Blind Guardian

Skeletoon – Nemesis Review

Skeletoon – Nemesis Review

“I didn’t have a choice about this one. Regular readers will recall my central role in the Skelator Incident, so it should come as no surprise that Steel Druhm took one look at band called “Skeletoon” and their self-proclaimed “nerd metal” and immediately assigned it to me. He announced his excitement for me to review these goofy guys on one of our AMG Staff Zoom chats, and since it went so well last time he did that, I was more than a little apprehensive.” The Toonies.

Manticora – To Live to Kill to Live Review

Manticora – To Live to Kill to Live Review

“Where To Kill saw Manticora‘s established brand of Teutonic-inspired thrashing power metal trading measures with its burgeoning extreme metal aspirations, its successor finds the band integrating their new ideas near-seamlessly. This results in an array of wonderfully off-kilter compositions.” Live to win, to kill, and live, til you die.

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

Almanac – A Discographic Review [Tsar (2016), Kingslayer (2017) and Rush of Death (2020)]

“For the last four years, I have been neglecting—and you have been denied my Very Important Opinion™ about—one of the most idiosyncratic voices in metal: Victor Smolski. And so, in a Swallow the Sun-sized act of hubris, I’m writing a discographic review of Victor Smolski’s Almanac.” You can’t spell “Almanac” without MAN!

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing Review

“Thanks entirely to Eldritch Elitist‘s coverage of Judicator‘s last album, The Last Emperor, I discovered one of my favorite new-to-me bands in recent memory. After an initial good impression, The Last Emperor eventually completely won me over, and it landed in my top 10 of 2018. There’s something so pure and magical about the way Judicator combines the influences of Blind Guardian and Iced Earth into a prog/power beast that stands its own. It reminds me of what Demons & Wizards might sound like if their music was actually good.” Nothing is more.

Buried Realm – Embodiment of the Divine Review

Buried Realm – Embodiment of the Divine Review

Buried Realm play an eager, galloping sort of melodeath, with lots of speedy leads, upbeat riffs, synthesizers, and solos everywhere. It’s almost as if Blind Guardian enthusiasm and subject matter met up with Scar Symmetry’s love of ambience and melodic-yet-death-y riffs, while the vocalists from the latter act offered helpful hints here and there.” Melodeath potluck.

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

“Angry Metal Guy’s latest n00b interrupts your regularly scheduled black metal to bring the ultimate question: is power metal metal? “It has the word metal in it, so of course it is, you babbling bumbling baboon,” you say. I get it, and it’s been proven again and again, but while various facets of the metalverse have to justify why they’re not rock, power metal is one of the only styles that must justify why it’s not pop.” Justify our love.

Everlore – Everlore Review

Everlore – Everlore Review

“Ah, an unheralded, unsigned power metal band from Finland. Experience tells me this will either be disastrously bad or shocking good. The craptacular cover art suggests the former, as does the fact that GardensTale claimed the promo then promptly hurled it back in the promo muck before running into the night like a cowardly shirker. Steel fears no power known to man nor beast, so this shall be reviewed nonetheless!” Lore-core.

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Blind Guardian has always fed my fantastical appetite through the years—providing me with stories and full concept records at a pace and with a passion that is pure fun. Then, there’s Iced Earth. A band that has given me plenty of headbangable moments and vivid imagery through their own concepts—even crushing my spirit at times with heartbreaking ballads and war/lost-love themes. When I first heard Demons & Wizards, I realized it was no different. In a single band, I could experience the storytelling nature of Blind Guardian and the crushing, yet crippling character of Iced Earth. For two—now three—records, this has been the goal of this power-metal duo. But, fifteen years is a long time to go without your partner-in-crime. Even identical twins can lose a connection after a decade-and-a-half of separation. So, what’s that mean for Kürsch and Schaffer and their precious III?” Two Demons, one Triwizard Cup.

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

“And then a record comes along that takes me right back to that storied past and refills my magic bar to 100%. Mistress of the Gods, the debut album from Germany’s Vision of Choice is one of those records. After close to thirty spins of this 57-minute monster, I’m still trying to come up with the best way to describe what it sounds like. Here’s the best I got: take the masculine riffs and baritone bellows of a band like Omen, mix it with some German speed a la Helloween or Blind Guardian, add some eccentric Savatage flair, and round it out with Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, and you might get close.” Hot pocket o’ metal.