Tag: Metal

1984, Music

1984 by Van Halen

I know when I listened to Van Halen’s debut album – I think the only album of theirs I’ve actually listened to all the way through before this one – I was thinking it lacked one thing: synthesizers. The decision to add a cheesy ’80s synth to a sound that was already pretty fucking dumb …

1973, Music

Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) by Black Sabbath

Is a band that does one particular thing very well, like Black Sabbath, allowed to evolve? It’s one of those tricky questions. On the one hand, we expect many if not most artists to evolve in some way. (Thank the Beatles for that, if you hate that.) On the other hand, some bands (AC/DC, Ramones, …

1998, Music

Chaosphere (1998) by Meshuggah

I listen to every record I review a bare minimum of three times (but rarely more than that unless I own the album and have heard it before). But every so often I listen to a record three times and I’m pretty sure I need to listen to it more to figure it out. This …

1993, Music

Chaos A.D. (1993) by Sepultura

I don’t know whether or not it’s because I heard Roots first, a few years ago, or because I have heard so much about this record, but upon first listen to this, I was kind of thinking “What’s the big deal?” Sometimes it’s hard to cast your mind back to another time, especially when I …

1993, Music

Wolverine Blues (1993) by Entombed

As I feel like I write in every single metal review I write lately, the metal world is a bizarre place where esoteric fusions of niches and subgenres get all sorts of attention from fans and critics while much of the rest of the music world continues on without anyone being aware that something new …

1978, Music

Killing Machine (1978) by Judas Priest [aka Hell Bent for Leather]

Judas Priest are not my favourite metal band by a long shot, but I had to admire how significant Stained Class was, with some tracks feeling like they were NWOBHM before such a thing even existed. I can’t decide now whether that was due to my very low expectations or the sound of that record, …

1998, Music

Sewn Mouth Secrets (1998) by Soilent Green

The metal world is a weird place, where people seem obsessed by (or at least devoted to) the adherence to genre tropes, so that the goal of some metal bands appears to be “how close can we get to perfectly encapsulating the sound of our sub subgenre?” I’m not sure anyone says that aloud, or …

1993, Music

Focus (1993) by Cynic

Most of the time, when I encounter “progressive death metal” (which this sounds like to me, but which it isn’t categorized as on RYM), I think “this isn’t very progressive.” It usually sounds like more ambitious death metal, but it doesn’t sound very proggy. Well, not so here. If there is one thing this record …

1988, Music

No Rest for the Wicked (1988) by Ozzy Osbourne

I was really tempted to think of Ozzy as an anachronism by 1988, as metal had changed one hell of a lot in the last 20 years. But the opening intensity of the guitar gave me hope that maybe he wasn’t! Then that talk box kicked in, and I wasn’t so sure.

1983, Music

Shout at the Devil (1983) by Mötley Crüe

I have managed to avoid Mötley Crüe for most of my life, beyond their biggest songs, and I can’t say I was looking forward to this. But I find myself…. not pleasantly surprised but at least not horrified. For all their reputation as a “hair metal” band, on this record at least they still sound …

1998, Music

°BSΩLE+e (1998) by Fear Factory

I have still not listened to all that much industrial metal in my life, given how much metal I’ve listened to, and so I can’t really say where this sits in the evolution of the genre. The only thing I can really say is that it sounds a whole hell of a lot better than …

1973, Music

Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) by Budgie

My memory of Budgie’s self-titled debut album is that it is fast; Budgie play faster than just about any of the original metal bands (with the exception of Deep Purple on occasion). And so, putting everything else aside, that record is important as it points towards the New Wave of British Heavy Metal well over …

1998, Music

Cruelty and the Beast (1998) by Cradle of Filth

I usually have no problem with weird voices. Sure, there’s the odd one that rubs me the wrong way but, more often than not, I can ignore or even enjoy a weird voice when I hear it if I like everything else about the music (and especially if that voice is talented).

1998, Music

Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (1998) by Nile

One of the things that I worry about with Death Metal (or Black Metal, for that matter) is that I am going to be confronted by 35-60 minutes of the same style of music and that doesn’t really float my boat. I just don’t want to listen to so many tracks where the style of …

1988, Music

History of a Time to Come (1988) by Sabbat

I am, on some level, a sucker for thrash. Yes, this was released in 1988. Yes, it is heavily influenced by the major American thrash bands. No, there isn’t the kind of genre-creating and genre-defining additions to trash that other late ’80s bands were able to create, on this particular record. I don’t care. Its’ …

1978, Music

Stained Class (1978) by Judas Priest

I do not like Judas Priest, at least as they compare to the other New Wave of British Heavy Metal (henceforth abbreviated NWOBHM) bands. I sort of assumed that was due to the fact that they predated those bands by years and that they jumped on the bandwagon. I am only familiar with their early …

1987, Music

Nightfall (1987) by Candlemass

I am, I supposed, a peculiar kind of metal fan. I like a lot of metal but one of the things I love about great music is particularly un-metal: variety. So every time I encounter one of these bands that practices within a very specific metal sub-genre, I find my love of variety challenged by …

2017, Music

Secret Chiefs 3 Live at The Great Hall September 14, 2017

This was my second Secret Chiefs 3 show, in a much better venue than the last time. It was also a very different experience and I’m not sure whether that’s because SC3 are doing something different on this tour (apparently they are here opening for Dead Cross) or whether the venue made them.

1972, Music

Vol 4 (1972) by Black Sabbath

Round about the time the piano opens “Changes,” we start wondering what is going on. Prior to this moment (or, perhaps, prior to “The Straightener”), Black Sabbath was the heaviest band in the entire world. There was no band louder or lower than Sabbath. And then we get a piano ballad backed with a fucking …

1997, Music

Anthems to the Welkin At Dusk (1997) by Emperor

The problem for me with black metal is that it generally always sounds the same. The black metal bands I’ve heard just do black metal (or melodic black metal, or whatever) and that’s that. They are content to release 50-60 minute onslaughts of one sound and leave it that.

1992, Music

ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ [Psalm 69) (1992) by Ministry

This is the first Ministry album I’ve ever heard. It’s also the first industrial metal I think I’ve ever heard (at least as an adult) and I must say that it sounds pretty much exactly as what I imagined it would. That’s a good thing, I think.