HEAVY FOREVER – Volume 2 – Best of New Heavy Metal

Three months have passed since the first volume of the HEAVY FOREVER mixtape series, i.e. the periodical publication of the best and most recent heavy metal songs, selected and mixed by Guerino. In this time span there were a number of very good releases and at this point it was quite easy to assemble and produce a new powerful compilation with the best tracks from the most recent LPs with heavy, folk and power metal. Enjoy the playlist and check with regularity for new updates! As usual, a few additional information on the bands contributing to the mix are provided after the widget. Good listen and prepare for the fight!


 

The intro and the first proper track of the mixtape are taken from Amain, the new and third LP released by Finnish symphonic folk metallers Crimfall. This band has a strange story because at the end of last decade they were considered as one of the most promising groups in the symphonic metal scene, and they gained in fact quite a good reputation with the first two albums. From that moment, the band became almost silent for six years until this last release, which however seems to show that all the positive things that were said in the past about the Group are still valid today.

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The Privateer are a German “pirate metal horde”, active since 2007 and which released this year their third studio LP, The Goldsteen Lay, from which I selected the intriguing song Draft of the Strange. Their music is a curious blend of power metal and folk, with violins often breaking the heavyness of the guitar riffs. Accused sometimes to put more attention on their appearance than on the music, their last production contains however a couple of very good songs, and the last album is generally enjoyable and nice to hear.

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It may be strange at first to see Tau Cross contributing to an heavy metal playlist. The band, which is basically a post-punk multinational collective (or “supergroup”), released this year their highly anticipated second LP, Pillar of Fire, which follows their 2015’s debut album (Tau Cross). In both the two releases this group of skilled musicians shows a unique ability to move freely within multiple genres and influences, mixing together post-punk, hard rock, industrial and folk metal. The song selected for this playlist, On The Water, is a beautiful example of their incredible musical approach and you’ll see how the track fits well in this heavy metal compilation thanks to the powerful rhythms and abrasive and energetic anthems.

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The second part of the mix starts with Taipei Person – Allah Tea, that is one of the best tracks within Hydrograd, the sixth studio album by American rock band Stone Sour. Their last LP is maybe one of the best they produced so far and it sees the band particularly focused on the melodic aspect of their sound, with groovy rhytms and a lot of catchy anthems. The track embodies ca lassic heavy metal guitar riff and incorporates also hard rock and punk influences.

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The following couple of songs of the compilation come from two bands that have already appeared in the pages of this blog: we have the talented italian metallers of Arthemis, showcasing with the beautiful Undead their impressive thrash-oriented approach to heavy metal (they were also contributing to the first volume of the series), and Helengard, the contemporary folk metal project which is also a side project of two of the main members of the glourios band Kauan (I spoke some months ago about their free-to-download album).

 

The last and beautiful track of the mix is Avalanche and it’s taken from This Is the Sound, which is the debut album by Cellar Darling, the three-piece folk metal spin-off of Eluvetie.  After their split with the Swiss folk metal masters, the trio composed by singer Anna Murphy, drummer Merlin Sutter and guitarist and bassist Ivo Henzi, focused all of their energy into this new metal project, which fuses together a strong and heavy metal approach with poetic lyrical and folk elements.

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If you enjoyed the playlist, here you can access the first and succesful volume of the HEAVY METAL series, published on last June.


 

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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