English Metal

Conjurer – Mire Review

Conjurer – Mire Review

“It apparently takes a lot to incite Madam X‘s fervor these days. Her list of the top 10 albums of 2016 was not a “best of” but a “least disliked” while the 2017 edition reduced this list to a paltry 5. And yet a little English band called Conjurer and their debut full-length called Mire grabbed her attention and converted it to an active recommendation within our internal channels. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there are other writers with whom I share more musical preferences, but the promise of a chunky, riff-lead, progressive album was too enticing to ignore.” Listen to the Madam.

Judas Priest – Firepower Review

Judas Priest – Firepower Review

“Having spent the last month immersed in the back-catalog of the legendary Judas Priest, a nagging thought kept running wild through my mind. What if I get through this ginormous ranking of the Priest albums, designed to coincide with their latest release, only to hate it and have to bash it? As a life-long fan, that idea didn’t really fill me with joy, but all I could do was grit my teeth, get the countdown done and hope there was a decent album waiting for me on the other side.” Heavy guns on sad wings.

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology Review

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology Review

“If it wasn’t obvious already, dynamic UK duo Slugdge is the real-fucking deal. Across their first three LP’s Slugdge shook off any suggestion they were a flash in the pan gimmick band, moving in advanced directions beyond their strange and humorous slug-obsessed philosophy and creative song title puns, to forge a wonderfully versatile and fiercely unique extreme metal hybrid. From modest cult heroes, Slugdge are now on the cusp of entering the big leagues.” Look at that escargot!

My Silent Wake – There Was Death Review

My Silent Wake – There Was Death Review

“Ah, the mysteries of the promo bin. Usually when selecting promo I like to have a bit of context to consolidate my choices. Whether it be firm knowledge of a particular band or genre, general curiosity based on word-of-mouth or information gathered, or a fanboy-like connection. But every now and then the urge strikes to pick something at random, with the hope of landing a surprise gem. That was how I happened upon There Was Death by long running UK act, My Silent Wake.” The promo bin gives, the promo bin takes.

Dream Tröll – The Witch’s Curse EP Review

Dream Tröll – The Witch’s Curse EP Review

“Hang around the AMG blog dispensary long enough and you’ll quickly discover that we don’t have a lot of love for EPs. As recently outlined by our Supreme Leader, a lot of fucking albums make their way into the promo trough, and we’re almost certain to overlook them in favor of more fulfilling and fleshed-out full-lengths. So when Steel Druhm actually caves to a request to review an EP – one that we weren’t even provided a promo for – by a foaming-at-the-mouth Eldritch, you can be sure of two things. One: HR is almost certainly on its way to my tenticubicle. Two: British trve metal outfit Dream Tröll has something really special on their hands with The Witch’s Curse.” E.P. stands for Extreme Penalty.

Saxon – Thunderbolt Review

Saxon – Thunderbolt Review

“The New Wave of British Heavy Metal hasn’t been new in almost 40 years, but some of the bands birthed in that musical crucible are still soldiering on today. The chief influence for the classic mockumentary, This is Spinal Tap, Saxon, have been road warriors since the late 70s, rocking their traditional metal fare far and wide, though never coming close to the fame achieved by contemporaries like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. If awards were given for stubbornness and dedication, Saxon would win in a clean sweep, and the fact we’re reviewing their 22nd album, Thunderbolt is further proof of their taciturn commitment to this whole “metal thing.”” Saxon-ma-phone!

The King is Blind – We Are the Parasite, We Are the Cancer Review

The King is Blind – We Are the Parasite, We Are the Cancer Review

“While my fair U.K. may be enjoying something of a qualitative metal renaissance as of late, I’m still not sure I am entirely convinced. The raw ingenuity of Anaal Nathrakh, Akercocke and, of course, Voices has yet to be matched—their capacity for redefining parameters gone largely unchallenged.” Disharmony in the U.K.

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

“In my personal pantheon of guilty pleasures, Power Quest reigns supreme. Formed in 2011 by ex-DragonForce keyboardist Steve Williams (lead songwriter and sole remaining original member), this band made a name for themselves in the early-to-mid 00’s by redefining the meaning of cheese, mashing Teutonic power metal together with synth-drenched glam rock—think Van Halen’s “Jump,” by way of Freedom Call, and you’ll have a reasonably accurate idea of what to expect. ” The cheese quest never ends.