These posts are written by: Eden Kupermintz

EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Bask Beneath Allelic’s “The Smoke of Atavistic Fires

I just love album titles that act as declarations of intent, telling you all you need to know about what you’re about to hear. That’s certainly the case here; Montreal’s one-man project Allelic makes the kind of Canadian black metal that’s given us excellent bands like Thrawsunblat, steeped in the wild and foreboding nature of that northern state. The Smoke of Atavistic Fires is a perfect title for that; it conjures to mind ritual, primal forces, and mystical knowledge, all of which feature heavily on this album, whether in the form of blistering black metal crying out pain and defiance or with fully fleshed out and haunting folk passages. We’re super proud to premiere this intricate and ambitious album in full! Head on below for the whole damn thing and I’ll meet you after.

Heavy Rewind – Blind Guardian’s Nightfall in Middle Earth

What qualifies an album for this feature? Its name hints that it has something to do with chronology, with old albums to which we return. And that’s definitely a part of it but, for me at least, it’s more about the grandeur of an album and its importance for the genre in which it was released. In that regard at least, there are few albums more deserving of the feature than Nightfall In Middle Earth. While the Blind Guardian albums which preceded it had already established a lot of the modern power metal sound, Nightfall in Middle Earth still represents one of the peaks of the band’s style. It is one of their most complete albums, blending the heavier, thrash influenced sounds of their earlier career with the polish and dexterity of their latter career. It was also the first Blind Guardian album distributed in the US, leading to Blind Guardian’s subsequent international success and massive career. It’s also just a damn fine album, filled with memorable moments.

Hey! Listen to Hammers of Misfortune!

There are some bands out there for which cataloging is a futile effort. You think you have it down, that this riff or that or that vocal line or this drum fill places them squarely within a certain genre. But then the next track goes and does something completely different or, in the more devious case we have before us today, the entire thing is just slightly off from what you’d expect from the whatever genre you had decided upon. With Hammers of Misfortune, the knee-jerk reaction is to put them together with the rest of the traditional heavy metal revival and specifically within the slew of bands paying homage to New Wave of British Heavy Metal.