Friday Morning Metal – Hazzerd – Waking Nightmare

More thrash! More fellas who look and sound like they time traveled from 1985, ready to shred! Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Hazzerd’s a great throwback shredfest of thrash metal. Also whenever I read any city, province, country combo for anywhere in Canada, in my mind I hear it in Lilián Garcia’s voice.

The song starts off slow and melodic, transitions to a peppier chug, before going balls out for the remaining four minutes or so. It’s like warming up for a sprint or something. The noodly guitar melody is pretty great, a little classical, a lot of fun. You also don’t often see the drummer singing, so that’s pretty great, and the vocals are a great fit for the genre.

The video is a solid combo of “band in a tiny room full of stacks” and “dude going insane.” It was a little weird seeing the guitarists standing so close to the drummer, and then standing real still for the intro, but once it kicked in they were moving a bit more. Felt like they were sidling. Sidling’s unnerving. Don’t sidle.

Friday Morning Metal – Ektomorf – You Can’t Control Me

This is some pretty aggro metal coming straight out of Hungary. I had not heard of Ektomorf until Bjørn Sportify decided I should discover it this week. And so far they’re pretty fun. Kind of reminds me of mid-to-late 90s Sepultura-esque metal. Super drivey drums, mega chuggy guitar, the works!

Also the song’s two and a half minutes long. They got their point across, that I can’t control him, so why belabor the point. The music video is pretty fun, with them out in a field in front of a military helicopter.

Checking out some of their newer stuff it sounds like they’re staying in the groove. I think if they came out like ten years earlier they would’ve toured the US with like System of a Down or Rammstein or something.

Friday Morning Metal – Powerwolf – Bark at the Moon

The werewolves of Armenia are back at it, this time with a cover of Bark at the Moon, which is pretty fitting for their vibe. Honestly, it’s a wonder they hadn’t covered it sooner. Or they did and I forgot. Regardless, they’ve got a lyric video for the song!

Powerwolf has filled the niche of kinda goofy themed power metal for so long, with songs like Resurrection by Erection and Vampires Don’t Die (whoah oh oh oh), and it’s fun to hear them take a classic metal banger and put their spin on it.

While they stay pretty close to the original material, the band is tight enough to add some zazz when needed. Attila Dorn’s vocals give the song a bit more operatic vibe compared to Ozzy, and when coupled with the organ-sounding keyboards, it really ties the whole thing together.

So check it out, and then listen to more Powerwolf, because they’re fun times.

Friday Morning Metal – Bruce Dickinson Afterglow of Ragnarok

Oooh Bruce Dickinson solo stuff, presented in Necrovision!

The song starts off almost like melodic death metal or something. I was half expecting him to start with a growl, even though that’s very much not his vibe. But once it kicks in, it definitely has the Bruce vibes that are part & parcel of his work. Big rock operatic vocals, a solid chorus, the works. There’s a pretty great vocal solo/interlude

The video itself is pretty rad. I guess some dude crosses over between worlds and gets tortured by some occultists? And then Bruce does sorta kung fu toward a dude in a gas mask (I don’t think that was the intent but it was cut that way sorta.) But it’s part of a larger story involving the Mandrake Project which makes me excited to see more of it. Maybe the main dude is a seventh son of a seventh son!

Friday Morning Metal – Angelus Apatrida – We Stand Alone

Nothing like nutso speed/thrash metal to rouse you out of a post-Thanksgiving food coma. Angelus Apatrida is from Albacete Spain, and they bring a great level of bash your brains in drumming, chuggy guitars, and kickass vocals. This is definitely getting added to my “must concentrate, need fast metal” rotation.

The dueling guitar solo halfway through is pretty great, though I guess it’s a guitar duo. It’s fun to hear two guitars work through a solo and complement each other like that.

Also Google translate says Angelus Apatrida is Greek for “Stateless Angel” so I learned a thing today!

Friday Morning Metal – Impellitteri – 17th Century Chicken Pickin

Classical music has been a part of metal since forever. Where else can you get a killer noodly guitar solo without having to make it yourself? But then you get guys like Chris Impelliteri who takes the style and turns it metal.

I think there’s a harpsichord in this, which helps reinforce the 17th centuriness of it. But it’s a soaring noodly two and a half minutes of fun. I assume this is what the Skwisgaar Skwigelf Advanced Fast Hand Finger Wizard Master Class would be.

And I really can’t talk about incorporating classical music into metal without mentioning the time Ghenghis Khan totally ravaged Oshmans.

Friday Morning Metal – Flotsam and Jetsam – Demolition Man

Bjørn Spotify is a really cool dude. Every week, he tells me to listen to music, and sometimes it’s lame. Like a band called Wolf, but they’re not the Black Wings Wolf, they’re EDM with cat noises sampled in there. And then sometimes I get to hear the band Flotsam and Jetsam and this song Demolition Man, and I give Bjørn another week to wow me with music.

These guys have been thrashing it up since 1981, and at least as of 2019 they were still thrashing it up. The song is big and crunchy with super driving drums. The vocals fit in pretty well, especially assuming this dude has been singing like this for 40+ years. I dig the super noodly guitar solo too. All in all, this is a great song to turn on when you need something loud and fast to block out meeting requests and synergy talk.

The video of the creepy ass science dude encouraging the little girl’s mind powers is pretty great. And true to form, he’s too evil so she uses her mind powers against him! It’s a bummer there’s no Stallone or Wesley Snipes, maybe they’re in the followup.

Friday Morning Metal – Striker – Circle of Evil

Since 2007, Striker’s been bringing the heat, straight out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada! And they released a new song with a spooky music video on Halloween!

Circle of Evil is a solid, balls-to-the-wall throwback metal track. The vocal harmonizing on the chorus is fantastic, more songs need harmonizing! The break into the solo is great, just enough of a gap to really land into it and shred.

It’s also great to see such mullety hair and dirty staches in a metal video. Doesn’t always have to be big flowy hair in front of a fan so you look more epic during the solo. Mullets seem to be coming back, because we can’t do anything new anymore. And that’s okay, looking like a reliever from the 1989 Pittsburgh Pirates has to be pretty fun.

This song is great, I’m a big fan of 80’s metal, so when I get more of it I’m pretty stoked. So give it a listen. And then bug your favorite local music booker to get this band in your town.

Friday Morning Metal – Cortége – Horizons

Cortége plays, as they describe it, post-western Doom/Drone metal. They’re a now three-piece band what includes big standing bells? Oh, according to the youtube description they’re “tubular bells” and they give a very tubular vibe to their songs. When I hear their music, it has a very moody space western vibe to it. Like if there’s a Cad Bane show, they could score it.

I saw these guys a couple months ago at the Shakedown, and they’re a hell of a lot of fun live. The music kind of looms, and the mix they had live really shook my guts with the ominous vibes coming from their Super Assman stack.

So go put your duster on, hop on your landspeeder, and crank some Cortége!

Friday Morning Metal – DragonForce – Power of the Triforce

DragonForce has been drip releasing tracks from their upcoming “Warp Speed Warriors” album, and this week’s is an opus to Nintendo’s favorite elf-based series. And while it has a real solid DragonForce vibe, something about them doing a song about vidya games is a little odd to me.

The video is cheesy and fun, with the guitarists apparently able to shoot lasers or something from their gear, which is great to see. In general, this is a standard-bearing DragonForce song, with Herman Li’s by now trademarked squeadlies and meadlies. Also apparently the singer is worthy of wielding the master sword.

I feel like, with different lyrics, this song could’ve been pulled from any of their older albums, like they had this framed out for Sonic Firestorm but couldn’t figure out what vocals to put on top, so they shelved it. And I appreciate that after hearing the departure that is Doomsday Party, I was worried they were drifting into that kind of party metal sound you hear from later Alestorm, for instance. Leaning on Zelda references for a song is interesting, but also it feels, to me, like pandering to the overlap in the Venn diagram of metalheads and video gamers (it might be concentric circles.)

Again, this song slaps, and I’m sure it’ll be a big hit when they’re on tour. Maybe I’m just being a grumpy old by bristling at the lyrics and thinking of Valley of the Damned or Operation Ground & Pound.