Judas Priest

Psychic Hit – Solutio Review

Psychic Hit – Solutio Review

“Summer is generally the time my musical tastes lighten up. It’s just not in my genetic makeup to blast funeral doom while sweating through a heatwave and running through the sprinkler. Summer is for barbeques and the party music that accompanies such (now, finally) socially non-distanced activities. Here that party music is generally throwback stuff, and that’s where Psychic Hit comes in. Their debut album Solutio is firmly rooted in 70s hard rock and metal, and these days even the most jaded of patio guests can get behind that stuff as long as it’s good.” So, so, Solutio.

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay Review

Silver Talon – Decadence and Decay Review

“It’s amazing to me the camps formed from a single band. And I’m not even talking about a popular arena band. I’m talking about Oregon’s laid-to-rest Spellcaster. First, there was Idle Hands—now known as Unto Others—a band that shocked many-o’ peep around these parts. A name that showed up on lists and haunted many a comment section. Where they’ll go from here, no one quite knows. But, I know we can expect big things. Another outfit that launched from the ashes of Spellcaster is Silver Talon.” Idle talons.

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

“I’ve given out a 4.0 or twenty-one in my time, but this is the first time that one of 4.0ldeneye‘s highly 4.0nored 4.0nies returns 4.0me for yet another s4.0t at glory. Just under two years ago, Portland, Oregon’s Bewitcher released Under the Witching Cross, their sinister sophomore platter of blackened speed metal tunes, and I still haven’t been able to locate my socks after the resulting off-blowing. That record was oozing with attitude, and every track was a killer. I was stoked to hear that the band had been picked up by Century Media for follow-up effort Cursed Be Thy Kingdom.” Cursed by great expectations.

Yer Metal is Olde: Riot – Thundersteel

Yer Metal is Olde: Riot – Thundersteel

“Unlike the other bands featured in these Retro-spective reviews, New York’s own Riot is a seminal, long running and well known act. Slogging away since 1977, they released classic albums like Rock City and Fire Down Under. So why are they included here you ask? Well, one of their albums seems to have been lost in time and forgotten even though I regard it as their best by far. That album is, or course, 1988’s Thundersteel.” Steel on Steel.

Significant Point – Into the Storm Review

Significant Point – Into the Storm Review

Significant Point. This band name has caused some amount of controversy around the AMG beer cooler for its apparent strangeness. Alternative band names such as Topic Sentence and Eminent Predicate were tossed around with mirth and glee, and the sniggering appeared to drown out the thunder in the east, but I still heard the distant rumblings. Significant Point exists to make a significant point potent statement: heavy metal never dies.” Point taken.

Coronary – Sinbad Review

Coronary – Sinbad Review

“I first heard of Coronary when they did a split release with local heroes (and overall excellent band) Traveler a few years ago. While the cuts of the  Traveler trio were more raw and old-school, the Coronary selection was more like the offspring of Accept and Judas Priest — and equally invigorating.” Strongbad.

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

Yoth Iria – As The Flame Withers Review

“The debut of a band formed by seasoned veterans is, in a way, the best of both worlds. You get the fresh perspective of a new artist, eager to try something different, without the inexperience that may lead to errors in performances or songwriting. You also get all the good of a collection of artists who know what they’re doing, without the expectations that come with extensive back catalogs, hard-earned fan bases and established styles. Yoth Iria is one such acts, and As The Flame Withers is such a debut.” New black is the new black.

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.

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.