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DarkLore's profile

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Favourite metal genre(s):
Almost all of them. 

I consider myself an openminded metalhead (check my collection and you will see that I own albums of very different styles). I listen to almost everything within the metal field (just a bit of electronic/industrial metal, I can listen to it, but will never be a favourite). If I had to choose a few favourite genres I would say black (including hellenic and mediterranean black, raw black, black/gothic, melodic black, atmospheric black, pagan and folk black), death (old school, death/doom, technical, progressive...), power metal (epic, melodic, symphonic, any) and epic heavy metal.
I don't hate core (except mallcore) but I prefer my metal 100% core-free.
Besides metal, I really enjoy dungeon synth and medieval dark ambient. I listen to other kinds of music too such as 60's and 70's rock, punk, jazz, blues, folk, movie soundtracks, and classical music.

I don't consider mallcore (also wrongly known as nu metal) as metal and I don't like when others consider it that way. Mallcore is not metal, neither good music for the most part, with very few exceptions.

I'm not new to metal as I've been listening to it for over two decades now. I hope I will be able to contribute to this great Web resource as it has been really useful for me during all this years.
I will write reviews about my favourite bands and albums, some of them are pretty obvious, but I will also try to review albums with few or none reviews. My desire is to support the music that I love and to help new listeners to avoid the crap and to listen to quality music.

Here is a list of some of my favourite metal albums of any genre with some comments below each one (still working on it). The list is separated in two sections, the first one includes the jewels from my adolescence, the albums that introduced me into the metal world and into its multiple and great genres. Thus, those albums marked me in one way or another and mean a lot to me. Some of them may not be highly regarded by most metalheads, but they are important to me.
The second section comprehends albums that I discovered more recently and that have become favourites of mine, for they have contributed to expand and refine my metal tastes. Some of those albums may be old, but I didn't listened to them (or payed attention to them anyway) until my early to mid twenties.
So here we go:


· IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.
[Everybody knows this band and everybody should love this band. All Maiden's albums of the 80's are great, but this is my favourite as all the songs are extremely memorable with really good songwriting. A true classic of the NWOBHM]

· JUDAS PRIEST - Painkiller.
[What to say about this legendary band? Most of their albums are very good but I'd say that it was with Painkiller where they peaked. British heavy/speed metal at its best]

· SPHINX - Paraiso en la Eternidad.

· SARATOGA - Agotaras.
[Damn solid heavy/speed metal with cool vocals sung in spanish. This band showed their influeces (like Judas Priest and German speed metal) while they tried to create their own thing, and they succeeded with this album, that has become a classic of spanish metal]

· BLIND GUARDIAN - Nightfall in Middle-Earth.
[To make it short, this is one of the best (if not the best) concept metal albums of all time and Blind Guardian is one of the best bands in the whole metal field. My counsel, get their whole catalogue if you want epic, strong and complex power metal performed flawlessly]

· RHAPSODY - Dawn of Victory.

· AVALANCH - El Ángel Caído.
[Probably the best spanish power metal album ever, with a great vocalist and superb guitar leads both emotional and highly technical at the same time. Excelent songwriting too]

· WARCRY - Warcry.

· THE STORMRIDER - Criseida.
[Another pretty unique spanish power metal album. This one creates a really epic and dark atmosphere and the music is full of majestic neoclassical influences. Epic riffing, complex leads and solos and gloomy keyboards, the vocalist could have been better though]

· KAMELOT - Karma.
[One of the true masterpieces of melodic power metal from one of the best bands in that field. "Karma's" sound is smooth but both bass and guitars are very energetic offering some really memorable leads and emotional soloing. The songwriting is outstanding but for one song which is not bad but is not at the same level of the rest of the album. The mixture of epic and exotic melodies in this album is absolutely memorable. "Karma" is my personal favourite, maybe because it was my first Kamelot album, but "Epica" and "The Black Halo" are just as good and also essential. You might want to give "The Fourth Legacy" a chance too]

· DARK MOOR - The Gates of Oblivion.
[More spanish power metal and of the very best quality. This album kicks ass in every fucking aspect. Epic and more dreamy and ethereal melodies bound together for the best outcome. Plenty of complex neoclassical guitar leads, baroque keyboardwork, fast doublebass drum sections accompanied by Elisa's charismatic accented vocals. This album is on par with the best Rhapsody's albums and is one of the best Spanish metal albums you can get]

· LABYRINTH - Return to Heaven Denied.
[I think that Labyrinth is a very underrated band and a pretty unknown one. I can't understand why. "Return to Heaven Denied" is one of the best power metal albums of all time. In my opinion it's superior to many better known bands as Edguy, Dragonforce or Freedom Call. Fast power metal with a progressive edge and a romantic, dreamy feel. The songwriting is flawless and every single track amazing. The musicians are really good in every derpartment. Superb vocals, awesome riffing, technical and emotional leads, everything on this album is just perfect. The follow-up "Sons of Thunder" is also highly recommended if you like this one]

· ANGRA - Rebirth.



· METALLICA - Kill 'Em All.
[One of the first metal albums I listened to and probably the one that got me into speed/thrash. Excellent songs filled with aggresion, speed and explosive riffing and soloing, even though James' voice would improve in later realeases]

· KREATOR - Pleasure to Kill.
[Evil and frenetic german thrash. This album was a huge influence in the scandinavian black metal scene of the early 90's and for good reasons, loads of furious, filthy riffs, twisted vocals, and destructive speed. May take a few spins to get into this album. Their next albums up to and including "Coma of souls" are also essential thrash classics]

· CHILDREN OF BODOM - Follow the Reaper.
[One of the most interesting metal mixtures out there. In their early albums (and also fortunately in their new one "Halo of Blood") these guys achieved to successfully blend melodic death, with thrash, speed, power and heavy metal elements. The outcome is highly complex and detailed music with neoclassical elements and astounding guitarwork and keyboards performed by really skilled musicians. Their two first albums are also recommended]

· WINTERSUN - Wintersun.
[A fucking masterpiece this one. A proyect of former Ensiferum memeber Jari Maenpaa. What we got here is an unforgettable blend of technical melodic death and epic power metal with some other extreme metal influences. The mixture works really well creating a balance between fast and mid paced songs. The album's atmosphere flows magically from epic fury to a wintry despair to more stellar landscapes. Great harsh and clean vocals and technical and emotional guitarwork]

· ENSIFERUM - Ensiferum.
[Another truly favourite, I just can't resist an amalgam of melodic death, epic power metal, folk music and pagan atmospheres when it is done so damn right. This is a more pagan/folkish affair than Wintersun but it's just as good. Epic guitar leads, glorious choirs, folk instruments and Jari's excelent vocals provide a good variety of songs, some explosive ones, other epic midpaced and a few ballads. Astounding album, also check their sophomore "Iron"]

· MANDRAGORA SCREAM - A Whisper of Dew.
[Great combination of gothic metal and gothic rock, full of melancholic and sensual passages, with charismatic female vocals and lyrics based on a vampires story. Their debut was decent, but this sophomore is far better]

[Another gothic metal/gothic rock hybrid here that provides dark and sad yet catchy riffing and the awesome deep vocals of Gunther Theys. This is quite good, and one of the first albums of this style that I bought]

· TRISTANIA - Beyond the Veil.
[Another of my first gothic metal albums. This is widely considered a milestone and a classic of the genre, and for good reasons. The Norwegian gothic metal scene from the mid 90's to the turn of the century, with bands like Theatre of Tragedy, The Sins of thy Beloved, Trail of Tears and this band, was something big and way more authentic than all the sugary Dutch, German and Italian pseudogoth imitators of The Gathering and Nightwish. The Norwegian scene kept strong ties to the extreme metal (mainly doom/death and some black) and they created a handful of great albums, like this one]

· MOONSPELL - Wolfheart.
[One of the most original and diverse metal albums I've ever heard. Outstanding Portuguese gothic metal with black, death and folk influences combined to form a very unique entity. Every aspect of this album is remarkable, from the superb vocalist, to the original and "southern folk" flavoured melodies to the dark and passionate atmospheres. Great songwriting and lyrics too. They have changed their style several times along their career but most of their albums are very good]

· DAEMONARCH - Hermeticum.

· EMBRACED - Amorous Anathema.
[Another really atypical record. A mixture of melodic death with symphonic melodic black and gothic metal. Elegant and complex keyboards mingled with powerful riffing all wraped in a romantic atmophere that will bewitch you]

· CRADLE OF FILTH - Dusk... and Her Embrace.
[I know this band is commercial, that they aren't a black metal band, that a lot of brainless goth kids worship them and all that kind of shit. But to be honest, they recorded many great albums in the past (everything until Midan including it). I don't care if they are not a "true" black metal band, call it symphonic gothic metal with melodic black metal elements, or extreme gothic metal, whatever you want. The fact is that this is a very well crafted album, both aggressive and romantic (in a dark vampirical way), varied and with excelent musicians involved in spite of Dani Filth's annoying vocals. At least he is a great lyricist. Surprisingly, the band has experienced a great return to form with their las two alums, "Hammer of the Witches" and "Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness of Decay"]

· THEATRES DES VAMPIRES - The Vampire Chronicles.
[Vampire stuff plus metal music usually is a love or hate matter. I, for one, use to love it, so here we have another band that fuses melodic black metal with symphonic gothic metal and lots of vapirical theatrics (not entirely unlike some Cradle of Filth's works). This could prove a bit over the top for some people, but it works for me. I even like some of the band's later albums where they dropped off most of the extreme metal elements and became a pure gothic metal band]

· ABYSSOS - Fhinsthanian Nightbreed.
[And yet another vapirical metal band. This one is more extreme and aggressive and their music is rooted in the swedish melodic black/death metal style. They still use some effective keyboards an theatrics though. A very good album, and their debut is also recommended]

· ILLNATH - Cast into Fields of Evil Pleasure.

· BAL-SAGOTH - Starfire Burning upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule.

· CATAMENIA - Morning Crimson.
[Melodic atmospheric black metal from Finland, with nature inspired lyrics and ethereal wintry keyboards. They truly succeed at depicting northern snow-coverd landscapes, where the wolves roam and howl to the aurora borealis]

· NAGLFAR - Vittra.
[Excellent Swedish melodic black metal. Lots of aggressive blasting sections but also melodic tremolo riffs, mid paced moments and a melancholic mysterious atmosphere. It's like a mixture of rage, despair and unsettling nocturnal beauty. A full of emotion and fantastic album]

· DISSECTION - Storm of the Light's Bane.
[I can't tell how much I love this album. The tone this band achieved is incredible. Aggressive, grim, furious and evil melodic black/death metal but also melodic, evocative and with a lot of depth. Varied songwriting, insane riffing, haunting leads and evil and disturbed vocals. Do you need anything else to check this out?]

· SATYRICON - Dark Medieval Times.
[Pure icy and grim norwegian black metal with an atmospheric edge and medieval aesthetics, alternating fast and intense bursts with haunting midpaced parts and acoustic sections that will transport you to the dark castle in the deep forest. Simply brilliant]

· EMPEROR - In the Nightside Eclipse.
[Probably the most influential pioneers of symphonic black metal. The keyboards fit the whole music perfectly, they are not very complex but they are very effective, somber, sinister, spectral and even cosmical at times, producing an intriguing, disturbing and fucking scary atmosphere. The use of keyboards doesn't soften the album at all, the music is twisted, hostile and very evil due to the raw production, the dynamic and pretty intricate riffing, the furious blastbeats and the malevolent shrieks. All this is embodied in a roster of incredibly well written songs. A must have for anyone minimally interested in black metal]

· ULVER - Nattens madrigal - Aatte hymne til ulven i manden.
[Raw beauty, this is the simplest way I can think to describe what this album is about. Unforgettable feral and evocative black metal with a great and very suitable lyrical concept. Might take several listens to truly appreciate this piece of art. Their first album "Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler" is also a must have]

· ABIGOR - Verwüstung / Invoke the Dark Age.
[This album made a huge impact in me when I first listened to it and dragged me down deeper into the black metal world. This is a pretty raw and grim debut of Austrian black metal. Beside it's grimnes, this album counts with excellent guitar work and songwriting. The raw yet melodic and creative riffing is outstanding, and it's matched by the savage, howling vocals. The whole album emanates an aura of impending doom and dark epicness. Superb. Their next EP: Orkblut - The Retaliation and their sophomore album: Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom) are also essential]

[Pretty underrated debut of this swedes. "Nord" is one of the best black metal albums I've ever listened to. It has that intense, sharp, cold and wintry sound but also some sort of epic dark atmosphere, all wraped in dynamic and interesting songrwriting. Flawless. I think that this album is much better than most of the stuff made by more famous swedish black metal bands like Marduk or Dark Funeral]

· MOONSORROW - Voimasta Ja Kunniasta.

· FINNTROLL - Jaktens Tid.
[Maybe not a very serious band and album but for that reason this is a tremendously funny experience. A melodic black/death basis enriched by folkish guitarwork, pagan atmospheres and chants, mouth harps, epic keyboards and humppa-polka melodies. Yes you read well, polka melodies. Very interesting album with a good roster of songs. Definitely worth hearing]


· VIRGIN STEELE - Invictus.

· MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates.

· OMEN - Battle Cry.

· RAGE - Black in Mind.
[Why I didn't check this band out earlier is a mystery to me. Well, Better later than never, because I have become really fond of many of their albums, where they balance german speed, heavy and power metal in a very tasteful way. Black in Mind is one of their many masterpieces, all the songs rule here. Amazing album]

· HEIMDALL - The Almighty.
[An unsung classic of epic heavy/power metal that came out during the best years of the europower (1996-2005 aprox), and maybe due to the high number of releases that came out in that time, it went under my radar for many years. This is heavier, sterner and more powerful than most of the italian power metal scene. All the album's songs have something great to offer. The awesome vocals and choirs deserve to be mentioned. Highly recommended]

· CELESTY - Vendetta.

· THY MAJESTIE - Jeanne d'Arc.

· TRIOSPHERE - The Heart of the Matter.

· AMON AMARTH - Twilight of the Thunder God.

· STORMLORD - Mare Nostrum.

· ENTOMBED - Left Hand Path.
[The fathers of that killer swedish tone. Left Hand Path is one of the most important death metal releases ever, the proof is that even today new bands still trying to emulate its sound. It's sad that the band changed their style so soon after this album. If you haven't listened to this, and you claim to be minimally interested in death metal, do it NOW]

· GRAVE - Into the Grave.
[Grave should be acknowledged as one of the darkest and most brutal initiators of the old school swedish death metal. Into the Grave, their debut, is a great display of heavy, crushing and sick death metal. Is darker, heavier and more oppressive than Entombed and one of the best death metal albums ever hands down]

· SUFFOCATION - Effigy of the Forgotten.
[Concerning US death metal, I'm more a New York area guy than a Florida one. I suppose that many people may disagree, but if I have to choose, I would go for Immolation, Incantation, Suffocation or Rottrevore before Morbid Angel, Obituary or Cannibal Corpse (and I like those bands). Suffocation is one of my favourite death metal bands, complex, technical, intense and brutal at the same time, with an unmistakable vocalist. This is their sick debut, and is not the only masterpiece they have unleashed]

· IMMOLATION - Unholy Cult.
[Dark, percussive, twisted and dissonant death metal form a true legendary band. They are really skilled musicians and songwriters, with a taste for atypical structures and tempo changes that make them inimitable. Most of their albums are excellent, and Unholy Cult probably my favourite]

· INCANTATION - Onward to Golgotha.
[The third New York area death metal band with it's name ending in -ation. Incantation play some of the most dense, dark, and putrid death metal out there. Their music is brutal and intense, but combined with ominous sludgier and doomier sections. An impressive debut, and their next album is almost as good]

· VADER - Impressions in Blood.
[I'm a late comer to Vader's music, but the band has become a favourite of mine. Vader is hands down, one of the best and most reliable extreme metal bands in the world. Their signature, intense and tight thrashy death metal is simply amazing. It's really hard to pick just one album, as almost all of them are great. "Impressions in Blood" was the first Vader album I listened to and one of their most brutal and intense]

· OBITUARY - Cause of Death.


[Extremely technical and pretty brutal death metal (with some hints of progressive) that will leave you wordless. The musical skill of all the band members is extraordinary, musical wizardy indeed, but also this album is not pointless wankery, as the songs are well structured and written, with a lot of dynamism within them]

· AMORPHIS - Tales from the Thousand Lakes.

· TIAMAT - Clouds.
[A band difficult to label, as it has been over several style changes in their career. Many of their albums are great, and the band has been most of the time creative an unique.
Clouds is probably my favourite of them, inspired and bold for the time, you could say it's extreme gothic metal I guess, when gothic metal didn't really exist as a genre. Elements of primal death and doom are effectively mixed with sublte an dreamy atmospheres, keyboards and a gothic rock feel. Classic and influential, if you enjoy those albums from the mid 90's where bands were experimenting, expanding their sound and making their own path without forsaking the metal elements of their music, you must listen to this]

· SEPTICFLESH - Mystic Places of Dawn.
[Septicflesh has become one of my favourite bands. Their originality and quality really distinguish them as one of the very best hellenic extreme metal bands ever. They kiked some serious ass since their first recordings, and Mystic Places of Dawn, their debut, is a brilliant offering of atmospheric death metal, with unique melodies and doomier passages. I would try all of their albums, even Revolution DNA. They eventually added more doom and gothic elements, and later on, they changed their sound to some awesome, intense, symphonic death metal]

· THULCANDRA - Fallen Angel's Dominion.

· KRODA - Поплач Мені, Річко... (Cry to Me, River...).

· FROSTMOON - Tordenkrig.
[This one is not an album but a compilation of several band's material. And what a material this is. Solemn and warlike norwegian black metal with pagan and epic aesthetics and atmospheres. Thick riffs full of atmosphere while retaining that classical norwegian tone, tastefully used keyboards and mindblowing clean vocals and choirs, like a group of fierce vikings singing before a battle or while saying farewell to a fallen brother who starts his journey to Valhalla guided by the valkyries. Awesome stuff]

· WINDIR - Likferd.

· CYHIRIAETH - Lands of the Ancient Cult.

· MANEGARM - Nordstjärnans Tidsålder.
[Top notch pagan folk black metal. That is what you will find in this record. The freezing speed and fury of swedish black metal is perfectly mixed with a more epic, solemn and pagan aesthetics and folk instruments, retaining this way the best of both worlds. This is mandatory. The rest of their albums are also very recommended]


There are many other albums that I love but these are really especial to me for different reasons.