Brief Analysis: Introduction of Satan – “Trial By Fire”

One of the few great bands from the NWOBHM movement in a genre known for a few gems in a sea of stadium and bar rock bands. While never receiving the deserved praise and success of their peers, Satan nonetheless were one of the best bands coming from the scene and used Speed metal elements in creating their magnum opus Court in the Act. On “Trial by Fire”, Satan show the large number of tools at their disposition after the opening blast of notes.

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Demonpalm – Demo

Metallica’s mark on metal in both the mainstream and underground still continues to grow as every riff, drum fill,solo etc has been plagiarized. As Metallica progressed towards much tamer territories, the band did the opposite of what common sense dictated at the time. Instead of reneging their previous records, they embraced them and relished their mainstream status as kings of “The Big 4”. This allowed them to exist in a bizarre duality alternating between mainstream Radio Rock and furious Heavy metal depending on the fan. Through this duality many bands have taken from both periods to create a curious mix that resonates with with a wider audience. Demonpalm fall into this category but their music carries potential for something better in some of the brief glimpses shown here.

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Deep Switch – Nine Inches of God (1986)

The NWOBHM movement defined the basis for what both underground and commercial metal would become, everything was present from the gallops, the harmonized melodies, unconventional song structures and the reverence for the riff above all else. The movement struggled with commercializing itself and so even the more vicious bands were obligated in selling out and writing a ballad or a mid-paced rock song in hopes of being picked up by a major label as there was at that time money to be made. The micro-genre eventually burned out due to two main reasons. First was that the door to mainstream success had been closed permanently for the British bands as the media loved Def Leppard and the like. The second reason was that there were far too many bands releasing the same rehashed material while bands elsewhere were exploring unventured paths and the standards were on average raised as the pub rock riffs of most of the NWOBHM were simply not up to par. Enter Deep Switch, a band that appeared in the scene after the death of the genre and were set to make some of the most bizarre NWOBHM imaginable but falling to the same pitfalls as their predecessors.

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Sortilège – Sortilège (1983)


At a time when most of the worthy metal was being produced in England with a few exceptions in Europe and America as most bands emerging were straddling the line between Hard Rock and Heavy metal or resorting to recreating the dirty rock of the early 70s in order to achieve mainstream success as there was much more to be gained financially from such endeavors. Iron Maiden had dazzled the world with Killers, Melissa and Kill ‘Em All were just around the corner and metal would proceed through a very sudden transformation with these releases. In between all this former heroes like Judas Priest,Motorhead and Scorpions were embracing the stadiums. In such a frantic period, in a country where music had never been a cultural strength. Sortilège, after studying their cousins from across the pond would release one of the greatest Heavy metal EPs of all time only for the aforementioned bands to overshadow them and relegate them to cult favorite;

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1983

A footnote in an article we ran last week sparked a lot of controversy among our very passionate friends who lurk the DMU comment sections.  No, it wasn’t that we correctly identified SJW journalists as the nail in the coffin of metal as we know it; instead it was an observation of the last death of heavy metal:

In the early 1970s, heavy metal was an exciting new musical and cultural movement. So much so, that it surpassed even rock music (thought to be revolutionary just a few years before). But towards the end of the decade came a near-lethal blow: punk rock. Faster, louder, more abrasive and aggressive, punk had risen the bar and metal couldn’t compete. From 1977-1983, metal was almost completely obliterated. Many had declared the movement dead – a fleeting flavor of the week experiment that did not stand the test of time.

Many took issue with this: “metal wasn’t dead!”  they cried.  “Albums were released, things happened!”  “You’re erasing history Brock, your articles ruined this site and my life!”

The intrigue and utter distraction of this phrase sparked the need to further elaborate:  Did metal actually die, during this time period, or did I somehow just miss a few years of quality metal development?

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Introduction to Power Metal, Part I: Origins and Influences

(Join DMU Legend Johan Pettersson for what may be the most expansive analysis of power metal ever presented in the first of a 3 part series.  Listen to the accompanying suggested listening here)

Of all the subgenres and styles that fall within the metal spectrum (hence excluding unmitigated relapses into rock such as death’n’roll, stoner, nu- and indie metal), power metal most definitely counts as the one that has received the highest amount of scorn and ridicule from critics, fans and outsiders alike. (more…)

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