Retrospective: Edguy’s “Hellfire Club”

Edguy-Hellfire_Club-Frontal

What a pleasant surprise it was to stumble across Twitter this past week and see that Hellfire Club, the sixth album from German power metallers Edguy, had been recommended to one of our fellow metal bloggers for #MWE. Almost instantly, I flashed back to my high school years, when one weekend, I stumbled across the album while aimlessly perusing the metal section at my local FYE. I bought it sight unseen (sound unheard?) and completely fell in love. Even today, it’s one of the rare power metal albums from a band not-named Blind Guardian that I can still go back and listen to whenever. Let’s go back and take a look at exactly why that is, shall we? Continue reading

The Horns Up Podcast: Episode 25 (October 19, 2014)

It’s time for Episode 25 of The Horns Up Podcast, your weekly catch-up on all things metal!

This week, the guys laugh their asses off about Eluveitie’s branding agreement with Honda, then splooge themselves all the way to change-pants-o’clock over the new Winterfylleth album. Then…things get a little angry, when Corey rails against health insurance, and Dan levels the world’s idiotic approach to containing Ebola. Hooray!

All that and much, much more in Episode 25, so check it out!

Also available on:

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.

Subgenre of the Week: Power Metal

It’s Tuesday, which you’d think makes it time for a Just the Tip post. And guess what? You’d be thinking correctly! But it’s also time for a new Subgenre of the Week, due to some unforeseen complications that arose during its normal slot yesterday. Blah, blah, blah, you don’t like excuses and neither do we, so we’ll leave it at that. Point is, we’re back with a new one, and this week, we’ll be focusing on POWER METAL.

There's cheesy power metal...and then there's Manowar...
There’s cheesy power metal…and then there’s Manowar…

So what is power metal? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

“a subgenre of heavy metal combining characteristics of traditional metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. Generally, power metal is characterized by a more uplifting sound, in contrast to the heaviness and dissonance prevalent in styles such as doom metal and death metal. Power metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally ‘powerful’ sound.”

Drawing from classic heavy metal acts like Dio and Iron Maiden, power metal first began to emerge on both sides of the Atlantic in the early 1980s. Bands like Manowar, Vicious Rumors and Jag Panzer carried the torch in the U.S., while Helloween and Running Wild led the European charge. As it expanded through the later ’80s and into the ’90s, bands like Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray began to emerge, and power metal saw a handful of distinct flavors emerge. While some bands began to incorporate keyboards and progressive elements, (think Stratovarius, Kamelot, etc.) others kept to more of a straightforward refresh on classic heavy metal. (Hammerfall, later Edguy)

So what are we looking for stylistically? In many cases, you get a clean, high-pitched (sometimes maybe a bit too high-pitched for one’s own good) singing style that emphasizes power metal’s melodic tendencies. Think lots of double-bass pedals and rapid-fire guitar licks, too. Oh, and CONCEPT ALBUMS. With such fantasy-oriented storylines as the Emerald Sword saga, (Rhapsody of Fire) and the Something Wicked saga (Iced Earth) floating around throughout power metal, the cheese potential could not be much higher. Shit, Blind Guardian even did an album based entirely on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion! (And it’s pretty kickass, too!)

There’s a lot to cover in the power metal realm, and a single playlist wouldn’t even begin to cover everything you need to hear from within the subgenre. (Not to mention anything you don’t need to hear, like DragonForce.) But dammit, a Subgenre of the Week post needs its 10-song playlist. Comprehensive? No. Ridiculous, cheesy fun? Yes. Here are our chosen power metal jams:

Dan’s Tracks:

  • Blind Guardian – “Mirror Mirror”
  • Manowar – “Battle Hymn”
  • Helloween – “I Want Out”
  • Gamma Ray – “New World Order”
  • Edguy – “Under the Moon”

Corey’s Tracks:

  • Stratovarius – “A Million Light Years Away”
  • Hammerfall – “Any Means Necessary”
  • Sabaton – “Screaming Eagles”
  • Sonata Arctica – “Paid in Full”
  • Nightmare – “Legions of the Rising Sun”

Check it out below and take your first bite out of power metal!

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.

Episode 4: May 2, 2014

It’s time for Episode 4 of Horns Up – your weekly catch-up on all things metal!

This week, Dan and Corey jizz themselves over terrific new releases from Insomnium and Lord Mantis, recap the lineup announcement for this year’s Summer Slaughter tour and look ahead to a crazy month of concerts.

All this and much, much more in this week’s episode! And don’t forget to check back tomorrow for The Dump, a new companion post series where we follow up on our weekly episodes with all of the content we couldn’t physically show you on the air!

 

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.

Just the Tip: April 29’s New Releases in Brief

It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for Just the Tip – a new web segment where we highlight the new album releases we’ll be focusing on each week. We’ll be covering each of these albums in full on the podcast, once we’ve had a bit more time to listen and discuss, but in the interest of both timeliness and innuendo, we wanted to give you a quick preview of them all–a tip of the iceberg, if you will. Hence…

JUST THE TIP! (Apologies to Adam Reed)

That being said, here’s the new stuff we’ll be listening to this week!

APRIL 29, 2014

Aborted – The Necrotic Manifesto (Century Media)

Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun (Century Media)

Lord Mantis – Death Mask (Profound Lore)

Edguy – Space Police: Defenders of the Crown (Nuclear Blast)

Take a listen for yourselves and then check back for our thoughts this Friday in Episode 4!

Live. Love. Plow. Horns Up.