Running Wild

Eternity’s End – Embers of War Review

Eternity’s End – Embers of War Review

“A week ago, progressive/technical death metal titans Obscurareleased a well-received album that featured the return of longtime guitarist Christian Münzner. Münzner had left the band in 2014 after developing focal dystonia, an overuse condition that left his fretting hand neurologically compromised. Needing a break from the relentless touring cycle of a band like Obscura, Münzner turned to other projects. Recruiting former Obscura bandmates Linus Klausenitzer and Hannes Grossmann, Münzner formed Eternity’s End with the goal to produce high-quality progressive power metal.” Powerful hobbies.

Running Wild – Blood on Blood Review

Running Wild – Blood on Blood Review

“I’ve said it before. Pirating is a tough racket. No sooner do you find a bountiful treasure than you find yourself forcibly separated from said booty by rival marauders. There’s no dispute that Running Wild invented the whole “pirate metal” schtick way back in 1987 with their Under Jolly Roger opus, and they’ve tenaciously clung to the gimmick riggings ever since, releasing some 13 albums of vaguely buccaneer-themed heavy metal. Their last voyage was 2016s Rapid Foray, which wasn’t their most sea-worthy endeavor, but now they return to the swashing and buckling only to face stiff competition from younger, hungrier acts like Blazon Stone, who’ve pilfered all but the moniker from the original sea dogs.” Blood and gimmicks.

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

“There are plenty of well-documented examples of a younger band blatantly ripping off the sound, style, and mystique of an older, more established act. Agalloch brutally stole Ulver‘s schtick. Primal Fear looted the Judas Priest playbook lock, stock, barrel, and leather chaps. None of these however were as flagrant as the wholesale thievery perpetrated by Blazon Stone upon the unsuspecting buccaneers in Running Wild. You see, Blazon Stone stole not only Running Wild‘s entire sound and pirate concept, but named themselves after one of their records, and the title of their debut album Return to Port Royal directly references Running Wild‘s Port Royal platter. In a nutshell, they raided Running Wild‘s booty hard enough to cause generational shame and trauma.” Seven seas and five sticky fingers.

Neck Cemetery – Born in a Coffin Review

Neck Cemetery – Born in a Coffin Review

“Hello, neighbor. Would you like to play a game with me? Yes? How about the “guess the genre” game. You know, the one where you look at an album’s cover to see if you can predict what it will sound like? How about we start with the band name? Neck Cemetery. Yikes. That’s a bad name.” Wreckin’ necks.

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

Ensiferum – Thalassic Review

“Try as they might though, Ensiferum‘s glory days seemingly sailed on without them after From Afar. 2017’s Two Paths aptly laid out the options before the band: death or glory. Without righting the ship fast, the hallowed melofolk act would scuttle all hope of escaping brand and exile. So they did the one thing guaranteed to sell nowadays: write some pirate metal.” Used YARR dealership.

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

Sölicitör – Spectral Devastation Review

“2019 was a dream for me when it came to reviews: nearly 20% of the albums I covered were released by bands within 150 miles of my house, and of those several can be found in my own Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Quayde LaHüe and Mortiferum impressed me, and the now infamous “Skelator Incident” induced heretofore unseen levels of arousal and nearly resulted in my actual firing from this site. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the temptation to grab the debut of Seattle’s Sölicitör.” Criminal sölicitatiön.

Stormwarrior – Norsemen Review

Stormwarrior – Norsemen Review

“Aeons ago, long before I answered the casting call to write for this prestigious hostile work environment or had even commented on a review, I was but a reader and lurker of the site. Even then, I imagined that I might one day find my name written upon the sacred digital stone of AMG’s “About” tab. I fancied that I might form an inseparable bond with one Swordborn, the site’s apparent resident cheese custodian. In my fantasies, we’d frolic together through meadows like metal Cupids, firing 4.0’s and 4.5’s at power metal albums all willy nilly, laughing all the while.” Oh, so this is one of those fanfics.

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

Aephanemer – Prokopton Review

“The vaunted sophomore album. The dreaded sophomore album. It’s a metal rite of passage nowadays, fully reflective of our hyper-streamlined society, for the raw and promising to go from who-the-fucks to our favorite bands in an insanely compressed period of time. This tends to be especially true for AMG favorites—see Wilderun, Æther Realm, Khemmis, Cân Bardd, Altars of Grief, Hamferð, etc., etc. Since the opening bars of their 2016 debut Momento Mori, I prayed that someday Aephanemer would assume their rightful place in that most hallowed legion.” One giant step.

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece Review

“When it comes to power metal, I’m really not difficult to please. My expectations for a good example of the genre are no more elevated than the baseline that Helloween established over three decades ago; the material needs to be fun, energetic, and hooky, and if a band can pull this off, I ask for little else. I don’t think there’s a power metal act out there that fails to identify this recipe for success, yet so very few of them manage to capitalize. The style is plagued by countless bands rehashing watered down pop melodies against toothless power chords, seemingly unable to perceive that they utterly lack the charisma that elevated their influences. Thornbridge sees these pretenders, and says ‘we can do better.'” Though, with a name like Theatrical Masterpiece, there is a sense that they might be setting expectations a tad high.

Toxik Attack – Assassinos em Série Review

Toxik Attack – Assassinos em Série Review

“I’m proud to tell you that I happen to be AMG’s resident specialist when it comes to Portuguese language thrash/speed releases from Helldprod Records. No other writer here can boast the honor of reviewing such a record, >and now I’ve done it twice in my illustriously short career. It may be an impossibly narrow niche, but hey, you have to start somewhere! Assassinos em Série is the debut album from Portuguese band Toxik Attack, and it is my next great hope for thrash in 2019.” Closed for remediation.