Heavy Metal

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

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

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

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

Inclusive Traditional Heavy Metal Genres

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

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

heavy metal top albums

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

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heavy metal Music Reviews

JUDAS PRIEST A Touch Of Evil

Live album · 2009 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
For their first live album following the return of Rob Halford, Priest offer up edited highlights of the tours for Angel of Retribution and Nostradamus, with a focus on songs which hadn't appeared on a Halford-fronted Judas Priest live release previously. The end result is very good - Priest have always been a stellar live band - but precisely because of the approach taken in picking songs, it doesn't really reflect an actual live setlist or flow like a live show. (There's entirely undisguised fade-outs between some songs, for instance.) As a result, it's good to dip into if you really want to hear Halford singing one of these tracks live, but I don't put it on the level of their best live albums of the past.

JUDAS PRIEST Nostradamus

Album · 2008 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
As well as being the final Judas Priest album to feature K.K. Downing, Nostradamus was also the second album after the return of Rob Halford to the band. Its predecessor, Angel of Retribution, was largely an exercise in persuading the faithful that Priest were back to business as usual, after the sonic experiments of the Ripper Owens years had met a mixed reaction.

This time around, though, they seem to have felt an urge to branch out into a new sound yet again - but rather than chasing trends or meandering about in an unfocused manner, as you could accuse them of doing on Jugulator or Demolition, Nostradamus finds them chasing a distinctive musical vision which proves that merely taking the commercially easy way out was not their concern at this point in time.

Yes, it's that most Spinal Tap of prospects, the double concept album. Taking the prophecies and biography of Nostradamus as a starting point and then not allowing anything silly like restraint or the facts get in the way, the actual concept is nonsense, but that's concept albums for you: largely, the album seems to be an exercise in Priest taking a somewhat more progressive and symphonic approach to their music, complete with Don Airey guesting on keyboards (and making his presence extensively felt).

That said, don't expect a radical change. Even Airey's presence isn't necessarily that much a departure from part precedent - he'd made a welcome contribution to Touch of Evil on Painkiller, after all. As far as the prog side of the album goes, I'd be more inclined to draw comparisons to Operation: Mindcrime-era Queensrÿche than to, say, Dream Theater - it's not that they've suddenly gone super-technical on us or are throwing out challenging time signatures, it's more that they're leaning a little harder on the prog-inspired aspects of their existing sound here and there and they're trying to tie everything in to a theme.

The end result is over 100 minutes of new Judas Priest music which on the one hand is sufficiently rooted in the fundamentals of their sound to scratch your Judas Priest itch whilst at the same time different enough from what they've done before to still feel fresh. What's not to love?

ALICE COOPER Dragontown

Album · 2001 · Heavy Metal
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lukretion
The turn of the new millennium marked a stark change in sound for shock rock / hard rock maestro Alice Cooper. In 2000 he released a heavy, industrial metal/rock record, Brutal Planet, which received mixed responses from public and critics, and was even dubbed as a paradoxical and not-so-subtle attempt to follow the footsteps of his creative grandchild (at least as far as shocking image goes), Marilyn Manson. Released only one year later, Dragontown continues in a similar direction as it predecessor, albeit also looking back to a more classic Alice Cooper sound. The return of Alice’s veteran producer Bob Ezrin may or may not have had something to do with it. Regardless, Dragontown strikes a better balance than Brutal Planet between Alice’s newly-found modernist proclivity and the rest of his discography, and is as a consequence less of a disaster compared to his 2000’s album.

Having said that, Dragontown remains a flawed affair and ranks fairly low in Cooper’s discography. The best material is concentrated in the first half of the record. Songs like “Triggerman”, “Dragontown”, “Sex, Death & Money” and “Fantasy Man” lie at the crossroad between heavy, industrial metal and classic hard rock. Crunchy guitars and groovy drum patterns complement Alice’s raspy voice and characteristic phrasing. It’s an entertaining and mildly interesting hybrid that stretches the reaches of Alice’s music into the new millennium, without dispensing with its sonic heritage

The second half of the disc is remarkably worse. It is filled with cringeworthy ideas, such as the Elvis’ impersonation on “Disgraceland” or the rapped singing on “Sister Sara”. Meanwhile, “Every Woman Has a Name” is a 70s-infused ballad and the record’s last three songs go back to the mixture of industrial and classic hard rock, but in a very bland and unremarkable way. There is a palpable lack of cohesion among these songs, which inevitably reduces the listening value of the whole album.

Overall, although not totally unlistenable like Brutal Planet, Dragontown is hardly a return to form for Alice Cooper. The album’s material is slightly more interesting and finds a better footing between the “new” and “old” Alice Cooper sound. However, the fact that all of the songs included on this record will cease to appear in live sets shortly after the release of the album, says a lot about its quality and overall positioning within Alice Cooper’s sprawling discography.

JUDAS PRIEST Angel Of Retribution

Album · 2005 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
Look, I really don't think it was Ripper Owens' fault his tenure as frontman of Judas Priest was a bit of a wet fart as far as the studio albums from that era go. The live albums he fronted proved he had the chops to handle classic Priest material, and I don't even hate Jugulator; even though it isn't an album which tries to sound much like Judas Priest, it was at least trying to sound like something. Demolition, on the other hand, was an absolute turd, the band being so scared of committing too hard to any musical direction they ended up square in the middle of the road - and ended up run over.

After that disaster, and with Rob Halford's solo career hovering at the level of "respectable, but not setting the world on fire", it was perhaps inevitable that Ripper would be making his exit and the Painkiller-era lineup of Priest would reunite sooner or later. Angel of Retribution is very much a "the gang's all back together and we're playing in the classic style you love" sort of affair for most of its running time, so don't expect Judas Priest to push the boundaries of their sound like they did on Painkiller - this is very much an album which finds Priest in their comfort zone.

Still, when you're a band as accomplished as Priest, your comfort zone can be pretty big. Within the first two songs you get a dose of their heavier side (Judas Rising) and their poppier side (Deal With the Devil), and perhaps one of the notable things you pick up early on is that they seem to be balancing those two instincts perfectly; even the heaviest moments on here have their hooks to keep you nodding along and make sure things aren't too oblique and inaccessible, and even the poppiest moments have their harder edge. This is a balance which sometimes eluded Priest even in their classic period, so it's nice to hear them finding that sweet spot here.

The major departure from that comes towards the end of the album; Eulogy is a quieter moment of the sort we'd rarely heard on Priest albums since their early days, and then the closing Lochness is the deepest they'd gotten into, if not full on prog-metal, then at least a prog-influenced epic song structure since Victim of Changes on Sad Wings of Destiny. Since they followed this with an honest-to-goodness two-disc concept album about Nostradamus, this perhaps pointed the direction in which Priest were planning to evolve their sound after this.

For most of its duration, however, Angel of Retribution isn't really about an evolution of Priest's sound - or even a Revolution, despite there being a song of that name on here - so much as it's about reasserting what Priest is all about to begin with. It does that very successfully, and whilst this means it isn't in the top tier of Priest albums (which I'd reserve for those releases where they really pushed their sound forward in a major way), it's certainly a return to form compared to anything they did in the studio with Ripper.

KING DIAMOND Conspiracy

Album · 1989 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Conspiracy" is the 4th full-length studio album by multi-national heavy metal act King Diamond. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in August 1989. It´s the successor to "Them" from 1988 and it´s a sequel to the concept horror story which began on the predecessor. The lineup who recorded "Them (1988)" is intact on "Conspiracy", but drummer Mikkey Dee had actually left the band prior to the recordings, and recorded his parts as a session musician.

"Them (1988)" ended with King being accused of the murder of his sister and him being committed to a lunatic asylum. "Conspiracy" starts with King returning to the house of Amon as an adult, having spend many years at the asylum under the care of Dr. Landau. He encounters the spirits of "Them" and makes a deal with them, that they can once again return to the house of Amon, in return for them helping King connect to his dead sister. Missy speaks to King in dreams and warns him of an evil plot to eliminate him. A plot conceived by his mother and Dr. Landau, who are now lovers and want to get rid of King and take possession of the house of Amon. Dr. Landau drugs King, and he is ultimately burned alive but swears from beyond the grave that he will return to haunt his morther and Dr. Landau. While it is not stated specifically, I´m guessing as one of the spirits of "Them".

Stylistically the material on "Conspiracy" continue the horror themed, melodic and theatrical heavy metal style of the preceding albums. King Diamond´s distinct sounding voice and high pitched singing style is as present as ever, and the many clever choirs and backing vocals are also an important part of the sound. The instrumental part of the sound combines traditional heavy metal riffs and rhythms, with the occasional harder edged thrash metal influenced part, and progressive songwriting ideas (the use of keyboards is more prominent here than on any of the preceding releases). One of the most important assets of the album are the many incredibly well played guitar solos and harmonies. Not only are the solos played with great skill and conviction, but they are obviously "composed" with great care and flair for melodic details. My jaw always drops when listening to the solos on "Conspiracy" and I am send directly into air guitar ecstasy (I was gonna write heaven, but decided against it, as I am after all reviewing a King Diamond album).

The musicianship is on a high level on all posts, although Dee to my ears doesn´t put on his best performance. He of course delivers his parts with great skill and conviction, but the drumming is generally not as creative as on the first couple of releases, when he was still a permanent member of the band. It´s hard to pick highlights from an album like "Conspiracy", because it deserves and needs to be listened to from start to finish. Not only because of the concept story, but also because the tracklist is arranged to be a musical journey, but if I have to pick a couple of standout tracks it would probably be the epic 8:56 minutes long opener "At the Graves", "Sleepless Nights" (which the band shot a video for), and "Victimized". I know it´s considered a "classic" and the band often play it at shows, but personally my blood never boils while listening to the closing instrumental "Cremation", but I´m prepared to let that go down as an example of individual taste rather than label "Cremation" a bad quality track. The short instrumental "Something Weird" is on the other hand quite brilliant.

"Conspiracy" features a powerful, detailed, and sharp sounding production, which suits the music perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s through and through a high quality release. It´s not just all the basics which are in place and which are of high quality (sound production, songwriting, and musicianship), but it´s the uniqueness of "Conspiracy", both within King Diamond´s discography and on the metal scene in general, which propels it to excellence. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is fully deserved.

heavy metal movie reviews

FOZZY Unleashed, Uncensored, Unknown

Movie · 2003 · Heavy Metal
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martindavey87
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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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.

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