NWOBHM

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

“The retro waves never stop crashing ashore, they just shift decades. Beginning around 2000 the metalverse became inundated with 80s throwback acts, and over the past ten or so years there’s been an increasing drive to mine 70s rock for inspiration as well. Canadian act Spell are in on this big dig, incorporating a lot of 70s rock ideas into a slurry containing NWoBHM and goth rock. Opulent Decay is their third attempt to get this tricky recipe right, showcasing an intriguing blend of eras and styles which results in something very old sounding and full of occult auras.” Olden magic.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

“From my perspective, this is a big year for Yer Metal Is Olde pieces, and it starts off with this piece of work. Iron Maiden wasn’t my first purchase by these legends: that would be The Number of the Beast, when it came out back in 1982. But after being blown away by that album as a twelve-year-old, I quickly gobbled up whatever else I could find – which wasn’t much. A few months later I grabbed my cassette copy of Killers, then the Maiden Japan EP, and finally their debut. So by the time I’d worked my way to this album, well, it confused me a bit. Why?” Eddie is olde.

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

“Yet, as simple as their style of ’80s NWOBHM is, it’s not like fans have to absorb much from one Haunt record to the next. But the fear of too-much-too-soon lingers. With repeat listens, If Icarus Could Fly didn’t quite live up to Burst into Flame. This leaves a big question mark for this year’s Mind Freeze. Will this new album continue the gentle decent? Or is Mind Freeze Haunt‘s Master of Puppets? You’ll have to see what happens next!” Haunting the clickbait.

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

Rose Tint: El Cuervo’s Discoveries of 2019

“Following my last couple of year-end lists, it should now not come as a shock that I spent more time fleshing out my historical knowledge of music than my contemporary knowledge. In honor of my abject failure in keeping my eye on the present, I have received approval to document my ever-deeper plundering of previous decades in an article detailing my favorite older records which I first heard in 2019.” Old things, young ears.

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

“Three years ago, Tygers of Pan Tang’s self-titled twelfth album made me feel good about old NWoBHM bands, and their ability to craft enjoyable-enough songs. I hadn’t revisited it until it was time to review their new album, Ritual. In fact, I even went and revisited the referred-to review above. I mean, there’s always a chance that, because I was still in my rookie year as a member of the AMG Conglomerate, I was taking it easy on some bands. But I’ve been around for a long time now, and having a warm place in my atrophying heart for a band is not only unacceptable, it is now unheard of.” Tales from an overrating bastard.

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

“In Sindarin, Tolkien’s fictional language of the Elves, the volcano has two nicknames. One of them is Amon Amarth, “mountain of fate.” That band, of course, didn’t write about dragons or dwarves or rings, but vikings and Norse mythology. The subject of today’s investigation bears the other nickname for Mount Doom: Orodruin, “fiery mountain.” And the subject of their Candlemassian doom metal? Death and the human condition.” Doom as a destination.

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch is a name most of you have heard before even if you never actually heard their music. They were one of the earliest of NWoBHM acts, and along with Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head and others, they helped create a new style of music, launching heavy metal’s popularity to new heights and paving the way for the glorious 80s metal renaissance. Their debut was a quasi-classic in the genre and a fine example of the NWoBHM style, sounding like a a cross between early Def Leppard and Witchfinder General. Followups were more stripped down and rock ready, but the band was quickly overshadowed by several of their contemporaries, and though their output was solid, by 1986 it was all but over for the English rockers.” Old wave in the new age.

Grim Reaper – At the Gates Review

Grim Reaper – At the Gates Review

“It’s been 36 years since an upstart British band called Grim Reaper released See You in Hell. It wasn’t the greatest album, but there was a certain charm about the band that made that album, and the follow-up Fear no Evil, stick in many playlists back in the day. That charm was due in no small part to singer Steve Grimmett. Steve’s been through hell and back over the last couple of years, first losing part of his leg a couple years ago and then having his brother pass away. But he’s back now, with Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper.” Reapers gonna reap.

Metalian – Vortex Review

Metalian – Vortex Review

“Canada is in the midst of a speed metal renaissance at the moment, with bands like Skull Fist and Riot City blazing burning pathways back to the 80s. Now you can add Metalian to the backward focused mob rush. Their third opus Vortex is a shameless throwback dose of speed mixed with traditional and NWoBHM ideas, designed and executed to sound totally natural in 1984. That means tossing Agent Steel, Razor and Judas Priest in a burlap sack and shaking furiously to see what happens.” Dad metal happens.