LATEST UPDATE: 12-1-12
Name: Clint Olsen
Birthday: July, 1975
Current location: Utah, U.S.
Current occupation: Structural steel detailing.
Hobbies: Playing basketball, investigating music/bands and managing the site.
Favorite books: I'm almost always listening to music and since it's too hard to read while listening to music, I don't read books. However, I do a lot of reading on the Internet, and just like all of you, I enjoy reading CD reviews.
Favorite movies: Braveheart is probably my all-time favorite, and I generally enjoy movies in that style like Gladiator, 300, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Immortals, The Eagle, Centurion, The 13th Warrior, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Lord of the Rings (all) and also the uniqueness of Predator (all).
Words that describe me: Honest, cautious and passionate.
Instrumental talents: None, I'm just a major listener.
Past and present band experience: None.
Favorite music listening location and why: The car, because there's nowhere for the music to escape!
How I got into metal: It started with the popular 80s hard rock/heavy metal bands that were on the radio, like Def Leppard, Queensryche, Scorpions and Motley Crue. But it didn't take long for me to discover bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Savatage, Testament, Slayer, Metal Church and so on.
Most influential bands: The early years of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Savatage and Metal Church. But as the 90s began, bands like Iced Earth, Stratovarius and Virgin Steele were introduced. As bands like Nightwish, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody and Labyrinth began, so did my excitement.
Favorite/most memorable concerts: Probably when Anthrax and Iron Maiden were together for an early-90s tour, and I remember the bands playing some songs together. I'm deaf in one ear (surprising to read?), so unfortunately attending concerts can be difficult for me, as I always fear damaging the one good ear (don't be sad, I hear twice as good in the one ear, or at least I think I do - hehehe).
Genre likes: Power metal, symphonic metal, heavy/melodic metal, folk metal and gothic metal.
Genre dislikes: Black metal, most death metal, most doom metal, most progressive metal and some thrash metal.
Thoughts on the metal genres:
Black metal: This genre is almost impossible for me to get into. Most bands are way too extreme, and the extra-raspy vocals are almost always way too much for me.
Death metal: This is also a genre that is difficult for me, although with the right "growl" or "gruff" vocalist, and excellent music, there's a chance.
Doom metal: I like excitement, and with the majority of doom metal being slow to mid-paced, I usually get bored.
Folk metal: This can be a fun, interesting and exciting genre. Although the chance of being too playful is possible, I usually enjoy the nice flute, violin, etc. additions.
Gothic metal: This is a genre I would never have dreamed would be one of my favorites. The dark atmosphere with most of the bands brings a nice variety to my power metal filled listening rotation. However, I'm a huge lover of female vocalists, and usually only take a liking to the gothic metal bands with a female vocalist, or bands that have both female and male vocalists, often described as the "beauty and the beast" style. If there's a female vocalist present, I can usually handle the added death or even black metal male vocalist, as I get a touch of the heavier stuff without getting into actual death or black metal. This genre is also only appealing to me if heavy enough, so bands that drift more towards gothic "rock" tend to be too light.
Heavy/melodic metal: In the 80s, this was one of my favorite genres. These days, this genre is sometimes borderline for me. If the songs are heavy and catchy enough, with some occasional speed, I can usually get into the better bands. So songwriting plays an important, almost crucial, part with this genre.
Power metal: I can't get enough of this genre! I've loved it from the very beginning, from the more traditional bands, to the now unbelievable ones. The exciting pace, fantastic vocalists and amazing guitarists always leave me more than satisfied. With either the neo-classical, folk or symphonic elements sometimes added, the genre becomes more varied. These sub-genres mentioned are the key to power metal.
Progressive metal: Although there are a few bands I like, I usually find bands these days to be either too wierd, too experimental, too light, too complex or simply not catchy. Some of the best musicians do exist in this genre though, and this is the reason a few bands have found their way into my collection. I do like bands that are progessive power metal, so there's a fine line there.
Symphonic metal: This is an awesome genre! To mix the power of orchestral/symphonic music and the power of heavy metal is simply brilliant. I hope bands can find ways to keep this genre fresh.
Thrash metal: This is a genre that's usually a bit heavy/aggressive or even too fast for my tastes (both vocally and musically), but there are bands that I find bring in some variety. If the bands have the songwriting skills and the vocalist isn't too intense, I can sometimes handle (or even enjoy) this genre.
Favorite musicians: In my earlier metal years, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was always my favorite. But overall, I've always liked the members of Iron Maiden.
Favorite vocalists: Roy Khan of ex-Kamelot/ex-Conception, Tarja Turunen of ex-Nightwish, Mike Anderson of Cloudscape/Fullforce/Planet Alliance, and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) has been in my life so long, how could I not mention him.
Favorite CD covers: Savatage 'Edge of thorns', Kamelot 'The fourth legacy', Requiem 'The arrival', Highlord 'When the aurora falls' and Nightwish 'Century child'.
Favorite bands: Nightwish, Kamelot, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Statovarius, Cloudscape, Savatage, Rhapsody, Vision Divine, Skylark, Sonata Arctica, Evergrey, Sagga (Holy), Labyrinth, Keldian, Mob Rules, Angra, Power Quest, Galneryus and many others.
Favorite CDs: Nightwish 'Oceanborn' and 'Wishmaster', Kamelot 'The fourth legacy' and 'Karma', Metal Church 'Blessing in disguise', Stratovarius 'Destiny', Metallica 'Ride the lightning', 'Master of puppets' and 'And justice for all', Megadeth 'Rust in peace' and 'Countdown to extinction', Sonata Arctica 'Ecliptica', Sagga (Holy) 'Planetude', Iron Maiden 'Somewhere in time' and 'Seventh son of a seventh son', Sigma 's/t', Power Quest 'Neverworld', Slayer 'Seasons in the abyss', Demons & Wizards 's/t', Iced Earth 'The dark saga' and 'Something wicked this way comes', Wonderland 's/t' and 'Follow me', Labyrinth 'Return to heaven denied', Lost Horizon 'A flame to the ground beneath', Mob Rules 'Hollowed be thy name', Vision Divine 's/t', Sirenia 'At sixes and sevens', Lanfear 'Another golden rage', Within Temptation 'The silent force', Catharsis 'Wings', Communic 'Waves of visual decay', Echo of Dalriada 'Jegbonto', Cloudscape 'Crimson Skies', Keldian 'Heaven's gate' and 'Journey of souls', Armory 'The dawn of enlightenment', Towersound 'From tears to smiles', Seventh Wonder 'Mercy Falls', Sunrise 'Trust your soul', Xandria 'Neverworld's end' and many others.
CDs that are overrated: I like the band Rhapsody (now Rhapsody of Fire) a lot, and most of their CDs are excellent. But they have yet to create a masterpiece, and still there's more hype with this band than the majority of the bands in the power metal genre.
CDs that are underrated: Sagga (Holy) 'Planetude' is easily in my top 10 CDs of all time, yet there are many Angra, Viper, Labyrinth, Highlord and Vision Divine fans that have not even heard of this CD. I also feel that Testament 'Ritual' is a masterpiece for its time, but was over-shadowed by Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Pantera, who were at their prime during this time.
Most prized metal posession: My entire CD collection is extremely important to me.
Reasons I created the Metal CD Ratings site: To support metal (mostly power metal) and help fans with deciding which CDs to get, through providing information/reviews within a strict rating system.
Advantages to being a reviewer on the Metal CD Ratings site: I get to be a part of the metal world and support record labels, bands, vendors and fans. I get to express my opinion on the many CDs that fans research each and every day.
Disadvantages to being a reviewer on the Metal CD Ratings site: None really, but it does take up some of my time.
Bands I would like to see in concert: There are too many to list.
People I would like to meet: Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish), my fellow reviewers, and Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel.
What I would like to see for the future of metal: There are so many bands and genres in metal, so I think there will always be plenty of metal for everyone. But I hope that the genres I love can stay fresh and the quality becomes even greater. I also hope that power metal fans find Metal CD Ratings to be a part of their metal lives on a regular basis.
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