Angel Witch – Angel of Light (Metal Blade, 2019)

Mighty influential NWOBHM’ers Angel Witch is about to unleash their greatly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s As Above, So Below. The album, entitled Angel of Light, will hit the market on November 1 and will be available in a plethora of formats. Together with countrymen Satan, Angel Witch count as one of few returning old school metal acts who’ve managed to modernize their sound without having it reflect negatively on their past efforts. However, since As Above, So Below consisted primarily of re-recorded material from the golden days, this new effort could be seen as the true testing ground for the band.

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OPHTHALAMIA – A Journey in Darkness (Avantgarde Music, 1994)

While primarily known for his work with black metal/noise-pioneers Abruptum and assorted non-musical activities in the – at least locally – infamous “True Satanist Horde”, it is the strange entity of Ophthalamia that remains as Tony “IT” Särkkä’s (RIP 1972-2017) greatest artistic achievement. Ophthalamia’s debut album A Journey in Darkness stood out in the early 1990s black metal-environment with its anachronistic and all-around peculiar mode of expression. In rough terms, the music can be described as a blend of black-, doom-, and heavy metal with the conceptual and structural trappings of 1970s progressive rock.

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Atlantean Kodex The Course of Empire

Bavarian Heavy metal band Atlantean Kodex return with their third opus The Course of Empire after a long six year wait following the excellent The White Goddess. This band is known for their penchant for the grandiose and is deeply rooted within strong Bathory and early Manowar influences played in the style of Solstice, but this time round the band add influences from Dio while maintaining the bardic tradition at the heart of this band. This record seeks to add a much grander cinematic scope to the music and the band do so with a much more maximalist approach to aesthetics in this sparse style of composition.

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Orcrypt – Dice and Damnation (Self-released demo, 2019)

In wait of their sophomore full-length album, premiere Pure Goblin Black Metal (PGBM) band Orcrypt released this demo recording some time ago. Dice and Damnation retains the sound and vibe displayed on the previous effort Mercenaries of Mordor; a fearless blend of cavernous black- and heavy metal that somehow dodges the obvious trappings of such a composite. But rather than settling into a comfortable template, the band choose to approach the material from a slightly different angle.

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Brief Analysis: Introduction of Satan – “Trial By Fire”

One of the few great bands from the NWOBHM movement in a genre known for a few gems in a sea of stadium and bar rock bands. While never receiving the deserved praise and success of their peers, Satan nonetheless were one of the best bands coming from the scene and used Speed metal elements in creating their magnum opus Court in the Act. On “Trial by Fire”, Satan show the large number of tools at their disposition after the opening blast of notes.

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Flames of Hell – Fire and Steel (Draconian, 1987)

As much as we want to think otherwise, our reception, enjoyment and evaluation of music is not strictly dependent on the pure act of listening. A truism perhaps, but still something that is worth reflecting on from time to time. Especially for collectors of cult metal vinyl – the modern-day personification of the emperor’s new clothes syndrome (or should we say old clothes?). If you invest a disproportionate amount of time, effort and money in reading about and eventually acquiring a record – as collectors of obscure metal tend to do – your judgement is likely to get clouded to the point where it’s hard to assess the quality of the work in question. And this includes both positive and negative judgements. Case in point: the hype surrounding the Icelandic proto-black metal band Flames of Hell and their sole full-length album Fire and Steel (1987).

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MANOWAR Release Trailer for “An Evening with Joey DeMaio: Spoken Word Tour”

After “clarifying” that their 2016-2019 “The Final Battle Tour” was not actually a farewell tour, and subsequently declaring their intent to Sue With Power French rock festival Hellfest; True Metal Warlords MANOWAR have announced that long-time band leader/bassist/songwriter Joey DeMaio will engage on a Spoken Word Tour throughout Germany and a few other European locations in November of this year.

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Playlist of Powerful Epic Heavy Metal

Avast young heshling! It is time to rise up, rise again! Take hold of the flame, the crown and the ring!

To guide the way and aid thee in thy quest, a powerful playlist of true heavy metal has been curated for thine journey.

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