Time Signature

K.J.
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 5 days ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

1524 reviews/ratings
AT THE GATES - Slaughter of the Soul Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious Death Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Heartwork Melodic Death Metal | review permalink
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - Highway To Hell Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - Back In Black Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) Hard Rock | review permalink
AC/DC - The Razors Edge Hard Rock | review permalink
ACCEPT - Balls to the Wall Heavy Metal | review permalink
ANNIHILATOR - Never, Neverland Thrash Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - The Detached Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANUBIS GATE - Andromeda Unchained Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANVIL - Metal on Metal Heavy Metal | review permalink
ARTILLERY - By Inheritance Thrash Metal | review permalink
ARTILLERY - When Death Comes Thrash Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Unquestionable Presence Technical Death Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Elements Technical Death Metal | review permalink
JOHN ARCH - A Twist of Fate Progressive Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Black Sabbath Heavy Metal | review permalink
BLACK SABBATH - Master Of Reality Heavy Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 174 4.00
2 Progressive Metal 160 3.97
3 Heavy Metal 148 3.89
4 Hard Rock 138 3.61
5 Death Metal 123 3.69
6 Power Metal 92 3.86
7 Black Metal 86 3.49
8 Doom Metal 43 3.97
9 Speed Metal 41 3.82
10 Melodic Death Metal 35 3.97
11 Groove Metal 34 3.72
12 Alternative Metal 26 3.58
13 NWoBHM 25 3.56
14 Technical Death Metal 23 4.46
15 Crossover Thrash 23 3.67
16 Sludge Metal 22 3.55
17 Traditional Doom Metal 21 4.24
18 Metalcore 21 3.24
19 Hardcore Punk 20 3.73
20 US Power Metal 20 4.10
21 Folk Metal 16 3.44
22 Death-Doom Metal 15 3.90
23 Atmospheric Black Metal 14 3.36
24 Gothic Metal 14 3.50
25 Stoner Metal 14 3.71
26 Technical Thrash Metal 12 4.25
27 Heavy Alternative Rock 12 4.00
28 Glam Metal 9 3.39
29 Melodic Black Metal 9 3.89
30 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 9 3.78
31 Crust Punk 9 3.72
32 Brutal Death Metal 9 3.78
33 Deathcore 8 3.38
34 Grindcore 8 3.00
35 Symphonic Black Metal 8 4.00
36 Metal Related 8 3.81
37 Industrial Metal 7 3.50
38 Melodic Metalcore 6 3.75
39 Avant-garde Metal 6 4.17
40 Funeral Doom Metal 5 4.10
41 Drone Metal 5 3.10
42 Non-Metal 5 3.40
43 War Metal 5 2.90
44 Stoner Rock 4 3.88
45 Death 'n' Roll 4 3.25
46 Mathcore 3 3.50
47 Symphonic Metal 3 2.33
48 Viking Metal 2 3.50
49 Proto-Metal 2 3.75
50 Rap Metal 2 3.50
51 Pagan Black Metal 2 3.25
52 Goregrind 2 2.25
53 Nu Metal 2 3.50
54 Neoclassical metal 2 3.25
55 Funk Metal 2 4.25
56 Deathgrind 2 4.50
57 Depressive Black Metal 2 3.75
58 Electronicore 1 3.50
59 Trance Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

CROMAGNUM Born Free

EP · 2021 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Born free...

Genre: power-thrash / heavy metal

CroMagnum are back with another release in the form of the EP "Born Free" which contains five tracks. While a bit difficult to pinpoint in terms of genre, it is fair to say that the EP probably falls somewhere in the neighborhood of power-thrash.

The EP opens with a short sweet doom-laden instrumental in the form of 'End Your Slavery', which is followed up by the power-thrashing title track. 'Born Free' treats the listener to uptempo thrashy parts combined with guitar melodies and a couple of tempo changes as well. 'Waterval Boven' is more or a heavy affair. The following track 'Tunguska' is more of a thrasher as is the closing track 'Congregation' although the latter is way more melodic and complex than the former.

The songs are well-written. They are straightforward without being simplistic or boring. The musicianship and the production are impeccable as well. The only thing that might be grating to some ears are Maximus Rex's rough vocals which, interestingly, do manage to integrate angry and harsh yelling with melody. Personally, I don't mind his singing style, and I think it actually works really well in 'Tunguska' and 'Congregation', but some listeners might find it an acquired taste.

Overall, this is a short and sweet release which should definitely appeal to fans of thrash metal, US power metal and perhaps even traditional heavy metal.

THY ROW Unchained

Album · 2021 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The road goes on...

Genre: hard rock / modern heavy metal

Thy Row is a Finnish band whose style combines hard rock and heavy metal. Their brand of hard rock is on display on their full-length effor "Unchained". And, boy, this is not bad stuff at all.

The album features ten hard rockers including a three parter in the form of the three 'The Downfall' tracks towards the end of the album. After three mid-tempo tracks in the form of 'The Road Goes On', 'The Round' (this one complete with epic guitar melodies) and 'Unchained', the listener is treated to the heavier 'Horizons' and 'Just Fine' as well as the the groovy 'Hidebound'. While also heavy, 'Down on my Knees' has a hint of AOR to it which also applies to 'The Downfall, Part 3', while the two other 'Downfall' songs are more hard-hitting. The Japanese version of this release features a bonus track in the form of a cover version of X Japan's 'Blue Blood'. The is actually a very good cover version and, in my opinion, the track on the album that appeals the most to me. Overall, the album might lack diversity (I have no problem with it though), but this more power-metal-ish track adds some variation to at least the Japanese version.

The production is crisp and modern sounding - some might say it's polished, but I wouldn't go that far. It definitely fits the music which in itself has a modern rock and modern edge to it. The musicianship is top notch as well, and Thy Row are clearly skilled songsmiths as well who understand the power of combining melody and chugging heavy metal riffs.

Overall, Thy Row's "Unchained" is a very strong album which combines hard rock and heavy metal, taking it in a modern direction. In any case, this is a quite enjoyable listen; if you like hard rock and modern metal, definitely pick this one up when it comes out in September.

TRITON DEVS Stay Alive

Album · 2021 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The show...

Genre: hard rock / modern metal / etc.

Sometimes you get shades of grey in metal, and sometimes you get a full palette of colors. I like both approaches, but, with this, album you defintely get the full palette, as Triton Devs explore many different metal genres on this album ranging from hard rock and traditional metal over power metal and gothic metal to extreme metal. SO, yeah, we're embarking on a musical journey of sorts.

After a dark instrumental in the form of 'Black Angel', 'Another Round' which combines musical Gothicism with uplifting hard rock catchiness kicks in. I like this track, but I have some problems with the following one. While 'This Summer Day' has a lot of qualities to it (I like the funky feel it has), I don't like the electronica elements that pop up - it's just a bit too cheesy for my taste. They remind me a bit too much of some of that god-awful music some of those dumb metalcore bands made in the 00s. 'The Light of Your Skin' is more of an AOR ballad with modern metal elements scattered throughout and it's actually pretty good. 'The Show' moves more in a hard rock direction, while 'Summer Day' and 'Magic Rainbow' are Satriani-esque instrumentals (I prefer the latter, but the former rocks too), and 'Higher' is a heavy groove-fest (unfortunetaly, it also features some electronica elements that don't sit well with me). 'Hell's Fest' and 'Metallus' are both enjoyable all out metal attacks.

In terms of musicianship and production, there really is nothing to complain about. The production is also very solid and more on the polished side of things but that is probably the best choice for an album like this. While I really like Eric Castiglia's clean vocals, which remind me a bit of Rob Moratti, I have to admit that I am not a fan of the more extreme metal oriented vocals that also occur on this album - probably because they are more on the metalcore side of things (I'm just too much of an old asshole to appreciate the contributions of metalcore and deathcore to the overall metal scene, I think).

Overall, Triton Devs' debut album is somewhat of a musical journey with a lot of diversity and variation. This means that, while there is a risk that there is the rist of there being elements on the album that might not appeal to you, there is an equal chance of there being elements that you will absolutely love.

AXE Nemesis

Album · 1983 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
CoVinyl Part 7

In my review of Axe's "Offering", I wrote that I picked it up becuase the band name and the cover artwork intrigued me. That also goes for this one. In fact, this one was part of the same haul as "Offering", and I was fortunate enough that the copy I got was a 1983 ATCO pressing. I expected 80s metal, but that's not quite what I got.

That also applies to this record, as it falls more under the rubric of hard rock with a couple of 80s metal elements thrown in than outright 80s heavy metal. And this is, in my opinion, quality 80s hard rock. While the previous record had Bobby Barth as the sole songwriter on most songs, there is more variation here as more of the other members of the band were involved in the songwriting. I think that might be a factor in this album being much better than "Offering" (that is not to say that Barth is not a good songsmith though or that "Offering" is not good - because it is). Pretty much all of the songs are good - with the exception of the ballad 'I Think You'll Remember Tonight' which is just plain silly. Fortunately, that song is easily forgotten in the midts of great tunes like 'Heat in the Street', 'All Through the Night', 'She's Had the Power', 'Eagle Flies Alone' and 'Girls, Girls, Girls' (no relation to the Mötley Crüe hit). Even the more ambient 'Masquerade' is actually a pretty good piece of music.

Now, one thing you can expect from this album is loads of 80s cheese, and some listeners might not appreciate that (in particular in the cover version of Edgar Winter's 'Keep Playing that Rock 'n' Roll'). In my opinion as someone who grew up in the 80s, there's good 80s cheese and there's bad 80s cheese, and - with the exception of 'I Think You'll Remember Tonight' - there's only good 80s cheese on this album.

As you might have guessed, 'I think You'll Remember Tonight' is the one major weakness of Axe's "Nemesis", but I will also point to the lyrics as a weak point. They're just fucking stupid. They're pretty much all about "manly" things like breaking the law, being a lone wolf, fucking lots of girls, and standing up to previous generations (so you can fuck more girls). In a way, the lyrics seem almost like an incel's dream before incels were even a thing. Interestingly enough, 'Girls, Girls, Girls' ends with women laughing at a man... so maybe the album really captures an incel's nightmare? Anyway, the two only songs with somewhat more mature lyrics are 'Let the Music Come Back' and 'Masquerade' - the latter of which is a more mature take on the generational gap than 'Foolin' Your Mama' is.

So, the lyrics are dumb, but the music is very good. The cover artwork is also awesome, depicting some kind of alien-looking figure wielding the bands guitar-axe logo with blood dripping from it. It screams metal, but it isn't... whatever, it's an awesome piece of cover artwork if you ask me which looks amazing on a vinyl record release. The copy I have also came with the original inner sleeve, which actually looks awesome too in its simplicity: on one side you have the lyric sheet (for better or worse) and the other side is just all black with the bands logo in white. It looks really great!

If you like 80s hard rock and don't mind 80s cheese (and can live with pretty stupid lyrics), you might as well pick up a copy of this album if you happen to come across a reasonably priced one. I'd say, at the end of the day, this album is just plain old good fun.

AXE Offering

Album · 1982 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
CoVinyl Part 6

So, I came across a 1982 ATCO pressing of this album, and - I have to admit - I was intrigued by the name and the cover artwork both of which just screamed 80s metal at me.

That's not quite what I got. Axe were more of a hard rock act who emphasized melody, but injected elements of heavy rock and heavy metal into their music as well.

This definitely applies to "Offering", which opens with the uplifting party track 'Rock n' Roll Party in the Streets'. This song pretty much sets the tone for the entire album, as most of the tunes are indeed uplifting hard rockers which are definitely for the most part very enjoyable to listen to. The one thing is that there is a very good cover version of Montrose's 'I Got the Fire', and this song is leagues above Axe's own material in kick-assery, thus perhaps highlighting some of the flaws in Axe's own songs and obscuring some of the good things. That's a bit of a shame, because, as mentioned most of the songs on this album are definitely enjoyable.

"Offering" is a solid hard rock effort which, at times, draws on more melodic AOR along the lines of Boston and Toto. The songwriting is very good, and Bobby Barth, the main songwriter, is definitely a skilled songsmith who understands hooks, balance, and melody. The musicianship is impeccable as well and the production is quite good for an early 80s hard rock release.

The cover artwork is simple but brilliant. It draws on the guitar-axe metaphor and simply reeks of metal. I also like how, by having the character hold the guitar-axe up above his head, the artwork also captures the 'offering' notion. Of course, some might argue that the artwork kinda is false advertising, but, hey, there's no denying that it looks really good in alls its simplicity and epicness on a vinyl front cover.

Overall, this is a solid and uplifting hard rock release. If you come a across a reasonably priced copy of it, and you are into hard rock, just grab it.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 35 days ago in 2021 so far
    [QUOTE=UMUR][QUOTE=adg211288][QUOTE=Vim Fuego][QUOTE=UMUR]Does anyone else think the new Maiden is pretty dull an uninspired or is it just me?http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/iron-maiden-nwobhm/senjutsu[/QUOTE] Dull and uninspired? No. Grab you by the balls and make you pay attention? No. Probably not top 5 of the year for me, but it will make my top 30.I don't think it's near as good as Book of Souls, but I like it. Problem is, I don't love it. It might be a slow burn - A Matter of Life and Death was, and I think that's excellent now. [/QUOTE] I find it quite subtly brilliant personally. Takes a few listens to to get a feel for it as well. I also find that the songs flow together really well. I don't think I'll end up regarding it as high as The Book of Souls though. [/QUOTE] The only song I really like is "The Writing on the Wall". The rest to me is a blur of slow- to mid paced slow building tracks (even the fastest parts on the album lack punch and power), which I have a hard time remembering anything from and I don´t like the sound production either. Shirley is the wrong choice of producer for Maiden if you ask me. Mind you this is still Maiden of couse, which means I still think the album is solid (which speaks volumes of the greatness of Maiden that an uninspired and dull offering is still a solid effort), but I don´t hear the excellence that some people hear. My review is written and ready to be posted, but I´ll give the album a few more spinds before posting, to see if my opinion changes. It seldom does though. My first impression is usually the one I still have years down the line with most releases...[/QUOTE]I quite enjoy it, but it's definitely not my favorite post-2000 Maiden album. I do miss some faster songs - just one or two would have been nice. Still, there are a lot of things I enjoy on this album, such as the riff that kucks in after the intro of 'Days of Future Past' and the kind of sailor jig style guitar melody thst appears @3:58 in 'The Time Machine'. The title track is very cool with the taiko-inspired drums and all that. But yeah, pretty much all the tracks are midpaced so there's not that much variation in that respect.
  • Posted 52 days ago in 2021 so far
    [QUOTE=vmoore]I personally love spheres[/QUOTE] Me too.Anyway, I've been really impressed with the Smith/Kotzen album.
  • Posted 59 days ago in Judas Priest: 70's era vs 80's era
    80s for me, but the 70s are pretty close. I actually also quite like the two Ripper albums. My favorite is Painkiller closely followed by Turbo (yeah, go figure).

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