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Archive: Pit Stories Columns

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Pit Stories: Epic NOLA Nights

Pit Story day has rolled around, as we check in with bands and fans from across the world to get their favorite stories from live shows.

From lost nude roadies to stumbling across the scene of a stabbing, there's a million and one crazy Pit Stories and we're on an endless quest to discover them all!

Today we've got Ross Brown of Louisiana-based stoner metal band Vermillion Whiskey sharing two epic nights burned into his memory that he'll never forget.

Ross tells the tale like this:

The most energetic and slightly horrifying pits was at a HAWGJAW show on a sweaty south Louisiana night. The crowd was totally into the bands raw and intense style. The singer had a huge back piece tattoo of a huge monkey on his back. He was rolling around on the ground in the middle of the pit and whipping himself in the head with his mic. I was probably 18 at the time and was etched in my memory.

Then there was a wild road trip to see my friends band Pig Knuckle play with New Orleans band Mangina. It was at a 24 hour laundromat/Bar Checkpoint Charlies who serves scrambled eggs 24/7. They had a 10 year kid doing backup vocals, bass player was wearing a thong, and singer had a cape. Then in the midst of downright debauchery, the singer drop kicked a heckler in the crowd right upside his head and the bass player and singer got into a fight. That night was EPIC like most of my trips to NOLA.

Vermillion Whiskey's new album "Spirit of Tradition" is coming on February 10th, 2017. Get full info at this location. More...

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Pit Stories: The White Whale Amongst Bathers

Ready for a new round of Pit Stories?

This week we've got a tale of a lost and very drunk roadie and a band scrambling to find their wayward companion, who has been up to no good while in an altered state.

Dre Versailles, vocalist of Gatineau, Québec-based band Inire, tells the Hangover-sequel worthy story like this:

Some names of people and places have been changed. The idiocy remains unaltered.

A friend of ours in London graciously offered us his pad while he was out of town so we could crash the night after the show. His door has multiple locks and he gave me specific instructions to lock up when we left in the morning because doing it improperly could result in him being locked out. I don’t need to tell you, this is important.

We partied a bit after the show, responsibly for the most part but our friend and roadie “Mustachio” (yes, that’s what I’m calling him) decided he was due for a solid one. It wasn’t long before we lost sight of him. Nor was it long before the police came poking around about a disturbance of some sort. We told them we knew nothing (which was technically true but also false in the sense that we all had a prime suspect in mind… name starts with “M”). Thankfully they ended up leaving empty handed (and probably a little confused).
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Pit Stories: Cuttin Up Hookers... At A Crime Scene

Its been a pretty wild ride lately for our weekly Pit Stories: there was a crowd that nearly cooked at an overly-cramped Rammstein set, some crazy shroom tripping at the flame-filled CromFest, and a recounting of those terrible 1st show blues.

That ride gets no less wild this week as Infinite Earths checked in with us for a harrowing tour tale!

The band recounts an event during a 2014 live trek where one member was wearing a particularly ironic shirt while finding himself unexpectedly at a crime scene. Infinite Earths recalls the story like this:

It was the summer of 2014 on tour with Mindscar. We just put in a hard day’s night with supporting acts Miridian, and Thoughts Of Redemption in Satellite Beach, Florida at Wynfield’s enjoying a pre-load out beer. During the first quarter of the tour we were accompanied by brother Felix, lead photographer of FXO photography and acting roadie. Naturally, Felix is bumping elbows with me getting a cab tetris’d back into the death wagon when I hear a bloodcurdling scream off in the distance. It came from a motel looking joint just passed an unpurposed field behind the venue.

Inspired by my drunken stupor, I draw the dudes attention toward the clatter. Like a slovenly Freddy waving the Scooby Gang about. I propose we should go check it out, begging the question of what Batman would do. I sauntered off merrily with fuckless abandon and even more so with the more tattooed dudes I convinced to follow. Felix is into the action, a boots on the ground kinda mother fucker, the rest of the guys following his shredded rambo like gumption.

Into the fray, we dashed across the field toward the source of the distress. As we get up to the building we see a door on the top floor of this two story building burst open halting us in apprehension. A woman stumbles out of this room screaming bloody murder as she bumbled toward us and down the stairs. She flopped out onto the parking lot like a surly wounded walrus. Not that she was fat, it was more about the way she did it. “I got stabbed, I got stabbed!” she blubbered from the depths of her aquatic gut.
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Pit Stories: Some Serious Miscommunication

After the insanity of shroom trips and flaming statues at Crom Fest and a look at all the things that can go wrong at a 1st show, Pit Stories returns this week with something completely different.

We asked Michael Arcane and Stack Manley from 100% true hair metal band Turbo Shokk for his best pit story, and that's when things got a little hairy and lost in translation.

Check out the full exchange below, which is undoubtedly one of the most odd in our never-ending quest for the most insane mosh pit stories from metal history.

Metal Underground (MU): So, onto pits. More...

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Pit Stories: Mushrooms And Flaming Swords

For the first Pit Story of November and one of the last of the year, we've got a truly epic tale of the best of metal culture: getting stoned out of your mind and hitting up a proper festival.

This week guitarist Nate Jones from Florida stoner / sludge metal outfit Junior Bruce shares a tale of fiery terror from Cromfest 2010. Nate recalls the events like this:

February 2010, with very loose directions and gear loaded up, we embarked on a journey to an isolated area just outside of Cassadaga, FL to play a party called Cromfest. $5 all you can drink, bonfires, and metal celebrating fucking CROM? Seriously I can't make this shit up!

Darkness falling and people starting to show up, it was time to eat some shrooms! Moments later the bonfire was blazing and things were warming up fast. These guys even had the forethought to have shit laying around to throw on to the fire all night long - old sofas and other random junk furniture and flammable garbage. The people at the party were fucking nuts - there was a guy walking around with a python, people with legit sharp ass dangerous as fuck battle axes, fuck - even the guy carving the smoked pig was using a jacked up sword to cut the meat (you know the kind that you'd find at a flea market or outlet mall for "decorative purposes only").

There was another guy that fashioned a mace out of a steel chain and bowling ball, another guy had a giant hammer to smash things with, and someone built a flame thrower out of a propane tank and was torching the pigs head mounted on a steak. This shit was intense! Did I mention they smoked a pig? People were smashing shit, throwing shit on the fire, and getting fucked up. It was Ocala / Volusia county at its finest! Pure testosterone filled redneck destruction - all in the name of CROM!
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Pit Stories: 1st Show Blues

Got something a little different for you metal fans for this week's Pit Story: Grant MacKenzie and Kenny Parry of the progressive rock/metal duo Jupiter Hollow discuss some experiences from live performances in a video clip rather than text.

From injuries in the pit to loads of problems during early shows, Jupiter Hollow covers a little bit of everything below.

Stay tuned for Jupiter Hollow's debut EP release, "Odyssey" being released by Milagro Records on January 13th, 2017 and acting as a prelude to upcoming album "AHDOMN."

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Pit Stories: Steaming Crowd

The week has kicked off again and now that we're finally done with that abysmal Monday, it's time for another edition of Pit Stories straight from metal bands.

Last week we heard about an unruly fan getting what he deserved after repeatedly crashing into the band, but for this week's Pit Story we're moving away from unruly crowds to crowds getting set on fire by the performance... literally!

Rob Rom from Cincinnati, Ohio outfit Static Tension recalls one particularly cramped venue hosting a pyrotechnics-filled Rammstein show to some sweltering results. Rob tells the story like this:

On July 28th, 2001, some buddies and I had tickets to see the German metal band Rammstein at a club called Bogarts in Cincinnati. I was a big fan at the time and had huge expectations. I had seen pictures and heard stories of their pyrotechnics and had to witness it for myself. So we walked into the place and found it to be dark and rather quiet for a venue.... Turns out the opening band Crossbreed had some equipment difficulties and had to shut down after one song, but that's not what made this night so memorable.

Another band followed called Godhead, I myself wasn't very impressed, they weren't terrible, just not my cup of beer. So I waited through what felt like a 2 hour set for the flaming 6 piece to hit the stage. Keep in mind that Bogarts isn't exactly a big place to see a show, I've seen bigger school auditoriums. So the band finally hits the stage and within moments, there are already huge flames shooting out of the floor, they had to reach 15 ft at least! Not to mention flaming microphone stands, flame throwers attached to their faces, and random smaller pyro effects. Needless to say, the place was heating up, and my buddies and I moved to the back.

Halfway through the set, the members started dumping buckets of cold water onto the crowd, I swear I saw steam coming off of them! I was uncomfortably warm but still managing to stay cool enough in the back to finish the show. As the set neared its end, vocalist Til Lindemann came out in a large metal trench coat and was set completely on fire and finished the last song in what must have been the hottest coat in history. It was already miserably hot in that place and that poor guy had to finish the set in a flaming coat.

By the end of the evening, some of the crowd was drenched in cold water, my buddies and I, we were drenched in sweat, you could feel the heat coming off of the walls. It's no wonder they've never played there again. Had to of been a huge safety issue in such a small place. I've seen fights break out, I've seen people come out of pits completely bloody, I've seen people cut themselves on broken glass on the floor, and I'm sure you have all read enough about all of that, but never again have I seen a band who's act revolved around so much fire in my life!

Static Tension's new EP "Out Of Reach" is set to drop through Buried By Sky Records on January 6th, 2017. For more info on the band, head over to Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: What Goes Around Comes Around

The time for another Tuesday Pit Story has officially arrived! This week's tale comes courtesy of vocalist Michael Ursini from Canadian rock group Uforia. Ursini shares the following story about dealing with an overly drunk dude (affectionately named Mr. TotallyFucked) during a live set:

Uforia’s last show was at the Cock & Pheasant in Streetsville Mississauga, a pub we’re very familiar with and have played many times. This time there was an exceptionally rowdy Hip fan. Of course we’re playing on the night of the big Tragically Hip concert and this guy is on all sorts of drugs and alcohol. We knew we were in for some kind of adventure with this dude offering us all kinds of intoxication (we did not accept any).

Like most nights at C&P the turnout is pretty much just our fans, no new faces except for Mr. TotallyFucked and his caretakers. Half way through our first song this guy is running across the dance floor knocking people over and exposing himself while screaming at the top of his lungs. Man boobs and butt-crack all over the place. It was all fun until he got up close to me and started bumping into my microphone stand. Twice he bumped the mic into my teeth. It really fucking hurt but I kept my composure and continued the song. After the third time I leaned over during a vocal break and asked him to stop with a serious, now I’m getting pissed, face. He tells me to fuck off and laughs in my face.

At this point I’m in revenge mode but still keeping a smile and putting on a good show for the fans. This dude continued his shenanigans and was getting sloppier by the minute. I waited for the perfect moment, where ‘buddy’ was once again fucking with my mic stand, and just rammed the back of the boom stand into his face. He fell on the floor with his bare ass out and was too fucked to get up. Good thing his friends didn’t notice and just assumed he fell because he was wasted like all the other times. I didn’t hit him hard, just enough to knock him off his already unbalanced stature. His friends carried him out and that was the end of super fucked up guy. We laughed about it for the rest of the night and had a great show.

Uforia released the "Fight or Flight" EP back in July and will next perform live in the Toronto area on October 21st at Horseshoe Tavern and November 12th at Hard Luck Bar. Check out a video clip for the EP's title track below. More...

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Pit Stories: Fan Devotion

This week's Pit Story comes courtesy of a Canadian metal band that's been flying under the radar for far too long.

Ottowa outfit Chariots Of The Gods shares a tale about a devoted fan who got more than a little knocked around in the pit at a release show, but decided to stick it out anyway.

The band recalls the story like this:

This particular pit story happened at the release show for our first record "Tides of War." The show was packed and the venue pretty near maximum capacity (350 to 400). During one of our songs, I can't remember which, a big circle pit starting forming and things got pretty wild in there. One of our fan/friends, who wears glasses, got knocked over in the pit and his glasses broke.

As he put his hands down to try and get back up he cut his palm open on the broken lenses. People got him up, he then went to the bathroom to clean up and patch it up as best he could, then came back out and stayed for the rest of the show; only after did he leave for the hospital to get sowed up. Pretty dedicated metal head right there in my opinion.

This isn't the first time we've heard stories of crazy fan devotion - what's the worst injury you've seen a metal head sustain and still hang out to finish the rest of the set?

Chariots Of The Gods also just released new album "Ages Unsung" last month, which can be heard in full via the YouTube playlist below. More...

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Pit Stories: Sweaty Hulk Hogan Satisfies A Fan

Got a hunger for some more Pit Stories? Good, because we're ready to serve one up hot and fresh!

There's no bloody noses or broken bones in this story, as we instead see some odd behavior from metal fans that's not at all about violence or sex (well... it might have been about sex - I'll let you judge).

Brandon McNeil, guitarist / vocalist from Calgary thrash group Illyrian, recalls the story like this:

Alright, so, one of the main things that always jumps out at me is the opening round of the Wacken Metal Battle. It was 2014, I think, and we were looking for ways to shoehorn our way through the first wave of bands without resistance.

Those close to me, or even those who just have me on the ol’ Facebook, know that I like to borrow things from the pro wrestling world when it comes to fleshing out my stage moves, and it just so happened that, at the time, I was in possession of a retro, yellow Hulk Hogan “Hulkamania” shirt. Naturally, I made the decision that the time had come for its glorious end.

During the finale to the set, I made my way to the front of the stage, ripped the shirt in half with ease, and hurled it out into the crowd. Despite my best efforts afterward, I couldn’t locate the thing in the venue afterwards. The only thought going through my mind, “Why would anyone want a torn up, sweaty Hulk Hogan shirt?”

It wasn’t until months later at a another show in town, where I was approached by an older lady in the crowd who had, with a sheepish and almost suggestive tone, that she had been the one to find the shirt that day… after which she took home and still keeps this day as a sort of weird collectors item. It takes all types, man.

Illyrian's new album "Round 2: Fight!" is set to be unleashed on October 7th, 2016. Check out the new video for album track "Zeta Reticulan" below. More...

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Pit Stories: An Eventful First Show

Other than New Release Friday, each Tuesday is always my favorite day of the week - because it means more heavy metal Pit Stories to share!

This week we've got a tale of a show absolutely filled to the brim with shenanigans, and it just happens to have been the band's debut live performance. Guitarist Adrian Barnes from New Brunswick progressive metal band Tactus tells the story like this:

We have a bunch of funny things that actually occurred at our very first live show ever in 2013. We were playing at Pub Down Under in Saint John (which we’ve played a few times now, great little spot!). As most pubs have, there were a few weekend regulars who just happened to be at the pub during the metal show, some of whom clearly didn’t understand what to expect in the pit. In the middle of one of our songs, a few people were moshing and pushing each other a bit, and one of them bumped into this dude at the bar - he was loaded, and did not understand what was happening nor did he take it well.

He threw up his fists like he was in a boxing match and then chased the kid who bumped into him around the mosh pit for several seconds trying to hit him. Everyone was laughing, but the dude had a burning rage in his eyes that was actually pretty frightening. We were a bit worried for a second, but the door guy managed to grab a hold of him and took him outside to explain what was happening. It was pretty funny to see someone have to be taken aside after being struck in a mosh pit and get a crash course in metal culture.

Another amusing thing at that show was that at the time, the venue didn’t actually have a stage, so we were playing on the floor. The ladies washroom was just to the left of us, and our guitarist Alec had to keep stepping aside mid-song to let people by him to go use the washroom. It was simultaneously irritating and hilarious, because he just looked so awkward trying to play his parts while moving about precariously to let people past him.

Finally, another one of the locals who just happened to be at the bar, and who was clearly extremely intoxicated, came up to each of us after the show while we were loading out and had us all sign a napkin. It’s always humbling when someone wants your autograph, but it was also very hard to not laugh about it because it was only our first show and he was completely zonked . . . plus it was a napkin!

Tactus is gearing up to drop new album "Bending Light" on October 7th, 2016. Both a full song and an album teaser trailer are available below. More...

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Pit Stories: Fire Escapades With "43% Burnt"

For this week's Pit Story we go back more than a decade to a time when shows tended to get a lot more rowdy than they do now ('course, anybody who saw Slayer in the late '80s during shows that started riots is probably laughing pretty hard at the thought of 2002 being anything close to extreme for live shows).

Our Pit Story today comes courtesy of Dave Gates from Season of Arrows, recalling an insane performance from The Dillinger Escape Plan at Furnace Fest 2002. Dave retells the story like this:

Brandon, Brad, and I were fortunate to play this festival in Birmingham, AL. We were in a band called Fall With Me at the time. I remember it was very hot outside and there were so many people there. It was my first hardcore 3-day festival experience. I was into a lot of the bands that played, such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, Zao, Norma Jean, Bleeding Through, Shai Hulud, Eso-Charis, etc. to name a few. Most of the bands put on a great show that weekend. However, there was one that pulled off live stage antics and a jaw dropping performance like I have never seen before!

That band was, The Dillinger Escape Plan. I was very familiar with them and I knew they played very mathematical technical noisy hardcore. I had heard that their live show was truly incredible. I remember, they just got a new singer, perhaps that why this particular show was so insane, like he had something to prove. They started off playing and moving around quite a bit, which was typical of bands of that ilk. However, I noticed early on the singer hit his head on the headstock of one of their guitars. It was bleeding pretty bad. He takes his shirt off and wraps it around his head like fucking Rambo. Then he proceeds to climb up this light beam pole which was about 25-30 feet high. He was screaming at the top of his lungs bleeding through his shirt he wrapped around his head. Ha.

Then one of the guitarist jumps up and nose dives straight into the crowd with the headstock of his guitar pointing towards the insane pit. The singer comes down form the pole and then picks up the mic stand and holds it over his head like Conan while screaming like a mad man, flawlessly I might add. This is one of those mic stands that has the heavy circle weight on the end and he grabs the mic from it and throws the stand into the massive spinning circle pit. A few songs later, he takes one of the guitarists 4x12 cabs and tosses it into the pit. People were pulling it apart like it was the flesh of a human during a violent zombie attack. I saw tons of kids with pieces of the speaker cones, tolex, and wires flinging them around to the beat of the song all while moshing. If that wasn’t enough, they started to play my favorite song from them called "43% Burnt." I forgot to mention they had a fire breather dude this whole time this was going on up on stage with them.

They all eventually leave the stage and light the drum kit on fire and then one of the guitarist plugs in and starts to play the awesome main riff of the song again, which is so heavy still to this day. He keeps playing it over and over, meanwhile the drums are burning behind him. The next thing I know, the drummer runs from beside the stage and jumps back on the kit and starts to play along with this riff hitting the drums as hard as he possibly can. They all come back in and finish a lengthy added ending to this brutal song. It was a site to see man, I will never forget that show.

We managed to dig up some footage from that wild performance back in '02 - check it out below! Nashville’s Season Of Arrows will release new album “Give it to the Mountain" via Static Tension Recordings on October 28th, 2016. A teaser trailer is available after the Furnace Fest footage. More...

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Pit Stories: When Things Go Wrong On Stage

It's Tuesday Pit Story time yet again! This week we shift away from the moshing fans and onto the stage itself.

With so many moving parts and many elements outside the musicians' control, there's always room for something to go wrong during a live show, and dealing with those sudden issues is something every performer needs to learn sooner or later.

For this week's Pit Story, Medevil shares two tales of when things didn't quite go as planned on the stage:

We had a pretty weird set when we played a show at the Railway Club two years back. During the second song of our set, "Mayan Rituals" (now known as "A Sacrifice"), our bass player Eric Wesa's bass string broke and he had to run through the audience and find a bass string. The crowd thought it was awesome, and when Eric came back on stage he arrived just in time to hit the last note of the song. I'm sure he felt like a metal god in that moment.

Also, during this exact show, singer Liam Collingwood collapsed for a few seconds due to dehydration. After the show when we spoke to the people in the crowd, it was pretty funny to hear that they thought it was part of the show. They said he looked like he was just getting really involved in the music and that it was an awesome stage antic.

Medevil unleashed debut full-length album "Conductor Of Storms" last week, with two tracks available for streaming below. For more info on the band, head over to Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: Two For The Price Of One

Gather 'round metal heads, it's Pit Story time!

This week we've got two for the price of one, as Francisco Ramirez of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based group Volunteer shares two epic tales of live mayhem in Chicago.

The first deals with cops breaking up a show... while beating down some Nazi punks! The second shifts focus to a different venue where free flowing beer got the fans a little two rowdy. Ramirez spins these tales like this:

When I worked at the Fireside Bowl in Chicago there was some show that drew a crowd of SHARP (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice) and old fashion Nazi skinheads. I don't remember the band but I remember the Nazi's bum rushing the front door with lead pipes and attacking people in the show. My staff and I stopped most of the violence but there was still a lot of damage done. Lots of blood and people on the ground. The bartender called the police as soon as everything happened. 5 paddy wagons and 10 police cars showed up and dragged out all the Nazis. The police beat the fuck out of all the Nazi skinheads and arrested them for assault. The image of Chicago Police pressing and crushing the skinheads outside the venue is still vivid in my head. By the way, after the cops demolished the skins, one came up to me and showed me his Ramones and Crass tattoo, I offered a beer and he drank it. I know cops suck most of the times, but there are are moments.

I was playing the Blue Flamingo in Austin, TX in the late 90's. I was in a fast drunk punk band called Traitors from Chicago, we had songs no longer than a minute and half. Anyways, the Blue Flamingo was a drag bar earlier in the night and they had punk shows late night. We had to headline for some reason, but they kept giving us free beer all night so we said fuck it. So it turns out that we were not only the people getting free beer. One of the bartenders threw up in one of the beer coolers and they were just washing off the beer and giving it away. This meant that everyone was drinking for free and was getting rowdy. The place was tiny and the bands played in the front of the bar in front of a window, the crowd was having fun. By the time we started at 1AM, shit was bonkers. We played 15 songs in 20 minutes. The crowd wanted one more and we had learned Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" so we decided to play it. With in the first 10 seconds people were jumping off the bar, which is right next to the stage, into the crowd. Bar stools were flying and people were having fun, then someone dove out of the front window. Yep they ran through the band and dove through the window. Everyone stopped for a second and once he got up, we finished the song.

Volunteer joined in on an anti-Scott Walker charity compilation earlier this year and also just launched a new split with Buildings, which can be heard below or picked up at this location. More...

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Pit Stories: Finishing A Bottle Before The Show

Ready for another Tuesday Pit Story metal fans?

In recent weeks we've covered wheelchair pits and Babymetal walls of death, an in-depth look at learning the touring ropes for new bands, and even a full cornucopia of bizarre show stories.

Today we have Italian power/prog icons DGM on board for a new tale involving the musicians having a little bit too much fun before the show, but trying their drunk damnedest to put on a killer gig anyway.

The story comes from a live appearance five years back while the band was on tour with Symphony X. DGM tells the tale like this:

It was the last gig of Symphony X's 2011 tour for "Iconoclast." We supported Symphony X throughout their whole European tour in 2011 across all Europe and of course lots of funny moments come back to my mind. We were in London at the O2 in the dressing rooms area and all the crew and band from Symphony X arrived to gives us some presents... from what I can remember it was a bottle of Jack Daniel's (or two...?).

Since you cannot bring them on a plane and we were supposed to be in Italy the day after, we had this brilliant idea of finishing them right in that moment. I know this sounds like the typical Motley Crue-style, but I can assure you that it's not that easy if you play this fast progressive intricate stuff for an hour!!!!

Somehow we managed to finished the show and we continued with beers and whatever during the whole SyX set... during their last song we invaded the stage and each one of us “stalked” their “alter-ego”... I went to Romeo's side, Fabio went to Jason's Drums and so on... you know we were and we still are major fan of the band and I remember that they let us play their instruments for a short time during the song, and I can recall clearly that I personally fucked up every note of that passage of music, and all the other guys in the band did pretty much the same... ahahahah. This was so embarrassing in front of the audience and in front of the SyX guy, but in the end a funny memory!

Frontiers Music Srl will release the brand new album from Italian prog metal masters DGM, entitled "The Passage," on August 26th. Check out the songs "Ghost Of Insanity" and "Fallen" below. More...

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Pit Stories: Babymetal And The Wheelchair Pit

Ready for another set of Pit Stories from the metal world? This week's tale twosome arrives courtesy of experimental U.S. outfit Gus McArthur, who shares stories (and some awesome video) of epic pits at two very different shows from Babymetal and Megadeth.

One of the coolest pits we have ever been in was Babymetal's first U.S. show in L.A. The head of their fan club comes all the way from Japan to coordinate the wall of death, which is dividing the crowd in half down the middle and waiting to charge. We stood divided for maybe 3 minutes before the song came in at the right part to charge, I honestly don't know how anyone didn't get hurt. It was fun and good vibes all around, not quite like getting punched in the face in a Cannibal Corpse pit, but close.

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Pit Stories: Bazaar Of The Bizzare

Tuesday's here and it's time for another round of heavy metal Pit Stories! This week sees a host of tales from across years worth of attending shows all brought together in one place.

Joeseph Woodbury of Armed With Books shares a veritable bazaar of the most bizarre events from heavy metal and hardcore shows. From overly drunk assholes at grind shows to truly odd one-man performances, he recalls the events in question like this:

With over 15 years of playing and attending shows, I have seen many things that are worthy of a mention, and to be honest I’m finding it hard to pin point just one story. The most horrific was seeing a man stage dive, the crowd parted and I watched him land head first onto a concrete floor. He laid there twitching, some people tried to help but because of the injury sustained nobody wanted to move him in case he had also damaged his spine. The band stopped playing and were just looking around like WTF do we do. Thankfully an ambulance crew turned up very rapidly and the band and moshing resumed before the man was even out of the room.

Probably the strangest stories from shows I have played seem to come in the form of the opening act. I once had a man open for me wearing nothing but pants and a horse head mask playing feedback for 10 minutes. I also had a man with what I can only call a keyboard and a Sega Mega drive hooked up to a big speaker, playing his own version of the kids song "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" with dance moves included.

But the most violent would be when I watched a grindcore band play to a small crowd in a tiny pub. Some guy was pissed as a fart and stumbling all over the place. He was on stage with the band continuously knocking into the guitarist and trying to sing into the mike, the band was getting very annoyed with him as too were the crowd. The band was about 12 minutes into the set and for a grind band probably 15 songs deep, the drunken guy then stumbles and falls face first into the drum kit, knocking over the ride and floor tom, almost pushing the drummer off his stool.

Obviously, the band stop playing to see what this idiot had done and without even thinking the drummer hits the drunk guy over the head with his stick as hard as he could before the guy had a chance to stand up. The sound of wood on skull, froze the whole room, the thud was frightfully grotesque. The drunken man tries to stand like nothing had happen and the hit had maybe sobered him up, but the moment he put his hands to his face and realized his eye socket was sunken inwards to an unrecognizable shape, his face went white and he collapses onto the floor, falling forward once again in to the kit. The drummer realizing the seriousness of this assault begins to quickly pack away his breakables.

The band silently follow suit and all 4 members are out of the venue before anyone has a chance to say a word. I don’t know what happened to the drunken guy but I do believe he deserved what he got. Yes it was a seriously hard hit he took, but not only did he ruin the bands night who had probably traveled miles to get to the venue, the promoter who took weeks in planning the show. He ruined the night for all members of the crowd who had paid money to watch.

A vinyl edition of "Honestly, Honesty" from Armed With Books is due out on August 5th, 2016. You can follow the latest on the band over at Facebook here. More...

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Pit Stories: Learning The Touring Ropes

Ready for a new Pit Story heavy metal fans? This week we've got JP LaChapelle from Keychain to share a few he's accumulated over the years.

This week's entry is actually an audio story told as you'd hear it outside a show bullshitting with the band.

Below you can hear JP share a bevy of road report tales (all somehow combined with a common theme of strip clubs) about the learning curve of not partying too hard while touring and dealing with tour van break downs.

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Pit Stories: Never Seen So Much Blood In My Life

I know everybody's still waiting on the second half of that epic pit story from Panzerfaust, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait just a bit longer on that front. We finally got in touch and the band is keen to share their recollections of the event, so hopefully next week!

In the mean time, we have a good old bloody tale from Forty Winters vocalist Xavier Vicuna. Xavier tells the gruesome story of unintended pit mayhem like this:

The date was Saturday, August 15th, 2015. We were on tour with Shai Hulud and xBishopx, it was our last date in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Now, we were already warned that Myrtle Beach kids can be kind of crazy and all over the place, I didn't really think anything of it, haha. Fast forward to the hometown heavyweights Down In It destroying their set.

Out of nowhere someone launches a bar stool with all their might, legitimately across the room; and nails their unsuspecting friend square in the face. I have honestly never seen so much blood in my entire life.

The dude ended up going straight to the ER for stitches and still made it back in time to catch the Hulud set. He was a real good sport and took it like a champ. I snapped a picture next to one (yes one) of the pools of blood he left behind. Great night and show.

What's the most damage you've accidentally done to a buddy in the pit? Let us know in the comments section!

The South Florida heavy metal outfit Forty Winters is currently gearing up for a July 22nd release date for sophomore album "Rotting Empire," coming via Dead Truth Recordings. Check out a lyric video for opening track "Summoning Spirits" right here. More...

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Pit Stories: Flipping Off And Getting Off

You know what Tuesday means: time for some more Pit Stories from metal shows!

In recent weeks we've covered acquiring some interesting scars, making a fool of yourself in front of guys who would later be your band mates, getting crushed by a wall of death, and an ill-fated train ride to see The Misfits.

Today we've got a tale of the odd ways people behave at shows, from hating on the band to straight up getting it on in the pit rather than just heading home for the hanky panky.

Shawn Pelata of U.S. power / thrash metal band Final Sign tells the story like this:

Back in the very early 1990s, I was in a band called Oracle. We did what a lot of bands did at the time. We played a lot of shows, wrote a lot of songs, did some recording and basically tried to be rock stars. We played kind of a blend of power metal and thrash. We slugged it out in the clubs in the area like any other metal band, and we saw our fair share of strange things. At one of our shows in particular, I saw two.

One evening in Winston-Salem, NC, as we played our sets (we would play two sets of all original material back then), periodically I would see a man pacing back and forth, from one side of the stage to the other and back again. He was carrying a beer...and he was flipping us off. Now, it wasn't uncommon to see a bunch of middle fingers in a rowdy crowd back then. It was almost a salute. However, this guy, seemed to really hate what we were doing. He slowly, intentionally, made his way back and forth behind the crowd, his middle finger raised high and aimed directly at the stage, and was just glaring at us. I saw him 3 or 4 times throughout the night, but never saw him once we were off stage.

That same evening, as we played our song "Valley Of Sadness," one of my guitar players and I noticed a man and woman in the crowd just straight up "dirty dancing." Again, we played like a power metal/thrash hybrid and here are two people, obviously feeling zero pain, just grinding away, holding drinks, to a song about finding your way out of the valley of sadness before your life fades away. Although they were fully clothed, I truly believe she went home pregnant.

Final Sign's latest album "Hold High The Flame" is out now via Divebomb Records / Tridoid Records. More...

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