Friday, May 28, 2010

Current Trend: NWOBHM

So because I am trying to begin again with the Current Trends, I have been attempting to segment my listening styles into one or two set genres, with varying levels of success. And because of my lack of wanting to sit and write, this Trend is not so Current. But oh well, here we go.

This time my focus was on music from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (or NWOBHM), the direct precursor to power metal, and indirect host of hair/glam metal and thereby (as an anti-theses) thrash. These bands were among the first to introduce the dueling guitar style, and often had early operatic-style vocals and fantasy stories with the songs. Many of these bands had large live shows as well, and were claimed to be the silver age of metal (the golden age being the founders of metal, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc, from the decades before). The majority of these bands took hold in the late 70's/early 80's and were lead by such greats as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Motorhead. These bands dominated the airways and charts for the better part of a decade, until the likes of glam became popular and more straight-forward rock acts like Guns 'N Roses and Van Halen began to flourish.

Although I had planned to listen to a variety of NWOBHM bands, the only ones I really focused on were the greats; I am of course referring to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. To me these pairing of groups are the iconic definition of what it was to be heavy metal in the 80's. They still tour today, and still fill stadiums to the rafters (I am very upset that the Iron Maiden tour with Dream Theater isn't coming anywhere close to where I live).
I went through every Iron Maiden album, because come on, they are fucking Iron Maiden; even their bad albums are good. I grew up with their greatest hits, Best of The Beast, and their live, A Real Live Dead One, albums blasting on my fathers stereo anytime we went on a road trip. For me Iron Maiden makes up a large part of my youth.
Judas Priest is a bit of a different story, the only album of theirs I knew growing up was their phenomenal British Steel album - to which I still know every word to every song. And the Priest pre-dated NWOBHM by almost a decade, forming in 1969 when Iron Maiden didn't get together until 1975. As such, their earlier works are much different then their later ones, reminiscent of an early thrash style. Also, they have released a lot more albums then many other bands carrying the NWOBHM moniker. So I got a tad bored with it all (as I often do) at around the half-way point. I do intend to get back to it, but it will probably be a while.

So that is is, my latest Current Trend. At the time of my last posting the plan wad for NWOBHM then to segue into thrash, and I accomplished that a bit. Not enough to warrant a whole Trend report, but I'm working on it. Lately I have been feeling too eclectic to fall into a set style, I haven't even been able to go through several albums at a time (as you will notice with my light album count with this months Albums Listened To)

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