Label: FishFarm Records
Date: February 13th, 2021
Again, I have to share (as in the Tragedian review) some detail from my life that is in some way related to this release as well. I believe that like most metalheads in the early years of listening to this music, I followed the same path as most: growing long hair, wearing a T-shirts of favorite bands, playing the guitar, and dreaming of a band that will one day conquer the world. One of the ideas that was running through my head in those years was that I have a band that will not play one sub-genre but will play everything that comes to hand. Black metal, death metal, power metal… Yet life has taken me in a different direction so I haven’t founded my own band, but I have the opportunity to review just one such release that I have been dreaming about.
Slaves to Fashion is a five-piece metal act coming from Norway. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of metal music, these guys decided to pay tribute to the whole genre. In 2020, they released one song each month that was inspired by some sub-genre of metal music. And in February 2021, everything was packed into one release called “The History of Heavy Metal”.
Our journey through the history of metal music begins with the song “1970”. Church bells, thunder, and 1970. I think it is quite clear who it is. Can you imagine that members of the band Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep purple found themselves in the same studio in the early ’70s? That’s exactly how this song sounds. I especially liked the solo Deep purple- inspired keyboard solo, just like they did in their best days.
The next track “The Priest of Maidenhead” is, in my opinion, one of the best songs on the album. The name itself says that it is a song that combines the best elements of the bands Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. I may be exaggerating, but I will also write this: I think that neither Maiden nor Judas would be ashamed of this song if it was on their album.
“Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll” is the song that I liked the least, but only for one reason – I personally don’t like glam/hair/sweet metal. But it’s a matter of personal taste. In general, if I leave my affinities aside, this is a very good song that will surely appeal to fans of such a sound.
“Thrash of the Titans” is one of the gems on this release. It is a 7-minute journey through thrash metal music. A combination of different schools of thrash metal: American and European. Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Sodom, Anthrax, Kreator… Everything is inserted in those 7 minutes and everything sounds perfectly harmonious.
“Expression of Extremity” is a song with which the band wanted to cover extreme forms of metal: black, death, doom, and grind. We start with the speed metal, then we move on to Candlemass-like doom, then to the death metal, then grind, then the second wave of black metal … What particularly impresses me is the fact that the song sounds(again) perfectly harmonious. The transitions are completely natural and it is not noticed at all that something was forcibly inserted.
“Garden of Chains” takes us back to the ’90s when Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains ruled the world. I have nothing to add, another very good song. “Garden of Chains” is followed by another pearl, the 13-minute “The Evergrowing Tree”. In this song, we can still hear a lot: progressive, gothic, industrial, groove… Dream Theater, Pantera, Amorphis, Opeth … And again, what never ceases to amaze me, everything is composed so that sounds completely natural.
The next one, “Power of metal” is a classic power metal song, performed according to all the rules of that sub-genre. “The NU Wine” is a tribute to the least beloved sub-genre among metalheads – NU metal. And another well-done song that reminds me of Linkin Park.
“Too Close (to See Clearly)” is a ride through the metal sub-genres that have been popular for the past 10 years. Metalcore, symphonic metal, folk metal, deathcore… In one word – phenomenal!
To conclude, I am completely thrilled with this release, with the concept, the ideas, and the way the band presented this. During these 60 minutes, the guys from Slaves to Fashion briefly presented everything that the Heavy metal kitchen offers: one rich palette of flavors that can satisfy everyone’s taste. The richness of these different flavors that are on the metal table is one of the reasons why I love this music.
Guys, thank you for this extraordinary trip!