Phonebook Eater

Nick
MMA Metal Reviewer ·
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit more than 2 years ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

230 reviews/ratings
OPETH - Blackwater Park Progressive Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - The Perfect Element, Part 1 Progressive Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Anno Domini High Definition Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Ænima Alternative Metal | review permalink
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Bath Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Still Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Lateralus Progressive Metal | review permalink
RAINBOW - Rising Heavy Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Awake Progressive Metal | review permalink
PANTERA - Cowboys From Hell Groove Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast NWoBHM
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - Fear Of A Blank Planet Metal Related | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal | review permalink
NEGURĂ BUNGET - OM Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Through Silver In Blood Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
BURZUM - Hvis Lyset Tar Oss Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Killing Machine Heavy Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Symbolic Technical Death Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Screaming For Vengeance Heavy Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
PORCUPINE TREE - In Absentia Metal Related | review permalink
UNEXPECT - Fables of the Sleepless Empire Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ARCTURUS - The Sham Mirrors Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - Visions Progressive Metal | review permalink
BURZUM - Filosofem Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - British Steel Heavy Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller Power Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Kivenkantaja Viking Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Verisäkeet Folk Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Shrine of New Generation Slaves Metal Related | review permalink
MASTODON - Crack The Skye Sludge Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Choirs Of The Eye Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Terria Progressive Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - One Hour by the Concrete Lake Progressive Metal | review permalink
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - Leaving Your Body Map Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Alternative 4 Metal Related | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Images and Words Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - The Mantle Folk Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Entropia Progressive Metal | review permalink
MR. BUNGLE - Disco Volante Metal Related | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Iron Maiden NWoBHM | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Killers NWoBHM | review permalink
AYREON - The Human Equation Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - 10,000 Days Progressive Metal
NINE INCH NAILS - The Fragile Metal Related | review permalink
MELVINS - Lysol Sludge Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ziltoid The Omniscient Progressive Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Road Salt One Non-Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - A Natural Disaster Non-Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - We're Here Because We're Here Non-Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Ashes Against the Grain Folk Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Autumn Aurora Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini Progressive Metal
FEN - Epoch Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - Leviathan Sludge Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Deliverance Progressive Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
SUNN O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions Drone Metal | review permalink
THY CATAFALQUE - Róka Hasa Rádió Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
SEPTICFLESH - The Great Mass Death Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Deconstruction Progressive Metal | review permalink
A PERFECT CIRCLE - Mer de Noms Heavy Alternative Rock | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Souls at Zero Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Times Of Grace Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - A Sun That Never Sets Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - Aquarius Progressive Metal | review permalink
LEPROUS - Bilateral Progressive Metal | review permalink
ARCH / MATHEOS - Sympathetic Resonance Progressive Metal | review permalink
PRIMORDIAL - To the Nameless Dead Folk Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Ghost Non-Metal | review permalink
*SHELS - Plains Of The Purple Buffalo Metal Related | review permalink
THY CATAFALQUE - Rengeteg Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
GOJIRA - From Mars to Sirius Death Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - Turn Loose the Swans Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Angel and the Dark River Doom Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Stained Class Heavy Metal | review permalink
DISMEMBER - Like an Everflowing Stream Death Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Voimasta ja kunniasta Folk Metal | review permalink
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM - Two Hunters Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
VEKTOR - Black Future Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
KYLESA - Static Tensions Sludge Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Dreadful Hours Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - V: Hävitetty Folk Metal | review permalink
IN MOURNING - The Weight Of Oceans Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Salvation Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Somewhere Along The Highway Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
LEPROUS - Coal Progressive Metal | review permalink
THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN - One Of Us Is The Killer Mathcore | review permalink
INTRONAUT - Prehistoricisms Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
MAUDLIN OF THE WELL - My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
IN THE WOODS... - Omnio Progressive Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Second Life Syndrome Metal Related | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Judgement Non-Metal | review permalink
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - Into The Everflow Progressive Metal | review permalink
MR. BUNGLE - California Metal Related | review permalink
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - Of Natural History Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
POSSESSED - Seven Churches Death Metal | review permalink
ALCEST - Écailles de lune Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
IRON MAIDEN - Brave New World Heavy Metal
OPETH - Orchid Death Metal
DREAM THEATER - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence Progressive Metal
SYMPHONY X - The Odyssey Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Marrow of the Spirit Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
PORCUPINE TREE - The Incident Metal Related | review permalink
DRUDKH - Кров у наших криницях (Blood in Our Wells) Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Пісні скорботи і самітності (Songs of Grief and Solitude) Non-Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Damnation Non-Metal | review permalink
OPETH - My Arms, Your Hearse Death Metal | review permalink
REDEMPTION - The Fullness Of Time Progressive Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Show No Mercy Thrash Metal | review permalink
LONG DISTANCE CALLING - Long Distance Calling Metal Related | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Addicted Alternative Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa Folk Metal | review permalink
WORMROT - Dirge Grindcore | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - A Dramatic Turn of Events Progressive Metal | review permalink
ARCTURUS - Aspera Hiems Symfonia Symphonic Black Metal | review permalink
ARCTURUS - La Masquerade Infernale Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - The Eye Of Every Storm Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
GHOST BRIGADE - Until Fear No Longer Defines Us Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
LEPROUS - Tall Poppy Syndrome Progressive Metal | review permalink
ALTAR OF PLAGUES - Mammal Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - The Sleeping Gods Progressive Metal | review permalink
MASTODON - The Hunter Progressive Metal | review permalink
PRIMORDIAL - The Gathering Wilderness Folk Metal | review permalink
WOLVERINE - Communication Lost Progressive Metal | review permalink
X-PANDA - Flight of Fancy Progressive Metal | review permalink
PRIMORDIAL - Redemption at the Puritan's Hand Folk Metal | review permalink
WOODS OF DESOLATION - Torn Beyond Reason Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Heritage Metal Related | review permalink
VEKTOR - Outer Isolation Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
ALCEST - Les Voyages de L'âme Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
DODECAHEDRON - Dodecahedron Black Metal | review permalink
GOJIRA - The Way of All Flesh Death Metal | review permalink
JUDAS PRIEST - Sin After Sin Heavy Metal | review permalink
KYLESA - Spiral Shadow Stoner Metal | review permalink
GOJIRA - L'Enfant Sauvage Death Metal | review permalink
RUSH - Clockwork Angels Hard Rock | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Eternal Kingdom Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Vertikal Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
KYLESA - Ultraviolet Stoner Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Rapid Eye Movement Metal Related | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Train of Thought Progressive Metal | review permalink
AYREON - Into the Electric Castle Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Opiate Alternative Metal | review permalink
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - A Social Grace Progressive Metal | review permalink
MR. BUNGLE - Mr. Bungle Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Scarsick Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Octavarium Progressive Metal | review permalink
IN THE WOODS... - Strange in Stereo Progressive Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - From Which Of This Oak Melodic Black Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - The Crestfallen EP Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Paradise Lost Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal | review permalink
RIVERSIDE - Out Of Myself Metal Related
IHSAHN - After Progressive Metal
DRUDKH - Forgotten Legends Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Morningrise Death Metal | review permalink
LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT - Liquid Tension Experiment 2 Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLOOD CEREMONY - Living With the Ancients Traditional Doom Metal | review permalink
GRAYCEON - All We Destroy Progressive Metal | review permalink
HAVOK - Time Is Up Thrash Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Enemy Of The Sun Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - A Change of Seasons Progressive Metal | review permalink
DREAM THEATER - Black Clouds & Silver Linings Progressive Metal | review permalink
ULCERATE - The Destroyers of All Technical Death Metal | review permalink
NEUROSIS - Given To The Rising Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
ARCTURUS - Sideshow Symphonies Progressive Metal | review permalink
LITURGY - Aesthethica Black Metal | review permalink
DISMA - Towards the Megalith Death Metal | review permalink
ESOTERIC - Paragon of Dissonance Funeral Doom Metal | review permalink
PAIN OF SALVATION - Road Salt Two Non-Metal | review permalink
CYNIC - Carbon-Based Anatomy Metal Related | review permalink
BURZUM - Det Som Engang Var Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
GOJIRA - Terra Incognita Death Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Вічний оберт колеса (Eternal Turn of the Wheel) Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
PALLBEARER - Sorrow and Extinction Traditional Doom Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Tämä ikuinen talvi Folk Metal | review permalink
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM - Diadem of 12 Stars Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
MY DYING BRIDE - The Light at the End of the World Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Suden uni Folk Metal | review permalink
IHSAHN - Eremita Progressive Metal | review permalink
DORDEDUH - Dar de duh Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
OM - Pilgrimage Stoner Metal | review permalink
LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT - Liquid Tension Experiment Progressive Metal | review permalink
TOOL - Undertow Alternative Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Pentecost III Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - The Damnation Game Progressive Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Лебединий шлях (The Swan Road) Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
DRUDKH - Microcosmos Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
EXIVIOUS - Exivious Progressive Metal | review permalink
APPEARANCE OF NOTHING - All Gods Are Gone Progressive Metal | review permalink
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - The Great Misdirect Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEFTONES - Adrenaline Nu Metal | review permalink
SHADOWSIDE - Inner Monster Out Power Metal | review permalink
PRIMAL FEAR - Unbreakable Power Metal | review permalink
SPAWN OF POSSESSION - Incurso Technical Death Metal | review permalink
KYLESA - Time Will Fuse Its Worth Sludge Metal | review permalink
OM - Conference Of The Birds Stoner Metal | review permalink
ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN - Lost in the New Real Metal Related | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - Cult Of Luna Sludge Metal | review permalink
CULT OF LUNA - The Beyond Atmospheric Sludge Metal | review permalink
IN VAIN - Ænigma Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
GIANT SQUID - The Ichthyologist Sludge Metal | review permalink
KAYO DOT - Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - A Fine Day to Exit Non-Metal | review permalink
ALICE IN CHAINS - Facelift Alternative Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Pale Folklore Folk Metal | review permalink
AGALLOCH - Of Stone, Wind, and Pillor Folk Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Serenades Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - The Silent Enigma Death-Doom Metal | review permalink
ANATHEMA - Eternity Doom Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Symphony X Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Scream Bloody Gore Death Metal | review permalink
DEATH - Leprosy Death Metal | review permalink
MOONSORROW - Metsä Folk Metal | review permalink
FEN - Dustwalker Atmospheric Black Metal | review permalink
OM - Variations On A Theme Stoner Metal | review permalink
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM - In Glorious Times Avant-garde Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - St. Anger Thrash Metal
AGALLOCH - The Grey EP Non-Metal | review permalink

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 57 3.59
2 Atmospheric Black Metal 20 3.48
3 Metal Related 16 3.69
4 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 14 3.64
5 Folk Metal 14 3.36
6 Avant-garde Metal 13 3.58
7 Death Metal 13 3.27
8 Non-Metal 10 3.20
9 Sludge Metal 7 3.29
10 Death-Doom Metal 7 2.93
11 Heavy Metal 7 4.21
12 Thrash Metal 6 3.50
13 Alternative Metal 6 3.50
14 Stoner Metal 5 2.90
15 Technical Death Metal 5 3.30
16 Melodic Death Metal 3 3.67
17 NWoBHM 3 4.33
18 Power Metal 3 3.17
19 Technical Thrash Metal 2 3.75
20 Traditional Doom Metal 2 3.00
21 Hard Rock 2 4.00
22 Doom Metal 2 3.00
23 Black Metal 2 3.25
24 Drone Metal 1 4.00
25 Heavy Alternative Rock 1 4.00
26 Mathcore 1 4.00
27 Melodic Black Metal 1 3.00
28 Funeral Doom Metal 1 3.00
29 Grindcore 1 3.50
30 Groove Metal 1 5.00
31 Viking Metal 1 4.50
32 Symphonic Black Metal 1 3.50
33 Proto-Metal 1 5.00
34 Nu Metal 1 2.50

Latest Albums Reviews

KYLESA Ultraviolet

Album · 2013 · Stoner Metal
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7/10

Purple Sludgefest.

Since the 2006 album “Time Will Fuse Its Worth”, Kylesa’s straightforward sludge-feasts have appealed to me. The great banquet arrived with “Static Tensions”, a monster of an experience that can be nothing but a treat for the senses of a serious metal-head: an LP that consistently keeps you hooked thanks to its thick stoner atmosphere and catchy songwriting. Other fans, however, are more drawn to the follow-up, “Spiral Shadow”, whose sound glides towards more adventurous pathways, losing a bit of heaviness down the road. 2013’s “Ultraviolet” to me feels like a return to the catchiness of “Static Tensions”, displaying however a whole new brand of contrivances, which assembled together construct an album unlike anything Kylesa has brought to life before.

The new production understandably has turned off some fans; but it is the main game-changer. Thanks to some rough reverberation, a vividly psychedelic vein flows throughout each song. It is this vein that makes Kylesa’s groovy pulses sound so different. Furthermore, I must add that I’m sensing a greater sensibility towards melody than usual, which drives these Stoner Metal vibrations on even smoother ground.

Once again, Kylesa stick to one of their best talents, which is being able to remain consistent in terms of impact throughout the album, by spicing things differently for each track. But even when the distortion levels are turned down, there’s still a good life pulse that brings the music on such high planes of energy. Weak spots for sure are not absent, and some of the songwriting either trips or gets lost in the haze of the production. But songs such as “Exhale”, “Unspoken”, “Long Gone”, “Vulture’s Landing” and “Drifting” are episodes not to be missed, and greatly contribute in constructing another steady and pleasant Kylesa record.

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN One Of Us Is The Killer

Album · 2013 · Mathcore
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8/10

Fluent Like A Falling Feather.

Metalcore and Mathcore are the two genres that most frequently split the metal community right in two: some love it its complexity and mixture with Hardcore Punk, others loathe it. But The Dillinger Escape Plan are one of the few bands that always had a great amount of fans and relatively small amount of haters. “One of Us Is The Killer” is the band’s fifth studio album, and is what some call a game-changer: by far, it is the most mature album of theirs yet, their first LP that has greatness all over it, without ever getting lost into pretentiousness or instrumental wankery.

For starters, the production on “One Of Us Is The Killer” is some of the most lush and polished heard this year, that however doesn’t let the distortion and the heaviness lose the fierce momentum that is characteristic of Dillinger Escape Plan. But the big bonus that makes this album really stand out is a well-developed sense of melody and an overall more mature level of songwriting. Then, there’s the aspect for which the band risked the most, as for every album, to sound pretentious or over-the-top: the Mathcore side of the equation, the odd-time signatures and improbable riffs that usually sound way too over-studied. While a lot of thought was undoubtedly put on these riffs as well, here these flashy moments are fun to listen to and obviously showcase a great deal of talent on behalf of the musicians, even because they miraculously sound spontaneous and well-placed, with the exception of a few spots here and there.

There is not one dull moment throughout the short period of time in which this album prolongs into, not only thanks to the catchiness and all those positive points I mentioned earlier, but because of a quality most albums these days lack: a flawless, perfect flow, that seems to understand when enough is enough, when it’s time to turn things down, or slow the tempo down to a more straight-forward groove. Right off the bat you get two heavy, fast and Mathcore-to-the-core tracks that immediately grab the listeners attention: but the title track right after turns it down a notch, and for the first time in the album some melody is introduced. It’s not necessarily a loud-quiet formula all of the time, because there’s also the fast and Mathy tracks rigorously alternated with ones that manifest quite a bit of melody: “Hero Of The Soviet Union” followed by “Nothing’s Funny”, followed by the multi-faceted “Understanding Decay” is an example of the clever pacing OFUITK pulls off. As far as further individual highlights go, “Paranoia Shields” is almost a radio-friendly metal track, while “Crossburner” slows things down in tempo but not in volume.

Probably one of the few Mathcore albums in existence that manages to sound fierce and technical and at the same time that gives the impression that it was an effortless achievement for the musicians. With an excellent boost in songwriting and sense of melody, Dillinger Escape Plan now have the respect they deserve.

IN VAIN Ænigma

Album · 2013 · Melodic Death Metal
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5/10

Overly Familiar, But Executed With Well-Intentioned Energy.

It might sound derogative, but it’s the way things are: right now In Vain are just another Death Metal band hailing from Norway with a polished-sounding production and constantly clean/growl vocal pattern. It’s a formula that has been used countless times in the last fifteen years or so in metal music, and a lot of times bands like Opeth and Enslaved find great success indulging in this style. But in more recent years there have been a great deal of downright copycats; sadly, In Vain sounds just like one of them.

At their third album, “Aenigma”, it seems they don’t make an effort to try different approaches. The one thing they do that is admirable is that they’re able to use both Death Metal growls and Black Metal shrieks and make them cohabit in the same track very well. This is in fact a talented band, with great musicians and with evidently a lot of points of reference, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I’m yet to hear from them something that sounds just a little bit different from the prototype of Progressive Metal band who likes to turn it up a notch vocal performance-wise.

But even if the album somehow did manage to have its own distinct sound, the songwriting is half-forgettable, even though In Vain manages to structure a few songs quite well and to put some nice, quieter instrumental bridges within a stracks. I could start drawing comparisons here, but they’d be useless. In terms of dissecting a song’s core, and spreading some diversity here and there, the band can do that well, and that’s one thing that matters. Tracks such as “Times Of Yore” and the closing “Floating Of the Murmuring Tide” are perfect examples, and also happen to be very well executed. Another highlight would be the opening track “Against The Grain” easily the most memorable and melodic track here. But the rest of the album, sadly, is bland and pretty much flavorless.

Saying that In Vain is not a good band is a ridiculous statement, because there is a lot of potential in their music. They’re talented musicians and I’m sure they’re capable of making more original and less borrowed-sounding music eventually. But for now, they can’t help but being stuck in the vast, painfully homogeneous sea of Scandinavian bands that haven’t gained much success.

LEPROUS Coal

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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8/10

Leprous' Most Emotionally Lush Album.

Along with just a handful of bands all over the world, Leprous is one of the game-changing legacy-carriers of Progressive Metal. Their style is distinct, but unafraid of revealing influences such as Pain Of Salvation. Behind their backs, they only have three albums; the debut, "Aeolia", is somewhat of a forgotten LP, but the latter two are the main reason the band is now at the center of the stage for many Metal and Progheads. 2011's "Bilateral", album number three, is most definitely the most ground-breaking and mature, and stood out as one of the key albums of this new wave of Prog Metal.

"Coal", against most odds, maintains almost all of the "Bilateral" qualities intact. It blends the same ingredients, and molds them with a new formula. The most noticeable new change is how the band has put Einar Solberg's voice even more up-front than usual: he sings almost all over the place, delivering beautiful, extended falsetto vocals, as well as melodic phrases that serve a given song as a completely independent additional instrument. In songs like "Echo" and "Foe", it is most apparent. This is for the most part Einar's album, even because the keyboards have most definitely toned-down, resulting in an overall drier atmosphere. This is not necessarily a fault of course, since Leprous' intent naturally was to craft something punchier, more straight-forward and song-based, rather than a moody album.

This leads to the song-writing. Looking back at 2009's "Tall Poppy Syndrome", it is amazing to see how far ahead they've brought themselves since. There is not one single track that fails. "Foe" starts the album off perfectly, boasting one of the most memorable and relevant vocal performances by Solberg; "Chronic" and the title track are easily the busiest and heaviest tracks, showcasing incredible interplay and progressive song structures; "The Cloak" and "Salt" are calmer pieces, both of them strategically well-placed throughout the album, as they generate a nice change of pace for the LP's momentum. "The Valley" is a long-winded, multi-faceted masterpiece, with perhaps one of the best hooks that the band has ever come up with; "Echo" is of a similar nature, but with a much more dramatic, slow tone to it. It is by far, the moodier and more emotional piece of the album, which is saying a lot. The album ends on a very heavy note, with guest vocalist Ihsahn killing it with one of his most fear-inducing performances: "Contaminate Me" is a throw-back to the band's more extreme roots, ?as a matter of fact Leprous used to be Ihsahn's backing band- nevertheless Leprous is able to sound as if it was brought up in a new, original fashion.

"Coal" comes so near to the levels of "Bilateral", and is once again striking proof that Leprous are one of the very best Metal bands out there. The best part of it is that they sound as if something even greater will eventually be in the works.

CULT OF LUNA Vertikal

Album · 2013 · Atmospheric Sludge Metal
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7/10

Pixillated Sludge Metal That Still Rocks.

At their sixth album, Cult Of Luna once again keep their roots solidly untouched, experimenting more with sound and exploring new sonic territories they’d yet to venture in. “Vertikal” hasn’t pleased all fans because of these reasons, or because it’s been thought that these new ideas haven’t been developed in a better way. Opinions vary, but in my eyes this is one of the better albums by the Swedish band, and it’s good to see that experimentation in Metal bands today is still very embraced.

On this new album, Cult Of Luna take a step forward especially with the sonic decorations, these bursts of electronic layering that in the past were present, excellent, but not essential, are now pretty prominent, and sound quite different as well: the rough production creates these razor-sharp synth pulses that come and go throughout the album, some of them are not at all accompaniments and play a major, if not completely essential role for a track. This peculiarly rough production compliments also the crushing guitars, here more crushing than any other Cult Of Luna LP so far, and that is saying a lot.

But Cult Of Luna have not distanced themselves from their original style enough to not sound like Cult Of Luna: the riffs are overall crafted in the same fashion as their previous compositions, and anyone who has heard their previous work can confirm.

As for the album itself: it’s an album that at first feels a little generic and familiar, but with further listens, it reveals a sophistication that was heard only on the band’s better albums. Every song has its unique role, and they all do the job done well, some times, excellently. “I, The Weapon” and “Synchronicity” are the catchiest and at the same time better structured songs, in spite of the eighteen minute monster “Vicarious Redemption”, which is nicely arranged and structured but doesn’t quite justify its length. “Mute Departure” has nice, heavy moments, “The Sweep” is an interesting divisive interlude of the album and “Passing Through” closes everything quite well, a calm, tense piece that ends it all with a suspended note.

“Vertical” is the living proof that Cult Of Luna have not stepped down their game just yet, and are willing meander into new paths and directions, sounding a whole lot more interesting than many Sludge Metal bands today, who merely model a sound that is perhaps too familiar nowadays.

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    [QUOTE=Phonebook Eater] Not maybe worthy of an OSCAR, but it's a really, really good thriller, and it really does keep you on the edge of your seat, especially in the last half four. [/QUOTE]This: 
  • Posted more than 2 years ago in Recently Watched Films
    Not maybe worthy of an OSCAR, but it's a really, really good thriller, and it really does keep you on the edge of your seat, especially in the last half four. 

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