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Darren Lewis

203 For 2023: The Grym Hessian’s Top Metal Albums Of The Year

Icarus Witch–No Devil Lived On (Cleopatra Records) Owlbear–Chaos to the Realm (independent)  Danava-Nothing But Nothing (Tee Pee Records) Hellripper-Warlocks Grim &Withered Hags (Peaceville Records) Uriah Heep–Chaos & Colour (Silver Lining Music) Enforcer–Nostalgia (Nuclear Blast) Majesties-Vast Reaches Unclaimed (20 Buck Spin) Lamp Of Murmuur-Saturnian Bloodstorm (Argento Records) Ulthar-Anthronomicon (20 Buck Spin) Ulthar-Helionomicon (20 Buck Spin) Kommand–Death…

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Icarus Witch-No Devil Lived On

Immediately, even before note one, based solely on imagery and sheer intuition as a seasoned heavy metal connoisseur, one can ascertain that No Devil Lived On, the palindromic (figuratively and literally) 6th full-length studio album from Pennsylvanian traditionalists Icarus Witch, is their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and Operation: Mindcrime all at once. So…

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Wytch Hazel-IV: Sacrament

Exactly four albums deep in their career, UK metal traditionalists Wytch Hazel have blessed us with yet another noble outing. When listening to Wytch Hazel, one can immediately think of Wishbone Ash, a pre-NWOBHM act that reportedly was a large influence on Iron Maiden, their harmonized twin riffing rubbing off on a group of lads…

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Methane – Kill It With Fire

One wouldn’t expect a band whose members mostly hail from Sweden to sound like Methane, a quartet featuring alumni from medieval power metal knights Cryonic Temple and ancient death metal Cthulhu worshippers Revenant. No, the boys in Methane prefer thrash by way of the American South, and they’ve been at it for over a decade,…

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A Tale of Two Albums: Ulthar’s Anthronomicon & Helionomicon (20 Buck Spin)

Imagine, if you will, in a remote area, coming across an unmanned alien spacecraft full of terrible technological secrets, inhuman, futuristic marvels that could transform Earth for the better…or turn it into a wasteland. Now imagine if there were two. Gift or curse? Are they each one and the same? Ulthar, invokers of Lovecraftian horror…

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142 For 2022: The Grym Hessian’s Top Heavy Metal Albums Of The Year

Consider for a moment the blessed wealth of material us hessians have at our disposal in what are remarkable, unforeseen times. Roughly 8,000 full-length, original heavy metal albums were released in this mildly dystopian year of 2022. There were so many, I almost didn’t bother to compile this list and write the attendant article, but…

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101 For 2021: The Grym Hessian’s Top Metal Albums Of The Year

Currently, there are more heavy metal recordings being made than in any other time in history. According to perennially utilitarian website Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives, an online database of aural fury no serious headbanger can live without, over 7,000 full-length albums of new studio material were released in this rather chaotic year of 2021…

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Royal Honey Offers Up A Delicious Treat With “Sweet Heat”

A pandemic-induced shutdown has seemingly only emboldened and sharpened Royal Honey, a Pittsburgh act that has been making tasty cocktails out of equal parts glam and punk for several years now, their months-and-months-long quarantine resulting in a rather succulent sophomore effort called Sweet Heat that evokes good times, boozy vibes, and smoky little venues. Opener…

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Vicious Blade Carve Out A Name For Themselves With A Razor-Sharp Debut EP

Unassumingly releasing their very first cassette album (its only physical format so far) on Devil’s Night 2020, Vicious Blade, a new Pittsburgh death/thrash/crust project featuring members of Tartarus, Commit Suicide, and Complete Failure, deals swiftly and brutally with poseurs in blood-hungry Napalm Death-meets-Midnight fashion. Consisting of five brief tracks totaling over just thirteen minutes, this…

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The Grym Hessian’s Top 100 Metal Albums Of 2020

I  honestly did not expect to post an unprecedented 100 albums on my honor roll for this most tumultuous year of 2020, but COVID-19 and overall societal turbulence seemed to bring out the best in the heavy metal universe, hessians of myriad disciplines, specialties, and generations getting prolific without sacrificing quality. Or were they simply…

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