Journey Blind

There's been no shortage of bands aping black-lit doom in recent years, but Boston five-piece Magic Circle manages to hit all the classic heavy metal sweet spots without overstaying its welcome. The band's second full-length, Journey Blind, is a slab of classic-sounding metal that doesn't just tap into listeners' nostalgia; it also sounds goddamn good. There are hooks and riffs aplenty throughout the record's seven cuts, ranging from glacial slag to lightning-quick gallops, most notably on “Ghosts of the Southern Front.” Vocalist Brendan Radigan's mighty wail falls somewhere between Ozzy and Dio, cutting through the heaviness like a rusty blade. If you like your metal a little more visceral than cerebral, then Journey Blind is one hell of a ride. Besides, who wants to do a buncha thinking when you're banging that head that doesn't bang?