Rating: 79 / 100 “Apocalyptic riffing, vicious drumming, and savage vocals delivered with a signature snarl give Ram’s latest full-length effort an attractive sound, though Rod is laden with awkward compositional choices that ensure the album can’t compete with the Swedish band’s past efforts in heavy metal tyranny.”

Rating: 69 / 100 “The gritty, authentic, and immensely exciting songs that open the album are valuable contributions to an NWOTHM scene that is frequently too glossy and polished for its own good. Yet Visions in the Night quickly slumps into bargain bin material for the remainder of its running time with uninspired riffs, repetitive song structures, and grating vocal performances.”

Rating: 67 / 100 “Twisting the Blade is at its best when it produces fist-pumping, headbanging old school heavy metal with a gritty attitude. When it delivers, it does it as well as any album in contemporary heavy metal. Unfortunately, the band’s attempts at diversifying the song selection tend to backfire, revealing their relatively limited songwriting abilities.”

Rating: 87 / 100 “Burn the World represents a frequently explosive effort that sometimes dwindles to embers. Its most compelling pieces occupy the early going, and the level of inventiveness and technical elaboration revealed upfront can’t sustain itself for the album’s duration. Many inspired and exceptional moments contribute to a respectable venture that remains enticing for its duration, even if it’s not enough to set the world on fire.”

Rating: 98 / 100 “Blazon Stone’s fourth full-length album gravitates closer to Running Wild’s ’90s sound than anything from Ced to date, yet instead of complacently following in the wake of the older band’s vessel, Blazon Stone has prepared a hostile takeover. Down in the Dark uses established techniques to challenge Running Wild for dominance of the speed metal seas, and it does so with genuine respect and admiration, even as it boards their ship and sets fire to the sails.”

Rating: 65 / 100. “The most remarkable part of the album is its unfaltering commitment to ’80s underground heavy metal. Those who enjoy tight execution and clean production should skip this one, but fans craving a chunk of unrefined nostalgia mined from the depths of metal history will find a satisfying, if ultimately limited, listening experience.”