Epic Metal

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.

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

“Before mastering the steel, you must first master yourself. Yet mastering oneself requires the mastery of epic metal. This is the riddle of trveness, and why your journey has brought you here to this Ironsword review. Portugal’s most trve of metal bands have long toiled to forge the perfect sword with which to lay waste to posers and the defenders of false metal. In their quest for metal supremacy they traveled the Manilla Road to the ends of the world.” Steel away the night.

Blessed Black – Beyond the Crimson Throne Review and Album Premiere

Blessed Black – Beyond the Crimson Throne Review and Album Premiere

“Album premieres are a gimmick. At least that’s what I thought until I had the chance to showcase this lovely example of epic/doom/stoner metal courtesy of up-and-coming Cincinnati rockers Blessed Black. Of course, to review an album is one thing, but to premiere that album, it better be worth clicking on more songs than just the single, and that’s certainly the case here.” Blessed luck.

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire Review

“After impressing the metalverse with 2013s The White Goddess, the band took their sweet time crafting a followup, and the long-awaited The Course of Empire definitely dials up the Bathory-esque epic Viking side of Atlantean Kodex‘s mammoth heavy metal sound. Along with the band’s usual While Heaven Wept meets Manowar on Manilla Road take on oversized throwback metal, there’s a powerful Hammeheart influence under-girding the already titanic, soaring compositions, making for a heavier, darker sound.” Atlantean Empire rising.

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

“Ancient armies will clash. Muscle, sweat, bone and blood will meet gleaming steel. Once tranquil fields will be littered with tattered banners and fallen heroes. This is Ravensire‘s world and we just fight in it. Hailing from Portugal, they’re an epic heavy metal band through and through, taking inspiration from all the best swords (Doomsword, Ironsword), the Viking ethos of Bathory‘s Hammerheart era, and of course, the loin beclothed he-men of Manowar.” Stone beats Steel.

Lunar Shadow – The Smokeless Fires Review

Lunar Shadow – The Smokeless Fires Review

“Trying to cobble multiple metal genres together into a unified and effective sound is no easy feat. Especially when one sets their sights on epic traditional metal interwoven with black metal and melodeath influences. Too much of any one ingredient and it all starts to go off the rails. Thus finding that elusive sweet spot is an alchemic challenge few bands are the equal to. Lunar Shadow almost pulled it off on their 2017 debut Far From Light, but a few issues conspired to undermine some of their otherwise good works. Still, it was an interesting album with some compelling moments and it oozed with potential and what ifs. Now they’re back with a new frontman and a more evolved, mature approach to genre crocheting on The Smokeless Fires.” Smoke on Mt. Doom.

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

Avandra – Descender Review

Avandra – Descender Review

“There are some excellent metal records out there—Voyager‘s Ghost Mile comes to mind, along with Wishfield‘s self-titled release from earlier this month—that I find quite relaxing. These kinds of records sneak up on you. You might not think much of them at first, but as time passes you crave them more and more. Which brings us to the band of the day: Avandra. ” Prog for pondering.