Traditional Metal

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

Kryptograf – The Eldorado Spell Review

“With that album cover, you know exactly what you’re getting. You’ve heard it before – a bunch of musicians who smoked one too many joints in high school, and then one too many joints in college, and decided to share their boundless love for early Black Sabbath with the world. Norwegian four-piece Kryptograf is relatively new to the overcrowded stoner rock scene, but they made a splash with their self-titled 2020 debut, which melded vintage doom, hard rock, and psychedelic jams.” Loving the leaf.

Maule – Maule Review

Maule – Maule Review

“I’m starting my year off on a positive note. In my Top Ten(ish) column (along with many others) one commenter opined about our lack of love for melodic stuff. I really took that statement to heart and decided that for January it’s only traditional and glam metal for this olde cat. So here we go, with a new creation born on Canada’s west coast, Maule. Touting themselves as part of the new wave of traditional heavy metal, they intend to gallop their way into our hearts with churning rhythms, rousing choruses, and rather pleasant Canadian personalities.” Take off, eh?

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

Alien Force – We Meet Again Review

“Take a moment, if you will, and try to recall what you were doing thirty-five years ago. I can’t do that myself, because I’m Twelve, but you should try anyway, if only to appreciate the fact that Alien Force last released a full-length album about that long ago. There have been a few reasons for this, but I bring it up mainly to share my respect for the determination and longevity of these four musicians. The Danes of Alien Force play traditional heavy metal, and their third full-length release, We Meet Again, carries within it many of the same inspirations that can be heard on their debut and sophomore records from the 1980s.” Ancient aliens.

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

Holy Mother – Face This Burn Review

“While I’m the last person who should be invoking a Kiss comparison, it’s definitely worthwhile to start by saying that Holy Mother bring to the table a similarly big sound — thunderous, catchy, fun, heavy rock. The riffs are mighty, the singing is heated, and occasionally Face This Burn slides into the downright catchy (not that it’s not disco or anything).” Yer Mom is sacred.

Miss Lava – Doom Machine Review

Miss Lava – Doom Machine Review

“I feel I should start this review off with a disclaimer: stoner rock is not my usual jam. Traditional heavy metal, sure. Doom metal, absolutely. Psychedelic rock, not so much. So when you mesh the three together, I can go either way with the results. Still, I was compelled to check out Doom Machine, the fourth full-length release from Portuguese rockers Miss Lava.” Why would anyone build a doom machine?

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf – Kryptograf Review

Kryptograf cite influences that include Witchcraft, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Black Sabbath, and it all fits. Between the band lineup—two guitarists, three vocalists, plus bass and drums—and a healthy helping of fuzz that permeates without overpowering, Kryptograf wears its ‘60s influences loudly and proudly.” Fuzzy navel gazing.

Dream Tröll – “I Will Not Die Today” Video Premiere and Second to None Review

Dream Tröll – “I Will Not Die Today” Video Premiere and Second to None Review

Dream Tröll. It’s a weird-ass pairing of words even in the realm of metal bands, yet one that glides off the tongue, despite every synapse in my brain screaming “That’s not right!” Sonically speaking, Dream Tröll is beholden to convention, but their splicing of genres is handled so ingeniously as to make such an unclassifiable name somehow fitting. It’s easy to draw correlations between traditional metal, power metal, and good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n roll, yet Dream Tröll plays with these tropes in delightfully unexpected ways, resulting in a distinct sound displaced from any defined era of metal music.” Trölling with the oldies.

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

Into the Obscure: Brocas Helm – Defender of the Crown

“Join me, boys and girls, for a little history lesson slash tragedy. It was the early 80s in the United States, with thrash metal on the verge of taking over the metal scene completely, particularly in the infamous Bay area. Traditional heavy metal bands in the US were far and few between. Manilla Road’s star was rising, but from San Francisco came the sounds of a wildly creative band, sprung up from the ashes of a band called Prisoner. This band was Brocas Helm, and for a little while after their 1984 debut Into Battle, they seemed poised to be at the forefront of US traditional metal.” Trve romance.

Ice War – Manifest Destiny Review

Ice War – Manifest Destiny Review

“Unless your band is Galneryus or Sulphur Aeon, a release date within a week of Christmas is about as suspect as it gets. Ice War, the moniker under which the Canadian solo artist Jo Capitalcide operates, doesn’t dodge the dregs of December either. Ice War’s new platter drops on the cusp of Christmas eve and is about as lousy as you’d expect a one-man traditional metal band to be at this point in the year. I don’t know whether that constitutes a spoiler, but if so, here’s another spoiler for you: the next Adam Sandler movie will be an unfunny comedy in an exotic locale. Some things are just foregone conclusions.” Fabulous disasters.