Deep Purple

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

“I first stumbled upon Northern Crown back in in 2016 when their sophomore platter The Others hit the promo sump as an unheralded self-release. Their odd mix of doom and epic power metal caught my attention, and who could forget those Ms. Pac Man keyboard effects? After we’d had the promo for their upcoming fourth album for a time, Northern Crown founder Zach Randall reached out and asked if we wanted to premiere it. Since this is a band that always pushes creative boundaries and I was enamored with the new material, I jumped at the chance.” Pallid shadows and deep mysteries.

Freddy and the Phantoms – A Universe from Nothing Review

Freddy and the Phantoms – A Universe from Nothing Review

“I found myself wondering whether the members of Freddy and the Phantoms who aren’t the eponymous vocalist/keyboardist Frederick (Freddy) Schnoor write down “Phantom at Freddy and the Phantoms” on their resume. The promo material did not answer this pressing question, so I’ll happily assume they do. Also on the resume of any given Phantom is participation in one of 2015’s best rock records: Times of Division.” Rocking the stars.

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

“Yet, as simple as their style of ’80s NWOBHM is, it’s not like fans have to absorb much from one Haunt record to the next. But the fear of too-much-too-soon lingers. With repeat listens, If Icarus Could Fly didn’t quite live up to Burst into Flame. This leaves a big question mark for this year’s Mind Freeze. Will this new album continue the gentle decent? Or is Mind Freeze Haunt‘s Master of Puppets? You’ll have to see what happens next!” Haunting the clickbait.

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

“Just as with their last outing, Avatarium‘s latest opus snuck up on me, having only learned of its imminent release a week ago. I’m not sure why this band escapes my metal detector/radar so effectively, but this 70s doom rock project founded by Leif Edling of Candlemass fame always makes for a pleasant surprise, as they’ve been quite impressive over their relatively brief life cycle. Health concerns have caused Leif to step away from the band more and more over the last few years, and on fourth album The Fire I Long For, he’s he’s been relegated to helping write a few songs.” Feel this fire.

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

“In Sindarin, Tolkien’s fictional language of the Elves, the volcano has two nicknames. One of them is Amon Amarth, “mountain of fate.” That band, of course, didn’t write about dragons or dwarves or rings, but vikings and Norse mythology. The subject of today’s investigation bears the other nickname for Mount Doom: Orodruin, “fiery mountain.” And the subject of their Candlemassian doom metal? Death and the human condition.” Doom as a destination.

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

“Indeed, my indirect memories of the 70s feature objects and trends grown shabby from age and eventually replaced by neon colors, Reaganomics and synth pop. Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lightning Born, on the other hand, remember the 70’s in living detail and have preserved them in pristine amber on their full-length eponymous debut.” Lightning born, time frozen.

Darkthrone – Old Star Review

Darkthrone – Old Star Review

“Well, you always get what’s coming to you. Though I’m a faithful and unfaltering fan of everything Darkthrone, the band’s 2016 full-length release kinda ticked me off. Having dealt with Napalm and Frontier Record’s insistence on sending out stream-only promos to music journalists across the world, I was a little peeved when Peaceville did the same with Arctic Thunder. Everyone remembers it. And I said some things I shouldn’t have. But, I got over it. And so did everyone else. But, when talk of the newest Darkthrone opus, Old Star, rolled around, I was content with receiving another stream-only promo. I mean, fair is fair, right?” Damn the stream!

The Rods – Brotherhood of Metal Review

The Rods – Brotherhood of Metal Review

The Rods have been kicking rocks around the metal scene’s parking lot forever. Formed in upstate New York by Dio’s first cousin, David “Rock” Feinstein, they’ve been playing a simplistic, Neanderthal version of proto-metal since 1980 with a sound that’s approximately 45% Manowar, 35% Anvil and 20% KISS. I recall always seeing their albums like Let Them Eat Metaland Heavier Than Thou in record stores as a kid, but I never bought them and none of my friends seemed to either.” Rods and sods.

Hot Lunch – Seconds Review

Hot Lunch – Seconds Review

“Proto-metal is a bit of a strange moniker to apply to modern-day bands. The “proto” prefix literally means “first” or “common ancestor,” so linguistically it makes little sense to apply it to any band past 1975. Yet with the popularity of everything retro, plenty of bands try to recreate that pre-metal hard rock sound that laid the foundations of our favorite genre. Hot Lunch are as proto as proto gets, despite first appearing with their self-titled debut in 2013. With the sophomore slab, appropriately titled Seconds, can they function as the time machine they aim to be?” Back to the past and future.

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

“During their halcyon years Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax loomed large over the thrash landscape, basking in success and spawning a fanbase so large it defied a horizon. But there existed a tier below the A and B-listers, bands like Allegiance, Heathen and Xentrix who eked out a modest existence built on solid albums supported by a coterie of eager followers. This is not a vein you’d expect a modern thrash band to mine for inspiration, yet that is exactly where Hellnite have chosen to strike their pickaxe with their debut album, Midnight Terrors.” Mine the medium.