Mercyful Fate

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

Anvil – Impact Is Imminent Review

“O’ Canada, guess who’s back? Good ol’ Anvil, with their ninety-eighth full-length album. And look at this: another writer penning an Anvil review. Once you’ve reviewed Anvil, you can’t get yourself to do it again. It’s only been two years since their last release (which is about the same as all their albums), and there’s no sign of stopping this Canadian threesome—even if you want them to stop. But, no, they keep coming with a sound they helped to cement 40 years ago. But, while you all might think their sound is irrelevant, Anvil sure as hell doesn’t care.” Danger: Falling Anvil.

Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell Review

Audrey Horne – Devil’s Bell Review

“Since 2005 Audrey Horne have been showing the world that some of the best American-style rock n’ roll comes from Norway courtesy of black metal and stoner doom musicians. Yeah, I know, go figure, but damn if that’s not how things played out. On the strength of albums like Youngblood and Pure Heavy the band carved out a sizeable niche of hard-rocking good times music with a strong NWoBHM flavor and they’ve been in heavy rotation in my neck of the woods for many a year. They’ve been quiet since 2018’s Blackout, but 2022 sees them return with seventh album, Devil’s Bell.” Bell’s end.

Ghost – IMPERA Review

Ghost – IMPERA Review

Ghost is a divisive band. Forget red states and blue states; don’t bother with Yankees or Red Sox; and I don’t want to hear whose side you take in the Montreal Screwjob debacle. There’s only one true rivalry, and the debate only grows more contentious with each new Papa. Indeed, the rift between Ghost adherents and their vehement detractors is a vast, otherworldly chasm, overflowing with hate-kindled magma and plumes of blackened self-righteousness. All that being said, I really like ’em.” Ghost in the cash machine.

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

Opera Diabolicus – Death on a Pale Horse Review

“Along with Shaw and Levén, the band adds some stellar vocals from Madeleine Liljestam (Eleine) and Angelina DelCarmen (Charetta), and guitar solos from King Diamond legends Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. But the backbone of the album is all the other guests. These lesser-known individuals supply the keys, strings, pianos, and organs that make up the record’s core. It’s an unbelievable lineup with a lot of moving parts. But, somehow, the band keeps this chaotic metal opera about ‘witchcraft, the black death and revenge!’ together.” Panic in the opera horse.

Portrait – At One with None Review

Portrait – At One with None Review

“When I was a diesel mechanic, I was regularly married to certain trucks. If you did a PM on it, you were now the expert on the truck. If the jackass driver filled it with gasoline instead of diesel, and you were the one that dropped the tanks and flushed the system, it was yours forever. If the Jakes and cruise control stop working and you spend eight hours ripping the entire dash apart to rewire everything that fried, you were definitely married to that truck. And, when that truck rolled back into the yard, everyone went quiet. They all knew you’d be dropping everything and your day would be in or under that piece of shit. They were quiet because you hate that fucking truck and you threw your favorite wrench set across the shop to show how much you hate it. And, as I was married to Kenworth Karen, I’m married to anything related to King Diamond and Mercyful Fate here at AMG.” Portrait of Fate.

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

Hooded Menace – The Tritonus Bell Review

“Finland’s Hooded Menace are lords of death-doom. Their back-catalog is a veritable boneyard of fatal furors that crawl at a corpse pace and exist on the edge of an undead pulse. Indeed, their last album, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed, made a grave impression on many an end-of-year list, mine included. Now, sixth album The Tritonus Bell prepares to resound, and one thing is certain; Hooded Menace are masters of their craft. But this record’s new stylistic choice excludes heft in favor of history and the implication is almost unrecognizable.” Bells to the wall.

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.

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

Yer Metal Is Olde: King Diamond – The Eye

“Then there’re examples like Fast Eddie Clarke walking away from Motörhead and the canning of Ozzy Osbourne by Black Sabbath. Anthrax, Exodus, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest lost their vocalists, who psyched everyone out and returned later anyway. In some cases, end-of-era albums are more like transition pieces—bridging the gap between the band of old and the band of new. Arguably Metallica‘s …And Justice For All fits the bill. It was clear that Justice was different, but it wasn’t until Metallica arrived that everyone saw what Justice really was. King Diamond‘s The Eye is also such an album.” Fading eyesight.