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
ABSOLUTE DEFIANCE (ex-VILE)
Systematic Terror Decimation
2002
Displeased Records/CD-Maximum
kebab
Honestly, I've always thought that this sort of music has been put under a strict censorship ban in Jakarta and its areas. And I mean knowing the rough ways of the majority of South-East Asian countries, there was no chance one'd get away on parole breaking this kind of a rule. There this one should be calling for an impaling. Well, not quite as it appears, for the sunny Indonesia did have the misfortune of giving birth to some lovers of the legacy of Cannibal Corpse, Malevolent Creation, and Napalm Death. Let us put things in a perspective though. Should you have purchased this CD expecting to fin something mega-original - look some place else. There's ain't no way you gonna find anything original here even armed with a sonar, stethoscope, and a minesweeper. At the same time the purpose of existence of Absolute Defiance is not in inventing no bicycles and discovering no Americas. 'Stead the Indonesian quartet presents us with 13 (10 + 3 bonuses) lovingly marinated and blood-squashed slices of the most juicy and tasty "meat", courtesy of the kingdom's best chefs. Magnifique! (Troll)

5/5
ARRIVAL
An Abstract of Inertia
2002
Edgerunner/CD-Maximum
Burnt Finnish coal

Rise, o ye, sons of the Foggy Fort, awake from yon sleep and rejoice in the dark bliss of blood-lust, for while we wait for the new offering of Dimmu Borgir - we have gotten a chance to embrace their Finnish cousins from Arrival. More importantly, even at a very close and picky look you will not be able to find any piece that has been ripped off Borgir at 'An Abstract of Inertia'. Quite on the contrary, all the parallels with the recent awardees of Norwegian Grammy for 'Best Metal Album of 2001', are likelier to be found in the general vibe of the record and the song structural approach. Monumental sympho-black, erected on a perfectly measured balance of all instruments, traditional Finnish quality and splendid mixing. Well, to cut it all short, to me the only bad thing about this CD is its crying shortness - a mere 35 minutes. Seriously, I would expect to hear more of such material. (Troll)

2/5
ATROX
Terrestrials
2002
Season of Mist/CD-Maximum
psycho gothic metal

A totally sick record, this one. I mean, me and Monika Edvardsen have totally different views on sanity. If she hadn't sung on this, I would not mind playing "Terrestrials" as background music to drinking beer and chatting with my friends - such situations require tunes that don't incite heavy thinking but fill up pauses in the conversation. But this girl went far beyond painting the cover art (which she did great, at least the cover suits perfectly the style and content of the album) and laid her sick vocals over the entire 67-minute-long disc. I can't even tell you how nice I felt while listening to silence in between songs. Actually, they can hardly be called songs, they sound more like evocations of spirits (evil ones, that's for sure) over a slightly metalised melody. Anyway, I'll just quote what Monica sings, and you'll get the picture: "I've been on the verge of tears all my life" ("Changeling"), "You stretch ghosts over the mattress, let the insane bed tuck up your dunes, hide your dreams under the pillow" or "You swallow yourself - later it won't help to put your finger down the throat. There won't be a finger, there won't be a throat." ("Lay"). I personally will play this disc again only once if I make the final decision to leave this world for good. Nevertheless, the rate is 2/5, not 1/5, just because there are some nice music pieces on "Terrestrials". (Lynx)


3/5
BLOODSHED
Inhabitants of Dis
2002
Code666 / CD-Maximum
Return of the killer-tomatoes

or a tribute to Dissection. You got that right, Dissection was the first name that surfaced in the dark pools of me memory when I first heard this masterpiece of Swedish coal-meat industry. Well, "dissection" is not the only asset here, you might also find an echo of Monsignor Benton (Deicide) on the vocals, and even quite a bit of Immortal trademark croaks. As to the rest of it 'Inhabitants of Dis' represents a very colorful example of post-modern black death metal, with a solid, although not too original, riff-base, a mandatory acoustic insert somewhere around the fourth track, and a traditionally accurate rhythm-section. I would rather not point my finger to any hits, but I did enjoy the fast and angry 'Dark Trace' and the driven 'Psychosomatic Revelation'. (Troll)

4/5
COCK AND BALL TORTURE
Where Girls Learn To Piss on Command
2002
Stuhlgang Records
Gore metal
Unlike grind-core, which it is very often mixed with, gore metal or crust, is really not about speed. Yes, of course, there are quite a few speedy tracks in this genre as well, but crust is all about different things. The main thing for gore-metal is heaviness and beefiness (in all senses of the word). And a very graphic example of that is the latest mini-CD by the funny trio named Cock and Ball Torture. Honestly I cannot say whether your girlfriend might indeed start pissing on command after being exposed to all the horrors of cock and ball tortures and torments, but she will shit her pants a couple of times for sure. Moreover, I would not recommend this CD to males either, especially if they have been drinking excessive amounts of beer or ate a pot-full of thick pea-soup. That is for the basic reason that the low-end of the frequency band tends to resound in the stomachs and bladders, which, as you all well understand, may lead to some extremely unwanted consequences of physiological nature. At the same time if your stomach tends to get constipated, you absolutely ought to have at least one CD by this unique band at hand. Forget activated carbon and purgatives, charge CBT into your boom-box, put the system on your belly speakers-down, and wait for the effect, which, we guarantee, will not take long. The long-awaited relief of the intestines will come all too soon, and a second later you will feel like born again. Don't forget your bed-pan, tho (Troll)


4/5
DISHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Ahead
2002
Nuclear Blast
Old-school euro hardcore
If you care to take a look on the last page of the CD-inlay, you would see three quite decent-looking, well groomed and neatly dressed men - the type you would normally find sitting in a cafeteria, reading their morning newspaper and enjoying the first rays of the sun, you know, the type you would see in Aqua Minerale commercials or Ikea catalogues. Their lives are not subject to excessive stress, and symbolize stability and comfort. Yes, normally At the same time, the moment they see these well-to-do faces and sleek hands, the older part of our readers, who still remembers the scene in the late 80ies - early 90ies will instantly start rubbing their hands and quack happily, because they still do remember what Disharmonic Orchestra actually means. For the younger generation let us explain that the peak of popularity of this Austrian trio was timed with the bloom of euro hardcore, alongside the likes of Lawnmower Deth, Rumble Militia, and of course, Chronical Diarrhea. And today they have returned. 'Ahead' does indeed take off from the moment the band suddenly disbanded in the 1990ies. Typical, sarcastic eruocore, diluted with numerous samples and electronic FX. Any attempts of thorough analysis of this album are completely pointless, basically because DO have always been about writing the music, which is hard to understand and appreciate, and requires a minimum of three or four spins to get there. It is worth that time however, if not for pleasure, then at least for the sake of education. Me well, I am giving the CD its 14th spin over the past two weeks and cherish the hopes of hearing the comeback of Chronical Diarrhea. (Troll)

4/5
ETERNAL MOURNING
Delusion & Dementia
2001
Goimusic SLL / CD-Maximum
gothic metal
There's no denying that an adequate monicker makes up for one third, if not one half of the band's success. With such a name, Eternal Mourning at once captured the target audience, as their music suits the monicker precisely. Sometimes it's gloomy, sometimes it's dark and aggressive, some passages are saddening and others are outrageously bitter - overall, an entire spectrum of feelings that a person has at the mourning. The closest analogue to "Delusion & Dementia" is Crematory with elements of The Gathering, Tristania and Lacrimosa. As to vocals, the band utilizes all types of singing currently in use with gothic metal - clean male voice, growling, screaming, clean female singing and atmospheric gothic voice a la Anne Nurmi. The only drawback is lack of obvious hits and catchiness. Nevertheless, I'm sure that you will listen to this record again and again. (Lynx)

2/5
FRETERNIA
A Nightmare Story
2002
Arise Records/CD-Maximum
Power metal

There is really no need for all of this, is there? This is not big, this is not clever, so why bother anyway? Why try singing when you simply cannot? In fact I do not know how many cats were viciously murdered during the recording of this CD, but looks like a lot. The worst part about it is that the music is really good: they got the vibe, they got the pathos, the drums are quite even and their melodies are pretty memorable, but these sqeals Damn, who the fuck gave this a mike stand anyway? Where is that big-brain, show him to the masses? And who in hell guessed to actually put the mike into that stand? Eh? And finally where is that genius who plugged the cord into the mike? Where the fuck are they? The country needs to know its heroes, because to say that the vocals on this CD would mean nothing really. Sucks ass! (Troll)


2/5
GRAVEWORM
When Daylight's Gone and Underneath the Crescent Moon
2002
Last Episode Records
dark metal
I don't know why, but I have never been into bands a-la Crematory and Cemetary, so you may regard this review as 100% prejudiced and biased, even more so, since this particular album sounded to me like a complete copy of Crematory's 'Awake'. Funny, eh? Especially considering the fact that the first song on 'When Daylight's Gone and Underneath the Crescent Moon' is called "Awake" No, don't take me wrong, I do understand that everyone is writing on their own and does not care to look at their competitors, and that we may surely out-rule any suspicions of a conscious ripoff, but, nonetheless, it is my firm opinion that such slips on behalf of musicians are to be avoided. No, I do not believe that Graveworm have never heard Crematory, I simply do not believe that. And if so, then maybe they should have taken more pains in differentiating their own material adding some more identity to it? For it does look dubious Then again, diehard fans of the genre might want exactly that (Troll)

5/5
INTO ETERNITY
Dead Or Dreaming
2001
DVS / CD-Maximum

prog metal/thrash/death

Looking for something new and refreshing in heavy music? Tired of same ol' heavy (prog, death, thrash, black) metal? Can't stand those amorphous acts mixing all styles together in a bowl and producing nothing more than chaotic combinations of familiar elements poorly connected with each other? We got something for you. Into Eternity hail from Canada, and though "Dead Or Dreaming" is just their second album, the band already has its own face that can easily be recognized. They do mix a little bit of everything, but the end product is something fresh, progressive (in the true sense of the word) and indeed well-tied. No matter how you try, it wouldn't fall into pieces of styles - this is Into Eternity's music and that's it. What does it sound like? Well, imagine prog metal basis a la Dream Theater, intensity guitar madness a la Annihilator, growling vocals a la Death, "viking-style" clean vocals a la Vintersorg, some acoustics, some female vocals and some big melodies. Supreme musicianship that is required for this type of music is of course in place. The result is nearly a masterpiece with some total killer songs such as "Distant Pale Future" (melodic guitar soloing rules!) and "Selling God" (a damn brutal one). I don't think that the path that Into Eternity have taken can become the way out of the crisis for progressive metal, for it's next to impossible to copy a record as multifacetous as "Dead Or Dreaming" and even more impossible to go further with this approach to making music. Like Apocalyptica or Rough Silk, Into Eternity are one of the kind, and that's what they should be valued for. (Maniac)

4/5
LITHIUM
Cold
2002
Cold Records/CD-Maximum
A gothic mixture of Rammstein and Depeche Mode
There was a time when DM used to be the public enemy #1 in the world of heavy metal, where a biker jacket wrapped around the flathead devotees of Dave Gahan and Martin Gor was taken as a personal insult, and anything techno-ish in metal was worse than blasphemy. Yes, there was time. Things have changes nowadays though, and today Lithium led by the composer genius of Johnny Hagel (ex-collaborator of Tiamat and Sundown) is playing heavyweight versions of the same old "little fifteens" and "master and servants". Well not exactly like that, but the roots are still there. However if we detach ourselves from this "disgusting" DM-legacy (which should make any true metal-head sick), if we do that, then listening to Lithium becomes much more pleasurable and easy. A solid piece of techno-gothic with heavy guitar (1) and pretty memorable and danceable songs. It tends to get on the whining side in certain places, but heck, that's the genre laws. Well, had that been less trendy, I would have given the CD a 5, but with everyone these days playing gothic its just a 4 P.S. Those of you who have no interest in this gawthic snotting skip to track 9, repeat 449 times. ;) (Troll)

3/5
MAGIC KINGDOM
The Arrival
2002
Music Avenue/CD-Maximum
power metal

Here we go again, well, at least they did not get that crazy horse clattery on the drums, that's already a bonus. When it boils down to the basics there is really nothing that special about the release. Pretty standard power metal with a massive keyboard component and vocals that tend to break at extremely high pitches. The latter however is not irritating and is not spoiling the overall impression. No serious drawbacks and no super achievements. All in all 'The Arrival' is a very leveled competitive record, which will surely hook all of the power fans, come as a pleasant surprise for prog-lovers, and will not make any difference for those who are not interested in this kind of music. The mixing could have been a bit better, but then again, why bother? (Troll)

5/5
MERIDIAN
The Seventh Sun
2002
Season of Mist/
CD-Maximum
Black
Each master has his devoted apprentices, even though sometimes he himself may not know about it. Some of those apprentices are better, some worse, the third are downright horrible, while the forth will outrun their teacher, but all of that will become clear in the future. So fasr they are still learning, make their own mistakes, rejoice at the successes and look up to the sensei, the subject of their sheer admiration and worshipping with blind devotion The above is true for Emperor as well, and even though Ihsahn himself has most likely never heard of these Swiss boys, the fact is no obstacle for Meridian in their ongoing effort to top their teachers. In fact, had I not known who this is, I would have thought I am listening to the new Emperor material. Excellent music, outstanding recording quality and blinding atmosphere. Well, if it continues like that, I am positive Meridian will force many a leading European black act make room for the new geniuses. (Troll)

5/5
NOTRE DAME
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You
2002
Osmose/FONO
freak show
Imagine finding yourself in France of the late XIX century - you rush down the narrow, shitted, stinky streets, where the houses loom over the world obstructing the sunlight with their shabby walls, where the smell of decay has eaten its way into the stones of the pavement, and the toothless, drunken poverty is laughing nastily and loudly in the pauper-infested districts, where at nights the nobles flood the bordellos and opium houses and bathe in the lustful delight in the company of drunken whores. Everything around you is drenched in the senseless joy in the wait of the apocalypse, which comes in the form of a roaming wheel-circus - the concentration of vice and depravity, mockingly named after the city's main cathedral. Sword-eaters and spitfires, lion- and bear-tamers, slight-of-hands and actors, full-breasted and big-bottomed tight-rope walkers with their legs gloved in the raging red fishnets, bewitching marches of the bottle-sucking organist, and, of course, the clowns. Red-haired and wicked, with huge noses and black broken teeth, roaring and screaming, frightening the children to tears, arrogant and fat clown. So laugh and rejoice, oh thee, dear spectator, rejoice while you can and applaud, even though you are scared and want to leave, sit where you are and laugh, roar with the laughter of madman, and clap your hands in ecstasy, feat in the pest, or else And to find out what is behind this menacing "or else" you have to listen to the latest album by Notre Dame - 'Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You.' (Troll)

5/5
PAIN OF SALVATION
Remedy Lane
2002
Inside Out / SPV
progressive metal
It's hard to be a god or even a recognized leader of the genre. Pain Of Salvation became acknowledged gods of progressive metal after releasing fantastic albums "One Hour By The Concrete Lake" and "The Perfect Element Part 1", and their new album was awaited with both anticipation and fear, for we all know how disappointing it feels when your favorite band releases an album that's worse than its predecessor. Luckily, "Remedy Lane" is in no way worse, it's just different. It's less epic, but more emotional, I would even say bitter. After all, what else can you expect from a concept album about a crisis in relations between two people who've been in love for a few years? The beginning of the record did not impress me much, it was just the development of the band's previous ideas, but in a shorter format. However as the album played on, more and more treasures were unleashed on me - hymn-like "Undertow" and "Rope Ends", orient-flavored "Chain Sling," two instrumentals "Dryad Of the Woods" and "Remedy Lane", a classic but very emotional rock ballad "Second Love" (a potential hit single that makes me wonder why those idiots at FM radios never play it), and the grand finale "Beyond The Pale" nearly 10 minutes long - the album's heaviest and most aggressive track. Though definitely not an easy listening piece, "Remedy Lane" is as far from boring as any progressive album can be, and the duration of 68 minutes doesn't seem excessive. A must have for the fans, though I would probably recommend people unacquainted with PoS to start with a different album. This one's too bitter for a starter, IMHO. (Maniac)

4/5
RITUAL CARNAGE
The Birth Tragedy
2002
Osmose/FONO
US-Nippon thrash metal
I guess it would have been pretty funny if we could get Danny Carnage and Jeff Waters to compete against each other in a guitar race. Then again, I'm afraid in that case we would get two more victims of tendonitis and two less good guitarists. Besides, these days, Danny gave in to four strings, as opposed to six, but that's not the point really, because the fact did not affect his latest work in any way. And even though, Ritual Carnage might still slog behind the likes of Berzerker speed-wise, they do make a good competition to, say, Annihilator or the kings of the genre - the mighty Slayer. But competition is not the point here, so let us turn to the music. Here we have classic Bay-Area-Thrash, as viewed upon in 2002. Ultra-fast riffology, dry and intense vocal work, precise soloing, and the drums that shell the heads of the listeners with the accuracy of an elite artillery squadron. Nothing new really, but it kicks fucking ass, and that's all that matters. (Troll)

4-/5
SILENT VOICES
Chapters Of Tragedy
2002
Low Frequency / CD-Maximum
progressive metal
As far as I know, Finland has never been famous for prog metal bands. Silent Voices, a promising young five-piece, are apparently set to fill this niche on their country's market. Well, domestically, they have all chances to reach for the stars, but the international scene is just crowded with prog metal bands from everywhere and being from Finland doesn't help (like in love metal or power metal, for instance). So, what do Silent Voices have on offer to conquer the world? Well, not really much. Their brand of prog metal is quite heavy and reminds me of Symphony X, while the singer is somewhat reminiscent of Charlie Dominici (ex-Dream Theater) especially when he hits higher notes. However the brilliant cover version of Roy Orbison's "You Got It" makes it clear that he can sing in a totally different manner. This track, coupled with the 10-something minute epic "The Tragedy", are my favorites. The rest of the songs are adequate, but the record, though being off to a smooth start, tends to become rather boring and loses a hit potential somewhere by the end of the fifth track. A solid work, and a promising debut, but the guys still have a lot to work on. (Maniac)

4/5
THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE
New Era Viral Order (Dogma Slaughterhouse and the Children of Anaemia)
2002
Code666 / CD-Maximum
Nuclear winter

Evil has many faces. It may be open and lack in intellect, looking like a gargantuan hungry monster, whose only point of existence is stuffing its own stomachs with no matter what. It may be cunning and hideous, masked with good intentions and great ideas. It may also be accidental, brought by good and noble men out of stupidity and in the name of well-wishing. It may finally be absolute and timeless, like the evil which is Satan as seen by profound Christians. Evil may also be beyond human understanding and traditional system of values. We may not be able to describe why we consider it evil, we just feel it with our sixth or tenth inexplicable sense. This is the evil that we face on the latest release of Thee Maldoror Kollective - a cold-blooded spawn of one of the world's strangest labels Code666. The CD represents a futuristic gumbo of black, noise, techno and ambient, not principally new, but not corny either, compared to the majority of the modern black-metal sub-trends. I cannot draw any direct musical parallels for this particular work, but apparently if you took a bit of the Kovenant and couple it with Koreish and then give the mixing to the guys who do the Mortal Kombat soundtracks, the end-result will be very close to TMK. (Troll)

5/5
TUATHA DE DANANN
Tingaralatingadun
2002
Heavy Metal Rock/CD-Maximum
volksmetal
Can we guess where a band is from if we know that their name is Tuatha De Dannan, their album is called Tingalaratingadun, they got Celtic knot-work all over their CD-inlay and bagpipes in the intro? Nope, no way, because they are from Brazil. That's right five fine Irish lads name Giovanni, Leonardo, Bruno, Rodrigo, and Berne. Well, despite all the seeming absurdity of such an alliance, the result is more than impressive. A wonderful mix of melodic power metal and Celtic tunes, ear-cherishing melodies, a very good voice, smart arrangements, etc., etc. Furthermore I found this album a lot better than the latest Cruachan with all its nagging runs and dull passages. Well, yes, that's the rare case when the stylization turns out to be far more interesting than the original. (Troll)

2/5
TYRANT
Legend
2002
Displeased Records/CD-Maximum
Japanese sympho-forest

This is a typical example of how a bad mix may ruin a good album. Can anyone please explain to me why in the hell would anyone want to bring the vocals and keyboards so much upfront, that you cannot hear the guitars behind them? Was it entirely impossible to make the drum-samples sound at least a tiny little bit like the real ones? This is in fact a question to the band, since, according to the CD-inlay, they did take direct part in the mixing and mastering processes. Well, the answer to the first question is apparently to be found in the same inlay - he who treats the girl, dances her. If all the music is composed by the lead singer and his wife who is also the keyboard player no wonder they are the ones to take the lead in the sound, at least that is the logic of this band, I guess. The music is pretty funny too. All the Japanese folks are fond of Yngwie Malmsteen - that's an axiom. Therefore all the Japanese folks want to play neoclassic even when they play black metal. The only good point about the whole CD is the totally amazing performance of the guitar player, but what good it actually is, when you cannot hear it? Pretty bad, let's hope next time these guys will take more pains at their mixing. . (Troll)

4+/5
WOLVERINE
The Window Purpose
2001
DVS / CD-Maximum
prog metal
A lethal doze of the prog metal releases that I had been recently subjected to by our editor-in-chief , nearly turned me into a prog metal hater. However there are still some bands that still can offer something new and refreshing in the genre that is stably declining from massive lack of ideas. Wolverine, a Swedish band releasing their efforts through a Danish label, are among such exceptions. Even though they are not particularly original, they at least find the courage to borrow from the most unconventional of all current prog bands - Pain Of Salvation. The five-piece knows very well its abilities and limitations, and as it is clear that it's nearly impossible for any singer to rival Daniel Gildenlowe, they bring out two singers, the one with the clean voice and the other with the growling vocals. Moreover, they add female vocals on one track, also a rare thing in prog metal. And I'm not talking about Wolverine being considerably heavier than their Swedish prototype. As the genre requires, "The Window Purpose" is a concept album about love, betrayal and suicide, and of course, it's extremely dark and emotional. After all, I can understand what drove the band to creating it, and if you also understand it, "The Window Purpose" will be easy for you to accept and even enjoy (though this word can hardly be used in relation to an album that bitter). I doubt very much that I will listen to this album frequently, but in certain situations in can definitely work as a helping hand. Just remember that window isn't the purpose of any human life. (Maniac)

(Lynx reviews translated by Maniac)

see review archives

Copyright MetalKings.com 2000 - 2017

.


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

@Mail.ru