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Note: My tastes have changed significantly over time, and many of my reviews no longer represent my actual sentiments on the albums in question. I hope to replace many of them soon. The Dream Theater reviews are gone because they were amateurish and embarrassing, I plan to write a set of new ones eventually.
Big fan of '80s thrash and heavier power metal (USPM or more aggressive European fare like Gamma Ray or Iron Savior) and '70s/80s traditional metal, as well as some early death metal. I also dig SOME progressive metal but not lame Dream Theater clones (Dream Theater themselves, in their 1985-94 incarnation with Kevin Moore, are one of my favorites but the clones are almost always crap). Also more casually into progressive rock and the heavier forms of fusion jazz (Return to Forever, etc.). I'm also biased towards "old-school" (1992 and earlier) metal and clean vocals. Second-wave black metal (stuff like Hellhammer and early Bathory are OK), non-thrashy death metal, gothic or symphonic ANYTHING, flower-power, and anything suffixed with -core tend not to go over very well with me.
My review scale:
100: A completely flawless album. An unattainable score, as no album is completely without flaw.
99: The highest possible score, a truly exceptional album that stands at the absolute top of its genre.
90-98: An excellent album with hardly any filler and lasting appeal, one of the "classics".
80-89: An excellent album, but not quite top tier. Not as high-quality as albums rated 90 or above, but have good songwriting and does not irritate me much at any point during its run time.
70-79: A good album, but significantly flawed. May contain significant filler.
60-69: A decent album, but either suffers from overall blandness with little to recommend it or egregious filler or a crippling flaw that damages an otherwise good album.
50-59: Average, not distinguished, but doesn't actively make me feel worse listening to it. 50 is the "blank tape" standard of complete neutrality and blandness.
40-49: Below average, not recommended. Contains very obnoxious elements and/or poor songwriting.
30-39: Poor. Worthy of ridicule. Highly unpleasant.
20-29: Awful. Generally worthless in most regards. Causes suffering when listened to.
10-19. Really horrible. Albums with scores this low don't even qualify for "so bad it's good" camp mockery. They're just atrocious, ugly, and repulsive.
1-9: A total disgrace to music, so horrifying that sitting through it is extremely difficult. A product of a diseased brain that one cannot imagine a functional human being enjoying.
0: Devoid of any redeeming artistic qualities, lacking even the tiniest speck of merit, an artistic black hole. This goes beyond mere bad music into something so godawful that it qualifies as a form of torture. Something like Skylark's Wings or Anal Cunt would get a 0.