Riot

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.

Riot V – Unleash the Fire Review

Riot V – Unleash the Fire Review

Riot is a legendary name in the New York metal scene with a career spanning almost 40 years. They’ve released genre classics like Narita, Fire Down Under and their crowning moment, 1988s Thundersteel. I’ve banged on about how great that album is since joining AMG and to this day it remains one of my all time favorites. The Thundersteel lineup reunited in 2011 for the brilliant Immortal Soul, which earned a very rare 5.0/5.0 from yours truly and it seemed the world was about to witness a major Riot renaissance. Then tragedy struck and founder and guitarist supreme Mark Reale passed away, leaving Riot in limbo.” The New York titans have been resurrected along with their seal faced mascot. But will it earn Steel Druhm’s Seal of Approval?

Johnny Touch – Inner City Wolves Review

Johnny Touch – Inner City Wolves Review

Johnny Touch may be one of the all time worst band names, sounding more like the local playground creeper than the throwback 80s metal act they are (the cover art totally makes up for it though). That aside, this little known Aussie act has adopted an extremely old school sound influenced by early American acts like Riot and Cities as well as the earliest Dio, Ozzy and Yngwie solo albums. Basically this is as retro as metal can get since there’s scant room to crawl further up the genre’s ass before you’re stumbling across The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.” Steel Druhm reenacts The Old Man and the Sea, but with metal.

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.

Aska – Fire Eater Review

Aska – Fire Eater Review

“There aren’t many modern bands that pull off that vintage 80s American metal style without sounding contrived or cheesy or both. Aska is an unheralded, mega-obscure band that can count themselves among the few with that magic touch. Though in existence since 1994, they’ve only managed to release six albums, and Fire Eater is the long-awaited (by thirty of us) follow-up to 2007s Absolute Power. Apart from the glaring lack or productivity, they’ve had long-running issues with the consistency of their material. While they were capable of penning some real old school scorchers, they also had a tendency to drop a few stinkers per album that would leave me shaking my head. Still, when they nail their brand of traditional metal, it rings loud and trve across the land.” If Steel Druhm doesn’t get to review retro metal every few weeks he gets all bent out of shape. Maybe the old timey charm of Aska will get him back to his usual grouchy self.

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

Hibria – Silent Revenge Review

“There are a lot of good bands down there in South America and they always seem to pop up out of nowhere and surprise you. Brazil’s Hibria did just that with their 2004 Defying the Rules debut, which rocked a type of heavy power metal quite similar to Riot‘s Thundersteel mixed with classic Euro-power like old Helloween. It was surprisingly mature and polished for a debut and had a number of great songs that earned permanent playlist rotation. Their Skull Collectors follow-up was solid enough, but I didn’t think much of the Blind Ride platter released in 2011. I feared they were in the classic Dimishing Returns Death Spiral and hoped they could find a way back to the glory of that awesome debut.” Nothing is worse than a promising band caught in a creative death spiral! Can Hibria avoid disaster and guide the ship back to the promised land of power metal? Steel Druhm is on scene and it was clearly the wrong week for him to quit sniffing glue.

Alpha Tiger – Beneath the Surface Review

Alpha Tiger – Beneath the Surface Review

“Move your skinny asses over, Enforcer, there’s a new sheriff in Retro City and the name is really shitty. I know a pussy cat name like Alpha Tiger won’t inspire much faith amongst the angry metal masses, but trust me, the music more than makes up for the cheese-tastic moniker (which belongs on a third-rate Japanese video game where you brawl through a zoo and up the food chain). This is unapologetically old school, traditional metal taking its cues from early 80s American acts like Agent Steel, Armored Saint, John Arch era-Fates Warning, Sacred Oath and Crimson Glory.” Yes, Steel Druhm is delivering MORE retro metal for your consideration!! Deal with it. ROAR!

Seven Kingdoms – The Fire is Mine Review

Seven Kingdoms – The Fire is Mine Review

Through hellstorms, hail and snow, Steel Druhm keeps delivering the power metal like a creepy, metal-obsessed mailman in full battle armor. Today’s package includes the classic power stylings from Seven Kingdoms. If you like the super catchy Hammerfall and Gamma Ray sound, this will blow your mind as it did Mr. Steel’s. It seems there’s no end to the power metal destruction he plans to unleash on these here pages in the coming weeks, so batten down the hatches and prepare accordingly.

Riot Founder/Guitarist Mark Reale Passes Away

Riot Founder/Guitarist Mark Reale Passes Away

It comes as exceptionally sad news that Mark Reale, founder/guitarist of New York metal legends Riot, passed away last night after being stricken by severe complications related to Crohn’s Disease. Riot was an enormously influential band and their Thundersteel album was, IMO, one of the best pure metal albums ever released. Riot had just reformed that classic Thundersteel line up and […]