Huck N Roll

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

Wobbler – Dwellers of the Deep Review

“Those of you who insist we review nothing but the purest and most extreme metal, step away from the computer. The next five paragraphs will upset and irritate you, causing you to lob hit pieces at the Huckster down in the comment section. For there is nothing remotely metal about today’s band of choice, Wobbler. This is music to prance to, not music to bang one’s head to. In fact, one has to be an El Cuervo-like old soul to truly want to dive into this band’s immaculate take on 70’s progressive rock.” Hit pieces go wobbly.

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces’ mastermind is singer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Manthos Stergiou, late of Tardive Dyskinesia. This time around, Stergiou and his bandmates are going for a sound that is heavily influenced by Mastodon, Baroness, and Tool. This has been done to death, so the key to making it work is writing great songs and establishing your own original take on those bands’ sounds.” Impulse to ape.

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

Crippled Black Phoenix – Ellengæst Review

“I’ll open this review with the sentence I used to close my last Crippled Black Phoenix review: Crippled Black Phoenix are a band I want to like more, but the material continues to fall short of their potential. And with that thought the band’s latest album, Ellengæst, was bestowed upon me, giving me several weeks to think about how I’d be going in with high expectations and coming out feeling like I’d only eaten half a meal. A quick scan of the promo material did raise an eyebrow: the size of the band has been cut in half (CBP have always been immersed in drama), and there are a number of interesting guest vocalists as a result.” Crippled but dangerous.

Monsterworks – Malignment Review

Monsterworks – Malignment Review

“It seems like I just finished writing about Monsterworks a short time ago – or did I? I mean, their last album came out two and a half years ago – or did it? Was that the last we heard of these guys? It feels like it wasn’t. Normally they’re on an album a year release schedule, so this is a big gap for them. Makes me wonder if they were up to something else during that time. In fact, I’m rather bullish on that idea. I’m also very confused.” Monsters, Inc.

The Reticent – The Oubliette Review

The Reticent – The Oubliette Review

“The Oubliette is a deep dive into the fading mind of Henry, an Alzheimer’s patient. While perhaps less emotionally impactful than suicide, this is a disease that has more likely than not affected every reader here. I know I’ve had more than one relative suffer through it, and it is a sad and frustrating journey. Can The Reticent portray this journey in the form of a gripping progressive metal album?” Death of the self.

Raven – Metal City Review

Raven – Metal City Review

“Ah, Raven. Lovable goofballs from the dawn of the NWoBHM, perhaps best known for having a drummer who wore hockey equipment and their rather exuberant brand of “athletic rock.” Having been a teen during the dawn of this bygone era, I ate up most of Raven’s discography through the eighties, and played my All for One cassette to the point of it being worn out. Sadly, the band’s attempt to join the ranks of the hair metal bands with 1986’s The Pack is Back was a bad move that alienated the band’s fanbase, and they never really recovered.” Metal City. The city by the bay.

Exist – Egoiista Review

Exist – Egoiista Review

“It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I heard of Exist. However, this Baltimore band has been around for over a decade, with their debut EP coming out back in 2010, and Egoiista is the group’s third full-length release. Most of the material here was conceived at the same time as the band’s last album, 2017’s So True, So Bound, and has been honed and refined over the past few years. Max Phelps is the leader here. He had a brief stint as guitarist in Cynic earlier this decade, and one can definitely hear that influence at times on Egoiista. This is a modern progressive metal album in the sense that it makes use of plenty of instrumental dynamics, and plenty of clean/harsh vocal transitions. Plenty of bands do this; not all succeed. So how about Exist?” Leggo my Ego!

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

“Nobody will remember this, but back in 2017 Night’s album Raft of the World found its way onto my year-end list. This Swedish cadre of retro-rockers wormed their way onto my playlists with a catchier-than-it-should-have-been brand of 70’s hard rock, drawing influence from bands I love such as Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. They started out as a NWoBHM-worshiping group, and have evolved over the years into a very classic hard rock act. High Tides – Distant Skies sees the band shed nearly all of their metallic influences, save for some proto-metal riffing, in exchange for the classic rock of Blue Öyster Cult and, yes, Dire Straits.” That ain’t working. Or is it?