Interviews

Up from the Depths: An Interview with Stygian Crown

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!

Interviews

Will of the Gods: An Interview with Scald

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.

Interviews

Departed Souls: An Interview with Brendan Radigan (Magic Circle, Pagan Altar, Stone Dagger)

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. 

Features

Chronicle of the Black Sword: Rock and Metal Inspired by Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse

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.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Flame, Dear Flame – The Millennial Heartbeat Review

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.