LEARN ABOUT METAL
So goes our classic heavy metal rallying cry!
In many ways the world of heavy metal music, metal, in the ubiquitous shorthand, is richer, and more robust, interesting, and gratifying today than it was in its heyday which, for you youngsters, I will state was the 1980's.
Heavy metal and classical music, musical cousins, are also cultural cousins, in that they are both born of European culture--a culture whose descendent culture here in the United States is both under attack and suffering what we might construe, and term, a "natural" decline. Accordingly, if you value western codes of dress, music, thought, and language, generally, if not specifically, please join the movement to preserve and indeed expand this culture.
And, of course, heavy metal and killer-hot leggy babes in heels have always gone together!
Like many other vehicles of popular culture, many Metal lyric-sets will not bowl you over with their profundity and civility, though there is a range. Typical, stereotypical now, Metal themes are war, sex, drugs or alcohol, Metal itself, rock-and-roll, touring, fast cars, and among many metal bands, metaphysical themes like good, evil, and Satan, these latter themes sometimes delivered in a general lyrical capsule of medievalism or fantasy.
Some bands and releases treat themes and compose lyrics that are more substantive and intelligent, proffering perspectives that are more knowledgeable and informed. These bands would likely include Black Sabbath, Queensryche (Operation: Mindcrime), Metallica, Judas Priest, Ironflame, Blackfinger, and probably anything by Joe Liszt's bands Ancient Empire and Shadowkiller.
I'm generalizing, and doing so in brief at this time. Just start listening!
MATURE METAL© 2020 Vincent Frank De Benedetto
I've invented this unique category of metal that describes heavy metal music whose lyrics are written by, or intended for, older persons. I'd place releases such as the fine 2017 Blackfinger recording When Colors Fade Away, and the equally superb XI by Metal Church in this category.
Contribute your own! Notify me of metal releases that appear to fall under this rubric, and I'll list them here.
CLASSIC METAL, any period or date
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality, Paranoid, Black Sabbath. This is the band that literally INVENTED heavy metal! Tony Iommi, specifically, with his guitar sound and way of playing.
You've heard of Ozzy Osbourne? Well who do you think was Sabbath's first, original, and long-time singer and frontman?
If you're young, I bet you didn't know this, did you?
Judas Priest: Stained Class. Can't say I'm thrilled that Rob Halford, one of metal's most masterful vocalists, turns out to be a homosexual, but this band, and many of their records, simply can't be denied as premier metal. Glen Tipton, now retired because of an unfortunate affliction with Parkinson's disease, is or certainly was one of metal's most extraordinary lead guitarists. And Les Binks, short-lived Priest drummer, was probably their best. Just listen to the guy on this record--he's a metal percussion machine.Do not miss this classic Priest record. Also listen to, nay, experience, one of their mid-career records, Painkiller.
Iron Maiden: Powerslave. Superb, heavy and inventive. Widely seen as one of Maiden's best records, if not the best.
Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Rising Force, 1984. His first studio album under his own name. If you've never heard Yngwie before--better sit down for this music. And DON'T be stoned or drunk. You'll really want to listen to his guitar-playing clearly to take it all in.
Also listen to Steeler, 1983, another utterly monster metal record with Yngwie as the guitarist.
Motley Crue: Shout at the Devil. Utterly killer metal. Make sure your girlfriend puts on her black stockings, 7" stiletto pumps, and slutty maroon lipstick for this record!
Queensryche: Operation: Mindcrime. The Warning is also superb, though not as unique.
Loudness: Thunder in the East. 1980's Japanese metal band. Hard-driving release, featuring axeman extraordinaire Akira Takasaki.
Metal Church: XI. Close examination of the lyrics reveal a release that, while musically very heavy, is arguably thematically oriented, ideally, to persons of somewhat older age.
SUPERB, though not necessarily "classic," as such
Black Sabbath: Born Again. A bit of a departure for Sabbath, as the frenetic singing style and general recorded bombast (witness Distrubing the Priest, for example) of Ian Gillan is perhaps less metal than blues or rock (or carnival sideshow?). And ignore the preposterous lyrics Gillan penned for this record.
In all, however, this is a heavy and fairly dark release, a bit idiosyncratic, to be sure, and in my opinion the combination of Iommi and Gillan ultimately works, at least in terms of a one-time release, which this was, as the pairing of Iommi and Gillan never happened again.
Ancient Empire: The Tower, Eternal Soldier
Shadowkiller: Guardians of the Temple
Blackfinger: Colors Fade Away
Iron Flame: Tales of Splendor & Sadness. A fine release. Wow.
Power Theory: Force of Will. Imagine a slightly heavier Metallica! Heavy, driving, no-nonsense. Respectful suggestion, however: this band needs a far better lead guitarist.
Osbourne, Ozzy: The Ultimate Sin, Bark at the Moon.
Warlock: Triumph and Agony. Think a chick vocalist can't belt it out like the big boys? To use a famous Judas Priest line: you got another thing comin'. This record is intense, heavy, unique, and passionate metal, and Doro's Pesch's astounding vocal acrobatics and performance is a key reason.
InnerWish: Innerwish, 2017. Superb, hard-driving new metal.
Megadeth: Rust in Peace.
ALMOST-METAL, LIGHT-METAL, POP-METAL
Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs. What a unique and utterly superb record.
[Construction began on this page on December 14, 2019.]
~ Creating Metal that Stimulates Heart or Mind ~
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