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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 17 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

290 reviews/ratings
DEEP PURPLE - Deep Purple In Rock Hard Rock | review permalink
QUEENSRŸCHE - Rage For Order Heavy Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal | review permalink
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Deconstruction Progressive Metal | review permalink
ANVIL - Metal on Metal Heavy Metal | review permalink
NINGEN ISU - Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human) Stoner Rock | review permalink
NINGEN ISU - Ougon no Yoake Progressive Metal | review permalink
HÄG - HÄG Doom Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Now What?! Hard Rock | review permalink
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD - Alien Industrial Metal | review permalink
SÓLSTAFIR - Ótta Metal Related | review permalink
APRIL WINE - Electric Jewels Hard Rock | review permalink
ANVIL - Forged in Fire Heavy Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Synchestra Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEVIN TOWNSEND - Terria Progressive Metal | review permalink
SYMPHONY X - Iconoclast Progressive Metal | review permalink
OPETH - Ghost Reveries Progressive Metal | review permalink
DEEP PURPLE - Machine Head Hard Rock | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 61 3.52
2 Proto-Metal 40 3.09
3 Progressive Metal 34 4.01
4 Heavy Metal 31 3.95
5 Death Metal 20 3.85
6 Heavy Psych 17 3.44
7 Thrash Metal 17 3.82
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.11
9 Stoner Rock 4 3.75
10 Sludge Metal 4 4.00
11 Melodic Death Metal 4 3.75
12 NWoBHM 4 3.75
13 Power Metal 4 4.13
14 Doom Metal 4 4.38
15 Glam Metal 4 3.75
16 Black Metal 4 4.00
17 Atmospheric Black Metal 3 3.83
18 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
19 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
20 Stoner Metal 3 3.67
21 Technical Thrash Metal 2 4.00
22 Speed Metal 2 3.75
23 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
24 Metal Related 2 4.00
25 Melodic Black Metal 1 4.50
26 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
27 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
28 US Power Metal 1 3.00

Latest Albums Reviews

THE ORDER OF CHAOS Maniacal

Album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The last day of work of the year. Lacking sleep as usual. Riding the train home and listening to some 2020 release that is really good, but I'm standing in the corner of the train and dozing off. Two stops before my station and then a 40-minute walk home because I want to save the bus fare. What to listen to next? Hmm... How about this Order of Chaos album? I haven't really given it a full spin.

Earlier this year, I bought my first album by The Order of Chaos. It was good but the production had that heavy wool blanket feel - the music was dulled down a bit and to me it lost some of its punch. But after a few careful listens, the songs began to stand apart from one another and at last, I decided I liked the band enough to get another album. It was as I was adding them to MMA that I discovered there was a new release, a 2020 album. I placed an order through Bandcamp but was contacted the next day by John Simon Fallon, saying that the CDs were all sold out. He'd see if he had an extra one in his personal collection for me. He didn't and refunded my money. But he also sent me access to download the album in WAV file format. At the time, however, I had so many new CDs coming in that I left off listening to the album.

Until tonight! And wow! I was swept up immediately by the music!

The Order of Chaos are basically a heavy metal band. They're not a trad metal band; the style is more modern. They have thrash moments and the clean-vocal choruses have a hint of power metal. At times they also cover melodic death metal, just without the usual deep, growly vocals. Vocalist Amanda Kiernan sings in both clean and harsh vocals. There are no ballads. This album delivers just straight up heavy hitters.

One obvious difference from their older album that I have is that the production quality better brings out the blast and blister of the music. Those riffs just burn right into your brain. The songs are heavy and solid but sometimes charge ahead or drop back to slam you with another riff. And you can feel it all in the production!

Another reason why this album sounds so good is that Amanda's harsh vocals have improved, in my opinion. Previously, I preferred her clean vocals with harsh vocals as an effect reserved for only parts of the songs. When she sang too much in her shredded voice, I wasn't all that thrilled. Now she sounds awesome! Thankfully, she still keeps the clean vocals which are often double-tracked and harmonized for some of the choruses.

This music on this album feels more consistent than the older one, which played around with mixing styles a little more obviously though still successfully. This album seems to go straight for the gut with one-two punches in every track. It's only the final track, "The Downfall of Belief", where things are clearly different as it's a short instrumental track on clean guitar, very beautiful and a shame to be over so soon.

I would really like to track down a copy on CD if I can, and I'm hoping the other album I have on order will please me as much as this one. It's great to hear a band solidify their style in an album that kills it from from to back!

VILLAINIZER Reign in Terror

Album · 2013 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Rob Abinader (a.k.a. RAV) loved eighties thrash metal and Man-O-War. Rob was also Arab Canadian. Throughout the 2000's he kept hearing much hatred against Arabs thanks to people's responses to the terrorist attacks perpetrated by fundamentalist Muslims. It was tough on him to be indirectly villainized by the villainization of all Arabs by a lot of western people. So, he hit upon the idea to parody this stereotype of Arabic people in a thrash metal band.

His nickname was expanded to Rob "the Arab Villain" as he said to his friend, "If I'm an Arab, then I too must be a villain." At first, it was just him and Sam "The Jewish Villain" Levitt recording in Rob's bedroom, with lead guitar contributions from fellow Edmontonian, John Saturley (The Order of Chaos). But by the second album, Villainizer had become a full band.

Villainizer play traditional thrash metal with lyrics typically being about terrorism from the view of the terrorists. There's a very strong tongue-in-cheek attitude to the lyrics as Rob's intention is to parody the western view of the Arab terrorist rather than parody terrorism itself.

The music is thrash-blazing fast in the vein of early Metallica, Exodus, and other California bands. For fans of the early days of thrash metal, the music is spot on! But the lyrics and song titles are what make Villainizer stand out.

"Turbanator", for example, is a song about the Terminator movie story theme but altered a little.

"Turbanate! / Turbanator (our time has finally come) / Face eradication / Targeted for turbanation / Now you know the time has come to..."

"Twin Tower Two-Step" - "Get your friends to stand tall and straight / Then knock 'em to the floor with a headbutt to the face / Speak broken English with a towel on your head / and mosh to Villainizer as if up from the dead"

The album wraps up with a parody of "Reign in Blood" that's been titled "Raining Bombs" (which also influenced the choice of cover art). Then there are three songs dedicated to a love for metal music ("I Wanna Play Metal All Night" no doubt a play on the KISS song "I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night"). Then two more parody covers: "Metal Depression" based on The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Manic Depression" and "Jihad" parodying Metallica's "Whiplash".

"The aeroplanes start to fly / We'll crash them all around / Acting like a terrorist / Jihad!

For entertainment value, this album is pretty darn good. The lyrics are often very violent as many thrash lyrics are, but knowing the background of the band's theme, there is an ironic twist of dark humour.

Sadly, Rob destroyed all unsold Villainizer CDs when he dissolved the band in 2015, but all three albums with bonus tracks from the singles and EPs can be purchased as a download from Bandcamp for $7.

BIIPIIGWAN Something For Everyone; Nothing For Anyone

Album · 2013 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
A few years back, I found my musical interests gravitating back to my first love: heavy metal. I had been out of any new developments since the early nineties other than the odd album here and there which usually left only a lukewarm impression. So when I returned to the world of metal music, I had to do some research to find out what was going on in the scene and what I needed to do to get up to speed. One of the subgenres I soon learned about was sludge metal. The name sounded intriguing. I learned about Mastodon and Baroness and ordered albums. And I discovered that I liked sludge metal!

To date, my sludge metal album collection hasn't even begun to scratch the surface, but one album I recently got as a download from Bandcamp (would love a CD of this!) that has won me over is "Something for Everyone, Nothing for Anyone" by Biipiigwan.

Yes, the band name is curious. It's the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language) word for a war whistle. And before anyone can scream "Cultural appropriation!" you should know that band leader Musqwaunquot "Musky" Rice is Anishinaabe and he likes to use words from the Ojibwe language in the band's song titles.

"Something for Everyone, Nothing for Anyone" is the debut full-length release by Biipiigwan and their fourth release overall. It also remains their most recent release, unfortunately. The band continued doing live shows through to 2018 but since then their social media accounts have no new posts. The album's title comes from a joking remark made by one of the band members who referred to the band having a blend of metal, hardcore, sludge, doom, and noise rock in their music (something for everyone) but ultimately producing music that no one would be interested in (nothing for anyone).

Compared to their previous EP and demo releases, this album shows a remarkable improvement in professional recording quality. While the other albums were very indie-sounding with the looseness and roughness of a hardcore/sludge band intent on pulverizing the concrete of the sidewalks outside with sonic impact, this album sees the band entering a higher level of quality recording.

Their music still packs every pound of wrecking ball thump and wallop - no loss there! But this is the album that could have placed them as a world contender in sludge. In a January, 2014 interview in Decibel Magazine, Musky had these words to say about the album:

"I find the new record to be a little more riff-driven and not as dissonant and ugly-sounding as our earlier work and in my opinion that has to do with Mike (guitars) having actual musical knowledge (as opposed to myself) and my own song writing becoming a bit more focused. Because of that I think it’s more cohesive and accessible. Also, Topon did an amazing job recording the album; production-wise it’s the best thing we’ve released."

Generally speaking, the songs here are just solid crushers each of them, with Musky's vocals having all the subtlety of an angry biker who wants to make sure the Hell's Angels Chapter in the next town over can hear how pissed he is! My favourite track has to be "Shkweyaang" for it's frequent riff changes and for that one really awesome part where one guitar plays a new riff and then when the drums come in, the second guitar amp is just crackling and ready to spit sheer energy before the second guitar joins in with the riff.

This is one of those albums where I could feel as though the music was invading my brain and rapidly sending tendrils into all the blood vessels in my torso and tugging on my flesh from the inside. It's really a shame that I can't get this on CD because I'd love a physical copy. It seems like thievery that I could buy all three of the band's available releases from Bandcamp for under $7!

This is an album I will keep handy on my smart phone for some time to come. I sure hope the band gets together to record a new album in the next year or two.

LONGHOUSE II: Vanishing

Album · 2017 · Sludge Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
It's not always easy to write a review for an album that I enjoy listening to. If I'm hog wild for it, no problem. If I am really disappointed, no problem. But when I just enjoy track after track without totally getting knocked over the head, putting adequate words together can be a struggle.

"II: Vanishing" is the second album and most recent album to date by Ottawa doom / sludge trio, Longhouse. The album was nominated for best hard rock/heavy metal album of the year in the 2017 Juno Awards.

The style of this album is rooted in doom metal but often with a less oppressive atmosphere and in sludge metal but with less granite-shattering riff impact than their fellow Ontarians, Biipiigwan. There's also a bit of post metal blended in, and vocalist Joshua Cayer's harsh vocal style is closer to black metal while his clean vocal style is more typical of traditional doom metal. The album is comprised of five tracks taking up just over 38 minutes.

The opening track, "Hunter's Moon", takes a slow and steady route, building the atmosphere and weight of the music with heavy riffs that aren't exaggerated in depressive moods while eerie guitar wails waft like mists. The image I had in my mind was like surveying a wasted and desolation landscape after some catastrophe. The vocals finally come in after almost six and a half minutes.

"Vanishing" and "Blood and Stone" are the shortest tracks on the album and feature more traditional doom metal riffs contrasted by Cayer's black metal vocal style. "No Name, No Marker" was the album's single and begins with a guitar riff that sounds like something from Nine Inch Nails' "The Downward Spiral" album, though another reviewer said it had a grunge feel to it. The lead guitar work is very apt for the music - not flamboyant and not shredding and atonal. Another review I read likened the leads to Death's "The Sound of Perseverance".

"The Vigil" is the album's longest track at just over 10 minutes. It features Cayer's clean vocals as well as his harsh vocals, and I think the extra dimension the clean vocals add make this track a memorable track as an album closer. Other reviewers have cited the band's adherence to a basic formula both a merit and a point of slight disappointment. It seems that band is capable of adding more interest to their compositions but for the most part keep to the doom / sludge style. Another modest gripe of other reviewers is that song tracks go on a bit too long. I agree with one reviewer who wrote that the album is easy to enjoy as something to listen to but when one tries to enclose himself in the music for the purpose of writing a review, some tracks seem a minute or two longer than needed. I myself find all the tracks satisfying; however, I also admit that it is difficult to listen very analytically for the purpose of writing a decent review.

Which brings me back to where I started. So it's a good place to wrap up here. In conclusion, "II: Vanishing" is a very good album that does what it does very well. Personally, I find the teases of extra goodies such as the clean vocals or the grunge-type guitar bit might be nice to hear with a little more frequency. But I have no real gripes. Longhouse deserve their Juno nomination.

MAELSTROM VALE Silhouettes

Album · 2019 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Doomed Traveler" appears to be the first proper video that Maelstrom Vale has done. If you watch it, just go ahead and watch it, you might be... appalled! "What is this rubbish?" you might say to yourself or to whomever is watching it with you. "Is this a joke?" Metal Sucks gave this video mention back in August, 2016. Dangerousminds caught wind of it and called it "The best worst metal song you're gonna hear today". And the PRP News ran the headline, "Maelstrom Vale's 'Doomed Traveler' May Be Your New Favorite Canadian Metal Video".

If you've ever seen any videos by The Black Satans you might understand what I'm getting at. The video is so painfully bad that it's funny and bears re-watching. Vocalist Kurt Bergsma arching his back with his gut sticking out under his T-shirt; bassist Andrew Linsley's clean vocals somehow not quite matching the dude playing the bass in the video; guitarist Evan Sundbo looking like a seventies high school nerd who's into The Ramones. The video is obviously home made (on smart phones!) and recorded to playback, which is quite obvious at times. The lip-syncing just doesn't look convincing. But there's something you should know: the actual music is something quite different.

Maelstrom Vale are at the basic level classified as progressive death metal. But there's a lot more to this band. Forget the video. Listen to the song only. The band actually does have their chops down. Rumbling chords, slap bass, cruising heavy psychedelic riffs. These are no inept hacks trying to be metal. They have the chops! The thing is that they are not your typical progressive death metal band by any means.

This seven-track, 42-minute album is quite the ride. You never know what the band will throw at you. Punky riffing. Death growl "do do-do do-do" with a falsetto backing vocal that sounds like it's provided by a member of the Chicken Coupe Backup Singers, strange sliding guitar string effects, and bizarre lyrics such as, "History is impossible / You can dream / We need a dream / For four years, eleven months, and two days / do do-do do-do". And that's just the first track!

You'll also get a waltz breakdown in "To Surpass the Gods", a three-minute flute solo in "The Fear of July", folky acoustic strumming, math-rock psychedelic riffing, droppings of doom riffs, and in "Thulcandra Pt II: The Boogey Man" you'll get a groovy guitar riff that even octogenarians with hip replacements will want to dance to. Seriously, you never do know what will come next. Well, okay, I just told you. Spoiler alert! Too late!

Listening to "Silhouettes" for the first time is a bit like the first time I heard They Might Be Giants: there was a zaniness, a sense of fun and comedy, but it was somehow more impressive than funny because the music was so outstanding. Maelstrom Vale might seem hard to take seriously sometimes but there's no denying that these dudes have a knack for switching rhythms and time signatures like any experienced prog band and can convincingly rock out heavy and dark when they want.

Just don't judge their music by their home video.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 3 months ago in R.I.P. Lee Kerslake
    I opened YouTube the other day and saw a video of Lee playing Crazy Train with some young dude on guitar. Lee was so fat that I said to the video, "Dude, for god's sake, lose some weight. This will kill you!" I then checked Wikipedia to see what he was doing these days and the entry read (...- September 19, 2020). Well, it was cancer not a heart attack. Funny thing, I didn't hear anything about his passing in any of the music groups on Facebook that I follow. Had it not been for that video, I'd have been surprised to find this notification here.
  • Posted 5 months ago in Martin Birch dies
    What a legacy he left behind though. I remember seeing and reading his name a lot in the eighties. He's part of metal music history! Thanks for all the great productions, sir. Play it loud and heavy in the next world!
  • Posted 5 months ago in MMA Best of the Decade 2010s Results
    From where I am at, I'm glad to see quite a few Canadian bands and Japan's Ningen Isu and Lovebites up there twice. Plus I actually have about 20 of the albums on the list, so I'm happy! I shared this on Twitter. I hope the link works!

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