Editors’ Picks – February 2019

February; or, as I like to call it (I literally just invented this), “The Bastard Month.” It’s not just the weird length which makes this month hard to pin down; it’s no longer “The First Month of the Year,” but nor is it close to its half. It’s not Midwinter…

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Release Day Roundup – 2/22/19

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

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Candlemass – The Door to Doom

It’s always fun to dive deep into Bandcamp or Spotify or whatever music streaming app you use. I personally love finding those diamonds in the rough, especially brand new stuff. However, you can’t really only enjoy that stuff unless you’ve got some context for it. It’s always awesome to hear…

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Gatekeeper – Grey Maiden

The more music I listen to, the more I appreciate EPs. It used to be that I didn’t have the patience to listen to EPs, as much as that sound counter-intuitive. Something about their shorter run-time just annoyed me; I felt like I couldn’t sink my teeth into the music…

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Hey! Listen to Midnight Force!

I like my Traditional Heavy Metal to be of either of two types; it should either modernize the genre and bring it into contemporary modes of production and execution or it should be incredibly dedicated to reproducing the old school style. Sadly, most trad metal falls in between those two approaches, attempting to produce something modern which calls back to the classics. This, invariably, fails and turns into a boring retread of cliches instead of a dedicated and convincing homage. But when the latter approach is embraced fully, like in the case of Lunar Shadow, Gatekeeper or Eternal Champion for example, the result is a great romp through what made heavy metal great to begin with. To that illustrious list we can now eagerly add Midnight Force.

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…