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Neil Pretorius

Name: Neil Pretorius

Email address: neil (at) metal-observer (dot) com

Function: Reviewer

Compatible styles: Thrash Metal, Death Metal (everything from Tech-Death to Melodic to Traditional), Black Metal (must be of the grim variety), Classic Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Viking/Folk/Battle Metal, some Power Metal, some Metalcore/Hardcore, slowly warming up to Doom Metal

Incompatible styles: Nu-Metal, Industrial Metal, Radio Rock

Thoughts on the main Metal genres:

Black Metal: I can tolerate melodic Black Metal but I prefer my BM to be raw, cold and grim. DARKTHRONE, IMMORTAL, NACHTMYSTIUM, HORNA and old EMPEROR are the daddies!

Death Metal: I love classic Death Metal (MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, OBITUARY but I’m also besotted with stuff like AMON AMARTH, AT THE GATES and a few Technical Death Metal bands. All these Br00tal Death/Gore bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE, NAILSHITTER, LUST OF DECAY, TU CARNE etc can go fuck themselves. Guitar squeals and “pig” vocals DO NOT rock my boat.

Thrash Metal: My favorite genre! You simply can’t go wrong with classic 80s Thrash like old SLAYER, HEATHEN, MEGADETH, KREATOR, EXODUS and the like. Thrash til Death!

Heavy/Power Metal: The holy trinity of IRON MAIDEN, SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST rules supreme. The first four DIO albums are also godly. But I really lime all kinds of old-school Heavy Metal, even some Glam Rock like GUNS N ROSES, DOKKEN etc. Power Metal I like, but then it must either be the classic stuff like HELLOWEEN, BLIND GUARDIAN and SACRED OATH (a band I discovered recently) or the more Progressively-minded ones like ANGRA and KAMELOT. EDGUY are also great, despite all their silliness.

Doom Metal: When done right Doom Metal can be a mighty force but I find most bands in this particular sub-genre to be a bit on the boring, self-indulgent side. I love the proto-Doom of BLACK SABBATH and ANGEL WITCH the most, but newer bands like REVEREND BIZARRE and MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT (more on the Sludge side). Doom-Death like early PARADISE LOST and WINTER are also not too shabby.

Progressive Metal: When it is focused/coherent then I can rock out to any kind of Prog Metal but when it is simply Progressive (read: jarring) for the sake of being Prog then I couldn’t care less about it. QUEENSRYCHE’s “Operation Mindcrime” is the benchmark for all Prog Metal to me.

Gothic Metal: For the most part I don’t really like this style of music as it often degenerates into wussy cheese, but I do love bands like Type O Negative (even though they really are more of a Doom Rock band), a bit of DIARY OF DREAMS, and SILEX.

Nicknames: I go by many names

Time at TMO: January 2006

How came to TMO: I’ve been an avid TMO reader since about 2001 and after a few years I decided to apply for a “job”. II sent two reviews to Alex and after a few months I got word from him that I’m in. Hooray!

The best thing as a TMO writer: Doing the Devil’s work J But seriously, who wouldn’t like loads of free music (often in advance), interacting with other Metalheads, and simply being able to speak your mind. Love it!

The worst thing as a TMO writer: Having to review shitty albums by shitty bands. That’s about it really.
Statistics:
Reviews 633
Underground 101
Interviews 17
Live reviews 0
Articles 3
Specials 0
Reviewing methods: If I’m unfamiliar with a certain band/album I’ll do some research on them and then type the review after a few listens. But mostly I’ll just sample the album in order to get a general impression of the band in question’s sound, then give it two intense listens (sometimes while taking notes), then type the review.

 

Birthday: December 7, 1983

Birth town: Pretoria, South Africa

Present location: Pretoria, South Africa

Job: I work at a record store

Languages: English, Afrikaans (my mother tongue), Metal

Hobbies: Listening to music, surfing the Net, reading, philosophizing, invoking the spirit of N’am Taru…

Pet peeves: Organized religion, politicians, Cannibal Corpse, diseases,

Phobia(s): Losing my sight, hearing, ability to speak, and any of my motor functions. Basically I would hate to become a vegetable. Also, I’m scared shitless of bees, wasps, and especially the idea of being left alone in the middle of a swamp.

I, about myself: I am he who walks behind the shadows

Describe yourself in 5 words: Introspective, philosophical, laodicean, Metalhead, me

Funny childhood story: I only recently remembered this little incident: When I was younger I once had to look after my baby brother and since he was constantly running around I sat him down on the stove – little did I know that one of the plates was still turned on. After a few minutes this strange smell of burning plastic filled the air, and it was his diaper melting… So yeah, I know how to light a fire under somebody’s ass…

 

How I came into Heavy Metal: When I was about 11 a friend of mine played me some of his dad’s old DEEP PURPLE and MEAT LOAF LPs. I was intrigued but it wasn’t until a friend of mine named Roger spun me some old SEPULTURA, IRON MAIDEN and METALLICA that I became hooked. After SlLAYER there was no turning back.

First Metal CD ever bought: When I started to frequent record stores I was always intrigued by the weird and wonderful artwork that adorned Metal albums and one day I just went in there and decided to buy a random album with a cool cover. I picked up GUNS ‘N ROSES – “Appetite For Destruction”. Nice.

Most embarrassing CD in your collection: LIMP BIZKIT – “Chocolate Starfish And The Hot-Dog Flavored Water”. Not nice.

First Metal concert: The Haunted.

What did Metal teach me about life: To stand up for what you believe in and to not just accept everything at face value.

Favourite music listening place and why? In my room on my bed – it’s where all my stuff is.

Most prized Metal possession? God, probably my entire CD collection…

 

Band & previous band experiences: I only play CDs

Instrumental talents: I took drumming lessons but that didn’t quite pan out

Favourite bands: IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, QUEENSRYCHE, SLAYER, old MEGADETH, KREATOR, HEATHEN, EXODUS, old SEPULTURA, OBITUARY, MORBID ANGEL, DEATH, DEICIDE, AT THE GATES, DARK TRANQUILLITY, AMON AMARTH, DISMEMBER, KAMELOT, SACRED OATH, BLIND GUARDIAN, HELLOWEEN, EMPEROR, ZYKLON, MAYHEM, BURZUM, IMMORTAL, DARKTHRONE, SATYRICON, DEATHSPELL OMEGA, HORNA, SARGEIST, NACHTMYSTIUM, IRMINSUL, BATHORY, CELTIC FROST, ACID BATH, TOM WAITS, MEAT LOAF, SOUNDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS, GUNS ‘N ROSES, DOKKEN, BRUTAL TRUTH, CARCASS, PIG DESTROYER, TERRORIZER, LAMB OF GOD, PINK FLOYD, SHADOWS FALL, RUSH, TYPE O NEGATIVE, SIA FURLER, NINA SIMONE, LEONARD COHEN, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, TOXIK, ARS DIAVOLI, GORGOROTH, VLAD TEPES, BELKETRE, AKERCOCKE etc….

Least favourite bands: All these br00tal Death Metal bands from the US Mid-west and the Czech Republic, Porn Grind bands like FECULENCE, STOMA etc, CANNIBAL CORPSE, FEAR FACTORY, BRUJERIA, new METALLICA, radio rock drivel etc

Sound you’d like to have banned: All the voices in my head…

Most overrated bands: NEUROSIS, ANTHRAX, CANNIBAL CORPSE, DIMMU BORGIR, CHILDREN OF BODOM, TOOL, THE CURE

Most underrated bands: ACID BATH (nobody gave a shit about them when they were still active but now that they are no more everybody seems to love them), IRMINSUL, TOXIK, PALACE, ODYSSEY, NECROPHOBIC, ELDRITCH, ABYSSARIA

Most influential band: Overall I’d have to say BLACK SABBATH, but in terms of bringing melodic flair to Metal I’d have to go with the mighty IRON MAIDEN, and as far as darkness is concerned the entire underground owes a whole lot to CELTIC FROST

Favourite musician: Vocals: Bruce Dickinson (a.k.a. God), Ronnie James Dio, Dax Riggs, Geoff Tate, Tom Waits, Mille Petrozza. Guitars: Tony Iommi, Adrian Smith, Scott Hull, Trey Azagthoth, Chuck Schuldiner (Riff in Peace). Bass: Steve Harris, Steve DiGiorgio, Geezer Butler, Audie Pitre. Drums: Dave Lombardo, Gene Hoglan, Flo Mounier, Fenriz, Chris Adler

Favourite album cover: Top 5: Emperor – “In The Nightside Eclipse”, Bathory – “Blood Fire Death”, Dissection – “Storm Of The Light’s Bane”, Iron Maiden – “Brave New World”, Mastodon – “Leviathan”

10 favourite albums: 

Iron Maiden – Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

They say that true perfection can never be attained. They have obviously never heard “Seventh Son…”

 

Slayer – Reign In Blood

Every chiropractor’s worst nightmare. Psychiatrists aren’t too fond of it either. I love it though, and so should you!

 

Black Sabbath - Paranoid

The first true Metal classic.

 

Amon Amarth – Versus The World

The perfect fusion of heaviness, melody and emotion. Not a note on here isn’t an achievement in its own. The best Viking Death Metal album ever,

 

Megadeth – Rust In Peace

A Thrash classic for the ages! Rarely before have I ever heard an album that is so chock full of interesting riffs, lyrics, energy and balls-out Metal goodness.

 

Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime

The Progressive Metal album to end all Progressive Metal albums.

 

Emperor – In The Nightside Eclipse

Rich, cold, grim, and beautiful. Even though it’s not the rawest album out there this one just captures the essence of Black Metal like none other. Inno A Satana!

 

Nachtmystium – Instinct: Decay

This album has reinvented Black Metal to these ears. It’s raw and fuzzy but Blake Judd’s phenomenal and psychedelic guitar histrionics add an inescapable vibe of genius to this album. Perhaps one of the most atmospheric albums ever. This is the shot in the arm that Black Metal needs

 

Acid Bath – Paegan Terrorism Tactics

The perfect marriage of Sludge, Groove, Death and Rock. Just listen to Dax Riggs’s amazing vocal performance on “Dead Girl” and you experience instant Metal bliss. A true underground gem from a much-missed band.

 

Tom Waits – Bone Machine

This man is one of the last true artists. “Bone Machine” transcends mere ‘music’

 

Favourite films: Trainspotting, Girl Interrupted, Braveheart, Lord Of The Rings (trilogy), In The Name Of The Father, Requiem For A Dream, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Groundhog Day. I also thought that Angels In America was an exceptional mini-series, and I’d rate Six Feet Under and 24 as my favourite TV shows.

Favourite books: George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher In The Rye”, works on archaic religions/cults, Crowley’s works and Ian Christe’s “Sound Of The Beast”, to name but a few. Andrew Heywood’s “Politics” is also very informative.

Favourite food: North Indian Chicken Tikka Masala. BBQ Ribs

Favourite drink: Coffee, Amstel Lager

Favourite smokes: Marlboro Reds. My lungs deserve only the best.

Which song should be played at your funeral? “The Evil That Men Do” by Iron Maiden

Idol (s): My mom, Steve Harris

Person you‘d like to meet: Homer Simpson, Henry Kissinger, Friedrich Nietzsche, the rest of the TMO Brotherhood, Fenriz

Catchphrase: No.

Biggest thrill in life (so far): I guess I’m still waiting for this one…

Goal in life: To be 100% content

Secret: 08.04.2004 The horror….

5 favourite links:

 

Neil Pretorius


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