The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) is one of metal’s most iconic and influential scenes with bands like Iron Maiden and Venom forever shaping the future of heavy metal. With the recent revival of interest in the traditional branch of heavy metal over the last 10 years, there’s been more than a fair share of bands taking heavy influence from their NWOBHM heroes and many of them fall flat. It’s tough to match the quality and spirit from that time, but every once in a while a band gets it right – Coltre are one such band.
The Cult Metal Classics label is known for digging up past metal jewels and re-releasing them. Most of them are from the 80’s and here we have a new band and a new album from this label and I gotta tell you: if Steelwitch were an 80’s band this EP would be considered a stone cold classic and they’d be straight to the top of this label roster.
Just two years ago Stygian Crown released their impressive demo and now they’ve released their debut album and they’re already being enlisted for international festivals! This relative success isn’t for nothing. Although it’s still early to tell, it’s pretty clear that Stygian Crown’s self-titled debut is something special and likely to be one of the best traditional heavy metal records of 2020 with its specific brand of crushing epic doom reminiscent of Solitude Aeturnus and Capilla Ardiente. We caught up with Rhett A. Davis for an interview that you can read below!
As heavy metal grew in Spain during the 1980s, metal bands appeared in all regions of the country. In the midst of this explosion, on the 14th of August 1988, a new act by the name of Su Ta Gar played their first concert in the small village of Ondarru. Unlike their regional peers, they sung completely in Euskera (Basque). While this might not seem like a big deal, heavy metal there had always been delivered in Spanish to achieve the widest appeal possible. Euskera was reserved for the punk-influenced acts of the Basque radical rock scene. They were received with thunderous support and this was the spark that would push them forward, not knowing the legacy they were about to create.
There aren’t a ton of doom metal bands more revered than Saint Vitus, and it is for good reason. Of Black Sabbath’s disciples in the 80’s, they are perhaps the most honest and soulful of the bunch, if not exactly a 1:1 copy of the original masters. Rather, what Vitus did is that they applied the atonality, loose song structure, and just pure griminess of American punk to the emerging doom metal format at a time in the 80’s when the early bands were forging their own styles and defining the subgenre on their own terms.
Something that people in underground metal circles love to do is to trace back the sound of a new band to find the origins of influences. What lies at the root is Black Sabbath if you go back enough but the trace lines at this point have branched out so wide that the full map of modern underground metal would be represented with no less than a forest. A particular branch that we are interested in here is the one that goes from ‘80s metal to Mortuary Drape, then to more extreme acts such as Cultes des Ghoules, Spite, or in today’s case, Ljosazabojstwa.
Satan’s Hallow made quite a mark in the underground with its blistering speed metal anthems, but sadly was put to rest after only one album since one of their guitarists and main songwriter left. Chicago’s Midnight Dice are the spiritual successors and have to live with some expectations! Anything with Mandy Martillo is worth your time though.
Master vs. remaster, first pressings, vinyl vs. CD. I’ve recently seen a lot of posts with very incorrect and inaccurate information, so I’ve decided to write what it’s all about, what is happening during mastering, why, and what for. Hopefully this information will help both musicians and fans to understand what they are dealing with!