siLLy puPPy

MMA Special Collaborator · Prog/AG Team
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Favorite Metal Artists

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1506 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 169 3.01
2 Progressive Metal 132 3.92
3 Alternative Metal 132 2.95
4 Avant-garde Metal 101 3.99
5 Hard Rock 98 3.52
6 Black Metal 90 3.72
7 Metal Related 76 3.50
8 Heavy Metal 61 3.78
9 Technical Death Metal 59 3.95
10 Death Metal 54 3.76
11 Thrash Metal 43 3.64
12 Proto-Metal 35 3.99
13 Atmospheric Black Metal 34 3.71
14 Power Metal 21 3.88
15 Sludge Metal 20 3.73
16 Atmospheric Sludge Metal 18 4.08
17 Folk Metal 17 3.88
18 Death-Doom Metal 15 3.70
19 Hardcore Punk 15 3.40
20 Glam Metal 15 3.57
21 Doom Metal 14 4.04
22 Brutal Death Metal 14 3.50
23 Symphonic Metal 14 3.86
24 NWoBHM 14 4.07
25 Technical Thrash Metal 14 3.79
26 Melodic Death Metal 13 3.88
27 Industrial Metal 12 3.75
28 Funk Metal 12 4.17
29 Grindcore 11 3.59
30 US Power Metal 11 3.77
31 Metalcore 11 3.55
32 Symphonic Black Metal 11 4.14
33 Depressive Black Metal 10 3.15
34 Deathcore 10 3.40
35 Groove Metal 9 3.39
36 Mathcore 9 3.94
37 War Metal 9 3.44
38 Neoclassical metal 8 3.69
39 Melodic Black Metal 8 4.06
40 Funeral Doom Metal 7 4.07
41 Gothic Metal 7 3.43
42 Speed Metal 7 3.50
43 Stoner Metal 7 3.79
44 Pagan Black Metal 6 3.83
45 Heavy Alternative Rock 6 3.00
46 Heavy Psych 5 4.10
47 Drone Metal 5 3.50
48 Traditional Doom Metal 5 3.60
49 Crust Punk 4 3.38
50 Goregrind 4 3.13
51 Melodic Metalcore 3 3.33
52 Crossover Thrash 3 4.33
53 Nu Metal 3 3.33
54 Stoner Rock 2 4.25
55 Rap Metal 2 2.00
56 Viking Metal 2 4.00
57 Deathgrind 2 3.50
58 Electronicore 1 2.00
59 Cybergrind 1 3.50
60 Death 'n' Roll 1 3.50
61 Metal Related Genres 1 4.00
62 Trance Metal 1 1.00
63 Nintendocore 1 3.50
64 Pornogrind 1 0.50

Latest Albums Reviews


Album · 1982 · Heavy Metal
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Hannover, Germany based SCORPIONS has had a few distinct phases in its multi-decade career beginning with its rather uncertain Krautrock meets hard rock beginnings on the debut “Lonesome Crow.” The Uli Roth years developed the band’s distinct mix of catchy pop hooks infused with heavy bluesy rock and early heavy metal but the crystalline lineup didn’t come to fruition until guitarist Matthias Jabs joined the band thus cementing the distinct brash bravado that would propel SCORPIONS to the top of the heavy metal heap where they experienced international success all throughout the 80s.

While albums like “Lovedrive” and “Animal Magnetism” got this particular lineup warmed up and even became the band’s first gold records, it was the 1982 release of the band’s eighth album BLACKOUT that coincided with the mainstream success of heavy metal that SCORPIONS became one of the biggest bands in the entire genre. Part of this sudden ascent to international stardom resulted from MTV shuffling videos 24 / 7. The addictive hooks of “No One Like You,” one of the band’s most famous singles coupled with the bad boy bravado antics at Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay on the video which was enough to drive a metal crazed public bonkers!

This was a do or die era for the SCORPIONS perched to ascend to greater stardom or totally fall as lead singer Klaus Meine had to undergo surgery on his vocal cords and the uncertainty of the outcome haunted the band’s very existence however Don Dokken was picked as a replacement singer if for any reason Meine was unable to continue his duties as vox box in chief. Luckily not only did Meine come through the experience with no complications but his voice actually smoothed out a bit taking some of the grit off which began the era of the more pop crossover SCORPIONS.

BLACKOUT established a much more accessible sound after the more experimental “Animal Magnetism” fortified with infectious pop hooks and the sizzling twin guitar attack of Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Schenker. With drummer Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz, this was also the band’s most famous and successful lineup. The band was extremely popular live with its energetic performances. The album with its nine tracks starts out with the distinct high-octane title track and doesn’t let up until the closing “When The Smoke Is Going Down” with the by then established signature ballad in the form of “You Give Me All I Need.” Don Dokken who recorded the demo songs for the album was kept as a backup singer on some of the tracks.

While most of the tracks are full steam ahead with fast tempos and Meine’s vocal gymnastics hitting ridiculously high octaves, the closing “China White” and “When The Smoke Is Going Down” slow things down a bit, the latter of which is another excellent ballad that showcases Meine’s uncanny multi-octave vocal abilities. While it was uncertain whether or not BLACKOUT would ever even come to be due to Meine’s vocal woes after countless delays, as things turned out it was just the beginning of the SCORPIONS most successful phase of its career that would last the entire 80s.

Personally BLACKOUT isn’t my favorite pick for best SCORPIONS album as i much prefer “Animal Magnetism” which came before and even “Love At First Sting” which came after but as far as quality heavy rock / metal from the early 80s is concerned, BLACKOUT is excellent 80s metal with addictive melodies, outstanding musicianship and fiery delivered in every possible way. Although i find the cover artwork to be quite cheesy i can only assume that dude is screaming so loud to break glass so that he can warn us about the coming BLACKOUT. Get your survival gear now!

CHILDREN OF BODOM Follow the Reaper

Album · 2000 · Melodic Death Metal
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After two albums with producer Anssi Kippo at the helm, CHILDREN OF BODOM adopted a completely new approach for their third album FOLLOW THE REAPER after choosing Hypocrisy lead singer Peter Tägtgrten to be the next producer after touring with his band in 1998. The band headed to Sweden’s Abyss Studios where Tägtgrten steered the band in a more polished direction. Firstly the band who had already forged a unique blend of neoclassical infused power metal along with death metal and other extreme metal genera focused more on the power metal side of the equation which allowed the once subordinate keyboard runs of Janne Wirman to become an integral part of the band’s overall sound.

FOLLOW THE REAPER focused on harder driving neoclassical melodies still inspired by Mozart but less in your face and sharpened with the instruments playing more independent roles making this third album a much more focused offering in comparison to the previous two albums. Likewise Tägtgrten trained Alexi Laiho to make better use of his raspy guttural growls thus giving him a more controlled style that could span out in a greater range. The album is notorious for various mixing jobs due to the band’s dissatisfaction but the overall effect is an extremely professional sounding extreme metal album that continues the band’s stylistic approach laid out on the debut album “Something Wild.”

CHILDREN OF BODOM came of age with FOLLOW THE REAPER and not only did the album soar to the top of the Finnish charts but also found a positive reception outside of the band’s homeland. Some critics even referred to the album as black metal with the happiest keyboards ever but still uncompromisingly brutal and to be honest that does sort of sum it up. The album is relentless with wickedly brutal guitar, bass and drum performances crafting power metal melodies only infused with neoclassical shredding tradeoffs between the guitar and keyboards only much more refined than the previous offerings. Likewise the keyboard acts as a fourth instrument with independent riffing roles that craft creative counterpoints whereas on the first two albums it remained somewhat in the background for atmospheric effects with occasional soloing outbursts.

With FOLLOW THE REAPER, the band toured the world extensively and experienced a warm welcome due to the album’s extremely strong melodic hooks augmented with a power metal bombast that was contrasted by death, black and metal elements that no other band had really put together in such a way before. As well as the aforementioned changes that solidified the band’s established sound, the compositions on FOLLOW THE REAPER are simply stronger and more varied than before however the neoclassical elements had been tamped down a bit in favor of stronger power metal displays that showcased the guitar and keyboard shredding in completely new ways. To give the album a darker feel, the instruments were set down to D tuning and Laiho’s vocals seem as strong as ever.

With another cover of the Grim Reaper designed by Canadian artists Graham French, the band had also established a visual continuity much like Iron Maiden did with its Eddie album covers with this one’s primary backing color set to stark blue something unusual for metal album covers of the day. For my money, FOLLOW THE REAPER is my pick for favorite CHILDREN OF BODOM album although each album shares the same extraordinary musicianship led by the guitar wizard Alexi Laiho with strong melodic hooks and rampaging metal orotundity. Personally i just find the dynamics to be better mixed and the compositions are nearly perfect with only a few moments of tedium seeping in. When i have the hankering to get my deathened power metal fix, this album is usually the one i head to.


Album · 1999 · Melodic Death Metal
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CHILDREN OF BODOM caught the metal off guard by doing the unthinkable of mixing neoclassical power metal with elements of death metal, thrash metal and even atmospheric black metal with its debut “Something Wild.” The band found its own distinct sound right out of the gate and one that would launch the band as one of Finland’s greatest metal sensations having topped the charts with four albums in a row but that would come later. At this stage in 1999, bandleader / guitarist / lead vocalist Alexi Laiho was still nurturing that perfect stylistic fusion that wouldn’t totally gel until the band’s third album “Follow The Reaper,” however this sophomore effort HATEBREEDER ramped up the energetic level a bit as well as brought he Mozart inspired neoclassical shredding closer to the forefront.

Originally this album was supposed to be titled “Toward Dead End” but midway through the recording process that began in 1998, the band members decided the title should be changed and the winner was HATEBREEDER which continued the band’s career long tradition of featuring the Grim Reaper on the album cover with a different primary color schematic in this case the distinct green background. The band released the single “Downfall” two weeks before the album’s release which hit #1 on the Finnish charts and propelled the album to gold status in the band’s homeland but at this point CHILDREN OF BODOM hadn’t quite become the international sensation that it would become despite touring with bands like Dimmu Borgir in support of the debut.

HATEBREEDER pretty much followed in the footsteps of “Something Wild” only with more attention to the neoclassical Mozart inspired melodies along with faster tempos, heavier metal rampage and an increased focus on the technical shredding tradeoffs of Laiho’s guitar and Janne Wirman’s keyboard heft. The album was also praised for the unique vocal style that could be described as existing somewhere between the guttural growls of death metal and the raspiness of black metal. The vocals in tandem with the primary power metal style infused with elements form many metal subgenera continued CHILDREN OF BODOM’s unique format that would bring them into the international limelight as the millennial odometer geared closer to a new century.

While CHILDREN OF BODOM’s style is pretty much present on all their releases, it’s all about the subtleties that differentiate them. HATEBREEDER provides a transition where the neoclassical elements would become more prominent although not as in your face as they would become starting with “Follow The Reaper.” The beauty of CHILDREN OF BODOM is that the band caught the melodic vitality of 80s heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest only with the power metal heft of bands like Helloween and Iced Earth along with the darker elements of the more extreme corner of the metal world in both atmosphere and thematic presentation. Overall HATEBREEDER is an excellent consistent flow of one satisfying energetic track after another that features some of WIrman’s most unique keyboard contributions, a trait that would only amplify on subsequent releases.


Album · 1997 · Melodic Death Metal
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Starting out as Inearthed in Espoo, Finland, CHILDREN OF BODOM formed by guitarist ALex Laiho (R.I.P.) and drummer Jaska Raatikainen would go on to become one of Finland’s most successful metal bands with a string of gold albums. Starting out in 1993, the fledgling Inearthed existed for five years influenced by death metal bands such as Entombed, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary but with the arrival of Janne Warmann on keyboards, the band reinvented itself and emerged as one of the first examples of death metal and power metal fusion. The world would never be the same!

Having developed a unique sound that took several competing metal styles and forcing them to play together, Inearthed was forced to change its name before a recording contract for Spineform Records and after a random perusal through the phone book settled on Lake Bodom which was the scene of some murders. After some reworking, CHILDREN OF BODOM had arrived and released the debut album SOMETHING WILD In 1997 which at the time sounded like nothing else. Death metal didn’t take long to splinter off into a million categories but once thrash metal split into death metal and power metal, the two sort of became the antithesis of each other until CHILDREN OF BODOM changed all that.

Mostly tagged as melodic death metal, SOMETHING WILD comes across more of a power metal album with death metal elements therefore a deathened power metal album that showcases neoclassical wizardry, fast tempos, Iron Maiden inspired gallops and highly melodic tunes leaving only the growly vocals and blastbeats to really bring any death metal attributes to the table. The album showcased the guitar virtuosity of Laiho who has been labeled as one of Finland’s all time greatest guitarists however Warmann’s keyboard wizardry is also of an equal caliber with frenetic soloing tradeoffs that are highlighted on the Slayer cover “Silent Scream” that is included as a bonus track on some CDs.

Added to the aggressive mix of melodic power metal and death metal grit, SOMETHING WILD also features an interesting black metal atmosphere which possibly was gleaned from touring with Dimmu Borgir. There are also moments of thrash metal attacks and many moments of good old fashioned 80s heavy metal coming through in the mix. The music is really quite unclassifiable as it wriggles around through various stylistic moments but its’ perhaps the neoclassical underpinnings most apparent by the Mozart inspired intro of “Red Light In My Eyes Pt 2” that defines the CHILDREN OF BODOM sound.

This is one of the bands that seems to get a lot a hate. Purists of both death metal and power metal find CHILDREN OF BODOM to be an unthinkable bastardization of two classic metal styles but for those of us who aren’t so hung up on genre purities, i personally find this music to be quite fascinating in how it manages to juggle all these disparate stylistic effects and fuse them together to proficiently. CHILDREN OF BODOM truly hit the ground running and propelled themselves to the top fo the melo-death tiers with this eclectic and energetic mix of extreme metal styles. While i can’t say CHILDREN OF BODOM has ever topped my list of favorite all-time metal bands, i am always in awe of the musicianship on display and the maturity of the compositions. Excellent debut.

BLUT AUS NORD Odinist: The Destruction of Reason by Illumination

Album · 2007 · Atmospheric Black Metal
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While beginning as the one-man solo project of Vindsval, the French experimental freak show known as BLUT AUS NORD really came into its own once the lineup was expanded to a trio that included drummer / keyboardist W.D. Feld and bassist GhÖst. Already having crafted some of the most chilling atmospheric black metal albums in the vein of Burzum, the trio version of BLUT AUS NORD shocked the black metal world with its lauded masterwork “The Work That Transforms God” which ironically transformed the world of second wave Norwegian style black metal into a stranger nebulous world of surreality that incorporated as much dark ambient psychedelia as it did black metal heft.

After reaching the apex of its industrial dark ambient infused alternative universe where black metal was forced to perform unthinkable acts with thick gnarled atonal guitar antics painfully decrying the jagged prog infused percussive beats, the album “MoRT” found this stylistic approach finding its logical conclusion with seemingly nowhere left to go but BLUT AUS NORD proved to be a wily beast that was content with experimenting and then perfecting said experiment and then moving on altogether without abandoning the underpinning of the band’s experimental and progressive black metal stylistic approach. While downright normal compared to “MoRT,” the band followed up with ODINIST - THE DESTRUCTION OF REASON BY ILLUMINATION which borrowed its title from the magickal world of none other than Aleister Crowley.

Decidedly less otherworldly and more anchored in contemporary atmospheric black metal that had taken the 2000s by storm, ODINIST retains the general characteristics that had graced the band’s previous two albums, namely the buzzsaw guitar riffs casting larger than life distorted feedback, bantering bass lines buried beneath the sonic swells and the irregular drum rolls that colluded to craft a bizarre atonal callithump through hellish soundscapes. However on ODINIST all that came before is toned down manyfold in order to craft a somewhat more accessible, or at least more orthodox black metal experience. While “MoRT” cast the strangest of sonic spells with a never-ending supply of jagged irregular jazz-fueled percussion, ODINIST takes on the more standard approach of blastbeats and less jagged progressive time signature attacks. This is all relative of course as ODINIST is much more avant-garde than the average black metal album.

Likewise the compositions lie more in the realm of standard black metal than the experimental freeform avant-garde tendencies of the previous two albums. While the newbie to this band may find this one to be more accessible due to the more standardized approach complete with the expected raspy vocals and less frenetic zigzagging effect, ODINIST to my ears sounds like a few steps down in quality and creative expression as the album tends to feel to safe for its own good in comparison to the albums that preceded and the excellent “777” trilogy that followed. While ODINIST hits all the marks that makes BLUT AUS NORD stand out from the pack, the album feels like it’s running on automatic pilot rather than tackling something completely fresh however occasional such as on tracks like “Ellipsis,” the doppler effect style of “MoRT” is more prominent.

In many ways ODINIST feels like a Viking metal style album with scattered melodic nods to Norwegian folk music with even the title referring to the god of Norse mythology. On board with the caustic black metal which had been amped up from the previous works, the dark ambient and industrial elements still teem with life however they are also kept on the leash as the compositional style is more predictable and less prone to crafting intangible elements that leave the listener in a cold bewildering reality devoid of any Earthly connections. ODINIST in its 37 minute run is nothing but a decent and compelling atmospheric black metal album experience however i can never shake the feeling that it just doesn’t rise to the standards that BLUT AUS NORD had set so high just the year before. Not my personal favorite but a must for fans no doubt.

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