Features

What’s it gonna take to make you Riot? – A Tribute to Mark Reale and a Look at Riot’s Legacy

Although popular during their prime and revered by some metal fans, Riot never achieved their rightful due. Founder, guitarist, chief composer, and sole consistent member of Riot, Mark Reale, suffered a tragic death due to life-long Crohn’s Disease eight years ago. This band formed around the same time as Iron Maiden, Rainbow, and Motörhead, their album catalog is consistent, and released one of the best USPM records ever. However, even with all this, they never achieved the popularity the deserved.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Fates Warning – Awaken the Guardian

Fates Warning’s previous work, The Spectre Within, was a masterpiece which essentially set the standard by which most metal – almost certainly all prog metal after it – should frequently aspire to (and often never does). Following up such an album is a tall task for anybody; almost nobody could. Fates Warning weren’t like any other band in metal – not now, and sure as shit not back in the 80’s either – and as such they proved capable of following it up with something even more monumental.

Features

Follow the Wheel: The Story of Sword (Featuring an Interview with Rick Hughes)

When someone exchanges musical opinions within the heavy metal circle, it is not uncommon to hear expressions like “too rough” or “too melodic”, and more recently “very old school” or with a positive spin “very refreshing”. So if an album had exactly the correct ratio of melodic and rough riffs and sounds refreshing even it was released in 1986, that would mean that it will top the charts and everyone would speak about it right?

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Sölicitör – EP 2019 Review

When Substratum broke up, I mourned. Though they were only around for a few short years, they put out three full length albums, a couple of demos, and a couple of splits – not to mention that they put on a hell of a live show. Things seemed to be on the rise for the band when out of nowhere they broke up with the sudden departure of guitarist and riffwriter Max. Fortunately for fans, Substratum’s loss doesn’t mean the loss of all of the musicians involved, and both guitarist Matt Vogan and vocalist Amy Lee Carlson have carried on and started a new band – Sölicitör.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Crimson Glory – Crimson Glory Review

Florida had a small but fairly vital collective of traditional metal bands in the 80’s, despite them being fairly different from each other. You had Nasty Savage, who were on that Slayer gone Mercyful Fate kick; the lean aggressive and bombast of Savatage, etc. There are perhaps others I’m regretfully missing off the top of my head. The point is that Crimson Glory was arguably the best of that small lot – and this album, in particular, deserves to be mentioned alongside the very best of all time.