"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Archive: Sunday Old School Columns

Displaying records 21 - 40 of 266 1 2 3 4 ... 13 14 Last

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...

Read more...  |  1 Comment - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  1 Comment - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  5 Comments - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  2 Comments - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  3 Comments - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  6 Comments - Discuss

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...

Read more...  |  4 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Lita Ford

If you grew up in the eighties you knew Lita Ford as the hard rock girl with credentials. She could play guitar and mix it up vocally with Ozzy Osbourne. Eventually you find out she was part of The Runaways and that’s when you really begin to appreciate how important she has been to rock and roll. More...

Read more...  |  1 Comment - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Gwar

Given the tragic news earlier this week that GWAR frontman, Dave Brockie, perhaps better known by his stage name, Oderus Urungus, has passed away at the age of only fifty, it seemed an appropriate and respectful time to look back on the legacy of his music and the band themselves, who arguably put on the most shocking heavy metal shows known to man. GWAR began life, perhaps unsurprisingly, as a joke by a band named Death Piggy, for whom Brockie was the lead singer and bassist. The group were intending to make a movie entitled, "Scumdogs of the Universe" and decided it would be a fun idea to wear the costumes on stage and be their own support act, dubbing themselves, Gwaaarrrgghhllgh and claiming to be from Antarctica, while sacrificing fake animals on stage. After a while, the members of Death Piggy noticed that people were more interested in seeing Gwaaarrrgghhllgh than their main act, with many leaving before Death Piggy took the stage and so the band was gradually erased in favour of concentrating on the now shortened moniker, GWAR. The original lineup of the band under the slightly new name consisted of Brockie on guitar, Chris Bopst on bass, Sean Summer on drums, vocalist Ben Eubanks and former Techno Destructo member Hunter Jackson, though it would go through several lineup changes very quickly, with Brockie eventually settling in as vocalist after another singer named Joe Annaruma recorded several demo tracks.

After going through more new members, the band eventually found themselves being signed to Shimmy Disc Records, for whom they released their debut album, "Hell-O." The album is something of a talking point amongst GWAR fans, being particularly divisive for an early record, with some fans enjoying the album and a significant amount who are not so keen on it. They began touring to promote the album, though guitarist Steve Douglas would soon leave, being replaced by mainstay, Michael Derks. More...

Read more...  |  9 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Corrosion Of Conformity

Throughout the history of heavy music, there have been many influential bands. Some see their signature sound copied by hundreds, others only one album which can spawn a movement, but few can go from one genre to another and remain just as popular and important as they were before. One of the new bands who can legitimately claim this, is Raleigh, North Carolina’s own, Corrosion of Conformity. Corrosion of Conformity, or C.O.C. for short, formed in 1982 by bassist Mike Dean, who would also handle vocal duties, along with drummer Reed Mullin and guitarist, Woody Weatherman. After recruiting vocalist Eric Eycke, the group released their first full length album, "Eye for an Eye" in 1984. The debut featured twenty tracks, including a cover of the Fleetwood Mac song, "Green Manalishi," which had also been popularised by Judas Priest, but timed in at just over half an hour. This would prove to be their only album featuring Eycke, who left the band following the record’s release and so vocal duties were shared by Reed and Mullin on their sophomore album, "Animosity." The album saw the band begin to mix their hardcore roots with the emerging thrash metal genre, creating one of the first examples of crossover thrash in the process and was received very well, with several of their songs going on to be covered by such high profile artists as Metallica and Mr. Bungle.

It was decided by the band that in order to progress, they would need a new singer so that the music would be paired with one voice and so they hired Simon Bob Sinister, formerly of Ugly Americans, who performed with C.O.C. on their next EP, "Technocracy," which veered closer to thrash metal than their previous work. Despite this noisy output however, things were soon to go quiet for the band, when Mike Dean decided to leave in 1987, followed closely by Simon Bob. More...

Read more...  |  7 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Autopsy

In the world of rock and metal music, it’s quite often we see a singer who simultaneously plays guitar, or sometimes bass, but it’s not often we clap eyes on a singing drummer. Phil Collins in Genesis is perhaps the most famous example and Black Sabbath's Bill Ward was able to multitask on the song, "It’s Alright," but collective hats must surely be taken off to anyone who can perform vocals and drums in a death metal band, but that’s just what Chris Reifert did when he formed Autopsy. Reifert formed the band in the summer of 1987 after leaving Death, for whom he performed drums on their classic album, "Scream Bloody Gore," along with guitarist Eric Cutler. The duo recorded their first demo that same year before recruiting a second guitarist, Danny Corrales, who almost immediately recorded a second demo with the band entitled, "Critical Madness."

The demos circulated around the metal scene and eventually reached the offices of Peaceville Records, who offered to sign the band. The group brought in Sadus member Steve DiGiorgio as a session musician and recorded their first full length album, "Severed Survival." The record was somewhat similar to "Scream Bloody Gore," but was nevertheless praised as one of the best death metal albums of its time, with many important bands in the genre such as Cannibal Corpse and Deicide citing the album as an influence. More...

Read more...  |  7 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Channel Zero

When you think of Belgium, what comes to mind? Chocolate? Jean Claude Van Damme? The movie, "In Bruges"? There's a lot of history and cultural contributions to be found in Belgium, including today's featured artists, the only Belgian metal band to have sold over 100,000 albums, Channel Zero. The seeds of the band were sewn in a youth club where guitarist, Xavier Carion met Franky De Smet-Van Damme and bonded over their love for heavy metal music. Franky had told Xavier that he had just bought a guitar and the two decided to jam together, though after the first time Franky played his guitar, Xavier told him he was not cut out for it and should play bass instead. Despite their intentions of performing together, Xavier accepted a role in Cyclone, then the biggest heavy metal band in Belgium and Franky was brought on tour as a roadie. It was on this trek that he showed off his vocal skills, performing as a back up singer for two songs. Xavier was so impressed that he quit Cyclone, much to the shock of all who knew how popular the band was, to form a new band with Franky. They searched for a long time to find a drummer and a bass player but to no avail, until one night, members of the hardcore band Sixty Nine knocked on their door. After a few meetings, bass player Tino De Martino and drummer Phil Baheux joined the group, who christened themselves, Channel Zero, after a Public Enemy song.

They recorded their first demo in 1990, which impressed many listeners with its professional quality sound and raw energy and garnered them an offer from the German record company, Shark Records, with whom they released their self-titled debut in 1992 before embarking on a European tour supporting American favourites, Exhorder. Although they had a good time on the road, they soon found out how difficult touring can be, experiencing poor sound amongst other problems, which led to them recruiting a long time fan as their permanent roadie. More...

Read more...  |  0 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Trust

There are some bands in the history of heavy metal music who perhaps never gained the attention and recognition they should have, but some of these are lucky enough to have bigger names exposing their fans to their music. As good as Diamond Head are, it can be argued that without Metallica name dropping them, many younger metal fans today would not have heard of them. The same can be said for when Anthrax scored a hit in 1988 hit with the song, "Antisocial," which is considered one of their trademark songs, but was actually originally written and recorded by a French band named Trust, who we will examine today.

Trust began life in the French capital city of Paris in 1977, formed by vocalist, Bernard "Bernie" Bonvoisin, guitarist Norbert "Nono" Krief, bass player Raymond "Ray" Manna and drummer, Jean-Émile "Jeannot." They released their first demo, "Prends Pas Ton Flingue" ("Don't Take Your Gun With You" later that year, before re-releasing the song as a single in 1978. A year later, the band's debut full length, "L'elite" hit the shelves, which featured a cover of the AC/DC song, "Ride On," a band who the French outfit had befriended in recent times and whose singer, Bon Scott, Bonvoisin was often compared to. More...

Read more...  |  2 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 4. Cradle Of Filth

Controversy is a word that has appeared so many times over the past month’s columns. Whether it be the blasphemy displayed by Behemoth, the violent acts of some Gorgoroth members, or simply the name of Rotting Christ. However, today we’ll look at a band that caused controversy in a different fashion, when they brought black metal into the mainstream. The group labelled responsible for this supposed crime against metal, is English natives, Cradle of Filth. Cradle of Filth were formed in Ipswich, Suffolk, one of the most eastern counties of Britain, in 1991 by vocalist Dani Filth, guitar player, Paul Ryan, drummer Darren White, bassist Jon Pritchard and keyboard player, Benjamin Ryan. By the end of the next year, the band had recorded two demos, "Invoking the Unclean" and "Orgiastic Pleasures Foul," as well as a split release with Malediction. They soon signed with Tombstone Records and recorded their first album, "Goetia," although this was never released owing to the collapse of the label and the recordings being wiped, forcing the band to seek another record company.

Following another demo, "Total Fucking Darkness," which featured their new second guitarist Paul Allender and a new bassist named, Robin Graves, the band were picked up by Cacophonous Records, who marked a first release themselves with the debut Cradle album, "The Principle of Evil Made Flesh." The record also marked the recording debut of their new drummer, Nicholas Barker and featured a then unusual mesh of black metal and gothic influences, which helped grab the attention of critics who heaped praise upon the album. More...

Read more...  |  13 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 3. Gorgoroth

Black metal, as we’ve seen over the past month, can be a highly controversial genre. Neither bands nor fans are afraid of facing backlash for their beliefs, name or artistic integrity and some have even had clashes with the law, often receiving prison sentences. It can be said that Mayhem has one of the most violent and shocking biographies in black metal, but if they were to be rivalled by anyone in this department, it would surely be by their fellow Norwegians, Gorgoroth. Gorgoroth was formed in 1992 by guitarist, Roger Tiegs, who took the stage name, "Infernus," who was inspired to start the band after making "a pact with the devil." He recruited a vocalist named Hat, a bassist called Kjettar and a drummer with the almost amusing moniker, Goat Pervertor and together they recorded the first Gorgoroth demo, "A Sorcery Written in Blood" in 1993, which helped gain them front page attention from, Firda, one of the major Norwegian newspapers, which was formed in the bands home county of Sogn og Fjordane.

The exposure almost certainly helped the band sign their first record contract soon afterwards, when they partnered with Embassy Productions to release their debut album, "Pentagram." The record received extra credibility for featuring Emperor member, Samoth handling the bass duties and was received quite well amongst both music critics and black metal fans. Shortly after the release of the album, drummer Goat Pervertor left the band and was replaced by Satyricon skinsman, Frost, who joined in time to perform with Gorgoroth at their very first live appearance, which was part of a four day black metal festival featuring such other bands as Enslaved, Marduk and Dark Funeral, who were also performing their first gig. This appearance was followed by further gigs with Enslaved before returning to the studio to record their sophomore album, "Antichrist," which was released once again to a mostly positive response. More...

Read more...  |  9 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 2. Rotting Christ

As you may have noticed last week, Metalunderground.com has brought back Black Metal History Month, a special time when we devote February to looking back on some of the most influential and important bands in the history of black metal. Part of the aim this year, not just for Black Metal History Month but for the Sunday Old School column overall, is to read up on bands from as many countries as possible. The first instalment of this year’s Black Metal History Month saw the column look at a band from Poland for the first time and this week, Sunday Old School will be making its first trip to Greece, as we go through the life, music and controversy of Rotting Christ.

The band was formed in 1987 by vocalist/guitarist, Sakis Tolis and his brother Themis on drums, along with bass player, Jim Patsouris and despite the style they would soon become known for, began life performing a mixture of death metal and grindcore. They would only release one record while performing this style, in 1988, when they teamed up for a split EP with Sound Pollution. By 1989, the group had turned to a very dark and harsh black metal sound, which was demonstrated on their first demo, "Satanas Tedeum," a release which saw them make their mark as one of the pioneers of the second wave of black metal. They signed with a local record company in 1991, the same year they released their first EP, "Passage to Arcturo" before releasing a 7" single, "Dawn of the Iconoclast."

With these releases under their belts, they had gained enough recognition to sign with an international label. Initially Rotting Christ looked set to head to Norway, where the black metal scene had really taken off, to sign with Deathlike Silence, the label owned and run by Mayhem guitarist, Euronymous, however this never materialised due to the murder of Euronymous by his former bandmate, Varg Vikernes. Instead, they joined forces with Osmose for their debut album, "Thy Mighty Contract," which was released in November 1993 and was received well enough to earn them a spot on the "Fuck Christ" tour with Immortal and Canadian black metal outfit, Blasphemy, where their performance was met with even more positivity, leading the label to release a new 7" single, "Apokathelosis," after which the company parted ways with the band. Rotting Christ decided to head home for their next label, signing to Greek company, Unisound, who released their sophomore full length, "Non Serviam" in 1994. However, signing with a small label back in Greece did not allow the album to be released as far as they had hoped and so many countries did not stock the album until many years later. More...

Read more...  |  4 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: BMHM Part 1. Behemoth

Back in 2011 and 2012, MetalUnderground.com decided to devote all our Sunday Old School columns in February to some of the most important, influential and most popular bands in the history of black metal, which we appropriately named, "Black Metal History Month." This year, we’ve decided to bring back the feature and, with their new album, "The Satanist" out tomorrow in Europe, who better to kick things off than Poland’s own, Behemoth?

Behemoth was formed in 1991 in the city of Gdansk, the fourth largest metro area of Poland by vocalist/guitarist, Adam "Nergal" Darski, Czech born drummer, Adam "Baal" Muraszko and a second guitarist known as, "Desecrator." The trio recorded three demos in their early days, "Endless Damnation," "The Return of the Northern Moon" and most significantly, "From the Pagan Vastlands," which featured a cover of the Mayhem song, "Deathcrush" and was released two months after it was recorded by Polish label, Pagan Records before it saw a release in the United States via Wild Rags. By 1995, Desecrator had left the group, leaving Behemoth as a duo, though the two were nevertheless ready to record a full length studio album for Pagan Records, which was released that year under the title, "Sventevith (Storming Near the Baltic)." It was given mediocre reviews by the critics, though they soon won them over with their second album, "Grom," which hit the shelves in January of 1996. This sophomore album saw the band bringing in a much wider range of influences and sounds, including the use of female vocals and earning them the respect of many members of the metal press in the process.

It was on their next album, 1998s "Pandemonic Incantations" that the band began to develop the blackened death metal sound which they are known for today. They toured for two solid years in support of the record but due to a lack of promotion from then label, Solistitium, the album did not fare well commercially. Behemoth decided that a change was needed and signed a new record deal with the Italian label, Avantgarde Music, through which they released their fourth album, "Satanica" in 1999. The label seemed very willing to promote the Polish outfit and booked them tours supporting American death metal legends, Deicide, as well as Norwegian black metal outfit, Satyricon. They were soon forced to make lineup changes however, which saw the recruitment of bassist Marcin "Novy" Nowak and guitarist, Havok. More...

Read more...  |  3 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Killer Dwarfs

Band members changing their surname as a show of solidarity is one thing, when the name is “Dwarf” that means two things: you have a sense of humor and are part of the Killer Dwarfs. More...

Read more...  |  2 Comments - Discuss

Sunday Old School: Michael Schenker Group

The great thing about a lot of legendary metal bands is that you can usually find a connection between several groups. In today’s case, the connection sees a member of not one but two all time great rock acts who went on to release more great music under his own terms. I’m talking, of course, about the former Scorpions and UFO guitarist, Michael Schenker. Schenker, along with his brother, Rudolf, were founding members of the Scorpions and performed their first gig when Michael was only eleven years old. Four years later the band recorded and released their debut album, "Lonesome Crow," which saw them hit the road with UFO, who offered the now eighteen year old guitarist the position of their new lead guitar player, which he accepted, despite the handicap of not being able to speak English. His contribution to the band was immediate and successful, writing the bulk of the music for their major label debut, "Phenomenon," which featured such classic UFO songs as "Doctor Doctor" and "Rock Bottom." Despite his excellent song writing, his attitude and performances left something to be desired and his time with the band has been well documented as rocky and uneasy, thanks to his drinking and habit of walking off the stage, which would sometimes cause the cancellation of concerts. After recording the live album, "Strangers in the Night," Schenker finally parted company with UFO and rejoined with his brother in the Scorpions.

His return to the fold was not as joyous as it perhaps could have been. He teamed up with the band while they were recording their album, "Lovedrive" and performed on three of the album’s songs before the band began touring in support of the album. However, after only three months, he was out of the band once more, this time as a result of alcohol abuse, fatigue and an inability to perform live anymore. Now without either of these big name heavy hitters, he attempted to join even larger names and auditioned for such bands as Aerosmith and The Rolling Stones. After the death of his guitarist Randy Rhoads, former Black Sabbath singer, Ozzy Osbourne thought Schenker would be the ideal replacement, as he was a big influence on the fallen guitar player. Schenker did not join up with Ozzy, though reasons for this differ. Osbourne claims that Schenker made too many demands which bordered on the extravagant, which Schenker maintains that he was the one who made the call after he had a feeling that he would be making a serious mistake. More...

Read more...  |  4 Comments - Discuss

Displaying records 21 - 40 of 266 1 2 3 4 ... 13 14 Last