Bryan Reesman

Articles by Bryan Reesman

When Black Metal Hit the Mainstream

black metal mainstream american gothic

Four years ago this month, Jonas Åkerlund’s film, Lords of Chaos, made a brief but loud noise in cinemas. Inspired by the book of the same name, which chronicled the rise of the infamous Norwegian black metal scene of the 1990s, the film particularly focused mainly on the crimes of the band, Mayhem, and evoked […]

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How Drugs and Experimentation Became the Main Ingredients for Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4

black sabbath vol 4 feature

Heavy metal and experimentation have always made for odd bedfellows. Part of what endears the genre to its disciples is the way it doesn’t conform to the mainstream. Yet while some fans like bands going out on a limb musically, others prefer them to stick to their classic sound because that’s what they fell in […]

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Great Modern Music from Classic Rock Veterans

blondie doom or destiny music video

As hard rock legends AC/DC have proven with their latest album, Power Up, solid (and vintage) rock ‘n’ roll never goes out of style, especially when it comes from a true original. Of course, not everyone keeps up with the new albums by their musical heroes. Many fans prefer to listen to the classic stuff […]

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The Best Singer-Drummers, According to Mastodon’s Brann Dailor

best singer-drummers

Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor belongs to an unusual breed in rock music: the kit player who also sings. It’s not an approach that came naturally at first. Rather, it manifested itself out of expressive necessity for songwriting and led to real contributions. Whenever Dailor had vocal ideas for Mastodon songs, he would go in and […]

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How Motörhead Propelled Thrash Metal with Ace of Spades

motorhead ace of spades feature

Perennial Motörhead frontman and co-founder Lemmy Kilmister seemed like a living contradiction. He played high-decibel, high-octane music, yet conversations with him were nuanced at a quieter volume. His band spurred the development of thrash metal, but he did not consider his band a metal outfit and disdained mosh pits. He once told me that he […]

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How Birmingham Shaped Black Sabbath and Heavy Metal

black sabbath paranoid feature

Right from the outset, Birmingham, England’s own Black Sabbath proved themselves to be a very special musical entity. While various groups had started laying down the foundations for hard rock and metal on both sides of the Atlantic, Sabbath are considered to be the first true heavy metal band, and their self-titled debut from 1970 […]

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16 One-Hit Wonders That Actually Have Other Good Songs

one hit wonders

The term “one-hit wonder” can be a thorny subject for many people. There are numerous artists pegged with that term who actually had other successes, but the one song that defined them to the mainstream has overshadowed everything else. There are other people who legitimately just had one hit and then were never heard from […]

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How Judas Priest Created Painkiller at the House of Brad and Angelina 30 Years Ago

judas priest painkiller 30th anniversary

Judas Priest’s Painkiller was more than just a comeback album for the iconic British group. It was a bold new statement of intent and a record that would prove to be highly influential on the European metal scene in the early 1990s. The quintet showed that they still had plenty of fire left and could […]

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Who Is Rainbow? Looking Back at 45 Years of Ritchie Blackmore’s Ever-Evolving Band

rainbow band debut album 45th anniversary

One of my earliest memories of MTV was seeing Joe Lynn Turner fronting Rainbow for the video of “Stone Cold.” Clad in a leather jacket, sporting a dark mane, and staring down the camera with confidence, he sang an atmospheric ballad of faded love and disillusionment while masked women circled him in front of a […]

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AC/DC Has Been Back in Black for 40 Years

acdc back in black 40th anniversary

Death has cast a long shadow over rock and roll. Many famous bands disbanded for years or permanently after an iconic member passed away. Some reunited but rarely if ever recorded new music. Following the death of their exuberant frontman Bon Scott in early 1980, the shocked and saddened members of AC/DC were unsure of […]

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