New heavy metal audio documentary launches

28 February 2020

"Tyneside played such a fundamental role in shaping the sound of heavy metal and I hope that the documentary encourages listeners to explore these amazing bands."

A new audio documentary exploring the origins and legacy of Newcastle's heavy metal scene launched on Thursday 27 February 2020 with an event at Discovery Museum.

Heavier! Faster! Louder! The Story of Tyneside Heavy Metal is a six-episode series narrated by renowned radio disc jockey Alan Robson. Episode one is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotify and other podcatchers, with further episodes released weekly on Thursdays. 

The series features influential Newcastle bands – such as Venom, Raven, Tygers of Pan Tang and Atomkraft – whose music helped pave the way for the global success of acts such as Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.

Sarah Younas, Digital Producer at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, has created the documentary with music writer John Tucker, author of Neat & Tidy: The Story of Neat Records.

Sarah Younas said:

"It’s been fantastic unearthing heavy metal's Tyneside roots to develop this series. Tyneside played such a fundamental role in shaping the sound of heavy metal and I hope that the documentary encourages listeners to explore these amazing bands.

"Working with Alan Robson has been incredible. Alan has always been at the forefront of the scene. 'The Hot 'n' Heavy Express' was the soundtrack of so many people's Saturdays, there was nothing else like it. He was responsible for so many musical discoveries and big breaks. I didn’t have anyone else in mind to narrate the series, it had to be Alan."

Image: Newcastle band Atomkraft played at the Metal Battle '88 festival in Katowice, Poland

John Tucker said:

"The importance of Neat Records and the bands from the Newcastle area in the development of heavy metal globally cannot be overstated.

"Sometimes by design, and sometimes by chance, Neat Records picked up on some of the most exciting new bands of the late Seventies and early Eighties and records by the likes of Raven and Venom would change the face of metal forever."

The launch event at Discovery Museum featured a Q+A and signing session with members of Venom, Atomkraft, War Machine, Tygers of Pan Tang and Fist.


Heavier! Faster! Louder! is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcatchers, with episodes released each Thursday. 

Heavier! Faster! Louder! - Episode synopses

Episode 1 – SS Giro
Tyneside’s traditional heavy industries are dying. Inspired by the devil’s music, kids see guitars and amps as their way out.

Episode 2 – Rock Until You Drop
As the likes of Iron Maiden and Saxon spearhead the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, a Tyneside record label unearths new talents.

Episode 3 – Pour The Metal In
The north east heavy metal subculture begins to grow, from the workingmen’s clubs to the Mayfair and beyond.

Episode 4 – In League With Satan
A cult Newcastle band push the boundaries and spawn a new genre – black metal.

Episode 5 – At War With Satan
Tyneside heavy metal makes a big impression across the pond but a moral panic is brewing.

Episode 6 – Don’t Need Your Money
Neat Records meets its demise but Tyneside heavy metal won’t go quietly.

Media enquiries

Please contact Jonathan Loach Jonathan.Loach@twmuseums.org.uk 0191 277 2168