Enforcer

Ambush – Infidel Review

Ambush – Infidel Review

“I have many things to be thankful for in life, but among the luckiest of happenstances was the opportunity to be a metal loving teen growing up in the 80s. That was truly the golden age of all things metallic, with the genre growing, evolving and mutating into multiple sub-genres at a ferocious rate, and I got to be there to experience it all first hand. I was especially fond for that early era when the only genre of metal was metal, and my love for the “classic style” is just as powerful now that I qualify for AARP benefits. This makes me an easy mark for the slick 80s-centric approach of Sweden’s Ambush.” Go olde or die.

Urn – Iron Will of Power Review

Urn – Iron Will of Power Review

“Nothing in this world is as good as blackened thrash metal. In the book of Z, it is the pinnacle of not just metal, but music in general. While Australian acts like Gospel of the Horns and the fukkin almighty Deströyer 666 do it best, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world has nothing to offer. Finland’s Urn are one such band who have been reliable in keeping my head banging over the years, even if their straightforward take on blackened thrash was never enough to bring them to the big leagues.” Boo-Urn?

Enforcer – Zenith Review

Enforcer – Zenith Review

“Some bands are all about dark moods, some traffic in furious rage, while others specialize in technical, progressive wankery. Over their 14 year career, Enforcer never sniffed any of those categories. Their chosen sound is all about old school, retro metal fun. From the speed metal styling of albums like Into the Night and Diamonds, to the hair metal on biker meth of From Beyond, the band always sought to rock your socks off without having to buy you dinner first. Zenith is the next stage of evolution for them.” Enforcing the olde.

Cauldron – New Gods Review

Cauldron – New Gods Review

“Bands like Enforcer, Striker, Spellcaster, Skull Fist, and White Wizzard do their damndest to take the baton and run with the same energy and passion of their forefathers. But, no list is complete without Canada’s Cauldron. This heavy-metal threesome embodies this old-school style with heavy bass, smooth vox, chunky guitar licks, and a dark cloak of melody—expressing their love for everything from witches and gloomy haunts to the darker side of life.” Into the kettle with the nonbelievers.

Armory – The Search Review

Armory – The Search Review

“Before the thrash explosion of the 80s truly took off under the guidance of rising stars like Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, there was its ugly predecessor, speed metal. Basically, traditional metal played faster, speed metal often approximated the sound of a record spinning at the wrong speed. It was a loose, unrefined and fun style often lacking the hard-edge of thrash. I was sad to see it all but die out by 1987, and Sweden’s Armory apparently feel the same way, so they painstakingly recreated the speed metal sound on their sophomore outing, The Search.” Speed still kills.

Encyrcle – Encyrcle Review

Encyrcle – Encyrcle Review

“Speed metal wasn’t around long as a separate genre before it got absorbed into the more popular thrash bubble following the Bay Area explosion. Over the years the differences between the styles blurred, and while they’re slight, speed metal was always closer to classic metal in attitude with a greater emphasis on memorability and hooks. And that’s where Denmark’s Encyrcle come in.” Nobody saw this dose of old timey fury coming.

Enforcer – From Beyond Review

Enforcer – From Beyond Review

“The classic 80s metal sound will never go away, because bands like Enforcer still live, breathe and eat that stuff. Their entire career has been spent chasing the closest approximation to early 80s speed metal as humanly possible and when they nail it, it stays pretty damn nailed.” It’s time for your required dose of old school metal, so open up and say…Enforcer!

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Striker – City of Gold

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Striker – City of Gold

“I’ll fully admit that I have a soft spot for fun in my metal. After all, a man can only listen to Ulcerate growl about entropy, Triptykon purging Tom G.’s demons, and Kvarforth whining about how long it took him to clean out his bathtub after his fateful promo video (I don’t speak Swedish, so this is conjecture) so much, and even though I greatly enjoy all of those artists and listen to their great work regularly, sometimes a change of pace is needed. Enter Alberta’s Striker, and their excellent third album City of Gold.” For the record, bathtubs are a real pain in the arse to clean.

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

Madam X’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

“Wow, what a year! A large portion of 2013 has had me working my ass off in preparation for my stint out at sea with 70,000 Tons of Pure Fucking METAL! I’ve tried to curtail my excitement, but fuck it, this is huge – Carcass, Septicflesh, Finntroll, Overkill… what more could a girl ask for?” As Madam X shamelessly drops free plugs for a certain novelty cruise line, she also delivers her best albums of the year. That lady can multi-task!