Ozzy

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Review

Rhapsody’s history has all the operatic drama required of its Italian heritage. Rhapsody, one of the ‘90s and early-aughts’ finest power metal bands, rose to prominence on the back of outstanding material before suffering a string of setbacks in the mid-2000s. After some legal drama and a triumphant return with two brilliant albums in two years, the band’s primary composers—Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli—split the world in two.” Now Rhapsody of Fire is back with its third post-split album and first with a band new vocalist. What could go wrong?

Yer Metal Is Olde: Bruce Dickinson – The Chemical Wedding

Yer Metal Is Olde: Bruce Dickinson – The Chemical Wedding

“1998 was not metal’s finest year. Nu-metal was rearing its ugly head and 80s bands were withering on the vine. It had also been five years since Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden, and while he had released a few decent albums since (and Iron Maiden had released, um, The X Factor), he wasn’t setting the world on fire with legendary recordings. Unlike with Ozzy and Black Sabbath, a separation did not inspire Bruce nor Maiden to go above and beyond – at least, not until 1998, when Dickinson released The Chemical Wedding and Maiden dropped Virtual XI on us.” Married to metal.

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

“As you may have noticed, we’re prog wusses at AMG. We look favorably on innovation, strong atmosphere and where progressive isn’t a synonym for purely technical. Enter Headspace. Comprising high profile musicians such as vocalist Damian Wilson of Threshold, keyboardist Adam Wakeman of Ozzy’s band (and son of the Yes legend) and Lee Pomeroy, of note for his work with almost everyone ever (including Steve Hackett), the line-up is experienced and successful. ‘Supergroups’ are, however, plagued as strong personalities pull the music in various directions, often devolving into vain wankfests.” The curse of the supergroup continues.

Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity Review

Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity Review

Corrosion of Conformity fans can generally be divided up into two teams: aging hardcore guys who only enjoyed the band’s first few records from the early ’80s, and metal dudes who prefer the band’s more recent incarnation with Pepper Keenan on vocals. These two teams don’t like each other, and Team Hardcore really doesn’t like latter-day COC. This conflict has been going on for decades, but the battle lines shifted recently when the three founding members of COC decided to reunite, sans Keenan, to record new music as a trio for the first time since 1986. Would the band finally deliver some crossover thrash to satisfy the old-schoolers? Or will they continue along the sludgy path they’ve been traveling since 1994’s Deliverance?

Powerwolf – Blood of the Saints Review

Powerwolf – Blood of the Saints Review

German power metal/freak show act Powerwolf have been perplexing me since their 2005 debut. All corpse painted up and evil looking, they look like a black metal band but actually play sub-par power metal with traditional metal elements and coat the whole thing with cheesy theatrics and goofball pomp. I attempted to get into what they were doing on several occasions due to the buzz they were receiving but aside from a few scattered tracks, it was rough going. To me they always seemed generic and silly, though I appreciated their zest and zeal for entertaining. With this back-history, I naturally chose to approach their fourth album, Blood of the Saints with muted expectations. As usual, Steel Druhm is proven wise indeed. Blood of the Saints is arguably Powerwolf’s best release thus far and packs several amusing and respectable songs, albeit, still laden with cheese and cheap theatrics. However, as a whole, its still the same Powerwolf product and that can’t lead too far down the road to the land of 5.0. For every decent song, there’s an equally painful one and a few are just laughable. While I know they don’t take themselves too seriously, sometimes silly is too silly and that’s the case here more often than not.

U.D.O – Rev-Raptor Review

U.D.O – Rev-Raptor Review

U.D.O. is back! The diminutive Teutonic terror who’s gravelly cackle defined the sound of Accept for decades has resurfaced with yet another solo album (his thirteenth!). This time out however, he does so in the very large shadow cast by his former unit’s 2010 release Blood of Nations. That opus was a classic metal monster and ended up near the top of my best of 2010 list. Since Rev-Raptor will inevitably be seen by many as Udo Dirkschneider’s return salvo, the obvious question becomes, how does it measure up? Well, in all fairness, Mr. Udo has released far more records under the U.D.O. moniker than he ever released with Accept. That said, he’s still famous as the “voice” of Accept so the comparison is to be expected. In short, no, this isn’t on par with Blood of Nations, but its still a solid traditional metal album with some entertaining numbers that will make you bang your head the old fashioned way. If you’ve heard any of the prior U.D.O. albums, you know what to expect here since there’s been scarce variation across his long and storied discography. Its raucous 80’s style classic metal, much like classic Accept, with few frills but plenty of balls (to the wall) and the man’s trademark screech. If that sounds good to you, read on (AMG has already left the building and set it on fire).

Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time – 50-41

Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time – 50-41

So instead of a review, today, you’re getting what is going to be a 5 piece attempt to shame the assholes over at Gibson, who apparently haven’t listened to heavy metal since 1984. While this list is bound to be controversial (trust me), it is also done with a very specific purpose in mind, which is to remind everyone that heavy metal has continued to exist since Nirvana sold a bunch of records. But, of course, the Anglocentric jackasses over at Gibson didn’t realize this. Anyway, this oughtta piss everyone right off, but hopefully someone involved in the creation of that list feels ashamed for having been such idiots. Note to old guys: shit still happens once you’ve stopped caring.

Sahg – III Review

Sahg – III Review

Retro is the new new, apparently. Everyone and their dog is doing retro bands doing old school things with better (or at least louder) production and with the sensibilities of generations who have listened to a lot of music and decided that it’s time to come back to the thing that really seems to unite them: the 1970s. I, myself, have been listening to a lot of stuff from the 1970s lately, and especially the progressive rock movement that influenced many of the musicians from Scandinavia seems to be rearing its head in an interesting combination of traditional hard rock, heavy metal sensibilities and dudes who used to play black metal. Sahg’s III embodies this movement sonically, and does it very, very well.

In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland Review

In This Moment – A Star-Crossed Wasteland Review

So I admit, I’ve never heard SoCal pop rockers In This Moment before. This review will be completely devoid of comparisons to their last two records. Nor will it be filled with witty insights into how the band has changed over their time and whether or not this is a darker record (of course, every new record is the darkest, heaviest, etc., that any band has ever done, so trust the bio about as far as you can throw Arnold Schwarzneger). No, this is going to pretty much be a tirade about how much I really don’t like this album at all or the style of music or basically anything about this at all except for Maria’s clean singing voice, which is very good. You are warned. Don’t throw a fit in the comments because I hate your favorite band: I’ve already warned you. If you read past the jump then it’s your own fucking fault.

Audrey Horne – Audrey Horne Review

Audrey Horne – Audrey Horne Review

It’s been a long time since a sort of standard modern rock or traditional metal band really showed off anything that this Angry Metal Guy appreciated. For the most part, modern rock has been rehashed BS and overrated post-Seattle scene leftovers. The bands that have tried to convert their sounds (see: the remnants of Guns N’ Roses meets STP or Europe’s latest incarnation) have really failed at it because the sound is, at its root, boring as hell. Rehashing rock again with thicker guitar tone and a vocalist who will never live up to the classics is pretty much a good way to guarantee that your vocalist buddy goes to rehab, but not much more. Whatever happened to Buckcherry again? Oh right. Flash in the effing pan.