To me traditional doom metal has always been a genre of imperfection – it is in this imperfection and passion where thunderous doom riffs, enveloping atmosphere, and passionate yet often flawed vocals coalesce to some of the best metal out there. With their full-length debut, Purification is perfectly emblematic of this quality.
Looking back, it’s hard to view 1984 as anything other than a banner year for heavy metal. The sheer amount of world-beating releases across a wide range of styles is almost unmatched by any year to follow. What we now call traditional metal provided an onslaught of classics, thrash and power metal both launched themselves headlong into the international fray, Sabbath’s legacy was in fine form via the first releases from Trouble, Saint Vitus and Paul Chain Violet Theatre, and thirty-five years on most black metal still comes up short against the triumvirate of Apocalyptic Raids, Morbid Tales, and Bathory’s self-titled debut. It would also mark the (semi-official) end of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the very movement which would sow the seeds for much of the development that followed. So then, with metal exploding worldwide on an previously-unmatched level, with this article we’re taking a look at what happened in the wake of the NWOBHM.
Color the decade starting in 2020 as looking to be a stellar one for doom with women at the mic. Solstice has Hilda Thorne out front now, Stygian Crown just released a monster debut album, and for this review we have King Witch’s second album Body of Light.
The Warning represents the height of Queensryche’s career.
The New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) is one of metal’s most iconic and influential scenes with bands like Iron Maiden and Venom forever shaping the future of heavy metal. With the recent revival of interest in the traditional branch of heavy metal over the last 10 years, there’s been more than a fair share of bands taking heavy influence from their NWOBHM heroes and many of them fall flat. It’s tough to match the quality and spirit from that time, but every once in a while a band gets it right – Coltre are one such band.
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.
As heavy metal grew in Spain during the 1980s, metal bands appeared in all regions of the country. In the midst of this explosion, on the 14th of August 1988, a new act by the name of Su Ta Gar played their first concert in the small village of Ondarru. Unlike their regional peers, they sung completely in Euskera (Basque). While this might not seem like a big deal, heavy metal there had always been delivered in Spanish to achieve the widest appeal possible. Euskera was reserved for the punk-influenced acts of the Basque radical rock scene. They were received with thunderous support and this was the spark that would push them forward, not knowing the legacy they were about to create.
Satan’s Hallow made quite a mark in the underground with its blistering speed metal anthems, but sadly was put to rest after only one album since one of their guitarists and main songwriter left. Chicago’s Midnight Dice are the spiritual successors and have to live with some expectations! Anything with Mandy Martillo is worth your time though.
The witch is back with a vengeance! Spanish heavy metal sorcerers Witchtower return with their third full-length, Witches’ Domain. As we discuss during this interview, on this album we will find the darkest and heaviest version of Witchtower so far, adding some new influences without ruining their personal essence at all.
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.