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
CATAMENIA
Eskhata
2002
Massacre Records/Art Music Group
speed melodic black
For better or for worse, but the supply will always be determined by demand, and that is why it seems that we will have to enjoy the delights of fast melodic black metal for another while. On the other hand if it's done well then why not? And Finland's Catamenia, aside from playing and performing skills, also has a definite talent for composing, which makes even the most trendy things sound fresh and enjoyable. The fourth work of these Nordic wolf-lovers, in addition to all of the trend's text-book tricks, also boasts a bunch of extras such as Iron Maiden-esque guitars ('Vortex'), nods to the early Satyricon ('Landscape') and even some gothic features ('Time in My Hands'). A doubtless strong effort, which would sure as hell please all of the Northern European melodic-black fans. (Troll)

4/5
DESTROYER 666
Cold Steel
2002
Season-of-Mist/CD-Maximum
Black death 80ies style

Welcome to the past! Captain K.K. Warlust, 1st mate Shrapnel, and navigator Berserker welcome you onboard of our time machine! Everything on this CD starting from the delay-fx on all of the instruments and through to the image of the brutal threesome has grown straight from the 80ies. Musically Destroyer 666 pretty much reflects Slayer's 'Show No Mercy' and early Sarcofago and Venom works. And, once again, intentionally or not the quality of the sound has turn out pretty much the same. In essence that's a very graphic example of where Slayer would have been now, had they listened to the opinions of their diehard fans and continued in their early style: evil in its most childish and extreme shape - not too sophisticated, but very effective. 'Cold Steel' is basically a very straightforward high-speed brutal-metal without any useless decorations and suchlike, which is very good to listen to while speeding down the highway or drinking the night with one's old school-buds, puking all over the place and breaking stuff. Not bad, but I am not drooling either. Although there still is something to it… irony? (Troll)

5/5
DIMENSION ZERO
Silent Night Fever
2002
Regain Records/Century Media
thrash black
Many think that the so-called all-star projects are completely useless musically, and at the same time very convenient commercially. Assuming a knowledged look these people would fall into lengthy and boring contemplations on how the cunning musicians plot to cash in on the naive and not-so-bright metalheads. How meanly they would pull the very last dollar out of the pockets of the credulous fans, who tried to save up for a beer, and foul as these artists are, they would buy beer for themselves instead. Well, Dimension Zero is a lead fist that comes straight into the stinky lying mouth of the aforementioned skeptics and takes out about half of their teeth. This small but already very wicked kid - a fetus incepted as a result of the artistic union of ex-In-Flames and ex-Marduk musicians - is yet going to show you, oh, he is going to show you! An unbelievable alloy of ultra-fast thrash and black metal, with tiny addends of melodic Swedish death (well, can never get enough of that, can you?) breaks into your poor ears like a ditched 10,000t armoured train, going straight through the eardrums, brains, and other redundant and irrelevant organs, including the head itself. May be a bit monotonous, but it kicks ass!. (Troll)

5-/5
DISBELIEF
Shine
2002
Massacre Records/Art Music Group
extreme metal

Integrity and originality are qualities which are, unfortunately, scarce and far between on the modern scene. Yes indeed there are many bands of whom one can say that they are talented and gifted, but only a tiny handful has that pivot, that charisma that would instantly make them a standout. One of the bight examples of the latter is the German Disbelief with its hysterical, cracked, mind-pressing sound, that miraculously combines iron-hard extremeness and surprisingly soothing melody. The first impression of 'Shine' might be that of a bit short-sighted, mainly due to the psyche-slaughtering screams of the lead singer, but once you get into it, you see another and then yet a third and fourth dimensions to Disbelief's music, until you find yourself in a labyrinth of the band's sonic imagery, some of it brutally vicious and ugly, some - unearthly beautiful. Best tracks: 'Alive,' 'Honour Killings,' 'No Control.' (Troll)

5/5
DOMAIN
One Million Lightyears From Home
2001
Humbucker Music/CD-Maximum
hard rock

You know what? It is unbearable! How many bands are going to “triumphantly” return to hard rock scene in future? Of course, it could be great if they had success in the 70ies or 80ies but in most of the cases they had nothing at that time and cause nothing but grins with their reunion albums! But here the story is different. German band Domain had bad luck throughout the whole career starting from its debut album and up to the split in early 90ies. And now when the rock scene is returning for five long years Domain decided to start all over again after almost 10 years of absence. Still, the only person to be left in the band is guitarist Axel Ritt but even with new musicians he delivered the brilliant album which is a way better than everything they did before! The album opens with self-titled track which is almost a copy of classic “Lost In The City” from Domain debut. The whole album is full of awesome German hard rock melodies, just listen to “Can’t Stand (What You Do To Me)”, “Price Of Time”, “New Horizons” and ballad “When It Comes To Love”! The disc features possibly the first (!) German performance of “Flight Of The Bumblebee” called “Fumble Fingers”. Summing up everything I should say that with such material the band surely has to exist for “one million lightyears” more! (Dead Ripper)

4/5
FREEDOM CALL
Eternity
2002
SPV/ Soyuz
true power metal
Teutonic Metal has been given many a bad name: kindergarten metal, happy metal, baby metal - just to list a few. But what's so bad about it anyway? Well yes, it is about grown up men singing dragons and fairy tale heroes, penning endless sagas about knights on white horses and battle-ballads of the inexistent past. On the other hand there is nothing too clever about dressing up in spikes and black leather and bullet belts, putting plaster and coal on one's face and singing about eternal darkness. Nor it is too smart to smoke some evil dope and write odes to disintegrating corpses and maggots. And that was exactly what the two respectable German bourgeois were thinking about when they started Freedom Call. Indeed they Chris and Dan saw nothing bad about the dragons, elves and other fairy creatures and just went for it. The third album by this speed-power quartet represents the third and the last part of their Taragon trilogy in which we finally get to see the happy endo. Let the diehard fans and true (unlike myself) worshippers of FC not whale at me, but after listening to all of three albums I haven't really noticed any dramatic musical differences in any of them (and that's the way it should be in a trilogy, I guess). All three appear to be similarly complete, similarly well played, and in all similarly similar works. But who cares? What matters is that all three are done with an almost childish sincerity, which can serve as an excuse for the endless repetitions, standardism in melodies, over-pompous keyboards, and lack of harmonic diversity, and the main argument pro is that you still really wanna listen to it. You keep returning to this unrealistic fairy world where good is always victorious and the happy end is when everyone is kissing and saying they love each other. It might sound stupid and un-trollish, but who said trolls do not dream?
P.S. Best tracks: Warriors, Bleeding Heart, Turn Back Time and of course the very special Ages of Power - where Chris Bay successfully passes Dani Filth wannabe contest. ;) (Troll)

5/5
GRIFFIN
Sideshow
2002
Season-of-Mist/CD-Maximum
thrash/heavy metal

Had this album come out about 15 years ago, it would have most likely passed unnoticed, but today, when the style is forgotten by pretty much everyone, Griffin is a real treat for all the real thrash metal fans. The band has been founded in 1998 as a side-project by the members of Atrox, Bloodthrorn, and Dark Ages, but already very soon the musicians understood it was much more serious. A mix of classic heavy, melodic hard and techno thrash which is Sideshow will remind you of the likes of Exodus, Dark Angel, Maegadeth (if you've already forgotten) and many others… A 100% guitar-oriented music that is comprised of armour-piercing riffs, brain-boggling solos and pretty fucking heavy rhythm department. Plus a great harsh voice and sharp-as-a-scalpel instrumental technique. In short, our congratulations to Season of Mist with their great tastes and to ourselves for we've got another chance to familiarize ourselves with the music of the long-past 80ies. (Troll)

5/5
HAREM SCAREM
Weight Of The World
2002
Frontiers Records/CD-Maximum
hard rock
It is really legendary Canadian outfit Harem Scarem? It is unbelievable that this band finally found its way to Russia! In Canada and Japan Harem Scarem has a cult status as one of the best Canadian bands ever. Though several years ago the band’s musicians formed pop group Rubber, succeeded again but anyway returned to Harem Scarem title in 2001. Their music is rough hard rock and while the band softened its music some time before the split it now returns with more aggressive sound of classic “Mood Swings”. Among the most recommended numbers are “Weight Of The World”, “All I Want”, amazing instrumental “See Saw” è “Voice Inside”. And do you know any hard rock album without a ballad? It really touches the listener’s soul, “This Ain’t Over”. In short, until Harem Scarem exists the Canadian rock scene is 100% safe and protected. (Dead Ripper)

2/5
HIGH ON FIRE
Surrounded by Thieves
2002
Relapse/SPV
over-stoner
Pig-faced and completely uninnovative stoner-rock, the main principle of which is the slower and the crunchier - the better. As a result when you listen to this you get bored beyond belief and yer fragile psyche is being impacted way too heavily. Of course it is still possible that if you eat a buncha magic mushrooms and polish them with some other junk this would work better, but I am not the kind. And I seriously do not advise it. Someone might still see the revelation of the 21st century in this psychodelia of the 60-70ies, but once again I personally can hardly imagine the High On Fire kids in the role of Moses. The only thing the trinity is indeed good for is lyrics-writing. Those are major metaphoric and truly inspiring, and even that is already a bonus these days... (Troll)

3/5
HORIZON
The Sky’s The Limit
2002
Massacre Records/Art Music Group
power progressive

Well, I don’t know what to say… This band is brand new with several country origins including Germany, France and England. In general, their debut album is typical… stop, what kind of style is that? Too easy for progressive metal, too soft for power metal and too complicated for hard rock. The guitarist seemed to demonstrate all his abilities on the album, show his classical influences (“Living In Danger”) and even sang the whole album by himself. The most interesting tracks are acoustic “Don’t Hide In The Shadow”, instrumental “Atlantis” with nice bass intro and sad “The End”. The rest of the album cannot be described due to its too complicated or too easy structures. The band definitely has some interesting staff but a new singer and more strict definition of own style might improve the band’s music quality in future. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
KRISTENDOM
Inferno
2002
Thundering Association/CD-Maximum
grim death
What I've always loved French bands got, is the knack they have for composing very diverse and interesting music (yes, I'll keep saying that). Take Kristendom for instance, being death metal in its basics, this quintet (+ guest bassist) has managed to lube its material with elements of thrash, Black Sabbath, classic heavy, melodic Swedish school, and even the Egyptian motives a-la (but not ripping off) Nile. The guitar sound, that goes in the vein of the already mentioned Black Sabbath "Vol. 4" and Entombed's "Clandestine" blends magnificently with the heart-rending vocals that sway from deep glottoral growling to a pretty fucked-up aggressive hoarse voice, while the keyboard arrangements, obviously born by darkness itself, amplify the impression you get from this work. Dusk is thickening, and it covers us under its coat leaving no other choice but to either accept it or be buried under it. The absolute hit of the record is 'Fatalite'. (Troll)

4/5
MASTODON
Remission
2002
Relapse/SPV
sick brutal metal

Remission as a medical term means a certain form of stabilization in the state of the patient, when he or she has not yet recovered, but the disease has stopped progressing and does not feel that bad really. Well, in that case I am really scared to think of what might have come out of the Mastodon-boys had they not miraculously come into remission. Certainly appears they would end up like the violitized hoarse on the CD cover - who is obviously not having his best day. Could it be his vein-knotted throat that lets out this inhuman shriek of pain that hails the coming of mastodons on our putrid planet? Nope, baby, it's not a horse, it's a man although apparently a very sick man. The swampy and hysterical, with 50% of it being built on rhythm shifts and breaks Mastodon's music was never meant to be entertaining or pleasing. No way, this stuff was made to torture and rape, and cut, and break, and destroy everything in and out of sight. And somehow after hearing this, you feel like a good half of Relapse grindcore family assumes the big-eared shapes of Mickey Mouse and Goofy. (Troll)

4/5
PAIN
Nothing Remains The Same
2002
Stockholm Records

industrial/metal/dance

I don't think there's any heavy metal fan who has never heard of Peter Tagtgren. This time our spotlight captures the latest in the endless row of his releases - the third album of one-man industrial metal project Pain. However the music on "Nothing Remains The Same" is not limited strictly to industrial - it contains both gothic and purely electronic/dance elements, and the lyrics are not trivial either: apparently Peter wanted to reduce romance to the minimum (though it is still there!) and bring forward the sarcastic aspect as much as possible. It is clear for everyone even without listening that the album is not bad, but I personally was very much surprise by the scale of this record's success given that Pain is not a mainstream band at all. Nevertheless, all the videos that have been made for the album are in the NTV charts. Among the most outstanding tracks are "Shut Your Mouth" with the arrangement in the vein of Kraftwerk, a semi-ballad with the romantic title "Just Hate Me", and a powerful rocker called "Save Me" that would grace any Rammstein record. The choice of a cover version is very original - it is "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles. I wonder what Sir Paul McCartney has to say about the techno-sympho-metal version of his song? To top it all off, the disc contains an excellent video for "Shut Your Mouth". And even though not all the songs on "Nothing Remains The Same" are on this high level, it is still a great acquisition for fans of musical experiments. (Lynx)

4/5
PENUMBRA
The Last Bewitchment
2002
Season-of-Mist/CD-Maximum
symphonic black

After their unconvincing (if not boring) debut 'Emanate' the magnificent French seven Penumbra has apparently decided to reevaluate its priorities, and put the symphony further with an authentic strings quartet and an 8-strong choir. As a result 'The Last Bewitchment' truly bewitches the listener, unfolding in a million of bright and sparkling colors. Their standard symphonic black metal with a truly amazing female vocals, the croaking screams and all the other default style accessories, magically transforms into a real symphony, where everything becomes three-dimensional, transparent, beautiful, and atmospheric. Decorate this marvel with elements of New Age, refined guitar solos, and ideally precise arrangements and you will get (a very approximate) image of what you are going to hear on "The Last Bewitchment." (Troll)

5/5
POWERGOD
Nemesis – Evolution (Part III)
2002
Massacre Records/Art Music Group
power/thrash metal

For several past years I saw reviews of albums from this band in various internet magazines and thought, “Who the hell are this guys?” Some time ago I got a chance to hear a couple of tracks from their tribute album of 2001 and at the same time got the new album “Nemesis”. The most interesting thing is that all band members use pseudonyms and the funny guitarist named Riff Randall is none other than former Sodom-ist Andy Brings. OK, about the album. People, if you want to hear 100% power/thrash metal this one’s for you! More or less pure vocals mixed with aggressive guitars make you think of Sodom. But the album is not really recommended to fans of that band. The music is not death-oriented and the singer is singing, not growling. There’s more to come: song “Call Of Freedom” reminds the listener of Helloween! The energy is splashing around in tracks like Reduced To The Maximum” and “6-4-5”. The most interesting number is “Evolution (Part III)” which starts with nice and tragic female singing, turns into male death-rattle and… well, the track features many things including choir. Moreover, the band has high production activity for this is the fourth album is thee years! And what an album! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
RAGE
Unity
2002
SPV/ Soyuz
heavy metal
Right after its release "Unity" caused a stir in the metal world, just like Alice Cooper's "Brutal Planet" did a few years ago. The album had been awaited with anticipations, thousands were looking forward to its release, and when the record finally hit the stores the press burst with eloquent reviews hailing it as Rage's new masterpiece. There is nothing else I can do but agree, given that "Unity" indeed deserves the highest praise. A powerful and brutal heavy metal album (much heavier than "Welcome To The Other Side") that still retains unique and recognizable melodies that Rage is so famous for will be a highlight of the band's discography and go down in the history of metal in general, that's for sure. Yet before the record was out, Peavy, Victor and Mike were saying that "Unity" would be a proof of the band's integrity, and everyone will understand that Rage is not a temporary alliance of three musicians but a true band. Check out the album and you will see that they fully achieved this goal. "Unity" is more than a collection of great songs, they all are perceived as pieces of one big picture even though the album does not have a single concept. Speaking about highlights, I must definitely mention "Down", an extremely catchy tune with excellent lyrics (if you have a couple of enemies that you would love to get even with, you will enjoy it even more). Among other outstanding tracks are "Dies Irae" that features the Belarussian State Choir and the title instrumental piece ending the album where each musician demonstrates his skills in treating musical instruments. A great album of a great band. (Lynx)

5/5
RHAPSODY
Power Of The Dragonflame
2002
Limb Music / SPV
Hollywood metal

The founders of Hollywood metal (bombastic metal, fantasy metal - whatever you prefer) have delivered just another little masterpiece called "Power Of The Dragonflame". However the adjective "little" is not quite correct here - the record plays for more than 60 minutes, but still manages to captivate the listener and never gets boring. Rhapsody can now pride itself on a truly incredible achievement - they remain on top for several years, they release excellent albums and somehow manage to avoid copying their own past achievements. "Power Of The Dragonflame" is a 100 percent Rhapsody album, but it is also quite fresh and original. The band is not afraid of experimenting with sound that is much heavier now and with vocals that even reminds me of Nightfall (!) in some fragments. Another surprise is the song in Italian ("Lamento Heroico") that is so chaste, august and classic-oriented that those who hear it will have no doubts that Italy is indeed the home of opera. As to the lyrical aspect of the record, Luca Turilli sticks to his own traditions. "Power Of The Dragonflame" is a concept album which ends the four-part fairytale about dragons, swords and brave warriors of good and evil in the land of Algalord. Those willing to find more about the land will definitely enjoy its map printed in the booklet. In general, it is Rhapsody at its best and an excellent proof of the statement that quantity is not always an antonym of quality. (Lynx)

4-/5
STUART SMITH
Heaven And Earth
1999 / 2002
Frontiers Records/CD-Maximum
hard rock

Those who have been following our review section for a while should remember my 5/5 review of last year's release by Heaven And Earth, the band led by guitarist and composer Stuart Smith. Now I'm reviewing the project from which that band originated, for the project's only album has just been re-released especially for the CIS market. Back in 1997, Stuart brought to a studio a team of hard rock superstars who are best known for their past achievements but who are still active on the scene. Among them are Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner, one-time members of the hard rock monolith that have been working together in various projects in the past few years, as well as Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Chuck Wright (Impelliteri, House Of Lords, Quiet Riot) and omnipresent Mike Terrana (Rage, Axel Rudi Pell, Metalium). The result is typical for an all-star project, and has both advantages and disadvantages of this trend. Each performer's competence is doubtless and they demonstrate their abilities excellently on the record; that's what they were invited for to "Heaven And Earth", after all. But the album in general makes an impression of a hit collection with songs having nothing to do with each other. It's like in football - try to bring together a group of high-class players and you'll see how difficult it is to make them play as a team at once. Every coach will tell you that. However, this team did manage to create a masterpiece - a song called "Shadow Of The Tyburn Tree". Check out this track and you'll see why a friend of mine called it "a direct and open threat to Blackmore's empire." (Fireball)

3/5
SUIDAKRA
Emprise to Avalon
2002
Century Media
epic melodic black metal
Epic black metal in itself is quite an amusing trend. For those of you who have never heard it try imagining traditional Eastern-European folk music mould into metal arrangements and spiced with black metal screams and bombastic lyrics - that's Suidakra fer ya. The singing, reeling guitar parts, which simply call for you jump on yer feet and go squat-dancing - Yeehaa! Fortunately enough the album has a lot of truly melodic and well-sung acoustic inserts, which surely compensate for this otherwise confusing impression, although I still would not be able to listen to that on a regular basis. At the same time , one thing is still for sure - the material is very professional and well-played, which means I wouldn't be ashamed to recommend the CD to all those who like this type of metal. (Troll)

4+/5
ROB ZOMBIE
The Sinister Urge
2001
Geffen
pop industrial
"The Sinister Urge" presents the renown wicked satirist Rob Zombie at its best. He continues to make fun of everything he sees around from false religious moral to age-old traditions of the society. The intro alone, which is a parody of a flaming speech so characteristic of religious preachers, exposes the wicked nature of the record. Subsequent songs stay in that vein with phrases such as "upon the brink appears another demi-god," "heaven waits / with the gates / rusting in the mist," or "fresh skin is what I need." From the musical point of view Rob has made a huge progress. His former band White Zombie was hardly understandable at all for an unprepared listener (a perfect example of a fans-only act), the first solo album was already much better, and "The Sinister Urge" is just full of hits. Videos for "Never Gonna Stop" and "Feel So Numb" have even made their way to MTV, which is a huge achievement for a metal album released in 2001. Apparently, it was too boring for Rob to work on the album on his own, so he brought some famous people around. Among them are Kerry King (Slayer), tattooed troublemaker Tommy Lee (Methods Of Mayhem, ex-Motley Crue), DJ Lethal (Limp Bitzkit) and even the mighty Ozzy himself. With such people in the line-up, it's nearly impossible to release a crappy disc, and "The Sinister Urge" is an excellent piece of music with rough and heavy guitars and catchy melodies ("Dead Girl Superstar", "Iron Head"). I think I will be right if I say that this is an album you can dance to. The best metal album for dancing. (Lynx)

(Lynx reviews translated by Maniac; Fireball reviews translated by Lynx)

see review archives

Copyright © MetalKings.com 2000 - 2017

viagra generic


All rights reserved. Any reproduction without written permission from MetalKings.com is prohibited
Send your requests to ragdoll@metalkings.com

updates |  review archive |  interviews |  gig reports |  aggressor |  dark princess |  contacts |  home |  sitemap

Ðåéòèíã@Mail.ru