Power Metal

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

Yngwie Malmsteen – Parabellum Review

“At the ripe age of old, Yngwie Malmsteen is back with his 873rd full-length release. But, unlike some of his more recent outings, the man explores his neoclassical roots. This means it took him 3.5 more days than usual to write the album. He also put to death 19 guitars during rehearsal and 74 in the making of Parabellum. All deaths were the result of friction from his finger-play, setting them on fire. But even though the man has been releasing albums before the invention of the calendar, no one has reviewed any of his albums at AMG. So be it, I said.” Wanko tango.

Vandor – On a Moonlit Night Review

Vandor – On a Moonlit Night Review

“Two years ago, I touted Swedish power metal outfit Vandor as one of the most promising new acts in the genre, if for no other reason than the fact that their production aesthetics were orders of magnitude above the standard. To this day, In the Land of Vandor remains one of the best-sounding modern power metal albums I’ve ever heard. The bass shoved itself to the forefront and the vocalist took a central position, only occasionally weaving toward the front when he needed to really gnash his teeth, resulting in a record that sounded legitimately powerful. Uneven songwriting and iffy vocals held it back, but I was fairly confident they could rectify those issues with time. Let’s see how they’ve done!” Open the Vandor and let in some moonlight.

Kambrium – Synthetic ERA Review

Kambrium – Synthetic ERA Review

“Few discussions in metal are as pointless as genre disagreements, and when such bouts of useless verbal sparring occur between enthusiastic Dunning-Kruger subscribers, you can expect some real dumb shit. As it did when I got in a disagreement with some friends, back when I knew a whole 3 metal bands and had barely bought my first fake leather spiked wristband. You see, I had just learned the term ‘melodic death metal’ and was vaguely aware of what power metal was, and as such, I laughed at friends telling me Children of Bodom were ‘power metal with harsh vocals,’ as the eternally-wise Encyclopedia Metallum claimed at the time. I wonder what any of us would have made of Kambrium, a band that treads the line between melodeath and power metal with meticulous precision.” Futurunreal.

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween – Helloween Review

Helloween gets 97.543% of the credit for creating what we now think of as the Euro-power metal sound. Led by the high-pitched wailing of Kai Hansen, their Walls of Jericho debut was a nonstop rush of speed and irresistible hooks, and Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I was less speedy but far more polished and majestic, featuring the vocal power of a young Michael Kiske. When it was announced that BOTH long absent frontmen would be returning to Helloween to join current frontman Andi Deris for a new album, I felt conflicted.” He should have squashed his expectations.

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm Review

“As Lord Protector of the Dark Angry Metal Realm, Steel Druhm is entitled to the right of primo promo. He can often be seen pushing his massive haul of pre-picked albums around the AMG office in a giant flaming wheelbarrow, its spiked wheel crushing the skulls of failed n00bs littered about the floor as it rolls. His dragon’s hoard of promos is so large that some inevitably fall to the ground, where sniveling peons like myself snatch them up for our own reviewing pleasure. So it goes with Bloodbound‘s newest release. In his 2019 review of the band’s eighth studio album, Rise of the Dragon Empire, Lord Steel recounted the transition that the band has made over the years, moving from a more traditional heavy metal sound to a syrupy-sweet Euro-infused iteration of power metal.” Fanbound glory.

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

Illusory – Crimson Wreath Review

“Oh boy. There’s a crying child on the cover. If there’s one thing I’ve learned when it comes to metal covers, it’s that a crying child on the cover means serious business. Because really, who grabs an album with a weeping toddler off the shelf to liven up a party? Sociopaths, that’s who! So, after this introduction to my grab bag result of the week, what kind of seriousness is this Illusory? Well, the band’s been around for almost 30 years, but until less than a decade ago it was still known as The Ivory Tower and released a whole one album.” In a time-out.

Nightshadow – Strike Them Dead Review

Nightshadow – Strike Them Dead Review

“Sometimes a band comes along that seems to have rummaged through your brain to find all the stuff you love and then cobbled together an album designed to appeal to you specifically. Nightshadow are currently under suspicious for such a mind ransacking as I spin their full-length debut Strike Them Dead. With a sound steeped in 80s speed and trve metal then coated in a thick layer of technical, neo-classical polish, Nightshadow leave no wank unwanked in their effort to bring high-octane metal to the filthy masses. If I had to describe them concisely, it would be as it would be as a sped up, really pissed off Witherfall.” Wank til struck dead.

The Circle – Metamorphosis Review

The Circle – Metamorphosis Review

“The phrase “avant-garde” spliced with “metal” is so confusing. Much like similar descriptors “extreme” and “modern,”[1. *shudder*] it’s an extremely broad term that implies much and is much abused. Describing the Children of Bodom-esque Messora to the weird-as-shit Maudlin of the Well, overuse quickly becomes Inigo Montoya’s second most-famous quote: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” So, what does “avant-garde” actually mean? Beats me! Nevertheless, the newest crew to throw their avant-garde hat into the ring is Germany’s The Circle.” Larva-core.

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

Vexillum – When Good Men Go to War Review

“”Bagpipes are a lovely addition to any song,” I staunchly declared a mere fortnight ago in another review. While my bagpipe rule of thumb held true on Wynter Arvn‘s Abysses, I’m struggling to stand by my words after spending the last couple weeks with Vexillum‘s When Good Men Go to War. Strong onion, weakly held? I’d say so. How could I have known that this opinion would make me grimace so soon? Rather than adding a haunting and epic mysticism to Vexillum‘s music, the bag-pipe is instead an ever-present, garish nuisance.” Bag men.

Feanor – Power of the Chosen One Review

Feanor – Power of the Chosen One Review

“Much like the Wizard album I reviewed a couple of months ago, this promo was assigned to me by Lord Protector Steel Druhm himself. Not only that, but the Argentina-based Feanor shares vocalist Sven D’Anna with their Germanic brethren in Wizard. Wizard‘s latest was a fun and empowering romp through beer-soaked heavy metal lands, and given that my mental health has been under some strain lately due to work circumstances, I thought that some cheesy déjà vu might be just what the non-Grier doctor ordered. Let’s see if Feanor can put the metal in my head again.” Irresponsible power.