Remember back in December of 2015 when I reviewed Crescent Shield’s The Stars of Never Seen? Of course you do! I mentioned that Crescent Shield was the side project of the main men of Onward and Destiny’s End, respectively. Well thanks to my buddy Ben I’ve finally been able to go check out Onward, a promise I made to myself over a year ago. Here’s to follow through!
Onward hail from Montana and maybe news travels slowly up there but Onward sound like they were plucked right out of the 1980’s american traditional power metal crowd. Like the band just doesn’t give a shit about anything that’s come since, and that’s not even a bad thing. Playing more of a “pop-ier” epic take on the 80’s power metal style, I’d say they’re more akin to Armored Saint or Jag Panzer than say Omen or some of the dirtier bands of the time, but damn, I just can’t get over how much it fits in there. The poor production quality probably helps that along as well. I can see that being a point of contention for people listening to this but I think it fits perfectly. Now whether the band did that intentionally or it was based on some kind of technical or financially limitation we may never know, but I’m going to go ahead and believe it was intentional.
Aside from production and style, the vocalist Michael Grant (RIP 2012) has the chops for this kind of metal and all the guitar work, riffs and solos, are on point. The songs are catchy, head bangers, fist pumpers, and epic power metal through and through.
Authentic as fuck and nostalgia heavy, this album is worth time in your ears, especially if you have a predilection for the glory that is 80’s American power metal.