Metal Blade Records

A-Z – A-Z Review

A-Z – A-Z Review

“The last Fates Warning album, 2020’s tepid Long Day Good Night may have marked the end of the band (pure speculation, frens), but the fellas have not been resting on their laurels. Look at this summer alone: bassist Joey Vera has been touring for Mercyful Fate, and Ray Alder and ex-drummer Mark Zonder are dropping their straight-ahead metal album, A-Z, this week. Next month Jim Matheos does the same with his new band, Kings of Mercia. If you’re a long-time fan like me, this is exciting stuff!” ABCs of Fate.

Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army Review

Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army Review

Amon Amarth have been raiding and pillaging so long, even Mighty Odin thinks their minds are gone. The Great Heathen Army is their 12th foray into the great unknown, and their “Vikings on the prowl” schtick is as firmly in place as ever (despite a video displaying a dystopian future with MMA and guns). By this point in their long and storied career, we pretty much know what to expect from a new platter, and as with 2019s Berserker, the wheels of the Norse battering ram go round and round.” Rhymin’ and heathen.

Nicolas Cage Fighter – The Bones That Grew from Pain Review

Nicolas Cage Fighter – The Bones That Grew from Pain Review

“If you’re going to name your band Nicolas Cage Fighter, it means one of two things: 1. You’re a comedy metal act that doesn’t take itself too seriously or 2. You’re so badass that you own this name completely. Surprisingly, these Aussies are the latter. They take their moniker as seriously as Dr. An. Grier takes his, and the band wastes no time getting down to the business of pummeling their listener’s ears.” National treasure or Gone in 60 seconds?

Wake – Thought Form Descent Review

Wake – Thought Form Descent Review

“I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, before I write a review, I read the ones already out there for the album in question. This is after I’ve heard the album a few times, and I do it for a few reasons, curiosity being one. Now, there are writers who solemnly proclaim, pearls fully clutched, that they would never taint their process with such unprofessionalism. I get that. But I also get that you inconstant, two-timing jilts will also read those other reviews, and I don’t like being redundant with mine. So, having read a couple reviews for Wake‘s fifth full-length Thought Form Descent, I’ve decided NOT to write an intro paragraph along the lines of “Boy howdy, these Wake bois sure do keep evolving, man alive.”” Thought form pieces.

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

Mantar – Pain is Forever and This is the End Review

“After smashing out three albums and gathering loads of momentum over a five-year period, Mantar have remained quiet on the recording front, aside from a collection of cover songs. Pleasingly, Mantar return with their anticipated fourth offering, boasting a cool album title and minimalistic cover art. Can Erinc (drums) and Hanno (guitars, vocals) muster the creative energy and belly fire to deliver a knockout punch?” Moretar!

Satan – Earth Infernal Review

Satan – Earth Infernal Review

Satan is the original Benjamin Button band. By this I mean the older they get, the better and more youthful sounding their output becomes. Part of the original NWoBHM phenomenon, their 1983 debut Court in the Act made the rounds at Casa Druhm back in the days of denim and high tops, but I was never especially taken with their sound, which felt like a less catchy version of Diamond Head or Angel Witch. I didn’t bother with their 1987 follow-up, Suspended Sentence, and I all but forgot about them as I got deeper into thrash and more extreme styles. Fast-forward 26 years to 2013 and they made a comeback with Life Sentence, and virtually nothing about them sounded the same.” Satan is real.

Sanhedrin – Lights On Review

Sanhedrin – Lights On Review

“I am wholly unfamiliar with Sanhedrin the band aside from remembering that I almost reviewed their 2019 album The Poisoner but ended up not doing so for some reason I can no longer remember. Apparently, the album impressed many, earning Sanhedrin a place on Metal Blade’s roster. This time around, I was bound and determined to not let these New Yorkers slip through my fingers again, so now you get to watch as Judge Holdy hands out his verdict on the band’s third full-length, Lights On. All rise!” Judge not, lest you be judged.