If we can all agree that Black Sabbath was the first true heavy metal band then heavy metal as a genre has only been around for slightly more than 40 years. And, if we use the traditional definition of a "generation" as being a 20 year period, then we are nearly a quarter of the way through the third generation of heavy metal music.
Have you ever received a gift in a "fake box"? You get a gift, thoughtfully wrapped in festive paper and you tear it open to reveal that thing you've always wanted; a new play station or an Ipod or whatever it is the kids long for these days. You open the box to expose the true contents... underwear or something equally unsatisfying. Has this ever happened to you? If it has, you'll understand how I felt while listening to the new full length from Hang The Bastard, "Sex In The Seventh Circle".
Imagine my surprise when I saw an album from a band called Electric Wizard in my inbox. I've been a Wizard for many years so I couldn't wait to hear what the electric version sounded like. As it turns out, Electric Wizard plays a style of music referred to as "doom metal" and hails from Dorset, England where all the best doom and dreariness comes from.
For those of you keeping score at home, "doom metal" as a genre is strongly influenced by the great Black Sabbath and tends to be, shall we say, a bit gloomy.
It's true, the year is 2014 but it could just as easily been September in the mid to late '80s. The U.S. is having disagreements with Russia, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are hot and "The Tyranny Of Will", the new album from Iron Reagan, is right in line with the hardcore/thrash scene of that era. Heck, just invoking Reagan name turns the clock back a couple of decades.
I guess it's not unusual to find that one's taste in music changes as you get older. Certainly experience and maturity have something to do with it. Personally, I find that I enjoy seeking out music from artists I've not heard before, regardless of the age or genre of the material. Specifically, I find that I have a much greater appreciation for what some call "progressive" music.
Who's in the mood for some more metal from Sweden? How about something groovy with a good beat? You know, something you can dance to. Well, I guess it depends on the style of dancing you're in to but maybe you'd be interested in "Exit Wounds", the latest album from Swedish metal band The Haunted, a band who has been around since 1997 and a band I am hearing for the first time.
I don't think it will come as any surprise when I say that metal, more than any other musical genre, is a lifestyle as much as it is a style of music. You've got your "heshers" who wear their love of metal on their sleeves. You've got your closet metal fans who look like normal folks by day but are the first to jump in the pit when the nighttime comes. Most of us fall somewhere in between. The lifestyle that stands out for me, and for which I have a deep appreciation for, is the over-the-top, bordering on cliche, metal gods.
So, what do you do when you're a drummer and your dad is also a drummer but not just ANY drummer. He's one of the most iconic metal drummers ever. What is a son to do? Join a power trio and put out an album filled with some of the best hard rock this reviewer has heard in a long time. That's what you do.
Longtime fans of heavy metal will surely recognize the subject of this week's review. It's a little band from Germany known as Accept. Personally, Accept holds the distinction of being the very first metal band I ever saw live. At the risk of dating myself, I saw them in support of their "Metal Heart" album when they opened for Iron Maiden at the Glens Falls Civic Center back in 1985. Their classic "Balls To The Wall" is still one of my favorites.
I know what you're thinking; What's going on with that Swedish "death 'n' roll" band, Entombed? Well, it looks like after releasing 9 albums since 1990 Entombed may or may not be calling it a day. It seems the boys are having some personal issues and the Entombed name is off limits. Fortunately for us we have "Back To The Front", an album from a Swedish "death 'n' roll" band called Entombed A.D. to listen to.