Steamhammer/SPV

The Rods – Brotherhood of Metal Review

The Rods – Brotherhood of Metal Review

The Rods have been kicking rocks around the metal scene’s parking lot forever. Formed in upstate New York by Dio’s first cousin, David “Rock” Feinstein, they’ve been playing a simplistic, Neanderthal version of proto-metal since 1980 with a sound that’s approximately 45% Manowar, 35% Anvil and 20% KISS. I recall always seeing their albums like Let Them Eat Metaland Heavier Than Thou in record stores as a kid, but I never bought them and none of my friends seemed to either.” Rods and sods.

Anvil – Pounding the Pavement Review

Anvil – Pounding the Pavement Review

Anvil persists. That’s become an enduring truism and the mantra of this Canadian act since they first broke ground way back in 1981. You probably know their story – once poised to be the next big thing on the strength of classic albums like Metal on Metal and Forged in Fire, the call to greatness never came and the band watched younger acts like Metallica and Anthrax pass them by on the road to legend. But did they fold up shop and cry about it? Fook no! When the going gets tough, Anvil gets going, and that brings us to their 17th goddamn album, Pounding the Pavement.” Metal has no retirement plan.

Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown Review

Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown Review

“We’ve been seeing it since the dawn of time: when one band finds success, record company execs stumble over themselves trying to sign the next great version of that band. Rarely is the next great version actually found: instead, what we usually end up with are tepid versions of the original, competent yet missing that certain intangible (and more often than not also missing decent songwriting). Case in point: the critical success bands like Royal Thunder and Blues Pills have enjoyed in recent years. Record labels are wading through quagmires looking for the next great female-fronted retro blues/metal acts, and tossing half-baked ideas at us in the hopes that something sticks.” Sticky or icky?

The Unity – The Unity Review

The Unity – The Unity Review

The Unity know a thing or two about history, two of its members having kicked tires in Gamma Ray for a spell, but the trip down memory that is their self-titled debut goes further than their own stomping grounds and offers an experience akin to a boisterous evening catching up with those legendary veterans. But this isn’t Just Another German Power Metal Band (JÄGPMB), as beneath the glossy Teutonic shell twitches layers of classic acts such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and – perhaps unsurprisingly – Helloween.” Who wants Jäger bombs?

Night Demon – Darkness Remains Review

Night Demon – Darkness Remains Review

“My perpetual desire to keep up with the new, the strange and the inventive in the metal landscape betrays one of my greatest sins as a genre fan: I quite often forget to tip my hat to good ol’ heavy metal. Sure, I have nearly every Maiden record memorized front to back and I endeavor to wear my Motörhead shirt at least twice a week, but I tend to push modern homages to metal’s roots to the wayside. I think my ignorance is a byproduct of a general disinterest in new takes on traditional metal endemic to the current scene, and occasionally the metal community (and myself) needs a good ass-kick of a record to whip it into shape.” The penalty for your anti-metal attitude is a booting.

Sodom – Decision Day Review

Sodom – Decision Day Review

“As you get older, reminiscing becomes part of everyday life. Especially those pushing thirty, forty, fifty years old. Times were simpler in the old days and, while we’re wiser now, there’s a sense of envy for those days of ignorance. In 2016, AMG Industries, Inc. gives Sodom‘s thirty-year-old self an opportunity to look back at baby pictures. A few weeks ago we got an YMIO on Obsessed by Cruelty and now we get 2016’s Decision Day.” That baby was mighty ugly. So what’s the adult version looking like these days?

Anvil – Anvil is Anvil Review

Anvil – Anvil is Anvil Review

“My introduction proper to Anvil came at the pubescent age of 14 when I chose Pound for Pound as one of my 12 introductory cassettes from the Columbia House Record Club. I’d heard a song here, a song there, but Pound for Pound was the first platter I heard from nuts to noggin. My initial feeling? Underwhelmed.” Will the new platter whelm Mr. Kikuras?