Shadow Kingdom Records

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

Tyrant – Hereafter Review

“Aside from the enigmatic Brocas Helm, Tyrant may be one of the least prolific American metal bands ever. Starting out in 1978, the band dropped their Legions of the Dead debut in 85, followed by their best known, most respected work, 87s Too Late to Pray. After Too Late they went radio silent and I forgot about them in the fullness of time. Apparently they released a comeback album in 96 which I only just found out about because they’re attempting a brand new comeback, the result of which was just hauled out of the promo sump like a waterlogged carcass.” Once and future Tyrant.

Temple of Void – The World That Was Review

Temple of Void – The World That Was Review

“Debut album Of Terror and the Supernatural was a killer compound of death-doom. But Lords of Death also began to incorporate traits that might be more familiar to Alice in Chains or even Pearl Jam. Now, The World That Was prepares to thunder into immediate proximity with the same weight but a clear shift in intent. Fear thee not, ye acolytes and thralls –  monumental riffs still fill these halls. But, to quote the band, themselves: “your face is different, but we’ve met before…”” Killdozer or dozing off?

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

Haunt – Mind Freeze Review

“Yet, as simple as their style of ’80s NWOBHM is, it’s not like fans have to absorb much from one Haunt record to the next. But the fear of too-much-too-soon lingers. With repeat listens, If Icarus Could Fly didn’t quite live up to Burst into Flame. This leaves a big question mark for this year’s Mind Freeze. Will this new album continue the gentle decent? Or is Mind Freeze Haunt‘s Master of Puppets? You’ll have to see what happens next!” Haunting the clickbait.

Savage Master – Myth, Magic & Steel Review

Savage Master – Myth, Magic & Steel Review

Savage Master is a throwback super-retro metal act who seek to recreate the early 80s heavy metal sound, mixing classic NWoBHM ideas with Warlock and early American acts like Bitch. I was quite taken with their 2016 outing With Whips and Chains and admired their straightforward and catchy metal anthems. Fast forward to 2019 and the AMG routing protocols dumped their third album Myth, Magic and Steel on my desk ov…metal.” No plod, no masters.

Excuse – Prophets from the Occultic Cosmos Review

Excuse – Prophets from the Occultic Cosmos Review

“You’re here for a reason. You’re on a quest. A quest for music to bang your fukkin head to. Sometimes you find the music, sometimes the music finds you. There, buried in a particularly large online order a couple years ago, was a free copy of Excuse‘s 2016 EP Goddess Injustice. I slid the vinyl from its sleeve and a spectral form descended from the heavens. “YOU!” It boomed. “Me?” I said. “YOU. You are the chosen one. Drop the needle. Turn up the stereo. And BANG. YOUR. FUKKIN. HEAD.”” Always obey the disembodied voice!

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly Review

“Yet, dread begins to grip you as you recognize the name and realize Haunt put up their debut less than a year ago. That’s never a good sign, is it? This can only end in one of two scenarios: this new release is a rushed, directionless piece of shit or If Icarus Could Fly is Part II to Burst into Flame.” Spirited or spirit adrift?

Bewitcher – Under the Witching Cross Review

Bewitcher – Under the Witching Cross Review

“If you’re a stereotypical stereotyper like myself, Portland, Oregon is a city that brings to mind images of rain-soaked, tattoo-covered hipsters sipping pot-infused craft beer and cold brew coffee while they dodge cavalcades of Subarus, Priuses (Prii?), and bicycles on the march towards the many nearby hiking trails. Having visited the city several times, I can confirm that almost all of these are 100% true, but I’m beginning to think that the whole “Keep Portland Weird” idea is a coverup to distract from Portland’s true identity as a stronghold of — gasp! — SATAN! Hometown speed metallers Bewitcher are here with their second full length to set the record straight, and on Under the Witching Cross they boldly fly the Sign of the Goat above the City of Roses while uttering diabolical incantations in an attempt to transform the grounds below into the “Savage Lands of Satan!” The Devil is in the dark roast.

Altar of Oblivion – The Seven Spirits Review

Altar of Oblivion – The Seven Spirits Review

“At the turn of the year between 2016 and 2017, I was going through a rather rough patch. Even music, one of the steady forces in my life, was largely ringing hollow and failing to elevate my mood. But those releases which broke through my personal quagmire have endured for me all the more and one of those was Altar of Oblivion‘s EP called Barren Grounds. Though it only ran for 4 tracks through 19 minutes, its singular, dusty, atmospheric approach to doom metal captured my imagination and has stayed with me. I was therefore excited to note a 2019 full-length, their first in seven years, appropriately entitled The Seven Spirits. Excitement all too often ultimately reaches disappointment but I had faith in these Danish doom-mongers.” Strong spirits,

Sins of the Damned – Striking the Bell of Death Review

Sins of the Damned – Striking the Bell of Death Review

“Where exactly does speed metal stop and thrash begin? It’s a question that pops into my head nearly every time I listen to a speed metal album, but I’ve never come up with an answer that satisfies me. I’ve searched online and found different explanations: “thrash has punk in it, speed doesn’t” or “thrash has harsh vocals, speed doesn’t” or “speed metal is essentially sped-up traditional metal while thrash is extreme metal” or “thrash uses the low E-string to build riffs” or “blah, blah, blah.” There’s some truth to all of these, but I still have no idea how to describe the difference in a definitive way.” Fine and fast lines.

Pale Divine – Pale Divine Review

Pale Divine – Pale Divine Review

“I’m a fan of most things slow and heavy, but gritty, bluesy biker doom is especially my jam. Perhaps that’s the byproduct of a misspent youth hanging out with an older brother who was an outlaw biker and frequently on the wrong side of law. Maybe it comes from too much time in sketchy bars where you were as likely to get punched as catch a good buzz. Wherever the affection comes from, it’s part of my DNA. Pennsylvania’s three-piece doom crew Pale Divine share my appreciation for this roughneck sub-genre, crafting burly doom rock in the image of peak Corrosion of ConformityThe Obsessed and Wino-era Saint Vitus.” Bad hombres.