When it comes to albums, there is no shortage of ambitious titles out there, but the latest release from Norway’s Slave To Fashion definitely kicks things up a notch. Easily one of the most diverse and expansive genres, heavy metal has become an unstoppable, universal force, and so when a band pop ups on our radar promising to catalogue the last fifty years of the genre through twelve tracks, it’s understandable that eyebrows will be raised. Thankfully though, Slaves To Fashion aren’t your typical band, and over the past twelve months, they have been laying down the foundation for the album, releasing a new track each month in a brilliant yearlong campaign.
A tribute to the fast and furious sounds that came before them, the new album opens with the aptly titled ‘1970’, a dark and tempestuous track purpose-built to echo to the traditional roots of the genre. Sharp and tinged with psychedelic sounds, it’s a massive opening track that revels in the eternal sounds of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. From there, Slaves To Fashion turn their attention to the wave of British bands that made their mark, channelling some true Judas Priest and Iron Maiden anthemics in ‘The Priest Of Maidenhead’ and ‘Sex Drugs, & Rock ‘N’ Roll’.
Even just a few tracks in, it’s clear that Slaves To Fashion know exactly what they’re doing, and you can feel the passion from the band seething through your speakers with every dynamic note that hits. As the album continues, tracks like ‘Thrash of the Titans’, ‘Expressions Of Extremity’ and ‘Garden of Chains’ delivers some rough and ready sounds that flicker through grunge, speed, and doom metal flavours. In true progressive rock form, the trilogy of ‘The Evergrowing Tree’ proves that the band can master any sub-genre, time signature, and style, while ‘The Power of Metal’ unleashes a triumphant wave of ‘90s power metal brilliance that will shift even the most stoic of listeners.
In the closing tracks, ‘The NU Wine’ pays homage to the divisive NU metal sound, combining some true hard rock anthems with a dense industrial touch and plenty hip-hop spirit, conjuring up instant memories of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit, while ‘Too Close (To See Clearly)’ fearlessly digs into the last twenty years of metal, hinting at the 2000’s sound with flashes of symphonic metal, folk metal, and the ever-impressive metalcore phenomenon.
As ambitious as ‘The History of Heavy Metal’ might be, Slaves To Fashion have absolutely knocked it out of the park, and even after listening to the album several times through, it’s just as magnificent and powerful as ever. Covering an immense amount of ground in just twelve tracks, there is no stone unturned and no subgenre left behind, ensuring that ‘The History of Heavy Metal’ is easily one of the most important metal albums of the last decade.
An album that is planned and executed to perfection, everything about Slaves To Fashion’s latest release is dynamic, visceral, and unbelievably entertaining, proving once and for all that the band truly are masters of their genre.
You can stream the album in full above and be sure to follow the band on their social media pages below, so you never miss a release.
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