Steel Druhm

Feel the wengeance.
Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

Hexenklad – Heathenheart Review

“Canada’s Hexenklad is a semi-supergroup of sorts, boasting members of SIG:AR:TYR, Eclipse Eternal and Pagan Ritual. On their second full-length Heathenheart they dish out a wide-ranging variety of pagan black/folk tunes bearing marks ranging from Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Windir. They’ve also taken the opportunity to pose for some excellently over-the-top LARP Guild photos and videos. Talent is abundant, as is the ambition.” Heathen hearts, big eyes.

Rebellion – We Are the People Review

Rebellion – We Are the People Review

“Germany’s Rebellion isn’t what I’d call a thinking man’s metal band. That said, they’ve released two concept albums based on Shakespeare’s works (Macbeth and King Lear), and they’ve shown a penchant for tackling historical events and individuals over their career. On ninth album We Are the People, they’ve put down the classic English literature and gone deep into the annals of history for a wide-ranging analysis of nationalism, war, and man’s innate desire for freedom and liberty. As a big history buff and admirer of Enlightenment era philosophy, this kind of concept is 100% my manbag.” Natural rights (and wrongs).

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

Bottomless – Bottomless Review

“One of the most anticipated releases on my radar this month was a debut from brand new Italian doom metal act Bottomless. Most of said anticipation came from the fact it featured Messa‘s outstanding vocalist Sara Bianchin on bass rather than vocals. That seemed such an odd twist that it made me curious what the Bottomless sound would consist of. As it turns out the band travels in the same circles as vintage Pentagram and Saint Vitus but with a slightly more stoner-esque edge than either of those classic acts possessed.” Love letters to the Doom Lords.

Rat King – Omen Review

Rat King – Omen Review

“Indiana’s Rat King have been skulking around the Midwest since 2016, tweaking their classic stoner doom style and releasing a few singles and EPs, with Omen being their debut full-length. Their promo package namedrops genre greats like Kyuss and Electric Wizard and speaks of an exploration of the darker elements of the human condition while promising haunting, evocative vocals. This is the PR milkshake that brought Steel to the yard.” Rat holes in Sky Valley.

Nocturnal Hollow – Triumphantly Evil Review

Nocturnal Hollow – Triumphantly Evil Review

“The classic Swedeath sound, as pioneered by Entombed and Dismember, has drawn way more flies than honey with its buzzing, hacksaw style over the last 30-plus years. In that time the genre has been well and fully beaten into the very core of the Earth, with countless bands trying their hand at the greasy till. For all the oversaturation this niche has endured, it still remains a highly engaging style when done well, as recent releases by LIK and Helslave can attest. Venezuela’s Nocturnal Hollow have been in this game since 2011 and Triumphantly Evil is their sixth full-length of unabashed Swedeath worship, though I concede I’d never heard of them until we got this promo.” Evil and proud.

Stress Angel – Bursting Church Review

Stress Angel – Bursting Church Review

“Brooklyn is many things, with a strange hodge-podge of peoples and cultures, but it isn’t what one normally thinks of as a hotbed of throwback mega-retro death metal. The duo behind Stress Angel are out to change that with their gritty, scuzzy debut platter, Bursting Church. Featuring a member of Natur and a mysterious co-conspirator, Stress Angel deliver a heaving, hacking old school death sound that’s like vintage Autopsy slammed into Toxic Holocaust with crustcore stuffed in all the gaps like maggot-ridden grout.” Burst a move.

Pestilence – Exitivm Review

Pestilence – Exitivm Review

“I’ll forever have a soft spot in my wrought iron heart for Dutch death act Pestilence. Their 1989 magnum opus Consuming Impulse blew my mind all over the wall with its gnarly death metal assault and I still play it regularly. I haven’t completely loved any of their second career stage releases however, as their style has parked somewhere between OSDM and prog-death with jazz elements, making things a bit too awkward for my tastes. That said, 2013s Obsideo was good if weird, and 2018s Hadeon was a respectable shift toward more straightforward death metal. Ninth album Exitivm is now set to drop with an almost entirely new lineup from last time, with founding guitarist Patrick Mameli the sole survivor.” Prog infection.

Pharaoh – The Powers That Be Review

Pharaoh – The Powers That Be Review

“For a time it seemed Philly-based Pharaoh would be the vanguard of a new wave of gritty American traditional/power metal. Albums like The Longest Night and 2012s Bury the Light bristled with burly riffs and rough-hewn vocals, accentuated by super slick musicality and proggy elements. After nearly nine years without a release, the band’s forward momentum is a thing of the distant past, but that doesn’t mean they can’t drop another barn burning dose of heavy metal thunder with fifth album The Powers That Be.” Curse of the Pharaoh!

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween gets 97.543% of the credit for creating what we now think of as the Euro-power metal sound. Led by the high-pitched wailing of Kai Hansen, their Walls of Jericho debut was a nonstop rush of speed and irresistible hooks, and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I was less speedy but far more polished and majestic, featuring the vocal power of a young Michael Kiske. When it was announced that BOTH long absent frontmen would be returning to Helloween to join current frontman Andi Deris for a new album, I felt conflicted.” He should have squashed his expectations.