Manowar

Amulet – The Inevitable War Review

Amulet – The Inevitable War Review

“A few weeks back, I received a cube-shaped item from Madam X. After spending the requisite time aligning the mirrors in my chamber of decoding, the sun’s light finally shone upon said box which opened to reveal a promo and the following message: “Steel thought you might enjoy this one.” With enormous shame do I remember the arrogance and ungratefulness I exhibited upon that day when I dispatched the coif-clad courier back to AMG HQ with said promo and some form of “Thanks, but I’m good.” While I thought I had moved on and gone about my business, over the following days an almost imperceptible sound began to grow into a still, small voice and finally erupted into a siren’s wail, drawing me to the edge of the promo bin upon my hands and knees. With all of my might, I screamed my repentance towards the sky — “I must have the Amulet!”” Don’t sass the Steel.

Grand Magus – Wolf God Review

Grand Magus – Wolf God Review

“Every few years, Grand Magus ride out from the snowy wilds of Sweden to wave the flag of epic heavy metal and crusade for genre supremacy. Over the years their sound has shifted from a doom-centric approach to one increasingly informed by the likes of Manowar and Visigoth, and on their ninth album, Wolf God, they find themselves repeating familiar refrains and similar ideas to those heard on recent outings.” Of wolf and meh.

Twisted Tower Dire – Wars in the Unknown Review

Twisted Tower Dire – Wars in the Unknown Review

“If all the metal genres got together at a day spa for grooming and pampering, Trve Metal would have the hairiest back in the place and require the most wax and patience. Sure, brutal death and slam are more Neanderthal and low brow, but the trve world revolves around bravado-drenched, chest beating tales of swords, sorcery and sandals to such an extent that it brings out the inner barbarian pelt in even the most introverted, basement-dwelling LARPers. Virginia’s Twisted Tower Dire always mined the depths of this Hyborian ethos, searching for their Arkenstone of inspiration.” Slash and burn.

Vanir – Allfather Review

Vanir – Allfather Review

“What got you here won’t be what gets you there. Vanir know a bit about that. After three doots on the folk metal flute, the Danes bulked up with 2016’s Aldar Rök, adding another axe to the ever-growing Viking metal hordes. I always applaud a pivot; if you’re not improving, you’re dying. But with Vanir‘s first attempt not exactly summoning my Bifrost, my expectations for Allfather are tempered.” Northern haze.

Bloody Times – On a Mission Review

Bloody Times – On a Mission Review

“Saying that I love Night of the Stormrider might be an understatement. In fact, it would be one of the few albums I would rate a perfect 5.0. For those poor souls not in the know, John Greely was the singer on that classic album, and I’ve always thought that his place in metal history is quite fascinating. While he fronted what is arguably Iced Earth‘s finest moment, he’s primarily known as the guy that Matt Barlow replaced. Thinking that Greely had disappeared from the dark saga of heavy metal forever, I was delighted to get the chance to check out a new album featuring his voice. On a Mission is the sophomore album from nominally German band Bloody Times.” Blood on the Ice(d Earth).

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

Vane – Black Vengeance Review

“If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself pondering the great questions of the universe. For instance, like me you’ve probably wondered what would happen if Lamb of God and Kataklysm made sweet love while Alestorm sat in the corner reading them a bedtime story. Unlike most of the big questions plaguing humanity, we no longer have to speculate on this one. Polish band Vane love drama on the high seas, and on their debut album Black Vengeance, they throw their three-pointed hat into the hotly contested ring of pirate metal. Is this going to be worth the pay-per-view fee?” Hoist the N00bs and batten down the skull pit!

Nanowar of Steel – Stairway to Valhalla Review

Nanowar of Steel – Stairway to Valhalla Review

“For the first three years of their existence, Nanowar of Steel operated under the shortened moniker of Nanowar, adding the of Steel subtitle through a hasty MS Paint logo re-work in 2006. As NoS’s Facebook page states, this was done “not in order to spoof Rhapsody of Fire, but for REAL and TRUE copyright issues.” There’s some serious power metal in-jokage going on with the title alone, an infectious cheekiness that has spread to every corner of Stairway to Valhalla’s musical and lyrical execution.” Sign of the Humor.

Corrective Measures: Angry Metal Guy’s Stack o’ Shame Edition

Corrective Measures: Angry Metal Guy’s Stack o’ Shame Edition

“Like with video games or books, one’s “Stack o’ Shame” is the stuff one intends to do but has not been able to do for one reason or another. These reviews are all too late to write full 600-800 word reviews for. On the other hand, I am going to be way too busy this winter to be able to handle writing a bunch of TYMHM. So, I am invoking my right to rule through this (hopefully one-off) post that rounds up some stuff that I fully intended to review and didn’t. So by ways of an apology to both you, the readers, and the albums in my Stack o’ Shame, I bring you some angry, metal blurbs. Mea culpa.” Sometimes sorry is enough.

Ross the Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

Ross the Boss – By Blood Sworn Review

Steely D loves him some Manowar. As ridiculous as their persona became over time, they were one of my favorite bands growing up and I still love that kind of epic, chest-thumping warrior metal. Ross the Boss was the guitarist during the band’s golden era and helped write many of their best songs. He left the fold following 1988s Kings of Metal, and since then he’s dabbled in a solo career only in fits and starts. By Blood Sworn is his third album under the regrettable Ross the Boss moniker, and the first since 2010s Hailstorm.” The crown and the gory.

Preludio Ancestral – Oblivion Review

Preludio Ancestral – Oblivion Review

“Next up on the AMG stack of rotating power metal promos is the fourth studio album from Argentinian independent sympho-heavy/power entity Preludio Ancestral, a band heretofore bound to digital obscurity in the South American underground. The band’s past fits with my general impression of many underground metal acts from South American nations: a strange amalgamation of Spanish and English lyricism, bizarre album cover art, and a penchant for very eccentric, almost anarchical musical stylings that run the gamut from alternative rock, Manowar-hailing shirtless heavy metal, and Euro-styled power metal across individual albums.” Hail, hail the shirtless.