TWISTED TOWER DIRE – Wars In The Unknown

Getting into Twisted Tower Dire maybe more complicated than most people are willing to venture. This of course doesn’t matter if you have already been into the band prior to 2019 or never hearing anything from this band except for this record. Twisted Tower Dire has had a long history of contemporary power metal with members weaving in and out of bands like October 31, Walpyrgus, While Heaven Wept and even the maligned Arghoslent. If those first three bands ring any bells, it is a good indication on where Twisted…

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Witchlords – Demons in the Dark

The debut album by Belgian outfit Witchlords is more or less tailor-made for a Hollywood Metal review. Boasting a steely-thewed barbarian battling an undead warlock on the cover, the stage is set for some fighting fantasy metal, which is exactly what you get. And then some. I don’t know what is behind this corner Just do it, roll the dice Double red skull What does that even mean? These words kick off the album opener and title track Demons in the Dark, a fast-paced Maiden-esque ode to dungeon crawling that…

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE – The Eighth Mountain

rhapsody of fire the eigth mountain

Walking into the 12th studio album from Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire can be done in two ways. the first, and perhaps easiest is to enjoy the sound of triumphant power metal centered around the beginning of a new narrative. The second, and perhaps more interesting, is to step back and take int he dramatic history of a band that started with an almost different set of members and two narratives and over 20 years ago. We will, of course, choose the second road as the saga…

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Watchtower VIII

Watchtower VIII

This month’s image…along with the entire 2019 set of article will come from Tim White. White was born in the UK and spend most of the 70’s make dozens of illustrations for well known and obscure publications, from the cover of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King to the cover of UFO UK. Tim White has a career of fantastic paintings from the awe inspiring to the ridiculously awesome. I am also spending the first installment catching up with things that I either missed from last year or am not just…

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Favorite 18 Metal Albums of 2018

Top 18 of 2018 by Kaptain Carbon

End of the year time is always strange regarding lists as there are so many. There are of course lists which I make for Tape Wyrm which focuses on lesser known black and death I find in the sewers. There are also power and heavy metal records I write for this site. Then there are favorite albums which I found myself listening to in 2018. This is that list. They are a mix between records I found important, enjoyable, and sometimes a mix between the two. These are the albums…

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Heavy 18: The Year in Heavy Metal

Heavy 18

“Heavy 18” is a collection of some of the heavy metal records which made waves throughout the year. Some of it comes from things I reviewed while others come from some of the lists crafted by users on the internet. This is a list of traditional metal called heavy metal, trad, or NWOTHM is that is still a thing. While the name isn’t important, what seems to be the enduring ideal of this music is not throwback costumes rather the hammering in the old forges and keeping fires lit throughout…

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Top 25 Albums of 2018

Writing end-of-year lists is a cumbersome, but truly gratifying endeavor, I think, as it allows me to revisit a whole year’s worth of wonderful music releases, some of which have fallen unjustly into the cracks of consciousness or vanished from the general rotation radar. It’s a journey of joyous rediscovery unearthing musical gems that I’m excited to share with whatever audience that may be reading this. Only bummer is having to leave so much great stuff off the list. I could make one twice as long, but I have a…

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Rhapsody in Review: Prelude (1994-1995)

There really isn’t any reason why I should be doing this but here I am. The Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody was one of my “first” metal bands. Rhapsody, along with Manowar was my introduction the world of heavy metal which, at the time, lay somewhere between fascination and irony. To be fair, it was mostly irony. Rhapsody’s music was also one of my first introductions into the world of fantasy narration as their records were an ever growing tome of narration depicting the endless fight between good and…

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Top 10 EPs of 2018

Sorting through my Bandcamp collection in preparation for my best of year list, I found it impossible to narrow down to a measly ten releases – and unfair to pit three song EPs against fully-fledged albums. So, to start things off, here are my ten favorite EPs of 2018: 10. Outer Head – Outer Head (Demo) Thick slabs of beefy doom drenched in a heady psych broth and served in a grimy stoner bowl, this killer demo oozes potential. A full-length from these UK trippers should be something to look…

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MOONSHIELD – The Warband

Moonshield - The Warband

Harken, brave adventurer, and let me regale you with an epic yarn of war and wizardry, of fire and fell deeds – a tale from days of old, veiled in the mists of legend! Well, not really, this is a music review. But looking at the cover art to the debut album by Moonshield you’d be right to expect a fair level of sword and sorcery shenanigans, and the Atlanta axe-wielders dutifully deliver on that promise. The Warband is a concept album recounting the battles of legendary war-chief Hengest who…

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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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Heavy Metal 2017 (July)

Heavy Metal July

As always with this series, I enjoy highlighting art, mainly from Frank Frazetta, but also celebrating other popular works that could possibly align with the sound of traditional heavy metal. Case in point, pulp fiction. If we are going to be more specific than the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Though this writer has many works collected in his career, the name Boroughs is enshrined to two characters, John Carter and Tarzan. The later is where our picture comes from and not from Tarzan but his progeny Korak. The painting…

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HAMMERFALL – Built To Last (2016)

hammerfall

What is there to say about HammerFall that probably hasn’t been said in the last decade or so? You all know that this band is a Swedish heavy / power metal outfit that since 1997 has made it their goal in life to keep playing the same type of music they seemed destined to do. Since that time in 1997, HammerFalls has made a similar sounding albums complete with their own armored mascot named “Hector” which has appeared on each cover. Save for 2011’s Infected, every cover has had some…

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Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #8

I started this column in January of 2016, which means by #12 I will be able to make an informed decision on the state of Bandcamp power metal for the year 2016. This is important to note the scale of my informed decision as it says nothing about the state of power metal in the year 2016 nor heavy metal in 2016. These article did not hit the big albums from Avantasia, Sabaton, Rhapsody of Fire, nor Fates Warning. Some of these bands will never be on any end of…

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