Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Fates Warning – Awaken the Guardian

Fates Warning’s previous work, The Spectre Within, was a masterpiece which essentially set the standard by which most metal – almost certainly all prog metal after it – should frequently aspire to (and often never does). Following up such an album is a tall task for anybody; almost nobody could. Fates Warning weren’t like any other band in metal – not now, and sure as shit not back in the 80’s either – and as such they proved capable of following it up with something even more monumental.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Crimson Glory – Crimson Glory Review

Florida had a small but fairly vital collective of traditional metal bands in the 80’s, despite them being fairly different from each other. You had Nasty Savage, who were on that Slayer gone Mercyful Fate kick; the lean aggressive and bombast of Savatage, etc. There are perhaps others I’m regretfully missing off the top of my head. The point is that Crimson Glory was arguably the best of that small lot – and this album, in particular, deserves to be mentioned alongside the very best of all time.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: The Lord Weird Slough Feg – Traveller Review

I’m sure that there are complaints that I could find about Traveller if I fought hard enough to; I’ve seen some criticisms of the drum production, and I’ve heard that certain tracks are perceived as being a bit less good. I’m too in love to hear any of them; to me, Traveller is perfect, and my only fault with it is that it’s never been reissued and I can’t afford it on vinyl. Traveller is the triumphant attack of heavy metal in every form that I’ve ever wanted heavy metal to be, and it always will be.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Blind Fury – Out of Reach Review

The history of Satan is a long and complicated one. Originally formed in 1979, they were musically among the cutting edge of the NWOBHM, but were inundated with quite a few lineup changes, most notably as far as their vocalists go. They ended up changing their name several times over the 80’s – first as Satan, then as the band who did today’s album (Blind Fury), back to Satan for an EP and an album, and then to Pariah for a couple more thrash albums at the end of the 80’s.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Fates Warning – The Spectre Within

The Spectre Within is a peculiar album, both out of context and within the one of Fates Warning’s career to that point. Night on Brocken, their debut, was an album that was frankly, very derivative Iron Maiden worship. It isn’t really a terrible album so much as one that shows a young band very unsure of their direction and what they’d actually want to do (Jim Matheos, the main songwriter of the band, reputedly never liked it very much). I submit that The Spectre Within, its immediate successor, represented one of the biggest leaps of maturity and quality in metal history, at least up to that point. And, for a vanishingly small window, it helped position Fates Warning as one of the unquestioned masters of metal genre, both of their era and of all time.