Sep17

Palantír – Lost Between Dimensions [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Palantír – Lost Between Dimensions [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“Stormspell Records has rocketed to the top of my list of favorite labels this year, with a case of such enjoyable and varied heavy/power metal pyrotechnics as Blazon Stone, Grimgotts, Númenor, Ancient Empire, Nocturnal Alliance, Raging Fate, Dream Tröll, and perhaps my favorite of the lot, the subject of this review: Sweden’s Palantír.” Gaze into the orb, and you’ll find AMG gazing back.

Lucid Dreaming – The Chronicles Pt. II Review

Lucid Dreaming – The Chronicles Pt. II Review

“2013 saw the release of one of the most unique power metal albums that I’d ever heard. Till Oberboßel (Elvenpath) and his host of guests constitute the conceptual studio project known as Lucid Dreaming, which is based very faithfully on Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles Of Prydain, a rather idyllic young adult coming-of-age saga inspired by Welsh mythology.” Puberty metal.

Record(s) o’ the Month – September 2017

Record(s) o’ the Month – September 2017

“Following a groundswell of excellent music in August, September showed itself to be an excellent month. There was a bumper crop of suggestions for Record o’ the Month in September, which I thoroughly enjoyed ignoring. Instead, I followed my gut—the primary thinking instrument of the decisive leader. I welcome your wailing and gnashing of teeth below. I revel in licking the salt of your tears from your face. I live for your suffering and desperate cries for the redress of grievances! All of which I will meet with a glorious, hearty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Power is the sweetest thing imaginable.” Caligula Metal Guy.

Jag Panzer – The Deviant Chord Review

Jag Panzer – The Deviant Chord Review

Jag Panzer has a special page in the Big Book of American Metal, being one of the early progenitors of what was once known as “American power metal.” Their testosterone and armpit hair laden adaptation of the NWoBHM sound along with the uber metal vocals of Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin set their 1984 Ample Destruction debut apart from the typical Priest and Maiden clones, and along with similar acts like Metal Church and Helstar, they helped develop a mighty sound later pilfered thoroughly by Sanctuary and Iced Earth.” Of Deviance and Tyranny.

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

The Great Discord – The Rabbit Hole Review

“A few weeks ago, I described the latest Arch Enemy album as the bad kind of pop metal: too slick, too loud, too focused on choruses and too conscious about image. But there’s a different, less negative definition possible of pop metal: not afraid of loading the songs with easily digestible hooks, catchy melodies, EDM influences, simplistic structure and a focus on vocals. It’s daring, because it seems to aim at a gap between fandoms: too slick and not challenging enough for metalheads, but too heavy for the mainstream.” Pop goes the minstrel.

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the Son Review

Enzo and the Glory Ensemble – In the Name of the Son Review

“Once, I believed myself able to see past the veils and charades of societal labels, to be able to transcend the likes of religious affiliation in order to experience art for art’s sake. Once, I believed that I could overcome any element of musical unpleasantness if the rest of the material was strong enough. I have loved the likes of Mos Def, Flyleaf, and Ghost Bath, and felt no shame. Once, I believed all this to be enough to allow me to find redemption in any kind of music… until I heard Enzo and the Glory Ensemble’s In the Name of the Son.” Jazz hands for the Lord.

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf – Raised on Metal Review

Lonewolf could desperately use some time off. Raised on Metal culminates a decade-long span that saw seven LP releases, including a peak of increasingly unaffecting albums between 2012-2014. The gap to 2016’s The Heathen Dawn revitalized Lonewolf‘s sound, suggesting that even a mild breather can do them some good. Not one for learning from their mistakes (or enjoying life or its many bounties), the Frenchmen offer yet another album for judgment, nary sixteen months later.” Can’t we just admire the French work ethic?

Monolord – Rust Review

Monolord – Rust Review

“While we didn’t review their slightly overhyped debut, Empress Rising, our beloved Roquentin took a look at 2015’s follow-up, Vænir, and liked what he heard. Monolord, as a name, suits these guys perfectly, as they are beholden to only one lord, and that is the Lord of the Riff. Since they hit the scene they’ve been bringing massive, fuzzy variations of Black Sabbath/Electric Wizard worship to the table.” That table can’t hold such massive riffs.

Antiversum – Cosmos Comedenti Review

Antiversum – Cosmos Comedenti Review

“OK, think fast: what’re the first two bands that come to mind when you think of Zurich? If you’re me, it’s Celtic Frost and Triptykon. Sure, there are plenty of others, but regardless which ones you picked, I bet Antiversum wasn’t one of them. Nothing against this mysterious, black/death group,  but with only a demo and a six-way split to their name, I’m sure only a few people here have heard of them. But, now that their debut record is out, here’s your chance.” Blackened Swiss for all.