Bestialord – Black Mass Wedding

As a contributor to Heavy Blog, I’ve found that the most satisfying thing to do is to follow a band from their beginning. You get to see how artists can evolve and learn from their mistakes or just figure out how to do things better. Songwriting can improve with time…

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Halshug – Drøm

Copenhagen’s hardcore and metal scenes are one of the hottest around Europe right now – maybe even the world’s. Leaving Mercyful Fate, Volbeat, and Aqua to the normies, the city is home to a slew of acts from the worlds of avant-grind to hairy-chested progressive power metal. It’s also the…

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Black Anvil – Miles

If there was anything to learn from 2017’s As Was, it was that Black Anvil’s refined handle of melody and attention to dark psychedelic atmospheres were honed as sharp as their enlightened take on black metal. The group sounded revitalized and played with purpose in all aspects of their sound,…

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Portrait – Burn the World

While death and black metal are seeing amazing leaps forward in talent, production, and ability for the denizens of the traditional metal world what we’re seeing from bands such as Enforcer, dawnbringer, Sumerlands, Eternal Champion, and Striker must seem like manna from heaven… or hell, depending upon your preference. One band that has been plugging away at this style, beginning as a bit of a Mercyful Fate worship act and evolving with each new release is Sweden’s Portrait (the band name derives from Diamond’s first solo album, Fatal Portrait). On their latest offering, Burn the World, we see a band who is getting comfortable with their own take on the venerable speed riffs, blazing solos, and soaring vocals of trad metal creating an addictive blend for fans.

The Year of the Beast: How Iron Maiden Heralded the Metal Explosion

The story of metal is not linear. We didn’t arrive at the mayhem lurking in our Spotify playlists through a measured progression of technique, style, and genre. Rather, the evolution came in leaps and bounds, with dead ends and bursts of growth and pockets of innovation. To continue the evolutionary metaphor: the Cambrian Explosion of metal shot off in the mid 1980’s, as subgenres and geniuses and success combined into a specimen closely resembling much of modern metal. But the growth, although frantic, wasn’t instantaneous; rather, it seemed to expand exponentially from a single source, a catalyst in a chain reaction. That incipient band, the patient zero of metal as we know it today, is Iron Maiden. More precisely, the stratospheric success of The Number of the Beast, with it’s intricate compositions, transgressive lyrics, and trailblazing progressivity, diverged metal from hard rock completely and legitimized metal as a commercial viability, heralding the eruption of metal in the years to follow.

Opeth: Not the First Musical Act to Piss Off Their Fans

The wait is over. The release date for Opeth’s latest, Sorceress, is almost upon us; and with it, the latest round in the controversy that has dogged them for three albums now. “What happened to the death growls?” “Why aren’t these guys heavy anymore?” “Opeth sucks now.” These are not opinions that I personally share, as I’m huge fan of Pale Communion. That said, Heritage is certainly not their best record, or even one of their top 5. In fact, it may even be their weakest. No shame there, given the ridiculous quality of their complete discography. Time will tell how successful and well-regarded Sorceress is, though early indications are that your opinion on Sorceress will likely mirror your opinion on Pale Communion. The two tracks released in advance, the title track and “Will O’ The Wisp” certainly strongly suggest this.

But they aren’t the first band to release a record that has the fans howling with rage.