King Diamond

Kontact – Full Contact Review

Kontact – Full Contact Review

“When a band draws so clearly on an aged aesthetic, the results can be hard to parse as pastiche, worship, or otherwise. Even moreso in niche corners like the epic heavy metal crowd, where soaring vocals of varying qualities—all hoping to stick in your mind regardless—triumph alongside thick kicks, thicker riffs, and battle-tested builds, worshippers of the riff conflict with worshippers of the riffers. Enter Kontact, a young Canadian troupe whose 2022 release, the cheeky-titled EP First Contact, played tightly on the ideas set forth by the idiosyncratic but ever-mountainous Manilla Road, but with enough of their space-bound palette to paint a few stripes of their own.” Bad touch.

Angerot – The Profound Recreant Review

Angerot – The Profound Recreant Review

Angerot ventures deep into the Valley of Ov on The Profound Recreant, leaning hard into the strain of theatrical Satanism that ran through their first two albums. We’re defiling daughters here, swallowing other people’s mucous, and slaking the lust of the recently widowed. Choirs chime in to document the various blasphemies, with horns and keys dropping by to add occasional symphonic flourishes.” Devil by the tail.

Black Cross Hotel – Hex Review

Black Cross Hotel – Hex Review

“Is there anything better than a horror-themed album? I think not. But, being the mentally unstable King Diamond fan that I am, I’m sure that’s no surprise to anyone. But you won’t find soaring falsettos and soloing as old as Steel on Black Cross Hotel’s debut record, Hex. Instead, you’ll discover Killing Joke-inspired industrial metal mingled with punky vocals and synths that you’d swear came from a John Carpenter movie.” The horror….

Them – Fear City Review

Them – Fear City Review

“It’s with great trepidation that I come to you this day. It’s 1980-something, and the world is coming apart. The Reagan administration has begun, John Lennon is dead, crime riddles the streets, and, by a freak toxic waste accident, KK Fossor is back. And back with a vengeance. After the death of his family and the destruction of the villainous Peter Thompson, we arrive at a new chapter of the story. On a mission to rid the world of Thompson’s bloodline, KK travels to the cesspool that is Fear City.” Pizza rats and baseball bats.

Lugnet – Tales from the Great Beyond Review

Lugnet – Tales from the Great Beyond Review

“Look who’s back! Our favorite crazy uncle band from 2019, Lugnet. The Stockholm boys have made it through the last few years relatively unscathed (perhaps without a haircut) and have put together a follow-up to 2019’s surprisingly strong Nightwalker album. I’ve waxed on in the past about how tiresome it can be to have bands aping the salad days of the 70s or 80s hard rock and metal scenes, but the songwriting is always the key to success – not just in this genre, but music in general.” Lug nuts.

Alex Nunziati – Il Mangiatore di Peccati Review

Alex Nunziati – Il Mangiatore di Peccati Review

“After forming and performing with Italy’s Theatres des Vampires for many years, Nunziati left to pursue other avenues. The most famous of these was his gothic, symphonic black metal spin-off, Lord Vampyr. With a gnarly rasp that brings to mind the mighty Cadaveria from her stint with Opera IX, Nunziati carved a name for himself alongside compatriots of his defunct Shadowsreign. But Nunziati hasn’t stopped there—preferring to keep himself busy with other creations and contributions, like Cain, Hermeticum, Iamthemonster, and Malamorte. And now, as if Nunziati can’t help but continue creating new ventures to quench his creative thirst, he brings us a debut record under his own name.” Circus of freakshows.

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

Hyperia – Silhouettes of Horror Review

“It’s been a long time since I reviewed a thrash metal album. When I stumbled upon Hyperia’s Silhouettes of Horror in the promo dump, though, I knew I had to have it. First of all, the Canadian quartet touted themselves as “melodic thrash,” then they followed up with an elaboration including attractive attributes like “insanity” and “drinking.” Plus, the album artwork boasts that classic stylized look that graced many a thrash slip cover over the years. It seemed to me that Hyperia had all of their ducks in a row for their second record, and I was eager to pass judgment upon it accordingly.” Duck, duck, moose!