Ready for another Pit Story ya crazy fuckin' metal heads? This week vocalist Robert Kreed from Canadian horror metal band Bleed discusses the group's namesake, and the many problems along the way to finding the perfect blood:
Robert Kreed: Hey fella! You wanna you how my blood came to be?
Gibbering bystander: ...no...
Robert Kreed: Well fuck you! I'm gonna tell you anyways...
It all started way back when I was getting all my props ready for a big show we were gonna play. Organs, heads, limbs, Jager spewing babies, all good to go. Oh yeah, my store bought blood. Better go grab that from my basement. When I grabbed the bottle it shifted oddly. Like there was something preventing it from splashing inside the bottle. I pop the cap and holy crap! The whole thing was moldy! What the hell? I go grab another jug of blood. Same thing. Gad damn! I go thru all my jugs of blood. Every one of them slimy with bacteria or caked in black fuzz. Show must go on. I sift out as much of the gross shit as possible, collect it in a bottle and off to the venue. I dowse myself, we do our thing, I go home and shower.
To hell with cheap store blood. I'm making my own. For whatever reason, probably being lazy, I'm in a pinch for blood again for another show. I whip up the stupid corn syrup recipe. Absolute shit show. Costumes are sticking to me. Set lists being dragged all over the stage by sticky boots. I do a drinking blood from a horn gag and all that comes out is the thickest sludge of pure pancreas killing sugar muck. Dolloped on my face and chest. Looked cool but I think my teeth shattered from the sweetness. This has got to end. I must find my own blood.
Doing some research on a variety of recipes, I finally found my own mix. Easy to make. NOT STICKY! Has some flavour but not over powering and smells absolutely wonderful. I use maple flavouring and it just wafts around me the entire time I am covered. People have said I smell like breakfast. Pancakes and bacon. Damn rights son! Metal is in our blood and our blood smells like maple syrup! The epitome of Canadian Metal! There was the one time I tried peppermint flavouring for a show. My body felt like it was constantly on fire and I wept the entire set. Ron said I smelt like Christmas but that's another story, christing fuck. So? What do you have to say about that, fella?
Gibbering bystander: ....leave me alone...
Bleed - a 2015 Wacken Metal Canada finalist - has a new album titled "The Hatred Inside" due out on September 29, following a self-titled EP from last year. See what the band does best in the live setting through the clips below. More...
Despite my recent live report in which I stated my disappointment with Cryptopsy during their show with Brujeria, it would be most remiss of me to ignore their contributions to the death metal genre. The group are one of the most influential names in the field of technical death metal, along with the likes of Atheist and Pestilence and have a rich catalogue of brutality behind them, so today we're going to be looking at Cryptopsy, one of the of the most hailed extreme metal acts to ever come out of Canada.
The band began life under the name Necrosis, with the original members consisting of vocalist, dan Greening, who became better known to fans as, "Lord Worm," drummer Mike Atkin and guitarist Steve Thibault, before they brought in bassist, John Todds. Under their original moniker, the band recorded the demos, "Mastication and Heterodontis" and "Realms Of Pathogenia," before a self-titled demo was released in 1992, the year the group performed their first live show and changed their name to the now familiar, Cryptopsy. Shortly after this, Atkin left the and was replaced by Flo Mounier, a recommendation of John Todds, who himself would leave before long, with Kevin Weagle entering the fold as the new bassist, while Dave Galea joined as a second guitarist. More...
We've had some great Pit Stories lately about teaching a student the way of the mosh, a trailer park show with some dubious offers for merch, and some hardcore dancers who can't sling insults for shit.
For this week's entry, we again hit up Virgin Steele, who previously gave us a baffling story of a kid who managed to take a nap in the bass bin during a Manowar show.
Today the Steele gives us another rousing metallic tale of just how crazy things can get at a GWAR show:
One night I wandered into a Rock Club that was quite famous here in New York at one time, called Sundance. I played there with Virgin Steele quite often, also Manowar played there, Guns & Roses, Megadeth… everyone. Anyway… one night I wandered or rather stumbled in blind drunk, crashed my way to the bar, ordered another drink, looked around, and there was GWAR onstage wearing these reptile suits.
They were roaring away, the music was deafening, and pounding, and the vocals were low, snarling and well…reptilian… and then quite suddenly the song ended and the head reptile spoke to us in a very human, soft rather cultured voice and I was riveted, shocked & startled by the juxtaposition of visual and aural strangeness and the next thing I knew, the entire audience seemed to have flown through the air and imbedded themselves on the stage!
They were flailing about, leaping off then back on the stage, jumping forwards, sideways, and backwards and generally running around wildly. There were so many people up there that you couldn’t see the band anymore… it looked, sounded and felt quite insane! I had no idea what was happening and thought I was in a Hieronymus Bosch painting or Dante’s Inferno. This was my first experience with moshing and wild over the top audience participation. When I finally stumbled out of there much later, I was covered in a nasty mixture of beer, booze, blood, both real and fake, and other assorted liquids that emanated both from the band and the audience that I would not care to remember or identify…
What's your favorite memory for a GWAR show? Let us know in the comments below! Virgin Steele's "Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation" dropped last month and a song off that album can be heard here: More...
This week in Sunday Old School, we're going to be doing something we've never done before and taking a look at the careers of three different bands. We've established by now that the New Wave of British Heavy Metal had a lot to offer, going back to the early days of the column when we looked at big names in the movement such as Venom and Diamond Head, to more recent editions examining Atomkraft and Tokyo Blade, but there were a number of bands who had very short careers but remain cut favourites amongst the NWOBHM afficianados. Today, we'll be looking at a trio of these treasures, starting with...
Ethel The Frog
One of the strangest names in heavy metal, quite literally, was Ethel the Frog. Their name came from a Monty Python sketch about the Piranha Brothers, themselves a parody of sorts of the infamous Kray Twins. They were formed in 1976 in the Yorkshire city of Hull and steadily built up a strong following in the north, which grew after they gained attention for their first single, a heavy take on the Beatles' classic, “Elanor Rigby.” Shortly afterwards, they joined prestigious company by contributing to the Metal For Muthas compilation series and signed a record deal with EMI, who had recently picked up Iron Maiden. The band released one self-titled album in 1980 before calling it a day soon after. More...
Ready for some more mosh pit mayhem metal heads? Tuesday's rolled around again, so let's dive right in!
A few months back Fin'amor provided us a Pit Story about a fight managing to break out during every single song of a set, and today Fin'amor returns for another tale from the pit. This time vocalist Benjamin Meyerson shares a story of a student learning the ways of the mosh:
It was my first day of teaching seniors in high school, and within 5 minutes a student walked up to me and asked “Are you in a band?” I lifted my finger to my mouth and whispered “tell no one.” It was nice to be asked, but the last thing a teacher wants is for students to know we have lives outside of the class.
After the semester ended I celebrated with a Meshuggah show. The venue was wall to wall packed, and through the crowd comes the same student, who had just graduated high school. He was with his friends enjoying the show, when out of nowhere a massive pit breaks out. He turns to me and asks me very politely, “Mr. M, Can you teach me to pit?” I gave him a five minute lesson on pit etiquette and unspoken metal codes and asked “have you ever crowd surfed?” He says “no, show me.” I smile and turn to the biggest dude I can find, tap his shoulder, give him the double thumb lift sign, point to my student, and he lifts him and throws him into the pit.
I meet him a few minutes later in between two walls of death, he thanks me for everything, the walls close and I see him jumping off into the sea of fists and feet once more. He came up to me after the show and said “that was the greatest thing a teacher has ever taught me.” I smiled, and in that moment realized that I learned something too: experience and learning are like a mosh pit, you either jump in yourself and bust your ass like I did when I was a kid, or someone shows you the way and tosses you in and you bust your ass anyway. Either way, when the walls of death close, someone is going to bust their ass eventually.
It has been well documented that the nineties were not particularly kind to heavy metal. Many bands from the once popular thrash era such as Death Angel and Vio-Lence, disbanded before the decade reached the half way point and others such as Megadeth and Anthrax kept their name alive by changing their style. Of course, there a few metal bands who were able to defy critics, trends and commercial pressures and become stars of their time such as Pantera, Machine Head and Sepultura, as well today’s featured band, Fear Factory.
The group began life under the name, Ulceration in 1989, though they adopted their now familiar moniker the year after, following the more extreme style that they had taken on, culminating in a mix of death metal, grindcore and industrial influences, particularly Godflesh. The band, whose official lineup consisted of drummer Raymond Herrera, singer Burton C. Bell and guitarist, Dino Cazares, performed their first show on Halloween in 1990 and soon afterwards recorded a demo album, "Concrete," which saw Cazares handle both guitar and bass duties. The band were unhappy with the result but producer Ross Robinson saw no problem, leading to a lawsuit which saw Robinson retain the rights to the album, with Fear Factory keeping the rights to their songs, many of which they re-recorded with Colin Richardson for their official debut, "Soul of a New Machine." More...
Every Tuesday we chat up metal bands from across the genre spectrum and across planet Earth to get their most memorable Pit Stories.
This week Chris Kelly of Philadelphia outfit Alustrium shares a tale of a hardcore dancer battling invisible ninjas - but hitting a real person. While he was great at windmilling innocent passers by, unfortunately his smack talk skills weren't quite up to par (blindgreed1 would have eaten this kid up and spit him out half-chewed in the insult hurling arena). Chris tells the story thusly:
Though we've seen our fair share of notable pit moments in our career, there's one that stands out to me. A few years ago we supported a pretty heavy hitting line up at Croc Rock in Allentown, PA. That place was our go-to stomping ground for a number of years. If I'm not mistaken, the tour package was The Faceless, Revocation, and the Haarp Machine (pretty sure that was the only US tour they ever did). Despite the fact that these were some of the more prominent technical metal bands around that time, in Allentown you will never have a shortage of misplaced deathcore kids looking to fight some invisible ninjas.
Though we avidly despise that kind of ridiculous, spastic self expression, it wasn't hurting us so we kept our mouths shut. That is until the most skilled of the ninja fighters landed one of his windmilling fists on our former drummer's face. Spoiler alert: not a cool thing to do. Needless to say, our guy quickly returned the favor and a few of the venue bouncers immediately stepped in. Both guys were dragged outside and thrown into the parking lot to settle their shit.
At this point the rest of us had either seen or heard about the incident and we were all now running to the parking lot to see what was happening. The ninja warrior was uttering your typical meathead jargon; "come on, bitch, the fuck you gonna do about it?" That kind of thing. At this point our drummer had no interest in continuing to interact with this kid simply because if either of them were to kick the other's ass, it was certain that the police would get involved. However, the last thing we heard him say before pulling him back inside was "Go ahead, man. Keep being a fucking moron. Go back to Zumiez." That line alone made the entire debacle worth it in our eyes.
Alustrium just released new album "A Tunnel To Eden" last month, which you can pick up at Bandcamp here. For more details on what's happening with Alustrium lately, head over to the band's Facebook profile. More...
Speed metal is a genre that’s quite hard to define. Many bands are slapped with the tag while also labelled “heavy metal” or “thrash metal,” which most people agree are the genres that bookend Speed. Whatever the case, there are some excellent bands tagged with the label, many of whom found critical, if not commercial success. Today, we’ll take a look at one such band, which like some of Britain’s finest metal groups, formed in the North East, specifically New castle. A band whose name literally encapsulates power, Atomkraft.
The band was originally put together by vocalist, Tony Dolan and drummer, Paul Spillet as a punk outfit which went by the name of Moral Fibre, recruiting guitar players, Ian Legg and Chris Taylor along the way, though they would mostly operate as a trio. Their moniker was changed after Taylor returned from a trip to Bremen in North West Germany, with badges sporting the anti nuclear power slogan, "Atomkraft, Nein Danke!" and the group decided to take the first word for a new name, feeling that it suited their new, heavy metal approach better. More...
Tuesday means its time for some new Pit Stories, and this week's entry comes from Canadian grind outfit Fuck The Facts.
In typical rebellious grindcore fashion, Fuck The Facts didn't bother with a story that actually takes place in the pit and instead told us about having waaaaaaaay too much fast food. Bassist Marc Bourgon had this tale to tell:
Years ago, I'm guessing around 2010 or so, we were out west on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder and made a stop in jolly old Regina for a show at the Exchange. The show was rad but it was looking grim as far as a place to stay was concerned so I got tasked with "cold calling" random people at the show to see if they would be cool with having us crash at their place. Usually someone will offer but tonight we were tossin' gutters.
We eventually found somewhere (after a reluctant girlfriend was convinced) and made our way to the dudes apartment.
In our band, we have "sober nights." This is a rotating schedule that determines who has to drive after the show/concert/bar mitzvah. I know for sure it wasn't Johnny or my night to drive because we were plastered. The wagon made a stop at a 24h McDicks for a quick snack and that's when Jibay and I got the brilliant idea of ordering 25 Mcdoubles. Ho-lee-fuck. Within a few minutes of placing the order every fucking beeper and alarm was going off behind the counter as the staff scrambled to fulfill this insane request.
When we got to the dudes house we saw that he made a stop at Burger King and picked up 20 Junior Whoppers. We barely ate any of them. It was awesome. Needless to say, we don't see much crazy road antics.
Fuck The Facts will release new album "Desire Will Rot" on August 25. You can also catch the band live on the upcoming tour dates listed below, where you should probably buy them a bunch of McDonalds or Burger King. More...
Thrash metal and Brazil go together like black metal and Norway, death metal and Sweden or moaning and Britain. Throughout the history of Sunday Old School, we’ve seen plenty of bands from Brazil take thrash metal and put their own spin on it, from the global stars, Sepultura to their crossover friends Ratos de Parão to their first wave black metal enemies, Sarcófago. This week, the column will once again be looking at some more boys from Brazil who could thrash with the best, a band by the name of Korzus.
The group began life in 1983, coming from Brazil’s most populated city, São Paulo. They released their debut album two years later, which was something of an oddity as it was a live album, simply entitled, "Korzus Live," before their first studio full length, "Sonho Maníaco" followed two years later. It was a harsh album, exploring the darker side thrash much like Slayer, Possessed and Dark Angel had done before them, though their next release, "Pay For Your Lies," a six song EP, would feature a sound more akin to Bay Area thrash metal and has been cited as a stand out release in South American metal music. More...
For all the stereotypes that exist about heavy metal fans being mindless head bangers, who just want music that’s loud, fast and full of shouting, there is also a full awareness that heavy metal has a long history of complex arrangements and a penchant for storytelling. Many bands over the years have become highly skilled at this, many of which in the progressive metal genre, which is an area we’ll be looking at today as we examine American prog metallers, Symphony X.
The seeds of Symphony X were sown in 1994 when guitarist, Michael Romeo released his instrumental solo album, "The Dark Chapter," on which he was joined by keyboard player, Michael Pinnella. The album was something of a success in Japan and the two decided to expand their partnership by bringing in vocalist, Rod Tyler, drummer Jason Rullo and bass player, Thomas Miller and christened their new outfit, Symphony X, which was also the name of their first album released later the same year. It was another well received release in Japan, leading to a sophomore full length only six months later, though in this short time, the group had parted company with Rod Tyler and recruited singer, Russell Allen. More...
Throughout much of last year, the Sunday Old School column tried to look at bands from as many previously uncovered countries as possible, bringing the spotlight to groups from places such as Greece, Russia, Turkey and South Korea for the first time. This year we’ve been able to do this twice more by covering Salem from Israel and Bulldozer from Italy and now we make it a charm by heading to Spain for the first time to take a look at one of the country’s greatest contributions to extreme metal, Avulsed.
The seeds of Avulsed were sewn when vocalist, David Sánchez González, better known as Dave Rotten to fans, moved to the Spanish capital of Madrid following his military service in 1991. He was keen to play the music he loved, at a time when death metal was beginning to really take off and bands such as Obituary and Cannibal Corpse were making a name for themselves. He was joined at first by a guitarist known as, Javi "El Largo," before more members were recruited the next year, the same time that the collective settled on the moniker, Avulsed, though by this time, "El Largo" had left. More...
It's a double pit story day! Earlier we heard from Leave The Living about an overly large mammal (homo sapien in fact) taking a short but devastating flight through a bar door, and now Pennsylvania band Rosetta shares another story about a questionable venue and a fan short on cash hoping to trade sex for merch. Rosetta's Matt Weed (guitar) offers up this tale:
Years ago we had booked a weekend of shows around playing the Emissions From the Monolith Festival. The last show was in the Virginia panhandle, in an area none of us had ever seen before. When we got there, the town was mostly just a collection of trailers on the side of a hill, at the foot of an enormous mountain. The show turned out to be your basic punk house show – except that the show wasn't in the house, it was in a corrugated metal shed next to the house.
By the time we got our amps in there, set up cockeyed on the gravel floor, you could get about 13 people in there with us. But almost a hundred people showed up to the show. So we played with the shed doors open, to a crowd that was mostly in the driveway and the street, looking at this huge mountain while the sun went down behind it. Totally surreal.
After the show, we decided to pack up early because there were a lot of underage kids drinking and things were getting rowdy. A girl came up to the van and wanted to buy a CD before we left. We told her it was $10, and she replied with “do ya'll take sex?” One of us yelled “NO” and we all jumped in the van and shut the doors, after which she started licking the van's side window. We bailed and drove all the way home to Philadelphia.
In last week's Pit Story we learned you are just not ready for the insanity of a Terror show, and this week Canadian band Leave The Living steps up to share a new tale of a bar that's usually clam and quiet - until one crazy of night of metal rolls around. Leave The Living had this Pit Story to share:
We used to play shows in this little dive bar in our home town, maybe an 80 person capacity. The owner couldn't care less how many people we jam in the place as long as they're drinking. There were literally no issues for over a year. No fights, no one got too crazy, an all around good time for all involved.
Well, this one time we throw a 7 band rager in there and the place was jumping. 130-150 people, I mean, it was packed. Still, the night is going really, really well. We get up to play and the set is just flying along when a couple of our good buddies decide to get in the pit. Now these are two very large land mammals we're talking about. So they start moshing, everything is fine.
We get to the last song and one of the guys picks the other up by the front of his battle jacket and throws him through the door to the kitchen! Door comes off the hinges and breaks in half, owner comes up screaming, we have to move our gear now. Long story short, no pay, no more shows there. Totally worth it. I can still see him flying through the air.
You know the phrase, "the gift that keeps on giving?" That seems to have been made for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Everyone and their dog knows about the big stars from the movement such as Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Venom and Saxon, but there are so many great bands produced from the scene. There are the cult favourites such as Raven, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Angel Witch and then scratching even further beyond the surface, we find other great, often short lived groups such as Holocaust, Jaguar and today’s featured act, Tokyo Blade.
Tokyo Blade were formed in Salisbury, Wiltshire, itself a city well known for its musical history, particularly in the eighteenth century, in the late seventies and underwent several name changes, before settling on their now familiar moniker, which was settled on 1981. The name change proved fruitful for the band, as before long, they signed a record deal with Powerstation Records, releasing their self-titled debut album through the label in 1983. It cemented their place as one of the bands from the later stage of the NWOBHM that were well worth the listeners time, earning them plaudits from critics and head bangers alike and still being held up as one of, if not their best album to date by fans. More...
After a McDonald's cheeseburger break down from Zimmer's Hole and fights breaking out in the pit during every. single. song. of an Oceano set, today's Pit Story comes courtesy of Gyre guitarist Chirag Bhatt.
In the tale below, Bhatt reminisces about a simpler time when he wasn't cool enough to listen to At The Gates and ended up stranded atop a table in a sea of thrown fists during a Terror live set:
So, this brief but amusing tale takes place at the now closed Cricket Club in Irvington, New Jersey, sometime in the mid-2000's (honestly, every year from that decade has blurred together in my mind). It was probably my first time at a real hardcore show with bands like Terror and others playing. Though me and a few friends were really only there to see The Black Dahlia Murder because we were in our late teens and nowhere near cool enough to listen to At The Gates.
So, TBDM goes up and crushes their set and I spend the next 10 minutes downing glasses of water for my damaged throat as I had attempted to growl along the previous 30 minutes while forgetting that I don't know the first fucking thing about growling. In any case, it was a fun, crazy time in an old-fashioned metal mosh pit.
Soon enough, Terror goes up and suddenly the mosh pit turned into MJ's "Beat It" video sans the dancing. A flurry of flailing fists and face bandanas eventually lead to my friends and I standing on top of a couple of tables on the edges of the venue because we came to listen to metal, have a good time and not lose teeth. But before we got too down on ourselves for not being so down with the cool kidz, I looked over to the table to my right and saw none other than a few members of TBDM standing right on those tables with us wondering what in the actual fuck was happening - a sentiment we expressed to each other through bewildered looks and monosyllabic grunts of fear. All in all, the moment was a bizarre mix of fanboyism and concern for our physical well-being. But what more can you ask of a metal show?
The band’s new self-released EP "Moirai" is out now and available for stream/purchase at Bandcamp here (also available for listening below). If you missed it, check out Gyre's "I Release" drum playthrough video at this location. More...
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel and A Christmas Carol. These are stories that we all know and in the case of metal fans, another story everyone knows is that of Metallica. However, since it’s the three hundredth edition of Sunday Old School (hooray for us,) we'll be marking the landmark with a look at one of metal’s biggest bands, even if we do all know the documented story by now. A band which has always been both revered and reviled but continued to do things their way throughout their illustrious career. A band known simply as, Metallica.
The group was the brain child of a young, Danish heavy metal fanatic named Lars Ulrich, who had gone as far as to travel to Europe to see his heroes, Diamond Head, eventually staying with the band for a month. Upon returning to the United States, where he had lived since his teenage years, he was determined to form his own band, inspired massively by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, even name dropping groups from the movement such as Tygers of Pan Tang in his advertisement looking for like minded musicians, which answered by Leather Charm guitarists, James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner, though Metallica itself would not be formed until five months later, when the drummer asked Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel if his band could appear on their forthcoming, "Metal Massacre" compilation. More...
It's that time of the week - today comes a new Pit Story from vocalist Brittney Slayes of Unleash The Archers. In this week's tale, Slayes heads back into the pit after a long hiatus to down cold cheeseburgers and potentially ruffied beer at a Zimmer's Hole show...
So I suppose we can begin with the fact that I do not usually go into mosh pits at all; I used to when I was young but got an elbow to the face one night and it just never felt the same after that… Regardless, I am more of a stand at the back and headbang type, unless the band is one of my faves and I’ve had a few too many, then I’ll usually stand at the front and headbang hahaha.
There is a band here in Vancouver called Zimmer’s Hole that is just the raddest most hilarious metal ever, if you’ve never listened to them then I strongly recommend you get your hands on "When You Were Shouting At The Devil;" Gene Hoglan on drums, Chris ‘The Heathen’ Valagao on vocals, seriously just some killer metal, really great for driving in traffic hahaha. Needless to say I was into them pretty hard back in 2009 and when they finally came to Victoria to play a show I was beyond stoked.
I did my darndest to be my usual hide in the back self, but these guys just get you so riled up! The Heathen dresses up like the devil (full red body paint) in assless chaps and a blacksmith’s apron (very Hephaestus) and has awesome props and a voice straight outta the depths of hell. So the beers go back way too easy and next thing I know my favorite song ‘Fista Corpse’ is on and I just can’t help myself. I’m back in the pit like a 15 year old, singing way too loud and fisting the plastic skeleton corpse thing that had been thrown into the pit.
They also have this great thing called a ‘cheeseburger breakdown’ where The Heathen throws McDonald’s cheeseburgers into the audience and you just shouldn’t eat that stuff but here I was sharing a cold cheeseburger probably purchased five hours ago with some random metalhead standing beside me in the pit. Suddenly there’s a beer in my hand to wash the burger down, probably roofied but who cares. The bar we were in was not big, and the area for the mosh pit was probably a third of the floorspace so pretty much the whole bar is in there with me now and it’s sweaty and disgusting and everyone smells like McDonald’s, but it is probably the greatest mosh pit I have ever been in, and thus it was the last because I mean really, how can you top a pit like that?
Unleash The Achers has a new album titled "Time Stands Still" set to drop via Napalm Records on June 26th (EU) and July 10th (North America). Check out a teaser trailer below. More...
The pit is the heart of the metal scene, and there's a 1,001 amazing stories to be found there. We're on a quest to unearth them all!
This week guitarist Raphael Pinsker from New York's Fin'amor shares the following tale of a fight breaking out during every single song of an Oceano set:
It had been a few years since I had last seen Oceano live, the last time being New England Metal & Hardcore Fest. The band is known to "bring the beef" live and I was excited to finally see them again. The amount of energy Oceano brings to the stage is massive and I was looking forward to seeing what would happen at this show.
As I walked into the venue I immediately notice how "DIY" this place looked: makeshift bar? Check. Makeshift bathrooms? Check. On the second floor the toilet was flooded, the sink was stuffed with trash and empty beer cans were afloat at the rim. This place was a complete shit hole, but deep down inside I knew something had to go down that night.
I met up with my buddy Al and we grabbed beers at the "bar." Oceano begins their set and no more than 30 seconds in, the entire place is rocking back and forth. Everyone in the venue gets pushed back, beers are dropping, people are falling on each other, and the pit is raging. First song in: FIGHT. Al and I look at each other confused as kids are trying to break it up. The band continues playing through all of this as if nothing happened.
Oceano moves onto their second song, again another fight. Like clockwork, Oceano is bringing the beef and the fights keep coming. During the breakdown of their sixth song a massive fight breaks out, Al and I look at each other with huge grins on our faces. He points over to the sound booth as we see the sound engineer grab an iron pipe and hop into the crowd to help break the fight up. Staff and security are pulling kids off of each other and kicking them out of the venue.
The house lights get turned on and staff is ejecting everyone in sight. We turn around to the bar and everything has been packed away into blue bins and was being carried upstairs. After the room was cleared Al and I were recapping on what we had just witnessed. Al tells me "There are shows, and then there are shows you remember. This is a show that you will remember for the rest of your life." It's true.
Jazz is something which a lot of people would initially think is worlds away from heavy metal. After all, no one can say that "Blue in Green" sounds anything like, "Reign in Blood" and death metal vocals are hardly a copy of Chet Baker’s. But give it some thought and a little bit of research and it’s clear to see that jazz has had a big influence on the genre, including some of its biggest names such as Megadeth, whose lineup on the first two albums featured two jazz musicians in Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson, while Testament guitarist, Alex Skolnick has released a number of albums in the genre and bands like Sigh and Shining (Norway) are making the connection clearer than ever before. One band that helped bring it to the extreme end of metal was born in Florida, arguably the home of death metal and they go by the name of Atheist.
The band began life in the city of Sarasota, originally using the name, Oblivion before changing it to, R.A.V.A.G.E. and then settling on the moniker, Atheist. It was founded by guitarist, Kelly Schaeffer and drummer, Steve Flynn, joined soon afterwards by vocalist, Steve Freid, another guitarist named, Rand Burkey and eventually by bass player, Roger Patterson. They slogged it out in the live scene for four years before finally recording their debut album, "Piece of Time," by which point, Freid had left the band and Schaeffer assumed the vocalist duties as well. More...