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

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IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
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heavy metal Music Reviews

MOTÖRHEAD Rock 'n' Roll

Album · 1987 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Rock 'n' Roll" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK hard/heavy rock act Motörhead. The album was released through GWR Records September 1987. It´s the follow up to "Orgasmatron", which was released in August 1986. Motörhead experienced a commercial comeback with "Orgasmatron" and used the momentum to release "Rock 'n' Roll" only about a year after the release of it´s predecessor. "Rock 'n' Roll" wasn´t as successful in Europe as "Orgasmatron", but it helped gain Motörhead popularity in the USA. There´s been one lineup change since "Orgasmatron (1986)", as Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor is back behind the drumkit replacing Pete Gill.

To my ears the short time between "Orgasmatron (1986)" and "Rock 'n' Roll" is audible and I´d go as far as to call them sibling albums. Both in terms of production values and songwriting style. Stylistically this is Motörhead as we know them. Blues based rock´n´roll with the volume turned up high, and Lemmy Kilmister´s distorted bass and sandpaper voice in front.

"Rock 'n' Roll" features some great tracks, and some more standard quality ones too. That´s pretty much business as usual for Motörhead though, who have seldom produced albums with only "hits". Highlights on "Rock 'n' Roll" include the title track, the catchy "Eat the Rich", "The Wolf", "Dogs", and especially "Stone Deaf in the U.S.A.", which is an absolutely killer track. The short guest appearance by Michael Palin in which he performs a weird Monty Python type monologue is pretty damn amusing too, and a little extra spice to the album.

Upon conclusion "Rock 'n' Roll" is another well played, relatively well produced and well written Motörhead album, but to my ears it´s not among their best. It´s still a good quality release though and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

DEMON The Unexpected Guest

Album · 1982 · NWoBHM
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RuneWalsh2112
"The Unexpected Guest" was the album that took Demon from one of the many bands of their time and transformed them to masters of their craft. This album is easily one of the best Heavy Metal albums that, to me, ranks among great masterpieces from heavyweights like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Saxon.

The album is a loose concept album about a seance that goes horribly wrong. "Don't Break the Circle" kicks things off on a fabulous note, featuring some of the best performances by both Dave Hill and Mal Spooner. Things continue on a strong note with "The Spell" and "Total Possession" both in terms of music and concept. "Sign of a Madman" is another great tune that has been a live favorite that the band features in their repertoire even to this day. It also has the first prominent underlying sounds of keyboards, which foreshadows the things to come for Demon.

"Victim of Fortune" and "Have We Been Here Before?" are the two more straightforward tracks that remind me more of the style from the band's debut album but with a lot more maturity, especially in the guitar work from Mal Spooner. The latter is easily the most commercial track off this album and it did made me cringe when I heard it for the first time. Many spins later and I actually enjoy it a whole lot more. The song does continue the story line but with a slightly cheerier sound.

"Strange Institution" returns the album to a serious note and sounds to me like an improved version of "Father of Time" from their debut album. "The Grand Illusion" and "Beyond the Gates" are two strong Heavy Metal compositions that would have easily been highlights on any other NWoBHM record of the time, but they kind of get lost among all the other gems here.

"Deliver Us From Evil" closes the album on another highlight and features a reprise of "Don't Break the Circle" theme. This is a perfect ending to the concept and thus completes the circle. I highly recommend "The Unexpected Guest" to all fans of Heavy Metal as this is as good as it will get. Note that this was just a beginning for Demon as the band went from one career highlight to the next.

***** star songs: Don't Break the Circle (4:43) The Spell (3:41) Sign of a Madman (4:31) Strange Institution (4:47) Deliver Us From Evil (4:41)

**** star songs: Total Possession (3:51) Victim of Fortune (4:41) Have We Been Here Before? (4:42) The Grand Illusion (3:44) Beyond the Gates (4:19)

*** star songs: Intro: An Observation (1:24) Outro (0:41)

DEMON Night of the Demon

Album · 1981 · NWoBHM
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RuneWalsh2112
I'm relatively new to Demon even though I've heard of them for a few years. I gave their third album, The Plague, a spin a few months ago and was completely blown away by the experience. Since then, I've gone through all of their 80's and 90's output and have to say that they are easily my favorite Heavy Metal band! I don't take these words lightly and it did take some to convince myself that it was time to dethrone Judas Priest.

So what is it about Demon that makes them stand out among so many other great Heavy Metal bands that came out of the NWoBHM movement? To me it's the great versatility that has made their career as engaging as it is. No two albums are the same but all feature a piece of the puzzle that is Demon.

Their 1981 debut record "Night of the Demon" is a pretty straightforward Heavy Metal record and the sound of the band is not completely developed. Luckily there is enough great material here to make it worth a while. Starting with their classic tune "Night of the Demon" and following it with my personal favorite "Into the Nightmare". After the strong intro, the album goes into artsy territory with "Father of Time" which starts with the lyric 'In the beginning he gave us the word'. That opening can sometimes make me chuckle as it sounds like something straight from the Spinal Tap movie. The rest of the track is actually a lot more enjoyable once you get into the whole concept.

The rest of the album is a bit too simplistic to my ears even though I do enjoy tracks like "Decisions", "Liar" and "Fool to Play the Hard Way". The closing number "One Helluva Night" isn't as impressive as the version that's featured on their 1990 live recording with the same name but it does give you the urge to give the record another spin as soon as it has ended.

The only weak track here is "Big Love" with it's very basic structure and bluesy sound. Just skip it and move straight to "Ride the Wind" for a track that could have easily come from one of the early Saxon releases.

As a whole, "Night of the Demon" is a competent debut album but it very rarely gives you the glimpses of the things to come for Demon. I'd say that it's not as strong as "The Unexpected Guest" or "Taking the World by Storm" in the songwriting but does offer enough great tracks to make it enjoyable to fans of Heavy Metal music.

***** star songs: Night of the Demon (3:17) Into the Nightmare (3:57)

**** star songs: Father of Time (4:20) Decisions (3:40) Liar (3:14) Ride the Wind (2:48) Fool to Play the Hard Way (4:01) One Helluva Night (4:00)

*** star songs: Full Moon (1:35) Big Love (4:15)

METALLICA Metallica

Album · 1991 · Heavy Metal
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Vim Fuego
In which the Big Four became The Fucking Enormous One and The Big Three.

In hindsight, 1991 was a watershed year in rock and metal, but it was hard to see at the time, as such events often are. The previously dominant forces in those genres changed in a momentous few months, the results of which are still felt today. The style-over-substance excesses of 80s glam metal which had so dominated MTV and rock radio were dramatically replaced by an anti-style. At the same time, the underground erupted overground, and the alternative became the mainstream.

And really, it was the period of August and September 1991 where three releases ushered in this change. World politics and society had recently been through a huge shift with the almost overnight downfall of communism in 1989. Music doesn’t exactly dictate how millions of people are forced to live, or whether people can be oppressed, persecuted, imprisoned, or murdered for their beliefs or race, but there was a similar scale of shift in the musical microcosm. Glam metal, which had so dominated the late 1980s had burned out and was beginning to eat it’s young. Thrash metal, so long underground, was needing new outlets because the building popularity was hardly being contained underground. And in Seattle, the rising slacker generation was starting to stir.

These three releases were a hit, a miss, and a where-the-fuck-did-that-come-from broadside. The hit was Metallica’s self-titled fifth album, released on August 12. The miss was Guns N’ Roses “Use Your Illusions” albums, the twin album follow-up to their phenomenally successful debut, released on September 17. The broadside was Nirvana’s second album “Nevermind”, which exceeded original sales targets by a scale of 100, released on September 24.

In the time it took to write these four paragraphs, including fact checking, rewording, interruptions for a phone call from my mother in law, and from Jehovah’s Witnesses who left fearing for my soul after me saying we were atheists, the entire 62 minute album has played through.

And I don’t want to listen to it again.

It is my practice to listen to whatever I am reviewing while I write, no matter how many times it plays through. If it is a short EP, this can mean several repeats. But you know what? This is the most damning indictment on this album. I simply cannot face listening to it again. So this is now a much shorter and changed review from what I intended.

So… If you’re even a casual metal fan, you already know what this sounds like. It’s heavy and loud, which is good. However, it plods along, barely getting past a mid-tempo stomp. Metallica used to play really fast before this album, so slower is bad. This left a lot of Metallica’s fans really confused. “Heavy = good, slow = bad, what the fuck am I supposed to think?”

While these bewildered millions (and Metallica was selling millions, even before this album) tried to decide whether to love it or hate it, tens of millions more who would never have even given Metallica a second thought, decided they loved it. There’s shit to say about radio friendly singles, an overplayed but visually stunning video for “Enter Sandman”, Bob Rock being a cunt, Jason’s bass finally appearing, subtlety, ballads, wolves, nightmares, minimalist artwork, but it’s all been said before.

It doesn’t matter that pre-black album fans like me think this is dull, and would have preferred “…And Justice For All Part II”. It still pointed where metal was going. Just look at the rest of the Big 4. Megadeth followed suit, by slowing down and getting heavier. Anthrax slowed a little, and incorporated more melody into their music. Slayer took their sweet time before releasing anything else, but probably changed the least of the four, and have kept their reputation most intact because of it. A lot of next tier bands changed too. Exodus’ “Force of Habit” was a bit directionless. Kreator incorporated industrial elements to their music. Overkill released arguably their weakest album in “I Hear Black”, while other bands like Death Angel, Dark Angel, Forbidden, Sacred Reich, and Testament fell on hard times or split up.

On the positive side, Sepultura discovered their groove with “Chaos AD”, and Pantera and Machine Head emerged as genuine contenders for a scene which was no longer subterranean.

And the GnR/Nirvana points I was labouring earlier? Guns N’ Roses got too big for their own good. No one had the guts to tell them that releasing two albums padded with covers and sub-par shit was a bad idea, when they should have released one fucking good one. As a result, their career took a bit of a nose dive, and the rest of the glam scene collapsed around them. Don’t feel sorry for them though. The Gunners still made millions (both albums have sold over 18 million copies). It was the other dumb bastards who found their poodle perms and gender bending androgyny no longer counted for anything.

Nirvana was a garage band which had managed to wangle a decent record deal and recording budget, and with more attitude and good intention than actual talent or skill, recorded an album which unexpectedly grabbed the music buying public’s attention. It was simple music which appealed to the simple millions (about 30 simple millions, according to some estimates). Grunge replaced glam, and rock clubs started to stink of body odour instead of hairspray.

Since I’ve mentioned the supposed sales figures for the other two, “Metallica” by Metallica has reportedly sold 31 million copies. I have owned two of those. The first was a cassette bought the day it was released. I didn’t like it. I listened to it over and over, analysed it, looked at different interpretations and alternate meanings of the lyrics, played it quiet and loud, fiddled with the graphic equalizer, tried it on a number of different pieces of audio equipment. I still didn’t like it. So I bought it on CD a number of years later.

It was still dull. Fuck, I’m dumb…

NOZOMU WAKAI'S DESTINIA Metal Souls

Album · 2018 · Heavy Metal
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Kev Rowland
Japanese guitar hero Nozomu Wakai has already released two albums under the project name Nozomu Wakai’s Destinia, but having seen a performance by Lords Of Black, featuring vocalist Ronnie Romero, he was so impressed that he immediately offered him the gig as singer with his band. With Romero (Rainbow, Lords Of Black, CoreLeoni) on board, Wakai decided to source some more name musicians to complete the line-up and brought in Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies, Thin Lizzy) and Tommy Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers Band, Gary Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie Malmsteen, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and so many, many more). Having a rhythm section who know each other incredibly well, having played in multiple bands together, allows Wakai to let rip knowing that he has the foundation underneath him and Romero at the front providing great vocals.

This is a classic rock album, Rainbow for a metallic new generation, symphonic power metal which is melodic and full of power. Aldridge is still a powerhouse, nearly 50 years since his debut on the scene (he is 68 years old, I hope I’m half as active when I get to his age), and provides plenty of finesse and fills while Mendoza keeps it locked down. Wakai sees himself as a metal god, of that there is no doubt (just look at previous album covers and his photos on his website), but he has the chops to back it up. Also, he keeps himself under control and restraint, so while he can shred with the best of them he stays far more melodic than others. This really is about the songs, and not as total an egofest I expected it to be, and it really does feel like a band as opposed to a project. Given how busy the rest of the guys are in other bands, I do wonder if they are going to be able to get out there and tour with this line-up, but if they could build on what they have already then the next album should be incredible, as this is stunning as it is. Undoubtedly one of the finest albums to come out of Frontiers in 2018, this is powerful, over the top, and a blast from start to finish. Essential.

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
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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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