Pekka

Pekka Turunen
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 4 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

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819 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
SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Hypnotize 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

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 131 3.69
2 Progressive Metal 128 3.86
3 Hard Rock 112 3.64
4 Non-Metal 79 3.67
5 Thrash Metal 63 3.72
6 Metal Related 41 3.84
7 Alternative Metal 40 3.80
8 Heavy Alternative Rock 33 3.65
9 NWoBHM 20 4.15
10 Proto-Metal 18 4.25
11 Melodic Death Metal 17 3.76
12 Symphonic Metal 16 3.81
13 Avant-garde Metal 15 3.83
14 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 13 3.96
15 US Power Metal 12 3.92
16 Power Metal 9 4.06
17 Sludge Metal 7 4.07
18 Glam Metal 7 3.21
19 Death-Doom Metal 6 3.83
20 Doom Metal 5 4.40
21 Death Metal 5 3.50
22 Hardcore Punk 5 3.70
23 Stoner Metal 5 3.90
24 Stoner Rock 5 3.50
25 Groove Metal 4 3.63
26 Gothic Metal 4 4.00
27 Black Metal 4 3.75
28 Funk Metal 3 2.83
29 Rap Metal 3 3.83
30 Metalcore 3 3.33
31 Heavy Psych 2 4.25
32 Grindcore 1 3.00
33 Deathcore 1 4.00
34 Nu Metal 1 1.50
35 Technical Death Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

METALLICA (LIVEMETALLICA.COM) 2004/06/06 Download Festival, Donington, England

Live album · 2004 · Thrash Metal
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What if Metallica had a different drummer? The wet dream of thousands upon thousands of comment section Lars bashers was actually answered one night in the middle of the Madly in Anger with the World tour in June 2004. On the flight towards Donington something happened that prevented Lars from performing that night, and while nothing of substance was said at the time it has been at least insinuated later that it was something to do with complete exhaustion and and some sort of health episode related to that.

While a full show was out of the question, in an effort to offer the crowd at least something the rest of the 'tallica boys went around the backstage area looking for drummers who might know some of their songs and found three. Some decent drumming chaps called Dave Lombardo and Joey Jordison answered the call, and Lars' drum tech Flemming Larsen got the nod as well, with Jordison playing the lion's share of the set.

I've often wondered what went through James Hetfield's mind, after the concern for the ailing bandmate subsided and he's in the moment playing Battery with Dave fucking Lombardo driving the beat behind him. The obvious lack of rehearsal time is apparent in many places but the power behind every cymbal hit and bass drum beat is quite incredible. On his two tracks Lombardo follows the recorded arrangements somewhat closely, just with everything powered up to 150%, but Joey Jordison takes a ton more liberties with his playing.

Jordison's portion of the show is regrettably Black Album oriented since his Creeping Death is the other definite highlight of the show, with extra fills and bass drum bursts at every turn. One is left to wonder what he could have done with some other thrash classics instead of the tamer material heard here. Someone other who might have had a lot going through his mind was Lars' long time right hand man Flemming Larsen who does a competent job on Fade to Black.

Two days later Lars was back in the saddle and this remains the only show ever that Metallica has played without one of the four members at any given time. A really fascinating glimpse into an alternate universe.

DREAM THEATER Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time Demos (2018)

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 2023 · Progressive Metal
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...or Lost Not Forgotten Archives: Distance Over Time INSTRUMENTAL Demos (2018) as it would be called if InsideOut put just a little more effort into maintaining continuity within the series. At least they finally seem to have settled on parentheses as the manner in which to display the years where each recording originates from after messing with three different styles earlier on in the series. Yes, I'm somewhat pedantic and yes, this has bothered me way more than I wish to admit.

This offering documents the fruits of the early sessions in a highly secret location which later turned out to be Yonderbarn Studios in Monticello, New York. As Train of Thought before, and unlike any other demo issues in the series, this is indeed an entirely instrumental recording since James LaBrie, who resides on the other side of the continent in Canada, was present not in person but via the magic of internet and thus apparently not able or required to lay down any demo takes for his vocals.

Distance Over Time might be my favorite Mangini era DT work and while it's a welcome change of viewpoint to hear the tracks entirely bare of vocals, it's also a bit of a letdown since it would've been interesting to hear a bit more natural voice on these songs instead of the sometimes heavily processed one like on the finished album. On the plus side though, at least my listening habit is often so lead-line focused that I find lots of riffs and layers I've never noticed before while focusing on the vocal lines on top of them.

It's a small thing, but might be my favorite thing on the entire album: Mike Mangini's snare sounds pretty damn good and lively in this unproduced state instead of the very triggered sounding hefty thump that he usually employs - or might just be that instead of triggers his superhuman skill results in each stroke sounding exactly the same when the red light is on for real.

Anyhow, all that this release is in the end is all the same songs pretty much exactly as they would be recorded later on, just in the chronological order as they were written and minus the vocals and the polish of the finished product. The very definition of a "collectors/fans only" release, but as such a very nice one, yet still one that will stay on the shelf for most of the time and deserve just the occasional spin every few years. Or whenever you're in need of some good old DT karaoke.

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.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 4 months ago in Wintersun Announces That Time II is (Finally) Done
    I've never actually listened to a second of Wintersun but I sometimes amuse myself by reading the Wintersun thread on a Finnish musicians' forum. There's no a lot of goodwill left for the grand maestro.
  • Posted 6 months ago in Mike Portnoy Rejoins Dream Theater
    I really really like three of the five Mangini era albums but I vastly prefer the drum sound and liveliness of Portnoy's drumming, so I'm very interested in where this is going. The songwriting has been pretty great for the last two, MP's addition could boost it even more or then go downhill. It's a pretty uneven discography as a whole.
  • Posted 8 months ago in Most Underappreciated Judas Priest Album?
    I really have only about five or six Priest albums I keep returning to and the rest I very rarely listen to. Out of these Point of Entry is the closest to getting any rotation at all.

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