Haunt – Burst Into Flame

It’s no secret that I love the traditional heavy metal revival. However, it’s also no secret that it’s becoming hard to find something worthwhile coming out of that impetus; the claws of repetition and carbon copies have already sunk deep into this nascent, returning sub-genre. The main problem I have…

The Progress Melter – Steel Panther and the Extent of “Comedy”

This should go without saying, but women have always had the ability to excel at playing guitar, and they often have. The rock and metal scene specifically has benefited from the contributions of players like Chelsea Wolfe, Liz Buckingham (Electric Wizard), Simone Dow (Voyager), Nancy Wilson (Heart), Lori Von Linstruth (Ayreon), Sarah Longfield, Laura…

Heavy Rewind // Cathedral – The Ethereal Mirror

Just two years after their debut, Cathedral pumped up the tempo and incorporated a slew of influences stretching beyond their solid, but somewhat limited, doom metal sound on Forest of Equilibrium. Shades of sludge à la Black Flag and The Melvins are most apparent, but the band reaches further beyond the low-and-slow realm to pull in influences from hard rock, heavy metal and progressive rock. Most importantly, the band’s vibrant personality sheds its skin entirely and reveals its true colors, thanks in large part by an unhinged, dynamic vocal performance from Lee Dorrian. It’s an exceptional combination that slightly edges out the band’s initial groundbreaking efforts. Whereas several bands contributed to the sound developed in part by Cathedral on Forest of Equilibrium, there’s never really been an album that sounds quite like The Ethereal Mirror, and it remains a multifaceted album with reverberations felt in music from the likes of Baroness, Pallbearer and a decent chunk of modern stoner metal.

Khemmis – Desolation

Success, the cliché insists, is a double-edged sword. History (and the Encyclopedia Metallum archives) is littered with now-defunct bands who toiled away for years in storage units and near-empty basements, yearning for record deals and the elusive larger acclaim that remained just beyond their grasp. But what of the bands…

Hey! Listen to Galactic Empire!

As another Star Wars movie release is upon us, I would like to offer up Galactic Empire to your music rotation today. As you’re standing in line waiting for Solo tickets and you need a boost, the John Williams shredders should lift your spirits and reduce your anxiety. The YouTube cover band sensations are more than just a couple of dudes who plucked away until they had “Imperial March” nailed. These guys are legitimate talents in their own right, and everyone should take a listen just to hear it.

Traditional Metal Rapidfire Roundup – Dream Tröll // Manacle // Spiral Skies

We’ve been singing the praises of the Traditional Heavy Metal revival for a while now. The simple fact is that this movement seems to show no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, releases just seem to keep coming from left and right, touching back on several different sub-genres within the “traditional metal” moniker. To handle this volume of excellent releases that have landed on my plate, I’ve decided to collect three of the best ones from the recent few months and review them together. And thus, you have this post! Read on below for shreds, riff, and high pitched vocals!

Gatekeeper – East of Sun

Metal in general, but trad metal especially, is a divisive style of music, which, if I had to guess, comes from how unabashedly itself it is. It is a genre completely lacking in subtlety or nuance; when it comes to the high-soaring, epic sounds that come under the umbrella of “traditional…

Half-Life: Trivium

Trivium are a band in a unique position. They exploded onto the scene very early on, accruing a lot of fans and haters simultaneously. After putting out an album that helped define a generation, they stepped back from the spotlight a bit, but their most interesting material actually came out…

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath

On the surface, there’s not much to say about Visigoth other than “yeah, they’re pretty good.” Formed in 2010, they’re one of the bands at the forefront of the New Wave of Traditional Metal movement (more on that from Eden and myself in a couple days), fitting comfortably into the classics-reviving zeitgeist…