Hot off the Press

AFM Records

by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – It’s always good to see a band that has lost their way return to making great albums. After a pair of disappointing releases (2008’s Two Tragedy Poets and 2010’s Red Silent Tides), Italian power/folk metal band Elvenking turned things [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – German hard rock group 21 Octayne makes their debut this year with Into the Open. While probably not quite a “supergroup,” the band is made up of some veterans of the hard rock and metal scenes, including vocalist Hagen Grohe (The Joe [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – German power metal band Sinbreed is back after a four-year absence with their second album, titled Shadows. The band, of course, features a pair of Blind Guardian members (guitarist Marcus Siepen and drummer Frederik Ehmke) as well as Beyond [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – It’s been seven long years, but Australian progressive metal band Vanishing Point is finally back with a new studio album, their fifth overall, titled Distant Is the Sun. It’s not the first time fans have had to wait several years for a [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – After nine studio albums over the course of a nearly two-decade career, it makes sense for Swiss melodic hard rockers Shakra to release a “best of” collection, and like everything the band touches, they do it with style. 33 – The Best of [...]
by Alexandra Mrozowska - Columnist – The Swedish act Lake Of Tears, active since the mid-‘90s, is labeled anything from ‘Death to Doom to Gothic/Dark metal – and there is no doubt about their sound and specific atmosphere being targeted at a particular, tight circle of rock music [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – Hungarian groove merchants Ektomorf are back with a new studio album, their ninth overall, titled Retribution. Once again the band has enlisted producer/engineer Tue Madsen, and once again they’ve delivered a thick, grooving, angry slab of [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – Released at the tail end of last year, Raided Land is the fourth album from Germany’s Human Fortress, and the first to feature Gus Monsanto (ex-Adagio, ex-Revolution Renaissance) on vocals. Monsanto is the band’s third singer in as many [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – Just when you thought there weren’t any bands making good, classic-style melodic death metal anymore, here comes Words of Farewell with their second album, titled The Black Wild Yonder, to make you remember everything you loved about this [...]
by Deb Rao - Senior Columnist – Helstar is gearing up for the release of This Wicked Nest on April 29 via AFM Records. The speed metal band that hails from Texas return to their ‘80s thrash roots on This Wicked Nest. Singer James Rivera is at the top of his game belting out Spartan vocals. [...]
by Alexandra Mrozowska - Columnist – For the so-called European power metal, the motherland traditionally was nowhere else but Germany – think Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and other “pioneer fathers” of the genre (influenced by Scorpions and Accept, needless to say). In spite of [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – Long-running German power metal band Iron Savior is back after a three-year absence with Rise of the Hero, their eighth full-length album. The band released what may be their best album ever in 2011’s The Landing, so the pressure is on to [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – Danish hard rockers D-A-D (briefly known as Disneyland After Dark) celebrate their 30th Anniversary this year, a fact that may surprise a lot of American fans who only know the band from their breakthrough 1989 album No Fuel Left For the [...]
by Justin Gaines - Senior Columnist/News Editor – It’s been seven long years since we last heard from (mostly) German power metal band Silent Force. The band gave every indication that 2007’s Walk the Earth was their farewell album, so fans were shocked when Silent Force announced late [...]
by Deb Rao - Senior Columnist – Vanishing Point is a band that hails from Australia. They are gearing up for the release of their fifth CD Distant Is The Sun via AFM Records on March 4 in North America. There is always something intriguing about bands that hail from the land of down under. [...]
by Ron Higgins - Columnist – After 2013’s live release Live – From Chaos to Eternity, Rhapsody of Fire are back with their eagerly awaited new studio album, Dark Wings of Steel. Adding to the anticipation of this new release is the curiosity surrounding how they would proceed without one [...]
by Deb Rao - Senior Columnist – Crystal Viper, led by vocalist Marta Gabriel, is gearing up for the release of Possession via AFM Records on Jan. 21. The band was formed in 2003 and hails from Poland. Crystal Viper has a huge heavy metal arena sound. Marta Gabriel’s vocals are a cross [...]