Features

The Voice of American Power Metal: An Interview and Career Retrospective with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin

The world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. Empires rose and fell, cultural icons appeared and disappeared, music trends come and gone. The same is true for personal musical tastes. I’ve known people 20 years ago who grew out of metal as they say, or “evolved” musically.

There is a person who evolved as well this last 40 years without succumbing to trends, without looking for the ephemeral and forgettable success. The man who stayed true to the music and the people who are following him. That man is the Tyrant, and this is his story through his music.

Interviews

The Great Kaiser: An Interview with Derek DiBella of Demon Bitch and White Magician

The esoteric side of heavy metal has been around since the very start. The strange, the magical, and the fantastical have driven songwriters to great heights for the genre’s history, and one of the current masters of the weird is here right now to do an interview. The Great Kaiser, aka Derek DiBella, is perhaps best known for his years with Demon Bitch, but is also the driving force behind White Magician, Isenblåst, and more.

Demo Dungeon

Demo Dungeon: Candle Opera – Dream Theatre Review

Not long ago I was having dinner with a very good friend of mine discussing about all those demos that we wished to be reissued but we both knew that was only wishful thinking. And then he mentioned Candle Opera, an extremely obscure heavy/ power band from Canada that somehow he managed to get one track from their long lost 1992 demo to upload in his Youtube Channel. Little we both knew then that at the same time Cult Metal Classics was working on a release of their long lost demo titled Dream Theatre.

Lost in Time

Lost in Time: Manilla Road – Mark of the Beast Review

One year ago today (July 27th) metal lost one of its most ardent and valiant warriors in Mark “The Shark” Shelton. Mark’s impact on the metal underground cannot be understated. He was a passionate musician who cared deeply for both the music and the people. His career with Manilla Road spanned four decades and nearly twenty remarkable records. Like many, I’ve taken the year since his tragic death to more deeply reflect on Manilla Road’s career. In doing so, I’ve found a much deeper appreciation for eras of the band that I had mostly ignored in favor of their classics. In particular, Mark of the Beast has resonated with me, leaving me wondering why I didn’t appreciate it as much before.

Features

July 4th Special: A US Power Metal Podcast

If you’ve browsed Ride Into Glory before, then it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of US Power Metal. In fact, six years ago I wrote rudimentary versions of the USPM primers you can find here. One of the big reasons I started Ride Into Glory in the first place is because I wanted to revamp those guides and bring them to a bigger audience. In order to celebrate the first July 4th that RIG has been in existence, I joined my friends over at powerful.a power metal podcast to discuss US Power metal as a whole.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Visigoth – Bells of Awakening Review

With the release of 2018’s Conqueror’s Oath, American metal stalwarts Visigoth were as white-hot as ever. Intending to keep that heat, they released a two track EP titled Bells of Awakening just last month. Everything you’ve come to know and love Visigoth for – the tremendous vocals, catchy riffs, and singalong choruses – is out in full force here. The band has stamped out their own style of traditional heavy metal and Bells of Awakening further solidifies that.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Fates Warning – The Spectre Within

The Spectre Within is a peculiar album, both out of context and within the one of Fates Warning’s career to that point. Night on Brocken, their debut, was an album that was frankly, very derivative Iron Maiden worship. It isn’t really a terrible album so much as one that shows a young band very unsure of their direction and what they’d actually want to do (Jim Matheos, the main songwriter of the band, reputedly never liked it very much). I submit that The Spectre Within, its immediate successor, represented one of the biggest leaps of maturity and quality in metal history, at least up to that point. And, for a vanishingly small window, it helped position Fates Warning as one of the unquestioned masters of metal genre, both of their era and of all time.

Demo Dungeon

Demo Dungeon: MaelstroM – This Battle to Make History, Yet History Never Comes Review

Some bands, such as Oblivion or Enchanter, make me scratch my head at the fact that they’re completely unknown, as they rule extremely hard and are similar to some more well-known bands (Sanctuary and Fates Warning, respectively). Clearly some metalheads just aren’t willing to go the extra mile and find the hidden gems – because plenty of people would go apeshit over those two acts, I’m pretty confident. A band like MaelstroM though – their obscurity is no surprise whatsoever – in fact I’d be surprised if they were well-known. Not because they suck, but because they’re so absurdly esoteric; neoclassical power/speed/thrash with extremely progressive song structures, random acoustic segments, and proto-death metallish yells alternated with really, really fucking strange and off-putting cleans. Add in songs that average around 7 minutes in length, and you have an inaccessible demo by some no-name power/thrash band.

Guides and Primers

Gladius & Goēteia: A Guide to Classical Mythology & History in Traditional Heavy Metal (Pt. I: 80’s Origins)

The gladius was the standard-issue sword of the Roman legions, whence the word gladiator gets its name. Goēteia is the ancient Greek word for sorcery. While much of traditional heavy metal old and new has been inspired by “sword and sorcery” literature, as well as by the legends and history of medieval Europe, several bands have peered further into the past to the classical world of Greece and Rome. From sorceresses enthroned on remote Aegean isles to swords dancing in the imperial arena, our heavy metal gods and heroes have time and again put the Classics in classics.