Having been formed in 1997 as initially a studio project, Doomsword as a band was aimed at the idea of playing traditional metal in the style of the old American greats. Warlord is their biggest influence, first and foremost – the pseudonym of Deathmaster, the main songwriter of the band, is from the cover painting of the Deliver Us EP, as was the drummers on this album – as well as a strong hint of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol and viking-era Bathory mixed in. Lots of bands nowadays are influenced by those first three bands, but in the late 90s, bands playing that style did not really have a ton of traction in either the US or Europe.
The Cult Metal Classics label is known for digging up past metal jewels and re-releasing them. Most of them are from the 80’s and here we have a new band and a new album from this label and I gotta tell you: if Steelwitch were an 80’s band this EP would be considered a stone cold classic and they’d be straight to the top of this label roster.
Just two years ago Stygian Crown released their impressive demo and now they’ve released their debut album and they’re already being enlisted for international festivals! This relative success isn’t for nothing. Although it’s still early to tell, it’s pretty clear that Stygian Crown’s self-titled debut is something special and likely to be one of the best traditional heavy metal records of 2020 with its specific brand of crushing epic doom reminiscent of Solitude Aeturnus and Capilla Ardiente. We caught up with Rhett A. Davis for an interview that you can read below!
After an impressive demo, Los Angeles’s epic doom juggernaut Stygian Crown is bringing the thunder on a new full-length album. And some high-class retro thunder is what they do indeed bring on their debut for a well-chosen label Cruz Del Sur. This seems to be the year and the season for top shelf female fronted doom.
Scald were a short-lived epic doom metal band from Russia with just one album to their name – Will of the Gods is Great Power. This singular album is among the best the genre has to offer and is a must listen. After decades of inactivity, the legendary Russian band are back with longtime fan and scene veteran Felipe of Procession and Capilla Ardiente as the frontman.
For the last decade or so, heavy metal has had a new rising star with the prolific Brendan Radigan. He’s probably the best known in our community for singing in Magic Circle and, more recently, as Pagan Altar’s live vocalist. His singing and songwriting on the Stone Dagger demo is the talk of the underground, as is constant speculation about when there’ll be more- but none of this prowess came from nothingness, as Brendan had been a known member of Boston’s hardcore scene for years before his first foray into heavy metal.
With the release of Magic Circle’s third album and a successful tour with Pagan Altar, it seemed a good time to ask Brendan some questions about his past, what he’s been up to in recent days, and what’s coming up next.
Heroic fantasy has always been a popular lyrical subject for heavy metal bands, and it’s not hard to see why. Heavy metal simply isn’t normal. You just can’t write powerful, dynamic compositions and have the vocalist sing about mundane things such as walking the dog or taking out the trash (unless by “trash” you mean “posers”). There are many different approaches a band can take to penning lyrics of the fantastic. Some are inspired by mythology or films, while others create their own stories. Some look to literature for inspiration. Those that do usually find it in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, or Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné.
I used tell myself that visuals and aesthetics don’t really matter much when it comes to music, but I’ve found this to be less and less true over time. The way a band presents themselves and conveys their message plays an increasingly important role in how much I really enjoy their music. Songwriting and the quality of the music itself is number one of course, but aesthetics can really help with the immersion of music especially when it comes to fantasy laden genres like power or epic metal. It can lift a band up and take them to the next level. It’s for these very reasons that I had an averse initial reaction to Flame, Dear Flame, but luckily I was proven wrong.