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1487 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 166 4.01
2 Progressive Metal 159 3.98
3 Heavy Metal 143 3.87
4 Hard Rock 132 3.63
5 Death Metal 120 3.68
6 Power Metal 89 3.84
7 Black Metal 86 3.49
8 Doom Metal 45 3.96
9 Speed Metal 38 3.80
10 Melodic Death Metal 35 3.97
11 Groove Metal 33 3.71
12 Alternative Metal 25 3.64
13 NWoBHM 25 3.56
14 Hardcore Punk 24 3.67
15 Metalcore 23 3.15
16 Technical Death Metal 23 4.46
17 Crossover Thrash 22 3.66
18 Sludge Metal 21 3.55
19 Traditional Doom Metal 20 4.28
20 US Power Metal 16 4.19
21 Folk Metal 16 3.44
22 Death-Doom Metal 14 3.89
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 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 9 3.78
30 Brutal Death Metal 9 3.78
31 Deathcore 8 3.38
32 Grindcore 8 3.00
33 Melodic Black Metal 8 3.75
34 Symphonic Black Metal 8 4.00
35 Metal Related 7 3.79
36 Industrial Metal 7 3.50
37 Crust Punk 7 3.86
38 Avant-garde Metal 6 4.17
39 Melodic Metalcore 6 3.75
40 Non-Metal 5 3.40
41 Funeral Doom Metal 5 4.10
42 Drone Metal 5 3.10
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 Goregrind 2 2.25
52 Nu Metal 2 3.50
53 Neoclassical metal 2 3.25
54 Funk Metal 2 4.25
55 Deathgrind 2 4.50
56 Depressive Black Metal 2 3.75
57 Electronicore 1 3.50
58 Pagan Black Metal 1 3.00
59 Trance Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

OBLOMOV Mighty Cosmic Dances

Album · 2005 · Melodic Black Metal
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MMA Reviewer's Challenge: September 2016

Black metal has come a long way, and today's black metal landscape ranges from the raw and filthy end (e.g. Bahimiron and Nadiwrath) over the brutal variety (e.g. Svarttjern and Tsjuder) and the melodic variety (e.g. Darkenhöld and Denial of God) to the more elaborate and artsy end, where we find symphonic acts, such as Dimmu Borgir and Carach Angren, progressive acts, such as Enslaved, and avant-garde acts, such as Total Negation and Chryst. Oblomov's debut album "Mighty Cosmic Dance" belongs to the more artsy end of the black metal spectrum without being either avant-garde or weird.

The album opens with a spacey synth-based instrumental intro which explodes into 'Mentality Failure', and for a second, one might think that this is just going to be another black metal blastbeat-fest, but the song quickly goes down a path of variation and melody and culminates in an almost epic keyboard-enhanced final passage. The following track, 'Redefinition of the Past' opens with an extremely melodic section, which has more in common with traditional metal than black metal, but takes on a slightly more doom metal character for a while, before the tempo increases, as the song morphs into a blend of black metal and melodic thrash metal. By now, it is clear to the listener that Oblomov are not one of those black metal bands who only use two or three riffs, but a band who embraces variation.

The two first tracks are not bad at all, but it is only with 'Lost Between Emotions' that things get really interesting. In addition to the already varied and melodic style of Oblomov, this song features a really cool saxophone lead and even concludes with a very original combination of aggressive metal guitars and a folksy flute. At times bordering on the symphonic, the next track 'Starsend' also features a really cool saxophone lead and an epic choir. While less experimental, 'The Plague' is nonetheless also quite a musical experience.

After the sublime experience that is the triumvirate of 'Lost Between Emotions', 'Starsend', and 'The Blague', the heavier 'Nostalgic Idealization' feels a bit like a slowly deflating balloon, and 'Dreamworks' continues this trend. In all fairness, however, the latter features a very nice breakdown and subsequent instrumental section which together do blow a bit of air back into the balloon before the album is concluded by an outro which, like the intro, is a spacey synth-based instrumental.

The primary generator of melody is the band's use of melodic leads, be it guitar leads, saxophone leads or keyboard leads, but there are several instances where the riffs themselves seem to be inherently melodic. This is definitely something a person like me, who admittedly has never learned to appreciate the more barren and raw genres of black metal, can get behind. Moreover, I really like how much variation there is on this album, and it is clear that the band had a real artistic vision when they made this album. However, the things that I appreciate about "Mighty Cosmic Dances" are likely, I think, to be features that many black metal fans will reject. The variation might be seen as unfocused and the melodic orientation as poppy, and, overall, the album is probably as non-kvlt as can be. Thant again, who gives a fuck about that? But, even though I have a lot of appreciation for the album, it is not an album that I love without reservation. The high point is definitely the sublime triumvirate of 'Lost Between Emotions'/'Starsend'/'The Plague', but after that, the album quickly loses its energy and, sadly, limps out the backdoor.

Still, it's not a bad album, and I can see myself listening to some of the songs repeatedly in the future, but it is probably not an album I will listen to from beginning to end very many times.

MEDEVIL Conductor of Storms

Album · 2016 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Enter the "medevil" times

Genre: traditional metal / US power metal

Enter Medevil from Chilliwack in Canada. Their debut album "Conductor of Storms" is to be released on August 2016 by the band themselves.

Stylistically, "Conductor of Storms" combines traditional metal with US power metal, peppering it with a bit of thrash metal. The listener is treated to classic-sounding heavy metal riffs packaged into compositions that slightly update the traditional metal sound and add the oomph of US power metal, which is especially present in 'Nightwalk' and 'Machination Factory' as well as in 'Escape'. 'A Sacrifice' is more of traditional metal track, rich in guitar harmonies and galloping rhythms. A very good example of the thrashier side of the album is 'An Empty Glass' which falls is more of a power-thrash affair. 'In the Distance' is an instrumental which strikes me as being almost cautious compared to the rest of the album. In a way, that does create an interesting sense of dynamics. The ballad 'The Angel of Rain' deviates even more, as it appears to be considerably inspired by 90s alternative rock. That's not a bad thing. It's just different. The magnum opus on the album is the epic 12-minute track 'The Fabled Uxoricide' in which Medevil venture unscathed deep into progressive territory, treating us to twists and turns as well as complex layers of harmonies and melodies.

The production is pretty good, and the sound is round and warm rather than sharp and cold. The guys in the band display solid songwriting skills and an admirable level of musicianship across the board. Liam Collingwood's vocals might be an acquired taste, but, seeing that his voice sounds like a blend of Udo Dirkschneider, Mark "The Shark" Shelton, and Biff Byford, there's no doubt that hi singing style suits this kind of music very well.

Overall, "Conductor of Storms" is a pretty strong debut album indicating that this band has great talent and great potential. Fans of traditional metal as well as US power metal should definitely invest in this album. It is definitely an album I will listen to again.

DEAD EARTH POLITICS The Mobius Hammersmith

EP · 2016 · Groove Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Where groove meets melody...

Genre: melodic modern metal

Dead Earth Politics have chosen to release their material in small packages, this being the most recent in a string of EPs and just one full-length effort. Well, I guess the principle that good things come in small packages applies here.

The listener is treated to five tracks which, true to Dead Earth Politics' style, combine melodic elements from traditional metal with groove metal and a tad of thrash metal. All five tracks are considerably melodic and, rather than just churning out one pentatonic riff after another, Dead Earth Politics deploy melodic twin guitars and somewhat sophisticated song structures. Just check out 'Balancing the Broken Scales' or 'Wretched Things'. The choruses are also very melodic and have a certain sing-along appeal. In fact, while there are groovy elements, this EP has much more in common with both traditional metal and melodic modern metal than your stereotypical groove metal.

For a self-released EP, the production is very good, and professionalism emanates from the release. The songwriting displayed on the album is top notch, and the band's affinity for melody is particularly attractive. The vocals have a dark feel to them and are perhaps best described as falling somewhere between black album era James Hetfield and "Draconian Times" Nick Holmes peppered with a couple of growls and screams.

I was very positively surprised with this EP. Fans of melodic modern metal should definitely check this one out.


Album · 2016 · Groove Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Carnivorous forest...

Genre: death-thrash / power-thrash / groove metal

Sludgehammer are not, despite what their name might indicate, a sludge metal band. They are a thrash metal band, and "The Fallen Sun" is their debut full-length album.

Stylistically, Sludgehammer's music combines power-thrash and death-thrash, sprinkling it with groove metal influences every now and then. On paper, this might sound like a blend that doesn't work, but in practice, it works very well. Sludgehammer seamlessly combine fast and aggressive thrash metal riffage with more melodic guitar figures (some of which even venture into traditional metal territory - 'Carrion Eater' even has sequences that sound like Slough Feg), and this blend is reflected in the vocals, which are a combination of guttural growls and a more melodic rock or traditional metal singing style. It may take a couple of listens for this to sink in, but the two singing styles actually complement each other very well. Drawing on influences from the likes of Lamb of God, Sludgehammer's brand of thrash metal is riff-centric, and their riffs work to great effect.

The guys in Sludgehammer are very proficient musicians and skilled songsmiths. The guitar solos in particular are very good without being show-offy. The production is pretty crisp and well defined which suits the music itself very well.

This is a very strong debut album and it should appeal to most fans of thrash metal who don't mind a bit of melody, a bit of groove, and a lot of brutality.

RINGWORM Snake Church

Album · 2016 · Crossover Thrash
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Brotherhood of the midnight sun...

Genre: crossover

"Snake Church" is the latest offering from the crossover band Ringworm. This being their seventh full-length effort (in addition to countless underground releases) from a band that was formed in 1991, one might expect to hear inklings of fatigue on the album.

Well, if that's what you expect, you're wrong. From beginning to end "Snake Curch" is an onslaught of aggressive and angry crossover thrash which - to my ears - leans a bit more to the hardcore side than to the thrash side. The listener is bombarded with uptempo simple, but effective, guitar riffs accompanied by fast drums and a crunchy bass. The barrages of aggressive speed are punctuated by well-timed heavy hardcore-style breakdowns which re as moshing-inviting as anything can be.

The production is pretty good, with the guitars being crunchy, yet well-defined, and the drums packing a wallop (in particular the bass drum is like a kick in the guts). The songs themselves are relatively short but still long enough that the listener can get into the groove. Admittedly, there is not too much variation on the album, and the angrily yelled vocals do not add much melody either (the guitar solos are very melodic though). Then again, that's not the point of this album. This album is all about aggression and energy. And, in that department, it delivers.

While probably not something that appeals to all metalheads, those of you who like hardcore and crossover thrash should find this a very enjoyable listen.

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