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Paul
Forum Admin Group · Death, D/S/D, T/S/G Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 4 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

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2314 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 376 3.77
2 Hard Rock 346 3.58
3 Heavy Metal 183 3.67
4 Progressive Metal 172 3.83
5 Thrash Metal 156 3.74
6 Technical Death Metal 96 3.91
7 Melodic Death Metal 90 3.68
8 Non-Metal 84 3.34
9 Black Metal 78 3.76
10 Glam Metal 59 3.31
11 Doom Metal 54 3.75
12 Proto-Metal 53 3.72
13 Metal Related 51 3.72
14 Brutal Death Metal 43 3.71
15 Power Metal 41 3.89
16 US Power Metal 39 3.82
17 Traditional Doom Metal 30 3.88
18 Stoner Metal 29 3.83
19 NWoBHM 28 3.77
20 Technical Thrash Metal 26 3.98
21 Alternative Metal 24 3.33
22 Groove Metal 22 3.66
23 Melodic Black Metal 21 3.93
24 Heavy Alternative Rock 20 3.35
25 Atmospheric Black Metal 18 3.58
26 Heavy Psych 16 4.00
27 Gothic Metal 14 3.61
28 Speed Metal 14 3.82
29 Death-Doom Metal 12 3.71
30 Neoclassical metal 10 3.60
31 Symphonic Black Metal 9 3.72
32 Funeral Doom Metal 9 3.78
33 Funk Metal 9 3.28
34 Symphonic Metal 8 3.44
35 Sludge Metal 7 4.07
36 Avant-garde Metal 7 3.29
37 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 6 3.67
38 Death 'n' Roll 5 3.40
39 Folk Metal 5 3.80
40 Metalcore 5 3.60
41 Nu Metal 5 2.90
42 Stoner Rock 5 4.00
43 Melodic Metalcore 4 3.75
44 Crossover Thrash 4 3.75
45 Grindcore 4 3.13
46 Crust Punk 3 3.17
47 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
48 Mathcore 3 4.00
49 Deathgrind 2 3.75
50 Viking Metal 2 3.25
51 Rap Metal 1 2.00
52 Pagan Black Metal 1 4.00
53 Drone Metal 1 4.00
54 Hardcore Punk 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

ANGEL DUST To Dust You Will Decay

Album · 1988 · Speed Metal
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It’s only in the last year or two that I actually heard Angel Dust for the first time. After starting life as a speed metal band in the 80’s, they split up after two albums and reformed in 1997, re-inventing themselves as a power metal band, releasing a further four albums. It was on these later releases that were my first taste of the band. I’m quite selective with power metal, generally preferring the heavier USPM, but German PM bands can often be heavier than many of their other European counterparts as well. Such is the case with Angel Dust and I was impressed with their strong hooks and melodies that didn’t sacrifice heaviness.

To Dust You Will Decay, released in 1988, is the second of their original incarnation albums. It’s not surprisingly as slick as their later work but still has a powerful , full and professional sounding production, especially for the time when lesser known bands often released albums with a less than perfect sound to put it kindly. The band are tight and the nine songs are well played speed metal , occasionally verging on thrash, with no shortage of compelling riffs on not surprisingly, mainly up-tempo numbers. It’s on these songs where the band is at their best, the few mid-paced songs like Wings Of An Angel being less memorable though lesser bands would be glad of them. The songs often contain melodic elements making a bridge to their later power metal style. The increase in melody is more noticeable from their debut which was at the thrashier end of speed metal, which nevertheless was an equally fine album. Pick of the bunch? The King and the title track and The Duel are as good a choice as any, as I prefer my metal fast but there’s plenty of similar quality to pick from here.

I wish I’d been aware of this band in the 80’s as this is certainly an album I would have bought at the time but in those pre-internet days it wasn’t as easy to hear new albums as it is now. Still better late than never and I can recommend this along with Angel Dust’s other five albums very highly.

CAMBION Conflagate The Celestial Refugium

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Conflagate The Celestial Refugium is the debut album from multi-national Cambion. A new band to me, having not heard their previously released EP and demo. The three band members have been playing in extreme, mainly death metal bands, for years though apart from Hate Eternal whom drummer Chason Westmoreland briefly played with, I am also unfamiliar with.

From the off its obvious this is going to be a pretty intense ride. Relentless ultra-fast blast beats and a blur of double kicks, with only the occasional respite where they slow it down a bit, are the order of the day on this slab of blackened death metal with thrashy undercurrents. It’s technical stuff with brilliant musicianship from all involved. Those who enjoy the intensity of the likes of AngelCorpse and Perdition Temple should lap this up. Fortunately they’ve also got great songs with the riffs to back all the bluster up and over the thirty eight minutes my interest never waned, which for an album that on the face of it offers little musical variation, takes some doing. However, final track Obscuratio, a nine minute plus instrumental, sees the band trying something a bit different. The break neck blasts are still there but it takes time before we reach them, prior to which from a lone guitar opening we get a more tempered approach. It makes a good closer but the previous seven tracks are where this albums strengths lie.

Conflagate The Celestial Refugium has turned out to be a great find, an album that I’ve been playing more than most over the last couple of months. Certainly one of the best death metal albums of the year so far. Essential listening for fans of the genre.

SUFFERING HOUR The Cyclic Reckoning

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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Back in 2017 Suffering Hour created quite a stir with their debut album “In Passing Ascension”. Their distinctive take on blackened death metal won them many admirers so not surprisingly album number two, “The Cyclic Reckoning” arrives with high expectations.

Whilst the band shows growth they continue using the template they cut last time. Their sound is pretty distinctive mainly down to the guitar work of YhA which is quite clean with plenty of top end and vibrato and a heavy chorus effect – a seventies vibe even at times. The songs, only five in total, sound cold and atmospheric loaded with plenty of dissonance. The thin top heavy production bears more resemblance to black than death metal and in fact the music does sit in both camps. Personally I would have preferred the rhythm section to have a meatier sound as they lack power and sound distant in the mix. No doubt this is deliberate though adding to the cold, icy feel. As a result of this the guitar does tend to overshadow everything else, including the vocals, so it’s just as well that YhA has come up with some engaging riffs though they’re far from immediate and require some perseverance to fully appreciate. The album closes with the sixteen and a half minute “The Foundations of Servitude” giving them ample opportunity to stretch things out and not surprisingly is the most complex track here. The opening chiming chords soon descend into a maelstrom of riffs backed by the ever-shifting bass and drums. It’s the best track on offer and whilst the first four songs hint at what’s to come it’s only now that I feel the band reach their full potential.

A minor criticism from me is despite its uniqueness; the guitar sound does wear a bit thin over time and seems to offer limited opportunities for growth on future albums if they stick with it. But I’m getting too far ahead here so concentrating on “The Cyclic Reckoning”, whilst it’s an album I admire rather than love, there’s no denying it’s very good and full marks must go to Suffering Hour for trying to do something original in a genre (or genres) of music where it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

CRYPTOSIS Bionic Swarm

Album · 2021 · Technical Thrash Metal
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It’s not often I give out a 5 star review as there’s not that many albums that are without even a few minor flaws. In the case of Bionic Swarm, the debut album from Dutch technical thrash metal band Cryptosis I had to make one of my rare exceptions, such the quality on offer here. This is their debut album but they were previously active as Distillator since 2013 so they’ve had time to cut their teeth and it shows.

Cryptosis occupy a similar place to Voivod and Vektor with their spacey and futuristic thrash metal. They’ve even just released a split with the latter recently. Naturally being added to our technical thrash metal sub here on MMA the music is complex as expected. It’s often very fast though not relentlessly so and busy. The songs often have strong and memorable melodies so it’s not one of those total guitar wankery exercises with style over substance. Far from it in fact as the strength of the melodies, often having a melancholic vibe helped by their use of mellotron, is one of the albums greatest strengths. There is also plenty of prog elements on display so fans of prog metal may find it to their liking if they are not averse to the vocals usually associated with more extreme metal genres. It’s an album that’s best listened to as a whole as every song as it comes is my new favourite! Another reason is it’s also a concept album of eight connected stories according to the band set in the year 2149. Naturally the playing is top notch with some blistering fret work and fast, precise and busy drumming – essential for this sort of stuff of course. The icing on the cake is the clear and powerful production allowing every nuance and intricacy to shine through.

Bionic Swarm is an album I’ve played often in the last few weeks, on heavy rotation in the car and at home. Deservedly so as well as at the time of writing it’s my favourite album of 2021 so far. Essential listening for fans of extreme metal, but also well worth a listen for prog metal fans too.

THE CROWN Royal Destroyer

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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The Crown, a death metal band (sometimes melodic death metal) from Sweden were active from 1998 until 2004, though prior to that they were known as Crown Of Thorns. They then reformed in 2009. It’s only since this reformation I’ve really took much notice of them though what I’ve heard of the earlier albums seems solid enough without being spectacular but perhaps I need to give them a thorough checking out as I know some people rate some of their early work very highly . Since 2009 though I’m well aware of the quality death metal the band have been releasing, the highpoint being 2018’s Cobra Speed Venom. Catchy crushing riffs aplenty really brought to life by a powerful and clear production. I was therefore looking forward to their latest album Royal Destroyer to see if they could keep the momentum going.

Initial impressions were good, another powerful production though not quite as bright as Cobra Speed Venom which is not a criticism. First track proper, after a short intro, Let The Hammering Begin! gets things off to a great start – fast, incredibly heavy and insistent brutal riffing that doesn’t take long to get under the skin. Things continue in a similar vein with no shortage of equally pummelling riffs, sometimes injecting a thrash element. Whilst speed and ferocity are largely the order of the day they do slow things down now and again, the first time apart from a few short bursts being on Glorious Hades. It’s not bad but I did find my attention wandering so it was good to hear that follower Full Metal Justice catches them on full throttle again where they are at their best. Later in the album a few tracks like We Drift On sees the band running out of steam but they find their form again for closer (unless you have the bonus track version) Beyond The Frail which is one of the best songs here.

Another overall strong album from The Crown then. Cobra Speed Venom remains my favourite which this doesn’t quite match down to a few tracks robbing it of great status but at its best equals past glories. Well worth checking out though and I’m sure most fans of the band will be pretty happy with this one.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 1 day ago in Death Metal Kill Zone
    Powerful stuff from Aeon after a gap of 9 years since the last one...
  • Posted 1 day ago in Melancholic metal songs
    A lot of Opeth's stuff has a melancholic vibe like The Moor on Still Life or Porcelain Heart on Watershed. In fact their discography is littered with tracks that if not necessarilly melancholic for the whole song are at least in parts.
  • Posted 3 days ago in Can we take a moment to appreciate 7 H.Target?
    Not heard of them but I'm curious to check them out now.

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