Friday Morning Metal – HammerFall – The End Justifies

New HammerFall! Ahead of an album release in August! These delightful Swedes keep cranking out great songs, apparently since 1993. The video is like a studio session turned epic, and though it lacks the Swedish women’s curling team, it’s something for the ages.

The song kicks off with a solid drum solo. Kinda Painkillerly, plenty fast, plenty kicky. Joacim Cans can still belt out huge vocals which rules. You could even say Joacim Cans sing real well. I dig the dueling guitar solos before the breakdown, very noodly, very shreddy. You knew there’d be a solo by any means necessary, and they crushed it.

Them shouting “THE END” after the breakdown tricked me into thinking the song was over. But boom a kickass coda and chorus for a bit! Really set my hearts on fire there.

Friday Morning Metal – Eregion – The Rival Kings

LOOK AT THAT ALBUM COVER! This week we’re grabbing some metal from Turin, Italy. Or Piedmont. I’ll stick with Turin. Then they have this band and a shroud. According to Metal dot IT, “Eregion were born in the spring of 2012 from an idea by Giorgio Colbacchini (rhythm guitars) whose intent was to create a metal cover band.”

I’m not sure if The Rival Kings is a cover, whenever I search I find a band called the Rival Kings who have a song called “Dirt Road Romeo” which does not sound metal at all. However, this song is a great chuggy battle song.

Overall the song’s a solid power metally track. The solo at the halfway point is properly noodly but not getting tooo out there. And transitions into some very growly vocals for a bit there.

The album is called Non Omnis Moriar, which translates to “Not Everything Dies.” Maybe they’re referencing the vampires who don’t die in that Powerwolf song, Vampires Don’t Die. Whoah oh oh oh. And it has an opening track that starts in Latin, so you know they’re going to be big and bombastic.

I wonder if the band name is pronounced “E-region” or “ere-egg-ion.” Pretty sure there was a social platform in the early 2000’s called the E-region, as a competitor to Habbo Hotel. Anyway, these guys are a pretty fun listen, so give it a shot!

Oh and hey here’s a twofer. They have a real-ass music video for Kingdom of Heaven. I think they’re using Elden Ring as a green screen backdrop. And they’re singing about the templars. Who may or may not have left treasure on Oak Island.

Friday Morning Metal – Thy Catafalque – Babylon

I didn’t know there was avant garde metal, but Thy Catafalque claim to be it. Hailing from Mako, Hungary, apparently they started off as black metal sounding then started doing other types of stuff.

This sounds like a pretty straightforward power metal track. According to the Youtube description it’s a cover of a song originally done by the “Hungarian space rock band Omega” so I’m going to have to look for them next. Hungarian space rock sounds awesome.

I listened to a couple other Thy Catafalque songs, and they’re pretty interesting. They seem to bounce around from ambient modern jazzy tracks like A kupolaváros titka to synthwavy to brutal chuggy metal like Szarvas. Very fun stuff, also it’s neat to hear a band stretch out a bit. Or at the very least the stretching feels like it’d fit into different bits of Dream Theatre tracks.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerwolf – 1589

In 1589, said a murderer was lupine! Yet another big old video from our friendly werewolves of Armenia, Powerwolf. I don’t think they really are, but they sang they were so now it’s true.

This song is big and badass and would rule to hear live. There’s driving drums throughout, and the vocals ride above everything. Can’t forget a good guitar solo in there, plus RAD FLAMING PIANO YOU GUYS.

Poor werewolf man in the vidya gets his ass, and probably country music award, lit on fire for being a lupine murderer who may have eaten a baby? Maybe he just wanted some real babyback ribs, or was reading Jonathan Swift and took it too seriously. Also it was a little jarring to have all the cast look period appropriately dirty and dingy, while the (immortal?) dudes in Powerwolf look so clean and crisp. At least muss up your very coiffed hair, rad singer guy!

I wonder if in the live shows they light a piano on fire, because that would be rad as hell. Murder City Devils used to light their organ on fire (like Hammond organ, not… uh… organ) so it seems feasible.

The bombast and piano reminds me of Meatloaf for some reason. And now I want Powerwolf to cover Bat out of Hell. Maybe they could duet Paradise by the Dashboard Light with Unleash the Archers singer. That’d rule. Or that song about doing anything for love, but not that.

Friday Morning Metal – Kryptos – Electrify

Woo Bangalorian 80s throwback metal! Time to get your fingerless gloves and tease your hair out because it’s time for some shredding!

Kryptos has been around since the late 90s, and their brand of metal is straight to the point. Lotta chuggy, good driving drums, and noodly interludes. Electrify is on an album coming out in July, but it sounds equally like a song from 1985 that was left in a time capsule. Maybe they traveled near the speed of light for like 10 years and were plopped in 1998 fully formed. I bet that’s it. Because time traveling sounds radical.

It’s a performance video which is pretty standard fare, but there’s an intro of cajoling one of the band members out of a bar to go perform. The bar gives off a little 5 Point vibe, and one of the show shots had the big pillars on stage that reminds me of El Corazón. And while I assume neither of those are where they shot, it’s neat to see.

Friday Morning Metal – Hansen & Friends – Born Free

Old dudes still shred! This time it’s Kai Hansen, the founder of Gamma Ray, and then also played in Helloween, Iron Savior, and Unisonic. The song is a bit like Halford’s Resurrection & Made in Hell, where it’s a bit autobiographical about Hansen growing up and turning into a big ol metal grandspas.

You know you’re in for a good time when the song does that slow crescendo into MEGA SHRED MODE. And then a similar vocal crescendo. It’s just balls out for the next 4 minutes after that. Hansen’s got some pipes for being 61, there is a bit of autotune in a couple parts, but I think that’s more thematic than him missing a mark, so that’s cool too.

This is a pretty fun song, it’s also cool to know there is just so much metal out there that I did not know about this album that came out in 2016 until now. Thank you to Bjørn for recommending I listen to it, it’s fun.

The video’s mostly a studio session, but you can see a bit of the prep which is neat. Also the band all seem to be having a kickass time. They even do the Judas Priest™ synchronized guitar points!

So enjoy some more metal!

Friday Morning Metal – Insanity Alert – Moshemian Thrashody

Who knew an Austrian thrash parody of Bohemian Rhapsody would shred this hard and be so goofy. I had not heard of these guys until a few weeks ago when Bjørn thought I should listen to another song of theirs, “Beerless Fiesta.” Which has a very familiar sax line in it.

The plinky plunky intro is pretty clever before kicking into balls out 110% thrash power. They manage to keep all the themes to the song intact, but true to thrash form they shrink a 6-minute song to a speedy 3:43. And I don’t think they cut anything out? They probably did. Don’t hold me to that.

The video itself is an awesome double homage to Queen and Wayne’s World. Kinda hoping I can get one of those “Insane’s World” t-shirts.

So enjoy this very very fast very very fun song!

Friday Morning Metal – Ian Highhill – When Hell Comes to Town

Straight out of Finland comes today’s song, When Hell Comes to Town. It’s by a dude named Ian Highhill, who was previously in a band called Olympus Mons. I remember my high school health teacher claimed she couldn’t get got by her students. So one of her students dared her to wear a sweatshirt with “Ski Mons Veneris” on it. She only did it if the kid also did, so he did. Which turned into the kid’s crush asking what “Mons Veneris” on his sweatshirt was and the kid getting really embarrassed because he didn’t want to say it’s “a rounded mass of fatty tissue found over the pubic symphysis of the pubic bones.” So he just said it’s somewhere in Italy.

Anyway, this a good straight down the fairway heavy metal/hard rock track. The vocals fit in pretty well, but nothing super duper stands out. Though the chorus would be pretty rad for a wrestler intro, or a movie where the bad guys are demons or something.

There is a pretty kickass solo about halfway through the track, but there were a few parts in the song itself where some of that noodliness could’ve added some flair, especially between lines and stuff. It happens a bit near the key change at the end, but could’ve been fun earlier.

Regardless, this seems like a good song to add to a “cleaning up the trans am” playlist. So enjoy!

Friday Morning Metal – Rock For Children – Pleasant Dreams (Featuring Halford)

ROCK FOR CHILDREN! Start them early! And if you’re worried about your kids getting nightmares after hearing Fear of the Dark, apparently there’s Rock For Children.

I bet they didn’t want to call it Rock for Kids because they didn’t want to draw any association with Kid Rock.

Apparently this is an album that’s going to support a bunch of children’s non-profits, like St. Jude’s & stuff, or the non-profit is called Rock for Children. And also apparently Alice Cooper did a rewrite of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” to be “Now I’m Mr. Nice Guy” because he can’t be mean all the time.

I’m not sure if this song is also a rewrite, but it’s peppy, and Halford’s pipes are strong as ever. Also I think there are little kids doing backing vocals on the choruses. The heavy metal cat on the cover looks great. Though I do hope they do a video for this just for grins.

So enjoy!

Friday Morning Metal – Darkthrone – Black Dawn Affiliation

MORE DARKTHRONE! YES! I readily admit I’m not the biggest black/death metal fan. Generally it’s the vocals. And Darkthrone’s been doing this for years. But years back I heard the Underground Resistance and got hooked on their particular style of metal. Especially Leave No Cross Unturned, and it’s nearly 14 minutes of shreddy magic.

So now that Bjørn Spotify wanted to let me know of a new Darkthrone song coming off an upcoming album, I wanted to share.

It’s a great 6 minutes of chuggy guitars and foreboding vocals. Maybe I dig it because the vocal styles aren’t as screamy or something. Also they switch to big bombastic vocals for “BLACK DAWWWN AFFILIATION” at the end.

The video itself is apparently all new but looks like it was pulled from a 1972 space epic or something. Or like one of those movies your high school science teacher puts on because they have a hangover, and learning about Uranus without giggling is important.

Oh and because it’s fun to share, here’s Leave No Cross Unturned. It’s a banger of a song and a killer deal on most jukeboxes.