Pretty Maids

Shok Paris – Full Metal Jacket Review

Shok Paris – Full Metal Jacket Review

“Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! There’s a new Shok Paris album floating in the glop and gunk of the promo sump! Truly no one saw that coming because Shok Paris was a blip on the 80s metal radar, managing three albums that were decent but definitely low second-tier in the grand scheme of things. They’re most famous (and I use that term loosely here) for the over-the-top vocals of frontman, Vic Hix. The man sounded like Blackie Lawless hopped up on discount Super Soldier Formula and 5 Hour Energy while trying to channel Danzig and Messiah Marcolin simultaneously.” Paris had it coming.

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

Tygers of Pan Tang – Ritual Review

“Three years ago, Tygers of Pan Tang’s self-titled twelfth album made me feel good about old NWoBHM bands, and their ability to craft enjoyable-enough songs. I hadn’t revisited it until it was time to review their new album, Ritual. In fact, I even went and revisited the referred-to review above. I mean, there’s always a chance that, because I was still in my rookie year as a member of the AMG Conglomerate, I was taking it easy on some bands. But I’ve been around for a long time now, and having a warm place in my atrophying heart for a band is not only unacceptable, it is now unheard of.” Tales from an overrating bastard.

Iron Savior – Kill or Get Killed Review

Iron Savior – Kill or Get Killed Review

Iron Savior can’t be fought, Iron Savior can’t be sought. Brought to life in 1997 by original Helloween frontman Piet Sielck, the band’s made a respectable career for themselves by beefing up the base sound of Piet’s genre-defining former act with traditional and NWoBHM influences, resulting in a gritty, cantankerous hybrid. Kill or Get Killed is their tenth album in this meat n’ fancy taters style, and they sound none the worse for wear after 21 years in the iron trenches.” You can’t kill the olde.

Raven – ExtermiNation Review

Raven – ExtermiNation Review

Raven is somewhat of a metallic riddle. Having been around since 1974 and considered one of the banner bearers of the NWoBHM invasion of the early 80s, as well as a major influence on the thrash genre, they never gained as much traction as one would expect. Like Anvil and Krokus, they seemed poised on the precipice of greatness, but a combination of bad timing, poor decisions and the fickle mistress that is metal fandom conspired to bring them low and deny them their due.” But they’re still here, and they can still metal. Can you say the same?

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time Review

Avantasia – The Mystery of Time Review

“You have to give Tobias Sammet his steely props. He doesn’t do things half-assed. Nope, he goes big, bold and lets the Metal Gods sort shit out. His Edguy material is plenty pretentious and overblown, but it can’t hold a magic candle to the sheer pretentious pomposity and bombast of his Avantasia project. Taking cues from Arjen Luccasen’s Ayreon outings, Sammet drags in every singer, guitarist and hanger-on he can and it seems he’s playing a metallic version of Pokemon (gotta catch em all). His last feat was the impressive double release of the Angel of Babylon and The Wicked Symphony albums (my fanboyish reviews of which, landed me a spot at AMG Industries, Ltd. for some reason), and I was very curious how he could top those massive platters of symphonic excess.” So how exactly does Mr. Sammet top his prior output? Steel Druhm is here to unravel the mysteries of time.

Zero Illusions – Oblivion Review

Zero Illusions – Oblivion Review

As the metal universe impatiently awaits releases by the biggies like Amon Amarth, Symphony X and the Godly Amorphis, we metal reviewers have to make due with what’s available and try to conceal our girlish glee over the impending major releases. Unfortunately for the Steel Druhm, today’s selection didn’t do much to distract my geekish anticipation for what lies ahead. For consideration is Oblivion, the second full-length release by Swedish heavy metal/hard rockers Zero Illusions. Formerly known (to very few) as Pain and Passion and billed as a progressive/power metal unit, there’s apparently a lot of buzz in the Swedish underground around these gents as the next “big thing” [Though it’s fair to point out that said buzz may be entirely fabricated by the band’s bio which hails them as the next big thing and describes how everyone is talking about it. – AMG]. After repeated listens to Oblivion, I’m at a loss to understand either the progressive metal tag or the overall buzz. I’m quite sure these guys won’t be the next big or medium size thing out of Sweden and while Zero illusions isn’t going to blow the lid of any metal scene, it’s a respectable though somewhat forgettable slice of straight forward, traditional metal with pronounced AOR hard rock influences.