heavy metal

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.

Somewhere between dates on the ridiculous, seemingly endless touring schedule of Polkadot Cadaver, three of that band's members joined up with Tom Maxwell (Hellyeah) and Tommy Sickles (ex-Nothingface) to put together an album under the name of "Knives Out." The resulting product, "Black Mass Hysteria," is both an unflinching celebration of metal and a rolling, thunderous ride.

Approximately 11 trillion words have already been written in anticipation of, and response to, Van Halen's new album, "A Different Kind of Truth." Those words have ranged between an instant haranguing under the guise of the album being far too late, and an automatic sterling review as a revival of one of the signature bands of rock and roll's arguably best era.

Hopes Die Last wants to grab your attention and not let go. The first vision of the band most people encounter will be their cover art, which is wonderfully grisly and disturbing and gory all at the same time. The album behind that image is a mixed bag of emotions, tempos and styling, built upon an intentionally rocky foundation to keep the listener engaged in the same manner that a high-speed car chase does. Whatever is around the bend remains a mystery until the album is right directly on top of it.

The dichotomy of Hank Williams III can't be denied. He is both living legacy and self-made musician, an ambitious talent who refuses to be penned in by the conventions of any single genre or idiom. Hank 3 is a man who takes joy in his music, and more than anything else, enjoys sharing it with both his friends and his fans. I had the distinct privilege of getting some time to talk to Hank about music, recording and a host of other subjects.