Hard Rock

Acârash – Descend to Purity Review

Acârash – Descend to Purity Review

Descend to Purity is the band’s sophomore effort, following 2018’s In Chaos Becrowned. Doc Grier thought that effort was a promising debut, but with songs that tended to meander and ultimately go nowhere. He also nearly started a riot in the comments section by stating that Ghost kinda suck. Now, I have no wish to further inflame a world that has enough tension as is, but whatever your feelings about Ghost, you have to admit that the band members at least sound like they’re having fun. Acârash is aiming for the same aesthetic.” Good metal fun?

Mountain Witch – Extinct Cults Review

Mountain Witch – Extinct Cults Review

“A band’s swan song can often be a masterpiece, an emotional rollercoaster, or a dud. When a band knows they’re calling it quits for a while, most often they will pour their hearts into that final album. That’s what I hoped for when I grabbed Extinct Cults, the latest (and last, prior to what is described as a long hiatus) from German proto-rockers Mountain Witch.” Went witching.

Firewind – Firewind Review

Firewind – Firewind Review

“While I’m not intimately familiar with the vast majority of Firewind‘s discography, entries like debut Between Heaven and Hell, 2010’s Days of Defiance, and 2017’s Immortals have all impressed me in one way or another. When I first got my guitar, Gus G. was the darling of the guitar magazine world after being selected for the prestigious role of being Ozzy’s solo axeman. But it’s his work on Dream Evil‘s debut Dragonslayer — a record that happens to be one of my favorite heavy/power releases of all time — that cements him upon a nostalgic throne in my metal heart.” Born of Firewind, other fire and steel.

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

Badd Kharma – On Fire Review

“We live in a society where people add extra letters (specifically u’s) to words that don’t belong. As well as spelling words purposely (I think?) wrong to give them more emphasis. Or they use words that don’t mean what they think they mean. Who could forget the days of ‘wassup?’ and ‘wazzup?’ I mean, what’s not hip about saying ‘what’s up?’ or ‘what is up? Or remember when people used the word ‘bad’ but actually meant ‘good’? Or when you use ‘cop’ instead of ‘get’ and ‘whip’ instead of ‘car’? What the fuck is going on around here? Now there’re umlauts over consonants and v’s instead of u’s. ‘Lead’ is ‘led,’ ‘funeral fuck’ is ‘fvneral fvkk,’ and ‘rand’ has a ‘5’ in front of it. And now… there’s Badd Kharma.” Fyre is hawt!!

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic Review

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic Review

Aeromantic hardly breaks new ground for these excitable Swedes. By this, I mean that it is seemingly purpose-built to mainline dopamine directly to my brain, being, as it is, more 80s than the 80s. Each NFO release reaches deeper into this era, and Aeromantic nails the schmaltzy, overblown tone which has come to characterize the retrospective view of it.” Aeroma therapy.

Aktor – Placebo Review

Aktor – Placebo Review

“Chris Black (AKA Professor Black) has been a living wellspring for great metal over the past decade, crafting great music with DawnbringerHigh Spirits and Pharaoh. Somewhat overlooked in his mighty repertoire is his Aktor project, which until recently only had one release to its credit, 2015s Paranoia. It was a rocking affair heavily influenced by 70s acts like Thin Lizzy and Blue Oyster Cult and it was a fun, breezy listening experience with plenty of hooks. Placebo is the outfit’s second release and keeps the basic formula intact while adding an ass-ton of crazy synth and keyboard work, making for a somewhat loony soundscape.” It’s time for your medicine, Mr. Black.

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

Mondo Generator – Fuck It Review

“It’s hard to say why I grabbed Mondo Generator’s subtly titled Fuck It from the promo bin but, if you’re putting me on the spot, I think excitement probably got the better of me. Not, I should be clear, excitement because I love Mondo Generator – I do not – but simply the excitement of seeing a band I had actually heard of, which had not already been snapped up by one of the nimbler reviewers. The brainchild of Nick Oliveri – and sometimes also known as Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator – of Kyuss, Dwarves and Queens of the Stone Age fame (among others), Mondo Generator has been around for quite a while.” Bad attitude.

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

“And then a record comes along that takes me right back to that storied past and refills my magic bar to 100%. Mistress of the Gods, the debut album from Germany’s Vision of Choice is one of those records. After close to thirty spins of this 57-minute monster, I’m still trying to come up with the best way to describe what it sounds like. Here’s the best I got: take the masculine riffs and baritone bellows of a band like Omen, mix it with some German speed a la Helloween or Blind Guardian, add some eccentric Savatage flair, and round it out with Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, and you might get close.” Hot pocket o’ metal.

Lordi – Killection (A Fictional Compilation Album) Review

Lordi – Killection (A Fictional Compilation Album) Review

“The rubber costumes, Halloween-themed perversions, and Rob Zombie-meets-’80s hair metal ditties aren’t on the list of ‘Things Metalheads Need.’ Yet, their Gwar-ish concepts spring up every couple of years as the Metal Monster Squad’s own songs (?) summon them via radio shows hosted by either Twisted Sister‘s Dee Snider or Rockin’ Ralph Ruiz. And they don’t seem to care if you want what they have to offer or not—even if they’ve done it some ten times in twice as many years. And, only God/Satan knows, but there’s a handful of you sick sonsabitches out there that enjoy this crap. So, this review of Killection (A Fictional Compilation Album) is for you. Be ashamed of yourself.” Monster, Inc.

Warped Cross – Rumbling Chapel Review

Warped Cross – Rumbling Chapel Review

“I’m about to drop a reality bomb on you that you’re probably already aware of; genre tags, on a collective whole, are oftentimes bullshit. Yes, I’m sure you’ve known that for ages, but when a band is characterized as a particular strain of metal, it’s either because the review writer in question needs some neat, easily identifiable box to put a band into so the listener can gauge whether or not the band is right for them, or said band is vastly stretching the idea of what they sound like to ridiculous lengths.” Rumble bumble.