Vim Fuego

Patrick Stott
Forum Admin Group · Death, T/S/G, Grind, VA Teams
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 80 minutes ago

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551 reviews/ratings
MORBID ANGEL - Altars of Madness Death Metal | review permalink
PUNGENT STENCH - Been Caught Buttering Death Metal | review permalink
CATHEDRAL - Forest of Equilibrium Doom Metal | review permalink
BRUTAL TRUTH - Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses Deathgrind | review permalink
ANNIHILATOR - Alice in Hell Thrash Metal | review permalink
DARK ANGEL - Darkness Descends Thrash Metal | review permalink
CARNIVORE - Retaliation Crossover Thrash | review permalink
EXODUS - Fabulous Disaster Thrash Metal | review permalink
HOLY TERROR - Mind Wars Thrash Metal | review permalink
CARCASS - Symphonies of Sickness Goregrind | review permalink
CARNIVORE - Carnivore Crossover Thrash | review permalink
DEICIDE - Deicide Death Metal | review permalink
DESTRUCTION - Sentence of Death Thrash Metal | review permalink
BAD NEWS - Bad News Heavy Metal | review permalink
EXHORDER - Slaughter in the Vatican Thrash Metal | review permalink
8 FOOT SATIVA - Season for Assault Thrash Metal | review permalink
TERRORIZER - World Downfall Deathgrind | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Live Shit: Binge & Purge Thrash Metal | review permalink
LAWNMOWER DETH - Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth Crossover Thrash | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Thrash Metal 130 3.86
2 Death Metal 63 4.05
3 Heavy Metal 59 3.61
4 Grindcore 43 3.60
5 Crossover Thrash 21 3.90
6 Black Metal 19 3.08
7 Groove Metal 18 2.53
8 Hard Rock 16 2.69
9 Industrial Metal 11 3.41
10 Alternative Metal 11 2.64
11 Technical Death Metal 11 3.68
12 Glam Metal 10 3.25
13 Goregrind 8 3.94
14 Non-Metal 8 1.63
15 Deathgrind 8 4.19
16 Progressive Metal 8 2.63
17 Power Metal 7 3.36
18 NWoBHM 7 3.14
19 Hardcore Punk 7 4.71
20 Gothic Metal 5 3.30
21 Melodic Death Metal 5 2.60
22 Brutal Death Metal 5 3.40
23 Sludge Metal 5 2.80
24 Symphonic Metal 5 1.60
25 Stoner Metal 4 2.75
26 Folk Metal 4 3.75
27 Death 'n' Roll 4 2.00
28 Cybergrind 3 4.67
29 Death-Doom Metal 3 2.83
30 Atmospheric Black Metal 3 1.83
31 Nu Metal 3 0.67
32 US Power Metal 3 3.33
33 Symphonic Black Metal 2 4.50
34 Speed Metal 2 2.50
35 Melodic Black Metal 2 1.25
36 Pornogrind 2 4.00
37 Metal Related 2 5.00
38 Metalcore 2 3.25
39 Heavy Alternative Rock 2 4.00
40 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2 4.75
41 Avant-garde Metal 2 2.50
42 Crust Punk 2 4.75
43 Deathcore 2 2.00
44 Funk Metal 2 1.50
45 Doom Metal 2 4.75
46 Drone Metal 1 4.00
47 Heavy Psych 1 0.50
48 Mathcore 1 3.50
49 Proto-Metal 1 5.00
50 Rap Metal 1 2.50
51 Viking Metal 1 3.00
52 Technical Thrash Metal 1 3.50
53 Traditional Doom Metal 1 3.50

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YACØPSÆ Sanitys Dawn / Yacøpsæ

Split · 2003 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
17 March 2019. Today was supposed to be a happy day. Today I was supposed to see two of my favourite bands, of which I have been a fan for 30 years. Unbelievable as it may have seemed in 1989, Slayer and Anthrax were coming to Christchurch, my nearest city! The city where I work. The city where I was educated. The city where I have lived so much of my life.

It is also St. Patrick’s Day. Even though Patrick is my real name and I’m far from a saint, it’s not a day for celebration. Today is not a day for happiness.

Slayer and Anthrax are not coming. I am not going to a concert. I am not going to hear some of my favourite songs performed live. I am not going to feel that incredible, uplifting experience of an insane mosh pit with hundreds of like-minded people. This is not the reason for the lack of happiness. It would be selfish and trivial to express anger or sadness just because of a cancelled concert.

Two days ago, on 15 March 2019, an unspeakable act of mindless terrorism ripped my city apart. A hate-filled thug took it upon himself to try to start a war, either religious or racial, but completely pointless. He murdered 50 people peacefully at prayer.

50 of our people.

50 people with families, friends, workmates.

50 people with hopes, aspirations, dreams.

50 people.

50 lives.

50.

This is still unfathomable. Unbelievable. How could it happen here? This is a city which has endured earthquakes in the past. How much more does a city need to suffer? Many of those murdered were refugees, escaping war or religious intolerance in their own shattered homes – Somalia, Fiji, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kuwait. These people had resettled here, supposedly because New Zealand is a peaceful country, free from religious persecution and violence.

No longer.

A cowardly white supremacist piece of shit deliberately targeted Christchurch’s peaceful, valued Muslim community. He murdered people at prayer in their mosques, simply because of their religion and the colour of their skin. He murdered helpless, defenceless people. Women. Children. Elderly. I know. I have seen this atrocity. This animal filmed himself shooting defenceless people. No one should see members of their community murdered, but I watched this video because there should be those who bear witness to this crime so it will not be forgotten. It is the most disgusting, disturbing thing I have ever seen. It won’t be forgotten, because I won’t forget.

At a time of despair like this, it’s hard to know what to do and how to cope with it. I am lucky, because I have a loving family around me. But still, how do you cope with your own thoughts? I have taken out some of the feelings of helplessness and frustration through physical activity – a chainsaw is a great physical outlet. But still, sometimes you just need to see something positive or cheerful, just to try to lift your spirits. Sitting at my computer I can see some things I like, which help. There are posters on my wall – Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ronnie James Dio, Stallone and Snipes in Demolition Man. There are two plastic dinosaurs on my desk, a reminder of my brother’s wedding three weeks ago. And there are CDs I have left lying on my desk, some of my favourite things. There’s Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”, a cheap old Jasper Carrott album, Lou Reed and Metallica’s “LuLu” (I don’t care what anyone else thinks, it’s a comfort to me) a seven disc set of The 12th Man, a Slap-A-Ham compilation called “Fiesta Comes Alive”, “Van Halen I”, “Pure…metal” (which is pure shit!), and the one which really cheered me – “Yacøpsæ/Sanitys Dawn”.

So why did this help? Simple. The Yacøpsæ cover. It has a picture of a small child and a baby chimpanzee holding hands. It’s a symbol of unity and friendship. It’s what split records are all about. Different but the same, and together make a single entity. (Admittedly, the Sanitys Dawn cover on the other side has a picture of a policeman being kicked in the head, but I don’t have to look at that.)

And the music is a cheering thing too. Sanitys Dawn kick the album off with their raucous crust/grind sound. This is simple, angry aggressive music. And despite some English song titles, it’s mostly in German, so I have no fucking clue what’s going on! No matter. Guitarist Matthias has a great line in simple, huge sounding riffs. Vocalist Topsy has a bleeding throat screech type of vocal style. Even when he’s screeching in English, he’s incomprehensible. Bassist Prandy contributes vocals on some tracks too, like a rough edged oi punk. Don’t worry – you can’t understand him either!

There is a lyric sheet, which helps well… very little. It looks as if the English language songs have been translated to German, with little knowledge of English. The song “How To Live” has lines like “Sent to jail, you’re non-conform/Fuck the sense of life/Manmade situations/Guilty for this shit you see”. Incomprehensible, angry, and incredibly powerful.

“Act Like Me Or Die” is rabidly anti-American foreign policy. “Call The Garbage Collection” is against manufactured pop music. No “Fed Up” it seems the band are fed up with people who talk shit, like the Pope and hippies.

After 11 tracks of Sanitys Dawn’s noise and chaos, you come to Yacøpsæ, which is, unbelievably, noisier and more chaotic. This incredibly powerful three piece unit look like mild-mannered accountants or computer programmers, but produce some of the most violent noise on the planet.

Stoffel’s guitars seem to rip holes in the space/time continuum, crushing but clear. His vocals are a constant shriek, with little variation, but why change something when it works that well?

Yacøpsæ don’t even bother to try to translate their lyrics. The band are not fluent in English, and have stated very plainly that subtleties of meaning are often lost in translation. You want to know what they are saying? Learn German.

Frank has an incredibly dirty bass sound, which would make Shane Embury envious. Emu’s drums are like a high speed, turbo charged combine harvester. The band’s sound is so massive it’s hard to imagine there are only three of them.

The songs are blast after blast of barely controlled chaos, purportedly covering a number socially aware topics (I don’t know specifically, but it looks like it!), and not a single track even reaches a minute and a half.

This little split is 23 tracks, all over in 31 minutes. It is wonderful, rowdy, positive violence as music. It smashes through your brain and drives out all else.

Then it ends. Cold reality comes back.

So fuck you, you worthless murdering racist piece of shit. You aren’t going to break those of us who are left. We will remember those you took.

And thank you Sanitys Dawn and Yacøpsæ for a small distraction at a time when I needed some comfort.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Pure...metal

Album · 2014 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Dear Sony Music,

I wish to take issue with, and express my displeasure at, your 4 disc compilation album “Pure…metal”, released in 2014.

It seems like a generous compilation, pulling together 61 songs for a discount album price. However the title of this album, I believe, is misleading, if not downright false. While this album does contain metal, it is not pure, in any way, shape or form. Please observe the following:

Disc 1: Exhibit 1: “Breaking The Law” by Judas Priest and “Poison” by Alice Cooper. Right, so I have contradicted my argument with the very first piece of evidence… or have I? While there is nothing wrong with either song, and both qualify as metal (just, in the case of “Poison”), I believe these are so over-used in compilations as to render them diluted. “Breaking The Law” features on two more compilations I own, while “Poison” appears on five other compilations, including another IN THIS SERIES. “Poison” is featured on the “Pure…hard rock” compilation too, which pre-dates this one by three years. Had you run out of ideas Sony Music, or did you not suspect that a metal fan might also be a hard rock fan?

Exhibit 2: “Slither” by Velvet Revolver. This song won the Grammy for “Best Hard Rock Performance” in 2005. Hard rock is not pure metal. Exhibit 3: “B.Y.O.B” by System of a Down. Actually, this song fucking rocks. Note to self: come on dude, focus. We’re looking for the clueless shit here, not the stuff that fits…

Exhibit 3a: “Tears Don’t Fall” by Bullet for my Valentine, “Got The Life” by Korn, “Scream With Me” by Mudvayne, “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria. Bullet for my Valentine is undoubtedly a metal band – now. However “Tears Don’t Fall” came from the band’s first album “The Poison”. It is an emo album. Korn and Mudvayne are nu-metal bands. I object to them on principle. Coheed and Cambria does not qualify as metal. While undoubtedly a fine progressive rock band, they do not belong here, and besides, they bore the tits off me. Exceptions on disc 1: “Whose Fist is This Anyway?” by Prong is mechanical industrial metal might. “Vote With A Bullet” by Corrosion of Conformity sounds like they put down the joint just long enough to jam out this little beauty. Lemmy always reckoned Motörhead was a rock n’ roll band, but even demigods can be wrong, and “Bad Religion” is blues infused metal heaven (of course the fucking pun is intended!) “Widow” by Paradise Lost is a bit gloomy, but if you see where these miserable fuckers came from , you would be too. Warrant’s “Machine Gun” scrapes in as glam metal, but it’s not very interesting. I suppose you could call HIM metal if you squint a bit, but you definitely can’t call “Buried Alive By Love” interesting. Just because Infectious Grooves has members of a metal band in it, it doesn’t automatically become a metal band. This is a funk band. Except this time. It’s funky and metallic, and annoyingly catchy, and I didn’t want to like it, but I do. Bugger.

Disc 2: Well fuck, ya don’t half know how to make a critics job hard, Sony Music. There’s not a huge lot to complain about on this disc. “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot, “Headhunter” by Krokus (it’s still a fucking flower, no matter how you misspell it guys!), and “Say What You Will” by Fastway all offer a flashback to 1983, when metal was metal, and thank fuck things have moved on since then… “Voices in The Sky” by Motörhead and “Electric Eye” by Judas Priest both offer up second shots of bands which have already featured, although there’s no reasonable complaint about either.

“Girlschool” by Britney Fox is formulaic misogynistic crap so typical of glam metal, “Sport’n A Woody” by Dangerous Toys is silly double entendre laden childish humour so typical of glam metal, and “Evil Twin” by Love/Hate is intelligent, thoughtful social commentary, so atypical of glam metal. ”Pictured Life” by Scorpions shows why they were one of the great bands of the 70s during the 70s. “Thundersteel” by Riot shows how one of the great bands of the 70s could change their approach to metal and be a great band in the 80s. “The Battle Rages On” by Deep Purple shows one of the great bands of the 70s could still sort of rock in the 90s.

“Battle Angels” may make some people question why Sanctuary ditched thrash, when they were obviously so good at it. These are people who have not heard the even greater greatness of Nevermore.

Suicidal Tendencies… No, I can’t pull the old “these guys are a punk band” trick, because “You Can’t Bring Me Down” is metal as fuck. So is “The Final Word” by Metal Church.

Ah! Got a couple!

Exhibit 4: Gotthard is a Swiss hard rock band. And “Firedance” is a bit boring. Pink Cream 69 (how fucked up were these guys when they thought up THAT name?) is a German hard rock band. And “Keep Your Eye On The Twisted” is even more boring than “Firedance”. (Note to self: this evidence is getting a bit feeble. You sure this is really such a bad compilation?)

Disc 3: Yes! Paydirt!

Exhibit 5: On what planet is “Down” by 311 metal? Yes, it’s more infectious than measles at an anti-vaxxer meeting, but metal? No. And neither is “Bartender by (Hed) P.E., or “Someday” by zebrahead. There are also the highly objectionable Korn and Mudvayne again, and whoever put Three Days Grace on a metal compilation album needs a smack around the head with a pipe, just to remind them what metal actually is.

OK, I’ll give you Eighteen Visions. It’s not the heaviest shit here, but “Victims” could almost slip in as a metal song. However, Crossfade is a fail. It’s hard rock at best, and that’s being generous.

Well Mr (or Miss, Mrs, Ms, or whatever qualifier you may or may not like to add before your name. I’m trying to criticize your work, not make it something personal) Sony Music Compilation Compiler, you finally got warmed up for this disc and put in some proper fucking metal! “The Last Time” by Paradise Lost is a good dose of Gothicism. Opeth’s “Master’s Apprentice” isn’t. It’s 10 fucking minutes of boring bog standard death metal by a highly overrated band, but that’s just my opinion. Many other metal fans will be jizzing in their undies (or creaming their knickers – not trying to exclude anyone here) at the inclusion of this track. “Her Ghost In The Fog” by Cradle of Filth gets back to the gothic stuff again, except a bit faster and more atmospheric than Paradise Lost.

You remember what I said about Bullet For My Valentine before? Yeah, well, “Your Betrayal” is actually a METAL track! Or mostly metal anyway.

Exhibit 6: Dear oh fucking dear! Someone is a bit lacking in reading comprehension here. LOOK AT THE TITLE OF THIS FUCKING SONG! “Hard Rock Hallelujah” by Lordi might have won the Eurovision Song Contest, but it’s NOT METAL! The biggest clue? The. Name. Of. The. Song…

“The Bear Song” by Green Jelly is a guilty pleasure for many a metalhead, but most aren’t going to admit it. Not near as charming as their legendary “Three Little Pigs”, but it’s got a silly singalong melody which many of us remember from our childhoods. Steve Vai reckons “The Audience Is Listening”, but I reckon he’s just showing off.

Disc 4: OK, so I suppose by the law of averages, you were bound to get things mostly right for most of a disc eventually. Is that why these compilations are four disc sets? Three discs to get things started, and then finally get it right on the fourth? Why not just save yourselves some time and effort Sony Music, and just release the fourth disc on it’s own!

Anyway, “Trip At The Brain” by Suicidal Tendencies is a classy crossover thrasher. “Lost and Found” by Prong is a harsh industrial pounder. “Babalon A.D. (So Glad For The Madness)” by Cradle of Filth is pseudo-black metal. “Feed My Frankenstein” is another over-compiled Alice Cooper track, but I’ll let you away with this one because, well, fuck it. It’s Alice! Krokus’ “Midnite Maniac” is more flower power… er, but it’s not very powerful and quite forgettable.

Bonham’s “Guilty” is guilty of taking all it’s cues from Jason Bonham’s Dad’s band, but Led Zeppelin worship isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, sticking a Bon Jovi-esque chorus in a song is!

The Scorpions were “Raised On Rock” a very long time ago, but these metallic senior citizens get a pass for this song, for their efforts in growing old disgracefully. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Warrant is a tricky one, because while it’s not named after the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, it’s still quite serious, which was very un-Warrant-like. Damn you Warrant for making me take you seriously!

“Clean My Wounds” by Corrosion of Conformity basically showed every other stoner metal band in the world how to do stoner metal properly. “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour showed a band could enjoy a bit of glamour but still be smart and have a message to convey, and could make radio friendly music without compromising their principles. OK, so Infectious Grooves’ previous song wasn’t metal, but “Violent and Funky” is violent and funky. And metal. “For The Love Of God”, Steve Vai, we know you’re an exceptional guitarist, but fuck, this song is so boring! And Anathema, you miserable bastards, “Make It Right” is such a moody downer to finish the album on.

Exhibit 7: Ha! There’s two fuck-ups out of 15 songs on this disc! Your best strike-rate yet! “Bury White” by Far, and “Silver” by Hundred Reasons aren’t metal. So there!

So in summary Sony Music, I put it to you that you compiled a 61 song, 4 disc album and called it “Pure…metal”, when clearly it’s not pure metal. This is adulterated with hard rock, alternative, funk, pop rock, and whatever the fuck you call 311’s music. This is not pure. Perhaps if you had called it “Unrefined…metal (And Sundry Detritus)” or “Fuck, We Don’t Really Know What Metal Is, So This Is A Bit Of A Guess At…metal” or “Blatant Rip-off, Trying To Cash In On Our Back Catalogue…metal” the title may have been more accurate. I for one would have appreciated more honesty in the naming of this compilation. Yes, I could skip the tracks I dislike, but having paid for all of the songs here, I believe I have the right to have a bit of a moan about the ones I don’t like and the ones which don’t belong here. After all, everyone’s a critic.

Yours in sincere displeasure and high opprobrium,

Vim Fuego

VAN HALEN Van Halen

Album · 1978 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Salvation Army and two bucks led me to a revelation, and a deeper understanding of the wider world around me.

No, I haven’t abandoned a lifelong lack of belief to worship any sort of supernatural being, deity, cult leader, or graven image. Instead, I finally understand something which had hitherto been a mystery to me. Why did a certain sector of the rock community always heap such praise on Van Halen?

My first experiences with Van Halen were with the stadium schlock rock of the ever-dreadful “Jump” and the misogynistic teen wankfest of “Hot For Teacher”. So far, so mediocre. A bit later, I encountered the stomping “Runnin’ With The Devil”. This was more like it. It fuckin’ hard rocking, if not quite metal, but no matter. To this day it remains my favourite Van Halen song. And then there was the cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”, which is in take-it-or-leave-it territory.

So where do the Sallies and two bucks come into it? I’m all for good works for the community, regardless of religious affiliation, and so I support the Salvation Army by donating unwanted stuff there so that someone needier than me may get some sort of use out of it, and the Sallies might make a few bucks too. I buy stuff there too, often not out of need, but just because it’s there, and hey, it’s cheap! On one expedition, I was perusing the CD racks. You’re more likely to find Daniel O’Donnell than Dani Filth in these racks, so I wasn’t expecting much. I found a pristine copy of “Van Halen” by Van Halen, and the price was two dollars, so I thought “fuck it, why not?”, and then thought “is it blasphemous to think the word ‘fuck’ in a Sallies shop?”. This was followed by the thought “you don’t believe in God, so therefore, you don’t believe in blasphemy, and you haven’t been struck down by lightning yet, so it’s probably OK.” By the time I got to the counter with my purchases, I had resolved the internalised theological dilemma, and the lady at the counter was more than happy to take my money.

And now for the revelation. Finally, a few days later, I had the opportunity to finally listen to this album.

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

I’ve waited over 40 years to finally hear this album in it’s entirety, and now I get it. Now I get why guitarists rave over Eddie’s technique. Now I get why the Diamond Dave vs. Sammy Hagar debate is important. Now I get why 80s glam metal sounded the way it did – those bands were chasing the dragon, and here’s that addictive high they were after.

It probably helps that the first track is “Runnin’ With The Devil” (good thing the ladies in the Salvation Army shop didn’t see that song title!) What’s the best thing about it? Eddie Van Halen’s fluid, classy soloing? His crunching main riff? David Lee Roth’s soaring vocals? Nope. It’s Michael Anthony’s thudding, hypnotic bass line, which ties in perfectly with Alex Van Halen’s straightforward, solid drums. Michael and Alex are often forgotten in this band, but remember, no Michael and Alex, no foundation for Eddie and Dave to show off.

And then “Eruption”. This is the track which caused so much consternation among budding guitar heroes the world over. Hell, even some pros were stumped by it. One of the Schenkers (jokingly) threatened Eddie Van Halen with physical violence if he didn’t show him how he played this less than two minute interlude. It squeals, shreds, soars, trills, and leaves your jaw lying on the floor. This is absolute mastery of your instrument. And unlike so many other shredding interludes, it’s actually fun to listen to, and doesn’t just reek of fretboard masturbation. And then the cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”? Take it or leave it? I’m fuckin’ taking it this time! The new leads Eddie added to what’s a fairly basic song set it off. It makes more sense in the context of this album than on it’s own.

“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” shows off a quality not often noted when talking about Van Halen – it’s got a strong metal riff to it. Eddie’s solos are what people remember, but the main riff, underpinned by Michael’s driving bass, makes what might ordinarily be a fairly tepid love song into a hard rock masterclass.

And so proceeds the rest of the album. “I’m The One” has a rocking boogie rhythm to it. Eddie’s guitar almost talks on “Jamie’s Crying”. “Atomic Punk” isn’t punk, but it’s got an overdriven gallop to it, like a rocking Judas Priest track. A couple of things haven’t aged well. It was a different time, but “Feel Your Love Tonight” is a bit date-rapey. Unfortunately, this lame duck track seems to be the one most emulated by the 80s hairspray and heels brigade.

The bluesy swagger of “Little Dreamer” pulls things back from the brink. Diamond Dave shines on this track, showing a soulful side to his voice. For all his narcissism and other faults, the guy could fucking sing!

“Ice Cream Man” is a second blues tinged song, with a double entendre laden acoustic intro. Just when it seems the whole song is going to be just guitar and voice, the rest of the band, and the amps kick in, and it turns into an old time rock and roller. Eddie shreds and shreds and shreds, while Dave wails and Elvises it up a bit.

“On Fire” closes the album with another driving rocker of a song, once again ending up somewhere near Judas Priest territory. There were multiple facets to Van Halen shown on this highly impressive debut. The band eventually followed their more mainstream commercial leanings, but there was enough hard and heavy material here to keep the headbangers interested. And that guitar playing… Many people have wanted to play like Eddie Van Halen, but no one else quite cuts it. Every listen reveals another fill, solo, or lead which you missed before. There are hidden depths and details to what seem superficially simple compositions.

All in all, this was two bucks well spent.

METALLICA Kill 'em All

Album · 1983 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
23 March 1990.

OK, so I’ve used this introduction before, for a different Metallica album, but hey, if I have a record of it, why not? 23 March 1990 was the day I bought “Kill ‘em All” and I became a Metallica completist. Yep. I had all four albums. (The two major E.P.s then in their repertoire followed soon after – “The 5.98 EP – Garage Days Re-Revisited” on 28 March 1990, and “Creeping Death/Jump In The Fire” on 18 June 1990.) In those days, that made me metal as fuck! I didn’t know anyone else with all four albums. Fuck, I only knew two other metal fans...

Anyway, “Kill ‘em All” was and is a primitive thrash metal tour de force. On the whole it hasn’t aged well. It was already sounding dated in 1990. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that it documented some of the earliest beginnings of a brand new genre of metal. Yes, Venom or Overkill or Exodus or Sodom might be older, but this is really the point where thrash became a thing, where people outside of a very small scene started to take note of it. So what’s actually happening here?

Well, it’s like the NWOBHM with a punk rocket up it’s ass. The noisy racket of “Hit The Lights” was Metallica’s first song, and is the perfect high energy song to kick off the album. The main riff is a bit messy and clumsy, as many of the riffs on this album are, but it is electrified by Lars Ulrich’s enthusiastic drumming and Kirk Hammett’s wild leads. James Hetfield shreds his throat with a near hysterical shriek.

“The Four Horsemen” has a more conventional metal riff, which borrows heavily from the likes of Diamond Head or Angel Witch, but it’s actually faster than it sounds. Hammett’s leads wail a bit more than the first track. This track was co-written by Dave Mustaine, and while Metallica’s biblical inspired lyrics are better, Mustaine’s revved up “Mechanix” version is far the superior song.

There are some absolute fucking ragers on this album, and “Motorbreath” is the first of them. This is where the full on punk energy first comes through. This is like a more metallic Motörhead with higher pitched vocals.

While this entire album must be considered a classic, “Jump In The Fire” is a bit of a clunker. The main riff is too long and a bit over-ambitious for a first album. While it’s not a bad song, it just seems plodding and a bit pedestrian in comparison to the rest of the album.

“(Anaesthesia) – Pulling Teeth” was unlike anything I had ever heard before. I didn’t know you could make noises like these with a bass guitar! This is also possibly the most mature, fully developed track on this entire embryonic album. Cliff Burton showed off his wonderful range of skills with this solo track. It’s also the perfect lead-in to the album’s best (to my ears) song...

“Whiplash”! The pounding tom tom intro hints at something massive and menacing, and it fucking delivers! This is a full-on discharge of well... Discharge! Hetfield’s riffing is insanely fast for the time. This would still have to rate as one of Metallica’s faster songs still. As an ode to headbangers, the lyrics are naïve but heartfelt. And this ode gets the hair flying and necks snapping.

“Phantom Lord” is full of youthful enthusiasm and breakneck speed, and some kind of cheesy lyrics, but hey, it was 1983. It’s one of those songs which races along flat out, gets the speed wobbles, but recovers just before disaster strikes.

“No Remorse” has a chunky main riff, and seems like a solid mid-pace stomper. And stomp it does, very well for nearly five minutes. Just when it seems the song is winding down, it kicks up a gear, with the battlecry “attaaaaack!”, and follows with some of the fastest riffing on the album, finishing with a wrist snapping frenzy.

“Seek and Destroy” is one of the stand-out tracks on the album. The main riff is possibly the best on the album, the best mix of It’s a live favourite to this day, and the simple “Searching/Seek and destroy” refrain is a major reason why. Who can resist headbanging and yelling along to this? “And to round this all off, “Metal Militia” is another rager. “Oh through the mist and the madness/We are trying to get the message to you”. We got the message loud and clear.

While not as technically accomplished as the band’s later albums, even though “Ride The Lightning” followed only months later, “Kill ‘em All” blazed the trail. Albums from Anthrax, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Kreator, Voivod, and Metal Church followed soon after, laying the foundations for thrash and extreme metal in general. Without “Kill ‘em All” to lead the way, extreme metal would not be what it is today.

COFFIN FUCK Silent Night

Single · 2018 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Short and anything but sweet, this is 2018's Christmas offering from Coffin Fuck. This is "Silent Night" as you have never heard it before.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the composition of "Silent Night". The words had been written in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr, which schoolmaster and organist Franz Xaver Gruber put to the now famous melody two years later. The original German version is a song of beauty and contemplative charm.

And then two centuries later, Coffin Fuck violated it's corpse.

If you've never heard these guys before, here's a quick description: imagine lo-fi home recorded death metal which rips off Christmas tunes and adds silly comic book violence death-growled lyrics, done by three guys wearing stupid Christmas sweaters. The music isn't very good, but it's fine for a bit of a giggle at Christmas.

The joke would wear thin if Coffin Fuck ever got serious and released more than just a Christmas single a year, as they have done for almost a decade, but it's only once a year, it's mercifully short, and it's a tradition which I want to see continue.

And extra kudos to the Coffin Fuckers... er... lads from Coffin Fuck for not falling back on the obvious "Silent night, violent night" rhyme!

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