Original Heathen Vocalist Sam Kress Passes Away
Band Photo: Heathen (?)
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."
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