Hammerfall

Ambush – Infidel Review

Ambush – Infidel Review

“I have many things to be thankful for in life, but among the luckiest of happenstances was the opportunity to be a metal loving teen growing up in the 80s. That was truly the golden age of all things metallic, with the genre growing, evolving and mutating into multiple sub-genres at a ferocious rate, and I got to be there to experience it all first hand. I was especially fond for that early era when the only genre of metal was metal, and my love for the “classic style” is just as powerful now that I qualify for AARP benefits. This makes me an easy mark for the slick 80s-centric approach of Sweden’s Ambush.” Go olde or die.

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

Screamer – Highway of Heroes Review

“The tides of progress in metal will never erode the bedrock of the genre, that special thing we call heavy metal. The mix of power, strength, hope, and joy inherent in this little slice of the metal pie will always appeal to many metalheads so long as the genre continues to exist. Fortunately for Screamer, there will always be a place for records like Highway of Heroes. Fortunately for us, this means bands like Screamer will continue to make them.” Your mom’s a… nah, too easy.

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise Review

“I’d like to think that AMG writers listen to an album many more times than the average music critic before penning a review. We all own records that grew on us exponentially, whether through casual or critical listening, and we know full well that it’s impossible to decipher the full scope of a work upon first exposure. Except, of course, for the times where that’s totally possible. From the very first notes of NorthTale‘s debut, their mission statement of resurrecting power metal’s glory days is laid plain, with multiple rotations failing to unearth compositional complexity or deeper motives.” Power outage.

Ty Morn – Istor Review

Ty Morn – Istor Review

“Another day, another record palmed off generously donated to me by Steel. In this case, I was convinced to give it a shot by the gorgeous cover art. Take a moment to admire it. It’s certainly not particularly brvtal, but it is very pretty. Despite the Viking art, though, the music doesn’t particularly draw on the tropes of Viking metal. This is classic power metal in the vein of Hammerfall, Dream Evil, and the like. Yet, sole permanent band member Aron Biale describes it as an homage to golden age metal.” Ear raid.

Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire Review

Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire Review

“I miss Swordborn. I really do. He was up on all the latest power metal cheddar and well steeped in the genre’s Gouda, bad and ugly. With him inexplicably missing in action, I’m tasked with more power metal glory than I’ve been since the primordial days of AMG. That means taking the bitter with the sweet and brother, there’s a lot of bitter out there. That brings us to Sweden’s Bloodbound, who began life as a traditional metal act helmed by the great Urban Breed. After he left the band, they shifted from classic to power metal, and since 2014s Stormborn, they’ve been playing the Game of Thrones, delivering tales of dragons, empires, and orcs with somewhat uneven results.” Train your dragon.

Ross the Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

Ross the Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

Steely D loves him some Manowar. As ridiculous as their persona became over time, they were one of my favorite bands growing up and I still love that kind of epic, chest-thumping warrior metal. Ross the Boss was the guitarist during the band’s golden era and helped write many of their best songs. He left the fold following 1988s Kings of Metal, and since then he’s dabbled in a solo career only in fits and starts. By Blood Sworn is his third album under the regrettable Ross the Boss moniker, and the first since 2010s Hailstorm.” The crown and the gory.

Silver Wind – Legion of the Exiled Review

Silver Wind – Legion of the Exiled Review

“France’s Silver Wind seems to be a pretty low-profile act, despite having formed (according to the label’s press release) in 2005. Legion Of The Exiled is the band’s first full-length, and an evident stepping stone from 2013’s Fight For Glory EP – which is regurgitated in its entirety (three songs) here. Comparisons of the band’s inceptive sound to Hammerfall and Enforcer incited some mild interest in me, but clones of this style are not exactly hard to find, and in my experience, the doppelgangers are almost invariably somewhat sloppy and/or without much novelty to them.” Something funky in the wind.

Hammer King – King is Rising Review

Hammer King – King is Rising Review

“This is my twentieth review for AMG. In honor of such a fine achievement, the nobility at AMG World Headquarters have bestowed upon me a fine destrier, so I can prance through the office valiantly proclaiming my fealty. Well, not really, but I was given the newest output from power-metal wannabes Hammer King, King is Rising. Which, if played loud enough, is practically the same thing.” The Hammer King has a skull tank.

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.

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks Review

Serious Black – As Daylight Breaks Review

“When I picked up the debut album of Serious Black for review, I knew nothing about this band. What I did know was that the band name Sirius-ly gives me an uncontrollable urge to hunt down Harry Potter and punch him in the fucking face. But once I decided to review this slab of melodic metal, I discovered that this sum bitch is serious-ly special.” Step back folks, we have another “super group” on our hands.