Saxon

Quartz – Fear No Evil Review

Quartz – Fear No Evil Review

“Stylistically Quartz play traditional heavy metal in the vein of Judas Priest and Saxon, and Fear No Evil has a distinctively old school flavor. Everything about it, from the chord progressions and melodies to the warm, uncomplicated production sounds as though it was pulled straight from the early ‘80s, lending it a reassuringly authentic quality, and first impressions are positive.” Retro, Shaggy!

Running Wild – Rapid Foray Review

Running Wild – Rapid Foray Review

“The pirate’s life is not for everyone. Extensive travel, oft unprofessional coworkers and arcane profit sharing arrangements conspire to limit the talent pool and keep opportunities scarce. None of that ever mattered to Running Wild. They took to the trade like a duck to water and from 1987 onward they’ve kept the marauder’s flag flying almost nonstop through hard times and rough seas. Rapid Foray is the third release since their 2012 “reformation” and as on Shadowmaker and Resilient, they’re not looking to reinvent the parrot.” Rum and rummer.

Thor – Metal Avenger Review

Thor – Metal Avenger Review

“Whether you know it or not, Jon Mikl Thor is a living legend. His bizarre 40 year journey through the entertainment wood chipper has taken him to the disparate worlds of bodybuilding, live quasi-porn theater, proto-heavy metal and Grade-Z horror films. Through it all and come what may, the amiable Canadian Juggernaut just keeps smiling and flexing away, forever awaiting his big break.” The hammer will fall on all those who deny Thor’s trveness.

Saxon – Battering Ram Review

Saxon – Battering Ram Review

“The Elder Godz of the NWoBHM are making a major statement in 2015. Iron Maiden dropped their first ever double album last month, Satan hit this month with a righteous release and here comes Saxon‘s twenty-first album, Battering Ram. Let that number soak in for a moment – twenty-one goddamn albums of heavy metal thunder!” Release the old dogs of war.

Raven – ExtermiNation Review

Raven – ExtermiNation Review

Raven is somewhat of a metallic riddle. Having been around since 1974 and considered one of the banner bearers of the NWoBHM invasion of the early 80s, as well as a major influence on the thrash genre, they never gained as much traction as one would expect. Like Anvil and Krokus, they seemed poised on the precipice of greatness, but a combination of bad timing, poor decisions and the fickle mistress that is metal fandom conspired to bring them low and deny them their due.” But they’re still here, and they can still metal. Can you say the same?

Grand Magus – Triumph and Power Review

Grand Magus – Triumph and Power Review

“Swords gleaming in the sun, banners battered by the wind as men fight and die, a shoreline awash with red: all images vividly conjured by the punchy, but regal music on Grand Magus‘s last three albums. Though their style resists easy classification and has shifted and squirmed between the cracks of several genres over time, they’ve always been a band you could count on to release classy, high quality music.” Is this yet another stellar release by the mighty Magus or did they jump the Viking helmed shark?

Primal Fear – Delivering the Black Review

Primal Fear – Delivering the Black Review

Primal Fear never claimed to be innovators or trail blazers. They just want to rock their Judas Priest inspired, traditional metal shtick and write catchy, anthemic songs. They’ve been good at it too and certainly made a career of it, since Delivering the Black is album number ten for the Teutonic terrors. However, with their innate lack of innovative spirit, the risk of staleness becomes an ever present stalking horse, and some of their discography has suffered it’s awful sting…” Ready for more music Judas Priest could have/should have written after Painkiller? No matter how you answered, here it is!

Hell – Curse and Chapter Review

Hell – Curse and Chapter Review

“There’s an interesting history behind Hell. As a part of the original NWoBHM, they were close to releasing an album alongside contemporaries like Saxon and Iron Maiden, but bad luck and personal tragedy brought them low and derailed their best laid plans. Though they never made it past the demo stage, they were influential in the scene and championed by folks like producer and former Sabbat guitarist Andy Sneap. So taken with their old demos was he, that he encouraged the members to reform and give it another go with him on guitar, which resulted in 2011s Human Remains opus. That platter featured some ancient tunes loaded with NWoBHM flair and a noticeable Mercyful Fate influence, and while the music was highly enjoyable, I struggled mightily with the delivery of front man David Bower, which was overdone, uber-theatrical and at times, very cheeseball parmesan.” Now that they’ve had some time to sort things out, can Hell deliver some metal for the ages or are they still suffering from Drama Overload Disorder? Steel Druhm has the prognosis.

Running Wild – Resilient Review

Running Wild – Resilient Review

“Pirates occupy a strange place in popular consciousness; being at once badass and completely silly. For every historical tale of marauding, pillaging and rapine, there’s a counter-balancing pop culture anecdote like the mincing and prancing Captain Jack Sparrow. For every macho Captain Morgan, there’s Jerry Seinfeld’s pirate shirt. The same problem infects the sparsely populated “pirate metal’ genre pool. While the original outlaw crew known as Running Wild rode the pirate motif for decades of relative coolness, newcomers like Alestorm and Swashbuckle came along and unceremoniously pissed in that pool, making the very idea of pirate metal seem untenable and comical.” It’s almost Halloween, so why not get out the eye patch and pirate hat and celebrate the return of the original buccaneers, Running Wild. ARRRRRR!