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Peter Skov
MMA Special Collaborator · Proto Team
Registered more than 2 years ago · Last visit 1 day ago

Favorite Metal Artists

All Reviews/Ratings

258 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 59 3.53
2 Proto-Metal 40 3.09
3 Progressive Metal 30 4.02
4 Heavy Metal 28 3.95
5 Death Metal 18 3.86
6 Heavy Psych 17 3.44
7 Thrash Metal 15 3.83
8 Technical Death Metal 14 4.11
9 Doom Metal 4 4.38
10 Glam Metal 4 3.75
11 Avant-garde Metal 3 4.17
12 Black Metal 3 3.83
13 Industrial Metal 3 3.67
14 NWoBHM 3 3.50
15 Stoner Rock 2 4.00
16 Melodic Death Metal 2 4.00
17 Alternative Metal 2 3.75
18 Atmospheric Black Metal 2 3.75
19 Death 'n' Roll 1 4.00
20 Death-Doom Metal 1 3.50
21 Metal Related 1 4.50
22 Non-Metal 1 3.50
23 Sludge Metal 1 4.00
24 Speed Metal 1 3.00
25 Stoner Metal 1 3.50
26 US Power Metal 1 3.00
27 Technical Thrash Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

FREEWAYS True Bearings

Album · 2020 · Hard Rock
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Freeways released their debut full-length album early in April of this year (2020 for those of you in the future). Prior to this they had a three-track EP and a song on a compilation album. The band is said to play music that captures the spirit of the seventies greats like Thin Lizzy, UFO, and April Wine while keeping a feel for the NWoBHM as well. I found the album cover really catchy and different, and the band's logo just had that classic look to it.

Only seven tracks and barely over 33 minutes, I think one more track would have filled up the disc a little better. The band certainly have the skills and song-writing talent for it!

"Eternal Light, Eternal Night" is a great opening track to let you know what the band is about. In a way, it's similar to what fellow Ontarians Cauldron are playing but somehow with a little less grit and a bit more melodic. But it's a funny thing you'll notice when the song starts and singer Jacob Montgomery sings, "When you were younger / Nervous or weak / Somehow you crawled back on your feet". Why, to the same melody you could sing these lyrics: "Full moon is rising / The sky is back / I heed your call I'm coming back". Yup! Whether by accident or in homage, the verse melody to "Eternal Light, Eternal Night" is the same as that of Judas Priest's "Desert Plains". Maybe I should ask the band about that!

Much of the album devotes itself to short hard rock tunes with that softer vocal style of the likes of April Wine's Myles Goodwyn or Rick Santers of Santers. Tracks like "Sorrow (Love In Vein)", the title track, "Battered & Bruised" and "Just Survival" basically follow that style of light-in-the-vocals, melodic hard rock. Good melodies and riffs. Great songs to enjoy.

Two tracks that stand out for being a little different are "Dead Air" and "Time Is No Excuse". "Dead Air" begins with a simple bass pulse that sounds like it could be from Golden Earring. This song drops in some clean guitar and a laid back atmosphere. One might recall at this point that Bachman Turner Overdrive had an album called, "Freeways". The lyric writing is quite rhythmic and catchy. "Oh, I'm standin' / On the precipice of time / Reassured what we find / We're always told to tow the line". If the NWoBHM feel hasn't shown up yet, I find it's in the music and vocals here, reminding me of early Quartz.

"Time Is No Excuse" eases things back to a kind of bluesy, smooth jazzy feel that you'd hear on a Triumph album when they take the pace down. The track is nearly seven minutes long and shows a bit of prog sensibility. Perhaps it's a good time to point out that two of the members are part of the technical / progressive thrash metal band, Droid.

This album succeeds because the music is varied enough and remains good throughout. The longer tracks contribute more musical diversity while the shorter tracks deliver the message short and simple with good riffs and melodies.

So, the main problem I have is that the album is so darn short, just as it would have been had it been released in the seventies. One more track would have rounded the playing time up to about 37 minutes which would have been perfectly satisfying.

Other than that, I think Freeways have delivered a pretty solid debut with room for some growth too.

TERRIFIER Weapons of Thrash Destruction

Album · 2017 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Terrifier are a thrash metal band that plays good, intense, old school, metal up your f**king ass, thrash. Think Exodus "Bonded by Blood", Kreator "Pleasure to Kill", and Testament "The New Order" but without so many clean electric guitar bits. Think fast, furious, and intense! Speedy riffs with a few awesome crunchers in there; hyper speed drumming; searing solos; and shouted vocals with that hardcore punk influenced, coarse screech.

"Reanimator" is the perfect intro, breaking out of the gate at full throttle, dirt and dust flying out the back. This track has all the hallmarks of what thrash metal should be about. The speed and spittle don't let up! These guys don't seem to do slow. "Schizoid Embolism" is about the movie "Total Recall" and even begins with a sound clip from the movie when Arnie says, "You blew my cover!"

"Drunk as Fuck" is a salute to metal party life. "Raise your beer / Come and get it up, slurp it down / til the glass is clear / Drunk as fuck / we're gonna party all night / til the fucking sun comes up"

It's only finally at track 8, "Riders of Doom" that we get to slow down a bit with a short instrumental that begins with clean guitars and serves more as a showcase for dramatic and melodic lead guitar work. Then we're back to break "head-banging" neck speed for the final track, "Sect of the Serpent", which is just as speed crazy fun as "Reanimator".

Terrifier is a thrash band that just want to go ballistic. This album has no classical guitar intros, no slower or doom-like tracks. Except for the short instrumental that is still heavy but just not so fast, the album remains tight and precise as it goes careening through the air at full thrashing speed. That might be its only strike against it - little variation. But I think for 9 tracks and 42 minutes, it totally slays as a thrash metal album!

OF HATRED SPAWN Of Hatred Spawn

Album · 2018 · Technical Death Metal
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Of Hatred Spawn is a tech death band formed in 2017 by brothers Remy Tartaglia (guitars, previously from Unbidden) and JJ Tartaglia (drums, from Skull Fist). Their self-titled album is their only release and came out in December of 2018. The band is heavily influenced by classic death metal but also includes many aspects of modern extreme metal: low-tuned guitars, blast beats, odd time signatures, and brutal growled and raw, shredded vocals. The band has released three promotional videos for their album.

While it’s pretty typical for a modern death metal album, there’s no denying the ferocity of the assault of the band’s music. It’s pretty thick with heaviness and alternates between blasting rhythms and slower, ponderously heavy riffs. The alternation between the deep, guttural vocals and the shredded vocals, and their frequent combination for a kind of brutal death harmony vocal effect keep the vocals of interest.

Honestly, I find it difficult to search for more descriptive words or a deeper analysis of this album. But some points I appreciate is that even though the music is sometimes technical, it won’t knot your brain. Even though it sounds like yet another brutal death metal album, I find each of the tracks slake my thirst for really heavy, aggressive metal. Though they don't offer anything different (like saxophones for example), Of Hatred Spawn manage to hit all the buttons.

The sound is really good, too! Not overly squeaky clean but not two-dimensional and dull or muddy. Very simply a great feel-good death metal assault. And when I say feel good, it’s through a black eye, swollen cheek, fat lip, blood on the teeth, broken jaw kind of feel good. With an album like this, it’s tough to pick a favourite track, but I’ll recommend watching the video for “Nest of Vipers” and crank the music.

The one curious thing is track 7, “Overture” which is an instrumental composed on keyboards - synthesizer piano, synth vocal chorus. Most bands would have started the album with this and the track seems to cut off at the end. As I’m listening to the Bandcamp download, I have to wonder if this is not track 1 on the CD, which has not arrived yet.

Curiosities aside, this is a very excellent serving of death metal!

HÄG HÄG

Album · 2020 · Doom Metal
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Sometimes you just gotta have an album because it sounds so great. And sometimes you gotta have it because it already has you!

HÄG are a very new band from St. John’s, Newfoundland whose self-titled debut album, released barely two months ago, sounds more like a mature band playing at their zenith. From the first track, a classic Sabbath-esque doom metal riff crushes the speakers, and Clair Hipditch’s vocals arrest your ears. It’s easy right now to draw comparisons to Blood Ceremony. But don’t be so quick. Aside from the fact that HÄG doesn’t include any flute, there is plenty that separates these heavy rockers from The Rock from their celebrated compatriots in Ontario. Listen on!

First off, HÄG’s sound is modern. Blood Ceremony strive for a retro sound, not just style. HÄG are quite comfortable sounding like a classic doom band with modern gear. That is clear in track 1, “Summon the Earth to Lay Claim Back to the Soil”. There are also hints of progressive tinkering. If you love classic doom metal, this song alone should sell you on the album! But don’t be so quick! There’s more!

From Clair’s opening utterances of “Your Skin”, you’ll see HÄG show what direction the band is taking. If you’re familiar with the Swedish prog band White Willow, particularly their darker albums like “Sacrament”, “Storm Season”, and “Terminal Twilight” (my personal favourite!), you’ll understand that HÄG are not going to teach you about Wicca and Salem but rather haunt your mind with the paranormal and horror. Listen to the seemingly romantic lyrics: “Your hands on my hands / Your lips on my lips / Your face on my face / Your skin on my skin”. Now imagine that this is not a lovers’ moment behind closed curtains but: “I had a dream last night / I wore your skin like it was mine”. If they make a video for this it should be positively creepy! I love the heavy, unsettling mood in the music. There’s some clever use of synthesizer in one part to add to the psychological horror atmosphere and a terrific sparse moment with Clair’s vocals distant and calling from that doorway between reality and the Other World, before all thunder breaks out for the dramatic finale. A masterful piece of work!!

One thing that’s such a pleasure about this album is Clair Hipditch’s vocals. The closest comparison I can think of is Sylvia Skjellestad of White Willow. They both have an incredible talent for affecting mood and emotion in their voices. Clair can as easily sound as a woman who is a victim of her own desirous heart and an enchantress luring you with her voice and seductive power to the Dark Halls of Doom. If the young woman outside the Hotel California could sing to draw in weary travelers, she’d sound like Clair.

Track four, “Slow Ghosts” is a big surprise and I think a pleasant diversion from the haunt and doom of the album thus far. You’ll still get crushing chords and that feeling of sweet, alluring despair in the chorus, but the rest of the song is clean and atmospheric. You’re not likely to have ever heard of the band Pugs & Crows - an instrumental jazz fusion group from Vancouver - but the non-heavy parts remind me of their last album “Uncle!” which featured the exquisite vocals of Marin Patenaude. Again, great work on the vocal delivery by Clair!

“At the End of the Ambush” brings back the tense, heavy doom atmosphere. There’s a simple early-Floydian guitar solo backed with organ, and then a real lead guitar solo. Which makes me realize that, hey, there aren’t a lot of lead breaks on this album! I was so enthralled by the vocals and music that I didn’t miss the solos!

Next there’s “House Sparrow” which was released as a single. “I watched it die / I watched it die / Mother said I would be affected”. This song is a prime example of HÄG’s ability to marry the haunting with the crushing.

The final two tracks, “Ruins” and “The Grim Sleepers” may once again remind you of Blood Ceremony but darker (“Ruins”) and White Willow but heavier (“The Grim Sleepers”), but again HÄG prove to have already created a sound that is HÄG.

Eight tracks. And if at anytime you think that one track is not as thrilling as the previous ones, there will be a change that catches you off guard and immediately you rethink your assessment. An awesome riff appears when you don’t expect it; a touch of psychedelia slips in; the drums go off on a tension-building roll, a guitar solo, cool guitar sound, or another sweet touch of something colours the mood.

I’m a CD kind of guy. I don’t buy downloads. I will scour the Net for a hard copy before giving in the the empty handedness of downloads. But I simply had to buy the download of HÄG’s debut. There was no CD (though there is vinyl!). But I had to have it because after listening to the first five tracks on Bandcamp, the HÄG already had me...!

TRIUMPH Rock & Roll Machine

Album · 1977 · Hard Rock
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Fireball steamer, heavy metal screamer, playin’ licks hotter than hell

One of my big interests is scrounging about in the annals of heavy metal history in search of trivia. One of my recent quests has been to discover who first sang about heavy metal music. From 1980 onwards, the ball gets rolling pretty quickly. But prior to that, I have only two examples so far: Triumph’s 1976 and 1977 releases.

Back in those days, I don’t believe anyone commonly referred to any bands as heavy metal bands. There were rock and roll bands who played heavy metal music, but even a band who - like Triumph - would sing about playing heavy metal, or talk about it, would still consider themselves a rock band. Just listen to interviews with Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilminster. He continuously insisted that heavy metal was just another way of playing rock and roll.

These days we look back upon the hard and heavy rock of the seventies and classify most of it as either hard rock or proto-metal. But sometime around 1974/5 the music press began to refer more frequently to those heavy guitar rockers as heavy metal music. Triumph picked up on it and included references to heavy metal in two tracks from their first two releases. I’m still searching for other examples from around the same period.

Triumph was part of Canada’s 1970’s hard/heavy rock explosion. April Wine, A Foot In Cold Water, Thundermug, Moxy, and of course Rush and Bachman Turner Overdrive had already been blazing the way with albums, and Triumph dropped their debut in 1976. What’s remarkable is how they had already established their familiar sound right from the start. That distinctive sound of Rik Emmett’s guitar, his talent on both electric and classical guitar, Gil Moore’s drumming, the dual lead vocal attack of Emmett and Moore, Mike Levine’s solid bass playing, and a touch of synthesizer for atmosphere was there from album one.

Their second album continues the band’s modus operandi with Gil Moore taking the lead vocals for the heavy sluggers like “Takes Time” and “Little Texas Shaker” and Rik Emmett often singing many of the lighter and more progressive tracks.

If Triumph were a rock and roll band that played heavy metal then some of the lighter tracks are not diversions but part of the band’s repertoire. “New York City Streets Part 1” sticks to clean guitars and a light funky feel, breaking into a sped-up jazzy instrumental break at the end. Part 2 is a typical Triumph heavy rocker. Most of the album, though, is pretty solid rock out heavy bombast.

Two tracks that are worthy of a more detailed description are the two part, single track “The City” and the album’s titular song. “The City” begins with an arrangement from Holst’s “Mars - God of War”. It will be familiar to metal fans because Diamond Head famously used it for “Am I Evil”, later covered by Metallica and it was also the inspiration for Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath” riff. You’ll also find it on Andromea’s 1969 album. After the “Mars” climax, there’s a burst of classical guitar followed by a flamenco guitar instrumental. At last the lyrical part of the song begins, slow, slightly solemn and melancholy. The final part of the song sees the return of the heavy metal Triumph. It’s no wonder with a track like this that Triumph are often included in prog rock conversations.

The title track is Triumph showing off their heaviness and speed, an intentional display of 1977 heavy metal music. Rik Emmett gets to show of his speedy fingers with a guitar solo - a real solo sans band - that scorches the fretboard. Personally, I feel the guitar sound is a bit scratchy and the use of delay doesn’t help the effect. While the fancy finger work is meant to impress, I enjoy many of Rik’s other solos much more just because they sound better. Nevertheless, “playin’ licks hotter than hell” is not an understatement!

Triumph tends to be overshadowed by compatriots Rush who just seemed to achieve so much more. But for a solid hard/heavy rock act that deviated for only one album, Triumph are worthy of recognition. Not to mention that they might just be the first band to release a song that sings about heavy metal music.

Latest Forum Topic Posts

  • Posted 8 days 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!
  • Posted 44 days ago in MMA Best of the 2010s Voting Thread
    Ningen Isu - MandoroNingen Isu - Burai HoujouFlaming Row - Mirage: A Portrayal of FiguresAnciients - Heart of OakHaken - The MountainBeyond Creation - Earthbound EvolutionChthe'ilist - Le Dernier CrépusculeCauldron - New GodsSkull Fist - Head of the PackEnslaved - ELa Chinga - Beyond the SkyVoivod - The WakeArchspire - Relentless MutationNingen Isu - Kaidan Soshite Shi to ErosRush - Clockwork AngelsOpeth - SorceressObscura - OmniviumSigh - Heir to DespairProtest the Hero - VolitionWormwitch - Heaven that Dwells WithinAnciients - Voices of the VoidChron Goblin - Life for the LivingUnleash the Archers - ApexNingen Isu - Shin SeinenBlack Wizard - Livin' OblivionMason - ImperviousBeyond Creation - The AuraTomb Mold - Manor of Infinite FormsBorealis - Fall from GraceNingen Isu - Ijigen kara no HoukouMaximum the Hormone - äºˆè¥²å¾©è®Untimely Demise - Systematic EradicationDeafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human LoveBlood Ceremony - Lord of MisruleNile - What Should Not Be UnearthedEndless Chaos - Paths to ContentmentGomorrah - GomorrahDevin Townsend Project - DeconstructionDeep Purple - Now What?!Possessed - Revelations of OblivionDevin Townsend - Z2Gorguts - Colored SandsIron Maiden - The Book of SoulsObscura - AkroasisRivers of Nihil - MonarchyObscura - DiluviumHorrendous - IdolGotsu Totsu Kotsu - å› æžœå¿œå ± (RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE)Kataklysm - Waiting for the End to ComeRavenous E.H. - Eat the Fallen voila_la_scorie2020-06-29 06:38:01
  • Posted 51 days ago in The Dumbest Concept Album Stories
    [QUOTE=adg211288]The one that most comes to mind to me is Ziltoid the Omniscient: an alien comes to Earth in search of the ultimate cup of coffee. After declaring it fetid, he attacks. [/QUOTE] The initial premise is amusing. He needs the coffee for his hyperdrive, I think, so that he can travel faster around the universe and assert his omnipotence. The fact that he actually drinks the coffee in order to test its quality is oddly amusing. But his decision to attack doesn't make sense. It's just a excuse for the story introduce more silliness and come across like a Saturday morning cartoon.I had mixed feelings about Z2. The production was bigger, the voice actors fun, and a lot of the songs were good. But that the Planet Smasher was just a cute cuddly little thing that hated musicals put me off. I had believed the Planet Smasher to be some menacing creature with incredible power, not a distorted pekingese. Then the whole thing with the captain and Ziltoid being brothers just got to a real WTF point and by then you just had to shrug and remember Devin used to smoke pot a lot. 

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