Iron Maiden

Stygian Crown – Funeral for a King Review

Stygian Crown – Funeral for a King Review

“The clamor of zhangu, taiko, ahuli, tabor—even the timpani in a modern orchestral context—the steady hammering of the battlefield finds a comfort, an attachment to the mallet metronome of such simple instruments. In memory of sorrow, the rhythm of death metal through one of its most bass-rumbling pioneers, Bolt Thrower, finds that war-like march not just in pounding kicks but also weighted guitar harmonies and bass-throttled grooves that stir the warrior’s heart. Stygian Crown in their idiosyncratic expression of the metal arts embodies in part that low-end fueled, sword-rattling thunder. But as the title Funeral for a King may imply, and as the Steel One himself has explored before, Stygian Crown doesn’t just riff, they doom. Oh, do they doom!” Crown Thrower.

Traveler – Prequel to Madness Review

Traveler – Prequel to Madness Review

“Calgary heavy metal five-piece Traveler received consistently favorable coverage from our beloved Huck n Roll since their self-titled debut dropped in 2019. With Huck‘s retirement just over a year ago, somehow Traveler ended up in the land ov Ken. While the hands of Steel are primed to wield this kind of heavy metal with grace, poise, and POWERS, rest assured that I am versatile, strong, and more than capable of handling these wares. Thus, Traveler’s imminent third launch Prequel to Madness earns a session in my court.” Madness meets Kenness.

Byron – Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant Review

Byron – Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant Review

“As metal spawns an ever-growing army of combo meals, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the basics. Finland’s Byron, previously reviewed here by our gone-but-not-forgotten Huck n’ Roll, peddle a brand of occult rock with dashes of NWoBHM. Led by drummer Johannes Lahti—styling himself as Byron V—the band has emerged four years after their debut The Omega Evangelion with follow-up Chapter II: The Lotus Covenant.” Tentacle tantrums.

Acerus – The Caliginous Serenade Review

Acerus – The Caliginous Serenade Review

The Chasm have been cracking skulls since 1994 with their riff-intensive, wildly creative death metal. Over the years they evolved from ass-scratching caveman death to technical insanity engineers, but skulls were always smashed just the same. Though I’ve been a fan forever, somehow I missed that The Chasm’s bassist/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Corchado had an epic/trve metal side project called Acerus and had been releasing albums since 2014. For this, I feel great shame and now I must make amends. The Caliginous Serenade is their fourth release and this one will be properly exposed to the AMG masses!” Ride of the Gorge Warriors.

Savaged – Night Stealer Review

Savaged – Night Stealer Review

“Sometimes a band offers exactly what you want. One glance at Night Stealer by Savaged gave me all I needed to choose it from the promo dump. A roaring space panther scratching a moon in front of an exploding planet? This is exactly the volume-upping, beer-downing, old man-moshing palate cleanser that I needed after a black metal review. Though Spain may not be known for such loutish behavior, Savaged are keen to stake a place for it at heavy/speed metal’s dinner table.” Wild days, Savaged nights.

Sea of Consciousness – Sea of Consciousness Review

Sea of Consciousness – Sea of Consciousness Review

“Credit where credit is due: Sea of Consciousness might be the first band outside of Napalm Records-core to don color-coordinated robes, and I think that’s just kinda neat. It’s further refreshing to see this band releasing their unsigned debut in January, rather than in the slaughterhouse of the autumn pre-awards season. I’d like to think Sea of Consciousness realizes that an early-year release gives them a larger platform by default.” Into the depths of metaldom.

Theophonos – Nightmare Visions [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Theophonos – Nightmare Visions [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Nightmare Visions is a blackened grindcore debut from Michigan’s Theophonos, the brainchild of Jimmy Hamzey (Serpent Column). If that genre label sounds unappetizing, don’t let that deter you. Theophonos took every hard rock and metal song released since 1967, crammed them all into a woodchipper, and assembled the mangled output into a blackened 30-minute hydra. Miraculously, it works.” NightmareER!!

Malokarpatan – Vertumnus Caesar [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Malokarpatan – Vertumnus Caesar [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

‘I don’t know about the rest of you, but work has been a fucking bear this year. Since starting tenish years ago, 2023 might be my lowest contribution to the site. It also caused me to miss a lot of great records I was looking forward to. Thank the sweet metal lord that we have TYMHM. And this one is special.”

Owlbear – Chaos to the Realm [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Owlbear – Chaos to the Realm [Things You Might Have Missed 2023]

Eldritch Elitist first brought Owlbear to my attention by mentioning the band in the AMG back channels, and it was a tip that I forgot almost immediately. Fortunately, I rediscovered the band independently after being drawn by the name and the album artwork. When I started the album, my heart was immediately set ablaze by “Fiend of Fire,” Chaos to the Realm’s fantastic opener and one of the finest trad-metal tracks you’ll hear all year.” Whose sword is this anyway?