35 Years of Midnight: Reflecting on Candlemass’s Genre-Defining Classic “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (Interview with Leif Edling)

Outside of the mighty Black Sabbath, there is no single band more impactful on doom metal than Candlemass, and no album more important than their debut Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. While they were not the first band to play slow, Black Sabbath-influenced metal, Candlemass perfected it, coining the term for the genre itself in the process. Read theContinue reading “35 Years of Midnight: Reflecting on Candlemass’s Genre-Defining Classic “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus” (Interview with Leif Edling)”

Entering the Underground #10: White Magician’s Mesmerizing Heavy Metal

White Magician is undoubtedly one of the most special and interesting active bands in the blurry sphere that includes both hard-rocking heavy metal and metallic hard rock. Regressive almost to a fault, the band offers insight into an alternate timeline in which bands like UFO or Blue Öyster Cult happily swapped ideas with Mercyful Fate andContinue reading “Entering the Underground #10: White Magician’s Mesmerizing Heavy Metal”

Heavy Metal Everlasting: An Interview with Howie Bentley of Cauldron Born and Briton Rites

As we talked about with Mike Scalzi the other week, the 1990s were a low point in the history of heavy metal. It was nearly dead, with only isolated bands still playing it in the United States, most of them unaware of anyone else doing it. One of the most-decimated styles was the musically impressiveContinue reading “Heavy Metal Everlasting: An Interview with Howie Bentley of Cauldron Born and Briton Rites”

“Churches Without Saints” and Metal Without End: Desaster’s Black/Thrash Reign Continues (Interview)

It’s a rare band that starts off extreme, gets a chance to keep it going on a big label, and retains the things that made them special in the first place across the years. It’s even less common when you go all the way back to the beginning, to the earliest days of extreme metal;Continue reading ““Churches Without Saints” and Metal Without End: Desaster’s Black/Thrash Reign Continues (Interview)”

Entering the Underground #9: Blazon Rite Forges Brazen Heavy Metal

Not all paths lead to the same destination. Despite a gamut of bands and a relatively limited span of years as the primary influence for an entire genre, heavy metal has managed to cover an amazing amount of sonic ground, and even albums that on paper tick a lot of the same boxes as less-talentedContinue reading “Entering the Underground #9: Blazon Rite Forges Brazen Heavy Metal”

Guided by “The Powers That Be,” Pharaoh’s Commanding Power Metal Returns (Interview)

Pennsylvanian heavy metal heroes Pharaoh are the essence of consistency. Despite a history going back nearly 25 years, they’ve had the same lineup since finding singer Tim Aymar (ex-Control Denied / ex-Psycho Scream) in 1998, have been on Cruz del Sur Music since their first album in 2003, have had the same guest soloist, Jim Dofka, onContinue reading “Guided by “The Powers That Be,” Pharaoh’s Commanding Power Metal Returns (Interview)”

Tyrann Fights for the Soul of Metal With “Djävulens Musik” (Early Album Stream)

Despite a bevy of new heavy metal bands across the last couple of decades, there has never been a particularly strong predilection in any scene towards the classic Swedish heavy metal scene from the ‘80s. Bands like Heavy Load and Gotham City are seen as titans of heavy metal, and it’s hard to escape patchesContinue reading “Tyrann Fights for the Soul of Metal With “Djävulens Musik” (Early Album Stream)”

The Lord Weird Slough Feg’s Fiery Debut Turns 25 (Interview with Mike Scalzi)

It’s tough to understate the importance that The Lord Weird Slough Feg (shortened for most of the article, and much of the band’s career, as just Slough Feg) has had on my life musically. Back in my freshman year of college, they personally got me into heavy metal; I was coming off a high school length obsession withContinue reading “The Lord Weird Slough Feg’s Fiery Debut Turns 25 (Interview with Mike Scalzi)”

Entering the Underground #8: Heavy Sentence Nails Classic Heavy Metal “Bang to Rights”

One of the most exciting recent bands for me that I’ve had the chance to watch grow since day one has been England’s Heavy Sentence. I grabbed the original Protector / Darkest Hour 7″ as a blind buy on a friend’s recommendation and fell in love; melodic leads, gruff vocals, and swaggering riffs combined well toContinue reading “Entering the Underground #8: Heavy Sentence Nails Classic Heavy Metal “Bang to Rights””

Cirith Ungol’s Monstrous Heavy Metal Is Eternally “Half Past Human” (Interview)

Cirith Ungol’s 2015 reformation was one of the least-likely in underground metal history. The band broke up in 1992 so explosively and with so much internal despair that Rob Garven, the band’s drummer, famously announced that he would never again touch another kit, and vocalist Tim Baker would step back from singing seemingly forever. TheContinue reading “Cirith Ungol’s Monstrous Heavy Metal Is Eternally “Half Past Human” (Interview)”