Chances are that unless you followed Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre compilations back in the mid-eighties you may have never heard Steel Assassin.
The five piece Swedish band Hammerfall started in the late 90s as a power metal side project of members from bands such as In Flames and Dark Tranquility. No Sacrifice, No Victory is now the band’s seventh full-length studio album
If spending over two hours with the ‘Feg is your idea of a good time, you’re gonna love this! The Slay Stack Grows is a two-disc set featuring the band’s initial “White Tape” demo from 1990, along with their 1994 demo tape, four live performances and a German radio interview.
Here is a another fantastic slab of progressive metal via the fine folks over at Sensory. Actually, more accurately, this is a perfectly tuned mixture of both prog and power metal.
I can’t think of another band so long-running whose output has been so consistently excellent. This truth led to my sole disappointment when I heard that the classic late-80s Thundersteel lineup had reformed: it meant that they were likely to ignore the past 20 years as if they never happened. Normally when some old band pulls a stunt like this, you wish they would ignore their last five or six albums, but Riot didn’t put out a single bad album after they retired the speed metal and screams of the Thundersteel years.
One of the most exciting, invigorating slabs of true metal to make its way into my grubby hands this past year has been Overlords of Chaos, the third album overall by Portuguese power trio Ironsword. After two previous releases through Solstice guitarist Rich Walker’s Miskatonic Foundation, the band has found a new home on Pittsburgh’s Shadow Kingdom Records. The label has quickly been making a name for itself by releasing some of the best underground classic heavy metal to see the light of day in 2008, and this leads the pack as their best release yet.