Welcome to the Rock of Ages newsletter .... I hope you were tuned in last Thursday when we interviewed Magna Carta frontman, Chris Simpson ... a down to earth genuine soul whose love of music shines through like the sun. In talking about his classic "Lord of the Ages" song he revealed that it came to him in a flash and he believes that he 'didn't write it' as much as it was 'channelled through' him. I've heard this from many songwriters, that a particular song 'comes to them' as a whole piece whilst they struggle, sometimes for months to finish other songs. Now some people may say that is a pile of hippie claptrap but for myself I have always believed in the mystical power of music. After all who can explain why a specific piece of music can move us to either tears, action, anger, sadness inspiration or laughter - make us feel like a god, sometimes bringing our long lost youth crashing back again (you know the saying 'it makes me feel like I'm 16 again') ... and years later when we hear that song, it evokes the very same reaction? ... Love to hear your thoughts on whether you think that music has that power and, indeed if it does, what song does that for you ... email me at email@example.com.
As you know we also broadcast the first part of my recent interview with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull who will be touring SA in November (dates below). Again what an amazing musician who really opens up in the interview ... none of this sullen, petulant "I'm a star and don't you forget it" attitude that seems to be prevelant among the more recent crop of 'rawk' stars. In fact when you ask Ian a question expect a very long, articulate and sometimes complex answer ... Part 2 will be broadcast this coming Thursday....
One of the most interesting things posted on the rock wire this week is the warning about buying European travel/accomodation packages for an alleged Led Zeppelin reunion concert in London (see the story below). The quote says that 'the date is far from confirmed' and as far as I know neither Page or Plant's office have put out a disclaimer or denial ... so the question is - can it happen? Well it is common knowledge that both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones would be up for it but in the past Robert has always said that he would never do it. Of course they have 'reformed' in the past for special occasions like Jason Bonham's wedding, the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert and a couple of one-off things but a fully fledged official Led Zeppelin reunion/tour/gig has been nothing more than the ultimate rock fantasy for gazillions of fans .... In the case of The Eagles they did reform despite Don Henley's famous quote that 'hell would freeze over' before he would work with Glenn Frey again; Genesis (Rutherford, Collins, Banks) are about to embark on their first tour in 15 years, albeit without Peter Gabriel; The Police are already out on a world tour which could be one of the most lucrative ever (if they dont kill each other); even deep rooted animosity between Gilmour and Waters didn't stop Pink Floyd getting together for Live 8 (although Gilmour has squashed any further attempt to reunite) and there is talk of an original Black Sabbath lineup going out on the road for one final fling ... so again, can it happen? Yes I do believe it could. It wouldn't be for the money, as the individual members are mega wealthy, neither would it be an attempt to relive past glories or to recapture their youth (they are in their 60's). I think that if Plant, Page & Jones (plus Jason Bonham?) decide to do it it will because they want to make magic together again ... Led Zeppelin had an uncanny, almost supernatural affinity with each other as musicians. I for one will try to move mountains to get there if it happens.......
The Rock of Ages Special ... I have been asked quite a few times if I could let listeners know in advance what specials are coming up on the show. Although I don't like to plan too far in advance this is what you can expect in the coming weeks, subject of course to the odd change due to timing, moods, etc ......
13th September ..... Pedal to the Metal - 60 minutes of classic and new metal featuring the likes of Dio, Sabbath, Symphony X, Firewind, Metallica, Megadeth, Queensryche, etc
Jimi Hendrix: 27 Nov 1942-18 Sept 1970
20th September ..... Third stone from the sun .... an hour of classic Hendrix to commemorate the 37th anniversary of his passing to the Great Gig in the Sky ... some hits like Little Wing, Hey Joe and Voodoo Chile but also the more obscure tracks including Ain't no telling, Remember, House burning down, Stars that play with Laughing Sam's dice and more.
27th September .... Captain Beyond ... one of those wonderfully somewhat obscure bands that made a couple of early 70's classic rock albums and then disapppeared into the Rock Cosmos.
Stellar musicianship from one of the earliest 'supergroups' with members drawn from Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple and Armageddon.
However this week it's the turn of the metal fans to get cranked up and ready for an extravaganza of heads down, balls to the wall, hard rocking music!
Pedal to the metal
Heavy metal (sometimes referred to simply as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With roots in blues-rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion and fast guitar solos. The All Music Guide states that "of all rock & roll's myriad forms, heavy metal is the most extreme in terms of volume, machismo, and theatricality. "Heavy metal has long had a worldwide following of fans known as "metalheads" or "headbangers".
Although early heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, they were often critically reviled at the time, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s, Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; the New Wave of British Heavy Metal followed in a similar vein, fusing the music with a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Heavy metal became broadly popular during the 1980s, when many now-widespread subgenres first evolved. Variations more aggressive and extreme than metal music of the past were mostly restricted to an underground audience; others, including glam metal and, to a lesser extent, thrash metal went on to mainstream commercial success. In recent years, styles such as nu metal, progressive metal, power metal, and symphonic metal have further expanded the definition of the genre.
The origin of the term heavy metal in a musical context is uncertain. The phrase has been used for centuries in chemistry and metallurgy, as shown by citations in the Oxford English Dictionary. An early use of the term in modern popular culture was by countercultural writer William S. Burroughs. His 1962 novel The Soft Machine includes a character known as "Uranian Willy, the Heavy Metal Kid." Burroughs's next novel, Nova Express (1964), develops the theme, using heavy metal as a metaphor for addictive drugs: "With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms — Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes — And The Insect People of Minraud with metal music." Metal historian Ian Christe describes what the components of the term mean in "hippiespeak": "heavy" is roughly synonymous with "potent" or "profound," and "metal" designates a certain type of mood, grinding and weighted as with metal. The word "heavy" in this sense was a basic element of beatnik and later countercultural slang, and references to "heavy music" — typically slower, more amplified variations of standard pop fare — were already common by the mid-1960s. Iron Butterfly's debut album, released in early 1968, was titled Heavy. The first recorded use of heavy metal in a song lyric is in Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild," also released that year:"I like smoke and lightning/Heavy metal thunder/Racin' with the wind/And the feelin' that I'm under." A late, and disputed, claim about the source of the term was made by "Chas" Chandler, former manager of the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
In a 1995 interview on the PBS program Rock and Roll, he asserted that heavy metal "was a term originated in a New York Times article reviewing a Jimi Hendrix performance," in which the author likened the event to "listening to heavy metal falling from the sky." A source for Chandler's claim has never been found. The first documented use of the term to describe a musical style is in a May 1971 Creem review by Mike Saunders of Sir Lord Baltimore's Kingdom Come: "Sir Lord Baltimore seems to have down pat most all the best heavy metal tricks in the book." Creem critic Lester Bangs is credited with popularizing the term via his early 1970s essays on bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. "Heavy metal" may have initially been used as a jibe by a number of music critics, but it was quickly adopted by fans of the style. The terms "heavy metal" and "hard rock" have often been used interchangeably, particularly in discussing bands of the 1970s, a period when the terms were largely synonymous. For example, according to an entry in the 1983 Rolling Stone encyclopedia, "known for its aggressive blues-based hard-rock style, Aerosmith was the top American heavy-metal band of the mid-Seventies." Few would now characterize Aerosmith's classic sound, with its clear links to traditional rock and roll, as "heavy metal." Even some acts closely identified with the emergence of the genre, such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, are not considered heavy metal bands by some in the present-day metal community.
The electric guitar and the sonic power that it projects through amplification is historically the key element in heavy metal. In the early 1970s, some popular metal groups began co-featuring two guitarists. Leading bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden followed this pattern of having two or three guitarists share the roles of both lead and rhythm guitar. A central element of much heavy metal is the guitar solo, a form of cadenza. As the genre developed, more intricate solos and riffs became an integral part of the style. Guitarists use sweep-picking, tapping, and other advanced techniques for rapid playing, and many subgenres emphasize virtuosic displays. The lead role of the guitar in heavy metal often collides with the traditional "frontman" or bandleader role of the vocalist, creating a musical tension. Metal vocals vary widely in style, from the multioctave, theatrical manner of Judas Priest's Rob Halford and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, to the intentionally gruff approach of Motörhead's Lemmy and Metallica's James Hetfield, to the straight-out screaming and growling of Lamb of God's Randy Blythe and At The Gates' Tomas Lindberg, to the phlegm-clogged, possessed style of black metal singers such as Mayhem's Dead. Following the lead set by Jimi Hendrix and The Who — which once held the distinction of "World's Loudest Band" in the Guinness Book Of World Records — early heavy metal bands set new benchmarks for volume. Dick Peterson of Blue Cheer says, "We had a place in forming that heavy-metal sound. Although I'm not saying we knew what we were doing, 'cause we didn't. All we knew was we wanted more power." Tony Iommi, guitarist for the pioneering Black Sabbath, is among the numerous heavy metal musicians to suffer substantial hearing loss due to the volume of their live performances. Heavy metal's volume fixation was mocked in the rockumentary spoof This Is Spinal Tap in which guitarist "Nigel Tufnel" reveals that his Marshall amplifiers have been modified to "go to eleven."
The appropriation of "classical" music by heavy metal typically involves musical elements associated with Baroque, Romantic, and Modernist composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Niccolň Paganini, Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók, and Igor Stravinsky. The tritone, for instance, was already exploited for its dark, anguished connotations by Romantics like Franz Liszt and 20th-century classical composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, and Arnold Schoenberg. Deep Purple/Rainbow guitarist Ritchie Blackmore began experimenting with musical figurations borrowed from classical music in the early 1970s. In the 1980s, guitarists Randy Rhoads and Uli Jon Roth looked to the early 18th century for models of speed and technique. Yngwie Malmsteen, drawing from similar roots, has inspired myriad neoclassical metal players including Michael Romeo, Michael Angelo Batio, and Tony MacAlpine. Despite the fact that many metal musicians have cited classical composers as inspiration, heavy metal is hardly the modern descendant of classical music. As many critics and analysts have observed, heavy metal musicians focus on and borrow only superficial aspects of classical music, such as motifs, melodies, and scales. Heavy metal bands, including progressive and neoclassical metal bands, generally do not try to observe the basic compositional and aesthetical exigencies of classical music. Classical music is erudite music, whereas heavy metal is popular music. Players who cite Bach as an influence, for example, seldom make use of the complex counterpoint that is central to the composer's work. Moreover, the extensive use of power chords in heavy metal, implying countless consecutive fifths and octaves, violates rules of harmony at the heart of the classical aesthetic.
American blues music was a major influence on the early British rockers. Bands like The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds recorded covers of many classic blues songs, using electric guitar where many of the originals had used acoustic and sometimes speeding up the tempo. As they experimented with the music, the UK blues-based bands—and the U.S. acts they influenced in turn—developed what would become the hallmarks of heavy metal: At the core was a loud, distorted guitar style, built around power chords. The Kinks played a major role in popularizing this sound with their 1964 hit "You Really Got Me." A significant contributor to the emerging guitar sound was the feedback facilitated by the new generation of amplifiers. In addition to The Kinks' Dave Davies, other guitarists such as The Who's Pete Townshend and the Tridents' Jeff Beck were experimenting with feedback. Where the blues-rock drumming style started out largely as simple shuffle beats on small kits, drummers began using a more muscular, complex, and amplified approach to match and be heard against the increasingly loud guitar. Vocalists similarly modified their technique and increased their reliance on amplification, often becoming more stylized and dramatic. In terms of sheer volume, especially in live performance, The Who's "bigger-louder-wall-of-Marshalls" approach was seminal. Simultaneous advances in amplification and recording technology made it possible to successfully capture the power of this heavier approach on record.The combination of blues-rock with psychedelic rock formed much of the original basis for heavy metal. One of the most influential bands in forging the merger of genres was the power trio Cream, who derived a massive, heavy sound from unison riffing between guitarist Eric Clapton and bassist Jack Bruce, as well as Ginger Baker's double bass drumming. Their first two LPs, Fresh Cream (1966) and Disraeli Gears (1967) are regarded as essential prototypes for the future style. The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album, Are You Experienced (1967), was also highly influential. Hendrix's virtuosic technique would be emulated by many metal guitarists and the album's most successful single, "Purple Haze," is identified by some as the first heavy metal hit.
In 1968, the sound that would become known as heavy metal began to coalesce. Many scholars and fans point to Blue Cheer's cover of Eddie Cochran's classic "Summertime Blues," released in January 1968, as the first true heavy metal song. That same month, Steppenwolf released its self-titled debut album, including "Born to Be Wild," with its "heavy metal" lyric. In July, another two epochal records came out: The Yardbirds' "Think About It"—B-side of the band's last single—with a performance by guitarist Jimmy Page anticipating the metal sound he would soon make famous; and Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, with its 17-minute-long title track, a prime candidate for first-ever heavy metal album. In August, The Beatles' single version of "Revolution," with its redlined guitar and drum sound, set new standards for distortion in a top-selling context. The Jeff Beck Group, whose leader had preceded Page as The Yardbirds' guitarist, released its debut record that same month: Truth is another candidate for first heavy metal album. In October, Page's new band, Led Zeppelin, made its live debut. In November, Love Sculpture, with guitarist Dave Edmunds, put out Blues Helping, featuring a pounding, aggressive version of Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance." The Beatles' so-called White Album, which also came out that month, included "Helter Skelter," one of the heaviest-sounding songs ever released by a major band. In January 1969, Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut album was released and reached number 10 on the Billboard album chart. In July, Zeppelin and a power trio with a Cream-inspired, but cruder sound, Grand Funk Railroad, played the Atlanta Pop Festival. The following month, another Cream-rooted group, Mountain, played an hour-long set at the Woodstock Festival. In the fall, Led Zeppelin II went to number 1 and the album's single "Whole Lotta Love" hit number 4 on the Billboard pop chart. The metal revolution was under way.Led Zeppelin defined central aspects of the emerging genre, with Page's highly distorted guitar style and singer Robert Plant's dramatic, wailing vocals.Other bands, with a more consistently heavy, "purely" metal sound, would prove equally important in codifying the genre. The 1970 releases by Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath and Paranoid) and Deep Purple (Deep Purple in Rock) were crucial in this regard. Black Sabbath had developed a particularly heavy sound in part due to an industrial accident guitarist Tony Iommi suffered before cofounding the band. Unable to play normally, Iommi had to tune his guitar down for easier fretting and rely on power chords with their relatively simple fingering. Deep Purple had fluctuated between styles in its early years, but by 1969 vocalist Ian Gillan and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had led the band toward the developing heavy metal style. In 1970, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple scored major UK chart hits with "Paranoid" and "Black Night," respectively. That same year, three other British bands released debut albums in a heavy metal mode: Uriah Heep with Very 'eavy... Very 'umble, UFO with UFO 1, and Black Widow with Sacrifice. Wishbone Ash, though not commonly identified as metal, introduced a dual-lead/rhythm-guitar style that many metal bands of the following generation would adopt. The occult lyrics and imagery employed by Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, and Black Widow would prove particularly influential; Led Zeppelin also began foregrounding such elements with its fourth album, released in 1971.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the trend-setting group was Grand Funk Railroad, "the most commercially successful American heavy-metal band from 1970 until they disbanded in 1976.Other bands identified with metal emerged in the U.S., such as Dust (first LP in 1971), Blue Öyster Cult (1972), and Kiss (1974). In Germany, the Scorpions debuted with Lonesome Crow in 1972. Blackmore, who had emerged as a virtuoso soloist with Deep Purple's Machine Head (1972), quit the group in 1975 to found Rainbow. These bands also built audiences via constant touring and increasingly elaborate stage shows.] As described above, there are arguments about whether these and other early bands truly qualify as "heavy metal" or simply as "hard rock." Those closer to the music's blues roots or placing greater emphasis on melody are now commonly ascribed the latter label. AC/DC, which debuted with High Voltage in 1975, is a prime example. The 1983 Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll entry begins "Australian heavy-metal band AC/DC..." Rock historian Clinton Walker writes, "Calling AC/DC a heavy metal band in the seventies was as inaccurate as it is today.... [They] were a rock'n'roll band that just happened to be heavy enough for metal." The issue is not only one of shifting definitions, but also a persistent distinction between musical style and audience identification: Ian Christe describes how the band "became the stepping-stone that led huge numbers of hard rock fans into heavy metal perdition."
In certain cases, there is little debate. After Black Sabbath, the next major example is Britain's Judas Priest, which debuted with Rocka Rolla in 1974. In Christe's description, Black Sabbath's
audience was...left to scavenge for sounds with similar impact. By the mid-1970s, heavy metal aesthetic could be spotted, like a mythical beast, in the moody bass and complex dual guitars of Thin Lizzy, in the stagecraft of Alice Cooper, in the sizzling guitar and showy vocals of Queen, and in the thundering medieval questions of Rainbow.... Judas Priest arrived to unify and amplify these diverse highlights from hard rock's sonic palette. For the first time, heavy metal became a true genre unto itself.Though Judas Priest did not have a top 40 album in the U.S. until 1980, for many it was the definitive post-Sabbath heavy metal band; its twin-guitar attack, featuring rapid tempos and a nonbluesy, more cleanly metallic sound, was a major influence on later acts. While heavy metal was growing in popularity, most critics were not enamored of the music. Objections were raised to metal's adoption of visual spectacle and other trappings of commercial artifice, but the main offense was its perceived musical and lyrical vacuity: reviewing a Black Sabbath album in the early 1970s, leading critic Robert Christgau described it as "dull and decadent...dim-witted, amoral exploitation."
Punk rock emerged in the mid-1970s as a reaction against contemporary social conditions as well as the overindulgent rock music of the time, including heavy metal. Sales of heavy metal records declined sharply in the late 1970s in the face of punk, disco, and more mainstream rock. With the major labels fixated on punk, many newer British heavy metal bands were inspired by the movement's high-energy sound and do-it-yourself ethos, putting out releases independently to small, devoted audiences. British music papers such as the NME and Sounds began to take notice, with Sounds writer Geoff Barton christening the movement the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal."NWOBHM bands including Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Saxon, Diamond Head, and Def Leppard reenergized the heavy metal genre. Following Judas Priest's lead, they toughened up the sound, reduced its blues elements, and emphasized increasingly fast tempos. In 1980, NWOBHM broke into the mainstream, as albums by Iron Maiden, Motörhead, and Saxon reached the British top 10. The next year, Motörhead became the first band in the movement to top the UK charts with No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Other NWOBHM bands, such as Diamond Head and Venom, though less successful would also have a significant influence on metal's development. The first generation of metal bands was ceding the limelight. Deep Purple had broken up soon after Blackmore's departure in 1975, and Led Zeppelin folded in 1980. Black Sabbath was routinely upstaged in concert by its opening act, the Los Angeles band Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen established himself as one of the leading metal guitar virtuosos of the era—his solo on "Eruption," from the band's self-titled 1978 album, is considered a milestone. Randy Rhoads and Yngwie J. Malmsteen also became famed virtuosos, associated with what would be known as the neoclassical metal style.
Inspired by Van Halen's success, a metal scene began to develop in Southern California, particularly Los Angeles, during the late 1970s. Based around the clubs of L.A.'s Sunset Strip, bands such as Quiet Riot, Ratt, Mötley Crüe, and W.A.S.P. were influenced by traditional heavy metal of the earlier 1970s and incorporated the theatrics (and sometimes makeup) of glam rock acts such as Alice Cooper and Kiss.These glam metal bands—along with similarly styled acts such as New York's Twisted Sister—became a major force in metal and the wider spectrum of rock music.In the wake of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and Judas Priest's breakthrough British Steel (1980), heavy metal became increasingly popular in the early 1980s. Many metal artists benefited from the exposure they received on MTV, which began airing in 1981—sales often soared if a band's videos screened on the channel.Def Leppard's videos for Pyromania (1983) made them superstars in America and Quiet Riot became the first domestic heavy metal band to top the Billboard chart with Metal Health (1983). One of the seminal events in metal's growing popularity was the 1983 US Festival in California, where the "heavy metal day" featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Scorpions, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and others drew the largest audiences of the three-day event.Between 1983 and 1984, heavy metal went from an 8 percent to a 20 percent share of all recordings sold in the U.S. Several major professional magazines devoted to the genre were launched, including Kerrang! (in 1981) and Metal Hammer (in 1984), as well as a host of fan journals. In 1985, Billboard declared, "Metal has broadened its audience base. Metal music is no longer the exclusive domain of male teenagers. The metal audience has become older (college-aged), younger (pre-teen), and more female."
The era of metal's mainstream dominance in North America came to an end in the early 1990s with the emergence of Nirvana and other grunge bands, signaling the popular breakthrough of alternative rock. Grunge bands were influenced by the heavy metal sound, but rejected the excesses of the more popular metal bands. Glam metal fell out of favor thanks not only to the success of grunge,but also because of the growing popularity of the more aggressive sound typified by Metallica and the post-thrash groove metal of Pantera.A few new, unambiguously metal bands had commercial success during the first half of the decade—Pantera's Far Beyond Driven topped the Billboard chart in 1994—but, "In the dull eyes of the mainstream, metal was dead." Some bands tried to adapt to the new musical landscape. Metallica revamped its image: the band members cut their hair and, in 1996, headlined the alternative musical festival Lollapalooza founded by Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell. While this prompted a backlash among some long-time fans,Metallica remained one of the most successful bands in the world into the new century.
Like Jane's Addiction, many of the most popular early 1990s groups with roots in heavy metal fall under the umbrella term "alternative metal." The label was applied to a wide spectrum of acts that fused metal with different styles, not all associated with alternative rock. Acts labeled alternative metal included the Seattle grunge scene's Alice in Chains, the noise rock-infused White Zombie, and groups drawing on multiple styles: Faith No More combined their alternative rock sound with punk, funk, metal, and hip-hop; Primus joined elements of funk, punk, thrash metal, and experimental music. Tool mixed metal and progressive rock; Ministry began incorporating metal into its industrial sound; and Marilyn Manson went down a similar route, while also employing shock effects of the sort popularized by Alice Cooper. Alternative metal artists, though they did not represent a cohesive scene, were united by their willingness to experiment with the metal genre and their rejection of glam metal aesthetics (with White Zombie's and Marilyn Manson's stagecraft representing significant, if partial, exceptions). Alternative metal's mix of styles and sounds represented "the colorful results of metal opening up to face the outside world. "In the mid- and late 1990s came a new wave of U.S. metal groups inspired by the alternative metal bands and their mix of genres.Dubbed "nu metal," bands such as P.O.D., Korn, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, and Linkin Park incorporated elements ranging from hip-hop to death metal, proving "pancultural metal could pay off." Nu metal gained mainstream success through heavy MTV rotation and Ozzy Osbourne's 1996 introduction of Ozzfest, which led the media to talk of a resurgence of heavy metal. That year, Korn released Life Is Peachy, the first nu metal album to reach the top 10; two years later, the band's Follow the Leader hit number 1. In 1999, Billboard noted that there were more than 500 specialty metal radio shows in the U.S., nearly three times as many as ten years before.
While nu metal was widely popular early in the 2000s, traditional metal fans did not fully embrace the style. By 2005, the nu metal movement was waning, though P.O.D. and Korn, as well as some bands with related styles, such as System of a Down, remained successful. Metalcore, an originally American hybrid of thrash metal, melodic death metal, and hardcore punk, emerged as a commercial force in 2002–3. It is rooted in the crossover thrash style developed by bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and Stormtroopers of Death in the mid-1980s. Through the 1990s, metalcore was mostly an underground phenomenon, but by 2004 it had become popular enough that Killswitch Engage's The End of Heartache and Shadows Fall's The War Within debuted at numbers 21 and 20, respectively, on the Billboard album chart. Lamb of God broke into the top 10 with Sacrament (2006). In recent years, metalcore bands have received prominent slots at Ozzfest and Download Festival. In Europe, especially Germany and Scandinavia, metal continues to be broadly popular. Acts such as the thrash shredding group The Haunted, melodic death metal band In Flames, and power metal group HammerFall have been very successful in recent years. In English-speaking countries, the term "retro-metal" was applied in the early and mid-2000s to such bands as England's The Darkness and Australia's Wolfmother. The Darkness's Permission to Land (2003), described as an "eerily realistic simulation of '80s metal and '70s glam," topped the UK charts, going quintuple platinum. Wolfmother's self-titled 2005 debut album, with "Deep Purple-ish organs," "Jimmy Page-worthy chordal riffing," and lead singer Andrew Stockdale howling "notes that Robert Plant can't reach anymore," also sold well and was widely praised by critics.
Many subgenres of heavy metal have developed outside of the commercial mainstream, several attempts have been made to map the complex world of underground metal, most notably by the editors of Allmusic, as well as critic Garry Sharpe-Young. Sharpe-Young's multivolume metal encyclopedia separates the underground into five major categories: thrash metal, death metal, black metal, power metal, and the related subgenres of doom and gothic metal.
Warnings have been issued to Led Zeppelin fans not to buy supposed travel/accommodation packages being offered by some companies for the band's alleged re-union show at the O2 Arena in London later this year. The date is far from confirmed.
ALICE LIVE ACOUSTIC ALBUM
Alice In Chains are planning to release a live acoustic album next year. This is being recorded at selected shows on their current US tour.
BIG NAMES PROVE THEMSELVES
Nirvana, Angels & Airwaves, At The Gates, Bad Brains, Darkest Hour, Foo Fighters, Fu Manchu and Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster will all have tracks featured on new skateboarding game 'Tony Hawks' Proving Ground', due out later this year. They'll be joined by Three, Pig Destroyer, The Smashing Pumkins, Snapcase, The Bled, The Clash, The Cramps, The Icarus Line and the Sex Pistols.
SABBATH IN '08?
While there are ongoing talks, nothing has yet been settled about a Black Sabbath tour in 2008. However, the clever money is still on one final fling from Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward.
Veteran San Francisco band Blue Cheer, a major stoner influence, are to release a new album on October 8. Called 'What Doesn't Kill You', it's on the Evangeline label.
David Gilmour is to release a DVD next month. It's called 'Remember The Night: Live From The Royal Albert Hall'. This is a double disc, with over five hours of footage.
HILLY KRISTAL DIES
Hilly Kristal, founder of the legendary New York club CBGB's, has died at the age of 75. We send condolences to his family and friends.
Ramones are to have a double disc DVD released in early October. To be called 'It's Alive 1974-1996', this is to feature 118 songs, including previously unseen footags of the band playing the Rainbow Theatre in London on New Year's Eve 1977.
'DC GET PLUGGED
AC/DC are to have a career spanning DVD box set released in mid October by Columbia. It's to be called 'Plug Me In'.
'RYCHE UNDER COVER
Queensryche are to release a covers album in November. Titled 'Take Cover', it's to include songs by Pink Floyd, Queen, Black Sabbath, U2, Peter Gabriel and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
The legendary Jethro Tull return to South African shores in November for their second tour (they came in the 90's). In a recent phone interview founder Ian Anderson promised SA fans 'the best of Jethro Tull drawn from a cross section of albums' .... can't wait ..... book now at Computicket.
7th November - Grand West Casino, Cape Town
9th November 2007 – Lords and Legends, Amanzimtoti, Durban
10th November 2007 – Carnival City's Big Top Arena, JHB
11th November 2007 – Carnival City's Big Top Arena, JHB
Known for their epic 70's "Lord of the Ages" album, folk rockers Magna Carta are set to tour next month as follows:
15 Sept The Armchair Theatre (Cape Town)
22 Sept White Mountain Festival (Drakensberg KZN)
Boulevard Blues Band
Sat 8 September Fogey’s Muizenberg
Sun 09 September Just Wine, Montague Gardens
Fri 14 September Nameless Pub, Somerset West
Sat 15 September Die Boer, Durbanville
Sun 16 September Bloemendal Wine Estate
Fri 21 September Harley Rally, Graaff Reinet
Sat 22 September Harley Rally, Colesberg
Sun 23 September Hermanus Whale Festival
Wed 25 September Bertie's Moorings, Gordons Bay
Sun 30 September Rock The Daisies Festival
23rd September Bokomo Hall La Rochelle Hall, Faure Street, Paarl
24th September Bokomo Hall La Rochelle Hall, Faure Street, Paarl
12 September 2007: Dorpstraat Teater, Stellenbosch
13 September 2007: Durbanville Kunskafee
14 September 2007: Botrivier Hotel
15 September 2007 Flaming Fox, Tableview
16 September 2007: Lord Nelson Hotel
Thunder Road Rock Diner
11th Open Stage Jam Sessions
14th Laurie Levine
18th Open Stage Jam Sessions
21st/28th Steve, Dain & Tara Faatar
Dream. Independent, in benefit of the Reach for a Dream Foundation; 5 October 2007; Leibrandt van Niekerk Hall, Table View; R40 Entrance; All Ages; Featuring: New Altum, the Sleepers, Mercurial & 3 young bands competing for fantastic prizes.
Jozi Invasion Fuzigish, New Academics, the Hellphones and Japan and I
8 September Uitkyk Rd, Nelspruit 1200
Japan & I & The Hellphones
Friday 14 September The Red Door, Pietermaritzburg
Saturday 15 September Burn Nightclub, 16 Walls Avenue, Stamford Hill, DBN
Tanz Café, Bryanston
8th Moloi Hesse (Blues)
14 September - Tempos, Johannesburg
21 September - Metalfarm - www.metalfarm.co.za
28 September - Waenhuise, freestate
29 September - Witchfest - www.witchfest.co.za
06 October - Club So - Knave's Album Launch
13 October - Nightfall Festival
27 October - Bohemians, TJ's Meltdown (Celebration Gig)
31 October - Steamers, Northcliff
03 November - Tempos
23 November - Red Door, Pietermaritzburg
24 November - Burn, Durban
29 February 2008 - RAM Festival
WHITE MOUNTAIN FOLK FESTIVAL
21 to 24 September
For more information, day tripper rates or to enquire about trading at the festival, visit www.whitemountain.co.za or contact Pedro at 082 892 6176.
Friday, 21 September
19:00 Tim Pepper
19:30 Baz Corden
20:15 Kathy Raven & Mike Meiring
21:30 Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters
Saturday, 22 September
12:00 Newcastle Musicians Club: Sernband, Cherise, Peter Bouwer, Shane Crompton, Angus Burns & Cara Malan
14:00 SA v Tonga (IRB World Cup)
16:00 Clock-Struck June
16:30 Arlyn Culwick
17:15 Somebody’s Child
19:00 Dan Patlansky
20:15 Southern Gypsey Queen
21:30 Magna Carta
Sunday, 23 September
13:00 Shannon Hope
13:30 The Ryan Calder Band
14:30 Rowan Stuart
15:00 Laurie Levine
15:45 Roly Struckmeyer
16:30 Margaret's Daughter
17:30 Habit To
18:30 Josie Field
19:30 Farryl Purkiss
20:30 Rory Eliot & The Reason
You say it's your birthday...
Roger Waters - Pink Floyd - 1944
Dave Bargeron - Blood, Sweat & Tears - 1942
Peter Cetera - Chicago - 1944
David Clayton-Thomas - Blood Sweat & Tears - 1941
Randy Jones - Village People - 1952
Dave Quincy - Manfred Mann's Earth Band - 1939
Steve Gaines - Lynyrd Skynyrd- 1949
Stay tuned every Thursday 8-12pm for the best in classic rock on RADIO 2000.
Benjy Mudie is a self confessed 'rockaholic' with little chance of recovery... a music obsessive whose entire life has been spent in search of the lost chord... from discovering Jimi's "Are you experienced" at 13, he has constantly devoured music through lp's, singles, tapes, cds, dvds, books, magazines, film, concerts, radio, tv and the internet. His entire working life has also been music related: from running a record store and later joining WEA Records in the mid 70's through to his 21 year A&R/Marketing stint at Tusk Music where he signed some of the biggest names in South African rock and pop. The last 8 years have been spent nurturing new talent at his indie label Fresh Music and reissuing classic albums as part of it's ongoing Retro series.... To say that 'music is his first love' (to paraphrase John Miles's classic song) is somewhat understated.