Manilla Road

Blazon Rite – Endless Halls of Golden Totem Review

Blazon Rite – Endless Halls of Golden Totem Review

“As spring slowly gives way to a hopefully post-Covid summer, thoughts turn to sunshine, sand, and SWORDS! Yes, summertime is when a young man longs to launch campaigns of conquest and quaff strange brews from the skulls of mortal enemies. Philly-based trve metal ensemble Blazon Rite timed their debut full-length to hit right when the urge to pillage begins to take hold, and Endless Halls of Golden Totem promises olde timey, proto-metal worship hopelessly stuck in the early 80s with Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road influences present and accounted for.” Don’t count your totem until they’re defiled.

Desolate Realm – Desolate Realm Review

Desolate Realm – Desolate Realm Review

“My thirst for epic doom has largely gone unslaked for too long now. I got a satisfying morsel of it with Servants to the Tide‘s debut, but it merely served to arouse my appetite without bedding it back down properly. Now desperate, I stumble upon another 2-man epic doom project, this one called Desolate Realm and composed of 2 members of Finnish death metal act Decaying.” Deadlift doom.

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

Megaton Sword – Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire Review

“Is that a Megaton Sword in your armor or are you just happy to see me? In trvth it is I who is happy to see Megaton Sword riding the tide of righteous battle on their debut full-length ode to all things edged and deadly. This Swiss cutthroat crew is carved from the same olde school stone as acts like VisigothEternal Champion, and ageless legends like Cirith Ungol, and they deliver heroic tales of braver and medieval butchery on the excellently titled Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire.” Big iron.

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.