InnerWish – InnerWish – Album Review

Artist: InnerWish Album Title: InnerWish Label: Ulterium Records Date Of Release: 18 March 2016 I’m going to begin this review by stating that I know nothing of InnerWish. Or at least, I didn’t until I decided to give this album a try having been sent the promo. I mean, it would be rude not to […]

Thunderstone – Apocalypse Again – Album Review

Artist: Thunderstone Album Title: Apocalypse Again Label: AFM Records Date Of Release: 1 April 2016 The Blog Of Much Metal seems to have been inundated with albums that have a strong power metal influence recently. Arguably however, this is the most straight-up no-nonsense power metal record of them all. And it comes in the form […]

Teramaze – Her Halo – Album Review

Artist: Teramaze Album Title: Her Halo Label: Mascot Label Group Year Of Release: 2015 Another day, another good news story. Before I was sent a promo for this release, I knew very little about Teramaze if I’m honest. However, a quick look on that there Internet showed me that there was a definite buzz surrounding […]

Metal Mondays – Maiden!

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of Chris and Bryan having all the fun on Metal Mondays.  Time for me to crash the party!

While I’ve never been a huge heavy metal fan, I’ve liked Iron Maiden since I first heard them back in the ’82-83 timeframe.  On September 4th, they will release their next album, Book of Souls, an ambitious double album (produced by Kevin “Caveman” Shirley, who refused to give Alex Lifeson his #@$%ing reverb on Counterparts 🙂 ).  In reading some advanced press about this album, one of the things that caught my prog-loving eye is the presence of a few long tracks, The Red and the Black (13:33), The Book of Souls (10:27), and Empire of the Clouds (18:01).  The latter will be Iron Maiden’s longest track ever.   The previous titleholder is presented below, The Rime of The Ancient Mariner, from 1984’s Powerslave.

Is This The End, My Friend?

Apparently, it is.  Black Sabbath is calling it quits:

Last summer, the original lineup of Black Sabbath — Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler — roared back to life after some 30-plus years apart. In rather short order, the trio snagged their first-ever No. 1 album with 13, toured the world for nearly a full year, and even celebrated by winning a couple Grammys back in January. Now, in an interview with Metal Hammer (via Rolling Stone), frontman Osbourne talks the metal icons’ future plans, which include “one more album, and a final tour.”

We’ll get one more album, with a final show in November, 2015, in Tokyo.  Part of this is due to the cancer treatment for guitarist Tony Iommi, and we do wish him well.

Godspeed, Black Sabbath – you’ve had a great run and your influence extends far beyond your own genre.  You will be missed but you will not be forgotten.

Philosophical Reflections on the Scorpions

Gregory Sadler, The Heavy Metal Philosopher, reflects on the career of the Scorpions and asks the Heraclitean question about whether the same band can exist twice. His conclusion? It makes a key metaphysical distinction about privation:

I’ll say this much though — perhaps we can speak of two overlapping musical periods after the Scorpions really got their sound together and coalesced in the mid-70s:  a serious and formative early metal period from Fly to the Rainbow (1974) to Taken By Force (1978), capped by their first live album (Tokyo Tapes) and the first Best of The Scorpions compilation — then a simply meteoric period from Lovedrive (1979) to Love at First Sting (1984), also capped by a live album (World Wide Livein 1985).  And then, for years, more and more touring.

Even though one can hear a difference between what let’s anachronistically call the 1970s Scorpions and the 1980s Scorpions — and one can hear analogous differences between earlier and later Judas Priest (compare, e.g. Sin After Sin with Defenders of the Faith), and despite a key lineup change on lead guitar from Uli Roth to Matthias Jabs,  there’s still a really vital and robust continuity, an ongoing incorporative development one can hear across this body of work.

Savage Amusement marked a shift of sound and ethos whose radicality wasn’t entirely apparent at the time — it needed additional albums to come along and confirm that something was really different.  Even though it came out — after a lot of anticipation on the part of their fans — in 1988, I’d say it’s already the 1990s Scorpions composing and producing it (key word there for that time — producing, not playing, not building, not hammering it out).

I remember listening to it at the time, and having to make a kind of emotional effort to find the new songs as exciting, as well-crafted — really simply put, as captivatingly interesting as those from the earlier albums.  It was competent, to be sure.  It rocked. . .  more or less.  Crazy World — and particularly the ballad “Winds of Change” — confirmed that something had indeed happened.  Something had gotten lost, was going missing — metaphysically, we’re not just talking about alteration, breakdown, movement from one thing to another, but rather that difficult to conceptualize reality of privation.

So, although we could certainly buy tickets and show up at the venue, and see at least some of the guys — Klaus Meine, Rudolph Schencker, Matthias Jabs — who carved out such new sonic spaces in the 1980s, compositions that retain their freshness and complexity decades later, in several important but difficult-to-clarify senses, it would no longer be the same band that created and played those songs who we’d get to witness covering them on stage.

We can, however, continue to enjoy those great albums from the 1970s and 1980s — there is a kind of complex continuity preserved partly in the past, but reenactable in the present, continuing even for generations yet to come in the future.

Metal on Ice: Hockey Pucks and Heavy Metal from the Great White North

This month, the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has released his epic historical treatment of Canada’s national game.

Not only that, but the Canadian guitarist Sean Kelly has written a memoir that takes us through the history of Canada’s heavy metal scene in the 80s: Metal on Ice: Tales from Canada’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Heroes (also available in the USA and the UK).

Kelly got Canuck metal fans to pledge funds to produce a companion musical document to his book: the Metal On Ice EP, which now contains Kelly’s brand new 2013 re-recordings of classic Canadian metal anthems.

This awesome EP is now readily available. On its new versions of classic metal it features absolutely killer guest vocals from top talent: Brian Vollmer of Helix (track 1: “Heavy Metal Love”), Lee Aaron (the ultimate 80s “Metal Queen” who contributes a stunning new rendition of her world-famous epic on track 2), Nick Walsh of Slik Toxik (track 3: Kick Axe’s “On the Road to Rock”), Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch (track 4: “Hey Operator”), Darby Mills of Headpins (track 5: “Don’t It Make Ya Feel”), and Russ Dwarf of Killer Dwarfs (track 6: “Keep the Spirit Alive”).

There is also a special seventh track composed by Kelly and Walsh: “Metal On Ice”, featuring a group of the EP’s special guest vocalists paying tribute to the greatness of the Canadian heavy metal scene.

Here is a list of the EP’s 2013 remakes, along with the dates of the original versions given in square brackets for historical interest:

1. Heavy Metal Love [1983 – Helix, No Rest for the Wicked LP]
2. Metal Queen [1984 – Lee Aaron, Metal Queen LP]
3. On The Road To Rock [1984 – Kick Axe, Vices LP]
4. Hey Operator [1982 – Coney Hatch, Coney Hatch LP]
5. Don’t It Make Ya Feel [1982 – Headpins, Turn It Loud LP]
6. Keep The Spirit Alive [1986 – Killer Dwarfs, Stand Tall LP]
7. Metal On Ice [2013 – Sean Kelly, Metal on Ice EP]

Brian Vollmer – Vocals (Track 1);
Lee Aaron – Vocals (Track 2);
Nick Walsh – Vocals (Track 3);
Carl Dixon – Vocals (Track 4);
Darby Mills – Vocals (Track 5);
Russ Dwarf – Vocals (Track 6);
Sean Kelly – Guitars (All tracks);
Dave Langguth – Drums (All tracks);
Daryl Gray – Bass (Tracks 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6);
Victor Langen – Bass (Track 3);
Nick Walsh – Bass (Track 7)

I highly recommend this nostalgic EP to all you cosmopolitan Progarchists out there, especially those of you with prog metal tastes. That’s because the EP makes a nice palate cleanser when slipped in-between any two of 2013’s awesome prog metal masterpieces (e.g., the new discs from Haken and Caligula’s Horse). 

Everything on the EP is excellent, but my favorite trips down memory lane are: tracks 2, 5, and 6.

By the way, I have dropped the EP into a playlist of other terrific nostalgic EPs released in 2013—by Halestorm, Anthrax, and Adrenaline Mob—that contain updated cover versions of classic hard rock tunes.

Have some fun and grab yourself this formidable Metal On Ice EP today!

O, Canada…

News re: Leah

leahOur favorite metal maiden, Leah McHenry, appeared twice this past weekend–in an interview and a profile.  Enjoy.



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