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Pit Stories: Enthusiastic Teens, Calm Adults

In recent weeks we've explored quite the range of show stories, including an epic drunk journey to see the Misfits, a truly violent farewell show, and a sad case of a mosh pit turning on the hardcore kid.

Today's Pit Story comes courtesy of psychedelic outfit Suns Of Thyme. Drummer Jascha Kreft shares these memories of teenage enthusiasm and more restrained adults trying to have a good time:

The most exciting mosh pit I ever experienced during a show of mine that was with my very first band back in my hometown in the most provincial backwater in northern Germany 10 years ago. I remember about 200 or so 14 year old teens "moshing" their hearts out (for most of them the first time I guess), falling on the ground constantly, older attendees laughing about them but enjoying themselves.

So far it seems to me that the audiences in Berlin are a little more calm, or more into themselves or just spoiled but there are exceptions. I had my last proper mosh at a concert of Fuzz. People were hanging from the ceiling right from the first song.

Suns Of Thyme recently inked a deal with Napalm Records and is gearing up to release new album "Cascades" on May 27th, 2016. More...

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Pit Stories: A Blitzed Journey To See The Misfits

We've got one hell of a pit story this week metal heads, going from S.O.D.'s Billy Milano crushing a fan's hand to a truly epic trek to see The Misfits that's worthy of a Harold & Kumar style movie.

Hilariously, the vast majority of this pit story takes place nowhere near the pit, as a drunken idiot friend tanks all chances of getting to the show. Vocalist Mike Stack from False Gods tells the tale like this:

I have slowed down a bit in my present age as far as going to shows but back in my more carefree and reckless years it was probably my favorite pastime. I think a big part of the adventure was taking the train into New York city from the island because it gave you ample time to get your drink on.

I remember one Halloween getting so lit on cheap rum that the last thing I remember is walking on the city streets in the middle of a Halloween parade and my friend looked at me and said “I have to go kill a midget” and started sprinting through the people full speed. I didn’t see him again for a few days after that. One time the exact same friend, during S.O.D. was standing next to me in the front of the stage screaming in my face. I had assumed he was so excited by finally getting to see them because they had been on a hiatus but to my disbelief he was screaming because Billy Milano was standing on his hand and he was screaming in pain.

My all time favorite story though is when me, my brother and two of my friends went to go see the Misfits back in 1996. During the Michael Graves years. We had a handle of Bacardi rum with us and the ride to the city was only an hour. The first 20 or so minutes went without a hitch, small talk and some laughs, then for whatever reason my friend (we'll call him "Tim") was like “we have to finish this bottle before we get to Penn station” I am usually under the assumption that putting any type of deadline on yourself is a dangerous game to play. After this statement he proceeded to guzzle almost half the bottle of booze until I had to actually interject and take it away from his mouth.
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Pit Stories: A Gift Of Violence

It's Tuesday again already? How about another epic Pit Story then?

This week we get a tale from Hollow Bones, reminiscing about a chaotic night where a crowd of music fanatics came together to send off a beloved band with a frenzied gift of violence! Hollow Bones vocalist Patrick Anthony tells the story like this:

The year was 2014. We were at the Loft for Breathtaker’s farewell show. The glory days of Poughkeepsie shows had long since passed. Tuesday night local shows, with a turnout of 200 kids was a distant memory clung to desperately by veterans of the local scene. However, when some of those veterans happened to be in a band that had been around since the aforementioned glory days is throwing a farewell show, people come out. They come out in droves, and they come out to fucking party.

This was one of those occasions that will go down as a legendary night in local show history. The crowd was warmed up throughout the night by all the other local bands, but the moment Breathtaker came out on stage, the entire room turned utterly violent. One of our friends started moving the pit from one end of the room, all the way to the bar in the next room over, then came back swinging, jumped onto the stage, kicked a number of people in the face, all before diving face first into a sea of swinging fists. At one point there wasn’t even a pit in the general sense of the word. It was just people fighting each other. Punching each other in the back of the head, in the face, kicking each other, falling down, getting stomped on, etc. and at the end of it all, no one was mad. No one took any of that anger away with them. We offered it up to our friends as a gift for their last performance.

It was like all of those nostalgic feelings that people held onto were being manifested that night on the floor of the Loft, while a soundtrack of breakdowns played over everything. It was pure and utter chaos. There have been plenty of shows that all of us had been to for bigger bands that had awesome pits, where people climbed on each other, and swung hard. But this was special. This was our night to relive our memories, and send our friends off the best way that we could.

Hollow Bones will self-release new album "Lionheart" on May 27th, 2016. The album can be pre-ordered now at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Ancient

Hey, what's this... I'm not Diamond Oz! Sorry folks, he's out this week, so I'm here to take over Sunday Old School. Today we're headed back in time all the way to the early '90s and mythical Norway, birthplace of second wave black metal and much diabolical full moon mysticism.

During that hallowed time in metallic history would emerge a black metal group called Ancient, which over the years mixed a lot of melody into the BM sound, utilizing memorable atmospheric interlude tracks and a gothic, vampiric vibe.

That would all arrive a good deal later though, as Ancient's beginnings are more rooted in the classic, raw black metal that would become so well known among the giant names like Emperor, Immortal, Mayhem, Burzum, and so on.

Beginning with just band founder Apahzel and vocalist Grimm, the first full-length Ancient release was “Svartalvheim,” which has everything you could want from a '94 black metal metal album, complete with breathing fire in a Norwegian forest!

Much like with the more well known Cradle Of Filth, there is a small but vocal subsection of the fan-base who feels this earliest, more kvlt release (along with the subsequent “Trolltaar” EP) is really the only era of the band worth hearing. Whether you agree with that assessment or not, “Svartalvheim” is easily a classic old school black metal opus, including the fuzzy production and frozen and gloomy atmosphere. If early '90s Norwegian BM is your thing, this is a forgotten classic worth checking out.

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Pit Stories: Crowd Turns On The Hardcore Kid

Ready for a new bout of pit mayhem today, metal heads? This week pit story comes courtesy of Ontario-based outfit Black Absinthe.

We've all seen the hardcore kids throwing the windmills and fighting invisible ninja, which the more casual show-goers generally don't care for. They might be obnoxious, but you can't fault their enthusiasm at a live show.

Black Absinthe shares this tale of one such individual who unfortunately reaps what he sows... but soldiers on anyway:

The first few formative years of the band, we played a lot at a place called 751. Located on 751 Queen St. in Toronto this was our preferred and beloved dive bar for many years. Cheap beer 'n shot combos combined with dirty metal shows in the basement made it an ideal spot to start playing.

Our bass player Kyle Scarlett was working there as a bartender and privy to a front row seat of the bloodbath that occurred before we had a chance to grace the stage. It was the second band of a four four bill, good and crowded in the basement. Given that the capacity down there was something like 50 people max we had a good crowd of about 70 throughout the night.

The earlier bands were more on the hardcore end. And with hardcore you're gonna have some motherfucker throwing down. I'm all for getting worked up to the music and givin' 'er (windmilling at shows with dreads has led to some altercations) but the dude was just pushing everyone out the way that wasn't about to do Super Saiyan back at him. You could feel the crowd feeling the same thing like, "fuck can someone just give the dude a decent elbow and we can all get back to watching the show without guarding from a random clock in the face?”

So the vibe against the kid is turning, sitting behind the bar I can just feel it. Then eventually BAM! He finally gets a hit that launches him over to the wall (which I should mention was fairly stuccoed. If I had to give it a description I’d say...coarse?). Seeing the kid after I immediately take back whatever past feeling I felt about hoping he 'gets it' because this kid got it hard.

As I get a look at his face I see this front pepperoni slice sliver of his nose is hanging straight off the bottom of where it should be. Straight up figure 8 of fucked up face. Dangling, asking to be ripped off like a ticket from a skeeball machine. The open bit is gushing plenty of blood to clear out the room until the next band sound checked but I will credit the kid with being hard. He wanted to stay for the whole show. Pained me to tell him go to the hospital, stitch the front of your fucking nose back on, and that we'd be back another time.

Black Absinthe's upcoming album "Early Signs Of Denial" was produced by Dave Baksh (Cross Dog, The Mahones) and mixed and mastered by Frank Gryner (Rob Zombie- Hillbilly Deluxe). Set for release on May 13th, 2016, the album is the band's first professional recording and follows three self recorded EPs. More...

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Pit Stories: Crowd Surf Fingering

Time for a new Pit Story! After hearing about good karma with a travelling bottle of Jack Daniels and a tale of a missing yet indestructible guitar, this week we hear about a bevy of entertaining live shows from Atlanta outfit Dead Register.

We usually get some odd tales told in offbeat ways, but sometimes, these tales from musicians just absolutely sing with poetic wonder. This is one of those times.

Vocalist M. Chvasta of Dead Register today offers up an awe-inspiring retelling of a string of Jesus Lizard shows, in which girl bits both were and were not fingered, and penis both was and was not seen. He tells the story like this:

One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some band that sounded like Jesus Lizard opened. Two for one.

One time in the 90’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard show. Some whorish girl wearing super-short shorts wanted tons of attention from men. She would NOT stop crowd surfing, which was totally annoying (like most crowd surfers). She did not have underwear on. Dudes were fingering her girly-bits as she crowd surfed, to her delight. I think I saw Dave Yow’s dick, too.

One time in the 2000’s, I went to a Jesus Lizard reunion show in Nashville. Their tour shirt design was a bag of money, perfectly fitting. My then friend, but now wife and bandmate went with me. We moshed like champions, like it was in the 90’s. She did not crowd surf, nor did she get fingered. I ran into Larry from Pegboy who is a fine gentleman and a wonderful heartfelt singer. Pegboy did not open this show. Pegboy does not sound like Jesus Lizard.

One time in the 2000’s, I went to another Jesus Lizard reunion show in Atlanta. I wore an orange flannel shirt. Like it was the 90’s. Except I did not see Dave Yow’s dick.

Jesus Lizard and Pegboy are not metal.

Fuck crowd surfers.

We appreciate the clarification at the end there Chvasta! Dead Register will release new album "Fiber" on May 7th and two tracks off the release can be heard below. For more info on the band, head over to the Dead Register Facebook profile. More...

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Pit Stories: Certified To Withstand A Car

Every week we catch up with bands from across the globe to get their favorite stories from live shows. While most of these take place squarely within the mosh pit, sometimes the most interesting shenanigans take place right before or after the show, as is the case this week with a tale about a missing guitar. Finnish outfit Shiraz Lane shares this story:

For some reason the capricious forces of the universe have had their fun at times with me (Miki Kalske). One reputable example occurred on one average show day. We were preparing our gear at our rehearsal place and heading for load in as always. After we got our gear all packed up, we drove to the club.

Everything was going smooth and until it was time for sound check; I couldn’t find my guitar anywhere although I had a clear memory trace that I brought it out of our rehearsal place and left it leaning against the vehicle to be loaded among the last items. After a frustrating and inconclusive search, a horrendous thought rushed through my head that perhaps we had forgotten the guitar back at the rehearsal place. I had a bad gut feeling that maybe it was somewhere outside laying open and vulnerable for some dishonest citizen to steal.

We called our landlord who had both good and bad news; luckily the guitar was there, but apparently a car had driven over it since it had tire marks stained on it. To make matters worse, at that time I didn’t carry the guitar in a hard case, but in a flimsy carry-on bag instead to save space and my back when occasionally traveling on foot after a gig. After an hours excruciating drive back to square one, we located the beaten-up instrument. My heart skipped a beat as I opened the bag to see if all the bits and pieces were still intact.

At first glance the guitar seemed to be alright (miraculously) and even after closer analysis I was relieved to notice that the only flaw was that it was out of tune. After a quick tuning session and a double check I was ready, once again, to hit the stage having my precious six-string hanging around my neck. To this day I still play with that same guitar, recorded our debut album with it and have played all our gigs with it ever since.

By no means do I want to end this short story with a hint of endorsement, but I am inclined to thank ESP Guitars (although I am not an official artist in your roster). At least this guitar is certified to withstand a car, literally.

Frontiers Music Srl released the new Shiraz Lane album "For Crying Out Loud" on April 15th, 2016. Check out a music video off the album below, and more info can be found at the band's Facebook profile here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Death SS

Heavy metal has been linked with Satanism practically since it was born. The genre's long standing fascination with the man downstairs, the occult and blasphemy has made it a target for religious groups, politicians and any religious leader who wants a spot on the local news. Of course, such accusations have usually been dismissed outright by the bands and fans of the genre, but sometimes these people actually find a band with Satanic links, such as today's featured band, Death SS and their singer, Steve Sylvester.

Sylvester, whose real name is Stefano Silvestri, a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, formed the band in the town of Pesaro in 1977, along with guitarist Paolo Catena and eventually recruiting Daniele Ugolini on bass and drummer Tomaso Castaldi. The group used many elements of horror and macabre theatrics to create a terrifying stage show, which went on to influence many black metal artists. Though they lasted for five years in their initial run, the band did not release a full length album, managing only two demos before Sylvester left the group and was replaced by Bologna native Sanctis Ghoram, who appeared on the EP, "Evil Metal" in 1983 before the group parted ways the following year. More...

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Pit Stories: Good Karma With Jack Daniels

From destruction of property to destruction to facial features, usually our many crazy Pit Stories have less-than-desirable outcomes.

Not so this week, as Karma To Burn shares a tale of fans who both take and give back, with a bottle of JD leading to some good karma that spanned more than one country. Evan Devine tells the story like this:

Our best mosh pit story is definitely from Hellfest 2013 in Clisson, France. Its one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe, I think the crowd was 50,000 that year. We were playing the valley stage as a two piece, just a drum set and guitar stack in front of 6,000 people.

Well, Jack Daniels was backstage giving out bottles of whiskey. During our set, after we each had enough, Will threw the half full bottle out in to the audience, and a guy caught it and started passing it around the pit.

Two weeks later, we were playing a show in Switzerland, and after our set there was a bottle of Jack on stage, with a note on it reading "Thanks for the bottle at Hellfest, now its my chance to return the favor."

Currently embarked on a European trek, Karma To Burn will follow that tour with a North American run starting May 13th. Dates for the U.S. and Canadian shows are as follows: More...

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Sunday Old School: Nasty Savage

Professional wrestling and heavy metal music has plenty in common, perhaps more than one might initially think. Both fan bases are mocked by many people who don't share their enthusiasm for the colourful world they adore, both are perceived as appealing mostly to white males, though of course there are many overlooked female fans and both vary from the no nonsense to the ludicrous. So what happens when a professional wrestler has a penchant for metal music and brings his antics from the ring to the stage? Why, you get Nasty Savage of course!

Nasty Savage was formed in 1983 by lead singer "Nasty" Ronnie Galetti, along with drummer Curtis Beeson, bassist Fred Degischan and guitar players Ben Meyer and David Austin, in Brandon, Florida. The band recorded two demos, "Raw Mayhem" and "Wage of Mayhem" in 1984 and built up a solid following in their home state, thanks in part to Ronnie Galetti's outrageous stage persona, which would include smashing television sets over his own head. Their notoriety and popularity spread enough to earn the band a deal with Metal Blade Records, with whom they released their self-titled debut in 1985. More...

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Pit Stories: The Weirdness Of Guernsey

It's time for another Pit Story! This week we checked in with U.K. sludgy doom outfit Pensevor to hear about an interesting experience at a live show. Guitarist Pat Hopkins had this to say:

Way back in the early 00’s my old band was doing a very brief Channel Island tour, Jersey on the Friday night, prop plane over to Guernsey for the Saturday and back to Jersey for the Sunday night. I was playing in a dream pop band at the time (hey don't judge me) and we were supporting a couple of post hardcore bands from the UK mainland.

Having never been there before, I found Jersey a bit weird, but the Friday night show was fun. We got the early flight over to Guernsey on the Saturdaymorning and got to a pub near the venue before lunchtime and started playing pool and drinking. Mark (Pensevor vocals) had come over as an unofficial roadie, and to help us party hard.

The gig was in the function room at Guernsey hockey club, we went on first and it went OK. A band from Guernsey played, I think they were called Mechanical Lobster. By now I'd started to realize that Guernsey was like Jersey, only even more weird – a bit difficult to put into words, maybe a bit like Royston Vasey... Even friends who had lived in Jersey for a long time reckoned Guernsey was weird.

Anyway, the headline band went on and rocked out but the kids all suddenly went totally apeshit – it was like they'd all been electrocuted at the same time – I was a bit unprepared for the way they'd so enthusiastically reacted to the guys from the UK, stage diving, full on body slamming and so on.

After the gig, Mark snuck off for a cheeky smoke with the locals and we didn't see him again until the Sunday lunchtime back in Jersey. He had managed to get back to the hotel, fall asleep in a random room and missed the flight we all took back to Jersey. Fortunately the airport staff were cool and let him take a later flight. Lots of other shenanigans that weekend; bed wetting, snare drums on luggage carousels, conversations about smegma, and debates on optimum bath temperature for improved fertility. Ahh, Guernsey!

What's the spot in your area known for being the weirdest or having the wildest live shows? Fill us in via the comments section below!

Pensevor will release new album "Klothod" through Hibernacula Records on May 6th, with pre-orders up at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Infectious Grooves

Metal music has long experimented with other genres. We've seen metal make the short trip to mix with punk and hardcore and it's been known to flirt with more distanced genres such as reggae, electronic and rap music. One band who helped pioneer the hybrid of metal, punk and funk music was Venice Beach's own, Suicidal Tendencies, led by one of rock's most charismatic frontmen, Mike Muir. When the group recruited bass player Robert Trujillo, Muir appeared to have found a kindred musical spirit, who not only shared his love of funk, but brought it into the band's sound. This partnership was to expand beyond Suicidal Tendencies and cause a new band to emerge, who go by the suitable name of Infectious Grooves.

Muir and Trujillo began the band in 1989 and were joined in their endeavour by Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins and former Excel guitarist Adam Siegel. The group brought a very bizarre and silly humour to their music, which had previously been seen Suicidal Tendencies, though not to the same extent and invented a character called Sarsippius, a reptilian lover who appeared in skits on the band's albums. Their quest for a record deal was a relatively short one, signing with major label Epic, who also housed Suicidal Tendencies. More...

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Pit Stories: Full Bowel Evacuation And Beyond

Vocalist Tom of Rochester-based outfit Allfather hits us up with a new Pit Story today, which actually turns out to be a rendition of all the craziest things the band has seen at a live show.

From Greg Puciato's infamous on-stage defecation in '02 to a less-than-genius metal fan breaking his legs, here's a run down of some of the most ridiculous things you'll see while moshing out a metal show:

What's the wildest thing we've seen in the pit? Well, between the five of us, we seem to have witnessed everything from permanent facial scarring to full bowel evacuation.

To begin with, Joe (rhythm guitar) was at Slipknot show at the old Astoria in London and someone jumped off the balcony into the pit, I saw the same thing at an Offspring show at Brixton Academy (way higher balcony). Joe also saw someone climb one of the huge tent poles whilst watching Arch Enemy at Download and then jump off. Dude broke both legs but apparently came back the next day to see Slayer.

Both Joe and I were at the Reading Festival and when Dillinger Escape Plan opened the main stage and Greg Puciato took a huge dump onstage, smeared his shirt with it and then threw the shirt into the pit. Alan (lead guitar) saw a guy get run over by his own wheelchair a Gallows show and finally Kieron (drums) saw a front man at a hardcore show throw a chair into the pit and hit a girl, scarring her.

Be careful in the pit kids!

Allfather's "Bless the Earth With Fire" album is coming April 29th and can be pre-ordered right here, with two advance songs available below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Monstrosity

There are areas of the world that can always be relied upon to give you great metal. The Bay Area offers some of the best thrash bands of all time, as does New York, which also contains many of history's greatest hardcore bands. Britain has many legends of the game such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, in addition to the classic heavy metal sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, while a short trip east to Norway showcases many of the most beloved named in black metal. When it comes to death metal, perhaps one place more than any other can lay claim to being synonymous with the genre, the southern American state of Florida, which has given us such bands as Obituary, Morbid Angel and today's featured group, Monstrosity.

Monstrosity began life in Fort Lauderdale in 1990, the brainchild of former Malevolent Creation drummer Lee Harrison and Maryland native George "Corpsegrinder" Fischer. The duo were soon joined by another ex Malevolent Creation member, Jon Rubin and Cynic bassist Mark Van Erp. After slogging it out in the state scene, the band were eventually rewarded with a record deal with German label, Nuclear Blast. The label released the group's debut album, "Imperial Doom" in 1992, for which they were assisted in the recording by another Cynic member, Jason Gobel. The record was considered very successful, selling over forty thousand copies and receiving rave reviews from the metal press, as well as allowing them to tour Europe with Dutch technical death metal band, Pestilence. More...

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Pit Stories: The Dude Who Owns The Pit

The time has come for another Pit Story straight from the heart of the metal scene! This week's story comes courtesy of Entheos (the new band featuring Evan Brewer and Navene Koperweis).

Drummer Navene Koperweis had this tale from the pit to share about that one guy who keeps the mosh going, no matter what the circumstances:

When My old band was on tour with Napalm Death, there was an epic beat in Denver, Colorado. There was this one dude owning the pit who very primal and animated. We decided to go up on the balcony to see what would happen if we poured a bottle of water on him. Turns out he loved it! He thrived off it and continued to be the number 1 pitter! Props to this guy!

Are you that guy at your local shows? Share your story of the one mosher who just won't stop in the comments below!

The new Entheos album "The Infinite Nothing" is slated to drop April 1st, 2016 via Artery Recordings, with several advance tracks already up for streaming. You can pre-order the release over here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Church Of Misery

There are some countries that bands dream about making it in. For a British band on the hunt for success, to make it in the United States has always been one of the biggest targets, and I'm told the same is true in reverse. There's another country however, where bands from all over the world want to make their name, located in the far east and the centre of many popular trends, art and spirituality, Japan. The country has always loved their heavy metal and as a result, many of metal's biggest names such as Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden have recorded live albums and DVDs there, especially at the world famous Budokan. But it's not all take, Japan has given the world some excellent metal music in return, from the good time classic heaviness of Loudness, to the avant garde and macabre of Sigh and most recently, Babymetal, perhaps the most talked about group in metal right now. There are some other fantastic bands from the country too, including today's featured band, a must have in the record collection for any doom fan, Church Of Misery.

Church Of Misery were formed in 1995 in Shinjuku, a special ward in the city of Tokyo by bass player Tatsu Mikami, who was formerly a member of one of Japan's leading thrash bands, Salem (not to be confused with the Israeli group.) A fan late sixties/early seventies rock and psychedelic bands like Leaf Hound and Blue Oyster Cult, along with the likes of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, he wanted to put together his own outfit that would reflect these influences and soon found three partners in crime in guitarist Tomohiro Nishimura, vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda and drummer Hideki Shimizu. The quartet would record their first demo, "ADV.1996" the following year and sent it out to labels, fanzines and friends across the world, before a company called Doom Records released the recording as "Vol. 1" without the band's permission, resulting naturally in complaints and the threat of legal action, but also in awareness and popularity for the band in doom metal circles. More...

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Pit Stories: Destroying The $4k Espresso Machine

Following last week's hilarious invasion of the him-hers, today we actually return to the pit proper with a tale of moshing mayhem.

This week's story comes courtesy of the long-running American Head Charge, and it digs way back in time to an early U.S. tour from Slipknot. Anyone else who was at this show should be sure to give us a shoutout and let us know if you saw this in the comments!

American Head Charge tells the tale of venue destruction like this:

We opened up for Slipknot on their first show of their first headline tour at First Ave in Minniapolis MN. Our pit was mental. During the Slipknot show their pit was going full force. Sid stage dives and rides the pit house left to the bar. He jumps behind the bar and proceeds to destroy a brand new 4000 dollar imported Italian espresso machine. Less that cash at the end of the night and infuriating the clun, the Slipknot gig was a success. All the fans were online the next day comparing battle scars. The pit was gnarly.

The new American Head Charge album "Tango Umbrella" will be released on March 25th, 2016 via Napalm Records. Check out a teaser clip featuring snippets off all the album's tracks below, and you can also catch AHC live on an extensive U.S. tour this coming May and June. More...

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Sunday Old School: Cryptic Slaughter

Where would this column be without thrash metal? For that matter, where would metal itself be without thrash? It massively changed the genre by taking the sounds of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and turning them into something more ferocious, not only influencing many of younger headbangers, but also helping to create other successful genres such as death metal via bands like Possessed and Kreator, as well as black metal through the proto-black metal music of Celtic Frost, Bulldozer and Mercyful Fate. Beyond new areas, thrash metal also created a direct offspring of its own, after its marriage to hardcore punk, creating crossover thrash in the process. A number of beloved thrash bands belong in this category, from D.R.I. to Stormtroopers Of Death to today’s featured band, Cryptic Slaughter.

Cryptic Slaughter band began life in 1984, the brainchild of Les Evans, Scott Peterson and Adam Scott, all of whom were under the age of 18. The trio met through their participation in the American Youth Soccer League and were soon joined by another young soccer player named, Bill Crooks, who was appointed the bassist of the group. Scott didn’t last long however due to conflicts about school, so Crooks took over the vocal position, with a new bass player named Rob Nicholson was brought in, though until after the band had recorded their first demo, "Life in Grave." More...

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Pit Stories: Invasion Of The Him-Hers

Ready for yet another bout of Pit Story madness my fellow metal heads?

This week we've got a truly bizarre one that leaves the pit behind and focuses on band antics at the hotel room after the show, in which U.S. group Rapheumets Well gets some serious culture shock and a crash course in trans pride.

In typical metal fashion, things get taken perhaps a smidge too far. The symphonic extreme metal outfit's drummer Joshua Ward tells the tale like this:

So, members of Rapheumets Well were accompanying the band Behind The Veil to a show in the Ashville area of North Carolina. Now you got to picture that we are all very southern males with little to no exposure to the pride parades that Ashville is known for. It is to note, we are far from prejudice and we accept anyone for their sexual preferences being gay or straight, or what-ever percentage of gay to strait ratio can exist. You can make love to a duck for all we care. But you can say, we we just not ready for the “He-her” or the “Sheman,” Man in girl, whatever you can use to define the characters in our midnight saga.

So we are hanging off the balcony at a hotel and from the distance, our honkey eyes believe we are seeing women, flaunting about, twirling their batons, giggling and frolicking about, and for some reason that we have not discovered in our life’s journey yet…. other people on leashes. I’m sure it was our testosterone and possible lead poisoning from drinking from mountain spring water that lead us to the conclusion that these were women of mating age, doing things that seem appropriate for the other gender to want to mate …upon. Well the guitarist is yelling from the balcony “come on up girls” while one of two of us is considering the entertaining the question “are these she-men on leashes” as reality TV usually instills hints to these questions. But, what the hell. There had to be 20 plus people.

As they began to get closer, some of us who were NOT drinking began to contemplate back to high-school health class, “hmm, adams apple also known as the thyroid cartilage = the male gender” but the majority of us must have failed that class. From the pits of the stair well behold, in front us stood a 6 foot three, broad jawed, two hundred and fifty pound bench-pressing loaf of a man. Though in our defense, he was wearing a mini skirt over some leggings, a blond wig, and was accompanied by a man wielding a leash who also wore clothing which possessed ornaments known as “Bedazzled” and glitter.

If I had more time, I would explain to you how we used this awkward scenario to our benefit. Friends, who passed out first, became celebrities or victims to our cameras. We engaged in conversation which would reveal the craziest sexual things we have ever heard. I did not even know you can fit a lava lamp in some of the bodies cavities as expressed by the Him-Her. It was southern cultural anthropology at its finest. Unfortunately, some of them were chased off with chairs due to a un-diagnosed case of transphobia. But it was none the less, educational, AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!! …I guess.

Rapheumets Well's upcoming album "The Exile" is due out March 18th, 2016 through Test Your Metal Records. Check out a lyric video below for "Resurrecting The Blood God," and you can also hear new track "Witch Of Dark Spire" at this location. More...

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Sunday Old School: Aborted

Having recently been treated to a death metal extravaganza in London from Kataklysm, Septicflesh and Aborted (read the review here,) it seemed as good a time as any to revisit the history and story of one of these bands. In the interest of fairness, this week, we’ll be taking a look at the band whose country we’ve only examined twice before when covering Channel Zero and Enthroned, (which was only last week for those who need reminding.) The band whose career has been drenched in blood and fuelled by gore. The death metal band from Belgium known, quite simple, as Aborted.

Aborted was founded in 1995 by vocalist Sven de Caluwé, in the north west municipality of Waregem, West Flanders, reportedly choosing their name so that their albums would be first in the CD racks. This ambition came closer to be fulfilled, after they released two demos in 1998 entitled, "The Splat Pack" and "The Necrotorous Chronicles," which gained the attention of Uxicon Records, who released their debut album, "The Purity of Perversion" in 1999. The record received a good response from fans of extreme music, as well as disgust from onlookers at the cover art, a photograph of a mutilated woman. More...

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