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Archive: Pit Stories Columns

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Pit Stories: Chainsaw Clear Out

We've got an epic Pit Story for you tonight metal fanatics!

Forget the feel-good nature of last week's story about gaining a devoted new fan, this week we're back to pure fist-in-the-face mayhem of a proper pit.

Today's story comes courtesy of Davin Jones from Pissed On, who recounts a tale of one wonderfully drunk fan bringing a rather dangerous object into the pit. Davin tells the story like this:

It was Halloween Eve and it was Pissed On's third time playing Cincinnati, our first time playing Rake's End. To set the atmosphere, let me tell you that it was essentially a costume party and just about everyone there was bloody and horrific. The crowd was comprised of your usual grind freaks, crust punks, and a handful of hardcore kids but one attendee stood out.

His name was Steve and he was dressed in a long brown trench coat and wore a mask a la The Purge. In one hand he held a half-drank beer and the other a chainsaw with the blade still on. We first met Steve when he came over and drunkenly gave us a Four Horseman speech in Spanish. Needless to say we knew he was going to be a good time.

As we set up to play our set, the crowd slowly came closer. Rake's End is a smaller venue so people packed in tight and when a pit arises it conjures up in the very front next to the band. Steve made his way to the front, chainsaw in tact, even more drunk than before. Our set begins and bodies are flying side to side, and Steve is being tossed around like a joint. I see one kid get his septum ring ripped out of his nose, blood everywhere. At one point I turn away from the crowd and feel a fist meet my neck. Mic stands are being knocked off and chaos is ensuing.

Somewhere amongst the cluster fuck of a pit going on, Steve decides to put his chainsaw in the air and subsequently start it. With the chain on. In a crowd of people. He was soon kicked out, but he found his way back in and even bought us beer (which he tried to give to us while we were playing). We never got to thank Steve because after the third time being thrown out he started chasing a car down the street with his chainsaw. I don't know where you are right now you crazy fuck, but thank you for one of the best Halloween's of my life.

Damn... in all the crazy pit shenanigans, I don't think we've ever experienced a live chainsawing before! If anybody has footage of that night, please let us know so we can share it!

"The Hanged Man" by Kentucky grinders Pissed On is due out this coming March 17th, 2017 via Advocate Records - check out an advance track below.

Oh, and a brief plea from your friendly neighborhood metal zine worker: for the love of god, please don't name your band anything like Pissed On. You see I have to search for that phrase to find your music, and do you know what kind of things get seen between typing those words and finding a page actually associated with your band? Fuck my eyes... More...

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Pit Stories: Gaining A New Fan

Ready for another dive straight into the pit? Every Tuesday we check in with bands and fans from around the globe to get their most memorable stories from live shows!

Recently our Pit Stories have been all about bad fan behavior, from an overly aggressive mosher getting booted from the venue by the Melvins to an especially eager fan crawling on stage and interfering with a Empyrean Throne show.

We're shifting gears this week to a much more positive interaction: drawing in metal heads who have never heard your band before and become a fan based off a strong live performance.

Raj Krishna from prog group OmnisighT shared the tale below of gaining a new fan during a Vancouver set. Footage of the person in question is available after the jump, where you can literally watch him work his way through the crowd towards the stage as he gets more and more into the music.

One of our best sets was at the Rickshaw in Vancouver, BC during Wacken Metal Battle Canada finals. We're pretty intense live, we can bring in cold fans that have never heard or seen us before. We knew we had a good set that night, and some cool videos of it.

One night we were hanging out and watching some Omni on you tube when we saw a vid of "Plasticine," the last song that night, which went over really well. The video is pretty shitty quality. The point is, this guys never heard of us and just decides to record us on his tablet.

The vid is shaking, the musics too loud, but it captures the energy! You can see throughout the song, he gets closer and closer to the stage until he's right in the pit. He's chanting OmnisighT by the end of the song! I'm pretty sure we got a brand new Omni fan that night!

Omnisight's upcoming EP "Power of One" is slated to arrive on January 20th, which follows 2016 live album "Live At The Theatre." Check out the title track and pre-order your copy over at Bandcamp here. More...

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Pit Stories: Respect The Stage

Following on from last week's tale of a fan being chastised by the performing band, today's entry in the ever-growing Pit Story catalog also features a band laying down the law on an unruly participant.

Today's story comes courtesy of Empyrean Throne vocalist Andrew Knudsen, and concerns respecting the band's space. Stage crawling/diving is all well and good - so long as the band is on board!

Andrew recalls the story of opening for Nile:

Our shows tend to get crazy and violent. People get wrecked in the pit area, glass gets broken if you’re not looking after your drink. Our fans are a wild bunch. We encourage rabid crowd participation. However, we take our performance very seriously. It is a ritual. There is a spiritual intent with our shows, and when we are on stage, it is treated as sacred ground.

We bring a lot of stage paraphernalia to each show. We have an altar with actual animal bones, war banners, tons of candles, a ritual dagger, blood, and tons of other trinkets aside from our gear. Because of this allotment we don’t invite fans on stage. Outside of performing, we spend a lot of our personal free time and money on constructing—as well as maintaining—these items. So when we perform we also demand that the audience respect the stage, its contents, and performers.

Last February, when we opened for Nile at the Grove of Anaheim, some young and quite hammered kid kept trying to force his way on stage and pull at various members’ boots and legs during our set. This guy was raging, he was the finest specimen of filth that evening. Totally cool until he climbed up on stage. I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish, he wasn’t there to stage dive or crowd surf, he was just there flailing around like a lunatic.

From what I recall, he tried to grab my incense censor and part of our altar before, literally grinding up on the leg of one of our members. At that point I grabbed him by the neck and threw him into the audience, who did not make an effort to catch him. They cheered instead. After the show the young lad came up to our merch booth and apologized for his tomfoolery, and proceeded to buy one of every item from our store. We thanked him for coming out and supporting us. It’s something we still laugh about today. I guess the moral here is this, support the band and get into the music, but also respect the stage and the performers on it because we will protect ourselves and our property at all costs.

Empyrean Throne's new album "Chaosborne" will be self-released this coming January 24th, 2017. Telling the story of a hapless Templar knight in medieval Europe and his subsequent decent into the realm of Chaos, the album offers eleven solemn hymns to unbecoming. More...

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Pit Stories: Chill Out Fucker!

Happy Tuesday metal heads! It's officially our first Pit Story of the new year!

We're kicking the 2017 edition of the column off with a tale of an overly-rowdy fan who managed to get himself ejected... by the band itself!

Charlie Dowzell from U.K. doom group Sail shared this tale about an unfortunate fan being called out mid-show by none other than the Melvins:

A couple of years ago we went to see the Melvins in the Exchange, Bristol. Fantastic venue and very small indeed - 200 folks tops, I think. The place went absolutely mental when they came on and the vibe stayed at an all-time high - they were loud as all hell and played banger after banger.

Near the end of their set they played 'The Bit' and the already pumped-up crowd somehow became even wilder, which was ace. This is where things fall apart a little. Somebody was clearly 'in the zone' as it were, and King Buzzo must have thought it too much - admittedly I think the guy was beginning to knock people down and maybe actually hurt them, I'm not overly sure.

Next thing I know, the band have stopped mid-song and this guy gets a royal bollocking from King Buzzo, who told him to 'chill out, fucker!' to a rapturous applause. Tail between his legs, this guy yells out 'I'm sorry!' to which Buzz tells him he doesn't care that he's sorry, and wants him gone.

Think they ejected him from the venue, and on went one of the most intense and fantastic shows of my life. That will always stay with me as something so powerfully surreal and very funny. 'Chill out, fucker!' indeed.

Sail's new album "Slumbersong" is being prepped for a March 10th, 2017 release via Hibernacula Records. Check out a track off the release below. More...

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Pit Stories: Marshmallow Girl In The Lion Onesie

Remember the chicken guy who used to go to all the Baltimore/D.C. area shows in a full body chicken costume, or that masked midget who would order people around in the mosh pits of California?

Rock and metal shows are known for their interesting characters, but its not just the die hard fans or musicians themselves who show up in interesting attire... sometimes its the journalists like us who cover the shows!

For this week's Pit Story we've got our own Amy Dyer sharing how she likes to hit up music festivals and live shows and make an impression wearing something just a bit out of the ordinary:

When I photograph gigs, I take a bag of marshmallows with me and throw them into the crowd during the wait between acts. I have now earned a reputation as Marshmallow Girl. I once went to a gig as a punter and someone recognized me as marshmallow girl and bought me a pint XD. More funny than interesting but it's still makes me laugh.

I've gained a similar reputation at festivals when I spend the entire weekend in a Lion onesie. Andy Copping (owner of Download) has no idea what my name is but does know I'm the photographer in a lion onesie XD.

Amy was kind enough to share a few photos of this lion outfit below... including one where she's meeting a very bemused Marilyn Manson!

What's the strangest thing you've seen someone wear to a festival, and what's your preferred show-going attire? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Pit Stories: Flying Bottles

Tuesday's Pit Story time has come around again!

Gather round for a new tale from the pit, this time from vocalist Chase Thibodeau of Vancouver thrash metal band Terrifier.

Chase recalls a particularly drunk 'n rowdy Canadian pit at the Cobalt, telling the story like this:

I remember the first time we came to Vancouver to play at this old classic dingy bar called the Cobalt. It was the main local venue for many years. It was located in a rough part of town so it was a good venue for metal. There we're fights breaking out in the pit constantly. When we first got up to play we had a few bottles and glasses fly on stage but we remained focused on delivering the goods.

I remember getting soaked in vodka and thinking man this crowd is wild. I looked down and saw this chick up front get hit so hard her glass flew out of her hand. The whole time I thought they we're throwing bottles at us until I realized they we're givener that hard lol I'll never forget that.

Terrifier recently signed to Test Your Metal Records and will be releasing second album "Weapons of Thrash Destruction" on January 20th, 2017. The nine-track mosher follows 2013 EP "Metal or Death" and 2012 full-length release "Destroyers of the Faith." More...

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Pit Stories: Protecting The Van

Ready for a new Pit Story metal fans? This week's come courtesy of Canadian group Malacoda, and moves away from the pit and onto the road where bands spend countless hours travelling to bring you the craziest shows in the music industry!

Tour van break-ins are a fact of life for metal bands, and there's usually not a month gone by that we don't post about some crowd funding campaign to recover lost items after the latest robbery.

Some bands have taken up preventative security measures to prevent such activity - but they don't always work out as planned. Brad Casarin, guitarist of Malacoda, recalls his road story like this:

We were in Vancouver playing a show and the venue was on Hastings. Anybody that's been to Vancouver knows this is one of the worst areas in North America for drugs and drug users. After the gig half of us got to sleep in a hotel room while two of us volunteered to sleep in the van in front of the venue.

Around three in the morning we are woken up by a hand reaching into the van - older vans used to have these push out windows that you could just squeeze your hand through. The hand was trying to unlatch the pull up lock! Luckily I remembered I had packed a cO2 cartridge BB hand gun. So I reached for it as the hand was feeling around for the lock and I unloaded it 10 - 12 times about three inches away into his hand.

The perpetrator screamed in agony trying to get out of the tight fit he had maneuvered his hand into, all the while screaming "Please, oh God, please stop!" from outside the van. It was then that I recognized the voice as our drummer who had come back to the van to grab something. His swollen BB filled hand eventually healed up in a week and he could drum again at full capacity!

Malacoda's six track EP "Ritualis Aeterna" was released last week (December 2nd, 2016) and can be streamed in full below. More...

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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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