Heavy Metal

Halford – Made of Metal Review

Halford – Made of Metal Review

This will come as an unwelcome surprise to Angry Metal folks everywhere, but the new Halford album Made of Metal isn’t angry and is only partly made of metal. Despite the deceptive title, Halford’s third solo album is a diverse but confusing mix of awkward, mostly flawed metal anthems, cheesy love songs with a metallic edge and poppy bubble gum metal/rock. Amid this confusion, only a few quality metal moments can be found. With all due respect to one of the founding fathers of heavy metal and a living legend to many (myself included), the results here are wildly inconsistent and just flat out disappointing.

Sahg – III Review

Sahg – III Review

Retro is the new new, apparently. Everyone and their dog is doing retro bands doing old school things with better (or at least louder) production and with the sensibilities of generations who have listened to a lot of music and decided that it’s time to come back to the thing that really seems to unite them: the 1970s. I, myself, have been listening to a lot of stuff from the 1970s lately, and especially the progressive rock movement that influenced many of the musicians from Scandinavia seems to be rearing its head in an interesting combination of traditional hard rock, heavy metal sensibilities and dudes who used to play black metal. Sahg’s III embodies this movement sonically, and does it very, very well.

Grand Magus – Hammer of the North Review

Grand Magus – Hammer of the North Review

It seems a sad fact that when one anticipates something and really looks forward to it, the chance of being disappointed increases exponentially. After Grand Magus unleashed their wildly impressive Iron Will album in 2008 (which was one of my favorite albums that year), I was extremely stoked for a follow up by this cadre of Swedish metal mongers but wondered if they could match or top the quality of that massive platter. Now that I have the anxiously awaited follow up in the form of their fifth album, Hammer of the North, my fears of being let down seem silly, because once again Grand Magus shows that they know how to craft top quality traditional heavy metal songs with a slight doom tinged edge.

Iron Maiden Moons the US

Iron Maiden Moons the US

In an attempt to not re-post Blabbermouth’s news like many of the blogs out there (since yes, I, too am unfortunately tied to Blabbermouth for my news), I try to do a bit more analysis and opinion on certain things. Think of me as the pundit to your regular news hour. Anyway, I have often given Iron Maiden shit about their American tours. Now once again they’re skipping the midwest in the US for the most part, and unfortunately they’re not coming to Sweden except for the stupid Sonisphere festival which costs way too much to just see Maiden (RIP Dio.). But one of the things I’ve often complained about is Maiden’s reluctance to do new tours in the US or to play deep cuts on tours (can’t you play Alexander the Great JUST ONCE!?).

Blaze Videos in Stockholm

The Swedish blogger (and ridiculously fucking metal) Demonia has posted some pictures and videos (in Swedish, though, she’s got Google translator embedded for the foreigners) from Blaze Bayley’s show in Stockholm. I, being Poor Metal Guy, managed to miss this one, but hopefully they’ll be back soon (though, what with shedding their manager and drummer in the last few days I’m not sure when that’ll actually be). Anyway, the turnout seems like it was actually pretty damn good and the band is on. I have to say that their bassist (David Bermudez) is one of the best heavy metal performers I’ve ever seen. I commented on it from the live DVD, the dude is just a fucking beast. Los hermanos Bermúdez are pretty awesome in general, I’d say. I’ll post four here, but she’s got others on her blog and some on YouTube as well.

Bison B.C. – Dark Ages Review

Bison B.C. – Dark Ages Review

Another record from Metal Blade’s Canadian installation and the third record from Canadian 70s-metal-meets-hardcore band Bison BC. This record took me totally by surprise, as I’d never heard of this band before and wasn’t really sure of what to expect. Honestly, all I had to go with was the look of the record and it looked very 70s. That fact alone hasn’t been very reassuring, while there are some bands out there trying to push the sound a bit, it just feels like another nostalgia movement that isn’t going anywhere to me so I tend to be pretty skeptical of such records.

White Wizzard – Over the Top Review

White Wizzard – Over the Top Review

There is an interesting irony to throwback bands like White Wizzard and a lot of the other thrash throwbacks that are coming out right now, which is that at one point in time what these guys were doing was forward thinking. I know it’s hard to believe, in a world where metal is used to support stupid ideologies, backwards thinking or just generally brutish and retarded behavior, it’s hard to think of metal as progressive, but in 1980, metal was outside of the box. Bands like Iron Maiden and Def Leppard were just cutting their teeth, Lars Ulrich was busy stealing their riffs and ideas and heavy metal was fresh, young, innovative and above all rebellious and really, really interesting.

Blaze Bayley – Promise and Terror Review

Blaze Bayley – Promise and Terror Review

I must say that, if you don’t already know this, I have been anticipating this record since I heard of its release. Sure, things have been busy around here, but I even managed to slip in a few listens to the record in spite of the heavy schedule of listening that I’m forced to adhere. Written and recorded in the aftermath of one of the most terrible tragedies in Blaze’s life, and really in the life of a neophyte band trying to break its way into the music scene on the strength of independent promotion and raw, hard work, and non-fashionable music, Promise and Terror has the chance to show the medal of this band and to testify to the absolute spine of one Blaze Bayley. While The Man Who Would Not Die was a record that was written in the face of the adversity from the outside world and sounded, frankly, like a big aural “fuck you” to all uninterested parties, Promise and Terror has a different role to fill.

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned Review

Charred Walls of the Damned – Charred Walls of the Damned Review

Charred Walls of the Damned has two distinct honors from the get-go: not only is it the longest band name EVER, but it’s also the first thing in which excellent drummer Richard Christy has surfaced in since going to the Howard Stern show and leaving American power metallers Iced Earth in the dust. I think everyone was wondering when he was going to jump back into metal, myself included. It’s hard to imagine that the former Death and Iced Earth drummer was just going to leave everything behind. Given his background it was only a matter of time. And not just his background: homeboy has contacts, too! He brings with him the mighty Jason Suecof, mostly known for his production (Trivium, Luna Mortis, God Forbid and so on), but who is also a fucking wicked ass guitar player (seriously, dude can shred). On bass, of course, is the mighty Steve DiGiorgio who played with Christy in Iced Earth and Death. How can this project possibly lose?

The Flow Chart O’ Heavy Metal Names

The Flow Chart O’ Heavy Metal Names

Angry Metal Girlfriend found this blog with a really very amusing flowchart of Heavy Metal band names. It was obvious to me from the getgo that this person was not, in fact, a real fan of metal because they missed the ever important Names Taken from Lord of the Rings section (see: Gorgoroth, Burzum, Amon Amarth, Amon Din, Crebain, Isengard and so on and so forth), but it is, in and of itself, a very excellent flowchart which demonstrates just how awesome metal naming conventions really are. Also, complete with inverted pentagram. (Cick the picture below to get it to open in a new tab/window.)