As of Saturday February 13 2009, Metal’s initial offering - the reknown and revered Black Sabbath
self-titled LP turned 40 years old. For fans of the music, including myself, this begs the question of who will follow this style long after the inevitable demise of the band?
You can’t kill the Metal, and we can all agree that Scandinavia is perhaps the coolest region for Metal. Do you love Death Metal, Black Metal, among other dozens of forms of Extreme Metal? A substantial cut of their asses are certainly owed to that specific region for their creations and maintenance. Do you love Traditional Heavy Metal - As in the prototypical sound of the more classical guard of the genre; pioneered by the formative works of Sabbath, Rush
, the expansive New Wave of British Heavy Metal dream team of impact players Iron Maiden
, Judas Priest
, alongside Diamond Head
, Angel Witch
, early-Def Leppard
and Doom Metallers Witchfinder General
and Pagan Altar
, as well as American acts such as Pentagram
, Saint Vitus
/ The Obsessed
and Manilla Road
Perhaps you’ve imagined what Jethro Tull
might have sounded like if Tony Iommi stayed…. Ok, maybe I’m the only one who’s ever pondered this for more than 5 seconds (needless to say, that would’ve been awesome) but nonetheless up the irons and check out all these awesome Scandinavian Traditional Heavy Metal acts. And add any that I most likely missed.
: “Please let me die in Solitude”
And so we begin with arguably the most historically significant of the batch. Candlemass, alongside Bathory
and At the Gates
represent Sweden’s most notable of bands. And you’ve probably heard “Witches” a few times if you own Brutal Legend. Their career is highlighted by an 80s 4-album hot streak with Epicus Doomicus Metallicus/Nightfall/Ancient Dreams/Dark Reflections, a brief stint with Michael Amott in the 90s whom I will talk about more, and a fierce re-emergence of the 80s lineup in 2005. Messiah Marcolin, their most recognized member has since moved on, but the band has settled upon the suitably proven Robert Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus
&Concept Of God
and continue to kick ass to this day.
- Spiritual Beggars
: In between the time period after Michael Amott left his post in the unforgettably gruesome death metal assault Carcass
, and before his current melodic death metal project Arch Enemy
hit its stride, he formed this more traditional rock-oriented band corresponding with Carcass’ traditional rock direction that they went with Swansong. Prior to Amott’s involvement with the recent Carcass reunion, his Spiritual Beggars works alternated with his Arch Enemy. Oh what will ever become of what looks to be the Swedish equivalent to Monster Magnet
? The band also features Per Wiberg currently of Opeth
- Grand Magus
: Traditional Doom Metal band featuring the lead singer of Spiritual Beggars. Have recently signed on to Roadrunner Records – lets just hope they won’t have to be involved with curtain-jerking any Nickelcrap or Shitknot tours.
- Count Raven
: Another active Swedish traditional doom cut from the 80s. Vocalist Christian Lindersson (AKA Chritus) served time with Saint Vitus, recording the album C.O.D. with the band, and also supplies vocals for Lord Vicar and Terra Firma, which I will also include in the list.
- Reverend Bizarre
: Monstrous Traditional Doom Metal from Finland; disbanded since 2007. In The Rectory… & II – Crush The Insects are among favorites of the author…and the band name is simply made of epic and win. Guitarist Peter Vicar has since formed:
- Lord Vicar
: After Reverend Bizarre called it a day, guitarist Peter Vicar formed this band. Also featuring the aforementioned Christian Lindersson.
- Terra Firma
: Chritus’s 3rd band rooted heavily upon Traditional Doom.
- Spiritus Mortis
: Finnish Traditional Doom now featuring Sami Hynninen formerly of Reverend Bizarre and The Puritan
: Recent Swedish Traditional Doom.
: Now defunct Finnish Traditional Doom.
: Smashing Retro-style Traditional Heavy Metal with elements of early ‘Stones-styled Rhythm & Blues Rock and Psychedelia. They played the one-night Ozzfest in 2008 as a second-stage act. Recommended!
: Another pick from the author (their S/T is one of the most even traditional Rock albums from this time period that I’ve heard)…Traditional Heavy Metal fused with elements of formative Rock ‘n’ Roll in the style of Cream
and Benefit-era Jethro Tull…Also draws elements of Soundgarden
. Have recently toured the States with CKY
and The Sword
: Much like Graveyard’s Blues-flavoring of modern traditional rock, with just a bit more Kyuss
/ Orange Goblin
-ish Stoner elements. Their second album has recently been released and so far is among a top release for the author for this year.
: More of the same variation as above, but goodness does that band name kick ass or what?
- Burning Saviours
: Their name is a reference to a mind-melting Pentagram tune. They seem to play doomified folk-style heavy metal – kickass! After releasing a few albums, they too have since called it a day. Bummer.
: Swedish 80s-style metal. Recently did a headlining run throughout the US.
- The Devil's Blood
: Ominous female-fronted Danish psychedelia that looks to tear up Wacken, Metalcamp, Party.San, Hole In The Sky and Hellfest. And if my mind serves me right, have recently toured the US alongside Pentagram. Man, I wish I lived in Europe…
- Dead Man
: Obscure Swedish psychedelia related to Graveyard.
- Black Bonzo
: And now we go to the prog acts. This could definitely represent the modern, Swedish equivalent to Yes, with Folk-inspired vocals.
: Swedish Prog similar to 80s-King Crimson among others. Were slated to appear on the 2009 edition of the Prog Nation tour, but things apparently went awry with the record company which forced them to drop.
Last, but not least…
: Swedish Hippie Music?!? Awesome.
: Just for fun – Modern Garage Rock!! Oh the things that you’ll find in a magazine sampler…
In closing: Praise, Metal lives 40 years and strong! Doom On, Up The Irons, and Long Live Rock as well.Dio Deep Purple Electric Wizard Alice Cooper Alice in Chains Dream Theater Fates Warning The Gates of Slumber Sleep High on Fire Cathedral Bigelf Priestess Sheavy Hyperion Dethlehem Argus While Heaven Wept Icarus Witch Mantic Ritual Doomriders Early Man Witch Warbringer King Diamond Mercyful Fate Van Halen Ratt Spirit Caravan Wino Shrinebuilder Iced Earth Helloween Blind Guardian Megadeth Accept Anthrax Slayer Sepultura Sodom Voivod 3 Inches of Blood Brocas Helm Cirith Ungol Overkill Dark Angel Exodus Arghoslent The Doors Metallica UFO Autopsy Acid Witch Queensrÿche AC/DC Dark Tranquillity Ozzy Osbourne Black Label Society Blue Öyster Cult Thin Lizzy Edge of Sanity The Answer Anvil