Heavy Metal

Drungi – Hamfarir Hugans Review

Drungi – Hamfarir Hugans Review

“I love ‘for fans of’ or ‘related artists’ shorthands. In lieu of the endless genre discussions, it’s a great shortcut to match potential fans with new music. It has its shortcomings, of course; for one, you need to actually know the bands to get a feeling for whether it might be up your alley. Furthermore, bands can abuse it by referencing a bunch of popular bands, even when their style is only tangentially related. Case in point: the promo sheet for Drungi’s self-released debut Hamfarir Hugans included such a baffling spread in their FFO, I was immediately skeptical. Sólstafir, Skálmöld, Black Sabbath, Gojira and Manowar. What on Earth could possibly sound like all of those at the same time?” Sounds like…madness.

Attacker – The God Particle Review

Attacker – The God Particle Review

“New Jersey’s Attacker have a decades-long history but seem to exist in perpetual near-obscurity outside of the Tri-State area. Hitting the scene in 1985 with their Battle at Helm’s Deep debut, they were a part of the US power metal scene along with contemporaries Helstar, Liege Lord, and Jag Panzer. As with others in that movement, they blended Judas Priest andIron Maiden influences with increased speed. Now Attacker return with seventh album The God Particle. Will this be the fateful release that finally sees Weehawken, New Jersey’s finest getting greater exposure?” Do you come from the land of landfills?

Týr – Battle Ballads Review

Týr – Battle Ballads Review

“The Fisher Kings of Faroian metal are back and on the hunt once more with ninth album Battle Ballads, and all is right in the metalverse. Ever since these lads put the tiny Faroe Islands on the map way back in 2002 with their How Far to Asgaard debut they’ve been highly reliable purveyors of a unique blend of trad/folk/Viking metal that has no peer. 2019’s Hel provided highly entertaining and classy tales of swords and shields and I wanted more almost immediately. After a 4 years wait we finally get more from Týr.” Salt/sword life.

Tarot – Glimpse of the Dawn Review

Tarot – Glimpse of the Dawn Review

“Eight years between a debut and sophomore album is a lifetime for a band. Members can leave, personalities can change, influences can shift. Australia’s Tarot unveiled its first full-length release in 2016, drawing inspiration from the likes of Uriah Heep and Rainbow. Now they’re primed for Glimpse of the Dawn, a sophomore release nearly a decade in the making. But 50 years between a scene’s heyday and bands now imitating the style? That’s a literal lifetime for many humans. As much as this may wound my parents, the 70s were a long time ago. So what do I make of Tarot’s anachronous sound?” Old hand, big gamble.

Attic – Return of the Witchfinder Review

Attic – Return of the Witchfinder Review

“Mmmmmm… King Diamond-core. It’s been seven years since Attic delivered its top-form masterpiece, Sanctimonious. And now, They’re is back again to ensure I’m erect for the remainder of the year. This new record continues the trend the band has been on even before Kim Bendix Petersen was but a wily sperm in his father’s nutsack. Delivering no-frills, old-school Satanic heavy metal, this German quintet combines soaring falsettos, creepy organs, and Mercyful Fate-esque dueling guitar work to shape yet another hour’s worth of music.” Something’s alive up there.

Greyhawk – Thunderheart Review

Greyhawk – Thunderheart Review

Greyhawk peddles traditional metal with a strong element of shred included thanks to their mighty guitar virtuoso, Jesse Berlin. The band’s focus on positivity and heroism is my favorite thing about them, and their music never fails to raise my spirits. An incident at the band’s 2021 show in Boise showed that heroism moving beyond fantasy and into reality when bassist Darin Wall was wounded while preventing a gunman from opening fire on the people gathered outside the venue. Now that’s a fucking heavy metal tale.” Tougher than lead.

The Neptune Power Federation – Goodnight My Children Review

The Neptune Power Federation – Goodnight My Children Review

“I have a soft spot for these Australian weirdos. Memoirs of a Rat Queen bowled me over back in 2019 and I still spin “Rat Queen” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” regularly. Follow-up Le Demon De L’amour didn’t quite tickle my fancy the same way, though, with an overall less impactful and memorable tracklist that contained only one real banger. It seems love songs didn’t capture the off-kilter theatrical vibe where The Neptune Power Federation is strongest. The concept for Goodnight My Children is fairytales and bedtime stories, which can really go either way. Underwhelming sweetness or a wonky wonderland, what does the Imperial Priestess Screaming Loz Sutch have in store for us this year?” Tell us a story. Will ya? Will ya?

Judas Priest – Invincible Shield Review

Judas Priest – Invincible Shield Review

“A new Judas Priest album is going to be the most anticipated moment of any year for olden metal folks like yours Steely, unless Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden are also dropping something (and probably even then). 2018s Firepower was a shockingly spry and battle-ready album that showed there was a lot of life left in this metal clergy, and it gave fans reason to expect good things from 20th album, Invincible Shield.” Shield wall or shield fall?

Stuck in the Filter: January’s Angry Misses

Stuck in the Filter: January’s Angry Misses

It’s becoming apparent that our filtering systems work quite well! The crew has done a fine job pulling filth from the workings and releasing the pressure to the system. A second too late and the toilets would have backed up.

Myrath – Karma Review

Myrath – Karma Review

“Alright, earMUSIC. We have to talk. It’s important to know that Myrath is one of my favorite bands on the planet. I’ve been listening to them for well over a decade now, so every time the Tunisian five-piece announces a new album, my rapt, anxious anticipation skyrockets. Frustratingly, since the announcement for sixth LP Karma dropped, album leaks and fake release dates ran amok and led hopeful fans like me to dead Spotify links and rampant misinformation. The repeated PR foibles alone were enough to make me worry that the album wouldn’t be any good. Then, to top it all off, you hand us stream promo? Very naughty! But, that’s okay. All is forgiven because god damn was Karma worth it in the end.” Forgiveness and my wrath.