siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Prog/AG Team
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Favorite Metal Artists

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1930 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 194 3.02
2 Progressive Metal 178 3.88
3 Alternative Metal 153 2.93
4 Avant-garde Metal 138 3.98
5 Hard Rock 116 3.50
6 Black Metal 108 3.75
7 Death Metal 93 3.70
8 Metal Related 90 3.58
9 Technical Death Metal 73 3.97
10 Heavy Metal 72 3.76
11 Thrash Metal 55 3.60
12 Atmospheric Black Metal 52 3.67
13 Proto-Metal 47 3.85
14 Power Metal 30 3.85
15 Sludge Metal 26 3.69
16 Brutal Death Metal 22 3.45
17 Melodic Death Metal 22 3.73
18 Technical Thrash Metal 20 3.85
19 Hardcore Punk 19 3.39
20 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 19 4.03
21 Folk Metal 18 3.86
22 Death-Doom Metal 18 3.72
23 Symphonic Metal 17 3.76
24 NWoBHM 16 3.94
25 Doom Metal 16 4.00
26 Heavy Alternative Rock 16 3.34
27 Heavy Psych 16 3.91
28 Industrial Metal 15 3.60
29 Glam Metal 15 3.57
30 Grindcore 15 3.60
31 US Power Metal 14 3.75
32 Stoner Metal 13 3.50
33 Mathcore 13 3.85
34 Metalcore 13 3.42
35 Funk Metal 13 4.08
36 Deathcore 13 3.31
37 Depressive Black Metal 12 3.13
38 Symphonic Black Metal 12 4.08
39 War Metal 12 3.42
40 Speed Metal 11 3.45
41 Gothic Metal 10 3.50
42 Funeral Doom Metal 10 4.00
43 Melodic Black Metal 10 4.05
44 Groove Metal 9 3.39
45 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
46 Drone Metal 8 3.56
47 Pagan Black Metal 8 3.56
48 Melodic Metalcore 6 3.08
49 Goregrind 6 3.00
50 Stoner Rock 5 3.80
51 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
52 Nu Metal 4 3.50
53 Crossover Thrash 4 4.25
54 Crust Punk 4 3.38
55 Deathgrind 3 3.33
56 Rap Metal 3 3.00
57 Viking Metal 3 4.00
58 Pornogrind 2 1.50
59 Electronicore 2 2.75
60 Cybergrind 1 3.50
61 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
62 Nintendocore 1 3.50
63 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
64 Trance Metal 1 1.00

Latest Albums Reviews

OBSOLENCE Inner Voice

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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OBSOLENCE (also stylized as ObsolencE) is an obscure metal band that comes from the eastern Polish city of Siedlce and has been around since 2014 but although still officially active has so far only released one single and this one EP titled INNER VOICE which came out in 2017.

This EP features five tracks at over 32 minutes of playing time and the band’s style is a mix of post-metal and atmospheric sludge metal along with a few death metal elements such as growly vocals and death-doom riffing. Progressive elements are also scattered throughout the mix. The music is on the slower side with a groove sort of like Tool or Incubus only with a lot more dynamics. The death metal moments remind me of Opeth’s early works.

Although the EP flows by at a very relaxed pace the moods shift from dreamy post-rock type passages with clean vocals to heavier death-doomy post-metal. All the tracks are well played but seem to revolve around the same basic idea making the EP a tad on the monotonous side however the pros are that the various tones and dynamics offer variations that are interesting.

On the positive side OBSOLENCE sounds a bit unique even though it often reminds me of some of the alternative and prog death metal bands of the 90s and the occasional reference to the death-doom sounds of Katatonia or similar bands. The band is pretty good at the mellower atmospheric parts but doesn’t deliver to my satisfaction with the death metal tidbits.

Overall this is a decent release that is somewhat unique however the music itself doesn’t really rise above average. It sort of just drifts along with some clean moments here and then some heavier there without really developing any particular song structures. While the band has all the sound effects down and the clear talent to pull it off at this point it lacks any sort of strong songwriting skills. Decent if you like deathened post-metal but nothing too overly exciting. Also i don’t find the vocalist has enough range to breathe life into the project.

TITANIUM Atomic Number 22

Album · 2016 · Power Metal
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TITANIUM is a power metal band from Ostrów Wielkopolski, Poland founded by Karol Mania in 2010 after he moved on from his previous band Abigail. Somewhat of an obscurity so far TITANIUM has released two albums and an EP first beginning with the “We Come To Rock!” EP in 2012 followed by the self-titled debut full-length in 2013. This second and so far final chapter of the TITANIUM saga, ATOMIC NUMBER 22 came out in 2016. The band is considered active but apparently on some sort of hiatus.

This is a typical by the books type of power metal band that consists of Ukrainian born Konstantin Naumenko (vocals), Karol Mania (guitar, keys, backing vocals), Jarek Bona (guitar), Paweł Gębka (bass) and Filip Gruca (drums) with the usual suspects of Helloween, Gamma Ray and Blind Guardian being the primarily influences. This album features nine original tracks plus the bonus Stratovarius cover “Eagleheart.” The album was released on the Japanese Avalon label which has many top dog metal bands including Pain of Salvation, Ark and Sonata Arctica.

While not dripping in originality, TITANIUM certainly displays a firm command of the demanding power metal genre. The band offers a crisp tight unit of thundering guitar riffs, pummeling bass and percussion and a more than competent vocalist with Konstantin Neumenko and the band delivers a high intensity style of power metal that is as heavy as the sturdy metallic element that the band is named after. TITANIUM delivers the expected power metal traits that include highly addictive melodies set to rampage mode in the instrumentation plus a few slower tender moments.

Naumenko’s vocal style is top notch and soars like an eagle with high octave performances that take your breath away. He got his feet wet in the Kyiv, Ukraine based power metal band Sunrise. Founder Karol Mania is the star of the show though with his excellent guitar work that doesn’t quite approach the neoclassical shredding of similar bands but is still way above average. He also handles all the keyboards, programming, orchestral elements and is the primarily songwriter and lyricist. While power metal can sound a bit generic, his songwriting strengths offer an interesting tweak on the limited power metal structure.

The album features 11 tracks that add up to 54 1/2 minutes with the usual power metal stylistic approach that has been the standard since Helloween’s classic “Keeper of the Seven Seas” masterworks however TITANIUM expresses its creativity in how it conveys these standard power metal sounds. Overall the production is excellent as well as the mixing and ATOMIC NUMBER 22 sounds like a true professional release. The tracks vary enough to keep the oft generic flow of power metal from creeping in and given that all the performers are at the top of their game, ATOMIC NUMBER 22 is a compelling release to experience.

True this won’t go down as one of the most cutting edge power metal albums out there but it more than makes up for it in its high quality instrumental interplay. Despite that the band has everything going for it and is actually one of the best power metal bands from Eastern Europe i’ve experienced so far with all the special ingredients that make power metal so dynamic. Scrumptious melodies, intricate solos, exquisite variations between tempos, dynamics and rhythmic cadences. With a bit more of creative infusion TITANIUM could actually soar into the top ranks of power metal. Highly recommended for fans of Scandinavian power metal such as Stratovarious or Lost Horizon.

IHSAHN Ihsahn

Album · 2024 · Progressive Metal
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As one of the pioneers of symphonic black metal with his innovative band Emperor, IHSAHN together with his buddy Samoth left the 90s as one of the most influential and popular black metal bands of the entire decade. While Emperor would stop making albums in 2001, IHSAHN focused on his side project Peccatum briefly but ultimately reemerged as a solo artist in 2006 with a shift to a more progressive avant-garde metal sound that still retained the core elements of black metal. It all began with “The Adversary” and some 18 years later IHSAHN is still cranking out quality experimental metal with his latest self-titled eighth album once again capturing the attention of the world of extreme metal.

Deviating significantly from 2018’s “Àmr” which saw IHSAHN approaching a more commercial sound at times, this eponymously titled release looks back to the Emperor years and rekindles the spirit of symphonic black metal only this time he replaces the synthesized embellishments with a fuller orchestral sound courtesy of advancements in sampling technologies. While orchestrated metal albums are hardly anything new, IHSAHN delivers a anew approach that eschews a mere symphonic backing and rather features two independent musical scores laid upon each other resulting in not only a more dynamic symphonic metal approach but also by spawning a secondary release that features the orchestral side of the equation exclusively.

Almost sounding like Emperor is playing over a Hollywood blockbuster soundtrack of some sort, IHSAHN crafts his usual mix of nerdy progressive metal replete with all the avant-garde elements that makes him exist in a world of his own along with the black metal raspy vocals, thundering guitar riffs and percussion to match. The album that features 11 tracks at nearly 49 minutes is reminiscent of some of Dimmu Borgir’s later releases that offer an equal playing field for the orchestral musical score that oft soars above the black metal mania. And while the album sounds like IHSAHN has been accompanied by an entire philharmonic orchestra at times, the guest musicians only add up to three additional percussionists and a violinist leaving IHSAHN the chore of handling vocals, guitar, bass and orchestral sampling.

IHSAHN is actually quite a diverse album (would you expect anything else?) with varying tracks that features clean vocal led prog metal as on “The Promethean Spark” to full out raging black metal on such tracks as “A Taste Of The Ambrosia” but scattered throughout are tidbits of pure classical orchestration as heard on the opening “Cervus Venator” and the middle intermission “Anima Extraneae.” Tempos vary, dynamics vary and stylistic approach may but the gist of this is a mix of crunchy black metal in tandem with classical orchestrations. Tracks like “Blood Trails To Love” feature a mix of the clean vocal prog metal with the raspy more extreme black. While hinting at Emperor’s past glories, the metal on this release isn’t nearly as full throttle as such magnus opuses as “In The Nightshade Eclipse.”

Overall IHSAHN is a decent album but it’s a bit uneven with no clear stylistic approach really dominating. While that can become a good thing if the sum of the parts add up to something more profound, this album seems a bit scattered which at times reveals both the metal aspects and the orchestral ones seem to cancel each other out a bit. The novelty of orchestral metal has long worn off and the execution of this seems less than satisfying. The addition of dreadfully long moments such as the album’s 9-minute version of a ballad - “At The Heart Of All Things Broken” is actually really cheesy and i seriously would love to cut that entire track from the playing list.

The album seems to lose steam too much with half-assed percussion and metal that doesn’t get up to full force. The orchestral parts just seem to dance around and don’t really offer a very memorable experience either in a meaningful way. All in all it’s a decent album but hardly one of IHSAHN’s best. All the rave reviews about this bely it’s downsides. I was somewhat impressed on the first listen but more attentive listening sessions reveal serious flaws that i can’t shake. The patchiness of the album ruins its flow but as on all IHSAHN albums there are more than enough moments of triumphant victory. As a true fan i couldn’t imagine not owning this but it certainly won’t rank as a top contender for favorite IHSAHN releases.

HELLVETO Autumnal Night

Album · 2002 · Pagan Black Metal
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HELLVETTO is just one of the many projects of the one-man act Filip Mrowiński better known as L.O.N (Light of Night) who operates out of Ostrołęka, Poland. Although HELLVATTO is his most famous alter ego, L.O.N. single-handedly also releases music under the monikers Blakagir, Neoheresy, Sarkel and Winds of Garden. Trouble getting along with others perhaps? The HELLVETO world began in 1995 followed by several demos and a split with Herrgorn before this debut AUTUMNAL NIGHT was released in 2002 on the Sanguinae Maremagnum label.

One of the most prolific artists in black metal, as HELLVETTO, L.O.N. released sixteen albums from 2002 to 2012 before dropping the name and changing it to Neoheresy. AUTUMNAL NIGHT set the stage for HELVETTO’s dramatic sound that mixed classical symphonic / orchestral elements with Pagan black metal. This debut features 10 tracks that add up to 52 1/2 minutes of playing time. HELLVETO handles all instruments including guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers as well as the orchestral arrangements with both raspy growls and clean vocal styles.

In many ways HELVETTO sounds like Summoning where the black metal is not the dominant feature but rather on an equal playing field with other elements in this case being the dramatic opera singing that often sounds like HELLVETO is being joined by a liturgical choir. The raspy vocals also remind a lot of Summoning’s Silenius however the orchestral classical segments make it sound like a black metal band ambushed an opera and then joined in. Other similarities can be made with Norway’s Limbonic Art as well as moments that remind me of early Nokturnal Mortem especially with the overlong “Intro / Switez” that is right out of the “Goat Horns” playbook.

I have mixed feelings about AUTUMNAL NIGHT. On the one hand it’s a very unique album that takes the classical orchestral sounds to levels most black metal bands wouldn’t even consider but to the point where they often dominate the album for too long. The compositions are well thought out and the dynamic flow of the album is quite intriguing but on the other hand the production and mixing is crap. Sure lo-fi works well for the more raw and brutal forms of metal but on AUTUMNAL NIGHT the black metal parts are set too low in the mix while the oft cheesy keyboards are set too high. Overall it’s an interesting release with lots of choral vocal styles offering a beauty and the beast effect with the raspy outrage.

While Ihsahn is getting a lot of praise for his 2024 release that mixes orchestral elements with black metal, many are unaware that HELLVETO was doing the same thing long ago however AUTUMNAL NIGHT was pretty much finding L.O.N. lingering in demo mode and his mastery of production and mixing would improve as time goes on. Musically i love this but the production is so wrong it hurts. Still though L.O.N. has proven to be a musical mastermind of both black metal and dark ambient styles for several decades now and seems he is in no danger of burning out any time soon. Sometimes the drifting into opera can be a bit too much but overall the orchestral classical moments are pleasant.

TENEBRIS Alpha Orionis

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Emerging from the city of Łódź, Poland in 1991 first under the name Solitude and then Mesmerized with a demo each under both names, the band finally chose TENEBRIS and released its first album “The Odious Progress” in 1994. Adopting the sounds of old school death metal with cheesy keyboards, the early albums sounded like a poor man’s Nocturnus and ultimately the band ended in 2002 only to resurrect in 2006 like a Phoenix and emerge as a fully developed progressive metal band without jettisoning the death metal aspects.

“Catalfalque - Comet” was immediately released but recorded from 1997 - 2002 which served as a transition album between the two phases of the band however by the time the band released its 2009 album “Leavings of Distortion Soul,” TENEBRIS had mostly shed its death metal heritage and moved more into the world atmospheric sci-fi themed prog metal that adopted all kinds of various metal styles including a nod or two to its previous incarnation. ALPHA ORIONIS, named after a star cluster in Betelgeuse, followed in 2013 and took the band even further into the world of the avant-garde and experimental with a focus on psychedelic textures, jazz influences and even zeuhl based cyclical rhythms.

ALPHA ORIONIS is a strange album that really doesn’t sound like any other. It’s a veritable mix of the spacey atmospheric sounds of early Cynic especially when the few moments of death metal come in but through the run of 9 tracks that add up to 46 minutes of playing time, TENEBRIS really dishes out healthy doses of the entire metal universe with different stylistic approaches including totally distinct vocals appearing throughout the album’s run. While mostly set to clean vocals, the occasional death growls occur during the more aggressive contrasts but for the most part this is a very atmospheric metallic version of space rock with layers of synthesizers offering subtle backgrounds and even more upfront cases of spacey keyboard runs.

The music can range from somewhat familiar progressive metal in the vein of early 90s Pestilence to very strange groove metal based sounds reminiscent of Nevermore. In addition to the sung vocals are lots of spoken vocals appearing throughout. The music alternates between heavy extreme metal, more atmospheric prog metal not unlike Porcupine Tree’s heaviest to pacifying non-metal moments with clean guitars, heavy layers of synth and dreamy atmospheres. While all these styles come and go they usually play out for a lengthy period before changing the mood dial. ALPHA ORIONIS is a true progress metal album in that excels at crafting demanding time signature workouts despite the album’s overall flow feeling quite relaxed despite the business of the heavy drum, bass and guitar workouts.

This is definitely a unique album from this Polish band and for those seeking out some of the weirdest and unorthodox extreme metal out there then this album shouldn’t be missed. It features a really nice production and a strange procession of metal and space ambient sounds that somehow keep a nice flow with some zeuhl inspired rhythms. Possibly a bit claustrophobic sounding for some and admittedly a bit busy in the atmospheric department with the vocals often low in the mix but all of this guarantees a very strange album experience that won’t disappoint those looking for something different. Personally i think this is a great album that showcases as much extreme originality as it does extreme soundscapes. Definitely one for fans of the difficult music listening section.

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  • Posted 32 days ago in Private Messenger Not Working
    Now the site won't let me add albums. I get a warning that it's a duplicate entry even though it's not. Same goes for albums. Someobody contact M@X cuz the site has gone crazy again
  • Posted 32 days ago in Private Messenger Not Working
    Bingo! That did the trick.
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    Yeah it won't let me upload photos either. Guess I'll wait it outTrying on two completely separate computers as well, one brand new

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