Primal Fear

Screamer – Kingmaker Review

Screamer – Kingmaker Review

Screamer doesn’t shout in the face of tradition—they never have and, predictably so, never will. Yes, here in this brand new year of 2023, young(ish) names chase the 40-year (or more) legacy of established icons like Rainbow, Van Halen, and Judas Priest, and there’s nothing wrong with that as many such surviving progenitors have trouble playing after bingo hours these days.” Still sreaming in the night.

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

Circle of Silence – Walk Through Hell Review

“Fate and happenstance have conspired against Germany’s Circle of Silence lo these many years. I was scheduled to review both their 2013 outing The Rise of Resistance and 2018s effort The Crimson Throne. In both cases, I was forced to drop them to cover bigger albums and Circle of Silence was silenced. When I saw the promo for fourth album, Walk Through Hell bobbing in the noxious filth of the promo sump, I made a blood oath that no force on Earth or beyond would prevent me from reviewing it. I owed it to them.” Hell, oaths, wictory and wengeance.

Saxon – Carpe Diem Review

Saxon – Carpe Diem Review

Saxon was there with Elrond 3000 years ago when Sauron fell. Saxon has more albums than some of you have years on Earth. Saxon will still be releasing albums long after you are dust crumbs. These are truisms metal fans must accept before moving on and living a happy and productive existence. Now Saxon’s 23rd fucking album is here, and it’s titled, Carpe Diem. And what can you expect to find when you follow instructions and seize the day?” Elder Godz and day hoarding.

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

Brainstorm – Wall of Skulls Review

“Ever since I stumbled upon Brainstorm by way of Symphorce by way of Ivanhoe, I’ve found these German heavy metal masters to be one of the most reliably ass-kicking acts running. And what a run they’ve been on of late. Every album since 2014s Firesoul has been extra-inspired and brimming with fist-pumping, blood-angering metal classics. 2018s Midnight Ghost was the best in a long line of very good to great outings and it gave me everything I crave from a traditional metal album. Led by powerhouse vocalist Andy B. Franck, Brainstorm have long shown a knack for crafting tunes loaded with hook after hook, infused with beefy, muscular riffage in the Nevermore / Iced Earth vein, and few bands can match their ability to craft a monster chorus. On thirteenth opus Wall of Skulls, absolutely nothing has changed.” Trophy metal.

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.

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

Primal Fear – Metal Commando Review

“Anthems, man. Big, beefy, brainless metal anthems. We all love em, and there are some bands born to churn em out. Primal Fear is at the front of that mob, throwing elbows and spilling cheap beer on posers. Unsurprisingly, lucky album 13, the cringe-inducing yet righteously titled Metal Commando is another big ball o’ metal anthems.” Metal forces.

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the World Spirit Review

“First off, I’d like to apologize if you can’t hear me too well. I’ve been instructed to shout over the anguished shrieks of the Master of Muppets, who’s having a tough time right now. You see, we’re gathered here today to review In the Name of the World Spirit, the third release from Enzo and the Glory Ensemble, the progressive metal project masterminded by Enzo Donnarumma (Members of God), which is a touch outside of the creature’s usual wheelhouse. But positive, progressive, slightly cheesy power metal is something that I happen to delight in, so here we are! Embracing the glory (ensemble).” Double Glory Awaits.

Licence – N.2.O.2.R Review

Licence – N.2.O.2.R Review

“I love complex music as much as the next metalhead. The potential for progressive structures and technical wizardry are some of the elements that set rock and metal apart from most other forms of contemporary music. But sometimes, I just want to kick back with something that’s catchy and dumb, and if there had not been plenty of people who agree with me, we’d never have had glam metal.” Expired.

Voodoo Circle – Raised on Rock Review

Voodoo Circle – Raised on Rock Review

Voodoo Circle make Steel and I yearn for the olde days, when we would sit on the veranda in our trailer park, drinking hobo wine out of pickle jars, listening to mixtapes of Blue Murder, Whitesnake, Great White, and the Scorpions. It was a simpler time: hairspray-soaked blues metal dominated the scene, and there were four main lyrical topics: love, bad love, dirty love, and sex. You can’t get away with that in today’s climate, but that won’t stop Voodoo Circle from trying.” Sex is love.