SilentScream213

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

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905 reviews/ratings
SLAYER - Show No Mercy Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Hell Awaits Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Perfect Symmetry Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Parallels Progressive Metal | review permalink
X JAPAN - Art Of Life Progressive Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Divine Intervention Thrash Metal | review permalink
EXODUS - Bonded by Blood Thrash Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order Heavy Metal
KREATOR - Terrible Certainty Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Haunting the Chapel Thrash Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal | review permalink
CORONER - No More Color Technical Thrash Metal
SODOM - Agent Orange Thrash Metal
KREATOR - Extreme Aggression Thrash Metal
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
ANACRUSIS - Reason Thrash Metal
DEATH - Spiritual Healing Death Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Heavy Metal 177 2.45
2 Thrash Metal 117 3.20
3 Death Metal 65 3.07
4 Black Metal 42 2.48
5 US Power Metal 39 2.91
6 Power Metal 37 2.89
7 Hard Rock 36 2.07
8 Progressive Metal 31 3.03
9 Traditional Doom Metal 26 2.38
10 Speed Metal 26 2.77
11 Death-Doom Metal 23 2.07
12 Hardcore Punk 19 1.47
13 Technical Thrash Metal 19 2.92
14 Industrial Metal 17 1.32
15 Proto-Metal 16 1.66
16 Neoclassical metal 16 2.56
17 Alternative Metal 16 1.50
18 Funk Metal 15 1.50
19 Metal Related 14 1.07
20 Groove Metal 14 2.21
21 Stoner Metal 13 1.50
22 NWoBHM 13 2.42
23 Sludge Metal 12 1.38
24 Melodic Death Metal 8 3.25
25 Gothic Metal 8 2.31
26 Doom Metal 8 2.31
27 Grindcore 7 1.00
28 Non-Metal 7 1.36
29 Technical Death Metal 7 3.57
30 Folk Metal 6 2.50
31 Crossover Thrash 5 2.00
32 Avant-garde Metal 5 1.20
33 Heavy Alternative Rock 5 1.90
34 Melodic Black Metal 4 2.50
35 Heavy Psych 3 1.83
36 Brutal Death Metal 3 3.33
37 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 1.75
38 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 2.75
39 Death 'n' Roll 2 3.50
40 Deathgrind 2 3.25
41 Drone Metal 2 0.50
42 Glam Metal 2 1.25
43 Goregrind 2 1.25
44 Metalcore 2 2.00
45 Rap Metal 2 1.00
46 Symphonic Black Metal 2 3.25
47 Viking Metal 2 3.00
48 War Metal 2 2.25
49 Nu Metal 1 1.50
50 Funeral Doom Metal 1 1.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SLAYER Divine Intervention

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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Divine Intervention has remained not only my favorite slayer album, but my favorite album of all time since I heard it in my freshman year of high school, 2010. Not that it immediately became my favorite album upon first listen – no, this is a slow grower, but a very easy album to come back to. And come back to it I did, many times; I’m sure this is in my top 10 most listened albums of all time, and a certain contender for the #1 spot.

But, why Divine Intervention?

Why the album AFTER Slayer stopped being the greatest Thrash band in the world? After the lineup change and the death of metal in the 90’s? The album with troubled production and almost no live representation?

Quite frankly, because I don’t give a damn about any of that stuff.

I speak with utmost sincerity when I say I think this album is absolutely as great in every department as the 5 preceding it. The only exception being that the production is lower quality, but you know what? That higher class sheen on Seasons in the Abyss never did it for me as much as the raw, honest sound that we get here. The complaints about the production quality are completely unfounded if one enjoys Show No Mercy, or Kill ‘Em All, or basically any Black Metal.

With sufficient clarity on why none of this album’s “weaknesses” bother me, let me now express why I love it so much.

The mood. The atmosphere. The writing. Slayer were always that too evil band that were somehow mainstream. From day one they were writing about Satan, demons and infernal hellfire, and they remained consistent in that approach throughout the 80’s, with growing themes of real horrors as well, including war and mental illness. However, on Divine Intervention, hell froze over. The hell fire faded and the demons gave way to a much more terrifying being – humanity. Strongly influenced by literature about serial killers as well as newspaper articles, Tom Araya took a stronger writing role here and focused almost exclusively on real world evil and suffering. Songs took a deeper look into the psych of serial killers, criminals, and even drug abuse on the closing “Mind Control.” The riffs followed suit, and as such, this album isn’t as flashy as their previous material, and I think that gets lost on a lot of people. The riffs here are cold and calculated, evoking sincere darkness and an unrelenting bleakness that remains consistent throughout the entire album.

Which leads to an immense strength of this album; the songwriting. Hints of Tech Thrash break through in many of the tracks here, with less conventional rhythms courtesy of Paul Bostaph taking the songs into twisting territory that deviates far from their simpler punk roots. The guitar solos on this album are actually good, and more often than not add to the song with more thoughtful melodies as opposed to pure chaos. The title track and closing track both have perhaps the best solos by the band, and truly these songs felt like they had gained a level of maturity and depth in their structure. Tom’s vocals are also the most aggressive, manic and eclectic he has ever laid to record; in title track “Divine Intervention” he pushes his yelling to its limit, and haunting “Serenity in Murder” allows his lower registry to croon wickedly between more thrash roars. Divine Intervention could easily be argued to be Slayer’s heaviest album, which cannot be said for most metal releases from bands that were “declining” in the 90’s.

At the risk of sounding crazy, I’ll also confess that the insanely dark lyricism and mood on this album, particularly on tracks like “Killing Fields,” were immensely helpful for me emotionally. Since I discovered it, Metal has always been an extremely cathartic way for me to deal with negative emotions. Divine Intervention did that better than any other album I’d heard, and still remains one of my weapons of choice when I need it. People don’t usually label Slayer as being emotional music, but they probably forget that anger is an emotion. Some people have their OK Computers, some people have their Dark Side of the Moons, and I’ve got my Divine Intervention.

NOVEMBRE Wish I Could Dream It Again

Album · 1994 · Gothic Metal
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A volte-face to anyone who thinks Doom Metal can’t be energetic and exciting, and a great lesson in what makes true Doom a completely different beast from Trad Doom. Wish I Could Dream It Again is one of the earliest true Doom albums, having zero Sabbathian influence, none of the 80’s Doom groove, and a total focus on somber, melancholic atmospheres. And unlike most prior Doom bands, it doesn’t rely on being consistently slow to achieve this. Lethargic, doomy sections still run through the compositions, but a lot of this material is lively, especially the rhythm section. Simple melodies and morose chords permeate the songwriting, but that drumming ensures a complex and ever-changing foundation to the music.

Novembre also have very melancholic lyrical themes, sticking to the introspective and poetic, drawing upon aquatic, summery and warm imagery across the album in another first for Doom Metal. The sentimental mood here was pretty unique at the time, but the general melancholy on display became a staple for the genre. Doom bands had already begun adopting this focus on gloomy atmospheres, which is how true Doom was born in the early 90’s, but Novembre here upped the ante. This was probably the most melancholic metal album at the time of its release.

As debuts can be, it’s a bit rough around the edges in some places; the clean vocals in particular are quite amateur, though they don’t bother me at all because they perfectly encapsulate that morose feeling of Doom. Either way, a landmark release for the genre, and a great learning experience for those who aren’t privy to the great variation that can be found in Doom Metal.

BOLT THROWER ...For Victory

Album · 1994 · Death Metal
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Once you get to Bolt Thrower’s 5th album “…For Victory”, there’s not much left to say. Bolt Thrower are one of those bands guilty of writing the same song and putting out the same album over and over. And the song happens to be really good.

The album is scarily consistent, throwing out one riff monster after the next. Each song has a decent variety of speedier aggressive parts and crushing slower/midtempo sections. As always, there’s a very martial atmosphere here, and the dense, rhythmic song structures feel like an enemy invasion. The vocals are fantastic as always, a deep roar that is quite intelligible, like a demonic commander calling out orders. The lyrics here are a bit more realistic than before, and evocative of the more serious catastrophes of war.

If you’ve heard one Bolt Thrower album, you’ve just about heard ‘em all. But when they’re this good, who’s complaining? I’ve got 9 more cuts of Death Metal greatness to add to my forever playlist.

EMPEROR In the Nightside Eclipse

Album · 1994 · Symphonic Black Metal
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While Master’s Hammer actually take the accolade for the first Symphonic Black Metal album, few would disagree that Emperor’s debut improved on and perfected the genre. In the Nightside Eclipse may have singlehandedly launched the boom of Sympho Black albums in the late nineties, and became the template for the genre’s sound. It’s still regarded as widely the greatest Sympho Black album out there. But does it live up to its reputation?

The answer is a resounding yes. Emperor’s debut is a masterpiece of songwriting and dark, cold, but epic atmosphere. Each song is a beautifully crafted piece lush with choirs and strings, yet still heavily focused on classic Black Metal instrumentation. The symphonic aspect is not overbearing or overblow – not that I mind those styles – but it very much serves as a core backbone of atmosphere to the cold Black Metal riffing. Each song is not only dense with nocturnal soundscapes, but there’s a ton going on within the primary band as well. The instrumentation is of very high technique compared to most Black Metal, and the songs are full of varying passages, with fast parts, slow parts, pummeling aggression and more calculated melody.

One of those albums without any glaring flaws. Aside from the pointless into, every song is of equal quality, each has something special about them. No dull moments. Easily lives up to its reputation. Another one of those bands that aced a new style of music on their first try.

DREAM THEATER Awake

Album · 1994 · Progressive Metal
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A bit lighter and bouncier than the last effort, Dream Theater’s 3rd album saw increased domination by keys. The softer parts are more plentiful and atmospherics are held in quite importance here. There’s still plenty of heavy stuff and it remains primarily a Metal album, but a few songs land strictly in Prog Rock territory, with even hints of Neo-Prog and Acoustic Rock in there.

The album is a little simpler, both in structure and technicality. Even the heavier parts are as smooth as butter, layered with warm keys and backed by a pristine production job. James LaBrie’s vocals have developed further, and quite a few moments here I was truly impressed with his range and delivery. I will say, I generally prefer Images and Words to this, but James’ vocals here blow his last performance away.

Honestly surprised this is held in such high regards since the band took a simpler, more commercial direction here. But thankfully they retained their excellent songwriting ability and taste for infectious melodies. There aren’t any weak songs here and really nothing can even be considered filler thanks to each song having a unique sound and stand out moments.

Also, Space-Dye Vest is… stunning. Impeccable use of samples, brilliant melody, fantastic lyrics… simply amazing.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 2 months ago in Vocalist Polls, Week 8: Black Sabbath
    Disregarding the music and era, Tony is my favorite Sabbath vocalist. Unfortunately he got stuck on some of their worst albums, but Tyr is a hidden masterpiece.
  • Posted 2 months ago in Unpopular Metal Opinions
    For me... I'd say most 70's metal is really boring. Sin After Sin is the only album from that era I consider truly great.
  • Posted 6 months ago in Searching for a band
    It's possible the content creators made the song themselves. Especially if no apps recognize it, it was probably created in-house so they didn't need to get any permissions. It's also possible they got the track from some royalty-free music website.

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