For over 15 years, Athens has been hosting one of the most important Traditional Metal Festivals in the world, Up The Hammers! This guide will provide you with information about the festival, the bands, and the city itself, hoping to make your visit more pleasant and get you ready for the Greek Heavy Metal marathon.
Warlord is a pretty good example of how the success of a band sometimes is entirely dependent on factors outside of the musicians’ control.
Treading the path laid forth by US power metal greats like Jag Panzer and Sanctuary, Solitary Sabred are primed to release their third full length titled By Fire & Brimstone via No Remorse Records.
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.
The ’90s were a dark time for heavy metal, especially in the United States. To remedy that, Virginia legends Twisted Tower Dire formed in 1995 to try and breath new light into true heavy metal.
Fates Warning’s previous work, The Spectre Within, was a masterpiece which essentially set the standard by which most metal – almost certainly all prog metal after it – should frequently aspire to (and often never does). Following up such an album is a tall task for anybody; almost nobody could. Fates Warning weren’t like any other band in metal – not now, and sure as shit not back in the 80’s either – and as such they proved capable of following it up with something even more monumental.
After three long years, Greek trad metallers Dexter Ward return, rebranded and reinvigorated. “Return of the Blades” is the first single from the band’s next album titled III, set for release on March 13, 2020 by No Remorse Records.
When someone exchanges musical opinions within the heavy metal circle, it is not uncommon to hear expressions like “too rough” or “too melodic”, and more recently “very old school” or with a positive spin “very refreshing”. So if an album had exactly the correct ratio of melodic and rough riffs and sounds refreshing even it was released in 1986, that would mean that it will top the charts and everyone would speak about it right?
When Substratum broke up, I mourned. Though they were only around for a few short years, they put out three full length albums, a couple of demos, and a couple of splits – not to mention that they put on a hell of a live show. Things seemed to be on the rise for the band when out of nowhere they broke up with the sudden departure of guitarist and riffwriter Max. Fortunately for fans, Substratum’s loss doesn’t mean the loss of all of the musicians involved, and both guitarist Matt Vogan and vocalist Amy Lee Carlson have carried on and started a new band – Sölicitör.
Florida had a small but fairly vital collective of traditional metal bands in the 80’s, despite them being fairly different from each other. You had Nasty Savage, who were on that Slayer gone Mercyful Fate kick; the lean aggressive and bombast of Savatage, etc. There are perhaps others I’m regretfully missing off the top of my head. The point is that Crimson Glory was arguably the best of that small lot – and this album, in particular, deserves to be mentioned alongside the very best of all time.