Iced Earth

Pharaoh – The Powers That Be Review

Pharaoh – The Powers That Be Review

“For a time it seemed Philly-based Pharaoh would be the vanguard of a new wave of gritty American traditional/power metal. Albums like The Longest Night and 2012s Bury the Light bristled with burly riffs and rough-hewn vocals, accentuated by super slick musicality and proggy elements. After nearly nine years without a release, the band’s forward momentum is a thing of the distant past, but that doesn’t mean they can’t drop another barn burning dose of heavy metal thunder with fifth album The Powers That Be.” Curse of the Pharaoh!

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

Son of Sam – And the Monster Awoke… Review

“When Rimfrost disbanded after their magnificent Expedition: Darkness, I thought I’d never get to review something from them again. What’s this gotta do with Rimfrost? You’re about to find out. After Rimfrost parted ways, drummer Throllv and bassist Khratos joined forces to create new music under the moniker Son of Sam. But what is Son of Sam? Is it the next phase of Rimfrost‘s sound? Will they dig deeper than ever to top Expedition: Darkness? Or, is this something else?” The monster next door.

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

“Oh boy. There’s a crying child on the cover. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to metal covers, it’s that a crying child on the cover means serious business. Because really, who grabs an album with a weeping toddler off the shelf to liven up a party? Sociopaths, that’s who! So, after this introduction to my grab bag result of the week, what kind of seriousness is this Illusory? Well, the band’s been around for almost 30 years, but until less than a decade ago it was still known as The Ivory Tower and released a whole one album.” In a time-out.

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

Motorjesus – Hellbreaker Review

“Windshield time also gives me the chance to re-explore my favorite albums. I rarely listen to new promos on the road. This time is dedicated to albums from the Road Gods. Give me something bluesy, something rocking, something upbeat, something I can blare with windows down and my foot inching closer to the floor. Give me something I can scream at the top of my lungs and shift gears to. The simpler, the better. The groovier, the sweeter.” Jesus repossessed your hot rod.

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos Review

Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos Review

“While at one point it certainly seemed like Nervosa would become another bullet point in a long list of last year’s disasters, the Brazilian thrashers successfully survived 2020. They came out of it wounded like most of the world, sure, but still alive and kicking. If anything, the loss of the rest of her band (bassist and vocalist Fernanda Lira and drummer Luana Dametto) due to cryptic “personal reasons” seems to have viciously reinvigorated the group’s founder and frontwoman Prika Amaral.” Reborn in chaos.

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Heathen – Empire of the Blind [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“Heathen. I’ve got three shirts that say it and nine people that call me that. I liken it to a word like ‘dickhead.’ It’s got great pop and works in all situations. Though it’s maybe more fun to call my mom a ‘dickhead’ rather than a ‘heathen.’ But, I suppose it depends on the day. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about that other Heathen. The one that released Empire of the Blind, and we never got it.” Blind fury.

Schaffer/Barlow Project – Winter Nights Review

Schaffer/Barlow Project – Winter Nights Review

“It was all fun and games at first. “Give the n00b this symphonic power Christmas album. That’ll weed him out.” Everyone had a good laugh, and I survived the ordeal, but then there was precedent. So the following year, a second flaming bag of reindeer shit marked “Christmas Cookies” was ding-dong-ditched at my be-wreathed door. I played along while Steel and AMG giggled behind the bushes. But when a seasonal lump of coal by power metal power players shows up in the promo bin, suddenly it’s not so funny. Suddenly there are whisperings in the break room. “Don’t give it to Cherd. He doesn’t even like power metal.” “I heard he doesn’t even celebrate Christmas. Didn’t someone say he’s Jewish?” Well guess what bitches, I’m subjecting myself to this one out of spite.” Season’s beating!

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

“France’s Nightmare are no strangers to the heavy metal scene. The band’s origins go back four decades to their foundation as a punk outfit in 1979. Over the next few years, the punk stylings gave way to the burgeoning heavy metal sound of the early 80s and the band released a couple of full-lengths before going on hiatus in 1988. But Nightmare‘s best work was yet to come.” Dream warriors.