Napalm Records

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

Draconian – Under a Godless Veil Review

“Darkness and light, good and evil, heavy and soft. Dichotomy has long played a key role in metal music, and following in the long, dark shadow of Theater of Tragedy, many bands have attempted the whole “beauty and the beast” thing, pairing death metal croaks with soaring, sometimes operatic female vocals. When it works the style can be very enthralling, and over their nearly 25 year career Draconian has been at the forefront of this movement, crafting albums of gothic doom death full of weepy romance and crushing grief. 2015s Sovran opus was one of their best and it left a rather large impression in my skull. It would be a tough act to follow, and it’s taken Draconian nearly five years to make the effort.” Dragon, why do you cry?

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

Unleash the Archers – Abyss Review

“Though Unleash the Archers remains the goofy power metal band they’ve always been, Apex was a serious release. Lyrics, story, songwriting—Apex captured the band at their absolute best. Abyss: ‘A deep and seemingly bottomless pit.’ So, a pit, no matter its depth, so scary and hopeless that you wouldn’t follow a hit baseball down it. To follow-up an album called Apex with one called Abyss may be the most condemning thing yet. Is it clever or is the shortest distance between the summit and a hole in the ground straight down?” Highs and lows.

Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut Review

“Figuring out what a band sounds like is akin to writing a biography: look first to the influences. Alestorm’s biography would need chapters devoted to a beloved and trve band named Bal-Sagoth. Early Alestorm material is based around the idea that it would be fun if Bal-Sagoth were Scottish, got drunk, played sea shanties, and kept the keyboard heroics.” Who ordered the Ale with Bals?

Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow Review

Warbringer – Weapons of Tomorrow Review

Warbringer has been bringing the war to thrash since 2006, breathing life back into the classic 80s sound with a powerhouse blend of Bay Area legends like Exodus, Death Angel and Testament. On 2017’s Woe to the Vanquished they expanded their sound outward, incorporating black metal influences into their thrash template with interesting if not always completely successful results.” Has Weapons of Tomorrow upped the ante once again and armed them for revolution?

Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex Review

Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex Review

“If you missed the tongue-bathing AMG gave their last album, Gloryhammer are one of the best active Rhapsody-style epic power metal bands, and also a loving, self-aware parody of same. They’re founded first on quality and second on overly-amped up tropes—D-tier speculative fiction plot, non-native English speaker lyrics, etc.—to the precise point where they become obviously funny. It’s not so overdone that it becomes tiresome, and it works because of the attention to detail and cohesiveness of the whole: take a couple of elements away and you might wonder whether they were actually serious all along.” Get hammered.

Candlemass – The Door to Doom Review

Candlemass – The Door to Doom Review

“It’s interesting to watch things come full circle with Candlemass. Having helped reboot doom metal in the 80s with their excellent Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, the band launched a career spanning several decades. While their output varied in quality over the years, they are rightfully considered a legendary doom band. 2012s Psalms for the Dead was supposed to be their swan song, and founder Leif Edling has since kept busy with his Avatarium and Krux projects. The urge to reform his original band proved too great however, and for this reunion Leif even managed to dig up original vocalist Johan Langquist, who hasn’t done anything since Epicus Doomicus.” Doom at your door.