In the ’80s, you could find a heavy metal band in every neighborhood, in every city, all over the United States of America. Many of them might have listened to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, or just saw Ozzy and Iron Maiden live during their early US tours, or just witnessed a Kiss live show, so that was enough. You can’t imagine the kind of impact those bands had back then on the metal youth of America. The passion was there, creativity too, so you were only missing the skills. The young bands that had the complete package recorded songs that stood the test of time.
The Cult Metal Classics label is known for digging up past metal jewels and re-releasing them. Most of them are from the 80’s and here we have a new band and a new album from this label and I gotta tell you: if Steelwitch were an 80’s band this EP would be considered a stone cold classic and they’d be straight to the top of this label roster.
In 1986 Fates Warning released Awaken the Guardian. This incredible album set a new foundation as well as a new boundary for the very new, exploding, and exciting progressive approach to metal. It was imaginative and provides to this day a great piece of musical escapism. The next year, near Milan, a few teenage friends would spend their time, as did countless other bands, covering songs by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Queensrÿche and generally honing their musical skills. At one point they had enough of covers.
From England’s Midlands we have some rustic and robe covered power metal. Tied to England’s mythology and heritage, Dark Forest do not hold back on these themes. Similar to how Solstice and Forefather have their ties to ancient folklore of England, Dark Forest deliver it in a power metal style. They bring us across the stream to the Otherworld and let us roam around the wonders that is ancient Albion with Oak, Ash & Thorn.
You have the more aggressive vocals and a fast tempo that verges or veers into thrash territory, yet still retains a strong foundation in the heavy metal pioneered by the NWOBHM bands of the early 80s. It’s metal that is rough around the edges, but packs a potent punch and carries a good dose of sing alongs that get the blood flowing.
This elusive project from the middle of Greece is back after a five year absence with an extended play released by No Remorse, a label widely known for their extensive focus on traditional metal.
Ironflame are back! They have not been away for long though, since Andrew D’Cagna (involved in a ton of projects and bands, past and present) is in non-stop mode, delivering the band’s 3rd album in less than 4 years since their debut. Moreover, he is responsible for everything (apart from the lead guitar parts) making this a hyper prolific, one-man, do-it-all modern power metal operation.
I find that this style finds a home with so many metalheads, maybe not all, but a wide majority who give it a shot. It digs deep in the soul for the days of past glories and triumphs, stories of wonder, and an escape from grimness for a while. Dexter Ward’s third release aptly titled III does just that.
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.