Traditional Metal

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.

Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response Review

Rebel Wizard – Voluptuous Worship of Rapture and Response Review

“I first stumbled across prolific one-man Australian riff machine Bob Nekrasov and his solo outfit Rebel Wizard on the band’s impressive 2016 opus, Triumph of Gloom. What impressed me most about the album was its cohesively disparate combo of scorching dual guitar harmonies and triumphant heavy metal gallop,  ugly lo-fi aesthetic, and black metal core. Due to >b>Rebel Wizard‘s ripping song-writing, impressive riff-craft, and ear for splendidly catchy melodies, Triumph of Gloom earned solid rotation, so naturally I was pleased to hear Rebel Wizard had landed under the Prosthetic Records roster and were ready for wider spread metal domination.” Not your dad’s wizard.

Vampire – With Primeval Force Review

Vampire – With Primeval Force Review

“For their second full-length, With Primeval Force, Sweden’s Vampire rattles off the usual suspects when it comes to their throwback sound, citing Bathory, Mercyful Fate, and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, you can’t help but… wait, fucking Castlevania?! And a criminally underrated game in that series to boot? Really?” What is a man??

Rebel Wizard – Triumph of Gloom [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

Rebel Wizard – Triumph of Gloom [Things You Might Have Missed 2016]

“One-man projects are increasingly common in the modern metal market, as dedicated individuals take the purely DIY route and leave band politics and shenanigans to other folks. Personally, 2016 has yielded two impressive discoveries of Australian one-man projects, from the slick melo-death theatrics of Valtari to this impressively vitriolic slice of mayhem from Rebel Wizard.” You rebel scum.

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls Review

On October 5th, 1930 while flying over France on its maiden voyage, the airship R101 crashed, killing 48 of the 54 people on board. The ship was the jewel of the British empire and had been built with increased lifting capacity, and was (at the time) the world’s largest flying vessel. Much like the Titanic, the R101 is a story of hubris—particularly as told by Dickinson on the track “Empire of the Clouds,” The Book of Souls‘ 18-minute closer. The R101 never was put through its paces, having not done full endurance and speed trials, before it undertook its maiden voyage for India, and on that voyage it tragically crashed. As a closer, “The Empire of the Clouds” is an epic which pushes Iron Maiden into territory never before explored. As an analogy for The Book of Souls, it strikes a little too close to home.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins

Symphony X nerds rejoice! Then again, maybe you won’t. Symphony X bassist Mike LePond’s first solo effort was released in September of this year and those expecting LePond to stick to his primary band’s keyboard-laden progressive metal path may be sorely disappointed. If you are, get that geeky head out of your pale behind (if you can get up off it long enough between games of Skyrim)…” New Jersey knows metal, and Al Kikuras knows New Jersey.