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I’m ridiculously addicted to metal since I was 13. I began just for pure curiosity with classics such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, and since then I never stopped discovering new stuff. Iron Maiden is still my favorite band of all time, with “Powerslave” being the absolute zenith of heavy metal.
However, I was soon exposed to more underground forms of metal. My tastes changed a lot when I first listened to Sodom: it totally blew my mind and this is how I have become addicted to thrash metal and raw, filthy extreme metal in general. Nowadays, I’m still discovering many extreme bands I previously left uncovered: let’s say I’m a generic extreme metal fan with a HUGE preference on thrash (Teutonic, Brazilian and generic European stuff above all, with plenty of awesome underground names that need to be rediscovered, but also a lot of U.S. stuff too, and of course I follow the Italian scene and listen to some new bands) - but I also love death metal (especially Swedish bands like Vomitory, Dismember, Bloodbath, Luciferion, Hypocrisy, Edge of Sanity, or U.S. bands like Incantation, Infester, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death, Cynic, Atheist, Suffocation, Nile etc) and black metal (Dissection, Impaled Nazarene, Naglfar, Darkthrone, Unanimated, Dark Funeral, Infernal, Belphegor, Behemoth, Beherit, Moonblood and much more, even including SOME symphonic/gothic stuff such as Emperor, Cradle of Filth, Hecate Enthroned, early Theatres des Vampires and Stormlord). Obviously, I also listen to a certain amount of classic metal (Iron Maiden of course, but also Manowar, Motorhead, Tank, Grave Digger, Vicious Rumors, Judas Priest, Accept, Running Wild, Raven, Anvil, The Rods and so on), and I like some power metal (Gamma Ray and Helloween above all), although I never followed this genre with much interest.
However, don’t be fooled by the previous paragraph: differently from many old school metalheads who just live stuck in the 80s, I’m fascinated by A LOT of modern stuff.
I’m a strong fan of the 90s, which gave us unique bands such as Type O Negative and Today is the Day (just mentioning the greatest ones); although I have a strong taste for powerful melodic metal, I think I have also a thing for slow, filthy, sludgy, groovy, dissonant stuff which evokes high levels of sickness and typical 90’s “angst” (also thanks to a certain kind of 80/90’s alternative rock influences), and if it possesses a “vintage cyberpunk” feel, then it’s even more awesome: in fact I’m utterly addicted to industrial metal (such as Godflesh, Ministry, Malformed Earthborn, Nine Inch Nails, Nailbomb, Meathook Seed, Misery Loves Co., Spine Wrench, Sin, Die Krupps, and even some more “modern/futuristic” bands like Pain, Samael and Fear Factory, or black metal hybrids such as Aborym and Blacklodge), I like some groove metal (especially the sludgier, more dissonant/atmospheric kind such as Machine Head, Fudge Tunnel and Skinlab), a lot of alternative metal (especially System of a Down and Helmet), and, well... even the 90’s nu metal wave (cool groovy/downtuned stuff like “Roots”-era Sepultura, Soulfly, Korn’s first four albums, Deftones, Slipknot and similar acts; I don’t listen to crappy whiny cock rock bands of the early 2000s such as Linkin Park and Papa Roach, which took over the nu metal genre and utterly destroyed it).
When it comes to the 2000s, I’m definitely more nitpicky, since there’s a lot of inconsistent plastic to be found: I like SOME metalcore (90’s stuff like Converge, as well as the 2000’s commercial wave with bands such as Lamb of God, OLD Shadows Fall and OLD All That Remains), if well-made and not just a mindless bunch of repetitive breakdowns with no riffage at all (this applies especially to a lot of post-2006 deathcore *sighs*), whining emo crap like Killswitch Engage and Bullet For My Valentine (which are just a dumbed down version of what bands like Shadows Fall, All That Remains, Darkest Hour and As I Lay Dying used to be), or faggy “electronicore” shit like Asking Alexandria and Attack Attack!: I just wanna hear GOOD RIFFS AND GOOD MELODIES. Breakdowns, slams and chugs in general must be used with caution in modern metal: breakdowns, if dosed and well-placed, can be very good and entertaining (mosh it up, muthafuckas!), but if they’re repeated too much in every fucking song, detracting too much from riffs and variations, they become annoying as hell (example: Carnifex, All Shall Perish, early Whitechapel and stuff like that is GOOD; Suffokate, Emmure, The Acacia Strain, I Declare War, later Whitechapel, Suicide Silence and Capture the Crown is NOT). Chugs are also a dangerous field: they should be used very carefully to be effective (excluding some experimental bands like Meshuggah or Fear Factory, and the rare “clever” djent acts; this is also the reason why I don’t like a lot of modern industrial metal which tries in vain to follow Fear Factory’s style); I also despise the approach of some symphonic metal bands which use hyper-pompous orchestrations over chugs and breakdowns, to mask the lack of good metal riffs (“Death Cult Armageddon”... *cough cough*). About slams... well, at least they’re usually made of different notes, and this helps to keep at least a bit of variety. I like slam brutal death metal, even “100% slam” stuff like Cephalotripsy; what’s important is not to repeat the same slam over and over. I can’t stand a bunch of songs that repeat the classic “Liege of Inveracity” slam over and over, like many bands do.
Outside of metal, I’m also quite interested in generic industrial and noise rock stuff, and I’m also a big fan of what in Italy is known as “demential music”, but you would more likely know it as “trash music” or “comedy music”. I love musical parodies, singers or bands with humorous/ironical/moronic lyrics or just typical Internet retards who make laughably shitty stuff. Let’s say, I’m a big fan of “trash humor” in general :D
Other interests include psychology, critical thought, atheism, anti-religion, anti-spiritualism in general, rationalism, individualism, liberalism, materialistic/mechanicistic/anti-idealistic/hedonistic philosophy, writing and playing guitar (although I’m a really shitty musician).
With my reviews, I intend to analyze deeply the nature of an album, focusing both on technical descriptions and on my subjective perceptions, trying to dissect, explain and rationalize as much as humanly possible. I’m a passionate listener, so I could find many excellent albums even where people see just “another average/good album”. I’m also a big fan of some very underrated or even commonly hated albums: for example, stuff like Napalm Death’s “Inside the torn apart”, Sadus’ “Elements of anger” (a sadly overlooked and misunderstood technical thrash masterpiece), Accuser’s groove metal albums, Venom’s “Cast in stone”, Carcass’ “Swansong”, Motorhead’s “On parole”, many overlooked Soulfly albums, the whole 90’s Annihilator and Kreator’s catalog and much more stuff you couldn’t imagine. However, there’s still much crap to bash in metal, especially among many new derivative bands of nowadays (neothrash... *cough cough*).
I have no time to take reviews requests, I do everything for hobby, fun and self-fulfillment. Exposing my opinions about music kind of satisfies me, that’s all.
Remember that every genre has its own good bands, you must just focus on actual quality without any kind of prejudice. This is why I personally refuse terms such as “mallcore” or stuff like that: I just listen to music I actually find to be good, by my own personal standards. A fresh, melodically brilliant metalcore band or a catchy, groovy and ass-kicking “jumpdafuckup” nu metal band (yeah, even with rap/hip-hop influences!) can be better than a derivative and uninspired thrash metal act.
So, this is my rating scale:
100% [above common ratings]: there’s only ONE ALBUM deserving this rating: and that album is “Powerslave”. There’s nothing else to say.
99%-95% : a flawless masterpiece and an absolute epitome of its genre, BUY IT OR DIE!
94%-90% : some few, insignificant flaws, however it’s still a masterpiece and an absolute must-have.
89%-80% : great, brilliant album; not really quintessential, but still very good and highly recommended.
79%-70% : still good, yet not monstrously standout music; however, it still stands above the line of solidity (excluding some eventual fillers, yet still in minor quantity) and comes recommended if you aren’t a particularly picky listener.
69%-60% : well, it has its good moments and it’s far from being a complete bunch of shit, but it still shows too many signs of weakness that cannot be overlooked. Not particularly recommended.
59%-50% : not deliberately offensive, just painfully mediocre: if you’re lucky, you can find just few memorable songs or moments, but still in huge minority compared to the whole album.
49%-40% : really bad album. Listen at your own risk.
39%-20% : it just gets shittier and shittier: if you want economize on laxatives, download it illegally - but if you waste your money on this, then you should feel guilty for the rest of your life.
19%-10% : there are better ways to spend your money, rather than buying this album: for example, throwing them in the toilet or giving them to the Catholic Church.
9%-1% : a musical joke. Use it just to laugh with some friends, while you’re all drunk, because this is the musical equivalent of YouTube trash videos.
0% : the pure quintessence of shit. This is not just the equivalent of YouTube trash videos: this is also the space for folkloristic Neapolitan music (if you don’t know it, lucky you!), third-rate commercial house music, childish self-referential hip-hop, the last Morbid Angel album, the Loutallica album, and most of the Metal Enterprises catalog. Avoid it at all costs, unless you want to lose all your neurons or you just have a particularly sick/demented taste in humor, like me.