Powerwolf

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

“When it comes to power metal, I’m really not difficult to please. My expectations for a good example of the genre are no more elevated than the baseline that Helloween established over three decades ago; the material needs to be fun, energetic, and hooky, and if a band can pull this off, I ask for little else. I don’t think there’s a power metal act out there that fails to identify this recipe for success, yet so very few of them manage to capitalize. The style is plagued by countless bands rehashing watered down pop melodies against toothless power chords, seemingly unable to perceive that they utterly lack the charisma that elevated their influences. Thornbridge sees these pretenders, and says ‘we can do better.'” Though, with a name like Theatrical Masterpiece, there is a sense that they might be setting expectations a tad high.

Them – Manor of the Se7en Gables [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

Them – Manor of the Se7en Gables [Things You Might Have Missed 2018]

“I have fond memories of poring over classic spooky stories like Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” or “The Tell-Tale Heart” at my grandmother’s house and being repulsed and fascinated with the characters, settings, and actions. I got hooked and read Poe’s short stories over and over. Metal is too gore-obsessed to reliably deliver the classic spooks, save for King Diamond… but he hasn’t put anything out since 2007. Who will deliver good old-fashioned spooky stories through the medium of metal?!” BOO(urns)!

Hammer King – Poseidon Will Carry Us Home Review

Hammer King – Poseidon Will Carry Us Home Review

“I have been skulking around the dank halls of Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters long enough now that new albums are appearing from bands I’ve reviewed in the past. Sadly, they’re usually not good bands. Last month was another meh effort from Crippled Black Phoenix, and this month we get Hammer King, a German power metal band whose 2016 album was, you guessed it, meh.” Hammer Fail?

The Heretic Order – Evil Rising Review

The Heretic Order – Evil Rising Review

“Well I’ll be damned. It looks like your friendly neighborhood Steel Druhm swiped a King Diamond / Mercyful Fate worshiping band out from under the usually vigilant Doc Grier while he was sleeping with his back turned. U.K.’s The Heretic Order rock a kind of sloppy, sleazy mash-up of Kingly hits and meat n’ taters heavy metal, and they do so with the grace and subtlety of a gaggle of drunken bikers.” No order, no mercy.

Heidevolk – Vuur van Verzet Review

Heidevolk – Vuur van Verzet Review

“I’m a bit of a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to folk. I occupied the Ensiferum / Finntroll bandwagon for a decade, but the Viking folk of Heidevolk came to me as a recent and pleasant surprise. They are not Bathory, not Korpiklaani, not Týr or Vintersorg, but the Dutchmen  blend the aesthetics and strengths of each into one cohesive package.” Go folk yourself.

Within Silence – Return from the Shadows Review

Within Silence – Return from the Shadows Review

“When it comes to metal countries, Slovakia won’t be the first that comes to mind (it didn’t even exist as a category on this site yet!). The little Eastern European country, sandwiched between Poland and Hungary, has scarcely become a hotbed for metal since splitting from its Czech twin, with the biggest name perhaps power metal band Signum Regis. The amount of you going “Who?” just confirms my point. Nevertheless, Within Silence is joining the ranks and dropping their sophomore album Return From the Shadows.” Shadows over Slovakia.

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf could desperately use some time off. Raised on Metal culminates a decade-long span that saw seven LP releases, including a peak of increasingly unaffecting albums between 2012-2014. The gap to 2016’s The Heathen Dawn revitalized Lonewolf‘s sound, suggesting that even a mild breather can do them some good. Not one for learning from their mistakes (or enjoying life or its many bounties), the Frenchmen offer yet another album for judgment, nary sixteen months later.” Can’t we just admire the French work ethic?

Arthemis – Blood – Fury – Domination Review

Arthemis – Blood – Fury – Domination Review

“Until recently, Arthemis had been one of around a few dozen bands I’d always had a mild curiosity for but had never bothered to closely investigate. I’m convinced the only reason I knew of their existence was because they included Power Quest’s vocalist and guitarist (Alessio Garavello and Andrea Martongelli, respectively) amongst their ranks, though now only the latter remains in the band. I also vaguely remembered them from high school as one of a handful of power metal bands that had a propensity for including bare breasts on their album covers, which always struck me as an ironic practice for what might be metal’s least sexy genre.” From Power Quest to Power Chests.

Civil War – The Last Full Measure Review

Civil War – The Last Full Measure Review

Copycatting is behavior generally reserved for little twerps on a mulch-surfaced playground at recess (and only slightly less annoying than asking “Why?” non-stop). Imitation naturally extends to metal as well, though it typically has to transcend influence and homage into rank apery before bands get a strike against them. Even blatant mimicry can earn a […]