252 Hourz O’ Power: A Year in Metal Radio


Victor Ramirez


Below is a short piece I wrote over at Medium


For over a year, I was a host of Thee Hourz O’ Power, one of the longest running college metal radio shows in the country. We’ve been filling the void of trve metal (and not just Metallica on repeat unlike some ‘metal stations’) on the airwaves since 1989 and it‘s an honor to share the wealth of great music to our listeners whom otherwise would not have discovered so many underground bands. Personally, my palette has been challenged and transformed throughout my tenure at Hourz. The experience rekindled my love for heavy metal and appreciate the diversity of the genre, spanning a wide range of emotions as well as countries across the world. Knowing that someone may have discovered a new favorite band or rediscovered their love for metal through Hourz makes this “job” all the more fulfilling.

2017 was a great year for metal, and to celebrate I made some vizes of our year in review. Take a minute to appreciate the vastness and how international metal is.

Hourz 2017
2017 as played by Thee Hourz O’ Power


If you can’t see the vizes, check them out at:


or here

A snapshot of the metal played at Hourz across the world

Some neat observations:

  • Death metal owned 2017, logging the most plays with 173. Less Crusty Black (yes, we differentiate black metal by its crustiness) was a close 2nd with 165.
  • Thrash metal was our 3rd most played genre with 240, even though we only played 53 songs from 2017. To the classic thrash enthusiasts out there, you’re welcome.
  • Our playlist was remarkably consistent across time, except maybe a couple extra black metal songs during the winter.
  • You can totally see the regional differences in metal on the map. The US east coast is dominated by death metal, the pacific northwest by black metal, and the California coast by thrash. The UK is a hub for non-extreme metal, anchored by Alestorm for power metal and the NWOBHM and traditional classics. Finland is home to a ton of folk and power metal, Sweden has melodeath, and eastern Europe has a ton of black metal. Those already familiar with the origins of metal won’t dispute these statements, but now we have a colorful map to prove it.

Special thanks to Terrorsquid and the rest of the team at Hourz for hunting down and cleaning up the data. Try not to play too much power metal when I’m gone.