SLAVES TO FASHION - The History Of Heavy Metal

Slaves To Fashion - The History Of Heavy Metal

10 songs
59:39 minutes
***** ****


It can happen that bands like to give school lessons. German punk band Die Toten Hosen gave English classes on their albums Learning English where they covered songs from English punk bands. Slaves To Fashion also try their hands at academia, with an emphasis on The History Of Heavy Metal, an authentic one hour long history lesson that feels welcome after a ten year pause since their album Artistic Differences from 2011.

For the length of ten songs, the band is painting a picture of the history of heavy metal, together with a lot of guest musicians, vocalists and three producers. The heavier tracks have been shaped by Flemming Rasmussen who is known for having worked with Metallica. The classic metal tracks were in the hands of Tommy Hansen who should be known for having worked with Helloween. The softer material was given over to Beau Hill, infamous for his collaborations with glam acts like W.A.S.P. and Dokken.

1970 is not only my year of birth, but also the year when heavy metal started. This song feels like a tribute to Black Sabbath. The song titles usually hint at what to expect. The Priest Of Maidenhead is of course an homage to the sounds of NWOBHM. Maybe not as strong, but just as fun is Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Roll, an excursion into the colourful world of hair metal. Thrash Of The Titans is of course a not to the Big Four, with the entire lyrics consisting of song titles from Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. Expressions Of Extremity sounds just as extreme as its title, and is exploring the more underground subgenres of metal: speed, doom, death and black metal. Slaves To Fashion consider grunge as related to metal (and yes, Nirvana were definitely sounding heavier than Nightwish), so we also get a track titled Garden Of Chains. The Evergrowing Tree is at nearly a quarter hour the album’s longest track, and showcases progressive metal from Dream Theater to Meshuggah. The Power Of Metal has a title that speaks for itself, just like The NU Wine. The final track features a female guest vocalist, ending things with symphonic metal just to leave no cliché out.

The concept of The History of Heavy Metal is quite unique and very suspenseful. Instead of covering ten classic tracks from each subgenre, they decided to take a rockier road by writing their own material, recruiting guest musicians and three different producers. Openminded metal fans will love this album, others might miss a central stylistic theme. The History Of Heavy Metal is a tantalising experience, and I wonder if, just like the German punks of Die Toten Hosen, Slaves To Fashion will add another volume to their metal history.

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