Interviews

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.

Guides and Primers

Thunder in the East: A Guide to Japanese Heavy Metal in the 80s

Starting with the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Japanese were absorbing the hard rock and folk rock happening in the West and releasing their unique takes on it. This continued through the rest of the 70’s until Japan become a common Asian fixture among big world tours towards the end of the decade. Scorpions, Judas Priest, and Van Halen played there to sold out crowds, and you can only bet there was an entire scene full of metal bands inspired by these that developed soon after.

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: Sacral Rage – Beyond Celestial Echoes Review

Greece – the land of ancient history, deep natural beauty, delicious food, and most importantly – a heavy metal scene virtually untouched by mainstream trends. The Hellenic metal scene has always fascinated me because of its sheer intensity and passion despite not being an early hotbed for heavy metal. The Greek scene developed a bit later and has some of the biggest die-hards around with few bands following what’s popular in the scene. Even in an environment like this Sacral Rage stand out to me as a band who are very intent on doing their own damn thing. Illusions of Infinite Void brought on a barrage of top-notch, Helstar-influenced speed metal that very few bands are pursuing these days. These Greeks are back at it again with their second full length album, titled Beyond Celestial Echoes, out just last week on Cruz Del Sur Records. Read more…

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Liege Lord – Master Control Review

I wanted to take a brief moment to step back and look at an album that was crucial in developing and solidifying my tastes. This past week represented the 30th anniversary of Liege Lord’s monumental Master Control, their third and final (so far!) album. Liege Lord are a staple of the United States power metal scene for a reason – all three of their albums; Freedom’s Rise, Burn to my Touch, and Master Control, are undoubtedly classics of the genre. Read more…

Lost in Time

Lost in Time: Santa – Reencarnación Review

It’s that wonderful time of year – there’s a fresh layer of pristine, white snow on the ground, the house is warm and cozy, mom’s baked some cookies, and your excitement is palpable. You can hardly contain it all. What could you have possibly gotten from the jolly old man this year? Could it be that toy truck that you see on every day time commercial? You just hope it’s not coal. You’ve been good this year! Hmm…maybe it’s a new football? No. It’s thirty eight minutes of pure speed metal. Merry Christmas! Read more…