KALMAH – Palo

Kalmah Palo

Sometimes with melodic death / power, I am later when actually reviewing the records. This Kalmah record technically came out in June of this year which in the landscape of heavy metal is sometimes ages ago. Our editor always likes to think of these pieces as timeless and without date so we can assume this Kalmah record came out every year. Also before getting into this record, I would like to state for the record that I have not listened to a Kalmah record before despite seeing this Finnish band…

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Watchtower VI

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. This month’s image comes from the talented artist Jorge Jacinto whose landscapes are made even more dramatic with the addition of small figures in its foreground. Looking through the artists webpage, one can see a fascination with Lovecraft monsters as well as the…

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BEHEMOTH – I Loved You At Your Darkest

Looking back on Behemoths early albums, I am aware they were strict black metal before whatever incarnation in which they currently reside yet I can not think of any distinguishing album that marks their early years. Even the band’s demos, which sometimes hold lofi nostalgia for fans, is forgettable and unremarkable to the outside observer. The earliest record of note is Satanica in 1999 but the Behemoth everyone discusses is from 2004’s Demigod on. Behemoth is a current band and their records and sound has grown through the years becoming…

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STRATOVARIUS – Enigma: Intermission II

Stratovarius - Enigma

It feels strange to discuss a compilation in regards to a new album but it seems that Stratovarius has put a considerable amount of work into what could have been a bullshit compilation release. Hold on, lets go back. Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal group who has the benefit of being able to call themselves one of the pioneers in the European power metal style along with Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, and Helloween. The work of Stratovarius in the 1990’s is marked with stellar albums such as 1997’s Visions…

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Watchtower V

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. This month’s image comes from Magic the Gathering with an older set called Return to Ravinca. The image, illustrated by Svetlin Velinov, depicts the Simic Guildgate which is one of 10 gates to the guilds which rule over Ravinca. I could explain more…

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SATAN – Cruel Magic

Satan - Cruel Magic

Satan has perhaps the most iconic name in heavy metal history — not because they are the most iconic band in metal history but rather Satan is a pretty big deal. This is what happens when you name your band first and retain a legacy that overshadows all of the other black metal acts with the same name. 1981 saw the first demo from UK heavy metal act Satan and since that time, this cult followed act has retained the rights to being the coolest Satan. It also helps when…

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POWERWOLF – The Sacrament of Sin

Powerwolf The Sacrament of Sin

I have always been confused regarding the German power metal band Powerwolf. From a distance, this act seems to combine supernatural, historical, and religious themes in albums which sound like symphonic cascades and a Castlevania game come to life. While all of this sounds cool and something I would totally be into, the consistency and unerring path of Powerwolf has led to a career which is marketable if not a big blur for anyone looking in from the outside. Perhaps the newest album would slow down just enough for outsiders…

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Watchtower IV

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. As always I also try to highlight an artist and their work in the realms of fantasy art. This month’s picture is of a striking landscape whose creator has been completely severed from the picture. Through numerous searching I can not find the…

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IMMORTAL – Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal - Northern Chaos Gods

Immortal. Okay, we can do this. If you have not heard of Immortal before then you most certainly have seen pictures of their members in some fantastic pose in the woods. The band’s face paint has become almost iconic in the realm of heavy metal and the name Abbath is almost as recognizable as the band. Immortal, as a band, has become inseparable from the history of Norwegian black metal with its members intertwined with the other bands that have become famous and unfortunately infamous.

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Watchtower III

Viktor Mukhin Final Land

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. this month’s feature image comes from Ukrainian concept artist Viktor Mukhin whoese works can be seen here for anyone interesting in getting lost in imagination.

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BONGRIPPER – Terminal

I know I say a lot that these metal reviews are not fitting of the site but as an exception. Bongripper could be the furthest thing from fantasy metal as I can ascertain but we are traveling to the realms of stoner doom and while the genre certainly has its own flair for the fantastic they also have one goal in min which is pure suffocation. Terminal is the band’s 7th record for this instrumental stoner doom act and by the two tracks which total over 40 minutes, they are not giving up the drugs of heaviness.

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OBSCURA – Diluvium

Oh Obscura. Why are you so entertaining? It was in 2011 when I really got into this German progressive death act and even had the opportunity to interview them for another publication. Since that time, I have been enjoying the band’s work as they make their way across the galaxy much in the same way a colossal malevolence devours star systems. Diluvium is the band’s 5th album and while not changing their main focus from space based annihilation, does continue the quest to make that annihilation as entertaining as possible.

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Watchtower II

Watchtower is a monthly digest dedicated to seeking out interesting and new releases that encompass the sphere of heavy, speed, doom, and power metal. There is less restrictions to what is put in this digest with the only scope being of interest to people already on board with the rest of this site’s content. I am not going to say that one with an interest in fantasy comics, fantastic movies, and certain video games will enjoy everything in this digest but it maybe a safe bet. Artwork for this month’s…

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GHOST – Prequelle

It is difficult to believe that we only four albums into their career. It feels strange as so much has been written on this Swedish heavy metal band that their tenure in the world of heavy metal seems like it should be longer. With so many fans, detractors, press coverage, marketing schemes, and new converts, Ghost should be at least 20 years old. It certainly feels that long.

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