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 Warning represents the height of Queensryche’s career.
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.
Sölicitör made waves in the underground in 2019 by releasing a vicious 2 song demo initially described as “Chastain but faster”, which is a winning combo if I’ve ever heard one
Warlord is a pretty good example of how the success of a band sometimes is entirely dependent on factors outside of the musicians’ control.
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.
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.
The Voice of American Power Metal: An Interview and Career Retrospective with Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin
The world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. Empires rose and fell, cultural icons appeared and disappeared, music trends come and gone. The same is true for personal musical tastes. I’ve known people 20 years ago who grew out of metal as they say, or “evolved” musically.
There is a person who evolved as well this last 40 years without succumbing to trends, without looking for the ephemeral and forgettable success. The man who stayed true to the music and the people who are following him. That man is the Tyrant, and this is his story through his music.