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Lich Coldheart
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:44 pm
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:56 am 
 

Could you please let me know what I have to change in this review ? I have already thought about the intro.

"So, I am gonna to write a review for the well-known Metallica ? That's a waste of time, everybody knows Metallica's music is but perfect... No ? Let's see then.

This a two-track single which starts with the song <i>Eye of the Beholder</i>. A nice intro comes in, the song starts softly and then turns louder and louder until an awesome electric guitar gets in with a very thrashy rhythm. The rhythm is not repetitive and it changes before you can even get bored. With a perfect heaviness, perfect riffs, and normally, perfect solos the guitar is but awesome.

The drumming is excellent. Despite all those songs in which drumming has been used just as a filler (<i>I don't say Metallica ever had such songs</i>), this one has a fucking brilliant rhythm. I heard lots of people saying Metallica has one of the best drummers in the world. Well, I incline to believe them.

The vocals are excellent. Hetfield does not scream as he used to do in their earlier works but you know what ? There's really no need of such a thing. He sings aggressively with strong vocals and seems very determined, without being angry as he used to be in Metallica's later works such as <i>Death Magnetic</i>.

The rhythm of the song is fast, creating an energic atmosphere. It makes you feel good, there's no doubt about it. In the worst case it turns you in such a state that you'd wanna hit something, not because you'd be angry but because you just feel the need to do it. You might think this is a bad thing and Metallica promotes violence but that's not true because if you read carefully what I'd said before then you noticed that I said "it makes you hit <i>something,</i>" and not "it makes you hit <i>someone</i>". And if you consider yourself the type that always does nothing else than complaining about all the things in the world then you'd better give a listen to <i>Eye of the Beholder</i> and I absolutely guarantee it would change your state dramatically making you more determined and, maybe, braver. <i>Eye of the Beholder</i> is definitely a 100% song.

The second one is <i>Breadfan</i>, a cover. It starts suddenly with no intro and with a fucking awful hard rock rhythm ! What the fuck man, is this Metallica ? They did nothing than putting in some riffs which are too heavy and too loud, uninspired and certainly not brilliant. This song would be acceptable if placed on a debut hard rock album but for a band such as Metallica ? What a disappointment... The solos are more acceptable, though I still believe this song needs great improvements to sound Metallica-like.

The drumming is fast and loud, nothing excellent here. The rhythm is no good, I would rather categorize it as noise. Perhaps I am wrong but to me this song seems to be made just to to tear your ears the fuck apart. No brilliance, no soul in this song... This is a terrible and unexpected failure that should've never come from Metallica.

The vocals are even worse, really. Hetfield seems to be drunk and it's like this is not his fucking voice ! I think he may sound weird sometimes in songs kind of <i>Phantom Lord</i> but <i>Breadfan</i> is an offence meant to insult all of their fans.

The rhythm is insane, in the bad way. There's no atmosphere here, just madenning loudness which is very disappointing. I can give this song no more than 20%. So, after all, I'll point the things out directly :

Good points :

<i>Eye of the Beholder</i>
- awesome guitars
- excellent drumming
- brilliant vocals
- nice rhythm, energic atmosphere
- well, everything

<i>Breadfan</i>
- the solos

Bad points :

<i>Eye of the Beholder</i>
- not even one

<i>Breadfan</i>
- the guitars are awful
- the drums are too loud, uninspired
- vocals - very shitty
- maddening rhythm, just loudness
- almost everything"

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2097
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:11 am 
 

Tough love incoming.

Song titles are written with "quotation marks", not italics. In English, you shouldn't place a space between any of your end-sentence punctuation, so nick those out wherever you've got a question mark. I don't really like the self-awareness of your review's intro because it's not very cleverly-executed - you'd be better off just acknowledging the context of that release in the band's discography.

Quote:
In the worst case it turns you in such a state that you'd wanna hit something, not because you'd be angry but because you just feel the need to do it. You might think this is a bad thing and Metallica promotes violence but that's not true because if you read carefully what I'd said before then you noticed that I said "it makes you hit <i>something,</i>" and not "it makes you hit <i>someone</i>".

This is an unnecessary addendum. You're posting this on a metal website, you don't need to use a metaphor and then dispel the rumor that metal makes people violent. Just say what you want to say.

Aside from that, your musical description is probably sufficient, but try to avoid making list-style reviews where you go down through the guitars, vocals, and drums and give them each a paragraph. Try to organize your thoughts about the two songs into one continuous flow of thought. You have potential, but I take it English isn't your first language, which puts you at a bit of a disadvantage as far as finding descriptive words goes. Talk to a friend who you think might have a more nuanced grasp of the language and ask them for help in finding more appropriate words that you can use in specific places. :)
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Lich Coldheart
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:44 pm
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:10 am 
 

WouLd you accept it now ? And yes, English is not my first language.

"This a two-track single which starts with the song "Eye of the Beholder". A nice intro comes in, the song starts softly and then turns louder and louder until an awesome electric guitar gets in with a very thrashy rhythm. The rhythm is not repetitive and it changes before you can even get bored. With a perfect heaviness, perfect riffs, and normally, perfect solos the guitar is but awesome.

The drumming is excellent. Despite all those songs in which drumming has been used just as a filler (<i>I don't say Metallica ever had such songs</i>), this one has a fucking brilliant rhythm. I heard lots of people saying Metallica has one of the best drummers in the world. Well, I incline to believe them.

The vocals are excellent. Hetfield does not scream as he used to do in their earlier works but you know what? There's really no need of such a thing. He sings aggressively with strong vocals and seems very determined, without being angry as he used to be in Metallica's later works such as <i>Death Magnetic</i>.

The rhythm of the song is fast, creating an energic atmosphere. It makes you feel good, there's no doubt about it. In the worst case it turns you in such a state that you'd wanna hit something, not because you'd be angry but because you just feel the need to do it. And if you consider yourself the type that always does nothing else than complaining about all the things in the world then you'd better give a listen to "Eye of the Beholder" and I absolutely guarantee it would change your state dramatically making you more determined and, maybe, braver. "Eye of the Beholder" is definitely a 100% song.

The second one is "Breadfan", a cover. It starts suddenly with no intro and with a fucking awful hard rock rhythm ! What the fuck man, is this Metallica? They did nothing than putting in some riffs which are too heavy and too loud, uninspired and certainly not brilliant. This song would be acceptable if placed on a debut hard rock album but for a band such as Metallica? What a disappointment... The solos are more acceptable, though I still believe this song needs great improvements to sound Metallica-like.

The drumming is fast and loud, nothing excellent here. The rhythm is no good, I would rather categorize it as noise. Perhaps I am wrong but to me this song seems to be made just to to tear your ears the fuck apart. No brilliance, no soul in this song... This is a terrible and unexpected failure that should've never come from Metallica.

The vocals are even worse, really. Hetfield seems to be drunk and it's like this is not his fucking voice ! I think he may sound weird sometimes in songs kind of "Phantom Lord" but "Breadfan" is an offence meant to insult all of their fans.

The rhythm is insane, in the bad way. There's no atmosphere here, just madenning loudness which is very disappointing. I can give this song no more than 20%. So, after all, I'll point the things out directly :

Good points :

<i>Eye of the Beholder</i>
- awesome guitars
- excellent drumming
- brilliant vocals
- nice rhythm, energic atmosphere
- well, everything

<i>Breadfan</i>
- the solos

Bad points :

<i>Eye of the Beholder</i>
- not even one

<i>Breadfan</i>
- the guitars are awful
- the drums are too loud, uninspired
- vocals - very shitty
- maddening rhythm, just loudness
- almost everything"

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Diamhea
Eats and Spits Corpses

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:46 pm
Posts: 2900
Location: At the Heat of Winter
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:12 am 
 

Get rid of the whole good points/bad points thing, condense some of those passages into fewer paragraphs, and you seem to ramble a bit regarding "Eye of the Beholder". There are some other "English as second language" reviewers who are far more difficult to understand than you and get accepted, so that isn't necessarily a huge problem here.
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kizzar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:58 am
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:05 am 
 

My review of "The Satanist". You're welcome to tear it apart.
“Hosanna Hosanna
Tribe ov Judah decimate
Hosanna Hosanna
Root ov David eradicate”

Few months ago, Behemoth released their first promo video for their new album “The Satanist”. And one more promo video later, they released the video for the album track “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” which definitely got my motor going. I dropped everything else I was listening to and blasted the YouTube video about 10 times that day. Then I was even more satiated by their next track release “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”. I(like any other black death fan) couldn't wait to get my hands on Behemoth’s “magnum opus”- which we were led to think it was, by the extensive publicity campaign by Behemoth, quite uncommon for a black/blackened death metal album .When I did manage to get my hands on it, I expected it to sucker-punch me into oblivion,-to be a monster of an album and to better its predecessors by a mile. But few hours after I got the album, which I started blasting immediately, I didn't get what I expected.

This album is truly spellbinding and a treat to the senses but it doesn't tower over Behemoth’s previous records-which a true masterpiece would have done and we expected one. Sure, the instrumentation is top-notch, as always and we can also see hints of evolution, “The Satanist” delivers an almighty body slam, but it doesn't knock us out, which it should have.

The Poland superpower releases an exceptionally done album- brilliant in the way it delivers the message of God-hate to us, lesser mortals and almost perfect in every aspect –just like “Demigod”, “The Apostasy”, ”Evangelion” and Behemoth’s other creations.

But the new album isn't the “same old wine in new bottle” type of a record. Behemoth has gone off the well-trodden track which they usually follow- a devastating mix of death metal & ideals of their black metal roots. They've opted for a more melodic & technical route (probably, to increase their fanbase) but this too, is as powerful as their previous modus operandi, dispatching their supreme message through the album’s amazing lyrics and the music itself has not lost its sting which other “black metal purists” claim it to have all around the internet these days. These guys are narrow-minded pricks who have their heads stuck so far up their arse that when they fart, it’s a sneeze (Borrowed it form a comic I saw the other day, had to use it!). These guys just grind my gears with their rubbish they post on the net now.

Behemoth has now turned to a more philosophical ideal of anti-religion as evident by the German/Polish (?) excerpts in “In The Absence Ov Light” – indicating Nietzschean ideals (that’s my best guess).

And to all supposed purists who have been booing this release, I say – FUCK YOU! According to them, Behemoth has lost its BM origins and is becoming a sellout just like Ghost B.C. is now. Though I despise Ghost B.C., I’m pretty sure Behemoth will never screw up in the same way. No- one can imagine them sounding like a satanic version of early Linkin Park (Ghost B.C. sounds just like that) in the near future. Just because Behemoth has taken a more melodic route, it isn't the end of the road for Behemoth’s credibility. The main objective of black metal was and has remained the same since it’s inception- rebellion against the established convention – be it religion, politics, even society and humanity itself. This genre revolves around this pivotal ideal, unlike death and thrash, which are more versatile- a DM/TM band can make music regarding any topic. This exclusivity of BM and the freedom it gives the vocalist to voice his own feelings about his environment has led to the rise of Varg Vikernes and other such assholes but that is another story for another time. The point I’m trying to make these pea-brained purists is, BM doesn't have to be the rough-produced almost unmelodic medley of Christ-denouncing tracks like the yesteryears Norwegian BM albums which these idiots worship. Just look at “dauði baldrs ”and” sôl austan mâni vestan” –favorites of all those “trve” BM lovers around the internet.
So Mr. /Ms “fuckgodcunt666”(or “VargBurzumforever” or any other generic BM username) get up from your Carpathian Forest altar, wipe the corpse-paint off your arse and grow a fucking conscience.

Also I would like to congratulate Mr. Nergal for his ultra-awesome performance on the mike defiling our eardrums with his unearthly growls and kicking leukemia’s ass at the same time.

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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5370
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:36 am 
 

Your entire last paragraph (Ignoring the awkward single line add on) makes me want to stab you to death with your own bones. Scrap that and then maybe I'll be more constructive.
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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 828
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:14 am 
 

Agreed, best to scrap all of the griping about purists.

As someone who knows what Behemoth sounds like but hasn't heard anything from the new record, the only think you have told me about the music is that it is more melodic and technical. These is very little musical description. I know you think it is really good but didn't live up to your expectations but nothing more than that about how or why that is the case. I think most people have a higher tolerance for background stuff than myself, but I find very little in the review to be relevant to the album. Try to explain why rather than just stating things. What was good about "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel" and what makes you like "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer" better? How is it that these tracks had your expectations so high but the rest of the album let you down? What makes it only almost perfect? Etc. Addressing these issues will greatly improve your review.

Also, don't use dashes - as commas.
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4699
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:51 pm 
 

The review says almost nothing about the music. You were really excited for the album, it's good but not better than their last few, and you're crying about other people not liking it. The album was released two days ago and half of this review is whining about reactions. Try to describe the music itself in terms more understandable than calling the whole album a body slam.

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Erosion of Humanity
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: Schaumburg, Il
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:12 pm 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
Your entire last paragraph (Ignoring the awkward single line add on) makes me want to stab you to death with your own bones. Scrap that and then maybe I'll be more constructive.


I would scrap that plus the two sentence paragraph above it and half the one above that for starters. As others have said a review isn't the place to rage about how butt hurt you are that people don't like Behemoth, it's a place to describe the music. Which by the way (again) I have no idea what it sounds like other than melodic. Take the beginning of the review and beef the shit out of it with a picture of the music. I'm not one who minds a bit of back story for the review either so I wouldn't say scrap that just make it more concise.
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kizzar
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:58 am
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:31 am 
 

Back to square one then. Thanks for the advice, though.

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Erosion of Humanity
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: Schaumburg, Il
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:37 pm 
 

You don't need to white wash your review just strip it down and rebuild it with content about the music. About half of what you wrote was IMO (but I really have no say) acceptable.
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Marag wrote:
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Lord_Brendan
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:55 pm
Posts: 479
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 6:01 am 
 

ok, so my review was rejected for basically lack of substance, which is fine as I am new to reviews. I was hoping to get a bit of constructive criticism about this review, and the style as a whole. First attempt at a review so be kind-ish :lol:


ASTAARTH - GLORIA BURGUNDIA (90% was given as the score)

Astaarth were formed in 1996 as a full band. They released the demo History Of Our Yesterday's Pride in 1998 and the album Golden Age Of A Dead Empire in 2002. Both were quite different to what we have here. Now a duo with many guest musicians, this is their only other release, Gloria Burgundia from 2007. The main lyrical theme on this album is about pride and history of Burgundy, an area now in central France. The name Burgundy comes from the Burgundians, a Germanic tribe originating in Bornholm, that settled in the area during The Middle Ages. The area was annexed by France in 1477. These guys are proud of their roots and are not afraid to show it. In the song Our Beloved Country, there is a lyric of :

We are not French
Nor another nationality
We are Burgundian
Above all

The lyrics are powerful, but what of the music? What we have here is some kind of epic black metal, a huge dose of folk, some symphonics and a dash of power metal at times. This is an album that is diverse, interesting, and at times very odd. Besides the usual metal instrumentation, we also have the épinette, banjo, hurdy gurdy, double bass, pipes, mouth harp, flutes, accordion and the spoons. The spoons in Vae Victis are definitely an interesting addition, as is the smile inducing hoedown moment in Gloria Burgundia, complete with clapping and yipping. It kind of reminds me of some mid-era Nokturnal Mortum.

The vocals on this album are mainly a raw high pitched black metal style, though choirs can be found in some songs, which give a certain power metal vibe. I think the high pitched black metal vocals are the main thing to throw some people off. They could have definitely been better, but I learned to like them. The guitars, while performed well are very low in the mix and create a rather warm, summery atmosphere rather than the typical cold atmosphere in a lot of bands of the style. I think this was on purpose, but I would like to hear them brought out a little bit more. The riffs are decent, but take a back seat to the folk instruments mainly. Drums are also very low in the mix and at times can be lost in the chaos during the faster blast beat sections. Gloria Burgundia and Our Beloved Country both have lengthy symphonic intros (1:30 and 2:50 respectively) which help create an epic feel. There are also some lengthy instrumental folk sections in the songs and 2 of the 7 tracks are instrumentals.

As a whole, I really love the album despite the apparent flaws. I would live to hear them release a new album one day. It is a niché product i would say, even for fans of folk metal and black metal, but it is well worth the listen

HIGHLIGHTS - Gloria Burgundia, Our Beloved Country, When The Golden Fleece Blazed
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Diamhea
Eats and Spits Corpses

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:46 pm
Posts: 2900
Location: At the Heat of Winter
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:51 pm 
 

It's really not that bad, and if you love the album as much as you claim to you shouldn't have too much trouble finding more aspects to go into detail about. I personally think you are really close to having enough material, you must have just missed it. Also, as a personal quibble, there is no need to use line breaks to highlight that lyric you felt the need to accentuate. Just "Do it like this" to keep everything flowing smoothly.
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Erosion of Humanity
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: Schaumburg, Il
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:53 pm 
 

Personally I would loose the whole first paragraph because it's a history lesson instead of being a review. If you choose to keep it either rework it or well definitely rework it and maybe move it down a bit, as in don't open with it, it was immediately off putting to me. The rest of the review reads more like a list of ingredients than a review. You talk about all the instruments the band uses but there's hardly any description of the music itself. Paint the reader a picture if you will, make me want to hear the album in this case. Writing reviews can be hard (that's why I don't, and cause I suck at it) but take a few days and really mull over the album, let it sink in and then try writing a bit more. You've got a decent skeleton now you just need muscle and tissue. Also I do like the inclusion of lyrics but elaborate on them a bit more.
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TheMirroringShadow
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:04 am
Posts: 64
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:43 am 
 

Hey, here's my new review. Would love to get some feedback on it, and learn how to improve it further:

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Stam1na/SLK/400530/TheMirroringShadow

"Natural progression that isn't enough - 76%"

"So here we are in 2014. Two years after the release of the critically acclaimed "Nocebo", an album that managed to turn the heads of metalheads outside of Finland as far away as on the North American continent. What "SLK" is an abbreviation for I cannot tell you, not being a native Finn myself. But it should be known that this is a band that has always had a tendency to come up with clever word play and metaphorical meanings behind their song and album titles. I'm sure "SLK" is no different in this regard. Now on to the actual album.

The album kicks off in classic Stam1na fashion with energetic opener "Rautasorkka" (Finnish for iron-mouth). "Rautasorkka" is a blisteringly fast yet melodic song. There is a beautiful and melancholic guitar lead guiding this song all the way from the verse into the chorus and the lead is even present in the bridge of this song. There is some piano play behind the melodic layering adding some further depth to the harmonic soundscape of this song. The riffs are thrashy and hectic, yet have a playful and groovy vibe to them. It doesn't take long on this album for Stam1na to show of their technicality and impressive instrumental chops, although "Rautasorkka" is pretty straight to the point and obviously put first on the album in order to hook the listener. The chorus is absolutely beautiful on "Rautasorkka" and this song is probably one of their best songs ever. Absolutely amazing. The next song on the album is the alternative rock-inspired "Kalmankansa". Which has a very catchy chorus and lots of stock alt-rock riffs in the verse. Which sound a bit too basic to fit on a Stam1na song. This song does however have some busier technical riffs and a pretty spastic sounding bridge. But overall this is a pretty standard song and can basically be considered filler compared to the rest of the content on this album.

The next song called "Panzerfaust" is one of the clear highlights on this album. Perhaps the heaviest Stam1na track to date. Just as the title suggests this song is heavy as fuck, the rhythms of the guitars and drums roll over you like a battle tank. The guitar leads are eerie and ominous. Hyrde really delivers some guttural death growls here, at least by Stam1na's standards. The breakdown is glorious and immediately brought to mind the likes of heavyweights "Gojira" and their mammoth groove riffs. This track will have you banging your head, that's for sure. "Panzerfaust" ends in a really cool fashion with gang shouts from the members of Stam1na saying "PANZER! ... FAUST!"... After this track the album sadly starts dropping in quality as the material starts sounding rehashed from their earlier works. The new and unitiated listener probably won't complain much about this fact. But as a seasoned Stam1na listener I immediately started hearing some filler and already treaded territory from their past coming through on the following songs. "Kuoliaaksi Ruoskitut Hevoset" while not necessarily bad, sadly sounds like B-side material from the "Raja"-sessions back in 2008. Filler are as we all know - for the most part - unavoidable on most metal albums. This track and all the way through to "Dynamo" are kinda forgettable. There are some heavy duty riffs and impressive lead work and solos on "Masiina", it has a very catchy and headbangable bridge. But it lacks overall direction and just kind of fades into the background after a while. These mid-album cuts are at the very most growers and at the very least to be considered inferior to the true standouts on this album. Like "Rautasorkka", "Kylma Kuuma Kylma" and "Panzerfaust".

This album has really good choruses and this fact is something that gives the album a lot of immediate replayability. I find myself singing along to and enjoying the refrains on "SLK" a lot. This album in general is a lot like "Raja" from 2008 in this regard. Technical riffs and lead work in the verses and bridges, and big, powerful hooks for the refrains to pull you in. Does this mean Stam1na have become more streamlined and adopted more of a pop-metal approach? Not necessarily. Catchy choruses that remind you of modern melo-deth metal bands and records have always been present in their sound. They've just become so damn good at writing them they've started taking up more room in the songs and become a focal point more than ever before. Some tracks on here have kind of a punk rock/garage approach to them, like "Heikko Ehka". Other tracks meddle in majestic guitar leads and progressive/power melodies. Most notably "Dynamo" and "Usko Pois". This album is just as versatile as most of their earlier albums, although Stam1na's general sound only allows for so much experimentation after all these years. Most bands have somewhat of a formula to them and as such you kind of know what's coming and what type of progression between songs is natural for a particular band. Stam1na is no different in this regard. Although I think it wouldn't have hurt them to step outside their comfort zone a bit more than they did on this album. Or in the future their formula will become too tiresome and they will lose much of what makes them unique now in favor of other newer, more innovative bands making a name for themselves in the metal scene.

The production is excellent here. It's very likely Stam1na took a few hints and lessons from Joe Barresi who produced the previous Stam1na album "Nocebo". That album had the best Stam1na production to date. This album is of similar quality. The rhythm guitars and drums are rough and thunderous in all the right places, while the lead guitars shine brilliantly through the melodic soundscape with a crisp and neat tone to them. Hyrde's vocals are in superb shape and his yelling sounds powerful and commanding while his soft vocals and singing has harmony and clarity to them. This is state-of-the-art production for a metal album in this style.

Overall. "SLK" serves as a great introduction to new listeners of this band. Much like "Nocebo" this album is an intricate mix of progressive and melodic thrash/groove metal with just a hint of pop metal sensibility. Seasoned listeners and fans may however be slightly disappointed at the lack of innovation and experimentation compared to what previous albums like "Uudet Kymmenen Käskyä" delivered many years ago.

Stam1na are obviously maturing and finding comfort in their signature sound. This leaves listeners with one crucial question. Is it really enough?"

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Erosion of Humanity
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
Posts: 1819
Location: Schaumburg, Il
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:20 am 
 

The only issue I have with it is the track by track for the first half of the review. Otherwise I'd say it's a decent review that would actually make me want to check the band out.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:39 pm 
 

Stam1na is a band worth checking out, but I personally greatly prefer their live performances to their studio output. Yeah, some of the albums are very nice and all, but they are meant to be on a stage.
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Diamhea
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:07 pm 
 

TheMirroringShadow wrote:
Hey, here's my new review. Would love to get some feedback on it, and learn how to improve it further.


It's a good review. It's long, but that is a result of actual description instead of stream of consciousness rambling or meta humor that plagues some longer reviews. I can give you a useful tip, as I (like you) prefer to point out individual songs/passages in order to demonstrate points instead of making generalizations: try to jump around the track listing instead of shooting straight through it. That way you won't get called out for being a "track by track" abuser, even though one could argue that isn't necessarily the case.
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:37 am 
 

Thanks for the feedback guys. I also disliked the track-by-track formatting of the first half of the review. The reason I did it was because the first three songs of the album were to be frank the only ones really worth highlighting. I should have spread out the mentioning/breakdown of the tracks though, not just go through all three of them right away. This is a problem on many albums I feel, since like 90% of the time the band puts the strongest songs in the first half of the album. As a reviewer you have to kind of figure out a way to circumvene the trappings of track-by-track reviewing, even when the highlights of the album are in one long streak... And then it's downhill from there. Also trying to find a way to become more creative in my reviewing. While I have a pretty decent formula, it would be fun to actually make my writing stick out a lot more. I'm too much of a novice at this point. Still struggling to some extent with the wording/phrasing and structure. Oh well, it'll get better over time. I just don't wanna make the "same" review over and over again.

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Lord_Brendan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:21 pm 
 

TheMirroringShadow wrote:
Thanks for the feedback guys. I also disliked the track-by-track formatting of the first half of the review. The reason I did it was because the first three songs of the album were to be frank the only ones really worth highlighting. I should have spread out the mentioning/breakdown of the tracks though, not just go through all three of them right away. This is a problem on many albums I feel, since like 90% of the time the band puts the strongest songs in the first half of the album. As a reviewer you have to kind of figure out a way to circumvene the trappings of track-by-track reviewing, even when the highlights of the album are in one long streak... And then it's downhill from there. Also trying to find a way to become more creative in my reviewing. While I have a pretty decent formula, it would be fun to actually make my writing stick out a lot more. I'm too much of a novice at this point. Still struggling to some extent with the wording/phrasing and structure. Oh well, it'll get better over time. I just don't wanna make the "same" review over and over again.


I am with you on this, totally :lol: It is difficult at first and I am going through the same stage
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:59 am 
 

Hey guys. I wanna post this here before submitting the review to the MA. Because it really needs to be trimmed down. It's a review for a single and I wrote way too much, but I'm really bad at shortening my own reviews. Perhaps you guys could specify in which places I could remove some sentences or paragraphs?

Spoiler: show
"I haven't yet chosen a title or score"

"This is supposedly one of the tracks to be featured on the upcoming Veil of Maya EP/Full-length. And by all means, it's a pretty good track. Here we have the familiar elements of their signature deathcore/progressive metal style back in full strength.

"Subject Zero" starts off with a xylophone melody before some marching drums appear in the background, symphonic elements are present, building upon the songs intro. This intro brings to mind their previous full-length effort "Eclipse", which is the album where VoM started incorporating these "epic"-sounding symphonies. allowing for some further depth to their technical metal/djent arrangements. Veil of Maya used to sound a bit bouncier and quirkier a few years back on [id]. Their sound back then was pretty thick, abrasive and was all about pummeling the listener with technical and groovy riffs. Now, Veil of Maya seems to want act a bit more ambitious in their soundscape, as they are now incorporating "epic" themes and concepts to their sound.

Just one look at the cover art of this album will give you a good idea about what the lyrics are all about on this thing. Esoteric themes about transcending consciousness and taking form in higher levels of existence. Veil of Maya have borrowed this idea from labelmates Born of Osiris. But I gotta say, although the concept is derived it does fit the music quite well. Which brings us to the vocals of Brandon Butler. On "Subject Zero" Brandon has decided to go for something of a mid-ranged scream, the vocals are less growly and deep as they were on the previous efforts. The vocals are nicely syncopated to the "modern metal" start-stop styled riffs, the drums are at the forefront more than ever before. Which is very apparent on the blast beat section in the middle of this song. You can also expect to hear some polyrhythmic, bouncy riffs in the vein of Meshuggah. This shit is pretty headbangable. Don't expect anything out of the ordinary here though, personally I dig this band a lot due to the fact that the members are great musicians. Marc Okubo has great guitar skills, showing off his chops in not only the technical riffs and dreamy leads. But also being a good soloist to boot. Sadly, we have no actual solo present on "Subject Zero". This song could have used some more texture through flashier lead sections and a neat solo somewhere in the middle of the song perhaps.

This song is a mid-tempo groover, and while energetic and strong. It doesn't go all the way without Okubo's trademark guitar showmanship. I wanted more in this department. The band sounds unified more so than ever before, this is "tight" music in every aspect. If you prefer the traditional guitar riff-tone from the 80's or 90's, the production here may annoy you considering this is very modern sounding. The guitars employ the start-stop style riffs, or chugs as some call them. The guitar riffs are mostly palm mutes and they are extremely thick and short. There's no real "reverb" coming from the guitar tone, the production and instrumental technique is all about the attack of the rhythmic riffs.

This is a promising single if you like technical deathcore from this present decade. However, if you want something akin to traditional death metal you would do best to stay away from this song and band."

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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:25 am 
 

This is alright, the length of the release shouldn't affect the number of words of the review (to a certain degree). This isn't even a long review so it's fine!
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:13 am 
 

I wrote another review, anyone wanna give some feedback on it? Are my reviews a bit boring perhaps? I'm trying to find ways to make my writing more captivating and creative.

Spoiler: show
One of the best bands to come out of France - 89%

Man. This thing is <b>INTENSE</b>. Introducing Scarve, an obscure death/thrash outfit from France. Famed drummer Dirk Verbeuren has been one of the consistent members in this band. This is one of the bands where he caught the attention of Soilwork, who later on recruited him as their drummer almost ten years ago. The music here is a lot more violent and pummelling than anything Soilwork have ever put out though. The album sounds very futuristic and mechanical. One of Scarve's influences is modern death metal, which will be very apparent in Dirk's drumming on this record. The guitars at times employ some very fast riffage, which is where you will get the feel of an industrialized thrash outfit. The lead guitar playing is very apparent in the sections of some songs. This allows for texture and detail when the album needs space to breathe from the instrumental violence.

While Scarve is very technically proficient, they do allow room for choruses and ambient/calm passages. Some songs on here like "Emulate The Soul" and "Crustscraper" start off with just industrial noises before effect-laden and distorted guitar leads make their entrance into the songs, then kicking into some thrashy violence in the verse. The songs often reach their climax in the refrain, which is not the type of cheesy and lame melodic chorus you might think of when you hear the term "modern metal". This album's choruses scream power and ferocity. While the vocal assault is multi-layered and loud in the mix, the aggression never dies in the vocals present in the refrain. The drums keep blasting and pulverizing the listener and the guitar riffs are large and majestic with a dark overtone to them. This is by no means accessible metal. Even if the band at times employ traditional songwriting patterns and structures.

The vocals are extremely powerful here. The vocalists are a duo and they split their vocal duties into clean and harsh singing roles. Pierrick Valence has one of the best death growls I've ever heard, it's really guttural, commanding and loud. Some of his high-pitched screams are incredible, like the 20-second long shriek in "Infertile Ways". Guillame Bideau, the clean vocalist also delivers some screams of his own in places. He's the one who opens the mayhem in "Capsized" with an intense panicked and extremely long yell of his own. The vocals really help strengthen the already powerful music and they play an important role on the album. But they don't steal the spotlight of the instrumental assault, they only help solidify the overall power of Scarve's sound. And these songs are already filled to the brim with powerful passages and interesting experimentations in extreme metal.

One of my favorite songs here is easily "The Resonating Cycle" which immediately kicks you in the balls with crazy drumming and riffs that tear you apart like razorblades. Pierrick Valence once again showing how huge his lung capacity is in his screams during the verse. Dirk does some incredible drum fills in the pre-chorus of this song, there's so much to dig into here from a musical standpoint. But you'll have to listen to the song over and over again to catch each detail. The question is, will you really be able to through all the headbanging and possible whiplash damage this song will give you? The middle part is fucking fantastic, Dirk goes bananas, just blasting away while a catchy guitar lead worms it's way into your membrane. There is even a xylophone on top of this section which just shows how daring this band was when they wrote this album. The production is thick, oppressive and very industrialized. Imagine the musical equivalent of a coal burning factory set in year 2560 where robots rule over a dystopian society. The general atmosphere on this album invokes the feeling of mechanical precision vs primal human instinct. This is music that offers both creative themes and concepts in it's industrial and futuristic lyrical direction while still delivering the bludgeoning elements of primal music like death and thrash metal.

There's really no other band like Scarve on their album "Luminiferous". It really is music that has to be heard to be believed. While I am a huge fan of extreme/industrial metal in general. There's material here to enjoy for everyone from the hardline thrasher to the curious melodic death metal listener. Hell, there's even some progressive metal dabblings to be found here, like the break in the middle of "The Path to Aptopsosis" and the riffs and leads on "Crustscraper". But in general, this album is all about intensity and violence. There are a few melodic sections but the aggression is always present, and even in it's calmest moments this album is always out to kick your ass.

If you at all enjoy intense/extreme metal music from the 00's and onwards. Pick this up, I highly recommend it.

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Diamhea
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:21 pm 
 

That's actually pretty good, dude. The only thing I guess I can add is, if you're not going to give the album 100% (89% in this case) at least highlight where it falls short. It didn't bore me.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:44 pm 
 

Diamhea wrote:
if you're not going to give the album 100% (89% in this case) at least highlight where it falls short.


If you want another opinion: don't do this if you don't have anything worthwhile to say about where it falls short. Perfectly acceptable for the premise of a review to be 'I really like it but not enough to give 100%.'

Pretty good review, describes the music fairly well. Don't try too hard to make your writing creative or anything, just keep practicing and that will happen by itself.
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Diamhea
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:49 pm 
 

Yeah...I didn't word that the most convincing way. Hey TheMirroringShadow your reviews are so good I have to grasp at straws to find faults with them!
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:48 pm 
 

I think Diamhea had a good point though. I did give nothing but praise to the band, while in retrospect there are a few minor issues I have with the album. I could have specified it somewhere in there... Mostly it's that I thought it was an extremely great album, but it's only a classic in it's own particular subgenre (which is very small). I don't feel it deserves 100% because I see room for improvement. But it's absolutely up in that top tier of albums for me which very few other albums or bands reach.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:57 pm 
 

I just hate seeing reviews where it's like "everything is amazing, except track 6 has a riff in the middle that isn't that great, so I'm marking it down to a 90%." I mean, it just seems so silly.
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:46 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I just hate seeing reviews where it's like "everything is amazing, except track 6 has a riff in the middle that isn't that great, so I'm marking it down to a 90%." I mean, it just seems so silly.

I'm glad someone agrees. Personally, I think that an album with some songs that are great but not divine, and then a couple that are absolutely godlike, deserves the highest possible scores. The fact that every last minute of the album does not reach the theoretical maximum possible musical quality shouldn't be a concern. A lot of people seem to make assesments of quality per track ratio that are fairly flimsy in the sense that they end up giving as high scores to solid but unimpressive albums as they would to partially brilliant and partially modest ones.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:54 pm 
 

Yeah, basically. For me it's just about whether or not I really enjoy the album. If an album has a couple fillerish songs here and there, and they still don't bother me, I don't see a reason to mark the score down to an 85 instead of a 92 or 95 or whatever. It's a different story if I just honestly don't enjoy several songs at all, but in that case I wouldn't be giving it a high score. People put too much of a mathematical spin on their ratings. While I can't tell people how to rate, I think a rating should be about the album as a whole and how successful it is, and how much you like it. Not about some kind of mathematical equation based on every song's minute perceived failures or successes.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:57 pm 
 

I think that'll happen when someone's new to reviewing. You kind of overestimate the pickiness of what gets accepted here, so you try to be very ... I dunno... clinical about your first few submissions. Many of my early reviews - hell I still haven't done very many - are rated by a calculated average rating per song. Looking back I can't really recommend something I gave 83 over a 78. Now I pretty much pull the score out of my ass. (Though hopefully not the content :p)
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Diamhea
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:35 pm 
 

Well, that completely blew up in my face. Ironic because I put less emphasis on the scoring than most people. The original point I was trying to make was a suggestion that TheMirroringShadow bring up any faults he had with the album he reviewed since he gave it a score in the 80s, if anything to add a bit more substance and a counterpoint to the tone of his review.

I agree with Empyreal that the score should be an estimation of the whole experience as opposed to starting at 100 and following a checklist down, subtracting 'X' points whenever you find an attribute you don't agree with. For example,I gave Overkill's Under the Influence a 65% and From the Underground and Below 70%. While Under the Influence is arguably the better album of the two, the lineup of that time was capable of much better, so it disappoints in that context. I'm not sure how many others rate in this way, but it helps me maintain emphasis on the reviews themselves as opposed to chasing my tail trying to justify certain scores and rating using a school pass/fail system like many here do.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:16 pm 
 

Usually I do penalize for unimpressive songs, it's just what I do, feels right. Admittedly one I'm planning on doing soon is going to ignore the mediocre stuff because I like the good so very much, but it's an uncommon experience for me to just let dodgy parts slide in general.
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Buckwheatjones
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:24 am 
 

This was the first review I wrote on here and it go rejected for "being all fluff and having no substance". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You. I reviewed The Real Thing by Faith No More.

Between the soothing, nasally voice of (a young) Mike Patton, the powerful synths from Roddy Bottum, the funky bass of Bill Gould, the clean, metallic sound of Jim Martin's guitar and Mike Bordin pounding on those drums; it is no surprise The Real Thing is now viewed as a classic album by fans and critics alike. The album's most popular song "Epic" no doubt gained the album a lot of mainstream attention as well (chances are if you were listening to rock stations back in early 90's... well, you heard it plenty of times).

From the opening synths in From Out of Nowhere, you know you are in store for a fantastic listen. The next couple of tracks are (for the most part) what you would expect of a funk metal band; but as you get further into the album, the band begins to do what it does best - experiment. You get a hardcore thrash song (Surprise! You're Dead!), a few progressive, soul tracks (Zombie Eaters, The Real Thing), a jazzy closer (Edge of the World) and some other surprises throughout the album. Along with the brilliant musicianship of the band, their ability to play various genres is why they were so successful. On another note, the only two songs that never worked for me on this album would have to be the previously mentioned "Surprise! You're Dead!" (the band sounded wonderful, but in my opinion, this is a very rare case of when Mike Patton wasn't up to par. It felt like he was struggling to keep up with the band), and the instrumental "Woodpecker from Mars" (it was interesting at first but seems to go on two minutes longer than it needs to).

The album is full of replays, bound to keep you entertained for a long time, and the production holds up very well for an album released over 20 years ago. However, no matter how brilliant the album is, it has (understandably) begun to sound just a little dated over the years (mainly due to Mike Patton's punky, hair metal influenced vocals and rapping).

Would I suggest this album? Yes, if you are looking to get into the band this is the perfect place to start, or if you are just looking for an album with something a little different, you can't go wrong with Faith No More's "The Real Thing".

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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:54 pm 
 

It reads like the stickers they put on cds to try and entice you into buying it. There's hardly any real description of the music, just what's going into it and who's doing what. Tell us why you love the album, tell us why it's still a classic. I mean sure, who hasn't heard of the band and who hasn't heard 'Epic' but really that's the only song of theirs I know and I don't feel like I have a better understanding of the album either. Describe the music, your whole first paragraph was the roster and then there's barely enough below it to make up a whole paragraph. Also you came dangerously close to to writing a track by track yet you hardly had two words to say for almost every track. Elaborate on your ideas.
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Buckwheatjones
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:20 pm 
 

You know what... you're right! Can't believe I didn't catch all that myself. You had all great points. Thank you for your help!

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Mercyful_kill1245
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:28 pm 
 

Beyond the Fall of Time may not be the sequel to In Hatred’s Flames that you expected, but you have to take in the circumstances surrounding the band. Balmore had recently quit the band and Conan, said fuck it I’ll do the vocals and was coming off a broken arm, so he was a bit stiff and couldn't be as technical as he pleased. Let’s face it; Conan is a fucking mad man on the axe. Anyway, the album itself is just straight bad ass! Its heavy, its fast, it has blistering leads and Conan, for doing vocals for the first time on an album, pulls off a hell of a job. The high notes he hits are so amazing, very priest like. Hell the whole album is very priest like and I like it! No one cares about Sean on the other guitar as you have Conan shredding away. Mario’s drumming. Man holy fuck did he pick it up on this album. Blasts, fast ass double bass and intricate fills, he has it all. Daniel does a good job on bass but you can’t hear him all the time.
The songs themselves are fucking awesome! Also, really quick, look at that album cover, that is just bad ass. You have the crowd favorite, Kneel Before the Steel, which is super heavy and bad ass and has amazing leads. Black XIII has a bad ass opening riff and the chorus is intense as fuck and the solo oh man! Beyond the Nile, is a great lead in to the highlight of the album, Entombed with Pharaohs. Entombed is undoubtedly the most technical song on the album and songs like any of the songs from the first album! Then from Destroy to the Gathering, you can expect an all out assault that kicks you dick and makes you piss out your ass. The sound is crisp but a little thin, doesn't matter though, album is still a 100%. Go check out this album along with the 1st and 3rd to get your fix on neoclassical death/thrash on the first, technical/ prog thrash on the second and who knows what genre the 3rd fucking album is, but its bad ass!

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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:02 pm 
 

Buckwheatjones wrote:
You know what... you're right! Can't believe I didn't catch all that myself. You had all great points. Thank you for your help!


No worries man, please post whatever you end up with.

Mercyful_kill1245 wrote:
Spoiler: show
Beyond the Fall of Time may not be the sequel to In Hatred’s Flames that you expected, but you have to take in the circumstances surrounding the band. Balmore had recently quit the band and Conan, said fuck it I’ll do the vocals and was coming off a broken arm, so he was a bit stiff and couldn't be as technical as he pleased. Let’s face it; Conan is a fucking mad man on the axe. Anyway, the album itself is just straight bad ass! Its heavy, its fast, it has blistering leads and Conan, for doing vocals for the first time on an album, pulls off a hell of a job. The high notes he hits are so amazing, very priest like. Hell the whole album is very priest like and I like it! No one cares about Sean on the other guitar as you have Conan shredding away. Mario’s drumming. Man holy fuck did he pick it up on this album. Blasts, fast ass double bass and intricate fills, he has it all. Daniel does a good job on bass but you can’t hear him all the time.
The songs themselves are fucking awesome! Also, really quick, look at that album cover, that is just bad ass. You have the crowd favorite, Kneel Before the Steel, which is super heavy and bad ass and has amazing leads. Black XIII has a bad ass opening riff and the chorus is intense as fuck and the solo oh man! Beyond the Nile, is a great lead in to the highlight of the album, Entombed with Pharaohs. Entombed is undoubtedly the most technical song on the album and songs like any of the songs from the first album! Then from Destroy to the Gathering, you can expect an all out assault that kicks you dick and makes you piss out your ass. The sound is crisp but a little thin, doesn't matter though, album is still a 100%. Go check out this album along with the 1st and 3rd to get your fix on neoclassical death/thrash on the first, technical/ prog thrash on the second and who knows what genre the 3rd fucking album is, but its bad ass!


Wha...?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:52 pm 
 

ough. Disorganized, terribly formatted, inarticulate sperg.

Mercyful_kill1245 wrote:
Then from Destroy to the Gathering, you can expect an all out assault that kicks you dick and makes you piss out your ass.

No.

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TheMirroringShadow
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:04 am
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:51 pm 
 

This is my first negative review. And negative it was. Fuck, eardrum surgery here I come. This EP really sucked.

Scelestus - Scelestus

Title: "The musical equivalent of a shitty B-movie" - 17%.

Spoiler: show
This is to my knowledge some semblance of a side-project from Mushroomhead vocalist Jason Popson. This is a pretty fucking faceless release. It's no wonder this band got passed up by anyone with good taste in 2011. The only crowd I can really see enjoying this are Mushroomhead fans wanting more from the lead vocalist from that band.

This release is littered with nu-metal revival antics and random groove metal riffs ripped straight out of the Machine Head (Supercharger/Burning Red-era) book. For example in opener "Everything We Hold" we are immediately treated to a flurry of tribal beats and rhythms that would have fit perfectly on the "Roots" album by Sepultura. Then the heavy duty stuff kicks in with some generic midtempo riffs and that type of horrible cupped mic atonal scream we all remember in painful memories from the early 2000's. The songwriting is really random. It sounds very cookie-cutter. It's like the band fucked around with whatever they loved about heavy music circa 2000 and haphazardly put it into these compositions. The only time when anything on this EP stands out is when the guitars decide to use some fast and rhythmic riffage and let go of the boring palm mute template which is dumbing down the music. "Token" kicks off with a thrashy riff for 10 seconds and even the vocals manage not to be annoying during this part. But then we get that boring stomping groove riff again which we already heard for 8 minutes straight. And it's just not exciting, there's no melody, no power, nothing memorable whatsoever about this song or EP.

The drumming is really fucking generic. We get the same groove/beat for the verses in every song. The snare and toms sound plastic and while the cymbals sound pretty neat and fleshed out they are used too sparingly. The guitar tone is very distorted and doesn't allow for a lot of texture. It has that buzzy groove/alt-metal meets garage rock sound to it. Which sounds neat on paper however the riffs are totally forgettable and generic. You have your obligatory gothenburg metal-style riffs at 0:32 in "Damn The Deceiver". There are even a few acoustic breaks reminiscent of Metallica but they never get a chance to lead to anything interesting, the band decides that they have to go back to the lame ass palm mute riffs before even 20 seconds of the acoustic bridge has passed. "Backdraft" sucks ass for a minute and a half with awful screams and palm muted chords a 5 year old could play. Then when you think the song can't get any worse we get that hideous whispered part at 1:40 "...The coming of a storm, the cries bounce off the walls in repetive form...". Indeed my cries of misery are bouncing off the wall of my room as I wait for this trainwreck of a song to end so I can kill myself and roll around in my grave remembering that this piece of shit song was ever made. There is a Slayer-ish guitar solo after that, but there's not a guitar solo on this planet that could salvage such a worthless excuse for a song.

Dammit, I regret ever listening to this poor excuse of an EP. I'd be surprised if you even found this in the bargain bin inside gas station stores. It's really that worthless. This is not music that should ever be listened to for enjoyment.

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