Metalium

Serious Black – Magic Review

Serious Black – Magic Review

“Their catchy-as-fuck 2015 debut, As Daylight Breaks, was the first. Then, last year’s “meh” Mirrorworld. And, now, Magic. Math ain’t my strong-point, but that should make three albums in three years. Sure, Vardan releases a baker’s dozen on an annual basis, but groups like Serious Black? I didn’t think it was possible—nor should it be. But, by god, here it is. Unfortunately, the intense schedule for releasing full-length albums on a yearly basis is starting to show. Since the debut, quantity over quality has been the name of the game for Urban Breed and co. Which results in a Serious Black bummer. ” The strings are showing.

Demise of the Crown – Demise of the Crown Review

Demise of the Crown – Demise of the Crown Review

“After a conversation with a friend about power metal, I came to the realization that many of my favorite bands in the genre are cheesy as hell. I’ve come to this slightly ashamed conclusion many times over the years, and as I’ve done before, I pulled out my power metal collection in hopes that all the black, thrash, and death metal hadn’t lessened my love for Tolkien-based nonsense and eight-album concepts about the mighty Metalians.” Cheeses H. Christ, the Doctor is such a Helloweenie!

Signum Regis – Chapter IV: The Reckoning Review

Signum Regis – Chapter IV: The Reckoning Review

“Being the black metal fan I am, I’ve scared many a girlfriend with my devil-worshiping, goat-sacrificing practices; which – according to these people – are not the result of the music but because that’s who I am and why I listen to metal music. All people have opinions and metal fans are no different. Many were recently offended because of the semi-regular appearance of the Christian deity in this year’s releases. As you can probably surmise, Signum Regis is here to continue this God-fearing trend.” We’re reviewing so much godly music lately that we may qualify for tax exempt status!

Stormhammer – Echoes of a Lost Paradise Review

Stormhammer – Echoes of a Lost Paradise Review

“Even though I spend a lot of time listening to black metal (and anything and everything King Diamond), I hold a very special place in my heart for power metal. At any given time, you can walk by my office and hear an Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, or Metalium (yep, I said it) song reverberating off the walls and echoing down the hallway.” The good doctor is a power metal weenie.

Damnation Angels – The Valiant Fire Review

Damnation Angels – The Valiant Fire Review

“Do a quick Google (or should I say YouTube) search of vocalist PelleK. If you are not familiar with this name, you will discover that he loves selfies, modeled shots, filming himself singing other people’s shit, and acting in Norwegian TV shows. Though his solo work in Pellek is enough to make me wanna set myself on fire (which includes sixteen cover albums of EVERYTHING from Pokemon and Power Rangers themes to ’90s sitcom themes), his four-octave range is simply incredible. So, were Damnation Angels damnable fools for snatching him up for 2013’s Bringer of Light and 2015’s The Valiant Fire?” You know you want to hear those Pokémon themes.

Iron Fire – Voyage of the Damned Review

Iron Fire – Voyage of the Damned Review

Historically speaking, I think the main reason our esteemed AMG hired me, the ever humble Steel Druhm, as a reviewer/minion [I prefer the term “bitch,” actually – AMG] was to make me the resident power and traditional metal nerd (my amazing prose and rugged good looks didn’t hurt none either). While I’m predisposed to drool over most old school stuff (cause I’m old), I’m actually quite the elitist snob when it comes to power metal. There’s some good in that genre, but there are way more generic, bad and monumentally awful things lurking in the ether. Case in point, I’ve had a love/hate/meh relationship with Iron Fire over the years. Their Thunderstorm debut was decent and moderately rabble rousing, but things have been inconsistent since then and their discography reads like the good, the bad and the WTF? After being unmoved by their past few releases, I hoped for more from their seventh release, Voyage of the Damned. Turns out, I heartily appreciate the new lyrical slant toward outer space themes, as it’s a nice diversion from the usual “dragon ate my wizard’s maiden” schtick. It’s also safe to say, this is much better than expected and it slowly won me over, despite initial doubts. Roping in elements of Gamma Ray, Stratovarius, Grave Digger and Metalium, this features some highly enjoyable Euro-power with some surprisingly heavy moments. It also delivers far less generic freight than past Iron Fire shipments. While not exactly a “must hear” album, Voyage ends up being a solid release from a band with a spotty track record.