Years of Decay 1995

1995… What a year…That was 24 years ago! So many metal classics were released in 1995. It’s been one of those years when we got plenty of everything! The grunge was in its final phase, nu-metal alternatives were boiling, MTV was playing Offspring and Green Day like hell. The Second Wave of the Black Metal was in its absolute peak. Oasis, rap music and 90s Euro disco peaked as well. 

It was quite a challenge to select only one album to write about today. Every one of us has so many favorite albums from 1995, encompassing all kind of genres and sub-genres. The list is really long and for sure you – our readers, can always add another great recommendation or memory. We chose to rant about these ones below. What do you think?

Enjoy our 1995 selection and most of all – enjoy your Sunday!

GEHENNA – Seen Through the Veils of Darkness (The Second Spell)
October 1995, Cacophonous Records

The first album from this band, after the amazing EP named “First Spell” and it is the first release of them via Cacophonous Records. A label that is the past released so many classics inside the Black Metal style including Primordial, Bal-Sagoth or Sigh also in 1995. Oh well… Golden years… read more

In my opinion, this album is one of the best releases made in Norway and who knows in the year of 1995 inside the Black Metal style. If you are “pvrist” this album is not for you. It as keys so stay away from this masterpiece. The cold and icy riffs here are just… Can I say… Can I say amazing? Yes I can, simple but very effective. I remember seeing the CD and also the LP when it was released and I listening so many and many times. Sadly that time the money was not too much, so I didn’t get it in the original version or any other edition. I already saw it for sale on auction websites but more than 80 euros for the LP? Nahhhhh If you don’t know the band now it’s time for you to check. If you already know it… Remind a bit…

The Key Keeper

Paradise Lost – Draconian Times
June 1995, Music For Nations

There are albums that accompany you all your life – in good and bad. They live with you and you live with them. Albums which help you survive, endure, keep on going, save you. For 24 years up to now PARADISE LOST’s “Draconian Times” has been one of these albums for me. Like most of the PARADISE LOST records, by the way. So why not ranting about one classic 1995 album? An emblematic one in the band’s catalogue.  read more

I’m a PL total fan since December 1991 when I heard for the first time “Gothic”. Every next album has been giant leap forward, always providing something truly unique. No exception with “Draconian Times” – the band’s fifth full-length album. Probably their finest for the most PL fans, and for sure band’s most acclaimed. The album offers another exceptional experience in comparison to the colossal “Icon” (although in some of the song in Draconian, the Icon’s spirit is very strong) and raw melancholic “Shades of God”. Since the very first note of “Enchantment”, it drowns in the gothic melancholic atmosphere, this time much more refined, controlled, but always with hidden sadness. The vocals of Nick are cleaner than before. The slightly “lighter” melodies and the dynamics of (the awesome tracks) “Hallowed Land”, “Last time” and “Once Solemn” presented the band in a new light. The latter two were heavily rotated on MTV’s Headbangers Ball along with “Forever failure” of course, which turned into a massive hit. I personally do not like this song and still don’t understand the hype around. Let’s mention the rest massive tracks which complete this 10/10 album – “Shadowkings” (another favorite), “Elusive cure”, “Shades of God”, “Hands of Reason”, “I see your face” and “Jaded”. The music just runs flawlessly second after second with unique brilliant solo works by Gregg, and the rhythm section of Aaron and Stephen. The variety in the tempo in all twelve tracks on the record is something which makes an impression too. And probably you noticed that I haven’t spoken so far about “Yearn for Change”. This is my favorite track in “Draconian Times”, probably in my personal Top 3 PL tracks and among my most favorite metal tracks ever, containing among the best, the fines and the most exceptional lyrics. Lyrics to which I leaned on so many times. Time may heal all the trouble, is that what I found? Our lives leading onwards, but the essence is stronger. Yes indeed, my lovelies, Life is all the pain we endeavor!

Approaching a silence, a blur of subsidence
Time may heal all troubles, is that what I found?
Joy entices all, until death’s lonely shroud
But I know, it’s forever…

Praying for a change
Praying for a change

Our lives leading onwards, the essence is stronger
Memories of life drifting further away
I must doubt that where there’s a will there’s a way…
But I know, it’s forever…

Praying for a change
Praying for a change

Life is all the pain we endeavour
Life is all the pain we endeavour
Life is all the pain we endeavour
Life is all the pain we endeavour
Life is all the pain we endeavour

Praying for a change
Praying for a change
Praying for a change
Praying for a change

Count Vlad

DEATH – Symbolic
March 1995, Roadrunner Records

The 90’s decade is often derided in the Metal community. Nothing was as straight forward as the 80’s – and yes, whilst the Thrash crowd clashed with the Glam Rock fraternity, everyone was pretty much into everyone and everything else. The 90’s? – Well, as The Scorpions would suggest, the winds of change swept through this decade like a hurricane; bands were slashed from label rosters, contracts torn up, Nirvana and Grunge became ‘the sound’ of a new generation, Scandinavian Black Metal rose from the underground and Metallica became a monster. Metal was becoming increasingly fractured. Yet, you could still rely on some well-established acts delivering the goods, so to speak! read more

There was nothing wrong with the year of 1995. Evidence? – albums from At The Gates, Down, Fear Factory, Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity and Dissection are just some examples of a year worthy of praise. Add to this list, Chuck Schuldiner’s DEATH! In ’95, Death was onto their 6th album; utter veterans – they were returning off the back of a couplet of their most revered albums in ‘91’s Human and ‘93’s Individual Thought Patterns. Both incredible examples of Chuck’s development and foray into the genre of Progressive Death Metal. 

Enter ‘Symbolic’. Now as much as I love the entire Death catalogue, it is Symbolic that stands up as the pinnacle Chuck’s of song writing master craft. You have to remember also, that this album only comes some seven years after the fantastically gore laden debut – and with 4 other albums in between, the progression, development and evolution conveyed over this time is astounding. The album title stands as testament to this. Furthermore, Symbolic was recorded and unleashed with an entirely new and once-only line up (save Gene Hoglan who played on ITP), notably Bobby Koelble and Kelly Conlan on guitar and bass respectively joining the band.

The great thing about Symbolic is that it encompasses everything that the educated Heavy music fan would appreciate. It is brutal, yet beautiful; extreme, yet progressive; and clean, yet elaborate. It just has so much depth and ambition that even today, nearly 25 years later, sounds as vibrant, fresh and captivating as the day it was released. Chuck was renowned for his drive and single minded vision and in Symbolic it is clear that every riff, every lead and every nuance of the genius he was attempting to convey was carefully considered and curated to within an inch of its life. Even Chuck’s vocals – for the mainstream metal fan, possibly the deciding factor in whether to investigate this band further – whilst  still within the realm of Death Metal, Chuck’s execution on Symbolic is his finest hour, emotionally charged and delivered with frightening rage and conviction. Christ, as an example just listen to his performance on ‘Empty Words’ – he’s never entered that stratosphere before. The point is, vocally Chuck could have remained safe and delivered something akin to previous efforts, but like the reconstruction and maturity of his song craft, it is the effort made vocally that also makes Symbolic such a prominent beast compared to Death’s earlier albums.

It is hard to believe just how far Death matured and progressed in the seven years between the debut and Symbolic and whilst Chuck would go to push his boundaries even further on ‘98’s ‘The Sound of Perseverance’ (which I also love), there is just something about Symbolic that sticks deep within me. The elaborate canvas that Chuck uses to weave his intricate, thoughtful and utterly captivating compositions is truly a thing a beauty. To those wanting to know – as an example of just how great heavy music is, how artistically compelling and accomplished it can be – an art form to be taken seriously – this is what you play them. Death. Symbolic. 1995. Masterpiece.

R.I.P. Chuck Shuldiner (1984-2001)

KMaN

 

FAITH NO MORE – King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime
March 1995, Slash Records

Virtually everyone has those records that they know inside out and back to front, that have lived with them so closely and for so long that they feel like an essential part of who they are. For me, “King for a Day” is one of those records. read more

I only really started to delve into the world of metal around ’97, so although I was aware of FNM as early as ’91 or ’92 – and I remember seeing them perform “Digging The Grave” on the once essential (now long dead) UK music show Top of the Pops – it would be a couple of years more before this album started to worm its way deep into my psyche.

I can’t say for sure, but I have a strong feeling the album has a conceptual thread running through it of a man going to prison and dealing with all that entails. I’ve had this view for a long time and it adds a certain uhhh…. colour let’s say to some of the lyrical content. Let me give you a few examples to illustrate how you might interpret this album if you approach it from the “super-fun-times-in-prison” angle:

You beat me every time you blink…
 If you want to open the hole, just put your head down and go…
 This year you’ll sit and take it, and you will like it…
 I deserve a reward cos I’m the best fuck that you ever had and if I tighten up my hole you may never see the light again…

And that’s just from tracks 2, 3 and 4. There’s plenty more in there to fit the theory… not to mention the fact that one of the tracks is called “Cuckoo for Caca” for goodness sake. I don’t think I need to labour this point anymore.

Sticking with the lyrics and vocals, another great feature of the album is the way Mike Patton seems to sing from the perspective of different characters within a given song and sometimes who he’s representing blurs. Some people might be put off by the themes, but this album to me is one of the best examples of how great a lyricist Mike Patton can be.

From the point that Patton joined the band the only instability as far as personnel goes has been on guitar. “King for a Day…” is the only to feature Trey Spruance (from the greatest of all “other” Patton bands: MR. BUNGLE). While Trey doesn’t rip into any face-melting solos a la Jim Martin (I’m pretty sure he could if he wanted to), this is a dirtier, grimier, riff-driven album than Angel Dust (although the band still effortlessly takes sharp turns like on the Vegas-funk “Star A.D.” or the serene “Caralho Voador”. On tracks like the chugging “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” you’d have to think quite hard to work out what Roddy Bottom’s contribution is. Some people might view this as evidence that “King for a Day…” is somehow a diminishing return after “The Real Thing” and “Angel Dust”, but that is/was the beauty of FNM: they’re always doing something different and “King for a Day” has a real nasty edge to it (while still being extremely catchy) that gives it an edge I don’t think the band has had before or since.

Look FNM are amazing, I’m hardly the first to make that observation, but if you’ve glossed over this album in the past give it a bit more attention. Just because it’s got a bit of poo on its lips doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let it in to play.

Tom Boatman


 

IMMORTAL – Battles in the North
May 1995, Osmose Productions

So, 1995. An interesting year in metal, with the likes of absolute bangers from the likes of FEAR FACTORY’s “Demanufacture”, DEATH‘s “Symbolic”, DARK TRANQUILLITY entered the world with their excellent debut in the form of “The Gallery”, and AT THE GATES released one of the most astonishing albums of their career with “Slaughter of the Soul” , spawning a million clones and that so-called “Gothenburg Sound” that people yabber on about. Nevertheless, the late 1990’s doldrums were around the corner thanks to KORN’s first album making their debut a year previously; in general, the scene started getting rather odd. DEATH ANGEL imploded and the remnants formed the bloody awful THE ORGANIZATION, people yabbered on about DOG EAT DOG (remember them?), CLAWFINGER started gaining more traction, and rap influences cross-pollinated with metal that aged as gracefully as a prawn sandwich left in the work cafeteria during the Christmas shutdown. However, this new extreme metal craze called “Black Metal” gained rapid traction – murderers and church burnings notwithstanding, of course. read more

Enter IMMORTAL, a trio of loopy Norwegian lads that already had two albums under their belt and unleashed “Battles In The North” in 1995, to an unsuspecting world. My first experiences with this band go back to “The College Years”, with the track “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms” found on a mixtape loaned to me via one of my classmates that included tracks from hitherto unknown bands such as SAMAEL, DARKTHRONE, The CROWN (at that point still called Crown of Thorns), DISSECTION, SODOM, and AUTOPSY. It was a great mixtape, and he had much more knowledge of extreme metal versus my two meagre years of getting into it all – BUT, this track stood out head and shoulders above everything else. I HAD to find out more about Immortal, and listening to this track (annoyingly, at the end of one side of a tape –  like fuck was I going to waste battery power fast-forwarding the tape on an Aiwa personal stereo) simply wasn’t good enough. Annoyingly, a trip to Probe Records in Liverpool to spend my college grant on anything but pens, paper, and books revealed that “Battles In The North” was only available on CD – arse biscuits! However, forking out fifteen English pounds (which equates to twenty eight quid in 2019, apparently) revealed an album that joined my top 100 albums to listen to before you die; chock full of buzzsaw guitars that sounded like angry wasps invading a sugar warehouse, and blastbeats that sounded almost impossible for a human to play, with vocals that sounded like Beelzebub himself took demonic possession of Abbath’s vocal chords. An album as invigorating as cycling home from Billinge Hill, butt naked, whilst being pelted by torrential hailstones in the middle of January. Marvellous.

Goth Mark

KATAKLYSM – Sorcery
January 1995, Nuclear Blast

With the death metal genre exploding out of the 80’s, by the time the mid 90’s came around new sounds and styles of death were emerging out of every dark dank corner. With the French Canadians becoming known for brutal as hell death metal, there another monstrosity brewing in the underbelly of Quebec. KATAKLYSM hit the ground running in the early days of 1995 with their first full length release “Sorcery” after a few demos and EPs the years prior. With a high energy chaotic sound they carved their own path with riffs that transcended genres and furious power. read more

While these days KATAKLYSM are widely well-respected, they are still grouped into the masses of melodic death metal bands dismissed by those who favour the more extreme flavour. Anybody in this boat should give “Sorcery” a spin immediately. The vocals from the band’s first singer, Sylvain Houde, are raw as all hell but they also have tremendous range and aggression. This versatile raw power adds a lot of brutality to the album, which is not replicated in their future releases with much more refined vocals.

Instrumentally, “Sorcery” is some of KATAKLYSM’s most unique and interesting work in my opinion. It’s not full blown melodic death metal like the later years, in fact it’s nowhere close. Instead they pull from different avenues of death metal and other extremes, inserting few melodic elements and focusing more on thicker and heavier territory.

“Sorcery” is a kick ass album with many wicked moments. One of my favourite songs off the album is “Mould in a Breed (Chapter I: Bestial Propagation)”, which features heavy as hell yet slightly groovy guitars that will put a smile on any death metallers face. Whatever the hell these sorcerers are conjuring up, it sounds like its coming from the deepest circles of hell. This track truly has incredible power with amazing riff transitions and an assortment of tempo changes and technical breakdowns to top things off. Some of the chuggy pieces even crosses into grind territory for a bit with gnarly swarms of buzzsaw picking. It’s one hell of a ride!

“Elder God” is another insane tune on the album.The vocals are absolutely crushing and the instrumentals are equally as devastating, with some striking solo work and fantastic full throttle drumming. Like I said before, if you think you’re not a KATALKYM fan, start with tunes like Once… Upon Possession (Chapter II: Legacy of Both Lores)” and the other ones I mentioned and work your way from there. There’s no catchy choruses, no fancy mixing, only raw and no bull shit death metal. The band has come a long way since “Sorcery”, but today we take a look backwards to the chaotic origins of the northern hyperblast. Metal Yeti

Metal Yeti

SUMMONING – Lugburz
March, 1995, Napalm Records

Wow, 1995 was a great year in metal history, I was 15 years old, and I was beginning my metal journey, a
journey that would have been more epic for me if I have known black metal at that time. But no…. until a few years later.
read more

That year, the epic atmospheric black metallers Summoning introduces us to the Middle-Earth, a Tolkien
based band that delivers an amazing atmosphere full of nuances, epic sound, great riffing and bestial
drumming. The band with Protector, Silenius, Trifixion, and Pazuzu released their very first full-length
“Lugburz” in march, an album that satisfies the most hungry fans of the epic and dark genre. The “dark tower” in Mordor language plunges us into epic battles, majestic landscapes, between frozen moors and lands of eternal darkness places where only Tolkien’s fantastic work could take us.Trifixion and Pazuzu leave their marks here since they would leave the band almost immediately that same year. The drum work was very aggressive and a very important element, used in this record that made them a different album sound from their laters. The riffs unleashed throughout the album are predominant, clearly, mark the dreary step with fury and power that are a registered trademark in this work. The vocal performance is very good, a combination of very varied and balanced voices, in which some overlap others. The keyboard performance is present, very well done but it will have much more prominence in the future, because here the guitars and the drum stand out and they are protagonists.

“Lugburz” has 11 tracks, 50 minutes and black metal seal, with no boundaries to the imagination and fantasy. Not their most representative sound style, but this is an album with riffs, riffs and more riffs, and good quality indeed. Fave songs: “Beyond bloodred Horizons” “Flight Of The Nazgul” “Between Light and
Darkness” “Dragons of Time”

Jammerfall

 

SUMMONING – Minas Morgul
October, 1995, Napalm Records

Melancholic, dramatic, fantastic, dense, complex, powerful. More synthetic than its predecessor, Minas Morgul was a beautiful atmo black metal album, without Pazuzu and Trifixion, in their respective own projects, the responsibility of doing a job with a new personality was well made by Silenius and Protector duo. read more

They resorted to programming drums laying the foundation for the future, showing a more refined sound, using a down layered guitar work, melodic epic riffs that set up the Tolkien´s atmosphere. “Marching Homewards” is a clear example of the subtle halo of darkness that Summoning creates in this record,
maybe, one of the most epic songs of their discography. Obviously, in Minas Morgul the keyboard is the main character over the guitars, doing a great partnership with programmed drums. Considered for ones a little bit cheese work, and for others a masterpiece, I can say this is an epic journey. I like the feel and the emotional side of this album. A great piece, very enjoyable for the lovers of the J.R.R.T world.

Minas Morgul has 11 tracks, 1 hour and 8 minutes. One of their best work for sure!

Fave songs: “Lugburz” “The Passing of the Great Company” “Marching Homewards” “Through The Forest Of Dol Guldur” “Dagor Bragollach”

Fantastic band, with an amazing lyrical background.

Hail Summoning!

Jammerfal

 

NAGLFAR – Vittra
May 1995, Wrong Again Records

1995 was quite a special year for black metal. It saw excellent debuts from monumental acts like Enthroned, Ulver, Dimmu Borgir, Blut Aus Nord, Behemoth.“Panzerfaust” and “Battles in the north” were released this year too among many other amazing albums….and Swedish melodic black metal scene was in pure ascendency. Followed by the Footsteps of Dawn, bands like Sethereal, Noctes, Vinterland, and many others started to merge Gothenburg beautitude and Norwegian coldness. Among the albums released from this scene in 1995, the obvious choice would have been “Storm of the light’s bane” which I think is one of the best black metal albums ever recorded and is the magnum opus of melodic black metal. But I wanted to focus on an overlooked masterpiece of Swedish melodic black metal. While not in the same astronomic hight of STOLB, it still deserves to cement its’ place as a classic of early Swedish scene. read more

“Vittra” is the first full-length from NAGLFAR. Since then,they have released 4 more full-lengths,the last one coming in 2012.But the highest point of NAGLFAR to me will always be “Vittra”. They have gradually shifted to a more gleaming,more organic sound. The technical brilliance is still there,but the raw ferocity and austere coldness that surrounded “Vittra” is not present there anymore.“Vittra” was a true, blistering, uncompromising, misanthropic yet melancholic black metal masterpiece.There is nothing too complex here.The vocals are typical high-pitched shrieks and monotonic but i am ok with that. There is the hatred and coldness of Norwegian BM, but there is also a yearning to get beyond that and finding some other ray of moonlight. It’s full of wrath and rage, which, combined with thundering blast beats create a beautiful contrasting atmosphere against the exuberant guitar melodies. Amongst all the suffocating icy riffs,there will be sudden moments of hypnotizing major scale guitar melodies which will put you off your indifferent,hateful obscure sense of nothingness.And then there is the restraint synth layers now and then which creates another aura in the overall soundscape. It’s like they took a little bit of Marduk and added some Hecate Enthroned (“Upon Promethean Shores” was also released this year) with it. So this is a frosted 46 minutes journey with some amazing touches of melancholia. Sometimes it may feel like the whole album is played in the same tempo, but there will be always a little acoustic breakdown or mesmerizing lead work which will make the journey worthwhile. Each of the 9 tracks is very compact and splendid but if I had to pick one track, it would undoubtedly be “Enslave the astral fortress”. The build-up of this song, the atmosphere, the magnificent pre-verse guitar harmonies, the amazing solo, the exultant riffs and the uplifting tempo make it one of the eternal anthems of the early Swedish melodic black metal.

Apollo

DARKTHRONE – Panzerfaust
June 1995, Moonfog Productions

When we discussed the next year for YOD and 1995 came up, my head instantly jumped to Norway. The second wave of black metal had just survived its biggest mainstream exposure two years prior… I won’t get into details here, because if you’re reading an underground metal magazine, you surely know all about the stories. read more

DARKTHRONE, who were a massive influence on the overall scene had previously released three masterful black metal records. Often, these three are handled as an “unholy trilogy”. I beg to differ, DARKTHRONE did in fact release an unholy tetralogy: “Panzerfaust” is severely underrated when it comes to their catalogue, especially when their previous work is held in such high regard!

Opening the record, “En vind av sorg” (A Wind of Sorrow) immediately hits you with one of the most misanthropic riffs in DARKTHRONES entire discography. “The Hordes of Nebulah” is one of the most doom-infused tracks to ever be released under the DARKTHRONE banner and comes in as my favorite track of theirs, not only on this album but ever. Also, this album has “Quintessence”, which is a definite 10/10 immortal (literally, not the band) classic through and through! And the other tracks on here do not hold back either, these are some of the best, darkest and distinct tracks that the band has ever released.

I have not even spoken about the vocals yet… these are in my opinion one of the most unhinged vocals that Nocturno Culto ever delivered. Raspy, dark and pained screams barked out completely deranged, they sound like they are not controlled at all, like he is literally destroying his vocal cords as the album progresses… Great stuff!

While this album gets often shoved under the rug as mere “CELTIC FROST worship”, in my opinion this record still sounds distinctly DARKTHRONE! “Panzerfaust” ends up as my personal favorite in their catalogue. A worthy addition to the “black metal pantheon”, this album is an absolute highlight in 1995’s metal world!

If you previously may have overlooked this album in favour of the aforementioned “unholy trilogy”, you must give “Panzerfaust” a listen, this is a classic!

the trve Medvson

 

Well, 1995!!  A great metal year for me at the time, cause two of my fave bands released albums I was eagerly expecting. I´m talking about BLACK  SABBATH and IRON MAIDEN nontheless. Yeah, I know, maybe you think that 1995 was not a great time for both bands, but being that I was a “new” metalhead, with just less than 4 years of hard rock and metal under my belt, these releases had a huge impact on me.

So, first let´s talk about BLACK SABBATH’s Forbidden.

BLACK SABBATH – Forbidden
June 1995, I.R.S. Records

I guess many metalheads gave a pass to this one at the time, or at least gave it little attention. It is widely held as Sabbath “worst” album and let´s be honest, it may be. Though I still like it a lot, and play it more than other “better” albums.

At the time I was expecting this release and had been following the news about it on metal magazines from the US and UK cause I was fortunate enough to have a friend with subscription to the best metal magazines. Also, in the era of the modem internet, I used to spend time online at Black-Sabbath.com (Joe Siegler´s Sabbath super fan web page). read more

I might have bought the album when it hit Uruguayan shelves and rushed home to play it. I can clearly remember the time when I did this with “Cross Purposes” (1994) I can even remember the smell of the booklet, sure you have those kind of memories too. But I can´t remember for this one, oh well. The album, well, a song or two got plenty of airtime in rock FM here too, so you could hear at least Rusty Angles (the catchy one) being on the rock rankings at the time, I was thrilled and listened every time like it was the first.

With the years, my Sabbath focus shifted. Now I’m a total Ozzy era fan, while at the time Tony Martin’s and Dio’s were my fave.

Want to know my thoughts about it in detail?

I still love all the albums (Except “13”) and lineups but I can see why this album is not liked by many.

Production wise, it´s not good. Not only the sound, but the delivery by Martin does not get on par with some mean and heavy riffs that this album has. Martin is a gifted and technical vocalist, but does not have the grit and aggressive approach that Dio could deliver when he sang over Iommi´s riffs. In “Forbidden”, the riffs are still there, some of the riffs could easliy be on “Dehumanizer”, but the vocals lack the heaviness required to go along. Martin works good in a melodic setup, just like the good ballad in AOR style that the album has. But in more heavier stuff, it shows he wasn´t connecting. Also, lyrics here are a major problem. I mean, you got some really silly lyrics that distract and doesn´t add up. I won´t waste our time talking about The Illusion of Power” and the Rap section by Ice -T. Nope. But, with that much said on the negative side of things, the album has Cozy Powell on top form with his sidekick Neil Murray on bass. Nicholls is ever-present harmonizing with his keys. And Iommi fires riffs that stand the test of time. And what I like about this album is that even though might be one of the weakest albums by Sabbath, it was an honest one. Not like the last one 🙂  Let´s hope the remix can lift this album´s sound and we can enjoy it with a new light.

Perrö

IRON MAIDEN – The X Factor
October 1995, EMI

Oh well, talking about polarizing albums. Dickinson left, and launched his solo career. The race to become the next IRON MAIDEN vocalist was lunched and one day it was announced that the winner was Blaze Bailey. Well, who is that guy? We all went to listen to WOLFSBANE (if we could get some material from them, remember it was 1995) or not, I don´t recall ever listened to them really. I just waited for a single on MTV I guess or some FM playtime. What I can say is that like the case with Sabbath, this was “my” time as a Maiden fan. I knew “Fear of The Dark” by heart now, but in 1992 I wasn’t into Maiden at all. Now I was, and my first album was “The X Factor”. I still love it and I still think it´s better than all the Maiden albums that came after it. Yes! Unpopular opinion!! Also, I consider Dickinson´s solo stuff much better than his Maiden output since 2000. So… read more

So this is a dark one, and I love my darkness for sure!

The chorus that opens the album, the dark themes of the lyrics based on films and classic novels or on the war that was raging in the Balkans. This is serious stuff. Bailey and Maiden made a real good album that was a great symbiosis. His lower register (compared to Dickinson) allowed Harris to go full dark on his musical and lyrical approach.

I remember that the artwork (computer generated illustration) was a real plus for me. This was Maiden knocking into XXIst century´s door, no more illustrations.

Now we can see that this album was the first that Maiden played the progressive thing that has never gone away since, and as I said, this first time gave the better result.

Another big thing for me with this album was that I had a cover band and the time and we played many songs from this album: Man On The Edge, Fortunes of War and Judgment of Heaven if my memory serves me. I can´t tell you if I was good, but ppl seemed to like it, or not hate it lol!

So, this is it from me, two albums I still play, both albums are consdered bad or worst from either discography but I disagree. While Forbidden is still on the lower end of my Sabbath list, The X Factor is on the top 10 of Maiden´s list. 

Now I got to get my younger daughter to bed. Life of a Metaldad…

Perrö

 

Truly Yours,
Blessed Altar Zine Team

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