The Voice of American Power Metal: An Interview and Career Retrospective with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin
The world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. Empires rose and fell, cultural icons appeared and disappeared, music trends come and gone. The same is true for personal musical tastes. I’ve known people 20 years ago who grew out of metal as they say, or “evolved” musically.
There is a person who evolved as well this last 40 years without succumbing to trends, without looking for the ephemeral and forgettable success. The man who stayed true to the music and the people who are following him. That man is the Tyrant, and this is his story through his music.
The esoteric side of heavy metal has been around since the very start. The strange, the magical, and the fantastical have driven songwriters to great heights for the genre’s history, and one of the current masters of the weird is here right now to do an interview. The Great Kaiser, aka Derek DiBella, is perhaps best known for his years with Demon Bitch, but is also the driving force behind White Magician, Isenblåst, and more.
Lunar Shadow are a traditional heavy metal band from Germany who have never paid attention to the scene’s trends. Characterized by their unique blend of influences that ranges from post-punk to black metal, Lunar Shadow’s guitar lead driven sound sets them apart from their peers. They released their sophomore full length album, The Smokeless Fires, earlier this year on Cruz Del Sur Records.
Cyprus-based traditional heavy metal band Mirror are just coming off the release of their sophomore album, Pyramid of Terror, which we ranked #4 in our Best Traditional Metal Releases of Spring 2019 article. With the sheer quality of both albums, these Cypriots are proving themselves to be one of the most capable modern bands in the genre.
Hailing from the heart of Italy, Night Gaunt are a doom metal band that proudly carries on their country’s tradition of occult, dark, epic, and, quite frankly weird doom metal. They released their sophomore album titled The Room last year and it was a standout as one of the best records in the genre last year. We caught up with guitarist, vocalist, and founding member Giuseppe Colio to talk about the band’s recent success and the evolution of their music.
Hailing from the cold north of Finland, Chevalier play a brand of uncompromising, dungeon-like speed metal inspired by acts such as ADX, Brocas Helm, Omen, and Savage Grace just to name a few. The band already has 2 EPs under their belt and is now finally ready to unleash their debut album, Destiny Calls, this week. You can find our review of that album here. We caught up with founding member and guitarist Tommi to discuss the upcoming album.
Smoulder Feature: Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring Album Review and Interview with Vocalist Sarah Ann
Smoulder took the metal underground by storm with 2018’s The Sword Woman demo, so much so that it landed them a well deserved spot on our women in traditional metal feature. This epic doom metal band is poised to make a big splash with their debut album next month titled Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring. In this feature, we’ll walk you through the themes that make this album so compelling. We’ve also included an interview with vocalist, lyricist, and professional sword woman – Sarah Ann.
Manolis Karazeris is one of the main driving forces in Greece’s metal scene. Not only has he been responsible for organizing Greece’s premiere traditional metal festival since 2006, Up the Hammers, but he has also been involved in some of the scene’s best bands. Manolis played guitars for a decade in epic heavy metal band Battleroar before transitioning to play guitars in Dexter Ward. He also played guitars for Finger of Scorn and Heathens from the North, Cirith Ungol and Heavy Load cover bands respectively, which played a role in helping reunite the old school legends.
Canada’s traditional metal scene has been burgeoning as of late and epic heavy metal band Gatekeeper are right at the forefront of it all. Looking to keep their momentum from last year’s debut album, East of Sun, they’ve just put out a killer EP titled Grey Maiden. I caught up with founding member Jeff Black to discuss the band’s recent success and the new EP.