Blue Oyster Cult

Ghost – IMPERA Review

Ghost – IMPERA Review

Ghost is a divisive band. Forget red states and blue states; don’t bother with Yankees or Red Sox; and I don’t want to hear whose side you take in the Montreal Screwjob debacle. There’s only one true rivalry, and the debate only grows more contentious with each new Papa. Indeed, the rift between Ghost adherents and their vehement detractors is a vast, otherworldly chasm, overflowing with hate-kindled magma and plumes of blackened self-righteousness. All that being said, I really like ’em.” Ghost in the cash machine.

Into the Obscure: Masters of Reality – Deep in the Hole

Into the Obscure: Masters of Reality – Deep in the Hole

“We all have our dirty metal secrets that we selfishly keep to ourselves, only sharing with a select few close to us. Or alternatively, we incessantly talk up underground gems and spread the gospel to anyone that will listen, as we cherish our slice of underground cred. Into the Obscure aims to right the wrongs and unearth the artists/albums that for whatever unjust reason didn’t get the exposure, appreciation or credit they sorely deserved the first time round.” Master! Master!

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

Lynx – Watcher of Skies Review

“Boy have we gotten lucky with some sweet traditional metal fare this month. Recent releases from both Black Soul Horde and Tower are sure to worm their way onto a few year-end lists—at least for the olde at heart. Upstart band Lynx aim to join this exalted group with their debut, Watcher of Skies.” Cat scratch fever?

Black Sites – Untrue Review

Black Sites – Untrue Review

Black Sites has taken his entire collection of musical influences and presented it to you. What makes it unique is how he absorbs his love for bands like Van Halen, Judas Priest, Trouble, Black Sabbath, and Bay-area thrash (to name a few) and puts himself into them. We love Mark in these parts, but that doesn’t shadow the truth that he’s one of the best songwriters in metal today.”

Mama Doom – Ash Bone Skin N Stone Review

Mama Doom – Ash Bone Skin N Stone Review

“Occult rock has undergone something of a renaissance. Over the past few years, it would seem that a crop of Blue Öyster Cult devotees have taken a collective step outside of their salt circle and onto the lighted stage. Whether it’s the pop metal Satanism of Ghost, or the 70s-tinged stylings of groups like Lucifer, Blood Ceremony and Witch Mountain, occult rock with just the right amount of metallic edge has taken a very specific subset of the world by storm. So where does New York’s Mama Doom fit into the pentagramed paradigm?” I dismember mama.

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

“In the unhallowed halls of Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters, some of the thralls writers wax on about what a great year it has been for death metal. I would put forward that it’s also been pretty decent for traditional/epic/classic metal – or whatever you want to call it. Enter White Magician, a quartet of like-minded classic metal aficionados from Detroit, and their debut release, Dealers of Divinity. These guys hope to take their brand of classic rock and metal all the way to the top. Professing to be a blend of Mercyful Fate and Blue Öyster Cult, could the odds be stacked in their favor?” Mages wild.

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

“Nobody will remember this, but back in 2017 Night’s album Raft of the World found its way onto my year-end list. This Swedish cadre of retro-rockers wormed their way onto my playlists with a catchier-than-it-should-have-been brand of 70’s hard rock, drawing influence from bands I love such as Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. They started out as a NWoBHM-worshiping group, and have evolved over the years into a very classic hard rock act. High Tides – Distant Skies sees the band shed nearly all of their metallic influences, save for some proto-metal riffing, in exchange for the classic rock of Blue Öyster Cult and, yes, Dire Straits.” That ain’t working. Or is it?

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.