Scorpions

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

Byron – The Omega Evangelion Review

“Ah, the random promo pick. It worked well for Gardenstale, who wrote some fancy algorithm that randomly assigned him a Record O’ The Month in Iotunn. Hoping for lighting to strike twice, Yours Truly dug into his hope chest and unearthed his multi-sided dice set. A quick throw of the d30 yielded The Omega Evangelion, the debut album from Finnish upstarts Byron. What started out as a solo project by ex-Church of Void drummer Johannes Lahti.” Dragons, dice, destiny.

Coronary – Sinbad Review

Coronary – Sinbad Review

“I first heard of Coronary when they did a split release with local heroes (and overall excellent band) Traveler a few years ago. While the cuts of the  Traveler trio were more raw and old-school, the Coronary selection was more like the offspring of Accept and Judas Priest — and equally invigorating.” Strongbad.

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder – Breaking the World Review

Pounder‘s 2019 debut Uncivilized was covered here by Lokasenna, and since he seems to have quietly and non-suspiciously disappeared, Steel Druhm has seen fit to assign follow-up Breaking the World to yours truly. I have no illusions about why Steel has done this. It’s obvious that he believes I will end up crucifying myself before the commentariat, either by being unable to resist making unsavory jokes about the band’s name, or by going into full Skelator mode by lavishing praise upon yet another heavy metal album with questionable vocals.” Pounding the world.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Yer Metal Is Olde: Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

“From my perspective, this is a big year for Yer Metal Is Olde pieces, and it starts off with this piece of work. Iron Maiden wasn’t my first purchase by these legends: that would be The Number of the Beast, when it came out back in 1982. But after being blown away by that album as a twelve-year-old, I quickly gobbled up whatever else I could find – which wasn’t much. A few months later I grabbed my cassette copy of Killers, then the Maiden Japan EP, and finally their debut. So by the time I’d worked my way to this album, well, it confused me a bit. Why?” Eddie is olde.

Mirror – Pyramid of Terror Review

Mirror – Pyramid of Terror Review

“Everything is retro nowadays. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a thing. I’ve heard people say that reviving significant trends from previous decades is the result of a complete lack of originality in the current one. But I think it’s simply a law of human nature. People in any given decade become fascinated with aesthetics from anywhere between 30-to-50 years ago—presumably because they’re just now (re-)discovering themand for a while the cultural landscape morphs into this weird amalgam of modern ideas squeezed through a retrospective filter. Or, sometimes people simply mimic whatever popular thing from whatever decade they have latched on to at the time.” Living in the past.

Worshipper – Light in the Wire Review

Worshipper – Light in the Wire Review

“Most of the time, stoner metal is the epitome of average. It’s below the great but above the bad, bathwater that’s neither too hot nor too cold, a big-screen TV that’s not 4K. I have yet to review a total dud of a stoner metal release, but when you somehow catch something that winds up being your Album of the Year, you’re encouraged to keep hunting for more greatness. Worshipper mine the depths of stoner metal on Light in the Wire, the Boston quartet’s sophomore release.” Motherload or diaperload?

Black Lotus – Sons of Saturn Review

Black Lotus – Sons of Saturn Review

“Back in 2017, the epic doom of Sorcerer’s excellent The Crowning of the Fire King marched its way onto a couple of Top 10(ish) lists, coming in at #5 for The Huckster and #1 for our great ape, Steel Druhm. Nothing has really come close to emulating that feel so far this year — perhaps the closest we’ve come is the satisfyingly thick platter of Týr-ish goodness that was KhemmisDesolation. But that album didn’t hit home like Sorcerer did, nor has it had the staying power. Enter Spanish newcomers Black Lotus, and their debut album, Sons of Saturn, which promises to be chock full of epicness.” Black Wizzard?

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

JIRM – Surge Ex Monumentis Review

“First of all, look at that cover. If that isn’t one of the most glorious pieces of album art, I don’t know what is. It reminds me ever so slightly of Dio’s old mascot, but JIRM don’t worship at that altar. No, the band formerly known as Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus. play a groove-filled psych/stoner blend with plenty of progressive tendencies, and Surge Ex Monumentis is their first album under the shortened moniker. After three albums with their cumbersome old name. Why the name change? To distance themselves from a washed-up, mean old actor, or to just give us less to try and remember? And what else besides the name has changed?” Up the Jeremy Irons!

Voodoo Circle – Raised on Rock Review

Voodoo Circle – Raised on Rock Review

Voodoo Circle make Steel and I yearn for the olde days, when we would sit on the veranda in our trailer park, drinking hobo wine out of pickle jars, listening to mixtapes of Blue Murder, Whitesnake, Great White, and the Scorpions. It was a simpler time: hairspray-soaked blues metal dominated the scene, and there were four main lyrical topics: love, bad love, dirty love, and sex. You can’t get away with that in today’s climate, but that won’t stop Voodoo Circle from trying.” Sex is love.

Fozzy – Judas Review

Fozzy – Judas Review

“There’s only so far you can go when you write Linkin Park rock/metal. That said, Judas is one of the more fluid albums the band has ever put to tape. It flows the way you’d want a rock album to flow. It doesn’t overdo it, like the balls-and-booze Sins and Bones, nor does it overcompensate (for lack of balls), like the growly Do You Wanna Start a War. And it has the passion to at least be convincing. There’re a few hard-rock flops but the band actually attacked Judas with the same ferocity as Do You Wanna Start a War. But, the wimpy growls are gone and Judas is the better for it.” The Wizard of Fozz.