HSThomas
User

Reviews 33
Approval 98%

Soundoffs 42
News Articles 9
Band Edits + Tags 3
Album Edits 21

Album Ratings 197
Objectivity 84%

Last Active 04-26-13 3:06 pm
Joined 03-19-10

Forum Posts 23
Review Comments 668

Average Rating: 3.41
Rating Variance: 0.92
Objectivity Score: 84%
(Well Balanced)

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5.0 classic
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas...
Integrity Those Who Fear Tomorrow
Ah Integrity's Those Who Fear Tommorrow. What's there to say that hasn't been said before? To put it simply though, this is possibly the first and, unarguably, one of the greatest examples of metalcore ever. Dwid's vocals display the most incredible range and power of his entire career, sounding like he actually believes what he preaches. The Melnick brothers' guitar work is equally impressive as is the drumming and the basslines. While it may be too long, the album is the closest thing there will ever be to a hardcore version of Slayer's Reign In Blood. While this maybe a controversial fact, this isn't; this is an album that encompasses all forms of metalcore from brooding to blood-boiling, melodic to dissonant and it lays a template of how all forms of metalcore should be played; with passion, heaviness, originality, sincerity but most of all, sheer power.
Secede Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic

4.5 superb
7 Angels 7 Plagues Jhazmyne's Lullaby
This album very much forms the bridge between hardcore and metalcore however do not let that phase you as this is possibly one of the most emotive albums you may ever listen to. It melds shredding riffs and hard, pounding drumming with beautiful acoustic pieces and the piano solo of Jhazmyne's Lullaby to create an experience that will batter and sooth you but always leave you with hope. This album should not be simply remembered as a groundbreaking moment in genre definition but as a powerful example of skill and passion that many lacklustre attempts (including Misery Signals) fail to live up to today.
Agalloch The Mantle
Bane Give Blood
About as good as hardcore gets. Nice to hear a hardcore record that sounds massive while not relying on metal influences, actually has a great, in-your-face rhythm section and is extremely powerful, both lyrically and musically, to boot. Highly recommended.
Bark Psychosis Codename: Dustsucker
Be'lakor Stone's Reach
Belong October Language
Brian Eno Ambient 1: Music For Airports
Catharsis [US] Passion
Catharsis/Newborn Split
Cave In Until Your Heart Stops
Probably one of the best technical metalcore albums of them all. The main frustration with this album though lies in its inability at certain points to be able to carry forward some of its ideas such as that fantastic space rock riff upon "Juggernaut" with Brodesky's singing soaring along with it. That is my only gripe with a brilliant album.
Cynic Focus
Cynic Traced in Air
Dark Tranquillity Damage Done
Defeater Travels
Drowningman Rock And Roll Killing Machine
Drudkh Autumn Aurora
Edge of Sanity When All Is Said
Eluvium Copia
From the moment you hear the opening right up until the last notes of Repose In Blue have faded away, this album envelopes you in waves of ambient bliss. Haunting pianos, horns and trumpets keeping the listener afloat in the waves of this vast sea of an album. A truly beautiful expression of feeling and natural beauty.
G.I.S.M. Detestation
Helmet Meantime
Helmet's Meantime. Noise rock and hardcore fused into what can only be described as distorted barrage of hard, un-melodic riffs, raw shouts and monotone singing and a rhythm section that is tighter than a duck's arsehole. Of particular note are the bass-lines that are as complex as they are earth shattering, as well as Paige Hamilton's incredible vocal performance. This album is the sound of every pent up frustration, every moment of repressed rage being released in a cathartic bloodbath. It truly is one of the best "stomp-and-go" albums ever.
His Hero Is Gone Monuments to Thieves
Hopesfall No Wings To Speak Of
Insomnium Above the Weeping World
There's always a line in the sand between the Davids and Goliaths of the world. It's a fact that has been set in stone for many millenia to come unfortunately but on a rare occasion a Goliath can become a David. Such is the case with Insomnium, their songwriting, as proved by their sophomore effort, was lackluster and boring at best. However Above The Weeping World took not just one brave step forward but about hundred. The songwriting on this album is nothing short of superb. There are rarely moments when the album gets dull, it just simply flows from one beautiful moment to the next. While it may not be accessible as Across The Dark, this time the effort is worth taking as the melodies encased within the shell are near perfect in some places (see Mortal Share and The Killjoy). Insomnium were once called "a poor man's Opeth." Heh, yeah right.
Insomnium Across the Dark
The pinnacle of Insomnium's career so far. While Above The Weeping World created songs of beauty and power, each one lacked that level of memorability. This finally remedies that problem with nearly every song being a powerhouse. Do not be mistaken, this album is not perfect, it suffers from repetitiveness in songs such as Weighed Down With Sorrow and Sevanen's vocals, despite their intensity, still suffer from being illegable at certain points. Regardless this is an album that should not be overlooked as it is a truly stunning effort.
Kayo Dot Choirs of the Eye
The sound of all your dreams shattering into dust and the screaming echoes that follow.
Killswitch Engage Alive or Just Breathing
Kiss It Goodbye She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
Meshuggah obZen
Morser 10,000 Bad Guys Dead
Neurosis A Sun That Never Sets
Off Minor The Heat Death of the Universe
Anyone can imagine three guys in a small wooden-walled room, under a strip light drinking bourbon and producing some of the finest, most emotional music of their lives. It's such a basic image but it is the embodiment of this album and it was gives it such a sense of class, one that is head and shoulders above any of its contemporaries. Forget Calculating Infinity, this is free jazz. This is aggression. This is music.
Opeth Still Life
The one Opeth album that lives up to the hype. Better than Blackwater Park and the rest of the discog by about twenty million miles. It demonstrates everything that is great about the band and sadly its greatness proves how much of a failure its sequel was.
Starkweather This Sheltering Night
The Gathering Souvenirs
Souvenirs is the Gathering's most complete work. It is not as sonically confrontational as If_then_else but it is more potent in its emotional output. The ambience used along with the inherent minimalism of the songwriting and instrumentation allows for Anneke's voice to flow free in the open air. The free flowing nature, through the restraint of instruments and instruments, allows for the listener to be isolated in that open space. It creates a greater emotional impact upon the listener than any epic melodrama can. It's sombre, Cliff Martinez-esque soundscapes completely encapsulate everything that the Gathering's sound stands for; the haunting, dark beauty as the world just passes you by. A stunning piece of art.
Verse Aggression
Walknut Graveforests And Their Shadows
One of the few albums I can actually say scared the shit out of me (not even Hvis Lyset Tar Oss did that). I played this in a pitch black room and it truly became a monster of an album.

4.0 excellent
Achilles Hospice
Antimatter Planetary Confinement
Bold Looking Back
Brian McBride When The Detail Lost Its Freedom
Burn Burn
Coalesce Functioning on Impatience
Coldworld Melancholie
Converge Jane Doe
I have to admit that my perception of Converge will always be tarnished by the almost religious bigotry that defends this album. I remember approaching this album with quite a reserved and cold attitude due to the amount of absurd hype around it. After six listens I can say that this is an excellent piece of emotional metalcore, despite the grindcore elements sometimes smothering the emotions and Bannon's screams being on the side of whiney and weak on occasion.However it is the three last tracks that make this album. Some of the most fucked up yet beautifully twisted metalcore songs ever. They manage to emulate the realism of a rape in every horrific detail and every turgid emotion. In my opinion, this is a fantastic metalcore record despite its flaws.
Cursed I
Dark Tranquillity Haven
Dark Tranquillity Fiction
Disfear Live the Storm
Edge of Sanity Crimson
Edge of Sanity Purgatory Afterglow
Engineer The Dregs
Fear Factory Obsolete
Fear Factory Mechanize
Garden of Shadows Heart of the Corona
God Is An Astronaut All Is Violent, All Is Bright
Godspeed You! Black Emperor F#A# (Infinity)
Gospel The Moon Is a Dead World
One of the uncommon times I agree with the Sputnik consensus, this is an album worthy of the praise and even better it is a screamo album I actually enjoy.
Helmet Betty
In Cold Blood Suicide King
Despite the inconsistencies, the raw or indeed non-existent production brings out an
emotional poigancy and power that was more or less non-existent on the band's debut album.
Some of the songs recorded on here are indeed some of the Melnick's and Blaze's heaviest
work but it is also some of their most powerful.
In Flames Colony
The pinnacle of the old In Flames sound. Everything here is precise, balanced and crafted brilliantly. The riffs and solos alter between fast and slows tempos but, bar the bass, they never dominate the other instruments instead opting to rise ahead only when needed. It boosts the aggression of the drumming and particularly Anders Friden's volcanic roars who sounds like he is spitting lava with every syllable. Everything combines to create a beast of aggression that crushes with grandiose strides as much as it tears and rips with its speed. This is the last great In Flames album of the old sound. It was only followed by Clayman, an album that wallowed in it's own gluttony before the change to a completely different sound. It may have been the banal The Jester Race that was credited with the founding of the Melodic Death Metal genre but it was this album and possibly Whoracle that are the true examples of In Flames' sound and the ones that should be remembered.
Integrity Seasons in the Size of Days
Interment Into the Crypts of Blasphemy
James Murphy Convergence
Jamiroquai High Times (Singles 1992-2006)
The only record from my childhood that can still stand up today. Infectious, sarcastic, funky as hell and, in a few places, brooding, this compilation is a lot of dark fun that has great staying power.
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma Love is a Stream
Maths Descent
Maths Ascent
Meshuggah Nothing (Re-release)
Misery Signals Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
Modern Life Is War Witness
Naiad Hardcore Emotion
Neurosis Times of Grace
Nobuo Uematsu Final Fantasy X: Original Soundtrack
Novembre The Blue
Pain (SWE) Dancing with the Dead
Playing Enemy I Was Your City
Poison Idea Feel the Darkness
port-royal Flares
Project X Straight Edge Revenge(Reissue)
The closest thing to Powerviolence straight-edge hardcore can become. Vicious, brutal and angry with bass and low-tuned guitars intertwining with each other in tight constriction, this album will pummel you're ears into a bleeding mush. Highly recommended.
Red Innocence and Instinct
Reflux The Illusion Of Democracy
Rise and Fall Our Circle Is Vicious
Rorschach Autopsy
Sights and Sounds Monolith
Sodom Persecution Mania
Sodom Tapping the Vein
Sodom's heaviest, best produced and overall just plain best album. The death metal element and the massiveness of the production really brought out the militaristic vicousness of their sound that no other album before or after has managed to be able to capture. To be honest they all sound rather tame in comparison.
Starkweather Croatoan
Strongarm The Advent of a Miracle
Taken Between Two Unseens
The Hope Conspiracy Death Knows Your Name
Tragedy Nerve Damage
Trenches The Tide Will Swallow Us Whole

3.5 great
At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul
Be'lakor The Frail Tide
Burst Prey on Life
Cable Variable Speed Drive
Cold Year Of The Spider
Dark Tranquillity We Are the Void
Faith No More The Real Thing
Farside The Monroe Doctrine
Ridiculous and a lot of fun. Not a totally unified effort in terms of musicality but the album is worth buying alone for the grindcore parody. Great stuff.
Fear Factory Archetype
Hacride Lazarus
Hacride's sound is... titanic. Imagine a giant's foot stomping on the world and you have a pretty good idea of Lazarus' music . The rush of the music is near instantaneous and it continues in a melodic yet mathmatical manner throughout, alternating between electric and acoustic progression. The crowning jewel though is the vocalist Samuel Bourreau who sounds like a more powerful Tomi Joutsen. Excellent work
Hypocrisy Hypocrisy
In Cold Blood Hell on Earth
In Mourning Shrouded Divine
Integrity To Die For
Integrity Walp├╝rgisnacht
Mar De Grises Draining The Waterheart
Mar De Grises Streams Inwards
Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve
Meshuggah None
Misery Signals Controller
I have always had reservations about Misery Signals so when I picked this up I had big reservations. Boy was I surprised though. Many of the previous hang ups that distanced me from this band have dissapated. The vocals have finally been sorted with the growls finally reaching the deep end of the spectrum though the clean vocals still feel a little bit too misplaced in places. Similarly every song flows seemlessly and beautifully, something that is a major step up from the first two albums. Because of this, it is the first album I willingly sat through to the end. A job very well done indeed.
Neurosis The Eye of Every Storm
Nightingale Nightfall Overture
Playing Enemy Cesarean
Sacrilege GBG The Fifth Season
Skillet Comatose
Skillet Comatose Comes Alive
Soilwork A Predator's Portrait
The Armed These Are Lights
The Pax Cecilia Blessed Are The Bonds
Wolfbrigade Lycanthro Punk

3.0 good
Blood Has Been Shed Spirals
Burzum Hvis Lyset Tar Oss
Cursed II
Cursed, the band that reverberate upon bitterness and brooding. This album is a marked improvement over its predecessor. The songs are not as inherently catchy as the songwriting of one but here it is more manageable, more nuanced. A slight breather between songs is allowed. That is not to say that it has become anymore accesible though. The guitars, bass and drums are still as dense as granite and about as penetrable too. It mocks any ideas of accesibility with the cynical twang of a low notes in Void before sticking a single, dissonant middle finger up at the listener. Accesibility to Cursed is only step closer to the mainstream and in the end they don't want that. They cast it out of their dark, rusted world, prefering to live simply as the Cursed.
Edge of Sanity Crimson II
Garden of Shadows Oracle Moon
Hieronymus Bosch Equivoke
Integrity Humanity is the Devil
Integrity Systems Overload
Killswitch Engage As Daylight Dies
Martyrdod In Extremis
Misery Signals Mirrors
Mnemic The Audio Injected Soul
More Than Life Brave Enough To Fail
Opeth Watershed
Pain (SWE) Cynic Paradise
Red End of Silence
Seether One Cold Night
Solution.45 For Aeons Past
The Empire Shall Fall Awaken
The Great Deceiver Life Is Wasted On The Living
Tragedy Tragedy

2.5 average
Agalloch Ashes Against the Grain
I will admit when I went into listening to this album, I was expecting black metal brilliance but I exited feeling rather blown off. This album has all the necessary components for a black metal/post-rock album of sorts with the rising and fall song structure, detuned guitars and of course, the growls but it left me feeling completely inert. Yes, some of the songs are well put together with crystal clear production and yes, the members are bloody talented but it lacks that ability to make a true emotional connection on any level with an intangible atmosphere and that is crucial for any bm album. Unfortunately it comes across as nothing more than boring. Here's hoping that the rest of their discography is much better.
Apocalyptica Worlds Collide
Blood Has Been Shed Novella Of Uriel
Burnt By the Sun Soundtrack to the Personal Revolution
Devil Sold His Soul Blessed & Cursed
Gates Of Ishtar The Dawn of Flames
In Flames The Jester Race
This album may have been a genre defining moment but it means nothing in the face of its banality. It displays promise in songs such as Artifacts of the Black Rain with dual guitar riffs that rival their inspiration, Iron Maiden in terms of both speed and intensity.
However it is these guitar riffs that are the downfall of this album, they unbalance everything, their speed causing them to metaphorically run away from Anders Friden's vocals as he breathlessly tries to keep up. When he does manage to finally catch up to the guitars in their game of soloing one-upmanship, they overpower his vocals with riffs that are near stretched to death across four to five songs. If one could hear the vocals that while competant, they grate due to their higher pitch. In the end it would take another album before In Flames reached the pinnacle of their old sound, the brilliant Colony.
In Vain Mantra
Insomnium Since the Day It All Came Down
Lights Out Asia Eyes Like Brontide
Opeth Blackwater Park
Pillar Where Do We Go from Here
Seether Disclaimer II
Skillet Collide
Soilwork Natural Born Chaos
Trivium Shogun
Unearth The March
Unreal City Ephemeral Subsistence

2.0 poor
Amorphis Silent Waters
The best word to describe this album; lackluster. It is not so much that the band cannot play their instruments, it is more that their songwriting is trite and painfully dull. The hooks and rhythms are predictable, never rising up to catch the listener, only wallowing in their own melodrama. Tomi Jousten is perhaps the sole grace of Amorphis but even he can't save this album from its greatest flaw; it lacks a genuine, captivating atmosphere. The contrived nature of the instrumentation makes the album's melodrama feel forced, not sweeping and powerful. For an album of this genre, the power of the atmosphere is crucial so having none renders this album inert and thus a nearly complete failure.
Burnt By the Sun Heart of Darkness
Codeseven The Rescue
Cold A Different Kind of Pain
Practically devoid of emotion even when the band tries to angst the most.
Dark Tranquillity Character
Fear Before Art Damage
Fen The Malediction Fields
I Hear Sirens Beyond the Sea, Beneath the Sky
Integrity Closure
Killswitch Engage Killswitch Engage II
Mnemic Passenger
Nothing Stays Gold Nothing Stays Gold
Pillar Fireproof
Playing Enemy Accessory
Puddle of Mudd Come Clean
Purtenance Member of Immortal Damnation
Proof that OSDM can be derivative and boring on occasion. Avoid like the plague.
Solefald Norron Livskunst
This is sad really. There are some seriously good elements. The songs themselves are well-written and Lazare's rasps are brilliant, hell even the polka elements work at points but the damn clean vocals and the excessive electronica elements drown the songs in camp and cheese. Solefald are known for the humourous take on their own music at points but they also knew restraint in their excess. Here though it's like listening to the Gestapo perform YMCA. Seriously bad.
Swallow the Sun Hope
The Calm Blue Sea The Calm Blue Sea

1.5 very poor
A Dark Halo Catalyst
Adema Insomniac's Dream
Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold
Cold Cold
Crossfade Crossfade
In Flames Come Clarity
Skillet Awake
Repeating songs from your previous albums in higher notes does not constitute songwriting. Want to hear this album? Listen to Comatose.
Trivium Ascendancy

1.0 awful
Grey Skies Fallen Tomorrow's In Doubt
Integrity Integrity 2000
Puddle of Mudd Life On Display
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