Halford

Hammerfall – Built to Last Review

Hammerfall – Built to Last Review

“Sometimes I wish AMG released audio reviews. If we did, the first thirty seconds of my review of Hammerfall‘s Built to Last would be uncontrollable laughter. I mean, for fuck’s sake, they have a song called the ‘Twilight Princess.’ But, for all the laughter and poking fun I can have with Built to Last, Hammerfall have never let me down. Maybe it’s because I don’t expect that much from them, I have never taken them too seriously, and they have been pretty damn consistent for over twenty years.” BEWARE: Falling hammers.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Symphony X nerds rejoice! Then again, maybe you won’t. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond’s first solo effort was released in September of this year and those expecting LePond to stick to his primary band’s keyboard-laden progressive metal path may be sorely disappointed. If you are, get that geeky head out of your pale behind (if you can get up off it long enough between games of Skyrim)…” New Jersey knows metal, and Al Kikuras knows New Jersey.

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Arch/Matheos – Sympathetic Resonance Review

Steel Druhm needs to ramble on for a bit so kindly bear with me, or else! As a life long metal fan, I can look back and pinpoint those few truly special albums that blew me away upon release and continue to feel magical after decades of listening. Right at the top of that very short list are two classics by Fates Warning. Hailing from Connecticut, they released three albums in the early to mid-80s that really embodied the American take on the traditional NWOBHM ethos and at times sounded quite like vintage Iron Maiden. Of those three albums, 85’s The Specter Within and 86’s Awaken the Guardian were their masterworks and any fan of classic metal really needs to hear them immediately if not sooner. After so many years, both easily stand the test of time and I find myself going back to them frequently. The main draw, aside from the expert songwriting, are the vocals by John Arch. The man had a one-of-a-kind voice, killer range and the ability to write hyper-intelligent lyrics. When he left the band following Awaken the Guardian, Fates Warning sank into mediocrity and I lost all interest. Arch himself left the music business entirely and I always hoped he would resurface and grace us with his voice again. He finally did in 2003 with the short but excellent Twist of Fate EP, which I hoped was the start of a serious comeback. Well, it took another eight long years but he finally has resurfaced again for a collaboration with his old Fates Warning guitarists Jim Matheos (OSI, Gordian Knot), Frank Aresti and other Fates alumni, bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Seven Witches) and drum lord Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Riot, Iced Earth, Rob Rock). So does this mega reunion bring back any of the potent magic from days long gone? Well, it seems that isn’t a fair question since Sympathetic Resonance is quite a different animal than Fates Warning. It’s way more modern, proggy, convoluted and heavier than anything their old unit attempted (I was actually surprised how heavy some of this material gets). Overall, its very polished and aggressive progressive metal from old dogs that obviously have plenty of life left in them.

HammerFall – Infected Review

HammerFall – Infected Review

Radiation clouds, torn limbs, zombies on the loose, Armageddon closing in, Aaah! In other words, heaven on Earth for horror maniacs such as myself. Just the perfect cliche plot to fit your favorite movie in the genre or some random Left4Dead-ish first-person zombie shooter which despite all plot holes always provides a lot of fun and action. And I really wish I was reviewing something of this sort, but well, life’s a bitch. What I’m actually whining about is the mere fact that we’re talking about HammerFall’s newly born record, Infected, which will not entertain you even nearly as much.

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Well, it’s been a very interesting year for me, Steel Druhm since joining Angry Metal Guy Industries in April. Despite the no pay, brutal hours, an Angry Metal Boss based overseas and enough hate mail to choke a Belgian aardvark, it’s been tons of fun and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it for a million Amorphis CDs. This year, like every other year, saw it’s fair share of shining metal moments and plenty of steaming crap as well. All things considered though, it’s a great time to be a fan of metal and there’s so much out there to choose from, it can get overwhelming trying to stay current and hear all the worthwhile releases. As the year winds down and we get set for the start of 2011, I want to wish all our readers a happy holiday season and give a big metal salute to all of you (and an extra big salute to the Angry Metal Guy himself for giving me a forum for my metal rants). I hope we were able to turn folks on to some quality music and generally entertain with our opinionated and self-righteous musings, ramblings, tirades, manifestos and diatribes.

Halford – Made of Metal Review

Halford – Made of Metal Review

This will come as an unwelcome surprise to Angry Metal folks everywhere, but the new Halford album Made of Metal isn’t angry and is only partly made of metal. Despite the deceptive title, Halford’s third solo album is a diverse but confusing mix of awkward, mostly flawed metal anthems, cheesy love songs with a metallic edge and poppy bubble gum metal/rock. Amid this confusion, only a few quality metal moments can be found. With all due respect to one of the founding fathers of heavy metal and a living legend to many (myself included), the results here are wildly inconsistent and just flat out disappointing.