Heavy Metal

Solitary Sabred – By Fire & Brimstone Review

Solitary Sabred – By Fire & Brimstone Review

“When Cypriot band Solitary Sabred entered my schedule, I looked back in the site’s archives and saw that their 2014 release Redemption Through Force had not only been covered, but highly recommended. Naturally, I was intrigued and I sampled. What I found was a heavy/power metal concept album with absolutely insane vocals. Sounding like a mixture of Manowar and Sanctuary due in no small part to singer Petros Leptos’ delivery consisting of three parts Eric Adams and one part early Warrel Dane, I immediately fell in love and ordered a physical copy of the release.” Steel thyself.

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

“We live in a society where people add extra letters (specifically u’s) to words that don’t belong. As well as spelling words purposely (I think?) wrong to give them more emphasis. Or they use words that don’t mean what they think they mean. Who could forget the days of ‘wassup?’ and ‘wazzup?’ I mean, what’s not hip about saying ‘what’s up?’ or ‘what is up? Or remember when people used the word ‘bad’ but actually meant ‘good’? Or when you use ‘cop’ instead of ‘get’ and ‘whip’ instead of ‘car’? What the fuck is going on around here? Now there’re umlauts over consonants and v’s instead of u’s. ‘Lead’ is ‘led,’ ‘funeral fuck’ is ‘fvneral fvkk,’ and ‘rand’ has a ‘5’ in front of it. And now… there’s Badd Kharma.” Fyre is hawt!!

Wolf – Feeding the Machine Review

Wolf – Feeding the Machine Review

Wolf came into being in the mid-1990s just as the metal scene was poised for a big retro nostalgia trend. A product of their time, they followed the lead of acts like Hammerfall and jumped aboard that “let’s do the 80s metal thing all over again” train with enthusiasm. Their 1999 debut mixed speed and traditional metal influences in ways big and small and managed to impart a degree of youthful vim and vigor to the olde timey sounds. As the band grew and evolved they continued to mine the 80s for all they were worth. After 2014s Devil’s Seed the band went silent and underwent personnel shuffles. 6 years later they reemerge from their steely cocoon with a new lineup, grisly, Korn-esque cover art and 8th album, Feeding the Machine.” Feeding time at the petting zoo.

Ambush – Infidel Review

Ambush – Infidel Review

“I have many things to be thankful for in life, but among the luckiest of happenstances was the opportunity to be a metal loving teen growing up in the 80s. That was truly the golden age of all things metallic, with the genre growing, evolving and mutating into multiple sub-genres at a ferocious rate, and I got to be there to experience it all first hand. I was especially fond for that early era when the only genre of metal was metal, and my love for the “classic style” is just as powerful now that I qualify for AARP benefits. This makes me an easy mark for the slick 80s-centric approach of Sweden’s Ambush.” Go olde or die.

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss is one of those bands I can’t help rooting for, being as it’s the outfit of Ross Friedman, the man behind the guitar on all the classic Manowar albums. Those platters were a huge part of my early metal education and I still cherish them dearly, as all trve metal fans should. Ross’ post-Manowar projects have been somewhat hit or miss, and 2018s By Blood Sworn was very disappointing despite some major league talent coming on board to help out. Because of this, I majorly tempered expectations coming into their 4th album, Born of Fire.” Who’s the Boss?

RED\\SHIFT – Grow.Decay.Transform. Review

RED\\SHIFT – Grow.Decay.Transform. Review

“There’s a statement in the promo blurb that a “catastrophically drunk dive-bar patron” once described Minnesotan trio RED\\SHIFT as being like “Mastodon mugging King Crimson in a back alley on New Year’s Eve.” There was also mention of wolves with swords for arms.” The right to arm wolves.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath‘s eponymous 1970 debut might well be the ultimate Yer Metal is Olde entry. Besides being unquestionably metal, it’s also as Olde as Yer Metal can possibly get. Because, despite what a small minority of Coven and/or Blue Cheer fans might say, the release of Black Sabbath marks the birth of heavy metal itself as both a sound and a fully-formed aesthetic.” No metal is olderER!

Aktor – Placebo Review

Aktor – Placebo Review

“Chris Black (AKA Professor Black) has been a living wellspring for great metal over the past decade, crafting great music with DawnbringerHigh Spirits and Pharaoh. Somewhat overlooked in his mighty repertoire is his Aktor project, which until recently only had one release to its credit, 2015s Paranoia. It was a rocking affair heavily influenced by 70s acts like Thin Lizzy and Blue Oyster Cult and it was a fun, breezy listening experience with plenty of hooks. Placebo is the outfit’s second release and keeps the basic formula intact while adding an ass-ton of crazy synth and keyboard work, making for a somewhat loony soundscape.” It’s time for your medicine, Mr. Black.

Stallion – Slaves of Time Review

Stallion – Slaves of Time Review

“This Stallion album may have arrived at just the right time for the band’s review fortunes. Having made my way through middling (at best) retro metal albums from TerrifianT and Slaughter Messiah over the past month, my standards for this style of music may be lower than normal. That, or Stallion have managed to address the main complaints I had with their 2017 release, From the Dead.” Slaves of good timing.

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule is an Italian quartet gracing the metal scene with their fifth studio album. Reading through the band’s promo gave me a glimmer of hope that I got my hands on something exciting. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Xandria and Delain and are recommended for fans of Within Temptation, all three of which are exuberant bands full of energy and marked by grandiose, winsome sounds.” Double secret probation.