Heavy Metal Music Reviews

heavy metal music reviews

Heavy metal has long been maligned for its overtly masculine themes and theatrics, with fans of the genre often being accused of criminal behavior or depression or suicide due to listening to it. Yet one cannot deny how powerful an emotionally moving song from this genre can be.

Katatonia distills music down to its core components, merging the raw ferocity of death metal with the slow and deliberate pace of doom for an intricate tapestry of masterful riffs.

1. Katatonia – Brave Murder Day

Brave Murder Day is Katatonia’s second Gothic death metal classic and one that stands apart from all others in terms of its musical composition and execution. Combining primitive structures with melodies and dark atmosphere, it stands as their signature work; taking influence from Paradise Lot and My Dying Bride but creating its own original sound.

Opeth’s debut album features Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth as its lead vocalist; replacing Jonas Renkse due to health reasons, who could no longer perform his signature death growl. Akerfeldt’s contributions as lead vocalist have added an almost unparalleled trance-like quality while still maintaining the fierce sound fans have come to expect from Opeth.

This special edition of Brave Murder Day comes on black vinyl and features the original album cover art and lyrics printed inside. Limited to 700 numbered copies on crystal clear 140gm vinyl, it also comes with an extensive booklet from guitarist & band founder Anders Nystrom (with contributions from Renkse).

With its combination of heavy riffs and melodic passages, this album will appeal to both newcomers to metal as well as more experienced metal fans alike. Don’t miss this incredible work by one of metal’s premier bands- one worthy of inclusion in any collection!

2. Steelbourne – A Tale as Old as Time

Heavy metal bands today strive to distinguish themselves from their competition in several ways, whether that means writing catchy songs or having an outstanding singer such as Joakim Broden from Sabaton, who uses his unique vocal delivery by pronouncing each letter differently to create his unique sound.

Danish band Steelbourne fall into this latter category with their latest album A Tale as Old as Time. What began as a studio project to complete unreleased material from Savage Machine quickly turned into something else – and Steelbourne found themselves full-fledged music makers!

As its name implies, this band draws inspiration from classic metal sounds of the 80er Jahre. Their debut song “By the Way of the Serpent Master” showcases that influence in its melodic riff-driven metal as well as NWOBHM traditions with varied tempo and an awesome solo performance from frontman Mark Dvorak swaggering around on guitar solo.

With their title track “A Tale as Old as Time”, the band takes things one step further. Lyrically recounting an intriguing tale accompanied by stunning video production. Capturing medieval fantasy vibes through music alone is impressive enough, yet their production makes this track truly extraordinary.

Headbanging fans will find plenty of material here that won’t compromise its speed one bit. The chorus is particularly catchy and there’s even room for an enjoyable melodic mid section.

“King of Kings” provides an acoustic interlude that is a welcome change from the album’s harder tracks, telling a touching love story with heartbreaking guitar solo.

This album is well worth your attention! For any fan of quality metal music and production alike. The songs are catchy while the guitars rip and vocals sound incredible – not to mention its fantastic production, with big changes in tempo and an abundance of emotions to explore!

3. Running Wild – Calico Jack

Running Wild’s fourth album was released on 26th September 1988 and expanded upon their previous pirate theme introduced with Under Jolly Roger. A powerful metal classic with some truly exceptional moments.

Running Wild’s classic power metal songs such as Title Track and Conquistadors have become classics on their album. But not without its flaws: Uaschitschun is an atmospheric track but its spoken lines ultimately end up sounding silly.

Warchild, with its mix of thrash metal and speed metal elements and powerful chorus is one of the better songs on this record. Additionally, Calico Jack offers an eight minute epic that pays homage to old school Iron Maiden for its riffing. Overall a fantastic metal classic which remains underrated.

Under Jolly Roger is a more confident record, with the band more in control of what they’re doing here. Additionally, production was cleaner which created more space for melody in songs like Into the Arena and Conquistadors; though speed metal riffs such as Merciless Game remain present.

Cover art was also impressive and I was particularly charmed to witness its innovative use of a pirate theme within German heavy metal album art style. Overall this was an outstanding release that should not be missed by Running Wild fans or lovers of melodic power metal music in general – especially Iron Maiden fans should check this album out!

4. High On Fire – Cometh the Storm

High On Fire have returned with their ninth studio album Cometh the Storm, an impressive record that showcases them at their most musical and creative peak. Following last year’s Grammy-winning Electric Messiah and an extended break between studio sessions, Matt Pike and crew sound rejuvenated and full of life again – perhaps due to enlisting Kurt Ballou (Converge), an expert at reinvigorating bands while simultaneously capturing their fierce style on tape.

With lyrics that alternate between apocalyptic visions and barbaric fantasy, the band are in their element here. Drums and bass have never sounded more muscular; Pike’s vocals have grown from hoarse grunts into almost Lemmy-style roars; riffs large and small hit relentlessly to create sweaty metal goodness at its finest.

Cometh the Storm feels like an organic extension of their previous work despite an alteration to their line-up; drummer Dez Kensel was replaced with Coady Willis from Melvins and Big Business drummer Coady Willis; this change allows for just enough variation that it stays interesting throughout. Burning Down features some clacking thrash, while Trismegistus adds melodic doom into their repertoire without seeming out-of-place here.

Riffs of both big and slow magnitude are unforgiving on songs like Lambsbread and Tough Guy, while more apocalyptic anthems such as Sol’s Golden Curse and the title track truly hit their stride – one showcases their ability to go beyond their thrash roots by tapping into a Sabbath-influenced groove, while the latter is elephantine metal at its finest.

Heavy Metal fans won’t want to miss this classic of the genre, which will satisfy every fan of heavy metal music. Their first long player since their groundbreaking Death Is This Communion record will surely satisfy fans and collectors of this genre alike – available as limited edition sky blue and spring green 180g vinyl exclusively through MNRK Heavy. Pre-order yours here now.