Unruly – Unruly Review

Unruly – Unruly Review

“Look, I’m not saying I judge books records by their covers but, come on, everyone likes nice artwork, right? When I’m plumbing the murkier depths of Bandcamp, a cool cover can lure me into that one extra purchase that I swore I wasn’t going to make. It’s just as well for Te Whanganui a Tara, Aotearoa (or Wellington, New Zealand) trio Unruly then, that I didn’t see the cover of their self-titled debut before I hauled it out of the promo pit.” Ugly is as Unruly does.

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville Review

Imperial Triumphant – Alphaville Review

“No one screams “unique” quite like New York City’s Imperial Triumpant. Over the course of three fantastic albums and a handful of EPs, we’ve seen them morph from French-inspired black metal to the jazzy-yet-brutal, grimy-yet-regal golden-masked monster you see today. However, their signing to Century Media worried a few of us staffers here. With each subsequent single being dropped online, our fears were slowly dissipating as Alphaville approached release.” Big city frights.

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

Deathstorm – For Dread Shall Reign Review

“I’m not sure how many times I’ve referenced Death in my reviews this year — and I’m too lazy to go back and check — but I feel like it’s been more often than would usually be expected. It seems like more and more bands are embracing the unique musical and vocal stylings that Chuck unleashed upon the world during his tragically short life, and I see this growing tribute movement as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows that Schuldiner’s legacy is alive and well, his genius living on as intellectual stardust in the body of work created by his imitators. On the other, it’s hard not to be disappointed when you listen to something that sounds like Death and have it not actually be fucking Death.” Death be not gone.

Lionheart – The Reality of Miracles Review

Lionheart – The Reality of Miracles Review

“Let’s roll the clock back six years. It was September 2014, and the name El Cuervo was but a Spanish noun and nascent writer in the Angry Metal Guy world. The Editors™ mandated Skyscraper’s Elevation on said writer, a charming and catchy, if somewhat toothless, AOR record. Their impressive crooner, named Lee Small, struck said writer to a sufficient extent as to bother Googling his other projects. It was later discovered that he was fronting a long-defunct-but-then-revived hair rock band called Lionheart, whose 1984 release called Hot Tonight is well worth the time of any fans of men in leotards.” Tight bloomers, rock boomers.

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

“Anthems, man. Big, beefy, brainless metal anthems. We all love em, and there are some bands born to churn em out. Primal Fear is at the front of that mob, throwing elbows and spilling cheap beer on posers. Unsurprisingly, lucky album 13, the cringe-inducing yet righteously titled Metal Commando is another big ball o’ metal anthems.” Metal forces.

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

Draconis – Anthems for an Eternal Battle Review

“There’s something special about South American death metal. I don’t know what it is, but the continent seems to have no shortage of bands that pair a raw, uncompromising, and wholly sincere approach with a strange and otherworldly mystique. Peru’s Mortem and Chile’s Atomic Aggressor, for instance, both excel at infusing the sound of old Morbid Angel with a sense of ancient and mysterious horror, while Chile’s Death Yell use less discernible influences to craft equally dark and aggressive material. Thus, I was quite excited when AMG Himself recommended I cover Draconis, an Argentinian death metal band who I’ve never heard of before.” Eternal muddle.