ALBUM REVIEW: Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron

It”s been four years since Eternal Champion unleashed The Armor Of Ire in 2016, but the hype has only intensified with their sophomore full-length. Ravening Iron (No Remorse Records) continues the Austin group”s Epic Metal aspirations as the coarse but melodic guitar work casts a dungeon friendly atmosphere and the vocals forever echo Manilla Road”s Mark Shelton (RIP) with their nasally yet bombastic character. Thankfully, there are enough alternate approaches explored that keep this album from feeling like a retread. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Death Dealer – Conquered Lands

Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss returns with all guns blazing on Conquered Lands (Steel Cartel), the third full-length release from his subtly named Death Dealer project. In a gloriously predictable manner, the riffs come thick and fast as gods, blood, battles and all other true metal necessities rain down like exploding magma from the skies.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Fates Warning – Long Day Good Night

 

Over 35 years ago, Fates Warning was one of the main trailblazers and influencers in the Progressive Metal movement. With so much history, there has been a lot of lineup changes throughout the years, but the band has always been known for its exploration and expansion of the scene. Even today this East Coast act is still examining their special sound. Earlier this month FW released their newest full-length album, Long Day Good Night (Metal Blade Records). These boys went big and completed 13 songs to celebrate their 13th full-length release. The group took their time to dig deep into their assorted inclinations to expose the wealth they found there.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Helion Prime – Question Everything – Saibot Reigns

Helion Prime’s third album features yet another lead singer shuffle as live vocalist Mary Zimmer (ex-Luna Mortis/White Empress) makes her studio debut, but their sci-fi Power Metal vision remains undeterred. Following the underwhelmed reception to 2018’s Terror Of The Cybernetic Monster, the band seems to aim for a vibe similar to their 2016 self-titled debut. The song structures are similarly streamlined, and the vocals have a consistently poppy character prone to anthemic layering and the occasional Melodeath scream. Guitarists Jason Ashcraft and Chad Anderson’s polished chugs and sweeping leads serve as the grand equalizer.  Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Angband – IV

Formed in 2004 and based in Tehran, Angband plays a style of Power Metal in the vein of American groups like Iced Earth and Jag Panzer rounded out with elements of Prog and Persian traditional music. Their fourth full-length album, aptly titled IV (Pure Steel Records), is their first to come out since 2012’s Saved From The Truth as well as the first to feature Tim Aymar of Control Denied/Pharaoh fame on lead vocals. The prospects are exciting, but the actual execution ends up being a rather mixed bag.

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PODCAST: Episode 119: Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot 

Ghost Cult caught up with Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot recently to discuss their brand new live album/concert DVD and Blu-ray Kamelot – I Am The Empire – Live From The 013,  out now via Napalm Records (review here). Thomas talked about the new live album, the production and planning that went into the concerts, the specialness of the 013 Poppodium venue in Tilburg, working with guests such as Elize Ryd of Amaranthe, Lauren Hart of Once HumNetheran, German string quartet Eklipse, Charlotte Wessels of Delain and Alissa White Gluz of Arch Enemy, Avantasia guitarist Sascha Paeth, writing materials with guests in mind, performing with a children’s choir, which included his son,  how he has been spending the pandemic, and plans for new Kamelot music. Purchase the live album set at this link and listen to our chat.  Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Pain Of Salvation – Panther

 

The eleventh full-length studio release from Swedish power/prog innovators Pain of Salvation, Panther (InsideOut Music) is a concept album which presents a futuristic city in which people are separated into dogs and panthers. The dogs being “normal” people while the panthers represent “spectrum” outsiders.  Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Manticora – To Live To Kill To Live

 

With all power metal guns blazing, Danish progressive five-piece Manticora make an impressive return with To Live to Kill to Live (ViciSolum Records), the second part of a conceptual project begun in 2018 with To Kill to Live to Kill (ViciSolum), and based on the novel of the same name written by multitasking frontman Lars F. Larsen. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Unleash The Archers – Abyss

Continuing with the concept of Apex (Napalm Records), Canadian power metal quartet Unleash The Archers return with their fifth full-length album, Abyss (Napalm), a direct sequel to its 2017 predecessor. Continue reading

REVIEW: Kamelot – I Am The Empire – Live From The 013

Ah, gigs. Remember them? Well,  I Am The Empire – Live From The 013 (Napalm Records), the new live release by veteran power metal act Kamelot is a welcome reminder of what live entertainment looked like in a pre-Covid world. 

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