Opening the album with paying due respect to Hammerheart-era Bathory, Malokarpatan take their time to tell you their stories – and such dark and grimy stories, they are. The longer-form songs build up to smooth, galloping leads or choruses; they keep taking twists and turns as the story unfolds with the use of interludes varying from synths to acoustic passages. But at the heart of it all lies the signature “dark heavy metal” riffage of the band.
Hot on the heels of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, by the early 80s heavy metal was destined for worldwide acclaim, but specifically we’ll focus on France. In typical French fashion, they were not to be outdone by their English neighbors.
For any fans of Spanish speaking Heavy Metal, Kraken’s debut is a must listen. Not just because of its great musical qualities, but also how it represented a shining light in the darkest hours for Colombia. RIP Elkin Ramirez, one of the greats of Colombian metal.
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.
Mercyful Fate are great. The End, ~fin~.
One of the things I find quite cool about Japan is the friendly rivalry between the Kanto (Tokyo area) and Kansai (Osaka area) regions of the country that spans everything from sports rivalries to whose food is better to, of course, who plays the better music.
One of the most perplexing and hotly debated topics in history (particularly economic) is the tragic descent of Argentina from one of the pillars of the world economy as late as the 1950s to just another South American country fraught with economic and political turmoil. To dive into the history of this country is a tiring task – one that would take multiple books just to cover certain epochs. Yet one period of time continues to scar the national collective – the military dictatorship of 1976 until 1983.
At some point between their debut full-length and today, Slovenian heavy metal band Vigilance had two ideas for their future career: get a new logo and add black metal into their sound. As much as I like their NWOBHM-worshipping, cleaner traditional metal debut; looking back now I can say that both those decisions are proven to be steps in the right direction.
Stingray were a band that was rather mysterious, they appeared essentially out of nowhere, were signed almost immediately by a large label in King records and dropped a debut album right away. They had seemingly no demos leading up to this, no known previous member experience in popular bands or anything. Not quite the typical start to a career for an 80s metal band to say the least, especially uncommon for Japan where metal bands being signed by big labels in the early to mid 1980s was a rare occurrence.
In the context of the larger metal scene, Spanish metal never caught on in a significant manner. There are many reasons for this, starting with the fact nearly all the bands sang in Spanish to the fact many bands lacked the musical infrastructure to gain wide distribution and tour internationally – unlike the UK, Germany or Sweden. There was also a sense of self-deprecation, with many “heavys” disliking their national scene and opting to just listen to bands from abroad. But to metal diehards, Spain’s 80s scene is still worth checking out. Whatever the scene may have lacked in originality, it made up for it in charm and passion in the face of zero commercial support.