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1264 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 160 2.98
2 Alternative Metal 122 2.95
3 Progressive Metal 106 3.97
4 Hard Rock 90 3.50
5 Avant-garde Metal 86 3.97
6 Black Metal 71 3.67
7 Metal Related 66 3.50
8 Heavy Metal 58 3.79
9 Technical Death Metal 50 4.00
10 Death Metal 36 3.83
11 Proto-Metal 34 4.00
12 Thrash Metal 33 3.58
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 25 3.74
14 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 17 4.09
15 Power Metal 17 3.82
16 Folk Metal 16 3.91
17 Glam Metal 14 3.61
18 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
19 Sludge Metal 14 3.79
20 NWoBHM 13 4.15
21 Industrial Metal 13 3.81
22 Death-Doom Metal 13 3.77
23 Funk Metal 12 4.17
24 Brutal Death Metal 11 3.59
25 Grindcore 10 3.60
26 Hardcore Punk 10 3.55
27 Symphonic Black Metal 10 4.20
28 Doom Metal 9 4.11
29 Groove Metal 8 3.44
30 Metalcore 8 3.75
31 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
32 US Power Metal 8 3.63
33 War Metal 7 3.86
34 Stoner Metal 7 3.86
35 Mathcore 7 3.93
36 Melodic Black Metal 7 4.07
37 Speed Metal 6 3.42
38 Gothic Metal 6 3.67
39 Drone Metal 5 3.50
40 Deathcore 5 3.30
41 Depressive Black Metal 4 3.75
42 Funeral Doom Metal 4 4.00
43 Melodic Death Metal 4 4.00
44 Heavy Alternative Rock 4 3.50
45 Symphonic Metal 4 4.13
46 Pagan Black Metal 3 4.17
47 Nu Metal 3 3.33
48 Traditional Doom Metal 3 3.33
49 Heavy Psych 3 4.33
50 Goregrind 3 3.00
51 Crossover Thrash 2 4.75
52 Crust Punk 2 2.75
53 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
54 Pornogrind 1 0.50
55 Rap Metal 1 1.00
56 Trance Metal 1 1.00
57 Viking Metal 1 4.50
58 Cybergrind 1 3.50
59 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
60 Deathgrind 1 3.00
61 Electronicore 1 2.00
62 Melodic Metalcore 1 4.00
63 Nintendocore 1 3.50
64 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

SECRET CHIEFS 3 The Book Beri'ah Vol. 10: Malkhut

Album · 2019 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Trey Spruance launched his then side project SECRET CHIEFS 3 all the way back in 1995 in the midst of the Mr Bungle years and has continued to steer this unique collective of musicians into exciting new arenas that have contributed to the evolution of this band’s sound into a veritable smorgasbord effect that is so pure and refined that SC3 sounds as if it resonates from a long lost tradition that has found its way into the modern world at the time of some sort of spiritual awakening. Having long ago mastered the exquisite alchemy of disparate genres such as surf rock, Persian traditional, Arab folk music, Indian classical, death metal, electronica and spaghetti western styled soundtrack music, the SC3 culminated its sound on 2004’s “Book of Horizons” before Spruance announced that the SC3 was actually seven satellite bands named Electromagnetic Azoth, UR, Ishraqiyun, Traditionalists, Holy Vehm, FORMS, and NT Fan.

Before SC3 jumped into the satellite band procession, the project joined ranks with none other than John Zorn as they performed compositions from Zorn’s second Masada book, “The Book of Angels” with song titles representing characters from Jewish and Christian mythology and an introduction into a new genre into the world of SC3, that being klezmer. After what seemed like a one off, SC3 released three more albums under the guise of the satellite bands that ended with 2014’s “Perichoresis” and then the band fell silent for several years with nothing to offer those who have become addictive to this unique band’s sophisticated style of musical amalgamation of tones, timbres, tempos and magnificent genre blending mashups. While seemingly dropping off the face of the Earth, SC3 were in fact working hard on the next Zorn collaboration in the form of an entire album that appeared on the 11-album installation of Zorn’s “Masada Book Three - The Book Beri’ah” which found the band in company with Sofia Rei & JC Maillard, Cleric, Spike Orchestra, Julian Lage / Gyan Riley, Abraxas, Klezmerson, Gnostic Trio, Zion80, Banquet of the Spirits, Craig Taborn and Vadim Neselovskyi.

The whopping 11-album set was released on 9 March 2018 as album #10 of the massive collaborative effort and although officially a part of the SC3 canon, was unavailable for any sort of listening pleasure outside of plopping down a small fortune to obtain the entire box set of music, which is probably not a bad thing have you, but i have not been willing to take the plunge so despite SC3 ranking high on my favorite bands list i just had to wait it out and see if someday perhaps they would release it as an individual album. Well 18 October 2019 was that day and THE BOOK OF BERI’AH VOL 10 - MALKHUT was finally released and as the album cover art of the sefirot which represents the concepts from the Jewish esoteric knowledge of the Kabbalah, SC3 emerge from its slumber only to add weave Jewish sounds to its already eclectic musical palette without sacrificing any of the sounds that came before except for perhaps the lesser sounds of the more extreme metal sounds found on earlier albums. As far as i am aware, SC3 is one of the few bands to successfully find a truce between Arabic folk music and Jewish traditional klezmer and make it sound as natural as an organic centuries long musical style.

For this album, SECRET CHIEFS 3 consists of Trey Spruance (guitars, clavinet, kinnor, analog synth pads, theater organ, extra percussion, nevel, glockenspiel, sound fx), Eyvind Kang (violin, viola), Ches Smith (congas, vibes, shakers, dumbek), Matt Lebofsky (piano, elec. piano, hammond and farfisa organ, moog), Kenny Grohowski (drums), Shanir Blumenkranz (bass), Jason Schimmel (guitar) and Ryan Parrish (kaval) who weave an intricate display of progressive fusion sounds that clearly reside in the SC3 universe and the band continues the ever growing complexities that have continued to evolve ever so slightly on every album since the debut “First Grand Constitution and Bylaws” all the way back in 1996. So in that respect, one can pretty much expect a continuation form 2014’s “Ishaqiyun” only with the addition of klezmer and Jewish traditional sounds tucked into the mix albeit with a retro review of earlier SC3 albums.

As always, SC3 scores in finding the perfect balance between timeless intricate melodies and tight knit grooves with bursts of progressive angularities and heavy rock bombast but for the most part the band wends and winds through an intricate fusion of Arabic and Jewish traditional sounds although the surf rock, electronica and other sounds are still present although providing a subordinate role. There are plenty of those parallel riffs that harken to previous albums but teased out into new directions. The album is perhaps the most traditional sounding from the band’s pre-satellite band days with those precise keyboard stabs punctuated by Middle Eastern grooves, tasty guitar workouts, electronic atmospheres all dressed up in an epic spaghetti western soundtrack grandiosity. For those who are true fans of the SC3 and have been with them since the beginning, this will be a nice overview of the band’s entire existence without too much new thrown in save the scant progressive rock anomalies such as the Goblin sounding keyboards of “Chitzonuyut” and the heavier emphasis on Jewish themes and rhythms.

Once again the SECRET CHIEFS 3 project has generated a mesmerizing or should i say “klezmerizing” musical score that evokes an epic traditional musical style of some esoteric mystery school tribe that dropped out of the world and continued underground for millennia before finally bringing its unique musical mysteries to the world’s consciousness. This album like almost every other is flawlessly designed and will delight SC3 fans for its attention to detail, addictive melodic and rhythmic flow and transcendental evocations. The band shows no sign of decline and musically speaking has never sounded better. Perhaps if i had any gripe about MALKHUT is that it is not daring enough in its explorative nature. It seems to simmer peacefully in a safe zone that never adds any startling detours such as the band’s earlier explorations into death metal and more extreme musical styles but given this was designed to work as a part of a much larger musical whole, it probably needed to exist in harmony with the intent of Zorn’s musical vision amongst friends who also contributed entire album’s worth of material. I have to say, very rarely do i hear music this good and SC3’s amazing consistency is exactly why they reside in my top 10 bands of all time.

ВОЙ Кругами вечности

EP · 1991 · Funeral Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Soviet Union was an impenetrable fortress of sort that covered a staggering portion of the entire landmass of planet Earth and remained a bastion of state controlled everything where Western influences were repelled like mosquitoes in a DEET factory. Despite the strict censors and gatekeepers suppressing the thoughts and actions of the populace, tenacious souls managed to smuggle in music and other forbidden paraphernalia that would thrive in the underground. In the world of heavy metal, despite bands like Iron Maiden being outside the reach of hungry metalheads wanting to join the world party, bands like Aria picked up the slack by creating homegrown versions.

When the USSR collapsed in 1991 under the pressures and onslaughts of western interference, suddenly an entire universe of music flooded into a deprived culture and literally changed the entire scene in a blink of an eye. Extreme metal was one of these forbidden fruits to rampage into the hearts and minds of the youth and suddenly new paradigms were sprouting all throughout the lands from the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia all the way to the western port city of Vladivostok, however the larger cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) were the quickest to adopt the new world ways.

One of the earliest bands to jump on the bandwagon was вой (Voj) which means “howl” in Russian. This band sprouted up around 1991 when Russia became a new nation and eschewed the 80s heavy metal scene and instead adopted a darker, gloomier sound most like influenced by Swiss band Samuel who played in Moscow shortly before the political collapse of the USSR. Having had these darker sounds gestate, this trio introduced a newly independent nation long deprived of the metal underground to a completely new unthinkable monstrous vision of what music could sound like. The band only ever released one demo called кругами вечности (Circles of Eternity) which contained five tracks and just ran past the 33 minute mark.

Interesting enough, вой could possible be the first example of funeral doom metal with its snail-paced viscous riffs that prognosticated the gloomy Chinese water torture stroll of sound that future bands like Esoteric would develop into a bona fide subgenre of the metal universe. In the timeline of 1991, three bands actually emerged independently to forge this new sound. One was the Moscow based вой, the other the Swiss band Mordor and the other was the Finnish band Thergothon. Due to the fact that all the releases from these bands were demos, it’s hard to tell which came first but it’s almost certain that in these days before the internet that one can conclude that each can to the same outcome independently in what is called convergent evolution.

While innovative for the time, вой crafted a rather primitive crude example of funeral doom metal that doesn’t hold up well by modern day standards. Granted this was a mere demo eventually released as an EP and an interesting example of a popular style of music in its birth pangs but the five tracks are fairly monotonous plodding glacial examples of doom metal slowed down to the speed of fingernails growing that implement long distorted guitar chords sustained to eternity along with bass, drums and growly demonic vocals in the Russian language. This surely must have been quite shocking at the time and in the place but sounds rather tame two centuries into the 21st century. Credit given where it’s due though. These guys were innovators and although it’s doubtful the bigwigs of funeral doom ever heard this EP at the time, it’s interesting how these things develop. While not essential, this is an interesting early slice of funeral doom metal that will interest music buffs who like historical contexts.

BLOTTED SCIENCE The Machinations of Dementia

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
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Technical metal jam sessions are a dime a dozen at this time in the 21st century with countless examples of instrumental wankery showcasing the virtuosic abilities of the musician’s involved like an Olympic training session in the hope of winning a gold medal however without a lead vocalist to offer some kind of emotional connection to the extreme freneticism that can result, many of these bands tend to forget that someone else out there is supposed to be listening to what their crafting and much of it seems to exist in a self-made bubble. Luckily that isn’t always the case.

Once in a while a team of seasoned masters congregate to create bona fide craftsmanship and artisan amperage which results in a ridiculous fun listen although the music churns out some of the most demanding technical passages allowed by law. BLOTTED SCIENCE was a short lived act but in its short existence cranked out one killer full length album followed by another shorter length EP. This trio was formed in San Antonio, TX by Watchtower and Spastic Ink shredder Ron Jarzombek, one of modern metal’s most innovative guitar masters who helped push progressive metal into the limelight with Watchtower’s 1989 extravaganza “Control And Resistance” as well as going on to play with Gordian Knot and Spastic Ink amongst others.

In order to make this a band album and not just a guitar demo for the next tech death metal band, Jarzombek solicited the help of two other seasoned instrument abusers to bring BLOTTED SCIENCE into existence. Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster fit in perfectly and after Hate Eternal’s Derek Roddy and Lamb of God’s Chris Adler opted out, the slot of drum skin abuser in chief was handed to Charlie Zeleny of Behold…. The Arctopus. With a trio of music mangling maniacs in tandem, it was guaranteed that this would be a wild ride and on the sole full-length album THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA, the listener is guaranteed to enter a frenetic time signature rich tech extreme metal with an incessant flow of angular rhythms, staccato stop / start outbursts whizzing by at faster than the speed of light tempos.

While many instrumental tech albums are steeped in neoclassical riff attacks, THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA succeeds in its varied structures that are based on the jittery complexities of jazz underpinnings while dressed up in ridiculously fast guitar rampage of thrash, death and progressive metal riff attacks while the bass and drumming antics exist in their own independent realities but are dialed into create a uniform symbiotic effect. While similar to bands like Animals As Leaders and Liquid Tension Experiment, BLOTTED SCIENCE mastered the art of keeping the tracks engaging with accessible hooks and unexpected twists and turns that manage to remain innovative throughout the album’s run however at a near hour of playing time, it does become enervating to absorb such frenetic wankery.

A classic in the world of jazz-fusion meets tech metal, THE MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA remains a favorite for those who love prog induced high octane metal that doesn’t wimp out for one moment despite incorporating softer passages that break the monotony of the one-dimensionality that instrumental tech metal can often offer. BLOTTED SCIENCE dished out an amazing delivery of tracks on this one. Jazz metal tracks laced with math rock, progressive rock and hints of death, thrash and even classical elements, MACHINATIONS is a stellar release worthy of the high praise it has received over the years and stands the test of time that it has so far been released and a much more engaging instrumental experience than many similar albums of its ilk. Perhaps not quite the masterpiece it’s made out to be, it’s nonetheless an excellent example of three top tier performers working in tandem to create a behemoth of bountiful bombast.


Album · 2016 · Death Metal
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BLOOD INCANTATION has become one of death metal’s most celebrated bands in the last few years and has really captured the imagination with its latest Timeghoul inspired sound on 2019’s “Hidden History of the Human Race” but the band has been around since 2011. Formed in Denver, Colorado, this band that mixes Morbid Angel style death metal with progressive rock and psychedelia took a few years to craft its alienating deathened doom metal sound that has popularized the fledgling scene of psychedelic death metal which in many ways is right of the Timeghoul playbook but whereas that band released only two demos and faded into obscurity, the influences reverberate to the modern era and it looks like BLOOD INCANTATION is the band that is successfully fulfilling the lost promises in the 21st century.

The band’s first release was an EP in the form of 2015’s “Interdimensional Extinction” which displayed the band’s flirtations with psychedelically tinged death metal rampages fused with doom metal sluggishness and long meandering bouts of atonal passages most remnant of Morbid Angel’s “Domination” era. The love of sci-fi and alt history percolates in the themes and subject matter and then musically all dressed up in meandering progressive compositions that find various passages creating well thought out compositions that add a breath of fresh air to the world of death metal and while technically fitting in with the technical death metal crowd, BLOOD INCANTATION has been more about progressive rock style developments over the flashy incessant bombast of many modern tech death units however this band isn’t afraid to strut its technical prowess when needed.

STARSPAWN is the band’s full-length debut which cemented its status as the newest darling of death metal with its already coalesced classical form. With only five tracks that clock in a just under 35 minutes, BLOOD INCANTATION hit the ground running on this debut with doom-laden tracks that infuse lengthy progressive workouts that meander through a cold, vacuous soundscape that generates both atmospheric angst while delivering thorough and sinewy metal rampage. In many ways the music matches the apocalyptic visions of the album cover with dystopian sci-fi themes enshrouded with angular down-tuned guitar riffs, suffocating sulfuric atmospheres and uncensored ugliness complete with Paul Reidl’s best tortured monster vocals that merge with the progressively infused dirge-like flows of workouts. While Timeghoul and Morbid Angel are the primary influences, BLOOD INCANTATION rises above the limitations of being retro and infused a touch of Demilich, Gorguts and other tech death craftsmanship to the mix.

The album bursts into action with the 13 minute “Vitrification of Blood (Part I)” which wastes no time creating massive sprawling and gnarled guitar riffs that instantly displays a more mind-altering display of classic old school death metal with modern infusions of angularity and progressive fusion. While tracks alternate between melody and dissonance, so too do they exhibit heavy death metal bombast with off-road side trips into psychedelic atmospheric headiness most readily experienced on the track “Meticulous Soul Devourment” which breaks the gravitational pull of the the more down-to-Earth limiting factors of the death metal orotundity. The best part of all is that BLOOD INCANTATION masters the balancing act of creating a logical trajectory that incorporates all of the aforementioned elements without sounding trite or forced in any way. Much like the expansive holistic sounds of Timeghoul, BLOOD INCANTATION proves that the band’s early and forgotten experiments were more than worthy of further development and all of that is on display on STARSPAWN.


Album · 2019 · Thrash Metal
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Coming out of Melbourne, Australia, the catchily named KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD has proved itself as a prolific act that has been impossible to ignore as the band has weaseled its way onto prog sites, metal review columns and pops up just about everywhere these days with its unique blend of alternative psychedelic rock with pop hooks, metal leanings and garage rock sensibilities. The year 2017 proved to be the most ambitious of all with five albums released but in 2019 the GIZZARD dropped two more bombs onto the world and further expanded its genre bending tendencies once again.

INFEST THE RATS’ NEST is the band’s 15th album since its formation in 2010 and takes its sound boldly into the world of thrash metal, a place only scantly hinted upon on the predominantly psychedelic prog that has graced the previous albums. With a seemingly infinite amount of inspirational mojo, the GIZZARD eschews the psychedelic indie rock sounds of the past and instead turns to classic Metallica, Slayer, Exodus and Overkill for inspiration and instantly finds the band appearing in heavy metal databases worldwide to the chagrin of metal purists who just can’t accept these crossover acts as legit metal entities but nonetheless, INFEST THE RATS’ NEST is a bona fide thrash metal album albeit with stoner garage rock tendencies chock full of guitar riffing heft and double kick drumming.

While death metal and black metal have spiraled off into a million directions and into highly evolved complexities, thrash metal has remained rather pure in comparison and the GIZZARD deliver a tasty little interpretation of the classic thrash metal years that date back to the 80s and early 90s although INFEST also finds traces of industrial metal heft a la Rammstein or White Zombie and alternative mood swings into Tool territory at moments. This new metal sound originated on the single “Planet B,” the opening powerhouse that was a stand alone track but somehow inspired the band into crafting an entire album of similar sounding tunes. The biggest surprise is that this album has become one of the band’s most successful of all and has virtually guaranteed another strong decade to come.

Musically, INFEST THE RATS’ NEST is very much a retro tribute to the great thrash bands of yore. The sound delivered here is a mix of Overkill stomp grooves, Metallica induced palm muting techniques for that classic galloping sound along with guitar solos that erupt out of nowhere but there is a veritable garage rock quality to this as none of these guys are exactly virtuosos so don’t expect a Marty Friedman ripping solo quality or even the more sophisticated classically infused Metallica riffs. This is basic thrash by the numbers albeit exquisitely performed and catchy to the max. All in all this will appeal to those on the fringe of the metal universe rather than those already deeply indoctrinated into the long rich history of thrash metal that has remained strong for over three decades now.

While many bands want to be all things to all music appreciators, KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD succeeded to a certain degree while it took a big chance with INFEST THE RATS’ NEST in the fact that there was a lot of risk of alienating fans of the psychedelic rock albums. However i would venture to guess that one should have no fear that the band has gone Opeth in reverse by dropping its psych qualities in favor of the more bombastic metal style presented on this album. After all, on tracks like “Mars For The Rich” there are still psychedelic keyboard elements that creep into the flow of things and the overtly alternative feel prevents this from feeling “too” thrashy. There’s even a harmonica that makes a cameo on several tracks and the bluesy rock roots of the 70s are still strong, just simply cranked up to 11 at various moments. This is a decent album for sure but honestly this isn’t anything to get wildly excited about either. With all the references to thrash greats like Overkill and Metallica, i’d rather listen to their output any day, however good on the GIZZARD for breaking out of their comfort zone.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 5 days ago in Ultimate Timeline of METAL MUSIC Milestone Moments
    ^ thanks Nicole i have gotten many great suggestions here and on RYM. still checking out some of the suggestions.Adam, spinning Hiss Spun right now. Yeah, different for doom metal for sure however i'm seeing some of her previous albums are labeled doom metal as well. Will look in to it. Thanks
  • Posted 6 days ago in Now -- what are you listening to? V2
    The Angelic Process - Weighing Souls With Sand ABSU - Tara
  • Posted 6 days ago in Ultimate Timeline of METAL MUSIC Milestone Moments
    ^ i was actually considering debut Ulver. As far as i know that was the first black metal album to use choral chants. Was gonna do some research on this one before adding but it's a pretty unique album. I just don't want it to get to the point where i add every classic album. Gotta draw the line somewhere :D


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