Pekka

Pekka Turunen
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 1 day ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

744 reviews/ratings
GUNS N' ROSES - Appetite For Destruction Hard Rock | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid Heavy Metal | review permalink
TYPE O NEGATIVE - Life Is Killing Me Gothic Metal | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - System of a Down Alternative Metal | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Toxicity Alternative Metal | review permalink
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Mezmerize Alternative Metal | review permalink
FAITH NO MORE - Angel Dust Alternative Metal | review permalink
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal | review permalink
ALICE IN CHAINS - MTV Unplugged Non-Metal | review permalink
PRIESTESS - Prior to the Fire Hard Rock | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Somewhere In Time Heavy Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Heavy Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Eddie's Archive NWoBHM | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
SÓLSTAFIR - Masterpiece Of Bitterness Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality Heavy Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - BBC Archives NWoBHM | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Beast Over Hammersmith NWoBHM | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 117 3.68
2 Hard Rock 110 3.66
3 Progressive Metal 109 3.83
4 Non-Metal 70 3.67
5 Thrash Metal 47 3.69
6 Alternative Metal 41 3.79
7 Metal Related 39 3.82
8 Heavy Alternative Rock 30 3.62
9 NWoBHM 19 4.16
10 Proto-Metal 18 4.25
11 Symphonic Metal 15 3.83
12 Avant-garde Metal 15 3.83
13 Melodic Death Metal 13 3.73
14 US Power Metal 12 3.92
15 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 10 4.10
16 Glam Metal 7 3.21
17 Sludge Metal 7 4.07
18 Power Metal 7 4.21
19 Metalcore 6 3.75
20 Death-Doom Metal 6 3.83
21 Doom Metal 5 4.40
22 Hardcore Punk 5 3.70
23 Death Metal 5 3.50
24 Groove Metal 4 3.63
25 Gothic Metal 4 4.00
26 Black Metal 4 3.75
27 Stoner Metal 4 4.00
28 Stoner Rock 4 3.50
29 Rap Metal 3 3.83
30 Funk Metal 3 2.83
31 Heavy Psych 2 4.25
32 Grindcore 1 3.00
33 Nu Metal 1 1.50
34 Technical Death Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Madison Square Garden (2010)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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The ongoing Lost Not Forgotten Archives series has gotten a good few brand new Mangini era releases in addition to the Official Bootleg reissues, and Live at Madison Square Garden (2010) carries the distinction of being the very first previously unheard Portnoy era recording issued under the new header. This was most likely slated for release around 2010/2011 but scrapped along with the entire project when the drummer split. After the recent mending of fences between all parties it comes as no big surprise, but indeed a very welcome one, that it is dug out from the bin and finally put out.

Recorded during a run supporting Iron Maiden on their Final Frontier tour, the recording finds the band doing a rare short set clocking in at just under 50 minutes with only six songs with no true epics mixed in. Home is the longest track of the bunch at eleven minutes, and the band launches right into the heavier riffs skipping the moody intro of the original recording. The entire set consists of heavier songs from six different albums ranging from the classic Pull Me Under to the then-recent single A Rite of Passage from the at the time latest album Black Clouds and Silver Linings.

After some recent rather well produced entries the MSG show - which carries the credit "produced by John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy for JaM Progductions" further lending credence to the theory that the release was ready to go all those years ago - is a bit more bootleggy affair. The sound is fairly ok in quality, but wildly uneven in volume levels. The vocals are particularly loud and the echo of the arena is gigantic, and amusingly during the Petrucci solo in A Rite of Passage the loudest instrument is the one note backing line of Jordan Rudess' keyboards. Speaking of Rudess, listeners that find his Continuum freakouts offputting should approach with caution, as his solo in the same song is also very very much at the forefront.

Less than slick production aside, the performance is very fine from all members. LaBrie is in good form and, in contrast to the stiffer live habits of the Mangini era, the presence of Portnoy brings some nice looseness in drum arrangements, but also some pretty annoying and pointless mid-song hollers. But it's understandable if he was a bit over-excited as after the set closer he thanks the audience mentioning that the band was formed 25 years ago across the city dreaming of playing this perhaps the most iconic indoor venue in the world.

Live at Madison Square Garden is a very welcome addition to the Dream Theater live canon, and hopefully just the first foray into the Portnoy era recordings that were left in the vaults when the original series went cold.

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Live at Wacken (2015)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2022 · Progressive Metal
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As a somewhat serious Dream Theater fan who lacked the funds to buy the original Official Bootlegs back when they came out and subsequently got burned by UNofficial versions multiple times when trying to hunt them down at Discogs.com, I greeted the news of the re-issue program Lost Not Forgotten Archives with glee. In addition to the Portnoy-issued releases the new series was to include brand new recordings from the Mangini era as well.

Recorded during Dream Theater's first visit to the iconic Wacken Open Air festival at the tail end of their 30th Anniversary Tour, the band does a chronological set starting from their first album and ending with the then-last one. As this is indeed a festival show with a shorter time slot than their usual headline events some songs have been dropped from the list, but what is left is a reasonably solid mix ranging from early deep cut Afterlife to some of their most enduring tracks like Metropolis pt. 1 and The Spirit Carries on.

Dream Theater being Dream Theater you know what you're getting from the instrumentalists, and thus any live album lives and dies by James LaBrie's vocal performance. What I really appreciate with these official bootlegs is that while the recent "properly" released Distant Memories live box set was noticeably auto-tuned, this series has always presented an honest picture of what went on any particular night. And in Wacken LaBrie was not having his strongest performance, to put it nicely. As has been the habit for many a show the last decade or so, he does fine when the going is mellow, but when in need of power and range it goes sideways. Bellowing somewhere around the correct notes his pronunciation of the lyrics is often cursory at best.

In addition to the general air of Inside Out half-assing the whole project compared to the lovingly put together originals, there have been a couple of inexplicable decisions made, and on this particular release I can't for the life of me think of a good reason why they left out the final track Behind the Veil. It's not space constraints since it would have fit just fine on any of the formats and it's not a LaBrie issue since there are some way more brutal moments on earlier songs. This would have been the first official live recording of that song, but for some reason they just didn't want to do it.

I'm hoping they have in their vaults a headline show from earlier on the tour with the complete setlist and a less strained vocalist. As it stands Live at Wacken is a nice addition to the series but nothing worth returning to very often.

METALLICA Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

Album · 2016 · Heavy Metal
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Death Magnetic in 2008 was obviously a lengthy step in the right direction following the all-encompassing nadir of the St. Anger era, but I've always had a problem with the well publicized Rick Rubin mindset of re-living the past instead of looking to the future and evolving. Maybe that was what they needed to do to get back on track and win back some credibility as a creative act, but as a fan of the Load era I was disappointed that they almost completely shut down that avenue.

But on Hardwired...to Self Destruct Metallica act their age and embrace not only their thrashing days, but their entire history. The early part of the album is dominated by the faster side of their toolbox while the second is heavy on mid-tempo numbers very much reminiscent of the early-to-mid 90s output - you can even hear a hint of St. Anger in the screeching heaviness of parts of Am I Savage?

Hardwired continues right where Death Magnetic left off with the title track joining My Apocalypse as the most straightforward thrash tunes they've written since maybe even Kill 'em All. The other songs reaching back to the proggier side of 80s - namely Atlas Rise, the absolutely superb Moth into Flame and the furious closer Spit Out the Bone - are extremely effective and convincing. Other fairly strong pieces are the Sad-But-True-meets-The-Thing-That-Should-Not-Be mashup Dream No More, the heavy epic Halo on Fire, the dirt and spit juggernaut Am I Savage? and the pretty basic heavy rock of Confusion that I still for some reason enjoy quite a lot, despite the directionless improvised noodlings behind the second verse.

Apart from the aforementioned improv part and the clumsy beat holding back the pre-solo section of ManUNkind this album thankfully lacks the head scratching arrangement and quality control blunders that plagued parts of Death Magnetic and the sound production is also vastly superior. The excellent Ronnie Rising medley recorded for the at the time recent Dio tribute album, and again included here on the special edition, gave some promise of slightly slicker sound than what's been heard on most of their output this century, and those promises were indeed fulfilled with Hardwired...to Self-Destruct sounding like an album with production values thought beyond a mere "this is what we sound like in our garage". For the first time in his time in Metallica, Robert Trujillo is taken seriously as a ballsy kick ass bassist, and he provides a perfect fat rumble as a foundation for all the Hetfield riffs. Lars limps his way through the faster thrashy beats, but is very very solid most of the way when the tempo is taken down to Load era levels.

With the new album 72 Seasons announced I thought I'd get back to the old review draft I left unfinished around the release of Hardwired, and I find that my respect for the album has diminished somewhat. While in the beginning I was very much enjoying the whole scope from straight up thrash to the sludgy Load soundalikes, now years later I find that the songwriting especially during some of the slower songs on the second half just hasn't stood the test of time that well. On the other hand Atlas Rise and especially Moth Into Flame are hands down some of the finest Metallica tunes from the last 35ish years and the production is leaps and bounds better than anything since Garage Inc.

I always wanted them to release a varied album like this as I felt that the Rubin-led thrashier approach of Death Magnetic was a bit forced and the slower mid-90s sound was the one they were naturally evolving into, but looking at it now I see I was wrong since it's the former that produces the greatest highlights here. It will be interesting to hear what kind of balance they strike on the upcoming 72 Seasons.

IRON MAIDEN Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City

Live album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
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There are two viewpoints for looking at the way Iron Maiden operates nowadays, of which one is to see them as an endlessly cashgrabbing nostalgia act milking the fans with a live release after another. This is of course wrong since the other, better, opinion is that if there's no live release from every tour, there's not enough! Plus they've had a continuous cycle of album tour -> hits tour -> album tour -> hits tour going on since 98, so it's not a thing they started doing in their old days.

So for me, being a semi-obsessive semi-diehard, every live release is a reason for celebration. Frankly I did not see this one coming since apart from Flight 666 they have not done any official releases from the retrospective tours despite some of them containing very strong era-specific themes that people like me would love to have. Extremely loosely based on a Maiden themed mobile game Legacy of the Beast this tour fleshes out the regular hit list with deep cuts from different points in the past, even including the Blaze era.

I saw the show in Helsinki and absolutely loved it. The stage presentation with the airborne spitfires and stained glass cathedrals was the most stunning I'd ever seen them do, and the setlist is indeed a treat. But one thing I noticed clearly was that, finally, age was starting to catch up with them. It just so happens that the person setting the tempo and keeping the beat is also the oldest member of the band, and Nicko McBrain's performance was regrettably sloppy with many a fill going sorta almost like it should but stumbling halfway.

Taken by itself the all the deficiencies of this release are not too obvious, but I happened to listen to Nights of the Dead right after the brilliant Flight 666 the other day, and compared to that one the tempos seem a bit sluggish in places, band performance less than airtight, bass sound is thin, guitars pretty quiet and Bruce, while hitting the notes, is laboring like hell. You get used to the mix after a few songs, but in comparison to the older release the difference was very obvious. One thing is the audience noise which sounds like some weird synthetic din, and as this release was a covid-19 stopgap it might even be possible that they never recorded the audience properly in the first place and had to manufacture something in its place.

The pure golden setlist takes this one very far, but the performance and production keep it from reaching its full potential. For the first time I'm a bit concerned about the future of Iron Maiden.

AC/DC Live At River Plate

Live album · 2012 · Hard Rock
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Oh AC/DC - the eternal, unchanging, ever dependable. After going into hibernation following the Stiff Upper Lip world tour nobody, including the band themselves, seemed to know if there was ever going to be a new AC/DC album. It took its time but there it was in the end, Black Ice. More of the same ol', obviously, everybody still seemed to be in shape to deliver.

But to deliver on stage is a whole different deal, especially when it's a bunch of old farts still trying to rock out like youngsters. The major concern at least for me was Brian Johnson's voice, after all his style of singing, ahem, vocalizing ("If you want a singer, go check out the local church choir" is a quote of his that's stuck with me for years) is one that will easily blow the vocal chords to shreds. Maybe it was the years of rest his voice got, but here he's just as good as he ever was. And thankfully that goes for the entire group. AC/DC's never been so much about tempo and dexterity as about groove and badassery, and those are qualities that age doesn't tend to hinder, though it's understandable that they're not quite as reckless and dangerous as the band that recorded If You Want Blood.

As far as the setlist goes, it's hard for AC/DC to squeeze any new material among the countless classics they just have to play every night (as evidenced by them playing only one Stiff Upper Lip song on many of the nights on that tour), but here they manage to play four. Now when it comes to studio albums AC/DC The Relevant Recording Artist sort of ends for me after Flick of the Switch, but from this newest batch especially Rock 'N' Roll Train and Big Jack don't stand out too badly. The rest of it is pure Greatest Hits material, but since it's been 20 years since the last live album, it's okay to get new versions of the same songs.

I saw AC/DC on the Black Ice tour, and by seeing I mean that I was drinking beer with buddies at the back of the Olympic Stadium, a hundred metres from the stage, barely catching a glimpse of Angus Young's bare arse. And I had a blast. I've since held the opinion that AC/DC is the ultimate party band, because if a tightass like me who has never before or never since gone to a rock show for anything else than the music and the music only thinks it was completely sensible to spend 80 euros on the ticket and several more on beer without even bothering to watch the band play, there's something in it that nobody else has.

This release does a fine job capturing that something. It's AC/DC, it's live, and they've still got it.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 days ago in New Metallica - underwhelming?
    I thought Hardwired had a couple of really good songs on it, especially Moth Into Flame is one of their finest in a loooong time (I belong to the camp who finds a lot of virtue in the Load era as well). I also liked the first single off 72 Seasons, but if they think Screaming Suicide is a good one to get people sold on it then I'm worried what the rest of the album sounds like. Smack down in the middle of mediocrity, that one.
  • Posted 32 days ago in Favorite Ozzy-fronted 'Sabbath album?
    The run from Paranoid to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is pretty unbeatable, and the last one of those is usually my favorite if one can name such a thing. Sabotage and 13 are excellent as well. I'm always conflicted on the debut since it might very well be the single most revolutionary album in heavy metal history but in the end it doesn't have too many really good songs on it. I rarely listen to Never Say Die or Technical Ecstasy.
  • Posted 8 months ago in Children of Bodom members talk about end of band
    There was an excellent article in a Finnish newspaper with the surviving core members of CoB talking about the real reasons behind the band's demise and Alexi Laiho's tailspin. It has been translated into English and can be read here: https://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/art-2000008804579.html

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