Judas Priest

AMG Goes Ranking – Goatwhore

AMG Goes Ranking – Goatwhore

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. The reviewing collective at AMG lurches from one new release to the next, errors and nOObs strewn in our wake. But what if, once in a while, the collective paused to take stock and consider the discography of those bands that shaped many a taste? What if two three aspects of the AMG collective personality shared with the slavering masses their personal rankings of that discography.” Vote Goatwhore.

Kings of Mercia – Kings of Mercia Review

Kings of Mercia – Kings of Mercia Review

“Here we are for Round 2 of Battle of the Bands. Round 1 took place back on August 12, when Ray Alder and Mark Zonder conspired to release their exceptionally strong A-Z album. Now we’ve got the response from Jim Matheos and Joey Vera, another eponymous debut, by their new band Kings of Mercia.” Fates be warned.

Trauma – Awakening Review

Trauma – Awakening Review

“Founding drummer Kris Gustofson is back with the band’s recent guitar duo, ex-Testament powerhouse Greg Christian, and little-known Brian Allen (ex-Vicious Rumors and the like). And together, these old boys bring the heat. More than any other album in their catalog, Awakening is a true thrasher. While Allen still sports classic high-ends made popular by Hillier, Anthrax, Heretic, and Metal Church, he can also throw down some Zetro Souza-isms and monstrous growls. Awakening sees the band traverse unfamiliar waters that might or might not fracture their fanbase. But this new record feels like the comeback we’ve always longed to hear.” Past Trauma present.

Birth – Born Review

Birth – Born Review

“As I listened to Born by Birth, it became clear I was witnessing another throwback progressive rock band being, well…born; one which harkens back to a bygone era of English prog majesty; less identified by the harder-edged, complex compositions of early Rush and more by the extended jams and intricate, less metallic instrumentation of King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Genesis. These were the bands I’d fallen in love with during my earlier sojourns, and it’s clear the Birth boys feel similarly.” Born too late.

Yer Metal is Olde: Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer

Yer Metal is Olde: Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer

“To put things ever so gently, the 1990s were not a good time for heavy metal, especially not the classic triumvirate of British heavy metal. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, both riding the winds of success of the 1980s, were struggling to stay afloat due to dips in quality of music, the change of musical tastes in people, the looming flannel-cloaked spectre of grunge, and both their vocalists leaving to pursue solo careers. Black Sabbath, though… hoo boy.” More Humanizer than a human, man.

Mirror – The Day The Bastard Leaders Die Review

Mirror – The Day The Bastard Leaders Die Review

Mirror plays a NWoBHM-inspired brand of retro metal. They also reflect a variety of influences from 70s prog to early 80s metal. Their third album, The Day Bastard Leaders Die, offers up a 44-minute tour back to the time when class was stained, and killers were running free. The band is a passion project for Greek bassist, Tasos Danazoglou – most famously known for his short stint in Electric Wizard. Here he’s under the influence again paying tribute to the music he clearly loves.” Faded reflections and bad luck.

In Aphelion – Moribund Review

In Aphelion – Moribund Review

“I’ve declared my undying love for Necrophobic (or Necrop4.0bic, as I affectionately refer to them) in the past, and I’ve described how their melodic blackened death sound was what paved the way for my burgeoning love of black metal. Mark of the Necrogram and “Tsar Bomba” left an indelible, five-pointed mark upon me, and I was absolutely delighted when follow-up Dawn of the Damned ended up being just as great or better. Between those two albums, I fell head over heels for the guitar playing of Johan Bergebäck and Sebastian Ramstedt, and I even went so far as to describe Necrophobic’s music as “blackened Judas Priest,” mostly because of that duo’s ability to infuse the band’s sound with classic heavy metal swagger. So you can imagine the violence of my excitement when I discovered that Bergebäck and Ramstedt had joined forces with Cryptosis drummer Marco Prij to form a pure black metal project named In Aphelion.” Are you Moribund?

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Venator – Echoes From the Gutter Review

Echoes From the Gutter finds Venator expanding upon the classic sound they established on the well-executed and well-received 2020 Paradiser EP, a sound that finds them worshipping with reverent fervor before the alter of the deities of early 80s British and American heavy metal. When I listen to these guys, I hear Defenders-era Judas Priest mixed with Jag Panzer, Angel Witch, and Omen; their songs are undeniably heavy and irresistibly catchy.” Hello from the metal gutter.

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

Sin Starlett – Solid Source of Steel Review

“Calling something new “NWoBHM” is a tricky proposition. Some bands and labels seem to fall on the description as a lazy synonym for Maiden, but that clearly only captures a slice of the historical scene. Sin Starlett’s tendency to swap out huge sections of the wardrobe between albums only amplifies the confusion in calling them simply “NWoBHM.” 2012’s awfully-named Throat Attack saw Starlett wear through the combined speed and pop sensibilities of Defenders of the Faith-era Judas Priest. 2016’s Digital Overload, meanwhile, saw the Starletts adopt thrashier trappings. The borderline thrash riffs and vocal barks seemed to signal a new direction for follow-up Solid Source of Steel. Wherever steel may roam.

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns – We Set the World on Fire Review

Freaks and Clowns is a Swedish quintet, two full-lengths into their five-year career. While undoubtedly power metal in Christer Wahlgren’s vibrato-laden trills, expect little Rhapsody of Fire sword-flashing here. Injected with a healthy dose of AC/DC-esque hard rock and aptly energetic Gothenburg riffing with an Avatar clown theme to boot, tracks range from glam-themed arena-rock anthems to take-no-prisoners beatdowns of riffy goodness.” Game of clowns.