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

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Album · 1982 · Heavy Metal
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Hannover, Germany based SCORPIONS has had a few distinct phases in its multi-decade career beginning with its rather uncertain Krautrock meets hard rock beginnings on the debut “Lonesome Crow.” The Uli Roth years developed the band’s distinct mix of catchy pop hooks infused with heavy bluesy rock and early heavy metal but the crystalline lineup didn’t come to fruition until guitarist Matthias Jabs joined the band thus cementing the distinct brash bravado that would propel SCORPIONS to the top of the heavy metal heap where they experienced international success all throughout the 80s.

While albums like “Lovedrive” and “Animal Magnetism” got this particular lineup warmed up and even became the band’s first gold records, it was the 1982 release of the band’s eighth album BLACKOUT that coincided with the mainstream success of heavy metal that SCORPIONS became one of the biggest bands in the entire genre. Part of this sudden ascent to international stardom resulted from MTV shuffling videos 24 / 7. The addictive hooks of “No One Like You,” one of the band’s most famous singles coupled with the bad boy bravado antics at Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay on the video which was enough to drive a metal crazed public bonkers!

This was a do or die era for the SCORPIONS perched to ascend to greater stardom or totally fall as lead singer Klaus Meine had to undergo surgery on his vocal cords and the uncertainty of the outcome haunted the band’s very existence however Don Dokken was picked as a replacement singer if for any reason Meine was unable to continue his duties as vox box in chief. Luckily not only did Meine come through the experience with no complications but his voice actually smoothed out a bit taking some of the grit off which began the era of the more pop crossover SCORPIONS.

BLACKOUT established a much more accessible sound after the more experimental “Animal Magnetism” fortified with infectious pop hooks and the sizzling twin guitar attack of Matthias Jabs and Rudolf Schenker. With drummer Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz, this was also the band’s most famous and successful lineup. The band was extremely popular live with its energetic performances. The album with its nine tracks starts out with the distinct high-octane title track and doesn’t let up until the closing “When The Smoke Is Going Down” with the by then established signature ballad in the form of “You Give Me All I Need.” Don Dokken who recorded the demo songs for the album was kept as a backup singer on some of the tracks.

While most of the tracks are full steam ahead with fast tempos and Meine’s vocal gymnastics hitting ridiculously high octaves, the closing “China White” and “When The Smoke Is Going Down” slow things down a bit, the latter of which is another excellent ballad that showcases Meine’s uncanny multi-octave vocal abilities. While it was uncertain whether or not BLACKOUT would ever even come to be due to Meine’s vocal woes after countless delays, as things turned out it was just the beginning of the SCORPIONS most successful phase of its career that would last the entire 80s.

Personally BLACKOUT isn’t my favorite pick for best SCORPIONS album as i much prefer “Animal Magnetism” which came before and even “Love At First Sting” which came after but as far as quality heavy rock / metal from the early 80s is concerned, BLACKOUT is excellent 80s metal with addictive melodies, outstanding musicianship and fiery delivered in every possible way. Although i find the cover artwork to be quite cheesy i can only assume that dude is screaming so loud to break glass so that he can warn us about the coming BLACKOUT. Get your survival gear now!


Album · 1995 · Heavy Metal
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"Savor the Flavor" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, California based heavy metal/rock act The Organization. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in May 1995. The Organization was formed in 1991 after Death Angel disbanded, and features four out of five members of Death Angel. The only member of Death Angel who didn´t continue in The Organization, was lead vocalist Mark Osegueda. Guitarist Rob Cavestany took over the lead vocal duties in addition to playing guitar and The Organization was therefore a four-piece consisting of Rob Cavestany (vocals, guitar), Gus Pepa (guitars), Dennis Pepa (bass), and Andy Galeon (drums, backing vocals). The Organization released a relatively well received self-titled debut album in 1993 and then "Savor the Flavor" before changing their name to Swarm. Death Angel reunited in 2001 (with Mark Osegueda in front).

The 1993 eponymously titled debut album featured a melodic heavy metal style with the rare nod towards the thrash metal past of Death Angel, so ultimately The Organization didn´t sound that much like a continuation of Death Angel. At least not if you expected a more pure thrash metal sound. "Savor the Flavor" features and even more melodic and softer heavy metal/rock sound than its predecessor, and at this point the thrash metal leanings are completely gone from the band´s sound. "Savor the Flavor" is often closer to sounding like early 90s alternative rock, than to anything resembling heavy/thrash metal. There´s a lot of funky rhythms in the music too and the music is generally energetic and easily accessible.

The musicianship is strong, which isn´t surprising if you´re familiar with the high level musicianship of all involved on the Death Angel releases of the past and on the debut album by The Organization. Rob Cavestany is technically a skilled enough singer, but he hasn´t got the most distinct sounding nor the most strong voice out there. As a consequence the vocal part of the album is a bit lacking in power and conviction, and since not all tracks are that memorable either, the listening experience is a bit up and down in quality. The album soon feels a bit long and my attention often wanders because the hooks aren´t strong enough to maintain my interest for the duration of the 12 track, 46:47 minutes long album.

So unfortunately "softening" their sound (among other things) has made "Savor the Flavor" a much less interesting release than the band´s debut album, which did feature some pretty decent material. "Savor the Flavor" is not as such a bad release but it is pretty unspectacular alternative rock/metal, which I´d say I´ve heard before and much better too. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

RAY ALDER What The Water Wants

Album · 2019 · Heavy Metal
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"What The Water Wants" is the debut full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal artist Ray Alder. The album was released through InsideOutMusic in October 2019. While this is Alder´s first solo album, he is of course a seasoned and highly respected singer credited with performing vocals on many albums by Fates Warning, Redemption, and Engine.

It´s always interesting to hear which music style a musician chooses for his solo albums, when you are used to listening to a relatively specific style of music on his main projects. In the case of Fates Warning and Redemption that´s progressive metal. The material on "What The Water Wants" is generally not as complex or as challenging as the material on Alder´s other projects, and the overall music style is a melodic type of heavy rock/metal with Alder´s strong voice and vocals in front. If I have to compare "What The Water Wants" to anything Alder has been involved in before, it would be "Parallels (1991)" by Fates Warning, but minus Mark Zonder´s busy off-beat drumming and the semi-progressive tendencies of that album.

The material on the 10 track, 46:03 minutes long album (some versions feature "The Road" in an acoustic version as a bonus track) are well written, melodic, and catchy. It´s a long time since we´ve heard Alder sing anything this melodic and memorable. Fates Warning have experimented a lot with their vocal melody lines since the start of the new millenium, and Alder´s qualities and melodic sensivity haven´t always come to their right in that soundscape. On "What The Water Wants" the listener is treated to Alder in all his melodic glory though and to fans of early 90s Fates Warning this is definitely a recommended listen. Alder has assembled a strong lineup of skilled musicians, who perform the songs in the right supportive way, to make sure that Alder´s vocals shine, but also with the right amount of passion and conviction, which means they aren´t "just" a backing band, who don´t contribute anything to the songs.

One of the things I noticed after listening to the album is how tasteful everything is delivered. There´s not one unnessesary note or drum fill featured on "What The Water Wants" and the tracks are all pleasant and memorable. It´s a consistent release both in terms of musical direction and quality. One of the highlights to my ears is "The Road", which is a slow building but ultimately very powerful and beautiful song, but there aren´t any weak tracks on the album. The album is well produced too, featuring a clear and detailed sound production, and upon conclusion it´s a quality first solo release by Ray Alder. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

ROB GRAVELLE The Rabbit Of Seville

Single · 2010 · Heavy Metal
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This song is quite different from anything Gravelle has produced...but in the best way possible. It combines a metal band with a full orchestra playing Rossini's Barber of Seville.

I don't know if it's a real orchestra, but it sounds amazing, as do the guitars. There are rhythms and a boatload of lead guitars as well.

The arrangement is quite a bit different from the source material that it's based on, but it makes the song flow in a completely different way - one that is heavier and more intense than I would have thought possible.

I hope that Gravelle puts out more orchestral metal like this!


Album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
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The last day of work of the year. Lacking sleep as usual. Riding the train home and listening to some 2020 release that is really good, but I'm standing in the corner of the train and dozing off. Two stops before my station and then a 40-minute walk home because I want to save the bus fare. What to listen to next? Hmm... How about this Order of Chaos album? I haven't really given it a full spin.

Earlier this year, I bought my first album by The Order of Chaos. It was good but the production had that heavy wool blanket feel - the music was dulled down a bit and to me it lost some of its punch. But after a few careful listens, the songs began to stand apart from one another and at last, I decided I liked the band enough to get another album. It was as I was adding them to MMA that I discovered there was a new release, a 2020 album. I placed an order through Bandcamp but was contacted the next day by John Simon Fallon, saying that the CDs were all sold out. He'd see if he had an extra one in his personal collection for me. He didn't and refunded my money. But he also sent me access to download the album in WAV file format. At the time, however, I had so many new CDs coming in that I left off listening to the album.

Until tonight! And wow! I was swept up immediately by the music!

The Order of Chaos are basically a heavy metal band. They're not a trad metal band; the style is more modern. They have thrash moments and the clean-vocal choruses have a hint of power metal. At times they also cover melodic death metal, just without the usual deep, growly vocals. Vocalist Amanda Kiernan sings in both clean and harsh vocals. There are no ballads. This album delivers just straight up heavy hitters.

One obvious difference from their older album that I have is that the production quality better brings out the blast and blister of the music. Those riffs just burn right into your brain. The songs are heavy and solid but sometimes charge ahead or drop back to slam you with another riff. And you can feel it all in the production!

Another reason why this album sounds so good is that Amanda's harsh vocals have improved, in my opinion. Previously, I preferred her clean vocals with harsh vocals as an effect reserved for only parts of the songs. When she sang too much in her shredded voice, I wasn't all that thrilled. Now she sounds awesome! Thankfully, she still keeps the clean vocals which are often double-tracked and harmonized for some of the choruses.

This music on this album feels more consistent than the older one, which played around with mixing styles a little more obviously though still successfully. This album seems to go straight for the gut with one-two punches in every track. It's only the final track, "The Downfall of Belief", where things are clearly different as it's a short instrumental track on clean guitar, very beautiful and a shame to be over so soon.

I would really like to track down a copy on CD if I can, and I'm hoping the other album I have on order will please me as much as this one. It's great to hear a band solidify their style in an album that kills it from from to back!

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FOZZY Unleashed, Uncensored, Unknown

Movie · 2003 · Heavy Metal
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I’m totally unashamed about my love for this band and this DVD! Released in Fozzy’s early days when they were playing mostly covers, this is complete rock ‘n’ roll nonsense documenting how Fozzy created heavy metal and then signed a dodgy contract that left them stranded in Japan for twenty years!

The main documentary is hilarious. You can tell everyone is just having a blast filming it, and the added cameos from the likes of Zakk Wylde, Sebastian Bach and Mike Portnoy just add to this. And at barely a half an hour in duration, this main feature has plenty of replay value.

There’s an abundance of extras too, including more daft early Fozzy shenanigans as well as sincere and out-of-character footage too, showing that even in their early days this band possessed unlimited potential, but then, what would you expect when rap metal pioneers Stuck Mojo joined forces with wrestling icon Chris Jericho?

ACCEPT Restless & Live

Movie · 2017 · Heavy Metal
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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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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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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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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.

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