Thin Lizzy

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

Hell Fire – Reckoning Review

“I vividly remember writing the review for Hell Fire’s 2019 release Mania. I was sitting in a folding chair in my empty, about-to-be-sold house, passing the time while an HVAC person repaired my apparently damaged furnace. I sat there typing with my headphones on, letting the San Francisco band’s beautiful guitar harmonies and journeyman heavy/speed/thrash metal soothe my heart, a heart still aching from an unanticipated $2000 bill. I remember at the time thinking that I might be underrating Mania, wondering if the stress of moving wasn’t affecting my ability to be objective.” Hell bills coming due.

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

Nite – Voices of the Kronian Moon Review

“There’s something about blackened vocals over trad stylings that just feels right. Whether it’s Midnight, Demiser, or Bewitcher, the juxtaposition of filthy vocals and NWoBHM leads never fails to shake me out of my stupor in the skull pit.  So I was thrilled when our great ape overlord bestowed this formerly nameless n00b with Nite’s sophomore album, Voices of the Kronian Moon. Darkness Silence Mirror Flame piqued Steel Druhm’s wizened and jaded ears, but the album’s length hard-capped its ceiling. During the pandemic, have these Californians been taking Nite courses at the Steel School of Editing for Wayward Bands?” Moon Nites.

Duel – In Carne Persona Review

Duel – In Carne Persona Review

“Hailing from Austin, Texas, Duel have spent their relatively short lifespan building a strong body of work in the stoner/doom metal/rock style. In Carne Persona is the band’s fourth full-length album since 2016 and follows in the footsteps of 2019’s strong effort, Valley of Shadows. Take a whiff of Duel‘s sound, and you’ll detect notes of pure doom in the tradition of Sabbath mixed with the melodic sensibilities of Thin Lizzy and the creepy, doomy rock of Danzig.” Flavored stones.

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

“Wild and rowdy speed metal from Singapore with a penchant for earwormy hooks? Don’t threaten me with a good time! And Witchseeker is all about letting the good times roll on sophomore platter Scene of the Wild (ESL Slip o’ the Month). Taking heavy inspiration from early 80s speed acts Like Oz and Raven and newer bands like High Spirits and especially Enforcer, Witchseeker aim for that sweet spot between manic speed and rocking party anthems that stick on first exposure.” Wild boys.

Butterfly – Doorways of Time Review

Butterfly – Doorways of Time Review

“It seems odd reviewing an album I’ve had since last year, but stranger things have happened. For Australian antique-rockers Butterfly, what appears to have taken place is that they have been picked up by Petrichor, a new label also responsible for releasing last year’s superb Empress album. I mean, Doorways of Time was available last summer, and some of the folks I like to hang out with were raving about it, so it’s been on rotation at Chez Huck for a number of months now.” Butterfly effect.

Wytch Hazel – Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost Review

Wytch Hazel – Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost Review

Steel prophecies are to be heeded! Back in the Year of Our Lord 2018 I covered the sophomore release by U.K. retro rockers Wytch Hazel and verily did I proclaim that II: Sojourn sounded like the album that drops right before a band uncorks their truly killer magnum opus. Well kiddies, that .44 magnum is here with Wytch Hazel III: Pentecost.” The third judgment.

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

Night – High Tides – Distant Skies Review

“Nobody will remember this, but back in 2017 Night’s album Raft of the World found its way onto my year-end list. This Swedish cadre of retro-rockers wormed their way onto my playlists with a catchier-than-it-should-have-been brand of 70’s hard rock, drawing influence from bands I love such as Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. They started out as a NWoBHM-worshiping group, and have evolved over the years into a very classic hard rock act. High Tides – Distant Skies sees the band shed nearly all of their metallic influences, save for some proto-metal riffing, in exchange for the classic rock of Blue Öyster Cult and, yes, Dire Straits.” That ain’t working. Or is it?

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

High Spirits – Hard to Stop Review

Hard to Stop seems an apropos title for a new High Spirits platter, as founder and solo performer Chris Black (Dawnbringer, Professor Black, Aktor) cannot easily be dissuaded from his quest to fuse the hard rock playfulness of Thin Lizzy into a metal format. On album number four, he’s once again assembled a collection of high energy rockers built around simple but effective hooks and harmonies.” Never stop never stopping.

Valkyrie – Fear Review

Valkyrie – Fear Review

“Summertime is when I’m most susceptible to the bleary-eyed charms of jammy, fuzzed out retro/occult doom. That kind of music just seems to go with warmer days and brighter skies. Virginia’s Valkyrie play their cards right by dropping their 4th album in the middle of a New York heat wave, as my brain is already hot-wired to embrace what they’re doing on Fear.” Fear is the riff dealer.

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

Saints of Death – Ascend to the Throne Review

“Come on, groove metal. I know you can do it. Elitists tend to treat you as the secondary antagonist of metal’s story, behind only to nu-metal, but between genre founders Pantera and the best bits of Machine Head’s discography, there’s still a lot of potential in this particular sound. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed the occasional DevilDriver when craving musical fast-food, which seems to be considered a heinous crime amongst some.” Groove you wrong.