HEAVY FOREVER – Volume 01 – The Best and Newest in Heavy Metal (July 2017)

Heavy Metal as a genre emerged about 50 years ago, before I was born. From that time it developed into many different sub-genres and styles such as Pogressive Metal, Symphonic Metal, Power Metal, and Epic Metal. The important thing, though, is that Heavy Metal music, both in its original sense and all derived styles, is still alive even though so many years have passed since the first albums released by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

This new entry in my series of mixtapes wants to celebrate the bands that today proudly carry the flag of Heavy Metal music. You’ll find here only the best and newest songs, so prepare yourself for an exciting journey through guitar rides, crunchy riffs and splendid guitar solos. As usual, scroll down after the widget for the full commentary about the songs and the bands included in the mixtape. Enjoy!

 

The first two songs of the mixtape are dedicated to Æther Realm, the beautiful surprise which I encountered a few weeks ago while listening to new metal releases. This young melodic metal band from the U.S. has published on last June an incredible album, named Tarot, which was immediately awarded here with the title of best metal album of month. A characteristic of the album is the combination of clean vocals with growls and screams, which is evident in particular in the second song of the mixtape (the title track of the album). The balance between these two styles is excellent and gives a special flavour to the beautiful guitar riffs.

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Third song of the mixtape is Blood Red Sky by Italian metallers Arthemis. Their music is a combination of classic heavy metal with thrash-oriented guitar riffs, fast solos and catchy vocals. Arthemis have arrived to the significant number of 8 LP released. Blood – Fury – Domination, published in 2017, is the last one of their rich discography.

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In the middle of the mixtape we have the epic/power song Dark Are the Eyes of the Night by the Greek band Valor. The song comes from their last album, Arrogance: The Fall, which is the third full-lengh record they released since their formation fifteen years ago. This is actually one of the best pieces of the album, which unfortunately doesn’t maintain the same level of excellence throughout all its 10 tracks.

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We enter the second part of the mix with Kingdom of Solace, the beautiful heavy/progressive song by Pyramaze, the (former) power-metal Danish band which released on last April their four full-lenght studio album, named Contingent. The song I picked up for the mixtape is a valid example of the band’s style, which is characterized by ear-catching melodies, powerful choruses, and the superb vocal lines by new singer Terje Haroy. Their last album introduced a few elements of innovation such as more evident cinematic and atmospherical elements within most of the songs.

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The following track maintains a similar progressive approach of the previous song by Pyramaze. This song is Twisted Mind by Dark Lambency, the melodic metal band from Belgium which publised in 2017 their debut full-lenght album, Spectra. This is formally a debut but the disc was realized after 10 years of career and many EPs and concerts. The song which I selected for the mixtape is the closing track of the album, and it sees a nice alternation of clean vocals with growls.

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The concluding piece of this volume of HEAVY FOREVER is my personal tribute to the legendary Glen Danzig, who published whit his band the beautiful Black Laden Crown, a phenomenal example of modern heavy metal which demonstrates, if there was still need, that a band doesn’t need to play ultra fast or to follow the latest trends to be heavy and to be good. Black Laden Crown offers the usual pack of warm, slow, melancholic but damn enjoyable heavy metal tunes, like the song Devil on Hwy 9 which I selected for the mixtape.

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