Power Metal

Wolfchant – Omega : Bestia Review

Wolfchant – Omega : Bestia Review

“I love when the genre is accidentally and maliciously mislabeled by an album’s promo package. It always leads to delightfully gruesome surprises and oh so satisfying pleas and groveling by shocked and dismayed reviewers once the true nature of the promo revels itself. It’s especially amusing since the sadistic AMG management rarely lets reviewers back out once a promo is drawn from the murk and claimed. Karma is a bitch though, and what goes around comes around, and this time it was your friendly neighborhood Steel who got hoisted by his own petard ov judgment when selecting Wolfchant.” Beastly besties.

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

“I don’t put much stock in award shows or competitions. Really, who amongst us does? Ever since the first Metal Grammy went to Jethro Tull metal fans around the world have viewed these sorts of things with more than a little trepidation. So when a band comes my way that came to fame in a competition, it’s more a curse than a blessing. Power metal act Arion (the Finnish act, not the Greek) is such a band. As teens these guys were finalists in UMK, the Finnish qualification program for Eurovision, eight years ago.” Beauty pageant meets the metal world.

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

Avaland – Theater of Sorcery Review

“The metal opera is, enduringly, one of my favorite concepts of the genre. Avantasia and Ayreon are the two projects that I return to most often, and it seems I’m not the only one. Adrien Gzagg, of Grenoble, France, has been similarly inspired, which is why today I’m introducing you to Avaland and its debut full-length, Theater of Sorcery, a symphonic power metal opera with a fantastical backstory.” Another rainy night at the metal opera.

Hevilan – Symphony of Good and Evil Review

Hevilan – Symphony of Good and Evil Review

“If you are one of the poor souls who’s managed to follow my pedestrian music journalism career, you know that I’m a hopeless Nevermore weenie. There’s just something about the way they combined immense, progressive, down-tuned riffing with powerful, operatic vocals that is incredibly pleasing to my ears. I was therefore absolutely defenseless against the promo blurb that touted Hevilan guitarist Johnny Moraes as having appeared in Warrel Dane’s live band, as well as on the late Nevermore singer’s posthumous solo release, Shadow Work.” Good times, bad times.

Everture – Emerge Review

Everture – Emerge Review

“Album length is a point of contention at AMG Headquarters. So around the office cooler one day, the illustrious Carcharodon revealed that his promo was a honkin’ two-hour commitment. I now realize that “Mine’s a nine-minute grind EP! Sucks to be you!” was the wrong thing to say. As a dear Lavagirlbitch to the Sharkboy, he used his power to punish me pick a promo for me. Please direct your hate mail to him for the awkwardly named Everture. I was immediately horrified at the phrase “modern metal” that greeted my eyes.” The Everture will continue until morale improves.

Orden Ogan – Final Days Review

Orden Ogan – Final Days Review

“For the last 6 months or so it seemed as if the AMG promo sump was almost entirely composed of one-man basement dwelling black metal outfits and black-adjacent endeavors of dubious merit. Perhaps that’s a reflection on the zeitgeist of our current pandemic-burdened existence, but it gets extremely tedious for those not big on the dark arts of low-fi aural destruction. Paradoxically there’s been a dire paucity of power metal just when we need that genre’s buoyant, cheese-fueled charm the most. Perhaps that explains why I found myself looking forward to Orden Ogan‘s seventh album more than I expected.” Ogan donors.

Epica – Omega Review

Epica – Omega Review

“This is a surreal moment for me. The first review I ever read on this site was Diabolus in Muzaka‘s hit piece on Epica‘s The Holographic Principle, an album which I thought was super fun if overlong and oddly organized. I’ve been a die-hard fan of this band for over a decade now, having introduced myself to them with The Divine Conspiracy back in high school. With each successive release thereafter, save for the miscalculation that was Requiem for the IndifferentEpica refined and perfected their sound to the point that they are now unmistakable for any other symphonic metal band.” Omega predator.

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

Immortal Guardian – Psychosomatic Review

“Feats of sheer sonic escapism have defined much of my listening habits in the Covid era. The stronger an artist can nail a “larger than life” aesthetic in sound and concept, the better. My polyamorous affair with Bal-Sagoth and Galneryus has never burned brighter, while new favorites like Finsterforst have dominated my playlists. Immortal Guardian‘s debut Age of Revolution fits comfortably into a similarly overblown mold.” Topic blunder.

Wizard – Metal in My Head Review

Wizard – Metal in My Head Review

“I’m not quite sure how this is possible, but I didn’t know that Germany’s Wizard even existed until Steel Druhm mandated that I clear my schedule for this week to review the band’s 12th studio album, Metal in My Head. I mean, they play exactly the kind of ball-busting, artery-clogging cheese metal that originally enticed me to emerge from my primordial metalcore soup and set me on my way to becoming a full-fledged trve metal organism.” Head cheese.

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

Souls of Diotima – Janas Review

“The line that separates symphonic metal from pop metal is — well, it’s not really a line, is it? It’s hard to inject pop into your metal without diving headfirst into symphonic territory. Okay, let me try again. The Venn diagram that distinguishes between symphonic metal and pop metal leaves a lot open to interpretation.” Pop in a orchestra pit.