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Original Heathen Vocalist Sam Kress Passes Away

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Sam Kress, the original vocalist of acclaimed San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN and former co-editor of early '80s underground fanzine Whiplash, passed away several days ago. The cause of his death has not been released.

In a recent posting on his blog, Whiplash co-founder Brian Lew had the following to say about Sam Kress:

"Sam and I created a metal 'zine called Whiplash. Basically, Sam was more the business guy and I was more the creative guy and we worked well together... We also spent a lot of time hanging out with other metalhead friends... Listening to metal, drinking, being young and stupid. I can't even guess how many times I crashed on his couch.

"While in New York, Sam had befriended a guy starting a record label called Torrid. Long story short, Sam helped broker the release of EXODUS' seminal debut album 'Bonded By Blood' on the Torrid / Combat Records label in 1985.

"I've always considered 'Bonded By Blood' to be THE defining album of the Bay Area old metal scene. No disrespect to METALLICA's 'Kill 'Em All', but METALLICA's songs were primarily written before the band relocated from SoCal to S.F.; EXODUS were 100% Bay Area born and bred. East Bay OG. EXODUS raged the hardest and Sam and I were right there with them.

"Sam and I are thanked side-by-side in the liner notes of several old metal albums, including METALLICA's 'Ride The Lightning' and EXODUS' 'Bonded By Blood'. We were metal bruthas and back then that meant A LOT."

Source: Blackmetal.com

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42 Comments on "Original Heathen Vocalist Passes Away"

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BoltThrower's avatar

Supporter

1. BoltThrower writes:

One more log on the fire. When's my turn?

# Dec 17, 2006 @ 2:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. the antihippy writes:

why would you want to die boltthrower?

# Dec 17, 2006 @ 4:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. godlike writes:

RIP..............yet another fallen hero !!!!!

# Dec 17, 2006 @ 8:53 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Chupacabra_hunter's avatar

Supporter

4. Chupacabra_hunter writes:

Damn,I thought we were finally going to make it through the rest of the year without someone else in the metal world dying.

# Dec 17, 2006 @ 10:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Old skool thrash writes:

omg.. heathen is one of my fave thrashers...
but Sam kress never did release an album with heathen..
R.I.P brother of thrash..

# Dec 17, 2006 @ 2:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. the antihippy writes:

in australia i dont even think we have any noteworthy metall band since ac/dc.

and their hard rock........ dam

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 12:51 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. in flames writes:

oops sorry meant to say they're

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 12:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

8. Cynic writes:

Err, godlike do you even listen to Heathen? Some of their stuff was pretty cool, although I'd take Exodus, Holy Moses, Dark Angel etc any day. Respect to anyone who gets involved in the metal scene like that.

antihippy, what about Alarum, The Bezerker, Dungeon? etc.

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 2:06 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BaM-21's avatar

Member

9. BaM-21 writes:

R.I.P. dude

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 11:57 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. godlike writes:

err, yes cynic, I have heard them....!!! So what is your point..??

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 12:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. Jackrum writes:

Yet another old skool icon passes...

this year has clocked a high toll on the metal world

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 12:33 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

12. Red_Chord writes:

Rest in peace man. And thanks

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 3:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. ZeroTolerance writes:

That sucks. This has been one sh**ty week.

RIP Sam!!

Now playing: Heathen-Opiate of the Masses

# Dec 18, 2006 @ 8:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
amongthedead's avatar

Member

14. amongthedead writes:

RIP man.... just another metal man to add to the list of all those who have died

# Dec 19, 2006 @ 9:26 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
15. Alex.... writes:

About 6 guys in 4 months? the hell is going on?

# Dec 19, 2006 @ 9:59 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
16. Alex.... writes:

Its gonna suck even more when Tom Araya goes...!!!

# Dec 19, 2006 @ 10:01 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
17. Red_Chrod writes:

It sucks that this happened. I wish I could just climb into the grave and suck him off.

# Dec 19, 2006 @ 1:17 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
18. godlike writes:

^^^^^^^^is this perhaps machine boy..? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

the spelling of chord gives it away....!!!

# Dec 19, 2006 @ 1:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

19. Red_Chord writes:

Dunno who that is, Machine Man or Your Mom. if its Machine Man, it's alright cause I did it to him. if its Your Mom...well he seems to think that I did that to him a couple of months ago but it wasn't me, I swaer. I would admit it if it was me because I have nothing to hide and we are anonymous on these posts. so if it is You Mom, stop it man, I never did that to you. If its Machine boy well, meh !!!

# Dec 20, 2006 @ 9:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
20. old skool thrash writes:

hey antihippy.. ur wrong actually, Aussie's have brought out a couple of amazing thrashers since AC/DC...
Mortal sin, just to name one :)
and to Cynic..
Those bands rule, dark angel are sick, but i still much prefer heathen's style of thrash. =]

# Dec 21, 2006 @ 10:24 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
21. godlike writes:

Hey, what about the great Aussie band...Rose Tattoo..??

# Dec 21, 2006 @ 10:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

22. Red_Chord writes:

Dude you know so much bands...do you have a job at all ? LOL

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 9:16 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
23. godlike writes:

Actually, I am a full time student and working part-time....I'm still trying to figure out what I am gonna be when I grow up... ( C'mon, everyone knows the stories of the struggling musician..!!! )
I spent many, many years working construction..and recently I decided that I am sick of breaking my back for a living... Its time to go back to working in an office...

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 10:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

24. Red_Chord writes:

Yeah well you could try to be a sound tech...that would be awesome !!! Recording records, going on tour with great bands...ever tohugh about it ?

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 1:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
25. godlike writes:

No, I cant say that I have ever considered that...but thats not a bad idea....If there was just the courses offered at a school close to me...I live in rural midwest...the closest trade schools dont offer any classes like that...It would all have to be done online..and that sucks....beleive me, I am already doing it with a class..
After a life long facsination with guitars ...I'd love to work as a luthier... I do my own repairs and mods and have actually refinished a few axes over the years... But the market is already flooded with numerous small time luthiers that make some phenominal guitars..Ever heard of Abyss..??
I talked to the guy a couple years ago...He lives in Iowa..makes and sells his own line of guitars...they are amazing...high end, like custom shop PRS type stuff.... At that time it was just him, working out of his shop behind his house... made like 5 or 6 a year..but they sell for like 3-5 grand a peice... I dont know if he has expanded since then or not...I dont do alot of shopping in the price range...

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 2:54 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

26. Red_Chord writes:

Where are you from exactly ?

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 6:14 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
27. godlike writes:

Iowa

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 6:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
28. godlike writes:

and you..???

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 6:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

29. Red_Chord writes:

Quebec

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 6:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

30. Red_Chord writes:

Hey you're from Slipknot country !!! Hell yeah !

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 6:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
31. godlike writes:

Yes, I am... !!!!!!

# Dec 23, 2006 @ 8:49 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
32. godlike writes:

Is there anything note worthy from Quebec..?? besides you of course.??

# Dec 24, 2006 @ 7:45 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

33. Red_Chord writes:

Well aside from f***ing Celine Dion and Simple Plan (sorry anout that but I have no control about this) there are good bands from Quebec. You know Cryptopsy ? A Perfect Murder, Obliveon, Kataklysm, Voivod, Despised Icon, Anonymus...

# Dec 24, 2006 @ 7:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
34. godlike writes:

yes, I have heard most of them....sorry about Celine Dion....you can have her back if you wish..!!!!

# Dec 24, 2006 @ 9:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

35. Red_Chord writes:

No no I insist, keep her, we are doing just fine without her...ah Las Vegas, the town that freed us from the b**** !!

# Dec 24, 2006 @ 10:29 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
36. Zombified Genitalia writes:

So, every Heathen vocalist is dead apart from Dave.

Scary.

# Dec 24, 2006 @ 12:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
B-rad's avatar

Member

37. B-rad writes:

What about Quo Vadis, they're from Quebec.

# Dec 27, 2006 @ 10:23 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Red_Chord's avatar

Member

38. Red_Chord writes:

Oups, forgot about them...thanks

# Dec 28, 2006 @ 1:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
metalmaniac8666's avatar

Member

39. metalmaniac8666 writes:

R.I.P. Man these people need to quit dying. I wonder if there's some sort of pact or cult thing going on in the Metal world amoung all these bands? Because they seem to be dropping like flies. F*** the Prince of Darkness is still alive and kicking more or less why can't they take a lesson from him and stick around longer? Ozzie's like what 50 and he's still around and there's all these dead 25 year olds dropping dead on us metal fans.

# Dec 29, 2006 @ 7:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
mick666's avatar

Member

40. mick666 writes:

Heathen rule and R.I.P. to the original vocalist Sam Kress.

# Dec 30, 2006 @ 5:46 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
41. Jackrum writes:

Chuck & Sam gone, somehow the metal world seems less talented...
Maybe thats just me..

Long live thrash, death & the Extreme

# Jan 6, 2007 @ 6:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
42. TRUEBLUE SF DUDE writes:

ANOTHER FALLEN WARRIOR OF METAL , TIS A SAD THING INDEED, WITHOUT THEIR GIFTS TO THE BAY AREA METAL SCENE, GROWNING UP HERE WOULDA BEEN RATHER DULL. HEATHEN WAS/IS TRUELY APPRECIATED HERE, THEIR HARD HITTIN SOUND WILL ECHO IN THE HEADS AND BONES OF SF METALHEADS ALWAYS. KEEP ON KEEPIN ON FELLAS.

# Jan 16, 2007 @ 5:48 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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