Led Zeppelin

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces – Impulse to Soar Review

Calyces’ mastermind is singer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer Manthos Stergiou, late of Tardive Dyskinesia. This time around, Stergiou and his bandmates are going for a sound that is heavily influenced by Mastodon, Baroness, and Tool. This has been done to death, so the key to making it work is writing great songs and establishing your own original take on those bands’ sounds.” Impulse to ape.

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf cite influences that include Witchcraft, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Black Sabbath, and it all fits. Between the band lineup—two guitarists, three vocalists, plus bass and drums—and a healthy helping of fuzz that permeates without overpowering, Kryptograf wears its ‘60s influences loudly and proudly.” Fuzzy navel gazing.

Freddy and the Phantoms – A Universe from Nothing Review

Freddy and the Phantoms – A Universe from Nothing Review

“I found myself wondering whether the members of Freddy and the Phantoms who aren’t the eponymous vocalist/keyboardist Frederick (Freddy) Schnoor write down “Phantom at Freddy and the Phantoms” on their resume. The promo material did not answer this pressing question, so I’ll happily assume they do. Also on the resume of any given Phantom is participation in one of 2015’s best rock records: Times of Division.” Rocking the stars.

The Alligator Wine – Demons of the Mind Review

The Alligator Wine – Demons of the Mind Review

“Picture a scene of domestic bliss lockdown homelife, as Mrs. Carcharodon enters to the kitchen, where yours truly is playing with the shark pup, and, after a lengthy pause, asks: “Is this one of your promos? It’s actually pretty good—sort of reminds me of Nick Cave in one of his alter egos like Grinderman.” An astute observation and one that got me wondering, what are the limits or boundaries to what we do and do not review here on this ol’ metal review site.” Power metal, and only power metal.

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Demons & Wizards – III Review

Blind Guardian has always fed my fantastical appetite through the years—providing me with stories and full concept records at a pace and with a passion that is pure fun. Then, there’s Iced Earth. A band that has given me plenty of headbangable moments and vivid imagery through their own concepts—even crushing my spirit at times with heartbreaking ballads and war/lost-love themes. When I first heard Demons & Wizards, I realized it was no different. In a single band, I could experience the storytelling nature of Blind Guardian and the crushing, yet crippling character of Iced Earth. For two—now three—records, this has been the goal of this power-metal duo. But, fifteen years is a long time to go without your partner-in-crime. Even identical twins can lose a connection after a decade-and-a-half of separation. So, what’s that mean for Kürsch and Schaffer and their precious III?” Two Demons, one Triwizard Cup.

Hex A.D. – Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden Review

Hex A.D. – Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden Review

“I’d never heard of the band, but for the next two weeks, I listened to the album at least 25 times. I lived it. I breathed it. The review I produced was no Tolstoyan masterpiece, but the score was correct, and I remain weirdly proud of it. Netherworld Triumphant was a cool, bluesy amalgamation of a whole bunch of 70s and 80s hard rock influences, performed by talented musicians having a lot of fun. It wasn’t original, but it worked. It was also my ticket out of the Skull Pit. Now, a mere 15 months later, the Norwegians return with the ridiculously titled Astro Tongue in the Electric Garden.” Tongue AND groove.

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

“There are still bands out there that hearken back to the loud, bluesy days of hard rock. Clutch is today’s prime example of that style, and ZZ Top is the granddaddy. Both bands love the blues, and love to boogie. You can add Floridian quartet The Electric Mud to that cadre. These guys are beer drinkers and hellraisers, and on sophomore album Burn the Ships they aim to show us all how gritty southern blues-rock should be played.” Deep South ship kicking.

Here Lies Man – No Ground to Walk Upon Review

Here Lies Man – No Ground to Walk Upon Review

“I love imagining new music genres. What if somebody made blackened thrash with cleanly sung choruses? What if somebody made war metal with melodic death metal riffs? What if somebody made music like The Acacia Strain that was actually good? California’s Here Lies Man asked their own version of this question: what if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?” World music downfall.

Ruff Majik – Tårn Review

Ruff Majik – Tårn Review

“Reviewing a band for the first time is a very different affair from reviewing a band whose work has passed my hands before. In the former case, it largely feels like reviewing the band itself, since in my perception I am holding the band’s entire body of work (which is the case with debuts, though not otherwise). In the latter case, it’s more akin to chronicling the way a band is evolving, or in some cases, devolving over the years. And the more reviews I write, the more I run into the latter case.” Ruff evolution.

Shotgun Sawyer – Bury the Hatchet Review

Shotgun Sawyer – Bury the Hatchet Review

“Okay, I know that back in February I promised myself no more retro rock. But a shift in release dates created a gap in my calendar, and Madam X, in her infinite wisdom, bestowed upon me an album as retro as it gets: Bury the Hatchet, the sophomore album from Californian blues/metal trio Shotgun Sawyer. I groaned inwardly, hit the download button, and prepared for the worst.” C’mon Hucky, don’t fear the retro.