Reviews 19
Approval 86%

Soundoffs 34
News Articles 1
Band Edits + Tags 5
Album Edits 11

Album Ratings 434
Objectivity 73%

Last Active 07-06-22 12:42 am
Joined 04-25-08

Review Comments 2,280

Average Rating: 3.51
Rating Variance: 0.41
Objectivity Score: 73%
(Fairly Balanced)


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5.0 classic
Amorphis Silent Waters
Now I'm sure everything positive about this album that can be said has been said, and let me say I totally agree with all the immense praise this gets. From every song being excellent to the vocals which are literally to die for (they used 5, yes 5, backing vocalists for this), this album is just perfect in every way. Okay, there are small gripes like 'Enigma' killing the Metal feel of the album, 'I Of Crimson Blood' having a dragged out intro (at that point) and 'The White Swan' having a weaker chorus than all the other tracks, but those do not hold this back from perfection. I rarely give the 'Classic' rating, but this deserves it 100%.
Blind Guardian A Night at the Opera
Blind Guardian Imaginations from the Other Side
Circle Takes the Square As the Roots Undo
Daylight Dies Dismantling Devotion
In Vain (NO) The Latter Rain
ISIS Panopticon
Orphaned Land Mabool (The Story of the Three Sons...)

4.5 superb
A Wilhelm Scream Career Suicide
Agalloch Pale Folklore
Alexisonfire Crisis
Anberlin Cities
Blind Guardian Somewhere Far Beyond
Closure in Moscow First Temple
Dan Reed Network The Heat
Amazing album. It's perhaps a bit too long and some tracks aren't necessary, but most of it is incredibly catchy funky Rock which is super easy to listen to and enjoy. Don't let my 'funky Rock' tag fool you however; this album is incredibly diverse, with Hip-Hop, Pop, Country and Gospel all worked in smoothly. The band themselves are stellar: the vocals are delivered perfectly, the lyrics slay, the rhythm section is amazing (especially the drumming) and the keyboard and guitars create some great melodies. I first heard it about 10 years ago, and 'Blame It On The Moon' and the title track still to this day remain as some of my favourite songs. Highly recommended, even though barely anyone has heard of this band.
Demons and Wizards Demons & Wizards
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction
Iron Maiden Piece of Mind
Iron Maiden Brave New World
Kiuas The Spirit of Ukko
Kiuas The New Dark Age
Misery Signals Controller
Opeth Blackwater Park
Peter Gabriel So
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine
Rise Against The Sufferer and the Witness
Say Anything ...Is a Real Boy
Silversun Pickups Swoon
Solefald The Linear Scaffold
Strung Out Blackhawks Over Los Angeles
Strung Out Agents of the Underground
What can be said, another excellent release from Strung Out. Yes, the album lacks diversity. Yes, Jason is losing his voice. But these criticisms can be negated simply by looking at Agents Of The Underground in context. Strung Out have reached their pinnacle with their previous album Blackhawks Over Los Angeles - it was the perfect combination of the Punk, Metal and Hardcore that they've explored so passionately their whole career. With those eight albums they've influenced countless other bands (hell, listen to the radio and you'll hear them in Rise Against) and while never becoming close to famous, have become incredibly respected. This leads to the logical conclusion of the the album's title: Strung Out, throughout their career, have established themselves as the Agents of the Underground, those down-to-earth and respected but never in the spotlight. They've achieved their destiny. As such, Agents is practically written just for fun; the band aren't concerning themselves with writing anything new or diverse, they're just playing for the sake of music. And it's damn good.
The Hotelier Home, Like NoPlace Is There
The Mars Volta The Bedlam in Goliath
Tristania Beyond the Veil
Tristania Widow's Weeds

4.0 excellent
A Crowd of Rebellion Zealot City
Adrenalized Tales From The Last Generation
After Forever After Forever
Against Me! Reinventing Axl Rose
Agalloch The Mantle
Agalloch Ashes Against the Grain
Alexisonfire Watch Out!
Almeida Fantastic Massacre
Imagine if instead of becoming overly technical, atomised and over-produced, Protest the Hero made music after Kezia which built on it; this album would be it. Almeida manage to pull off quality, complex songs at an alarming rate for a debut, and with the fantastic guitar solos, varied songs and atmospheric passages, this deserves a listen.
Amorphis Tales from the Thousand Lakes
Amorphis Circle
Arch Enemy Burning Bridges
As I Lay Dying An Ocean Between Us
August Burns Red Rescue & Restore
Bat For Lashes Two Suns
Bayaan Suno
Blind Guardian A Twist in the Myth
Blind Guardian At the Edge of Time
Brand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Sorry guys, I just don't get the whole 'connection' thing with this. 'Degausser' is a great song musically, however.
Children of Bodom Follow the Reaper
Closure in Moscow Pink Lemonade
Coheed and Cambria From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
Copeland You Are My Sunshine
Cynic Traced in Air
Traced In Air's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. The album's kernel point of 'the audible recording of air' does lead to impressive layered arrangements, mind-blowing instrumentation and great diversity, but hinders the album's potential to have many things tangible on it, let alone emotion. Still, once you get past all the insane amounts of layers you should find it a very enjoyable album.
Dan Swano Moontower
Dance Gavin Dance Instant Gratification
Dance Gavin Dance Mothership
Dark Tranquillity Damage Done
Dark Tranquillity Fiction
Dark Tranquillity The Gallery
Darko From Trust To Conformity
Death The Sound of Perseverance
Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism
Deep Purple Made in Japan
Deep Purple Burn
Demons and Wizards Touched by the Crimson King
While it has no killer standout track like 'Fiddler On The Green' in the s/t, Demons and Wizards' second offering tops the s/t by its relentless quality and diversity, further proving Hansi and Jon are masters of Power Metal. 'Touched...' sounds scarcely like the s/t (and avoids some of the generic moments, ie 'Blood On My Hands', 'Winter Of Souls'), yet still maintains Jon's killer riffs (title track, 'Loves Tragedy Asunder'), Hansi's exceptional layered vocals ('Seize the Day', 'Wicked Witch') and enough hooks to last you a long time. Although it has one too many slow songs and is a bit bizarre in places ('Terror Train'), the band deserves major credit for recording a brutally heavy cover of Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song'.
Draconian Arcane Rain Fell
Dream Theater Train of Thought
dredg El Cielo
Eternal Storm Come the Tide
Faith No More The Real Thing
Faun Von den Elben
fun. Aim and Ignite
Gamma Ray Land of the Free
Gamma Ray Majestic
Godspeed You! Black Emperor F♯ A♯ ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada
Grimner Frost Mot Eld
Haggard Eppur si muove
The growls in this are as beastly as hell, yet there's constant melodies with the orchestra; Symphonic Death Metal, as an idea, actually executed well. It's a shame the songs keep stopping and starting/the orchestral passages drag on needlessly.
Harakiri for the Sky Aokigahara
Hop Along Bark Your Head Off, Dog
HORSE the band R. Borlax
Hot Cross Cryonics
Iced Earth The Glorious Burden
In Flames Clayman
In Flames Come Clarity
In Vain (NO) Aenigma
Insomnium Above the Weeping World
Iron Maiden Powerslave
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
Iron Maiden Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Iron Maiden Flight 666: The Original Soundtrack
ISIS In the Absence of Truth
Jethro Tull Minstrel in the Gallery
Judas Priest Painkiller
Kalmah They Will Return
Kalmah Swampsong
Kate Bush Hounds of Love
Kauan Ice Fleet
Kiuas Lustdriven
Kvelertak Kvelertak
Ling Tosite Sigure Just a Moment
Lost Horizon A Flame to the Ground Beneath
Overrated but still excellent. You have to get used to how the songs stop kinda stop and start often, which is fine in a band like Haggard but when these guys are often playing things that are fast and intense, it feels a bit odd that they will stop for a bit then carry on. Apart from that, and some really bad/weird parts (the terrible solo at the end of 'Cry of a restless soul' and the part at the end of 'Again will the fire burn'), the songwriting is generally on point.r
Lydia Illuminate
Mar De Grises Draining The Waterheart
Maximum the Hormone Korekara no Menkata Cottelee no Hanashi wo Shiyou
Moonsorrow Tulimyrsky
Ne Obliviscaris Citadel
Nightrage Wearing a Martyr's Crown
Nightwish Dark Passion Play
Norther Dreams of Endless War
Omnium Gatherum The Burning Cold
Opeth Still Life
Pain of Salvation Remedy Lane
Persuader Evolution Purgatory
Propagandhi Supporting Caste
Protest the Hero Kezia
Protest the Hero Volition
Protest the Hero Palimpsest
Regina Spektor Far
Rise Against Revolutions per Minute
Rise Against Siren Song of the Counter Culture
Rolo Tomassi Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
Rosetta A Determinism of Morality
Saosin Translating the Name
Savage Circus Dreamland Manor
Scar Symmetry Symmetric in Design
Scar Symmetry Holographic Universe
Sigh Imaginary Sonicscape
Sights and Sounds Monolith
Solefald Neonism
Strung Out Exile In Oblivion
Strung Out Transmission.Alpha.Delta
Sunless Rise Unrevealed
Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster Wires/Dream\Wires
Talons Hollow Realm
The Antlers Hospice
The Mars Volta De-Loused in the Comatorium
The Mars Volta Frances the Mute
The Menzingers After the Party
The National High Violet
The Offspring Americana
The Sound of Animals Fighting The Ocean and the Sun
Theocracy Mirror of Souls
Sadly, many Metal bands nowadays seem to lack ambition - not necessarily to do something new, just
something big, something epic, something complex; something ambitious. Theocracy is not one of such
bands. Except a few duller tracks (which limit my rating to a 4), the crazy OTT drums (exactly what is needed
in PM), the blurred choruses and verses, exceptionally melodic vocals and the twenty minute epic, this album
is a model of Power Metal done right. Give it a spin.
Thursday War All the Time
Todtgelichter Angst
Tool Lateralus
Tool 10,000 Days
Trophy Scars Holy Vacants
Turnover Peripheral Vision
Unearth The Oncoming Storm
Unexpect In a Flesh Aquarium
United Nations United Nations
Vektor Terminal Redux
We Lost the Sea Departure Songs
Whispered Thousand Swords
Winterhorde Underwatermoon
There are many good things about 'Underwatermoon'. It is an example of how to be creative in a genre (extreme Metal) which is often limited by an excessive focus on riffs and needing to be 'heavy'. Yet it can still provide the 'heavy', with excellent harsh vocals and an extremely focussed drum performance. The problem is that the band hasn't yet harnessed or refined their creativity: many of the songs feel disjointed (see the title track and 'the Curse of Gypsy'). There are many excellent passages, but these come randomly; indeed, the best parts of the album, in 'Wreckage Ghost' ('I tried to follow her...') and 'Hunting the Human' (the first chorus), are where there is a clear direction or journey towards the climatic passage. The disjointed nature of the songs hurts their flow, making them feel bloated, even if there are excellent parts within them. The other issue is the clean vocals aren't good enough to provide the depth and melody they intend to add, limiting the potential of the parts where they're used; 'And Flames...' is fantastic due to the female vocals - on the others it seems the band is trying so hard to not sound like Power Metal that the clean vocals suffer. Add to this a large album length, which makes the songs susceptible to blending together, and you have many problems which cannot be overcome, despite the excellent songwriting and genius which this band definitely does possess. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future, when the songwriting is refined.
Wintersun Wintersun

3.5 great
A Wilhelm Scream Mute Print
A Wilhelm Scream Ruiner
A Wilhelm Scream Partycrasher
Aerosmith Pump
AFI Sing the Sorrow
Alcest Spiritual Instinct
Amaranthe Amaranthe
Amorphis Elegy
Amorphis Skyforger
Amorphis Magic & Mayhem
Anberlin Never Take Friendship Personal
Anberlin New Surrender
Aquaria Luxaeterna
Arch Enemy Doomsday Machine
Arch Enemy Rise of the Tyrant
Arsis A Diamond for Disease
As Cities Burn Hell or High Water
August Burns Red Leveler
Avantasia The Wicked Symphony
Avenged Sevenfold City of Evil
Why the hell is this as low as 3.4? The answer is simple: haters gonna hate
Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold
Extremely experimental record, and even if some of the experiments fail, each song is fresh and creative, meaning the album is difficult to get bored of. It seems the album has become trendy to hate, which is a shame, because there are some real gems here, such as 'Almost Easy' and 'Afterlife'. 'Brompton Cocktail' is a fantastic atmospheric song if there ever was one, and 'A Little Piece Of Heaven' is a great multi-faceted song (extended choruses usually don't work, but they pulled it off), even if it takes a while to get used to. Also a shout-out to the Rev's drumming, powerful and creative, a model for most Metal drummers.
Avenged Sevenfold Nightmare
BABYMETAL Metal Galaxy
Baroness Blue Record
Between the Buried and Me Colors
Blind Guardian Nightfall in Middle-Earth
Blind Guardian Tales from the Twilight World
Chevelle Vena Sera
Close Your Eyes Line in the Sand
Coheed and Cambria In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Cormorant Metazoa
Cult of Luna Salvation
Cult of Luna Somewhere Along the Highway
Dance Gavin Dance Acceptance Speech
Dance Gavin Dance Artificial Selection
Dark Tranquillity Character
Dio Holy Diver
Disillusion Back to Times of Splendor
Dream Theater Images and Words
dredg Catch Without Arms
Edge of Sanity Crimson II
Edge of Sanity Purgatory Afterglow
Electric Six Fire
Electric Six Senor Smoke
Electric Six Switzerland
Not the most consistent album, but loads of amazing stuff inside. From the perfect intro of 'The Band In Hell' to the opening Piano roll of 'I Buy The Drugs' to the inanely catch chorus of 'Pulling The Plug On The Party', I was thinking this was the best album I'd ever heard. 'Pink Flamingos' and 'I Wish This Song Was Louder' bring in the filler at full force, but 'Slices of You', (which is arguably the best song in the entire Electric 6 discography) saves it. The last 3 tracks are average to bad (despite a great chorus in 'Germans in Mexico'), but the album is certainly worth it for its good stuff. And of course, Electric 6 maintain their natural charm and awesome lyrics.
Emery ...In Shallow Seas We Sail
Emilie Autumn Opheliac
Ensiferum Ensiferum
Equilibrium Sagas
Faith No More Angel Dust
Firewind The Premonition
Funeral for a Friend Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation
Gamma Ray No World Order
Garden of Shadows Oracle Moon
Glassjaw Worship and Tribute
Haggard Awaking the Centuries
Haggard And Thou Shalt Trust the Seer
HammerFall Crimson Thunder
HORSE the band The Mechanical Hand
HORSE the band Desperate Living
Icarus the Owl Icarus the Owl
Icarus the Owl Pilot Waves
Iced Earth Something Wicked This Way Comes
Illusion Suite Iron Cemetery
Immortal At the Heart of Winter
In Flames Colony
In Mourning Shrouded Divine
In Vain (NO) Mantra
In Vain (NO) Currents
Iron Maiden Dance of Death
Iron Maiden A Matter of Life and Death
Iron Maiden The Final Frontier
Iron Maiden The Book of Souls
Judas Priest Stained Class
Judas Priest Defenders of the Faith
Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance
Kalmah Swamplord
Kalmah 12 Gauge
Kamelot The Black Halo
Kamelot Karma
Kate Bush The Dreaming
Killswitch Engage The End of Heartache
Killswitch Engage As Daylight Dies
Kiuas Reformation
La Dispute Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair
Ling Tosite Sigure Inspiration Is Dead
Lisa Mitchell Wonder
Live Throwing Copper
Living Colour Vivid
Lorde Pure Heroine
Lorde Melodrama
Machine Men Scars and Wounds
Mastodon Leviathan
Minsk With Echoes in the Movement of Stone
My Dying Bride The Angel and the Dark River
Ne Obliviscaris Portal of I
There are many good things about 'Portal of I'. It is an example of how to be creative in a genre (extreme rMetal) which is often limited by an excessive focus on riffs and needing to be 'heavy'. Yet it can still provide rthe 'heavy', with excellent harsh vocals and an extremely focussed drum performance. The problem is that the rband hasn't yet harnessed or refined their creativity: many of the songs feel disjointed. There are many rexcellent passages, but these come randomly; indeed, the best parts of the album, the ends of 'Tapestry of rthe Starless Abstract' and 'Forget Not', are where there is a clear direction or journey towards the final, rfantastic passage. The disjointed nature of the songs hurts their flow, making them feel incomplete, even if rthey have excellent parts within. The other issue is the clean vocals aren't good enough to provide the depth rand melody they intend to add, limiting the potential of lots of the album. Add to this an extremely large ralbum length, which makes the album susceptible to being repetitive, and you have many problems which rcannot be overcome, despite the excellent songwriting and genius which this band does genuinely possess. I rlook forward to hearing more from them in the future, when the songwriting is refined.
Nightwish Once
Nightwish Oceanborn
Norther N
Opeth Damnation
Opeth Ghost Reveries
Orphaned Land All Is One
Our Lady Peace Happiness...
Parkway Drive Ire
Persefone Core
Persefone Shin-Ken
Persuader When Eden Burns
Persuader The Fiction Maze
Porcupine Tree In Absentia
Propagandhi Potemkin City Limits
Propagandhi Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes
Protest the Hero Fortress
Better than I previously though. But where are the choruses? Bloodmeat is the best song, for obvious reasons to this reviewer.
Rage Against the Machine Evil Empire
Rage Against the Machine The Battle of Los Angeles
Rise Against Appeal to Reason
Rocket From The Tombs The Day the Earth Met the Rocket from the Tombs
Rosetta Wake/Lift
Rx Bandits ...And the Battle Begun
Saosin Saosin
Saturnus Paradise Belongs to You
Savage Circus Of Doom And Death
Say Anything In Defense of the Genre
Scar Symmetry The Singularity - Phase I: Neohumanity
Shadows Fall The Art of Balance
SikTh Death of a Dead Day
Skid Row Skid Row
Solefald In Harmonia Universali
Solefald Black For Death: An Icelandic Odyssey Part 2
Solefald Norron Livskunst
Sonata Arctica Ecliptica
Sonata Arctica Winterheart's Guild
Strung Out An American Paradox
The Blood Brothers Crimes
The Gaslight Anthem The '59 Sound
The Halo Effect Days of the Lost
The Mars Volta Amputechture
The Mars Volta Octahedron
The Ocean Pelagial
The Offspring Ixnay on the Hombre
The Pax Cecilia Blessed Are The Bonds
The Sound of Animals Fighting Tiger and the Duke
The War On Drugs Lost in the Dream
Theocracy Theocracy
Touche Amore Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me
Tristania Ashes
Tristania World of Glass
Ulver Kveldssanger
Ulver Nattens Madrigal
Ulver Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler
Underoath Lost in the Sound of Separation
Unearth III: In the Eyes of Fire
Unexpect Fables of the Sleepless Empire
Winterhorde Nebula
Within Temptation The Silent Force
Woe Of Tyrants Kingdom of Might

3.0 good
A Wilhelm Scream A Wilhelm Scream
Alexisonfire Old Crows / Young Cardinals
All That Remains The Fall of Ideals
Amia Venera Landscape The Long Procession
Amorphis Eclipse
Anberlin Blueprints for the Black Market
Anti-Flag Die For the Government
Arcade Fire Funeral
Arch Enemy Anthems of Rebellion
As I Lay Dying The Powerless Rise
Atreyu Lead Sails Paper Anchor
Avantasia The Metal Opera
Avenged Sevenfold Waking the Fallen
Barren Earth Curse of the Red River
Be'lakor The Frail Tide
Becoming The Archetype The Physics of Fire
Blind Guardian Beyond the Red Mirror
Bosnian Rainbows Bosnian Rainbows
Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A.
Closure in Moscow The Penance and the Patience
Delain The Human Contradiction
DragonForce Valley of the Damned
Dream Theater Octavarium
Electric Six Flashy
Much like Electric Six's previous album, lots of melody and the general happy atmosphere that made Fire and Switzerland what they were is sacrificed in favour of experimentation, which I guess is a good thing, but lots of it ends up going nowhere. For example, the first 2 minutes 'Graphic Designer' are some of the most straight-out awesome material the band has ever written, but the solo section has this utterly pointless, irritating scratchy section (hard to describe but you'll understand if you hear it), which really makes the song a lot less enjoyable. There are lots of other moments like this throughout, but let's not be too negative; there's still loads of untampered goodness to be found in this, as shown in 'Transatlantic Flight', 'Heavy Woman', 'Making Progress' and the title track. Good album, but check Fire or Switzerland if you want the band at their best.
Epica The Divine Conspiracy
Funeral for a Friend Hours
Heaven Shall Burn Iconoclast (Part 1: The Final Resistance)
HORSE the band A Natural Death
I Am Robot and Proud The Electricity in Your House Wants to Sing
I the Mighty Satori
Iced Earth Horror Show
Ikuinen Kaamos Closure
In Mourning The Weight of Oceans
ISIS Wavering Radiant
Kalmah For the Revolution
Kamelot Ghost Opera
Ling Tosite Sigure I'mperfect
Mastodon Crack the Skye
Moonsorrow Kivenkantaja
Motion City Soundtrack I Am the Movie
Nightfall Athenian Echoes
Mixing Melodeath and Black Metal doesn't work, as this album demonstrates. This is because the catchiness, heaviness and general feel of Melodeath cannot work alongside drony, sparse Black Metal atmospheres. The track least influenced by Black Metal is hence the best: 'Isthar (Celebrate Your Beauty)' feels exciting and intense, and has a nasty guitar solo. Sadly the rest of the album, with its preoccupation with Black Metal-y atmosphere, just drones and meanders on without anything to grab the listener.
Nightwish Imaginaerum
October Tide Rain Without End
Persuader The Hunter
Propagandhi Failed States
Rx Bandits Mandala
Scary Kids Scaring Kids The City Sleeps In Flames
Silverstein Discovering the Waterfront
Sirenia At Sixes And Sevens
It is a grave shame for Metal and music in general that Morten left Tristania (to form this sucky band). This is
because the songs on 'Widow's Weeds' and 'Beyond the Veil', most of which incredible, were collectively
written. Without each other, Morten and Tristania's subsequent efforts were both subpar to the sum of their
collective songwriters (and continued to get worse). While this is the best Sirenia album, Morten's songwriting
is only as good as he can do himself: extremely solid and rhythmic, but lacking the interesting aspects and
melodies (which the keyboardist mostly contributed) making the work in Tristania so magical. As such,
songwriting wise, this album is basically a boring version of Tristania. The instrumental work doesn't merit
much discussion, while the female vocals sound weak (definitely not the (most of the time) powerful soprano
needed for this style of Gothic Metal). The male vocals are very good, and there are a few catchy moments,
however, the record remains merely above average and not anything special.
Solefald Red For Fire: An Icelandic Odyssey Part 1
Tarot Suffer Our Pleasures
The Kindred Life in Lucidity
The Ocean Precambrian
The heaviness (big heavy guitars and harsh vocals) doesn't really work (especially with the post-metal-y context of the album) when they use it so much. 'Rhyacian' is the only song that really succeeds at what they're going for. Also, the album is way too long.
The Receiving End of Sirens Between the Heart and the Synapse
The Sins of Thy Beloved Lake of Sorrow
Theatre Of Tragedy Velvet Darkness They Fear
Tiamat Wildhoney
Tides of Man Dreamhouse
Tool Ænima
Trail Of Tears A New Dimension Of Might
Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Lost Christmas Eve
Probably the cheesiest album ever (for better or for worse). Some great tracks (the title track is spectacular), but also tons of filler. Worth a few listens.
Tristania Illumination
Underoath They're Only Chasing Safety
Underoath Define the Great Line
While She Sleeps You Are We
Basically what's to be expected from poppy music (this being mainstream Metalcore). Extremely catchy but not a lot of depth to it; on repeated listens it's fairly dull in most places. Some quite cringe-worthy lyrics too. ("borders in the land that we roam // we pray for war like it's a ****ing religion // when greed is all we know". I'm politically left-wing but this just sounds embarrassing).rAll that said, the title track is excellent, so big credit to them for that. If you can write a song as good as that then your album is very much worth it. Based on that I'd say the album is a success overall, and its limits are, well, in effect, the limits of its genre.
Whispered Shogunate Macabre
Wolfchant A Pagan Storm

2.5 average
Amorphis The Beginning of Times
Arch Enemy Wages of Sin
August Burns Red Constellations
Bullet For My Valentine Scream Aim Fire
Carcass Heartwork
Circa Survive Blue Sky Noise
Dead Letter Circus This Is The Warning
DragonForce Inhuman Rampage
In Flames A Sense of Purpose
Into Eternity Buried in Oblivion
Megadeth Youthanasia
Nightwish Wishmaster
Norther Death Unlimited
Opeth Watershed
Okay, I tried for 3 weeks to let this 'grow' on me, but it just didn't. It starts awesomely with Coil and Heir Apparent, then things get a bit weird with The Lotus Eater (that has its good parts but is really messy overall). Then we have Burden, which is nice, but feels like Mikael is just half-assing it songwriting wise. Porcelain Heart follows, which is similar to Burden albeit worse. Luckily Hessian Peel is a good song (although it drags in places), but I soon forget about that when the totally directionless Hex Omega is playing. And oh great, that's the album finished.
The song quality is just weaker on this. It feels like Mikael really half-assed lots of it (Burden, Porcelain, Hex) and the harsh and clean vocals lack the power they usually do. On the positives I did like the new drummer and guitarist (a bit of a different sound). This isn't terrible or anything, it just doesn't leave nearly the impression others did.
Opeth Heritage
Pain of Salvation Be
Queensryche Operation: Mindcrime
The only song here that felt like it had some real energy to it was the opener ('Revolution Calling'), but
it's still basically 80s rock and not much else. It's fun, but nothing really special. Same with the rest of
the album. The vocals are kinda monotone / never really varied, and the lyrics/story is nothing special
(I actually thought it was kinda cheesy in places, couldn't really see anything profound about it). Given
all the high reviews of this, I thought there must be something I'm missing...I played it to some friends
(who have good taste), and they thought the exact same - it's just dull 80s rock. Out of all the high-
rated albums on Sputnik, this one I just cannot for the life of me understand how it's so highly rated. I
have no idea what others are hearing.
Regina Spektor Begin To Hope
Scar Symmetry Dark Matter Dimensions
SikTh The Trees Are Dead and Dried Out, Wait for Something Wild
Solefald Pills Against The Ageless Ills
Solefald World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud
The Dear Hunter Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise
Pretty dull music, I don't understand why it gets so much hype -- reminds of that boring Queensryche album in this sense
The Hotelier Goodness
The Menzingers On the Impossible Past
The Wonder Years Sister Cities
Some good tracks but the production butchers it, so jagged, I really struggled listening to this after a while. It's a shame because 'Pyramids of Salt' is one of the best songs I've heard in a while, but the production just grates on me every time, headphones or speakers. One of the worst drum sounds I've heard in ages, really interferes with my listening.
Theocracy As the World Bleeds
Trail Of Tears Bloodstained Endurance
Winterhorde Maestro

2.0 poor
All That Remains Overcome
Anberlin Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Arcturus Sideshow Symphonies
Children of Bodom Hatebreeder
Draconian Turning Season Within
Echoes of Eternity The Forgotten Goddess
Judas Priest British Steel
Kero Kero Bonito Bonito Generation
Metallica Master of Puppets
Nightwish Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Orphaned Land The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR
Protest the Hero Scurrilous
My initial problem with this album was that it sounded too similar to Fortress. My problem now is that it's worse than Fortress; it's almost like they wrote this before Fortress and then did an improved version, which turned out to be Fortress. The worrying signs on Fortress of the band becoming more technical at the expense of improving songwriting is proven true, as the songs are filled with more arbitrary time changes and lack direction in general. My issue is really how this happened: complex songwriting like what the band try to do successfully has been achieved on albums like Kezia; how did they somehow make their songs have less direction as time went on? Another issue is the abysmal lyrics, which are so poor they don't merit discussion. Also, the over-production which was creeping into Fortress blossoms here; the mix is so bloated I find the album hard to sit through in one sitting. The only positive note to be made is the first two tracks.
Slayer Reign in Blood

1.5 very poor
Sonic Syndicate Eden Fire
Wintersun Time I
Seeing these guys live last week really made me realise how appallingly bland and boring this album is. The songwriting has become simple - 'Land of snow and sorrow' is one of the most uneventful songs I've heard, dragged out to a painful 7 minutes (after they played it, I left the gig. This was the first time I've ever left a gig early before -- it was that bad). 'Sons of winter and stars' also has too little going on to justify its length, and is disjointed -- there is no clear progression or direction to it like say, 'Sadness and hate' off the s/t. The climax/chorus at the end, which is only built up to by the knowledge that the song must be over soon, is actually very bland and just relies on sounding big, rather than having any melody or creativity to it. Across the album, the drums are far too quiet in the mix and seem happy to just keep the beat (rather than do something interesting or crazy like in lots of parts of the s/t). The awesome guitar solos of the s/t have practically disappeared. Of course, I don't want just a carbon copy of the s/t; the problem with this 'Time 1' that unlike the s/t, it's not creative or challenging *at all*. It's boring and generic. If this wasn't Wintersun, people would see this as just a generic, boring album.

1.0 awful
I Set My Friends On Fire You Can't Spell Slaughter Without Laughter
This album is terrible, as it contains no depth, originality, emotion, skill, and most importantly, passion for the music at hand. This is what music sounds like like when it's written and made with a computer (plus abhorrent harsh and clean vocals on top), and honestly it's one of the worst things I've ever heard. 'Hxc 2-Step' is actually worse than Brokencyde, if that's possible. Avoid.
Into Eternity The Incurable Tragedy
Judas Priest Nostradamus

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