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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

Watchtower #1

Watchtower: Bandcamp #1

My relationship with power metal has changed at least when trying to review it for this site. At one point I did a power metal Bandcamp series but then ran out of things to talk about. I then did a traditional metal revival series but then ran out of enthusiasm every month. Perhaps this is the split difference as a series dedicated to popular and upcoming Bandcamp metal albums which range from power, traditional, speed, and doom. The unifying force it seems is the quest for escapism and immersion of sound.

Read More

DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian

Dimmu Borgir - Eonian

I love Dimmu Borgir but explaining it may take time. For as much as this Norwegian, once black metal progenitor, has taken criticism for their symphonic style, the more I am drawn to their world. Since the early 90’s, many bands and albums have done what was covered in Dimmu Borgir’s first two records For All Tid and Stormblåst. In terms of black metal history, these two records are not even hearlded compared to the cannocial albums from Darkthrone, Burzum, and Mayhem, Since 1997, however, few bands have covered the ludicrous ground trodden by Dimmu Borgir once leaving their traditional black metal sound.

Read More

DARK STAR – Dark Star

Dark Star - Dark Star 1981

Classic Metal Rewind is a way for me to revisit the past and unearth some heavy and power metal gems that I was either not knowledgable enough to listen to when they were released or not born and thus unable to purchase. Even if I was alive during the time of these releases, there still is the reality that I would have not been cool enough to be in the know of some lesser known heavy and power metal. Classic Metal Rewind is a chance to carve my own history where I am laying in my bed with giant headphones and a stack of great records in my queue.

Read More

Big Metal Month (April)

Adult Swim’s Singles series has been a pretty decent source for sub mainstream one offs from a variety of metal and non metal bands. In 2017, Adult Swin did 52 singles throughput the year from bands like Protomartyr, Thuindercat, The Field, Dinosaur Jr. and just about any band that was pulled from the collective brain of the hip listener. Pallbearer is up for a round following their well received 2017 record Heartless. Expect sullen dispositions and mournful congregations.

Read More

KAMELOT – The Shadow Theory

We are going to be completely honest and say that this is probably my first experience with Kamelot outside of cursory acknowledgement of their name as a power metal band. Checking my mental library, it seems that yes, this is the first album from Kamelot I have listened to. I wish I could say otherwise but I am not going to sit here and pretend to recount facts about their past when I am just pulling them off the internet. What follows is an honest account from someone sort of…

Read More

XOTH – Invasion of the Tentacube

XOTH - Invasion of the Tentacube

This is melodic death, as serious as last time, but now with a nice line in playful over-expression. Xoth were never slouches lyrically, each track of Hostile Terraforming had something worth hearing in it’s grunting, gritt throated vocals, and invasion of the tentacube is no different. They seem to double down on that this time, and audio balancing means they hover forever at the edge of understanding. Usually close enough for understanding on your second or third listen, but at a first spin you’ll be too awed by the thrumming of the guitars, the relentless drumming and the hearty, ever energetic bass to pay the words much mind.

Read More

Big Metal Month (March)

Amorphis is a band who I totally know and respect for their early contributions to a subgenre and know almost nothing of their recent work. Queen of Time is the band’s 14th record since 1992 and marches closely to 30 years for the band being active. Queen of Time also sees a return and reformation of most of the original members for Amorphis which is funny considering how far this band has gone with membership. “The Bee” is an oddly named song but sees Amorphis where they feel most comfortable with a sound that is both harsh, melodic, progressive, and spotless in its production.

Read More

Big Metal Month (February)

This is the third single from Judas Priest’s 18th album Firepower. The previous singles, “Firepower” and “Lightning Strike”, gave longtime fans and people who havent listened to metal since the 80’s something to look forward to to as both songs shook off the lethargy of previous records. “Never The Heroes” shifts down in terms of tempo but is still just as strong as previous singles even more so when not looking at the lame lyric animated video.

Read More