Metal Storm logo
Staff picks


Misfits - Walk Among Us
31.10.2022 | Horror Punk

This Halloween celebrate with a horror punk classic that turned 40 this year. I don't think the Misfits need any other explanations.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
ScreamingSteelUS, nikarg, Yaniv
Agalloch - The Mantle
31.08.2022 | Winter

It is only now that I realize how ironic it is that one of the most wintery albums out there was released in the summer. The August from 20 years ago gave us this masterpiece, and this is one of those kind of albums where it's very uncontroversial to call it as such. "In The Shadow Of Our Pale Companion" only gets competition from "East Hastings" as my favorite song of all time, and I've mentioned time and time again how discovering this album about ten years ago was a paradigm shift for me and my music taste. It's interesting see how I still connect to The Mantle after all these years, even though sometimes I feel it's either too pompous or meandering for its own good, there are very few albums with such a great interplay between electric and acoustic guitars, and that so effectively merge atmospheric black metal into post-rock structures. And all of it feels magical years later.

Read review ››
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Starvynth, ScreamingSteelUS, X-Ray Rod, nikarg, Daniell, musclassia, Darkside Momo, corrupt, Dream Taster
Bad Brains - Bad Brains
06.02.2022 | Hardcore Jah

Forty years ago, metal's cousin punk was branching off. Post-punk and new wave were already pretty established offspring, but hardcore punk is the one which would take the sound to even heavier directions. When this sound peaked is still up for debate, but few albums in 1982 were as explosive and noisy as Bad Brains' debut. Simple in its structures, heavily reliant on massive amounts of outpouring energy, sprinkled with reggae and dub to create a sound that has never been replicated. Not only is this a peak for hardcore and punk in general, a fantastic debut, and a striking genre combination, but also became the go-to black punk band.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
X-Ray Rod, nikarg, ScreamingSteelUS
Tenacious D - The Pick Of Destiny
23.01.2022 | Buddy movie

You've disobeyed my orders, son, why were you ever born?
Your brother's ten times better than you, Jesus loves him more
This music that you play for us comes from the depths of hell
Rock and roll's The Devil's work, he wants you to rebel
You'll become a mindless puppet, Beelzebub will pull the strings
Your heart will lose direction and chaos it will bring
You'd better shut your mouth, better watch your tone
You're grounded for a week with no telephone
Don't let me here you cry, don't let me hear you moan
You gotta praise The Lord when you're in my home


RIP Michael Lee "Meat Loaf" Aday
Picked by:
RaduP
Budgie - Never Turn Your Back On A Friend
16.01.2022 | Hard Rock / Heavy metal

Budgie's Burke Shelley died this week, which prompted some re-evaluation of their catalogue from my side. The Welsh band are probably most well known for Shelley's androgynous vocals, and for being covered by Metallica (this picked album containing "Breadfan", the most well-known case). But Budgie, while still sitting between the hard rock and heavy metal borders from the early 70s, were pretty much the original power trio, with Shelley being as creative of a bass player as he was a distinguishable vocalist. While drummer Ray Phillips and guitarist Tony Bourge deserve just as many accolades, Shelley's star power is undeniable here. And Never Turn Your Back On A Friend is pretty much their peak, equal parts prog tinged and thunderous, introspective and loud.

R.I.P. Burke Shelley (1950-2022)
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
nikarg, Dream Taster, Yaniv
Wilderun - Epigone
09.01.2022 | Symphonic Progressive Metal

A lot of bands fancy themselves as cinematic or epic, but very few bands manage to mirror the actual experience of a story. Wilderun so effortlessly drag you along for the ride, and Epigone rewards every bit of patience you give it.

Read review ››
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Starvynth
Ethereal Shroud - Trisagion
20.12.2021 | Atmospheric Black Metal

Ethereal Shroud come in the 11th hour to remind us both why atmospheric black metal can feel so majestic, and why you should wait until the year is over to make your best of lists for the year.



Read review ››
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Deadsoulman, Starvynth, nikarg, ScreamingSteelUS, X-Ray Rod, Dream Taster
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
11.11.2021 | Progressive Hard Rock

We are, once again, a couple of days late to celebrate a groundbreaking album's anniversary. Led Zeppelin is a band with a complicated legacy, from uncredited "inspirations" to underage groupies to backmasking, but there's something truly mystical about their fourth album. Supposedly untitled, debuting the band's symbolistic emblems, and with the figure from the cover art taken from a Tarot card, Led Zeppelin IV is also probably the band's most consistent album. It's hard to pinpoint a song on this album that isn't a classic. There are no words needed for "Stairway To Heaven", which has became the band's trademark. "Black Dog" and "Rock and Roll" were rowdy even by 70s standards. "The Battle Of Evermore" and "Misty Mountain Hop" feel like early seeds for folk metal, "When The Levee Breaks" has one of the best grooves of all time. "Going To California" is a ballad that's so ethereal. And the only reason "Four Sticks" feels more forgettable is because it's in such good company, but it would've been some other bands' greatest song.

Read review ››
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Starvynth, ScreamingSteelUS, nikarg, corrupt, Dream Taster
The Who - Who's Next
02.08.2021 | Teenage Wasteland

I still have no idea why The Who are on Metal Storm, and I know it's a bit inappropriate to add another staff pick now when we're celebrating the work of the many musicians who passed last week. But one of the greatest rock albums of all time turned 50 years a few days ago. It's bombastic, showcases fantastic chemistry, it's bookended by some of classic rock's absolute best songs, it has slight forays into prog rock, and it has the beast that is Keith Moon on drums. I call that a bargain.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
ScreamingSteelUS, Starvynth, nikarg, BitterCOld, Dream Taster
Type O Negative - Slow, Deep And Hard
18.06.2021 | Pissed Off Vampire

I missed the anniversary by two days, but 30 years ago, Peter Steele took the rotting carcass of Carnivore to channel the feelings post bitter betrayal and suicide attempt to create one of the most vile and hateful albums out there. This is basically the only gothic thrash album I can think of. It moves from organ dirges, slow doom riffs, gang vocals spouting "He knows you're fucking someone else", blistering crossover energy, and Steele's character going through unsuccessfully coping with his predicament and emotions.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Mr. Doctor, nikarg, Daniell, Starvynth, Dream Taster
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
19.03.2021 | Progressive Rock

Back in the early 70's, metal was just in its infancy, not yet able to walk on its own feet. For most of that decade, not much other than Black Sabbath were heavy enough to be called metal, but heavy music was still abound, at least by the decade's standard. Jethro Tull would end up snatching a Grammy from Metallica, but Aqualung finds a band that can write some heavy guitars, but their progressive rock is most of all whimsical, comical, vulgar, clever, and witty. The image of Ian Anderson standing on one leg playing flute is just as iconic as the riffs on "Cross-Eyed Mary" or "Aqualung". It's a fantastic album even regardless of its connections to metal, one of the best prog rock albums period, almost best Jethro Tull album, and released exactly 50 years ago today.
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
nikarg, ScreamingSteelUS, Dream Taster, Daniell
Kultika - Capricorn Wolves
17.01.2021 | Post-Metal

The start of a new year always finds some people eager to look for what said year has to bring in terms of releases in hopes of picking some early favs. I still have to properly process some releases, but the one that stuck with me the most (so far) is Kultika's post-metal opus Capricorn Wolves. Horrid artwork aside, the psychedelic and progressive touches of it ensure that the atmosphere building parts of it are compensated with melodies whose flow is everchanging.



Read review ››
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
Dream Taster, musclassia
Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride
28.12.2020 | Heavy blues rock

I wasn't planning to do any more staff picks this year, and especially not of early protometal stuff, since I just did one in which I also linked ten other 1970 protometal songs, including Mountain's hit, "Mississippi Queen". But Leslie West, guitarist and vocalist of the band, just died. Instead of going the usual Climbing! route, I propose a different trail, with 1971's Nantucket Sleighride, whose 50th anniversary isn't that far away either. Though none of the songs here have the immediate awesomeness of the riff and cowbell of "Mississippi Queen", the blues licks and jammy tone of this one as it moves through psychedelic, progressive and heavy undertones, coupled with some fine ass drumming as well, it's one of the best showcases of why Leslie was so appreciated as a guitarist, and perhaps it's time we saw that instead of just listening to that one song. Or we could go the live route with 1974's Twin Peaks, that somehow referenced Lynch's show before it even aired.

R.I.P. Leslie West (1945-2020)
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
ScreamingSteelUS, nikarg
Sir Lord Baltimore - Kingdom Come
21.12.2020 | Hell hounding proto metal

With 1970 being such a landmark year zero for metal, it's easy to forget that there were other pioneers besides the likes of Black Sabbath or Deep Purple. Released roughly 50 years ago this month, Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come is an album so heavy and energetic that it really feels like the early 70s didn't have the means to properly capture all that on wax just yet. Though they toured with Black Sabbath and were one of the first bands to get coined as "heavy metal" by journalists, a combination of poor album sales, personal differences, and drug abuse led to the band's early demise, though it's also that they were just too ahead of their time. Even though two of the three members having passed away, while the other remained in obscurity, the direct or indirect influence that Kingdom Come, and its more psychedelic follow-up Sir Lord Baltimore, had on heavy guitar music is something that lives on.

Here's some more unpicked year zero stuff: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Picked by:
Thumbs up:
RaduP
ScreamingSteelUS, Mr. Doctor, nikarg, Daniell
King Crimson - Lizard
11.12.2020 | Progressive Rock

Lizard is definitely one of the most underappreciated of King Crimson's albums. Being caught between the Greg Lake era and the John Wetton era, it was one of the two transitional lineups which never performed live. However not only was it the first King Crimson record to include Mel Collins, who is still a member today, but it was also the only one to have Gordon Haskell in the lineup doing vocals and bass, and whose passing this year might bring just a bit more attention to Lizard. Though there has yet to emerge a properly cropped version of the cover art, it's fantastic how Lizard shuffles between the grandiose symphonic prog and meddlings with avant-jazz and just a bit of absurd quirkiness.
Picked by:
RaduP