Iron Maiden

Crystal Viper – The Cult Review

Crystal Viper – The Cult Review

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little afraid of picking up the new Crystal Viper. Having never let me down, the band’s 2019 release, Tales of Fire and Ice, was truly disappointing. In fact, it’s so disappointing, that after three-to-four spins, I erased it from my computer and threw out the review I was writing. Sadly, its only mention was as a 2019 Disappointment o’ the Year. So, yeah, I was a little worried.” Cult is just another word for family.

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

Tribulation – Where the Gloom Becomes Sound Review

“I’ve loved Tribulation backwards. After Dr. Fisting‘s review introduced me to Down Below, I paid it forward to my fiancée, whose reaction was initially lukewarm. But after we witnessed the band play at the Dynamo Metalfest festival, she became an even bigger fan than I was, and she started spinning their material relentlessly. This obsession exposed me to much of the band’s back catalog, from the recent gothic-oriented material to the early Entombed-style death metal, and even branching off to guitarist Jonathan Hultén’s excellent dark folk solo album Chants From Another Place last year.” Gloom for rent.

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder‘s 2019 debut Uncivilized was covered here by Lokasenna, and since he seems to have quietly and non-suspiciously disappeared, Steel Druhm has seen fit to assign follow-up Breaking the World to yours truly. I have no illusions about why Steel has done this. It’s obvious that he believes I will end up crucifying myself before the commentariat, either by being unable to resist making unsavory jokes about the band’s name, or by going into full Skelator mode by lavishing praise upon yet another heavy metal album with questionable vocals.” Pounding the world.

Wanderer – Awakening Force [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

Wanderer – Awakening Force [Things You Might Have Missed 2020]

“For the second year in a row, a metal band from Portugal floored me with something I had no idea that I wanted to hear until I heard it. Last year it was Midnight Priest, and this year it’s Wanderer with their debut record Awakening Force. It’s not that either band are doing something extremely novel, but it’s their execution and emphasis on specific parts of their influences that make them both special.” All that wander and not lame.

Iron Mask – Master of Masters Review

Iron Mask – Master of Masters Review

“Twenty-twenty has been the year of ore. Iron ore, that is. We’ve seen it extracted from the earth, thrown into the blasting furnace, and molded into steel. From that steel, we’ve seen so many swords forged, that it’s practically raining the motherfuckers. There’s Ironsword and Megatron Sword, Possessed Steel and Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire, to name a few. And it won’t fucking end as long as Steel is fanning the furnace.” Mask ore die.

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

“Then there’re examples like Fast Eddie Clarke walking away from Motörhead and the canning of Ozzy Osbourne by Black Sabbath. Anthrax, Exodus, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest lost their vocalists, who psyched everyone out and returned later anyway. In some cases, end-of-era albums are more like transition pieces—bridging the gap between the band of old and the band of new. Arguably Metallica‘s …And Justice For All fits the bill. It was clear that Justice was different, but it wasn’t until Metallica arrived that everyone saw what Justice really was. King Diamond‘s The Eye is also such an album.” Fading eyesight.

Possessed Steel – Aedris Review

Possessed Steel – Aedris Review

“Looks like 2020 isn’t done throwing swords just yet! In the wake cut by Megaton Sword and Eternal Champion comes the battle hungry debut by Canadian trve metallers Possessed Steel. This means war chanting, armor plating and blade worship is back on the menu as this youthful troop regales us with MOAR tales of dungeons, draGONES, demons and distemper.” Sword problems.

Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations 2020 Review

Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations 2020 Review

“I am not a fan of bands rerecording old classic material. But I make an exception in the case of Lightning to the Nations 2020, the latest offering from NWoBHM elders Diamond Head. Why? Because I can kill two birds with one stone: I write my weekly review as well as a Yer Metal Is Olde article at the same time. Now that’s how you maintain high efficiency! The crux if this review won’t be “how good is this album?” We already know Lightning to the Nations is a super album. It will be “do we need this version?” That’s what enquiring minds want to know.”” Lightning strikes twice?