Virgin Steele: A Retrospective (Part 1)

By the Gods my friends!

Forged in the desolate halls of 1981, hailing from the majestic kingdom of Long Island, New York… Virgin Steele have been one of the most enduring acts of Powerful Epic Heavy Metal for aeons! The aural magnificence of ultra-charismatic vocalist / composer / keyboardist / all around renaissance mad-man David “Dionysus” DeFeis and trusty six-stringed axe warrior of indomitable fury and vengeance Edward Pursino’s combined creative efforts have been overlooked by scholars of Metal for too long!

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Retrospective : Artillery – By Inheritance

Artillery are a Danish Speed metal band that have continued to sully their legacy with endless mediocrity that was so boring that even Metal Blade had to drop them in recent years. Despite all their recent shortcomings, Artillery were once an underground Speed metal that released two excellent albums before abandoning the underground in the pursuit of their magnum opus. Inspired in part by their journey to Tashkent in the former USSR which is now the capital of Uzbekistan, the band incorporated oriental sounds, a multitude of different riffs, haunting arpeggios and fist raising Heavy metal to create one of the finest releases in a genre which had already died at this stage.

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The Best Underground Metal Of 2018

The task before a reviewer varies widely. If you want to be a big shot, you need to write about what the labels want, since they are the only source of top-down money coming into the genre. They will then reward your publication with advertising, it will then reward you with a promotion, and eighteen months later, you can ditch it and move up to the big leagues.

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Death Squad – Split You At The Seams (1991)


Death Squad – Split You At The Seams
Ever Rat Records, 1991

Speed metal — rising from Tank, Satan, Metallica, and Mercyful Fate — had a good but short run in the 1980s before enterprising poseurs worked rock and blues back into the mix, taking away the focus on riffs and song construction in favor of what were essentially pop songs with lots of muted E-chords. Split You At The Seams shows a late entry with roll-your-own spirit.

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Afflicted

Afflicted were a Swedish metal band from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s releasing only two albums and a handful of demos. They began as Afflicted Convulsion playing primitive yet erratic death metal/grindcore. Although the riffs on their earliest (listenable) demo, Beyond Redemption, do little to set themselves apart from their contemporaries, we are presented with nuanced compositions that keep the listener enticed through each track, presenting satisfying wholes rather than myopic moments of inspiration. As Afflicted, the band would take their compositional skills and apply them to unique riffs on their demos and first album, Prodigal Sun. (more…)

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Malevolent Creation Retribution (1992)

Malevolent Creation have never reached the relative popularity of their Floridian peers, and neither have they received the same degree of recognition. The band members moved from New York in order to follow their dreams of metal stardom, yet they never saw even a quarter of the admiration that Cannibal Corpse and their brand of deficient death metal received. For a short while Malevolent Creation were a band displayed unlimited potential within their percussive style combined with primitive caveman-esque melodies, but they never reached the summits of Deicide, Morbid Angel, Obituary and Monstrosity. The band would eventually fade away due to constantly changing members, drug related stories and the inability to build upon previous works.
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Apostasy The Blade of Hell (2016)

Rising from the pit of late nineties underground speed metal, Chileans Apostasy revived during the last decade to bring back to life a pure demonstration of metal as it is. There is no need to claim to be progressive, harsh, technical or the milliard other epithets that bands and marketing agents have come up to single out bands which present only narrow facets of what the genre can be. We can hear traces of what came to be known as the ‘riff salad,’, but like later death metal outgrowths of the style, there is a sense of organic flow and revolving around a main riff-idea. (more…)

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