Riot

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

Hard to Stop seems an apropos title for a new High Spirits platter, as founder and solo performer Chris Black (Dawnbringer, Professor Black, Aktor) cannot easily be dissuaded from his quest to fuse the hard rock playfulness of Thin Lizzy into a metal format. On album number four, he’s once again assembled a collection of high energy rockers built around simple but effective hooks and harmonies.” Never stop never stopping.

Riot V – Armor of Light Review

Riot V – Armor of Light Review

Riot (V) is one of America’s oldest, most enduring metal bands and the pride of New York City. From their launch way back in the late 1970s through countless lineup changes and setbacks, they’ve pushed forward with typical New Yorker stubbornness. In a way they’re the American Saxon, forever rocking onward though greater recognition and fame perpetually eludes them.” Is it time to Riot? Yes, yes it is.

Mistheria – Gemini Review

Mistheria – Gemini Review

“If only it were that simple. Completely instrumental albums are more difficult to write, I think because we are automatically drawn to voices. Without a vocalist, the tracks must be carefully composed to guide the listener’s attention and keep a sense of structural flow and integrity. Gemini is not carefully composed. Gemini doesn’t have flow and barely any structure. Rather, Gemini is a group of very talented musicians wanking onto a biscuit and hoping you’ll eat it.” Don’t eat the buttermilked biscuits.

Vescera – Beyond the Fight Review

Vescera – Beyond the Fight Review

“As a kid growing up in the 80s, one of my favorite metal bands was Connecticut’s own Obsession. After getting featured on Metal Massacre II way back in 82 they went on to release a killer EP and two very impressive albums of heavy but melodic metal merging speed with an almost hair metal approach loaded with hooks. A big part of Obsession‘s charm came from the powerhouse, leather-lunged delivery of Michael Vescera. After Obsession folded up shop in 88, he became a kind of metal Ronin, wandering the Earth selling his talents to the likes of Loudness and Yngwie Malmsteen, even putting in a regrettable stint in Animetal USA, as well as fronting several super groups (MVP, The Reign of Terror) and his own eponymous act (Michael Vescera).” Ride on, Metal Gypsy.

Existance – Breaking the Rock Review

Existance – Breaking the Rock Review

“Retro is the most marketable term for old junk we’ve ever come up with. The nostalgia driven desire to reproduce the splendor of 20 years ago, regardless of what year it is, pretty much started as soon as ’20 years ago’ no longer meant World War II, and it has only increased in magnitude and ubiquity since then.” We never step on a great line.

Blackwelder – Survival of the Fittest Review

Blackwelder – Survival of the Fittest Review

“A new power metal super group? Oh joy! You know how we love super groups around here. This star studded lineup features vocal powerhouse Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, ex-Gamma Ray) and his Primal Fear band mate Aquiles Priester on drums, rounded out by Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen, Quiet Riot) on bass and the brutally unheralded Andrew Szucs on guitar.” Guitar-heavy power metal by a mostly unknown crew of power players and we’re supposed to call it a “super group”? Yes we are.

Thoughts and Musings on Defenders of the Old Festival III

Thoughts and Musings on Defenders of the Old Festival III

“As most readers are well aware, I am old. I grew up in the 80s as a precocious child of metal and still harbor a deep, abiding love for all things 80s and iron. Naturally, I’m the very demographic for a three-day festival mostly made up of bands from those bygone times. This is why Madam X and I decamped to Brooklyn, New York for the third Defenders of the Old Festival this past weekend (the first to be held in the lovely and historic borough of the Empire State).” Old meets old. Geezer Fight!

Nocturna – Lucidity Review

Nocturna – Lucidity Review

“Given AMG and Steel Druhm’s well-documented love for power metal (Sonata Arctica, Riot, Edguy), it’s difficult to claim high profile names within the genre for review. The reviews I just linked were all within the last eight months, and 2015 alone has already seen well-received releases from Blind Guardian, Angra and Orden Ogan. Aside from demonstrating the corrupt poseurs masquerading as our leaders, this leaves us meager staff writers scraping the bottom of the power metal barrel…” Did El Cuervo just call the Metal Tribunal corrupt? That’s a paddlin’ offense.