Crimson Glory

Hollow – Between Eternities of Darkness Review

Hollow – Between Eternities of Darkness Review

“I first encountered Sweden’s Hollow when I found their 1997 debut Modern Cathedral in a local record store and bought it solely because of the cool artwork. It featured an interesting blend of traditional and power metal with a slightly proggy sheen, and though it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster release, it had a few songs that really stuck with me. Fast forward to 1999 and the still very unheralded act returned to drop a truly stunning followup on an unsuspecting world with their sophomore release, Architect of Mind.” Back from the void.

Witherfall – A Prelude to Sorrow Review

Witherfall – A Prelude to Sorrow Review

Witherfall was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. They came out of left field and blew my doors off with a hyperactive, highly technical take on power-prog rivaling Symphony X and Nevermore. Formed by several White Wizzard ex-pats including guitar titan, Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth), their Nocturnes and Requiems debut was bigger-than-life, over-the-top and spared no wankery or noodling for a rainy day. Luckily, their songwriting was stout enough to stand up to the onslaught of more is MOWWRRR musical showboatery. Just over a year later and they’re back with a new drummer and backing guitarist, and poised to drop their sophomore outing A Prelude to Sorrow.” Draining the wank bank.

Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman Review

Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman Review

“Against seemingly impossible odds, Queensrÿche roared back from the adult-contemporary abyss two years ago with their self-titled album. The band had parted ways acrimoniously with vocalist Geoff Tate, replacing him with newcomer Todd LaTörre (Crimson Glory) and reconnecting to their prog and metal roots. The resulting album was shockingly good, proving that the band could indeed survive without their former frontman. Now that that’s been settled, the band’s 2nd act continues with Condition Hüman. How many Bitcoins would Gëoff Tate pay for this bad boy?

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Symphony X nerds rejoice! Then again, maybe you won’t. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond’s first solo effort was released in September of this year and those expecting LePond to stick to his primary band’s keyboard-laden progressive metal path may be sorely disappointed. If you are, get that geeky head out of your pale behind (if you can get up off it long enough between games of Skyrim)…” New Jersey knows metal, and Al Kikuras knows New Jersey.

Aska – Fire Eater Review

Aska – Fire Eater Review

“There aren’t many modern bands that pull off that vintage 80s American metal style without sounding contrived or cheesy or both. Aska is an unheralded, mega-obscure band that can count themselves among the few with that magic touch. Though in existence since 1994, they’ve only managed to release six albums, and Fire Eater is the long-awaited (by thirty of us) follow-up to 2007s Absolute Power. Apart from the glaring lack or productivity, they’ve had long-running issues with the consistency of their material. While they were capable of penning some real old school scorchers, they also had a tendency to drop a few stinkers per album that would leave me shaking my head. Still, when they nail their brand of traditional metal, it rings loud and trve across the land.” If Steel Druhm doesn’t get to review retro metal every few weeks he gets all bent out of shape. Maybe the old timey charm of Aska will get him back to his usual grouchy self.

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

“When I do these little retro-reviews, I try to find albums that really had a lot to offer, but somehow never caught the public’s attention. Be it bad marketing, poor timing or short band life, there’s always a reason why a high-quality album slips through the cracks into oblivion. Perhaps no better example exists than Wicked Maraya and their debut album Cycles. Steel Druhm’s clinical diagnosis here is one of terminally poor timing. While Cycles sported a winning and catchy-as-fuck traditional heavy metal sound that strikes me as a darker, edgier, more proggy Queensryche mixed with Crimson Glory and Nevermore, it arrived at the very height of the Seattle grudge explosion where everything metal was forced back underground after a decade of prominence and popularity.” More goodies from the vault? Steel Druhm is in a giving mode to be sure. Ignore the terrible band name and awful album cover and let’s all focus on what counts: the music!

Sinister Realm – World of Evil Review

Sinister Realm – World of Evil Review

“If there’s one type of retro metal I never tire of, it’s the kind that goes for the old school, traditional, “trve metal” sound from the early 80s like Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road. Of the few bands out there using this style as a main influence, my favorite is Sinister Realm (though Argus comes really close). I really enjoyed their debut, but they raised their game bigtime for 2011s The Crystal Eye opus and it ended up one of my favorite albums of the year. Utilizing a stripped down, zero-bullshit approach with a slight epic feel and incorporating doom, NWoBHM and early America metal influences, they found a winning formula and crafted some really memorable tunes.” Steel Druhm is old so it should come as no surprise he likes stuff that sounds old. Sinister Realm is old school, cvlt, trve and any other V instead of U word. So is this a match worthy of eHarmony?

Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche Review

Queensrÿche – Queensrÿche Review

“There is so much back story behind Queensrÿche‘s new self-titled record that I can’t even scratch the surface in this review. I suggest reading this first. In a nutshell, there are currently two bands bearing the name Queensrÿche — one made up of ex-singer/asshole Geoff Tate and some hired help, and the other consisting of most of QR’s original lineup and new vocalist Todd LaTorre (ex-Crimson Glöry). This review refers to the latter version of the band.” Mr. Fisting is our resident QR/Geoff Tate gossip columnist and overall fanboy and he’s been waiting a long time for this bad boy. Can it resurrect the glory of this once proud band? Can we avoid mocking Mr. Tate? Only the needle knows….

Queensrÿche vs. Queensrÿche: Trial of the Century

Queensrÿche vs. Queensrÿche: Trial of the Century

During the past year or so, I’ve found myself in a situation where I work from home, and generally don’t venture out much. Typically, people like this are called “housewives” and watch daytime television to keep them from focusing on their own miserable lives. Unfortunately, I don’t fit that description, and I demand a little more from my daily distractions. You see, I have a need within me to see good things happen to good people, and more importantly, to see really bad things happen to people who are assholes. And the thing that’s been getting me through the day for the past 10 months is the endless drama of Queensryche vs. Geoff Tate.” Join Mr. Fisting as he runs you through the drama, the diva and the saliva. Basically, it’s like the whole O.J. Simpson thing, but with more guyliner.