King Diamond

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

“Yet, dread begins to grip you as you recognize the name and realize Haunt put up their debut less than a year ago. That’s never a good sign, is it? This can only end in one of two scenarios: this new release is a rushed, directionless piece of shit or If Icarus Could Fly is Part II to Burst into Flame.” Spirited or spirit adrift?

Sacred Monster – Worship the Weird Review

Sacred Monster – Worship the Weird Review

“As my favorite news anchor Morbo once said, “DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!” That’s right Morbo, today we are indeed sampling some doom. Stoner doom to be exact. Most albums of this genre handle such topics ranging from drugs to spiritual enlightenment to nature. Contrary to the established norm, Chicagoan quartet Sacred Monster eschew the drug-addled tropes to scare audiences with a sci-fi horror/thriller themed debut named Worship the Weird. At the very least I expect the band hopes Worship the Weird will shake things up in this overcrowded field.” Stoner monster.

Them – Manor of the Se7en Gables [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Them – Manor of the Se7en Gables [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I have fond memories of poring over classic spooky stories like Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Tell-Tale Heart” at my grandmother’s house and being repulsed and fascinated with the characters, settings, and actions. I got hooked and read Poe’s short stories over and over. Metal is too gore-obsessed to reliably deliver the classic spooks, save for King Diamond… but he hasn’t put anything out since 2007. Who will deliver good old-fashioned spooky stories through the medium of metal?!” BOO(urns)!

Yer Metal Is Olde: Monster Magnet – Powertrip

Yer Metal Is Olde: Monster Magnet – Powertrip

“A little while ago I talked about how 1998 was not a great year for metal. Some loyal thralls disagreed with me, but you know what? I was right. However, I should add to that point the fact that, while 1998 wasn’t a great year, when the music was good it was really good. Bruce Dickinson, Opeth, Blind Guardian, and Iced Earth all released great albums, as did a few other bands I’m sure will surface (again) in the comments here. And yeah, I suppose King Diamond could be included. Not to be overlooked in all of this is Monster Magnet’s grand fifth album, Powertrip.” Power is its own reward.

Unearth – Exctinction(s) Review

Unearth – Exctinction(s) Review

“I’ve always liked Unearth’s style of metalcore, which I first encountered on the genre classic The Oncoming Storm. That’s their high-water mark for me, and the sound of Americanized Swedish melo-death with the breakdowns of metalcore hit both the melodic and kinetic sweet spots. Yes, structurally it was predictable; you could bet successfully that if there was a chugging bit then a melodic one was right around the corner or vice versa, but it worked like gangbusters. The more Unearth adheres to their established sound, in my view, the better.” Stay in your lane!

Hank Von Hell – Egomania Review

Hank Von Hell – Egomania Review

“November: the time of year when Madam X rules the roost with her iron fist. Meaning, this month I’m taking my orders from her, and the first order of business is this Hank Von Hell record. Name ring a bell? It does if you were (or for some reason still are) a Turbonegro fan. Von Hell, then known as Hank Von Helvete, sang for those punky fellows for seventeen years and six records, then stepped away for a variety of reasons both sordid and domestic. His short-lived band, Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult, put out an album in 2011, and then he faded away again until now, where we are presented with Egomania.” Turbo ego.

Malphas – The 39th Spirit Review

Malphas – The 39th Spirit Review

“With a concept album comes even more pressure than a typical release. Not only should the music be good, but it should seamlessly blend with the story. And it’s gotta be convincing. When I listen to King‘s The Puppetmaster, I can feel myself hanging from a hook at a long-forgotten puppet shop in “Living Dead.” I can feel the battle brewing in the barren wasteland of Iced Earth‘s “Desert Rain.” And I can feel the weight hanging on Immortal in Unleash the Archers‘ “Cleanse the Bloodlines.” What’s it feel like to make a pact with a demon to obliterate organized religion?” 39 spirits and a Grier ain’t one.

Antiverse – Under the Regolith Review

Antiverse – Under the Regolith Review

“Of all the adages that exist to roll my eyes to the back of my head, “expect the unexpected” might be the worst. I hate that kind of axiomatically incorrect, cryptic bullshit. But, in a roundabout way, it does hold true. During even the most lean of musical years, a small part of me always perseveres in the hope that, just maybe, an album will come along, entirely off-radar, and take me by surprise. Sometimes, I even wonder if these records exist in abundance in some kind of alternate reality – an Antiverse, if you will.” Bizarro metal.

Witherfall – A Prelude to Sorrow Review

Witherfall – A Prelude to Sorrow Review

Witherfall was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. They came out of left field and blew my doors off with a hyperactive, highly technical take on power-prog rivaling Symphony X and Nevermore. Formed by several White Wizzard ex-pats including guitar titan, Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth), their Nocturnes and Requiems debut was bigger-than-life, over-the-top and spared no wankery or noodling for a rainy day. Luckily, their songwriting was stout enough to stand up to the onslaught of more is MOWWRRR musical showboatery. Just over a year later and they’re back with a new drummer and backing guitarist, and poised to drop their sophomore outing A Prelude to Sorrow.” Draining the wank bank.