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


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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
4.43 | 29 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE Deadwing Album Cover Deadwing
PORCUPINE TREE
4.33 | 65 ratings
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NEAL MORSE One Album Cover One
NEAL MORSE
4.86 | 6 ratings
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PORCUPINE TREE In Absentia Album Cover In Absentia
PORCUPINE TREE
4.30 | 78 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Second Life Syndrome Album Cover Second Life Syndrome
RIVERSIDE
4.30 | 84 ratings
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KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down Album Cover Last Fair Deal Gone Down
KATATONIA
4.36 | 28 ratings
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ARENA Contagion Album Cover Contagion
ARENA
4.52 | 11 ratings
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RIVERSIDE Shrine of New Generation Slaves Album Cover Shrine of New Generation Slaves
RIVERSIDE
4.27 | 48 ratings
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TOUCHSTONE Wintercoast Album Cover Wintercoast
TOUCHSTONE
4.62 | 7 ratings
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4.20 | 74 ratings
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4.22 | 29 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

KATATONIA Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Album · 2001 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish alternative/doom/progressive rock/metal act Katatonia. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2001. It´s the successor to "Tonight´s Decision" from 1999 and features a couple of lineup changes as bassist Mattias Norrman and drummer Daniel Liljekvist have been added to the lineup. It was the first stable lineup in the band´s career, and it would last on four consequtive albums.

Stylistically "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" continues the alternative rock/metal style of "Tonight´s Decision (1999)", but with a stronger focus on variation between tracks and experimentation with song structures and compositional details. Listening to "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" it becomes clear that the two direct predecessors were transitional albums, and that this album is a more complete release. Not that Katatonia stopped progressing at this point, because that´s far from true (and in that respect this album can also be called a transitional album), but to my ears this is the first Katatonia album which sounds completely satisfying, and where I don´t have any complaints about sub par sound productions, underdeveloped drumming, or untrained/uncertain clean vocal performances. They hit magic here and maybe the last couple of albums should be viewed as training exercises to hone their songwriting and playing skills, to make them ready to write and record "Last Fair Deal Gone Down".

Katatonia already stripped most of their early death/doom elements on "Discouraged Ones (1998)", and although both that album and "Tonight´s Decision (1999)" are still fairly heavy albums, they are not the most metal oriented albums. Instead it´s artists like Tool and The Cure, or maybe more correctly a combination of heavy alternative rock/metal and dark new wave/alternative rock, which is a more valid description of the band´s music. That description is true for the material on "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" too. There is a lot of use of light/dark atmospheres and heavy and mellow sections, and Jonas Renkse´s melancholic lyrics and vocal performance aren´t far removed from the most dark and depressive Robert Smith (The Cure) moments (take a listen to "Tonight´s Music" and see if you disagree). Katatonia have audible influences but they still manage to create a personal and unique sound, and they are one of those rare artists who are instantly recognisable.

The conscious decision to write a varied album with strong individual tracks while still maintaining a strong tracklist flow and album coherence works here and each track stand out clearly. While all tracks are high quality material, I´d mention the four opening tracks ("Dispossession", "Chrome", "We Must Bury You", and "Teargas"), "Tonight´s Music", and "Sweet Nurse", as some of the highlights of the album. The performances are strong on all posts, and although it´s impossible not to mention Renkse´s soft voice, and heartfelt and melancholic delivery, the instrumental performances deserve just as much praise. There is a near perfect balance between heavy loud playing and mellow softer sections, and the transitions between the two types of sections work well. Add to those elements a powerful, detailed, and well sounding production, and "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is through and through a high quality release. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

BEARDFISH The Void

Album · 2012 · Metal Related
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adg211288
The Review Revision Project #1

Introduction: The Review Revision Project is a review series focusing on albums that I have reviewed before, likely many years ago. However even though the older review may have been well written, I have found myself no longer able to stand by its content.

---

The Void (2012) is the seventh studio album by Swedish progressive rock act Beardfish. The almost seventy minute long album contains ten tracks including the epic near sixteen minute Note. There is also a bonus track which is a piano version of the song Ludvig & Sverker. The Void is my first and so far only encounter with the music of Beardfish, despite it now being eight years since the album's release and the first time I heard it.

There may be two reasons for that. For one thing, The Void is, from what I'm led to believe, at bit of an oddity in the Beardfish discography, because it's their only release that is significantly influenced by metal music, which is my primary interest and what drew me to the album in the first place eight years ago. The second is the reason why I've selected The Void to be the first (and so far only planned) entry in The Review Revision Project series: it's that much of a grower. The original review I gave this album was positive, but it was hesitant praise. I wasn't wowed by The Void, at the time. There were a couple of tracks I really liked like the metallic Voluntary Slavery and the epic instrumental Seventeen Again, but overall I merely found it solidly crafted and enjoyable, but lacking something that would have given it that extra sparkle of an excellent record.

The problem I assure you readers, was not with the album, but with my ears. Years later, I randomly decided that I would take a fresh listen to The Void. An 'Oh yeah, haven't heard that lately' kind of thing. I couldn't especially recall what I'd specifically written about it at the time of review, but I soon realised that what I was hearing wasn't adding up with the rating I'd given it. At the time, I just left my old review and bumped the score up marginally by half a star.

Yet still, that wasn't doing The Void any kind of justice. Which brings us to today. The proper reappraisal of The Void, having finally bought the CD of it and not just relying on Spotify.

The talk of the time that Beardfish had gone metal was a bit exaggerated, as it did tend to leave one expecting to hear a fully fledged progressive metal record from the Swedes. It did at least turn out to be half true. There's plenty of metal to be found during The Void, though primarily the band remain playing progressive rock. I think some progressive rock bands occasionally sound metallic by fluke rather than design, but that's not the case here. Beardfish clearly knows they're adding metal to their sound. After all, they even put down a couple of brief death growls in the tracks Voluntary Slavery and This Matter of Mine.

However it's a mixed bag of style, not just metal. There's prog rock. There's psych rock. If you've got the bonus track there's a pure piano song too, which incidentally is actually a very good rendition of the track that brings its beautiful melody out all the more than normal. What in 2012 seemed like such a mixed bag of styles that it didn't flow too well to my ears, that were obviously in need of servicing at the time, now seems to be the very reason that The Void is not just a great album, it's one of the best albums of its year. Despite first hearing it eight years ago, it's only today that I really feel blown away by The Void. This album sure played a long game.

It saddens me to see that among the Beardfish discography this tends to be rated lower. I mean, I still haven't heard their other work, but even so, having had it really open up to me over time I can't say that I consider The Void as anything less than a progressive masterpiece, and I don't think it gets recognition as such. I certainly didn't regard it as such, at first. One chance whim to play it again changed a lot. Maybe more people should do that with The Void. They might just be pleasantly surprised.

NEAL MORSE One

Album · 2004 · Metal Related
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adg211288
One (2004) is the second of US musician Neal Morse's progressive rock solo releases following Testimony (2003) and his fourth solo studio album overall. Like with most of Morse's work after his exit from Spock's Beard the album is a Christian themed concept release, I believe being a musical telling of the Bible itself. Morse is joined by a host of guest performers, including a Phil Keaggy who shares lead vocal on Cradle to the Grave, along with a core band of Randy George on bass and Mike Portnoy on drums, who both co-wrote the album with him. The album has been released as both a standard edition single CD and a double CD with extra tracks and cover songs.

The near eighty minute long album sees Neal Morse and company doing what after several releases down the line from One could be said to be them doing what they do best. Symphonic progressive rock music with a host of influences creeping in, perhaps most notably some metal on the track Author of Confusion. This is certainly a highlight of the release, featuring several minutes of some of the heaviest material Neal Morse has ever put out before switching up to some epic symphonic prog and then again to a capella section with counterpoint vocals (previous heard in Spock's Beard with tracks like Thoughts Part 2) and eventually comes round to the metal bit again. A few stabs of metal can also be heard in the albums two main multi-part epics The Creation and The Separated Man, both of which are also highlights of the release. If there's one artist you can rely on to write an epic it's Neal Morse. Whether it's solo, Spock's Beard or Transatlantic, he's on the money every time.

In addition to the progressive rock primary sound of One there are also a couple of instances where Neal descends into more basic balladry and while this isn't as epic as his prog these tracks do serve their purpose in balancing the release, which flows really well through all the different moods and intricacies. The Man's Gone, the second track and a short offering, proves a perfect claim before the storm before Author of Confusion thunders out of your speakers. Despite the long total running time it's really not hard to get through this one (see what I did there?) in a single sitting and there's no temptation to skip the balladry. Morse has wrote some cheesy ballads in his time, but the ones here are among his better ones.

One is certainly one of Neal Morse's best releases. I personally can't believe that it took me so long to secure myself a copy of it. For a long time the only Morse solo album I owned was the equally excellent Sola Scriptura (2007). But having found myself in a prog rock mood of late (especially a symph prog mood) I finally grabbed a copy and have been spinning it a lot the last couple of days. I am also looking forward to receiving a copy of ? (2005) and The Grand Experiment (2015), the first album of his The Neal Morse Band venture.

ONKOS Onkos

Album · 2019 · Metal Related
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siLLy puPPy
Now here’s a true example of genre bending dynamics. ONKOS is the one-man project of Robert Woods-LaDue of San Francisco, CA who juxtaposes an interesting mix of psychedelic folk acoustic guitar performances with the extreme bizarre tempo changes, time signature weirdness and chromatic chord progressions of death metal not to mention the growly vocals. Perhaps the first of this unplugged version of death metal, this style of music always leaves me wondering what exactly is metal. What are the underpinning elements of what makes metal music? If you believe that it is dependent on electric guitar, bass and drums then this will surely not be a metal album in your world however if the mere presence of a vocal style that has primarily if not uniformly been attributed to extreme metal is all you need to lump music into the metal world then perhaps this will qualify. Personally i say that vocals alone do not make a said style of music metal nor do bizarre time signatures that have been applied all across the board.

ONKOS is however without doubt a strange musical entity that delivers a bizarre assault of alternative tunings delivered in acoustic guitars with only the percussive shaking sounds of the African instrument known as the shekere as well as an acoustic bass it seems. The music is noticeably missing the sounds any rock drumming but does incorporate an atmospheric delivery of keyboards that often adds a backdrop of melodic delivery while the jittery avant-garde guitar riffs create ritualistic and even otherworldly tapestries of acoustic demented madness. This self-titled debut album only came out in 2019 and while not exactly existing in the metal universe sure does its best job to insinuate that is some sort of version of Morbid Angel in a world where electricity is not even remotely part of the master plan. It’s almost like a death metal band travelled back into the distant past and jammed with an ethnic tribe in Africa or something.

This ONKOS debut consists of eleven tracks and all are unplugged and relatively short with most hovering around the three minute mark. If you ask me this music is very similar to the early freak folk scene of the 70s with the Comus debut “First Utterance” or the weirdness of the Bahamas based Exuma coming to mind but only in psychedelic relevancy. This music truly exists in its own world with a barrage of acoustic avant-garde guitar weirdness and bass and shekere accompaniment. In the vein of more modern death metal constructs, the tempos, harmonies and time signatures are in constant flux and is always in danger of total chaos and of course the growly death metal vocals are right out of the extreme metal playbook however despite the metal elements, this one doesn’t resonate as metal in my world as it lacks the immediacy of a constant distorted din of feedback that permeates any given metal release no matter which subgenre you happen to fancy.

This is truly a bizarre experimental type of Frankenstein music that borrows as much from avant-folk and even freeform jazz as it does from metal. Interesting indeed but unfortunately ONKOS tends to be a bit of a one-trick pony as the entirely of the album becomes rather monotonous after the half-way mark and the tracks all start to resonate on the same frequency. Part of the problem with this one results from the limitations of the instruments involved. The shaking drums just don’t cut it and although the guitar parts offer a dazzling alternative universe sort of eeriness unfortunately the avant-guitar strumming too becomes a little bit of a repetitive frenzy of weirdness that doesn’t really resolve itself in any way, shape or form. While i’m one of the biggest proponents of experimental approaches in music and have one of the most open minds about such things as one can get, i just wish this one would venture past that first step into the water where ONKOS basically repeats the same song format and shuffles things only slightly. There are a few deviation such as on “Legko” but when this happen it sounds more like a second rate attempt at creating a modern day Comus classic. This is an interesting album but misses the mark in too many ways.

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.

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
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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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