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Not every band on Metal Music Archives exclusively plays within a metal or metal related sub-genre. Some start as such only to later leave their old sound behind, others become relevant to the site later in their careers. Some bands like to release one-off experiments. The Non-Metal tag on MMA is used to cover releases that are completely removed from metal music in style, so in a sense is a catch-all sub-genre for releases that don't fit anywhere else.

Sometimes, artists will be added under non-metal exclusively due to being related to the metal genre and scene by association with metal artists, such as the symphonic prog act Transatlantic who feature the former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, the ambient project Neptune Towers by Darkthrone's Fenriz or the folk band Fejd, who have members who are/have been with a couple of different metal bands (Fejd later became metal themselves, but were accepted on MMA long before that). Such artists are typically covered by the metal media due to this association with the scene, and are as such included on MMA for the same reasons.

Mostly however this tag will be used for releases belonging to other genres by metal (or other metal related) artists, such as Opeth's progressive rock albums Damnation and Pale Communion or Elvenking's folk/folk rock album Two Tragedy Poets.

- Written by adg211288 (August 2015).

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non-metal top albums

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

SWANS The Seer Album Cover The Seer
4.79 | 8 ratings
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PENDRAGON The Masquerade Overture Album Cover The Masquerade Overture
4.69 | 9 ratings
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MOTORPSYCHO The Death Defying Unicorn Album Cover The Death Defying Unicorn
4.74 | 7 ratings
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SPOCK'S BEARD The Light Album Cover The Light
4.63 | 9 ratings
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ELOY Ocean Album Cover Ocean
4.46 | 15 ratings
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BEARDFISH Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two Album Cover Sleeping in Traffic: Part Two
4.89 | 5 ratings
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MEAT LOAF Bat Out Of Hell Album Cover Bat Out Of Hell
4.47 | 13 ratings
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KILLING JOKE Killing Joke (Debut) Album Cover Killing Joke (Debut)
4.52 | 10 ratings
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PENDRAGON The Window of Life Album Cover The Window of Life
4.60 | 8 ratings
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ZZ TOP Tres Hombres Album Cover Tres Hombres
4.44 | 13 ratings
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PENDRAGON Love Over Fear Album Cover Love Over Fear
4.80 | 5 ratings
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RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS Blood Sugar Sex Magik Album Cover Blood Sugar Sex Magik
4.27 | 22 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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non-metal Music Reviews


Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 1998 · Non-Metal
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The Signify period, which saw Porcupine Tree gelling further as a band (having been more of a Steven Wilson solo project prior to The Sky Moves Sideways), certainly yielded plenty of material beyond the studio album itself. As well as the Coma Divine live album from the tour and the Insignificance collection of studio off-cuts, it also provided us with Metanoia, a collection of live-in-the studio improvised jam sessions which the band indulged in.

Some of the material here would be picked up and used as the basis of more polished tracks - Intermediate Jesus on the Signify album had its backing track derived from an edit of one of these improvisations, for example - but most of this is unique to Metanoia, and all of it is offered in a rather different context.

If you like the more song-oriented side of Porcupine Tree, you won't find that here: what you will find is material remarkably like the sort of spacey, jazzy jams which the early 1970s krautrock scene was fond of turning out. If you like the spacier, less focused parts of On the Sunday of Life or Voyage 34, you're in the right sort of territory, though the Edwin/Maitland rhythm section adds a certain amount of drive to these jams not present in those earlier works which helps ensure that the release isn't just going over old ground.

PENDRAGON Once Upon A Time In England Volume 2

Boxset / Compilation · 1999 · Non-Metal
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If you liked the first volume you'll like the second one in this series; if you haven't heard it, then be aware that this is an archival release which was originally compiled with the Pendragon fan club in mind. The production is not brilliant on some of the tracks, there's the occasional tape error, and there's the occasional odd decision when it comes to the running order (why isn't The Black Knight at the end?), but if you're keen on Pendragon and want early, unreleased material then you're in luck. That said, anyone interested in exploring Pendragon's output prior to "The World" should get The Jewel or 9:15 Live before they resort to this.

ULVER Scary Muzak

Album · 2021 · Non-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
ULVER continues to be Norway’s greatest shapeshifters having released material that is as diverse as black metal, dark folk and progressive avant-garde post industrial metal to ambient electronic and even synthpop. Well here’s another one for the resume. Released on Halloween of 2021, ULVER has unleashed its first horror synth album that mixes progressive electronic and synthwave to celebrate the holiday cheer. Creepy and suspenseful and filled with dark ominous tones and timbres, SCARY MUZAK is definitely not where anybody could’ve predicted this band would go!

This album is more than just scary music for the Halloween holiday’s sake but is a reinterpretation of John Carpenter’s soundtrack music for the film. To be more accurate, SCARY MUZAK features five covers of classic soundtrack works of JC with the remaining seven tracks originals inspired by those pieces and put into the context of scary synthesizer sounds. Somewhat in the vein of Buckethead’s countdown to Halloween marathon in 2015 but sounding more like the scary soundtrack music of the Italian proggers Goblin except ULVER jettisons all rock aspects altogether.

ULVER has had a somewhat fluid lineup over its 30 years of history. This album features the quartet of Ole Alexander Halstensgård (electronics), Kristoffer Rygg (percussion), Tore Ylwizaker (synthesizer) and Stian Westerhus (guitar) although i can’t say i hear much guitar taking place so i guess that they are probably processed beyond recognition. The music while mostly electronically based on synthesizers flows a lot like a classical music score with tones and timbres gliding in and out of aural range along with drones, electronic drumbeats, oscillations, pitch slides and other cool electronic accoutrements.

The gist is a beefy bass groove, some strange upper range weirdness and a scary treble keyboard riff which is what sounds the most like the world of Goblin. The percussive drive is varied with some moments feeling tribal and others feeling a bit robotic. The tracks are fairly short and to the point with none exceeding the five minute mark. The album while not a soundtrack score per se certainly does evoke the sense of being one and it’s not unfathomable that these tracks would somehow be used in that manner.

While certainly amusing and well executed, the problem with this album is that it does not really convey the scariness of the Halloween holiday however even if the whole point was to emulate the Halloween film’s soundtrack, it all seems a bit pointless as the album sounds as if it exists in the world of the Italian film soundtrack powerhouse Goblin. In other words ULVER hasn’t found its own niche in crafting this sort of musical mosaic and therefore it sounds rather derivative of the Goblin universe with a particular feel of “Suspiria.” Not bad but not exactly what scratches my itch if i have the urge to check out this style of synthesized electronica. What’s next ULVER? Marching band renditions of classic ABBA songs? Why the hell not?!!!

BUCKETHEAD Pike 301 - The Chariot of Saturn

Album · 2021 · Non-Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Hot on the heels of “Pike 300 - Quarry,” comes PIKE 301 - THE CHARIOT OF SATURN officially hatched on 18 December 2021. It still remains a mystery as to what happened to Pikes #s 285, 286, 289, 290 and 295 since they’re missing from the queue. WTF, BUCKETHEAD?

This one features one long track called THE CHARIOT OF SATURN which shape shifts through mellow clean guitar passages to mid-tempo rock. Not unlike umpteen similar sounding PIKEs this one pretty much sticks to the chicken lover playbook that now has been established without any significant deviation.

Overall this one track offering hovers around in an echoey guitar ambient mode. The basically melodic development is consistent and the track sort of oozes as it unfolds with even the rock aspects barely catching fire. There is a lot of attention paid to the production these days and while it’s not always essential on THE CHARIOT OF SATURN it really does make a difference.

This is a rather dreamy PIKE with the emphasis much more on the ambient atmospheric effects rather than the guitar playing. Luckily this isn’t one of those lullaby PIKEs though and there are enough dynamic shifts to keep the old attention span firing on all pistons.

Like most of these single track PIKEs this one features cyclical loops and repetitive motifs and doesn’t really need to be as long as it is however if you are listening to this as background music while surfing the web or some other activity it’s perfectly adequate. This one is better than recent PIKEs but nothing really new or outstanding either. Just another day at BUCKETHEADLAND.

PORCUPINE TREE Insignificance

Promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs) · 1997 · Non-Metal
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In Porcupine Tree's discography, Insignificance is to Signify as Staircase Infinities is to Up the Downstair and Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape is to On the Sunday of Life: a companion piece compiling various songs which didn't make the cut for the parent album.

That said, the approach is somewhat different this time. Compared to Staircase Infinities and Yellow Hedgerow Dreamscape, you get less entirely original songs and improvisations here and more in the way of alternate takes and demos of material which were incorporated into Signify.

There's still some entirely new stuff here, like the two takes on Wake As Gun or the funk-tinged Neural Rust, and both these unique songs and the alternate versions of Signify material tend towards a somewhat more mellow and psychedelic-tinged take on the overall approach of Signify than the harder-edged version we got on the main album. If you like Porcupine Tree's pre-Signify material, then you may well enjoy this; if you think Porcupine Tree didn't get good until Signify, you might find this inferior. And if you don't actually like Signify itself, why are you even considering this?

non-metal movie reviews

ANATHEMA A Moment in Time

Movie · 2006 · Non-Metal
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Conor Fynes
'A Moment In Time' - Anathema (5/10)

First off, might I say that the rating for this work is not based on the music itself. 'A Moment In Time' is being rated here for what it is; a piece of visual media. The songs themselves are amazing, and have been commended as such on other reviews. As far as being a vessel for such beautiful music however, this DVD really comes up short. There are so many errors that make it a sloppy creation, that could have been avoided and corrected had extra care been given.

As far as the musical arrangement goes, things are really good. As well as the band performing, there is a string quartet that plays throughout, as well as a guest appearance from a talented female vocalist. The vocal passion I generally expect from Vincent Cavanagh is a bit lacking here, but that can be forgiven. There's a nice setup here, a beautiful selection of songs, so what could go wrong?

Throughout watching 'A Moment In Time,' I find myself increasingly agitated over the camera work. The camera is fixated on the vocalist, and fails to give a visual mention to either the bass player or rhythm guitarist almost at all!

Another issue is the recording of the sound. For example, during the climax of 'Empty,' the vocals drown out completely for a few seconds. For a band that's had such a high standard of musical quality, my jaw dropped at how they could ever let a DVD release come out to the general public with that sort of negligence.

Despite it's flaws and failure as a professional DVD release however, being an Anathema fan; it's hard to not at least find some enjoyment in it, and there's an CD counterpart included as well! Two stars.

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