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

IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
IRON MAIDEN
4.51 | 226 ratings
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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
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IRON MAIDEN Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Album Cover Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
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RAINBOW Rising Album Cover Rising
RAINBOW
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JUDAS PRIEST Sad Wings Of Destiny Album Cover Sad Wings Of Destiny
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DIO Holy Diver Album Cover Holy Diver
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BLACK SABBATH Heaven And Hell Album Cover Heaven And Hell
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IRON MAIDEN Somewhere In Time Album Cover Somewhere In Time
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BRUCE DICKINSON The Chemical Wedding Album Cover The Chemical Wedding
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heavy metal Music Reviews

IRON MAIDEN Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City

Live album · 2020 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is a live double album release by UK heavy metal act Iron Maiden. The album was released through Parlophone Records in November 2020. The material featured on the album was recorded on 27th, 29th and 30th of September 2019 in Mexico City, during the Legacy of the Beast World Tour. The tour wasn´t in support of a particular album, as the band had wrapped up The Book of Souls World Tour in 2017, but rather in support of, or maybe more correctly accompanying the "Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast" mobile game. This meant that the band played quite a few legacy tracks on the tour and even revived a couple of older tracks they hadn´t played in years.

So while it´s no surprise to see that the tracklist includes tracks like "Aces High", "2 Minutes to Midnight", and "Hallowed Be Thy Name", it´s a bit more surprising to see tracks like "Where Eagles Dare" and "Flight of Icarus" included. The latter hadn´t been played by Iron Maiden since the tour supporting "Somewhere in Time (1986)". What´s even more suprising to me is the inclusion of the two Blaze Bayley-era tracks "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". The last surprise on the tracklist is "For the Greater Good of God" from "A Matter of Life and Death (2006)". It´s not as such a surprise that the track is included, but it´s just the first recorded live version to be released of the song. So it´s a well balanced tracklist with both great legacy tracks, and a few more deep cuts to spice things up, and the combination works great on "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City".

The sound production is not surprisingly of a high quality featuring a powerful and organic sound, and audience responses/noises when that is called for. While this is certainly a hi-fi quality live production, you´re never in doubt that it´s a live release, and that´s how the best live productions usually work. The band are in fine form too and deliver the music with great skill and conviction. I think Bruce Dickinson struggles slightly on the faster-paced tracks, but other than that slight issue his performance here is as commanding as ever. It´s quite frankly amazing how he is able to control his voice and sing the high notes without sounding strained.

Some of the highlights of the album (other than the legacy tracks, which we´ve all heard a thousand times before on preceding live albums), are "Sign of the Cross" and "The Clansman". I realise Iron Maiden have released live versions of the two songs featuring Dickinson on some of the preceding live albums, but every time I hear those songs with him on vocals, I´m in awe of how great those tracks actually are, with a more unique vocalist performing them. Upon conclusion "Nights of the Dead, Legacy of the Beast: Live in Mexico City" is yet another high quality live album release by Iron Maiden to help make the waiting time before the band release a new studio album more bearable for the fans. It´s not the most necessary release in their discography, but it´s greatly entertaining and high quality release through and through. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

IRON MAIDEN The X Factor

Album · 1995 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The 90s were a brutal time for established metal acts with almost all of them suffering a significant decline in popularity. It was both pathetic and amusing to see the most regal kings of the 1980s stumbling around like blind men as the alternative 90s swept away everything that the 80s had excelled at. While a few bands like Metallica adapted with some commercial success, most of the giants of the past were floundering about like fish out of water and so too was the case for one of the greatest of them all, IRON MAIDEN.

When asked which era is one’s favorite in the mighty MAIDEN history books, absolutely nobody will point to the Blaze Bayley years as their highlight. After an incredibly successful decade with one amazing album after another and incessant touring that no mere mortal could sustain, by the time IRON MAIDEN reached the eight album “No Prayer For The Dying,” it was beginning to be obvious that the band was burning out a bit and although that album had some excellent tracks on board, the album itself was much weaker than anything that came before. While “Fear of the Dark” was a bit of a step up, it too failed to reach the sheer perfection of the 80s output.

Frustrated and exhausted, guitarist Adrian Smith left all the way back before the “No Prayer For The Dying” album. He saw the writing on the wall and the next to depart was lead singer Bruce Dickinson who left after the “Fear of the Dark” tour in order to embark on a solo career. With such impossible boots to fill, Steve Harris was forced between breaking up the band or finding a replacement. After an incredible amount of searching the new singer was former Wolfbane vocalist Blaze Bayley who appeared on what many have deemed (including myself), the nadir of IRON MAIDEN’s otherwise stellar career. Yep, the 90s were not kind.

THE X-FACTOR was the first of two albums to feature Bayley behind the mic and appeared in 1995, three years after “Fear of the Dark.” The album was a departure in many ways. Longtime producer Martin Birch retired and left another void in the band’s status quo as well as the album cover art being the first not created by Derek Riggs. The band’s darkest days were reflected by the darker cover art and subject matter that was partially inspired by Steve Harris going through a divorce as well as an established 80s band suddenly losing its way in the alternative 90s wilderness.

THE X-FACTOR was released to lukewarm response and for great reason. The band simply was unable to adapt to the 90s and clung on to many of the aspects that made MAIDEN such an excellent 80s arena metal band. Only a few problems with that approach. First of all Bayley’s vocal style doesn’t quite have the range required to bring out the best of IRON MAIDEN’s musical approach and secondly the music which is excellent, heavily borrows from the “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” playbook and THAT was just not cool in the year 1995 when Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots were dominating the heavy metal world. It also didn’t help the band that more extreme forms of metal like death metal, black metal and doom metal were making MAIDEN sound a bit outdated.

This 10th album by IRON MAIDEN is somewhat of a mixed blessing. The band said that one of the singers they auditioned sounded shockingly identical to Bruce Dickinson but they wanted to find a different styled singer. Bad choice. MAIDEN sort of paralleled Judas Priest not only as the metal gods of the 1980s but also in the fact that both bands lost their lead singers about the same time and decided to replace them. While MAIDEN was a superior band in consistency, Priest actually made a better decision once they added The Ripper as their top screamer. Priest got the memo and learned how to adapt the music to the singer whereas MAIDEN simply added a singer and went back to the coffers to pad the music with ideas already presented.

Musically THE X-FACTOR is actually really, really good with the best tracks presented on the first half of the album and some weaker ones providing filler on the second half. Another problem with this album is that it is WAY too long and at almost 71 minutes could have been trimmed down by about 20 minutes. The opening “Sign of the Cross” is a powerhouse and by far the best track on the album with creepy keyboards and Gregorian chants ushering in a very progressive track that features dark lyrics and some of the most interesting instrumental workouts since “Seventh Son.”

The single “Lord Of The Flies” provided the catchy single but once again Bayley lacked the vocal dexterity and larger than life charisma that Dickinson exuded in abundance. Despite the weak vocal performances, musically this is an excellent album but due to the lack of a top dog like Dickinson at the helm feels woefully unbalanced due to MAIDEN’s failure to adapt the music to the singer’s ability. The fact that Harris dropped Paul Di’Anno due to his inability to keep up with the band makes it all the more surprising that this didn’t turn out so well. The rest of the album musically speaking is like the sequel to “Seventh Son” with keyboards provided by guest musician Michael Kenney adding eerie atmospheric backdrops to Harris’ idiosyncratic bass playing and the twin guitar harmonies of Dave Murray and Janick Gers.

For the seasoned MAIDEN fan, you will hear snippets of past ideas ranging from the intro of “Children of the Damned” providing a recycled riff on “Look For The Truth” and many other examples of MAIDEN mining their past however the band also offers some interesting new ideas to their roster such as the bizarre guitar riffs on “Judgement of Heaven” which sounds somewhat familiar but slightly different. The album is certainly not a waste of time on the music side of the equation and if this one happened to be rerecorded with Dickinson i would dare to say that this would be an excellent album and a major return to form. However as it is the incongruent nature of Bayley’s vocals not strong enough for MAIDEN material brings this down a lot.

Basically this album has 4 star music and 2 star vocals but it wasn’t really Bayley’s fault. His style just wasn’t compatible with this demanding music that needed an operatic singer to bring it to full life. What i would like to see happen is this album to be rerecorded with maybe a bunch of guest singers who could hit the higher notes. I rarely listen to this one due to the frustration of wanting Bayley to step up to the plate but alas it never happens! Any true MAIDEN will want this in their collection despite its flaws. It’s not unlistenable and is by far a better album than the absolutely awful “Virtual XI” that followed. All i can think of when i listen to this one is “Where was Ronnie James Dio when we needed him?” HA, if only :D

ALIEN FORCE Hell and High Water

Album · 1985 · Heavy Metal
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Time Signature
CoVinyl Part 5

I recently bought a copy of the High Roller Records reissue of this obscure metal release from the mid 80s. True to the High Roller ethos, the record came with some extra goodies in the form of a cool poster, a band photo, and a lyric sheet. The record itself came in yellow transparent vinyl. All very cool and tasty indeed.

But what about the music? Well, we are dealing with early 80s metal released in the mid 80s, and most of the songs stylistically falls somewhere between traditional heavy metal and hard rock, and I think that a fair comparison would be Judas Priest's "Point of Entry". As listeners, we are treated to some fairly solid riffage and some fairly melodic guitar solos along with the occasional twin guitar lead section. While most of the tracks on the album are pretty good metal tracks, I think that the ballad 'Fly Away' is perhaps just best forgotten; it comes across as a botched attempt at writing the next 'Strange World' (you know the Iron Maiden balled). 'Night of Glory' seems to be the band's attempt at a glam metal song and, well, it's not bad. Kudos to Alien Force for writing generally catchy and melodic songs such as 'Time Is Out' which is hard not to sing along to. The song structures are fairly traditional, but there are occassional elements of innovativity, and I would say that the instrumental sections are particularly enjoyable to me.

Peter Svale Andersen's singing style is more in the neighborhood of belting, but he delivers the melodies well and he is definitely a skilled, but not refined, singer. He does have a bit of a Danish accent, but I think most listeners are not going to notice it except if they are Danish themselves. Overall, the musicianship is solid. The production is not too bad either, but there is more smoothness and roundness to it than you might expect and that might be because the guitars are only mildly distorted (I bet they used a Boss Overdrive pedal when they recorded the album). I also like how audible the bass is throughout the entire album. The overall production is definitely easy on the ears.

The lyrics are very simplistic and it seems that they were written by someone who struggled to put their thoughts into words in a foreign language. That's of course forgivable, but it does mean that there are sections that come across a bit nonsensical. Another thing is that, if one takes a look at the lyrics sheet, one will see that there are grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes in pretty much all of the songs. Again, this is rock 'n' roll and not an English class, but, grammar nazis be warned, this will drive you mad.

The cover artwork is very simple and has a comic book quality to it, but I actually really like that. The blue-black hooded figure really stands out against the yellow circle behind it which in turn stands out against the blue background. I also like how the black side of the figure seems even more ghostly than the blue side does. This might as well be the cover of a 80s Ghost Rider issue (the hooded figure could be the villain of the week or something).

Overall, this is not a masterpiece, but it is a very solid effort and should appeal to fans of 80s metal. If you find a fairly priced copy - maybe the High Roller version, maybe the original, maybe the Karthago version - it would be a shame not to pick it up.

SUNBOMB Evil and Divine

Album · 2021 · Heavy Metal
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Time Signature
Stronger than before...

Style: traditional heavy metal / hard rock / doom metal

Sunbomb is a project featuring Tracii Guns of L.A. Guns fame and Michael Sweet from Stryper. With such names involved, you might expect their music to be more on the cheesy and glammy side. But that's actually not the case.

Their debut album "Evil and Divine" is actually pretty heavy and also quite diverse stylistically. It probably fits best in the traditional heavy metal bracket, but there are also a number of hard rock elements as well as, perhaps unexpectedly, doom metal and even a tiny bit of power-thrash. While tracks like 'Life', 'No Tomorrows', 'Story of the Blind' and 'They Fought' are straight up heavy metal songs that might as well have been written in the 80s, songs like 'World Gone Wrong', 'Take Me Away' and to some extent 'Stronger Than Before' are straight up doom metal songs clearly inspired by Black Sabbath. And almost out of left field, 'Better End' contains some power-thrash sections.

The production is crisp but not too polished, and there's really nothing to criticize about the musicianship either. Some listeners might find Michael Sweet's belting style a bit much, but I like it. The songwriting is also pretty good but, while there is a lot of emphasis on diversity, a number of the tracks on the album do have a very similar drive. This is not really a detractor in my opinion though.

Overall, this is a very good heavy metal album which almost seamlessly combines hard rock and traditional heavy metal. Personally, though, the doom metal elements are my favorite part. An album that can bring fans of hard rock, doom metal and traditional metal together, Sunbomb's "Evil and Divine" is recommended to fans of old school heavy metal genres who still appreciate a more modern approach.

RAINBOW Long Live Rock 'n' Roll

Album · 1978 · Heavy Metal
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siLLy puPPy
In many ways, i’m the electron that orbits the atom in the opposite way of all the others! Many classic albums i really don’t see the hubbub about and likewise other styles of music that make others bonkers rock my world! Well such is the case with RAINBOW’s final album with Ronnie James Dio. While many herald the band’s second album “Rising” as the cream of the crop of Ritchie Blackmore’s rotating cast of musical characters, i actually find the pinnacle of the band’s musical prowess to be in the form of the band’s third album LONG LIVE ROCK ’N’ ROLL which emerged two years later after the stunningly well received live album “On Stage” sandwiched in between.

Of the eight studio albums that Blackmore released under the RAINBOW moniker, not a single one had the same lineup and LONG LIVE ROCK ’N’ ROLL was certainly no exception. This one was a bit unique in that it found bassist Bob Daisley and keyboardist Tony Carey beginning the album and then leaving the band half way through thus only contributing a few tracks each. Unable to find satisfactory bassist, Blackmore himself recorded the bass parts although Mark Clarke of Colosseum, Uriah Heep and Tempest was chosen but Blackmore hated his playing style and fired him on the spot.

Continuing the style of the previous albums of early heavy metal with bluesy guitar riffing infused with classical elements, RAINBOW pretty much followed in the footsteps of “Rising” although the subject matter was less uniform and only certain tracks were based in the realms of fantasy. The rest were much more straight forward heavy rockers with lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio’s rock god status stealing the show once again. Why this third installment of the RAINBOW universe appeals to me more than the others is that every track is at the top of its game as the band was a perfectly oiled machine at this point and although new members came and went, Blackmore cracked the whip and made his boys perform exactly as he wanted.

The album opens with three perfectly fueled anthem rockers including the title track, “Lady Of The Lake” and “L.A. Connection” which all hit the high notes of catchy melodic connections, intense rhythmic drive and impeccable musicians playing perfectly in tandem but the album really takes off on the fourth track “Gates Of Babylon” which is one of my all time favorite songs from any musical genre. The track would’ve fit in perfectly on “Rising” with its exotic musical scales, epic nature, symphonic touches and sizzlingly hot guitar solos not to mention a hard charging bass and drum backing. Same goes for the track “Kill The King” which challenges the tyranny of the world and rouses the masses to pull out the pitchforks! The track first appeared on the live album “On Stage” but came to satisfying fruition on LONG LIVE ROCK ’N’ ROLL.

“The Shed (Subtle)” and “Sensitive To Light” continue the bluesy hard rock heft in perfect fashion and the album finishes off with the band’s first slow cooker, the “ballad” so to speak. “Rainbow Eyes” reminisces of a Jimi Hendrix song at first but slowly builds into a monster ballad that finds Blackmore keeping it cool playing clean arpeggios while Dio provides his most subdued performance in all the RAINBOW years. The track is highly symphonic with lots of contrapuntal keys and four guest musicians that provide violins, viola, cello and flute making it sound a bit like a Renaissance song brought to the modern world. In some ways it’s RAINBOW’s closest thing to a “Stairway To Heaven” but never drifts into heavy rock.

While still considered a classic early heavy metal album, most fans will point to LONG LIVE ROCK ’N’ ROLL as a step down in quality but for my tastes, i actually find it a step up since “Rising” didn’t sustain what it excelled at for its entirety. While the first three albums are considered classic by today’s standards, the band didn’t really experience commercial success on the level they had hoped therefore Blackmore decided to steer the band in a more accessible direction and ditch the fantasy themes altogether which ultimately convinced Dio that it was time to move on and as we all know he would soon join Black Sabbath and replace Ozzy Osbourne and give that band a resuscitating surge in popularity. Sure, “Rising” wins for better cover art and overall visual presentation but when it comes to the compositions themselves, i much prefer this one to the other Dio led albums. Yeah i’m spinning on a different trajectory than most of you other electrons out there but hey, i still produce electricity!

heavy metal movie reviews

FOZZY Unleashed, Uncensored, Unknown

Movie · 2003 · Heavy Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
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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