Iron Maiden and many other great Heavy Metal bands have inspired generations of musicians. Some have made it big, while others are still waiting for their turn to be in the spotlights of fame and recognition. I have compiled here a little list of these emerging bands that deserve attention. These bands have either sent a demo to me or at least made their music available for me to appreciate. Sometimes, they are bands I saw in concert and was sufficiently impressed with to add them here. Those of you out there who have a band that needs promotion can get in touch with me and, provided that I like the music and/or lyrical content enough, I shall put their name in the list of the future Hall of Fame of Heavy Metal (be aware that if I feel that the band's not worth it, I may not put it here – I am trying to select only the best as far as I can judge). The great new bands I selected so far are the following:
Adeslave is a newly-created band from Liège (Luik), Belgium,
and whose birth took place sometime in the summer of 2002.
Their compositions are strongly influenced by Iron Maiden and the intricate
complexity of the guitars is supported by solid bass and drum lines in the
purest tradition of Harris's gang. Their 4-title demo, All Lost, is constructed
around the central theme of lost civilisations, may they have been real or
fictitious. The very professional attitude of this band is not only obvious in
their music, but also in their deeply researched lyrics as well as in the quality
of the artwork they selected for their cover.
All in all, Adeslave deserve to break through as serious contenders to carry the torch
of Maiden-style sophisticated music and unwavering attitude. When the
"masters" retire, there will still be this band to contribute
to the future of quality Heavy Metal. It may not be the only band in
this category, but it certainly stands out among the others. Like
Iron Maiden, they give their best on stage, so don't hesitate to go
to their concerts. They will blow your socks off, then you'll be able to
enjoy a beer or two with them, as all four of them are also very nice blokes
whom I had the pleasure to meet. Just avoid mentioning their Belgian accents!
All Lost (4-track demo)
This young band from Northern France mixes brilliantly intricate
melodies and Maiden-like rythm shifts. Sometimes reminiscent of Queensryche,
they chose to sing in English to adapt the voice lines to the ingenious Metal riffs
they composed. They all have a strong musical background and education,
and this professionalism appears clearly in their compositions. This band has
the potential to go far and to make it big on the Metal scene.
Who said Metal was dead?
Their latest album, Hero is strongly recommended to all the purist
Century Scream (demo)
Chaos Theory is a band from Melbourne, Australia, and their Metal
shows that things are certainly happening Down Under. Their music is obviously
influenced by Iron Maiden, although they have developed their own style, associating
powerful melodies with hard-driving rhythms. The way they describe themselves says it all:
"The bands unique and uncompromising style melds classic Maidenesque-type melodies
with shrilling solos that send bible-bashers fleeing, like the damned being pursued by a pack of
ravenous demons into the fiery bowels of hell. The vocal crescendo of infernal triumph soars as
the beat mesmerizes, then rapidly fires like a machine gun spraying bullets of soul-shuddering sound.
The enigmatic bass lines gallop like a warhorse riding into a primordial battle that has long been forgotten
in the mists of time. The lyrical and musical incantations irrepressible, as the force that is Chaos Theory
is coming soon to a theatre near you!"
Aurora Twilight EP
Conquestador is a brilliant Heavy/Speed Metal band from Tilburg,
The Netherlands. Their music is best described as thumping double-bass
drums alternating with swinging drum leads in the best style of Richard Christy, which,
combined with powerful bass lines, forms a solid base supporting the fast
harmonic guitar leads and strong metal riffs. The great vocals, with catchy
choruses complement perfectly the music, not to mention the twin lead
solos that make this band the proud heirs of Iron Maiden and Iced Earth.
They have performed live before many large audiences all over Holland
and earned several very positive reviews in the process. Conquestador,
like Iron Maiden, are at their best on stage where audience interaction
is very important. Giving 100% of their energy, they communicate their
strength and enthusiasm to the audience who is never disappointed.
A Conquestador show is a show to remember!
A Four Months History (demo)
Powerful guitars, smashing drum and bass work, intricate melodies and rhythm shifts.
This description could apply to Iron Maiden. However, it is also describing accurately
this little band from Villefranche-sur-Saône, France. Where?
Exactly: the middle of nowhere. Brilliant musicians like this quintet sprout from the
most unexpected places and need to be advertised to the wide world in order to give
their talent the recognition it deserves.
The music is strong, obviously influenced by Maiden, but the voice – with French
lyrics – is typical of 80s French Metal, which may pose a problem for those who do not
appreciate this language. Imagine Paul Di'Anno singing in French, with the same powerful voice,
but with this inexplicable "Frenchy" quality. Bands singing in their native tongue
often have problems getting known outside of their national borders (except maybe Rammstein,
but they actually use the fact that they sing in German to add to their unique style), which a shame
because, as a whole, Forlax's music is excellent.
So get hold of their album, Suppose It War (a pun mixing French and English, meaning
literally "suppository"). You'll certainly appreciate the music and also, for those who are
familiar with the French language, the tongue-in-cheek humour that you can find both in the lyrics
and in the CD cover sleeve.
Suppose It War
Founded in 2001, Godiva is the reunion of experimented
as well as talented musicians who had begun their respective carreers with several
other bands. This is honest and efficient Metal, a sort of hybrid between Maidenís bass,
Iced Earthís drums, and Judas Priestís vocals and guitars. A perfect mixture
between transparent musical brilliance and the necessary bit of dirty Rock'n'Roll,
rarely a band's debut album has sounded so fresh and yet so heavy. The voice
of Anthony De Angelis hovers in Rob Halford-trebles over Sammy Lasagni's
forceful heavy riffs, while Mitch Koontz and Peter Gander are driving the rhythm
machine on full throttle. Right now, Godiva are the hottest and freshest Metal
export from Switzerland, that's for sure!
Who said that the only metal in Switzerland was the gold
sleeping in their bank vaults?
HK – for Hunter-Killer – is a young band from Guilford,
England. Their music is quite obviously strongly influenced by Iron Maiden,
even with the three-guitar attack, and I would be curious to see them live. One of their
guitarists dropped by on the maidenfans.com forum and asked me to give his
band a listen. I was not disappointed by what I heard and, although there isn't
much to say about them, the band still deserves to be part of the list
of great new bands. I wish them all the luck they deserve for the future.
Forged From Lightning
Miles Beyond is a Power Metal band that was born in October of 2002 in a little place
of Michigan, USA, called Flint. The riffs and melodies of Tim Moody
and Paul O.'s guitars show an obvious influence from Iron Maiden, but still retain their
own originality. Tim Moody also handles the vocals and his powerful voice blends in
perfectly well with their compositions. On some vocals lines, the melodic strength
and emotion that emanate seem directly inspired by Queensrÿche's Geoff Tate.
An efficient and powerful rhythm section, with Larry Moody on bass and Tod Fisher
on drums, complete the scene to perfection. All in all, any Maiden fan –
and indeed any fan of great music! – will certainly enjoy this extremely promising
band. As Queensrÿche are getting close to retirement, and Iced Earth being no
spring chickens either, bands like this one will carry forward the flame of American Metal
and take it... miles beyond!
Like Iron Maiden have Eddie, this band from Brittany, France,
have the mummified body of a cat – aptly called "spacecat"
– as a mascot. Their music follows the great tradition of French Heavy
Metal bands of the 1980s, such as Blasphème, Sortilège,
or ADX to name but a few. The strong music contains melodies that
betray their Celtic origins, and the clear voice matches brilliantly very
intelligent lyrics. The songs are mainly in French, which may hamper
an international carreer, as English usually suits better this style of
music. In any case, this doesn't seem to be such a big problem, as the band
has already received extremely good reviews, both in France and
SDF (3-track mini-CD)
Karrig an Ankou
When a Swedish Metal freak gave me the Ram demo CD at a Blaze concert,
I was not expecting such a good surprise (thanks Magnus!). This
"uncompromising Metal" band from Gothenburg,
Sweden allies in the most efficient manner the melodies of
Iron Maiden with the guitar riffs of Judas Priest and the heavy sound
of Black Sabbath. Well worth a listen!
Defining themselves as "Pure Melodic Rock", Rizon are a great
band from the area of Zurich, Switzerland. Their compositions
are the finest around, with an inspiration taken from the early Bon Jovi
(i.e., when they were still making good music and before they sold out
to dish out radio-friendly mainstream crap). The musicians are not only talented,
but they are also down-to-earth and very friendly – no rock-star attitude there!
– and their respective ages span a couple of generation. Get hold of their CD,
you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Seymihol is a brilliant Progressive Metal band from the area of
Metz, France. Their latest release is an album
centered on the theme of the Scandinavian VIIIth century with Viking tales. The
music is as operatic as Blind Guardian at their best and most enjoyable,
with the inclusion of keyboards and of a great female voice alongside
the singer's excellent vocal prowesses. Enough said, just get the album.
You have my word that you won't regret it.
Thunder In The Dark
Who remembers Mama's Boys, the great Celtic Metal band from Ireland composed of
the three McManus brothers? For those who are too young, here is the next generation of
Celtic/Medieval Metal, also with three brothers, but this time around from the Auvergne
region of France. The Lecomte brothers deliver an efficient and inspired
music and their eponymous first album is a promise of more great music to come. Their sound
is reminiscent of 80s French Hard Rock (Der Kaiser anyone?), but with a more modern aspect
to it, weaving complex guitar melodies with a powerful voice (forget the French accent!) and
perfect heavy drumming. This trio of siblings has the potential to go far and has already delivered
a fantastic 12-minute epic, 'Final March, Last War', whose 5 movements could be
a symphonic version of 'Phantom Of The Opera', as well as a brilliant instrumental, 'Enchanted
Alloy', who will please those who like Angra. Give them a listen and I can assure you that your hopes
concerning the future of Metal will not be in vain.