AFM Records

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

“O’ Canada, guess who’s back? Good ol’ Anvil, with their ninety-eighth full-length album. And look at this: another writer penning an Anvil review. Once you’ve reviewed Anvil, you can’t get yourself to do it again. It’s only been two years since their last release (which is about the same as all their albums), and there’s no sign of stopping this Canadian threesome—even if you want them to stop. But, no, they keep coming with a sound they helped to cement 40 years ago. But, while you all might think their sound is irrelevant, Anvil sure as hell doesn’t care.” Danger: Falling Anvil.

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

“If Turilli was the flighty artist constantly on the move, Staropoli was the guy who’s kept writing choruses which were an innovation in 1997. Combining these two artistic visions created something special. But the split left Rhapsody of Fire with three problems. First, Staropoli needed to become a better composer; second, he had to replace his band; and lastly, he needed to forge a path forward.” How many of these things does Glory for Salvation accomplish?

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point have a very inconsistent track record in the Euro-power rat race. Early releases Salvation by Fire and Feeding the Flames were decent but a bit too generic to leave a lasting impression. Some subsequent albums just seemed phoned in, further consigning them to second or third-tier status in the Euro-power sweepstakes. It wasn’t until 2012s The Ignitor that they delivered an album that really grabbed my attention and shook it. Full of heavy, aggressive riffs and powerful vocals, it was a punchy, angry dose of power leaning into Mystic Prophecy and Brainstorm territory with good results. Just as things seemed to be heading in the right direction, vocalist Pete Ahonen pulled a Kai Hansen, opting to hand off vocal duties and focus solely on guitar.” Burning bridges and lineups.

Kryptos – Force of Danger Review

Kryptos – Force of Danger Review

Kryptos have made quite the successful little niche for themselves over their 20-something year career. Hailing from India, they’ve slowly but surely made a name for themselves internationally by crafting faithfully retro heavy metal material reeking of the 80s but with slightly more extreme vocals in place of the expected balls-in-a-vice wailing. Albums like 2016s Burn Up the Night and 2019s Afterburner were solid slabs of hook-tastic 80s metal loaded with more killer riffs than a 70,000-ton cruiser could safely take out to sea.” Danger in the Krypt.

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Das Album Review

We Butter the Bread with Butter – Das Album Review

We Butter the Bread with Butter have gone full circle, entering 2021 with the same original lineup as when the duo first spawned in 2007, plus one adorable doggo. I’m not sure how that happened, but at least their secret formula remains intact. Electronic dance music and deathcore renew their vows on Das Album, drumming and bassing to and fro, trapping me beneath the weight of a stout breakdown or whipping me around a stupid catchy chorus.” I can’t believe it’s still Butter!

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

“Ever since I stumbled upon Brainstorm by way of Symphorce by way of Ivanhoe, I’ve found these German heavy metal masters to be one of the most reliably ass-kicking acts running. And what a run they’ve been on of late. Every album since 2014s Firesoul has been extra-inspired and brimming with fist-pumping, blood-angering metal classics. 2018s Midnight Ghost was the best in a long line of very good to great outings and it gave me everything I crave from a traditional metal album. Led by powerhouse vocalist Andy B. Franck, Brainstorm have long shown a knack for crafting tunes loaded with hook after hook, infused with beefy, muscular riffage in the Nevermore / Iced Earth vein, and few bands can match their ability to craft a monster chorus. On thirteenth opus Wall of Skulls, absolutely nothing has changed.” Trophy metal.

Flotsam and Jetsam – Blood in the Water Review

Flotsam and Jetsam – Blood in the Water Review

“A man’s real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor. Wise words but, what wisdom giveth, it may also taketh away. That first time Steel slides a selfie into your dms holding something unspeakable in one hand and a promo in the other is forever etched into each staffer’s mind. While fortunes fade and that furry memory remains, at least the promo material tends to improve with time.  Case in point, Blood in the Water by thrash stalwarts Flotsam and Jetsam.”” Blood and Steel in the water.

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

“As Lord Protector of the Dark Angry Metal Realm, Steel Druhm is entitled to the right of primo promo. He can often be seen pushing his massive haul of pre-picked albums around the AMG office in a giant flaming wheelbarrow, its spiked wheel crushing the skulls of failed n00bs littered about the floor as it rolls. His dragon’s hoard of promos is so large that some inevitably fall to the ground, where sniveling peons like myself snatch them up for our own reviewing pleasure. So it goes with Bloodbound‘s newest release. In his 2019 review of the band’s eighth studio album, Rise of the Dragon Empire, Lord Steel recounted the transition that the band has made over the years, moving from a more traditional heavy metal sound to a syrupy-sweet Euro-infused iteration of power metal.” Fanbound glory.

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

“Windshield time also gives me the chance to re-explore my favorite albums. I rarely listen to new promos on the road. This time is dedicated to albums from the Road Gods. Give me something bluesy, something rocking, something upbeat, something I can blare with windows down and my foot inching closer to the floor. Give me something I can scream at the top of my lungs and shift gears to. The simpler, the better. The groovier, the sweeter.” Jesus repossessed your hot rod.

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

“I don’t put much stock in award shows or competitions. Really, who amongst us does? Ever since the first Metal Grammy went to Jethro Tull metal fans around the world have viewed these sorts of things with more than a little trepidation. So when a band comes my way that came to fame in a competition, it’s more a curse than a blessing. Power metal act Arion (the Finnish act, not the Greek) is such a band. As teens these guys were finalists in UMK, the Finnish qualification program for Eurovision, eight years ago.” Beauty pageant meets the metal world.