heavy metal

Manilla Road – After Midnight Live

How significant a release is Manilla Road’s After Midnight Live? Imagine if Judas Priest or Iron Maiden suddenly went, “Whoops, look what we found lying around, a live recording from the early days featuring songs none of our fans have ever heard before.”

HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE: The Metal Blade Reissues

San Francisco’s Hammers of Misfortune have recently signed to Metal Blade, and as a result, the label has reissued their entire back catalogue in hopes that it will get the due recognition it missed the first time around. With no expectation and no foreknowledge of the band, I tossed myself in at the deep end to review these four reissues and wound up discovering something completely fresh.

Kyle Harcott reviews the new Metal Blade reissues of the Hammers Of Misfortune back catalogue.

Halford: The Metal God Never Rests

“I’ve done it all, I’ve been it all, I’ve seen it all – these are like the bonus rounds as far as the opportunities go. Personally, I’m having the time of my life right now just doing what I really want to do. That’s a nice feeling, and having all the fans supporting Priest and the other endeavors – it’s just tremendously gratifying that you can still go out and do what you want to do more than anything else in the world and that’s write metal and play metal live.”

On the eve of their appearance at this weekend’s HEAVY MTL festival Rob Halford speaks to Hellbound.ca’s Bill Adams about the return of his solo band Halford and their plans for the remainder of 2010.

Black Sabbath – Classic Albums: Paranoid

That lack of needless hyperbole is exactly what makes Classic Albums – Paranoid so easy and interesting to watch. Here, viewers learn that Paranoid – the largest keystone recording in metal – was recorded recorded in two days, cut live off the floor with a minimal number of overdubs and mixed in an additional two. It was a matter of in, down and done, and then Black Sabbath left it to be mixed and released while they went to play in Europe.

White Wizzard – Over the Top

While frequently compared to Iron Maiden, White Wizzard is a much different beast. Or rather, White Wizzard is not much of a beast at all. Let me put it this way: the number of the beast is not on White Wizzard’s speed dial.

Slough Feg/ Funeral Circle @ Red Room, Vancouver BC, May 29 2010

The inveterate Slough Feg are one of those bands that pulls it off so well live that they’re able to sound identical to what they do on tape, which I found pretty impressive considering how ornate their songs can get. Personally, I was there to hear songs from their latest, Ape Uprising!, and they did not disappoint, throwing the excellent “Simian Manifesto” into their set early on. But as they’re touring for their 20th anniversary, the band threw loads of gems into their set. It was great to hear older tracks like “Tiger! Tiger!”, “The Final Gambit” and “Hiberno-Latin Invasion” live. And seeing Mike Scalzi and Angelo Tringali work their guitar magic, playing off each other is especially jaw-dropping – they recall the classic Gorham/Robertson harmony work in Thin Lizzy.

3 Inches of Blood/ Goatwhore/ Burning the Day @ Mod Club, Toronto ON, May 13, 2010

There is something solid, straightforward, almost wholesome about 3 Inches of Blood’s brand of traditional heavy metal that is particularly satisfying. Cam Pipes sang about orcs and hammers while unleashing a series of throaty old-school wails—what was there not to love?

Natalie Zed reviews the May 13th Toronto performance by 3 Inches of Blood and Goatwhore at the Mod Club

Judas Priest – British Steel (30th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD)

While the river of reissues pouring out of the major label music business is only swelling with time, some records just come with a fantastic story that would keep it selling well even if it hadn’t been repackaged and re-placed on new release racks; they just have an enduring appeal. Judas Priest’s British Steel is that kind of record; over the last couple of years, the members of Judas Priest have begun to re-examine the record at length – last year, they embarked on a multi-continent tour that found them performing British Steel from beginning to end – and tell the stories of making it, thereby reliving their cherished memories of the time and circumstances that yielded British Steel.