A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Grade Scale adopted at MetalKings.com (starting from the lowest)

1 - Shite
2 - Could be worse
3 - Could be better
4 - Damn good
5 - Killer

4/5
AD INFERNA
L'Empire des Sens
2002
SilverRecordsdust
melodic black metal
So what do we have here? Some pretty good, atmospheric sympho-black with the main base, if I'm not mistaken, located in the republic of France. Excellent arrangements, wonderful record quality - tip-top, y'know. Some of the most diehard fans of the genre are likely to be found climaxing in mini-orgasms while listening to this CD, but the rest of the public is not really to be bothered. I mean, with the likes of Anorecxia Nervosa or even Seth in the presence, Ad Inferna look if not pale, than at least uninteresting. I understand that these guys did do their best, but with the genre itself being all worn-out, it just doesn't work anymore. (Troll)

4/5
ADORNED BROOD
Erdenkraft
2002
Moonstorm Records
folk metal
Although I cannot call meself a major fan of this controversial genre, I have to admit that Adorned Brood have excellently coped with whatever they've tasked themselves with. I mean, at least the end result here to me sounds much more attractive and convincing than, say, the two latest works by the renowned Irish Cruachan, which sounded pretty boring and nagging, imho. Certainly no thrashing and bashing is to be found here either, but after all these assets do not belong to folk metal, do they? At the same time the Germans have managed to find a perfect point of balance between the melody of traditional music and all-out metal aggression, without falling into inevitable dissonance - the curse of the larger part of bands in this style. The 50/50 poured heavy guitar riffs and acoustic inserts on guitar and flute live here in almost ideal harmony, making the release attractive for both genre-fans and those, who are still making their first acquaintance with it. (Troll)

4/5
ALGHAZANTH
Osiris - Typhon Unmasked
2002
Woodcut Records/CD-Maximum
fast melodic black
Should anyone choose to carry out a statistical research of the most unpronounceable names in black metal, Finland - although it would positively lose in the nomination for the 'ultimate tongue-twisting moniker', which would have to be England's only Ungl'unl'rrlh'chchch (yep, you've got that right) - still Suomi would most likely win the contest in 'most ugly names per capita'. This fact, curious as it is, however, does not really take s any closer to the subject of the review does it? Musically Alghazanth represents quite ordinary and inline melodic and atmospheric black metal, which does not stand out from hundreds of thousands of other bands in the genre, where speed and aggression live in perfect harmony with mellowness and melody, where each musician knows exactly what and how to play, and where you have very little room left to use your own imagination. Good, but rather soulless. The only major bonus of the CD is to be found around 3'50" of track #9, which is none other than Megadeth's 'Symphony of Destruction'. (Troll)

4/5
ASHES TO ASHES
Cardinal VII
2002
DVS / CD-Maximum
atmospheric thrash-doom
Pretty interesting I have to say. Well, I mean the genre category alone, which I just took the liberty to invent for a more or less exact description of this Norwegian band, already sounds quite intriguing, doesn't it? (oh yes, modesty has always been amongst me top-10 virtues). So, the musical material represented on the album, as has been mentioned afore, a synthesis of thrash and doom metal riffs, abundantly spiced with atmospheric keyboard arrangements, grand piano inserts, etc. The production of course could of been much better but this, I think, is more of a matter of financing for the musicians than anything else. Although I still have to maintain, that real drum sound would of suited Ashes to Ashes a helluvalot better. In any event, not everyone may afford recording in the super-duper expensive likes of Sunlight, Morrisound, Fredman, Abyss, and Finnvox. After all this does not spoil the impression from Cardinal VII and that's the only thing that counts really. (Troll)

4/5
ASTARTE
Quod Superius Sicut Inferius
2002
Black Lotus Records/CD-Maximum
black metal
Uk-uk-uk! - as the goat-horned demond from Andzjei Sapkowski's book smartly noted just before felling down yet another peasant girl in the backyard. I'll admit (and let them call me sexist) even if I didn't like this record like at all, I would have still given it a very high mark, simply because the three charming divas that comprise Astarte have melted me stone trollish heart with their unearthly beauty. And I don't care if their drummer is a guy, they didn'[t even put his photo in the CD inlay (suits the bastid right). Well, let's get back to business though, for to my greatest delights, it has turned out that the three enchantingly pretty Greek goddesses do know their way around their instruments, and they know it well too. On the whole 'QSSI' mostly reminds the works of Opera IX of Cadaveria epoch but less boring and exaggerated (I still have to point out for the sake of justice, that Astarte aren't gonna die of being too laconic either). A totally good record although not too originals. (Troll)

5/5
BEHEMOTH
Zos Kia Cultus (Here And Beyond)
2002
Avantgarde Music
death metal
You know what I love Behemoth for? They know how to surprise! And the best part about it is that, no matter what you think of each of their upcoming albums there's no guessing. I am sitting here now listening to 'Zos Kia Cultus' for the first time, and I am already trying to predict what the next album would be like, where Nergal would take the ship, he'd been driving for almost 15 years now. And although he himself did recommend that I take at least 20 spins before coming up with any sort of an opinion, somehow I already know, that each next listen would just nail 'Zos Kia Cultus' deeper into the core of my death-metal-slashed brain. So and here's where the real fun starts cuz Behemoth belong to the scarcely populated category of bands whose creations are almost impossible to describe verbally. The mind-blasting avalanche of aggression, that stick out a sharp and hungry blade from every song on the record, rolls down on the listener as a hundred thousand tons of cold and killing ice rushing down the slope of an ancient mountain. The practically total absence of a steady rhythm, endless tempo changes, and head-snapping riff turns, masterminded by the crazy genius of Nergal, provoke in the listener's mind a timeless loop of images of destruction, annihilation and death. Life is an illusion, a myth, a dream that only exist in the dead brain of a dead God. (Troll)

3/5
CALEDONIAN
Acolyte
2002
Darkwind Records/CD-Maximum
doom/dark metal

Put together Amorphis and Orphanage and you gonna get Caledonian. Yep, that easy, no gimmicks or tricks and other bullshite. High-quality, atmospheric doom-dark metal, with a classic combination of clean female vocals anfd deep male growling, mid-weight guitars and decent keyboard arrangements. That's it. Couldn't have added more, even if tried really-really hard. (Troll)

4/5
CONSTRUCTDEAD
Repent
2002
Cold Records
melodic death
"Repent!" - I hear the pleading voice of the winged girl, standing on her knees and looking at me from the cover. "Repent, or you gonna deal with those guys" - I hear her add as I open the first page of the inlay and see a pump-muscled, hairy monster, whose sight does not predict anything good. Yep, these guys know where their methadone and steroids are. You gotta repent, willingly or not. Yes, yes, I repent, I've never loved Swedish death metal, and I do not love it anymore now either. But I do like those guys, and not just because I cannot tell where their shoulders end and their head starts, but also because they know how to right and play kickass music, and they do it convincingly and with class. A wonderful mixture of all the best elements of the Goethenburg and Stockholm schools, in the best traditions of Hypocrisy and Corporation 187. (Troll)

3/5
DECAPITATED
Nihility
2002
Earache/Wicked World/Soyuz Music
Death metal

Frankly speaking, I did expect a lot more from this particular band. Especially considering their debut record, which was 'Winds of Creation'. Yes I might sound like the classic underground saying - 'the first demo was better' - but it is the truth in this case, unfortunately. Well-made, extremely professional, outstandingly driven, intense, and aggressive, and sad as it is idea- and faceless. What Decapitated actually did was making an exact copy of Morbid Angel - a feat, which in itself is already a compliment to their composing and instrument-handling skill, but for Kthulu's sake - who needs another Morbid Angel? Well, yes I personally do, cause Angel are my top-favorite band in the genre, but let us at least try to be objective. And the truth is that despite all the bonuses of this record, I could not possibly rate it at higher than '3' for down-and-out absence of originality and new ideas. Well, if Decapitated choose to continue in the same key in the future, I'd probably be their biggest fan, but they are highly unlikely to attract the interest of those, who ant to hear something new. (Troll)

5/5
DERANGED
Plainfield Cemetary
2002
Listenable Records
grindeath
Deranged rules! All the way! J Here we could have pretty much put a full-stop to this review, however, if to me personally everything was clear about this band already two years ago when their debut record appeared on the market, my devilish intuition tells me there still might be a chosen few amongst our readership, who were ignorant enough to miss the wonderful chance of familiarizing themselves with the creations of this magnificent Swedish trio, which means I'd better back up on my opinion. Very well then, let's play the 'imagine' game. Imagine three brutally sick perverts whose wild fantasy could be compared only to the early opuses of the likes of Chris Barnes and instrumentalist techniques and composition talents could have easily competed with the best of the best in the field. Imagined? Now multiply the result by 10! Add to this a 100% of loyalty to the genre, a potential to find non-standard ways, where everything seemed to have been pretty obvious, an amazing preciseness and exactness, and - most importantly - an infinity of love to what they're doing. Impressed? Now get off your lazy ass and get the motherfucker! (Troll)

3/5
DOMINION III

Life Has Ended Here
2002
Napalm Records
dark wave
The folks from Napalm Records have always been major fans of such like projects, take for instance Summoning, or Kroezweg Ost, or Ice Age. Atmospheric, meditative sounds, which can hardly classify as melody, beautiful female vocals magnificently delivered by Elizabeth Toriser, gothish electronic passages, and the angry screams of Tharen - the gey who designed the whole thing - that suspiciouly remind those of Protector of Summoning. In short if this type of music is your thing, you might as well give it a try, if it's not however, move along and don't hold up the line. (Troll)

5/5
DOMINIUM
Psycho Path Fever
2002
Metal Mind Productions/CD-Maximum
doom

The first thing that strikes the ear on this particular album is the totally brilliant sound quality. Frankly speaking, I really did not expect something like that from a relatively unknown East-Euro act. I mean just listen to the acoustic guitar in the very first track! Then again even the most magnificently recorded sound isn't worth a twopence if the material itself leaves too much to be desired. Luckily, Dominium do not have that problem. Well-thought compositions, splendorous keyboard arrangements, complex riffology that swiftly goes from My Dyring Bride to Cynic, Atheist and Voivod, and last, but surely not least, carefully designed and implemented vocal parties. If nothing else, this work sound impressive at least because of the fact that with the very first chords you understand how much effort and love have been put into each and every song. Granted, as with any thinking band, you'd have to give 'Psycho Path Fever' more than just one or two spins to fully appreciate its majestic beauty, but who said that was a drawback? (Troll)

3/5
DORN
Schatten der Vergangenheit
2002
CCP Records/CD-Maximum
death/black
If earlier in the day one-man bands used to be something extraordinary and you could really count them with the toes on one foot, currently the phenomenon has entirely lost its novelty, and no one is really surprised. Pretty much the same as with German lyrics, which one can use without the fear of being labeled an ultra-right radicalist or neo-nazi. So from this point of view as well, Roberto Liebig from Frankfurt upon Oder, who is the mastermind behind Dorn, is just your regular metal guy. The basis of Roberto's works is to be found in the standard mid-paced black-death metal, with multiple keyboard inserts and screamo-growling vocals. Nothing new whatsoever, but it's still pretty good. (Troll)

4-/5
ENTHRONED
Carnage in Worlds Beyond
2002
Napalm Records
black
Crush to dust, pound into crumbs, cut into small slices, grind to pieces, burn to ashes, desecrate and devastate, and pee on it from above! That's the contents of the black metal for dummies crash course which the Belgian Enthroned has presented on their latest release. I guess this is exactly the way carnage in world beyond should look like in the opinion of the band. I agree, such a modus operandi is quite impressive and effective, though not entirely new. Neither is the material recorded on the album: standard second-generation black metal with a serious incline towards death metal, pretty interesting and melodic solos and ultra-fast blast beats. All of this would of been jolly wonderful, had it not been for completely illiterate and naive lyrics. I am not going to bore you with a lengthy and detailed analysis with examples, but believe me they are very funny indeed. Especially if you compare them with the cover of Morbid Death's 'Diabolic Force', originally recorded in 1989, when you come to understand that over the past decade metal-heads did not learn compose lyrics that would have at least a tiny bit of sense in them. Norsk Arysk Black Metal! RRRAH! (Troll)

4/5
EWIGHEIM
Mord Nicht Ohne Grund
2002
Prophecy Productions/CD-Maximum
gothic
No matter if you like gothic or not, if by a cruel twist of fate, you find yourself holding this CD do not look into the middle of the inlay under any circumstances whatsoever - unless you wanna puke. I mean, for gossake, can anyone please explain to me what kind of a fucked up sickhead would put a picture of age- and fungus-eaten feet of some weird old lady, whose face fragments are to be found on the cover artwork, into the middle of the inlay?! Yaiks!!! In fact, if you want my opinion, do not look into the inlay at all, all of the lyrics are in German anyways, and apart from them there're only pictures of body parts of the same old lady there. Musically 'MNOG' reopresents a pretty much standard mixture of gothic and gothic-rock with a tearsheddingly sad male vocals, keyboards "a-minore', and other joys of life, that make the world go round for most of the politically correct goths on the planet. Metalheads are not invited unless they wanna hear a bunch of heavyish distorted riffs here and there. (Troll)

3+/5
FINAL BREATH
Mind Explosion
2002
Nuclear Blast
death thrash chaos
At first site it does not even look that bad - fast, wicked, technical, but as luck would have it its a train en route to nowhere. Not even because it's too monotonous, but simply because there is nothing to associate with. No intrigue. Yes, these guys obviously did do their homework very attentively listening to the classics from Death to Sodom, but instead of coming up with something of their own, they just pulled some nice licks and bits from all of their favorite records, glued them all together and made a record. The result turned out to be pretty well-made, but unconvincing, because already at about track 5 your hand would unconsciously move towards the FWD button, to see if there is more to it than this, or we just gonna continue banging like that no matter what, just for the sake of Destruction, Violence and Mayhem. That's called Fist Banging Mania, folks. (Troll)

5/5
THE GREAT DECEIVER
A Venom Well Designed
2002
Peaceville/Soyuz
SMDM alternative
The hypertrophied activity and boiling energy of Mr. Tomas Lindberg could hardly be compared to anyone but his fellow-countrymen Peter Tagtgren or the infamous Dan Swano. However if the latter two, in most of the cases, have become and still are the initiators and leaders of a thousand of new projects, than Lindberg's case is mostly that of a guest-singer. Having already marked his territory in Lock-Up and the Crown this year, Tom has considered this result as positively insufficient of his honorable title of every-barrel's-plug and decided to make an appearance in the Great Deceiver. The end-product has turned out to be pretty funny, and strange as it is - rather interesting. Lindberg's trademark angry voice made an amazingly cool mixture with the largely alternative musical material in the vein of Pyogenesis and Soundgarden. This unlikely marriage as a result has become the key factor in providing the CD with a distinct face of its own, which, in the author's humble opinion, is in turn the key requirement of success. The hit of the album is I guess the fast and upbeat 'After Us the Flood' - a bitter lament a-la Machine Head. (Troll)

4/5
HAMMERFALL
Crimson Thunder
2002
Nuclear Blast
heavy metal
When this Swedish band first appeared on the metal skies 5 years ago, no one was likely to foresee the overwhelming success of their hyperbolizedly naive, indecently cliched, 1000-times before heard heavy metal in the wake of the new millenium. But it worked! And today listening to their latest effort, we understand that despite what all the evil tongues may hiss about the absence of perspective of this funny dinosaur of the 80ies, the public can't help but love the charming creature, so up yers. No matter how stupid the Swedes may look in their unbelievable leather outfits, armored to their neck in heroic spikes and metal, welding a plastic hammer in their hands - the fans would still buy their albums and attend their shows, and as we all know from the Murphy's laws - if it's stupid but works, it ain't stupid. On their new album Oscar Dronjak and his brothers of metal decided to step away from the Euro-power speedway, that the band's been following for the past two albums, and turn back to the epoch of 'Glory to the Brave' which once brought Hammerfall their unprecedented success. The canonic new wave of British heavy metal made in Sweden which we hear on 'Crimson Thunder' lives 'and never died!' - add Hammerfall convincingly smashing the hammer against the table. (Troll)

3/5
HIMINBJORG
Haunted Shores
2002
Red Stream
a kind of a mix between viking metal and smdm.
Frankly, I do not know which genre category this CD belongs to, but is it really that important? The melodic mid-tempo hymns, that tell the tales of drakars, feats of heroes of the past, and other nonsense. Partly the creations of Himinbjorg remind Finnish guitar rock (a certain Finnish type of rock music somewhat alike with brit-pop but better). I cannot say it's bad, but it certainly ain't amazing either. The recording quality leaves a huge lot to be desired. This could have worked in the early nineties, but today low-budget just doesn't go. Shame though, because the songs are really not that bad. (Troll)

2/5
JUDAS ISCARIOT
To Embrace the Corpses Bleeding
2002
Red Stream
true black
G, I thought that type of thing was not fashionable anymore! Fuck yes, it is! Yessir, some guys still got a pair of aces up their collective sleeve. The funniest thing about it is, if you take somebody like Dimmu Borgir their recording is done in an expensive Fredman Studios, where one day of work, even with all the discounts gonna cost you some 500-600 euros, add the mixing and mastering - also a pretty dear pleasure, inflate the budget to pay for the services of a symphonic orchestra, get a fashionable designer to do the artwork, and there you go. On the other hand, we have the likes of Judas Iscariot who record everything in the guitarist's daddy's garage in a couple of days, process everything themselves in Cakewalk, then scan some silly lithograph from a book they'd stolen from the city library and that's it really. And the best part about it the price for the 2 CDs in the store would be exactly the same. So who is ripping whom off here? (Troll)

4-/5
KATAKLYSM
Shadows & Dust
2002
Nuclear Blast
death
You know, what was bad about Bolt Thrower? No, not the monotony, because those who love the band, love it exactly for what it does best. No, the bad thing about Bolt Thrower was that they were alone and irregular when it came to record publishing. Now this drawback has been compensated for. Because now we also have Kataklyzm. Of course it does not sound exactly like BT (because it's too fast most of the time), but it's still pretty good and in very many ways similar. The phat, meaty guitar sound, military themes in the lyrics, mean vocals, and in all very pleasing and commendable. Of course there easily could have been much less melody and balalaika-like riffing, and more viscosity in the sound, but even these little trifles do not spoil the overall impression. Recommended to all lovers of Swedish death, bolt-o-fans, and pretty much anyone else who may be interested in this type of music. (Troll)

3/5
LEAD WEIGHT
Penetrator
2002
CD-Maximum
death
Lead Weight, if my memory serves me right, have become the first ex-USSR-based release of CD-Maximum, who have previously been only involved in the licensing of foreign records. This is surely a good thing, as any other good starting. And I sure hope that in the future the company will continue developing this branch of its business. Let us not get carried away, though - Lead Weight. From the very start it becomes totally clear that the guys carefully and attentively did their homework, having studied through all of the Chuck Shuldiner albums starting from 'Human'. Well, very commendable it is, for one can hardly imagine a better role model. Moreover this fact is an evidence of good taste, and even more importantly, a sign of serious musical abilities. This, however, is just one side of the story. The other side is that taking a genius as a basis of one's own creations, a musician has to understand he will always be subject to comparison with the works of the said genius, and that, me friends, is already a different matter. With Lead Weight we also have to face a pretty poor sound quality, which put together, unfortunately leaves the band with only three points out of five. (Troll)

3/5
LOVE LIES BLEEDING
Ex Nihilo
2002
CCP Records/CD-Maximum
black

I personally am f the opinion that a review should reflect the essence of the musical material represent don the CD there are many way to accomplish this some would dissect every little note in each composition others would try to accomplish the aforementioned goal through comparative analysis third would simply go with describing their own emotions provoked by the listening to the disk and me being a highly-opinionated and a completely crazy motherfucker without a slightest trace of modesty would follow into the steps of the genius Irish writer James Joyce and attempt to show the reader what is he in for with the CD by the review itself are you not surprised that so far you have not found one single punctuation sign in this text remember the last chapter of Ulysses that's right my dear and want to know why because this is exactly what is waiting for you on Ex Nihilo five songs the shortest of which is six minutes thirty seconds long and the longest drags along for twenty and a half minutes and all though the music of this francophone trio is pretty interesting and cool appreciating it would prove to be as hard as reading through this stream of consciousness that is about all I had to say. (Troll)

3-/5
MALEVOLENT CREATION
The Will to Kill
2002
Nuclear Blast
death
Well, I'd say I've expected a lot more from Malevolent Creation. I don't know why but somehow I thought that Phil Dfasciana and the crew could have come up with something a lot more interesting, at least earlier in their career they did. Did they get old, or is it me who has become more demanding, but while once MC used to be one of the best for me, today after the release of the 'Will to Kill' they've become one of the many. Especially if compared to much younger bands from, say, Sweden - for example Insision or Vomitory. The album was not salvaged even by the guest appearance of James Murphy (ex-Agent Steele, ex-Death, ex-Testament) on 'Assassin Squad' - which sad as it is, has nothing else to offer, but James' solo. As to the rest of it, MC 2002 is a typical example of unimpressing, faceless Florida death metal, performed with superb quality, but suffering of a total idea and individuality deficiency. (Troll)


MESHUGGAH
Nothing
2002
Nuclear Blast
psychedelic death

Each night they come to me. Strange shapeless bits of flesh with mirror eye-balls, in which I see a pain-broken face of madness. The features are very familiar. But they are twisted and I cannot remember where I'd seen them before. And have I? A black hole from which I hear crazed screams and moans of the suffering. I havew heard these voices all my life, but I cannot remember where they cam from. Hunger. In these voices I hear the endless, unquenching hunger. Strange, shapeless bits of flesh with black mirror eyeballs and hungry spit-oozing stinking mouths. Oh they haven't been fed for a long time. A very long time. Probably, for eternity. And now they want to eat. They always do. That is their essence, their raison d'etre, their illusion of existence. Tear it into pieces with razor-sharp tooth-blades and devour food Strange shapeless bits of flesh with crazed black mirror eyeballs, in which I see hunger and fear. An abyss, a universe of fear. Each night they come to me
P.S. If you have not understood what I meant then you haven't heard the latest Meshuggah yet. (Troll)

4/5
MIND ECLIPSE
Chaos Chronicles
2003

More Hate Productions
black death
When I heard the intro to the new album of this Yaroslavl-based act the first word that crossed my mind was 'creepy' - for creepy it truly is. You may also develop the epithet to spine-twisting and goosebump-giving, or probably even creep-giving - the essence would still remain the same. I mean I did catch meself peeking unconsciously into the dark corners of the room as I was listening to it. But let us get to the album though. The first thing that needs to be pointed out is the excellent sound quality (which the band is eternally grateful for to Arkady Navaho). No, really, seriously the sound rules so much that even those parts, which under other circumstances I would have most likely called dull and boring, start to sound pretty cool and interesting (a notice to the band: hey guys, Arkady does deserve yet another case of beer from me personally). The musical material too, as it seems to me, has undergone some serious improvements compared to the band's previous effort, becoming more diverse, dense and, for lack of a better word, pronounced. This way or other, this time I really cannot come up with any suitable musical comparison for Mind Eclipse which in itself is already a very good sign. (Troll)

5/5
OPETH
Deliverance
2002
Music for Nations
music
The fact that Opeth are one of the greatest contemporary bands needs no proof really, for they themselves are already a proof. Having started their career not so long ago through delivering a debut record in 1996 at Candlelight Records, Opeth has instantly earned itself a reputation of a complex, thinking band, whose musicians boast ideal taste, demonstrate virtuoso instrumentsalism, and write excellent compositions, which have complete ideas, integrity, exact consistency, and - most importantly - originality. However the main paradox about the Swedish quartet in my opinion is that, with all the intricate complexity and brain-snapping non-standardness Opeth have never fallen into redundant boredom - the curse of most other bands in the field (I mean take Dream Theater for instance, these guys I can only listen to for about 5 minutes (yes, fuck you too) after whic me brain falls into a deep lethargic slumber, which can only be broken then with the early works of Napalm Death or Cannibal Corpse). And that mind you with an average song length of 10+ minutes. The second paradox of the band is that not on one of their six albums so far you would find a single weak song. Once started with this or that composition the Swedes would polish and furnish it up until the moment when there is nothing to add or cut away and the song becomes a separate entity. This we'd seen on 'Morningrise,' 'Orchid,', 'My Arms Your Hearse,' 'Still Life,' last year's 'Blackwater Park' and the latest 'Deliverance'. Well, that's it, now you only have to listen to it. (Troll)

4-/5
PANDEMONIUM
Insomnia
2002
JCM Records/CD-Maximum
melodic death
Imagine that Tarja Turunen has finally parted ways with Nightwish, and is replaced with a charming duet of Mika Luttinen and David Vincent. Yes, I understand this is like the worst wet dream ever, I mean for me too, but not for the guys from Pandemonium. The funniest thing about it is that despite all the seeming grotesque, this metal Quazimodo has turned out to be quite nice and pretty. And all though it is highly unlikely that I'd ever become the biggest fan of this funny Swedish band, I still gotta admit that considering all the other talentless melodic death acts, these guys look pretty cool, if not to say fresh and intriguing. Sincerely recommended to all SMDM fans, as well as all the lovers of Nightwish - hey guys, you better start getting used to what your favorite band may sound like without Tarja, just in case, y'know. (kidding) (Troll)

5/5
RAISE HELL
Wicked Is My Game
2002
Nuclear Blast
deathrash
At last! Don't know about you, but I have been longing to hear the third album of this, as they say in ice-hockey, young and promising Swedish act, before I reached the end of their second effort (which, by the way, was sitting in me personal play-list for about 4 months). So no wonder, that when forming my regular Blast order on Soundcheck.ru, I put Raise Hell #1 on the want-list. But let's put things in order. The new 'raiseheller' record spins off with a replay of the cult John Carpenter flick 'Helloween' followed by some 45 minutes of bloodbath in the best traditions of Hollywood and independent horror. Rivers of blood, axed-off heads, stripes of meat hanging from the guitar-strings, and splashes of brain and guts flying all over the place from-under the drumstick heads. And, all though the new album does not have the hit-likes of 'Babes' or 'Not Dead Yet', it still has the neck-snapping slashers like 'In My Cell' and 'Devil May Care'. To put it all short - Fucking Killer!!! (Troll)

3/5
RIGER
Des Blutes Stimme
2002
CCP Records/CD-Maximum
Black/viking metal
What's in an album? An extremely good-looking artwork with an unreadable band-logo. Contents - a not too expressive black/viking metal with acoustic inserts, occasional death metal licks, German lyrics, and a good lot of neat ideas, that'd been carefully implemented. The hit of the record is surely the swinging 'Auf die Ahnen!' - all in all, an entirely decent album, which would undoubtedly win the heart of all the genre fans, although still it is far from Thyrfing. (Troll)

4/5
SATYRICON
Volcano
2002
Moonforg/Capitol Records Norway
black
Last time we heard from Satyricon was in 1999 when the band released their most controversial, and, in my opinion, their best to date 'Rebel Extravaganza'. Over the past three years they did put out a live video under the title of 'Roadkill Extravaganza' and a compilation devoted to the Satyricon's 10th anniversary 'Ten Hors - 10 Diadems', but that was nothing new. As to the recent release, that one has become a logical continuation of RE, both musically, and production- and sound-wise. Of course, there is a bunch of new tricks and pulls here, but nothing super-unexpected or amazing. This might be explained by the novelty effect, which we got from the previous album, or the move to EMI Norway, but, this way or other, 'Volcano' did not have the impact on me, which it should have had. A high-quality and even record, but that's about it. The ultimate hit of the album is undoubtedly the lean and mean 'Fuel for Hatred'. However let us hope that Satyr and Frost will still surprise us in the future and more than once. In any even although 'Volcano' did not outdo it's predecessor, it was not any worse either. (Troll)

5/5
TROLLHEIM'S GROTT
Bizarre Troll Technology
2001
Woodcut Records/CD-Maximum
black metal
To be quite honest, writing a review on a CD which came out in 2001 in the end of 2002 is pretty silly, but it's just their name and the name of the album, which definitely make them something special for me. Yes I am partial here, but I can't help it. All though I still have to say that even if we detach ourselves from those two totally beautiful and brilliant names and assume a completely unbiased approach to the musical material (which, as you all understand, I won't do) even in that case you would have heard nothing from me but enthusiastic shrieks and exalted grunts. I mean just try to imagine a mixture of the Kovenant, Dimmu Borgir and Finntroll with a Mayhem attitude! Couple this with an entirely smart image, considerable composing talent, amazing instrumentalism, solid Finnish sound quality and, lastly, a flawless sense of a good song. Fucking A! (Troll)


VINTERSORG
Visions from the Spiral Generator
2002
Napalm Records
avantgarde prog
As drunken millionaire Dudley Moore was saying in the Arthur movie trying to put together an ashtray he'd just broken 'That's all very difficult.. hic" It's all too difficult even more so, since, for shame, for shame, but I have to admit that I missed the previous works of the current Borknagar singer. Which means, discount my ignorance and illiteracy. The first impression that I received from 'Visions' was that this music was made for musicians, at least more for musicians than for the listeners. The material presented on the album was most likely extremely interesting to play and record, but, by the same token, unspeakably hard to listen to and appreciate, as with any progressive - and methinks there very little room for argument that this is progressive, largely. Drawing musical parallels from other bands is also pretty useless, for if I start with Death's 98 record, and continue with, say late Amorphis, and then add some Mr. Bungle, I then find myself in a total dead-end, and refuse to understand what is going on. Anyways, generalizing all of the above, 'Visions from the Spiral Generation' is much easier to listen to once, than trying to put in a verbal description of any sort. I give up. (Troll)

4/5
WARHAMMER
Curse of the Absolute Eclipse
2002
Nuclear Blast
dinosaur black metal
Well, strictly speaking, it's quite hard to believe that this masterpiece was created in the beginning of the third millennium, because judging by all its parameters it's like 20 years late. The battle, dirty black metal in the vein of Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Venom, with an absolutely primitive composition structure, not too clever and complex riffs, and the sound standard which roots straight from the 80ies. Moreover, true as they are, the boys stick to the good old 80ies image too: worn out jeans, bullet-belts, spiked bracelets, etc. However, strange as it may seem, it is pretty catchy Catchy despite the complete outdatedness, childish simplicity and seeming naivete. Well, not quite, because Warhammer are everything but naive. Surprisingly, notwithstanding all of the aforementioned, the band does not provoke a condescending smile, moreover, on the contrary, listening to the 'Curse of the Absolute Eclipse' you can't help showing respect to the trio that had the guts to go against the grain and time, and record something like that in 2002. If nothing else, Warhammer do everything with an ultimate conviction and that alone deserves a cordial hats-off to the band - respect! (Troll)

4/5
WEENA MORLOCH
KadaverKomplex
2002
Trisol Music
industrial noise wave
You know, I've always been surprised how the majority of industrial bands totally fail at using the endless potential they have at their hands. I mean the technical capacity of the genre allows one to do pretty much whatever he wants and wishes, giving the composer an infinite field for experimenting and searching, and none the less the larger part of records made in this style of music become boring already in the middle of the second track. Of course it always can be just me, but still. I mean I really like GGFH, but at the same time, I fail to see what's so cool about Ministry, Die Krups and Nine Inch Nails. Let us turn to Weena Morloch though. The album spins of with a pretty standard industrial composition that utilizes all the placeable cliches, then turns to popesque new wave on track two, and already on the third track KadaverKomplex becomes typical noise, and a pretty good one mind you. The stylistic merry-go-round continues all through the rest of the record, Alexander Kaschte - the mastermind behind all the erm... music, if I may use the word on the record - jumps from industrial to noise, from noise to dark wave, and from dark wave back to industrial with an ease that is nothing but amazing. Pretty cool, eh? (Troll)

4/5
WURDULAK
Severed Eyes of Possession
2002
Season of Mist/CD-Maximum
black metal
Yes, this one is yet another of those CDs which you oughtta buy even if you couldn't care less about black metal or what not, you still oughtta buy it just for the sake of the cover. Forget all of your Cannibal Corpses and Carcasses with their comics like drawings and silly rotten flesh mosaics. These pictures would only scare preschool kids really. However when the master of bloody bacchanalia and epatage, Sir Killjoy (Necrophagia, Eibon, Viking Crown) takes over he means business and he means it big fucking time. Indeed the nun nailed through her mouth and throat with a wooden stake to the cross and her eyes pecked out by the crows is damn worth every other monster and horror-picture ever to endorse the baddest possible underground gore act. What I am amazed at is how these guys managed to get away from the censors and other social and religious committees and agencies with it. Well, anyway the late Euronymous of Mayhem, who has by the way become the subject of dedication hereof, would have definitely been happy with this cover. Well, in fact I think that the musical content would have been a pleasure for him too. The rather primitive and exceedingly wicked true black with two singers, none others than Killjoy and Maniac of Mayhem, a lot of blast-beats, intricate guitar riffs, and a total fucking darkness atmosphere. Well, the only thing Euronymous could be upset with here is the mixing - the way it turned out, its all too clean and tidy - you could even hear every instrument, which sucks... (Troll)

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