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Amaranthe

Alcatrazz Amid my oft-mis-pent agos, I'd go off in search of a Hard Rock/Hea- vy Metal group t -hat appealed to my Pop 'leaning-s'. Although many of the most obvious Rip magazine-fueled offering(s) piquéd my interest, I would still find myself less than satisfied, particularly with the over -all emphasis on the hairspray and ma-scara-encrusted excess of the decade. Now, twenty-five improbably long years later, with my oft-exhaustive search for this mythical double threat continuing unabated, I find myself in the throes of what can only be described as a truly intense relationship with Gothenburg-based icons Amaranthe.Read More

Helion Prime

Helion Prime

I'll be the first to admit that once I had reembraced Power Metal, I'd indulged in all of the obvious opti- ons. As a result, you can only imagine my delight upon discovering Sacramento-born upstarts Helion Prime. Formed circa 2014, they issued their Heather Michelle-led full-debut in 2015 to wide-spread acclaim. Now, with the oddlly-underrated quintet triumphantly returning courtesy of the oft-mighty gem Question Everything (2020), their latest (and quite possibly greatest) 'Science-Faction' expiations to date, their already immensely bright future propositions again appear to be almost entirely limitless.Read More

Scardust

Scardust Let's face it; am-mid the countle-ss 'variations' of the Heavy Metal formula, Symph-onic Metal has--for the most part --remained a constant, dominant force. Defined by the usage of non-traditional elements, it quickly grew in popularity. Among the genre's 'latest' starlets are Isreal-born masters Scardust. Having released Sands Of Time in 2017, the group quickly earned a reputation as a bona fide creative might. Thus, with the release of their M-Theory Audio debut Strangers officially upon everyone, the curiously-underrated quintet appears destined for the world-wide recognition they so rightfully deserve.Read More

New Interviews

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Michael Angelo Batio

Michael Angelo Batio

When axe-man Michael Angelo Batio and Tuff front-man Jim Gillette formed Nitro, few predicted the impacts they'd have on the Hair and Glam Metal sub-genres. Releasing their debut O.F.R. in 1989, they epitomized the excesses of the MTV era. Officially embarking on a solo career in 1994, the resulting series of shred-laden efforts solidified Batio's reputation as a creative force. Now, twenty-six years (!) later, he again finds himself at the epicenter of the shred revolution with the 'epic' More Machine Than Man (2020).Read More

Sanctuary

Sanctuary

In a time when the Heavy Metal genre is being almost continuously re-defined (the artists and groups of yore are not aging well), many once-prominent acts now find themselves at the epicenter of renewed interest. Fortunately, this is in fact the case with Seattle, Washington masters Sanctuary. Recently, guitarist Lenny Rutledge and frontman Joseph Michael, always men of many words and interesting stories, were kind enough to speak with us regarding the all-new Into The Mirror Black -> 30th Anniversary Edition.Read More

off the record

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Immortal

Immortal

Just when it appeared my increasingly-damaged psyche had been graced with every noteworthy variation of the 'tried and true' Vinyl Re-Issue formulation, a release that actually piqués my interest emerges. My lingering obsessions with the singularly ingenious Black Crowes and Krokus deluxe vinyl treatments not fully withstanding, the impacts of such artists have typically fallen well short of their expectations. Not surprisingly, you can only imagine our pure listening satisfaction with the highly-anticipated release of the Immortal jewels Sons Of Northern Darkness. Read More

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden

When NWOBHM masters Iron Maiden released Dance Of Death (1999), their reputation was already legendary. Led by the infectious single 'Rainmaker', it would soon reinforce their post-reunion mettle. Adorned via cover art courtesy of the often acclaimed David Patchett (Cathedral), it was the group's first release to be Produced by Kevin Shirley (Dream Theater) Now, with this stunning vinyl variation upon us all, they once again appear truly destined to carry on with the prototypical, genre-defining Classic Heavy Metal so many 'purists' already know and love. Read More

Geekcasts

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Ascension Of The Watchers

Ascension Of The Watchers

At this point, my 'love' for Fear Factory has been well-documented. As a result, my feelings for the Burton C. Bell-fuel-ed Ascension Of The Watchers are of little surprise to our few listeners. Now with the brilliant Apocrypha, the multi- octave vocalist is now destined (or so it would seem) for a long and fruitful post -Fear Factory, G/Z/R (Geezer Butler), and perhaps even Ministry career that, believe it or not, has now encompassed a total of thirty-two (!) years and no less that nine different genres and seventeen artists.Hear More

Pyramids On Mars

Pyramids On Mars

I'll be the the first to admit my life-long love of instrumental guitarists. Although the 'collective catalogs' of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai once left me enthralled, I ultimately found myself searching for a fresher alternative. Fortunately, this is truly the case with Pyramids On Mars maestro Kevin Estrella. Now with their latest Extraterrestrial-dictated release Edge Of The BlackEstrella has once again resolidified his reputation as a genuine and sincere creative force not to be ignored amid the Instrumental Prog Rock genre. Hear More

Geektech

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Aiwa Prodigy Air Wireless Earbuds

Aiwa Prodigy Air Wireless Earbuds

As wanna-be critic who also happens to be a husband and father, listening to music sans annoyance is always a concern. Thus, once the truly mighty Aiwa Prodigy Air Wireless Earbuds appeared on our 'radars', many of my worries were quelled. As a result, we were only more than happy to share our auditory discoveries as part of our GeekTech feature which now focuses entirely on the various hardware, software and, to a certain extent, the latest and/or greatest must-have gear our readers need to reach their ultimate full Geek potentialities. Read More

HP Wired Stereo Gaming Headset

HP B087J7PR83 Headset

I'll be the first to admit that I've quickly become a headphone/headset snob. Although I've attempted to 'justify' this behavior by referring to comparisons of sound quality, my blue collar roots are financially-fueled. Fortunately, the HP B087J7PR83 Headset offers both flexibility and practicality are delivered by this full-featured unit. Putting it to the test via a series of support calls and an array of gaming exploits (notably DOOM Eternal), we soon found ourselves entirely engulfed in an auditory experience. Stay tuned for our detailed use and abuse and discover why you should spend some hard-earned fundage. Read More

Contests

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Dio

Dio

Sick and tired of never winning merch from your favorite artists and groups? Click here to enter our exclusive new Dio Dream Evil Record Store Days Picture Disc Giveaways! First issued in 1987, Dream Evil found the former Black Sabbath front-man amid a true creative apex. Rejuvenated via the addition of guitarist Craig Goldy, it was the final release to feature Vinny Appice until Strange Highways (1993). An absolute must-have for every Dio completist, the mighty Dream Evil features some of the group's most fully underrated auditory strains. Read More

Orianthi

Orianti

Sick and tired of never winning merch from your favorite artists and groups? Click here to enter our exclusive new Orianthi O Giveaway! Integrating her well-documented love for heavy riffs and solos with a variety of drum loops and synths, showcases the guitarist's artistic evolution as she unveils her first solo effort in six (!) years. Fueled by the oft-infectious single 'Sinner's Hym', O will be available in an array of configurations, including CD, LP and digital, the multi-Platinum-selling songstress and co-conspirator (i.e., Alice Cooper) appears poised to bask in the global 'recognition' she's rightfully earned.Read More

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