Starting with the late 60’s and early 70’s, the Japanese were absorbing the hard rock and folk rock happening in the West and releasing their unique takes on it. This continued through the rest of the 70’s until Japan become a common Asian fixture among big world tours towards the end of the decade. Scorpions, Judas Priest, and Van Halen played there to sold out crowds, and you can only bet there was an entire scene full of metal bands inspired by these that developed soon after.
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.
It’s been a while since I’ve been so genuinely confused and pleasantly surprised by a band, yet here I am. Very late in December, and well after my end of year round up, my friend messaged me a link to a freshly released EP from a new band called Sabire. The aesthetics were a little odd and the band claimed to be ” Pure Concentrated ACID METAL”. Now if there’s anything I’ve learned in my time in metal it’s that random made up genre tags are usually a bad sign, but one listen is all I needed for the doubt to melt away. The music on Sabire’s Gates Ajar speaks for itself and clearly I’m not the only one entranced by it – under two weeks of debuting and the band is already playing at Keep it True 2019.
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.
Welcome to Pt. II of my III part series on United States Power Metal! In Pt. I of my guide, “Marco’s Guide to USPM Part I: The Basics, Essentials, and Modern Heroes”, I discussed the essentials and modern champions of the genre. My goal with the previous section was to provide a solid introduction and base into USPM while also providing the best new releases to sink your teeth into. In this section of the guide, I aim to shed light on some of the 80s bands underneath the fold.