by Chuck Eddy | January 13, 2015
"Modern metal's sharp edge" -- for years, that's been the takeaway tagline of Rhapsody's Fury Radio, but what does "modern" mean exactly? Well, the station's 2,300-plus hand-selected songs more or less start with brawnier strains of New Wave of British Heavy Metal at the dawn of the '80s (or even a bit earlier, in the case of the occasional Judas Priest or Motörhead classic), but from there they encompass the gamut of thrash, death metal, black metal, grindcore, doom, sludge, prog metal, power metal, stoner drone and heavy industrial, plus intermittent noisome side dishes from punk and alt worlds on metal's border. Bands you're most likely to hear include Anthrax, Baroness, Celtic Frost, Death, Exodus, Gwar, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Megadeth, Metallica, Monster Magnet, Opeth, Saint Vitus and Slayer -- lots and lots of Slayer.
But since several new selections get added to the station almost every month, and since you also have the option of personally controlling your own mix for "variety" and "popularity," that's only the beginning. Each of these bands has quite a few songs programmed into Fury's mix as well: Argus, Black Tusk, Blood Ceremony, Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Deicide, Dillinger Escape Plan, Down, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Ghost B.C., Gojira, Grand Magus, High on Fire, Iced Earth, Korpiklaani, Kylesa, Mercyful Fate, Meshuggah, Municipal Waste, Napalm Death, Shadows Fall, The Sword, Toxic Holocaust, Trap Them, Trouble, Voivod.
If there's a thread running through all of that clangor, it's that it tends to weigh several tons. You won't endure very much nü-metal or metalcore here -- that stuff has its own Rhapsody station, called Core -- or glam metal (try Big Hair) or guitar showoff trigonometry for its own sake (try Shred) or, for that matter, heavy classic rock from the '70s (try High Voltage). But if you tune in long enough, you just might detect some rare titanium from Acid Bath, Flipper, The Flying Humanoids, Insect Warfare, Julius Seizure or Whiplash -- yeah, Fury Radio goes deep. But mainly, it goes heavy or goes home -- as will you, if you go along for the ride.