Iron Maiden

Bullet Ride – At the Gates of Hell Review

Bullet Ride – At the Gates of Hell Review

“Can heavy music make you a better person? France’s Bullet Ride seems determined to answer that question on At the Gates of Hell, which may just pioneer the sub-genre of “self-help metal.” Here are ten thrash-adjacent tunes that lean heavily into their themes of overcoming an ever-shifting combination of adversity, despair, and shitty exes. These veterans of regional acts like Methadol and Divine Punishment have crafted a bright, melodic debut that was not at all what I expected when I requested a blackened thrash promo from Dr. Overlord Himself.” Handling the unknown is an important part of successful n00bery.

Imperialist – Zenith Review

Imperialist – Zenith Review

“Some albums hit at just the right time, and Imperialist‘s debut was right on schedule. In 2018, the year I would personally call the weakest year for metal of my AMG tenure, Cipher was a commanding force of bullshit-negative black metal, and easily one of my most-listened-to records of that year despite its late release. So then… where was it on my list? Ah. Yes. Near the bottom of my honorable mentions, chucked there as an almost-afterthought.” Royal authority.

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

“2021 was a mightily backloaded year of metal. I didn’t love a lot of stuff from January through August and I was coasting along with a very low yearly rating average. Since August however, it seems every other album I dive into is a blast and it’s done major damage to that once pristine median. Now comes the classic metal stylings of Iron Fate to play mischief with Steel ‘s ledger of maths.” Let olde acquaintance be not forgotten.

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

“You might be surprised to hear that even in a position of relative music authority, more than a handful of my recommendations fall flat. Case in point: Riptime. I’ve preached the virtues of this album more than a handful of times on Twitter to zero fanfare. My AMG colleagues, caught in the fever of the 2021 list season, essentially shrugged it off. Now here I am, in full clown makeup, writing a few hundred words to apparently nobody at all. And that’s okay, because even if it’s for my own amusement, there’s no other band I’d rather be writing about right now than Mega Colossus.” Mega ginormous.

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

“Take a moment, if you will, and try to recall what you were doing thirty-five years ago. I can’t do that myself, because I’m Twelve, but you should try anyway, if only to appreciate the fact that Alien Force last released a full-length album about that long ago. There have been a few reasons for this, but I bring it up mainly to share my respect for the determination and longevity of these four musicians. The Danes of Alien Force play traditional heavy metal, and their third full-length release, We Meet Again, carries within it many of the same inspirations that can be heard on their debut and sophomore records from the 1980s.” Ancient aliens.

Morgul Blade – Fell Sorcery Abounds Review

Morgul Blade – Fell Sorcery Abounds Review

“For the roughly eight months that I’ve been an official AMG toilet cleaner reviewer, several things have become clear to my fellow writers: I rate low, my coffee consumption is high, and I love Lord of the Rings. This latter piece of information comes in handy when I want to get my grubby paws on any LotR-themed album that flows down the mighty Anduin and into our flea-infested promo bog. Knowing my penchant for Baggins n’ Balrogs, the kind souls who inhabit these halls will often give me a heads up when something Ring-adjacent arrives. Such was the case with Morgul Blade.” Orc and black bean pudding.

FireWölfe – Conquer All Fear Review

FireWölfe – Conquer All Fear Review

“It’s been a sparse year for traditional metal for old Holdeneye. I usually cover at least a few albums of the classic variety each year, but as I look back over the travesty that is my “Albums Reviewed” spreadsheet, I see only one 2021 album with the lone “heavy metal” tag. A couple of factors play into this shortage, namely supply chain issues (read: Steel Druhm takes most of the classic metal albums for himself because he’s old) and my own lack of productivity. Well, the holiday season is the perfect time to set all wrongs right, so I swiftly grabbed this, the third record from FireWölfe.” Power…of the Wölfe.

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

Siren’s Rain – Rise Forth Review

“Sometimes, the cover of an album is meaningless, you know, just a cliched picture of a skull or zombie or something to adorn the record sleeve. Sometimes, however, the artwork can tell you a lot, both about what to expect from a record and about the band behind it, which presumably signed off—or in a few cases even designed—the artwork in question. In the case of Tacoma, Washington’s Siren’s Rain and their self-released debut album, Rise Forth, the artwork triggered an all too familiar sinking feeling.” Graphic displays.