heavy metal

A new Angel Witch album? What? This is still happening?

The answer to all of those questions is an unequivocal "yes." Angel Witch is back, still with lead singer and songwriter Kevin Heybourne parlaying his thirst for traditional British heavy metal into an album that introduces the purest form of that genre to a whole new generation. Of course, he's not leaving any of the old faithful (and they are out there,) behind; those who clapped and called along with the memorable chorus "You're, an, angel witch! You're an angel witch!" can feel safe donning their sleeveless denim vest again.

It's not every day that you get the chance to sit down and candidly talk about music, movies and culture with a man literally halfway around the world. Fresh off the release of "Decadence," vocalist/guitarist Fufu of Nothnegal took some time out to talk with me about all of those things.

In the quickly multiplying and increasingly competitive world of folk metal, bands are given an early choice between two camps, each representing one of the possible idiomatic sounds of the genre. First, you could truly embrace the roots of the music you are channeling, incorporating an increased number of traditional or esoteric instruments and arrangement. The other path, equally valid in the halls of metal, is to bend more towards the melodic death metal trend, using the folk elements as garnish surrounding the main dish of metal being served.

What a week it's been. The hours that have been invested in this project are numerous, that is to be sure. Certainly though, "The Number of the Beast" is an album that must be treated with sufficient respect and grandeur. As we have discussed and reminisced all week, "The Number of the Beast" means more to heavy metal and the history of the genre than nearly all other albums before or since. It is a symbol of all we as metal fans hold dear, and a true testament to the staying power and virility of heavy metal that is perfectly executed.

I've been saying all week that Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast," now turning 30 years old , is a pinnacle achievement in the history of heavy metal and in the pantheon of the world's greatest, most memorable albums. It is a dynamic experience, rife with differing styles, musical ideas and divergent themes. Over the course of the week, I've enlisted other writers from the ranks here at Bloody Good Horror, as well as the world at large. For the final act of this week-long way ward play, I intended to reach out to the farthest corners of the heavy metal universe and have as many people feed back to me what their experience of Iron Maiden's cardinal effort are and were. What quickly became apparent in talking with friends, coworkers and contacts is that "The Number of the Beast" is an experience so tied into personal memory that people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first heard it.

Continuing my conversation with author Chris Colavito about Iron Maiden and "The Number of the Beast." To see part 1, click the link at the bottom.

"The Number of the Beast" is not an album, it's an experience. Not just for the music it contains, but for what it means to the heavy metal genre's past, present and future. The textbook example of heavy metal's evolution from a rough-around-the-edges marginal grouping of musicians to a hard-charging, mother-scaring, school-administrator-nervous-sweating phenomenon, "The Number of the Beast" not only changed the face of heavy metal, but helped change what was possible for it.

“When I first heard the intro to “The Number of the Beast,” it scared the shit out of me... And I wanted more.”

In March of 1982, Iron Maiden recreated itself with their release of “The Number of the Beast,” an album that immediately entered the vanguard of heavy metal’s assault on popular radio, the conceptions of heavy metal to that point, and everything that wasn’t nailed down.

I love that bands like Jungle Rot still make videos even though there's 0% chance they'll ever be seen TV. Especially when they put out videos like "Blood Ties", their new one which you can see below. The song is off of their latest album "Kill On Command" and the video is actually pretty good quality. I pray they didn't pay much for it.

Re-releases seldom grab my attention, as they are merely regurgitations of past exercises. And yes, I’m aware that I probably make that statement whenever I am about to discuss another re-release.

With that in mind, Metal Blade is distributing for the first time in the United States (take THAT, import fees!) the first album of doom-ish metal band Blood Ceremony, and two other albums from Japanese Black Sabbath idolaters Church of Misery.