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Splintered Throne – The Greater Good of Man Review

Splintered Throne – The Greater Good of Man Review

Splintered Throne hails from Portland, Oregon, and while The Greater Good of Man is their third full-length album, it’s something of a fresh start for the band. After founding member and longtime vocalist Brian Garrison left, the band brought celebrated blues singer Lisa Mann into the fold, and it doesn’t take long for her to prove that she’s more than a match for Splintered Throne’s heavy/power/hard rock formula.” Chairkiller.

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

Ironflame – Where Madness Dwells Review

“About two and a half years ago, I covered Blood Red Victory, the third full-length album from Ironflame, and I nearly dropped the 4.0hammer™ on it. That record had some incredible traditional anthems on it, and the chorus of “Honor Bound” still runs through my head every so often—usually when I’m forced to deal with a commitment that I regret making. The Ohio-based Ironflame is the brainchild of one Andrew D’Cagna, an artist probably best known for his work as a drummer in blackened bands like Nechochwen and Obsequiae, but this project reveals that D’Cagna’s abilities cannot be contained to just one instrument or just one style of music. When I reviewed Blood Red Victory, I felt like D’Cagna was on the verge of true greatness, and I’m happy to report that follow-up Where Madness Dwells proves that, as usual, I was right.” Iron evens the score.

Kryptos – Force of Danger Review

Kryptos – Force of Danger Review

Kryptos have made quite the successful little niche for themselves over their 20-something year career. Hailing from India, they’ve slowly but surely made a name for themselves internationally by crafting faithfully retro heavy metal material reeking of the 80s but with slightly more extreme vocals in place of the expected balls-in-a-vice wailing. Albums like 2016s Burn Up the Night and 2019s Afterburner were solid slabs of hook-tastic 80s metal loaded with more killer riffs than a 70,000-ton cruiser could safely take out to sea.” Danger in the Krypt.

Crystal Viper – The Cult Review

Crystal Viper – The Cult Review

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little afraid of picking up the new Crystal Viper. Having never let me down, the band’s 2019 release, Tales of Fire and Ice, was truly disappointing. In fact, it’s so disappointing, that after three-to-four spins, I erased it from my computer and threw out the review I was writing. Sadly, its only mention was as a 2019 Disappointment o’ the Year. So, yeah, I was a little worried.” Cult is just another word for family.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

“Hello, controversy! In all of metal, one of the most controversial topics is Black Sabbath with and without Ozzy. Passions are inflamed and regrettable words are spewed in both directions any time this debate comes up. Being a human completely lacking in emotion or empathy, I don’t care about it. I want good albums period, and let’s be honest, this record’s predecessor was Never Say Die!, undoubtedly one of the band’s least finest moments, with or without their infamous leading man. No matter what came next, it was a low bar.” Vintage evil.

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

“The other day, I was eating lunch with my 6-year-old son Ezkaton, and I swear to God, he gazed out the window with a thousand-yard stare and said the following without any prompting and without any music playing in the background: “Dad, I don’t know why I like Greyhawk so much. I don’t even try to like them, but they just make me like them.”” Sons of iron.

Firewind – Firewind Review

Firewind – Firewind Review

“While I’m not intimately familiar with the vast majority of Firewind’s discography, entries like debut Between Heaven and Hell, 2010’s Days of Defiance, and 2017’s Immortals have all impressed me in one way or another. When I first got my guitar, Gus G. was the darling of the guitar magazine world after being selected for the prestigious role of being Ozzy’s solo axeman. But it’s his work on Dream Evil’s debut Dragonslayer — a record that happens to be one of my favorite heavy/power releases of all time — that cements him upon a nostalgic throne in my metal heart.” Born of Firewind, other fire and steel.

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

Goden – Beyond Darkness Review

“We’ve discussed revivals before, and tributes aplenty. Just look at Sweven’s Morbus Chron tribute–kind of a bit of both, and to mixed reactions. The list goes on: Black Sabbath and Heaven and HellImmortal and Abbath. Musicians looking to revive an old project under a new name must tread lightly, as we don’t want Morbus Chron 2.0, for example, but something that acknowledges the past while taking a fresh step forward. Today’s topic of discussion, New York’s Winter,  a relatively quiet 90’s death metal act that nevertheless influenced the development of the death/doom niche with its murky and sprawling tunes.” Winter is coming back.