Heart

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

“2019 was a dream for me when it came to reviews: nearly 20% of the albums I covered were released by bands within 150 miles of my house, and of those several can be found in my own Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Quayde LaHüe and Mortiferum impressed me, and the now infamous “Skelator Incident” induced heretofore unseen levels of arousal and nearly resulted in my actual firing from this site. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the temptation to grab the debut of Seattle’s Sölicitör.” Criminal sölicitatiön.

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

Avatarium – The Fire I Long For Review

“Just as with their last outing, Avatarium‘s latest opus snuck up on me, having only learned of its imminent release a week ago. I’m not sure why this band escapes my metal detector/radar so effectively, but this 70s doom rock project founded by Leif Edling of Candlemass fame always makes for a pleasant surprise, as they’ve been quite impressive over their relatively brief life cycle. Health concerns have caused Leif to step away from the band more and more over the last few years, and on fourth album The Fire I Long For, he’s he’s been relegated to helping write a few songs.” Feel this fire.

Quayde LaHüe – Love out of Darkness Review

Quayde LaHüe – Love out of Darkness Review

“I was saddened to learn that by skipping the first day of Eliminator Fest, I’d missed a performance by the band that I find myself covering today: Olympia, Washington’s Quayde LaHüe. After spending time with their debut album Love out of Darkness, I’m vowing to catch them live at some point, because these guys and gal kick some serious olde school ass.” Love in a dark place.

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

The Neptune Power Federation – Memoirs of a Rat Queen Review

“What a good story needs first and foremost is interesting characters though, and The Neptune Power Federation get that. Their vocalist, Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch, assumes the mantle of a time-travelling space witch for their fourth album, Memoirs of a Rat Queen. 70s space rock that mixes Heart with Hawkwind and AC/DC, a sexy vengeful bombshell on the mic, and a story scattered from the French revolution to boning in a parking lot; what could possibly go wrong here?” Aqua(lung) metal.

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

Sabbath Assembly – A Letter of Red Review

“In what should be considered a minor achievement, Sabbath Assembly are dropping their seventh album, A Letter of Red, with the identical lineup as 2017’s excellent Rites of Passage. This is the first time these strange occult-rockers have kept a static lineup, and that means we hope for an album of equal or better quality than the previous (which was a favorite of mine that year). However, the band makes it clear in their lead-up to the album that they are throwing a few change-ups our way: shorter songs, tight production, and a leaning towards 70s hard rock rather than the prog rock they treated us to on Rites of Passage. With the pedigree present, I’m sure they can pull off anything they attempt–can’t they?” Come back to the Sabbath?

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

Lucifer – Lucifer II Review

“Now is the summer of my discontent. Not only because the sun incessantly threatens to ignite my beard, but having reviewed too much of one thing, the urge to consume an entirely different animal has reared its ugly head. Borne atop a moldering mound of lesser reviewers by those most metal of saints, I spied a beckoning light in the recesses of the perdition manifest we affectionately call the promo pit. Said bastion was none other than German-based doom/rock act, Lucifer, and their compactly titled second album, Lucifer II.” The Devil you should get to know.

Demon Eye – Prophecies and Lies Review

Demon Eye – Prophecies and Lies Review

“If you’re anything like me, first of all, clean your room, and second, you’re probably sick to death of bands aping the retro-doom sound making its rounds among the underground. The music’s gotta be something special for me to pay attention and give it my time. Thankfully, Demon Eye‘s Prophecies and Lies is that something special.” Demon cleaner, room neatener.

Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos Review

Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos Review

“I had no idea this album was even happening until late Friday evening. It arrived in the Promo Department and Madam X sent a minion scurrying to my stately offices inquiring if I was expecting something new from Avatarium. After said minion was soundly whipped for making eye contact and disturbing my righteous Steelsleep, I reflected on the question. Having heard nothing whatsoever of a new album I assumed it was just an EP, remix or some such nonsense. Not so, as it’s actually the third album of bluesy, 70s influenced quasi-doom rock from Candlemass founder Leif Edling and company.” A mighty wind’s gonna halo.

The Riven – Blackbird Review

The Riven – Blackbird Review

“70’s revival bands pop out of the ground like hallucinogenic mushrooms in this day and age, but despite making up half the population of the planet, there’s a somewhat depressing lack of female-fronted material. It’s an issue that has plagued rock and metal for decades, but when the annals contain such timeless talents as Heart and Janis Joplin, it doesn’t feel like a counterweight for all the testosterone should be too much to ask.” More Venus, less penis.

Avatarium – The Girl With the Raven Mask Review

Avatarium – The Girl With the Raven Mask Review

Candlemass‘ 1986 debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus had a big impact on my young metal mind and made me a lifetime convert to Leif Edling’s concept of what doom metal should sound like. Decades later, he surprised me again with his Avatarium debut and how it leveraged the prodigious vocal gifts of Jennie-Ann Smith to create a refreshing take on the classic doom template. While I expected The Girl With the Raven Mask to be a quality follow-up, I wasn’t prepared for this!” Get prepared post-haste!