Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Domine – Champion Eternal Review

To the surprise of absolutely no one who has spoken to me, I far prefer the United States brand of power metal. I crave strong riffs and aggression when it comes to power metal. It’s not to say that I don’t like the more melodic and keyboard driven style of the Europeans, but even when I am in the mood for EUPM I tend default to more riff oriented German bands like Blind Guardian, Scanner, and Helloween. It’s rare for me to wander beyond that. However, there are a select few European power metal albums that don’t neatly conform to the style. It’s this small selection of albums that I find myself listening to regularly and Domine’s Champion Eternal is at the very top of this list.


The Reign of Starbreaker: An Interview with Traveler’s Matt Ries

Hailing from Canada, Traveler have just debuted their self-titled album on Gates of Hell Records. They started as the solo project of Matt Ries (Hrom, Gatekrashör) and after a kick-ass, well-received demo last year, a full line-up was put together to record the album. Their 2018 demo was stuck on repeat for me and I haven’t been this excited by a debut in years! I connected with founding member Matt Ries to talk about the new album and what his journey has been like since forming the band.

Lost in Time

Lost in Time: Longings Past – Meadows of Maseilya Review

Epic heavy metal is one of those few musical genres that still remains largely unexplored, and even more so in 1992. In fact, in 1992 a metal band of any sort had to be fairly bold to release an album and expect it to gain them a profit of any sort, as metal was quickly on the decline and the Seattle-based monstrosity called grunge was quickly on the rise. However, James Shellberg and his cohorts seemed to have no concern with popularity and success at all throughout their career, as is evident through their very esoteric musical style as much as the date of their releases. Despite the lack of commercial success with his previous band, Enchanter, Shellberg would not be deterred, quickly putting together a new mishmash of individuals and giving them the moniker “Longings Past”.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Traveler – Traveler Review

One of the best feelings as a music enthusiast is seeing a band you really enjoy finally make the leap from a demo to a debut album. Sometimes the result is as astounding as Eternal Champion and other times it’s not such a smooth transition. There have been many demos to capture my attention in recent years, but few have completely enthralled me like Traveler’s 2018 demo. Barely half a year later and they’ve already pulled together a full length debut set to drop on Gates of Hell Records. This begs the big question – does the debut live up to the hype of the demo? The short answer to that is YES. ABSOLUTELY YES.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Riot – Thundersteel Review

Music can mean drastically different things to different people, but in general it’s safe to say that we tend to attach an emotional connection to the music we listen to. For me, there’s a handful of albums that I find myself leaning on over and over again throughout the years. Whether I’m in a rough patch of life or whether I’m just mindlessly staring at my collection unable to determine what I should listen to, it’s these handful of releases that I rely on for their sense of familiarity, and above all, for their unwavering quality. Over the years I’ve increasingly found myself turning to Riot’s Thundersteel to fill this vital role in my listening.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Ice Sword – Dragon Magic Review

December and January are typically quiet months where few bands and labels put out any releases. It’s a time to decompress from the end of the previous year and ramp up for starting a whole new one. I use this opportunity to revisit both favorites from the past year and albums that I wasn’t quite so keen on. Typically my opinion doesn’t change very much, but in some cases I’ve found myself drastically changing it once I’ve given a release another try and proper time to sink in – either for better or for worse. In the case of Ice Sword’s debut album Dragon Magic, it’s the former.