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1240 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 159 2.96
2 Alternative Metal 122 2.95
3 Progressive Metal 104 3.98
4 Avant-garde Metal 91 3.95
5 Hard Rock 90 3.50
6 Metal Related 70 3.54
7 Black Metal 70 3.66
8 Heavy Metal 58 3.79
9 Technical Death Metal 48 3.99
10 Proto-Metal 34 4.00
11 Thrash Metal 31 3.55
12 Death Metal 31 3.94
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 23 3.78
14 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 16 4.03
15 Folk Metal 16 3.91
16 Power Metal 16 3.84
17 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
18 Glam Metal 14 3.61
19 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
20 NWoBHM 13 4.15
21 Funk Metal 12 4.17
22 Death-Doom Metal 12 3.75
23 Symphonic Black Metal 11 4.18
24 Sludge Metal 11 3.77
25 Brutal Death Metal 10 3.65
26 Hardcore Punk 10 3.55
27 Doom Metal 9 4.11
28 Metalcore 8 3.75
29 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
30 US Power Metal 8 3.63
31 Stoner Metal 7 3.86
32 Groove Metal 7 3.50
33 Mathcore 7 3.93
34 Melodic Black Metal 7 4.07
35 Gothic Metal 6 3.67
36 Grindcore 6 3.42
37 Speed Metal 6 3.42
38 War Metal 6 3.92
39 Drone Metal 5 3.50
40 Depressive Black Metal 4 3.75
41 Deathcore 4 3.13
42 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
43 Melodic Death Metal 4 4.00
44 Symphonic Metal 4 4.13
45 Nu Metal 3 3.33
46 Traditional Doom Metal 3 3.33
47 Funeral Doom Metal 3 4.33
48 Crossover Thrash 2 4.75
49 Heavy Psych 2 4.50
50 Goregrind 2 2.50
51 Pagan Black Metal 2 4.50
52 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
53 Pornogrind 1 0.50
54 Rap Metal 1 1.00
55 Trance Metal 1 1.00
56 Viking Metal 1 4.50
57 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
58 Nintendocore 1 3.50
59 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
60 Crust Punk 1 2.50
61 Cybergrind 1 3.50
62 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
63 Deathgrind 1 3.00
64 Electronicore 1 2.00

Latest Albums Reviews

ANATA The Infernal Depths of Hatred

Album · 1998 · Technical Death Metal
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ANATA started out in Varberg, Sweden (just south of Gothenburg) all the way back in 1993 when Fredrik Schälin (vocals, guitar), Mattias Svensson (guitar), Martin Sjöstrand (bass), and Robert Petersson (drums) started jamming to their favorite death metal bands and took their sweet time in releasing the two demos “Bury Forever The Garden Of Life” and “Vast Lands Of My Infernal Dominion” but the practice and patience paid off because as the band was honing its chops it successfully caught the attention of the Seasons of the Mist label. By the time the band got to releasing the 1998 debut THE INFERNAL DEPTHS OF HATRED there was a new lineup with Henrik Drake on bass and Andreas Allenmark.

Noted for their brutality and technical inclinations, ANATA’s debut started out as a typical death metal release in the vein of Cryptopsy, Deicide and Dark Tranquility only more bombastic, with faster tempos and a sense of brutality more like Suffocation. The band’s unique stamp was that it implemented C# tuning and created melodic constructs out of dissonant guitar riffs. While sounding rather generic on this first offering, the band exhibited a firm command of the instrumentation with lightning fast riffs that pummel away the senses and with heavy distortion and hints of progressiveness that would mature on future albums although one wouldn’t call this technical by today’s standards especially when side by side by other 1998 landmarks such as Gorguts’ magnum opus “Obscura.”

While creating melodic tracks instead of focusing on the rhythmic patterns that many tech death bands use to construct their labyrinthine progressions, ANATA has been referred to as melodic death metal given that the band emerged near the epicenter of melo-death, the Gothenburg scene where bands like At The Gates, In Flames and Dark Tranquility got the ball rolling. Having played with bands like Rotting Christ, there is a sense of blackened death metal in the mix as well. Overall the tracks contain a plethora of ridiculously fast tempos with incessant dissonant guitar riffs pounding away with the occasional Morbid Angel influenced guitar squeal or two. The musicianship is top notch but overall i find this to be a bit too generic for its own good as the tech death world had evolved significantly by this time.

Particularly impressive is the drumming prowess of Robert Petersson who nails all the blastbeat and jazzified fills like a pro. Fredrik Schälin’s growly vocals offer zero variation as he simply imitates the growly grunts of the past and in the process contributes to the rather stale presentation on display. As far as variation in the music though, there’s enough disparate elements to keep this from being a total waste of time although for those not accustomed to the fastest tempos played in a death metal context, this will probably all sound the same. Overall i’m impressed by the instrumental skills of the musicians involved on THE INFERNAL DEPTHS OF HATRED but the compositional fortitude is clearly lacking as ANATA is simply going through the motions without really placing their own stamp on the world of extreme metal at this point. Still though ANATA are considered one of the more important bands of tech death so the logical place to start is in the beginning and although this debut isn’t the most stellar example of tech death metal, it certainly gets the job done.

HIGH TIDE High Tide

Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal
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The TIDE comes in, the TIDE goes out. Such is the lesson of the UK’s most promising prog rock band of 1969 with the phenomenal “Sea Shanties” where the heavy prog band HIGH TIDE that consisted of Tony Hill (electric & acoustic guitars, organ, vocals), Simon House (electric violin, organ, piano), Peter Pavli (bass) and Roger Hadden (drums, piano, pipe organ) lived up to their moniker and delivered a stunning display of musical fusion that delivered an intense interplay of early heavy metal, progressive rock and psychedelia with jazzy chords that focused on the folky of Simon House’s violin screeches that traded off with Tony Hill’s hard rock bombast and weirdly designed guitar solos. Debuting in the year 1969, HIGH TIDE was one of the premier prog rock bands that developed a unique style from the getgo that sounded utterly like no other, mostly due to the ample use of violin as a primary instrument in the context of a rock band.

However, all TIDEs must recede and that’s exactly what happened with the sophomore release which was unexcitingly simply titled HIGH TIDE. The quartet tamped down the guitar heft of the debut and instead replaced it with an artier mix that included more piano, organ and acoustic guitar however the main combo pack punch of the guitar and violin were still in firm command of the musical processions. HIGH TIDE’s second eponymous album originally consisted of a mere three tracks that was just shy of the 33 minute mark with each drifting past the 8 minute mark. While “Sea Shanties” delivered scorching proto-metal performances wrapped in progressive rock compositions, this self-titled debut takes a few cues from Tony Hill’s previous psychedelic rock band The Misunderstood and lightens things up on this one in which the organ added the proper psych atmospheres to give this second coming a much spacier feel but make no mistake about it, Tony Hill still delivers some stellar guitar workouts as does Simon Hill on the violin. Overall the album focuses less on hairpin turns and progressive time signature frenzies and engages in long sprawling jam sessions most evident on the opening “Blankman Cries Again.”

The opening track signifies an immediate stylistic shift from the debut as the compositions are more accessible. The violin has more of a folky sound and at the jazzier times evokes a sense of the future sounds of Jean-Luc Ponty in the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The album is primarily string based with the guitar, bass and violin all sharing more less equal turf as Hill’s guitar dominion of the debut had clearly waned. While it could be argued that the three string sections along with the drums and organ touches deliver a more balanced approach to HIGH TIDE’s unique sound, in the end it sounds a little lightweight in the shadow of the debut’s sheer perfection. “The Joke” while exhibiting the classic HIGH TIDE touches also presents verses that sound a lot like early King Crimson which finds the band incorporating influences from the great KC that dropped their debut bombshell on the world and not so subtly announced that progressive rock was in town and was taking over the music scene for a while. Tony Hill’s vocals are quite distinct but at times he’s a dead ringer for Greg Lake’s slower singing style.

I find the third and longest track “Saneonimous” to be the most interesting and the one closest to the debut’s decked out progressive rock freneticism. While the track engages in the jamming sessions of the previous tracks, it’s allowed a bit more freedom in changing up the dynamics as well as tempo changes and more time signature shifts and at nearly 15 minutes long manages to remain engaging helped greatly by the instantly addictive melody and Tony Hill’s vocal style that fits perfectly in between the squealing violin runs and guitar and bass. Roger Hadden also deserves plaudits for a stellar percussive performance that manages to punctuate the busy polyrhythmic counterpoints of the strings. The atmospheric contributions often take a back seat but do add an artier mood during quieter passages.

As with “Sea Shanties,” the second HIGH TIDE album also has a much better remastered release than the original album. Not only is the production sharply improved but it includes a monstrous essential bonus track in the form of the near 16 minute “The Great Universal Protection Racket” which equals anything else on this album and while the remaining three bonus tracks that include two alt versions of “The Joke” and “Blankman” along with the short “Ice Age” are of lesser value, they are not throwaway tracks either. While the TIDE was HIGH on “Sea Shanties,” the sad truth was that all TIDEs must recede and therefore the second coming of this unique band was more like a LOW TIDE in comparison to the startling brilliant debut. While this second album may not be as immediate in its presentation and initially disappointing, many subsequent listens have substantially raised my opinion of it. It delivers an excellent mix of intricately designed prog rock only with the guitar heft of the debut tamped down. Unfortunately this marked the end of HIGH TIDE as Tony Hill, Peter Pavli and Roger Hadden moved on to work with Rustic Hinge as well as other acts. The band would reform in 1990 and release more albums but would never catch the magic of the early years. While the debut is superior, this is still an excellent release.

BLUT AUS NORD Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity

EP · 2005 · Metal Related
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Tucked away between the groundbreaking black metal release “The Work Which Transforms God” and the utter insanity of the following “MoRT,” BLUT AUS NORD dropped its first EP which would lead to a series of EP’s interspersed within the band’s prolific output of albums. While black metal has pretty much been the name of the game since Vindsval started the project as a one-man band back in the 90s, on this first EP verbosely titled THEMATIC EMANATION OF ARCHETYPAL MULTIPLICITY (SOUNDTRACKS FOR SCIENTISTS OF OCCULT SYNCHRETISM), not only does Vindsval (vocals, guitars) and friends W.D. Feld (drums, keyboards) and GhÖst (bass) scream their fascination with esoteric knowledge but take a brief respite away from the black metal world and instead focus on the industrial, dark ambient and dungeon synth sounds that fully blossomed with “The Work” album.

THEMATIC EMANATION is a fascinating procession of gloomy atmospheric stomps through five tracks that for the most part leave out the metal part altogether. The major exception is the track “Level-1 (Nothing Is)” which offers a sneak peak into the bizarre and morbidly twisted guitar torture that would be a prominent feature on the following “MoRT” which fancied the most extreme sound manipulations to craft one of the most psychedelic black metal experiences ever laid down to a recording. Other than that second track, THEMATIC EMANATION focuses on percussive beats and darkened thick atmospheres of impending dread and doom. In fact this could be called doom synth as it’s utterly snail-paced creepy. The EP is only slightly over 28 minutes long and for the most part delivers an interesting mix of variations on percussive beats and dark ambient with some guitars thrown in once in a while.

The sole exception to the dreary setting is the oddball of the bunch, the third track “Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)” which features a trip hop beat, a busy techno styled bass groove and tinny sounding drum machines. While not a bad track say if it were on a Prodigy album or another similar artist, it does sound like a fish out of water on this release although it does have a nice creepy middle section when the percussion and bass drop out. It’s actually danceable and would make a great Goth party remix of some sort!n The following two tracks take a more sinister approach. “Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)” is the freakiest. What sounds like Tibetan bells or chimes exhibit an irregular sort of oddly timed beat while a creepy drone slowly slinks in and out of tune while chanting emanates from dark places along with other styles of weirded out vocals. This actually sounds more like some the industrial band Coil would conjure up in their early years of pure demented glory.

“Exit (Towards The Asylum)” ends the EP with a deranged vocal chant and some weird industrial sounds and before you know it, the short playing time ends which is unusual for BLUT AUS NORD since most albums are close to the hour length. This is a pretty cool album actually. The metal is practically nonexistent save the one track but the band had the opportunity to display all the creepy accompaniments introduced on “The Work” album and allow them to shine in the limelight although light doesn’t actually reach this far down into the abyss. For a metal band, this trio deliver a really interesting take on dark ambient that is quite effective which is why the black metal albums sound so good as this is a vital part but even without the metal, these sounds are quite effective at evoking the bleakest emotive responses. This album is most easily found on the releases of “The Work Which Transforms God” that has this one as a bonus disc, however even if it weren’t so easily obtained as a tagged on freebie, i’d still go out of my way to track this down.

PAIN OF SALVATION Entropia

Album · 1997 · Progressive Metal
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The roots of PAIN OF SALVATION actually date back to 1984 when founder Daniel Gildenlöw was only 11 years old and started his first band Reality when he met another future member guitarist Daniel Magdic who would play until after the debut album. In short, Reality won a Swedish talent contest with Gildenlöw scoring the best vocalist award. In 1990 he met drummer Johan Langell and bassist Gustaf Hielm and the following year changed the band name Reality to the more familiar PAIN OF SALVATION which would find international success with its innovative string of progressive metal albums. The band spent many years practicing before Hielm left the band and was replaced by Daniel’s brother Kristoffer Gildenlöw. The fifth member Fredrik Hermansson came into the picture of hearing the band’s demo “Hereafter” and scored the position as keyboardist. The band was perched to unleash its debut album ENTROPIA in 1997.

PAIN OF SALVATION hit the ground running with its debut that featured a fully developed concept about a family surviving and coping during a war. With emotional and heartfelt lyrics, the band made a name for itself not only for highly emotive storylines brought to life by the complex vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles and Queen but made even more dramatic by lead singer Daniel Gildenlöw’s broad vocal range and sense of charisma. Added to that the music was on fire. Loosely based on the Dream Theater sound that emerged in the early 90s, PAIN OF SALVATION was a bit more diverse in its scope as it covered the spectrum of influences ranging from the pop rock of The Beatles, The Moody Blues and Lou Reed to jazz, classical, ethnic music, hip hop, soul and funk not to mention heavy metal from bands like Faith No More and other technically infused bands like Fates Warning and Queensryche.

Noted for the dramatic swings from calm to heavy passages and back all fortified with heavy syncopation and polyrhythms and unpredictable mood shifts between disparate genre styles, PAIN OF SALVATION quickly stood out from the pack and ENTROPIA, a name that is a fusion of the words “entropy” and “utopia,” clearly displays the band’s knack for creating a fully functional collage effect that displayed a completely unique style. This theatrical concept album is carved up into three chapters with each act offering a creative breath of fresh air in a genre that was quickly filling up with Dream Theater clones. With moments of straight on metal, others of technical jazz-fusion wizardry with warm and tender softer ballads reminiscent of modern progressive rock, ENTROPIA hits many notes with each track exuding a charm all its own with stellar instrumental interplay that offers an infinite supply of variations that find the instrumentation morphing into new creative displays of harmonic interplay.

ENTROPIA may be PAIN OF SALVATION’s heaviest album at least consistently so although there is plenty of softer passages that allow lighter less bombastic movements to muster lush motifs. The opening “! (Forward)” displays a ferocious metal introduction with jagged riff driven rhythms, intricate melodic interplays and the operatic vocal style of Daniel G. The contrast between heavy metal and soft piano balladries is seamless as are the harsh vocal outbursts with the clean sung vocal harmonics that zigzag around seemingly random yet all ties together perfectly! The beauty of PAIN OF SALVATION in general is completely represented in full form on ENTROPIA. While tackling extreme progressive technicalities, the music never strays from the vital emotional connection that links the sounds to the dramatic storyline which narrates the conceptual story that is something right out of the neo-prog playbook from the likes of Arena, IQ and Pendragon.

All of the musicians on board are on fire. Daniel Gildenlöw and Daniel Magdic’s twin guitar attacks are highly symbiotic and the drums and keys exhibit advanced progginess as well. The flirtations with funk and trip hop at key moments offer unforeseen elements that pop up now and again and overall the album is chock full of a youthful energy that delivers the album with a fiery passion absent in so many bands who fail to ignite a level of excitement that PAIN OF SALVATION generates. While not as lauded as the band’s following “The Perfect Element I” or “Remedy Lane,” personally i find this debut to be one of the best progressive metal albums around and just as compelling as those two. A masterful debut that showed not only the top notch musicianship but a keen sense of songwriting skills that allowed a wealth of styles and sounds to come to life. Outstanding debut!

BLUT AUS NORD The Work Which Transforms God

Album · 2003 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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BLUT AUS NORD which began as the one-man band formed by Vindsval, was hardly anything out of the ordinary as this Mondville act from France joined a new legion of second wave black metal acts as they copied the likes of Darkthrone and Emperor while Scandinavia, particularly Norway was headquarters for the new depraved musical scene that was exploding onto the world’s stage. While starting out as a typical but satisfying atmospheric black metal band with the two 90s albums “Ultima Thulée” and "Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age,” with Vindsval’s third attempt after working on other projects and focusing on BLUT AUS NORD, “The Mystical Beast of Rebellion” displayed that the French scene was taking the black metal scene to a new level with more intellectual subject matter as well as hitherto unthinkable experimental approaches that rankled the sensibilities of those stuck on the gerbil wheel of orthodoxies where many black metal purists find themselves stuck.

While the 20th century was clearly dominated by the Scandinavians, the 21st century saw French acts like Deathspell Omega, Peste Noire and Nehëmah transmogrifying the incessant brutality of the second wave into a more mysterious and even frightening leap of ingenuity. BLUT AUS NORD was one of the pioneers in this ascension of quality that added more progressive and experimental elements to the discordant angst and bombast of the 90s black metal scene. BLUT AUS NORD became a bona fide band in the 21st century with Vindsval on guitars and vocals along with GhÖst on bass and W.D. Feld on drums and keyboards. While “The Mystical Beast of Rebellion” pointed a new direction for BLUT AUS NORD to take, the following THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD was the moment when the band hits its stride and struck a balance between traditional black metal, progressive rock and atmospheric experimentation which found a greater emphasis on both dark ambient and industrial textures.

The popularity of this album corresponded with the band signing on to a bigger record label. The band caught the attention of Candlelight Records and was immediately signed which resulted in the ability to craft an even more dynamic range of black metal possibilities and the ability to be exposed to a much larger audience. While a few brave black metal bands like Ved Buens Ende, Ulver and Dødheimsgard had delved into more avant-garde black metal expressions, most of these bands found little success until the French scene raised the expectations and crafted a more sophisticated expression of the grim brutal sounds that black metal had conjured up from dark forces. As a result of a label shift and a leap in artistic growth, BLUT AUS NORD launched itself with the intricate ugliness presented on THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD which weaved the black metal orotundity with a psychedelic soup of dark ambient sounds, industrial backdrops and avant-garde methodologies peppered with off-kilter progressive time signature shifts and hypnotic death marches into a gravity-free abyss.

One of the most prominent features of this particular new wave of French black metal is the use of extreme dissonance that are interlaced with thick heavy atmospheres fortified with echoey delayed feedback, hypnotic looped rhythms and the use of eerie creepy tempos that find ghostly vocals reaching out from the void. The final track titled “Procession Of The Dead Clowns,” adequately sums up the entire experience of THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD with jittery guitar riffs, suffocating atmospheric cloud covers and steady marches into the unknown. While very different than much of the 90s black metal scene, BLUT AUS NORD retained the tremolo guitar rampages, growled raspy vocals and occasional blastbeat drumming that despite emanating from drum machines doesn’t sound out of place in this lifeless sonic zone.

While much of 90s black metal can come off as a one-dimension tritone fascination that focuses on anti-Christian rants or misanthropic outrage, BLUT AUS NORD tackled more esoteric wisdom that while not discernible by the vocals are clearly expressed in the track titles, a trait that would become popular as occult theologies became the focus of thematic explorations over mindless juvenile angst. Godflesh obviously played a huge role in influencing the creepy crawly industrial tracks however BLUT AUS NORD crafted a unique musical vision that set itself apart from the legions of second wave imitators. Laced with a plethora of unsettling sounds that accompany the ceaseless plodding of drums and riffs, THE WORK WHICH TRANSFORMS GOD sounds as if it’s a musical world that drifts in and out of our dimensional reality as tunings veer slightly out of tune and back in an oscillating undulating wave of dissonance and even more dissonance. The hypnotic nature of the album finds mid-tempo stomps creepily infiltrated by weird squeals, screeches and psychedelic ooze. All in all, this is a masterful display of musical darkness wrapped in a metaphysical display of esoteric wisdom. A triumphant expression of the dark arts in music form.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 6 hours ago in Rate Your Music's Top 20 Metal Albums of the 2010s
    I don't know why MGLA is so popular. I find them rather mediocre. I'm not really in agreement with this listing but definitely some great albums. I chose Gorguts' Colored Sands. That's a magical experience.
  • Posted 18 hours ago in Ways Metal Could Develop in the Future
    [QUOTE=adg211288]Black metal became my favourite genre because it started to come across as actually being a lot more innovative than even Prog. I'm not that sold on Blackgaze as a movement that gained some traction in the last decade, but there's plenty of great stuff going on in black metal. Hail Spirit Noir - now there's one hell of a band with a special sound that not many are doing. [/QUOTE] I love the diverse innovation of black metal as well but i wouldn't say it's more innovative than prog but probably because i've listened to a lot more obscure prog :)I love Hail Spirit Noir! I just made a psychedelic black metal list on RYM. That's an up and coming hybrid for sure. Where metal goes is hard to tell but i can guarantee it's not going away any time soon :)
  • Posted 1 day ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    Didn't know there was atmospheric death metal!http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/emptiness/nothing-but-the-whole

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