Manilla Road

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

Northern Crown – In a Pallid Shadow Review and Album Premiere

“I first stumbled upon Northern Crown back in in 2016 when their sophomore platter The Others hit the promo sump as an unheralded self-release. Their odd mix of doom and epic power metal caught my attention, and who could forget those Ms. Pac Man keyboard effects? After we’d had the promo for their upcoming fourth album for a time, Northern Crown founder Zach Randall reached out and asked if we wanted to premiere it. Since this is a band that always pushes creative boundaries and I was enamored with the new material, I jumped at the chance.” Pallid shadows and deep mysteries.

Throne of Iron – Adventure One Review

Throne of Iron – Adventure One Review

“The inspiration for the Bloomington, Indiana based Throne of Iron came to founder Tucker Thomasson when he heard Mark Shelton, the legendary frontman of cult act Manilla Road, had passed away. The band was created as a way to pay homage to the man and his music as well as Thomasson’s love for Dungeons & Dragons. For a time Throne of Iron functioned as a one-man project, but eventually Thomasson drew supporters to the cause and the debut, Adventure One features a full time raiding party/band/nerd herd.” Chaotic-neutral.

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

Ironsword – Servants of Steel Review

“Before mastering the steel, you must first master yourself. Yet mastering oneself requires the mastery of epic metal. This is the riddle of trveness, and why your journey has brought you here to this Ironsword review. Portugal’s most trve of metal bands have long toiled to forge the perfect sword with which to lay waste to posers and the defenders of false metal. In their quest for metal supremacy they traveled the Manilla Road to the ends of the world.” Steel away the night.

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red Review

“Ancient armies will clash. Muscle, sweat, bone and blood will meet gleaming steel. Once tranquil fields will be littered with tattered banners and fallen heroes. This is Ravensire‘s world and we just fight in it. Hailing from Portugal, they’re an epic heavy metal band through and through, taking inspiration from all the best swords (Doomsword, Ironsword), the Viking ethos of Bathory‘s Hammerheart era, and of course, the loin beclothed he-men of Manowar.” Stone beats Steel.

Chevalier – Destiny Calls Review

Chevalier – Destiny Calls Review

“Speed metal is something of an oddity in the vast expanse of metal subgenres. Where most styles have endured through the decades, speed metal was more of a stepping stone to the birth of thrash than anything else, its caffeinated take on heavy metal giving way to something crunchier and more easily classifiable. Perhaps this was for the best, as I can’t think of a single instance where speed metal ever matched the best that either trad or thrash metal has to offer. This hasn’t stopped what I’ve decided to dub the Sneaky Scandinavian Speed Metal Revival, however.” No one expects the SSSMR!

Traveler – Traveler Review

Traveler – Traveler Review

“Another month, another retro band dropping an album on our doorstep. Do we need more retro bands? Actually, we need more of every kind of band, if they’re capable of writing great songs. That will be the key here, as local (to me) boys Traveler aim to blow the lid off the retro/proto scene with eight songs of caffeine-injected, high-energy metallic romps down memory lane. In this case, if that lane had a name, it would be Manilla Road (see what I did there?).” Olde but still getting around.

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

“Join me, boys and girls, for a little history lesson slash tragedy. It was the early 80s in the United States, with thrash metal on the verge of taking over the metal scene completely, particularly in the infamous Bay area. Traditional heavy metal bands in the US were far and few between. Manilla Road’s star was rising, but from San Francisco came the sounds of a wildly creative band, sprung up from the ashes of a band called Prisoner. This band was Brocas Helm, and for a little while after their 1984 debut Into Battle, they seemed poised to be at the forefront of US traditional metal.” Trve romance.

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Exit…Hall Left: The Weenie Metal Round-Up [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“Not everyone can be BRUTAL ENOUGH!!! Some of us are hobbits; diminutive, folksy, averse to Camo™ and Camo™-derived accouterments. Maybe you just want to smell the flowers, despite your allergies. That’s ok. We’re here for you.” Hello, weenies.

Panegyrist – Hierurgy Review

Panegyrist – Hierurgy Review

Steel Druhm‘s black metal appreciation days have largely come and gone as we’ve grown apart and developed irreconcilable differences. Because I’m such a self-aware, introspective gent, I give the genre a wide birth when it comes to promo pluckery lest I savage a band for my own lack of interest. But a strange thing happened on the way to the sump recently. Madam X was sampling new arrivals and I didst hear such a compelling cacophony that I simply had to know who was responsible.” Risky blackness.