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Jonas
MMA Special Collaborator · Errors & Omissions Team / Retired Admin
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 3 hours ago

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2725 reviews/ratings
PSYCHOTIC WALTZ - Into The Everflow Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
SLAYER - South of Heaven Thrash Metal
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss Thrash Metal
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH - Countdown to Extinction Thrash Metal
NEVERMORE - Dead Heart in a Dead World Thrash Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - 666 International Black Metal
DØDHEIMSGARD - Supervillain Outcast Industrial Metal
CARCASS - Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious Death Metal
MOTÖRHEAD - Overkill Heavy Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Watershed Progressive Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - Jupiter Technical Death Metal | review permalink
MORBID ANGEL - Blessed Are the Sick Death Metal | review permalink
ENSLAVED - Vertebrae Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Parallels Progressive Metal | review permalink
FATES WARNING - Inside Out Progressive Metal | review permalink
CATHEDRAL - Forest of Equilibrium Doom Metal | review permalink
ATHEIST - The Collection Technical Death Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Death Metal 590 3.45
2 Thrash Metal 375 3.55
3 Progressive Metal 241 3.71
4 Technical Death Metal 144 3.72
5 Heavy Metal 140 3.52
6 Black Metal 112 3.38
7 Hard Rock 85 3.45
8 Melodic Death Metal 70 3.73
9 Brutal Death Metal 62 3.58
10 Technical Thrash Metal 54 3.75
11 Stoner Metal 51 3.59
12 Non-Metal 48 3.56
13 Doom Metal 46 3.65
14 Grindcore 45 3.21
15 Death-Doom Metal 40 3.41
16 Alternative Metal 39 3.36
17 Metal Related 39 3.65
18 Sludge Metal 39 3.59
19 Groove Metal 35 3.60
20 Power Metal 34 3.69
21 Crossover Thrash 33 3.41
22 US Power Metal 31 3.60
23 Atmospheric Black Metal 29 3.38
24 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 28 3.75
25 Avant-garde Metal 26 3.60
26 Gothic Metal 26 3.48
27 Metalcore 24 3.60
28 Industrial Metal 24 3.63
29 Hardcore Punk 22 3.68
30 Death 'n' Roll 21 3.29
31 Symphonic Black Metal 18 3.33
32 Traditional Doom Metal 16 3.81
33 Melodic Black Metal 14 3.36
34 Deathgrind 12 3.50
35 Goregrind 10 2.65
36 Speed Metal 10 3.40
37 Proto-Metal 10 3.70
38 Stoner Rock 9 3.94
39 Glam Metal 7 3.21
40 Deathcore 7 3.50
41 Depressive Black Metal 6 3.50
42 Heavy Alternative Rock 6 3.58
43 Crust Punk 5 3.30
44 Cybergrind 5 3.80
45 NWoBHM 5 3.60
46 Drone Metal 4 3.50
47 Mathcore 4 3.25
48 Melodic Metalcore 4 2.63
49 Neoclassical metal 3 3.33
50 Heavy Psych 3 3.50
51 Folk Metal 3 3.33
52 Rap Metal 3 3.50
53 Symphonic Metal 3 3.17
54 Nu Metal 2 3.00
55 Funeral Doom Metal 2 3.50
56 Funk Metal 1 3.50

Latest Albums Reviews

BATHORY Bathory

Album · 1984 · Black Metal
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"Bathory" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Swedish speed/heavy metal act Bathory. The album was released through Tyfon Grammofon in October 1984. Lead vocalist/guitarist Quorthon formed Bathory in 1983. The band´s first recordings where done in January 1984. It was the tracks "Sacrifice" and "The Return of the Darkness and Evil". Both appeared on the "Scandinavian Metal Attack" compilation (a split compilation with other Swedish and Finnish heavy metal artists), which was released in March 1984 through the Tyfon Grammofon label. The label received a lot of positive feedback from fans over the two Bathory tracks, and decided to offer the band to record a full-length studio album. When the offer came up Quorthon had to find a new drummer and a new bassist though because both Freddan (bass) and Jonas Åkerlund (drums) were no longer in the band. Therefore Rickard Bergman (bass) and Stefan Larsson (drums) were added to the lineup instead. The new three-piece lineup had one rehearsal in May 1984 before entering Heavenshore Studio in Stockholm in June 1984 to record their debut album. The album was recorded and mixed in 2 days.

Stylistically the music on the album is a blackened speed/heavy metal style, which sounds like it´s heavily influenced by early Venom. An act like Motörhead also often comes to mind. The sound is a bit darker and the vocals are snarling and pretty extreme for the time too though, and there is a gloomy occult atmosphere to the material. Bathory are often credited as one of the pioneers of black metal, and it´s abundantly clear why that is when listening to this album. It´s arguably an incredibly influential album in the genre, but it´s not what most people think of, when they think of black metal today. So no blast beats or anything else too extreme, other than the vocals. The music is both raw and pretty filthy too though, and the vocals are definitely of the blackened sort.

The tracks are pretty basic vers/chorus structured material featuring energetic and organic playing/singing. It´s not the most tight performance I´ve ever heard, but the guys in the band deliver their music with both passion and conviction, which is always far more important. The sound production is pretty lo-fi and raw, but it suits the music and there´s definitely a primal charm to it, that you won´t find on many more professionally produced releases. This is as "straight from the rehearsal room/live in the studio" as it gets.

The influential nature of the release earns it some points, but it is for the most part also a pretty enjoyable listen, although it is a slightly one-dimensional release. Most tracks are similarly structured and features about the same mid-to fast paced tempo, but there are moments when Bathory play a little slower and add some heaviness. It´s an album which is a bit hard to rate, because it speaks to a pretty specific audience of black/speed/thrash metal fans, who worship it like it´s the unholy grail. My opinion is probably a bit more objective and a bit more biased too, as I find it an interesting and adventurous release (for the time), but it´s also a bit immature and rough around the edges. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

VIRUS Carheart

Album · 2003 · Avant-garde Metal
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"Carheart" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian avant-garde rock/metal act Virus. The album was released through Jester Records in August 2003. Virus is a three-piece consisting of Plenum (bass), Esso (drums), and Czral (guitars, vocals). After Ved Buens Ende disbanded in 1997, Czral got/or already were involved with other projects (Aura Noir, Infernö, Cadaver Inc/Cadaver...etc.), but he still wanted to release something in a similar vein to the dark and abstract avant garde music style of his former band, and thus Virus formed in 2000.

Although there are some similarities to the avantgarde black metal of Ved Buens Ende, Virus is ultimately quite a different sounding beast. There are some metal traits on "Carheart", but it´s mostly in terms of attitude and a few hard edged/heavy riffs and rhythms. The material is predominantly more rock oriented though, but definitely not your average Joe rock´n´roll type music. The atmosphere is strange, dark, and gritty, and the lyrics are abstract and often downright weird. Try and listen to the robotic effect voice singing on "Gum, Meet, Mother", and then try and make sense of the lyrics...now that´s avant-garde oddness for you. Other than a few excursions into experimental vocal territories (as the example mentioned above), the vocals are predominantly deep register, monotone, with an edge of desperation to them. Not completely unlike the vocals of darker new wave vocalists from bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division or maybe even a darker and more demented Nick Cave.

The instrumental part of the music is a pretty unique combination of elements. The guitar riffs are mostly distorted, dissonant, and often use open strings to create atmosphere. The drums are often busy and fusion influenced, and the bass is instrumental in creating the dark and dense mood of the music. Keyboards and effects are used sparsely, but to great effect. The occasional nod towards spy movie/surf music is also heard. It´s hard to mention valid references with music as unique as this, but I think I hear elements from as different sounding artists as Voivod, Talking Heads, 80s King Crimson (and from the above mentioned artists already mentioned earlier).

"Carheart" is a well produced and very well sounding release, and the high level musicianship and the original style of the band´s music do not hurt the album either. This type of music probably falls under the "aquired taste" label, and there are pretty surely some listeners who won´t be able to enjoy the dark gritty avant-garde oddness and the twisted dissonant nature of the music, but to those who are able to enjoy it, "Carheart" is a high quality release and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

DYING FETUS Grotesque Impalement

EP · 2000 · Brutal Death Metal
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"Grotesque Impalement" is an EP release by US, Maryland based death metal act Dying Fetus. The EP was released through Blunt Force Records in early 2000. The material was recorded at Hit and Run Studios in November 1999. "Grotesque Impalement" bridges the gap between the band´s second and third full-length studio albums "Killing on Adrenaline (1998)" and "Destroy the Opposition (2000)", and features the same lineup as the latter mentioned.

The original version of "Grotesque Impalement" features 6 tracks and a full playing time of 21:51 minutes. Relapse Records reissued the EP in 2010 and added 3 bonus tracks. The original version features 2 re-recordings of "Grotesque Impalement" and "Tearing Inside the Womb" from the "Bathe In Entrails (1993)" demo, a cover of "Streaks of Blood" by Baphomet, a cover of "Bringing Back the Glory" by Next Step Up, and two "comic" heavy metal tracks in "Final Scream (Prelude to Evil: Davey's Nightmare)" and "Hail Mighty North / Forest Trolls of Satan (Anno Clitoris 666)".

The 2010 Relapse Records reissue version (in addition to the above) features "Reduced To Slavery", which is an original composition from 2000, which was used as a Japanese bonus track on "Destroy the Opposition (2000)". "Purged Of My Worldly Being" is a live recording from 1999. It was a track which in it´s original form appeared on the "Infatuation with Malevolence (1994)" demo. "Dumpster Love" is a track recorded in 2010, which follows the "comic" heavy metal tradition of the two closing tracks of the origial version of the EP.

The re-recordings of the demo tracks, the Baphomet cover, and "Reduced To Slavery" all sound more or less like Dying Fetus did in those days. Brutal and techncially well played death metal with a strong focus on groove. So it´s the hardcore punk cover of "Bringing Back the Glory" and the "comic" heavy metal tracks on the EP, which make "Grotesque Impalement" quite different from the regular releases by the band. There´s a lot of melodic guitar playing and clean and semi-raw vocals on those tracks, which are quite new when dealing with Dying Fetus. A band which usually stands for unrelenting brutality. It´s nice to hear they also have a humourous side and it works pretty well.

Upon conclusion "Grotesque Impalement" probably isn´t the most important release in the band´s discography, but on the other hand the content is really entertaining and generally of high quality too. The sound production is slightly more rough around the edges compared to the two studio albums which bookend it, but it´s still well produced. So a 3.5 star (70%) rating isn´t all wrong.

KING DIAMOND Abigail

Album · 1987 · Heavy Metal
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"Abigail" is the 2th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in February 1987. It´s the successor to "Fatal Portrait" from 1986 and features the same lineup, who recorded the predecessor. "Fatal Portrait (1986)" featured a collection of individual tracks and some tracks which formed a concept story, but "Abigail" is a full blown conceptual piece. An album format King Diamond would subsequently employ on most releases.

The story of "Abigail" takes place in 1845 and revolves around the young couple of Miriam Natias and Jonathan La'Fey, who arrives at an old and dark mansion that La'Fey has inherited. Before entering the mansion they are warned by seven horsemen (who are later revealed to be the servants of Count La'Fey (the ancestor of Jonathan La'Fey)), that the mansion is cursed (although the warning is a bit more cryptic than that). The young couple do not heed the warning and proceed to move into the mansion. Already on their first night in their new home Jonathan La'Fey receives a visit from the ghost of Count La'Fey who tells him how he pushed his wife down the stairs on the 7th Day of July 1777, where she broke her neck and died, after he found out she was carrying a bastard child. Count La'Fey then proceded to cremate his wife and mummify the the stillborn child and finally lay the baby mummy to rest in a sarcophagus in the family crypt. He named the stillborn child "Abigail". Count La'Fey warns Jonathan that the spirit of "Abigail" now has taken place inside Miriam and that if he wants to prevent "The rebirth of evil itself", he has to push Miriam down the stairs to die.

While Jonathan is initially horrified by the suggestion, and refuse to do as the Count says, he changes his mind after several supernatural omens occur and "Abigail" finally reveals to Jonathan that she is in control of Miriam. Jonathan then plans to push Miriam down the stairs to the family crypt, but ends up being pushed down the stairs himself. Miriam then gives birth to "Abigail" and dies shortly after seing "Abigail´s" yellow eyes. The story ends with the seven horsemen arriving to see "Abigail" eating something unspeakably horrifying (which I assume is Miriam´s dead body), and then taking "Abigail" to a chapel in the forest where they drive seven silver spikes through her body and bury her, to prevent further ressurrections in the future...

...and that´s actually where the album opens as the intro track "Funeral" (which features thunderstorm sound effects and classical inspired synths) features a narrator telling how the spikes are driven into "Abigail´s" body in an eerie multi-layered demonic voice. "Arrival" is the first "regular" track on the album and establishes the melodic yet relatively heard edged heavy metal style of the material on the album. King Diamond´s piercing high pitched vocals, multi-layered backing vocals and choirs, several melodic guitar solos/themes per track (and not necessarily placed where you´d expect them to be placed), hard edged heavy metal riffing (which occasionally touches thrash metal territory), and an organic and tight playing rhythm section, who drive the music forward in a hard rocking powerful fashion. Keyboards are also a part of the soundscape, but they predominantly have a supporting role or are there for effect rather than playing lead parts.

Each and every song on the 9 track, 40:20 minutes long album is a highlight and it´s therefore a bit hard to mention standout tracks. The tracklist is incredibly well constructed and the dark and eerie horror story is supported well by the dynamics of the music. If I have to mention a few tracks which I think stand out a bit anyway (and this is purely a subjective observation) it would be "A Mansion In Darkness" (the melodic lead theme part which occur a couple of times during the track is incredible), "The Family Ghost" (the rhythm work, the guitar riffs, and vocal parts and the lyrics are just killer on this track), the title track (King Diamond surpasses himself in singing high pitched vocals on this track), and the closing mini epic "Black Horsemen" (just absolutely stunning featuring beautiful acoustic guitar parts and great harmony work). The rather complex "Arrival" deserves a mention too and "The 7th Day Of July 1777" is also quite the hook laden track. "Omens" and "The Possession" are great tracks too, but maybe just slightly less spectacular than the remaining material.

"Abigail" features a raw, detailed, and organic sounding production, which suits the music perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s a high quality release through and through. The musicianship is on a high level on all posts, the songwriting is adventurous, original, and exciting, the concept works and you get the right eerie horror effect from listening to the album, and when the whole thing is packed in a well sounding production too, it´s hard to find anything bad to say about the album. In fact I dare say it´s the band´s masterpiece, although subsequent albums would also be of high quality. There´s just something truly magical about "Abigail", which they have never been able to top. A 5 star (100%) rating is fully deserved.

SINDROME Vault of Inner Conscience

Demo · 1991 · Thrash Metal
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"Vault of Inner Conscience" is the 2nd demo release by US, Illinois based thrash metal act Sindrome. The demo was originally released on cassette tape in 1991. Sindrome formed in Highland Park in 1986, and got a break almost immediately after releasing the "Into the Halls of Extermination (1987)" demo as they supported Whiplash on their "Ticket to Mayhem (1987)" tour and later Death on their tour supporting "Scream Bloody Gore (1987)". Lineup problems meant they didn´t release "Vault of Inner Conscience" before 1991. They disbanded in 1993 without having released an official studio album. There been a couple of lineup changes since "Into the Halls of Extermination (1987)", as guitarist Chris Mittlebrun (Death Strike, Master) has left. He is replaced here by two guitarists in Mick Vega and Ken Savich. The latter reportedly didn´t play on the demo, although he is credited for it.

Stylistically the material on the 5 track, 23:44 minutes long demo pretty much continues the technically well played and raw thrash metal style of "Into the Halls of Extermination (1987)". The band have taken the technical playing up a notch and the sound production is also more professional and powerful sounding. The demo was recorded and mixed at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida, which is where a lot of contemporary US death metal bands recorded their albums, and "Vault of Inner Conscience" as a result feautures a powerful, meaty, and relatively brutal sound compared to most thrash metal releases.

The band are technically very well playing and lead vocalist Troy Dixler has a dark and powerful voice, and his delivery is raw. The material on the demo is also well written and effectful. It´s impossible not to bang your head while listening to this release. In fact it´s a bit hard to understand why Sindrome were never signed to a label when they were active, because the quality of this release is higher than on quite a few contemporary thrash metal studio albums. Maybe they just missed their chance...because by 1991 the thrash metal scene was in decline, and the interest from labels was probably not that high at that point. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

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Shouts

Please login to post a shout
martindavey87 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Hey Jonas! How are ya man? Every where I post reviews, either here, Progarchives or RYM, whenever I go to post one I see you've posted one on that album too. It's cool comparing them! Was actually gonna message ya on here just to ask what your name is lol. Hope you're well and rock on! \m/ \m/
more than 2 years ago
Thanks! I will be slowly importing reviews that I have done for my website over here, but that will take awhile. For now, I will just be posting new reviews that I am publishing on my website. Cheers! \m/
mjayeh wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanx again for the shout out !!!! \m/

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