Epic Metal

Crom – The Era of Darkness Review

Crom – The Era of Darkness Review

CROM! I have not heard from you these many long years. I was completely blown away by 2008s Vengeance with its slick blend of epic Bathory-isms and power metal leanings, and I pledged my sword to your service. I was, however, somewhat disillusioned by 2011s Of Love and Death and its dialed-down might and majesty. I confess to being a lowly heretic and completely missing the gospel of the 2017 followup, and I need to make amends for my unholy ignorance. Now we come to the rather unexpected release of the fourth testament to all things Wotan, warrior-esque and wengeancy, The Era of Darkness.” Feel the steel.

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

Daidalos – The Expedition Review

The Expedition is a concept album that tells the story of the doomed 1845 voyage of Captain John Franklin and his crew of 129 men and their frost-filled journey through undiscovered portions of the northwest passage. Grizzled sea captains? Ice pirates? Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi may not crave such things, but I sure do. Daidalos have certainly plucked a worthy story from the annals of history on which to base their album. And as is their right, the band has chosen the soothing sounds of symphonic, epic black metal to tale this tale.” Voyage of the damned.

Thūn – II Review

Thūn – II Review

“This is quite the rabbit hole I’ve gone down. It started with Monsterworks back in 2018 (and again in 2020). Then I hitched a ride on a Bull Elephant, in 2019 and 2020. Not one to rest on my laurels, I then enjoyed deeply of some Thūn, on their debut last year. What do these three bands have in common? Members, for one thing, and exuberant, over-the-top delivery of bizarre tales. Here on Thūn’s second album, aptly titled II.” Thūn(der) on the tundra.

Night Cobra – Dawn of the Serpent Review

Night Cobra – Dawn of the Serpent Review

“Snakes are as metal as skulls and demons, and nighttime is when all the fun, sketchy things happen. Ipso facto, Night Cobra is a spectacular name for a metal band. Especially for one throwing back so hard to the early 80s that they probably suffered slipped discs and Romulan back gout. On their Dawn of the Serpent debut, these Texas-based retro rockers deliver a mix of NWoBHM and early American power metal.” Snake bitten.

Black Soul Horde – Horrors from the Void Review

Black Soul Horde – Horrors from the Void Review

“So you just endured a long, soul-killing week of nonstop 4.0s at the AMG Forced Labor Emporium and need to get away from a certain cadre of overrating hack reviewers. You get home, kick off the war boots, seize a large tankard of ale, a larger goblet of hobo wine, and sit down for a relaxed sampling of Black Soul Horde’s latest platter of epic/trve sword-worship, Horrors from the Void. And what happens? You get unexpectedly tentacle smacked across the face, chest, and ham hocks by slimy Lovecraftian horrors from beyond space and time.” Tendril innsmouth disease.

Ryghär – Thurmecia Eternal Review

Ryghär – Thurmecia Eternal Review

“Conan’s mighty name is heavy upon the wind of late around the stately AMG offices/black market organ emporium. Ancient Empire just released a Cimmerian-themed outing and now Texas trve metallers Ryghär are set to drop their Hyborian age debut. Adopting a sound somewhere between Savage Grace, Manilla Road and Sumerlands, this unheralded act has an iron fist locked firmly on the olden ways and know how to craft epic odes to all things rusty, tarnished and ancient.” Sëize the umlaut.

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

“Ah, the random promo pick. It worked well for Gardenstale, who wrote some fancy algorithm that randomly assigned him a Record O’ The Month in Iotunn. Hoping for lighting to strike twice, Yours Truly dug into his hope chest and unearthed his multi-sided dice set. A quick throw of the d30 yielded The Omega Evangelion, the debut album from Finnish upstarts Byron. What started out as a solo project by ex-Church of Void drummer Johannes Lahti.” Dragons, dice, destiny.

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

Dreamslain – Tales of Knights and Distant Worlds Review

“It involved a lot of bushwhacking, riding across three passes, through streams, losing our way, carrying our bikes up the backside of two mountains, and being eaten alive by black flies. We made it, though, and because we are stupid we did it again a month later. When we found a review of the trail, several years old by this time, the summary read, ‘I can only recommend this ride to the most foolhardy of idiots.’ Where am I going with this? Read on, dear friend, read on.” A dream to some… a nightmare to others!

Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron Review

Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron Review

“There are more swords hanging over our heads than usual lately in the Skull Pit of Unsafe Hanging Cutlery. With Megaton Sword fresh in our collective mindsheaths, here comes the might and majesty of Austin, Texas natives Eternal Champion. Ravening Iron is the band’s sophomore opus and it’s an improvement over 2016s entertainingly olde school The Armor of Ire.” Sword hoarders.

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

“Is that a Megaton Sword in your armor or are you just happy to see me? In trvth it is I who is happy to see Megaton Sword riding the tide of righteous battle on their debut full-length ode to all things edged and deadly. This Swiss cutthroat crew is carved from the same olde school stone as acts like VisigothEternal Champion, and ageless legends like Cirith Ungol, and they deliver heroic tales of braver and medieval butchery on the excellently titled Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire.” Big iron.