Blue Oyster Cult

Valkyrie – Fear Review

Valkyrie – Fear Review

“Summertime is when I’m most susceptible to the bleary-eyed charms of jammy, fuzzed out retro/occult doom. That kind of music just seems to go with warmer days and brighter skies. Virginia’s Valkyrie play their cards right by dropping their 4th album in the middle of a New York heat wave, as my brain is already hot-wired to embrace what they’re doing on Fear.” Fear is the riff dealer.

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.

The Medea Project – Sisyphus Review

The Medea Project – Sisyphus Review

“You know, I’d never really considered it before, but it’s funny gothic and doom metal are not more frequently bedfellows. After all, the two genres have a lot in common: morose atmosphere, flair for the dramatic, favored color black (alright, that last one may go for everything more extreme than power metal). And sure, there’s some big names that have wed the styles at some point in their careers, like My Dying Bride or Tiamat. But it never became a household mixture the way death thrash or prog power did. Well, The Medea Project want to make their mark with just such a sound.” Drama club.

Aktor – Placebo Review

Aktor – Placebo Review

“Chris Black (AKA Professor Black) has been a living wellspring for great metal over the past decade, crafting great music with DawnbringerHigh Spirits and Pharaoh. Somewhat overlooked in his mighty repertoire is his Aktor project, which until recently only had one release to its credit, 2015s Paranoia. It was a rocking affair heavily influenced by 70s acts like Thin Lizzy and Blue Oyster Cult and it was a fun, breezy listening experience with plenty of hooks. Placebo is the outfit’s second release and keeps the basic formula intact while adding an ass-ton of crazy synth and keyboard work, making for a somewhat loony soundscape.” It’s time for your medicine, Mr. Black.

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

Cult of Sorrow – Invocation of the Lucifer Review

“After almost six years of reviewing here, I’ve noticed American bands latching on to certain trends. Just a decade ago, everyone and their cousin was aping the Gothenburg sound, mixing it with d-beats and hardcore (and some whiny) vocals, and calling it a day. Nowadays, doom is the nectar du jour, and many a band is gulping it. Here in America, you have two prevalent strains: the airy, dreamy, almost progressive take that bands like YOBKhemmis, and especially Pallbearer have crafted, and then there’s the so-70s-your-sideburns-are-showing Blue Oyster Cult Scoobie-Doobie-Doom “Occult” doom that’s been sweeping the nation. So which side does Invocation of the Lucifer, the second album by Cincinnati upstarts Cult of Sorrow, land?” Culting the herd.

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

“Now is the summer of my discontent. Not only because the sun incessantly threatens to ignite my beard, but having reviewed too much of one thing, the urge to consume an entirely different animal has reared its ugly head. Borne atop a moldering mound of lesser reviewers by those most metal of saints, I spied a beckoning light in the recesses of the perdition manifest we affectionately call the promo pit. Said bastion was none other than German-based doom/rock act, Lucifer, and their compactly titled second album, Lucifer II.” The Devil you should get to know.

Death Alley – Superbia Review

Death Alley – Superbia Review

“No joke: the day I found out Death Alley‘s new record was coming out, I was jamming hard to Captain Beyond and Blue Öyster Cult. It was as if my craving for some old-school rock reached across the ocean to the Netherlands. Not only did Death Alley hear my call, they answered it—with Superbia. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t much for religious interventions or anything but, my god, I almost picked up the Bible after that.” It’s bible good!

Against the Grain – Cheated Death Review

Against the Grain – Cheated Death Review

“There’re are few bands in the world that you can look at, or listen to, and say, ‘yeah, those dudes fucking know the road.’ And, while there aren’t many that would trump the almighty Motörhead, there’re those that share the punkish gonads, the old-school blues, and the electrifying energy of Lemmy & Co. Against the Grain know the road and dominate the Midwest.” The road is a grainy place.

Mausoleum Gate – Into a Dark Divinity Review

Mausoleum Gate – Into a Dark Divinity Review

“While Death Alley sticks with the upbeat rock ‘n’ roll of Motörhead, Captain Beyond, and Blue Öyster Cult, Finland’s Mausoleum Gate goes for dark, jamming, progressive song structures, with a fuck-ton of organs. Like, Deep Purple levels of organ. And this is where, I suspect, readers will be split. If you aren’t the type to buy an original print of Machine Head (even if it’s fifty cents), Into a Dark Divinity ain’t for you. But, old-timers looking for an interesting combination of BÖC and Purple, with hints of Angel Witch, should read on.” Enjoy of Deep Purple.