Royal Thunder

Pristine – Road Back to Ruin [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

Pristine – Road Back to Ruin [Things You Might Have Missed 2019]

“Once again, whether due to rank neglect or prior obligation, we missed Pristine‘s latest slab of bar-brawling, leather-bound, bluesy hard rock goodness. Fans of this site will remember Huck N Roll swooning over Pristine‘s Ninja, which was indeed a strong record from a Norwegian band operating way under the radar punching way above their weight class. Road Back to Ruin punches even higher, swinging and swaggering hard enough to fell Sequoias like blades of grass.” Roads best taken.

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

Contrite Metal Guy – Mistakes Were Made

“The life of the unpaid, overworked metal reviewer is not an easy one. Cascading promos, unreasonable deadlines, draconian editors and the unwashed metal mobs – it makes for a swirling maelstrom of music and madness. In all that tumult, errors are bound to happen and sometimes our initial impression of an album may not be completely accurate. With time and distance comes wisdom, and so we’ve decided to pull back the confessional curtain and reveal our biggest blunders, missteps, oversights and ratings face-plants. Consider this our sincere AMGea culpa. Redemption is retroactive, forgiveness is mandatory.” Bygones begone.

Motorowl – Atlas Review

Motorowl – Atlas Review

“In 2016, The Underground yielded a cool troupe of hard rockers hailing from Eastern Germany called Motorowl. Their debut, Om Generator (“OG”), was an accomplished and mature outing for such a fresh group and they naturally caught my eye when they reappeared in our promo bin, replete with Century Media record deal intact and spacey new artwork. I like exposing small bands even if signed to (relatively) big labels so permit me 600 words or so to explore Atlas.” Who??

Pristine – Ninja [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Pristine – Ninja [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“It might not have been the best year for male vocalists, but the women in metal more than made up for it. Stellar performances from bands as varied as Royal Thunder, Sabbath Assembly, Chelsea Wolfe, Myrkur, and Diablo Swing Orchestra showed us that the women can bring it. But the best performance of the year came from a band whose album flew under our radar back in June, Pristine, and their fourth album, Ninja.” Women to the front!

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!

Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown Review

Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown Review

“We’ve been seeing it since the dawn of time: when one band finds success, record company execs stumble over themselves trying to sign the next great version of that band. Rarely is the next great version actually found: instead, what we usually end up with are tepid versions of the original, competent yet missing that certain intangible (and more often than not also missing decent songwriting). Case in point: the critical success bands like Royal Thunder and Blues Pills have enjoyed in recent years. Record labels are wading through quagmires looking for the next great female-fronted retro blues/metal acts, and tossing half-baked ideas at us in the hopes that something sticks.” Sticky or icky?

Royal Thunder – Wick Review

Royal Thunder – Wick Review

“Impressive Atlanta rockers Royal Thunder have proven their credentials in the modern rock scene on the back of a couple of solid EP’s and great albums. Debut LP CVI blindsided me with its explosive rock hooks, dynamic songwriting, and bluesy southern swagger, flooring me in such a way that I admit to being apprehensive when they returned with sophomore album Crooked Doors in 2015.” Kingly hard rock for the unwashed masses.

Motorowl – Om Generator Review

Motorowl – Om Generator Review

“I do still ponder how it is certain bands get big and others don’t. A world where iwrestledabearonce is hot shit and Wilderun isn’t is cruel and unjust but much of that seems to be down to lucky exposure to label scouts. At the luckier end, take Motorowl. A tiny band from Eastern Germany with scarcely 500 followers on Facebook and no outstanding reason to have garnered the attention of a large label.”It’s better to be lucky AND good.

Dr. Fisting’s Top 10(ish) of 2015

Dr. Fisting’s Top 10(ish) of 2015

“2015 seems to have yielded a larger-than-usual crop of good music. For the first time since I’ve joined this fine website, I’ve found a lot more than 10 albums that could have easily made this list, and I’ve had to make some tough calls. Obviously, this is a good problem to have, and I’m not complaining.”

As always, if your favorite album isn’t on my list, it’s because your opinion is wrong, you have terrible taste in music and I don’t like you. Onward!