Crispy Hooligan

Strange things are afoot in the circle pit...
Alunah – Strange Machine Review

Alunah – Strange Machine Review

“Birmingham-based Alunah returns with their fourth album—Strange Machine—and second since the departure of founding members Sophie and David Day. As originally formulated, Alunah played straightforward—albeit folk-tinged—doom metal. Perhaps the biggest difference from doom in the vein of Saint Vitus is Alunah’s penchant for the bounce and swing of early Black Sabbath’s heavy blues.” Rage against the Strange Machine.

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

“There’s something about blackened vocals over trad stylings that just feels right. Whether it’s Midnight, Demiser, or Bewitcher, the juxtaposition of filthy vocals and NWoBHM leads never fails to shake me out of my stupor in the skull pit.  So I was thrilled when our great ape overlord bestowed this formerly nameless n00b with Nite’s sophomore album, Voices of the Kronian Moon. Darkness Silence Mirror Flame piqued Steel Druhm’s wizened and jaded ears, but the album’s length hard-capped its ceiling. During the pandemic, have these Californians been taking Nite courses at the Steel School of Editing for Wayward Bands?” Moon Nites.

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

“Calling something new “NWoBHM” is a tricky proposition. Some bands and labels seem to fall on the description as a lazy synonym for Maiden, but that clearly only captures a slice of the historical scene. Sin Starlett’s tendency to swap out huge sections of the wardrobe between albums only amplifies the confusion in calling them simply “NWoBHM.” 2012’s awfully-named Throat Attack saw Starlett wear through the combined speed and pop sensibilities of Defenders of the Faith-era Judas Priest. 2016’s Digital Overload, meanwhile, saw the Starletts adopt thrashier trappings. The borderline thrash riffs and vocal barks seemed to signal a new direction for follow-up Solid Source of Steel. Wherever steel may roam.

Tension – Decay Review

Tension – Decay Review

“When I came down with damnable Omicron recently, I needed all the comfort food and music I could get. Like comfort food, comfort music is almost guaranteed to contain a robust helping of processed cheese baked into recipes from a previous era, so I was thrilled when Dr. Metal Guy handed down the pixelated, Nosferatu-bedecked cover of Tension’s
debut, Decay. Add in that Dying Victims Productions had put out two of my favorite trad/speed albums of 2021 in  Significant Point’s Into the Storm and Heavy Sentence’s Bang to Rights, and my excitement was reaching a literal fever pitch. Could Tension recapture the magic of those releases from early last year to kick off 2022?” Keeping the olde ways.

Autumn’s Child – Zenith Review

Autumn’s Child – Zenith Review

Night Flight Orchestra’s sizable following in the metal community has evidently attracted the attention of Swedish AOR (always on radio) scene fixture Mikael Erlandsson. Erlandsson has been prolific in the Swedish AOR scene over the past two decades, releasing fourteen studio albums with Last Autumn’s Dream and now three albums with successor Autumn’s Child. For Erlandsson’s most recent project to reach its Zenith, he must walk the knife’s edge of writing songs that fit within a commercialized framework without simultaneously sounding tired and rote. To pull off this magic trick again and again in front of AOR audiences that have seen it all would be impressive indeed.” Hard rock in a hard place.

Charnel Altar – Abatement of the Sun Review

Charnel Altar – Abatement of the Sun Review

“Aussie trio Charnel Altar faces the dual challenges of releasing a debut album in mid-December and standing out among a crowded field of label-mates, joining Blood Harvest’s packed December offering with their unique toxic sludge of blackened death-doom. While not always to the album’s benefit, black metal instincts pervade Abatement of the Sun, propelling their filth and gore-covered Holden hatchback through the deepest doom-filled muck.” Destroying the Sun.

Dormant Ordeal – The Grand Scheme of Things Review

Dormant Ordeal – The Grand Scheme of Things Review

Dr. Wvrm highlighted Poland’s Dormant Ordeal’s We Had It Coming as a Thing You Might Have Missed. While Wvrm was overwhelmingly positive, he noted that the band had room and serious potential for more exploration. Often third albums make or break bands, as they either transcend their influences in a burst of self-actualization or recede into the unforgiving metal landscape.” Is this n00b more reasonable in their assessment of the new Dormant Ordeal? Or is it still raining 4s?