Album Review: Haunt – “Burst Into Flame”

Haunt - Burst Into Flame

I hear we’re calling this stuff the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal.  I’m always eager to embrace yet another nonsensical label, and await the inevitable usage of NWOTHM or whatever.  Point is, you can label Fresno, CA band Haunt whatever you want if it helps you get through the night.  Me?  The band, their sound, and their killer debut fell length Burst Into Flame is simple heavy metal, and the world is better for its honesty in simply wanting to rock you hard and sweet.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Red Lead Media & PR

red lead media

“But hey,” you ask.  “Where do all those promos come from?”

They come from PR groups, my friends.  Many, many PR groups.  Inboxes get stuffed to the gills with pleas for some kind of coverage, whether its a review, interview, profile, track premiere…and as the release date for an album gets closer and the reminders come in, it can get even more overwhelming.  But with so much music out there, having a good PR person in your corner can make the difference between selling your album to six of your friends and family, and getting exposure (any exposure) to an audience that can pick up and carry your work forward.  I’d say PR groups are a necessary evil, except my experience as both a writer and a musician has found, for the most part, these dogged flag wavers to be anything but evil.

And so I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d highlight the music that’s come to my attention via Jadd and the folks from Red Lead Media & PR.  Focusing on punk and hard rock in a variety of styles (not to mention being the in-house PR division for Magnetic Eye Records) there’s a healthy variety of music below so keep cool and dig in.  Who knows, maybe something will take your fancy…. Continue reading

July 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Michael Romeo – “War of the Worlds, Pt. 1”

PMAOTM Michael Romeo - War of the Worlds, pt. 1

Greetings and salutations, fellow champions of the rock.  July has been an absolutely insane month for new extreme music, so much so that I am still buried under a mountain of albums I need to catch up on.  Normally I’d apologize for the Power Metal Album of the Month for July coming to you a few days late, but all things happen for a reason, and that reason was I needed to pick myself up off the floor after hearing the kinda-sorta* solo debut from Symphony X axeman/chief songwriter Michael Romeo, the unapologetically classic War of the Worlds, Pt. 1.   Continue reading

Album Review: Abhorrent Deformity – “Slaughter Monolith”

Abhorrent Deformity - Slaughter Monolith

When it comes to death metal I don’t ask for much.  As much as I enjoy exploration and stretching boundaries in other genres when I get that death metal itch I look for a guttural stench that recalls the old school technical groove I grew up with: Cannibal Corpse, Immolation, Suffocation…meat and potatoes metal that doesn’t cop to this new-fangled penchant for cavernous recorded in a well howling so many folks seem to be enamored of.  Lucky for me Abhorrent Deformity feel the same way, because Slaughter Monolith digs straight into that period with a lurching gait that satisfies my cravings and makes it rain sweat and blood.   Continue reading

Album Review: Inexorum – “Lore of the Lakes”

Inexorum - Lore of the Lakes

When you see the phrase “melodic black metal” you’re probably instantly reminded of something – it may not be actual music from a band but an impression, a sense of presence conjured up in some Jungian archetype to give meaning to the words.  For me the phrase elicits icy, bright melodies that fly against stinging blast beats, lines harmonizing and coming apart in frenzied bursts of power.  In other words, I pretty much hear what Inexorum beautifully executes on debut album Lore of the Lakes.   Continue reading