Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Loudness – Thunder in the East Review

In 1984, riding off the high of their recent albums Disillusion and The Law of Devil’s Land with subsequent successful tours in Europe and America, it was with good reason that Loudness thought they had a shot at a breakthrough in the States. Under the management of Joe Gerber, Loudness’ dream was set in motion when the band landed a deal with Atco records after which the quattro began work on their fifth full-length record and in January 1985, Loudness unleashed Thunder in the East, an album that quite simply revolutionized Japanese heavy metal.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Domine – Champion Eternal Review

To the surprise of absolutely no one who has spoken to me, I far prefer the United States brand of power metal. I crave strong riffs and aggression when it comes to power metal. It’s not to say that I don’t like the more melodic and keyboard driven style of the Europeans, but even when I am in the mood for EUPM I tend default to more riff oriented German bands like Blind Guardian, Scanner, and Helloween. It’s rare for me to wander beyond that. However, there are a select few European power metal albums that don’t neatly conform to the style. It’s this small selection of albums that I find myself listening to regularly and Domine’s Champion Eternal is at the very top of this list.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Earthshaker – Fugitive Review

Earthshaker’s self-titled debut marked a strong beginning for a band in a brand new metal scene who didn’t yet know how to construct a proper heavy metal album, as evidenced by them enlisting the help of Adrian Smith who even contributed a song to said album. While there were a few undeniably great tracks, I could still see that this was still a young and largely inexperienced band. Fast forward just over half a year, a very busy one at that where the band released two EPs, Earthshaker had fine-tuned their sound and were ready to put forth their second full-length, Fugitive, an album which I feel is easily one of the best albums in Japanese metal’s first wave. Fugitive was the checkpoint in Earthshaker’s career where absolutely everything clicked. The band’s chemistry had never been tighter, nor would it ever be quite as tight again following this release.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Riot – Thundersteel Review

Music can mean drastically different things to different people, but in general it’s safe to say that we tend to attach an emotional connection to the music we listen to. For me, there’s a handful of albums that I find myself leaning on over and over again throughout the years. Whether I’m in a rough patch of life or whether I’m just mindlessly staring at my collection unable to determine what I should listen to, it’s these handful of releases that I rely on for their sense of familiarity, and above all, for their unwavering quality. Over the years I’ve increasingly found myself turning to Riot’s Thundersteel to fill this vital role in my listening.

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Manilla Road – The Deluge Review

The Manilla Road is long and triumphant. It spans forty years and eighteen studio albums. It’s a glorious one, with few blemishes and high point after high point. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to and reflecting on Manilla Road’s expansive discography since Mark “The Shark” Shelton passed away. Manilla Road’s catalogue is virtually unmatched, with very few bands getting anywhere close to their level of quality, consistency, and volume. Even with a discography as mighty as it is massive, one album stands out to me amongst the rest – The Deluge. Read more…

Classics Appreciation

Classics Appreciation: Liege Lord – Master Control Review

I wanted to take a brief moment to step back and look at an album that was crucial in developing and solidifying my tastes. This past week represented the 30th anniversary of Liege Lord’s monumental Master Control, their third and final (so far!) album. Liege Lord are a staple of the United States power metal scene for a reason – all three of their albums; Freedom’s Rise, Burn to my Touch, and Master Control, are undoubtedly classics of the genre. Read more…