siLLy puPPy

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1331 reviews/ratings
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Songs for Insects Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
THOUGHT INDUSTRY - Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God's Flesh Technical Thrash Metal | review permalink
NOKTURNAL MORTUM - Lunar Poetry Symphonic Black Metal | review permalink
CARACH ANGREN - Where The Corpses Sink Forever Symphonic Black Metal | review permalink
GORGUTS - Obscura Technical Death Metal | review permalink
KING CRIMSON - In The Court Of The Crimson King Proto-Metal | review permalink
MEGADETH - Rust in Peace Thrash Metal | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal | review permalink
INFECTIOUS GROOVES - The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move... It's the Infectious Grooves Funk Metal | review permalink
BEHEMOTH - Demigod Death Metal | review permalink
KYUSS - Welcome To Sky Valley Stoner Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal | review permalink
SLAYER - Reign in Blood Thrash Metal | review permalink
DARKTHRONE - A Blaze in the Northern Sky Black Metal | review permalink
BROCAS HELM - Black Death US Power Metal | review permalink
BROCAS HELM - Defender of the Crown US Power Metal | review permalink
BUMBLEFOOT - Ron Thal / Hermit Progressive Metal | review permalink
BUMBLEFOOT - Ron Thal / The Adventures Of Bumblefoot Progressive Metal | review permalink
EDGE OF SANITY - Crimson Melodic Death Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Non-Metal 161 2.99
2 Alternative Metal 122 2.95
3 Progressive Metal 117 3.95
4 Hard Rock 94 3.51
5 Avant-garde Metal 92 3.98
6 Black Metal 74 3.66
7 Metal Related 67 3.51
8 Heavy Metal 61 3.80
9 Technical Death Metal 52 3.98
10 Death Metal 42 3.82
11 Thrash Metal 35 3.60
12 Proto-Metal 34 4.00
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 27 3.74
14 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 18 4.08
15 Power Metal 18 3.81
16 Folk Metal 16 3.91
17 Death-Doom Metal 14 3.71
18 Glam Metal 14 3.61
19 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
20 Symphonic Metal 14 3.86
21 Sludge Metal 14 3.79
22 NWoBHM 13 4.15
23 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
24 Brutal Death Metal 12 3.54
25 Funk Metal 12 4.17
26 Doom Metal 10 4.10
27 Grindcore 10 3.60
28 Hardcore Punk 10 3.55
29 Symphonic Black Metal 10 4.20
30 US Power Metal 8 3.63
31 War Metal 8 3.75
32 Groove Metal 8 3.44
33 Metalcore 8 3.75
34 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
35 Mathcore 7 3.93
36 Melodic Black Metal 7 4.07
37 Stoner Metal 7 3.86
38 Gothic Metal 7 3.43
39 Speed Metal 6 3.42
40 Deathcore 6 3.42
41 Drone Metal 5 3.50
42 Depressive Black Metal 5 3.70
43 Melodic Death Metal 5 4.00
44 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
45 Pagan Black Metal 4 4.13
46 Goregrind 4 3.13
47 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
48 Heavy Psych 4 4.13
49 Funeral Doom Metal 4 4.00
50 Nu Metal 3 3.33
51 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
52 Deathgrind 2 3.50
53 Crossover Thrash 2 4.75
54 Crust Punk 2 2.75
55 Cybergrind 1 3.50
56 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
57 Electronicore 1 2.00
58 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
59 Nintendocore 1 3.50
60 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
61 Pornogrind 1 0.50
62 Rap Metal 1 1.00
63 Trance Metal 1 1.00
64 Viking Metal 1 4.50

Latest Albums Reviews

RED PLANET Homeworld

EP · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Tajikistan is one of those nations that everyone knows exists, has seen on the map and perhaps even aware of the fact that it’s a very mountainous nation next to Afghanistan and one of the former conquered lands that was annexed to the Soviet Union, but that’s probably about as far as it goes if even that! It’s hard to believe that people actually live in these totally off the radar areas of the planet but they do and they listen to music including metal! While not exactly a prolific nation in the world of popular music including metal, there have been a scant few bands that have been more inspired by the sounds from afar rather than whatever they listen to in places like this.

RED PLANET is one of the few bands from this nation coming from the capital city of Dushanbe and was formed in 2010 by Maryam Hakimova - bass guitar, Umeda Fazylova - lead guitar and Khursheda Fazylova - drums. This was an all girl band at this point and played covers mostly by Alice Cooper, Paolo Nutini, Three Days Grace and others but this lineup only last until 2011 when the next phase of RED PLANET dawned with the arrival of guitarist Rustam Mirzoakhmedov who steered the band’s soon more into the world of heavy metal and focused on a more robust guitar sound that took the classic traditional sounds of heavy metal riffing and added local oriental flavors.

Although the band is still officially active, RED PLANET has only released this one EP titled HOMEWORLD which came out in 2013 and only clocks in over the 17 minute mark. The lineup for this phase of the band was Umeda Fasilova / Guitars (lead), Vocals, Kursheda Fasilova / Drums, Olim Karimov / Guitars, Rustam Mirzoakhmedov / Guitars and Yuri Stolov / Bass. The EP has four tracks that are all over the place with tracks like “Anima” showcasing instrumental precision in a melodic procession of guitar arpeggios and technical workouts while “Doomsday” takes on elements of thrash metal most notably from Metallica as the track opens up with those famous slow burners that turn into sizzling guitar led frenzies however despite the presence of metal, once the vocals enter the scene my enthusiasm goes way down as the lead vocals are quite weak.

While this trend continues on the title track with strong guitar riffs and a nice bass accompaniment, the vocals which are clean sound like a very feminized Ozzy Osbourne from the early Black Sabbath days. While there are a few death metal secondary vocals here and there, the entire band sound changes on the final “Rift In The Lute” which employs Metallica’s guitar riffing style from early albums like “Ride The Lightning” but accompanied by death metal growls. This is by far the best track on the album but even so very uninspiring as it’s just a Metallica song with death metal growls! Well performed but forgettable. And that’s the moral of this story: forgettable. My first visit to metal from Tajikistan hasn’t been the silk road journey i had expected but there are other metal bands from this region from Central Asia such as the Kazakh black metal act Darkestrah which is excellent, so i will surely not write off this nation quite yet.

DEATH OATH Pernicious Conjure

Album · 1996 · Death Metal
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When one thinks about 90s metal places like Turkey do not come to mind particularly when it comes the more extreme death and black metal sounds that kept pushing the envelope further and further into harsher and more extreme musical forms. That does not mean of course that there wasn’t a scene in far flung places and as it turns out there were quite a few metal bands that took up extreme metal in Turkey despite its reputation as a Muslim country with little tolerance for Western values and musical decadence. While metal wasn’t exactly as popular as in Western nations there were still some popular bands locally at least which included the thrash / speed metal band Pentagram (different one), the alternative metal band The Climb and even a traditional metal band called Dr Skull but extreme metal was a rare thing indeed.

But there were a few such as the death doom metal band Asafated, thrash bands Kronik and Athena and even death metal bands such as Death Project and Antisilence as well as a handful of black metal bands such as Saboath and Witchtrap but perhaps the most interesting band to emerge out of all them was DEATH OATH that found a way to mix the more extreme elements of death and black metal together with the more melodic compositional styles of classic 80s speed metal and the NWOBHM. So yes metal did exist but mostly in the confines of Istanbul and the capital city so its all the more amazing that DEATH OATH emerged from the center of the nation in the city of Kayseri, which most Westerners have probably even heard of much less aware of extreme metal coming from within its boundaries.

DEATH OATH remains a bit mysterious as there’s little information regarding its history however in its tenure as a band it included the five members of Murat Özkardeş (vocals), Burak Özdemir (guitars), Hamdi Öztürk (guitars), Engin Kamarot (bass) and Hakan Eşsizer (drums). The band released one EP titled “Demon’s Power” in 1994 followed two years later by its only full-length album PERNICIOUS CONJURE which features eight tracks. The album originally appeared as a cassette only edition and has supposedly been remastered and released although i’m not sure how many different formats exist at this time. The album is readily available for consumption on YouTube in its entirety. All i can say is - wow! I wasn’t expecting to actually like this band as much as i do. Although these guys were confined to Turkey, the album title and tracks are all in English so it’s clear that at least the intent of an international presence was in the forefront but like many bands with grandiose ideas didn’t last long enough to brings those dreams into fruition.

Like any good extreme metal album, PERNICIOUS CONJURE delivers an interesting mix of metal influences. The opening “Fallin’ From Eternity” begins with a dark doom fueled intro at a slow tempo before the metal rampaging kicks in. Rooted in melodic riffs most often experienced in the world of NWOBHM, the guitar tones and tremolo picking are more associated with black and death metal but given that the vocals are presented in a raspy delivery of multi-member harmonies, the music sounds rather unique at least for this part of the 90s. The vocal style reminds me a bit of Carcass on the early goregrind albums as it is deliciously evil and demented. The guitar tones are also sharp and create a mesmerizing display of darkness. The music is extremely melodic yet steeped in down-tuned darkness and because of the fact that it straddles the line between black, death and NWOBHM is actually rather unlike most metal bands. In more modern days bands like Absu and Anaal Nathrakh have crafted unique hybrid effects but this is quite innovative for this day and age considering it emerged from the middle of an Islamic Republic. Often the music is bouncy in an anthemic way.

The cream of the crop here is the unique mix of guitar riffs and vocals but the bass has distinct thumping sessions as well. Perhaps the weakest aspect of DEATH OATH is that the drummer isn’t OMG amazing but at the same time his somewhat underwhelming style does get the job done and keeps the focus on the demented lyrical deliveries and twin guitar attacks. Overall i’m quite fond of this obscurity form the middle of Turkey! This is unlike anything you would possibly expect from a city near the area known as Cappadocia. With themes steeped in death, hatred and Satanism, this is one evil as fuck albums and although the tunes are melodic they are balanced out by the filthy grime. Very cool and worth checking out.

EXIMPERITUSERQETHHZEBIBŠIPTUGAKKATHŠULWELIARZAXUŁUM Prajecyrujučy Sinhuliarnaje Wypramieńwańnie...

Album · 2016 · Technical Death Metal
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So what do you do when you are a technical death metal band that has found itself to be just one of a million others that can crank out the progressively infused death metal chops at the speed of light without atmospheric interference and can banter with bombast like a pummeled Hiroshima at the end of WW2? Well you craft some attention getting gimmick of course that hopefully will lead those who notice to pay attention to your music as well! Coming from Minsk, Belarus this band chooses to remain anonymous as far as band members are concerned and has received more than its fair share of attention for its 51-letter long name which is:

Eximperituserqethhzebibšiptugakkathšulweliarzaxułum

But anyone who dares even try to write about this band in any way shape or form has adopted the shorthand version EXIMPERITUS which looks better anyway. The name is supposed to mean “An author's individual agglutinative neologism. In its creation there were used some Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian and Sumerian terms of the Chaosatanic tradition. It entirely reveals the unutterable name of the antiuniverse. When divided into fragments, it creates the magic spell of the formless Lords of the prior Darkness” which sounds as ridiculous as the moniker itself however it gets worse!

Formed in 2009, EXI (my own shorthand here!) has released a couple EPs but only a single full-length album in 2016 titled (yeah i’m not kidding!):

“Prajecyrujučy Sinhuliarnaje Wypramieńwańnie Daktryny Absaliutnaha J Usiopahłynaĺnaha Zła Skroź Šaścihrannuju Pryzmu Sîn-Ahhī-Erība Na Hipierpawierchniu Zadyjakaĺnaha Kaŭčęha Zasnawaĺnikaŭ Kosmatęchničnaha Ordęna Palieakantakta […]"

which is a transliterated form of archaic Belarusian but in the end who really cares. If that wasn’t bad enough the album that just misses clocking in at 30 minutes has eight tracks with even MORE ridiculously long track names. Track number 8 seems to be the longest and it’s called:

“Paświačęńnie Adęptam Salipsizmu Uwažliwym Da Pastuliawańnia Von Hartmana Ab Nieswiadomym U Z'jawach Cialiesnaha J Duchoŭnaha Žyćcia, Što Skažajuć Azimutaĺny Kut Palinhienęzii Ad Zawieršanaha Ŭwasablieńnia Liutaści Šywy Da Stęły Adkryćcia Toţa Nad Prorwaj Samaręalizacyi Partałaŭ Inšabyćcia… (all other tracks are pretty much as long!)

If by chance you were able to decipher all this gibberish and read it aloud, it would no doubt take you longer to read off the track names than it would take to play the album but considering this is extreme death metal with indecipherable growls and beastly groans from the abyss, it’s not even important that the tracks have titles at all! This album must surely hold the record for most words and letters used to craft the band name, album title and tracks and if you bothered to add it up would also win the title for most words per second of playing time but after all is said and done and the gimmicky eye-catching novelty wears off, how’s the music?

Well, EXI displays a very adept form of technical death metal that falls into the brutality camp of bands like Nile and Suffocation but with a more modern production job that evoke the contemporary sci-fi themed like Gigan, Mithras, Pyrrhon and similar acts however despite EXI’s amazingly creative mythology of catching your attention rarely lives up to keeping it as the eight tracks on “Prajecyrujučy” (album shorthand) falls into the trap of sounding a bit too generic for its own good. Competent pyrotechnic flair is flattened out by compositional impotence as the band that has honed its chops also misses the mark in crafting memorable and interesting tracks that offer little variation. Only the intro and outro sounds deviate from the one-trick pony methodology which keeps this one from really living up to its potential.

Overall this is a decent slice of tech death metal but it’s also sounds like a million bands that have come before and a million more will probably copy. Often it’s the case that such novelty extremes in name sizes and other gimmicks are simply masking the fact that the band is seriously lacking in some other department and that is exactly the case with EXI which lacks any original contributions to the fertile tech death metal camp. The album certainly checks off all the boxes and is even graced by an extraordinary eye-catching album cover but when it comes down to what REALLY matters when experiencing an album of tech death, it completely fails at living up to the hype that is aroused through all the longest name business. Yeah, it’s hardly the worst tech death album I’ve encountered but it’s just all so predictable and instantly forgettable. Meh.

SKULL CRUSHER The Darkside of Humanity

Album · 1996 · Death Metal
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After death metal splintered off from its parent sub thrash metal in the mid-80s there were two Bay area scenes that pretty much dominated the scene for a brief moment in history, those being the San Francisco Bay Area and the other the Tampa Bay Area but once these two scenes were in full force the death metal scene went viral across the globe with many outstanding bands getting lost in the sheer number of bands that appeared. Poor little Austria has always taken a backseat to its neighbors to the north and that was no exception in the old school death metal scene and i’ll bet you can’t name a single death metal band that has emerged from this nation.

Along with a few early followers such as Pungeant Stench, Disastrous Murmur and Sturdy Taste, the latter of which never made it past the demo stage another band named SKULL CRUSHER formed in 1990 in the tiny town of Niklasdorf near Leoben. This band adopted the classic old school sounds of bands like Death, Obituary, Suffocation, Cannibal Corpose and even Pestilence and Bloodbath and has been largely forgotten in the vast canon of death metal acts of the 90s but just one listen to this debut THE DARKSIDE OF HUMANITY will show you that the band was quite competent albeit not exactly the most original. After the release of three demos “Skull Crusher” from 1992, “Merciless Destiny” from 1993 and “Deathmatch” from 1994, SKULL CRUSHER unleashed its first album THE DARKSIDE OF HUMANITY in 1996.

Influenced most by the Florida death metal scene, SKULL CRUSHER adopted a very similar style of death metal that takes the unrelated crushing brutality of bands like Morbid Angel and Obituary and adds a few more elements of surprise such as occasional pure thrash metal moments as well as a few industrial elements. The inclusion of keyboards added a bit of atmospheric dread but was used fairly sparingly and only emerges in a few quieter moments. While the band had a few lineup changes on this debut it was Andreas Ibitz (bass/vocals), Christian Bukovac (guitars/backing vocals), Robert Windisch (guitars), Wolfgang Rathgeb (drums) and Gerald Bukovac (keyboard). While the music follows the old school playbook there are a few technical elements that give this one a slightly more complex edge throughout the eight track run but more like early Death complexity rather than some of the later 90s bands like Opeth or Gorguts. For 1996 this album does sound about 5 years too late to the game.

While i doubt SKULL CRUSHER will ever go down in history as having crafted a long lost masterpiece mostly due to the lack of originality as this album sounds way too derivative for its own good, the band members sound like seasoned veterans playing this style of old school death metal due to the fact that the band played live for years before scoring a record contract. This is the perfect sort of album that will delight fans of this style after they’ve exhausted the more popular bands of the era and although SKULL CRUSHER will forever be regarded as a second tier band in the world of death metal where the talent pool is filled to the brim, this is quite an excellent album to check out. Gotta love that perfect album cover too with the molten skulls glowing in the sky! This is recommended for the extremely competent musicianship as every track just kills it with and there are enough variations to keep this album from getting stale. Much better than more revered artists like Massacre and Cannibal Corpse in my opinion.

ALTAR OF PLAGUES White Tomb

Album · 2009 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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And like an impending pestilence that rains mortality and despair across the lands far and wide, Ireland’s ALTAR OF PLAGUES was unleashed like a potato famine from their cryptic whereabouts in Cork only to bring depressive sonic terror to a doomed planet where nary a ray of light exists behind the toxic clouds of an eternal scourge that extinguishes the silver cord to infinity. Existing somewhere in the murky sonic nebulous worlds of ambient black metal, post-rock and sludgy doom, ALTAR OF PLAGUES is one of those bands that has focused less on tight-knit fiery compositions that display the any trace of melodic songwriting skills and virtuoso dynamism but rather reincarnated from the depths of hell to evoke extreme emotional distress through sonic orotundity.

This band that formed in 2006 released a few demos before casting a more official form of darkness with this debut album WHITE TOMB that reflects a post-apocalyptic angst of bleakness delivered by the lineup of James Kelly (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jeremiah Spillane (guitars), Dave Condon (bass, vocals) and S. MacAnri (drums). Through four long tracks that range from 10 to 15 minutes, this 50 minute rage-a-thon delivers everything from the classic black metal goods of heavily distorted tremolo guitar riffing along with blastbeats and anguished vocals to ethereal dark ambience that reinforces the gravitational pull of distorted darkness and even allows a few guest vocals from Stephen Lordan and Nathan Misterek to utter their pain every now and again.

This album runs very much in the vein of post-rock with slower cyclical riffs slowly gaining maturity through the elements of incremental tempo gains, dynamic intensity increases and the variations that occur through subtle changes that build to some sort of climactic release after several minutes. ALTAR OF PLAGUES is the epitome of a post-metal paradigm only under the banner of a black metal barrage of the senses. Similar to bands like Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen and Deafhaven, this Irish band excels in long thunderous excursions into noisy cacophonous black metal bombast but also allows a little breathing room with quieter passages that offer hypnotic and reflective moments when the perception of the true horrors of reality are allowed to be cogitated upon at least for a brief respite in time.

Verging on blackgaze at times, ALTAR OF PLAGUES often sounds like a broken record of Deafhaven puncturing a hole in space time with only a spiraling and unstable atmospheric collapse generating the ultimate vibrational recipe to destroy the Schumann resonance and craft an expansive degree to insanity. Long dark winters projected through lengthy blistering tracks evoke a touch of Darkspace or even A Forest Of Stars but somehow the band manages to exist within its own sliver of a spectral paradigm of dark atmospheric blackened metal that laments the realities of oppression, urbanism and ecological collapse. Sounding like the industrial razed wastelands coming to life in pure vitriol, gloomy doom fueled atmospheres lurk like servants of Lord Voldemort whose astral entities are ready for attack following the complete usurpation of the physical realm.

I cannot think of a more appropriate band to experience the distressing and formidable realities of the current state of the world in March 2020 with ghastly demonic forces hiding in every foreseeable nook and cranny of space and time and ready to attack on the astral plane where unwilling victims consent through charlatan subterfuge. Honestly i’m not really sure how to classify WHITE TOMB and ALTAR OF PLAGUES in general. Is it black metal? Sludge metal? Post-metal? Just plain experimental hardcore hued to the darkest tones imaginable? In the end it doesn’t really matter. If you seek a cathartic toxic elixir for bleakness for the times and resonate with sounds so utterly devoid of hope which engage in more depressive vibes than one can stand, then ALTAR OF PLAGUES is what you have been waiting for. Not only has evil come to steal your soul but it demands you worship its very existence and here’s some music to make it all OK.

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