Album Review: Riot V – Armor Of Light

The band Riot started out in 1975 and became one of the real originators of true American old-school heavy metal, and despite numerous lineup changes, they never faded away and persistently waved that flag and carried the torch of which the righteous heavy metal flame perennially burned throughout. Up until 2012, Riot still had one original and founding member in guitarist Mark Reale, but he passed away that year, and this is where the life story of this band took a pleasantly surprising and unexpected turn. With no original members left but a full lineup of undeniably excellent musicians, the new incarnation of Riot decided to move forward with the moniker of Riot V, aiming to pay tribute and homage to Mark Reale but with a clear focus on writing brand new material. The Riot V debut album ‘Unleash the Fire’ (2014) is glorious in every sense of the word and stands as one of the finest traditional / power metal releases to have surfaced since year 2000. Did this band have more than one album in them? As we get ready for the release of the follow-up LP ‘Armor Of Light’, I am pleased to report that the answer is an emphatic Yes. Continue reading “Album Review: Riot V – Armor Of Light”

Album Review: Judas Priest – Firepower

It is rare for the metal world to get excited about a new album by a band nearing the 50-year mark in their career. And the reason is simple, the law of averages suggests that the modern-day output from bands of this category is far from satisfying, and more often than not, fails to live up to the band’s own legacy. But, ever since they announced their 18th studio album ‘Firepower’, metal gods Judas Priest have generated unparalleled excitement among fans worldwide, so much so that it has taken me over a month from the album’s release date to absorb it and come to an objective review. After their mid-’90s period of obscurity, Priest undoubtedly sparked renewed interest among longtime fans with their 2005 reunion album ‘Angel Of Retribution’, a quintessentially stellar member of their discography. But since then, in 2008 they put out the double concept album ‘Nostradamus’ which was a giant damp squib, and the long-awaited 2014 follow-up ‘Redeemer Of Souls’ was a lackluster attempt at recreating past glory. Is ‘Firepower’ any better? Unfortunately not. Continue reading “Album Review: Judas Priest – Firepower”

Album Review: The Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician

The grunge legends known as The Melvins have added another strange one to their wacked out discography, this time with the record ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician’. Like all Melvins before it, this record is jam-packed with absurd pieces of music which takes mainstream grunge to the absolute edge of madness without dropping off the cliff. That’s always been the specialty of the Melvins, pushing their music past the limits of kind, decent music into an attractively off-putting world of dissonance and personal insanity. Continue reading “Album Review: The Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician”

Album Review: Green Druid – Ashen Blood

Denver based extreme-stoner metal band Green Druid just released their first full-length under Earache records, titled ‘Ashen Blood’. It is a seven-track journey through the realms of stoner metal traveled by bands such as Bongripper and Stoned Jesus. Green Druid is the next band to join that particular fray, and with their mastery of the atmospheric doom and decay they’ve realized themselves as one of Denver’s premier stoner metal. Continue reading “Album Review: Green Druid – Ashen Blood”

Album Review: Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion

Canadian thrash outfit Black Wizard plays it hard and heavy with their music. Not just with songwriting and overall musicial formulation, but with themes and concepts that hit deeply. ‘Livin’ Oblivion’, the latest release from Black Wizard, focuses on themes of self-desecration and individual moral decay. On top of that, the darkly formulated thrash atmosphere paints the picture of the world slowly dripping off the canvas. Continue reading “Album Review: Black Wizard – Livin’ Oblivion”

Album Review: Ministry – AmeriKKKant

I still wonder at what point among my coming across this record did I realize ‘Amerikkkant’, the new release by industrial metal outfit Ministry, was oppressively terrible? Was it the hackneyed, edgy album title you’d see sketched in a 7th grader’s notebook among other, equally terrible album names? Was it the mediocre album cover featuring a boring, dystopian city backdropped over a face-palming Statue of Liberty? Was this album conceived by a 13-year old? Continue reading “Album Review: Ministry – AmeriKKKant”