Mercyful Fate

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.

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

“In the unhallowed halls of Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters, some of the thralls writers wax on about what a great year it has been for death metal. I would put forward that it’s also been pretty decent for traditional/epic/classic metal – or whatever you want to call it. Enter White Magician, a quartet of like-minded classic metal aficionados from Detroit, and their debut release, Dealers of Divinity. These guys hope to take their brand of classic rock and metal all the way to the top. Professing to be a blend of Mercyful Fate and Blue Öyster Cult, could the odds be stacked in their favor?” Mages wild.

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

Havukruunu – Uinuos syömein sota Review

“I’ve been the greatest cheerleader of Bathory/Immortal purveyors for years. Like Rimfrost and Havukruunu, to name but a couple. Similar in approach, different in delivery, these two bands have satisfied my thirst for aggressive, galloping, pummeling, crab-walking, Viking-esque black metal. Both have seen their share of black metallery, yet one has passed on and one remains. This leaves a lot of pressure on the survivor. But, since 2015’s Havulinnaan, Havukruunu has proven its Bathor-ian mettle. Though 2017’s follow-up Kelle surut soi is the only contender in the catalog, that album is a beast. Yet, the stakes still remain high. Will this year’s Uinuos syömein sota live up to its full potential? Will it fall victim forever to a style conceived and put to rest by Thomas Börje Forsberg?” Crab inwasion.

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.

Vampire – Rex Review

Vampire – Rex Review

“When we last heard from Swedish vampires, err… Vampire, they impressed me in 2017 with their Castlevania II/80’s inspired With Primeval Force, and although it didn’t crack my Top Ten(ish) that year, it still worms its way into my listening sessions on a continual basis around these parts. I was beginning to worry that the merry (undead) quintet would lay dormant, so imagine my surprise when the higher-ups threw Rex at my lap and told me to get on that shit, pronto.” Rex the necks.