German Metal

Reverend Hound – Deal in Steel Review

Reverend Hound – Deal in Steel Review

“Sometimes a promo cover or title compels me to take a chance and grab it though I know nothing about the band. Such was the case when I spotted Reverend Hound bobbing about in the sump. With a name like that, art like that, and a title like Deal in Steel, how could I move on without fully investigating the pedigree of this altered beasty? These little-known German mongrels play a style of metal that owes a great debt to Accept, Grave Digger, and Primal Fear, and on their third album, they aim for a slick, ear-cropping blend of classic Germanic metal, NWoBHM, and aggressive speed.” Adopt or die.

Elvellon – Ascending in Synergy Review

Elvellon – Ascending in Synergy Review

“As I’ve mentioned a few times during my tenure, fem-fronted symphonic power metal was my gateway into the metalverse. Bands like Nightwish, Epica, pre-Hydra Within Temptation, and Neverworld’s End-era Xandria, among many others, were my favorite things in the world for many years. Even today, the style still holds a crucial place in my rotation. Unfortunately, very few breakout acts in the last decade made a mark in the scene. Two names in particular who buck that trend come to mind: Connecticut-based Dialith and the subject of today’s piece, German five-banger Elvellon.” SYNERGY SYSTEM.

Naxen – Descending Into a Deeper Darkness Review

Naxen – Descending Into a Deeper Darkness Review

“Last we met Germany’s Naxen, we were deep in the swills of the pandemic lockdown here in the States. Released in June of 2020, debut full-length Towards the Tomb of Times was a solid black metal affair that I gleefully awarded a 3.5 but just never listened to again. Not that it was bad by any means, but it did not have the staying power I expected. The trio exists in the cross-section of black metal, adhering to hints of melodic black and death metal, but is pure unadulterated black metal.” Naxen, Naxoff.

Accept – Humanoid Review

Accept – Humanoid Review

“The 17th album by the unstoppable Germanic horde known as Accept is upon us and resistance is brutile. After the enjoyable machinations of 2021s Too Mean to Die, those who keep their balls to the wall opted to stick with the same basic formula. Their three-guitarist wall of sound is back along with no-longer-so-new frontman Mark Tornillo, and Accept find themselves in a late-career groove, very aware of who they are and what they want to be. And that means Accept continue to drift closer and closer to AC/DC territory as their core metal sound drills down further into hard rock idioms.” The future is the past.

The Vision Bleak – Weird Tales Review

The Vision Bleak – Weird Tales Review

“Utilizing Type O Negative-esque booming vocals, surprisingly heavy riffs, and bombastic key-driven atmospheres, every The Vision Bleak album is Gothic metal goodness that’ll leave your skin crawling, hands bloody, and eyes leaking. Funny enough, 2016’s The Unknown was the first time any album I reviewed was chosen as the RotM. These eight long years have been quiet, undoubtedly due to the band brewing their next horrific release. Now it’s here and it’s like nothing they’ve ever done before.” Weird is the new bleak.

Attic – Return of the Witchfinder Review

Attic – Return of the Witchfinder Review

“Mmmmmm… King Diamond-core. It’s been seven years since Attic delivered its top-form masterpiece, Sanctimonious. And now, They’re is back again to ensure I’m erect for the remainder of the year. This new record continues the trend the band has been on even before Kim Bendix Petersen was but a wily sperm in his father’s nutsack. Delivering no-frills, old-school Satanic heavy metal, this German quintet combines soaring falsettos, creepy organs, and Mercyful Fate-esque dueling guitar work to shape yet another hour’s worth of music.” Something’s alive up there.

Thornbridge – Daydream Illusion Review

Thornbridge – Daydream Illusion Review

“I love Teutonic power metal. I love how basically every band sounds like Gamma Ray or Blind Guardian in varying degrees, as well as their wocalists’ perpetual inability to pronounce the phoneme v. There’s a comfort to be found in the formula; lucky me, then, that Germany tends to produce a greater ratio of quality power metal bands than most other regions. Thornbridge is a prime example of such quality.” Unweash the wengeance!

Ivory Tower – Heavy Rain Review

Ivory Tower – Heavy Rain Review

Ivory Tower have been a minor force in the Germanic prog-metal scene since 1998. I didn’t pay them much heed over the years, but that all changed when I took a flyer on their 2019 album Stronger. Expecting little, I walked into a buzzsaw and was quickly carved up by a highly catchy and memorable platter of vibrant prog metal led by the powerhouse vocals of one Dirk Meyer. It ended up on my Top Ten(ish) of 2019 and became one of my all-time favorite prog-metal releases. Naturally, I wanted a lot MOAR of the same from Ivory Tower.” Foundational instability.

Vorga – Beyond the Palest Star Review

Vorga – Beyond the Palest Star Review

“Ah, space. How little we know of thee. How awestruck we are by thine crushing beauty. It’s no surprise, as I noted in my review for Vorga’s debut record, Striving Toward Oblivion, that artists across various fields and mediums draw inspiration from the immense, unknowable thing that is space. With such a deep well to draw from—as much in terms of raw data and information as in fiction and imagination—I doubt even the relative microcosm of black metal could ever exhaust this rich and ever-expanding resource. Picking up right where they left off in 2022, German melodic black metal quartet Vorga blast off into the deepest reaches of inky blackness.” MOARGA Vorga.

Leaves’ Eyes – Myths of Fate Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Myths of Fate Review

“Symphonic metal is a tricky genre to review; it is, at this point, so steeped in clichés that critiquing it for leaning on clichés is itself starting to feel like a cliché. Ever since Nightwish lobbed Once at the masses, it’s been easy to feel like everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Sometimes it’s effective, and sometimes you’re damaging your fist on a completely intact and rather thick layer of ice. For Leaves’ Eyes, who have been around for over twenty years now, I get the sense that the goal is consistency.” Do the Eyes have it?