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Sunday Old School: Witchery

Black metal is surely one of metal's most important sub-genres. While a hefty chunk of the attention it's received has been for its image and legacy of death and arson, the music itself changed the way a lot of musicians felt towards their own style, most notably the hybrid between black metal and death metal, two styles previously thought incompatible, performed by such artists as Behemoth. It's not just death metal that felt the frostbitten grimness creeping in, thrash metal was touched too, particularly in the case of Sweden's own, Witchery.

Witchery was formed in 1997 in the southern Swedish city of Linköping, following a massive split by the black metal band Satanic Slaughter. The four departing members included vocalist Tony Kampner, guitarists Patrik Jensen & Richard Corpse and drummer Micke Pettersson, who all formed Witchery along with Mercyful Fate and future Arch Enemy bass player Sharlee D'Angelo. In January the following year, the band spent a week recording their first album, "Restless & Dead," a pun of the Accept album, "Restless and Wild." Though recorded in January, it wouldn't be until October 1998 that it hit the shelves through Necropolis Records. While it retained elements of the black metal sound that the bulk of members had performed with Satanic Slaughter, it was more or less a thrash metal album. More...

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Pit Stories: Three Day Ear Ringing

Happy Tuesday my fellow heavy music lovers!

Today we've got a Pit Story that many of our regulars can relate to: getting older but still wanting to throw down at the front of the pit. What used to involve a couple of shots to rally and then going to work at 6 AM now involves days of recovery.

This week's Pit Story comes courtesy of guitarist and vocalist Tyson Wiebe of Lethbridge noise rock / punk duo Cope, who recalls the tale like this:

As I get older I somehow forget that my body/ears are not built for the pit anymore. The punishment I shrugged off as a teen and drank away in my early twenties now lingers well past what should be normal. I know better, yet I can still be found where the bodies are tightest and the music is loudest.

The most recent one came from a trip to Missoula to see my personal guitar hero Dean Ween. People always seem to write off Ween as a joke band, but they’ve always been dead serious to me. Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween, aka Deaner, aka Mickey Moist, etc.) is a shredder and I couldn’t wait to watch him and maybe steal some of his essence, so when we pulled into town for the show there was no doubt where we were going to stand: front stage, stage left. Where he has stood for the past 33 years as the other half of Ween.

We held our ground in that spot through the Meat Puppets (who still shred) and waited and waited. When the band came out and the first notes from his guitar rang out we realized we had made a huge, huge mistake. I have heard loud before, but this was deafening. His Fender Super-Sonic stack was cranked and pointing right at us. Plus, we were jammed up right by a monitor that was flipped to face the crowd for some reason. We knew we had to do something, so we started pushing the monitor further right. Security instantly came back and pushed it to its original position.

Then a cat-and-mouse game started.

When they would look away, we’d inch it further right, hoping they wouldn’t notice. They would notice eventually and push it back. We’d wait and move it over by inches again. We left the show with our ears ringing for three days afterward.

Worth it.

You can check out Cope's self-titled 7" release at Bandcamp here or stream the track "Mother Russia" below. For more info on this Alberta group, head over to the Cope Facebook profile. More...

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Sunday Old School: Deftones

It's very easy to categorise some bands. One can listen to Obituary for instance and say beyond any shadow of a doubt that they're a death metal band, or turn on a Forbidden song and immediately know that they're listening to thrash. Some groups however, defy definition, whether you love them or hate them. Say what you like, but no one else sounded like System of a Down and there wasn't a band like Primus before or since. Today's featured artists also have a sound instantly recognisable and like the three previously mentioned bands, also hail from California, namely; Deftones.

The seeds of Deftones can be traced to McClatchy High School in Sacramento, where future members Stephen Carpenter, Chino Moreno and Abe Cunningham were students and friends, a relationship which continued into the local skateboarding scene. They began jamming together in Carpenter's garage after Moreno found out that he played guitar, while Cunningham played drums. After a while, they brought in a bassist by the name of Dominic Garcia, who eventually switched to drums after Cunningham left to join Phallucy and as a result, the group found a new bassist named Chi Cheng. By 1993 and following another change in drummer, Cunningham returned to the fold once again, solidifying the familiar lineup of the band. More...

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Pit Stories: Curse Of The Soundboard

Alright metal heads, its Tuesday once more and that means its time for some new Pit Stories!

There's no crazy fan throw downs or quadruple conga lines this time around, and instead we're focusing on behind-the-scenes problems that cause bands grief, like malfunctioning (or non-existent) sound equipmment.

Guitarist Justin Krick of U.S. group Ascentia shared this tale of working under less than ideal sound conditions:

We opened a show in a small venue one night with touring bands Godmaker and Moon Tooth. The promoter was said to arrive soon with PA and speakers, but what he finally brought was a heap of gremlins! Finally, we decided to plug two mics into one of the powered speakers, for a hint of vocals, and start the show.

We kicked it off and gave it all we had, and by the end of our set, that speaker was pretty much shot. Nonetheless, Godmaker stepped up on stage and delivered an amazing set, though further crushing this poor speaker into oblivion. Pressing on, and eager to perform, Moon Tooth came to the stage and delivered one of the craziest and energetically mind blowing performances I'd ever seen at a venue like this. That speaker was cracking, clipping, distorting, and crapping itself, but Moon Tooth rolled with it, and raised the whole place to a new level of intensity.

Months later, Moon Tooth came back around to the same place, so we jumped on the bill. Determined to make the most of this one, we prepared to bring a backup PA system. However, days before the show, the venue went through some changes and had to cancel. So bummed, we scrambled to find a venue to make it happen, and on the day of, fortune smiled upon us with a bigger and better venue. All seemed to be looking up! The night was going great, and with pro sound and lighting amping the performances, we all anticipated our new touring friend's presence on stage. The moment was here, and the stage was set. Moon Tooth came out guns blazing and tearing up the stage! Until........... blackness. Lighting and soundboard went out. It seemed the gods were against us.

After an hour or so, the board was fixed. The band members were great sports about it, and performed a phenomenal short set to close out the night. Sound issues happen, but twice with the same band in this manner was crazy. We hope they'll return again soon though, and wreck the stage like they always do.

Founded in 2008, Ascentia is a five piece group based out of Greensboro, NC. You can check out the band's most recent EP "Pathways" below or follow the latest on Ascentia at Facebook here. More...

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Unearthing The New Band Underground

Man, this just always manages to happen. We get a couple of Unearthing The Metalunderground columns up and running and then somehow its been months again since the last one. That phenomena struck again as I look back and see it's been four months since the previous entry!

Back at the end of January we covered three bands with totally unexpected sounds, and now its time to get back into the swing of things with three groups still in their infancy, only having been around for a few years or even just getting started in 2017. These bands may be on the newish side, but they've all got a fabulous polished sound that belies that youth.

Below we cover three lesser known groups with a fairly broad range of sounds that are all worth your attention: young Norwegian project Korrupt, Russian outfit Dark Matter Secret, and finally Ursinne, a death metal supergroup that isn't going to be underground for long! More...

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Sunday Old School: God Dethroned

It's been noted several times throughout the history of Sunday Old School that the Netherlands has made its fair share of contributions to the world of heavy metal, from the Eindhoven Open Air festival to such groups as Pestilence, The Gathering and even the Van Halen brothers. The Netherlands seems to always have solid representatives at festivals, particularly in Europe and one which has done the country proud for over twenty five years would be one of their longest serving death metal outfits, God Dethroned.

God Dethroned was the brainchild of vocalist and guitarist Henri Sattler, who put the group together in 1991, along with Hans Leegstra on guitar and drummer Ard de Weerd. Leegstra wouldn't stay for long however and was quickly replaced by bass player Remco Hulst who performed on their "Christhunt" demo recorded the same year. The bassist's stay would also be short lived and soon his place was taken by Marco Arends, who joined in time for the band's signing with German label, Shark Records. Through the company, God Dethroned released their debut full length album, "The Christhunt," which was received very well by death metal fans, but with practically no promotion from Shark, who had refused the first album cover, the record sold very poorly and they were soon dropped, leading the group to disband. More...

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Pit Stories: Earth Hour SNAFU

Tuesday's regularly scheduled Pit Story time has returned!

Last week we had the craziness of ladder two-stepping on tables and a spontaneously forming quadruple conga line, while this week things don't go quite as well for the performing band, with an unscheduled holiday observance throwing a wrench in the works.

Russian alt rock band Remark shared this tale of a show gone dark without warning:

One of the most memorable stories that's firstly come to mind is about our first solo show. The club was small and old, that's why we brought a lot of additional lighting and sound rig. So much stuff, that we could hardly turn everything on.

During soundcheck and most of the show everything was OK, but suddenly the lights turned off. We have just finished a song, perhaps someone thought that it was planned. But we knew that it wasn't, cause the sound turned off too. People switched their phone lights, and our drummer, Timi, started playing some grove. Several minutes we were dancing and singing, trying to rock the crowd, while people were fixing the problems.

Then it turned out, that our show coincided with the Earth hour, and when everybody switched on the lights, the electric system of the club was overloaded.

You can follow the latest on Remark over at Facebook here or pick up the band's self-titled album via iTunes. Check out the band's music video for "Falling" below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Mercenary

Over the course of Sunday Old School, we've looked at groups from many countries, some more than others. The United States, Great Britain and Germany have all had quite a large number of bands featured throughout the history of this column, while Greece, Canada, Japan and Brazil have had a respectable number featured too. There are also countries which have only popped up once such as Turkey, Russia, Serbia and India. One country that has only had one of their native bands featured a small number of times is the northern European nation of Denmark, though their number will increase today as we take a look at their best known contribution to the power metal genre, Mercenary.

Mercenary began life in 1991, the brainchild of guitarist Hans Jørgen Andersen, who was joined in his musical endeavour by drummer Jakob Johnsen, singer Henrik "Kral" Andersen and Andreas W. Hansen on bass. The quartet recorded their first demo, "... Domicile" in 1993, with a second demo, "Gummizild" being released the next year, around the same time their song, "One Eyed Beast" appeared on the compilation, "Fuck You, We're From Denmark Vol.3." The demos garnered enough attention for the group to sign with Black Day Records, through whom they released their first EP, "Supremacy" in 1996, although by this point, Kral was the only original member left, taking up bass as well as holding his position as vocalist, with guitar and drum duties being handled by Nikolaj Brinkman, Jakob Mølbjerg and Rasmus Jacobsen respectively. More...

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Pit Stories: Ladder Two Stepping

We're going to keep up the recent trend of dual Pit Stories every Tuesday, so after Trollfest's quadruple conga line earlier, now we've got a tale from the U.S. deep south.

Chase Davis of Terminal Nation recalls a show from last year when the crowd went absolutely nuts in the most unlikely of places: a middle-of-nowhere location in Alabama.

Davis tells the story like this:

This was last summer when we did a short week run with New Heart. Our second show was in Athens, Alabama at a place called El Opry and no one knew what to expect. We eventually arrived and were a little concerned to see that it was a big metal building in the middle of a field. Inside there was a stage, tables everywhere, and a lot of chairs lined up in rows. It felt like it was frequently used for a service or meeting of some sort. On the floor between the stage and chairs there was a space surrounded by tables for us to play in and for people to mosh.

This awesome local punk band Slam Brigade just finished playing and New Heart was getting ready to set up. We weren’t really sure what the reaction was going to be but figured it would be good just from seeing how they reacted to the other bands. Once New Heart started playing everyone really got into it by moshing and singing along. Everything was going great and then New Heart started their final song.

Right before they started playing their last song people started looking around and grabbing whatever was closest to them. People were picking up chairs, pool sticks, and trashcans while we were all looking around wondering what was about to happen. As soon as they started this place went fucking crazy. People were hitting each other with chairs, breaking pool cues and throwing them everywhere, there was even a guy two stepping on top of a table and with a ladder.

While everyone in the pit was going crazy the guy with the ladder set it up in the middle of the pit. At the bottom of the ladder lay a guy who was moshing but soon got hit with a chair and ended up on the ground. The guy who set up the ladder was now at the top but not for long. He jumped off the top of the ladder and gave the guy on the ground a flying elbow to the stomach. After that everyone got even crazier and started flipping and throwing tables and chairs. It was an awesome, crazy, and unexpected show in Alabama.

Terminal Nation will release new album "Absolute Control" via Deep Six Records on June 9th, 2017. You can follow the latest on the band at Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: Quadruple Conga Line

Tuesday has arrived and its time for another bout of heavy metal Pit Stories!

This time around we're going to hit the high seas for a tale from infamous floating festival 70,000 Tons Of Metal. Anyone who was at this show should give us a shout-out in the comments below.

The Norwegian folk metal maestros from Trollfest offer up our first Pit Story this week, with Dr. Leif recalling this tale of a quadruple conga line spontaneously forming across the ship:

Trollfest has had some pretty unorthodox pit action going. In addition to the classic wall of death and circle pit we have induced wall of hugs, circle of eight pit etc. The best story so far is what we experienced on the 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise this year. We played two shows, and we have the tradition of a conga line for the song "Solskinnsmedisin." During the second show, in the filled-to-the brim ice rink, four separate conga lines formed, all independent from each other.

The idea of a conga line is that you walk around, and eventually all these lines of people found in each. We were amazed as we witnessed this congregation of happy party people joining forces! The combined conga line went upstairs, downstairs, to the balconies, everywhere! Best conga line ever. Period. It will definitely go down in history, both with Trollfest and 70000 Tons Of Metal. Cheers.

Trollfest released latest album "Helluva" earlier this year, and you can check out two videos from the release below. More...

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Sunday Old School: Metal Duck

If there's one thing the English has a history of doing well, it's taking the piss out of things. Pretty much anything is fair game to be ridiculed in Britain, from politicians to sports and even comedy itself (as brilliantly displayed by Not The Nine O'Clock News in their Life Of Brian/Fawlty Towers sketch.) Likewise, there's been a long record of British musicians whose coming together was to make people laugh more than it was to showcase musicianship and song writing, from the Barron Knights to The Divine Comedy to Kunt and the Gang, Britain has always liked to see the funny side of music. Of course, metal music is no exception and today we'll be looking at a short lived group from the north of England who may not have become one of Britain's best thrash exports, but delivered plenty of laughter, Metal Duck.

Metal Duck was formed in the city of Manchester in 1987 by drummer David Burton, guitar player Fozzy and a vocalist who went by the name, "Arse." The three recorded their first demo, "Quackcore" that same year, showcasing a thrash metal sound typical of the time, but included some humourous intros and a particularly memorable song title, "The March of the Metal Duck to the Ponds of Hell." This was to be their only recording with "Arse," or indeed as a trio, as they replaced their vocalist with Paul "Huttie" and recruited a bass player named Keith after the release of the demo. More...

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Pit Stories: Scrotum To Scrotum Stapling

We're doing two Pit Stories today because some incompetent moron by the name of xFiruath couldn't get his shit together and post one up when it was supposed to go live yesterday.

This is part two of those stories, and oh guys, oh, oh guys, have we got a tale for you today. It's got everything: bat wing action, stapled scrotums, and a whole different, hairy kind of moshing than you'd ever imagine to see.

Canadian group Slagduster offered up the following baffling description of a show that will never, ever be forgotten by anyone who attended:

So, a few years back we were touring with Expain, and they brought themselves a camera along to record any ridiculous footage they could capture. After a show in Edmonton, they convinced at least two guys to staple gun their scrotums not only to bar stools and tables, but also apexing on each other’s legs and finally scrotum to scrotum stapling action. Side note, possibly inspired by the band intermission blood-soaked gorelesque performers.

Flash forward one year, we return to the same venue with Expain again. Our between song banter often gets out of hand, and obviously it was hard not to bring up the previous year’s events… long story short, during the next song, a group of guys had been unintentionally persuaded to pull out their man bags in a circle scrotum pulling mosh pit. We’re talking a half dozen burly grown males minimum, stretching their bat wings through their jean holes at each other. All the while headbanging like their lives depended on it. Cheers, Edmonton.

Slagduster's new album "Deadweight" is coming out on May 5th, 2017 - check out two tracks from the album below, and follow the latest on the 'duster at Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: Circle Pit For The Rock Band

Which dumb ass didn't get a Pit Story up yesterday during its normal Tuesday slot? That would be this dumb ass, right here. Sorry everyone, and to make it up to you, we're doing double Pit Story duty today!

First up we have a tale from Brandon Saller of rock group Hell Or Highwater, and who just happens to handle drum duties for a little band called Atreyu.

Saller had this tale to share of getting the metal fans into a less heavy group on tour:

Years back Atreyu where on a headlining tour with a band called Endless Hallway. They where a rock band on a metal tour so the crowd took some time to receive them. They where friends of ours so I wanted to do what I could to make the set great. Every night they would cover Nirvana's "Breed" and I would go in the crowd and start a circle pit. From that point on the set would go off. The funny part was when people realized it was me starting a pit. It was a fun face to face hang with our fans. I could only hope someone would do that for Hell Or Highwater if we got put in that situation.

Hell Or Hightwater's new album "Vista" will be released on May 19th, 2017. Check out advance song "Walk Out In The Rain" below, followed by a complete list of upcoming tour dates. More...

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Sunday Old School: Witchfynde

It's been a while since we've dug into the vaults of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, the movement in the late seventies/early eighties that was credited with taking heavy metal and rock music away from the stadiums and back to the streets. While it gave the world such big names as Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard, it also contained a number of influential groups such as Venom, Raven and Witchfinder General, as well as some cult favourites like Tygers Of Pan Tang, Jaguar and Tank. This week we'll be looking at a band which probably belongs in the third category, who may not be the first name on everybody's lips when discussing the scene, but certainly rank up there as one of the heavy hitters, Witchfynde.

Witchfynde began life in 1973 either in the town of Mansfield, or the county of Derbyshire (sources differ,) the brainchild of schoolmates Richard Blower and Neil Harvey, who assumed the positions of bass player and vocalist respectively, before adding guitarist Trevor "Montalo" Taylor to the fold. Neither Blower or Harvey stayed for too long and by 1975, the lineup comprised of Montalo, bassist Andro Coulton, drummer Gra Scoresby and singer Steve Bridges. They slogged it out in the clubs for four years before they released their first single, "Give 'em Hell" in 1979, through Round Records, the only release from the company. More...

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Pit Stories: Gross Green Mucus

Sometimes you fight to get to the front of the crowd and see your favorite band up close and personal. Other times, it's not worth the effort.

That was the case for one unlucky lady who had the misfortune to be at the front of the pit when Dawn Of Ashes was playing... and one member was battling a truly wicked case of phlegm.

For this week's spectacularly gross Pit Story, Dawn Of Ashes shared the following mucus-laden tale:

I can't recall what state this happened in but on our tour with Dimmu Borgir, I came down with a nasty cold from being in below zero weather in Canada. From the illness, I was coughing up really gross green mucus.

While on stage at whatever venue we were playing at, I coughed up this gnarly mucus ball and spit it directly into the crowd. All of this happen in slow motion like in a movie. I looked down and right in front row I see a girl pulling this mucus out of her hair all in slow motion. It was fucking disgusting and I was trying not to die laughing while singing. Definitely a funny ass experience.

Third Dawn Of Ashes full-length album "Daemonolatry Gnosis" will be released June 9th through Metropolis Records. Check out a lyric video for the track "Guardians" below and get full album details over here. More...

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Sunday Old School: Primus

It is often said that the most original bands don't make it in the mainsteam. Many of metal and punk's most influential bands such as Venom, Bathory and Bad Brains have found commercial success a lot harder to come by than those whom they inspired such as Metallica or Amon Amarth, though matter how much these groups cite and praise them in the press. There is of course, exceptions to every rule and one band who were able to garner plenty of commercial success with a sound practically all of their own, was California's own, Primus.

Primus began life as Primate in 1984, formed by bass player Les Claypool and guitarist Todd Huth, who utilised a drum machine at first as they found drummers hard to come by until Claypool's friend Vince Parker returned from the army and filled in the position. With a full lineup of musicians, the band recorded their first demo, which was financed by Claypool selling his car, around the same time that they decided to change their name to the more familiar Primus, after another group called The Primates threatened legal action. This was also to be their only recording with Parker, whose departure began a revolving door of drummers, with Tim "Curveball" Wright taking over the position in 1986 for two years, before they recruited Freaky Executives drummer Jay Lane. More...

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Pit Stories: Italian Temperment

Last week you all got spoiled with double Pit Stories so today we're returning to business as usual with just one tale of the ups and downs of touring.

For today's entry, we've got Magnus Henriksson of Swedish hard rocking crew Eclipse, who explains a bit about the uncertainties of traveling to another country for a festival gig.

Will there be someone to pick you up? Where are you staying? Will someone randomly hit you and then give you a big sloppy kiss? All these questions and more are answered with Magnus' tale:

Most of our funny or tragic tour stories always occur when we play in Italy for some reason. First time we played there with Eclipse, the promoter picked us up 2 hours late after our arrival. Being sleep deprived for having not slept for 24 hours he drove us to a rock pub where we’re forced to be introduced to his friends and watch one of "his" bands ’til 4 o clock in the morning. We just wanted to sleep.

We finally get to our "hotel" in the middle of nowhere. The day after (gig day) we wake up realizing we’re stranded in the middle of nowhere in a roach infested motel without food, water (you don’t wanna drink tap water in Italy) or possibilities to commute downtown. We just have to wait it out ’til something happens.

The promoter is nowhere to be found cuz his phone is shut off. We can’t reach anyone who works for the festival we’re about to play at.

We’re supposed to go on at 20.00.
We’re waiting. The clock is now 19.15.
We assume that there isn't gonna be a gig.

All of sudden a drunk driver in Motörhead t-shirt park his car outside our motel.
Turns out it's our shuttle. We reach the venue 30 min prior to the gig and we still haven't sound checked. The monitor tech (a hot tempered little Italian woman) is waiting for us onstage, shouting ”ECLIPSE!!!!! Where the hell have you been???”

I try to explain: ”Well, we waited for hours but…..” and then WHACK!!!! All of a sudden she hits our singer in the head with a rolled up newspaper! ”You bastards, showing up late!”
More...

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Sunday Old School: Soulfly

Revenge is a motivation that's created some of the biggest moments in history, as well as many famous names in pop culture. Were Bruce Wayne not spurred on by the death of his parents (spoiler,) he wouldn't have become Batman and in a world closer to our own, we wouldn't have Megadeth if Dave Mustaine hadn't been kicked out of Metallica and sworn to create a faster, heavier and more intense group. Similarly, after the decision made by three of the four Sepultura members to fire their manager, her husband, the group's leader, Max Cavalera, quit the group and almost immediately founded a new one. One which has rivaled the commercial success of his previous outfit. One named, Soulfly.

Soulfly began life in 1997 in Phoenix, Arizona, where Max Cavalera and his wife Gloria had made their home. In addition to dealing with the split with Sepultura, Gloria's son, Dana, who was also a close friend of Max, had been murdered the previous year and as expected, left the couple with a feeling of total devastation. Inspired by a line in the Deftones song, "Head Up," on which Cavalera appeared, he named his new group Soulfly and recruited Lúcio Maia on guitar, bassist Cello Dias, who had previously played with another Sepultura alumnus, Jairo Guedes back in Brazil and drummer Roy Mayorga, formerly of the crust punk band Nausea and Hare Krishna hardcore group, Shelter. More...

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Pit Stories: Crippling Vomit Anxiety

Rejoice metal fans: it's a surprise double Pit Story day!

After a beer-chucking tale from The Riven earlier today, we return with a bonus Pit Story from Jake Dreyer of Witherfall who, as it turns out, is not a fan of the pit.

Jake recounts these harrowing pit memories, from one very angry lady sending him scrambling for safety to cheap beer and hot dog vomit heralding his guitar solo:

Ah, pit stories. These are always fun. Truth be told I actually don’t like mosh pits and try to avoid them at all cost when I am attending a show. Yes, I am the guy who hangs out by front of house where I know it is safe and sound. On one rare occasion I tried to venture away into the uncharted waters of the standing room only area to see the show up close. All was good until a very angry 4 foot 9 female who looked like a cross between Sid Vicious and the dog from the Muppets got so motivated by the music of the show I was attending that randomly she decided to shove me into the stage. Afterwards I cowered in fear like a scolded dog and went to watch the show back at the soundboard far away from the chaos. I still have no idea why she was so upset….

Anyways, I do love watching pits from onstage all the energy just gets fed back and forth between the band and the crowd and for a second it takes you away from the reality that you are just a circus monkey turning tricks for peanuts. These are fun, until they turn ugly. Like on a recent tour playing in Budapest (I think) I watched someone get hit so hard they passed out and the crowd just picked them up and threw them over the security barrier like tossing a wet towel in a bin. Watching a limp body just fall hard to the ground of the pit while security dragged them away was a little dark. Fights can be difficult to watch too, they do not happen regularly but I have seen a couple break out in a pit where guys were beating the hell out of each other blood and other bodily fluids squirting uncontrollably through the air.

Though out of all of this, my worst story has to deal with my crippling anxiety of watching people throw up. I am not kidding. It scares the shit out of me to watch myself or someone around me vomit. This does not work playing in a metal band where to let loose men love to pound fistful of cheap beer and run around until their stomachs turn on themselves expelling their partially digested pre-show hot dog. This happened to me once, as someone in the front row on my side of the stage puked over the barrier after I finished a guitar solo. Perhaps maybe that was their way of showing me what they felt of my playing. If so then I commend them.

Witherfall released latest album "Nocturnes And Requiems" back in February - check out a track from the release below, and a previous pit story from Witherfall all about mob justice can be read over here. More...

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Pit Stories: Saviours Of The Gig

Spilled beer is a universal tragedy - unless its spilled in the name of saving a show!

We've had a quite a few Pit Stories covering the suds spilling to detrimental effects, and this week's tale features a full Guinness getting pitched directly into one unruly fan's unsuspecting face.

After we premiered new song "Killer On The Loose" last week, bassist Max Ternebring of The Riven checked in with us to offer up this tale from the pit:

I’ve been to quite a few gigs in my life, and I’ve played some pretty cool ones as well. This thing that happened though was when I was in London at The High Voltage festival, the second edition in Victoria Park. A really good festival that was, but unfortunately they don’t run it anymore. But fear not – it has morphed into Stone Free Festival and as well Ramlin’ Man Fair.

Anyways, I was watching the legendary Judas Priest doing their supposedly "last gig ever," they were gonna stop touring after that one and KK had already called it quits. The show was late in the afternoon/early evening. The sun had been shining all through the day and the beer had obviously been flowing as it does at a hard rock festival!

I was standing with my crew, enjoying Halford's epicness whilst the sun was setting and I was just having the best time! Unfortunately there was this big dude, the biggest I’ve ever seen, arms like logs and he was drunk out of his mind. At first I didn’t notice it, but after a while I saw that this guy got into a fight with a much smaller dude, over what I can only assume had something to do with him being an awful person and trying to ruin everyone else’s experience.

It was at that point that I found myself with a nice full Guinness in my hand, that my girlfriend had just bought and asked me to hold. I obviously had to give it my best shot at throwing it on this dude, given the situation. So of course I threw that Guinness and of course I hit him right in the face.

At that point he looked at me and I thought to myself - he’s definitely gonna kill me. He rushed towards me like a big angry bull and started waving his logs of arms to hit the crap out of me. I ducked and moved like a cobra and fortunately for me, my black belt karate drummer friend managed to do some karate kid moves and knocked this guy out in perfect time for the security to arrive. They managed to get that guy out of there and we were celebrated as the saviours of the gig. After that, the beers did flow and the best part of it – Judas Priest is still touring!

London-based group The Riven will drop debut EP "Blackbird" on April 14th, with five tracks bringing to mind the glory of the '70s. Check out EP track "One Last Time" below. More...

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