Traditional 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

traditional heavy metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

RAINBOW Rising Album Cover Rising
RAINBOW
4.48 | 129 ratings
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JUDAS PRIEST Sad Wings Of Destiny Album Cover Sad Wings Of Destiny
JUDAS PRIEST
4.43 | 135 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
BLACK SABBATH
4.40 | 183 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
IRON MAIDEN
4.38 | 192 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Master Of Reality Album Cover Master Of Reality
BLACK SABBATH
4.38 | 150 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD The Deluge Album Cover The Deluge
MANILLA ROAD
4.65 | 16 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD Crystal Logic Album Cover Crystal Logic
MANILLA ROAD
4.51 | 25 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Album Cover Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
IRON MAIDEN
4.33 | 168 ratings
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MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades Album Cover Ace of Spades
MOTÖRHEAD
4.36 | 66 ratings
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DIO Holy Diver Album Cover Holy Diver
DIO
4.33 | 113 ratings
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MANILLA ROAD Open the Gates Album Cover Open the Gates
MANILLA ROAD
4.62 | 15 ratings
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MOTÖRHEAD Inferno Album Cover Inferno
MOTÖRHEAD
4.55 | 18 ratings
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traditional heavy metal Music Reviews

GHOST Meliora

Album · 2015 · Traditional heavy metal
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bartosso
Is this ABBA?

I know that my review titles tend to be goofy and rarely make much sense, but this time I'll sooner die than let this one be classified as such! Ghost is a Swedish metal band, their sound layered with catchy harmonies, somewhat symphonic in their sound and almost sickeningly melodic. And yet, while it could easily be tagged "pop metal", there's enough ambition, passion and skill poured into this music to make even an irredeemable snob like myself feel no shame at liking this band. Now, take a moment to cross off the word "metal" from the lines above and it could just as well be me talking about ABBA.

Jokes aside, though, what really makes Ghost stand out? After all, there are countless accessible metal bands out there that, while often popular, get little respect from the critics and other, well, people who just can't help spoiling everybody's fun. I believe the secret to Ghost's success lies in them striking a happy medium between being serious about their craft and yet very conscious of its context. Ghost manages to put up an amazing show fueled by their crazy, tongue-in-cheek, sacrilegious image and yet, charmingly unpretentious and cheesy as they are, there's a deeper purpose to all those fireworks. Regardless of whether you're willing to delve deeper into the concepts on display here or not, Meliora's overall sound benefits from this meta-approach. The sound is retro, polished but punchy, themes extremely catchy but often spiced up with some understated excursions into heavy, psych and symphonic prog territories. I, however, especially enjoyed the way Ghost shamelessly turns all the pomp up to eleven with theatrical arrangements reminiscent of The Scorpions, operatic choirs, flowery solos and... God, it's all just so freaking showy! But again, in a good way for the most part thanks to the underlying laid-back attitude the band has toward their art.

As far as mainstream heavy metal is concerned, it doesn't get much better than this. Meliora manages to strengthen all that made Ghost charming in the first place - stylistic diversity, vocal harmonies, pulp-gothic ambiance, solid, hook-based songwriting - and builds upon the concept of "Blue Öyster Cult meets Satan on a pride parade" with bricks made of bones and glitter. It's well-written, obscenely catchy and flows well from the beginning to the end. While this kind of metal is not exactly my cup of tea, I can't help but enjoy the sound Ghost developed on this record. All in all, if you like old-school metal in the vein of Kind Diamond or Mercyful Fate, give Meliora a go.

IRON MAIDEN The Soundhouse Tapes

EP · 1979 · NWoBHM
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UMUR
"The Soundhouse Tapes" is the first EP release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The EP was released through the band´s own label Rock Hard Records in November 1979. The original vinyl version of "The Soundhouse Tapes" was limited to 5000 copies, which were sold by mail order alone. The three tracks featured on the 11:28 minutes long EP ("Iron Maiden", "Invasion" and "Prowler") were originally recorded on New Years Eve of 1978 along with "Strange World" for a demo tape the band used to send to venues to book gigs. Before recording the demo Iron Maiden had a hard time finding gigs, but 1979 proved to be a fruitful year for the band, who played lots of shows and received great responses from the audience. The band were often met with a demand for recorded material by the fans after the shows, and that´s how the idea to release "The Soundhouse Tapes" was born. So the three tracks ("Strange World" was left off the EP, because the band weren´t satisfied with the production values on that particular track) featured on "The Soundhouse Tapes" are actually demos.

"Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" were both re-recorded and included on the band´s 1980 self-titled debut album while "Invasion" was re-recorded and included as a B-side on the "Women in Uniform (1980)" single. Both "Iron Maiden" and "Prowler" appear here in more or less the versions that you´ll hear on the debut album, albeit in more raw sounding and slower paced versions. "Invasion" is slightly less heavy metal oriented and reminds me a bit of early Rush. It´s not as catchy or infectiously aggressive as the other two tracks and it´s obvious why it wasn´t included on the debut album, but chosen as a B-side track on a single instead.

"The Soundhouse Tapes" is ultimately a pretty decent first recording by Iron Maiden although the later more professional studio versions of the tracks sound much better and are also more aggressive due to the higher pace and the more distorted guitar sound. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

MANILLA ROAD Crystal Logic

Album · 1983 · Traditional heavy metal
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DippoMagoo
MMA Reviewer's Challenge: Album Selected by Warthur

80’s Metal is not exactly my specialty. In fact, aside from some of the obvious suspects like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Helloween, my knowledge of classic metal is perhaps alarmingly bad, as I tend to prefer the modern production and use of keyboards found more often on newer metal albums. With that out of the way, then, it’s no surprise I had never heard any of the earlier albums from US heavy metal band Manilla Road until recently, though I did have previous experience with the band, hearing some of their more recent albums and getting a decent amount of enjoyment out of them, especially their 2013 release, Mysterium. From what I gather from reading reviews online, their newer releases are considered much weaker compared to their classic, with their 1983 release Crystal Logic in particular often considered their best, and so I was interested to give this thing a listen and see if it really would end up being my favorite by them. I’ll go into more details further into this review, but In short, it did not disappoint.

Manilla Road play a very melodic brand of epic heavy metal, with most tracks being mostly mid tempo, though they do speed things up from time to time and many of the tracks on Crystal Logic have some pretty fast paced sections. There’s some really great heavy metal riffs to be found throughout the album, as well as some occasional nods to classic hard rock, and even some more atmospheric, slower sections that sound like doom infused heavy metal. The latter element is something I recognized from hearing it quite a bit on some of their more recent albums, most notably the poorly received Playground of the Damned, though those elements, while not as prominent on this release, feel better defined and more like a natural part of the music, and really help add to the overall feel while also adding some variety. Speaking of which, this is probably the most varied Manilla Road album I’ve heard, as their newer releases are generally slower paced and more relaxed throughout, where this one has a nice range of sounds going on and the songs are more individually recognizable. It’s an album that stays consistently entertaining throughout, while still having a few huge standout tracks.

One element I was interested in was the production, as the band’s later albums sound very rough, and honestly, I think this album has slightly better sound quality than some of their albums released in the 2010’s, which sure is a testament to how rough those albums sound. This one sounds perfectly fine for an 80’s album, and it has a very bass heavy sound, which is cool. I’ve seen some criticism of the guitar work, but while it can be a bit rough in some spots, I find overall the riffs are very good and there are certainly some nice melodic solos here. There’s really only one trouble spot, which I’ll mention later on.

Another element that tends to be love or hate is Mark Shelton’s vocals. That makes sense, as he is also the same guy doing all the guitar parts, so I guess it’s just inevitable that his vocals would be polarizing as well. His voice isn’t overly high pitched, though he has a bit of a unique tone that works especially well on some of the calmer and more melodic sections, though he generally makes it work on the heavier parts as well. There’s a couple parts where he sounds a bit irritating to me, but for the most part I like his vocals quite a bit, and I find when he’s less animated and focuses more on singing the songs naturally, that’s when he tends to be at his best.

The album certainly gets off to an incredible start, as after an atmospheric intro track featuring some rather cheesy but charming voiceovers, listeners are immediately treated to the best track on the album, “Necropolis”. This is a fast paced track with very fun verses dominated by some great riffs and smooth rhythms, and then that chorus is very melodic and features some great vocals from Mark. Even the solo section is very melodic and really cool. Easily the best Manilla Road song I’ve ever heard. Next is the title track, which is actually almost as good. It starts off as another fairly speedy track with some great rocking riffs, before slowing down a bit around the halfway point and turning into more of an epic, mid paced heavy metal track. It has some great instrumental work and from a compositional standpoint is perhaps the best written track here, as it goes through quite a few changes throughout, while never losing track and remaining rather fun and catchy throughout. The darker tone to the guitar adds a bit of an atmospheric feel to the chorus, which is cool. Another early favorite is “Feeling Free Again”, another fairly upbeat track where the riffs feel more like classic hard rock to me. In fact, the track feels to me like a slightly speedier, more metal take on a classic AC/DC track, and it has a very fun, if cheesy, chorus. I know some people think of it as a weak link, but I actually think it’s one of the most addictive tracks on the album.

Moving in to the second half, and things slow down a bit. We have a more typical classic heavy metal track in “The Ram”, which is a solid mid paced track with some great riffs, but that one comes in between the two slowest and most doom influenced tracks on the album. The first of these is “The Riddle Master”, a mostly slower track with some great guitar work early on, before it speeds up towards the end, and honestly the instrumental work on that track is excellent, but Mark gets a bit carried away during the chorus, and so that brings the song down a bit for me. Still a solid track, but not as great as it could have been. The other slower track is “The Veils of Negative Existence”, a very dark and atmospheric track where the guitars have a very doomy sound to them and some of the riffs sound very dark and quite interesting.

Closing out the main album, we have “Dreams of Eschaton”, a 10 minute epic which is mostly a mid paced epic heavy metal track. It moves along at a pretty good pace and has some nice melodic sections and some great vocal work, though the highlight is the second half, where we get some of the best guitar work on the album and some excellent solos. Which leads into the closing “Epilogue”, another atmospheric instrumental track which is very similar to the opening track and brings the voiceovers back. Some versions of the album contain one last track titled “Flaming Metal System”, a fairly interesting song as overall it’s another faster track with some very fun vocal sections, and in fact the song itself is great. Sadly, it has an intro lasting about 70 seconds, where the guitars get really screechy and this sound hurts my ears, so I have a hard time even sitting through that part. When I do manage it, though, the rest of the song is great.

Overall, Crystal Logic is a great classic heavy metal album that sounds a bit heavier and more varied to me compared to the more recent Manilla Road albums I’ve heard, and it’s certainly highly recommended for any fan of epic heavy metal who somehow hasn’t heard it yet. Definitely the best Manilla Road album I’ve heard so far, and it makes me interested to hear some of their other classics.

METALLICA Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

Album · 2016 · Traditional heavy metal
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UMUR
"Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" is the 10th full-length studio album by US heavy/thrash metal act Metallica (not counting "Lulu (2011)", which is a collaboration album with Lou Reed, and therefore shouldn´t be considered a Metallica album). The album was released through Blackened Recordings in November 2016. At this point in their career Metallica are notorious for taking their sweet time between releasing studio albums, and if you don´t count "Lulu (2011)", it´s actually been 8 years since the release of their last studio album "Death Magnetic (2008)". They´ve also cut down on their touring activities working a schedule which also takes their family lives into consideration. In addition to that the various members of the band also have other projects going like "Kirk Von Hammett's Fear FestEvil" festival and the "Metallica Through the Never (2013)" movie. So they´ve branched out a bit since the turn of the century and their music career is now only a part of what they do. Not all they do.

Stylistically "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" is part heavy metal and part thrash metal, but it leans less on the latter than Metallica did on "Death Magnetic (2008)". There are still some pretty thrash metal oriented parts here and there though, so it´s just an album where Metallica combines some melodic heavy metal ideas with more aggressive thrash metal ditto. "Death Magnetic (2008)" was a great album in many ways, but first and foremost it was a great album because it felt like a comeback after "St. Anger (2003)", which many fans consider the low point of the band´s discography. "Death Magnetic (2008)" is not an album where you remember many tracks from if you haven´t listened to it often though, and it´s clear to me now that Metallica used that album to make a point rather than creating the best album they could (It´s still a good quality release of course). "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" feels more natural, less forced and calculated, and it´s a much more simple, catchy, and memorable album than both of its two immediate predecessors, and it feels great to again hear Metallica produce something a bit more memorable.

"Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" is a 2 disc release featuring 12 tracks and full playing time of 77:26 minutes. So the album actually could have fit on a single disc, but Metallica probably chose the 2 disc approach for effect. They are children of the vinyl age, and to anyone who remember those days, it´s bound to fill them with nostalgia thinking of the times you had to rise from where you sat/lay and had to turn the vinyl from side A to B. It may have been annoying back then, but I´ve come to realize in retrospect that you listened to music much more intimately and discovered more details that way, instead of being bludgeoned with 60-80 minutes of music without breaks which many albums of the CD/Digital age feed you. I can´t say for sure if that´s why Metallica have chosen the 2 disc option, but it´s my guess.

As mentioned above the material on the album shifts between relatively melodic and catchy heavy metal riffs (and quite a few harmony guitar sections), rhythms, and vocals, and more aggressive hard edged thrash metal ditto. Sometimes combined in the same song, and sometimes more isolated in the case of particular tracks. Tracks like "Hardwired" and especially "Spit Out the Bone" are for example pretty thrashy tracks, while there are other tracks on the album which only feature thrash metal leanings. There are several highlights on the album like the two above mentioned and "Atlas, Rise!", "Murder One", and "Am I Savage?", but the quality of the tracks are generally high in the regard that they are all memorable and punchy with a great swing.

There´s something about the way Lars Ulrich´s drumming and James Hetfield´s guitar riffs interlock, which work wonders. Sometimes it´s almost too simple and you could wish for a bit more complex rhythm work (in the drum department), but on the other hand Ulrich understands how to make a song swing and rock. Robert Trujillo delivers a solid performance on the bass, although it could be argued that his considerable skills aren´t put to the best of use, but on the other hand slap bass and other crazy bass techniques probably wouldn´t sound that great on Metallica´s music. Kirk Hammett deserves a mention too for his solid guitar solos. It´s not too flashy and there is as usual a lot of wah wha pedal use, but his playing suits the rest of the music perfectly. Last but not least Hetfield´s vocals are generally a joy throughout the album, and I think I hear new sides of Hetfield on this album that I haven´t heard before. It´s great to hear he hasn´t stagnated when it comes to his vocals.

Despite some early reservations "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" has won me over. Repeated listens have opened the album up to me, and the sound production, which I initially found a bit flat and lifeless, also works pretty well. It´s audible that much time and preperation have been put into writing and creating the album and the sound production too, and upon conclusion "Hardwired…To Self-Destruct" is a high quality release and by far strongest Metallica album in years. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

BATTLE BEAST Bringer of Pain

Album · 2017 · Traditional heavy metal
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Kev Rowland
Formed in 2008, Battle Beast won the Wacken Metal Battle back in 2010 from when they signed with NB and released ‘Steel’ in 2012, after which they toured with Nightwish. New frontwoman Noora Louhimo joined the same year, and they released their second album the year afterwards, touring with the likes of Sonata Arctica. With their third studio album, ‘Unholy Savior’, the band hit the charts in several European countries (#1 Finland, #23 UK Rock, #39 Germany…), after which they toured with the likes of Sabaton. During that period, they parted company with guitarist and main songwriter Anton Kabanen, but soon revealed Joona Björkroth as a new fulltime member, and feel they have continued in the same vein as previously so there is nothing for fans to worry about.

It is not surprising that they have toured with Nightwish and Sabaton as in many ways their sound is a good mix of both these bands, although with some Lana Lane thrown in for good measure. Noora has a great voice, more Floor Jansen than Tarja Turunen or Anette Olzon, and if they are to be compared to Nightwish then Battle Beast have far more balls. Many of the songs could be lifted as singles, with metallic/hard rock riffs, hooks aplenty and Noora at the forefront of everything. Some of the songs are quite commercial, as if they were written for radio, and it is the others that work best. But, given they lost their main songwriter this is a good effort, and one that I can see myself returning to. This is very much a band I would like to see in concert, as these songs should be that much heavier and raw in a live environment and I do wish that they hadn’t been sanitised quite so much.

traditional heavy metal movie reviews

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 · Traditional 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 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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 · Traditional 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.

DIO Holy Diver Live

Movie · 2006 · Traditional heavy metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Dio’s Holy Diver Live is a very enjoyable release from one of Rock and Metal’s most famous artists.

During the two hour run time the band play a selection of songs from Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio in addition to performing the entire of the Holy Diver album.

If the band’s line up or the concert’s tracklisting bothers you then feel free to give this a miss, but for everyone else you’ll find a very strong Live Blu Ray indeed.

The sound, both in terms of recording quality and mix is simply excellent and the picture quality is very high, with suitable camera work and a good pace of editing.

Ronnie James Dio’s performance live is fantastic as always and the band which includes Doug Aldrich on guitar, Rudy Sarzo on bass and Scott Warren on keyboards are on top form, performing professionally and delivering the material with flair and enthusiasm.

Drummer Simon Wright even performs a surprisingly enjoyable and musical drum solo, which is lengthy enough to sink your teeth into but still short enough that it never becomes boring.

The band also enliven the material with little twists on the material here and there, such as different drum fills or guitar licks than on record as well as adding dynamic endings to some of the songs which faded out on their original albums.

The only complaint to be had about the film is that there are one or two shots in which the drums on screen are blatantly not coming out of the speakers (simple editing mistakes, where you can see snare rolls in the background during sections without snare rolls) but there are only about three such mistakes in the whole film and therfor not really worth too much concern.

Otherwise, this is a superb release, a strong performance of a selection of classic material, shot and sounding excellent.

Even though there are already a lot of Dio DVDs available, Holy Diver Live is definitely worth getting unless you lost all interest in the prospect of Dio live DVDs anyway, in which case you already know this isn’t for you. For everyone else, this is highly recommended.

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