NWOBHM

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution Review

Tokyo Blade – Dark Revolution Review

Tokyo Blade: now there’s a name that stirs up memories. It seemed that, while Midnight Rendezvous was an above-average NWoBHM debut, the band decided to go down the hair metal path after that, to disastrous effect. Over the years, band members came and went, but album quality never rose above tepid. 2018’s Unbroken did nothing for me, and the same lineup (essentially their classic lineup from the early days) is back with Dark Revolution.” Olden steel.

Traveler – Termination Shock Review

Traveler – Termination Shock Review

“We here in Calgary have the reputation of being a bunch of gas-guzzling, oil-loving, separatist-bent, racist rednecks (95% incorrect 92% of the time), but we also have some excellent bands. Woodhawk, Wake, Chron Goblin, and Gone Cosmic, to name a few. Local upstarts Traveler look to join this exalted pantheon of local heavy music gods, and their debut, last year’s Traveler, was a fine first step.” Olde trails.

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

Dark Forest – Oak, Ash & Thorn Review

“U.K.’s Dark Forest has been cranking out high quality music since 2009, with a very interesting blend of Euro-power, traditional heavy metal and just enough folk elements to give them a slightly unique sound. Albums like The Awakening and 2016s Beyond the Veil were very good, teetering on the cusp of greatness, borrowing from NWoBHM legends like Iron Maiden while also dipping into the slick songcraft of Avantasia and prime Sonata Arctica. Their compositional and storytelling acumen improved with each release and I just knew they had a truly big release in them dying to burst free.” Really good wood.

Absolva – Side by Side Review

Absolva – Side by Side Review

Absolva, the act entirely composed of the touring band for Blaze Bayley, have returned with their fifth album of slightly modernized NWoBHM. I first stumbled on these gents back in 2017 when their Defiance platter wound up on my desk, and found their style easy to like and as familiar as a favorite pair of socks. This is a crew of seasoned veterans from the U.K. traditional metal scene, and guitarist Luke Appleton even finds time to play bass for Iced Earth when not touring with Blaze.” Blazing new trails.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

“From my perspective, this is a big year for Yer Metal Is Olde pieces, and it starts off with this piece of work. Iron Maiden wasn’t my first purchase by these legends: that would be The Number of the Beast, when it came out back in 1982. But after being blown away by that album as a twelve-year-old, I quickly gobbled up whatever else I could find – which wasn’t much. A few months later I grabbed my cassette copy of Killers, then the Maiden Japan EP, and finally their debut. So by the time I’d worked my way to this album, well, it confused me a bit. Why?” Eddie is olde.

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

“Yet, as simple as their style of ’80s NWOBHM is, it’s not like fans have to absorb much from one Haunt record to the next. But the fear of too-much-too-soon lingers. With repeat listens, If Icarus Could Fly didn’t quite live up to Burst into Flame. This leaves a big question mark for this year’s Mind Freeze. Will this new album continue the gentle decent? Or is Mind Freeze Haunt‘s Master of Puppets? You’ll have to see what happens next!” Haunting the clickbait.

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

“Three years ago, Tygers of Pan Tang’s self-titled twelfth album made me feel good about old NWoBHM bands, and their ability to craft enjoyable-enough songs. I hadn’t revisited it until it was time to review their new album, Ritual. In fact, I even went and revisited the referred-to review above. I mean, there’s always a chance that, because I was still in my rookie year as a member of the AMG Conglomerate, I was taking it easy on some bands. But I’ve been around for a long time now, and having a warm place in my atrophying heart for a band is not only unacceptable, it is now unheard of.” Tales from an overrating bastard.

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

Orodruin – Ruins of Eternity Review

“In Sindarin, Tolkien’s fictional language of the Elves, the volcano has two nicknames. One of them is Amon Amarth, “mountain of fate.” That band, of course, didn’t write about dragons or dwarves or rings, but vikings and Norse mythology. The subject of today’s investigation bears the other nickname for Mount Doom: Orodruin, “fiery mountain.” And the subject of their Candlemassian doom metal? Death and the human condition.” Doom as a destination.

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch – Angel of Light Review

Angel Witch is a name most of you have heard before even if you never actually heard their music. They were one of the earliest of NWoBHM acts, and along with Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head and others, they helped create a new style of music, launching heavy metal’s popularity to new heights and paving the way for the glorious 80s metal renaissance. Their debut was a quasi-classic in the genre and a fine example of the NWoBHM style, sounding like a a cross between early Def Leppard and Witchfinder General. Followups were more stripped down and rock ready, but the band was quickly overshadowed by several of their contemporaries, and though their output was solid, by 1986 it was all but over for the English rockers.” Old wave in the new age.