Lost in Time

Lost in Time: Hexx – Under the Spell Review

Under The Spell is the perfect bulldozer of USPM, and if you have to know one thing about Hexx, that’s enough. That’s not to say it’s necessarily the best album to do it, though if someone said it was, I certainly wouldn’t argue, but it perfectly encapsulates everything you want from USPM and more. For those unfamiliar, Hexx was given birth as a fast as hell band from San Francisco that formed in 1983 and almost immediately put out a really good speed/power record, No Escape, on Shrapnel Records the following year.


The Best of Traditional Metal in 2019: Jan. – Mar.

It’s pretty widely agreed upon that traditional metal was in its prime during the 80s, with relatively massive, mainstream appeal. While traditional metal is most certainly no longer in its heyday, there has been a recent revival of the sound in the past decade that has led some to call it the “New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal”. There has been a huge influx of bands in this style and it seems like each year this is only growing. With the sheer density of high quality releases, 2019 is well on track to be perhaps the best year for traditional heavy metal since the 80s. Let’s hit pause and take a look at the best releases of the first 3 months!

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Magnabolt – Magnabolt Review

It doesn’t matter how closely you pay attention to labels, hot new bands, the NWOTHM Full YouTube channel, or whatever your method of keeping up with new music is – there will always be surprises each year and it’s one of my favorite things about the experience. No demo, no promotion, a wonky name, some poorly photoshopped artwork (honestly it’s probably Microsoft paint) that looks like it belongs on an early 2000s power metal album cover, just a few years of playing small live shows in the hipster paradise of Portland, and a self-released “pay your price” demo on bandcamp – that’s it. That’s all we have to go off of for Magnabolt’s self titled debut. In reality, none of this matters at the end of the day. What ultimately matters is the quality of the music, and in Magnabolt’s case they certainly bring quality.

New Releases

New Release Highlight: Twisted Tower Dire – Wars in the Unknown Review

There are few US power metal bands that I personally consider as important as Twisted Tower Dire. They formed in 1995 and released their debut album The Curse of Twisted Tower in 1999 while remaining very active through the 2000s – this is far and away the lowest point for the genre. Outside of a handful of exceptions, US power metal was on its last breath, hiding away in the darkness. Twisted Tower Dire were the light in that darkness and the torchbearers for the American style of power metal, helping keep it alive. They have a long and storied history as a band, filled with its fair share of successes and tragedies alike, but it’s been close to eight years since we’ve had any proper activity from them – until now that is. The wait is over and their highly anticipated sixth studio album, Wars in the Unknown, is finally upon us.


Women in Traditional Metal: The Old School, the New School, and the Girlschool

It’s no secret that as a whole, heavy metal is a genre dominated by men. At the time of publication, it’s International Women’s Day – a day meant to highlight and celebrate women. What better way to celebrate than with quality heavy metal with women at the reins?

I want to take the time today to talk about some of our favorite bands – both new and old. Below you will find the earliest pioneers and trailblazers who helped carve the way, followed by 15 old school, classic bands, and we close by talking about 15 of our favorite, currently active new bands!

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.

Demo Dungeon

Demo Dungeon: Enchanter – Defenders of the Realm Review

Since the conception of metal, myriads of bands have dwindled in obscurity, taking it upon themselves to release only a few songs over one or two demos or singles before vanishing from the face of the earth, never to return again. We generally tend to polarize these bands based on the fact that they have so little material that it’s not likely to be diverse enough to facilitate a mixed opinion; thus the band is either thrown out the window as complete garbage, or elevated to a legendary status of a band untarnished by mediocrity, and, if they somehow reformed today, could certainly do no wrong. Enchanter falls into the latter category, releasing only eight songs over the span of two demos and a single in the late 1980s, but in this case, every song was absolutely killer, making for a spectacular compilation album and thrusting the band, at least in my mind, onto a pedestal of the grandest heights.