Metal Related

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Metal Related is a term used on Metal Music Archives (MMA) to describe artists and releases that, although not metal enough to be placed under any of the MMA metal sub-genres, still contain a reasonable amount of metal elements.

While this tag will often be applied to releases by artists who do indeed have more fully-fledged metal releases such as Opeth's Heritage or most releases by A.C.T. after their debut, the site will often take in artists that have no releases in metal sub-genres, as Metal Related artists due to the metal elements on some or all of their releases. Examples of such artists are Neal Morse for his 2007 album Sola Scriptura, Galahad for their later releases and Beardfish for their 2012 album The Void.

As such the actual music on releases with the Metal Related sub-genre can vary greatly, both in terms of the main style and the metal elements that flavour the music.

- Written by adg211288 (August 2015)

Sub-genre collaborators:

The Metal Related team is always the same as the standing admin team. Currently:

  • adg211288
  • Bosh66
  • 666sharon666
  • Vim Fuego
  • Nightfly

metal related top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

NEAL MORSE Sola Scriptura Album Cover Sola Scriptura
NEAL MORSE
4.45 | 28 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.36 | 63 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia Album Cover In Absentia
PORCUPINE TREE
4.32 | 76 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Second Life Syndrome Album Cover Second Life Syndrome
RIVERSIDE
4.29 | 82 ratings
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KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down Album Cover Last Fair Deal Gone Down
KATATONIA
4.35 | 26 ratings
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ARENA Contagion Album Cover Contagion
ARENA
4.52 | 10 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Shrine of New Generation Slaves Album Cover Shrine of New Generation Slaves
RIVERSIDE
4.26 | 45 ratings
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TOUCHSTONE Wintercoast Album Cover Wintercoast
TOUCHSTONE
4.62 | 7 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Fear Of A Blank Planet Album Cover Fear Of A Blank Planet
PORCUPINE TREE
4.20 | 72 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS The Downward Spiral Album Cover The Downward Spiral
NINE INCH NAILS
4.20 | 43 ratings
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NINE INCH NAILS The Fragile Album Cover The Fragile
NINE INCH NAILS
4.22 | 29 ratings
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BORIS Flood Album Cover Flood
BORIS
4.31 | 15 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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metal related Music Reviews

A.C.T Imaginary Friends

Album · 2001 · Metal Related
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UMUR
"Imaginary Friends" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish progressive rock/metal act A.C.T. The album was released through MTM Music in March 2001. It´s the successor to "Today's Report" from 1999 and features the exact same five-piece lineup as the predecessor.

The material on the album features elements from various genres of music and there are many stylistic elements and artists which could be mentioned as influences on A.C.T´s music. I´d mention among others Dream Theater (the "Images and Words (1992)" album), Sieges Even (the "Sophisticated (1995)" album), 10cc, Queen, ABBA, The Ark (the Swedish pop/rock band) and Saga. A combination of progressive metal elements and sophisticated/art pop/rock elements make this an eclectic sounding release.

The music is very melodic and most tracks are easy to sing along to, but they are structurally complex enough to keep a progressive rock listener entertained. The album features 6 regular length tracks (4 to 7 seven minutes long) and one longer track (25:51 minutes long) titled "Relationships" which is divided into 8 shorter parts. The music features an overall cheerful/uplifting mood and the lyrics are generally tongue in cheek humorous. There´s definitely some great humour involved in this band and one of the biggest praises I will give to A.C.T regarding the music on "Imaginary Friends" is how many positive feelings listening the album evokes. One of the highlights of the album is the fast-paced and energetic "A Supposed Tour" but album opener "Take It Easy" also ranks up there. But as such all tracks on the album are excellent quality material. Intelligent and memorable compositions.

The musicianship is of high class. This music might have an easy listening pop feeling to it but it´s certainly challenging in terms of technical playing and compositional details. Keyboardist Jerry Sahlin uses some great sounds to my ears and lead vocalist Herman Saming has a distinct high pitched voice that might take some getting used to but he is very skilled. His voice could be an aquired taste though (not that he sounds like Geedy Lee from Rush, but the situation is probably similar).

"Imaginary Friends" features a powerful, clear, and well sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. So upon conclusion it´s a high quality album through and through. It´s highly recommendable to listeners who are looking for progressive rock/metal with an uplifting atmosphere, played by skilled musicians. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

CYNIC Carbon-Based Anatomy

EP · 2011 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
After giving the metal world a huge boost of more technically dazzling jazz-fusion workouts on its debut album “Focus” which remains an undisputed classic in the proggy metal section of the supermarket, CYNIC quickly called it quits and went on a 15 year hiatus at least as a brand name. Founding members guitarist / vocalist Paul Masvidal and drummer Sean Reinert immediately went in the direction of ambient laced alternative pop in the indie rock band Æon Spoke while bassist Sean Malone went the opposite direction into the proggy jazz-fusion instrumental band Gordian Knot. Both bands released a few albums in the 90s and all was amicable with both Reinert and Masvidal appearing on Gordian Knot albums however the creative differences were vast.

Come 2006 and Masvidal decided to reform CYNIC and played a few gigs around Europe. The magic was rekindled which led to a new album that resulted in the lauded late but finally there followup “Traced In Air” which pretty much provided the perfect triumvirate effect of “Focus” era CYNIC merged with the atmospheric spiciness of Æon Spoke and the gnarled technical jazzy workouts as heard from Gordian Knot. While the death metal had been toned down several notches, several moments reminisced of the early days when the Tampa scene was still smoking hot. After “Traced In Air” things got a little weird. Instead of releasing another album, two years later the “new” CYNIC instead released an EP titled “Re-Traced” which reinterpreted four tracks from “Traced In Air” that took the bands sound closer to the world of Æon Spoke than early CYNIC but since this was just considered a little experimental blip between albums, metal fans just shook it off as one of those things.

Still awaiting a new album with the hopes of revisiting the “Focus” years, CYNIC surprised again with yet another EP titled CARBON-BASED ANATOMY to emerge in 2011 (11/11/11 actually) with only six tracks that amounted to only a mere 23 minutes of playing time. It was clear that the Æon Spoke side of the equation was here to stay when an unused track (“Homo Sapiens”) from that band resurfaced as the title track. Out of the six tracks only three pick up where “Traced In Air” left off with the remaining three tracks sounding nothing like CYNIC at all, well at least not in such a way as they are presented. “Amidst The Coals” begins the playlist and upon first listen you wonder if you popped in the wrong disc as this sounds like some sort of ambient new age music! Yes, an ambient airy melody takes you into the ethers accompanied by Amy Correia from previous CYNIC albums offering a traditional icaro which is a magic song performed by Amazonian indigenous tribes in order to provide medicinal healing sessions.

The ambient prayer circle of the intro slowly fades into the more upbeat title track which instantly shows an uncanny production job of how each track seamlessly flows into the next on this EP which essentially makes this a six act suite of sorts. Along with the ambient synth sounds Reinert’s jazzy drumming attacks slowly ushers in the vocals which find Masvidal’s unique vocal style somewhere between U2’s Bono in his passionate delivery and Toby Driver from Kayo Dot in eccentricity which in tandem finds a wider range of softer tones that bring the CYNIC sound into higher dimensions but still no metal! Well, that’s what you begin to think until the four minute mark and then suddenly some heavy chord stomps and sizzling guitar solos remind you that CYNIC is, well at least WAS a metal band! Perhaps an ambient ethno-metal band at this point but enough to squeak into metal databases anyways!

The track is followed by the Ravi Shankar sounding “Bija!” which finds a sitar and tablas in conversation with female vocal chants however the melody is the same as the bridge of the title track and thus the subliminal connections have been made and then it sinks in on what a magnificent journey CARBON-BASED ANATOMY is for all its brevity! The next two tracks “Box Up My Bones” and “Elves Beam Out” both deliver the metal goods at last but are in no hurry to do so. Like the other tracks they begin with slow clean guitar arpeggios and atmospheric bliss before breaking out the bass grooves, percussive jazz lessons and guitar distortion. If you’re looking for a connection to the “Traced In Air” album then you’ve found it at last and it does not disappoint however remember that you are in a cloud city now and that metal is just an after thought. Outbursts of heavy riffs and guitar solos crank out in full bombast but all in all this EP has demoted them to side notes rather than the star of the show.

As the EP ends with some kind of new age tribute to Enya with “Hieroglyph,” Correia now recites a poem of cosmic grandeur as the atmospheric ambience swirls around her words as if zephyr winds were caressing Isis in mid-flight. And then a couple of minutes later the whole shebang is over. No doubt this may come off as a disappointment for those expecting a headbanging experience and that was even my initial reaction however this is a work of subtleties and sort of grows on you once you just bathe yourself in all its glory. While the metal bombast is set to simmer, the technical prowess of the musicians is on high although it does alternate between Brian Eno ambient textures and sounds more like Gordian Knot than early CYNIC. From a progressive rock perspective, this is an excellent album but for those who aren’t so forgiving when the metal has been forbidden from making contact with the pedal then you will have to go back to “Focus” to get that fix. While admittedly a step down from the magnanimous masterpiece that resulted in “Traced In Air,” CARBON-BASED ANATOMY is still very much a compelling piece of work in its own right.

KATATONIA Tonight's Decision

Album · 1999 · Metal Related
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UMUR
"Tonight´s Decision" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in August 1999. It´s the successor to "Discouraged Ones" from 1998 and there´s been a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor. Bassist Micke Oretoft has left (after a short stint with the band) and hasn´t been replaced, so guitarist Fredrik Norrman handles the bass on the album in addition to playing guitar. Lead vocalist Jonas Renkse has decided to solely focus on singing and therefore the drums are played by session musician Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath...etc.).

Stylistically the material on "Tonight´s Decision" continue the sad/melancholic and heavy doom laden metal style of "Discouraged Ones (1998)", although an alternative rock edge has sneaked in. The album opens with the extremely depressive "For My Demons", with Renkse, singing out his soul on the chorus, with the lyric line: "You would never sleep at night, if you knew what I've been through". The man literally sounds like he is crying while he is singing and his vocal delivery is pretty surely an aquired taste. Some will find it weak and pathetic, while others will fully embrace the deeply emotional and melancholic performance. I´ve heard both opinions expressed. Personally I respect Renkse and his voice and singing style, but on this particular album he sometimes takes his approach a bit too far towards the pathetic.

"Tonight´s Decision" is otherwise a good quality release by Katatonia, featuring high level musicianship, a well sounding production, and decent songwriting. The latter could have been much more memorable though, and there are generally a few too many tracks on the album, which don´t stand out much. Highlights include "For My Demons", "Right Into the Bliss", and the Jeff Buckley cover "Nightmares by the Sea". Upon conclusion "Tonight´s Decision" is an album featuring both great moments and less appealing ones. To my ears it´s among the band´s least interesting releases but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

BLUT AUS NORD Thematic Emanation of Archetypal Multiplicity

EP · 2005 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
Tucked away between the groundbreaking black metal release “The Work Which Transforms God” and the utter insanity of the following “MoRT,” BLUT AUS NORD dropped its first EP which would lead to a series of EP’s interspersed within the band’s prolific output of albums. While black metal has pretty much been the name of the game since Vindsval started the project as a one-man band back in the 90s, on this first EP verbosely titled THEMATIC EMANATION OF ARCHETYPAL MULTIPLICITY (SOUNDTRACKS FOR SCIENTISTS OF OCCULT SYNCHRETISM), not only does Vindsval (vocals, guitars) and friends W.D. Feld (drums, keyboards) and GhÖst (bass) scream their fascination with esoteric knowledge but take a brief respite away from the black metal world and instead focus on the industrial, dark ambient and dungeon synth sounds that fully blossomed with “The Work” album.

THEMATIC EMANATION is a fascinating procession of gloomy atmospheric stomps through five tracks that for the most part leave out the metal part altogether. The major exception is the track “Level-1 (Nothing Is)” which offers a sneak peak into the bizarre and morbidly twisted guitar torture that would be a prominent feature on the following “MoRT” which fancied the most extreme sound manipulations to craft one of the most psychedelic black metal experiences ever laid down to a recording. Other than that second track, THEMATIC EMANATION focuses on percussive beats and darkened thick atmospheres of impending dread and doom. In fact this could be called doom synth as it’s utterly snail-paced creepy. The EP is only slightly over 28 minutes long and for the most part delivers an interesting mix of variations on percussive beats and dark ambient with some guitars thrown in once in a while.

The sole exception to the dreary setting is the oddball of the bunch, the third track “Level-2 (Nothing Is Not)” which features a trip hop beat, a busy techno styled bass groove and tinny sounding drum machines. While not a bad track say if it were on a Prodigy album or another similar artist, it does sound like a fish out of water on this release although it does have a nice creepy middle section when the percussion and bass drop out. It’s actually danceable and would make a great Goth party remix of some sort!n The following two tracks take a more sinister approach. “Level-3 (Nothing Becomes)” is the freakiest. What sounds like Tibetan bells or chimes exhibit an irregular sort of oddly timed beat while a creepy drone slowly slinks in and out of tune while chanting emanates from dark places along with other styles of weirded out vocals. This actually sounds more like some the industrial band Coil would conjure up in their early years of pure demented glory.

“Exit (Towards The Asylum)” ends the EP with a deranged vocal chant and some weird industrial sounds and before you know it, the short playing time ends which is unusual for BLUT AUS NORD since most albums are close to the hour length. This is a pretty cool album actually. The metal is practically nonexistent save the one track but the band had the opportunity to display all the creepy accompaniments introduced on “The Work” album and allow them to shine in the limelight although light doesn’t actually reach this far down into the abyss. For a metal band, this trio deliver a really interesting take on dark ambient that is quite effective which is why the black metal albums sound so good as this is a vital part but even without the metal, these sounds are quite effective at evoking the bleakest emotive responses. This album is most easily found on the releases of “The Work Which Transforms God” that has this one as a bonus disc, however even if it weren’t so easily obtained as a tagged on freebie, i’d still go out of my way to track this down.

MR. BUNGLE California

Album · 1999 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
Although they only released a mere three albums in a span of nine years, MR BUNGLE never repeated what came before and strived to make each album completely different than the last and in the process created three of the most daring experimental albums that the entire 90s had to offer. After four demos that saw the band grow from a bunch of deranged teenagers in Eureka, CA cranking out substandard death metal which led to the funk metal Zappa-infused potty-mouth prog of the self-titled debut, MR BUNGLE caught a complacent world of glam metal and early grunge off guard with its 1991 slap-in-the-face whack job that mixed funk, metal, jazz and even circus music with the avant-garde laced with progressive rock sensibilities. The band continued four years later with its second no limits avant-garde extravaganza “Disco Volante” which threw out all the rules and totally allowed the creative frenzy to explode into a million directions.

The first two albums gleefully flipped the middle finger to the music establishment despite appearing on the Warner Bros. label. The goal was to create unruly difficult listening music that excelled at merging the juvenile unrefined with the technical and progressively infused compositions that adopted as many music genres as possible and made them perform unthinkable acts together in broad daylight. However, with Mike Patton getting his avant-garde noise rock itch scratched not only in Mr. Bungle and Faith No More but he also released solo albums and crafted other projects such as Fantômas which meant that when it was time to record the third MR BUNGLE album, he’d let off a lot of steam and there seemed to be nothing more to prove. In fact all the band members had matured a bit. Trey Spruance had started his spinoff band Secret Chiefs 3 inspired by the track “Desert Search For Techno Allah” and had learned the art of crafting sophisticated melodies and intricate rhythms by fusing Middle Eastern and Indian folk traditions with electronica, heavy metal, surf rock and soundtrack music. Both Trevor Dunn and Bär McKinnon went along for the ride and in the process tamed down a bit.

For the band’s third album CALIFORNIA, the band minus Theo Lengyel who left after “Disco Volante” due to creative differences, decided to forge a new path and in the process created the most accessible album of the MR BUNGLE trilogy. Instead of focusing on the goal of creating a cacophonous uproar for the sake of evoking sonic terror with mind-blowing qualities, the band instead shifted gears into the world of progressive pop which crafted intricate melodies and accentuated them rather than taking them to the slaughterhouse. Keeping in line with the band’s earlier albums, CALIFORNIA carried on the by-then tradition of genre hopping and extreme fusion but this time everything was polished like the smoothest gem stone and the aim was to make irresistible pop hooks that instantly caught your attention and only then allowed the weirdness to develop organically. Gone were the excessive time signature changes and avant-garde jazz-metal gone wild with references to sexual innuendoes and potty mouth vulgarities. In were lush orchestrated sing-along compositions that included Hawaiian traditional folk, Middle Eastern music, electro-funk, doo-wop, surf rock, circus music, psychobilly, kecak, thrash metal, lounge exotica, space age pop, jazz rock, piano rock and spaghetti westerns.

CALIFORNIA focused mainly on the sounds of 60s with the vocal surf pop of the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean providing the greatest inspiration however this was more like some psychotic alternative timeline gone wrong for 60s pop music and this was MR BUNGLE of course so the brilliant madness had to find more adaptable ways to weave itself around the pop hooks and soulful vocal led lyrics. Once again, MR BUNGLE caught a loyal fanbase completely off guard and in the process alienated the hardcore crowd that didn’t appreciate this sugary sell-out music but in the process found a whole new audience who found the first two albums to be nothing but abrasive and vituperative noise. And then there are those like me who find all three MR BUNGLE albums to be beautifully designed masterpieces which when taken in their own context will impregnate the listener with musical ecstasy.

Right from the getgo MR BUNGLE startles the listener who is expecting a throwback to “Squeeze Me Macaroni” or even some spastic jazz, metal or hybrid of the two. Instead it’s the sound of seagulls, the ocean and what sounds like the easy listening music of 1960s Burt Bacharach with lush symphonic orchestration and sweet sugary melodies. OMG! What happened? one may ask! Hold on, be patient. Around the two minute mark the melodies start to morph with bizarre key changes and pitch manipulation. Doo-wop backing vocals offer infectious counterpoints and the track while perhaps the tamest on the entire album is quite beautifully designed. An odd opener for sure but perhaps it serves as an inoculation to the stylistic shift so that the rest of the album sounds more dynamic. Things pick up with the second track “None Of Them Knew They Were Robots” which picks up the tempo immediately with what sounds like rampaging zombies trying to break down the door but then morphs into country western swing music with exotica along with some surf rock and psychedelic rock organ runs. The horn section cranks out some cool big band swing while Hawaiian slack key guitar and organ runs finish the job.

“Retrovertigo” is the ballad of the album with the slowest tempo and the track that is the least affected by the avant-garde regalia that only grow in intensity beginning with the fourth track “The Air Conditioned Nightmare” which also starts out as a ballad but after a soulful performance by Mike Patton ramps up the speed and sounds like a battle between 60s Beach Boys vocal surf, the space pop of Joe Meek along with some occasional metal guitar heft and percussive drumming outbursts. The track ratchets up the morphing of various genres sharing the stage. “Ars Moriendi” begins with guitar heft and then finds a violin cranking out a Middle Eastern riff. The album is fortified with 14 session musicians who add English horn, cello, violin, viola, accordion, trumpet, harmonica, pedal steel guitar, French horn, cymbalom, piano, timpani, tam tam and bass drum. The album is extraordinarily rich in various timbres that add the extremities that make up for the lack of the excesses of the past. Back to “Ars Moriendi,” the track goes through several stages with a Mediterranean cafe styled accordion mixing with the violin, a heavy rock guitar as well as surf rock and cartoon music. A true MR BUNGLE classic if there ever was one.

“Pink Cigarette” tackles the 60s spaghetti western sound obviously inspired the soundtrack music of Ennio Morricone at first but then becomes a tender ballad sort of track with odd little sounds inserted here and there except that the subject matter tackles the morbidity of suicide which finds a horn replicating one of those machines at the hospital that show the heartbeat and ends in that “they’re dead!” sound. “Golem II: The Bionic Vapor Boy” is the weirdest track on CALIFORNIA. It begins like a futurist A.I. robot ballet version of the Nutcracker with a windup music box sound and then proceeds into electro-funk with robot vocals and interesting bouncy grooves alongside freaky musical scales creating utterly bizarre soundscapes. It’s just all so friggin cool how they juxtapose sounds to create a larger sum of the parts! “The Holy Filament” is more reflective with piano arpeggios ushering in heavenly vocals except that the musical scales are dark and ominous. “Vanity Fair” is more jocular with a bouncy old time rock and roll feel with doo-wop backing vocals and a rather gospel-like vocal performance by Mr. Patton.

One of my favorite tracks is the closing “Goodbye Sober Day” which starts out with a rock and roll style like a late 50s prom along with heavy percussion from those serrated sticks you rub. The track morphs several times, first into a slow contemplative keyboard driven kind of lounge exotica and then eventually drifts into a mass Gregorian chant that itself cedes to a thrash metal guitar accompanied by a performance of Indonesian monkey chants and then makes full circle back to the opening style before ending the album and leaving the listener wondering once again what just happened! While the first two MR BUNGLE albums were chaotic and unpredictable and often random, CALIFORNIA is cohesive with every single element existing in a logical location and cyclical loops with recurring themes and a melodic connection are what gives CALIFORNIA its magic mojo. Ironically the album was scheduled to be released on the same day as the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their album “Californication” and thus was delayed a week because of the long time feud between Mike Patton and RHCP lead singer Anthony Kiedes.

As far as i’m concerned, MR BUNGLE hit a home run three times in a row. The band is a legend and one of my favorite artists of all time. They made the impossible seem effortless as they crafted three distinct albums that all stood on their own two feet and didn’t even have to blow away the competition because there wasn’t any! MR BUNGLE existed outside of known time and space and therefore exudes an otherworldly demeanor that would make this stuff weird anytime and anywhere. The genius of these guys is that they utilized the sensual sensibilities to appeal to your emotional state while bedazzling you with artistic wizardry and unthinkable juxtaposition of styles and sounds hitherto unheard. This would be the end of the line for MR BUNGLE as they wisely chose to retire the brand name and focus on their retrospective solo careers. Trey Spruance was already finding success with the Secret Chiefs 3 and Mike Patton continued his restless pursuit of the next avant-garde sounds in dozens of other projects. CALIFORNIA is yet another masterpiece by the crazed kids from Eureka. Nobody saw that coming.

metal related movie reviews

PORCUPINE TREE Arriving Somewhere...

Movie · 2006 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Focusing on the more metal-oriented material from Deadwing and In Absentia - though notably steering it back in a more rock-oriented direction in order to allow this material to sit a little more comfortably beside the "indie prog rock" stylings of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun and Recordings (picks from all of which surface here). Fans of their earlier psychedelic and space rock styles might be disappointed that those aren't represented, but on the plus side there's a liberal sprinkling of rarities here such as the glorious Buying New Soul as well as Revenant, So-Called Friend and Mother and Child Divided, those three songs having only appeared on various special editions of Deadwing. Not the definitive Porcupine Tree live experience, but a pretty decent one nonetheless.

RIVERSIDE Reality Dream

Movie · 2009 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
progshine
My polish girlfriend gave me this DVD on my anniversary in May, I really didn't know what to expect of the band live cause I only knew their studio recordings. Like I always do, I watched the bonus DVD first, I like to see backstage footage, interviews and extras much more than the proper live presentations on most of the time (maybe the only exception is Live At Wembley by QUEEN).

The first DVD is the show itself, and it's a very good recording, both audio and video, and seeing them live male me wonder how good is Mariusz Duda, cause as a bass player myself, I know how hard is to play some lines while you sing, Mariusz dows a fantastic work live, as the whole band.

I think it's a great buy for any prog rock fan, this polish band deserves more light on our '70's' world.

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