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Personal Top 20 of 2007

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Morris Batallas

Name: Morris Batallas
Email address: morrisb (at) metal-observer (dot) com
Function: Reviewer
Compatible styles: Death, Doom, Melodic Metal, Power, and Progressive Metal
Incompatible styles: Hardcore, Emo, Nu, and Grind.
Thoughts on the main Metal genres:
Black Metal: Have only recently gotten into it through the more melodic bands like
IMMORTAL and DIMMU BORGIR. Really enjoy it.
Death Metal: Starting to get a bit stale. Something new is needed in this genre.
Thrash Metal: Never was a big fan.
Power Metal: Like it, but give me some angrier harsher vocals instead of the nuts
pinched in a vice sound. And please, no more ‘magical’ songs about fairies and dragons!
Progressive Metal: Love this genre. Bring it on!
Doom Metal: Fantastic, but also could use a bit more variety.
Gothic Metal: I’m a fan of SENTENCED and a few of the heavier bands.
Melodic/Heavy Metal: Grew up eating and breathing this in the eighties. Will always be a fan.
Nicknames: None.
Time at TMO: August 2007.
How came to TMO: Met Alex and he asked if I’d be interested in reviewing for TMO.
The best thing as a TMO writer: Listening to new (promo) albums before they’re released.
The worst thing as a TMO writer: None.


Reviews 37
Underground 13
Interviews 2
Live reviews 0
Artikel 0
Specials 0

Reviewing methods:
Listen and repeat, listen and repeat. I also take notes of each song so I can better recall
both the high and low points.

Birth Year: 1968

Birth country: Ecuador (I was raised in Canada).

Present location: Calgary, Canada.

Job: Manufacturing specialist.

Languages: English, a little bit of Spanish and whatever bad words I’ve picked up in my travels!

Hobbies: Travel, Snowboarding, mountain biking, kayaking.

Pet peeves: Cruelty to animals.

Phobia(s): Talking about myself ;-)

I, about myself: I am myself and refuse to be like you (No offence intended).

Describe yourself in 5 words: Calm, Serious, Surprising, Shocking, Sneaky.

Funny childhood story: For a while, I fancied myself as a junior version of daredevil Evel Knievel and attempt to jump over the neighbourhood kids with my bicycle. Luckily for them, I always succeeded.


How I came into Heavy Metal: Became a fan in the early 80’s hearing IRON MAIDEN, OZZY, JUDAS PRIEST and other bands on the radio. Ahh..the good old days, before it became Classic Rock.

First Metal CD ever bought: After over a decade of buying LP’s and Cassettes I bought my first CD kind of late. I think it might have been OZZY’S “No More Tears”.

Most embarrassing CD in your collection: Jimmy Eat World – s/t. It had a couple of good songs. The rest was crap.

First Metal concert: VAN HALEN

What did Metal teach me about life: To do my own thing regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Favourite music listening place and why? On a plane with my MP3 player (no distractions and possibly someone bringing me drinks!)

Most prized Metal possession? Memories of meeting some cool musicians and having fun at concerts.


Band & previous band experiences: N/A

Instrumental talents: No ‘talents’ to speak of...


Least favourite bands: Any band with a name beginning with ‘The’, except THE CROWN of course!

Sound you’d like to have banned: Whining or nagging.

Most overrated bands: Any overly trendy bands like TRIVIUM and LAMB OF GOD.

Most underrated bands: MERCENARY.

Most influential band: BLACK SABBATH

Favourite musician: Mikael Akerfeldt

Favourite album cover: JUDAS PRIEST’S “Screaming For Vengeance”

10 favourite albums:

Ratt – Out Of The Cellar

Although so called Hair Metal is often maligned by those that focus on the embarrassingly bad ‘B’ and ‘C’ grade bands, at the time of this release RATT was at the top and this album shows a hungry group that was determined to kick ass. Every song on this album stands up to the best of that era.


Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance

An absolute classic with the band at peak of their career. This is a landmark album that everyone should own.


Dissection – Reinkaos

One of the releases from 2006 that’s probably received a thousand or more airplays by me since I got it. This is a fitting swansong to a troubled musical genius.


Opeth – Blackwater Park

A band and an album that not only re-awakened my interest in Death Metal, but also a newly found appreciation for progressive elements in Metal.


Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia

I think this is one of their most mature and professional sounding albums.


Amon Amarth – With Oden On Our Side

Who knew that I would become such a rabid fan of Death/Viking-themed Metal? For good reasons, it’s pretty rare to find someone that isn’t a fan of this group.


Seventh Wonder – Waiting In The Wings

One of the least known and at the same time possibly most talented bands in Progressive Metal, these guys turned in what was certainly one of the best albums of 2006.


Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard Of Ozz

One of the most important Metal albums of all time.


Ozzy Osbourne – Diary Of A Madman

OZZY and company did it again. This time elevating well beyond sludgy 70’s rock into a very modern sound and style. This album echoed loudly in the works of just about every Metal band for more than a decade later.


Van Halen – s/t

Perhaps not Metal by today’s definition, but this was the album that helped inspire millions of young people to play Metal guitar. It still sounds as good today as when it was released.


Favourite films: The Indiana Jones series

Favourite books: I’m usually too busy listening to music to read anything other than the newspaper. I’d still like to someday read “Lords of Chaos”, the book about the rise of the Black Metal scene.

Favourite food: Texas (or Southern) Barbecue.

Favourite drink: Rum and Coke.

Favourite smokes: None! Can’t stand smoking.

Which song should be played at your funeral? AMON AMARTH – Pursuit Of Vikings

Idol (s): None that I can think of.

Person you‘d like to meet: Unfortunately, most of them are dead.

Catchphrase: Not suitable for publication!

Biggest thrill in life (so far): Seeing the world.

Goal in life: To always have fun.

Secret: That would be telling…

5 favourite links:


Morris Batallas

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