We’ve all got a different story about the moment we were introduced to Heavy Metal, when its sound and fury lit the blue touch-paper on a passion that in most cases has lasted the rest of our lives to date. Central to this has been escapism – an ability to transcend the everyday and offer a world of mystery and imagination beyond the mundanities of our surroundings.
You might even argue that the last eighteen months have given us plenty cause to be looking for escapism, and with this in mind here at Iron Fist we’ve done everything in our (considerable) powers to summon the most thunderous sturm-und-drang, the most demented geniuses, the most inspiring madmen, and the most furiously potent of metal protagonists we could possibly throw together.
Who better to lead the charge than King Diamond, the banshee-shrieking legend whose aural nightmares and moonlit serenades have haunted the darker quarters of our imaginations for near as dammit four decades now. Obsessed as we are always with the genesis of this kind of visionary work, we delve into the very early days of Mercyful Fate and the origin story of this particular metallic supervillain.
Needless to say it wasn’t only the King … Read More
We’re not sure whether you’ve noticed, but 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year to negotiate. Yet rather than affecting our resolve one iota, this has only made us more determined than ever to carry on the chronicling the glorious and never-ending continuum of heavy metal through the ages. With that in mind, we’re very happy – at long last – to present another Iron Fist for your delectation. Rest assured there‘s no danger of the rivetheads who run this magazine running out of sounds to raise our pulse and get our dandruff flying, and thus putting this one together has been an almost indecently exciting experience Who better to have on our cover than a legendary band who’ve kept their strange flame alight an entire half century now, through all of manner of trials and travails: Blue Oyster Cult. We chat to sage wizards Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom in a quest to tackle the band’s enduring charm, their uncanny allure and the fact that against all odds, reason or logic they’ve just making killer records well into their seventies.
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Reflecting the fact that our passions extend across all of that half-century, we have Electric Wizard’s Jus Oborn waxing lyrical on the … Read More
They only ever made one album, but in those 18 short, furious blasts a whole new level of extremity was born. From Flint, Michigan’s punk scene and its creators warped and horror-addled brains grew ‘HORRIFIED’ and genocide paved the way for REPULSION. The stench still lingers today, as JIM YOUNG discovered in Issue Three.
The rancid tale of Repulsion is not an unfamiliar one. But unlike many bands that faded away, were plagued by obscurity, bad luck or bickering, redemption was found when the corpse of Repulsion was resurrected in 2003. They may not be recording a successor to the landmark ‘Horrified’ any time soon, but that album ensures their permanent residence in the league of extreme metal reserved for the perverse pioneers, the virile visionaries and the ephemeral elite… Before becoming ‘the fastest band in the world’ (and pretty much inventing grindcore) Repulsion’s story began in 1984, when they were known as the hardcore-baiting metal brats Genocide, in Flint, Michigan, dubbed “the worst place in the world to be an extreme musician”. “You pretty much had to do your own thing, there was no real scene to speak of,” explains bassist/vocalist Scott Carlson. “That’s really how we got involved in … Read More
During the 30th anniversary year of ‘PSALM 9’, RICK WARTELL, ERIC WAGNER and JEFF OLSON could sit have back to revel in the album’s now-legendary status. Or they could carry on their band’s legacy with a brand new album, or even form a brand new band with one-time bassist RON HOLZNER. The four veterans of doom talked the past, present and two very different futures for TROUBLE with Sarah Kitteringham back in Issue Nine
Thirty years after Metal Blade Records branded Trouble “White Metal” as a counterpoint to Slayer and the burgeoning wave of black metal that was percolating on the continent to the East, doom is finally standing alone, minus comparative or contradictory labeling. The past few years have seen an explosion in the genre’s popularity and notoriety, and an unapologetic fusing of the music on both heavy and lite ends of the spectrum. Finally, the progenitors who were criminally underrated in their heyday are becoming renowned. Pentagram, Pagan Altar, Candlemass and Saint Vitus have headlined festivals, toured, and released definitive albums. Chuggin along at a less visible (but no less seminal) rate is Trouble, whose opus ‘Psalm 9’ celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. We here at Iron Fist … Read More
With a new compilation album ‘TO HELLION AND BACK’ and new songs in the pipeline, it seems that the witching hour is upon us once more, with the unstoppable queen of hell ANN BOLEYN back from the depths. IAN RAVENDALE tried not to lose his head back in Issue 10.
With a music career that stretches back to playing gigs at 14 (“I looked much older!” she says) Hellion vocalist Ann Boleyn has seen it all. Including an attempted break in of her house by a band manager, later jailed in a murder-for- hire case. “James Howard Paul Jr was charged with trying to hire someone to kill his wife,” recounts Ann. “He’d been brought in as an accountant for Hellion. I was approached by the District Attorney and asked to testify. And of course I was going to tell the truth. At that time it became a very dangerous situation for me. Very scary. After I talked to the police he attempted to break into my house when I was by myself. He ended up serving prison time.” Hellion was formed by Boleyn, at that point primarily a keyboard player, guitarist Ray Schenck, bassist Peyton Tuthill and drummer Sean Kelley … Read More
With ‘Prelude’ WYTCH HAZEL released one of the most excited NWOBHM-inspired debuts of 2016. IRON FIST’s LOUISE BROWN gets to got with its creation and the band’s white metal leanings in Issue 18
It’s midday on the third day of a festival. Most of the attendees are still stewing in their tents, regretting that last case of Koppaberg, but a few fans have dragged themselves out of bed and are heading to church. Church? At a music festival?It could only be the work of the UK’s own heavy metal minstrels, Wytch Hazel.“I messaged Jacob [Hector, Muskerock’s promoter] to say we’ve got this album coming out and would you fancy putting us on? He said ‘I’m not sure, I might have a slot’ and then the guy from our label sent him the album and he was like ‘Oh, I really love it, I want you to do two gigs. I want you to fill the shoes of Ashbury and do the gig in the church.”If you know Wytch Hazel you’ll know two things. They love Ashbury – just listen to their debut full-length ‘Prelude’ for proof – and that Colin Hendra, Wytch Hazel founder and lyricist is a committed Christian who … Read More
Forced to undergo intestinal surgery after a life threatening medical emergency last year, it’s no small miracle that YOB’s MIKE SCHEIDT has not only survived, but persisted to bring us one the band’s best albums to date in the shape of ‘Our Raw Heart’. KEZ WHELAN caught up with the frontman in ISSUE 22 to reflect on the experience and the band’s past, present and future…
It’s been a tough year for Yob guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, to say the least. After enjoying widespread acclaim and some of their biggest and most successful tours yet in the wake of 2014’s ‘Clearing The Path To Ascend’, a record already considered classic in certain quarters, disaster struck in November 2016 when Mike was diagnosed with acute diverticulitis, a permanent and potentially fatal intestinal disease, and was rushed into emergency surgery in January 2017 following a major flare up. “The future of the band was uncertain,” Mike recalls. “If I had ended up with a permanent colostomy, touring would have been done. I hadn’t sung in five months, and in the healing from my abdominal surgeries, we didn’t know how my voice would fair. Plus I had to survive both surgeries, and a MRSA infection I … Read More
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