Power Metal

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

Iron Fate – Crimson Messiah Review

“2021 was a mightily backloaded year of metal. I didn’t love a lot of stuff from January through August and I was coasting along with a very low yearly rating average. Since August however, it seems every other album I dive into is a blast and it’s done major damage to that once pristine median. Now comes the classic metal stylings of Iron Fate to play mischief with Steel ‘s ledger of maths.” Let olde acquaintance be not forgotten.

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

Mega Colossus – Riptime Review

“You might be surprised to hear that even in a position of relative music authority, more than a handful of my recommendations fall flat. Case in point: Riptime. I’ve preached the virtues of this album more than a handful of times on Twitter to zero fanfare. My AMG colleagues, caught in the fever of the 2021 list season, essentially shrugged it off. Now here I am, in full clown makeup, writing a few hundred words to apparently nobody at all. And that’s okay, because even if it’s for my own amusement, there’s no other band I’d rather be writing about right now than Mega Colossus.” Mega ginormous.

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2021

Record(s) o’ the Month – November 2021

“October and November can, without a doubt, be said to have saved 2021 for me. After last month’s pile of elite records, it was hard to imagine that November could be better. But two big things happened in November: 1) I successfully defended my PhD thesis, thus finally making me Dr. Angry Metal Guy; and 2) the rest of the big releases for 2021 dropped hard, fast, and heavy.” How to choose from this bumper crop?

Edu Falaschi – Vera Cruz [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Edu Falaschi – Vera Cruz [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“I fucking love Angra. When I was first hired onto the AMG team, I even entertained the idea of adopting the handle of Angra Metal Guy, partly in retaliation to AMG Himself‘s review of Secret Garden. That piece is what convinced me to apply to this blog in the first place. I agree with a lot of the Guy‘s takes, but the notion that Secret Garden was an improvement over the band’s older material, which is infinitely more effervescent and charismatic, is borderline delusional. Now, with the opportunity to review Edu Falaschi‘s first solo outing of original material, I feel something close to vindication.” Cruzin’ to wictory.

Project: Roenwolfe – Edge of Saturn [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Project: Roenwolfe – Edge of Saturn [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

“American power metal is one of life’s great simple pleasures. Take some killer thrash riffs, find someone to wail over the top of them, and—voila!—instant US powah. Of course, the truth is more nuanced than that, but I’m not far off. My two favorite bands of all time, Nevermore and Symphony X, may embellish the style with progressive elements, but when you boil things down to what really makes both of those bands awesome, you find two things remaining: riffs and vocal theatrics.” Project: Power Wolfe.

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

Rhapsody of Fire – Glory for Salvation Review

“If Turilli was the flighty artist constantly on the move, Staropoli was the guy who’s kept writing choruses which were an innovation in 1997. Combining these two artistic visions created something special. But the split left Rhapsody of Fire with three problems. First, Staropoli needed to become a better composer; second, he had to replace his band; and lastly, he needed to forge a path forward.” How many of these things does Glory for Salvation accomplish?

Eternity’s End – Embers of War Review

Eternity’s End – Embers of War Review

“A week ago, progressive/technical death metal titans Obscurareleased a well-received album that featured the return of longtime guitarist Christian Münzner. Münzner had left the band in 2014 after developing focal dystonia, an overuse condition that left his fretting hand neurologically compromised. Needing a break from the relentless touring cycle of a band like Obscura, Münzner turned to other projects. Recruiting former Obscura bandmates Linus Klausenitzer and Hannes Grossmann, Münzner formed Eternity’s End with the goal to produce high-quality progressive power metal.” Powerful hobbies.

1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion – Bind Review

1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion – Bind Review

“Solo projects are somewhat fascinating to me. They offer a fresh perspective into what makes an artist tick yet, for whatever reason, are seldom ever as good as the musician’s root project. The obvious takeaway here is that a band is only as good as the sum of its parts, and isolating one of those parts is bound to result in a lesser product. What makes 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion an interesting case, then, is that the founder is already the primary compositional voice behind his greatest claim to fame. We are already acquainted with Peter Hraur’s vision; we have Lör. So what new wonders, then, can 1000 Bone Cylinder Explosion offer.” Bone collector.

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point – Arsonist of the Soul Review

Burning Point have a very inconsistent track record in the Euro-power rat race. Early releases Salvation by Fire and Feeding the Flames were decent but a bit too generic to leave a lasting impression. Some subsequent albums just seemed phoned in, further consigning them to second or third-tier status in the Euro-power sweepstakes. It wasn’t until 2012s The Ignitor that they delivered an album that really grabbed my attention and shook it. Full of heavy, aggressive riffs and powerful vocals, it was a punchy, angry dose of power leaning into Mystic Prophecy and Brainstorm territory with good results. Just as things seemed to be heading in the right direction, vocalist Pete Ahonen pulled a Kai Hansen, opting to hand off vocal duties and focus solely on guitar.” Burning bridges and lineups.

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

Skeletoon – The 1.21 Gigawatts Club Review

“I’d like to start this review with an apology to Eldritch Elitist. I violated his rights by covering Skeletoon‘s 2020 album, Nemesis. In Steel Druhm‘s excitement to assign me a goofy album from a goofy band with a goofy name, and in my excitement to receive such an honor, we both failed to realize that Eldritch had covered Skeletoon‘s Goonies-themed album They Never Say Die in 2019, giving him the right of prima promo. The gracious Mr. Elitist gently broke the news to me shortly after that review published, and even went so far as to allow me to cover this, Skeletoon‘s fifth album in six years. The Nerd Metal Superheroes are headed back into classic film territory, this time tackling the Back to the Future trilogy.” Yucks Capacitor.