The final installment of a 4 piece series on Epic Heavy Metal. This segment examines the broader European scene beyond Italy and Greece. This segment also features an interview with Nuno of Ravensire.
Lunar Shadow are a traditional heavy metal band from Germany who have never paid attention to the scene’s trends. Characterized by their unique blend of influences that ranges from post-punk to black metal, Lunar Shadow’s guitar lead driven sound sets them apart from their peers. They released their sophomore full length album, The Smokeless Fires, earlier this year on Cruz Del Sur Records.
A bloodstained murderer with a schizophrenic look on his face, waves his machete towards unsuspected bystanders ,as he runs the streets at night. He is set on a murderous, manhunting path that will not stop unless he is killed because his thirst for blood cannot be sated. If that was the intro scene for an 80s slasher film, then Vulture’s latest album, “Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves” would be the perfect soundtrack.
What happens when a man takes off his Bathory crop top and wear Pink Turns Blue shirts for promo-shoots of his new album? Not necessarily bad things.
I used tell myself that visuals and aesthetics don’t really matter much when it comes to music, but I’ve found this to be less and less true over time. The way a band presents themselves and conveys their message plays an increasingly important role in how much I really enjoy their music. Songwriting and the quality of the music itself is number one of course, but aesthetics can really help with the immersion of music especially when it comes to fantasy laden genres like power or epic metal. It can lift a band up and take them to the next level. It’s for these very reasons that I had an averse initial reaction to Flame, Dear Flame, but luckily I was proven wrong.
Keep it True is a German metal festival focused on the traditional side of things. Started in 2003, they have been keeping the flame alive for over 15 years now and during one of the lowest points in the genre. Over the years, Keep it True has grown to become the leading festival in the world for traditional heavy metal. The festival has been directly responsible for reuniting legions of older bands as well as highlighting and kickstarting the career for many of the new generation. This year’s Keep it True is no different in this regards and may be the very best iteration of the festival yet. The line up for Keep it True 2019 features highlights such as: a reunion of French legends Sortilège, Japanese band Anthem’s first European show, a tribute to the legendary Mark Shelton, and a big show by the originators of epic doom metal themselves, Candlemass.
Existence doesn’t sound much like anyone else; they sounded even less like anyone else in 1990. It seems that they may have been influenced by early Italian heavy/power metal like Adramelch or Dark Quarterer, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Certainly Manilla Road is something that doesn’t sound too far off, especially their more atmospheric songs like “Into the Courts of Chaos,” “Helicon,” or “Dragon Star.” Really, though, this might all be coincidence, especially considering Existence’s first demo came out in 1989, not very long after Adramelch’s Irae Melanox, and before the most similar Manilla Road album, 1990’s The Courts of Chaos. Another thing is that even calling it Adramelch + Manilla Road doesn’t really get to the heart of the music. Stylistically it’s pretty much entirely different from anything else I’ve heard in metal. The band name should probably be some indication of this; it has a very mellow atmosphere and a very odd tempo, often speeding up for a little while just to slow down again a few seconds later. It’s clearly power metal, but it very rarely reaches anything I’d consider “aggressive,” or even really triumphant or bombastic, for the most part.
It’s late January and the year is just starting to warm up. We’re finally starting to see labels hit their release cycle and break the resounding silence that comes with the start of a new year. One of the first releases of 2019 that I’ve been anticipating is Metal Inquisitor’s fifth studio album, Panopticon. It’s been five years since their last album, but Metal Inquisitor have shown remarkable consistency over the years and that’s exactly what we get here.
The year is coming to a close and there’s been painfully few traditional doom metal albums that have held my attention. Hailing from the heart of Germany, Angel of Damnation are among the small number of doom metal bands that have truly captivated me in 2018.
Let’s take a trip back in time – Germany, mid to late 80s to be specific. The metal scene was burgeoning globally and Germany was no exception. The Germans played it fast and loud with thrash and speed metal being the flagship scenes at the time. Read more…