Belwood Music Awards 2021

Before we come together to usher in the new year, it’s time for one last look back in the rear-view mirror at 2021. It’s a year that has both flown by and felt like a lifetime all at once. The ongoing pandemic dragging its feet has left us feeling more tired and weary than ever, but a few rays of sun have managed to break through the clouds in the past twelve months. We’ve seen a return of live music, alongside some stunning releases to cling on to when times got hard. Here are some of the moments that most defined our 2021. Continue reading

Top Ten Videos of 2021

Before our list season dives into the year’s marvellous music, it’s time for one more list celebrating 2021’s most stunning visual splendour. We’re talking the acts that utilised the medium of music videos to its fullest potential with their delightful dance moves, creative concepts, and cinematic storytelling. So, without further ado: lights, camera, action! Continue reading

Live Review: Iron Maiden, Genting Arena Birmingham, 7th Aug 2018

eddie-01All music fans have a “list”, a selection of bucket list bands that you have yet to see live. Though I’ve been through some wildly different music phases over the years, Iron Maiden have always been near the top of my list ever since first hearing ‘Fear of the Dark’ as a teenager. Few bands can match the scale and spectacle of the mighty Maiden in their live shows. Gutted to have missed out on their last tour, I eagerly snapped up tickets for their Legacy of the Beast world tour and made my way down to Genting Arena… on what turned out to be Bruce Dickinson’s 60th birthday of all days! Continue reading

Iron Maiden unveil new ‘Ed Force One’

Ed Force One

The pioneering metal band will be travelling in style for their ‘Book of Souls’ world tour next year. The latest incarnation of Ed Force One, named after their faithful zombie mascot Eddie, is a custom Boeing 747 which is nearly twice the size of their previous 757. Frontman Bruce Dickinson, who has recently undergone surgery and has been declared cancer free, is currently training to be able to fly the jumbo jet. The tour is expected to visit around 35 countries including the band’s first ever concerts in China and El Salvador

Must Own Albums: Masters of Metal

paranoidBlack Sabbath – Paranoid

Not many bands can be credited with creating a new genre, but all forms of modern metal can trace their roots back to this very album. Tony Iommi is in another league when it comes to creating slow growling riffs that sound like the ever encroaching apocalypse. Songs like ‘War Pigs’, ‘Iron Man’ and the title track ‘Paranoid’ sparked a musical revolution.

number of the beastIron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

The new wave of British heavy metal brought music that was more complex, both musically and lyrically. Beast was the band’s first album to feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals and the last to feature Clive Burr on drums. The album features some unforgettable singles in the form of the title track and ‘Run to the Hills’ as well some great storytelling on ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’ which is about a prisoner sentenced to death.

britishsteelJudas Priest – British Steel

Whilst it may not be Judas Priest’s heaviest album, it was however the album that brought them mainstream success. It brought heavy metal into the public eye and helped define many of the genre’s defining characteristics. Big singles like ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Living After Midnight’ may seem tame and commercial by today’s standards, but at the time of release they were some of the heaviest songs on the radio.

holy diverDio – Holy Diver

Ronnie James Dio is one of the best, if not the best vocalist in heavy metal. Having already made incredible albums with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, and created the famous metal horns hand gesture, Dio pulled together the best musicians he could find and made yet another great album under his own name. The title track, ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ and ‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ condense his expansive fantasy lyrics into a radio friendly format.

masterofpuppetsMetallica – Master of Puppets

Metallica are undoubtedly the most famous band in metal and one of the most innovative. Master of Puppets was the band at their creative peak. The aggression and fast tempos set a new standard but no other band, not even Metallica themselves, have managed to match the quality of this album. The title track and the instrumental track ‘Orion’ in particular are a master class in metal.