Heavy Metal

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

“I first stumbled upon Northern Crown back in in 2016 when their sophomore platter The Others hit the promo sump as an unheralded self-release. Their odd mix of doom and epic power metal caught my attention, and who could forget those Ms. Pac Man keyboard effects? After we’d had the promo for their upcoming fourth album for a time, Northern Crown founder Zach Randall reached out and asked if we wanted to premiere it. Since this is a band that always pushes creative boundaries and I was enamored with the new material, I jumped at the chance.” Pallid shadows and deep mysteries.

Thunderslave – Unchain the Night Review

Thunderslave – Unchain the Night Review

“I really should know better by now. I thought that I’d learned early in my career as an unpaid music journalist, back when I was known simply as Nameless_n00b_11, that Steel Druhm and his gifts are not to be trusted. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a fair master, to be sure, but he also has a tendency to entertain himself by being overwhelmingly cruel. During one of our recent socially distant AMG staff Zoom chats, he told me that he had a promo picked out just for me, one that “sounds like Skelator if they actually tried.”” Steel gifts are for closers.

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

“The other day, I was eating lunch with my 6-year-old son Ezkaton, and I swear to God, he gazed out the window with a thousand-yard stare and said the following without any prompting and without any music playing in the background: “Dad, I don’t know why I like Greyhawk so much. I don’t even try to like them, but they just make me like them.”” Sons of iron.

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.

Shok Paris – Full Metal Jacket Review

Shok Paris – Full Metal Jacket Review

“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! There’s a new Shok Paris album floating in the glop and gunk of the promo sump! Truly no one saw that coming because Shok Paris was a blip on the 80s metal radar, managing three albums that were decent but definitely low second-tier in the grand scheme of things. They’re most famous (and I use that term loosely here) for the over-the-top vocals of frontman, Vic Hix. The man sounded like Blackie Lawless hopped up on discount Super Soldier Formula and 5 Hour Energy while trying to channel Danzig and Messiah Marcolin simultaneously.” Paris had it coming.

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

Sorcerer – Lamenting of the Innocent Review

“Sweden’s Sorcerer has had a bouncy ride through the ages. They released a series of demos I really enjoyed back in the early 90s and then completely vanished from the metal scene for some 20-plus years. They reappeared in 2015 with a comeback album I slept on, then knocked me flat, silly and senseless with 2017s stupendous The Crowning of the Fire King. That album’s expertly crafted blend of traditional and doom metal was impossible to resist and Fire King seized my Record o’ the Year glory easily. Naturally I was quite stoked to receive the followup, Lamenting of the Innocent. With a concept based around the Inquisition and witch trials, all signs and omens pointed to another big dose of classy metal with hooks by the boatload.” No one expects the Swedish Inquisition!

Solar Flare – Solar Flare Review

Solar Flare – Solar Flare Review

Solar Flare, a five-man crew, has been a part of the Ohio metal scene for six years now, playing a blend of one part 80’s power metal and one part NWoBHM. Frontman Ethan Jackson, a classically trained vocalist, demonstrates impressive vocal range in the higher registers from the get-go.” Flare ups.

Zedi Forder – Isolation (and Zedi Forder Superium – Judgement) Review

Zedi Forder – Isolation (and Zedi Forder Superium – Judgement) Review

“As summer draws near, something has been lacking. Not the patio beers, or the large gatherings, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on until the kind lads from Zedi Forder sent me their latest work, Isolation, a few weeks ago. Then I remembered what an awesome summer band these guys are.” Wherein our hero writes a blog post about his summer drinking habits. Oh, and reviews a couple weirdo metal records from the band Zedi Forder.

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution Review

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution Review

Tokyo Blade: now there’s a name that stirs up memories. It seemed that, while Midnight Rendezvous was an above-average NWoBHM debut, the band decided to go down the hair metal path after that, to disastrous effect. Over the years, band members came and went, but album quality never rose above tepid. 2018’s Unbroken did nothing for me, and the same lineup (essentially their classic lineup from the early days) is back with Dark Revolution.” Olden steel.