RIP Burke Shelley (1950-2022)

On January 10, Burke Shelley — bassist, songwriter, and pathfinder of NWOBHM-prog hybrid outlier Budgie — passed away in his hometown of Cardiff, Wales. A hybrid that sounded like Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, and Yes in an infernal three-way, Budgie possessed its own style and vision of the world, leading to an enormous influence on much of metal and rock to follow.

(more…)

6 Comments

Tags: , ,

Satan – Early Rituals (2020)

NWOBHM took the proto-metal of Black Sabbath and mixed it with the hard rock of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, infused it with the spirit of punk and some of the progressive rock of the era, and came up with the last bridge between metal and rock before speed metal punted it out of the park. Early Rituals uncovers this era with zest.

(more…)

5 Comments

Tags: , ,

Blitzkrieg – Demo Tape

Blitzkrieg’s three song demo, released during the height of the NWOBHM era and showing a harder side to the genre slowly edging towards full on Speed metal. Though known mainly due to Metallica’s cover and its influence on the American Speed metal bands. Blitzkrieg offer a combination of the triumphant riffing found on Stained Class and the theatrics of Focus’ Moving Waves.

(more…)

1 Comment

Tags: , , , ,

Angel Witch – Angel of Light (Metal Blade, 2019)

Mighty influential NWOBHM’ers Angel Witch is about to unleash their greatly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s As Above, So Below. The album, entitled Angel of Light, will hit the market on November 1 and will be available in a plethora of formats. Together with countrymen Satan, Angel Witch count as one of few returning old school metal acts who’ve managed to modernize their sound without having it reflect negatively on their past efforts. However, since As Above, So Below consisted primarily of re-recorded material from the golden days, this new effort could be seen as the true testing ground for the band.

(more…)

No Comments

Tags: , , ,

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.

(more…)

11 Comments

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

(more…)

6 Comments

Tags: , , , ,

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.

(more…)

3 Comments

Tags: , , ,

Classic reviews:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z