Pride & Joy Music

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

Secret Rule – The 7 Endless Review

“There’s a category of music you don’t see much outside certain nerd circles, that of the “filk song,” or fan-fiction-as-music, even in a genre of music as intrinsically nerdy as metal. Oh, sure, you can rattle off a number of prominent examples, even excluding edge cases like Symphony X’s Paradise Lost. Hell, a sizable chunk of Blind Guardian‘s output falls firmly in this camp. But overall, it’s not as big a thing as you might expect, especially on the poppier side of the genre. So imagine my surprise when, slogging through the wasteland of the promo bin, I discover an album by a band billing themselves under “melodic metal,” written around Neil Gaiman’s classic The Sandman.” Nerds unite.

Lugnet – Nightwalker Review

Lugnet – Nightwalker Review

“You know that crazy uncle? The one who apparently fronts some sort of sketchy 70s band? Yeah, that one. You see him at the family barbecues, usually a bit more belligerent than a man of his age should be, kind of embarrassing himself on occasion. You think, “There’s no way this dude is in a band.” Then you find yourself, against your best judgement, at one of his gigs, and you realize that whoa, he’s actually a decent singer, and he’s playing in a decent band. It goes against all instincts, but it’s true, and even though you don’t want to, you find yourself drawn to them. Well, that uncle may be none other than Johan Fahlberg, and the band may be none other than Lugnet.” Uncle Lugnet!

Six Foot Six – The Six Foot Six Project Review

Six Foot Six – The Six Foot Six Project Review

“‘N00b, I have something for you.’ I turn to face the voice, surprised to be spoken to directly as all my assignments have arrived via raven scroll thus far. ‘I want to reward you for how well you’ve handled being the worst n00b.’ Steel Druhm hands me a wrapped package. I stand dumb, just as I always do in the presence of authority figures. ‘I think you’ll like it,’ he says with a straight face before turning to walk away. I hear a sound that might be snickering as he disappears around the corner, but I’m too amazed at surviving a face-to-face encounter with him to notice. I look down at the package and peel back a corner of the wrapping. I find a sticker that reads, ‘For fans of Maiden, Priest, Accept, and Falconer.’ Oh my god! Has Christmas come early? Is Steel Druhm one of those “good” evil overlords?” Apes of wrath.

Once – After Earth Review

Once – After Earth Review

“There are few things that break my heart quite like seeing people with passion give their all to something and fail anyway. It’s inevitable in many cases, and often funny (darkly or otherwise), but something about it tugs at the heartstrings. Apropos of nothing let’s discuss Once, a German band named, presumably, for the Nightwish album you just thought of. Having toiled in the underground for a half-decade, Once are finally here with a debut album, After Earth. How does it stack up against the glut of material in their chosen milieu of symphonic power metal?” Once is enough.

Black Majesty – Children of the Abyss Review

Black Majesty – Children of the Abyss Review

“My first exposure to Australian power metallers Black Majesty came when I snagged their Sands of Time debut on a whim while visiting the immortal and greatly missed  Slipped Disc Records in Valley Stream, New York. As impulse buys go, it was a big win and fast became one of my favorite power metal albums, and it still gets steady spins 15 years later. Despite such a powerful beginning, Black Majesty has struggled over the years to equal their debut’s magic.” When you yawn into the abyss….

Eunomia – The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I Review

Eunomia – The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I Review

“Every tepid, derivative power metal act I’ve ever reviewed for this humble blog, pay attention: This is how it’s done. Please, for the love of Turilli, don’t take this to mean that Eunomia‘s The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I, the brainchild of one Peter Danielsen, is a sterling example of a refined power metal release; mimicking this record’s technical foibles would be, on all fronts, an objectively bad idea.” War clubbing.

Crying Steel – Stay Steel Review

Crying Steel – Stay Steel Review

Steel doesn’t cry. Nor does Steel run, hide or eat soy-based food stuffs. He does however partake liberally of 80 heavy metal, and that’s how Crying Steel came under his iron gaze ov chrome. Hailing from Italy, this retro rocking outfit has bounced around for quite some time, managing to release a series of albums from 2007 onward, of which Stay Steel is the fourth. They describe their style as NWoIHM (New Wave of Italian Heavy Metal), which in practice sounds suspiciously like the First Wave of American Metal Inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.” Waves and metal tears.

Last Days of Eden – Chrysalis Review

Last Days of Eden – Chrysalis Review

“When the whole “symphonic metal with opera vocals” thing hit the world with Nightwish, I was intrigued and quite receptive to the concept. I enjoyed their first few albums, yet within a scant few years, the deluge of generic female-fronted clone acts had me running for more extreme climes and rarely have I looked back. That brings us to Last Days of Eden, Spain’s answer to Nightwish.” Symphony of the Night(wish).