Helloween

Scordatura – Mass Failure Review

Scordatura – Mass Failure Review

“Traditional death metal has, to my ears, endured more strongly than the base forms of other metal subgenres. Second wave idolizers have me regularly convinced that options for tremolo riffs dried up around the time Darkthrone released Panzerfaust, while modern practitioners of power metal infinitely scrawl tally marks on the tomb of Helloween‘s “Eagle Fly Free.” But something about classic death metal has proven impossibly recyclable; from Blood Incantation to Necrot, many of the best bands keep the style fresh by doing hardly anything new at all. Enter Scordatura, who do little to break this trend.” Failure is not an option.

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

Moonlight Haze – Lunaris Review

“Angry Metal Guy’s latest n00b interrupts your regularly scheduled black metal to bring the ultimate question: is power metal metal? “It has the word metal in it, so of course it is, you babbling bumbling baboon,” you say. I get it, and it’s been proven again and again, but while various facets of the metalverse have to justify why they’re not rock, power metal is one of the only styles that must justify why it’s not pop.” Justify our love.

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.

Stormwarrior – Norsemen Review

Stormwarrior – Norsemen Review

“Aeons ago, long before I answered the casting call to write for this prestigious hostile work environment or had even commented on a review, I was but a reader and lurker of the site. Even then, I imagined that I might one day find my name written upon the sacred digital stone of AMG’s “About” tab. I fancied that I might form an inseparable bond with one Swordborn, the site’s apparent resident cheese custodian. In my fantasies, we’d frolic together through meadows like metal Cupids, firing 4.0’s and 4.5’s at power metal albums all willy nilly, laughing all the while.” Oh, so this is one of those fanfics.

Iron Kingdom – On the Hunt Review

Iron Kingdom – On the Hunt Review

“Much like the subject depicted in this album’s artwork, once I took a swing at the advance track for On the Hunt and saw the resultant blood, I had to follow the trail to see where it ended. So, donning my Arctic Wolf Fur Armor (+50% Cold Resistance), I tracked my prey through forest and field until finally coming upon an open gate. I steeled my resolve and ventured forth into the land beyond. I had entered the Iron Kingdom.” Come for the iron, stay for the metal.

Iron Savior – Kill or Get Killed Review

Iron Savior – Kill or Get Killed Review

Iron Savior can’t be fought, Iron Savior can’t be sought. Brought to life in 1997 by original Helloween frontman Piet Sielck, the band’s made a respectable career for themselves by beefing up the base sound of Piet’s genre-defining former act with traditional and NWoBHM influences, resulting in a gritty, cantankerous hybrid. Kill or Get Killed is their tenth album in this meat n’ fancy taters style, and they sound none the worse for wear after 21 years in the iron trenches.” You can’t kill the olde.

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

“When it comes to power metal, I’m really not difficult to please. My expectations for a good example of the genre are no more elevated than the baseline that Helloween established over three decades ago; the material needs to be fun, energetic, and hooky, and if a band can pull this off, I ask for little else. I don’t think there’s a power metal act out there that fails to identify this recipe for success, yet so very few of them manage to capitalize. The style is plagued by countless bands rehashing watered down pop melodies against toothless power chords, seemingly unable to perceive that they utterly lack the charisma that elevated their influences. Thornbridge sees these pretenders, and says ‘we can do better.'” Though, with a name like Theatrical Masterpiece, there is a sense that they might be setting expectations a tad high.

Sinbreed – IV Review

Sinbreed – IV Review

“In the early days of my love affair with Euro-power metal, I cared not how cheesy, melodic or un-macho the music was as long as it was catchy and fun. From Helloween‘s funny creatures and pink bubbles to whatever colon clogging Velveeta casserole Stratovarius was serving up, it was all good. Somewhere along the road to olde age however, I started expecting more power in my Euro-power, and my tastes turned towards bands that remembered to put the precious metal in their molasses confections. That’s why Sinbreed always struck a chord with me.” A farewell to balls.

Eunomia – The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I Review

Eunomia – The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I Review

“Every tepid, derivative power metal act I’ve ever reviewed for this humble blog, pay attention: This is how it’s done. Please, for the love of Turilli, don’t take this to mean that Eunomia‘s The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I, the brainchild of one Peter Danielsen, is a sterling example of a refined power metal release; mimicking this record’s technical foibles would be, on all fronts, an objectively bad idea.” War clubbing.