Iron Maiden

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

“2019 was a dream for me when it came to reviews: nearly 20% of the albums I covered were released by bands within 150 miles of my house, and of those several can be found in my own Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Quayde LaHüe and Mortiferum impressed me, and the now infamous “Skelator Incident” induced heretofore unseen levels of arousal and nearly resulted in my actual firing from this site. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the temptation to grab the debut of Seattle’s Sölicitör.” Criminal sölicitatiön.

Traveler – Termination Shock Review

Traveler – Termination Shock Review

“We here in Calgary have the reputation of being a bunch of gas-guzzling, oil-loving, separatist-bent, racist rednecks (95% incorrect 92% of the time), but we also have some excellent bands. Woodhawk, Wake, Chron Goblin, and Gone Cosmic, to name a few. Local upstarts Traveler look to join this exalted pantheon of local heavy music gods, and their debut, last year’s Traveler, was a fine first step.” Olde trails.

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

Absolva – Side by Side Review

Absolva – Side by Side Review

Absolva, the act entirely composed of the touring band for Blaze Bayley, have returned with their fifth album of slightly modernized NWoBHM. I first stumbled on these gents back in 2017 when their Defiance platter wound up on my desk, and found their style easy to like and as familiar as a favorite pair of socks. This is a crew of seasoned veterans from the U.K. traditional metal scene, and guitarist Luke Appleton even finds time to play bass for Iced Earth when not touring with Blaze.” Blazing new trails.

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

Lord Vigo – Danse De Noir Review

“I went for a walk on a beautiful day – fifteen degrees Celsius or so – and gave Danse de Noir, the fourth record from German metallers Lord Vigo, its maiden voyage through my ears and mind. Within five minutes, I was reminded why I love this outstanding little genre called metal. Lord Vigo plays trad metal in the vein of Ram but stirs some Candlemass and Angel Witch into the mix for good measure.” Metal appreciation.

Malokarpatan – Krupinské ohne Review

Malokarpatan – Krupinské ohne Review

“No matter who you are or where you live, everyone is being asked to stay home from a job that they may not get to come back to. Or… living it up with their family in a mansion whose walls sport the fashionable 2020 Vintage Toilet Tissue Wallpaper. Then there’re others of us that push on like nothing is happening. Regardless of your dilemma, this shit has come out of nowhere and I-just-went-in-for-eggs-and-left-after-four-hours-because-only-ten-people-were-allowed-into-the-store-at-one-time is a thing. Everyone’s upset and no one knows what’s gonna happen next. Funny enough, that’s the perfect attitude to have for Malokarpatan‘s newest masterpiece, Krupinské ohne.”

Primeval Mass – Nine Altars Review

Primeval Mass – Nine Altars Review

“What is it about black metal that drives artist to go at it solo? You rarely hear about one man thrash or prog metal bands, yet some of the biggest and most influential black metal artists take their journey solitary, including the likes of Panopticon and early Windir. They usually get by with the assistance of a guest musician or two. And most of these hermits even specialize in the same subcategory of atmospheric black metal. Maybe the inherent misanthropy of black metal specifically has something to do with it, or people copying their examples. Maybe it’s simply an easier genre to solo than others. Whatever the case, Primeval Mass is another example, with main man Orth taking up vocals, guitars and bass, leaving drums to session musician George C.” One man, nine altars.

Dead Kosmonaut – Gravitas Review

Dead Kosmonaut – Gravitas Review

“January has been kind to me, and while I haven’t been the overrating bastard that Holdeneye has, I also haven’t had anything bad come my way. Am I just in a good mood? Likely not, since I hate winter. Even this blind dip into the promo bin, Dead Kosmonaut’s second album, Gravitas, has been more than a pleasant surprise, helping pull me out of the winter doldrums with a wholly unexpected sound and style.” Crushed by an anchor.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

“From my perspective, this is a big year for Yer Metal Is Olde pieces, and it starts off with this piece of work. Iron Maiden wasn’t my first purchase by these legends: that would be The Number of the Beast, when it came out back in 1982. But after being blown away by that album as a twelve-year-old, I quickly gobbled up whatever else I could find – which wasn’t much. A few months later I grabbed my cassette copy of Killers, then the Maiden Japan EP, and finally their debut. So by the time I’d worked my way to this album, well, it confused me a bit. Why?” Eddie is olde.