Stormspell Records

Ancient Empire – Priest of Stygia Review

Ancient Empire – Priest of Stygia Review

Ancient Empire have been banging out classic, trve heavy metal albums since 2014, yet they’ve landed scandalously little exposure from AMG. I intended to cover their 2016 Other World outing but time got the best of me. We gave a TYMHM to 2017s The Tower, but whiffed on their 2019 follow-up. I will not let this string of injustices continue! This week sees the release of their sixth album Priest of Stygia, and the state of the Empire is strong. Rocking a vintage US power metal sound that can be described as Judicator meets Diviner and Visigoth, these old school warriors deliver ballsy, slightly epical traditional metal with a no-nonsense approach that’s refreshing and direct.” Snake Whacking Day.

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

Blazon Stone – Damnation Review

“There are plenty of well-documented examples of a younger band blatantly ripping off the sound, style, and mystique of an older, more established act. Agalloch brutally stole Ulver‘s schtick. Primal Fear looted the Judas Priest playbook lock, stock, barrel, and leather chaps. None of these however were as flagrant as the wholesale thievery perpetrated by Blazon Stone upon the unsuspecting buccaneers in Running Wild. You see, Blazon Stone stole not only Running Wild‘s entire sound and pirate concept, but named themselves after one of their records, and the title of their debut album Return to Port Royal directly references Running Wild‘s Port Royal platter. In a nutshell, they raided Running Wild‘s booty hard enough to cause generational shame and trauma.” Seven seas and five sticky fingers.

Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

Claymorean – Eulogy for the Gods Review

“Serbia isn’t a big hitter for metal. Controversial movies perhaps. A geographically-unlikely affinity for basketball. Even war crimes in the early 90s. Yet despite a lack of internationally recognized metal acts, it clearly has a love for the trvest, classic metal of the 80s. Claymorean’s fifth full-length album entitled Eulogy for the Gods was written as an homage to Mark ‘The Shark’ Shelton of Manilla Road, to Virgin Steele and to the 80s generally.” Hail, hail to 80s.

Hessian – Mercenary Retrograde Review

Hessian – Mercenary Retrograde Review

Firstly, yes, I see the classic Playstation game, Medieval badly reflected in that craptastic album art, and that makes me more kindly disposed toward the album. And Hessian seem to be my kind of jam, being retro metallers from the wilds of Portland, Maine with a bit of swagger and Devil may care attitude.” Steel gets Medieval on yer ass.

Carriage – Visions Review

Carriage – Visions Review

“Does Grier have a problem? No, motherfucker, he doesn’t. If he had a problem, there would be a new review, interview, or career introspective on King every week here at AMG. But, that’s not the case, is it? So, for all you sonsabitches out there that think I have a problem, I’m gonna prove to you that I’m not crazy. That’s right, I’m going to review Carriage‘s non-King-related debut record, Visions. This album is so far from King Diamond—and Mercyful Fate, for that matter—that you’re all gonna be proud of Old Man Grier. So, does us all a favor and chill.” The Intervention of Kings is upon us!

Ancient Empire – The Tower [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Ancient Empire – The Tower [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“When I was a wee swordbearer in the northern taiga with fewer years under my belt and not enough Jørn Lande in my life, I lived on a metal diet comprised almost solely of Freedom Call, Power Quest, Dark Moor, and their ilk. I was absolutely convinced that other than Kamelot, there was really nothing coming out of the US that could interest me. Then, a couple years later, I was slapped silly by Pharaoh, Nevermore, and Twisted Tower Dire.” Murican power metal – it’ll slap ya.

Blazon Stone – Down in the Dark [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

Blazon Stone – Down in the Dark [Things You Might Have Missed 2017]

“Though pirate metal has branched out in recent decades, Running Wild‘s bloody cutlass is still the measuring stick for wannabe scalawags. Blazon Stone defer to the captain publicly, but in quiet plan mutiny. Steal the dread captain’s ship and plunder the high seas with it? Nonsense! No one can best the the captain… can they? Blazon Stone certainly try.” There can be 3 pirate-themed metal bands when 2 are dead.

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.

Silverbones – Wild Waves Review

Silverbones – Wild Waves Review

“Somewhere on a wind swept beach in a far-flung corner of the Pacific Ocean was a buried treasure chest. That chest was filled with all the riffs Running Wild had yet to use but wanted to keep from their scurvy competition. And there it sat for decades in it’s sandy repose, unknown to all but Rock n’ Rolf. That was until upstart Italian buccaneers Silverbones jacked the riff-booty, leaving empty bottles of Limoncello as their calling cards.” YAARR’s revenge?

Horrified – Of Despair Review

Horrified – Of Despair Review

“Newcastle (upon Tyne [UK]) based Horrified released their debut about a year and a half ago, and the AMG staff collectively shrugged. A throwback death metal record with some neat riffs and an authentic sound, it lacked in both originality and execution, and was summarily dismissed by yours truly. But wise old man of the AMG staff, Al Kikuras saw something in the band, a certain rough charm and attitude that’s missing in the majority of retro-death.” Al knows retro-death.