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.

One-man neoclassical metal project from Ohio. With a description like that and from the album art, it is hard not to get on board with Aeon Bridge right from the start. What was surprising about Modus Continuata was the level of enjoyment even considering how most of the album stays in the level of bedroom production. While bedroom production is not a slight, neoclassical instrumental shred usually does reside in this realm so hearing the combination between lower tech and high skill was immersive and ultra dorky. I say this with true conviction and glee.

Yes, you are here for the cover. Yes, it is everything that you wanted this to be. Taking cues from bands like Scanner and Savage Grace, Armory join others soldiers in the great sci fi speed metal war to fight against what I assume are giant alien bugs. The Search is the second record from this Swedish band and comes again via High Roller Records which has been documented to have a …well…an armory of great heavy and speed metal records to aid in the ensuing fight.

Pragmatic Chaos is from Olympia Washington and employ their love for classic heavy metal melodies with instrumental worship of old riffs and narratives. While the release only holds two instrumental tracks, the potential for this band to soar into the stratosphere is very good even to the point of being a given. In this short EP, the band does a fantastic job at mixing both the strong percussive elements and soaring guitar leads which fly like eagles over majestic peaks.

Heaven and Hell Records was a label based in North Carolina which has done a tremendous job at resurrecting old heavy metal from the 80’s and presenting them to a group of people which could probably fit into a room. North Carolina natives Gibraltar originally released this record in 1987 which went unheard by history until 2018 when it sees its revival. If one was a fan of heavy rock and the golden age of radio friendly heavy metal with a ludicrous cover then one needs to look further than the sounds blasting out of a bitching ride somewhere in the late 80’s Carolina.

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