White Wizzard – Infernal Overdrive

I’m in the process of writing an article on the difficulties of being a power metal/heavy metal listener, specifically dealing with its problematic themes and aesthetics. I won’t bore you with too many details (since I’d like you to read when we get around to posting it) but I thought it impossible to write this review without mentioning it. White Wizzard traffic in the kind of traditional metal revival sound that’s becoming increasingly popular, joining the ranks of Lunar Shadow, Sumerlands, Spellcaster and Visigoth, to name just a few of the bands operating in this milieu. As such, Infernal Overdrive is a treat for those in love with the sounds and sensibilities of oldschool, melodic metal; combining the genres of heavy metal and power metal, the album is a veritable rollercoaster of solos, emphatic vocal passages and rumbling bass.

Hey! Listen to Isaurian!

Metal newbies would have you think metal just started borrowing from shoegaze’s sounds a few years ago. While Deafhaven popularized the fusion in 2013, the genres have been bedfellows for quite a while. Jesu, as far back as 2004, brought the psychedelics of shoegaze together with abrasive industrial metal, a juxtaposition rarely touched upon by newer metalgaze bands who usually gravitate toward aesthetics of black metal and sludge metal. Brazil’s Isaurian brings a new vibe to industrial shoegaze metal (that’s a mouthful). Where Jesu went ugly and violent, Isaurian dials it back to a gothic melodicism.

Iced Earth – Incorruptible

Note: I am one of the biggest Iced Earth fans out there. I’ve loved the band since I was 16 and will always continue to follow them. They hold a special place in my musical upbringing. This review hurt to write, but you have to be fair to the things you…

Unleash The Archers – Apex

Crafting a great power metal album is a difficult thing. The genre is so steeped in thrills and adrenaline, it can be easy to create something too over-the-top and annoying. Writing the catchiest chorus, playing the fastest solo, and singing the highest notes aren’t going to mean anything if the music doesn’t have depth and meaning. Great power metal albums like Nightfall in Middle Earth, Land of the Free, The Metal Opera, and, more recently, Noble Beast employ subtly when necessary. They have memorable choruses and great riffs but also moments of real emotion. While less serious bands like Primal Fear, Dragonforce, and Sabaton have their proper place and legitimate enjoyment factor, they will never be remembered in the same way.

Hey! Listen to Witherfall!

Witherfall may be the savior power metal has been looking for. The quartet (although currently a trio, due to the tragic death of drummer, Adam Sagan) plays technical and thrilling progressive power metal that is matched in quality only by a handful of veterans in the business. These guys do not sound like a new band and there’s good reason for that. All the members, except the bassist, have long resumes with power metal heavyweights like Iced Earth, White Wizard, Circle II Circle and Into Eternity. Even considering their extensive experience, their debut album, Nocturnes and Requiems, still passes expectations.

Undrask – Battle Through Time

One of the things I love about having the opportunity to review albums is checking out bands that are just gaining a foothold beyond their local scene. Greensboro, NC metalheads, Undrask, are one of those bands I probably wouldn’t have learned about if not for having a copy of this album slid over to me by the Heavy Blog editors—but I’m glad it did.

What Heavy Blog Is Really Listening To – 10/7/16

For those who missed our last installment, We post biweekly updates covering what the staff at Heavy Blog have been spinning. Given the amount of time we spend on the site telling you about music that does not fall neatly into the confines of conventional “metal,” it should come as no surprise that many of us on staff have pretty eclectic tastes that range far outside of metal and heavy things. We can’t post about all of them at length here, but we can at least let you know what we’re actually listening to. For those that would like to participate as well (and please do) can drop a 3X3 in the comments, which can be made with tapmusic.net through your last.fm account, or create it manually with topsters.net. Also, consider these posts open threads to talk about pretty much anything music-related. We love hearing all of your thoughts on this stuff and love being able to nerd out along with all of you.