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I’m a metal addicted since the age of 13. I began just for pure curiosity with classics such as Metallica and Iron Maiden, and I never stopped discovering new stuff. Iron Maiden is still my favorite band and “Powerslave” is my favorite album ever.
My tastes changed a lot when I first listened to Sodom: it totally blew my mind and this is how I have become a thrash metal addicted. I listened to much and much thrash in the latter years, and I’m still discovering many other extreme metal bands. Let’s say I’m a generic extreme metal fan, with a HUGE preference on thrash (teutonic and brasilian above all, but much USA thrash too, and I obviously follow the italian scene), but I also love death metal (especially swedish bands like Vomitory, Dismember, Bloodbath, Luciferion, Hypocrisy, Edge of Sanity, or american bands like Incantation, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death, Cynic, Atheist, Cryptopsy, Suffocation, Nile etc) and black metal (Dissection, Impaled Nazarene, Naglfar, Darkthrone, Unanimated, Dark Funeral, Moonblood and much more). Obviously, I also listen to much classic metal (first of all, Iron Maiden, but also Manowar, Motorhead, Tank, Grave Digger, Vicious Rumors, Judas Priest, Accept, Running Wild, Raven, Anvil, The Rods and so on).
But, attention: I’M NOT A CLOSE-MINDED PIECE OF SHIT. I don’t use terms such as “mallcore” or stuff like that. I just listen to the music I find good, with standards that I built just on my own enjoyment and the actual quality that I found in each band, regardless of how much “tr00” it is. I’m also an industrial fan (I love Godflesh, Ministry and even Nine Inch Nails, beside many other less known acts which should get more relevance), I generally like alternative metal (I’m a huge fan of System of a Down and Helmet) and I even like SOME nu metal (principally the 90s wave, those bands with catchy downtuned groovy riffs and “not-too-whiny” vocals, so I DON’T listen to Linkin Park, Papa Roach or shit like that) and SOME metalcore, 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 (even if in some cases, like most stuff of All That Remains and Shadows Fall, “poppy” clean vocals don’t bother me too much; it depends from band to band), 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: 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, Acacia Strain, late Whitechapel, Suicide Silence and Capture the Crown is NOT). Chugs are a dangerous field: they’re similar to breakdowns, but lamer and less appealing, and they should be used very carefully to be effective (excluding some experimental bands like Meshuggah or Fear Factory, and the “cleverest” djent acts); 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.
Remember that every genre has its own good bands, you must just focus on actual quality without any kind of prejudice. A fresh and creative 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. Yes, I know to be a blasphemer saying this, but you know what, blasphemy is sweet ;)
Beyond metal, I’m also a big fan of what in Italy is known as “demential music”, but you would probably know it as “trash music” or “comedy music”. I love musical parodies, singers or bands with humorous/ironical lyrics or just retards who make laughably shitty stuff. Let’s say, I’m a big fan of “trash humor” in general. Thrash and trash, a good dualism ;)
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 masterpiece), Accuser’s groove metal albums, Venom’s “Cast in stone”, Carcass’ “Swansong”, Motorhead’s “On parole”, many overlooked Soulfly albums (yes, even their nu metal stuff like “Soulfly” and “Primitive”, as well as recent underrated albums like “Omen” and “Enslaved”), the whole 90s Annihilator and Kreator’s catalog and much more stuff you couldn’t imagine. However, I’m not a fan of embarrassing epic fails like Morbid Angel’s “Illud Divinum Insanus”, or Metallica’s “Lulu”, so don’t think I like every piece of shit I happen to listen to. There is so much crap to bash, in metal.
There is something you must always mind when you look at my ratings: there may be some albums with the same rating. This doesn’t automatically mean they’re on the EXACT SAME LEVEL: maybe, they’re just very, very, close qualitatively, at the point that I wouldn’t even be able to separate their ratings. I’d give to “Harmony corruption” and “Utopia banished” the same rating, but “Harmony corruption” is still a little bit superior than “Utopia”. This could happen with many albums in my reviews, so I advert you. If some albums have the same rating, I’ll provide to specify which album I prefer over which other.
So, this is my rating scale:
100% [10 + praise]: there’s only ONE ALBUM deserving this rating: and that album is “Powerslave”. There’s nothing else to say.
99%-95% : a totally perfect masterpiece, BUY IT OR DIE!
94%-90% : some few, insignificant flaws, however it’s still a masterpiece and an absolute must-have.
89%-80% : great album, not an absolute classic, but still absolutely worth listening.
79%-70% : it’s a good album, but it probably won’t change your life and you could forget it after a listen. Not particularly recommended, but still pretty enjoyable.
69%-60% : well, it has some good moments and it’s far from being a complete bunch of shit, but it’s mostly a weak effort with many mediocre moments. I wouldn’t recommend it.
59%-50% : painfully mediocre. If you’re lucky, you can find just few good songs or moments, but still in huge minority compared to the whole album.
49%-40% : very, very 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, you should feel guilty for the rest of your life.
19%-10% : there are better ways to spend your money, rather than buy this album. For example, throw them in a grinder or give them to the church (and I totally fucking HATE the church).
9%-1% : a musical joke. Use it just to laugh with some friends, while you’re all drunk.
0% : the pure quintessence of shit. This is the space for folkloristic neapolitan music (if you don’t know it, lucky you!), third-rate house music, self-referential childish hip-hop, the last Morbid Angel album, the collaboration between Metallica and Lou Reed, and stuff like that. Avoid it at all costs, unless you want to lose all your neurons.