Time Signature

K.J.
MMA Special Collaborator · Honorary Collaborator
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 4 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

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1519 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 173 4.00
2 Progressive Metal 160 3.97
3 Heavy Metal 147 3.88
4 Hard Rock 136 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 27 3.56
13 NWoBHM 25 3.56
14 Technical Death Metal 23 4.46
15 Sludge Metal 22 3.55
16 Crossover Thrash 22 3.66
17 Metalcore 21 3.24
18 Traditional Doom Metal 21 4.24
19 US Power Metal 20 4.10
20 Hardcore Punk 20 3.73
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 11 4.09
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

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.

TERRA ODIUM Ne Plus Ultra

Album · 2021 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
It was not death...

Genre: progressive metal

A supergroup of sorts, Terra Odium is a Norwegian progressive metal band whose members are or have been involved mainly in Spiral Architect and Manitou; in addition, prog metal fans will be happy to know that Steve DiGiorgio is also part of the project as the bass player.

We are dealing with progressive metal of the heavier type here more akin to Dream Theater at their heaviest than, say, Queensrÿche or something like that. Thus, the songs are based on very heavy riffage and aggressive, but dynamic, drumbeats to the point that we occasionally enter into US power metal or perhaps even contemporary thrash metal territory. There is also a distinct Cynic feel to many sections on the album which have a similar drive (just check out the opening track). The songs are not too long with the longest being "The Thorn" almost 12 minutes long. The rest of the songs on the album have an average length of 6-7 minutes. While embracing heaviness first and foremost, Terra Odium are not afraid to draw on other elements; for instance, there are symphonic elements on the album along with some djenty bits, a pretty good and epic ballad in the form of 'It Was Not Death', and of course some jazzy-sounding bass sections, and the album opens with a bit of throat singing. The singing is clean and melodic, and the guitar solos are advanced but never too wanky.

Needless to say, we are dealing with top notch musicianship across the board, and prog metal fans will also appreciate the songwriting. The production is dark and crisp and has a very modern feel to it.

Overall, this is a very solid progressive metal album, and fans of Cynic, Atheist, Dream Theater and Pestilence's "Spheres" are bound to really enjoy it. I think, if you're into Symphony X, there might also be something for you on this album as well.

ALIEN FORCE Hell and High Water

Album · 1985 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
CoVinyl Part 5

I recently bought a copy of the High Roller Records reissue of this obscure metal release from the mid 80s. True to the High Roller ethos, the record came with some extra goodies in the form of a cool poster, a band photo, and a lyric sheet. The record itself came in yellow transparent vinyl. All very cool and tasty indeed.

But what about the music? Well, we are dealing with early 80s metal released in the mid 80s, and most of the songs stylistically falls somewhere between traditional heavy metal and hard rock, and I think that a fair comparison would be Judas Priest's "Point of Entry". As listeners, we are treated to some fairly solid riffage and some fairly melodic guitar solos along with the occasional twin guitar lead section. While most of the tracks on the album are pretty good metal tracks, I think that the ballad 'Fly Away' is perhaps just best forgotten; it comes across as a botched attempt at writing the next 'Strange World' (you know the Iron Maiden balled). 'Night of Glory' seems to be the band's attempt at a glam metal song and, well, it's not bad. Kudos to Alien Force for writing generally catchy and melodic songs such as 'Time Is Out' which is hard not to sing along to. The song structures are fairly traditional, but there are occassional elements of innovativity, and I would say that the instrumental sections are particularly enjoyable to me.

Peter Svale Andersen's singing style is more in the neighborhood of belting, but he delivers the melodies well and he is definitely a skilled, but not refined, singer. He does have a bit of a Danish accent, but I think most listeners are not going to notice it except if they are Danish themselves. Overall, the musicianship is solid. The production is not too bad either, but there is more smoothness and roundness to it than you might expect and that might be because the guitars are only mildly distorted (I bet they used a Boss Overdrive pedal when they recorded the album). I also like how audible the bass is throughout the entire album. The overall production is definitely easy on the ears.

The lyrics are very simplistic and it seems that they were written by someone who struggled to put their thoughts into words in a foreign language. That's of course forgivable, but it does mean that there are sections that come across a bit nonsensical. Another thing is that, if one takes a look at the lyrics sheet, one will see that there are grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in pretty much all of the songs. Again, this is rock 'n' roll and not an English class, but, grammar nazis be warned, this will drive you mad.

The cover artwork is very simple and has a comic book quality to it, but I actually really like that. The blue-black hooded figure really stands out against the yellow circle behind it which in turn stands out against the blue background. I also like how the black side of the figure seems even more ghostly than the blue side does. This might as well be the cover of a 80s Ghost Rider issue (the hooded figure could be the villain of the week or something).

Overall, this is not a masterpiece, but it is a very solid effort and should appeal to fans of 80s metal. If you find a fairly priced copy - maybe the High Roller version, maybe the original, maybe the Karthago version - it would be a shame not to pick it up.

SUNBOMB Evil and Divine

Album · 2021 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Stronger than before...

Style: traditional heavy metal / hard rock / doom metal

Sunbomb is a project featuring Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns fame and Michael Sweet from Stryper. With such names involved, you might expect their music to be more on the cheesy and glammy side. But that's actually not the case.

Their debut album "Evil and Divine" is actually pretty heavy and also quite diverse stylistically. It probably fits best in the traditional heavy metal bracket, but there are also a number of hard rock elements as well as, perhaps unexpectedly, doom metal and even a tiny bit of power-thrash. While tracks like 'Life', 'No Tomorrows', 'Story of the Blind' and 'They Fought' are straight up heavy metal songs that might as well have been written in the 80s, songs like 'World Gone Wrong', 'Take Me Away' and to some extent 'Stronger Than Before' are straight up doom metal songs clearly inspired by Black Sabbath. And almost out of left field, 'Better End' contains some power-thrash sections.

The production is crisp but not too polished, and there's really nothing to criticize about the musicianship either. Some listeners might find Michael Sweet's belting style a bit much, but I like it. The songwriting is also pretty good but, while there is a lot of emphasis on diversity, a number of the tracks on the album do have a very similar drive. This is not really a detractor in my opinion though.

Overall, this is a very good heavy metal album which almost seamlessly combines hard rock and traditional heavy metal. Personally, though, the doom metal elements are my favorite part. An album that can bring fans of hard rock, doom metal and traditional metal together, Sunbomb's "Evil and Divine" is recommended to fans of old school heavy metal genres who still appreciate a more modern approach.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 4 days ago in New Iron Maiden Album Entitled Senjutsu
    [QUOTE=DippoMagoo]That cover art is awesome [/QUOTE] I don't know, man. I think Eddie desperately needs to see a dentist. Just kidding. It looks great.
  • Posted 5 days ago in New Iron Maiden Album Entitled Senjutsu
    Interesting...
  • Posted 6 days ago in Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)
    [QUOTE=Nightfly]We still have a board game in our house called Hero Quest which seems influenced by D & D though very simplified.[/QUOTE] Oh boy, I spent a lot of hours playing Hero Quest back in theday. Great fun!I tried AD&D a couple of time, but it never really caught me. I was much more into a Swedish RPG called Dragons and Demons which was a bit of a D&D knock-off, but somehow woeks much better. I played a lot of SmurfQuest too.One RPG I regret never getting around to trying is Call of Cthulhu.

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