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.
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.
Lost in time – albums that were forgotten in the shuffle of time for one reason or another. Sometimes bands are far too late for their respective style and are dead on arrival while others are a little too early and don’t catch the tailwind that they needed to succeed. In the case of Skullview’s 1998 debut, Legends of Valor, it’s a little bit of both.
There have been quite a few new bands that have grabbed my attention, but precious few have done so as profoundly as Eternal Champion.
Welcome to Pt. II of my III part series on United States Power Metal! In Pt. I of my guide, “Marco’s Guide to USPM Part I: The Basics, Essentials, and Modern Heroes”, I discussed the essentials and modern champions of the genre. My goal with the previous section was to provide a solid introduction and base into USPM while also providing the best new releases to sink your teeth into. In this section of the guide, I aim to shed light on some of the 80s bands underneath the fold.
It’s been three months since the legendary Mark Shelton of the epic metal titans Manilla Road passed to the other side. His sudden death made shock waves across the metal world. Mark was one of the kindest and most dedicated individuals out there – over four years of writing kick ass metal music without a hint of wavering. His never-ending devotion to music led him to a number of projects over the years in addition to his mainstay of Manilla Road – The Riddle Master and Hellwell to name a couple among a legion of others. One such project, buried long ago, was a collaboration with fellow US metal powerhouse David T. Chastain. Read more…