1) Iron Maiden Flight 666 DVD
2) Metallica Death Magnetic CD/LP
3) Mastodon Crack The Skye CD/LP
4) Metal: A Headbangers Journey DVD
5) Nyktalgia Peisithanatos CD/LP
If, like me, you suspected that heavy metal music had been going through a bit of a renaissance in recent years and that the decades old genre born out of hard rock in the late 60's/early 70's seems more popular than ever these days, you would be correct, according to longtime metal fan and Amoeba employee Stevil. "The state of metal is healthier than ever. Plus it is more diversified than it has ever been," confirmed Stevil, who works at the San Francisco Amoeba Music, and who has been a dedicated metal fan since the early 80's -- a time when the genre, while popular with certain crossover bands, was generally not nearly as widely accepted as today. "It's cool and acceptable to like metal these days. That's good," said Stevil. He recalled the bygone era when he first got into the genre, when it had a certain "excitement and camaraderie" due to being a relatively smaller and more insular scene. "It was like a huge worldwide gang," reminisced Stevil, noting that, "Nowadays there's a lot of bands, a lot more bands, but with more and more fractured sub-genres" beyond the once standard classic, thrash, and black metal musical divisions which remain his personal favorite types of metal. "A lot of bands have come over from the hardcore punk scene, so there is a whole new fanbase to it, a wider fanbase than ever."