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 (+ child sub-genres & shared with Hard Rock and Glam Metal):
  • 666sharon666 (Leader)

heavy metal top albums

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

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heavy metal Music Reviews

ICED EARTH Tribute To The Gods

Album · 2002 · Heavy Metal
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martindavey87
Covers albums. Love them or hate them, there’s just always something about them that sticks out like a sore thumb in a bands discography, whether they’re good or bad, they just “stand out”. Y’know? Some bands are great at covers, though. Metallica comes to mind. Maybe it’s because most of the songs they cover are obscure bands that nobody would have heard of otherwise, but they have a knack for basically taking a song and completely making it their own.

Then there’s Iced Earth. Theirs are not so good.

‘Tribute to the Gods’ is Iced Earth’s attempt at paying homage to the bands that inspired them. It was originally released in 2001 as part of the ‘Dark Genesis’ box set, but has since been released a number of times by itself. Not that that makes it any better or anything... just saying...

The thing is, Iced Earth just don’t really have the right sound that lends itself well to covers. I mean, they’ve kept their own guitar tones, Matt Barlow can sing really well, but none of it works well when comparing thrash-inspired power metal to hard rock like AC/DC or Blue Oyster Cult. Also, in all honesty, I find the choices of songs mostly lacklustre.

At best however, their cover of KISS’s ‘Creatures of the Night’ is pretty damn good, as is their Iron Maiden covers ‘The Number of the Beast’ and ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, but honestly, they’re not really good enough to make me choose to listen to them of my own free will, and if anything it’s a simple case of the originals being better.

Never mind though, it’s a covers album, never really something to take too seriously in the first place. I originally got this with the aforementioned ‘Dark Genesis’ box set, so it wasn’t like I splashed out particularly on this release, which is good, because if I had I’d probably feel slightly perturbed right about now.

BURNING WITCHES Burning Witches

Album · 2017 · Heavy Metal
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Kev Rowland
It is safe to say that I’m not exactly a massive fan of the second album by the Swiss female quintet, ‘Hexenhammer’, so when it was announced that Nuclear Blast were going to reissue the 2017 debut alongside four-track live EP from the following year, both of which were originally issued independently, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. But you know what? Having listened to these I can now see why Nuclear Blast signed them as although I still don’t like the follow-up, the debut shows definite promise. This is good old-fashioned heavy metal, straight down the middle with nothing fancy. Produced by V.O. Pulver (Pro-Pain, Destruction, Nervosa, Pänzer) and Destruction legend Schmier, who helped and advised as a close friend of the band, one is taken back in time to when it was all about energy and emotion as opposed to splitting into multiple sub-genres.

Seraina Telli has an edge to her voice, which is just right with the pummelling guitars, and although I rarely listen to music like this these days, I soon found I had a smile on my face as they powered through. The original album ended with Priest’s “Jawbreaker” (can that song really be 25 years old? I feel ancient!), and while there is no way they could ever capture the original power, this is still a fine version. The live EP contains three songs from the debut, plus Dio’s “Holy Diver” which they didn’t exactly do justice to on ‘Hexenhammer’, but here it makes far more sense. Possibly they were rushed into the follow-up after signing with Nuclear Blast, as this is far superior to that, and fans of straight ahead heavy metal could do far worse than look this out.

ARYON Rebels of the Night

Album · 1983 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The Bay Area has produced some top notch bands over the decades with some like Metallica, Santana, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead becoming some of the biggest names in all of music history but so too have there been plenty of duds to pockmark the record stores and have been relished to the footnote status of in depth historical searches into the nooks and crannies of the past. One such band that was a mere blip on the map was the Newark based ARYON whose five members Bruce Sedlacek (bass), Rob "Buzz" Reid (drums), Russel Vazquez (guitars), Doug Irvin (vocals) and Jeff Warda (vocals, guitar) convened for a brief moment in time, released one album and then disappeared as quickly as they manifested.

While there were plenty of bands that never became household names that were outstanding examples of how the universe isn’t fair as they had as much talent or even exceeded the creativity of the superstars but never got a fair shake in the dirty world of business, some bands such as ARYON are more obvious as to why their plane crashed before it ever set flight and all it takes is one look at the album cover of the band’s sole album REBELS OF THE NIGHT which came out in the year 1983 when bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and a whole barrage of NWOHM bands were already dominating the musical landscape, to understand why.

Adorned with one of the stupidest album covers in metal history with the band peeking in a bedroom window of a little girl and a collection of 1950s toys, it’s obvious that these guys were fairly clueless about the emerging metal aesthetics that should have included some fantastical dragon, terminator styled robot, an army of skeletons or something really cool but instead insinuate some sort of infatuation with the world of pedophilia which in today’s modern world makes me cringe. Likewise the musical performances don’t get much better. ARYON were the typical amateurish heavy metal band of the early 80s with the classic sound that included the expected guitar riffs that extend into soloing antics and a fairly standard bass and drum rhythm section. While Doug Irvin attempts to belt out the operatic vocal style of say…. Bruce Dickinson, his voice falls flat and makes this album true horrible listening experience.

REBELS OF THE NIGHT is actually quite a silly album and sort of predated the shallowness and feel good sing about nothing lyrics that would peak in the latter half of the 80s with glam metal. The melodies are rather ordinary and ARYON didn’t bring anything original to the table whatsoever. This album is really just an amateurish attempt to copy the scene of the day and fails in pretty much every way. While there are a few tracks that don’t suck such as the closer “In These Days,” all the other failures of the album conspire to make this one of the most head scratching releases of the entire 80s metal scene. The album cover is hideous and the music is at best mediocre and add the substandard vocals of Doug Irvin, i think that this very well could be the worst album i’ve heard of 80s metal so far.

While it’s true that many bands’ first attempts don’t exactly create the next major masterpiece in their given genre, at least the kernels of potential are present but in the case of ARYON it seems that they couldn’t even nail down the basics and the result is one of the greatest train wrecks of the era. A vocalist who can’t carry a tune and hit the high notes, a songwriting team that can’t write one memorable hook and absolutely nothing new under the NWOBHM sun that comes to the table, ARYON rightfully deserve to be demoted to the bottom dregs of heavy metal history. This is unbelievably bad and deserves a listen just to put it into perspective just exactly how good other bands that you though sucked really were!

BURNING WITCHES Hexenhammer

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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Kev Rowland
Burning Witches are an all-female quintet from Switzerland, and I do wonder if they would have managed to get signed to label as powerful as the mighty Nuclear Blast if their gender hadn’t been a factor. Girlschool were/are a mighty metallic force to be reckoned with, and have released some stunning albums over the years, but Burning Witches have returned with their second release with something that, at best, can be said to be both pedestrian and boring. Here is a band destined only ever to be the support on tours, and not the headline, unless there is a significant change in their approach. They come across more like a modern-day German power metal outfit than anything else, but without the force and dynamics. The sound is really very good, but when that is the best thing on an album then one has to start to worry.

Get all the way through to the end and one comes across the only cover on the album, Dio’s mighty “Holy Diver”. At least in some ways this shows how important the performance is, as in terms of notes this is fairly similar to the original, but in terms of how it is played it really is chalk and cheese. I have nothing against female singers, or female bands in general, to me it is all about the music and in this case the album is sadly lacking. It may not be awful, but there is nothing here that makes me think they will ever make it out of the middle of the second division.

HERETIC Torture Knows No Boundary

EP · 1986 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Torture Knows No Boundary" is an EP release by US, Los Angeles, California based heavy metal act Heretic. The EP was released through Metal Blade Records in December 1986. Heretic were in their original run a rather short lived act who formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1988. They released "Torture Knows No Boundary" and the "Breaking Point (1988)" debut full-length studio album before splitting up. The latter features Mike Howe on vocals. Howe would join Metal Church and shortly after Heretic disbanded. On this EP the vocals are handled by Julian Mendez though. The material on "Torture Knows No Boundary" was re-released in 1991 as part of the compilation album "The Don't Turn Your Back!! & Breaking Point".

Stylistically the material on the 5 track, 17:54 minutes long album is traditional heavy metal through and through. Heretic is mostly known as a US power/thrash metal act, but that´s not the case here, as "Torture Knows No Boundary" features a more old school yet still raw and powerful heavy metal sound. Julian Mendez is a relatively strong vocalist with a raw delivery, and the band are well playing too (although the drums occasionally sound a bit untight). Hard rocking riffs and solos and a powerful pounding rhythm section.

The EP features 5 tracks a and a full playing time of 17:54 minutes. The first four tracks are "regular" heavy metal tracks, while the closing title track is an instrumental with both clean guitars and some blazing solo work. It shows another side of Heretic and brings some variation to the EP. The sound production is raw and powerful, suiting the music well. Upon conclusion "Torture Knows No Boundary" is a promising first release by Heretic. It does sound slightly old fashioned for a 1986 release, but that doesn´t make it less enjoyable. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

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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
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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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