It’d be impossible to pinpoint one exact moment in time that truly encapsulates the long colorful and often bloody history of heavy metal – but if forced to choose 1985 would make for a strong contender. The genre had finally begun to find its footing – emerging from the hazy days of the proto-metal 70s to gain strength power and most importantly speed.
By that point the bloated 70s heavy rock titans had fallen out of favor displaced by leaner upstarts. The new wave of British heavy metal had already washed up on American shores bringing with it all of the style and finesse of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest as well as the wilder and grittier sounds of Motorhead Saxon and Venom.
Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin launched their first reunion attempts. Iron Maiden – still high on the fumes of 1984’s triumphant Powerslave – set a high-water mark for live albums with Live After Death – while Venom released Possessed – Judas Priest set to work on Turbo – Saxon gave no ground with Innocence Is No Excuse and all-woman outfit Girlschool hit the ground hard with Running Wild.