Heavy Metal

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.

Gomorra – Divine Judgement Review

Gomorra – Divine Judgement Review

“At last week’s regular AMG staff shaming re-education session, TheKenWord and I stood in the center of the writers’ circle and explained that our problem with thrash, despite all the riffage, had always been the vocals. Our Steely overseer prescribed a crash course in early Destruction, with the more unusual vocal delivery of Marcel Schirmer, aka Schmier. Having taken my medicine—and enjoyed both Infernal Overkill and Eternal Devastation, it should be said—I was stoked to find that the thrash promo I’d picked up on a whim actually included at least one member of Destruction.” A scorching case of Gomorra.

Sinisthra – The Broad and Beaten Way Review

Sinisthra – The Broad and Beaten Way Review

Sinisthra isn’t a band on the lips of many outside their home country of Finland, and I’m not sure they’re all that well known there either. Their biggest claim to fame is the presence of Tomi Joutsen on vocals. He appeared on their debut way back in 2005 before he was recruited by Amorphis, and after he was, the band went into a state of cryonic freeze. Over the years the various members continued to write music for an eventual followup.” Is this the Way?