Awe, a grand statement of intent all over in just over two minutes. Most of the songs are on the short side in fact, but what they lack in length they make up for in ferocity. They still manage to pack a lot into the short time frames making some of them seem longer than they actually are but it’s all over in a mere thirty minutes. There’s no shortage of compelling riffs that soon get under the skin and of course the musicianship is top notch. Drummer James Stewart in particular demonstrating with inventiveness and precision why he’s one of the best in extreme metal. A powerful production is the icing on the cake that really brings this excellent collection of songs to life.

Vader have surpassed themselves with this one and as good as the last couple of studio albums have been I’d say this is their best since 2011’s Welcome To The Morbid Reich putting it up there with the bands best work. When you’ve been doing this as long as Vader have that must take some doing but they attack this stuff with the vigour of a band half their age. Awesome stuff indeed.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 6 hours ago in Top 3 Haken albums
    Interesting to see their first 3 albums seem to get the most love.
  • Posted 9 hours ago in Top 3 Haken albums
    [QUOTE=adg211288]The first three. [/QUOTE] You need to vote 3 times for your favourite Adam, twice for your second choice and once for your third so you'll have cast 6 votes altogether. Nightfly2020-09-20 09:04:22
  • Posted 9 hours ago in Top 3 Haken albums
    My choice in order is...1. The Mountain2. Vector3. Visions

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