Retro Metal

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

White Magician – Dealers of Divinity Review

“In the unhallowed halls of Angry Metal Guy World Headquarters, some of the thralls writers wax on about what a great year it has been for death metal. I would put forward that it’s also been pretty decent for traditional/epic/classic metal – or whatever you want to call it. Enter White Magician, a quartet of like-minded classic metal aficionados from Detroit, and their debut release, Dealers of Divinity. These guys hope to take their brand of classic rock and metal all the way to the top. Professing to be a blend of Mercyful Fate and Blue Öyster Cult, could the odds be stacked in their favor?” Mages wild.

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

“Nobody will remember this, but back in 2017 Night’s album Raft of the World found its way onto my year-end list. This Swedish cadre of retro-rockers wormed their way onto my playlists with a catchier-than-it-should-have-been brand of 70’s hard rock, drawing influence from bands I love such as Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. They started out as a NWoBHM-worshiping group, and have evolved over the years into a very classic hard rock act. High Tides – Distant Skies sees the band shed nearly all of their metallic influences, save for some proto-metal riffing, in exchange for the classic rock of Blue Öyster Cult and, yes, Dire Straits.” That ain’t working. Or is it?

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

Lightning Born – Lightning Born Review

“Indeed, my indirect memories of the 70s feature objects and trends grown shabby from age and eventually replaced by neon colors, Reaganomics and synth pop. Raleigh, North Carolina’s Lightning Born, on the other hand, remember the 70’s in living detail and have preserved them in pristine amber on their full-length eponymous debut.” Lightning born, time frozen.

Traveler – Traveler Review

Traveler – Traveler Review

“Another month, another retro band dropping an album on our doorstep. Do we need more retro bands? Actually, we need more of every kind of band, if they’re capable of writing great songs. That will be the key here, as local (to me) boys Traveler aim to blow the lid off the retro/proto scene with eight songs of caffeine-injected, high-energy metallic romps down memory lane. In this case, if that lane had a name, it would be Manilla Road (see what I did there?).” Olde but still getting around.

Hypnos – Set Fire to the Sky Review

Hypnos – Set Fire to the Sky Review

“In the vanguard of the retro rock/metal movement are High Spirits, Gygax, Audrey Horne, and Night Flight Orchestra: bands that wear their influences not only on their sleeves, but on their entire bodies. They pay loving homage to the sounds of the 70s and 80s, but their songwriting prowess sets them apart from the crowd. Rather than making a mockery of Thin Lizzy or Toto, they revel in the sound and chart their own path forward – either in earnestness or in ultimate cheese. Sweden’s Hypnos aim to join this exalted group with their third album, Set Fire to the Sky.” Fly to the past.

Octopus – Supernatural Alliance Review

Octopus – Supernatural Alliance Review

“Here we are, once again, gathered together under the metaphoric roof of the Angry Metal Hall. Our ranks comprise fans of all walks of metal, no two tastes are identical and yet we all convene here to bang our heads as one. What joins us disparate degenerates as children of the Jørn? What fantastic force unites the photometers, hamsters, and screaming boxes that plague our comment section? The answer holds as trve now as in those dark days preceding the internet: it’s the riffs, stupid. This obvious answer in turn poses an obvious question: “What does this have to do with Octopus’ Supernatural Alliance?”” What a big tent you have.

Gygax – 2nd Edition Review

Gygax – 2nd Edition Review

“When we last saw California’s Gygax, the stalwart four-piece party encountered a cynical man-cat from the mountains of Blashyrkh, hoping to impress this grizzled wizard with Critical Hits, an album that sang the praises of Dungeons & Dragons with a sound that would make Phil Lynott proud.” They like big dice and they cannot lie.

Laser Flames on the Great Big News – Laser Flames on the Great Big News [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Laser Flames on the Great Big News – Laser Flames on the Great Big News [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“The term retro metal/rock gets bandied around a lot, due to the over-saturation of bands mining the freewheeling creativity of ’70s rock to varying degrees of success and very little originality. Lumping Laser Flames under the retro label would be a great disservice to the creativity and inventiveness the band conjures throughout the epic stoner odyssey of this self-titled release.” Retro rock with freakin laser beams!

Hard Action – Hot Wired Beat Review

Hard Action – Hot Wired Beat Review

“Ah, December. Also known as the reviewer’s doldrums. Hardly anything good is ever released in December: it’s the time of year when our aggregate review scores take a bit of a tumble. In poring over the December releases, I found four albums that seemed marginally appealing. Hot Wired Beat, the sophomore effort from Finnish rockers Hard Action, wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless, I’m game for taking one more kick at the retro metal cat.” What did that retro cat ever do to you?