Cruz Del Sur Records

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

“What a good story needs first and foremost is interesting characters though, and The Neptune Power Federation get that. Their vocalist, Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch, assumes the mantle of a time-travelling space witch for their fourth album, Memoirs of a Rat Queen. 70s space rock that mixes Heart with Hawkwind and AC/DC, a sexy vengeful bombshell on the mic, and a story scattered from the French revolution to boning in a parking lot; what could possibly go wrong here?” Aqua(lung) metal.

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon Review

The Lord Weird Slough Feg – New Organon Review

“Led by frontman Mike Scalzi, Slough Feg have been delivering Celtic-tinged, surprisingly academic trad metal for longer than most of you have been alive. New Organon is the band’s first release since 2014’s Digital Resistance, and perhaps more significantly, marks the return of the Lord Weird prefix to their name after a 15-year absence. This strongly hints at (and the band’s bio confirms) a return to the style of the band’s Twilight of the Idols/Down Among the Deadmen era of the early ’00s—a bold claim, considering both the passage of time and the changes to their lineup since then.” Feg party.

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

“In the rich annals of metal bands crossing over into unintentional parody, Sacred Steel looms large. The perpetually over-the-top cheese fueled trve metal warriors led by “unorthodox” vocalist Gerrit P. Mutz have been pounding on the doors of the Great Hall ov Great Metal demanding entrance since 1997 only to be met with a shrug and a “No Solicitation” sign. But ignore them at your peril, for they’re as relentless as they are comical.” In trvth there is pain.

Ravensire – The Cycle Never Ends Review

Ravensire – The Cycle Never Ends Review

“One look at that cover and you knew I’d be the chosen one to review it, didn’t you? And rightly so, as Ravensire has an imposing Throne of Usurpation built directly on the epicenter of my metallic wheelhouse. They rock a burly form of trve metal similar to Visigoth and Ironsword, and since that means Conan-core, you can expect much Cirith Ungol worshiping, Manowar loin clothing and Manilla Road raging.” If you’re bored, reforge the sword!

Darkest Era – Gods and Origins EP Review

Darkest Era – Gods and Origins EP Review

Darkest Era came out of left field in 2014 with a righteous album that stormed my playlists and ultimately became my Album o’ the Year. Their blend of Celtic folk, black and epic metal left me highly impressed and wanting much more. While another full-length is a ways off, they’re dropping a two-song limited edition vinyl EP titled Gods and Origins.” What’s this, an early stocking stuffer?

Steel Prophet – Omniscient Review

Steel Prophet – Omniscient Review

“If you were following the American metal scene from 1995 through 2001, you know there was a point in time where Steel Prophet seemed poised to conquer the metal world. With their prodigious productivity and an excellent run of releases including classics like The Goddess Principle, Messiah and Book of the Dead, they were often mentioned in the same breath as Iced Earth as the pinnacle of American power/traditional metal and everything was coming up black roses. Then came fractious internal struggles, revolving door line ups and a series of uninspired albums and just like that, they dropped out of the public consciousness, all their hard work seemingly undone. Now, ten years after their last album, they’re back to try to regain some of what they lost with Omniscient.” Steel Druhm wasn’t expecting this and didn’t expect much of it, but can it impress a bitter, jilted fanboy?

Darkest Era – Severance Review

Darkest Era – Severance Review

“Sometimes an album hits you just right and the only words that really seem to fit are “convincing, authentic and WOW.” That’s exactly what happened to me upon spinning Darkest Era‘s latest opus Severance. Though this Irish epic metal act was hitherto unknown to me, their cunning mixture of Primordial, doom and black metal instantly knocked me for a loop and now I’m a loyal convert to the cause (read as fanboy). ” Looks like the normally cranky Steel Druhm is over the Gaelic moon for this one.

Pharaoh – Bury the Light Review

Pharaoh – Bury the Light Review

I’m a fan of Pharaoh, have been since their 2003 debut After the Fire. These Philly fanatics are the present and future of the new retro wave of traditional heavy metal (NRWOTHM) and over their short but solid career, they’ve fused retro ideals with prog and enough thrash sensibility to kick the required ass quotient.

Pharaoh – Ten Years Review

Pharaoh – Ten Years Review

Pharaoh, for those not in the know, are one of the best of the new retro wave of traditional heavy metal (NRWOTHM™) bands out there. Over the course of three releases these Philly phenoms have consistently blended the 80’s style of Iron Maiden and Saxon with modern American metal like Jag Panzer, Iced Earth while adding a smattering of Slough Feg. The results have been catchy, classy, surprisingly heavy and far more modern sounding than what people normally expect from a “retro” act. Their last opus, 2008’s Be Gone was a great album loaded with excellent yet tasteful guitar wankery and memorable vocal hooks and it left me wanting more. While the interminable wait continues for their next full length, Pharaoh has graced the good people with a six song EP entitled Ten Years. Featuring four tracks left over from the Be Gone sessions and two covers, its clearly a stopgap release but its a solid and entertaining one that continues the Pharaoh quality streak.