No matter the time of year, it’s always winter for Norwegian black metal legends Immortal. Feeling nice and warm and looking forward to summer? Don’t be silly. Just one listen to the latest album War Against All (Nuclear Blast) will have you pining for the fjords and wishing the world was a dark, grim, and frostbitten kingdom of cryptic winter storms.
To be a gatekeeper in metal is generally frowned upon as elitist these days, to the point where my favorite Awenden / Feminazgul shirt has the phrase “impale the gatekeepers on spears and leave them posted alongside your path as a warning to others”on the back.
Once upon a time in a faraway land called The Eighties, heavy metal fans had long hair, wore denim and leather, possessed a fierce aversion to all forms of hygiene products, and had absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever. So what? if your favourite bands wore assless chaps, furry loincloths, or looked like an explosion in a clown factory. That was fine. It was metal and metal was serious.
Exactly a year on from the release of Memento Mori (Napalm Records), German medieval folk metallers Feuerschwanz return with a collection of previously recorded cover versions. Releasing material lifted from bonus discs might seem a little superfluous to anyone without a tendency towards rampant completism but Todsünden is filled with surprising choices and no lack of creativity.
Swords, epic battles and metal. It’s a combination that has been there since their beginning. And for good reason. It just works so well. It’s an escape to a highly visual and epic escape from reality where everything is dialed up way past eleven.
Ready to wage bloody battle against the drudgery of everyday life once more, Italian power metallers and emerald sword aficionados Rhapsody of Fire return with all dragons blazing on their latest album Glory For Salvation(AFM Records). Driven by escapism and pure fantasy, there’s simply no room or requirement for conventional subjects like relationships, politics or social commentary in this hour or so of questing and wizard worship.
Replacing axe-wielding lions and scantily clad, big-haired warrior maidens with vivid, futuristic imagery, it only takes a quick glance at the cover art of Dark Connection (Nuclear Blast), the new album by multinational power metal act Beast in Black, to see that science fiction and anime have played an integral role in its, er… inception.
One of the worst kept secrets in power metal is that “The Tribune”, the Roman frontman of gimmicky cosplayers Warkings, is none other than Serenity vocalist Georg Neuhauser. Slightly more elusive than the distinctive vocal cords of Neuhauser, the identities of his role playing bandmates would now appear to be that of German outfit, Souldrinker, with drummer Steffen Theurer playing “The Spartan”, bassist Christian Rodens as “The Viking”, and guitarist Markus Pohl in the role of “The Crusader”.
Sabaton has shared a new two-song digital single which features their highly sought after cover of Manowar’s “Kingdom Come’ and “Metal Trilogy,” a medley of the band’s “Metal Ripper,” “Metal Crue,” and “Metal Machine.” This is now available digitally on all streaming platforms, and the song can be heard at the link below. The limited edition vinyl is already sold out. The band also released a stunning 3D motion graphics animated lyric video for “Kingdom Come” which can be viewed here:
Before getting to the bigger business of their next full-length studio album, Glory For Salvation (AFM Records), scheduled for release later this year, Italian quintet Rhapsody of Fire provides a little taster with new eight-track EP, I’ll Be Your Hero (AFM Records).