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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 18 hours ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

244 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
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
GORGUTS - Colored Sands Technical Death Metal | review permalink

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Hard Rock 54 3.51
2 Proto-Metal 47 3.09
3 Progressive Metal 29 4.02
4 Heavy Metal 26 3.94
5 Death Metal 18 3.86
6 Thrash Metal 14 3.82
7 Heavy Psych 12 3.58
8 Technical Death Metal 11 4.14
9 Glam Metal 4 3.75
10 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
11 Black Metal 3 3.83
12 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
13 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
14 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
15 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.75
16 Doom Metal 2 4.00
17 NWoBHM 2 3.50
18 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00
19 US Power Metal 1 3.00
20 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
21 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
22 Metal Related 1 4.50
23 Non-Metal 1 3.50
24 Sludge Metal 1 4.00
25 Speed Metal 1 3.00
26 Stoner Metal 1 3.50
27 Stoner Rock 1 5.00

Latest Albums Reviews

UFO Force It

Album · 1975 · Proto-Metal
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I don’t know how I missed getting into this band! Maybe “Miss Demeanor” just didn’t attract me? If I had heard this album in the eighties, I would have been hooked for sure. Yet somehow, in spite of loving Pete Way’s band Waysted and having a couple of Michael Schenker albums, I never picked up UFO. I bought the debut a few years back solely because it was a hard rock album of 1970 and it’s an okay album. It has it’s moments. Later I bought “No Heavy Petting” because I heard that “Lights Out” was a great album, but listening to it on YouTube, I didn’t get a rush. The previous album sounded way better to me and I rather like it. So at last I got around to getting another UFO album and my choice was this one, “Force It”. What’s with all the faucets in the album art? Imagine “faucet” and “force it” being said in a British accent.

From what I have heard, this might just be UFO’s most rock out album of the seventies. Later albums seem to lean on melody more than punch unless I've just not heard the right songs. On this album, I think we have some of the best rockers and riffs not only in the UFO catalogue but stand out tracks from the seventies hard rock scene.

“Let It Roll” is a great start. It’s remarkable how much Michael Schenker’s guitar reminds me of the Scorpions considering that he’d only played on the debut album. The melodic part is a nice touch. Perhaps it’s too soon to go pretty but the hard rocking music returns. It even gets rather heavy in parts!

“Shoot Shoot” is a fun rock song that has one awesome riff that crops up after the chorus. Again, very Scorpions in style but with a great groove to it. Damn that’s a good one, that riff!

The third track has to be the ballad. It’s almost predictable on some seventies albums. “High Flyer” is very pretty but it makes me think that this is a song a fictional band might play in a movie, the song where the girlfriend looks lovingly at her boyfriend on the stage. Then we get another kick ass rocker with “Love Lost Love”. It’s a melodic hard rock song with Schenker really exercising those lead guitar breaks. Holy tube socks but this is really good hard rock!

The album was produced by Leo Lyons of Ten Years After, and for “Out in the Street” he brings in band mate Chick Churchill to play some electric organ. I think it works great with UFO’s sound, the softer organ sound contrasting with the crunchy guitar. Phil Moog shows he’s got power and finesse in his vocals. And then we get another power house hard rocker with “Mother Mary”. I can’t get over this guitar sound! Schenker is really a key to the power behind this band.

There's more great hard rock with “Too Much of Nothing” and "Dance Your Life Away". The final track, "The Kids'", doesn't slow down and slips in some nice piano work between the power chords. But then the track curiously goes into a melodic and atmospheric instrumental called “Between the Walls”. It’s an unexpected way to end an album of kick ass rockers. Once more, I'm hearing a Scorpions guitar. It's interesting to think that so much of the Scorpions sound may have come from the younger Schenker brother who left after one album!

I think the selling point for me on this album is clearly the guitar sound and Michael Schenker’s playing. His solos and his riffs are fantastic! The rest of the band are great. Phil Moog is a stand out vocalist and perfect for that kind of hard rock with strong melodies and ballads. But if they’d had a lesser guitarist they wouldn’t have sounded so awesome on this album. You can thank Leo Lyons too for his great work.

This has become one of my new favourite old albums!

KISS Hotter Than Hell

Album · 1974 · Hard Rock
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I’ve never been a big KISS fan. I had a couple of the eighties albums on cassette in the eighties and in the last couple of years I bought “Lick It Up” and the debut. I actually found the debut kind of interesting and liked three, maybe four tracks. The other tracks were alright. But I heard that the debut was not the strongest album even though it’s held in fairly high regard compared to some albums. I watched a video where one fellow was listing some of his favourite hard rock albums of the seventies and he mentioned that this, “Hotter Than Hell”, was his favourite KISS album of that decade. As I often have the same opinion or close to the same as this guy, I went and ordered KISS’s second album.

The CD notes said that the debut had been a disappointment, unable to capture the vitality of the band’s live act. This album was said to be a grand improvement. After the first listen, however, I felt the album was totally unmemorable except for perhaps one track, possibly two. A second listen didn’t make it sound better. “Hotter Than Hell”? This album doesn’t even get hot enough to keep toast warm, I thought. So I put on my reviewer cap and gave the album one more listen, a careful one!

The opening track, “Got to Choose” is pretty mild. It’s mid-tempo, lacks any thrill and rush, and in no way hints that this is supposed to be a band with a spectacular live act. The song lyrics are pretty lame, too. It’s about a guy who finds out his girlfriend might leave him for another guy. So she “has to choose”. Deep, man.

The album does improve, though. “Parasite” is a little heavier than hard and sounds like it could go somewhere when played on stage. But “Goin’ Blind” is goin’ bland and just another throwaway power ballad. The title track should be a thrilling rocker I imagine but I isn’t. It starts with one of those typical hard rock riffs: power chords, pause, power chords, pause. But I’ve heard it a lot of times and done way better. The lead break is the only thing that kind of stands out.

“Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll” is alright and we are actually starting to rock out more. A typical blues-based rocker, it reminds me a little of Rush’s debut album. It’s not my favourite approach to seventies rock but the song moves. Then there’s “All the Way”, which is surprisingly not about “going all the way”. This song strikes me as KISS trying to do a hard rock song a little differently from the rest of the album. There’s some cowbell! It’s a good follow up to the previous track because at least now we seem to have gotten our asses of the couch even if it's just to confirm the track number.

At last I feel the band is making use of the dual guitars and bass when we reach track 7, “Watchin’ You”. Good riffs and musical structure. I am now finally warming up to this album! Then with "mainline" the band decides to do a southern rock-styled song that sounds like something I’d hear on a Nazareth album, like “Gone Dead Train” from “Show No Mercy” except Nazareth were better at it. Who is doing the vocals here? Ace?

“Comin’ Home” (these guys don’t like the “g” in the present continuous). What happened? This sounds like a demo! Paul Stanley sings this fun-ish rock song with a melody. Maybe something you’d hear from Cheap Trick. Then we get another heavy track, possibly one of Gene’s, with “Strange Ways”. It’s not bad but sounds very familiar, it doesn’t particularly stand out for originality. I get the impression that KISS were better at wearing make up and costumes than they were at writing and recording songs. Maybe that's why they were most popular among my friends when we were 9 years old.

It’s okay, I guess. There are some tracks that are worthy of adding to a seventies’ mixed playlist or that should be good live. Perhaps that was KISS’s strong point after all: their live shows. I have plenty of albums in my collection that totally rock out, songs that make you want to do scissor kicks and punch the air. This album needs to be cranked at a frat party and then only certain tracks played. Perhaps it’s best for people loaded on beer and hormones. Or am I too finicky?

NINGEN ISU Ningen Isu Meisakusen 30 Shuunen Kinen Best Ban

Boxset / Compilation · 2019 · Heavy Metal
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Ningen Issue's rise to international fame... Well, okay, they're not exactly that famous. But considering that until a few years ago, they were barely known outside of their native Japan and now they have videos on YouTube scoring views in the hundreds of thousands and even one over 3 million, their future has suddenly become rather bright.

But as I was saying, their rise in popularity first really began in increase after an appearance at Ozz Fest in 2013 and then increased further after having been invited back in 2015. Since then, heavy music fans around the world (England, the U.S., Russia, Germany, Korea, and more) have been taking notice, and after last year's 21st album, "Shin Seinen" was released with the video for its 8:30 single, "Heartless Scat", reaction video U-tubers have been helping to spread the word a lot.

That leads us to this compilation album, "Ningen Isu Seisaku 30 Shunen Kinen Best Ban", which translates as, "Ningen Isu Famous Works 30th Anniversary Best Edition", or something close to that. There are three important things to know about this compilation, which I'll lay out below.

First of all, the songs. This comp includes tracks from 15 of the band's 21 studio albums. That's six whole albums unrepresented and four of them I would include in my top ten picks for best albums. However, the album also includes the "Jinmensou" version that was recorded as a B-side for 1991's single release of "Yashagaike" (noticeably absent from this compilation), one of the four bonus tracks of new material from the 25th Anniversary comp, and three brand new tracks, two of which, "Inochi Urimasu (Life for Sale)" and "Ai no Nirvana (Love Nirvana)" have official videos on YouTube. So even though we may lament the absence of some tracks from some unrepresented albums, we get a little consolation.

Next, the music. Ningen Isu has always remained a heavy band though they went through a period of trying out folk rock, stoner rock, hard rock, and a few other styles that are more hard than heavy. This compilation generally sticks to the heavy sound of the band, just with a few small exceptions. Basically, if you enjoy the heavy, progressive British rock of the early seventies, the metal of the NWoBHM, frequent touches of thrash metal or even a hint of nineties hard and heavy rock, then you'll likely enjoy the music presented on this album. I think the track selection was made intentionally with their international audience in mind. Not everyone can afford to buy Japanese imports and so it's a good bet that most fans of the band haven't heard the majority of the band's catalogue. Therefore, someone decided that a compilation that emphasizes the band's heavier side would be best.

Finally, I was surprised to find such a thick booklet of liner notes inside. As it was, all of the songs on this 2-CD package have their lyrics printed inside in Japanese and in English. So now it's possible to learn at least what the songs are about. Suzuki's Hell-themed songs are sometimes rather gory while the Wajima-penned songs often have some connection with Buddhism. As well, we can now learn an English title for the songs instead of trying to remember the Japanese one. At the end of the booklet is a discography that also translates all of the album titles. While I prefer personally to get the know the Japanese titles, I think it's a great idea to have official translations to make it easier for non-speakers to talk about albums and songs.

Whether you're a fan of the band and have a bunch of albums or you are a newbie and not very sure which albums to get first, this 30th anniversary 2CD compilation is a solid collection of heavy rock and heavy metal.

NINGEN ISU Taihai Geijutsu-Ten

Album · 1998 · Heavy Psych
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Taihai Geijitsu-ten is the seventh album by Ningen Isu. It features the return of Masahiro Goto on drums, who had previously played on the fourth album, Rashoumon in 1993. The album was released on the Trycle label, their only album with that label. After the band's contract with Meldac expired in 1994, they released an album on an independent label in 1995 and then were fortunate enough to release their sixth album on Pony Canyon thanks to a collaboration with a manga artist. But after that, they were still without a regular label and their drummer, Iwao Tsuchiya left the band.

The album title translates as "Degenerate Art Exhibit" and was inspired by the Nazi exhibits of modernist art in the 1930's as examples of degenerate art. Guitarist Shinji Wajima reckoned that rock and pop music were also a type of degenerate art and thought it would make a good album title.

The music here has taken a retro turn once more. The guitar sound is decidedly old school, early seventies, and at least a couple of reviewers have called this album very heavy psych. The opening track, Tainai Meguri, begins with some punchy chords and Goto's psychedelic/early seventies/Ginger Baker-inspired drumming. The album stays pretty close to this approach and wraps up sounding very much like a lost gem of 72/73.

As is usual for a Ningen Isu album, there are heavy stoner rock / early doom metal tracks with a strong Sabbath influence. "Ahen-kutsu no Otoko (The Man in the Opium Den)" and "Dunwich no Kai (The Dunwich Horror)" are two tracks that hammer low and heavy. But there's more to the album than just that.

"Kuzouzu no Scat" is a grooving, hard rock track whose title was inspired by Heian Period Buddhist art in Japan that depicts in nine frames the stages of decay of a human corpse. Wajima's "Chu, churu, chu-chu-chu-chuu, yeah" sounds strangely like Jim Morrison. Suzuki's "Chinurareta Hinamatsuri (Blood-soaked Dolls Day)" is a unique cross of progressive heavy rock and traditional Japanese singing. It also includes what I think is a Taishogoto, a type of koto, a traditional stringed-instrument. Meanwhile, "Kikuningyou no Noroi (Curse of the Chrysanthemum Doll)" is probably the only Ningen Isu song to have any keyboards, but only at the end, and "Ginga Tetsudou 777 (Galaxy Express 777)" is the only track in their catalogue to include horns.

Two other tracks that stand out for me are "Mura no Hazure de Big Bang", a song that captures the band's humorous side. The lyrics open with, "Today is the Sheep's Sports Day / One Sheep, two sheep they jump over the fence". The song's chorus mentions an explosion on the outskirts of the village. It's a pretty fun song. I also really like "Tentai Shikou-shou". This roughly translates as "Celestial Body Dysguesia". Dysguesia in the condition some women experience when they're pregnant and their taste preferences change, though in this case it's the title of a short story. This is possibly one of the band's most melodic songs. It's pretty cool because it begins with a drum pattern and slightly distorted guitar and the bass guitar comes in played high up the neck and the bass strings humming the main melody. It's also unusual because it's one of the very few Ningen Isu songs to include hand claps.

This album gets very high ratings on the Internet with one person ranking this in the number one position for 19 of Ningen Isu's 21 albums. My first reaction when I heard it was that it was indeed their best album. However since then, I have found I like quite a few of Ningen Isu's albums as well and possibly even better. Still, for fans of early seventies heavy rock and progressive rock, this album satisfies very well considered it was released 25 years after the phenomena of this music had passed.

NINGEN ISU Peten-Shi to Kuuki Otoko - Ningen Isu Kessakusen

Boxset / Compilation · 1994 · Heavy Metal
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This is the first compilation album of Ningen Isu. It was released on Meldac in 1994, the fifth release on that label and the final release in the band's contract with the label until resigning with them in 1999.

This compilation includes songs from their four original studio albums with Meldac: Ningen Shikkaku (1990), Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita (1991), Ougon no Yoake (1992), and Rashoumon (1993). There are three bonus tracks as well.

The album does a good job of representing the first four albums. Ningen Shikkaku has Ayakashi no Tsuzumi, Tengoku ni Musubu Koi, and Ringo no Namida. These three songs capture that band in a very heavy and hard hitting retro sound that was their style on the debut album. The music resembles classic Budgie and Black Sabbath while sometimes going faster, bearing some influence of both NWoBHM and speed metal.

From Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita, there's Kokoro no Kaji, Yashagaike, and Taiyou Kokuten. This album's guitar sound brought us closer to the mid-seventies but the band's style remained a blend of seventies heavy and hard rock with some eighties influences. Kokoro no Kaji begins almost like thrash metal, Yashagaike features a Japanese folk beginning before the song evolves into a heavier electric mood, and Taiyou Kokuten reflects the band's fondness for doom-heavy, Black Sabbath-styled songs.

Two songs are from Ougon no Yoake: Shinpan no Hi and Kofun no Neji. This album was more progressive with longer songs; however, these two tracks here, while still showing the band's progressive rock influences, are more concise and capture the band's metal spirit. It's interesting to note that future compilations would largely ignore this album.

Finally, from Rashoumon we have Namakemono no Jinsei, which is a medium tempo but rousing heavy rock track about the life of a sloth-type person, Seishun Rock Daijin, a hard rocker with an upbeat mood, and Maisoh Mushi no Uta, and Motto Hikari wo, which was the opening track on Rashoumon and is a one-punch, two-punch hard and heavy rocker that's quite catchy I find.

The three bonus tracks are Daiyogen, a rugged, speed metal number that slows down for a solid metal riff in the middle before picking up the pace again, Hashire Melos, a Maiden-esque instrumental that was used for a Honda motorcycle commercial, and the Yashagaike single B-side version of Jinmensou. The original song appeared on the debut ep. This version was recorded with an acoustic guitar intro instead of the clean guitar intro of the original.

This is rather a good compilation, capturing the band's heavy and hard rock sound while at the same time giving some room for the impression that they are also a progressive band. For a first time listener, you will be get an excellent impression of Ningen Isu's early years. No other compilation includes as many tracks from the second to fourth albums. As well, two of the three bonus tracks are available only on this compilation.

Two strikes against this are one: it's out of print, and two: in 2016 most of Ningen Isu's catalogue to date was reissued on HQCDs and so the actual reissued albums from 2016 sound better than this compilation album.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 5 months ago in Ningen Isu - Japanese doom/stoner metal
    The reaction videos to their latest single are pretty good. The English title is Heartless Scat. People are flipping out over the song.
  • Posted 5 months ago in Ningen Isu - Japanese doom/stoner metal
    Thank you all. Yes, the track times! As DamoXt7942 on PA has already added all the studio albums and at least three of the compilations (didn't check about the newest one) plus some DVD's I think, I can hopefully just copy and paste his work and then make any necessary formatting changes. But I might also check out the suggestions left for me. I'm really thrilled about this band and now have 13 of their 21 studio albums, and I only got into them around the end of September. I just have very little time to do all the things I want to do. And work is getting busier now. Maybe it will be a winter holiday project?
  • Posted 5 months ago in Ningen Isu - Japanese doom/stoner metal
    Thanks for getting back on this one. I'd love to add them. But I haven't added any of the bands I got clearance for over the last year or so. Slik Toxik, Sven Gali, Headpins, and even a porto-prog band, Clear Air. There are a few others too like Aggression, Disciples of Power, and I think Obliveon. Lots to do, for sure!Well, I will see what I can do. Are there any shortcuts? Or do I need to add every album on my own?

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