Today (11/11) is National Metal Day and for today’s From The Vault here are my top 11 choices from the 80′s: Continue reading
Good morrow, Hearers of Evil! It’s Throwback Thursday, and you know what that means, don’t you? In the immortal words of Overkill, here’s to the old school!
Mercyful Fate, “A Dangerous Meeting”
Witchfinder General, “Burning A Sinner”
Black Sabbath, “Sweet Leaf”
Testament, “Alone In The Dark”
Znowhite, “War Machine”
Overkill, “Electro Violence”
Diamond Head, “Lightning To The Nations”
Warlock, “All We Are”
Saxon, “20,000 Feet”
For today’s From The Vault,we take a trip back to December 25, 1985 to a song by the one and only King Diamond, No Presents for Christmas. Continue reading
Tonight (September 8th) King Diamond will be a guest on That Metal Show on VH1 Classic at 11PM EST. Diamond, who is a first time guest on That Metal Show will talk about his recent heart surgery, his career in metal and what’s to come in the future. Continue reading
Everyone gets nostalgic now and then. After all, there’s a reason we have a From The Vault column — getting down to old school jams is one of life’s greatest joys! Iron Kingdom, much like a lot of my favorite heavy metal bands these days, are bringing back sounds from the ’70s and ’80s. Their influences shine through brilliantly, especially in the “King Diamond with a dash of Rob Halford sprinkled liberally with Bruce Dickinson” vocals. These guys (and classically trained drummer gal Amanda Osterman) aren’t innovating anything but they are rocking out, and it’s hard not to fall in love with their catchy tunes.
These Canadian traditionalists have only been around in their current incarnation since 2011, and their debut album Curse Of The Voodoo Queen was released late in the same year. If you’re in the frozen north, I highly recommend checking them out since heavy bands like this tend to be best enjoyed in person. I’m all the way down here, so you’ll just have to come back here and tell us how great their performance was. In the meantime, all us non-Canadians have YouTube.
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ironkingdom
Official merch store: http://ironkingdomsofficialmerchstore.bigcartel.com
Today we take a trip back to 1986 to the first solo album by former Mercyful Fate singer King Diamond called Fatal Portrait. Continue reading
Crimen Excepta was probably my most anticipated new album of the year to date. Most of their influences are among my favorites, and I’m a huge sucker for traditional/old-school sounding stuff. That said, if you’re going to release an album in 2012, you’ve got to bring something — ANYTHING — new to the table, and Crystal Viper just kind of…don’t. They could have slapped a 1982 release on the promo I received and I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
Don’t get me wrong — when Crimen Excepta hits, it really hits. The opening track “Witch’s Mark” has been stuck in my head since the first day I heard it. Lead singer Marta Gabriel sounds like Doro Pesch with a head cold (but not in a bad way — you kind of have to hear for yourself), and “Witch’s Mark” in particular almost sounds like it could have been an old Warlock B-side. For the most part, the nice, thrashy momentum continues throughout the first half of the album, but the latter half sort of fizzles out. The pacing of the album generally doesn’t feel quite right, and I can’t tell whether it’s because of the annoying “intro” tracks interspersed throughout or because the album’s most energetic songs are bunched up at the beginning.
After the first few tracks (I’m not counting the intros as proper tracks, and I’m not bothering to mention them after this parenthetical because they irk me), the album loses a bit of its luster. Marred with tedium and plagiarism (or at the very least, cryptomnesia), there are very few highlights after “It’s Your Omen.” “The Spell Of Death” is a breath of fresh air, but everything else is either unremarkable or a carbon copy of something else. For example, the intro in “Fire Be My Gates” is entirely too reminiscent of early Mercyful Fate, and the riff in the first verse of the titular track is ripped straight out of Black Sabbath’s “Children Of The Grave.”
Would you believe I still actually enjoy Crimen Excepta? None of the tracks are grating enough to be outright skippable, so the album is easy listening for a bus ride or finishing up a project. I’m positive Crystal Viper would put on a great live show too. If you’re a fan of old school metal like me though, I guarantee you’ve got several albums in your collection exactly like Crimen Excepta, only much, much better. (7/10)
King Diamond confirmed his performance at Hellfest and the Rock Stage at Sweden Rock Festival this summer. King posted the following update:
“Hail to all of you. FINALLY. We can now officially announce King Diamond’s return to the stage. We will be headlining the Rock Stage at Sweden Rock Festival on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Please check out the links below for more info.
We will also be headlining the Main Stage 2 at Hellfest in France on Friday, June 15, 2012. Please see link below for more info:
Can’t wait to see you there.
For more information, visit King Diamond’s official site here
Offical King Diamond Facebook page
Official King Diamond / Mercyful Fate Facebook page