Heavy Metal

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Heavy metal (often referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are generally associated with masculinity and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands (Proto) such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, though they were often critically reviled, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) such as Iron Maiden followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal had attracted a worldwide following of fans known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.

Visit the NWoBHM sub-genre page for more details on this particular music movement.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Heavy_Metal

Inclusive Traditional Heavy Metal Genres

Melodic Metal is often short for Melodic Heavy Metal and as such is usually included under Traditional Heavy Metal on the MMA. On rare occasions Melodic Metal releases may also be included under Power Metal however, such as Arven's Black is the Colour (2013).

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • 666sharon666 [Leader]
  • Time Signature

heavy metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
IRON MAIDEN
4.51 | 198 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
BLACK SABBATH
4.48 | 190 ratings
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RAINBOW Rising Album Cover Rising
RAINBOW
4.49 | 137 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Album Cover Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
IRON MAIDEN
4.47 | 174 ratings
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JUDAS PRIEST Sad Wings Of Destiny Album Cover Sad Wings Of Destiny
JUDAS PRIEST
4.47 | 142 ratings
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DIO Holy Diver Album Cover Holy Diver
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4.45 | 114 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Heaven And Hell Album Cover Heaven And Hell
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4.40 | 130 ratings
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HELL Curse & Chapter Album Cover Curse & Chapter
HELL
4.73 | 15 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN The Number Of The Beast Album Cover The Number Of The Beast
IRON MAIDEN
4.38 | 176 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Somewhere In Time Album Cover Somewhere In Time
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4.38 | 151 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Master Of Reality Album Cover Master Of Reality
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4.33 | 157 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD The Deluge Album Cover The Deluge
MANILLA ROAD
4.60 | 17 ratings
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heavy metal Music Reviews

GIRLSCHOOL Demolition

Album · 1980 · NWoBHM
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UMUR
"Demolition" is the debut full-length studio album by UK hard/heavy rock act Girlschool. The album was released through Bronze Records in June 1980. Girlschool was formed in 1975 as an all girl rock covers band under the Painted Lady monicker, but after some lineup changes, they changed their name to Girlschool in 1978. They released the "Take it all away" single in 1979, which came to the attention of Lemmy from Motörhead, who helped them get the support slot on Motörhead´s 1979 "Overkill" tour. After the tour Girlschool signed with Bronze Records (at the time also home of Motörhead).

Stylistically the music on "Demolition" is sweaty and raw, badass rock´n´roll played by girls. Especially the instrumental part of the music takes no prisoners, and sounds like a combination of AC/DC, The Runaways, and Motörhead. So basically über amplified blues based hard rock. To my ears the female vocals lack a bit of grit and rawness, and takes away from the otherwise raw power of the music, but they are skillfully delivered, and it´s overall obvious that these girls can play/sing.

The material on the 10 track, 34:35 minutes long album is consistent in both quality and style. Vers/chorus structured and quite catchy rock´n´roll songs with few surprises, carried by a strong playing band and a well sounding and organic production. All tracks feature a great energy level which is one of the great assets of the album. I´d mention the Joan Jett influenced "Breakdown" as one of the highlights. "Demolition Boys" which opens the album and "Baby Doll", which is a live recording also stand out. Overall "Demolition" is a pretty great listen if you enjoy female fronted hard rock and had the vocals been a bit more raw I would probably have given a 4 star (80%) rating, but as it is the vocals drag my rating down to a 3.5 star (70%) rating.

OZZY OSBOURNE Black Rain

Album · 2007 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After 1988’s “No Rest For The Wicked,” the record company started cleaning up OZZY OSBOURNE’s bad boy image, which hard to believe by the standards of the 21st century, was quite the iconoclastic rage in the 80s with every televangelist and religious pundit lambasting the madman as public enemy #1 in the fight against moral deprivation and Satanic influences in popular music. This rebranding began with 1991’s “No More Tears” which after two decades of occult imagery and bat head biting antics depicted a clean and sombre OSBOURNE with an angel wing sprouting from his shoulder sporting a look of contemplative retrospectiveness. This was about the point when new high tides of heavy metal music were sprouting off from the parent source like a big bang and suddenly OSBOURNE’s role as heavy metal innovator suddenly shifting to godfather status where his legendary status as a solo artist and as lead singer with Black Sabbath overshadowed any musical contributions from this point on.

“No More Tears” also proved to be a huge commercial success proving that the OZZMAN could reinvent himself after his initial peak with Randy Rhoads and after this point he would never look back and try to repeat those years of classical innovation but instead veer off into the world of his Sabbath roots updated into a more alternative perspective but never missing the mark of OZZY’s quirky idiosyncratic nature. From this point forward, albums were mere supplemental to the hugely successful Ozzfest that institutionalized big ticket multi-band arena metal for the rest of time and in all of the 90s only the studio album “Ozzmosis” would find its way into the hands of fans. As the touring of OZZY’s rich canon of material continued to attract new followers, OSBOURNE’s interest in new music was so tamped down that he only released 2001’s “Down To Earth” and then only by the constant demands of his record label. And that’s where everything began to change forever!

Soon thereafter, OSBOURNE would go where no hostile preacher or heavy metal fan of his 1980s heyday would have ever suspected and that was into the world of reality TV in a show aptly called The Osbournes which starred his entire family thus essentially becoming The Brady Bunch of the 21st century and giving the good ole USA a much needed upgrade in portraying the national family values that had been stuck in rut from decades past not to mention a major boost for an MTV that lost its way many years prior. The show was a major hit and lasted a total of four seasons and showcased OSBOURNE more as a worn out drugged out family guy as opposed to the rock’n’roll rebel from another era. Of course between the hit series and the lucrative touring schedule meant OSBOURNE was not motivated in the least to release new material and during the show’s tenure the only album to hit the market was the repugnant cover album titled “Under Cover.”

At long last in 2007 a new album saw the light of day and OSBOURNE’s 10th studio album BLACK RAIN was released and took on a more serious tone than any albums that preceded. Proving that OSBOURNE’s cult of personality was solidified for time immemorial, the album debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts despite mediocre critique and a mere drop in the sea of music that had become a veritable metal universe of diversification. The album was released with two covers. In the US it came out in a brown cardboard slipcase with only a stylized log of OSBOURNE’s name whereas elsewhere a dark image of OSBOURNE standing under a stormy sky, getting soaked while fires burn in the background. BLACK RAIN saw the return of Zakk Wylde on guitars while Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin stuck around after the nauseating “Under Cover.” A new bassist in the form of Rob “Blasko” Nicholson was recruited and a new lineup was born.

Despite the seven year gap, BLACK RAIN sounds much like its predecessor “Down To Earth” with Sabbath infused traditional doom metal riffing more tailored for the alternative metal crowds presented in a bouncy stomping grind albeit with a considerably more robust production and mixing job than any album in the past. The liberal use of dynamics and stereophonic techniques gives BLACK RAIN a healthy boost of crunchy metal riff distortion with clever uses of silence as well as instrumentation and synthesized embellishments that seamlessly blend together making BLACK RAIN a seemingly exact science in perfect heavy metal extraction. Songwise, this album is another matter altogether. The album starts off with three exquisitely strong tracks. “Not Going Away,” “I Don’t Wanna Stop” and “Black Rain” which all hearken to OSBOURNE’s past both melodically and lyrically but with an upgrade in sophistication. They blast onto the scene and shout out that OZZY is back with a vengeance alongside Zakk Wylde delivering one heavy bluesy metal groove after another with the expected soloing and technical bombast with the title track even finding OZZY play the harmonica, something he hadn’t done since his Sabbath days.

The rest of the album is somewhat of a mixed bag though. BLACK RAIN contains the suspected ballads: “Lay Your World On Me” and “Here For You” which are particularly sappy and lackluster even by OZZY’s standards. While the rest of the tracks are classic heavy metal sounding they lack the oomf of the three standouts that lead the pack. “The Almighty Dollar” has a nice bass groove with interesting production and the remaining tracks are all decently done but OSBOURNE definitely sounds like he’s settled down and no longer interested in creating the most outrageous and earsplitting music possible. While once the madman turned in the godfather. This sounds more like the godfather has taken the next step and become the grandfather of heavy metal and that is by no means a bad thing. Having nothing to prove, OSBOURNE instead proudly does what he does best and that is create guitar riff driven metal that center around his poetic critique of the world around him which in this case takes on corporate capitalism, environmentalism as well as declarative stances that he’ll NEVER leave the metal world.

BLACK RAIN while a mere footnote in the lengthy and successful career that OSBOURNE has enjoyed for several decades (he was almost 60 at the time of recording) is by no means a throwaway album as it has plenty of interesting tracks to warrant an inclusion in anyone’s heavy metal collection. While it’s true that this one will do little to attract younger fans who haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, neither will it cause anyone to jump ship in disdain. In the end, BLACK RAIN does play it a little too safe in many ways and i could personally jettison the ballads but the album sustains a driving grind from the beginning despite tapering off towards the end. The album could’ve used another strong track or two but for what it is, i have listened to this one many times and the tracks that have struck me as good continue to get better. OSBOURNE proved he can continue on well into the 21st century and although most likely retired from breaking any new grounds hardly shows any signs of falling of his godfather precipice any time soon either.

AXEL RUDI PELL Between the Walls

Album · 1994 · Heavy Metal
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martindavey87
'Between the Walls' is the fourth album by German hard rock guitarist/band Axel Rudi Pell. Not only is it the first release to feature the same vocalist as its predecessor (I guess third time really is the charm) but it's a turning point in the groups discography, in which the standard of their music vastly improves upon their earlier days, and a string of high quality releases followed.

It's 1994 and the music world, in particular on the rock side of things, is a bit of a mess. Metal is "dead", although all these 90's groove bands like Pantera, Machine Head and Biohazard are slowly making headway, grunge has already peaked, and hard rock is, well... still living in the 80's. But that's not going to stop Mr. Pell and his motley crew! Having ditched the sleazy sex, women and nightly thrills 80's vibes of their earlier albums, the band have taken a more fantasy-themed style. Incorporating more melodic elements similar to bands like Deep Purple and Rainbow.

Vocalist Jeff Scott Soto has proven himself a perfect fit with the band, with his incredible voice being a perfect match for the more serious (albeit, still pretty cheesy) lyrics. And Pell's guitar playing, usually impressive though excessively indulgent with the solos, has really started to become more coherent as well. The solo's are still a vast flurry of notes, but there's just more substance there now, as opposed to endless scales up and down the neck. And as expected, there's riffs aplenty here. With tight rhythm work and brimming with massive power chords, this is definitely something for the old school rocker in us all.

While this album is still very much a typical hard rock record, and probably would have fared better had it been released in 1984, it's still got some good, quality music that holds up well today. Songs like 'Talk of the Guns', 'Casbah', 'Cry of the Gypsy', 'Warrior', 'Outlaw', 'Innocent Child' and the title track itself all go to make 'Between the Walls' an essential hard rock album, and one of Axel Rudi Pell's finest.

AXEL RUDI PELL Eternal Prisoner

Album · 1992 · Heavy Metal
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martindavey87
Third album, third singer. Axel Rudi Pell is back... are back?... (I'm still not sure which one to use)... with more fist-pumping hard rocking that probably comes a decade too late, but is a pretty decent album regardless. Featuring powerhouse vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, at this point best known for his work with Yngwie Malmsteen and Talisman, this looks set to be a stable line up for the band which could last longer than one release.

The music is the same as before. Hard rock, power metal, call it what you will. It's got 80's rock stamped all over it. Long haired men with leather jackets (shirts optional), high pitched wailing, simple songs with crazy guitar acrobatics, and of course, at least one of them is probably wearing a bandana.

While Axel Rudi Pell's first two albums were fairly average, 'Eternal Prisoner' is where the band starts to really improve the quality of their work. In particular, Soto's voice lends itself to the music perfectly. Not that there was much wrong with former vocalists Charlie Huhn or Rob Rock, but Soto's voice is perfect for Pell's sound and style. And the songwriting as a whole sounds a lot more confident because of it.

Axel Rudi Pell's guitar playing though still struggles to truly catch on with the solos. The compositions are good, the vocal melodies work well, but it's the guitar solos that tend to drag on in similar fashion. There's a few moments where he does shine, but for the most part his rhythm work stands out far more than his mindless shredding. He's still miles better than me though.

'Long Time', 'Streets of Fire', 'Ride the Bullet' and 'Shoot Her to the Moon' are all fairly decent tracks, maybe even a bit of a guilty pleasure in their cheesiness. But in all honesty, 'Sweet Lil' Suzie' sees the band channel their inner Aerosmith and it is incredible! Easily the best song off the album, and all-round one of the bands best pieces, the album is easily worth the price just for this! Otherwise, this is a standard early 90's hard rock that probably would have been a raging success if it had been released in the 80's. It's got its merits, but overall there's much better stuff to come.

MOTÖRHEAD 1916

Album · 1991 · Heavy Metal
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Vim Fuego
Motörhead’s “1916” came after four years of label problems, and other bullshit with the business side of music. That wasn’t what Lemmy was about. The man just wanted to play his own mutant version of rock and roll. The band’s previous album, simply called “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was not as well received as its predecessors, so expectations for “1916” were not high.

Fuck expectations. This is Motörhead. The band had occasionally dabbled outside the blues/rock/punk/metal mix. For example, “Orgasmatron” could be considered proto-doom-death metal, but most of their albums stuck fairly closely to the old formula. First track “The Ones To Sing The Blues” threw out the formula and shattered all preconceptions. Unlike a number of other Motörhead tracks, it’s not particularly bluesy, but thunders along, powered by Philthy’s legendary double kick drums. On “I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care)”, the blues does raise its leery head, along with Lemmy’s clever, incisive lyrics. What seems like a song full of tall story bragging actually reveals his inspirations. “Going to Brazil” is a blues boogie road song which only Lemmy could write. It has a bit of a story behind it. The band recorded four songs with producer Ed Stasium. When Lemmy listened to a mix of “Going to Brazil”, he asked Stasium to turn up four tracks, and on doing so heard claves and tambourines added without the band's knowledge. Stasium was fired and Pete Solley hired as producer. And thank fuck for that!

And next, a big step sideways. Judas Priest had faced a civil suit in 1990, around the time Lemmy was writing songs for this album, and one of the accusations levelled at the band was that they had hidden subliminal messages in their cover of Spooky Tooth’s “Better By You, Better Than Me”. Always one who stuck up against injustice when he saw it, Lemmy deliberately filled “Nightmare/The Dreamtime” with backmasked vocals and music, which were far from subliminal, giving the song a truly eerie vibe. And what did he actually say? Even that’s open to interpretation, perhaps proving once and for all that backmasking is rather an inefficient way of conveying a message.

“Love Me Forever” is a power ballad from an era when power ballad were ubiquitous, but it’s far from typical. For a start, it’s not weepy or self-loathing, instead showing both sides of love and relationships, a black/white, all/nothing contrast.

“Angel City” is a filler when you don’t write fillers. Like the “Going To Brazil” road trip, it’s a fun descriptive song of life in L.A. at the tail end of the glam era. It’s followed by another good time rocker in the form of “Make My Day”.

Lemmy was asked why he wrote the song “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” The answer? “’Cos I like The Ramones”. Best answer ever to a stupid question. The Ramones liked the minute and a half long song so much they covered it themselves. Basically, it’s The Ramones put through a Motörhead filter.

“Shut You Down” is an “I’m outta here” break up track, in a fashion only Motörhead could pull off, like a metal “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”.

These ten tracks would have made a very good Motörhead album, showing some new musical facets, and more energy and drive than the previous album. But this is Motörhead. Expect the unexpected.

“1916” is unlike any song ever recorded by this or any other metal band. First, it’s not metal. Second, it is such a visceral, heart rending tale, it is more an accompanied epic poem than a song. Musically, it is part hymn, part sombre march, with simple orchestration, cello, a military snare, and Lemmy’s voice quavering with more sensitivity than you might think possible. While it is a song about World War One, it is so thought provoking and emotionally wrought it could come from any war, where young men think they are heading off for a great adventure, only to be dehumanized, ground up, and spat out by an unfeeling, unstoppable war machine. Like no other song, “1916” vocalises the true stupidity, futility, terror, and waste of human life of war.

It seems Lemmy understood how deeply emotionally and psychologically damaging war could be to those caught in the fighting. My own Grandfather fought in the Pacific Island during World War Two. In the 26 years I knew him, he spoke of the war to me only once, and then only to relate a funny tale of having to run flat out from tent to surf when going swimming, in order to avoid mosquitoes. In his last few lucid hours, he suffered nightmares and flashbacks to those days six decades before. Even though this song is of a different war, now a century past, it still makes me think of my Grandfather and the terrible things he may have seen and experienced, which are beyond my imagination and recognition. It took a special kind of bravery to have faced a mortal enemy, who was probably feeling very similar emotions and terrors, and then to return to civilization and lead a productive life, all the while keeping those horrors locked away. It may not have been the intention of this song to cause this reaction, but it does.

And so the song “1916” elevates the album “1916” from the realms of very good into great. It also secured Motörhead’s future, both financially and musically. The band finally had a decent record deal, and had explored some new musical avenues which opened new frontiers for the band to explore for the remainder of its existence. Albums like “Ace Of Spades” and “No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith” established Motörhead’s legendary status in rock and metal. “1916” cemented it.

heavy metal movie reviews

ACCEPT Restless & Live

Movie · 2017 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Restless & Live is a concert release from the veteran German Heavy Metal legends Accept. It was released on Nuclear Blast Records in 2017 on several formats; such as a CD set with tracks taken from different concerts across the touring cycle for Blind Rage (their third studio album since being reinvigorated by the joining of new singer Mark Tornillo). It was also released as a Blu Ray of a single entire performance at 2015’s Bang Your Head Festival. If you’ve got a bit more money to splash out you can get a set with the Blu Ray and CD versions, or if you prefer DVDs that’s also an option.

My personal preference for concert movies or albums is that they come from on single concert not a mix of shows, and if available preferably on Blu Ray, so for me this was the version I went for and am most happy with. (which this review will be focusing on).

In terms of specs: The Blu Ray version is in 1080p with PCM Stereo and DTS HD Master 5.1 options, Region:All. There aren’t any bonus features. There’s a booklet with some photos but no linear notes.

So the main reason you are buying this disc is for the concert; which is about an hour and forty-five minutes of blistering classic Heavy Metal. The 18-song tracklisting is pretty heavily focused on the three Tornillo-era albums, with a few of the classic ’80s crowdpleasing tunes added in as well. So if you’ve already got the DVD that came with Blind Rage its still worth checking this out for the different tracklisting and higher production values. (The CD version of Restless & Wild contains 27 songs and more of a mix of material).

The tracklisting is: 1. Stampede 2. Stalingrad 3. London Leatherboys 4. Restless & Wild 5. Dying Breed 6. Final Journey 7. Shadow Soldiers 8. Losers & Winners 9. 200 Years 10. Midnite Mover 11. No Shelter 12. Princess Of The Dawn 14. Pandemic 15. Fast As A Shark 16. Metal Heart 17. Teutonic Terror 18. Balls To The Wall

The performance is tight and professional but still has that ‘live’ feeling and energy, it isn’t all sterile but it isn’t loose and sloppy either, its just right. They all give it gusto and look pretty into it. There’s no complaints on vocals, musicianship or song selection for me. Wolf Hoffman’s guitar solos are as entertaining as you would expect and there’s a fun bass versus guitar trade off section at one point. The camera work, editing, sound and mix are all solid. Nothing jarring or out of place, no sync issues, all instruments audible and in correct balance. The songs sound clear and yet muscular.

Its a pretty simple and honest affair. There’s no gimmicks here; no big show with giant robot crabs on stage or band members catching fire or shooting lazers out of their eyes, and there’s no life changing documentary, no animations weaved into the concert or anything… but if you want to buy an Accept live concert and watch songs like ‘Fast As A Shark’ and ‘Balls To The Wall’ played well by the new line-up and competently captured and prepared for home viewing then it is an absolutely fine product and I highly recommend it to fans of the band, especially to fans of the newer three albums. For me, watching songs like ‘No Shelter,’ ‘Stalingrad’ and ‘Pandemic’ belted out enthusiastically are worth the money.

If you are new to the band, this is a very strong starting place, (if not entirely representative of the overall discography) and if you are a fan already its a worthy addition to your collection.

IRON MAIDEN Live After Death

Movie · 1985 · NWoBHM
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siLLy puPPy
Universally cited as one of the absolute best live albums of all time, LIVE AFTER DEATH is the first live album / video release of IRON MAIDEN’s classic early Bruce Dickinson years and was recorded during their “World Slavery Tour.” Despite lasting a whopping 331 days, this double LP album only took two venues as their source for representing their electric live performances. The first 13 tracks were recorded at the Long Beach Arena in California, USA and the remaining five tracks were taken from a night at Hammersmith Odeon in London. While LIVE AFTER DEATH was released both as audio LP and video VHS in 1985, the two aren’t exactly identical in content. The audio LP originally contained 18 tracks (one of which is “Intro: Churchill’s Speech”) but the VHS visual experience only had 14 tracks. Unfortunately when LIVE AFTER DEATH was originally released on CD it was too long for a single disc and instead of simply issuing a double disc, EMI unwisely decided to cut the last five tracks which included the Odeon performance, therefore it is highly advisable to obtain the Sanctuary remastered version which was released as a double disc and retains the entire run of one classic song after another.

LIVE AFTER DEATH is the absolute perfect live album. I very rarely put live albums high on my list of favorites because more often than not something or many things prevent them from capturing my attention and worthiness as essential. If it’s not the weak production values then it is the inability of the band to capture the magic that is manufactured in the studio. That is not the case here. IRON MAIDEN was at the pinnacle of their creative prowess at this point and after several outstanding and classic albums to mine for material, they perfectly execute these live performances and offer every little ounce of excitement heard on the studio releases. Bruce Dickinson nails the vocals and the thundering trio of Steve Harris’ bass and the guitar synergy of Dave Murray and Adrian Smith accompanied by Nikko McBrain’s stellar drumming style doesn’t get any better. While most of the tracks are performed rather faithfully to their studio versions, there is plenty of live improvisation taking places as well. Standout moments include Bruce’s attempt to get audience participation on “Running Free” and another great difference can be heard on “Revelations” where the tempo is upped and Bruce changes the vocal phrasing to make the track sound different and refreshed.

The video release offers all the theatrical visuals of the tour. The “Powerslave” album was based on ancient Egypt and likewise the stage was Egyptified to the max with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs and a mummified Eddie embellished with ridiculous amounts of pyrotechnics. The tour was a smashing success and this release whether it be audio or video is the perfect testimony to the genius that went into every single detail. The sound and mixing is perfect as well as Martin Birch found the perfect balance of every cast member and delivered one of the most satisfying production jobs for a live release that i have ever heard. In the visual department Jim Yukich perfectly captured two nights in Long Beach showing a great band doing great things at the peak of their game. Another piece of perfection with this one is the brilliant cover art of Derek Riggs surpassing previous album themes of Eddie as the mascot by incorporating those themes of previous albums covers and then putting it all on steroids. The spread of the album is breathtaking in content and color with the boldness of the yellows and blues. Every aspect of talent on board with this release guarantees to wake the dead. I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. It is true that Bruce doesn’t hit every note exactly as on the studio version every single time but when he doesn’t he offers interesting new ways of interpreting the classics. This is simply one of the most perfect live releases i have ever encountered and even MAIDEN themselves haven’t even come close to achieving similar results. Masterpiece.

OZZY OSBOURNE God Bless Ozzy Osbourne

Movie · 2011 · Heavy Metal
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progshine
It is an interesting documentary that tries to focus on his personal life. But it stays in the middle of the road in the end.

You have this big and interesting chunk talking about Sabbath then when it comes to his solo career they talk about 2 albums and... that's it.

Look, if you're doing a documentary or you focus on the music or in the person, every documentary that tries to do both end up staying in the middle of the fail road.

This is interesting, it gives you an idea how Ozzy was really in bad shape for so many years and how he turned things around, but it's far away from being a great and complete documentary.

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY The European Invasion: Doom Troopin' Live

Movie · 2006 · Heavy Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Doom Troopin’ Live: The European Invasion is a live concert video from Black Label Society, available on Blu-Ray. It documents the European leg of their touring in support of ‘Mafia.’

The setlist is fairly heavily comprised of material from the ‘Mafia’ and ‘The Blessed Hellride’ albums, with little from the first three records, which may be disappointing if its your only BLS video purchase, but which does result in little crossover with their other DVD ‘Boozed Broozed & Broken Boned.’ A similar idea to Kiss’ Alive II perhaps.

There are 16 tracks in the main Paris concert according to the back of the box but three of those are jamming. They tease the crowd with a bit of ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Mama I’m Coming Home’ for example. Plenty of the time between songs is given over for additional guitar soloing as well.

It’s a decent mix of fast and slow, its mostly heavy but there’s a bit of light in there and it gives a lot of time over to Zack’s guitar talents, without wasting too much time away from actual songs. I think a good balance has been struck of all of Black Label’s constituent parts.

The performance is fairly strong, noticeably so on the ballads. Zack has a good stage presence pumping fists, pointing and striking poses, although some of the spoken crowd interaction is very mumbled and hard to make out. A lot of the songs feel a lot faster, louder and heavier live than they did on record, and feel crunchier and more earthy sounding. The drumming in particular is a lot more impressive live; Craig Nunemacher has a lot of character I hadn’t noticed before seeing this.

I think the sound is very good. Its well mixed, fairly heavy and the songs have bite. It feels ‘live enough’ but it isn’t sloppy. Again, a good balance has been struck, this time between concert-feel and actually good sound.

There was a fair amount of effort put into the stage design too; mic stands made out of chains, skulls on plinths, an impromptu pub made out of amplifiers with beer sat on it, flashing siren lights, BLS banners etc. There’s a professional looking lighting show and the camera work is well done. So in one way, it’s a good looking concert too.

In another way however, the visuals are the only letdown for me as the editing is a bit distracting. A lot of time, especially in the earlier songs, is given over to fancy effects, going black and white momentarily, screen overlays, slow motion, fake film grain etc. which some viewers may find a bit too distracting. Luckily instances of this reduce as the show goes on. It isn’t enough to spoil the concert in my opinion, but if you are picky about that sort of thing I would recommend that you try before you buy it.

I had read negative reviews about this concert stating either that Zack was miming his vocals, that there were very obvious vocal overdubs or that the audio and video were out of synch. Whichever way, if you look at his mouth it doesn’t match the sound of the singing. That would have been a huge letdown for me. I was worried because the same vocal-synching issue had been a fairly big distraction on a Marilyn Manson and a Queensrÿche Blu-Ray I owned and I didn’t want to buy this if it shared the same problem.

I looked on youtube to see footage from the DVD which indeed had the problem, but read reviews that claimed the problem didn’t exist. Luckily when I watch my copy (region 0 Blu-Ray, with the audio set to DTS HD Master Audio) there is no issue at all. All the tom rolls, guitar solos and singing matches what you see on screen. Admittedly, Zack has a lot of effects on his vocals, other members do backing vocals and there are some sections of pre-recorded music like in lots of concerts, that you were never meant to think was live, but that’s about it.

The bonus features include an extra four songs (‘Been A Long Time,’ ‘Suicide Messiah,’ ‘Stillborn’ with massive extended-jam & ‘Genocide Junkies’) from London, three music videos from the Mafia album, a making-of for the ‘Suicide Messiah’ video and a 50-minute documentary feature called ‘Backstage Pass.’

The video is 1080i HD Widescreen 16:9 (1.78:1). The audio options are LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS HD Master Audio

Overall, this is a fairly enjoyable Blu-Ray with a well performed and sounding concert and some interesting extras. I would recommend it if you like the band, as long as you aren’t very picking about over-edited concerts or only like the early material.

JUDAS PRIEST Rising In The East

Movie · 2005 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Opening with the classic double punch of `The Hellion/Electric Eye,’ you know that this concert is going to be good.

The band do their best to mix a diverse career spanning set list with playing all their biggest hits and do a pretty successful job, managing to cover a full five songs from their then new `Angel of Retribution,’ album with their big hits like `Breaking the Law,’ `Living After Midnight,’ and `You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,’ while still playing at least one song from their less famous `Point of Entry,’ `Turbo,’ and `Ram It Down,’ albums.

Musically, the band are on fire, with impressive guitar soloing, energetic on stage performances and drummer Scott Travis playing songs harder, with confidence and authority that makes them sound that much heavier and tighter. The band are playing on a fairly large stage with elaborate set pieces, risers and of course, the famous motorcycle.

Some fans have made a lot of complaints about Rob Halford’s performance here, but with the sole exception of the vocals on the track `Painkiller,’ (which, as it happens has impossibly difficult vocals to begin with) I think these complaints are pretty off the mark.

If you need proof that Rob can still reach those high notes see the `You’re Possessing Me,’ scream in `A Touch of Evil’ or indeed the entire performance of the fast and high pitched `Riding on the Wind.’

Furthermore Rob’s whole on-stage attitude is a winner, seeming genuinely pleased each and every time the crowd gets a sing along moment correct, adding little Robotic Walk gestures to `Metal Gods,’ and generally looking like he’s giving it his all, to the point where he is sweating and red in the face, not because he can’t hack it, but rather because he’s giving it his very all.

Even if you do for some reason take exception with Rob, there is simply no denying the performances of Glen, Scott, Ian and Mr. Downing who all blast away like a well oiled machine, but with the energy of a much younger band.

In terms of camera, editing, sound and mix there really isn’t anything to complain about, everything is handled well and the whole package is as slick and professional as you would hope for from a band of their size.

Overall this is a great looking and great sounding DVD from Judas Priest and that alone should have you interested, add to that an interesting set list and dismiss the complaints about Rob and you should find `Rising In The East,’ a really worthy addition to your collection.

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