Rainbow

Sarcator – Alkahest Review

Sarcator – Alkahest Review

“I was hoping that Sarcator would be short for something cool like “Sarcastic Alligator” or “Sarcophagus Emasculator.” Sadly, it’s just an unforgivable portmanteau of Sarcófago and Kreator. I trudged on undeterred, enticed by the description of Sarcator’s Alkahest. These Swedes bill themselves as blackened thrashers inspired by ’80s German thrash, a shortcut to my listening queue. And it’s exciting to review albums by teenagers; they may be hit-or-miss, but nothing warms my shriveled heart like hearing youngsters trying to drive metal onward.” Young, dumb, full of Sodom.

Munroe’s Thunder – The Black Watch Review

Munroe’s Thunder – The Black Watch Review

“Former Metal ChurchTrans-Siberian Orchestra and current Vicious Rumors vocalist, Ronny Munroe makes his long-awaited return this month with the debut of his Munroe’s Thunder project. Nearly 6 years in the making, The Black Watch is a loose concept album dealing with Scottish and English history and Ronny’s ancestor’s roles in it. William Wallace, Mary, Queen of Scots, and the wars for Scottish independence are touched on as the backdrop for the project’s ambitious and interesting blend of metal and hard rock, marrying strong Rainbow and Deep Purple influences with the prog-trad idioms of Savatage.” Your watch has begun.

Joe Lynn Turner – Belly of the Beast Review

Joe Lynn Turner – Belly of the Beast Review

“If someone were to ask me for my favorite classic-era vocalist that doesn’t get enough credit, for sure I would say Joe Lynn Turner. I absolutely love his voice, and the three Rainbow albums he sang on are, to me at least, underrated hard rock gems. So it is with great shame I admit that I haven’t listened to a single minute of his post-Rainbow work. Being apparently out of the loop, when I heard Turner was releasing his eleventh (!) solo album this month, I jumped the queue and grabbed it.” Head turner.

Mirror – The Day The Bastard Leaders Die Review

Mirror – The Day The Bastard Leaders Die Review

Mirror plays a NWoBHM-inspired brand of retro metal. They also reflect a variety of influences from 70s prog to early 80s metal. Their third album, The Day Bastard Leaders Die, offers up a 44-minute tour back to the time when class was stained, and killers were running free. The band is a passion project for Greek bassist, Tasos Danazoglou – most famously known for his short stint in Electric Wizard. Here he’s under the influence again paying tribute to the music he clearly loves.” Faded reflections and bad luck.

Rachel Mother Goose – Synra Basho Review

Rachel Mother Goose – Synra Basho Review

“Yes, Rachel Mother Goose is an odd name and no, I don’t know why they chose to call themselves that. Given that RMG is a Japanese band and given many of the curious lyric choices (all in English), I imagine something was lost in translation. I had never heard of this band before Steel Druhm handed it off, but the mention of Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen as primary influences had me intrigued. How would a band of young Japanese shredders update the bloated neoclassical metal genre? Would it be full “Speed King” ahead with epic Blackmorean riffs? Or a neoclassical wank fest of Rising Forced arpeggios?” Duck, duck, Yngwie!

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

Yer Metal Is Olde: Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell

“Hello, controversy! In all of metal, one of the most controversial topics is Black Sabbath with and without Ozzy. Passions are inflamed and regrettable words are spewed in both directions any time this debate comes up. Being a human completely lacking in emotion or empathy, I don’t care about it. I want good albums period, and let’s be honest, this record’s predecessor was Never Say Die!, undoubtedly one of the band’s least finest moments, with or without their infamous leading man. No matter what came next, it was a low bar.” Vintage evil.

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

Greyhawk – Keepers of the Flame Review

“The other day, I was eating lunch with my 6-year-old son Ezkaton, and I swear to God, he gazed out the window with a thousand-yard stare and said the following without any prompting and without any music playing in the background: “Dad, I don’t know why I like Greyhawk so much. I don’t even try to like them, but they just make me like them.”” Sons of iron.

Black Sites – Exile Review

Black Sites – Exile Review

“Chicago’s Black Sites is the brainchild of guitarist and singer Mark Sugar, formerly of underrated modern thrashers Trials. It could be that Sugar and I are roughly the same age, both grew up on shitty post-glory-days ’90s thrash metal and/or are both from the Midwest, but whatever it is he seems to speak my language. Trials’ final album ended up on my Top 10(ish) in 2015 and Black Sites’ debut found similar acclaim in 2017. A songwriter with two albums that placed at #2 in my Top 10(ish) lists in the year they were released is about as close to a direct highway to “elevated expectations” as it gets. And when Mark sent me Exile, I can say that I was very excited.” Makin’ bacon (and metal).