Grave Digger

The Heretic Order – Evil Rising Review

The Heretic Order – Evil Rising Review

“Well I’ll be damned. It looks like your friendly neighborhood Steel Druhm swiped a King Diamond / Mercyful Fate worshiping band out from under the usually vigilant Doc Grier while he was sleeping with his back turned. U.K.’s The Heretic Order rock a kind of sloppy, sleazy mash-up of Kingly hits and meat n’ taters heavy metal, and they do so with the grace and subtlety of a gaggle of drunken bikers.” No order, no mercy.

Shadowkeep – Shadowkeep Review

Shadowkeep – Shadowkeep Review

“Britain’s Shadowkeep lay more or less dormant for seven or eight years following 2008’s The Hourglass Effect, which itself was delayed due to line-up changes. This oft-contracted plague of metal bands received a cure in January of 2017 when none other than James Rivera of Helstar stepped forward and offered his services as the voice of the band for its long-awaited self-titled fourth studio album. As something of a fan of Shadowkeep’s earlier work, and especially The Hourglass Effect, I was interested to see what James would bring to the table in a setting other than Helstar (a band I’m admittedly not overly fond of).” Shadows of Hel(star).

Rebellion – A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare’s King Lear Review

Rebellion – A Tragedy in Steel Part II: Shakespeare’s King Lear Review

“If you encountered me during my misspent youth as an 80s metalhead and asked if Shakespeare and metal went well together, I’d have pondered the question deeply for several seconds, before hurling a half empty Schlitz can at you whilst cursing your ancestral line as posers and PMRC collaborators most foul. In the fullness of time I’ve come to realize the great English scribe’s body of is in fact, potent fodder for metal, teeming with sinister plots, betrayal, murder and war, sweet war. This pairing has been field tested with 2 concept albums based on Macbeth, one of which coming from German’s second-string grave exhumers, Rebellion.” Some are born metal, and some have metal thrust into them.

Niviane – The Druid King Review

Niviane – The Druid King Review

“Preconceptions can go far, regardless of the subject. From only a handful of clues, people extrapolate a picture and form an opinion. Take Niviane with their debut album The Druid King. With only the name, title and album cover to go on, I expected folk-infused power metal, possibly in the vein of Elvenking. As it turns out, my folk expectations weren’t warranted.” Expecting an elf, and you get an orc. A mean one.

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf could desperately use some time off. Raised on Metal culminates a decade-long span that saw seven LP releases, including a peak of increasingly unaffecting albums between 2012-2014. The gap to 2016’s The Heathen Dawn revitalized Lonewolf‘s sound, suggesting that even a mild breather can do them some good. Not one for learning from their mistakes (or enjoying life or its many bounties), the Frenchmen offer yet another album for judgment, nary sixteen months later.” Can’t we just admire the French work ethic?

FireForce – Annihilate the Evil Review

FireForce – Annihilate the Evil Review

“Like Sabaton, Belgium’s FireForce focuses all their energy around battles come-and-gone, the bravery of the few, and the historical instances that led to war. With two albums under their belt, this five-piece is back with another history lesson. This time on Greece’s Oxi Day, the Danevirke, the infamous Iron Brigade, and much more. So, come along, dweebs. School’s in session. Grab your Thermos and knapsack, it’s time to get learneded.” The professor is a doctor.

Grave Digger – Healed by Metal Review

Grave Digger – Healed by Metal Review

“It’s a brand new year – a fresh beginning for all of our personal stories and a clean, blank slate for metal music. Now is the time to take risks, to be daring, to innovate. Just kidding, it’s actually time for the 17th goddamn album of monochromatic meat n’ taters metal from the unstoppable Germanic horde called Grave Digger.” Well, that de-escalated quickly.

Vader – The Empire Review

Vader – The Empire Review

“In an effort to avoid consistency devolving into redundancy, Vader have opted to galvanize The Empire with the ever-present thrash that propels their classic sound. The results are a lot of fun. I love Vader, so if you’re at all interested in following me awkwardly avoid blathering on about how great they are, and actually offer objectivity, then read on. Careful, don’t trip on the hyperbole.” Objectivity is for posers.

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

Sacred Steel – Heavy Metal Sacrifice Review

“In the rich annals of metal bands crossing over into unintentional parody, Sacred Steel looms large. The perpetually over-the-top cheese fueled trve metal warriors led by “unorthodox” vocalist Gerrit P. Mutz have been pounding on the doors of the Great Hall ov Great Metal demanding entrance since 1997 only to be met with a shrug and a “No Solicitation” sign. But ignore them at your peril, for they’re as relentless as they are comical.” In trvth there is pain.

Lonewolf – The Heathen Dawn Review

Lonewolf – The Heathen Dawn Review

“Dear mother: my battle for acceptance in the brutal world of AMG Amalgamated Blogworks, Ltd. goes on. I’ve survived the gauntlet of milquetoast prog submissions and am a better man for it. There is no respite for the “New Guy,” however: this week my inbox greeted me with a fist to the face in the form of a French power metal album and I fear I may not survive this next phase. Power metal and France typically do not go hand in hand.” The struggle goes on and on.