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Archive: Sunday Old School Columns

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Sunday Old School: Humble Pie

Of all the names that have appeared throughout the Sunday Old School columns, one of the few to be expected to grace the series would have to be, Peter Frampton. Yet the man who recorded, "Frampton Comes Alive," one of the biggest selling live albums of all time, which according to Mike Myers in Wayne’s World was issued to everyone in the suburbs, was an integral part in one of the first albums to be described as heavy metal. The album in question was called, "As Safe as Yesterday Is" and the band who recorded this effort was called, Humble Pie. Humble Pie was formed in the county of Essex in south England in 1969 by former Small Faces guitarist, Steve Marriott, along with Spooky Tooth bassist, Greg Ridley, Peter Frampton and drummer, Jerry Shirley. After deciding on their name, they soon signed to Immediate Records and released their first single, "Natural Born Bugie," only six months after forming, which was able to reach as high as number four in the British singles chart.

A month later, the band released, "As Safe as Yesterday Is," which, as mentioned before, was one of the first albums to be called heavy metal by Rolling Stone reviewer, Mike Saunders, who went on to form a popular band himself, named Angry Samoans. Perhaps fitting for this bit of trivia, the record opened with a cover of the song, "Desperation" by Canadian band, Steppenwolf, who themselves have at times been credited for the term "heavy metal" after including it in their classic song, "Born to be Wild." The music press weren’t entirely sure what to make of the album, but listeners seemed to enjoy what was on offer, with the record peaking at number sixteen on the British albums chart. More...

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Sunday Old School: Pentagram Chile

The power of the metal underground can be a truly astounding thing. At times, it can give a band worldwide exposure and a large following even if they haven’t actually released a full length album. One of the best known examples of this would be Switzerland’s, Hellhammer, which of course evolved into Celtic Frost, but another band which would influence countless metal listeners was a group from Chile, who shared their name with an American group that also didn’t release an album until well into their career, a band named, Pentagram. Pentagram, or Pentagram Chile as they now go by, were formed in the Chilean capital city of Santiago in 1985 by singing guitarist, Anton Reisenegger and another guitar player named, Juan Pablo "Azazel" Uribe. They were strongly inspired by the more extreme end of the thrash spectrum and early death metal bands such Possessed, Kreator and Venom.

After recruiting drummer Eduardo Topelberg from a group named Chronos, the trio began working on their musicianship a little more seriously and eventually recorded their first demo, entitled appropriately enough, "Demo 1." Reisenegger handled bass duties for the record and the band began sending out copies all over the world. Two of the people who got a hold of the demo was the Cavalera brothers, Max and Igor, known of course as the founding members of Brazil’s most famous metal band, Sepultura, who at the time had just released their debut album, "Morbid Visions." They struck up a friendship with the two and there was reportedly intention for Max Cavalera and Anton Reisenegger to record an album together, though to date, this has not happened. More...

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Sunday Old School: Vio-lence

One of the wonderful things about thrash metal is that while some bands became superstars, others have earned eternal credibility amongst metal fans for their furious live shows and underground classics. Perhaps one of the best examples of the latter comes, unsurprisingly, in the form of a band from San Francisco, Vio-lence. The group was formed by guitarists Phil Demmel and Troy Fua, vocalist Jerry Birr, drummer Perry Strickland and bass player Eddie Billy, brother of Testament frontman, Chuck Billy.

Changes were soon made to the band, most notably when Birr was replaced by Sean Killian, who utilised a unique cadence in his singing style and former Forbidden guitarist, Robb Flynn. They soon signed a contract with Mechanic Records and entered the studio to record their first full length album, "Eternal Nightmare." The record is now considered to be one of the best thrash metal albums of all time by dedicated thrash fans, thanks to such songs as "Kill on Command" and "Bodies on Bodies." More...

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Sunday Old School: Belphegor

As we’ve mentioned a few times over the past months, this year Sunday Old School is aiming to cover a lot more countries in our articles. Some of the nations we’ve taken a first look at have given the world of metal some highly controversial names, both literately (such as Rotting Christ from Greece) and in terms of theatrics (such as Poland’s, Behemoth.) This week sees the latter trend continue, as Sunday Old School examines a band from Austria for the first time. A blood drenched, blasphemous, outrageous group that goes by the name of, Belphegor.

The group was formed under the moniker Betrayer in Salzburg in 1991 by guitarist, Helmuth and Sigurd, vocalist Maxx and a drummer named Chris. Whilst using this name, they recorded two demos, "Kruzifixion" and "Unborn Blood," before changing their alias to Belphegor, named after a demon who was supposedly responsible for discoveries and, according to the Dictionnaire Infernal, Hell’s ambassador to France (because if anywhere is going to have an embassy for Hell, it’s France.) They would release only one demo with Maxx after changing their name in the guise of 1993’s, "Bloodbath in Paradise." After Maxx’s departure, Helmuth assumed vocal duties and the group recorded another demo, "Obscure and Deep" through Perverted Taste Records in 1994, before their first official album, "The Last Supper" was released in January 1995 via Lethal Records. More...

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Sunday Old School: Izzy Stradlin

Izzy Stradlin was the member (and co-founder) of Guns N’ Roses that presumably could handle his heroin use. He left Guns N’ Roses in 1991 and has led his own band or solo efforts since.

Izzy was born and grew up in Lafayette, Indiana where he was friends with William Bailey, later known as Axl Rose. In 1980 Stradlin moved to Los Angeles and joined the punk band Naughty Women. After a brief stint with Naughty Women, Stradlin would play with The Atoms and Shire before forming Hollywood Rose with his childhood friend Axl Rose. In 1984 the band recorded a five-song demo and also during this time (Stradlin) formed the short-lived band Stalin. In 1985 Stradlin, founded Guns N’ Roses with Rose and several members of L.A. Guns. The band released the epic ‘Appetite for Destruction’ album in 1987. Stradlin wrote or co-wrote most of the songs as well as “Patience” off the follow-up album "Lies."

The band blue up as did tensions around drug use. Around 1989 Stradlin took some time off and sobered up. In 1991 Guns N’ Roses released the "Use Your Illusion" albums. Stradlin co-wrote many of the songs, but now sober, was not happy with the band shenanigans and left the band in 1991. More...

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Sunday Old School: Bruce Dickinson

It’s usually a risk when the singer of a big name band decides to leave and go solo. Many doubted whether or not Ozzy Osbourne would be able to move on from Black Sabbath, though he went on to prove the naysayers wrong, while Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Deep Purple’s, Ian Gillan found varying degrees of success after separating from their respective bands. Another metal legend who took the gamble was Bruce Dickinson, who made a name for himself as Paul Di'anno's successful replacement in Iron Maiden. The seeds of Dickinson’s foray into a solo career began in 1989 when he was approached to write a song for the movie, Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5: The Dream Child, an offer which he accepted and called upon the services of former Gillan and White Spirit guitarist, Janick Gers.

The duo composed the song, "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter," which would later be included on the Iron Maiden album, "No Prayer For the Dying" and become the band’s first number one single in Britain. Given the popularity of the song, Dickinson and the same lineup returned to the studio to work on a full length album, which was completed in only two weeks and released in 1990 as a Bruce Dickinson solo album entitled, "Tattooed Millionaire." The album received positive reviews from many fans and critics and a tour in support of the record soon followed. More...

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Sunday Old School: Krisiun

As most sports fans, and even many who aren’t, are aware, today marks the final day of the FIFA World Cup, the largest international tournament in the sporting world. This year, it was held in Brazil, a country known globally for their love of and talent for football. But there’s another area the Brazilians seem to excel at, as Sunday Old School has shown in the past by highlighting such bands as Ratos de Parão and Sarcófago, and that is that Brazil has given birth to some of the most crushing metal bands of all time, as we’ll see today by taking a look at another of their excellent exports, Krisiun. The band was formed in Ijuí, Rio Grande do Sul, in 1990 by three brothers, Moyses and Max Kolesne, who handled guitar and drum duties respectively and singing bassist, Alex Camargo, who uses their mothers maiden name. They were heavily influenced by the aggressive metal of such acts as Morbid Angel and Slayer and recorded two demos before deciding that their career would stand more of a chance if they moved to Sao Paulo in 1995, where they were almost immediately spotted and signed by Dynamo Records.

The band recorded and released their debut studio album, "Black Force Domain" that same year and displayed their influences proudly with covers of "Nuclear Winter" by Sodom and the Kreator track, "Total Death." The album was well received by the death metal fans who heard it and soon afterwards, their brutal sound was to be brought to a larger audience when they signed with German record label, GUN. The group’s first release through their new label came in 1998 with the album, "Apocalyptic Revelations," which was also met with a positive response amongst the death metal community. More...

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Sunday Old School: English Dogs

Punk rock is well documented as having changed the face of music forever. It certainly left it's mark on heavy metal, with many punk bands influencing the fledgling thrash movement, to the point where thrash’s first sub-genre, crossover thrash, almost completely blurred the line over what’s thrash and what’s punk. But interestingly, this new style went full circle and began to influence many punk groups of the day, with bands such as Discharge and The Exploited incorporating it into their sound. Another respected punk band that brought this harder edge to their music and appealed strongly to metal fans was Lincolnshire natives, English Dogs. The group were formed in the market town of Grantham in late 1981 and by the next year had recorded two demos entitled, "Show No Mercy" and "Free to Kill," earning them support slots with bands such as Discharge and G.B.H. The exposure was helpful for the band, who soon signed a record deal with Clay Records and released their first EP, "Mad Punx and English Dogs" in 1983.

The next year, the band released their first full length album, the rather bizarrely entitled, "Invasion of the Porky Men," which was perhaps their most punk rock orientated album to date. Following the release of the album, vocalist Pete Wakefield, also known as, "Wakey," parted company with the band and was replaced by Adie Bailey, formerly of Ultraviolent. It was also around this time that the band brought in guitarist, Graham "Gizz" Butt, who was very important in the history of English Dogs as he brought with him a metal style of guitar playing, which changed the course of the band’s music. More...

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Sunday Old School: KISS

This week is a special week for Sunday Old School because it’s the 250th column. One of the genres covered has been the glam and hair bands of the eighties. No band provided more of an influence in this area then KISS. Known for over-the-top antics, make-up, merchandising and farewell tours the boys from KISS have ruled since the seventies. Still, there is the question: Which came first, the music or the makeup? Spoiler Alert: We can’t prove either only that success followed. So without further ado, your 250th Sunday Old School post from the biggest band of all time: KISS. (Note: If you don’t believe this is the biggest band of all time just ask Gene Simmons.) More...

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Sunday Old School: Tankard

Looking back through the Sunday Old School archives, we certainly seem to love our thrash metal. We’ve covered most of the big names in British thrash, a large number of American bands and a good portion of the German scene. However there is one band we have yet to cover in this column that hails from the last country mentioned, a band who will be releasing their sixteenth studio album this week. A band which goes by the name of Tankard. Tankard were formed in 1982 in the city of Frankfurt, located in the state of Hessen, by classmates, Andreas "Gerre" Geremia and Frank Thorwarth on vocals and bass respectively, as well as fellow pupil, Axel Katzmann, who played guitar. They became notorious for their heavy drinking even at an early age, when they would pour milk out of the cartons at school and fill them with beer, fuelling their good time thrash metal and helping them become party favourites. After two demos, "Heavy Metal Vanguard" and "Alcoholic Metal," the band eventually signed with Noise Records, though not before being passed on by SPV, who were shocked by the drunkenness exhibited by the group at a live show.

Their debut album was released in 1986 under the title, "Zombie Attack," which was quite well received by metal fans, especially in their native Germany. This was followed only a year later with their sophomore record, "Chemical Invasion," which was something of a concept album based around the arguments over the planned Beer Purity Law in Europe. Once again, they received positive feedback for their effort and continued performing live and earning themselves a reputation as one of the best thrash metal bands in Germany. More...

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Sunday Old School: Moonspell

So far this year, the Sunday Old School column has certainly been living up to the ambition of covering more bands from around the world, having for the first time featured bands from Greece (Rotting Christ,) Poland (Behemoth and Vader) and Belgium (Channel Zero) and so this week, we continue our global metal excavating by looking at a Portuguese band for the first time, one of the finest examples of gothic metal, Moonspell. Moonspell were formed in 1989 in Amadora, located in the North of Lisboa, initially under the moniker, Morbid God. In 1992, the group decided to change their name and got to work on new material, which they released in 1994 as part of their debut EP, "Under the Moonspell." The EP proved popular in the metal underground and impressed executives at Century Media Records enough that they offered the band a six album deal. It wasn’t long before the band had recorded their first full length effort, which was released in April 1995 under the title, "Wolfheart" and was considerably more in line with black metal than the gothic vibe which they would become known for.

Although the album was somewhat ignored by the metal media, it allowed the group to embark on a tour of Europe, during which guitarist, Mantus left the band, to be replaced by Ricardo Amorim. A new guitarist also meant a new style for Moonspell, who quickly adopted a gothic approach to their music, which they showcased on their sophomore album, "Irreligious," released in 1996. The album was a landmark for the band not only in terms of style change, but also their first single and music video for the song, "Opium," as well as some other Moonspell classics such as "Awake" and "Full Moon Madness," which has become the standard final song at the majority of Moonspell concerts. In addition to these personal successes, the band also found some commercial achievement when the record sold over ten thousand copies in their native Portugal. However, as with the cycle for "Wolfheart," the band would soon find themselves departing with another member, this time with bass player, Ares, whose fallout with the group was bad enough that lawsuits were soon brought into the mix. More...

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Sunday Old School: Razor

In 2008, a highly anticipated documentary entitled, "Get Thrashed" was released on DVD. For those of you who bought it, you may remember a segment in the bonus features where Municipal Waste guitarist, Ryan Waste states that, "If you live in Canada there’s no reason to be pissed off. That band sounds so god damned pissed off." The group in question is one that formed in 1984 in Guelph, Ontario and who goes by the name of Razor. The band was fronted by singer Stace "Sheepdog" McLaren, who was joined in his metal endeavour by guitarist Dave Carlo, Mike Embro on drums and bassist Mike Campagnolo. They worked hard on creating their music, taking inspiration from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement and the blossoming thrash metal scene, eventually resulting in their self-financed and self-produced album, "Escape the Fire," which was released the same year, before they signed with Voice Records for another 1984 release, the "Armed and Dangerous" EP, which was also self-financed and quickly sold out of its 1200 pressings. The EP spread around the metal scene and garnered the band a deal with Canadian label, Attic Records.

Now on a proper label, Razor quickly recorded their official debut full length, "Executioner’s Song," which was comprised mostly of material from and written during "Armed and Dangerous." It was an underground hit and led to the band being considered one of the most extreme in Canada at that time. Although it was only released in April 1985, the band would release a second full length only six months later, in the form of the frankly excellent, "Evil Invaders," which is considered by many today to be a classic album in the thrash metal genre. The record spawned the bands first music video for the title track and helped them gain even more attention when they toured with such big names and cult favourites as Slayer, Venom and Motorhead in Canada and the United States. More...

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Sunday Old School: Vader

In 1992, Brutal Truth released their debut album, "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses." Perhaps this was a phrase ringing around the minds of a group of young men nine years earlier in Olsztyn, Poland, who formed a metal band while living under Communist rule and named it, Vader. The group was started by bassist Piotr Wiwczarek and guitar player Zbigniew "Vika" Wróblewski, initially as a speed metal band, though they eventually progressed into a death metal sound by the time they recorded their first demo, "Live in Decay" in 1986. It would be another three years before another demo, "Necrolust" was recorded, followed closely by a third demo, "Morbid Reich" in 1990. The demo circulated around the European metal scene, selling almost ten thousand copies, a very impressive tally for an underground group from Eastern Europe. The success of the demo earned them a deal with Earache Records, who were known at the time for releasing some of the heaviest bands around, including the likes of Godflesh and Carcass. They first attempted to record their debut album at Sunlight Studios in Sweden, however both the band and the label were unhappy with the end result and so it was re-recorded at Rhythm Studios in England. The finished product was finally released in November 1992 under the title, "The Ultimate Incantation." After releasing the album, Vader was able to tour in the West for the first time, initially in Europe with Bolt Thrower and Grave and then in the United States with Deicide and Suffocation .

Following a breakdown of communications with Earache, the EP, "Sothis" and live album, "The Darkest Age: Live '93" had to be released under different record labels, something which would also happen after the band recorded their sophomore full length, "De Profundis." The album received some excellent reviews in parts of the music media and included a cover of the Depeche Mode song, "I Feel You" on the American version of the release. It was something of a success in their home country, where they also recorded the album, selling over seventeen thousand copies in two weeks. They promoted the album by once again teaming up with some of the heaviest names in death metal, partnering with Cannibal Corpse and Immolation in Europe, before heading back to the United States to support Monstrosity and Broken Hope. The touring cycle for the album featured no less than 250 concerts and concluded with the band recording a covers album, "Future of the Past," which paid tribute to the likes of Celtic Frost, Sodom and Terrorizer. More...

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Sunday Old School: Vince Neil

Vince Neil has performed as the lead singer for Motley Crue, a solo artist after being fired/quitting Motley Crue and continues to perform shows in between Crue gigs. In addition to his vocal career, Neil has also invested in tattoos, tequila and even an airline. Oh, and of course, a strip club. More...

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Sunday Old School: Down

Bizarrely, one of the most surprising things about so called super groups is one of them is actually good. Many have been excited about some collaborative efforts only to find themselves disappointed with the end result. One band which did not fall in to this category however were one formed in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1991 when a group of friends formed a new group together. These were no ordinary group of metal fans however, as they consisted of Corrosion of Conformity guitarist (later vocalist,) Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod, Crowbar members Kirk Windstein and Todd Strange and perhaps most notably, Pantera singer, Phil Anselmo. The quintet all had a long time love of such doom bands as Trouble, Witchfinder General and Saint Vitus and decided they wanted to form a band more in the vein of these acts, rather than the ferocious thrash which was popular at the time. They soon recorded a three track demo and circulated it around the metal scene, hyping themselves up by asking fans if they had heard of a band called Down. When they eventually performed a live concert in New Orleans, they were spotted by a representative of Elektra Records, who offered them a record deal there and then.

The group recorded their debut album, "NOLA" once the members were free from the schedules of their main bands and released the record in September 1995. It was a success both commercially and critically, peaking on the Billboard album charts at number fifty five. The media were very impressed with the album and most publications gave the album very high scores, dazzled by the combination of Black Sabbath influenced metal, hardcore punk, doom and stoner infections and southern rock flavour. It spawned four singles, the most successful being, "Stone the Crow," which became Down’s first single to enter the Billboard top 40. Two of the other singles, "Temptation’s Wings" and "Bury Me in Smoke" have gone on to become fan favourites, as did the album tracks, "Eyes of the South" and "Hail the Leaf." Touring in support of the album was very limited, consisting of only a thirteen date trek before the members put Down on hiatus to focus on their respective bands. More...

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Sunday Old School: Marilyn Manson

After a whole month covering black metal bands such as Behemoth and Gorgoroth, you’d have thought that we’d be sick of writing about men in makeup causing outrage. However, this week’s article looks at one of the biggest rock acts of the nineties, fronted by the most controversial name in rock since Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson. Manson himself began life as Brian Warner, who was working as a music journalist when he met guitarist, Scott Putesky, with whom he soon formed a band, which they named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids. It was decided that the members would adopt stage names which married the names of female icons with serial killers. Warner became Marilyn Manson while Putesky rechristened himself, Daisy Berkowitz. They were joined by bass player, Brian Tutunick (Olivia Newton Bundy) and recorded their first, self-titled demo. After bringing in keyboard player Stephen Bier (Madonna Wayne Gacy) and drummer Fred Streithorst (Sara Lee Lucas,) as well as replacing Bundy with Brad Stewart (Gidget Gein,) the band increased their local profile and gained substantial airplay on WYNX-FM, thanks largely to DJ and fan, Scott David. The early shows were just as theatrical as the ones the band would become known for, featuring such provocative images as women on crosses, children in cages and, due to the lack of a professional pyrotechnician, setting their own props on fire. The group soon caught the attention of Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor, who signed the band to his newly formed label, Nothing Records and brought the group on the road as a support act.

Marilyn Manson (as the band had by now shortened their name to) recorded their first album, "The Manson Family Album" in the summer of 1993 but was very unhappy with the result. After playing the record to Reznor, who agreed that the album didn’t sound very good and helped the band re-record and remix the album, which was released the next summer under the new name, "Portrait of an American Family." As soon as work on the record was complete, the band decided to let Gein go after he overdosed on heroin for the fourth time. He was replaced by Twiggy Ramirez who made his live debut with the band on a short headlining tour, during which Manson was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida after the local Christian Coalition accused him of indecency. On the same tour, Manson met Anton LaVey of the Church of Satan, who gave him the title, Reverend. The controversy stirred by Manson’s new title arguably helped earn the band its first headlining tour of North America, during which drummer Sara Lee Lucas would quit after Manson set his drum kit on fire while Lucas was still performing. He was replaced by Ginger Fish and the group hit the road again, this time partnering with Danzig and Korn. More...

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Sunday Old School: Methods of Mayhem

With the final Motley Crue tour underway what is next for the band members? For drummer, Tommy Lee, some of his time may be spent with his band, Methods of Mayhem, a unique formation in terms of both structure and sound. The band has had two rounds, will Lee and Co. try a third one? More...

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Sunday Old School: Holy Moses

Germany is a country whose history and legacy of thrash metal is rivalled only by that on the United States. It’s given the world such excellent acts as Kreator, Destruction and Assassin and still has more to uncover. This week, Sunday Old School will look at another of the country’s fastest heavy groups, who helped strike a blow for women’s place in metal music, Holy Moses. The band was formed in the spa town of Aachen, located in North Rhine-Westphalia in 1980 by bass player Ramon Brüssler, guitarist Jochen Fünders and drummer Peter Vonderstein while they were in high school and played their first show only four days after forming, with Fünders handling vocal duties, before that same year, they recorded and released their first demo, "Black Metal Masters." In 1981, the band was to change forever when both Fünders and Vonderstein left the band, with the latter being replaced by Paul Linzenich, a singer known only as "Iggy" and guitarist, Andly Classen.

Just before the year ended, Iggy decided to leave the band and Classen brought in his partner Sabina to be the group’s new singer. They worked on new material until they felt they were ready to perform, debuting their new incarnation in November 1982, before recording several new demos. The demos, such as "Walpurgis Night" and "The Bitch" helped them gain attention in the metal underground, eventually leading to a deal with Aarrg Records, through which they released their debut album, "Queen of Siam" in 1986. They were scheduled to promote the record by opening for American speed metal act, Agent Steel, however drummer Herbert Dreger failed to show up and was fired from the band as a result, with Uli Kusch replacing him. The last founding member of Holy Moses, Ramon Brüssler decided to quit soon afterwards, his place taken by Andre Chapelier. More...

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Sunday Old School: Brujeria

Looking through the Sunday Old School archives, it seems there hasn't been too many articles featuring a mainly Latino band, with the exception of such Brazilian bands as Sepultura, Ratos de Parão and Sarcófago. So this week, Sunday Old School will be examining one of the most prominent, extreme and overall, best bands to have ever formed in Mexico, Brujeria. Brujeria was formed in 1989 at a party in Tijuana by Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares and featured such well known names as Dead Kennedys frontman, Jello Biafra, Faith No More bassist, Billy Gould and DJ Pat Hoed, along with vocalist Juan Brujo. Because several members were in other high profile bands, it was decided that they would adopt pseudonyms and wear disguises to hide their true identity, with the story being given that they were drug lords on the run from the FBI. They recorded their first single, "¡Demoniaco!" the same year and released it in 1990 through Nemesis Records. Owing to their busy schedules, it would be another two years before their next single, "Machetazos" hit the shelves, this time being released through Biafra's, Alternative Tentacles Records. It was around this time that Biafra also left the group and new members Pinche Peach and Raymond Herrera, also of Fear Factory, was brought in, which saw Pat Hoed move from drums to backing vocals.

Soon after the second single's release, the band signed a record deal with Roadrunner and brought in Napalm Death bassist Shane Embury on guitar. Their debut album, "Matando Güeros" generated much controversy due to the graphic front cover, which consisted of a photograph featuring a decapitated and disfigured head, which the band adopted as their logo, naming it "Coco Loco." The album's lyrics were also a subject of protest, with some people taking offense at their anti-Christian stance, as well as talk of sex, drugs and border crossing, not to mention the record's title. As is often the case however, the controversy only served to increase the profile of the band and shift a few more copies. The music itself was met with a mixed reaction from critics, but very positive ones from death metal and grindcore fans, remaining an extreme favourite to this day. More...

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Sunday Old School: Sanctuary

It’s interesting to see how some bands formed by ex members of another successful group can over shadow their predecessors. Type O Negative became unquestionably bigger than Carnivore, Machine Head are more popular than Forbidden and whilst Nevermore became a hugely successful act, many will remember Warrel Dane (and to an extent, Jeff Loomis) for their work with a band before Nevermore formed. A band named, Sanctuary. Sanctuary formed in the city of Seattle, Washington, a place which would become famous a few years later for producing the grunge wave and acts such as Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, in 1985. Whilst they are now associated with the thrash scene of the 1980s, their music was a solid blend of thrash, power and traditional heavy metal, which showcased impressively on their first demo, which was recorded in 1986. The demo circulated around the tape trading scene and found its way to a number of record companies, including major label Epic, who offered the band a deal, which was unsurprisingly snapped up.

The band entered into the studio with Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, who would produce their debut full length, as well as performing a guest guitar solo on the band’s cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic, "White Rabbit." Sanctuary spent the remainder of 1986 and the beginning of the next year working on the album, which eventually surfaced later that year under the title, "Refuge Denied." The record was notable for featuring a high pitched vocal style from Dane, one which he has not used since, with speculation stating that the vocal technique injured his voice, leaving him unable to replicate the style he utilised on Sanctuary’s debut. More...

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