Heavy Metal

Anthrax

Although die-hard fans stuck by Anthrax no matter who their singer was, it is widely agreed among metalheads that the band was at their peak - both artistically and commercially - when Joey Belladonna was fronting the line-up. What set them apart from the pack in those days was, while other thrash metallists had front-men(...)

Black Sabbath

The definitive heavy metal band, Black Sabbath, emerged from Birmingham in the British Midlands in 1967. Their debut album, Black Sabbath (1970), stormed to #8 in the UK charts. As with all overnight success, it was somewhat deceptive. In an earlier incarnation called Earth (and before that - Polka Tulk) the band had clocked up ceaseless late-night miles and(...)

Cinderella

In the late 80s, Cinderella had triple-platinum hits in the US with debut album Night Songs (1986) and follow-up Long Cold Winter. Night Song was released a year after the group were discovered by Jon Bon Jovi and showcased a band whose sound embraced both the trashy glam-metal of LA bands Mötley Crüe and Ratt, but also a more thoughtful bluesy(...)

Deep Purple

In 1967, former drummer of The Searchers, Chris Curtis, asked the boss of Alice Edwards Gowns (a rag trade company) to manage a new group he wanted to put together. Tony Edwards invited his friend John Coletta, an advertising consultant, to join him in this new venture. Originally named Roundabout, the band got off to a(...)

Def Leppard

Def Leppard formed in Sheffield, England in 1977 as Atomic Mass with original members Rick Savage, Pete Willis and Tony Kenning. Frontman Joe Elliot came into the picture not long after and the band adopted the name Deaf Leopard, soon altering the spelling to be "more rock 'n' roll". Additional guitarist Steve Clark (the 17-year-old(...)

Dio

Formed after Ronnie James Dio's departure from Black Sabbath, Dio's first self-titled outfit featured the considerable talents of fellow Sabbath absconder Vinny Appice on drums, alongside ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain and guitarist Vivian Campbell. The first result of this union was the explosive debut, Holy Diver, an album so strong that it would overshadow all the(...)

Dokken

There was never a better time to be a big-haired hard rock band from Los Angeles than in 1987. Mötley Crüe were riding high with the monster hit Girls Girls Girls, Poison were breaking big, the hottest new band in town was Guns N' Roses . . . and for one of LA's more established bands,(...)

Heavy Metal

Fine in principal, but not quite in practice; The Heavy Metal crowd consistently ruled much of the 80's, which is why there was 'alternative music' back then. The new bands took the rock posturing of KISS but left the humour behind and the ageing arena bands slunk out from under their rocks and carried on as though(...)

Judas Priest

Named after the Bob Dylan song The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest and led by Tim Brooke-Taylor look-alike and openly gay biker dress-alike Rob Halford, Judas Priest were never taken as seriously as other heavy metal bands, partly because Halford was a weedy (and later, balding) vocalist, and possibly because they were no Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin.(...)

New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)

In the early 1980s, UK rock magazine Sounds ardently promoted (and christened) the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal -  the acronym of which is spelt NWOBHM and pronounced "nuh'wobbum". Decades on from its humble beginnings in scabby working men's clubs, pubs and nightclubs across England's ravaged industrial heartlands, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal seems(...)

Pantera

One of the most influential heavy metal bands of the 90s, Texan quartet Pantera knocked out a series of albums in that decade that redefined the genre. But in the background lies a 1980s back catalogue that is worlds apart from their latter-day hardcore, semi-death metal. The Abbott brothers (Darell and Vinnie), bassist Rex Brown(...)

Rainbow

A few months prior to his departure from Deep Purple in 1975, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore teamed up with members of a decidedly mediocre American band called Elf and recorded Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow for Polydor. Although it was basically a one-off solo LP, Blackmore and Elf vocalist Ronnie James Dio became good friends and songwriting partners. When Blackmore(...)

Saxon

Saxon vocalist Peter "Biff" Byford is a Yorkshireman with strictly old-school values. Once photographed enjoying a cup of tea while his wife washed his car with her broken arm in a sling, he likes his Metal plain and simple. Saxon are best remembered for early-80s hits such as Wheels Of Steel and 747 (Strangers In The Night); thunderous(...)

Scorpions, The

The Scorpions formed in Hanover, Germany, in 1971, and recorded their first album, Lonesome Crow, in Hamburg a little later. The band embarked on a gruelling touring schedule, playing 130 concerts with very few breaks. In Germany, they quickly established themselves as competitors with the top British and American heavy metal bands. It was on a(...)

Sepultura

Brazilian thrash metal band formed in Sao Paolo in 1983 by teenage brothers Max and Igor Cavelera (on guitar and drums respectively) with guitarist Andreas Kisser and bassist Paolo Jr. making up the quartet. While stories of the drinking and partying that went into the making of Arise (1991) are rife, Sepultura's fourth album is notably more(...)

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