Album Review: Sacred Outcry — “Towers of Gold”

Sophomore records are notoriously difficult, and there are a myriad of ways bands could choose from to approach theirs. You could go longer, you could go shorter, you could “AC/DC” it and churn out more of the same, or you could change styles entirely. But I don’t recall many bands who’ve gone the route of Greece’s Sacred Outcry, though. For album number two, Towers of Gold, mastermind George Apalodimas recruited an entirely different lineup of musicians than he’d had on the critically-acclaimed debut, Damned for All Time, three years ago.

It’s a bold strategy, Cotton, but fortunately, it’s wound up working in Apalodimas’ favor. Towers of Gold doesn’t quite match its predecessor in quality, but it’s still a (mostly) terrific record and arguably a pace-setter for power metal in 2023.

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Album Review: Eternal Champion — “Ravening Iron”

I don’t need to tell you what this is.  Just look at that gorgeous Ken Kelly artwork, reminiscent of the best of Frank Franzetta (who was Kelly’s uncle, incidentally).  You instantly know, before you hear a riff, that you’re into some epic-scale traditional metal.  It’s something Eternal Champion have been holding the torch for since their inception, and new album Ravening Iron continues to set the template for what bands attempting to make this kind of music should be striving toward. Continue reading