Heavy Metal

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

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

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

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

Inclusive Traditional Heavy Metal Genres

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

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

heavy metal top albums

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BLACK SABBATH Paranoid Album Cover Paranoid
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4.51 | 228 ratings
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IRON MAIDEN Powerslave Album Cover Powerslave
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4.49 | 160 ratings
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DIO Holy Diver Album Cover Holy Diver
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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heavy metal Music Reviews

JUDAS PRIEST Battle Cry

Live album · 2016 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
Judas Priest have put out a fair number of live albums over the years, and many of the tracks on Battle Cry have seen outings on several of those already. That said, this is the only official live release so far from the Redeemer of Souls tour, so at least there's some fresh material here alongside the well-worn standards - and what metal fan doesn't love Judas Priest's old standards?

What's more, Rob Halford's voice is in astonishingly good form for his age - even though a fair number of years had passed since the previous live release (A Touch of Evil), he sounds no worse than he did then and perhaps in some respects a touch better. So I can't begrudge them this too much - if I sounded that good in my mid-60s I'd want it well-documented too. Just check out the version of Victim of Changes on here if you don't believe me.

JUDAS PRIEST Redeemer Of Souls

Album · 2014 · Heavy Metal
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Warthur
Judas Priest's first album of the post-K.K. Downing era finds Richie Faulkner settling in as new guitarist and the band taking a bit of a back-to-basics approach, following the not-quite-prog-metal excess of Nostradamus. No big overarching concept here - just Judas Priest metal the way they usually do it.

Well, not quite the usual way. There's a somewhat lo-fi production approach here - we're not talking full-blown kvlt black metal recorded on a dictaphone in the middle of the woods nonsense here, but there's a sort of garage-ish quality to proceedings.

I can see the logic behind doing this: sometimes Priest's studio recordings have ended up failing to carry the power they can convey live with the exact same songs, and that's usually been because studio polish obscured some of the rougher edges of the work in question. Turbo is a good example of what I'm talking about; that album's not rated that highly by many fans, but everyone loves singing along to Turbo Lover when Priest whip it out live, and that's all down to the live difference.

Still, this does mean the sound of the album takes some getting used to and can sound flat at points, and I wouldn't be totally shocked if they did another mix of it later on. It does, however, manage to achieve the goal of avoiding the album becoming overly-polished, and makes it sound like a lost set of tapes from their heyday, which perhaps means it's working exactly as intended. Certainly, I'm sure you could slip some of these songs into the middle of a set from the British Steel to Defenders of the Faith era and they wouldn't sound incongruous at all.

MOTÖRHEAD Hammered

Album · 2002 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Hammered" is the 17th full-length studio album by UK heavy rock/metal act Motörhead. The album was released through SPV GmbH in April 2002. It´s the successor to "We Are Motörhead" from 2000.

"We Are Motörhead" is one of the most heavy and fast-paced albums in the band´s discography, but that style is not continued on "Hammered", which is still hard rocking and heavy, but predominantly mid-paced and a little more melodic. It´s little details though as "Hammered" sounds unmistakably like Motörhead with a hard pounding organic playing rhythm section, heavy blues based guitar riffs and solos, and Lemmy´s distinct sounding raw voice in front.

While the material on "Hammered" is generally well written, it´s not one of the band´s most memorable releases, and although tracks like "Walk a Crooked Mile", "Brave New World", "Kill the World", and the charming "Dr. Love", are minor highlights, few (if any) of them would make it unto my personal best-of Motörhead track selection. So it´s a consistent quality release featuring very few standout tracks.

"Hammered" is both well produced and (almost needless to say) very well performed, but as a consequence of the songwriting not reaching Motörhead´s highest standards, the album ultimately comes off as one of the lesser albums in the band´s discography. So it of course speaks volumes of the quality of said discography, that a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is still deserved.

METAL CHURCH Hanging in the Balance

Album · 1993 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"Hanging in the Balance" is the 5th full-length studio album by US power/heavy metal act Metal Church. The album was released through Rising Sun Records in October 1993. It´s the successor to "The Human Factor" from 1991 and marks a change for the band after two major label releases, going back to releasing albums on smaller labels again.

Featuring the same five-piece lineup as the predecessor, very little has changed on "Hanging in the Balance" though, and Metal Church are still a guarantee for high quality US power/heavy metal. "Hanging in the Balance" features a raw, organic, and very well sounding production, which suits the material perfectly, and although the album was released in 1993 this sounds in every possible way like a 1980s release. Metal Church did not bow to the alternative heavy rock/metal sound which swept the world in those years, but held the US power/heavy metal flag high. It was probably a commercially unwise move, but the choice kept their integrity and authenticity intact.

12 tracks and a full playing time of 61:12 minutes is maybe a bit too long and the album could have been a little sharper and consistent if Metal Church had cut a few tracks. Some of the songwriting experiments that the band venture into, aren´t always successful either, and they are best when they just rock hard and deliver effectful US power/heavy metal tunes...which fortunately they do most of the time.

The musicianship is one of the features of the album which deserves a mention, because Metal Church are an incredibly well playing band. The rhythm section is hard pounding and organic, the guitar riffs are sharp and hard rocking, the solos are delivered with great passion and attention to detail, and Mike Howe is a skilled vocalist with a strong voice, who is perfect for the role as frontman for Metal Church. He has the right amount of roughness to his voice, but at the same time he is always conscious about the importance of melody. Upon conclusion "Hanging in the Balance" is another high quality US power/heavy metal release by Metal Church and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

METAL CHURCH The Human Factor

Album · 1991 · Heavy Metal
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UMUR
"The Human Factor" is the 4th full-length studio album by US power/heavy metal act Metal Church. The album was released through Epic Records in March 1991. It´s the successor to "Blessing in Disguise" from 1989 and features the exact same five-piece lineup who recorded the predecessor.

Stylistically "The Human Factor" pretty much continues the US power/heavy metal sound of "Blessing in Disguise (1989)", but it´s generally a bit harder edged, direct, and powerful than the predecessor. The band sound more energetic and play even more like a tight unit here, and lead vocalist Mike Howe now sounds fully integrated. His performance here is strong, passionate, and convincing.

The material on the 10 track, 51:36 minutes long album are well written, memorable, and powerful US power/heavy metal songs. "The Human Factor" is an album featuring very few misteps (Personally I could have done without the brief funky moments on "Date With Poverty"), and the songwriting is consistent in quality and musical style. There´s not a single sub par track featured on the album, and all tracks feature strong riffs, great solo work, a powerful playing rhythm section, and the above mentioned commanding passionate vocals by Howe. It all comes together in a great way and makes perfect sense in the soundscape.

"The Human Factor" also features a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly, and upon conclusion it´s a high quality US power/heavy metal release by Metal Church. "Blessing in Disguise (1989)" is mostly the album people mention when discussing Howe-led Metal Church, but to my ears "The Human Factor" is actually the better album of those two. Being released in 1991 probably meant the album didn´t receive as much attention as is should have, but that doesn´t change the fact that it´s a strong release and that a 4 star (80%) rating is 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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