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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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Sunday Old School: Tang Dynasty

Our quest for old school heavy metal throughout the world has taken to so many places and seen such a variation of music. From the anthems of Turkish heavy metal band Mezarkabul to the Satanic subjects of Behemoth and Vader from Poland, there's literally a whole world of metal music to explore. Only last week, the Sunday Old School column featured Kryptos, arguably India's premier metal band and this week will be quite similar, as we head back to Asia, this time to examine the group many have dubbed "China's first heavy metal band," Tang Dynasty.

Tang Dynasty were formed in 1988 in the Chinese capital city of Beijing by guitarist Kaiser Kuo, bassist Zhang Ju and vocalist Ding Wu, with the former being replaced the next year by Liu "Lao Wu" Yijun. The group began developing their craft and gained attention in 1991 when they released a version of the socialist anthem, "The Internationale" in their native language. The following year, they released their debut album, "A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty," which officially sold over 2 million copies throughout Asia, in addition to the numerous bootlegs circulated throughout the world. It earned some excellent feedback from rock and metal fans the world over, who complimented the musicianship displayed, as well as the clear inspiration of Chinese history and culture. More...

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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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Unearthing The Prog Rock Underground

It's been awhile since we cut through all the noise and decided to highlight three unknown bands specifically worth your while in a crowded music scene, and this week we're getting back into the swing of things with a new edition of Unearthing The Metal Underground!

We're returning with another look at progressive bands that meld opposing sub-genres, utilize very old school sounds in new and unique ways, or utterly dominate on the instrumental front. Without further ado, we now introduce you to three prog metal bands you need to hear hailing from locations as diverse as Spain, Chile, and New York City.


A Chilean band that has flown under the radar for far too long, Bauda's latest album "Sporelights" (reviewed here) came to my attention last summer from an unsolicited review request email, which is always a dicey proposition: you might get something awesome, or you might hear some basement recordings that never should have hit the digital airwaves.

Needless to say, "Sporelights" was an unexpected treat. I had no idea what to expect going in, being totally unfamiliar with the band, and I was blown away by the juxtaposition of sounds, flirting with the line between rock and metal.

There's some dark material that plays with shoegaze (but offers a lot wider breadth of sound than you'd usually hear there), along with incredibly emotional offerings that will be right on track for fans of Anathema, all while offering a very distinct sound that is uniquely Bauda.

The entire "Sporelights" album can be heard in the Bandcamp player, and you can follow the latest on Bauda by heading over to Facebook.


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Sunday Old School: Kryptos

Throughout the history of the Sunday Old School column, we've visited and explored more places than Dora (you thought you'd escape your child's favourite TV show on a metal website? No such luck.) We've looked at such South American bands as Korzus and Pentagram from Brazil and Chile respectively, as well as Eastern European bands as Aria (Russia) and Gordi (Serbia,) in addition to Asian groups as Crash from South Korea and Japan's Sigh, Loudness and Church Of Misery.

In between Eastern Europe and the far East however, we of course have other side of Asia, of which the most populated country is the fascinating land of India. Despite a strong religious presence in the country from Hindus, Sikhs and Catholics, the latter of which caused the Slayer album "Christ Illusion" to stop being sold in the country, heavy metal is alive and well there. They have a number of solid metal publications and more bands are performing there than ever, while the underground Indian metal scene continues to grow, with perhaps the most prominent name in the scene being today's featured band, Kryptos.

Kryptos were formed in 1998 in the city of Bangalore, the capital of the Karnataka state. The original lineup consisted of vocalist and bass player Ganesh Krishnaswamy, guitarist Nolan Lewis and drummer Ching Len. They took influence from some of the biggest names in classic heavy metal such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, as well as cult favourites like Mercyful Fate and Candlemass and took their moniker from the Latin word "Cruptus," meaning a burial site underneath a church. 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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Sunday Old School: Asphyx

The Netherlands has always had a soft spot for hard music. The country has played host to many metal festivals over the years, most notably the Eindhoven Metal Meeting, where many of metal's most beloved names have performed and several have recorded live albums. Their contribution to the music itself has also been quite noteworthy, especially in the death metal field. Today we'll be looking at another of their more notable bands, Overijssel's, Asphyx.

Asphyx was formed in 1987 by drummer Bob Bagchus and guitarist Tonny Brookhuis, who soon recruited a second guitar player named Eric Daniels and singing bassist Chuck Colli. This lineup lasted for two years but only recorded two demos, "Carnage Remains" and "Enter the Domain" before replacing Colli with Theo Loomans for the "Crush the Cenotaph" demo, which itself was the last recording before Brookhuis quit the group. Left as a trio, they recorded an album entitled, "Embrace the Death," though due to label problems, it remains unreleased to this day. 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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Sunday Old School: Unseen Terror

For some people, grindcore is a hard to define genre. At the time, many bands rejected the tag, which was coined by Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris, who when speaking of the experimental rock band Swans, could only use the word "grind" to describe them. Though Napalm Death and Brutal Truth gladly took on the mantle, the likes of Extreme Noise Terror outright rejected the term. One band, who straddled the line between grindcore and extreme metal and proved to be influential regarding both, was Unseen Terror.

Unseen Terror were formed in Birmingham in 1987, from the ashes of Warhammer, arguably Britain's first death metal band and featuring Shane Embury on drums, along with guitarist Mitch Dickinson. Though not necessarily a grindcore project, their blend of extreme metal and the harder edge of hardcore punk put them in with the burgeoning genre. The two worked together on their craft, taking particular inspiration from Idaho based group, Septic Death, who gave Dickinson the inspiration for the name Unseen Terror from the song, "Unseen Terror - Terrorain" and focusing lyrically on the politics of the time, a common theme of the grindcore scene, as well as the nod to everyone's favourite lasagna eating cat, Garfield. 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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Sunday Old School: Meathook Seed

Over the seven year history of the Sunday Old School column, we've covered well over 300 bands. Somehow though, it seems that at least a third of these groups have ties to British grindcore fathers, Napalm Death, whether it's guest appearances, touring buddies or shared members, bands such as Carcass, Extreme Noise Terror and Godflesh among others, can all trace themselves to the brutal Brummies in one way or another. Today's featured outfit is another example of the brilliance of the founders of grindcore, as we take a look at the project launched by Napalm Death guitarist Mitch Harris in the early nineties, which went by the suitably heavy name of Meathook Seed.

The band was formed in 1992 by Harris, who was looking to experiment somewhat. While discussing his idea with Obituary guitarist Trevor Peres, the latter expressed his desire to perform vocals in a band, which was increased further when he heard the demos Harris had recorded. Around the same time, Napalm Death performed a show in Tampa, Florida, where Harris jammed with Peres's Obituary bandmate, Donald Tardy, who was easily persuaded to join the Meathook Seed project. 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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Sunday Old School: Y&T

It's never a happy introduction to an edition of Sunday Old School when we need to kick things off with a tribute. However, following the sad passing of Leonard Haze at the age of 61, it feels appropriate to finally look back at his work with one of America's most underrated heavy metal groups, whose influence has been cited by many but overlooked by more. Of course, I am referring to Yesterday & Today, who would become better known as Y&T.

The band was formed in Oakland, California by Haze, along with Bob Gardner and Wayne Stitzer, who performed bass and keyboards respectively in 1982. Following a brief stint with Robin Irons on guitar and vocals, they replaced him with a guitarist named Dave Meniketti, who also handled vocal duties. Shortly afterwards, they were invited to perform their first gig, which consisted entirely of cover songs and was one of the few, if not only, performance with Wayne Stitzer, who quit a little while later, leading Gardner to take over on keyboards and a new bass player named Phil Kennemore, though Gardner himself would leave in 1974, to be replaced by Joey Alves. 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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Sunday Old School: Tiamat

As a teenager in Britain, myself and any other guy with long hair, or even somebody wearing an Iron Maiden hoodie, was immediately classified by the non metal listening peers as a Goth (spelled "Goff" of course due to the average intelligence of these people.) It may come as a surprise to any of these people who think/thought this way then, that Gothic metal is a thing of its own, with not a great deal in common with the likes of Judas Priest and Deep Purple. Paradise Lost are often credited as the band which created the genre, which went on to create more pioneers, favourites and legends, including today's featured band, Tiamat.

Tiamat were formed in the municipality of Täby, in Stockholm, Sweden, originally using the moniker Treblinka and performing no nonsense black metal. After recording some demos, the band recorded their first full length album, "Sumerian Cry" in October 1989, though not long after they finished the record, guitarist Stefan Lagergren and drummer Anders Holmberg quit, leaving vocalist/guitarist Johan Edlund and bass player Jörgen Thullberg as the only remaining members. The two decided to change the name of the band to Tiamat, taking the name from the Mesopotamian goddess of the ocean before "Sumerian Cry" was released, giving them time to change the moniker for the albums release and for their appearance on a split with Unleashed, Asphyx, Grave and Loudblast. 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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Sunday Old School: Sevendust

As you may have noticed by recent Sunday Old School columns focusing on the likes of Coal Chamber and Spineshank, nu metal, or rather bands lumped into that category, are now being covered in this feature. It was a strange time, as following grunge's almost complete removal of metal from mainstream popularity, save for the likes of Pantera, Sepultura and Fear Factory, it was another brand of metal that removed it. The problem was, many metal fans hated what they saw as the bastardising of their genre. There were however, several bands which earned respect for their clear talent and songwriting abilities, including today's featured group, Sevendust.

Sevendust were formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 by bassist Vince Hornsby and drummer Morgan Rose, who christened their new project, Snake Nation prior to being joined by guitarist John Connolly. After recording a demo, which they felt was let down by a poor vocal performance, they began a search for a new singer, one which would lead them to Lajon Witherspoon, with the lineup being completed six months later when Clint Lowery joined as a second guitarist, at which point the band renamed themselves, Rumblefish, before changing it to Crawlspace and then finally settling on the moniker Sevendust after a band named Crawlspac sent them a letter demanding $2,500. More...

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Pit Stories: Two For The Price Of One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday Old School: Gorefest

The Netherlands has a long history when it comes to metal music. This small, European country has produced plenty of excellent groups over the years such as Pestilence and God Dethroned and held plenty of festivals, including the Eindhoven Metal Meeting, where so many bands have performed and recorded live releases. Adding to this list of talented metallers is a group with one of the most suited monikers in death metal, the Zeeland based, Gorefest.

Gorefest were formed in 1989 in the city of Goes in the Netherlands and initially comprised of guitarists Alex van Schaik and Frank Harthoorn, drummer Marc Hoogendoorn and vocalist/bassist Jan-Chris de Koeijer. This lineup recorded their first demo, "Tangled in Gore" that same year, which was received extremely well by the extreme metal underground and led to them appearing on the split record, "Where Is Your God Now?" with such bands as Dead Head, Acrostichon, Disfigure and Sinister, before recording another demo, "Horrors in a Retarded Mind," which was also met warmly by metalheads and gained enough attention for them to be booked as the support for Carcass in the Netherlands and Belgium. More...

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Sunday Old School: Pissing Razors

Believe it or not, oh young headbangers, groove metal doesn't begin and end with Pantera. Exhorder are of course cited as one of the great progenitors of the style, as are King's X, while other popular bands such as Sepultura and Prong also took on the design. Though perhaps not the most famous of metal's many sub-genres, groove metal nonetheless produced it's own legends and cult favourites, one of which began life in El Paso, Texas and went by the suitably brutal name of Pissing Razors.

The band was formed in 1994 by brothers Danny and Eddy Garcia, originally using the moniker Back Door Cyclops and were joined in their endeavour by vocalist Loco McNutt, who is credited with coming up with coming up with the change of the name, after he allegedly caught the clap after visiting a Mexican brothel, describing the condition as "pissing razors." His time with the band, much like that of Danny Garcia, was short lived and both decided to quit around 1996, at which point Eddy Garcia switched from guitar to drums and brought on board singer Joe Rodriguez and bassist Rick Valles, while bassist Matt Lynch moved to guitar. More...

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