Van Halen

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

Vision of Choice – Mistress of the Gods Review

“And then a record comes along that takes me right back to that storied past and refills my magic bar to 100%. Mistress of the Gods, the debut album from Germany’s Vision of Choice is one of those records. After close to thirty spins of this 57-minute monster, I’m still trying to come up with the best way to describe what it sounds like. Here’s the best I got: take the masculine riffs and baritone bellows of a band like Omen, mix it with some German speed a la Helloween or Blind Guardian, add some eccentric Savatage flair, and round it out with Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, and you might get close.” Hot pocket o’ metal.

Worshipper – Light in the Wire Review

Worshipper – Light in the Wire Review

“Most of the time, stoner metal is the epitome of average. It’s below the great but above the bad, bathwater that’s neither too hot nor too cold, a big-screen TV that’s not 4K. I have yet to review a total dud of a stoner metal release, but when you somehow catch something that winds up being your Album of the Year, you’re encouraged to keep hunting for more greatness. Worshipper mine the depths of stoner metal on Light in the Wire, the Boston quartet’s sophomore release.” Motherload or diaperload?

The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough Review

The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes the World Ain’t Enough Review

“AMG.com has ridden the The Night Flight Orchestra (“NFO”) horse pretty hard since the release of their first album in 2012. The illustrious Dr. Fisting (then masquerading as Fisting Andrew Golota) was their discoverer and therefore the designated reviewer thus far. Now that he is absent, presumed dead, I have taken up this mantle to impart opinions on a band that our founder abhors.” New tickets to paradise.

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

Power Quest – Sixth Dimension Review

“In my personal pantheon of guilty pleasures, Power Quest reigns supreme. Formed in 2011 by ex-DragonForce keyboardist Steve Williams (lead songwriter and sole remaining original member), this band made a name for themselves in the early-to-mid 00’s by redefining the meaning of cheese, mashing Teutonic power metal together with synth-drenched glam rock—think Van Halen’s “Jump,” by way of Freedom Call, and you’ll have a reasonably accurate idea of what to expect. ” The cheese quest never ends.

Mutoid Man – War Moans Review

Mutoid Man – War Moans Review

“The sound of Mutoid Man is not something easily explained. The best I can come up with is ”80s metal mashed up with Nintendo game music, but with more hooks and a ton of guitar effects.’ Formed in NYC by Boston expats Steve Brodsky (Cave In) and Ben Koller (Converge), Mutoid has cranked out two and a half albums of catchy, hyperactive metal within a short span of time. 2015’s excellent Bleeder gained some recognition here at AMG, and now the band returns with that crucial third album, entitled War Moans.” Kiss the war.

Eruption – Cloaks of Oblivion Review

Eruption – Cloaks of Oblivion Review

“Two things come to mind when I see the word ‘eruption.’ One is filthy and the other is raunchy. The former isn’t for virgin eyes and the latter? Van Halen. Guess which one the Slovenian outfit Eruption fits in. Neither. Sorry pervs and, well… pervs. Instead, Eruption fit under a third, yet unlisted category: thrash metal. Yep, I said ‘Slovenian’ and ‘thrash’ in the same sentence. That combination alone should pique some interest for these worshipers of the old and true.” Slovenian speed and perversion.

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

Astral Doors – Black Eyed Children Review

“Nils Patrik Johansson is a busy guy. Over the last two decades, the man’s cashed checks with the on-again, off-again Lion’s Share, the on-hiatus Wuthering Heights, and Civil War, who he recently bailed on because he didn’t have the time (go figure). His work arguably peaked with the momentous output of Astral Doors.” When one war closes, an Astral Door opens.

Screamer – Hell Machine Review

Screamer – Hell Machine Review

Screamer, a group of jovial Norwegian retro-rock revivalists, are putting out their third Hell Machine soon, and there’s a very particular standard by which it ought to be judged. The standard I’m referring to is Audrey Horne’s masterful Pure Heavy, far and away the best record of the retro-rock revival movement.” Mess with Audrey, you get the Horne.

Zørormr – The Aftermath Review

Zørormr – The Aftermath Review

“Poland’s been the source of some great metal over the years. Behemoth probably comes to mind first, being that Nergal’s the master of controversy and the court room. But putting that aside, there’s Vader, Decapitated, Hate and Lux Occulta, who along with many others have been delivering the goods and then some. Somewhere in the throng, the talents of one-man, black metal or dark ambient artist, Fabian Filiks (Moloch) of Zørormr became a little obscured.” One does not simply hear all the bands in Poland.