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…

Heavy Rewind – Psychotic Waltz’s A Social Grace

This Californian band’s first iteration lasted a decade, until 1997 (they are now reunited and working on new music, who’s quality is yet to be tested). During that decade they released four albums, with a clear difference between the first two and the latter two. Those two first album, and the debut especially, are masterclasses in progressive metal and represent to this day some of the best actualization of why progressive metal is great. They are technical but furiously aggressive, drawing from the pools of progressive rock and thrash equally. The result is two fantastically deep albums with the first being a timeless classic which has sadly gone forgotten.

Hey! Listen to Substratum!

It is once again my distinct pleasure to recommend some great traditional metal revival to you all! Huzzah! Substratum hail from Seattle, a city whose role in music needs no exposition. They play a no frills, no apologies New Wave of British Heavy Metal type of music so you know what to expect; thick bass riffs straight from the repertoire of one Steve Harris, soaring vocals, sci-fi themes and kick ass riffs. Don’t forget the riffs, since they’re incredibly kick ass. All these elements are amplified by two facts: the first is that Substratum have chosen to reproduce the best parts of the British New Wave, namely those parts with longer tracks, interesting lyrics and varied compositions. The second is that Substratum don’t really give a fuck about anything other than having a good time and making good music. Head on over the break to have a taste for yourself; don’t forget to bring your leather jacket.

Stepping Stone: Dio’s Dream Evil

If the purpose of Stepping Stone is to shine a spotlight on the bands and artists which started us on our way to metal, then Ronnie James Dio is one of the biggest stones in our path. Whether just by listening to his music at an early age or being influenced by his vocal style, the number of artists who have owe a debt to Dio is immeasurable. He is one of the largest names in a scene obsessed with the cult of personality, with plenty of drama and lore to back that figure (Ozzy vs. Dio, the “horns” and more). But I’d like to focus on a different story for this Stepping Stone, on mine rather than on the grandiose depiction of grand narratives within our scene and community. I’d like to take you back to the days when I was jut discovering metal and the power it had and what that power meant for the teenage version of Eden.

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…

Hey! Listen To Lechery!

Swedish act Lechery was born when Martin Bengtsson left Arch Enemy to pursue his own musical vision. The band, who play a very traditional and familiar style of classic, epic heavy metal, released their debut album Violator in 2008, and it was well received, but the band subsequently fell on hard times, with a series of unfortunates accidents and setbacks keeping them from capitalizing on the album release as well as they should have. Luckily, they managed to find their footing again, and now in 2018 they’ve released their third, and likely best, album, We Are All Born Evil.

Novareign – Legends

There’s a special place in heaven reserved for albums who don’t waste their listeners time. Skipping over intro tracks and getting right to the point, these albums want you to know exactly what they’re about, no frills or special announcements necessary. This works especially well for anything extreme, as the sheer shock of an album just exploding into over the top life can be a magnificent feeling. This is very much the case with Novareign’s Legends. These power metal enthusiasts hailing from California waste no time with their debut album, immediately diving into a mass of riffs, powerful vocals and galloping bass. The rest of the album rides on the momentum of these initial notes to create one of the best releases in the traditional metal revival that’s been going on for the past few years (and on which we posted in length not two hours ago).