Reviews 2
Approval 100%

Soundoffs 113
Album Ratings 443
Objectivity 63%

Last Active 11-08-16 10:54 pm
Joined 04-11-11

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Average Rating: 3.80
Rating Variance: 0.43
Objectivity Score: 63%
(Fairly Balanced)


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Mastodon The Hunter4.0
Beneath the Massacre Marée Noire3.0
Allegaeon Elements of the Infinite3.5
A "greater than the sum of it's parts" situation in which rehashed ideas come together in ways much catchier and more compelling than they have any right to be. I don't see a wealth of creativity but, in the best moments, the magic of execution makes this throughly enjoyable.
Spawn of Possession Incurso3.0
Devin Townsend Project Transcendence4.0
Ihsahn angL3.5
Ihsahn Arktis.4.0
Ihsahn Das Seelenbrechen3.0
Ihsahn Eremita4.0
Devin Townsend Project Z23.5
Devin Townsend Ocean Machine: Biomech3.0
Tiamat Clouds3.5
Slayer South of Heaven4.5
Devin Townsend Project Epicloud4.0
A heavily loaded collection of Devin's most exuberant work. This is the rock opera we wanted Z2 to be, just set in the world of love and desire rather than space. The songs are vast, lush, catchy and expertly crafted, there's not a moment wasted nor is repeated. This album is an example of a a new and strange idea executed perfectly.
Melvins Houdini4.0
Melvins Stoner Witch3.5
Melvins Bullhead4.0
Exhumed Gore Metal4.0
Exhumed Slaughtercult3.5
Exhumed Anatomy Is Destiny4.0
Nirvana Bleach4.0
Gorod A Maze of Recycled Creeds4.5
Picking up where "Leading Vision" left off, that is to say, throwing technical death for a loop refreshing a genre prone to stagnation. The same level of refinement and purposeful experimentation of form and composition that made "Leading Vision" unique is found here, amidst an aptly named maze of off-genre influences and metal-insider references. These guys seem to know that trying too hard to innovate is just as bad as mimicking what's popular; somehow they've navigated through this trap.
Gorod Neurotripsicks4.0
Gorod Leading Vision4.5
Tiamat Wildhoney4.0
Amorphis Eclipse3.5
Amorphis Silent Waters3.5
Behemoth Demigod2.5
Behemoth The Satanist4.0
Nero di Marte Derivae4.5
Tribulation The Formulas of Death3.5
Enslaved In Times4.5
Origin Omnipresent4.0
Celtic Frost To Mega Therion4.0
Triptykon Melana Chasmata4.5
Autopsy Mental Funeral4.0
Autopsy Severed Survival4.0
Blood Red Throne Souls of Damnation2.5
Origin Origin3.0
Unconscious Disturbance Shooting at the Moon4.0
Aborted The Necrotic Manifesto3.0
Revocation Empire of the Obscene3.0
Immolation Dawn of Possession4.0
Ahab Call Of The Wretched Sea3.5
Ahab The Divinity Of Oceans3.5
Devourment Molesting the Decapitated4.0
Blink-182 blink-1823.0
Terrorizer World Downfall4.5
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory3.0
Pure nostalgia points? You betcha. Still, as bas as I know this is, these songs are catchy as hell, and we can all handle a few minutes of rap-metal per year, can't we?
Linkin Park Meteora2.5
Godsmack Faceless3.0
Disturbed Ten Thousand Fists2.0
Disturbed Believe2.5
Disturbed The Sickness2.5
Blotted Science The Animation of Entomology3.5
The addition of Hannes Grossman only increases the metal chops on display here, and he's probably a better fit than Charlie Zeleny, who is great in his own right, but there's a little something missing nonetheless. Perhaps it's just that it's so short, but it feels like there are fewer riffs, at least fewer riffs that demand your necks attention, than on the debut. It's just as technical and probably even a bit more bizarre, a bit less linear, but is overshadowed by the monolithic full length.
Blotted Science The Machinations of Dementia4.5
There is almost nothing not to like here. WIth Ron Jarzombek at the helm and the talented Webster and Zeleny in tow this is a metal musician's wet dream: fast, technical, jarring, heavy and with a definite and unique melodic character. Jarzombek is a metal genius, and this is just his latest and heaviest masterwork.
Demigod Slumber of Sullen Eyes4.5
Demigod Let Chaos Prevail4.0
Protest the Hero Scurrilous3.0
Aborted Global Flatline3.0
Nero di Marte Nero di Marte4.0
Wormed Exodromos4.0
Fixes a lot of the problems of its predecessor, Planisphaerium, and takes Wormed's kaleidoscopic, cosmic death metal to another level. The production is great, very clean but not overdone, and the guitars have a great overcharged tone that accentuates the energized quality of the music. The better mix also allows the atonal harmonies to shine through and its when they do and a kind of cyclical brightness is introduced that this brutal death metal takes off. Still too many breakdowns, but the stuff in between them is pretty imaginative without sacrificing the death metal basics.
Wormed Planisphaerium3.5
There are a lot of interesting things here, but they are hampered by a number of flaws. First, the production is very uneven. The snare and toms are way too loud and sloppy and when they get going they drown everything out. This is a shame as the drummer is trying really hard to do more than just blast. Second, the songs are simply too hectic - there are maybe a few moments of groove on the whole album, in between every great moment is suddenly cut off and never returns. Finally, there are too many breakdowns. Some of them are ok, they're not tastelessly done, but they detract from the adventurous riff-writing and compositional approach. When it's on its unique and intriguing, but them moments are too few.
Cynic Traced in Air3.5
Watchtower Control and Resistance4.0
Atheist Piece of Time4.0
Gorguts Colored Sands4.0
Coroner R.I.P.3.5
Coroner Grin4.0
Coroner Mental Vortex4.0
Cannibal Corpse Tomb of the Mutilated4.0
Carcass Surgical Steel4.0
Everything you could hope for in a reunion - they don't mess with the formula too much nor do they offer a watered down attempt to simply replicate. A little more edgy then Heartwork, a little more driving than Swansong, but with its fair share of bland riffs and unconvincing progressions. Its not perfect but its spirit is totally right.
Possessed Seven Churches4.0
Though it never quite moves beyond its thrash roots, Seven Churches is undeniably death metal at a time when there was no such thing. For its time and its forward-thinking its unparalleled, but it does lack in certain areas. When it gets rolling, as on "The Exorcist" or "Holy Hell", its a vicious bulldozer, but at times in between its somewhat standard bay area thrash. A must have, but not perfect.
Demilich Nespithe4.5
Gurgling, churning insanity unlike anything else. Somewhere between technical, progressive, groove black and doom is an uncharted universe of which we've only gotten a 40 minute glimpse through this Finnish portal. The twisting, spiraling licks, belching vocal spew and labyrinthine rhythms conspire to create a unique take on death metal that is as otherworldly today as it was 20 years ago.
Pestilence Doctrine3.0
Hellwitch Syzygial Miscreancy3.0
The Devin Townsend Band Accelerated Evolution4.5
A moving and very human album that channels the emotional journey of being in love and ends on a towering height.
Master Master3.0
Master On the Seventh Day God Created.... Master4.0
Malevolent Creation The Ten Commandments4.0
Quo Vadis Defiant Imagination3.5
Quo Vadis Day Into Night4.0
Aborted Strychnine.2132.5
Septicflesh Communion3.5
Dismember Indecent & Obscene3.5
Entombed Wolverine Blues3.5
Insomnium In the Halls of Awaiting3.0
In terms of manipulating the curious beauty and serenity of a somber, somnambulant atmosphere, these guys are as good as any, a feat which, unfortunately, has already been done. There are captivating moments throughout, and if you're in the mood this will surely tickle your Gothenburg fancy with a decidedly severe attitude, but otherwise it falls by the wayside of musical relevance.
Psycroptic The Inherited Repression2.5
... And it's basically exactly the same. Psycroptic have released three albums in a row which each attempt to be the exact same thing. This isn't a bad thing, though it's not great, but it's been overdone, and not just by this band. What happened to fast, spastic riffs? What happened to climactic songwriting? Hasn't been seen since Scepter of the Ancients. Psycroptic continue to deteriorate simply by doing... nothing.
Avenged Sevenfold Sounding the Seventh Trumpet3.0
Fun and catchy but very flawed. The good songs are vicious, metallic metalcore , the rest are heavy on the emo or just plain boring. Synyster Gates' re-recorded opener is also a highlight.
Avenged Sevenfold City of Evil1.5
The music here isn't really the problem, but it does as little as posisble to help. Considering how long the songs are, you would expect much more compositionally, but you basically get overlong verses, too many choruses and solos. The solos are the highlight, but the guitar tone is totally boring - it's the same as the verses, which thus are totally punchless. And holy crap are the vocals terrible. M. Shadows cannot sing, but at least when he was making (quite good) metalcore that wasn't a problem. Now that he's trying his best to be Axl Rose the fact that he sounds like a 75 year old chainsmoker tripping on acid is a bit of a detriment. I preferred A7X's honest if derivative brand of metalcore, but even their later, fully de-clawed attempts at pop-metal were better than this. This is the nadir.
Martyr Warp Zone4.5
Martyr Hopeless Hopes4.0
The Black Dahlia Murder Deflorate3.5
The Black Dahlia Murder Ritual3.0
Beyond Creation The Aura3.0
Run of the mill technicality and precision marred by uncompelling composition, boring riffs and pathetic break downs. Survives on the occasional high point and very nice bass work from Dominic Lapointe and little else.
Vehemence God Was Created4.0
Vital Remains Into Cold Darkness3.5
Vital Remains Icons of Evil2.5
Vital Remains Dechristianize2.5
The Absence From Your Grave3.0
Psychotic Waltz A Social Grace3.5
Psychotic Waltz Bleeding4.0
TesseracT One3.5
Periphery Periphery2.5
Anata The Conductor's Departure4.5
Anata Under a Stone With No Inscription4.5
Edge of Sanity The Spectral Sorrows3.5
Devin Townsend Project Addicted3.0
Overpoweringly energetic and at times delightful but also redundant and somewhat monochromatic. For an album clearly intent on, and often successful at, expressing vibrant moods it becomes somewhat uninspiring before too long. A preview of some more refined material to come.
Devin Townsend Ziltoid the Omniscient4.5
A tour de force by the one man army that is Devin Townsend. This album is goofy, at times actually funny, also heavy and massive and colorful and entrancing and absurd and just about everything else. Oh, did I mention it's a musical? Because WTF.
Metallica ...And Justice for All3.5
Metallica Master of Puppets4.5
Morbid Angel Abominations of Desolation3.0
Chimaira Pass Out Of Existence2.0
Cryptopsy The Unspoken King2.5
Suffocation Blood Oath3.0
Pestilence Spheres4.5
Pestilence Resurrection Macabre3.5
Massacre Inhuman Condition3.5
Nocturnus The Key4.5
Darkthrone Soulside Journey3.5
Isis Oceanic4.5
Isis Celestial4.5
Dysrhythmia No Interference4.0
Burn the Priest Burn the Priest4.0
Thrashy, violent and to-the-point, this album is fun up and down. It doesn't do anything we haven't heard before but nonetheless stumbles into success through aggression, speed and some pretty cool riffs. While it can get aimless at times and just on the verge of tedious, the great moments overshadow the flaws.
Death Live in L.A.: Death & Raw4.5
Meshuggah Alive5.0
Opeth The Roundhouse Tapes4.0
Akercocke Words That Go Unspoken...4.5
In Flames Subterranean4.5
The Black Dahlia Murder Nocturnal4.0
A thoroughly enjoyable, eminently headbangable American melodeath album that's only significant fault is paling in comparison to its predecessor. While Nocturnal doesn't bring anything new to the table it moves slightly farther from the metalcore elements of early in the band's career and continues to offer breakneck, punishing riffs complemented by swaths of majestic, foreboding melody.
The Black Dahlia Murder Unhallowed3.5
As I Lay Dying Beneath the Encasing of Ashes2.0
Cynic '90 Demo4.5
Trivium Ember to Inferno2.5
Trivium Ascendancy3.0
Viraemia Viraemia3.0
I don't see how this is different than any other "but it's SO technical!" validation of the very-tech-death genre. Yeah, they ARE so technical, props given, but it's still flowless, grooveless and soulless. And it has terrible breakdowns. So. It is what it is.
Megadeth Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!3.0
Neuraxis Asylon3.5
Dying Fetus Grotesque Impalement4.0
Awesome for its brazen adoption of an old school mentality as well as some of the best Dying Fetus tracks on record. The title track has to be their best ever: it's long and perfectly composed and has their singular and most profound riff, period. The other original track is good as is the cover of "Streaks of Blood" and the three feature a brilliant guitar tone and excellent if plasticky drumming. Perhaps Dying Fetus' farewell the old school before embarking on the second stage of their career? Whatever it is, its fun as hell.
System of a Down Hypnotize2.0
System of a Down Mezmerize3.0
System of a Down Steal This Album!4.0
System of a Down System of a Down4.0
System of a Down Toxicity4.5
Darkane Expanding Senses3.5
Animals As Leaders Weightless4.0
Nile At the Gate of Sethu3.5
Mudvayne Lost and Found3.0
Slipknot Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses3.0
Slipknot Iowa3.5
Slipknot Slipknot3.5
Enfold Darkness Our Cursed Rapture3.5
Alcest Écailles de Lune4.0
Augury Concealed4.0
Sickening Horror When Landscapes Bled Backwards4.0
Nader Sadek In the Flesh4.0
There's nothing drastically new in this offering, which clearly plays upon it's influences and retains a ton of
late era Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal, but the inclusion of Flo Mounier on drums and Blasphemer are
enough to give it an exotic quality. It's hard to say who's done what, perhaps it all comes back to Mr. Sadek
himself, but the result is thoroughly intriguing rehash of similar sounds and ideas. Ironically, it succeeds
where those it borrows so heavily from have, in recent years, not.
Unearth III: In the Eyes of Fire2.5
Unearth The Oncoming Storm3.5
Atreyu Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses3.5
Atreyu The Curse3.5
Darkest Hour Deliver Us3.5
Darkest Hour Undoing Ruin4.0
Darkest Hour So Sedated, So Secure3.5
Darkest Hour Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation4.0
Soilwork Stabbing the Drama1.5
Soilwork A Predator's Portrait2.5
Soilwork Steelbath Suicide3.5
Soilwork The Chainheart Machine3.5
Meshuggah Koloss4.0
Koloss combines the pound and power of Nothing with the immersive soundscapes of Chaosphere and it works. Koloss also fails to demonstrate anything radically new for this band, at a time when djent is exploding aimlessly, and it stagnates. The music is all good, but at the same time I think we were all expecting a little more.
Spastic Ink Ink Complete4.5
Blink-182 Enema of the State4.5
Coprofago Images of Despair3.5
Psycroptic Ob(Servant)3.0
Borders on something pretty interesting and is flashy as hell, this is a little too much of the same thing. There are enough complex passages and ludicrous transitions to be worth the occasional spin, but every great moment stubs its toe before too long. There's just no consistency in composition and ultimately the band's undeniable vigor is insufficient to solve this problem.
Psycroptic The Scepter of the Ancients4.0
Isis In the Absence of Truth4.0
Isis Panopticon4.5
Bloodbath Unblessing the Purity4.5
Whereas their full-length albums tend to suffer from tedium as well as a lack of focus (or perhaps, more accurately, a lack of focus), Unblessing the Purity avoids both of these pitfalls. Condensing all their ideas into 4 songs rather than 9 allowed the Swedes to maximize each one, and rest assured none of the tracks here has a down moment. Rather, this EP is a continual cascade of immensely heavy, powerful and atmospheric death metal mastery. It's their most concise and successful offering by a wide margin.
Rammstein Sehnsucht4.0
Rammstein Reise, Reise4.0
Fleshgod Apocalypse Agony4.0
Epically orchestrated and unrelentingly aggressive, Agony is about as extreme as it gets. The guitars rip through every song at maximum tempo, only outdone by the uncompromising blastbeats, and the whole affair is underscored by intense and powerful melody. Fleshgod Apocalypse wear there influences on their sleeve, but then, they're also wearing zombie tuxedos. Which is awesome.
Shadows Fall The War Within4.0
Devin Townsend Physicist3.5
The tone and mix are formidable but there's a fuzziness, a cloud that never breaks cover and tamps down an otherwise exuberant effort by Devin and company. The recent re-recording of "Kingdom" only proves how much a little brightness would reveal a lot more of the chunky, melodic metal here.
Devin Townsend Terria4.0
Devin Townsend Infinity3.5
A cool an certainly interesting little project, merging metal and just about everything else Devin could throw in the mix. Definitely poppy to the max, the album has its share of fun moments and excels when it's at its catchiest. For me, though, it's just a little light.
Blood Red Throne Brutalitarian Regime2.5
Still doing the same "old school", Cannibal Corpse worshipping they've always done, only now with no life, no
energy, no pizazz. After the infectious grooves and masterful simplicity of Come Death, this just feels like a
caricature. Sure, they still rip through unflinchingly linear death metal riffs and bust out the occasional bouncy
breakdown, but it comes across as so flat. The mastery of this craft was executed years ago, now we're just
getting retreads.
Cattle Decapitation The Harvest Floor4.0
Devin Townsend Project Deconstruction3.0
The material here is in line with some of Devin's heavier work with Strapping Young Lad but featuring some of the eclectic infusions he's made a part of his solo work since then, and at times it's very strong. But the album fails compositionally: some of the songs are simply too long and meandering, and overall there's no rhythm, no pace.
Devin Townsend Project Ki3.0
Beneath the Massacre Dystopia3.0
Beneath the Massacre are running out of ideas, and a rehashing of what they've already done gets old fast. There are great moments to be found, but they're fewer and farther between than in the past, and the number of breakdowns and meaningless filler has noticeably increased. Add to that overly flat and sterile production and you've got a crisis of modernity, if you will.
Beneath the Massacre Mechanics of Dysfunction4.0
This album has about as many ideas as the EP that preceded it, but it's almost twice as long. it suffers from the same tedium that many hyper-technical offerings do, though it only just strays over the line. It's redemption lies in the quantity of bizarre and surprising riffs and rhythms that abound, which make it well worth listening though the more boring parts.
Beneath the Massacre Evidence Of Inequity [EP]4.5
Immensely technical and absurdly fast, this EP is a true beast. It's short enough to keep you interested the whole way, with new ideas on every song despite the albeit derivative nature of the undertaking. Has technical deathcore been done? Yes. Has it been done this well? Not up to this point.
Aborted The Archaic Abattoir3.0
Behemoth The Apostasy2.5
Somebody's got to be average, right? There's nothing really wrong here, there's just too much filler, and while "Prometherion" and "SLaying the Prophets ov Isa" are indeed standout works but too much of the rest is bland at best. Behemoth have more in them than this but here they can't put it together.
Behemoth Evangelion4.0
This is what we've been wanting from this band. While little has changed on paper and its utterly recognizable as Behemoth, everything just works. The songs are interestingly composed and cohesive and the album as a whole flows extremely well. There's a greater separation between the more epic anthems and the furious moments as well as an influx of exotic sounds and orchestrations that greatly amplify the mood. This is simply a great contemporary death metal album.
Morbid Angel Illud Divinum Insanus2.0
There are a few good songs here, but they're not great and they're not any better than the good songs on Heretic, and there are fewer of them. And getting to them requires navigating through some truly awful, inexplicable almost legitimately comically bad stuff. The bad is so bad, it's actually like some Ziltoid B-sides without any of the tongue-in-cheek-ness. Hopefully Pete Sandoval will rejoin the band just out of fury and pummel them back into, heck, even mediocrity would be great.
Morbid Angel Heretic2.5
For a band that did such a good job and was so effective with their tone and production and that has a history of such exceptional riffs, this is really a letdown. Neither of those things are found here, only a dearth of interesting guitar lines and a an admittedly focused but weak sound for the strings. Flat and tepid, this album only showed hints of the band that created it.
Deicide The Stench of Redemption4.0
Massacre From Beyond3.5
Lamb of God Sacrament3.0
Lamb of God Ashes of the Wake3.0
Bright and shiny at first, this album doesn't hold up to repeat listens. It doesn't add anything that wasn't good on the previous release, rather meandering too often in the idea of itself. Still has a couple great songs, but too much filler.
Lamb of God As the Palaces Burn3.5
Lamb of God New American Gospel4.0
Protest the Hero Kezia3.5
Dying Fetus Descend Into Depravity3.0
Dying Fetus Killing on Adrenaline3.5
Aborted Goremageddon4.0
At first I was put off by the overly mechanical, buzzing production, but in time even that couldn't overpower the riffs. While it's not nearly as consistent as its predecessor, and also lacks some of its wonderful simplicity, there's nothing bad and quite a few truly heinous moments. It's the last really good Aborted album.
Cephalic Carnage Anomalies4.0
Cephalic Carnage Misled by Certainty4.0
Immolation Shadows in the Light3.5
Pantera Reinventing The Steel3.0
Pantera Far Beyond Driven2.5
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power3.5
Pantera Cowboys From Hell4.0
Pantera The Great Southern Trendkill4.0
Origin Entity4.0
Fear Factory Soul of a New Machine3.5
Fear Factory Mechanize2.5
Burzum Belus4.0
Burzum Hvis lyset tar oss4.0
Wolves in the Throne Room Black Cascade4.0
Skeletonwitch Beyond the Permafrost3.5
High on Fire Snakes For The Divine3.0
High on Fire Death Is This Communion4.0
Aghora Aghora4.0
Funeral From These Wounds4.0
Exivious Exivious4.0
Hypocrisy Penetralia4.0
Hypocrisy Osculum Obscenum4.0
Hypocrisy The Fourth Dimension4.0
Blood Red Throne Monument Of Death3.0
Blood Red Throne Affiliated With the Suffering3.0
Blood Red Throne Altered Genesis4.0
Almost unbearably vicious this album carved its path to being a classic with a set of chainsaws and is still one of the best exhibitions of the possibility of death metal this far on. This is the perfect confluence of uncompromising tone, pave-low drumming and never ending riffs and it overpowers its flaws as it barrels headlong into your brain.
Gorod Process of a New Decline3.0
Deicide Legion4.5
Megadeth Rust in Peace4.0
Suffocation Souls to Deny4.5
Suffocation Suffocation4.0
Despite moments of excellence, this album just doesn't have the energy of its predecessors. It still gets heavy as all hell, but there's something missing, and Franks vocals continue their downward trend. Great if you love Suffocation, but not mandatory like some of their other albums.
Suffocation Human Waste4.0
Suffocation Despise the Sun4.5
Obituary Slowly We Rot4.0
Obituary Cause of Death4.0
Dying Fetus Stop at Nothing3.5
Edge of Sanity Crimson II4.0
Carnage Dark Recollections4.0
Bloodbath Nightmares Made Flesh4.0
Bloodbath The Fathomless Mastery4.0
In Flames A Sense of Purpose3.5
Definitely firmly in the land of Emo, this album is nonetheless a success due to the melodic mastery of Jasper Strmblad and company. It alternates very successfully between compellingly dejected and infectiously hopeful and embraces the pop rock direction In Flames have taken best of any of the new material. Still, it suffers form an overall lack of innovation and a decidedly too frequent sulking, keeping it from being great.
In Flames Come Clarity3.0
Assuming you don't already hate modern In Flames, there's no reason to think this album should be bad - it's more aggressive and has a ton more riffs than "Soundtrack...". Yet, it falls flat. There are a couple great songs, but they all sound the same and lack the charm and artistry of its successor. In Flames could have pulled this album off 5 years ago, but not when they tried.
Job for a Cowboy Ruination3.0
Job for a Cowboy Genesis3.5
Job for a Cowboy Doom4.0
Arch Enemy Rise of the Tyrant3.5
Arch Enemy Wages of Sin3.5
Arch Enemy Stigmata4.5
Arch Enemy Burning Bridges4.0
Animals As Leaders Animals as Leaders4.0
The Faceless Planetary Duality4.0
The Faceless Akeldama3.5
All Shall Perish Hate. Malice. Revenge4.0
All Shall Perish The Price of Existence4.0
All Shall Perish Awaken the Dreamers4.0
Bleed the Sky Paradigm In Entropy3.5
This album is surprisingly ambitious, coupling metalcore with some nu-metal and industrial themes and also trying to take on some serious lyrical themes. It doesn't totally succeed in either department, but there are great moments nonetheless. The Martyr is the best example of this, a melodic nu-metal kind of song that manages to be catchy and compelling. Overall, greater than the sum of its parts, but still flawed.
Strapping Young Lad The New Black4.5
Strapping Young Lad City4.0
Strapping Young Lad Alien5.0
Intensely personal, intensely honest, intensely chaotic and intensely heavy; probably one of the most intense albums in death metal. Devin's progressive abilities are fully on display, as he weaves into and out of heaviness, catchiness, melody, bombast, speed, temperament and sheer insanity, sometimes in just one song. What's truly remarkable, though, is that in all that the album never loses cohesion and listens as a solid slab of pure emotion.
Spastic Ink Ink Compatible4.5
Fleshgod Apocalypse Mafia4.0
Given how dense and overbearing this material is, it's perfectly suited to the EP format. In the three songs we get more than our fair share of technical and brutal riffing as well as orchestral interludes and operatic vocals. The cover of At the Gates is fun if not terribly relevant and the instrumental outro wraps it all up neatly and elegantly.
Hour of Penance Paradogma4.0
Hour of Penance The Vile Conception4.0
Hour of Penance Pageantry For Martyrs4.0
Hour of Penance Disturbance4.0
Hate Eternal Conquering the Throne4.0
Hate Eternal I, Monarch4.0
Hate Eternal King of All Kings4.0
The Ocean Anthropocentric3.5
Ihsahn After4.5
Such rich textures, such deep atmosphere and yet powerful and punctuated - this is a post-metal masterpiece. The progressive elements - saxophone! - are ideally interwoven with big slabs of riff-work and poignant melancholic interludes, all held together with the distinctive voice of the creator, which displays a curious similarity between the haunting choruses and gut-wrenching cries. Few albums display this combination of musical depth and aesthetic focus.
Tool Ænima4.5
Aborted Engineering the Dead4.5
Through the Eyes of the Dead Malice4.0
Through the Eyes of the Dead Bloodlust3.5
Decapitated The Negation3.5
Decapitated Nihility3.5
Decapitated Winds of Creation4.5
Gojira From Mars to Sirius4.0
Gojira The Way of All Flesh4.5
Amon Amarth Fate of Norns3.5
Deeds of Flesh Reduced to Ashes4.0
Nevermore The Obsidian Conspiracy2.0
Nevermore Nevermore4.0
Nevermore Enemies Of Reality3.0
Nevermore This Godless Endeavor3.5
Cephalic Carnage Xenosapien4.5
Wolves in the Throne Room Two Hunters4.0
Capharnaum Reality Only Fantasized3.5
These guys clearly wanted to carry on the tradition of tribal, crunchy, groovy death metal from way back when, and do so with considerable success. That said, the songs are all too similar to each other and to tons of songs we've heard from other bands? Good for a listen now and then and notable for its modesty at a time when that was becoming rare, but not much more.
Capharnaum Fractured4.0
Technical without sacrificing the riff, this album is a step up in depth, complexity and ambition from the debut. That being said, it does lack the grooving charm of that album, and thoroughly mediocre vocals from Matt Heafy keep it from being a true gem.
Arsis A Celebration of Guilt4.0
Dying Fetus Destroy the Opposition4.0
Dismember Like an Ever Flowing Stream4.0
God Dethroned Ravenous3.5
Children of Bodom Something Wild4.0
Scratchy and inconsistent, there's still enough Alexi Laiho driven neo-classical goodness here to make for a fun listen. The songs are fast and energetic, even when they're derivative, and the best moments are strong and plenty enough to carry it.
Children of Bodom Blooddrunk2.5
At this point, Bodom's sound had become a gimmick. But then, hadn't they always been somewhat gimmicky? Sure the vocals are pretty lame, and the rhythm section is totally generic, but still, when Alexi hits on a killer hook it is what it always has been - magnificent. They're fewer and farther between, but the album is still an entertaining listen, especially when you want some hunky melodies.
Dark Angel Darkness Descends4.0
Dark Angel Time Does Not Heal4.0
Goatwhore A Haunting Curse3.5
Goatwhore Carving Out The Eyes Of God3.5
Council of the Fallen Deciphering the Soul3.0
Council of the Fallen Revealing Damnation3.0
Scar Symmetry Holographic Universe3.5
More highs and lows here as the band pares things back a bit and explores a more glamorous side of their melo-death. The great songs are great and ceaselessly catchy but things border on painful in some of the more high-flying and riffless passages.
Scar Symmetry Pitch Black Progress3.0
On paper there's not much different about this album than any of the bands others, but dangit if I can't remember a single song except for "The Kaleidoscopic God". All the ingredients for a Gothenburg album are here, but maybe that's the problem. I prefer the more invigorating debut or the more schizophrenic follow-up to this.
Scar Symmetry Symmetric in Design4.0
Dimmu Borgir Enthrone Darkness Triumphant4.0
More seriously taking on the darkness of this genre than anything the band has done since then and the better for it. The ability to create a comprehensive atmosphere and craft really strong compositions are on display here, even if the grandiose ambitions of later albums are not.
Dimmu Borgir In Sorte Diaboli2.5
Weak production and hapless songwriting abound on this ill-conceived album. Any remnant of the harsh darkness this band once espoused is long gone and all that remains is the idea of "metal + orchestration", a meager substitute for good music. There are good moments, and it's not totally different from anything Dimmu have done, it's just totally uninspired.
Dimmu Borgir Abrahadabra3.5
This isn't a great album but it's strengths are so strong that it's nonetheless clearly a success. If you need a healthy amount of vitriol with your black metal this won't be for you, but if you can appreciate the blending of basic black tonality with the richness of an orchestra of moving parts and emphatic climaxes this is going to hit the spot. Sure, the more symphonic passages are almost always the most moving, but in the end, does that matter?
Enslaved Eld3.5
Enslaved Frost4.0
Enslaved Vikingligr Veldi3.5
Neuraxis Imagery3.0
Neuraxis A Passage into Forlorn3.5
Neuraxis Truth Beyond...4.0
Neuraxis Trilateral Progression4.5
Cryptopsy Once Was Not4.5
Cryptopsy Whisper Supremacy4.0
Cryptopsy None So Vile5.0
Cannibal Corpse Evisceration Plague3.5
Cannibal Corpse Bloodthirst4.0
Death Scream Bloody Gore4.0
Death Leprosy4.0
Death Spiritual Healing4.5
More polished, more refined, more consistent and more sinister than either of its predecessors, and hinting at the capabilities Death would later demonstrate. Spiritual Healing's evolved approach sets the bar high for death metal at a time when many bands were still toiling in bare aggression, and somehow remains generally underrated in the canon of Death
Death Individual Thought Patterns4.5
The Haunted The Haunted Made Me Do It3.5
The Haunted One Kill Wonder3.5
The Haunted rEVOLVEr 4.0
At the Gates The Red in the Sky Is Ours4.5
At the Gates With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness4.5
At the Gates Terminal Spirit Disease4.0
At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul4.0
Carcass Reek of Putrefaction3.0
Carcass Symphonies of Sickness4.0
Carcass Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious5.0
The example of how to evoke the harrowing and deranged without need of excessive brutality. Necroticism hits that much harder because it doesn't have to slam or blast its way into relevance, choosing rather to harness the full potential of the evil harmonic language defined by early death metal. The level of refinement here is unparalleled, the compositions are diverse and engaging, the guitarwork is dynamic and stirring and the drums are an exercise in the power of restraint and emphasis. One of the best of the early years and definitively Carcass.
Carcass Heartwork5.0
Mechanism Inspired Horrific4.0
This could easily have been so mediocre and thankfully is not. Driven, of course, by Gene Hoglan's relentless assault on the drum kit and backed up by an assembly line of pseudo-industrial riffs there's more than enough here to please just about any fan. The vocals are a surprising highlight, never mastering any single delivery but adept in a variety, they really help in avoiding the overfamiliarity that kills many modern bids at death metal.
Atheist Jupiter3.0
Still sounds like Atheist, just without any of the shock and awe that association carried in the early days. Some of the songs are good, and almost all have a great riff or drum beat or transition, but none are classics. In the end, it suffers less from being bad than it does from simply being unnecessary.
Atheist Elements4.5
Atheist Unquestionable Presence5.0
Meshuggah I4.5
Meshuggah obZen3.5
Meshuggah Contradictions Collapse3.5
Almost a missing link between a band that has become so abstract and the music from which it spawned, this album is the only by Meshuggah that can be easily identified with a certain genre. That said it's still unique and has that definitive Meshuggah sound. It might be the most lively and fun of their records while also being the least intense.
Meshuggah Destroy Erase Improve4.0
Ramps up the progressive elements and sheds all but a residue of the thrash origins of the band, marking the first glimpse of what they'd become. Still doesn't have the density of the later albums but makes the most of the space it therefore does have, with a lot more subtle harmonic and ambient details. An oddity and a classic but not yet fully unleashed.
Meshuggah Chaosphere4.5
Meshuggah Catch Thirtythree3.0
Massively impressive but a little too tedious and a little too aimless. The one song approach works perfectly in shorter form but here it does feel stretched thin. Individual passages are as good as anything Meshuggah has done but it doesn't come together properly.
Meshuggah Nothing5.0
The pinnacle of Meshuggah: incredibly, unrelentingly heavy, rhythmically unparalleled and with a heavy dose of bizarre. The riffs are so complex and yet you're headbanging the whole way through - this is a genre-defining release.
Mastodon Crack the Skye4.0
Mastodon Remission4.5
Mastodon Leviathan4.5
Mastodon Blood Mountain4.5
Spiral Architect A Sceptic's Universe4.0
Opeth Morningrise3.0
Opeth My Arms, Your Hearse4.0
Opeth Still Life4.0
Opeth Blackwater Park4.0
Opeth Deliverance5.0
Opeth Damnation4.5
Opeth Watershed4.0
Order of Ennead Order of Ennead4.0
Morbid Angel Altars of Madness4.0
I'm tempted to rate it up for its earliness and its impact, and it's a 5/5 if you want to take about important death metal albums. But, the production is both tinny and fuzzy and the songs do lack, in places, the impeccable coherence the band would demonstrate they were capable of later on. That being said, for schizophrenically fast and dynamic death metal, this is your stop and when everything's right it's as good as it gets.
Morbid Angel Blessed Are the Sick4.0
At times excessive in the highest degree, at others, especially the interludes, charmingly restrained, almost quaint. This is where Morbid Angel first showed their ability to blend moderate pace and songwriting panache with torrid death metal and as a result this album is a good deal more developed than the debut. It still retains that albums spastic nature, though, for the better and the worse.
Morbid Angel Covenant4.5
Suffers only from a slight repetitiveness and, if this is fair, lack of overabundance. At the same time, it's much more controlled than the first two and, at its best, exceeds them based on strength of will. It also happens to be one of the last of death metal albums that retains that scratchy, almost primitive goodness. It's probably overrated by its lovers but probably also underrated by its critics, but either way its definitive Morbid Angel.
Morbid Angel Domination3.5
Nile Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka4.5
Nile Black Seeds of Vengeance4.5
Nile Ithyphallic4.0
Obscura Omnivium4.0
Even more organic and with a more concise harmonic sense than its predecessor, Omnivium improves on an already great formula. It's not quite perfect but it's as rich and interesting as modern death metal gets.
Obscura Cosmogenesis4.0
Obscura kicked it up a notch on this one, trading in their streamlined, melodic brand of death metal for ultra technicality and a jaw-dropping sense of grandeur. The solos are blistering, the drums are relentless and the action never stops.
Obscura Retribution4.0
Juicy, resonating slabs of death metal are interspersed with robust melodies. It's just technical enough, just brutal enough and just melodic enough, and the songs really stick in your head.
Illogicist The Insight Eye4.5
Frantic guitars, technical drumming and a biting bark make this a unique technical death metal album. Marco Minneman absolutely destroys the drum kit with speed, precision and a procession of beats and rhythms that cannot be outdone. It's fierce and vigorous technical death metal with a european twist.
Decrepit Birth ...And Time Begins4.0
Decrepit Birth Polarity4.5
As I Lay Dying An Ocean Between Us4.0
As I Lay Dying Shadows Are Security3.5
As I Lay Dying Frail Words Collapse3.0
Between the Buried and Me Colors3.5
There's a lot to like here, in terms of catchiness, brutality, technicality and experimentation, which should make for a great album. But Colors possesses just as much pointless, distracting and boring material as anything else, and gets tedious very quickly. You can't make sense of the album without constantly glancing at the track list, though the isolated parts are often wonderful.
Between the Buried and Me Between the Buried and Me4.0
Between the Buried and Me The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues4.0
As good as the material here can be, it eventually dawns on the listener that all this has been done before, by this very band, and better. There's nothing really wrong here, and I like the choice to give us 30 minutes instead of an hour, but it remains unfocused and, overall, not as inspired as some of the bands earlier work. It's a step towards the balance they've achieved, but still falls somewhat flat.
Between the Buried and Me Alaska5.0
Between the Buried and Me The Silent Circus4.5
In Flames Soundtrack to Your Escape4.5
This album is the best manifestation of the later In Flames sound, heavily synthed and sampled with crunching riffs offset by haunting, despairing melodies. It's innovative and experimental in its own way and truly beautiful.
In Flames Reroute to Remain4.0
There's a new sound on display here, more down-tuned and chugging and heavier on the synth. Still, the songs are catchy and mostly have great hooks. The guitars, as ever, rule the day, and even when In Flames isn't at their best they still don't disappoint.
In Flames Clayman4.0
When this album is on, it's on, with captivating melodies and distinctive riffs from Jesper Stromblad. When it's not, though, the result is less impressive. Despite some filler, this is still a strong display of In Flames brand of melodic death metal.
In Flames Colony4.5
Some of In Flames' best songs are on this album, along with some of most distinct and characteristic leads and melodies. The overall package is a unique and crucial moment in the history of metal.
In Flames Whoracle4.0
Not as enthralling as Moonshield but still a great melodic death album. Jesper is still a master of melody and there's enough brutality here to appeal to more straight up death metal fans. A great but slightly flawed album.
All That Remains The Fall of Ideals3.5
All That Remains This Darkened Heart3.5
Just metal enough, and mercifully devoid of much of the crippling flaws of its genre. If only this album represented the launching point and not the apex of the band's career, it might be something we talk about with fondness.
Bleeding Through Declaration3.0
There's nothing really bad about this album, except the occasional clean breakdown that just doesn't work, but there's also nothing great. At least when Bleeding Through was making aggressive, atmospheric metalcore they had some charm. As a generic deathcore band, they're on par with pretty much every other deathcore band. There are good and heavy riffs and the drumming is intense, but none of it stands out in any way.
Bleeding Through The Truth3.0
Bleeding Through This Is Love, This Is Murderous4.5
Bleeding Through Portrait of the Goddess4.0
Chimaira The Impossibility Of Reason4.0
Chimaira Chimaira4.5
Chimaira Resurrection3.0
Chimaira The Infection3.0
Coprofago Unorthodox Creative Criteria5.0
Spawn of Possession Cabinet4.0
Spawn of Possession Noctambulant4.5
Entombed Clandestine4.0
Entombed Left Hand Path4.5
Children of Bodom Are You Dead Yet?2.5
The mix is way off here, apparently in an attempt at greater accessibility, and there's an overt poppiness that the band had previously held in check. Still, Bodom has always succeeded by toying around with pop elements, so it's neither a total departure nor a total failure. What really hampers it is the apparent acceptance that Bodom is what they are and aren't changing, something in direct opposition to their original, genre-melding hijinks.
Children of Bodom Hate Crew Deathroll4.0
Children of Bodom Follow the Reaper4.5
Children of Bodom Hatebreeder4.5
Pestilence Consuming Impulse4.5
Pestilence Testimony of the Ancients4.5
Gorguts From Wisdom to Hate4.5
Perhaps their most bizarre and sonically distinct album. It suffers from a certain redundancy and the great moments are not as abundant as on previous albums, yet it is, to a certain extent, just as impressive. Th guitars here are as interesting and weird sounding as they get.
Gorguts Obscura5.0
Never has so much pain and misery been sent through speakers. This relentless assault of dissonance and disharmony is also somehow magnificent and beautiful, as well as completely unique. Gorguts has once again raised the bar.
Death The Sound of Perseverance4.5
Tool Lateralus5.0
This album, as a truly classic piece of art, defies explanation. There's the great melodies, the awesome drumbeats, the progressive song structures, the beautiful and haunting vocals... But there's also much more than all that. There's something about this album, the pacing, the sequencing - there's something here that's purely artistic, something that can't really be explained. When this album goes on, it grabs you and won't let go, and, impossibly, every song, every minute that passes brings the experience to a higher level. Truly an unbelievable album.
Avenged Sevenfold Waking the Fallen4.0
So much fun and so metal in a wonderful, youthful, ridiculous kind of way. Blending glam rock, hardcore and a touch of groove with a grandiose sense of what a single song can be this is flashy and substantive and a great way to celebrate metal heritage like its still 2000.
As Blood Runs Black Allegiance3.0
Pretty good for deathcore that tends towards the core. Every song has at least one good riff and at least one boring one, but the breakdowns aren't all boring and the songs tend to have interesting structures. The drumming is definitely the highlight - the double bass is as fast as anything you'll hear. This is cookie-cutter, but is somehow charming and worth repeated listening.
Origin Antithesis4.0
Absurdly fast, absurdly technical and absurdly relentless, this is technical death metal taken to a certain,
kind of predictable, extreme. That said, it's also absurdly tedious and absurdly hard to remember - every
song might as well be another. Origin put it all on display here, and there's just enough for it to be great -
but also flawed.
Nile Those Whom the Gods Detest4.5
Nile delivers once again - furious riffs, exotic harmonies and liberal experimentation make this album a winner. The only reason it isn't a classic is because Nile's already done it all and better.
The Black Dahlia Murder Miasma4.5
One of the best metalcore offerings ever. It's fast, brutal and just technical enough, this is borderline death metal and good death metal at that. The vocals have a massive range and are just right to give this album a frantic pace and the drums are immense and bring it into the world of really brutal metal.
Cynic Focus5.0
This is a transcendent album, melding tons of very different ideas into a sensational whole. The metal parts are ripping, the jazzy parts are ethereal and beautiful and the effected vocals are the perfect way to bring them together. Stellar musicianship and experimental songwriting make this a death metal classic.
Opeth Ghost Reveries5.0
This album is simply amazing. The combination of mid-paced, powerful death metal and beautiful, melancholic interludes is here refined to perfection. Few other bands can weave together so many styles and sounds and even fewer can do it with the musical aptitude and instinct of Opeth.
Suffocation Pierced from Within5.0
As heavy as their earlier woks but a bit clearer in its execution and more complex in its song structures. Every song here is an epic, with countless great riffs, transitions and the best death metal breakdowns. Period. This is the pinnacle of Suffocation's brand of death metal.
Suffocation Effigy of the Forgotten4.5
Truly adventurous in its brutality, this album essentially began the brutal death metal genre. The drums are unrelenting, the guitar is devastating, the bass is loud and heavy and the vocals are simply phenomenal. Nothing before had even attempted to be this thick and heavy, and nothing since has really exceeded it.
Protest the Hero Fortress4.5
This album just rocks. The guitars are technical, progressive and melodic, the rhythm section just slays and the vocals are, while certainly not in any way typical, awesome. Say what you will, but Protest construct massive melodies through ambition and extravagance. This is a really interesting and awesome take on metal.
Amon Amarth Versus the World5.0
Their first purely melodic death metal album, this album features the bands most compelling melodies. Nearly every song is great and has a great riff or melody. This is what this band was made for, and this is both their first truly great album and their best.
Amon Amarth With Oden on Our Side4.5
This album, to me, is the second peak of Amon Amarth's career, marking the completion of the transformation they made over their career. It's definitely melodic death metal, as the previous two albums had been, but the production is much more clear and powerful, the guitars have the heaviest tone this band has used and the vocals are incredibly guttural. Plus, the songs feature some of the best leads nad harmonies Amon Amarth are capable of. This album is a jewel of modern melo-death.
In Flames The Jester Race5.0
An amazing combination of dreamy melodies, folk stylings and raw sounding death metal. There are just a ton of ideas on here and an impeccable sense of melody from Jesper Strmblad that brings them all together, creating a unique and beautiful album. This might be the best melodic death album ever.
Morbid Angel Formulas Fatal to the Flesh4.5
With a new vocalist Morbid Angel inaugurated a more down-tuned, sludgier sound and it's totally awesome. The tracks are all brutal but vary in structure and speed. The vocals are guttural and great and the music is the quality you expect from the band. The only real problem is that there's not quite enough of it all.
Morbid Angel Gateways to Annihilation4.5
This is clearly the album Morbid Angel were trying to release since Covenant. The riffs are massive, the tone is otherworldly and the solos are, as always, incomparable. I won't say this is their best, but it's the pinnacle of their sludgy sound, their songwriting and brutality.
Nile In Their Darkened Shrines5.0
What Nile does here is create an immense atmosphere, evoking images of another world in a way few bands are capable of. The songwriting is totally out there and the tone is as low and brutal as it comes. Tony Laureano does a massive job behind the kit, perfectly complimenting this unique technical death metal.
Nile Annihilation of the Wicked5.0
This might be the most epic album ever. Between the complex and interesting song structures and the incredible depth of sound at which Nile are masters, there's something here on every listen. The riffs are diverse and perfect and the drumming is as fast as it gets.
Death Symbolic5.0
This is truly a masterpiece of death metal, featuring great riffs, complex drumming, distinctive vocals and songwriting that puts it all together perfectly. This is perhaps the height of Chuck's creativity and vision.
Death Human5.0
Perfectly balanced death metal that ushered in a new era. Everything fits together to create a full yet clear sound, with just enough melody to keep the great death metal fresh.
Decrepit Birth Diminishing Between Worlds5.0
This could just be the pinnacle of technical death metal: it's extremely brutal, epically technical and, somehow, melodically beautiful. No other band can simultaneously crank up the power and the melody like this band can.
Necrophagist Epitaph4.5
More refined than their last, but with an increase in the amount of musical variation and experimentation. The combination of technical solos, speedy death metal and classical influence produces a rich album that's not quite like anything else out there.
Necrophagist Onset of Putrefaction4.5
This album is all about one thing: masterful guitarwork. The riffs are all great and shift between being brutal, groovy and technical or some combination of the three. And the solos? Simply amazing. I don't know if there is a more impressive collection of tech-death guitar work than this.
Gorguts Considered Dead4.0
This album is a little faster, a little more straightforward and a little catchier than other Gorguts' offerings. It's a great prelude to the depth and character they would develop later, while also being a great, old school death metal album.
Gorguts The Erosion of Sanity5.0
The sound here is immense and overwhelming, thanks equally to every band member. It's horrifying, sinister and primordial, with awesome vocals and drumming. This is about as good as technical death metal gets.
Cryptopsy Blasphemy Made Flesh4.5
This album combines a dual chainsaw guitar assault with groovy bass, monstrous drumming and one of the most impressive vocal performances of the decade. Gets tedious and sounds a bit messy, but a must-hear for lovers of tech and brutal death metal.
Coprofago Genesis5.0
These may be the crunchiest, most devastating guitars ever. Combine that with Meshuggah like rhythmic freedom and jazzy interludes in the masterful way they do and you've got a Masterpiece of technical death metal.
Blood Red Throne Come Death4.0
They really refine their offering here, incorporating a bit of restraint and diversity, for the better. The bass is awesome and really shines through. Maybe their most interesting album.

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