This week I had the great pleasure to see the legendary Jon Mikl Thor live right here in Portland Oregon! But that wasn’t all, before he hit the stage he gave us all a screening of the new documentary “I am Thor”!!
Some of you might not even know who Thor is but if you like 80’s metal and 80’s horror flicks then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this guy. To me, my first introduction to him was in the cult favorite flick ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare’ and this one really has got to be seen to be believed. It’s one of the best cheezy 80’s flicks of all time. Don’t believe me check this shit out:
Anyway to make a long story short, Jon Mikl Thor was a successful body builder who fronted the band Thor way back in 1973. He looked like a real life version of the Marvel Comics character or heck he could easily have passed as He-Man as well!
He really never achieved the success he’d always wanted and spent most of the 70’s and 80’s touring the world. He had a short career in B-movies as well and in 1997 he decided to pick up the hammer again and rock the world as Thor one more time.
The documentary covers this and so much more and is filled the heart and determination of a man who’s willing to defy the odds for the sheer love of Rock & Roll. It follows his rise and fall as well as his quest to return to the stage years later. In many ways it’s quite similar to another excellent documentary about another Canadian metal band called Anvil. If you want a dynamic double feature I highly recommend “I Am Thor” and “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” they will inspire you to never give up on your dreams.
We get a lot of great info on Jon Mikl Thor as well, one interesting thing was learning that he was originally asked by Jerry Only from the Misfits to front the 90’s version of the band before eventually getting Michale Graves to replace Danzig. Man, how awesome would a Thor fronted version of The Misfits have been?!! Well to me it sounds awesome.
If you get a chance check this movie out, it’s a lot of fun and by the end of it you’ll feel like you really know the guy personally. I guess that’s one reason why I had such a good time at the show, after the movie we got to see Thor rock again with a full band. Though he doesn’t have the long hair or ultra ripped body that he used to he’s still got the pipes and at age 62 he’s got a ton of great energy. It was a real treat seeing a band playing that style of metal and while not fully familiar with all of his music (mainly because I didn’t own any of it personally yet), when I attended the show by the end of his set I couldn’t get his power metal anthems out of my head.
I knew I had to go much deeper into the music and film career of John Mikl Thor! He’s a true character who never gave up on his dreams and though his shows don’t sell out you can see how much this guy truly appreciates every person in attendance. It was a night that still has me smiling days later. It takes a very special person to make you feel that in this day and age. Long live Thor, you’re still the number one Warrior of the Universe in my opinion…
Iron Maiden is the best metal band of all time and they’re back with a new album ready to drop! “Book of Souls” will be out on September 4th of this year and I’m totally pumped for it! I’m even more pumped to see them live again as they’re easily one of the best live bands out there despite the band forming way back in 1975. These guys have more spastic energy than most bands in their twenties and blend a good amount of amazing theatrics into their live shows. So now Maiden returns, a band not guilty as selling out or changing their sound like bands like Metallica remain guilty of doing. Nope Maiden has kept their sound true for the most part their entire career.
They’ve got a brand new song called ‘Speed of Light’ that just so happens to haveT cool new video to go along with it. This one’s a classic style Iron Maiden power metal anthem! They’ve still got the metal magic so check this one out as their mascot ‘Eddie’ decides to hit the arcade and literally ends up being sucked inside of the video games!! I’m so pumped on this!!
R.I.P. Christopher Lee, you’re were a true icon! This again proves how awesome you were! You were a true Wizard at heart!
I had to take a moment here to plug some new power metal that I’m really diggin’ at the moment! The new Elvenking album recently dropped and just as I was getting ready to write them off completely as a weak ass emo band, they bring us a super tuff new album in form of ‘The Pagan Manifesto’. The Italian band started out back in 1997 as a rad folk/power metal band and through the years shifted their style to something much more mainstream, even changing their look to something more like an emo mall metal band. They got some shit for their shift in appearance and sound, but now here they are in 2014 bringing back the fantasy themed metal the way it should sound when you’re fighting a vicious band of orcs on a trail in a wicked dungeon!
It’s funny because in my D&D group we always play power metal stuff like, Blind Guardian, Iron Maiden & Rhapsody when we do battle-yeah cheezy I know, but it really does get the blood pumping and the natural twenties rollin’! If you play D&D give it a shot-your PC’s will dig it. Anyway, Elvenking has several awesome albums, like Heathreel, Wyrd & The Winter Wake. Check these guys out if you’re jonesin’ for some good catchy fantasy metal-here’s their latest video, my guess is that the band got hardcore into Game of Thrones and decided it was time to bring back the fantasy!
Here’s another one of my faves from the album:
I am a sucker for some good power fantasy metal and one of the best newer bands is Elvenking. Weve listened to this Italian metal band for quite some time while fighting epic battles in our D&D adventures. This track called “Runereader” is from their new album Silent Red Tides, from what I understand the album will be officially released here in the United States on November 9th-with a name like Elvenking how can you go wrong?
So as you all know the new Iron Maiden album is set to be released this month as you all probably know from me ranting about their live show I witnessed and posting their new song El Dorado. What some metal fans may not know though is that there’s another metal album being released this month that I am equally as pumped about! Blind Guardian’s “At The Edge of Time” is set to be released on August 24th!
If you like power metal with heavy influences of fantasy then you best run out and prepare to play this album during battle in your next D&D campaign! Blind Guardian has been around since 1984 and they just seem to keep getting better! Anyway I found some full songs from the upcoming album posted on youtube so if you’re ready to get epic as shit then you best sit down and take a good listen!!
Yeah Blind Guardian is one of the BEST metal bands EVER. If you don’t already know who this rad band is you need to go out and buy their stuff! They’ve been around since the 80’s and have only gotten better in time!! Well they appeared at the 2008 Comic Con to promote the new video game “Sacred 2”. Their music is featured in the video game and the band themselves are also. Anyway I though this was a cool video trailer for the game and most of all thought the new song they wrote for the game was pretty amazing as well….
Ok not only is this one of the best songs EVER but Iron Maiden is probably the BEST Metal band of all time!! So check out this classic horror themed video for “The Number of the Beast”. Not only do they pay tribute to the Wolfman but also Godzilla, Nosferatu and the Crimson Ghost. They also have the awesome giant sized “Eddie” up on stage with them which is downright creepy! So check this one out and let it get your blood pumpin’ for a rockin’ friday night!!!
Just in case you don’t know who this band is already check them out. I have been surprised to find out how many people actually have never heard them before. Blind Guardian has been around since the 80’s and this track “Otherland” from their latest album is one of my favorite tracks. Take a listen to power metal at it’s Best.