The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Old school and still cool

In the early 70’s, heavy metal rock and roll wasn’t just a new and innovative form of music, it was an interactive lifestyle for its fans, and a groundbreaking pop-culture movement that grabbed hold of society and brought together the booze, sweat, and blood-soaked rebels of the era through their music and live performances.

Beginning with pioneers like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, AC/DC, and Motorhead, the face of music was given an attitude that poled apart from anything rock has ever been. For the first time, there was a darker, grittier, and aggressive sound to music that could never be matched.

It’s now almost forty years later, and rock has evolved very drastically. Each new band that puts out an album is classified as a subgenre of a genre of rock that they associate themselves with.

Ah, yes, it’s forty years later, and the pioneers haven’t changed a bit. They’re back, releasing albums, and gathering thousands of screaming fans, young and old, to watch their amazing display of true rock and roll.

For most of the bands from the era, they haven’t stopped making music, but rather succeeded long enough to still remain popular. Black Sabbath, widely known as the founders of metal, have continued to release music until the middle of the 90’s.

While cycling through many famous singers after the depart of the “prince of darkness” Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath has been recently touring under the moniker “Heaven and Hell,” referring to Ronnie James Dio’s era with the band, in which he fronts now. Their tours have been attracting old fans of the original music, and new fans discovering the collaboration. Prior, Ozzy and the original line-up annually performed at his summer festival Ozzfest.

When thinking of the creation of heavy metal, one can’t ignore Judas Priest’s contribution of twin dueling guitar solos and sharp vocal attacks at speeds that were unheard of in 1970. Vocalist Rob Halford and Priest have just released their sixteenth studio album, Nostradamus, a concept album, to anxious ears and are continuing to tour extensively in support. Priest is fresh off a summer tour with Heaven and Hell, Testament, and fellow “metal gods” Motorhead.

Motorhead, who has recorded nineteen albums since their formation in 1975, has stood out among other bands through their concerts, style, and attitude, especially by sole constant member, bassist, singer, and songwriter, Lemmy Kilmister.

Motorhead’s iconic stature as rock and roll icons can be seen even today, as they are touring in support of their new album Motorizer.

In 1975, a band from Australia flabbergasted society with the release of High Voltage. From that day until today, AC/DC has remained one of the most popular and influential bands of rock. After the death of original singer Bon Scott, Brian Johnson took the reigns and is still trudging on today, literally, today, in the United States at a sold out arena following their October 20th release of their fifteenth album Black Ice.

As for the last forty years, it’s still an amazing spectacle to see the founders of heavy metal playing their landmark songs with the same integrity, emotion, and accuracy that they always have when they first tickled your eardrums.

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