Steel Druhm

Feel the wengeance
Hands of Goro – Hands of Goro – Review

Hands of Goro – Hands of Goro – Review

“On a day when a NASCAR-themed album hits the mean streets, why shouldn’t we cover a kinda-sorta Mortal Kombat-themed throwback metal opus by members of Slough Feg, Spirit Adrift, and Angel Witch. Hands of Goro is a project playing a style that the members refer to as the “Third Wave of British Heavy Metal.” That’s a fancy-pantsy name for what is essentially the classic NWoBHM sound being unearthed anew in 2024, and that basic NWoBHM template composes the core of what the band delivers on Hands of Goro.” Test your might!

Vircolac – Veneration Review

Vircolac – Veneration Review

“Sometimes a promo one-sheet actually does its job and gets you incredibly curious to hear something. That was the case with Ireland’s unusual death metal act Vircolac. I had no knowledge of them, but the one-sheet made it sound as if I had to hear their sophomore release Veneration or risk missing out on something unique and special. Steel hates missing out on something good as much as the next Viking gorilla so I grabbed it and stashed it in the Jungle Room. The trials and tribulations began soon thereafter.” Faulty venerator.

Morta Skuld – Creation Undone Review

Morta Skuld – Creation Undone Review

“Wisconsin’s Morta Skuld have been dragging their nasty cave knuckles for so long, even their fingerprints have worn off. In existence on and off since 1990, these old school warriors have been a fairly reliable if not super prolific source of no-frills, beefbrained death metal. Their early works exuded an oily, swampy charm with a sound ripped from the classic Necrophagia and Obituary playbooks. Later albums like Wounds Deeper Than Time and 2020s Suffer for Nothing were much more furious, pummeling affairs, with elements of Vader, Malevolent Creation, and Jungle Rot in their flavor profile.” Come (violently) undone.

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

Counting Hours – The Wishing Tomb Review

“Tears freezing in the cutting winter winds. Life’s blood staining the freshly fallen snow. These are the things that bring Steel to the graveyard. Naturally, I love my sadboi doom as well, and the long-defunct Finnish act Rapture in particular. Their style of highly melancholic melodoom resonated deeply in my cold dead chest cavity, and though they’ve been gone since 2005 I still go back to those albums regularly. When the two guitarists of Rapture reunited to form Counting Hours and dropped the excellent debut The Will back in 2019, I was ecstatic. It was as close to getting new Rapture material as we were ever going to get and they hit all the same grim feelz as they fused the early days of Katatonia with Dawn of Solace into a cold grave of an album. Now a few years later we get the eagerly anticipated follow-up.” Counting hours and tears.

The Obsessed – Gilded Sorrow Review

The Obsessed – Gilded Sorrow Review

“Every album we get from Scott “Wino” Weinrich at this stage of his career feels like playing with house money. As a living legend in the American doom scene, Wino had his fingerprints on so much music over the decades that trying to quantify it all can make your head spin. As the founder of early doom act The Obsessed in the 1970s, he helped shape the sound of the genre in America along with Pentagram, Trouble, and Saint Vitus.” Living backwards forever.

Morbid Saint – Swallowed by Hell Review

Morbid Saint – Swallowed by Hell Review

“Once upon a time, there was a little-known thrash act out of Wisconsin called Morbid Saint. They were nasty, savage, and uncompromising. They also had trouble getting attention from labels or recording a proper album. Instead of a finished studio product, they released their 1988 demo titled Spectrums of Death in 1990. It might not have been a polished recording, but it showcased their unrelenting aggression and warmongering fury. It went on to become an underground darling and its stature has grown over time. They attempted a follow-up outing in 1991-92 but once again never made it past the demo stage. That demo wasn’t made public until 2015, and by then it was little but a historical footnote. This record of frustrated ambitions is why it was a shock to see a promo from Morbid Saint in the crust muck of the sump.” Full Spectrum assault.

Chapel of Disease – Echoes of Light Review

Chapel of Disease – Echoes of Light Review

“Evolution is hard to avoid. Humans evolved over the eons, and each individual evolves as they grow older and experiences the outside world (except for Steel and Doc Grier). Bands inevitably evolve as well as members grow in ability and outside influences creep into their sound. It seems evolution eventually finds every band to some degree (except Sodom). That brings us to the fourth album by Germany’s Chapel of Disease.” Going through changes.

Acerus – The Caliginous Serenade Review

Acerus – The Caliginous Serenade Review

The Chasm have been cracking skulls since 1994 with their riff-intensive, wildly creative death metal. Over the years they evolved from ass-scratching caveman death to technical insanity engineers, but skulls were always smashed just the same. Though I’ve been a fan forever, somehow I missed that The Chasm’s bassist/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Corchado had an epic/trve metal side project called Acerus and had been releasing albums since 2014. For this, I feel great shame and now I must make amends. The Caliginous Serenade is their fourth release and this one will be properly exposed to the AMG masses!” Ride of the Gorge Warriors.

Striker – Ultrapower Review

Striker – Ultrapower Review

“Canada’s heavy metal heroes Striker have been launching throwback volleys at the masses since 2009. Their style blends traditional metal ideas with power and thrash influences, often to good effect and they’ve always been capable of hooky songcraft. They also have a tendency to be tongue-in-cheek at times, refusing to take themselves too seriously. These are all admirable traits and make Striker easy to root for. Despite these pluses, they’ve struggled to craft consistently hard-hitting albums. Here comes seventh outing, Ultrapower, with a craptastic cover and an even worse band photo.” Power outage.

Show N Tell – The Ritual Has Begun Review

Show N Tell – The Ritual Has Begun Review

“I’m a child of the maelstrom that was 80s metal. I was learning what I enjoyed musically during the embryonic days of MTV, and in those early years that channel force-fed me a steady diet of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Def Leppard videos. The 80s metal sound is encoded into my DNA and if you hit me hard enough, old fanzine ink leaks out. This makes me the demographic for what Phoenix Arizona’s Show N Tell are selling on their The Ritual Has Begun debut. This is 100% unabashedly retro metal with a carbon date of 1983-84, when American metal acts were taking the NWoBHM sound and speeding it up.” Show me the METAL!