Dio

Black Oath – Behold the Abyss Review

Black Oath – Behold the Abyss Review

“From their formation in 2006, it’s been clear that the oath the chaps in Black Oath have taken is to keep traditional doom/occult metal in the style of Candlemass and Black Sabbath alive and kicking. Their first full length, The Third Aeon was an unsurprising but competent slab of 60-BPM epic doom dirges. On subsequent releases Ov Qliphoth and Darkness and To Below and Beyond, the band evolved their style somewhat to incorporate Gothic rock and mild progressive elements into a more distinctive brew which frontman, bassist and vocalist A. Th (not a typo) has christened “Cursed Rock Musick” (also not a typo).” Diabolus in Musick.

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

4 Days of Death: The Maryland Deathfest Diaries

“Anyone who’s seen The Wire knows Baltimore can be a rough place, but on Memorial Day weekend every year, things get especially brutal. Hundreds of rabid metal fans from all over the world descend on ‘Charm City’ to participate in Maryland Deathfest, and the result is four days of moshing, headbanging, and partying like it’s 1989.” Death to all.

Gruesome – Twisted Prayers Review

Gruesome – Twisted Prayers Review

“From Dio holograms to reunion albums to retro-fucking-everything, the last decade or so has been all about pandering to nostalgia, and Gruesome are a prime example. A few years ago, the ‘Death to All’ tours were begun to bring live renditions of the late Chuck Schuldiner’s music to a generation that never got to experience it the first time around. Following this time spent touring with former Death members, Exhumed’s Matt Harvey and Malevolent Creation’s Gus Rios took things a step further, forming Gruesome with the intent of creating new music in the vein of classic Death.” I am become Death.

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

“First of all, look at that cover. If that isn’t one of the most glorious pieces of album art, I don’t know what is. It reminds me ever so slightly of Dio’s old mascot, but JIRM don’t worship at that altar. No, the band formerly known as Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus. play a groove-filled psych/stoner blend with plenty of progressive tendencies, and Surge Ex Monumentis is their first album under the shortened moniker. After three albums with their cumbersome old name. Why the name change? To distance themselves from a washed-up, mean old actor, or to just give us less to try and remember? And what else besides the name has changed?” Up the Jeremy Irons!

Tribulation – Down Below Review

Tribulation – Down Below Review

Tribulation have been on an interesting career path as of late. While their early works could be loosely classified as Swedish death metal a la Entombed, the band gradually began to bring in other influences and become something else entirely. As of 2015’s The Children Of The Night, the band was taking cues from such diverse sources as Mercyful Fate and Sisters Of Mercy,, and seemed to have learned a few things from former tourmates In Solitude, with excellent results. I was curious about what Tribulation would do next, and with the impending release of Down Below, it looks like I’m about to find out.” Evilution.

Death Keepers – Rock This World Review

Death Keepers – Rock This World Review

“Of all metal subgenres, heavy metal is the one with the honor of regularly being used as a synonym for metal at large. Considering it’s arguably the oldest of the bunch, this should come as little surprise, but one could also argue the case for doom metal, which no one outside of the scene ever heard about. Is it then due to age, exposure, or just my own warped view that heavy metal seems to be the most stagnant of metal subgenres? I won’t say nothing fresh ever arises from its corner (Sumerlands is a fine example) but by and large, heavy metal bands today all seem like pale imitations of the golden boys from the 1980’s. Death Keepers don’t do much to change that impression with debut Rock This World.” Remember the old, those days were gold.

Fozzy – Judas Review

Fozzy – Judas Review

“There’s only so far you can go when you write Linkin Park rock/metal. That said, Judas is one of the more fluid albums the band has ever put to tape. It flows the way you’d want a rock album to flow. It doesn’t overdo it, like the balls-and-booze Sins and Bones, nor does it overcompensate (for lack of balls), like the growly Do You Wanna Start a War. And it has the passion to at least be convincing. There’re a few hard-rock flops but the band actually attacked Judas with the same ferocity as Do You Wanna Start a War. But, the wimpy growls are gone and Judas is the better for it.” The Wizard of Fozz.

Portrait – Burn the World Review

Portrait – Burn the World Review

“OK, no stories this time. I don’t want to cause anyone to walk away from an album they might actually enjoy. Instead, I’ll just be blunt and boring. I’ll compress reviews into simple phrases like “album of the year” or “this isn’t brutal enough and you’re all pussies for liking it.” I guess 700 words is a waste of time for some and I should just force-feed shitty clickbaiting one-liners to you like a CNN ticker tape. I guess I could do that. Or… I could say fuck that and hammer out another lengthy piece proclaiming my love for King Diamond and Mercyful Fate. Yep, I think I’ll do that.” King Clickbait strikes again.

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

“Nils Patrik Johansson is a busy guy. Over the last two decades, the man’s cashed checks with the on-again, off-again Lion’s Share, the on-hiatus Wuthering Heights, and Civil War, who he recently bailed on because he didn’t have the time (go figure). His work arguably peaked with the momentous output of Astral Doors.” When one war closes, an Astral Door opens.

Ghost Avenue – Impact Review

Ghost Avenue – Impact Review

“It goes without saying that to enjoy music reviewing, you have to also enjoy the discovery and research of an album just as much as writing about it. And that doesn’t mean just the good records from your favorite bands. It means every album you get your hands on. But, even if I could review just the good records and albums from my favorite groups, I’m not sure I would want to. I have to say, while I love reviewing records from my go-to groups, there’s something fun and stress-free about grabbing a record from an unknown band. It’s like watching the World Series between two teams you don’t care about.” Zero drama metal.