Although popular during their prime and revered by some metal fans, Riot never achieved their rightful due. Founder, guitarist, chief composer, and sole consistent member of Riot, Mark Reale, suffered a tragic death due to life-long Crohn’s Disease eight years ago. This band formed around the same time as Iron Maiden, Rainbow, and Motörhead, their album catalog is consistent, and released one of the best USPM records ever. However, even with all this, they never achieved the popularity the deserved.
When Mark Shelton passed away over a year ago, I was at a loss for words. For months I struggled to offer his shades tribute in my own way. I then recalled a brief exchange with him about how I played the song “Fall of Iliam” for a Latin Poetry class I had recently taught, and how it was in his music that I first felt that my passions for both heavy metal and classical antiquity truly came together as one.
The end of the year is drawing to a close and it’s safe to say that 2019 has been a monumental year for traditional heavy metal. The Ride into Glory author team has already began comparing notes as we compile our “Best of 2019” article similar to last year’s. This year, we plan to do things a little differently. We’re still going to have our own best of 2019 list, but we also want to hear from you: our wonderful readers!
True Traditional metal, while never as hugely popular as hair or thrash, has been a field in which California has yielded an embarrassing amount of riches. While often not appreciated enough back in the day (much like Cali’s doom pioneers Saint Vitus, the number of people claiming attendance at early shows for many of these bands has inflated far beyond what the actual attendance was) names like Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm and The Lord Weird Slough Feg are now rightly hallowed and revered in the metal underground. There is still a lot of good stuff happening.
The Voice of American Power Metal: An Interview and Career Retrospective with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin
The world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. Empires rose and fell, cultural icons appeared and disappeared, music trends come and gone. The same is true for personal musical tastes. I’ve known people 20 years ago who grew out of metal as they say, or “evolved” musically.
There is a person who evolved as well this last 40 years without succumbing to trends, without looking for the ephemeral and forgettable success. The man who stayed true to the music and the people who are following him. That man is the Tyrant, and this is his story through his music.
The Secret of Steel: A Guide to Epic Heavy Metal Pt. 3 – The Mediterranean (Ft. Interviews with Dark Quarterer and Omen / Marauder)
Part 3 of a 4 piece series on Epic Heavy Metal. This segment examines the Italian and Greek scene. This installment also features an interview with Nikos Migus A. of Omen/Marauder as well as an interview with members of Dark Quarterer.
We are now half way through the year and what an incredible six months it has been. The bar has been raised for 2019 and there has been high quality album after high quality album. This quarter alone we to nearly 40 different releases across all types of traditional metal to highlight the best ones for you all. The winter 2019 wrap up was our first iteration of this, but we’ve changed things up this time around and involved all of RIG’s regular contributors!
In the 90s, only Sweden and possibly Finland competed in overall popularity to the Norsk scene. In the midst of the Norwegian popularity, another country in Southern Europe was forging its own take of Black Metal. This country was Greece.
Heroic fantasy has always been a popular lyrical subject for heavy metal bands, and it’s not hard to see why. Heavy metal simply isn’t normal. You just can’t write powerful, dynamic compositions and have the vocalist sing about mundane things such as walking the dog or taking out the trash (unless by “trash” you mean “posers”). There are many different approaches a band can take to penning lyrics of the fantastic. Some are inspired by mythology or films, while others create their own stories. Some look to literature for inspiration. Those that do usually find it in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, or Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné.