Armored Saint

Striker – Play to Win Review

Striker – Play to Win Review

“Among the dearest casualties of the politicization of everything is fun. When the cultural and historical illiterates suggest that all art is political, they neuter the possibility of art as a universal language and instead make it speak in partisan tongues. What could bring us together – the “language” of metal is spoken as fluently in Rio as it is in Quebec, just with different accents – is instead used to rip us apart. For the above reasons, I’m glad Striker exists.” Does anyone remember fun?

Fates Warning – Theories Of Flight Review

Fates Warning – Theories Of Flight Review

“Circumstances have not been kind to prog-metal forefathers Fates Warning. For most of the past decade and a half, the band has been sidelined while far lesser acts have laid claim to the entire genre (oh hi, Dream Theater). The fact that Fates have released some incredibly inaccessible albums has not helped their cause, nor did their 9-year hiatus from making new music altogether.” The forefathers are back!

Armored Saint – Win Hands Down Review

Armored Saint – Win Hands Down Review

“When you look up the term “underdogs,” there’s a band photo of Armored Saint looking back at you. They’ve struggled since 1983 to eek out a foothold in the metal market and in the process released some great albums like Raising Fear and Symbol of Salvation. And they were easy to root for as the quintessential blue-collar metal band stubbornly staying true to their sound, but they were always held back by bad timing, musical trends and personal misfortunes.” The Saint is marching back in and you may want to be in that number.

Retro-spective Review: Warrior – Fighting for the Earth

Retro-spective Review: Warrior – Fighting for the Earth

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to this little gem of an album. It pretty much defines the term “forgotten classic” and I’m sure many never even heard of Warrior. They’ve had an extremely stop-start career, having released only four albums in 30 years, but their 1985 debut Fighting for the Earth is a classic piece of 80s metal loaded with top-notch, super memorable anthems that straddle the line between a classic, old school style and gritty hard rock. Sounding like a mix of early Savatage, Obsession and Armored Saint, it’s one of those platters that epitomized the early American metal sound and after this release they were often spoken of in the same breath as Queensryche as the “next big thing.” Steel Druhm grew up with this album and he’s always annoyed nobody knows about it. So…know about it!

’90s Metal Weirdness: Anthrax – Stomp 442

’90s Metal Weirdness: Anthrax – Stomp 442

Cast your minds back to a time when metal music was not cool. Nay, indeed, a time when metal was anathema to all that was considered to be “chic” and “in.” A time when your favorite bands were actually encouraged by the music industry to play slower, cut their hair, and write sensitive lyrics about their childhoods. Yes, this unfortunately really happened. Our semi-irregular feature “90s Metal Weirdness” focuses on albums released between 1992 and 2001 and which we all probably would rather forget. — AMG

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light

Darkness In A Different Light is the first album in nearly a decade from prog legends Fates Warning. Arriving on the heels of 2011’s Arch/Matheos project (a Fates Warning album in all but name), Darkness features most of the same lineup except with longtime vocalist Ray Alder back at the mic. Guitarist Frank Aresti makes his first appearance on a Fates record since the early ’90s, and the rhythm section now includes Joey Vera on bass (Armored Saint) and journeyman drummer Bobby Jarzombek. Of course, founding guitarist/songwriter/main guy Jim Matheos is present as well.” How the hell did we miss this one, you ask? Because Steel Druhm was overworked, had to make strategic decisions and mistakes were made. Luckily, Mr. Fisting is here to right some wrongs and save the day.

Retro-Spective Review: Barren Cross – Atomic Arena

Retro-Spective Review: Barren Cross – Atomic Arena

“We don’t get much “white metal” around these here parts. Not that we’re opposed (well, Madam X and Noctus are), but there isn’t much of it out there and even less that’s actually notable. There was a time where it was more in vogue though, and acts like Stryper crafted an entire identity around being good Christian soldiers under God’s righteous command. While I never cared much for those preachy yellow jackets, I did enjoy one release by a band standing in their pious shadow. Barren Cross was a Christian act hailing from Los Angeles of all places and though they were preachy too, they backed it up with far more metal than Stryper ever did.” It’s time for some good, old fashioned God Metal here at AMG. Wait, come back!! It’s hardly Godly at all, you wicked biscuits!

Retro-spective Review: Cities – Annihilation Absolute

Retro-spective Review: Cities – Annihilation Absolute

“With these retro reviews, I’ve balanced albums from bands that had a decent following at one time and then fell off the map (Riot, Holy Terror) with those that had virtually no following at all despite a quality release (Hall Aflame, Damn the Machine). Count Cities as one of the latter…for sure. As a side band for Twisted Sister‘s drummer A.J. Pero, Cities spent the 80s toiling in extreme obscurity, with only a small, but loyal fanclub in and around the New York area. With numerous line-up changes and breakups, they only managed one album; the excellent Annihilation Absolute and then promptly sank into nothingness.” If you were about to stop reading because you saw a mention of Twisted Sister, hold your horses! Steel Druhm wants to introduce you to the New York band that SHOULD HAVE been the 80s sensation!