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by Chuck Eddy

February 27, 2012


Radio: High Voltage

by Chuck Eddy  |  February 27, 2012

High Voltage was conceived as Rhapsody's "classic heavy metal" station: "Ripping through your speakers, these hard and heavy metal classics are sure to get your adrenaline flowing," its original description went. That's still totally the case, though pinpointing what is meant by "classic metal" anymore gets harder by the minute. Basically, the younger you are, the later you tend to believe metal was invented. So disagree with the classification if necessary, but in High Voltage's case, metal's classic years run mainly through the '70s and '80s, with a little bit of fudging on either end of that timeline. Which is to say, while you may well hear an occasional monstrous Blue Cheer or Iron Butterfly or MC5 or Hendrix jam from the very late '60s -- or, conversely, a Pantera or Faith no More or Melvins or Bulletboys number from the very early '90s -- the playlist's heart runs approximately from Black Sabbath to Slayer.

There's at least as much thrash (Anthrax, Flotsam and Jetsam, Metallica, Overkill, Testament, Venom) as hair metal (Guns N' Roses, Love/Hate, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Slaughter, Twisted Sister), but way more old-school meat and taters than either: lots and lots of AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Blue Öyster Cult, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, King Diamond, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, Ted Nugent, Ozzy, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep, and Van Halen. Plus such quality second- and third-tier platoons as Accept, Angel, Anvil, Cirith Ungol, Diamond Head, Girlschool, Rose Tattoo, Saint Vitus, Saxon, Sir Lord Baltimore, and Warlock, not to mention a few more obscure New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands sprinkled in. And even an isolated metal track or two by outfits who you might be surprised ever had any, like Kansas, Styx and Funkadelic. Loud and proud indeed: you'll wish your amps went to 11.

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