Queensryche

Operation: Mindcrime – The Key Review

Operation: Mindcrime – The Key Review

“Geoff Tate cannot be stopped. Getting fired from Queensryche barely slowed him down, and a lengthy court battle over the band name just made him mad. Hell, we even begged him to show us mercy, but he denied us. Instead, Tate has delivered The Key, the debut outing by his creatively-named new project Operation: Mindcrime.” Someone, somewhere deserves this.

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

Alpha Tiger – iDentity Review

“In the recesses of my chrome and iron 80s heart, I have endless affection for the early Fates Warning albums like The Specter Within and Awaken the Guardian. They just don’t make classy, traditional metal like that anymore and I wish more retro noodle heads would turn their gaze back to that golden era of metal and give it a go.” What’s new, pussy cat? Quite a bit, actually.

Malpractice – Turning Tides Review

Malpractice – Turning Tides Review

“These days, prog metal seems to be coming down to how many strings your guitar has, if you’re a virtuoso or not, and what presets you have on your Axe-FX. Seriously, it seems like all the prog metal bands in the scene today have been obsessing over effect processors and compression during production, that it just drains the enjoyment out of it. Even then, they’re too busy wanking on their guitars, trying to constantly outperform everyone else who crosses their path. Essentially, to quote Devin Townsend, it’s a “dick swinging competition.”” When the dicks are a swinging, don’t come a dinging. Anywho, here’s some prog metal.

Retro-spective Review: Lizzy Borden – Master of Disquise

Retro-spective Review: Lizzy Borden – Master of Disquise

“Lizzy Borden was the charming tyke famous for chopping up her folks with an axe (allegedly). Lizzy Borden the band (and the man) are much less famous, and that’s why I’m casting the attention nets back through time to land their magnum opus for your consideration. As part of the wave of slightly glamy hair metal acts that spewed from L.A. in the 80s, Lizzy and W.A.S.P. were basically cut from the same animal print cloth. They wanted to be metal, but sought to incorporate lots of radio friendly hooks and glam, sleaze n’ trash theatrics.” Ready for a hair metal rock opera? Wait, come back, it’s really good!

Brainstorm – Firesoul Review

Brainstorm – Firesoul Review

“Ever since hearing the Ivanhoe albums way back in the late 90s, I’ve been a huge fan of Andy B. Franck’s vocals. He has pipes that could only be destined for a life fronting a metal band, though he possesses the range to do virtually any kind of music. His slightly proggy, but hyper-accessible albums with Symphorce are always in rotation at Casa de la Druhm, as are his many releases with traditional metal act Brainstorm. The latter are especially tasty, blending Judas Priest‘s Painkiller era with the punch and crunch of American power metal like Iced Earth and Pantera, then layering in a plethora of earwormy vocal hooks and monumental, anthemic choruses that cannot be forgotten. Albums like Mentus Mortis, Soul Temptation and Liquid Monster are nearly perfect examples of pure heavy metal and whenever I spin them for someone unacquainted, they wonder how they could have missed the boat.” Intrigued yet?

Fisting Andrew Golota’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

Fisting Andrew Golota’s Top Ten(ish) of 2013

“I don’t really have any clever observations about the past year in metal. A few of my AMG cohorts have griped that 2013’s release schedule was somewhat lacking, but I didn’t have that problem at all. There may have been fewer good albums quantity-wise (I wasn’t counting), but the ones that were good were REALLY fucking good.” Always the optimist, Mr. Fisting found the good in 2013 and tells you where it was hidden. He’s like Mr. Silver Linings!

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

Things You Might Have Missed 2013: Masters of Disguise – Back With a Vengeance

“As a wise man named Mr. Fisting Himself once observed, the latest trend in metal is finding the most obscure acts from the past and repackaging them as underground, cult and cool, or to quote the man Himself, embarking on “the slow journey up it’s own ass.” Taking part in this mining mission to Uranus, Masters of Disguise is a band wholly created to pay homage to the extremely under known mid 80s speed metal act Savage Grace. Whom, you ask? Exactly.” Talk about wallowing in obscurity! These guys are so far up metal’s ass they may never be seen again, but I thought the same thing about their progenitor too.

Retro-Spective Review: Barren Cross – Atomic Arena

Retro-Spective Review: Barren Cross – Atomic Arena

“We don’t get much “white metal” around these here parts. Not that we’re opposed (well, Madam X and Noctus are), but there isn’t much of it out there and even less that’s actually notable. There was a time where it was more in vogue though, and acts like Stryper crafted an entire identity around being good Christian soldiers under God’s righteous command. While I never cared much for those preachy yellow jackets, I did enjoy one release by a band standing in their pious shadow. Barren Cross was a Christian act hailing from Los Angeles of all places and though they were preachy too, they backed it up with far more metal than Stryper ever did.” It’s time for some good, old fashioned God Metal here at AMG. Wait, come back!! It’s hardly Godly at all, you wicked biscuits!

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

Retro-spective Review: Wicked Maraya – Cycles

“When I do these little retro-reviews, I try to find albums that really had a lot to offer, but somehow never caught the public’s attention. Be it bad marketing, poor timing or short band life, there’s always a reason why a high-quality album slips through the cracks into oblivion. Perhaps no better example exists than Wicked Maraya and their debut album Cycles. Steel Druhm’s clinical diagnosis here is one of terminally poor timing. While Cycles sported a winning and catchy-as-fuck traditional heavy metal sound that strikes me as a darker, edgier, more proggy Queensryche mixed with Crimson Glory and Nevermore, it arrived at the very height of the Seattle grudge explosion where everything metal was forced back underground after a decade of prominence and popularity.” More goodies from the vault? Steel Druhm is in a giving mode to be sure. Ignore the terrible band name and awful album cover and let’s all focus on what counts: the music!