November 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Dire Peril – “The Extraterrestrial Compendium”

PMAOTM november 2018 dire peril - the extraterrestrial compendium

Taking over the reins of this column has been an experience.  As I dove deeper into the ever-evolving mass that is power metal and its many offshoots, I’ve begun to tap back into those things that made me fall in love with metal when I was a kid.  The deeper narratives and mythologies, the technical prowess, all in favor to the all-mighty chorus – these were the things that shielded a troubled awkward kid growing up afraid and uncertain.  And as my life as a 45-year old man takes another sharp turn to the afraid and uncertain I’ve been leaning hard into those things that provided comfort before.  Since getting the promo for The Extraterrestrial Compendium, the debut full length from power metal super-duo Dire Peril, I’ve been struck with just how effective the album is at balancing grace and power, despite the pedigree behind.  For that and so much more it was a no-brainer it would be the November Power Metal Album of the Month.    Continue reading

October 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Hammer King – “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”

pmaotm - hammer king

Not gonna lie: I spent much of October working on my own music (shameless plug) and being completely enamored of what is almost certainly going to be November’s pick for Power Metal Album of the Month.  So it was only in the last week or so that I really dove into the month’s offerings of metal both pure and true.  But as always there were more than a few golden nuggets to be had, and I was hard pressed to pick between four stellar stand outs (always a good problem to have!).  So I literally rolled some dice and came up with the majestic speed and 80s influence of Hammer King and their third album of classic metal Poseidon Will Carry Us Home.

But damn, any one of the albums listed below could have taken it so read on for the heavy and the pure! Continue reading

September 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Ironflame – “Tales of Splendor and Sorrow”

ironflame pmaotm

There’s power metal, and then there’s metal with power.  Taking a break from his various other projects Andrew D’Cagna created Ironflame as an epic heavy metal outlet that took the melody and power of the bands he loved from the 80s and turbo injected it into a modern speed force.  Coming out a few weeks earlier than its physical incarnations, new album Tales of Splendor and Sorrow hit all the spots the debut did, crafting memorable hooks and soaring vocals in a tight, righteous package.
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August 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Helion Prime – “Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster”

PMAOTM - Helion Prime

When the debut self titled album by Sacramento’s Helion Prime arrived on the scene the first thing people were talking about was that cover.  And I get it: that thing is unabashed in its love and glory for over the top science fiction.  A lot of people couldn’t;t get past that cover, which is too bad because underneath was a killer power metal beast, blending modern and classic elements from both sides of the Atlantic.  A few years and a few vocalist changes later and the band is back, doubling down on robot dinosaurs with the awesomely titled and equally fun Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster.  How could it not be our August Power Metal Album of the Month?   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