heavy metal

Testament has managed a remarkable feat; they have spent their entire career one step into the shadows. During the 80's, the natural cutoff for establishing the group of thrash bands at the top of the heap left them one step away from immortality, despite their sales success.

The world of hard rock and heavy metal is a difficult one for women to exist in. The tougher-than-thou image that overtook the music is dependent on testosterone to survive, and even when women dare enter the fray, they are looked at with a curious eye.

Tankard has always been the bridesmaid of German thrash. Part of the vanguard during Germany’s answer to America’s Big 4, Tankard has seen thirty years go by without a single interruption in productivity or scandalous episode.

Stoner metal has always lived in the underground, which is not a surprise, given that fame and acclaim don't mesh with the typical mindset the music carries.

The internet has been a double-edged sword for bands. On the one hand, it has made it easy for any band to be heard. Even the smallest artists are able to get their music out to be heard by people in the furthest corners of the world. It has been a godsend.

There's a phenomenon in sports where once great athletes, on the verge of the end, return to the teams they made their legends with on one-day contracts, giving themselves a sense of closure as they fade away into the land of archive footage forevermore.

One of the benefits of discovering a band in its infancy is being able to watch them grow and develop as the years pass.

Metal in this millennium has become so fractured that it's impossible to keep all the developments straight.

It is interesting to me to see the renaissance of an old aesthetic, the sounds of yesteryear becoming not only popular once again, but in many ways a trend as well.

Iced Earth, over the course of the band's roughly twenty-five year sojourn, has become the working epithet for guitarist and songwriter Jon Schaffer. As the band begins to solidify their lineup and re-ignites their fanbase with last year's "Dystopia," Iced Earth seems rejuvenated and ready to continue their march as the vanguard of speed metal's underground. Jon sat down to talk about his band then and now, his side projects, and what it took to get here.