The Sign Records

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

“The tides of progress in metal will never erode the bedrock of the genre, that special thing we call heavy metal. The mix of power, strength, hope, and joy inherent in this little slice of the metal pie will always appeal to many metalheads so long as the genre continues to exist. Fortunately for Screamer, there will always be a place for records like Highway of Heroes. Fortunately for us, this means bands like Screamer will continue to make them.” Your mom’s a… nah, too easy.

The Drippers – Action Rock Review

The Drippers – Action Rock Review

“I’ve seen some unfortunate band names through the years as well. But I’ve yet to see one so proudly self-diagnose Gonorrhea as Gothenburg band The Drippers, following the template of The Plurals so richly mocked in Sum 41‘s “Still Waiting” video. But do they bring the fire or does Action Rock feel like a burning sensation when you pee?” Drip rock.

Hypnos – Set Fire to the Sky Review

Hypnos – Set Fire to the Sky Review

“In the vanguard of the retro rock/metal movement are High Spirits, Gygax, Audrey Horne, and Night Flight Orchestra: bands that wear their influences not only on their sleeves, but on their entire bodies. They pay loving homage to the sounds of the 70s and 80s, but their songwriting prowess sets them apart from the crowd. Rather than making a mockery of Thin Lizzy or Toto, they revel in the sound and chart their own path forward – either in earnestness or in ultimate cheese. Sweden’s Hypnos aim to join this exalted group with their third album, Set Fire to the Sky.” Fly to the past.

Nekrokraft – Servants Review

Nekrokraft – Servants Review

“If you were to guess what Nekrokraft and Witchery have in common, what would it be? OK, yeah, they’re both Swedish. What else? Nope, they definitely don’t play the same styles of metal—the former is more Swede-thrash oriented and the latter plays symphonic-black metal, in the vein of Dimmu Borgir. Give up yet? What these two groups have in common is their vocalist.” Scream us a song, you’re a screamer.

Throne of Heresy – Decameron Review

Throne of Heresy – Decameron Review

Antioch, the last album from Sweden’s Throne of Heresy, proved little more than its own existence. The “I riff therefore I am” approach to music did little to impress, and despite good pacing and a few fun songs, It was brought down by an uninteresting Swedeath sound and even more uninteresting boilerplate lyrics. Having thus consigned Throne of Heresy to the ignominy of the 2.5, I found myself not terribly interested in listening to their latest. Yet in my supreme magnanimity, I decided to give the band another chance with Decameron, and well I should have.” When Kronos plays a game of thrones, things get brvtal.

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

“A few weeks ago, I described the latest Arch Enemy album as the bad kind of pop metal: too slick, too loud, too focused on choruses and too conscious about image. But there’s a different, less negative definition possible of pop metal: not afraid of loading the songs with easily digestible hooks, catchy melodies, EDM influences, simplistic structure and a focus on vocals. It’s daring, because it seems to aim at a gap between fandoms: too slick and not challenging enough for metalheads, but too heavy for the mainstream.” Pop goes the minstrel.

Highrider – Roll for Initiative Review

Highrider – Roll for Initiative Review

“It’s been a long and bitter journey. Fatigue clings to you like a drowning sailor; a debt accrued from the rancid marches and frigid mountains your troupe of brigands have had to push through. You stumble out from a forest that delighted in stymying your efforts to leave unscathed and come across a time-worn bridge that leads to a welcome sight — home. Before you can muster a cry of exultation a blood-curdling roar splits the silence and a gigantic blur of teeth and scales crashes down before you. A dragon now blocks your path.” Chaotic neutral.